Exclusive Look Inside: Trust Me

Hear My Confession

The car lay unmoving by the side of the highway; not with the cold stillness of a dead thing, but the waiting stillness of a coiled rattlesnake, just waiting for its time to strike. Out here in the middle of nowhere the desolation of the American South was abundantly present. There were deserts and icebergs with more life spread across them than this little slice of nothing. Nothing to see, and nothing to do, except each other.
There was no urgency to the sex—the car wasn’t even rocking on its suspension. There was no love and not even much desire if truth be told. Ottis’s face was pressed into the fabric of the backseat, his snaggletooth snagging on the tattered stitching when he turned his head for air. They were both slick with sweat, their clothes plastered onto the hard planes of their bodies. The windows were fogged up and the air was muggy with the air conditioning turned off. Henry loomed over Ottis’s back, his mouth hanging open in a perpetual silent moan. In the dim light of the car, with his brows drawn down and furrowed, it looked like he had no eyes at all—two dark caves instead of the one empty socket that was usually on display. There was no love, no urgency, no desire, just the mechanical rocking motion that helped them to pass the time until the phone rang.
That was the one feature of this stretch of nowhere that nobody had mentioned before: the payphone standing proud out of the sand at the roadside, just waiting to be used when some poor unfortunate broke down out here with no help in a hundred miles. You wouldn’t think that a phone like that would even have a number to receive calls, but you’d be wrong. It was the reason that Henry and Ottis were waiting here. The sharp song of that phone ringing was what they both strained to hear over the sound of their own harsh breathing and grunting. It was due any moment now.
The sun dipped low towards the horizon, cherry red and wavering behind the rising heat of the day. Sunset was the appointed time for their call, but the fall of darkness here and the fall of darkness down in Florida could be at different times. Neither Henry nor Ottis had the education required to decipher it themselves, so they waited patiently by the phone, doing what came naturally while the hours rolled on by.
There was no end to this for either one of them. In the heat and the dark, they were too exhausted to exert the efforts required to push over the edge into a moment of real pleasure, but their lusts would not settle until they’d been sated, so they rocked on and on.
The phone began to ring.
Henry slipped out of Ottis and out of the side door of the car before the other man had the time to even groan in protest. By all rights, Ottis should be the one answering the call. He was the one who had been chosen. He was the one who had been marked by his grandmother and the devil. Henry made him weak, made him hand over control of the things that should have been his, and his alone. That was just how powerful Henry was, how majestic.
Henry picked up the phone with his jeans still halfway up his legs. Wasn’t like there was anybody out here to see him anyway.
‘Tell me, child, do you accept Satan as your lord and master?’
Henry chuckled into the mouthpiece. All confident swagger even in the face of a question like that. ‘You know that I do.’
The voice on the phone was guttural and monstrous, enough to turn the hair of lesser men white. ‘And will you serve the dark majesty with all of the strength in your body?’
‘Most definitely.’ Henry was still smirking like this was all a game to him. Ottis had tumbled out onto the tarmac, knees near searing at the touch of it. He flinched every time Henry was coy with their masters. Every little joke or jibe that he made filled Ottis with terror.
‘Are you ready to fulfil your purpose in the grand design of our Lord and master, Satan, the Dark Angel!?’
Henry gave Ottis a wink. ‘Just tell me where to go and what to do.’
‘There is a town, four hundred miles to the west of where you now stand, and outside of that town, you shall find a girl. Her hair is long and dark. Her skin is pale and freckled. She will be carrying a backpack with a purple lotus flower embroidered upon it. You shall know her by these signs, and you shall take her. Kill the girl and bring our master’s plan of chaos closer to fruition. Do what you will with the body afterwards. Take whatever pleasure in it that Satan will allow you. But first, be sure to send her soul down into the pits of hell for him to feast upon.’
‘As you command.’ The words came clumsily to Henry’s cocky mouth. He didn’t take kindly to orders, even when they came from the Prince of Darkness himself. ‘You are our hands, and through you, we shall work His infernal will. You are the Hands of Death, and with each killing, we shall spread more terror and dissension across this great nation until it falls to its knees.’ The next words seemed to be drawn out of Henry involuntarily, like a howl. He threw back his head and bellowed, ‘Hail Satan!’
‘Hail Satan!’ echoed both the phone and Ottis, Ottis from his place in the dirt at the roadside.
Then silence fell back over the desert again. Henry dropped the phone handset back into place and turned to Ottis with a grin and a hunger.
He took the other man there in the dirt by the roadside, roaring out the devil’s secret names with every thrust, making Ottis into an offering just as surely he would this poor, simple girl that the Hands of Death cult had chosen as their latest victim.
Before the moon had fully risen fat above them, they were tearing off down the highway to the west, eager to fulfil the will of their master, bound to his demands, revelling in evil at his behest. No man could resist the will of Satan, so they could hardly be blamed for the things that they would do next or the sinful things they had done before.
‘Stop.’
The sun had barely risen when they spotted the hitchhiker by the side of the road. She was the one. The one that their dark lord had chosen to be their next victim. She was the one that…
‘Stop. Stop with all this devil worship nonsense. It doesn’t make any sense.’
Henry’s well-practiced recitation of his crime ground to a halt. ‘What’s that now?’

