Inspired by Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Clue, is my version of Where, What, And Who. I think of these as writing prompts to help get the writing juices flowing. I thank everyone for playing along, and invite you to be inspired by the prompts. Also feel free to suggest a place, an item and a name/occupation. Also I will be adding to this post as I come up with more pieces.
We all knew that Jeff Reese was a little off. He’s always been that loud boisterous attention seeking individual in the office. You know the type, comes in, grabs coffee from the breakroom and always has a ‘you know what happened last night?’ story. It’s always outlandish and embellished, like he hit the neighbor’s cat, thought it was dead so he put it in her trash bin. But it wasn’t so when the old lady took her trash out the next morning the cat leaped out of the bin and attacked her. You know stuff like that.
Or the time he came back from a camping trip in Arizona and he swore up and down that he had seen a little grey alien with long bony fingers in one of the caves. You get the picture. Don’t get me wrong we all like Jeff, he does his job and provides some needed comic relief around the office. Pushing papers all day can get quite mundane.
Now what happened at the office Halloween party, that’s a thing. Our office holds an annual costume party the weekend around Halloween. This year it was on a Saturday night. Everyone came decked out in their favorite costumes, except Jeff who showed up wearing a suit making the joke: ‘I’m an executive.’ We all figured he was just pissed for being passed over on the last promotion that went to Rachel Mccarthy in the administrative assistance office.
No one took much notice of him. The music was loud, the food was outstanding and the Halloween punch was heavily spiked. As the big wigs were getting ready to hand out prizes for the best costumes, the lights went out, there was a loud bang and Jeff came into the room dressed in a skeleton onesie with a pumpkin on his head screaming:
“I am the PUMPKIN KING!”
He attempted to jump up onto one of the desks and failed, falling flat on his back and shattering the carved jack o’lantern that encased his head.
“So yeah that’s why Jeff will be out of the office for the next two weeks, while he recovers from a strained back and slight concussion. I’m Grady Wheeler and I will be handling your account in the meantime. Do you have any questions, Mrs. Hunt?” Maggie Hunt took this all in and said, “No, I’m good, just wanted to know when my next payment was due.”
As acting museum curator, because Mr. Bartlet suffered a stroke two weeks ago, one of Jean-Luc’s duties was to venture downstairs into the basement of the museum and retrieve the boxes for the upcoming exhibit on serial killers that they displayed every October.
The exhibit covered Jack the Ripper, Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy and H.H. Holmes to name a few. Jean-Luc had been putting off this task for about a week, and decided that today it needed to be taken care of. So with a flashlight in hand, he opened the door to the wooden staircase that led down into the museum’s basement.
He flipped the lightswitch at the top of the stairs, and when the light came on, it immediately let out a pop and went dark. “Go figure.” Jean-Luc mumbled to himself switching on the flashlight. He carefully made his way down the rickety old stairs, and into the damp smelling, cinder block basement.
Now Jean-Luc is a rational, educated man, but even rational adults can get scared in dark, claustrophobic, damp basements. Jean-Luc made his way over the boxes that he needed to bring up. He sat the flashlight down upon one of the boxes as he double checked the labels.
The flashlight rolled off filling the dark with a clank. “Damnit!” He said bending down to find the flashlight, as he found the light source he glanced at something that shimmered for a second.
“What the?” Jean-Luc reached for the object, picking up what was clearly a woman’s severed ring finger. The fingernail was painted a dark pink color and wearing a silver band ring with a blue sapphire. “How weird.” He said putting the severed finger into the top of the box.
Jean-Luc picked up the sack of boxes and turned to make his way back up the stairs when a voice caught in his ear. It was a sweet low voice. “Excuse me Sir, I think that’s my ring finger.”
Jean-Luc spun around to face a tall, slender figure of a woman. His eyes widened as he took in her bluish skin tone, long stringy dark hair and ragged red dress.
Stunned he reached into the top of the box and handed her the severed finger. “Thank you.” She said turning and disappearing back into the darkness of the basement.
Jean-Luc walked back up the rickety staircase, set the boxes down, made his way back to the office, sat down, opened the lower right desk drawer, pulled out a bottle of Jack Daniels and took a huge swig.
Juliet turned the photo over in her hand, her eyes fell upon the faded image. Mountains in the background, a body of water, surrounded by tall evergreens. In the foreground, a campsite, with a wooden picnic table, fire pit, a pitched dark green tent and a trio of folding chairs. Seeing that Juliet wasn’t in the photo, she assumed that it was one that she had taken. Paul and James were both in the photo standing around the fire pit holding a beer.
