The Camping Trip

The League of Incredible Monsters was holding their annual camping trip the weekend before Halloween and everyone was gathered around the campfire excitedly waiting for the start of the traditional story-go-round.

Marshmallows were roasting, chocolate bars melting, and the Wolf Man was putting out his toes again. One would think that after thirty years, he would know not to stretch his legs out by the campfire.

“Someone go find Jack and tell him we’re starting,” Dr. Jekyll said.

“I’m already here,” retorted the Invisible Man.

“Oh, sorry, didn’t see you. Let’s get the story started, shall we?”

The monsters chuckled and scooted closer to the fire.

“Zom, want to start us off this year?”

“Sure.” Zombie cleared his throat and stood up.  “It started out as any other morning with Jenny complaining about not being able to find her dress, Kyle complaining about not seeing his cleats, and Suzie refusing to eat breakfast. The only thing that was different was Glen. Glen was still sitting in the front room watching a science fiction movie marathon on the oldies channel.

‘Why are you watching that monstrosity of a movie?’ Emily asked as she brought him a cup of coffee.”

“Take it away, Spells.”

The warlock looked up from his s’more and grinned. He stood up, wiped the melted chocolate from his mouth and took a deep breath.

“He took one sip of the coffee and got a murderous look on his face. Decaf! She poured him a cup of decaf! He was about to say something, but then remembered he was the one who asked to switch. Well, he wasn’t the one who asked, it was more like just following doctor’s orders. His blood pressure was through the roof and he could drop dead any minute. With all the racket coming from upstairs, that would be a blessing though, he thought.

‘Thanks, hun,’ he said.

She kissed him on the cheek. She knew he didn’t like it, but she loved him and wanted him to be around for many more years. Thudding on the stairs could only mean that Kyle had found his cleats.

Emily looked up the stairs and…”

“Who wants to go next?” Spells asked, sitting down. He grabbed another marshmallow and skewer.

Critter stood up and started chattering his teeth and drooling then sat back down. The monsters clapped and Sassy sat down so all could see him as he continued the story. Again, every one clapped when it appeared he was done with the story. Finally Hannibal stood up and everyone cheered.

“Kyle did, in fact, find his cleats, but unfortunately he did not find his older sister’s prank as hilarious as she did.

‘K-K-K-K’ was all she was able to get out before her knife wielding son severed her vocal cords as he slashed her throat wide open. The spray of blood on the wall looked like it belonged on the set of a slasher movie than in an 1860s Victorian mansion in San Francisco.

Aaaaarghh,’ Glen screamed as he tried to escape his son.

While Kyle was in television room, dismembering his parents, Suzie was in the kitchen …”

Hannibal nodded to the others and sat down. The monsters sat with their mouths open. Roasted marshmallows did not loot as appetizing as they had moments earlier.

Wolfie stood up and started howling…and howling…and howling…until people started covering their ears. When he sat, giant ants crawled over the party, then left as quickly as they came.

“Guess they didn’t have much to say,” Leatherface quipped.

Ghostface stood up next.

“Right, so, like Suzie was still in the kitchen picking at her oatmeal. I mean, this story is so cliche already, so obviously, Kyle walks into the kitchen and opens the door that leads to the family’s basement where his dad is a part-time mortician. Everything happens in the basement, right? Anyway, he grabs the bottle of embalming fluid his dad stores down there, and pours it into his little sister’s oatmeal. I saw a really awesome movie, it wasn’t a scary movie or anything good like that, but there was this guy who –”

“Thank you for your harrowing contribution,” Count Dracula said, standing up.

He looked at the shocked and disgusted looks and his friend’s faces and shook his head. This will be the last time we let the children sit at the big boy’s campfire, he said to himself. He sat down and pulled out a blood sausage to snack on.

“Well, come on, finish it,” Ghostface said.

Dracula sighed. “Emily then woke up, wiped her tear-soaked face, and smiled. She was relieved it was only a dream. The end.”

Ghostface, Frank, Pumpkinhead, Stripe, and several others moaned and groaned about the cheap ending.

Dracula raise his hand to silence them. “Bite me!”


