"I won't be able to find you soon."
"No choice, then."
In unison, they smiled. "It's time."
For something Sara suspected might be a couple of days expired, the bagel didn't actually taste so bad. No, the bad taste in her mouth was likely being caused by her present situation.
It was Halloween, and she was stuck at home. Her father was working late. Her brother was out, actually celebrating with his friends, and where was she? At home, alone, watching mediocre horror flicks and eating strangely edible expired snacks.
Fucking perfect, she thought.
Outside, the darkness seemed heavy but vivid somehow, as if the night itself was excited. Every now and then the silence was broken by a squeal of laughter, a sudden giggle, or the excited chattering of costumed kids running around, getting as much candy as the houses could spew up.
Every one of those giggles made Sara's scowl deepen more and more. It wasn't just the fact that she was doing absolutely nothing this Halloween; this also happened to be the very LAST thing she needed. In all the years prior, Sara had always done something for Halloween. She's dressed up, met with her friends, gone out with her family, something. This year, however, she'd had to move, away from her previous home and friends, and into a new school, during her senior year, in an area of Ontario with which she was completely unfamiliar.
She hated her new school. She had no close friends. Her teachers were either incompetent or cruel or both. And now she was spending Halloween without a trace of Halloween fun. There wasn't even anything worthwhile on TV.
Outside, Sara heard another squeal of laughter, followed by the sound of her doorbell ringing. She sighed and rolled off her bed, dragged herself down the stairs, and paused at the bottom to try and rework her facial expression into something less...caustic. She had been expecting some trick-or-treaters would be along eventually.
Once she was reasonably sure she'd managed her best evil smile, Sara turned the corner and approached her door. Through the large pane of glass to the left of her front door, she could see there was indeed someone outside. She couldn't make out any features, but whoever it was, this person was sort of tall for a trick-or-treater.
Hm. Maybe they're 12-year-olds or something.
Sara slowly opened the door for dramatic effect. She was about to try a deep, evil voice when she saw that there was no one there. In fact, she noticed that while there were kids farther down the street, there were none immediately in front of her house, or the neighboring ones. A sudden gust of wind blew through her hair, across her face, and she shivered.
After a moment, she just shrugged.
She made her way past the stairs, down the hallway, to the kitchen. After flipping on the light, she placed the bowl of candy her dad had left for trick-or-treaters down on the counter, since she apparently wouldn't be needing it. Then she opened the fridge door and looked around all the shelves. There had to be something good.
Sara closed the door again, debating whether or not she should make herself a sandwich, when something through the window caught her eye. It looked as though the darkness outside had been replaced by something darker in the middle. She turned towards the window.
It was the same shadowy figure from before. Staring right at her through her kitchen window.
Sara screamed and fell back. Immediately, she looked up at the window again...
And she found that there was nothing there. She could clearly make out the cheesy glowing skeletons that decorated the side of her neighbor's house. Had she imagined it?
Ohhhhh no. I am NOT gonna be the stupid girl in a horror movie. Not tonight.
Sara fished her cell phone out of her pocket, went to her contacts list, and scrolled down until she found "Dad." She pressed the "Call" button and waited. Between the third and fourth ring, he picked up.
"Dad, get home, now. There's someone stalking around the house. Whoever it is, he keeps looking in through all the windows. I'm sure it's not a trick-or-treater."
"I'm already on my way home," came the response from the speaker. "I'll be there in five minutes. Stay away from the windows."
"Alright, I'll see you then," Sara finished.
She quickly exited the kitchen and headed up the stairs. She wasn't particularly worried about her dad when he got back; he was a big guy. People would think twice about trying to take him on.
Feeling more relaxed now that she knew she wouldn't be alone much longer, Sara made her way down the hallway and pushed her slightly ajar bedroom door fully open.
Someone was standing in the middle of her room, shrouded in shadows.
Sara shrieked and slammed the door closed.
He-he was just outside!! How'd he get in my house?!
She flew down the stairs, completely terrified now. She turned the corner again to make for her front door, but she stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the same figure from the window, standing still as stone, its outline clearly visible through the glass pane.
Sara's heart felt like it might burst out of her chest. Her breaths were coming short and quick, leaving her feeling like she was getting no oxygen at all. She whirled around, ran back up the stairs. She was on the second step when she nearly ran right into the other one at the top of the stairs, a statue in the darkness.
