A Short Horror Story
(This is a short story I wrote on July 3, 1982, when I was fifteen years old. I still have it on an old onion-skin paper, typewritten, single-spaced. Thought you might get a good laugh from it.)
Alone at night.
Blackout. You have no flashlights or candles.
You hear a noise.
As the night goes on it gets louder.
You try to call someone but the phone is dead.
The noise is now coming from within the next room.
You close the door.
You sit in the far corner of the room.
The doorknob turns.
You forgot to lock the door.
The door opens.
All you see is a huge shadow.
An awful stench fills the room.
It smells like burnt flesh.
What is this thing?
Then you remember.
There was a fire in the house next door yesterday.
Only one person came out of the house.
He came running out.
He had been on fire.
Nobody saw him fall into the open manhole.
Nobody except you.
But you didn’t say anything.
You thought he was dead.
You wanted him to be dead.
You had started that fire in the house.
Nobody saw you put the manhole cover back on.
Now he has come back for revenge.
But it can’t be.
It just can’t be.
You look out the window and into the street.
You gasp in horror.
The manhole cover is not on the manhole.
It is smashed to pieces in the middle of the street.
The shadow is now moving closer.
You try to open the window.
You rip down one of the curtains and wrap it around your hand.
You smash the window with your fist.
It’s coming closer!
As you jump out the window it grabs you by the ankle.
It tries to pull you back in but you grab hold of the windowsill
Shards of glass are grinding themselves into your chest and arms
It pulls harder.
You are slipping from the windowsill.
Pain shoots through your leg as the creature yanks on it.
You scream in pain.
No one hears you.
Suddenly you feel a new and more excruciating pain in you leg.
As you look at you leg you realize it is on fire.
With one last effort you free yourself.
You jump out the window and run across your front lawn.
The fire is now up to your chest.
You run into the street.
No one sees you fall into the manhole.