The Day He Snapped

Beware of the beast within. Photo by Morgan Maxwell.

Beware of the beast within. Photo by Morgan Maxwell.

At 11:43 p.m., it was silent. The only sound was the crickets chirping and the breeze of the wind slapping against the tree leaves. Carson’s heart was pounding as he hurried through the chilling woods. His leg was throbbing with pain, and blood was trickling down it. Carson looked around and noticed his vision was blurring. He was losing consciousness. He heard the sound of John’s whistle following him, yet he was too panicked to realize how fast he was sprinting. Thump! Carson toppled over a mossy rock and smashed his right arm on the razor-sharp, jagged edge.

On top of a wounded leg, he now also had a broken arm. Just as he thought he had lost John, he heard the sound of granulating leaves near him. He was close. Carson limped eagerly to the nearest tree, and there he laid with a sigh. He waited a few moments and then slowly scanned the area. He saw nothing but darkness. 

“Hello…is anyone there?” Carson called out. 

He waited for a moment and heard nothing, so finally, he allowed his body to relax and passed out from exhaustion. Carson awoke to the sound of heavy breathing, questioning if it was a dream or not. Before he could open his eyes, something yanked from behind the tree.


Earlier in the day, it was the celebration of America: July 4th. John, Carson, and Gabby planned to take a road trip in John’s car to light some fireworks up on a mountain top. Little did Carson and Gabby know that was not going to happen. John went to pick up Gabby and Carson from Gabby’s house since Carson was already there, working on her dad’s truck. As John pulled into her driveway, a comforting hug greeted him from the rolled driver’s window. 

“Hi, John!” Gabby exclaimed with excitement. 

“Hi, Gabby,” John muttered as he rolled his eyes, clearly annoyed by her enthusiasm. Gabby is known for being the peppy over-reactor at their high school.             

“Come on, love birds! Let’s start heading there, so we can set up before it gets too dark!” Carson shouted. One by one, Gabby and Carson loaded into the car.

There was a silence as they drove down the deserted road. “So, how’s school, guys?” Carson asked, breaking the awkward silence.

“Eh, it’s alright. However, I’m not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer,” John stated.

“What does ‘I’m not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer’ even mean?” Gabby questioned. 

“It’s a saying, Gabby. It just means that you’re not the best at things compared to others,” Carson explained, rolling his eyes.

John’s palms started sweating as he heard the word ‘knife’ reflected at him. He began to hallucinate that Gabby was his mom. John often got flashbacks of his mom’s murder. He saw it all happen, and she died right in his arms. Yet, the worst thing is he could do nothing about it. It was too late to call 911. He wanted revenge on the robber that stabbed his mom in the neck four years ago. John couldn’t take it anymore. The twists and turns of the road were only fueling his delusions. 

Errrrrt. The car stopped suddenly. Carson and Gabby jolted upwards. John felt a wave of dizziness rush over him, and sweat poured down his forehead.

“Are you okay, John?” Carson asked nervously. No response. 

“Is everything alright?” He continued. John’s anger was visibly rising.

“I need both of y’all to get out of my car…now!” shouted John. John knew what would happen if they didn’t, and neither moved a muscle. They sat perfectly still.

“I said get out of my car!” John yelled again. No one moved. They were both petrified to know what would happen if they did. 

“I need some air,” John declared, followed by an, “I’m sorry.”  

John got out of the car and slammed his door shut. He put his hand on top of his head and circled the car. Terrible thoughts ran through his mind. Every time he looked at Gabby, it reminded him of his mom, and he hated her for it. John had no choice but to kill her. 

John slowly moved to the back of the car and opened the trunk. He rummaged through the fireworks, his clothes, and football gear. Finally, he found it; an old pocket knife. A perverted grin crept across the corners of John’s mouth. He slipped the object into his back pocket and moved to the rear doors.

“Gabby, can I talk to you real quick in private, please?” John asked, opening the door on her side.

“Sure!” Gabby replied happily. 

She hopped out of the car with excitement, smiling from ear to ear. She thought he would tell her that he liked her, but little did she know it was the opposite. 

John quickly pulled her into a hug, and before she could react, he grabbed the knife out of his back pocket, flipped it open, and jabbed it into her neck. He slowly pulled away, allowing her to drop dead on the pavement. Blood was oozing out of the left side of her neck. Carson let out a scream. Before he knew it, John ripped open the opposite door and stabbed him viciously in the leg to keep him from running away. But Carson pulled back, staggered out of the car, and traveled into the woods.