1. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

    Mar 3, 2013
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    Ralph's side of the island.

    Contest Winner! Congratulations to @kateamedeo - Contest #185 with "Whispers"

    Discussion in 'Monthly Short Story Contest Archives' started by GingerCoffee, Feb 22, 2016.

    Short Story Contest #185
    Theme: "Whisper" courtesy of @datahound2u

    Congratulations @kateamedeo for a thrilling psycho-killer story, Whispers.

    Whispers [1.657 words]

    Heavy raindrops fell from the tar-black sky and crashed into the windshield, hammering the roof of the car. The windshield wipers scrubbed the rain off of the glass, allowing the driver to see the narrow dark road up ahead. Occasional lights from the neon signs of local businesses and rare lampposts blurred behind the grey water curtain. Helen drove slowly, both hands on the steering wheel, fingers wrapped tightly around the faux leather upholstery.

    Far away in the distance, a flash of lightning cut the graphite sky, the roar of thunder joining the quiet voice of David Byrne on the radio.

    I can't seem to face up to the facts... I'm tense and nervous and I can't relax...

    Helen stopped at a stop sign, her dark blue Ford the only car on the road. The sign of a local video rental went off, melting into the surrounding darkness.

    She looked left and right, making sure there were no other cars, and pressed the gas pedal. The car slowly moved onwards. The sign on the left side of the road read ‘Somerset Bridge 500 m’. She didn’t want to take the bridge, not this one, not any other. It reminded her of Joe. It wasn’t just this particular bridge. Any bridge brought on the painful memories. It’s never easy to lose a brother, especially when he chooses to go in such a way.

    Her phone rang inside the handbag, which she’d carelessly thrown onto the passenger seat when getting into the car. Eyes on the road, she reached into the bag with one hand, trying to get the squealing thing.

    ‘Shit,’ she cursed. Why did they have to make women’s bags so damn capacious, one could never find anything in them when she needed to. The phone blared louder.

    Finally, Helen managed to get it out. Richard’s smiling face stared at her from the screen. Can’t he do anything without her? She’d even left him a note on the fridge with step by step instructions about what to put inside where and how many minutes it takes to warm it. Sheesh, at times, men are worse than children, she thought.

    As she tried to slide the answer button with her thumb, an inner feeling - call it intuition - made her look back onto the road up ahead, which now curved to the right. Dropping the phone, Helen jerked the wheel all the way to her right, barely managing to stay on the asphalt and to avoid a straight-on collision with an old oak.

    The last thing she wanted was to stop on a deserted road in the middle of the night. How many horrible urban legends had she heard, some of them must’ve been real, right?

    But as she felt her heartbeat all the way up in her throat, her foot involuntarily slammed the brake pedal, forcing the car into a full stop. She sat there, motionless, for a couple of seconds and then with a sigh lowered her head onto her hands, which were still tightly latched onto the steering wheel.

    The phone was still ringing from somewhere under the passenger seat. Then it went silent. The music on the radio was accompanied by the heavy rainfall.

    I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire... Don't touch me I'm a real live wire...

    Helen lifted her head and through the fast wipes of the windshield wipers saw the bony skeleton of the bridge up ahead. As she looked deeper into the darkness, her heart shrunk to the size of a pea.
    There was a silhouette of a man on the sidewalk of the bridge. Her fingers dug deeper into the upholstery of the wheel. What was he doing there?

    The man grabbed onto the railing and then put one foot on top of it, soon followed by the other one. He stood up, holding onto one of the beams which supported the bridge and, when she already feared the inevitable would happen, he turned his head to face her.

    She could not see his face, the headlights of the car leaving him out of their gaze. A voice deep inside her screamed, ‘It can’t be real! This isn’t happening! Not again!’

    A giant wave of memories came crashing came crashing down on her, drowning her in the ice-cold sense of guilt. If only she would’ve paid attention to his call that day, if only she would’ve heard it in his voice...

    Everything that followed happened in an instant. She found herself outside in the freezing rain, moving towards the man, who now was looking into the dark void in front of him.

    ‘STOP!’ she screamed, her voice joining the hissing downpour and the quiet sounds of music coming from the car.

    Psycho Killer... Qu'est-ce que c'est...

    She saw him teeter but his hand was still grabbing onto the support beam, keeping him on the railing.

    ‘Please, stop!’ her heart skipped a beat as she saw him still there, still holding on.

    The man turned his head back toward her. She could not see his face but she could feel him staring at her.

