A/N: So in order to celebrate for Halloween, my brain thought it would be a good idea to cobble together a horror novella. In under three weeks. While it's obviously no longer Halloween, there's no need to let this story go to waste after investing so much time writing it. So I figured I'd submit it nonetheless!
Enjoy the story. :)
Let's Have Fun
He frowned. Why wouldn't he? He had his special costume on that he spent weeks creating. He looked down at his long-sleeved white shirt and his baggy black pantaloons that were held up with a red waist sash. Then he reached up and straightened out his black hat with a skull and crossbones on it. Nothing he was wearing was offensive; how could it be? He was only dressed as a harmless pirate. He had been polite when he greeted the neighbor. He had a wide smile on his face. And even after he received his gift, he went ahead and said "thank you" regardless. The child exhaled as he looked inside his brown bag and took out the giant ambrosia apple.
"Coulda given me a green one at least," he murmured.
The child set the apple back down inside his bag and promptly sorted out all the contents in his sack. Most of it was chocolate, but he also acquired some licorice and rock candy from a few parents who were overenthusiastic about the sweets they gave away. He closed the bag and exhaled as he started walking down the sidewalk again, only to run into another young kid walking with his older sister. The other kid was wearing a long-sleeve red shirt, along with blue overalls and a red cap with the letter "M" printed on it, and his sister was wearing a sparkly, frilly light-blue blouse and matching pants, and she had painted a green star on her left cheek.
"Heeeeeeey, Markie-boy! Just hit the mother load back there! Whatchu got? A rock?"
Mark scowled at the grinning boy. "I got rock candy. Does that count?"
"Eh, same difference. Sure you don't wanna join us? We've been hitting a lotta good houses lately!"
Mark shook his head. "I'm good, Dylan. It's more fun this way anyway."
Dylan's sister blinked. "It's fun walking around this late at night by yourself?"
"Yeah! Where's the fun in trick-or-treating if there's no spookiness? 'Sides," he said, grabbing the hilt of a sword he was carrying. "Not like I'm not prepared!"
"That's good," said Dylan. "When some giant monster attacks you, you can poke out its eye with that hunk of plastic."
"Oh, hahah. Funny. I'll meet you at Boog's house and we'll spend the night."
The two friends split up, and Mark resumed walking down the street carrying his giant bag full of candy, adjusting his pirate hat so it wouldn't fall off his head. He made sure to stay around all the streetlights and occasionally came across other young kids or teenagers walking around collecting candy from their neighbors. Mark heard some bushes rustling nearby and stopped walking. He raised an eyebrow and looked at the bushes, only to realize that the leaves weren't moving anymore. Mark took another step forward, and then he heard the leaves rustling again.
"Uh-uh," he said, turning around.
As Mark stepped away from the rustling bushes, he walked out into the middle of the street, where he sighed with relief upon finding a police vehicle slowly cruising down the block. Mark got out of the car's way and squinted when the driver shined a flashlight at him. The driver turned off his flashlight and stuck his head out the window.
"Where's your parents?" the officer asked.
"Oh, they-they said it was okay if I went trick-or-treating by myself."
"Mm-hmm. So if I went to your house…"
Mark blinked as he looked over at the ground. He sighed. "You'd find two assholes passed out on the floor, with some beer staining the carpet."
Mark stared at the driver, and the officer's mood suddenly shifted. "Still, it's not safe being out here this late at night with no supervisors. I'm gonna swing around the cul-de-sac the next ten minutes. When I get back, there better be someone with you. Someone older, and someone a bit more trustworthy. You get me?"
Mark smirked. "Yeah, I gotcha. I'm sure there's a few hobos around here."
The young child laughed to himself, but the officer just snorted and put his hands back on the steering wheel.
Mark nodded, and then the officer resumed driving down the street. After the confrontation, Mark stepped over onto the sidewalk and rolled his eyes. He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and started to punch in Dylan's number.
Mark screamed and stumbled backwards as someone creeped up behind him and shouted at him. As he sat on the ground on the verge of wetting himself, he looked at the tall man in front of him and calmed down. He was dressed as a werewolf, albeit his costume looked more authentic than most. His dark blue shorts were ripped and torn, and his black fur looked dirty and crusty. He wasn't wearing a shirt, so Mark could see his distended belly and the ridges around his muscles. His eyes were yellow, his muzzle was long, his ears were pointy, and his mouth was full of slobber and sharp teeth. It was all fake though. The costume was no more real than the sword Mark was carrying. When the man stopped screaming and shut his mouth, he lowered his arms and wiggled his nose.
