From her bedroom window, Camilla looks down on the masses shuffling along Fifth Avenue. She doesn’t dare going out on the balcony – she’s seen them climb trees like chimps going after people in the park.
The house phone rings.
‘Ms Vandenberg, Mr. Preston is here for you.’
Camilla laughs at Colin’s formality. He’s the reason the residents haven’t been overrun, but he acts as if it were part of the job.
‘Did he bring the guns?’
‘He did indeed.’
‘Colin, won’t you come upstairs?’
‘My place is by the door, Ms. Vandenberg. We don’t want undesirables coming in, do we?’
Written for Microcosms 4, which provided the following prompts: character – princess; location: New York City; genre: horror.
The humble spoon. It looks innocuous. Some might call it benign.
Some have no imagination.
I don’t have a lot of time for people who pride themselves on their knife skills. Cutting out your victim’s heart with a knife, where’s the artistry in that? Also, a knife takes away the element of surprise. You pull a knife, people scream and fight and beg for their lives before you’ve begun to have any fun.
I get my spoon out, people laugh. They think they’ve been pranked, look for the camera.
‘A gruffalo? Why, didn’t your mother read you bedtime stories? Not the only thing she didn’t do, then. She should have told you not to talk to strangers in the dark – you never know. You might run into a monster.’
Janey sticks her head out to check for the prevalent conditions. She can’t afford to be caught in the wrong outfit. It’s getting harder by the day to predict which group she might encounter. Nights getting longer doesn’t help – blasted autumn equinox. The other day, she found herself out until sunset without adequate protection; it nearly cost her dearly.
The fog doesn’t help, either. Muffles sounds of shuffling feet. On the other hand, it’ll mask her scent.
In the end, Janey goes for full armour and weaponry. Will slow her down, but no matter what’s about today, she’ll kill it.
She drops the Romanian accent along with her crystal ball and hides in the darkest corner.
‘Get out,’ she spits.
‘Tell me what you saw.’
I know. But I need her to tell me.
‘Six crystal pillars. They spawn these… creatures. From the distance, you’d mistake them for angels.’
‘Tell me what they look like.’
She comes out of hiding, fetches pencil and sketch pad. I close my eyes – the suffocating stench of incense has given me a headache. Or maybe it’s caused by knowing she’s sketching faces from the nightmares.
This is for MFtS – had to jump in, I loved the picture and the opening line. But as I mentioned yesterday, I won’t be able to read many of the other stories due to the lack of broadband – so dear fellow Finish the Story writers, I apologise for (probably) not commenting on your work this week.
The barista shook his head. The hedge couldn’t have moved closer over night. Could it?
All day, the sense the hedge people were creeping up on him grew stronger. He’d swear the cheeky bastards winked at him at one point. He didn’t dare go away for lunch in case he’d miss them making a big move.
What is this, The Shining?
The barista shuddered as the pieces fell into place: an isolated hotel in the mountains, owned and run by the Loverook Corporation; a manicured hedge shaped like a bunch of Keith Haring people; the Redrum Coffee and Cocktail Bar.
He didn’t take off his apron. He ran for his car, followed by rustling steps.