Monday, August 25, 2014

HB Challenge #10 - Cross Words

From the Office Mango website:
Can’t believe we’ve reached the tenth challenge already, doesn’t time fly when you’re writing horror. Again this is a bit late, ok a week late lol, but I do have a good excuse honest. Been working on getting the submissions for my new collaborative anthology (with Missy) organised. Going to be one hellava Halloween Anthology, (In Creeps The Night), cover reveal end of the week – so excited.

Anyway as I’ve been working with Missy this week, I figured that the photo should come via her backyard. A bit of vegetation horror ;)

1:  Tales can be posted on your blogs & then just add to the wee linky tool, or add as a comment if you don’t have a blog.
2:  A word count of 200-350.
3:  Try to scare me, or at the very least create a little bit of darkness.
4:  This will be a fortnightly (two weeks) challenge from when the post goes live, so you’ve got plenty thinking time.

So come on what are you waiting for, go find your inner demons and get your scare on!

While I'm waiting for In Creeps the Night to come out (I have vested interest), I thought I'd do another challenge.

Cross Words

Image source:

    There was no love lost between Jack and the old woman who rented him her spare room. She was always preaching to him about his drinking, waiving that Bible in his face. He told her one day she would say something at the wrong time, and he'd choke the life out of her sad, wrinkled carcass. Then he'd bury her where even God wouldn't think to look. She assured him he'd never do that because God would find her anywhere and take her to heaven—while he'd have to look for another cheap room to rent on his way to Hell.
    But one day she did—and so did he.
    In the early hours of a foggy April morn, Jack dug a hole in the dirt alley out back of the old house where she kept the trash bins. It was there he placed her lifeless remains. Any extra soil above that required for discretion went into the empty cans. How convenient, he thought.
    When police started asking questions, he did move out, though not too far away. He would often walk by his old digs, so to speak, and even had a laugh when the utility company planted a telephone pole dead center in her unmarked resting place. He watched as the ivy grew around it, further hiding any evidence of his evil deed.
    The following summer, however, the vines had nearly engulfed the pole, and were starting to branch out in what, to his eyes, appeared uncomfortably like a huge cross. The longer he looked at it, the more his fury grew.
    "I won't give her the satisfaction," he said while climbing the pole to tear the vines down.
    But the wires on the pole were live—and soon afterward, he wasn't.
    The neighbors all remarked how the odor of burning insulation mixed with that of toasted flesh smelled a great deal like brimstone. 

Murder, he wrote...  Sorry. I couldn't help myself.

(316 words without the title) 

Previous Horror Bites challenges: 

The Door (#9)
Wrapped in a Mystery (#8)
If The Shoe Fits (#7)
You Won't Feel A Thing (#6)
The Wings of Death (#5)

© 2012-2014 K. R. Smith All rights reserved


  1. this is great, love ow she got her revenge from the grave :)

  2. Great ending here! Love the way she exacted her revenge. Nicely written.

    1. Thank you! And sorry for taking so long to reply to your comment. It's been a busy year for me.

  3. Love the perspective on the photo, never 'crossed' my mind (snicker). Great tale - 'the wires on the pole were live - and soon afterwards, he wasn't' - great line.

    1. Oooooh! Bad pun! And I'm glad you liked it! And again, sorry for taking so long to reply. I like to let everyone who makes a comment on my posts (except for spammers!) know that I appreciate the time they've taken to read my stories.


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