Chapter 42:

The Crownless King (END)


Jack had his chauffeur drive him home. Austin was oddly peaceful with the slashers gone: no nubile young women running for their lives, no dark figures in the alleyways, no screams for help; just happy families milling about doing their Christmas shopping.

The car reached the Texas Governor's Mansion. Jack got out and goodnight to the chauffeur. He opened the gate, walked across the lawn, opened the door, and turned the lights on.

‘Honey, I’m home,’ he said.

The mansion was luxurious, spacious, and utterly empty.

He closed the door and walked up the winding stairs to his room. There, he sat down on his big canopy bed.

From out of his suit pocket, he withdrew a photo.

It was a picture of him and Marilyn smiling in front of the carousel at the Texas State Fair.

He looked at it for a while.

He got up, opened his closet, and unlocked the secret compartment at the bottom using his special key.

His wooden mask, lumberjack costume, and fire axe lay inside.

Jack took off his suit, put on his wooden mask and lumberjack costume, picked up his fire axe, and sat back down on the bed.

Maybe if he waited like this for long enough, he'd hear a knock on his door again.