Potters felt the pain pulsate through his body, which intensified with every breath. It had been three long, grueling days of walking through the New Mexican desert. Morbid thoughts of vengeance had consumed his mind, which caused him to nearly dull out the pain. The smelly puss which exited the entry wound on the bicep of his left arm had been a constant reminder of what he had endured, as he hoped to God that he found someone to help him remove the bullet before gangrene set in.
A grotesque, presumably abandoned house suddenly came into view just over the horizon. Potters brought a water bottle contained within his satchel to his chapped lips before taking a swig. He picked up his pace, grasping the handgun within his waistband before clicking off the safety.
Within the dilapidated house, Edgar sharpened the blade which had ended the lives of four people the night prior. This had not been his first time killing, and if he it his way, would not be his last. Edgar glanced into the kitchen where his brother Milton stood, attempting to smash open an ancient can of beans with a hammer.
“Bring that fucking thing over here,” said Edgar.
“I almost got it,” said Milton, as he took another desperate swing at the can which had by now completely lost its once cylinder formation.
Edgar stood aggressively from the torn couch before moving toward the kitchen. He looked to his brother, feeling a sense of embarrassment that he was stuck with the moron. As Milton brought the hammer down again, Edgar stole the can in one quick motion from Milton's hand and dug in the blade of his knife without hesitation, before moving it along the outer edge. After popping off the lid, Edgar brought the can to his lips and started sucking down the beans.
“The fuck you doing?” asked Milton, who felt a tightness in his throat as his anticipation of having a meal began to dwindle. Edgar lowered the can, giving his brother a cunning smile, fully realizing he wouldn’t react in retaliation.
“You got anymore?” asked Edgar.
“Fuck no,” said Milton. “It took me all night to find that goddamn can... I’m fucking starving!”
“You and me both,” said Edgar. “If you get hungry enough, we could chop up the occupants and make a meal out of them.”
“You’re fucking sick!” exclaimed Milton, who then began to pace back and forth. Milton then caught a glimpse out of his peripherals through the kitchen window of a figure who was approaching from within the desert. He stopped dead in his tracks, turned and focused his vision.
“You see that?” asked Milton.
Edgar threw down the empty can of beans after taking a final gulp before staring out the window.
“Yeah, I see that,” said Edgar. “Looks like we found ourselves another contestant, Milton.”
“You figure he’s gonna stop in?” asked Milton.
“Course he is,” exclaimed Edgar. “Might have a few supplies on him worth claiming.”
Muffled cries began echoing throughout the house, which came from down the hallway. Edgar let out an exasperated breath.
“I forgot all about us keeping one of ‘em alive,” stated Edgar. “Go incapacitate her. I’ll go introduce myself to our new friend.”
Milton took hold of the hammer before heading down the hallway.
Potters analyzed his surroundings, which had become a consistent habit. As he inched closer to the front door, Potters watched as it slowly opened before Edgar emerged with a friendly smile.
“Hello there,” said Edgar.
“Hello,” said Potters. “I wouldn’t advise heading out this morning. The skin on my back is starting to peel.”
“Sorry to hear that,” said Edgar. “You looking for a place to rest your eyes?”
“No,” said Potters. “I need help removing a slug from my arm.”
Edgar glanced at the shirt sleeve of Potters left arm, which was visibly covered in dried blood.
“I ain’t a doctor, but I might be able to assist,” said Edgar, before exposing the hunting knife from his back waistband. “I believe we got some rubbing alcohol in the medicine cabinet.”
“We?” asked Potters, with a hint of apprehension.
“Me and my brother, Milton,” said Edgar. “Milton’s as harmless as a fly, and twice as stupid. You like to come in?”
Potters gave the invitation some thought. Over the past eight years, he had learned to trust his instincts. And at this moment, no alarm bells were ringing.
“Alright, I’ll come in,” said Potters. “Any funny business, I’ll blow you and your brothers heads clean off your shoulders.”
Edgar glanced down at Potters waistband, understanding the point as he spotted the handgun.
“Gotcha,” said Edgar. “Ever use that thing?”
“I wouldn’t have it if I didn’t,” said Potters. “I put a slug in the brain of the motherfucker who put one in my arm. A few others got away.”
“Is that a fact?” asked Edgar.
“Yeah,” said Potters. “They stole something very important to me which I intend to get back.”
“In that case, I hope you do,” said Edgar. “Enough of the idle chit-chat. Why don’t you come on in before that skin of yours peels right off your shoulders?”
Potters slowly approached the door where Edgar stood. As he did, Potters suddenly came to the realization that he didn’t even catch the name of the hospitable fellow.
“What did you say your name was?” asked Potters.
“I never did,” said Edgar. “The name is Edgar. How ‘bout yourself?”
“Quinn Potters,” said Potters. “But I just go by Potters.”
Potters reached the front door. Any apprehension he may have previously held was now beginning to lift. That was until Milton appeared in the doorway beside his brother.
“I settled her--” said Milton, before he caught the cold glance of Potters, who just as quickly had removed the handgun from his waistband which was now aimed at Milton’s head.
“The fuck you think you’re doing, fellow?” asked a flabbergasted Edgar, who was now gripping the handle of his hunting knife. Potters had since backed up a few feet in order to supply himself distance between himself and the brothers.
“I know your face,” said Potters, with evident anger in his voice as he pulled the trigger. A bullet struck a stunned Milton in the throat, who then stumbled backward and onto his back within the doorway as blood started to pool beneath him. Potters then turned his attention to Edgar, who had the look of a scared shitless dog in his eyes. Potters began to fire off rounds from the handgun as Edgar ran past his brother and into the house, but not before a bullet struck him in the thigh.
“MOTHERFUCKER!!!” shouted Edgar in pain. “I’m gonna fucking kill you!”
