Survivors- The Killing Moon

I’ve been neglecting the blog this week due to some personal issues and scheduling. Here is the second prequel to Survivors, this one following Heather, the final girl of a summer slasher. Survivors will be the story of a support groups for those that lived through terrifying supernatural or horrifying events, and how they learn to cope with their trauma, while advocating for others that have gone through similar. I hope you enjoy.

The sun baked the pavement under their feet as they ran towards the waiting sand, trying not to stay in one place too long lest they get burned. It was already hot and it was only May, but it gave them perfect beach weather to get the summer started. For some of them, their last summer.

“Why the hell did I leave the house with no shoes?” Heather shouted as they finally reached the edge of the pavement, sliding into the sand. “You said it wasn’t that long of a walk from the cabin!”

“It’s not a long walk!” Alice shouted back, falling over into the soft sand and looking at her friend. She pointed behind them to the cabin only about two hundred feet away.

“That trip is a hell of a lot longer when you’re walking on fire.” Justin said, covering his feet in sand. He looked around him, taking count of their group. There were only five of them. “Where’s Ryan?”

They all looked back toward the cabin to see Ryan walking calmly across the pavement, whistling and swinging a towel around at his side as he walked. His sandles clapped against the soles of his feet as he walked. The rest of the group groaned.

“What? Not my fault y’all are dumbasses.” He said, shrugging at them. He walked past them toward the water, swinging the towel around his shoulders as he went. Heather looked over at Alice, who gave her a knowing smile and nodded at her to follow him.

Heather was hoping this was her chance. She had been head over heels for Ryan since they first met in freshman biology a year ago. They had become friends during study group, and a month ago Ryan had told them of his plans to go to his family’s beach cabin for two weeks in May, inviting all of them along. They had gotten here early that morning and quickly rushed to get everything unpacked to hit the beach.

It was private land right along the Florida coast. Ryan’s family was well off, and the only neighbors nearby were the two other cabins that were at least five hundred yards away from either side of theirs, and even then those were empty this time of year. The six of them- Ryan, Justin, Heather, Alice, Sam, and Darren- had been able to finish the semester early and get out of most of their finals since they kept a good average. This was the vacation they needed.

Heather ran to catch up with Ryan, then decided to run straight past him and right into the water. She wasn’t ready for how cold it still was, and quickly did a one eighty and ran back up the beach into the warm sand, shouting in surprise. The rest of them laughed at her as she ran back to the group.

Darren and Sam spread a blanket out and settled in together to sunbathe, taking in the warmth of the Florida sun. Justin and Alice ran into the waves, not caring about the cold. Alice tackled him into an oncoming rush of water as they went deeper in, laughing as they fell. Heather sat beside Ryan. He was spreading his towel out and setting up an umbrella.

“So you got to come here every year as a kid?” She asked him, looking around. She still couldn’t believe how secluded the place was for being at such aa prime beach spot. Everything out here was beautiful, unlike the beach near her hometown that looked like a radioactive dump most of the year. The water here was actually semi-clear, where you could see down into it and watch as fish swim by.

“Yeah. Mom and dad never got out here much because of work but gramma used to bring me every year. Mom gave me the keys last year after gramma died. Guess that was easier for her to do than actually grieve.”

“Shit. I’m so sorry.” Heather said, taken aback by the honesty he was showing. Ryan was usually the goofball of the group, almost never showing any kind of vulnerability. He looked off into the distance where the sea met the sky, and she could swear she saw a tear in the corner of his eye.

“Eh, mom’s always been a bitch anyway.” He said, shrugging. “Besides, doubt they would want to come out here after what happened when she was a kid. She didn’t even like the thought of this place.”

“What do you mean?” Heather asked. She could hear Alice yelling at Justin in the background, telling him to stop splashing her or else she would drown him.

“Supposedly when mom was a teenager they were staying here for a weekend and some of the neighbors were murdered in that cabin.” He said, pointing down the beach to the other house in the distance. “Apparently it was pretty grisly, enough blood that the house was basically painted red when they were found.

“Holy shit. That’s insane. Did they ever catch the guy that did it?” She was trying to stay cool but her morbid curiosity got the better of her, and this was the most Ryan had talked to her in weeks so she wasn’t letting it go.

“Nope. There was just a note written by on of the murdered women that said ‘All I see is Red’. Nothing ever came of it, no suspects, no leads… nothing.” Ryan shrugged and looked over at her, “Then again, it was Florida in the sixties. Probably a bunch of kids that tripped on LSD and started stabbing each other.”

“That’s insane.” Heather said as she looked over toward the cabin. One of the windows was broken and it looked like there hadn’t been a living thing there in years. She couldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to go in.

