She was abruptly awakened from a rare sleep by what sounded like a crash under her bed. She hid under the covers, which provided a warm, protected feeling, as she froze in fear. She was still curious as to what caused such a bang despite the intense fear coursing through her. It didn't help that she'd been having terrible nightmares lately about monsters under her bed. Childish, she realised. She felt a bolt of courage strike through her like a flurry of lightning, and she nudged her covers—her safety—away and set her feet on the chilly wooden floor. Her double bed was spacious enough for people to sleep underneath it; a large monster could easily do the same. She quickly ducked and peered under the bed after taking a deep breath. She backed away, breathing deeply, sliding under her duvet covers. She shook and shivered under the sheets. Meredith whimpered as her mother flicked the light switch; darkness consuming the room. Meredith turned her head to see a shadow when a large hand grabbed her mouth. No one will hear you scream, and nobody can help you right now, a muffled cry rang out throughout the spotless space. It resembled a hospital ward the most. Her knees were hit in the back by a chair. Under the large hand, she barricaded her teeth in an effort to free herself from their hold. When Meredith unintentionally fell into it, it laughed menacingly. She made no attempt to stand because she knew she would lose this battle. She was thrown to the ground, her eyes welling up with tears. Finally, with fists raised, the shadow moved to step into the light. Meredith woke up with a yelp and a jump. The worst part was probably that. To her mother, Meredith exclaimed. "The dream always comes to an abrupt end!" Meredith became irritated with her mother's lack of interest and stormed back to her bedroom as she simply nodded and busied herself around the office. She sighed as she sat on the bed. The monster's laughter. She is positive that she just heard it next to her. She clenched her hair in agony and cried, "I'm not crazy, am I? She mumbled. It responded, "certainly not," as a giggle broke out. Meredith spun around in surprise to find nothing there. Even as months passed, Meredith's "insanity" only grew worse. She even missed weeks of school because it was so frustrating. Her mother expressed surprise and even concern. Meredith murmured to herself as she held her dry lips in front of her coffee mug. She sighed as the mug became empty. Her head shook and her eyes fluttered shut, disrupting her sleep. The TV's glowing light illuminated the tiny space as she fumbled with her fingers and nibbled at the couch. Meredith slipped into a deep sleep and a nightmare in less than a minute. Meredith was bound to a chair by a rope around her back and her legs were fastened to the chair's feet. The thing said with amusement, "You're back." Meredith's lips quivered with a sob. “don't …. I beg you not to hurt me. Meredith pushed herself further into the back of the seat as the monster began to claw her. Her abdomen was freed when the monster's claws tore the ropes holding her body together. In the light next to her, a knife shone. She picked up the blade after covertly lowering her hand. The monster was preoccupied looking in the opposite direction, muttering quietly to themselves. She slowly pushed the knife against the monsters back, the tip slightly grazing their clothing. A whimper escaped the monster's mouth, “don't please don't.. Hurt me” it sounded like herself, she thought. Meredith had had enough with this madness and insanity. Although she has never considered herself to be a murderer, this situation could influence anyone. The monster's knees were thrown to the ground when she kicked the backs of them. She turned the monster over so that, but for the darkness of the space, she could see the monster's face. Meredith inserted the knife into their chest because it was too dark for her to see anything other than the outline of the body. The monster's muscles tightened around the blade, making it difficult for her to pull the knife out again. She kept slicing and stabbing the body. The stomach, legs, face, chest, and throat were completely dismembered. As she stood over the lifeless body below her, Meredith trembled in terror. The shaky breathing had stopped, and the squelching of the blade being pressed through her skin had also stopped. She gasped and woke up only to witness the end of her own life. She lay motionless, nearly dead, with a knife next to her and identical cuts and gashes all over her body. Her surroundings were covered in blood, and the metallic smell made her feel even queasy. She tried moving and screaming. She had no chance. All this time, she was the monster. She knew she would lose the battle.
