A Story by mark slade

The mound seemed to move on its own.


I am here.

Perched upon a simple wooden chair, my knees drawn up to my chin, my arms wrapped tightly around my legs. My bare feet are barely dangling off the edge of the seat. My eyes are steadied upon the linoleum kitchen floor. Each of the decorative squares slowly being overcome by a drifting shadow.

I can't stop trembling.

Although I am naked, I have just risen from bed, I am not cold. No. that is not the reason I am shaking so violently. It is....this....thing....a shadow....a lurking shadow, that persists in consuming everything in it's path.

As I have said, I was awaken from a deep slumber. I had heard sighs....or maybe...and I know it sounds a little.....crazy. I heard a woman in ecstasy.

And yes. I recognize those sighs of ecstasy.

It is Gail.

I met Gail while shopping in the drugstore. I needed medicine for my wife. My wife, a good woman, a good wife. But....she has days when she will not get out of bed. It is, I know, a terrible thing I am about to say. I am glad we do not have children. I am always at the office, selling airtime for a dying breed: FM radio. And Leah, well, she hardly get's out of bed because the walls of the bedroom are too gloomy.

I tried painting them different colors. After a month of bright reds,yellows, country greens, orange, even. I grew tired of a job that I never got paid for. Being a decorator.

We went to a well known and too expensive analyst. Psychiatry is a con game. I still went along with it. Leah seemed to get slightly better. Only three days out of the week she stayed in bed. So this Analyst prescribed medicine for Leah.

Maybe that Psychiatrist is to blame for all of this. Through her I met Gail.

Yes. Gail is very different from Leah. Leah is slim, very slim, mousy. I used to say I had a thing for mousy, quiet girls. Leah almost always had short blond hair, and small piercing blue eyes. But she also has very luscious pouty lips. Gail, has long dark curly hair. She is tall, voluptuous....child bearing hips. Those large brown eyes are hypnotizing, like a tall refreshing glass of water. And those cherry red lips always quenched my thirst. She was tall, very long legs. And it was like she knew they were her best feature. She always wore short skirts.

Gail was the pharmacist. She got to know me from ordering that medicine for Leah. It was a medicine, as Gail ended up telling me, doctors in asylums prescribe. She said she was concerned about its use. That was how our affair began. Short chats in the drugstore turned into long sob stories told over coffee. Which led to dinner, which led to emails, cell phone numbers being exchanged, phone sex, sex in the car, sex in a seedy hotel, sex at her house----- when her boyfriend, Don, was away on a school function. He is a football coach at the high school.

Eventually, it led to us renting this cottage twenty miles from our homes. My lie to Leah was a business trip to the Tr i-cities. Gail told Don she was visiting a sister in New york. Perfect.

We ate her cooking, I tended to cutting firewood. We went for long walks, made love every day for the last week, pretended to be a happily married couple.

Those long walks have become our end. Our comeuppance, as people say.

We took our usual walk in the woods, past tall glorious trees with their leaves turning from bland green to glorious oranges and yellows. We went too far, and I told her so. Gail wanted to find a stream that was listed on the property managements website. We found the stream it was deep in the woods. We were out there all day. Dusk began to settle.

I made her hurry out of those woods. I never fancied getting lost in dark woods at night. We went left instead of right, right instead of left....we were lost. We argued terribly. She walked off and, in the distance on top of a steep hill, was a large black mound. Strange. The mound seemed to move on its own.

No. I am not crazy. I am not Leah....i didn't mean to say that. Not at all. It just...flashed through my mind.

Gail....oh....please...Gail stepped right on the mound. That black...moving mound. It consumed. Crawled right up her pants leg, and her legs quickly disappeared! Soon, within micro-seconds her bottom half was gone. It had become black muck moving across the ground. It moved upwards, devouring chest, neck....then all that was left was a head floating in a dark, black shadow.

I can still hear her screams. I can see her widened eyes glaring at me. That oval shaped mouth, screaming for me to help her.

One last plea. Gail was no more.

That shadow danced across weeds that were swallowed up in a frenzy. It came toward me, eating up the scenery, as people say, trees disappearing that black muck.....

It was gone.

That quick.

I stood there, cold, clammy from sweat, shaking. I made my way back to the cottage. I don't remember how. It was a memory that never happened. Anyways, all I could think of that horrible incident with Gail and the shadow.

I went to bed, cried myself to sleep. Hours later, I was awaken by a wonderful sound of heightned female experience. I wandered sleepily into the kitchen, as the sound grew louder.

The shadow was there, devouring the refrigerator, the stove, the table, chairs, leneluom floor.....

Here I am.

I sit perched on a simple kitchen chair, hugging my naked legs close, trying to keep my bare feet from touching the black, murky shadow rising up towards me.

I heard a voice.

A calm, serene voice, in between long sighs of female pleasure.

“Tom......” the voice said.

It was Gail.

“Tom....” She says to me.

I am enchanted.

I lower my bare foot, dipping into that black, murky shadow.....

© 2012 mark slade

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register


Absolutely wonderful! Seriously. I don't give 100/100 ratings lightly, but you just got one! Keep up the good work. *+subscribe*

Posted 7 Years Ago

mark slade

7 Years Ago

Thanks for the high review!
This one is nearly flawless. It reminds me of some of the better stuff being turned out in the '80s - the really GOOD stuff, Twilight Zone Magazine quality, the best of the best. You didn't over explain - either with exposition or bargain basement psycho analysis and as a result, the story is ambivalent enough to stick to you after you're done reading. Pop it into the "This is How it's Done" folder.

Posted 7 Years Ago

mark slade

7 Years Ago

thank you, Chuck. I sat down 2 in the morning and had to get that one out of my head. TZ magazine.... read more
Chuck Briggs

7 Years Ago

I had every issue except two - but lost 'em when I lot my trailer in Seattle. Long story, but yeah:.. read more

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


2 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on December 4, 2012
Last Updated on December 4, 2012


mark slade
mark slade

williamsburg, VA

a writer of horror and dark fantasy more..


A Story by mark slade

Related Writing

People who liked this story also liked..