Write about now

August 3, 2017

Flash Fiction Challenge: Slasher Movie Edition

Filed under: flash fiction challenge — Tags: — Eva Therese @ 1:27 pm

New flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig. Enjoy! Or maybe not…

The girl walked slowly down the stairs, treading carefully in case one of the steps gave in. She had a flashlight in her hand, the lights didn’t work; hadn’t worked since that night, three months ago.

She took care to breathe through her mouth, but still, the stench was bad enough that it made her eyes water. The air was damp and cold.

As she reached the ground, there was the rattling of a chain and she pointed the light in that direction.

The man lying on the floor was naked and wrapped in a filthy blanket, shivering in the cold. He was rake-thin and as he looked up at her, his eyes were wet. She knew that it was only because of the glare from her flashlight, but the sight still made her stomach clench. She had to remind herself, that the smells in the room were not just human waste, but blood and guts from his victims. This was where he had taken them and … Her mind stopped, refusing to relive what she had witnessed, what had almost befallen her too. Phantom pains shot through her missing hand.

She had thought him dead once, thought she had killed him. That mistake had cost the lives of six more people. Now she just kept him chained up here, safer that way.

She put the flashlight on the ground and opened her bag. His eyes followed her movements, like a caged animal.

She took out a wrapped sandwich and threw it in his direction and he scrambled after it like an animal, tearing into it. Nothing left of the distinguished man in the sharp suit. She took out a bottle of water, placed it on the ground and kicked it so it rolled over to him.

Normally, she would leave now, go back home, take a very, very, extremely long shower. This time she stayed and watched him eat and drink. He glanced up at her a couple of times, uncertain about this new development, but too preoccupied with his food to think much about it.

When he was done eating, she put her hand in the bag once more and pulled out a machete. In the gloom in seemed to glow with its own light.

“Finally come to kill me?” His voice was gravely from disuse, but otherwise, as she remembered it. The distinguished man might not be here, but he hadn’t gone far. “Good.” He frowned. “Or would it be better if I made you think I don’t want it. If I cry and plead for my life, the way your friends did?”

He’s trying to provoke me, she thought. Even so, his words made her inhale sharply, a stinging pain running through the hand that wasn’t there. She wanted to step forward, to slash at him. That would be a mistake. She believed he might prefer death over this incarceration, but he would much rather escape. No mistakes, no slip-ups. Be smart about this.

“You’re going to help me,” she said. She tried to make it matter-of-fact, a statement, not a request, but her voice shook just a little bit.

He cocked his head and looked at her with a piercing intensity that made her feel like he could look through her eyes and see the thoughts in her brain. “You’re scared,” he rasped. “Something has scared you more than I do.”

“There’s a new killer in town. More brutal than you ever were,” she added, hoping to provoke him in return. She was rewarded with a flash of annoyance on his face.

“This won’t do.” He almost sounded like he was talking to himself. “Won’t do at all.”

“Thought you might disapprove.” She held out the machete, not far enough for him to reach it. “Care to do something about it?”

“So you’re going to let me go, is that it? Set a beast to hunt another beast?”

“Something like that. And when you’re done, if you’re the last one standing, I’m putting you back in your cage.”

A sneer. “And how do you plan to that?”

A shrug. “I’ll figure something out. I’ve done it before. Gets easier every time.”

“But the price goes up each time. What will you pay the next time, I wonder?” He looked at the stump at the end of her arm and a bolt of searing pain shot through her missing hand.

She gritted her teeth. “Do you agree?”

“Sure. Not like I had anything better planed for today.” He held out his chained hand towards her and smirked at the sight of her drawing back, just a tiny bit. “Are you going to open this?”

This was the part she was going to enjoy. “I threw the key in the ravine. Never meant for that cuff to be opened again.”

He frowned. “Then are you going to pick it open? Or smash it? Did you bring tools?

“I thought about it. But then I thought, I only have one hand. I’ll be pretty useless at it.” Penny’s in the air, she thought.

“Then what are you …” he trailed off.

And the penny dropped, she thought and raised the machete as she stepped towards him. “Think of it,” she said, “as a price you have to pay.”


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