Sunday, September 27, 2009
Friday Flash Fiction-In the Shadows
Author's note: In an endeavor to have more fun writing, as well as having a subject conveniently given to me to make the job easier the following post is a Friday Flash Fiction story. The idea is you take an introductory sentence created by someone and build a story around it. I hope I have followed the rules and this has been very fun. I warn everyone though this story is extremely dark and does not have a happy ending. All issues and mistakes with this story are my own I hope I am forgiven.
The beginning sentence was from the Baroness and it is:
There was no respite; the vivid, violent dreams that ruthlessly tormented her slumber had now relentlessly stretched the abyss, to envelope her during her day.
Sometimes during the simplest daily activities she could hear her now dead children and husband crying out to her, pleading that she come rescue them. Racked by the terror-filled sounds in her mind she would mindlessly struggle to find refuge in some quiet corner of wherever she might be. From the storeroom of the local grocery store to one of the reading rooms in the public library repeatedly her mind would recreate first the sounds then the horrific imagines of the murder of her family, victims to a serial killer that had claimed two others sometime later then disappearing. Stunned but caring workers would first comfort, and then help her to collect herself and make sure she made it home safely.
For these reasons Donna Myers had become very reclusive, hardly leaving the Georgian style Lake House she had built with her new husband after they had married five years before. The house was a gift of healing from her new husband, Robert Myers, a successful artist and college roommate of her first husband, Daniel. Robert had rushed to Donnas’ side a few months after the murders. Himself mourning the loss of his best friend Robert ended up spending three years helping Donna recover from the brutal and barbaric loss of her first family slowly helping her build the courage needed to face reality and the beginnings of a new life.
Robert had taught Donna the meaning of patience never demanding anything from her and only wanting to provide her comfort from the sounds and images that plagued her during both day and night. Quite by accident after three years of recovery, Donna realized she had feelings for Robert. When told of this Robert confessed that he had been more than fond of her all through college and later after she had married Daniel. After they had revealed their feeling both were hesitant at first to move forward but the need both had for each other soon overrode all concerns.
Three years after coming to her Robert proposed on the site of the Lake House and Donna, feeling the need to have someone in her life again accepted. Feeling that supervising the construction and then the decorating would help conquer the persistent nightmares that plagued her Robert gave total control of the house to his wife. The only exception was the boathouse constructed right on the lakeshore that would be his studio and private sanctuary. Even after throwing her mind and soul into making the house a home, the dreams never left Donna and the only time she could function in public was with Robert at her side. Except that Robert’s artistic notoriety required him to travel, often leaving Donna at home and face the dreams alone.
It was during one of those times alone that Donna again awoke from the murderous dreams. The nighttime thunderstorm that greeted her with all the wind and lightening was of little concern. What did bother her was the empty side of her bed. Robert was in Europe overseeing a showing of his paintings and sculptures and would not be home for days.
Unable to sleep and unwilling to develop anymore of a dependency on pills Donna got out of bed with the intent to walk out onto the porch and watch the storm. With the flashing of far off lightening she caught a glimpse of herself in the bedroom mirror, she admired the sheer nightgown she wore and her firm and athletic body underneath. After they were married Robert had strongly urged Donna to get into shape saying it would help her mental health and add zest to their sex life. Donna shivered in pleasure at the thought of Robert’s homecoming a few days down the road and what how he would make her feel. It was less the joining of two people to celebrate their love than an animalistic coupling that at least had the effect of holding her mental demons at bay for a few days.
Still looking at herself in the mirror with the periodic flashes of lightening illuminating half of her body, the other half seemed mired in the darkness, a small part of her mind reflect on how different her first husband, Daniel, and Robert were. Daniel had been a caring, gentle lover who only wanted to show his devotion to his wife. Robert on the other hand, after they were married, had begun asking, then insisting she try new things and experiment with her sexuality. At first she resisted but Robert had been firm and with the fear that he might leave and she be alone again Donna surrendered and after sometime had passed had actually begun to enjoy the new feelings and experiences Robert opened up for her.
Finding a robe on the chair next the bed, she hurried downstairs and went out on the porch stopping briefly at the kitchen table to pick up her cell phone. She had insisted during construction of the house that the large porch that was suppose to only face away from the lake be extended nearly all the way around so she could sit out and look upon the gentle waters and see the boathouse Robert used as a studio. When he was home after she could find nothing else to do inside she would sit out on the porch and wonder what Robert was creating.
Taking a seat in one of the large wooden rocking chairs, she looked out upon the lake and the dark and empty boathouse. The storm had finally passed with the lightening so distant now that even the rumble of the thunder was soft. With the storm receding the insects and frogs opened up on their nightly chorus. A soft silver colored quarter moon sailed clear of the clouds providing an almost ghostly lighting to the surroundings.
Just seeing the boathouse did offer some relief from the dreams and the dark feelings that never seemed to be far away. Robert’s schedule was usually a mystery to her and she only knew vaguely that Europe was several hours ahead of her being on the east coast. Looking at the cell phone, she was tempted to call him just to hear his voice. He had never been away from home this long with several more days to go before he returned.
