Member Blog Post
Once again I find myself writing another story for creative writing that I my as well share here, it's a bit long (1800 words) but I may as well post it here anyways.
By: Trevor C Botts
It was still quite dark out when Harold Garter was wrenched from his placid dreams by the subtle movements of his wife. At first Harold simply tried to go back to sleep unwilling to give up its blissful stupor, but as Janet continued to struggle for a comfortable position he soon came to realize that his day had inevitably started. He struggled against his body which was still quite heavy with sleep; ultimately he simply sat up in hopes of gaining the initiative to wean himself out of his overly cozy bed. As he sat there he felt his wife's breathing beside him, it was slow and deep. He gently stroked her smooth lily white shoulder and noticed that it felt somewhat colder than normal. She twitched a little as he touched her, but then she settled again; Janet had always been a notably heavy sleeper regardless of the temperature (which in New York always seemed to be either uncomfortably cold or unbearable hot). So Harold tenderly moved the comforter back over her shoulder and rubbing his eyes vigorously summoned the strength to get out of bed.
His vision was foggy and he staggered around for a bit still affected by his exhausted daze. He squinted to make out the blurry numbers on his alarm clock. He was mildly taken back when the thick red illuminated numbers read three forty-seven; and he wondered why on earth he'd gotten out of bed. However Harold was not a very restful person and knew that he wouldn't get back to sleep even if he tried, once up, he was up and there was little more to be said about the matter. Harold sat down on the edge of his bed and looked at Janet laying there, so still only her steady breathing disrupting her tired tranquility. He gingerly sat back down on the bed and leaning over her brushed aside a tuft of long black hair he kissed her softly on the cheek. Her cheek though notably warmer than her shoulder, was ice cold to the touch; Harold grabbed the other blanket that they kept by the footboard of their bed and lowered it on his wife's chilled body, she clenched the blanket in her sleep and Harold smiled down at her. Five years of marriage and they hadn't lost any of the spark, Harold looked down at his wife every day prior to starting his morning, it served to remind him of how fortunate he was. During his day it was easy to lose sight in the piles of paperwork that he was required to file and sort through at the legal office, in all those cases of horrid abuse he found it easy to get lost in the despair, however, in the morning, as he leaned over his beautiful wife, he realized how truly blessed he was.
Leaving behind his surreal marital nostalgia, Harold turned around and leaned forward in an attempt to gain balance and rise to his feet. However, before he managed to get up he heard a faint rustling sound in his closet; and he felt a windy chill. Harold figured that Janet had simply left the window in their bathroom opened again; she had become increasingly neglectful of such trite things as she's grown older, and Harold was more or less accustomed to closing windows, locking doors, and turning off various appliances that she had simply forgotten to attend to. Harold leaned forward and trudged into the bathroom; the air was still and cold as it normally tends to be in early spring north of the Mason-Dixon.
Harold felt the cold bathroom tiles under his feet. He felt the brisk breeze sweep in through the open window and rubbing his eyes once more with his left hand he felt around the dew covered walls for the light switch with his right. The lights snapped on briefly blinding Harold's tired eyes. He took a step back, blinked and then walked across the slick, frigid floor and gently shut the window. The window glided down coming to rest with a small thud that, in the still morning air, sounded tenfold as loud as it truly was. Harold gave a little nervous jump at the forceful sound and worriedly he leaned back to look and see if he had awaken Janet; however she was still fast asleep. Harold took a second to let his heart settle. It was a surreal time of day, the owls were hooting softly an in the distance he heard the faint drone of a woodpecker; the night sky though dark was somewhat soft like a tender blanket of light blue swaddling the earth. After regaining some sense of what he was doing Harold left the window and walked over to the sink and in a vain attempt to revive himself he splashed some cold water over his face. He reached for the plush hand towel on the left side of the sink and after drying his face and rubbing his heavy eyes once more he started back into the bedroom.
Suddenly a thunderous knock erupted from downstairs. Harold jolted back in shock, then he looked over at his wife who was still laying still and calm in their bed. Harold was relieved to see she hadn't awakened, but more than anything he was perplexed by the oddity of someone knocking at his door at four in the morning. Seldom did people ever stop by Harold's place, and when they did it was usually a solicitor or an elderly neighbor in need of a spare cup of sugar for a baking project and never did anyone show up after nine thirty. It seemed obnoxiously rude to go around banging on people's doors so early in the morning and after taking a second to rationalize Harold became more frustrated and angered by the circumstance than he was perplexed.
