Part One is here, waiting to be loved once more.
“Did you already do the interview?” Karen’s producer held the cellphone close. “Uh huh. Alright, send it over. Just—hey, listen; you’re doing the right thing and I appreciate everything you’ve done. I mean it, Karen. I’ll see you soon.”
It wasn’t right to tell her over the phone. He knows that even if he did, Karen wouldn’t listen. She’d stick it out till all the horrid facts of the tragedy were unearthed. Then she’d empty her desk.
And that was all he could ever ask for in a journalist.
“I got the interview,” said one of the technicians.
“Load it up.”
He rolled his chair down the carpeted slope and inched to the technician as the video played on the monitor.
“Thank you so much for talking with us tonight.”
“Not a problem, young lady.”
Karen stood atop a snow-covered stoop, holding her microphone to an older man who leaned out of an opened doorway. Only his upper body showed. A red and black flannel wrapped around slim limbs and his face was starched with grey stubble. Tempered green eyes told much.
“Now, and this is for our viewers,” the camera panned to the crime scene. Officials meandered through the lulled remnants of the Nor’Easter that never was. State Police and unmarked SUV’s replaced the local authorities and canines trotted through the fresh snow, sniffing high and low for the unseen. “You are obviously very close to what happened here, and you’re telling me what you said to 911 doesn’t add up with what the police allowed us to quote?”
“Very far from it. I watched the report on the television and had to get you folks over here to talk to in person.”
“What prompted you to call 911 this evening?”
“A lot of unfortunate happenings been going on with the Parish family before tonight. Particularly with the husband. He lost his job and started to drink heavily; seemed to come out of nowhere, too. Cops been over few times for noise complaints. Lot of fighting and yelling going on, but nothing more than that. Not until tonight, anyhow.”
“Did you suspect there to be more than what you just described of recent police involvement?”
“Not at first, no. I watched most of it unfold from this room.” The man points to the window closest to the crime scene. “And it seemed that it was more of the same; loud words. But then… then I saw people run from that front door.”
“How do you mean?”
“It looked like the children and the mother. Smaller framed, not like the husbands. I am not certain, though. Then a … a darkness came from that door.”
“This is going to sound crazy. I mean—hell—I feel crazy just thinking of it, but it’s what I saw. Everything just went black when the husband ran from that doorway. It… what’s the word… came from within himself. Radiated, I suppose. It was something fierce. I’ve known that family for a few years now and I hate to even talk like this, but there was something evil inside that house tonight… inside him.”
Karen’s breath hovered with a specter’s curiosity.
“What did the husband—or the person you suspect to be the husband—do when he came out?”
“It was hard to tell. Any light from their house or from the street vanished when he ran out but I saw him still. He just… grew. Every part of his body did. Mr. Parish had been a little bigger than average, but he seemed awful menacing now. And that darkness! The children and Mrs. Parish were all dragged back into that house. Wasn’t one-by-one, either. I can’t explain it well, but it seemed like that darkness took them. And you know something? I never once heard them scream, either. Not even from the three little ones.”
It was the first time in the interview that the rugged features of the older man wavered.
Karen pressed on.
“And did you tell dispatchers this?”
“Most of it, yes. They didn’t really believe me. I told them that I wouldn’t make it up. Haven’t drank in years and never been in trouble. They just kept saying they’d get on it and that it might take a while cause of the storm.” The older man snorts and shakes his head. “But they were worrying about the wrong storm.”
Karen thanked him for his time, shook his hand and started to leave.
“Wait, sir? One more question,” she turned on the bottom step and offered the microphone once more. “How many members to the Parish family?”
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017
I have a double-edged sword, and it’s named ADHD.
It is with me everywhere I go. Unsheathed and always slicing.
Sometimes I just bleed out.
It affects how I manage writing. It can be good and obviously, bad. I try to look at whatever situation that is presented in some gainful perspective.
I don’t like writing a story in segments or installments. I just want to get that clear right now. But that damned blade dictates with sharp impunity my end goals of completing a story. It is what it is, I guess. I just have to roll with it
I do like the constant flow of creative thought. I am working on multiple projects (trying to, at least) and being able to bounce around without an idea turning stale is a relief. I am tinkering around with audio reads and writing a shit-load of short stories for publishing; either by myself or by traditional means.
One thing that is tricky with this forced (somewhat) process is that I work a little harder than needed on catching up. A pot can simmer too long and I sometimes start the dish over from scratch. Everything happens for a reason.
Or so the folks in the white lab coats keep telling me. Kindness tags along to that dripping syringe and those coats! Always pressed with a delicate iron. Creased and pristine. They’re not that bad, I guess.
I realized that I don’t talk about what I am reading in these afterthoughts. Shame on me.
And shame on you, too. I don’t know why, but I am sure your meddling caused this blunder in some way.
You know who you are.
I am currently reading Jack Ketchum’s Hide and Seek. There is something about telling a ghost story in raw, unquestionable vernacular that excites me. His mastery for no-bullshit narrative and character development is second to none. One of the best in horror, suspense, thriller–shit, I bet he’d even crush erotica if he wanted.
Jack doesn’t waste time on letting his readers know what they’re in for. I think back to the first few paragraphs in Red. I won’t spoil it much if you haven’t read it. And if you haven’t, you need to. Let’s just say Avery Ludlow doesn’t scare none, even with guns pointed to his head. All he wanted was the truth, and for those who owed it to pay up.
Thanks for reading, everyone. The conclusion to this story will be out soon. No specific date yet. It comes when it comes, I guess.
John Potts Jr