Mikaela Davis – Deakin University
Why wasn’t she home yet? She was meant to be back two days ago which made me worry. Where was she? I made the decision to go to France and look for her, even though she said not to disturb her while she was away on business. I loved it that she wrote for such a prestigious publication. But what was this “up-and-comer” in business doing living out in the French countryside? I hoped she hadn’t left me—we were to be married in three months.
There was no sign of life at the up-and-comer’s house. I was brought up a long, gravel driveway, which was lined with trees that looked more like skeletons. Every now and again I heard an owl, or some kind of bird-of-the-night flapping its wings and taking off in the opposite direction. I stood there, praying that I had the wrong house. I mustered up my courage, grabbed the giant brass knocker and hit the door twice. Footsteps: my heart rate jumped. The door opened slowly and standing there was a tall woman in a sheer, white nightgown. Her facial features were akin to a porcelain doll and her eyes were a piercing blue. She was smiling softly at me, as if I was her lover. My eyes flicked down to her chest, where her blonde hair rested. I took note of her skinny legs. Her skin looked so soft…surely she wasn’t the up-and-comer.
“Mark, fiancé of Clare. Am I right?” she smiled with her red lipstick.
How could she possibly know this? I stood in a stunned silence.
“I’m Ella, the woman Clare was interviewing. I didn’t know we were expecting you.”
“Yes, I’m Mark. I’m here to see Clare as she was supposed to be home days ago,” I said sternly. “I’m here to take her home.”
Without saying a word, she took my bag and walked down the hallway, which was lit by only two candles. I followed reluctantly, but admired the quality of the Victorian rug beneath my feet. She took me up a winding staircase to the third level and led me to a small bedroom.
“Clare’s sleeping now but you can see her in the morning. You can have this room,” she touched my arm. “Goodnight Mark.”
The feeling of her touch on my arm lingered long after she left. It was if electricity was pulsing through my body.
I woke up to someone screaming. It was coming from below. The wails echoed off the walls and made it feel as though they were closing in on my bed. I felt claustrophobic, vulnerable. There was no light coming into the room and the darkness was harrowing. I think it was about three in the morning when it stopped. Finally, I could get some sleep.
I welcomed the light that woke me up. The sun shone through the glass window. Today was the day that I could see my Clare. I ventured downstairs in search of the dining room hoping for some food. Sitting in a lounge area was Ella, sipping tea violently and reading a book.
“Morning Mark. I’m sorry but Clare’s sick today and does not want to see you,” Ella said without turning around.
I was furious. What was going on here? Why wasn’t this woman letting my see my Clare? I exploded.
“Are you serious? Where is she? What’s going on?”
She laughed hysterically and waved me away. For some reason, I obeyed and went back up to my room. Perhaps some sunlight will clear my head. I went over to open the window but it wouldn’t budge. I pressed my forehead on the warm glass and lamented the fact that I may never see Clare again. I lay down on the bed and drifted off to sleep in the lukewarm sunlight.
When I woke up it was night again and rain was violently lashing against the windowpane. I heard a long moan coming again from below. Determined to find out what was going on I followed the sound down four floors to the basement. The howling was coming from behind the door and it was so loud that the door itself was rattling. I slowly opened the door and was shocked as to what I saw.
Clare was spread eagle on the table. The blood dripping off the table pooled in the cracks of the bluestone floor. Every now and again, she opened her mouth and let out the wail that had become so familiar to me. It was resonating through my bones. No one wants to hear their lover scream like she was.
I looked around the basement, which was set up like a cave. There was water running down from the walls and there were smaller holes for who knows what. I needed to get her out of here. I ran over to her body and tried to free her from the chains but I was propelled back onto the floor.
Ella had appeared out of nowhere, guarding Clare’s body.
“Get away!” she yelled in a growling voice, “SHE’S MINE.”
I watched in horror as Ella grabbed Clare’s leg and started devouring her flesh. Clare continued her high-pitched scream as the monster moved onto her upper body. Every now and again she would turn to me, flashing blood-stained teeth and revealing red eyes.
There was no way I could help Clare now, she was near dead, but I had to rid the world of this monstrosity. I grabbed a stone that was nearby and threw it at its head. It squealed and turned on me. The devilish creature was too quick and it grabbed my arm, scratching my skin red raw. I punched its face.
The combination of force and human connection must have provoked a reaction because it clawed at its neck. Blood was trickling from its temples and its skin started to consume itself. Bits of skin melted, some exploded but the some turned into dust. The un-dead was no more.
I ran over to Clare. I could see the blood physically pulsating out of her exposed arteries, she was almost gone. My tears mixed with her blood. I opened my mouth and gave her one last kiss on the lips, embracing her mouth in mine. Her saliva tasted so sweet.
Mikaela Davis is a first year Deakin University student studying literature and journalism. She attended Kardinia University College where she found a love for writing. In primary school, she had a poem published in a Write4Fun book. One day, she hopes to write a novel that is published worldwide.