Greetings and salutations, fellow readers! It’s that time again. Story Time With Tim. This week’s offering is called ‘I Didn’t See That Coming’, a short story I wrote for one of my Creative Writing classes when I was majoring in the Motion Picture Production program at Wright State University. I must say, this one was fairly well received versus some of my other writings at the time.
Basically, the story surrounds the antics of a young woman called Megan Vox who loves cheesy slasher flicks. Now, I don’t think too many movies of that type are released much any more. Even your Happy Death Day’s or Wrong Turn’s don’t quite have that ‘must get out and watch this crazy shit next’ vibe that Friday The Thirteenth, Halloween and A Nightmare On Elm Street did. There was almost a revival in the 90’s with the Scream franchise, but that wore out pretty fast. So, I suppose, it was the 80’s slasher flicks which truly influence this tale. Megan points out some flaws in her beloved stories that becomes commentary in this piece (…to a degree. Don’t look too much into it!).
At just shy of 3600 words, it isn’t one of my longest short stories, but it is a decently paced read. So, I hope you dive in and enjoy. At the end, I’ll post links to where you can find this on my Amazon Kindle page!
Without further ado, I Didn’t See THAT (<—-Yes, it’s intentionally in caps) Coming:
I DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING
Raised high above his head, the axe glistened with dripping blood, and his face was contorted by all the rage and misery pulsating in revolt at the mere thought of his repulsive childhood. Before him was the focus of his ire. Two teens fleeing in abject terror, searching desperately to deny the rampaging tyrant the steaming slaughterfest he still sought to soothe his shattered soul.
Both teens were forever frozen in the glorious painted rendition of the latest splatterhouse masterpiece to grace the silver screen, “Die, Teen, Die! Part 23.”
“Are you going to stare at that damned poster all night or are we actually going to go see the movie?”
Megan Vale peeled her transfixed gaze away from the hanging ad too near the concession stand to have escaped the giddy glance glowing upon her visage. She looked at her tall and dashing boyfriend Titus, and let loose an impossibly gleeful smile. Upon closer inspection, her boyfriend probably wasn’t all that dashing; loose fitted jeans, three piercings in each ear, and a heavy metal t-shirt were his chosen mantle of individualistic expression.
Even so, she adored him and was delighted when he suggested they accompany their two friends Tiffany and Nicholai to the Triple Mega 40 Plex Cinemas, affectionately called the ‘40′, to see the newest slasher flick in a series she loved almost as much as Titus.
He grinned and led her to where their friends were getting into line to purchase food and beverages.
Titus glanced around the lounge and entryway and noted the throng of peoples in line and gathered at the concession stands; the arcade alcove where juveniles and delinquents made merriment free of parental intrusion; the quiet guy in the corner wearing a dark sweater and black jeans, lurking somewhat within the shadows; the flighty girls bordering on slutty trying to pick up two young boys who’d just come through the doors; the myriad of posters advertising a vast assortment of upcoming movies and whatnot. The 40 was never a boring place. At least not as far as Titus was concerned, and obviously to the overly excited Megan hanging on his left arm.
“Takes you long enough. Geez, Meg, we came to see the movie, not stare at its stupid poster all night,” Tiffany said.
“I can’t help it! I love it when they paint the posters! It’s this old time, scary movie feel!”
“It’s a slasher flick. The twenty third one in fact. I seriously doubt anything new is gonna happen,” Tiffany replied.
Megan just stuck her tongue out and gave a raspberry. The line moved forward and it was their turn to purchase goodies. Tiffany and Nicholai went first, with Nicholai asking for gummi bears, a small popcorn, and a small soda.
“You always get the same thing,” Tiffany admonished.
“So, I like how the gummis and popcorn taste together.”
“You are soooo weird,” she continued. “I’ll have a large coke and some skittles.”
“No popcorn?” Nicholai queried.
“Why would I? I can just take yours.”
“I hate it when you do that!”
Megan smiled at the exchange and soon it was her turn.
