Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Virtual Presence By Chris Tattersall

People considered George a loner. He wasn’t a loner, he was lonely. Lonely and gripped by a dread of dying alone. Death was far away as he was only in his fifties but spanning the next thirty years solo scared him.

George trod his well-worn path and logged onto his favourite internet sites - a mix of porn and social networking for the more deviant of the population. This was modern life.

Over the past decade George had created numerous profiles under a number of pseudonyms, each with their own particular sexual desires. He was confident on-line and found it easy to chat and develop relationships, unlike so called real life.

His inbox flashed a rare ‘1’ and he immediately clicked on the message sent by a woman called Sam_Whip68 who seemed very dominant and attracted to one of his profiles.

Her profile was short with an appalling overuse of exclamation marks, very much like his own. Sam seemed much like the girls in his fantasies and he responded to her email in record time. Drinking cheap lager until 2am with no response from Sam, he dragged himself to bed.

The following morning, to his delight, Sam had responded. This time he took care in crafting a witty response but then it was another futile night of refreshing his inbox. Only the morning saw a message from Sam.

Over the next weeks they developed a real connection. Slower than George wanted due to them never being on-line together but real nonetheless.

Then the email he had been hoping for – he was instructed to put his door key outside, lay on his bed and using his handcuffs, attach himself securely to the wall leaving the handcuff keys out of reach. She would enter the house sometime around 9pm.

So keen was George that he was restrained by 8.30pm. For the first hour he was evidently excited, but that soon faded.

10pm came slowly and by midnight he had fallen asleep numerous times only to be woken by his uncomfortable position.

Daydreaming, he thought back to his childhood, he was lonely then too. He had an imaginary friend who would only be around when he was feeling weak. What was his name? Simon? Steve? Sam? That was it, it was 'Sam'. George laughed to himself at the coincidence but it was a slightly nervous laugh.

The door splintered into a hundred pieces as the heavy, almost medieval ram hit it. The large Policeman wielding it looked a little embarrassed at the overkill, especially now, as the door key was clearly evident on the mat just outside the house.

‘Hello, Poli…’ was all PC Brown could say before he bent double retching at the smell.

A more seasoned colleague took the lead, walked down the dim corridor towards the bedroom, the room from where the source of the ungodly rancid smell of decomposition was coming from.

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