They sat in silence for a while, watching Alice and Justin splashing around in the waves. After a couple of hours they all went back inside, getting ready for the night ahead, preparing dinner and starting on the booze they brought with them. It wasn’t long before they were all buzzed and sitting out by a fire they made on the sand near the cabin.

“Shit. I forgot! There’s supposed to be an eclipse tonight.” Darren said, laying back in the sand and looking up at the sky. The moon hung high above them, full and large, reflecting the light of a long gone sun down onto the waters in front of them. Heather didn’t think she had ever seen the moon look that large in her life.

“Wow. We’re going to see a full eclipse?” Sam asked, laying down next to Darren, “That’s going to be so romantic.”

“They call it a Blood Moon because of how the light reflects off during the eclipse. Causes the moon to be red for a few minutes. Apparently it looks really cool and hasn’t happened around this part of the states in a long time.” Darren replied, putting his arm around Sam and bringing her closer to him.

Heather looked over at Ryan, giving him a furtive smile. Maybe that would help her chances of getting close to him tonight. They were the only single people here after all, they would need to stick together. She was surprised to see that the color had drained from his face and he looked worried.

“Hey,” she nudged him and said quietly, “are you alright?”

“We need to leave.” Ryan said, standing up and nearly tripping into the fire. He had been downing drinks most of the afternoon and definitely wasn’t in a position to make rational decisions. The others all looked at him in surprise.

“Woah man, just chill.” Justin said, getting up and putting a hand on his shoulder, steadying him. “What’s going on?”

“We have to leave. It’s not safe here.” Ryan slurred his words. He was obviously drunk and not in the right state of mind. Heather took his arm.

“I’ll take him up to the cabin. I think he’s just had too much quickly.” She said, looking at the rest of them. They all agreed, telling Ryan goodnight and to get some rest. Heather hoisted his arm over her shoulders, trying to support him. They began the march to the cabin.

Ryan mumbled most of the way there, and when they got through the door she hurried to get him over to the couch and set him down. He continued to protest that they needed to leave. Heather gave him a stern look.

“Ryan Hollison. It was your idea to come out here for the next few days. Why do you suddenly want to leave?” She said, looking at him.

“I’m so sorry.” He slurred, only half awake. “I’m just drunk. Just drunk, thinking about old stories gramma used to tell me.”

“Like what?”

“The Red.” He said simply, looking towards the nearest window. The moon shone bright outside, illuminating the beach beyond. “The Red comes out during the Blood Moon.”

“Yeah, the moon turns red. We know that.” She gave a small chuckle. He was unbelievably drunk, and she actually found it kind of cute how concerned he was about all of them. He actually cared. She turned in the direction he was looking, seeing the shadow of the earth begin moving across the moon. “Oh! It’s starting. I didn’t think it would be so early.”

“God help us.” Ryan said, then leaned over the side of the couch and promptly vomited on the floor.

“Oh shit. Hold on. I’ll get a towel!” Heather ran to the trash can, pushing it under Ryan as he heaved once more. She went into the linen closet, grabbing the first towel she saw, and threw it over the puddle on the floor. “Alright. You’re cut off for the rest of the trip after this. It’s only day one.”

A scream came from the direction of the beach. She looked outside but couldn’t see anything but the red moon hanging over the ocean, making it look like a sea of blood washing ashore. She assumed it was one of the guys scaring the girls, their usual pranks.

Ryan finished emptying his stomach and sat up, looking over at her. He suddenly looked completely sober, giving her a serious look as he attempted to stand, pointing to the cabin door that was still open.

“Close that and lock it.” He said seriously. The edge in his voice could cut through bone. He was scared, but she didn’t know what he was so frightened of.

“Why? What’s wro-“ She was cut off before she could even ask by Sam, Justin, and Alice running into the cabin and slamming the door behind them. She saw a red handprint on the door where Sam had grabbed it.

“Oh my god. He’s dead. He’s fucking dead.” Alice screamed wildly, a manic look in her eyes. Heather looked at them all, trying to size up the situation and figure out what the hell was going on.

Sam was shaking, her eyes looking forward but not seeing anything that was there. Heather noticed that the front of her clothes were smeared with red. Jesus Christ what was happening.

“Lock the door.” Ryan said, looking at them all in turn. He stood up, walking over to the kitchen and rummaging through the drawers, finally pulling out a large chef’s knife and a meat cleaver. “Lock. The. Fucking. Door. Alice, take the knife. Justin, you take the cleaver. Sam, Heather, there are bats in the closet. Grab them.”

“What the fuck is going on?” Heather looked at Ryan with fear in her eyes and a tremble in her voice. “What happened to Darren?”