"Ya havin' fun yet?"
Mark exhaled as he started grabbing the candy that fell from his bag. "Yeah, yeah, good job. You scared me. You want a medal?"
"I'll take that cookie actually," he said, pointing a clawed finger at the dessert on the ground.
After a brief pause, Mark grabbed the cookie and tossed it in the man's giant left paw. He opened his mouth and tossed the cookie inside, munching on it noisily and drooling as he swallowed. After he finished, he helped the child pick up his candy and set it inside the bag.
"Seriously though, sorry. Got a li'l caught up in the fun. You know how it is!"
"Yeah, I—" Mark stiffened. He sniffed the man a few times before he backed away. "Dude, when was the last time you washed your costume?"
The man sniffed his underarms before he shrugged. "Dunno. Don't really wash it. Just let it simmer in all the sweat and bodily fluids! Can't just look like a werewolf; gotta smell like one too!"
Something seemed off about the man, but Mark couldn't exactly figure it out. He started to walk around him, staring at his costume and trying to figure out where the zipper was. The man even had a fuzzy black tail that would occasionally move on its own. He stood in front of the man again and rubbed his forehead as he talked to him.
"You must've spent a long time working on this costume. Seems…seems very legit."
"Damn, you've no idea, kid! Took almost a whole year! Spent a couple thousand dollars making this thing!"
"And this is a costume…right?"
The man waved his paw and scoffed. "Pfft! Yeah kid, I'm a spooky scary werewolf, and I've come to eat you and all your friends! C'mon now; it's the twenty-first century."
Mark huffed. "Good point. Um, how old are you?"
"How old are you?"
"Eleven. Are you at least twenty-one? The cop patrolling this neighborhood saw me walking alone; apparently I need 'adult supervision' or some shit."
"Well, technically I'm sixteen, but hey! I can just tell 'em I look young for my age! They'll believe it."
Mark looked at the man in his seemingly authentic costume and smiled. "I'm Mark."
"I'm Maximus! Maximus Slade."
"Heh, okay, Maximus. Let's go trick-or-treating!"
The next half-hour was spent walking up to each house, ringing each doorbell, and promptly waiting for the parents of each house to give out a nice supply of junk food for both of them to munch on. The police officer from earlier returned as he promised, but when he spotted Mark walking alongside a taller and seemingly older trick-or-treater, he nodded and resumed driving down the block. Mark continued to examine the neighborhood, looking around to see which house they hadn't come across yet. The neighborhood was massive and consisted of over three hundred residences. Mark knew that he and Maximus would be out all night. And the best part was, tomorrow was Saturday, so Mark didn't even have to worry about school. Maximus still hadn't explained anything about his family yet, but Mark assumed that his parents were fine with him staying out late as well. As they wandered around the streets, some of the kids stopped to admire Maximus' costume, and a few of them even took a few pictures with him. It wasn't until they reached their fourteenth stop where the duo sat on the sidewalk so they could examine their treats.
"I can't believe this man! Except for that stupid apple, they've been giving out the good stuff tonight! Look at this—it's a Mars bar! They don't even carry these in America!"
Mark set down his bag and chuckled as he looked at Maximus, who was examining his bag with a scowl on his face.
"What'd you get?"
The teenager huffed. "Let's see: pack of breath mints, pack of breath mints, pack of mint-flavored gum, 'notha pack of breath mints—oh, lookie here! Fuckin' breath mints! Why the hell did you get all the good shit and all I got was fuckin' gum and breath mints?!"
Mark scooted away from Maximus and plugged his nose. "Because your breath is scarier than your costume."
Maximus groaned and tossed his bag on the ground. "Fuck this. Let's go do something else!"
Mark chuckled as he stood up. "Hey, don't be mad 'cause you aren't fond of oral hygiene! Look, I gotta meet up with some friends anyway. You can come along if you want. We could all hang out together!"
