We really didn’t get to know the first victims of The Cliffhouse Haunting’s own serial killer, Hammerhead, so we’d thought we’d take a moment and talk with them about their experience in our novel. First, here they are in action:
Hammerhead heard voices and paused. One male, one female. It had been a long time since he had taken down two at once. The prospect delighted him, but he was nothing if not cautious; if it wasn’t safe, he would wait until another day.
He stepped into the dappled shade of a huge fir, pulled his water bottle from his knapsack and drank. The prey drew closer, and after capping the bottle, he patted the rip claw hammer that hung from a loop on his belt, hidden by his light jacket.
When the voices were no more than fifty feet away, he began walking toward them, timing it so that they would meet near a steep cliff with a panoramic view.
The couple appeared, early twenties, slender and smiling. Hammerhead moved to the side of the trail.
“Hello!” said the young man. “Here for the view?”
Hammerhead nodded, a smile painted on his face.
“It’s worth the hike,” the woman said. “It’s so clear today.”
“It is.” As they passed, he drew the hammer, whirled, and hit the man in the temple. The hiker crumpled where he stood. Before the girl could scream, he turned, and as graceful as a dancer, spun the weapon around and impaled her temple on the claws. She didn’t fall because he held her up by the hammer. He pulled a compact mirror from his pocket, flipped it open and held it up as he lowered her to the ground. Her eyelids drooped, so he held them open with two fingers until she died and her soul was captured in the mirror. He snapped the compact shut, retrieved another, and turned to the young man. Disappointment flooded him. He was dead, his soul already gone. At least he had one soul. It felt good; it had been too long.
Hammerhead dragged the bodies to the edge of the rocky cliff. Once there, he lifted one head and brought it down on a sharp rock where the hammer wound had been, then dropped the rock over the cliff. He repeated the action with the other on a different rock. Then he pushed the bodies over. The coyotes and hawks would eat well, and in the massive brush and trees below, it was unlikely the remains would be found. There were others down there, after all, who’d been there for years.
And now, on to their interview. Please note that due to their head wounds, they are unable to tell us their names and since it’s unlikely their bodies – what’s left of them – will ever be found, we’ve taken the liberty of calling them Victor and Vicky Victim.
T & A: How are you feeling today?
Victor: I have a headache.
Vicky: Me too.
T & A: We’re sorry to hear that. Is it your sinuses?
Victor: Partly, but, uh … I think it might have more to do with the great big fucking holes we have in the sides of heads.
Vicky: Now, Victor, you shouldn’t swear like that during an interview! It’s not polite.
Victor: I didn’t say anything when you bled all over the sofa.
Vicky: (rolls eyes) Tamara, Alistair, you’ll delete the f-word, right?
T & A: Of course we will. Now tell us, what were you doing that day in the mountains?
Victor: We were hiking to Deep Creek. We were going to swim naked.
Vicky: We even brought joints!
Victor: Shhh! Don’t fucking tell them that!
Vicky: What, it’s legal here. And stop swearing!
Victor: Sorry. It’s just that my head is killing me.
Vicky: Mine too. My hair is never going to look good again. I just can’t cover this hole!
T & A: Joint?
Vicky: You know, weed. (giggles)
Vicky: What, that bastard probably killed us for it.
T & A: Mr. and Mrs. Victim, we can assure you that you weren’t murdered for your cannabis.
Victor: Well, what the fuck DID he kill us for then? My wife’s smoking hot body? She wasn’t even naked but man, look at those leg bones! You should’ve seen them before the vultures!
T & A: He killed you for your souls. It’s kinda weird, we know, but it’s the truth.
Victor & Vicky in unison: Our souls?
T & A: Yes. He traps them in mirrors and keeps them in what he calls his Hall of Souls.
Victor and Vicky look at each other, then burst out laughing.
Vicky: What a nut job!
Victor: Crazy bastard! Who does that?
T & A: He calls himself Hammerhead and he kills people with a-
Vicky to Victor: Hammerhead! See! A hammer! I told you I saw a hammer!
T & A: It was probably the last thing you saw.
Victor: Well, I hope they caught the bastard.
Vicky nods vehemently.
T & A: We can’t tell you that. We don’t give spoilers.
T & A: You’re going to have to read the book.
Victor: The book? What book?
T & A: It’s called The Cliffhouse Haunting and it’s available now!
Vicky: We’re in a book!? Isn’t that wonderful,dear!
Victor: (grunts) Wait a minute. You mean to tell us that we died – in your book – and you have the nerve to try to sell it to us? What, were you born in a barn?
T & A: Yes.
Vicky: I think we should buy it, dear!
T & A: Halloween is coming up. It will make a great gift for the season.
Victor: We’re dead, you assholes. We don’t even have a credit card, let alone cash.
Vicky: Language, dear. (turns to T & A) Well, I think it’s wonderful. I’ve always wanted to be in a book.
Victor: But we died in the book!
Vicky: Semantics, dear. Where is this book available, Tamara and Alistair?
T & A: Amazon.
Vicky: Well, as soon as this interview is over, we’re going to buy it. I don’t care what my husband here has to say about it. (Turns to Victor) My mother will be so proud!
Victor: Whatever you say, honey. Do we get any royalties from this book?
T & A: (Look at the ground and avoid eye contact with the victims): Look, we’ll go to the place you died and throw some flowers at your carcasses. Will that do?
Vicky: White roses. We’d like white roses.
Victor: Fucking roses, good call. You do that, we won’t haunt you.
Vicky: Language. You really will clean this up?
T&A: Yes. Sure. Thanks for your time. (They run away. Fast.)
Thorne & Cross