I wrote this short piece last year for for my Flash Fiction Friday. It’s still one of my favorites, and since it’s downright haunting, I thought it would be a great story to share for Halloween week!
Scroll down to the end for links to all of the horror anthologies that I have stories in!
The soldiers huddle in our sitting room, their filth-covered uniforms marring my mother’s flowered couch and their boots leaving dirt, grime and more blood on the once cream carpet.
One of them stands by the boarded up window, looking out a crack. Waiting for either rescue or death.
Only one of these things will happen. Some of them gaze at pictures of lovers, other children. One prays. The others wish they had enough faith left to do the same, but they do not.
As one the soldiers turn toward the door with wide eyes, wondering if this is the end.
The man at the window squints into the darkness beyond. “Nothing.”
“Must be the house,” another said.
A collective sigh of relief brings the soldier’s back to a more relaxed posture.
The silence has been broken, so the soldier’s begin to talk.
“We just have to last the night.”
“All we have to do is stay in here, and they can’t get us.”
“This isn’t war, it’s genocide. That’s what the history books will say.”
Their voices start at a whisper and rise to a normal volume. Someone cracks a joke, and everyone laughs.
“What the hell is that?”
“Still nothing out there.”
“Are you sure?”
“You want to come keep watch?”
One of them said a word my mother would have washed my mouth out with soap for.
A few stand and draw their weapons.
“Check every room.”
“We already looked.”
The soldiers split up and go through the ravaged kitchen, the dining room where blood covers the table my parent’s bedroom and mine. Where my little sister and I used to sleep.
Their ragged breathing echoes in the hallway, and the floorboards creak under their weight.
“It’s coming from the basement.”
“We know what’s down there.”
“Damn, it!” The soldier is on the edge of what my father called hysterics. “What the hell is making that noise?”
“Just relax. Two of us will check it.”
“I’m not going down there again.”
“Then stay here like the coward you are and go relieve Charlie.”
Two of the soldiers pluck up enough courage to come back into the basement.
One of them puts his nose in the crook of his elbow. “Smells horrible.”
They stop on the stairs and mutter curses, or maybe prayers, under their breath.
A beam of a light searches the room. After a few seconds, they finish their descent.
“Nothing, Just the bodies.”
Another beam joins the first, and their heads turn toward me.
Their eyes go wide, and they both take a step back.
I move another bead on the abacus. Once my father’s. He would be upset that I was playing with it.
One of them says something that must be a curse word, but I do not know it.
I rise from my squatting position and walk toward them.
They are much taller than I am, but it doesn’t matter. Their knees began to shake. A dark stain appears at one man’s crotch. The other draws his gun and fires it at me.
The bullets pass through me and bury themselves in the wall.
I say nothing. I just keep walking toward them.
They both scream and run back up the stairs.
“Go, go, go!”
The others hesitate, but not for long. I float up through the floor and materialize in the middle of them.
The coward screams like a girl and runs to the door.
“No!” the man called Charlie yells.
But it is too late. The others are terrified, and they run out into the darkness. To their deaths.
Charlie goes to try to rescue his companions. His attempt will be futile.
I close the door and lock it. The wails of the Hunters come. I hear the sound of gunfire. But it soon stops.
The Hunters won’t come inside. We’re already dead.
I sink back through the floor and gaze at the decaying bodies of myself, my parents my and baby sister.
Soldiers did this. More of them will pay.
I settle back into the corner.
Check out my other horror stories, along with plenty of others, in these anthologies!
Click the covers to go to Amazon!
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