A Walk with Grace

The moon stares down at my brittle frame with judgement. A curse suckles upon my flesh, a reflection of the mirrored world I was cast into by no choice of my own. I only follow the deeds of my other half—a witness, a bystander. The exhibitionist shows me her will while forcing my eyes to see. I am no more than myself, and that which binds my flesh together. It isn’t a madness. Else I’d writhe in bed, the horrors in my mind to torture me at their discretion. I’m but a shell, the exosuit of the power which earns the rewards of my actions.

She speaks my name, which is her own. The condescending nature of her tone forbids argument. I’m but a slave with no outer master—the plaything of my own wicked mind.

Grace… Walk dutifully into the night and the blood will flow…

My legs carry an unwilling frame. Decision has never been an option—free will, only a dream which never comes true.

“Why, Grace? Why?” I ask.

Just do as I say. You know there isn’t any other way.

My lips curl into a frown of disdain.

Don’t be so spiteful. If it weren’t for me, you’d be nothing.

“I’d be me.”

You’re already you. But you’re also me.

That’s the problem, always has been. Ever since Mother and Father took their place in eternity, I’ve been nothing more than the hand of another entity. I’ve imagined ways to purge its vile existence, but none that wouldn’t take me with it.

You shouldn’t think such thoughts, Grace. Remember what happened last time?

“How could I forget?” I look down at the scars on my wrists.

I’m glad we have an understanding.

“I wouldn’t call it an understanding. More of a forced arrangement.”

Just keep walking.

She says it as if I have a choice.

“You’re going to hurt him, aren’t you?”

What do you think?

“I don’t know why I bother asking.”

I stare forward, eyes blank and disconnected from reality. The man I plan to meet, so nice, so innocent, undeserving of what awaits him. I don’t want to take his life—nothing disgusts me more. But it’s out of my control. His blood will be spilled and consumed, and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

I see him on the corner down the street, both hands in his pockets, foot tapping the sidewalk. His stance gives away his anxiety, his shy nature. I pity his innocence while simultaneously adoring it.

“Always praying on the weak, Grace.”

Their blood tastes better.

“Can’t we just leave him be? Can’t we just find someone else?”

No. I’m starving.

I sigh as his eyes light up and an awkward smile brightens his face. Such a handsome man…

“Hi Grace,” he says. “Nice to meet you again. I know it’s only our second date but I got you these.” He reaches behind his jacket and brings out a bouquet of carnations.

If I could cry, tears would fall from my eyes. But the Grace inside me dried up any show of emotion long ago. “Thank you. They’re wonderful.”

“So what would you like to do?” he asks. “Dinner? A movie?”

“I thought we’d take a walk in the park.”

“After dark? Isn’t that a bit risky?”

“No, it’ll be okay. I do it all the time.”

His face reddens and he scratches the back of his neck. “Okay, let’s go.”

As we walk down a lonely path he reaches out to hold my hand. I allow him. Might as well enjoy the brief moments my dreams speak of each night, if only to experience a few seconds of intimate joy I’ll never fully know.

I look into his eyes, see a warm glow. There’s a connection, a communication without words, a palpable tether which might have bound us as one… But I am not whole.

My head splits down the middle with a crack of bone and tearing of flesh. Tentacles of bloody carnage stretch and reach out from the opening, forming bone-like blades at their ends. A multitude of eyes open on each tendril of the beast within my head; they stare at the man’s petrified expression with nihilistic calm. The sharp ends slice through his flesh and I watch, unable to control them, forced to witness the terrible feeding of my other half. Once his head falls to the ground, they drive into the stump of his neck and gorge on his blood.

Once Grace has her fill, she returns to her inner-sanctum, the place where my mind once rested in solitude. But ever since she took Mother and Father, and burrowed deep inside me, I’ve never been alone…

∼Lee A. Forman

© Copyright 2017 Lee A. Forman. All Rights Reserved.
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About Lee Andrew Forman

Lee Forman is a fiction writer from the Hudson Valley, NY. His fascination with the macabre began in childhood, watching old movies and reading everything he could get his hands on. He’s a third generation horror fanatic, starting with his grandfather who was a fan of the classic Hollywood Monsters. His work has been published in horror magazines, anthologies, and podcasts. In October 2014 he won 3rd place in the Writer’s Carnival Short Story Contest hosted by Sanitarium Magazine. In 2015 he was a competitor in David Wellington’s Fear Project. When he’s not crafting horrifying creatures and tales of terror he spends time playing guitar with his band, Eternity of Sorrow. For more information and a list of publications go to www.leeformanauthor.com

16 responses to “A Walk with Grace”

  1. Jessica Bakkers says :

    Ooo delicious! I love a good ‘dark man’ tale!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lee Andrew Forman says :

    I’m glad you enjoyed it!

    Like

  3. Veronica Magenta Nero says :

    I really enjoyed this Lee, creepy, poetic and great voice.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Joseph Pinto says :

    Nailed it this week, Lee! Well done, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jane Bled says :

    Was not expecting that particular transformation! Well-played. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. afstewart says :

    Very eerie and creepy.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brian Moreland says :

    I loved this story Lee, especially the vivid twist at the end. You had me thinking a simple vampire was going to bite him, and then you described the coolest monster. Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Brian Moreland says :

    Reblogged this on THE CRYPT OF HORROR and commented:
    This week on Pen of the Damned is a horror short story “A Walk with Grace” by Lee A. Forman.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. John Potts Jr says :

    What the actual $@#%, Lee, this story was awesome! The back and forth conversation between Grace and Tentacle Grace was so well done that I visioned her as an escapee from a local mental ward, not an otherworldly fiend. You truly know how to surprise a reader. Great job, Lee!

    Liked by 1 person

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