Devil's Throat

Devil's Throat

A Story by Accalia
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It's about a overconfident serial killer who experiences karma from one of his past victims. Arthur's Note: A Rusalka is a water nymph/mermaid in Slavic fairy tales and folklore.

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Devil's Throat

 

 

 

Jessi pulled Ben along as she hurried through the thawing forest.

“Come on, Ben,” she said. Her breath puffed out into clouds that faded as they passed through them. “You’ll never believe what I discovered!”

“I’m coming!” Ben huffed. “Slow down!” He couldn’t help but laugh he’d never seen anyone so excited. Especially not in this god forsaken town.

“I was just taking a walk in the woods the other day, thinking about... things, and wandered off my normal path,” Jessi explained between grunts. They were climbing up a steep hill thick with bare trees. Once their leaves grew back this spring you wouldn’t be able to find this place. “Then suddenly I saw it. The most beautiful view in the entire town!”

“More beautiful than even you?” Ben smiled. “I don’t believe it.”

They broke through the tree line, and Ben was caught speechless. He couldn’t think of a single other time that he couldn’t find words.

“If we’re careful and stick towards the middle, we can get one final skate in before it completely thaws,” Jessi exclaimed as she sat down on a large rock and pulled two pairs of ice skates from her bag.

“Oh my God,” Ben exclaimed. The frozen lake was large and ended at the cliff with a few humongous boulders he recognized as the ones that stood at the top of the town’s infamous waterfall. The lake appeared to come from a river he didn't know existed. The river flowed slowly under the layer of ice that was still somehow thick in the middle.

Everyone thought it was impossible to reach the falls. Rumors of hauntings, animal attacks, along with the seeming impossibility to even get through the thick woods and bushes that surrounded that end of town, kept people from trying to reach the top of the falls. Yet, here he was on top of the world.

He walked to the cliff’s edge, also protected by a ridge of rocks, and watched as the river flowed out from underneath the ice and around the boulders, falling in twin streams that met in the middle and disappeared into a black cavern below. This created a thin layer of ice that went over the edge as well. It made it look like the boulder had a frozen tongue hanging down.

The bay that lay below flowed inwards towards the cliff and also ran into the cavern. Not far out from the cavern in the bay another formation of rocks that stopped any boaters from traveling too close jutted up out of the water like a lower jaw of jagged teeth, giving this place the nickname of The Devil’s Throat.

No one knew where the cavern went. Any attempt led to disappearances, and those that did manage to return, claimed they never found a bottom. They couldn’t even tell if the water pooled somewhere down below. It appeared bottomless by all accounts.

“Isn’t it magnificent?” whispered Jessi, cutting into Ben’s thoughts. “Put these on let’s skate!”

The couple stayed towards the frozen center of the lake, skating, and gliding in circles under the sun. Everything was perfect.

They warmed each other in an embrace and headed towards the mouth of the river where Jessi left a backpack of food, warm socks for them both, and blankets. Ben lost in his thoughts of the discovery of this place, tripped on some pebbles that had made their way from the bank onto the ice. He fell forward swinging Jessi past him. She twirled and instinctively grabbed out for something to hold onto and caught Ben’s scarf.

The couple went tumbling, and Ben’s knees crashed through the edge of the thinning ice. He threw Jessi over him one last time, and they came to a rest with her beneath him. Once they realized they were okay, they began to laugh.

Jessi stared deep into Ben’s blue eyes. She saw this as the perfect opportunity she’d been waiting for.

“Ben.” She began stroking his cheek. He could barely feel it, as frozen as his skin was. “I’m pregnant.” They’d always protected themselves, Ben insisted on it. She was even on the pill. When he didn’t respond, she continued.

“I know it’s nuts, we did everything right, but maybe this is a sign,” Jessi said running her fingers through his dark brown hair. She watched his eyes intently for a reaction, but his smile remained the same. “We could be a family.”

“Yes,” Ben said, his smile grew larger, “we could.” He intertwined his fingers in her golden blonde hair, pulled her up to a sitting position and kissed her deeply. He pulled her back gently looking into her eyes.

“But we won’t,” he said, the smile never leaving his face. He never planned to get married and certainly didn’t want any damned kids. He yanked her to the left with ease and pushed her head down into the exposed waters at the edge of the lake. The water was liquid ice. Ben’s hands already felt numb.

Ben watched with an expression of eagerness and curiosity on his face. He straddled her body and simply shifted his weight forward onto his arms to keep her under.

He stared directly into her eyes, as he always did when he murdered someone, and watched as her look of shock turned into one of confusion, then fear. What hurt more? The burning cold water, or the lack of oxygen? He wondered

The light in her bright amber colored eyes faded. He swore he could feel her spirit give in and release itself to death.

