Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bites <3's Halloween Best of . . . Stories!

You know, I've gone and done it again. I didn't mean to. It just happened to work out that way. Yes, one last default winner! The rest of the entries already won something! Gah! Either way, she's very deserving. So be sure to congratulate Amanda on her win for Best of Stories for my Halloween contest! Here are the stories entered, in no particular order -

Mary Ann DeBorde

THE BEST PART OF WAKING UP


You know it's not going to be a 'good day' when you wake up inside a coffin.

My first clue comes when I go to stretch, and my arm is stopped short by a hard, unforgiving surface just inches from my face. That is when I panic.

You cannot imagine what the panic is like, the desperate gasps for air, the squirming, the struggle for freedom ...

Little by little, as slow realization overcomes your sleep-drugged senses, you first scratch, then claw, your whimpers turn to screams.

And there is no one to hear.

No one to release you from your satin prison.

Insanity wars with resignation, resignation resigns itself to cold, clear-headed logic, ... only for the cycle to repeat itself endlessly.

I hate it.

See, this is the dirty little secret of vampires everywhere. The secret no one likes to talk about. The one nasty little ugly we keep quiet from the living. Our little place in Hell we rarely mention, but must visit every sundown.

We forget. For just a few moments (and, trust me ... those few moments are an eternity unlike any other) ... we FORGET all that has preceded us, and must begin again. For just a little while. Until our undead consciousness finds its place once more.

See, and though I never paid that much attention in school, it seems that the body consciousness (the brain - for all your dimwitted mortals) dies along with the body. The brain, of course, is where memory once resided. Yet, and this so sux, with the brain ... how shall I say this? ... no longer the captain of this undead ship, we vampires don't have access to yesterday's events in the same way that YOU have. We have to wait suffer linger until our soul consciousness kicks in.

And that can feel like a mighty long wait.

This lapse is what truly makes us vulnerable to you silly, stupid mortals. Otherwise we'd tear your lily white throats to shreds when you dared to disturb our slumber.

Once in a while, the fear is so great, I will actually wet myself. And you haven't lived, my peeps, until you've peed blood. Literally. Think they'll be making Depends for that one anytime soon?

So forgive me if I'm a little bad tempered today. I woke up on the wrong side of the wood. TODAY took me a little longer than usual to remember who I was and where I was.

Forgive me for lunging at your throat.

But I'm usually better tempered once I've had breakfast. Nothing like a McMortal to start the day, I always say.

Zombie Girrl

A Night Of Mayhem

The bite on my arm burns. My eye is drawn to the wound like a magnet, I can't help but raise my wrist closer my face to see the ripped flesh in the dim light. It doesn't look how I thought it might; no teeth marks are discernible, it doesn't bleed despite the obvious trauma, it barely even hurts, though that may be attributed to shock.

Am I in shock? Is that why I'm wandering the streets in a slow daze as people scream and run for their lives all around me? As blood runs through the gutters and fills the air with a heady iron tinge that coats my tongue. As pale hands grasp for warmth and rip and tear and-

A face appears before me, half panicked, half surprised. I know this face.

"Seth," I slur.

"Ohmygod, Brook!" He throws his thin arms around me for a split second, then pulls away. He grabs my unbitten arm and pulls me down the street toward an apartment complex.

"Come on, come on!" he urges me as he navigates us through the crowd of running bodies, weaving deftly around the shambling figures.

The door is barricaded from the inside. He bangs his fist against it, paint chips fall like dirty snow. Cursing under his breath, he drags me to a side alley. I stumble after him. Seth drops my hand, but it doesn’t immediately register that it’s been abandoned and stays suspended in the air. It stretches toward Seth, my fingers flexing stiffly.

Seth stretches on his toes to pull down the fire escape, his shirt riding up and revealing his soft, pale stomach. Someone yells from above for him to beat it. I live here! Seth yells back. I’ll shoot! the angry voice threatens. I’m not infected! he swears. What about the girl? they ask. She's with me! he roars.

All the while he's worked the ladder down. He leads me to it and helps me up, an endless string of curses under his breath.