The detective on the other side of the table leaned forward to offer him another cigarette. They needed to keep the room good and smoky to cover up the unique reek that seemed to seep out of every one of Henry’s pores. He’d been poisoned as a kid. That is what the prison doctors said. That was why he oozed that eye-stinging smell. It was the collective opinion of everyone on the force that a good wash would probably deal with most of the smell, but the medical eggheads insisted.
‘The Satanism stuff.’ The detective sighed. ‘Nobody is buying it, Henry.’
Henry cocked his head to one side and scratched at his empty eye-socket. It wasn’t easy with his wrist chains fed through the hoop in the middle of the table. ‘What that you’re talking about, now?’
‘Nobody believes that you were sent on a mission by Satan to murder all these girls. I don’t know who put this idea in your head that you’ll get a lighter sentence if you bring the devil into it, but you won’t. Just tell us the truth, and nothing but the truth. Okay?’
Henry looked genuinely perplexed. ‘But the Hands of Death? What about them, huh?’
‘Florida PD have been through the Everglades. They’ve gone to all the places that you said these cults had their meetings. There was nothing there. No sign of anybody. No human sacrifices. Nothing, Henry. It’s just a fantasy, and I’m tired of hearing it.’
Henry wet his lips. ‘All right, all right, all right.’
He took a moment to compose himself then launched back into his story as if he hadn’t just been called a liar.

