written & illustrated by Chakriya PHOU
It happened in Marietta.
There was sound coming out of bedroom of daughter of Simon. He was not home that he and his wife were on vacation. His girl, Betty, and her boyfriend were doing their job on bed.
Betty expressed her erotic voice in her bed, in dark room.
Then he paused.
'What's matter?' Betty said.
'You hear something?' Tom asked.
'I go down to check.'
Tom was off the bed. He opened door room and stepped down.
The house was no light. It was dark.
Tom walked down stairs. He stood in hall and looked around. No one.
He shook his head then turned face.
At that time, someone appeared. He faced with Tom and pushed something into his mouth. Next, he stabbed something - very quick - into his chest to his heart. One. Two. Three. Four. Five... Uncountable. He stabbed until Tom slept onto the floor. Silently. Although, he still stabbed him. Stab, stab and stab.
Betty was in room. She laid in bed - sleeping on her face - waiting for Tom.
A man appeared at the opened-door. Betty looked from bed. The room had no light. She had not see man's face. In her opinion, it was Tom.
'I told you nothing down stair.' Betty stated. 'Hurry up.'
Then she turned face to sleep on her left cheek.
Not-Tom walked towards the bed. He removed his dress before he climbed up the bed. He sat on Betty, grabbed her shoulders, then he proceeded.
Betty, once again, moaned according to shaking from him.
He did her until she felt asleep.
Morning came. Betty opened her eyes. She looked around and did not see Tom. She wore cover-up cloth and opened the door. She climbed down stairs then she covered mouth with her hands and screamed.
Tom was laying on floor, above blood, eyes opened. Knife handle showed from his mouth. Also his chest.
Clive scrolled his phone when Savra brought hamburger to his table.
Seeing girlfriend brought food to him, Clive took eyes from phone and smiled, 'What's time will you leave today?'
'About 7.' Savra said.
'I come to take you home.'
'You get job yet?' Savra asked.
'Not yet.' Clive shook his head.
'So, today, you don't go to hunt for job?'
'I will, but I will finish early and come to take you.'
'Do you work. I can go by myself. It is not far.'
Then a calling.
'Coming.' She replied then turned face to Clive, 'I go to work. See you tonight.'
Clive nodded as Savra walked off to serve hamburger to another table.
He finished his food then left after paid.
It was over than 7 pm. Savra prepared herself to leave work.
In locker room, her colleague said to her, 'You go home?'
'Yes.' Savra nodded.
'My boyfriend said he would come to take me. But it does not matter, I can go by myself. He is busy these days to find job.'
'Take care. See you tomorrow.'
'Yes, see you.'
Savra smiled and closed her locker.
She left to stand at front door of store. She looked around. Clive did not show up yet.
Opposite of the store, there was a man, wearing sweater and jeans. He covered head with cap. It was dark over there; therefore, Savra could not see his face. She just felt that that man was watching her.
She looked at her watch. It was almost 8 pm. Clive did not come. So, she should walk home by herself.
Savra stepped to pavement and walked along.
It was quiet on the street. Only her walking.
Then she heard footstep behind her.
Savra paid attention to that. She felt someone was after her. She was little bit nervous and she sped her feet.
That person was still after her. She could feel their footstep follow her.
It was not right feeling. There was more than 500 meters to reach her house. She needed to make fast walking, but she felt that that person was after her and closer to her.
Meantime, she quickly turned her face looking back.
No one. No any person. The street was quiet. No anyone even a fly.
Savra held her backpack tightly then turned face to front.
She screamed with fear that someone appeared in sudden before her.
That person laughed.
It was Clive.
Savra hit her backpack to him.
'How can you? God, I'm so scared.'
Clive still laughed. Until he saw Savra's face turned red, he knew she was angry, so he apologized.
'I'm sorry. Really sorry.'
'Why do that?'
'I came to store and found you left. I was after you and got you then I thought of thing to play with you.'
The two made up. They held each other hands and walked along pavement.
