's 2016 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Paracosmos

 Tom finished washing his hands in the bathroom sink. He dried them, and then looked at his drawing he had left on the radiator.

 Tom was working on a drawing for primary school. He was given group work on Monday and had until Friday to finish it. The homework was to draw a monster and write down what it does, in preparation for Halloween. The group at his table immediately looked to him, everyone knew him to be the best drawer.

 Tom had drawn a big purple ball with two tentacles with hands at each end. One tentacle was to grab someones face and pull it down the toilet, the other to keep flushing so they would drown.

 The ball the end had a huge mouth and a fish's tail, about the length of the purple ball.

 But of all the drawings Tom had done (He did a lot of drawing, all kept in a grey box covered with random peeling stickers), Tom was most proud of this one. Drawing hands was difficult, and he hated colouring. But he had done them masterfully, for a six year old.

 But Tom loved the drawing for another reason. The drawing had actually scared him. Tom had seen scary things before, but Tom MADE this, he made something scary. Well, he had made most of it. He had put eyes on the creatures hands. He got this idea from one night, a few months ago.

 He had got up for a glass of water, walking quietly. When he got down the stairs he saw through the gap in the door that his parents were watching a movie. He never got to see what his parents watched after Ten O' Clock, so he was interested. Then he saw the monster. It was a tall, pale humanoid sitting down with a plate in front of it. It had two nostrils in the centre of its face but no eyes. No eyes until it picked them up from a plate and placed them in slits at the centre of each palm. And then it started looking around, and it shambled towards the girl. Because she had eaten a grape, HIS grape. And for weeks after that Tom was scared to eat incase he would eat some of the monsters food and it would come out of his closet or under his bed and eat him or whatever it was going to do to the girl.

 Tom didn't see what it did to her, he had screamed before it had gotten to her. His parents got him back to bed and gave him a glass of water. They then spent thirty minutes giving him the inevitable 'monsters aren't real' talk. He was lucky he didn't have school the next morning, he didn't get any sleep.

 Tom shivered, the memory brought fear, ALL of it brought fear. Even the method it killed people, drowning them in the toilet. At the time it was something he laughed about with his friends, now it seemed... Sinister, but he couldn't think of that word, he didn't know it. He wouldn't know it for another five years, when his hair started changing from blonde to brown, when his drawing skills improved and the stickers on his grey box peeled away and he had to buy another two boxes to contain all of his work.

 But his mother, relaxing in the garden hammock, would never see his hair go brown like hers. And his father, Hal, working on a customer help line, would never see his much improved drawings. And Tom himself would never dress up as that monster with the eye-hands (Actually called the pale man, he would never learn that) for halloween, as a small 'fuck you' to his old fear.

 And it was then that their German Shepherd perked up both ears, despite its left one being lazy. He growled, drawing no attention to Tom's mother Carrie, dozed off on the hammock.

 Hal was at work. He was going through a conversation he had done a worrying amount of times in the past few weeks.

 He had actually drawn a rough flowchart for this specific exchange. 

 "There is no way to get the headphone jack, it doesn't have one. No, you're warranty is not valid as you inflicted the damage, you drilled a hole in your phone."


 Hal imagined a huge creature at the core of the earth, maybe another planet. It was a huge, pink, fleshy tentacled ball. Each tentacle held a small cellphone, a cellphone that it would bring down to a nearby mouth, each with a different voice. And it was designed specifically to fuck with him.

 Hal felt strange.

 A bubble appeared in the toilet water, a big one. It made an audible gurgling noise as it travelled. And Tom noticed.

 Tom folded up his drawing and placed it back on the radiator. He leaned over to see into it, something had done that, maybe the pipe was burst.

 But Tom couldn't see it from here, about three feet away. So he went closer, until he was right up to the toilet.

 And he could see something in there.

 But he had to go closer. Had a fish somehow got up? Maybe it was an eel and- no, an octopus but, not an octopus, certainly a tenta-

 It was a finger, then another finger, and then an entire hand, slowly entering the water.

 And the hand had a slit in the palm, it opened.

 When Tom saw the eye beneath, his mind panicked.

 He wasn't careful enough, he forgot the monster and he had eaten some of it's food. Maybe a few a weeks ago, and the monster had just got to him now. Going through the sewers and drainage systems and the sap in the trees and through... Somewhere, somewhere he didn't understand.

