Alexa, Set Reminder : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

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When I’d see crime scenes on TV, in movies or on the news, they were always fascinating to me. The scene of the action, the place where strange and terrible things have happened. The untapped collection of potential clues and evidence to investigate and solve. That was why I started working in crime scene cleanup. I’m not smart enough to be a detective or mean enough to be a cop, but I can definitely clean.

I was really excited at the beginning, but I found out pretty much right away that the crime scenes I worked on weren’t exciting. They aren’t usually even interesting. All the opportunity has been taken, all the clues investigated. There’s no element of discovery. By the time me and my team showed up, it was just a mess.

But the job pays pretty well, so I kept at it. I wasn’t grossed out by any of it after a while, except for when there were feces involved. Blood, organs, tissue, I can handle that. But a bit of shit? I try to get someone else to do it.

Anyway, something happened last week.

I was working at someone’s home, almost twenty-four hours after the guy died. Police had come, looked, and ruled it a suicide. I was working with my buddies Brian and Jett and we were debating over which children’s TV show was objectively the most educational (I don’t remember why) as we cleaned blood off the wall.

I remember I tucked my arm into my hazmat suit to check the time on my phone – 6:59 pm.

A few seconds later, the Alexa device on the deceased’s nightstand made a noise. I jumped, not expecting to hear anything behind me. Jett laughed.

“Here is your reminder for: I didn’t kill myself. It was Brian Hatch of Sun.”

I remember my blood suddenly feeling ice-cold, my heart pounding in my ears as I turned to look at my friend Brian Hutcherson. He didn’t move. He didn’t say anything and his face was blank. His face twitched, almost in synch with my heartbeat.

At the end of the tense eternity that fit into those few seconds, he lunged at Jett, grabbed a fistful of his long hair and pinned him to the ground. He plunged his face into the bucket of water, soap and the blood we’d just been wiping off the drywall, and he held it there.

I don’t remember the look on Brian’s face. I only remember the veins popping out of his head and the wet, gurgled screams of my dying friend.

I wish I had tried to stop Brian. I wish I had done anything at all. But in that moment, the only thing I knew was the desire to be away, far away from the scene of the action. Maybe I could have saved Jett. Or kept Brian there until the cops arrived. But I just ran.