The Arapahoe Pinnacle

“Brilliant Crimson Ooze,” Halloween Flash Fiction 3rd Place Winner

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Neil Silverman, Author

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The police would arrive on a very cold October 31st, several days after the Pickards met their maker. It was only when they missed appointments and meetings that it became apparent to their colleagues – something was terribly wrong on Dreary Lane with Doctor Dan Pickard and his wife Margie.

The Pickards were finally paying the price for their evil, illegal, and immoral ways.  Non, who worked for years with the doctors without a single note of praise, had reached his limit with their treatment of himself and the animals.  His raises were regularly turned down, and he could hardly afford to live well.  There wasn’t any decent conduct by either of them, who were high-strung workaholic types that were extremely demanding and mean. They often cursed Non harshly and unsympathetically to the point of him breaking down into tears.  The deadlines and verbal abuse had gotten to him, so Non purposely broke the water pipe in the kitchen, and smashed them both unconscious with the hammer that he used frequently to build animal cages.  He later dragged them down the stairs and chained them to the floor of the basement where larger laboratory animals and reptiles were regularly kept.  Then, he went back upstairs to annihilate all the specimens that had tormented his poor mind for the last thirty-five years.

The mansion’s basement on Dreary Lane began to fill with a mixture of water and blood from above. The brilliant crimson ooze, combined with the flood of freezing cold liquid, flowed down the basement walls creeping in at a rapid clip.  Inch by inch, the reddish liquid traveled down the walls of the basement and filled the void, eventually freezing his victims in a chilly bath of death.  The animals cried out, led by the screech of the primates, while the dying rats squealed with terror.

As the two doctors were chained to the basement floor, they began to choke and swallow the fluid.  Non labored relentlessly hour after hour, killing, killing, killing!  The doctors scrambled to stay higher above the flow, as it filled the room with the stench of the massacred animals above.

The doctors bathed in the crimson pour – looking at each other with a helpless attempt to abandon their new reality.  As the water and blood mixture rose, so did their hopes of getting out alive fade with this slow torture.  Blackbirds screeched outside the window, looking on as the doctors screamed in anguish.  Help! Someone help!  But there was no one within fifty miles of Dreary Lane.  The fluid made the lights crackle and pop, and the electricity went out as they began to drown in the bloody darkness.  A table that housed several boa constrictor cages tipped over and released the snakes into the frigid glowing water, the basement barely lit by the moon.

Non’s strenuous tasks continued above them, killing as many of the lab animals as he could with a vengeance, laughing maniacally as he eliminated all memories of the psychological experiments he had conducted over the years, and discarding their corpses to the wet floor.  Non turned off all heat to the mansion, then retreated promptly to the plane on the tarmac in the rear of the building and taxied down the runway in his bloodied clothes on his way to Mexico. He could be heard screaming, “I’m alive again! I’m alive again! I’m alive!” And Non was never to be heard of ever again.

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