Laura James’s Picture Choice: One
Title: The Collector (Finale)
Hector stood at the door unable to breath, his mind working overtime. If he refused to let the police in they would keep coming back, if he let them in there was a chance they would spoil his fun. Without his parents interference he had spent the past few weeks expanding his collection and now most of the top floor contained cages of various sizes. Glancing round he checked the stairs gaining comfort from the fact there was nothing obvious to be seen.
Closing his eyes he quickly opened the door and rushed the police through to the living room. "I promise you my parents will back at some point, you can wait in here."
He watched as the detective sat in an armchair and smiled up at him, yet the smile didn't quite reach his eyes. Hector prayed silently that his latest acquisition was still unconscious, "So your parents are fine then?"
"I'm sorry what?" Hector brought his attention back to the policeman, cursing to himself.
"I asked about your parents." Again there was the smile that didn't quite reach the eyes.
"As I said, they're out. No idea when they'll be back."
"Really, your neighbour mentioned hadn't seen them for a while. He phoned us worried." The detective flipped through his notebook.
Hector couldn't concentrate, the detective's smile was putting him off and to make matters worse he had forgotten about the policewoman. He glanced around but she wasn't in the room which meant she had to be elsewhere in the house. With nothing to lose but everything to gain, a calmness spread over him. He moved to the back of the detective's chair, his mind empty, barely aware of what he was doing.
He picked up an old tie his father had discarded in the days he was alive and wrapped it around the detective's throat. He was no longer in the living room but walking a stone path to freedom, his collection complete he need only reach the top and he would finally be free. Step after step he climbed, gaining strength with every meter that passed beneath his feet.
Reality returned as the summit grew closer, bringing Hector back into the family home. Relaxing his arms he watched the detective slump forward out of the armchair. One down one to go. Picking up a fire poker he walked out of the room. The policewoman had probably found his collection and would be wondering what to do. Hector knew what to do. His mind focused he began the hunt.
"PC Long. Come out, come out wherever your are!" He sang as he walked. A noise from the stairs caught Hector's attention. "I hear you up there." With joy in his heart Hector bounced up the stairs two at a time, so focused on the act of catching his specimen he tripped on the final step. Stumbling forward he couldn't quite hold his balance and fell forward onto the carpet, dropping the poker in the process. Cursing his carelessness he reached out for the poker. As his hand touched the cool metal he was aware something hovering above him.
A sharp pain developed in his neck and the smell of burning flesh confirmed what he suspected. "Well played PC Long, well played." He croaked with his last breath.
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Based in Dunfermline, Scotland, Laura is obsessed with all things horror and spends her time writing flash fiction which she hopes, on occasion, really scares her readers. Feel free to stalk her on twitter, @lejamez