I guess I’m not really sure what to write down. These past few weeks feel…It’s just hard to put to words what’s going on. I can hear sirens in the distance. Not much time left now. The police’ll be here shortly. Only one more thing left to do, but first I want to leave some kind of a record. Some testament to what happened so when they look back on this insanity, maybe somebody will know I wasn’t crazy. At least, not completely. I’ll write down the facts as they happened, try and give you a read on my mental state.
My name is Chris. I’m 38, got a decent job as a contractor. Presently on my second marriage. Or, I was anyway. Feels so strange, putting everything in the past tense. My first wife left me for some college kid she met on vacation. It hit me pretty hard. Probably spent about three months at the bottom of a bottle…goddamn I was so fucking stupid. Thought that was the worst thing that could have happened to me. The banging is getting harder, and I’m getting off topic. I’ll start at the beginning of this twisted mess.
Every year I take my family up to the mountains at the onset of fall. My daughter, she always loved the trees when they changed. The reds, the yellows, the oranges…such beautiful colors. I remember thinking to myself how much the woods calmed her down after the divorce. “We should move here someday daddy. Just you and me and we’ll live here forever and ever.” Memories. How random they are. How fragile of a thing it is. But I’m digressing again.
It was on the way back when I noticed a change in my wife’s attitude. Our girl was humming in the back seat and my wife just started snapping at her. Telling her to shut her damn mouth, to be quiet or she was gonna kick her little ass out of the car. It’d be putting it pretty mildly to say that I was shocked. I think I heard maybe about two or three swear words ever go past my wife’s lips.
“Jesus babe, what the hell’s gotten into you?” I asked her.
“Nothing,” she shot back. “Just drive the fucking car.”
There were a few muffled sobs from a confused little girl, but other than that the entire two hour drive was in dead silence. I was too baffled to speak or turn on the radio. Here was a sweet, loving woman whose language never got stronger than a ‘heck’ or a ‘dang’ who suddenly decided to start dropping f-bombs like it was going out of style. I tried to wrap my head around it. Vaguely I recalled them not getting along. June so worried about being replaced by Lilith and vice versa. These things were bound to happen when single parents remarry.
I pulled the car into the garage, still racking my brain for something to say. Man of the house and all. The girls never gave me a chance. Soon as I cut the engine they both flew into the house. I banged my head into the steering wheel and bemoaned my place as a lone man in an estrogen ocean. By the time I stepped inside I heard both bedroom doors slam closed and two sets of small feet stomping around. No way I wanted to deal with that right now. I hoped in vain that the situation would resolve itself and grabbed a bottle of Rebel Yell off the top of the fridge where I hide it.
The first tug of bourbon is usually pretty rough, at least with the stuff I buy. Cheap and strong, that’s how I like it. The following drinks go down smooth and warm you up the whole way down. I put three doubles away while I reviewed our trip in my head.
We’d found a cave in the middle of the woods, one of those ones you have to climb down into. The opening was partially obscured by foliage, but it looked like someone had been in there recently. It was barely wide enough to squeeze myself down into, but my wife tugged me in. She’s always been the more adventurous one in this relationship I guess. The inside of the cave was pretty disappointing on account of how small it was. I just wanted to get the hell out of there; I don’t much like caves and this place had a discomforting vibe about it. Whole place smelled wrong and there were all kinds of weird mushrooms and shit. Wait a sec, I thought to myself. The mushrooms. The mushrooms, of course! The missus had slipped on moss when we were climbing out, and we’d both taken a spill. She’d gotten a face full of fungus, and probably some kind of weird toxin. I don’t know much about mushroom-ology or whatever, but at the time I was betting on that being the case.
The sun had gone down by the time I’d finished my drinking and contemplating. Sooner or later I’d have to confront my girls, so it might as well be while I’ve got a little bit of that Dutch courage in me. I trudged up the stairs and went to my daughter’s room first. She was lying face down on the floor, with her head tucked into her arms.
“I’ll have to swing by Grammy and Pop’s to pick up your bed,” I found myself saying. I’ve always been a fairly private person, keeping all my emotions in, so I’m fairly terrible at dealing with that kind of thing. Either that, or maybe I’d gotten a second hand dose of those spores and it mixed poorly with the alcohol.
“Mommy hates me,” she pouted. She turned up her eyes at me, big as saucers and wet with tears. “What did I do wrong?”
“Nothing sweetie, nothing. Mommy just took a bump on her head this afternoon is all.”
She wrinkled her nose at my breath. “You’ve been drinking again, Daddy.”
