For prompt number two, I went for more of a horror theme, but hopefully with a twist you’re not expecting. Let me know what you think about the ending and if any of it was scary.
Looking forward to your thoughts. Please, enjoy.
A Modern Horror
Please, do this for me.
That was all the text read. After six years without contact, he sent me those five words and expected me to roll over. It’s not happening. Not now. Not like this.
“Isn’t there something we could do? Maybe get you to a doctor and -.”
We met in an abandoned apartment building he calls home. The two of us sit across from each other, staring over the stained coffee table. The only objects in the dingy room are our two chairs, the bottle of water he offered me upon arriving, and the gun he set between us.
“You don’t think I tried that already, Nicole? I’ve been to doctors around the globe.” His nostrils flare as he waves his arms around the brown walls to emphasize his travels. “ Tried spending time in a monastery. The monks who took me in are all dead now.”
There’s a pause. Neither of us want to speak. I have questions. God knows I have so many questions, but I can’t find my voice. Mom and Dad… I… We all thought he was dead. We had the funeral. Everything just settled in my life. I accepted that we would never know what really happened, and now… Well, I don’t know what to do about any of it.
“Are you sure that-?”
He doesn’t let me finish. “I killed them. I can remember their screams. Theirs were the worst. Voices that hadn’t been used in decades ripped right out of their chests. It’s like nothing else you will ever hear.”
I don’t remember bringing my hand to my face, but my fingertips are trembling on either sides of my lips. “Nathan…”
With two fingers, he presses the gun closer to me. “I know. I’m sorry it’s been so long and I wish we had more time for me to explain everything, but I can’t fight it much longer. I need you to put me out. You’re the only one who’ll do it.”
“No. No, I’m not going to shoot my own brother. How can you even ask me to do that?”
“You put your own husband behind bars, Nickie. You’re the one person I can trust to do the right thing now matter what.” His muddied eyes shine with unshed tears as he swipes the back of his hand under his nose. “I need you to do that now.”
“What happened with Rich has nothing to do with this. I had no choice.” My jaw is clenched hard enough to chip teeth. Nobody talks about that portion of my life. I don’t need this from the asshole who let us all believed he was dead.
His palm slams down on the table. “You had a choice on staying with the prick after he let those kids get away with -.”
“Before you start making claims, you need to understand that he was the one photographing everything. He let those boys take a girl into the locker room and do unspeakable things. I put him behind bars because I couldn’t look at him after that. I couldn’t trust that he wouldn’t let something equally awful happen to me or our daughter. He was no longer my husband.
“You, no matter how much you seem to think you’re a murderer, are still my brother. There’s still a way out of this. Just tell me what’s going on with you. I’m a lawyer, Nate. You’ll get time if you’re telling the truth about killing these monks, but I’ll get you a better deal than anybody else. I just need you to be honest with me.”
The short burst of laughter coming out of him isn’t sane, it’s barely human. “I did kill the monks, Nicole. All eleven on them. Then, three girls in Greece. A couple in Paris. I don’t remember who, but there was someone in the UK as well.” His eyes glaze over as he peers around the room. “After I hit the US again, I stopped counting.”
I hear stories like this all the time. Men who complain about voices in their heads before they go off the edge and slaughter their families. Once, a woman told me she couldn’t deal with her baby screaming, so she left it in the car until it stopped. Drug dealers caught for teens overdosing always claim it wasn’t their fault. Everybody gives me a sob story meant to save themselves from guilt and time behind bars. Nathan isn’t even trying to live anymore.
“Tell me why you did it. Why would you kill anyone?”
“He’s in control sometimes.”
Brief explanation. He’s losing patience in this. I glance down at the gun as his fingers drum across the table’s surface. Killing isn’t how I deal with anything. James from the PD should be waiting outside by now. We’ll do this by the law, or not at all.
“The pack leader.”
