The Man In The Black Cloak

28 Sep

“…and you’re next…”

The man in the black cloak pointed at me with a long, bony finger and smiled. It was not the smile of someone sharing happiness. It was the smile of someone who enjoys inflicting pain.

“I think I’m in the wrong place,” I said, my voice echoing in the huge room. “I was looking for the bathroom.”

“Honey, you don’t need a bathroom where you’re going,” said the man in the black cloak.

That sounded far too ominous for my liking. I could only think of two places where I wouldn’t need a bathroom, and both of them started with H. As I turned to leave, two enormous, angry-looking men materialized from the shadows and blocked the double doors that I had just come through.

Curiously, the people who had entered those doors before me were not in the room. There did not appear to be any other exit. Where had they gone?

The man in the black cloak fixed his gaze on me, extended his hand, and gestured for me to move towards him. I found myself rooted to the spot, as if my legs were set in cement. A shove in the back from one of the angry men set me in motion, and with shaking legs, I slowly walked the length of the room.

“So,” said the man in the black cloak, “how would you like to go?”

What?” I asked, my voice barely able to go above a whisper. “I get to choose?”

“Well, the journey isn’t pleasant. You should at least get to choose how it begins.”

“Um, what do you have?” I asked, as if I was picking something from a menu.

“Gun, arrow or electric shock,” said the man in the black cloak.

“Erm, electric shock, I guess.” This was bizarre. Was I actually choosing how someone would kill me?

“Good choice,” said the man in the black cloak. “A lot tidier than the other ones.”

His hand started glowing ominously as he pointed at me.

Wait!” I said.

He lowered his hand. “What now?” he said, irritably. “There are other people waiting, you know.”

I looked him square in the eye. “Please let me go. I’m not ready to die.”

Die?” said the man in the black cloak, incredulously. “You’re already dead. I’m trying to send you back. If you wanted to stay you should have gone right to the end of the hall.”

Before I could ask him what he meant, he pointed at me. Instantly, I was thrown across the room by a bolt of lightning. And then I was falling, falling faster than I could ever have imagined. I squeezed my eyes shut and tried not to throw up. I just knew that the impact was going to hurt.

All of a sudden I was crash-landing amid another bolt of lightning. I was lying on my back, reeling from the impact and trying to catch my breath. I found myself staring at a man in a white coat hovering over me with defibrillator pads.

“She’s back,” he yelled over his shoulder.

As I closed my eyes and drifted to an exhausted sleep, I found myself wondering who would be next to see the man in the black cloak.

This week’s Indie Ink Challenge came from Kurt, who gave me this prompt: …and you’re next. I challenged eveningreddress with the prompt: The voice on the other end of the telephone uttered five words that would completely change my life.

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7 Responses to “The Man In The Black Cloak”

  1. Kurt September 28, 2011 at 4:19 PM #

    This was awesome! Extremely creative, and I love the way the story sort of drops you right into the middle of this bizarre situation and then the reader and the character figure it both out together. I’m seeing this is your first Indie Ink entry, as it’s also mine! So this worked out great! Awesome job!

    • runningforautism September 29, 2011 at 1:37 PM #

      Thanks, Kurt! I don’t usually write fiction, so this was a departure for me. It was a lot of fun to do. I’m on my way to read your post now – hope to see you in the challenge again next week!

  2. runtobefit September 29, 2011 at 3:03 PM #

    Wow!! Great job!! Loved your writing and the suspense in the story!

    • runningforautism October 1, 2011 at 5:03 PM #

      Thanks! Great to see you popping in – it’s been a while!

  3. K October 1, 2011 at 9:47 AM #

    A brilliant take on the prompt! This was very creative and well done, a great read.
    – Karla

    • runningforautism October 1, 2011 at 5:04 PM #

      Thank you! I had lots of fun with this and I’m looking forward to writing for this week’s challenge!

  4. R.L.W. October 2, 2011 at 6:43 PM #

    Fun story. I loved the twist. Dialogue was great.

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