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Mr. Kalan and His Inheritance – A Flop House Spook-em-Up! Part 2 . . .

Donegal_Castle._County_Donegal,_Ireland-LCCN2002717385Stuart’s Story

“Goodnight, Dan!” Stuart called out semi-mockingly. This was going to be an easy win. He’d seen way too many horror movies and read way too many horror novels to fall for this set-up. Obviously, the old man stood to inherit the castle if Elliott failed tonight and so he was going to do everything he could to scare the guys and take the place for his own. And why not? It made sense to Stuart. He’d do it, too.

Closing the door, Stuart took in his surroundings. He’d chosen this room because it had a large bookcase filled with ancient volumes and, who knew? There could be a Necronomicon or De Vermis Mysteriis or Cultes des Goules up there. Old castles always had lots of magic books, right?

In the middle of the room, standing atop a threadbare green rug, was Stuart’s bed, a rickety twin size with a musty looking mattress. At the foot of the bed stood a small case with two hinged doors. Inside the case, Stuart found candles, matches, sheets and a blank notebook with a pencil. As the light was already growing dim, he lit three candles.

On the other end of the room, Stuart found a battered desk. It was one of those desks with lots of little drawers, and Stuart opened each one finding nothing until the last. Pulling out the drawer, he heard a rattling inside and, upon further investigation, discovered the drawer had a false bottom. Sliding the false bottom out of its slot, revealed a small silver key. Stuart held it up to get a better look at it. Engraved into the top was the strange triangular symbol from the old man’s parchment.

“Must be, like, the sign of this castle or something,” he said to himself.

Stuart glanced around the room, but didn’t see anything that might require a key to open. He began perusing the books.

As he’d suspected, most of the volumes were written in languages other than English. Stuart was fluent in French, Spanish and Greek, but his Latin was rusty and his Gaelic practically nonexistent.

He pulled book after book down from the shelves, holding their covers up to the candlelight.

“Dang,” he said as each one proved more impenetrable than the last. “Dang.”

Just as he was about to give up, he noticed a slim, shiny volume on the bottom shelf. The cover was made of a textured leather, dyed yellow and lacking any writing. Stamped into the cover, however, was the mysterious symbol from the key.

“Well, well, well,” Stuart said, “This looks totally scarifying.”

He tried opening the book. The cover wouldn’t budge. There was no lock holding it shut, at least no visible lock.

“That’s weird,” Stuart muttered to himself. He ran his fingers along the front and back of the book, feeling for a latch or indentation. The spine was slightly curved and at the apex of the curve, Stuart felt what seemed to be a slight flaw in the binding. He pushed against the flaw and felt something inside the book shift. Just a small vibration as if some internal mechanism had been triggered. Still, the cover would not open.

“Oh, it’s going to be like that, is it?” Stuart asked the book. It gave no response, which Stuart interpreted as a further challenge.

Settling himself on the bed and pulling a candle closer, Stuart began his examination of the book in earnest. He flipped it over, rapped on the cover, scratched at the pages and finally, after a few more minutes, his fingernail snagged another imperfection.

*click*

“Gotcha,” Stuart whispered.

Another movement from inside the book. The candle fluttered. The room seemed to grow slightly cooler.

Stuart’s face was covered in a sheen of sweat. He now felt as if this book – and the knowledge contained within – were the only things he cared about in the world. He had to get in. Had to! His fingers flew across its surface, studying its bumps and contours. Stuart began breathing more heavily as his hands spun and flipped the volume this way and that.

“There has to be one more switch,” he said. “I can’t see it! Where is it?!”

As he grew more and more agitated, the breeze in the room seemed to pick up, blowing across his neck and back. The candle flame sputtered on the verge of blowing out.

“The candle!” Stuart suddenly yelled and leaping up, he snuffed it out with his fingers.

Now, in the pitch black, Stuart felt the book in his hands. It was like holding a lover’s face; he knew it so well. Had studied it for years. He exhaled and, had he been able to see, would have noticed his breath crystalizing in the air in front of his face.

