's 2018 Horror Write-off:

Sweet Girl

Submitted by Ness

He needed to be with her. Abigail May Rode was the prettiest girl he'd ever seen. Small and slender and dark-haired, she sat with her back perfectly straight and her hands in her lap. She knew what politeness meant, not like the other girls in this hick little town. Not like the girls who wore too much makeup and too little clothing, desperate for attention like bitches in heat. No, Abigail May was sweeter than that. When she spoke, she spoke quietly, and when she moved there was a hesitance to it, like a bird ready to take flight at the slightest noise.

His truck rattled noisily down the long gravel road. Abigail May's house loomed in the distance. The Rodes were old money, and had been here long before the county had been flooded with white trash. The building was imposing but worn, its paint old and fading, the grounds smelling of wet earth and chimney smoke. He knocked once, twice, three times, waiting patiently.

When she came to the door, his breath caught in his throat. She was beautiful, like a porcelain doll. Her long hair fell over her shoulders, framing her face. The dress she was wearing was modest, but was short enough to show off her shapely calves. Abigail May ducked her head to avoid meeting his eyes, her voice quiet.

“I'm sorry, did you need something…?” She asked. He nodded, managing to tear his eyes off her long enough to formulate a response.

“I need to talk to your father about something important.” Abigail May was so pretty, so sweet, there had to be men there every other day, but he was sure he could convince her father to let him be with her. He was smarter than the others, had a degree and a business. He could take care of her.

Abigail May's lips pressed together tightly for a moment. “I'm sorry, but he's on a trip at the moment. You could come back next week, or you could leave a message with me if you'd like.” She began to close the door, slowly, and didn't protest when he held it open again.

“There has to be someone I can talk to. Do you have an uncle, a brother…?”

And Abigail May was so sweet, so polite, that after a moment of consideration she led him into a large foyer where all the furniture was clad in red velvet. “If you don't mind waiting, my brother will be home soon. I'm sure he'll have a talk with you once he arrives.” He thanked her, and she smiled, just slightly. “I'll go make tea for the two of you.” Abigail May clasped her hands together tightly, almost looking like she was in prayer, before disappearing down a hallway.

Getting comfortable wasn't hard with how luxurious the room was. There was an ornate grandfather clock directly across from the velvet-lined couch, and the walls were covered in paintings of foreign looking landscapes. The only problem was the smell. The smell of dust and mildew hung in the air, clinging tightly to every breath. Was the room used so rarely they didn't bother to clean it? He grimaced, shifting slightly in his seat. Whatever maids they had deserved to be fired.

11:18. 11:30. 11:41. As the minutes ticked on, the smell only worsened. Though he tried to breathe through his mouth, it simply stuck in the back of his throat, the air so thick he could practically taste it. It smelled like sickness, warm and wet, bringing back memories of his grandmother in her final days at the hospital. He considered leaving, but he'd just have to return another day anyways. He would give Abigail May better than this, whisk her away from this foul-smelling home.

Almost a full hour after he had sat down, Abigail May returned.

She limped into the room, her shoe making an odd noise as it dragged across the carpet. She was soaked in sweat, her dress beginning to slip off of one shoulder. He stood, unsure if she needed help, but she motioned for him to sit again.

“My brother is almost here.” Her voice was hoarse, and when he came close and wrapped his arms around her she didn't fight it. He could feel her breasts pressed against chest, her breathing slightly uneven. There was a long pause before she spoke again. “You need to wait somewhere else for now.”

She took his hand, guiding him down the hallway. The smell only increased as they walked, pressing down on them, sour and yet almost comfortingly familiar. As Abigail May unlocked and opened a large mahogany door, he faintly recognized it as the smell of bile.

Compared to how lavish the rest of the house was, the bedroom seemed completely barren. A dark wooden wardrobe, a small table with no chair, and a bed. That was all that was in the dingy room, illuminated by a single light bulb, the bumpy paint on the walls casting strange shadows. Abigail May motioned for him to sit on the bed, and after closing the door she joined him.

“Your brother is going to meet us here?”

“Yes, though we still have time to prepare.” The bed was small, so they had to sit close, their shoulders almost touching. Despite her current condition, Abigail May seemed perfectly serene, her face beautiful and calm even as she pushed stringy hairs out of her eyes. He put a hand on her shoulder. When she didn't protest, he slid it slightly further, inching his way towards the neckline of her dress.

Suddenly, she was up, pushing him down onto the bed. Like a woman possessed, she climbed on top of him, her chest heaving. “You don't know what you've done to me.” She said, her voice calm despite everything.

He gagged at the smell of bile and sweat and sickness, that unbearable sickness. He hadn't been able to pinpoint it before, but it wasn't the house, it was her, she was the source of this smell. Abigail May stood above him, and as she pulled the top of her dress off he finally saw the cysts, her skin pulled tight over a horrible growth, and as the pockets of flesh popped open and that horrible smell was released he saw they were not cysts but eyes and not growths but teeth.

Abigail May's spine made a horrible cracking noise as her chest opened up into a great maw, and for a brief moment he thought she mouthed ‘thank you’ to it before she leaned forwards and the jaws grabbed his throat.

“I'd like you to meet my brother, James.”