Reads: 151  | Likes: 3  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 4

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Handcuffed in Horror
I can tell she’s nervous. Nervous of him? Of me? Of ‘It’? I can’t tell.

We all know ‘It’ will return tonight!

HJ x

Submitted: August 07, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: August 07, 2019





The cool, damp air refreshes me. A thick mist cloaks the graves. The grass along the footpath is heavily laden with dew. Slowly, the mist lifts, heralding dawn in all its glory.

Red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning!

The trees burst into life, the sound of spring songbirds. A red deer stirs from her slumber, clambering to her feet amongst the bracken. I watch a country couple approach. Their black dog sends colonies of rabbit scampering into a hedgerow. The hound rears against her leash, growling and snarling, halting me in my tracks. The countryman has a strong, resonant burr to his voice, holds her back.

The countrywoman sits herself beside the moat skirting the graveyard: exhausted, head- between-her- knees, gulping in the invigorating country air. She’s had to tread carefully, the footpath is still muddy and slippery after last night’s cloud-burst. She looks up and fixes me with her stare.

‘Wait, Jack!’

They make an odd-looking couple. She can’t keep still. She keeps on twiddling her shiny, chestnut hair, licking her nude lips. The woman is dressed - in a smart ivy-green jacket worn over a plain, knee-length emerald dress, a scooped-out neck. Her legs are bared, save for her pair of psychedelic pink-patterned wellies. I notice she wears a single pearl on a necklace, no sign of a wedding ring.

By contrast, he’s garbed all in black – tee-shirt, shorts, heavy nail boots. A dark, swarthy man with greasy-grey hair, a sallow face, set in stone like a murderer who stands before the noose. His burly arms are plastered with tattoos: weird dancing girls, swirling fiery dragons, and rippling cards: crimson diamonds, bleeding hearts, gravedigger’s spades, a sardonic jack of shadows.

‘Are ye sure yer goin’ to be okay, Sara?’ he says.

‘I’ll be fine!’ she puffs, irritated, ‘Just give me a minute to get my breath back, will yer?’

I can tell she’s nervous. Nervous of him? Of me? Of ‘It’? I can’t tell. We all know ‘It’ will return tonight. It always returns at Beltane. I watch, appalled, as the beast tugs at his beauty’s hair, crudely kissing her puffy lips, savouring her as if she were a delicate rose in bloom. She sneers back, pressing her hands flat against her belly. I look away, averting my eyes from their intimate display of affection, still listening, though, nevertheless.

‘Can yer feel them, Jack? Aren’t they lively today?’

The woman clucks away like a mother hen on her brood, holding his huge, grubby hands to her belly.

How fortunate is the beast to be in the company of the beauty! What does she see in him?

‘I can feel ‘em! I can feel ’em!’ he cries, suddenly coming alive, bursting into rustic song:

I know a young lady who swallowed a fly, I don’t know why, she swallowed a fly, perhaps she’ll die. I know a young lady who swallowed a spider, that wriggled and wriggled and wriggled inside her. She swallowed the spider to catch the fly, I don’t know why, she swallowed the fly, perhaps she’ll die. She swallowed a bird to catch the spider, that wriggled and wriggled and wriggled inside her…

He fusses over her, not giving me, the aggrieved party, victim of the dastardly hound’s assault, the slightest attention. The black dog refuses to settle. One minute, she’s panting at their feet: the next, she’s jumping up and down, barking at me.

‘What’s the matter, Jess-girl?’ Sara sits, calmly stroking the hound’s soft, furry back, kissing her frightened eyes.

Jack glowers at me. ‘She’s smelt a corpse, tha’s what, a dead bird or such like.’

For one awful moment Jack regards me as if the bloody dog’s tantrums are my fault, then he thinks the better of it.

‘Sorry if she frightened yer, dunno what’s got into her today.’

I shrug my shoulders, eager to be on my way, the strange woman still staring at me, ‘No worry at all. Do you need any help…?’

Jack butts in before the woman can speak: ‘Think we’ll be fine, thank ye. Lovely marnin’ we’re havin’, aren’t we?’

I relax my guard a tad, ‘Lovely. Red sky ahead, though. Looks like we’re in for more rain.’

‘Red sky in the marnin’, shepherd’s warnin’, or so they say.’

For the first time, the woman addresses me, ‘Wait a minute, aren’t you the man who…?’

I interrupt her, ‘I’m sorry, I really have to go.’

As I hurry towards the stile, I glance over my shoulder and see the dog, straining, tugging at the lead. Her master, standing, leering at his mistress. The woman, hunched forward, green of dress and green of face, terrified of him. I distance myself from them as quickly as I can, pausing only to watch Jack heave Sara to her feet. Before they vanish among the mossy graves.

© Copyright 2019 HJFURL. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:








More Horror Short Stories