Parlour Games

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Parlour Games is a horror short story.Hopefully you will find it both intersting and thought provoking. Maybe it will make you leap higher when you are in a crowd. Oh and one more thing. There is a hidden story within the story. Can you see it?

Rob

Submitted: August 18, 2012

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Submitted: August 18, 2012

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Parlour Games

‘For the love of God’ lamented the Reverend Porter as he stood at the sink washing up the cups and
saucers.  ‘That woman!’ He was referring to Mrs Eileen Black. He had just finished a long drawn out
meeting with her about the flower arrangements for the Easter service. He glanced at the clock and
groaned. It was nearly midnight. To get rid of her he had finally had to agree that “Yes she did
make the best arrangements” and “Yes they were better than Mrs Fosters”. And “Yes she would be
doing the flowers for Easter” He didn’t really think Mrs Black’s were any better than Mrs Foster’s
but by the end he would have agreed to almost anything.
‘Oh the church’ he sighed. He had forgotten to lock it up. That meant he would have to go back outside
in to the cold. He dried his hands and not for the first time regretted ever having become a man of the
cloth. He blamed his mother. She had wanted her son to go into the clergy. He should have chosen a
different path. He went down the hall and took his coat from the banister railing. Next he selected a
walking stick from the stand. He took the ivory handled cane with the steel tip. It was his favourite. It
had been left behind after a service several years ago. The owner had come back for it afterwards.
He had taken their address on a piece of paper. It was only a week later that he had found it
underneath one of the pews. By then the paper had gone on the fire. He opened the door. On the
ground was a carpet of snow. The cleared path winked at him with eyes of ice.
‘Brrr’ he shivered and he pulled his coat up tight around him. He left the vicarage door on the latch and
hurried down the path to the church, his cane making a clicking noise against the stone paving.
‘That woman’ he muttered to himself as he shuffled along. The last time she did this to him he had
been late up on the Sunday. The verger had to knock him up.
‘Late for my own service’ and he felt the embarrassment all over again. As he entered the grave yard he
saw across on the other side that the Lawson’s were having a party. Their mock Tudor mansion was lit
up like Blackpool illuminations. They didn’t come to church, didn’t believe in God except when it suited,
Christenings and the like. Still they had a nice house, bigger than the vicarage and a lot less draughty. He
got to the church. He opened the door and flicked on the lights. The place was empty.
‘Any one there’ he shouted. He waited a moment and then when satisfied he turned the lights off and
closed the door.
‘Ah’ he jumped. A big spider scuttled across the step. He trod on it. It made a popping sound like a cork
out of a bottle of champagne.
‘Bloody things’ he exclaimed as he scrapped his shoe against a stone. He didn’t like them, always filling
the place with cobwebs. The verger must spend half his day sweeping them away. He locked the doors
with a big iron key and then tried them with a solid rattle.
‘Good’ he muttered to himself. When I get back I think I will have a night cap and finish that book. The
book in question was Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. Reading was his real passion, his first true
love. It was then that he heard her, the sobbing from across the graveyard. He looked across. She was
lying prostrate across one of the old tombstones. He guessed it was “Alfred Wallace 1782 – 1822, never
a better husband”. He knew all the grave yard inmates intimately. He faltered for a moment. It was
probably someone from the Lawson’s party. It would not be the first time. More than likely drunk. At
least you didn’t get druggies or the like, not here in Moss, not in a quiet place like this. He walked over
and as he got closer he called out to her.
‘Hello, can I help?’ but she did not appear to hear. He got closer.
‘Hello’ and she looked up.
‘You must be freezing’ he exclaimed ‘You will catch your death’. The women stood up and wiped her
face hesitantly. She appeared to be in her late twenties. She was very well dressed, slim, black hair, tall
and very attractive.
‘Are you from the party?’ he enquired pointing to the Lawson’s house ‘over there’
‘No’ she said very quietly and then she glanced across the graveyard before adding ‘no I am not’
‘Oh…….. I don’t suppose you are Mrs Wallace are you then?’ he asked smiling. A look of confusion
swept across her face.
‘The name on the stone’ he added and she laughed.
‘No, no I am not Mrs Wallace’
‘Ah that’s better my dear, no sense in freezing to death at midnight over some nonsense’
‘No’ she said nervously as she brushed herself down. He noticed her edge away.
‘Sorry, I should have introduced myself, I am the Vicar, this is my church’ and when she still looked
unsure.
‘Look’ and he opened his coat revealing his dog collar.
She visibly relaxed ‘Oh….I am……sorry about the gravestone and….well’
‘Please don’t worry about that, it’s a piece of cold stone, what is your name?’
‘My name is Helen’ and she hesitated ‘Helen Carter’ and she stepped forward and they shook hands.
‘Your hands are frozen my dear’ he exclaimed. She rubbed her hands together and blew on them
‘Sorry’
‘You are not from Moss are you?  I do not recognize you’
‘No, I am not from Moss, I found myself here by chance, I drove off and well…….’
‘What is troubling you?’
‘I am not sure you can help………..it’s a long story’
‘In my job my dear I do a lot of listening, why don’t you come across to the Vicarage, it is only just across
there’ and he pointed back down the path.
‘I could make us a cup of tea and you could tell me what it is that brings you out to Moss on a night like
