I wrote this for Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Stolen Titles (Stephen King Edition).
I don’t want to ruin this story with a posting of “The End” at… the end… followed by a posting of “Hey, I do the twitter and facebook. So follow! Join my mailing list if you are diggin’ my junk.”
So… there, that was it.
Promoting myself taken care of, I present to you…
The Dark Half
It felt good to have her lithe figure wrapped in my arms. It felt good to be with her… distant thunder interrupted… no matter how fleetingly.
I opened my eyes to the sight of a powerful storm growing over the ocean. I sighed. The impending weather meant an early trip back to the cave and that meant seeing them.
It was pointless to dwell on it. It would be my life for the foreseeable future. It had been my life for… a month, at least. I didn’t have the clearest idea of how long I had been stranded. I attempted to keep a count of the days but that had proven a futile effort.
To aid my attempt at standing, I pressed my hand into the sand. That is what I intended at least. Instead I fell on my side due to my attempt as using an arm that was no longer there.
I had yet to accustom myself to its absence. I hoped that it would be regrown before I had the chance to do so. That prospect wasn’t promising as its progress was beginning to slow. It had only managed to regenerate to a point just above the elbow since my having lost it.
Rather, since it had been taken. That damned boy.
I helped myself up with my good arm and walked haggardly to the jungle.
As I made my way toward my dwelling, I reprimanded myself for my damnation of the boy. I couldn’t blame him. All of the fault was with me.
Still, he had been almost as much of a pain to me as his father had. I suppose that still paled in comparison to the troubles my own father had put me through.
I laughed, taking pleasure in the simple thought that the boy had caused my father pain as well. It easily made up for all that I was made to suffer because of the little demon.
“Weiss, wherever you have made it to, I wish you the best!” I made a regular point of speaking aloud, with positive intonation, as an exercise in sanity. Not to myself, of course. Never to myself.
I stepped into the dreaded clearing and out from the workings of my mind. Of course they were waiting for me. This time they sat at a makeshift table, three of them, playing a game of cards with leaves serving as stand-ins.
He was clearly getting bored. The scene depicted before me spoke. It said that his heart wasn’t in it. He was going through the motions, as did I.
Ignoring what was left of their faces, artificially fixed into macabre expressions of joy, I prepared a fire for their disposal. Once the fire was strong enough, I fed them to it.
I had tried burying them, but he would just dig them up for repeated use. Even now, he found plenty of bodies to place in his displays. There had been many people on the airship after all.
The smell of cooking corpse called out to me. My stomach answered. There was little to eat on this damned island. Still, I wasn’t hungry enough to succumb to the temptations of rotting flesh the way he so gladly did. The bodies always lacked select strips of meat and bite marks were occasionally visible on their bones.
Dark was falling as I finished my work on their pyre. Whether it was due to night’s approach or the storm’s, I couldn’t be bothered to discern.
As rain began its descent, I looked through the hole in the treetops that the clearing provided. It’s mist found my face and I opened my mouth to drink what little I could of fresh water. My barrels would collect more, but to have it before it met the taint of this wretched place was another simple pleasure.
Once satisfied, I made my way into the cave, navigating it by feel rather than sight. I preferred this method, as opposed to torch. I didn’t have it in me to read what new threats and insults he had etched into the walls during my absence.
Not that I was particularly bothered by his words. One thing my father had given me growing up was a high tolerance for abuse, be it physical or emotional. No, I was simply too tired for it. I was always tired.
I lay myself down across my beds, joined by their length. All of the airship’s beds had been too short for me but their salvaged remains were welcome nonetheless.
I shifted and felt a round something roll into the bed’s indentation, made by my body. It felt cool against my skin. I picked it up and sighed. A skull by its shape. Mostly skull, I suppose. Some flesh still clung to it. I tossed it from the bed and returned my efforts to rest.
The rain focused its efforts as well, pouring heavily. Its breaking of the cave’s usual silence was appreciated. It drowned my thoughts and gave me a hope that, perhaps, he would opt to forego his twisted antics tonight. Just maybe, for one night, my father wouldn’t use our body.