He pushes me up the ladder from behind. We pass the angry man, who eyes me warily, and enter through a third story window. Seth rushes around, turns on the TV, throws things in a bag, shoves furniture in front of the door. He’s never in the same place for more than a second. His speed makes me dizzy. Suddenly, he stops and turns toward me as if remembering my existence.

“Brook,” he says softly. He steps toward me with his arms outstretched as if I’ll fall and he’ll have to catch me. I don’t fall. His arms do. “Are you alright?”

I nod slowly, I have a sinking suspicion that I might be lying.

We stand with an odd distance between us, screams from the streets below and voices from TV filling the silence, “-advised to stay indoors- Oh, God, NO!- President has been relocated to a top secret bunker- Move! Move! Sweet Mother of- has spread worldwide-”

“Are you hungry?” he asks awkwardly, turning for the small kitchen. Normally I'd wonder how he could think of food at a time like this, but he's probably just trying to find a distraction; plus, all I can think of is eating.

I nod fervently and trail slowly after him, my arms rising of their own accord as if to embrace him.

Seth opened the fridge and rifled around some, clinking bottles and jars in his search for sustenance and distraction.

I moved in behind him, my fingers mere inches from the one thing I now realized I desired more than anything else in the world: his flesh.

"How's cold pizza sound to y-" he spun around, whacking my stiff body with the box. "Oh, jeez, I'm sorry! Are you alright?" he asked, not for the first time.

Standing this close, there was no way for him to avoid looking into my empty eyes. A fearful epiphany began to dawn in his olive green eyes. Those eyes used to make me feel loved and safe, now they just made me hunger.

I stepped closer him, and the thought of his blood on my fingers, the lush tearing of his skin and meat, his flesh slipping down my throat, brought a low monotone note to my lips. It started in my very core, a low humming, and crawled up my throat and through my teeth. It coalesced as a moan that bled all the color from Seth's face.

He tried to run, but was cornered by the fridge door. I was on him before he'd fully comprehended the danger. I knocked him down and pinned him to the floor. His sneakers squeaked on the linoleum as he tried to gain the upper hand, his breath coming in desperate gasps, but I was relentless. My hands closed vice-like around his thin shoulders and my teeth sank into the tender flesh at the base of his throat.

That's when he started screaming.

His cries flew from through the apartment window like a scarlet dove to mingle with those on the street.

He writhed for a time as the crimson tide surged outward from the epicenter of his demise. Then he was still, or nearly so, the only movement his body made caused by my feeding.

elnice

The Game

I opened the door and there he stood, bloody, beaten and grinning with that wicked, sexy grin he liked to wear. I stood speechless as I replayed the last time I saw him, over 5 years ago. He looked much like he does now, bloody, except that I was holding the stake that ran through his chest. He reached out and gently brushed his thumb over the curve of my lips. It was a soft caress, but it conveyed so much passion, regret and anger. I shivered and was about to speak when the chime of a beautiful voice broke my trance.

“Mommy, who’s there?” my son’s voice snapped me back into reality.

When I looked back, he was gone. The only proof of his visit lay crushed on my steps. The scent of roses washed over me almost making me dizzy.

“Mommy, are you OK?” Alester asked. I could see confusion and worry in his face.

“Ya baby, Mommy’s OK.” It didn’t work. It never had, his glamour. It never affected me like it did others. Otherwise, he would have caught me years ago.

But now, things have changed. The game is different, same rules, different stakes. I gathered my son in my arms and hugged him tight, sending feelings of safety, reassurance and love straight into him. That is my gift, it’s not much, but it helps.

“It’s time for us to take our trip now, time for the adventure. OK?” I smiled warmly into his beautiful face. “Get your bag, the special one. “ He nodded solemnly but headed for his room.

I found a chair and pushed the tile on the ceiling away, revealing my special bag. I kept it ready at all times, knowing this day would come eventually. The gun was loaded, not that it would do much good, only slow him down. We had enough money to hide us for several years; hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. It never has before, but like I said “this is a new game”.

