Its always sweetest before the dawn.

THE FOLLOWING IS A FICTITIOUS TALE AND HAPPENS OVER THE COURSE OF 1 HOUR.

A bloodcurdling scream pierces the cold predawn air.

That was the cry that signalled the beginning of the end for The Mother.

4am.
It was the initial scream that woke her from a deep sleep, the scream was followed by the sound of glass breaking, heavy footsteps across the floor with another low whimper followed by a wet -thuck-, just before her hand turned the doorknob to her 14 year old Mary’s bedroom. She pushes the door open, the wind blowing through the broken window with light from the street flooding the floor, illuminating the pyjama clad body of her little Mary, with her head on the floor next to her bedside table. The next thing she sees is the Tall Man standing in the far corner, hidden by shadows. A low moan escapes The Mother’s lips as the Tall Man steps forward with her daughters blood still fresh on his machete, glinting in his white, bandage-gloved hand as he passes through the billowing light. His eyes are black, wearing a sadistic clown mask. The Mother couldn’t tell if he was clean shaved or bearded, if he was smiling or leering at her. Chunky work boots with neon blue laces were exposed under the trenchcoat that wrapped the Tall Man tight as a cocoon.

4.02am
Finally gathering some sort of sense, she turns on her heel, flees down the hallway to the cabinet, snatches her keys along with her handbag then hurtles out the front door to her car. The Tall Man is in no hurry, he has a plan. A cunning plan that involves a slow paced game of cat and mouse. Of predator and prey. The Mother fumbles her keys at her already unlocked car, heart in her throat, red raw and crushed. Her daughters life stolen away from her while her husband is away for work. Her brother is the local sheriff, too bad her phones dead, just like little Mary. Just like her dreams and hopes. She gets the keys in the ignition and the car won’t start. Her vision is flaring bright and dark, panic and trauma threatening to overwhelm her and leave her as a defenceless mess in the front seat of a car that won’t start. Then she sees the note stuck to the windshield, folded twice with a simple scrawl of “I’ve been waiting for you Mother”.

4.05am
Looking over her shoulder at the approaching Tall man, The Mother stumbles out of the car and takes off in a staggering lope towards the shed at the end of her vast property. Barely a shimmer from the moon makes it through the tops of the trees, stray branches about her face, scratching over her heavily pregnant belly and exposed thighs. Pausing behind an old pile of timber to catch her breath she looks behind her, the Tall Man is a few dozen paces behind, strolling in long, slow strides, relishing the chase, the justice that is about to be served. The mother makes haste for the last dozen yards to the shed, pulls the old wooden door open, and brushes cobwebs off her hands as she steps inside.

4.10am
The shed wasn’t as dusty as it should be, odd candles in places they shouldn’t be, smelled of musk and Cinnamon burners along with the old scents of the animals they used to have. The old dog fighting pit still stained with blood, feathers and fur still in various places, mainly around the trap door that leads to the basement under the shed where the worst activities took place. The prostitution of herself and her daughter, starting at Marys 6th birthday. The Mother was meticulous, her organisation was a secret from her husband, she was protected by her brother, and her father was an old lawyer on retainer for the local sheriff’s office. The small town of Idle out on the Boons, where the forest meets the sea with a light industrial area. This shed, where she introduced her flesh and blood to a life no one should know, subjected her to things no Mother or Father or anyone should have a part in. This shed, this final resting place of her “Missing” son, itself is soon to become her tomb.

4.20am
The Mother is Hunkered down behind an old radiator In the basement. The Tall Man rolls into the old shed without feeling for a light, he seems familiar with his surroundings and he utters a gravel laugh that sends a white hot fear through her chest. Her pulse is jumping in her throat and the slowly rising sun is starting to spill colour into the sky outside. Blood red, Scarlett and pink. The hue of the windows to the basement change with the sky outside and on the couch behind the door, is her brother. His throat cut and his bottom jaw removed with his genitals stuffed down his throat. Another low moan escapes her lips at the sight of him and she vomits. She hears a faint laugh and a bang on glass, scared shitless she sees a second masked figure at the window. A girl possibly, but it’s hard to tell with what she’s wearing, with what The Mother is seeing and feeling. She can hear the Tall Man in the shed above and the girl on her right. Panic sets in again and she passes out.

4.25am
In the back of her mind she heard “Wake her up, it’s time”, that same voice, without the cold laugh this time.

SLAP!!

The pain was immediate. Her wrists were bound by her sides and her legs were in the same boat. She utters a wailing squeal and -SMACK!! Another quick slap to the face.

“Get the needle, take away her movement and ability to talk, keep the feeling. I’m going to enjoy this” came a cold girls voice, not much younger than a woman.

“We should probably take off the masks now darling, I want her to know who we are, we deserve that much. After all she’s done, we deserve this”.

“Yes daddy” was the response that followed…

4.30am
Eyes wide open, paralysed and her body is throbbing. The Mothers eyes darting around the like a fish out of water with panic forcing the blood through her ears with the powerful roar of a waterfall. Her tormentors have revealed their faces. Beyond her belief, its Mary and her father, The Tall man aka  Arlon. Their eyes are nothing more than cold slabs of ice, empty and black. No light, no love. Just a cold steel that could freeze fire. “Shall we begin daddy?”
-yes darling, we shall. We have to cut the baby out first, and then we can toy with The Mother-.
The mothers blood turns to Ice in her veins, she can sense there is no getting out of this, no pleading, no blackmail, no amount of anything could change what’s about to happen and The Tall Man is relishing the moments. Tasting her fear and his breathing becoming heavier. He leans foward with a scalpel and makes a neat cut just under the navel, running the width of her hips. She can feel it, its excruciating, she can’t move or make a sound. Only silently cry as the tears slide down her immobilised cheeks. She hears the cry of the baby, her baby, His baby and Her sister. The Tall Man takes the baby in a blanket and wraps him up tight, in the growing light you can see the smile on his face, the love in his expression as he gazes at the last link of a lost woman. He turns to Mary “Finish her, any way you want. I’ll get the car easy and we will leave in 5. Burn the shed down.”
“Yes daddy”. Cold, full of fury. Almost able to feel the rage.

4.50am
“I didn’t deserve what you did to me, what uncle Frank and his friends did. No one does. But know this mother, I’m glad you thought the stand in was really me, it made it much easier. If u didn’t fall for it, you might have survived. Might have. Just so you know, I will never be like you. I fucking hate you and I’m going to enjoy watching whats left of the light fade from your eyes”. And with that she brought the Axe down on her mothers throat and finished what she never wanted a part of in the first place. A life she didn’t ask for.

4.55am
The low hum of the engine warming the cold steel, the heater warming the Interior while The Tall Man and his daughter load up the cars trunk, a low orange glow coming from the old shed, the grave and sports yard. May all the evil be burnt with the slut that brought it upon us, and with that, they pulled out of the long driveway and into the brightening day.

Posted from somewhere amongst the tangled interwebs….

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