Usually I intersperse posts of fiction with those about my daily life. Today… that’s been cast out because it’s the extended edition of #TuesdayTales. This means that instead of the 100 word comments we’ve been leaving over on Glitter Word, today we leave the first 100 words of an 1000 word tale.
The above is the picture we base our stories around for today and the word prompt is Spectrum. For more details check out today’s starter post.
But this is my response….
The candle flame flickered caught up in a backdraft and the catch of my breath. I tried to steady myself.
Don’t let go…
A spider hung in crystalized thread. Its legs curled under it, stilled and dead and coated in dust. Condensed breath curled into the cold air as I stepped down the stair. The damp clung to my lips like pale pearls in the moonlight.
I focused ahead, but still the shadows lengthened. If I just concentrated then they couldn’t get me. My fingers curled around the icy door handle, the candle snuffing out and swallowing me into darkness.
A low whimper crept unbidden from my throat. Black liquid seeped from below the door, glinting in the pale light. I wished I didn’t know what it was, but I did. I’d heard.
Panic begged me to turn back. The scent of death filled my nostrils, cold, clammy and rotten. Bile rose in my stomach, gurgling up my throat until I had to swallow it back down. I’d felt the pang of death so many times before, but never like this.
My fingers shook. I squeezed my eyes shut, bracing for the ice, and turned the handle.
The door screamed in pain as its rusted hinges jerked open. The wall of loss smacked me straight in the face, jellying my legs so that I had to clutch the door frame. The levels of death are on a spectrum according to how they feel, but I didn’t need my extra senses to tell me how fresh this murder was.
I’d heard Cass scream.
We’d thought standing at the top of the tower would be cool. It wasn’t cool. I was the only one left.
Spirits clamoured around me, watching with translucent eyes as I stepped into the blood stained room. I suppose I should have been thankful that it hadn’t touched me yet; nevertheless, I’ve had more experience with these dark creatures than most. My mother was one.
Any normal person would have felt sick looking at the mess of her splayed limbs and torn flesh, guts and blood dribbling across the old wooden floors. I didn’t. The only nausea that concerned me was the way death was playing with my stomach and my nerves.
It licked around my ankles, overjoyed that I was here looking at the casing of its latest possession. Like a naïve child, it ran laps of the room sending mental jolts of joy into my psyche. The half-smile took my lips before I could stop it. Denying that the sensation was delicious seemed the only human thing to do.
How did this happen…? Ellie, I don’t understand… Where am I…?
Cass stared up at me. Her mouth was twisted in a permanent gasp of horror, her dead jaw dislocated. With difficulty, I closed her eyes, the mere touch of her skin sending more death jolts through my body.
Her neck lay in an unfathomable position. Bone protruded and lay scattered across the rough floor in splintered pieces flecked with blood and scraps of flesh. But it was her wrists that concerned me. The marks were plain to see, sliced down towards her palms and lapped dry. Revulsion unfolded in my breast.
Death tugged at my trouser leg, unexpectedly. It wanted me to go. It wanted me to leave and quickly.
A cocktail of panic and nausea whirled in my stomach, a warning that bristled my skin. If death wanted me to leave then it could only mean one thing…
It brushed its fingers through my hair, cooing and pleading for me to be gone. I’d only experienced this once before and I was loth to relive it. My feet took me to the door, watched by hundreds of dead eyes.
The thing that was here wanted me too.
Cold, ghostly fingers crept around mine. I could sense Cass’s presence, but it was too dangerous to see her properly. Slipping my third eyelid into place would only increase the peril of my position. It was the only thing I couldn’t sense as a life form or as one of those who belonged to death.
Don’t let go, Ellie…
I mimicked squeezing Cass’s hand, yet I knew she couldn’t feel it as I knew she couldn’t see her physical form lying bleeding and broken on the floor. How long would it take her to accept it? If only I’d told her I was a necromancer in life maybe that would have made it easier on her.
The voice seemed to come from everywhere. I tried not to shake. Never let a vampire see your weakness; they’re experts at emotional exploitation. You could say I was a bit of an expert in that area, which is what made hearing his voice so much harder.
“I didn’t think you ever wanted to see me again, Ellie?”
I grit my teeth. Death circled my ankles, trembling. It didn’t want me to die. Not yet. Only death chooses when its pets die, not vampires or anybody else.
“You started knocking around with mortals, then. Such degrading company. I’m sure your mother would have been proud.”
My nostrils flared between the sound of his arrogant voice and the soft spectral whimpers of my dead friend. I’d forgotten how self-serving he was. If only I’d learned sooner.
“You set this up, didn’t you?” I ground.
His laughter echoed around the room. Melting out of the shadows, he stepped towards me, sifting a hand through my loose curls as if he still had the right. The kiss was unexpected, unwanted, unwelcomed… and returned. He chuckled low as I fought myself.
He tasted of blood. Cass’s blood.
“What better way to seduce a necromancer than to tease her with death?” His eyes sucked me in, hungry and possessive. “I always told you you’re mine. And now I’ve come to claim you back,” he growled, forcing his piercing hunger down upon my throat in the moonlight.
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