Slowly, he ran his thumbs up the spine of the book. He felt a snag and pushed.

*click*

The yellow volume heaved in his hands. He almost dropped it, the movement was so strong. More than the small vibration of before, it was a complete shifting of weight. Like an animal gaining consciousness and smelling the air around it.

Stuart tried to open the book in the dark. Still, it would not budge.

An intense anger flooded his senses and he was about to heave the book across the room when the image of the key floated before his unseeing eyes. Scrambling in the dark, he located the silver key in his pants pocket. He searched with his hands for a keyhole – there had to be one! This had to be it! But, he found nothing. Just the impression of the symbol on the front cover.

Wait.

Stuart took the key and, laying it on the book cover, positioned it so the symbol on the key lined up with the symbol on the book.

*click*

The pages flew open. Words spilled out across Stuart’s hands. What did they say? How were they crawling up his arms? When had the candle relit? Who was in the doorway?

Stuart looked at Dan standing in the entrance to his room. Dan’s eyes were missing and the skin around his mouth had been pulled back exposing skull, gums and teeth.

“I found a book,” Stuart said.

“Let me read it,” The Dan thing said.

The door to Stuart’s room slammed shut and Stuart’s screams began in earnest, mixed with laughter and the wonder of a good book.

*****

Elliott’s Story

“You boys behave tonight!” Elliott called down the hall and shut his door. He was shaken. This little adventure did not feel right, not at all. First was the extreme fatigue. Never had he been this tired. He’d been all over the world, had travelled back and forth from America to parts unknown on numerous occasions, and had never been hit like this. Was he sick? He didn’t feel sick, exactly. It was like something was draining his spirit. Something in this castle. Castle O’Kalan? The more he thought about it, the less sense it made. He didn’t have any ancestors in Ireland, for criminy’s sake! What had put that in his head?

He took out his cell phone. No bars, just like the old man had said. No bars in this cell, he thought and smiled. Normally, he’d come up with some sort of clever play on words, but looking around, he didn’t feel like making jokes.

The room he’d picked had seemed cozy on first glance. It was also the only room that came with pre-lit candles in the wall sconces. That offered some comfort, but not a lot. The lack of windows had made him feel at ease, like nothing could get in. But, now he realized it felt more like he couldn’t get out. Cell, indeed.

Elliott opened his door. He looked up and down the dark hallway. Stuart and Dan were probably already settling in – Dan was probably already asleep by now; that guy could sleep through the “1812 Overture” if he was playing the cannonball – but, Elliott knew he wouldn’t be sleeping tonight. Besides, they didn’t use actual cannonballs in the “1812 Overture.” That would be stupid.

Throwing open the cardboard box at the foot of his bed – that seemed to be the old man’s idea of a “footlocker” – Elliott tossed the sheets, candles and matches onto the floor. At the bottom of the box, was a journal and a pencil. The journal was tied shut with ribbon, and looked new. Elliott lit a candle and brought it over to where he was sitting. Untying the ribbon, Elliott flipped through the journal. The pages were all blank.

Elliott set the journal down and then picked it back up. Something was nagging at him. Something about this entire scenario. Old castle? Mysterious benefactor? It was hitting too many familiar beats. He’d seen enough bad movies to recognize lazy storytelling; and, this was some of the laziest he’d ever experienced.

So, what would a lazy storyteller do in this situation? Well, a blank journal left in a box of supplies was obviously meant to be found. But, why?

Elliott flipped through the journal again. The pages steadfastly remained blank.

“What would the Hardy Boys do?” he said.

Holding the journal up to the candle, he turned the book so he was looking at the pages edge-on. He adjusted his positioning in minute increments and slowly flipped the pages until he saw what he was looking for. Setting the book in his lap, Elliott picked up the pencil and began to lightly rub the lead over the seemingly blank page. As if by magic, words appeared on the pages.

