Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories


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I have a friend named Charlie. I used a Ouija board yesterday, but I only asked one question and put it away. I got my answer today — written in blood on my ceiling. Problem is, my daughter is with her mother this weekend… over miles away. Grandpa died smoking a cigar in his favorite chair. We got a new one but from the ash marks he leaves behind he has a new favorite chair.

My husband woke me up by kissing my cheek when he got home late. This morning I checked my phone — he stayed with a friend last night. I like to sing in the shower sometimes. My wife just ran in to ask me if I was okay because she could hear my terrible coughing fit from across the house. Finger also for sale for the right offer. I had a dream that a man was watching me sleep from outside my bedroom window. When I woke up, I found footprints… inside, next to my bed. My TV keeps turning on by itself.

My girlfriend is scared of horror movies. He died in a drunk driving accident six years ago. I thought it was stupid until I went on a blind date and saw him at the table. My mom told me she had the best time playing with my little sister today. My sister went missing in — they found her body in I tried to be a loving mother. I should have been cremated, and not buried in the ground. And tonight you might possibly die. Than the night the police found, her dismembered head.

And hand reached up and grabbed my foot. Their bodies swaying side to side, while silently they hung. There is someone right behind you. Warm and juicy; best best served fresh. I love the taste of human flesh. What could lie in her crib, crying? And exact my revenge — flesh by the pound. And I know how your window unlocks. I was starving and lost in the woods until I found a hiker. In the morning I woke up freezing cold and clutching the dress she was buried in. I arrived at the funeral a few minutes late.

Nobody acknowledged me, and I figured out why when I looked into the casket and saw myself. I had three seconds of sight left. I was fascinated by how much my brains resembled oatmeal, spattered on the concrete. They gave you to me. As I walked up the driveway with my new friend, I introduced him to my dad.

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I sat up from this horrible nightmare that a gruesome faced man was trying to get in my home, all of a sudden I heard my daughter screaming. She woke up to an unusual silence in their bedroom. She looked over as the thing that laid where her husband use to be rose from under the sheets. I have never seen anything like it, the way it screamed and crawled towards me. This… This thing is suppose to be my little brother. Lightning strikes and there is a man standing in my hallway with a knife. I woke up to the sound of screams and the feel of immense heat surrounding me.

I look at my clock its 3: Looking at my clock it is 3: As she finally drifted off to sleep, she felt the cold, bony fingers caress her body. She prayed it was just a dream…. When she turned around, she saw her own self, dressed in different clothes. Her heart went into shock and the other self gently helped her to the floor as she died. I opened my front door to the frantic pounding of my next door neighbor. To my horror it was something that was wearing his skin….

The stew I was eating was delicious, and I wanted to give my husband a taste. But today, when the crushed body of the little dead boy strapped in his car seat opened his eyes and giggled at me when I tried to peel him out of the wreckage, I immediately knew that today would be my last day on the force.

The dog sits at my gate every morning and night when I leave and come home from work.

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The girl pedaled quickly towards his car, droplets of water flying off her, leaving a trail on the sidewalk. My kids were excited to tell me about the day they just had with their mother. My eyes watered as I pondered how to tell them she died this morning on the way to work.

When I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of cracking, I am aware that it is her rigor mortis body snapping unto itself as she crawls down the hallway. I knew it was only a matter of time before she would seek her revenge. I thought it was a gift too, until the day I began to see it in front of every house. Audra looked across the table to smile warmly at the loving faces of her husband and children.

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Through moon and fog, I run, branches whipping bare legs bloody, and race the hot breath, that burp of hell, against my nape. Closer, closer, until saliva spatters my skin, and the thing with teeth wraps me in its mouth. I used to love hearing those sounds; the bathroom door opening, my girlfriend playfully drumming her fingernails on the sink, and the flat screech of the shower curtain pulling back before she stepped in to join me.

The mirror had been left to me by my late aunts estate, stored in the attic and covered in paper. I stared at my reflection, feeling that something was…off…but not knowing what — when my reflection winked at me. I tried to ignore it, but soon I started losing sleep. Giant bags grew under my eyes and I began yawning almost as much as I breathed.

Sarah was kind enough to let me stay in her house for a few nights. It was during this time that I heard the legend of Forrest Carter, the serial killer who had lived in my house. While no one knows his exact kill count, Carter, also known as the Winthrop Peacock, was a man with extremely severe case of narcissism. Legends say that he couldn't fall asleep if he didn't feel like he was being watched. He was finally arrested for putting up a scarecrow to watch him during the night. Only it wasn't a scarecrow. Carter had murdered a 17 year old girl, just so her corpse could stare at him.

