SHADOWS IN THE DARK SHORT STORY CONTEST
|Adding the finishing touches to our Halloween costumes, our energy electrified the room and then traipsed downstairs toward the door. The carnival was beckoning and we couldn’t wait to answer that call. Piling out the front door we paused noticing the streets were unusually dark and foreboding. Cool breezes flowed as the leaves talked and the fog glided past us adding to the mistake of the picture. Chills ran up my spine and I notice some other friends shivered, but we strode foreword toward our objective.
As we approached the carnival I thought about some of the ghosts, vampires, witches, goblins, and other spooky and scary beings that are prevalent during this holiday. Shaking off the fear that tried to climb aboard I jogged to catch up with my friends.
In unison, we saw the old house and turned in the direction of the front door. It was irresistible. Quietly and stealthfully we crept up the porch steps and at the top heard a distinctive creek. Music emitting from the carnival flowed steadily but didn’t drown out the wind and the rustling leaves.
A gust of wind blew open the door which slammed against the wall. We jumped and yelped.
“I’m not goin’ in there, are you?’
A chorus of “sure why not” resounded so I gulped and followed everyone into the darkness and moldy smelling interior.
Flashlights or any other form of illumination wasn’t available. We didn’t foresee the need for such items, oops, our bad. Finding a candle on a side table with a box of matches was a relief. We could see a little better through the dimly lighted room now that we had two candles burning.
A picture of an old gentleman hung over the mantel, several worn chairs grouped together in front of the fireplace seemed like a good place to sit and decide about what to do next. Something scurried across the room causing the girls to lift their feet. The fellows chuckled and made fun as they taunted about other spirits roaming around.
Above scratching and clawing started along with an increase in wind velocity. Pitter patter of rain danced on the roof. Staying in the house seemed to be a good idea and because the carnival was quiet.
Curious some of us went upstairs to investigate. Finding no obvious reasons for the strange noises we started downstairs and then stopped. At the bottom of the stairs, our friends from the living room were climbing up.
Terror shown in their faces, they were shaking, and there was the stench of death following after them.
“There’s a coffin down there.”
“In the other room.”
“What other room?”
“The one that’s a library.”
“let’s go see.”
Something was downstairs that forced us to stay where we were. We could hear it roaming about. Stuff was being moved and knocked over. Stifling our cries, cringing, and staggering back against the wall when we realized it had started to climb the stairs our hearts raced and we escaped to the closest bedroom, bolted the door, and froze.
The wind roared, rain poured, and trees screamed as their branches were flung about. Turning abruptly we saw the window burst open and several elements hovering above the floor. Were these spirits or things we could not clearly tell. Caught between these two dangers, we decided to take a break for the front door.
Reaching the front door we pushed and pulled but it did not open, it would not break, it held us inside. Roaring and screeching things and spirits or whatever it was descended upon us. Unable to catch a breath or move we were stuck like rats on a glue pad. The storm raged the house shook, objects flew, and all of the Halloween fears and frights overcame us all. Imagination is strong and can go anywhere. It can do anything, especially on Halloween.
It was quiet except for the sounds of the carnival. These sounds slowly and emphatically surrounded the house. Feeling dizzy and disoriented I wondered how these things could be?
Something slid past me. We started drifting apart. The last thing I heard was haunting laughter. I thought I saw the old man in the picture but...