The Summer Steams, Swelters and Splits



Every summer the visible heat wriggles up from the asphalt in waves by noon. Summer in the poorest part of town consisted of sweat and stink and those cheap Walmart box fans slapping bad air from the second floor of every brick shit house on State Street. The summer steams, swelters and splits open like a ripe watermelon left out in the blazing sun.

Emma Hernandez was going to be the first of the summer's hot weather murder victims. Even though statistics show only a mild increase in the homicide rate during the hot months. The summer was still something to be reckoned with, especially if you worked in sanitation and some of the garbage collected were cadavers going ripe quickly in 90 degree weather.

Hernandez was on the bed in a motel room on the corner of Lee Avenue and Yale Street. She was face down with her mouth gagged and her hands and feet tied behind her back. There was an Ashton cigar lit in an ashtray near the foot of the bed. Every time he took a drag he'd burn her back with the red of the tip. She would try to scream into the pillow in front of her as her body twitched.

The area was disgusting and unbearable, but the motel was small and spotless. The walls were light blue. The floor carpeted and stained free. Even with the cigar smell there was a scent of rotting raspberries. Opposite the foot of the bed there was a large dresser with eight drawers and a flat screen television on top. There was a full length mirror next to the door and a lamp just two inches to the right. The overhead light above the bed was extremely bright. Emma Hernandez's naked body glistened with sweat and blood.

He put the blade of the kitchen knife in front of her. She turned away for a moment, but was drawn to her reflection. She looked at the side of the blade as if she was staring into a mirror, her eyes shiny and her breathing shallow.

He pulled the knife away and placed it by her left thigh. He pulled off his shirt and tossed it on the corner of the bed. He took two small puffs of his cigar and of course burning her twice after each pull, and placed it back in the ashtray. His pale upper body seethed with muscles, and the blue veins in his arms distended from steroids. He crouched at the side of the bed and just stared at his victim.

He had terrorizing eyes, she noticed, with small wrinkles at the corners as if he had spent a lot of summers squinting into the sun.

“You will die, and it will be very uncomfortable,” he whispered into her ear.

Emma Hernandez nodded. She seemed disoriented. There was no fear, and her manner was vague. Her eyes were wide and her pupils were so dilated that she seemed to almost have no iris. All she wanted was for him to turn up the air conditioning.

He removed the gag from her mouth, but she didn't scream. He nodded and leaned back a little.

Emma was silent for a long time, no facial expression. He watched her and couldn't understand what was going on in her head.

He untied her and put her in the small closet at the far end of the room. He closed the door, and began to strip the bed. He put the sheets and pillow cases in a neat pile beside the dresser and remade the bed with clean sheets. When he was done he went into the bathroom and took a long cold shower, and when he got out he just toweled off, put on his clothes and left three dollars on the pillow for the house maids and left.

A hellacious night it was, but there was no murder.

© 2015 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 41 comments

Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 16 months ago from Providence, Rhode Island

Interesting an disturbing, yet intriguing. Voted Up.

EWF


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Eric Flynn


christinemariezzz 16 months ago

Bonafide Frank!

Every word sentences this guy: He's clearly off-key.

"...he left..." My hand was already griping the handle to the small closet, wishing I was the maid.

"O Yea!"- back to Hubpages:

You make me crabby: I wanna write like that! (Stomping my feet as if I was your baby sister) LOL

Do another one!

~christinemariezzz


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

LOL ur nuts..but I love ya sis..:) LMAO


christinemariezzz 16 months ago

Warning: Your yellow-boxed reciprocated comment has now reached the Ton Of Huffing Post:

Note from the editor and chief:

Intelligent as hell, actually with an IQ to be qualified as a "Commenter" here: I'm a private eye for all posts huffing as hubbers, wanna-be-writers, and then there's the mental ward division for criminals like you raising the bar. (LOL)

Nuts only to assist in keeping this comedy act under control. Laughter makes a good writer ya know: Keep LYAO!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

you are ok in my book..bless you girl


billybuc profile image

billybuc 16 months ago from Olympia, WA

I do believe Emma is a very lucky girl! Disturbing, yes, but so very well-written.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 16 months ago from LOS ANGELES

I was on the edge of my seat trying to get into the mind of this killer. Very intriguing. Voted up and interesting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Billybuc and Dana for checking out my summer heat


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

How do you do that? I try to approach your work by sticking my big toe in the water to gauge the temperature. But you always just grab me and pull me all the way under. And the temperature of this one is hot hot hot. Thanks for the immersion.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Eric for a wonderful comment :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 16 months ago from The Caribbean

I like Eric's comment, and I second his 'emotion.' There's no other way to say it. "You're an excellent writer."


