In October, we held a fright fight contest to get in the mood for Halloween. Contestants were asked to submit a spooky, scary, or Halloween themed narrative of no more than 1000 words for a prize and the chance to be published.
“Unsound” earned third place. Horror themes mixed with nursery rhymes in this sharp murder story.
by Alicia Saladino
Darkness was the only thing that they could see, screams and cries filled their ears. All they could do was sit there terrified, the horrors of the night replaying in their minds. They should have never come to the asylum tonight; they should have stayed at home like their parents have pleaded them too. Sweaty hands clenched tightly together, the foul smell of blood and vomit consumed their nostrils.
“We need to get out of here.” Her once delicate voice said.
“If we move she’ll find us Beau.” Shushed the eldest sibling of the two.
“It’s the only chance we have to get out of here Andrew.”
Dread filled the boy’s body as he knew his sister was telling the truth. The only way the Michaels siblings were getting out of this building alive was to make a run for it. A night full of mystery had soon turned into a night of misery and horror. Merciless hands had taken the lively souls of their friends. As the siblings locked eyes, they made a secret pact to wait until the best opportunity to run arose. The hallway soon grew eerily quiet, the horrific screams had stopped, and it felt as though the whole world was standing still.
“On the count of three,” Andrew whispered to Beau.
“One.” He started.
“Two.” Their hands gripped tighter and the air stood still.
Their feet took off before their minds could comprehend their actions. Everything flew past them in a blur as they blindly navigate their way through the maze of a building. Dodging and leaping over the upside-down furniture and medical carts that spewed over the floor. Beau’s feet caught on the leg of a chair causing her knees to meet a wet puddle on the concrete floor. Andrew’s hand appeared in front of her face urging the younger sibling up. As Beau placed a delicate pale hand in her brother’s they heard quiet humming arise from down the hall. With her doe eyes wide, Beau scrambled to her feet pushing her brother ahead to keep running. The white walls felt as they were caving in, the halls grew longer as it soon felt like there would be no escape from this hell on earth. After detecting an open-door Andrew made the quick decision that their best chance right now was to once again hide. The eldest sibling held his sister tight in his arms as the eerie humming grew louder in their ears as their heats pounded.
“The itsy, bitsy spider went up the water spout.” A sinister voice sang as the sound of metal dragged across the wall. “Down came the rain and washedthe spider out.”
The singing stopped as a pair of feet stood in the doorway. Both sibling’s breath hitched in their throats, was this really the end?
“Olly, Olly, Oxen free.” The voice came again as the door to the room slowly creaked open.
“Olly.” One footstep.
“Olly.” Another footstep closer.
“Oxen.” They could feel their heartbeats in their ears.
“Free.” She giggled now standing right in front of them.
Lightning flashed illuminating the porcelain-skinned girl whose face was painted with blood, none of which was her own. A sinister smile danced on her face as all aspects of humanity had left her eyes. There was nothing there but the crazed fire that fueled her malevolent soul. There her frail body stood in a tethered white nightgown and butcher knife dripping with fresh blood. In the blink of an eye Andrew was ripped away from his sister, causing her to cry out. His hair was clenched in the first of the crazed girl a knife pointed at his throat.
“We just wanted to play.” Her sweet yet eerie voice said.
“Please just let him go.” Beau cried.
“The itsy, bitsy spider…” She sang tracing the tip of her knife across Andrews’ face.
“Please.” Beau choked out a sob.
“…went up the water spout…”
“Just let him go.”
“…down came the rain and…”
“SHUT UP.” The girl screamed tugging the boy’s hair and holding the knife close to his neck.
Beau held her hands to her mouth holding back her sobs as she watched the surprisingly strong girl hold her bother’s life in her hands. The girl slowly, almost mechanically, turned her head to the side a giggle escaping her rotting teeth.
“What do you want?” Beau begged.
It was almost as though something inside the maniac snapped. Her head shot straight up as her facial expression grew blank. Her dark eyes bore into Beau’s light ones sending shivers down the latter’s spine. Her signature blood churning smirk grew on her face causing Beau’s eyes to grow wide.
“We just want to play.”
In one swift movement, the knife was dragged across Andrew’s neck taking his life with it.
“NO!” Beau screamed watching her sibling’s lifeless body slowly, almost timelessly, fall to the ground with a thud.
“Play, play, play!” The girl exclaimed jumping up and down while clapping her hands.
Beau knelt there in shock, every emotion except for hate flew from her body. Her raging eyes looked up at the girl who happily jumped around the room. Beau looked at the door and then to the ground where she saw a piece of wood laying next to her feet. She gripped it in her hands slowly walking over to the girl. She held the piece of wood above her head getting ready to end this nightmare. Right as she went to act upon her thoughts she felt a sharp pain in her stomach, she looked down to see the knife handle sticking out. She looked up at the dark-eyed girl dropping to her knees releasing the wood. Beau’s soon lifeless body laid perfectly next to Andrew’s. The girl retrieved her knife from the Beau’s body before walking down the hallway dragging her knife against the wall with an eerie smile on her face.
“Olly, Olly, Oxen Free.”