“Just a lil’ bit, pumpkin. Now you get ready for bed, and stop all this ‘Mom hates me’ stuff.”
She agreed and I headed over to my bedroom, feeling better about myself. I could handle this. Popping a piece of gum to mask the booze I walked in and flopped down on the bed. My wife rolled over to look at me. I was expecting a furrowed brow and some more harsh words, but to my relief she kissed me gently.
“Sorry about earlier,” she started, but I cut her off. I told her that I knew she didn’t mean any of it and to forget about it. My lovely angel…she gave me a smile that would have melted the ice caps. Then she climbed on top of me and I thought we were all past it.
How wrong I was.
The door to our bedroom creaked open to reveal a tiny figure holding a steaming mug. The smile sharply downturned into a scowl and a loving gaze hardened into contempt. I rolled my love off me and sat up. Bless her heart, my daughter had come in with some tea. She said it was so I didn’t sleep in and miss work because I was drunk. It kind of went to shit from there. Neither one of ‘em liked me drinking, the wife especially. She gave me an earful for a solid hour before I had enough and grabbed a blanket to sleep on the couch.
Things deteriorated slowly. Every time I tried to talk to her about drinking, she pushed it off. Said I was free to do what made me happy, because she damn well would. Those words put me on edge. I wanted to know what she meant by that, and she tried to blow it off like it just came out.
I buried myself in work. We had just started laying foundation in a new development, so there was a lot for me to do. When I wasn’t in the trailer, I was out with my guys putting up frames and laying in pipe. Some of the boys noticed I was distracted and began asking me questions about it. I avoided the questions as much as possible. Never liked talking about that stuff.
Eventually all their prying got to me, and I opened up a little bit to the ones who had been around longest. And I gotta say it totally did not help. The opposite in fact, as I was more stressed out when I left home. Not many of my guys knew I was married and I don’t wear the ring at work for practicality. That comes from being a private person. I don’t think any of them knew I had a daughter though, and that was weird because some of them had been to the wedding. Then they start asking these bizarre questions. Who’s Lilith? they want to know. They think I’m worried my wife is cheating on me because I’m cheating on her and I almost lose it on them. I want to show them a picture but the last picture of me is from high school graduation. I think I’m cracking up, so I left early that day.
I came home after driving aimlessly and found another cup of tea and a note, written in a child’s hand. It helps take the edge off just long enough for me to read the note. Daddy, I had a good day and I hope you have a good day now. I thought you were having a bad day because of all the noise in you and Mom’s room. My blood pressure must have skyrocked so fast I’m lucky I didn’t have an embolism. Then I noticed a man’s sock lying on the ground near the stairs. Immediately my jaw clenched. Fairly certain I cracked a tooth from the pressure. Closer examination revealed it to be one of my socks, or at least the same brand anyway. I asked my wife about it when she got home. Later than usual I thought, but she insisted she always came home at eight. She thought she must have dropped it when she was doing laundry. I called bullshit. Our wash room is upstairs, next to the bedroom. No way that could have happened. Then I bring up the note, and she blows up. She said we don’t even have a daughter together and she’s trying to push her out of the picture.
Right about then is when I slapped her in the face. Hand to God, first time I ever laid hands on a woman. But that was crossing a line. Afterwords, when I looked into her eyes I didn’t see pain or shock or anything they always show in the movies. Well, I did at first. I had to blink, make sure my eyes were clear, but what I saw looked…I don’t know. Her face was so full of barely contained rage and hatred and violence. It was like I had broken through a thin layer of obsidian covering boiling magma, pierced some kind of veil. I shook the unease off later that evening with a fifth of Rebel Yell and a couple of Percocets.
This was our life for about two weeks. Every day was more of the same, though Lilith and June’s fights continued to grow worse. It got harder for me to tell my daughter that her mother didn’t hate her. She was spent most of her time drawing pictures of me and her walking through the woods by our cabin. Wasn’t the first time we went, just the two of us, the most fun I’d ever had? I wanted to say yes. It was on the tip of my tongue but it seemed so far away, a lifetime ago. Wasn’t I happier with both of my girls in my life? At the time it was impossible to say. Between the booze and the pills and the whatever the hell else…call it stress…I had a hard time keeping facts straight. The whole time it felt like I was in a dim haze, and telling right from write was getting difficult, if you know what I mean. I called my friend KC while I was toeing the line between buzzed and drunk on one of my more sober days.
