Flash Fiction 48 hour challenge: location truck stop, prop diamond ring, genre suspense
A collector of trash finds not all souvenirs are what they seem
Inhaling slowly from the cigarette pressed between his lips he watched through the kitchen window waiting on the only customer. Customers were few and far between in the greasy spoon and employees even fewer. The ones that did come to work never did last long. He remembered cursing the day he inherited this dump from his scumbag of a father. But, that was also the day he found the collection in the basement. He would finish what his dad started, a tribute to a bastard.
He exhaled slowly tapping the ashes from the cigarette on to the grimy floor, before flipping over the burger on the grill. His eyes watched as her golden blonde hair swayed in the sunlight while she wiped down the faded tabled with a rag. She always scrubbed a little harder when she was going to use it. The way her hips moved back and forth reminded him of the need that he had to fill. His smile grew as he plated the burger and fries and rang the bell. Tonight would be the night.
Annie bit into the burger causing grease to flow down her arm and onto the dingy table. She had been at this truck stop, just left of hell, almost a week and she was tired of waiting. She dropped the burger down on to the paper wrapper and wiped her mouth with a napkin. She broke a piece of the meat off and tossed it across the table to the cockroach that lived in the cushions on the other side of the booth. She watched the critter scurry out grab the meat and drag it back to the hole it lived in. Unlike the roach she refused to continue to dwell in unsanitary filth for very long. Her fingers stroked the diamond ring hanging from the string around her neck, hidden by her dirty grey tank top. Blinking back the tears she gathered her trash and retied the apron around her waist.
She locked doors just after midnight flipping off the lights. Her boss, the cook, had left hours ago. She stretched her arms over her head with a yawn, and walked back into the storage room. She peeled off her clothes and walked into the employee bathroom. In the sink she used her tank top as a washcloth and slowly bathed herself. While she dripped dry she washed out her the rest of her clothing and hung them about the small room. She padded carefully to the back of the storage area where a small cot was set up. With a sigh she lay out on the bed and closed her eyes picturing better days.
Biting his lip he allowed his excitement to grow as he watched her safely hidden behind shelves of food. He turned the long sharp knife over and over in his hand; he still got stage fright before the kill. He rubbed himself against the end of the shelving unit. He’d been waiting a long time for a pretty blonde to come his way. He would savor the moment. He eyes darted to the trapdoor a few feet away. Just under it was his family. A beautiful brunette, a redhead, and a blonde still wearing her clothes from the 60’s that father had left, but they all smelled of him. This one had been kind enough to remove her clothes so he wouldn’t have to find a new outfit to display her in.
He had been practicing on the trash that rolled through here for years. It had taken him many tries to perfect the taxidermy methods in his father’s journal. After many messy mistakes he was sure this would be the one. He watched as her body relaxed and her chest began to rise and fall more slowly. He would make it a quick jab in the neck. She would bleed out quickly and the hole could easily be repaired or cover. He moved slowly towards the bed forcing his hands to steady. He loomed over her for a moment before raising the knife. Closing his eyes in anticipation, he plunged the knife down, but something wasn’t right.
His eyes popped open to see Annie’s crystal blue eyes staring into his, her hands gripping his wrist tightly. With a low growl Annie wrenched his wrist and pulled her legs up wrapping them around his neck. She slammed his head into the wall behind the bed before pulling him down on the bed and tightening her legs. Pulling with all her strength, his shoulder made a loud cracking noise and the knife fell from his hand. His groan muffled by the blanket on the bed. She tightened her legs until the struggling ceased.
She kicked the limp body into a pile on the floor and made sure there was no sign of life. Reaching into her backpack she pulled out a list of names, missing girls from the area from the last 50 years, and satisfyingly stuffed the list into his mouth. Standing, she caught a glimpse of the ring still hanging around her neck, a stark reminder of why she still does this. It wouldn’t bring her back the love she lost, but it was a reason to keep going. She stepped over the body and lay down to sleep. Her clothes would be dry by morning and she would move on.