“I know what I want!” she bounced. “A medium popcorn, lotsa butter; some milk duds; a box of raisinettes; whoppers; and a large cherry coke.”
Megan smiled as the cashier took the order.
Titus stared and swallowed hesitantly. “Uh… are you sure you want a soda with all that? They have lemonade you know.”
“Because anytime you drink too much soda you start acting crazy.”
Tiffany and Nicholai suppressed snickers as Megan glared at Titus. “What do you mean by that?”
He thought better on his concerns, “Nevermind.”
“And what would you like, sir?” the cashier asked Titus.
“Got any tranquilizers?”
Lights were dimming as the four entered the theater and searched for seats in the growing darkness. The din of the audience was abating as the pre-movie announcements played across the gargantuan screen stretched from wall to wall, floor to ceiling.
“I hope they have decent previews this time. I’m tired of the crap they come up with every year,” Nicholai said as they took some available seats about halfway up the auditorium.
“No shit. I’m not paying to see garbage,” replied Titus.
“You two do realize you brought us to see a movie about a dude hacking up dumbasses, right?” Tiffany input, the straw to her soda perched indelibly upon her lips.
Nicholai glanced at her as she innocently took him in with doey eyes and blinked tantalizingly. He smiled. Titus ignored them and leaned back into his seat, arranging himself into the most pleasing posture possible. Megan slid her arm around the crook of his elbow and leaned into his shoulder, candy and popcorn propped upon her lap.
“It’ll be great! They all are!” Megan said. “There’s that element of tension and suspense that just makes you all chilly inside.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Tiffany asked. “It’s the same movie everytime! A couple of idiots go camping out in the middle of nowhere and then they spend the rest of the time screaming and dying as some psychopathic lunatic slowly picks them off one by one! All they had to do was gang up on him!”
“But you’re missing the point, Tiff,” Megan’s eyes glimmered fanatically. “The murderer represents the primal lusts of the campers and the fear they feel giving in to that lust. It’s some deep shit.”
“Deep shit!? He wields an axe. And hacks them to pieces. And then, just for the hell of it, rapes the corpses! All of them! Up the ass!” Tiffany said, her voice rising in tempo.
“Number eight. That was a classic,” Titus said to Nicholai.
“Truly one of the best of the series,” Nicholai agreed.
Megan shook her head and sighed, “Whatever.”
Light bounced erratically off the interior walls as the previews played. He was a shadow in the theater. Unseen. One of everyone else come to see the carnage. He had made sure to wear a deep blue sweater and hat to be less obvious as he moved about. Quite often he made the sojourn to the theater for it was a good place to find a way to whet his appetite. And, sure enough, he had not been disappointed with the night’s choice selection.
He sat down two rows back and three seats to the right of where she sat. As soon as he saw her, he knew she was the one to quench his thirst. She wore: a pink shirt with some deranged bunny figure on its front; dark hair, fashioned short, layered just the way he liked it; green and black plaid mini-skirt with black tights; and likely wearing some type of eye liner, though he couldn’t get a close enough look to tell.
Bouncy, beautiful, and full of life. So succulent… he thought licking his lips slowly.
She had a small frame. He liked them small; put up less of a fight. She couldn’t have been any taller than five-six. Being six-one himself, that was perfect. She was with some guy and their friends. But they were seldom ever alone. He’d follow. Wait for the opportune moment. Strike. A smile skirted his jaw. It was always pure joy when the horror movies started playing at the theater. With so many people coming and going, one missing little girl was of no real consequence. So far, no one had come close to figuring it out. Oh, he knew the police had a file with a long list of suspects. But he wasn’t one of them.
He was too smart to be noticed. Not like some of those other thirsty people; the men who wanted to taunt the police, daring them to come and find them. He wouldn’t do that. To get caught meant no longer satiating the thirst. No, he remained clever in how he hid the evidence. His smile grew wider at the thought as he watched the four youths squabbling about something.
Probably 21 or 22, college crowd I’ll wager, he considered, ignoring the lackluster previews and watching her closely, gauging every detail he could derive. Secretly, he wished she’d been a little younger. It would’ve made the title of the movie prophetic in so many ways. He suppressed a laugh.
