Note from the author: The following is our initial entry into the world of serial storytelling. Please join us each Saturday as a new chapter is released.
The April of ’86 was suffocating, that sticky, stifling weather that pisses everyone off. We complained to each other, a misery-loves-company moment that left us crowding around swap coolers as if spectators at a boxing match. But then the haunt happened and no one cared as much about the heat: Four down for the count, discovered dead in their own homes.
That’s what we called it anyway, The Haunt. The killings were fast and tidy, so free of clues or witnesses that it felt like something inhuman was at work. All the folks in Foxfield, from the city council to the playground dwellers, insisted something unworldly was going on. Something demonic. Poltergeist 2 came out three weeks later and that only made the rumors worse.
The Foxfield Four we’re each found five days a part, slumped up against the rails of their front porches. They looked as though they were defying gravity, propped upright by some invisible force. There were no stab wounds, no trauma, no gunshots, no reason. The coroner sighed and shrugged his shoulders whenever anyone asked the question on all of our minds: How?
The why was important, too – more so, really. In fact, it was the randomness that threw our town into chaos, motive-free murders that pushed the women into church and the men into gun shops. Even the children walked around swinging Louisville Sluggers back and forth, ready to clock anyone, or anything, who threatened them.
Prior to that summer, Foxfield had only a single murder in its entire history. Jimmy Jenkins, the local dentist with a brash bedside demeanor and a fierce right hook, killed his wife as she walked out the front door. When her mother found her the next day, she had divorce papers in one hand and a packed suitcase in the other.
Everyone in Foxfield grieved Mrs. Jenkins, of course, wiping away tears and planting rose bushes in her honor at Edison Park. But, deep down inside, we found comfort in knowing she was the target.
Because that was the problem with the Foxfield Four………
They could have been any of us.