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Hellfire

Author's note: I was inspired by my love of horror fiction and games. I wanted the readers to get a sense of...  Show full author's note »
Author's note:

I was inspired by my love of horror fiction and games. I wanted the readers to get a sense of how life is sometimes unpredictable or unforgiving right after I told them how utopia-esque it could be. I wanted to crush my character, to make the reader feel for them, to temporarily crush the readers' hopes for the character. Filling the readers with dread and unease is what drove me to write this story. However, I also want the readers to look out for their own friends more, as friendships are some of the most important relationships to maintain.

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Chapters:   1 2 3 Next »

Alive and Breathing

I saw her drop the match, but I’m the one who woke up with the hands gloved with blood and a stranger’s skin in my teeth.

    At least, that would explain the peculiar, suffocating white walls. The way no one dares to step within ten feet of me. Even the caretakers leave my medicine in a glass hatch. But that’s only a few of the flashing pictures that have made themselves visible; sight, sound, and my own words are my sole confidants.
    Perhaps if I start at the beginning again, I might help you understand the inexorable predicament that was my life.
    I was a brilliant child; I maintained at least a GPA of 4.0 , didn’t dare to procrastinate, and avoided the evils of mankind. I held my ecclesiastical beliefs tight and sang in the choir of my church. The harmonies enveloped my heart, washed away my sins, and kept me faithful. They lit up the right path for me and gated off the dark one, the one that the Devil himself was attempting to beckon me towards. The gates kept me out, and he became a shadow in my mind. Lucifer had already fallen, and I would continue to let him fall farther to his imminent and permanent demise.
    I had a friend once. Mara. Mara was smarter than I am, much more clever, considerate; you could say she seemed perfect and not be scolded for using such a general and silly word. Her flashy smile and lovely speech won over almost anyone who happened to cross her path. She was almost always there when I needed her.
Almost. She was like the sister I never had. I loved her; she loved me. She’d do anything for me, and I was pretty sure that I’d do the same for her.

The day before I had complained to Mara about my new neighbor, Eve. Eve Arsonalt. She was beautiful; long, blonde hair graced her shoulders, and was often adorned by a sparkling hairpin or headband. Although I never saw much of her (except when she was criticizing me or making me do her yardwork), I only saw her wear outfits of the finest silk and satin, flowing dresses in jewel tones that I could never buy in my lifetime. The woman was not one to forget to exploit her riches. “They’re inherited,” she always says. Inherited, inherited, mine, mine, all mine, go away, stay away, leave, goodbye. If they’re inherited, then why do you disappear late at night? Where do you go? Why leave?
Mara and I decided to investigate.
The moment Eve left the house, and the drunk she calls her husband, Brutus, was asleep, we explored her house. Mara did the honors of picking the lock, and I did the honor of watching Brutus. His beard was one of a lumberjack’s, and I could practically smell the alcohol seeping from his skin. He was slumped in his tattered, stained armchair peacefully, too tranquil a setting for such a broken, troubled man. I wonder why he’s still alive; his liver must be running quite the marathon right now. His liver should have taken its final breath, and quit a long time ago. Brutus must be miserable without his wife.
Mara and I moved everything from gilded picture frames and vases to couches and their clothing. We found absolutely nothing but dust and daddy long legs for hours. Yes, Eve was on a particularly long “shopping” trip today, and Brutus had decided to drink too much. We were grateful for both, because around the third hour of searching, we found some quite incriminating articles.
“Candace? Come check this out!” said Mara, pulling out some coffee-stained newspaper that was at least fifty years old. It was from The Glassing Post: The Newspaper of the 50’s!
My eyes skimmed the article until a name jumped out at me:
Eve. Eve Arsonault. “....was convicted of breaking and entering, arson, and charged with the murder of Charmeine Angelique, Glassing’s beloved mayor...”
    Right beneath the picture was a picture of Eve, when she was a known criminal. And she looks exactly the same as she does now. “Eve Arsonault, aged 57, was convicted of arson...”different?
    Maybe the caption was wrong. Maybe they got a picture of her sister or something. I’m supposed to be able to trust what I see, but I can’t believe my eyes.
    I knew Eve couldn’t be alive anymore.The incident happened more than fifty years ago. How did Eve manage to survive?
    I could tell Mara was trying to piece things together as well, but hadn’t made sense of it yet. Nothing fit, nothing made sense, there must be more! She looks too young... she’s really too old...
    “What if she’s a ghost?” gaped Mara, her hands starting to tremulate ever so slightly.
    “Mara, don’t be silly. You know ghosts don’t do that,” I snickered, folding the newspaper and sticking it in the back pocket of my jeans.
    “Well, then she’s something else, I swear it,” she huffed, shuffling out of one of the many storage rooms and back into the hallway. We both tensed; Brutus shifted in his chair. He shifted right back to where he was, and resumed a drunken, euphoric slumber. We breathed once again.
    My heart started to pound when I heard the purr of a car pulling into the driveway. I remember the skitter of windblown pebbles, the engine roaring in my mind, the car door slamming before I realized that our little “visit” was over.
    “Mara! This way,” I harshly whispered, snapping Mara out of her fear-frozen stance. She was going to get us caught if she didn’t hurry!
     She nodded, embarrassed by her reaction, and started to follow me. We found a slightly cracked window that I could definitely wedge my fingers under and make an escape through.
    As I pushed the window up, I heard a key turning in the door, and panicked. Well, the adrenaline helped; I quickly got the window open, practically shoved Mara through, and then jumped through myself before Eve could lay eyes on us, the intruders.
    Breathe in, out, in, rushing, rushing, rushing blood, left right left right, run faster, faster, faster, don’t stop, breathe evenly, stop. I yanked my front door open, gestured Mara inside my warm, lively house, and slammed the door.

Chapters:   1 2 3 Next »


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This book has 5 comments. Post your own now!

NaNa said...
May 14, 2016 at 4:32 am
You are amazingly wonderful & brilliant ! Love you Always!
 
ShortStory said...
Feb. 13, 2015 at 4:09 pm
You are extremely skilled at creating a suspenseful mood through vivid imagery and inner thoughts. You have created dynamic, multi-dimensional characters. Way to go!
 
DesmineRobinson said...
Feb. 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm
MY GOODNESS YOU HAVE GOOD VOCABULARY! YOU GO GIRL!
 
Lauryn M. replied...
Feb. 13, 2015 at 12:28 pm
Well, thank you, DesmineRobinson. I appreciate the recognition.
 
DesmineRobinson replied...
Feb. 14, 2015 at 9:32 pm
YOU ARE VERY VERY VERY WELCOME!!! As a fellow writer, I understand you, FULLheartedly.
 

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