|The Taylight Zone - Anthology Three
02 - God? - Trinity
Everything influences you in some way. No matter the nature of the experience, whether positive or negative, it could have either type of effect on you. If you see a news story on TV about your favorite rock star who committed suicide, it could effect you positively or negatively. You could say, “Oh my God, I don’t ever want to end up like that.” Or you could very well take your own life. It’s all up to you...
“Have you seen my green sweats?” Zac shouted from the second floor. “I can’t find them!”
“First of all braniac, they’re MY green sweats.” Taylor called back up to his 12 year old brother. “And second, you wore them last night and I’m going to wash them now.”
“No!” Zac flew down the stairs and grabbed at the laundry basket which Taylor held close to him. “They’ll get all stiff!”
“Zac, their not even yours!” Taylor complained. “Mom told me to do the laundry that’s the most dirty, and these definitely fall into that category.”
“Please?” Zac begged. “You know how it feels to have your favorite article of clothing washed only to find it tight and itchy and uncomfortable after! Mom’s tortured you with that.”
Taylor gave in to his brothers pleas and gave up the sweats before making his way towards the kitchen. He walked past his parents and caught part of their routine conversation.
“Did you see this article in the Tribune this morning Diana?” Walker asked.
“No honey, what’s it say.”
“Some girl named Lucy Berstead was...”
Taylor just ignored them and went back to the laundry room.
Finishing the laundry was the easy task, now Taylor, along with his brothers, we being forced to clean their back closet. Something they wouldn’t inflict upon their worst enemy. When Diana got into her spring cleaning mode, there was no stopping her, they’d be cleaning all day and night.
“Where do we start?” Ike asked, staring at the door, almost afraid to open it. “I don’t even want to look in there.”
“We start from the top, push everything to the bottom, out the door and under the bed.” Zac had it all planned out. “Then next year when mom tells us to clean under the bunk beds, we’ll just move it all back to the closet.”
“Brilliant!” Taylor smiled. “But who’s going to open the door?”
The boys were all uneasy. They knew what was in there, and frankly, they didn’t want to face up to it all.
“What’s in there?” Zac asked, to afraid to go near the open door.
“Oh gross!” Isaac screamed from the inside of the closet. “This must be three years old!” He tossed out a plate with food and a stiff sock stuck to it.
Taylor kicked it over to Zac. “Bring it down stairs and scrape it off.” Tay instructed. Zac agreed just to get away from the closet.
Three hours later they still weren’t any closer to cleaning out the closet. Isaac and Taylor had found old notebooks from when they were younger and they were lost in them. Zac had found some courage and had made the trek into the repugnant closet.
“Hey guys.” Diana entered the room which was messier than before the boys had started cleaning. “Dear God this room is disgusting.”
“Sorry mom, we’re trying.” Taylor replied with a smile. “We just found so much old junk.”
“Try making a pile of what you want to look at and throw the rest of it out.” Diana replied. “Then you can go through it all after the room is clean.”
“Never thought of that.” Isaac laughed. “It would make it a whole lot easier.”
“Now, where’s my Zachary?” Diana asked. “I know he’s around here somewhere.”
A muffled sound came from the closet.
Diana could have sworn it was her third oldest son. “Zac?”
“Yeah.” He popped his head out and he was covered in dust. “It’s unbelievably indescribable in there.”
“Well, I just wanted to tell you to sleep with your windows closed tonight.” Diana warned.
“How come?” Zac asked, falling back into the closet. “Hey, Tay! Your white sox Cap!”
“Cool.” Taylor replied to Zac who was stuck in the closet.
“There have been some seriously frightening crimes around here and I don’t want anything to happen to you three.”
“We live in Broken Arrow Oklahoma, what could possible happen?” Taylor argued. “It gets hot in here!”
“Just for tonight.” Diana left the boys to their closet monsters.
“Creepy.” Zac said as she left. “Hey, do you think all this will fit under the bed?”
The whole family had been disgusted and intrigued by Zac’s ability to be so bright the morning after spring cleaning. He did it every year. The girls and Mackie were still sleeping off Diana Hanson’s cleaning spree. “What for the breaks?”
“We’ve got eggs and French toast, your choice.” Taylor replied, not moving from his seat. “You’ve gotta get them yourself.”
“Whatever.” He grabbed two plates, sniffed it them both and put one back.
“What in the hell are you doing Zac?” Isaac asked as he looked up from his Lucky Charms.
“Ike, watch your mouth!” Diana called across the table. “Zac, what in the hell are you doing with the plates?”
“Why?” Diana asked.
“Cause there was on in our closet.” Taylor explained. “He’s scared he’s gonna get that one.”
“Why should that be so frightening?” Diana wondered.
“It kinda had a stiff sock stuck to it.” Isaac laughed to himself. “It was pretty gross.”
Just then Walker came into the room holding the news paper. “This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.”
“What?” Diana sensed her husbands uneasiness.
“This serial killer.” Walker replied, sitting down at the table. “He struck again last night. Killed a whole family then molested the oldest daughter who was nine.” Walker folded the paper neatly and placed it on the table.
“Really Walker, in front of Zac?” Diana scolded.
“He’s old enough to realize this world isn’t perfect.” Walker replied. “Better he knows about it now then later on when he’s on his own with no one to protect him.”
“I guess you’re right.” Diana answered.
“When did this happen?” Taylor asked, genuinely concerned with the situation.
