Originally, I planned on viewing the most popular horror short films on Youtube, and coming up with a short story for each one. After going through the top ten or so, I’ve discovered that too many of them have only slight variations of the same theme, and that is seeing a scary thing and reacting or running away from it. I understand these are short films, but when the repeated climax is that the scary thing could still be or is still out there, it gets monotonous.
So, I will have to dig deeper into the genre on Youtube to find better ideas, such as short films based on Poe or Lovecraft. I mean, come on, I was reading Stephen King in junior high, and that was way back in the eighties! I can come up with better short stories than the plots from Siren Head and Bloody Mary!
Anyway, here is my first short story, inspired by the short film Bloody Mary, as seen in my last post.
Horror Short #1
The Thing In The Bedroom
By Raymond Towers
Working two jobs was taking its toll on Lance. They were always juggling his schedule around so he never had the same day off at both places, and he had to talk to one or both of his bosses every single time new schedules were put out, because they weren’t smart enough to keep this important fact in mind: job 1 was Lance’s daytime job, and job 2 was Lance’s late job.
As usual, parking near the house was a bitch and a half. Four, he counted, of the neighbors had put their plastic trashcans on the curb as placeholders for their cars, and they did this when they went to work, or to the store, or to pick up their kids after school. His girlfriend had gotten ticked one time, moving a trashcan so she could park her car, and for that transgression her car ended up getting a nice new key scratch the very same night.
Lance was having a similar problem. He had planned sensibly when he purchased his car: a small gray compact. It could park almost anywhere. His car could not park right in front of the house, however, because the lady who lived next door drove a big, black truck, and she enjoyed parking it in such a way that Lance’s compact did not fit in front of the truck, or behind the truck, necessitating him to park two houses down, causing the neighbors there to give him the evil eye, or around the corner where he couldn’t even see his car unless he walked out there.
As he walked by the hedge bordering the house, he noticed that Gwen’s car was nowhere in sight. Lance knew she was done with her college classes, so where was she?
He pulled open the gate, walking across the driveway that only the co-renters could use and not he, and he went down the side of the house to the portion he rented. It was a four bedroom house, but since rents were so high the owner had put a cheap wall across the middle, dividing the living room and two bedrooms from the back den and the other two bedrooms. Some of that Lance could deal with, like the semi-affordable rent and the semi-privacy, but he did hate when he was in the shower and someone up front flushed the toilet, resulting in him getting hot water and shouting bloody murder for a good ten seconds.
Lance could have used the key, but knowing his brother’s bad habits, the side door, which was in fact his front door, was probably unlocked. He tried the door, confirming his guess, and at the same time heard the sound effects from whatever shooter game his brother was playing.
“Frank, you left the door unlocked.” He grumbled as he stepped in.
“So? I’m sitting right here.”
“You have to keep the door locked all the time.” Lance scolded. “How many times have you forgotten and the door stayed unlocked for the entire night?”
“That only happened twice.”
“Twice in two months! Where is Gwen? Did you and her have another argument?”
And they did fight a lot, because Lance had two jobs, Gwen had one job, they both went to college, and Frank had zero jobs and stayed home all day.
“Look, she’s going to try to say I snuck into her room last night, but that’s not true.” Frank said.
“What are you talking about? Why would she say something like that?”
“I don’t know. I just know that’s what she said when she came home today. She started yelling at me and she said she was going to tell you and she didn’t want me going in her room again.”
Lance had worked until twelve the night before. “What time did she say you went in there?”
“I don’t know. One or two? You were asleep.”
“She didn’t wake me up.” Lance said.
“Gwen said she would have woken you if I had tried to touch her. We were both asleep this morning when she left. So she didn’t bring it up until she saw me after classes. That’s when she started threatening me.”
“She could have texted me about it. Why didn’t she text me?”
“I don’t know! Ask her.”
“I’m going to call her.”
“Did you come into our room last night?”
“No! Why would I do that? So I can hear her screaming like a banshee? You know how loud she gets!”