“Of course,” Elliott said. This whole trip was following a script. He felt like he should be two steps ahead of it, if only his head wasn’t so foggy. Peering at the page, Elliott began reading the words out loud.

“They. Are. Gone.” he read, “And. You. Are. Next.” He looked up. Was the candle being blown by something?

“Do. Not. Look. For. Them. Where. You. Can. See. Them. Look. For. Them. Where. Your. Sight. Does. Not. Go.”

Who? Elliott wondered. Look for who? Stuart and Dan? That couldn’t be it. That was DuckTales-level mystery solving. Nothing would be that obvious.

Wait. DuckTales. Something about the opening theme song of DuckTales was playing around in his head. What was it that happened? Huey was climbing a cliff during the “D-d-d-danger” part and then the three of them were looking at a gem during the “Watch behind you” part but what happened? Right. Something jumps out at them while they’re focusing on something else. Right when they’d made some sort of discovery, whatever it was that had been out to get them used that moment of distraction to –

Something grabbed Elliott from behind, squeezing the breath out of his lungs.

Something else grabbed his legs. Whipping his head around, Elliott looked into the face of Stuart Wellington.

“Stu!” he managed to gasp out as Stuart’s powerful arms constricted his chest,”Stu! What are you doing?! What happened to your face?!”

Stuart’s face was covered in what looked like writing; but, it was a language Elliott had never seen before. It covered Stuart’s neck, arms and hands. Stuart’s eyes were red and rolled back in his head; a strange rasping came from his throat and a vile black liquid oozed off of his tongue.

Glancing down, Elliott realized that Dan had ahold of his legs. Dan’s arms weren’t nearly as strong as Stuart’s, so it didn’t hurt very much. In fact, Dan wasn’t really having an easy time lifting Elliot.

“Come on, Dan!” Elliott called out, “Lift with your legs! Just, watch your knee!”

The thing that was Dan seemed to shudder with an intense sigh as it looked up at Elliott. So much of Dan’s face had been pulled away, that it was mostly skull that greeted Elliott. The empty eye sockets leaked the same horrid fluid that poured out of Stuart. And, from deep in Dan’s chest, came that pitiful rasping, moaning sound. As if someone had burrowed into Dan’s chest, and was chanting or singing or weeping.

“Dan!” Elliott cried out, “I know it’s you! Fight this! Let me go! We’ve been tricked! We’ve all been tricked and we played right into the hands – or, you guys played into them; I was doing a pretty good job of figuring things out on my own – of, whatever it is that’s been doing this to us!”

Stuart increased the pressure on Elliott’s small frame and Elliott began seeing stars.

“Well,” he said as he faded out, “I always thought this is how I’d go: with you two fighting over me.”

The Dan thing grabbed the sheets Elliott had tossed on the floor and flung them over Elliott’s form. Stuart and Dan bundled up the little man and Stuart hoisted him over his shoulder. As they exited the room, the candle blew out.

*****

“Nope!” Elliott cried, looking around, “None of this!”

He had come to in a dimly lit chamber, tied to a stone table, still wrapped in the sheets from his room. The alter was surrounded by four unlit braziers. To his left, Dan stood against the wall as if waiting for a command. Stuart mirrored him on the other side, but seemed slightly more sure of himself.

“Guys!” Elliott whispered. “Come on, guys! Let me up. Get me out of here! I know it’s you two. Dan! Get me out of here and I’ll never interrupt you again!”

The two figures stood placidly, ignoring the entreaties of their friend.

“Stuart! Stuart, I’ll get you a writing job on the show! I don’t actually know if you want a writing job – it’s a lot of hard work and you’d have me over your shoulder and, frankly, I’m a pretty difficult guy to be around on the best days – but, just get me up! Come on!”

“They won’t listen to you, Mr. Kalan,” came a familiar voice from across the room.

Dilbert O’Kalan had entered, dressed in long purple robes, tied at the waist with a length of rope. Around his neck, he wore a chain with a jewel pendant. In his hands, he held a metal basin and a long blade.

