Can you believe this will be my 23rd #EverydayIsHalloween post and my 22nd short story? I can’t. I’ll admit that I have become attached to my little creative moments of weirdness.
However, once the ProjectReutsWay challenge begins on Sunday, I won’t have time to miss my romps through everything scary. I’ll be focused on myths and folktales on writing the best story I can in hopes of submitting something acceptable. Can I dream of doing as well as I did last year? I just don’t know.
Failure is scary.
So, I’ll focus on what I can do now. Okay, brain, the word is treat, fitting with yesterday’s trick. Lol! Very good Midnight Society! I do have an image, the end of the story clear in my mind, which is BAD! I need the beginning… I hate beginnings. Give me a sec, I’ll come up with something.
The line of nervous people stretches out behind me. I fight the urge to run, to chicken out. Shifting back and forth on my toes, I stare into the dark tunnel, an icy breeze sending chills down my spine.
When the haunted house appeared, as if by magic, the rest of the football team decided to go. I agreed, or face going down in legend as Tony, the wuss of the undefeated Littleton Lions.
My chest tightens as screams pierce the night. Fog crawls over the ground. My stomach clenches with every odd sound. The guys give high fives, roaring in defiance of fear. Hands slap my shoulders. I laugh, trying to hide the panic swirling in my mind. Flickering faces of jack o’ lanterns stare at me, accusing me of having the heart of a little girl, which is fine, as long as I don’t scream like one.
The strobe light flashes as we enter and I take a deep breath. Disembodied voices and evil laughter assaults us from everywhere. The guys chuckle.
Feet shuffle through layers of leaves. Cobwebs hang from the ceiling, creeping across my skin.
“This all you got?” Chuck says, spreading his arms wide in challenge.
“Really?” Andy says. “Black curtains, a strobe light and fake spider webs? Man, we paid good money for this.”
Tucked in the middle of the group, I keep my head down. The chant that nothing can hurt me repeating in my mind. I shove my clammy hands in my pockets.
“Lame!” a deep voice howls.
“Let’s get out of here!” a few people call.
A screech sounds by my head. I jump as a misty puff erupts a step from me.
An old woman creeps out of the swirling smoke. She cackles, her white hair quivering around her head. “Oh my! Aren’t you nice specimens.” Her bony finger pokes my chest.
Growling and hissing trickle from behind the black curtains. I glance at the waving material. Unease settles in my belly.
“Oh, boys! Come see.” She parts the cloth.
My heart stops.
Tiny figures swarm from a pulsating red light. Sharp teeth and jagged horns shine in the eerie glow. Too small to be kids in costumes. Their movements too smooth to be robotics… I step back.
“Oh, cool!” someone behind me calls. “How did you make those?”
My heart sinks. Fear swallows my senses. Clawed hands reach for me. Dark eyes gleam with evil intent. I scream in pain and terror as one of the devils sink its teeth into my arm.
The gnarled old lady shrieks in delight. “A treat for my boys!”
Ow. If the Halloween attraction appears overnight, don’t go. Just don’t. Or maybe, just say no to your friends and forget your pride.
One day left. One story to go. It’s going to be a bit tricky since I won’t be home much tomorrow, but I’ll finish. Hopefully, it’ll be a good end to a great month.