Halloween Week Story 6: Funeral Waltz

 

Turning right onto the small dirt road, the silver Cadillac bumped along on the uneven ground. The high noon sun blinded the passengers, forcing them to shield their eyes from the vibrant rays.

In silence rode the three college juniors, contemplating the task ahead they faced.

“Did you remember the developing fluid Alex?” the driver spouted suddenly, eyes fixated on the curve in the path directly ahead of them. His hands wrapped tightly around the steering wheel, knuckles white and braced to counter even the slightest of jolts.

“Of course,” the short male in the passenger seat retorted, almost insulted by the question. “I also have my camera, in case you don’t trust me to remember that either.” He swept a hand through his wavy black hair, pushing a few strands out of his brown eyes. His other hand continued to clutch his scholarship cancellation letter, running a shaky finger across the worn edge.

“Oh don’t go getting so butthurt up there!” The response came from a skinny girl lying across the back seat, safety neglected. “You know you’d forget your head if it wasn’t attached to your shoulders.” With indignant silence as a response, she threw her arm over her eyes and muttered, “If we don’t stop in the next five minutes, you’re gonna need another carpet cleaning David.”

“Got it,” the driver said, pulling the car over to the side of the road. He knew all too well that was no idle threat. He killed the engine and sat back with a sigh.

Letting her sandle drop carelessly on the floor, Sabrina wrapped her toes around the handle and pushed the door open, sitting up as fresh mountain air blew over her. She slid smoothly out of the vehicle, sighing contentedly as gravel crunched loudly beneath the soles of her grey shoes.

Stretching her arms above her head, she took a deep breath then turned back towards her two companions and asked, “How do you know this isn’t another hoax, like the Glosswell Incidents?” The nausea had already began to subside as the fresh air cleared her grogginess, quickly replaced by a sorrowful nervousness.

It was Alex who answered with, “A friend of my cousin moved here a year and a half ago and he swears by it.” With another disgusted look at the words that threatened to kick him out of school he said, “We’ve got nothing else so we might as well trust him.”

“It’s not like we can afford the risk of ignoring this.” David fiddled with the strap around his neck, repeatedly adjusting the camera in his lap. His reflection in the lens [made him uncomfortable]. He felt as though his late father was gazing back at him, forever disappointed.

Sabrina shrugged, accepting both reasons as she climbed back into the car.

David glanced at her as she lay back down. “Can’t you fasten your seatbelt? I don’t wanna wind up fined if we cross a cop.” His eyes searched the deserted road ahead as he spoke.

She waved a hand above her head, dismissing his request with a “Bah you worry too much. Just drive already.” Her tone was playful yet left no room for argument.

He hesitated, then started the engine again. Of course he couldn’t defy her.

They arrived at the entrance of the small town an hour later, softly greeted by humble homes lining both sides of a smoothly paved road. Sabrina sat up to look out at the scenery, resting her right elbow on the windowsill.

Alex had fallen into a restless sleep, snoring softly with his arms crossed and the abandoned letter lying across his feet. He didn’t see the furtive glances of the town’s sparse population as they hurried about the streets. Tension flooded into the car, saturating the air with the incomprehensible emotions of the townspeople.

Dozens of curious eyes watched the car turn down Main Street, heading towards the town’s only inn. Visitors weren’t uncommon, especially in the fall when people flocked to the rural area to attend nature retreats nearby, yet the residents were filled with a foreboding sense of unease as the car disappeared from sight.

Sabrina grinned at the sight of the Victorian-style inn. With the sun casting thick shadows against the innumerable windows lined by ornate frames, the building had an almost sinister aura surrounding it.

The three student disembarked from the car, Alex rubbing sleep from his eyes, and headed toward the wooden double doors beneath the sign that was too faded to read.

The only person in the bright lit lobby sat behind the counter, leafing through a frayed newspaper. His hooded eyes hardly bothered to glance up at the arrival of the three students.

His immediate reaction manifested itself in the way his upper lip raised slightly, reluctant to acknowledge the delinquents he saw as customers. It didn’t help their case that Alex had dark bags under his brown eyes and Sabrina had a full face of heavy makeup and thin streaks of silver in her naturally blonde hair.

David walked up to the counter, resting one arm on the oak edge. “Two rooms for tonight, please.” he said. His voice had a slight vibrato to it, agitated by his agoraphobia.

“Cash upfront.” The man said, procuring two keys in  a closed fist. “$150.” His eyes widened almost imperceptibly when David pushed the bills across to him. His harsh features softened as he said, “Breakfast is served at eight in the dining hall, checkout is at noon.” With a forced smile he added, “Enjoy your stay.”

The three unpacked their meager belongings in the two small rooms, Alex and David sharing while Sabrina occupied the other one alone. They created a makeshift photo development room in the small bathroom off the side of Sabrina’s room then departed from the inn.

“So where is this funeral parlor?” Sabrina asked as she tucked a stray strand of silver behind her ear. The sun’s golden rays reflected the sheer brilliance of the artificial color.

Alex responded with a yawn followed by “I have no idea. ‘E didn’t say.”

David pulled out his faded map, studied it for a few seconds, then shook his head despondently.

“We’ve got time and a full tank of gas,” Alex said. “We could drive around and ask the locals for directions.” Despite the increasing pallor of Sabrina’s skin, she agreed it was the best plan and reluctantly got back into the car.

They drove down the street slowly, eyes scanning their surroundings for any people. It wasn’t until they turned the corner that they saw the first sign of life since exiting the inn: a women with long brown hair tied up in a tight bun. She wore a black suit and carried a leather briefcase.

David rolled down his window and pulled the car as close to the curb as he dared. With the friendliest smile he could conjure plastered onto his face he called out, “Excuse me miss! I was wondering if you could help us find the funeral parlor around here?”

Her eyes flickered towards the car but instead of stopping she picked up her pace, swinging her briefcase with each hasty step. She disappeared around the corner without a word to them.

“Guess she was in a hurry.” Alex commented, turning to look out his own window.

They repeated their request to a mother carrying a baby with one arm and groceries with the other. Then again to a middle aged man who limped along with a cane. Each time they received the same cold shoulder.

“What’s with everyone?” David muttered, white knuckles shaking against the steering wheel. Sweat gathered on his brow as his breaths became ragged and uncertain.

“This town must not be used to visitors.” Alex shrugged. “Or they’re all just really antisocial.” He punctuated the sentence by glaring out the window at the passing scenery.

