Lana Hart would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Hanged Man's Regret

By Lana Hart All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

The Hanged Man's Regret

The crrrssshhhhhhh-shhhh of static from a snowy television set purring like a tiger, its throat slit and gushing, gurgling. A white radiance shining from the screen like a strobe light, and it ached, ached and sat in shock, and all that ran through its mind was the crrrssshhhhhhh-shhhh of the tiger static. A brain with no reception, gurgling, gushing. Throat slit. Tiger…

The silence of the couch springs, no longer hissing like coiled snakes. A pair of white thighs sprawled chaotically on the cushions. Unmarred, snowy fields without the pockmarks of age, of bruising, or lacerations. No scars. A little too thick, but their strong calves made up for it. The sinews and tendons had gone limp. They could still run, if left alone, but the snakes were dormant under the cushions, under the snowy fields, hibernating from the cold.

The Y-shaped incision, stretching from the pubic area to the collar bone, marked the area where the juices and gears were. Gears like a clock, one of the big grandfathers, with a swinging pendulum marking the passage of time in a soft arc. Tick, tock, tick.

But there were no more juices, no more gears, no more vital inner workings to make the cuckoo come out and chirp on the hour. The bird would not come out of her mouth, shrieking, sobbing struggling after every sixty minutes when one more gear was removed.

Tick. Tick. Tock.

The rib-spreader snickering on her stomach, jaws strained with her tainted tiger blood, gurgling, gushing, blushing. The deformation of her torso where her ribs had reached their limits and now lay cracked, broken, and tusk-like—glowing in the crrrssshhhhhhh-shhhh of the television set and the snowy fields.

He straddled her on the couch and the snakes woke, hissing, rattling. He ran his hands into the gap between her ribs and felt nothing but slick and sponge, blood and flesh. He spread the incision wider and moved his hands delicately, slowly down the inside. Sticky, slicky blood and spongy flesh, like newly baked banana bread. He put his face into the absence of her stomach and intestines and inhaled—could almost smell that banana bread baking.

She had smelled horribly when first opened up, and the first few hours had been hell. She’d smelled of burning sulfur and a mechanic’s shop. Oil, exhaust, transmission fluid, and brimstone. She had been disgusting before now.

He moved his face up to hers. A shattered clock with no more cuckoo. With the rib-spreader, he opened her jaws, cracking teeth and snapping her maxilla. Her hinges screeched like nails on a chalkboard and popped like a bottle of warm champagne. He loved that sound.

Then he looked inside, past her missing tongue and tonsils and some of her gums. He wanted to know where the cuckoo had gone.

He stared down that bleak void where he’d managed to pull some of her frontal lobe and intestines from. Up one way, down the other, all roads leading to Rome—leading to out, out, out. She had been alive and awake for that tiny bit of brain, for the icepick in her eye socket. Her intestines had come a little later, when she had stopped moving and the cuckoo stopped choking.

It made him sad. He had wanted her to choke on them.

Her mouth was left in its impossible scream like a snake struck dead just as it prepared to swallow a rat, a pig, a goat. He retracted the rib-spreader, leaned his elbows on her shoulders, and stared at her face. He would have kissed her, if he had left her lips intact. Her right eye was swollen, purple, tinged with red—the icepick had been unkind to her. Shame on it.

He pulled her eye open with his thumb and smiled at the fireworks of burst blood vessels underneath. He liked fireworks. He liked her. She had been so much fun to spend time with, and it had taken her a long time to go away. Was that because she liked him, too?

Three, maybe four days. It hadn’t all been about removing organs. At first, it had been about opening veins and letting her watch as she bled out. Sometimes she’d get dizzy and vomit. He’d put a rag between her bound feet and made her clean it up.

He liked her, but he had no sympathy. She lived, she suffered, she died. It was all very natural, like labor. One brought life, the other death. In and out. All roads lead to…

A sudden, violent rupture bubbled in her open cavity, frothing the corners of her mouth and gurgling, gushing outward. A scream ripped the silence of the snakes in two and cracked the television down the middle—a crack shaped like fireworks, like the broken blood vessels in her eye. Then the scream stopped and she wheezed, breathing putrid air onto his face. He could feel her lungs moving as if he hadn’t removed them (he had).

