One thing I’ve realized about twist-ending stories is that there are usually several possible endings that can be produced by making only minor alterations in the text. And sometimes with no alterations. In fact, I’ve submitted stories with anywhere up to four different endings. My Halloween Flash this time is an example. Some of you read the story “Precious Cargo” when I entered it in the “Clarity of Night” contest. For that contest it had a bittersweet ending. As you can see, I’ve made a few minor changes at the end, and have changed the title to reflect the story’s new direction. WARNING: This ending is pretty damn nasty. Read at own risk.
Note: There are some more Halloween Horrors listed in the links below the story. Since I’m way behind in checking blogs, I may find more today and will add them here. If I miss anyone, please let me know. As always, older stories are linked in my recent posts.
A sky flecked like mica with stars.
I had my Harley redlined, the V-Twin burning between my legs. It’s always dangerous riding fast at night. But since the change I had nothing to lose, no one to care if I lost it.
Then I saw her, lying across the blacktop.
Dead, I thought.
But she moved when I swerved to avoid her.
I got the bike stopped, u-turned, winced as I saw… Her back was broken.
I hung the bike on it’s kickstand, the headlight painting her, refracting jewels from her liquid eyes. I rushed to her, knelt.
She opened her mouth but made no sound. How could she be alive? How could she breathe with a chest half crushed? What was she doing so far from town? What sick fate had sent a vehicle to rendezvous with her at this lonely spot? There were signs of burnt rubber. Whoever had hit her hadn’t even slowed down.
I tried to force, “It’s OK,” through my lips. The meaningless words wouldn’t come.
Then she looked past me toward highway’s edge. I turned, saw some shadowy movement. When I turned back she looked like she was sleeping but her chest no longer rose and fell.
My feet followed where her gaze had led, and I saw why she’d been crossing the road. Saw what she was returning to. Or running from.
Her puppies had been born dead. But in this new world they hadn’t stayed that way. They smelled me, and squirmed toward me through their mother’s afterbirth, their baby teeth stark and white and gnashing.
I backed away, then screamed as a sudden flashing agony lanced through my legs. I fell, rolled instinctively away from the pain. The mother hound’s mouth was flecked with foam and blood. My blood. Her eyes had been reborn as scarlet hells.
I tried to get up, found she’d torn out my Achilles tendons. Still screaming, I scrabbled away along the highway. The hound growled and hitched herself toward me, her paws slapping at the asphalt. Intestines unraveled behind her.
I almost laughed hysterically as I realized the mother’s broken spine would keep her from catching me.
Then I saw the puppies. On the road. They couldn’t walk either. But they were crawling faster than I was.
--- the end ---
Halloween Horror Links:
Hell Plate by Lucas Pederson.
freaky flash IX, night, by Laughingwolf.
lobo, also by Laughingwolf.
Barbara Martin has been running some posts on her blog about horror films. Today she has a piece on Dracula.
Travis has a great true story on his blog called Ghost. Well worth checking out.