Poll

One vote, choose the best thriller chiller story.

Halloween Night Vacation
4 (33.3%)
My Mary
8 (66.7%)

Total Members Voted: 11

Voting closed: November 11, 2014, 12:03:32 PM

Author Topic: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25  (Read 2877 times)

Offline lan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
  • Ook.
    • Author page
WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« on: November 01, 2014, 01:03:32 PM »
Congratulations to Vogel for gis great piece!





Halloween Night Vacation

“Okay Folks! Yours is the last vehicle I will allow into the forest tonight.” Roared the forest ranger.
“It’s almost 9” he added.
“Thanks Officer” I exclaimed to the officer.

Turning to my wife I added “Looks like this is my lucky day. First my unexpected promotion and now this. If the officer had not allowed us we would have had to go back home and that would have been the end of our vacation.”

My wife nodded in understanding.

“Why won’t they allow us into the forest after 9, Dad?” butted in my teen son.

“Well, ah, it’s because….”

“..It’s because there are wild animals in the forest dear” finished my wife. “They might come chasing after us in the dark.”

“Oh, like Jurassic park?” chimed my little girl.

“No sweetie, there are only elephants and wild dogs in this forest. Sorry no dinosaurs!” I clarified. “Okay time to move on.”

I eased my Car past the barricade set up by the forest officials. As we entered the forest, darkness descended on either side of the road. Of course, we were not expecting street lights in the forest. But still the pitch darkness that soon enveloped us from all sides unnerved all of us.

“Dad, it’s so dark out here. It’s scary” proclaimed my son.

“I agree. And there is no other vehicle on the road that I can see.” I concurred.

“Remember the officer said we are the last vehicle that they are letting us through for tonight?” reminded my logical wife “So obviously we cannot expect any one behind us. And the ones in front of us must be way ahead.“

“Yes I agree,” I replied still concerned “but I don’t see any vehicles coming from the opposite direction as well. “

“Are there any ghosts in the forest Daddy?” asked the little one suddenly

“No there are no ghosts in the forest sweetie.” My wife chipped in “Now you go to sleep. We will wake you up when we arrive at the hotel.”

“Ok here’s the deal.” I said mustering some courage “We need to drive through this forest road for only 90 minutes and then we hit the town road. Once we are out on the town road there is nothing to be scared about.”

So we cruised along the forest road listening to light music as the light from the car continued to pierce the darkness.
My little girl dozed off as well as my son. But not my wife, she remained alert.

“Honey! Wait, slow down, I see something on the road ahead” cautioned my wife. I slowed down. Sure enough there was a baby elephant crossing the road. Just as the baby elephant made its way back into the forest its mother appeared out of the darkness. It lingered on the road for some time.

“I think I will stop the car and switch off the lights. Maybe it is getting distracted by the engine noise or the headlight” I decided and immediately switched off both the engine and the lights.

After a couple of minutes I turned on the headlights. The elephant was gone.

“Ok, we averted a danger. Time to move on.”

I then tried to start the engine but it failed to start.

“Ok, now what is the problem? Why is the engine not starting” I was getting a little tense.

“Maybe you should allow the engine to cool off for some time” suggested my wife.

“Fine. Let’s wait this out.” I agreed “Hopefully someone will pass by from the opposite direction in case we need help”
We waited in silence in the dark forest. There was an occasional bark of a wild dog. Then we heard a strange growl coming from deep in the forest.

“What’s that sound” asked my wife terrified. “That sounded like a roar of a tiger.”

“It is a roar of a tiger.” I answered. “There is a tiger reserve adjacent to the forest. Sometimes those cats slip into the forest area.”

“Now you tell me” retorted my shocked wife.

We continued to sit in silence. My wife started to look all around.
“This place is really scary” said my tense wife “and haunted…look at that large banyan tree over there. It looks like a man staring down at us with multiple arms.”

“Stop hallucinating!” I exclaimed

“You are the Chief Risk Officer now. So why don’t you take some risk and get us out of this situation?” she barked

“Ok, let me try to start the engine and see if she starts now else I will need to get out the car” I cooled down and replied.