He’d never drowned anyone before. It was similar to choking someone to death, just not as much muscle involved. The water did most of the work.

He kept holding her down until the bubbles from her nose and mouth stopped floating to the top.

Each time they would surface and pop, a red mist would rise before him. Her spirit leaving her body, like the others.

Everyone’s was different, but most were one of a few colors. Ben had noted that druggies and addicts were gray on a scale of pale to dark gray, depending on how long they’d been an addict. Innocent people he killed like her were usually light oranges, and yellows for the girls; light green and blues for men. The worst was a child. It was white. That broke his heart. She had come out of nowhere. But this... this was the first time he’d seen red. A dark red. No… maroon.

He sucked it in, feeling a strange thrumming power running through his body. He wondered if it was his imagination, or if the feeling was just a new side effect of the adrenaline rush from a fresh kill. He suppose he didn’t really care. He felt extremely powerful all the same, and he liked it.

The water flowed steadily under the ice. They were crazy to have skated on it, but it worked to his advantage now as he shoved her body into the water underneath. He grabbed a large branch and followed along the edge. Sometimes he’d have to crack the ice’s edge and help push her body past some entangled weeds.

As they got closer to the cliff, the current swept her along more quickly, and Ben jogged towards the edge. He watched as her body plummeted down into the Devil’s Throat and disappeared.

He would have to remember this place. He’d definitely be coming back. Ben grabbed Jessis’ bag, swung it onto his back, then walked back the way they came covering their tracks the best he could.

When he left the woods, he marked the entrance with a random rock.

 

***

  

Once Spring came and the leaves in the forest grew back enough to hide his travels, Ben returned to the top of Devil’s Throat time and time again. He was never alone when he visited, but he was always alone when he left.

The beauty never failed to catch him off guard, even as Spring turned to Summer. It grew more magical with each sacrifice. Devil’s Throat was becoming his religion.

A smile spread on his face as he broke the tree line, even today. The lake rippled softly from the water that poured into it from the river. Fish jumped from its depths. Butterflies alit on long cattails that lined its edges. Frogs sung under bushes and in the roots of aging trees.

The sun was setting, and the sky began to turn a deep pink, orange and purple.

“My money better be up here, Ben,” a rough voice said as it broke through into the opening behind him, “Mr. V isn’t the patient type.”

“It’s here, Carl, I buried it at the edge of the lake.”

The tall bald man with biceps the size of Ben’s thighs even paused to glide his eyes over the view. “I’ve never seen this place before. I thought I knew the whole city.”

“Yeah, I discovered it by accident.”

“It’s actually kind of peaceful up here,” Carl said, “I’d hate to have to muck it up with the stink of your rotting body if you think you can play me for a fool, loser.”

“Yea, yea, come help me with this, will ya?” Ben asked. His back was to Carl and he was pulling at something on the water's edge. “You’re stronger than me; maybe you can get it.”

Carl walked towards him putting his hand on the butt of his gun just in case he tried anything stupid. He looked over Ben’s shoulder and saw him trying to pull a small metal tackle box from the mud.

“Move back out of the way,” Carl said, throwing his head hard first to the left and then to the right to pop his neck. Ben backed up out of his personal space with no argument hands held up in the air.

Carl pulled on the lid hard expecting some resistance, but instead the lid popped off in his hand with ease. He fell back on his a*s looking at the lid confused until a ding rang out. A small makeshift bomb exploded spraying small pieces of metal into his face.

“You’re one dead Mother Fu--” Carl exclaimed before Ben brought down a large rock onto his head over and over again.

Carl still wasn’t dead yet though. He lay moaning and gurgling through the broken and shredded remains of his face.

Ben walked to his side and rolled him into the lake. Carl attempted to swim out, and Ben just pushed him further out, so he only managed to draw himself towards the cliff faster. Ben waved as he disappeared over the edge and heard a gurgling yell fall into Devil’s Throat. He preferred a face-to-face death, but in this case, he’d let it go with an exception.

Ben sat on the ridge, watching the sunset smoking a cigarette. This was truly his sanctuary. It had become his new killing grounds. He felt untouchable.

He took the last long drag from his cigarette, feeling the heat burn his lips. He held it for a second and blew it out slowly as he hopped down and walked along the lake's edge back towards where he’d murdered Carl. Something caught his attention from the corner of his eye.

When he looked over he caught sight of a large and long fish tail.

“What the hell?” Ben whispered to himself. He looked as deep as he could into the waters, but it had gotten dark, and he couldn't see much. Then a faint white glow appeared in the center of the lake. It looked like the outline of a woman with long red flowing hair. As he watched her swim down, a large fish tail came out of the water. It smacked the surface and disappeared.

