Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Last First Date

The assigment was to create a short story about a first date. Horror-related and 1000 words or less. This is the second story I wrote. I think it's alright but no matter how many times I tweaked it I was never quite satisfied with it. I think it might do better as a long story. Anyways, here it is, please enjoy.

The Last First Date

When my Mom was 18 she was set up on a blind date. Her last first date I guess you could say. Not only because it was her last first date but also because it was the end of something else. I’m not sure what. Maybe her innocence, as clich├ęd as that sounds. But maybe this date also meant the end of the world. Let me explain.

The blind date’s name was Chad Wilkerson and they agreed to meet at a local coffee shop on a Friday evening in the summer of 1966. As she was about to leave Chad rang her and asked if she could meet at his house on 332 Pine Street. His car wasn’t starting so he wanted to know if my Mom could pick him up. No alarm bells went off in my Mom’s head. This was the sixties. People didn’t wonder if their next-door neighbour was a serial killer.

She gets there but Chad’s not waiting out front. So Mom knocks on the front door.

My mom has no memory of what happened next. She was found wandering the interstate, naked except for underwear, covered in cuts presumably made by a knife. Pentagrams, upside down crosses, strange words defiled her entire body like a roadmap of hell. Only her face was spared. The police picked her up, her parents were called and all she could say was she had went to Chad’s house and had knocked on his door. When they went to Chad’s house it was empty. The family had packed up and left. They even took the ice trays.

Growing up I have to say my Mom did a good job of shielding me from her demons (no pun intended). She was pretty messed up for years afterward. Drugs, drinks, men, the usual things that messed up people do I suppose. Getting pregnant straightened her life out somewhat. She cold turkied herself off the drugs and alcohol and became a full time Mommy.

I guess my teens are when I started to notice strange things about my Mom. She still had the scars on her body but time and plastic surgery had almost erased them. But some nights I would wake up and hear her crying in her bed. I would crawl in to bed with her and hold her until she fell asleep. That is how it went for a few years. That was our normal.

3 days ago I turned 18. The same age my mother was on that last first date.

My mother’s condition has deteriorated in the past 3 months. Her problems are far beyond the earthly skills of a therapist. She needs help from above the earth; as in God, Jehovah, Yahweh whatever you call him. She has started talking in her sleep. But not in her own voice. The voice is not female. But it doesn’t sound male either. Reptilian seems to be the best way to describe it. The voice hisses and slithers like a snake in a holy garden. I don’t think of the voice as my Mom anymore. The voice calls me. Tells me what it’s going to do to me once it gets out. Horrific acts of torture are what it has in store for me. I won’t go into details but this thing has a million uses for excrement. Once in a while it will say something intriguing enough for me write down. It recently said: “Cut her Chad. Cut her. Write the map. She is the way.” I began recording the voice.

Two nights ago the voice called me again. I refused to go but it said it would stick its fingers in my Mother’s eyeballs if I didn’t come to it. I went to my mom’s room and she was sitting up in bed watching me. Her eyes were completely black. No light reflected in them. Light died in them. The carvings on her body that had faded with time were now bright and red and inflamed.

The thing notmymomnotmymomnotmymom looked at me with absolute hatred and contempt as if my well-being and sanity was an affront to its existence.

“Kill yourself,” it said to me in its reptilian voice, “save yourself from the pain to come.”

I should have been terrified. And I was. But for the first time in a long time I was also calm. Because I realized that this thing, if not quite afraid of me, was worried about me. I was an obstacle to its end game. I thought of my Mom staggering down the highway, obscenities carved into her body. I thought of how she was used and discarded as if she had no worth. I used that rage to bury my fear

“Get out of my Mother you son of a bitch.” I said.

Ok, it sounds pretty lame but it was the best I could do on short notice.

And it worked. The thing left my mother. For now anyways. When my Mom woke up the next morning she had no memory of what had happened.

Ok, don’t laugh at what I am about to say: I believe my mother is possessed by some kind of demon. Maybe THE demon. The head honcho. Beelzebub himself. Every day I draw from a well of strength my Mom has given me. There is a feeling growing inside of me that my mother created me to save her and maybe the world. Everyday it grows; pushing against my bones like how my Mom used to say I would kick her ribs when she was 9 months pregnant with me.

I dug up old police reports about what happened to my Mom. The symbols and words scratched onto her body were documented in the reports. I have begun to research the strange words and symbols that were etched into her skin.

I used my savings and hired a private investigator to find the Wilkerson’s or whoever lived on 332 Pine St during the summer of 1966 when my Mother’s life was stolen from her. I know there is little chance of the P.I finding anything but I have to try. What happened in Chad Wilkerson’s house could be the key to all of this.