They reached Savra's house.
Savra unlocked door and turned face saying to Clive, 'Good night. Thanks for taking me home.'
Clive smiled. He stood before the door then he expressed speech, 'Your parents are at home?'
'No.' Savra shook head. 'They have gone to see my grand parents until next week.'
Clive nodded head little bit as he heard. He stood still. His action showed he did not want to leave her house.
'Well, then...' he looked at Savra, 'I want to be punished because I broke promise. I was late and I made you scare.'
What was he talking about?
In a blink of eye, she pulled Clive's wrist to into her house. She closed the door then she kissed him. Clive kissed her lips back. They kissed hot.
No need to say anymore what they were going to do. It was one hundred percent, Clive carried her to her room and he comforted her.
It took about half an hour to finish.
Clive caressed her nude back. Savra slept her head on his chest.
Then Clive said, 'I want to have a drink.'
He kissed her forehead and opened blanket then left bed and opened room door. He closed door and walked down to kitchen. The light in house was switched on. Clive opened fridge. He bend his knees and looked into fridge for drink. No any drink, even beer, only cake.
'What the hell!'
He was about to close fridge, suddenly a hand covered up his mouth and at same time, a stab into his right back. Blood sprayed to the cake.
Clive was left to stay in blood on the floor.
Savra was staying in bed. Nothing she heard. The room was brightened.
Door opened and immediately, light was turned off.
Savra smiled from her bed, looking at black-shadow-man that appeared at room door.
'Come to sleep. It's late.'
The man walked to bed.
Savra pulled herself into blanket and shut her eyes.
The man removed his cloth and climbed on bed. He opened blanket, to show half nude body of Savra. He touched his hand on her face, then he moved to her neck. Savra smiled and her eyes did not open. She supposed this touching was from Clive.
The man hand moved from neck to her bosom. He pressed her bosom then he grabbed her waist and turned her over.
Savra was still smiling for she thought he was Clive. She slept on her face and was glad to receive motion again.
It was pleasure. The man made her body quiver that he sat on her and grabbed her shoulders.
Feel little strange from his hands, but Savra ignored and continued expressing voice out loud.
The motion took several minutes to end. And Savra was exhausted that she felt into deep sleep after assignment.
In morning, she was shock to find Clive laying in blood inside her kitchen. She hurriedly called police.
'He is still alive.' Police told her after the ambulance put Clive in. 'But he injured seriously.'
Savra sat on stair, sobbing.
Police woman was noted her statement.
Then a police man came.
'I'm Jack.' He introduced himself. Then he continued question from his colleague, 'What were you two doing?'
'We had sex,' said Savra.
'He said he wanted to have drink so he came down.'
'You did not come to see him?'
'No, I stayed in room. Then he came back.'
'I mean Clive.'
'Oh, how could you know it was him?'
'I thought.. because there were only me and him in this house.. I supposed it was Clive.'
'You did not see his face.'
'No, he turned light off. I did not see his face.'
'And you thought it was your boyfriend?'
'He did not say anything?'
'No. He was silent.'
'What did he do to you?'
'He.. he got up on me and he had sex with me.'
Jack raised his eyes brow.
'You had sex with him?'
'I.. I thought it was my boyfriend, so I did...'
Jack nodded head.
He looked around and said, 'Any special thing you found from the culprit?'
Savra shook her head.
'Thank you.' Jack said. 'We will inspect this matter.'
Jack walked around to see other polices were finding evidence at crime scene.
The police woman came to stand next to him and expressed, 'I think it is same culprit.'
'I think so.' Jack agreed. 'Any clue?'
'She and previous girl are Asian.'
'What does it mean?'
'The previous girl was half American and Cambodian. Also, she is.'
Jack touched his beard.
Clive was in critical condition. He was taken care by his mother.
Savra went to work as usual.
She was not really happy.
Everyone in town knew about her story.
Some felt sorry for her. Some laughed at her.
'How can? she did not recognize her boyfriend.'
