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Free Story

To whet your appetite, here is a piece of micro-fiction I wrote for the Nancy Kilpatrick writing workshop at Horror Con 2010. Many thanks to the others of the workshop for suggesting the title.


The World Breaks

I hear the door at the top of the stairs creak. Whispers then tentative steps. Running my tongue over my canines, I smile as I count them. Five. Without making a sound, I roll on my side placing my nose to the three drilled holes in the coffin. I breathe deeply, my brain filtering out the smell of aged cedar.

There is Paskins, the lawyer. Well, I never knew he had it in him but I’d recognise that musty scent of ink and paper anywhere. There is Cooper, the woodshavings on his clothes giving him away.

I detect Stubbs, the butcher. My smile twitches again - the butcher? What, will we next have the baker? The candlestick-maker. The aroma of old blood under his fingernails whets my appetite.

But the next is not the baker but Atkins. The stench of brandy and fear emanating from him almost drowns out the last of my executioners. My nostrils twitch, my heart leaps. It is him! Excitement runs through my veins like new blood. Suddenly the came has got interesting.

I stay rolled on my right. They approach and surround my resting place. I try not to giggle with anticipation.

‘You do it,’ mutters Stubbs.

‘No, you do it,’ hisses back Cooper. ‘You’re the damn butcher.

‘I’ll wrench the top off,’ whispers Paskins. So like that weaselly lawyer to try and volunteer for the safest job. Well, I will grant him his wish and save him - until last. I hear the clatter of wood as stakes and crosses are handed round.

‘After three,’ says that familiar honey voice. It warms my cold blood. ‘One… Two…’ I brace myself. ‘Three!’ The lid flies away from me. In its places comes crashing down a stake. I grunt as it is embedded in my arm.

‘That’s cheating!’ cries Stubbs aghast. ‘He’s cheatin’ - why aint he lying on his back?!’ I give Stubbs a wicked grin.

What follows then is a blur. A glorious, gory, joyous, bloody blur. I rend. I tear. I bite. I roar.

Someone is behind me. I turn, seize his weapon and plunge it deep into his own flesh. His eyes widen in shock.

“No!” I cry involuntarily. His face is smothered by shadows. His eyes glaze, the light in them dies. I can hear the world breaking as the second best hunter in the room dies.

I cradle him and I weep like Alexander, for life is truly dead to me now.

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"Northern Lights over Low Row" Copyright Sandra Cockayne