Looking For Something?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lovers, in Chains Pt. 1

in Chains

The way home

"You know...today is bright, just like the others but now...it's now a tad bit darker than it was before. I mean, no one will notice the slight changes in the weather or that when night comes it will be a little bit colder but we will."

"What do you mean?"

"When I was younger I had an old dog that had been there with me since I was born. It was a family dog that once belonged to my grandparents but they were getting to old to take proper care of him. Wherever I went he went with me until one day he never woke up. He appeared to be sleeping on the end of my bed and he looked so damn happy I couldn't believe he could be dead but there he was. I went to go get my dad to see if he could get him up. He tried but it didn't take him long to figure out that my sweet old dog was dead. My father said; Son. I knew this day was coming but I never thought it would come this soon. His death may not affect this world that much but I want you to know it will make your life that much sweeter. I was hysterical, I couldn't take that weight on my shoulders and I cried. I cried on and on for several weeks straight but then he said; But I need you to remember that the day is bright like the days that came before and it will never cease to amaze me that this light we go through every day is the reason why you and me are still living. Through every death the day will get a tad darker till the fateful day comes and it's your own time to go but today is not that day. You have a full life to live and there is no reason to quit until that day comes. You need to fight off the darkness until you can fight no longer. The problem is, my love, I like the dark. It’s so calming to the soul that I want to remain in the dark for as long as I continue forward. It's not going to end me nor is it going to get me down and that’s something my father never quite understood and with every death I feel that much better."

My new bride nodded back to me as I repositioned myself in the car and focused on the road. We were heading back from her family cabin where we spent our fateful honeymoon alone together for more than a few weeks. Staying away from civilization for so long has made me so out of touch with life and so over edge that I wasn't sure that I could make it—along with the current situation. I gasped with joy when we left the forest and miles after saw the first street sign for what seemed like an eternity, we were entering city limits and I rejoiced in silence. I couldn't tell my wife what was happening because it would seem I was loosing control and that is something my wife relies on. I am cool. I am collected. I have more control than a one-way wire leading to a nuclear bomb and that was something I took advantage of before a few weeks before. In all reality I was loosing it and the day my wife would find out would be the end of life, as we know it.

Afternoon lunch
When we got back into town it was towards the end of summer. The sun shone through the light blue sky and I stood in awe to see the cityscape around me. There was a large sheet over the side of a skyscraper in the distance going from the top to nearly three fourths of the way down to the base. On it was a troop of soldiers running from right to left into this scene that turned from the woods in a light shade of red to a solid red that was all the way to the left. On the completely red side it read the name of the game, the developer, then a quote from an agency that critiques video games. It read; "The very first game that I can say is close to reality."  I laughed to myself thinking that if video gamers really wanted to see wartime realistically then they should join the army. At least that way they can do something for this country other than sitting in front of a sixty-inch television screen with their chips and soda. I positioned my weight on my other leg still examining the advertisement. I puffed out what left I could get out of my cigarette before I flicked it over the baluster fence that separated me from the street.

"Can you sit down? Really! I wanted to have a nice lunch and you're just zoning out god knows where thinking about god knows what...can we just order something?" I pushed the metal fence hoping that it would topple over onto the sidewalk but it stood firm within the concrete ground. I turned around to face the restaurant and my wife to see her frown turn into a smile. "There you are! What did you want to eat?

"Shrimp." I mumbled.

"Ok...just shrimp?" I looked at her methodically contemplating to say anything more but she spoke again. 

"Because I was hoping you would get something off the two for fifteen menu so I could get some of that halibut I like. Can you do that?" I sat down in front of her lifting up the menu in front of me seeing what else I could eat but the sun reflected off the plastic of the menu. I looked behind me to see the sun and then above me to the umbrella that was not doing its job.

"What's on the menu?" I asked.

"Baby, I know you can read—" I reached over between us pushing the salt and peppershakers to the side to take a toothpick out of its dispenser and put it in my mouth. "Besides you already know what's on the menu, we go here enough." I shrugged and put the menu down tilting my head to the left so I could see the traffic to my right. The restaurant sat right on a corner beside an intersection. Several cars stopped in front of the stoplight and idled waiting for the light to turn green. I looked at one driver in particular that looked no older than sixteen. He was driving a real fancy car from some country I couldn't pronounce while he was talking on his cell phone. The black of the car shimmered in the sunlight and as he got closer to the bumper of the car in front of him the sun reflected off the side panel of the car and shined in my face. I put my arm out in front of my eyes and took the toothpick out of my mouth.