This was written for the M.M.H.B. Challenge

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After The Long, Hard Winter – FTS, Oct #9

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After the Long, Hard Winter

Winter had been hard. Harder than anyone in Goosedown had expected. It was six weeks into spring and Emily never felt better. She was finally able to get out into her garden. The spring flowers had fully said hello and color was everywhere, but the one thing she was most happy about was the Goosedown Spring Festival that was taking place today.

With one last check in the mirror, she adjusted her bright pink hat and set out for the park. While walking there she met up with Mary from the Dairy trudging along carrying two pails of fresh milk. The milk was for Miss Turnout’s café and scone emporium.

It was clear Mary was not happy, as everyone in Goosedown knew of the animosity between the two women. Mary had been in love with the handsome Sir Michael, and it was Miss Turnout who spread vile and vicious rumors about Mary such that Sir Michael turned his back on Mary and went off and married the less than gorgeous Phillipa the Needle maiden.

Mary had long held a grudge against Miss Turnout and every now and then she would clear her throat and deposit the said clearance into one of the buckets. Emily, being the sweet and innocent young lady she was and at that moment filled with the expectation of the coming spring, smiled serenely at Mary as she went by.

“There’d be nothing to smile about young Emily,” said the sour Mary as she passed and deposited another into the left bucket, “the rotten old cow destroyed my life, I’m gonna make her rue the day she spread rumors about me, no matter how true they might be. Sorry I should not have said that.”

Emily had no answer to Mary’s statement and was not a girl given easily to gossip so she nodded and continued to smile sweetly as she watched Mary trudge away.

With every step, Mary moaned and bitched about Miss Turnout under her breath. Her deposits in the milk seemed to do little to improve her mood, and now she had a nagging toothache.

Maybe a filling had fallen out and was rattling around in the bottom of the bucket. Better still, maybe the old trout would swallow it and choke. That made her laugh, which in turn made her cough and there followed another satisfying splash in the bucket.

More bitching and moaning in rhythm to her footfalls, gradually fading into the distance and out of Emily’s earshot.

Emily was enjoying her walk to the park, taking in the riot of color on the way, the lovely sunshine, and the anticipation of the Spring Festival, especially as it meant passing through the field red with poppies. Every time Emily walked through the beautiful poppy field, she would feel a strange sense of euphoria. Everything she was feeling became more intense, the colors of spring brighter, and her mood even happier. She put Mary and her feud with Miss Turnout out of her mind and concentrated on what she would do when she got to the festival grounds.

But Emily was feeling herself growing very, very tired. She was struggling to keep walking through the lovely field of red flowers, which seemed to be glowing and vibrating. Suddenly Emily had to stop. She yawned, stretched out her arms, and slowly fell to her knees. “Why am I so tired?” she wondered. “I have to lie down,” she said aloud.

It was already dark when Emily finally woke up. Had she missed the Spring Festival that she was so looking forward to? She wondered what had happened to her. But then she saw Mary standing over her. Her face a ghastly white colour. As Emily’s eyes focused she saw that the white was liquid, it was milk, dripping off Mary’s face, reflected in the pale moonlight. There was something else too. Not just white. There were streaks of red too. Red like the blood red of the poppies that surrounded them. Like a mask of Raspberry Ripple ice-cream. She was naked, the liquid mixture dripping down over her pale skin. She held the two metal buckets Emily had seen earlier in the day, but they were battered and bent and covered in smears of red.

‘Mary, are you okay? Is that blood?’

Mary sneered, ‘It is, Emily. Not mine though.’ Her voice was deranged, like a cackle. ‘Bit of a dramatic end to the Spring Festival. Miss Turnout accused me of selling her tainted produce. Said my milk was lumpy and had gone off. Said it had ruined her baking and left a horrible aftertaste. Well, I couldn’t stand for that.’

Emily drew back as the ghastly apparition gave a loud shriek. ‘What have you done, Mary?’

‘She had it coming, that harridan whore.’

‘Mary, you’re not yourself!’ exclaimed Emily.

‘On the contrary, precious innocent Emily, I’ve never been more myself!’

