"s 2015 Horror Write-off:

" Sweet, Sweet Discount Candy "

Submitted by Stickydot

    On November first, I was out buying up some sweet, sweet, discount Halloween candy. I was at a K-Mart, a store I normally enjoyed because of the emptiness. Rarely would I see more than three cars in the parking lot, and if I did actually see an employee, they scurried away, almost as if they were afraid of having to work. I don't think all K-Marts are like this, but the one near me is like a look into a post-apocalyptic dream sometimes. It's very relaxing, all the silence. But the first wasn't like a normal day.

    I got to K-Mart as soon as it opened, and already there were people lifting large bags of sweet, sweet, discount candy into their shopping carts. My mouth almost watered, and it would have been easy to become overwhelmed by how many people were there, but I grabbed my cart and pushed through the crowd up to where my chocolate salvation was located.

    A bag that cost eight dollars less than twenty-four hours prior was marked down to two, and I almost squeaked with glee as I loaded bag after bag into my buggy. Snickers, Milky Ways, Paydays, even candy I personally wasn't fond of, I grabbed so many bags, boxes, and packs. I could just see myself eating until I would unleash a torrent of sticky, sweet, and burning, chocolate vomit onto the living room floor. It had happened the previous year, and though I hated the sensation of the vomit coming up, I sure loved the feel of the candy going down.

    I had grabbed what would have been my wonderful bag of KitKats, when I noticed that someone else had taken hold of it as well. It was a woman, she had to have been in her mid-forties, still wearing her pajamas and with her brown hair messily framing her tired face. Flanking her were three children below the age of ten, they were only behind her in the loosest sense of the world, choosing to make the aisle their playground. I had heard their shrieking before, but up close it was almost deafening.

    "Excuse me," the woman said, with the fake politeness dripping from every word she said, "But I need this bag of candy. Skyden and Antleigh were unable to trick-or-treat last night because they were sick, and you already have so many."

    I looked in her cart, she had just as much candy as me. I shook my head. "No, I can see that we've got about the same amount. Besides, candy is bad for kids."

    The mother snorted defiantly, neither of us relinquishing our hold on the bag. "Are you stupid? Candy is made for kids, if you don't have any kids of your own, and clearly, you don't, then you don't need any!" Her false kindness was completely gone, and we both gave each other a glare that could melt our faces if we had heat vision.

    Being a woman of class, I let her have the bag. "Fine, you get this one. Enjoy juvenile diabetes, Skyden!" Then, I lifted my arm to the shelf, and knocked every remaining bag into my cart, followed by telling the mother she could go . I had at least seventy dollars of candy in my cart, and I wanted more. I went to K-Mart on a mission, with two wonderful Ben Franklin's burning a hole in my purse, and I'd be damned if I wasn't getting what I came for.

    The next isle for candy was glorious, no one else had gotten to it yet, and it looked almost completely full of that sweet discount, with signs saying some bags were up to ninety percent off, I just couldn't help myself! I pushed myself and my cart into the aisle, and that was when things changed.

    The lights in the store flickered, before only one lonely florescent bar was lit above my head. I turned back to look and see if anyone else was weirded out by this change, only to see that there was a wall blocking my exit. I shook my head and continued on. I had taken a pill for my allergies on the way there, and the strange wall was clearly a hallucination brought on by my new medication. But when I looked in front of me, that's when I knew I couldn't be hallucinating.

    The aisle stretched forward for what looked like an eternity, and the candy only seemed to get more plentiful as I walked down it. Bag after bag after bag, and they all looked like my favorites. If I had not been in a store, I would have cheered. Clearly this was my lucky day, strange aisle and weird noises be damned. I did pause for a moment when I felt a chill in the air, only to look at what was supposed to be the ceiling, but was clearly the night sky. I looked back down to eye-level, only to see that now the aisle had widened, allowing a large, fake graveyard to plant itself in the middle. I chose to follow the right side of the aisle and get at least enough to fill my cart.

    The further down I walked, the colder it got. With nothing but the full moon above to light my way, I kept putting more and more bags and boxes in my cart. It was only when I passed the first mausoleum that the candy started to appear... off. I picked up a bag of what was supposed to be gummy bats, when I saw the bag start to quiver, almost as if it was cold, too. I held it close to my face to make sure nothing was wrong, only to make eye contact with a large, bright green rat. I dropped the bag to the ground, and pushed my cart away as quickly as I could.

    Each new bag I grabbed seemed to have something residing in it, or was rotten. I only had my candy in the buggy as anything even remotely normal, and I was ready to return to the store. Hell, I had been ready to return to the store when I saw the rat. But the aisle seemed to have no end in sight, and with the wall constantly appearing two feet behind me whenever I turned around, I had no choice but to continue walking along.

    The smell of grave dirt and infection mixed with the sweet smells of candy and pumpkins, but I no longer felt like trying to grab any more bags. I just wanted to go to the check out line and leave. I tried climbing over the aisle, but it only responded by getting taller. There was no escape, and I was getting hungry. Reasoning that I could pay for it when -if- I reached the check out, I tore open a bag of gummy worms and poured them all into my mouth. I chewed like there was no tomorrow, and with how bleak things were getting, it seemed like there wouldn't be one. I ate so many bags of gummy worms that I lost count.

    After the last worm was down, I felt a dizziness the likes of which I had never experienced before. My gummy worms worked their way back up my esophagus, and exploded from my mouth in a chunky, yet very colorful, spew. Feeling week, I couldn't do anything as my body fell forward, and the last thing I remember was landing in the colorful puke.

    When I opened my eyes, which felt heavier than my car, I was still in K-Mart, laying on top of my bags of candy. A sales associate was waving their hand in front of my eyes, asking me if I was alright. I nodded as best as I could, and asked her if she could help me out of the cart. She obliged, and I checked out my sweet, sweet discount candy without any further oddities. It was dark outside, and I must have passed out from sheer joy inside the store, I reasoned. As I drove home, I concluded it had all been a nightmare.

    I loaded my shopping bags up on my arms, and unlocked the door to my house. Stepping inside, I noticed that it felt colder inside than it did outside in the November chill. I turned to close the door behind me, only to see that my front door was gone. Before me was the same cemetery and same aisles as in my dream. I clutched my bags to my chest and sat on the ground. With no clue how to escape, I simply started tearing into my candy.