As she gazed at the photo her mind slid back to that lost weekend so long ago. The three of them had planned the camping getaway for Labor Day Weekend. Packing up Paul’s Land Rover and leaving early on Saturday morning they drove out of the city and into the forest, for some much needed r&r.
As night fell upon the campsite, Paul broke out a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey, took a gulp and handed it over to James. The bottle made its rounds a few times before coming to a stop at Paul’s feet. Stories were shared, libations were taken and the trio passed out sitting around the campfire.
Juliet was the first to awake as the sun hit her face. She looked around surveying the damage from the night’s recreation. “James, James, wake up.” She said, shaking his shoulder. “What?” He said half awake. “Where’s Paul? James! Where is Paul?” Her concern sobering up James. “I don’t know?” James said getting up and starting to look around.
There was no site of him. The pair started scouting through the forest heading towards the lake. As they called out for Paul and searched for any trace of him, Juliet asked. “Do you think he saw us?” James shook his head. “I don’t think so. He was snoring like a chainsaw.” James took Juliet’s hand and gave it a squeeze as they approached the waters edge.
He pulled her to him, sliding his arms around her and kissed her. She let out a deep sigh and kissed him back. “I just wanted to know what it would be like. With you.” She said kissing him again. “I know.” He said, hugging her tightly. “Why don’t you go back to the site and start packing up. I’ll look along the shoreline, and then we can drive back and file a report.” James said. Juliet nodded and headed back up to the campsite.
After she was out of site, James pulled a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, lit one and took a deep drag. He wandered along the shoreline till he came to a hiking boot. He reached down, picked it up and hurled it into the lake. Figured I’d missed something. He thought to himself as he headed back up to the campsite.
“Must not forget my shaving kit.” George Allen mumble to himself as he finished packing for his business trip to Ridgeville. He was only going to be gone for four days but wanted to make sure he had everything he needed to be presentable to the board of directors. He was pitching his idea for a new ad campaign, the company had been in the red since February and Mr. Bennet had personally asked George to come up with something that would ‘wow them’.
George finished packing, slipped on his shoes and grabbed his jacket. “Did you get your jacket?” Heather asked as George descended the stairs. “Yes dear, I have it right here.” He said giving her a quick kiss on the cheek. So that Heather would have the car for the week, and since it was a sunny warm day in mid April George chose to walk the three blocks to the train station. “Have a safe trip.” Heather said giving George a kiss on the cheek. “Yes dear.” George said opening the front door and heading out.
He headed down the walk and took a left onto the sidewalk. He started up Orchard avenue, humming to himself as he strolled along. When he got to the top of Orchard avenue he took a left onto Washington Street and headed down hill towards the station. George was about halfway down Washington Street when he felt a sharp pain in the back of his shoulder blade. He turned around seeing a tall skinny man standing behind him as he sunk to his knees from the pain. George is slightly aware as a black cargo van pulls up beside them. The skinny man grabs George around the middle and hoists him into the van.
…All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy
Think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify
Can you help me, occupy my brain?..
Played, as George opened his eyes, he was surrounded by darkness. His head throbbed, he went to move and realized that his hands were handcuffed to the bed posts. Moving his leg he quickly realized that his ankles were shackled as well.
“What the fuck!” He yelled out to the empty room.
The overhead fluorescent lights snapped on, George closed his eyes. “Georgey, Georgey, Georgey.” The tall skinny man said as he entered the basement. George blinked rapidly trying to focus on the voice. “I’m Chad and that’s Dennis.” Chad said pointing over to a heavy set man holding a video camera in the far corner of the basement. “What the hell is going on?” George yelled out. Chad stood next to the bed and placed the end of a leather riding crop against Georges mouth. “Shhhh…” Chad said as he ran the riding crop down Georges body. George became very aware of his nakedness as the riding crop passed his hip and trailed down his inner thigh.
Dennis had moved closer to the four post bed that held George, against his will. Panning the camera up and down his body. Chad raised the leather riding crop, a loud ‘snap’ rang out as he brought it down onto George’s thigh. “Fuck!” George screamed his eyes watering from the sting. Chad and Dennis left the basement, flipping off the overhead fluorescents, once again the music filled the room.
