The Bridge

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short gothic story in which Charles battles his fears of the bridge outside his house. Just why is this bridge haunting him so?

Submitted: April 24, 2014

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Submitted: April 24, 2014

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~~The Bridge

I have to cross the bridge to get to my house from town. It's very small, more of an arch, and it stretches over a little creek. It’s so old, built with huge slabs of dark stone. No matter how hot the weather is, the bridge remains cold, damp and slippery. As though willing one to fall into the creek. Though the danger is not from drowning, no, the creek is not particularly deep. But beneath the peaceful water lies a treacherous gathering of rock, a cluster of daggers, pointing up from the river bed, reaching desperately for the surface. The bridge and the rocks work together: the ultimate death-trap.
It's dark now, and I do wish I hadn't left town so late. But the boys down at the pub were very good at convincing me to stay for “just one more round, Charles!” They knew that with enough drink in me I would happily pay for their drinks. If I have enough alcohol in me, there are many things I would do, ridiculous things, like crossing the bridge at night. I approach the bridge with an almost careless air about me. Perhaps if I act casual, the bridge won't notice me. I cough and ruffle my hair before I take my first few shaky steps onto the dank stone. I edge my way across, quietly, cleverly. It won't get me. Not me. “You wouldn't dare,” I say aloud. But I rush the last few steps of the bridge all the same.

It's a minute walk along a gravelly road from the bridge to my house. My feet dig into the soft gravel and I relish the raw sound. This ground was secure, this was the pathway that took me home. It’s very misty night and the moonlight is all I have to guide me. The open fields around me cave in, and I am cocooned in a swirl of fog. I'm thankful when the looming pillars of my house peer through the darkness. Hastily I climb the steps to my front door, exhaling a sigh of faint relief. I clumsily dig my clanking keys out of my coat pocket before I shove the right key in the door, and slam my bulk against the wood when the door refuses to open. The door finally gives way with a creak, and I collapse into the house, stumbling blindly into the hallway. I shut the door behind me, and unseeingly creep along the hallway and up the stairs, my hands swiping at the darkness. “You never liked the dark, did you?” I mutter.

In my house, the bridge is visible from my bedroom window alone. Even on the foggiest of nights, like tonight, I can still see its dark, ghostly shape through the moonlight. Thick mist hovers eerily over the bridge, shifting and twirling with the faint breeze. And sure enough, she is there. I can see her now, her frail body rising and falling with the fog as she tries to crawl her way across the bridge. She won't make it across, she never does. “Why do you persist?” I whisper to her. “Do you still love me?”

I find myself rushing out into the cool night air, the alcohol diminishing any reluctance I would normally have. The fog conceals her from my straining eyes, but I know she is there. I can hear her pain-stricken groans. The groans increase to sorrowful wails, and I burst into a frantic sprint through the fog to the bridge, skidding on the loose gravel. “Eleanor!” I cry. Suddenly her writhing body glows silver through the fog, beaming off the moonlight. She's so beautiful. I approach her slowly, my shaking hands reach out. “I, I never wanted you to suffer,” I stutter, my voice barely above a whisper. Eleanor slowly turns her pale face up towards me, and her cracked lips move soundlessly.
“What, what is it?” I ask, crouching down beside her. “What is it my love?”
Eleanor stretches a long, pale arm towards me, clawing at the gravel by my feet. She's nearly made it over the bridge.
“Do you want to come home?” I ask softly. Eleanor's lips move again, strained whispers escape. “That's it, Eleanor, just tell me what you want,” I urge.
“Robert?” She whispers, her soulless eyes now glimmering with lost hope.
Reality hits me. I stare at the dead woman that lies, twisted in front of me. Her broken body battered and bruised from the rocks that had pierced her all those years ago. Her long, wet black hair cascades around her face like a black veil. She is disgusting. I stand up and turn her away from her, for the last time. And as I walk away she begins to scream, the same screams she had cried moments before her death.
“Robert!” She moans.
I know why I had killed her; I know why she had deserved it. “You never liked me,” I murmur.


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