My Eyes Went Black

My Eyes Went Black ✓
Some things should stay buried.

Pale evening rays shone through the canopy overhead. Night’s approach coupled with the dense fog made it feel darker than it should have been.

Rachel squeezed my hand, “We should go back,” she said.

“Yeah, Blake,” I added, “it’s getting late. Let’s head back.”

“You scared, Pedro?” He smirked.

“I’m not scared, bro. I’m just saying leave it there and we’ll come back and get it tomorrow.”

Though I have no intentions of coming back for it.

“Come on guys,” Amy sighed, “relax a little. It won’t take that long to carry it back.”

“No,” Rachel said flatly. “I don’t wanna get lost out here because of some creepy ass box.”

I squeezed her hand, running my finger across her engagement ring.

“Don’t you guys at least wanna see what’s inside? We don’t have to take it back right now,” Blake said squatting over the box.

“Open it, babe,” Amy said. “It’s probably buried treasure.”

“It’ll still be here—”

The sound of Blake hitting the rusted, ancient-looking lock with a rock stopped me from finishing my sentence.

“There it is,” he smiled triumphantly, “let’s just have a peek inside,” he added, lifting the lid.

“Holy shit!” Amy exclaimed, jumping back.

A severed hand sat up in the box. Its fingers were twisted in every direction like crooked branches. The fingernails were cracked and peeling as though the hand was clawing at the inside of the box. The base where the rest of the forearm used to be connected to an arm was blacked by decay with maggots gnawing at the flesh. Cuts and gashes were all over the hand; the smell of rotting flesh began to fill the air.

Rachel turned away, still holding my hand, gagging in disgust.

I covered my nose with my free hand, “Are you happy now, Blake? Let’s get the hell out of here.”

As Blake was about to stand up, the hand’s thumb twitched.

“What the—” he began to say, but the hand shot out of the box and dug into his chest. Amy’s scream was deafening; Blake fell to his knees, his eyes wide with shock. The hand contorted, burrowing deeper into his chest as blood poured out of the wound like bloody waterfall. The sound of his bones cracking jolted me out of my frozen daze. I pulled Rachel’s hand and we both raced away from Blake’s fallen body.

Seconds later, Amy shrieked in pain, sending chills running down my spine. Overhead, crows violently flapped their wings and cawed before vanishing into thickening fog.

“Faster!” I yelled. Just then, Rachel tripped, stopping me dead in my tracks.

“Are you okay?” I panted, helping her up

She winced, “I think it’s just a scrape.”

I wiped the tears from her face, “Baby, we need to go.”

Rachel nodded and then froze. Her eyes suddenly grew wide, and she let out a scream that stopped my heart. Something was breathing down my neck.

I slowly turned around with every fiber in my being shaking like a leaf. I came face to face with something that resembled Blake. His eyes were empty, dark sockets; a black liquid poured out of his snarled mouth. I felt a sharp pain shooting through my heart. Blood streamed out from where his hand pierced my chest.

Falling to my knees, I turned my head and uttered, “Rachel, te amo. Run!” I shouted.

Then my eyes went black.

Short Story: Blood Bills

Blood Bills ✓

I recently wrote a short story entitled “Blood Bills” for a Wattpad Contest. I will be sharing the first part here; the completed story can be read over on Wattpad: https://w.tt/2ZWD8Yt

Part 1: Blood Bills

So this is it. Four years at La Universidad de Puerto Quintero and almost two years counting blood bills at Banco Capital, and it all comes to an end tomorrow.

My feet feel like their encased in concrete. Each step I take produces a vibration that shakes my whole body. Everything around me is veiled a blurry haze. The last words he said before walking away are drilling holes in my ear: I want my money, Sergio. Don’t be late.

But it’s not his fucking moneyI’m the one who risked my life to get it. All he had to do was be the friend I thought he was. Everyone ignores the dried blood on the money. I don’t know how they do it. But those red smears are proof that almost everyone in this fucking city is involved with that thing we like call illicit. I understand why Maria hates it; I hope she can find it in her heart to forgive me.

Gradually, the structure in front of me takes shape; I recognise that it’s my apartment building and go inside. Immediately, the scent of stale beer and cigarettes seeps into my lungs and follows me all the way to the third floor.

When I open my door, the rusty smell of blood hits me like a bullet to the head, reminding me of my daily post-work routine. I slide my shoes off, loosen my tie, secure all the locks, and drift towards the bedroom.

