Category Archives: Me

Halloween Blitz – Cast a Shadow by Rebecca Besser

Cast A Shadow

By

Rebecca Besser

 

My mom always told me not to be scared of the dark. She said there was nothing in the dark that wasn’t there in the light too. She was wrong.

At first I couldn’t understand why she was saying that. But I was younger then, and didn’t understand I was different. I didn’t understand that most people were blind to the evil all around them, the evil I could see plainly. And maybe my mom was right in a way. Maybe they were there when the sun was shining or the lights were on, but my eyes could only see them in the dark. And that was still more than “normal” people apparently.

By the time I was eight years old I’d stopped telling my parents there were monsters in the closet and under the bed; they didn’t believe me and made light of the situation. They were wrong. So very, very wrong. Those monsters exist…and they’re terrifying. The monsters would growl and whisper in my ear while I was trying to sleep, threatening to do all kinds of horrible things to me. They wanted to keep me in a continuous state of terror. They enjoyed my fear; it was like they feed on it…and grew.

That was my childhood in a nutshell. And it’s no wonder my parents and doctors thought I had night terrors as much as I screamed. Well, until I learned to get it under control around age eleven so I didn’t have to deal with the adults in my life telling me it was all my imagination. They weren’t though. The monster were real.

Then came the tests to see if I had leukemia. I would develop bruises that couldn’t be explained and they checked me for cancer and other diseases and syndromes that would explain the bruises and the pain that came out of nowhere to cause them. Like I said, I was young and didn’t understand. I just knew the bruises were caused by pain and I had to endure more pain from doctors and hospitals while they ran test after test.

I live a lonely life. I don’t have many friends. Well, none really… It’s hard to make and keep friends when they want you to do kid things like go Trick-Or-Treating and you’re having a panic attack because that’s the night the monsters are four times their normal size and way stronger. But, yeah, I’m now a full-blown freak at school. My parents have talked about homeschooling me many times, but it hasn’t happened yet. I’m now fifteen, so I don’t think it will ever happen. I think they hope if they force me to go out into the world I’ll “get over” my fears. That’s not going to happen, obviously. The monsters are real, which means my fear is real. I’m actually worried about my parents. Ignorance isn’t always bliss.

This one time, my dad came to check on me after I’d gone to bed. When he opened my door wider than its ordinary two-inch crack, the light from the hallway cast his shadow against my bedroom wall right beside the monster that was telling me all the violent things it wanted to do to me.

The monster laughed harshly, reached out and into my dad’s shadow, and clenched its mighty, grotesque fist in my dad’s shadow’s stomach area.

My dad grabbed his stomach on his actual body and grunted like he was in pain. He tried to be quiet and quickly closed the door, which removed his shadow and the onslaught of the monster.

The hideous thing turned to me and said, “See, I can hurt you anytime I want.”

And in that moment, I knew it was true. I knew the monsters could hurt me or anyone else they wanted, but it seemed they could only touch our shadows. This happened when I was five years old, so it took me some time to truly understand the limits of the monsters and how they could harm us humans. As I grew older, I began to understand where the bruises I’d suffered all my life had come from.

I learned that I was safer in the dark. I was safer when my shadow wasn’t present. And once they knew I knew, they hurt me even more often, especially during the day; it got really hard explaining why I had so many scratches and bruises on my body. They were stronger in the dark, at night, but they could still hurt humans during the day…and I know they had it out for me in particular. I think they hated me more than most because I could see them and tried to warn others about them; I became a favored target. Halloween was always the worst. Like I said, the monsters are four times their normal size and stronger. They could break my bones that day, and did a couple times before I could convince my parents to let me stay in the house, in my room, in complete darkness the entire day.

Sure, the monsters were there taunting me, but they couldn’t touch me. They couldn’t hurt me in the dark. I had to cast a shadow. I had to be vulnerable.

I learned to hate light of any kind. It’s no fun being beat on all the time, even if the monsters could only hit and scratch me during the day.

My parents grew more and more concerned because I wanted to be alone in the dark all the time; I did invite my parents to sit in the dark with me to try to protect them, but they eventually had to turn a light on… My mom ended up having strange scar tissue around her heart that they found when they thought she’d had a heart attack. Actually, she’d turned the light on and opened herself up to a couple attacks until the damage was bad enough she finally gave in and went to the doctor. My dad ended up having to have intestinal surgery when a slice to his large intestine almost killed him.

They want to take me to a special hospital. They want me to be in this brightly lit room all the time on meds, thinking it will get me over my fear. It’s strange… People consider fear of the dark normal to an extent, but fear the light and you’re suddenly batshit crazy. And, honestly, I was afraid of the dark until I realized it was the safest place to be; it was better to be mentally tormented than physically abused.

Oh, did I mention the school actually thought a couple times that my parents were abusing me? Yeah, be a kid with unexplainable scratches and bruises all over your body all the time and your parents start to look really shady.

But, now, having been through test after test and them not finding anything physically wrong with me, it’s all “mental health issue” this and “unstable” that.

I keep a journal of what I see, what I hear from the monsters, and the things they do.

My mom found it; she read it and cried for days. She and Dad talked about things.

They’ve given me two options, since today’s Halloween.

Either I go outside, or they send me to the funny farm.

They think that if they can get me to face my fear, that if I go outside on Halloween night (when there’s less light than the daytime), that I’ll find out I’m not in any danger. They honestly think I’ll be okay.

I told them I would die. I told them it was a bad idea. I cried and sobbed and begged and pleaded.

They wouldn’t budge.

I’m now sitting in my pitch black room, listening to the monsters with half an ear because I’m sick of their shit and I have a lot on my mind contemplating my own death with either choice. I could go to a hospital, take drugs, and let the monsters bash the crap out of me slowly until I die, or I can just go for a stroll down the street and get it over with quickly.

This world isn’t really for me; I’ve known that for a long time. But I thought maybe I could figure out a way to adapt that would work for me. Apparently that wasn’t going to happen.

The fact that people who are different aren’t listened to hurts. I’m incapable of living life like other people, and because of that, because I don’t fit into their societal mold, I have to be sick or deranged. It’s basically bullshit. It’s basically this twisted human control syndrome that has taken over most people. If you’re different they fear you, they make fun of you, and they think nothing at all about hurting you. I wonder if any of them even stop to think about how being different feels. I wonder if they ever think about how life must be from my point of view. Apparently they don’t care; my parents among the “they.”

The clock on my nightstand reads eight o’clock in its faint glow-in-the-dark hands. My parents said I had until eight-thirty to make my decision, but there’s no point in putting it off.

I stand and move toward the door. I’ve made up my mind. I’ll take the quick death, because I’m tired. I’m tired of the constant pain caused by human judgements, and I’m tired of fighting to have safety from the monsters.

I walk down the stairs and to the front door. I reach out and grip the cool metal of the doorknob. I take a deep breath.

Without saying a word to my parents that I can hear in the kitchen, I walk out into the darkness.

Three strides and I’m to the edge of the porch.

I can hear the monsters growling, getting excited.

I swallow hard and descend the porch steps, one at a time, counting them, reaching four and knowing I’m now on the cement path that leads out to the sidewalk and the street.