Sabrina, who had been quietly seated in the backseat slapped the back of David’s seat and said, “Pull over” as she rolled down her own window.

The two boys cringed simultaneously ad braced for the worst until she muttered under her breath, “I’ll show you how it’s done.” It was then that they noticed the teenager approaching the corner, hands dropped lazily in his pocket and a whistled tune hanging across his pale pink lips. His jet-black hair rode the wind currents, giving him a sloppy appearance.

He~ey!” Sabrina called out, pushing her sunglasses onto her head. A flirtatious smile tugged at her lips as her eyes danced mischievously in the sunlight.

Her attractive features caught his attention immediately. Caution forgotten he made his way over to her, bending down until his eyes were level with hers.

“I’m afraid we’re hopelessly lost,” she said with a slight pout. Her hand reached out and gently caressed his arm. “Would you mind giving us directions?” She cocked her head with a shy smile playing on her painted lips.

All three passengers witnessed the moment his entire body tensed up. They feared the boy would give them the same reactions as the other residents, abandoning them to find the parlor on their own.

“You’re not supposed to go there; especially not tonight. It’s been abandoned and after what happened last year…” His fingers fiddled with a button on his jacket.

“Oh? What happened last year?” Sabrina asked, batting her wide eyes innocently.

“There was an… incident.” His eyes wandered the streets, uncertain of how he should continue. “A few people, strangers, not from around here, went there after sundown and nobody has seen them since.”

The story sent a collective chill down the photographers’ spines. Unlike the boys however, Sabrina didn’t let her fear show, expertly hiding it with a dismissive smile.

“I’m sure we’ll be fine,” she said with more confidence than she felt. “We’ll be eeeeextra careful.”

He conceded with a sigh. “You continue down until the end of this street, then turn left onto the path leading up the hill. It’s always been a rather decrepit building, set apart fromt the rest because nobody wanted to build a shop next to it.” Restrained tears glistened on his waterline, conveying the fear he felt for them.

“Thanks! You’ve been a great help.” Sabrina said as she pulled down her sunglasses. It was all she could do to conceal the fear that was creeping into her irises. She rolled up her window with a fake smile still stretched across her lips.

Silence intruded where words failed. The sputter of the engine belong to a different world. Even the incessant motion of the car had ceased to be significant, unable to trump the concerns that plagued their minds.

David slowed the car almost to a halt at the edge of the turnoff. His fingers twitched and stiffened, unwilling to obey his reluctant commands.

Alex’s eyes wandered to the letter at his feet. Those photographs were his last chance at the life he’d always dreamed of but was it worth risking the life he has?

Sabrina sat up, cold emotionless eyes stationed above a blank expression.

“What are you guys waiting for?” she asked in a monotone voice. “Let’s get going already.”

David glanced up at her in the rearview mirror, alarmed by the shift in personality. Although he’d known her the longest, he’d only witnessed this change twice and it was never positive.

Alex slumped in his seat, relieved that the decision was no longer his yet terrified of the outcome. His eyes wandered over to the horizon beyond the small path, straining to catch a glimpse of the funeral parlor.

David set the car in motion, listening to his father’s last words playing back over and over again in his mind.

“Make me proud, son,” he’d said. David had felt his father’s hand tighten around his for a moment before death had swept him away into the night. He had to fulfill that final request no matter what. He needed the perfect picture to prove his profession worthwhile once and for all.

And for that he knew he needed to go, regardless of the risk. Sabrina’s decision was the final push he needed. And yet, as the road curved and swayed in front of his dusty windshield, he could not refrain from sending a silent prayer up to God.

They arrived at the edge of the property within ten minutes. The area had been fenced off by thick steel wires barbed at the top.

Sabrina unbuckled her seatbelt and pushed open her door before David had pulled the car to a complete stop. She stepped out, walked a few feet, and promptly proceeded to expel the hastily fixed sandwich she’d eaten only a few hours earlier.

David and Alex averted their eyes, instead studying the funeral parlor.

It was the only building in a lot of dead grass and patches of dirt. The building stood one story tall and larger in length than in width. Ornate wooden doors stood wedged beneath two thick white pillars. The half dozen windows stood intact but streaked with dirt from top to bottom, battered by dust, wind and rain.

“You guys coming?” Sabrina asked.

The space she’d occupied stood abandoned to the shadows of a nearby tree. They found her standing with arms crossed and one foot tapping out a fast, incessant rhythm.

“How’d you get over there?” Alex asked as he pushed open the car door.

She pointed behind her at the gap in the barbed wire fence where the top had rusted and fallen to the ground. Pieces of it littered the dirt.

The two struggled significantly more in climbing over than Sabrina had but eventually all three students stood before the infamous building, cameras in hand with tripods slung over their backs.

They walked over to the closest window in unison, steps as hesitant as their heartbeats grew increasingly faster. Sweaty hands and short breaths wandered toward the closest window.

David squinted at the dirt as though doing so would help him see through it. He tried to clean it off but layer after layer had hardened against the porous glass.

“I didn’t think it’s possible to get a good shot from here…” he said, trailing off to avoid voicing the question all three struggled with.

David took the initiative this time, making the few short, shakey strides to the front door. His hand shook around the doorknob. It turned easily despite the thick layer of sweat and dirt coagulating on the surface.

The room was empty other than a small pedestal and a short-legged table on a low stage. The pews that once formed an aisle in the middle of an Oriental carpet had long since been removed. Cobwebs gathered in the corners, draping across the peeling paint like lace curtains.

Alex and Sabrina filed in after him, gazing around the room with eyes wide in a mixture of awe and trepidation. Disturbing the silence seemed inexplicably wrong so all three moved with soft, cautious feet into the middle of the funeral parlor’s main and solitary room.

“I wonder how many people came through here.” Sabrina said in a voice that was hardly more than a whisper. Her finger was positioned atop her camera’s shutter button, ready to capture the slightest movement.

The other two stood similarly poised. Shadows shifted around them as the sun plunged towards the horizon but none dared to move.

“They come out as night falls, right?” David asked.

“That’s what my cousin’s friend said,” Alex replied. His mind briefly flickered back to the letter he’d abandoned on the floor of David’s car. His entire future rested on the words of a stranger.

Sabrina opened her mouth to respond.

And froze.

Lights shimmered in the decaying sun. Small orbs materialized in the air. The flurry of clicks and flashes that followed reverberated off the walls.

The orbs floated towards the center of the room, meandering slowly up and down in the air. The atmosphere grew colder until their breaths plumed before their eyes.