    ‘I...’ she stuttered, ‘I can help, let me help you,’ she pleaded.

    The man continued staring. Her nerves were at an edge, as she kept guessing the outcome of this cruel game of faith.

    ‘No one can help,’ she heard him say, his voice deep like that of a Jaz singer. Strangely enough, it sounded calm, somewhat determined. These notes of determination were the ones that she feared.

    As she moved closer, one step at a time, blinking off the heavy raindrops off of her eyelashes, she kept one arm outstretched as if she could've caught him if he were to suddenly jump.

    ‘I can try. Tell me what can I do to make it better, and we will try to sort everything out together. Me and you,’ she spoke, some part of her pretending she was speaking to her baby brother, guessing how she would’ve spoken to him, what she would’ve said to change his mind and keep him away from taking that step.

    ‘Please, don’t do this,’ she was almost begging, now just a couple of meters away from the man. Just a little bit more and she would be able to touch him, if that could do any good.

    ‘You would want me to jump if you knew,’ he said in his calm voice and then added as if they were having a casual conversation, ‘trust me.’

    ‘It doesn’t matter, nothing matters. Anything you did, it does not matter anymore,’ she felt that she was starting to babble.

    ‘Please, give me your hand,’ she was so close. Helen did not feel the cold or the rain on her skin, nor that it had soaked through the thin blouse and jeans.

    ‘A call,’ the man said.

    ‘A call?’ she asked him.

    ‘Could you call someone for me?’ the man asked her casually as if he was asking her a simple friendly favour.

    ‘Sure, yes, yes,’ she started searching through the pockets of her jeans only to remember that she’d left the phone in the car.

    ‘My phone is in the car. I just need to go get it. If you got off we could both go and get it and then call whoever you want,’ she smiled, her eyebrows arching all the way up high onto the forehead, her nerves so tight her face muscles were aching.

    ‘No,’ he said and turned his head to face the river rushing below his feet.

    ‘Okay, okay, all right,’ she put both hand in front of her as if that would prevent him from taking that one step too far, and backed away a couple of steps.

    ‘I’ll just go to my car and call whomever it is you want. Can you tell me the number?’

    ‘77879345439,’ the man said, staring down at his feet.

    ‘Aa,’ she stretched the sound, angry with herself. ‘Could you say that again,’ she shifted from one leg to the other, feeling as panic was starting to take over.

    ‘77879345439,’ the man called the numbers as Helen quietly repeated every one of them.

    ‘All right, I’ll be right back. Just stay here, don’t...’ she didn’t finish the sentence. What was she supposed to say, don’t jump? ‘Just don't do anything foolish. Okay?’ her hand made a movement, first pointing the index finger and then withdrawing the hand into a fist.

    She ran back to the car, turning around twice to make sure the man was still on the railing, every time fearing that she won’t see him there, all the while chanting the phone number to herself.
    She’d left the car door open, the radio was still on.

    You start a conversation you can't even finish it... You're talkin' a lot, but you're not sayin' anything...

    Helen dived over the driver’s seat and fished for the phone under the passenger’s seat, ‘Shit, oh shit, shit...’

    Her hands were trembling as she finally got a hold of it. Two happy faces, a little girl and a man, stared back at her from the bright display.

    Psycho Killer... Qu'est-ce que c'est... fa fa fa ...

    ‘778793...’ she repeated the numbers as she dialled them. She put the phone to her ear and waited for a voice but instead all that she heard was a short signal before the connection was cut off. The phone was either off or it did not exist...

    As the thought crept over her she felt someone’s hand clasp over her mouth and something sharp run all the way across her throat, cutting deep into her skin. She could feel his warm breath on her ear as he whispered in the same calm, deep voice of a Jaz singer - so softly, so quietly - ‘I told you that if you knew you’d wish I did jump.’

    Run, run, run, run, run, run, run away...
    Indarican likes this.
  2. Indarican

    Indarican Member

    Mar 14, 2016
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    @kateamedeo Great story!!!!! Congrats on the win!!!
    kateamedeo and GingerCoffee like this.
  3. kateamedeo

    kateamedeo Active Member

    Dec 27, 2015
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    Cornwall, UK
    Thank you! :)
  4. Ex Leper

    Ex Leper Member

    Jul 25, 2008
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    I have some news I would like to share concerning my entry into this competition. It has been picked up by a publisher and will be published in issue 45 of Sanitarium magazine. Thank you for the inspiration :)
    A man called Valance, Okon and BruceA like this.

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