Horror: It’s a good thing

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‘Tis the season for monsters, gore, horror stories and movies, ghosts, psychos, crazy bitches and fucked up dudes, masked zanies who seek revenge on teens doing it,  backwood inbreds with a penchant for wearing victim’s faces, redrumed twins, creepy cabins in desolate woods, and so much more kooky scariness!

What I dig so much about horror is the descent into insanity from normalcy. La, dee, da, everything is great until a chainsaw welding cockoo comes a knockin’! And that’s where things get awesome!

In the spirit of the season, I thought I would share a little horror story I wrote. Bonus: it’s a choose your own ending story! Enjoy

TiV

Fortification

mona-lisa-8

It was early afternoon when Dean and Laura Daniels pulled their truck to the side of the road, steam billowing from under the hood. It was an old Chevy that Dean assured Laura would make the trip to their new home. He was right on some accounts. It almost made it to Willowroot, the town was less then five kilometers from their resting place, but it was a blistering summer day, and while their life belongings were stacked a moving truck somewhere along the way, they still needed to cart the bags of what they did have with them.

“Well, honey,  ol’ Charlie almost got us there,” Dean said, with a jokey laugh.

“I don’t want to say I told you so, but . . . “ laughed Laura. She took her iPhone from her purse and started searching for towing companies.

A new position is what brought the young married couple from the big city to the tiny community of Willowroot. Dean had accepted the position of regional bank manager for the Imperial Bank in town. A position that offered him a tidy promotion, but more importantly, it finally afforded them ability to start the family they both very much wanted. Laura knew waiting was the smart thing to do, but it seemed that the right time would never come.

By dusk, the Daniels found themselves in the empty living room of their new home, curled up on an inflatable bed, flushed from a few beers, and weary from the day. Before they let sleep take them, they made love, freely and with hope. Hope for baby. Hope for their new future.

####

The early morning sun fell in buttery dollops of light across the floor. Laura laid for a few minutes, enjoying a quiet moment admiring the sunlight on the golden wood floors, a light that she and her children would enjoy each and every morning it choose to show itself. A knock at the door started her from the moment.

“Dean, someone’s at the door.”

Dean croaked and flipped back the blank. “Probably the welcome wagon.”

Laura listened as he opened the door. She heard sing song-y voices say, “Welcome Wagon.”

“Well, hello ladies,” said Dean in his best flirting with old ladies voice.

“Welcome to Willowroot,” say a choir of voices. “We are pleased to present you with this gift basket, and invite you to a tea in your honour next Friday. The details are included in the card.” Laura listened and knew she should get up and introduce herself, but she simply couldn’t will herself to do it.

“Thank you, ladies. My wife, Laura and I would be happy to join you for tea.”

“Outstanding. We look forward to getting to know both of you and fortifying our friendships.”

They unpacked the massive basket full of jams and jellies; crocheted dishcloths, homemade coasters and sugar scrubs; coupons from local restaurants and businesses. As Dean read the card, Laura noticed a small insignia tucked in the bottom right corner on all the items. She strained to see what it was, it looked like the Mona Lisa. “Honey, look at this,” she said pointing to the tiny vertical rectangle on a Bumbleberry jam jar.

Dean squinted at the image, his face mere inches from the jar. “Looks like Mona Lisa, but fucked up or something,” he said.

“I know. It’s weird, right? Why would a bunch of local yokels use a fucked up Mona Lisa as a logo?”

“Who knows? These small folks do wacky things in the name of their craft God. Anyway, we have our first social event next Friday. I just hope “tea” includes booze. Now let’s crack open some of the jam, and get some coffee down our gullets.”

###

A week later, Dean and Laura arrived at the home of James and Marta Velliun. As they stood on the wraparound, open porch, Laura felt another wave of nausea rumble through her. She leaned on the railing, willing herself not to vomit in the pink peonies.

“Honey, are you okay?”

“I feel sick. I think maybe I have food poisoning. Where did you get dinner?”

“The Stop. That restaurant we saw coming into town. Can you get food poisoning from an all deep fried meal?”

She retched again, as the front door opened. “Hello, Dean and Laura. Please come in. We’re all excited to get to know both of you,” she said opening the door.

Dean looked past her and saw room full of faces facing the door. He turned to Laura, who had straightened up and composed herself. He looked at her and mouthed an, “Are you okay?” She nodded and moved towards the light pouring from the chasm of the door.

