When I was young, there was a serial killer in my town.
For three summer straight, he killed people. Young, old, female, male, it didn’t matter to him. You just had to be alone long enough for him to snatch you up like some kinda boogeyman. Hell, it didn’t even have to be at night. Mrs. Gibbs ran out for groceries with her husband, he stepped back inside for a minute to grab something they forgot, and came back out to their baby crying in the car and a dropped bag of groceries next to the car.
They found her three days later, her ribs all cut open and splayed out so anyone and everyone could see her guts.
If you get this letter, it means I’ve been murdered.
I competed in a dating show meant to be shown to a bunch of sociopaths willing to pay top dollar to see snuff. Each week a girl’s eliminated, and then her heart is torn out and eaten by a monster, all on camera. Not hypothetically, a real monster- with a scorpion tail and a biological need to eat human hearts. His name is Donovan.
It was hard to focus on being charming to Mr. Right when all I could think about was escape.
The other dead zones were a broom closet and an unused bedroom, I managed to get to both Tara and Diana and tell them there was a chance we were getting out. Diana hugged me so tight I heard my ribs pop and Tara asked me twice more to repeat myself to make sure she heard me correctly.
But we still had to act normal. If we tipped our hand, we’d end up the same as the other girls.
This week I was, for once, the last to go on a date. This time it was going to be Donovan’s plan, he was to create a personalized date for each of us. And now he’d be lurking around more often, so if we really got his attention, we’d just be hanging out during the day.
Thank god Diana passed the Trazodone to me. I wouldn’t have slept a wink. I might be a favorite, but I just couldn’t sleep without popping a pill.
Week three, I made it. God I just want to go home.
I did sleep better now that I wasn’t in the Queen’s Room, even though Tara snores loud enough to wake the dead. I saw Taylor slip a small orange bottle to Diana after the Friday elimination. I found out later it was a medication called Trazodone, which can be used for sleep.
This week we had a new task- create our dream date with Donovan. Plan everything from what we eat to where we go, within reason of course. I was lucky number one on the docket. I wanted more time to plan, but I wasn’t going to ask anyone to swap with me.
In the end, I stuck with what I would sincerely want to do, if I wasn’t dating a heart eating monster.
I didn’t want to get out of bed the day after Justice’s death. I slept like hell the night before because, yeah, my room’s closest to the heart eating monster. I imagine you’d probably sleep badly too if you were alone.
But this week was our ‘first dates’ with Donovan. We drew straws for it, Jade threw a tantrum when she realized she was going last. I didn’t know why she was excited to date Donovan, but maybe that was her way of finding a way out. If she wins, she won’t die.
I swear, I thought I was just starring on a dating show.
My name is Paige. I decided to put my name in the hat for Mr. Right as a joke, I just broke up with a long term boyfriend and hey, dating shows are all fake anyway right? Even if I got in, which was a slim chance anyway, I’d be told what to say and what to do. All for a good show.
I was shook when I got the call saying I’d been picked, pack my bags, I was going to be famous. Despite not really caring at first, I got really, really excited. I tend to binge watch reality shows when I’m having a bad day, just to have something to laugh at, so appearing on one sounded like a great time.
I’ve been a wedding photographer for nearly ten years and I thought I’d seen it all. Trashy, beautiful, tragic, hilarious, or just bizarre. I have stories. I have the typical groom getting caught getting it on with the maid of honor, family getting into brawls, brides OD-ing in the bathroom, gay couples having no one attend their wedding (or worse, the one uninivited homophobic relative crashing to just be a dick) stories. But we aren’t here for the typical stories. If we were, we’d be here all day. We’re here for the wedding from last October.
Fall weddings are probably my favorite, if I ever get married I’ll probably get hitched in the fall. It was the parents of the bride who came to me, asking for my services for a wedding in two weeks. Their original photographer apparently up and quit on them and they were desperate to have their darling daughter’s wedding immortalized in picture format.
Doesn’t nearly flow off the tongue nearly so well as the first verse, but it gets the point across.
We waited in the woods for a long time, she and I. It was cold out at night, but it wasn’t colder than we were. It was strange not seeing my breath on every exhale. But I wasn’t bored. We had a lot of time to talk.
Eliza’s poisonous glare focused on the older brother, remaining ominously quiet for several seconds. Then she nodded. “Thank you for realizing how your behavior was unacceptable. Come here,” She said, motioning him to the corner.
With a nervous swallow, Clement placed his hand on the counter. “Brandon, go see mom about chores,” He said. The little boy didn’t need to be told twice, he bolted out of the room with a terrified wail.
“For your mistake, just one knuckle,” Eliza pulled something from her waist and too late Holly recognized it as a knife. And that Clement was already missing the tip of his right index finger.
A flash of silver turned ruby red as Clement bit so hard on his lip it also sprouted red. The servant didn’t even cry out, although tears did bead at the corners of his eyes.
The crying came from Holly, who screamed as she stared at the piece of finger on the counter, shortening Clement’s index finger by another length.
Things with the Snow Family are more bloody than ever with this sequel to Wedding Bells. Four brand new stories, never before released here or on patreon. You can buy your own copy right here!