Ben realized he’d stopped breathing. His heart was pounding in his ears; his head was throbbing. Did he just see what he thought he saw? It couldn't be. It must’ve been the adrenaline rush. Yeah. That’s it. The nicotine rush with the adrenaline had him seeing things in the water. He stood watch a little longer then waved a hand towards the lake and went back home to clean up. Tonight Fifth Avenue would be bustling with customers who needed their fix, and now he had extra cash and product.

 

***

 

Ben tossed and turned with dreams of the lake. He woke up clawing for air, sure he was drowning. He looked around taking in reality of his dingy but neat little house. Dream forgotten quickly, Ben took a hot shower, threw on the clothes that laid in a pile by his bed, and headed out the door.

He had no idea where he was going. He let his feet take him to the corner market for a pack of cigarettes, and he grabbed a couple burnt burritos that laid under the hot lamps. He was sure he’d seen the same ones last week. His stomach grumbled. He grabbed a couple more adding in a Full Throttle energy drink to the pile on the counter.

He ate his burritos, head lost in the clouds when he found himself at the lake again. He sat on the ridge of boulders overlooking the town until the sun was straight overhead burning the back of his neck. He hopped down and took off his shirt. He leaned over the lake's edge watching his reflections contort as he scooped water onto his top half. When he looked up, there was a woman standing waist deep in the water. He fell backward at the sight of her.

“Hey, where’d you come from?” Ben asked, shocked into speaking at all.

The woman’s long hair was a deep red and covered her bare breasts. Her skin was a flawless milky white. The color of the dead flashed through his mind, but she was obviously not dead. Her ribs expanded stretching her skin as she took a deep breath and pointed towards the cliff. He followed her gaze.

“You from the town? I’ve never seen you before,” Ben said, “didn’t know any--” His breath caught in his throat. When he turned back, she was gone. He walked up and down the lake’s edge looking for a sign -- any sign of where she went. He saw movement in the trees across the lake and assumed that he’d scared her as much as she scared him.

Ben stayed most of the day, waiting to catch a glimpse of her again. Her presence worried him a bit. He remembered seeing the red flash under the water the night he killed Carl. If she saw anything, she would've mentioned it to someone by now, and this place would be flooded with cops. So maybe she knew nothing, but he wasn't one to risk leaving a loose end.

Day after day, Ben returned to the lake. He sat smoking his off-brand cigarettes, watching the trees on the far side of the lake and the water coming in from the river. He itched to settle old debts and to spill more blood on his killing grounds.

 

***


A week went by before he saw her again. The sun was setting scattering light across the water. Shadows danced with the light creating a lulling vision that he almost could not pull himself away from. Her back was turned to him; her long radiant red hair caught bits of light from the lake, and her hair seem to beckon him. It blew gently in a breeze he wasn’t aware of. He was hypnotized when she turned and flashed her smile.

She sat on one of the large rocks that stood in the center of the waterfall’s edge. Ben was sure that from there she could see right down into the Devil’s Throat. She wore no top as he could tell, and her skirt was skin tight down to her calves. It glistened like the lake’s surface and looked like the shiniest fish scales he’d ever seen. It flared out at the bottom, and the fabric changed here giving the illusion of large fins. Her powder white feet poked out, looking small and delicate.

“You look like a beautiful mermaid,” Ben said staring at her up and down. He resembled an idiot with his jaw opened enough for a flying guest. Drool had even threatened to spill out of the corner of his mouth, but he had caught it at the last moment. He was a far cry from the man that enjoyed using his hands to steal the life from his victims. “You’re a damn piece of art if I ever saw one. What is your name?”

“Rusalka,” she answered in an Slavic accent that Ben mistook for Russian, “but my ‘friends’ call me Rusa.”

“That’s a very pretty name,” Ben said with half a smile. He was putting on the “Reynolds Charm”, as his father had called it after he beat his fourth wife and proposed to his fifth. Rusa smiled and looked back over the cliffs.

“You’re not going to jump are you?” Ben asked half-joking. The last thing he needed was another crazy b***h like Sally, his last girlfriend. After only a few weeks, she started talking about moving in. When she ignored his attempts at rejecting the idea, he finally agreed saying he’d move her in himself. She came in close for a kiss; he gripped her face, then broke her neck. He kept his promise; he moved her in underneath his new back patio.

Rusa laughed like it was the funniest thing she’d heard. “Of course not!” she exclaimed. “Maybe some other time, yes?” She winked and looked out at the setting sun. He sat on the ridge, packed his smokes against his wrist, and popped one into his mouth. The first inhale was always his favorite.

