Late Night

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


In late 1800's England, a man waits for his pregnant wife to return home from work.

Submitted: July 30, 2018

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Submitted: July 30, 2018

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The clock above the fireplace read 9:00. She should have been home hours ago, Edward thought. While he worked the bank in town a few miles away, while she wrote for the papers later at night so they were ready for the morning. Now she was later than usual, it seemed strange to him.

  Fall leaves scattered about the dirt road that led up to their hitching post. He took a cigarillo from his vest and lit a match. As he inhaled his mind wandered back to when they’d first bought the house. Marrion tried to tell him they wouldn’t be able to afford it but he assured her that the bank would take care of them. Sure enough the bank did and within a year they were on their way to having a child. It was almost too wild to consider. Him? A father? They’d gotten married when he was twenty-nine and she was three years younger. Shortly after she became with child she got a simple job working for the paper. Normally she’d have come home around seven and he’d be home an hour before her and have supper on the table. On this night he didn’t bother, something must’ve happened.

  Something didn’t feel right to him. Marrion never ran late, was on time to everything. It was one thing he loved most about her. He paced up and down their lantern-lit porch, running a hand across the two rocking chairs his father had carved for them. “Where is she?” he asked the cool wind. He crushed out the cigarillo and sat in one of the chairs.

  The moon reflected off the mountain to his right. It was a pretty sight. He felt he’d done right by bringing them out there. It was quiet, there were plenty of trees and other sights to behold. Edward got up and went back inside. If she’s not back by ten I’m going into town on foot to find her.

  A noise began to emanate outside, beyond the porch. “What the bloody hell is that?” it was the sound of something dying.

  He ran into their bedroom and opened his nightstand. Inside he kept a loaded revolver in case anything happened. Back near the dining room he heard a window shatter. He pulled the hammer back and advanced into the short hall that led to the dining room and living room. The front door sat between the two at the end. A howling wind came from the living room. “Gotcha!” he ran in waving the gun about.

  There was nothing there. The window was broken with a rock, glass everywhere. He rubbed his face and walked back outside. “Who’s out there?” he scanned the open field.

  No answer came from the tall grass nor the trees.

  “Dear,” Marrion’s voice was behind him in the house. “Whatever are you doing?”

Where’s the horse? He turned around and physically recoiled onto the porch. Marrion, or what was left of her, stood in the doorway. She held a bloody swaddle of cloth and reached out to him. “Edward, we have a daughter,” as she smiled the right side of her face drooped.

  When he looked back to watch his step he saw the horse in the grass. It was covered in cuts and stab wounds. “My God.”

  He lifted the gun and fired. It was deafening, yet it didn’t stop him from firing again. The first shot hit the wood beside her head. He didn’t see where the other went. The scent of gunpowder filled his nostrils as he let another round loose. It struck her throat. She dropped the swaddling cloth and fell to her knees clutching her throat.

  “I’m sorry Marrion, I’m so sorry,” he sobbed.

  As she lay dying he crawled to her and unwrapped the bloody object. Please let there be nothing, please God let there be nothing in here. A child’s bare head escaped from the small opening. He pulled another strip of cloth away. “Oh God.” The child was dead. Its umbilical cord wrapped tight around its little neck.

  “Why would she kill it?” he set the child down beside the mother and stumbled towards the front door. Walking into the dining room he retrieved a bottle of brandy from the liquor cabinet and sat at the table with a glass. He set the gun down and filled the glass to the brim. Why did she do it? He threw the shot back and slammed it down rocking the table. “I’m sorry Marrion.”

  With tears in his eyes he saw Marrion and the child at the other end of the table. She held the child to her breast and smiled at him. “It’s alright, dear. Join us so we can be a family. No one is going to blame you, they’ll understand.”

  Edward stared at the revolver. He was tempted beyond a doubt to pick the gun up and use it. His family wouldn’t forgive him for what he’d done. The law would come down on him immediately, probably hang him.

  Across the table Marrion watched him struggle. He knew she wasn’t real, the real her was a bloody mess outside with their dead child. He’d heard of expecting mothers losing it and killing their children but he didn’t expect this. They had a happy life, a great home, and a great life. What went wrong? Where did he go wrong? He couldn’t take it anymore, he just wanted to be with them again.

  He snatched up the gun and looked across the table. Marrion continued on smiling at him. Edward smiled back and pulled the hammer back. “See you soon dear.”


© Copyright 2018 Zach-V. All rights reserved.

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