The disturbing collectio.., p.1
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       The Disturbing Collection, p.1
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           David J. Skinner
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The Disturbing Collection
urbing Collection – Volume One

  By David J. Skinner

  Copyright © David J. Skinner 2014

  Index of Stories

  This World

  Salvation

  Voices

  A Hold-up

  Survivor

  Obsession

  In the Woods (revised)

  Ten Minutes (revised)

  A Rescue (revised)

  Author’s homepage

  Author’s email

  This World

  Despite feeling how your legs are barely able to hold you, you don’t think even for a moment about stopping to walk. Beside you, an inhospitable landscape up to the horizon; in front of you there is a seemingly endless road.

  At your back, the city. Although don’t want to do it, you turn around and behold the grotesque framework of a ghost town with some sloping skyscrapers still fighting against gravity. A vast number of structures mocking of you, of the entire human race, by surviving their builders.

  Because this world where you live, this world where you are condemned to live in, isn’t uninhabited, but they can barely be called humans. And I’m not only talking about the genetic deformation, inherited generation after generation, which makes some men look like living gargoyles. No. The worst part remains inside them.

  Your thoughts are interrupted when a yell sounds in the distance. It’s a woman, five or six miles away, probably being attacked. A robbery, most likely, or maybe a rape. You hope to reach there on time.

  Not for helping her, of course, but for sharing the booty.

  Salvation

  Even being an unearthly time of the day, and Thursday, the platform contained no less than ten people. Most of them were waiting for the train to the capital after a hard workday.

  John Netsby, however, had other reasons. Even if his unremarkable presence was sensed by the others, they probably thought his nervousness (looking at his watch constantly, while observing the horizon) was due a long working day, or maybe a conversation and a few beers taking more time than prudence recommends. But, actually, Netsby was waiting for someone. A person capable of finish his nightmare.

  When the last train made its appearance, a shiver ran through the man’s body. What if he had not been able to take it? That means another night awake, more chills and more threats. He couldn’t bear it, and he knew. He breathed again when saw a tall, thin figure wearing a long coat that seemed threadbare under the dim light of the station, and with a small bag as only luggage.

  “Mister Abbot?” Netsby began his greetings several steps away from the newcomer. “I’m John Netsby.”

  “You have already recognized me, so I can see,” was the quick response of the other, “therefore, introducing myself would be nonsense. It’s a pleasure to meet you personally, lord Netsby.”

  They shook hands before speaking again, while walking towards the exit of the station.

  “You know about the case,” Netsby said, after a few trivial sentences. “Both her mother and I are … desperate.”

  “Desperation usually leads to precipitation and misleading. I can assure you that only a tenth of the cases I have dealt with, enclosed any danger. The mind, my dear friend, is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe. Do not worry; I’m sure that your daughter will be completely healed in a few hours.”

  The peace and calm of Abbot’s words, instead of reassuring him, made ​​him having a knot in the pit of his stomach. He didn’t say anything.

  A silence sprinkled with a couple trivialities were their only accompaniment until they arrived at the family house. Julia Netsby (maiden name, Smith) was waiting for them at the door, maybe opened more than an hour ago, or perhaps it had been just opened after the two men were spotted through the hazy night. One way or another, this was the last thing they were concerned about.

  “Praise the Lord!”, exclaimed the woman, in a voice between surprise, disbelief and some discomfort for the delay. “She’s upstairs in the attic.”

  Leaving the greetings for later, the two men climbed the narrow stairs, leading Netsby, which sometimes was going up the steps two at a time and others three by three, using an impossible to discern rule. Abbot, meanwhile, was advancing step by step, without ever being far behind of the other. Once upstairs, while one of them was panting with the effort, the other slightly opened his briefcase looking away from the person stood before them.

  That person, of course, was the daughter of John and Julia. The girl stared at the stranger who had invaded her dominions, her mind unable to discover who he was or what he wanted.

  Her human mind, at least.

  “… Abbot…”

  It wasn’t a little girl’s voice that coming out of the mouth of the child. It could hardly be considered a voice, actually. A growl? If we call breeze to a tornado, perhaps we could call growl to the cavernous sound which made both men looked up.

