Horror Story Number 1:
Every horror story starts with a good beginning. Because if a horror story does not begin with a good beginning, it is not effective as a horror story….
The better half of October leads to All Hallows Eve which for many is much better known as Halloween. It’s the time of the year when people dress themselves up in the most scary of costumes (or in some cases, in costumes you dream of which are normally kept in the depths of one’s consciousness – like dressing as a dominatrix or a princess without being judged for it). It is also the time of the year when people scare each other senseless with vampire and other monster stories.
I’m going to add mine to the mix but I will warn you that my stories are a little bit different but they are damn scary…
Story Number 1: A Fairy Tale Gone Bad
Copyright 2011 Johnny Domawa
All Rights Reserved
The sound of the clock pierced the silence of the room like a cold knife. In the fading light of the August sun, the furniture cast their solitary shadows in the corners further accentuating the somber atmosphere.
At first glance, the room resembled the usual suburban home. On one corner, a TV laid on top of a DVD player. Arranged like monobloc pieces, box type couches surrounded it like silent sentinels. A lone indoor palm tree covered the eastern corner of the room flanking a vanity table decorated with smiling family pictures, the most prominent being the center one showing a smiling dad holding a five year old kid and a beaming mom holding a blanket swaddled baby – a normal suburban family.
A soft sob suddenly broke the spell. From one of the couches, a shadow extricated itself. The figure cast a gaunt figure in the fading light. Shoulders hunched, the face shrouded against the light, it almost looked like a Japanese ghost rising from the darkness – except this was not a ghost.
The figure straightened and walked into the light. The play of the afternoon sun cast a dark silhouette in her face. In many ways, she still resembled her image in the picture by the mantelpiece, except that where there was once smooth skin, deep lines now crisscrossed her features. Dark circles now frame what were once bright expressive eyes, red with tears that refuse to flow anymore.
She gingerly approached the pictures on the mantelpiece and a trembling hand snaked out to reach for the frames but before she could touch one, her fingers froze and reluctantly she withdrew them. Sounds of children’s giggles wafted gently from the closed doorway. 7
The figure straightened out, almost growing a half meter as she recognized the sounds. The deep lines of her face mysteriously faded as her visage took on an almost miraculous transformation. Yet some of the darkness still remained and some of the wan color of her skin still remained.
With purposeful strides, she crossed the expanse of the room, switching on the lights on her way banishing the dark shadows away. She forced a smile and opened the door letting in two bickering children, the older male now eight dragging his knapsack across the foyer and the younger female kindergartener pouting at her brother.
“Hi mom!” The kindergartener flashed a bright smile at her and she stooped down to receive a kiss. The older kid groaned as he attempted to escape her grasp but she wouldn’t let him.
“Aw mom…” he squirmed as she asked for her kiss and got it. Her sister smiled and they all laughed at his expense.
The room was filled with noise as they all went in. Momentarily the rich aroma of fried eggs and stew filled the room. The kids laughter and squeals chased the dark cloud that hung over it a few hours ago. After a few good-natured ribbings between parent and children, a few chases to force them to brush their teeth and to take their nightly bath and a few protests when they were tucked in bed.
Then slowly sleep took hold of them and once more, she was alone. She opened the night lights, her shoulders hunched back once more, the lines returned and the dark hollow circles framed her eyes once more. Worried eyes periodically glanced over the clock on the wall and the door.
Outside, night has swiftly stolen away the light and the dull sound of the streets replaced the once vibrant sounds of daytime. Time slowed… and once more the room was taken over by the dull clicking of the clock.
Presently, a new noise came over through the door, the sound of something dragging against the concrete wall.
She stiffened and a white knuckled hand gripped her knees.
The sound presently stopped. She froze.
Then there was the clink of keys being fumbled on. She stared at the door, not blinking at all. She swallowed hard. A curse pierced the silence and the man behind the door shook the knob violently. Her body jerked with each grating sound. She made a move to go open it but her body failed her. She watched in zombie like state as the knob started to turn and the louder curses issued. Only when it started to open did she rise up.
With movement bordering in urgency, she covered the distance and narrowly escaped the door slamming on her face. An angry face was behind it. She dropped her gaze mumbling an excuse. The man, the same man on the picture watched her ministrations with sharp penetrating eyes. Gone was any trace of mirth that was present in the picture. In its place was a mixture of contempt and disgust tinged with the madness of alcohol induced anger.
She continued to avoid his eyes and instead meekly took his briefcase turning around quickly to take it to the living room. Behind her, her husband watched her movement with barely concealed scorn. He grunted and let go an expletive under his breath. He slammed the door behind him, the sound making her jump in fear which he didn’t see.
“Dinner is on the table…” she ventured docilely. He kicked his shoes away, dropping his coat on the floor. If he heard her, he didn’t make any sound of acknowledgement. He stomped his way to the kitchen, leaving her quaking in his wake. She watched his form and bit her lower lip to still her trembling body. When he disappeared, she quickly went to the mess quickly fixing the scattered shoes and coat, wiping tears from her face.
“What the heck is this? Are you trying to f****g kill me?” his voice barked from the kitchen.
She froze. The sound of a hand striking the table followed the expletive. She clutched his coat that she was about to hang in the closet and she stifled another sob. She glanced at the picture in the mantelpiece. There was a time when he seemed to be like everything she wanted, a time when he was the prince charming in her life. When did it change?
More expletives came from the kitchen. Her body shuddered with each sound.
She stood near the closet, still clutching at his coat, her breathing escaping in sudden rasps, some caught in her throat.
After long drawn out moments, new noises came from the kitchen and she stiffened.
Her husband came into view. He saw her standing and his eyes flared in anger. Then they softened as a wicked smile came over his face. He gestured to her.
For a moment, she faltered. His countenance started to harden and she found her body moving. Like an automaton, she moved towards him.
He smiled and for a moment, she imagined that it was the same smile that he once offered but she knew that it was simply an illusion.
The next minutes were almost surreal. She could feel his hands pawing at her, she felt the momentary sting of the cold as her clothes were removed. She could smell the whisky in his breath as he slobbered her with kisses and pain momentarily erupted as his hands roughly clawed her in what were once loving caresses.
She was there but she wasn’t there.
She caught her reflection in the face of the clock.
She was crying…
Copyright 2011 Johnny Domawa
All Rights Reserved