Tears run down my face.

The monsters laugh at me, now all around me.

I walk down the path, across the sidewalk, and out into the street.

Street lights illuminate me on all sides, casting multiple shadows of my person in every direction.

More monsters than I can count start running toward my shadows, snarling and salivating.

I turn to face my house, hoping my parents heard me leave, can see me, and will witness my death. Then they’ll know I wasn’t lying and the monsters are real. Maybe my death will save their lives. Once I’m gone, they’ll be the new favored targets. They won’t last long unless they learn to love the dark.

I whisper, “Happy Halloween,” just before the first of my bones snap and I’m dragged to the ground and torn apart from the inside out.

 

Author Rebecca Besser

 

Rebecca Besser is a horror/thriller author who resides in Ohio with her wonderful husband and amazing son. They’ve come to accept her quirks as normal while she writes anything and everything that makes her inner demons squeal with delight. She’s best known for her work in adult horror, but has been published in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for a variety of age groups and genres. She’s entirely too cute to be scary in person, so she turns to the page to instill fear into the hearts of the masses.

 

Copyright © Rebecca Besser 2019

Halloween Blitz – Which Witch? by Rebecca Besser

Which Witch?

By

Rebecca Besser

 

“What’s wrong?” Taylor Simmons asked as she walked up to the porch steps where her friend was sulking.

“Tiger went missing sometime yesterday,” Susan Hughes said with a heavy sigh. “I’ve looked everywhere, but I still can’t find him.”

Sitting down, Taylor wrapped her arm around Susan and gave her a hug.

“How did he get out of the house? Don’t you usually keep him inside?”

“Yeah,” Susan said with a sniff. “Brian didn’t shut the door when he took the trash out last night. It’s the only time I know of that Tiger could have gotten out of the house.”

“Maybe he’ll come home on his own,” Taylor said. “If he can’t find food or something, maybe he’ll just come back.”

“But he doesn’t have his claws,” Susan said, sobbing softly. “What if he meets another cat and has to fight? He’ll be at a disadvantage. Tomorrow is Halloween, what if someone does something mean to him just for fun? You know how boys can be!”

Taylor hugged her friend again.

“How about we go for a walk around the block and see if we can find him, and if we don’t, maybe one of our parents will drive us around to look for him later.”

Susan sniffed, wiped tears from her cheeks, and nodded. “Dad said he would take me when he got home from work today, if it wasn’t too dark.”

Taylor smiled. “Hopefully we find Tiger and we don’t have to worry about that.”

Susan went in and told her mom what they planned to do.

When she came back outside, the two girls went for a walk to find the lost orange tiger-striped cat. Susan had gotten him for her tenth birthday, two years ago, and she was really attached to him.

They called his name and walked slowly, going to the door of each house to ask the residents if they had seen the cat. No one had.

“This is frustrating,” Susan said. “He had to have been seen by someone.”

Soon, they came to Miss Nordstrom’s house. She was a nice, younger woman who was friendly with the children of the neighborhood, always inviting them over for cookies or lemonade when she saw them outside playing. Not only was she friendly and nice, but she was beautiful as well. She had long blonde, curly hair, aqua blue eyes, and perfect white teeth. Her nose was the perfect size, and her dark pink lips were always smiling. The girls of the neighborhood always envied her and wanted to look just like her when they grew up.

The girls climbed the light blue painted cement steps and smiled at each other as they rang the doorbell. If anyone would help them, it would be Miss Nordstrom.

In a matter of moments the door opened to the cheery smile the girls expected.

“Susan and Taylor,” Miss Nordstrom said happily. “What are you doing here? Come to visit? I just finished making a pumpkin roll. Would you like to come in for a piece?”

The girls looked at each other, shrugged, and nodded yes. They could smell the pumpkin and spices in air as it drifted out of the house and it made them hungry.

“Have a seat in the parlor,” Miss Nordstrom instructed. “I’ll get us a snack. Would you like tea or hot chocolate?”

“Hot chocolate,” the girls said in unison, and then giggled.

Miss Nordstrom grinned, nodded, and went to the kitchen.

Even though Susan and Taylor had been in the parlor many times, they were still fascinated by the elegance of the decor. Everything appeared to be old and well-maintained.

They sat down on an antique red velvet couch and looked around.

“What’s that smell?” Susan said, wrinkling her nose.

Taylor sniffed. “I don’t smell anything.”

Susan looked down at the couch, frowning. She didn’t find anything, so she looked at the small, round end table that sat beside her. It held a lamp and a shallow bowl with a mesh bag, which looked like it held potpourri. Leaning closer, Susan sniffed.

“Found it,” she said, lifting the bag by the string and holding it out for Taylor to smell.

Taylor wrinkled her nose and gaged. “That reeks! Get it away from me!”

Susan made a disgusted face and put it back where she’d found it.

Miss Nordstrom entered the room at that exact moment, carrying a tray full of mugs of steaming beverages, small plates, forks, napkins, and pumpkin roll.

The girl’s faces lit up as the pumpkin and spice aroma overpowered the stench of the little bag, but not before Miss Nordstrom saw their expressions.

“What’s wrong?” she asked the girls, setting the tray down gently on the coffee table. “You look disgusted with something.”

Taylor shrugged and looked at Susan.

“I was just sitting here and I smelled something funny,” Susan said, picking up the little mesh bag to show Miss Nordstrom. “I found this. It really stinks.”

Miss Nordstrom laughed. “If it bothers you, I’ll put it some place else.”

She took the bag from Susan, put it back in the bowl, and moved it to the top of an old piano that was in the opposite corner of the small room.

“Better?”

Susan smiled and nodded. “Yes, thanks. What was in it? Why do you keep something so smelly in here?”

“Susan,” Taylor gasped, elbowing her friend in the side. “That was rude!”

Miss Nordstrom laughed. “Not at all, I have no problem answering those questions. The bag has a mixture of herbs in it. My great-grandma used to make those bags before every Halloween, to keep bad spirits out of the house. It’s an old superstition. I can’t say I really believe it, but doing it each year makes me feel closer to my family.”

Both girls smiled politely and nodded. They knew Miss Nordstrom didn’t have any living relatives, and didn’t want to push the subject, taking what she’d said at face value.

They talked and laughed for the next ten minutes as they ate their delicious snack, forgetting about the stinking bag.

“Now,” Miss Nordstrom said, putting her empty plate back on the tray. “What has brought you two to my doorstep this afternoon? You didn’t look too happy when you arrived.”

With the reminder of the reason for their visit, tears sprang to Susan’s eyes, and she gushed out the whole tale of Tiger going missing while Taylor held her hand.

“Oh, that’s terrible,” Miss Nordstrom exclaimed. “No one’s seen him? What does he look like?”

“He’s a plump orange and yellow tiger-striped cat,” Taylor said, as Susan was now crying too hard to speak. “He has a tie-dye collar with a little gold bell on it.”

“Hmm, let me think,” Miss Nordstrom said thoughtfully. “I don’t recall seeing any strange cats around lately. Have you checked over by Mrs. Larson’s? I’ve heard of all kinds of animals disappearing over there.”

