“Everyone will ignore your cries for help. There is nowhere you can run where your father will not find you,” her mother used to say.
Shining through the window, the moon glistened off the freshly sharpened steel blade of the butcher knife. The house was calm and quiet, and Emma’s mind was wondering distantly. Reflecting on childhood memories, she watched the blood drip from the edge of the kitchen table and splash like raindrops of sin onto the floor. “Such a mess I’ve made,” she said, before continuing to cut the meat from bone, “I always seem to make such a mess of things.”
As a child, every day, like ritual, her father used to beat on her before sending her to the kitchen. “Now go and make me something to eat, you stupid, little, fucking bitch!” he would say, looking down on her with the face of a raging monster, while slamming his knuckles of rock into her back or smacking her around with open hands as big as her head. “And if I even think you’ve got one drop of your goddamn blood on my food, I’ll beat your ass again, and you’ll start all over!”
Emma grew to hate her father with such spiteful vengeance. She would stand in the kitchen from time to time and ponder whether she should put rat poison in his food. She could never bring herself to do it though, fearing that with her luck, her father would survive and come back to kill her for sure.
On the other hand, she wondered if the risk of getting herself killed would not be such a bad idea. At least she would be free of the hell that she was forced to live.
But no, even with her own death Emma would not find a way of escape. Her mother had a crooked spine, chronic migraines, and a bad case of diabetes, so she depended on Emma from time to time, and Emma did love her mother very much.
“Nothing is for sure in this world, except for a mother’s bond with her daughter,” her mother would always say. And Emma believed that with all her heart. Maybe she needed to, because of how horrible her father was to her and her mother, or maybe it was because she was trapped, homeschooled, with no one else to consult. Then again, maybe, more simply, it was because her mother almost died while giving birth to her, and perhaps such a thing has the power to unnaturally strengthen a mother and daughter bond.
Whatever the reason, in Emma’s eyes her mother was all she had and all she would ever have. She needed her mother, just as much as her mother needed her, and with a bond as strong as that, her mother could do no wrong.
That was why every day Emma and her mother would go up to the third floor of the house to spend time together when her father was gone. They would sit and talk about secret things. Mostly about how they would like to get revenge on people—how they would take back what the world took from them, by not helping them when they needed it. Over the years, especially once Emma had reached into her late teens, they had reached a point where there was no limit as to what they would discuss. Whatever violent and depraved ideas would come to mind, they would sit and talk about for hours on end.
They would talk about anything, that is, unless it had to do with Emma’s father. Neither Emma nor her mother would dare speak about Daddy. Even in private, at a whisper, when he was far from home, they were afraid that he would somehow hear them.
These were the memories and thoughts going through Emma’s mind as she stood in the kitchen cutting away at the bleeding, raw meat with the butcher knife.
Turning around, she walked to the counter. Next to the sink, she grabbed a few dry towels that she had set out earlier. After unfolding and tossing them over the blood on the floor to soak it up, she reached into the sink and grabbed another portion of meat. Back at the cutting board she began to slice once again; cutting against the grain, just like her mother had always taught her.
Thinking about what she had planned for the night, the thought of her mother’s key necklace came to mind. She had forgotten to put it on that morning, and she was going to need it for the night. It was special to Emma, because it was the only thing her mother had ever given her; it had been special to her mother, because it was the only jewelry she was allowed to keep. The chain was nothing of importance, it was made of sterling silver, and it was long enough so that the real treasure could be concealed. Originally, on the chain were three gold and diamond-studded house keys, but within the last year, Emma had added a fourth key: a car key.
“God, I still wish you were here with me, Mom,” she said, pressing and pushing the blade back and forth with such careful precision. “Why couldn’t you have survived that wreck instead of Daddy?”
