Posts Tagged ‘Halloween Story Contest

12
Oct
08

Entry #5: THE VEIL by Valerie Mann

She ran like the hounds of hell pursued her.

She’d sensed It the moment she’d left the hospital, known It watched her, waiting for the chance to find her alone. Wasn’t it enough she felt its presence on the floor, waiting to steal souls that weren’t protected by loved ones? She knew It abhorred her, hated that she protected the dying from its clutch. She swallowed paralyzing fear and tore full bore across the parking lot.

Her breath huffed out in sobbing, frightened gasps as she ran into the parking garage and dug the parking ticket out of her jeans pocket.

Level two. Slot thirty-nine.

Jesus. So far. She chugged up the incline between the first and second floor and snapped a nail on the pocket of her scrubs in search of her keys.

It gained on her, its heavy breathing closing in until heat brushed her neck. Another shot of adrenaline accelerated her movements and she shrieked and redoubled her efforts, the slapping of her footsteps echoing between the cement pillars and metal I-beams of the garage.

Surely, the parking attendant would hear her, or cameras would detect this crime. Cars, pickup trucks, SUVs passed by in a colorful blur as she huffed toward the second level. Another blast of heat hit her neck in warning and with knees threatening to buckle, she whipped around and swiped at her assailant with a sharp key. A quick flash of another-worldly evil flitted before her before the image changed shape and a huge man fell to his knees. He bellowed in pain and furious anger. Without breaking stride, she watched over her shoulder as he clutched his cheek.

Up ahead, her silver Elantra beckoned. Legs tightened and protested as she pumped toward the compact car. Fumbling with the fob on her keyring, she repeatedly hit the unlock button until the doors clicked and she clutched the door handle. Oh, thank you, God.

Without any warning from behind, a hard hand slammed her face against the driver’s side window. Her teeth bit into her cheek and blood filled her mouth.

Oh, God. It caught up with me. She began to sob at the futility of running. She’d felt It, felt its presence every single time a patient passed. Felt its deep hatred for her skills, her desire to keep patients safe until their loved ones could come to claim them.

And she’d never expected her life to end this way. Please let death come swiftly.

Rapid movement and a sudden roar of protest sounded behind her. Heavy weight fell away and a blessed warmth replaced the feral force pushing against her body. Even so, she fought the comforting hold, choking and fighting against abject fear.

“Shhh,” a deep, welcoming voice sounded in her ear. A large hand slipped around her waist. “Go home, sweetheart. You’re safe now.”

Refusing to acknowledge her savior, she opened the door and slid behind the wheel. A shaking hand slipped the key into the ignition and the engine gunned in reverse. Without a backward glance, she slammed the car into drive and tore out of the garage.

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09
Oct
08

Entry # 3: Moonlight Invitation by Faith Bicknell-Brown

After visiting various sites in Bulgaria throughout the day, my best friend and I spent the evening drinking coffee laced with liquor and playing Yahtzee.

Jazzed from the caffeine rush, I walked the country lane to my cottage. A full moon hung silver and pregnant in the ebony sky, and a great-horned owl hooted as I passed the oak in the garden. I startled, danced sideways and tripped over a barrel of blooming flowers.

            Chagrinned, knowing that sleep was hours away, I hurried inside and flipped through the cable channels. Oh, a vampire movie, wonderful! I watched The Lost Boys and devoured snacks that I’d bought in the village.

Later, tired of television, I braided my hair and retired. Moonlight streamed through the open bedroom window. A night insect screeched on the sill. I covered my head with my blanket, muffling the annoying sound.

            The insect grew silent. I raised my head, listening. A breeze soughed through the window. The locals’ yappy dogs had quieted too. Flipping the blanket back, I lay there mulling over weekend projects as I enjoyed the silence and cool breeze.

            The footsteps outside my window urged me bolt upright in bed. Long sure-footed steps walked past my room and dissipated. Who was outside? Would one of the locals or a neighboring guest rob me?

            Moments later, the footsteps rounded the opposite corner of my bedroom and stopped under the window. I pulled the cover over my head, my heart slamming painfully. Fear buzzed in my ears, and I held my breath. The footsteps moved behind the cottage again.

            Shaking, I slipped out of bed and padded down the hall to the back door in my nightgown. A broom, propped against the doorframe, beckoned me. I snatched it up, but what a pathetic weapon.

            With my hand on the doorknob, it occurred to me that in horror movies it’s always the idiot who sticks his head outside only to have it ripped off. So why was I stupid enough to poke my head out the door, exposing myself, armed with only a broom?

