For the entire month of May, I posted a brand new, 100 words or less, horror story on my Facebook author page. I called the preoject Les Petits Peurs.
It was a real challenge and had me scrambling more than once to come up with something. Alas, I made it through, and here for the first time are all 31 stories collected together.
With my bags packed and waiting, I take one last walk around my room before checking out.
The best thing about being on the thirty-fourth floor in downtown Toronto is the view. Looking out at the buildings surrounding me, I notice a face print on the glass.
I chuckle as I picture the previous guest squishing their mug against the window to see as much of the city as possible. You’d think I would have noticed it yesterday though.
With a shrug, I wipe the pane with my sleeve, and I realize, the face print is on the outside.
She got out of her car and started walking down the street. Blood soaked through the front of her dress, her panties hung limply around one ankle.
She did not want to look back at the car, but fear of the unknown was a force, and she found herself peeking over her shoulder as she walked. Inside, something moved. A hand, a face, briefly—horribly—illuminated by the interior lights.
She wanted to run, but her body had betrayed her. The thing she had birthed was going to catch her.
The boy was in his treehouse when the light shot across the night sky. His heart racing, he climbed down the ladder and ran through the field towards his house.
The door was open, just as he’d left it. Careful not to wake his parents (they’d kill him if they knew he was up), he tip-toed to his brother’s room.
“Hey, Tommy,” he whispered as he opened the door.
Inside he found his brother being dissected by thin, gray men. He tried to flee, but when they looked at him, he lost the will. The door closed softly behind him.
The water sent an instant chill through his body. His breath escaped in a swarm of bubbles which raced for the surface.
Even in the murk, he could see the muddy cloud flowing from the gash in his arm. The water was infested with sharks. It wouldn’t be long before they came.
He struggled upward until his head broke through the waves.
In the distance, a triangular fin was already slicing the water.
He could easily climb back aboard the boat before the shark arrived, but then he would have to deal with the masked psychopath on board.
I thought it was a sliver at first. Just a fragment of something stuck under the skin of my finger.
I managed to grasp the end of it with some tweezers. As it began to come free from my skin, I realized that it was actually a hair.
I’ve been pulling it out for an hour now. A spool of it coils around my feet. I don’t think it has an end.
The cans jittered along the shelves. Florescent lights overhead began to flicker. Shawn twisted in a circle. A wave of distortion warped the aisle around him. The tiles beneath his feet vibrated and split. A piercing din dropped him to his knees. Through squinted eyes, he saw the grocery store he worked at shift…change. Then everything went dark.
When he opened his eyes, he was in a different place. Black ooze glistened on the walls, darkness devoured what lay ahead in either direction. For the first time, he wondered if selling his soul for a twinkie was a good idea.
Josh rolled out of bed. He was hungover.
The film on his tongue made it clear that the he needed to brush his teeth.
Looking in the mirror, he noticed the tattoo. Just the edge of it peeked over the collar of his t-shirt. When he pulled the shirt off, he saw the words: I’M ALREADY INSIDE OF YOU.
Furious, Josh began racking his brain trying to figure out which one of his friends he would kill, when something moved in his stomach.
I climbed into the driver’s seat of my car and looked into the mirror. I was horrified to find myself already sitting in the back.
The sound wakes me. It’s a crackling noise, like fire…but deeper.
I look at the clock, 3:32am.
My search for the odd cadence leads me to my closet door.
Fingers trembling, I pull it open. It takes a moment for me to understand what I’m seeing. A swirling hole hovers before my clothes.
I don’t want to reach out for it, but I can’t help myself. It’s so familiar.
I’m filled with pain as I’m sucked into the void.
The sound wakes me. It’s a crackling noise, like fire…but deeper.
The front door was wide open. Karen felt her heart began racing at the sight.
Looking around nervously, she wondered, was somebody inside?
Slowly, she leaned into the house. “Hello?” She wasn’t sure what she would do if anybody answered.
Without a second thought she ran through the home, hoping, praying to see the little girl.
A woman lay passed out drunk on the couch. She must have left the door open when she came home. Karen hurried past her to the nursery. Of all the children she had taken over the years, it had never been this easy.
