Sunday, 27 September 2009



Robert saw an ad in the newspaper. “Loved Ones Returned. Minimal Cost. Why Be Alone?”

The next day, he sat in Madame Majestic’s musty parlor.

“I miss my girlfriend,” he said. I want her back, but she’s dead. Can you bring her back?”

“Yes,” Madame said. “The price is a hundred dollars and a piece of her finger.”

“I’d gladly dig up her grave right now and get it for you, but she’s buried overseas.”

“Then I’ll need a piece of YOUR finger.”

“When can you do this?” he asked.

“Now. Do you have the money?”

Robert gave her five twenties.

“Put your finger here,” she said, pointing to a cutting board. “Bite hard on this sponge.”

He’d never felt such horrendous pain.

“Drink this whiskey,” she said, binding his wound. “It’ll deaden the pain. Go home, turn off all the lights, and wait for her in bed. She’ll come at midnight.”

On the way home, he noticed the bandage was soaked and dripping blood. Alarmed, he stopped at a hospital.

“This is a nasty wound,” said an emergency room doctor. “How’d you cut off the tip of your thumb?”

“The knife slipped when I was slicing meat.”

“Frankly, this looks like a ritual cutting. I’ll have to report this to the police.”

Robert ran for the door, but slipped and crashed headfirst into a gurney.

Next thing he knew, he woke up in a hospital bed. Though dizzy, he went to the bathroom. Looking into the mirror, he saw his bandaged head. Then he remembered: Sandy was supposed to show up at his apartment at midnight.

Scrambling into his clothes, Robert bolted from the hospital, and floored his Mustang.

He managed to get into bed with only two minutes left. Trembling with sexual anticipation, he thought of the things they’d done so many times before she died. A year without her had made him ravenously hungry.

As the clock struck midnight, a glowing green mist appeared on the ceiling. It grew larger as it moved toward Robert.

“Sandy, my love,” he called softly, when a face began to form, “I’ve missed you terribly.” Closing his eyes, he spread his arms for her loving embrace.

When her soggy, cold lips pressed against his, he gagged from the stench. Pushing her away, he was startled to find he’d kissed a rotted corpse full of leaking cavities.

“Get outta here!” he screamed. “Go back where you came from!”

“It’s too soon, my love. I’m yours until dawn. The only way I can return before sunrise is to bring a sacrificial offering to the Gatekeeper of the Eternal Pit.”

“What kind of sacrificial offering?”

“A piece of your freshly butchered flesh.”

“Take your piece of flesh,” he said, spreading the fingers on his good hand. “Then get the hell outta here.”

He shuddered when a cleaver appeared in her putrid hand.

Closing his eyes, he gritted his teeth and braced himself for the horrific shock. The chop came so swiftly, he didn’t feel the slightest pain in his hand.

That’s when he realized she’d chopped off something more precious than a finger.

Michael A. Kechula is a retired tech writer. His fiction has won first place in 8 contests and placed in 7 others. He’s also won Editor’s Choice awards 4 times. His stories have been published by 117 magazines and 32 anthologies in Australia, Canada, England, India, Scotland, and US. He’s authored two books of flash and micro-fiction stories: “A Full Deck of Zombies--61 Speculative Fiction Tales” and “The Area 51 Option and 70 More Speculative Fiction Tales.” eBook versions available at and Paperback available at


  1. Bloody'ell, Michael (literally!)

    I mentioned John Wayne Bobbitt on another story recently, but seems he's inspired more than one story.

    Belter this!

  2. Just great Michael. A good "old fashioned" chiller. Moody, eerie, bloody! Everything required for a great short. Bring on more!

  3. I'm still clutching for the right words here, but too busy still clutching...