A bone-chilling scream erupted from the young woman’s throat as she turned to flee the axe wielding maniac meandering maliciously towards her. He swung the axe, slashing across the back of her t-shirt lacerating her flesh. She roiled in pain and ran as fast as she could.
Looming trees reached for her, trying to detract her flight as she sped through the darkened forest, hoping to find the sanctuary that would spare her life. She gasped in terror and tripped over a tree root, falling to the ground. She looked up and behind her, and saw the beast fast approaching. She clawed her way along the dirt trail screaming and panicking.
“Oh, like I didn’t see that coming! Get your ass up and run doofus!” Megan shouted.
She shook her fists in the air as she frantically called out the girl on screen for her stupidity.
“Goddamn! You’re getting your popcorn all over me!” Titus declared, brushing popped kernels off his pants and shirt.
People in the audience were laughing both at her and the movie. Quips and heckles rang out. Someone yelled, “Run, bitch, run!”
“I’m sorry,” Megan said slowly taking her seat once more. “It’s just aggravating watching her play the ‘hapless’ victim. Why do they always fall down!? It’s ridiculous! She can’t run straight? Why do women always have to be so inept in these flicks!?”
“How the hell should I know?” Titus questioned. “It’s just a movie, get a grip.”
Tiffany leaned forward, a broad smile stretching cheek to cheek, “But it’s not just a movie, it’s some ‘deep shit’.”
“Oh, you are just so funny!”
“Can we just watch the dumb bitch get slaughtered?” Nicholai asked.
“Yeah, seriously,” Titus agreed.
“She’s not going to get slaughtered. See, she fell down that hill!” Megan said.
“Emphasis on ‘fell,’” Nicholai replied.
Titus joined him in laughing. Megan leaned back in her seat and crossed her arms, her lips drawn taut.
“Oh, baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it,” Titus soothed. “These movies always end the same way anyhow.”
She didn’t say anything and glowered at the screen. Titus sighed and leaned back too. He hated it when she started moping. He saw Nicholai pull Tiffany close, and felt a little guilty. Titus reached for Megan’s hand, but she wouldn’t let him have it.
He grimaced and turned back to the screen. Fuck it. I’m gonna enjoy this movie if it kills me.
They had already wandered some distance away from the 40 trying to figure out how to spend the rest of their evening, when Titus started getting a knot in his stomach. Megan hadn’t said anything since the theater, and once they neared Riverside Avenue, she turned to her friends.
“I’m just going to go home, guys. I’ll see you all later.”
Titus frowned and Tiffany looked at her and sighed.
“Come on, Meg. We’re going to hit the Sandbox. Night’s still young.”
“Nah. I’m really tired. It was fun though,” Megan smiled.
As she started down Riverside avenue, Titus followed while Nicholai and Tiffany waited at the street corner.
“Look,” Titus began. “I’m sorry about laughing. I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings, baby.”
She smiled. “You didn’t hurt my feelings. I’m fine. I’m just tired. You go and have fun and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Titus’s face tightened. “Are you sure? You going to be alright walking home?”
“I’ll be fine, baby. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
After a kiss and a hug he reluctantly watched her walk away. A moment later, he returned to where Tiffany and Nicholai waited. Nicholai looked at Titus who was still focused on Megan’s slowly retreating form. “You should walk her home.”
“She’ll be fine.”
“Dude, you need a car. Your girlfriend can’t always be walkin’ home!”
“She just needs some time to cool off.”
Titus absently looked to the ground and turned towards the direction of the Sandbox. Nicholai exhaled audibly and followed. Tiffany said nothing and glanced at Megan half tempted to go with her. She decided against it and caught up to Nicholai and Titus.
He stood beside a darkened stairwell watching the three others depart. She was heading down the slightly dark street on the other side of the intersection and he found himself overjoyed at the stroke of luck he’d been dealt.
Waiting until the others were further away, he crept out of the shadows and hurried after her. His heart raced in nervous anticipation as he watched her hips sway gently, curves augmented by the skirt dancing around her waist.
