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Something Unholy

secrets have a way of coming back to haunt

By Lilly CooperPublished 2 months ago 13 min read
Something Unholy
Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

If walls could talk? He would be in a world of hurt.

Taylor flopped onto the sofa and sprawled with a heavy sigh.

“If you keep flopping on it like that, you are going to ruin it.”

He laughed at the voice. “Come on Mur, you sound like my mother.”

“She sounds like a smart woman. And I still don’t like that name.”

Taylor looked over at the long wall of the lounge room and grinned. “If you aren't going to tell me your name, you will just have to deal with the name I gave you.”

“Why on earth would a wall have a name?”

“Why on earth would a wall talk?” Taylor shot back.

Touché. You couldn’t come up with something with a little more flare than wall in a different language?”

“Not after a few too many whiskies, no. Besides, for a wall, you are intelligent enough. You can come up with your own name.” Taylor waved his fingers an the wall dismissively. As if one could dismiss a wall.

“Hmmm. That somehow sounded more of an insult than a compliment. Anyway. What was the big sigh for?”

Taylor feeling a little on edge, stood up and walked to the sideboard to pour himself a drink. Just to take the edge off. He grinned and held a glass of ice out toward his strange talking wall, rattling it. “Want one?”

“Funny, really funny. You just crack me up.”

He sauntered to the middle of the room, sipping his drink. The room was almost the entire apartment, being an open plan loft. Situated one floor below the penthouse and one wall made entirely of glass, it had an amazing view from no matter where he stood. And anywhere he stood, he could see the rest of the apartment. The perfect Love Nest. He could watch his Mistress walk around in just her underwear. Or naked.

Which bought his train of thought back to Mur’s question.

“You know Tara?”

“That little firecracker you call your ‘Image Consultant’ in your account books to hide her and the costs of upkeeping a Sugar Baby from your wife? Oh, yes, I know Tara.”

He laughed and sipped his whiskey again, ice tinkling in the glass. “Well, she is a problem. Oh, not with my wife. Jane is clueless. But she wants more. She doesn’t want me to marry her or anything so stupid, but she wants me to spend more time with her, more often.”

“A sound business decision.”

Taylor frowned and faced the wall. “What do you mean?”

“You give her gifts and money every time you see her. It’s part of your agreement. She sees you more, she gets more. Simple.”

“Damn, I didn’t think of that!” He finished the rest of his drink and poured a new one. “I can’t afford that!”

“Why not? You have the money.”

“It’s the time it’s self. As long as I bring home the bacon, or the whole pig as the case may be, spend a little time with the kids and give her whatever vanilla bedroom time she wants, she doesn’t ask questions. She just meanders along in her boring little housewife role that she loves so much. No messy, expensive divorce! But if I let any of that slip.... it’s not worth the trouble. I might have to let Tara go. As much as I don’t want to. Mmmm, I’d miss that ass wiggling around here!”

“You remind me of a previous resident of this apartment.” The voice from the wall sounded wistful.

“Oh? Another devilishly handsome, smart rich guy lived here?”

“Another guy who couldn't keep it in his pants. Or in the marriage.”

“Oh come on! You can't possibly think I'm doing something wrong! My wife gets what she wants, I get what I need! I work hard, I deserve my down time. Plus, if I’m getting it from my Sugar, I’m not bothering Jane. I’m doing her a favour.”

“Ah ha. He thought the same too. He thought his wife would never find out. I saw the whole disaster unfold.”

He laughed and took a long drink from his glass. He held it up and frowned. “This stuff is smooth. Remind me to order another bottle.” He topped up his glass and perched on the arm of the sofa. “Go ahead, tell me the poor doomed Sap’s story.”

“The ‘poor Sap’ kept this apartment as a secret place to meet his Mistress too. Tara? She’s got nothing on Kat. Dan thought he had it all. A perfect trophy wife of good breeding, twins on the way and a job that paid enough to keep a Mistress and hide her from everyone.”

