's 2017 Horror Write-off:

Best Big Sister Ever

Submitted by Dandelion Steph

Emily lay her head down on the table. There was something about the sudden darkness that eased her nausea, if only the slightest bit. Her abdomen was lurching. Contracting. Expanding. "Sick" was insufficient to describe what she felt, but the sensations did bring to mind an article she once read on a horrific tropical disease.

Her big sister, Ashley, was hunched over her work at the kitchen table. Ignoring everything else, she smeared glue onto a big, sturdy branch. Next to Ashley was an unopened, small teal box of pills.

Ashley attached the box of pills to the branch. With a slight smile, she stood up, branch in her hands. She swung the branch-with-box a little, holding it two-handed like some enormous sword. Finally, she placed the branch on the floor and knelt next to Emily.

"How are you feeling?"

Emily paused. It was so much harder to talk when her innards felt like they were rebelling against her.

" I'm going to die."

Ashley looked at her, sympathetic but somehow...determined.

"You won't. Not of this. I promise."

Almost as an afterthought, Emily added: "What...were you even doing?"

Picking up the branch-with-box again, Ashley smiled. "You'll find out soon." Ashley stood, left the kitchen, and headed out to the patio.

The doorbell rang.

Emily groaned. Please. Let someone else answer it.

But no one did. The doorbell did not ring again, but as the minutes passed Emily felt the need to follow social courtesy.

Emily straightened up, and cringed as her innards seemed to lurch anew. A hand held soothingly to her abdomen-for as little as that mattered-Emily headed to the door.

On the porch stood a woman in a green tweed suit and coiffed hair. Somehow, she felt familiar, though Emily didn't remember her name. The woman had a big smile Emily suspected was too big and happy to be real.

The woman's smile got even bigger, like Emily was an old friend she was happy to meet with.

Emily's nausea increased.

"Hi! I'm Aunt-"

That was all the woman could say before Ashley leaped out of hiding, stick-with-box in her hands, and whacked at her. Over and over, Ashley beat her, like the woman was a particularly reviled pinata.

As she crumpled under the beating, the woman's body oozed and wiggled, like some massive, punctured water balloon. The woman gave a halfhearted "Now, now, don't

-"before Ashley smacked her again.

Emily felt she had to interfere. She had to. But the nausea seemed to take away her motivation, keep her as immobile as possible. She could only look on in dull shock as her big sister beat this stranger senseless.

But, as the visitor crumpled more and more, oozing strange fluids, Emily just felt better. Her nausea was lifting. Her innards ceased revolting against her.

In but a few minutes, she felt normal.

Ashley inspected the woman, the woman who called herself Aunt...something. Satisfied, Ashley dropped her box-with-stick and wiped her brow of sweat. She gave a big smile at her sister, like she had just won a spelling bee.

"Who was that?" Emily asked, before adding: "And why do I suddenly feel better?"

Ashley smiled. Emily's brow, no longer furrowed in pain, told her all she wanted to know.

"She calls herself 'Aunt Flo.'And she won't be giving you that 'stomachache'any more."