How they kill the city.

They silence him, but his shadow shouts on – a nightmare scream that fills the room, echoes down the corridors. They shut the door, but the scream spills under it. They brick up the doorway, plaster over it, so that you’d never know the room was there, but the scream remains.

They leave the house. Ivy grows over the walls, blocks the windows, but the scream continues. They bulldoze the damn house, but still the scream is there. People move away. The street empties. No-one can live there.

The neighbourhood thins out. Empty houses can’t be filled. The scream just spreads, filling the whole city. It won’t be drowned by sirens, car horns, piped music. People leave their homes, their jobs – relocate.  The scream is alone, echoing down silent streets of boarded-up shops, empty apartment buildings. Dandelions split the tarmac.

Bjorn is hosting prosery night at dVerse. It’s our only prose prompt – 144 words, including a line from a poem. Tonight’s line comes from Maya Angelou’s Caged Bird: “his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream”. 


16 thoughts on “How they kill the city.

  1. I like the way you’ve incorporated the prompt line in the opening of your prose, Sarah, and the phrase ‘the scream spills under it’ is so effective. That is so scary, bricking up the doorway and plastering over it. It reminds me of a wartime story my mum’s cousin told me about a man who killed a woman and bricked up her body in a wall. It wasn’t found until the house was bombed during the Blitz.
    The way the scream spreads, through the ivy and the rubble of the house, the street and the city is so eerie. I love the final image of the dandelions splitting the tarmac.


  2. At first this sounds like the house on Cielo Drive where Manson zombies killed Sharon Tate and her friends. The house was finally torn down not long ago because of the “screams.” Then you take the story beyond, to a chilling continuance. Who knows where it will end? Good job!


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