this’
‘I am not sure……I should really go’ she answered hesitantly.
‘Please Helen, come across, it will help’
‘If you are sure you do not mind’
‘I am sure’
‘Ok I guess’
‘Good’
The two of them walked down the path in silence across to the vicarage At the door she stopped.
‘It’s on the latch, just push it’ he explained from behind.
‘Are you sure?’
‘Please go in’
‘Thanks’ and she opened the door and they went in. He showed her through to the parlour. There was
a fire in the hearth.
‘Please take a seat’ he gestured to a large leather armchair by the fire. As Helen took off her coat
he stooped down and prodded the fire with the iron poker, bringing it back to life. Satisfied he stood up.
‘Now would you like tea or coffee’
‘Coffee please’ she replied quickly adding ‘black no sugar’. In the light he realized how white her skin
was, almost like a dolls skin without colour or complexion.
‘I will be a moment’ and he went out and through to the kitchen. Helen stood up and rather hesitantly
examined several of the religious objects in the room. Firstly the bible on the side table. She picked it up
and thumbed through the pages before carefully replacing it. Next, to the cross on the wall which she
gingerly touched  with out stretched hands. Finally the statue of Jesus on the cross which she caressed
with her slim white, cold fingers. As she passed the mirror above the fire she adjusted her hair with a
smile before seating herself once more in the leather armchair.
He poured the boiling water into the two cups and then added milk to one of them. The woman in
the other room bothered him. There was something about her. Something he could not put his finger
on. He gave an involuntary shiver.
‘Ewwweer’
As he stirred the drinks he wondered what his hero would do in a situation like this. He looked across at
the bust of Winston Churchill which was on the shelf. What would that great debater make of this
situation?
‘Never before in the field of human conflict have so many been listened to by so few’ he announced
with a chuckle. Still smiling he put the cups on the tray and carried them through.
‘There you go Helen, that will warm you up’ he offered her the tray ‘Yours is the one with the Devil and
I am Jesus’ he said referring to the painted designs on the cups.
‘Thank you’ Helen said as she took her cup. He sat down across from her and took a sip of his coffee.
‘Now Helen how can I help?’
‘It is quite simple really Vicar’ she said ‘I am a vampire’ and he spilt his drink down himself. He wiped it
off before he said anything.
‘I am sorry, I don’t think I heard you correctly….did you say you thought yourself a……………..vampire?’
‘No, not think, I am a vampire’ He didn’t know what to do, or think or say. That was the last thing he
had expected her to say. He tried to gather himself.
‘When di……….’ and she spoke again.
‘Stand up’ she commanded as she too rose from her seat.
‘Now come across to the mirror’ and he did.
‘Oh my god’ he cried as he saw the reflection.
‘How.. is.. it..possible?’ he stuttered and fell back into his seat.
‘I have been a vampire for four years now’
‘Why.. are.. you.. here…….tonight?’ he asked shaking nervously.
‘Lately I have begun to test my strength’ and she looked proudly at her emaciated biceps as might a
prize fighter before entering the ring. The priest looked on with a terrified expression.
‘After all I am no mere Ghoul or Goblin. No!  I will be expected in the vanguard. To meet and do battle
with Angels and Halod. To clash with Saints and Prophets. I need to understand……………’ and she
paused searching for the right words.
‘I need to find my limits, my strengths and………. weaknesses, to test myself’
‘I see’ said the Vicar before continuing ‘And that’s why..’
She spoke over him.
‘And that is why three months ago I slew a believer. I waited outside York Minster for midnight mass to
end and then I followed her home. It was no contest, no trial of strength. She was just a little old lady,
an old woman alone in a cold dark house’
‘You demon, you monster’ cried the priest rallying.
‘Haha’ she laughed before continuing.
‘And then just a few weeks ago I found a lay preacher. He did more than believe. He was an active
participant, a foot soldier in the army of my enemy’
‘You foul being’ cried the Priest and he held out the crucifix on the chain which hung around his neck.
Helen reached out and tore it from him. It hung in her hand, the chains gently swinging from side to
side.
‘Hehe’ she hissed.
‘How can this be?’ he questioned in astonishment.
‘The preacher was nothing. A morsel, a pleasantry………fun, and then that brings me to this night and
to you” and she gazed at him with black lifeless eyes.
He shrank back in his chair cowering ‘what do you want………. with me?’
‘As I have been explaining, I am on a journey of self-discovery and you are on the next rung of the
corporate ladder so to speak’  and she laughed to herself as she glanced into the mirror adjusting her
hair.
‘My first professional’ she announced proudly and he smelt a dead smell like he was in the bottom of a
pit with a hundred, week old corpses. He choked and gagged and his eyes watered but through it he
managed to speak one last sentence.
‘Why me?’
The vampire smiled, showing a pair of large white sharp pointed teeth.
‘Why indeed. I am a predator, a predator of the living’ and the Priest sank back in his chair. She
continued boring into his eye sockets.
‘On the plains of Africa the Antelope, the Gazelle they jump and leap. Priest, do you know why they do
this?’ The priest shook his head in bewilderment, his eyes bulging from their sockets.
‘They jump to show the Leopard or the Cheetah or the Lion that they are healthy. That there would be
no point in chasing them, that it would be a waste of their energy’ and she gaped her mouth wide as
she came at him across the parlour floor.
‘And Priest when I scoured the flock I saw one that did not jump!’


 


© Copyright 2017 Robert Ruin. All rights reserved.

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