The chilling and violent conclusion to the Accused series by Daniel Norrish.
Ben, Kevin and Eddie find the yellow car with the word Prick carved into the side parked in front of Greg’s house. The night shrouds their figures in a haze of anonymous darkness as they linger in the garden for a moment and consider their plan of attack.
Ben moves closer to his comrades and whispers, “Greg lives here in this little one-bedroom place. I’ve heard him complaining about how small it is before.”
“Alright,” Eddie begins, “We’ll have to move quickly then. Greg will probably hear us breaking in.”
Kevin adds, “Do you just want me to kill him?”
“No, we’ll all do it together.”
The trio of assassins move quickly through the dark night and their three shadows pass under a streetlight. Their feet make no sound on the soft grass of the house, but six individual crunch, crunch, crunch, steps can be heard as they walk over the gravel driveway and approach the door.
They peer through dirty windows into the dim womb of the building and find a living room. They move on, all breathing with deep, deliberate exhales. They find the kitchen.
Kevin doesn’t ask the others for permission; he simply slams his shoulder into the flimsy door and the barrier to that doomed location is thrown open with a “BANG,” and a rattle of falling glass.
The men are all testosterone, hate, and commitment and they’ve all found knives by the time they hear the deep, masculine scream.
Greg has risen to meet the chaos in his kitchen and this victim has flicked on the hallway light. The pack of invading villains step from the darkness into the yellow hue and all three of them are smiling.
“What the hell are you doing here?” Greg asks as he marches backwards with his palms held in front of him.
“You killed them. You killed Theresa and Anita,” Ben says.
“No, no I’ve never killed anyone.”
“I remember seeing you there.” Eddie steps forward and Greg looks back over his shoulder to the front of the house. “I saw you at the hospital. You watched us. Didn’t you? You followed us home, isn’t that right?”
Kevin runs to the front door of the building and snaps two locks into place. He says, “He saw your car at his house when you murdered Anita.”
“It’s not my car. It’s-“
“Liar!” Ben explodes and the frantic, violent barking of the neighbour’s dog comes snapping over the scene.
“You lie! I know that’s your car. I’ve seen you driving it.”
“I drive it, but-”
“Shut up! Every time I’ve ever seen you, Greg, you’ve insulted or abused me. Every time.”
“That’s not true. I work at the hospital. I work to help you.”
“You can’t fool me. You work for money and the benefits of a government job. You’re a ‘carer’ because you think it’s a good career.
You do not want to help. You hate people with mental issues because we don’t heal the way others can.”
“Oh god, please don’t hurt me. Please.”
“You started all of this. You’re the murderer, not me. I’m not-”
Greg charges at the smashed door of the kitchen, to the world outside, and Eddie leaps in front of him. The two are on the ground and Ben and Kevin have pounced down beside them. Three long, sharp knives have disappeared into the bleeding torso of Greg. The blades are pulled out and thrust back into the dying man to seal his justified fate and, after a minute of wailing and savage bloodlust, the living attackers are standing over the corpse, panting.
They’re silent; only the neighbour’s dog still howls into the quiet night.
Then the crunch, crunch, crunch, sound of someone walking up the gravel driveway enters the house. It’s growing louder. It’s closer and the killers retreat deeper into the dwelling to watch with terrified confusion as the locks on the front door retract.
“Are you home baby?” A woman calls over the blood-soaked floorboards before she sees the carnage at her feet.
“No! Oh no, please no. How did they find me? Why did the freaks do this? I told you they were dangerous. I told you not to help them. I told you not to trust those psychos,” Inspector Rolander weeps.
“I tried to show you. I tried to show everyone-“
She stops her rambling as the three men return to the tomb still brandishing the knives. Rolander draws her pistol and points the weapon and the intruders.
“Stay back! All of you stay away. You can’t hurt me; you wouldn’t dare! I’m a cop. Do you know what will happen to you if you hurt a cop?”
They all continue moving forward and Kevin says, “Yep. We know. We’ve been over this already.”