Death Bed

“Tom, quick come here,” Mark shouted his colleague, “I need you quick.”

            Tom ran over to the door where Mark was standing. Smears of blood, smudged on the glass in the door. A blood curdling hand print visible from the outside, with blood smearing down the glass. With shaky torch lights, the pair gingerly opened the door – nothing. Apart from the hand prints on the door there was no more visible blood but the air hung with the stench of rotting flesh and stale blood. With scepticism, they surveyed each room but still nothing. The fact the date was November 30th wasn’t helping ease their nerves.

            As the key turned in the lock Richard once again felt safe, he hadn’t felt this safe in over a year. But he was back in familiar surroundings, the place he called home. Not your stereotypical home with the niceties of fluffy cushions, plush curtains and thick pile carpets but he was happy again.

            Getting in had been easy, a damn site easier than first time around, there were no heavily locked doors this time. He had followed the crowd, then when the tour guide was explaining something in depth he snuck upstairs. This area was out of bounds to the tourist but he knew it well. With sleeping bag in his rucksack and enough supplies to last a few days he settled in room 116. He crouched just inside the door in case someone decided to check the other floors but once the hubbub of the crowd faded he guessed his chances were pretty good. Finally, all fell silent and Richard was alone.

            As dusk settled and the cold set in, Richards thoughts turned to the night ahead, he was used to the solitude and the cold but it was too quiet, far too quiet. There was no rattling of metal, or shouting and no light beaming in through the window. The metal was cold, colder than it had ever felt before. He lay on the cold hard surface of the bed that he had once called his own, a bed that had been slept on by many, many far worse than him. This bed had history, a history too dark to talk about. It had been rumoured that Reggie Kray had slept in it. But rumour or not it had been his that he was certain of. He knew every chipped paint indentation like most people know the pattern in their wallpaper. He probably knew it better, as twelve hours of being cooped up in that tiny room meant there wasn’t a single mark on the wall he hadn’t known about.

            Now though, after a year of being absent a few things had changed, there were more toothpaste marks on the wall where posters had once hung and the solitary cupboard had been removed. The place had an eeriness about it that Richard didn’t believe was possible. The red painted door that was once locked now ajar, he didn’t like to sleep with the door shut anymore

            Richard finally settled down for the night, as he lay on his old bed, his thoughts turned to what he was going to do with the rest of his life. He knew that this arrangement was only temporary, in a few days Blundeston Prison would be dismantled piece by piece, brick by brick, everything that hadn’t already been stripped out would be sold and the world he knew for five years would no longer exist. But he felt lost and the fact that the place he called home was disappearing only compounded this fact.

            Slowly he drifted off into a troubled, dark sleep only to be woken by a startling, blood curdling growl of pain. There in front of him stood a tall, knarly faced man, his T shirt dripping with fresh blood from the open vertical 5” wounds down his arms. This man meant business, this man meant to die. He had not adopted the normal suicidal manner of horizontal slashes to the wrist which rarely resulted in death. Richard lay paralysed, unable to speak or yell, which would have been futile as there was no one to hear his cries. The man raised his arm and with the help of the other arm proceeded to disembowel his arm of veins, blood spewing out in every direction, covering Richard’s eye shielding hands in the process. Richard ran, he ran for his life, leaving the stark face of the man echoing in his mind like a church bell. He ran down the stairs to the main door, turning the handle. He was locked in, unable to escape. His bloodied palms bashing on the door to silent ears, turning he ran in the direction of solitary confinement. Mounting the iron steps to the roof of the block Richard lay still as was humanly possible on the glass viewing holes only visible from the cell. There he lay and there he died, his heart unable to cope. Never found.

            He hadn’t run from the man only to him as years previously the man had taken his life after being unable to adjust to prison life. Rumours were abound that he haunted his cell.


One thought on “Death Bed

  1. With the inclusion of places of local significance, the story was only going to get better and better. When you then created a unique set of circumstances stemming from quite logical events: Urban exploration, prison suicide, the spectre of fear surrounding such innocuous things as a particular date whose significance has been amplified by the passage of time from our more vulnerable and influenced youth. These factors all help you create a tapestry of threat which is sometimes lessened by overstatement of certain things, such as the blood. Having said that, It is hard to not come away from this tale with one’s imagination not having been tweaked into knowing exactly the effect you had hoped to achieve. And once your readers’ mind is so engaged you have won the battle. Good one, Tina. I am so enjoying going through all your writing, and it’s plain to see how your ability is growing with each offering.


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