V is for Visitor

I love a good ghost story, but this haunting excerpt doesn’t quite fit in the “Love Poetry” novella. While Jessica will still face something close to a haunting as she tries to come to terms with Whitmore’s suicide, she won’t almost be killed by a vengeful poltergeist. ūüôā


They drove in silence. Jessica folded her hands in her lap and glued her eyes to the glove compartment in front of her. Occasionally, at a red light or stop sign, Bruce turned to her,¬†opened his mouth¬†to speak. Jessica’s body immediately tensed¬†upon hearing his intake of breath. She pinched her eyes closed, braced herself for his pathetic apologies and condolences. She wouldn’t accept them. What they had¬†done was unforgivable. A man was dead because of them.¬†A man¬†who loved her. A man who would’ve done anything for¬†her.¬†Either Bruce recognized his culpability, for¬†he didn’t¬†say a word the entire drive back to her apartment, or each time he¬†attempted to speak,¬†his tongue caught at the back of his throat, and he choked on his words.

The flashing cameras, the uniformed men wearing white latex gloves, the caution tape, and the red and blue flashing lights were all gone when they arrived.

“Well, we were at the police station for a while,” Bruce said. His voice was hoarse, as if he’d been screaming.

Jessica nodded.

“I guess they would finish up quickly. There’s not much to investigate when it’s a su—”

Jessica flinched. “Don’t say it.”

“I’m sorry. That was stupid of me.” He reached over to cup her cheek in his palm, but she jerked her head back. “Are you hungry?” he asked, squeezing the steering wheel until his knuckles were white. “We can find a place that’s still open. Get something to eat.”

“I don’t want fast food. I have food inside.”

“Look at me.” He leaned over the dashboard, lifted her chin, forcing her to look at him. “You don’t have to go in right away. You don’t have to go in at all. You can stay at my place tonight.”

“No, I have to do this.”

“Ok, I’ll walk you—”

“No. I’m fine by myself.” Before he could speak, Jessica scurried out of the car, slamming the door behind her. She hiked the stairs two at a time, however, once at the top, she couldn’t move any further.

Her vision blurred, but from¬†eight feet away, she could still see the blood. The authorities hadn’t cleaned it up. They’d left it for her as a haunting punishment. She shuffled her feet forward, but as she slowly approached her apartment, a sudden spell of vertigo swept over her. She was¬†halfway to her¬†door¬†when her view of it began¬†to skew. Her once white¬†door was painted the¬†color of a blood orange.¬†Thick blood pooled¬†from the crack at the bottom. She felt a bar of weights drop onto her shoulders and pin her to the ground. Down on her hands and knees, she coughed and retched at the reeking smell of Whitmore’s decomposing body on the other side.

Jessica crawled to the door and pounded against the wood. “Whitmore!” she screamed. “Whitmore, please! I’m sorry!” She called his name repeatedly. The pool of blood¬†gathered around her legs, and she started to sink. She frantically wiped and scratched at her arms, coated from elbows to finger tips in an even red.¬†Suddenly, she could no longer feel the ground beneath her, and she went under. Her cheeks swelled as blood filled her mouth. Hot iron singed her taste buds.

Something grabbed her hair at the crown of her head and pulled her up just as she was beginning to lose consciousness.

“Help!” she said as blood drained from her mouth. She blinked her eyes open, drops of blood clinging onto the ends of¬†her¬†eyelashes. Through the red curtain, she looked up and saw a cocked smile and¬†thin, uneven eyebrows. “Whit—” she¬†began, but before she could¬†finish, he pressed his palm flat on her head and dunked her under again. She flailed her arms and legs. She tried to scream, but the blood poured into her mouth, filled her lungs. She couldn’t breathe. She coughed and gurgled. All around her, she saw red. A black veil crept down over her eyes and from the sides until all she could see were tiny circles of red as if¬†she were looking through binoculars. Then then those vanished, and her body fell limp.

“Jessica!”

Jessica opened her¬†eyes. She was back on her¬†hands and knees, the dry concrete cold underneath her fists.¬†She tilted her head toward¬†the door of her apartment. Only the single slash¬†from where Whitmore’s head slid down covered the white-painted wood.

“Jessica!”

She turned around. Bruce was running toward her. He fell to his knees beside her and pulled her into a tight hug.

“I heard you screaming. Is everything alright?”

“He tried to kill me! He tried to take me with him!” she cried. Her shoulders trembled from her sobs.

“Come on. You’ll stay with me tonight.” He stood to his feet, picked her up, wrapping her arms around his neck, and carried her down the stairs back to his car.

Jessica buried her face into the crook of Bruce’s neck, afraid that if she looked up, she would still see¬†Whitmore’s murderous ghost standing outside of her apartment, waiting for her to return.

—Nortina

He Can’t Hide

I watched the vulture looking at me hungrily as I lay on the ground bleeding and injured.

She’d missed my head, possibly losing her nerve; or maybe a small part of her cold, black heart still skipped a beat for me, causing her to shift the gun slightly to the right before pulling the trigger.

The passion we’d shared for one another once burned hotter than the flames of a forest fire. I remembered her electrified kisses, how they sent sparks down my spine. I could still feel her warm, naked body against mine¬†as I held her for the last time. Before she opened my laptop to look for movie times. Before she saw the pictures of perky breasts, the videos of bouncing, bare bottoms.

***

My numbing hand is too weak to stop the blood flow gushing from my neck. They say the last place you look before you die is the sky, but I don’t want to see the vulture when it spreads its wings.

word count: 150

—Nortina


2015-10-26-c2a9-2015-barbara-w-beachamI understand serials are frustrating for some bloggers, but this opening line for Mondays Finish the Story was begging me continue on from last week’s post. If it’s any consolation, you really don’t need to read part 1 to get the story. ūüôā

Literary Lion: Bloody Nails

My husband binge watches vampire movies every Halloween. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Interview with¬†the Vampire, Queen of the Damned, Vampire in Brooklyn, even Twilight, although he always¬†goes¬†off on rants about how vampires don’t sparkle in the sunlight, they combust.

“This is what happens when you write a classic monster story for frilly teenage girls!” he’d say.

His obsession turned my seven-year-old daughter against me. Cuddled against his side, knees pulled to chin, peeking through her fingers, drawing connections between myself and the demons on screen.

A mosquito bit my neck, and she believed the marks were puncture wounds from fangs.

“Vampires change into bats, not mosquitos, sweetheart. And if a vampire drank my blood, how am I still alive?”

“Then it turned you!” she screamed, pointing her finger, her outstretched arm taut. She¬†leaning back,¬†head and neck stiff. I squatted down for a hug, to assure her that I was still mommy, but¬†she scurried off, hiking the stairs, two at a time, to hide under her father’s bed as he napped.

I followed after her, sat on the edge of the bed where I knew she lay underneath. My weight dipping the mattress over her little body. I took a bottle of nail polish from the nightstand and began painting my nails, my daughter watching between my ankles. The crimson liquid dripped slowly from the brush, and I heard her sharp gasp. Her confirmation of what I was, and that I wore my victims on my toes.

—Nortina


This is in response to Literary Lion, hosted by I Smith Words. This week’s theme is bleeding.

bleeding