The square room pt 2
“The light’s flickering again,” said ‘Darhlinnng’, running her orange gel nails through the obviously dyed, bright blonde strands of her hair.
Donald appeared from behind the fusebox, his eyebrows knitted together. They were too dark for his face really, compared with his dirty yellow mop, but she knew he didn’t dye them. He wouldn’t even let her tweeze his monobrow for God’s sake, and it was really looking terrible.
“I don’t do electronics, mother!” He growled back.
Darhlinnng tutted. She was doing that a lot recently. “Of course you do, you work with computers all day.”
“Coding!” Donald threw a look at her - not his mother - Sarah. Remember her? She’s the one lying in her own vomit right now. Yes, that’s her name. You were waiting for that, weren’t you? And yes, she’s still there. They both are. This is what’s called a flashback. Handy little narrative device, I’ll have you know. Anyway, I won’t interrupt the story. Let’s continue...
Sarah crossed her eyes back at him, or at least she thought she crossed them, she wasn’t sure whether it looked more like she had a lazy eye or if she was staring at her nose. She couldn’t tell by looking in the mirror and she had’t tried to take a selfie. Maybe she’d try that. Of course, it’s important to know these things. Donald was staring at her still - he wanted a better response - no, he smiled. Good, she wasn’t sure what was going on to be honest, she often got lost in her own thoughts like this.
“Try twiddling the thing!” Darhlinnng commanded with an orange nail.
“I’ve tried twiddling every bloody thing in here,” he responded exasperated.
“That’s probably why it’s flickering,” Sarah snorted.
“She’s right you know,” Darhlinnng’s eyes were wide, her dim-witted nature taking Sarah’s comment as a serious remark. “We’ll just get someone more qualified.”
“I’m not qualified at all!” Donald argued. But, she wasn’t listening, she was already jabbing cack-handedly at her phone.
Sarah was used to these arguments at the Hiptop household. She’d been Donald’s girlfriend for five year’s now. Part of the furniture, isn’t that what you call it? No part of the family - but Donald certainly was like furniture, with Darhlinnng walking all over him in her white wedged sandals, digging size three footprints into the green carpet and her son all at once.
Sir Graham Hiptop had died ten year’s ago now. It had been Donald who had found him, but you wouldn’t think so. He spoke about him so nonchalantly, like it was just a friend he hadn’t seen in a while. But he never spoke about the day.
She wasn’t quite sure what happened that day, but she did know it had something to do with drugs. You wouldn’t think a well-to-do biscuit entrepreneur would be injecting anything but chocolate between crumb sandwiches, but the press said otherwise. Of course, Darlinnng was ‘simply distraught’, how could she have not noticed her beloved husband was sticking needles into his arm? ‘Well, it must have been the stress of the work. He was always out. She mistook the tell-tale signs as a consequence of this workload. And, of course, she was preoccupied with bringing up darlinnng Donald!’ As if.
“Tomorrow morning, is that really the earliest you can do?” Darlinnng’s voice rang out into the airy corridor. “I see. Well, it’ll have to do I suppose. Donald!” She didn’t bother taking the phone from her lips. “You’ll let the electrician in?”
“Yes, but when.”
“Ten am. I’ll be at pilates and I can’t aff -”
Donald stopped her. “Fine. Yes.”
Sarah had been looking forward to the lie in they were both promised and so sorely needed, but she guessed she could wait. Besides, how much attention did an electrician need? Donald and her could get up and make pancakes while he worked. It would be fun. They so rarely got Saturday morning to themselves and she would make the most of it or so help her!! Her stomach rumbled at the thought of the buttery batter frying.
Darlinnng continued chatting for a few more dreary minutes, waving her arm dramatically in the air, like she was constantly wafting a fly away. Sarah wondered if the electrician was hard of hearing now - she certainly was after that conversation. Poor sod.
Sarah laughed at the memory, but no sound came out. Well she was dead after all, but it still surprised her that she could feel something so intensely like a laugh and have nothing happen.
They were all so blind, she thought pitifully as she lay in the congealed vomit. So blind of the horrors they would be inviting into their house.
A strand of light threw itself inside the grey prison, casting dancing shadows across the walls. She looked over to the door. Hello flickering light.
#thriller #mystery #shortstory #fiction
The Square Room p1
She could press her feet flat against the wall, and her palms against the other. The grey brick was old but firm; not even a flake would fall if she kicked it. She knew. He’d tried countless times.