"I hope that kid fucking dies," I said while pointing at him with my other arm then placed the toothpick back in my mouth. My wife glared at me and straightened out her back to sit on her prissy stand.

"And what did this boy to you?"

"He made fun of me when I was in grade school" I said snarly. She looked back over to the kid leaning over the table slightly to get a better look then straightened out her position to glare at me even harder.

"He probably is still in grade school!"

"Hence the kid," I mumbled under my breath.

"Then what the hell did he do to you?" I thought for a second hoping that I could come up with something else clever but nothing came to me.

"Because he's a fucking sixteen year old driving a fucking Porsche or some shit! It just rubs me the wrong way that's all." My wife cleared her throat and I turned to her. She motioned her head to her right—my left—so I turned further to see our waiter at the edge of the table, pencil and pad in hand waiting for us to stop arguing. Soon as I looked up to him he turned his head towards me and our eyes locked. Almost immediately he brought out a large smile and straightened his pose to be more professional.

"Are you guys ready? What food can I get for you two young fellows this afternoon?" He asked in a very low voice.

"I want your peppered steak off your two for fifteen menu," I said.

"How would you like your steak cooked sir?"

"Rare," I demanded.

"Ok. And would you like to upgrade your steak to a eight ounce for one dollar?"

"No. I'll use that extra dollar to add a baked potato with sour cream and chives."

"Mmk. How bout the lady?" My wife spoke but I didn't listen. On the white shirt of the waiter I couldn't help but notice that there was some red splotches all over the front. I grinned in delight contemplating what it could have been but it couldn't be anything too serious. I imagined him raising a meat cleaver and slamming it down on a large piece of meat severing the flesh from the bone. Gnawing at it with my teeth. I shrugged it off almost instantly and the waiter had left though I continued to stare where he once was.

"Baby, we need to talk."

"About what?" I asked while continuing to stare into space. She leaned in towards me and whispered to me.

"You know. The thing that we did together."

"We have done a lot of things together and several of them I am too embarrassed to even mention aloud." She blushed. 

"You know what I mean."

"Yes, yes I do. What about it?" I cleared out my throat. 

"What can we possibly talk—?”

"Keep your voice down." My wife looked back and forth behind her making sure that no one was paying attention to us. "The police. They are going to be reported missing and the police are going to and probably already have ask all the neighbors if they know anything including us!"

"I thought we have already been over this."

"Well yes but can we go over it again?" She asked.

"We left for our honeymoon on Friday night. Knowing the Rockwell's and everybody does, people will assume they stayed at home all weekend doing all the illicit things they do, the illicit things they do only known by us. Because of this the police won’t be able to create an exact timeline between Fridays until they found them unless if one of their partners come forth and give them the details and knowing most lawbreaking citizens they won’t. This will give us a proper alibi and will leave us out of the race for most of the investigation unless if someone happened to be up that night and saw us, which I doubt."

"You’re confident about that?"

"Very." I looked at the waiter passing by with food hoping he was giving it to us but he simply walked past us not even giving us a glimpse of curiosity. "I’m hungry, how much longer for our food?"

"Its only been a few minutes, it will still be a while...you're so impatient."

"I'm not impatient I'm just tired and tense and strung out. I need a vacation from our vacation."

"Well you are right about that."

"Of course I am," I responded. We sat in silence for a few minutes looking around the environment that surrounded us. I looked down to the table poking my finger through the decorative holes that were no bigger than my pinky. My wife looked at me as if she was going to say something but she looked away seconds after to look at me again. I motioned to her to speak up and she began struggling on what to say.

"I...I am...I am going to see a therapist and I think you should join me." I looked at her confused wondering what it could be about but of course it was the most obvious reason.

"So...what are you going to tell this therapist?" I asked.

"I don't know. Maybe say I hit an animal or something with our car or say I saw a death in the newspaper and it bothered me."

"A death in the newspaper?"

"Yeah, like saying there was a article about a murder and it bothered me." 

"Why can't you talk to me about it, at least with me you don't have to lie and give us away."

"I know I just...I don't think that you will understand."

"I won't understand? That's all I have done for you! I did this because you didn't think it was right from the start and now you're getting cold feet?"

