Alternate Ending Challenge
Please read first:
This is my alternate ending challenge to John Hansen’s “‘Like’ This Page – A Thriller” . Be sure to read his Part One, Two and Three before reading my alternate ending challenge.
I had nightmares all week about the gruesome performances I had seen so far. I almost decided not to attend
the third one when I received the dreaded black envelope. My thoughts were they would surely not harm
my family if I did not show up, would they? Maybe it was all magic tricks and no one really was executed
during the sadistic performances. But, no! I could not take that chance.
The thrid performance was to be held at the abandoned castle on top of Spirit Mountain. Rarely did
anyone go up there, for locals believed the old Indian legends of bad spirits lingering from the distant past.
I was to show up at the gate of the castle at precisely 7:00 PM. When I got to the gate it looked like many
were already there. I checked my watch to make sure I was not late – 7:00 PM. I was safe, so far.
My number was 44. Number 42 had just been ushered in, so I had a little time to wait. When #43 was
called up he panicked and started to run. Immediately four arrows struck him dead! We all looked up to
where the arrows had come from and saw four figures on top of the castle wall, each figure holding a long
bow which was quickly re-loaded. The figures were dressed in only loin cloths and fearful warrior masks.
The rest of us in the group huddled closer to each other and to the gate. I am sure they all thought the same
thing I did – take a chance of coming out of the castle alive or die now. I had the insane idea that if we all
ran at once only a few of us would die. I quickly forgot that when my number came up so I approached the
gate, which opened for me. Two powerful looking figures in loin cloths and warrior masks came down from
where they were standing at the top of stairs, they ushered me up and through a huge wood and iron door.
Inside it was pitch black. Two other figures were inside and took me through a curtain as the other two
warriors went back outside. The huge door banged shut with an ominous echo. I then felt a needle jabbed
into my right arm and I passed out almost immediately.
When I came to I found I was standing in middle of the stage, my wrists and ankles bound tightly. My wrists
were attached to a chain which was high enough to allow my feet to barely touch the floor and I was naked.
Two masked warriors, one on each side of me each held a bowie knife up for the audience to see. The blades
glinted brightly under the stage lights. My right arm felt sore from the shot I had received, then I almost
laughed out loud. I had the sudden feeling that soreness would be nothing in a matter of seconds. One
warrior then held up a piece of rawhide as the other warrior easily sliced a strip from the middle of the
rawhide as if it were butter. Then one at a time each warrior began to slice strips of skin from my arms as I
screamed. They then started on my thighs. The pain was excruciating and I kept screaming till I had no
voice and could only moan. They turned me so my back faced the audience and started skinning my back,
my buttox, and legs. The last thing I heard as I was being skinned alive was a gurgling in my throat, the
last thing I saw through bloody eyes was my scalp lying on the floor.
“Honey! Honey, wake up! It’s late,” my husband was shaking my shoulder. “Come on sleepy head, we gotta
get the kids off to school.” I felt so sore I could barely move, then I opened my eyes. I was home, in my own
bed. I raised my arms and looked at them, I felt the top of my head. I was fine, I was fine. “Boy! You sure
had a strange nightmare. I tried to wake you but couldn’t. You okay?”
“Yes,” I groaned. “I am okay.”
The morning passed quickly as I kept as busy as possible. It was all just a nightmare! A stupid nightmare! I
kept telling myself. When I went out to get the mail, I saw a black envelope addressed to me in white
lettering. I was to be at the abandoned castle on top of Spirit Mountain at precisely 7:00 PM.
© 2016 Phyllis Doyle Burns
I think you will enjoy the alternate ending challenge by Chris Mills, Last Show, Alt Part 3 to John Hansen’s, “Like This Page”