She continued to slice away and more blood collected onto the towels below. “It will only be about 20 minutes,” she yelled into the living room to her father who was sitting in his wheelchair in front of the TV. “Oh, and Dad, after making dinner I’m going to go out for a bit again tonight!” Her father did not say a word. He just sat in his wheelchair, silent. “Ga-damn bastard, won’t even acknowledge me,” her cuts became more violent, “when I’m the one standing in here slaving away, just to cook his stupid, little, fucking meal.”
When she had finished cutting, without tenderizing it as planned, Emma placed the meat into the frying pan and began to cook. The meat sizzled and hissed with butter and spices as she continued with the rest of the meal.
An hour later and she had made her version of the most mouthwatering pork cheek and black-eyed pea chili that she had ever made. The taste of it, of how well she had done, put her back into a better mood. Quickly cleaning up her mess, she set her father a tray, carefully walked into the living room with it, and gently placed it on his lap.
Before her father could have had time to respond, excited about another night out on the town, Emma raced up to her room on the second floor. While slipping into one of her favorite dresses—the sexy, red hot one with overlay fabric for a v-neck collar and a short, flowing bottom—she thought about what else she needed to do before she left the house. After slipping on her red heels to match—with a bow embellishment on the toe that was fashionably off centered toward the outside of each shoe—she grabbed her key necklace and carefully hurried up the second flight of stairs to make sure the door to the third floor was locked.
“I don’t want to take a chance for him to see the mess I’ve made up here,” she thought as she secured the lock. “The old bastard might somehow work his way up and snoop through my stuff. This is really my house now, anyways, so he has no right.”
An hour and a half later, Emma was sitting in Cincinnati’s NightOwl, a remote bar just outside the city, having drinks with a guy she noticed the other night. His name turned out to be Steven Mauriello. He was the tall, strong, and handsome type, but that was not why Steven caught her attention. Like her, he had an unusually light-brown color to his eyes. She did also notice that his ring finger had an outline of a wedding ring on it, but that kind of thing never mattered to her. Emma never came to a bar looking to find the love of her life, she only wanted to put some love into her life.
“Well, I didn’t even think you noticed me the other night,” Steven said to her, “I mean, you looked as if you were having such a good time with that other guy you were with. And besides, I’ll be honest, you’re so beautiful that it makes me nervous just to even look at you.”
Ignoring his latter statement, she said, “Yeah, well . . . that was a relationship I ended up putting to an end. That same night, too, as a matter of fact.” From across the table, she ran her hand through her long, dark, golden-brown hair and smiled. “I was just going through the motions so that I could end things in the right way. It did end up kind of rough, but it’s all over with now.”
“All I can say is that I’m glad I’m the lucky guy who caught your attention.”
“Well, if you play your cards right you may just get lucky.” Emma bit down on her bottom lip and set her foot on his chair between his legs.
Goose bumps spiked and trickled across Steven’s skin from his legs up to the hair on the top of his head. His pulse quickened. His breath stopped for a second. He cleared his throat. “Well, I think that would make me the luckiest guy to ever walk through this bar.”
“How about we have a few more drinks before we head back to my place then?”
“All right,” he nodded, “but let me buy this round.”
“Whatever you say. You’re the big boss guy. At least, I hope?”
With a serious look in his eyes, Steven said, “Emma, I’m whatever you need me to be.”
“Then be my fucking God, Stevie.”
“Oh, damn.” He took a deep breath. “Are you sure you want me to order this last round?”
“Yeah,” she laughed. “We’ll need it for the road.”
“Oh, I see, and who’s going to be driving anyway?”
“Who, indeed. I am, of course.”
“You? And what do you drive?”
“I drive a stick shift.”
“Hell yeah, a real woman knows how to drive a stick. Do you know how to drive one?”
“Oh, I drive, Emma.”
“Good,” she smiled, “because a real man should know how to use a stick.”
“What type of car do you drive, anyway, Miss Emma Straus?”
“You don’t worry about that, you’ll see soon enough. But I will let you know, I don’t drive around in one of those newer, fuel-efficient hunks of junk out there.”