“I doubt his girl was better than Tara, but go on.” He stood up and retrieved the bottle from the side board and returned to the couch with it.

“Oh, there were no off limits with Kat. She was every man’s dream. She would make your wildest fantasies look tame. And Dan had her. He didn’t want his wife to find out. If she did, it’d cost him a fortune. She would kick him out of the house with nothing but the clothes on his back. Worse, staying on the good side of her family was necessary for business. Theirs was a match made in heaven on paper. But as we both know, that’s where lies are easily told. In truth, Dan was self indulgent and arrogant. He loved no one but himself. He liked Kat because everyone wanted her and she let him do the most demeaning things to her. He liked his wife because she gave him more power.”

Taylor, now onto his third glass, interrupted. “Dan sounds like my kinda guy. I’d have to destroy him if he was in my way, of course, but I think he and I could have a few drinks together first. Hmmm, maybe do a swap. Tara for Kat. Just a once off of course, but still.”

Mur remained silent for a stretched out moment after Taylor spoke before continuing.

“Dan was his own worse enemy. He couldn’t stay out of his own way. Kat was his Mistress, but he was no more faithful to her than his wife. They may have up market, but they were still brothels. His name, his face and his perversities were well known.”

“Ahhh, I get it! You disapproved! You’re a prude!” Taylor laughed uproariously. He tried to take another drink from his empty glass between sniggers before tipping the glass upside down in confusion. He shrugged, took the cap off the bottle and took a swig.

Again, Mur left the room with just Taylor’s drunken giggles bouncing around for a long moment.

“Dan tended to shoot his mouth off. Bragging about Kat and all the women and all the things he could get away with.”

The drunken fool, laughed and toasted the ceiling with his bottle before taking a chug. “Hell yeah! What’s the point in having the best shit and best women if the shit kickers beneath you don’t know about how great you are?!”

By now, the atmosphere in the room felt heavy, like before the storm. Not that Taylor could tell. He was too far gone in the bottle.

“Ultimately, his lack of humility and his big mouth were what for him killed.”

“Killed! Nooooooo, but who will I drink with now!” The bottle in his hand, nearly full when he started, was nearly half empty.

“Dan met his end, wrapped in the legs of his Mistress. Neither of them heard the killer creep in. His throat was slit from ear to ear. His Mistress, stabbed through the heart.”

Taylor scrambled to sit upright. All frivolity gone. “He was murdered? Crap. That’s... shit. Wow. Who did it? His wife? I hear stabbing is kinda like, really personal.” He blinked owlishly.

“Oh no. Dan was right. His wife had no idea. His brother in law on the other hand..... Dan forgot. They had associates and friends in common. Word got back to him. He was not going to let his sister’s debaucherous husband ruin the family’s business and reputation. Or break his sisters heart.”

“Bloody fools. Both of them. Dan for getting caught and the brother for being an emotional idiot.” Slightly subdued now, he took another drink from the bottle. “What was the bastard’s sentence? Did he get life?”

Mur chuckled. “No. He covered up his crime perfectly. Left a trail that indicated he had been defrauding investors for years and ran when it looked like he was going to be caught. In the investigation, they came across information that he had taken his Mistress with him. They never told his wife that or made that information public, to save her the embarrassment.”

Taylor was now sitting forward on the edge of his seat, staring intently at the back wall of his apartment. “But what about the bodies? The evidence?”

“Ah, he was a smart man. I never found out about where he hid Kat’s body. But Dan? His body is here. Untill the forensic accountants were done, no one set foot inside this apartment. None of the family besides the brother even knew it existed. By the time they did, the smell of the corpse was long gone.”

Taylor bust out laughing. “You liar! You had me going for a second! Body in my walls! Yeah, right!”

“If you don’t believe me, look for yourself. Half way along, just abut a pace from the end of your liquor cabinet. You’ll need to move the lamp.”

