Halloween Themed StoriesAnimal Robots Stone Transgender Halloween Other Sc-Fi Year 2015 Published Stories
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CURSE OF SHADOWS
"Candygram for Mister Mongo!" Peter stood on Larry's porch dressed like an old-time Western Union clerk in a tight black suit and a rebel cap. He held a jumbo-heart-attack size box of Russell Stover chocolates in his right hand. A gaggle of fourteen year-old boys dressed in makeshift ghost outfits stood around him, bags held open for candy.
"My what scary costumes you have! Aren't you kiddies too old for trick or treat?" Larry snarked. He dropped bite-sized candy in the bags. The tallest kid put his hands on his hips like he needed another chocolate before starvation.
"Real generous Mister. Other houses gave us full-size candy bars. Those things are bunny turds. You poor or stupid?" The other boys encouraged his rudeness.
"I can pass a kidney stone. Would that satisfy you?" Larry's eyes flashed red and the kid's face blanched and turned to fear. "Now be gone!" Larry roared like a tiger. The kids ran away in a flurry of Bronx cheers and middle fingers. Larry stared after them and licked drool from his lips. Peter flourished the chocolates a second time. Larry pulled him inside the house, turned off the lights and eyeballed the sidewalk through the window.
"Are you crazy bringing kids to the house and dressing like Doogie Houser in leather drag!" Larry peeped through the blinds and checked for anyone else outside.
"They were the last munchkins on the street. Tasty morsels, if you know what I mean." Peter winked. Larry grabbed Peter's throat and locked his gaze.
"The munchkins weren't funny. It's getting close to moonrise. I could lose control," Larry mumbled. Peter gripped Larry's hand and pulled it from his neck.
"Are the bodies ready?" Peter asked.
"I put them on the bench near the water feature." Larry huffed and harrumphed.
"Good. It's about time I have a son." He opened the box of chocolates and made a big deal of sucking the insides out of a chocolate-covered cherry. He licked the chocolate off of his fingertips and offered the open box to Larry. He pushed the box of chocolates aside, turned and walked through the living room and dining room into the kitchen. Peter followed. Through the window he could see a detached garage and the dead bodies. The hairs on his arms itched. The bloodlust rose. He could smell the dead.
"How can you eat before..." Larry's voice trailed off in a gurgle of saliva. He struggled to maintain control.
"Oh don't go all drama queen on me now. You've got to learn control." Peter walked outside to the bodies. A homeless man's dead eyes stared at him. He reached out and closed the eyes reverentially. Larry snorted.
"I like the stare, the vacant eyes that beg for oblivion. I think they know we're going eat their souls and they're helpless, unable to stop being un-souled forever," Larry laughed and stroked the hair on his dead body as if it were a pet dog. Peter sniffed the air. Something smelled wrong.
"Why do I smell cat?"
"I stole the litter box from the neighbor's house. I wanted to kill the cat but I knew if I killed it, it would attract attention," Larry answered.
"Why?" Peter asked. His claws grew.
"Same reason you brought kids to the door?" Larry regretted the challenge in his tone. He forced obedience into his face, pulled his shoulders down and hunched over.
"If you must know, those boys gave us an alibi. You're angry because they flipped you the bird." Peter's voice grew low and harsh, almost a growl. "It's too small an insult to give it note. Why steal a litter box?"
"That family down the road, they disrespected me. Their cat shit all over my porch. So when they left for Sunday services, I stole their brand-new, super-dandy, outrageously expensive, piece-of-crap, shit-and-piss-collecting litter box. It was their pride and joy. It senses when the kitty does its business, chemically digests the load and flushes it, all automatically. I swear it's possessed. They love it more than brat of a kid that mouthed off while you fooled around. I wanted to squeeze the cat's head until its brains popped but I didn't." Larry sat next to his body and lit a cigarette between shaking stubby fingers. His nails were black and shaped like claws. A cloud of smoke filled the air around his face and his eyes burned red. Fresh hair grew on the back of his hands. He hunched up, knees halfway up to his chest and arms tight to his body.
"Stupid. Careless. The day we kill two homeless men, you steal a litter box? Why did we buy a house out here in the middle of nowhere? On all this acreage? Why did we avoid neighbors?"
"My bad. My blood burns. My body hungers."
"Remember what I told you? When the change happens, savage the corpse, not me. If you dare attack me, I will kill you. Now look to the sky and meet our master, the curse of shadows, the wolf moon."
Both men pulled at their clothing. Silver-gray fur burst out of their backs and shoulders. Their muscles thickened. Their faces bulged out into snouts, ears pointed ears, fangs grew, claws sprang from fingers, hands shrunk, feet and ankles became digitigrade. They fell forward and stood on four limbs. Wolves the size of men, snarling, vicious and hungry. They fell upon the dead bodies, ripping and devouring. The silvery souls of the dead tried to rise but the wolves snapped at it, inhaled it, ate it as they consumed the flesh of the dead men.
