Nice Night for a Splash

Nice Night for a Splash

by Shannon Lawrence

The sky darkened as Belinda pulled up to the quarry, slipping her beater of a Honda into the nearest spot. Only one other car sat in the lot, close to the entrance. The silver BMW gleamed in the last rays of the setting sun, and she took a moment to enjoy its beauty.

She pulled a screwdriver from under the Honda’s passenger seat, removed her license plates (not hers to begin with), and switched them for those on the BMW.

Finished, Belinda straightened her dress, fixed her crimson lipstick in the rearview mirror, and brushed her hair back with shaking fingers. She took a deep breath and grabbed the flashlight, making sure it had enough juice before sliding out of her car and locking it.

Steep steps were cut directly into the stone face of the quarry. There was no hand rail. She turned on the flashlight and moved down the steps, careful to feel each one before placing her foot. At the bottom, she took a minute to compose herself, heart pounding from the descent and the velvet darkness that pressed against her. Had she penetrated so far into the earth that light could no longer reach her? She breathed in the mineral-laden smell of the quarry, willing her heart to calm before proceeding.

She turned the flashlight off for a moment and listened, hoping the absence of vision would stimulate her sense of hearing. No sounds, other than her own. No light. Where was he?

There, a muffled sound to her right. She turned the flashlight back on and skirted the lip that led deeper still. The light reflected off the inky water moving far below, winking up at her as if they shared a joke.

Another sound. This time a shuffle.

“My love?” she called.

“Bel?”

“By the steps!”

Footsteps headed in her direction with a distinctive grinding of stones beneath boots. When he stepped into her light, she turned it off, set it down. Her spine itched as his hand trailed along it, her flesh trying to escape the press of his fingers. She slid her hands inside his jacket, fingers trailing through the wiry hair on his arms as she pushed the coat off him and onto the ground. His softness repulsed her.

“It’s creepy here, kinda’ kinky.” His breath brushed against her face, laden with the odor of meat and onions. “I’m glad you suggested meeting here, Bel.” His mouth sought hers, but she pulled away from him, hands pressed to his chest.

“I thought it would make a nice place for a grave,” she said.

“What?”

Her push sent him over the lip with a surprised yelp. The scream that followed caused her flesh to rise in goosebumps, the hairs to stand on end. A splash drowned the scream.

Then there was silence.

Finally free, she picked up his jacket, heavy with his keys and wallet. She ascended the steps, collected her things from the Honda, and drove away in her shiny new BMW.

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Shannon Lawrence
A fan of all things fantastical and frightening, Shannon Lawrence writes primarily horror and fantasy. Her stories can be found in anthologies and magazines, including Under the Bed, Devolution Z, and The Deep Dark Woods. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking through the wilds of Colorado and photographing her magnificent surroundings, where, coincidentally, there’s always a place to hide a body or birth a monster. Find her at thewarriormuse.com.

7 thoughts on “Nice Night for a Splash

  1. Nice building of tension. A bit of a problem with respect to auto registrations maybe. And one has to assume Belinda’s significant other isn’t a swimmer. AGB

  2. Nice build up of suspense. Grabs me right away. Good rhythm, but pace seems rushed at the end and skipping a few important beats… notes,,, pieces of information.

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