“Just last night when they were in bed.” Walker looked down at the pile of French toast in front of him. “I can’t eat this, sorry Di.”
“That’s fine.” She took the food away and poured him some coffee.
“We’re going to have to start locking the back door and all the windows.” Walker sighed.
“C’mon Dad!” Taylor whined. “We didn’t even do that when the fans started showing up screaming, ‘Taylor I Love you! You’re GOD!’”
“Tay, you’re not God and this is different, Fans don’t want to kill you.” Walker finished. “What is this world coming to?”
* * *
“Can you believe that?” Taylor was disgusted. “We have to lock everything up just because one stupid guy decided to get all disgruntled!”
“Tay, calm down, it’s only until he’s caught.” Isaac replied. “C’mon, at least change your clothes for bed.”
Taylor looked down at his torn blue jeans and navy blue t-shirt. “Nah, I’ll just sleep in this.”
“Suit yourself.” Ike replied, making his way towards Avery and Jessica’s room to secure the windows.
Taylor couldn’t take it, he walked downstairs and out the back door. His parents would have killed him if they knew he was outside with that crazy guy lurking around. He didn’t care, he just climbed up his tree house, wrapped himself in his red flannel blanket that was always up there and fell into a dreamless sleep.
Zac searched for his brother all through the house.
No Taylor in the living room, no Taylor in their room, no Taylor in the den.
He had finally given up when he heard the kitchen door creak open.
“Oh my God, the serial killer!” Zac whispered to himself. He made his way out of the den carefully to the kitchen where he saw a dark figure in front of the refrigerator. ‘why would a killer want our food?’ Zac thought to himself. He firmly, and half ready to piss his pants, made his presence known. “Ahem!”
The figure replaced the orange juice container and turned to face Zac. “Why you up so early?”
“I thought you were killed by the serial guy when I didn’t see you in bed.” Zac walked over to the table and sat down. “I came looking for you and heard the back door squeak.”
“Well, I was in the tree house for a while.” Taylor admitted. “Sorry if you got scared, let’s just go back upstairs.”
“Yeah.” Zac smiled. “I can’t believe I was stupid enough to think that.”
“Hey,” Taylor grabbed Zac gently by the shoulders. “Don’t ever call yourself stupid, got that?”
Zac just hugged Taylor and they walked back up to bed in silence.”
“He struck again.” Diana replied. It had been six days, and six appearances by the serial killer. Going out to get the ‘Tulsa Tribune’ seemed to be ritualistic in the Hanson house. “This time right here in Broken Arrow!”
“Let me see that.” Zac looked over his mothers shoulders. “Read it out loud.”
“Should I?” Diana asked. Walker gave her a look that said she should. “It says, ‘For the sixth time this mad killer has brought his wrath upon Tulsa. This time in Broken Arrow, a city just south of Tulsa.”
Tay walked in scratching at the black shirt which he had obviously fallen asleep in. Zac motioned for them to be quiet.
“‘At approximately 2 am this morning, with the help of an anonymous call, possibly made by the killer himself, the police uncovered the remains of three girls at Johnston Elementary Playground. “It’s just a good thing we got [the bodies] before any children laid eyes upon it. So sick.” Says Police Chief Robert Silverstein. The bodies were identified as Sheila(16) and Rebecca McDaniel(12) and their long time friend Mary Peterson(14). Their bodies were found almost unidentifiable. All three were molested and mutilated after they were killed. Chief Silverstein says that whoever the killer is, is probably someone they knew and trusted. The police seem to have no leads at this time, except the mysterious caller stated that the killer had on dark clothes and a dark baseball cap. The killer could be anyone. There is nothing that joins any of the victims together. Our advice to you is to keep everything locked up and secure. Don’t leave your home at night, for any reason, and please, be careful.’”
Silence filled the Hanson’s kitchen. Nobody dared to move.
“I knew her.” Zac choked at his words. “I knew Becca, oh God.”
Tears built up in Zac’s eyes at he ran to his older brother for support. He gripped Taylor around the waist and Taylor held him tightly, like if he let go Zac would be lost forever. “Shhhh...” His calming voice soothed the hysterical 12 year old until his fits of screaming wasted away to quiet sobs.
“But I knew her.” Zac kept repeating.
Walker and Diana held each other, not knowing what to do, but they had faith that Tay would be able to take care of it.
Taylor was half supporting His little brother so he just lifted him up off the floor and carried him to bed where he fell asleep quickly.
Sobs could still be heard as Taylor shut to door.
“Oh God, what has this psycho done to us?”
The paper struck the door with a thud, waking Taylor Hanson, who really wasn’t sleeping in the first place.
Sneaking down the stairs, he opened the door, grabbed the paper and made his way towards the kitchen. He moved his tattered old White Sox cap from the kitchen table wondering how it got downstairs. Putting on a pot of coffee for his parents he sat at the table and read.
Sunday June 28th
And On the Seventh Day He Rested
There are no signs of the killer on this, the seventh day since Lucy Berstead was found in her parents bath tub. Police can only assume that he is taking a rest from his war path. We have a comment from Chief Silverstein. “He seems to think he’s God...”
Taylor stopped reading.
He heard the coffee pot drip the black liquid into the pot.
He heard the clock on the wall tick away the minutes. 11:45 am.
He heard the birds singing their noon time melody in the backyard.
What he didn’t hear was children slamming doors, parents speaking of the weather, cat’s meowing, music blasting.
What he didn’t hear was...
“Oh God, No...”