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Too Bad

by DerekH 

Posted: 16 December 2004
Word Count: 749
Summary: For a change I've tried to go up to the word limit. And for another change I've tried a bit of horror... I see Vincent Price in this one ;), it possibly also comes with 3D specs. I'm sorry, it has no Christmas cheer in it...

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Too Bad

Jonathan heard the letter arrive, but again he did not see its carrier. He dashed back upstairs to the window in a vain attempt to spy that spectral postman. A shadow slipped into the fog. No other life could be seen in the damp cobbled street.

This was the 9th envelope that had arrived in this manner. Each previous one had left him feeling more angry and rejected than the last. And after each, he had tried harder still to prove himself; to gain respect, acceptance. Thus far eight letters had begat eight victims.

He’d cut the last one’s throat and sodomized its still trembling body, laughing at its pleas. He’d lapped at the pooling blood and whispered obscenities in its ear. He’d carved the name of that most unholy order in its back and left its hairy arsed and pot bellied form curled and stiff in an alley… Wasn’t this enough?

He snatched the note from its envelope in anger, but his scowl soon faded.

Be with us this night, at nine.
It is your time.


The grin that had crept onto his face soon became a black toothed smile, climaxing to hideous laugh. He reached for the whisky decanter, and held it up high, proposing a toast to the Knights of Abaddon, and pouring the fiery liquid into his gaping mouth, until it overflowed and spilled down his front. At last he had been accepted.


Jonathan knew the way. He’d been before as a voyeur; an uninvited guest clinging to a drainpipe, peeping, wishing he could be one of them. He knew what to expect. He would be taken to the altar, the High Priest would dress him in a red robe, and he would be awarded his own sword. But it was not the sword that excited him; each new member must spill blood with his new sword, he knew that, and he knew the orgy and the feast of flesh that would follow.

His heart pumped hard and his mouth watered as he stepped up to the door. He gave the knock and spoke the words. The door opened slowly. Stepping into the dark hallway he felt the excitement rising. The door closed behind, and the blackness closed in. Jonathan could not see the figures, but he was aware of the cold hands touching him, groping. They tore at his clothes, stripped him bare, and then lifted him by his arms and legs, running with him so that he felt as though floating in a wonderful fantasy.

He felt the hard wooden door crash against his head as they burst into the candle-lit hall. He scanned the room frantically for his bearings but all he could see was a blur of red robes. His carriers flung him onto the altar, and a roar went up from the crowd. Still dizzy, he struggled to his feet and faced his peers.

The High Priest placed his hand on Jonathans head, and began the ceremony.

“Mighty Abaddon, most unholy angel!”

The crowd answered with a low chant, “Abaddon, hear us.”

“This man has proven himself truly without conscience!

He has committed foul acts in the name of our order!

We must become one with him, so that we may find the courage to better serve you.”

The crowd answered again, “Abaddon, we serve you.”

Jonathan allowed himself a smile; this was praise beyond his expectations. He closed his eyes and bowed his head, raising his arms ready for his new red robe. He felt the priest grip his hair, it hurt like hell and he let go a cry of pain. Next he felt a punch, hard on his back. He opened his eyes in time to see the metal point emerge from his bare belly. His legs gave way and the priest, still holding him by the hair, allowed him to fall to his knees. Blood flowed quickly from the hole in his stomach, along the blade, and into a jewelled goblet. He watched it fill as the lights faded. He saw the blurred red figures bow before him to drink from the cup. He heard them laughing as they supped, each voice more distant than the last, until light and sound had gone. He felt them licking his face, clawing at his wound, biting his flesh; feasting.

The Priest held Jonathan’s heart up high, gave praise to Abaddon, then squeezed the blackening blood into his gaping mouth, gulping down the intoxicating badness.

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Comments by other Members

anisoara at 18:27 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Bad blood indeed! I liked the way you drew this out. I suspected that they might sacrifice Jonathan, but only suspected, it could have gone either way right up to the end. I liked the way you drew out Jonathan's trust until the very end, too. And the way he's been vetted as a sacrifice. (By the way, this looks like something for Thirteen!)


DerekH at 18:47 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Thanks Ani, glad you liked it.

I think it would need a lot of spit n polish before submitting to a magazine...but maybe.


anisoara at 19:25 on 16 December 2004  Report this post

It would need a little polish, but it's a good one. I know I'm far from an expert, but I can see it getting picked up.


You added a word!!! You're at 751 right now! ;-) (How do you make those smiley faces, anyway? I remember your teaching Andrea, but that thread's lost deep in the WW annals....)

DerekH at 19:29 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Bugger!... I fixed an error and didn't notice the count :)... gotta fix that. Cheers Ani...

Account Closed at 20:35 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Goodness Derek,
I thought this was a tale of poison pen letters!
Vivid descriptions which I could imagine being narrated in a deep, thunderous voice except 'it hurt like hell' which seemed a bit wimpy for this guy, even though it's a good pun!