Shimmering figures dressed in fancy, intricate clothes from countless decades materialized in the air, painting the room with a myriad of colors. Entranced the students hardly remembered the cameras weighing down their hands.

Though the room itself was completely silent, a faint, rhythmic tune began playing in their heads, implanted by an invisible hand, The symphony of violins composed a lively waltz.

All three exchanged brief glances, instantly confirming that they were all experiencing the same thing. The jumble of emotions was evident in each of their faces. None knew whether they should feel awed at the beauty of it all or terrified at the existence of the unknown.

Their attention was recaptured by the movement of the specters. Men and women reached out to each other, hands clasping in a gentle embrace as they moved closer together. Feet walked without touching the ground. Graceful and fluid they danced across the floor, giving the cold room a lively sense of warmth.

Twirling and swaying the women were led by handsome male partners. Gowns flowed across the floor, shimmering like stars with each movement.

Every few moments they would switch partners, smoothly melting into the arms of a gentleman always as handsome as the last. They never missed a beat, never crashed into one another. It felt as though the dance had been mastered to perfection, until not a single flaw remained.

Then one of the men came towards Sabrina. She instinctively raised her camera and snapped a picture but before she could take a look at it, his hand reached out towards her. She flinched and stepped back, arms raised to defend against an attack…

That never came.

His hand remained petrified in mid-air, held out with his palm facing the ceiling. His head bowed as he leaned towards her.

Meanwhile his former partner, a lay in a midnight blue gown with golden locks that melter over her slender shoulders, stood before Alex and curtsied. Unsure of how to respond he attempted a shocked half-bow back, much to her delight. Her lips parted in a slight giggle and she reached out to take his hand.

A cold sensation enveloped his hand, not quite real but not fully intangible either. He felt as though he had thrust his arm into a large bowl of pudding without the moisture.

She led him out into the middle of the sea of people before placing her hand on his shoulder and giving him an expectant, rather amused look that made her cyan eyes sparkle. He interpreted that as a cue to put his arm around her waist in the same manner the other gentleman had done with their partners.

He felt embarrassed and underdressed but something in the repetitive tune of the music compelled him to obey.

Sabrina and David watched in awe. The sight of the living interacting with the dead in such a graceful manner was something the could only have dreamt of before this moment. They exchanged brief looks with each other as David tightened his grip around the camera hanging from his neck.

Sabrina nodded to an unspoken agreement then turned her attention to the gentleman still bowed before her. His white gloved hand waited patiently for hers. The fabric almost seemed to glow in the fading light.

She reached out as David raised his camera to his eye, finger posed on the shutter button.

She instantly felt the same cold sensation Alex had experienced. It enveloped her body as her new partner wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her close. His eyes met hers, as captivating as they were warm and lively.

In the white light of the camera flashes, his strong, tanned  features became visible. A sharp jawline outlined thin lips while prominent cheekbones drew the attention towards his almond shaped eyes topped by thick brown eyebrows. His dark hair was pulled back sleek over his head, perfectly parted off to the side.

Only that wasn’t what David saw.

He opened his mouth as the sun plunged below the horizon, dimming the room until only a glow as weak as a candle remained to illuminate the horror that would unfold before the three pairs of eyes.

The colors drained from the scene instantly, disappearing along with the music. The dancers dropped to the floor in piles of bones with varying amounts of decomposing flesh and scraps of once-gorgeous gowns and suits.

All but two of them, who still held on to Sabrina and Alex.

Tightly.

Screams burst from each of the students, raw and ragged as they tore from throats trying not to gag. Sabrina twisted and turned as she shrieked obscenities, pushing and kicking against the bones that clung to her.

Alex tore at the hand on his shoulder and tried to wrench his fingers from the ice cold bones laced between them. His wide eyes fixated on the chunks of blonde hair that clung to the grey skull before him.

David dropped his camera so abruptly that the strap dug into the back of his neck as the apparatus bounced painfully against his ribcage.

He rushed toward Sabrina, the closest of the two, intending to barrel through them and break the connection between her and the male skeleton. His feet stumbled over the stray bones littered across the dull carpet.

He tripped.

And fell.

Dust plumed around him, a grey cloud that invaded and coated his lungs until he fell into a violent coughing fit on the ground. Curled into a ball.

He could hardly hear their screams over the raspiness plaguing his burning throat. Tears streamed down his face but he forced himself to stand in the middle of the swirlings storm of dust.

He too a blind step forward and his feet crunched on something — bone? Glass? — but he didn’t let himself trip again.

He tried to call out to them but as he opened his mouth a thick clump of rancid tasting dust crawled between his lips and swallowed his tongue.

Useless.

Desperately he tried to peer through the hazed air but he couldn’t see even a hint of a shadow anywhere around him.

Blinded.

Sabrina felt the same way. She was being led away by the ice encasing her body but her eyes saw nothing but gray everywhere she turned. Her hand felt glued to his shoulder yet, with all her strength and concentration, she somehow managed to separate herself from the skeleton. A chunk of black fabric came with, clinging to her hand for a second before flying away into the storm.

With her hand now free she raised it into the air, curled her fingers tightly into a fist, and brought it smashing down onto the skeleton’s arm, trying to free her other hand. Despite the increased momentum thanks to gravity, the only one affected by the impact was her. Pain and numbness slid from her fingers up her hand and into her wrist. She bit her lip to keep from crying out as the pain quickly faded into an overwhelming numbness.

The skeleton man continued to lead her back step by step as though the dance was still continuing. Her feet responded to his despite her desperate attempts to resist.

The pain in her hand subsided to a dull throb. In the swirling dust of disintegrated bones she caught a glimpse of a vertical white line. Without knowing what it was she instinctively reached out towards it with her free hand.

Her splayed fingers caught hold of a chunk of smooth, almost soft wood. Paint chips lined the edges of her fingers, threatening to tear away from the slightest provocation. She dug her nails into the wood and leaned all her weight on her heels, pulling against the skeleton man.

David walked with his hands out in front of him, searching for anything he could hold on to. His hands yearned for the warmth of another human.

Smooth and cold, glass materialized beneath his hands. He turned in what he hoped was the direction of the door. With on hand following the horizontal edge of the window, he slid his feet across the flood as quickly as he could to avoid tripping. The gray dust that flowed ahead of and all around him had thinned considerably in the passing seconds. He could see the outline of something ahead of him as light permeated from the door only a few feet away.

