Beneath the Orchid Tree

Beneath the Orchid Tree is a horror short story that will be told in parts. It will follow a serial killer in a sleepy town as he plays cat and mouse with the detective on his case. However, not all is what it seems.

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Beneath the Orchid Tree

Part 1

by LJ LaRue

“It must be difficult to carry all those books with that crutch,” The red-headed woman said to the man leaning against the nondescript silver vintage car. Moonlight streamed from the heavens, bathing them in its milky light.

“I make do.” It was a simple response. Their inane drivel wouldn’t matter come the early light of the morning. He had heard it before. The women always parroted the same words, remarking about his injury, the weather, or whatever mundane thing was on their mind. He had always answered the same way, feigning his interest to lower their defenses.

It was a fine dance, one he had perfected over the years. The need would call him when the moon was at her brightest over head. The desire to feel the warm blood flowing over his hands His body hummed with the excitement, his breath almost stopping within his lungs, as he waited for her to decide her fate.

“How did you hurt yourself?” she asked, her eyes darting from him to the car. She looked like a deer sniffing out a trap.

“Football. At a family reunion. My nephew was a little too enthusiastic tackling me.”

It wouldn’t be too long now, he thought. He could see the wariness waning in her bright gaze: her unusual blue eyes softening. This waiting was almost his favorite part, the other watching the light leave their eyes. He would be the last thing this young woman would see.

“My brother is the same way.” She took the book pile from him and opened up the car door. “He and his friends are always hurting themselves.”

As he pushed his shoulder into the young girl’s backside, she tumbled headfirst into the car. He prepared himself for this too. Duct tape, rope, and the instruments of his work waited in the console compartment between the seats. Whenever they got into the vehicle, they sprang the trap themselves. He would leave their fate in his hands. If they refused to help him or get into his car, they would live. If they didn’t —

She screamed. The weight of reality pressed down upon her, and her frightened round eyes met his. There would be no way out — for her or for others — and the only thing that waited for those lovely women was the orchid grove.

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LJ LaRue
LJ LaRue was born in West Virginia in 1980, the first daughter of a single mother. She made her first professional novella sale in 2016 on Amazon. In 2006, she took classes at the local community college for psychology. That fall, she became a mother. Writing in the evenings and on weekends, she continued to produce stories for free. In the winter of 2016, her husband became a manager and her daughter was in school, allowing her to write full time. Larue is the recipient of a 2012 daily deviation at deviantART. LJ lives in New York with her husband, a dark fantasy novelist himself, as well as their daughter. They are regular contributors to several charities, including the rescue of exotic cats from abuse.
LJ LaRue

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