“How often do you come here?” Ben asked his voice strained with curiosity. He was upset his Killing Grounds had been compromised, but he was more concerned about if she’d seen anything he’d done. He visited this place often.

“I was born here,” Rusa said like she was in a dream.

Ben was deciding how to respond when he noticed the moon had risen high in the sky. It was a fat crescent moon that hung like the cheshire cat’s smile under the twinkling umbrella of night.

“Ever feel like the man on the moon is watching us and laughing?” He thought out loud. The idea scared him. He was sure this was true.

“Someone is always watching,” Rusa said quietly. Ben barely heard it, but to him, she sounded as paranoid as he felt.

“What do you---?” He asked turning immediately to discuss this mutual feeling but she was gone. Ben looked through the woods on the other side, but it was too dark to see now, The moonlight was working against him.

He didn’t notice how quiet it had been until all the crickets, frogs, and other night sounds seem to begin all at once. It seemed to grow louder and louder until Ben couldn’t take it anymore, and he ran home feeling like a madman.

 

***


Ben woke up the next afternoon with a splitting headache. He had drank himself to sleep. He stood looking in the mirror as he washed his face. His eyes were bloodshot, beard starting to grow in, and his t-shirt was yellowing with sweat. He stripped with a grunt of disgust and hopped in the shower.

When he came out of the back room, he was a new man: clean shaven, hair slicked back with the curls tickling the back of the collar of his clean shirt, and favorite jogging pants. Today was going to be a good day.

Ben headed out to to Fifth Avenue to make some money. He caught himself glimpsing at Devil’s Throat throughout the day. When the sun began to set, he saw a flash of red hair above the rocks. He flicked his half done smoke into the ditch and headed up to his killing grounds.

Rusa was leaning up against the rock as usual, but this time she was crying.

“What’s wrong, Rusa?” Ben asked.

Rusa wiped a tear away. “The past can be haunting.”

Rusa slid into the water and swam around washing her face of tears. Ben stripped down to his underwear and joined her. He swam around the lake after her, and she began to laugh.

“You could never catch me!” Rusa exclaimed.

“If I want you, I will.”

“You would never want me.”

“How do you know what I want?”

“I just know,” Rusa said with a sad face. Ben began chasing her again and the smile returned.

For the remainder of the summer and fall, Rusa and Ben met at Devil’s throat. They played cat and mouse, and Ben fell in love for the first time.

On the last warm Fall evening before the chill in the lake would become too cold to bear, Rusa let Ben hold her hands. They felt cold, but so did his beneath the water. He didn’t care; he was happy to finally be able to touch her. He started to move closer...He wanted to kiss her red lips

“Tonight is my last night here,” Rusa said seeming to read his thoughts.

“What? Why?” Ben asked. He had barely gotten the chance to touch her. He wanted to run his hands through her thick red beautiful hair. He ached deeply for her deeply.

“I have to take care of some things.”

“What ‘things’?”

“Revenge.”

“I understand revenge.” Ben said remembering all the bodies he’d dropped over Devil’s Throat. He had exacted his revenge on every single one of them that tried to control his life. “I love you, Rusa, let me go with you.”

“You know nothing of love until you’ve had a child, Ben. You couldn’t possibly understand my revenge. I need a life for a life. This person killed my baby and killed me.” Rusa said, her head falling into her hands.

Ben pulled Rusa into his arms for the first time. She felt so cold. He held her tightly and began to rub her skin to warm her up. It seemed he couldn’t get her to warm up; her skin began to feel like a slimy rubber. Ignoring it, he ran his fingers through her hair. Some of it came out, leaving streaks of blonde.

As he stood staring at her hair, he heard the cry of a baby. He looked at Rusa, and her eyes went from bright green to glowing a bright amber color.

“Wha--? Jessi?” Ben asked confused.

She held her hands over her belly, which illuminated a mermaid fetus.

“Yes, Ben, you killed me and our baby,” screeched Rusa/Jessi, “have we forgotten how you drowned me in these icy waters?” She grabbed him in another hug as he stood frozen in shock. Her long hair wrapped around his feet and cocooned his body so he could not escape. She pushed herself with Ben off the edge and down into the Devil’s Throat.

As they fell into the never ending darkness, Ben noticed her eyes turned a bright maroon that matched not only her hair but the color of her spirit when she died. The color of her revenge.



© 2017 Accalia



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Added on June 11, 2017
Last Updated on June 13, 2017
Tags: Thriller/suspence, horror

Author

Accalia
Accalia

MI



About
Hi everyone! I write poetry, Short stories, Lyrics, Sayings, etc. I try to range from different genres, I hope that people will enjoy my works and I am always look for ways to improve my work. So comm.. more..

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