C.L. Hesser will be featuring four short stories on Popcorn Horror, every Friday for the next four weeks.
Bio by C.L. Hesser
I’m not one to speak about myself unheeded, but here goes. I guess I’ve always been a storyteller, from before I can remember… and I’ve always written horror, in a way. Creatures getting eaten alive by dinosaur ape-men? Is that horror? I guess my relations didn’t mind until I kept coming up with tale about eyeball slaughters. And insane, beautiful teenagers trapped in a madhouse, living out their nightmares.
Er, I was an odd kid.
But I finally stumbled upon some inspiring work – horror novels, to be exact. And stories, so many stories. Short stories always have called to me – they’re just enough to tantalize but not enough to overwhelm the horror. So I consumed these novels and anthologies by the dozen, gulping them down like so much super-sweetened ice tea.
All under my parent’s self-righteous noses.
Anne Rice, Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Bradbury, Thomas Harris. Even a touch of Dean Koontz. And then I found the movies…
From there, it’s all history. Found my love for horror and cultivated it, and pushed through despite the chiding tones of some quite smart English teachers. I’m sure I appreciate every nugget of literary gold I’ve stumbled into over the years.
I live in the suburbia wilderness to the south of Atlanta, Georgia, and spend my spare time hunting for killer mermaids in nearby lakes. So far, I’ve not had much luck.
Dead Girl Talking
She killed me yesterday.
Now I’m lying here, dead, with my arm on the other side of the room. She’s sawing me up into tiny little pieces and stuffing me into these huge, black garbage bags.
Surprisingly, I’m cool with all this. I mean, it didn’t even hurt that bad in the end. Sure, the first few blows were kind of scary. But I got over the initial fear pretty fast.
She’s a pretty one, and she always has been. Even when we met back in high school, and I was still going through an “awkward” phase, she was gorgeous. A real stunner. All the boys went crazy for her.
To be totally honest, I had this massive crush on her for years. Absolute years. I wanted to fuck her, seriously. And now she’s killed me…
Well, I guess it all led up to this murder. Last night. I remember when she approached me at that shitty little bar. I’d just finished off my fourth drink of the evening, some damned horrible concoction, and I was just about ready to head home when she showed up.
I saw her come in, all done up in furs and pearl necklace, and she looked right at me from across the room. I swear my stomach did a literal flip, and it wasn’t just the lack of sleep. She was pretty as ever, just like an angel if an angel teased her hair up and did her eyes with black makeup. Purplish-red lips, pale skin, legs that went for miles.
She sidled up next to me and that smile of hers – the kind that starts at the corners of the mouth and then just grows and grows – spread over her face. Sweet as hell. She leaned in and whispered something in my ear but I didn’t quite catch the import.
Wanted to talk to me for a while, to catch up on all the goings-on.
I was sort of dead-to-the-world by then, but she definitely woke me up. Those dark eyes just drew me in, and I got lost. She kissed me. I jumped back, shocked. Her lips tasted like electricity, but coated in slick lipstick and beaded with sweat from beneath her nose.
Her makeup powdered off on my own face, and her eyes got so close to mine I could see the little vein-y things in each iris.
I think I choked out some incomprehensible phrases, but she laughed like I’d told the fucking joke of the century. She ordered another drink for me, and one for herself, but I’d already had enough so when she’d finished up hers we headed out. She told me she lived nearby, in one of those classy flats with the pretty wallpapers.
We got inside and she started taking off my filmy little blouse, and I was by then too drunk and insensitive to protest. Her lips on mine, again, and she pushed me up against one of the walls. Fingers sort of exploring me.
She tasted weird, almost like chemicals. Not like me.
I wanted to push her away, suddenly. Felt distinct waves of disgust when she unbuttoned the top catch on my jeans and pushed the waist down. But I couldn’t really protest even if I wanted to. She was always taller than me, slightly larger.
I have a tiny frame and she pinioned me quite easily while her hands groped at me. Undid my jeans all the way and flung my blouse to the rich carpet. My head sort of went crazy then. I don’t remember what happened afterwards but I woke up in her bed, naked, and she was gone.
It was late night by then, maybe three o’clock. I didn’t like to be away from home after two, but couldn’t do much about it because – quite frankly – I didn’t know where I was. Still don’t.
Everything sounded real quiet and I just wanted to die, suddenly. Of course I wanted to die when I left my own flat that night, and I thought maybe I’d met her for a reason. Premonition, I guess.
I’d just been dumped.
I guess the girl just couldn’t deal with all my bullshit.
So this other woman – the one I’d known in high school – she came back with this needle, all dripping with something clear. She stuck it in my neck, I passed out like most people will, and woke up here.
Stuck on a metal slab with knots digging into my wrists. I tried to move but still hadn’t woken up completely, and she was standing there with a screwdriver in one hand. Dug it into me, just a little jab at first, and then she got out the handsaw and she started on my legs. Tearing them off, and when she got to the bone the pain got through the anesthetic she’d apparently injected me with.
I was crying, eventually, and she kissed my tears away in between bends of the saw. I wanted to die, of course I did, I always had. But now it was happening and the joy was just so much.
This was like one of those dreams I had when I was a twenty-something. The killer closing in, longing for me, longing to kill me. Now it was happening, and with the anesthesia it didn’t even hurt that bad.
And finally I died.
And now I’m here, not quite gone yet, waiting for every part of me to go out of these old limbs. She’s taking off my other arm, now. My legs, of course, are already gone. She chopped off my hair, too. Tied it around a little peg.
She put on some music a few minutes ago. I’m not sure where we are, but I guess she’s not worrying about anyone hearing her because that music’s turned up pretty loud. I think it might be The Cure. Not sure. She still looks very beautiful, covered in my blood and with my intestines draped over her neck and shoulders. I think she’s naked.
Okay, I’m probably almost gone.
Well, the light’s fading and I think I’m about to say good-bye to everything. This is a good death, in the end. At least I knew her. At least she wasn’t a stranger, not really.
I wonder where I’ll end up.
I wonder whe – .