's 2016 Horror Write-off:

Purple Haze

Submitted by James B. Davis

I remember waking up to the sound of the church bell; loud, thunderous, and ear shattering. It's low ring stung my ears with throbbing pain. I clutched my ears and closed my eyes tight falling on the ground from my mattress. The sound of the church's bell felt like it was literally attacking my ears.

Slowly the bell faded away; quieter and quieter.

I let go of my ears and slowly opened my eyes. I launched backward toward the wall when I saw the room around me. The room was filled with a purple fog so thick I couldn't see 3 feet in front of me. It was so thick I could feel it in my lungs. It was cold too... icy cold.

I stumbled around the room looking for my jacket before leaving down the hallway and stairs (both of which were also filled with purple fog). The purple fog filled the entire downstairs like a thick gel. I wandered the from room to room looking for my family. First my sister's room: empty. Then my brother's: empty. Then my parents': empty also.

What the hell is going on? I thought to myself. I knew I wasn't dreaming; this felt far too real for that.

It was becoming far too much for me to handle; I was starting to feel insane. I sat down on the ground and started to cry. Where was my family? What the hell was this fog? Was I even in my house? Was I really going insane?

After hours of laying on the ground crying it finally occurred to me to look out the window. It hadn't even crossed my mind that this fog could be isolated to my house. What if there was a gas leak or something? Maybe chemicals spilled and mixed together? Maybe that's why my family wasn't there. Maybe they had to get out as soon as possible. Maybe they were waiting for me outside.

I wiped my tears away and headed hurriedly toward the window, tripping a few times in the process, but I didn't care. I was smiling as I tore away the curtains and my arms fell to my sides and my head gently fell on the glass.

Outside my window was my neighborhood... completely swallowed by the purple fog...

I was no longer sad; just disappointed. I was disappointed in myself for letting my hopes get the best of me.

I then found my shoes and wrapped myself with a blanket for further protection from the cold. The doorknob was painfully cold to touch as I opened my front door. The fog wasn't as dense outside my house, but was still very thick. I could see the houses across the street but only their silhouettes.

There was a layer of frost on everything outside. Any moisture there was had been frozen solid.

"Hello?" I cried. My voice echoed through the empty streets... I shivered.

I wandered for hours before seeing the first living thing. Across the street was a humanoid shape that writhed and wiggled uncontrollably. The shape walked closer toward me.

"Hello?" I called across to him.

The thing was now in the middle of the street: about 8 feet away. I could now see the finer details of the thing. It was about 8 feet tall and lean. It's neck, torso, and legs were disgustingly long and thin; they reminded me of chicken wings. It's skin was thin and loose and it had what looked like curled up arms trapped beneath it. It's feet were like elephant's feet. The thing's skin was an extremely dark purple and it had one large, red, and vertical eye on it's head.

As the thing walk toward me I slowly realized that it wasn't human. When it reached a few feet in front of me the sound of the church bell came back, deafening my ears.

I ran for my life as the thing followed faster and faster behind me. I ran straight past my house and the normally busy, now empty, streets. I ran through the neighborhood playground and past the local gas stations and convenience stores but the the horrid thing still followed.

I ran till the bell's sound ended. I ran till the thing was gone. I only stopped when my feet could no longer carry me. I have no idea how far I've traveled trying to escape the purple haze but I've crossed more than a few states.

The farther I go the more ruined and abandoned things look. The farther I go the more alone I feel. Those things always find me and force me to run from a comfortable place.

Will I ever find my way out?