Flash fiction written for the July 2020 'You're The Judge' competition.
| Sounds A Lot Like Murder
"Sarah, I know you are scared, but you must listen to me." Grant gripped my shoulders, gave me a shake that grew more violent until I lifted my eyes from the floor.
"Stop it. You're hurting me," I said, finally managing to find my voice.
"Sorry," Grant held up his hands and did look like he had not meant to cause me harm. "I had to get your attention somehow. This is not the time to go into shock."
I tried to ignore the sounds that were getting loud as the source of them grew nearer. There were bangs, crashes, the squealing of brakes, but it was the screams that scared me the most. They were agonized, primal screams, born from terror and my blood ran cold.
"It sounds so bad," I said, feeling my fragile self-control beginning to slip again. "It sounds like people are d... d... dying!"
"I know." Grant peeped out of the window and I began to turn my head. He shook his head. "Best not to, Sarah. It's... it's not a pretty sight."
"But what's happening, tell me!"
Grant got that shuttered look on his face that told me he was not about to say anything. I could never understand how I ended up with a husband who treated me more like a child than an equal. "If you can take it..."
"No, Sarah. I don't want you to look. I want you to listen to me very carefully."
"Okay." It was simpler to agree. I'd take a look when he'd finished giving out his orders.
Grant looked around the room we were in. It looked like some kind of store, empty and unused for although there were shelves there was nothing on them. I watched in open-mouthed amazement as he grabbed hold of one of the shelves and wrenched it free.
He seemed to be weighing it up in his hands before passing it to me. "Mind the nails," he warned. "Now listen. I'm not going to have time to tell you again."
And I could guess as much for the screams were right outside now, along with other noises. Moans, groans, and most disturbing of all, crunches.
"Stand here be ready. When something comes through the door, hit it as hard as you can. And don't stop until whoever... whatever it is stops moving. Have you got that?"
"But isn't that murder?" I asked, not quite believing what my husband was telling me to do.
"No, Sarah, it's not. You can't murder something that is already dead.