We drove for several hours and as dawn threatened to break the horizon, I gave in to my body and found a hotel to rest. I couldn’t risk leaving him for even a moment so I gathered my sleeping boy and carried him into the lobby. That was my first mistake. I broke rule number one. Only when the sun shines shall I sleep. There he stood no longer bruised and the only blood on him dripped from his face. The hotel attendant hung limp in his arms as he slowly looked up at me. His eyes glittered and he actually smiled at me.

“Ella.”, his voice sent chills of fear and promises of seduction up my spine. “Ella, what have you brought me?”

I clutched my son tighter to my chest, knowing with his renewed strength I would not make it to the door. I knew then that our nightmare was just beginning.

Amanda

“Eek! This place is so creepy!” Chloe said, hanging onto Jacob and he weaved in and out of the granite tombstones.

“Yeah, that’s kind of the point. It is Halloween, after all.” Grinning, he stopped and turned to face her as the fog steadily grew thicker around them.

She reached her hand up to smooth his black hair into place. “You know, you kind of look hot dressed like this. You might need to keep that T-birds jacket.”

Jacob ran his fingers along her jaw and leaned in to kiss her, maneuvering around her full poodle skirt. Chloe sighed as she fell into his mouth and he brought her down to the ground slowly, without breaking the bond between their lips.

“This is so wrong on so many levels,” she said in between kisses.

“Uh-huh…” he acknowledged without stopping.

They became completely engrossed with one another – so much so that they didn’t realize they were being watched.

Hidden behind the tombstone closest to the couple, a girl reached up and threaded her fingers into her hair. It was down to the middle of her back, so curling it had been no joke. She’d taken a lot of care to place the pins just so – crisscrossed little sections all along her scalp. It took her over an hour to get them in and she’d slept like a mummy so that they wouldn’t get displaced. It still had the perfect curl that it did the day she died.

Barbara watched the couple intently, enjoying a silent laugh at their costumes – they’d gotten it all wrong.

She glanced down at her own attire, which had been a yellow dress with perfect little buttons down the front when she was first buried. The crinoline under the skirt was intact in most places, but it had been torn and pulled over the years and the yellow that was once beautiful was now stained with dirt. Her enjoyment at their inept attempt at fifties dress quickly turned to fury.

Why was this Chloe girl allowed to have a life when she had been denied one? Barbara and she looked about the same age, but Chloe was alive and was going to have experiences that she would never have.

Barbara’s own boyfriend, Harold, lured her out into the graveyard fifty-three years prior, to the day. She went along with it, ignoring the feeling in her gut telling her something was off. Harold started off as a gentleman, but his true nature revealed itself before the night was through.

He began with innocent kisses, but his intentions quickly turned sinister. She clawed and scratched to get away, all while he screamed at her and continued ripping her costume. In their struggle, she fell and hit her head on a grave marker and he left her to bleed to death. She’d taken care of Harold the first night she rose from the dead. That had been satisfying, but she’d grown lonely over the years.

No, she decided, this girl was not going to get to keep Jacob.

She grabbed the edges of her skirt and began slinking toward where the couple lay. Jacob was on top of Chloe, so she was the first to see her. Chloe’s eyes opened lazily at first, but when they rested on the ghostly figure, they grew wide with fear. She threw Jacob off of her and turned to run away. She’d sensed the danger, but Jacob stayed frozen on the ground.

She let Chloe escape – it wasn’t her she wanted.

She cocked her head to the side and grinned as Jacob turned to face her. His mouth dropped open in fear and the color drained from his face, but he didn’t run.

Oh yes, she thought, he was going to make a perfect forever boyfriend.


Shooting Stars Mag

"Do you really think this is going to be scary?" Kezley scoffed as they waited in line for the town's haunted house. Flipping her blond hair, she gazed around at her fellow neighbors and classmates, wondering why she'd come in the first place.

Everyone had been telling her all month that she better show up or nobody would vote for her as prom queen. A known hater of the fall carnival, she swallowed her pride and went with her boyfriend who found the whole thing hilarious and seemed intent on making her be scared.

"They normally grab you, with all their fake blood you know?" her boyfriend, Andy, noted.

"What?" she gasped. "They can't touch you, can they?"

Kez peered wearily ahead of her, stomach flipping as she saw their group was next.

One by one though, the few people in front of her began to leave the line, heading away. Kezley glanced around, confused, but was pushed to the entrance by her boyfriend.

