A Scary Story, Part 2

As per the scary story Flash Fiction Challenge by Chuck Wendig http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2016/10/14/flash-fiction-challenge-a-scary-story-part-two/ we have to pick up another author’s part 1 and write out own part 2. I picked Martin Perlin’s story. Read part 1 here: http://mywrite.martinperlin.com/2016/10/flash-fiction-challenge-scary-story.html. And now, without further ado, here is part 2! I think we should call it simply “You’re Next!”

Daniel shook his head and got into the roller coaster carriage. His sister Katie and another boy scooted in beside him. The woman pushed the safety bar down to hold them in place when the ride went upside down. Katie reached for his hand and he grabbed it absently. All he could think was, she had touched the goo too.

It couldn’t really be a bad thing could it? It had healed the gash on his leg, seemingly like magic. His shoulder and leg itched a little. Katie let go of his hand as the roller coaster train lurched into motion.

The other children screamed as the rickety train rose and fell with the track, then almost went upside down. Katie was screaming too, but the only thing Daniel found scary about the ride was the way the supports felt like they were going to give way at any moment. It stopped there, and Daniel guessed that they were about 10 feet up in the air. The little roller coaster that could, Daniel thought.

He looked down, and saw the woman and the old man staring up at them. She seemed to smile only at Daniel, and she saw him beckon him with her index finger. Daniel had seen videos on the internet of people standing up in roller coasters and falling (to certain death, the videos had promised). But this train had stopped, and was starting to slide backwards a little. It was slightly angled to the right. And the goo had healed him before. Daniel was sure that if he fell, it would heal him again, and Katie too.

“Hey Katie. Want to get out of here?”

She looked around nervously. “I just want mom and dad.”

“I know. If you hold onto my hand, we can go ok?”

He pushed the safety bar up despite protests from Katie and the other boy that he would get into trouble. He stood and pulled Katie to her feet. She held onto his waist as he started down the track. After they had gone a few feet, he glanced back at the rollercoaster train, wondering if it was going to come back to life and chase them.

“We have to hurry.”

Behind them, Daniel heard screams.

“SHIIIT. RUN KATIE!”

A cry, then “Daniel! I’m stuck.”

She had pitched forward, her leg trapped between the tracks. The train was coming. Daniel pulled her out and jumped off. As they fell, he thought of how he had escaped the old man and the woman earlier that day.

Daniel managed to shield Katie as they hit the ground, but he wasn’t so lucky. He bent his knees just before he hit the ground. There was a snap like a branch breaking, then the bone tearing through his shin. Katie was screaming again, and Daniel was not sure if she had even stopped.

“MOMMY! DADDY! I WANT MY MOMMY!”

Daniel searched through the glaring lights, brighter now, and whirling rides for their parents. He was a big boy now, he thought ruefully. Their parents would be eating dinner, maybe strolling through the art gallery, confident that Daniel was old enough to take care of his sister for an hour or so.

“Honey, are you alright?”

“Mom?” Daniel looked up. Of course it was the woman. The bride of the vampire, he thought.

“Oh my, that’s a bit of a scratch isn’t it? Hector come and take a look at this.”

The old man was shuffling over now, too fast for a man of his apparent age. As he approached, Daniel saw that his hands were slimy with that green goo. As bad as the pain was, Daniel would rather spend the summer with his leg in a cast than let that creep touch him.

“Mister, you look like a vampire.” Katie said.

The couple laughed and exchanged a glance. “Oh sweetie.” The woman said. “Hector’s not a vampire. There’s no such thing. He’s going to make your big brother better.”

Hector now stood with his hands outstretched like a mummy. The goo seemed to be alive, surging down his hands and leaping from the tips of his fingers onto the open fracture on Daniel’s leg. He watched as the droplets of goo surrounded the injury like ants surrounding a dead animal.

Slowly, the bone began to retreat back into his leg, as though a magnet somewhere, somehow was guiding it into place. That same force seemed to join the two sections of bone back together. The injury disappeared as the flesh surrounding it took on a liquid quality. Daniel thought about how he stirred Milo into his milk in the mornings.

