Guest Post: W B Welch
I didn’t know what she wanted when she asked me to go to the park with her, I just knew something felt different. Breakfast was normal; we both ate Cheerios and a banana. The rest of the morning seemed normal too— I dangled my legs off the front porch and wrote in my journal while she rode her bike back and forth in front of the house. So when she rode up sweaty and smiling and asked me to take her to the park, I said I would.
She ran inside. I followed behind her to change my shoes. “Mom, I’m taking Hensley to the park,” I yelled upstairs.
“Okay. I’m finishing up my hair. You guys be back before dark.”
Hensley ran into the kitchen, then shuffled through the drawers. She tucked something in her pocket, then ran to the fridge for two bottles of water, then ran to my side.
“You ready?” I forced my heels into the back of each shoe, then retied my ponytail.
“Let’s do it then.” After locking the door behind us, I adjusted my hair tie again. It was too tight and was going to give me a headache. Five more days, just five days until I could get my license. I didn’t have a car, but Mom said I would be able to use hers from time to time, especially when she needed me to do things for Hensley.
The air outside was stifling. I chugged half of my water down, not realizing how thirsty I already was. We crossed the street because that side had better tree coverage.
“Did you put on any sunscreen today?”
Hensley shook her head.
“Me neither.” I looked at my shoulder, wondering how red it would be later.
The park was full. Bodies filled every swing, kids waited at both slides for their turn, children sat huddled together in packs building sand castles or burying toys, and parents filled every ‘adult’ style seat available. I looked around for a shady place to sit and write while Hensley eyed the jungle gym.
“I’m going to the swings. Bye.”
“But the swings are all…” She was already halfway across the huge sand box. Of course the swings were all full. Everything was full. She would just have to wait her turn. I resumed my hunt for the perfect resting place. It was when I was finally settled with my journal open that I head the scream.
I froze, lost my breath. Mom would kill me if anything happened to Hensley. I’m not supposed to let her out of my sight even for a second. I couldn’t see her for the crowd. More people screamed. Upon standing, my journal fell from my lap. The pen fell into the soft grass, soundless. I elbowed my way through the shoving parents, the nosey kids. It was when I saw the red sand that I really panicked.
Hensley was standing there, right beside it. Blood was all over her face, her dress. I grabbed her shoulders, smeared the redness, looked for the wound.
“Where are you hurt? Tell me. Someone call 9-1-1.”
“They’ve been called. She’s not hurt, it’s not her,” a woman screamed at me. “She stabbed her.”
I froze then, took a second to check myself. Did she say someone stabbed someone? Deep breath. I took stock of the scene. There was a woman on her side a few feet behind me. She was holding her stomach. Looking closer, I could see her intestines bulging behind her hands— she was trying almost successfully to hold them inside. There was also a blood coated knife a couple of feet from us. Then I saw the knife’s handle. It was Mom’s.
“She wouldn’t make her daughter get off the swing.”
I looked back to Hensley. “You said what?”
“She’s here every time we come to the park, and she always swings all day. I tried to tell her mom last time, but she said she can do whatever she wants, that it’s a public park. So I figure I can do whatever I want too.”
I didn’t know what to say. My grasp was still firm on her shoulders when we first heard the sirens.
Copyright WB Welch – All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Hello, I am WB Welch. Thank you for reading my shorty short as part of the Whodunnit Summit. This is a brand-new story. I hope you enjoyed it. If you don’t know me, I am the author of Blood Drops, a recently released horror anthology. If you like horror, and if you liked the story you just read, you’ll probably enjoy Blood Drops.
Please connect with me on social media. I am on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and I would love to get to know you. I also have a blog where you can find more stories like this one, readwbwelch.com. Thank you again for reading my post and for taking advantage of the Whodunnit Summit hosted by Archer Hay.
Wishing you all the best,