the short story project


Fred Rohleder

Home Sweet Home



Fred Rohleder

Dark Daydreams Press 2018©



            I was once again sitting in the dark, I had done that a lot since the funerals. Just sitting, thinking and waiting. Trying to figure out who the bad guy was. Was it the low life criminals who targeted us because we were better off than most? Or was it the Cops who failed to catch the scumbags who did it. Maybe it was my fault for thinking we were safe in our own home.

             I was mostly just waiting, but I had one of those songs you can’t get out of your head days. I had been chasing it all over my brain, Da da de da da da…da da de da da da. Suddenly I heard someone try the door handle. My asshole puckered up at the promise of combat. I was ready with my double barrel side by side sawed off 10 gauge, the left barrel had buckshot and the right had a deer slug. There were 9mm hollow points in my handgun, ceramic plate tactical vest front and back and a couple of stun grenades just in case shit got hairy. I also had a 13-inch hunting knife sharp on both edges. The .357 backup piece on my ankle was for last resort. There were also a variety of zip ties, rope and duct tape in a bag by my feet. I wasn’t here to fuck around, I was here to make some dead bodies.

             I hoped it wasn’t the cops at the door, I hated killing them, but we all played the cards we are dealt. It didn’t matter if it was the cops at the door they were just as guilty as the criminals. The handle rattled a few more times then stopped. I knew this was some kind of signal for the hooker, I had purposefully left the bolt open, just locking the knob. The doorknob lock had been forced so many times that you could open it with just a jiggle. I knew I had tried it when choosing this room. It worked like a charm. The shower was on super hot filling the bathroom and now most of the room with steam. The hooker, who I had killed an hour ago was on the side of the bed closest to the door with a pair of men’s shoes and some men’s clothes on the floor in front of her. Their plan puts the hooker in the shower post-coital and I was supposed to be under that sheet. Instead, I was in the closet waiting for my quarry to get into position.

            The window in the bathroom was being pried open about the same time as the front door swung open wide. My adrenaline was pumping and my heart was like a freight train. No matter how many times I did this, it was always like the first time. I waited in the darkness of the closet, it smelled of mold or mildew or whatever the fuck these cheap motel closets always smell of.  The guy at the front door rushed to the room and started beating what he thought was me under the covers, with a bat. Thug #2 finally made his way thru the bathroom window and jumped on the dead hooker under the sheet and almost got hit by Thug #1 swinging a big behind the back, overhead swing. If he hadn’t hit the ceiling fan he would have killed #2. 

            “Jesus Christ mother fucker you almost hit me you fucking idiot,”  Thug #2 said, “What are you fucking blind?” Thug #1 asked, “You fucking see me working here?!”

            “Whatever bitch, just watch your shit!’ said #2

            “Don’t fucking call me a bitch asshole!!!” #1 shouted, “I fucking told you about that before, don’t make me tell you again!!”

            This was going to be pretty easy as long as it was just Laurel, Hardy and the dead hooker in on this. I had a clear shot out of the closet and could probably take them both with the buckshot at this range, but I wanted to wait and be sure they didn’t have reserves lurking outside. It had happened before and instead of exterminating some cockroaches I found myself in a firefight with 4 men instead of two. That’s when I started carrying the stun grenades. 

            I waited till they had stopped beating the dead hooker to a pulp to make my move. They were pulling the now bloody sheet back when the shotgun sprayed buckshot at the both of them. I am not sure what surprised them more, pulling back the sheet and seeing the dead woman or me unloading from the dark depths of the closet with the buckshot. I got the both of them with the spread of the first shell. It completely took down Thug #1, who fell behind the bed. I also wounded Thug #2. It looked like one of the projectiles had grazed his neck, a graze is always better than a bullet hole but, unfortunately for him, it grazed over his jugular too, opening up a pretty steady blood flow. I didn’t hear anything from Thug #1, perhaps he was dead too? Well, he was definitely not a threat at the present time. I always wondered what was the pivotal event that led them here, dead in a cheap motel room that smelled of piss and sweat. I then let #2 have the deer slug in the face, after that I bet even his mother wouldn’t be able to identify him.

            Before exiting the closet I loosened my hunting knife in the scabbard and led with my 9mm. Keeping an eye on both the front door and the bathroom and walked over to where #1s body should be When I got there. there was genuine fear in #1’s eyes. I scanned the room and moved to close the door they had left open. Seeing the room was clear I pulled the knife and holstered the gun. #1 was crying at this point and sobbing something like the usual things these tough guys try to say at the end. 

            “Dob kills me pwease!” he gurgled out blood with his words.  “I hab money, anb drubs.” he continued. It was hard to understand him because one of the buckshot had split his lower lip and taken out a few teeth but I had heard it before. Of course, I would kill him then rob him, that’s how I financed this little party. I stared at him like I was looking at some kind of bug a disgusting cockroach or slime mold. His kind had killed my life and now I was going to end his miserable life. Revenge was all I had left at this point. It was the only thing that cooled the burning in my soul. He wasn’t the exact one who did it, but any of these vermin would do. I reached under the bed to get the Tyvek jumpsuit I had placed there earlier in the evening. I had bought an entire case of them on Amazon and this was the last one I had left.  I needed to try and remember to reorder some. Slipping into it reminded me of when April and I had first bought the house. The house she would die in at the hands of this type of scum. 

            They had broken in when I went out for Sunday Chinese food. They must have been watching the house and getting to know our patterns. They were pros.  I can still smell the smoke from that night. They had waited till I was gone and then gone in military-style some at the front and others coming in the back. They tied her and raped her then robbed us. They left her alive when they set the house on fire and the coroner said she was alive up till the end. Everyone was very sympathetic at her funeral. The cops were typically unhelpful and after months and months, they still had no answers or leads. I emptied our accounts and cashed the insurance check we had received for the house. I then hit the road hunting.

            These assholes were not my first or my last. The hooker had been working with them earning her place in the death club.  I had watched them for weeks. The hooker goes to a hotel with some stockbroker, insurance salesman or whatever.   She would perform her duties then go into the shower while the mark would wait to be bludgeoned to death for his valuables. 

            I could see the fear in #1’s eyes as I finished putting on the suit.  He was still protesting “no, no, no”  when I plunged the knife in his eye and scrambled what little brains he had. Once he stopped jerking around, and he was a fighter,  I took his ear and then one from the hooker.  I had to search around in the goo that used to be #2’s head to find something that looked like an ear but eventually found it. I arranged the bodies the best I could. Taking their money, drugs, and guns to make it look like some fucked up robbery gone bad, although a competent medical examiner would notice all three missing an ear, I don’t think that would be a problem around here, all kinds of bodies accumulating night and day. I’m pretty sure these three would get a cursory once-over and then out the door.

            I threw my gear and bag out what was left of the bathroom window.  Washed my boots, knife, and hands in the still running shower.  I let it run and followed my gear out the window. I was wearing all black tactical gear and had put my ski mask on before diving out. There were no witnesses I could see and most likely no one in this neighborhood would be interested in talking to the cops. My truck was parked about 2 miles up and I had a good sweat worked up when I reached it. Everything went but the nine went into the toolbox and I went in the cab. Where to go? North to New Jersey? South to Baltimore? West to Vegas? Maybe Vegas next time now I headed to Baltimore. I had heard West Side was a real fucking shit hole.


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