Category Archives: Zach Wilhide

Trunk Or Treat

Listen instead!
Listen instead!

About twenty minutes ago I hit that no- good cheating bastard Randy Leeman with a meat tenderizer. I’d had my suspicions for months.  Mysterious phone calls, evasive answers and the scent of another woman, all the signs were there.  It took some snooping, but I finally tracked him to his cousin’s trailer shoved in the corner of a scuzzy trailer park.
+++++I pulled up right as his slut was leaving. Through the dust and gravel I was only able to make out a brunette head in a blue Mazda. I rang the doorbell; like I was his whore and I’d forgotten something and I was trying to be cute.  This piece of shit answered the door stark naked.  I punched him in the face and we fell inside the cramped trailer.  Sometime during this fracas I wrapped my hand around the tenderizer and hit Randy upside his cheating head. The clunk of the hammer smacking flesh felt like an orgasm.  Problem was Randy’s eyes went blank and blood started gushing. I’d been mad as hell when I saw that woman leave and I’d been mad as hell when Randy answered the door, but I swear I hadn’t been murder- the -bastard mad.
+++++I’ll admit I panicked a little bit. Sure, I could call the cops, but my family was mad enough I’d put off school to marry Randy.  They’d be fit- to- be- tied they found out on the evening news that I’d done gone and killed him.
+++++I opened the trailer door and took a long look around. Nothing. Luckily it was the middle of the afternoon on a pretty Halloween Sunday. Everyone was either hunting, watching football on TV or preparing for Halloween. I grabbed his keys sitting on the counter and I slid my hands under Randy’s naked arm pits. It took me almost twenty minutes to get his ass over to his car.  I opened the trunk with his body precariously balanced on my knee. Thankfully, it didn’t take me nearly as long to dump Randy’s body in the car.  I covered him up with some jackets and blankets he kept in case the Appalachian weather turned treacherous.  Fighting my instincts, I didn’t hit the gas Dukes of Hazzard-style.  I drove out of the trailer park at a normal speed.  No need to give anyone a reason to notice me.
+++++I drove for a while, aimless, just trying to process what I’d done. A few miles down the road the adrenaline started dying and I began swerving onto the gravely shoulder.  On the second swerve the steering lurched to the right and I heard a thumping sound.  Fuck! A flat was the last thing I needed.  I spotted a church up a ways and pulled into the parking lot.  As soon as I shut the car off my eyelids started to get heavy and I fell into a hard sleep.  I awoke to a knocking on my window and a plump face framed in red hair.
+++++“You ok, honey? Looks like you got a flat.
+++++“Wh-what?” I asked, trying to shake off my nap.
+++++“Your tire is flat…and your hands. Are you here for the Trunk or Treat?”
+++++“Wha—Yeah,” I said, looking at Randy’s dried blood on my hands. “Just part of my costume.  Halloween and all.    I was on my way to get some candy and I got this flat.  Figured there’d be people to help here.”
+++++“’Course, honey. We’ll help you once we get all set up.  You’re in a good spot right now so I’ll send  one of the men over once we get a bit more situated. Great costume!  Really gruesome! ”
+++++I flashed a weary smile and the woman scurried off toward a makeshift pile of hay bales. Over the next hour or so the parking lot filled up with minivans and pick-up trucks.  People busied around decorating their cars with hay, scarecrows and other Halloween-type stuff.  A few of them were dressed up.
+++++So as not to look suspicious, well any more suspicious than I already did, I popped the trunk and began tucking the jackets and blankets around Randy’s body. I left the head wound visible.
+++++“Wow, that’s amazing! It almost looks real,” said a woman dressed like a skeleton as she walked toward me, her hands full of bags of candy. “Brandy told me you was needing some candy.” She thrust three family-sized bags of mini-candy bars at me.
+++++“Thanks.”
+++++“That’s no problem, sweetie.   I have plenty.  Brought a bunch for the kids.”
+++++I tore the bags open and covered Randy’s body in Baby Ruths, Snickers and Three Musketeers.
+++++The kids started to show up as the sun dipped further down behind the mountains. Ole Randy got his fair share of “oohs” and “ahhs.”  Kids giggled as they reached for the candy and grazed Randy’s bare hands and feet.  A few skeptical parents gave me disapproving glances, but overall Randy and I were a hit. About eight-thirty the kids started to get sleepy and it looked as though things were starting to wind down. Everyone’d been having so much fun no one had come by to check on my tire.  I wasn’t going to take any more chances.  I threw the keys in the car and locked the doors.
+++++In all the commotion of packing up no one noticed me disappear into the woods behind the church.  Looking at the dried blood on my hands in the moonlight and picturing Randy still contorted in the car’s trunk covered in candy, I smiled.  All things considered, it had been a pretty good Halloween.

