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Bloody Instinct

By @Briannag288

1

“Let’s go over the rules,” Noah said, wiping the blood off his knife. The light from the broken bulb blinking makes Ethan’s head spin. “ETHAN!”

“Y-yeah, Rule one: choose carefully, Rule two: location, Rule three: have supplies ready. Rule four: don’t get caught, and Rule five: take proof”

“You forget one—rule six: disposal. I want you to do it. Break the body down. It makes it easier to transport. You have the resources. Get to work. You better hurry. If you’re not done in ten minutes, I’m leaving you here.” 

Ethan ran out of the room and looked for the bag his brother brought with them. Spotting the bag, he goes through it and pulls out a machete. It felt lighter than he expected. Noah made him carry the bag. That in of itself felt like a weapon. When he returned to the room, Noah was on his phone, occasionally looking up now and again. The machete was incredibly sharp as Ethan brought it down onto the dead body. It cut straight through the bone. Good. He wanted to make this go as fast as possible. 

Even before all this happened, Ethan never had a problem with dead bodies. It was the smell that got to him. He’d watched Noah do this a million times by now. He knew what to do. After dismembering the body, Ethan stuffed the body into trash bags. He finished up by wiping the blood and all the surfaces with bleach.

“Alright, I’m done,” Ethan says, throwing the bags outside.

“Nine minutes and fifty-two seconds. Honestly, I thought you wouldn’t make it. Be honest; you chopped him up like a pro. Tell me you didn’t get a rush.” 

Ethan started to get used to disposing of bodies. It was his brother’s way of easing him into the job. “Maybe a little,” Ethan smirked.

Noah’s twisted smile grew. “See? I told you. I told you you’d like it. I’m never wrong. Come on, let’s get some food.”

“Sure,” Ethan said, grabbing the supplies bag and slung it over his shoulder. He’d been working with Noah for about two months. At first, he only did it because Noah would kill him if he didn’t join him. Ethan didn’t expect to actually like how good he was at getting rid of the bodies. That terrified him.

“Oh, hold up! Forgot something,” Noah said, opening one of the trash bags. The head of Noah’s victim looked back at him. Noah opened his camera and took a picture. “Pictures, or it didn’t happen,” Noah laughed. “That’s number four. I was thinking about what we should do for number five.”

“I figured you do what you’ve always done. You kill, and I clean.”

“Yeah, but that’s so boring! This is a milestone. Let’s mix it up. I want you to make the fifth kill—the whole nine yards. I think you can do it. You should be ready by now.”

Ethan’s heart skipped a beat. He wants me to…

Uh, you sure about that? I mean, I don’t think I can do it,” Ethan said, adjusting the bag.

“Say it.”

“What?”

“Murder them. Say it.”

Ethan shook his head. “No, I-I can’t.”

Norah crossed the room so fast it caught Ethan off guard. Noah grabbed his brother and slammed him into the bookcase. Noah wrapped his hands around Ethan’s neck. “I said say it.”

“Noah! Stop…I…please!” Ethan begged. 

“Say it!”

“Murder! I…can’t…murder…them!”

Noah, satisfied, realized him. “There. That wasn’t so hard. I’m still hungry. Get in the car. I need to be alone for a second.”

Ethan scrambles out of the house and hurries into the backseat. Ethan started to cough violently as soon as he was out of Noah’s sight. Once he composed himself, he leaned back and tried to gather his thoughts.

How much longer do I have to do this? I’m just as guilty as he is. If he goes to prison, it will make my life so much easier.

Ethan’s attention was diverted when the driver’s door opened, and Noah climbed inside. “Look, I’m sorry. You know how serious I get when it comes to my hobby. I just want us to have something no one else has. You understand, right?”

“Yeah, I get it,” Ethan said, looking out the window. His eyes drift to the rearview mirror as he sees Noah staring at him. 

“I know what your thinking. My bro’s a ****** up killer. Which is correct. However, I want you to know that this isn’t that different from other people’s hobbies. Some people paint; others might collect weird stuff. But, this is something not everyone can do. I want you to see that. That’s why I want you to do the next one. If it helps, I will find you a target. It’s the least I can do.”

The least you can do is turn yourself in. “Sounds good,” Ethan said, smiling.

On the ride to the city, Noah started giving some more advice. “Remember, locating a target is the most important part. Look for someone who you know you could take in a fight if it came to that. I prefer going after people who fit the loner type. Those, who if they went missing, wouldn’t cause that much of a stir.” Noah pulled the car over. “You see her? Down by the bus stop? See if you can guess her story.”

The woman was by herself. She wore navy sweatpants and a grey hoodie with a college logo on the front. She had long blond hair and green eyes. “College student. Maybe heading home? She packed light, so where ever she’s going isn’t that far. Then again, she’s in the middle of nowhere, so it would’ve had to be a day trip. She’s not afraid to travel by herself. She was meeting someone out here. She dressed comfortably, so maybe it was a friend she was meeting?”

“You know, it’s almost scary how you can get all that from her clothes. So, what do you think? We could grab her. No one’s around, and it’s getting dark.”

“No, look. She’s talking. I didn’t see it before, but I think she might be on the phone. If something happened, someone would know. They might be around the corner. They might be armed. Too risky.”

“Good job. However, unless she is talking to Michael Jackson about Thriller, I don’t think that’s the case.”

“Huh?” Ethan looked closer, and the woman was nodding her head and mouthing out the lyrics. “Music.”

“Yep, which means no one knows.” Noah exits the car and walks over to the woman. After they exchange words, she follows him back to the car. Noah never had trouble getting girls to like him. He was handsome and charismatic. Who wouldn’t fall for that? 

The woman hopped into the passenger’s seat and buckled in. “Oh, sorry.” She reached back and held out her hand. “I’m Samantha. Call me Sam.”

“Ethan.”

“Sorry about him. He gets shy around pretty girls,” Noah said, laughing. “That’s my brother.”

“Seriously? I wish I had a brother. All I have is a younger sister,” Sam said, pulling her long hair back into a ponytail.

“So, where to?” Noah asked.

“I was heading into town to catch a bus back to campus. I go to Oakland University. I was out here studying the wildlife with a friend. He had to leave early, so I decided to take the bus.”

“Wow. Oakland, huh? I heard that school is hard to get into. I’ve tried like five times,” Ethan said. “I’m stuck on the waiting list.”

“I was too. So don’t give up. You’ll get in. Though don’t expect to hear from any reps right now. Everyone’s been really cautious because of all the murders that have been happening.”

“Murders?” Noah asked. “What murders?”

Sam gave him a shocked expression. “You don’t know? Some person has been going around for the last couple of months murdering people. They take a picture and upload it to social media. The police can’t find the killer because they think the killer is some sort of coding genius. You can only look at the picture for a few seconds before it deletes itself. They call them The Snapshot Serial Killer. So dumb.” 

“You know, I think I’ve heard of that. How about you, Ethan?” Noah asked. “Heard about any murders around here?”

“No, I haven’t.”

“I just want to get back to my room and sleep. I got a busy day tomorrow,” Sam said, yawning.

Noah stopped the car at an intersection. No cars were coming. “Really?” Noah asked, taking out a needle and jabbing into Sam’s neck. “Us too,” He whispered as she struggled against him. After a few moments, her body went limp.

“Looks like this is happening,” Noah smiled. “I know just the place to do it.”

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