Writing Challenge

Opening line must be: He was terrified of small spaces and she knew.

He was terrified of small spaces and she knew. Yet their salvation was dependent upon them not being found within the tiny room hidden beneath the kitchen floor where their mother had put them. Her hand cupped across his mouth so any scream, should he part with one, wouldn’t give them away. Sweat poured from his brow onto her hand and he shook uncontrollably next to her in the darkness.

“Whatever you see, whatever you hear, do NOT make a sound!” her mother told them before closing the trapdoor.

Her brother was too young to know what was about to happen. His fear was born from his confinement within this small tiny space and somehow this gave her an ironic sense of comfort. Unfortunately she knew only too well the horrors that were about to descend upon her family home.

Within the darkness she pulled him to her, her hand still covering his mouth, as the sound of the kitchen door being forcefully broken open made them both jump. There followed the eerie sound of gurgled panting and slavering jowls combined with taloned claws prowling upon the wooden timbered floor. She closed her eyes tight, though in the darkness she was already unable to see.

The sound of gunshot widened her eyes as her brother threw his hands to his ears such was the loudness of the bang. It was followed by a loud thud as something large fell to the floor, undoubtedly as a result of the preceding shot. For a moment thereafter there was nothing but silence, save for the uncontrollable whimpers of blind terror coming from her still petrified bother. She slipped to her knees removing her hand that had steadfastly been held to his mouth and tried her best to comfort him.

“Sssh, hush now. We will soon be out of here,” she said. Even in her most optimistic thoughts she knew this was nothing but a reassuring lie.

Her words were short lived as an ear splitting screech filled the air that signalled the start of the hunt. Demon upon demon poured into the tiny kitchen, their claws scrabbling for purchase upon the smooth wooden floor. The sound of their guttural baying and slavering was only silenced by the intermittent bellow of another gunshot but there were too many of them.

Instinctively she covered her brother’s ears to shield him from the horror that was to follow. She herself repeated prayers her mother had told her when little in a vain attempt to drown out the sounds from above. The heartbreaking and gut wrenching screams of her dying mother forced tears to flow uncontrollably from her eyes as she fought back the instinctive urge to scream and run to her aid. There was nothing that could save her now.

The sound of another deafening screech rang out above; once more she placed her hand over her brother’s trembling lips to silence any screams. And with that they were gone. For a moment a solitary creature circled the kitchen directly above their heads sniffing the air, but it soon followed the pack as the hunt moved on. She waited for several moments before lifting the latch to the trapdoor allowing them to leave their hidden sanctuary. Alone amongst the corpses they clung to each other as if their very existence depended upon it. A few remnants of blood soaked cloth were all that remained of the woman that gave them life, the same woman that despite the fears of her youngest placed then from harm’s way and fought so bravely to protect them.

Now more than ever they had to be strong. Now it was just the two of them. The hunt of the previous year had taken their father, and this year their mother. Somehow they would have to find the guile and strength to make sure that upon its return, they would not be next.

Copyright: authorchrisbrown


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