#SpookyShowcase: Grave Error by Kim Plasket

Welcome to the 9th annual #SpookyShowcase, a Halloween artist and author showcase. A full schedule of submissions can be found here so you don’t miss a single entry for THESE DEADLY CURSES. Now, on to today’s submission!

Grave Error by Kim Plasket

The old library was to be demolished so I convinced my mom to let me walk through it one more time. She told me to be careful because the floor was rotting out in several places. It was not safe.

I knew exactly where I wanted to go, there was a room off the main area. It used to be the reference room. It stored the moldy old books and leftover newspapers that nobody cared about. 

I had been interested in older things since I was a kid. I used to tell my mom how I lived before and missed my former life. She had said it was just because I read so much. After a few years, I gave up thinking about it, but at the back of my mind. I always wondered if there was something to the feeling, but I stopped mentioning it to anyone. 

When I was a teenager the library was where I spent a decent amount of time. I loved to read the old reference books so I would spend hours reading about the town. I found a small hidden area. One could call it a safe but I told myself it was a hiding spot where only the most dangerous things belonged.

That is why I found myself walking through the library even though it was almost dark outside. There was a storm coming in which contributed to the darkness. I wanted to move fast because I hated storms but it was safer for me to take it one step at a time.

In this spot was an old book. It looked like a journal. I didn’t have time to read it then so I put it back. I was pretty sure there would be nobody who would find it. In the years since I had seen the book, I wondered if it was still there.

The spot was at the back of the room, I knew in this mess it would be tough to get to but I was determined. If this old place was getting torn down then I would preserve something from it.

I ignored the fact the books and other stuff had been saved; to my mind, this was the only thing that mattered. If I stopped to think about it I would know this obsession wasn’t healthy. Before I came home I started to dream about the book. In my dreams it was calling out to me, telling me how I needed it. My life would never amount to anything until I held the book in my hands.

It was pathetic how I was being bullied by a book in my dreams. I was used to bullies, dealt with them my whole life. But never did I consider a book to be a bully. Books were my friends. 

“I wonder if when I touch the book I will decide to keep it or will I burn it.” That was my original plan. When I got the book I was going to take it out behind the house, put it into a metal trash can then burn the hell out of it.  I hoped it would stop the nightmares, how I never stopped thinking about it even when I became an adult. 

I was walking in silence when I thought I heard whispering coming from the direction I was heading into. While most people would more than likely turn around and go in the opposite direction. I was headed towards possible danger.

A faint ticking sound came from the walls, as if a clock had sped up to make time go faster. I felt my heart trying to sync its beat with the ticking sound. I took a deep breath and willed myself to ignore the tickling. 

There was something my grandmother used to say that I never understood when I was young. “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” It took until this day for me to understand what she meant.

I had no idea what was in the darkness with me. The fact I heard whispering should have told me to leave but there was something about it. To my ears, it was almost lyrical as if it was a song and if I concentrated enough I would be able to sing it.

I stopped to listen because the song was wrapping itself around me. My soul froze as the words became clear but a small part of me rejoiced.

“The vision that you can see foretells all that you can be. You need to show the world your strength and you will become a flame that will never die. Show the world your strength and they will bow down. Your enemy vanquished forever. Will you hear their cries?”

I felt the words as they entered my ears and circled inside of my skull. I heard myself humming along with the song. It didn’t take long for me to learn the words. For the first time in my life, I sang out loud not caring if anyone heard me.

The words repeated themselves but I felt the urge to add more to it because there had to be more. I had no idea what was going on but the urge to sing louder than I ever did was strong.

Blood for blood is how the story goes. Words can never hurt is what they want you to believe but words are sharper than a knife. I will strike you down if you cross me. Bad intentions will win in the end. Your blood will boil, your soul will be mine.

I had no idea where the words came from but it seemed to work. As I sang the humming became louder so I kept going, after all I knew nothing could hurt me. I paused for a moment before I stepped into the room. 

The room filled with thick fog but my feet never stopped. I knew where the book was and nothing was going to stop me from getting it. 

I reached my hand out for the book, ignoring the small jolts of electricity that seemed to be forming around me. When my fingers touched the spine of the book, a massive shock went through me as if I touched a live wire.

