That night saw very few dinner guests. Chasey wondered if word had got out that a longtime patron had been killed, and if that kept people away. The same old couple from the night before ate and left, the woman giving her a sympathetic smile on her way out. A thin, frail, young man also ate, keeping to himself. He spoke to no one aside from placing his order in a hushed voice, and didn’t look around much. In fact, he pretty much kept his head down. He had finished eating and sat in the hard chair, his thumbnail on his lips and his brow pressed in concentration.
After about half an hour of him sitting at the table and doing nothing, Chasey nervously approached him.
“Another drink, sir? Or anything else?”
He stared at her, his gaze fixing on a spot a few inches below her face. Chasey felt a blush creep into her cheeks. She hadn’t meant anything forward by her query. “No thank you,” he said in the same hushed voice as before. He rose and left the tavern.
In relief, Chasey looked around the dining room, her hand resting atop her breast, and her fingers finding the hard object that had held the strange man’s interest. The amulet! She had forgotten that she was wearing it. She was confused, not sure whether to be relieved that he was not interested in more than she intended to give or to be alarmed that he took such notice of the amulet that hung from her neck.
Chasey finished cleaning the tables and then left the tavern herself, locking the door behind her. Tucking the key back into her pocket, she turned the opposite direction from home. She was going back to the water trough to look for more clues.
She arrived and once again stopped dead in her tracks. The body was back. Who would take the body and then return it, she wondered. Stepping closer, she noticed Sturrin’s eyes and mouth open just as she saw them before. As she bent down to examine the scene, Sturrin sat up. His eyes and mouth were still wide open and his hand stretched out toward her, pleading, as he gurgled a single word – “Impaler!”


2 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: The Impaler – Part 7

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