“We were all just sitting around the fire. We looked up to see the eclipse then we felt something spray on us. I looked back and there was a man standing behind Darren and… oh fuck. There was so much blood.” Justin was babbling at this point. Heather ran over to lock the door and looked out toward the beach as she did so. She could see a crumpled frame laying by the fire and a large figure walking toward the cabin.

She slammed the door and turned the deadbolt, then hurried away and behind the kitchen counter next to Ryan. She had never been this scared in her life, not even when she had been in a car crash in high school. This was a new kind of terror she had never felt. She knew she could die tonight.

“Fucking hell, Ryan. You goddamn idiot.” Ryan was muttering to himself as he rummaged around the kitchen more, looking for any other weapons they could use. He was stone cold sober at this point, a totally different person than the boy slurring his words ten minutes ago. “Alright. We’ve got to get out of here.”

“Ryan what the hell is going on?” Alice screamed, sobbing. She was breaking, almost hysterical. Tears streaming down her face left tracks in the spray of blood, running their way from her cheeks to her neck.

“It’s the eclipse. Gramma always told me stories growing up about how we should never be out here during a Blood Moon. Said there was something evil about this place that only showed up when the moon was red as the blood of its victims.” Ryan responded, finally finding what he was looking for. He grabbed the car keys from the corner of the kitchen where they had been thrown that morning, motioning for everyone to gather around him in the living room and looking at them in turn.

“I’m sorry. I thought they were all just stories. I wouldn’t have come here if I knew what tonight was. It’s the one thing that gramma constantly made sure that I knew. I think it’s what happened to the people in the cabin next door.” He said, “Now, we’re going to run to the car. Whatever this thing is, it isn’t human. It may have been once but right now it’s only focused on killing. We have to get out of here.”

Heather’s mind raced. This was it. This was The Red that the note was about. They were going to die here. She snapped out of her thoughts when there was a loud thump on the door.

“It’s probably Darren!” Sam said, running to the door.

“He’s fucking dead, Sam!” Ryan screamed, chasing after her and attempting to tackle her to the ground. He wasn’t quick enough, and she opened the door before he could get there.

Darren’s lifeless body fell through the door, his head almost severed from the large gash in his neck. In the doorway stood an imposing figure, at least six and a half feet tall, dressed all in black. It wore a plain wolfs head mask over its face. It was a deep crimson, but they couldn’t tell if it was painted or if it was from layers of blood that had been spilled on it.

The Red lunged forward, grabbing Sam by the throat and pulling his other arm back. Heather saw a large, twisted blade, almost like a sickle that had been forged then twisted around. It lifted Sam into the air and drove the blade through her stomach and up into her chest. She screamed for a moment, then silently gurgled. Blood poured to the floor, splashing their feet. Alice screamed once more.

“Back door. Run.” Ryan shouted, pushing Heather in front of him toward the back of the cabin. “Get out there then circle around to the car. GO!”

They ran, Heather first, Ryan right behind her. Justin and Alice brought up the rear, clinging together as they ran, almost dragging each other. Alice had stopped screaming, and instead was sobbing maniacally, alternating between begging for God’s mercy and saying they were all going to die.

Heather barged through the door, almost tripping on the threshold as she burst outside. The warm night air hit her, the stinging smell of saltwater coming off the ocean not far from them. She ran around the corner of the house and toward the driveway where the Ryan’s SUV was parked. She looked behind her to see Ryan right on her heels, while Alice was just coming through the door. Ryan tossed her the keys.

“Get it going. I’m going to try to buy time.” He shouted. She nodded and kept running, throwing open the door and jumping into the drivers seat. She turned the key in the ignition, but was only met with silence.

“SHIT! Ryan! It won’t start!”

He let out a swear and ran back over to her. She scrambled over to the passenger seat as he climbed in, looking around and trying the keys again. There was still no sound from the engine. He leaned down to see if he could jumpstart the car and saw the wires slashed. Frantically, he tried grabbing them and attempting to jumpstart the car.

“Alice! Go!” She heard Justin screaming from behind the house. Alice turned the corner, running full on toward the car. She saw Justin round the corner right after her then get violently jerked back behind the house. There was a sickening splash and a spray of crimson onto the sand nearby, then an object came sailing through the air.

Justin’s head landed squarely on the windshield, sending a spiderweb of cracks through it. His eyes were still staring and Heather could swear his mouth moved a bit, almost as if begging for help. Blood leaked from the mangled stump of his neck.

“NO!” Alice shrieked, stopping in her tracks. She was almost right in front of the car, the red light reflecting off the moon bathing her in an eerie glow. She broke down and fell to her knees, letting out an agonizing scream that tore through Heather’s very soul – a sound she would remember for the rest of her life.

