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Travis Carter

  • Carter was caught off guard by his kids jumping on the bed. “It’s Christmas! Christmas!” ,said Nate.


    Nate was a wild rambunctious kid. He had brown spiky hair and dark brown eyes. He was wearing his Scooby doo pajamas. Every morning, he would wake his fathers. Normally, it was a shake on an arm and a shout. But today was different. It was a special holiday.


    Sally said, “C’mon dads! Wake up!” She too was jumping. Her red pigtails flopped about. Hitting her shoulders. She had beady green eyes like a doll. And freckles across her nose.


    Carter groaned at the early morning wake up call. He rolled over on his side. Facing Jack’s direction. His husband smiled at his irritation. “Yeah, Apples. We gotta open the presents.” He kissed him. Carter couldn’t help but smile too. Jack's blonde short hair radiated under the sunlight along with his ocean blue eyes. He recalled getting the nickname, Apples, from him way back in high school when he use to eat an apple every single day. Nowadays, the taste of an apple is souring to him but the title never left him. And he didn’t mind.


    It was welcoming. Getting called a name because of a simple action which brought them closer as friends and then as a couple. He chuckled at the continuous jumping that the kids were still at. “Alright alright.” He sat up. “Head on down there. We’ll be following.” “Yay!” The kids raised their hands. Running out of their parents bedroom. “Hey! Don’t run at the stairs!”


    Jack wrapped an arm around him. “Just face it. They’re not going to listen.” Carter sighed. “Yeah, I know. But there’s no harm in trying.” Jack caressed his cheek. “Maybe we should take the wifi out for a week? See how they would do when it comes to playing outside?” “Oh god! No! I’d be the one suffering too. I’m on a binge of The Office.” He rolled his eyes. “Seriously? You can’t take one day off of Netflix?” “Have you seen me away from the TV?”


    He held his hand. Looking into his amber eyes. They held a sparkle in them. A star from the night sky. “I think you would be great at pitching a tent.” “Yeah, after I look up a video on how to do that.” He shook his head. “You’re ridiculous.” “So are you.”


    Carter brushed his lips over. Savoring another kiss before both men went into the living room where the large Christmas tree and its presents that lay beneath it were waiting to be ripped to shreds. To reveal what lay under the wrapping.


    The kids had waited. Sitting near the tree. “Can we open them now? Please!” ,said Sally. Carter smiled. “Sure thing pumpkin. You two can open your presents.” Both kids were excited. They looked through the pile and quickly skimmed for their name. There were a couple of presents. Each one having been bought by friends or the parents themselves.


    Every present was a sight to behold. Especially Jenga. A phone suddenly rang. Carter pulled out his cell phone. He read the name. Jack gave him a look. “Hold on. I’ve got to take this. I’m sorry. It’ll only be a moment.” He went into the kitchen to answer the call.


    “Yes?” He listened intently. His working partner, Sanchez, gave him some new details. His eyes widened. “You sure about that?” He nodded. “Alright, I’ll be there.” He hung up. Putting his phone away.


    Jack walked over. He frowned. “So, you’ve got to go?” “Sorry about this. There’s a new lead on the case. I have to get to the briefing right now. But I promise I’ll be back in time for dinner and games.” He sighed. “I know. I could never stay mad at you. Not even the kids would.”


    He opened the fridge. “Before you go, I’ve got something for you for morning and your break time.” He handed him a large brown paper bag. “It’s got your favorite Beglian Waffles and a Classic BLT but with mustard and an accidental chicken in there.” Carter’s eyes lit up. “You made me a crispy chicken sandwich?” “I’ve been trying to perfect you. I just hope you’ll like it.” “Like it?” He almost couldn’t believe the amount of work that Jack had gone into to make this come to life. “I love you so much. You know that?”


    Jack smiled. “I know.” He lifted up a small plant above both of them. “Mistletoe!” Carter’s cheeks tinted red. “Have you been waiting to do that all morning?” “More like since yesterday. Now, give me those kisses or else you won’t be able to leave.” “In that case, I think I’ll stay. Beats being at work and listening to boring old meetings.” “Just come here!” Jack wrapped his arms around his neck. Their lips held together tightly. Going slow and tasting the sweet nectar of honey that Jack loved to have on toast.