She had gone down to South America to look for chupacabras or something. She was all about that conspiracy crap Roswell bullshit. Always traveling around, looking to prove that some made up animal was real. God only knows how she pays for that. We started off making small talk because I didn’t really know how to explain what was going on. But KC was a good friend, one of the few people I confided in so I just sucked it up and ran over the whole situation.
At first I thought the call got dropped she was so quiet on the other end. She forced a couple of uncomfortable laughs until I got towards the end. When I told her about how my employees had acted she stopped me. Started asking wacky questions. What was my first memory of Lilith? Of June? Honestly I didn’t know. Couldn’t think through the haze. Which one did I like better, and did I think that one or both was manipulating the other? What about other people? How long had I been drinking, and how much? Anxiety washed over me and I told her I was sorry to bother her. KC told me she’d be on the next flight back to [REDACTED], and urged me to…do what? I’ll never know. My wife killed the call.
The next thing I knew she is screaming at me about she knew it, she knew it. The way I’d been acting lately, all the late hours, and now a phone call to a woman who says she is flying in first thing in the morning. Sounded bad, yes, but she had a lot to answer for as well. Plus, she knew KC. Had known her since junior high.
She stormed off and I needed a fucking drink. Fortunately the she-witch had gone upstairs and not into the kitchen. I reached up to my hiding spot on the fridge to grab a fresh fifth, but my fingers found nothing. The night prior I hadn’t gotten too wasted; there had to be something up there. I kept probing until I found a note from my daughter. Daddy please stop drinking. I hate when you and Mommy fight. So precious, my little girl. I kept reading. I think when you and Mommy fight is when the mean men come over. They aren’t very nice to me and I think they hurt Mommy because she is always yelling and screaming.
I stayed at the trailer at work last night. The only reason I even woke up is because I passed out at my desk and the phone went off. Today was the day that KC was supposed to come over. She showed up at the house and obviously I wasn’t there so she started calling around. Originally I was going to tell her to fuck off, I was too impaired to drive, but there was a tremor in her voice. She didn’t feel safe and wanted me to get there as soon as possible. The fear saturating her voice motivated me to get in my truck and floor it back home. I don’t know how I didn’t get a ticket.
There were two cars in my driveway. One was KC’s, but I didn’t know about the other one. I had a good fucking idea though, or I thought I did. I grabbed my tool belt out of the back, pulling a claw hammer out. The solid steel head felt so heavy, heavier than it ever had. I completely forgot KC and eased the front door open, being as stealthy as possible. Each step I crept up I could hear muffled voices getting louder and louder and louder. The unmistakable sounds of sex consumed my world as my grip tightened on the hammer. I’m man enough to admit that tears were clouding my eyes as I closed in on the bedroom I once shared with a loving wife.
Sirens are getting real close now. Figures they’d have had backup. I have to hurry.
Nothing could have really prepared me for what I saw when I opened that door. Secretly I had hoped that they would hear me and stop, attempt to hide it. Something. ANYTHING. Instead, I saw my beautiful wife, my loving spouse, MY. FUCKING. WIFE. Bent over on the bed getting slammed in the ass by an older man with a shaved head while a younger black guy shot a load onto face. Money shot. Perfect timing Chris.
Then she smiled at me with her semen covered face and I reacted…poorly.
The first blow struck the black guy before he could turn around. He staggered forward, grasping at the back of his head in disbelief. I swung again, and I’m pretty sure that broke some of his fingers. They always talk about hearing a crunch sound when bones break in those detective books, but all I could hear was a faint, hollow ringing as the third strike punched into his skull, making a neat little crater of blood and brain.
His buddy tackled me, but I’ve been working construction for 20 years. I threw him off easy enough and did a sort of desperate backswing before he could recover and come at me again. He was yelling for me to back up, but it was too late. The claw hit him in the cheek and I guess this was the adrenaline because I watched it in slow motion scrape up from his cheek and deform the jelly of his eye. I didn’t hesitate, throwing all of my weight into it and driving it in as far as it would go. He made such an awful screaming, and it only got worse when I wrenched the hammer around. I pulled down with all my might, just like removing a tough nail. Took a good chunk of his skull out along with some brain matter and unidentifiable bits of his body. Both of them were still alive but incapacitated. I smashed their genitals into nothingness, then gave them each enough solid whacks to spill their brains onto the carpet.
Then I turned to my wife.
