picture of the hook in a mirror


The Hook


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The reports had been on the radio all day, though Jane hadn't paid much attention to them. Some crazy man had escaped from the state asylum. They were calling him the Hook Man because he had lost his right arm and had it replaced with a hook. He was a serial killer, and everyone in the region was warned to keep watch and report anything suspicious. But this didn't interest Jane in the slightest. What did a madman have to do with her? She had more pressing matters on her mind, like what she should wear on her date with Matt.

After several hours of hemming and hawing, Jane chose a smashing off-the-shoulder affair in the very latest style and spent an hour curling her long dark hair. Finally, she was ready to go, and just in time, too. She heard Matt's car pull up outside and went to meet him on the porch.
"Don't stay out past curfew!" her father warned lazily from his place on the porch swing.
"Of course not, sir," Matt said. He was always the perfect gentleman in front of her father.

They turned the radio up and sang along to their favorite CD as they cruised up th mountain to the local drive-in theater. The place was a madhouse, and they laughed and ate popcorn and traded jokes with several other couples who had parked in the vacinity. It was a wonderful evening.

When the movie was through, Matt eyeballed Jane and slyly suggested that they drive to the nearby overlook to take in the view. Jane grinned back at him, happy to do a little necking with her favorite fellow. The blue outfit was definitely a hit. Jane made a mental note to buy a few more off-the-shoulder dresses as she cuddled close to her boyfriend in the darkend car. They'd tuned into a local radio station and spent some time necking to the sound of romantic music in the background.

Then the announcer came on and repeated the warning Jane had heard that afternoon. An insane killer with a hook in place of his right hand was loose in the area. She stiffened in Matt's arms, vividly conscious of their remote location on top of the hill. Suddenly, the dark, moonless night didn't seem so romantic to her. The overlook was secluded and off the beaten track, after all. A perfect spot for a deranged madman to lurk, Jane thought, pushing her amorous boyfriend away.

"I don't like the sound of that announcement," Jane said nervously. "Maybe we should get out of here? That Hook Man sounds dangerous."
"Aww, c'mon babe, it's nothing," Matt said, trying to get in another kiss. She pushed him away again.
"No, really. We're all alone out here. I'm scared," she said.
"I'll protect you," Matt said confidently, taking her back into his arms. But Jane was no longer in the mood for romance. She was scared and made no bones about it.

The couple argued for a moment more, but them the car shook a bit-as if something ... or someone ... had pressed against it. Jane gave a shriek, "Get us out of her NOW!"
"Jeez," Matt said in dusgust, "just like a girl!"
With a sour expression on his face, he turned the key and went roaring out of the lover's lane with a screeching of tires.

They drove home in a stony silence, Matt occasionally muttering to himself about the crazy notions of girls. Jane ignored him, just happy that they'd gotten away from that secluded spot.

When they pulled into her driveway, Matt refused to help her out of the car; a small courtesy he usually paid her. Typical male, Jane fumed. He was being so unreasonable.

She opened the door indignantly and stepped into her driveway with her chin up and her lips set. Whirling around, she slammed the door as hard as she could. And then she screamed.

Matt leapt out of the car, his ire forgotton in concern, and raced around the engine to her side of the car. Catching Jane in his arms, he cried, "What is it? What's wrong?" Then he saw it. A bloody hook hung from the handle of the passenger-side door, wrenched from the arm of the raving lunatic who had been stalking them on top of the hill.