Theme: Discovering a dead body/ Witnessing a murder
Story type: One-shot/ Short story
Sarah tried to walk fast to catch up with Luke, who was rushing past her like there were hell hounds at his feet.
“Come on, slow down! Why are you running?”
“The movie is about to start, Sarah. You took 2 hours to get ready!”
“What’s wrong with looking good? And we have 15 minutes to get there. We don’t have to rush”, Sarah was panting now.
Luke slowed down enough to allow her to walk with him.
He ran his fingers through his hair, “I’m sorry. This is a date and I’m being an idiot”.
He smiled down at her and Sarah felt her breath hitch. She smiled back, taking his hand in hers.
“It’s okay. I must have hurried up, too”
He tightened the grip on her hand. Her mobile began to ring.
She used her other hand to fetch her mobile and the screen flashed mom.
“Um, I’m sorry, I have to get this”, she smiled apologetically.
“Sure”, he let go of her hand and she clicked the ‘accept’.
“Mom? Is everything fine?”, she tried not to sound frantic. Mom always called her once in the morning and once at night, it had almost become a routine and this wasn’t the usual time for a call.
“I’m fine, sweetie”, she wasn’t buying it. Her mother’s voice was oddly concerned.
“Mom? What’s wrong? Is dad home?”
“Yes, he is home and I am fine. I was just watching the news and….are you still out? That date?”
“Yeah, Mom. Why?”
“Sweetie, go home. Don’t stay out. Cancel the date”, she could hear her mother’s panic. A cloud of apprehension began to form in her head.
“Mom? Why? What is going on?”
She could hear her mom’s gulp, “The news. It said Charles broke out”
Sarah froze. A chill ran through her spine as she took in the news. Charles, the serial killer. Charles, her ex-husband.
“Sarah? Sarah, are you there?”, her mother’s shriek brought her back.
“I’ll get home, mom”, her voice was small even in her head. She didn’t want to think about him. The last time she had seen him, she had been stabbed three times and had nearly bled to death.
Pushing her mobile into her bag, she could feel the tears of frustration clouding her eyes. Why, she thought. It had been five peaceful years. Five years in which she had healed slowly and accepted the fact that her ex-husband was a psychopathic serial killer. Five years to mourn the child she hadn’t been able to save from him.
She took in a deep breath, not wanting to fall prey to anxiety. I am safe. I need to go home.
“Luke, we need to go home”, she said calmly, her voice devoid of emotions.
“Why?”, He turned to her, “Oh my god, Sarah, you look like you’re about to faint”
“No, I just want to get home. There’s a serial killer on loose”, a serial killer who will probably want to kill her, she didn’t think to add the last part.
“What? Okay, alright. I understand. I will drop you off”
Sarah just nodded as they began to walk back to the parking lot.
The drive back to her home was silent, with Luke sending her worried glances to make sure she hadn’t blacked out.
When they got to her home, Sarah tried to reason with herself that he wouldn’t know where she lived. He couldn’t know. Her breath was becoming labored and she broke out into a sweat.
‘Hey, are you fine? Sarah?”, Luke shook her when she just sat staring at her house blankly.
She turned to him and stared at him.
“Sarah?”, he shook her again, cautiously.
“I’m fine, Luke. I guess I’m just scared”, she hugged him, both of them still in their seats.
He stroked her back and whispered, “It’s okay. Nothing is going to happen to you”.
“You don’t know that”, she wanted to scream.
She just nodded, pulling herself from the embrace. “You should probably stay the night. I don’t think it’s safe to drive around”
Luke smiled another one of his devastating smiles and Sarah’s heart clenched painfully. She had offered for him to stay so she could feel safe. She felt her face heat with guilt.
He kissed her cheek, “Alright.”
She nodded before she opened the car door and got out. She searched for the key, feeling safe with Luke standing right behind her.
Once the door opened, she turned on the lights and looked around cautiously, her heart racing.
