A collection of short stories, mostly written for 'Screams!'
| It's Just A Headache
"Are you okay, Paula?"
I blinked for a moment, put a bit of effort into focusing my sight. Ed was leaning forward, a frown on his face. "Yeah, I'm fine." I managed to loosen my tongue from the roof of my mouth, enough to say those three words anyway.
"You've gone awfully pale," he persisted.
Why wouldn't he just leave me alone? "It's just a headache," I said, gritting my teeth against the feeling that a drill was slowly, steadily working its way into the center of my brain. "I'll take a couple of painkillers and I'll be fine."
"Good. You'd better be, because we need to get everything wrapped up here today."
I turned away and fumbled through my bag, hiding the shaking in my hands. Anger, white hot fury, fought with the burning red of pain. How dare he talk to me that way?
Finally locating the painkillers, I swallowed a couple, then a couple more. Better that than have this feeling that my head's about to split in two. My hands slightly steadier, I turned back towards the camera. It needed to be in focus, and I needed to be able to make it zoom in and out as required.
"Are you ready this time, Paula?"
Jeez, he had to go and single me out, making me feel like I was responsible for the hold-up. I didn't dare answer, but made a hasty thumbs-up gesture and Ed began interviewing again. He was used to going over things more than once, and still capable of not letting it show. The problem was with those being interviewed. Amanda and Frances Scott were starting to look decidedly bored.
I panned the camera between the three of them and suddenly I was seeing red. Quite literally. It was as though the entire scene was awash with blood so thick that I could not see through it. Gasping from the agony, I heard a groan escape from my lips.
My hands left the camera and clamped around my head. I moved towards the nearest wall, barely able to stay upright as I staggered across the room. I then proceeded to hit my head against the wall. No matter how hard I hit it, it did nothing to lessen the agony.
Still blinded by the blood, I heard voices approaching and each one was like something hammering a nail through my skull.
"Shut up." I said, barely above a whisper in an attempt to cause no more additional pain. "Don't... say... a... word!"
And then everything blurred into movement and noise, which left me gasping and retching, until I finally managed to curl into a ball.
Slowly the pain began to recede as the painkillers began to kick in. I relaxed my arms, my legs, and opened my eyes. Blood, so much of it, covered me, the walls, the floor. There were even spatters on the ceiling.
I blinked, focused and began to panic, for I was the only one present still alive.