At least today is the last time I’ll have to do this.

I strip down to my boxers, walk over to the closet and pick up the towels soaking up the blood draining out of the metal safe. The first time I did this, I made the mistake of using white towels and had to burn them. Now, I only use black ones for this particular job.

I set the blood-damp towels onto another towel before spreading another one in front of the safe. Then I transfer bloody ones to the bathtub to soak them in warm water.

Next, I open the safe, remove the stacks of bleeding money, and set them on a clean towel. I rinse the bills in the sink, dry them off and return them to the safe. Finally, I put new towels down in front of the safe to sop up the blood.

Once I’m done, I take a shower in steaming hot water, hoping to wash away the sickly scent of blood that clings to me after handling that money.

If that fails, there’s always cologne, so Maria hopefully doesn’t smell it on me.

Afterwards, I pull on a pair of jeans, and the dark blue button-down shirt Maria bought me for my birthday. She said this colour goes well with my tan skin and makes my dark eyes shine. I’ve seen other girls’ gazes lingering on me when I’ve worn it in the past, so as usual, she must be right. Before heading out, I take one last look in the mirror.

I just have to hold it together until after supper. If this is our last night together, it should be a happy memory for her…mostly happy.

Breathe.

***

The salt-soak breeze coming off the waters of the sailboat-dotted harbour helps steady my crumbling nerves. A deep sigh escapes my mouth as I cross the street and walk up to Maria’s house. I ring the doorbell and wait. Soon the door swings open, and I’m greeted by Alberto Gómez.

“Sergio,” he says so coldly that I feel an icy draught shoot right through me.

Whenever I come over, his moustached face always looks wrinkled like he just smelled a steaming pile of shit. He also has this magical ability to look like a cop, even when he’s not in uniform. But as they say: fake it till you make it.

I put on my interview smile, and respond in a professional tone.

“Buenas tardes, Señor Gómez. How are you this evening?”

“I’ve been better.”

“Noted,” I nod. “Is Maria ready?”

“Not quite,” he says flatly. “You know how she likes to take her time.”

“Yes, I—”

“Ever since she was a little girl,” he interrupts, “Maria has always spent too much time on things that don’t matter.”

And by things, you mean me, I’m sure.

“Well, she’s a woman now,” I smile, “so it’s really her decision about the things she chooses to spend time on.”

“And by things you mean what, exactly?” his eyes flash with a hint of annoyance.

Whether or not she wants to undress me with more than just her eyes, you old fart.

I smirk. “Makeup. A woman like her doesn’t need any; I always remind her of that, sir.”

Alfredo’s face has a red glow to it like he knows what I was really thinking. But before he can respond, Maria appears wearing a short, yellow dress that makes my heart skip a beat.

“Ready!” she says before kissing her dad on the cheek and reaching for my hand. “Don’t wait up, Papá,” Maria adds. “We’re going to the movies after supper.”

“Buenas noches, Señor,” I say.

He responds with a growl as we walk away.

Further down the sidewalk, Maria squeezes my hand. “You shouldn’t tease him like that.”

I grin. “What makes you think I teased him?”

“Sergio, I’m serious,” she stops dead in her tracks.

“Amor,” I begin, “I didn’t say anything…this time. Your dad doesn’t like me; I’ve learned to live with that, and you should too. And I get it. As far as he’s concerned, no guy is good enough for you.”

“I’m sorry,” Maria says. “I just want him to like you.”

I lean down and plant a kiss on her soft lips. ” I know, and there’s nothing to be sorry about.”

Or rather, there’s nothing for you to be sorry about. 

Black Blood

The colour of someone’s blood determines the severity of their crime; the worse the person is, the darker their blood will be.

Dusk was drawing near when the coach stopped outside an inn. Mr. Ripley, the lone passenger, stepped out to have a word with the driver.

“Pardon me,” he began, “is this Willows Grove?”

“Melville,” replied the driver.

“Then why have we stopped?”

“There’s a fog rolling in—”

“And what of it?” Ripley interrupted.

“The road to Willows Grove is treacherous by day—I wouldn’t be caught dead on it at night—much less in a fog.”

“But we’ve already lost a day due to a broken wheel—”

“Deduct the lost time from my pay. But I’m not leaving here tonight,” he added flatly.

