God Damn, the Fisherman – short story challenge, the final round

by Julie Frayn on May 6, 2014 in  Fiction - short stories

My first round entry in the NYC Midnight short story challenge, End of the Line, took #1 in my heat. In the second round, I wrote my first ghost story, The Final Bow. It also took #1 in my heat! Who’d ‘a thunk it?

That pushed me into the final round. 24 hours to write a 1500 word short story. The genre was open, but it had to be about jealousy, and include a fisherman. So here it is. Kind of gruesome. But what else would you expect from me?

God Damn, the Fisherman

“The Fisherman has claimed another victim.”

Carl stiffened and set his butcher knife on the wooden block.

God damn, the Fisherman. He always got the limelight.

Carl wiped his hands on his apron and took a deep breath before turning to face the small television that sat on the granite island.

Angelina Potts sat behind the news anchor desk, a mask of shock and horror plastered on her face. No matter how hard she tried to hide it, Carl could see the truth. It gleamed in her Sprite-bottle-green eyes. Eyes too big for her pocket-sized face. She was the priest in the Fisherman’s confessional. His conduit to a public who both feared and revered him. Hell, she was his God damn muse. He had turned her into a local legend, and she enjoyed the fuck out of it.

Carl smirked. No question about it. Angelina was getting her rocks off.

“I received another communication from the Fisherman taunting me and the police. Once again, they were not able to find the victim in time.” A glint of light caught a bead of sweat that had broken free of the makeup on her forehead. She shuffled her papers and shifted in her chair. “The body of twenty-seven year-old Maggie Dumont was found on the bank of the Dodd River. Like the other victims, she was bound with fishing line.” Angelina swallowed.

Carl eyed her larynx as it jumped up and down.

“Fish hooks punctured her lower lip, her right cheek, her buttocks.” Angelina swallowed again and looked away from the camera. “And other parts of her body.”

Carl grinned. Even the most callous of media scum couldn’t handle some truths. The fish-hook-pierced-labia-and-nipple kind of truth.

“In related news, another woman has been reported missing.”

Carl raised an eyebrow and his heartbeat quickened. This was it. His moment. Time to shine the spotlight on someone new.

“Thirty-one year-old Elsie Wanamaker was last seen leaving the Twin Forks Bar and Grill at the end of her shift after two o’clock this morning. Police are investigating her disappearance as part of the Fisherman case.”

“No!” Carl hammered his fist on the countertop. “God damn Fisherman. God damn stupid cops and Angelina fucking Potts.” He spun around, snatched his favorite butcher knife from the cutting board, and raised his arm above his head. The blade split the air, sliced through the flesh of Elsie Wanamaker’s right elbow, and severed tendon from bone. He ripped the ulna free from the joint and shoved her upper arm aside. “Fisherman this and Fisherman that.” He spoke in the mocking tone of a ten year-old brat who didn’t get his way, sneered and bobbed his head.

He spun around and pointed at the television, poked the knife at Angelina’s talking head. “You think the Fisher fucking Man is the only one out there? What about me, bitch? Where’s my fame? My notoriety?” He paced the kitchen. “He has no class, no imagination. Can’t you see I’m better than him?”

He pitched the knife onto the cutting board, slapped both palms onto the counter and closed his eyes. His mother’s voice whispered in his ear.

Deep breath in, little dough boy. One, two, three. And out. Four, five, six.

He twisted his head to one side until a loud crack eased the tension in his neck. “You won’t give him credit for my work ever again, you smug fame-whore,” he mumbled at the television. “No siree. Never again.”

Carl liberated Elsie’s fingers and thumbs from each hand and dropped them into a bowl of instant espresso. Fresh cream succumbed to the wire whip of his crimson stand mixer. When stiff peaks formed, he folded the cream into a bowl of sweetened mascarpone cheese, stirred in a splash of rum and vanilla and a few tablespoons of blood-stained espresso until the mixture was smooth.

He fished the fingers from the bowl and arranged them on the bottom of a cake pan, spread the cheese mixture over them, then dusted the surface with cocoa powder. He licked the spatula and grinned at his creation.

A whistle escaped his lips while he entombed the unused body parts in plastic wrap. He filled a Hefty bag with legs and arms, ribs and pelvis, and Elsie’s pretty little head. He dragged the bag behind him. It thumped down the basement stairs. Each piece of her fit into the chest freezer alongside the frozen remains of three other women Angelina had attributed to the Fisherman.

God damn, the Fisherman.

Carl ran a hand over the foil-covered crust of a liver pie and reset the Tupperware lid on a pan of blood-red velvet cupcakes.

