Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Survival of the Fittest

The burning light above her seared her corneas, and Tess tried to roll to her side to shield herself from the pain.  It took her a minute to realize that she was unable to move, and another minute to understand why.  She lifted her head. She was naked and spread eagle, her wrists and feet were bound and attached to the floor.

"Son of a---!"  Hemmings had done what he'd threatened, and staked her out in the center of the courtyard Lord only knew where.  Tess' vices had once again done her in.  She should never have had that last drink with him, especially after she'd won that last hand.  Hemmings could not handle losing.

There was nothing to do but wait until he got over it and came to cut her loose.

Her mind was clearing, and she admired the luxuriant, verdant display hanging from the balconies above her. It was unusual to see any living plants these days, with the sun bearing down so viciously.  Or perhaps humanity didn't want reminders of what had been lost; the plants in this abandoned building seemed to be thriving. 

A rustling noise, like the forgotten whisper of leaves rustling in the wind, had Tess turning her head, trying to localize the sound. It seemed to be coming from everywhere at once, and whatever it was made her skin crawl.  There was nothing that she could see from her limited view, except the sunlight illuminating the vines above her.

A gurgling sound echoed through the courtyard.

"Hemmings, that had better be you!"  Tess was ready to do whatever she needed to do, make amends, beg forgiveness, sleep with the man--anything, as long as he got her out of here. 

The rustling was almost constant now, and Tess finally noticed that the fertile green vines were undulating down the balconies and walls toward her. She finally understood how these plants had thrived. She screamed then, until her vocal cords gave out.

Moisture hit her right hand, and she turned her head. Dark red blood, spilling from somewhere beyond her vision, was pooling, coagulating in the fine hairs on her arm, the puddle spreading closer to her cheek.  Tess turned her head and shut her eyes; Hemmings wouldn't be coming.

The first vine encircled her ankle. 


Go oft to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
Image courtesy of Unsplash.
Image courtesy of Unsplash.


  1. Aack! Creepy crawling creepers...and carnivorous, too! Poor Tess.

  2. Scary and creepy (literally), but I liked it very much. I really like how you used the last line, "The first vine encircled her ankle." LOL it made me shiver!

    Sometimes the fun thing about fiction is the ability to kill off characters in interesting ways. Death by vine is definitely one of those. Poor Tess, but a well done WOE story:~)

  3. Look out, here comes Audrey-Two! Taking over Peoria...

    I love this scene. It's classic creepy.

    Some concrit: Looking from a female perspective, Tess seems a bit too quick to accept her position. Naked and spread-eagle with searing pain and there's only initial panic, and then the realization that the vines were going to kill her is rushed after that. If/when you revisit, consider amping the drama and suspense by building her panic throughout. Start her in a different position, maybe one that she can watch a hapless sparrow root about for worms and then get caught in the vines, something to keep the danger and the inevitable end driving the story forward. Just something to think about.

    And I think it's awesome that you've killed a character off by carnivorous vines. Very well played!

  4. Yikes!This was creepy and scary Tina ,loved it!I guess the green is getting revengeful,lol!

  5. Shuddddder! What a terrifying way to go. You lulled me with the beauty then slowly reeled me into creepy fear.

  6. Well, that's gruesome. It was almost playful, darkly so, but playful. A nasty prank, but one she thought she understood in origin. The turning point was a nice twist.

  7. This started out so normally. Great build to that creepy and unsettling ending. I could see those vines creeping - unfortunately for me.


I welcome comments, but reserve the right to correct your spelling because I am OCD about it!