's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" Sanguine "

Submitted by Jack Allan

A young woman, head freshly shaved, awake in the dead of the night. She's feverish and hallucinating. New medications today.

The one she doesn't like left the door open when he left. That's good. Even with the walls swaying she knows the way.

Eighteen steps.

Turn left.

Seven steps.

Look right.


The door's open.

The dark is comfortable, but she pulls the chain anyway.

The bottles on the shelves scream at her while she methodically picks up and inspects each label. Warning: Flammable. That's the one.

She sets it by the swarming insects at her feet. She explores the shelves longer while they begin melting.

A pack of Marlboros.

She opens it and dumps it on the floor, praying for a glint of plastic.

A dark blue bic lighter.

Her smock has no pockets, so she clutches in her palm while she shakes the bugs off her bottle.

None of the tall men lining the walls question her while she walks back to her room.

She slams the door behind her and hears the lock clank.

The bed quivers and sobs while she soaks it in strong smelling cleaner.

It makes her dizzier than the pills.

She flicks the lighter and holds the flame against the soaked monster, dropping the little blue gem into the flames and they erupt around her arm.

She backs against the corner and watches it, jumping when the lighter pops. She waits for the alarm to start while choking on the smoke. Cherishing it.