With that, she ran off through the fields. Emily got to her feet as the other villagers from Goosedown appeared. Sir Michael led the way with a shotgun in hand. ‘Where did she go, Emily?’

Emily pointed to the path of crushed poppies left by the madwoman. The crowd charged after her. Emily decided to walk back to Goosedown, still puzzled that she had fallen asleep all day (had she been drugged?) and shaken by what she had seen.

When she got there, she found Miss Turnout’s Emporium in ruins. The windows were shattered. Smoke was billowing out of the charred doorway and undulating out into the night skies. A crowd of people stood and stared. Crying sobs came from the grouping. Someone wailed.

Because of the bright light echoing off of the full moon, Emily saw something draped on the ground. There was a pool of liquid that glistened over the material, black in the moonlit night. Emily crept closer. Her mind was swirling with everything that she had encountered along the way. She was still a bit fuzzy, and confused, from her passing out in the field.

She took a tentative step towards the Emporium. Then another. Emily forced herself to continue forward, frightened by what she would find. Until a wet hand landed on her shoulder.

Emily screamed, turned, and saw the hand was Miss Turnout’s.

She dropped her hand instantly. “I’m sorry, love. Didn’t mean to scare the wits out of you.”

Emily took all of Miss Turnout in: her hair was wild and free of her usual cap; her festival clothing was in tatters; there were scrapes, bruises, and black drippings flowing from cuts on her face, arms, and hands. Emily froze.

“You..you’re bleeding.” Emily removed her kerchief and started to dab at Miss Turnout’s face. There was a severe gash across her forehead and Emily tried to staunch the ichor from the wound with her headwrap.

“Thank you, love. Thank you.” Miss Turnout paused, staring beyond Emily, focussing on her shop, and the draped figure on the ground. She had to shake her head to take her out of her self-made trance. The shake turned into a full-bodied shiver and quake, her legs giving out as she dropped to the ground. Emily helped her to sit up once MIss Turnout demanded she did.

“It was Mary who did this. That crazy sow. She came in my Emporium, put down her damned buckets, and started yelling and coming at me. I had to defend myself. Chairs went flying, one going through the window, and she got as good as she gave. We both went flying into the display cases. I got my cuts and scrapes from that, as well as her bloody fingernails. Then, Phillipa came in. Mary was a banshee, flailing around, attacking the two of us.

I’m not sure how the fire started- we were too close to the cooking kettle, I know that. And then Mary began to claw at Phillipa’s face. I–Mary must’ve mistaken her for me. Phillipa–she was near the stove–must’ve tipped over the fryer–” Miss Turnout’s expression went from bewilderment to horror, as memory began rearranging itself in an orderly fashion. “Phillipa’s sleeve caught on the flame. There–” She pointed towards the ruinous hulk of the great gas stove, a thing of enormous, antiquated proportions. “I tried to put it out just as she reached for Mary’s wrists…two torches, they were, like that giant statue out there in the dark harbor, reading by torchlight–you know the one. My kids used to read like that, under the blanket–“

“Miss Turnout,” said Emily, gently, bringing the other woman back to a painful present she’d rather forget.

“Yes, yes. That horrid girl–Mary–she backed away, tearing at her burning clothes, tossing them willy-nilly around my shop, till she was naked as the day she was born. Oh, the demonic light in those eyes! I’ll never for–you know, now that I think about it, that was probably just a reflection from the shop catching fire behind me, don’t you think? God, I thought for a minute she was literally possessed by the Devil himself. I didn’t want her to burn to death in my shop, anyway, so I took the last of her nasty, curdled, cow-poxed milk and threw it at her. She ran out of her like she was on her way to a witches’ orgy.”

“And Phillipa?” Emily hoped that Miss Turnout already knew, and that she was not in for another ghastly, tragic shock.