“Wow, cool.”

Some of the other children had gathered around. The woman looked around nervously. “Hector, we have to leave now.”

Daniel stood, looking Hector in the eye. “Th-th-thank you sir.”

“You’re next.” He said.

Hector and the woman started off away from the crowd, ignoring the inquisitive children.

Daniel turned to Katie. “Don’t say anything to mom and dad about any of this ok?”

“But why? Won’t it be on the news?”

“No. It would only be on the news if somebody died.”

“Can we get fairy floss.”

“Sure.”

They walked through the sideshows, surrounded by people laughing, screaming and winning crappy little toys. Daniel might as well have been in a bubble made from those words: “You’re next.”

Hector had saved him twice now, intentionally or not, and Daniel felt like he now owed the man something. He didn’t think a “Thank you sir” was going to cut it.

“Mom! Dad!”

Katie broke away from his hand and ran towards their parents. They were both crouched down, arms outstretched.

“Did you have fun sweetie?” Said mom.

“Yeah, we went on a roller coaster.”

“That’s great honey.” Said dad. “But what’s this?”

Daniel froze. They knew something.

The words “You’re next” echoed in his mind.

Advertisements

A scary story, part 1

So here goes… the idea is that I write part one of a scary story, and you, dear reader, continue on where I left off…

The idea was put forward by Chuck Wendig at TerribleMinds http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2016/10/07/flash-fiction-challenge-a-scary-story-part-one/

The first time Greg reported for night fill, the place reminded him of a survival horror game where nurses carried machetes and janitors packed chainsaws. He smiled to himself – the reality of working in such a place was incredibly dull… plenty of time to brainstorm his PhD and get paid for it. Unless he was working with Lou.

“Mustard!”

“Mustard!”

“Mustard and condiments and tasty things.”

Greg could hear Lou going off in the breakfast aisle. Lou used to work day shift in the bakery until he started singing “The Number of the Yeast” next to an old lady shopping for lamingtons. Now Lou was strictly night shift, and only then because the government paid part of his salary.

Right now, he playing air guitar with a box of rice crispies and singing at the top of his lungs. As the solo started, he pulled a tube of condensed milk of the shelf to use as a whammy bar without missing a single imaginary note. He did this at least once every night, and Greg knew what was coming next.
“Go get two packs of spaghetti strings.”

Greg grabbed two packets of toothpaste (they were the closest) and started drumming and headbanging until the solo ended.

“Do you reckon we could get compo for whiplash Lou?”

“Then I could go on tour with my songs. Buy a big bus and book all the stadiums…” Lou trailed off in Greg’s mind as he tried to go back to writing the method chapter of his PhD in his head for the third time that night. Skin cancer prevention was serious business.

Lou had moved onto the bakery section and was belting out The Ace of Cakes and The Number of the Yeast (his greatest hit) when Greg felt a slight tremor. The milk bottles in the refrigerator rattled, sounding like a gigantic startled bird taking flight. Somewhere behind him, cans fell off the shelf and jars smashed. Greg thought of the clean-up, and how he might be able to get Lou to do most of it.

“The only cake I need is the ace…”

“Hey Lou.” Silence. “You reckon that was an earthquake?”

“I’m glad you felt that. For a moment there I thought I’d had a stroke. Wouldn’t be the first time.”

“Glad you’re ok. You reckon you could clean up a couple of aisles? I think the Ace of Cakes could use a change of scenery.”

“Ok – I got some new songs I’m working on.”

“Looking forward to it.” Greg stopped to clear up an avalanche of custard creams and rebuild a mountain of minestrone soup. He sat down, and mentally tallied how much he’d get paid this week… $400 from his scholarship, just under $500 from stacking shelves. Enough to put a bit more aside for Jade’s engagement ring. One day he would propose to her on the beach at sunrise…

“Time to call it a night Greg.”

They fixed up one final display that had toppled over and killed the lights. Darkness fell over the supermarket, one aisle at a time. Lou helped Greg pull down a roller shutter at the front of the store and locked it.