With the mention of Mrs. Larson, both girls froze, their faces going white with fear. Mrs. Larson was a crazy old lady that lived in an old rickety house on the hill. Her yard was always overgrown, and dark clouds and fog seemed to linger around the house. She was a witch, or so all the children believed.

“Mrs…. Mrs…. Larson?” Susan said in a quivery voice, swallowing hard. “You think she might have taken Tiger?”

Miss Nordstrom shrugged and sighed. “I’m not saying she did, but I’ve heard stories of her taking animals that she finds roaming around. If you don’t find Tiger anywhere else, I would check there.”

The girls glanced at each other, the knuckles of their clasped hands were now white for gripping so tightly. They were afraid of Mrs. Larson—always had been.

“I hate to rush you two out,” Miss Nordstrom said, standing and picking up the tray now laden with empty plates and mugs. “I wasn’t expecting company today, and I have an appointment soon. I wish you good luck in finding Tiger.”

The girls mumbled their thanks for the refreshments and made polite good-byes, but as they walked out of the house chills ran down their spines. They jumped as the door closed with a loud thump behind them. Thunder boomed from the sky where dark clouds had gathered. Lightning flashed and the wind picked up with a vengeance.

They glanced at Mrs. Larson’s house on the hill, which was shrouded with dark storm clouds. The lightning flashed off the windows and made the house look like it was coming alive and wanted to eat them.

Thunder boomed again, and the girls screamed. They ran off of the porch and all the way back to Susan’s house, knowing it was about to storm. Just as they stepped through the door, closing it tightly behind them, rain poured from the fall sky. The rainfall shrouded the world in gray and stripping radiant red, orange, and yellow leaves from the trees, laying them out in a murky carpet on the road and lawns.

The girls darted up the steps to Susan’s room and talked in hushed voices about what they would do tomorrow—how they would find Tiger. As a last resort they would go to Mrs. Larson’s, but only after they’d checked everywhere else.

*   *   *

The next morning was still overcast. Gray, damp clouds hung low to the ground, setting the perfect stage for Halloween. The girls met at the agreed upon time and continued their search. No one had seen Tiger.

“Let’s just go do it,” Taylor said. “The sooner we go and ask, the sooner we can get home and get ready to go Trick-Or-Treating. Besides, I’m cold and hungry.”

Susan nodded, her teeth chattering from cold and fear. “Okay.”

Slowly the girls walked to the gate set in a high brick wall that surrounded Mrs. Larson’s property. The land had been in her family for years, having been owned by the town’s founder, who was Mrs. Larson great-uncle.

They stood at the ornate wrought iron gate, staring at the twisted trees, overgrown bushes, and weed-choked gravel driveway. Gulping, they pushed the gate open. It screeched in protest and a mass of black crows took flight from their hiding places in the trees. There were so many of them that the sky looked black with stars of gray where the clouds shown through.

“I don’t want to do this,” Susan whined. “Can’t we just have my dad or someone come up here?”

“Your dad is at work, and it’ll be dark by the time he gets home,” Taylor said, trying to be brave. “Besides, if we don’t do this now, we won’t be back in time to Trick-Or-Treat, and I don’t want to miss that.”

Susan nodded and took Taylor’s hand in a death grip. They walked together, hand-in-hand, up the gravel drive to the house that stood on the top of the hill. The stones of the drive crunched under their feet with each step. Their eyes darted about anxiously, expecting some huge monster to come bounding out and gobble them up at any moment.

Before they knew it, they’d made it to the house. It was an old Victorian made of red brick. Vines grew up the sides, like the fingers of vegetation were trying to grab the house and pull it down into the earth, swallowing it and the inhabitants forever.

Slowly, they stepped on the wooden steps that lead to the house, each one creaked ominously, causing their apprehension to grow. By the time they reached the top, they were both so tense that they moved in short stilted steps toward the door.

The porch went all the way around the house, so after they knocked tentatively, with no answer, they decided to walk around the corner to see if there was a back door.

As they went around to the side porch, they saw a light. There was a large window close to the back corner of the house that was like the beacon of a light house to a stormy sea. The girls headed for it.

Kneeling down, they peeked over the windowsill to see what was inside. The room appeared to be a kitchen. Herbs hung from the ceiling on strings, small containers with hand written labels covered every available surface, and a large pot was steaming on the stove.

Mrs. Larson stepped into the room. Her gray and white hair stuck out from her head at odd angles. As she turned and took something out of a cabinet, they saw that she’d attempted to tame her hair into a bun, but had failed. She wore a calico print dress that looked homemade and old—something that would have been worn twenty or thirty years ago. As she closed the cabinet, she turned to face the window.

The girls hurriedly ducked down, before slowly peeking in again.

They hadn’t been seen.

They watched as Mrs. Larson stirred the contents of the pot, singing to herself. She walked over to a drawer and pulled it open, and that’s when Susan saw it. Tiger’s collar was hanging from the handle of the drawer!

With a gasp, Susan spun around to sit on her butt, facing away from the house. “She has him. She took Tiger. How are we supposed to get him back? For all we know she’s cooking him right now in that pot!”

“Shh!” Taylor hissed. “Be quiet. We don’t want to get caught, she’ll probably cook and eat us, too!”

Just then the window slid open and Mrs. Larson stuck her head out and looked down at them.

“Hi, girls,” she said in a cracked voice. “Want to come in for something hot to drink?”

The girls screamed, jumped up, and ran. They were off the porch in moments, down the drive in minutes, and as they passed through, they slammed the gate shut behind them. Only then did they stop to take a breath. Only then did they stop screaming.

They hurried to Taylor’s house, where they were going to get ready to go Trick-Or-Treating. They took turns taking showers, and then they had some soup to warm them up. It did the trick for their bodies, but their minds were still frozen with fear from their experience.

When they went back upstairs to get ready to go, Susan started to cry.

“I can’t believe she ate him,” she sobbed. “I loved him so much, and she ate him. It’s just not fair.”

Taylor hugged her friend. “I know. But there’s nothing we can do about it now. We might as well try to have fun tonight. Maybe some time out with friends will make you feel better.”

“I don’t know,” Susan sniffed. “I could tell my parents. They could call the police. Isn’t that cruelty to animals or something?”

“We would have to get evidence for that,” Taylor said thoughtfully. “Maybe if we went back and got the collar, you know, as proof she took him, then they could do something.”

Susan shook her head, her eyes wide with fear. “I can’t go back there. I’m too scared. She’ll get us this time for sure!”

“Calm down, calm down,” Taylor sighed and sat down on the bed. “We’ll do it after we are done Trick-Or-Treating. She should be asleep by then. All we have to do is find a way in and take the collar. I bet she doesn’t even lock her doors. I mean, she’s a witch, who would dare try to steal from her? They would probably be cursed for life.”

Susan nodded, but still looked scared.

“Let’s get our costumes on,” Taylor said with a soft smile. “We don’t want to be late for the candy.”

Susan laughed through her tears. “You know. We are getting kinda old for this. How many more years do you think we can get away with candy begging before they stop giving it to us?”

