A Jog in the Park

His lips are dry, leathery, like lizard’s skin.  I get this feeling just then, for a brief moment, that he’s not human, he’s some sort of lizard-thing, with those vertical slits for pupils in his cold, wet eyes, and icy blood in his veins.

Then he passes his tongue over my shoulder and I know he’s human, all right, because I’m slicked with his hot, wet spit.  It makes me shiver again and I try to shrink from it, but the knife’s still working its way over me, slow and deliberate, like he’s tracing me with his fingertip instead of mirror-polished metal.  His grip on my bare flesh is warm, too.  No, he’s not a lizard.  Not at all.  He’s a man.  But he’s still not human.

I feel something hard on my nipple and it snaps my eyes open just before red-shooting pain screams through me.

He’s biting me!  He’s biting me hard, and blood stains his white, shiny teeth in the moonlight, and I can’t scream but I try anyway, I scream and scream and scream, but I don’t dare move or he’ll rip it off, he’ll rip off my nipple in his teeth, and God it hurts, hurts so much ….

But my dad … my dad must know I’m missing by now.

He’ll send help.  He knows I run in the park, everyday, even in the rain.  I run the side-path, the one the tourists don’t use because the tour guides only show them the main path.  Dad and I have walked it together a million times, since I was nine years old, and he knows where I am, he knows where I run, and they’ll find the signs of the struggle, and the blood from the cut on my head where he hit me.  They’ll find my car first, though, and then they’ll find the tracks where he carried me through the woods.

My dad, he’ll know where to look and the cops will find the evidence to lead them to me.

But I’m at the beach.  That’s … what?  Twenty, thirty miles away from the park?  But what if I’m not at the beach I think I’m on?  What if I’m … where?  North of the park, probably, but where?

I can’t see any lights beyond the black treeline, a blacker front against the black beyond it.  I don’t know where I am, I don’t know and have no idea how long I was out, or if I was blindfolded or in the trunk or what.

Then despair hits me full force, because I’m realizing I could be anywhere, anywhere at all, and as it’s sinking in to my consciousness, the blade is moved down my hip, thigh and calf to my foot.  I watch it, fascinated, horrified, as it dances like a dust devil over the edge of my foot, down to my little toe, and then tips up on it’s point, the moonlight flashing and blinding me for a moment.

And in a clean, swift movement I don’t feel, but do see, the blade moves down in a sharp slash and I watch two of my toes drop onto the sand.

12 thoughts on “A Jog in the Park

  1. Powerful, powerful, powerful.

    Thank you … thank you so much. That means a lot to me.

    I liked that the POV was from the victim; a lot of fiction writes from the killer’s POV or third person. You captured her intial hope, then realization of reality, then despair really well. I liked how you kept the “my dad will come for me” theme going throughout the entire story, even when she was being dismembered.

    Thank you. My wife was a bit disturbed by the whole thing and pointed out that this POV is one no one WANTS to get. I took that as a compliment. 🙂

    I didn’t see the body parts being lopped off coming at ALL. This makes me not want to run in the park alone.

    Probably a good idea not to do so. 😉 Thank you for reading and commenting! I really appreciate the time!


  2. Wow. What is wrong with you? LOL j/k. That scared me. And grossed me out. And scared me again. Yay! New fiction!

    Thanks, sweetie! I’m always so touched when you read my work … being all editorial and everything. 😉 (J/K — I appreciate when you take the time to read stuff online knowing how you don’t like to do that.)

    This piece fits in nicely with the question I posed on my blog today, about characters.

    You know, I responded to your post, but never even thought about this piece as an example. Weird, huh? I missed it altogether. Thanks for reading!

  3. This was very well done and very dark. It brought to mind stories like Joe Lansdale’s NIGHT THEY MISSED THE HORROR SHOW.

    Keep filling the darkness with words my friend.

    Thank you, Al! I appreciate the support and encouragement. Sorry it took so long to get your comment approved; it was stuck in spam and I just found out about it.

  4. I think my heart is stuck in my throat. It is also breaking in half – half to the victim, half to her father.

    Thank you, Jaymie! What a great compliment. I’m glad you stopped by!

  5. OMG!!!!! When I read an opener like this, the book goes to the cash register with me and I do nothing else until I finish it. Wow, for lack of a better adjective.

    Goodness, thank you, Sara! That’s very humbling! I’m honestly speechless. Well, more or less; I can still manage thank you though. 🙂

  6. And I have to tell you that I DID NOT fall asleep last night till about 2 am I was still seeing the toes in the sand. When can I read the rest of this book? Have you read “The Surgeon” by Tess Gerristen? Your “Jog in the Park” is just like that. I picked up the surgeon while I was waiting for someone in another cubicle and read the first couple of pages. Left work went to Border’s and stood in the aisle reading, but it was too scary to bring home. The following Saturday, me and a coffee spent 3 hours in the stacks at Borders with the surgeon scaring myself silly. Really fantastic!

    Well, thank you Sara! I wish I could tell you the rest is somewhere online, but there IS no rest. This is just self-contained vignette, like most of my short stories. But I’m very glad to know you liked it! You flatter me!

  7. Sara Fryd

    Well fine then. What are you going to do when the call comes and they want 3 chapters next week? Huh? I’m going to glue her toes back on, her Dad’s going to rescue her and kill the bad guy. It’s why I write children’s stories, I’d scare myself to death. 🙂

    LOL! Well! If that call comes, I guess I’ll figure something out PDQ! From your keyboard to God’s eyes, Sara! And thanks for the vote of confidence. 🙂 I’m glad you write children’s stories … my kids can’t read my work, but they can devour yours!

  8. Elizabeth Himes

    Wow, I am blown away! Ben said you are an awesome writter, but I could not have dreamt this awesome. Dark and disturbing, my kind of treat.

    Well, thanks very much! I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I really appreciate your warm compliment! Thank you for reading!

  9. A Jog In The Park: I loved this story! Sooo Creepy, it sent chills everywhere. I’ve recently created a blog to showcase my own horror fiction and as I was searching for other Horror Writer’s Blogs to check out, your story showed up in my search engine. I also love the LAY-OUT of your blog. It shows me that I still have much work to do to get my blog off the ground. I hope you keep writing! I plan to come back from time to time for a “fear fix.”

    Louise, thank you so much for coming by. I’m glad you enjoyed the story, and I’m very happy to meet another aspiring horror writer! Please, feel free to come back and visit, peruse the older stories I’ve posted, and let me know what you think. I can’t take credit for the pages and layout of the blog, though; that’s all done by WordPress.com, a free blogging platform, and I feel the best one available. If you’re interested in moving your blog to an easy, simple to set-up and maintain blogging platform, check out http://wordpress.com/ and get one for yourself! Most of all, have fun. And thank you again! I’m glad to have met you!

  10. elisa

    Scary story! It kept me with bated breath.

    Elisa, thank you so much! I’m very glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Much appreciated. 🙂

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