Recently in the Memetastic Award blog post I revealed that I have two recurring dreams, one about my teeth falling out and one about fish.
This inspired my daughter Liberty to write a 500 word short story for a competition with a Valentine Horror theme. I think her story is fantastic. You can read it here if you have a spare few minutes.
As usual, we were chatting in the sauna after a 20 minute Sunday workout at the gym and I suggested that I might like to have a go at writing a 500 word horror story. She, of course, was full of encouragement and told me to enter the competition. Not one to ignore a new challenge, I did just that.
This is my story, as yet untitled.
I love the feel of the sun in my face. It helps me to forget.
I never knew my mother. Never knew her gentle touch or breathed her special perfume. I am alone.
It’s always been Jack that cared for me, fed me, told me I was beautiful. I know I should be grateful but he scares me. I don’t like the way he looks at me, his eyes linger a little too long, making me want to turn away. The tone of his voice chills me when he says, “Rosie, how tall you are growing”. And now he has started to touch me differently. Not a nurturing touch. A touch I can’t comprehend.
He is coming now across the grass to where I dream. He has that look on his face that I have come to dread. His gaze makes me aware of my vulnerability. I stiffen and recoil as he cradles my head in his hands. I feel his breath, hot and acidic.
“My special girl”, he says. “Soon you will be ready”
My mind is in turmoil. Ready for what?
I wish my mother were here. My mother could help me make sense of my confusion. I don’t know why she went away but I am sure that Jack had something to do with it. Sometimes I think I can hear her calling to me, warning me. Or maybe it is nothing more than the wind in the trees.
I turn my face to the sun. I forget.
I am in my bed.
I feel him before I see him. How long has he been standing there, watching me?
Something has changed. There is heaviness to him like he is almost regretting what he is about to do.
I want to scream but I have no voice. I want to run but I am rooted. I want to turn my face to the sun but today there is no escape.
He steps closer.
He reaches his hand towards me.
I am gripped with paralysing terror.
One hand holds me tight as his other hand comes into my field of vision. I do not know how to interpret the glint of light that reflects from the hard steel of the knife he carries. The intense pain as the blade slices into soft tissue crystallises my awareness.
Silently I scream “Mothherr!!!”
I am not dead.
I can feel the life draining from me but I am not dead.
Jack is carrying me.
There is nothing I can do but watch and wait.
He is dressed in his best suit, hair brushed. I don’t understand. What is happening?
He carries me into a darkened room. There is flicker of candlelight. I can hear another voice, a softer voice, gentle but expectant. A woman?
“Jack”, the voice says, “what’s that?”
“It’s for you, darling. Happy Valentines Day”
The woman takes me, lifts me to her face and breathes in my dying essence.
“What a beautiful rose, Jack. Thank you.”