's 2020 Horror Write-off:


Submitted by Hermann Sitz

At first, it felt like one of the easiest break-ins he had ever pulled off. The back door was unlocked, there was no alarm system, no dog.

Inside, it looked like any other suburban home in these parts - big, cavernous living room, a big flight of stairs leading up to the bedrooms.

The inhabitants had to be minimalists, judging by the sparse furniture, but no matter, he was sure that if he kept digging for a bit...

He turned around and repressed a high-pitched scream.

Now there was a man standing in the centre of the living room.
Tall, skinny, wearing a white night gown. He had extremely long hair, partially hanging down over- and covering his face.
In the harsh moonlight, he looked like a pillar of pure ivory.

"Don't move", the burglar said, raising his gun, "don't try anything, pal..."

"Oh, don't worry about me", the white creature said, "I don't even really know you are here. See, I am a sleepwalker. And a sleeptalker."

The burglar frowned.
"Is that so...?"

"Indeed", the strange man said, "No, who you want to worry about is MAURICE. He is a sleep-pouncer."

The home invader slowly turned his head again, and at the top of the stairs, he spotted a second man, looking exactly like the first.

But this one was crawling on all fours. Bending over backwards, his belly arched towards the ceiling.
He started climbing down the stairs, slowly, like a giant chameleon.

The burglar turned his gun towards the newcomer.

That's when the crawling man accelerated.

A lot.

His big, slender hands and feet were slapping the ground at an alarming rate.

"If I were you, I'd run", the first sleepwalker suggested.

But the invader had already dropped his gun on his own - there weren't any bullets, anyway - and darted out of the front door, into the streets.

He ran like he had never run before.

But whenever he looked over his shoulder, Maurice was still there, steadily closing in on him.