Halloween Story Contest 2012- Honorable Mention
updated: Oct 30, 2012, 5:18 PM
In The Shadows
By Arthur Tourot
Sunlight shone through a crack in the curtains. Dawn had arrived, and with it another beautiful day in Santa Barbara. In the distance, the bells of the
Mission tolled, and a train whistle signaled its passing. Birds sang out and the sounds of traffic were just beginning. Everything seemed so regular, so
normal. And yet, nothing was normal at all…
No, not normal at all. With that thought she closes the tiny crack in the curtain to completely shut out the morning light. She listens to the OUTSIDE
sounds and wishes she could be a part of it but knows she never can. Never can... She brushes her hand against the fabric of the curtain. Today is that
special day. Halloween. The day that holds its promise of scary costumes and lots of candy. Of wandering the streets with your friends and deciding which
house to trick or treat at next. The day when HE arrives.
The day drags on as she goes through the motions. She sits on her couch and thumbs through an old magazine as the butterflies grow and grow in
her stomach. It's the magazine that she always reads when he comes. It was the one she was reading on that first, fateful day long, long ago. Each page is
yellowed and faded and barely readable yet she keeps up the facade of reading. Strange passages pop out at her, Bat The Real Housewives and Of Santa
Barbara Kale. Words that once meant something to her but are now long forgotten. She puts the magazine down and listens to the silence. This house
once had laughter and joy and people living their lives until...until... She looks up at the stairway and swallows the lump in her throat. The fear is always
the same, it never goes away even though she knows what will happen very soon.
The moment comes and she knows it without even having to look at the clock. She rises from the couch and moves up the stairs with a fluidity that
comes with practice. She has done this many times before. Perhaps one day she will stop and wonder why but for now she continues on with this charade
because she so desperately wants to understand. Where did he come from? What happened to her?
Now she is at the top of the stairs. She doesn't need to open her eyes to know what is here. The long hallway, many windows on both sides, broken
and stained shards of glass everywhere. She never remembers that the ragged curtains brush against her leg until they do and give her the first clue that
she is walking toward the open door. The darkness beyond the door is as black as midnight but in this midnight there are no twinkling stars to guide the
way. There is only one way and it is the way to evil, the way to hell. To think that someone's life would become all about one moment in time replayed over
and over. Her life.
As her journey is almost complete she hears children playing in the distance. It is a foreign sound. It is a happy sound and it fills her with a longing
that makes her want to cry. And now the evil yellow eyes are upon her and the cold, cold hand reaches for her. A voice whispers and chuckles and beckons
her to come and play. And so she does. Again. She knows it is not human. She knows this evil is ageless and always hungry and it enjoys this game and it
takes her...into the closet...into the dark...
Just as she is fading into the black she turns her face out toward the sound of the children and desperately cries out as she fades away again:
"Children! Please remember...oh god, please remember me. I once lived. I once lived!..."
The door closes.
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