            I shoved open the door and peered outside. Moonlight bathed the garden. The flowers in the barrel nodded in the zephyr. Footsteps rounded the cottage again, and my pulse thundered. The noise ceased. I stood still, straining my ears for any sound.

            The wind kicked up stronger, and soft thumping sounded in the distance. Shaking my head at my silliness, I recognized the noise as the rhythmic drum beat in the village two miles away. Each night, from dusk to dawn, the menfolk took turns beating on the drum to chase away evil spirits. The wind had brought the sound over the hollow, distorting it, convincing me that someone stalked my rental.

            Laughing, I bowed and said, “Do come into my home.” and tossed the broom back against the doorframe. I shut and locked the door.

            A glass of water in my hand, I crawled into bed. Not only did caffeine jangle my senses, but an adrenaline buzzed throughout my body. I sighed and rolled over.

            Glowing amber eyes blinked at me. I screamed and jackknifed over the side of the bed. His black clothes and ebony hair were virtually undetectable in the dark room, but those bright, cat-like eyes and glistening fangs told me his identity. My joking invitation sealed my doom as Prince Vlad of Wallachia violently embraced me.

            As I stand here beneath your window, I find I’m growing very thirsty. Won’t you please invite me in?

09
Oct
08

Entry # 1: ONE MORE TIME by Lynda Ashantay Peters

“Eeeek!”

 Selene brushed rubbery slime from her slim, bare shoulders, spun around, narrowed her silver eyes and glared.  “Scorpio, you know I hate the feel of gummy worms.  Gross.”

            Scorpio, dressed as Death Warmed Over, offered an unrepentant smile.  “You looked too serene.  I know you’re itching to confront Catherine over her choosing your lifetime for tonight’s party.”

            “You don’t have to remind me,” Selene snarled.  “As if that bit…uh, biddy, had the strength to live Cleopatra’s life.  She wishes.  Hmmm, maybe I should ask her to kiss my Asp.”  Selene smiled and wiggled her realistic fake snake.

            Scorpio shuddered.  “And you complain about gummy worms?”  He leaned against the wall and surveyed the room.  “Oh, look, two Napoleons strutting toward each other.  Wonder if Wellington’s here?”

            “I don’t know why I attend Leo’s Come As You Were Reincarnation Ball.  It’s always full of famous faces.  Where are the servants?  We couldn’t all have been famous every lifetime.”

            “You have the same complaint every Halloween.  I don’t see you coming as a stable boy.”

            Selene ignored the gibe.  “I see Elton finally stopped dressing as Mozart.  It’s about time.  We all know that was one of John Lennon’s lives.”

            “Elton does make an accurate Beethoven.  But don’t try sidetracking me.  I know you’re waiting for Mark Antony.  Maybe he’ll show this year.”

            “I hope so, but with my luck, he’ll choose Catherine.”

            “Sweetie, if Mark doesn’t recognize you, he’s not Mark.”    

             Bolstered by Scorpio’s loyalty, Selene brightened.  “That’s what…who is that?”

            “Who, where?”

            “Just follow the eyes of every female in the room.  You’ll see.”

            Scorpio swiveled.  Posed in the doorway was arrogance on the hoof.  The newcomer’s short curly hair topped a strong featured face with large almond-shaped eyes, a Roman nose and straight yet sensual lips.  His leather breastplate and short tunic covered well-developed muscle.  An air of dominance punctuated the whole package.

            “I’m just venturing a guess here,” Scorpio whispered, “but isn’t that Marcus Antonius?”  And not a moment too soon.  “I wonder what name he’s using this lifetime.”

            Mark’s eyes sought and found Selene’s across the room.  Recognition exploded as they leapt into a combined awareness and cosmic embrace.  Selene felt the rush of soul mate energy hit her just as Catherine swiveled up to Mark.  Catherine placed her hand on Mark’s chest, attempting to interrupt the energetic clinch.

            “Sweetie, it’s good to see you, again.”   Catherine smiled at Mark. 

            Mark looked down his nose at Catherine, remaining silent.

            “Don’t you remember me?  Cleopatra?  We were lovers?”  Catherine’s voice shook.  “I killed myself after you died.  Remember?”

            Mark’s lip curled.  “Yes, I remember you as Octavia.  You always were a sore loser.”  He brushed past Catherine, strode to Selene, bowed and held out his hand.

            “My dear, I believe this is our song.  Would you care to dance?”

            Strains of Cyni Lauper’s Time After Time flowed into the room as Selene accepted his hand and said, “Yes.  Let’s go around once more.”

END




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