Serial Saturday – [Horror] Die, Blossom, Bloom#18

Another week already! my last couple of weeks have been a bit crazy, with building work happening at my house (see previous post). I’ve even had to resort to writing with pen and paper #oldschool.

But today, we pride on with my horror novella, Die, Blossom, Bloom. Last time, our protagonist, TED HARRIS, was faced with a question that he had no wish to answer, but knew that he would be faced with eventually. The story reaches its climax today.

If you want to catch up on last time you can do so HERE or you can read part one HERE.

On to the penultimate part:

Throwing the spade out of the hole, now almost waist deep, Ted took one last look at his rig.  The wooden pegs that turned up the tarpaulin and held the soil in place creaked under the weight, but they stood firm.  Each peg had a cord running from it, collected together in the centre of the hole.  He was forced to get a knee on the grass to climb out of the hole.  When he was out, he lay on his back looking up at the fading light.  Mrs Butler-Thompson had not been specific about her return time, but it wouldn’t be long.

Climbing to his feet he did one last check of the stakes that raised the back of the tarp.  Cut from sturdy blocks of wood, they seemed solid. He walked around the rig, giving each stake a small tap with his foot.  Satisfied, Ted went inside to shower.

The water was hot, and he leaned against the wall, letting it flow over his face.  He wept as he contemplated what he had to do.  His choices were limited, he argued, none of them being ideal.  As he towelled himself dry, he looked at himself in the mirror, glancing to the photo of him and Sissy that was mounted on the bathroom wall.  The photograph had been taken on holiday, Ted couldn’t remember where.  They were on a beach and he had wrapped his wife in a towel and picked her up.  There were no signs of grey in their hair, and his physique was muscular and tanned.  They looked happy.

He moved into the bedroom and dressed.  He wore his pressed trousers and yellow shirt, buttoning the cuffs at his wrists. He selected a red tie and fastened it tight to his throat.  His suit jacket hung on the back of the cupboard, and he picked it off the peg. Shrugging his shoulders, he slipped it on and fastened the two buttons.  Downstairs he slipped his smart shoes on and gave them a quick once-over with the polish.  The last thing was his hair, which he combed until he was satisfied with it.

He moved into the kitchen and boiled the kettle.  Filling the floral-design teapot, he sat down at the table and rotated the pot away from him. He sat staring at it for a while before reaching for it and slowly turning it round, so the handle faced him. He let his hand linger on the pot for a moment, while he looked at a picture of Sissy that he had placed on the table.  He took out the white handkerchief that was in his top pocket and wiped his eyes, before neatly folding it and placing it back in his pocket.  He poured two cups of tea, pushing one across the table.

As Ted sipped the tea, he watched the last vestiges of daylight slip away, the sky turning a vivid red as the sun sank below the horizon.  When he had finished his drink, he picked up the photo frame and removed the back, sliding the picture out.  He put it in his pocket and went to the back door.

He went outside to his shed and found his garden knife.  He had recently fitted a new blade, which he extended.  He touched a finger to the end, drawing blood.  He slipped the knife into his pocket and walked round to the front garden to wait for Mrs Butler-Thompson.

She was already approaching his gate as he came from the back of his cottage.  Without waiting to be asked, she pushed the gate open and came into his garden.  “Well?”

Ted suddenly felt very tired and very old.  He had kept Sissy’s secret for two years, and it was getting heavier.  Jordan had been the tipping point when he realised he needed to take action, and his choices had led him to this point.  He would never have believed he was capable of what he was about to do, but something had hardened inside him, and he was no longer sure what he was and wasn’t capable of.  “Mrs Butler-Thompson.”

She looked him up and down, taking in his smart attire.  “Going somewhere?”

Ted ignored the question. “Would you please accompany me into the back garden?”  He shambled back the way he had come, not waiting to see if she would follow.  She did.

Ted stood at one of the corners of his hole, Mrs Butler-Thompson facing him.  She stared at him, hands on hips.  “Do you know what happened to Jordan?  Yes or no?”  Her question was to the point.  He had expected nothing less.

“Yes, I do.”  He hung his head and spoke quietly.

Mrs Butler-Thompson took a step towards him.  “Just tell me, is he dead?”

Ted lifted his head and looked at her.  “Yes.”

She let out a sob and fell to her knees.  He moved to help her up, but she swatted his hands away.  She looked up at him, crying now.  “Did you have anything to do with it?”

Stepping back, Ted took a deep breath.  “Yes, I’m afraid I did.”  He was struggling to keep from crying himself.  “I didn’t intend for it to happen.”  He began sobbing as he continued.  “He found out about my wife and was going to tell you.  I couldn’t let that happen.”

She wiped her eyes. “Where is he?”

“In there.”  Ted pointed to the shed.  “It’s not locked.”

This time she accepted the offered hand and climbed to her feet.  She moved over to the shed with faltering steps and reached for the door, pausing before grasping the handle.  Ted stood in silence watching the woman pull the door open.  She stood in the doorway, peering in.  Now in darkness, there was little that could be seen inside the shed.

“The light is on your left,” Ted offered, almost apologetically.

Mrs Butler-Thompson fumbled for the light switch and flicked it on.  There was a pause.  “Where is he?”

“In the bags.”

She backed out of the door, without saying a word.  Both hands covered her mouth.  She turned to Ted and spoke, almost inaudibly.  “What did you do? Oh my God, what did you do?”  The scant light from the kitchen window illuminated the trembling woman.

“I killed my wife and I killed your grandson, and I’m sorry.”  He was still crying.  “My wife is in there.”  He pointed to the compost bin.  “Was in there, at least.”

Mrs Butler-Thompson looked at Ted, then at the open shed, then back to Ted.  He stood, hands clasped in front of him.  “Oh my god,” was all she could manage.

“It’s not what you think–”

“I think it’s exactly what I think.”  She had managed to gather herself, and she moved towards the front of the house, never taking her eyes off Ted, who made no move to follow her.  “I’m going to get the police.  Oh my God,” she said as she hurried out of sight towards the front garden.

Ted waited to hear the gate bang shut before he moved.  He took the photo of his wife out of his pocket and caressed her face with his fingers. With his other hand, he pulled out his knife.  After a moment, he returned the picture to his jacket and slid his sleeves up, unbuttoning the cuffs on his shirt.  He dragged the knife down his forearm, elbow to wrist.

Bright red blood began to pump out, spraying across the garden.  He repeated the process on the other arm, before stumbling into the hole he had dug.  Lying down, he took a hold of the tangle of cords and held it in both hands.  “I’m so sorry,” he said and yanked the bundle of cords up towards his face.  The wooden pegs holding the soil back snapped away, and the earth began to tumble back into the hole, filling it up.

3 thoughts on “Serial Saturday – [Horror] Die, Blossom, Bloom#18

    1. Bit sad. I think some people would have liked someone else to end up in the hole! Next week is the last part. You can read the whole thing for free by clicking the image on the right of this page.


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