's 2013 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Lee

An old man is sitting in a living room, talking into a laptop microphone.
“The official story is that mankind fought his predators and won. With our large brains we could protect our selves against the beasts. With rocks and spears and guns we made the world safe. The false assumption was that what we killed were our predators. The truth is that almost every animal doesn't see us as food, with a few scattered exceptions. Given the choice between an antelope and a man, the lion will chose the antelope. None of these hunters has evolved to prey on man.”

There is the ghost of movement at the window, the man turns to look but he doesn't see anything. He never expected to.

“But why does man not have a true predator? Is he special, too clever to trick, too dangerous to kill? Mankind does an excellent job killing itself, so why is there no other animal that can best us? I believe that we have a predator that has been hiding in the shadows, hunting us. I know many of you have stopped listening and many of you have already written me off as crazy but I implore you to keep listening. One of the reasons they have been so successful is that they us the status-quo as a cover, counting on human ignorance to keep their predations hidden. The idea that we are prey is so foreign and so preposterous that we dismiss it without thought. If we knew about them we could fight back”

The man stops for a moment and listens. There is a a faint scratching sound at the door.

“Do you think flies know about trap-door spiders? Their hole is so perfectly hidden and they attack so fast. If two people were walking down the street and one was taken by a giant spider, would the other even know what had happened? I don't think so. Not that I think these things are spiders”

He chuckles briefly and then he continues.

\ “Every year about 100,000 people go missing and are never heard from again. We tell ourselves these are unsolved murders and runaways but how do we know that is the case. Hell, how many homeless people go missing and our never reported? I've come to believe that homeless are the prime food source for these things. They don't even have to break into a house, which must save so much work for them.”

A hint of bitterness has crept into his voice. He presses a button and the view on the laptop changes to a broken video feed showing only snow. He sighs and takes a drink.

“My wife went missing 30 years ago, from the house we shared. I had a late-shift at work and when I came home she was gone, no signs of forced-entry. The cops thought she had just run away, but she had left the necklace her mother gave to her.”

He's holding it now, a tarnished sliver cross. Behind him, a pair of large pale eyes are staring in from the window.

“You can probably imagine what happened next. A tireless, obsessive search for her. Those of you who think I'm mad must be imagining that's what pushed me over the edge. I almost have to agree with you. But I found a pattern of missing people in every city and in every county and every country. These things are everywhere. And I found an abandoned nest. Full of clothes and knickknacks and a diary. The diary is why I'm doing this by the way, this podcast. Most of what was in it I had already guessed but it told me something very important.”

Between the door crack a hand reaches out. It's thin and insectile and impossibly long. With the ease of practice it begins to unlock the door from the inside. The man presses the the detonator and there is a massive explosion.

“They know I know and they're coming for me. They're smart, they know they must keep themselves secret so in all likely hood I'll be dead by the end of the night. I tried to mine the approaches and close all the exits but they are the ultimate thieves, picking our locks and stealing us from our beds. If you are listening, please, believe me and fight them. We must win the war that started ages ago.”

Behind him, an air vent pops open with the softest sound he will ever hear