"My hearts not made out of stone, I don't think you will understand my reasoning, that’s all." I looked at her angrily and I couldn't help but think that I was the weaker one out of the both of us. I never could accept a death to affect me and how I worked but she is so in tune with her emotions I may just be a newborn child. I may have not done this before but I think about it a lot while she has not. She was in no way prepared for the emotional toll that would be placed on her. Maybe she wasn't ready no matter how confident she looked. I love this woman, how could I not hold her when she feels out of place like an outcast? She is one in a million and I am her husband.

"Ok but let's wait a while, at least a month or two just to be sure." Just then the waiter walked along our table and sat our respective plates in front of us.

"Is there anything else I can get you two?"

"Horseradish...steak sauce...a refill." I said in an annoyed tone.

"Sorry sir. Do you need a refill too miss?"

"No. No I'm fine," she said waving the waiter off with one hand while reaching for a fork with the other. I picked up a fork as well along with a knife and started cutting through the steak. In the center it was a deep dark red and juicy I smiled to see that it was cooked exactly as I wanted it. I looked over to my wife to see if she was content and she had already eaten half of the fish in front of her. I continued to cut my steak till the waiter came back with everything I wanted then I dug in. First I dipped my steak in the steak sauce then I dipped it in the horseradish then took the toothpick out of my mouth. The steak sauce always comes first so it can soak in the sauce enhancing the flavor. I took several bites out of my steak then looked back to my wife.

"By the rate you're going through your meal I can guess that this has been something you have wanted to have for a while now."

"Mmhmm." She said while putting more food into her mouth.

"I don't know. For some reason I just love it when I get a bloody steak. The blood tastes great.”

"Actually—" Then clearing out her throat. "Most of the blood is drained out of the animal right after they butcher it. There's actually little to no blood at all."

"Oh?" I raised my eyebrows in disbelief. "Then what is it then?"

"Its mostly water because red meats are mostly comprised of that stuff but the red tint that is in the water, also what makes the meat red, is called myoglobin."

"What’s that?"

"It's a form of protein that stores oxygen in red blood cells for muscles...I think. More myoglobin the redder the meat."

"So this red stuff is protein and water?"

"Yes." I began to push the plate away from me to the center of the table tipping over the salt, pepper and toothpick holder making a complete mess on the table.

"If I wanted to eat healthy I'd eat a carrot."

Police at my front door

Today I was working from home. I wanted to spend some time with my wife today and if I stayed out at the office I knew I would get home late due to the overflowing paperwork I received while we were on our honeymoon. I would get back to it when I had the drive to do it and everyone at the office understands; I just need some time alone. It was even difficult to get adjusted with technology. Several updates came out for my phone and computer it was as if I had to relearn everything about them all over again. With the new update through my computer I had to update the drivers on my printer, scanner, and my fax machine so when I hook them up to my computer I wouldn't get a screen that says it doesn't know what the hell it was doing.

As I was shifting through several liability papers I heard a knock on the door. Both my wife and me were busy so neither of us attempted to walk towards the door. I rolled my chair to another area of my large desk to print out more papers when another knock came to the door. If it was someone trying to sell something to us I am sure they would leave a flier on the doorknob and walk away but whoever this was, was persistent. Another knock on the door but this time it sounded more like a pound.

"Can you get that honey?" I yelled.

"You get it I have my hands tied at the moment!" I lowered my head back to my table trying to look for a certain cover form and then the doorbell rang followed by a "its the police". I pushed all my papers aside in a shock and stood slowly while looking at the door. My wife exited the kitchen, flour covering her hands, to look at me in disbelief and shock.

"Go wash your hands," I said to my wife while walking towards the door, "it should be okay, they just want to ask us some questions." I stood in front of the door looking through the peephole to see an officer a few steps back on our porch talking through his radio. Even though I figured he knew we were home I still wondered what would happen if I didn't answer the door, would he just walk away and come another day or would he be calling in backup? I didn't want to make it seem that we were hiding from them so answering the door is what would be best for us but the questions that he would have in store for us is something I never really thought about until now. I unlocked the door and the officer turned around as I opened the door slowly. A screen door was between us giving me some space, but I knew he would want to come inside.

"You're a hard man to get a hold of, we have been trying to reach you for a few weeks," the officer said.

"You have? My wife and I have been on our—"

"Honeymoon, yes I was told. There are a few detectives on their way to ask you a few questions."

"Questions? About what? I haven't done anything wrong have I officer?"

"No no, you're not in trouble. I'll let the detectives explain when they get here." My wife walked up behind me and held my hand out of fear of what could happen but I was confident that nothing serious would happen. My wife, the officer and I talked about our honeymoon while we waited for the detectives to arrive. This eased my wife a little but she still had a death grip on my hand. The officer never asked to come inside though, probably because he was more patrolling around the neighborhood looking for any neighbors they hadn't interviewed yet.

