The Festivities of Morkwood: 15th December

I barely have the will to keep myself alive anymore, let alone write this. But I have to continue. I must expose the darkness of Morkwood – and in doing so, I must also write about my own wrongdoings. I can’t shy away from the truth. The truth is the only thing I have left.

Yesterday, while William waited for me to welcome him into the house of my own accord, I packed a bag and I listened, ready to move when he moved.

A few hours later, as promised, he sent people to try and break their way in. They had the house surrounded, but the first and loudest noises came from the backdoor, so I crept quietly into the kitchen. I crouched down, a meat cleaver from the knife block in my hand. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it, if anything.

The man on the other side was using an electric tool of some sort to break through, but I hoped I possessed the element of surprise. That was my only advantage.

It didn’t take long for the flimsy wooden door to collapse. With a loud clatter it fell inwards, and the first thing that came into view was a chainsaw, followed by gloved hands and a black puffer jacket.

My only thoughts were of survival.

I lunged forward, lifting the blade high above my head before hacking deep into the neck of the intruder. I yanked the cleaver out, ready to use again, but hot blood spurted out in all directions covering the walls, the floor, me. I automatically held my arm in front of my face to protect myself.

I heard the chainsaw drop onto the linoleum. As I brought my arm back down to figure out what to do next, Dan’s startled eyes met mine.

I didn’t see him slump to the ground. Was it instinct that made me leave so quickly, or something worse? I don’t know. I just ran out the door.

I had to survive.

Every face I saw as I sprinted towards the garden gate was young. Too young. They were all boys from the village – Paul, Leonard, Warren – not one of them was over the age of sixteen.

They all backed away when they saw me. God knows what I must have looked like. Their shocked silence hung thickly in the air as I pulled open the back gate and ran in the direction of the woods.

I don’t know how long I ran for. I can’t have got very far. All I remember is seeing an unlocked woodshed and, when I turned around and realised no one was chasing me, I went inside. I just had to stop.

Maybe I should just stop completely.

I’ve been telling myself this is survival, I am surviving, but was my life really worth more than Dan’s?

He had everything ahead of him. He could have left this place. I’m just a crazy, ageing librarian with no family, no friends, no hope. I’m never going to leave Morkwood, no matter how much I kid myself that I want to. My roots are too firmly embedded to be able to pull them up now.

Maybe my fate should be placed in the hands of the villagers of Morkwood.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll hand myself over to them.

Or maybe I’ll keep running.

I don’t know. I don’t know.

I just need to sleep.

You can now get the edited version of The Festivities of Morkwood on e-book and paperback.

E.J. Babb created Dystopic in 2012 after requiring an outlet for her love of dystopian and apocalyptic fiction. She is the author of These Unnatural Men, FOREGROUND and The Festivities of Morkwood.

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