He sat there crouching down in the wet grass, waiting for his dad to say go. A bead of sweat ran down his back. He followed it in his mind, it made its way between his shoulder blades and down the small of his back. Finally coming to rest at the top of his boxer shorts. Another bead started following the same path down his spine.
He legs felt numb from sitting in the same position for so long. He tried to move his knees to regain some feeling in them, as he felt the damp grass soaking through.
Everything over the last 16 years had led to this one moment and the anticipation was killing him.
He remembered how he had panicked three weeks ago when Dad had discovered the animals. The day had started normal enough. He had got up early to spend some time with the zoo before going off to school.
He went to grammar school, an hour from his house. He chose a book to read whilst he travelled. School went slowly. He had been put up to the year above him, but he still flew through all the work.
He spent every lunchtime in the library. He had few friends preferring the company of books. Walking into the massive room he nodded at the only other bookworm in there and pulled out a favourite book. The bell rang for afternoon lessons before he knew it. Another couple of hours and the home bell rang.
When he jumped off the bus at home, he sensed something was wrong. His dad was always waiting for him when he got home. He walked into the kitchen and looked around for him. Staring out of the kitchen window he saw his shed door was open. Dad has found his zoo. His beautiful zoo.
He felt the panic rise. He was sure his dad would take it all away from him. He wasn’t allowed attachments, that’s why he had kept it secret. His dad would send him away.
He walked towards the shed door, like a condemned man on death row. His mouth seemed to be making too much saliva. No matter how many times he swallowed, his mouth was always full.
He peered around the corner and saw his dad in the middle of the zoo. Turning around looking at all the animals.
“Dad,” he said in barely a whisper.
He waited for his father to start shouting. Instead, his father put his arm around him and called him a chip off the old block. For the first time ever the boy saw real pride in his father’s eyes.
Now here they were, father and son, side by side, about to embark on their first joint venture.
He father looked at the animals, all sewed into their clothes like a scene from Wind in the Willows.
Putting his arm around his son’s shoulders he squeezed him and said, “follow me.”
They had walked side by side into the house. Right through to the other side of the house, where his father’s study was. The study was the only room in the house that he had never allowed to enter.
The boy stood in the middle of the room taking in his new surroundings. Dad’s study was the largest room in the house. Along three of the walls, there was floor to ceiling oak bookcases. The books had been placed meticulously every shelf lined up in size. Spines of a similar colour standing side by side. In the bookcases was a treasure trove of classics and first editions. The boy recognised some of the titles as he scanned the room. He didn’t dare to go and look but made a mental note to check them out later.
The fourth wall held a huge window with shutters on the outside. The boy remembered seeing the shutters from outside the house. He was sure he had heard them open at night, whilst he was in bed. He had never seen them open though.
In the centre of the room stood his fathers oak desk and chair. The desk was large with draws on either side. The top was covered in green leather. Sat on the top was an ashtray with a half-smoked cigar sitting on it. The room had the smell of his father.
The boy stood rotten to the spot, waiting for his father to say something, anything. His dad moved to the corner of the room and unlock an oak cupboard, that had remained hidden until that point.
His father stood between the doors, hidden from view. The boy heard him collecting jars from the shelves. Placing the jars on the desk his father showed him his collection.
He started by explaining how much more fun it was to torture people, than animals. He explained his process to his son.
With that done he turned to the television sat on a bookshelf and pressed play on the video player. The boy watched the screen observing his father killing his latest victim. He could feel the excitement coming off his father as they watched together.
He then led him to the cupboard and showed the boy the range of equipment he used, to torture people.
Finally, he motioned to the jars on the desk. Showing him his amazing collection of teeth. All had been extracted from the victims before they died. All labelled and kept in a jar. Some of the dates stretched back to before the boy had been born. He stared at his father’s collection with awe.
The secret he had been keeping for all those years had finally released itself. At school he has been afraid of showing his true personality, he no longer needed to be afraid. His dad was exactly the same. They were two identical souls, living in different bodies. The torturing of animals, the weird horror dreams at night, they were all perfectly normal. They were a part of his inheritance, as were the colour of his hair and eyes.
He stayed in the study, running his fingers over his father’s weapon collection. Imagining the tales these weapons would tell. The torture they must have inflicted.
He was so engrossed with what his father had shown him he didn’t see him leave the room. His father went to deal with the zoo.
When he returned he explained to the boy that the animals had to be shot. They could never leave any evidence of who they truly were he told his son. Killing people was far more fun anyway.