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 16 months ago from California

Wow--Emma was lucky! This grabbed me Frank!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 16 months ago from Southern Illinois

This one left me wanting more and answers. Did he not kill her because she didn't scream? He surely was a clean freak. Maybe he liked the sight of burns and hated the sight of blood? Anyhow a compelling read in Frank's style of horror. Voted up and shared..


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Audrey..bless you


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

and thank you always exploring for reading my summer heat.. bless you too


Retreat426 16 months ago

Hey frankie kenny here.. saw this on ur site and really got involved in the read. You have painted ugliness and stank. Emma was lucky for now, but why did he just let her go. One question, the smell of rotten raspberries.. is that because the motel was loaded with bed bugs?


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks kenny.. yeah one of the signs of bed bug infestation is the smell of rotting raspberries..LOL didn't think anyone would get that..LOL


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 16 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

Frank, I guess the roid rage sadist was playing with Emma, like a cat with a trapped mouse, why rush his pleasure? She's going no where. Intriguing but also disconcerting. You just keep excelling at your craft. I'm still retching from the stench. As always exceptional writing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 16 months ago from Queensland Australia

Great write here Frank..edge of the seat stuff. Emma was fortunate to not be the first of the summer's murder victims as appeared to be her designated fate. Voted up.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

LOL @ tobusiness.. yeah maybe you're right :) thanks for stopping by and Jodah thanks for your years of support


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 16 months ago from USA

Completely a mental case. Not you but the people you write about. You are sheer brilliance. It's evil, detailed. so real. I want to go kick this guy's butt.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

mental case me? LOL I figure that.. Flourish thank you so much for the visit..bless you


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 16 months ago from Florida

Oh wow! I really like your stories of intrigue Frank. I thought for sure she was a goner in the worst possible way. You have got great imagination, and crime stories are the most intriguing stories of all. The ones we get lost deep in order to try to figure out who, what, when, and most importantly why someone would do such terrible things to another. I hear stories like this on the news daily here; heart wrenching and horrific.

Recently here, an eight-year-old girl was brutally beaten and raped. The courageous girl walked out of the woods on her own, but she was almost unrecognizable. Obviously, the perpetrator thought he had left her for dead. She went through three hours of surgery, and bless her heart, can only tell the police it was a male. She is just traumatized. I wish she had more for the police to go on. It makes me so sick to think this monster got away with it and more than likely will strike again. :(

As always, just a very interesting plot. You pulled a very unexpected ending out as well. :) Voting ^^^


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

damn thats a sad story Missy,, wow


annart profile image

annart 16 months ago from SW England

Creepy, brutal and so credible! You've pulled another surprise ending out of the bag, Frank. Still sleezy though. Brilliant!

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you annart :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 16 months ago from England

Emma showed no emotion so he didn't get the buzz. that's why he left! phew! what a great read! now I am going to look under the bed just in case.....!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Nell Rose


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 16 months ago from Stillwater, OK

Fabulous work, Frank. I was all ready for her to die. The suspense was maddening.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you aviannovice for checking out my flash


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 16 months ago from Victoria, Australia

Gripping story and a great surprise ending.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 16 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Poor Emma! The terror and pain she must have felt. But she was lucky she survived; many do not. Such a vivid portrait you paint with your words, Frank. It is inescapable.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 16 months ago from Shelton Author

blossoms and Genna East thank you so much for stopping by and checking out my short fiction bless you both :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton Author

oh MsDora how could I have forgotten your comment bless you


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 15 months ago from southern USA

Another sadist with mommy issues who hates women and we know what that means ...Truly creepy tale and all too real with the detail as to how far away the lamp is and such; gives one pause, Frank Atanacio.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton Author

hmmm.. gives one pause.. thank you for checking out my summer ..:)


Smilealot 15 months ago

You certainly turned up the heat with this one Frank...disturbing read:-)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton Author

hey good to see you valle...ehh smilealot


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 15 months ago from sunny Florida

Dripping with the hatred that sadly happens to ore than we know. Your writing keeps me reading to the end...I hope you are collecting your works for publication.

Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 15 months ago from Shelton Author

bless you and thanks for reading my summer heat pstraubie48

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