We asked you to write a short horror story that would grab our attention and hook us throughout and you really delivered. We had great fun reading through all the submissions and this really was an exciting writing competition, but here are our winners.
1st Prize: £150 Mike Dean
2nd Prize: £100 T. Hardy
3rd Prize: £50 Ed Miller
By Mike Dean
She crawled across the room, breathing laboured, as she dragged her broken body over dirty floorboards. A strange odour filled the air, it invaded her lungs and she coughed. A lamp flickered incessantly in the corner of the room, but she was unaware. Her eyes, gouged out, dark, empty eye sockets remained. Tied up and captive for weeks, her own urine had pooled beneath her. Then, like an animal, he’d whipped her for her dirtiness. Finally, he’d dragged her broken body to a bath and had plunged her into the water, holding her beneath the surface for longer periods until her lungs were at bursting point.
His hatred simmered just below boiling point. He taunted her by running the blade of his knife against her cheek. Holding it to her throat. Fear had swept through her as she’d seen the blade glinting in the half-light. Then, he’d hit her head hard against the wall, dazing her temporarily and as she lay prone, he’d dug deep into her eyes, and had scooped them out. The world turned dark as she screamed.
He was the enemy who remained in the shadows. That he was consumed with rage and delighted in terrorising her, there was no doubt. At one time, she’d offered him her body, had opened her legs for him and unbuttoned her dress revealing droopy breasts, she’d hoped that by taking her, hurting her in this way, it might satiate his lust, but instead, it had fuelled his anger. He beat her until she screamed and passed out. Her torn dress, frayed where she’d been whipped, stuck to wounds that were now only just healing. He’d called her a filthy whore. She remembered that. It had been a long time since men had called her that name. He was sick, evil, a psychopath. Why else would he do this to her?
Her heart caught in her chest, was he here now watching her crawl across the floor? She stopped, listening intently for sounds in the darkness. Nothing but then, heavy breathing as if excited. Then, the scraping of the chair.
“Two weeks in this hell hole and you still don’t know?” His voice was cold, like ice.
Fear rippled through her, bile rising in her throat. She shook her head.
“Remember, that poor wee lad? The one who was burned in the fire? The one you left to die?” He hissed the last words. “Time is up!”
She heard the match and suddenly smelled the fumes. Petrol. As the flames exploded around her, she screamed for forgiveness. The light chased the shadows away from his face, one eye lost, the skin puckered, and half his face burned away, blistered, healed but ravaged from the night of the fire. An innocent, he’d lain in his bed, a toddler, trapped, helpless and near death. She’d left him to die.
“Happy Mother’s Day.” He whispered as the room engulfed and he closed the door behind him. His revenge was complete.