Collaborative Story Part III

This is part three of a flash fiction horror story exercise.

Part I was done by Sertysh and can be found here:

Part II was written by Rebekah Spark:

The third, and final, part follows.

“Hello. This is Sergeant Lisa Wilson. To whom am I speaking?”

The phone felt like a cold, plastic promise against my ear. “Wha… Wha… What’s going on out there?” My voice whined like a tight screw in hard wood. I fumbled for the vase on Kennard’s desk, threw the bouquet to the ground, and took a sip of green water, blotting my mouth with my bile-stained tie. “It is everywhere? My wife–”

“I GOT SOMEONE,” she shouted on the other end of the line. Dozens of floors below, I saw people scramble towards a single point where a dark haired woman stood, a finger jammed in her ear as she tried to hear her cell over the the clamor. “What is your status?”

Pissed my pants like a little pussy. Puked at some point. Asshole feels like someone jammed a red-hot corkscrew in it an twisted. Just another scared old geezer being pursued by a monster beyond his comprehension. A usual Monday, really.

I pulled myself together, tugged at the hem of my ill-fitting shirt. “Um. I’ve barricaded myself in an office.”

“Are there any other survivors with you?” She was shouting over the din of chaos.

“No,” I said before I had a chance to figure out why I knew it. “I mean. I don’t think so. I haven’t seen any, ma’am. I’m alone.”

“We have teams sweeping the lower floors. They’ll get you out.” A loud siren wailed over her voice. “Sir. Sir? What’s your name?”

The fire eating Saint Anne’s was growing, flames rising up from the hospital’s tarred roof, black clouds billowing from broken windows.

Anne. Annie. My youngest daughter. My guts did a one-eighty thinking of my family.

“I need to know if my family’s safe. My wife–”

“It’s an isolated incident, sir. Just between the hospital and this office building. Hold on for a moment.” I heard her muffled voice issuing orders.

I expected to feel relief, but my stomach sank like I’d eaten a bag of rocks.

The sergeant bitch is wrong. They’re dead. Dead like everyone who worked in this office. Dead like I’m going to be. Gutted in the garage. I could hear Annie begging me to save her, pleading for me to stop the impossible. The inevitable. I was too far by then. Too far.

“Hasssssssssssss.” The long hiss came again, closer than before. I almost felt its warm breath on my neck. I spun around, wrapping myself in the phone cord.

I was alone in the room.

The door was still barricaded, potted plant perfectly in place.


My eyes drifted over to the other door in the room. A narrow door with slanted panels leading to a coat closet.

I stumbled over Kennard’s mahogony desk, knocking over the picture of his wife. Gemma. I was sure her name was Gemma. I ducked down, eyes at surface level with the desk so I could see the closet door.

“Are you still there, sir?”

“Oh, sweet Jesus. It’s in here with me.”

For a moment, all I could hear was muffled murmurs on the other end of the line. “Sir, you’re alone on that floor. Infrared scans of the building are coming in now.”

“Bullshit,” I spat, crawling under the desk like they’d taught us to do in elementary school. Duck and cover, childre. An A-Bomb could only improve this day.

“I really need your name, sir.” Her voice was cold as illegal steel shipped in from China.

“Hasssssssssss.” The hiss came again. Whining scratches like fingernails on the longest chalkboard filled my ears. Finger that belonged to no hand.

I clenched my asshole. Closed my eyes. “Tell my wife I loved her. Tell my children I’m sorry. I want to be with them. I should be with them.”

“I know. I know,” she said quietly, not meant for me. Then, “Sir, I can’t contact your family if I don’t have your name.”

“Ted. Ted Knickles. My wife is–”

“Myara Knickles. We know, sir.”

I thought I was going to shit myself in the silence that followed. I farted instead.

I’m hotboxing myself under this desk. Disgusting? Sure, but better than I deserve.

“Are you still there, Ted?”

“You’re going to tell me she’s dead, aren’t you?”

Her breath crackled in my ear. “Ted, why don’t you tell me the last thing you remember?”

I licked at my cracked lips. “I was hiding in the executive bathroom. The monster had–”

“What monster, Ted?” Using my name to gain my trust, eh? My shrink had tried that.

