My writing career has stalled quite a bit over the last couple years, mainly due to the fact that I'm an idiot for not backing up my files when my previous laptop shit out on me and ate a majority of my work and works in progress. One of which is this "prelude", or opening if you will, to a full-length novel that I was in the process of getting off the ground. This is the only section of it that was saved, and that was only due to originally being an attachment in an email I sent to a friend a while back whose opinions and criticisms I was eager to hear.
I've usually always attempted to inject some sort of dark humor into anything I've written previously, but this marks a departure for me personally in terms of tone. The novel is tentatively called "Tapes", and details a serial killer that enjoys recording his crimes on good old fashioned VHS. In the middle of it is to be the discovery of said tapes by a film student, and the subsequent cat and mouse game that will follow.
Like I said, "Tapes" is something I wanted to do for some time that I want to make noticeably different from anything I've ever done before, and this rough cut of the beginning of the story hopefully represents that. So please, take a little bit of time, read it over, and let me know what you think; whether you're interested, disgusted, or think it's pure shit.
Maybe hopefully one day I'll get around to finishing it in full.
So here we go folks, strap yourselves in and hold on tight.....
TAPES BY NICK DURHAM
DRAFT # 1
The sting she felt as she opened her eyes wasn’t so much a feeling of pain as it was an annoyance. She felt something dripping down her right temple, and whatever it was had started running off into her eye. She wanted to rub it out more than anything, at least that was her first thought as to what her current heart’s desire was, until Gwen realized that she couldn’t move her hands. They were bound behind her as she realized she was sitting upright on a hard chair, probably a metal one at that, but she couldn’t be sure. The simple thing would be to look down, but every time she tried to move her head, the insides of her neck screamed in pain.
"What the fuck happened?"
Gwen managed to swivel her head around as she came to the realization that the room she was in was a dank, dark place. It was cold, and it just had a feeling of…dread. There was an atmosphere of some sort of sterility that wasn’t all that uncommon of the atmosphere she experienced the first time she went to Planned Parenthood in her youth. That feeling of dread that this is a place she shouldn’t be in.
"Where the fuck am I?"
Gwen’s concerns of her location only became exasperated when she finally noticed the camera on a tripod sitting directly in front of her. It was old, at least old to her. She didn’t know much about these kind of cameras, hell they were so rare anymore that she thought to herself if she had ever seen these kind of cameras in real life and not just on the internet or in old movies. She tried to focus her eyes directly on it. The buzzing in her head made it so hard to focus without seeing double, but when she did; she noticed the green light shining on the top of it and the cap dangling from the lens.
"It’s recording me…"
She thought to herself where was she last? It was last call at “RabbleRousers”, the local shithole bar that she had been moonlighting in for the past three weeks just out of desperation. In three weeks time, she had gone from having to take her clothes off for money and give the occasional handy to serving cheap whiskey for the old men and watered down Red Bull and cheap vodka to the college kids that come and go passing through Huntingdon Valley. But fucking hell, what the hell happened?
“Hello? Is anyone there?”
Nothing. Just a few creaks and cracks. She raised her line of vision up higher, noticing the singular light bulb in the ceiling. Smeared dust and a slightly swinging chain switch hanging down. It didn’t do a whole hell of a lot of good in illuminating the room, but what Gwen did notice is that there was something hanging on the wall to her left. She couldn’t exactly get a decent look at what it was, with the pain in her neck and head she couldn’t really turn to see, but what she could see was the shadowy outline of whatever it was hanging there. All she had to see was the sharp-looking tip and she knew what it was.
“Hello? Someone please….help me…”
Gwen’s words and pleas were choked down by tears that appeared out of nowhere. She never cried, hadn’t cried since Dad died nearly a decade ago. He always taught her not to let anything get to her, to always keep her cool. He was a cop once; he taught his little girl a lot, taught her how to survive in a mad world. And with everything she’s seen so far: dark room, hanging knife (or sword she thought), camera, and she’s bound and has no recollection of how the fuck she got here, Gwen knew that things were about to get very, very bad.
“I see a red door, and I want it painted black…”
Gwen felt paralyzed when she heard the singing voice. It’s coming from behind me… The thoughts running through Gwen’s head were going a mile a minute.
“No color’s anymore, I want them to turn black…”
She could feel his hot breath on the back of her head, feel the cold sharp tip of a knife pressed along the back of her neck, and the next thing her eyes caught was his rock hard cock as he stood to her side and started stroking it in front of her with his one free hand. Gwen could still feel the knife, pressing in a little farther that corresponded with his steadily faster strokes. He was getting closer and closer.
“I see the girls walk by, dressed in their summer clothes…”
All of a sudden he stopped. He wouldn’t let himself finish, not yet. He walked behind the camera and started doing something behind it, and she noticed the green light start flashing before it disappeared, being replaced by red and yellow lights flickering on and off instead. As he lifted his head up from behind, Gwen realized that he was wearing a ski-mask. He was completely naked, except for the mask. And that masked head of his was the last thing she saw before he reached upwards and pulled on the chain, turning out the light. Everything went black.
“I can still see you…little girl…”
The tears started running down Gwen’s face like a waterfall. She was paralyzed with fear like she had never ever felt before, so much so that she couldn’t find any kind of words to attempt to speak in an effort to plead for her life. She couldn’t comprehend just what was happening to her. And most of all, she didn’t realize the flickering red and yellow lights from the camera lifting into the air, moving around her.
“I can still see you…little girl…as long as I have this…”
The last thing that Gwen felt was the sharp stab that went through her throat as she finally managed to come up with the words to use to beg for her miserable, worthless, stupid life, and they went pouring out of her neck along with all the blood and bile that had been built up since she woke up here tonight. She was already bled out by the time his ejaculation had landed in her hair, and had already been long dead by the time he finally decided to stop recording with the night vision filter. Afterwards he pulled the chain switch back on for the light, and sat down on the floor Indian style and admired his work for just a little bit longer.