's 2013 Horror Write-off:

"The Chosen One"

Submitted by Irene Vallone

    The puck skidded across the lake, sliding across a shallow line carved into the ice.

    "Score!" shouted my friend Donovan, a wide-bodied kid who had the biggest and fullest beard I had ever seen on a high school senior.  His deep voice echoed across the lake, amplified by the cold January air.

    I withdrew my hands from my coat pockets and began applauding, my claps muffled by my grey gloves.  My friends looked over at me, unamused.

    "Are you gonna get on the ice or what?" shouted Donovan.

    "No," I said.

    "Don't be a pussy," said my friend Ted, a six-and-a-half-foot freckled ginger who had mastered the art of constantly being a huge annoying prick.  "Get on the ice."

    "I'm not a pussy," I mumbled.  I extended a foot over the ice cautiously.  "I just don't want to go on the ice."

    "Puuuuussyyyyy," Ted intoned.

    "Come on, man," said Andy, another of my friends, a short and stocky kid who wore incredibly thick glasses.  "We're all on the ice.  It can support you if it's got the rest of us."

    "I just don't want to do it!" I snapped, retracting my foot.  "It's not even about the ice, okay?  Just leave me alone."

    "What's the problem?" Donovan asked, taking a step toward me.
    "Nothing, asshole!" I yelled at him.

    Everything went silent.  Even the wind stopped.  Donovan angrily looked down at his feet. 

    Andy glanced around nervously, before removing his glasses and rubbing some snowflakes off the lenses. 

    Ted stared at me emotionlessly before finally breaking the silence.

    "It's about the moon, isn't it?"

    "The what?" I asked, still angry.

    "You're freaked out about the moon.  That's why you've been acting so weird lately."

    "No, it's not," I lied.  "You're just all being fucks today."

    "You've been all jumpy and weird for like two weeks," said Andy.

    "Well, then you've all been fucks for two weeks!"

    "Dude, seriously, what's your problem?" asked Donovan angrily.  "I thought you wanted to hang out today, and you're just being a huge piece of shit."

    "Okay, fine, sorry," I mumbled, looking back down at the ice again.  "If I get on the ice, can we talk about something else?"

    "Sure.  Whatever," said Andy.

    "Do it, pussy," grinned Ted.

    Donovan said nothing.  He turned away and began trudging over to retrieve the puck.  Ted followed him.

    I gingerly extended my leg and set my foot down on the ice.  When the ice didn't immediately give way beneath me, I stepped out onto the lake and began shuffling towards my friends' makeshift hockey rink.

    "Good job," said Ted.  "Now go get a stick."

    As I nervously made my way across the ice, I looked up into the sky, featureless and slate-grey except for the blood-red moon that hung beneath the clouds.  It was about ten times bigger than the regular moon, which still appeared in the sky at night, undisturbed by this new moon's presence. 

    It had appeared in the sky all of a sudden three days ago, on New Year's Day.  I woke up and there it was.  People who were awake and watching said it just faded into existence out of nothing, at the stroke of midnight.

    Andy noticed me staring.  "It's not even a big deal."

    I turned my head to give him a look of annoyance.  "A giant fucking bright red second moon appears in the sky all of a sudden, and you aren't even bothered by this?"


    "Not, like, curious, or anything?"

    "Not really."

    I looked back at the red moon.  "I mean... this shouldn't even be possible.  Something that huge, that close, just appearing suddenly... shouldn't Earth's orbit be all fucked up, or something?"

    "Well, clearly it's not, so why worry about it?"

    "I thought you didn't want to talk about it," Ted deadpanned.

    I glared at him.  He grinned like a jackass.

    "Yeah," I said.  I looked back up at the moon.  I felt it looking back at me.  A huge red eye staring down on our puny hockey game.

    "So what do you want to talk about?" asked Andy.


    "Get your stick, asshole!" shouted Ted.
    I cautiously trudged across the ice to where Donovan's hockey bag lay and picked up the last remaining stick.