The story gave me shivers, and after I went home, I felt like there were hundreds of pairs of eyes just watching me no matter how I turned. Today, however, was the first day that I acted out. I was cooking breakfast, when I felt the eyes. Instinctively, out of fear, I threw my kitchen knife, which lodged itself into the wall. As I pulled it out, I found myself staring at a pair of eyes, pickling in formaldehyde. I've been watching the police peel away the drywall of my house for hours now. So far, they've found pairs of eyes in little glass jars. The scariest thing is, each and every one was staring at me.

Cradling my four-year-old daughter in my arms, all I could do was listen as the screaming outside the house got louder and louder, interspersed with sounds of violence and horrible, horrible wet thuds and the unmistakable echo of muscle and sinew resisting the force that was slowly tearing them apart. It started just three days ago. Something happened, out there in the world, and before we even get news of what's going on, seemingly half of the world is gone. Police and military were unable to stop it, providing such a short frame of resistance it's hard to know whether it was real or just a fluke.

There was no centralised target, no way to use our most powerful weapons, not without incinerating ourselves in the process. They poured forth across the world, from wherever it was that it started.

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I hear banging on the door downstairs, and the screams of people being slaughtered, unable to mount a proper resistance against such a force. It doesn't take long before the pounding gives way to splintering and the sound of shattering wood. They're in the house. No more than a moment or two passes before the door to the bedroom starts shuddering.

The things I piled against it are holding, for now, but I know, realistically, that they're going to manage to come through. I keep rocking my little girl, humming a lullaby in her ear to calm her as she cries. The pounding grows in force and volume, the frame starting to crack. I put my little girl on my lap, her back to my chest, and I stroke her head with both hands, from the top of her scalp, down across her ears, just as I've done ever since she was a baby. Just the way she loves it. The effect is instantaneous. Her desperate crying calms to a series of sobs and hiccoughs, her small body shuddering against mine in fear.

I keep humming to her, soothing her hair, acting for all the world as if nothing is out of place, not a single thing amiss. Agonisingly slowly, in a reverse cadence of the sound of splintering wood, she calms down. I can feel it when she stops tensing, as I keep stroking her down the sides of her head. A final hiccough of a sob, and she falls quiet, her body relaxed. She doesn't even have time to realise what's happening as I twist her neck with a violent jerk, accompanied by a dry snap of a sound. She's dead before she can even slump down into my lap.

The door is giving way, the furniture pushed back.

Sleep well.

I may be torn limb from limb while I scream, but at least my baby angel's safe from harm. I pointed the gun at the sick bastard who killed my wife. He sobbed as he feared for what was to come. I pulled the trigger. If only he spoke and tried to reason with me then maybe he could've lived. But that was obviously not going to happen. After all, he was born just a few minutes ago. In the year the Messiah came back down to Earth.


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She performed miracles and cured the sick. There was no doubt as to her authenticity. She appeared to all nations at once. Some time later, after this period of our history known as the Age of Peace, She dropped a bombshell on us. She warned us that Heaven was almost full. Nobody had gone to Hell during this Age. There were a fixed amount of spots left.

Paradise would be closed to all who died after the Gates close. That is when the Mass Suicides began. Taking your own life, She had told us, was not a sin if you died a pious man. The race was on! She looked on and was pleased. She returned to her home, to her throne of fire and flames, and greeted all with a nod of her wicked horns. I flung myself through the door and vaulted the toppled, long-dead refrigerator that served as an ineffective barricade in front of me. My legs propelled me through the room and into the small hallway on the other side.

I couldn't stop to eat the expired contents of the fridge, appealing to me despite their stench after several days without food. The shrieks of pain and cries for mercy around me spurred my body onward and filled me with unexpected energy in spite of my hunger. We were at war. I came to a halt in front of a small bathroom. Something behind the shower curtain. My fear heightened and images of the enemy flooded my mind. Merciless beasts wearing human skin, devouring indiscriminately, accepting no pleas and respecting no argument. It had begun as we expected, with a virus.

There was no humanity left in them. Just mindless rage, twisted bodies, and some primal urge to consume others. Our generation had prepared, with almost obsessive focus, for this monster. The first wave was eradicated with almost laughable ease. We were not prepared for adaptation. We were not prepared for the creature we bred by destroying the instantly recognizable zombie. A creature with more tact. Most of the first zombies were killed at close range, you understand, since longer range attacks were less likely to be fatal. We had trained ourselves, even before the outbreak, to equate "infection" with "death" when it came to zombies.

