Might As Well Try It

June 22, 2007

This week’s exercise is to write a horror short story in 500 words. Here’s what I did:

WITCH
(497 words)

“It’s getting late,” Glenda said to her six year old adopted brother, “maybe we should go tomorrow instead.”

“No, we have to do it now,” Paul said.

“What’s this place anyway?”

“A witch laboratory. The whole house is a witch university.”

“Whatever.”

They squeezed through the broken basement window and went in. Cobwebs covered everything, the furniture smelled of old newspapers. All doors were locked save for one—slightly ajar on the northern wall. Paul reached for the knob. The door didn’t creak. Something smelled inside. Something foul. Paul took a step forward but Glenda grasped his wrist. Paul turned around and froze. “Sister,” Paul said, “behind you.”

Before Glenda could turn, someone pushed from behind. She grabbed Paul as they fell down the stairs, letting go of him when she hit the ground below. It was dark, the ground was wet. She felt a stabbing pain in her left foot. She reached out for Paul. “Paul?” she called out, “PAUL?”

“You shouldn’t have come here,” said a woman’s voice.

Light flooded the room. Dogs and cats everywhere. All dead, all headless. Blood covered the floor. Glenda looked up. An old woman was descending with a large knife.

“All these years,” the old woman mumbled. She raised her knife to strike. “All these years.”

A dead cat hit the old woman in the head. She shifted one foot and slipped. She fell—knife skidding to Paul’s feet.

“Paul!” Glenda exclaimed, “thank God you’re okay.”

Paul looked silently at Glenda. He took the knife and stood over the old woman. She stared at his face. A look of surprise. And recognition.

“You,” she growled in terror and rage. “YOU!”

“Remember the last time,” Paul said.

“Damn you. DAMN YOU!”

“Paul, what is she talking about?” Glenda asked. Paul remained silent. Glenda stared at his face. It was Paul. And yet it was not.

“Never again,” he said before plunging the knife into the old woman’s chest.

Glenda heard the scream. She tried to look away but she couldn’t—her eyes fixed on Paul. He kept his hands on the knife then methodically twisted it. Glenda saw him bury his right hand in and quickly pull something out. As he stood, he raised his hand above his face and squeezed it. Blood poured from the dead woman’s heart into his open mouth. He licked his lips and threw it away.

He walked toward Glenda, knife still in his hand.

~-~

“Why won’t you tell me what happened, baby?” Glenda’s mother asked, close to tears.

“I can’t,” Glenda said without emotion. She shifted her gaze to the window. Outside the psychiatric facility, she could see dark clouds looming at the distance.

“Paul will be here in an hour,” her mother remembered.

“I don’t want to see him.”

“Why not?”

Glenda just stared ahead.

“Baby, what happened?” Her mother pleaded, now crying, “Tell me.”

“I can’t,” Glenda replied and closed her eyes.

Glenda’s mother walked out the door without saying goodbye.

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One Response to “Might As Well Try It”


  1. […] short story originally appeared in Paperbag Writes as a creative writing […]


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