When I woke up this morning I didn't think today would be any different from yesterday. I awoke to the same soft white sheets, the same pillow under my head. The same mess of long black hair in my face. But when I stood up and felt something brush over my feet I froze. My heart at a complete stop while I waited to see what would happen next. Nothing did happen and I ran out of my room as quickly as I could. That was my first mistake. I should've never left my room this morning. I should've at least checked what was under the bed first. Maybe then I Wouldn't have been so startled when I went to the bathroom. I stood in front of the sink, my hand slowly reaching for the faucet, and my reflection following everything I did precisely. I let the cold water run over my hands for a moment, the rush of frozen ice bringing me back to reality. There couldn't have been anything under my bed is what I told myself. I cupped my hands under the tap and watched as the water filled my hands, I watched as the water poured over the sides of my skin, making its way back into the basin. The mirror hanging on the wall in front of me, still keeping up with every single one of my movements. I bring the water in my hands to my face, and before splashing myself I hold my breath. I don't know why, but I've always done that. Without the sound my breath filling the dead silence I have to wonders....whose is then? I can hear it right behind me. The sound of someone breathing. Each breath louder and heavier then the last. When I spin around to my surprise no ones there. I let out a sigh in relief as I turn back to the mirror. I stare at my bitter reflection, my skin pale and sickly, my long hair in a tangled mess, my grey eyes drawing nothing but boredom and plainness. Then it happens. I jump back from the mirror, knocking into the cabinets behind me. Before I can catch my footing, I slip and fall backwards into them. The cabinets and I hitting the floor with a loud crash as my heart beats out of my chest. I know what I saw. There's no way that didn't happen. I replay it back in my head.....and every time I replay it, it's the same. I'm standing there, staring at myself in the mirror. Then the mirror slips up. It does something I don't do. It blinks. I know the safety of my closet won't save me forever, but at least it'll keep them out longer. It'll keep them out while I try to think. But the only thing I can think about is seeing myself blink.
Better Brains Books appreciates the shares regarding the news with Lulu Publishing. Even as DMCAs (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) have been sent for the past 4 weeks to remove distribution Lulu Publishing refuses to respond. Due to circumstances Better Brains Books has decided to rename and rebrand its work under Draft2Digital. This decision will also delay upcoming projects, as a new volume for Vault of the Ghouls was scheduled for early March. Although these delays won't take months or years it will take time to fix this situation. Stay tuned for more updates.
Are you ready for a Red #Christmas? From December 14-25 all books are hacked to 99 cents! https://books2read.com/ap/RDM6kr/William-Schumpert #amwriting #amdrawing #horror #betterbrainsbooks #DaisyBB #DoneApart #thelakeside #VaultOfTheGhouls #ebooks #SupportHorror #indieauthor #bookstagram #BookBoost
Did everyone have a ghastly Halloween? You can still find more screams at the link provided. Currently Better Brains Books has had a power shortage. And internet connection is down. Apoligies on not keeping up to date on the scares. Currently working on another novella and will update as soon as possible. -William Schumpert
The night seemed shorter than expected just like any of the good times ever before you realize, it just fades away. Danni, the less drunk of the trio, drove Mina and Ema back to their residence where they planned to call it a night and all were off to bed. When Ema woke up the next morning, she saw Mina was getting dressed up and Danni had already left perhaps. She was having a bad hangover, so she went to the kitchen to make herself some lemonade. Mina apologized, “Hey Ema, sorry, I am a bit in a rush, need to headway to the office,” “But it's only Sunday, “exclaimed Ema. “I know I know; my editor wants me to submit the pictures and the draft for the article from yesterday, it needs to go for publishing in the Sunday evening today. I need to get the prints developed and drop it at the office, so will catch up a post that, “informed Mina. “Sure, do grab some coffee and breakfast on the way,” advised Ema. “Sure!”, rushed Mina out the door, the uber was already waiting! Ema slowly finished sipping her lemonade and was making some more back coffee to get over the hangover. She started browsing through pictures from last night on her iPhone and couldn't stop laughing at the fun time they had. After browsing through some pictures, she suddenly realized that Danni wasn't in any of them, “How strange! She was with me all night, she should have been in all the selfies and pictures I clicked on my phone”, she thought to herself. She slowly started to get spooked. “Did Danni edit her out of the pictures before she left? No not possible, “she explained herself. As she finished watching all the photos, she realized something was extremely strange. Either someone was trying to joke with her, or it was something spooky. She tried dialling Danni again, the phone was ringing but no one picked up, and she realized Danni told her had lost her phone yesterday. She quickly got dressed and drove her car to Danni's apartment. The room was locked and didn't seem like anyone was home, She had the spare keys so sneaked in. The house was speck clean, without a trace of anyone been there this morning, “Perhaps Danni came back home, cleaned the house, and left for the hospital? But she had a day off, maybe an emergency case?”, Ema wondered. She headed her way to the hospital and while almost near it she saw a huge gathering and a police barricade. She stopped and parked the car to ask the standby people as to what was happening. “Yesterday, a nurse was brutally murdered early morning by the man who had run away from the asylum and later committed suicide. Their bodies were found in the forest by a woodcutter this morning”, responded a bystander.