Father and son, completed the evening burning the animal carcasses and video collection. The videos were no longer needed, they had served their purpose.
Laying in the grass watching the family move around their home, his excitement grew. He could feel it in every fibre of his body. He felt himself start to get hard at the thought of what this evening was going to provide. This their first time together.
Tonight was the night he would make his dad proud. Tonight he would show him that all his teaching over the last three weeks had not been a waste. Tonight was the night that he would become a man.
His thoughts were interrupted as a car drew up on the drive. The tyres crunched on the gravel, sending a small spray up as it moved.
It was one of those old fashion jeep types. It rubbled to a stop outside the house and once again the area went silent. The couple in the car got out and went straight to the front door. They didn’t stop, instead, they let themselves both in without a seconds thought.
He glanced worried at his dad. Would this stop their adventure? Dad smiled at him placing his hand on his son’s knee.
Bending down he whispered into his son’s ear, “best get comfortable buddy, it could be a long night.”
The young prodigy shifted his weight, trying to get some warmth into his bones.
Ten minutes later, they both heard the front door open again. There was the murmur of voices talking. Doors then slammed and the rumbling noise started up again.
As he peered out from his hiding space, behind the bushes, he saw the car with an elderly couple in it leaving. He looked in the direction of the house and saw the man of the house shut the door.
The house was a modern design with a modest drive. The lights through the curtains on the left flickered. Possibly from a television, the boy thought. Upstairs were two windows with heavy curtains pulled across. The bedrooms by the look of it. The fun design on the curtains to the right suggested a children’s bedroom. Around the house was a thin flower bed that had been planted with bright coloured pansies. The drive ran down the side of the house with the grass to the side of it. At the bottom of the garden were a number of thick bushes. Segregating the house from the property next door. It was behind these bushes the pair were hiding.
After the car left Dad waiting a further ten minutes making sure everything was quiet.
All a sudden he tapped his son on the shoulder and sprang across the lawn. The boy followed his father, trying to work the feeling back into his legs. They both kept low hoping to avoid being seen from the windows. Keeping below the window line the pair crept around the side of the house to the front door.
Without stopping his father charged through the front door. The boy heard the wood splinter as the lock popped. The pair were stood in the hall. The hall was modestly decorated and contained various coats and a small child’s bike. The boy was right there was a child here. This was going to be even more fun than he imagined.
Coming off the hallway was two open doors. The first leading to the lounge, the second to the dining room, where the couple were having dinner.
The couple looked up surprised. It looked like they were sharing a romantic meal. Take-away cartons were laid out over the table, with two glasses of wine beside them. The empty bottle from the wine sat the opposite end of the table. Too far for anyone to grab the boy guessed.
His father took no chances, in one fluid motion, he hit the guy hard and grabbed the woman. Clamping his hand over her mouth, he shoved her to the ground. The boy retrieved the tape from the bag and wound it around the woman’s mouth.
With her husband out cold she started to struggle. His father walked up to her and pressing a point on her neck until she sagged into unconsciousness.
It took the father ten minutes to get both of the couples taped to a chair. He secured them in separate rooms. One in the lounge, one in the study. They then both checked the house. Both were a little disappointed when they found no trace of the little girl that lived there.
All the time the father talked through the procedure with his son. He was like an audio instructional manual. His son followed him around, mental taking notes of everything his father said. He had done well at school, but on this subject, he was going to excel.
Once the couple were secured, with both their mouths taped the father brought them both round.
Seeing the fear in the eyes of the couple, made the father and son duo come alive in a whole new way.
In the lounge the father placing the bag down in front of them both and opened it.
“Pick three son.”
The boy chose three tools he had used before with his zoo. The stick was the solid kind and reminded him or a fat walking stick. The blade, a kitchen knife had been used to cut the flesh of cows as much as humans. Finally, he chose a screwdriver. He smiled when he remembered his father’s screwdriver collection in the garage. He had always wondered where this one had gone. He thought for a while he had lost it whilst fixing his bike. He never mentioned it to his father, in case he had lost it. Least he knew where it had disappeared to now
After selecting his tools his father took him into the study where the woman was tied.
The study was comfortable looking. It had a desk to the side of the room. The owner of the desk was not too good at filing. Bills and sheets of paper were scattered over it.
The chair from behind the desk had been moved to the centre of the room and now contained the struggling female.
