Read Part 1: Piece by Piece then see where Cult takes it.
(The Bread Truck Killer Part 2)
a short story by Cult
It's quarter after, she should've gotten out by now.
From his vantage point he could easily make out two of her co-workers, Erik and Matt, they were as he often put it, 'shooting the shit' not doing much of anything else. Lazy fuckers, he mused. His lip twitched with uncontrollable despise. Admittedly it was only last week that Tanya had reluctantly informed him of their brief encounter many years before, promising that it was only that, making sure to underline the fact that “it was many years ago”. Regardless, even the merest utter of that bastard's name made his temper rise, to actually see the smug looking mother fucker made his blood boil. She was his dammit! His, and his alone!
John resisted another urge to glance down at his wrist instead choosing to pull the phone from his pocket with a much practiced flick of his wrist the phone flipped open with a loud snap. The saved message was the first he scrolled to, it was the last message that Tanya had sent him. It was a week old now. He had read it so many times over he knew it word for word and as much as it still hurt to look at (he was a man but he could still admit that fact, probably at this point even to her), he could read 'between the lines'. It was blindingly obvious... she wanted no, needed, him back. Besides which, in her haste to leave him, she had forgotten her medication.
He stole a glance at the brightly colored leather bag that sat in the foot well of the passenger seat, the only thing of hers that he still had in his possession. A small plastic bottle half full with tiny chalky capsules rested inside of it. John had never noticed the small line at the bottom of the label before. He squinted and thought it rather peculiar when the words,”unfit for human consumption” came into focus.
Today's pies seemed different however, probably not to anyone else as he had yet to hear anyone mention it, but he couldn't help but feel that there was a slight change in the recipe from the ones that he'd consumed yesterday, (the day before that and the day before that). Shit! He even tasted them in his dreams, they were just that damn good. As hard as it was for him to admit, it appeared that this very morning Tom had outdone himself. His warm pockets of pastry filled 'perfection' were now on a new level entirely.
Apparently he had zoned out as he now found himself a few more steps away from the sharply trimmed hedge that bordered his well maintained yard. It was just a pity that the houses surrounding his didn't reflect the same pride, he thought to himself, the neighborhood was headed to the dogs and fading fast into disrepair just like in his opinion the rest of the country. Nevertheless, he still found the time to enjoy various hobbies and find numerous distractions. With all that being said his pit stop at Kerry's for breakfast was the most important part of his morning and perhaps the highlight of his day.
He just couldn't help but feel that retirement wasn't at all what it was cracked up to be. He had already travelled the world, sampled the finest meats and drank the most exquisite wines. His wife of forty years (god rest her soul) had been dead for three years now and he was resigned to the fact that he would never find another companion as loving and supportive as she, so why bother? He was more than happy with the fact that his main pleasures now consisted of pie, his morning stroll and the eventual demise of Sheriff Lombardo. He would not and could not ever forgive Brian and the night his poor judgment had enabled the drunk driver to swerve across the road to take his beautiful Teresa from him. The Sheriff's decision to not lock up that irresponsible lout would eventually lead to a damn site more than just the blemish of professional embarrassment upon his record. The moment in question would be unexpected and all the more sweet because of it.
Bill chuckled softly to himself as he reached a hand into his pocket for his ring of keys. The look of mirth quickly transformed into one of puzzlement as his fingertips, barely touching the set of keys, encountered a sticky anomaly, a moistness. He looked down and promptly realized that as well as coating the nether reaches of the pocket it also soaked the inside of one of his pant legs, in doing so it had turned the tan fabric a darker shade, an unmistakable shade of brown.
“Fuck me, I'm not that old!” he muttered as he slid the lubricated key easily into the door's lock. Removing the key he pushed the door open, wincing as he felt the fabric of his pant leg slide sluggishly against the bare flesh of his leg.
A sudden explosive muscle spasm rocketed bile to the back of his throat. Within moments the entire contents of his stomach, including three partly digested Stumpy's pies, washed over his palette to cover the welcome mat, a veritable tidal wave of liquid waste splattered across the cheery décor of the entrance foyer. As nausea swiftly claimed Bill his legs gave out, collapsing under him, staggering he fell face first into the same pungent puddle. One final thought flickered across his fading conscious, Soon my uniformed friend, soon.
Does he know? Did I leave that cashier's name tag in the mix?
“I know just how you do it.” He resisted the urge to rear back, quickly ignoring another option that flooded his psyche.
Alas striking out at one of his best customers would only cause more trouble than was prudent. Besides perhaps the townsfolk would enjoy, unknowingly, chewing on and consuming his remains. Ironically it was only this very morning that he been contemplating extending his meat delicacy line to encompass those with a hankering for kosher goods. He maintained eye contact in hopes that the inquisitive City official could not hear the vicious pounding of the blood that threatened to burst the vessels of his abruptly overburdened heart and would not think the beads of sweat Tom felt as obvious a tip off as if highlighted by a pointing neon sign reading Guilty, was somewhat strange on an arctic winter morning. The smirk that attempted to tear his face in two barely crinkled the line of his lips. Tom replied in a low whisper. “Sorry Sheriff. I'm the only person, alive, that knows the recipe.” That was, after all, the truth.
The pressure on his hand abated, the intimate connection was no more. As his companion stepped back he offered as an afterthought. “One day I'll relinquish and give you an intimate look at all of the ingredients, the specific cuts I use, even those I don't and everything else the Stumpy's special mix demands.”
