"s 2015 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Thomas F. Johnson

Okay, so a bit of background. I live in this dogshit neighborhood, wrong side of town in a small city; most o the low-wage jobs dried up after the factory left for god knows where; so all we got left are call centers and serving in Gentrification land. I live in a shitty apartment with my mom, the streets are broken down, I go to community college, I don't got a car, most people don't, so I mostly walk n take the bus.

Weird shit happens sometimes, as is usual for what happens when you're in poverty-town, but this is some weird-beyond-weird shit, like; horror-movie-weird shit. And; since I've been hearin some other shit from other people online, I thought I might as well share my story. The first of them anyway.

So, I'm coming home from getting milk at the food city, when suddenly, a plastic bag starts blowin in the wind; fluttering up n' about like they usually. At first I'm all, big deal, I see, lots o plastic bags in this part o' town. Then it starts following me. I think that's sort of unusual. So I start walking a little bit faster, nothing unusual, just me being the kind o superstitious you get when that reptile part o' your brain starts ticking.

But then, y' see, it speeds up too. It looks like it's fluttering harder, even tho' the wind doesn't seem to be gettin' any higher. And it hits me on the leg. This'd be okay in any normal day, a minor spook, a lil' laugh, then back home with the milk. But then I feel like my leg's on fucking fire.

And I look down. And I see this bag, clingin straight onto my leg, letting out some kinda liquid. But it doesn't look like a bag quite up close.  So I take out my knife, the switchblade I keep because; hey; again; bad neighborhood, and I cut it off. It doesn't scream, it doesn't squeal ,it barely slows down when I cut it, releasing some sort o sticky clearish stuff. I cut through it part o the ways, it hangs on even tighter. I finally pry it off, it crumples in on itself in a soggy heap.

I go a bit closer to it. It twitches. It smells like vinegar and piss. I retch a little as I poke it with the knife. It twitches a bit more. It looks more like a jellyfish than a bag up close; tho I've only really seen 'em in pictures. The logo looks blurry; like the markings on an animal. I look down at my leg. It's bleeding. I think I'm going to be late coming home with the milk.

Then, I hear me this soft; wet rustling in the distance. I look behind me. It's a whole bunch o plastic bags comin' my way. In a very familiar manner. I run, of course.

But they just keep catching up. Run through alleys to lose me? They just keep following me. Climb up a telephone pole? They follow me up. Jump a fence n' hide in a pool? They swim across the water even faster. Jump in the old abandoned shed and bar up the door, THEY CRAWL IN THE GAPS IN THE FUCKING WINDOWS.

After that I was pretty much stuck; well past my neck of the woods, still running, barely breathing, just me; the road; the roadkill the desert and the bags. I saw them coming towards me. God I could smell the roadkill across from me. I could smell them coming towards me. The scents mingled like an acidic necrotic wound. Then, a jaw darted out from one of the things of roadkill, towards a bag from the side. Like one of those alien-mouth-thingies but longer and like a set of gums with gingivitis. I looked at where the mouth came from.

It was a pile of roadkill; looked like a cougar; or maybe a horse; maybe a few javelinas; maybe just a big slab o meat that looked like something sort o like a big rotten mammal carcass. It reared up on huge slimy legs; like crab legs. The jaws were chewing on the "bag" carcass. It scuttled towards the other bags.

Big rotten holes opened up in its sides; and more jaws came out, snatching at them and chewing. It only got a few before the rest fluttered away; bobbing and frippling like the sad little sheets of plastic they looked like. It gave me hope for a moment.

But then, it finished wolfing the things down. Made short work o' them in fact. And it turned towards me, and started scuttling. I backed away. And then I noticed something.

I'd been so occupied with the chase before; that I hadn't noticed that it looked like there were two suns in the sky. And that one of them was getting closer. And closer. Glowing needles were coming off it as it opened wide. Right behind the roadkill-jaw.

Law of the jungle says there's always a bigger fish.