In the other corner was a large leather chair which looked like it had seen better days. Stacked around it we’re several books. Each laid at a different angle with pieces of paper sticking out like bookmarks. The boy wanted to go and look at the titles but knew his father wouldn’t approve.
“She is for you son, you will never forget your first so have fun. Make sure you take your souvenir and watch for the moment when the pain gets so bad, her soul leaves her body. Then you know you have mastered the torture.”
“Where are you going?” His son asked.
“Next door to have my own fun with her husband,” he chuckled.
As the door closed, the boy looked at the instruments in his hands and smiled. A boy in so many peoples eyes, but an apprentice in his fathers. Now was his time to make his father proud.
He laid them out on the desk, sweeping the papers onto the floor. He touched each tool individually before making his first selection. He selected the screwdriver.
He remembered a lovely Saturday spent with a golden retriever a month ago. He had found the dog down the local park. His owner must have let him off the lead and lost him. The boy had lured him back with some ham sandwich he had left from school. The dog had wagged his tail and licking his hand, right up to the moment he had pushed the screwdriver into its left eye. Once he had finished experimenting with the dog he had picked a nice waistcoat for the dog.
He walked towards the woman with the screwdriver. He decided to start throwing it from one hand to the other. He thought that this would make him look cool. Add to the act for the woman.
The woman started to whimper and cry as he approached her. Hearing the woman in such anguish, he felt his excitement grow. He looked down at himself. When he looked up, the woman was looking at him. He caught her eyes and smiled.
He kept smiling as he started to touch her knee with the screwdriver. He saw her try to force her legs together. Her eyes never left his face. There was defiance behind that stare that he didn’t like. Still trying to take back the control he chuckled to himself.
The thought of going near anyone that old repulsed him. Rape was not part of their MO, plus he could have his pick of silly blond girls if he wanted.
He admired the woman, many would have offered everything to improve this situation. This woman had stuck to her principles even when faced with the worse horror she could imagine. She had remained faithful to her husband.
“I’m looking to go a little higher than that, with this,” he said.
He raised the screwdriver to her eye. He was pleased to see his hand didn’t shake. He could feel his heart racing and hear the blood flowing through his veins. He anticipated the moment of forcing the edge through the soft eye tissue.
He put one hand over the end of the screwdriver resting the point on the eye. Getting ready to give enough pressure to pop through the viscous layer. Taking a deep breath he moved to strike.
Just then, the moment was interrupted by screaming, tortured cries. Although, the boy knew this was the male it sounded more like a wounded animal. The cry’s were long and piercing. His father had started to play
The woman recognised the sound of her husband and started to cry. The tears ran down the screwdriver and onto the boy’s hand. With annoyance, he snatched his hand away wiping them in his jeans.
The screams and garbled cries echoed around the house. Every new one was louder and more intense.
The boy loved the sound and bathed in it like it was a fine orchestra, he swayed to the music. Standing stroking the screwdriver over the woman’s face he listened. He listened to the screaming from the other room and the whimpering woman in front of him. The boy got higher and higher.
As the concerto went on the screams seemed to soften into whispers from the room next door. As soon as it had started, the sound seemed to stop from the other room.
The boy awoke from his trance and looked at the now petrified woman and the screwdriver in his hand. It was his turn to be the conductor of his own orchestra.
“My turn for fun now,” he laughed.
The door opened to the study and in came his father. He was covered in blood and smiling a wide happy smile. In his hand, he carried three teeth. Walking over to the bag he took a jar out and added the teeth to the liquid.
He looked at his son and then at the woman sitting in the chair crying, but unhurt. The boy tried to avoid his father’s gaze as shame washed over him.
Bending over the bag his father raising the pistol and put a shot straight between the woman’s eyes. The boy watched the light fade from her eyes in horror.
“Come, son, not everyone can kill on their first time. We have to go, never spend more than 30 minutes in a house, you know the rules.”
“But Dad, I could have done it. I was distracted by the beautiful noises from the other room.”
The boy was sure that he had only listened to the music for a short time. He was sure he had more time. He was angry with himself for mucking up his first trip with his father. His cheeks glowed red with the shame of failure. He packed his tools into the bag.
“Next time will be better, I promise you. Give it time you will get better. You will enjoy making your own music, far more than listening to mine.” His father smiled down at him, putting a reassuring hand on his shoulder. “We have to go, get your stuff.”
The boy didn’t believe it at the time, he was too upset at his failure. He felt awful, he had let his father down. His father was right though, he did get better with time. Soon he was enjoying himself and making his own music.