Category Archives: Arnivor Frost

The Sound of the Silent Man

Jim woke up to the sound of the silent man cracking walnuts open next to his head.
++++The gray haired man with sunken eyes did not pause in his activity or acknowledge in any way that he knew Jim was awake. He just stared at the bound teenage boy intently as he continued to squeeze the handles of the heavy brass nutcracker until the shell exploded and shards sprayed the side of Jim’s face.
++++Jim mumbled against the tape that covered his mouth, not knowing if the man could decipher or even hear his words.
++++“Help me. Untie me.”
++++Sounded like,
++++“Hum muh. Uh hum muh.”
++++Either way, the words went unacknowledged.
++++The silent man didn’t eat the nuts, but piled them on the table next to Jim’s blinking alarm clock.
++++Jim tried biting, then screaming through the tape. Then the man suddenly quit cracking the walnuts.
++++He looked disgusted as he dropped the heavy nutcracker on the table with a clunk. Nuts and bits of shell spilled on the floor.
++++The silent man dropped to one knee next to the bed. He stared intently into Jim’s eyes.
++++The boy didn’t feel like he was being looked at by another human being. He felt like he was being sized up by something that was about to devour him.
++++The next sound Jim heard was the tearing of duct tape. His right arm was free, but he couldn’t feel it. The appendage was numb from being bound for so long.
++++Jim thought it had been a little more than a day since he had been grabbed from the park during his morning jog. But he couldn’t be certain because he had no idea how long he had been unconscious.
++++Before that, it had been like any other weekday morning. He was up before the sun to get in his first five miles before school. It was his favorite time of day; when he could be alone with his own thoughts, planning out his bright future.
++++Jim was already looking past the almost guaranteed win of the upcoming track meet against Morrison West High. He was determined to break some records at the state championship this year. It would look great on his college applications.
++++Then the image of thin legs in shape hugging spandex running shorts came to mind. There were so many hot freshmen girls on the team this year. They were easy lays for the star senior runner who had his face in the local newspaper almost every week during competition.
++++Before his thoughts could segue into the planning of his next sexual conquest, everything went black.
++++The silent man took Jim’s arm and started kneading it with his steely fingers. A prickling sensation rose to the surface of his flesh as the blood began to recirculate.
++++Was this the same person who had grabbed him from behind before everything went black? Why would somebody do that? What was the crazy old bastard going to do to him?
++++The silent man grasped Jim’s wrist then and leaned into him so close that his nose lightly touched the boy’s cheek. He sniffed like a curious dog.
++++Then he ripped the piece of tape from Jim’s mouth. The boy yelped, but he stifled a scream out of fear of angering the man further.
++++The silent man opened his mouth wide then, and pressed his lips against the boy’s neck. It looked so much like a parody of an old vampire film that Jim would have laughed if he had been watching it happen to somebody else.
++++Then he felt the silent man’s teeth press into the flesh on each side of his windpipe.
++++The boy stopped breathing.
++++He believed the lunatic was going to tear his throat out with his teeth. It was a messy way to kill someone for sure, but probably a painfully effective way as well.
++++Jim screamed.
++++The silent man gasped and jerked away. His teeth gnashed together as he slapped the piece of tape back down over Jim’s mouth. He breathed heavily through flaring nostrils.
++++Jim trembled. He cried against the tape. There was a long knife on the table with the walnuts. He would grab it and use it as soon as he got the chance.
++++The man saw Jim looking at the knife. His eyes bulged. He shot a hand to the table and knocked the knife on the floor as he picked up the brass nutcracker that was lying next to it.
++++The silent man pulled the hand that he had freed and massaged back to life. His strong fingers pressed painfully into the hollows of the boy’s wrist joint. Jim tried to pull his arm away, but the man was too strong.
++++He singled out the boy’s index finger then, and wrapped the jaws of the nutcracker around the middle knuckle.
++++Jim screamed against the tape and furiously shook his head as the silent man tightened the serrated vice around bone and cartilage.
++++Hot tears streamed down the boy’s face. He frantically tried to think of what he might have possibly done to this deranged stranger to make him want to do these horrible things to him.
++++Had he cut him off in traffic? Budged in front of him in a line at the grocery store? Had he taken his granddaughter’s virginity?
++++“Why? Whahahahy?” Jim blubbered against the tape.
++++The silent man hitched his elbow up in the air and clenched himself, as if he were about to put every bit of strength he had into squeezing the nutcracker together.
++++He kept the grip as he leaned in close to the boy again and put his lips to the boy’s ear.
++++“Because I can,” the silent man whispered.