It was only a quick moment until the detectives arrived in their car. The police officer walked away when he heard car doors shut and returned to his police cruiser to patrol the neighborhood. One detective—the one who was driving the car—looked rather old while the other one was quite young. Both of them were clean shaven and had the same style of haircut but the older one had a prominent tan—could have been another race too—while the young one was definitely white.

"Hello. I am Detective Benson and this is Detective Cruise" while pointing to the younger one. "We need to ask you a few questions. It is very important that we talk to you before this day is over." I looked over to my wife and she shrugged nonchalantly as if she didn't know what was going on.

"Sure, come on in." I unlocked the screen door and invited them inside. I pulled out my chair from behind my desk and sat it by the rocking chair while I sat with my wife in the love seat. After we were done situating ourselves Benson and Cruise pulled out some notepads and pencils to write down what I would assume to be valuable information even though we would be lying though our teeth.

"We are here to talk about your missing neighbors, the Rockwell's."

"What happened?" My wife asked.

"Well that's what we are trying to find out," Detective Cruise claimed, "no one heard from them during the weekend. From what I understand that's normal," we both nodded "and Mr. Rockwell called in sick to his workplace on Monday. That's all we can really figure out." I looked towards my wife and her eyes widened as she looked back at me. How could he have called in sick if he was within our trunk during that time? I know Mr. And Mrs. Rockwell didn't have their cell phones on them and even if they did they would not even be able to talk.

"Do you know if he sounded sick? Was it his voice?" I asked.

"His boss said when he heard the message it was hard for him to understand him and we have listened to it ourselves but his boss is confident that it was him," Detective Benson cleared out his throat to add to what Cruise was saying.

"Now I know this may seem like a dumb question but where were you doing on the fifth of August."

"We were at my family’s cabin a little past the wilderness area to our south. We left the Friday night before," my wife said.

"Was there anyone else with you besides your husband?" I thought of the bodies of the Rockwell's that kept us company.

"No. It was only the two of us, that's kind of the point of a honeymoon isn't it? To get away from it all?" My wife said stubbornly.

"I guess that's true," both detectives started writing in their notepads and Detective Cruise lifted up his head while Detective Benson continued writing.

"How close were you to the Rockwell's?"

"We weren't that close, in fact no one was really close to them, they really kept to themselves especially on the weekend. We always see these shady people lingering around their house but they’re always welcomed by the Rockwell's" my wife said. "We always invited them to the neighborhood barbeques—which another is coming up in a few weeks—but they would only attend a few of them and when they did it would always seem that something was wrong."

"Would you say they were doing anything illegal?"

"I think so," I said. The two detectives wrote down in their little notepads again.

"When was the last time you saw them?" I thought about telling them truth about how we saw them on the Friday night before we left, just to cover our bases in case if someone saw us there but what was the likelihood of someone seeing our cars way past midnight.

"Sometime a few weeks ago. I'm not exactly sure when. Do you remember honey?" I asked my wife.

"We'll I visited his wife someday Tuesday afternoon three weeks ago just to tell her about the upcoming barbeque but she seemed uninterested and lethargic about the whole thing. Couldn't say why that was but their house was a mess. She tried to make it so I wouldn't see anything but I got a glimpse."

"Strange," one of the detectives said.

"How so?" I asked.

"Well, their house was spotless when we got there," said the other detective. I was intrigued because when we left the place drugs in several shapes and forms were in nearly every corner of the house. Either that or drug paraphernalia. Of course we took the cash but maybe that wasn't the best of ideas. Someone was there between us leaving the house and the police searching the building and I could only fear that it was someone looking for the Rockwell's. "How about either of the two's health? We're they sick or troubled last time you saw them?"

"Like I said before," my wife said, "Mrs. Rockwell was rather lethargic last time I had seen her and obviously they were not well because the house looked like a mess but I guess she got better by the weekend because, like you said, the house was rather clean." Both of the detectives wrote down in their respective notepads again and one circled something and underlined it a few times looking at the motions of his hand and wrist.

"Is there anything else we could help you with?" The detectives stood up from their seats and began to walk towards the front door.

"No. We obtained most of the information about them from their family and other neighbors."

"No friends?" I asked.

"Judging by what you and others have told us it seems like they weren't in the business for friends," said one detective.