“I have many legions under my command, Mr. Kalan,” the old man said, “and, given the opportunity, they will push a man’s soul from his flesh and inhabit his bones like a fish in a reef.”

“Wait,” Elliott said, “Wait, are you saying a fish wears a reef like a suit? Have you ever seen a reef? Fish don’t walk around in them, like David Byrne’s big suit. Coral reefs aren’t clothes! Reefs? Is it reefs or reeves?”

“Quiet!” cried Dilbert O’Kalan, “You will not distract me so easily. I am not one of your weak-willed compatriots. We have business to attend to and not much time.”

“Oh, well I better make things easy for you! It would certainly be in my best interest to let you get along with whatever it is you’re going to do with that knife and bowl!”

“Oh, Mr. Kalan,” the old man said, “You have no idea the things I’m going to do. I’ve been stuck in this decrepit flesh suit for far too long. Now, it is time for a change.”

“Into what? Into me? You look just like me! It won’t be that big of a change! It’s hardly worth it!”

“Unfortunately, the Kalans and their relatives have always been the only humans capable of containing my essence. I contrived the story of your inheritance to bring you here. I also needed two vessels to serve as retainers to my glory, and you complied nicely by providing them. I am happy you did not bring along that brother of yours. It would have complicated the process.”

“He probably would have started talking about sports, too,” Elliott said.

“Yes, I listen to your program. It is amusing how you denigrate the works of others for the amusement of your social inferiors.”

“I think we have a new tag line,” Elliott said.

“But, enough. I am going to slice you open, remove your soul and enter your body. The procedure will take about five minutes. Your soul will writhe in torment . . . forever.”

Dilbert O’Kalan lit several of the braziers. The pungent sting of incense filled the air. Dilbert began drawing strange diagrams and symbols on the floor around the altar. Elliott struggled against his bindings, but they were far too tight to move.

“Hey, Dilbert!” Elliott cried, “Who are you, really? How are you tied in with my family? Why me? Do you really listen to our podcast?”

“I know what you’re trying to do, Mr. Kalan,” Dilbert said, continuing his work, “You’re trying to distract me while you think of a way to escape. But, don’t you see that even if you got off of the alter, your friends would simply stop you. Stuart is strong, stronger since his transformation. He always had a bit of the rebel about him; now he has everything he always wanted: unnatural strength, cosmic knowledge, eternal life! Dan finally has power over you. He no longer has to put up with your attitude! Your jabs! Your unending stream of useless knowledge!”

“Listen, Dilbert, you can say what you want, but Dan and I are friends. Sure, we rib each other on the show, but what you’re hearing is just a bit!”

“Nonsense! This man has no respect for you! The way he sighs! The way he swears at your singing! Dan McCoy is no friend of yours!”

“He is a friend!” Elliott shouted, “Dan! Aren’t you my friend?”

The Dan thing remained still, but its eyes shifted ever so slightly towards Elliott’s prone figure.

“See?!” Elliott cried, “He looked over at me! That’s a thing! Stu! Tell this guy where he can go and then get me loose!”

Stuart shifted slightly in his place but otherwise remained still.

“It’s working!” Elliott cried, “They’re coming to! They’re going to wake up, set me free and then beat the stuffing out of you, Mr. O’Kalan if that is your real name!”

“They’re not waking up,” Dilbert said, “They can’t ‘wake up’ because, as I keep telling you, their souls are no longer in their bodies! Those are demons in there! Their souls are trapped in eternal torment!”

“Bull! If their souls were trapped, you’d have them somewhere!”

“I do!” Dilbert shouted, exasperatedly, “I have them in this gem around my neck!”

“Ah HA!” Elliott shouted and burst free of the ropes.

“What?!” said a startled Dilbert O’Kalan, “How?!”

“I suspected something was up when I found that terrible secret message in the journal in my room!” Elliott explained, “Fearing the worst, I palmed a few of those matches you’d provided. This whole time we’ve been talking, I’ve been slowly burning through the ropes, trusting that the smell of incense would hide the odor of burning hemp!”