    Carter stole another kiss before quickly changing in their bedroom. He came down stairs. Fully dressed and with a dash of cologne to smell decent. Jack straightened out his crooked tie as Carter pulled his overcoat over himself. “Be nice out there.” “Don’t worry. I’ll try not to bite.”

    “C’mon kids! It’s time to say goodbye to daddy.” They ran over. Carter picked them up. Holding them in each of his arms. “I’ll be back for dinner, ok? I won’t be gone for too long. I promise.” “Pinky swear?” ,said Nate. Carter chuckled. “Well, I can’t exactly do that right now. You two have got my hands occupied. How about a kiss for luck?”


    “A Promise Kiss!” ,said Sally. “Yeah. A Promise Kiss.” She kissed his cheek on her side while Nate kissed the other cheek. Carter had returned those kisses on their cheeks as well. “And last but not least.” ,said Jack who kissed him for what felt like the thousandth time. But that didn’t matter. Carter enjoyed every moment he had with his family. He almost couldn’t wait to come back home. Just to see them playing Jenga or eating turkey and all those sweet chocolates, garlic mash, fruitcake, and whatever else would be at the table.


    He set them on the floor. He stepped out of the house with his lunch bag in one hand and his keys in another. His kids waved at him as so did Jack. “Bye daddy!” “See ya later!” “Have fun at work, Apples!”


    He waved back with a smile then got in the car.


    Shit! He thought. It was nearly nine. He couldn’t believe how long it had taken him to investigate. The evidence they found was hard to decipher. Some kind of code. It was the first time that the killer had given them a message. He wondered if it had been a ruse to get them off his trail.


    He shoved that thought into the deepest recesses of his mind. Focusing on getting back home. He soon parked his car on the driveway. He jumped out of the car. Running to the front door. He stuck the key out to the lock. The door had been pushed open by his movements.


    Immediately, the back of his hair stood on its ends. So many horrible scenarios ran through his head. “Jack? Kids?” He cautiously stepped inside. He flipped the light switch on. He dropped his keys.


    His kids were on top of each other. Blood poured out from their gaping wounds where their organs dangled nearby. A sick feeling hit his stomach. He leaned against the shelf near him. Trying to keep himself from falling.


    “Carter!” He moved his eyes to Jack who was standing there. “Jack! The kids…! What the fuck?!” “That’s enough from you.” A man stepped over. He wore a dark red suit and black gloves. Carter pulled out his gun. Aiming at the stranger. “You killed them! You sick fucking bastard!” The man aimed a gun to Jack’s head. “And I’ll kill him too if you do not pass your weapon over here.” Carter hesitated before placing the gun on the floor. He kicked it over. “Perfect.” The man picked it up. “You should all be honored that I came here to make your family beautiful. They are part of my new artwork.” “This is art to you?!” Carter grit his teeth. He glared at him. Seeing the insane eyes that saw people as nothing but tools.


    “Of course it is.” The man walked to him. He aimed the gun at him. “My name is Vincent Hayes.” He smiled. “And you are not even worth my work. You’re useless.” 




    It was as if everything was in slow motion. Carter’s eyes widened. Blood stained his clothes. Partially getting on his face. Jack collapsed. “What?!” Vincent growled in his words. “Are you fucking kidding me?!” Carter’s mouth gaped open. He fell to his knees. Unable to do anything. His mind was a total blank.


    Vincent looked down at him. “You ruined everything!” He ran out of the house. Leaving Carter alone with their bodies.


    At first, Carter remained still. Tears slipped by. Rolling down his cheeks. His lips quivered. He could barely utter a word. “J-Jack….Kids….” He dragged Jack into his arms. Holding him close with a shaking tight grip.


    He recalled how the morning started, the kids jumping on the bed, the presents that he saw being unwrapped, the many kisses he had with Jack who had given him his meals for work, and the hopeful thought that he would make it in time for dinner.


    All of his anger and pain built up into the scream that made a neighbor call the police.

  • shadowess and Tim heart this
  • shadowess
    shadowess Oh wow :o Excuse me while I go have a cry! Damn!
    January 20, 2021 - 1 heart this - Report
  • Denix Vames
    Denix Vames FYI letting you know that i had to send the next scene in messages twice cause the first time i made it, it had no room for your characters so i rewrote it a second time. just letting you know so you don't waste your time reading the first one. sorry.
    January 20, 2021 - 1 heart this - Report