A person "died" when their eyes clouded over and they started biting, not when you put a bullet in their head. The new strain of the virus still controlled the body, yes, but it left other faculties to the host. Maybe you could pull the trigger on a hopelessly crazed caricature of your best friend, your spouse, your child. But what if there was still a soul behind those eyes? If even as they attacked, they sobbed and screamed in their own voice? All the virus needed was a moment's hesitation. I bet you'd hesitate.

Which is why now I could only watch as my arm wrenched back the shower curtain and my hands reached for the cowering child. Why I could only beg for forgiveness before the virus used my mouth to tear ragged, bloody hunks from his body. And I am the enemy. Last night a friend rushed me out of the house to catch the opening act at a local bar's music night.

After a few drinks I realized my phone wasn't in my pocket. I checked the table we were sitting at, the bar, the bathrooms, and after no luck I used my friend's phone to call mine. After two rings someone answered, gave out a low raspy giggle, and hung up.

They didn't answer again. I eventually gave it up as a lost cause and headed home. I found my phone laying on my night stand, right where I left it. Here they come again, the brave ones.

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Another Halloween night, and the kids are back, here to prove their fearlessness. The old house's floorboards creak beneath their sneakers. Only half an hour until midnight, so I have to work fast. I start with their flashlight, blowing lightly against it, so that it flickers, but this inspires little more than a nervous giggle. Fifteen minutes until midnight. Time to take things up a notch.

I hover up to the ceiling, and will my body into flesh. My every nerve is on fire, but they've given me no choice. I'm running out of time. With the last of my strength, I scream— so loud that they finally turn to look up at me. I like to think I put on a good show: I sway on an invisible noose, and the blood flows freely from my nostrils now.

A couple of drops hit a skinny one with a crew cut. The boys scream and run into the night, just in time. Below me, I hear the Thing turn, its disappointment palpable. For now, it sleeps. But one day, I will fail. The boys will be too brave, and I won't scare them out in time. One day they will wake it. Mommy always leaves me and daddy home on Saturday nights, and me and daddy always go get ice cream in the car after dinner.

I have to sit in the back seat until I'm a big boy. I go in the kitchen to see what daddy is cooking for dinner after my Barney movie is over, but he's not in there this time. I saw a note on the counter that said mommy and uncle James were going somewhere together. I'm not sure, I don't read that good. I go find daddy in the garage.

I shut the door behind me like I'm supposed to. Daddy is in the car and he already has the car turned on. We must not be eating dinner tonight, only ice cream. I get in the backseat behind daddy since I'm not a big boy yet. Daddy doesn't say anything when I said hello to him. Maybe he can't hear me over the loud car. I think I'll take a nap on the way to ice cream. I feel kinda sleepy. I don't want to sound mean, but the dead are pretty clueless.


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I've always seen them. When I was younger everyone thought I was just talking to imaginary friends. After a couple years, when I overheard my parents talk about calling a psychologist, I realised what I was talking to. See, ghosts don't tend to realise they're dead, and they don't look like in the movies, they look just like us.

I'm pretty smart for a 13 year old, so I started noticing certain patterns to tell them apart from the living. They could be a bit distant from living people, or you'd see them try to talk to people who wouldn't even notice them. Some of them could tell I was different, that I noticed them. Like this guy I saw after school yesterday.

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I'm a big boy now, see, I don't need my parents to pick me up, home is just a short walk away. He was standing away from the other parents, didn't talk to them, just stared at me, that's how I knew he was one of the ghosts. I went over, told him I knew what he was and asked how I could help him. I don't remember much after that, I think because of what happened this morning. Downstairs, my parents were crying.

I tried talking to them but they ignored me. They must have died last night somehow, sometimes the new ghosts wouldn't talk to me. Some police officers and reporters just arrived, they won't talk to me either, just my parents. It's weird, I've never seen so many ghosts together before. Why won't anyone talk to me? You do not know who I am, but I know you. I am one of the three demons that were assigned to you at birth.

You see, some people in this world are destined for greatness, destined to live happy, fulfilling lives. You, I am afraid, are not one of those people, and it is our job to make sure of that. Oh yes, of course, how rude of me. Allow me to introduce us: Shame is my younger brother, the demon on your left shoulder. Shame tells you that you're a freak; that those thought you have are not normal; that you will never fit in.

Shame whispered into your ear when your mother found you playing with yourself as a child. Shame is the one who makes you hate yourself. Fear sits on your right shoulder. He is my older brother, as old as life itself.

Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories
Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories
Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories
Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories
Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories
Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories
Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories Dont Go to Sleep in the Dark: Short Stories

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