He made sure the others were not looking at him as he crossed the intersection and made haste down the street.
She hadn’t noticed him yet and he was gaining on her. He paced himself not wanting to alarm her to his presence. His jaw clenched and his fists unfurled anxiously awaiting the touch of her flesh. Awaiting that moment when he could have her to himself and wrap his mouth around her breast or lick voraciously her soft neck and tender cheeks.
His hands he would grope across her mid-section and down her waist and inside her thighs, flipping her around and forcing himself into her from behind, taking joy in her writhing form twisting and pulling from him screeching in terror as he gripped her harder. His hands re-clenched and he salivated profusely as he approached her delicate frame walking steadily, innocent and without fear.
Yearning quickened his gait, the unbridled desire to feel her pulsating flesh against him washing away his reserve. He wanted her to scream. He wanted to pull her head towards him as he pressed his palm into the small of her back and released his primal fury.
Her scent wafted up into his nostrils and he could contain himself no longer. His meaty hand reached out and grabbed her arm, spinning her to him in one swift motion.
“What the hell!?”
Sweet and soft her voice sounded, the startled fear in her lungs strong and alluring.
“Let me go!”
He tried to grab her other arm, wanted to force her into the alley mere steps away. She twisted in panic and somehow broke free, and ran down the street screaming at the top of her lungs.
No! Not yet! Powerful thighs thrust him forward as he gave pursuit. She would not get away. She kept stumbling over trash cans and litter and various junk, all the while screaming, screaming, screaming.
“Help me! Help! I’m being attacked!”
Sweat drenched his skin, his desire to seize her wracking his mind. It was only a matter of time before someone responded.
Shit! He looked up and saw a long line of open windows, light pouring from them unfettered. Figures, silhouettes, moved within those windows and her frantic pleas grew louder. Yet, no one came to her aid. Windows shut. Lights went dark.
Puzzlement was in his eyes and then a ponderous laugh burst forth from his gut and he was once more nearly upon her. She tripped and fell and stared up at him in horror.
He said nothing as he came to a stop just before her. He couldn’t. His breath was ragged and his steps suddenly heavy.
“God! Somebody help! Leave me alone, you bastard! Fuck! Where is everybody!?”
She clawed along the ground away from him and he slowly unsheathed a knife. Her eyes paused on him when she saw this action. Her breathe caught. He smiled broadly and walked nearer to her, his form towering over her frozen figure.
Maybe I’ll leave the dress on… and the tights. Yeah. I’ll just slice a little hole. Their eyes met and his mouth snarled into a vicious grin. Lust surged through his veins as he brought the knife, gleaming vividly, in front of him where she could clearly see it.
“So, she’s pissed off you laughed?”
“I don’t know. I guess. She gets moody sometimes,” Titus answered.
Nicholai chuckled. “She can be so weird.”
“Hey, that’s my best friend you’re talkin’ about, ‘tard!” Tiffany railed. “And you! You couldn’t have walked my girl home!? Whatcha do, lose your balls?”
“I don’t see you walking with her!” Titus retorted. “I hate when she gets like this. I never know what to do. Ah, maybe I should’ve just gone with her and let her stay mad at me! I don’t know!”
“You could try just talkin’ to her.”
“It’s not always so simple,” Titus eyed Tiffany. “She’s happy-go-lucky one minute and the next she wants nothin’ to do with you.”
The three of them stopped near another intersection and waited for the walk light. Titus frowned and opened his mouth to speak. A piercing scream shattered the night air. They looked towards the entrance of an alleyway as did many other passerby on the boulevard, and panic shot up Titus’s spine.
“That sounded like Megan! Come on!”
Agony and searing pain clamored through bone and sinew. A tortuous moan of despair permeated the environ, reverberating off brick and stone. Tears welled in his eyes and he thrust himself onto the ground, his thick hands clutching his groin.
“A knife!? You fucking pulled a knife on me!?”