“Oh, I turned around when Mary ran out, saw Phillipa batting at the flames here and there–little embers kept falling on her, on the tablecloths–the store, of course, was a total loss by then, I could see that clearly enough, so I grabbed one of the cloths from that six-top over there and threw the poor woman to the ground like I did back in my wrestling days–oh, dear, you didn’t know about that, did you? Thought I was always priss and prim–well, never mind that. I chucked her to the floor, rolled her up like a mummy to smother the flames, and hauled her outside in a fireman carry. She was still smoldering a tad, so Jeffrey–that handsome young firefighter I tried to fix you up with, last month? He started to spray her down…”

That would explain the dark puddle. But not the fact that the figure under the cloth wasn’t moving. I hoped Miss Turnout hadn’t suffocated the heroic Phillipa. The thought of it would crush her under its terrible weight.

Just then, Jeffrey charged through the blackened doorway. He glared at Miss Turnout before rushing to Emily’s side.

“Get away from her, Em! She’s bewitched the whole town! Don’t listen to her lies. Come on!” Jeffrey rather forcefully yanked Emily toward the shop entrance. Emily, already on edge at the sight of the disheveled Miss Turnout, willingly allowed herself to be pulled along.

Back outside, Jeffrey relaxed his grip on Emily’s wrist. He implored her to go home. “The devil is pulling the strings, tonight. I don’t have time to explain it all. That thing under the cloth is not Phillipa and the unclothed apparition being hunted by the townsfolk is not Mary!”

Emily moaned in dismay, as she recalled directing the mob to Mary. “Do you mean she is not herself?”

Jeffrey shook his head impatiently. “Listen. Mary, Phillipa, Sir Michael and a dozen other folk have disappeared. Their doppelgängers are walking around but, I know they’re not who we think they are. And, Miss Turnout is behind it all! Now, please! Go home!”

Emily, in shock, nodded resolutely. She didn’t know what a dopple-whatsis was, but Jeffrey’s frightened eyes had spoken volumes. She turned away from the Emporium to retrace her steps out of Goosedown. Just as she rounded the bend, she heard Jeffrey scream in agony. She froze, horrified. The moon hid behind a cloud. Emily, alone, in pitch blackness, could not decide whether to flee or to go back …

The story appears to have died here


This story was brought to you by

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The Path – FTS, Oct #8

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The Path

“I don’t like you going jogging all by yourself in the morning,” Evelyn said over coffee one morning.

“Mom, it’s fine,” Julie said. “Besides I like running when there are fewer people out. It’s just me and nature.”

Evelyn sighed and shook her head. Like father, like daughter. Frank liked going running in the mornings too. She just couldn’t stand the thought of losing Julie too.

The following morning, Julie tied her tennis shoes, patted Baxter’s head, and headed out the door for her morning jog. Mist floated just above the ground. Julie smiled and pulled out her phone to take a picture. She loved morning fog. It was so mysterious…so creepy…so alive.

As she started down the jogging path that wound between the tall pines of Horseman Hollow park, she always enjoyed jogging. Often she would plug-in her earphones and listen to several songs she recorded on her MP3. This kept her mind clear of all the many difficult things in her daily life. It was always for a short time, of course, until she had to get back into the daily grind. For today she was going to make the most of her exercise. She was increasing her heart rate as she started jogging faster than her previous stride. She had heard if you slow down some and then speed up some you would be doing a lot more good than keeping at the same pace.

Sometimes, if she was honest with herself, she let things that she saw out of the corner of her eyes, scare her. This morning the fog was rather thick, thicker than she had seen this year. She couldn’t help but notice that things were especially odd this morning. Contrary to her usual morning jog, this morning seemed different. This path had the tallest pines in the area. The woods around the trail were so thick and crowded. If a person was to get off the trail, they would surely be lost. She imagined that if a person wanted to plan a murder, this would be the ideal place to come to. The danger of that thought gave rise to her curious nature and her fondness of the whole place.

Julie always thought differently, she liked to call it out of the box thinking, although others called it morbid, especially her Mom. But how could you not think abstract when jogging, especially here. With the mist tickling at her feet and dancing amongst the roots of the trees and the day above trying to mete its power through the thickness of the pines. Although the very thickness of the fog was unusual to say the least? She was used to her foggy jaunts in the morning, but had never seen misty tendrils quite like these before. If she let her imagination go wild, pretty soon she would see all sorts of things jumping out from the trunks and scare herself to death.

