If You’re Afraid Of Death, You’ll Never Want To Hear What Happens When It Doesn’t Quite Take

The light of the early morning illuminated the living room and painted a better picture of the scene I left last night. The heart monitor was no longer beeping, but it was still there, resting on my couch. However, it was no longer connected to the heart, its cables dangled from the edge of the couch with no connection.

My eyes scanned the room for any signs of the heart, but saw none until I felt something brush up against my leg. I jumped and looked down to see Steve, the orange tabby cat from Big Jim’s house looking up at me innocently with a face stained red with blood.

I calmed for a moment and pondered the blood on the cat’s face. Eyes wide, the cat meowed up and me and my eyes traced the source of its mane of blood to right behind it where the heart from last night laid, mangled.


The drive to Big Jim’s trailer usually took almost an hour, but I made it about 30 as I raced up and down the highways with reckless abandon. I needed to find out what the hell was going on or I was going to lose my mind, if I hadn’t already.

I pulled up into Big Jim’s gravel driveway and was surprised to see grey smoke pumping out of the chimney and soft light coming from the living room window. Someone was home.

I nervously stuffed my hands into my pockets after giving the door a hearty knock. I could hear the sounds of a daytime TV talk show reverberating from behind the front door.

I waited for a few nervous moments before a skeletal, middle-aged woman with bugged-out eyes whipped the door open.

“What the hell?” She yelled at me.

“Oh, uh, ah. I’m looking for Jim, Big Jim,” I muttered.

“Who the hell are you?”

“Oh, uh, we may have actually talked before. I’m Floyd Barris. You’re his daughter, right?”

The lady’s eyes bugged out even more.

“No. We haven’t seen Jim’s daughter in almost ten years. I’m his wife.”

“Oh, I didn’t know he had a wife.”

“Yeah, neither do most people,” the woman snorted and pushed her left hand out in front of me, shaking her wedding band in my face. “But I got the papers to prove it.”

“Oh, well, nevermind then.”

“But you talked to his daughter?”

“Uh, I don’t know.”

“Oh, no, I didn’t know that.”

“Well if you see her. Don’t saw a fucking word about where we live. That woman is pure evil. Got it from her mama. Who aint me by the way. And if you see Jim. Tell him to get his ass back home. My trip ended early.”

The woman slammed the door in my face before I could respond.


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