Your Story

People think that a scary story is supposed to be about something they don't want to happen. They are fooling themselves, of course. Fear of what you don't want to happen is a matter of politics. Horror is a matter of being afraid of what you want. In a real scary story, what scares you is yourself.

You've lived in this town your whole life. It's a college town, and you follow inertia and don't even apply to any other schools. You do well at school; you're popular, or reasonably so. Most of your friends hang out at bars, so you end up there most nights. You're the DD more often than not, except on your birthday. Everyone knows everyone in the little town and you hear the gossip that fosters in every corner. It's hard to avoid, and to have friends it has to be tolerated.

So you know about the cashier who cheats on her boyfriend, the professor who flirts a little too much with students, the reliable mechanic everybody seems to like. But they only like him to an extent, since they suspect he beats his wife. Of course, she's got a spending problem and doesn't know when to keep her mouth shut. Huh. News, true or false, excuses, good or bad, they travel fast. A lot faster than good works.

You're sitting at the bar, sipping your coke, just listening. It's different, a conversation, when you just listen. You can never see yourself if you're talking all the time, and you don't hear people if they're only talking to you. Bad jokes, dirty jokes, passes, arguments; same old stuff, it slurs a little as the discussion imbibes a little more Budweiser. You hear about the party tomorrow; of course you'll go, but you probably won't dress up. Apparently a couple got into an argument and the girl started clawing at his face. Everything's exaggerated as the bodies shuffle out, after the bar is announced to be closing early. People keep telling the story about the couple, details change. Same nonsense though.

Like skeletal spiders leaves carpet the sidewalk as you walk to the party the next day. The yellow moon coldly glances down from the darkening sky, the wind whispering discomfort at being watched. A lot of weird attacks in town, you've heard, but it's the result of a college town and any stupid reason to drink and fight will do.

On your way you see a friend from class; something's wrong, the way he's leaning against that tree. He looks hurt, bleeding. You go up to ask what's wrong, and he looks at you. He looks, but he doesn't see. No recognition. No eyes. Only teeth.

The next moments are confusing and frantic. You're not sure how many times he bit you, or when your friends from the party come to stop it. You sit on the porch step, someone helping you to clean the wounds until the ambulance comes. They bring you inside, and you talk about what happened.

Time goes by, but the ambulance never comes. You drift to sleep to the sound of laughter and talk.

Then you wake up. You see your friend smiling, asking you something, and holding out a drink. Something confusing, something different. You reach out, and your friend pulls back, startled. You don't understand the fear, but the flesh and blood tastes good, and the screams don't bother you.