I…god. It was slow. I had wanted to kill those two assholes for taking what was mine, coming into my house and defiling my marriage. But I wanted to…to…hurt her. For doing this to me. Again. I won’t put down the details. I refuse, you can read the fucking coroner’s report if you want to get your rocks off to that kind of thing. Her body was sprawled out before me, twisted to an unnatural pose as she twitched and gurgled through her broken teeth. The hammer slipped out of my hand and I sat down on the blood stained bed, debating what I was going to do next. Something in the corner of the room caught my eye.
It was the walk-in closet. I have never liked such things, but my wife insisted. Specifically, it was the ajar door and corpse inside that caught my attention. I stood up on shaky legs and stumbled over to KC’s body. Steak knives, mine by the looks, studded her chest like some kind of sick modern art display. She had been wearing a [REDACTED] State hoodie, now violently shredded and soaked with blood. Her mouth was frozen open in shock. There was a torn photocopy in her hand. I skimmed through it
The article was from one of those wonky books that she was always reading on the paranormal or supernatural or whatever. It talked about leeches. Not the ones you find in a pond and have to salt off. These were beings that used pheromones and trickery to manipulate the memory and perception of its victims. The article mentioned that they would slip in Native American hunting bands, implanting false memories of being there. Everyone in the party would swear up and down to their tribe that this person had belonged to the village since birth. KC had highlighted a couple of things.
Opposite sex works best. Same sex can sense ‘wrongness’.
Tries to isolate victims and lure them to feeding ground.
Slow metabolism….only hunts once or twice a season.
Uses herbs to enhance natural neurochemical controllers. Alcohol counters susceptibility to suggestion.
And finally a frantically scribbled message. Chris, please you never believe me but you are being fooled it knows I know please please warn somebody then get far away. Please PLEASE try and remember. Think Chris please break through. Ruth was sterile. June d…and it cut off.
Ruth. My first wife. Sterile. Couldn’t be right. We had a daughter.
I looked down at the shattered body of my beloved June. She had quit moving, though blood still continued to pool. Her body shifted, rippled. She was naked. She was clothed. She was angry. She was concerned. She was a whore. She was my wife. And those men were…police. They had not been making a cuckold of me, but investigating a body found in my closet by my wife, desperate to know why her husband had become a drunken pill popper. You idiot Chris, that cop wasn’t telling you to back up. He was calling for it.
Bile pooled in my throat, then ejected from my mouth. Tears poured from my face as I clutched June’s body. Heat escaped so quickly. Already she was cool to the touch. I threw up again. There was no forgiving this. I plucked the revolver out of one of the cops’ belts and put it to my temple, before I heard an angelic voice calling me.
My sweet Lilith.
I trudged down the stairs, numbly swinging the revolver. She was in the dining room, setting the table for dinner. She’d even set out flowers in a crystal vase. There were two plates, two glasses, and two sets of silverware. Lilith looked at me with those big beautiful blue eyes and told me in a sing song that dinner was almost ready and I wanted to pack tonight, then we could move to the mountains tomorrow and be far away from anyone who wanted to hurt us ever again. She just had to get the turkey out of the oven.
Sounded tempting. I kicked her into the open oven without a word and locked the door. There were chains in the truck, so I’ve chained it shut and padlocked it. Dial’s been set to 475 degrees. I figure the cops’ll have something to cut locks but hopefully it’ll buy enough time to roast that bitch well done. She’s a tough one. Still banging on the door even as I’m writing this. I don’t know if the oven’s going to hold much longer. I’ve still got this .38 Smith and Wesson, and the hammer too. I can hear the cops kicking the door in now. Screaming’s stopped. No sound from the oven.
I think everything’s gonna be OK now.
The preceding statement was recovered from the home of Christopher and June Beauchamp on November 28th, 1986. Authorities responding to a reported officer down engaged and killed Mr. Beauchamp in a short gun battle when he opened fire on a patrolman attempting to break open his stove oven. The upstairs master bedroom contained the bodies of Mrs. Beauchamp, Officers Fred Brady and Victor Carswell, and Ms. Kimberly Malone. All the bodies had been savagely attacked, with Mrs. Beauchamp and Officers Brady and Carswell suffering repeated blunt force trauma to the head, chest, hands, groin, and knees. Ms. Malone’s body had been partially cannibalized. The statement from Lilith Beauchamp indicates that her father had forced her to consume part of the body like an animal before attempting to immolate her in his oven. Presently, Lilith has been adopted by Officer Ramon Estrada who was wounded in the attempt to rescue her.
Officer and Mrs. Ramon Estrada have gone missing with their daughter Lilith. The Estradas were last seen in the vicinity of the [REDACTED] Mountains, May 19th, 1987. If you have information regarding their whereabouts, please call [REDACTED].