Troy LambertGuest Blog & Book Giveaway
Pleasewelcome Troy Lambert, author of Broken Bones short story collection, to my blogtoday with a SCARY guest post in anticipation for Halloween. He has graciouslyoffered for giveaway to one lucky commenter, a copy of Broken Bones.
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What is your mostmemorable scare???
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Devil in a School Dress
Thewindshield was spattered with blood. Her blood.
Whydid Brad have to have such a high mountain driveway? A mangy black dog hadrun into the road and she had swerved to miss it. The passenger side wheelsleft the pavement. She tried to correct, got them back on solid ground, butslid sideways. That’s when the rear wheels left the pavement and the car tumbledend over end down the hill.
Shewas seat belted in, and every air bag in the Volvo her husband had insisted onbuying her had deployed. Her husband, who was on business in Chicago with theadvertising firm they both worked for. Somehow in all the flipping the car hadturned around and now she was facing downhill looking at a tree through thespider webbed cracks and droplets of blood. She tried to lift her right arm totouch her head, and pain shot through her arm and up to her shoulder. Broken.
Herhusband had insisted on the Volvo for the safety. Yet she was headed to Brad’sto celebrate Halloween after she had called her husband earlier in the eveningand told him she had a headache and would be going to bed early. He had beenconcerned. “You sure you are okay honey?” he asked.
Shehad reassured him. Of course she was fine, she had told him. It was just alittle headache. She was going to stay home.
“Goodnight.I love you,” he said.
“Goodnight,”she had answered and hung up. She touched her forehead with her left hand andit came away soaked. There was a lot of blood and she smelled something shedidn’t like. Gas.
Shetried to open the door. It was twisted and mangled into place. She couldn’tmove it. Frantic, she banged her leftshoulder into it over and over, finally falling back into the seat. She undidher seat belt and stared at the center console. It had popped open in the crashand inside was one of those little brass hammers for breaking the window if youwere underwater. Her husband had insisted she carry it. At the same time shespotted her cell phone on the passenger side floor. It was lit up and ringing.Even from here she could see the name on the caller ID. It was Brad. She triedto reach it with her left hand. She couldn’t reach the phone, but her handclosed around the handle of the hammer.
Thegas smell seemed to get suddenly stronger and she retched nearly losing thelight dinner she had eaten earlier. With a rapid reflex she raised the hammerand broke the window pushing it out. Fresh air flooded the car and sheattempted to turn her legs to slide out the window. Her right ankle protested,but not as loudly as her arm. She screamed with a start and then began to movemore carefully. An inch at a time she eased herself out the window, working hershoulders out first including her dangling right arm. Holding on with her leftshe judged the distance to the ground dreading the drop.
Hercell chirped again, the signal for a text message. As it did the right side ofthe car exploded pushing her out of the window and into the dirt. She landed onher right side, and then began to roll rapidly downhill. She fetched up againsta tree with a grunt, and for a moment the world went black.
Sheawoke to two things: smoke and fire. She struggled to stand, and kicked off theridiculous red heels she had been wearing. She looked down at her costume,suddenly ashamed. A devil in a schoolgirl dress? Really? It had seemedso playful and harmless at the time. Her legs were scratched and the redstockings were shredded. The tail and pitchfork still protruded though at anodd angle from under the plaid skirt. She thought of the red garters there, thered matching bra under her white button up blouse now stained with blood.
Atleast your underwear are clean, She thought and giggled thinking of hermother’s odd obsession. Her thoughts were interrupted by crackling flames. Thehillside was on fire. There was a trail a foot from where she landed that leddownhill.
Alwaysgo uphill form a fire, her husband’s voice said inside her head.
Shelooked at the heavy underbrush. “I can’t honey,” she said out loud. “I loveyou.” She limped down the trail, full of regret, moving as quickly as shecould. A few yards ahead she saw a gate. A sign read:
Abbandonateogni speranza che entrate.
Itlooked oddly familiar but she couldn’t remember where from. She went through.As she did the air changed. It smelled like burning sulfur.
Sheturned and looked back through. There, closer than she thought possible was hercrushed Volvo. Flames licked hungrily at the hillside around it, and right nextto the driver’s side door lay a body. She recognized the costume, and thelittle headband with the red horns laying by the head.
“Welcome,”a deep voice said. She turned and saw a beautiful blond angel. He looked a lotlike Brad.
“ThankGod,” she sighed. For a second I thought. . .
Heheld up a hand. “Your costume is a poor imitation of me,” he stated. Her facefell. He straightened to a regal pose and began to speak:
I am the way into thecity of woe.
I am the way to a forsaken people.
I am the way into eternal sorrow.
Sacred justice moved my architect.
I was raised here by divine omnipotence,
primordial love and ultimate intellect.
Only those elements time cannot wear
were made before me, and beyond time I stand.
Abbandonate ogni speranza che entrate.
“AbandonHope All Ye Who Enter Here,” his voice filled the world with the translation.
Shecried out in horror and screamed. Lucifer stood silent waiting patiently forher to stop.
Troy Lambert isauthor of the short story collection-“Broken Bones”. He is a freelance writerand historian from North Idaho where he lives with two gifted dogs, two of hisfive children, and his lovely wife of ten years.
Troy Lambert Website
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