Infestation Part 1 By KB Hurst

“Please don’t hurt me,” she cried.

I never thought I’d kill.

I’m a good man. I’m a magnificent creature.

“Baby, please, I’m so sorry,” she grabbed me by my waist, pleading.

I looked into her eyes.

I slit her throat.

The blood came out like in the movies, surreal and funny. It wasn’t real to me, and yet perfectly real. I had fantasies about it. Now, I was in some killing matrix. There was real life and my killing fantasy life.

I closed my eyes.

“I’m sorry, Jess,”

Her eyes looked up at me until the life went out of them.

I took a deep breath and watched her die in my arms.

All the feelings I once had for her were gone.

######

I’m a dumb person by nature; I was never an academic person. Math? Fuck math. Reading? I knew how to read the words let’s fuck on the back of the porn stack behind the counter at the local sex shop. Science? I know how to grow weed and have always had a bountiful supply of it. The actual science behind any of it was confusing to my tiny brain. I just knew what to do and did it.

I had begun life as the town loser. But I was likable enough that Carl Jenkins kept me around to mow the lawn and do most of the upkeep at the store. I was the grocery store, assistant manager. It seemed like a big title until I realized what was involved.  

Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed a lot of nothin’, you’d be right. 

I mainly kept Cheryl and Jolene from killing each other. They were older ladies but always tried to one-up each other. Sometimes at the end of the night, one of their drawers would come up short, and they’d go back and forth blaming each other. I was the ref at a WWE-style cashier end of the night match.  

I came in this particular Saturday morning late. I slid in the front door and up to the counter behind a big glass wall where I could take returns and sell cigarettes and the heavier booze. The best part of working at the small town grocery store was that it was the local liquor emporium. 

Carl didn’t see me come in, but that bitty Jolene did.

“I see you over there,” Jolene had a look on her face. I knew I was in trouble when I looked across the room and saw Cheryl close her station and walk over to Carl. I saw her point over at Jolene, and then he looked at me.

Here it came.

“Madaris, can I see you in my office?”

I smirked to myself as I put a “BE BACK IN FIVE” sign up behind the return counter and ran towards the main office just upstairs.

“Look, I’m really sorry I’m late again,”

“For once, that isn’t why I’m calling you up here,”

“Oh,”

“But one more time, and I swear I’m putting you out on your ass, Madaris! Look, I called you up here because I need you to hang these missing girl posters up on the window outside the store and on the side of the building. The detective came round asking again if we had seen Jessica Halloway. I told her she ain’t been seen since she quit.”

I looked at the photos and nodded. It was an actual sad situation I had put myself in. I had really liked Jessica Halloway. She was one of the few people in this town that made sense to me. I hadn’t seen her since that night she walked out after Cheryl accused her of stealing money from her drawer when she covered the lunch shift. 

I closed my eyes, thinking about how sad her family must be worried sick.  

I went outside and began taping them to the windows, and the side of the building like Mr. Jenkins asked me to.  

Later that night, I went home and sat in my bed. I rolled a joint and smoked it while I tried to think about something other than Jess Halloway.

######

My body felt weird when I woke up. I must have been sleepwalking again. As a kid, I used to do it like I’d eat full meals in the middle of the night and not remember a damn thing. There were cereal bowls piled up in the sink, and I was keen on keeping a spotless house. For being dirt poor, I didn’t like a mess. A mess only made me feel worse about it.

Then I saw it.

There was blood in the garbage disposal of my sink. There was meat stuck in it too. I pulled it out, and to my near shock of death, it was a finger. 

“What the fuck?” I said to myself as if saying it aloud would make sense.

I gulped and walked towards the bathroom of my tiny house, and there inside the bathtub, was a half-cut-up corpse. It smelled horrifying, and I didn’t know what to say or what to do.  

I passed out. 

I was in a fog, and the body was now gone when I stood up. I saw someone in the mirror, and it was a man with long black hair. He wore a long-sleeved black shirt and black dress pants. His hair was in a ponytail. He grinned at me in the mirror, and then I felt my body go limp.

When I woke, the apartment was clean.  

Had I dreamt what I had seen from before?

I went to the sink and looked inside.

Clean.

There was no trace of the vile thing I had witnessed before.  

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