Tag Archives: All That Remains

All That Remains

Took me three years to track down John Delaney. Snot dribbled from his nose. But those soulless blue eyes still sparkled with defiance.

+++++I’d jacked him head-long over a battered wooden table—and splayed him spread-eagle. Like a cop shoves a hapless perp against the hood of a car. Yeah, I cuffed his hands, cinched them tight behind his back. But I’d also shackled his ankles to the blood-stained concrete floor. Then looped a noose around his neck: lashing that demented meathead smack against the tabletop so he could only look left.

+++++I hadn’t bothered with a gag. No one could possibly hear him. Besides. I wanted him to talk. I felt my composure slipping … and imagined this derelict house didn’t look much different than the noxious shithole had three ancient years ago. Though the cops proved too damn lazy to discover Delaney’s lair.

+++++Bile clogged my throat as I snagged his matted hair, squatting on my knees so I could easily glare at him—crazed eyes to crazy eyes.

+++++“I want every detail. Now. You will hold back nothing.”

+++++No surprise the asshole spit at me. Despite the lug wrench in my hand. Though he cringed and closed his eyes: expecting the arcing metal to meet and dent his head.

+++++Instead, I dropped the wrench. This rattled both our ears while clattering the concrete instead of his worthy skull.

+++++I reached inside my trench coat; fished out a pack of photos. Then like a stack of preschool flash cards, I held each one before his face … before slowly oh-so-slowly … moving to the next.

+++++“She was sweet, so sweet,” he crooned, blue eyes suddenly glassy: a jagged guttural moan swelling from his chest.

+++++“Tell me something I don’t know, Delaney.”

+++++“I fucked her,” he said, his face now radiant—merry thoughts meandering down his twisted memory lane.

+++++“Fucked her how?”

+++++He giggled. “Every which way. In her mouth. In her ears. In the cunt. Up the ass.

+++++“She called me Daddy the entire time. Every day and night of that blessed week.”

+++++All the filth Delaney spewed matched ghoulishly tit-for-tat with the scorched images in my head—the charred lines cut deep—like they’d long been etched with acid. Though I continued to let him babble till finally he proved spent.

+++++I tucked the photos in my coat. Staggered to the fireplace … and that gray round mound of ash. But the fires Delaney burned couldn’t claim everything. I spied a strip of shattered lathing, barely clinging to the wall frame, and used the splintered wood to gently spread the pile. Shrouded within that dust … three blackened buckles—one from a belt—and two the only remnants of her patent leather shoes. While bits of teeth and bone screamed at me from the ash.

+++++I tugged a bandana from my trench coat. Collected the twisted buckles, as well as the tiny fragments of teeth and shattered bone. Laid them on the cotton cloth. Heaped a handful of ashes on top. Then securely tied the bundle. Acid clawed my innards. Vomit threatened to surge.

+++++I turned and walked away. My boot heels echoing off the steps.

+++++No need to take the fucker’s life. Starvation would duly claim him. And I’d snatched his greatest treasure—

+++++A golden braided knot of my beloved daughter’s hair.

*****