“You look like you expect him to jump on you”, Luke laughed.
If only you knew, she managed a weak smile and they made it to her bedroom.
“You sure I should sleep here and not in a guestroom?”, one of his brows rose.
“You’ve been here before, smartass. Make yourself home”, she said as she picked out her nightclothes and headed to her bathroom.
She hesitated before opening the door. “Go ahead, change. I don’t mind you changing”, Luke laughed again.
She pushed the door and only went in once she was sure no one was there. She quickly changed and got into the bed.
She kept staring at her bedroom door while Luke slept, half jumping every time she heard a noise. She fell asleep long into the night, after she had felt assured the bedroom door wasn’t going to open to reveal her demon from the past.
She stretched as she woke up. Her eyes flew open as her hand hit the space where Luke had fallen asleep. The bed felt cold and she looked at the clock which revealed it was 6 am. Luke wasn’t a morning person. She tried to keep the gnawing fear away as she looked at the bed again.
“Luke?”, her voice trembled with fear as she scanned her room. She slowly got out of her bed and tried to shout, “Luke!”. It came out as a whisper as terror gripped her.
Her eyes came to rest on her closet, her eyes wide with alarm and panic. Blood. She felt nauseated. Blood so red. Her head felt heavy. No no no, it couldn’t be…
Blood rushed to her head and she felt paralyzed. She couldn’t move. Couldn’t make a noise. Once more she was back in the cottage where Charles had murdered her child,
“No, Charles!”, Sarah screamed as she stared in horror as Charles dangled their daughter from the roof.
“Don’t come any closer or I will drop her’, Charles said as he lowered the child to make his point, his voice echoing in the woods behind the cottage.
Her blood-chilling, she stopped. She would never make it in time anyway. She could only weep in terror.
“Do you know how hard I tried to avoid this? I told you we could throw the child away. Did you listen? But I will enjoy this. Her screams are so delightful”, he sounded amused.
Sarah watched as her child screamed for her. Cried for her.
“Why”, she didn’t think he could hear. But he heard.
“Why am I doing this?”, he smiled slowly. “Because I married you. Me. And you were giving more time to this creature. You’re the reason I’m doing this. You didn’t want to get rid of her”, his voice rose in anger.
He smiled again. That angelic smile he always wore. Right before he dropped her daughter.
“No!”, Sarah screamed as she ran forward, hoping she could catch her.
She knelt next to her daughter’s body as she wept, her heart felt like it had been broken to pieces. Her delight, her life, her daughter. Gone.
She tensed as she felt a presence behind her, “It is okay, darling. You have me”, she felt a hand on her shoulder.
She saw red. She stood up slowly, her hand still clutching the gardening knife she had been using on the lawn.
She turned abruptly as he tried to pull her and stabbed him in the abdomen. She twisted the knife, not hearing his howl of pain, all senses lost in her daughter’s last scream as she fell.
He slapped her hard and she fell next to her daughter, the knife still impaled in his abdomen. He pulled it out and stabbed her, not caring that it was the woman he had professed to love.
Sarah shook her head, terror still fresh from the memory. She walked slowly, her legs trembling, towards the closet.
She opened the closet slowly and stared in horror at the man she had brought home last night. Stared as she saw his lifeless body fall next to her feet. Stared as she felt herself scream. Stared.
Tears fell as her terror turned to grief, filled with guilt for having asked Luke to stay. She looked down at his body through a haze of tears and she saw a note drenched with Luke’s blood.
“You are mine, darling. Mine!”
The note fell to the ground , forgotten as she wept. Wept for the day she had met Charles.
I have been reading up a lot on psychopaths and serial killers. Apparently, these kinds of things could indeed happen. The most terrifying thing, however, is that most of the criminals don’t feel a shred of guilt.
So that means the second in the challenge is completed. I hope I didn’t take it too far with the description.
Tell me what you think about it. Or I will indeed haunt you (Secret: I’m a ghost).
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