Taylor grinned. “I plan to try for a couple of years yet. After that, I’ll just start throwing Halloween parties.”

For the next hour the girls forgot about all their cares as they applied each other’s make-up and dressed in their costumes. This year Susan was a giant teddy bear and Taylor was an undead fairy princess.

With pumpkin pails in hand, they left to beg for candy. The night flew by with friends they met along the way, and the excitement of seeing everyone’s costumes.

Before they knew it, they were standing in front of the wrought iron gate, staring up at Mrs. Larson’s house.

“I don’t want to do this,” Susan said.

“You want to report her for eating Tiger, don’t you?” Taylor asked.

“Yes, but I don’t want to go up there again.”

“What are you two doing?” Miss Nordstrom asked, coming up behind them, dressed as a sexy rock star. “Trick-Or-Treat is almost over. The two of you shouldn’t be out here all alone. Something bad might happen to you.”

The girls looked at each other, wondering if they should tell Miss Nordstrom what was going on. They missed the malicious gleam in her eyes, and the slight smirk that flutter across her face for an instant.

“Mrs. Larson took Susan’s cat and ate him,” Taylor said. “We saw his collar in her kitchen. Everything is true. She is a witch!”

“We have to go up there and get his collar,” Susan gushed, “so that we have proof when we tell the police.”

“Oh, I see,” Miss Nordstrom said. “Do you want me to come with you? You both look scared.”

Taylor and Susan smiled with relief at having an adult to come with them.

“That would be great,” Taylor said.

Susan nodded in agreement—too choked up from relief to speak.

“I have to go and get something from my house first, okay?” Miss Nordstrom said. “You two wait right here.”

In just minutes, Miss Nordstrom was back, carrying two strings with something attached to them.

“These are charm bags I had laying around the house,” she explained. “My mom made them for us kids when we would go out on Halloween, to protect us from evil spirits. Kinda like the bag you asked about yesterday, Susan. These are a little different though.”

She slid one over each girl’s head, to dangle from their necks, over their costumes. They stunk worse than the bag in the parlor had.

“Where’s yours?” Taylor asked, trying not to gag.

“I have one in my pocket,” Miss Nordstrom said with a smile. “It’s been in there all night.”

“Oh, okay,” Susan said, turning her head to try and breathe in some fresh air.

Together they stepped up to the gate. The two girls hung back a little, thinking about their earlier experience. Miss Nordstrom didn’t have that problem, and pushing it open. It screeched louder than it had earlier, and both girls shuddered.

Miss Nordstrom looked back over her shoulder. “You two coming?”

They nodded and followed her inside. The trees and the bushes were even more unnerving in the dark.

They hadn’t gone very far when Susan started to yawn.

“I feel so weak and tired,” she said, covering her mouth as she yawned yet again. “Do you mind if we take a break?”

Taylor was yawning, too. “A break does sound nice.”

“I agree,” Miss Nordstrom said with a gleeful smile. “Let’s rest. I think I see a bench over there, just past that tree. Why don’t you two go sit down?”

The girls nodded; stumbling over to the bench, they sat down.

“Why do I feel so drowsy?” Susan mumbled as she almost fell asleep and would have fallen off the bench if Taylor hadn’t been there to lean on.

Taylor kept dozing off herself, and would try to startle herself awake again, blinking like an owl and shaking her head.

Miss Nordstrom watched with amusement. “It’s the charm bags I gave you. They’ll put you to sleep and then I’ll take you home. It’s time for me to do my beauty spell again, and I’ll be needing some parts of young girls for the potion. You two should do nicely. You’re both young and lovely.”

Susan finally went to sleep, fell forward off the bench, and landed in the overgrown grass with a thump.

Taylor whimpered, still trying to stay awake. “Why are you doing this to us? I thought you were our friend.”

“I have no friends,” Miss Nordstrom laughed. “I use people and I move on. I’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. Luckily my spells last for a long time, so I don’t have to move too often.”

“You’re…you’re a witch,” Taylor gasped, before she too fell off the bench, sound sleep.

*   *   *

Susan woke up slowly. Her body was weak and it took effort for her to move. She was surrounded by tall grass, and it was dark out. Her head throbbed with a headache. It was the strangest headache she’d ever had.

As she sat up, she looked around. There were trees, bushes, and a cement bench, but nothing else. Slowly her mind started to work again, and she remembered where she was and what had happened.

“Taylor?” she croaked, standing up. Dizziness overtook her and she had to immediately sit down on the bench.

After the world stopped spinning, she looked around again. Taylor was nowhere in sight, but she could now see a path of flattened grass that lead back to the driveway.

“Miss Nordstrom,” she muttered to herself. “She must have taken her back to her house.”

Standing again, Susan closed her eyes and willed the dizziness to go away. She needed to find help, and fast. Miss Nordstrom would be back for her soon, and she had to get out of there. But the closest person was Mrs. Larson. The thought of going to that house again still scared her. But the thought of being chopped up and cooked into some kind of potion scared her even more.

Stumbling and weaving, Susan made her way up the overgrown drive. She tripped and fell over the weeds multiple times, and by the time she reached the porch steps her knees and her hands were scratched and bleeding.

She gulped hard before she lifted her foot and forced herself to climb the porch steps. She ran up to the door and knocked. No answer.

She stood there for a moment, thinking maybe she had just dreamed all this up, when she heard a rustling of leaves and a twig snap behind her. Turning, she saw Miss Nordstrom rushing up the drive.

Susan pounded on the door with all her strength, yelling, “Help! Help!”

She glanced back to see Miss Nordstrom just entering the overgrown grass that surrounded the house. As she looked back, the door opened and she fell inside.

Mrs. Larson stood over her with her hands on her hips. She was wearing a long, white cotton night gown and her hair was even more wild than it had been before.

“Can I help you, dear?” Mrs. Larson asked, her voice cracking.

Susan lay speechless, looking outside at the now empty yard, and then up at Mrs. Larson.

“Can you talk? Cat got you tongue?”

At the mention of a cat, Susan’s throat went dry and she feared she’d made the biggest mistake ever coming here. The thought that Mrs. Larson and Miss Nordstrom were both witches and were working together hit her brain like a lightning bolt, making her gasp.

Susan began to tremble violently and tears slid down her cheeks. Closing her eyes, she lay back on the floor, thinking she was doomed.

Something cold and wet touched Susan’s ear, and then a rough tongue began licking her cheek. She opened her eyes to see Tiger.

Forgetting about the women she thought were trying to kill her, she sat up and squealed, picking up the cat to cuddle him close.

“Ah, so he belongs to you,” Mrs. Larson said with a soft smile. “I found him yesterday. He’d hurt his paw and was laying on my porch.”

Susan wiped the tears from her face and noticed Tiger had a white bandage on his left hind leg. He hadn’t been eaten. He had been rescued.

“I…I thought you ate him,” Susan said softly.

“No, dear. Why ever would you think that?”

“I thought you were a witch,” Susan said, blushing and rubbing her now smiling face on Tiger’s fur.

“That’s just silly, dear,” Mrs. Larson laughed. “I’m just an old woman that keeps to herself and takes care of injured animals when they come my way. There’s no witches around here.”