'Perhaps it was her first time.'
'Or perhaps he was better than her boyfriend.'
Group of young men talked and they laughed.
Savra heard all, but she pretended not to hear. She lifted pot of hamburgers and coke to her customers' tables. When she passed table of that men group, a man jumped out to stop her way.
'Get off my way.' Savra said.
'I was that guy.'
He said and laid his hand to her shoulder.
'Don't touch me.' She said and escaped her shoulder from his touch.
'Come on. We can do again then you can recognize me.'
He tried again to touch her.
And his men laughed.
Savra tried to control her anger. She stepped to free way, but he did not let her go. He grabbed her hand and pulled her to him and embraced her.
Savra was angry. She pushed that man away and grabbed coke and threw to him.
'What the fuck!'
The man shouted as his cloth messed with coke. He was about to jump to Savra but his friend blocked him. Also, Savra's colleague came to pulled her into locker room.
She was told to stay inside locker room till leaving hour.
Before she left work, owner of store came to her.
'Take few days off.'
'Listen to me. You need to rest.'
Savra looked at owner's face then she nodded.
She said thank then prepared to leave for house.
On the way home, she felt awkward. She heard footstep behind her.
Savra looked back and saw no one.
Then she turned face and walked fast.
Until she reached home, then she felt safe.
She unlocked the door and came into her house.
As she got inside, phone rang.
Savra walked to accept the phone.
'Hello, sweetie.' Voice of her mother. 'How are you doing?'
'Fine. And you?'
'He is good. He is happy.'
'We're going to have dinner with your cousin. Here, your father call me. I go now. Miss you.'
'Miss you too. Enjoy.'
She hung up.
Then she walked up stairs. She just arrived at third step, the phone rang. Savra came down and picked up.
No any reply.
Savra hung up. She climbed stair and the phone rang again.
No one answer her.
She put phone back and walked up to her room.
She took her sleep-dress and towel and went into bathroom.
She took shower.
While she shampoo her hair, bathroom door was opened. Slowly. Quietly. Shadow of someone appeared at the door.
Savra did not hear anything beside of water spray sound over her head and body. She was busy cleaning shampoo.
A hand approached her light switch vector. Then click.
Bathroom was dark.
Savra opened her eyes.
She pulled towel to cover her body then leaving towards door.
As she reached the door, a hand grabbed her hair and pulled her falling to on the floor.
She was shock. She fought in the darkness. She could not see who she was fighting with but she knew that there was someone in her house and that person was trying to pull towel away from her body.
She tried all her strength kicking him away.
She got up and run fast to the door.
As she opened the door, her towel was grabbed and was pulled out. Savra did not care. She ran nude to her bed room door then opened it quickly and ran down stairs. She ran in fast speed to the door. She opened it.
She screamed as someone touched her.
'It's me. It's me.'
It was Jack.
'He. He is in the house.'
Jack jumped into the house. He hold his gun carefully and checked from down till upstairs. He went into her bed room then pointed gun to bathroom. He walked slowly to bathroom door. He opened it slowly. No one. Jack switched light on and checked the room. No one inside. He came out and checked bed room. There was a window opening. He should get out through that.
Jack came back to Savra. He took a towel from her room and covered her when he arrived at her.
He said to Savra. Then he brought her into house.
He made her sitting on sofa.
'Did you see his face?'
'I think he will be back to you.'
'I don't know. But don't worry. I call my colleague to stay with you tonight.'
Then Jack called to his female colleague.
'She will arrive in fifteen minutes.' Jack put phone into his pocket and stated to Savra. Her body was still trembling.
Jack told her to wear cloth. She was scared to go, but Jack told not to worry because he was here. Then Savra agreed. She went up to wear dress then she hurriedly came down.
While they waited, Jack asked her some.
'Do you have enemy?'
'No.. well, perhaps.'
'I argued with a man at store I work for. It was just this afternoon. I don't think it is him.'
'Well, are you sure you don't know anything about that guy?'