When the bloodlust faded and their human forms returned, they were younger, mid-twentyish, the prime of life, revitalized savages, standing over the broken and eviscerated bodies of their prey. Free to kill by the moon night and walk unharmed in the sun by day.
This, his tenth such bloodfest held no surprise for Peter. But first-timer Larry twitched and jerked, barely able to control his concupiscence; too alive with newfound strength, too new in his transformed body. They cleaned the blood from their renewed bodies in the water feature and dressed in fresh clothing.
"Get your duffle. Remember, take nothing from this life but cash or gold. Who we were will be declared missing and who we will be... are but ciphers." Peter went to the garage and Larry went into the house. He picked up his duffle and the jumbo-heart-attack size box of Russell Stover's chocolates and made his way to the car.
Sitting in the passenger seat, he smacked his lips as he ate.
"Candygram for Mister Mongo!" Larry joked. Peter shook his head and drove in silence to the small town.
"I ate my fill. I parked the new car on the far side of the green. I'm going to park on the opposite side of the green." He didn't wait for an answer. He strode off down the street.
Still eating chocolates, Larry followed. The trees on the village green bore their Halloween costumes of toilet paper and smashed pumpkins. Bare branches blotted out the setting moon and filled the path with forbidden shapes and fantastical images. Peter walked to the thickest grove of trees bordering a city planner's idea of a half-pond, half-fountain, half-memorial. He deftly stepped behind a tree, came up behind Larry, took the duffle from him and stood astride the path. Confused, Larry shuffled.
"Something wrong Larry? I smell confusion oozing from your body and I smell the rich, ripe scent of your enemies. It's strong here."
"I don't smell anything. What is this, trick or treat?"
"Not one bunny turd treat. You broke my rules Larry. You called attention to yourself for no reason. The enemies of the wolf are ever vigilant. You made us vulnerable. You made yourself vulnerable. You made yourself dependent on me. Chocolate. Think about how potent it is. How it dulls our minds, blunts our senses and you just ate a box of it. It's made you stupid and weak."
Larry tried to focus on the darkness. He sensed nothing. He tried to change to his wolf form. Strength didn't come, no fangs, no claws. "I won't do it again. I promise I won't. This was just one mistake. I'm allowed one mistake. Hell, you told me you made plenty." He took a defensive stance.
"And you didn't learn from any of them. I can bend these children to my will and they will be faithful to me beyond the grave."
The tallest trick or treater stepped out from behind a tree followed by his buddy, half a head shorter but just as grim and determined. They weren't young and innocent teens dressed as ghosts and goblins. They held crossbows in their hands and the symbols of the Curse of Shadows carved deep into their faces and chests. Blood dripping down their torso.
"Trick for you," the short boy said.
"Treat for us."
We'll take a kidney and the damned stone," the taller boy added.
Larry twisted to make his body a thinner target but the twin arrows ripped through his chest, splitting ribs and ripping lungs and muscle. Only the fletching protruded from his chest. Larry spun around, trying to change into his wolfish form but nothing happened, no claws, no strength. Blood bubbled out of his mouth and down his shirt.Each struggle for breath ripping lung tissue.
"He's yours. Take him," Peter ordered. Young, barely-formed claws ripped flesh. Teeth became like razors and jaws thickened with the strength of tigers. Inhuman beings with lion's manes, feral red eyes, razor-sharp teeth, chests, shoulders and arms over-muscled and torsos covered by fur. Larry became a spray of blood and bits of flesh. Bones cracked open. Marrow sucked. The boys absorbed his soul as it flickered silver in the dark night. Blood dripped from their mouths, from their hands, smeared arms and legs, their hands clutched entrails and sweetmeats. They raised their heads and howled to the sky announcing their birth to the moonless void. Peter growled low and savage, fully transformed into his wolf form. His powers an evil silver aura tinged with in blood shining around him and the two scrawny thirteen year-old boys who knelt like altar boys before their high priest.
"Do you accept the Curse of Shadows willingly and my authority as your master and commander?" With wolf-like jaws they swore allegiance while Peter bent their young minds to his will. They washed each other in the fountain, dressed in clean clothing and departed, the damned walking the earth with the living.
In a distant city, a widower and his two sons bought a house, enrolled in school, played sports and lived quiet lives. And woe to the criminals and nameless unfortunates who crossed their path on the night of the full moon.
1800 words more or less
FUTURES YET UNKNOWN
Ten Stories by Dave Fragments
*An Alien serial murderer and a furry detective with fleas.
*Murder on a world with altered humans.
*Disturbing apocalyptic visions *Monstrous dystopian societies.
*A man on trial for betraying the human race to robots.
*Devils, demons and ghosts.
*Survivors of a plague war.
*Cyborgs trying to be human.
*Six friends in a strange sinkhole.
*The truth about a world drowning in rain, without sun, without hope.
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