  “Abbot… ”, she said one more time, “How sweet of you visiting me.”

  The man didn’t reply. Instead, he continued with his previously interrupted duty, overlooking what had just happened in front of him. Netsby didn’t have the same willpower.

  “Honey”, a tear ran over his cheek, “you will be fine.”

  “Daddy, you bring the bad man to me.” This time, a child-like voice was heard.

  “That thing is not your daughter!”, Abbot said quickly, “Don’t you listen…”

  The sentence was interrupted when a baseball bat smashed into his head, making the man fall upon the ground. The next hit rendered him unconscious. Three more were able to form a large, red and gray stain in the floor.

  “I made what you ordered”. Netsby dropped the bat and went closer to the girl. “Now, please, release her.”

  “A deal is a deal”, the girl sentenced, with a voice that was not of her. “A life for a life, and a soul for a soul.”

  “See you soon, John…”

  Voices

  He’s behind you. Don’t you hear his breath? He’s getting step-by-step closer, and you know what he wants. Will you allow it to happen? Yes, pick that knife; take it strongly, avoiding it from slipping out of your fingers. Turn around and stab him. Do it! Yes, keep doing it! Don’t stop until he won’t move! Ignore those who yell and try to stop you. Don’t listen to them, just me.

  You’re not insane, I swear it.

  A Hold-up

  Everything took place so fast, or that I thought. It was almost time for the branch to close; there were only four clients inside when the two hooded men entered.

  “To the ground, fuck!” Those were the first words spoken by the head man, while raising the revolver he was holding in his right hand.

  Martha, the new intern, was the only person who remained standing after the shout, arms moved up. The rest of us didn’t hesitate obeying the bandit’s call.

  “Hey, you, bitch! I’d said down to the ground!”

  I saw her. She was trembling, absolutely paralyzed by fear, and unable to follow those simple instructions. I was afraid of that guy would use his weapon against her, so I opted for speaking.

  “We’ll obey, calm down”, I said, without daring to look in his direction. “Allow me to help her lie down, OK?”

  After a tense silence, the robber agreed with this. Trying to do it the slowest possible way, I stood up and moved towards Martha. Her eyes crossed mine, although she looked incapable of move even her head. I put my hand on her shoulder before talking.

  “It won’t happen anything. If we’ll do what they’re saying, I’m sure all is gonna be fine.”

  She managed to nod, with some effort, and began to lower her arms at the same time that suggesting a smile. At this point, I swear it, I was convinced of what I was just said.
>
  I was wrong.

  “You, motherfucker! What the hell are ya doin’?”

  I pictured a gun aiming at my head, and an anxious finger about to pull the trigger. When I turned around, the reality was different: the second thief had drawn a weapon too (a pistol) and was aiming at the floor. One of the clients was holding a small cellular, who knows if his intention was to make a call or a photo. Anyway, that hadn’t pleased the armed man, more than willing to use his pistol in seconds.

  Both of them were masked, so their voices sounded almost unrecognizable. However, I was able to recognize whom just talked.

  “Peter?” I asked, being aware of the mistake the very moment I made the question. He abandoned his target and aimed me instead. With a courage outburst, or maybe craziness, I said to him: “You won’t get away with this, and you know it.”

  Miraculously, my words didn’t make Peter shoot me, but putting down his weapon and preparing to holster it. The first one, revolver on hand, was observing the scene saying nothing.

  “Let’s go out”, Peter said.

  “Out? Are you nuts? This guy here knows who you are, and if you’re caught…”

  “What the hell I can do, huh?” Peter raised his voice. The other didn’t look like to be pleased by that.

  So he shot directly to his face.

  Had I said Martha was more calmed? At the moment, a high-pitched yell sounded behind me, clarifying that woman’s nerves had trespassed its limit. Simultaneously the alarm bell started to be heard. I think John activated it. The thief, with his gun still smoking, aimed at Martha.

  One never knows how he could react in a situation like that. If you
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