"You two have a fine rest of the day," said the other closing the door behind him. My wife turned to me and gave me a rather threatening look seconds after the door closed.

"What the fuck!" She yelled.

"What? What did I do?"

"Obviously someone knew they were gone when we left their house and covered up their tracks to make them seem like an average couple!" She yelled again.

"Who are you proposing did this then?"

"A gang, their family, the Kazmir's and their fucking mafia!"

"Well what did you expect? They sell and recreationally take drugs. You have to know someone higher on the totem pole in order to get the drugs." I said.

"What if they come after us? They are going to come looking for their money!"

"Calm down! We left their merchandise. Yes we took several thousand but we left several million worth of product, they aren't going to throw a fit about that."

"But we killed two of their members...apostles...."


"Yeah! What the fuck about that huh? I told you that we should had killed further away from where we live."

"Okay it might not seem like a good idea now but who is to expect that? Their normal neighbors, who expects that,"

"The police! Nine out of ten times someone is killed it’s by someone the victim knows personally. You just became a part of an obvious statistic!" 

"Trust me I know what I am doing I have done this before." I thrashed around in my head imagining me throwing furniture around and eventually hitting my wife but I took a deep breath and elaborated further within my head. There is no way they could figure us we were gone and someone covered for them on Monday, which takes us out of the timeline. There is no way that they could point their fat little fingers at us as long as we didn't do something stupid.


"So have you heard of the Rockwell's yet? I hear the police is proclaiming them dead," said Thomas McKinley from down the road.

"Why do you say that?" I asked.

"Blood. Blood was found underneath one of the sofas and it’s a positive match to Mrs. Rockwell. She was probably bludgeoned to death with something big and hard."

"Uh huh," I said while looking down at the newspaper on the picnic table. "And where did you hear about that?" He took the newspaper from underneath my gaze and turned to the third page.

"Here." I gazed at the article reading how an investigation was being conducted and sighed with excitement after I read the section saying that there were no current leads. I looked around for my wife to show her the article and I saw her talking to Thomas' wife and a neighbor to us, Roxanne. I waved at them to come over and my wife and Roxanne walked my way while Thomas' wife went to go talk with someone else. 

"What's her deal?" I asked while pointing at Thomas' wife. 

"Oh, Suzie? She and her husband are apparently fighting and she didn't want to go mingle with him." My wife said in a loud whisper. 

"Am not!" Thomas yelled while leaning forward to look at my wife. "You tell that bitch that—" 

"I don't want to hear it Thomas," my wife said. "If it’s something you need to go talk to your wife about then talk to your wife." 

"I'll tell her..." Thomas started to mumble under his breath as he walked away. 

"So what did you want to talk to me about babe?" My wife asked. 

"Yeah. There is this article in the paper saying that the Rockwell's were murdered and there's no leads on who did it." I said in a surprised tone. "I can only think that whoever did it is still in our neighborhood. Why aren't police patrolling this neighborhood anymore."

"I doubt anyone is that stupid to kill someone they live next to," Roxanne said as my wife gave a glare in my direction. 

"You're probably right. So where's the food?"

"John is still cooking everything, he says they are about done but that was a few minutes ago," Roxanne said. 

"I'll go ask him." I got up from the bench I was on, picked up my drink and started to head towards John, which was by the grill on his patio. "Good turnout eh John?" 

"Yea. I think I counted forty three people." John was a big guy who was covered with hair other than his head. He had a ball cap on to hide it from neighbors who had recently moved here. He was once in the military but now I think he just does some accounting for the police department. 

"Forty three people? That's a lot of meat!"

"Yeah but I came prepared. It seems like it’s a better turn out each time we have one."

"Well you do make the best burgers in town, what's your secret?" I asked. 

"You really want to know?"

"Yeah, tell me."

"You know the burgers?" He whispered. 

"Yeah, you say it's a secret recipe," I said in a quieter whisper. 

"They aren't beef."

"Oh really? Then what is it?"

"Can you keep a secret?"

"Yeah, sure man. Tell me."

"It's human meat. I'm really a serial killer cannibal." I held my breath trying to process what he had just said and my jaw began to drop.

"Well...human is good I really like it."

"You do? Because I've been worrying that someone is going to notice."

"No one is going to notice." Just then John's wife walked up to us. 

"What are you two whispering about," she said in a whisper as well. 

"I was just telling him that we are serial killer cannibals and that we have been serving everyone human this whole time," John said. 

"Oh? Did you tell him about how we role play while we are killing?" She added. 

