Zak Yates

Crime & Thriller writer

The Factory

Zak Yates

Copyright © 2020 Zak Yates

All rights reserved.

ISBN: 9798649088985

This book contains themes of an adult nature and is therefor suitable for mature readers only.

Strong language, violence and sexual content throughout.



Peter was fast asleep in his rocking chair outside on his porch dressed in his jeans, denim shirt, cowboy boots and had his favourite white stetson hat on. This was his usual routine in the middle of the afternoon after having a couple of beers and watching the world pass by him. It was a warm, sunny, Sunday afternoon in Driftwood, Texas with not a cloud in the sky. This was the house Peter had grown up in and had moved back to recently. Driftwood was known for being a quiet area, which was just what he had wanted since being laid off from his job at The Factory for having a fight with another co-worker over his marital breakdown. He had been kicked out of his house in Henly by his wife, Brenda, and luckily his mum’s house still lay empty from when she had moved out into a nursing home. From what he thought was trying to stick up for himself, it had turned into a full fist fight with Tommy, the workplace sleazebag, who had called him a cheat and shit husband to Brenda. Turned out Tommy and Brenda had actually slept together not long into the marriage and had kept their secret for 6 years until Tommy blurted it out during the fight. Peter was fired straightaway for throwing the first punch, which was 3 months ago now, and Tommy was just told to take a week off.

He hadn’t found any work since as there wasn’t much around, so now he just wakes up everyday, has a coffee and a cigarette, watches whatever crap is on the television, has his usual cheese sandwich for lunch and then sits on the porch with a couple of beers before taking a nap. He didn’t have any friends to talk to, as he had distanced himself from everyone that he used to work with at The Factory. He had been there many years, and was the boss for most of them, but felt like his actions that day had ruined any relationship he’d had with them. Even though he had not found any work yet, he was getting used to his days off, settling into a routine, and enjoying the peace and quiet.

This day would not be a normal day for Peter as he was awoken by someone who he couldn’t see as they were standing directly in front of the sun. He must have been in a deep sleep as he never heard the car pull up in front of the house. No words were said, and as Peter lifted his stetson up to see and get a better view of who was there, the gun went off. Peter slumped back in his chair with a bullet hole in his head and blood dripping down his face. This was the end to Peter’s routine as he stood over himself looking at what had just happened in shock.

“What the fuck! How can I be…? What’s happening?” Peter said, confused as to why he could see himself.

In the moments of confusion as to what was happening to him, he had forgotten to see who’d killed him. He quickly turned around to see who it was but the car was already pulling away, dust flying everywhere, and he couldn’t make out the person or car. Thoughts went flying through his head as he sat next to his dead body trying to work out who would have wanted him dead, especially after not seeing anyone, or hearing from anyone for 3 months, and only ever calling the nursing home to check on his mum who had dementia. Even she didn’t know who he was anymore but it made him feel better that he called. He sat next to his body and tried to touch the shoulder of his dead self but quickly pulled away as the strange feeling of going through another body scared him.

“I can walk, sit down on things but can’t touch other beings. This is fucking weird,” he muttered to himself as he sat there waiting for someone to find him, call the police or do anything. But no one came and no one called as no one ever did. As he sat there, he knew he would have to find his killer himself, but where to start?

“Jonny may know.”  



Within seconds of thinking about seeing Jonny, Peter arrived in Woodcreek at the Hideaway Tavern to find Jonny sitting alone on a bar stool with a large whiskey in front of him. He wasn’t with anyone or talking with anyone, just sitting there staring into his glass. Wearing his usual combination of blue jeans, black t-shirt, black leather jacket and brown cowboy boots, Peter could spot him from a mile off. Now in his early 40s, Jonny hadn’t altered from when Peter had met him 10 years ago at the Factory; slightly stocky build, always had a buzzed hair cut and facial stubble, and when not at work he had these exact same clothes on. Very predictable. The bar was pretty empty with only a couple of young lads playing darts, and two others slow dancing next to the jukebox, which had Dolly Parton’s version of ‘I Will Always Love You’ playing. You could tell what the outcome of that dance would be as the man, who looked like he’d had plenty to drink already, kept grabbing the woman’s arse every moment he could, and as she would lift his hand back up, he would slide it straight back down. The bar was dimly lit as it was almost closing time, which was a bit earlier on a Sunday night compared to the rest of the week, but the smell of cigarette smoke was still in the air as this was one of the few places that still let people smoke indoors and was popular with the old men of Woodcreek, who liked a beer and cigar without having to move off their bar stools.

