So, we’ve made it here in one piece (I hope!), as a weeks’ worth of weird tales finally limps across the finishing line and comes to a bloody end. For anyone itching for a further fix, my story HELL OWIN’ can be found over at the TWF Halloween special on The Horror Tree website (along with a feast of other fantastic fiction) But to finish with, make sure the doors and windows are locked, sit back, pour yourself a drink, pack a pipe and let’s have one final tale. I like to call this one…
SOMNILOQUY by Steven Holding.
She knelt to tuck her daughter in, pausing to ensure that Teddy was equally comfortable. A drowsy smile signalled that sleep was inevitable. As she switched off the light, she once again gave thanks for the change in their lives.
Later that evening she returned to quietly observe the slumbering child. The girl was restless as always. Sweaty sheets tangled, limbs a twisted sprawl. A constant twitch beneath closed eyelids was accompanied by her usual indecipherable muttering.
It had been like this since the death of her father. Each evening the same anguished torment; each morning the girl blissfully unaware of her troubles. She had become obsessed with the child’s mumblings, confident that an answer to the mystery lay concealed within the girl’s words.
As she crept inside the bedroom to listen, she thought of the man that they had escaped. There was only one word fit for her husband. Evil. The beatings she had been able to take. What he had done to their daughter was unforgiveable. The only guilt she felt at his death was that it had not arrived sooner. Moving house had been the last step in leaving the nightmare behind.
These thoughts suddenly dispersed. For the first time, she thought she recognised something in her daughter’s utterances. Unsure, she lent in closer. She shuddered as she felt a chill fill the room. A sentence, constantly repeated.
It could have been "Glad he could find you."
Then again, it might have been "Daddy's behind you."