So in less than 600 words here is my submission for Tastes of the Darkness:
"Don't do this," Jacob said. The knife on his throat was cold and sharp. "Don't do this," he said again. "Please."
There was silence. Jacob couldn't see his attacker but he could feel his thoughts. Another endless moment of rapid blinking passed and finally, "Why?"
"Why?" Jacob's surprise nearly drove the fear away but as soon as the knife dug deeper into his throat, it returned, full-blown. "Why? Because I want to live, that's why."
Silence. The wheels turned in the mind that belonged to the hand holding a knife. "I don't think so."
"What? What do you mean 'you don't think so'?"
"I don't think you want to live."
Jacob considered that for a moment. So this wasn't a random attack, someone thought this through. How did they get to him anyways? Wasn't he all alone here?
"I know what you're thinking," the man said, "and you're not wrong. I've been watching you for a while now. Just as I said, you don't want to live." The hand moved away, easing the pressure on his neck but Jacob knew it was misleading; it only moved to gain momentum before plunging the knife into his throat, slashing it.
"Wait," he nearly yelled. "Wait."
The hand stopped.
The knife rested back on his throat. Jacob was almost relieved to feel it again.
"Why do you think I don't want to live?"
A snort. "Obvious, don't you think?"
Jacob managed a slight shake of the head but stopped as the knife cut him somewhat. A trickle of warm blood started running down his throat. His mouth dried.
"Careful there. I thought you wanted to live," the voice sniggered. "See, any man who chooses to live away from civilization, basically shuns the living."
"But it is only temporary. I just needed some time alone."
"And that 'some time alone' turned into how many months?"
Jacob's head would have slumped if it could. "Fourteen months, one week and two days," he said in a defeated voice. "I justÂ " He closed his eyes. "Ever sinceÂ " He swallowed carefully, feeling the blade as he did. "You knowÂ "
"Oh, but I do know." The hand moved away again. "And that's why you want to die. I'm doing you a favour, really."
"What if I promised to return to the land of the living? You know, go back to my home in the city, resume work and all that?" Jacob was scrambling, he knew, but hoped this would help nonetheless.
Silence. Knife back at his throat. Then, "I don't think so."
"Why? Why not?"
"I don't think you could do that anymore. You would be just as miserable if not more." Pause. "Come on, it's time you accepted this."
Jacob's heartbeat increased, his mind clambered for another way out. "Then what do you want?"
Jacob tried to count his quick breaths while waiting for the answer. When it came, it was final in its calm delivery. "I want you dead."
The hand pulled the knife again and Jacob followed it with his eyes.
No, he couldn't accept this. "But who are you? How did you find me? How did you get here?" Jacob asked in a final attempt, his breaths now quick and shallow.
The chuckle was followed by the quick slash of his throat.
As he fell to the floor, Jacob caught his distorted image on the metal side of his desk. His right hand was still holding the knife.
Read the rest
Categories: writing, genre, flash, horror