"What's going on?" she asked but he merely shrugged and gave her a wicked grin.

"Maybe they got scared and pissed their pants," he replied. "No more questions, it's our turn."

Kezley slowly approached the entrance and disappeared inside the dark building. She looked behind her but Andy was nowhere in sight.

"Andy?" she called out, voice quavering. "This isn't funny, you jerk!"

"Keep going beautiful," a voice hissed near her right.

She jumped and hurried along the hall hoping this wouldn't last long. She went through doors, up and down stairs, until she had no clue where in the house she actually was but wishing silently that the exit would loom before her soon.

Suddenly, she heard steps behind her and she let out a deep breath, feeling safer.

"Who's there?" she asked. "Is that you Andy? Where have you been?"

Nobody answered.

"Andy, come on!" Kezley yelled starting to get angry.

She turned around and headed towards the steps, ignoring the fake blood and random signs all around the house. It had stopped freaking her out after a few minutes, making her wonder why everyone liked this house so much. It was just gross and really hot, but not as creepy as she'd feared.

"Who's there?" she repeated, glancing from left to right so she wouldn't miss someone in the darkness, figuring they were playing a trick on her.

Just as she was about to give up and continue on, an arm reached out behind her, pulling her arm until her whole body slammed against the wall. Head stinging, she looked around the room but didn't see anyone. Feeling a little more scared, she began to run down the hall, opening doors and screaming out for help.

"Is someone here? Please help me!" she gasped, goose bumps forming on her arms.

Relief flooded through her after a few minutes when she entered a room and saw a door ahead, light from outside streaming through the bottom of the door. Hearing faint voices, she quickly crossed the room, hand outstretched towards the doorknob.

She grabbed the handle and pulled, but nothing moved. Looking around for something blocking the door, she kept tugging to no avail.

"No, it can't be locked..." she muttered.

She turned around to find another way out when she saw a shadow enter the darkened room.

"Wh-who are you?" she asked, shaking slightly. "Is that you, Andy?"

The body, wrapped in a long black robe, moved steadily closer to Kezley as she pressed her back against the dark door.

The figure stopped in front of her, his arm reaching around her neck and pulling her face closer.

"Yes, it's me," the voice whispered.

"Andy," Kezley whispered, practically deflating in relief. "I'm so glad you're here. How do we get out?"

Andy raised a hand and pointed to the door. Kezley turned her head to see where he aimed and gasped when the knife sunk into her chest, right in her heart.

Slowly, her legs gave out and she fell into a crumble at the bottom of the door.

***

Thank you all for putting in such wonderful effort and creating such spectacular, eerie stories! And a big congrats again to Amanda! You get to have your choice of a book or DVD from my massive Halloween win list. I'll be emailing you about that shortly. Thanks again, everyone, and the Halloween fun will be back next year!

6 comments:

Amanda said...

Yay!! Do I have to tell people I won by default? lol

Thanks! : -P

Mary Ann DeBorde said...

Congrats Amanda !!!! :) So many wonderfully creepy stories, Donna must attract all the talented/gifted people LOL

Zombie Girrrl said...

Maybe she attracts all the creepy people, lol.
The stories were my favorite part of the contest. They were so good! Too bad I just noticed that I switched from present tense to past tense right in the middle of mine! x_o
Congratulations, Amanda! Default, shmefault, your story was good!

Zombie Girrrl said...

Hey, Donna! I just found a series that made me think of you! Here's the synopsis at Barnes & Noble.
The author is having a last-ditch contest to get his ARCs into reviewers' hands called the Help Save Amanda campaign. Be sure to check it out! This guy and his zombies need the love!

Zombie Girrrl said...

Shoot! I emailed you yesterday, but I just realized I had the wrong addy! Here's my email address: ZombieGirrrl21@aol.com (3 R's) Sorry 'bout the mix up. =\

Donna said...

Yeah, seriously. These stories kicked ass! My readers are the best!

ZG, I'll be sure to check out that book. Zombies need love too! Thanks!

Amanda, you are not obligated to do so, no. Tell people there were thousands of entries and yours came out on top!

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