Trick or treat

[ Read this in Dutch ]

short horror story

It’s Halloween, and all the kids are trickin’ and treatin’. But is all that candy good for them… or bad… or worse? .

Publication history

  • First published in Big Pulp, Fall 2012 issue (September, 2012)

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Trick or treat

 

She stepped in front of the mirror, adjusted her hair, checked around her eyes for wrinkles. Downstairs, the door clicked. She could see her eyes widen and face pale in the mirror.

Shit! She’d forgotten to lock the front door. She stood frozen, her face still inches from the mirror surface, breathing shallowly, listening for more sounds. But she heard nothing for what felt like minutes.

Then something screeched. Downstairs. Jane took an involuntary step back. Her calves hit the toilet seat and she sat down heavily, creating a terrible racket in the silent house. The skin on her back crawled and her shoulders were locked, freezing her posture like a statue of terror.

It was a cat, she told herself, repeating it over and over. It was a cat. Only a puss in heat makes a sound like that. Or a peacock, but there weren’t many of those in the neighborhood, were there? It must have been a cat.

Jane forced herself to stand up, get out of the bathroom, go down the stairs. Halfway down the steps, she could see the front door ajar. There was no movement outside or in. Trying to look in every direction at once, she descended the final steps. When she stepped towards the front door to close it, she saw the object on the threshold.

It was a severed cat’s tail.

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