“Oh, well, I would suspect not.”
“And I even helped work on this one a bit growing up. Not that I had a choice . . .” She began to drift off into thoughts of her past. “But anyway, are you going to order the goddamn drinks or not?”
“All right, all right, girl on fire.”
After they each downed a few more shots of Jägar and Morgan, they jumped into Emma’s pearl black, metal flake, 1967 Firebird convertible. The night air was warm, there was a slight breeze, and a full moon was shining brightly as Emma hammered the pedal to the floor.
Emma always took the interstate highway around the city, so they had a good 30-minute drive ahead of them by the time they would reach Emma’s place. The traffic was light, too, and it seemed as if all the lunatic drivers had already gone home for the night.
By the time they were halfway through the drive, they were both comfortably laughing like two drunken hyenas in love. Steven’s eyes were fixated on Emma, he had grown more fond of her by the minute, which was not what he had expected or intended. Emma closed her eyes for a second to take in the night air. When she opened them, a large barred owl swooped in front of the convertible. Emma hit the brakes, grazing a few feathers but avoiding the impact of the owl’s body from crashing into her side of the windshield.
Knowing enough not to press and hold her foot to the floor, after her initial reaction, Emma maintained the Firebird, gradually braking until they had moved a few lanes over and were creeping along the shoulder of the highway.
With the car rolling slowly, they looked to each other with glossy wide-eyes in disbelief.
Emma flicked on the hazard lights. “Holy shit, that was a big owl,” she said, before both busted into laughter.
“No kidding . . . wow.” Steven shook his head.
Emma picked a feather from her lap and slid it through her hair, placing it just behind her ear. “You know . . . I think that was my ex . . . wide-eyed, with a short pecker.”
“Oh my god!” Steven laughed. “You are a wicked one, Emma!”
“Yeah, but you know,” she brought the car to a complete stop, “I think you better drive the rest of the way.”
“Okay. That’s okay. I don’t mind.”
Emma put the car in park and Steven got out and walked around to the driver side. Emma slid over into the passenger seat.
“Now, how do you work this thing?” Steven asked.
“Hey, I thought you said you knew!”
“I do. Just kidding,” he smiled, before flicking off the hazard lights, pushing in the clutch, and shifting perfectly into first gear.
“You know, most women are just scared shitless of the night creatures, but not me. I’ve always been a night person, so I’ve always kind of felt like I can relate to them.”
“Well, that makes sense.” Steven tapped his thumbs against the steering wheel, as if they were listening to music. “Hey, do you know what kind of owl that was?”
“I have no idea.”
“It was a barred owl.”
“A barred owl?”
“Those are the ones that hoot, ‘Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you?’”
Emma took the feather from behind her ear and looked at it with interest. “You have got to be kidding me?”
“Oh, no, my grandpa used to tell me about them when I was a kid. I forgot all about it until now, but yeah, it was a little joke over at my grandparents for a long time.”
Emma was in her own world now and she whispered. “Daddy, please let me have my night out.”
“What’s that, Emma?”
“Nothing.” She shook her head and released the feather into the wind. “I was just thinking how good you look while you drive?”
“Yeah, and I’m still wondering if you can drive that stick as well as you said.”
“Hum, well . . . like I said, my dear Emma, I can drive.”
The trip took longer than normal, but for the rest of the way, as Steven drove like a semipro race car driver, they continued to laugh and flirt with each other until they had arrived at Emma’s place.
Parked, Steven took the keys out of the ignition and handed them to Emma.
“I remember what you told me earlier while we were walking out to the car, about how we only live once, but I still can’t believe that you use those keys. Most women would scream at the thought.”
Emma put the keys back around her neck, “Most women would scream at the thought of your driving too, but you didn’t see me complain.”
“Hey,” Steven laughed, “I see how it’s going to be.” Opening the driver door, he stepped out of the car. “And I will, respectfully, shut the hell up. But only because I recognize the fact that you’re a Goddess.”
