Our next story comes from a writer who is well known to many. His dark and creepy tales have a nasty habit of staying with you long after the story is over.
I'm a big fan of Angel's work. His poetry and stories are ubiquitous online and in print. Every single piece of his satisfies with solid, meticulous writing that sucks the reader in, and doesn't let go until the screaming is done.
Recently, Angel announced a new writing collection of his own. 5 x 5 Fiction asked writers to tell stories in five sentences, with five words to each sentence. The first collection is due out soon. Keep an eye on the 5 x 5 page for more details.
Without further prologue, here is "Mad Dash."
They had been talking about voicing one’s needs.
“Speaking of voices,” Shirley rolled up her sleeves and showed Dash the row of scars on each forearm. “I feed them blood. It’s the only way to shut them up.”
She had just come back into the living room from the kitchen. Dinner had been great. Two glasses of wine later, she said she had something to show him.
What the fuck? Dash was on the couch. He nervously played with his tie. “Uh, it’s getting late. Maybe we should call it a night. I’ll… call you. Okay?”
Shirley leapt over the coffee table and straddled him. “Wait!” Her hands were on his face. “Listen.”
Dash strained his ears, but couldn’t hear a damn thing except for his own erratic heartbeat.
It was their third date. When Shirley had agreed to come back to his place he was sure they were going to do ‘the deed.’
Boy was he wrong.
They had met at work. She was training as a cashier. Dash was mopping up a spill at aisle five when he spotted her. She was gorgeous; short blond hair, blue eyes and legs that went on forever. They made eye contact and she smiled. There was something about her that was so familiar. The next night they went out for coffee.
Who would have thought the chick was a psycho? Dash pried her hands loose and examined her arms. “Did you do this to yourself?”
“Yes,” she bit her bottom lip, “one for each voice.”
“You do know how nuts this sounds, right?” Dash clenched his jaw. “Please get off of me.”
She bowed her head and a single tear fell on Dash’s shirt pocket. “I thought you’d understand.” She slid off his body and fell to her knees.
Dash rose and made his way to the front door. Hurting other people he could understand. But hurting yourself? “How do you figure that?”
“Because Dybbuk told me.”
Dash froze. How the hell does she know about you? “What did you say?” He faced her again.
She looked up from the floor. “Dybbuk told me.”
“I don’t know who you’re talking about.”
“Of course you do.” She hiked her skirt up and exposed a milky-white thigh. “See?” Blood was oozing from a freshly bandaged wound. “He’s grown quiet now.”
Impossible, Dash thought.
“Nothing is impossible,” he heard Dybbuk whisper in his head. “Can’t you see them?”
Dash focused his eyes on Shirley. She peeled the bandage off and licked it. In the dim light of the room, he could see dark shapes flicker behind her. One of them had horns and fangs. He’d have to do something about that.
“You ever see who these voices belong to?” Dash asked. There were so many sharp items in the room; he didn’t know which one to use on her first.
“Tonight was the first time.” She was laughing, pointing all around room. “Look at all the women you’ve killed. We’re all here with you.”
That’s why she seemed so familiar.
There was a mirror on the wall above the loveseat. Dash stared at his reflection. Behind him, the room was empty. He adjusted his tie and winked. Dybbuk winked back.
Shirley’s bones lay still beneath the house.
“So how do you want to spend the rest of the night, Shirley?” He stretched out his scarified arms.
Shirley slid cold arms around his waist. “Let’s do something totally crazy.”
Angel Zapata is the author of The Man of Shadows, a horror short story collection released by Panic Press and available on Amazon.