She choked on her scream as the figure extended one long, bony hand and tightly gripped her neck. His—its—face was still shrouded in shadow, but it had inhuman strength. She just barely had time to think, how does it move so fast?!, before the thing all at once relinquished its grip and let her fall back down the stairs.
Sara practically rolled down, smashing her knee into the edge of a stair and nearly breaking her neck several times.
She just lay there at the bottom of the flight. Everything hurt. Her knee was on fire. She just wanted to lie there and cry, but the sound of dry, ragged laughing from the top of the stairs snapped her out of it. Whimpering and crying in pain, Sara forced herself to stand and limped down the hall. She had to get away. Her dad would be home any second!
The only place left to go was the bathroom. Sara limped into it, slammed the door shut behind her, and locked it. For a single, sickening moment, there was silence. Then, as Sara's hand still rested on the brass knob, it ever so slowly turned. Sara muffled her scream with her other hand and slowly backed away, letting herself fall back and curling up against the bathtub.
The knob turned gently at first, then more insistently, vigorously. Strangely, though, it didn't become violent. It seemed more...coaxing. Beguiling.
Sara was so petrified, her eyes so transfixed on the doorknob, that it was at least a minute before she noticed it.
The figure in the mirror. Smiling.
Sara didn't even scream. The moment she laid eyes upon it, it seemed to...call to her. Before she realized what she was doing, Sara was standing up. Slowly, against her entire will, she put one foot forward. Then the next. There was no stopping. Her body was no longer her own.
She was facing the mirror. Her eyes stared into the smile, lifeless and joyless, and she wanted to scream and run. Instead, she slowly raised an arm. The figure started to do the same. Sara was screaming at her body, demanding, imploring, begging that it stop, but in vain.
Her hand came to rest upon the silvery surface. The figure's did the same, resting upon the same spot where Sara's hand was. Sara felt a biting cold upon her palm, and the room seemed to start spinning. Her vision blurred.
No...NNNO, I can't...can't let myself!
The last thing Sara heard before losing consciousness was the gentle click! of the bathroom door opening.
In her head, in her ankles, in her knee; Sara felt pain all over. She opened her eyes, and found that she wasn't in her room. There was a window below her. Lights on the floor. It took Sara a moment to understand; she was upside down. For a moment, she was puzzled.
Why am I- Oh God! Those THINGS! What happened?! Where-where am I?!
Sara looked up and saw that the pain in her ankles was coming from the chains that bound her. She twisted and thrashed, trying desperately to free herself, but the chains didn't relent. She was stuck.
She looked around, expecting to see Hell itself for all she knew. The space itself looked to be about 7x7 meters. A single, dim lightbulb on the ceiling cast a pitiful amount of light. There were dirty walls with cracked, faded paint. The floor was rough stone. In one corner, there was a small room, the doorway covered with an old plastic curtain. The single window was located almost at the junction between the wall and ceiling. A basement.
Sara felt herself start to hyperventilate again.
"S-someone!" She screamed hoarsely. "Someone help me!"
She listened for a moment, but heard only the cacophony of crickets in reply.
"P-please! ANYONE! Help me!!" She screamed, as loud as she could. "PLEASE!!"
"No one will hear you. Please, don't be so noisy."
Sara immediately stopped. Her eyes wide with terror she turned her head to see the figure in the darkness, standing near the corner where the room was.
"I promise,I don't wish to cause you pain. Please stop screaming." The thing spoke in a dry, strained, yet soft voice, somewhat like the faint wind outside.
"Wh-why am I here?" Sara whimpered.
The thing tilted its head to one side, as if considering the question.
"It's actually quite simple. I want to see a dear friend. My sister, actually. You're here to help me."
Sara instantly remembered the figure in the window and the mirror. "Fr-friend? What friend??"
"You should know. You've seen her."
The thing's left hand was incessantly opening and closing, its long, bony fingers writhing, as though it could barely contain itself. This thing wasn't human. It couldn't be.
"What ARE you?!" Sara screamed at the thing.
For a moment, it didn't react, but then it simply stepped forward, into the light, and made itself visible.