“Well, you should,” she laughed, and went to open the passenger door.
“Please! No. Wait there.” Closing the driver door, Steven quickly made his way around the car to open the passenger door for Emma.
Once she was out—in a flash—he swooped her off her feet. Caught completely by surprise, and with her reaction slowed from a good buzz, there was no way she could have braced herself in time: one of her hi-heels flung from her foot, and her breasts slipped from her bra and out of her dress. Steven noticed immediately, carefully lowered her legs back down, and held her against him so he could cover her.
“My god, I’m sorry, Emma.” Like a gentleman, he closed his eyes. “But such a beautiful woman should never have to walk into her house without being carried.”
Up against him, she fixed her breast back into her bra, “That’s okay. You’re just lucky you smell so good. But next time, give me a heads-up, will ya?”
“Yes, of course. I won’t make that mistake again.”
Sensing that she had finished, he opened his eyes, “Your shoe. Here. Wait here. I’ll get it.”
She grabbed his shirt. “Na, you know what, I don’t need it.” She put her arms around his neck. “Pick me back up, and let’s go inside.”
“I won’t argue with that,” he said, carefully lifting her back into his arms.
Once on the porch, Steven put Emma back down so she could take off her necklace and unlock the door. In doing so, Emma’s dress snagged a pin of an American flag on his jacket, and it went bouncing down the concrete steps and into the grass of the front yard.
“Oh, sorry, Steven. I’ll get that for you.”
“Na. you know what, if you don’t need your shoe, I certainly don’t need my pin.”
Emma laughed. “Ah, a witty gentleman, I like that.”
She found and pushed the key into the bolt lock of the door. Then she unlocked the door handle. “A girl can never be too safe, you know.”
“That’s very true.”
“Oh, and Steven . . . you must be quiet until we get into the room on the second floor. I don’t want to wake up my father. He’s handicapped. I’m caring for him right now, and I just don’t want to—”
“It’s okay, Emma. I understand.”
On top of being a little embarrassed from losing his pin and with the incident back at the car—along with his drunken buzz—Steven just wanted to get inside the house and out of the public eye. He was starting to feel the sensation that he had pushed his luck far enough for the night, and what Emma did not know was that he was supposed to be working at the time, so the sooner he could get inside the better.
Quickly and quietly they sneaked up to the second floor and went into Emma’s room where she locked the door behind them. Emma took a sigh of relief. Steven immediately began to undress, throwing his jacket to the foot of the bed and dropping the rest of his clothes right where he stood.
“Umm, yeah. Sexy.” Emma said, biting her lower lip and slipping off her heel. “Go ahead, get naked for me. I’ll meet you under the covers in just a minute.” She walked toward the bathroom. “I’m going to freshen up real quick.”
After locking the door behind her, Emma put her keys on the sink and gently placed her hands on her face.
“Okay, calm down, girl.”
“Now . . . why did you let him in your bedroom? You know we never let anyone in here. It’s too much of a mess to clean up.”
“So why did you do it, Emma?”
“I don’t know, I guess I kind of like him.”
“Well, get a hold of yourself, woman! You know what you’ve got to do!”
“Okay . . . okay.”
Emma collected herself, then opened the top drawer beneath the bathroom sink.
“I guess I’ll have to make do with this, huh?”
She pulled out a nail file, one of the most expensive ones she could find at the time she bought it. The handle was covered in red rubber and was about the length of her palm. The file blade was four inches long and came to a sharp point.
Twisting it back and forth she stood and admired the glittering beauty of the file blade as the bathroom lights sparkled from its coarse surface. Turning the file in her hand so the blade was against the back of her wrist, she put her arm to her side, unlocked the bathroom door with her free hand, and took in a deep breath. Without hesitating, Emma walked out of the bathroom, laughed with a burst of excitement, ran, and then jumped on the bed. As she straddled Steven between her legs, he sat up and began to unbutton her clothes. “You better be ready to drive me, Steven.”