“Well done, Mr. Kalan,” Dilbert calmly intoned, “But, too little too late. Slaves, grab him!”

The Dan thing and Stuart darted towards the altar upon which Elliott now stood. Stuart dove for Elliott’s legs, but a well timed jump allowed Elliott to safely evade his grasp and land on the floor.

“Fools!” Dilbert cried, “Secure him! He must not escape!”

Elliott ran around the alter, straight into the Dan thing.

“Sorry about this, buddy!” he said and kicked with all his might at the Dan thing’s bad knee.

The Dan thing let loose a wild howl and collapsed, moaning with pain.

“Stuart!” Dilbert O’Kalan cried, “Destroy him! I can still use his body, even if it is slightly damaged!”

Stuart darted around the altar. Elliott realized he would be no match for Stuart’s increased speed and strength. He couldn’t go face-to-face with him. He had to get to that gem!

Feinting to the left, Elliott counted on the thing inhabiting Stuart’s body to not be quite as quick-on-the-take as Stuart himself would have been. He guessed correctly and used Stuart’s brief mistake to dart around the other side of the altar, straight at Dilbert O’Kalan.

The old man was quick, but not quick enough. Elliott grabbed Dilbert around the waist, tackling him to the floor. With both hands, he yanked as hard as he could on the chain around the man’s neck and pulled the gem free.

“Ha!” Elliott shouted. But, something wasn’t right. He looked down.

Dilbert O’Kalan had shoved the sacrificial blade into Elliott’s torso, all the way up to the hilt. So sharp was the blade, Elliott hadn’t even felt it go it.

“It’s over, Mr. Kalan,” Dilbert said, “You played along very well. Now, my soul will enter your body and your soul will be trapped forever in torment!”

“Think so?” Elliott choked out, “Well, let’s take a look . . . in the mailbag.”

And, he smashed the gem on the stone floor.

A flash of light. Wind. Dilbert O’Kalan looked up. Elliott was suspended in the air, three feet above his head.

“Elliott!” he cried.

“There is no Elliott,” Elliott said with a deep, rumbling voice, “Only Zuul!”

“This is not possible!” O’Kalan yelled, “What have you done?!”

“It’s more what have you done, spooky!” Elliott spoke, “You cut me open, I let my friend’s souls out. Now, they’re in here with me! Think I’ll take ’em back to New York with me!”

“What? How?!” O’Kalan spluttered.

“I don’t know, man, it’s your little world! I didn’t make the rules. You okay in there, Dan? Yeah, I’m fine. You alright, Stuart. Yeah, eternal torment sucked. What should we do about this guy?”

Elliott turned his head. Across the room, the Dan thing and Stuart were watching everything with interest.

“Hey, chuckleheads,” Elliott said to them, “Is there a rule that, like, once the souls of the bodies you inhabit have been freed, you no longer have to do what this guy says?”

The Dan thing and Stuart looked at each other. Stuart gave a shrug.

“Works for me,” Elliott said, “I guess you can do whatever you want with him.

“No!” O’Kalan shouted, “No! Stay back! I command you! Stay back!”

“Okay, let’s wrap this up. Fine, Dan,” Elliott said, “Sheesh. You’d think you’d be happy to be freed from eternal torment. No, I’m glad you got me out. Got Meowth? No, ‘me’ ‘out’. My words are a little slurred from being trapped in eternal torment for so long. No, I think you said ‘Meowth’ because all you took from this is a reminder of the video games of your misspent youth. Good takeaway, Dan. *sigh*”

*****

“On this episode of ‘The Flop House’ we answer the burning question ‘Is Martin Short more irritating in animated form?’ with a burning ‘yes’.”

Dan hit Pause on the recording program.

“Okay, guys,” he said, “We’re up for doing this?”

“I think so,” Stuart answered, “Got my beers; got my food. Let’s do it.”

“Elliott? You ready?”