Bogus Deal

My tires crunched onto the gravel driveway just as the late summer sun was starting to set behind the Appalachian Mountains. I opened the trunk and pulled out the shit-green duffel bag, pissed off about the fact that carrying it up to the house was only going to make me sweat more.
+++++Burke was sitting on the porch, drinking beer. He reached into a tattered cooler and threw me one. I greedily drank it and collapsed onto an old hanging rocker. My clothes started to cling to me like an unwanted second skin.
+++++“You’re late. Any trouble finding the place?” Burke asked with a whisper of a grin. Small drops of beer fell from his mustache darkening his shirt.
+++++“Some better directions would have helped, considering it took me two god damn hours to get here. Half of these roads weren’t even marked,” I said, wiping sweat off my face.
+++++“Well, I’ll keep that in mind for the future. Let’s say we get on with business.” Burke handed me a banded stack of twenty-dollar bills from next to the cooler. “What do you think?”
+++++I took one of the bills out of the stack and held it up to the porch light. Andrew Jackson stared back at me. The dead president was calm, confident and slightly off- centered. Tiny blue and red strands were peppered throughout the currency. The Federal Reserve seals were sharp and the serial numbers were crisp.
+++++“You weren’t kidding about the quality. This is some of the best queer I’ve ever seen.”
+++++Burke harrumphed proudly and took a swig of beer.
+++++“I assume you have more?” I asked.
+++++Burke quietly pulled himself off the porch chair and ambled his lanky frame into the dark front doorway. I followed with the duffel. The inside of the farmhouse was dimly lit by an old oil lamp, its shadows distorting the room. Burke led me further into the house and down a flight of stairs into the basement. He pulled the cord on a single light bulb. The light illuminated several tall stacks of banded fake twenty-dollar bills.
+++++“Here it is,” he said.
+++++I let out a low whistle and set the duffel down with a thud.
+++++“How’s thirty cents on the dollar sound to you?” Burke asked, finishing off his beer and throwing the can in the corner.
+++++“I think I have a better offer.” I reached into the duffel bag and retrieved a sawed- off shotgun. “Tell me where the printing plate is and I won’t paint this shit farmhouse with your brains.”
+++++Quick as a rattlesnake, Burke reached under the table and pulled out a nine-millimeter. He got two shots off before I realized what happened. The first shot hit the wall behind my head. The second got me in the right shoulder, knocking me back. I hip-fired the shotgun and destroyed his left leg below the knee. He went down and his gun fell out of his hand. It bounced over next to his beer can. I bent down and started packing the stacks of bogus cash in the duffel. Once the bag was mostly full I went over and asked Burke where he was hiding the plate, getting close to his ear so he could hear me over his own screaming.
+++++With a bloody hand, Burke gestured over to a cabinet on the other side of the basement.   I walked over and opened the cabinet door. The printing plate was inside.
+++++“Thanks.”
+++++“I’m going to fucking kill you for this,” he whimpered.
+++++“No… you’re not,” I said. I blew his head off with the shotgun, dousing a few remaining twenty-stacks with his blood.
+++++I slid the shotgun in between the money bundles in the duffel and winced as I threw it over my wounded shoulder. I grabbed the oil lamp as I passed through the living room. Outside, I dropped the duffel in the trunk and pulled out a can of gasoline. I doused the house, pulled a beer from the cooler on the porch and threw the oil lamp into the dark living room. Wiping off my forehead with a dirty forearm, I watched the farmhouse burn and opened the beer. The beer tasted good; earthy with a rich flavor.

