Silence Is Golden

A horror short from the maniacal mind of Kate Bowyer

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They died. All but me. A curse had stampeded through the house. From under my bed I peeked through my fingers as the devastation unfolded. Bare feet scurried by me, blood splattered the wood floor speckling my hands, then all movement stopped. The bodies fell and littered the ground around me. The dead eyes of family members told of my hiding spot.

They died. All but me and grandpa.

Crumpled over each other, protecting the young, they died. The walls of the house kept the smell of death close to me. After a while the blood darkened in pools then dried. I watched.

The night had started like all others. Prayers said by bedsides. Dishes washed, cleaned and put in their place. Nightshirts placed over the children’s heads. Stars filled up the dark corners of the house with their twinkling.

I slept. Then I was pushed out of the bed I shared with my two older sisters.

It was not close to dawn, I couldn’t understand why we were being woken up. There was no smoke filling the cabin. Nobody was sick or at our door. Kicked under the bed where the dirt still lay sleeping my oldest sister brought her finger to my lips showing me to be quiet.

With the first light of dawn, Grandpa dragged each family member out of our home. I ran. He dug holes for each one. I watched. He filled in the holes for each one. I cried.

Long streaks of blood were smeared over his naked body. He looked like he was a walking dead man himself.

I thought he was gone, so I came out from behind the tree to be with my family. Little mounds of fresh dirt marked each one of them. I don’t know what came over me but I started to dig. I had no idea which member of the family I was trying to reach. The grime covered my hands, filled up under my nails and reached my elbows.

Stained hands grabbed my waist and threw me off to where blades of grass caught me. The blood was brown and crusty in his wrinkles. I was dragged into the house by the back of my nightshirt. There was no escape. He had me. He had killed them.

Dumping me on the hearth by stacks of wood that should have been consumed with flames I sat. I followed his movements to my mothers sewing supplies. He rustled the contents around and eventually found what he was looking for.

I didn’t understand what he had done over these past hours, or what he was doing now.

He shuffled toward me with needle in one hand and a long string of thread in the other. And right there in a spot that a day ago had been filled with family he grabbed hold of me and tied me to a chair. His lips moved. Was he so deranged that he forgot I could not hear him?

The pain was unbearable. Fresh blood spilled. Each prick of the long needle digging into and pushing through the skin around my lips brought fresh tears. The thread burned as it passed through each hole. He had locked sounds from escaping my mouth. I prayed for death.

Unstrung from the chair he lifted me and placed me on my mattress. He turned his back, I crawled under the covers. My body was trembling uncontrollably. I placed my hands between my knees so I would not to touch my swollen lips.

The silence was golden. Night was my bodyguard. Sleep was my escape. I almost woke screaming.


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