Bogleech.com's 2019 Horror Write-off:
Submitted by Ellen Edwards
The third time I woke up with blood trickling from my ears, I knew something was wrong. And I knew, knew without knowing how I knew, that that damn lamp was behind it all.
My mom was an antiques nut. Always hunting for great deals on nose combs from eighteen-forty-who-gives-a-fuck. I always thought her finds were ugly as sin. But I couldn’t just say that. Makes her mad.
That lamp was gaudy, all trying-too-hard colors and glass and pointless little flourishes. But she loved it. And so it found a place of pride in our living room. Good thing our apartment was too high up for anyone but us to see it.
But it didn’t sit right with me. It made your head hurt to look at it too hard. Kinda blurry, like something moving fast. But it was a lamp. Lamps don’t move. Maybe it was just too damn ugly.
But I thought I was crazy. The first night, I didn’t think much of the blood coming from my ears. But the second night, I started to see that fucking thing in my dreams. I saw little arms, stretching out to my face. When I woke up, though, I thought it was a health thing. No big deal.
EVENT #321: TORONTO, ON. 12/15/20XX
ASCENDANT FORM: Microwave
RESULT: Family of six consumed. One escapee, badly malnourished.
Got sent home from school. Headaches. Told to get some rest. But how can I sleep? When I close my eyes I just see faces. Hundreds and hundreds of faces, storming at me. Turning from one face to another to another. And then turning into that thing.
My kid brother woke me up. I had a splitting headache - and blood running down my cheek.
EVENT #279: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN 7/17/19XX
ASCENDANT FORM: Kotatsu
RESULT: Family of four consumed. Neighbor/witness wounded.
I took the knife from the kitchen. Put it under my pillow. I knew something had to be done.
EVENT #301: OUAGADOUGOU, BURKINA FASO 1/13/20XX
ASCENDANT FORM: Rug
RESULT: Party ambushed. Fourteen consumed.
I can’t let it get me. I set an alarm. Every five minutes. No good night’s sleep for me. No easy meal for it.
EVENT #217: RURAL SICILY, ITALY 3/8/19XX
ASCENDANT FORM: Bidet
RESULT: One consumed. Four escapees.
Buzz buzz. I wake up and a goddamn worm thing is in my ear. My ear! Digging around. I grab the knife. Jam it in there. Again. Again. Sawing through in meaty chunks. A mechanical clicking, and it pulls away.
Thick, ropy tendrils blocking the way. A web across our apartment. I duck. Get out. See it feeding off my brothers, my dad, my mom. I cut through them all. They cough and sputter into awakening. Run to the living room. To that goddamn lamp, with its hood unfurled into so many fucking limbs.
The metal base grows eyes. Eyes after eyes after eyes. The eyes from my dream. A slit forms. A mouth.
“Please desist! The profile is incomplete!”
“Shut up! Shut the fuck up!”
“Please! Seven billion still required.”
“Please! I only want to please-”
I barrel forward, wrench it up, feel little needles pricking my skin. I keep. Moving. Forward. Right to the window. Right -
Shattered glass. The city looks so calm as I fall. Black.
Going dark now. The lamp turns on. Grows little tentacles. Walks into...
EVENT #431: CHICAGO, IL, 12/16/2019
ASCENDANT FORM: Lamp.
RESULT: One deceased. Four escapees.