Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

Free copy left
You can read our best books
Spacewarp would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Opener

By Spacewarp All Rights Reserved ©


The Opener

Listen to that wind, my beloved!  How it howls and whines!  I would not care to be out on a night like this, would you?  How lucky we are to be inside, so snug and warm.  Yes.  So warm.  In front of such a lovely hot fire.  But we shall need the fire a lot hotter shan't we?

There.  More wood.  And now a few sharp pokes.  Yes, that's good.  Soon be nice and hot.  Hot enough for our purposes.

Take a while, though.  Yes it will.  Long enough for a story.

Yes, my beloved.  A story.  You like Mummy's stories, don't you.  Well, this one you've heard before, but it doesn't hurt to tell it again, does it?  A good story always bears repeating, I say.  Are you comfortable?...No...don't struggle.

You are comfortable, aren't you, my beloved?  Of course you are. Then I shall begin.

A long time ago, my beloved, long before you were born, it was.  Well, in those days, you could walk outside you know.  Every day.  And you didn't have to wear lots of clothing to protect you from the cold and rays that make you sick.  No you didn't.

In those days, my beloved, you could see the sun almost all the time.  That's right.  The sun.  I've told you about the sun before, haven't I? Well, it was warm outside in those days, and bright, and it didn't turn your skin funny if you stayed out too long.  No, just a dark brown colour, which was alright.  Not black and smelly like your late Uncle.  Not greeny-blue, like Mummy's fingers, the ones that fell off.

Dark brown your skin went.  And it was called a "sun-tan".  And people used to fly all over the world, in search of places where they could lie outside in the sunshine, just to get one of those sun-tans.

Sorry, beloved.  Mummy's drooling...

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes.

Well, it was like that in those days.  Lovely it was.  Not like now, when it's always dark outside, and everywhere's covered with snow, and if you stay outside for too long, you go all stiff and dead like your Auntie Janet.

Yes, it wasn't always like this, my beloved.  You see, now, all over the world, we are living in what they call a "nuclear winter".  I've told you what a nuclear winter is, haven't I, beloved?  Yes, I have.  How the sun never shines anymore, so all the plants in the world have died, all the crops and all the forests...and now that all the plants are dead, well then so are all the animals that used to eat them.

And we used to eat the animals, didn't we, my beloved.

Yes, all because of the bombs it was.  The nuclear bombs. But we were lucky, beloved - your Uncle and your Auntie, and your Daddy, God rest their souls.  We were all lucky, because we weren't killed by the bombs, and we managed to find this place, didn't we.  Deep, deep underground.  And filled with...filled with what, my beloved?

Food!  Cans and cans of food.  Enough to last a lifetime!  And so, beloved, we never needed to leave here.  So long as we had enough wood and coal to keep warm, and plenty of clothes to wear for going outside - you know, the ones with the funny helmets - we could be happy for ever and ever!

And you were born here, weren't you, my beloved.

Well, that was nearly ten years ago now, beloved.  And your Uncle and your Auntie got ill and died of the sickness from the outside rays, and then your Daddy left to get some more parts to repair our radio - and we never saw HIM again, did we?

So then it was just you and me, beloved.  My little baby girl, who was born in this very room.  Yes, the room we are in now.  The room with the fire that is almost hot enough.

And we could have lived here together for years and years, my beloved.  Just the two of us, and all those cans full of food.

But you had to go and lose the can-opener, beloved.  Didn't you.

And we've had nothing to eat for five days now.

So you see why Mummy has to kill you, don't you, my beloved?  Mummy's just so hungry, she can't think of anything but food.  And you're the only thing left that she can eat.

The fire's almost hot enough for roasting, beloved.  And I know this knife isn't too sharp, but it's all I've got, now that I ruined all the others, trying to open the cans.

So, my beloved, are you sure you can't remember where you put the can-opener?

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

Kiz16: After a truly shocking start to the story, I found the style and content slowed down as the author introduced a varied group of characters who I thought were fleshed out very well. After a slow couple of chapters, I found this story difficult to leave with the tension growing within the house. Yo...

Caitlin E. Jones: Such a riveting short story, full to the brim with folklore and horrors! The rich details used to make up Doolin were as well-placed as they were written, right down to the disturbing presence of magical creatures. The lives of the humans are used to great effect, giving us short glimpses of thei...

Kastril Nomenclature: This is an artfully-written horror story which deals with the most frightening monsters in the entire history of the macabre: teenagers. Indeed, the author captures the speech, relationships, and general highly-charged, petty, and competitive atmosphere of high school so well, that you would swea...

duggsy: This kept me intrigued, I only intended on reading 1 chapter but couldn't stop until I'd read the whole thing. The only let-down were a few spelling mistakes hence the 3 stars but otherwise a great read.

Ben Gauger: Kudos to Bryan Laesch, author of Remnants of Chaos:Chaotic Omens for his use of the Gothic style of writing and in addition the footnotes and endnotes at the end of each chapter, a welcome accompaniment to be sure, though his use of grammar could use a little improving, but his use of punctuation...

skippybash12: This story has engaging characters that you care about and a plot that is unpredictable and exciting. It is well written with a believable voice. Great weekend escape and if there was a sequel available I would buy it today -

elssxa: I love everything about this story. I want more...more...more. This author is superb. I am fascinated by his amazing work. I give him five stars.

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...

Tobi Doyle MacBrayne: I was so impressed with this piece. The slow degradation of the main character into a dark and crazy place is beautifully written. I liked that the characters physical descriptions were not described because it gave me a sense that it could be someone I know or love. The grief that breaks the m...

More Recommendations

Alex Rushmer: I like the intrigue that you introduce from the very beginning of the story. The idea of the girl waking up in the alley with no memory of how she got there and with injuries is very interesting. It was very well done. There were a lot of grammatical errors that need to be fixed though. I think t...

Amy E Moore: If you love horror books, this book will fulfill your needs. It will keep you in suspense and wanting more at the end of every paragraph, page and chapter. It is a must read.

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral stories!

FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"

The Cyneweard

Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."

This story wasn't for you ?
Look at our most viral story!

Ro-Ange Olson: "Loved it and couldn't put it down. I really hope there is a sequel. Well written and the plot really moves forward."