's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" Carmine And Wolf "

Submitted by Jack Allan

A young girl with smoldering red hair was driving along the narrow forest road, it was only roughly paved, and not marked at all. The rain beat against the roof of the car, sounding like high-strung tribal drums. She peeled her eyes from the road for a brief second to check on the package in her passenger seat. It sat there soundly, a medium sized box wrapped in brown paper and tied with twine, a simple card on it read 'Grandma.' The girl looked back up from the road to see a shaggy, hunched shape crossing the street in her headlight. A dog, or maybe a wolf.

Carmine slammed on her brakes and tried to swerve to avoid the animal. The package slid out of its seat, hitting the floor of the car with a dull thud. Carmine was jostled around violently as her car spun off the road and crashed to a halt against the trees right up against the road. She screamed as she fought her seat belt and the airbag to get out of the sideways vehicle. She scooped up her package and wiggled out the broken windshield, miraculously only getting a few shallow scratches. She dropped off the car onto the road and came face-to-face with the large hairy beast she had swerved to avoid. It was a huge wolf, it growled quietly at her, its eyes shone in the dim light. Carmine's heart stopped in her chest.

The beast started padding towards her, Carmine backed around slowly. Her mind was screaming at her to break the cardinal rule. Get off the road, it screamed, it won't chase you into the woods. She was getting soggy in the rain, and her tears were flowing freely. Against all better judgment, she turned and sprinted into the woods. The creature growled and gave chase, but quickly turned away in search of easier prey.

Carmine ran until she felt her legs would explode on the next stride. She tripped over a gnarled root and fell to the ground, clutching the package for dear life. She curled up there, hair tangled with twigs. Her face and body cut by thorns. Soaked through her inappropriately thin clothing, and frigid to the bone, she gave one sharp scream for help, but slowly fell unconscious as no one came.

When she awoke, hours later, she was chilled and soaked. She sat there, shivering and crying in the predawn light, knowing she had no way of getting back to the road. She laid there for hours, or maybe years, her sense of time was gone. The sun was filtering through the trees when she finally got to her feet. Her cuts were beginning to scab over, although she was filthy and still wet. She slowly started to work her way through the thick woods, not knowing what direction she was going in, if she was going deeper into the woods or on her way out. She got fresh cuts on her legs and arms as she fought the untamed land for clearance. She realized she has dropped the package.

She had dropped again to her knees, sobbing loudly. She had no way of finding it again. She sat there and cried like a child, for what felt like eternity. It took her nearly an hour to let out all of her sobs and screams. Then she heard a voice.

"Might this belong to you, ma'am?" She turned and stared at the man with bleary eyes. He was a sort of rugged handsome, with an unshaven, angular face. He had piercing, ruddy brown eyes. Long hair tied into a pony-tail. He was wearing rugged jeans, a flannel shirt and heavy boots, and he was holding her sodden package.

Carmine didn't reply, she just stared. I'm hallucinating, she told herself. This isn't real. I'm imagining this man. He tucked the box under one arm and offered her a hand to help her up. She took it wearily and he pulled Carmine to her feet. She didn't say anything, he started to lead her to a small path, it was only feet away from where she had fallen. She had no idea how she had missed it the first time.

"Let's get you somewhere warm, you're going to catch your death out here," The man said in a cool, honey laced voice. Carmine nodded, only vaguely aware that he was pulling her gently along the path. She had a tiny, incomprehensible apprehension about the man, he was charming, but terrifying. "My name is Andrew Wolfe."

Wolfe... that name makes me uneasy, She thought slightly dazed. She followed him silently, the sun shone down between the trees on either side of the path. But it wasn't a warm yellow sun, it was a sharp, cold, grey sun. They came upon a small house, it looked aged, but as if it had been tended. Wolfe stepped up to the front door and opened it, the house smelled of pork, but not like pork. Carmine stepped in without a word as the man waited by the front door.

"The back bedroom is empty. My sister died a few years back," He nodded towards the back of the house. Carmine nodded and walked towards the room he indicated. It was a simply furnished room, a bed, a dresser, and a floor lamp with a bare light bulb. Carmine laid down on the bed and tried to collect her thoughts, but she was quickly asleep.

