This is an ongoing series of short horror stories. In them, I will explore random concepts, themes, situations and issues that cross my mind as I develop horror films.
“LAURA UNDER THE STARS” – A ONE-PAGE HORROR STORY BY PAULO LEITE.
Laura used to spend her nights roaming alongside highways and dirty roads. She had no place to go. Nothing to live for. Yet, there she was, still alive. She was a blind prostitute waiting for men to find her. Or any other fate. She was not alone. Although she could not see the stars and the Moon above her, she sensed them. Their light spoke to her in a musical language she could feel. She had an average of three to five men a night. Their hands were cold like the rest of their bodies. She could feel their temperature as they touched each other. Gently, most of the time. It would start with the stars telling her she was not alone. By then she knew she had been spotted. A man would approach her and caress her face with a hand that would smell of putrefying flesh. That was usually when she would bend over trying to keep her face as far from the stench as possible.
Occasionally they would want to kiss her. Sometimes they would lick her face or parts of her body. Once or twice they would bite her. Sometimes almost violently with some hunger, but never to a point of extreme pain. Passing her fingers afterwards, she would only feel the marks. But there was never blood. Pleasure used to be the last thing on her mind while she was being used. She did not know who they were but she knew they were sick. The putrefying odor was unbearable and their flesh – or what was left of it – was never pleasant to the touch. Three days ago, she was used by a man who did not smell. He was cold like the others and completely naked. Yet, he smelled like something else. Some kind of varnish or something synthetic. Bearable.
She knew by heart the area where she roamed and every morning at the first signs of the Sun blessing her skin, she would walk to the river and wash herself. The stars would be mute and the sound of the water would take her back to better days. Leaving the river bank, Laura would find her payment: cans of food left underneath the oldest oak tree in the area. She would prefer money, but she understood that where she was, cash was useless. Laura thought she must have drifted too far from home. So far she hadn’t been able to find help. Perhaps she was lost in a too remote area. She would love to return home. Yet, every night the stars would tell her “no”. So far, every man she encountered merely used her like a prostitute. But some seemed nicer. They preferred to just lie down on the grass and hold her tight. It was very uncomfortable at first. But after five minutes the warmth of her body would warm up the cold bodies of those holding her. In some of those tender moments she would listen to the stars telling her she would be fine. The client would be gone after feeling warmer. On those nights she knew she would get extra food the following morning. Although on few occasions she had tried to talk to them, no words were ever spoken back to her. Except for the stars. She felt strange one night when a man lied down next to her. He was still a bit warm and lost it in the thirty minutes they stayed together. She gave him some of her warmth, but never met him again. He smelled good.
Winters were hard but during those freezing nights, the men would always keep a fire burning so Laura would not perish. She hoped someday someone would find her and take her home – the stars would tell her never to stop hoping. Until then, she hoped.
© 2016 BAD BEHAVIOR ONE, Lda.