You Never Know What You’ll Find
By Melissa L. Webb
The car’s tires crunched in the gravel as he pulled over and stopped. Looking over, Dexter snatched the paper from his girlfriend’s fingers. “Come on, Ash. We couldn’t have covered them all.”
She shrugged. “We did, Dex. The only one left is on the outskirts of town.”
Dexter lifted his sunglasses and glanced down at the newspaper in his hands. They had indeed covered every single garage sale. He looked over at Ash and raised his eyebrow. “Well, what do you think? Is it worth it?”
“We’ve come this far.”
With a sigh, he glanced back at the road. “Might as well cover them all.”
She smiled brightly as her boyfriend pulled back onto the road. “I do love the thrill of the hunt. You never know what you’re going to find.”
Dexter grinned. “I know, Ash. What I can’t figure out is how you got me hooked on them. It’s not like I need any more useless junk lying around.”
She playfully slapped his shoulder as he drove. “It’s not all useless junk, Dex.”
He smirked slightly as he glanced at her. “So you say.”
Silence slipped around them as the car headed outside of town. Following the directions in the paper, they soon found themselves on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
“Are you sure this is the right road?” Dexter asked as he drove slowly, glancing at the trees lining both sides of the car. “There doesn’t seem to be anything out here.”
Ash glanced back down at the paper in her hand. “The add says 245 West Cooper Ave. This is West Cooper Ave.”
“Well, we haven’t seen one single house yet, Ash.” He looked at her and shrugged. “Maybe they got the address wrong?”
She glanced up at him. “Why would they get their own address wrong, Dex?”
“I don’t know,” he said with a frown. “But there’s nothing out here.”
“Wait,” she spoke suddenly, pointing at something. “Is that a driveway?”
Dex stopped the car and leaned forward, staring at the break in the trees next to the car. “It might be.”
“Yeah, look. Further down. There’s some balloons.” She looked over at him. “This is the place.”
He thought for a moment. “Are you sure?”
“Yes, this is the place.”
“Okay,” Dexter said as he turned down the driveway.
They came to an old two-story farmhouse. Rows of tables lined the long driveway in front of the garage.
Stuff was everywhere. Piles of clothes, stacks of books, and various odds and ends covered the tables everywhere they looked. It was a garage sale addict’s dream.
Dexter killed the engine and looked over at his girlfriend. “Well, you must be in heaven.” He got out of the car and glanced back. “Are you coming?”
Ash got out of the car slowly, looking around. “Where is everyone?”
He glanced at the space around them, noticing the lack of life and shrugged. “They’re all inside. They probably don’t get a lot of people out here.”
She glanced up at the house. “I guess.”
“What? You’re not scared are you?”
She frowned as she walked past him, towards the tables. “Knock it off, Dex.”
He laughed as he watched her glance at the things on the table in front of her. “Poor little Ash is terrified of a garage sale. I’d never thought I’d see the day.”
“Shut up, Dexter.”
“Oh, come on, baby,” he said, walking over to her. “I was just teasing.” He kissed her cheek softly.
She kept quiet but couldn’t keep the grin from tugging at the corners of her lips.
“That’s my girl.”
They walked around the tables in silence, examining the wares for sale.
Ash was just reaching out for a pink dog figurine, when the door to the garage opened and a man and woman stepped out.
The woman smiled at them. “Hello.”
Ash returned the smile. “Hi.”
The man glanced over at Dexter. “How y’all doing today? Is there anything in particular you’re looking for?”
He shook his head. “Not really.” He glanced over at Ash. “My girl just likes to look for everything.”
The man nodded. “I can understand that. That’s how we ended up with all of this stuff in the first place.”
“I know the feeling. You should see our place.”
Ash frowned. “I’m not that bad.”
The woman stepped forward. “Don’t let them upset you, sugar. That’s just the way men think.”
The man laughed. “That is the way men think, darlin’. I didn’t mean anything by it.” He looked back over at Dexter. “Hey, I have several cars out back for sale if you’re interested.”
He shook his head. “No, I can’t say that I am. I really don’t need another car.”
“No problem. Just thought I should ask.”
The woman watched Ash as she looked at the stuff on the tables. “We have more stuff inside. There’s sure to be something in there that you can’t live without.”