"I was just getting to that," John said. 

"So when we go out when we do our thing John dresses up like a woman, with a wig and everything." John busted out laughing and his wife followed, as I was a little bit disappointed to hear that my wife and me were alone. I smiled and laughed along with them but I felt nothing. "John, we have more guests at the front door."

"Oh? And who might they be?" He asked. 

"The two detectives you invited," she responded. 

"Well let them in!" His wife left to come seconds later with detective Cruise and detective Benson. John put down his spatula and greeted the two detectives with a firm handshake. "Burgers are almost done, you're welcome to help yourselves.

"Oh no John, we’re here on business," said Cruise. "We had a few more questions to a few people and we will be on our way." Cruise looked at me. "Is your wife here today?"

"Yeah." I pointed to her across the yard. "She's over there."

"Thanks." Detective Cruise walked across the lawn and pulled her aside while Benson pulled another neighbor aside both with writing pads in hand. I sat on a chair on the patio beside John and stared at her as she glanced over at me appearing to be worried. I started to fume with disgust and wondered if I should make myself a part of the conversation but it would only make the situation more suspicious. Detective Cruise put his hand on her back and turned her so both of their backs were facing me. I wanted to do something so I looked up to John from where I was sitting and watched him as he put the last of the burgers and hotdogs on a series of plates.

"So what are the detectives doing here John?" I asked. 

"Well I work with them. My office is next to theirs at the police station. That and everyone already knows them because they are assigned to the case on the Rockwell's disappearance."

"Do you think it was a wise idea to do that? Obviously they are using the invitation to ask us more questions."

"Yeah, I wasn't expecting that. They said they wouldn't be here for long and most of the time they get their work done rather quickly."

"I hope so because they are really stressing out my wife."

"Oh? And why's that? Wait...her father was a police officer right?"

"Right. In another city though. He was killed on duty and seeing the police gives her horrible flashbacks now."

"She sees a therapist for it?" John's wife budded in.

"She did," I responded.

"Why stop?" She asked again. "She obviously isn't over it."

"Well honey," John interrupted. "Not everybody gets over traumatic experiences."

"I guess you're right." She walked away when a neighbor of hers waved to her that just entered through the gate fence. 

"So how are you?" He asked while leaning against the grill.

"Stressed. The Rockwell's lived really close to us and it’s just a scary thing to think about."

'I hear you. I don't think my wife fully understands what’s going on."

"Maybe she's just trying not to think about it," I considered.

"No. She doesn't understand what’s going on. Honestly she really isn't that bright." He placed his hands over his eyes. "What the fuck am I doing?"

"John you have kids and a home, you can't just leave if that’s what your thinking."

"I'm not. I'm not going to leave I am way too out of shape and settled down to do anything in the bachelors game. Women want young bucks that are aggressive but passionate. Attractive but smart. I am some of those traits but not all of them and that’s what I need to stay in the game. I just sometimes consider what would have happened if I we cut things off when we were young, where I would be you know?"

"What do you think you would be doing?" I asked.

"I think I would still be in the military, that’s if I never met another girl. What I did I was good at and people hated me for leaving."

"You’re an accountant?"

"I guess you could say that. Anyway it’s a boring job for most people and strangely enough I am really good at it. I like math." I gave him a look of disgust. "Hey! You practically do the same thing!"

"No I don't. I deal more with the people than the money and--" Thomas McKinley started yelling at his wife pushing her down on the ground.

"You stupid fucking bitch! If I had my way you would be dead! You hear me? Dead!" The two detectives wrapped things up with the people they were talking to and pulled him aside to give him counsel for his actions. He started yelling again and took a swing at the younger detective and the older one pulled his arm behind his back and put some handcuffs on both of his wrists. As they walked past John and I one of the detectives were reading his Miranda Rights while the other was apologizing to John about the disturbance. My wife hurried to be at my side and got really close to whisper in my ear.

"Babe I'm scared. The detective was telling me that they are now suspecting a couple rather than a single person. They found a fingerprint."


I looked out the door from inside my office to take a glance out the window to see my wife pulling into the driveway. I smiled in relief excited that she was finally home on this beautiful day but her welcome would seem unappreciative. I got up from my desk stacking the last few papers left on my desk and put them carefully in a small basket labeled "Organize". I left the room to open the door to see my wife carrying several plastic grocery bags filled with last minute food and dressings for our meal tonight. She gave me the bags that were currently in her hands and went back to her car to most likely grab some more. I went into the kitchen behind me and placed the bags on the counter to head back to the front door. She passed me carrying the last of the bags in so I closed the front door and followed her back into the kitchen. She slowly took out all the items out of their bags then sat down for a second letting out a rather big sigh.

