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Short Story : That Night

06 Jun
Short Story : That Night

Hey guys,after the response from last week I decided to work on this story, and then happened to finish it. I decided not to withhold the final result so here it is, I did change one or two things from the first chapter. See if you can figure out the ending. It can be a little confusing.

Chapter 1

“You forgot the matches, of all things, the matches,” whispered the priest nervously as he creeped forward, his belly pressed to the ground like a sports car to a race track. With eager heals we wait our breath held back for fear that they’d see us. How did I end up in this mess? What possibly brought me to do this? The blood was everywhere, escape seems impossible.

I was just a lonely quiet man who read books and went about his business from day to day. I didn’t have the makings of a killer or a thief. No history of drugs, no secret addictions or sadistic cults. I was an average joe, full of ambition, dreams and a whole lot of nothing. So what brought me here. To tell you this I’d need to start at the beginning. I’d have to take you back to a time that I was sane.

The line between insanity and sanity is a mirror, one look at the other side and you can see yourself. Insanity was never a large leap for me, it was a part of me all along.

I was a stock broker from a small town who spent his days working the markets and trying to get by. I had a family, wife, children, beautiful, all of them. I had the house, the car and everything a man could want. I was living the dream.

In most stories you’d expect me to say something like, “That was until the day…” However there was no day for me, one could say I went to bed one man and awoke another. Perhaps I’d spent too long staring into the mirror when I should have looked away.

This morning I woke up as normal, ate my breakfast, drank my tea, kissed my wife and left for work. I had no idea I wouldn’t be home for a while. At least not by my own will.

Chapter 2

 

I worked my way onto the highway, weaving through the busy streets that etched their way into my attitude. Once there the road was easier, navigating it was like wading through a jungle whilst snakes try to slow you down. I was never much of an outdoors man but I’d always been fascinated with snakes. Perhaps these secret fascinations had their part to play in my undoing.

The busy streets turned to cluttered parking lots. After a gruelling search that ended in a glorious race to victory, I had stopped my car. The office life was far from exciting. With paper palaces and castles of files being erected every day there was little room for creativity, let alone hostile takeovers. We were at war every day and my battle was with the Goliaths of industry, the Hitlers and Stalins of big business. I needed to be precise and accurate. There was no room for error.

Evening quickly approached, dragging away the day and bringing what some would see as a wealth of lifestyles. However tonight would only bring sorrow to me. A trip to the parking area was all it took. I’ve always been a man of character, firm, to the point. I keep to myself, yet I know what I believe. My moral fibre runs deeply, or so I thought, my moral fibre was more of a sweater one throws on to keep warm during the day. But tonight I had to get my hands dirty, so naturally the sweater came off.

As I made my way to the parking area I noticed a man slouched over something in the corner. My better instincts said to walk away, to flee like a gazelle who hears a rustle in the wind. Today I was a lion; or rather a Chiwawa who believed it was a lion. As I made my way over to the man in the distance I called out, “Hey man, you ok?” There was no response. Three times I called out, still no response.

Once I could see the face of this unknown phantom that had somehow lost the ability to move or interpret human voice he began to whimper. A whimper, not a whine, or any other form of masculine depressive traits. He whimpered.

Chapter 3

 

Trust is easy to build and easier to break. As I approached the man, the distant voice, I began to fear the worst. What if he’d been hurt, what if he reached out, how would I react? As I approached I noticed the blood, the crimson puddle that crept across the floor towards my feet.

The man stumbled to find his footing while a dark figure approached. A priest stood before me. “Let it go” he said, “just walk away. The fight isn’t worth the pain it will bring.” Naturally I responded, leaving behind my better judgement, I placed my trust in the stranger who stood before me. I let him go. The priest followed me to my car then vanished.

Not like a mysterious man disappearing into the distance, the priest vanished; it was as if he was no more. Starting my car I considered the broken man I’d left behind. Why was I strangely drawn to him? What darkness had left him in such pain? Why hadn’t I stopped to help? Questions circled through my mind as I drove. “Thud!” The car shook as a body rolled beneath it.

How could I forget that painful sound? The desperate shriek of a man, already in pain, rang out, echoing for the whole garage to hear. What force had overcome me? Twice in a row I’d neglected to help this man, yet still I persisted. My feelings turned from remorse to fear and continued to anger. A rage that once lay dormant began to creep in. Seconds later the priest sat beside me.

“What are you doing?” he asked. A simple question. He was right, even if I didn’t help the man, I was looking at some serious consequences. I stopped. Pulled the broken man into the back of my Land Rover and sped off into the distance. One would guess that I was heading towards the closest hospital. That’s what one would guess.

Chapter 4

 

The priest and I rushed onward towards our destination. We rounded one final corner and screaming to a halt proceeded to offload our lifeless friend. Hand in hand we dumped the body in the hole the priest had prepared. Scared for my life I began to tremble. My thoughts raced back and forth. What manner of evil had overtaken me? Darkness has such a crippling hold, removing any shreds of light.

I would have none of this. “You can’t make me do this.” I uttered bravely, “you may be a holy man, but what manner of ungodliness is this?” Blood stained hands lay before me. “Wipe the blood from your hands,” the priest muttered, “you’re in too deep already.” There was truth in his words. The same truth that was quietly hanging itself in my mind.

“You forgot the matches, of all things, the matches,” the priest whispered. We’d noticed the familiar sight of headlights approaching. Our bellies pressed to the ground we feared they would see us. I continued to reflect on the words of my friend.  What part had I played in the preparation of this sick adventure?

As the headlights passed by I searched in the car for anything that would start a fire. Glancing into the mirror I noticed the priests outfit. Purple collar, black clothes, blood-stained yet still sophisticated. My mind began to wander.  I had met my end. Only the priest remained.

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1 Comment

Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Book1, Prose, That Night

 

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One response to “Short Story : That Night

  1. scream911

    July 4, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    That’s really intense. Awesome ending! Very clever. I like your imagery… like the car to a racetrack in the beginning, that kind of thing :)

    I would flesh it out a bit more though. It feels rushed, and although you want it to be a racy story, you can expand a little. Especially the part where he first comes across the man, to when he hears the ‘Thud’ against his car. I had to read it twice before I understood-it would have been easier if you were more particular.

    Draw your characters more. Besides from the blood, what was this man on the ground wearing? What was he whimpering? Could you make out the words? And the priest? Was he old? Did he come across as arrogant or snide? What colour was his robe?

    Incredible piece though! I read it over lunch at work :) you paint a good picture of the mundane way of life that we get trapped in sometimes. The “Palaces and castles” are awesome! Keep up the writing Jean! Rad rad rad!

     

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