Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WEP Dark Places

Happy Halloween!

Time for the Write, Edit, Publish blog-hop, Dark Places.

WEP was started by my friend Denise Covy who is an awesome writer and lives down under in Australia. Yolanda Renee, another terrific writer co-host the challenge. So, when your done reading my creepy story head over and read what others have written. There's still time to join the fun and whip a spooky tail of your own.

To read other stories or join go here.


I always walked through the tunnel under the highway to get home. Strange, I didn’t remember riding the bus, yet here I was at the tunnel entrance with the bus depot behind me. The tunnel was constructed of cement with lights overhead and benches along the side. It was about three city blocks long and saved more than a dozen blocks walking along a busy street and over the bridge. But, today the lights were all burned out. I peered into darkness.

            Rain pelted my umbrella. Perhaps the rain had shorted out the lights. The tunnel leaked when it rained and there would be puddles of water. Above me, the street light gave off a soft glow and I could see the other light far in the distance. No one joined me. There were usually a dozen or more other commuters. Not today.

            I took a breath and entered alone. My foot stepped into a puddle and splashed against my ankle. The emptiness made me anxious and I bit my lower lip.

            I lived alone. After twenty-seven years in an abusive marriage I didn’t miss his companionship and I had no plans to remarry. I did miss my girls. Both in their twenties, they had busy lives. I tried to keep them safe from their father, but abuse is learned and each of my girls could lay it on like peanut butter on toast. The more you put on, the more you choked with the gooey substance sticking to the roof of your mouth.

            The light up ahead started to flicker. A sudden darkness made me turn. The street light behind me was completely out. When I turned back I counted how many times the light hesitated. One, two, three, four and it was out. I stood in utter darkness.

            My heart began to pound so loud that my ears throbbed. The ground shuddered. I stepped forward and fell. A vast chasm had opened in the tunnel floor. My scream echoed against the rock wall. I didn’t remember dropping the umbrella or my purse.

            I grabbed at the rocks that jutted away from the wall. My fingers bled from the attempt to slow my speed down. An orange glow started to dance off the obsidian boulders. I landed and fell forward. My breath rushed out of my lungs. I sat up, checking for injury. Nothing seemed to be broken. Then a hissing, gurgling noise surrounded me. Glowing eyes advanced. Alarmed, I stood. Turning in a circle, a horde approached. Distorted shapes. Some like wolves and others human with elongated features, arms, legs and fingers.

I put out my hands. “Don’t come near.”

They rushed me. Snarling, cursing, I felt sharp teeth dig into my legs. Hands pulled me down. Eyes bore into mine. Foul smells surrounded me. One of them licked my face. I screamed. They laughed. The dog like creatures sounded like hyenas.

“Be gone!” A voice spoke. Smooth as chocolate syrup.

I sat up. My clothes were torn, my skin bruised and ripped, bleeding.

“Come, come. What did you expect?” A man stood before me. In appearance, he was my younger self’s identical twin, blond and tall.

I stood. “Who are you? Where am I?”

His smile caused his lips to split and distort. His eyebrows lifted a little on the ends and blue eyes turned black. “Let me give you a tour.”

“No,” I said. He took my arm anyway and instantly we stood on a precipice overlooking a burning lake. Something moved in the flames but I couldn’t make out what is was.

“I had to work hard with you.” His grin appeared more like a snake ready to bite. “Your husband wore you down, but still you persisted. Your parents never hugged you or gave the encouragement they lathered on your brother.”

As he spoke visions formed in my mind. I saw first my husband and then my parents followed by my brother’s grin. I felt him pinch me hard as he often did when I was a child.

“But your children.” His words came out as a hiss. “First the oldest.” My Sally appeared before me and I heard her speaking. “Mom, you never loved me. You always…” the rest would get nasty. I turned away.

“But the youngest, well…” With his smile his face transformed even more while I felt shattered to the core of my being. Betsy stood before me. A beer bottle in her hand. “Why did you do that, Mom? Why did you say that, Mom? How could you.” Her accusations continued for more than an hour that day. I knew I had never done the things she was laying out before me. And, I remembered the feeling of total emptiness. I had finally fallen into the depths of dark despair. I fought for weeks and yet couldn’t extract myself from the numbing destruction of my heart. My girls hadn’t called me since and I hadn’t called them.