    "Where are you guys going to college?" I asked, only half-interested.

    "Fuckin' Notre Dame, man," said Ted.  "Got accepted already.  Go Fighting Irish."

    "I'm not going anywhere," said Donovan, who I guess had forgotten he was mad at me already.  "I'm just gonna get a job with my dad's construction business."

    "Higher education is important, asshole," said Ted sarcastically.

    "Don't fucking tell me what to do, Theodore," Donovan jokingly shot back.

    "I'll tell you whatever the fuck I want, Donald."

    "That's not even my name, shithead."

    "Well, it should be, fuckface."





    "Shut the hell up!" shouted Andy.  "Jesus."  He turned to me exasperatedly.  "Where are you going to college?"

    "I dunno, man.  I applied to like twenty different places."  I looked back up at the moon.  It looked slightly bigger and brighter than before.  "Anywhere to get out of this shitty town."

    "Come on, it's not that bad," said Donovan, setting the puck down in the center of the shitty homemade ice rink.

    "Yeah, it is, man," I said.  "This town sucks."

    "You just want to get away from the moon, right?" smirked Ted.

    That struck a nerve.  "Maybe I just want to get away from you!"

    "Ted, don't be an asshole," Andy said, irritated.

    "He can be an asshole all he wants!" I shouted.  "I'm not going to be around to fucking hear it!"

    I began storming back across the ice to the lakeshore.

    "Where are you going?" shouted Donovan.

    "Home!" I shouted back.

    "We're gonna have uneven teams now!" he yelled angrily.

    "I don't fucking care!  You guys are such assholes!"

    I stepped up onto the lakeshore and began walking home.  I heard my friends grumbling to each other in the distance as I stormed down the street, feeling the bitter cold air sting my face.  I didn't care.

    I felt the moon staring at me, like an enormous red eye.
    I walked faster.

    I pushed my house's front door open angrily, still fuming to myself.

    "I'm home!" I shouted angrily.


    "Hello?" I yelled.

    Still nothing.

    I kicked off my boots.  They landed right in front of the door.  I knew my dad would bitch to me about it, but I didn't care. 

    I took my gloves and coat off and headed down the front hall.  After I hung them up, I wandered into the kitchen.  There was a note on the fridge held up by a magnet.  I took it down and read it.

    Hi, honey
    Dad and I have to work late again tonight
    Chili in the fridge for you
    Love, Mom!

    The note made me angrier.  I crumpled it up and threw it at the trash can.
    I stomped out of the kitchen and up the stairs to my room.  I was so pissed off at everyone and everything.  I didn't even know what to do with myself.

    I slammed my door shut - my parents weren't home to yell at me for slamming doors - and threw myself onto my bed in a fit of anger.  Why did my friends have to be such dickheads about everything?  Why weren't my parents home?  I felt so unloved.  I felt like no one gave a shit about me.  They probably didn't.

    After a good while of screaming obscenities into my pillow, I felt a little bit better.  I decided to get on the Internet.

    I stomped back down the stairs, my head feeling heavy.  I needed to do something that was actually fun.

    I headed into the computer room and turned the computer on.

    I put my head into my hands.

    Stupid, I thought. 

    Stupid stupid stupid fucking stupid.

    Why do they have to be such pricks?

    I feel like it's natural to be a little on edge.  You know, when a fucking second moon appears.

    The dial-up modem started making its sounds.  I looked up at it for a moment, startled.


    Fuck, just... everything.

    I glanced at the calendar on the wall to my right.  January 4th, 2000.

    Only three days until Christmas break ends, too.  God damn it.

    I don't want to go back to school.  I fucking hate school.

    "Uhhhhh," I groaned.  I felt like crying.

    Suddenly, the phone rang, and the connection was cut off.

    "Mother fucker!" I shouted.  I picked up the phone.

    "What?" I snapped, barely trying to hide my anger.

    "It's me, man."  It was Andy.


