Friday, 12 February 2010

ON THE RUN by Joshua Massen

TKnC welcomes another new writer, Joshua...

On the Run

Figgis had left the car along with Cobb in the ditch. Cobb had been injured and would only slow him down. That’s why Figgis had shot him. It was his last bullet and he had left the gun by Cobb’s body.

Now Figgis found himself running through pitch black woodland with no idea where he was going. He just knew that he needed to get as far away from the car as possible. Branches whipped at his face and snagged at his clothing and from somewhere nearby he heard the cry of some sort of animal.

It was then that he saw a light in the distance. A house Figgis thought with excitement, somewhere where he could hold up for a while. He crashed through the last few metres of woodland before emerging into a field directly in front of the house. He could see that all of the windows were illuminated by light from within, drawing him towards it like a moth to flame. As he ran across the field he wondered what his story would be.

By the time he was ringing the doorbell he had thought of one.

A few minutes after ringing the doorbell Figgis heard slow shuffling footsteps from within the house. He heard the sound of bolts being withdrawn before the door was opened. A small, old woman stood within. She smiled up at Figgis. “A guest,” she said.

“My car broke down not far from here,” said Figgis. “Is there any chance you could let me use you phone.”

“I’m sorry dear,” said the old woman shaking her head. “We haven’t got a phone but you can come in and have a cup of tea if you like.”

“Yes,” said Figgis. “That would be fine.”

She ushered him into the house and locked the door after him. She then led him into the living room. An old man was sat reading a newspaper in an armchair. “This is Harold. My husband,” said the old woman by way of introductions. “I’m Dorothy. Please,” she said motioning to an empty armchair next to Harold. “Make yourself comfortable. We’ll be having tea soon.”

She shuffled out of the room and Figgis sat down. He was surprised by the ease he had managed to get himself invited in. He expected that an elderly couple living out here on there own would be extra cautious about letting strangers into their homes. Little did they know that they had a hardened criminal sitting in their living room - armed robbery, assault and murder, all that could carry a pretty hefty sentence.

As he scanned the living room he noticed how sparsely furnished it was. There was no TV and no other furniture apart from the two armchairs and the fireplace, even the wooden floor was carpet-less.

“Nasty thing TV,” said the old man looking up from his paper as if answering Figgis’s unanswered question. “Full of filth these days.”

“Here we are,” said the woman as she bought in two mugs of tea and handed them to Figgis and her husband. “Will you stay for dinner?” she asked before leaving the room.

“Oh no thanks,” said Figgis. “I can’t be staying long.” She smiled and left the room. Figgis sipped his tea. It was quiet apart from the occasional crinkling of paper as the old man turned a page. It was over this quiet that Figgis heard a sound in the distance, the unmistakable sound of police sirens. Shit, thought Figgis. They’ll find the car and then they’ll bring out the dogs and follow my path down here. Figgis put the tea down and got to his feet. “I’m sorry,” he said. “But I really must be going.”

The old man put down his paper and stepped in front of Figgis blocking his path to the door. “You can’t leave yet... we’re going to eat soon.”

“Look,” said Figgis beginning to feel frustrated. “You’ve been very kind but I really need to…”

The old man charged at Figgis. Before Figgis could react he had his hands wrapped around his throat. Figgis fell backwards and banged his head on the wooden floor, dazing him. Figgis felt his airway being constricted as the old man strengthened his grip. He tried to pry his hands from his throat but the old man was too strong and he just tightened his grip even more. Figgis felt like his head would explode under the pressure as the strength from his limbs started to ebb away and darkness began to creep into the edges of his vision.

Figgis summoned his last reserves of strength and brought his fist up into the jaw of the old man. The old man grunted and Figgis felt his grip loosen. Figgis brought his fist up again and smashed into his nose. The old man grunted and rolled off Figgis clutching his now broken nose.

Figgis scrambled to his feet and tried to make a run for the door, as he did so an arm snaked itself across his neck getting him in a choke hold. Figgis jabbed his elbow back into the old man’s belly winding him and then into his face. The old man released his grip on Figgis and staggered back. Figgis turned to face him, ready to finish this.

The old man was now leaning on his armchair. Blood was running from his nose and mouth. The old man spat a tooth out onto the floor and wiped the blood way. He smiled. “Well you’re a strong one you are. We’ll enjoy eating you.”

Figgis heard a sound from behind him and turned to see the old woman had emerged from the kitchen and was now holding a carving knife. The old man grabbed Figgis and clamped his teeth onto his neck. Figgis tried to push him away but his strength had already left him as the old man’s teeth punctured his carotid artery. He felt warm blood pour down his neck and was then bought to his knees as the old woman used the knife to hamstring him.

The sound of police sirens faded into the distance as they feasted.

Joshua Massen is a budding young horror writer from Cambridgeshire, England. He blogs at


  1. Welcome Joshua,
    I know you've been chomping at the bit for a while now, so well done for creating an enjoyable crime-horror combo with a tasty twist!

  2. Josh - well done, creating a twist where the criminal becomes the victim! And I wonder what the pre-story contained - a crime and an accident.....! Maybe you could give us a prequel...?

    Col, I have to hand it to you and Matt - you seem to find pics tailor-made for the stories here! Bet that's a challenge at times!!

  3. Good fun story, Josh. Well done. I took a little liberty in editing a couple words 'bought' should be 'brought', and where we got three boughts in a row, I cut one and changed it to 'jabbed'. Hope you're OK with that. Matt.

    P.S. Also changed tea to dinner, where the cup of tea had already been mentioned a few times previously.

  4. Matt,
    I'd already explained to Josh about a couple of minor tweaks I'd made, but I obviously missed those others(!). I'm sure he'll be fine with the slight edits. I thought the story was more than good enough and I'm sure he's fine with it as I've just read on his blog how delighted he is to have joined us.

    Sue - as we've said before, sometimes the accompanying photo takes longer to sort than the actual story!

  5. I second that one about the photos Col. trying to find something appropriate, while not giving the game away is always difficult. But I'm glad we do so, I think it sets us apart from similar sites.

    Col, I read your feedback to Josh and it was great advice that will help make his writing even better. Maybe my little effort will too. Some guys us, eh?

  6. Hey, you two - you know what they say about self-praise...... ;-p

  7. Cheers, Matt. I hope so. Having said that, I've not heard from Josh since so maybe he thinks we're both losers!
    Ps. That better, Sue? :)

  8. Hi guys, just to let you know that I'm very pleased that you've decided to publish my story on this great site and I'm quite happy with all edits made.

  9. Welcome to TKnC Josh. Your story unfolded really well and I liked how the elderly couple, whom you would normally trust, became the villains of the piece.

    More please.