Marcus slowly crept down the hall and headed towards his kitchen. He had heard the refrigerator door open and close. He had also clearly heard one of his mismatched dining room chairs slide across the floor. He was not alone. There was a stranger in his home. In his hands Marcus held the aluminum baseball bat his dad got him for his 10th birthday. It struck him odd that a gift given 20 years ago would still be paying off. In the 22 feet he traveled from his bed to the hall he had made the decision, he would hit whomever was in his house. He would aim the bat at the head of the intruder, swing and with any luck, split his skull wide open.
He reached the end of the hall and hugged the wall closely. Marcus tried to listen for whomever was in his kitchen. All he could hear was the pounding of his heart in his ears. “Ok”, he thought to himself, “This will be easy, you've seen it done a million times on T.V.”. Gripping the baseball bat tightly he screwed up the courage he believed he had. He counted in his mind.
“One”, he gripped the bat even tighter.
“Two”, he took a deep breath.
“Three”, an image of Danny Glover ran through his head.
Waaahhh, Marcus sprang into the kitchen with the power and fury of a mid level comic book hero and looked for his target. He looked to his left, his muscles tensed; no one there. To his right now, ready to attack; no one there either. It was immediately apparent there was no longer anyone there. The only combatant in the room was himself. All that appeared out of the ordinary to Marcus was that some of the contents of his refrigerator were on the table, and the back door swung freely and open. The intruder had left.
With the bat still clenched in his hands and adrenalin coursing through his veins he shakily made his way to the Table. If there was a crime, this was the scene. Marcus looked down at the table and this is what he saw.
Laid out on a small plate was what had once been a whole hot dog. The insides had been cored out, disemboweled with a potato peeler that was now neatly placed beside the plate. It lay there on the plate, next to a pile of its innards, staring at him. Staring. The frankfurter looked at him with dead black eyes. Black eyes he deduced that had been drawn on with a Sharpie he could now see resting to the side of the plate. He stepped closer and noticed that now, that not only was the hot dog starring but was also smiling. It had a sick, mad, happiness to it. The Sharpie had been used to not only decorate the hot dog but it also had been used to write a note, a note that Marcus now reached for. His hands shook with fear and anticipation as he picked up the note. He read the message to himself. Puzzled he looked back at the smiling, bored out hot dog. He read the note again, and once again. Still the hot dog smiled.
“Happy Hollow Weeny.”
Was all it said.
** I borrowed an idea from my Grandfather for this one**