They pulled up alongside the hitchhiking girl, with twin alligator grins plastered across their faces. ‘Hey now, what’s a pretty little thing like you doing out here all by your lonesome?’
It was dark inside the car. She could see the shine of their grins but not the hunger in their eyes. She was upset, she needed somewhere to vent her frustration, and two friendly strangers seemed to be just the ticket. ‘I just broke up with my boyfriend. I’m all done with men. They’re the worst.’
‘I would take offence, but I am inclined to agree with you there, Miss. I ain’t never met a man, outside of my good buddy right here at my side, that I could stand for more than any length of time at all. Why I’d bet that boyfriend of yours isn’t even worth spitting on if he’s on fire.’
There was a strange charm to Henry, the same charm that had ensnared Ottis so easily and so deeply. He was like some old black and white movie star that had come out of the screen and roamed around. He was larger than life. People got caught up in his wake, and the whole world seemed to reshape itself around him. Nobody could charm a girl into a car like Henry. He was the gift that just kept giving, as far as Ottis could see.
The girl fell under his spell readily, bursting into giggles. ‘Well, he isn’t all that bad.’
Henry didn’t even have to switch gears. As smooth as a Vegas hustler, he replied, ‘I’m glad to hear you say that. As a matter of fact, because that boy of yours, I have to tell you, he is feeling mighty sorry for how he’s crossed you. He stopped me and my buddy here and begged us, down on his knees begged us, to come out here after you and take you back to him. He knows he’s done wrong, and he wants to make it right.’
‘Wait’—a scowl crossed her face—‘Kenny sent you?’
Henry chuckled, ‘Well, I hope you didn’t think I was in the habit of just stopping to chat up every pretty girl I came across at the side of the road. Of course Kenny sent us. He wants us to take you back to him so that he can make his apologies to you proper.’
It was hard to be suspicious in the face of Henry’s overwhelming charm, but she still made the attempt. ‘Why didn’t he drive out here himself if he’s so sorry?’
‘Wouldn’t you know it? That is a part of this sorrowful story, too. Your young man was all set to come a roaring out of town after you when he burst his dang tire. Nail right through it. That’s how we met Kenny to start with, you see. We saw that poor boy pulled up on the side of the road trying to wrestle a jack under his car and, being the good Samaritans that we is, we hopped right out to help him. But would that boy hear of it?’
Ottis shook his head on cue. ‘Nope.’
‘No, he most assuredly would not. He said to us, “Don’t you tarry here. I’ve got a girl out there in this merciless sun, and she needs rescuing. You good boys want to help me out? Then you get yourself back into that car of yours and you go find that girl of mine before she gets too far, because I’ve done wrong by her and I need to make it right.”’
‘That’s what he said.’ Ottis nodded along.
The girl dithered on the roadside. Henry was certain that she wasn’t doubting his word, so the only alternative had to be that she was doubting her boyfriend. He leaned back in his seat. ‘Listen here, Miss. I ain’t got no attachment to your boy Kenny. If you tell me you never want to see him again, I’ll give you a ride to wherever you’ve got to go to get away from him. I ain’t even heard his side of things, only him hollering that he’s sorry, so I don’t know what sort of situation me and my buddy here just got wedged into the middle of.’
That seemed to cinch it. ‘No. No, I’ll go listen to what he’s got to say. If nothing else, he owes me that apology.’
She opened the back door of the car and climbed in, wreathed in the smell of cigarette smoke and sweat.

‘And this was on the twenty-eighth?’ The detective interrupted Henry again, pen tapping on his clipboard.
‘What’s that now?’
‘You picked this girl up on the twenty-eighth of August. Is that what you are saying?’
‘Yeah, that’s right. Of course. The twenty-eighth. Ottis strangulated her that afternoon. I fucked her. Then we buried her out by the rickety barn, right where I said you’d find her. You’ve dug her up, right?’
‘Oh yes, we found the body exactly where you said it would be.’ The detective nodded along. ‘But here is the thing. You didn’t kill her.’
Henry was getting angry. His empty eye-socket began to weep. ‘I done already told you Ottis did the killing and I did the fucking.’
‘I’ve got a pay-sheet from a job you were working on in Richmond, Virginia. Says that on the twenty-eighth you were roofing some old girl’s house. How could you have been in two places at the same darn time?’
He took a long draw on his cigarette. ‘What is this? You don’t want my confessions no more?’
The detective sat back with a sigh. ‘We want the truth, Henry. That’s all we ever wanted. The truth.’
‘Well, maybe that one was just Ottis then. Can’t remember every little thing. You do enough of them and they all mix up. You remember every shit you ever took?’
The detective reached across the table and drew the packet of cigarettes out of the murderer’s reach. ‘Well, let’s see if we can’t jog that memory.’

Trust Me will be live on Amazon on 28th March 2019

6 Comments

  • Joyce carroll

    Reply Reply March 14, 2019

    This looks like its going to be a great story!! I love your writings, cant wait ti read the whole book! Thank you

  • Beverly Reid

    Reply Reply March 14, 2019

    I’m hooked already after just the first chapter. I’m looking forward to reading the whole book as soon as the link is available. So far it reads like another Ryan Green success!

    • Charlsey Ellis

      Reply Reply August 10, 2019

      Love every thing you ever wrote. Always page turners.

  • Racquel

    Reply Reply March 16, 2019

    Love the writing style! It’s investigative but narrative!

  • Donna james

    Reply Reply March 16, 2019

    I am so excited to read the entire book. Anything with true crime is my life.

  • PATRICIA LITTLE

    Reply Reply March 17, 2019

    Interested in the rest of the story of Ottis and Henry.

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