The train began rolling away from the station, away from Mary’s old life.
The decision to leave had been a long time coming. She could only take so much of his inattention.
The breaking point had come the day before when she had found him with that woman again. She’d forgiven him in the past, but he’d pushed her too far.
As the train rocked, she wondered how long it would take for anybody to find their bodies. She would watch the news closely for the next few days. It would be nice to finally learn his name.
Phil’s mind raced. How could this be happening? It didn’t make sense. The sun was gone.
He could hear the screams of his neighbors. The old lady across the street wandered down the middle of the road in a daze. The kids a few houses over ran past, shrieking. Most everybody else was pointing up at the dark sky where the sun should have been.
Phil wanted to tell them, but words failed him. It wasn’t the missing sun that should scare them. It was the things he’d seen crawling out of the newly formed darkness.
I can feel the steering wheel strain against my grip as the wind buffets my car. Rain comes in fits and bursts, it spatters across my windshield. My headlights work to keep the darkness of the country road at bay. The storm is raging.
Suddenly, the wind dies. The trees stop their frenzied swaying. I hope it’s a sign that things are winding down.
There’s a flash of lightning off to my right. It’s only for a second, maybe less, but it’s enough time to see that the clouds have funneled down into the field next to me.
Margret couldn’t help herself. Ever since her grandson, Evan, had set up her Facebook account, she’d been obsessed with clicking the suggested posts.
She leaned closer to her computer, licking her lips. ‘8 pictures of people before they died!’ read the headline.
The first seven were what she expected. A woman smiling on the edge of cliff. A man at an instant teller. A kid crossing the street.
As soon as she reached number eight, the light next to her webcam came on, followed by a small click. Margaret leaned forward, brows knit. Had her computer just taken her picture?
The old man whistled as he walked towards the corner. His cane tapped the sidewalk in time with his tune.
The car came out of nowhere. The impact slammed him to the ground. His head split just above the above the base of his skull.
A young woman hopped from the vehicle and ran to him in hysterics. She grabbed the sides of his face, the blood from his wounds at first covered, then soaked, into her hands. Her tears suddenly stopped.
She stood, picked up the cane and began whistling as she walked away.
It burned going down. A lot worse than he imagined it would. The liquid was opaque with black flecks floating on the surface. The taste was of spiced vomit.
Almost instantly he could feel the foul stuff reacting with the contents of his stomach. A low rumble issued deep from within him.
He was surrounded by the hooded men. He couldn’t see their features, but like always, their eyes glowed from the shadows encompassing their faces.
Another rumble, this one much louder. The transformation was underway. Soon he’d be like them.
The call came at 3am. Andy rolled over and groped in the darkness for his phone. He quickly silenced it before it could wake his wife, Julie.
“Hello?” he whispered.
“Andy! You have to listen to me!” The voice was frantic, yet familiar.
He shook his head in disbelief. “Julie?”
“Yes! Yes, it’s me! That woman next to you is a fake. You have to kill her!”
Before he could say anything, the line went dead.
Slowly, he turned towards his sleeping wife. His mind raced as he wondered if she’d always had that mole on her neck.
Chris looked at the strange hole. He’d been cutting his grass when he noticed it. A near perfect circle dug into the ground of his front lawn.
Squatting, he poked his fingers inside. There appeared to be something hard—like a crust—just below the surface. Exerting some force, he broke through.
The ants came at one. They swarmed up his arm. They were not normal ants either, but large red ones.
The pain from thousands of bites sent him fleeing. He tripped while running for the door.
When his wife returned from work, she found his remains.
The alleyway was dark. Gary regretted taking the short-cut.
He immediately noticed the face painted on the wall. A demonic visage. The things eyes seemed to follow him.
He looked away and saw the same face painted on the opposite wall. Spinning around, intending to return the way he had come, he stopped short. The alley was completely blocked-off behind him. Staring at him, was the face.
Gary screamed, turned, and slammed into brick. The way ahead was sealed-up as well. Trembling, he looked at what was painted there, the face. This time, it was definitely looking at him.
By the time I get there, it was already a huge story. The waterslide at Great Wolf Lodge was kidnapping people.