I also know that time is short.

Yesterday, as I do every morning, I played the recordings made the night before in my Mom’s room.

“Margaret. Margaret.” It hissed my name mockingly.

“Soon I will be free.”

My Father

This was actually the first story I wrote. Again, it had to be under 1000 words, horror-related and about a first date. I quite like it. Author Tom Piccirilli called it "poetic" and "almost surreal."
Another writer, Steve Vernon said "Haunting, very subtle. Who ever wrote this definitely is not just farting around. My favorite."

My Father

I closed my eyes and tried to remember what I looked like. I have a painting of myself hanging in my office but my friends say it doesn’t look like me.

I think I’m pretty. At least that’s what my father used to tell me.

There was a knock on the door. I ran my fingers through my hair and took a deep breath to calm my stomach. A habit from a past life; faded but still there like an old fingerprint.

I opened the door and, once again, was reminded of my father.

didn’t every man remind me of my father in some small way?

Not so much how he looked but in the tightness of his face. The seriousness.

My father changed after my mother was killed. He never cried. He never showed emotion. But something inside of him had died. He never laughed again. If he had so much as smiled I had never seen it.

This man standing in front of me had that same look my father had. Would the past always be draped over my coffin like a grieving relative?

I searched his face for a reaction. I am self-conscious about how young I must appear. Did he think I looked too young? I am perpetually 16 years old. Some men like that; others not so much.

Another look crept over his face. It was confidence. I suddenly realized why he had looked so serious. He had been sizing me up. I disliked him immediately.

I forced a smile and said, “Hello Jason, so nice to meet you.”

He smiled back and extended his hand. I was taken aback by its warmth.

Taking my arm he responded in kind. We walked down the street together. It was a beautiful night. There was a restaurant down the street that I had suggested. As we walked we made small talk. How much we disliked our jobs, movies watched (re-watched really), and books read.
The rest of the evening, was unremarkable. Jason told me that I was beautiful. His confidence was without reason. I was bored and wanted to go home. Perhaps he noticed my detachment because he leaned forward and asked me to come to his house. I almost laughed but something caught my eye. His eyes. They were gleaming; predatory. I admit, for the first time that night I was intrigued.

His house was beautiful. Old but restored.

He led me to a part of the house that hadn’t been restored: the basement As I walked down the stairs I knew why. If I was still human my heart would be racing. My senses awoke; sharp and alive for the first time in years. I could smell her. She was young. Very young. Her sweat, rancid and bitter, smelled glorious to me.

Jason stopped in front of a metal door. The stainless steel door contrasted sharply with the dank, wet basement like a knife cutting through raw steak. The door was somehow obscene. A blasphemy against a God who had abandoned us all.

Jason turned to look at me like a game show host revealing a prize. His smile was feral and yet beautiful in its naked hunger. For me and for what waited behind the door.

“I have a connection,” he said. “She arrived yesterday.”

He pulled out a key and unlocked the door. The room was dark but there was a single light shining from a hanging bulb. The wind created by opening the door swung the bulb back and forth slowly like some terrible pendulum. She was sitting in the corner. Small, scratched up knees drawn up protectively to her face. I thought of my father gently placing a band-aid on my knee.

She looked up as we entered. Tears divided her face like claws marks. A brief glimmer of hope crossed her features but was gone in an instant like a footprint on the shore of a desolate beach. She was flawless, beautiful. Doomed.

In my former life it would have been heartbreaking. Not any more.
If I listened closely perhaps I would hear my father mourning. Feel his tears like warm raindrops on my face

A small piece of my humanity had survived my first kill. Given to us moments after we first change. It would not survive the second. Live humans were a rarity these days. Only the rich, or the cunning, could procure them.

“They arrive weekly” he said. “Sometimes twice.”

I looked at this man, this thing, and I knew at this moment he owned my soul.

did I even have a soul?

More than my soul, he owned my history. My future.

A brief flicker of shame touched my mind like a wayward child touching the leg of a lost parent. But it was very brief and then there was only the thought of us. Myself and him. Feeding on this wayward child. Entangled like a sculpture from the lowest parts of Hell.

And the next one. Would it be another child? A boy perhaps? They arrived weekly he had said. Sometimes twice.

I haven’t seen my reflection in years. The only time we do get to see our reflection is in the eyes of our victims before the kill. We see a piece of our past as we embrace our future. We see our reflections in eyes bright and fluttering with terror.

I wonder what I look like.

My friends say the painting in my office doesn’t do me justice.

My father used to say that I was pretty.