The Town That Bled

The Town That Bled

A Story by Mathew Jennings

A story of desperation I suppose. No one likes to be digested.

The Town The Bled

His progressive movement was greeted with a flurry of dusted wind that retreated from his step. He walked into the town centre and the place was quiet, ghostly so.
Only the wind was alive here.
He'd seen many a ghost town on his travels and this place, now that he was inside its grip, reeked of determined loneliness. In a place like this it was best to gather what supplies you could and then be well clear of its limits by sundown. Towns this hungry had a way of reeling you back in if you didn't clear your distance.
He reached round into his backpack and retrieved his canteen. Only a few precious drops echoed inside. Water would be the first thing he would seek. He crossed to the nearest house exuding caution and wariness. The house, like nearly all the others, was a dilapidated wreck with blackened windows and dead grass that looked as thirsty as his skin.
He circled the house until he located a rusty tap down its left side. It was hard in turning but then finally budged releasing what looked like rusted mud mixed with sewer sludge. The smell of this vile liquid was strong and its flow was steady. He took two steps back and let the tap run, hoping the sludge would work its way into being drinkable water. No luck. The grotesque discharge only grew thicker and more pungent, it's colour deepening into a scarlet river.
He left the tap running and went on to the next house. Another identically disfigured abode. He located the tap there in the backyard fixed to a small post. He twisted the fixture and the same vile sludge spewed forth, only deeper red this time. The metallic smell emitted from the tap was overpowering. He backed away from the running tap and a revelation flashed in his mind, an idea that despite being somewhat unbelievable rang completely true.
His eyes grew wide with frightened understanding and he hurriedly made his way back into the street. He would have to find water elsewhere, in the next town perhaps. There was nothing for him here except uncertainty fraught with danger.
He began to jog along the side of the road, heading for the edge of town. A cold feeling had rested on his shoulders now and he knew he was being observed. The windows of the houses he passed followed him like painted eyes, the ground beneath him seemed to grip at his shoes in an attempt to slow him down.
He pushed forward though with hard intent, picking up speed into a light run. As he did so he heard a wet licking sound behind him. He looked over his shoulder and there was only the deserted street looking back. He ran harder, sweat beginning to bead on his face but the damp sound of trickling liquid returned, closer than before. This time he didn't dare look, he gave it everything he had and launched himself into full sprint. Every time his boots came down on the road he heard the wetness gaining behind him. Splashing and dripping, licking and dropping, the inhaling vacuum of a wave forming.
With the edge of town in sight he grunted as he ran, expelling all his force in propelling himself to safety. He felt small droplets flicking the hairs on his neck as he finally came to the point where the buildings ceased and the road went on into the distance. He crossed the threshold and glanced over his shoulder. A thick wave of gargantuan proportions towered overhead, a snarling beast. Then the river of blood crashed down on him, drowning him and at the same time bleeding him dry.
The towns blood receded and took him with it, back into the drains and faucets, the windows and the walls, the grass and trees. Then everything stood quiet.

© 2015 Mathew Jennings

Author's Note

Mathew Jennings
Slapped together in minutes but I feel my poetry and narrative are finally striking a balance. Feedback is highly valued. Whenever I post on here it undoes some of my structure too.

My Review

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yes, I know right, but your ending, was to fast.

Posted 8 Years Ago

You have an excellent beginning. I like the atmosphere you created, but there are some questions you have left unanswered. Who is the story about? Where and when does it take place? How do the events in the story relate? Why is this happening? Like I said, you have an excellent beginning. Now, let's hear the rest of the story.

Posted 8 Years Ago

You are very descriptive and it works very well for this piece.

Posted 8 Years Ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this short tale. Thanks to your descriptive style, I could see this dude, maybe in a duster, sediment in the wind dancing about him...a dry, despondent western.
Good stuff.

I see your note about posting here undoes some of your formatting or structure.
That'd be something I would recommend seeing fixed. the block in which this is presented makes for a more difficult read than it should be.
Perhaps consider separating paragraphs with a space. It will break down the tale into easier-to-gobble chunks.

Also, while I love many/most of your word choices...I too love a descriptive read...there a few that niggled at me.
One example. "...hard intent..." Something about the word 'hard' there bugged me. I see where you were going with it, what your intent was, but it didn't roll off the tongue so well.

All in all, a very enjoyable read! Thanks for sharing!!

Posted 8 Years Ago

This was good,I enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work

Posted 8 Years Ago

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5 Reviews
Added on July 22, 2015
Last Updated on July 22, 2015
Tags: Blood, horror, mystery


Mathew Jennings
Mathew Jennings

Mandurah , wa, Australia

Writing, a dark craft. A broken world of misgivings. Your eyes removed. Your skin peeled back into curled waves. The flesh of the story. Enjoy. more..