Today’s offering from Around The Cauldron is a raw, gory tale from the prolific pen of guest storyteller Virginia Carraway Stark. Prepare to have your gooses bumped!
Moving slowly, as though it were a nightmare he reached out and stroked her chestnut hair. She moaned, it would have been a sob but she didn't dare, she didn't dare flinch from his touch, she didn't dare bat his hand away. Even his brief touch on her hair left gobs of flesh and blood on her hair. She stank like blood and death now. She stank like him.
Her eyes drifted to his amputated hand that had been replaced with a three pronged gardening tool. He raised it up, he had been left handed before one of his last victims had chopped off his hand and it was this strange weapon that he now lifted against his cheek, prongs pointed out. He was getting ready to slice her.
She relented and let out a deep, sobbing moan of terror. Her eyes were roving, her hands looking for something, anything to use as a weapon. Behind his askance mask she saw his lips snarl into what was, for Matthew, a smile of joy. He had terrorized her mother and been locked up for it, it had been her mother who had taken his hand, her mother whose body she had found clawed to pieces behind the wheel of their Chevy.
She found a wire coat hanger with her right hand, her left hand was held up in a pathetic warding off gesture. Using all the considerable adrenaline at her disposal she pulled out the hanger and jabbed it into the eye of the mask. It punctured deep, and to Mandy's visible surprise she felt a 'pop' as it entered his eye and he howled and reeled away from where he had her cornered. She was so surprised that it took her a moment to recover but then she kneed him hard in the balls and pushed him over. The hanger was still sticking out of his eye. Mandy pulled out the hanger, the idea that it had had one lucky hit made it a talisman of luck in her mind, his eye came trailing out of the socket and she screamed and popped it off the hanger. Time to run, it was only a few steps from where he had her trapped to the door and possible escape but each step was a lifetime.
Revenge raged in her mind along with the fear. She wasn't going to run. He wasn't going to get locked up again only to come back at her or even or own children one day. That sucker wasn't going to leave the house.
He was going to die.
Canadian wordsmith Virginia Carraway Stark has a diverse portfolio and has many publications. Over the years she has developed this into a wide range of products from screenplays to novels to articles to blogging to travel journalism. She has been published by many presses from grassroots to Simon and Schuster for her contribution to 'Chicken Soup for the Soul: Think Possible' as seen on ABC. She has been an honorable mention at Cannes Film Festival for her screenplay, “Blind Eye” and was nominated for an Aurora Award. She also placed in the final top three screenplay shorts in the 'Reel to Reel' Film Festival.
She has written short stories in well over twenty anthologies as well as magazines, novels, poetry, poetry anthologies, blogs, journals and many other venues. She is Editor-in-Chief at StarkLight Press as well as for Outermost: Journal of the Paranormal. She formerly worked writing medical papers into language for the lay person and worked on scientific papers for numerous platforms.