Halloween Story Contest 2012- Honorable Mention
updated: Oct 30, 2012, 5:34 PM
By Robert Call
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…
As the sunlight hit Laura’s face she woke with a gasp. The sun felt like hot metal on her skin. She ran to the window and pulled the curtains tight,
realizing with a shock that she was two hours late for work. Then she noticed she was dressed in a strange black gown with a black veil over her head,
almost like a wedding dress, except it was black instead of white. Her silver cross was missing from her neck.
Confused and alarmed, Laura vaguely remembered going to a Halloween party the night before. She would never have gone except she and her
boyfriend had broken up and she was feeling down. He said he wanted adventure and that all she wanted was an ordinary life. Laura couldn’t convince him
that she wanted adventure too, because actually she didn’t. She finally admitted that to herself.
It was Lila who convinced Laura to go to the party. Lila was new in the office, but they hit it off right away. They gossiped about their boss, Mr.
Lugosse, an enigmatic man who never seemed to sleep. He sometimes stared at Laura so intently it made her blush. Lila’s party didn’t sound like that
much fun to Laura. It was going to be mostly housewives and Laura envisioned a dull evening talking about other people’s children. Maybe Laura didn’t
seek adventure, still she didn’t relish boredom either. But Lila said, “You’ve met the wrong housewives. These are the real housewives of Santa Barbara and
believe me they aren’t boring.”
So Laura ended up with Lila at a strange old house on a dark street. Inside, hundreds of candles were burning behind an alter. There were twenty or
more women dressed in black robes who didn’t look like housewives at all. In fact, they looked … evil. That was the last thing Laura remembered. Now she
was back in her bedroom dressed in a black wedding gown with her head feeling like it was stuffed with kale. Something had happened in that house. Laura
knew she had to find out what.
Though she didn’t remember where the house was Laura somehow made her way down a tangled maze of streets until she was face to face with the
house itself – almost as if drawn there. The house was even more forbidding in the bright sun. Fearfully, Laura went in and walked straight to the alter.
Gasping, she saw what she knew would be there, her silver cross. As she reached for it a bat suddenly flew toward her. Laura screamed and desperately
grasped the cross. At the sight, the bat screeched and flew away. Laura herself was overcome by weakness and dropped to the floor.
Laura awoke on the alter, somehow not surprised to see Lila and Mr. Lugosse looking down at her.
“You came back,” Lila said. “We knew you would.”
Laura said, “Let me go. I only want my necklace.”
“You know that’s not true, don’t you my lovely,” said Mr. Lugosse. “you abandoned that cross of your own free will last night. You agreed to be my
“No,” Laura cried, “I didn’t.” Then Mr. Lugosse bent down and kissed her. Against her will, Laura returned the passionate kiss, noticing the taste of
blood on his lips and relishing its slightly metallic flavor.
With sickening insight Laura knew she had crossed into eternal darkness and done it willingly. She could never reclaim the ordinary life she once had.
But she thought she should renew her relationship with her ex-boyfriend. He had wanted to live a more adventurous life.
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