's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"Milk Run"

Submitted by Glumdrop

Trevor looked down the hallway. It was a long, dark way to the kitchen.
He didn't dare go into the bathroom;surely whatever was lurking there
would fall upon him as soon as he entered, and in such a confined space
there might be no room to run. His mouth felt cracked and dry. He was
afraid to even call for mom and dad, in case the things in the shadows
decided to bolt forth and silence their prey.

All he could do was thirst and imagine what might lay in wait for him.

"Might" he told himself. There could well be nothing there at all.
That was the most likely possibility, in fact. And he remembered
Gumball slept in the kitchen, and the big golden retriever would be awake
and barking if anything big enough to eat him was near. He took a deep
breath, and then a few small steps.

Then there was a noise in the dark that a dog couldn't make. Trevor froze
again. But he reminded himself, it could be anything. A creaking of the
boards of the house, even something from outside, miles away. He pressed

He was doing well until he begain to think again. There could be something
tall and thin, waiting just beside the hallway's opening, something bony
and white with long, long fingers. It would be hiding around the corner,
between him and the lightswitch, and before he could make a sound those
fingers would be around his throat- or worse, down it. The thing would wear
a ragged black cloak to help it hide in the darkness, only showing its
pale form before it struck. He imagined it grinning down at him, and he'd
meet his demise between those countless teeth. Perhaps it wouldn't devour
him immediately, stuffing him under its cloak and slinking off into the

Then he felt stupid. Something like that couldn't exist, and if it did,
adults would know about it. Grown-ups, after all, knew everything there
was to be afraid of, and monsters weren't on the list. His fear vanished
again and he continued on his way.

He passed the cupboards halfway down the hall, where the sheets
and bedspreads were kept. The cupboard doors had been left open and it
looked like he was passing a nest of sleeping ghosts. Some of the blankets
had patterns, and the thought of a phantom covered in cute kittens made
him smile a little. Ghosts weren't as bad as monsters. They could be scary
sometimes, but at least he knew they were human once. Somehow that took
some of the fear out of them, at least made them relatable.

He was more immediately concerned with the blackness behind the sheets
that made the cupboards look like they went on forever. It was the perfect
place for something to hide. Why did it have to be a big monster? Every
dark corner could hold some small, hairy thing that would move quietly,
quickly, following him as he passed. Just out of sight they'd wait, until
he let his guard down. Then en masse they'd get him, carrying whatever
they couldn't finish back down their nasty little burrows in the walls.

Trevor reached out and flung the doors closed as quickly as he could;
they clicked and locked. They would go hungry tonight, he thought.

Now reaching the kitchen didn't seem impossible. "They don't exist,
don't exist, don't exist" he kept telling himself. Then he thought of
something-or-others slithering out of the air vent above, with big bulging
eyes and mouths where they shouldn't be. His foot slid over a bump in the
rug. Something under the rug, too, or disguised as part of it- it would
snap closed around his ankle when he stepped on it. Something in the
corner of his eye made him jump. A large moth. He welcomed its company as
a tiny anchor to reality.

Now his heart pounded as he stood at the end of the hall. One more step
and he would be in the abyss, where the hall light didn't reach. He
realized he had been safe up until now; of course they couldn't come into
the light. Those were the monster rules as he knew them. But this was
their domain from here on. He could see them in the dark, every horror his
young mind could concieve. Hanging from the ceiling were skull-faced beasts
with horns and ape-like bodies, silently swinging from the rafters,
grinning to each other with excitement. Two hairy ears and a pair of
gleaming eyes poked up behind the counter. He could hear their owner lick
its lips, several pairs of them. The tall, bony thing was surely still
there. Now it was even bigger, straddling the doorway, taller than the
room could possibly be. Then there was the porch door, which slid open
to let in dancing, screeching feathered beings, ice cold to the touch.
They'd pull their feathers off and stick them to the boy, a new member of
their flock. Pressed up to the window was something thick, flabby and
faceless but for a horrible sucking mouth; the rest it would take from him.
And in between them all, the darkness itself seemed to pulse, ever

No going back. No help. What could mom, dad and dog do to help, anyway?
What if they couldn't even hear or see or smell the things?
What if they had been first?

Trevor bit his lip and shoved his arm out into the void, hugging the wall
tightly. He clamped his eyes closed as hard as he could as he felt along
the wall. He felt them drawing closer, hot breath on his hand, soon to
be parted from the rest of him.

Something growled and pounded the floor. He forced open one eye, just a
crack, to see Gumball looking up from her basket. Her tail was beating the
linoleum loudly. Whatever else had been there was gone now, chased back
into his mind by the flood of light. He laughed out loud, drying his tears
away. No such thing as monsters.

After a glass of milk it was back to bed.

Trevor turned the corner into the hallway to find himself looking into empty eye
sockets and a hollow smile. Something was in his way, gliding toward him under
a tattered white sheet. The dog smelled and heard nothing. Trevor did.