Flash Fiction #19 – Woman in White
First off, a brief note: Apologies to anyone who tried to read this yesterday when it mistakenly posted. It wasn’t even close to finished. As it turns out, I cannot calendar. But, it’s finished now.
“Oh. My. God.” Andi gaped at me. “You look amazing, Hannah. Totally dead.”
I added a little more black eyeliner under my right eye. “Yeah?”
She clapped her hands together, gleefully. “Oh yeah. Blake is going to shit. Then he’s going to cry like a little baby. Best. Revenge. Ever.”
A twinge of guilt wound around me, but I crushed it. He deserved every bit of humiliation that would follow.
“I hope Madison wets her damn pants,” Andi muttered as she moved behind me to rat out my hair a little more.
If I were being honest with myself, I hoped Madison did, too. On the one hand, I knew I should get over it. It had been weeks since Blake dumped me at the homecoming dance for Madison–leaving me to walk home in the dark. And the cold. And the rain. And, on the other hand, I thought fuck it. They’d get what they had coming to them.
I glanced at the clock–almost seven, and it was already full dark. “What time are you going to pick up Trevor?”
“Seven-thirty. We’re supposed to get Blake and Madison at eight, so I’ll drop you off at the house on the way, and you can get finish getting everything ready.”
I grabbed my hoodie and a blanket and followed her out to her car.
The house where I planned to get back at Blake had been abandoned for decades. It was dank and cold, and the utilities had been shut off years ago. At one time, it was probably beautiful–carved wood, porcelain doorknobs, graceful, almost otherworldly light fixtures.
Now, everything was filthy. Dirt and spray paint covered most of the surfaces and bricks were missing from the fireplace. Empty bottles and broken glass littered the floor and the far corner of what used to be the living room smelled like vomit and old bong water.
It wasn’t the most inviting atmosphere, but it was where kids went to party mostly because it was so far away from town and few other people dared to venture inside. The rumor was, it was haunted by a woman in white. It was said she’d been jilted by her lover and she’d committed suicide in his house while he was marrying another woman at the church in town. With all the stories about this place, I couldn’t think of a better location to get back at my asshole ex-boyfriend.
Earlier, Andi and I had set up infrared cameras we’d borrowed from my brother. He told our parents he was shooting films for his college art courses, but I’m pretty sure he was recording himself having sex. Either way, the cameras were ours for the night. And if everything worked like I hoped it would, Blake would be all over the internet by morning. Now, all I had to do was wait until I saw their headlights, turn on the cameras and scare the fuck out of Blake.
Weirdly, one of the only things in the house that hadn’t been damaged over the years was the wood framed mirror hanging on the wall directly across from the front door. I checked my reflection and adjusted the bodice on my long white gown. One thrift-store find and a whole lot of bleach and even more makeup, and I was the perfect ghost.
Draping the blanket around me, I waited in the alcove in the entryway, holding the remote for the cameras. The plan was that Andi and Trevor would hang behind a bit and Blake and Madison would enter first. As soon as they were in the living room, I’d step out from the alcove and follow them into the house.
Through the broken glass of the windows, headlights bounced around the room as Andi pulled up and parked outside. The lights faded away as she shut off the car, and doors slammed as everyone piled out. As I listened to them approach, I hit “record” and let the blanket slip from my shoulders. I fought the urge to shiver as the room seemed even colder than it had earlier. My nerves were getting the better of me.
“I don’t know about this,” Madison murmured as they approached. “This place looks creepy as as fuck.”
Blake cleared his throat. “We don’t have to go in if you don’t want to.”
“Booze is already in the house,” Andi called from further away. “If you want it, you’re gonna have to man up and go in.”
“Bitch,” Blake muttered.
Nervousness jangled through my body as I waited, listening to the scuffs and thumps of their footsteps on the porch and the creak of the front door being pushed open.
“This place is a dump,” Madison said, disdain heavy in her voice..
“Well…yeah. Abandoned,” Andi answered from the porch. I could practically hear her rolling her eyes out there.
I finally caught sight of Blake and Madison as they moved into the living room. Stepping to the side, I saw their reflection in the mirror across the room, and then mine as I silently followed them deeper into the house.
All of a sudden, a gust of frigid air swirled behind me, winding my skirt around my legs, and I caught sight of a hollow-eyed woman in a white dress with long, stringy dark hair standing next to me. Her image was right next to mine in the mirror. Heart in my throat, I turned to look at her. She swept forward toward Blake and Madison, creating a blast of arctic air that slammed the heavy wooden door shut behind us.
Screaming, Madison and Blake whirled catching sight of me and the woman who was now gliding in circles around them.
“Deceiver,” the woman hissed as she dove toward Blake. Reversing direction, she flung herself at Madison. “Whore.” The two cowered on the floor, crying.
The entire house shook, and I could hear Andi and Trevor banging on the door and twisting the handle. I ran toward the entryway, and yanked on the door handle but it wouldn’t budge. I couldn’t even get it to turn.
The woman appeared in front of me, and I fell back.
“Where do you think you’re going, pretty? This is what you wanted.”
I shook my head. “I don’t want it. I don’t want any of this.”
“Oh, but I think you do.” She walked toward me, then into me. My veins filled with ice, and my body was no longer my own. She moved my arms and my legs, directing me to the fireplace. Buried beneath decades worth of trash was an iron fireplace poker and she forced my fingers to close around the metal and drag it out.
My skin sizzled and ached as the iron burned my flesh. I screamed, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t let go of the thing. I couldn’t stop from moving toward Madison and Blake, either. I didn’t want to raise the poker above my head, but I was helpless to do anything else. My body was no longer my own.
I tried to close my eyes as I swung the weapon through the air and connected with the side of Madison’s head. I didn’t want to hear the melon-hollow thunk as metal connected with skin and bone, but it was impossible to not to. It was impossible not to feel the hot spray of blood against my skin, but I desperately wanted that, too.
My body turned toward Blake and his eyes widened. “Hannah! What the fuck is wrong with you?!”
The woman in white forced my mouth open. “Hannah’s not here.” The poker raised above my head again, and Blake brought his arms up to block my swing. The iron rod glanced off the top of Blake’s skull. He bobbed drunkenly there for a minute, then his arms dropped limply to his sides. I drew back my arm before shoving sharply forward, the pointy end piercing Blake’s throat and pinning him to the scarred, hardwood floor, blood draining from his body and eyes staring dully at me.
As quickly as the woman in white had entered my body, she left, and I collapsed to the floor, next to Madison’s twitching body, covered in rapidly cooling blood. The front door popped open, and Andi and Trevor stumbled to a stop outside the growing pool of blood.
“Hannah,” Andi whispered. “What did you do?”
Check out the other Woman in White stories – I can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with.