's 2017 Horror Write-off:

It's Dark

Submitted by Ozaenin

It's Dark. I don't mean that in a 'gee it sure is the middle of the night in my room' or a 'I sure do love camping under the stars' dark. I mean that in a 'Somehow the entirety of the moon and sky has been covered by clouds and it's 11 am and I'm waiting for the last bus' dark. ...Which, for reference, I am. It's foggy too; the only reason I can tell that is just because there's that faint feeling of chill that gathers on your body in the really odd and clammy sort of way that feels like putting on a slightly damp sweater. I say that the feeling is the only reason I can tell precisely because it's so dark; I can't even see my fingers in front of my face. It is as though somehow I've managed to relocate to the bottom of a long abandoned mine in terms of sheer lack of light.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, I would just take out my phone and use it to while away the time. Unfortunately, however, there is the ever so faint creeping chill that is not the fog here. A presence, almost. That feeling of someone watching you when no one around, or seeing a humanoid shape in the trees out of the corner of your eye; and when you look directly at it it turns out to be a dead tree yet the feeling of something being there persists. That feeling is right behind me, practically breathing down my neck. I haven't the faintest clue of when the bus is supposed to arrive but part of me is starting to think it's not going to. And I'm afraid to turn on the light. Because whatever is there is just waiting for me to see it.

I can feel it now, having brushed out against my hand. For some stupid reason I reflexively grabbed at whatever was there, and now I'm holding onto it. It's dry, and scaly, not in a reptile manner but rather like cracked human skin. I can feel warm liquid drop between my fingers from the cracks, Too slowly to be blood but too fluidly to be anything but. The slightest movement of my hand causes pieces to slough off, but it grips tightly at me in return. We both know that the other is real now, but neither of us are making a move. I think it's still waiting for me to see it. It wants me to see. I don't want to. I'm going to, but I don't want to. I can feel my hand reaching towards the small electronic device in my pocket even as I scream at myself to stop. It's cold, the screen unfeeling and alien in some sense, both my savior and my downfall.

The screen feels a pulse of warmth like artificial flesh. For a split second, I am blinded by the respite.

All I can see is teeth, opening slowly to welcome me.


It's Dark.