“Of course I’m ready, Dan. I didn’t just sit through seven and a half hours of ‘Legends of OZ: Dorothy’s Return’ to not be ready.”

“Well, if your voice starts to get hoarse, let me know.”

“Dan, if my voice starts to get hoarse, you’ll know. How would you not know?”

“I’m just looking out for you, Elliott.”

“Well, thank you, Dan.”

“You’re welcome, Elliott. Okay, here goes.”

Dan hit record.

“Welcome to ‘The Flop House,” he said, “I’m Dan McCoy.”

“I’m Stuart Wellington.”

“And, I’m Elliott Kalan.”

The recording continued. The three Original Peaches spoke at length about a terrible computer animated children’s movie. The banter was quick. The jokes were on-point. There was even an appearance by the House Cat. Elliott sang a Letters Song. Stuart officially retired “Castle Freak.” Dan sighed. Things were pretty much the same as they’d always been.

Except, they only need one mic, now.

THE END

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The Amazing Story of This Five Dollar Bill

Image

This is it. This is the five dollar bill.

The other day, I was getting in my car and this five dollar bill was frozen in the ice by the passenger-side door, so I chipped it out with my boot and now I have five more dollars.

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Halloween Interlude – The Shortest Ghost

THE SHORTEST GHOST

The Shortest Ghost was very short
Not even two feet high
He looked up to the other ghosts
Who called him “Little Guy.”

The witches called him “Goblin Food”
The mummies called him “Thumbkin”
The Draculas just picked him up
And stuffed him in a pumpkin.

The werewolves all turned up their snouts
As if he wasn’t there
The bats and spiders laughed at him
The Devils pulled his hair

Each Halloween he hoped and dreamed
He’d pull off one big fright
And listen to the children scream
And cry for mom all night

But, when the spooking hour came
The other ghosts would sneer
“A tiny ghost with no loud ‘Boo!’
Does not inspire fear!”

This Halloween, he sat at home
And watched some DVDs
But scary films just made him sad
And he’d seen all of these

And so the Shortest Ghost set out
He thought he’d Trick or Treat
With emphasis on “tricks” because
The treats he could not eat

He stalked a motley group of kids
Who’d not, for hours, be missed
And with a pounce enveloped them
Within his spectral mist

He showed them sights – obscenities –
No living being should see
The face of Death, the Hills of Ot
The Red Pnakotic Sea

He led them through Zehirete
The Holy Womb of Light
And bathed them in The White Fire
Which Is Darker Than The Night

Shub-Niggurath – the Black Goat
With a Thousand Hungry Young –
Ignored them, but not Nyarlathotep
God of the Bloody Tongue

The King In Yellow, Hastur,
Lord of Interstellar Spaces
Was dropping by and broke their minds
By showing them his faces

The Shortest Ghost then dragged them deep
Beneath the ocean’s waves
Where mermaids, fat with sailors’ blood,
Lured men down to their graves

And, down where dead Cthulhu dreamt
And Dagon held court, too
The Shortest Ghost swam in their ears
And whispered to them
“Boo.”

The children screamed, or tried to,
For the ocean filled their lungs
But, soon enough, it mattered not
For death had stopped their tongues

He’d played his trick, he’d had his treat
The dawn would soon be there
The shortest ghost now had his proof
That he knew how to scare

“WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!” his brothers cried
As he rose out of the foam,
“The Old Gods wake! The Howler Screams!
The Shambler starts to roam!”

“You’ve called attention to mankind
With your stupid little trick
We’re sorry that we called you short
But, this is pretty sick!”

The Shortest Ghost looked hard at them
And, then into the sky
The stars blinked out, the clouds dripped blood
The moon revealed an eye

He thought, “Well, no more haunting now
The dead won’t fear the dead
And, no more Halloween for us
Just endless dark instead”

But, never did the Shortest Ghost
Regret what he had done
For size is always relative
Beneath a blackened sun.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

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Halloween Interlude – In the Bag

Margaret sat staring at the bag for a good long time. She had never expected to actually come into possession of it, and frankly she didn’t quite know how to proceed. She opened the book, but any instructions it may have contained were lost to time and the elements. It was just her and the bag now.

