This post is not in my usual 55 word style. This story was inspired by the work of SGood Images, I hope you enjoy my first attempt at a slightly longer thriller fiction.
Valerie Naughton hasn’t been since in three weeks. She was seen last by her family in the afternoon of Boxing Day 26 December. Anyone with any information should call crimestoppers on…
No one had been in the house since she had vanished. They couldn’t bring themselves to face the memories held by her home. Memories of the sunshine flood lounge room, the orange tree in the backyard or the afternoons littered with tea cups.
Most of all they couldn’t bare to be faced with the uncertainty of her fate.
Oblivious to this we entered the ‘abandoned’ home, to our left a hall table; to our right a open suitcase full of old books. Turning right past the dust covered books, they entered the front lounge room. Pulling back the dark green curtain, light filled the room, highlighting just how much dust there was.
The tea cup and saucer on the coffee table and an open TV guide on the floor; we suddenly began to think the house was no longer abandoned.
Damien said we should go, but I was too far in now to turnaround. Fearfully he pleaded with me. You surely aren’t scared of a little dust?
The sounds of pots clambered in the kitchen.
Gripping his hand tightly, it was quite clear he wasn’t the only one who was scared.
Slowly we traced our steps backwards out of the room. With each step our heart rates dropped. Then just when we thought we were clear we fell backwards into the hallway, turning to see our feet entangled in the suitcase of old books like insects in a venus fly trap.
Then we saw him.
His fiercly wild eyes burning holes through us, racing across the hall like a angry spider to his prey. His skin was old and weathered, his clothing; filthy, torn and soiled.
Frantically we scrambled to our feet before racing down the hall.
‘Get out of my house, she wouldn’t want you here!’, the last words we heard before busting through the backdoor and into the yard.
‘Was that real’ Damien’s fear had transcended into something more.
‘Let’s go’ I said, not wanting to even entertain the thought of how pursuer. ‘We’ll jump the fence’
The grass was long, not thin like wheat fields but thick, like tentacles gripping at our legs. A few meters from the fence, we heard the door fly open. He was now carrying a large rusty kitchen knife, his face full of rage.
Then I saw her.
Her face was pale, in stark contrast to the dark green grass around her face and her eyes vacant, devoid of all emotion and life. In the middle of yard, her hands by her side; lying … alone.
I was caught but her gaze, I stopped and lifted her lifeless body to mine.
‘That’s not yours’ he said, all rage seemingly vanished from his voice, the knife falling from his hand. ‘That doll you’re holding was Valerie’s, I need it. It’s the last memory I have of her’.
Tears now running down his cheeks, he fell to his knees. I looked at the doll then back at the man collapsed helplessly on the lawn.
‘Come on. What are you doing?’ Damien’s voice came from over the fence.
I didn’t answer, I walked towards him with the doll outstretched in my arms like an offering. As I got closer, I could see his details. Mangey matted hair, his heavy beard and and overgrown yellow nails. His appearance disgusted me, but his love for ‘Valerie’ drew me in.
Taking the doll gently in his arms he drew it slowly in against his chest, wrapping his tweed jacket around it like a mother would her baby. Rocking back and forth he started to sing.
Hush little baby don’t you cry
Daddy’s going to sing you a lullaby…
My own eyes welling with tears, it was obvious whoever Valerie was, he loved her dear.
Hush little baby don’t you cry
I’m going to kill and tell you way…
I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly until he turned on his feet, the rusted blade in his hands once again. I tried to flee but it was too late, he had a handful of my hair and was leading me towards a door.
‘Help’ I screamed, ‘Damien!’
Hush little baby don’t you cream
Valerie is gone, having an eternal dream…
The fear took hold of me, had he killed Valerie? I could no longer speak, let alone scream.
Throwing me to the floor in the corner of a dark aluminium shed I struggled to look around. All I saw was his silhouetted figure at the door, the doll in one hand, his blade in the other.
Hush little baby I’ll make this quick
A slash across the throat will do the trick
Closing my eyes, I prayed for the first time in fifteen years.
Looking back now, it was stupid to enter a house just to snoop around in what we thought was an abandoned house. I know physically in was Damien who called the police and who climbed back over the fence but still to this day, I refuse to underestimate the power of prayer.
Arthur Long was sentenced to life imprisonment today for the Murder of Valerie Naughton. Mr Long had been bunkered in the victim’s home since initial police investigations had moved on. Mr Long nearly claimed his second victim when two teenagers stumbled across him while exploring what they thought was an abandoned home.