Julie became aware of another presence fifteen minutes in, and she slowed her pace to a quiet jog, pulled out the ear piece and listened as she ran, yes there it was, a slight crackle, she turned and twenty yards to her left was another jogger weaving their way between the pines.

That was unusual in itself, she hardly ever saw others out at this time in the morning, but there was something familiar about it, something uncanny, what was it? Julie looked as she jogged keeping a reasonable pace with the other; they too had slowed their own pace. It was then that it struck her, the other person was wearing exactly the same outfit as her, the more she looked the more realised that ……… oh no, it cannot be, it was her!

At the same time as that realisation, a strange noise in front her sounded, Julie shifted her gaze there, and standing in between two thick trunked pines was a huge black horse, and atop of the horse was an even bigger brute of a man, maybe, for the body had no head how would she know?

It was at that time, that Julie’s heart stopped ………

Julie, glanced down at the fallen figure and continued along her way through the pines, the needles on the floor softly crunching underfoot, she smiled to herself gently, “Oh how l love the smell of fresh pine in the morning!” she giggled and continued along the path with her run!

The story died here


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I Don’t Believe In That – FTS, Oct #7

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I Don’t Believe In That

It was opening night of the Grim Reaper Haunted House in town and it seemed like everyone in town was waiting in line. Brandon, Alex, and Josh showed up right after school so they could be first in line, but they ended up in the parking lot.

“This’ll be great!” Alex bounced with excitement. “I hear they brought in actors from Hollywood.”

“Liar!” Josh gave Alex a friendly shove into the cheerleading squad in front of them and laughed. “It’s all about where they chose to put it that’s important.”

Brandon sighed and shook his head. “You don’t really believe that nonsense, do you?”

Alex and Josh shot him the ‘shut up’ look they had perfected over the years. Brandon was the realist…the matter-of-fact…the one boring, stick-in-the-mud friend that everyone seemed to have. But, his logical thinking and rationing had kept them from getting themselves killed on many occasions, so they kept him around. Not to mention he was the one who always had the money to do cool stuff.

“Yes, someone was killed –“

“Gah! Someone? Someone? Get it right Brandon! Five people were killed…no, not just killed…slaughtered in this house.”

“Josh is right, man. Five people were mutilated by their own hired hand. Sometimes I wonder about you.”

Brandon sighed and shook his head harder. The line moved fairly quickly, which surprised everyone until they got closer to the ticket booth. People were only spending a few seconds in the house before running back out the front door screaming.

Alex looked at Josh and grinned. “SWEET!”

Brandon paid for the trio and marched stoically in front of them toward the entrance. “I don’t believe in any of that crap. They are just stories created to prey on the weak minded.”

The Grim Reaper Haunted House company set up a series of jump scares and costumed volunteers to line the enclosed black-light path from the ticket booth to the front door of the Flatly House where the murders took place so many years ago.

The screaming, laughter, and pushing and pulling from Alex and Josh quickly got on Brandon’s nerves.

“Knock it off,” he said, reaching for the door. “I told you already how fake all this stuff is, so stop being babies!”

The old iron knob was icy cold under his palm and he could see his breath as he turned the knob. As he opened the door a large, black spider dropped from the ceiling of the foyer, causing all three boys to jump back.  Brandon swatted at the papier-mâché spider. “What a piece of phony crap,” Brandon said.

“You almost shit your pants,” Alex laughed, lightly punching Brandon on his arm.

“Yeah, you jumped higher than either of us,” Josh teased.

“Whatever,” Brandon sighed. “Let’s get this nonsense over with,” he said as he stepped forward into the corridor. As the other two followed Brandon, they could hear him muttering words like “bogus” and “lame” and “sham.”

“Get in the Halloween spirit,” Alex said.

“Yeah, go with the flow, Brandon,” Josh added. “Stop being such a Debbie Downer.”

“This is such a total waste of ….”

