Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Vicious By Linda Ann Johnson


Impassioned, I rip flesh from the cadaverous corpse. An assassin, I tell myself; this was not a tramp but an assassin out to kill me. Blood splatters out as I slash with my sharp knife, fraught for vengeance. The darkness shrouds me as I move on.

For a second my mind thinks back to this morning, a morning that was normal as any other, I ate cornflakes and drank orange juice – that orange juice had a strange taste to it. Then footsteps avail my senses; footsteps of another would-be assassin? The joy of killing comes back to me – I am a killing machine and I love it.

An assassin emerges around the corner into the dark passage where I lurk; this one is disguised as an old woman, grubby from street dirt. A filthy sleeping bag falls over her shoulder and the other hand clutches a half empty bottle of gin. It is a good disguise, but it doesn’t fool me. She is out to kill me, but I will eliminate her first. She reaches for something but I am too quick, moving close and impeding her exit as her eyes fill with fear. Quick as a flash I gouge at her with my knife, slashing her throat from ear to ear. She collapses to the dirt and a rat scuttles past, his bright eyes willing me to move on so that he can gorge on this sudden booty.

Three assassins now appear as I enter a subway, disguised as teenagers spraying graffiti. They don’t see me coming. I slash out at the first one, but the other two come towards me, spraying paint towards my eyes, but I dodge down; then slash their legs until they fall. The spray cans clatter as they roll into the guttering and I feel impelled to finish my task, impervious to their screams as I deliver the fatal knife blows. Their bodies have now joined the spray cans in the guttering. A train throbs overhead, rather like the pounding in my brain, what am I doing here?

The darkness that shielded me is now lightening and suddenly I feel guilt; guilt and shock – did I really do that? Did I really kill ten people in one night? Then my unease disperses and I feel overjoyed. There are ten would-be assassins no longer on the streets and I eliminated them; I conquered their dark forces.


The blood soaked scene fades away as I turn towards the voice. My mother walks into the room. Swiftly I switch off my computer and move to unplug the lead.

‘Andrew, you haven’t been playing “Assassins” again, have you?’ she says, knowing that I have. ‘That is a terrible game, teaching kids to be violent; it should be banned.’

‘Ah, mum, it’s just a game,’ I say, but the game is rather gruesome. Next time I’ll find something more cheerful.

‘What’s for tea?’ I say, glad that I’m a schoolboy and not a frenzied killer.


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