"Did you put in the turkey?" She asked.

"Yup," I responded.

"Did you make the pasta salad?"

"Yup," I responded again.

"Are the potatoes ready to boil?"

"Yup," I said a third time.

"Did you—"

"Yup! My work is done, the house is cleaned, I called my family, and I even got you a present."

"Good," she sighed again, "wait you got me a present?"

"Yup, I put it downstairs for when you got home."

"What is it?"

"You will have to wait and see."

"Until when?" She asked me with a cute innocent look into my eyes.

"Whenever you want really."

"Can I see now?"

"I guess, if you really have to." I said in a cute way back. She clapped her hands fast and jumped up and down exited to see what it was. She grabbed my hand and walked at a brisk pace to the door that led downstairs and ran down the stairs. I walked slowly hoping that I could see her reaction when I reached the bottom stair and I did. Her jaw was wide open, she was speechless and I walked up to her with a big smile on my face.

"Huh? What do you think honey?" I asked excitingly.

"Where did you get this?" She asked slowly.

"Oh you know, around town." I said with a big smile.

"Aren't people going to be looking around? Someone is going to find out real quick wondering what happened."

"I just thought it was something we shouldn't just leave behind you know? I'll get my share and you get yours just like last time."

"People are coming over in a few hours, we can't just...it's not going to work like that. You have to take it back."


"Now!" Just then the doorbell rang and it echoed through the walls. I looked at my wife and she at me and my stomach felt ill. "No, no, no, no, no! Not now. Babe, upstairs now. Be sure to lock that door behind you." We hurried up the stairs and I locked the basement door so no one could get down. I used my hand to trace through my hair wipe the sweat off my brow. I then walked up behind my wife in front of the door and acted natural. She opened the door to reveal my parents standing on the other side of the door carrying bags of food and wrapped presents for the holidays. Both of them had big grins on their faces and let themselves in while we stood astonished that my parents were together, happy, and not an argument in the air. 

"Sorry that we’re here so early, we were too exited to wait to tell you."

"Tell me what? That you and mom are back together?" I asked. 

"Yes. We have put aside our differences for the better. We know you're tired of all the fighting and we are too, we just want what is best for you." They started unpacking all the groceries and gave hugs to my wife and me but I was ill amused. 

"You have done this before. It didn't work."

"Well that's no way to talk to your father," my mother said, "this time we have really changed, honestly."

"Yea we will see." I said nearly put down. My father walked towards the oven and examined the turkey. 

"Your oven is at three fifty. That dries it out. You need to bring it down to three hundred and cook it longer."

"Well your not cooking are you? I'll cook it however I want."

"But the turkey..." My father has a way to keep his place high and mighty as he looks at everyone else and tells him or her they are wrong. This, of course, was the reason of all the divorces. Even if he were wrong he would never admit it. He would say something like "it used to be that way" or "no you're wrong" but never a "sorry, I was mistaken". In fact I have never heard him say the word sorry in any shape or form because he is always right. I guess he got it from his dad whom in turn I got from my dad and I hate to admit it but I am like him a lot even though most conversations are heated arguments I just tell him no now; that really seems to shut him up. 

"What all did you bring?" My wife asked knowing that the next words out of my mouth were going to be hateful ones. 

"Well, we brought that cranberry sauce that you guys like a lot and we brought the stuffing because we know you won't bother with that. We brought the electric carving knife for the turkey. Rolls, pie, and ale." Taking the ale out of the grocery bag I noticed they got my favorite kind and I grabbed one but I couldn't open it so I gave it to my wife and she opened it with ease. 

"Thank you." She nodded to me with pleasure then helped my mother unpack the last of the things. 

A few hours passed and the turkey was about ready. The potatoes started boiling and everything else was made. I brought down the temperature of the oven as my father requested and everyone got a little more starved as they waited for it to be done. Various people complained about the wait—especially my father—and everyone told him to shut up. As we waited we finished making the rest of the food and played various card games and like always, my father won somehow. 

"How the hell do you do that?" I asked. 

"What? What did I do?"

"You always win at these freaking things and it’s just a freaking card game. It's not like it takes skill or anything because you can only play with the cards you are dealt yet somehow you always win!"

"Whoa now, its just tactics. How I discard and the cards I pick up."

