Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Horror Story Competition: Submission By George Turner

Jack Of All Trades
By George Turner

Jack struggled with the hand cuffs as the water crashed against his chest. It seemed the more he wretched his arms the tighter the cuffs became. He knew the tide would be over his head in a matter of minutes and he had to do something quick. Jack could hear Roman and his cronies talking and laughing at the top of the pier. Talking about the last show…
Roman Gianno. Roman was a drug dealer and loan shark that Jack had previously been employed with, but the business had turned sour. Ro-man needed Jack to help with his illegal activity, to help with unforeseen problems. Jack had been good at his job at first, but then had become more of a nuisance than helpful, according to Roman. Now, 3 years later, Jack was tied to a pillar on the Jackson City docks about five minutes from high tide. So much for a great relationship…
Jack heard Roman laughing about a joke one of the other guys had made. Jack knew Roman had killed before and, unfortunately, under what circum-stances. Jack was also pretty sure how the others had met their untimely demises; the same way he was about to. Jack figured after all he had seen in this life, all the things he wished he could forget, he should be able to change his situation. He had to do something…
Roman called down something to Jack. Jack didn’t respond. Instead he began mumbling to himself. Roman heard the mumbling and began to chuckle. Jack continued to mumble as Roman walked back to the group of men. Jack knew he only had a few precious minutes left in his life; time to shine.
Jack began to murmur some of the names of Roman’s other victims: Larry Conway, Roman’s chief rival in the drug business. Kelly Hudson, Roman’s cheating ex-wife. Justin Mills, Roman’s top hit man who botched the contract on Larry. Big Deevon, Roman’s contact with the inner city kids who tried to take a cut off the top. And Randy Fryman, Roman’s second in command. Randy had attempted to take over Roman’s business when Roman went up state for a 5 year stretch on drug charges. Jack knew more names, but these people were special; these people wanted revenge…
The water was at his chin. Jack knew he had to hurry. Only a few more words. Suddenly, he felt the handcuffs began to loosen as if someone had unlocked them. Jack struggled against them. He could feel his hands beginning to slide out. The water was almost at his nose now, not much time left. Jack pulled his hand with all his might. The water was inching closer to his nose. Jack took a deep breath and slipped under the water. As he did, he heard the shouts of joy from the pier above. Roman and the boys were laughing and cheering at the site. The last struggle of a dying man.
Under the water, he pulled one final time at the cuffs. His hands still refused to slide out. Jack could feel the looming presence of death as his chest began to tighten. His last breath was running out; time was up. Jack continued to struggle even though it was useless. Just as he was about to pass out, Jack saw the glowing orbs racing to-wards him from the depths of the ocean. They were glowing bright red and moving fast. Just as he was fading out of consciousness, the orbs passed his body and he felt the cuffs open. Jack sank into unconsciousness and sunk to the sandy floor below.
Roman and his cronies watched as Jack sank and noticed the red glow coming from the water. Roman didn’t give it an-other thought and turned to leave. As he did, he noticed the wind began to change direction and it brought a strong odor of sulfur. He also noticed his men had stopped laughing. Roman turned to look behind him and saw only the deserted pier. What happened to the boys? Did they pass him on the way to the car? They couldn’t have. Suddenly, Roman heard a voice. He couldn’t quite make out what it was saying, but it scared him. Where was it coming from? Roman reached for his gun under his jacket and called out for his guys. No one answered, but he still heard the voice.
Roman realized it was time for him to leave and he began running towards his car. As he ran, he could feel a chill in the air and the smell of sulfur seemed to be get-ting stronger. As he approached the car and grabbed the handle to open the door, he heard the door lock. He stared at the door lock through the window. When he reached for the keys in his pocket, he looked back up at the window and saw his reflection… and the reflection of someone else. He jumped back and brought the barrel of the gun up. But no one was around. He turned back to the car and plunged his key into the lock and turned it; the key broke off flush with the lock. Roman stared in disbelief at the lock and he began to panic. All the time, he could still hear the voice. It sounded as if it was coming from all around him and the smell of sulfur was almost sickening.
Suddenly, he saw someone standing at the end of the pier. As he began to walk towards him, the figured turned around and Roman shrieked in horror. It wasn’t one of the boys, it was Larry. It couldn’t be, Larry was dead. Roman had saw his body drift out of sight on this same pier 6 months earlier. Larry began to walk towards Roman. Roman lifted the gun and fired a shot. The bullet passed through Larry’s cheek and kept going. Roman stared in disbelief as Larry kept walking towards him. Roman turned to run and stopped short when he saw Kelly, Justin, Big D, and Randy standing directly in his path…
As the souls began to gather around him, Roman saw a flicker of light on the shore. He turned to look and saw Jack lighting a cigarette. Finally, Roman realized his mistake in hiring Jack. His fellow partners in crime told him not to hire an occultist to deal with his problems. But Jack was good at his job. Jack could kill someone 100 miles away by just uttering a few simple words. Jack could conjure tormented souls and raise demonic Hellions and command them to do anything Roman deemed necessary. Roman should have thought of all that before he decided Jack held too much control over him.
Roman stared at Jack and raised a gun to his temple. Roman was going out on his own terms, not Jacks’. Just as he pulled the trigger, the gun turned to water in Roman’s hand and fell through the boards of the pier. Roman stared at the boards beneath his feet in disbelief. Roman attempted to run, but Larry grabbed him by the throat. Roman realized the sulfur smell was from the group of souls that surrounded him as they began to systematically tear him apart. Just before his eyes were torn out, Roman saw Jack smiling behind the faint glow of his cigarette as he turned to leave.