Park Hopper: Part 4

Below is the fourth and final installment of Park Hopper. If you need to catch up, click the links for Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.


      Muffled cries echoed from a baby monitor, which rested atop Bradley's coffee table. Bradley, lounging on the sofa, leaned forward and silenced the television before getting to his feet. Relaxed, he strode into his bedroom, and opened one of three armoires, each adorning a windowless wall. He grabbed a Polaroid and an icepick.

      After securing the armoire, careful not slam its heavy, faux mahogany double doors, he approached the closet. He paused just outside the door, listening to the boy's sorrowful sobs. With a deep breath, he cracked the door. The closet was covered in clear plastic sheeting. Beneath the plastic, the entire room was blanketed with sound dampening panels. The plastic also encased several rechargeable LED worklights, which hung from the closet's otherwise empty wire shelves. Though the boy had not been violated, he had been stripped to his tighty whities and tied to a narrow, high-backed wooden chair. Fresh tears flowed over the boy's already tear-stained cheeks. Hoping to capture the terror on the boy's face, Bradley mashed the Polaroid's action button. After verifying the image, he placed the camera, photo still in its lips, beneath the plastic. 

      Bradley wore a disposable surgical suit made of paper and his hands were sheathed in latex gloves. The closet was cramped. He loomed over the small boy. "You'll be better off where I'm sending you," he said to the child. "No parents to ignore you or siblings to pick on you. Your parents don't deserve to have a boy like you."

      Choking back tears, the boy said, "I . . . I want to go home."

      "I am sending you home, child."

      Bradley plunged the icepick deep into the boy's neck. An arc of blood painted the wall crimson. The boy wailed until blood gorged his throat, silencing him for good.

      Without removing the icepick, Bradley wrapped the boy's lifeless body in the protective sheeting. A red carpet of plastic led from the closet to the bathroom. He carried the wadded body into the bathroom, where he discarded it into a triple-lined garbage bag made for heavy-duty yard waste. Standing inside the bathtub, Bradley stripped. Bending over, he gathered the plastic runway, along with his disposable clothes, stuffing everything into the bag, which he then carefully closed, making sure to force out any trapped air.

      After a long, hot shower, Bradley gathered the Polaroid from the closet. He darkened the portable worklights and exited, shutting the door behind him. To avoid disorder, he returned the camera to the armoire, grabbing a 3M hanging strip in its place. With photo and fastener in hand, he sauntered to his bed and climbed atop the mattress. Gazing up at the ceiling, Bradley marveled at his collection of photos. Fourteen panic-stricken children looked down at him. As he affixed his newest prize to the ceiling, Bradley couldn't help but smile, for he had saved all these children from wicked, unloving, inattentive parents.

      Well before his seven o'clock shift, Bradley discarded the body in the dumpster of an active construction site, where it would eventually make its way to a construction and demolition waste facility. Afterward, Bradley had stopped at a Dunkin Donuts for coffee before continuing to the garage. As per usual, he beat all of his coworkers, including his supervisor, to work. He opened the bay and clocked in, snickering at the greasy rag poking out from Bubba's timecard slot.

      One by one, workers filed into the bay. Bradley noticed as Bubba walked in. Discovering the rag, Bubba belted out a few choice expletives. Bradley chuckled.

      Walking over to Bradley, Bubba held up the rag, slightly shaking it as he said, "Very funny, Mr. Theme Park Enthusiast."

      Acknowledging Bubba, Bradley tipped an imaginary hat.

      "Well," said Bubba, "did ya have fun at Disney?"

      Bradley beamed. "Yes, I enjoyed it very much."