Maybe If – A Gothic Tale

Thump. Thump. Thump.

My heart, a lion, continuously thumped against its cage, large beads of sweat, like tears, rolled down my deathly pale face. I clenched my moist hand so hard that my fingernails, that were grubby from searching around the house, began to leave small dents. I knew exactly what was there, around the next corner.

The putrid smell of thick blood lingered in the air, invading my nostrils like some kind of sickly poison. I could taste the iron, hear the sound of bones slowly and ever so painfully snapping in two. I tried to steady my breathing as I took a small step forward and curled my sweaty fingers around the bitter cold corner of the wall.

However, I knew, deep down in my heart, that nothing could ready me for what I saw next…

It was otherworldly.

There it was, in all of her disgusting glory. She had long white strands of ratty hair covering the sides of her face, the only distinct feature that could be picked out from the darkness was her unsettling, scarlet eyes. She was ghostly pale and was all skin and bones. A muddy brown dress covered her body, it seemed like something any woman would wear. On the other hand, that’s what made it utterly disturbing. She was wearing something a human would wear but this thing was far from human and more like an animal. The eerie thought sent chills down my spine and I had to tear my eyes away from her dress. So they drifted down to her feet.

Rested upon her disgustingly skinny ankles were plain, silver anklets and a total of four matching rings on her toes. Out of all the things, I thought her feet couldn’t be that bad, right? I was dreadfully wrong. They were vile, just like everything else about this monster. Instead of toenails, there were long, black claws growing out from her feet. They were stained in blood, almost as if she had kicked them into someone’s vital areas. Just the thought made my stomach feel weak.

Finally, I was pulled back to my senses by a… shrill scream?

Wait… no it can’t be. All this time? Hot tears ran down my face as I stumbled back and crashed onto the floor, clouds of dust arising around me, invading my lungs and making it harder to breathe than it already was. My lips were cracked, my mouth was dry and I was slowly shaking my head in disbelief.

This entire time some innocent person had been screaming for help, begging for mercy; slowly dying?

I couldn’t believe it. I quickly became disgusted with myself. I was standing here like a complete idiot whilst someone was getting their life forcefully ripped out of their hands. This situation is too much; I’m utterly horrified with everything about it. I finally brought myself to look at the victim, but that just made things worse. It always does.

The gruesome creature’s arms and hands were normal, at least the structure was. However, she had no fingers. Instead, just like her nasty toes, long, ridged claws sprouted from the stems of her fingers; a horrible red liquid dripping from each tip. They were all curled around a poor woman’s head, my own brown orbs widening in terror as hers began to roll back due to the pain she was enduring. However, before she died, she managed to utter a few words.

“You.” The woman growled with what little strength she had left. “I hope you burn in hell.”

The words hit me like icicles, leaving tiny, cold punctures in my heart.

Maybe if she hadn’t had said that, I wouldn’t have been frozen to the floor.

Maybe if she hadn’t had said that, I would have noticed the creature slowly make its way towards me.

Maybe if she hadn’t had said that, I wouldn’t have been torn into bloody pieces.

By Libby Thomas, 8KF