's 2016 Horror Write-off:

Ghost Protection

Submitted by Anonymous

Two cold, spindly hands grabbed his neck from behind, and before he knew it he was shoved head first into a toothless maw. An icy, slimy tube descended upon his body, the predator's hands reaching inside, crawling all over him. The creature swallowed and climbed down at the same time. He was paralyzed, his muscles petrified by the very contact with the slimy surface around him. It was like being engulfed by a dead fish. When the creature finally reached his feet, it let go of the overhead beam it had held onto with its curled tail. It pulled its arms out of its mouth and pushed hard against the floor, throwing the stiff body of its prey off balance. Their fall was blocked by the wall behind them. The creature's maw closed around his feet. Finally, the stiffness of his body wore off. He became soft and malleable again. But he still couldn't move. Gingerly, the creature slid down all the way to the floor. Slowed down by its prey, it slithered off into the darkness.


Like in a dream that starts in medias res, he inexplicably found himself staring at the creature from above. They were in a different place now, in a moldy corner behind some kind of tarp. It was a nest of sorts, made from regurgitated clothes. He resisted the urge to find his own. He didn't know how much time had passed. Studying the creature's flabby, mostly empty belly, he concluded that it was probably several days later. Slow digestion. 

Contemplating the predator now, he almost felt like laughing. It resembled some pathetic, if gargantuan grub with spindly human arms and long, black hair around a face dominated by ridiculously large, sad eyes. 

Looking down at his own form with a strange sense of detachment, he found that he was now of a silvery color, translucent, floating. He wasn't even all there yet: Fascinated, he observed a fine stream of silver fog slowly taking on the shape of what used to be his left feet. The fog was streaming out of pink, shivering pores all over the predator's body. As he turned his head, he saw other transparent, floaty people emerging from the fog all around him.

The creature was shivering, whimpering, staring intensely at the tarp, as if bracing itself for some imminent abuse. There were voices and the sound of feet coming closer.

The tarp was violently pulled aside, and they found themselves face to face with a crowd of angry looking men and counter-goblins, carrying torches and pitchforks. For a moment, the mob and the floating people just stared at one another, while the predator, still streaming silvery fog out of its body, curled up against the wall, hiding its face in its hands, sobbing like a toddler.

Tentatively, the transparen man floated up to the closest torch-bearer and said "Boo?"

Hilarity ensued as the floaters chased the panicked crowd out of the hideout, screeching and shaking their transparent limbs, shouting curses and making grimaces that faces of living flesh could never have produced. As the group scattered, some unfortunate villagers lost their way in the labyrinth of tunnels. Unless they found a way out on their own, they would surely become the predator's next meal.

When things finally quieted down, he felt a powerful pull. His form dissolved once again into fog as it was sucked back into the creature's body, the creature still hiding behind the tarp.

Before his face dissolved, he got one last look at the creature's saucer-like eyes, still filling up with tears.

"You're a BIG BABY, you know that?"