Cold Heart

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A knock on the door is all that it takes

Submitted: June 14, 2017

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Submitted: June 14, 2017

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Like a charred bone the lamppost stood silhouetted against the snow, the orange glow flickered eerily. Shards of glass from the lamp had been long covered by leaf litter and stones, its paint chipped by shrapnel. The street itself looked like an unfinished painting. Much of it was perfectly covered in white as if waiting for an artists’ hand to return. Children in threadbare apparels and fragmented waders ran into the winter wind with homemade windmills when the thunder of hooves split the children’s laughter. A brougham pulled along the uneven cobblestones by a galloping stallion departed the avenue as if dashing from its past, its golden red mane wisped into the wind like flames. 

Seated in her cosy armchair, Thana looked out from her new polished window into the narrow street. After having moved in with her wealthy Lord, Thana could now observe the entire neighbourhood; a surplus of chimneys built at jaunty angles that stuck out preposterously on every house. She fidgeted with the miniscule locket around her neck containing photos of her murdered bairns, both blessed with striking curls of strawberry blonde. Remembering them brought Thana annoyance; so much that marriage through the Dickinson lineage brought a sum of substantial benefit, not only through the inheritance but also through the breakdown of conventions. Even before their marriage, the blue book forbade anything of the thought, thinking Thana was merely a coquette.

In her new household, a red brick mansion with a wrap-around terrace, Thana restlessly rose from the chair and acquired the used candle from her nightstand. Flickering an ominously auburn flame, the wax pooled into the holder. The candle small in her hand, sheltered from the soft breeze, she proceeded down the immense staircase. Shadows danced menacingly against the mansions walls, formless and indistinct, the silhouettes shifted as if they were alive. As Thana passed the floor length gilt framed mirror, she caught glimpses of children’s bloody hands in her peripheral. Her breath intermediate and her countenance dishevelled, the smell of fresh bread wafted from the kitchen door happily allured her away from the memories. Entering the chamber, the bread she had smelt was propped upon the galley countertop, perfect for eating. After finishing a piece of the rich honey bread Thana lazily resigned to the drawing room. Seated by the magnificent fire that mimicked the warmth of the day, her porcelain features illuminated by the lambent light, she proceeded to groom her exotic enflamed curls.

Silence caressed Thana as the last ringlet fell from the faux tortoise shell comb. No air stirred the grass or leaves. No familiar creaks and groans of the colossal mansion. No crackles from the fire. Not a sound. Thana’s own breath seemed to die as soon as it left her mouth. It was an eerie sort of tranquillity.? Tinny and grating, the jangling from the entrance erupted into the motionless atmosphere. Growing still in the air, the knocking withdrew even the reverberation of Thana’s inhalations into the void of the antechamber. All the servants were now discharged to their quarters; Thana the only one conscious. Scraping and creaking, Thana sluggishly unbolted the hefty pine entry exposing two six-year-old bairns on the bitter terrace, their eye-catching curls of strawberry blonde reminded of her own children.

“It is cold out ‘ere Ma’am, come ‘n we can?” the two feeble children requested simultaneously, scrutinising downwards at their ague feet.

“Where are your parents’ children?” Thana interrogated affably, inclined on the coarse interior of the door.

“Ma’am, it’s cold ‘ut ‘ere, can we come ‘n?” they demanded again.

With an exhale, Thana opened up entirely, permitting the children indoors into the balmy, welcoming household. Shutting the door from the foreign world, Thana directed them into the drawing room where the fireplace brew; the flames curled and swayed, flickered this way and that, crackling as they burnt the dry fagots. In hypnotized joy, the children held their hands out to get just a little more of the gentle heat.

“So much of my own I see in you two” as the final sound discharged her lips the children abruptly gyrated round, their gazes were limitless pits of vengeance and agony, echoing shadows, black leached from their sockets.

The children’s lips quirked upwards flightedly, splitting their infernal faces with rows of vicious jagged incisors. In Thana’s intense realisation, she shrieked with her entire physique. Eyes wide with horror, mouth rigid and open, her chalky face gaunt and immobile, fists clenched with blanched knuckles and the nails digging deeply into the palms of her hand. They were her deceased bairns.

“Draco…Lila…?” hands engrossed together, they glowered vacuously.

Abruptly, their hands reached out and constricted onto Thana’s wrists, white knuckled and resilient. Thana’s moist eyes enlarged and the hairs on the nape of her neck prickled as a gaggle of goose pimples laminated her frigid, naked skin.

“Play with us will you not.…Mother” they hauled Thana to the fiery pit with their insurmountable strength. Lacking moisture in the inside of her mouth; a croak was all that issued from Thana’s gape as Draco fished a hot metal sceptre out of the sweltering fire. Fear curled up inside her and clung to her ribs, settling uncomfortably in her chest. Ever so slowly, Draco twisted back to Thana, maliciously gripping the metal.

“We are going to play with you the way you did us” he ejaculated as his face broke into a toothy smirk. The corkscrew of the sceptre penetrated Thana’s chest, her flesh soft and pudgy, making a satisfied squish as the tip of the rod sank deep enough for the scream to tear through Thana like a shard of glass. Her eyes widened and pulse accelerated, her heart thudded like a rock clattering in a box. Her scream came again, and again, desperate, terrified... human. Her breath came in small spurts, hot and hysterical. The heinous children malevolently examined on, propelling the metal deeper. Droplets of blood formed like red dilapidated roses that gushed out in one bubbling, crimson wave to the floor as the baying wails of the demonic children echoed. Then silence. The mansion stood dark and brooding, the screams liquefied into the nights’ draught. Thana’s miniscule locket rested on the kitchen’s surface gaping open, globules of blood tarnished the photos of the black-eyed children beaming innocently.


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