I tried to start the engine but no luck.

“I thought today was my lucky day. But looks like not” I mumbled.

“Ok I need to get out of the car and check under the hood” I declared “I know it is dangerous to get out of the car in the middle of the dark forest, but we have no choice.”

My wife pulled out a torch from her bag and said “I am coming with you”. We both got down from the car and lifted the hood. She shone the torch near the engine.

“Hmm... its looks like broken ignition wires.” I remarked. “Hopefully the spark plug’s ok. Let’s do one thing. I will hold the wires together and you try to start the engine”

“Sure” replied my wife and went back in the car. I held the wires together while she tried to start the engine. It ignited on the third try.

“Wow, that’s a relief” I exclaimed, closing the hood. Soon I got back in the car.

“Ok then, are we all set to go?” I asked expecting an affirmation.

“No” said my wife “I see something ahead again. Looks like the elephants are back on the road.”

“Oh no!” I replied exasperated “This time I am not shutting off the engine. I will wait for them to pass over.”

We waited for a few minutes. The elephants continued to linger on the road. Then they slowly made their way back into the forest.

“Ok, this is my chance, now. Time to move on” I decided and pressed the accelerator.

We drove quietly through the forest road and did not pause anywhere.  With broken ignition wires we could not risk slowing down or stopping.

We soon hit the town road and raced towards our vacation hotel. It was well past midnight when we reached the hotel. The signboard Hotel Jade Garden was brightly illuminated.

We eased into the parkway and woke up the kids.

“We are here kids, wake up” I said with a smile trying to regain my effervescent spirit.

The kids groaned. “Have we already crossed the forest area Dad?” asked my little girl.

“Yes” I replied “and there were no ghosts”

We removed the luggage from the car and walked to the large ebony door of the hotel and rang the bell.

The door opened slowly. A large man stood in the doorway staring down at us with a lantern at the end of one arm. His three other arms were dangling free.











MY MARY


I was as cold and as dark as Hell when my angel crested the hill, coming to save me.

The convertible suffered along slowly in front of me, then died on the side of an isolated mountain road. I welcomed the thick, acrid smell of burning oil, as I climbed down the ladder of my deer stand.

Pausing halfway down, I tilted my head, trying to put a name to the song that played from her radio. We shared the same taste in music. Radiohead's "Creep". I smiled and thought, how fitting.

To get a better view, I stepped up behind the peeling bark of a sycamore, quietly kicking the fallen leaves out of my way. Listening, watching, and adoring her, all the while invisible—it’s what I do best. I’ve transformed myself over the years, through her. I’m nothing without Rosy but a shadow with no one to follow, the devil with no one to damn. I have always been a hopeless romantic.  

The music stopped. I heard a car door creak open, then the click, click, clicking of her heels against the asphalt. Leaning out between two trees, I took a deep breath, tasting the crisp, hallow air with love in my heart. She’d worn the red corset heels, my favorite.

Hiding in the shadows of the trees, I stood watching and waiting, smiling as Rosy looked down at the hood. I was close enough to snatch her up, to hold and caress her pretty, little face with my calloused hands. I could have helped her, but this was our twisted love story. Helping her was never part of the plan. I was going to be one hell of a surprise. I was going to be the plot twist.

“I think Dad’s Impala has finally passed away,” Rosy said into her phone and giggled. When Rosy smiled, she had these cute little dimples. But my favorite part of her were the lips, the way the upper puffed out over the bottom. She paced in front of the old car, her long, black tail flicking back and forth. Smoke seeped out from the hood of her car. She lifted the hood, then leapt back, coughing.

In the glow of the high beams, I could see the faint tremble in her legs. The spandex slipped down her skin, revealing her every womanly groove. Her costume was black, my favorite color, just like the prom dress, but tighter.

“It overheated again, Danny. But this time, it's worse. I really don’t want to miss the party. Just call me back,” she said, then sighed and closed her phone.