Maximus shook his head and licked his lips. "Nah…not fun enough. But that…yes, that right there…"
Maximus pointed to an immense two-story house that only had one car in the driveway. Mark looked at the house and noticed that the lights were still on and a jack-o-lantern was sitting in the driveway. He frowned.
"Oh. That house. Let's just go; those are the Albys. Couple of old crones who wanna be left alone."
"Betcha their house is loaded with candy!"
"Nope…just a bunch of dusty books. Bibles, autobiographies, adult magazines, lots of boring shit. You wouldn't like it."
Maximus ignored him and approached the house, licking his lips again. "If they're so old and wrinkly, then this should be no problem!"
"Dude, I'm serious! They got heart problems and all that shit; your costume would literally scare them to death!"
Still, the teenager ignored Mark. He walked over to the Albys' house and pounded his fist on their front door. Mark quickly sprinted over to him and tugged on his fur, begging him to leave. But before they could, they heard the door unlocking, and it opened up soon afterwards.
"Yeah, what do you want?" snarled Mrs. Alby.
Mark rolled his eyes and huffed. "Trick or treat," he said half-heartedly.
"TELL 'EM WE DON'T HAVE NO CANDY!" Mr. Alby shouted from across the house.
"I KNOW!" Mrs. Alby huffed. "You know we don't celebrate this silly holiday. Please leave."
Maximus glared at Mrs. Alby before he wiggled his toes. Suddenly, he bellowed, "SMELL MAH FEET!"
Before anyone had time to react, Maximus kicked Mrs. Alby in the throat, knocking her backwards onto her living room floor. The teenager stepped inside the house and promptly stepped all over the elderly woman. Then he pressed his right foot down on her face, smothering her with the giant artificial footpaw.
"What the fuck are you doing?!" Mark shouted.
Maximus snickered as he watched Mrs. Alby squirm beneath his foot. "It's part of the joke, ain't it? The old bitch has gotta sniff my feet until she gives me something good to eat!"
"Not literally you dumb shit! Get off; you're gonna suffocate her!"
"Relaaaaaax! My foot odor is the least of her problems!"
Mark stepped inside the house and grabbed Maximus' leg, grunting as he tried to pry it off.
Maximus grinned widely when he noticed that Mrs. Alby wasn't struggling so much anymore. Her arms weren't flailing around, and her gasps were getting quieter.
Annoyed over the child, Maximus shoved Mark into the wall so hard that one of the pictures fell down, causing the frame to shatter.
"What the fuck is going on out here?!"
Maximus looked up and saw a chubby, bald man walking from the kitchen into the living room. The second he saw what was happening to his wife, he swore, turned around, and ran to grab a knife. Maximus snarled, slammed the front door shut, and sprinted into the kitchen. Mark was still dazed from banging his head against the wall, but he heard Mr. Alby scream, followed by what sounded like flesh tearing. Shaking his head, Mark panted a few times before he heard bones breaking and more flesh tearing. The child was about to walk into the kitchen until he heard what seemed to be chewing, and then he grimaced.
A heavy sigh came from the kitchen. A few seconds later, Maximus walked back out into the living room with blood in his fur and flesh in his mouth. He slurped noisily and swallowed what seemed to be a large chunk of skin before he exhaled.
"See? Told you they were holding out on us!"
Mark's eyes widened. He looked at Mrs. Alby, who was barely alive and struggling to breathe. Maximus rolled his eyes and huffed.
"Old bitch still ain't dead. Hang on, hang on."
The teenager walked up to Mrs. Alby and crouched down. With a wide grin on his face, he ran three claws against her neck, lacerating it so deeply that Mark could see the bare flesh from the wound. He whimpered as he watched the elderly woman bleed out, followed by Maximus bending over and licking some of the blood off the floor like some feral dog lapping up water from a pond. Maximus growled deeply before he turned and looked at Mark.
Mark glared at the beast's demented smile. And then the strangest thing happened. He started laughing. The young child shook his head and shut his eyes, laughing to himself as he processed everything in his mind. A werewolf? A real werewolf? Two dead people? All this blood and exposed flesh? No way, he thought. This ain't happening. Mark spread his arms wide and began to clap slowly.
"Very, very nice! Very good! Very good, Dylan! Ya got my reeeeeeeaaaal fuckin' good! Real good man!"
