Horror short: The Spider Salesman – Part I

Murder Victim Found Without One Eye

“I don’t think it’s fair to exploit Rich with that title, but I get it; that’s what sells for you people.” Len sat in his tacky plaid 70’s rocker-recliner with dark blue overalls with a white shirt underneath. He wore a baseball cap too worn to tell the team he was supporting, and he squinted all the time because he needed glasses but refused to go to a doctor. 

‘You’re not lyin’ with that title though; that’s how I found him. He hadn’t come over for our weekly beer and he always showed up on time every Friday after dinner at seven sharp, the man was at my doorstep, beer in hand. That’s how I knew somethin’ ain’t right, ya know?” Len coughed deeply, shaking his gut that fit a little too tightly under his overalls. 

“Well anyway, I tell the Mrs. I’m headin’ over to check on him, right? The man lives… lived alone, widowed and his sons were off with their own lives, you see. So I get there and the place seems normal, truck in the driveway, nothing out of place or anything. I bang on the door and holler for Rich a couple of times before I let myself in.” This is where Len paused and seemed to doze off into space, going deep into the recesses of his own mind, bringing forward something heavy. His eyes water a bit, but he just cleared his throat and casually wiped his face with his hand. 

“He looked bad, real bad. I’ve never seen that before.” 

Len stopped again to stare at the floor into nothingness but a memory. 

“Do you need to take a break, sir?”

“No, no. Not gonna do any good to sit and chew on it.” Len cleared his throat again and his wife came to offer a glass of water. He took a big gulp and was ready to proceed. 

“He was in his favorite chair, a rocker a lot like this one only bigger. As soon as I saw the angle of his head, I knew he was gone. You don’t slouch your head in that position and stay there, and it was not a sleeping position. His head was cocked to the right, almost resting on his shoulder but he was staring at the ceiling. I called his name, I don’t know why. I rounded the chair and that’s where I lost my dinner on his already ugly carpet.” 

Len used his kerchief to wipe the sweat beading on his forehead, took a very deep breath, and closed his eyes. 

“The missing eye and seeing that open socket where it should have been was secondary to the idea that this wasn’t a natural thing like a heart attack or stroke, this was a deliberate act and I was terrified that the perpetrator was still present. The eye socket was glistening white and cleaned out so that I could see brain matter at the base of the socket where some kind of bone piece had been broken away; I can still see the pieces in his brain…”

He took a moment to pause, open his eyes, and stare at the reporter before him. 

“Someone or something had carved that eye out of his socket, picked it clean and dry, and managed to leave no traces or even a drop of blood behind. I only pray to our Lord and Savior that that good man was not alive when it happened…”

Part II: https://night-write.com/2022/06/22/the-spider-salesman-ii-vi/


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