Susan froze and looked up at Mrs. Larson, her eyes huge with fear. “Yes, there is. Miss Nordstrom is a witch. She tricked me and Taylor, that’s my friend, to wear these charm bags, saying they would protect us. They put us to sleep and she planned to take us to her house and use our body parts to make a potion that would keep her looking young and beautiful. We have to save Taylor! She took her!”

“Calm down, dear,” Mrs. Larson said. “I’m sure it was just a prank or something. Where’s Taylor now?”

Susan stood up, still clutching Tiger. “It’s not a prank. I’m telling the truth. We have to call the police. She has Taylor!”

“Okay, okay, dear,” Mrs. Larson said. “We’ll call the police. I’m sure it’s all a misunderstanding though.”

*   *   *

Dawn was just starting to light the distant horizon as Miss Nordstrom was lead out of her house in hand cuffs.

“We’ve been looking for this one for a long time,” one of the officers said to Taylor’s dad. “She’s been on the FBI’s most wanted list for years. I, myself, have never believed in witches, but this has changed my mind.”

Taylor was being loaded into the back of an ambulance, to be checked out at the local hospital, although she seemed fine. They’d found her in Miss Nordstrom’s basement, still asleep.

Upon investigating, they’d also found the charm pouch Susan had been wearing, lying beside the stone bench. Luckily for her, it had gotten caught on a sharp corner where the cement had eroded and chipped, cutting the string that held it around her neck. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have woken up, and they would never have caught Miss Nordstrom.

Mrs. Larson walked up to Susan, who was watching all the activity from across the street, wrapped in a fleece blanket. She put her arm around Susan and gave her a hug.

“You were very brave. If it hadn’t been for you, your friend would have died,” she said.

Susan smiled up at Mrs. Larson, still holding Tiger in her arms. “I’m glad you’re a nice woman instead of a witch. It’s strange that we had it all mixed up. The real witch pretended to be our friend, and you were just a nice woman we thought was strange. I’m sorry.”

Mrs. Larson laughed. “Well, now you know you can’t believe what you hear about people. You just have to meet them and find out for yourself.”

Susan giggled. “I guess so.”

“Susan,” her mother called as she walked across the street, “it’s time to go home and get some rest. You’ve had a big night. I’ll take you to visit Taylor at the hospital tomorrow.”

“Okay, Mom,” Susan said. “Can Mrs. Larson come, too? I’d love for Taylor to meet her. Oh, is that okay with you, Mrs. Larson?”

Both women laughed.

“That would be fine with me,” Mom said.

“I’d love to, dear,” Mrs. Larson said.

Susan and Mom started walking away when Susan handed Tiger to Mom, and ran back to Mrs. Larson, giving her a hug.

“Do you think I could come and visit you sometime, and you could teach me about taking care of hurt animals?”

Mrs. Larson laughed. “I’d like that very much.”

*   *   *

Many years later, Susan was locking up her veterinary clinic to go home. She smiled, never tiring of seeing her name on the door. With a content sigh, she turned to walk down the street, heading home.

She pushed open the gate, and started up the well-maintained drive way. The crisp autumn air rustled the orange and red leaves that dangled from the pruned trees. Giggling, she caressed the bushes that were trimmed in the shapes of pumpkins, ghosts, and ghouls. Today was Halloween, and after dark, the children would come to her house to Trick-Or-Treat. All the orange lights strung in the bushes would light the way to her house. The house on the top of the hill. The one she had bought from Mrs. Larson, the woman who’d nurtured her passion for animals, and had been an inspiration to her life.

Standing at the bottom of the steps, Susan looked up at the house that had once scared her, which was now a place of warmth and friendship. She smiled and went inside to put on her costume, knowing Taylor would be there soon to help her pass out candy.

 

Author Rebecca Besser

 

Rebecca Besser is the author of “Undead Drive-Thru, Undead Regeneration, Cursed Bounty, Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death, Hall of Twelve,” and “Nurse Blood (Limitless Publishing).” She’s also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her work has appeared in the Coshocton Tribune, Irish Story Playhouse, Spaceports & Spidersilk, joyful!, Soft Whispers, Illuminata, Common Threads, Golden Visions Magazine, Stories That Lift, Super Teacher Worksheets, Living Dead Press Presents Magazine (Iss. 1 & 2), FrightFest eMagazine, An Xmas Charity Ebook, The Stray Branch, and The Undead That Saved Christmas (Vol. 1 & 2) and the Signals From The Void charity anthologies. She has multiple stories in anthologies by Living Dead Press, Wicked East Press, Pill Hill Press, Hidden Thoughts Press, Knight Watch Press, Coscom Entertainment, Crowded Quarantine Publications, and Collaboration of the Dead (projects), and one (each) in an anthology by Post Mortem Press, NorGus Press, Evil Jester Press, Horrified Press, Atria Books (S&S Digital), and Nocturnal Press Publications. She also has a poem in an anthology by Naked Snake Press and a children’s poem in Oxford Ink Literature Reader 4 from Oxford University Press (India).

Her nonfiction children’s article about skydiving, written for her writing course with the Institute of Children’s Literature, was published by McGraw Hill for NY Assessments.

She’s also an editor and has edited: Dark Dreams: Tales of Terror, Dead Worlds 7: Undead Stories, and Book of Cannibals 2: The Hunger from Living Dead Press; Earth’s End from Wicked East Press; End of Days: An Apocalyptic Anthology (Vol. 4 & 5/co-edited) from Living Dead Press; and she co-edited Feast or Famine (a zombie anthology).

 

Copyright © Rebecca Besser 2019

Halloween Blitz – Twisted Pathways by Rebecca Besser

Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death by Rebecca Besser is free on Kindle from Oct. 8-10th!

 

Click on cover to visit title on Amazon!

 

Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death

by

Rebecca Besser

 

When emotions go to extremes murder happens.

Sometimes it’s because of betrayal.

Sometimes it’s in revenge.

Sometimes it’s to hide a lie or in self-defense.

Sometimes it’s to feed a secret hunger.

Whatever the reason, the human mind lends itself to twisted pathways that lead to murder and death…

 

Author Rebecca Besser

 

Rebecca Besser is the author of “Undead Drive-Thru, Undead Regeneration, Cursed Bounty, Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death, Hall of Twelve,” and “Nurse Blood (Limitless Publishing).” She’s also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her work has appeared in the Coshocton Tribune, Irish Story Playhouse, Spaceports & Spidersilk, joyful!, Soft Whispers, Illuminata, Common Threads, Golden Visions Magazine, Stories That Lift, Super Teacher Worksheets, Living Dead Press Presents Magazine (Iss. 1 & 2), FrightFest eMagazine, An Xmas Charity Ebook, The Stray Branch, and The Undead That Saved Christmas (Vol. 1 & 2) and the Signals From The Void charity anthologies. She has multiple stories in anthologies by Living Dead Press, Wicked East Press, Pill Hill Press, Hidden Thoughts Press, Knight Watch Press, Coscom Entertainment, Crowded Quarantine Publications, and Collaboration of the Dead (projects), and one (each) in an anthology by Post Mortem Press, NorGus Press, Evil Jester Press, Horrified Press, Atria Books (S&S Digital), and Nocturnal Press Publications. She also has a poem in an anthology by Naked Snake Press and a children’s poem in Oxford Ink Literature Reader 4 from Oxford University Press (India).