Okay. Maybe he’s in over his head. There’s a larger force involved. I can get him out on a more lenient term if he’s not the mastermind in twenty murders.
I don’t lean forward or even move position in case moving puts him even more on edge. “Who’s the pack leader?”
Tilting his chin to the side, he gives me a crooked grin. “He doesn’t really want you to know.”
“You’re going to have to tell me if you want me to get you out of this.”
Blowing out a sigh, he shrugs. “I’m going to die one way or another. Guess it doesn’t really matter if I tell you about him.”
I nod. It’s not exactly the kind of attitude I want from my brother, but it’s better than him fighting me every step of the way. Folding my hands on top of the table, I press my lips together and wait for him to tell me the story.
“I went to a party my first year in college. It was fun. Not worth it now that I look back on everything that’s happened, but I enjoyed it at the time.” It takes everything in my willpower to keep from rolling my eyes at the mundane details before the main event, but I let him keep telling his story without interruptions. “So, anyway, I found this cute chick who was super into me. We were flirting all night. It came down to the end of the party, she got me a drink, and we decided to go up to one of the rooms to … Well, you know.”
It’s nice to know my presence as older sister still makes him blush. “You went up to have sex with her?”
“Um, uh huh. I was hoping on having lots of it, but I barely made it up the stairs. She pushed me back on the mattress and everything started coming in and out. I remember her crying. All she would say is that she was sorry about something. I couldn’t understand, but she insisted that she had to do this for herself and that I would be okay. Then, some big dude came in.”
There’s a pause as he sucks in a deep breath and pulls off his scarf. Across the left side of his neck is a scar from just below his earlobe all the way to his collar. Filled with reds and purples, it’s definitely not anything he had the last time I saw him.
“What the hell happened to you?”
He lifts his shoulder in a haphazard shrug. “Guy bit me. The girl got to go free and I became the new member of his pack.”
“I don’t understand, Nathan. What pack?”
“What don’t you get, Nickie? I’m a werewolf, but it’s nothing like what they show in the movies. It’s just me and the pack leader. He stays young as long as he has a connection to somebody healthy and able bodied while I live with his thoughts constantly invading my mind.” His chest is heaving, his eyes unable to meet mine as he rushes through the rest of the explanation. “He makes me kill them and bring their bodies to his lair. If I resist, he screams until my skull rings and threatens to hurt more than the handful he’s selected for the sacrafice. I can’t do it anymore. I won’t have more blood on my hands. Please, Nickie, I’ve told you everything. Please, just shoot me, so I can end this.”
“Why haven’t you tricked somebody else into being the pack leader’s werewolf?”
His gaze flicks up to me. “What do you mean?”
“Well, the girl who originally seduced you was allowed to leave as long as your pack leader took you instead. Why didn’t you choose to do that same?”
A stiff chuckle bubbles out of his lips. “You know, I was too caught up with him and the changes to my body that I never thought there was such an easy solution.” The light in his eyes isn’t the gleeful thinking of the boy I used to know, it’s malicious, desperate. “You like helping people, don’t you, Nickie?”
The hair on the back of my neck stands up as a creak sounds behind me. James is going to finally make an appearance. We can finish this.
“I love you, Nathan. You know I want to help, but we need to take this to the police. That’s why I called -.”
There’s a thud. Turning over my shoulder, I cover the scream crawling up my throat. James. Face down. A large man fills the doorway.
I grab for the gun, but it’s no longer there. Nathan has it. He presses it to my skull and gives me the kind of smile actor’s use for psycopaths.
“I knew you’d want to help, big sis. This is your new pack leader. I’ll be sure to watch over my niece from here on out.” He pulls the trigger, the faint click of it making me flinch, as he chuckles and moves away. “I wasn’t really going to let you kill me, but I knew I had to keep you busy long enough to get him here. Have fun.”
Heart in my throat, stomach in my shoes, I watch his shadow melt into the door frame. There isn’t another chance to scream.