Several strands of silver and blonde hair floated out towards him, adamantly resisting the current.

Sabrina!

He reached out towards her with his free hand before mustering up the will to call out her name. He barely got through the first two syllables before breaking off into a coughing fit that only further aggravated the burning agony in his throat.

She heard the faint syllable through the roar of the swirling wind in her ears and her heart skipped a beat. She gripped the wooden edge tighter despite the pain in her knuckles, praying she had not imagined it.

The skeleton kept pulling at her with a strength it logically should not possess. His bony fingers never loosened between hers and his arm remained wrapped around her waist. She felt her heels sliding against the ground and knew she wouldn’t last much longer. Within a minute her feet would slip out from underneath her, she’d lose her grip on the doorhinge, and that would be the end.

He’d be able to drag her off into the night, never to be seen again like the previous victims of this wretched funeral parlor.

As the density of the barrier separating them dissipated, she found herself mesmerized by the large black eye sockets. She felt that they weren’t completely empty despite their appearance — something lay just beyond them, shrouded in darkness.

Before she could give it another moment’s contemplation, strong, warm arms wrapped around her shoulders, banishing the chills that had run rampant through her body. She breathed out a relieved sigh that blew a hole through the dust. She was saved.

No longer worried about leverage, she kicked up her feet and smashed her free arm down again, gritting her teeth against the pain.

Release. The bony arms, the tight grip, the cold, the fear, everything separated from her in that single instant. The skull floated in front of her face before it disintegrated into the same dust that flew around them. In the second before the eyes vanished she thought she caught a glimpse of sadness, of disappointment, within the inky black holes.

She fell back into David’s arms, believing in the relief of the moment. Exhausted.

The reprieve was short as the two suddenly recognized the absence of their third companion.

The swirling dust cleared suddenly, evacuating from the room like a stampede of people escaping a fire. Not a single trace remained anywhere in the now empty room.

On frightened, unsteady feet the two ran to keep up with the end of the stream of dust as it fled the funeral parlor.

Fear robbed them of voices, leaving behind only the thunderous pounding of their adrenaline-laced heartbeats. They became blind to everything except the dust they had previously wanted nothing more than to escape from. Thoughts were replaced by a single image of Alex. His face was illuminated by the unnatural glow of the blonde specter.

They stormed carelessly through a row of bushes, the sharp thorns tearing through their clothes and found themselves standing in a small graveyard. Headstones littered the lot, some leaning forward while others lay in pieces on the ground.

The dust settled into the open graves, creating skeletons in their coffins that appeared to never have moved. The scene resembled a mass grave-robbing heist but nothing more sinister.

Dirt smothered their footsteps as the two searched the area frantically, eyes darting from one hole to the other while desperately hoping he wasn’t in any of them. Neither could muter the courage to call out for fear of receiving an answer.

Sabrina stopped short in her tracks, breath catching in her throat. A scream bubbled in her chest but she couldn’t inhale enough air to let it escape. Instead silent tears, tinted black by her eyeliner, rolled down her face, leaving thick streaks across her cheeks.

David’s hand landed gently on her shoulder, a feeble warmth to combat the ice that was spreading through her chest. His eyes darkened at the sight that met them but he forced himself not to turn away.

In the open grave, surrounded by the bare walls of an oak casket, lay Alex, eternally trapped in the embrace of the skeleton woman. His wide, petrified eyes fixated blankly on the sky. His black hair clung to his forehead though a few strands had descended into his wide open mouth.

Sabrina pulled away from David’s hand, ripped off her camera, and let it drop to the ground before running away, sobs finally finding their way out. The apparatus landed in the dirt without making a sound as she tore through the row of bushes.

David remained where he was, ensnared by a mixture of guilt and sorrow. He stood still for a moment, watching shadows shift across the ground as the moon rose to replace the absent sun.

Then, he dropped to his knees beside the opening. With tears streaming down his own face he slowly removed the camera around his neck, taking the film out, and placed it beside Alex’s chest. He hardly noticed the shattered lens.

He did the same with Sabrina’s camera before closing Alex’s eyes and mouth. The task proved difficult as his jaw had begun to stiffed but he succeeded. He stood and cast one last, remorseful look at the pair before turning away. He knew in that moment that he would spend the rest of his life warning others of the funeral parlor’s curse.

Before leaving the graveyard, he turned back once, letting the moonlight wash over his tear-streaked face and whispered, “Goodbye, my friend.”

Halloween Week Story 5

Author’s Note: This was actually my submission for this years “Last Line” issue but it didn’t get in so I’m posting it here instead.

Snake Eyes

The whole room fell silent, eyes shooting towards Elizabeth. Burning questions glazed over their pupils but fear paralyzed their bodies.

The words kept tumbling from her painted black lips, stumbling over one another like raindrops melting together into a thin stream. Nonsensical syllables echoing around the room, merging with those of a voice that sounded almost identical to her own.

In the doorway stood a woman in a short black dress with flowing lace sleeves. The straps of her sandals snaked up her legs, matched in length by her curly auburn hair. Large blue eyes shone from a pale freckled face, separated by a thin nose. Her voice escaped low and harsh, incongruent to her soft pink lips and gentle features.

She took a step forward, eyes transfixed on her nearly identical twin. The people around her shifted uncomfortably, shrinking towards the wall as though she carried the plague on her slender shoulders.

Elizabeth raised her voice, surging through the crowd that parted like the Red Sea. She commanded the room in a way nobody else could, immediately drawing the attention back to her. Several people dropped their drinks as they saw the transformation inching across her skin.

Scales grew to replaced the short white hairs covering her limbs. Black as night they covered her entire body as her eyes rolled back into her head, leaving pure white orbs in place of her cyan irises. Instead of words her tongue now spewed hissing noises, low and soft and threatening. A dark aura followed her as she approached the door, seeping into the flowered wallpaper and wine-stained oak floors.

Both froze as the clanging of church bells outside invaded the room, crawling in from the doors and windows. The room fell deathly quiet.

Then the lights went out.

Nobody dared to move. Not a soul spoke. Eyes roamed in the dark, searching for the slightest movement where the two had stood.

Elizabeth and her twin stood outlined by the dim moonlight seeping in from the windows. Seconds ticked by as neither moved, still as statues.

Then, as though propelled by an invisible force, Elizabeth lurched forward, arms outstretched towards the other figure. The two moved too fast for eyes to follow, squirming on the ground. Elizabeth appeared to remain on top, legs locked tightly around the small waist of her counterpart. Her arms moved in sharp, blurry jabs, the silver watch around her wrist reflecting the pallor of the moonlight.

