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It Doesn't Happen Now!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: The Imaginarium


Things like this just don't happen these days. Do they? Inspired by a picture prompt from 'Prompting'.

Submitted: May 24, 2018

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Submitted: May 24, 2018

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It Doesn’t Happen Now!

Darren was worried. He had no idea of what his brother and his mates were up to, but he had a bad feeling. A very bad feeling that it was something he did not want to know about, let alone get involved in. They weren’t going to ask though, were they. Now whatever it was they had planned he was in up to his neck.

Liam, his brother, older by three years seemed to be in charge, alongside Rory. Darren hated Rory, wouldn’t trust him an inch. There could be no denying that his brother had changed for the worse after Rory had moved in to the neighbourhood and had been adopted by their gang.

The things they’d do now, maybe they’d have talked about before, but they’d not have actually done any of them. But Rory seemed to act like a catalyst. They were the ‘big boys’ now, the yobs that would intimidate the old in to crossing the street to avoid them; they’d keep their doors locked now, home or not.

Anything in a skirt, tight jeans or shorts, well, they were asking for attention and the gang made sure they got it. Especially if they were in their teens or early twenties. Liam and Rory seemed to think they’d made a great achievement, making the girls never go out alone.

And then there was Grace. Goth Grace who nobody liked to spend time around. Rumours abounded that she was a witch, a devil worshipper. She was evil and to be avoided. Rory thought otherwise. Rory thought that she should be got rid of, for good. Scaring her away somehow, that’s what they had started talking about, but things had progressed from there, or rather, they’d got worse.

It was Grace’s fate that was the subject of much of the conversation between Liam and Rory. Darren had tried to talk some sense in to his older brother, only to be ridiculed and told to grow up. When they started gathering sticks and branches, bits of broken furniture from skips, Darren tried to think nothing of it. They were just planning on having a bonfire, nothing more sinister than that.

He couldn’t quite convince himself though, especially when they sent out one gang member then another to keep track of her. They wanted to know where she spent her time, what routes she took to and from her house. He knew what they were planning without being told and he wanted no part in it.

You are just as involved as the rest of us, kid. You’d better remember it and keep that mouth of yours good and shut.” Darren had been cornered by Rory, something he had tried so hard to avoid. “And in case you ever find yourself starting to forget, your big brother Liam will be sure to remind you.”

I was scared, of all of them but mostly of Rory and the stranger that Liam had become. I’d tried to talk some sense in to him, got a beating in return. Mom and Dad didn’t notice, but then they never seemed to notice much so far as we were concerned. I tried spending more time up in my room alone, but Liam would be there, holding open the door, waiting for me to get up and get outside. All I’d get for trying to resist would be pain so what was the point.

He hurried me down to the bonfire site. There was a kind of madness in his eyes that told me whatever was planned was going to happen this day. And she was there, Grace was, tied and bound and gagged. They didn’t cover her head though, or her face, and her eyes were filled with terror. She turned them to me, full of appeal. The tears were running down her face; did she know the true horror of her situation, I doubted it. I couldn’t believe it, that they were really going to go through with it. Perhaps, they’d just light the bonfire to scare her, then let her go.

You know what they used to do with witches?” Liam was taunting her, seeming to be oblivious to her tears, her fear. What had happened to turn my brother in to a monster?

Liam,” I said, embarrassed by the tiny sound my voice seemed to make. “Come on, you don’t want anything to do with this. You know it, I’m sure you do really. Let’s just both of us take Grace and walk away.”

A foot in the middle of my back knocked me flying, face first to the ground. “Shut...your...face! You can’t take it, get out, but just remember, you’re just as much a part of this as the rest of us. You shop anyone and your ass will be in just as much trouble as ours.”

Liam just looked at me as if he didn’t even know who I was. Then he got one side of the girl and Rory got the other. They picked her up, lifted her, threw her down onto the bonfire, then Rory casually lit a match. He flung it down and I silently pleaded, ‘Please go out! Please go out!’

Nothing seemed to happen. Maybe my wish was granted but the tiny puffs of smoke, the crackles of burning twigs said otherwise.

They were really going to do it, to burn her alive. There was just no way I could stay and watch. I turned and I ran, and I’m not ashamed to admit that my own tears fell. I could hear here screams inside my head and nothing I did would drown them out. Miles I ran, but I found myself back there. Just smouldering remains, charred wood, ash and this horrible smell.

I told myself that they’d just scared her, had pulled her from the bonfire, terrified but unharmed. I couldn’t ask, I’d never speak to any of them again, including my brother. I’d not talk; I was too much of a coward, but I’d steer clear of the lot of them from now on.

They’d not done it. I convinced myself. Grace was fine, back home with her family; like me too terrified to let on what had happened. But come Monday she was not in school, and my blood ran cold.


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