Maximus raised an eyebrow. "Who the fuck is Dylan?"
"No, no, don't even try to play dumb. I know exactly what this is! C'mon, c'mon—where's the cameras? Where are the buckets of fake blood?"
Maximus scratched his head in confusion. "Huh?"
"This is some prank! It's a very, very convincing Halloween prank! I mean what else could it be? Werewolves? Dead people? Blood? Tch!" Mark waved a hand. "Pleeeeeeeaaaaaaaase!"
Maximus' attitude shifted from bewilderment to sadistic glee. He stood up and walked over to Mark, towering over the child by at least a foot. He crouched down and licked his lips again, flashing his teeth at the young boy.
"Go on, then. See just how 'fake' I am, Mark."
When Maximus opened his mouth, Mark blenched from the stench of his breath again. Holding his nose with one hand, Mark reached forward and stuck his other hand inside the creature's maw. He felt the canine's hot breath and the moisture inside the mouth. A small drop of saliva even hit the top of Mark's hand. Then he reached down and placed a few fingers on Maximus' tongue, grimacing when he noticed how slimy it was.
"This…this is fake," he said in disbelief.
He reached over and ran his fingers against Maximus' teeth. Then he flinched when he pressed one of his fingers down so hard that it punctured the skin, causing blood to come out. Mark looked at his bleeding finger and frowned. He whimpered and backed away from the werewolf.
"This is fake," he said again.
"You keep telling yourself that if it'll make you feel better. Heh, perhaps if you wish hard enough, these bodies will magically disappear too!"
Mark took two steps away from Maximus. The werewolf took two steps closer. The child closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then he swallowed the bile that was forming in his throat and cleared his mind. He looked all around the living room for some kind of weapon to use; a wooden bat was lying in the corner, but there was no other visible weapon he could find. Mark wiped his forehead and adjusted his hat again.
"Say this…say this is real. Say you just killed these two people. Say you are a real werewolf. Your first instinct would be to kill me."
"Yes, it would."
"So why haven't you?"
Maximus growled. "You know how it goes. You get bit by a werewolf, you turn into one! Let me bite you, dear Mark! We'll have loads of fun together! You'll enjoy it! You don't age; you don't get hurt; you get super speed and strength! Heh, no showers, no brushing your teeth, no homework, no school, no getting old—it's wonderful! You can even regenerate your health if you get hurt, just like all those shitty modern-day shooters. Whaddya say, Mark?"
Mark exhaled. "If I say no, you'll kill me."
"Absolutely," Maximus growled, before licking his teeth. "I haven't feasted on a child's flesh for some time. I'm actually hoping you'll say no!"
Mark exhaled again and swallowed. He slid a hand into his pants and took out his phone.
"What are you doing?"
"You-you want another partner in crime, right? Well…well, h-how 'bout a whole gang? Eh? How-how 'bout a gang of werewolves, with-with you as the leader? You'd like that…right? I-I'm supposed to meet my friends, remember?"
"Ohhhhhh, right! Forgot about that! Sure, why not? The more, the merrier I say!"
"Good! S-so…I'll just call them and let them know I'm bringing company!"
"Call 'em from right here."
"I-I gotta use the bathroom."
Maximus grinned. "Are you lying to me?"
"No, dude. I gotta take a piss."
Maximus pointed to a corner in the living room. "Piss right here. I, uh, I doubt the Albys will mind at this point."
Mark chuckled. "Nah. The cops come here and they see my urine, shit's gonna be used for DNA."
"…Such a smart child you are. Hmm…fine. Go pee."
Mark wasn't lying to the beast. He really did have to micturate—so badly that he nearly wet himself when he was talking to Maximus. After Mark finished urinating, he quickly dialed 911 and put the phone up to his ear. Trembling and whimpering, Mark turned on the bathroom's sink and listened to the phone ring.
"Sheriff's department, what's your emergency?"
Mark shuddered and whimpered. "I-I need help…I-I just found two bodies and…and I think the killer's still here."
There was no point in even trying to explain that the killer was a werewolf. They had to come down and see for themselves.
"You say you're reporting a double homicide, sir?"
"Y-yes…yes, I'm at—at 1879 Chasworth Way, in-in the Green Water subdivision."