Brandon was cut off in mid sentence when someone — or something — stepped out in front of him. Parts of the ceiling started to fall down off of the dilapidated structure. Brandon said, “We should leave before something really bad happens to us.”  Alex said, “Stop being such a baby, you couldn’t even finish watching that Freddy Kruger movie last night and I had to watch the end of it with your little sister.”  Brandon said, “The report that I read on this haunted house said that there were six ax murders committed here just like in that Jack Nicholson movie ‘The Shining’ and that gave me the shivers.”  Josh said, “Ax murders are no big deal, as people get massacred all the time, children get lost, demons get angry and ghosts just add that special ambiance to keep your heart pumping.”

Alex said, “I think that this is the spot where that botched appendectomy took place and left the poor guy unable to walk or talk, and now he is only able to communicate by blinking his eyes, once for yes and twice for no. This other guy was kidnapped and put in a torture chamber down the basement, where they harvested his organs, we should check that out next.”  Just then several objects started flying around, and they all heard scratching, shouts, moans and weeping noises coming in through the walls.  The guys started shoving each other to get out of this room as the sound of chains being dragged across the floor seemed to be right underneath them.  Brandon said, “I am pretty sure that if we stay in here much longer, we will be physically assaulted and my only hope is that we won’t be sodomized by demonic spirits.”  Josh said, “I am not leaving until we uncovered the dark secret behind the frequent apparitions that have been reported.”

At that moment four girls ran past them screaming and one of them was saying, “I see dead people.” A different girl said, “This is a good place to set up our Ouija board, let’s see if we can summon Jack the Ripper.”  Alex said, “I think I know one of those girls, we should….

As the screaming girls ran by, Alex was suddenly shoved to the floor. Stunned, he looked up at his friend, Josh, who was bending over him laughing so hard he couldn’t catch his breath.

“Man, you won’t believe it. Brandon’s done left the building. He pushed you out of the way and ran faster than those girls.”

Reaching out a hand to help Alex up, he got quiet.

“Listen, Dude, maybe Mr. Skeptic was right. We should get out of here, too.”

Alex brushed himself off, and gave Josh a look.

“What…you scared now?”

“Hell no, but you know, just in case. Anyway, I thought I heard something.”

“Yeah, screaming girls, and a recording of spooky sounds.” He laughed evilly. “Come on, let’s keep going,” he said, as he walked farther down the hallway.

Shaking his head, Josh followed. Even in the dim lighting of the haunted house, they could see that some rooms were taped shut, with signs saying ‘Do Not Enter – Not Part of the Game’.

Alex raised his eyebrows and grinned. “Let’s just see what’s in here.” He ripped off the tape, turned the door knob and went in. Not much light filtered in, but he could tell it was dusty, and sheets covered up some furniture. Something gauzy touched his face.

“Bleah – yuck, a spider web”, he shuddered, as he picked the webs off.

“Come on, Alex,” Josh urged. “Let’s go.”

“Wait, what’s that?” Alex pointed to the closet door that was slowly creaking open.

Transfixed, the guys stared at a small, glowing orb of light that floated out of the darkness of the closet. It made no sound, as it came toward them.

The sickly greenish yellow of the orb began to make the boys nauseated.   Staring at it was hypnotic somehow.   Josh said “I TOLD you, man.  I got a really bad feeling about this!”  Alex snorted.  “Aw hell, ya pussy!  If you’re scared, go on and leave.  I’m staying!  I’ve heard that Old Man Brown hid a fortune in gold bars in this old house.  That’s probably why he was murdered!”

Josh shook his head.  “No money is worth my life!  Not worth YOURS either, even if you don’t seem to want it very bad..”

The orb had reached mid-way across the ceiling  and the two boys heard an eerie wailing moan coming out of the closet.

“FORGET YOU!” shouted Josh, I’m OUTTA here!”  His face was a ghastly white green and he looked like he was about to vomit.   He sprinted to the door, only to find it closed and apparently locked.   He began to pound on the door and scream.

Alex looked a little frightened, but he didn’t lose his nerve entirely.   “Aw. It’s just sound effects…you know! Spook alleys and haunted houses always put in some extra effort for the people who are hard to scare!  I’m going to look for the gold now.”

