Today is officially the greatest challenge I’ve faced in my writing challenge, for two reasons. Firstly, and minorly, I have work today. 7 hour close shift. Not too bad, I’ve dealt with it before. But I’ve also become addicted to a video game, and it’s really making me want to spend all my free time playing it. But that’s what this challenge is for, to learn to ignore distractions and churn out work. So, I managed to tear myself away from it to do some writing.
This isn’t a continuation of yesterday’s story. I started to work on that but hit a wall, so I switched it up and just started writing something else. When I get back from work today I’m going to continue yesterday’s story come hell or high water. But for now, enjoy a little story about an old favorite.
Writing Challenge Day 9, Part 1: Mary
By, E.W. Morrow
Word Count: 876
Christen’s hand trembled slightly as she flicked off the light. The only illumination left was the thin streak of light from the crack at the bottom of the door. Christen’s eyes took a few minutes to adjust to the dark and for each second of it she fought the urge to turn the lights back on. But if she did that, the others would see, and if the others saw then she would pay the penalty. Truth or dare was serious business to a thirteen year old, especially one who had only just been invited to her first sleep over since moving to a new town almost a year ago.
When she could just make out her reflection in the bathroom mirror she took a deep breath. The light creeping under the door was broken now which meant the other girls were huddled around the door, listening for her to begin. It was now or never. Christen looked straight at the mirror.
“Bloody Mary…” she began with a whisper. Her pulse was really thundering now. She took a deep breath before she continued.
“Bloody Mary…” Her voice was louder now but it trembled more. Just one more time and it would all be over. She could turn the light on and go back to her sleeping bag and eat popcorn with the others. Just once more
“Bloody…..Mary…” The last word came out as a croak which was swallowed by the silence. The silence stretched away for several seconds. Christen’s heartbeat was the only sound in the world.
The bathroom door gave a sudden, resounding THUMP and a cacophony of screams shattered the silence. Christen jumped and squealed in terror. Her feet, covered in thick, woolen socks, slipped out from under her as she lost her balance on the linoleum tile. She tumbled sideways and her forehead caught the edge of the sink on the way down. It was a glancing blow but it sent her world spinning and opened a gash along her brow. Her grunt of pain was masked by the continued sound of screaming which was steadily changing into the sound of laughter. A gruff, masculine voice called out somewhere on the other side of the door.
“Alright girls, it’s late. Why don’t you settle down?”
A chorus of apologies came from the trio of girls who had banged on the door and screamed. Melissa reached out and grabbed the handle to open the door and release Christen from the bathroom. The door jiggled but refused to turn all the way.
“Um, Christen. You wanna open the door?” Melissa tugged at the handle more vigorously but it wouldn’t budge.
“Come on,” trilled Melanie. “It was just a joke. Don’t lock yourself in there all night.”
Christen lay on the bathroom floor, hearing the calls of her friends but not entirely understanding them. The bathroom was still dark but lights flickered across her vision. Blood flowed across her forehead and through her hair. Slowly she tried to stand, faltering slightly before regaining her balance.
“Christen this isn’t funny,” called Melissa through the door. “Open up.”
“Maybe we scared her too much,” said Tiffany. “Maybe she died.”
“Shut up, Tiff,” snapped Melissa. “Open the door Christen. Come on!”
Christen didn’t say anything. She touched the trickle of blood now running down her face. With her clean hand she groped for the light switch. After a few seconds she found it and flipped it. Nothing happened. She gave it a few more flicks but met with similar failure. The white orbs of the light bulbs above the mirror stayed dark. Then, after another attempt, a few bulbs flickered to life. They began to wink on and off like a strobe light. She looked at her reflection in the mirror. The wound on her forehead had bled much more than she thought. Her face was covered in red over almost a third of it’s surface and her hair was a bloody mess. She leaned over to turn on the sink.
Her reflection reached out at the same time and grabbed her arm with a clammy, iron grip. Christen stared at her reflection in horror. A wave of blood was gushing from the wound on it’s head, flowing down the face, over the black orb eyes and into the twisted rictus grin. It pulled Christen closer to the mirror’s plane. The reflection laughed, spraying flecks of blood all over Christen. The drops sizzled when they met her flesh and she tried to scream but the reflection’s second hand reached out and clamped over her mouth.
Christen thrashed wildly, knocking toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes off the counter top and onto the floor. Slowly, steadily, and silently Christen was dragged into the mirror. A moment something that looked just like her stepped out. It looked at the mirror, at the form of Christen banging silently on the the other side, tears streaming down her face. Then it reached out and flicked the light switch off then back on again. Christen vanished and was replaced by the reflection’s reflection.
“Come on, Christen! Open the door!”
“Just a minute,” said the reflection. It was going to have to get used to the new name, but it had all the time in the world.