You must know how I enjoy a good horror story. I love the twists and turns, the supernatural elements of good versus evil. I was the little girl who graduated at 16 from high school and my English thesis paper (80 pages long mine you) was on the effects of good versus evil in the mythological worlds of Camelot. Yeah, I know. My teacher scratched his head, read, told me I needed to become an author and gave me an A+. I do believe in the complexity of humans where the line between good and evil is very thin.
We’ve all heard of someone who snaps for no particular reason, killing their spouse or boss, their best friend or a stranger on the street. While there are usually underlying circumstances, the truth is, we all have a demon inside. Every one of us could perform heinous acts. I feed off of delving into the minds of the wretched and damned. So as you can imagine, I love to write about serial killers and monsters, psychological situations and true evil. I’m developing a little collection of short novellas or long stories that I’m calling… The Shadow of Oblivion. Within you’re going to find some tasty treats to snack on. Here’s a taste of my first one… I love just sitting and blasting out a few words.
MARKED FOR EVIL
The single thunderclap rolled in the distance. Lightning strikes electrified the sky, highlighting the swinging arms of the massive tree line. The malevolent horizon was somehow comforting.
Shivering, Taylor Jameson would normally have hidden in the closet, clenching her eyes shut, while she prayed to some wretched God the storm would pass. On this night, she stood in front of the kitchen window, reveling in the sights and sounds. She was no longer frightened, merely resigned to her life. As she reached for her wine, she realized her hand was shaking. She flexed her fingers, lifting them into the warm glow of the single light over the stove. Nails bitten to the quick were a sad reminder of the tension existing in her house. Her entire life was a mess, full of bullshit and lies. She was nobody with a lackluster career and a depleted bank account.
She longed for the intimate touch of a man, craving passion in a way she’d never before. A pang of anxiety prickled the hairs on the back of her neck. Everything would be all right. For a few seconds she closed her eyes, almost able to see his face. The rugged man had become her fantasy. She’d noticed him three times in the last week, once in the grocery store and twice in the middle of Target. Tall and muscular with dark, wavy hair, the touch of grey at his temples gave him a debonair appearance.
Everything about the stranger reeked of the exotic from his cologne to his attire. She longed to hear him speak and believed he was of foreign decent, perhaps visiting family or friends. No one as stunning as the gorgeous hunk lived in Merritville Indiana. Suddenly thoughts of her husband cut through her salacious desires.
She cringed as images of the wretched fight furrowed into the back of her mind.
“You’re a fucking whore, a true slut. I should have never married you.”
“And you think you’re a prize here, buddy? You’re nothing but a loser in business and in the bedroom.” The instant the words flew out of her mouth she knew she would regret them. Her husband of twelve years didn’t appreciate being challenged. She took a long stride back, just out of his reach. This time she stood her ground, refusing to back down, and allowed a smile to cross her face.
Ricky lumbered forward, tripping over the clutter scattered on the floor. He inhaled deeply and glared at her, his eyes bulging, his face a tangled mass of rage. He raised his arm, fisting his hand.
“Go on. Hit me. I know that’s what you want to do,” Taylor hissed.
As if startled, he took a step back, kicking aside the plastic toys aside, and looked down. “Clean this fucking place up. We have guests coming this weekend. Or did you forget?” Seconds later he slammed the front door, the force reverberating the few pictures hung in the living room.
Forget? How could she? The nasty memory was bittersweet. For once she’d remained strong, instead of cowering given his propensity of escalating their nasty disagreements. Still, there was no way out and no way to change her situation. She had nowhere to go, no mom and dad to run to. Mend the fence. Everything will be all right.
Who the hell was she kidding? The man was a worthless monster. Hate. I hate you! She wrapped her hand around her glass of wine, nearly tossing the remainder of the contents into the back of her mouth. The cheap Merlot fizzed as it slithered down at throat. Whatever. She didn’t care any longer. Drink. Get drunk. She wiped tears from her eyes and sniffed. Fuck the crying. He didn’t deserve to get the better of her.