She wasn't going to make it to the Halloween party. I’d take her back to the cozy little cabin I shared with my sister, not a five minute walk through the woods. I just couldn’t risk my little Mary seeing us. Mary didn’t understand. She thought I was over Rosy, that Rosy was a thing of the past. But Rosy and I had unfinished business.

I must have made a noise then, because she glanced over her shoulder. I could hear her breath quickening. Just a little noise and I had tainted her blue sky in black. I have always had that effect on her. I could smile at her across the hall and she’d frown and slam her locker. I know she loved me. She just cared too much about what people thought then. She let them keep her from me. And they made her believe I was a creep.

Our first and only time happened in the back of my car on prom night. Just before the best part, she slipped away, abandoning me. It had been ten years, and I still wanted, I still needed to finish. We both deserved some sort of resolution. They say the first cut is the deepest and all I wanted to do was mend her wound. And this time would be different. I wasn’t repenting. This time she wasn’t leaving me. I wouldn’t get locked up again. I was only finishing a crime I had started ten years before, a crime I had already been punished for.

“Please come and get me. Danny. Answer your damn phone,” she whined and it made my fucking skin crawl, reminding me of that night. I squeezed the handle of my double-edged blade, ready to begin.

Holding the knife with my teeth, I took off my jacket first. Excitement aroused my every vein. I wanted to feel the cold wind against my bare skin, her skin to mine. What a long, agonizing wait it had been.

“Who’s there?” she said, peering into the woods. She climbed into her car. I held my breath, as the car struggled to start, but failed. She got back out and slammed the door.

“I’ve got someone coming for me,” she said, holding her phone out as if it was some kind of weapon. “They’ll be here any second now.”

“I’m coming, I'm coming,” I said. It wasn’t intentional. I hadn’t even realized I’d said it out loud, until I saw her reaction. She turned slowly around, squinting her eyes in my direction, but I knew she couldn’t see me. I couldn’t even make out her face. It was too dark. Even the moon had turned his back, giving us privacy.

She looked over me as if I was nothing. As if I wasn’t there at all. Ten years and not a damn thing had changed. I had served my time. I had played the gentleman with the cards, the daily love letters, and the expensive ass roses. I gave her the apologies she didn’t deserve. She consumed my every thought, but still neglected me.

Then I saw lights and I knew my chance was over. I cried out, devastated, losing myself. A car came over the hill, slowly, groaning over the gravel. Rosy stood by her car, waiting. I ripped my nail from the quick, a terrible habit I know, but you can imagine how I felt then. All this time, all this waiting and planning, a ten year relationship resting on the shoulders of a random person.

I prayed to myself that he’d do the right thing and that whoever it was would pass on by and mind their own fucking business. Rosy was my unfinished business. It didn’t have a damn thing to do with anyone else.

She waved her arms in the air, watching right with me, as the car sleeked on by. I sighed. Oh God, how I sighed!

I love that mountain. You can go ten miles and never see a house. And those who travel the roads are far more scared of you than you are of them. You have no neighbors to alert of your sex offender status and the deer could give a shit less.  

Glancing in my direction, she dialed another number. This time someone answered.

“Jerry, thank God! I’m stranded out on the mountain, maybe three miles from home. Please come and get me. Danny’s not answering and I feel like someone’s watching me. I’m too scared to walk. Please hurry,” she said and stepped back slowly around the car, her eyes fixed on the trees. I tried to make out her face, to see if she had changed, if she had aged in ten years, even a little. She stepped in front of the headlights, and a black shadow ran down her face, cracking it in two blind halves. She smiled. “I know, I know. I’m just freaking because it’s dark and it’s Halloween. Just hurry. I love you.”

“I love you too,” I whispered.

She was as sleek as cat she pretended to be, the way she’d twisted those hips, beckoning me then. And the games she’d played, tearing at my heart, then pleading, begging me no. The same as before, she hadn’t changed. Playing with my head, a head that was already broken.

