The Sacrifice

The following is a piece I wrote for a short-story writing contest I participated in. Incidentally, I largely consider this one a point of pride and a point of shame. Pride because I was able to pull together something riveting and thrilling in about an hour, shame because it was overly ambitious and I consider it the story that failed to get me to the third round.

Never the less, it’s a good piece that I felt inclined to share. I’m also leaving this open as a creative commons license, so yeah, that’s a thing. Enjoy. 

It was the only safe place she could find at this moment: the ramshackle, white-washed shed, half sunk in the mud. It’s ochre peak barely visible from the tall stalks of corn that surrounded it, a dilapidated, ghostly relic, forgotten by time. In the past, this had been her hideaway when the cultists’ ceremonies got to her too much, but now…

“Divine vassal: this game of hide and seek is something I grow weary of,” a shrill voice called from somewhere behind Sendra, followed by a throaty cackle over the sounds of a truck engine. Panic was gripping at her heart as she stumbled over the broken fence and through the mud. Sludge clung to her feet, the raw wear-patches around her ankles stinging viciously as blood mixed with dirt. The door was just ahead. Maybe in there she could find something to defend herself with. Charging towards the door through the rain, she did her best to keep her footing upon the slick ground. All the while, the engine grew louder and louder, and that horrid cackling more and more intense.

She reached the door very nearly at the same time the black pick-up truck broke through the fields. Like an unholy demon, its jet black paint seemingly swallowing the light. And staring at her from the driver’s window was Master Reevis, so gaunt he very well may have been a skeleton. He smiled a wicked toothy grin, “My my my,” and revved the engine.

He intended to ram her! Clutching the rusted door handle and pulling with all her might, Sendra screamed in defiance as the great black beast came barreling towards her with ungodly speed. The door screeched ever so slightly giving way. Inch by inch it seemed to creep as the truck sped at her. It wouldn’t work!

Glancing back just in time, Sendra threw herself aside as the truck plowed through the heavy wooden doors, a marvelous shower of splinters and nails peppering the area, snipping at the girls barely protected form while she listened to the spectacular crash. Peeking over her arms, she could see clearly inside the barn: Master Reevis had driven right into a cement wall, flattening the front of his truck. Yet his one leg poked out, a thin stick with oversized rubber boots, and it pawed its way towards the straw-covered ground.

“Refreshing,” Master Reevis mummered as he squirmed his way free of the wreckage. Yet something glinted in the light that trickled into the open building: a glint of metal lay upon the floor. Was that a gun? Yes! And it was well out of Master Reevis’ grasp!

With a grunt of pain, Sendra pulled herself to her feet and scrambled to it, clawing her way forward to the only means of saving herself at this point. A shotgun, partially rusted but very likely loaded, pointed her way. It had flown from the truck cab when Reevis hit the wall. And she was nearly there, very nearly—

A moan caught her attention. It didn’t come from the truck, rather the opposite direction. First Sendra’s eyes crept that way, then her whole head turned. Her normally dark skin went pale as she saw what her fate was to be. Her twin sister, Alii, was there. A macabre scarecrow, wooden beams forced through her arms and out of her mouth in sick crucifixion. The blood that the rough wood readily drank was fresh, and the young girl twitched. Good God, she was still alive: her eyes sobbed as she moaned helplessly and watched Sendra upon the ground. Her eyes screamed one thing: run!

“United at last, a heart wrenching reunion!” Reevis shrieked, finally working himself free from the truck. Something was clutched in his right hand as he stared unblinkedly at the girls, “Now the ceremony can be complete: the twins born under the blue moon shall send my soul unto the heavens, and I shall be a god!”

She could fathom no words, but instead gasped her way towards the shotgun once again. There was a blur of motion from the corner of her eye and a heavy spike imbedded itself into the back of her hand. Sendra shrieked and recoiled it, looking back at Master Reevis. He had thrown one of the broken door’s nails at her, and held another in his hand. In the other, he clutched a drawing. Half of a painting she had made from when she was six. Sendra was on the right, and Alii’s half was stapled to her chest.

“Come now, child: we musn’t keep the spirits waiting,” Reevis whispered, leaning in towards her. His pale white robe very nearly invisible from the rain earlier, his naked body beneath well beyond emaciated. He almost seemed to creak like an old oak in the wind as he reached forward.

But this would not be Sendra’s fate. She ripped the spike from her hand and stabbed it at Reevis, plunging the spike deep into his chest. He staggered back, a grimace of disappointment flashing across his cracked lips as the young girl bolted for the gun. Just as she was about to reach it, another blur of a thrown nail caught her eye, clipping the side of the gun and sending it spinning off and into the shadows.

It was no use. She’d never be able to find it before he reached her. Instead, Sendra grabbed a fist full of straw and threw it at his face; a slight distraction so that she could run for the door. Back out into the rain and into the corn fields she ran. She ran and ran, the sounds of his laughter trailing just behind the veil of stalks.

But as she ran, she saw something in the distance. An ochre peak, barely visible from the overgrown fields she was in. She had looped around somehow, and a shrill chill ran down her spine as she felt hot breath upon her nape.

“Now where were we?” Reevis asked…

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