Carmine awoke with the man on top of her. Inside of her. She screamed and tried to fight him off. He was forcing himself upon her. She screamed and scratched at his naked back, bit roughly at his neck and shoulder. Screaming again when she tasted his blood. He clubbed her in the head with his fist, she was dazed and he finished his horrid deed. He left Carmine laying on the bed, naked and curled in a tight ball.

Andrew looked changed when she next saw him. His hair was disheveled and out of it's neat ponytail. His ruddy eyes almost shone red, and his beard looked scruffier. His shirt was torn open. He barked at her, "Food, bitch," as he shoved a plate of barely cooked, pork-smelling meat into her arms. She sobbed quietly as she took it and ate. It tasted strange, like pork, but not like pork. A few minutes after eating it she started to feel sick. Nearly half an hour later she vomited off the end of the bed. That meat was wrong.

Carmine cried. She cried for hours and hours. She cried until the tears refused to come, then she just let out dry, wretched sobs. She laid there and sobbed until she could barely breath through her hoarse throat.

Hours past. She couldn't sleep after any of that, she laid awake and waited for whatever Wolfe had in store for her.

The next day, around noontime, Wolfe barged into her room. He looked even more animalistic. Carmine was afraid he was going rape her again, but he didn't. He grabbed her roughly and pulled her to her feet out of the bed. She cried out and tried to cover her naked body with the blankets.
He continued to pull her roughly through to the kitchen. She screamed and he slapped her face. She stopped screaming and just slumped to her knees. He dragged her slowly towards a basement door. He threw her down the stairs after opening the door. She cried out and whimpered as she tumbled down the rough wooden stairs.

The room was very dim, it took Carmine several minutes to adjust to the light. But when she managed to look around, she let out a scream. Skeletons were stacked between a pair of large freezers, they had been stripped, but not clean. One of the skulls held a bloated white eyeball. Carmine screamed, for hours. She screamed until a thump above her, followed by Wolfe shouting curses at her ended them.

The corpse stared at her. She could feel it's piercing gaze upon her.

Carmine eventually moved to vomit into a nearby bucket, only to find it full of putrid entrails. She heaved dryly, her empty stomach giving up nothing more that acid, it burned her mouth and throat. She screamed and cried, vomiting again. She passed out, her stomach heaving.

Carmine woke up several hours later. She sat up slowly, her body aching and full of sharp shooting pains. She looked down at herself, her bloody, soggy clothes plastered and cleaning to her body. She didn't remember redressing. She looked around the room, the freezers, bucket, and corpses were gone. Only a few half buried bones remained as evidence of the atrocities that had occurred. Carmine tried to stand, but fell off an injured ankle, giving a loud yelp.

Carmine looked down at her twisted ankle, she didn't remember that either. She noticed her arms, covered in bites. Human bites. They were deep and most trickled blood. Carmine's breathing intensified and she started to crawl towards the stairs. The rotted, creaking stairs seems as if they would bare hold her weight on the way up.

She reached the top and stopped to rest, whimpering and holding her ankle gently. She looked around the house. It was decrepit, the forest seemed to have swallowed it and was slowly digesting the small house. She pulled herself to her feet and whimpered as shooting pain filled her leg. Tears welled in her eyes as she walked slowly around the crumbling building.

She stumbled into the bedroom, looking for her package, the room was trashed. It looked like a fight had occurred, ancient black bloodstains where splattered lovingly across the walls and floor. A skeleton laid where it must have fallen years ago, a hatchet lodged in it's skull. Carmine muttered quietly, "Wolfe..." It couldn't be him, he was alive. She had just seen him a few hours ago. But she knew it was him.

She knelt down and pulled the hatchet out of the skull. She screamed and slammed it back in, shattering the old, brittle bones. "Die! Die! Die! Die!" She screamed as she smashed the skeleton, quickly devolving into sobs as she knelt in front of the shattered bones.

Carmine dropped the hatchet and started trying to get out of the building, bumbling through the ruined house, whimpering when her ankle shot searing pain up her leg with each step. She found her package near the front door and and scooped it up, it was soggy and battered, but otherwise in fine shape.

She fled that house into a warm, golden sun. It beat down on her, but wasn't uncomfortable. It was like being embraced by an old friend. Carmine broke down sobbing happily. She knew her nightmare was over. When a member of the search party picked her up, she hugged him tightly and sobbed into his shoulders.

She abandoned the package.