Well this would have been great to start the first of the month, but better late than never! October means Halloween, means spooky stories. I love reading creepy, ambiguous horror, the type of fiction that makes you feel like something’s skulking just on the periphery of your mind’s eye. But I’ve never really tried writing it.
So, for the rest of the month, I’ll try to whip up some short, scare-tastic stories as often as I can. I’d love to say I’ll do one a day, but with my track record that’s unlikely. I’ll just promise to try and get down on paper every creepy crawly I can find in my brain.
Without further ado, the first entry…
That pinprick of light was a beacon of hope the first day. It meant maybe he wasn’t so far from the surface. It meant maybe someone could her his screams. It meant maybe he would survive this.
By day two, that small glimpse of sky and cloud was torment. It meant he would die here, just a dozen feet from open air. It meant he could watch the sky darken and know another day had passed. It meant he could clearly see no one looking down on him from above.
But he kept staring, even as he grew to hate that window to the outside world. He kept his eyes fixed firmly on that cold, bright point until night fell, then squeezed them shut. Always he faced the same direction, since he’d first fallen and found himself buried here.
The fall had knocked him out cold. He’d swam back to consciousness confused, sore, disoriented. When he first sat up, he’d seen the pinprick and its single beam of light streak down, thin and fragile in the black, to land upon that bright blue eye. He’d frozen, staring, as soon as he noticed it. He couldn’t see what it was attached to. All he could see was the milky white sclera, riddled with red veins, the stormy-ocean dark blue iris, and the pupil matching the inky black of the subterranean.
That first glimpse was enough to set his lizard brain screaming. He’d turned slowly, the scrape of his jeans against the rock louder than a summer storm. He faced that single pinpoint light, too terrified to make a noise. Waiting to hear something in the darkness behind him, waiting to feel the grip of something cold and slippery at the back of his neck.
For two days it didn’t come. His muscles were groaning in the stillness, sick from holding the same stiff posture. He felt delirious, insane. Maybe he had imagined the eye. Maybe he had imagined the cold twist in his stomach, the lurch of animal instinct warning him against the unnatural. He had almost convinced himself to turn around when it spoke.
“I could get you out, you know.”
It didn’t sound like something out of a monster movie, more like an old man. Still, he felt paralyzed and could say nothing in return.
“There’s a way out,” the voice said. “But we can’t go up. We have to go down.”