Modern Day Killers
Modern Day Killers is a short novel I started writing a while ago. Here I present Chapter 1. First draft. Unedited. Uncorrected.
Chapter 1
Chapter 1 - The Jamesons

    "What is it?" she asked, nervously.
    "It fell from the sky," he replied, matter of factly.
    "I dunno. It just did."
    "Robbie..." she began.
    "Yes, Jess?"
    "I'm scared."
    Robbie looked down at his little sister, and smiled. "Don't be scared," he said. "There's nothing to be scared of. It's just a little piece of metal."
He picked up the little piece of metal. It was moist from the morning dew that coated the lawn. He turned it over in is hand, careful to avoid the jagged edges. It appeared to just be nothing more...than a little piece of metal. But, still, there was something strange about it. Odd. Like it wasn't meant to be here.
    He sighed, and muttered a "Meh" under his breath. This would have to wait. He and Jess had bigger things to deal with right now. Things that were starting to smell a
    "Come on Jess," he said. "Let's get back inside and deal with that stuff in there, ok?"
    Jess nodded, no hint of emotion. "Ok Robbie," she replied, simply.
    The dead bodies of Robbie and Jess' parents were sat neatly on the couch in the living room of the family home. Each had a small red dot in the centre of their forehead. The red dots, at one time, had oozed red liquid, which was now dry and crusty, and turning yellower by the hour.
More dried red crusty yellowing former ooze was visible on the back of the couch behind the two bodies. And yet more on the carpet around the couch. As well as a few spots here and there on the walls. Robbie stood and stared at the scene, like it was nothing new; like he'd seen it all before. Jess did the same.
    "Who's doing it?" Robbie asked his sister.
    "You," she replied without hesitation.
    "Why me?"
    "I did the last one."
    "You did?"
    "Yeah, don't you remember? Labor Day last year."
    "Hmm. Ok, yeah I remember."
    "What about Harold?"
    Jess held up a small brown teddy bear that had one eye missing. "Harold?" she asked the bear, "what do you think?"
    Harold cleared his throat, glad to be included in the discussion. "Well, I think you're right Jess. It's Robbie's turn. You did the last one."
    Jess smiled, satisfied. "Hah! I told you," she said, head still facing the couch, eyes never leaving the bodies.
    "Fine," Robbie replied. "I'll do it. Doesn't matter to me."
    Jess' smile continued as Robbie went to the corner of the room, and opened up a small leather case; the kind that doctors used to have back in the day. He fumbled about inside for a few seconds, before pulling out a pair of dental pliers. They were dirty and rusty and awful. Clearly they hadn't been used on any real patients for years; decades even. But that didn't matter. Now was their time to shine. Robbie walked back to the bodies, and faced his father.
    "Well, Dad," he began, "I guess it's time, you old bastard."
    Jess giggled next to him. Cursing always seemed so funny to her. Especially when Robbie did it. It had always been forbidden. By all their parents. These ones included.
    Robbie didn't giggle at this, but he grinned. He loved to hear his sister happy. "Shut up," he said, sternly, but not really seriously. "He WAS an old bastard."
    Jess couldn't contain herself this time. The giggling turned to full on hysterical laughter. She fell to her knees, clutching her stomach. HAHAHAHAHAHA!
    Robbie's grin remained. "Jess!" he said. "Stop it! Come on. I need to get on. And I need you to keep watch. Go to the window."
    The laughing stopped almost immediately. Robbie felt a little pang of remorse over his tone. He needn't have. Jess wasn't bothered about his tone. She was a professional. And she knew the drill. Robbie pulls out the teeth, she keeps watch. Next time, it would be the other way around. This was no time for fun and games. People might come by. And if they did, it was the Watcher's job to steer them away from the mayhem being committed inside by the Puller.
    Clang! The teeth made a little noise as Robbie dropped them into a small tin. Something nice or the tooth fairy, he thought. Bitch.
    Jess turned her gaze from the window, to her brother. "Done?" she asked.
    Robbie nodded, rattling the now closed tin. "Done."
    Jess grinned, revealing her own teeth; dirty and misshapen.
    "What do you think she'll give us for 'em?" Robbie asked, eagerly.
    "Are they good ones?" Jess replied, also eagerly.
    "Hmmm, not bad. Little yellow. Some fillings. I think she'll find them useful."
    "I reckon about 40 bucks then. We got 30 for those 3 that were rotten, remember?"
    Robbie nodded. He remembered. Those teeth had been inhuman. Hadn't the owner heard of a toothbrush? Evidently not, he had surmised at the time.
    "Let's call her now!" Jess suggested, suddenly all excited, and still grinning.
    "Shall we?"
    "Yeah. Come on..."
    "Ok. You do the talking though, ok?"
    Jess sighed and rolled her eyes. "Why do I have to do the talking all the time?"
    "Because you're the best at it. And she likes you more than me."