But I could play games too. Oh, yes. I was good at it. I haunt these woods, I wait. Just as I had haunted her those first years of high school, as I sat behind her in class, drooling over her, worshiping her, staying invisible. I grew even better at waiting in the years I spent in that lonesome, little cell. Rosy never came. She never forgave me. The only relief I ever had were the visits from the only relative I had left who would claim me: my sweet little sister.

They said I was incapable of love, that I had no heart, no decency. They said I took things that weren’t mine, that my crime was heinous. Three days after my release, three men jumped me, as I stepped off the porch of my cabin. In the middle of December, they tore my clothes away and did these awful, heinous things to me. They said I was a monster. That they were doing this for her, for Rosy. That I deserved everything and maybe I did. Maybe they were right.

But they were wrong about one thing. I do love. My innocent and perfect. My sister. My Mary.

Rosy let the hood slam shut and sat down on the grill, waiting for me.

I crept out of the woods, carefully, and in those swift movements I had practiced for ten long years while I waited in that cell. She was sitting on the hood with her face in her palms, the same sweet sixteen she’d been that night in the car. A mass of black curls spilled over her face with two little cat ears poking out like devil horns. I stepped out in front of her and smiled, aroused, the knife poised at my side, every vein in my body hardened. I wanted her to know the fear, to remember the nightmare, our night together in the car. I wanted her to see me, her monster. I wanted to finish this like a man.

But I became that same nervous creep I’d always been.

“Ra-Rosy,” I said, stuttering. She tensed, then lifted her head up slowly.

Her sweet little eyes found mine finally, and I—the man, not the monster—smiled, forgetting who I truly was. Or maybe just remembering.

“Oh, Danny!” she cried in relief, recognizing me at once. “You scared me.”

"Sorry," I said, looking down, vulnerable and embarrassed.

She looked me up and down and winced. “Oh, God, Danny, honey. It’s happened again. What did they do to you? Are they gone?”

I didn't know what to say, but I wish now that I had thought of something. She leapt into my arms, sliding right into my knife. Shocked by my nakedness, she hadn’t seen it in my hand. Always so trusting, so forgiving. Always so eager to give anyone a hug.

I felt the blade tear through flesh and skin, a terrible ripping. Shocked, I jerked upward, slicing through her heart.

I swear, I didn’t stab her. I’d never hurt her. She embraced it. She embraced me. Knowing what I had done to Rosy, she still forgave me. She still trusted me. She loved me and wanted to protect me.

She sagged backward, still snagged on my knife. I grabbed her arm, holding her up in the light. The black wig fell away, spilling a head of blond curls. I can’t imagine why it took me so long to recognize her. And the white convertible, a 1961 Impala with a red stripe, was Dad’s old car, the car where it had all started, the car I shared with my sister.

I heard my cell phone beep in the woods. I had a new voicemail.



« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 10:59:59 AM by lan »
http://45thnail.com
http://ianlahey.wixsite.com/author
"Words is just words without the place."
Sgt. James Savorski

Offline lan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 804
  • Ook.
    • Author page
Re: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2014, 11:01:20 AM »
And the winner is Vogel, with "My Mary"

Challenge #26 is all yours.
http://45thnail.com
http://ianlahey.wixsite.com/author
"Words is just words without the place."
Sgt. James Savorski

Offline heidi52

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13213
Re: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2014, 11:07:12 AM »
Congratulations Vogel!

Look forward to what you'll come up with for the next one.

Offline Vogel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
Re: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 06:03:27 PM »
Thanks, Heidi. And thanks Ian. I loved the prompt. Also, I appreciated everyone who took the time to participate and vote. Will have next contest out shortly. Still coming up with ideas. :)

Offline asvasv

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 870
Re: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2014, 11:19:42 PM »
Congratulations Vogel  :)
Psst....check out the short story challenge

http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=61200.0

Offline Laura H

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 34448
Re: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2014, 07:11:52 AM »
Congratulations  :D
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Offline Mrs N

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2319
Re: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2014, 07:32:39 PM »
Congrats, Vogel.  :D

Offline Vogel

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1520
Re: WINNER: Vogel Short story challenge#25
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2014, 07:40:20 PM »
Thanks ;D