“The last globally visibly full moon on Halloween was in 1944 during world war 2 and now after 76 years my first Halloween is on the full moon.” – I read in the news article on the web and couldn't have been more excited. What should I dress up like? Dracula's partner? But I have no Dracula to accompany me. Perhaps A witch? Nah. Oh gosh! It is my first Halloween, and I want to be my best! Thought Danni to herself. Danni was super excited about her costume and first Halloween. Having grown up in Istanbul and moving to Brasov only last year, and although always excited to see Halloween party pictures, she never had the chance of attending or being a part of one. She wanted to dress up like Harley Quinn after her recent breakup but later gave up the idea as many of her friends already had that on their minds as well. Tada! Suddenly an awesome yet cost-effective idea struck her, she could use her nurse's uniform and make use of some creepy makeup; YouTube videos being her make up tutorial guide for free. She was all set and even told her best friend Ema about it and bother were looking forward to the awesome time. It is now early hours of Saturday morning and Danni's Friday night shift has come to an end. She would usually take the nurses bus drop from the hospital to her place, but today she was not planning to go home, rather crash at her friends for the upcoming big night, her 1st ever Halloween party that too at Bran's castle. She ditched the bus and rather started walking towards the pay & ride cycle stand a couple of hundred meters away from the hospital. “Let's take a short cut through the forest. This opens up right in front of the bike stand on the other side of the road”, she told herself before disappearing into the thick forest. “Why are you so late”? I have been calling you all morning! Weren't you supposed to be hereafter your shift, and we get ready soon? infuriated Ema at the sight of Danni at her doorstep. “I took the short cut through the forest behind the hospital and”, replied Danni, only to be cut short by Ema again, “But why did you not call or answer my phone.” “I lost my phone, “answered Danni. “Oh gosh!” its too late now to get a new one for you, lets order one tomorrow, don't worry about the pictures, my new iPhone is awesome for night pictures” “C'mon. Look at yourself, you have all dressed up already! Ain't fair, anyways let me get dressed up quick. Meanwhile, could you also help me with the treats for the kids?” “I am making these bloody candies for the neighbourhood kids. Found the recipe on Pinterest”, proudly explained Ema. “Sure, I can help.”, came a soulless reply, and Danni went to the kitchen to package the candies on the spooky wrappers. In an hour, Ema comes out dressed as a runaway lady from the asylum, soaked in blood. Danni freaked out at her sight, she looked pale as snow. Ema burst into laughter, “Do I really look so scary! WOW, I am proud of myself! I was so unsure of what to dress like, and then I saw this news last evening of this person run away from the asylum, and thought it was absolutely a great idea” Danni only looked at her with widened eyes but didn't utter a single word. Ema then started to put out the candies outside the door in a big pumpkin cut out with some fake silicon spiders on top of it and left a note for the little kids. “Take them if you dare” And they left in her car to Bran's castle where the grand party was underway. As they approached nearer to the venue, they noticed a huge crowd, dressed up in all sorts of creepy as well as some funny costumes walking towards the different party zones nearby. It was undoubtedly a treat to the eye. Danni was somewhat relieved to see so many people around. The drinks were pouring, the music was spooky, rock and loud. It was the time of the year, which was looked forward too by many seen more than the new year. People flaunting their costumes and makeups. Some spent a fortune to get the right costume, hair-do, props and many of them even flying or driving from different parts of the country to be there at Bran's castle, which was now nothing short of a legend. In fact, this year due to the rapid social media presence, there were many reporters walking around, taking footages and interviewing people. Amongst them was Mina, who was a writer for a lifestyle magazine herself and she was there to capture an article on this year's Halloween. She had her office provided Sony camera for taking pictures for the magazine. “Only the close ones of the ghost and the weak and troubled mind see ghosts”, explained Mina, “my granny told me”. Mina was Ema's friend from college and now one of Danni's closest friend as well. She was dressed up as Medusa, one of her fav characters. It was nothing short of a crazy atmosphere out there.
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