's 2016 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Thomas Nelson Gunderloy

My yard is huge.

That's not a bad thing, I guess. Lots of space to read outside, set up a grill, make a playground for my kids. The problem was I didn't do any of those things. I always read inside by my fireplace, I never really saw the point in cooking outside, and I lived alone. I never went camping or gardened, I never entertained guests, never worked outside. I was too old to play in the snow or in the summer heat, too young to have children or grandchildren who did those things. I never ate outside and never had to cut the grass myself-I got a lawn service to do it. Never, never, never.

The worst part of it was that godawful picket fence. My lawn was already pretty lonely with nothing in it, but then it came with a putrid, pea-green picket fence around the whole thing. I'd just be out to get the mail or something, but I wouldn't be able to see anything except my own property. It started getting comical because there wasn't even an opening for my car, just a huge gate. I had to get out of the car after driving it through the gate so I could close and lock it again. Neighbors started thinking I was weird, some kind of loner. The mailman had to get out of his truck and toss the letters over the fence. It was soundproof, so I couldn't hear kids playing in their yard or the jingle of the ice-cream truck.

I wanted to take it down, but it cost too much. Tried taking it out myself, couldn't manage. Apparently this thing has foundations in the stone. I don't know who built it, but I really want to kill them right now. Who thought a fence enclosing the entire property was a good idea? Maybe they were a loner. I don't really know. Whatever it was, they shouldn't have left the fence there when they left. Real inconsiderate to people like me, who don't want to be trapped inside of a enormous empty lawn all day. Whatever. Doesn't matter now.

I tried cutting it down once. No success. Thing feels like iron. Chainsaw didn't make a dent in it. Neither did a hot iron when I tried to melt through it. Slathered it in gasoline and took a match to it. Nothing. Burnt some of the grass outside but none of it inside my yard. I bought a jackhammer. Plugged it in. Tested it on pure rock. It worked. Couldn't make a dent in the fence. What the actual fuck. I've started putting most of my money in a special bank account to buy real digging equipment. I'm going to get this thing out off the ground if it kills me. Which it probably will.

Came out of the house today. I could swear my yard was bigger now. I measured it. Two thousand square yards. My property is only one thousand square yards. I don't understand how any of this can be happening. Please, god, somebody help me. I went to the grocery store. Backed out of my driveway. Car says its a mile long. The gate in front of the driveway is a portcullis now. The fence is too high for the mailman to throw letters over it now. He puts them outside my property. I ran them over. I don't care. They can't help me. Nobody cares when I point these things out. They say the fence is the same size. That the gate is the same. That my property is the same size. I measured it from the outside. Its the same size there. Measured it from the inside again. Four square miles. I don't know what's going on.

I led somebody inside my property today. They looked at it and promptly went mad. I took them back out and they were just fine. Do I go mad when I'm in there? Its worth considering. I sold my car. I have a truck now. An all-terrain so I can actually drive all over my yard. No clues there. My house is the same, both inside and outside. Why is it only affecting the yard? What's going on here? It's worth mentioning that the yard looks the same as ever when I look at it through my windows. I can even see over the fence if I go to the top floor. I spend all my time either there or outside the fence entirely.

I took somebody through the yard into the house. They weren't insane in the house. I had them stand just inside the front door. They didn't go mad. Opened the door so they could see outside. They fainted. Regained consciousness as soon as they were outside the property line. Why is this happening to me? Why can nobody else understand? I need help. I went to the bottom floor and looked through the window. It was just a fence. I smashed it. Taped the glass to my glasses. I saw everything as normal. I walked right up to the normal fence. Reached out my hand. I felt nothing. Tearing off the glass from my glasses, I'm several miles from the fence.

When I woke up this morning, the fence was back where it should be. I couldn't believe my eyes. I ran towards it, to feel it, to make sure it was real. But no matter how much I ran, I was always a few feet away from it. I stopped moving and the fence continue receding. I turned around; I was standing in an alleyway of some kind, a long arm of the fence. I left it. It was definite; there was a huge hole in the fence, a long, thin passageway. Like a pseudopod. I look around. The fence is quite clearly waving and rippling. It has attained sentience just to taunt me.

I wonder. If its alive now, can I hurt it the way you hurt living things? Worth a shot. Bought a gun and a good huge package of bullets. Emptied them all into it...or at least tried to. They all ricocheted off...none of them, however, were sent into me. One flew over my head and implanted itself into my house. The house tore itself from the foundations and keeled over. I spun back around to face the demon fence only to find it had a big, wooden, old man's face. The face scowled at me, then opened its mouth to speak. Its voice was impossibly loud, and yet I knew I was the only person able to hear it.