Weird, but true. Folks enter, but never come out. Fifteen people…vanished.
Cameras have been sent down, they come out, no problem. The footage shows nothing strange.
It took some work, but I managed to sneak in—I even got the water running. I gotta know where they’ve gone.
I begin sliding. Just after the first turn, it happens. The tube looks the same, but I’m somewhere different. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see where I emerge.
I’m horrified when I leave my house and see that my shadow is gone. The sun is shining bright, it should be underneath me, but it’s not.
I spin around in a circle, my heart racing, all the shadows are gone…
“Shit!” Scott stared into the brown mess filling the toilet. His wedding ring had fallen in.
He considered his next move. Did he leave it, severing the final tie to Sandi? Or risk whatever horrors floated within and reach for it? He shook his head, he could live without it.
Something rose from the surface of the water. Sandi’s head and shoulders pushed past the rim. He could see the bruising along her neck from where he’d strangled her to death. Her soiled hand reached out, the ring was gripped between her fingers.
As I walk around my house, looking for my family, I notice something weird. I’m not in any of the pictures. Even the family portrait—taken last Christmas—is different. There’s another man with my wife and kids.
Fear and confusion overtake me. I call my wife’s name, but instead of seeing the woman I married, I’m surrounded by men in suits.
They tell me that I’ve been replaced, that my family has no memory of my existence. I beg and plead for answers, but they fall silent as I’m lead to the black van in front of my home.
Paul banged on the wall. Somebody in apartment behind him had been making an awful racket. He’d had enough.
He marched down the hall and knocked on the apartment door. The force of the knock pushed the door open.
Paul leaned into the darkened space. As soon as he did, the door closed behind him.
No matter what he tried, he couldn’t get out of the apartment. He began shouting, but stopped when he heard himself banging through the wall to keep it down.
My wife tells me to stop breathing in her ear as we lay in bed. ‘That’s funny’, I think, I’m facing the other way.
Zack parked the skid of cans next to the freezer door. It leaned to one side. It’d probably tip during the night, but he didn’t work the next day, so what’d he care.
He opened the freezer and let out an annoyed grunt. Somebody had left the pump-jack inside.
Walking to retrieve it, a large crash spun him around. The skid of cans toppled over against the door, slamming it closed. He tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge.
The sub-zero temperature made him shiver, and then it hit him, nobody else was in until the morning.
The dogs surrounded her. Strands of ropey saliva hung from their snarling mouths. She looked around wildly, but there was nowhere to go.
She clutched her hand over the wound on her arm. Warm blood seeped past her fingers. She knew that the smell of her injury was driving the animals crazy.
She closed her eyes, and took a final breath. The faces of all the people she had feed on over the centuries came to her. Her vampire fangs jutted past her bottom lips as she smiled. Around her, the dogs lunged.
Tanya dropped the phone. She could hear the customer on the other end rise their voice, but the words were lost as the receiver bounced off her desk.
Co-workers scurried about around her, oblivious to what was in the supply closet across the office. She herself had barely glimpsed it, but it was enough to cause her blood to run cold.
She’d seen the thing every night for the past month…in her nightmares. It had finally managed to followed her into the waking world.
I look past the flickering candles. Thirty-five flames dance along the top of the cake. All around me, my family and friends sing.
Afterward, I’m surrounded by smiling faces that eagerly wait for me to blow out my candles.
A grin splits my own face. They have no idea. It’s been almost a year since I stole this body and they never even noticed.
With a puff, the candles go out.
Bill waited as the phone rang.
“Hello?” a voice answered.
Anger flashed through Bill. “Who is this? Why do you have my phone?”
The line went dead. He called his number again, but this time, there was no answer.
Annoyed, Bill hung up the pay phone and returned to his car. As he sat down, something pressed against his leg. Reaching back, he pulled his cell phone off his seat.
“But…huh?” His confusion turned to fear as a gleaming knife came around from the back seat of his car and pressed against his throat.
“Hello.” A voice said.
It had been a hundred days since Sheila had left her house. The creature was still out there. It wouldn’t let her leave.
She didn’t know how much longer she could last. The water was still running, but her food was limited. With only once child left, she would soon run out of things to eat.