“Move over Fisherman, you unimaginative clown. It’s time for the Baker.”


Carl leaned against his car in a darkened corner of the four-story red-brick building. A flood light illuminated the rear-entry, leaving the parking lot in shadow. He glanced at his watch. She was always the last to leave, but shit, he’d been there for two hours. He unzipped his jeans and faced the wall. His head lolled back and a satisfied moan slipped from his mouth as the pressure in his bladder eased.

The metal door creaked open. He looked over his shoulder. Angelina’s slight form stepped into the light.

“Shit.” He gave his dick a shake and zipped his pants.

She balanced a travel mug and stack of files in one hand and dug into her purse with the other. She pulled out a keychain and pointed it at the only other car in the lot. The car chirped and flashed its lights.

Carl retrieved the cake pan from the trunk of his car, and slithered out from the shadows. “Good evening, Angelina.”

She jumped and spun around. “Damn it, Carl. You scared the bejesus out of me.” She pointed at the pan. “That’s what you do on your night off? Kind of took you for the strip joint and draft beer type.”

He gritted his teeth. “Maybe you ought to get better acquainted with us minions on the other side of the camera.”

She opened the hatchback of her car and dropped the files into a box. “I’m tired, Carl. What the hell do you want?”

He held out the cake pan. “I made this for you. Tiramisu.”

She looked at the pan. “Why?”

“It’s your favorite.”

She nodded. “Yep. But why are you baking for me? Got a crush on me or something?” She tossed her purse alongside the box.

He could swing the pan like a baseball bat and smash her pert little skull in right then and there. But where would be the fun in that? “Yeah, sure. A crush.”

One eyebrow shot up and her Sprite eyes darkened. “I’m not interested.”

“Just look at the damn cake.”

Her eyes narrowed. “All righty, then.” She lifted the foil.

Pink-stained mascarpone peeked out from under the dusting of cocoa. Carl grinned. “You’ll like it. It’s made with real lady fingers.”

“Real? What the hell does that mean?”

He leaned in. “Elsie Wanamaker’s fingers,” he whispered.

Angelina paled. “Not funny, Carl.”

His hand penetrated the mascarpone and pulled out one severed finger, fake fuchsia nail intact.

Angelina stared at the finger. “Are you —?” Her upper lip curled into a grin and she looked him in the eye. “Are you the Fisherman?”

“Christ.” He tossed the cake pan into the hatch and pitched Elsie’s finger onto the cocoa. “I’m not the fucking Fisherman. He’s nothing but a hack. Throws all that perfectly good flesh in the muck. I am sick and tired of the God damn Fisherman.” He poked her chest with one finger. “It’s my turn. It’s the Baker’s turn.”

“Baker?” She scrunched her face. “That’s lame. How about the Butcher? You know, since you carved her up?” She tapped her chest with her fingertips. “I named him, you know. The Fisherman? That was me.” She took a step toward him. “I can make you famous, Carl. That’s what you want, right? More famous than the Fisherman?” She nodded. “I get it, Carl. I totally get it.”

He grabbed Angelina by the hair and slammed her head into the side of the car. He squatted beside her and watched blood ooze from a gash in her forehead. “No you don’t.”


“Breaking news tonight.”

Carl leaned back against the butcher’s block and sucked on a Corona.

A reporter stood in the studio parking lot in front of Angelina’s abandoned hatchback. “The headless body of Angelina Potts was discovered in her anchor chair early this morning. A variety of baked goods were left on the desk. The baking was found to contain human remains, including the fingers of Elsie Wanamaker.”

Carl smiled and nodded.

“A note was pinned to her jacket that read …” the reporter cleared his throat. “You scared of that loser, the Fisherman? You ain’t seen nothing yet. It’s the Baker’s turn.”

Carl lifted the remote and turned off the television. “Your move, Fisherman.”


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Carolyn Frayn May 6, 2014 at 7:13 pm

Blood, guts, and gory…

or – Gorylicious!!

I loved it!



Julie Frayn May 8, 2014 at 7:31 am

Yay! Horror is kind of fun… :) xoxo

Ey Wade May 8, 2014 at 5:58 am

Julie Byrd, you better when this contest because we’re gonna have to get you some help. Your imagination and creativity is off the chain. I think you would frighten Poe.


Julie Frayn May 8, 2014 at 7:32 am

Hah, help marketing? :). Frighten Poe – best compliment ever. Thanks, Ey!

Alida Visbach May 17, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Oh, oh…feeling a bit queasy now….


Julie Frayn May 18, 2014 at 7:16 am

Hope it didn’t spoil your dinner. But I love to make my readers a bit queasy :)

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