I would like to share a short story with you which was written for the purpose of entering some competition over a year ago. Needless to say, it didn’t get far so I have tweaked it and changed the ending. Let me know what you think of it. Thank you.
“Why?” she whispered, more to herself than to the shadow. It moved, shifting around her bedraggled body. “Why me?” she asked, a whimper distorting her words.
“I come where I am called,” it seemed to say as it swayed to and fro. “It’s nothing personal.”
It felt personal to Emma. She didn’t want to die – death had been the last thing on her mind. Earlier that day, David had finally asked her out. She had her A’ level prom dress on order and shoes to die for hiding in her over-stocked cupboard, just waiting for their debut.
The shadow stilled. It was time. Darkness enveloped her mind, permeated her soul. She shivered as a last boost of adrenaline coursed through her veins, burning her insides as she twisted and struggled for breath. Silence.
Sad news of Emma Watson’s death hit the school. Staff and students alike were shocked by the news and mourned the passing of such a wonderful young lady.
David Watson shed the obligatory tears appropriate for his promised prom partner and moved swiftly ahead with asking July Dales out. She accepted, her fresh pink cheeks glowing with pride. She was the lucky girl to replace the stuck-up Emma Pique, a girl everyone had loved to hate because of her long, dark hair and mesmerising blue eyes. No-one had stood a chance of landing a decent date with her on the prowl. It was, with an unfortunate sense of silent relief that the school girls at Yateley Manor absorbed the news of their biggest rival’s demise from the Oakwood Seniors. Subdued whoops of joy and sparkling eyes collided and connected over the lunch hall once the news had spread. The senior girls debated on who would be the tastiest dish to accompany to their prom now that their attention was focused elsewhere.
No-one noticed the dark, ethereal creature hovering in the shadows. It was there, waiting in animated patience for the clock to herald its next appointment. Time did not disappoint.
Word spread of July Dale’s inexplicable accident involving a slip in the bath after way too many deadly suds were added in preparation for her primping and pampering, prom-style. Her naked body lay in its cold, white tomb until her mother find it several hours later after returning from a late shift at the hospital. Neighbours say the woman’s heart-wrenching cry could be heard for miles. The school sent out the usual condolences and spent a minute’s silence during lunch period that following day to remember her. Her classmates feigned horror. Was there a curse attached to David Watson? After all, two unlucky ladies had lost their prime positions at his side and the promised title of Prom Queen. David shrugged off the rumours. After shedding the obligatory tears for his lost partner, July with the pink cheeks, he went on to pursue Amber Walsh, the red-hot netball champion with legs that just kept going. His friends laughed, heckling at his attempt to punch above his weight. But David had noticed his ratings rise with every unfortunate death associated with him. He was desirable bachelor No. 1 in the prom charts.
Amber’s green eyes raged. She couldn’t believe the audacity of the idiot asking her out. July had been her best friend and one of the best Goal Shooters she had ever met. He was out of his mind if he thought she would consider wasting her time considering his offer. The dark ethereal shadow agreed. After all, time had no consideration.
Yately Manor announced the passing of its third student in such a short period of time. David Watson was found pinned under his car at the end of his parent’s driveway. Somehow, the brakes had failed as he unloaded the boot, and the gentle slope of the drive had done the rest. It was considered, among the teaching staff, a bad omen and talk of cancelling the prom were soon quashed after a heated debate between students and the head teacher. It is said that the gentle prodding from some of the wealthier parents who supported the school swayed the argument. With the promise of the event proceeding, all the students prepped and primed, soon forgetting their lost friends in the time left.
As the strobe lights flashed and the pulsating beat captivated its young audience, the ethereal shadow sat and watched, shaking its head to and fro. Three warnings had seemed sufficient to deter what was about to happen. It watched the vigorous movements of the gyrating bodies on the dance floor. In the end, time waited for no-one.