The Red was slowly coming towards her, a determined lumbering. It lifted the blade in its hand, hefting it high above its head. Alice turned, screaming at it, telling it to leave her alone, to go to hell, to give her Justin back. Her screams fell on deaf, uncaring ears. The only thing The Red cared about was seeing blood.

“Jesus Christ.” Ryan said, furiously tapping wires together. After a moment the car sparked to life, headlights illuminating the killer just as he brought the blade down on Alice, stabbing her between her shoulder and neck, driving it down into her lungs. Heather saw the crimson tip of the blade poke through her side.

“How long has it been?” Ryan asked, looking at Heather. She didn’t understand what he was saying. He cranked the car and looked back at her. “How long? How long since the eclipse started?”

“I… I don’t know.” Heather said. They had been inside when it began so she wasn’t sure of the exact time. It had to have been going at least a few minutes now. “Why does it matter? We need to get out of here.”

“When the moon is red, it will come for the dead.” Ryan muttered, “Beware the Blood moon for death will follow soon.”

“Ryan we have to go!” Heather shouted. The Red was standing in front of the car, basking in the glow from the headlights. It was struggling to remove the blade from Alice’s body. Her head bobbed back and forth as it tried to twist the weapon free.

“That’s what gramma always told me growing up. I think it will go away once the total eclipse is finished.” Ryan said, looking around them. “Listen. I’ve always liked you. I’m sorry I’ve been distant. Things haven’t been easy since she died.”

Heather stared at him, mouth open in surprise. Of all the times he could be confessing his love, why now? He leaned over and kissed her lightly.

“I’m going to distract it. Maybe I’ll survive long enough. You need to get out of here and go find someone. Bring them here. If I don’t make it, make sure this entire fucking place is burned down. Make sure nobody ever comes here again. Please.”

Before she could protest he got out of the car. The Red had finally gotten the blade free from Alice, lifting it’s boot and planting it on her face as he pulled the blade free. Heather realized she was crying as Ryan screamed at the thing, telling it to come get him. He backed off toward the beach, attempting to make it chase him out to the water.

Heather moved over to the drivers seat as The Red turned toward Ryan, cocking its head to the side slightly. She wasn’t just going to leave him here. She couldn’t. She reached down to the gear shift and threw it into reverse, backing a few dozen feet toward the road. She quickly moved the car into drive and revved the engine, waiting for The Red to line up perfectly with the front of the vehicle. Once it was there she throttled the gas, gaining as much speed as possible.

She hit the thing with a sickening thud. It was thrown almost thirty feet to the sand, rolling to a stop just short of the waves. Ryan looked back at her, amazement on his face. She got out of the car and ran to him.

“I can’t just leave you. Not after you pull that shit.” She said, screaming at him as she got closer. He hugged her close, thanking her. She looked back towards the water, scanning the tides for the body.

“We have to call someone. Do you have a phone?” She asked, looking at Ryan.

“I have a cell in the center console of the car.” He replied, looking around them. They began running back towards the car, keeping an eye out for the killer. The moon still hung low above them, but it was now more of a rust color than the crimson it had been before. Heather jumped back into the drivers seat as Ryan went to the passenger side. He immediately opened the console and pulled out a phone.

“Alright. I’m calling the cops.” He said. “I think the eclipse is almost ov-“

He was cut off by the blade flying through the windshield. It impaled itself into his left eye, his right eye going wide as he choked on his last words. His brain attempted to fire off any unmanaged neurons, but all it did was overload him. He convulsed for a moment before falling forward, dead.

Heather looked forward through the shards of broken glass. The Red was standing there, right where the waves reached their limit. She could swear it was smiling at her as blood dripped from it, leaving crimson tendrils where the waves took the streams back out into the ocean. She felt emotions overtake her.

She didn’t realize what she was doing. She felt rage at the thing that had just killed her friends in such a short amount of time. Grief over the loss of Ryan, of everyone. She had loved him, and just found out that he felt the same about her, only for that to be taken in an instant. She didn’t realize she was on the accelerator until she was barreling toward the red, the light from the moon reflecting off the water, turning it to a sea of blood.

She was almost upon it when the moonlight turned to silver once more, almost blinding her with its bright and sudden change. The Red exploded, leaving behind a shimmering mass of crimson blood where it once stood. She drove through it and into the waves, causing water and viscera to mix and splash through the shattered glass. She was thrown forward by the impact of hitting the water. Her head hit the steering wheel and the world disappeared.

Thank you for reading. Survivors-Red Right Hand will be live next Tuesday. If you would like to support, links are listed below. Anything helps.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s