Saturday, October 28, 2017

Liberty Horror #1: Return of the Corpse


“What an awesome cabin, Don,” Eric exclaimed as they entered the spacious cabin on Wamapoke Peak.

“The cabin is awesome but the babes are even better,” Don sneered.

“I can’t wait to get me one of those snow bunnies.”

“Why just one?” Don clapped Eric on the back. “There’s a whole litter on this mountain. Let’s go change into our ski suits and take a look around.”

Don and Eric changed and went out to the slopes. They mingled with the other people on Wamapoke Peak and paid special attention to the women. That evening, there was a massive party in the main lodge. It was mostly women--sorority girl taking a trip together.

“I better use a breath mint in case I kiss any of them,” Don said, nudging Eric with his elbow. “Which one strikes your fancy?”

“That one,” Eric motioned to a blonde girl with a slight upturned nose and bright green eyes. “But I don’t think she’s interested.”

“That doesn’t matter. When you’re us you can do whatever you want with them. Just grab them, you know?” Don made a grabbing motion with his hand. Eric shrugged and walked over to the girl. He said something to her. She gasped and turned, storming away. Erick looked at Don. Don raised a glass to his brother. “It’s not an official no until someone is dead,” he said, smiling big.

The next day, most everybody was gone by noon. Don got out of bed around eleven, the girl he slept with long gone. Eric had passed out on the couch, alone. Don woke Eric up and they got dressed to head to the lodge. They noticed how deserted it had become.

“Big snowstorm today,” the proprietor said. “We’re expecting a foot of snow, maybe more. Most everyone has left, wanting to beat the storm.”

“I guess we should do that, too,” Eric said. “Storm’s getting here about three. It’ll take you that long to get down the mountain. It’s better if you stay here although the lodge will be closed so hopefully you boys have enough food and stuff.”

“We’ll be fine,” Don pshawed.

The snow nearly buried everything on the mountain. Don and Eric’s cabin lost electricity but they still had heat thanks to gas. Food was getting scarce. They made what they had last but on the third day stranded, they were down to just cereal and oatmeal.

Eric walked into the trophy room and saw Don getting dressed like he was going hunting. “We need more to eat. I’m sick of cereal. I’m going to see if I can find some animals or something. Want to come with? We may have better luck with both of us out there.”

Eric agreed and quickly got dressed in warm hunting fatigues. He grabbed a gun and he and Don headed outside. It had stopped snowing but the snow was up to their knees making it hard to walk. Eric missed a step and stumbled into the snow. A shot cracked through the air. Don let out a scream and fell into the snow. “Don? Donnie,” Eric scrambled out of the snow and over to Don. The snow was covered in blood and Don was still. Lifeless. Eric pulled Don’s body out and rolled him onto his back. “Come on, Don. Don’t do this. I didn’t mean to. Come on, Don,” Eric cried.

Somehow, Eric dragged Don’s body back to the cabin. “I’ll bury the body in the snow. It’ll keep until I get ourselves back down the mountain,” Eric began digging a hole in the snow. “I’m so sorry, Don.”

Don haunted Eric’s dreams that night, making it hard for him to fall asleep and stay asleep. He woke up the next morning exhausted, shuffling his way to the kitchen where he saw Don sitting at the table. “Don! How’d you get here? I didn’t mean to kill you. I’m sorry,” he screamed at the corpse. He chuckled a bit. “I’m imagining this. It’s just guilt. Don’s real body is still where I buried it.”

Outside, the snow was uncovered where Eric had put the corpse. Eric’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. “Nononono. It can’t be. Dead people can’t unbury themselves.” He went back into the cabin, retrieved the body and put it back in the snow. “There. And it’ll be warmer today so we should be able to leave tomorrow,” Eric went back in and sat on the couch. “How did Don get into the kitchen? Maybe I’m still asleep. I don’t remember getting any sleep…” he began mumbling as he drifted off.

When Eric awoke, it was nearly dark. He looked at the clock over the fireplace--7:36. “Boy, I guess I was tired. No bad dreams at least. Woo, I’m hungry.”

Eric went into the kitchen. The chair Don’s corpse was sitting in earlier today was still pulled out and wet with melted snow and had a couple drops of blood on the wood. Eric nervously made himself the last of the oatmeal and went back into the living room. He ate in silence, slight tremors pulsing through his body because his anxiety about Don. He ate the oatmeal and went to take a shower.

Don’s corpse was lying in the shower, his head tilted up so he was staring up at whoever opened the curtain first. “Yow!” Eric screamed. “How? Why?” he fell to his knees and began hitting the corpse. He sobbed against the tub, pounding the edge with his fist.

“It looks like everyone got off the mountain,” Deputy Harland said. “It’s dead up here at the lodge.”

“That’s good,” Deputy Jaramillo said. “Bad stuff can happen up here when no one is around. Like that. What’s going on here?”

Deputy Jaramillo flipped on the police lights and turned the car toward Eric burying Don in what was left of the snow for the third time. The deputies got out of their car and shined a flashlight on Eric. “Sir, please stop what you are doing and put your hands up.”

“He keeps coming back,” Eric said, raising his hands. “Keeps digging his way out. He thinks I killed him on purpose. I didn’t. I swear I didn’t.”

“He’s right,” Deputy Jaramillo said to Dr. Moore several weeks later at the psychiatric hospital. “Based on the angle of the shot, there’s no way it could’ve been on purpose or premeditated. He tripped in the snow like he said.”

“Thank you, Deputy,” Dr. Moore said, taking the file from the deputy. “This will hopefully help in his recovery. We haven’t had any issue with him since he got here but he cannot explain how the body of his dead brother kept getting back into the house.”

“Accidentally killing his brother made him snap,” the deputy shrugged. “Was probably just using that as an excuse since we caught him in the act. Probably never buried the body in the first place.”

“Maybe. Be safe out there. It’s going to be quite a snowstorm tonight,” Dr. Moore said.

Later that night, the snow was high and sleet was tapping against the window. A nurse came running into the doctor’s quarters. “Doctor! We have an issue with our new patient. He keeps banging on the door screaming for ‘Don.’”

“This could be our breakthrough,” Dr. Moore leapt up. They both ran to Eric’s room and Dr. Moore opened the door. “He’s sleepwalking,” he said as Eric dashed out of the room and toward the exit.

“Doctor, should we stop him?”

“No, let’s see what he’s doing.” They followed Eric outside and into the snow. Eric collapsed to his knees and began digging, looking for Don. “So that’s what happened. He was sleepwalking and he dug up his dead brother’s body himself. And he wouldn’t remember any of it.”

“Doctor, he’s burying himself in the snow,” the nurse pointed.

“He’s upset that he can’t find the body. Help me get him up, Nurse.” The two struggled but Eric refused to be budged. “Go get a couple of orderlies. Quickly.”

The nurse rushed off back into the hospital and came back a couple minutes later with a couple of orderlies. “Here they are, Doctor.”

“It’s too late,” Dr. Moore sighed. “The stress of the cold and not finding the body was too much. His heart gave out. Orderlies, take the body downstairs. Nurse, get me his file. I’ll call his parents and let them know Eric was reunited with his brother.”