I need someone to show me the things in life that I can’t find
I can’t see the things that make true happiness, I must be blind…
“I Fucking hate Ozzy.” George screamed.
~ ~ ~ ~
“Wakey, wakey, Georgey.” Chad said lightly tapping George’s cheeks with the leather riding crop. George blinked the overhead lights were on once again. Chad came into view, standing over him. He was dressed in a black latex bodysuit, it covered his body from toe to neck. His skinny body looking skeleton like sealed in the latex. There was a commotion over in the far corner, George turned his head. Dennis had knocked over a chair, and set it right. “You ready over there?” Chad asked sounding annoyed. Dennis picked up his camera and nodded.
Chad opened a duffle bag that had been placed on a coffee table next to the bed. He took out a candle, lit it and set it on the end table next to the head of the bed. The musty basement smell was joined by the vanilla scent from the candle. He took out a long, rounded tube with a trigger handle on the end. “What the fuck is that?” George exclaimed. Chad looked over at him grinning. “They call this a human cattle prod.”
George squirmed against the bare mattress. “Knock it off!” Chad said. He pulled out a black whip with multiple long, knotted strands. Chad turned towards the bed bringing down the whip across George’s bare chest. “Fuck!” Chad struck him again, leaving long red streaks. He moved down striking George’s stomach and thighs. George struggled against the handcuffs and shackles trying to avoid the blows. Chad moved back up his body, striking his outstretched arms. Dennis had come closer standing about a foot from the bed.
Chad picked up the candle, he held it over George’s chest, and slowly dripped the hot wax down his red streaked chest. “FUCK!” George screamed. Chad set the candle back down. He picked up the cattle prod, running his hand along the smooth, rounded post.
Chad got on the bed, sitting in between George’s outstretched legs. He ran the end of the cattle prod up George’s inner thigh, stopping next to his balls. He pulled the trigger. George’s whole body tensed up and shuddered. Chad ran his latex covered fingers up George’s inner thigh and over his cock. Slowly stroking it. George tried to move away from Chad’s touch. But there was nowhere he could go. He glanced over at Dennis who was filming, and who definitely had a hard on watching this torture go down. Chad’s stroking increased in speed, squeezing the tip when he got to it. “Fuck.” George said pushing his hips up against Chad’s hand.
Chad removed his hand and pulled the trigger, another jolt rushed through George’s body.
George fell into darkness.
~ ~ ~ ~
George came to with the Prince of Darkness’ vocals screaming in his head.
Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye Aye…
Then he became aware of the warmth that was engulfing his cock. He raised his head looking down his body to find Dennis hungrily sucking his cock. The overhead lights were still off and the music was still playing at full volume. Dennis sucked, licked and stroked as George laid there unable to fight back.
George closed his eyes and let himself cum, filling Dennis’ eager mouth. When he had finished Dennis got off of the bed, walked over to the head of the bed, whispered something into George’s ear and then stuck him in the neck with a hypodermic needle.
George mumbled Dennis’ words to himself as he fell back into darkness.
George awoke to find himself in a motel room, fully dressed with his travel case and jacket.
“What the fuck.” He said sitting up on the bed, his head pounded. He found his shaving kit and some aspirin. He made his way to the bathroom, filled the plastic complementary cup with cool tap water and drowned the aspirin. He stood looking into the cracked mirror that hung over the sink. He unbuttoned his shirt and examined the red welts that covered the upper part of his chest.
George closed his eyes and Dennis’ words seeped back in.
“Don’t go home. Heather knows about Rachel. This is her doing. Don’t go home.”
Heather looked through Shane’s workbench as he was under his 85’ Pontiac trans am. Greasy tools, old playboy magazines, a transmission manual and a can of spam.
Heather picked up the can of spam, turning it over and reading the expiration date. “Why do you have a can of spam from two year ago?” she asked. Shane peaked out from under the car and gave her a smile. “Reasons,” he answered and went back to working on the trans am. She sat the can back down and continued to wander through the garage.
There was an old retro Frigidaire sitting against the back wall. It was turquoise but covered in many years of dust and grime. Heather was about to open it out of boredom when Shane wrapped his arms around her. Pulling her into him, and kissing the back of her neck.
~ ~ ~ ~ Around midnight Shane stumbled into the garage to grab some more beer out of the Frigidaire.
He opened the door and grabbed another six pack. Grinning at the jar that sat on the top shelf, holding Rebecca’s kidney.