The Vivisectionist

The Vivisectionist by Ike Hamill Read Free Book Online

Book: The Vivisectionist by Ike Hamill Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ike Hamill
Tags: Horror
the airport,” said Jack.
    “Expensive,” said Ben.
    Stephen didn’t get out of the cab right away, but seemed to be having a conversation with the driver. Eventually Stephen handed a wad of bills over the seat and started to open the door. Jack and Ben took a half-step towards the cab, but just then Stephen closed his door and engaged in fresh discussion with the driver. The boys couldn’t hear what Stephen was saying and they stayed back, waiting for his next move. Eventually Stephen opened the door again and stepped out.
    “Ben, my son, my son, how are you doing?” said Stephen. He was three months older than Ben and four months older than Jack, but he tended to act like he was an old man compared to them.
    “Hey Stephen,” said Ben.
    Jack looked on, wondering if Stephen would address him.
    “Jacky—how they hanging?” said Stephen as he finally turned to Jack.
    “Good, thanks,” said Jack.
    “Well I am stiff—all-day travel from the Big Apple,” said Stephen. He walked around the rear of the cab and on cue the trunk popped open. Stephen fetched a large suitcase and a big, expensive-looking backpack.
    “Be a guy, will ya?” Stephen said to Jack as he handed him the suitcase. Jack could barely lift it with one arm, but was determined to not show weakness. Stephen put on the backpack and buckled it around his waist, as though he were beginning a long hike.
    “So what’s going on here—catch me up,” Stephen said to Ben. Jack started off towards the house with the suitcase and Ben and Stephen followed behind. Jack’s mom opened the front door as they approached.
    “We’ve been camping out, out back. Jack’s got a great backyard and we’re all set up,” said Ben.
    “How much land?” asked Stephen.
    “I don’t know—Jack, how much land do you have here?” asked Ben.
    Jack wanted to answer, but couldn’t remember the figure—“Um, a bunch of acres, but I don’t remember how much.”
    Jack’s mom overheard the question and interjected an answer: “It’s just under an acre, Stephen.”
    “We used to have a house that looked a lot like this,” said Stephen.
    “I’ll leave you boys alone now, but don’t forget—dinner with us tonight,” Jack’s mom said.
    “Okay, mom. Thanks,” said Jack.
    Jack began to take Stephen’s suitcase up the stairs one at a time.
    When they reached the second floor, Stephen spoke up—“You know, most of that stuff should just go out to the campsite, if we’re camping.”
    “I’ll grab it, you’ve got a bad arm,” said Ben as he took the bag from Jack.
    “Thanks,” said Jack and followed Ben and Stephen back down the stairs.
     
    **********
     
    Out at the campsite, Stephen didn’t seem to pay any attention to how Jack and Ben had laid out their gear. Stephen dropped his backpack, sat down in one of the two chairs, and propped up his head with his interlaced hands. Ben set Stephen’s suitcase down at the entrance to the tent.
    “What did you do to your arm?” Stephen addressed Jack.
    “Fell out of the garage loft,” replied Jack.
    “Man, Darwin awards, huh?” said Stephen. “Just kidding, son. You guys have a decent setup here. Do you cook out here?”
    “Yeah, most of the time,” said Ben.
    “We should get takeout sometime soon—what delivers around here?” asked Stephen.
    “I’m not sure if anyone does—I doubt they would,” replied Jack.
    “Wow, all this and no delivery?” chucked Stephen.
    Jack looked at Ben, who looked up at the sky. Stephen looked back and forth between the two.
    “Hey, let’s kick the ball a while,” said Stephen after a pause.
    Stephen dug into his backpack and pulled out a clean soccer ball. He dribbled it around the tent and then passed it to Ben.
    “Go deep!” Stephen called to Ben.
    Ben took the ball to the other side of the yard and passed it back to Stephen. Jack had backed up against the edge of the woods, but Stephen passed the ball back to Ben. When Ben got the ball back, he passed it on

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