I couldn't imagine what was written in the other 8 letters and why they left him feeling angry and rejected.

Well done for the word count - good discipline!

ps vein attempt or vain attempt?

Dee at 21:22 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Derek, I enjoyed this. I began to guess fairly early but that just made the build-up more intense for me.

He dashed back up stairs to the window in a vein attempt to spy that spectral postman
‘upstairs’ and ‘vain’

I’m sure Thirteen would take this. Good luck.


DerekH at 21:28 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Thanks for reading, Elspeth.

Did you mean the expression is wimpy? Or the fact that it hurt him? (I wanted him to appear weak; a man who loves giving but not recieving pain.)

And thanks for the typo... It wouldn't be the same if I didn't leave a few mistakes to be found...I'm sure there must be a few more ;).


DerekH at 21:33 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Thanks Dee, you must have commented while I was replying to Elspeth... I said there'd be more mistakes ;).

Glad you enjoyed it. I might just try Thirteen...


Dee at 21:39 on 16 December 2004  Report this post

Derek, for what it’s worth, I read that ‘hurt like hell’ line as an indication of his shock when he realised that he’d got things SO badly wrong…

zzz (off for an early night!)


Account Closed at 21:49 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Derek, I felt that expression broke the mood - if he too is a wimp you might need to add something else to give us a hint of this earlier on.

DerekH at 21:52 on 16 December 2004  Report this post
Thanks Elspeth... perhaps I'll revise it after the challenge (I've got no words left ;)


OH...but I'm glad you said it broke the mood. It was intended to. It was the turning point for Jonathan...

Al T at 11:34 on 17 December 2004  Report this post
Hi Derek, I'm not normally one for blood and guts, but I really enjoyed your gorefest - lots of fun. It did what all good stories should do: made me want to know what happened next.

Were the letters from agents or publishers, perchance? ;)


DerekH at 12:28 on 17 December 2004  Report this post
Adele, Thanks for reading.

I'm not normally one for blood and guts either...this was something very new for me. I'm glad you liked it.

He he... Yeah, I hope my first rejection doesn't have the same effect ;). I better not send anything off....


bjlangley at 14:34 on 17 December 2004  Report this post
Hi Derek, I liked this, good fun, with buckets of blood. As you mentioned classic horror and Vincent Price in the summary, the 'hairy arsed' seemed out of place - a bit too crude for that era (whilst feasting on blood is not...)

All the best,


DerekH at 15:20 on 17 December 2004  Report this post
Cheers Ben... "Hairy arsed" - Yes perhaps it is a bit out of place. I put it in, initially, just to show that the victim was a man... But I like the expression too :).
I'm keeping it for the moment.

Glad you enjoyed it.


crowspark at 21:27 on 21 December 2004  Report this post
I really enjoyed this the first time I read it Derek. I came back and read it again and enjoyed it even more.
Jonathan strikes an evil pose, "pouring the fiery liquid into his gaping mouth" and "clinging to a drainpipe, peeping."
A creature richly deserving his reward, "The Priest held Jonathan’s heart up high, gave praise to Abaddon, then squeezed the blackening blood into his gaping mouth, gulping down the intoxicating badness."

Bloody great.


DerekH at 21:35 on 21 December 2004  Report this post
Thanks Bill, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I have a bigger story in the back of my mind that's a bit like this flash...So perhaps I'll spill a bit more blood yet...

I have a question for you and anyone else - (Without reading again for clues) What era did you picture this in? Just wondering...

Cheers again,


crowspark at 21:47 on 21 December 2004  Report this post
I thought it was circa now but your use of the word "begat" made me think it might have been Victorian.

Al T at 21:49 on 21 December 2004  Report this post
Derek, I promise I didn't cheat and reread, but this piece felt timeless to me. It could be today, with a secret society of literary critics/editors/agents, probably influenced by reading the Da Vinci Code (which I bought 6 months' ago, but haven't got around to reading yet). Any idea of it being medieval or earlier disappeared to me with the drainpipe.

I'd like to see your expanded version. Get scribbling!



Eeugh, edit the stray apostrophe!

DerekH at 00:15 on 22 December 2004  Report this post
Thanks Bill & Adele, I just wondered what would come across in terms of the period. It's interesting to me to find out how much I need to say to get things like that across.

My expanded version would be a long one...and not really a version, just something with a similar theme. I Think I should attempt to finish my current book before starting another... but the idea is safely stored.

Cheers for answering my question,



Adele, Since you kindly took the time to read my stuff...I went off to your profile to return the favour...but you haven't got any recent work uploaded. Fancy havin a go at the next flash challenge?

Al T at 08:18 on 22 December 2004  Report this post
Derek, I very much appreciate your kind offer to look at my work, and I'm tempted by the flash, but have to focus on finishing my novel. I can picture my agent drumming his fingers on his desk, wondering whether his New Year's prezzie is simply a figment of my over-active imagination (which, of course, it is...)


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