Potters stepped toward the doorway once again. He hesitated before stepping through the front door. As he did, Potters glanced down at Milton who was clenching his throat. Without hesitation, Potters fired a bullet into Milton’s skull, instantly ending the life of the depraved maniac.
Potters then turned his attention to the kitchen, where a trail of blood was leading back behind a kitchen island.
“I may not have recalled your face,” stated Potters. “But there ain’t no way in hell I would forget the face of Milton Dancy, The Springfield Slasher. You may recall reports of there being an accomplice before the shit-storm hit. That you?”
“Fuck you, motherfucker,” said Edgar.
Potters steadied his aim toward the island. He analyzed the situation and recalled news reports on how the Springfield Slasher was an expert with a knife. Realizing that Edgar was more than likely the second half of the murderous duo, Potters knew he couldn’t risk getting too close without putting his life on the line. According to his count, he only had two bullets left within the chamber and couldn’t risk the ten seconds it would take to reload.
“The way I see it, you have two options,” said Potters. “One; you stand up and let me make your death quick, easy and painless with a shot to the head. Two; you wait it out as your thigh continues to bleed in hopes that I eventually let my guard down long enough which may give you the time you need to ram that knife into my throat, which we both sure as shit know ain’t gonna happen. Take your pick.”
Edgar was starting to feel lightheaded. He considered the options Potters had presented and just as quickly, discarded them both. He then thought of something, knowing he didn’t have much time left.
“How do you know there ain’t a third of us?” asked Edgar.
“If there was, the son-of-a-bitch would have made himself known by now,” said Potters. “You’re gonna have to dig deeper if you wanna strike gold.”
“We got a family locked up downstairs,” said Edgar. “Door is padlocked, you see?”
Potters glanced toward the basement door, spotting a gold padlock which presumably kept it locked.
“There’s only one key, and I got it,” said Edgar. “You let me go and I’ll give it to you. Otherwise, you gonna have their blood on your conscience.”
“You said you have the key on you?” asked Potters.
“Yeah, that’s right,” said Edgar.
“If that’s the case, all I gotta do is kill you, take the key, unlock the door, free the family, then go off on my merry way,” said Potters. “You idiots may have caused a lot of needless bloodshed, but you ain’t very bright.”
“What the shit does something that happened nine years ago matter to you anyway?” asked Edgar. “The world has fallen apart. There ain’t no law and order. No prison. It’s a fucking free for all!”
“Be that as it may, but I believe in the law of divine intervention,” said Potters. “The individual definition may differ from person to person, but to me, God choses a path for the saints among us, as the Devil simultaneously plants seeds for the sinners to sow. Therefore, me coming across you and your brother like this was always my destiny. And I’ll be damned if I fail to live up to the prophecy of ending the evil laid out before me.”
Potters glanced down at Milton who laid dead on the floor a mere feet away. He spotted the hammer grasped in Milton's hand, which he then decided take.
Meanwhile, Edgar had glanced to the side of the island where he noticed that Potters was distracted. Realizing that he likely wouldn’t have another shot, Edgar decided to take it.
As Potters grasped the hammer, he glanced up where he spotted Edgar in the midst of lunging at him with the hunting knife in hand. Potters raised the handgun and fired a bullet into Edgar’s gut. Edgar had since brought both himself and Potters crashing down to the hardwood.
“I’m gonna gut you like a pig!” exclaimed Edgar, who had hardly noticed the pain caused by the bullet to his gut through the adrenaline, used all his strength to hold down Potters as he brought the knife closer to his throat. Potters, who had since dropped the handgun to the floor after getting thrown to the ground, knew that it was currently too far out of reach.
Potters then kneed Edgar in the groin before smashing the hammer into the side of his head. Edgar screamed out in pain before collapsing. Potters then threw Edgar to his side with what little strength he had left before lifting himself off of the floor. Potters glanced down at Edgar who held his head in immense pain as he proceeded to bleed out from the wound to his gut. Not wanting to take any chances, Potters lifted the handgun from off of the floor which he then aimed at Edgar’s head before pulling the trigger.
As Potters remembered the slug trapped within his arm, he glanced at the hunting knife held within Edgar’s motionless hand before muffled cries echoed throughout the house from down the hallway. Potters placed the handgun within his waistband and pocketed the hammer before snatching the knife from Edgar’s hand. Potters then proceeded to head toward the hallway.
As Potters glanced down the hallway, smeared handprints of dried blood came into view which submerged images of nightmares into his subconscious. The muffled cries intensified until Potters reached a door at the end of the hall, which had multiple holes within it from an evident massacre.
Potters pushed open the door to the bedroom, which had blood, some dried and some still wet, all over the hardwood floor and atop the furniture, including a dresser and a mattress which rested upon a bedframe where a blonde-haired woman who had to have been no older then nineteen was bound to by her hands and feet. Blood soaked her tank top and panties, which Potters had a feeling wasn’t her own. Within the woman’s mouth, there appeared to be an old sock with duct tape encircled several times around.
As Potters met the glance of the scared woman, who was now struggling more than she had previously, he felt the immense pain in her eyes which was almost enough to bring a tear to his own.
Potters rushed to the bed and immediately started loosening the restraints which kept her bound in place. After loosening them all, Potters helped the woman remove the tape from around her mouth. At which point, the woman spit out the sock before looking to Potters, undoubtedly shaken.
“Are they...” asked the woman, before Potters interjected.
“They’re dead,” said Potters. “Those monsters are dead.”
The woman immediately broke down in tears before wrapping her arms around Potters. She then cried loudly and uncontrollably into his shoulder. As she did, Potters felt a pinch in his throat, sensing the pain the poor girl had just endured by the hands of pure evil while realizing that the full extent of her anguish had only just begun.