Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Chair

The Chair
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

Robert Turner watched Luther Baker’s body stiffen in the chair. 2,450 volts of electricity coursed through the man’s body. Robert didn’t care for this part of the job. Killing a man was never easy, even one as vile as Robert (the Butcher) Baker. The crimes this man had committed absolved Robert and the others in the room of their guilt in his death, but Robert had a feeling that this day would live with him forever.

“Do you believe an object can be imbued with evil?”
“Uncle Robert, are you okay?” Grace Wheeler glanced at the clock on her bedside table. It was almost three a.m.
“I never should have taken the chair Gracie. He’s part of it. Someone so evil couldn’t die.”
Grace swung her legs over the side of the bed. Her husband raised himself up onto his elbows, giving her a quizzical look. “Uncle Robert,” she mouthed, then into the phone, “I’m on my way.” The only answer Grace received was the buzz of the dial tone. Shaking her head, she turned to her husband. “The man has gone completely ape nuts. I have to go check on him.”
“I’m sure he’ll be okay. Can’t it wait until morning?”
“You didn’t hear him. He thinks his chair is alive.”
“The leather one?”
“You got it. He says that HE is a part of it, that evil couldn’t be killed.”
Michael chuckled. “Well, he may have a point. Someone as evil as Luther Baker…”
“Not you too!”
“I’m just saying, there are some that believe he made a deal with the devil.”
“You are just too much. I’ll be back, after I make sure he’s okay.”
When Grace got to her Uncle’s house, he was already dead.
“The chair comes with the house.”
Bob Stone looked at leather wingback and raised his eyebrows. “It looks expensive. Why would anyone leave it?”
Francine Stevens shrugged her shoulders. “They didn’t want it, but couldn’t bring themselves to get rid of it.
“It doesn’t really go with our furniture,” Kathy said, joining her husband by the chair.
“There’s no reason you have to keep it. Robert Turner was a craftsman and he made the chair himself. I’m sure you can set it on the curb and someone will pick it up, or you could sell it.”
“WAS a craftsman,” Kathy asked.
“He died.” Francine didn’t add that he had died, sitting in that chair.
Heart attack. The man was old.”
“I don’t know...It doesn’t seem right. Why are they asking such a low price for this place? They could easily get twice as much.”
“The niece is grieving and wants to start the healing process as quickly as possible.”
“Sounds reasonable,” Bob said. He was sitting in the chair, smiling.
“The chair goes.”
“Of course honey. Anything you say.”
“Unbelievable.” Kathy dropped the box she was carrying onto the living room floor and went in search of her husband. She found him in the kitchen, making a sandwich.
“We’ve only been working for an hour.”
“I’m hungry.”
“I thought I told you we weren’t keeping the chair.”
“You did.”
“Then why is it in the living room?”
 “I put it outside by the curb. You helped me carry it out.”
“I did and then you brought it back in.”
“Honey, I didn’t.”
“You know…never mind. Just help me carry it out again.”
“What is it?” Bob came running into the room and stopped short as soon as he saw what it was that had his wife so upset. Sitting in the corner of the room was the leather wingback.
“Honey, I don’t know what it’s doing here.”
“It shouldn’t be,” Kathy said, sounding frightened. “I watched someone pull up to the corner last night and put it in the back of a truck.”
“How did it end up back here?”
“I don’t know, but it’s creeping me out. I saw it move.”
“The chair, it moved. Not a lot, but when I walked in the room, it was angled more towards the window, and then it shifted, only an inch or two, but it moved, so that it was facing me.”
“It was just a trick of the light.”
“No it wasn’t Bob! I’m calling the real estate lady and finding out what the hell is going on.”
“It’s not such a bad chair. Try sitting in it. It’s pretty comfortable, if you ask me.”
“I didn’t.” Angry, Kathy stomped off to use the phone.
Sitting at the table feeling numb, Kathy ran her hand through her hair, replaying in her mind her conversation with Francine Stevens.
“Don’t tell me there is nothing wrong with the chair Francine. We’ve tried twice now to get rid of it and it keeps coming back. On its own! I know that’s impossible, but that doesn’t change that the damn thing is sitting in my living room, glowering at me. Yes, glowering. I know it’s not a living thing, or at least shouldn’t be, but I swear to God Francine, if you don’t tell me what is going on with the damn chair, I’m going to the State Realty Board. You are supposed to give full disclosure on a house, before selling it.”
Now Kathy was even more worried than ever. “Shit! Freaking Luther Baker of all people! No wonder they didn’t want the chair.”
“Bob,” she called out, heading for the living room, “you are never going to believe what Francine told me. Robert Turner was a guard at the state prison when Luther Baker was there. The damn chair is made out of the one they used to fry the bastard! Bob?”
Entering the living room, Kathy saw her husband sitting in the leather wingback. His head was turned at an odd angle and there were scorch marks on his shirt. “BOB!”
Kathy stared unbelieving as the chair tipped forward, dumping Bob onto the floor and then began to slide across the room, towards her.

Word Count: 1,000

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for another Scary Good read! Felt like I was there. Great story!
    laura thomas