A scream broke the silence for only a second before almost instantly melting into a low gurgle then dying completely.

Only then did the lights return, revealing a pale Elizabeth with snow white skin and blue eyes straddling the lifeless body of an enormous black snake with dull copper scales atop its head.

Elizabeth stood, inky blue blood dripping from her hands. She looked around at the frightened, judgemental eyes of the people she had once considered friends and knew with a gut-wrenching certainty she would never fit in with them again.  

It was hard to accept that from now on everyone would look at her differently.

Halloween Week Story 4

Author’s Note: This one is more of a vignette than a story but I wanted to include it.

She padded into the room on bare feet, her ginger hair leaving a trail of fire in her wake. Innocent jade eyes roamed the bare wood walls. Painted pink lips parted to release a long, shaky breath that transformed into white smoke.

She stood still, floorboards whispering beneath her paltry weight. Cobwebs lined the edges of the room, tracing intricate patterns in the shadows. Wind howled through the cracks in the ancient walls, disturbing the spiders from their home. They crawled across the silken threads, silent and observant, thousands of eyes fixated on their mistress.

She walked forward with eyes cold as stone. Her black blouse clung to her skin, shielding her from the gelid atmosphere. Her eyes searched the world beyond the window for solace but found none. Loneliness pushed down upon her shoulders, a weight she could never lift.

Her delicate fingers touched the cracked glass, numb to the cold of the surface.

The numbness was the only thing she felt as she turned to face the door. Crimson eyes gazed at the innocent child with the ginger hair, watching her fade into oblivion.

As the queen of spiders had taken her place.

Halloween Week Story 3: Stalker

She tucked the chopped remnants of her hair behind her ear, shielding her eyes from the fluorescent lamplight. Her irises had long since disappeared within the dilation of her pupils.

With a limp she meandered towards the bus stop. Cold was all she felt on that frigid night, unable to recognize the sensation of tears on her face.

He sat there with a phone in his hand, blasting heavy metal though painted black earbuds. His hair was streaked with colors he didn’t even like. With a flick of his ringed thumb he scrolled through the Facebook feed of his now ex-girlfriend,  lamenting in the loss of her love.

The wind distributed the threads hanging from the edges of his hastily ripped jeans, wrapping them around his skinny legs.

He looked up and scowled at the empty street, noting the appearance of a plane near the horizon. It blinked as brightly as the stars on this cloudless twilight.

It was the fourth time in the last hour he had checked and there hadn’t been any changes. Of course there wouldn’t be.

With a sigh to the sky he turned off the device, shoving it back into his pocket without catching even a glimpse of the twisted reflection.

She sat beside him on the bench, scrutinizing his face. She scowled at the stubble that was stabbing through the otherwise clear skin of his chin. The bags under his eyes were also as prominent though she was accustomed to that. Like many nights, his makeup had worn off and worsened his complexion with the uneven streaks of eyeliner.

She waited for his acknowledgment, words painting her lips crimson. Each of his facial movements caught her attention but her persistence was futile.

The last bus of the night appeared in the distance, headlights illuminating the uneven asphalt beneath the slightly deflated tires.

He stood, adjusting the waistband of his jeans beneath his studded black belt. She shot up beside him, lips parted to speak but the words never came. She couldn’t voice her desire to get back together, to be forgiven and forgive him at the same time.

The doors opened before the bus reached him. He showed his bus pass without meeting the driver’s eyes and walked down the carpeted aisle.

Blue-clothed seats lined both sides of the vehicle, mostly devoid of people. A short and stout woman followed him with her judgemental gaze as he picked a seat towards to middle of the left side.

Nobody sat in front of in back of him. The row across from his stood empty.

No other passengers entered the bus.

Nobody moving into the aisle.

He watched the door close at the end of the vehicle before pulling out his earbuds. Music reverberated through his head, drowning his depression in loud, discordant words.

He stayed in the seat closest to the aisle, a habit that was hard to break. She stepped over his bony legs and plopped down beside him, making no sound on the worn leather. She couldn’t even feel the fabric beneath her hands.

Streetlights flashed outside the window, casting shadows across his intertwined hands. He turned towards the window and froze.

The reflection staring back at him was not his own.

A jolt. A skipped beat. A scream.

He fell out of his seat, scrambling backwards across the aisle. The other passengers, especially the short woman towards the front, peered out and shot him disgusted glares, assuming he was high.

Oh how he wished he was.

The face in the reflection turned away from the window. Black eyes were replaced by a gaping, raw hole surrounded by a shock of matter black hair. The exposed neck sported a long slash that revealed the vertebrae.

A burning sensation consumed first his mind then his body. The pain stole his breath away and left him dizzy, unable to comprehend the sight before his eyes.

Hayley.

His dead girlfriend.

Materializing before his eyes. Solidifying the malevolent aura in the surrounding space.

Her eyes bore holes into his, digging straight into his vulnerable mind. Her crimson lips twisted into a grimace, the sweetness of her old smile lost alongside her life.

The life that meant little to her now. She saw him as her final, tangible desire. Memories faded behind the need for revenge instead of forgiveness.

She would avenge the life he had taken from her in order to continue the life they had lived together. The life he had ruined.

She stood, head lolling to one side as if it was too heavy to support despite having no physical weight. Her twisted foot took a step towards him.

He froze.

Peripheral vision saw only walls, both visible and invisible. The bus faded until just the two remained, trapped in petrified equilibrium punctured by his heartbeat.

The weight of sorrow and fear on his chest made it almost impossible to breathe. In short gasps the breaths came, billowing out in front of him as her soulless eyes sucked the warmth from the atmosphere.

The other passengers felt the sudden drop in temperature too, shivering and pushing up their windows. From the front the bus driver muttered, “Blasted AC,” and fiddled loudly with the various switches and buttons on the dashboard.

The sound of another human voice was enough to break her hold on him. He felt himself instantly pulled back into the world around him. Twisting he scrambled off to the side, reaching up for the seat closest to him and pulled himself to an unsteady stance. His knees shook, threatening to give in to the weight of her malevolence.

She watched him stumble towards the front, screaming “Stop the bus! Let me out, please!” at the driver.

The stout woman with the square jaw curtaining a double chin cast another judgemental gaze towards him before sticking out her heeled foot as he passed. In slow motion he hit the floor, hands shooting out to cushion the fall. His parted lips released a scream as a loud crack thundered from his wrist. As he lay on his side, moaning, the woman muttered, “ Serves a druggie like you right.” Then, with a curled lip, “You make me sick.”