“Oh, I am, Emma,” he said, kissing her neck and chest, then removing her bra and gently massaging and tasting her breasts. She felt so good that he closed his eyes and inhaled deeply to take in her scent.
Sensing that he was completely distracted, Emma gently scraped her nails up his back with her free hand and slowly stabbed the nail file halfway into the side of the bed with her other. She then arched her back and rocked her hips against him.
In no time, the covers were thrown from the bed and Emma was riding Steven up and down with one hand on his chest and the other rubbing herself into sexual ecstasy. Steven was grabbing the headboard for extra support as he worked his hips from beneath her.
While on the verge of climax, Emma leaned down and whispered into Steven’s ear, “Sit up and kiss me while I cum, Steven.” Steven sat up without hesitation and soon they both gave out a loud moan.
Within one quick, and practiced, fluid movement, Emma grabbed the hair on the back of Steven’s head, pushed it against her breasts, yanked the nail file out from the side of the bed, and pierced the file blade into the back of Steven’s neck. The file sliced with ease through his skin and muscle tissue and slid perfectly between the bones of his spine, severing his brain stem. Blood began to slowly pour down Steven’s back and soak into the sheets of the bed. Emma moaned loudly as she continued clutching Steven’s head against her breasts and rocking her hips to continue her orgasm.
When finished, she pulled the nail file from the back of his neck, released Steven’s hair, and tossed the file to the floor.
Motionless, but not lifeless, Steven fell back against the bed. Emma stared at him for a moment. There was an expression in his eyes of complete shock, but soon that look turned into one of regret, as if he should have known better. And then, he passed out.
The back of his neck continued to bleed out as Emma rose off him, walked to one of her dressers, slipped into a nightgown, and went back into the bathroom.
When she came back out, she was carrying the shower curtain. After spreading it out on the floor beside the bed, she climbed back onto the bed, toward the opposite side of the curtain, and laid on her back. “Damn, you were a nice piece of meat, Steven.” She kicked him off the bed and onto the curtain. His body hit the floor with a loud thud. “And you still are. Nice and fresh too. Daddy will be pleased.”
Before wrapping him, she checked the pockets of his clothes. Until then, though she had taken Steven to her room, everything seemed to be going as usual. But when checking his front pants pocket, she was hit with a totally unexpected surprise. It was a police badge. The guy she just brought home, had sex with, and killed, was a homicide detective!
So there she was, crouched next to a paralyzed and bleeding detective’s naked body, and now, frozen in complete shock, questions began racing through her mind: “Why did he have so many drinks with me at the bar? Why did he have sex with me? What was his real motive? He wasn’t wired, so this had to be a coincidence, right?”
But then, with more urgency, her thoughts shifted: “Or are they really on to me? Maybe he was just trying to check out my house or stall for time while his police buddies got a warrant?”
As fast as she could, Emma threw his clothes on top of him and wrapped him in the shower curtain. Grabbing his feet, she frantically drug his body through the room. Once she had made it to the bedroom door, she dropped his legs, opened the door, grabbed her keys from the bathroom sink, and ran up to the third floor. She needed to get the rope and sled that she always used to help her whenever she needed to lug the bodies up or down the stairs. Strapping a body to the sled, she would wrap the rope around a pulley system that was setup along the staircase. It took her many years to get the system mastered, but for a woman of her size attempting to haul the dead weight of a larger, male body up a flight of stairs, she had no choice. “I have to hurry,” she thought, “for all I know, they could be here any minute!”
She was right, too. Just as she was able to get the third-floor door unlocked, a SWAT team busted through the front door, shredding it into splinters. The team spotted her in a flash and rushed up the staircase faster than a heartbeat. Realizing that she had no chance, Emma did not bother to struggle as they knocked her hard to the floor and squeezed the cuffs tight against her wrists.