He. Donald. Lay next to her. And much to her discomfort, was staring at her. Again. She hated when he did that. He had these ugly, big bulgy green eyes, she hadn’t seen it before, but it was all she could focus on now. They reminded her of a tarsier. And there was a red lump forming on his crooked nose, amongst the speckling of freckles she once found so cute. She felt a desperate need to reach out and squeeze it between her dirty fingernails, push out all the white pus from under its crimson and bulbous clutches.
She looked at her hands, she was filthy. How long had it been since she’d washed? Weeks, months maybe? They never turned the lights on down here…they simply brought the flickering torch. Her eyes moved to the four cemented walls. Was it day, night, somewhere between? Was anyone looking for her still? She imagined so – she had a loving family, and the friends she did have, wouldn’t forget her so easily.
She looked back to Donald. He wasn’t staring at her anymore. He was stood up. It was lucky he was short, because it meant he didn’t have to stoop so low. His blonde hair was longer than she’d ever seen it before…it didn’t suit him. Was anyone looking for Donald? Undoubtedly. His mother was the wealthy widow to Sir Graham-Hiptop, the owner of Hiptop biscuits, and although she paid little attention to her lanky, coder son, she’d want the papers to see Hiptop was trying. Hiptop looks tip to top, she imagined the papers reading. No. Hiptop horror continues. It almost brought a smile to her lips. Yes, they would have created some hideous pun, the black sans serif standing out on the shelves. Public eyes soaking in every word, thinking what a devoted mother, what an awful thing.
She hated Donald’s mother. She had this smell about her. Not that it was her smell that made her hate her, but it was easier to hate someone who smelt funny. It was like honey mixed with grapefruit. Too sweet and sharp at the same time. Like her face, delicate and round, but with these distinctively angled features. And she’d always greet everyone the same way ‘Darhlinnng!’ It made her want to vomit. She’d done enough of that already though and there’s only so much vomit a girl can lie in.
It was stupid ‘Darhlinnngs’ fault they were in this mess anyway, if she hadn’t –
The walls might have even shook this time. She glanced upwards at Donald. He was sobbing, his mouth open, but lips remained joint with a web of salvia. What had she’d just said about vomit? Urgh. She steered her gaze back to her ankles, where the last of her vomit had gathered in a yellowy, brown puddle.
She chanced another look at him. His eyes were on her, as he slumped to his knees. He did that a lot. Slumping. There wasn’t much else to do to be honest, but it had rubbed a hole in one side of his jeans. She hated when he was like this, but at least it was better than the time he forced her to play noughts and crosses with bits of loose stone and dust he’d gathered. She could remember the cool touch of his fingers, as they clasped together between games. He would hold on to them, like there was nothing else in the world. Like her fingers could save him, save them from these walls. That was much earlier on. When they still loved one another. But her own grip loosened as time went on, and soon the small space, seemed even smaller.
She thought she was free of it when ‘flickering light’ had cracked her skull open with the hammer. It hadn’t even hurt. No. That was a lie. It did and then it didn’t. It just felt warm, like the sun had melted on her head. There was a lot of shaking, like someone was throwing her body back and fourth. Darkness filled her pupils – that was the scariest bit – but also comforting, like the nightmare would be over soon…but then something happened.
…Despite being dead, despite feeling her own body stiffen, despite the words not forming on her once lively lips, she was still here. Her sight flooded back, but it was back in a frozen body.
And she knew why. She’d figured that one out not long after it had happened. It was because she had to escape. They had to get out of here.
But if you’re dead…how do you communicate with the living?
#fiction #horror #mystery #thriller #writing
It’s been some time.....
To all my followers…if I still have any! It’s been a while and I’m sorry about that. It’s not that stopped writing – I still work as a writer, but my love for creative writing came to a sudden end after a family tragedy. I think I found it difficult to express my emotions and something I once found such joy in, became impossible.
After 14-months, my kind-hearted and lovely mum lost her battle with brain cancer. I shouldn’t really define it as a battle, it was a terminal diagnosis, but it seems fitting to use that word because she was a warrior. There’s not many people I know who would be so brave. I certainly wouldn’t have been as strong as her.
One distinct memory that I can’t shake is the time I got upset in front of her. For those reading this that don’t know me personally, I am a tough cookie. I am not the type of person to have a cry. I don’t like it. It’s not that I consider crying as a weakness in others, because it’s certainly not, but for some reason for me, it is. It’s always better to smile and just carry on. Whether that’s a healthy way to deal with your emotions is another matter for another day. Anyway, I digress. So I didn’t get upset in front of my mum very often – I’d save that for private because what right did I have to cry. I wasn’t the dying one. When someone is upset you don’t start crying with them, you comfort them. But on this occasion, I couldn’t do it. I just started crying and I told mum that I was upset for her, I suppose I was already mourning her. With all the absolutely terrible people in the world, why did someone so brilliant and generous have to die? And in such a grim way!? [I can sense my anger building – my computer keys are getting the brunt of this.]
