I’m still alive. The fucked up things that I’ve been forced to see….
Okay. I can write this. I feel like I have to write it, now. I went, like a goddamn fool, to the house on the farm road. Of all the stupid decisions I’ve made in my life…. I’m getting ahead of myself.
I had the day off from work, thank fucking Christ. I called my friend Mario and asked if he wanted to hang out. Mario is my best friend and an intelligent mind to bounce thoughts off of. We got together for drinks and I unloaded the story on him. In retrospect, it may have been a bad idea to confess to Mario. He’s the type of guy to act.
“We have to go out there,” he said to me, polishing off his second beer. We probably shouldn’t have been drinking that early in the day, but the kind story I was telling pretty much warranted it.
“No, we certainly don’t. I put a full scheduler blocker on the home. No agent can show it as long as no one takes my blocker off,” I said, sipping my third screwdriver.
“That’s not going to last long, and you know it. Besides, these assholes need to pay. Look, you have a gun, so do I. Jaeger’s in town — let’s all just go out there. You can bring your GoPro and get some evidence. If anyone pulls something, we’ll mow ‘em down,” Mario made a gun motion with his hand as he spoke.
It may have been the alcohol, but it didn’t seem like the worst idea. Jaeger was a friend of ours that had just gotten back from active duty. Another 20-something with nothing to lose and always in the mood for a life-threatening adventure. And Mario and I went to the range enough times to convince ourselves we were good shots.
“We can at least take a look around outside. See if they have the agent’s cars or something,” I said after a long time thinking. Not long enough, as I know now.
We called Jaeger and we all headed out in his truck. Jaeger had a shotgun on the dash, a pistol concealed his back pocket, and a tanto machete on his belt. I had my .45 and a very sharp pocket knife in my back pocket. Mario had his pistol, and whatever else was on him. We got to the road at about 1:30 after two hours of driving through backwoods and hill country. It was at least a half hour away from the last town, which was little more than a gas station and an RV park. The rocky and jagged road led up to a large clearing of golden grass and a big blue-and-white house. It loomed on a round hill with a single low hanging cedar tree just off to the left of the house.
We didn’t leave the cover of the trees right away. Jaeger pulled his truck off the side of the road about a quarter of a mile before the clearing. We carefully walked up to the edge of the tree line and watched the house for a while. When we decided that it looked clear, Mario dashed up to the corner of the building. He slowly peeked into one of the windows closest to him. He waved us over. Jaeger and I both ran with our bodies low to the ground. We quickly and quietly hunched down and propped up against the wall next to him.
“I don’t see anyone. I don’t even think there are any lights on. Just some nice old furniture,” Mario whispered.
“Alright, we didn’t come here to look at furniture through windows, so let’s just get this over with. Mario, we will go inside. Jaeger, check around the house. See if you find any cars or really anything weird. After that, wait at the front door inside, and let us know if you see anyone coming,” I ordered as I pulled my pistol out and turned the safety off.
Mario and Jaeger nodded in response. Jaeger started heading around the side of the home. Mario and I headed up to the front door. I entered the code into the lockbox and it beeped and produced the key. I briefly thought about how I’d get fired for this if we got caught. Then I realized grimly, that would probably be the least of our worries if we did get caught.
I slowly stepped in, gun drawn. I didn’t call out or make a single sound. Mario followed behind me and gently closed the screen door, but left the front door just an inch shy of shut. We first headed into the living room. Open windows allowed a soft breeze in that fluttered the curtains. The sunlight cast long columns of dancing dust through the room that provided the only light. There were black and white pictures of some family that presumably had lived here. It wasn’t bright enough to get a good look at any of them. There was a piano in the corner with a cover loosely draped over it, gathering a thick layer of dust. The furniture was nice, and obviously very old — made of engraved wood and finely stitched cushions. Nothing in this room seemed like it got much use, though.
Mario and I made our way through the living room and into the dining room. It was much the same as the last room, beautiful furniture and pictures of old white people on the walls. But this room didn’t have nearly as much dust. Aside from that, I didn’t notice much difference, so we kept moving on into the kitchen.
I opened the swinging door and was assaulted by a smell. Bleach first stung my nose, then another separate odor. A stench that could not be bleached away. The only thing I can compare it to is moldy cheese or roadkill. The scent was surprising for its own reasons, but even more so because the kitchen looked spotless at first glance. I hesitated to go any further, so I pulled my camera out with my left hand and held the gun tightly in my right. I scanned over the counter tops and pulled open drawers as Mario began to look through the cabinets. We both came across a plethora of very sharp and high quality cutlery and butcher equipment. Creepy, but not out of the ordinary. I saw the fridge in the corner. It was old as well, with a chrome handle and a big circular thermostat on the front. It looked like something from a vintage Coke ad.