Her nonfiction children’s article about skydiving, written for her writing course with the Institute of Children’s Literature, was published by McGraw Hill for NY Assessments.

She’s also an editor and has edited: Dark Dreams: Tales of Terror, Dead Worlds 7: Undead Stories, and Book of Cannibals 2: The Hunger from Living Dead Press; Earth’s End from Wicked East Press; End of Days: An Apocalyptic Anthology (Vol. 4 & 5/co-edited) from Living Dead Press; and she co-edited Feast or Famine (a zombie anthology).

 

Copyright © Rebecca Besser 2019

Halloween Blitz – Win A Signed Copy of Zombies Inside!

Would you like to win a signed copy of Zombies Inside by Rebecca Besser, with a story from Guest Author Courtney Rene?

Visit Astra Daemon’s Lair and comment on the monster post!

Direct Link: https://astradaemon.blogspot.com/2019/10/FavoriteMonster.html?fbclid=IwAR1wjPdK1Z_xA0TswpiqN2uQeyY2Xhf5OWirlac4W-IHjRLsUNK4NLYiZpU

About Zombies Inside:

Click on cover to visit title on Amazon.

Zombies Inside

by Rebecca Besser

with Guest Author Courtney Rene

 

If zombies are what you crave, open the pages of this book for a wild ride!

The 12 zombie short stories within (equaling over 64,000 words) will make you cringe, delight your imagination, and possibly even warm your heart . . . so the undead can feast upon it!

Be brave and see if you can survive the Zombies Inside!

 

Author Rebecca Besser

 

Author Courtney Rene

 

Copyright © Rebecca Besser & Courtney Rene 2019

ACCEPTING THE INEVITABLE by Rebecca Besser

ACCEPTING THE INEVITABLE
By
Rebecca Besser

 

Lindsey Melbourne glanced at the clock in her car’s dash as she drove, and groaned when she noticed the digital display change to 12:00. She’d hoped to be home before midnight, but that hadn’t happened thanks to the congested highway. She hated traveling alone, and the repeated long periods of time she’d had to sit and wait on road construction had made the already dreaded trip even worse. But all of her traveling woes faded into the background as she entered her hometown of South Coffeyville, Oklahoma.

The lights of the small town were few and far between at the late hour and Lindsey figured everyone was tucked into bed and asleep; she yawned, wishing she was too.

As she traveled through the quiet streets, heading toward her little house, the wind picked up suddenly and violently, shaking her car.

“Great,” she muttered. “I’ve gotten home just in time for a storm.”

With a deep sigh, she hoped she wouldn’t have to sleep in the narrow cot in her musty basement. Tornadoes were a common occurrence that she didn’t love, but was always prepared for.

Finally arriving at her house, she pulled into the driveway, shut off her car’s engine, and opened the driver’s door. She sat there for a few moments, listening to the howling of the wind as it swirled and moved around standing objects. The lamenting wail was a sound she was very familiar with, and though it posed an ominous threat, it was still the sound of home.

Her house stood before her, shrouded in shadows and darkness. The windows glittered as the street lights shone on them while they rattled, buffering away the frigid air to keep the inside warm and safe. She couldn’t wait to get inside to take a hot shower and curl up in her bed for the first time in a week. Closing her eyes, she practically groaned, thinking of her comfortable sweats that she’d be free to walk around in after being dressed for “business” almost nonstop for six days; the only time she’d been free to be comfortable were the precious few hours she’d been in her hotel room to sleep between meetings. The life of a law partner with a prestigious client in the city was taking its toll on her, and she’d only had the status for a month.

Opening her eyes and turning slightly toward the passenger’s seat, she picked up her purse. When she moved the small leather bag, snack wrappers fell to the floor and she bent to pick them up with an aggravated sigh.

When she sat back up, something bright outside the passenger’s door window caught her eye and made her breath catch in her throat. Just beyond the glass was a mini-tornado that swept across her yard, toward her car. These were usually common in the dry season, when the wind speeds accelerated in gusts across the flat landscape. What was different about this one, though, was that something was glowing in the center of it.

The small, whirling cloud moved toward Lindsey and her car at a tremendous rate of speed, and she expected it to disperse when it hit the solid doors and windows of her vehicle, but it didn’t. A harsh grinding sound filled the interior and sparks flew into the air as the mini-tornado tore into the metal panels, shocking her into momentary immobility. But, when the inside molding of the vehicle started to show signs of damage, she knew it was time to get the hell out of there.

Clutching her purse to her chest, she scrambled from the car and slammed the door behind her before heading up her driveway and around her porch at a dead run.

Another of the glowing cyclones came down a small alley between her house and the next, and as if sensing her, gave chase.

Lindsey kicked off her high-heeled shoes and ran faster, rushing up the wood steps of her porch, fueled by fear and panic.

The new mini-tornado took a more direct route and started grinding into the wooden supports of the porch, intent on reaching her.

“Oh, God!” she squealed as the air filled with smoke from the friction of the mini-tornado spinning against the wood. She dug out the keys to her front door as the acidic smell of the smoke burned her nostrils, making it hard for her to breathe. “Yes!” she screamed in triumph, finally wrangling her keys from her purse as she dropped it to the boards beneath her to rid her hands of its bulky burden.

Seeming to hear her—even over all the noise of the porch demolition—the first destructive whirlwind stopped attacking the car and headed for the porch…and Lindsey.

She chanced a glance around her after she jammed the key into the deadbolt of the door, and turned it while her eyes shifted elsewhere. To her heightened horror, she saw that the entire neighborhood had the strange cyclones attacking their houses. One of her neighbors—an elderly woman by the name of Paula Louise—opened her front door to see what all the noise was outside her front door, which was almost ground through.

Lindsey opened her mouth to warn the woman, but it was too late.

She watched as mini-tornado on Paula’s cement front steps stopped spinning, and from it stood a thin, tall, beige-colored creature with a white glowing orb in the center of its chest; the creature’s eyes glowed as well. She realized for the first time that the whirlwinds were actually beings and not bits of dust and dirt spinning in the wind as she’d assumed.

Paula stared up into those glowing eyes and Lindsey witnessed a content, peaceful smile spread across the older woman’s wrinkled face. She stood and stared up at the creature and actually leaned into it when it spread sheer tan wings and wrapped them around her. The monster opened its large mouth—exposing twisted black teeth that jutting from it in wavy rows—and bit her neck, spraying blood on the doorjamb and door.

Paula went limp in the creature’s bloody embrace.

Scared almost to the point of going into shock, Lindsey managed to get the door of her house open and herself inside, right before there was a loud groan and her porch caved in on itself. She slammed the door closed and relocked the deadbolt with shaking hands while the horrific scene from next-door played over and over again in her mind; it seemed like Paula had just accepted her fate—the inevitable fact that she was going to die. Fear had twisted the old woman’s features for a moment before her eyes had met the eyes of the creature, and Lindsey couldn’t help but wonder what the other woman had seen there that had brought on the peace and calm she’d witnessed, even in the face of death and pain.

