Donny had openly lied to them. They deserved it, and probably more. There wasn't a sign pointing to their farm for a simple reason. They didn't want any visitors. The last visitors had been none too friendly when they'd turned up in their big cars and their helicopters throwing crying gas and coughing gas and putting a fist-sized hole in Daddy's forehead before taking away Daddy's collection of town-kids.

Donny watched the dainty arms and the way that they spilled from her sleeves. The little sprinkle of silvery bracelet caught the sunlight and it tickled his eyes. He watched the way her hands ran over her swollen belly. She looked plum-full to bursting. Donny didn't smile; he could imagine what they were thinking, what they were calling him in their minds. Hillbilly Hick-Boy, Mother-Kisser, Granny-Poker, Brother-Blowing Bumpkin, and a whole load more names which, although true, were none too nice to be saying.

"Well? Can we use your phone?" the man asked. He wore jeans as if dungarees were too good for him.

"You gonna leave money beside it when you done?" Donny asked, although his eyes were on the young woman and he wondered if she could sing. There'd been no singing in the house since they'd killed Daddy and taken away the singers.

The woman giggled. "Is he talking about the table by the phone or the table by his momma's bed?"

The man made his lips slant slightly with mirth. "I have money."

Donny was staring at the woman. He was trying to decide if she was serious. If she was then they could go on up and have a go on momma as long as they did leave some money.

"The phone's in the parlour." Donny stepped back and held open the torn screen-door. He smelt the woman as she past and he nearly went dizzy. Donny looked about and then quickly closed the door.

There was a thumping coming from upstairs.

"What's that?" the man asked warily.

"That's Momma's elbow-stump trying to get my attention. Her legs don't work since the tractor accident so she's stuck in bed."

They heard another two thumps.

Donny smiled. "It's okay, just the two thuds means she's lonely. Three thumps for hungry, three for thirsty, four for the potty and twelfty-seven in a row real fast if she's got to go bad!" Donny hooted.

His guests looked at him.

"The phone?" the man reminded him.

"Just through there." Donny pointed vaguely through the junk-cluttered room towards a doorway.

The man looked to his girl. "Wait here, I won't be a minute."

The girl looked around. She'd seen tidier dumpsters, ones that had smelled better too.

Donny decided it was time to make his move. He smiled and tried to look as though mischief wasn't on his mind as he sidled over to the uneven dresser. A newspaper on its surface sheltered Little Chop-Chop.

Singing erupted upstairs.

"Momma's singing again!" shouted Donny, forgetting all about the hand-axe.

The girl looked at him as though he was cuckoo. "That's screaming, you dumb-fuck."

"No that's singing! Ain't been no singing in this house since they killed my daddy and took away his singers!"

The singing stopped. Donny looked sad.

"She's stopped singing now."

The woman chuckled and shook her head.

The man came back into the room, he had removed his shirt. His body was covered in scars and tattoos. Donnie saw the knife, saw the blood on it too.

"Momma?"

"Dead," The man said, and then looked to his girl, "he lied about the phone. But this is the place, baby. I remember it, although I spent most of the time down in the cellar singing."

The girl grinned and looked all giddy.

The man turned back to Donny who was heading for Little Chop-Chop again.

"Don't bother. We're here to carry on with your father's work. He was closer than he thought to communicating with the Beast. I'm sure I saw Him once listening in the corner whilst we all sang. We're going to fill this house with song again, and I think I'd like to hear you sing first."


"The Devil's Choir"
Copyright: © 2009 Lee Hughes
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Lee Hughes's short fiction has or is due to appear on, Thrillers,Killers 'n' Chillers, A Twist of Noir, Flashshots, The DailyTourniquet, MicroHorror, Blink-Ink, Powder Burn Flash. And in print inthe anthology, Cern Zoo: Nemonynous 9. Find out more at www.LeeHughes.net

4 comments:

  1. Great story, Lee.

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  2. Lee, so nice to see you around these parts! Wow, wow, wow!!! That was one helluva story. I absolutely loved it. "Little Chop-Chop" - just fantastic. Thank you.

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  3. Thanks for the kind words all, glad you liked it.

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