Annoyed, Ripley grabbed his briefcase and stormed off towards the inn. Inside, the innkeeper, Alden, offered Ripley some tea and bread. But before Alden turned to leave, Ripley inquired about the distance to Willows Grove.

“About three miles, as the crow flies,” Alden replied. “You’re not thinking of walking are yer?”

“I need to leave by dawn and return to the capital. So I must get there tonight.”

“Not to pry, but why the rush, Mr. Ripley, was it?”

“Yes. I need to see a Mr. Thorn—”

“Oh yes,” Alden interrupted, “is it about his aunt? Terrible business that—and over a necklace.”

“It was very unfortunate, indeed.”

“Her blood was crimson red, they said. I always knew her to be kind—”

“Would you mind giving me directions?”

“But it’s dangerous—”

Ripley trembled, “I’m aware….”

The fog had grown denser by the time Ripley reached the cemetery. But it was the quickest way to Mr. Thorn’s home. The tall gravestones looked ghostly in the heavy mists. And more than once, he was sure he heard screaming in the distance. So he hastened on and soon found himself at a crumbling Victorian-style house.

The gate groaned as he opened it. As he advanced, a crow cawed from a twisted tree in the yard. And in the attic window, a shadowy figure held a candle before receding into the darkness. Quivering, Ripley reached for the knocker. Shuffling sounds emanated from within before a ghastly man with bloodshot eyes opened the door.

“Mr…Thorn,” he stammered, “Ripley…the…solicitor—”

“Late,” Thorn replied in a deep voice. “Come in.”

Ripley cautiously entered, and Thorn led the way to a small study by the light of a single candle. In between stammers, Ripley explained what Thorn was to sign to inherit his aunt’s estate.

Thorn chuckled upon reaching the final page. “That bitch thought she could disinherit me because of some bastard—believing the word of a whore over her own blood.” Then he cut his finger on the edge of the page. “Hell!” he cursed.

A chill ran down Ripley’s spine; Thorn’s blood was dark grey.

Thorn snickered. “Pity you saw this—for now, you know, I had dear Aunt Katherine murdered.”

Ripley smirked. “I know. Her screams still haunt me.”

“What?” Thorn exclaimed in surprise.

Ripley pulled a dagger from his coat and cut his palm.

Thorn turned bone-white. Shuddering, he pointed at the blood, “It’s…it’s…pitch—”

“Black,” Ripley interrupted, before licking the blade.

There Were Crows

This was originally a short horror story that I wrote for my Instagram. It”s one of my favourites, so I thought I’d share it here as well.

I first saw her last week on a dark and dreary night. Her shadowy figure emerged from the ground under a street lamp, causing the light to flicker violently. There were crows perched on her shoulders. I’ll never forget the ear-splitting sound of their vicious cawing; it made my blood run cold.

And there I stood, frozen like the substance in my veins. She drifted towards me, her feet not touching the earth. I wanted to close my eyes, but fear kept them wide and open. Her face became visible, oh how I wish I had not seen it. It was deformed and decaying.

She had no eyes, only dead, hollow holes where eyes should have been. I tried to avert my gaze, but my head would not move. She was inches from my face when the world around me melted into absolute darkness. The air suddenly tasted rank and rotten, as if something was decomposing.

Above my head were hundreds of small orbs, each glowing a bloody red. The deathly smell overwhelmed me. My eyelids closed as my knees gave out. When I came to, I was under the flickering street lamp, my face pressed into the damp sidewalk.

I heard it again. That eerie cawing. A tremor ran through my body. I sprang to my feet, sweat dripping down my spine. I glanced up, and there, upon the street lamp was a single crow with burning red eyes. I sprinted away as fast as my feet would let me.

My hands trembled as I turned the lock on my front door. I stumbled inside, slamming the door behind me. Later that night, I lay in bed, tossing and turning, hoping for sleep. How wrong I was to desire it. When sleep finally came, it brought with it a horrible vision.

In the nightmare, I flew through the night sky, there was a constant cawing ringing in my ears, and the world looked red as if seen through bleeding eyes. I’ve seen the woman every night since. Whenever I close my eyes, I can feel her glare burning holes into my back.

She hovers outside my window, waiting for me to turn around. If I don’t, she floats through the wall and breathes down my neck with her putrid breath. And the moment I face her, she grins a toothless grin, and vanishes, leaving the sound of cawing crows in her wake.

Every day, I feel less like myself, less human. I’m now sure I can understand the crows when they caw. It’s as if our minds have become one.