A little piece I wrote from a prompt on the Crystal Lake Publishing Patreon. The challenge was show don’t tell…

They clustered around the monitor.

Derry hit the spacebar and the CCTV footage began to play fullscreen.

Cam 1 02:44:34: Dimly lit alleyway. Door opens. A slender female with long dark hair in jeans, black boots and yellow parka steps out. Snow falls in front of the camera, swirling. Female pauses at door, then begins to walk to her left. Moves off screen.

Derry hit the spacebar again, minimizing the window. He selected a second one maximized it, and tapped the keyboard.

“There’s another camera in the alley.”

Cam 2 02:46:40: Dimly lit alleyway, empty, snow covered blacktop. Other lights at the far end. Doors line either side. Slender female with long dark hair, jeans, black boots and yellow parka walks slowly into frame. Stops.

Cam 2 02:47:20: Another figure appears at opposite frame edge — dark, lit from behind obscuring details. Female with yellow parka stops. The dark figure moves halfway into the glow from an overhead streetlamp. Face obscured wearing a blue dress, torn at the chest revealing a white breast smeared with something dark.

Cam 2 02:48:38: The female in the parka gestures. The dark figure in a dress moves its hands revealing an axe  glistening in the lamp light with something dark that drips off the blade making a faint semi-circular pattern in the falling snow.

Cam 2 02:49:13: The female in the parka opens her mouth and then runs in the opposite direction of the figure in the dress. The figure is motionless. It runs suddenly in the direction of the female in the yellow parka.

Derry switched to a final window, clicking the mouse.

Cam 1 02:51:17: A dark figure stands above the yellow parka female and swings its arms again and again. Dark patterns fly into the snow onto the walls, onto the doors of the alley. The snow continues to fall, flakes billowing past the camera. The dark figure then casts aside the axe, bends over the discolored parka, the ruined face of the female, begins pulling and tearing with its hands. The figure’s features remain shadowed.


“God. Damn!”