Her seductive howl had become a harpy’s wail, besetting his eardrums and rupturing his resolve. Her fist slammed into the side of his face and he reeled over onto his side.
“How dare you pull a knife on me, asshole!” she shouted mercilessly. “Get up, pussy!”
He rolled over onto his back and clutched his face and she took the opportunity to bring her heel down into his crotch once more forcing him into a seated position so fast he almost leapt to his feet.
He clawed at the ground as she pummeled him with her fists, and her feet, and whatever else was handy near her. She picked up a hard-plastic container and drove it into his spine. He managed to get to his feet and stumble a few feet before her foot found its way past the crack of his buttocks and wedged itself yet again into his tender loins. A few trash cans foiled his faceward fall.
Then he was back on his feet and rushing down the alley at full speed, his desire from mere moments earlier transformed fully into a desperate flight of wild abandon. A quick glance back and a profanity laced verbal lashing told him all he needed to know.
“Come back here you fucking fuck! I’m not fucking done with your goddamn ass yet!”
She was right behind him.
Titus, Nicholai, and Tiffany were almost to the entrance of the alleyway when a large man in a dark blue sweater came barreling out into the open, stumbling over several bins of something that went flying into the street. The three of them stopped dead when they saw Megan come tearing out right after him, her face a bright shade of crimson.
The large man was panicking and frantically yelling, “Help! Help! For the love of God someone get this crazy bitch offa me!”
“I’m the bitch!? I’m the bitch!?” Megan shouted after him and somehow managed to leap the five feet or so between them onto his back.
They fell together in a heap, the man trying with all his might to roll away while the slender Megan bloodied his face with a flurry of ferocious fists.
“Jesus Christ!” Nicholai shouted.
They stood there, the three of them, staring. Taken aback by the sight of Megan pounding away at the large man balled up into a fetal position.
“Well!? Are you going to help her!?” Tiffany pled glaring at Titus.
“Help her do what!? She’s kicking the shit outta him!” he countered.
Nearby people were pulling out their cell phones or getting on pay phones or whatever phones were free to use phones and began dialing the police en masse.
“Hello, police?” one woman said.
“Hello, police?” a man across the street simultaneously inquired.
“Hello, police?” an old lady near the fight squeaked.
“There’s this man getting accosted by an enraged woman!” the woman said.
“She won’t let up! She’s really lettin’ him have it!” the man said.
“She’s giving him a serious pounding!” the old lady quipped.
“He’s really gettin’ it hard!” the man exclaimed.
“I don’t know how much more he can take,” the woman stated.
“You guys better hurry up ‘fore that little girl does somethin’ horrible to that poor man’s asshole,” said the old lady.
“Wow. I didn’t see that coming,” Tiffany said as they stood there on the street corner watching the police desperately trying to peel the chaotically flailing form of Megan off the cowering man.
Nicholai looked to Titus and pursed his lips, not certain what to say. “I think maybe you should go over there and try to give your girlfriend some emotional support before she realizes how retarded you really are. Oh, and dude, you seriously need to get a car.”
Titus sighed and hunched his shoulders, reluctantly preparing for a long night of talking to the police. Tiffany smiled reassuringly and patted him on the back.
“It’ll be ok.”
“Man,” Titus started. “I told you guys soda makes her crazy.”
And there you go! If you made it this far, I appreciate your taking the time to read! Feel free to leave your thoughts on it in the comment board below. I always appreciate feedback on my work!
You can find I Didn’t See THAT Coming in my book Tales From A Strange Mind (the first volume, my short stories) right here:
And as a stand alone Kindle only short story offering:
Side note, my last posting was Fire In My Pie. I neglected to post links to that story at the bottom of the post. You can find that tale as well in the Tales From A Strange Mind short story collection as well as my Three Short Stories Collection Volume II here:
The story is just so short, I didn’t want to charge 99 cents solely for it (Amazon for some reason doesn’t allow for 50 cent offerings. Which, is strange. So 99 cents is the cheapest I can get away with!)
Anyhow, see you all again soon and thanks for reading! I truly appreciate your continued support.
~Timothy S Purvis