Laura endured a flurry of introductions as face after face appeared in front of her, before asking for directions to the washroom, and excusing herself. She walked down a long hallway, the dizzy feeling that overtook her a few minutes ago started to subside. She walked past a room with the door slightly ajar, she heard a mumble of voices spilling with the sliver of light from the room. She pushed open the door. What she saw released a strangled shriek from her dry throat. Three nude men kneeled before that weird Mona Lisa from the logo, but she was real and large and terrifying. And she was a lizard. Thin black hair cascaded over her misshapen head; a moonscape of flesh, dimpled with nodules and craters peaked between strands of brittle hair. Her large, black eyes reflected the expressionless faces of her worshippers as through they were drowning in a pool of darkness. Her veiny, webbed hands caressed the head of young man. He trembled at her touch, as she cupped his face and raised him to face her. She unhinged her jaw and took him into her mouth face first. Laura watched in horror as his skull gave under the pressure, blood spewed from the Mona lizard’s horrible mouth. His body bucked and shuttered, as she gulped him down like a lizard swallowing a mouse. Laura retched and turned to run, when a something came down hard on her head, and her world went black.

###

Laura woke and looked around. She was in the room where the Mona Lisa lizard devoured the man. The face of an old woman appeared over her. “Laura, glad to see you’ve come around. The ceremony is starting,” she said, pointing to an empty platform at the front of the room. Laura tried to get up, but was unable to move. She looked down her body. She was tied down, tight and tidy like a mummy.

“Untie me, you bitch,” said Laura.

“Now, now. No need for that kind of language, Laura. You serve a very important purpose tonight,” said the woman.

“What the fuck is happening?”

“Again with the language, little lady. Tonight is our annual Fortification Sacrifice to our God, Attricia. She protects us from what we fear, and we offer her what she needs.

A high-pitched wail filled the room, as a group of men carried a box, a coffin, towards the platform. Another wail came again. This time the men responded with a deep moaning wail. They placed the box on the platform and bowed, as the Mona Lisa lizard thing slithered onto the platform. The sides of the box fell away, revealing Dean. Laura let out a high-pitched wail of her own. She couldn’t tell if he was unconscious or dead. “Dean,” she screamed. “What the fuck are you people doing?” She railed against her bonds, a powerful heave of strength washed over her, and her left leg broke free. Before she could summon the strength again, two women leaned on her, and held down her leg. A hand clamped over her mouth. A wail of moans broke through the room, as Laura watched in horror as the lizard lady mounted Dean, and began to have sex with him, moving like a piston pumping. Laura cried out for her to stop. A crescendo harmony of wails and moans and cries filled the room.

The women holding Laura, began to rub her stomach, chanting unintelligible words. One of the women pulled a knife and cut away a piece of fabric at Laura’s stomach. “Please stop,” screamed Laura, she watched as her stomach began to balloon. The skin was translucent, and Laura could see highways of veins reaching to the top of the balloon. Inside, she was shocked to see a fetus growing before her eyes. It was not human. It was reptilian. Laura screamed until she passed out.

Choose your own ending

Which one do you like best? Let me know!

Ending 1

Laura bolted up in bed. It took a minute to realize she was in the comfort of her own bed, with Dean gently snoozing beside her. The rapid flutter of her adrenaline filled heart focused her attention to her breathing. What a dream, she thought, trying to calm herself.

Dean stirred beside her. “I had the weirdest dream last night,” he said. “It was like I went to work on my first day and everybody brought cupcakes, but I didn’t and they shunned me or something like that. I suspect this may be a premonition. Let’s make some cupcakes for my first day.” He leaned over and kissed her, wafting her with sour morning breath.

“Of course, we can make cupcakes for your first day tomorrow,” she said, the image of the Mona Lisa lizard thing riding her husband like hobby horse popped into her head. She shook it off, and focused on the business of getting the day started.

Ending 2

When Laura came around, she didn’t know how many hours had passed. The room was quiet and dimly lit. She was not longer tied down, and was able to move freely. She felt her belly. It was flat. As she started to sit up, a soft hand landed on her shoulder, “Please remain laying, Laura. It’s in your best interest,” said a female voice Laura didn’t recognize.

“What happened?” Laura looked towards to source of the voice. At the edge of her vision, she caught an oldish woman sitting on a chair, a pile of knitting in her lap.

“Our annual Fortification Sacrifice. It was very successful thanks to your and your husband. We are again protected for another year. We will forever honour and remember you two for years to come,” said the woman.

“Where is Dean? I want to see my fucking husband.”

“That will not be possible, dear. He is now a servant to Attricia.”

“Let me see my husband,” screamed Laura.

“Calm down, you’ve got a little one to take care of now. Let’s get you ready for feeding time,” said the woman, as she pulled open the robe Laura was wearing, exposing her breasts. Laura heard a door open, and then a guttural cry sounded in the room. To Laura’s horror, the Mona Lisa lizard was moving towards her, a baby-like bundle in her arms. Laura started to get up, but was slammed back down by the woman. She was surprised by the strength of the woman.

“Feed our baby,” the thing said to Laura. As the blanket feel away, Laura saw a pale wrinkled tube — like a maggot. A small, squint face, almost human, looked in Laura’s direction. Croaking, cooing sounds fell from a dark, gaping hole that was its mouth. It opened its eyes. It had Dean’s hazel eyes. Laura screamed as the creature latched onto her breast.

 

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