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The Visitations: Horror Short Story by cam 1/3

Black-capped Chickadees

The singing of birds which filled my ears when I first woke, sounded like a chickadee holiday, and they had invited all the finches, bluebirds, orioles and nuthatches to join them. I cultivate my property to provide food and shelter for such talented musicians as these. Then it was gone. The silence rushed in and chased out all the musical notes. Presumably, the birds had gone as well. How strange. Only eminent danger from a predator would cause such a drastic change among the aves.

I crawled from my bed, giving up on the return of the chorus and went to the kitchen to make coffee. Spring was in the air as I looked out the open window at newly blooming flowers and smelled the fresh aroma after last evening's showers. But the birds had fled.


While the coffee brewed I slipped on my shoes to go outside and investigate. A bald eagle might have caused such a displacement of music from my back yard if it had soared low enough in search of its breakfast. I poured my coffee and proceeded to the door that led out to my back deck. The screen door struck something. When I saw what it was, my body lurched backward into the house. Steaming coffee splashed onto my hand and wrist, but I barely felt it for the horror of what I had seen. "No, Please no," I uttered aloud. "Not again."

I ran cold water over my shaking hand and wrist while my racing mind dug up memories from the last several months. The two previous visitations had been in mid to late winter, so there had been no disruption of singing birds.

I never heard a vehicle on the previous occasions, which puzzled me regarding the second visitation. The decomposing body of a young woman, sans head, must have been carried from a distance, possibly from a parked car down the road.

I poured myself another cup of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table to consume it before I ventured outside to do what had to be done. I am a retired, high school science teacher. These days, when I'm not outside tending to my lawn, gardens, and feathered friends I'm writing an article for my blog which covers the whole range of public school issues. In other words, I'm just an average guy. I was trying to figure out why someone would want to implicate me in a murder because that is how this seemed. Also, I was terribly concerned about the poor, young woman. Who was she? Who killed her and why?

I heard Tabby scratching the screen on the front door. I let him in and set a bowl of warm milk on the kitchen floor. It's our daily routine. Tabby is the wandering feline of a young couple down the road. Every morning, he makes his way through the woods and meadows that separate our properties. As his name suggests, he has stripes, black and white, that cover his entire body and give him the look of a five-pound tiger. He has one black spot on his cheek that looks like a dimple.

I sat in my house most of the morning with Tabby as company. He rubbed his head against my legs, I suppose as a way of marking me as his own. I still hadn't gone outside to deal with the latest delivery. I'd put it off too long already. I had gotten enough of a glimpse earlier to know what I was in for, and I was frozen with dread.

I slipped outside, barely opening the screen door so I wouldn't disturb it again. Her face was contorted as if she had been in the clutches of fear and pain right up to the end. The eye sockets were empty, but that did not surprise me.

Her eyes had been the first delivery in mid-winter. I had gone out to put suet in the bird feeder, and there they were on the deck, staring up at me in a lifeless plea for help. Those eyes had so frightened me that I vomited onto the suet. I staggered back into the house and made it to the bathroom. Eventually, I called the police. The officers took the eyes as evidence and spent most of the day searching the area for more clues. They had found none. For the next two weeks, I and my property had been watched 24/7 by the Sheriff's deputies. Apparently, calling them had been reason enough to make me the number one suspect.

When the headless body arrived, I had grabbed the phone and dialed a nine and a one. I stopped before the last one.They might even call me in for questioning this time. Is it possible they could succeed in convicting me for the death of this woman? I hung up the phone.

Here at my feet, on my back deck, lay the third delivery, and the final, I would suppose. I rolled the woman's head into a paper grocery bag. There was no need worry about blood. The head had been severed for some time.

Beside the head lay the eyes that had been taken by the police. I could still smell the formaldehyde in which they had been preserved. Clearly, the deliverer so wanted the body parts to be together that he had secreted them out of whatever forensic lab had been holding them.

A horrible thought kept crossing my mind. Were the eyes taken before or after the head was removed? I shook my own head to clear the thought and went about the business of hiding the third delivery.

© 2017 Chris Mills

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