As part of the WEP Blogfest, I'm sharing a Halloween-themed short story today. This story features Zane, Kev and Elise from MY ZOMBIE DOG in an all new tale:
Once Upon a Halloween
I lean in, the torch illuminating my solemn expression. Outside the wind howls and our tent rustles. It’s the perfect backdrop for my Halloween story. 'Once upon a time—'
Elise exhales a dramatic sigh and makes a show of dropping her shoulders.
'Something wrong Elise?'
'S-boring Zane. Don like 'pon time stories.'
'Yeahsh,' Kev agrees through cheekfulls of marshmallow.
My turn to sigh. 'Fine. A long time ago, in a faraway town—'
'Uhhhghhh.' They complain in unison. A marshmallow bounces off my forehead.
I point the torch at my little sister. 'Do you want to tell the story?'
Elise shrugs. 'Spose to be scary.'
Kev scrambles up from his sleeping bag. 'Zanie boy here doesn’t like scary stories—do you Zane?'
'He gets so scared he needs to leave all the lights in the house on when he sleeps.'
This is totally unfair of my so-called buddy. It was one sleepless night, I’m really not that easily scared. The torch light dims and we are thrust into a moment of darkness. I shake the torch until finally the light flickers back on. Phew.
'Wan a story with a sseep.'
'A scary story with a sheep?' I ask.
'Yeah, and a turtle.' Thanks Kev.
'How is a sheep and a turtle scary?'
'Zaaane.' Elise’s bottom lip pokes out.
'Okay… One dark and stormy night a sheep and a turtle set out to cross through forbidden tunnel—'
'Why would a sheep and turtle want to go through a tunnel?' Kev asks.
'Because… they were meeting with a duck at the fountain in town. So anyway, they set toward the forbidden tunnel and the turtle says—'
'Why’s it forbidden?'
'Because there were rumours that a scary monster lived under it.' Pretty proud of that one, made it up on the spot.
'Eh, that’s alright, but it’d be better if one year ago to the day a horrible, horrible murder took place right in the middle of that very tunnel.' Kev snatches the light and flashes it on his face. His ginger eyebrows are casting fuzzy shadows on his forehead and it’s creeping me out.
I cough and nod my head toward Elise.
'Wan’ scary hobbible murder story!' She squeals.
Great. She’ll probably have nightmares.
'Ohh, I don’t know Elise,' Kev says, 'Zane might get too scared!'
'Will not! I’m fine!'
'You sure Dude? Remember what happened last time we went camping?'
'That was ages ago, and besides, I told you, I just had too much orange juice.'
'All right then… so the sheep and turtle approach the tunnel and the turtle’s saying how it was exactly midnight that the last animals were slaughtered in this very tunnel one year ago. The sheep looks at his watch—'
'Hey!' I protest, but Elise shushes me and turns attentively back to Kev’s illuminated face. I try not to look at his dancing eyebrows.
'The sheep looks at his watch and says, Hey it’s almost midnight now. Well sheep are pretty stupid because they continue on into the tunnel, which is very, very dark. Halfway through they stop and the sheep asks: did you hear that? They listen and there’s a scraping noise along the wall. It sounds just like a sharp knife being dragged along the stones. Scrape… scraaaape… scraaaape…'
I grab Elise’s arm. You know, just to make sure she’s okay. We both lean in close.
'They try to run to reach the exit of the tunnel where they can see a slither of moonlight, but ahead of them comes that same scraaaape…. scraaaape… and they see…' Kev’s voice trails off into a whisper.
I bite my lip and lean in closer.
'What? What do they see?'
Kev leans in too, so we’re all really close and he whispers, 'They see a shadow, it becomes clearer in the moonlight … and that’s when they notice its face…'
Friday the 13th stabbing music blasts from Kev’s phone.
'Eeeek!' I squeal, I mean, I think it was Elise who squealed.
'Zane scared!' Elise giggles.
Kev speaks into the phone, 'Yep … no probs … I’ll ask.'
'Dude,' he nods to me, 'it’s your mum, she wants to know if we want hot chocolate?'
I look out the flap of the tent and see mum waving from the kitchen window. Sure. Hot chocolate would be good, may as well have it inside, no point in making her bring it all the way out here. I very calmly agree and slowly make my way up to the house.
'Hey!' Kev calls after me, 'You don’t need to run!'
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