Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Killing Spring, Part 7

Spring Break. Time to kill again.

Yes! It’s about freaking time!

Gene, donned in his stolen overalls and fresh Nikes, gleefully bounded down the stairs, nearly stumbling on the last step.

Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!

He leaped into the kitchen for his ammo, throwing open the cupboards over the stove. Tossing aside sauce packets, spice jars, a bottle of olive oil and a pound of flower, which exploded in a milky white cloud when it hit the floor, Gene clutched his weapon of choice, a half-empty Morton Salt container. Grains of loose salt billowed from the metal spout while he jumped up and down, shaking the container as he clutched it tightly with both hands.

Leaving the kitchen, Gene ran to his parents’ home entertainment system, which took up most of the wall in the living room. He threw open the cabinet that held the CDs, quickly running a finger over the labels until he found what he has looking for.

There it was...ABBA’s Greatest Hits, one of the few CDs Mom ever bought, wedged among Dad’s collection of classic rock. The ultimate soundtrack for death, the angelic vocals and driving disco of ABBA stirred his murderous instincts like no other music in the world, including the death metal and gangsta rap which occupied most of his iPod playlist. But those songs were mostly just to impress his so-called friends. They’d laugh in his face if they knew what he really loved was to dance along with the same 1970s bubblegum pop his mother dance to at her prom.

After slapping in the disc and hitting the play button, Gene cranked up the volume, ran to the glass door leading to the back yard and threw it wide open. “Dancing Queen” pummeled from the speakers. Grinning joyously, Gene danced his way outside. He aimed his face to the mid-morning sun and sang along, hips swaying to the music as he worked his way down the rain-soaked path toward Mom and Dad’s garden.

The smell of rain still hung in the air.

The sun’s heat felt wonderful.

Gene felt the same...

...because the time to kill was now.

He boogied his way to a patch of recently-planted tomato plants; the fruit was still green, but shiny and healthy. They’d be big, red and juicy in no time. Mom always did have a knack for growing veggies. A gentle breeze made the leafy stems sway left and right, almost in time with the music.

Normally, Gene hated tomatoes, always picking them out of the sauce whenever they had spaghetti for dinner. But now, watching them dance as though they were down with Gene’s killing plans...part of him had to love them.

They also made the perfect bait.

Carefully crouching down and pushing aside a leafy stem, he spotted his first victim, a large brown slug dining greedily on one of the bigger tomatoes.

“Enjoying the meal, Dad?” he smirked as he pulled open the spout of his salt. “I hope so...’cause it’s your last.”

Gene held the salt container over the slug and generously poured. He giggled as it slowly turned snotty yellow and shriveled, it’s life-giving moisture being sucked from its slimy body. Its optical tentacles retreated into its head, just before falling off of the tomato and plopping to the ground. He was scarcely aware he’d been holding his breath this whole time, watching in awe at the creature’s agonizing death.

“Serves you right, Dad. Treating Mom like you do.”

Certain it was now dead, Gene slowly exhaled, feeling the same relief he always did when finally getting to use a bathroom after long trips to Grandma’s, usually because Dad was too obsessed with making good time to occasionally pull into a gas station.

As ABBA burst into another joyous tune - “Knowing Me, Knowing You” - Stinky sauntered up and brushed against him. But Gene had no time for that, pushing the cat away as he spotted his next kill slithering slowly across the muddy earth. It looked suspiciously like the cop who pulled him over this morning.

“Oh, I definitely know you, officer.” Gene leaned over and tapped salt on its back. “But you don’t know me. Here’s a little sodium death, to deal with your crappy coffee breath.” He chortled loudly at his gift of rhyme.

Like his Dad, the slug fizzled and died.

On to the next kill.

Spotting his ex-best friend, Clay Walker, oozing his way up a vine a few feet away, Gene crept over and attacked. Stinky followed close behind, apparently undaunted by his early brush-off.

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