That comment was the last she would ever make.

Hayley disappeared from her spot in the aisle, leaving no trace to suggest she had ever existed. The air warmed a few degrees, a change that made little difference to Scott but evoked contented sighs from the sparse other passengers.

He had just managed to sit up, relying solely on his left arm to support him, when the woman turned to him again, her head moving in a quick, jerky manner. He averted his gaze until she murmured “Scott…”

In Hayley’s voice.

While wearing Hayley’s face.

The woman’s beady eyes had been replaced by Hayley’s wide black ones, pupils as overly enlarged as they’d been when the car hit her. Her lips were split and caked with dried blood that left streaks down her double chin. Hayley’s sharp cheekbones jutted out from beneath the woman’s jowls.

“I loved you, Scott. I want to be with you again, Scott. She’ll pay for hurting you Scott. Just like you’ll pay for hurting me.” The last venomous words were emphasized by a loud snap as the woman’s head spun backwards, severing the spinal cord before she could utter a sound of her own.

She slumped backwards in her seat, limp and lifeless as her features reverted back to normal. His eyes remained glued to the fresh corpse as his brain struggled to comprehend the last few seconds.

The realization hit.

He screamed, his shrieks melding together with those of those other passengers. The three remaining riders shot up from their seats, sprinting towards the front of the bus.

The driver slammed his palm on the door button while simultaneously slamming on the brakes.

Scott had barely managed to stand when the tall man seated in the back barrelled past him, knocking his back to the ground. He swallowed another scream before pulling himself back up and following the stragglers.

Cold night air felt welcome on his burning body. The bus driver and the few riders scattered,  each throwing a glance back towards Scott. They didn’t dare to confront him for fear of being the next victim.

Guilt followed him as he ran towards his home, desperate to escape the murder scene before the body was discovered and he was inevitable blamed.

His thoughts had disappeared in a futile attempt to shield himself from the horrendous reality of what had occurred. He ran on pure instinct, memories flashing through his mind.

He saw Hayley before the accident, exuberant and full of life. She brought out the best in him, gave him a reason to get up in the morning.

Only then she changed. She became jealous, obsessive even. They fought more and more until he considered breaking things off.

He had stormed off after a particularly heated argument. She had followed him.

His foot touched the curb of the sidewalk across from her house, forsaking the gelid asphalt for the safety of new cement. Music blasted through the earbuds she’d bought him for Christmas.

He didn’t hear the screech of tires or her cry for help. He saw the flash of headlights, felt the rumble of the engine sending vibrations through the ground. His body turned around but his mind lingered elsewhere. Far from the nightmares playing out before his eyes.

Her body, limp and fragile, sent flying, skidding across the ground like a mere plastic bag on the wind. Blood pooling around her from the hole in the back of her neck as the car, perhaps black perhaps blue, screeched away down the street.

He tripped over a loose chunk of cement at the edge of the sidewalk and fell, throwing his knees forward and torso back to protect his arms. He skidded to a stop then quickly picked himself back up, ignoring the blood streaming down to his ankles.

He didn’t know where to go but kept running regardless. Feet pounding roughly on the pavement, breaths escaping in short gasps he didn’t dare look behind him for fear of what he might see.

She heard the whisper of the wind in the dying leaves above her head but could not feel the cold night air. Her eyes followed his shrinking back, keeping the side of the bus in her peripheral.

Why was he running away, Why was he abandoning her again?

Anger gathered around her, clinging to her raw, intangible skin. She felt it in her very soul, the residual sensation of an elevated pulse and shaky limbs consuming her. It propelled her forward at an inhuman speed until she stood directly in front of him.

She watched as his eyes widened and he froze, pushing against the force of his own momentum to bring himself to a stop only a centimeter away from her.

In his head he heard her voice.

“You’re mine Scott.”

Her lips never moved.

“Keep your promises, Scott.”

Each time she repeated his name it felt like jab to the heart.

“I want us to be together Scott.”

His ears rand. The world around him spun on its axis.

“Come back home with me Scott.”

The edges of the world around him went black. Colors faded into monochrome. He felt his heartbeat slow as she siphoned the life out of him.

HONK.

Vanished. His vision reverted to normal. The ringing in his ears stopped.

He could breathe again, huge, cold breaths of the most refreshing air he had ever taken.

“Scott is that you?” the voice that filled his ears was so familiar and comforting it brought tears to the corners of his eyes. He turned to see the blue Honda Civic with the dent on the driver’s side from the one and only time he had ever borrowed it. Seated behind the wheel was the only friend who he’d kept in contact with after middle school.

“Kevin you have to help me.” he said, stumbling out into the street. “It’s Hayley she–”

“Woah, how drunk are you?” Judgement melted into concern and his face softened as he said, “Hayley died a week ago.”

“I know.” His hand fumbled with the handle on the back door. “Just — Just take me home. Please.” He seated himself directly behind his friend, leaning sideways to meet his eyes in the rearview mirror. He felt nauseous and dizzy and his pale reflection hid none of it.

“Alright…” Kevin raised a bushy black eyebrow but started the engine without further protest. His hair was spiked so high it brushed against the ceiling despite his short stature. On any other night, Scott would have found this immensely amusing.

“You really shouldn’t drink so much,” Kevin said.

“I’m not drunk.” Scott kept his eyes on the scenery passing by his window. His legs shook uncontrollably despite his best attempts to clamp his hands over his knees.

“Okay…” Kevin didn’t question the subject further but it was clear from the pity in his blue eyes that he didn’t believe Scott at all.

The rest of the ride passed in silence.

Scott’s mind shot through a hundred possibilities as Hayley’s words repeated in his head over and over again.

“Come back home with me Scott.”

He thought of his mother and his little sister, sitting peacefully at the dinner table. Their faces melded with Hayley’s, eyes turning black and skin tearing away, leaking inky blood.

The small, humble home came into view ahead of them. Before Kevin could even bring the car to a full stop, Scott had already pushed open the door. His foot touched the curb and he took off running, ignoring Kevin’s warning.

The rumble of the car engine as his only escape drove away was the last thing he heard as he crashed through the front door.

Freshly changed bulbs bathed the short entryway in a warm yellow glow. The atmosphere contrasted the fear that pulsed in time with his heartbeat.

His mud caked shoes left a trail as he sprinted towards the living room.

