Corruption: The First Extract

A short story written for the Young Fiction Writer of the Year competition. A teenage boy and girl were killed on April 2009. A month later, revenge was exacted mercilessly.

I was sat on the edge of the cliff, watching the fluffy, florid clouds float listlessly towards the sun, which was setting over the aureate ocean. I inhaled deeply the fresh, salty air – feeling the cool, gentle breeze. Below the face of the cliff was the sea, thrashing fervently against the wall of rock.

The sun shone against the vast ocean and sent shards of radiant light in all directions, blinding me. I shaded my eyes with my hand – the sea and sky drenched in the sun’s golden glow.

“Matt.” Laura spoke quietly, but just loud enough to break me from my reverie. I turned my head to face her. She was still gazing towards the sun, mesmerised. “How does it feel to be at peace?”

A gentle smile etched across my face. “It feels wonderful.” Laura didn’t respond the same way; her face was grim.

“What’s the matter? Was it because of school today?” I glanced down at the ocean shamefully, “I’m – I’m sorry…”

“No,” she suddenly interrupted, “it’s not that.”

I waited for her to speak again, but she didn’t; she continued gazing towards the sunset, then her bottom lip trembled ever so slightly.

Worry stabbed at me like a sharp knife; it hurt to see her placid face creased with her sombreness.

I wrapped my arm around her shoulders and pulled her to me to comfort her. She laid her head onto my shoulder, and then we sat like this for what could have been only a matter of minutes, watching in silence as the sun disappeared over the ocean in its last wavering blast of light.

Laura nudged against me and wrapped her arms around my waist. She buried her face into my shoulder, then I felt her warm tears slowly seep though my shirt.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” I asked as soothingly as possible.

Laura got to her feet and backed away, her eyes ringed red. I stood up also – on the cliff’s edge.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, more urgently.

“We have to go.”

“Why do we have to go?”

She backed away further. “We need to go now, we have to!”

Her urgency frightened me; I moved towards her automatically. “Just tell me what’s wrong.” My heart was thumping as wildly as the ocean against the cliff wall.

Laura’s eyes and mouth suddenly opened wide in surprise as her chest heaved. Then she exploded – in globs of black matter, which reflected no light at all.

I stared, frozen in terror, as I saw my dear loved one die right before me. All that came out of my mouth was the repeated utterance of the uncompleted word of ‘what’. “Wha-. Wha-.”

I then focused onto the man stood behind where Laura was – pale-skinned, dressed in black and ebony hair which almost reached down to his dark eyes.

“What did you do?!” I roared.

The man just grinned, his eyes flashed with arrogant menace. A surge of burning rage boiled up inside me.

“You bastard!” I screamed, and charged at the man. My eyes were blind with fury, tears cascaded down my cheeks and my fist was tightly clenched beside my shoulder, ready to strike down the ruthless monster.

My eyes became wide with terror, my heart sank and my fist opened and reached out in front of me.

The black shadow had shot from the man’s outstretched hand and struck its target. Me.

My left foot left the ground forever, and then I’m falling. I’m falling. Falling. And then…

Black.

 

(One of multiple extracts – written by John Lloyd.)

The End

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