Short Shocktober Day 12 – Teeth

Whoops, posting these got away from me a little bit there. A few are unwritten, but I’ve got a couple written that I didn’t get around to posting. Here’s the Short Shocktober prompt from Day 12Teeth. Enjoy!

Content warning: body horror

More Than a Kiss

He didn’t notice until the morning after, when the tall, thin girl had left. She had given him a hickey, just below his right collar bone. Catching sight of it in the mirror in the bathroom made him blush, ever so slightly, and his heart beat quicken, remembering the out of character, anonymous debauchery he’d engaged in the night before.

               Witchy girl, was what he called her. Dorky? Yes, but she’d been pale, in a black dress hemmed with bones, and her long, straight black hair had been topped with a pointed black hat. It fit. She didn’t take the hat off, now he thought about it. Best Halloween ever.

               His minded drifted to her over the next few days. He found himself wondering what she was up to. He was kicking himself they hadn’t swapped numbers. Or names. He wondered if she was wondering what he was up to.

               The hickey, in the meantime, just got bigger. The small, mouth-sized purple blot grew into a red leaf shape, soft, raised and painless.

               After a week he sucked up the courage to call Benson.

               ‘I guess you had fun last week,’ his mate teased.

               ‘I… yeah, I really did,’ he replied with a smile, invisible over the phone.

               ‘It was nice to see, mate, especially after all this time. We all thought you’d be doing your monk routine forever. You seeing her again?’

               ‘Well, that’s what I was ringing about-‘ Benson was a good friend but talking to him was a contact sport.

               ‘Didn’t get her number, huh? She came with Carrie, I think. What’s her name, I’ll ask her about it.’

               ‘We uh…,’ he cleared his throat, ‘we didn’t exactly make much small talk-‘

               ‘Allen Cooper, you sly dog. I didn’t know you had it in you,’ he could see Benson messaging the friend group, in his mind’s eye, grinning gleefully. ‘I’ll ask Carrie about her witchy friend. Don’t you worry about it.’

               A few days later the red leaf shape had grown more distinct. He found himself looking at a red mark beneath the skin shaped exactly like a pair of lips. It looked exactly like a cartoon lipstick kiss, in fact. It wasn’t painful, it didn’t wash off, and it wasn’t on the surface. With the slightly soft raised areas beneath it, it began to look like one of those subdermal body mods of a pair of lips.

               Benson left a message a few days later.

               ‘Sorry, bud, Carrie didn’t know her, but don’t worry! The friend group is on it – we’ll find your dark mistress!’

               He hoped they would. He had questions.

 Beads of sweat stood out all over him, as he stared at the shape on his chest in the mirror. The final slip of skin between the lips split, and they opened with a smile, revealing a row of snow white teeth. Then the teeth opened too, and a slick tongue slipped out to lick the lips seductively.

‘Feed me,’ the mouth purred.


Words: 499

Short Shocktober Day 11 – Slither

Content warning: gore, right from the off.

Slither

Something falls out of the body and lands with a wet slap on the floor, while he’s weighing the liver. He doesn’t pay it too much mind, at first; bodies are full of fluids, and sometimes, leaks happen. Then there’s the gentle, wet susurrus of something slithering away into the shadows by the cabinets and he freezes.

               Carter puts the liver back on the scales gingerly and steps around the pale body, prone on the mortuary table. There’s a swipe of crimson down its side, down the table, across the floor. It slicks across the rough surfaced tile in a curving bands of red, all the way to the metal cabinets in the corner, the formaldehyde storage, where it disappears underneath.

               ‘What the hell…’ he mutters to himself, as he picks up one of his knives. A rat? Something must have dragged an intestine from the body, and there wasn’t anyone in here so it has to be, what, a rat? There’s no way they could survive all the traps down here, though, right? Why would a rat take an intestine?

               And why wasn’t the intestine attached at the other end? He glances back to Mr Hancock on the table, notes the missing small intestine, and tries to find the end to figure out how it was severed.

               He doesn’t notice the wet slithering noise. Something enormous, ruby, glistening with blood, rises up like a snake behind him, poised to strike with alien fangs, shining from its torn orifice.


Prompt: Slithering

Words: 250

Optional Rule: Short and Spooky

Day 11 of Short Shocktober complete. “But where’s day ten?” I hear you cry. Well, I didn’t remember about it until ten thirty last night, and by that point I was already in bed, winding down for the day, so… I owe one, I guess is what I’m saying?

Decided to go shorter on this one because I wanted to test myself, and because I wasn’t sure that I had 500 words for this. It would have just been me trying to fill the space. I think shorter might be better in this instance. What’s going to happen to poor Carter? You get to decide, in your imagination!

Short Shocktober Day 9 – Shadow

Content warning: alcoholism

A Case of Alienation

The face in the inky black window was mine, but there was something wrong with it. Its eyes were dead, blank, sparkless. The lamp from my living room lit it, as I was drawing the curtains, and I stopped to examine it, disturbed my reflection should show such a soulless version of myself. Haloed by the night and front lit, its pallor made it look dead.

               Then it blinked its bloodshot eyes, by itself, and stepped away from the window, leaving just me and my reflection, staring at each other in surprise. I snapped the curtains shut, turned on the overhead lights and made sure that all of the doors were locked.