Flustered Harold began to hunt for his clothing. As he was walking over to the dresser on the other side of his bed the knock came again. This time followed by a faint shouting, Harold wasn't able to distinguish the words but could identify the voice as that of his next door neighbor Mr. Yung.
Mr. Yung was a pleasant man around his mid-thirties, only a few years older than Harold and Janet, and he never seemed to cause much alarm before. This struck Harold as greatly unusual. Confused, he opened up the bedroom door; leaned out, and shouted "Just a minute, I'll be right down."
The strangeness of the situation caused Harold some alarm; and the balding thirty-two year old lawyer found himself routing frantically through his dresser. He found his socks and threw on a pair of pants, as he did so he looked over at Janet, still sleeping softly, her breathing slow and steady. Harold wished he had been so prone to deep enticing sleep. However, he didn't really have much time to dwell on it as he rushed over to their large walk in closet and, in a fashion most would characterize as lunacy, he began violently ripping back segments of clothing in search for a shirt.
It didn't come as easily to him as he'd hoped, most of the clothing in the closet was Janet's, and the organization was poor at best. So he continued vigorously sliding down clothing; row after row, hanger after hanger, Then he felt something cold and sticky on the back of a shirt, it caught Harold slightly off guard and he slowed his pace, he pulled back another five shirts and noticed the sticky fluid was on all of them. Then he noticed something behind a small row of blazers. Though not all of it was in full view it struck Harold as out of place. It was an interesting shade of red and he could make out some odd yellowish-brown and blue striations on it; and flies seemed to flock around it with their obnoxious droning buzz permeating the still morning air. Harold had never seen it before and he didn't know what to make of it from what little of it was visible. So, Harold pulled back the three blazers that hung in front of the mass, and then he stopped.
Harold staggered backwards and his eyes grew wide. His hand flew up and clasped, almost instinctively, over his mouth which was open wide as if frozen in a muted scream. He fell to his knees and tried to divert his gaze away from her, but no matter how much he wanted to he couldn't, his eyes were locked on her with fright. He was unable to move and he felt a cold chill creeping up and down his spine followed by a deep nausea in his unsettled stomach. At first he didn't even realize what he was looking at, his body reacted to it but his mind simply refused to conceive the notion, somehow rejecting his macabre reality. However as he knelt there in terror, he began to realize just what it was.
He stood back up and took a few frightful steps toward it and then the full gravity of the situation hit him like a truck. There, hanging from the shimmering brass railing, was what once hand been his beautiful beloved wife. She was bound around the wrist with rope that turned deep auburn with thick congealing blood. Her body was skinned entirely from head to toe and a crimson pool lay at her feet. Her once stunning blue eyes were now cold and glassy as they stared ceaselessly at Harold, one of her eyes was popped out; it swayed dangling from a long and winding optic nerve. Her mouth was open wide; her right jaw hinge snapped giving it an unearthly crookedness and showing all of her broken teeth. Her head was scalped and all that remained of her long raven black hair was a coagulated clump that stuck to her skinned body. Harold looked at her for a while, just standing there not knowing how to react. The pungent aroma of death and decay flooded his nostrils and he fell to his knees and vomited copiously on the carpet. Tears were streaming down his eyes and he tried to scream, he tried to speak, but he could find neither sounds nor words. He stood back up and embraced the sticky gore riddled torso, he took her down and held her in his arms cradling his love like a scared child, he only held her for a few seconds but they seemed like hours in his lucid ghastly nightmare. He quietly whispered in her earless hole, "I'm so sorry."
Just then the din erupted from his front door once more followed by a loud shrill shout. A shout that echoed through the house, Harold only made out a few words but those he made out he heard with vibrant clarity. All Harold heard of Mr. Yung’s plea was “in your house” , but it was more than enough.
The warning snapped Harold back to reality; he let her gruesome body drop and then began staggering out into his bedroom. He was confused and disoriented, unable to process what was going on, time blurred together as everything seemed to be collapsing down upon him in a mere matter of seconds. Stunned by the horror of it all, he clutched the footboard of his bed and tried to stabilize himself by it. However, his mind was running rampant and his body wasn't able to preserver through his terrified trance.
Still clasping the footboard firmly in his hand, he falls to the ground his body leaning against the base of his bed in an upright position. Sitting there on his floor Harold has another brief moment of clarity. He takes in his surroundings, not able to summon the courage or strength to get back on his feet. He can smell the rotting flesh and taste the bitter sting of iron in the air; he feels the sticky wet blood already starting to congeal on his arms. Off in the distance Harold hears the shrill din of police sirens… at the door he can still hear the desperate pleas of his dear neighbor; and, just behind him, he hears the rustling of the blankets as the one sharing his bed sits up.