Part of me waited for it to knock me back but I felt stronger. I couldn’t wait to open the book because that would give me the answers to all I had been looking for. Most of my life was spent looking at everyone having fun while I was excluded.

Yes, I was an adult but those feelings from my childhood were never gone. What could retrieving  a book that I hadn’t seen in twenty years do? Nothing but it would be nice if it did. I could see myself standing at the old church, book in hand. People would be looking at me with fear in their eyes as I led them to their death.

It was a remarkable feeling for me. I knew it was my imagination. Surely this tattered old book with the odd red stains was a cookbook that was splattered with tomato sauce. Yeah, that had to be it. After all, who in their right mind would keep something evil?

I peeked inside the pages. Even with the encroaching darkness I could read some of it. The one thing that caught my eye was a paragraph that was handwritten by someone.

A piece of wood will be your undoing. It will be the splinter that allows the evil to burst free. You will feel the curse for all eternity. 

I guess I had to be careful of splinters. I told myself again that it was a silly book. I clutched it even tighter as if someone was going to try to take it from me.

I was going towards the front door, from behind me I could hear something cracking. As if the roof was starting to fall in. I could hear the thunder racing across the sky. The lightning flashed like strobe lights in the dark sky. I got to the front door and a sudden gust of hot air blew me out the door. I was laying on the sidewalk before I became aware of anything. 

The building had been struck by lightning right where I had been standing. Burn marks slashed across the door and if that wasn’t a hint enough, the damn thing was smoking more than a teenager at their first keg party. If something hadn’t shoved me out of the way I would have been dead. The rain was slamming into me like miniature pointed needles. The temperature had to have dropped at least 10 degrees since I went inside. 

“Are you alright, girly?” An older man was at my side. Looking at what was left of the library and then at me.

My ears were ringing and I realized I was still gripping the book. I nodded my head and he seemed to take it at face value although I did see how his eyes peered into mine. 

“You came flying out of there like the hounds of hell were after you. As long as you are okay. I have called the fire department and the police.” He gave me the once over.

“I had permission to be in there.” I started to stand up and got dizzy. 

“I know girlie. I called Marge Thompson when I saw lights inside and she told me she permitted Bethany.” he peered at me once more.

“I’m Bethany Thompson and Marge is my mother.” I was well aware I looked nothing like my mother. She always had her dark brown hair styled perfectly. She would never wear jeans and a sweatshirt which I was sure were both ruined now. My black hair was in a ponytail to keep it out of my face. I knew I had dirt on my face and not a speck of makeup under the dirt. 

“As long as you are okay,” he said. His eyes shone red for a moment but I told myself it was a reaction to what happened to me. 

“I’m fine. May I leave now?” I felt something sticking in my back but ignored it. I figured it was a splinter of some sort. I would get it out when I got home.

“Of course. Do you need a ride?” he asked even though that seemed to be the last thing he wanted to do. The storm was getting worse so I was sure he would prefer to be anywhere but there.

I told him I was fine to walk. Something other than the splinter in my back was nagging at me. I wanted to read the book but it was storming so bad I kept it shoved down my shirt.

When I got home I lit a couple of candles so I could read better. There was a small splinter in my back and pulled it out. I wasn’t too worried until I felt something under my skin. It felt as if it was burrowing inside of me.

I opened the book and the first thing I saw was. A piece of wood will be your undoing. It will be the splinter that allows the evil to burst free. You will feel the curse for all eternity. 

I kept looking because if this was a curse, from the way the thing was moving it seemed to be alive. So I guess it was looking for the elusive evil inside of me. 

I had to find a way out of it no matter what I had to do.  If I had to die to prevent this evil from coming into the world then that is what I will do. 

“The way to free yourself from the binds of evil is to let your blood fall. You need to let your soul be free before it is taken into hell. Spill blood onto the ground and show the demons you are more powerful.”

I knew what this meant. It became too clear to me. I had to spill the blood of someone before the splinter could get too deep. I had no idea what that meant but it was set in my mind. 

My mom left me a note on the table telling me that she was going out and would be home in the morning. This was fine since I had a feeling I was going to be up very late. 