               I sat there in the glare, the TV on, the images unheeded by my brain, whose gears failed to mesh what I’d seen with a rational explanation.

               A double reflection, I settled on a few days later. The light from a car had reflected me onto a parked car, and as the car moved, so had my strange reflection. That’s what it was, I told myself, unconvinced that the solid face, pressed so close to the window that it should have left soft patches of condensation, was anything but real.

               A few days later, the curtains were shut, the overhead lights on (this had become a habit – no more shadowy lamplight for me), and a little rap came from the window. I froze, my hand on the TV remote, paralysed by indecision. Turn it off and listen again, or turn it up and pretend I’d heard nothing?

               I muted it and immediately regretted it.

               ‘Henry,’ something whispered outside. ‘Let me in, Henry.’ Its soft voice reminded me of dying words gasped by characters in films. ‘Let me in, Henry, it’s me, You.’

               Creeping as quietly as I could, I gently opened the passageway door and glanced at the front door.  The chain was on, the latch, too. Locked, I thought, good. It was a shadow of relief.

               I froze as the front flap of the letter box squeaked, and two pale, fish-flesh fingers stuck themselves through the inside flap. They felt about for a second.

               ‘Let me in, Henry, it’s cold out here. I’m You, Henry, your shadow. We shouldn’t be apart,’ the other person whispered, a pale face unclear through the frosted glass panes in the door.  It disappeared, as the creature ducked down. It lifted the flap with its fingers and I saw its bloodshot blue eyes then, my bloodshot blue eyes. The ones that had stared at me from the mirror every morning I woke up and drank. Every morning I woke up from another fight with people who cared about me, who’d promised not to have anything to do with me unless I sorted myself out.

               ‘C’mon, Henry. We don’t have to be apart. Let me in.’

               I went into the living room and crawled inside a bottle, and prayed it wouldn’t come back another night.


Prompt: Shadows

Words: 492

Day 9 of Short Shocktober complete. A particularly creepy one this one. Who hasn’t been alone at night, locking the doors and shutting the curtains, and wondered if there could be something out there?

I think, personally, that the quality of these is improving as time progresses. I confess to not having written much flash fiction before, and it’s a unique form – you have so few words to get things done in, that you find yourself having to cut things that you would normally be happy leaving in a longer piece.

Short Shocktober Day 8 – Chains

Content warning: stalking, mistreatment of the mentally ill

The Red Chain of Communion

Jane, the text message reads, there is a little red chain of communion between us, and there is nothing strong enough to snap that chain. If it should snap, I would bleed internally and die. I need you, Jane.

               It’s from an unknown number, but she knows who it’s from. She deletes it and blocks the number. The city square is crowded, the sun shines, people mill about their lives, but she looks over her shoulder nonetheless, and shivers. She doesn’t see anyone hovering over her, but it feels as though he’s there.

               It began as a job advert on a sketchy site. She’d known better, but she was desperate, and the pay was eye watering. That should have been the second tip-off. Live-in tutor in a fancy house in the country? Sounded ideal.

               Rochester had been pleasant enough, grumpy, perhaps, growing warmer, until she found herself blushing when he entered the room. Her heart beat faster, seeing him. Their conversations grew longer and longer, unphased by the sun setting, or rising, or the whispers of his guests or his house keeper.

               She began to suspect there was someone else in the enormous house with them. Perhaps an elderly relative that he neglected to mention out of some misplaced sense of shame. Some of her things went missing. She thought she heard someone whispering to themselves in the corridor one night.

               Then she awoke, in the middle of the black night, her doorknob gently rattling as someone tried to enter. The septic light of a torch lanced from the gap beneath the door. The door was locked – the house was creepy, vast, draughty, and the locked door made her feel safer – the intruder swore softly to herself and shuffled away, the floorboards creaking beneath her weight. Jane remained frozen in her bed until dawn whispered across the land.

               Rochester assured her she had dreamt it.

               She brought up marriage, again and again, assuming Rochester’s reticence was simply his taciturn manner. Eventually he broke down and revealed who it was that tried to enter her room that night, who it was that lived in the vast attics of Thornfield Hall.

               She had run, of course. As far, and as fast as she could, into penury at first, and then into the arms of distant relatives she hadn’t known existed.

               Then the messages from Rochester began.

               ‘She’s gone, Jane. There was a fire. It’s all alright now, we can marry. Come back to me, Jayne, please, come back to me, my helpmeet, my love, my Jane.’

               She hadn’t gone, of course. She had no desire to become the next Mrs Rochester trapped in the attic of whatever cobwebbed mansion he transplanted himself to. That poor woman. The news said she perished in a fire of her own making, but as Rochester’s messages, calls, visits, became more insistent, she began to wonder whether or not he had a hand in it.

               A  different apartment, a different city, distance; a different phone number, report after report to the police, all good things to keep between her and Rochester, but the calls continued, the messages got through every now and again.

               It seemed that little red chain of communion between them might truly never be snapped.


Prompt: Chains

Words: 542

Short Shocktober Day 8 done. Overdue and over length, sure, but done, at least. I can’t make going over length a habit, tho’.

I wasn’t expecting ‘Chains’ to come out as a horror rip-off of Jane Eyre, of all things, but it was such a fun idea when it hit me, I realised that I had to.