Sara choked on vomit, which clogged another scream. It had the frame of a human, but otherwise it was anything but. It looked like it had at some point been a teenage boy, but "he" was bald, and "his" skin was taut, veinless, and translucent. Sara could SEE into his flesh, and underneath the lifeless covering he looked like a corpse in the process of decaying. In some parts he seemed to have nothing but bone beneath the skin, while in others there seemed to be only flesh. His right arm hung limply at his side, apparently devoid of bone. He looked like random chunks had been torn out of him and the rest mixed around inside him, like some grisly living stew.
He was "wearing" an old, torn black T-shirt and jeans of the same color. In some parts, though, the fabric seemed to be under his skin, fused with it.
"What-what the fuck?!" Sara rasped. It was all she could say. "What the fuck, what the fuck, what the fuck....?!"
"Pleased to meet you," the thing responded. "I had a name once, but it doesn't matter now. You won't know it very long anyway."
"You-you sick...THING!! SOMEBODY HELP!!"
Sara couldn't help it. This...this living SWIRL of gore, telling her these things, just made her snap. She HAD to call for help. She had to get away right then!
The thing sighed and put his hand into his pocket, pulling out a set of pliers. "I asked you to be quiet..."
He took hold of the sides of Sara's mouth, put the pliers around one of her front teeth, and pulled slowly, but with tremendous force.
Sara's screams for help became cries of pain. She could feel the root of her tooth shearing her gum. With a wet tearing sound, the tooth came free. Sara's mouth filled with blood. The pain was excruciating.
"You sick FUCK! Oh, you sick, sick FUCK!" she kept screaming.
Again, the thing sighed, and with the pliers, it closed around another tooth, a molar this time. Sara shrieked in agony as this one too came free. Blood flowed from her mouth down into her hair.
"Now will you please be QUIET?" the thing asked, sounding more sad than angry.
Sara could only sob in response. The pain was too much. The thing continued.
"I really didn't want to have to do that, but I detest the sound of screaming. I'm not into torture, or terror, or any of that. I just want to see my dear sister." He began circling Sara's dangling body as he talked, sounding increasingly pained.
"I'm sorry. I truly am. This is the only way for me. You can see her. Everyone can see her. But I can't. You see, my sister doesn't exactly...exist in this plane. She can manifest in reflective surfaces, though. You can see her in any of them, but me...I can't. Mirrors are useless. Glass, marble, water, nothing. Works. I used to think I'd never see her again...until I discovered it."
The thing stopped circling Sara for a moment and walked over to the room in the corner. Sara watched him with raw horror, still whimpering and crying in pain.
He returned with an object in his hand. He lifted it up to reveal a scalpel, wickedly glinting in the poor light.
"The one surface that works."
Despite the pain in his voice, he smiled. It was a wicked smile, full of animalistic desire.
"I never see my sister in my reflection in most reflective surfaces..."
He raised the scalpel.
"...but in the right light...blood can be very reflective indeed."
Sara's scream was cut off as the scalpel flashed to the side. It became a gurgle as blood gushed from her open throat, down her face, into her mouth, through her eyes, running in rivers into her hair, and finally pooling beneath her on the floor.
The thing watched eagerly as a large puddle of blood formed underneath Sara, who was still choking and gurgling. He knelt in front of the puddle and gazed intensely into it. For a moment, nothing seemed to happen.
"You found me."
Slowly the thing's reflection morphed and blurred into something similar, but with patches of long, black hair instead of a bald head.
He smiled at her, swelling with jubilation. "Yes. Yes, I found you again."
She smiled back. "I missed you so much."
"I missed you too, but you see? We found a way. We always find a way."
"Our teamwork was perfect, as usual."
For several minutes they just looked into each other's eyes, elated, overjoyed.
Her smile faded. "But y'know...this never lasts long."
His own smile vanished. "I...I know. I won't be able to find you soon."
"No choice, then."
In unison, they smiled. "It's time."
He slowly stood up, walked past the body, still feebly spewing blood, and over to a door in the opposite corner.
"I love you, sister," he called.
"I love you too...and I'll see you soon, just as soon as you find another one."
The light went out, the door creaked open, and then slammed shut, just as quickly.
Sara's hearing was all but gone. She was barely conscious. Now she just wanted it to end. And soon, it would.
Before Sara's consciousness was all but gone for the last time, she heard a slight chuckle, directly beneath her.
"You should've been more careful with reflective surfaces, dearie," came the female voice. "No telling WHAT you might see in them...."
Written by JustAnotherScarecrow