Halloween Story Contest: Quills

Jack Butler

In silence, Elizabeth rose from the quaint darkness of her bedroom.  Her waist robe clung to her hips and followed her feminine grace like silky, white honey.  She pulled at the drapes and peeked through a slit as the world burned in ultraviolet flames.  With a slow and wistful breath, she stretched, brushed the auburn hair from her deep green eyes.  A mélange of images and the cool dampness of the evening seemed like a memory to her, but never a promise.

As the crescent moon ascended the jagged peaks of the snow capped mountains, she flung open the wooden door and ran into the blossoming night.  Silver and blue moonlight rained to earth, sizzled as it cooled the day’s heat.  She danced in the radiance as it splashed her face and dripped from her long eyelashes, her almond shaped eyes captured the enchantment of her world.  Elizabeth froze, raised her head and sniffed the wind.  The late October breeze brought the scent of the Beast of Quills.  Sometimes the beast killed without reason and sometimes it licked the bones.  Still a child, her mother yelled at her to keep running as a quill tore into her mother’s chest.  She knew she couldn’t afford to look back and stopped only when the last of her tears ran out.  

Suddenly, Elizabeth heard the sound of a quill splitting the air in front of her.  She turned to run just as a quill shredded the delicate lace of her wings.  Another grazed her stomach and a fourth blasted through the flesh of her upper arm.  A searing heat slammed into her right leg while another plunged into her back and lodged in her left lung, stifling her scream as she fell.  She could hear a cacophony of demonic voices as the beast drew down upon her.  The quills dragged through the dirt leaving sticky canals of blood as she pulled herself to a fallen log, laid her head against the rough bark.  Her breath came in ragged gulps as a deep crimson froth streamed from her lips.  Dark red dripped from her breasts and pooled by her side.  

Elizabeth turned her head and gazed at the clouds stealing the moonlight.  “Please, father,” she prayed, teeth chattering from the pain.  Thick clouds slipped away and moonlight bathed her face with a gentle flowing mist.  The whippoorwill’s songs played in her mind while the frolicking laughter of the forest animals rang in her ears.  She could smell the fragrance of the white and purple flowers near the lake but longed to feel a mother’s joy.  Warm arms wrapped around her as she tasted the sweetness of the blood throbbing in her lover’s veins.  Elizabeth never felt the quill that split her heart in two.

“Does not seem proper, Sir Richard, killing something this beautiful just to see it dead.”  

“And what would you have us do with her…them, Master Thomas?  She was just a damn vampire.”