Tomorrow morning, there would be at least a dozen shoppers waiting eagerly with their trolleys for those shutters to open again. He was glad that he wouldn’t have to deal with them.

Outside, the carpark was unusually dark. Half a dozen shopping trolleys had rolled out into the centre of the carpark, poised like a pack of wolves.

“Damn kids playing a practical joke. See you tomorrow.”

Greg thought the same, but might been tempted to yell out to see if anyone was there if Lou hadn’t been with him. One of the street lights was out, throwing shadows all the way to the end of the car park. Behind him, Lou started his car, music blaring. Then Greg was alone. With nobody to see how foolish he looked, he ran to his car, opened the door and turned on the light.
Ten minutes later he was home. He unlocked the door quietly and snuck inside. Missy ran up to him, her collar jingling and tail wagging.

“Hey girl.” Greg said as he patted her. “Is Momma still awake?”

He went down to the room. Jade was asleep, but murmured a little as he walked in.

“Hey… How was work?”

“Weird. I think we had an earthquake. Did you feel it?”

“No. I…” She was silent for a moment. “Right out to it.”

She had spent half the day building models of the solar system with 26 eight year olds. That had to tire anybody out. She was curled up in the foetal position in her silk night dress. It was his favourite and he knew she had worn it for him. Between his stacking shelves and writing a PhD and her teaching year three, they barely saw each other. Once he proposed, it would be different though. It had to be. Greg patted her shoulder and told her he loved her. There was no answer. Missy snuggled down in the bed with them. In four hours, Jade would have to get up for work.

Neither of them remembered hitting the snooze button when it went the next morning.

“Baby, what time is it?” Greg opened his eyes and saw Jade, hair everywhere, nightgown strap off one shoulder.

He grabbed his phone off the bedside table.

“10:03.”

“Oh shit.” Jade wrenched at the vertical blind cord. Outside, it was still dark.

Greg sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes. He went to a news site and saw the headlines.

He read them out aloud:

TEMPORARY ABNORMAL AXIAL TILT RESPONSIBLE FOR EXTENDED DARKNESS, SCIENTIST SAYS

NO NEED TO PANIC – SUNRISE EXPECTED TO OCCUR SHORTLY BEFORE NOON, SCIENTISTS PROJECT

“There’s the solution to skin cancer right there.” Greg laughed. “Here I am, writing a book about how to get everyone to wear sunscreen, and all I had to do was blot out the sun.”

Jade turned on the TV at the foot of the bed.

There you have it. Any takers for part 2?

Flexing my creative muscle

Wow – a year since my last update! That worked well didn’t it? It’s all about to change though…

I was online today looking at writers’ blogs and places where I could submit my story, when I happened upon a challenge on a blog. Write a 1000 word beginning to a story, and someone else would hopefully write a middle and an end.

Challenge accepted – watch this space!!!

Resurrection

It may seem strange that my first post is called “resurrection.” True, I have had blogs and websites before (the geocities page I had when I was 17 is probably still floating around out there), but this is not about that. This is about something I started seven years ago, and didn’t continue with until now. This blog is to keep me accountable to you, and to myself.

Seven years ago I found myself in the unenviable position that many adults with congenital heart disease experience: I was beginning to learn that the hole in my heart that I was born with was not quite fixed, and it was fast becoming something more sinister than a childhood memory. Always interested in writing, I started to work on a short story with the intention of selling it. As I became sicker, my obsession with my story only deepened. Finally, I submitted the story with a polite cover letter on the deadline, which just happened to be Halloween.

The next month and a half passed anxiously, as I alternated between checking my email, attending hospital, playing video games, and pretending to write a PhD. Fortunately, Christmas came a little early that year, and on one day in early December two things happened. I underwent my first open heart surgery as an adult (which was not without complication), and I became a paid writer (I still have a photocopy of the check for $25 I received in the mail).

Since then, I have struggled to write. This blog, I hope, will change that.

Welcome to Sugar and Mice (it’s a hell of an origin story. Maybe sometime, I’ll find a way to tell you)!