Taylor stood, never one to shy from an absurd challenge. He snorted and pulled the power plug of his metal floor lamp from the wall. “Alright, but just remember, you asked for this.” With that, he lifted the tall lamp and using the heavy base like a hammer, slammed it into the wall. The plaster crumbled and cracked, but did not give. He lifted the lamp to strike again, over balanced and giggled at himself. “I may have had a few too many.”

He tried again and kept his balance this time. He slammed the base into the wall over and over untill the plaster gave way. White dust and dark paint chips showered down, obscuring his view for a moment before he could see what he was looking at.

A thick plastic covered a dark leathery looking shrunken face that stared back at him with a slack jaw, the dessicated lips drew back from the yellowed teeth in a macarbe grin.

“Well, I’ll be damned.” He reached in, slowly and clumsily pulling the plastic away from the mummified face of Dan from Mur’s tale. Stunned for a moment, he just stared.

“Wait. Why is he buried here? Why not in the same place as the Mistress?”

“Oh, thats simple. He was too heavy to carry far. She was lighter.”

Taylor’s drunken state made him slow to join the dots. After a moment, his eyes grew wide. “Wait! They were killed here? They died in my apartment?”

A single word echoed around the huge room. “Yes.”

“Fuuuuu....” He reached out, as if to poke the leathery skin but stopped just before touching it. “If you saw all of this, why didn’t speak?”

“It was before my time within the wall ....”

“Oh, well, I suppose that makes sense.” Something felt off, but he couldnt put his finger on what. Taylor’s cocky grin returned. He reached out and patted the corpse’s hard, withered cheek. “Well Danny Boy, I’m not an idiot like you, I’m not going to cock up like you did.”

As he pulled his had away it began to tingle and feel numb.

Too much alcohol, I should lay off it, he thought.

The sensation didn’t stop at his fingers though. It crept slowly at first, but gained momentum, spreading up his arm to his shoulder.

“Crap! I think I’m having a heart attack!” Taylor clutched at his arm, spun and looked for his phone. He needed to call someone.

Mur chucked, the sound echoing around the room. “It’s not a heart attack. You are being possessed.”

The sensation spread through his chest and up his neck.

“What? What the hell are you talking about?” Taylor stumbled back to the sofa, narrowly missing the half empty whisky bottle. His vision was blurring, changing. It was like seeing double but not. It was like he could see himself sitting on the sofa, clutching his chest in panic.

“I didn’t need to choose a name. I didn’t need you to give me one. I’ve always had one. It’s Daniel. Though my associates called me Dan.”

His vision became hazy and he felt oddly weightless. Have I had a heart attack? Is this an out of body experience? Taylor tried to move, but it was like his limbs were no longer under his control. He was drifting across the floor, voiceless, unable to control his own movements. As he drifted, his body began to move. His arms and legs moved, jerky at first, but then smoother, with more grace. The drifting sensation stopped, replaced by a heavy weight holding him down.

All he could do was watch as his body dipped to retrieve the bottle of whisky and stride with an unfamiliar gait towards him.

A smile spread across his face. But it wasn’t his. It was like looking in a mirror, but not his expressions.

“My goodness, this feels wonderful! I spent so long in that wall!” He spread his hands and looked over his new body. “Thank you so very much for taking my place, Taylor. Very generous of you.”

A dry crackling voice, reminiscent of a creaking house emanated from the wall. “What... have you... done...”

“Oh, it’s simple. My soul was trapped in the wall. I took your body when you touched me. You are now in mine. Oh, Taylor. Let me tell you. I have learned my lesson. You know the first thing I’m going to do? Go home to your wife. Be the husband neither of us was in the past. I’d rather have the most vanilla sex every day of the rest of my... sorry, your life, than none at all and trapped in a wall for eternity, watching idiots like you cock up everything and listen to your narcissistic dribble.”

“You can’t... I’ll ... tell them. Someone....”

Dan laughed from Taylor’s throat. “No one would believe you. Even if they heard you, they would freak out about a ghost. Sell the place. Move on. They would maybe call an exorcist.”

