flash fiction


Terribleminds.com writing challange with random elements: Lovecraftian. Need to hide a body! A secret message.


I came to myself with the body of my sister lying at my feet. Blood oozed from the gash in her neck, and my right hand and the knife it held were covered in crimson. The air was full of a coppery stink. I felt dazed, like one recovering from a long illness. Had I done this? I had no memory of it. She had been trying to tell me something, something about my new husband, something I didn’t want to hear.

I stepped back from Virginia. One of her hands was tangled in the hem of my skirts but it fell with a dull thump to the carpet as I moved. Her fingers were drenched in her own blood and she had stained my clothes with her gore, the stripes and curves of red on my dress almost like a message she was trying to pass on. I looked at the streaks, bemused. That could certainly be a C, then a T, perhaps an H and a U. But no word started with those letters, it was nonsense trying to create meaning out of Virginia’s dying grasp.

I heard movement in the study above me, a chair being pulled away from the desk along the polished boards. My husband. He must not see what I seemed to have done. I looked wildly around the parlour. I had only been in this house for a few days since returning from our honeymoon. R’lyeh, my husband had whimsically named it in some foreign tongue. There was only one place a body would fit, the cabinet below the grandfather clock. I hurried over and opened the low door. The small space was stuffed with rags. As I pulled them out I saw they were an assortment of old clothes, many covered in rusty brown stains and an odd greenish slime. I did not have time to ponder this collection, but pushed them under the chaise-lounge to be disposed of later.

Footfalls on the staircase. It was only now penetrating that I had killed my dear sister. I felt like my mind wasn’t working properly. I’d had odd blackouts and strange impulses for several months but I’d attributed it to the fog of being in love. No time to think about it now. I dragged Virginia across the carpet and bundled her still-warm body into the clock cabinet, forcing her into a foetal position with her head between her knees. The door was hard to close, but I managed to push it enough that the latch caught.

The blood on the carpet was masked by the multicoloured pattern but there was nothing I could do about my dress and my right hand. I was no longer holding the knife, I couldn’t remember putting it down but hoped it was safely with the body. I thrust my right hand behind my back and tried to scrunch my skirts closed over the tell-tale marks on my skirts as the door to the parlour opened and my handsome husband entered.

He halted at the doorway, cocking his head to one side as though sensing something amiss. I tried to school my features into a smile. ‘Has your sister left already?’ he asked in a puzzled tone. ‘I was so looking forward to tea with her.’

‘She had to go,’ I managed to gasp, unable to come up with anything else. I could not bear to think of his horror and disgust if he knew! He strode towards me, and as usual when I was close to him I felt calmer, blissful, yet with an undercurrent of fear as though a part of me still didn’t believe I deserved to be so happy.

He halted a step away, suddenly sniffing the air. His eyes widened as he scanned the room. Did they glint green for a moment? No, surely they were deep brown as always. ‘What an interesting smell,’ he said slowly. ‘Delicious. What are they preparing for our tea?’

I could not reply, I could smell nothing but blood.

He reached forward and gently pulled my right hand from behind my back. ‘Oh dear,’ he said with an odd smile. ‘I can see that someone is strongly influenced by atmosphere.’ He kissed my hand and an abrupt thrill of terror went through me as his tongue flicked over my palm. It felt cold and slimy.

‘Too soon, too soon,’ he murmured, ‘but I really can’t be expected to resist.’ He took my head in both his hands and his long green tongue began to quest towards me, and then another squirmed from his mouth, and another. He held me conscious with the strength of his gaze while the tentacles began to wrap around my face.


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