    "No she doesn't," Jess said, rolling her eyes even more. "Don' be silly."
    "I'm not being silly Jess," Robbie said. "She does. You know she does."
    Jess felt a sudden swell of pride in the pit of her stomach. Immediately followed by a pang of guilt. Maybe she did like her better than Robbie. But that wasn't her fault was it? She was the one who talked to her the most. Robbie, for some reason, was always shy when it came to being around her. Why shouldn't she feel good about being liked by someone? And why should she feel bad for Robbie? He had things better in other areas of their enterprise. And he damn well knew it!
    "You ok?" she heard him say. "What's up?"
    She looked up, into his eyes, and smiled. "No, nothing. Just thinking about that 40 bucks."
    Robbie relaxed, and smiled back. "Yeah," he said, "that is gonna be sweet."
    They both smiled, and became lost in though for a few moments, thinking about that 40 dollars, and what it could do for them. Hmmmm, they both murmured simultaneously. 40 dollars. Yay!
    Robbie snapped them out of it. "Go on then," he said. "Call her."
    Jess' smile continued as she nodded in agreement at this. Yes, it was time to call her. Time to collect on the morning's haul.
    Jess walked over to the wall to the right of the couch, and stopped. She stared at it for a few seconds, pondering the exact way to go about this. Finally she nodded to herself, and reached her hand into the pocket of her faded denim shorts. She pulled out a small piece of charcoal, and licked the end. Satisfied that the charcoal was ready for action, she proceeded to run it up and down the wall; sweep it left and right.
    A minute or so later she stepped back, her right hand held up at eye level, charcoal gripped firmly between grubby fingers.
    "What ya think?" she asked Robbie, tilting her head to the left slightly, as if unsure of her work.
    Robbie came up behind her. "Best one yet, I think," he simply replied.
    Jess immediately wooped with joy and danced around on the spot, chanting "Best one yet. Best one yet" as Robbie stared intently at the black outline of a tooth, crudely drawn on the clean surface of the wall, the name "Helen" written scruffily in the middle, in a mixture of lower and upper case letters.
    Robbie turned his eyes to his sister. He watched her dancing for a few moments. She seemed happy. Like before when he'd made her laugh. He liked that. It was nice to see.
    Suddenly a noise came from the kitchen. Robbie became tense. "JESS!" he hissed quietly. Jess stopped her dancing and looked at her big brother. "She's here. In the kitchen."
    Jess' face changed. The joy and happiness was gone. Replaced with a look of expectant apprehension. Her eyes lit up. Whoever was in the kitchen was welcome, but not without caution.
    "Go on..." Robbie started. "Go do your thing. Talk to her."
    Jess tutted at him. And relaxed. "Why don't you like talking to her?" she asked.
    "I dunno," Robbie replied, looking down at the carpet, seemingly a little embarrassed, "I just don't."
    "She does like you ya know."
    Robbie looked up. "She does?"
    "Course she does. She just likes me better."
    Robbie grinned. "See? I told you." Jess laughed as he pretend swatted her away. "Go on. Do it. We need to get out of here. Here, take these." He handed her the small tin that now housed the teeth.
    Jess took it, and nodded, before heading over to the sliding doors that separated the kitchen and the living room. She paused for a moment, took a deep breath, sighed, and then slid them firmly open.
    "Daaaaaarling!" came the loud and booming voice of Helen, the tooth fairy. "Jessica, my sweet little potato pie. How are you, honey?"
    "Fine," Jess replied, a little shyly herself.
    "Awwww, that's good to hear. I do so worry about you and your brother you know. I really do. Out here all on your own day after day."
    "We're ok Helen," Jess told her. "We like it."
    "Oh I know you do child," Helen replied, "I know you do."
    A brief moment of silence followed as if each of them was waiting for the other to say something. Jess reacted first. "We brought you some new teeth. Mr. Jameson's. He said we could take them. Said he wouldn't be needing them anymore."
    Helen smiled, warmly. "Well, that was mighty nice of him, wasn't it?"
    Jess nodded in agreement. "Yes. Mighty nice of him."
    Another slight pause, before Helen beckoned Jess over to the table where she was sitting. "Come on then angel," she said. "Let's see them. We don't got all day now do we?"
    As Jess showed Helen the teeth they had collected for her, Robbie edged a little closer to the sliding doors. He watched them both curiously, maintaining what he hoped was a somewhat safe distance. He liked Helen. She'd been good to them. But all joking aside, he really wasn't sure whether or not she really liked him. She was a rather large and imposing women. Jolly enough with her large purple hair all knotted up in a bun on the top of her head, her bright red lipstick sticking out like a sore thumb on a chubby pale white hand, nails painted blue, and sharp at the ends. Yes, jolly enough, but with a sinister and serious air. Robbie knew that as long as she kept getting her teeth, she'd treat them well, and look out for them. What he was worried about though was what she might do once their supply dried up.
