Faced with Horror

30 Jul

The story you’re about to read was authored by one of my students, Erin, an incredible and dedicated writer. Almost every day, she churns out a complete short story and allows me to read it aloud to the class. Erin’s stories are often brimming with horror and suspense, and this one, “The Taxidermist,” is no exception. This story, which is may not be appropriate for very young readers, had our entire class on the edge of their seats.

Kendra Fortmeyer
Badgerdog Teaching Artist

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The Taxidermist

A few weeks ago, my best friend went missing while investigating a man believed to be responsible for several abductions.

I’m determined to find her, and the man she was investigating has just left his house. There’s no telling how long he’ll be gone, so I have to move fast.

Once he’s a few blocks away, I walk casually across the road and up to his doorstep. I glance over my shoulder and then set to work. After a few minutes picking the lock, the door swings open, and I cautiously step inside.

There are stuffed animals everywhere the eye might land, as well as deer heads on the walls and multiple fur rugs laid out on the floor. I walk up the stairs.

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When I open the door to the first room, I nearly puke on the polished floorboards. The room is filled with people no longer living. They’ve all been stuffed! I recognize many of their faces from the missing signs posted around town, and there are many more I can’t recognize.

Each room is the same—people everywhere stuffed in different poses. They’re each wearing different outfits, like life-sized Barbie dolls. I don’t even want to imagine it.

Suddenly, a noise from downstairs pulls me away from my thoughts. It’s the sound of a door opening and closing. The taxidermist is back!

I retrace my steps as silently as I can and retreat back into one of the rooms. I creep up to the table, grab the phone, and dial 9-1-1. I give them the address then hang up. All I have to do is hide and wait for the authorities to arrive.

I crawl over to a bed to hide when I hear a loud creak from the floorboard where I’ve just placed my hand. I hear him shut off the television and walk up the stairs. He knows there’s someone in the house, and he knows which room I’m in. I have to act fast.

I creep quickly out of the room and down the hallway into a movie room. I crouch behind the leather chair, which I really hope is fake. Then I wait, my heart in my throat.

A shadow appears in the doorway, then vanishes. I wait a bit longer, then peek my head over the top of the chair. I scream—he is right in front of me! But he walks around the chair as if he has all the time in the world. I circle around the chair as well, keeping a few feet between us until the door is at my back.

Then I leap backwards and slam the door shut.  Before he manages to open the door, I dive into a room I haven’t yet explored, and I immediately wish I hadn’t.

I’m in the bathroom, and there, submerged in the bathtub, is my friend. I would faint if it weren’t for the adrenaline rushing through me.

I have no idea how much time passes as I just stand there, staring in disbelief at her. I remind myself that now is not the time to mourn, and I open the door a crack to see him disappear into the next room.

I open the door only as wide as necessary, then make my way toward the stairs as stealthily as possible. But luck is not in my favor today, and just as I reach the stairs, he comes out of the room, his eyes locking onto mine. I high-tail it down the stairs and into the garage.

As I attempt to open the garage door, I hear him walking casually down the stairs, speaking calmly and matter-of-factly.

“So, you’ve seen my newest addition, I see. That’s where you’ll be in a few hours, to soak. You’ll make a nice addition to my collection. Before that happens, though, you get to pick out your outfit. If you’re a good girl. If not, I’ll choose for you.”

Then he appears in the doorway and walks down the few remaining stairs painstakingly slowly. He’ll be upon me in a few seconds. I desperately cast around for a weapon.

The only thing remotely dangerous in the garage is a screwdriver, so I snatch it up and conceal it in my jacket sleeve. Then he is standing in front of me with a kitchen knife in one hand.

He strikes out, not to kill, but to keep me from running away. Luckily for me, he’s been drinking, and so his movements are clumsy and slurred.

I lash out at him when he stumbles, and I nail him right in the … Umm… Nevermind. I hit him where it causes severe pain but not death. Then, thankfully, the police arrive.

Erin, eighth grade, Badgerdog Creative Writing Summer Camp at The Griffin School

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7 Responses to “Faced with Horror”

  1. heather July 31, 2013 at 1:03 am #

    Fantastic job Erin!

  2. David Witteried July 31, 2013 at 5:36 am #

    That was a great story! I especially liked the part about picking her own outfit… Made me wonder what the friend chose!

  3. littlefish5 July 31, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    A terrific story Erin – I can see how your class would be on the edge of their seats … it’s very spooky!

  4. Maureen Wignes July 31, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    Amazing story, Erin! Can’t wait to read more of your stories.

  5. Anonymous July 31, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

    You definitely have a talent for writing, Erin. I am very impressed and was very scared by this story. You captured me immediately and kept expertly building the suspense. Great work!

  6. Rhonda Jean Kowald July 31, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Love it Erin, hopefully one day I will be reading your murder mystery novels!

  7. Jay Parekh August 2, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    Erin, this was a very creative writing piece. I liked some of the subtle comments in the story e.g. the leather of the chair (I hope it is not real)…
    Good flow of the movement and ending up in the garage.
    Congratulations and wish you good luck for more writing…keep it going.

    Jay

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