I haven’t posted in years. What better way to come back than a writing challenge.
The Challenge? A thousand words, ten chapters, any genre.
I made it a little more difficult by keeping every chapter at 100 words.
So, this is what I did.
Darkness. I opened my eyes. More Darkness. Disoriented, I lifted my head. The room spun and I tried to spin with it, to move. I pulled myself up, unable to see anything before me. I felt around, hands reaching, searching. Finding first a wall, then a light switch. I flip it. Nothing happened. More searching. My head pounded from the hangover. My stomach lurched, it’s contents rolled, looking for escape. Dammit. I bent over, vomited. A little better now, I resumed my search for light. Finally, a door knob. I turned it, opened the door and was hit with a sledgehammer.
Light crashed into my eyes and continued on to shove pain throughout my brain. I recoiled, stifling the need to vomit and tried again to step through the door. Shielding my eyes, I made it out of the dark room and into a dirty kitchen. Plates, dishes, and moldy food strewn about. The sight of it, the smell, the food and mold. I vomited again. This time while bent over, I noticed I was wearing clothes I didn’t recognize as my own. And they were covered in blood.
Where the hell was I? What the hell had happened that night?
Holding the wall, I made my way through the kitchen to what I thought would be the front of the house. I didn’t recognize it. I’d never been here before. It was old and trashy and smelled of mildew. I needed to get out of here. Get home. Try to forget what I couldn’t remember.
I made my way through a small dining area, down a hallway and into a living room. A television played in a corner.
There was a dead girl in a recliner. I knew she was dead by the way her head sat in her lap.
The dead girl was naked. Blood leaked from the tattered remains of her neck down her legs. Her face was familiar to me, but only through the hazy glaze of alcohol. I’d been at the bar last night. She had been there too. The longer I looked at her, the more that came back. She’d invited us back to her house to continue partying. There were others there besides us.
I’d kissed her and then … and then nothing I couldn’t remember.
Someone had killed her. I was still in her house. That wasn’t a good combination. I turned to leave.
Matt stood in the door behind me. He’d been with me at the bar last night, my best friend, helping me celebrate my new job. He’d even bought me a t-shirt with a big thumbs up and “You the Man!” printed across the chest. Cheesy? Yes, but it was one of the bricks of our friendship.
I’d known him most of my life. He stood in the doorway and I didn’t recognize the look on his face.
“Oh, thank God,” I said. “I thought you’d left me here.”
He looked at me, but did not speak.
“Matt? What’s wrong?”
“Matt,” I repeated. He looked wrong somehow. He was very pale, but something else bothered me. “Are you okay?”
He just looked at me.
“Do you know what happened to this girl?” I asked. “Do you know why I have blood all over me?”
“Matt, dammit, what’s happening?”
He took a step toward me and mumbled something that I didn’t catch.
“What?” I asked. “Help me out here, Matt, I’ve fucking scared.”
“You weren’t supposed to wake up yet,” he said.
I finally saw what had been bothering me.
Matt was wearing my “You the Man” t-shirt.
“What the hell is going on here, Matt?” I said, my voice shaking.
“Why’d she bring us here if she didn’t want it?” he said. He was looking past me at the dead girl. “Why would she do that?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Matt? Did you do this?”
He continued as if I had not spoken. “She teased me and then she told me no. I thought it was a game, thought she was playing but when it was over. She started screaming, scratched me and …” He nodded toward the dead girl and drew his finger across his neck.
“Oh my God, Matt,” I said. I felt more vomit rising in me, but there was nothing left.
“It’s okay though,” he said. “We can make this all go away, can’t we?”
“Matt, I don’t know,” I said. “How the hell are we supposed to make this go away?”
“You’re a smart guy,” he said. “You’ll figure something out.”
“What the hell do you mean, ‘I’ll figure something out’?”
He didn’t say anything, just nodded toward me. Finally, all too late, my drunk fuzzed head put it all together. I was wearing Matt’s clothes covered in the dead girls blood.
Adrenaline filled me, dulling the pain and haze of the hangover. “You bastard.” I said.
“You slept with her,” he said. “You’re DNA is all over her. You’re already part of this. Why should we both go down, huh?”
I looked around. The girl had been a hoarder. Trash, cardboard boxes, and clothes were strewn about the room. But nothing I could use as a weapon.
“I figure it’ll be your word against mine, but in the end the evidence is on you … literally.” He grinned again as he lit a cigarette with his Zippo.
It gave me an idea.
I rushed him, pushed him against the door frame. I grabbed the Zippo, then kicked at him until he went down. There was a bottle half full of whatever shit whiskey we had drank last night sitting on the counter. I grabbed it and poured its contents out on Matt as he tried to climb back up.
I kicked him down again and flicked a flame from the Zippo.
“You burn me,” I said. “I burn you.” I dropped the flame.
As I rushed out of the house I could hear him stumbling through, lighting all her trash around him.