'I felt that he was man, but I did not see his face or his figure.. I was not sure. I did not see him clearly. I cannot be sure.'
'Just try to think about it. Any strange thing, when you and him touched?'
'I.. I can't...' Savra scratched her fingers on her forearm. Then she looked at her fingers and thought deeply. She reminded that night. He grabbed her shoulders. She felt his fingers were strange.
'What do you remember?' Jack asked her when he saw she was deeply thinking.
'I think I remember one thing about him.'
'What is it?'
'He has only nine fingers. His middle finger is lost.'
'Any man you suspicious?'
'Well...' Savra started to remember, 'that night, Clive told me he would come to take me at store. I waited for him. I saw a man, but I did not see his face. He wore cap.'
'Did you see him today?'
'I did not notice.'
'That man could be. So, tomorrow, I hope you go to work...'
'I was told to take rest.' Savra interrupted Jack's speak.
'Listen to me first.'
She kept silent.
'I want you to go to the store. Not to work. You can go there to eat. I will put my colleagues around then we will catch if that man shows up.'
Savra nodded as she agreed with Jack's plan.
Female police arrived. Jack told her everything then he left.
Next day, Savra followed instruction of Jack. She went to store in name of customer. She stayed there until the store closed.
As she walked out of store, she saw a man standing opposite side, before her.
He wore sweater and cap.
Savra was nervous, but she strengthened herself and walked off.
She walked to her house.
Her ears kept listening behind her while she was walking. She heard footsteps after her.
Savra was tremble whole body. She tried to calm down and walked normally.
The footsteps was after her until she was about reaching her house. Suddenly, she heard noise behind her.
As she turned back, Jack and few polices were capturing a man. It was the man who standing in front of the store.
The man was handcuffed. He was opened cap and his face was shown. He was not living in this town.
Jack checked his hand. He lost his left middle finger.
'At last, we got you.'
Jack claimed then he gave him to his colleagues.
Two policed pushed him into the car. That man was staring at Savra from inside the car. His eyes were tense.
Jack walked to Savra then said, 'We got him. You can relax now.'
Savra said smilingly, 'Thank you so much.'
'I go to station. Good night. See you around.'
Savra nodded with smile and Jack brought himself into car and left.
It could consider as happy day now.
Savra got into house happily.
She felt safe after the culprit was caught.
She took shower, changed dress; she did not go to bed yet, she stayed in sofa and watched TV.
Movie showing on TV screen was Clive favorite. She did not visit him since the incident. He was still in ICU since then. She should go to see him tomorrow.
Savra was about to switch off TV. Then she saw show of a man. He was magician. What Savra noticed about that magician was his finger. He lost his one finger too. Right middle finger.
It awoke Savra something.
She touched her right shoulder.
At that night, that man had sex with her from behind. It meant his right hand touching her right shoulder. So, he lost right middle finger, but the culprit Jack caught lost left middle finger. It was wrong person. It meant he was freely outside.
Savra, quickly, picked phone and rang to police station.
'Hello, what can I help you?'
'Hello, I want to talk to Jack.'
'Can I know your name?'
'I am Savra.'
'OK Miss. He is in interrogation room. What do you want to talk with him then I can pass to him.'
'Please tell him the culprit he caught was wrong. He loses left middle finger, but real culprit loses right middle finger, not left, so he is not real culprit. The culprit is still around...'
The phone was interrupted.
Savra was nervous. She tried to call back, many times, but she could not reach police station.
Savra looked around her house.
He could be here. He could be inside.
She quickly moved towards the door. As she opened the door, a person was over there. He pushed her back into house. Savra fell on floor. The man closed the door. Bang.
She could see his face. He was a man in middle age. He shaved his head. He had a scar on his right cheek. He had scary eyes. He looked at Savra without blinking.
Savra was scared. She got up and ran. She purposely ran to her room, but something cut her calf so she fell down. She looked at her calf. It bled for the man threw knife cutting.
It was hurt, but Savra tried to get up and walked to the stair.