Shaking her head to dispel what she couldn’t understand, she went into action and grabbed the handset of the phone off a small round table sitting in her living room and dialed 9-1-1; her call was answered instantly.

“9-1-1 dispatch—what’s your emergency?” she heard a woman say in her ear.

Lindsey fought her chattering teeth and tried to answer, but all that came out was a pitiful squeak.

“Hello? I’m sending an officer to your residence right now! If you can hear me, help is on the way!”

“Th…th…thanks,” Lindsey finally managed.

“Can you speak?” the dispatcher asked urgently. “My name’s Rose, and I’ll stay on the phone with you until help arrives. Can you tell me the nature of your emergency, so I can make sure to send the assistance you need?”

“Tornadoes…little ones!” Lindsey cried out in a hoarse voice. “Monsters!”

There was a brief silence on the other end of the line.

“Ma’am, did you say monsters?” the dispatcher finally asked. “Are you on any prescription medications?”

“No!” Lindsey screamed. “I’m not crazy! There are mini-tornadoes outside that are actually monsters! One of them killed Paula—I saw it!” Fleetingly the image of Paula and the expression on her face flashed through her mind. She thought about telling the dispatcher about it, but didn’t see how it would be relevant. Paula was dead and that’s all the woman needed to know.

There was another brief pause.

“Someone has been attacked and was killed?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes!” Lindsey screamed and jumped when a loud bang sounded from outside her house, close to the front door. “Hurry! They’re after me!”

The dispatcher started speaking again, but Lindsey didn’t catch what she said because the line went dead.

“Hello?” she cried into the handset, shaking it and smacking it off her other hand like her futile efforts would bring it back to life. “My cell…” She paused and looked around, dropping the handset onto the floor; it landed with a resounding thud.

Another bang sounded outside the house, shaking the wall and rattling the windows.

Lindsey whimpered as she realized her cell phone was still in her purse, and it was outside on the broken down porch…with them.

In the distance, she heard sirens. She headed to the closest window to check it out, hoping the police had come to her rescue. Pulling back the curtain with a shaking hand, her mouth fell open at the view beyond the thin pane of glass—the neighborhood was in shambles.

Glancing high on the wall to her left, she read the clock that hung there; its hands indicated that the time was 12:32. To her it seemed like everything was happening in a flash, but in reality, time was ticking away as it always had—steady, without changing.

Looking back out the window, Lindsey whimpered again as she witnessed all of the mini-tornadoes on her street—thirty or so—converge on the police officer as he exited his vehicle.

They stopped spinning and stood to their full height, which she guessed to be around eight feet tall, considering the height of the officer in comparison.

The beings stood and watched the man they’d surrounded, and everything went silent for a moment. The officer moved to draw his sidearm, but paused when his eyes made contact with one of the creatures’. A smile of pure joy spread across his face and he opened his arms wide, as if to hug as many of the creatures as he possibly could.

Without warning the beings leaped into the air with a howl and became one, swallowing the man between them, as if the circle of their bodies had been the teeth of a giant open mouth. Blood spewed through the air in a gory display of slaughter as the officer’s body exploded.

Lindsey covered her mouth and turned away from the window, falling to her knees. She looked around at her home and knew there was nothing she could do to ward off the group of creatures intent on her death—and the death of everyone else, it seemed.

An extremely loud noise rent the night, sounding like a jet engine had just started up beyond the walls of her house; the howls in the street also intensified, since the beings were now one. Echoing calls answered the massive monster outside, sounding eerily similar.

Lindsey was scared to turn back to the window again…and look outside, but she had to know what was out there, what was coming for her.

Standing slowly on shaky legs, she braced herself with a couple of deep breathes before she gripped the curtain once again, and peered out into the darkness.

The huge combined being was standing in the middle of the street, staring off toward the edge of town, panting. Five others of the same size had joined the one who’d killed the officer, and they were all facing the same direction.

Frowning, Lindsey turned and shuffled over to another window, one facing the direction of the creatures’ gaze. Out in the middle of the field, half a mile away, was an enormous tornado-creature with a glowing center. Since this one was larger, she could see what was going on inside it, despite the distance.

While she watched in awe, the huge creature stopped and its body melted back together to form the hideous, black toothed monstrosity that it was. Giant wings with pulsing veins spread out wide behind it and shuddered with every breath it took, and its torso throbbed as the glowing force of energy centered there expanded and grew as it once again spun and became transparent.

A large, black hole was behind the spinning, tan, glowing cyclone, hovering a few feet above the waving grain in the field. The monster’s energy and motion shot out bright bolts of static electricity, which appeared to keep the hole open as the edges sucked it in and sent it back, creating a conductive, symbiotic bond. Within the hole were green stars above a purple, barren, mountainous landscape. Skulls and oddly shaped bones of creatures she couldn’t identify floated in the atmosphere and were strewn about on the ground, leading her to believe they’d devoured everything in their world and had come to do the same to hers.

She focused on the landscape and her breath caught in her throat when she saw hundreds, thousands, millions of the creatures beyond, waiting to come through what she assumed to be a portal open to a different dimension. She’d never really believed there were different dimensions until now. All the movies she’d seen and the science fiction books she’d read over her lifetime didn’t even come close to helping her accept the reality of something this huge…this real. Instantly Lindsey knew there would be no hope for humanity. There was nowhere for them to run, to hide—no way for them to defend themselves against an invasion of this size and magnitude. The human race was doomed, and from what she’d witnessed earlier, they would accept it with a smile and go quietly and willingly. There would be no epic battle in the vain hope of saving the world. Death would be the crib in which the souls of humanity slept peacefully after being torn from their bodies through a sadistic trick.

Right before her eyes, the creatures in the purple world began to spin, and as they shot themselves through the portal, the large spinning creature who held it open flung them through the air, raining them down upon the Earth.

Lindsey was so intent on watching the display of power being unleashed on mankind that she didn’t notice the floor under her feet was trembling. Her attention didn’t come back to her immediate surroundings until a loud creaking and crashing from above shook her house and made her lose her footing; she fell to floor, sprawling in her cream-colored silk blouse, sleek navy blue skirt, and ruined stockings. She stared up in wide-eyed fright as one of the mass beings from the street pulled off the top of her house like it was wax paper, and looked down at her.

She screamed, half-sat up, and crab-walked backwards in a vain attempt to get away.

Thick, slimy, bloody slobber dripped from the creatures’ mouth and landed on the hardwood floor with a sickening plop, and the light from its eyes and chest lit the dark interior of her home. Forcibly she kept her eyes averted from the monster’s, knowing that if she looked into their depths she would become a mindless, delirious slave to its will.

Glancing everywhere except at the creature looming above her, Lindsey struggled to her feet and darted from the living room, heading down the hall to the basement door.

The being roared angrily as it reached for her and just missed her as she turned the corner into the hallway.

She fought the urge to cover her ears and protect them from the loud sound, and instead put them to better use, opening the basement door. She stepped down into the darkness and closed the door behind herself.