While two of them walked her out the front door she yelled to her father, “Please, don’t be mad at me, Daddy! I’ll be back to take care of you! I promise, I will! Please, don’t be mad!” She then started kicking, biting, and spitting at the SWAT members trying to contain her. “Let me go! My mother told me to do it, you sick bastards! She always told me that the world should pay for ignoring those who need help! And I made them pay. That’s all I did. I just made a few of them pay. That’s all. I won’t do it again. I promise.” She quit struggling, and in an instant her facial expression went from raging mad to the sweetest woman one could ever meet. But just as fast, the rage that she felt inside could not be contained. “Ah, fuck you! You sick fucking pricks! That’s all you are! You’re all a bunch of sick fucking pricks! I’d kill all of you! I’d make all of you pay, if I could!”
Detective David Khan, who was then standing next to her father, said, “Yeah, I think she’s taken care of him very well. This poor fool’s been dead for quite some time.”
Gathering around, a few other officers stared at her dead father with a look of shock and disgust as Detective Khan continued to inspect the corpse sitting in the wheelchair.
“My god, I knew something crazy was going on with this woman, but I never would’ve thought she was this demented. If this is her father . . . he’s been dead for quite some time. Her father died in a car accident a few years back.”
While walking into the kitchen, in order to clear his mind and try to put events and situations into a better perspective, someone yelled from the second floor, “Detective Khan! We found Detective Stevens! He’s in pretty bad shape, but he still has a pulse. Looks like he was mixing business with pleasure again. Only this time, it caught up with him.”
Detective Khan just shook his head, “That stupid son-of-a-bitch. I fucking told him—”
Interrupting his thought, a SWAT member yelled from the third floor, “Khan! You’ve really got to see this up here! And I think you better take lead now!”
As the detective walked from the kitchen, four SWATs, including the team leader, came racing down the staircase and out the front door. Neighbors from the surrounding houses watched as they began to vomit in the front yard.
“Goddamn it, guys,” Khan said, imagining how the press would be making use of the situation.
Now highly intrigued, Detective Khan pulled his gun from his holster and raced up to the third floor. As he ascended, the familiar smell of homicide became worse and worse. At the top of the staircase one of the remaining SWAT member’s handed him Emma’s key necklace and nodded to the door that had just been unlocked with it. Khan put the necklace into his jacket pocket, opened the door, and rushed inside, but only to stop dead in his tracks. Aside from the potent stench stinging the inside of his nostrils, causing his eyes to water a bit, the sight was absolutely unbearable.
Khan’s body began to shake. He tried his best to stiffen up, to toughen up, but without warning vomit came running up his throat. Swallowing it back down, he fought to compose himself enough to continue.
The room before him was dimly lit, but enough to clearly see throughout the room. Covered in lye and deplete of blood, were hundreds of dismembered body parts strewn all over the room. Parts of human corpses were even coming out of dresser drawers to the point that they could not be shut. There was absolutely nowhere anyone could walk without stepping on some kind of rotting human remain. It had been because of that, the remaining SWAT members had not gone any farther. With their rookie team leader vomiting in the front yard of the house, and with Kahn as an ex-SWAT team leader, as well as the detective at the scene, it was second nature for him to be called to take lead.
Stepping carefully, Detective Khan’s feet were slipping on rotting bits and chunks of human flesh with each step. He went to motion for the remaining SWAT members to proceed, but then, in a room to his left, through dirty and broken windowpanes of a door, he saw a flash of movement. As he quickly approached, he could hear some type of mumbling; maybe even choking. Something about it made the hair stand up on his arms and neck, and by now his body was fueling on pure adrenaline. In a flash, he pulled back the slide of his pistol to double-check that there was a round in the chamber, and with his palm he smacked on the bottom of the clip to make sure it was secure. Slowly, he made his way into the room. He was hoping that instead of finding a murderous accomplice he would find a victim to save, but from what he had seen so far, he knew there was no way of guessing what he would find on the other side of that door.
