Archive for May 23rd, 2012


Short Story: Dead Ringer

mental1It’s been nearly a year since I last posted a short story on this crazy junkyard site, but that’s not because I ain’t been writin’ ‘em!

The following piece is one of my more recent attempts. It’s based on a writing exercise I did a few weeks back that I think turned out pretty well.

I call it Dead Ringer.

Maria woke in a warm sluggish fog of dreamy half-thoughts. She struggled unsuccessfully to open her anvil-heavy eyelids and take in her surroundings. She felt warm and cosy and could taste the damp, earthy scent of fresh pine.

A languid contentment spread through her as she surfaced from the deepest sleep she’d ever experienced. Her thoughts drifted and changed like smoke-shapes in murky light. Memories of Dr Mormo floated into focus, the acrid smell of his skin, the sound of his baritone whisper in her ear during their lascivious encounters.

“I will save you…”

She sighed sleepily and tried to swallow but her oesophageal muscles rubbed like sandpaper behind her cotton wool tongue.

The rusted iron taste of thirst caught in her throat. She was getting hot. She imagined cracking a window open and drinking the cool night air in, the scent of blooming jasmine floating up to her from the garden she played in as a child.

Those were better days… before the doctors and the smell of iodine, the constricting leather straps, the torture, the humiliation. The icy steel clamps holding her eyes open. The things they made her watch…

Dr Mormo said he would get her out. She remembered the sting of the needle as he slid it into her, the lava hot tetrodotoxin burning through her veins.

“When you wake my love, this will all be over…”

It was getting hotter and a deep-down ache was settling into her muscles. She turned to roll over, but her shoulder grazed against rough-hewn pine boards, the same ones she was lying on, the same ones that surrounded her on all sides.

Her eyes snapped open violently as she started screaming.

The dark came flooding in.