The Scream Pt. 3 by: M. R. Vega
‘Grab your gun from the safe Pops!’ Angela hollered through the screen at the front door of her house. Luckily the old man had just arrived not moments ago, the smell of the heat from the ‘88 Dodge Ram and its radiating heat was the telling of what was waiting inside. And she knew he’d still be up with enough energy to help the ordeal she’d found herself possibly facing. The smell was a comfort of that smell and the hard day’s sweat was quickly snuffed with the knowledge that the scream needed to be addressed and hopefully saved soon. She barged into the screen almost pushing it off the hinges and looked at the old man who agonizingly failed at looking perplexed. She chuckled at that, waiving his play of idiocy, ‘Yeah dad, I know about the safe under mom and your bed, it’s pretty easy to see plus you use so much gun oil, it reeks for days.’
The man smiles proudly at her and brushes off his knees before using them to push up needing minor momentum in heading to the bedroom. However he was taken aback that he didn’t need to ask her a reason for the demand, he saw the worry and urgency on her face. That sufficed enough to hurry with his code entry and was back in the living room with a clip of 18 rounds that he slid into the Glock. Angela cocked her head with a shrug and asked where the revolver went, it was the only gun she believed was still a sterling weapon that should be permitted for use and not wanting to show disappointment in his choice of a typical and cliche of his handgun, she waved her hand and told him to follow her.
Now her heart started to be felt within her head, the pounding came to a deafening point until she started explaining the worry and reason behind her shaking hands. Pops followed and nodded as she mentioned the scream heard before picking up the boys ending with the two she heard after getting back home and waiting for either him or her ma getting home. Pops believed the story and didn’t show otherwise following close by awaiting a sign to click the safety off. He started shaking his head with disappointment to the dissolving of the neighbourhood as well as the city. It was always death on the news nowadays, always disasters and school shootings and shitty people he thought so why couldn’t it be happening down the street. It wasn’t a surprise any longer, death had become so frequent that he didn’t know if there was anywhere else here in town that hadn’t met its face and shrouding of blotting the light his town once had. Of course, that was more than decades ago. Something about an old story, something to do with Timequakes popped into his head that left him thinking of the writer’s name and what his own steps were going to meet, whether they would be rewound or perhaps rewritten. He grimaced with a meek smile disgusted with the hope wouldn’t come then Angela put a hand up and pointed to a large shrub when they both heard the screaming and a sickening chuckle.
Angela was pleased she wasn’t losing her wits but horrified that such an atrocious thing was happening so close to where her babies slept and gritted at her back molars till she tasted iron. Pops did the same, they could both hear one another and looked at each other with dismay and nodded solemnly. They each heavily moved with a determination to have whatever it was solved, perhaps closed with sirens and proper work. However, neither were vigilantes but knew sirens now would have the screams ended with death, they both couldn’t do that, especially Pops, there was a fire within that started to purge at the doubts of what was needed or not and he clicked the safety off. He patted at Angel and pointed behind himself, hoping she’d understand his meaning.
She did, quickly pulled herself behind his back and placed a cold and shaking hand on his quivering bony back and slowly trod with him getting closer to the screaming and angry chuckles of someone disgustingly designed. Pops paused and gazed at the house the sounds were emitting from and nudged the gun toward it…it was a foreclosed building, with multiple warnings of danger taped to the doors and its few windows that were left. The other spaces’ glass would be had large wooden panels hammered over them. A putrid smell hit both Angela’s and Pops’ nostrils offending the senses and having their eyes quickly drain with tears. Flagrant muck was wafting into the air from the basement of the building and the obvious conclusion was it was being used as a large latrine. Its fumes were causing both to grasp at their stomachs and try not to lurch out whatever was left inside but they both needed to get sight of what the sounds were from and who was causing such atrocious actions to be felt by the screaming source. Angela used her sleeves to blot the tearing and cover her nose whereas her dad just waved the stink and putrid fragrances away whenever he’d get dizzy. He inched closer to a door or one of the few windows that had sight inside of the building. Trying not to have his baby subjected to the vileness of man he gave her a steely look, saddened by what he was sure they’d likely have to do and puffed up his chest. He patted her head gently and kissed her on the temple, at that soft warm spot that brought a youthful spirit of being her dad flood back from when she was the age of her boys and quickened his steps while standing up.
‘Don’t make a sound Ange, I’m nervous that if we spook whoever is inside they’ll likely kill whomever it is screaming and we’ll end up just calling the cops to a dead body and not a citizen’s arrest. Don’t make a sound.’ Pops whispered this and winked at her while again, inching toward the small opening he found in a busted-up window. Ashamed that he wasn’t surprised with what he saw, he clenched at the grunt and guffaw he wanted to issue, pulled in a quick breath, and tried to see where the assailant was standing. Luckily the sun was down enough, neither Angela nor he was casting shadows and he started to choke down his tears at what was seen. A young woman, perhaps in her late teens was barefoot and wrapped in paracord, her face was bloody and bruised, her pants were pulled down and blood was slowly falling down her legs. She was bound and tied to the ceiling of the room he was looking into. The young woman had soiled herself, puddles of her own bile and urine were all around her decorating her old messed kicks and ankles. The monster was an older man, white grizzly hair shrouded his beard and face, an old and tired dachshund was dead in a corner of the room and the old man spit on the dog while pulling at the paracord that pulled at the arms of the young woman. She let out a muffled scream through cracked and broken lips and blood trickled down her chin mixing with the tears that had pulled to the same spot.
Pops could barely breathe and tried so diligently to get a good angle with his pistol to shoot the man but his eyes, clouded with a red and burning anger made it hard to focus. He couldn’t fathom what would make someone do something so dark and wretched. It was one thing to see such actions in war, from what he remembered war made pillars of men and women crumble to ash with their ridiculous and inexcusable actions, but again war made people of all creeds dangerous and stupid. This wasn’t war, this wasn’t just brutality, this was horrific in all forms and he could think of only one thing to do.
He turned to Angela and told her to get the police, demanded it, and told her to run home and call them, mentioning to her not to have them come with sirens blaring as that’d likely get the woman killed and told her to run as quickly as possible. She gave him a look that said she knew he was going to do more than just wait but she also was one to listen and turned on her heels disappearing behind the trees. Pops could hear her shoes slapping at the pavement and knew he’d have less than fifteen minutes to do what was needed and took one more shallow breath before going to try at a door.