Oh, found this old Halloween story that combined the Halloween movie (the original not the ghastly imitation) and Hitchcock's excellent film, Shadow of a Doubt. It's kind of strange mixture but both were young women with homicidal relatives. I hope you enjoy it, thanks for reading and for the feedback!
Back to more pre-holiday organizing...it's interesting what you can find. :-)
Charlie Graham read the latest news in the paper about the serial killer who had struck the quiet little town of Haddonfield in Illinois, which was a long way from San Francisco, California where she had lived for many years with her husband, Jack now a retired police captain. They had lived in the prosperous city since after they got married and she had finally left her hometown of Santa Rosa and her family there.
As soon as she had left that life behind her, she felt the shackles being taken off of her and felt free for the first time in her life. Not just because she dearly loved her husband who she had met when he dropped in Santa Rosa on some business but because she could not remain in the town that raised her after what had happened with her Uncle Charlie.
Charlie Newton, you see had been not just her slightly mysterious but very affectionate uncle who had inspired her own name but underneath his carefully crafted exterior, he had been a serial killer. One who dressed up to the nines and had created a wealthy lifestyle for himself that he borrowed from his victims along the way and he preyed exclusively on wealthy widows. That earned him the moniker in the press of being the infamous Merry Widow Murderer. Jack had been a detective assigned to the dragnet to hunt her uncle down and she had realized that the handsome young man had come to town with a secret which weighed on first his conscience and then his heart after he fell in love with the young Charlie.
She put down the newspaper, mourning the lost lives all the way in Illinois snuffed out by a killer who hid his own identity behind a mask as he hacked his way across the quiet suburban neighborhoods, killing three innocent teenagers in the process and nearly killing a fourth. Then after she had been carted away to the hospital, he had followed her there, leaving a trail of more bodies across Haddonfield in his wake. She closed her eyes as her own memories of innocence lost at a similar age as the surviving victim until she felt a warm pair of hands settle on her shoulders from behind her. That made her smile despite her fears.
"What are you reading," his baritone voice asked gently.
She didn't want to tell him. Didn't want him to know that she had just revisited some of the darkest moments of her past so she tucked the paper away in her lap.
"Just looking for some recipes," she said, "for the dinner party later this week."
He smiled broadly, and she didn't have to look at him to know that. His smile could light up a room, complete with sparkling eyes accentuated by crows' feet and with grey flecks intertwining with his darker hair. She thought he looked distinguished these days, a far cry from the city boy who had tried to meld in the quieter rhythm of life in the rural town that raised her. He embraced her and she settled against him, squeezing the newspaper closer to her.
Laurie Strode could have been here, if she had been born 30 years earlier than her own birth. In her case, her brother not her uncle had been the homicidal maniac who ripped her family apart much as Charlie Newton had done to her own family years ago. Her mother, Emma, had suffered a nervous breakdown once the truth about her brother's murderous rampage had been known and her father, Joseph had been at a loss of what to do. He felt tremendous guilt for all the years he had toyed around with the idea of the perfect murder with his neighbor, Herbie not realizing that inside his household, lived the perfect cold-blooded killer, the king of them all. The police officers in different jurisdictions haunted by Uncle Charlie couldn't even guess at the body count and he had taken that information to the grave with him.
He had nearly taken Charlie with him when she got too close making several attempts on her life, before their life and death struggle aboard the train that had been foreshadowed in her dreams. She wondered if Laurie, the girl photographed on the front page of her newspaper being carted away in an ambulance had such dreams about her own brother. The article stated that they had only lived together for a short time when she had been too young to form any memories of his brother which was just as well because by the age of six, he had claimed his first victim. A more precocious killer than her own Uncle Charlie, who had been the perfect little angel of his family, the son with the face that could get away with murder and very nearly did.
But Laurie's brother had the face of a child.
Michael Myers had killed her older sister, Judith with a kitchen knife he had picked up in the kitchen. After stabbing her multiple times, he left her in a pool of her own blood and wandered out in his clown's costume to the front steps of a quiet suburban house not much different than the one where Charlie had lived to await his parents' return. After shrieks of grief had filled the household and police sirens, the neighborhood, Laurie's brother Michael had been carted off to an asylum named Smith's Grove for the Criminally Insane.
She never saw him again until years later and she bore no memories of him. All she knew was that she had grown up the only child of two parents who owned a real estate company and one of the properties they had been trying to unload had been the Myers house.
"You shouldn't read such things," Jack said.
And this time, Charlie knew he had caught her and her hands trembled as she still held the newspaper.
"Haddonfield is just like Santa Rosa," she said, "A quiet little town with a murderer in its midst biding his time."
He read over her shoulders and looked at the photos of the victims, all teenagers smiling for the cameras, who couldn't look more alive.
Annie Brackett, daughter of a police officer.
Lynda Van Der Klock, head cheerleader.
Bob Simms, star quarterback of the football team.
All cut down in the prime of their lives and they were only the first of over a dozen victims, mostly young people. At least Uncle Charlie's victims had been older, with more experiences under their belts. Not like these kids who still should have had years to live, to marry, to have kids.
Charlie had been a kid herself when her uncle tried to kill her though she never would have admitted it at the time. She had wanted to appear so grown up especially when she met Jack, who caught her fancy even as he did her suspicion, that all was not as it appeared. And as usual, her uncanny intuition about those she cared about had proven to be right. But he hadn't been around to save her from her uncle, she had to do that herself, in a kill or be killed situation at the tender age of 17.
Just like Laurie Strode who had to kill her bogeyman. Only he had lived, badly burned in a fire before being carted off to the asylum where he fell into a deep sleep. Charlie knew that only the dead slept forever. That the world hadn't heard the last from Michael Myers even as it buried her uncle.
She sighed, and tried to pull her away from the composite of Michael Myers that had been placed prominently on the page. A sketch really, because they couldn't photograph the real monster behind the mask. And the picture captured just a shell, the exterior of what he had been when he had been on his killing spree. Charlie touched the drawing with her finger, wondering if Myers ever had moments of lucid sanity like her uncle. Had he ever joked with his family, hugged them to his chest, playfully tugged at their hair in passing?
It didn't seem like it. In some ways, it seemed like he'd died a six year old boy with chubby cheeks and curly blond hair and came to life as something else.
Her husband reached to kiss her, to wish her good morning as he always did but this time, he wanted to bring her back home from where her mind threatened to take her. Back into the abyss where her uncle still lived and waited…
She took one last look at Laurie, knowing what lay ahead for her. A life filled with both beauty and tranquility that would soon overwhelm the ugliness of early memories. She silently wished her well from thousands of miles away yet from someplace much closer.
Charlie smiled up at her husband who patiently had awaited her return once again back to the living.
"Come on honey," she said, "I'll go make you some breakfast."
They went to the kitchen arm and arm, leaving the picture of the monster and his victims, a sister and her brother, on the table behind them.