A TRANSCENDENT Excerpt: “Skrik” by Bekki Pate

The sky is a blood-red swirl. The wind whips at my face. The bridge I stand on is rough against my bare feet, and the vortex of water that runs underneath it mesmerises me. It looks so inviting.

The urge to jump over the side and into the water is almost unbearable. I don’t want to jump, but a part of me is so curious to try. To my left, two men walk towards me on the bridge. Or are they walking away? They are little more than a duo of black smudges against the shocking sky.

Boats glisten on the water. But the sky twists and turns, and panic rises. The water seems to bubble up, endless. I bring my hands to my face, and feel the sweat sticking to my skin. I feel faint. Something is building inside.

My hair is gone, my mouth is wide, toothless, and the sun beating down on me burns.

I lift my head to the sky.

I scream.

 ***

“George. George, get up. We’ll be late.”

My mother’s voice breaks the terror of the dream. I open my eyes and am met with the blue-painted ceiling of my bedroom.

“George.” She darts in, throwing the door open.

I grimace at her.

“Get up.”

“Yeah.” A high, annoying voice chimes in. “Mum says get up, or we’re going without you.”

Shit. I’d forgotten. We’re seeing my dad this weekend, down where he lives now by the coast.

Emily’s little face pops up from behind the door. She sticks her tongue out at me. I do the same to her, and she flounces off.

“All right. I’m up. I’m up,” I say and wait until my mother has closed the door before I throw back the covers. I used to be in bed with my mother in the room all the time. She used to tuck me in and kiss me goodnight; she used to help me get dressed when I was tired on school-day mornings. But since I’d turned twelve and suddenly all I seem to think about are girls at school and whether or not I can see their growing breasts underneath their uniforms, I’d rather not have my mother in the room in the morning in case I get what John at school calls morning wood.

I reluctantly get up, get dressed, then try and brush my teeth with my eight-year-old sister hovering around me, asking stupid questions. My mother has packed our things, so all we need to do is get in the car. Emily is in the back—she still needs to sit in one of those stupid seats, but I ride in front, where Dad used to sit. Mainly because I don’t want my mother looking over and feeling that emptiness there. I want to fill it, make sure she doesn’t get sad again.

The car journey is long…

You can skip that part, George.

Okay.

Tell me about the beach. The day it happened.

Okay, so me, Dad, and Emily are on the beach. I am building sandcastles, and Emily is fussing around me as usual. Dad takes her to the pier; there’s a bridge or something, people walking around, and they go for a walk together. Emily is wearing her Minnie Mouse costume. I continue to build sandcastles…I think…There’s a man.

What does the man look like?

He’s distressed, in pain or something. His face…he looks like he’s screaming, but no sound comes out. He’s almost not there.

Where is he?

On the bridge. He’s pointing at something in the water.

What’s in the water, George?

I can’t. I can’t look.

You can. What can you see?

Oh God… 

Tell me what you see, George.

The water—it’s so cold, but I don’t feel it. Panic—I’d never truly felt that emotion before, never fully understood the word, until now. She’s struggling; she’s so far out, and I’m trying to reach her. Where’s Dad? Dad. Help us. Help.

Calm down, George. It’s okay.  

Dad. Dad.

Okay, George, so you’re going to start feeling more alert now, more conscious of my voice. It’s time to come back to the room, George, gently, let yourself slowly come back to the room, back to alertness, back to being fully awake.

“George?”

George opened his eyes, and they rested on the silhouette of Mandy, his hypnotherapist. She was in shadow, a little unfocused, but as he sat up, his eyes adjusted to the room, then to her. He regarded again how pretty she was, and blushed when he remembered that he mentioned something about getting an erection.

“Are you okay?”

 

 

Transcendent - Amazon Kindle

Bekki Pate lives in Wolverhampton with her husband and daughter. She is a horror writer and loves all things spooky or gory—Richard Laymon and Stephen King being her favourite authors.

She draws her inspiration from other writers and her own imagination – the words also seem to flow better with a strong cup of coffee!

 

TRANSCENDENT is available now, be sure to get your copy!

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