Where It All Began
I stifled a yawn as I pulled up in front of my last customer of the day and turned off the engine.
I sold cosmetics door to door and had been on my way home when my boss called me about a last-minute order. She’d sounded excited, way too excited for someone who sold cheap make-up to housewives. I tried to get out of it by yawning, telling her how tired I was, how sore my feet were, etc, but she was having none of it.
I took a look around the neighbourhood as I got out and started to remove my sample case from the boot. It seemed like a nice place, a quiet street like a million other streets in the world, flashy cars, white picket fences and all that.
I was locking my car when I realised I was the only other person around. The street was deserted. There were no kids playing even though it was the middle of the summer holidays. Most of the houses had cars parked in front of them but the windows were all in darkness. Where was everyone? I shivered then chastised myself for letting my imagination run away with itself.I balanced my sample-case under one arm and walked down the front steps towards the house. The utter silence was unnerving. I was wearing a pair of low slung heels and they thudded loudly with every step. I had the unsettling feeling someone was watching me. I stopped and glanced around but couldn’t see anyone or anything. I shrugged and kept walking until I reached the house.
I rang the doorbell but nobody answered.
Frowning, I rang it again, keeping my finger on the buzzer for a bit longer. Nobody stirred in the house. I went to press the buzzer again and the door fell open. I called out but the house remained silent. I took a quick look around then pushed the door open and stepped into the front hall. I called out but silence greeted me. This was really starting to creep me out.
I walked along the hallway, pushed the door open at the end and found myself in a living room. The living room was empty. There was an expensive looking rug on the floor. A small table against the wall had been overturned and a potted plant which had once presumably sat on the table was broken into pieces and scattered all over the rug.
I pushed open the adjoining door and recoiled as the smell hit me. Oh, God, the room stank. My dad had worked in a slaughterhouse when I was a kid, killing animals for local butchers and he came home stinking of blood and death every night. My mum hated his job and his stink. I’d never forgotten that smell. The smell of meat makes me feel sick and I’ve been a vegetarian since I was a teenager. The room I’d walked into smelled just like my dad after a twelve-hour shift in the slaughterhouse.
I looked around the room, unable to quite believe what I was seeing. There was blood everywhere, more blood than I’d ever seen in my life. Every surface seemed to be sprayed with it, in thick sheets like someone had tried to decorate with it. The room was filled with flies. I covered my mouth and nose trying to block some of the stink out. I stepped cautiously into the room trying not to step in the blood.
The bodies were in the corner, stacked neatly in the small crevice between the cooker and the wall. I say bodies because I don’t know how else to describe them, but they weren’t recognisable as anything that had been human. They were just neat piles of torn flesh. I could see a couple of eyes and what could have been a limb.
‘What the fuck?’ I muttered.
I reached into my pocket for my phone when I heard a sound behind me, no wait, not a sound exactly, something slithered behind me. I turned around. My bladder gave out and my phone fell to the floor with a clatter. Something stood in the doorway of the kitchen. Some thing. It looked like nothing I’d seen before. Its shape was human-like but it had nothing else in common. It seemed to be made of bone, pale white bone with scraps of rotting flesh hanging off it. It had black pits where eyes should have been. It wore a black tattered robe with a hood covering its skull. I knew, somehow, that the thing was ancient. It reached one limb towards me.I screamed and tried to run. My foot hit a patch of blood behind me. I slipped, fell and went sprawling across the floor. The thing slithered towards me. I noticed then it didn’t have any legs. I tried to stand up but there was too much blood on the floor and I went slipping and sliding all over the place. There was blood all over my clothes and in my hair. Sitting on my bum, I slide myself backwards across the bloody floor in a desperate attempt to get away from it. The thing grabbed my ankle and yanked me towards it while I struggled and screamed.
I felt incredible pain when it pressed its mouth against the soft flesh of my neck.
About the Author
Pamela Scott lives in Glasgow, UK. Her work has appeared in various magazines including Brilliant Flash Fiction, Peeking Cat Poetry, The Cannon’s Mouth, Sarasvati, The Dawntreader and Toasted Cheese Literary Magazine. She has also featured in anthologies published by Collections of Poetry and Prose and Indigo Dreams Press. She is working on her first novel.
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