“Where the fuck is that smell coming from?” Mario whispered as he began to wander the kitchen for it.
“I don’t know,” I whispered.
I was fixated on the refrigerator. I was compelled to open it yet terrified to even go near it. Though go near it, I did — albeit at a snail’s pace. I heard Mario coughing right as I gripped the cold handle. I positioned my camera and hit record. I slowly pulled the door open and a thick fog of frost spilled out in. I further opened the door and I saw something through the frost. It was hard to tell at first, but quickly I realized I was looking at a body. I saw four pale fingers with purple nail polish and a nice diamond ring. Just as I saw the better part of a human hand, I heard Mario angrily mutter something brief and vomited.
I shut the refrigerator door and spun around, pistol at the ready. Mario was hunched over, wiping the sides of this mouth and facing away from a large bucket. It was pulled from under the kitchen sink, with two other buckets just like it sitting there as well. I ran past the bucket over to Mario, but the stench emanating from the bucket pierced my nose..
“You okay?” I asked.
He nodded his head and motioned to the bucket. I didn’t want to look, but just like the fridge, I had to. I leaned over the bucket with my sleeve over my mouth and nose and my camera recording in my other hand. In the bucket was a mixture of shit, piss, blood, and hair. I wanted to vomit myself, but just managed to keep it back. I saw a few teeth bobbing in the rancid liquid and I quickly turned away. I could only stand to record so much.
Mario gave me a look that said “Let’s get the fuck out of here,” and I nodded.
We turned to head out of the kitchen just as we heard the screen door slam shut. Jaeger’s voice came around the corner.
“Guys,” Jaeger yelled with a disconcerting tone from the front door.
Mario and I rushed through the dining room and rounded through the living room. We halted in our tracks when we saw a disarmed and handcuffed Jaeger with a pistol to the back of his head. A Sheriff’s Deputy with big aviator glasses, a fuzzy blonde mustache, and a shit-eating-grin was at the other end of the gun.
“Now you boys put them guns to the ground or I show you what Pretty Boy’s brains here look like,” the Deputy said in a thick Texan drawl as he shoved the barrel of the gun into Jaegers scalp. You could see the anger in Jaeger’s eyes, and that’s when I noticed the cut on his lip.
“Hey, hey, man, that’s not necessary! We’ll put our guns down,” I said, slowly putting my gun on the floor.
I looked over and Mario was still tightly gripping his gun. He looked at me and he could tell I wasn’t going to shoot a cop. I fucking wish I had now. He put his pistol down too, and the Deputy had us kick them under the couch.
“Now, why don’t we all have ourselves a talk outside?” he said.
He motioned Mario and I to go first, keeping Jaeger at gunpoint between us. As I passed the Deputy, I could smell the heavy air of nicotine, liquor…and something else. Something rank…and a little familiar. We stepped outside and the Deputy’s cruiser was right in front of the house. I was pissed at Jaeger for a brief moment, then remembered the gravity of the situation. This might be the last time I see Jaeger, and I didn’t want to be angry with him. The Deputy shoved Jaeger into the backseat of the cruiser and waved his gun for Mario and I to join him. Mario, pissed as he was, began to head for the car.
“Wait, what are we being charged with? You can’t just arrest us. You haven’t even asked for our names,” I started. I’ve been arrested before, and this was all wrong.
“Oh, we got ourselves a smart ass, here. You…”, the Deputy pointed his gun at Mario. “Get. In. The. Car.” Mario looked at me one more time and got in the back seat with Jaeger. The Deputy pointed his gun at me. “You. Put your hands on the hood.”
“Fuck you.”, I said and stonewalled him.
He cocked the pistol. He pointed the barrel at my forehead. It was a six shot revolver — a .357 magnum. Hearing the hammer on that beast made my knees want to give out.
“I said put your fucking hands on the hood, asshole,” the Deputy said in a calm, but frustrated voice.
I stared at him for a second longer, then did as I was told. I ran through a million scenarios in my head of how to play this, and in none of them I could dodge a bullet. As I propped against the hood, I could feel the heat from the engine coupled with the hot summer sun on my back. The smell of him laid over me like a blanket as he leaned in to whisper in my ear.
