Wednesday, September 20, 2006
My group has issued another writing challenge to members: Write a 300 word horror story. 300 words. Not a lot of space for description, plot, or character development. Not a lot of space to develop pacing. Still, I love a good challenge. What follows is GEORGE, 297 words.
George is back. He’s sitting and rocking. I can hear him giggling; it’s a horrible sound coming from the back of his throat. Sometimes his eyes gleam like a dog’s and sometimes his pupils are covered by film.
“What are you looking at?” asks my wife, raising herself up in bed to peer through the shadows. George’s head swivels toward her. If George wasn’t real, saying it would make him so. I lay back down and refuse to look again in his direction. I lay there listening to my wife’s breathing and the sound of George rocking.
I fall asleep and George wakes me with a shrill scream that’s all the misery and loneliness in the universe distilled into a razor's edge. It slices through me with a surgeon’s precision.
Still, my wife sleeps. I ache to tell her that George comes night after night, but again there are things you don’t say. I wonder who George is really haunting. Her. Or me. He’s her brother. She cried at the funeral for weeks and sank into depression. It hurt me to see her that way. Every time the police questioned her another crack developed. They never knew how close they came to breaking her and getting what they wanted.
That’s how I feel about George. Every night is another crack. Every night I’m one step closer to telling someone what really happened. My wife is stronger than I am. Maybe that’s why George picked me. I haven’t said anything to her, but she must suspect something. Which really frightens me. I don’t want to let her know what’s going on because if she were to get it in her head that I’m weakening, she might decide to take matters into her own hands.
Either way, George wins.