    "Yeah, I felt bad, so... I went home too."

    "Oh," I said again.

    "Don't feel bad about what Ted says," he said.  "He's a prick."

    "Yeah, I know he's a prick," I said.  "That doesn't, fucking...  It's still not okay."

    "I know," Andy said.  He sounded tired.  "Just... don't be mad at me too, okay?"

    "Why not?" I asked.

    He paused.  "I dunno, because I'm not a prick?"

    "You didn't do too much to stop him," I said.

    "Yeah, I'm sorry, okay?"

    "That's great, Andy.  You cut off my internet connection."

    "Okay, fine!" he said angrily.  "Just be an asshole, then!"

    "I will," I said.  "All the cool kids are doing it."

    "I'm trying to be nice to you!" Andy continued.  "You're not making it very fucking easy!"

    "Don't pretend you care," I said.  "No one else does."

    There was a pause.  Then there was a beep.  Andy had hung up on me.

    I sighed, hung up the phone, and put my head back into my hands.  I felt myself crying.

    Suddenly, I heard something strange.

    It was quiet at first - a sort of low, metallic hum.  But gradually it got louder, and louder.  It felt like there was someone standing next to me and humming directly into my ear.

    Cautiously, I looked at the still-closed door of the computer room.  A faint red light was visible through the crack between the door and the carpet.

    I stood up slowly and tiptoed over to the door.

    "Hello?" I said to the shut door.

    There was no answer.  Whether there was no one out there, or whoever was out there couldn't hear me, I didn't know.

    I opened the door.

    The entire hall was glowing red.  Every surface, every object, seemed to be emitting a soft red light.  The humming was even louder out in the hall, more direct and focused.

    "What the fuck?" I whispered to myself.

    I slowly walked down the hall, back towards the kitchen.  As I approached the living room, everything seemed to get brighter, and the hum got almost unbearably loud.

    "What the hell is going on?" I shouted.

    I turned the corner into the living room and saw an angel.

    Suddenly, the humming's volume decreased greatly.  It was still there, but only in the background.

    I stared at the angel for a moment as it levitated in the middle of the room, bobbing up and down slightly.  Its body was attenuated, skeletal, skinless.  Its face was covered by an eyeless helmet.  Its wings were metallic, and gave off heat that warped the air around them.  It emitted a red light, but did not glow itself.

    Greetings, said a voice in my head.  It sounded just like mine.

    "Hi," I said hesitantly.

    You are the one.

    I paused.  "What?"

    You are the one, as foretold by the prophecy.

    "Okay, wait, wait, wait," I said, backing up away from the angel.  "Hold on...  What?"

    The seers have spoken.  You are the one they have chosen.

    "Okay, pal, that's... great and all, but... again, what?"

    I shall explain, said the voice in my head.

    "Yeah, please."

    My people's world is dying.  A darkness is creeping across our home, threatening to destroy it.

    "Wait a minute," I said.  "Your 'world'?"


    "Is that the big fucking red moon that appeared on New Year's?"

    It is.

    "Get that fucking thing out of here!" I shouted.  "It scares the fuck out of me!"

    I cannot.

    "Why not?" I asked angrily.

    I am not in control over my world's location.  I am merely a messenger to my people.

    "God damn it," I said.

    A darkness is creeping over our home, threatening to destroy it, the voice in my head repeated.  My people had no solution.  We had no hope left. 

    "Uh huh," I said, unimpressed.

    Our seers were gripped by visions.  A chosen one, they said.  We must find a chosen one.  One who will defeat the creeping darkness, and save our people from destruction.

    "Okay, so get to the part where you tell me... why you're in my fucking living room."

    We searched far and wide.  We combed the universe, looking for the one who was chosen.  Finally, we found your planet, and we found you.   

    I hesitated.

    "Wait...  You mean me?"

    Yes.  The seers have spoken.

    "I'm not your fucking chosen one!" I said.  "This isn't...  You-  This is ridiculous!"

