's 2018 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by The Bee Keeper


Me mum sent me out to go to our neighbor's house. She's a funny old lady, she's got lots of dusty boxes, knick-knackers and brickerbrack jumbled on every long thin shelf, and of course not one, not two, not three, but an entire rowdy band of four cats. Hamilton, Hammy (Not to be confused with his pa Hamilton.), Miss Sassafras, and Cheddar. Cheddar the orange cat was sitting in a sunny patch by the door cleaning himself leisurely. He gave out a little "prrrttt" and butted my rain boots with his little fuzzy head and then slipped out of sight.

I pulled the ugly old cast iron gargoyle knocker on Miss Namel's door. Before I could even release it the door swung inward, dragging me along with it. And there was Miss Namel standing with a plate of cookies. "Uhh, haha, hello Miss Namel." I said as I awkwardly righted myself and tried to play off this little embarrassment. "Hello, my dear boy, I've got these shortbreads for you and your family. Try not to scoff them all up before you get 'ome." she winked and gently handed the tray of biscuits to me.

I'd been doing chores here and there for Miss Namel in exchange for cookies, on account she's so old. She's so tall and wispy that a strong breeze could practically blow her away. And she always has to bend over to get a good look at anything, making her look like an upside down fish hook with a frilly dress. Her thick bottle bottom glasses did little to help, but did magnify her pale eyes such that in combination with her long pointy nose she appeared to be some sort of strange wrinkly bird. I think, however, she'd bake biscuits and tarts for me either way. There's always a blueish plume of smoke curling up out of her stove chimney. But aside from me, my brother n' mum, I've never seen anyone else ever visit her. Well, unless you count a few frowzy stray cats.


Today I took up an ostrich plume duster Miss Namel left for me on the table and got to work. An eeeeettttteeeerrrrrrnnnnniiiiiiittttttyyyyyyy passed while I banished dust bunnies and lint motes. Well, actually, it had prob'ly been just an hour. A very very dull hour. I felt good helping out my neighbor; but could I really continue such a boring task. I felt like there was only so much entertainment brushing up tiny ceramic kittens, glass unicorns, and stacks of boxes could provide. What would really be exciting, if only briefly? Opening those box flaps! Even though Miss Namel was quite clear about not opening the boxes, not even a little, no peeking at all, she said.

Ohhhh... but what could an old lady possibly want to hide? Really? It's not like I'd go gabbing on about her secret recipes or something. Or imported ingredients perhaps? That wouldn't be something too interesting but I wanted to know. The boxes, they were beckoning to me, so they were!

Sshlip flop. I pulled the flaps away. A little cloud of dust floated up into my nose, causing me to sneeze. Uh, uh, well maybe she won't notice a few boogers on her stuff? No, no, that'd be gross, so I got up to get a napkin. But before I had a chance to walk off, I became stuck in place by fear and bewilderment. A whole lot of white things lay in a great pile, each with a yellowing tag. Brendan Smith, Heidi Grathford, Ben Crocker, Jack Sterling, and on and on. They were all names and the things they were attached to... were teeth.

I quickly sealed the box up, booger n' all. Then I checked another box. The same.

And another box. Also the same.

More boxes. More teeth.

I ran home and tucked myself under a quilt. I didn't even feel like eating dinner that night. When mum asked me why, I said I felt a fever coming on. Prob'ly not the best excuse since it meant a breakfast of hot nettle soup, me mum's cure for any and all flus, colds, and stomach aches. It could burn the hair off an entire yak, I'm sure of it. Though I've never actually seen a yak. But I still hold this to be fact.


I quit helping out old Miss Namel. When me mum asked why. Again I said I was with fever. And more horrid hot nettle soup was certainly in my future. But it was still worth it.

Then one night I heard something peculiar. A light little hum, no, more like buzzing? It wasn't coming from my room though. I slowly pried open my little brother's door. I lost my breathe. A terrible apparition was looming over my brother. It had fingers like long knobby branches or maybe like the fingers in a bat's wing, but y'know without the wing part. They reached all the way down to its talons. It's bony back was hunched over my brother as one of its fingers worked back and forth with such great speed that it made a buzzing sound as the nail bore into the gums of my little brother's open mouth. One of his teeth loosened and then fell on his lap. Some blood started to drip from the hole left from the tooth's absence. I crept cautiously back to my room. I had a plan. M'be a dumb plan. And m'be an angry monster was about to eat me... But at least I'd save my brother.