“I like the ones that have attitude,” he said in an almost-sensual voice. I remember wanting to yell, What the fuck! and at that point, was fully prepared to elbow him in the face and take my chances trying to grab his gun. But before any of that thought had a chance to materialize, I felt my teeth clack together and I tasted a cloud of chalk in my mouth. Then, darkness.
I woke up with a ringing pain in my head and I could feel blood streaming thinly from my head, just behind the ear, down my neck and onto my chest. I could tell I was hanging from my wrists. I opened my eyes and at first saw black. I could hear muffled breathing near me and then a loud scream of pain from somewhere else. It was Jaeger screaming. At least, I thought it was him. I’d never heard him scream.
My eyes adjusted to the dark, and I saw Mario without his shirt, suspended on the tips of his feet by a chain from the ceiling. He was covered in streaks of his own blood flowing from short cuts and gashes all over his body. There were other chains and hooks hanging from the ceiling, a stained and rusty sink in the corner, and a large metal table in the center of the room. Next to the table was a smaller, fold-out metal table with a slew of what looked like both surgical tools and butcher knives. I noticed there was blood on some of the eqipment.
“Are you okay? How’s your head?” Mario asked me through his erratic breathing.
“Fuck my head, are you alright?” I frantically asked.
“That piece of shit is toying with me. Cutting just deep enough and in the right places. I don’t think he wants us dead…yet,” Mario said, his brow covered in sweat and blood. We heard Jaeger scream again.
“Where is he? How long have they been…” I asked.
“I don’t know. After you, he knocked me out too. I woke up and he started to…” Mario didn’t finish.
But he wouldn’t have had time to explain. At that moment, the door opened, and we saw a dirty and bruised young woman. We quickly realized she was being led from behind by her hair — her head was yanked back and her muffled cries echoed off the walls. The Deputy stood behind her with that same fucking grin fixed on his face. As he began to bring her closer to us, I noticed her mouth was sewn shut with a thin leather strap. There was a poorly bandaged stump where her right hand should’ve been. The Deputy shoved her and she collapsed without a fight.
“This here is the one,” the Deputy announced to her, pointing his pistol at me. “He’s the boy who could’ve’ saved your sorry hide. Could’ve turned your skinny little ass back around and you’d never come across this place.”
And that’s when the unholy realization hit me like a truck to the chest. This poor girl was the last agent that showed this home. This piece of shit saved her, and was parading her in front of me. I felt so fucking guilty, and wanted so badly to rewind time, reach through that phone and stop her.
The Deputy pulled a long razor blade from the small table, the kind you see barbers use. He yanked the woman’s head back, and she began to weep.
“Hey, motherfucker! Stop! Why don’t you fucking fight me, you pussy! You piece of shit, you have to hurt a woman?!” I yelled anything to try and stop him. I could vaguely hear over my verbal abuse and pounding blood, but I could tell Mario was doing the same.
The Deputy smiled his same shit-eating grin and in one motion, sliced her throat from one ear to the other. A thin red line formed and it opened to a gaping second mouth that streamed out a river of crimson. I jerked and pulled at my chains as I cursed him out. He licked the blade as he stared at me. The razor cut his tongue and his blood mixed with the woman’s. I wanted to be a million fucking miles from him, but not before I kicked his head in.
He started to walk towards me. I stared at the bloody razor in his hand and at my own reflection getting larger and larger in his aviators as he stepped closer and closer. I jerked and yanked as hard as I could on my chains, gritting my teeth and screaming obscenities at him. Begging him to fight me like a man. He stopped and started to laugh. He turned to his little table of atrocities, pulled it close to us, and looked for a new toy to fuck me up with. I didn’t stop pulling at my chains. My hands were getting bloody, but I didn’t care. I wanted to kill him.
“Here’s the one for you, little Mr. Attitude,” the Deputy said.
He didn’t get a chance to turn around and use it on me, though. I managed to pull one hand free, and I leapt for the Deputy. I tackled him and we slammed against the big metal table. We both went to the floor and I quickly wrapped my chain around his neck as I straddled his back. I pulled the chains around as tight as I could, and I could see his face turn colors while he scratched and clawed at me in vain. After a few quick, choked moans, he stopped moving and went limp. I didn’t let go for until Mario shouted at me.
“He’s dead, he’s dead!”