On the couch the say, his sister on the right, leaning on the armrest, his mother on the left in almost the same position, watching television.

With Hayley between them.

Three heads turned to look at him as he stood frozen in the doorway.

Hayley’s grin said it all.

Before hi mother could utter a single word he screamed “Get away from them!” and ran towards the couch. He leapt onto the supple red leather, passing harmlessly through the air Hayley had just vacated. His sister’s wide childlike eyes followed him as he frantically scanned the room.

“What’s wrong Scott?” his mother’s voice trembled. She looked down as his arms as though trying to see through the dark fabric of his jacket. “You didn’t –” She couldn’t bear to finish the sentence.

“It’s Hayley.” he said, still searching. His eyes squinted at each of the shadows, searching the obscurity for her pale flesh or crimson grin.

“But Hayley’s –”

“Dead, I know.” Nothing. His hair fell in front of his eyes. “Only she’s back. Not alive, just back.”

His phone buzzed violently in his pocket. The ringtone blasted through earbuds he forgot he’d been wearing. He had closed his hand around the cord when he heard it among the chimes.

Her voice.

“I’m here, Scott.”

He yanked the device from his pocket, eyes instantly fixed on the screen. Her face took up every pixel on the screen. The strands of black hair plastered across her grey forehead looked almost real enough to touch.

“You will be mine Scott.” This time the voice came from beside him. He turned towards his sister, pleas dying on his lips as he saw Hayley’s face merge with ehrs as she’d done earlier with the woman on the bus.

He shook his head, afraid that his sister would share the same fate. His mouth opened and closed repeatedly but the words to stop her never came.

Hayley laughed, a maniacal howl that echoed around them, bouncing off the white walls and mahogany floors. The sound sent a chill down his spine.

He closed his eyes against the pain of reality.

“We’ll always be together Scott.” This time the voice came from his mother’s mouth. He couldn’t bear to look. “Just like we were meant to be.”

“Mommy?” his sister’s voice was small and shaky in comparison to Hayley’s booming confidence. He felt small, shivering hands closing around his wrist. “Scott what’s going on?” The words escaped as hardly more than a whisper.

He couldn’t look meet her eyes. The fear in his own was something he wanted to keep to himself. “Go to your room,” was all he could utter while trying to keep his voice steady. His mind had already come to terms with what was going to happen yet his body refused to cooperate.

“But–”

“Go!”

He felt the pressure around his arm release and heard her soft footsteps disappear from the room, followed by the light creak of the stairs.

He still did not open his eyes.

Hayley’s presence sucked the warmth from the room but he did not shiver.

Seconds ticked by in silence. His broken wrist throbbed painfully. Thoughts had abandoned him.

With a deep breath he opened his eyes. The living room was the same as always: bookshelves lining the back wall filled with magazines, encyclopedias, and DVDs; the maple China cabinet wedged in the middle displaying the finest dishes amongst the small collection of porcelain figures; the flat screen television behind him with the gaming consoles nobody ever used.

And yet everything had changed. It felt as though the warmth had not been sucked out of only the air but also everything in the room. The welcoming atmosphere had been replaced by a coldness commonly found in the morgues.

He didn’t look at his possessed mother as he sighed and said, “Do with me what you want.” Inside he had grown colder than Hayley’s decaying corpse.

She pounced on him, still wearing his mother’s body, and knocked him to the ground. The back of his head narrowly missed the edge of the glass coffee table as he smashed into the floor.

He didn’t even possess the energy to flinch.

She straddled his legs and pinned his arms down to keep him from getting up. He lacked the will to resist anyways. His body and mind had already resigned to paying the price it took to protect his family.

Ultimately he was fulfilling the final promise he’d made to his late father.

“You’ll love me forever, right Scott? Just like you promised?” For a moment Hayley almost seemed like her innocent old self, before she became increasingly jealous of anyone who laid eyes on him. “We’ll be together forever. Won’t that be simply wonderful?” A flash of childlike glee. Then completely serious, “Forgive me Scott, I’m only doing what is necessary, for us.”

She looked sad.

Her hands lifted from his as her legs tightened their grip. She hesitantly reached for his throat, slowly wrapping her fingers around the hot, vulnerable flesh. He couldn’t fight without hurting his mother. His hands remained limp at his side as black spots appeared and consumed his vision.

The last thing he felt were hot tears on his face.

But did they belong to his mother or Hayley?

Halloween Week Story 2: Shadows on a Subway

The dull thumping of the gears against the rails combined with the dim lighting had lulled most of the subway passengers to sleep. I stood by the door, leaning against the pole that held me up. My eyes wandered to the window above the blonde head of a pregnant woman reading a maternity book.

Lights sped alongside the tunnel walls, their monochromatic illumination casting the shadows across the carpeted floor. The movement hurt my eyes within seconds, forcing me to look elsewhere.

My hand automatically reaches into my pocket for my cell before remembering that it’s dead. Dropping it into a toilet tends to do that, or so I learned this morning.

The P.A. system cracked to my right. As the automated voice began announcing the next stop, the lights cut out, plunging the entire car into inky darkness teeming with the nearly invisible faces of the other passengers. I could almost make out the large nose of the elderly man seated beside me.

Until it disappeared.

And the lights came back on but the voice did not return.

And neither did the old man’s face.

My knees gave out as my body flung itself backwards in a desperate attempt to escape. Shock waves ran up and down my spine from my tailbone hitting the door but I hardly noticed. My senses were too overwhelmed to process the pain.

Blank.

The faces of each and every passenger had gone horribly blank. No noses, eyes, mouths, cheekbones, dimples, eyebrows. Nothing. The colors of their skins swirled in the space, as though some kid was playing with a picture on photoshop.

One by one they turned towards me. One by one their nonexistent gazes shifted to look at me. I could feel it.

The shifting of the lights on the carpet stopped abruptly as the train lurched to a stop. The screech of gears grinding against the rails was the last thing I heard before silence consumed the space. My heartbeat became thunderous yet for a moment I fear it would stop.

Breaths froze in my lungs. The pressure on my chest cut off my air supply. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the people around me, especially the pregnant lady. There was something absolutely eerie about the lack of emotion above the bulging stomach being caressed by a soft, gentle hand.

In a flash she disappeared along with the others. Emptiness stole their place though the memory lingered in the forefront of my mind.

The solitude amplified my heartbeat as my sweaty hand reached out to the pole on my right. My legs shook incessantly as I kicked and scrambled to stand.

