PROMPT: It’s almost Halloween! What were you expecting? Give us a good, old-fashioned ghost story with an original flair, and (with debt to Poe) let’s be sure to include the words DREARY, MIDNIGHT, and LORE.
GENRE: Horror, of course!
LENGTH: < 1,100 words
DEADLINE: Thursday, October 30, 11:59 PM
Walls of Fear
It’s over. Just like always. Those damn people are back again… Just like always. I must share myself all over again. Summer is over (no more sweaty walls), and the neighbours (a reasonable distance from me) have started dropping pumpkins everywhere once again, like poop from a rabbit.
Why, why, why did I decide to settle down here? Oh, of course, for the food. G’Arajj was right, my stomach leads me around by the nose and wins every time. One day… one day I’ll fix that, truly I will. It was hard to get used to being alone, but after a while one gets used to it. I don’t really want to give that up, now.
But I would have to give it up again on this particularly dreary, cold day, because here was a new group, driving up in their mini version of me (but much sluttier looking, long and thin with room for two tiny beds), and parking right on my lawn. On my lawn! Cretins, the lot of them. The day is becoming more and more of a reason to just shut my windows and call the whole thing off. I’ve been around for too long anyway, even G’arajj is beginning to look like the paint is chipping on the sides of those steepled roofs. Those steeples match mine… Surely mine don’t look as old as that?
They’re entering my double front doors with gusto and volume and chatter, without looking at me, or even knocking. Wish I could ignore them. Such an annoying bother. Mind you, they are better than the rats. Not only do the rats never shut up, the feeling of them chewing at me is almost unbearable. At least the people seem to hate the rats as much as I do. Well, except for Gerome.
Now that they’re all inside, it’s easier to see who this bunch is. I can see just fine outside my windows, but it’s easier when they are inside. Everything is, now. It looks like they are a fairly young bunch. Old people are so suspicious, it’s almost too easy to mess with them. The young ones always want to prove themselves.
To themselves, or to me, I wonder?
This is a small group, smaller than usual, so it shouldn’t take too long to get rid of them and I can get back to counting raindrops and pumpkins. They made me lose count when they arrived, I’ll have to start all over again.
Ha, one of the two girls just found the first rat droppings. Now the guys will be obliged to try and get rid of them if they want to keep their version of fun around (they obviously don’t know yet how much fun I can be). My own fumigation crew. Yes, they can stay until the rats are gone. They haven’t had time to repopulate much since the last bunch were here.
Oh, the smell of food has started. One of the guys must have found the results of last year’s grand party, and he is afraid even if he’d rather die than say so. Yes, I admit it, that party was almost amusing. That group was a large one, and that makes it almost easier to scare them. People give birth to fear almost as easily as to children. Okay, some of them. I did see one woman give birth here, that was so very long ago, and it didn’t look easy at all. I didn’t need to mess with her to make her afraid… for once, the one time in my life here, I actually wanted to help someone. A strange feeling, that was.
I’m pretty sure I won’t be feeling that this weekend. Or week? We’ll see.
The guy isn’t afraid anymore, my appetizer is finished. It was tasty, and I’d like some more, please. Hmm. Who should I start with first? Oh, the guy with the long hair looks promising. Didn’t anyone tell him that hair like that belongs in the past? He’s kind of cute though, maybe I’ll start with the proper-looking one. They cheat the most, anyway. Let’s see… what would frighten him… Stock market crash? Too complicated. Dead cats? He looks too pompous to care about cats. Murder? Oh yes, that implies legal infractions. His words were longer than the hallway carpet when he walked in, he must be a law student. Ah! He will be the best dessert. To get to him, I will need to mess the others up properly. The girl with those awful skinny jeans is doing a good job of distracting— Kevin, someone said? Kevin With The Long Hair. For now, anyway.
Alright, I’ll start with Robin and her midnight black skinny jeans. Leigh is the only one with the courage to do something about those rats, so I’ll let her be for now. (What is with the men of this century? They cannot deal with a few rats? That is not what I call progress.) Let’s begin with the requisite floating bedsheets – that always works – and is very innocent. I wish G’Arajj could watch. Before bedsheets were invented, simple fur pelts or togas with no bodies did the trick for introductions. Of course, I was only a hut or stone abode back then, I had to really be creative to haunt rooms that weren’t supposed to exist.
Well, this is working nicely, Robin is afraid already. Eye candy, male or female, is always so easy to scare. But I’d like my main course now. Let’s scare Kevin.
I may have gone too far, I’d not realized how long it had been since I’d fed. A long time ago I’d still been in contact with S’Hato who had many stories to tell me of what some humans would do to each other behind those brick walls of his. S’Hato was the fattest of us that I’d ever seen, fed with the all the fear that had been generated there. Those stories and lore have fed the fear of many of my visitors, and therefore fed me. I used quite a few of those this weekend. These people won’t stay a week.
I was right about Conner. He had the most fear but was the most difficult to get it to show. Kevin fainted (yes he actually fainted) when I showed him one story S’Hato had told me about a group of people so devout in their view of what they thought the world should be, they were willing to cut people up for it. Kevin didn’t seem to think seeing people walk around with missing body parts much fun at all.
Robin is already gone. And she didn’t even take the mini-me. Leigh managed to kill all the rats! To thank her, I locked her in a room to keep her from the show. I’m quite capable of not eating everything on my plate. Conner was worth keeping for dessert. I showed him the results of another group of people so afraid of anything they couldn’t understand, they would cook it. Or bake it, I don’t remember now how S’Hato had explained it. Like I said, I’m getting old, my memory isn’t what it used to be. Anyway, Conner’s fear was exquisite. So good, in fact, that it was difficult to stop. You know what I mean… just one more lick of that ice cream cone. Just one. More.
Conner has a capacity for fear that is almost frightening. No really! People like him make life difficult for everyone. Including me if I let him go. He will surely try to have me taken down, and humans have the capacity now to do it. It wouldn’t kill me, but I would have to start over, and well, I’ve become rather lazy of late.
Oh well, that is the way it goes, I suppose. I felt bad for Leigh. She was nice enough to make my life comfortable – and I didn’t feed off her, but left her with a fainted Kevin, a blubbering Conner (who might have a stroke if Leigh didn’t get him on his way), and not understanding anything that happened. At least she didn’t have to deal with Robin.
Leigh was stronger than I thought! She managed to drag them all out in that revolted van-thing, and left (if I didn’t know any better, I could have sworn I felt a little bit of sadness from her as she left, she had appreciated much of my hard-earned architecture before I’d locked her in). And the house was quiet again, like I wanted. My tummy was full for a good while, G’Arajj wanted to know all the details, life was back to normal.
Sigh. Normal sucks.