Her one, open eye stared at him accusingly—“you were my death!”—and her lipless mouth moved with her rasping breath, and the incision opened up like a pit to Hell, and her snowy fields began to bloat and swell, and without a warning she pulled him into her mouth where she bit off his face with the shards of teeth he had made for her. The terrible width of her maw slit his throat, and he rolled to the floor, staring up at the perfectly normal, mutilated body, with no life or wheezing, with no color but the livid pallor of death, with no swollen thighs, and with no discrepancy but one: a mouth twisted into a smile.

Gushing, gurgling, a brain with no reception. Throat slit. Tiger…

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Lana Hart
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Marimar Amieva: I just can't believe the story! I absolutely loved it, all of it. The characters and their chemistry between them, and the fact that they are relatable. The story also has some sick plot twists, which I never saw coming. I loved the fact that it is an adorable love story but has its mystery touc...

Deleted User: This is a very clever story in the style of 19th century (and turn of the century) Gothic writing, very reminiscent of Stevenson's The Body Snatchers or even of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (less so of Frankenstein itself, since the author is more minimalist than Shelley's florid, Romantic rhetoric). ...

rachelrainford6: This probably has to be one of the best books I've read on here. I read it quite quickly and I'll have to say the story took a turn towards the end that I did not see coming. The topic discussed in this book such as life really gave me a new insight and I realize that it is taken for granted.

Jason Phang: I'm pretty new to Inkitt (this is only my 4th book) and I must say I've been thoroughly impressed by the quality of the authors here. Remnants of Chaos is an excellently written book that hooks the reader, and doesn't let go. There are some grammatical and typographical errors, but nothing too se...

cuzley: I enjoyed this read, the romance and the "who done it" worked well together, I would recommend this story to both romance and mystery readers .

borkarprasad: Nicely laid story. Needed a little more ghost and Raven conversations. Initially, Had everyone on suspect list but satisfied by the precision to capture the killer. Waiting for more Raven and Cade adventures.

Deleted User: I loved this story. It was so great that I did not expect it to be this awesome. I swear to you this deserves more than just 5 stars. Beyond amazing. Kept me wanting more and I felt exactly like Emma felt while reading. Although in the beginning I did not expect anything to happen. Then, when som...

Barbara Zavela: Do you know the song, 'Imagine' by John Lennon?If you had a chance for a world like the one described in that song, would you grab it with both hands or turn away and reject it.This story pulls you in from the beginning with well-written scenarios. The author offers you the opportunity to bring y...

Spring: I normally don't read fiction novels, but I absolutely enjoyed reading Silent Shadows! The style is quite different from the previous fiction novels I've attempted to read.Great job!

More Recommendations

Shweta Somwanshi: I just chose to read this out of nowhere and now I can't stop. Hats off to the author who made the reader swoon away with words so beautifully! I loved how I was able to imagine everything so explicitly because the writing was simple and easily comprehensive with a touch of complexity somewhere b...

Nishant Jain: I felt as if i am watching a movie,not reading a book. The story was definitely interesting. It was more of action than horror for me. There are a few grammatical and spelling errors I came across and at times I found it difficult to imagine some things which the author is trying to convey, but o...

Alex Rushmer: I read the first chapter, and I'm not sure I can handle anymore, but I certainly liked what I read. The idea of the drug, Fortis, was very interesting, and I enjoyed how you conveyed its effects. The beginning is very intriguing. I think I'd like to see you do a little more with the main characte...

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

Dee: It’s been two years since Lilly lost her best friend to a vicious random shooting. Now, after a prestigious university extends her an offer of study, she has the chance to start afresh and leave all her demons behind. But the last thing she expects is to meet Elliot. He's a criminal. She's hasn'...

{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.