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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Death · #2292991
Michael would do anything for Natalie, even if it cost him everything.
The hatchet was her idea. Just like the fire and the shotgun.

Of course, who would believe him?

The males always influenced the females, not the other way around. As his gaze met her laughing brown eyes, he understood she wasn’t like any other female alive.

Natalie pointed at her father’s kneecap. Michael obediently brought the blood-slicked weapon down, inwardly cringing at the juicy “shlunk” it made on impact. Long dead, Natalie’s father had already lost his other leg to the bonfire.

His back burned and his shoulders ached but certain things needed to be completed. The hatchet swung down again and he shuddered. This was far from the night he’d planned with beautiful Natalie.

Yet, when she touched his arm and urged him to help her, he couldn’t say no.

Now, he was a murderer and she. . .

She was clapping her hands and giggling.

“Nat,” he said.

Her eyes narrowed. With a shake of her head, she silenced him as quickly as he began.

Though blood soaked his clothes, made his hands feel tacky against the wooden handle, she didn’t have a drop on her. If someone walked in on the scene now, they would think only he was guilty. The fear of being fingered as the killer didn’t keep him continuing the grotesque chore.

No, his gaze flicked up to her gleeful expression. His heart fluttered in his chest at her happiness. Even at the cost of his soul, he would do what she asked.

The dead man’s leg disconnected at the knee. Like a piece of garbage, he discarded it in the fire. He moved to the hip, just as she pointed.

The red, gleaming weapon smashed down again. Another laugh danced out of her.

Her voice, in a sing-song rhythm, said, “Oh, who’s paying now, Father?

Michael couldn’t stand it anymore and turned to her. Trying to keep his voice steady, he asked, “Natalie, why are we doing this? Why are you making me do this?”

Natalie stepped towards him. The fragrance of sweet lavender bathed over him, drowning out the pungent odor of burnt flesh. Her favorite perfume, lavender, always made his knees feel shaky and his head spin. Her eyes lowered to the ground for a moment before she brought her gaze back to him.

“Because I couldn’t do it.”

Her words punched him in the gut. He stumbled back and bumped into the table her father lay upon. He murdered her old man, because she couldn’t do it?

“So, you’re a coward who manipulated me into doing your dirty work,” he choked out, his hands tightening on the hatchet handle. So much anger coursed through him. What was wrong with him?

Originally, her abusive father drew his ire, but now, his rage surged at the young beauty. He bit his lip in an attempt to quell his fury.

The technique failed.

With a roar, he raised the small ax over his head. Mad with frustration and guilt, he brought it down, right on her head.


One second she was about to be dead meat and the next, she stood at his side.

“How did you?” he asked, but she pointed her finger back at her father.

Numb and disoriented with confusion, he obeyed. The sharp edge made another solid cut into her father’s hip.

Long after his body ached and screamed for mercy, he continued using the hatchet into the night. He chopped away when the blade became dull, tearing through muscle and bone, tossing the bits into the searing heat of the fire. When the task was completed, he watched the flesh of the old man bubble and burn away, leaving chunks of bone behind. He didn’t feed the fire any more logs. It settled into ash, just like Natalie instructed him.

Once the fire burned down into smoldering charcoal, he reached in with the edge of the dull weapon. He nudged the bone pieces out. At this point, he wasn’t worried about identification. The shotgun blast destroyed the jaw but Natalie still wanted him to dump the remains.

“When will you let me stop?” he asked.

“When it’s finished.”

His gaze dropped in frustration. All he had wanted was a date with her, but now, he was toting her father’s bones to the stone quarry.

The hike through the trees felt like miles.

Eventually, they stood at the edge of the deep pit, staring down the straight edged rock walls. The water reflected darkness and rippled stars. One by one, he tossed the scorched limbs out, one by one. They listened to the distant splashes after each one.

By the time the last rib hit the water, her giddy expression changed into something more thoughtful.

“Is it done now?” he asked.

The distant expression decorating her pretty face slipped once more into a smile. She said, “Come back tomorrow. My mother will be home from her trip.”

Michael’s heart sank into the pit of his stomach. He didn’t want to come back. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to see Natalie again. As he stared into those pretty blue eyes, he knew he would.

The eastern sky turned a soft gray as the sun’s rays began to tease it. When she saw the dawn shift, she leaned over and kissed his now blood crusted cheek. Her fingers brushed the top of his hand. Lavender intoxicated his senses, making him want to stay with her forever.

Sadness touched her eyes, such immense grief. His heart ached, what he would give to make her smile again. She pulled away from him, stepping back into the shadows of the trees, and disappeared out of sight.

He strained to see where she went, but her presence was gone.

Michael looked down at his ruined clothes then back at the now pink horizon. She needed him tomorrow, he couldn’t disappoint her. Maybe she wouldn’t insist on the hatchet this time, let him use something more efficient.

He would be back.
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