The trail looked treacherous. The rocks looked dry, but they were not. They were glassed over and slippery. With the murdered infant tossed over his shoulder he knew that every step he took had to have some concentration and a great deal of steadiness. It was eerily quiet except for the haunting bird noises and the water fighting the ice for supremacy. Every now and again he would hear the ice cracking beneath his boots, and the heavy breathing that forced its way out when he wasn't holding his breath.
Time wasn't of the essence because no one knew that he killed an infant yet. They were going to report the child missing and then they would discover the body in the woods, intentionally half buried.
Wayne Trevor King kept pushing deeper into the woods, but for some odd reason he felt as if he was being watched. Perhaps the soul of the murdered infant wanted to see where the body was going to be deliberately half buried.
He spun around quickly to see if he could catch someone watching, but fell on his back. Luckily the ice supported his weight and he didn't release the grip on the body.
“Fuck,” he whispered as he stayed on the ground for a few minutes, using the fall as an excuse to catch his breath.
Suddenly, something moved close by and startled him. He knew there wasn't anything there, but nonetheless he just remained on the ground silent and he tried not to move. He felt his heart pounding loud against his chest and it actually hurt. He peered intently into the cold air and there wasn't anything there. He gathered himself and stood up not losing the hold he had on the small corpse.
The adrenaline that held his body tight was wearing thin as he headed for a clearing in the brush. He dropped the body by his feet and snapped out a small shovel that was secured to his belt. He looked around briefly as if he was expecting an audience.
He stood motionless for a moment before he began his task. Then the shovel broke earth. He kept digging a shallow grave until he removed enough frozen earth to stick the body in. Deliberately making half the body stick out.
The cold air closed in around him and he seriously wondered if he should have dug the hole deeper. Making it a difficult task in finding the child.
Out of the corner of his eye he saw a movement in the bushes and he stood vigilantly over the body. He then moved forward slowly and crouched down before a tree branch that didn't quite shake the leaves off. Winter had no affect on that tree as it still held on to its leaves.
There was a shadow that moved slowly in and out of the near by brushes. He couldn't see who or what it was but he watched and he watched some more.
Was it the child's spirit or a ghost he thought. Or was it an animal smelling food? He kept looking hard trying to see what was moving near by.
Was it God? That was a crazy thought as he moved closer toward the movement.
Wayne Trevor King couldn't remember if these woods housed wolves or other wild animals. It could have been a deer or squirrels.
He wanted the body to be found intact. He didn't want to provide food for the forest scavengers.
“Show yourself,” he whispered.
He listened some more.
The movement ended and he turned back toward the body where he set up a few flares. He ignited them and placed them around the body so that someone of the human variety could find the missing child.
His job was done as he headed back to the trail. Someone would find the infant and the manhunt would begin. It would rip the town apart and he would sit back and wait.
He would enjoy the wait. Wayne Trevor King just knew he would love it. It's what madmen live for. And he considered himself just that.
© 2018 Frank Atanacio