Amato Nel Sangue

Aiyanah Simms, 2015 Horror Story Contest winner

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Gleaming down on me, the heat of the lights radiated. The lights shine toward the stage. My palms are clammy. Sweat trickling down from my temple, to my nose, to my lips. The saltiness stings for a few seconds. I can’t tell if I was sweating from the heat of the lights above, or from my nerves. Everything is finally perfect, and I need to be just as perfect. She would want me to be perfect.

A million hearts beating all around me, getting louder and louder, but somehow mine beat louder and harder. Everyone is waiting. The anticipation is making them crawl in their seats. It’s all so perfect. Everything is finally perfect. This time, I promise, is the right time.

“Are you ready? It’s going to be such a good show. Everyone is waiting,” I say plucking my dolls strings.

Curtain time.

Three deep breathes.




I push back the curtains.


⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯DAYS EARLIER⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯⎯


The cemetery was cold. The feeling of beautiful death danced around me, but one soul was not dancing. She was sitting on the dew kissed ground, waiting. Waiting for her chance to dance. She sat in silent beauty. Long dark brown hair and blue eyes filled with sorrow. Wearing a flowing dark grey silk dress, with a lily in her hair.

“Don’t worry, I promise you’ll be able to join them one day. Just give me a little bit of time. It won’t be long. I just need puppets. The last two didn’t go very well.”

She spoke softly to me with her demure voice, “I just don’t have that much time. I deserve to be happy. To be as happy as these people. I didn’t choose to die yet, so why am I being punished? Please, just hurry.”

Before I could reply, she faded before me, and all that she left was a lingering breath of sadness. It’s time to go shopping. I need to find a doll for her. Not just any doll will do, it has to capture her beauty, and her essence, and her killer’s dark repugnant demeanor.

———–The Hunt———

I watch her through the giant glass window. She’s so elegant and graceful, spinning, while her baby pink skirt spins with her. She’s perfect. I will wait for her to leave the building, then I will get her.

I sat in the black Ford Expedition, with tinted windows. I’m hoping she will mistake me for her parents, and there won’t be a struggle.

The dark haired beauty walks out of the building, and I hear a pull on the door handle.


She’s in.

She’s mine.


The man I took is perfect. He is sweaty looking and is always taking down little white capsules from an orange bottle. I had to take those away. That’s when he started acting funny and really getting into his character.


Everything is going to be perfect.

We are ready for the show.


“WELCOME TO AMATO NEL SANGUE” The audience’s faces light up, as I continue, “We’re going to put on a good show for you guys tonight. So, let the show, begin.”

Cue music.

I run through the curtain, a smile staining my face. This is it. It’s perfect. I grab the marionettes and push them on stage. The male marionette went pale. The makeup could not hide it. He’s nervous too; he wants to put on a good show for Her as well. He’s shaking with anticipation. The girl marionette is so beautiful. Her gray silk dress twinkles under the bright lights. Her facial expression captured the beautiful demeanor, which I stared at days ago in the cemetery. I move the strings very careful as she speaks her lines.

The scenes went by quickly, from her leaving the apartment, to her at the park. Mesmerized by her act. She must be inside this marionette doll, she’s doing the real work, and I’m just taking it all in.

Finally, the death scene.

This time it has to be perfect, but suddenly the thought of perfection began to fade from my mind, and the sense of failure lingered.  My nerves came back. Something is wrong. My stomach starts churning. The air become as thick as fog, and suddenly I’m choking on it.

“What could be wrong? Everything felt perfect up to this point.” I whisper.

I scan the darkened stage to reassure myself that nothing is wrong. Everything is fine backstage. Suddenly, the room falls silent and ill-filled blackness spilled into the air.

The music stopped.

Several bangs followed with screams broke the silence. I run onto center stage.

The front rows are stained with blood and burned fabric. I can smell the burning flesh protruding through the air. I turn my head to the left of the stage, and I’m staring down the barrel of a gun. Gray smoke spilling out of it from the recent shots, and behind it the male marionette doll.

“Riley stay behind me. I’m going to proceed ahead,” he screamed.

He inches his way toward the first row of the theater, crouching as if he’s hiding from someone.

“ Riley! What the hell are you doing? Come on, “ he screams turning back at me, as he shoots more of the running audience members.

His face is paralyzed with fear, terror, and regret. I stand there frozen. Everything is ruined. It’s all ruined. He ruined it. I charge towards him, ready to fight for the gun.

“You. You aren’t Riley! You’re one of them. You’re a gook!”

The police bust through the door, and with that swift glance, I felt the penetration of a bullet hitting my lower stomach. Everything goes into a haze of slow motion, as I cover my wound spitting out blood.

“Mr. Anderson, can you hear me? You are going to the hospital. You are under arrest for the kidnapping of Michael Zester and Emilee King,” an officer says to me.

Everything is cutting in and out.

Everything is starting to get fuzzy.

The air thicker than before.

” I.. I.. I just wanted to help Her! He ru…ined it! He ruined it for everyone,” I scream losing my breath faster and faster.

I can hardly see, a dark figure stood across the room, staring menacingly at me in the corner. A rotten lily peeked out of the darkness.

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