Kept Secrets

Darkness devoured every ounce of light.

Opening her eyes, Beth’s mind spun, groping for traction as to where she was and how she’d gotten there. The air, musty and thick, made breathing difficult and she wheezed with each panting breath. Her hands and feet were bound, her sense of balance distorted.

She screamed, but the words caught in her throat, trapped behind a wad of fabric shoved into her mouth. Beth scanned the void for a hint of anything that might bring details to her surroundings.

Somewhere in the distance, a door creaked open, ushering in a sliver of light, only to slam shut seconds later. Her chest heaved and rivulets of tears streamed down her cheeks when a familiar sound came to her. The clacking of boot heels on wooden floors echoed like cannons as they made their way closer.

Beth’s pulse echoed in her ears. An orange light flickered in the inky blackness and a figure approached from the other end of the space. Shadows morphed on the walls and ceiling as the naked flame danced its way closer.

She tried to push herself backwards but couldn’t; her body was useless. An ominous silhouette strode closer and the girl recognized Gloria’s sharp features – her stepmotherโ€™s features. Her mind’s eye flashed a scene of Gloria bringing her a glass of wine at the dinner party; her last memory before waking up in the void.

Beth cowered as her father’s wife leaned closer and spoke in a raspy, malevolent tone. “You’ll not speak of my secret in life nor death. Of this, I’m sure.”

Gloria rested the candle on the ground and Beth shuddered as the old witch’s bony hands came into view. In one hand, a large needle with wire tailing from the eyelet; in the other, a small vial of liquid gleaned in the glowing candlelight.

Beth strained against her bindings, but she was too weak to break free. Gloria removed the cloth from Beth’s mouth and grabbed her chin before tilting her head back, forcing the potion down her throat.

Beth’s head swum in confusion as the concoction took effect and she slipped in and out of consciousness.

Intermittent flashes of reality only offered hints as to Gloria’s purpose; the biting pain as her stepmother forced the wire through Beth’s lips made those intentions all too clear.

Darkness devoured every ounce of light.

~ Craig McGray

ยฉ Copyright 2014 Craig McGray. All Rights Reserved

24 thoughts on “Kept Secrets

  1. I always enjoy short, devious little tales and your story this week was perfect, Craig! Damn those stepmothers, you can never, ever trust them! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Great job with delivery and amping up the creep factor, Craig! ๐Ÿ™‚


  2. Truly a super story that lends itself so well to the season, Craig! Step mothers are never to be trusted. I’d watch out for the wine as well. My favorite part is the darkness being so rudely interrupted by the candle and shadows dancing about. Ooh, la, la! ๐Ÿ™‚



    1. Thank you, Thomas. I have had some further thoughts on the space in which this story takes place. If only walls could speak, and they just might at some point in the future ๐Ÿ˜‰


  3. Craig, my Damned brother! Sorry this took me so long to comment on. There is something wickedly fantastic about the idea of a mouth sewn shut. The horror is devine! As far as the secrets, well, sometimes the untold and unknown is more terrifying than the revelation!


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