Here it is! Woohoo!
Here it is! Woohoo!
This is a nightmare I had, so it probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. I often dream in third person.
This a horror story! Turn away, ye faint of heart!
Before she went to war, she saw her doppelganger in the crowd. It was hiding something bulky under its cloak. Its eyes had a peculiar shine to them. It felt her gaze and looked at her, and she sensed great hate, warning her of things to come. It disappeared in the crowd.
Later, when she tried to tell others about it, they wrote her off as afraid of battle.
She was hanging up laundry to dry late at night. Her stepson was watching TV and she made small talk as she worked, the way mothers do. Gradually she noticed that something was wrong with the channel he was watching. It was a picture of hell. Twisted flesh illuminated in violent orange. Heavy screams.
It leeched all light from the room around her.
She tried to maintain normalcy, changed the station. “Let’s not watch this scary channel,” she said. He waited until she set the remote down and changed it back.
The atmosphere of the room was sapping her. This was the end of her peace. The same darkness she had seen that day in her doppelganger had returned to claim her. She could barely move.
Rolling her head to tear her eyes away from the TV, she focused instead on a coat rack leaning against the wall which she’d planned to mount in the entryway, for visitors. All the wet laundry she had yet to hang. Simple household things which she’d held on to and tried not to take for granted.
A self-protective instinct kicked in. Weak with horror, she staggered to her feet and stumbled into the bedroom next door, throwing herself onto the bed on top of the covers. Absentmindedly she wondered if she wasn’t going to get cold, falling asleep this way. It didn’t matter. As long as she wasn’t forced to watch that channel. As long as reality held fast.
Her stepson followed her. His eyes shone in the very same way her doppelganger’s had. And something else had entered the room with him: the stifling, odious presence of another being, more felt than seen.
“No, no no please,” she managed. It was hopeless. Fear sapped her limbs; paralysis suppressed her fluttering will into taut submission.
The room darkened.
Thick, strangely humid air settled into the room. A small buzzing gnat of mad rationale whispered in her ear, at least it’s warm.
The room was opaque with darkness. There was no TV in here, but he didn’t need one. He was going to bring that hell to her anyway.
The boy went to the window. An ominous brimstone glow limned the solid blackout roller shade.
He raised the shade, and hell was there. An enormous corpselike thing looked through the window at her with dead eyes, a boa constrictor jammed down its throat and wrapping its fetid body in torturing coils. It screamed, impossibly through the snake. The sound was deep, low, primal. The sound of pure evil.
She screamed back.
She screamed until she ran out of air, kept on spasmodically screaming. Paroxysms of wordless pain and terror tore through her, leaving actual tatters. She screamed until every blood vessel in her eyes burst. She threw her head back and screamed until her neck broke.
Her body jittered unnaturally. Her face was changing. She would be one of them soon.
A little horror story.
Alfred Hitchcock said, it’s the things you don’t see that scare you. I wrote this a few years ago as an exercise on that concept.
We shivered in the dark, listening to it scratch against the door. Turning the lights out had not tricked it. It could smell us.
“Let’s go out the back,” my little sister Anita said, casting a nervous glance behind her.
“It moves too fast,” I said, but I glanced behind me as well. It was worth a shot.
Slowly we made our way backwards, feeling behind us, not taking our eyes off the kitchen door. We could hear it outside, scrabbling against the old grainy wood softly, insistently. We got halfway to the back door and then the scratching stopped.
Anita froze. We stared at the door, waiting for it to do something, but nothing was happening.
“We have to shut it inside. Then we can get to the car,” Anita said, pulling the car keys off of the counter and handing them to me.
“Are you crazy?” I whispered back, risking a glance her way. “That means one of us would have to open the door.”
She didn’t flinch. She stared at the door, her long braid resting on her shoulder, her eyes focused, waiting for some noise or indication of what it was doing now. All scratches had stopped. The other side of the door was silent. Too silent.
“Do you think it’s going around to the back door?” Anita whispered.
Suddenly I couldn’t move. I heard a desperate sort of gasp escape my throat.
“What?” She turned to look at me, alarmed.
“The back door isn’t locked,” I choked out.
Anita never hesitated. She dashed to the back room, and I watched her as she raced, her feet thumping loudly on the hardwood floor. It would hear that, I thought. It would hear that and circle around. I could see everything happening in crystal clarity, but was stricken by a horrible paralysis, unable to speak or move fast enough to prevent her from doing what she was doing.
Anita was a yard away from the door when it clicked open before her. Something pale was coming through. Finding my feet, I turned, unable to look, and ran toward the kitchen, toward the door, toward safety.
Anita screamed and screamed.
I burst out of the kitchen and slammed the door shut behind me, but the thick wood only slightly muffled the sound of my little sister dying.
I called her name through the wood. I cried out into the blank night. I kicked the door and pounded until my fist was bloodied with splinters. All this I did. But I could not make myself open that door.
When I paused for breath, there was a wet noise from within the house. It was lingering, distracted by the blood.
I still held the keys in my shaking hand. But I didn’t want to drive away from here, not if she wasn’t with me. Next to the car key was a smaller key with a cheery owl key cover which Anita had bought ages ago; the key to the shed. Where the power tools were kept.
I smiled joylessly.
It’s gory! Don’t look!
Page 10 below.
Page 9 below.