"So how the fuck do you do it?" I did shaking my right hand over the table throwing my cards down. 

"You watch your langua—" my father stopped my mother. 

"Like a magician I never reveal my secrets."

"Bull fucking shit!" I yelled while standing up nearly flipping the table. 

"Baby, you need to calm down!" My wife yelled. 

"Somebody has had enough booze." My father smirked. 

"I have not had enough booze!" I screamed. Just then a sound came from the basement. Something similar to a moan but in a severe case of desperation. 

"What was that?" My father said. 

"It was my stomach, I'm starved." I said. 

"No, it sounded as if it came from below us." My father continued. I stood in astonishment wondering what lie I could come up with that would ease the tension. 

"It's a living—"

"Dog!" My wife yelled. "It's a living dog."

"So you normally have dead ones sitting down there?" My mother asked. 

"No. Ha ha you're so funny, we just worded it wrong." My wife said in desperation while looking at me hoping I could come up with something. 

"Yeah. We found this sick and injured dog wandering in our backyard and were trying to nurse it back to health."

"I'm allergic to dogs." My father grumbled.

"I know. That’s why it's downstairs. To keep away from you."

"Can I see it?" My mother asked. 

"You can't...umm--"

"He's really violent at the moment because it’s hard for him to see, you know how animals are." My wife saved me. 

"Oh I see." My mother sighed. Another moan sounded from downstairs.

"It doesn't sound like a dog," my father said.

"Well it is." I said in disgust.

"Maybe we should feed it?" My wife asked. 

"Good idea!" I yelled. I pushed my chair aside and took out the key to the basement out of my front pocket. I looked back to everybody before I opened the door and looks of worried faces were on my mother and father. Maybe they have changed for the better. Maybe they have changed. All I knew that was if Christmas from a couple years ago happened again then I would never want to see either of them ever again. I closed the door behind me and locked the door on a few locks that were on my side. Walking down the stairs an even louder moan came from my wife's present I ran down the rest of the way and kicked the thing telling it to shut up. It just grunted then moaned again after I kicked it so I kicked it again. "Listen to me, if you let out a single sound one more time I will fucking demolish you. Don't you test me." It looked up to me with its sad eyes wondering why I was doing what I was doing but everything had a reason. Like most religious people say if it happens it must be God's will. I wouldn't know how a loving God could let this happen but life is messed up. I grabbed the muzzle that was on its face and shook it around making sure that it was firm on its face then checked the lock on the cage to make sure it was secure. The chains rattled against the metal and I wondered if this was wrong. "Of course this is wrong," I said aloud and my wife's present looked up to me wondering if I would let it go but I just glared at it and pointed my finger at it, "Don't test me." I walked back upstairs and unlocked the door to see the same worried face on my parent's face, as it was when I first left.

"How is it?" My mother asked.

"It was just hungry, everything's alright now." 

"What are you going to do with it?" She asked again.

"Find its owner I guess," my wife said.

"I would hate to take it to the animal shelter," I continued. "If no one claimed it they would probably put it down."

"If you don't find an owner we will ask around for someone who wants it, no animal deserves to go to a shelter," my father said. My mother and I looked at him surprised that he said such a thing and I concluded to myself that he had changed and maybe things would be different from now on. Yes, the day may just be darker but it sounded all the same. No one would know the difference.

My parents left rather late. We continued to talk about life as we had our Thanksgiving dinner and everyone got along rather well especially me and my father, which was a life-changing event, but the world still sat on its axis and hell is still not as hot as Arizona. My wife and I smiled and laughed as we cleaned the dishes together, tonight was a good night and it was only going to get better. We took our time cleaning until we began to hear the chains rattle from down in the basement and steel clinging, my wife's present was trying to get out but I knew it couldn't. Just then the mood changed. 

"Damnit!" She yelled as she placed her hands on the edges of the counter. "What the hell is that thing doing?"

"Maybe we should address the skeleton in the closet."

"Its your skeleton! What are you going to do with it?"

"Same thing we did last time."

"No, no, no. Not in this house you’re not."

"Why not? We have been waiting for this!"

"I know..." My wife sighed. "We have to let it go though, it’s not time. We're still hot." I looked at her disapprovingly and she shrugged it off.

"It's seen our faces." I said.

"It's seen your face!" She yelled. 

"So were just going to let it go, regardless of what it's seen."

"Yes. It's not like anyone is going to think its you."

"I guess you're right." 

Lovers, in Chains Pt 2

Remember me

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