A/N: Happy Hallowe'en everyone! Hope you've all been keeping well lately (and writing -glares-). The following mish-mash of words is what my entry for the Hallowe'en Short Story Contest would have looked like. My internet decided to cut out before I could send Skyril the right entry, so I was sadly unable to enter :( I must say, I loved all of the entries! There were amazing, and I wouldn't have fancied my chances against you wonderful people! But, as I've pointed out - It's Hallowe'en. So what better time to finally unveil my would-be entry? I've put it off long enough, and don't like the idea of it sitting on my computer, never to be read... It feels like a waste.
P.S. The Sluaghs were my little attempt at having some culture... In old Scottish and Irish folklore, the Sluaghs were malevolent spirits rejected from the Otherworld, Heaven and Hell. Don't want to spoil anything from the story, so take a look at this page once you've finished reading :) ==> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sluagh And hey! I managed to make it exactly 1313 words long - because I like the extra challenge (If something in my story is bad - blame it on my determination to make it fit to the word count -_- ... -shameless cowering from rejection-) :D
Hope you enjoy! ~Bones
All Hallows Eve. The night where demons and harsh spirits have their chance to roam the realm of the living. Rejected from the Otherworld, they are free to haunt the lands, avenge their deaths and steal the souls of the innocent. Until the next day. The next day, they would be caught. Their crimes punished, but not undone. They would be sent where they belonged, in a place of suffering and turmoil.
Until next year...
What a load of crap.
Delilah didn’t believe any of those stories any more, she wasn’t a child. Sure, they would give her a good scare when she was younger, but why wouldn’t they? Children are gullible. Impressionable. But she was grown up now, and wasn’t about to be fooled into believing silly ghost stories anymore.
Unlike her mother, stupid old bat. The woman was her hero during her scarier Hallowe’en days, always protecting her. She said that as long as you disguised yourself in a costume, the evil ‘Sluaghs’ couldn’t see you and steal your spirit away.
Of course, Delilah had grown out of dressing up years ago, as many teenagers do. But her mother never did. And now, she was just a crazy middle-aged lady who still bought a different costume for her daughter and herself every year. “If we wear the same as last year, the Sluaghs might suspect something!” her mother would giggle. Delilah always refused to wear a costume, which would result in an argument between them. She would always storm up to her room and ignore her mother until the next day. Traditions.
Delilah looked down at the younger kids from her bedroom window, in their fancy costumes and their buckets of sweets, with disdain. The little fools loved how her mother would dress up, as if it was for their amusement. She would tell them the same stories she told her. Their own parents thought it was nice at first, but then some grew wary of her as time went by - The weird woman who took Hallowe’en seriously.
Sighing, Delilah shut the curtains and went back to watching some scary movie that was on TV. She wasn’t paying much attention to it. Creepy faces, blood, helpless victims, screaming. Lots of screaming. She watched it for a while then felt herself getting tired and switched off the bad movie before falling asleep, more than happy for this day to end.
She woke an hour later to a knocking on her door. It was probably her mother, but she didn’t feel like talking to her yet. She ignored it.
A couple of minutes passed. Just as she thought she was gone, there came the knocking at the door, louder this time. She ignored it.
Ten minutes passed. Delilah was almost asleep again, when there came a violent bang on her door. She jumped at the sound and bolted upright. She heard giggling.
Angered at being startled, she stomped to the door and swung it open with considerable force, just glimpsing a figure in the gloom before her door hit the TV. Cursing, she turned to inspect the damage – a sizeable crack on the screen.
She turned to her mother, “See what you-!”
No one was there. The hallway was empty. Delilah stared, confused, at the spot where she could have sworn her mother was standing...
She must have run back to her room, sensing there would be another fight. Or maybe she was just playing some kind of trick on her, the sick lunatic. Whatever. She didn’t want to deal with her anyway. Delilah slammed the door shut, and sleepily got back into bed.
She woke an hour later to a tapping on her window. Grumbling, she rolled over in bed and covered her ears. She wasn’t falling for that again.
A couple of minutes passed. The noise was gone, but she didn’t expect it to give up...
Ten minutes passed. A very loud bang, and this time Delilah got up and tore open the curtains.
She yelled as she uncovered the culprit, “Will you -!”
No one was there. She was sure she had caught them that time. The banging hadn’t stopped as she approached the window. It paused as she yelled... then started again. So did the giggling.
It was pitch black outside. The moon was the only source of light, playing with the dancing shadows on the street. Weird... She opened the window, looking further down, to see if someone was hiding down below.
Couldn't see a thing.
A chill ran along her back, making her shiver. Must’ve been the wind.
Frowning at the ground Delilah decided to give up. She straightened up and screamed at the face outside her window. His body was hard to see, as if he were covered in something like oil and concealed by the shadows. His face, smeared with blood and hideous with scars, was twisted into a terrible smile. That slimy substance dripped from his chin.
Delilah screamed again as she threw the curtains across the window. She backed up, slipped on something and hit the ground hard. She was vaguely aware of her heads’ impact on the ground...
In a daze she sat up, panting heavily. Her room was dark again with the curtains closed and she couldn’t see what she had slipped on.
She looked up at the curtains. The tapping had stopped. Did that mean that the man was away too?
She leaned forward and groped the ground to find what she had caused her to fall. Her fingers couldn’t grab a hold of anything... She ran her hands along the carpet, combing the floor for the source. Her fingers ran across something slimy. Something thick. Unpleasant to touch. Something like oil.
She got up quickly, ignoring the pain in her head and opened the curtains again.
No one was there. The man wasn’t outside the window.
Because Delilah didn’t see a man outside her window.
She saw his reflection.
From behind her came a noise like the sharp sound of nails scraping across glass. She spun round.
Everything in her room was slathered with oil. Pools of the stuff spread out across the carpet, dripped from the ceiling.
Gingerly, she edged in front of the mirror on the other side of the room: the only possible source of the sound. She was breathing hard. She couldn’t fight the panic rising within her much longer.
With her back pressed against the wall, Delilah faced the mirror. It was the only thing in the room free from black slime. But now it bore a set of scars just to the right of where Delilah’s head could be seen. The rugged lines were harshly made, but very precise, made to fit the exact contours of a face.
Not moving from her spot Delilah quickly looked around the room, examining all the dark corners, looking for the man, but he was not to be found. She slumped down to the ground, burying her face in her knees, letting the tears and the panic break the floodgates. She sobbed and wished her mother would come and save her, her childhood hero, just like she used to, she wished she hadn’t-
She froze. She didn’t want to look up.
She wanted to stay in the false comfort of her own arms, and pretend there wasn’t a man there.
She didn't move for what felt like an eternity.
She wondered if the man had left... when a cold, wet hand grabbed her right shoulder.
Delilah shrieked and straightened up. She caught a glimpse of the mirror before another hand grabbed her mouth. A pair of eyes was set perfectly amongst the scars, accompanied by a twisted grin. She was starting to drown... drowning in oil... she couldn't escape. The last thing she remembered was the message on the mirror...