To get into the Halloween spirit I decided to write a Horror short story. Although, not my first short story, it will be my first in this genre and the first one I share with readers of my Blog. For some reason I gave myself the task of writing in present tense for the main bulk of the story – this is also something I haven’t done before but it felt right for the tale.
I’ve decided to break the story into two and I will post the second half at the end of the week. For now, I hope you enjoy reading the first part.
My Friends are All Dead – Part 1
All of my friends are dead. I need to escape.
I cannot get out through the front door. I can hear them downstairs, their voices echoing in the entrance hall. I wish I was closer to distinguish their distorted words, make out their plan of attack but I know I’m safer at a distance. I realise I’ve been holding my breath whilst trying to listen and finally, I’m forced to gasp for air. My hand flies up to cover my mouth, as though they might hear me.
I let go and try to calm my heartbeat. I’m on the second floor and though I’m close to the stairway, there is no way they could pinpoint me by my breathing. Once the thudding in my chest slows down, I take in my options. There aren’t many. The only choice was left or right, or is it East or West in a grand building?
I don’t want to go back the way I came, the West side. My friends’ bodies lie lifeless and bloody in those rooms behind me. However, to reach the East wing I would need to pass the stairway and risk being seen behind the upper railings. One swift lucky sweep of their torches could end it all for me. I hear footsteps on the stone staircase, rising panic forces me into decision.
I must turn around and face the gruesome scenes once more. I swallow back the bile rising in my throat and cautiously edge forward. The passageways are lit intermittently by moonlight pouring through the tall windows along one side of the building. In between is indiscernible darkness. Broken glass and debris are sprawled across the length of carpet. I can’t see it, but I know it is there from when my friends and I swept our flashlights over it. That was only a couple hours ago.
Now from fear of drawing attention to myself, I must walk through the gauntlet of wreckage blind. I shuffle forward, using the tip of my shoe to push bits of wood and trash from out of my path. I flinch every time glass crunches underfoot. I had barely noticed it before, as we traipsed through the corridors, laughing together. Now each crack is a loud signal in the silence. I try to ignore the sounds underneath my feet and focus on gaining ground. On getting further away from them.
My fingers tightly grip the heavy flashlight. I can’t seem to help tapping it against my thigh as I walk, though the staccato rhythm seems to aid my pace. A weak glow emanates from the room ahead. I know the room number, 206 and what it contains, Tiffany. I pause by the door and find I can’t stop myself from looking in.
There she lay, eyes ever staring upward at the ceiling. Her mouth is frozen in a ghastly grimace. The lantern sitting on the dusty, cracked side table casts awful shadows across her stricken face. At least there is no blood here.
I close my eyes and think back to our last time together. Tiffany’s pealing laughter as she teased me and asked if my braces made my kisses taste like rust. She was always full of giggles and smiles. Well, not anymore, now she was horribly quiet. I prayed for a cackle to burst from her bruised throat once more. Nothing would come, she was dead. She was the first to die.
Scott and I discovered her body on the bed, splayed out and waiting. I did not dare go near and watched as Scott rushed forward to shake her awake. She would not wake. She was not sleeping. How could she be with her eyes popping wide like that?
“She’s dead. How can she be dead?” He yelled.
“I don’t know.” Tears crept down my cheeks as I couldn’t take my gaze away from her cold dead corpse.
“What do we do?”
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t know.”
“Fat lot of help you are!” Scott shouted. Then when he finally looked at me and took note of my shaking frame, he softened. “I’m sorry. I’m going to go find him.”
Scott squeezed my shoulder as he passed me and despite the shocking scene in front of me, I’d felt a flood of warmth. He momentarily paused in the hallway, glancing left and right. He’d muttered to himself then he made his choice, hurrying along the corridor.
“What should I do?” I called after him.
“Stay with her. Stay with Tiffany.” He ordered, as though Tiffany needed comforting. That she was merely crying over some upset, rather than dead and dumb.
I didn’t stay with her, I stayed by the door instead. Every few seconds or so I would lift my mobile up and pray the signal bars would appear once more. At last, one measly bar popped up. I dialled for Davy.
“What is it?” he answered in his usual shortness.
“Where are you? Tiffany’s dead. Scott’s coming to find you.”
“Shit.” He replied and then the phone cut out. I helplessly stared at the screen, willing that bar to come back but it didn’t. I decided to wait ten more minutes and then I would go in search of Scott and Davy. I wish I hadn’t.
To be continued…For Part 2 click here.