Here is the entry for 4th place in the flash fiction contest. Awesome Job, Heather!
“What are we doing here?” I looked at my watch. It was already a half past two in the morning. When Jude had asked me to meet him at the old grain warehouse I was skeptical. At first I believed he had planned something romantic, but upon arrival I knew he had something else planned.
“Shhh…” Jude pulled me into the building and down a dark hallway. The warehouse had been abandoned long ago and rumors had circulated that the place was haunted. These types of stories had always intrigued Jude more then they should, but I figured it had to do with his upbringing. His mother had been extremely religious and often would try to beat the fear of the word into her children. Jude left home at a young age and found his religion his own way, on the streets. When I met Jude he was working as an investigative reporter whom was on the verge of losing his losing his job over a newly discovered obsession with the undead.
“Jude this is crazy. I thought we were going to dinner. Come on. It’s freezing. I’m freezing.” I pulled my hand from his and stopped in the middle of the dark hallway. It was too dark to see Jude, but I knew he had turned around to face me. His hot breath met my own and we stood in silence for what felt like forever. “Please Jude. Talk to me.”
A cold hand brushed against my cheek sending shivers down my spine. The hand traced down my chin and to my neck. Cold fingers wrapped tightly around my neck and squeezed. I began to thrash against the unseen force choking me, but another hand reaffirmed the tight grip on my neck and before long I blacked out from the lack of oxygen. Jude wasn’t capable of doing such a heinous thing, but the warehouse had been quiet when we entered. Where had Jude wandered off? Was he hurt as well?
It was still dark when I came to. I was in another part of the warehouse. A soft light flickered into the room from under a doorway. Crawling to the door I laid on the floor, trying to look under to see into the next room. Jude sat on a chair. He was talking to someone, but I couldn’t see whom it was. They were arguing.
“I didn’t bring her here for you.” Jude was forceful in his words, but there was an underlying panic in his voice. He had to be talking about me, but who was he talking to and why did he assume I was meant for him and exactly what did he want to do with me?
A hissing voice came from the corner of the room, but still I saw no one. “Then why did you bring her?”
Jude cringed at the man’s words. He appeared frightened of the unseen man. “I brought her to try to make her understand.”
“Understand you aren’t crazy? What makes you think you aren’t boy?” Footsteps. Silence. Suddenly Jude was ripped from his chair, suspended in air, but there was no one. Nothing in front of him to the side or behind, what was going on? “I am not some carnival show you take your date to. I’m something you have nightmares about. I’m something you run away from.”
“But you said…” Jude sounded like he was being choked. Suddenly he was flung towards the door. I scrambled backwards just as Jude’s body made contact with the door. Unable to hold back a gasp I tried to feel the around the room for another wall, another door.
“It seems she’s awake boy. Take care of her or I will.” There was a shuffling of feet and the door creaked opened slowly. The soft light from the other room filtered into the room where I had been placed. Jude’s outline appeared in the door. He looked worn and frightened. Most of all he looked sad. I fell to the floor in a heap of tears and whimpering.
“Don’t cry.” In a few steps he was in front of me. He slunk to the floor and cupped my face in his hands. “Please darling, don’t cry.”
“Jude.” I whispered
“Shhhh…” His voice cracked and he choked back on tears. His hands were folded in his lap and he looked down at them, shaking his head. “I didn’t want this for you, but I have no choice.”
“Jude?” I reached out for him, but something grabbed my wrist. “Jude? Jude what is going on?”
Whatever had grabbed my hand was pulling me towards the room where Jude had been sitting. Thrashing and kicking only increased the invisible thing’s grasp on my wrist. Once inside the room the door slammed shut, Jude secured on the other side. His screams filtered through under the door. I found myself pinned to the floor by something heavy, something that felt like a human form, but I still couldn’t see anything, anyone, but I heard his voice. A dark, menacing, and cold voice.
“You’ll make a nice bride.” Cold hands wrapped around my neck, the same cold hands I had felt in the hallway when I had blacked out earlier. I was unable to fight back. As I began to fade into the darkness his form started to take shape on top of me. With one final breath he came completely into focus. His hand cupping my face, he placed a gentle kiss on my lips. “Welcome home my darling wife.”
It couldn’t be, but it was. “Darius…you’re dead. I buried you. Cried at your funeral. No. You’re dead. Dead.”
He smiled crookedly. “Now baby, so are you.”
Sorry for the delay, health issues slowed me down for a bit.