Ash glanced over at Dexter, who shrugged.
“It’s up to you, baby,” he called over to her. “But you might as well see everything while we’re here.”
“Well then, come on in,” the man said and headed back into the garage.
She looked over at the woman, who smiled before stepping in after the man, before frowning at her boyfriend as he approached her. “They’re a little weird, Dex.”
He nodded as he slipped his hand into hers. “Yeah, a little,” he said and glanced at the garage. “I don’t think we have anything to worry about though.”
She hesitated a moment longer and then smiled sheepishly. “I know. I’m being silly. There’s nothing out here to be afraid of.”
He gave her hand a squeeze and led her forward. “That’s my girl.”
They walked into the garage and looked around at the tables lining the walls; more stuff covered all the available spaces.
The woman looked at them as they approached. “There’s more stuff in the house, if you guys want to start in there and work your way back out here.”
Ash smiled at her. “That sounds like a great idea. Thank you.”
The woman returned her smile. “No problem,” she said as she stepped in the backdoor and into the house.
Dexter led Ash in the door behind her. They stepped into a huge empty room.
The woman turned and smiled at them again. “Here we go.”
“Where’s all the stuff.”
“Oh, it’s just in the next room,” the man said, stepping into the room behind them. “You can rest assured, little lady, that there are plenty of surprises just waiting for you through those doors.” He grinned as he shut the door to the garage firmly.
Ash glanced over at her boyfriend. “Dex.”
He stepped closer to her. “It’s okay, baby. Everything’s going to be fine. Just breathe,” he whispered to her before he looked up at the man. “I don’t know what you have planned here, but you need to let my girlfriend and I go…right now.”
“I don’t think so, honey,” the woman said and grinned. “It’s been so long since we’ve had someone to play with. We’re not just gonna let you walk away.”
“Please,” Ash begged. “We won’t tell anyone. Just let us go. You really don’t want to do this to us.”
“Oh, but we do,” the man said, baring his stained teeth. “The family hasn’t had a proper kill in months. We can’t take that away from them, now can we?”
Dexter glanced down at his girlfriend. “Get out of here, Ash. Run.”
She shook her head. “I won’t leave you.”
“There’s no place for you to go anyway, sweetheart,” the woman cooed as she looked around the room.
Doors opened around the room as more people poured in. Men, women, and children all stared at them, grins on their dirty faces. Each one had a weapon of some kind in their hands and a deadly glint in their eyes.
The man looked at Ash and Dexter. “It’s time for the Warren family Bar-B-Q to begin.” His eyes darted to the people standing around. “Everyone pick your pieces.”
Dexter turned and glared at the man. “You can’t do this, you dumb bunch of hicks,” he yelled.
A little boy stepped forward and clubbed him hard in the back.
Dexter crumpled immediately to the ground.
The boy stared down at his body. “You can’t talk to my Papa like that.”
“No, Dex…” Ash cried as she looked down at her boyfriend’s lifeless body.
“Come on, everyone,” the woman shouted. “Let’s get to it.”
They all started towards Ash.
She looked around frantically, looking for a way out of this mess. There was none to be found. It was no use. Death had come to this room and nothing she did could stop that. She threw her head back and cried in anguish. Her wail shifted into a howl of rage as the skin started to flake from her body.
The Warrens stopped and stared in horror as tuffs of brown fur started to form all over her suddenly misshapen body.
Ash’s claws ripped the remaining flesh and clothes from her body as saliva dripped from her protruding muzzle. A low growl erupted from her throat as she locked her yellow eyes on to the crowd of people.
Dexter rose slowly from the ground and tossed his sunglasses in a corner. His bright red eyes flickered over his girlfriend’s hairy form. “Boy, you guys have no idea the amount of trouble you’ve brought into your home.” He grinned, exposing long white fangs. “You’ve picked the wrong couple to mess with,” he hissed sharply.
The woman’s eyes flickered to a window and then back to Ash and Dexter. “But it’s daytime, you shouldn’t even be here.”
Dexter smiled as he and Ash started forward. “You shouldn’t believe everything you read.”
Ash looked down at the pink dog figurine in her hands as she and Dexter got back in the car and smiled. “I do love garage sales, Dex. You never know what you’re going to find.”
© 2011 Melissa L. Webb