Eating Dirt

Overgrown willow branches slapped me in the face as Cole gave me a boost into the back window of Old Man Gibbons’ trailer.  I reached back through and pulled him into the musty smelling bedroom, clutching his sweaty hand with all the strength of my fifteen-year old forearm.   We tip-toed through the room and snaked our heads around the bedroom’s door- jamb to make sure the Old Man hadn’t heard anything.  About thirty feet in front of us, he sat meekly sprawled in a tattered recliner, empty Budweiser bottles standing sentry around him. Snores punctuated the shrill voice of a hyper salesman on some late-night infomercial.
+++++I pulled out a pen light and handed it to Cole.
+++++“Alight man, he’s asleep.  Let’s start looking.”
+++++“I don’t think we should be here, Ory?” Cole hesitated.  “I hate those Helm brothers too, but this is some serious shit. What if we get caught?”
+++++“Do you see that old fat bastard passed out in that recliner?” I asked.
+++++“Yes.”
+++++“He look like he’s getting up any time soon?”
+++++“No.”
+++++“Do you like eating dirt?”
+++++“No.”
+++++“Then quit being a pussy and let’s see if we can find that gun. Old Man was in the army for like twenty years or some shit.  Gun’s in here. I can feel it.”
+++++As me and Cole looked through the bedroom I thought about Sam and Mike Helm.  Those two pudgy fucks lived with their meth-head mom a few trailers down from me.  The Helm brothers’ favorite hobby was tormenting us smaller kids in the trailer park.  Usually, Mike would sit on your back, while Sam would shove handfuls of dirt in your mouth.
+++++A few days ago I was hanging out with this pretty new girl named Crystal when Mike speared me from behind, threw me into a puddle and forced my head deep into the wet ground.  When I pulled my face out of the muck, I saw Sam’s lazy eye, unfocused and droopy, staring back at me.   Sam’s laughter paced the pounding in my temples.  Crystal mumbled something about seeing me later, turned around and walked away.  “Guess she’s looking for a real man,” Sam said.  I just stood there shaking, my face covered in shit, angry tears tracing their way through the red Virginia mud.
+++++The Old Man farted and startled me out of my daydream. The force of the fart shook the chair’s springs and the bottles clanged together.  My chest tightened like a vice.  Holding my breath I looked out into the living room and saw his wrinkled face still placidly snoring, serenely covered in the blue hue of the TV.
+++++“You find anything yet?” I whispered.
+++++“Yeah, I think so.”
+++++In his hands he held a busted up blue shoe box.
+++++“Sweet, let’s open it,” I said, putting the box up on the rough and dirty bedspread.
+++++Inside we found a rolled up wad of twenties, an old 9mm, and a fully loaded magazine.
+++++Cole greedily grabbed the wad of cash and shoved it into his pocket.  I raised an eyebrow. “I just don’t like the gun part of this,” he whispered.  “This cash will buy me a whole shitload of weed.”  He put his fingers to his lips and pantomimed smoking a J.
+++++“Whatever, I’m only here for this,” I said, holding the gun up to the tiny flashlight, the glint off the barrel bright as a dying star.  I slid the magazine into the gun, wincing at the audible click.
+++++“Ory?” Cole asked.
+++++“What?”
+++++“Do you still hear the Old Man snoring?”
+++++We both turned to look into the living room and my eyes had barely adjusted to the glare of the TV as the Old Man swung the bat and crushed the door jamb into splinters. Before the Old Man could regain his grip on the bat, Cole rabbited out through the living room and was out the front door of the trailer. I looked up and saw menace in his bloodshot eyes. He just stood there, his chest heaving under his sweat- stained undershirt, his knuckles whitening on the bat’s handle.  He raised the bat over his head and I reflexively pulled the trigger on the gun.  A quick flash lit up the room, like heat lightening on a moonless summer night.  He gurgled and collapsed down to the ratty carpet; the bat dropped with an impotent thunk.
+++++I stood there a second watching the blood on the carpet, small tributaries reaching out from the body. Numb, I covered the corpse with the rough bedspread and put the gun in my waist band and the shoe box back in the closet.    I ran out the front door.  The wind had picked up and the leaves on the trees were blowing backwards.  Thunder was rumbling in the mountains. There was definitely going to be a storm tonight.
+++++Cole was waiting for me in front of my trailer.  “That bang just thunder or did you kill him?” he asked.  His voice didn’t quiver, but his eyes were darting around like a nervous squirrel.  “I don’t know,” I lied.
+++++We looked at each other for minute, listening to the breeze play the wind chimes hanging off my trailer.
+++++“We in trouble, Ory?” Cole asked.
+++++“Maybe,” I said, patting the gun in my waistband and looking down toward the Helm brothers’ trailer, “but we won’t be eating dirt anymore.”