Horror is not a genre of writing I usually consider and I don't even watch horror movies but when Dust and Love launched his competition I thought I would challenge myself and give it a try, so for this week I've written my prompt piece for Sara's linky as a horror story.
Here is my story...
The evening was still warm and the colours of summer rose to meet the sun in complete contrast to the dirt tagged walls of the alley that comforted me as I walked away. I could still hear Mum shouting in the aggravating voice she always used to try to prove herself superior, to let me know that there was no way in hell that I could ever be right. "The rules are there for a reason!" I didn't care, since the sharp cold of winter I had awaited this day for the arrival of heat, the arrival of freedom and the arrival of The Bands. The bands had come to our town every two years for as long as I can remember. Mum had told me I wasn't allowed to see The Bands, that they were a monstrosity borne out of evil, but I was 18 now, nothing could stop me. As I rounded the last corner of the alley my excitement rose to aerial heights, I could sense the presence of someone just beyond my gaze and knew it could only be one person. I was right. Kai ensnared me in his snake-like arms and held me for just a second longer than a friend would. I lingered in that moment taking in his musky scent and allowing visceral feelings of lust to rise just below the surface of my skin forming goose bumps.
We walked the mile long journey to the park in near silence. It was the first time I had seen him since that awkward period two weeks ago when I had been afraid in the cinema and reached for his hand. This was my chance to make things normal again but there was something different about him today, something I couldn't quite work out. I decided that I would wait until we were in the crowds before talking to him, that way if he said the thing I didn't want him to say I could pretend that it was too loud and I couldn't hear him. As we neared the entrance to the park the sound was almost too loud to bear, Kai stopped me and looked me right in the eyes. I found it hard to look back at him but his gaze was strong, he wanted my attention and he was not going to stop staring until he got it. After what seemed like an age I focused my gaze on his, I was mesmerized, the shark grey of his eyes seemed to have collected the sunlight and cause me to lose all but the sense of sight. I took this time to study his face, the face that I had slowly fallen in love with. His naturally tanned skin smoothly caramelled his strong bone structure and slightly crooked nose. I had always wanted to study his face like this but had been too shy, now that he had forced me to look, I couldn't help but notice every element of him. That was when I saw it, a small tattoo hiding just below the freckles of his cheek bones, a Salgon, one of the most beautiful tattoos I had ever seen. I had read about the Salgon before, a mythical creature of great allure, her brindled skin known to cause humans to become enslaved. Kai spoke and my trance was broken. The words that came out of his mouth were not the ones I expected, rather than declaring his love for me, "keep safe" was all he had to say.
The park was more forest like than I had remembered and the clearing where The Bands were playing was much smaller, hundreds of people squashed together moving to the beat in a tribal like dance. The faces in the crowd were ghostly and a fear began to rise within me, why had Kai chosen the words "keep safe" why had my mother been so against me going, I pictured her face again and in that moment, rather than the controlling angered face I thought I had seen the face that now appeared in my mind was that of dread, she wasn't trying to control me at all, she was afraid that something bad was going to happen.
A sudden panic struck me and I looked around for Kai to comfort me, but he was gone. I pushed through the crowd looking at face after face, I hardly realised that the tone of the music had changed, the base guitars of The Bands replaced by an eerie screeching of violins. Suddenly deafening screams came from near the stage and the people were beginning to stumble. I felt a cold liquid trickle down the back of my neck I reached to wipe it, soon after I looked down at my hands, I was met by the sight of a thick blood-like substance staining my fingers. Looking up and in the sky a new terror arose in me, it was a Salgon, she filled the sky encircled by bodies drenched in their own blood convulsing and slurring their words as though suffering from hypothermia . I screamed and ran from the spot determined not to become one of the enslaved. Before I knew it the summers sky had darkened and the colours of summer were replaced by war scene clouds. The clearing was a little way behind me and I was now surrounded by trees, there were no people, no sound, no movement, apart from me running, I ran and ran until I felt his presence once again, I didn't know what to do, should I run from him, after all he had that tattoo, the image of which I could not get out of my head, or should I turn and run to him, allowing his arms to snake around me once again and take me away from this misery. Though everything inside me told me to run away I remembered his words, "Keep safe." Kai was my safe place. I closed my eyes ran toward him he held me close then took my face into his hands and kissed me, slowly, passionately as though I was all he had been waiting for. I pulled away and searched his face, this time not wanting to take in every element but merely to search for her. His freckles remained prominent but she had gone, I breathed a sigh of relief. As I took that breath a feeling of suffocation came over me, I stumbled back, my foot hitting a rock and causing me to fall flat on my back and there above me in the darkened sky the Salgon with her beautiful brindled skin called me to her.
It was the following day when I awoke to the sound of birds outside my bedroom window, perhaps it had been a dream, perhaps I could change my mind about The Bands and follow mums rules. I went downstairs mum was sat in her chair looking out the window, I knelt next to her chair trying to think of words I could say to tell her how much I appreciated her, hoping that she would be the first to speak. Mum didn't say a word, I scooted my body around the chair to face her and as I looked up I couldn't stop the vomit rise from my stomach and land in a pool on the floor mum was dead, her blood stained face imprinted with scratch marks. I looked down at my hands fearing the worst and there buried beneath my fingernails was skin, blood, hair. I got up and ran to the bathroom reaching the sink just in time to vomit again, pulling my hair back from my face I looked in the mirror and there staring back at me was my tattooed face, stood behind me was Kai, I turned, our eyes met, he kissed me again. I had broken every rule. But then again rules are meant to be broken.