Horns jutted out of the man’s forehead who looked like a wrinkled evil me. I shivered and then I hovered over my bedroom and saw myself on the bed. A pill bottle lay open next to me.

“But, no more sorrow…” I began to quote the verse from Revelations.

“You committed the unforgiveable sin. You took your own life.” He laughed then, a noise that pierced my eardrum. I felt him pushing me.

Falling, falling. I felt the heat from the fire in the lake and then the flames swallowed me. Licking. Burning. My skin sizzled, turned black and then red and blistered. The pain…no words were left. I screamed.

Others burned beside me. Hundreds, thousands, tears flowing from their eyes to turn to steam on their cheeks. Above me, the devil laughed. And with the sound of his enjoyment sharp blades pierced my heart. I was in hell and couldn’t undo my mistake.

Word Count 982

What did you think?


Elephant's Child said...

Oh Nancy.
Noooooooo. I believe, I hope that hell is for the abusers, not their victims. Can I hope your protagonist wakes? Realises it is a dream? I felt her pain, but I long for her reality to be different.

N. R. Williams said...

Well, Elephant, the prompt was 'dark.' Hope it gave you the chills.

Yolanda Renée said...

Truly chilling! I've always believed that a person who commits suicide repeats their life until they get it right. The pain, the cause for that horrid decision continues on until the lesson is learned. Not sure which one is worse?

Well done, definitely dark.

desk49 said...

To whom are we to blame
for what we seek
Yet after death
only the dead know

Nilanjana Bose said...

It's totally scary and unfair that victims of abuse should end up in a hell alongside their tormentors. Well crafted and very dark. Enjoyed reading, thanks.

N. R. Williams said...

Hard to know Yolanda. I hope my story isn't true.

Poignant, desk.

I certainly hope that victims will not end up in hell, Nila. But, how many would commit suicide if they believed they would be burning for eternity? We may never know.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy - certainly I'd no idea where I was being taken with the story ... but could see the inferno swarming with souls ... poor things. Man's cruelty at its worst ... hate leads to hate ... poor woman - well done - very creepy - Hilary

Pat Garcia said...

A very interesting take on Dark Places and one that I enjoyed reading. Especially her summation that she couldn't change her decision. Excellent job.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat Garcia

Julie Flanders said...

What a powerful and sad story. Gave me chills. Great work!

Laura Clipson said...

I thought the tunnel was dark enough, then she fell. Great take on the prompt.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you, Hilary, Pat, Julie and Laura. If you got the chills, I did my job.

Donna B. McNicol said...

Disturbing, thought provoking and dark - well done!

Deborah Drucker said...

My take on this story is that she was the victim of abuse and then her daughters turned on her too. Pretty sad. I would never say that someone who committed suicide belongs in hell or should suffer more.

Olga Godim said...

No. She suffered so much; she shouldn't be in hell. Her abusive husband should be there instead.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you, Donna

No victim should be held accountable so this is not real life, we hope, Deborah.

Hi Olga
I agree.

Thank you all for stopping by.

Pat Hatt said...

Sure a rough fate, stuck there due to another driving her to act. Suicide and hell, ending there with tormentors would be awful.

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Pat
You're right about that.

Denise Covey - Author said...

Hi Nancy. Sorry it's taken me so long to wend my way to your blog. Feeling a bit under the weather still from my long flights.

Loved your story, but I see everyone is adamant that an innocent victim of abuse shouldn't fry in Hell. But it made for a sad, terrifying, image-ridden scary story for Dark Places. Well done!

Denise :-)

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Denise
I understand about the time and no worries. Yes, it is a story, nothing more. And one that would scare me, not easy to do. Glad you enjoyed it.

D.G. Hudson said...

Horrific, and chilling. I wonder what the mother did that made her daughters dislike her so. Committing suicide is also a subject that everyone ignores until it happens. Then they say, We never knew. . .This story left me feeling not scared but terribly sad. You got the emotion stirred in me. Well done.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you, D. G. High praise indeed.