He started towards the crumbling staircase that led to a second floor.  “I bet that old guy hid it up here!” he exclaimed and then his voice faltered and dropped off.   Halfway up the staircase, Alex tried to turn and run, but tripped on the raveled carpeting and tumbled down to the bottom.  He lay there, his head at an odd angle and his eyes wide.   Alex would no longer sneer at Death.  It had found him.

Josh began to weep and then to pray.  Looking up the stairs he saw a very tall figure in black, with that sickly yellow green hue emanating from within the shroud.  Everyone KNOWS that yellow green in regard to ghosts is an evil sign.   Josh fell to his knees and then a crumbling voice echoed in his head “Josh, there is a reason some doors were off limits, it was to protect people like you from people like me!! It was part of the agreement l made with the organisers. But l knew that people like you would not be able to resist opening them, in fact l counted on it. I told them, that if anyone broke the seals, the house would automatically close down for the rest of the night, until business was taken care of! You are now my business!”

Josh whimpered on the stairs and soiled himself, so great was the terror! He looked up to find the tall figure gone, and was about to sigh with relief when a dirty hand encircled his throat and lifted him high off the stairs, his feet dangling, a small amount of pressure on his neck and he passed out.

Josh didn’t know how long he had been out of it, but when he awoke, he found himself on his back, the coldness of the steel table freezing him. He could just lift his head slightly and looked down the entirety of his body. He was naked! His wrists and ankles tied to the corners of the table. It was then that Josh screamed out “What’s happening, where am l, who are you, what do you want with me, this is only supposed to only be a game!”

Suddenly a figure appeared over him, a surgical mask covering the lower part of what appeared to be a horribly mutilated face, one empty eye socket dark and horrible looked down upon his prone form, whilst the other eye danced wildly around its socket!

“I have missed this, it has to be said Josh. I was quite adept in my day of performing surgery, okay l made a few mistakes, my reputation soiled, but l still practice, you know .. to keep in shape. My speciality was and still is ‘experimentation’, l like to see how much pain someone can endure without anaesthetic and record the sounds my patients make which just happens to be  part of the agreement with the organisers with regards The Grim Reaper House! I want you to tell me if you feel anything ok? Scream as much as you want dear boy, no one can hear you, down here in the basement!”

Josh screamed and screamed and screamed and all the while all he could hear was the host or whoever it was laughing!

“Are you ready Josh? if so, l will make the first incision !!

Josh felt a sharp pain just above his groin, he could feel the cold steel biting into his flesh. he could feel the blade travelling up his stomach, his chest! He could feel a warm liquid pooling underneath the small of his back. “Why?? why?” he screamed as the air of the basement mixed with a carefree abandonment with his insides.

“Very astute, that’s exactly what l am doing Josh, making the Y incision, l want to see what makes you, well you!”

By this time Josh was numbed, he thought he would have been dead, but he wasn’t, perhaps he had been given a small general anaesthetic, would he, should he have not gone into shock? He lifted his head slightly and looked down. The sight caused him to gag, there was an acridity to the air and the overwhelming stench of what he could only figure was his blood, racked at him.

“No, you don’t need to look Josh, you will cause yourself an injury, here is a better option!” The masked face sauntered off talking and chuntering to himself and within a minute, Josh could hear the noise of wheels that needed oiling as they creaked and groaned their way back to him. “This will help!” The voice said.

Josh looked up, and could see himself in the overhead mirror “Oh my god!!” he screamed. He could clearly see now the Y incision from his groin up to below the shoulders, he could see inside his body.

“Now what l need to do Josh is just prise you open a little.” with that Josh could see two dirty rotten bloodied hands taking hold of the left and right sides of his chest cavity and slowly pull back the skin. Josh lost consciousness at that moment, and when he came to again, he found himself back on the stairs looking up at the tall dark figure walking back up the stairs with the limp body of his friend Alex.

“Come along Josh, come and see what l have for you both!” The figure ahead of him said in that deep dark crumbling voice of theirs. Josh, almost trance like picked himself up from his kneeling position and followed the thing up the stairs….

The story died here


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