Monday, May 5, 2014

A Brand New Nightmare

Hallowe'en night. The bonfires have burned down almost to embers. Children have stopped trick-or-treating hours ago. Only a rare firework lights up the sky.

A woman is cutting apples in a kitchen. She is singing along to the radio, which is playing a country and western song. It's low, because the hour is late.

Every few moments, she looks up. Nervously? Expectantly? Excitedly?

In the sitting room, the DVD case of Hallowe'en III lies on the coffee table. The DVD is still in the DVD player.

The front door is closed.

But not unlocked.

A man is walking up the street, towards her house. His face is whiter than any skin could naturally be. Red streaks run down his cheek. When the street-lamps shine on his eyes, the irises glow an unearthly red. He walks slowly, unhurriedly. He is looking at the numbers on the front doors as he passes them.

He stops before the woman's house, and stares at it, an intent look upon his face.

Five miles away, in a small office, a skinny man with long hair is sitting in front of a computer screen. There is a carton of fast food on the desk beside him.

A colourful flyer lies right beside the carton of fast food. Wright's Frights, it says in big and wobbly writing at the top. Underneath a picture of a screaming skull, there is a caption in smaller writing: Want to Make That Halloween Party a Scream? Let us Scare Your Guests For You! Zombies, Vampires, Werewolves, Mummies and More!!

He opens a new email and curses. He reaches for his mobile phone, which is lying beside his keyboard, and makes a call. It is not answered. He curses again.

Hurriedly, he types a text: "Wrong house. 28 Burlington COURT, not Burlington Crescent. Abort!"

Five miles away, the woman is still chopping apples, singing along with Waylon Jennings. She doesn't hear the soft click of her front door.

The kitchen door bursts open...