The bartender was drying the glasses that had just been washed and walked past Jonny.

“Is everything alright?” he asked.

Jonny didn’t reply, he just sat in silence still watching the ice melt, so the bartender just walked away and carried on putting the glasses away, tidying up ready to close. Peter took a seat next to him.

“Hey man, I need your help,” Peter said, trying to get Jonny’s attention.

Jonny didn’t flinch from his position; he just kept staring at his glass.

“Listen, I’ve been shot and need to find out who did it,” Peter continued a little louder in case the sound of Dolly’s voice was drowning him out.

Another pause, and still no movement. Peter tried waving and clicking his fingers at both Jonny and the bartender. Then it dawned on Peter that not only could no one see him, they also couldn’t hear him.

“Fucking brilliant! All these questions and no fucking answers. This is gonna be harder than I thought,” he said, swivelling himself round, folding his arms on the bar feeling defeated.

A few minutes went by when, as the bell rang for last call, Jonny went to lift his glass up. The bartender noticed that the knuckles on Jonny’s right hand were bruised and cut, but before he could say anything, Jonny had clocked his face and quickly removed his right hand from the glass and swapped to his left, picking the glass up and knocking back the whiskey.

“What have you done to your hand?” Peter asked. Then the realisation hit again. “Oh shit, yeah, this is gonna take some getting used to.”

The glass slammed down on the bar and the bar stool scraped the floor as Jonny stood up. He pulled out a $20 bill, put it by his glass and headed for the door, not wanting or waiting for the change. That was clearly enough for Jonny. Maybe it was the fact that the couple dancing had put the same song on again and he couldn’t cope with a double dose of Dolly, or that he could only handle one drink these days. Peter got up and followed him out.

Jonny walked outside, stood by the door and pulled his smokes out of the inside pocket of his jacket. He lit a cigarette, took a few drags, and started to walk down the steps outside the bar, slowly taking his time. It was quite a warm night, as it was most nights in the middle of June, and the moon was full, shining its light all over, casting shadows of the trees that lined the street opposite the tavern. A few hundred yards to the right, standing under a street lamp, Jonny noticed there was a group of four prostitutes standing together waiting for passers by.

“Can’t be much trade around here, it’s too quiet,” Peter commented, also seeing them standing there.

Jonny starting walking towards them. As he got closer, he finished his cigarette and threw it to the ground, reached in his other inside pocket and pulled out a roll of 20s. 

“Who wants this?” Jonny asked, waving it around like food to a pet.

“You dirty bastard,” Peter remarked, shaking his head.

Within seconds of the girls seeing the money, he could have his pick as they flocked like vultures to a feed, not giving a shit and just wanting a quick shag for the night. Jonny picked the tall, skinny, blonde girl who was wearing a very small black mini-skirt that only just covered her arse, and a white crop-top with no bra as he could see her perked breast underneath.

“So sugar, where are you gonna take me?” she whispered in his ear, stroking his crotch to get him hard.

“She doesn’t waste any time,” Peter said, watching her go in for the kill.

“I’ve got a room ready, don’t you worry,” he replied as she linked his arm and started walking towards the car park of the tavern where he had left his car. There was only one light shining down on a few cars that were parked up, which must have been left there from the night before as there weren’t many people in tonight. Peter knew which car was Jonny’s and tried his thinking trick again, which worked, and he appeared inside the car, watching the two approach. The prostitute was stroking Jonny’s back and arse whilst walking and came across some more round lumps which were in his back pockets, the same shape as what was just waved in front of her face just moments ago. She went in for a kiss to distract Jonny, but nothing got past him. He let her put her hand in and take the cash thinking she was in, but they had just reached the car and within a split second, Jonny grabbed the prostitute’s head, pulled her hair tightly, and slammed her face into the side of the car.

“Fucking thieving bitch,” he whispered into her ear as he pulled her head back.

“Holy shit,” shouted Peter as he jumped back in his seat, shocked by the sound of the girl’s head hitting the car.