    The seers have spoken.  You are the one they have chosen.

    "I fucking know!" I snapped.  "You said that like a thousand times!  I'm not doing that!"

    Without you, our world will come to an end, pleaded the voice in my head.

    "I don't care!"

    You are the only one who can save my people.

    "I'll fucking say it again, because apparently you didn't get it the first time: I don't give a fuck about your planet," I said, making sure to enunciate.

    You must save my people.

    "Honestly, if your planet got destroyed, I would be happy.  Your big piece-of-shit red moon won't be fucking up my sky anymore."

    You do not mean such a thing.

    "Says who?"

    You are the only one who can save my people.  You are the chosen one.  You cannot turn down this responsibility.

    "Why can't your people save themselves?"

    The creeping darkness is too great a force for us to overcome.

    "And it's not... like, I can stop it myself, and your whole species is just useless?"


    "That's bullshit.  Get out of my house."  I turned and started to exit the room.

    Do not leave, child.

    I turned back around.  "I'm not a fucking child."

    Come with me.  I will take you to my planet.  There you will fight, and destroy the creeping darkness.  You will be the savior of my species.

    "I'm not going with you!  Leave me alone!"

    Does the fate of my planet not concern you?

    "Why the fuck should I care about your dumbass planet?" I yelled.  "What has your planet ever done for me?"

    You will be renowned as a hero among my people, said the voice in my head.  Your victory will be that which legends are made of.  Tales will be told of you centuries after your victory is over.

    "You don't fucking care about me!" I yelled.  "You don't need me!  Fucking do it yourself!"

    You are the chosen one.  You must help us.

    "Stop talking in my head!" I screamed.  "You're driving me insane!"

    Slowly, the angel reached his hands up to his helmeted face.  He grasped
the rim of his helmet and slowly peeled it back.  The hum got steadily louder.  I felt the room getting hotter.

    His helmet was off.

    I couldn't look at his face.

    "Please," he said unsteadily.  "Help us."

    It was the loudest thing I had ever heard.  The hum was getting louder and louder too, and the red glow was becoming unbearably bright.

    "NO!" I screamed.  I could barely hear myself over the noise.

    The angel began screaming.  The room began vibrating around us.  I couldn't see anything but a painful red glow.  I was so hot, I felt like I was on fire.  I fell to the floor, hands clamped over my ears, screaming.

    Suddenly, everything was quiet.

    I slowly opened my eyes.  The angel was gone.  The hum had shut off, and the red glow had stopped.  I was still lying on the floor, in my pitch-black and soundless living room.

    I pushed myself up with my hands and slowly, shakily, began to stand up.  Silently, I wondered if I had fallen asleep on the floor.

    "Uhhh," I moaned.  "Jesus.  My head hurts."

    I successfully stood.  My legs were still shaky, but I remained standing.  I cautiously walked over to the living room window and looked out into the driveway.

    No cars.  My parents were still at work, so I couldn't have been out too long.

    I looked up into the sky.  The red moon was still there, staring down at me judgmentally.

    In bed the next morning, I slowly opened my eyes.

    I had crawled into bed shortly after I had woken up on the floor that night.  I had noticed it was only about 6 o'clock when I had gone to bed; almost no time had passed between seeing the angel and waking up.  If I had even seen the angel at all, I mean.  I was pretty convinced it was a dream.

    Whatever had happened, it had left me exhausted.  I slept for almost 18 hours.  It was almost noon.

    I groggily got out of bed and wandered over to my window.

    The sun was hidden that morning.  The sky was completely overcast and grey, but the moon, as always, was completely visible.  Only, it looked strange.  Something was different about it.

    I squinted, trying to see it more clearly.

    I realized that the moon had been shattered.  It was split into several large pieces that were slowly drifting away from one another.

    After looking at the moon for a little while, I went and grabbed my towel.  I started down the hall to the bathroom, and made a mental note to call Andy later and apologize