Tell A Tale — Gothic Fiction

Mary By Maxine O'Brien

She held her hands over her ears to block out the deafening shriek which reverberated around the house.

What had her sister Mary done this time? She cautiously opened her bedroom door and glanced up the hallway to Mary’s room where the door was ajar.

Peering round the opening there was no sign of Mary, but a strong metallic, cloying smell was present. She entered the austere room which contained only a bed, mirror and a wardrobe, which she opened in trepidation.

She sighed with relief as only a few hangers and outfits were all that it contained.

Turning to leave, she noticed a shape reflected in the mirror next to the bed. She took a closer look and recoiled in horror. Their cat was sprawled against the wall his fur saturated in blood. His head had been severed from his body and lay a few feet away, his eyes open wide in a petrified gaze.

She screamed for her mother who raced up the stairs.

“Mum! She’s gone too far this time! Look what she’s done! She needs professional help! First the rabbit and now this”

Her mum put her head in her hands in despair. “Don’t worry June, I’ll sort it out, you go downstairs”

“But what are you going to do about her? You can’t keep protecting her, she’s dangerous!”

Her Mother pushed her gently towards the stairs and said “I told you I will deal with it”

June made a decision. Mary was obviously deranged. Who knows what she would do next? June and her mum could even be in danger. Where had she run off to now? Could she be hurting someone else?

If Mum had not addressed this by the morning she would contact their doctor herself. She couldn’t let this go on regardless of Mum’s pleas. She knew she wanted to protect Mary, but she was now out of control.

That night in bed, she heard her bedroom door creak open and knew that Mary had returned and was checking to see if she was asleep. June kept her eyes shut and her breathing even.

After a few moments of silence, June heard a muffled shout from her mother’s room. She charged down the corridor where her mother’s door lay open.

Her mother lay across the bed, a pillow over her face and blood seeping into the covers below. June cautiously pulled the pillow away, horrified to see a large kitchen knife embedded in her chest.

June fell to her knees and screamed.

The door opened but it wasn’t Mary, it was two policemen and a man she recognised.

“Thank God” she cried. “Dr Marks, Look what Marys done now! Please help me!”

The man knelt next to her and in a quiet voice told her that they were there to help but needed her to go with them to keep her safe.

As he helped her stand she realised her hands and nightie were drenched in blood.

There was no Mary.

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