At least the kids were away at her in-laws, enjoying a week of fun and sun. Meanwhile, she had a birthday party to plan. Sighing, she didn’t give a shit her darling hubby was turning forty. She loathed the thought of entertaining a group of his friends at her house. The fat pigs would guzzle beer and savor some sports game, while she catered to them like she was a useless slave.
But you are. The thought was riveting.
After licking the remnants of Merlot from her lips, she tilted her head, watching in awe as another flash of brilliant light illuminated the night sky. Darkness was her friend. Dreams allowed her peace. At least Ricky was gone, no doubt for hours. The remnants of dinner he required to be served by six sharp remained on the stove, untouched. She only had an appetite for alcohol.
“No!” Taylor plastered on a smile and rubbed the back of her neck.
She’d been thankful for a quiet day off from work and away from the kids. She loved her children, thankful she was a mother, but between the stress at work and Ricky’s personality change, she deserved a break. A laugh bubbled to her lips as she twisted her body, grabbing the half empty bottle of wine. If her husband didn’t want to share an evening alone, then she’d make her own fun.
“Party time,” Taylor mumbled. As she poured another glass of wine, she hummed to the music blaring from the CD player. At least rock music soothed her inner beast. She swayed back and forth to the strains of Metallica, imaging her life twenty years before. Too much had changed and none for the better.
Thrown into complete total darkness, she gulped air and turned to face the open kitchen, a moment of terror skating down her spine. You can do this. Don’t be afraid. You can… Remember, darkness is your friend. Seconds later she was able to control her breathing and concentrated on the howling wind, the thumping of tree limbs hitting the house. She was safe. There was no boogeyman.
“The lady in red…”
Taylor blinked and craned her neck. Who the fuck was speaking? Was there someone in her house? She took a few tentative steps forward, easing around the island toward the table. The song was her absolute favorite, but certainly not on her heavy metal playlist. The song continued, the soft strains of guitar and piano floating into the quiet space. There had to a battery operated radio playing somewhere in the house.
She bit back a moan and crept toward the source of the sound. Another flash of lightning threw her against the refrigerator. “Ricky. Is that you?” She knew better. He was no doubt out with the buddies, boozing it up and talking about his horrible lot in life.
The old wooden floor creaked under her feet as she made her way into the living room. She stood in the doorway, scanning the perimeter of the shadowed space. She sensed a presence.
My lady in red.
Goosebumps danced along her naked skin. Even from where she hovered in the entrance, she could see the blue LED lit dials on the CD player. They seemed to be dancing to the beat. A whimper escaped her lips. She was mesmerized as the song continued, the words burning into the very core of her being. Once upon a time she’d been the lady in red.
When the song ended she breathed a sigh of relief and scampered to locate the remote control. She clicked off the power and the system went dark. Perhaps there was a battery backup she didn’t know about. Nodding in satisfaction, she eased the controller on top of the speaker and retreated.
“I’ve never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight…”
“Jesus!” Taylor froze and moved quickly, grabbing the remote and pressing the power button. She waited for a full minute and nothing happened. Silence. Yes. Silence. The second she turned around, the music began again, this time the volume at least two decibels higher.
“And I’ve never seen that dress you’re wearing…”
Taylor dropped to the floor, crawling between the stereo system and the tattered couch, fumbling until she reached the power cord. Breathing hard, her heart thumped against her chest. She yanked hard, nearly toppling the CD player, but managed to jerk the plug from the electric plate. She panted, sweat dripping from her forehead. Please stop. Leave me alone. Just leave me alone!
After five minutes of what seemed to be deathly quiet, she breathed a sigh of relief and raced out of the room, dashing up the stairs to her bedroom. Leaning against the closed door, she caught her breath and was determined to go to sleep. She was exhausted and nothing more.
Quickly changing into what Ricky called her ‘granny gown’, she eased under the covers, pulling them up and over her head. Tomorrow was a new day. She drifted off to sleep as a dark chuckle settled around her.
“I’ll never forget the way you look tonight.”
I so hope you’ve enjoyed seeing the warped as well as the wicked.
Kisses, spanks and thoughts of darkness…