SPLASH!!! Hot nettle soup drenched the monster. Its face snapped towards me with a sickening pop. A gross rope of flesh flopped back and forth between its giant silvery eyes, like the dangling snood of a turkey tom. I shut my eyes tight and waited to be consumed by the monster... Nothing happened.

Well, to me, that is. The monsters face began to roil with gross bubbles and it seemed to be shrinking? "Hah! I've defeated you foul monster!" I yelled triumphantly. "Uh, what? Oi it be too early for games... What? *yawn* What time is it?" said my brother as he piled sheets over his face, in protest to all my ruckus. He didn't even bother to open his eyes at all.

"Foul monster? Dear, boy, you are mistaken! I was only doing what I've always done for you children." said the monster in an elderly voice, just like, Miss Namel? "Misssss, Miss Namel?" I forced out of my fear choked throat. "Miss Enid Namel, I be, but not for much longer." Her face started dripping onto the floor. Plip, plop, plip, plop, plip, plop. "They will come, child. The other collectors!" Her entire form burst like a water balloon.

"Dear Lord!!! What have you boys been doing in here!" and there was mum with her sleep mask on her forehead, a very disgruntled parent, or perhaps a groggy brown bear.


Two weeks of being grounded later, I started to recover from my bizarre nightmare, that wasn't really a nightmare. O'course mum repeatedly told me it was nothing but that. But if'n it was only a nightmare I wouldn't have had to mop up monster goo and hot nettle soup off all the walls in my brother's room. It was soooo disgusting.

Skit, skitter, scritchy, chew, chew, chew, scratch, scratch! "Ugh, I think we've got vermin in here! Perhaps we could convince Miss Namel to let us borrow a spare cat? Hahaha! Hmmm... come to think of it? She's been a tad scarce as of late, hasn't she? That's not like her. I wonder what she's up to?" mum continued scrubbing the plates, trying to ignore the scrabbling of pests in the walls. "Haha, yeah, maybe she's workin' on something special? Y'know how she loves baking special recipes." Uh, yes, whatever could she be up to? Uh, nothing. Because I murdered her. You don't want to tell your mum you murdered your neighbor. I may have kinda left that little detail out of my story.

Later that night I snuck into my brother's room. "Hey, hey" I nudged the pile of blankets. "Do you want to check out my new comic? I brought the flashlight so mum won't know we're up past curfew." I pushed the sheets again, but a little harder. Huh, he wasn't in bed? Did he go into the kitchen again? Nope, not in the kitchen.

A muffled scream caught my attention. I rushed out the door nearly tripping over the gnome in the grass. My brother was held aloft by two long tentacles. One tentacle wrapped firmly across his lips. The... octopus? Yes, I guess that's as close a thing as I could figure it was. A very big pinkish octopus scuttling away at a brisk pace.

I hurled the lawn gnome at its head. To my surprise the "head" unfurled into clumps of fur that quickly stood up on their hind paws. The great big rats released my brother but now they fixed me with their bloodshot stares, foam dripping from their lips and scimitar-esk teeth.

Rushing forward as one great tide of fur, the rats pummeled me to the ground. Then one stood back up like a person. "Teefs, good teefs, this one hassssss... We take these better teefs, yis, yissssssss." the rat hissed in my face. Hot frothy saliva clung to my face as the rodent plunged its scaly, scabby, hand into my mouth and grabbed hold of my lower jaw. It tugged and tugged. Soon enough it would surely rip my head from my spine.

I heard more hissing as I nearly blacked out from pain. But this hissing wasn't the rats. An orange blur ran past my feet. Then a white one. A gray one. And lastly a brown one that planted its claws deep into the arm of the rat that was tugging my jaws a part.

When I woke up that morning on the dewy grass, I felt something warm n' heavy on my chest. Curled up in a fluffy ball was Cheddar, purring happily.