Lance called Gwen. He listened to her side of the story.
“I’m one hundred percent sure that your brother came into our room.” She insisted over the phone.
Lance didn’t know what to do. Frank said he was one hundred percent sure he had not gone into their room at all.
Lance’s second job ended at 11:30 that night, because all the work was done and the supervisor wasn’t in the charitable mood to pay him his posted hours. He was ready to leave anyway. Gwen had called him at just past ten, not long after she’d gone to bed. She was freaking out because Frank had come into her room again. Gwen was spending the night at her mother’s, and that was bad because her mother liked to badmouth both Lance and Frank.
Lance had a fifteen minute drive home. He used every second of that drive to try to come up with a way to keep the peace between his girlfriend and his brother. When he walked in, Frank was still at his video games, but his brother did pause the game right away.
“What happened this time?”
Frank started shaking his head.
“Come on, Frank. Gwen didn’t freak out for nothing!”
“I was playing videos games, she went into your room, and fifteen minutes later she comes out and starts screaming at me. I swear, I did not leave the couch in all that time!”
“Is it possible that you left the door unlocked and somebody came inside?”
“How?” Frank threw his hands up. “I was here the whole time! Nobody walked in!”
“Maybe you went to the bathroom?”
“No. I did not go to the bathroom.”
The bedroom doors were right there on the far wall. “Do you think somebody could be in here right now?”
Frank didn’t like hearing that. He started staring at the doors like Lance was.
“Gwen said the man who lives up front stares at her sometimes.” Lance said.
“She told me that, too.” Frank nodded.
“Maybe he has a secret way in?”
They started a search, turning on all the lights and checking everything: closets, behind furniture, under beds, out windows, every possible place they could think of. They even checked the shower and inside the bathroom sink. It was only a ten minute search.
“There is nobody in here.” Frank said. “I don’t know what she saw, but it wasn’t me.”
“It’s past twelve.” Lance sighed. “I have to go to sleep.”
“Yeah, I guess I’ll turn in, too. There is something weird going on.”
Lance thought the same, but he didn’t say anything. He went into his room and changed into casual clothes before he went to bed.
Lance hadn’t slept long, when he felt a chill go through his body. He opened his eyes, seeing only the usual darkness, except for the alarm clock that read 1:30. He felt something in his room, some kind of cold presence that seemed to move from the side of his bed to the foot. Lance had his head on the pillow, suddenly afraid to look down toward his legs to see what that cold presence was, even if it was only his brother playing a joke on him.
A loud scream jolted Lance. Frank was yelling in his room, loud enough that Lance pushed his covers away and left the bed. When he looked toward the door, past the foot of his bed, he saw the thing standing there. It was taller than he was, but slender. Its head and body were black, darker than the rest of the room, and on its head it had glowing orange eyes.
Frank screamed again, unnerving Lance because the presence was in his way. When he found his courage, he started toward it, watching it vanish before his eyes. The way it faded off, it was just as scary as seeing it. Lance turned his light on, making sure the thing was gone, before he stepped into the den.
Frank ran out of his room, into the dark den except he could see thanks to the light from Lance’s room. Lance turned on the light in the den.
“I saw it!” Frank said. “It was standing next to my bed, staring at me!”
“Frank, it was in my room too! I just saw it a second ago!”
“You mean there are two of them?”
Unnerved, Lance walked to the front door. Both of the security bolts were locked. Without really thinking, he pulled aside the curtain to look out the window. Maybe it was the same presence he’d seen before, or a third one, but it was standing out there, peering through the glass with its glowing orange eyes.
That’s when Lance started screaming.
Inspired the short film Bloody Mary by Iris, found on Youtube.
Random names selected from 50,001 Best Baby Names (Stafford, 2004). Names used are struck through. Unused names will be carried over for the next story.
Male Names: Nash,
Franklin, Lance, Taos
Female Names: Pilar,
Gwendolyn, Emma, Soleil