Endings: Red

About a year ago, a friend of mine tried to set up a blog where each week she would give a prompt and people would try and write the ending to something. It could be a story, a novel, a poem, a song, a film, etc. Unfortunately after one prompt there was very little interest in the venture and it caved. I was cleaning out a flash drive today and found the piece I had written so thought I should share it with the masses.

So here’s my attempt to write the ending of a horror novel from the prompt, RED.

 

‘It was you,’ Said Artie, pointing at the Mrs Blackstock. ‘All of you.’ He looked around at the other citizens of the town who had formed into a rough circle, surrounding him. He pulled Mrs Blackstock’s knife from his side with a sickening, gurgling sound and dropped it onto the floor.

‘Mr Baxter, we can do this the easy way or the hard way,’ said Mrs Blackstock. She nodded to someone behind Artie and they grabbed his arms and forced them behind his back.

‘You don’t have to do this,’ he murmured, looking around for a sympathetic face but finding nothing but blankness staring at him. The wound in his side ached and pulsed. ‘Please…my son…’

‘He will be looked after. He will be raised as a good member of the community.’ Mrs Blackstock licked her lips, ‘Or he will find his way into the cooking pot. Depends on my mood, really.’

Artie screamed and broke free of his captors. He pushed past Mrs Blackstock and ran down the high street, his knife wound dripping blood down his side, marking a red trail behind him as his energy bled away onto the cobblestones. He didn’t dare look back but heard the footfalls of his pursuers as they gave chase. He headed for the hotel and hoped and prayed that Al was inside, safe in his cot. He hit the front doors and they burst open before him. The lobby was empty. He tried to take the stairs two at a time but his energy failed him and he was forced into crawling the final few stairs to the third floor. He pushed himself to his feet and stumbled to his room.

The door was open wide and inside he heard a baby crying. He fell into the room and dragged his unresponsive body into the bedroom.

The baby was standing in his cot, screaming at the top of his lungs. His little purple face was streaked with tears and Artie tried to make comforting sounds but found he couldn’t do it. The baby’s screaming filled his ears as he rolled onto his back.

His vision went white and black and red and then Mrs Blackstock was standing over him. She placed her boot heel on his neck but didn’t apply any weight. ‘You could have been happy here, Mr Baxter. You could have been bank manager. Or even the baker. Pity.’ She pressed down and Artie’s vision went white and black and red again and then white and red and red and red and then nothing.

Mrs Blackstock looked down at Artie’s bloated, lifeless body and spat onto the floor. Her followers stood in the corridor, waiting in silence.

‘Will someone shut this baby up before I wring its neck?’ She said pointing at the screaming child. She strode out of the room, leaving her followers to scrabble around singing lullabies and making funny noises and waving their car keys in front of Al’s screaming face while his father’s body lay unattended on the now blood-stained rug.

 

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