Featured Review on this writing by Jeff Bezaire

Miranda

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: BoMoWriCha Prompts
Written for a challenge from the BoMoWriCha Prompt House. Warning: some people may find some of the content disturbing.

Submitted: January 07, 2019

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Submitted: January 07, 2019

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Miranda

Had there been a time when she had not had the dreams? Miranda did not think so. All through her childhood she had been plagued by terrible nightmares, even from when she was too young to understand them and was aware of nothing more than terror.

As she got older, Miranda’s dreams became clearer, but still did not make sense. She was a dog, that much she understood, and had puppies. Four of them until a pair of rough hands grabbed one, killed it in front of her, then went back to pick up another. She snarled, she growled, she tried to protect the remaining puppies until something came flying towards her, made her world go black.

It must have been something she read,” her father suggested.

Or watched,” put in her mother.

But neither they, nor Miranda, could think of anything that could have sparked such upsetting and barbaric dreams.

The nightmares just seemed to get stronger and stronger, more gruesome each night. As a dog, Miranda tried to get a good look at the attacker but he was always just out of sight. But she could smell him, for to dogs, everyone smells different, unique. Miranda found herself becoming consumed with the need to take revenge against this man.

Miranda could not say exactly when she realised that what she was experiencing was not a dream, a nightmare, but a memory. She had been a dog, that dog, in a former life, and she had been forced to watch helplessly as her puppies were slaughtered, before she herself was beaten to death.

There was only one way that she was ever going to stop being plagued by the memories and that was to find the man, to make him pay. With no picture in mind, even an old one, no name, no address, it seemed that it would be an impossible task.

Somehow she struggled through school, achieving enough to go on to college. She had a permanent haunted air about her which was not surprising. Each and every night she went through her own death together with those that she felt she had failed to protect. The need for vengeance was what kept her going, but the apparent impossibility of ever achieving it left her constantly depressed.

She moved way across state for college, renting a room with other students. Miranda forced herself to go out, to socialize, and it was at a local bar that it happened.

The smell! It was unmistakable. The man in the corner, middle-aged, aggressive-looking – it was him that had committed those crimes.

She had fled then, sick to her stomach, and at the same time so angry. Miranda’s hands itched to fix their way around his throat, to choke the life from him. She could not face the force of her emotions, the strength of her feelings, the need to make him suffer. When she was empty, had nothing left to vomit up, she ran. But even as she fled the bar she knew that she’d be back and would make him pay.

From that moment on, Miranda became consumed by the memories; she found herself feeling almost as much dog as human. She felt the loss of the puppies like a physical pain, she relived the force of the blows before her life had drained away. She could not eat, she could not sleep, and Miranda had not the slightest chance of studying.

He had to pay. And she would be the one to make sure that he did.

Battling against the repugnance she felt from being in his proximity, Miranda began to watch him. She did not need to know his name, did not need to know where he lived, even, she just had to know where he went and when.

It didn’t take long to work out her plan. Regularly, that piece of human garbage would drive along a remote stretch of road that ran through a woods. Rarely was there other traffic. That, she decided would be the scene.

Miranda could no longer separate her thoughts from that of the mother dogs. She knew what his weapon of choice had been and that was what she would use against him. A shovel, unexpected, would see him suffer, take his life. Maybe she’d be caught, maybe she wouldn’t, but she had no choice but to make him pay for the past was killing her as surely as his actions had done before.

It wasn’t hard to secret a shovel, to hide it amongst the trees. Now all she had to do was think of a way of luring him in to the woods, and Miranda was pretty sure it would not be too hard to do.

Dressed warmly, she stood at the edge of the woods. She’d hear him, way before he got in to view. Her sense of hearing had increased along with her sense of smell to canine level. The old truck was approaching and there was no sound of any other vehicles. Miranda knew it was time now for her to act.

Stepping out on to the road, she stood there and began to wave agitatedly. As the truck got nearer, she started to shout, “Help! Help me, please.”

With the truck almost at a standstill and the man gazing at her with a certain amount of drunken longing, Miranda took to her feet and ran in to the trees. Yes, she heard the car door slam, and his unsteady footsteps begin to follow her. The tree was easy to find, as was the shovel. Picking up the shovel in remarkably steady hands, Miranda stood in wait, listening intently, the stench almost overpowering as she stepped out and swung the tool with a surprising force.

Her head flooded by the whimpering of her dying puppies, she delivered blow after blow. The man might not be dead, but she had made him suffer for his previous cruelty. She threw the shovel from her and walked away.

Whatever happened Miranda knew one thing with certainty. The dog was at peace, her life and those of her pups had been avenged. The nightmares that she had suffered for as long as she was aware, would now be over.

 

(1040 words).


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