Without looking back, he signaled for assistance. Cracking open the door, in an instant he saw that he had been right about never being able to guess what was on the other side of that door, because upon stepping into the room, Detective Khan witnessed the most sadistic tableau of a crime scene that he had ever seen in his career. Like night and day, this room was brightly lit and cleaned spotless, and it was easy for him to recognize that the victims in the room must have been Emma’s sex slaves.
There were a dozen of them all together. Disabled and paralyzed in one form or another, and with their mouth and eyes sewn shut, each of the victims were outfitted with women’s sexual devices. Pink and white silk sheets and pillows were placed in glass cases for storage throughout the room, leather harnesses and slings were hanging from the ceiling, and there were more than enough beds wrapped in plastic for each of them to have their own. To top it off, above each bed’s headboard were massive shelves with more lotions and oils than any single shop of intimacy products could have ever known to exist.
Strapped into a wheelchair and somehow still alive, affixed with screws into his skull, one victim had a rigid-looking dildo on his forehead as well as several of them sewn deep to the skin and muscle tissue of his back. For the ones on his back, several holes had been cut into the chair, which was then tied against one of the beds.
Other victims were tied or superglued into different positions. One man, with the inscription “Bad Boy!” carved into his chest, was lying on his back with his legs amputated. Various forms of sexual devices covered what was left of his body, and one of his arms had been strapped down with the back of his hand glued to a small post and a vibrator glued to his palm. Another victim was tied and glued to a rubber mat on a bed; another to desk in nearly the same way. In the middle of the room was a large drain and on the far wall was a fire hose that must have used to wash everything down.
“My god, what the hell was going on in here?” Khan said, as he stood in absolute shock and terror. His eyes swelled red with pity for the now mutilated souls that begged for his help as best they could. His tears disguise themselves with the sweat now pouring down his face as his body continued to shake with adrenaline.
Several minutes went by as the SWAT team rushed back and forth through the room and more and more officers, as well as a few fast arriving EMTs, made their way up to the third floor. Detective Khan had moved to the side of the room where he stood motionless, pale faced, and stunned, wishing he had never considered studying law enforcement in the first place.
“I remember,” he said to an officer nearby, who was not paying attention, “her parents both died in an auto accident several years back.” Putting his gun back into its holster, he leaned with his back against the wall, put his hands into the pockets of his jacket, and felt the key necklace. Taking the necklace out of his pocket, he looked at it, then at the room surrounding him. “How in the world could they have raised that girl? This room wasn’t built within the past few years since they’ve been dead.” He put the necklace back into his pocket and watched as more EMTs arrived to help the victims. “I’ve seen many things in my time . . . but what kind of god would ever let something like this happen?”
Outside, an officer pulled out of the driveway with Emma tightly handcuffed in the backseat. She was wildly kicking, head bunting, and laughing like some kind of sick lunatic, screaming, “Who cooks for you, says the barred owl! Hoo hoo hoo cooks for you! Hoo hoo hoo cooks for you!” Several more cruisers followed close behind while the officer escorting Emma did his best to ignore her.
They had nearly arrived at the station when the officer behind the wheel began to lose his cool. But just before he went to slam on the brakes, in order to try to knock some sense into Emma, suddenly, something inside her changed. More calmly, she began to rock back and forth. With a more serious tone, one more of pure terror and dread, she began chanting, “Daddy will be very very mad if I don’t cook him something good to eat . . . Daddy will be very very mad if I don’t cook him something good to eat . . . Daddy will be very very mad if I don’t cook him something good to eat.”
Then, she stopped, completely.
A few of the veins in her eyes had ruptured, but she sat without a blink.
“It doesn’t matter what you do,” she said, staring into the rear view mirror. “There is nowhere I can run. There is nowhere he will not find me.”
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