Hoping she would not disturb him, she opened the phone and dialed his number. Each of the four times Donna tried, she went to voice mail and each time she left and increasingly desperate message pleading that he call just so she could hear his voice. Sitting in the chair waiting for his call she dozed off to the sound of a nearby bullfrog and the soft light from the moon.
Donna slipped quickly back into the dream seeing her children propped up on the side of some warehouse wall, their eyes open but lifeless. Not far away she could hear the screams of Daniel calling her but somehow while being in the place they were tortured and died she was a bodiless specter unable to move.
Donna startled back awake momentarily not knowing where she was. While that feeling passed she looked at the clock on her cell phone seeing only an hour had passed with no messages from Robert. Feeling like some evil force was hovering around her she began looking for another refuge. The house was lonely and dark, Donna had no one local to call being that she was estranged from her family over her new husband, and Robert was tied up unable to call her. The only place that offered any hope was Robert’s boathouse and figuring she could feel his presence inside it she rushed to the cabinet where they kept all the house keys.
Minutes later she was walking up the wooded steps of the boathouse looking for the right key to let her in. Robert might be angry when he returned if he found out she had entered his private place. However, she was desperate and would leave once he called chasing the demons away. She finally found the right key, opening the door Donna stepped in and in spite of the terror churning in her mind she was curious to see the place that had been forbidden to her for the entirety of their marriage.
Turning on the light switch what was revealed to her were various paintings yet to be finished along with painting supplies and many blank canvases. Robert’s works were modern and abstract in the extreme to the point they held little meaning for her. A few though, hanging from the far wall were dark and sinister with glowing eyes off in the distance watching an almost Norman Rockwell scene with happy, normal people going about their daily lives in some fashion. Donna had seen a few of these types of works when Robert brought her to a showing and she had certainly been exposed to his darker nature in their physical relationship but the innocents in these pictures looked strangely familiar. She was drawn to these dark paintings and to the door leading to another room. She had no idea what might be inside but after already violating her husband’s space she felt compelled to step inside.
The room was windowless and the air has heavy and hard to breath as if the room itself was chastising her for entering. Turning on the light revealed a bookshelf with several rows of homemade DVD’s in labeled cases. A medium sized television was sitting on a long cabinet with a cheap player hooked up. On the walls were old newspaper clippings and photos of crime scenes. The bodies in the pictures were brutally butchered.
Browsing the pictures on the wall she was shocked to find the photos of her children and husband. A different fear welled up inside her as she realized these were not police photos, they were homemade and Donna’s mind went into overdrive to find a way to explain them. As she tore through the room, no longer worried what Robert might say finding a DVD case with Daniel’s and the children’s name on them about stripped away what sanity she held never the less she found the ability to put the disc in the player and watch what was on it.
Donna’s soul slipped from her in those early hours of the morning watching her family being dragged from a van and tied up in an abandoned warehouse. Frozen to the screen, watching the fate of her children and first husband she watched Robert walk up to a pleading Daniel telling him his plans.
“You were never good enough for Donna ,” Robert said as blood choked Daniel’s mouth and face, “You could have done so much with her. She could have been molded and shaped to bring out her best but you did nothing. After you are gone and I send a few others to the hereafter to throw any suspicion off me I plan on going to her and offering her comfort with both of us mourning the kid’s death and yours. After that she will be mine and I plan on doing things to her you never could with your sedate and normal lives. I’ll teach them to her and get her to like them to the point I will have changed her in ways that she herself would have never dreamed she would accept. Then I plan on taking her out with me as I prowl the night looking for others like you Daniel, simple sheep that need to be culled.”
Donna ignored Robert’s continued rant and even Daniel’s finally moments on earth. Robert was right, he had ever so slowly but insistently changed her, molded her, to do and like things that a younger version of herself would flee in disgust to see. Donna’s skin crawled to think of what she had done to make Robert happy, to keep him with her, and that she had come to enjoy those things. Donna felt more than violated, she felt infected by a creature that had taken the lives of her most precious family.
Donna knew she was ruined, her soul and spirit had long since been spoiled and she knew the last words she heard Robert speak on the disc were true. She knew Robert had been grooming her for even darker things and even if Robert was caught and put away forever, that dark flame he had kindled in her would never go away.
Her only hope for redemption was a plan that oozed in her mind like ice but it was the only way. Donna slowly left the boathouse taking time to enjoy the night air, the sounds of nature, and the silver moon high in the sky. She retrieved an item from her nightstand and then walked back down to the boathouse. Back inside the room Robert kept his sick mementos she opened her cell phone and called the police. “Please come immediately to the Myer's residence on Lake Shore drive, you will find evidence to who the serial killer was from five years ago,” was all she said. She kept the line open hearing the duty officer ask for more information but all she did was wait. An eternity later she heard sirens and cars speeding down the road to the house. When they stopped and she heard car doors opening with people talking she slipped the barrel of the revolver in her mouth and pulled the trigger. After that the shadows that held her slipped away.