Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Short Story: The Carousel

Here's the short story that I promised. Got it done faster than I thought I would. Hope you enjoy it.

Again, since I'm just copying and pasting from my word doc. the indents for the paragraphs just don't want to show up or work for me. Annoying, but I just can't figure it out...anyway, enjoy.

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The Carousel

“We shouldn’t be here,” I whisper to Kyle.

“Don’t worry. Nothing’s going to happen. There haven’t been any incidents in months.” His easy tone only sets my nerves on edge more; he should be more concerned about what we’re doing.

Even with just the slight amount of moonlight filtering down through the trees around us, his easy smile lights up his face. I drink in his handsome features even as fear creeps throughout my body. Kyle’s dark hair hangs in soft lengths around his tan face while warm brown eyes the shade of chestnuts stare confidently back at me.

Our features are as different as you can get. Compared to his tan and dark looks I’m pale and light. I looked down at our entwined hands. Fair skin adorned with a smattering of freckles contrasts against his russet-colored skin. The wind picks up and wraps its chilly fingers around me, causing long strands of orange hair to wrap around my face.

Freeing my hand from his, I pull at the veils of hair obscuring my vision. Now is not the time to be thoughtless enough to let my eyes be covered. We’re already beyond reckless by just being out here. We need to keep vigilant of any movement there might be around us.

“There haven’t been any incidents because no one except you and your friends have been stupid enough to leave the boundaries of the district,” I finally reply. “We shouldn’t be out here.”

My heart hammers in my chest with each step we take that brings us farther and farther away from the safety of the district. How did I let Kyle talk me into this?

“Ease up, Penny. We’ll be back soon enough.”

“And we’ll have to sneak back in just like we had to sneak out. There’s a reason the guards are there, Kyle.”

I’ve never been outside the walls in my entire life, immediately I decide I hate it out here. All my senses are on high alert, just waiting for any sign of danger. Dead leaves cling to the branches and rustle in the chilly breeze. The noise is eerie and haunting in the silence that surrounded us. Even the snapping of small twigs under our own feet sends me shivering and searching the landscape around us.

“Yeah, to keep us locked in,” Kyle says, drawing my attention back to him and away from our surroundings.

“No. The guards are there to keep them out.”

“Well, that’s what we’ve got this for.” He shrugs his right shoulder, showing the tarnished axe he brought. It looks so heavy I doubt I’d even be able to lift it. Hopefully neither of us will need it.

“Come on, it’s just a little farther.”

“What is it anyway?” I ask. “What did you find? Not that I’m happy you went sneaking out with your friends.” Curiosity steals over me despite my fear.

“Kinda like we are?” He smiles.

“Be quiet,” I tease back. The tension that has been building inside of me slowly eases with each minute that passes safely by us, until a false sense of security wraps around me.

“Here…” Kyle says as we stopped in the middle of a clearing filled with all sorts of metal structures, “…is your surprise.”

He gives me a quick kiss before taking me with his free hand and guiding me over to something round and metal. It’s so big that both of us could have easily fit on it. Little bars of the same metal divided the large disc.

“What is it?”

I stare at the objects surrounding us. Beside the disk are structures that look like you could climb up and down them and something smooth and wide that twists from the top all the way down to the ground.

“I’m not sure, but it’s a lot of fun. Get on.”

I pause and glance around us one more time before stepping up onto the large disc.

“Hold on to the bars in front of you,” Kyle tells me. I do as he says and wait.

“Now what?” I ask. The ease that had been snaking its way through me is starting to disappear as I look around and see just how vulnerable we are, so far from the safety of the walls.

“This.” He sets his axe down on the ground and grabs hold of the bars behind me. “Hold on tight.”

“Wait. Should you put that down?” Worry creases my brown as I look from him to the axe to the area around us. We’re in some sort of clearing. All the metal structures around us are set in a wooden border and not far outside of that are trees upon trees that could hide any number of threats. Directly behind us, where we came from, rests the district and all the protection that I know it could provide. I desperately want to turn around and go back, but curiosity kept me rooted in place.

