Derelict

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


Written for Reaper's competition.

Submitted: May 29, 2018

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Submitted: May 29, 2018

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Derelict

Derelict isn't it, my home. Rarely does anyone stray so far from the road or from the paths but if they did, what would they see?

A cottage that has been abandoned, left to time. Parts of the walls have crumbled, fallen to dust and scattered stones. Easy for the mice and rats to come and go as they please. I’ve even been visited by fox-cubs before now; sometimes they make their way back outside and sometimes they don’t. The back door has all but rotted through, while the front has fared better but still allows for easy access to anyone so minded to enter.

There are missing slates from the roof. Patches of them that, when it rains, just let the water straight in. Ceilings have collapsed upstairs, the weight of the gathered water bringing them down. And then the upper floors have fallen too; already bearing the additional weight of the structural rubble but receiving the weight of the rainwater too.

It’s filthy, this house where I live. No one has even attempted to do any cleaning whatsoever for many, many years. The paint that had once helped to protect the building from the elements has long since peeled away. You would have trouble finding even a fleck of it now.

What color was it? I don’t remember. It would make no difference to me now anyway. I only see in black, grey, and occasionally in red. But the color needs plasma and there was none of that in the paint.

The garden is thoroughly overgrown. You would never know it even existed as it has just become a part of the landscape, eaten up by the surrounding greenery. Weeds and nettles, ragged grass and bushes that just seem to have cultivated themselves. Strange that once upon a time, I enjoyed spending time working outside, keeping things neat and orderly.Now I could not care less.

I sit here behind this filthy glass. Decades of dirt cover the panes, so thickly gathered that barely any sun shines through. The cobwebs, thick and black, obscure most of the remaining glass. Some of the spiders are as big as my hand, when I had one, that is. These bones don’t take up much space. The are welcome to I can’t feel them moving and I’m sure there are many webs between my ribs. There’s nothing else there so the space might as well be used for something.

And strangely mine have not become brittle from age. or the spiders, but to keep me hidden should someone approach.

You see, the strangest thing is the hunger. I’m nothing but a skeleton but it gnaws away at me. Perhaps it’s nothing more than the desire to break up the black and grey monotony with a spot of color. Most of my teeth are still quite firmly attached to my jaws, you know, and I always find that the shock of my appearance works to my advantage.

You see, the occasional wanderer, such as yourself believes this derelict cottage to be empty of life. You’d not be surprised by a mouse, or a rat. Even a bird flapping it’s way towards you wouldn’t cause much of a shock. Par for the course in an old and abandoned building.

So you are going to walk in to this room and see a chair, an old blanket, nothing more.There is not a thing here for you to be scared of. Maybe I’ll tap one of my finger-bones against the glass to draw your attention this way. If you don’t like spiders, or even more so, if you are actually scared of them, I might have to make more than one attempt. Perhaps indulge in a bit of scraping to make a sound you can’t just ignore.

Eventually, you'll succumb, lured over by your curiosity. You must be a curious person after all, because otherwise why would you have ever entered the house? That old wreck of a chair and that mouldering blanket are not worth a glance. You push your way past, to see through the glass, to get a glimpse of what is outside.

Surprise!

My bony hands are very strong. My grip can pierce right through to your still covered bones. Nerves, muscles, veins, none can stand up against the force of my fingers when they are clenched tight. You might struggle but you won’t get away. And you can’t kill me for I am already well and truly dead. Your presence has stirred my appetite. My desire is strong and I want to see red, all red. Sorry if it means you’ll be as dead as me but that’s life....you win some, you lose some.

The jugular is the most spectacular vein to sink my teeth in to. Splashing out color in rapid pulses of crimson glory, it is the best place for me grip. And they won’t let go, you know! Your screams fall on deaf ears, your struggles are all but useless. Once the color has gone, I’ll let you go, leave you to the vermin. It never takes them long to clean up my trash, and a very thorough job they make of it too.

For there always will be a next time, you know. I might have to wait for a couple of years but I really don’t mind. After all, I’ve got all the time in the world.

 

 

(974 words.)


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