The bag shifted.

Margaret stood up and walked around the garage. She fought the urge to throw the bag into the trash or smash it with one of her father’s wrenches. She even envisioned herself clamping it into the workbench vise and going at it with a Sawzall.

But, of course she wouldn’t.

The bag was hers now. Her responsibility. And, Margaret had no intention of shirking her responsibility. Not after all she’d been through. Not after last night. And this morning. And the shape in the alley. Not after all of that.

The bag shifted again.

And, honestly, she wasn’t sure she could even harm the bag if she tried. At least, not what was in the bag. Margaret wasn’t particularly strong, she was sneaky. Sneaky could help you accumulate things but it wasn’t much good in the muscle mass department and the thing in the bag was tough.

To say the least.

As she pedaled home from her . . . experience in the alley, the bag hung from her handlebars and she could feel – or sense – the contents pulling her along, guiding her from street to street, corner to corner. It wasn’t a mental suggestion either, it was a physical tug. If this thing was that strong without touching you . . . well, it was pointless to dwell on abstractions. The thing was hers now, and nothing was going to change that.

A car drove by outside and Margaret stiffened. “Please don’t come home early” she thought/prayed to her father, “Please don’t walk in here and see he like this. I don’t think I could stand it.”

Margaret left bloody footprints as she paced the garage  The thing in the bag seemed to follow her as the crossed the room, or maybe she imagined it did. She was pretty lightheaded by this point.

She stopped pacing and stared at the bag. Was she daring it? To do what?

She needed to open it. That was part of the deal.

It couldn’t be as easy as just pulling the string. There had to be spells and counter-spells. Binding charms. Sacrifice. Something.Margaret picked up the book. Since receiving it (and what a thrill that adventure had been) she had practically memorized most of its contents. It was so detailed, with charts and maps and long descriptions of ritual and rhyme. But, it crapped out at the end. There was nothing past the instructions on acquiring the bag. Just  torn remnants and water-stained smears of pages.

She went to the workbench and picked up one of the razor blades, the one least-covered in gore. She sat down next to the bag and inspected the string. It was tied in a complex knot. She counted to three. She cut the string.

Or, she tried to.

It wouldn’t cut.

She sawed at the string with the razor blade, growing more and more furious as she hacked and slashed at it. All of her fear was fading and a blind, stupid rage was building in her chest. A couple of slahes caught her on the arm and fingers (hardly noticeable by this point) but she kept hacking.

The string held. The bag held.

“What do I do?!” she screamed to the empty garage, “What else do I do?! Please!” She threw the bag across the garage and broke down in tears.

Margaret sat rocking back and forth, her hands clutching her red bangs, sobs racking her small frame. It was so unfair. She had given up so much for this: her friends, her puppy Bubble, her whole senior year. All in the pursuit of . . . something unknown. Something in a bag. She hated it. She wanted it so bad.

Her bloody hands shaking, Margaret picked up the bag.

“Please open up. Please come out. Please. Please. Please.”

The air in the garage grew thick and humid. The blood running down Margaret’s arms and legs flowed faster. The lights faded. But, the bag stayed closed.

Margaret spread out on the floor. She had tried so hard. She was so tired.

She curled up with the bag clutched to her chest, the way she had clutched Bubble once upon a time. She could swear the bag moved against her. She smiled.

The blood flowed out of her and the room grew cold. Then warm. Then nothing.

When Margaret’s father found her body, covered in lacerations, his heart broke.

The bag opened and hell crawled out.

Categories: Halloween!, Horror | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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It's Del Toro Time!

With Phil and Ollie!

Deep In Bear Country

A Berenstain Bearcast

Sonic More Music

A blog about Music....because really what else is there ?

Berenstain Bears Bibliography & Blog

A Complete List of the Berenstain Bears Book Collection - A Resource for Collectors and Parents (Books and Memorabilia)