I recently had the pleasure of organising a writing workshop for Animate. One of the perks of producing the event was that I too was invited to take part and have a crack at penning something. Using Billy Burrough’s cut up technique, and pages from my favourite copyright free novel, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, a recent news item about a gruesome murder case, and some observations of life around Southwark I composed the short horror story below.
Responses to my first reading imagined it as a B Movie in a 60s style setting, with the two female main characters smoking outside a party. As much as I love old giallo films and the anthology films from Amicus Productions, mine is a homage to the pages of the Victorian penny dreadful and my characters more like the women above… (Disclaimer: it’s just a bit of fun).
On locking the door she hissed, “I am no coward. Though my heart almost failed I retained my composure during.” She swung her purse distractedly, the handles gripped tightly across her knuckles.
“Would anyone suspect?” asked the other, shrinking against the dirty brickwork, as heavy footsteps passed across the mouth of the passage.
“Do you dare wish that such should prove to be true? We’d both go down for two counts in all probability. Though at the price, such misery could well be afforded,” whispered the first. She opened her purse and brought out cigarettes and matches. They lit their smokes in silence, brooding.
“But the wickedness of my promise, and last night’s contentions,” sobbed the other, unable to hold back any longer. “The horrid scene of terrible reverie, the demon satisfying all our appetites. All for the fulfillment of the living flesh.” She shuddered and clasped the locket tightly at her throat, worrying its chain.
“There is evidence against us. We must inflict this curse,” said the first in a low, emphatic tone. “Those six men and their threats. Never fear, I will be with you on your wedding day, and have remained here for the purpose.”
“Those six, those wicked judges!” the other exclaimed. “When they were informed silence, horror and suspicion descended on the room. In that painful hour I pretended not to hear their whispers, to feel the sickening oppression of their delight, and their subsequent hate towards me.”
“They cannot break your promise. He could never break your promise,” said the first glaring at the locket in the other’s hand. “The creature can never be destroyed.”
The other started with a cry, “Last night my dreams were troubled by the sound of their barbarous voices, and a vile spectre appeared to me that seemed to show me how he would sicken. An unexplained asphyxiation will be discovered at the autopsy.” She shuddered at the thought.
“The light will rise from the body. The curse will be fixed. It is destiny,” said the first. Her violent passions excited, she alone could have torn him to pieces.
In the stillness, they felt the sensation of the restless demons that surrounded them, waiting in the darkness to be freed to do their bidding.