Time to Kill
And who’s the little girl?
Never mind the girl…
The sun is setting when the first car pulls up to the house. Sarah hears Maxwell’s footsteps as he comes inside. He walks up to the bedroom door, then pauses, then walks away without saying a word.
More cars roll up. One of ‘em sounds a whole hell of a lot louder than the rest. Older, too.
Lots of footsteps moving through the house. Some of ‘em stop by the bedroom door. None of them say anything through it. Sarah says nothing back. She just watches the sun set through the dormant trees, trying to find some leaves which have broken out of their buds. She doesn’t. Maxwell’s backyard is too far away from the woods. Besides, most of the buds have yet to burst. Oh well.
The commotion in the house grows louder and louder as the night darkens on. Footsteps taken, voices raised, quarrels silenced. It all comes through muffled to Sarah. If she really paid attention she could probably figure out what was going on, what they were all saying, but… what’s the point? The sun has set on this town, and she’ll be dead before it rises. All the Earthen folk will, if this Rock nonsense isn’t a total crock of shit, which it might not be. It might be, but it also might not be. Sarah won’t be around to find out, they’re killing her no matter what.
All falls silent in the police chief’s house. Slow, heavy footsteps approach the locked door. Sarah can hear little squeaks in the footsteps, as if the house was whimpering under the weight. Must be the strange fat man. Must be Chief Maxwell.
Must be Grand Martian.
A light knock on the door then. “Sarah?” in Maxwell’s voice. “We’re… we’re ready for you.”
Sarah Hammond doesn’t say a word, but not because she’s scared. She doesn’t want him to hear her voice. She has a nice voice, her parents always complimented her on it. Maxwell doesn’t deserve to hear it.
The door opens. Daniel Maxwell, all gutsied up in his Feller uniform, stands in the doorway. They stare at each other for a moment, one pair of eyes much more intent, much more powerful than the other. Chief Maxwell’s eyes fall away, finding something on the floor to ogle at. He puts out a hand which Sarah refuses to take. When he grabs her by the wrist and pulls she comes up on her feet and walks, because she will not be dragged. She’s not dead weight, not yet. She’ll walk while she still can.
All the cops are waiting for her in the living room, all of them wearing identical blue denim pants and crimson red sweaters with the big blue blob on them. They’re all looking at her like they don’t want to see her, like they’d rather everybody in the room be somewhere else tonight, doing anything else… but here they are all the same.
“Fellers,” Chief says, moving Sarah in front of him so he can rest his fat, heavy hands uncomfortably on her shoulders; it feels like she’s wearing shoulder pads made of soft iron, “this is Sarah Hammond.”
The Fellers say nothing. One of them, the creepy one who found Sarah hiding under the bed, licks his chapped, peeling lips.
“Well… let’s not waste any time.”
Chief Maxwell takes Sarah by the wrist and leads her to the front door. The rest of The Fellers follow them like lemmings headed to a cliff’s edge. Chief starts down the steps but stops when he feels Sarah frozen at the top. He looks back and sees a wide-eyed child in pajama pants and a t-shirt who looks like she’s come face to face with the bloody ghosts of her gunshot parents.
“Come on now, Sarah, there’s no sense in stallin’. The sooner we get it over with the sooner it’ll be done.”
He tugs her wrist then, breaking her from the trance, and she goes down the steps. Maxwell opens the back double doors of the windowless white van and doesn’t release his grip from Sarah’s wrist until she’s inside. Four Fellers climb in with her, the last shutting the doors tight behind him. There’s wire mesh between the back and the seats up front, just like in the police cruisers on TV. It’s fitting, Sarah supposes. She is a prisoner, after all.
“It’s time,” lilts the creepy one. Everyone looks at him. Sarah is utterly appalled at his grim little grimace. “It’s really time, Fellers.” He looks at Sarah dead-on. Looks like he’s enjoying this. “Time to kill.”
Chief Daniel Maxwell climbs into the driver’s seat. Officer Vern VanDunk climbs into the passenger seat. The sun’s almost gone now, there’s hardly a sliver of it left on the horizon.
Night darkens the sky to a brooding Prussian blue as they drive down Cannonball Road. Dimly glowing white stars come out one by one.
Hello Commons, this has been the last subchapter of the third chapter of Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox, a novel about a man who likes to eavesdrop on his neighbors.
Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is the second book in the W-2222 series, a series of books which take place in Universe W-2222.
Under the Hood: The Imprisonment of Jonathan Knox is available to read for free in its entirety on my website. Click here to check it out.
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