I released my grip and let his corpse fall to the ground. I saw keys on his belt. I took it from him after a few tries, I managed to unlock myself and Mario from the chains. Mario nearly fell to his knees, but I managed to catch him. At that moment, I realized we hadn’t heard Jaeger scream for a while, and as if the universe was playing a joke on us, the door burst open. Standing in the doorway was a man who barely fit between it. He was at least 6’8”, and dressed all in dark leather. He had a butcher’s apron that was covered with blood. His giant filleting knife at his side, and his face, completely covered in a black leather gimp mask.
Mario and I stared at him for a second as he stared back and quickly assessed the situation, all-the-while panting heavily beneath his mask. Then he squealed in a gurgling voice and charged at me with his knife. As he ran, I sidestepped low into him. I sent a very solid right jab right into the side of his knee and I heard a loud pop. He stumbled past, and I heard the fillet knife clatter on the floor. He crashed into the wall behind Mario. Without turning around, we booked it out of the room. I could hear the large man yelling while getting to his feet. I shut the door behind us and saw it had locking mechanisms on our side. I locked them all and jumped back as something heavy hit the door and shook the entire wall.
I spun around and was in a dim hallway of locked doors. All but one. We sprinted down the hallway to the open door and saw Jaeger tied up, straddled to a chair with his back facing outwards. He had long, thin strips of skin missing from his back. The big fucker had been filleting our friend. I felt my stomach turn — a feeling I was starting to get used to. Mario quickly untied him, and Mario and I helped Jaeger out of the room. We started towards the other end of the hallway as the man continued smashing into the door from the room we had been chained up in.
We got to the end of the hall and a short staircase led up and out into the dining room from out of the floor. The table had been moved aside, revealing a secret door that lead into their dungeon. We started to rush out of the house when I got an idea.
“Wait. Mario, can you walk?” I asked.
“Yeah. What’re you thinking?” Mario said as I pulled away from him and Jaeger.
“Take Jaeger to the truck. And give me your lighter,” I said as he reached in his pocket.
Mario has always been the type of friend to trust me and just go along with the plan. He turned and helped Jaeger out the front door. I ran to the kitchen as I grabbed the tablecloth from the big dining table. I yanked the stove out a foot or two and kicked the gas pipe loose in the back, then tore through the cabinets until I came across a bottle of cooking brandy. I hauled ass back out of the house as I heard loud crashing and splintering noises from down below.
I got outside and headed for the Deputy’s car. It was night outside, and I wondered for a brief second how long I’d been out, and how long Mario and Jaeger had been tortured. I focused on the moment again, and doused the table cloth in the brandy and shoved it into the gas intake. I started to reach for the lighter when I heard the distinct sound of a chainsaw roaring to life from somewhere in the house.
I wrenched the lighter out of my pocket and attempted to flick it on. It wouldn’t light. I tried it again. Nothing but sparks. Again and again and again. Nothing. I could hear the chainsaw getting louder. My blood was pumping so fast, it felt like my veins were on fire. I held the lighter up the moonlight and saw that there was a sliver of lighter fluid at the very bottom. Well, fuck., I thought. I took a deep breath, turned the lighter upside down, then back. I flicked the wheel and button once, and it lit. I set the cloth aflame and ran like hell. I didn’t look back, but I could hear the chainsaw like it was on my heels. Then all I heard was a ringing and I was off my feet.
I rolled through the big yellow grass as chunks of fiery debris rained down around me. I couldn’t hear anything and my head and body hurt, but I got right back on my feet and started running again. I headed straight for the tree line and towards the truck. I could see it on the road, Mario and Jaeger in it and ready to go. I glanced back once, just to see the fire. It was huge and the giant black column of smoke was already beginning to block out the sky. I didn’t see anyone, so I assumed the man was still in the house when it blew up.
I got back in the truck and hauled ass back to the city. I knew Mario and Jaeger needed medical attention right away, but knowing the Deputy was killing people in that town, I decided against taking them to the local hospital. It took an hour to get back to the city the way I was driving, and I got them both checked into the city hospital.
This was all yesterday, and Mario and Jaeger are stable and will recover. I don’t know what to do now. I killed a cop, so I really don’t want to tell anyone of authority. I told the people at the hospital that a group of gang members tried to rob us and we got into a bad fight. They seemed skeptical when they saw Jaeger’s wounds, but thankfully, they didn’t ask too many questions. I have to go back to work tomorrow…and I don’t know how I’m going to take 400 calls a day when I know what can happen when just one goes very wrong.