The floor was stable beneath my feet yet the room spun. Grey seats hung from the ceiling above my head and white lights stood beneath my feet.

I took a step and fell into one of the seats, sending the world spinning back into position. My head felt clouded by the impossibility of the reality and my eyelids threatened to fall over my eyes.

Seconds tick by. For a moment reality feels far away, concealed behind a thick wall of smoke.

Then the buzzer shattered my eardrums, bathing the space in a dull red glow. The doors across from my rattled open, revealing the dark tunnel outside.

My legs leap out before my mind can even stand. I land hard on the edge of the rails, the impact sending jolts of pain through my legs.

Fall. Roll. Turn around.

Nothing. The lights in the subway flicked then turn off.

I blink.

Blood drips from the open doorway, glistening as it splatters to the ground. Shrouded in gray smoke.

Something slumps forward in the doorway. Big nose, small eyes, grey hair. The old man who had been sitting beside me lay on the floor, blood lining his face as the red light washed over his wrinkled features. Blank gaze fixated on me.

A scream tears from my throat. My body scrambles backwards over the fingers digging into the loose dirt. Legs flailing wildly I try to put as much distance between the subway and myself.

Dread wrapped around my limbs for a few slow, horrendous seconds I could not breathe. I could not move. Paralyzed.

As frozen as the old man’s dead eyes.

Then it broke.

And my hand found the back wall. I pulled myself up and wrenched my body to the side, facing the nearest station. The lights hardly illuminated the front tip of the conductor’s car.

Stumbling on numb legs I sprinted towards it. The atmosphere was cold and thick around me, clinging to my skin and weighing me down. The passing lights on the walls slowed to a painfully sluggish pace.

I didn’t dare look behind me. The fear of something lurking behind me was enough to lock my eyes directly in front of me, fixated on the edge of the tiled platform ahead of me.

I arrived at it after what felt like an eternity. My hand reached for it on its own. Fingers outstretched the tiles felt smooth against my skin.

I hardly had the time to catch up to my hands before they were pulling me up onto the platform. The headlights of the subway behind me illuminated the empty lobby, the thick rectangular pillars casting deep shadows across the dirty tiles.

My own shadow danced along the wall as I sprinted towards the steps. Black as night and just as sinister I couldn’t resist glancing towards it.

And instantly wishing I hadn’t.

Black tendrils slippery like ink crawled across the advertising posters. I couldn’t tell if they were real or imaginary.

The stairs lurched before me, mostly hidden in darkness as little light trickled in from the outside. I took them two at a time before making the mistake of looking back.

And seeing them all.

In a row they stood, faces horribly blank once more with one small difference. Thin streams of blood descended from their foreheads down to their chins, tracing the facial features that had become invisible to me.

None of them moved. They merely stood, facing me with blank, eyeless stares. I stared back at them, unable to tear my gaze away. My own movements felt controlled by the somehow, as though they were keeping me locked in this equilibrium.

Shadows leaked out from beneath their feet. They inched towards me, creeping up the stairs. The black mass was only centimeters away from my feet when the spell finally broke and I fell backwards, scrambling up the steps on my hands and knees.

I felt the fresh air of the world above the ground on the top of my head first and that was enough to lift me to my feet, sprinting into the cold wind.

Buildings rushed past me as my feet slapped against the pavement, footsteps echoing in the crisp night air. The road sat devoid of cars and no people walked beside me. It was as though the entire town had disappeared — vanished into thin air.

My apartment was only a few blocks from the subway station, a fortunate coincidence that sent a surge of hope and adrenaline pumping through my veins. My legs were moving so fast I could hardly keep up. My body overcompensated in leaning forward and I tripped, shands shooting out in front to catch me.

The impact sent convulsions through my body as I rolled over my right shoulder, wincing at the pain in my twisted ankle.

The world spun. I tried to stand only to fall back down. The pounding in my ears obliterated my hearing, only furthering the sense of panic in my veins.

Blurred vision frantically surveyed my surroundings. The utter lack of movement in the windows to my left and the lifelessness of the street to my right served as cold reminders of my solitude.

I felt something touch my foot. A cold sensation shot up from my heel to my hip like a bullet of ice.

I turned around to the see pregnant woman’s fingers wrap around my ankle. She pulled, drawing me closer to her and the thick black mass writhing behind her.

I kick and twist but her grasp held strong. Blood spews from a gaping hole in her stomach, soaking through the hem of my trousers.

I felt the malevolence saturating her aura and that awakened something in me. A surge of power course in my veins and I wrenched my leg away, scrambling backwards until I managed to stand.

I took off running and never looked back.

The apartment door slammed behind me before I could feel the exhaustion weighing me down. The air was hot and stale but it had never tasted so sweet.

I sank to the ground, leaning against the door. A humorless laugh escaped from deep within my throat, clashing with the tears streaming down my face.

By the time I’d calmed down I wanted nothing more than to go to bed and sleep away the remnants of this nightmare.

I stood and limped to the bathroom, wincing at the pain in my ankle. The mild throbbing was the only concrete reminder of the incident but even that would fade soon enough. Then I’d be able to pretend that none of this had ever occurred.

Though I’m definitely not taking the subway ever again, I thought with a light, nervous chuckle. I’d just take a cab to and from work or carpool or something.

I turned the lights and the water on simultaneously the second I entered the bathroom. The rush of water mesmerized me, the sound a welcome change to the silent atmosphere I’d endured.

Cold and refreshing the water felt so soothing against my burning face I hardly noticed the stinging of my raw palms. I let my thoughts drown in the mundanity of the task for a moment before reaching for a towel.

My eyes wandered up to the mirror.

I froze.

Behind me stood the conductor of the subway.

Faceless and bloody.

Shrouded in black.

Two-Line Horror

I thought I would try my hand at a two-line horror piece so here it is:

Opening my eyes to pitch black surroundings and stale air, I reach up for the nurse call button. Only to find my arm clothed in my best suit and a wooden barrier blocking my path.

 

See you tomorrow for the next Halloween Week story!

-Celeste

Announcement: Halloween Week

You guys are probably wondering why I didn’t upload the next part of Kidnapped last Friday right?

Well…

That’s because..

Halloween Week is officially commencing today! 😀

In case you don’t remember from last year, Halloween Week is the week leading up to Halloween in which I upload 1 short horror piece every day!

I don’t have the exact line-up at the moment, but the first story will be uploaded immediately following this post! Be on the lookout for it! 😀

-Celeste