The house shook again and the foundation shivered, causing dust and dirt to fall from the ceiling. Lindsey assumed the roof had been ripped all the way off and now the creature was destroying the internal walls to get to her; loud crashes and thuds above her confirmed this to be true.

Panting and scared, she reached out in the dark and flipped the light switch at the top of the stairs to the “on” position—nothing happened. With a sigh, swiping at the dust and cobwebs tickling her nose, she headed down the narrow stairs leading into the depths of the basement. Before she knew it, her feet reached the cold cement floor. She felt her way along to her destination, passing objects by throwing her hands out in front of and around her to locate them.

Above her more crashing and roaring could be heard, and soon another of the monsters joined the first in its attempt to get to her; she knew this to be true when she heard grunts, growls, and roars overlapping and joining in with the first.

Finally she reached the small back room she used for a tornado shelter; it was in the far right corner of the basement and held a small bed and her emergency food stores. But, the best features were that the door to the room was made of metal and could take a beating, and the right corner of the basement was completely underground, where the left side of the basement was half-exposed above ground and had a small door leading out into the backyard. Fleetingly she considered heading outside, but she knew what awaited her out there and figured her best bet would be to hide and hope they thought she’d gotten away and leave her alone.

Slamming the heavy metal door shut behind herself, she latched it and stumbled her way over to the narrow cot. She sat down, leaned against the cold cement block wall, drew her knees up to her chest, wrapped her arms around them, and began to pray in incoherent babbles.

The sound of destruction beyond the walls of her safe haven grew louder, and Lindsey could see lines of glowing white light around the door.

They were coming, and they were coming fast.

“Please, God! Please, God!” she whispered over and over again, rocking herself and squeezing her eyes shut.

The light from around the door made her eyelids glow red and she wanted to open them to see how bright the room was, knowing it would be shining like the sun.

A loud boom, boom, boom sounded from the door, before a harsh clang signified the metal had finally given in to the abuse.

Lindsey cried out, still holding her eyes tightly shut. She could feel the beings’ eyes on her and could hear their ragged breathing. Fear held her paralyzed and she just wanted it all to be over—she wanted peace, she wanted calm. A single thought filled her brain, scrolling through like a marque: Open your eyes and end it—accept the inevitable like the others and die in peace.

Taking in a deep, shuddering breath she reassured herself there was nothing else she could do; letting out the breath, she opened her eyes and turned her head toward the creatures above her, just beyond the doorway. She was half-shocked to see that they’d also torn out most of the ceiling when they’d taken out the door, allowing her the ability to make eye contact.

Picking one of them, she gazed directly into its glowing eyes.

Lindsey lost herself in those eyes, feeling peace, feeling like she was being welcomed by the universe; it beckoned to cradle her in its arms.

Without realizing what was happening, she was scooped up by a wart covered, raspy clawed hand, and drawn toward the creature’s mouth. As it opened to eat her, the glow intensified and she felt calm and free…finally.

 

Copyright © Rebecca Besser, 2011 & 2018

New Release – Middletown 4: Unrestival

Now available on Kindle!
Middletown 4: Unrestival
By Authors:

Brent Abell
Rebecca Besser
Chuck Buda
Frank J. Edler
Tim Meyer
Lucas Milliron
John Quick
Armando Rosamilia
Heath Stallcup
Jay Wilburn
Jack Wallen

Click on cover to visit title on Amazon.

Where people gather, danger awaits. Where there is humanity, there is unrest. These two ideas meet at Unrestival. The Middletown series continues rolling through American culture. This time around the apocalyptic series stops at a New York festival dedicated to purging the unrest of humankind. Find out what happens when eleven of the brightest authors in the zombie genre are tasked with writing the same story. That is the heart of the Middletown series, and this time around it takes on a decidedly anti-establishment flare. Celebrate the purging of your own unrest with the zombie genre party people: Abell, Besser, Buda, Edler, Meyer, Milliron, Quick, Rosamilia, Stallcup, Wilburn, and Wallen.

 

Halloween Blitz – Re-Civilize: Liam

The Re-Civilize: Liam ebook by Rebecca Besser is free for Kindle on October 31st!

Click on cover art to visit title on Amazon!

 

Re-Civilize: Liam by Rebecca Besser

Liam earned a full scholarship and escaped the small town of his birth. When his father passes away, he’s sucked back into the life he’d worked so hard to leave behind.

Reluctantly he leaves school and travels home to the farm he grew up on. The farm where working with his hands was worth more than the knowledge he garnered from the books he read to escape reality.

He tries to help his mother settle his father’s estate and plan the funeral despite her emotional guilty trips, but things go horribly wrong in a short span of time. In a last attempt to do something right and ease his guilt, he heads back to school to try and rescue his girlfriend, Stella. But everything has changed in the world beyond the vacant acres he’s been protected by while dealing with his home life.

The world as he knew it has crumbled into something unbelievable. Zombies have taken over and ripped society to shreds…literally. Making it back to Stella becomes impossible.

When he realizes the futility of his journey, he’s forced to a safe zone to preserve his life. Once there, Liam has to make a decision that will change the course of his life forever.

 

Author Rebecca Besser:

Author Rebecca Besser is the author of “Undead Drive-Thru, Undead Regeneration, Cursed Bounty, Twisted Pathways of Murder & Death, Hall of Twelve, the Zpoc Exception Series: Re-Civilize,” and “Nurse Blood (Limitless Publishing).” She’s also a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her work has appeared in the Coshocton Tribune, Irish Story Playhouse, Spaceports & Spidersilk, joyful!, Soft Whispers, Illuminata, Common Threads, Golden Visions Magazine, Stories That Lift, Super Teacher Worksheets, Living Dead Press Presents Magazine (Iss. 1 & 2), FrightFest eMagazine, An Xmas Charity Ebook, The Stray Branch, and The Undead That Saved Christmas (Vol. 1 & 2) and the Signals From The Void charity anthologies. She has multiple stories in anthologies by Living Dead Press, Wicked East Press, Pill Hill Press, Hidden Thoughts Press, Knight Watch Press, Coscom Entertainment, Crowded Quarantine Publications, and Collaboration of the Dead (projects), and one (each) in an anthology by Post Mortem Press, NorGus Press, Evil Jester Press, Horrified Press, Atria Books (S&S Digital), and Nocturnal Press Publications. She also has a poem in an anthology by Naked Snake Press and a children’s poem in Oxford Ink Literature Reader 4 from Oxford University Press (India).

Her nonfiction children’s article about skydiving, written for her writing course with the Institute of Children’s Literature, was published by McGraw Hill for NY Assessments.

She’s also an editor and have edited: Dark Dreams: Tales of Terror, Dead Worlds 7: Undead Stories, and Book of Cannibals 2: The Hunger from Living Dead Press; Earth’s End from Wicked East Press; End of Days: An Apocalyptic Anthology (Vol. 4 & 5/co-edited) from Living Dead Press; and I’ve co-editing Feast or Famine (a zombie anthology).

When she’s not busy writing and/or editing, she’s formatting book covers, building/maintaining websites, and writing book reviews.