“The monster. The monster. The one you’re here to save me from.” I was shrieking like a six-year-old sissy. I didn’t care.

She was talking to someone else before returning. “What about before the bathroom? What did you do this morning, Ted?”

“Hassssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.” Sharp like a dart in my eardrum.

“I don’t remember.” I drew up my knees, sobbing for my family. For myself. “It’s been the worst day. Go ahead. Tell me my wife is dead. Tell me the girls–”

“I don’t have to tell you, Ted. You know Myara and Annie are dead. You killed them ten years ago.”

I tried to jump up, slamming my head on the underside of Kennard’s fucking desk. “Lying bitch. You’re on the monster’s side, aren’t you? Telling me I killed Myara and the girls.”

“Girl.” Sergeant Wilson cleared her throat. Quieter, not to me, she said, “I know doc. Getting there. Ted, you still–?”

“I’m still here. What about my other daughter? Did the monster get…” I tried to remember her name, but it floated somewhere out in the ether. Remembering it was like trying to catch a handful of smoke.

“You almost killed Gemma, but her husband stopped you. They called the police. That’s how you ended up in the Grandview State Hospital, Ted.”

I peered above the desk again, not at the closet door, but at the photo. Gemma? My Gemma? The framed fake blonde stared back at me. It couldn’t be my little princess. “If I’m in Grandview State Hospital, why the hell am I at work? Maybe you’re the mental patient, thinking an escapee wants to come and push papers on a Monday morning.”

“Hasssssssssssssssssssssssss.” The closet door was rattling like chattering teeth. I set the receiver down on the desk top, pressed the speaker phone button. I fumbled around for my belt, wrapping it around my sweaty, swollen hands. No one was going to save me. Just Ted against the monster, the way it was meant to be.

“They had to take you in for a colonoscopy at Saint Anne’s. Thought you’d stay sedated the whole time. Didn’t think you’d even notice that your old office building was next door.”

Another voice, fainter in the background. “I told them it was a bad idea, but no one wanted to listen to his doctor!”

“Ted. Talk to me, Ted. Tell me what happened after the stock market crash,” Sergeant Wilson’s voice returned, trying to keep me on the line as long as possible. Long enough for her people to get to me. So, it was either going to be a SWAT team or the monster?

Nice to be a man with choices.

“What do you want me to say?” I shouted at the speaker phone as I approached the closet. It stopped shaking when it saw me coming. I flipped my tie over my shoulder so the monster couldn’t grab it, knuckles brushing against the Saint Anne’s Hospital ID badge still attached to the pocket.

“That Myara was going to leave me when I lost my job at the firm? That she said I’d spent our life together working away from her? That my only value to her was monetary? That she was going to take Annie back east?”

The closet was within reach. My fingers traced its cold knob. The monster whispered from the other side, slow and simple this time. “Has.”

Her voice cut sliced through. “What about Craig Kennard?”

“What about Craig?” I asked. “He wanted me to mentor him. Spent five years grooming that boy. Thought of him as a son.”

“So much that he married your daughter Gemma. Isn’t that right, Ted?”

I didn’t answer the sergeant. “But, when it came time to send out the pinks slips, he was more than eager to throw me to the wolves. What did he tell the boss I was?”

“Hasssssssssss…..” hissed from the closet.

“That’s right,” I said, speaking to the closet now, not to the telephone. I ripped open the door, staring down at the dismembered mess of Craig at the bottom of the closet. His head was placed atop the pile, eyes open. Dull, lifeless, but still mirroring that hate, that rage, that predatory cunning. The monster’s eyes. “You called me a has been, didn’t you Craig? You told everyone my best days were behind me. That I should be put out to pasture. Has been. Hasssssssssss been.”

I put my foot, which was wearing someone’s shoe, onto Craig’s head, making him nod at me.

“Ted. Ted.” Her voice was just a distraction now. “Ted. Wait.”

“Now, they’re all has beens. All of them. From the mailroom to the main office.”

“Ted, stay on the line.”

“I’m going to be with my family,” I shouted to Sergeant Wilson. “As soon as I finish this monster.”

I unwrapped the belt from around my hands, kicking parts of Craig out of the way as I looped one end around my neck, the other over the bar in the coat closet.

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