 Tom never went paralysed with fear, he just spent too much time thinking, thinking about what he did wrong. And he had no time to react rationally. Could he react rationally?

 It was the dog's whining that woke up Toms mother. It was pawing at its face and digging the ground. She got up and hurried over to him, then got down on one knee, petting the dogs head.

 She heard Tom flush the toilet.

 The dog, Rex, started getting sick. Making dry heaves first and then puking up a yellow goo. She was worried now.

 Tom flushed the toilet again.

 When done, the dog started whining and panting, now barking at the bathroom up on the second floor.

 Tom flushed the toilet again.

 And, again.

 Either he had clogged the toilet and didn't know what to do, or something just wouldn't go down.

 She patted the dog and hurried upstairs. Then she opened the back door, a screen door. And went through the kitchen then upstairs to the bathroom door.


 Toilet flushed again.


 Another flush. She checked under the door and, in the tiny gap between the ground and the door, she could see water pooled around the toilet, slowly creeping towards the door.


 She pushed down the door handle and lightly shoved into the door. It was locked.

 And then a very faint, but audible whimper. Followed by a slurping sound- like the bath water flooding down a drain and... No more sound.

 Carrie nearly flew down the stairs, grabbing the bannister at the end to swing into the doorway, she sprinted through the kitchen and would of smashed through the screen door if it wasn't open.

 She reached the garden shed and, in her unstoppable momentum, banged her knee straight into the corner of the metal table. For the rest of her life, she would limp on that leg, as if to constantly remind her.

 It took a second but she found it, and immediately grabbed it.

 She went back the same way she came. Only now she had a ball peen hammer.

 When she got back, she heard the door unlock, followed by something (Purple?) drag quickly along the ground and pull into the toilet.

 Carrie immediately burst in, but her boy was gone. Six years, gone. With the last of her strength, she stumbled over to the toilet and fell down, crying. She felt something playing with her mind. It was telling her her son was gone, it had him now, it started going into detail about the fear and the confusion and-

 None of it mattered to her. He was gone and that's all she cared about in that space of time. She didn't wonder what she would do with her life, she didn't look for clues to how he disappeared or even grieve for him. She just knew he was gone, that gap in her life would never be filled. Her mind was gone, and when it returned, it was changed.

 After realising how she didn't care, the thing that got her son, just left. It drifted off when it realised it couldn't torment her more than it already had.

 It took about two weeks for the toilet to start clogging, the plumber traced the problem to the septic tank, where the dog had been digging at, where they found Tom. And for a second, the two parents thought that his eyes were gone, and were on his hands.

 But they weren't, just a random thought they had, they would never mention this to each other. Carrie didn't seem surprised or upset. Hal, with an overwhelming stench and unshaven face (He never shaved or showered, and went outside instead of using the toilet when possible) burst into tears. He hugged his wife, but there was no comfort there, she was strangely disconnected.

 Nothing about Toms death made sense to Hal. The way he died, the evidence left behind... He was too big to be pulled down the pipes. Unless he really squeezed. But it couldn't have been someone, it was something, people didn't disappear like that, people didn't kill like that.

 If Tom lived just a little longer, maybe he would have written about what the monster did when it pulled someone down. Down into the septic tank.

 Instead, he learnt.

 In about a week, Hal would find his wife with her wrists slit in the bath, using up his few remaining tears, it seemed that the water (Now mixed with blood) wouldn't go down entirely, like something was catching it, sucking it up.

 Drinking it.

 Sometimes when Hal- reluctantly, used a tap, the water would pour out and the faintest amount of blood would be carried with it. Surely his wife's.

 And very rarely, Hal would hear his son crying from the drain. And if he listened long enough, he would hear the voice crack and the real voice would come out. A deep, slow voice. It was at these times that Hal would go back outside with Rex. But the dog would start growling and digging, and you would hear a thump from the septic tank.

 Months afterwards, Hal started receiving anonymous mail. Each one contained a copy of 'Pan's Labyrinth'. At first, Hal didn't understand.

 Then he remembered, he was watching the movie. There was a girl... And then she drew a doorway on the wall... Something else... There was a monster. And it's hands-

 Eyes on it's hands.

 Toms drawing.

 Toms fear of that monster.

 And Hal remembered seeing Toms body for the first time. The eyes in his hands, eyes full of fear.

 Hal screamed.