There was a pause. "Did you say 'Green Water,' sir?"
"Yes, Green Water. Please…please help me."
The woman on the other end sighed. "Sir, are you aware that we've received ten phone calls from that location about a serial killer on the loose? All of which have been faulty?"
"This-this isn't a prank. It's not a prank!"
"Sir, I also notice that you sound like a child. Most of these phone calls have been reported from children. Did you steal your mother's cell phone—"
"There's two dead people here; the killer's still in the house! I'm still in the house! Get the fuck down here and help me!"
"Sir, I must ask you to lower your voice—"
"FUCKING GET DOWN HERE AND HELP ME!"
The line went dead.
"I—hello? Hello? No…no, no, don't do this to me. Don't—"
Mark screamed when Maximus kicked the door open, nearly knocking him backwards. He shivered as the black-furred beast glared at him and growled.
"Your eyes are watering. Were you crying?"
"I…my friends, they-they got mad at me," he lied. "We got into an argument."
"Uh-huh. Gimme your phone."
Mark blinked. "Why?"
"Gimme your phone."
"You-you can't use it anyway. Your fingers and your paws are too big."
Maximus smiled. "Do I need to take it from you?"
He couldn't get around it. His back in the corner, Mark slowly handed the phone over to Maximus. Using his claws delicately, the canine looked at Mark's phone and checked his recent phone calls. He smiled again.
"911, eh? Why would you call them? Surely you know that…"
Maximus thought for a moment and rubbed his chin. Then he nodded. "No, wait. That's wonderful. Hehe, that's great! The cops will come here, and they'll all try to kill me! But cops don't carry silver bullets or machetes…they won't kill me. They can't kill me! But I know they'll try…yes…yes, this'll be quite the challenge! This'll be loads of fun!"
Maximus reached down and chuckled as he patted Mark's hat. "Nice work. Not only have you made my night loads more interesting, but now I'll have lots of li'l piggies to feast on!"
Maximus chuckled again as he backed out of the bathroom. "Now…you won't need this anymore…"
Mark walked out of the bathroom as well, swearing inwardly when Maximus crushed Mark's phone with his bare paw. He stood in the corridor beside the baseball bat.
"You should clean your footpaws!"
Maximus raised an eyebrow. "What the hell for?"
"You got blood on 'em! You'll-you'll leave footprints and then when the cops come, they'll find out where you're hiding a lot quicker!"
"I don't have—"
"Yes, you do."
"I do not."
"You do too."
Maximus blinked a few times. He flicked his eyes at the floor and saw the pool of blood that had come from Mrs. Alby's body. Curious, he lifted his left footpaw and frowned.
"Shit, I do have—OW!"
Using swift speed, Mark grabbed the baseball bat and bashed Maximus in the head once, twice, thrice. The werewolf shouted each time he was hit, and then grunted as he stumbled backwards and fell on the floor. As he lied on his back, Mark swung the bat against him over and over again, listening to the wood thwack and thump against his bones and flesh. He smacked him in the skull so hard that the bat cracked and snapped in half. And then Mark promptly snarled as he jabbed the broken bat against Maximus' left eyeball. The werewolf howled in pain and writhed around on the floor, grasping his eye as he tried to remove the hunk of wood. Meanwhile, Mark whimpered as he sprinted for the door and unlocked it. He sprinted outside, panting and blinking as he looked around the street.
"HELP! SOMEBODY HELP ME!" he screeched.
He ran across the street and banged his fist on the door, knocking and ringing the doorbell incessantly.
"OPEN UP! OPEN THE DOOR!" he pleaded.
No one answered. Still panting, Mark looked through the windows and noticed all the lights were off, even though the owners' cars were in the driveway. So the child left and ran down the sidewalk, still screaming for help and hoping the subdivision's night watch would return. As Mark gained distance from the house, Maximus weakly stumbled to the front door and shouted as he removed the wood from his eye.
He groaned again as blood ran down his face. Then he shook his head and chuckled.
"That's okay…that's all right. I like a challenge. Tonight is gonna be a fun night!"
Maximus laughed as his eyeball slowly squished and crackled, the damaged flesh slowly healing itself into its original form.
"Oh yes. Gonna have lots of fun tonight!"