    "ROBBIE!" Helen shouted, loudly, but still quiet, as if noticing him for the first time. "Come and join us you handsome young man."
    Robbie smiled, and began to inch his way closer, slowly.
    "Oh come on now my boy," Helen said. "Don't be so shy. I won't bite."
    Robbie relaxed. She had that way about her. Menacing but still calming and open. It was strange. She was like a monster that wanted to eat you. You kind of knew you should run away, but something about it, made you want to head into its lair. Well, whatever she was, Robbie knew he was safe. He and Jess. If Helen really wanted to hurt them, why would she have saved them both that day 3 months ago? He relaxed completely. Even if she was a monster, she was their monster. And he liked that.
    "Now then," Helen began, when Robbie was finally standing beside her and Jess, "these are some mighty fine teeth children. You've both done a grand job. Helen is proud of you both."
    Jess beamed from ear to ear at hearing this. She had never been scared of Helen. Not once had she ever questioned her, her motives, her demeanour, her anything. Helen was someone she could rely on. Not a mother. Jess knew that you could rely on a mother. No, more like a great aunt or something. Someone you saw semi-regularly. Someone who you knew could, and would, take you away from all that pain and suffering at a moment's notice.
    "You hear that Robbie?" Helen said, noticing his less than beaming expression. "Helen is proud of you."
    Robbie smiled and nodded. "Yes ma'am," he replied, simply, still unsure.
    Helen didn't seem to mind. She turned her gaze back to the tin that was now sitting open on the small wooden kitchen table. "Hmmmm, well, I think for these, I can give you....." She paused as she thought about it. "I think, 30?" She paused again, deep in though. "No, 40 dollars. Yes, 40 should do it just fine. What do you think kids?"
    Robbie and Jess both nodded eagerly. 40 dollars was exactly the amount they had decided the teeth were worth. Amazing that they were right on the money, so to speak.
    Now it was Helen's turn to beam. "Wonderful," she said. "Wonderful."
    "Helen?" Jess suddenly piped up, the money forgotten for the moment.
    "Yes, cherry pie?"
    "Should we get Mrs. Jameson's teeth for you as well?"
    Helen was quick to reply. "Oh no no dear," she said softly. "That really won't be necessary. I think I have quite enough with Mr. Jameson's."
    Jess was happy with this. She hugged Helen. Helen hugged her back. "Thank you Helen," Jess whispered. "I love you."
    "Awwwww," Helen replied, "I love you too honey. Both of you." She reached out an arm towards Robbie. "Come on Robbie darling. Hug your aunty Helen."
    Robbie relented. All notions of fear and wariness abandoned at the door. He sank into Helen's arms beside Jess. It was warm here. Cosy. He felt safe. He closed his eyes, and tried not to let the images of blood and bodies that flashed behind his eye lids, disturb his peace.
    When Robbie and Jess opened their eyes, Helen was gone, and they found they were just hugging each other. Jess sniffed, and brought the dirty sleeve of her pink hoodie up to her nose.
    "Don't, Jess," Robbie said. "Just....don't. Ok?"
    Jess nodded, trying as hard as she could to fight back the tears. They wanted to come streaming out. But she couldn't let them. She had to remain strong. Couldn't show any weakness. Weakness would overcome them if they let it. They would lose. Lose everything. Each other.
    Robbie raised his hand to his sister's face, and gently wiped under her eyes. "It'll be ok," he said. "I promise." He hugged her again, tightly, as she wailed into his chest.

    "Hey Robbie!" Jess shouted from upstairs. "I found it."
    Robbie appeared at the bedroom door almost instantly. "Where?" he asked.
    "Right here in the bedside table drawer." Jess held up two crisp 20 dollar bills, neatly folded just once down the centre.
    "Alright!" Robbie exclaimed, excitedly. "I knew Helen would come through for us."
    "Of course," Jess agreed. "Why wouldn't she?"
    "No reason. Just, it doesn't usually take us this long to find it."
    "Well, look at it though. So new."
    Robbie took the two bills from her, and examined them. They were beautiful. Some of the best he'd ever held.
    Jess continued. "Maybe they just took longer to arrive because they're so new."
    "Hmmm," Robbie mumbled, nodding, his mouth bent down at the corners. "I guess you're right."
    Jess jumped up and down on the bed like it was a trampoline. "I am always right. You know that."
    Robbie laughed. She was happy again. And he was too. And now they had 40 bucks to spend. On whatever they wanted. He felt a sudden pang in his stomach. Hunger. They hadn't eaten since yesterday. And for whatever reason, the Jamesons' cupboards had been practically empty. Nothing in the fridge. No bread. Just some cans. But no can opener. Maybe the cases by the front door had something to do with it, Robbie thought. Maybe they'd just come back from a trip? Anyway it didn't matter now. Now they had 40 bucks! They could dine like Kings. Or Princes and Princesses at least.

Copyright © 2016 Daniel Lee Peach