Blood dropped on floor of her walking trail.
She reached the stairs and climbed.
When she reached four steps, she was pulled down.
Savra cried and she tried to crawl up the stair.
The man did not allow. When she reached four steps, he pulled her down again.
Although, she still crawled up. Even blood flew from her calf.
The man did not pull her anymore. When she reached four steps, he suddenly covered himself above her. He removed her pants down.
Savra cried NO.
She was unable to move. She stuck on step of stair. Above her was that man and he was rubbing his lower part - from behind - over her.
He stroke her many times. Toughly.
Then he turned her over and raped her again.
Savra tried to fight back, but her wrists were seized and raised up above her head. She screamed as he continued crashing her.
Not yet over. He pulled her to floor, and raped her on the floor.
Savra tried to pull herself from him. She danced her hands to find something. Then her hand touched a knife - that he threw to cut her calf - and she took it and stabbed him. The man grabbed his belly. It bled. He showed scary eyes towards Savra that tried to run away to the door. He jumped to grab her hair. Savra tried to stab him one more time but he seized her hand and took knife from her. He pulled her hair with one hand, pulled her body crossing living room upstairs. He dragged her into her bed room.
Savra cried HELP.
The man inserted cloth into her mouth, blocking her from screaming. Then he used robe tie her hands together with foot of bed. He spread her legs, tied one leg with another foot of bed and another leg with foot of dress cabinet.
He tore her dress. She was complete naked.
The man smiled looking her nude body before his eyes.
He sat between her legs. He raised up knife in his hand. He smiled at Savra. It was evil smiling that made Savra so frightened. He set knife point on her left thigh then he pressed it slowly into her flesh.
Savra cried of hurt inside her throat.
The man looked happy as he saw her crying. He made it deeper into her thigh, slowly.
Tears came out of eyes. It was truly and very hurt. She shook her head. She begged him from her eyes, but the man did not care and he made knife deeper into her thigh's flesh. Until, it remained middle, then he pulled it from the thigh.
Blood came out like water spray.
Savra dropped her head on floor. Her eyes lost half.
She fell tears again when he grabbed her thigh where he stabbed. He squeezed and blood came out like orange juice from squeezing machine.
Seeing her hurt, his heart was please.
After, the man stood up - between her legs - and lifted knife up higher into the air with his both hands. He aimed to stab into her stomach.
Savra shook her head. She begged him through her eyes not to kill her.
The man opened his eyes big and fell knife fast, strength, towards her...
The man fell to the ground. There was a hole on his forehead and blood came out of that hole.
Jack showed up at the door and he ran to untie Savra.
Savra hugged him and cried on his shoulder.
'You are safe.'
Jack patted her head gently.
Polices arrived at Savra's house. They took body of the culprit out of house.
Jack was sitting with Savra. He described to her.
'He is from another town. He ever did crime in towns he arrived. His target was to kill man and raped woman of the man. Actually, he killed only man, he did not hurt woman, just raped them only.'
'But he wanted to kill me.' Savra stated.
'Because your boyfriend is not yet died and you reported him that's why he wished to kill you.'
Savra took breath.
'What's about the man you caught?'
'He was a robber. He just wanted to rob you.'
Savra nodded head.
The sky was shining again.
Savra returned to her working.
Clive got well and left hospital three months after.
Two of them were still together.
Clive got a job as video editor at a company.
Tonight was Savra's birthday. Clive would like to celebrate her. He said that he would come to take her when she left work.
While she was waiting outside the store, Clive called her.
'Sorry baby. I cannot take you home. I am busy at office. But I will celebrate your birthday tonight. Just little bit late.'
'It's OK. I can walk home. Then we can celebrate at my house. My parents are off to visit Japan and they will back home next week.'
'Good then. I agree to be punish as you wish.'
Savra hang up then she left the store, walking feet to her house.
Behind her, a man appeared. He put his hands into pocket - which his both pinky fingers lost - then he walked after her.