the short story project


The Greenhouse

An evil being is summoning people to him through the use of dark telepathy, getting them to confess all of their sins, then committing “the biggest sin of all.”


The sun was crawling through the muted glass of the old greenhouse roof. Clouds lined the sky. The air was thick and humid. Just below the filmy glass roof stood a cloaked man. He was tall and angular, androgynous. His dark hair stayed slicked back down behind his narrow shoulders. His skin almost grey. A single line of people waited before him, motionless. One by one they took their turn in front of him. They climbed up the few stairs to meet face to face with their fate. The Dark One unflinching, unmoving, stares back at his climbing guest. Already his hundredth visitant, he routinely closed his eyes and opened them again. The woman next in line grew pale, her neck tensed, veins protruding. She began to speak in waterfalls. All her hidden secrets, every lie she’s ever told, it was all revealed. She kept speaking of all her downfalls, every wrongdoing, every sin. She kept speaking. She kept speaking as she slowly reached for the rope swaying next to her head. The words continued as she took the looped rope and placed it around her neck. Her life’s misdeeds, every transgression poured out between her tongue and lips. She kept speaking and speaking until she came to a full stop. A pause. In that moment of silence she closed her eyes steadily. A second of silence and she falls. Her body drops heavily. A snap is heard. There is no sound from the crowd below her. The next patron walks up, removes the swinging body from the rope, and watches the corpse hit the ground next to his bare feet. He stands before the Dark One and stares. Again the eyes close and reopen and the visitor begins to speak. He spoke and spoke until he, too, took the rope and placed it under his chin. This continued for every person in the line. Every single one. When the last of the herd was left swinging, oscillating, the Dark One finally moves. Removing the body from the swing, upright he stood next to it. His grey skin grew muddier as he secured the rope around his long neck, his arms rose up perpendicular to his sides. His eyes, once normal, roll up into his pointed head and turn black. With one last inhale of his breath he too falls suddenly and violently. The sun shined and shined behind the creeping grey clouds above the foggy glass above him. 

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