The way the old man looked at me came to mind. The way his eyes glowed told me there was more to him than met the eye. I wondered why he didn’t ask me about the book unless of course, he knew all about it. 

I was staying with my mom while visiting. Her house was full of pillows and sewing things even though I never remembered her sewing when I was growing up. I mentioned helping her to clean out some stuff while I was here but she told me that when she was ready she would clean up. 

I was sitting at the table, a cold cup of tea next to me. I was reading the book and I knew it wasn’t a cookbook. It was a spellbook and written in the margins were noted as if the owner of the book had their ideas. 

I knew it was old because some of the ink was faded but it was interesting. It told how to get back at your enemies, how to get a lover to fall in love with you again. 

It was the writing in the margins that interested me, it was as though they were tailored for me. I could see the person who wrote them. Her long hair falling over their eyes. As she did their best to write clearly since she had awful writing. They knew it had to last a long time, letting each person who found the book get what they needed out of it. As I thought about this I thought I heard a noise outside. 

When a crash of thunder sounded right after, I told myself it was the storm. I looked out the window and thought I saw a shadow moving away from the house. I jumped up and grabbed the book intending on following the figure.

“What will you do when you catch him?” A voice in my head said. 

“I have no idea.” I sat on the couch the book still in my hand. I had to figure out what to do. I still had the small splinter of wood buried inside of me. Which could only be expelled by the blood of another but did I have it in me to kill someone.

I shut the book and put it on the coffee table in front of me. The storm outside was getting worse. The lighting ripped a hole in the sky. Causing the darkness to momentarily vanish only to become dark once more. The thunder sounded like racecars rushing to reach the finish line. Each rumble louder as the storm got closer. The rain was coming down so hard it was difficult for me to see out the window that was directly behind me. 

A weird feeling of being watched crept over me, I could feel eyes in the darkness staring at me. They were judging me and found me lacking.

A sudden spark of anger rushed through me. I wanted to find whoever was watching me and bash their heads in. I grabbed the book and violently began to page through it. “It has to be here” I heard myself muttering in a hoarse voice.

I turned to a page near the end of the book. As soon as I let go the lights flickered and went out. A sudden crash at the front door made me wonder if the people watching me were trying to come inside. My mom always kept a large flashlight next to the sofa. She said it helped her feel safer especially since it could double as a weapon.

I didn’t turn it on at first because I wanted the element of surprise. I could hear the wind and the rain so I knew the door was open. There was no way for me to tell if it was slammed open or if something crashed into it.

I thought I heard my name but I ignored it. I got to the door. “The wind must have opened it,” I said and put the deadbolt on so it didn’t happen again.

The power was out so I sat in the living room. Wondering why I felt afraid to go sleep in the bedroom. “I will sleep here. I can’t go out in this storm.” I decided I would try to find out how to hurt someone without killing them. 

The next morning when I woke up. My side hurt but I did my best to ignore it since I knew it was the stick. I grabbed the book and kept looking through it.

“The eyes are the windows to the soul. You will see your victim in their eyes. You can feel it when you are near them. All you need to do is make them want to die. A simple smile and suggestion will go a long way to make others cry. You have the power and it grows stronger by the hour.”

It made no sense but if I could get someone to die either by their hand or someone else. Then yes that would give me so much power or so the story went. 

I got to the final page. There the handwriting was bold and I knew it was meant for me. “By the time you get to this page your path will be laid out for you but there is a chance you won’t like the outcome. You think you have all the answers but you haven’t asked the one question that will answer it all for you.”

I saw that the way it ended. It was like whoever wrote it either stopped or they got interrupted. I never did check to see if there was an owner to the book but I was running out of time. I had the image of a clock inside of my head and the clock was ticking away. 

It was the same ticking I had heard in the library, but now it was slowed down as if the clock needed to be rewound before it died. It was trite but I knew it was the ticking sound of my life. I had to have someone shed their blood or I would have to repeat this.

“Wait, what did I mean repeat this?” I muttered as I left the house. An image of a grave came to my mind. The image told me that I had to go to the cemetery. Even if I wasn’t going to be able to find anyone who would shed their blood. At least I would understand what the image was saying.