“Don’t be scared, little Penny,” Kyle whispers quietly in my ear. The heat of his breath lingers on my skin and warms me against the cold night. With a quick kiss on my cheek and another ‘Hold on tight’, he began pushing the round object I stand on.

Metal groans against metal as the disc slowly starts to spin. I grip the bars tighter as the structure turns in circles, bringing me along with it. Faster and faster Kyle pushes until it feels like I’m flying. Never before in my life have I gone so fast. The wind rushes past me, whipping my hair behind me in a frenzy.

A bubble of laughter bursts through me as I spin along with the revolving disc. Gradually, the structure starts to slow down, but the sounds of the metal groaning against itself increases. I slid off once it stops, ready to exclaim to Kyle just how amazing that had been.

Stepping off the disc, the world around me twists in an uncomfortable way and I fight to steady myself before looking up. Raising my head, I find Kyle wide-eyed and gripping his axe. Immediately, my laughter cuts off as I scan the area around us. There are dozens upon dozens of them, closing in on us. My heart beats out of my chest and I have to fight just to breathe. My head swims as I try to stop the still spinning world around me.

Slowly, everything stills and comes into horrible clarity. There aren’t as many as I first thought, but we’re still terribly outnumbered, with only one weapon. Their moans drifted over the air, chilling me to my bones. It wasn’t the sound of metal on metal that I heard groaning. It was them.

“Get behind me,” Kyle orders. He situates himself in front of me with his axe ready. Behind him or not, I wouldn’t be safe. They surrounded us completely. “I love you,” he whispers brokenly as if he knows it’s last thing he’ll say to me. “I’m so sorry, Penny.”

“I-I love you too,” I say. The words tremble in my throat, choking to come out.

Tension radiates off of Kyle, sending more fear running through me, as he grips his weapon tighter. Next to my foot rests a thick branch that I quickly pick up. I hold it clutched in my sweating hands, ready to swing at the undead that are quickly making their way to us. My heart beats fiercely in my chest with each stumbling step they take closer to us.

Decaying hands reach out towards us as bloody and rotted teeth flash in the moonlight. They sniff the air, searching for signs of fresh meat, while hunger haunts their vacant eyes. The sight of them alone is enough to send fear stabbing through the heart of anyone, but the smell that comes with them is a nightmare of its own.

I hold my breath as tears stream down my face. This is it. There’s no way we could make it out of this alive. Our own foolishness will make us victims to the undead.

They close in on us and Kyle strikes out with his axe, slicing off an arm that threatened to reach us, but there are too many. He hacks and chops at the horde around us while I swing blindly with my branch. It isn’t enough. With one last shove Kyle pushes me away from them.

“Run!” he yells as they bring him down, descending upon him like vultures. I let out a choking gasp of tears and fear, watching him disappear beneath the piles of the hungry dead.

Unsatisfied with just him, they turn to me. Fingers broken with bones sticking grotesquely out grab at me. Nails and bone alike dig into my flesh as they pull me to them. I shriek and jerk away, but they’re surprisingly strong and hold me tight.

I smash my branch against one only to have it break in half. The sting of a bite on my arm has me screaming in desperation and pain. I’m dead now. No matter what, I’m dead. Rancid teeth dig into my leg and then dozens of hands are pulling me down. A harsh and anguishing bite to my throat leaves me lying helplessly on the ground. I can’t even feel the pain anymore, my body blessedly numb. My eyes drift to the painful sight of Kyle, broken and bloody on the ground, before resting on the object of our demise. The metal disc glares back, unforgiving in the bleak moonlight. It mocks me with my own foolishness as the sounds of moaning fills my ears just before silence and darkness engulf me completely.



2 comments:

  1. its good, but i thought it was better before you named the danger, i think it would be more interesting if you had created and evil of your own, something new and unique. also, both of your shorts so far have been rather dark, or ended that way at least. not a bad thing, just and observation.

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  2. Oh well, I really wanted to do a zombie one so this is what came out. Also, I like being able to write dark or sad stories, they're kinda fun. I'll do happier ones I'm sure, but I enjoy writing these kinds too. Kinda twisted I know, but it's fun too.

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