“Ill make them... someone.... will listen....” The raspy voice was getting stronger.

“Maybe you are right.” Dan lifted Taylor’s hand, holding the bottle and sniffed it before examining the label. “Nice. High proof. The good stuff.” He smiled. He retrieved the lamp and pushed the power plug most of the way into the socket but not all the way. He placed the bottle on the sideboard that doubled as a alcohol cabinet and looked at it critically before dragging it a little closer.

He looked up at Taylor, trapped in a dried up corpse and smiled. “Goodbye, Taylor. Thanks for the second chance.”

He tipped the bottle so that the alcohol splashed down the wall and onto the exposed prongs of the power plug. Fire lept up the wall, spreading over the old wood of the floor and creeping towards the corpse in the wall.

“No! Nooooo! You ...... asshole!”

"Pretty intelligent for a wall, hey?" He called over his shoulder as he walked out of the apartment, steadily filling with smoke. He smiled, glad he knew the smoke alarms were poorly maintained in this building door, before shutting and dead locking it, to give the fire every chance of destroying as much of the wall and its occupant as possible.

“Nothing like a good cremation.” Dan smiled and headed for the stair well.

Inspired by Sam Smith and Kim Petras' Chart Topping hit, Unholy.

SeriesShort StoryMysteryLoveHorrorFable

About the Creator

Lilly Cooper

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

I may be an amateur Author, but I love what I do!

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Comments (27)

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  • Donna Foxabout a month ago

    I love that you named the wall Mur, really made me smile at the realization that its wall in Welsh. I also like the idea that the wall genuinely talks like everyone else and its not a secret, like in other stories. I love the characterization of a wall who just tells it like it is! I love how the whole story played out, I wasn’t ready for the ending. Well set up and written!

  • Lauraabout a month ago

    Awesome 😎 Story ☺️

  • Samara Simson2 months ago

    Nice and engaging story.

  • misss purvii2 months ago

    Your website and the product were both enjoyable for me. I have recommended it to my family and friends. It's fantastic, and I plan to share it with my entire circle of friends.

  • Congratulations 🎉 💕

  • Gerald Holmes2 months ago

    Excellent story telling. Loved this.

  • Jay V2 months ago

    Anyone interested in romcom or love fiction..... this is worth a try

  • you, and it's important to face them head on instead of trying to hide or ignore them. Ignoring or denying the truth can make the situation worse in the long run and it's better to address it with honesty and transparency. It's never too late to make things right, and owning up to past actions can bring a sense of peace and closure.

  • Rayn B2 months ago

    Loved all the twists!!

  • Babs Iverson2 months ago

    Great read!!! Congrats too!!!

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    Oh, I loved that twist!!! Great storytelling! Congratulations on your Top Story!

  • Allie Bickerton2 months ago

    I knew as soon as I read the title and saw the image, that Sam Smith song was a source of inspiration. I was walking around in a slightly unfamiliar neighbourhood recently and saw a building that simply said “body shop” and giggled to myself, so of course I had to stop to take a picture. It was supposed to be an Instagram post paired to the song, but I never got around to it. Anyway, Congratulations on Top Story! This was a great read. The characters were well conceived and I enjoyed the twists and turns. 🙂

  • Whoaaaa! There were so many twists in this story! I did not expect them at all. You did a fantastic job on this story! Gosh, I loved it so much!

  • Kelly Robertson2 months ago

    Wow what a great story! I was ensnared from beginning to end. Well done and congrats on a well deserved Top Story!

  • Wow Congrats Lilly this was excellent well deserved top story!!

  • JBaz2 months ago

    Congratulations , great twist

  • Dana Stewart2 months ago

    Great twist! Such a good story!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Congrats on the top story.

  • Alex H Mittelman 2 months ago

    I love this story! Winner for sure!

  • Nice take on the challenge and the video image is perfect.

  • Vadim Kagan2 months ago

    Wow. Not bad at all.

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    Wow that was creepy. Very well done..

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