I was angry and I was upset. And what did my mum do? The one who all of this was happening to? She just gave me a hug, held me and told me it would be all be alright and not to cry. In this one story, I hope I have portrayed what a fantastic woman she was. How bloody brave she was. We definitely had our issues, her and I, but I hope she knew how wonderful I thought she was and how much I loved her.
I think I’m ready to write for me again. But I’ll be taking baby steps. Maybe I’ll start with a few blog posts a week and go from there! Bear with me.
#writing #cancer #braintumour #braincancer #braintumor #mum #death
The Affair: part 1
The collar of his shirt was turned up, just a little, and the dark circles under his eyes were a little more prominent than usual too. And though she noticed these small quirks about him, she never questioned them.
He had been working late a lot recently. He'd been working hard, she knew. So...so, the moods could, of course, be excused. He was tired. Everyone is allowed to have their moments. True, the moments had been becoming more of a regular occurrence, but that was alright. It was to be expected. Marriage was difficult. You had to keep working at it. Not every moment could be happy. Besides moments like these made the happy moments, that's what defined them, what set them apart from the rest.
But as her arms wrapped around his shoulders, she spotted the faint pink speckles that lay hidden behind his flicked collar. She fingered it without thinking, her nails tracing the spot.
"What?" He asked her.
Her fingers froze and she moved them quickly onto his neck. It was warm and she could feel the quick pump of his pulse under her tips. Or perhaps that was her own? She swallowed. Her throat felt raw suddenly, like there was something lodged inside it. She coughed lightly, covering her mouth and leaned back with a smile. "Nothing. I'm just... so happy." She pushed her lips to his in a quick embrace, and pressing her nose against his. "Happy to see you."
He pushed her back firmly, his dark brown eyes gazing steadily into hers. She forced another smile, but she could feel her body trembling. She clasped her hands together, willing herself to stop. Why did she have to ruin everything? Why, when they were having a good moment, did she have to spoil it all?
She spoilt everything.
I know words they say words can't hurt you,
And maybe they show no physical wounds,
But they can graze, and scratch at your skin just as much,
They can make you bleed from your soul and your heart,
I know gossip is a natural thing, we all like to talk,
We all like to rant, rave, bitch and shout,
But when we do we're never thinking about anyone else,
We're feeding that greedy, vicious part of ourselves,
The one that makes us feel good,
And it's a disgusting thing to do,
But we can't stop,
We can't see clearly,
So we just fatten it up,
Until the arteries are clogged,
And we can no longer breathe or move,
For we are so full of self inflicted torment.
Little dark cloud
Hello there, little dark cloud of mine
It's been a while, hasn't it?
How have you been?
Thinking about me, I presume?
Unlike you to be thinking about anyone else.
No one else matters.
It's just us. You saw to that.
Come closer, till your shadow merges with mine
We're connected you and I
Even when we're apart I can feel you
Lurking, prodding, teasing, whispering in my ear
I don't always listen to you
But you always come back
Even after we've argued.
I know you'll never leave me
You'll stroke my hair, weave your wonders into mine
And we'll lie there for an eternity
Developing, creating, pondering
About the life we live
Forever singing to your sour melody
What we could have had
If only we were better.
If only we were more.
Embrace your thunderstorm
Soak the rain upon my cheeks, you say?
Yes, I shall.
With great, bitter delight, my little dark cloud
I shall embrace.
If I should die
Right at this precise moment
I wonder who would care
Who would mourn me
If I should live
Right at this precise moment
I wonder what would happen
Who would love me
If I should care
Right at this precise moment
I wonder who would listen
Who would cry with me
If I should jump
Right at this precise moment
I wonder who would stop me
...and who would jump with me?
Her love had wilted like the petals of the winter flower
and as much as she had cared for it, nurtured it, willed it to grow
she could not help but admire the way the icicles formed amongst its dead roots
but it was a fatal attraction, a lust that would melt into nothing but lost tears
she knew it so well, knew it was something she should not want
yet found her fingertips crushing the stem of a flower she once loved
and pressing longingly to the frozen blankets of frost
and as the days passed, she grew colder and colder
her heart wilting just as the flower that had long buried into soil
and she lay there, not caring for anything but the hurt in her heart
but as she closed her eyes for her final sleep,
she felt the warm kiss of heat
the grey skies dissolved into blue
and strands of gold filtered through
a puddle of chaos lay all around
but amidst the anger,
in the corner, grew a single rose