“Well Tom, I look forward to that very much.”
So do I Sherriff, he mused. The “Deputy Stumpy” sure sounds like a winner to me.
He turned to leave but try as hard as he might Tom could not stop a look of childhood glee from materializing on his face.
“Have a great day Tom. Catch you tomorrow.”
With a hand on the truck's sliding door he couldn't refuse himself the satisfaction of responding under his breath, “Not if I catch you first.”
“Goddamn it!” His curse was loud enough to make a passing couple, Mr. and Mrs. Green, turn towards him in comical unison, both shaking their heads.
I forgot to ask Tom about pies for my BBQ.
The moment wouldn't have been so bad but they happened to be the resident volunteers at the local Baptist church, across town, the Church of the Impaled Nazerene. Sheriff Lombardo had always thought the name a little off but preferred not to stick his nose into anything regarding religious matters. He had a motto that he lived by: you stay low key, you don't stir things up and you get to retire early. His wife, Brenda, of many years now had already picked out a location on the sandy beaches of California whereupon they would build their very own dream cabin. He hated to disappoint her.
He still felt the couple's lingering gaze following his remark, if their combined stare was laser powered the entire side of his cruiser would be left smoldering by now. He decided an apology, of sorts, was in order, “Sorry, I slammed myself in the knee with my bleeding nightstick. It's rather awkward and damn unwieldy at times.” It was, of course, a huge fib, the double meaning he'd intentionally inserted received a combination of expressions that ranged from bemused to puzzlement, but his quick wit had him in internal hysterics.
That was until he reached the flashing red lights at the intersection of Tardy and Amott, barely a mile down the street. The radio crackled with sudden activity,“Ummm… Sheriff.”
“We're getting our switchboards jammed, and it's not just Mrs. Constantine complaining that Tibbles is nibbling at her prized bed of roses.”
Thank god for small favors! That woman was the prime example of a small town nuisance. She was public enemy number one in the Sheriff's book, good for naught but wasting his department's time (following the last quarter and further City's cutbacks they were left with shorter labor and hours yet again, he could well afford to be without the hassles she constantly caused).
“Let me guess, might it have something to do with…” The Sheriff cranked his neck around as a red shirt that declared “Boys Rule, Girls Drool” in scrawled white letters slammed unceremoniously into the cruiser's driver side window. The jarring impact caught him unaware as his attention was elsewhere. His eyes had been fixed on the melee in the intersection, one that caused various impatient types to add to the already escalating cacophony using their car horns, the closest object of audio dissent at immediate disposal.
“Sheriff?” Following a squelch a single word oozing with concern crept over the radio's static, “Jesus-freakin'-Christ!” Sheriff Lombardo swore under his breath as he bent over to put his shoulder against the door.
Before he applied any pressure he happened to look up directly into the eyes of the person responsible. Brad was within striking range of the door, bent over in a menacing rigid pose. His unwavering intense glare was locked on the Sheriff and his every motion. The youth's attire was splattered and covered in something resembling Technicolor oatmeal, a factor that obviously most, if not all, children of that age would have no problem in dealing with. After all, messes equaled fun with a capital F. Brad however seemed to somehow relish his current state, it served as no distraction whatsoever, he licked lazily at his lips as thick discolored saliva dripped to the sidewalk. The boy didn't have the countenance of any seven year old that the Sheriff had previously encountered but he couldn't let the mounting absurdity of the situation sway his decision to exit the vehicle.
Things were heating up. People had become agitated, limbs flailed wildly, bodily fluid of some origin arched up abruptly from the excited gathering. From his vantage point, however, viewed through the dangling arms of an unexpected sullen predator he couldn't tell exactly what that liquid might be. He was determined, more importantly, it was his sworn duty to find out.
In sliding his hand against the edge of his seat he maneuvered a lever, his seat slid back enabling him enough room to bend his legs. Emitting a loud grunt he pushed up and out with his booted feet. The windshield buckled then popped from its secure position, it screeched across the car's hood in a sluggish descent toward the ground.
As Sheriff Lombardo shuffled in his seat the youth pounced. With a loud ping bright laceless sneakers sporting the year’s most popular comic book hero landed on the decaled hood, in otherwise comical proportions they failed to find any traction. Brad hit the metal surface awkwardly, face first. That, however, wasn't nearly enough to dissuade him from determinably scrabbling towards the cruiser's cab. The sheriff watched aghast as vivid crimson flowed freely from the wide gash widening across the child's forehead, flowing dramatically it followed a path to join other fluids of questionable origin smeared all over a rapidly bruising emotionless youthful visage. Thinking fast he grabbed the seatbelt.
The predatory form was at the crest of the City's shield and encroaching on the dash. An awful stench wafted into the cab assaulting the Sheriff's nostrils, violating his instinctual gag reflex. Concentrating on anything but the smell, he managed to lift his torso miraculously around the various knobs and gadgets (that the City demanded in all law enforcement vehicles). He swung and connected with the youth's clothing using momentum to his advantage. He pulled the child to one side and down entangling him in the thick fiber of the seatbelt. He couldn't help but smirk as he closed it with a satisfying click across the twisting feverish lithe form.
“I'll deal with you later, Sir.”
Rising from the vehicle he surveyed the bizarre tableau that awaited him now only yards away. There appeared to be more people gathered now than when he had last glanced. And all their attention seemed to be on him.
“Dammit! Where's my boomstick?”