He slammed her head against the car for a second time; sex was now the last thing on Jonny’s mind. The sound of the girl’s head hitting the car the second time had pulled the attention of the other prostitutes, who were still standing under the street lamp waiting for their chance. 

“What the fuck! Get off her!” screamed one of the girls as they started running to help.

“Oi, dickhead! Get your fucking hands off her,” shouted another girl.

They couldn’t reach the car in time as Jonny had already opened the trunk, thrown the blonde in, and was speeding out of the car park. Peter turned to see the girls running into the bar to no doubt call the police.

Racing out of Woodcreek at high speed, Peter, still in shock, turned and looked at Jonny. “Who the fuck are you?” he questioned whilst they drove away in the moonlight.

Although Peter knew Jonny very well from working together at The Factory for many years, before Jonny left - well, was sacked due to his drinking problem and always being late - he was his first stop to try and find out who had shot him, yet after what he had just witnessed, Peter was sitting there wondering if Jonny could have killed him himself. They were travelling so fast that Peter could not tell which direction they were going, and then suddenly the car skidded to a stop. Jonny quickly got out of the car and slammed the door, reaching for his cigarettes. 

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” said Jonny whilst pacing up and down, kicking stones, clearly angry and upset, shaking his head.

“Just what have you done?” Peter said, looking in shock at Jonny as he also got out of the car.

“What made you do this?” Peter asked again, waiting for a reply.

The reply that would never come as he couldn’t hear him.

‘Has he done this kind of thing before?’ was the thought running through Peter’s mind as he watched Jonny pace around, clearly wondering what to do next. Then, like a light bulb moment, Jonny went to the trunk and opened it to get the girl out. As the trunk opened the girl swung for Jonny with a wrench she had found.

“You bastard!” she yelled, yet blood was still dripping down her face so her aim was off and she missed him.

Jonny slammed the trunk down, trapping the girl’s arm on the outside by her elbow.

“Holy fuck!” shouted Peter, who couldn’t believe what he was watching.

The girl screamed in agony as Jonny held her hand where it was and slammed the trunk down again, this time snapping the girl’s forearm completely off from the elbow. If the sound of the crack wasn’t enough, the amount of blood that splattered everywhere was making Peter feel sick to his stomach and he had to turn away. There was no coming back from this as Peter had just seen Jonny go from just wanting sex to chopping the arm off a woman.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Peter asked Jonny, shaking his head in disgust and shame.

Jonny wasn’t finished though, and still with rage on his face and a look Peter had never seen before on him, he opened the trunk and dragged the girl out of the car, throwing her to the floor. She tried to stand up but he kicked her down again making her body roll, leaving her on her back. She grabbed hold of her arm that was still gushing with blood and was screaming as loud as she could, but there was no one around for miles to hear her.

“Shut the fuck up, you stupid whore,” he yelled to her as he started kicking her all over.

“Jesus Christ man, stop!” cried Peter, but Jonny was angry and kept kicking and kicking until her body wasn’t moving. “Is she dead?” Peter asked, moving closer and seeing her body lying there, lifeless.

Thinking that was it, Peter then saw Jonny reaching back into his trunk and pulling out a screwdriver. Rolling the girl’s body on her back, Jonny stabbed her straight through the heart as he wanted to be sure she was dead.

“Holy fuck, you evil psycho,” Peter said while he could do nothing but watch Jonny butcher this poor girl.

There was blood everywhere, dripping from Jonny’s car and all over the road. This was a mess that could not be left. Standing back, Jonny realised just what he had done.

“Shit!” Jonny screamed at the top of his voice.

Looking around, he knew it couldn’t be left like this, so he grabbed the girl’s butchered body and threw it back in the trunk of his car. He took out his petrol can and started pouring whatever petrol was in it all over the car and inside the trunk, making sure some covered the blood on the road. He stood back, lit a cigarette, took two drags and threw it at the car. The car ignited into a full blaze within seconds and Jonny just turned and walked away. Peter stopped for a second to try and take in what had just happened, then turned and looked over his shoulder to see Jonny just walking away in the moonlight without a care in the world.

Peter waited a little longer to see if he would meet the ghost of the dead girl, but no one showed up, which puzzled him. ‘Was it because she already knew her killer?’ he pondered, ‘and that’s why she’s not appeared?’ It was the only explanation he could come up with as he turned to catch up with Jonny to see what he was up to. 

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