Another partner writing experience …

The autumn colours hide the tragedy. The dry leaves blew along the ground under the trees. Nobody will find the body. The brown, red and yellow leaves hid a macabre secret. The wind blew gently. There were more than enough leaves to cover the evidence, I was sure. Once the winter snow fell, all signs would be covered. When the spring comes, I’ll be gone.

It was a bizarre chance meeting. They seemed on the surface to have nothing in common. I wasn't even supposed to have been there. I took a wrong turn and got lost. I needed directions. When I discovered the old house, I was glad. Night was closing in fast. Though there a strong feeling of danger in the pit of my stomach, it wasn’t strong enough to make me keep going. My mistake!

I knocked on the door and, after a while, I heard footsteps inside the house. The footsteps were heavy as if walking was a labour. They were slightly uneven. As the door swung open, I began to regret stopping here. Before me was a deformed creature who had had his whole body and face rearranged into a grotesque looking being. “Help me. Help me,” he whispered to me hoarsely. “There is a nasty ruler of this house keeping me hostage.”
“But I was coming to you for help.”
“Perhaps we could assist each other,” he said smiling awkwardly, showing where his teeth were missing.
In spite of his looks, I didn’t think he would hurt me. It wasn’t him I had to worry about. But I didn’t know that.

I followed him inside. He warned me to be very quiet. There was so little light down the hall, I hoped I wouldn't trip or step on something. Anything could be possible here, I fear. Suddenly, a loud voice boomed from a back room. It was cruel and insistent. I jumped and almost knocked my guide into the wall. He grabbed my arm and opening a door pushed me into a small room, closing it behind him. It was pitch black! I stifled my urge to scream. Dare I try the door handle? Or maybe it was safer to just wait? How long might that be? My question was answered by the loud voice getting closer. I couldn’t feel anything to hide behind. I was frozen with fear. There was a sound of blows rendered upon the fellow who had let me in. I knew that it was him as he tried to stifle his groans. Was I next? What could I do? Was this beating because of me? Then it stopped.

I stumbled in the dark and discovered a disused fireplace. There were tools beside it, heavy tools. As the door opened, I shimmied up into the fireplace hoping I could hold my weight there without being noticed. I stayed in that sooty space holding on and holding my breath. Just as I was sure I’d pass out, the door closed again. My guide must have been kicked as the aggressor went back towards the other room. That confirmed that they were not lurking in this room. His shouting voice became more muffled as he disappeared to a distant room. I slid down from the fireplace. I was trembling all over. I transferred a heavy fireplace tool out of the rack and swapped it to my right hand.

I snuck out of the room. I could barely see his hulk lying on the floor. I tiptoed to his immobile form, holding my breath afraid that to breathe would inform the other entity who haunted this man. As I knelt beside him, the blood trickled from his eye. Coming to this place was a bad mistake! I wanted to leave this creepy place. I could just run but he had taken that beating for me. He was a victim and needed more help than me. Was he even alive? He groaned which gave me relief, though part of me wondered if he wouldn't be better off dead. Gripping my weapon, I resolutely determined to my own sense of morality I could not leave. I began to stalk my prey in hopes that I could disable him quickly, so I could call for help. I did remember we were a long way from anywhere. I wouldn't even know what address to give anyone. That was a very chilling thought.

My guide groaned behind me. I heard some strange scuffles from the room ahead of me and I shakily began to creep towards the nasty piece of work responsible for the battered body now behind me. I gripped my weapon tighter determined to avenge my guide. I paused outside of the door, out of sight, trying to ascertain where he was positioned in the room. A thump told me he was to my right somewhere. I crouched ready to attack. I didn’t even know the size of my adversary. At what height, should I strike? I would only have one chance. The groan behind me strengthened my courage. As I lunged forward, I stumbled at the sight before me. My gaze fell on the small form of a child, however, his eyes glowed bright in the darkened room. I had raised the metal rod in my hand. At his sight, I hesitated. An arm came over my shoulder with such strength the rod struck with such force the creature in front of me was almost halved right through.

I had not heard my guide come up behind me. It was our shared mission that helped us help each other. I could not tear my eyes from the gruesome sight in front of me but I could hear my guide’s voice speaking to me in hushed reassuring tones though words fail to comprehend. “We need to get the blood cleaned up.” Finally, it sunk it. “People use this as a holiday house. This would not be a good look.” His words were starting to make sense. I had the twisted idea to simply roll the small body up in the blood soaked rug and drag all of the evidence out in one foul swoop. He had found a garbage bag that would make the job easier. I couldn’t move. He had it all done in no time. So we dragged the body to the property perimeter where he assured me he would deal with the final touches to keep the body from discovery for quite a many months.

When we returned to the house, I spied a mop and bucket and went to the hallway. I could handle that bloody mess. He assured me he would be okay now. He has a room out the back when people are there. He told me that I needed to get going. His sudden hug reassured me, he would be fine. I was glad to escape. As the sun started to peek above the horizon, he had told me the best route so I gunned the engine and sped off.

The autumn colours hide the tragedy. The dry leaves blew along the ground under the trees. Nobody will find the body. The brown, red and yellow leaves hid a macabre secret. The wind blew gently. There were more than enough leaves to cover the evidence, I was sure. Once the winter snow fell, all signs would be covered. When the spring comes, I’ll be gone.

It was not the tragedy of the dead, but of the grim creature that was left behind that would haunt me forever.