Ink After Dark held their first Monster Mash contest where they supplied the titles and the writers supplied the stories to go with them. The title I chose was one of the most popular: “In the Dark, They Sing” Now that the competition is over, I submit the story (edited slightly) for your enjoyment. Happy Halloween!
In the Dark, They Sing
Singed earth and acrid smoke filled my nostrils as I choked back a scream. The last thing I wanted was for them to see me.
I moved as quickly as I dared through the chaos unfolding around me. I wasn’t sure how they picked their prey, but God, those little buggers were fast. I had almost made it to cover when I saw one of them standing in my path, an odd little beatific smile on his face.
I grabbed the first thing in reach and threw it at the little monster’s feet. I had to shut him up before he could alert the others to my presence.
My heart pounding, I reached the stairs and broke into an all our run, nearly bowling the thing over. I prayed it was alone as I ran. The only thing scarier than the young, were their parents. The adults were bigger and meaner than the little ones, the only thing that made my life easier in dealing with them was the fact that they were slower— and there were much easier targets surrounding me.
I pushed past the little thing as quickly as I dared, praying I was fast enough and didn’t hurt it in front of its progenitor. I had nearly made it to safety when I heard and odd noise and one by one they turned their eyes towards me. I felt my heart in my mouth as I grabbed the door handle and wrenched it open. I had to get inside, put at least a door between me and the hoard of screaming things. I was so close and yet I knew there was no way I was going to make it without bloodshed.
“Easy there,” I said softly, trying to not let my near terror show. If they saw it, I knew it would be over for me. I held my hand out in front of me as the little ones began pointing towards what I’d thrown, and the greedy expression on the youngster’s face as it tore into the box and devoured it.
“Yeah,” I said. “There’s more where that came from.”
It came out with more of a snarl than I’d intended, but now I was backing away, and all that stood between me and safety was three feet of dead space and a lock.
“Let me just get inside and I’ll get you more.”
Their ears picked up at that, and I could see the adults on the outside edges of my vision. It was going to be close.
“Why don’t you just wait here, and I’ll be right back…”
One of them saw the basket in my hand and started to salivate. I tried not to scream, I really did… but there were some things that were too frightening, even for me. I dropped the basket, turned on my heels and prayed I fit the key into the lock before they got to me.
My pulse racing I turned the key… felt the door stick as I heard the crunch of footsteps behind me. I threw the door open, and ran inside slamming it behind me.
Outside the creatures chorused in unison…their screeching voices rising in an oddly musical crescendo, but I was safe… or was I?
I heard a rustle behind me and yelped with surprise as the chorus was repeated behind me.
“Trick or treat!”
I’d forgotten about my own little monsters.