The clouds were still overhead but I kept going. A fire was lit within me. I had to see why I kept thinking I had done all of this before. I had the flashlight in case the weather got bad again.

I was wandering around the headstones trying to see why I was brought here. There was a group of people a few rows up staring at one grave. They must have heard me as I walked along because they all looked up at me. 

I didn’t speak to any of them but I had to admit they made me nervous. The way they looked up at the same time then glanced at the headstone. They turned as a group and started to walk away. At one point they stopped and looked at me then at the grave. I knew then that I was to go and look at it myself. I was naturally curious so for me this was suspicious behavior.

I got to the grave and sat down heavily. The name on the headstone was “Bethany Thompson” According to the headstone the day I die was today. “If I rush home there will be nothing that can kill me” I heard myself say as the pain in my side increased. 

I fell to my knees and the book landed on the ground. The open page mocked me. “This is your fate. You never get this far so you changed some of your stories but as always. The splinter must take your life and it will be your bloodshed once more.”

The ticking reverberated around the cemetery, mocking me as it slowed up even more. I felt something warm on my hands and I looked down and saw I was bleeding. A branch broke nearby and then I saw the group back. At the end was the old man; he merely smiled at me. 

“Your fate is to die so we can keep going. No matter how hard you try this will never change” He said as he grabbed the book. “Now to put this back where it belongs so you can try again.” He turned and walked away but then he stopped.

“This has been going on for centuries and you will never change what happens. Your blood makes us stronger.” His eyes were dark red as he looked at me through the sudden darkness.

“Nothing will change,” he laughed until I glared at him.

“I will be back. Then and only then will this change. I will know where to look and how to defeat you. Your blood will be shed and this will end.”

As my eyes closed I heard the clock finally stop as I laid on the grave meant for me all along.

About the Author

Kim Plasket, a Jersey girl in Florida, enjoys writing horror and paranormal. She has several stories in various anthologies such as:

  • Holiday Horror Collection: (A Collection of Flash Fiction Anthologies)
  • Dark Halloween: A Flash Fiction Anthology (Holiday Horror Collection Book 5)
  • Supernatural Drabbles of Dread: A Horror Anthology
  • Extreme Drabbles of Dread: A Horror Anthology
  • Forgotten Ones: Drabbles of Myth and Legend
  • Scary Snippets: Christmas Edition
  • In The Red Room: A crime anthology with heart
  • YEAR ONE (Dark Moments Book 1)
  • Scary Snippets: Valentine’s Edition
  • The Thrill of the Hunt: Cabin Fever (Thrill of the Hunt Anthology Book 6)
  • Scary Snippets: A Halloween Microfiction Anthology
  • Blood From a Tombstone Volume 2: Fear
  • Beneath the Twin Suns: An Anthology
  • Once Upon Academy: Anthology (Once Upon Academy Anthology Book 1)
  • Fireflies & Fairy Dust: A Fantasy Anthology
  • The Thrill of the Hunt: Urban Legends Re-Imagined (Thrill of the Hunt Anthology Book 4)
  • The Thrill of the Hunt: Twisted Nursery Rhymes
  • The Gathering
  • The Hunted: Welcome to Whitebridge (Thrill of the Hunt Anthology Book 3)
  • The thrill of the Hunt: Buried Alive (Thrill of the Hunt Anthology Book 5)
  • Demonic Household: See Owner’s Manual: A Dark Humor Short Story (Demonic Anthology Collection Book 2)
  • Demonic Carnival: First Ticket’s Free (Demonic Anthology Collection Book 3)
  • Demonic Wildlife: A Fantastical Funny Adventure: Dark Humor Short Story Collection (Demonic Anthology Series Book 1)
  • Demonic Classics: Once Upon a Debacle (Demonic Anthology Collection Book 4)
  • The Thrill of the Hunt: Twisted Nursery Rhymes: A Thrill of the Hunt Anthology
  • Lost Lore and Legends
  • Trembling With Fear: More Tales From The Tree
  • And her debut Novel: The Forgotten Ones.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B074YCLRCF

Twitter: @KimPlasket

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