Twice the Chill, p.1Rachel A Olson
Twice the Chill
Two Short Horror Stories
By Rachel A Olson
Copyright © 2016 Rachel A Olson
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written consent of the publisher, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
Layout and design by No Sweat Graphics by Rachel A Olson
This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this novel are fictitious and are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.
“I hate the dark.”
“Because you can’t see what’s in it.”
Bey laughed loudly. Chensei had always been a bit ridiculous with her superstitions and he had always tolerated them, but he wasn’t in the mood. “Have you seen anything that would give you reason to believe you need to see what’s in the dark?” he asked her almost bitterly. Chensei stopped walking momentarily as if she couldn’t think and walk at the same time. Bey rolled his eyes.
“Well, no I guess not.”
“Then there’s no reason to hate the dark.” Bey continued on, not really caring if his sister followed suit.
“Perhaps,” she said, quickly coming up next to him again. “But I can’t stop hating it just because you said I should.” Bey let out a loud huff before clamping his mouth shut. He’d promised to stop being so mean, promised to find a way to release his anger some other way. He really did love his sister, but he couldn’t wait for her to grow out of her teenage stupidity.
They walked on in silence. If nothing else, Chensei was at least able to tell when Bey was annoyed, and knew it was time to shut up. Bey watched out of the corner of his eye as his sister continuously rubbed her hands up and down the length of her arms. If he hadn’t known better, he’d have thought she were cold. But it was nearly 75 degrees out. No, it wasn’t a chill. It was fear. Stupid, pointless fear.
Bey shook his head, growing even more irritated. The closer they got to the woods, the closer Chensei walked next to him. If she got much closer, she was likely to trip them both up. As soon as they broke through the threshold of the forest, an owl made his presence known. Chensei squeaked, jumping so high she nearly hit her head on a branch. Her hair tangled in some leaves immediately after, and she let out another shriek that had Bey laughing hysterically.
“Jesus, Chen, you’re just a little puss.” A small sting shot through his arm when she punched him. He smiled evilly as she glared at him. Bey took his pace up a notch, leaving Chensei a few steps behind. She whimpered, uttering something under her breath that compared her brother to a donkey.
Several minutes passed and the only sound came from the crunching gravel underfoot. A small bird or rodent scurried away on occasion as they trudged along. It would only be a few minutes before they reached home. They could even see the lights in the distance that their mother left on for them.
Bey’s heart rate increased as he neared the edge of the forest. Only ten more feet and he could break free, run like the wind away from his obnoxious sister and into the quiet confinement of home. He heard the crunching underfoot increase as he quickened his pace. Chensei’s increased as well as she struggled to keep up. Bey nearly broke into a jog, grinning at himself, nearly enjoying the torture he knew he was dishing out on his sister.
And then there was silence. Not completely so, but the number of footsteps decreased by half. Bey frowned, slowing his pace until he stopped. He turned around, ready to curse at Chensei for piddling about, but she wasn’t there. He spun in a slow circle, squinting into the blackness between the surrounding trees.
“C’mon Chen, I want to get home.” He continued his slow spin, looking for any slight movement out of his peripherals, but there was nothing. He felt something flutter inside his stomach; a nervous, foreboding feeling. “Damnit Chensei, this isn’t funny!” he yelled at the woods behind him. He stopped and listened, noting he was literally only a hop, skip, and jump away from home if he needed to get to safety quickly. Mom had a shotgun stashed away in her room. They would be safe.
Twenty feet back into the forest, a whimper got loose from behind a large cedar. Bey squinted until his eyes were nothing more than slits. He swore under his breath, almost certain he saw fingers clawing at the dirt at the base of the tree. His insides turned into a black hole as his heart rate burst into an erratic, thundering pace. He stepped forward tentatively, quickly checking his surroundings for other movement. His lower eyelid twitched with nervousness, a slow burning sickness bubbling up inside him. When he felt satisfied that there was nothing dangerously near, he scurried ahead toward what he was sure was his sister. His heart thumped loudly in his ears, adrenaline making him quiver, ruining any attempt he made to appear strong.
Bey was only a few steps away, but he paused, listening to his surroundings again. Another whimper seeped out of the darkness behind the old tree. Bey knew the sound in his sleep. His sister was a cryer. He bolted forward, grabbing up the hands he could plainly see in the waning moonlight. He pulled swiftly, hoping to pull her out of whatever had dragged her in. He pulled and yanked until he heard a wet popping and something broke loose with a sickening slap. Bey found himself on his back, a warm spatter landing on his face. He sat up quickly, looking down at the hands he still held onto. Hands that came with him, but left the rest of her behind. Hands much too warm against his palms.
Bey scurried away from his sister’s dismembered hands, quickly wiping at his face. He knew what was there, but couldn’t believe it, didn’t want to. Crimson fluid transferred to his clammy skin. He gagged as he stood, desperately searching for something he could use as a weapon. With tremulous hands, Bey grabbed up a pointed branch that had been broken underfoot, and held it out in front of him as he pressed his back up against the trunk of a tree on the other side of the walking path. He tried to calm himself, but his eyes kept drifting to the decapitated body parts he’d pulled from the darkness. He looked toward the house, wondering if his mom would hear him if he screamed. He thought about Chensei, and understood instantly her fear of the dark. A fear that had become incredibly real to him. He wanted to run, wanted to scream, wanted to cry. He couldn’t think straight, couldn’t figure out what he should do. His fight or flight mechanism no longer existed. He watched in terror as the color quickly began to drain from the tips of his sister’s fingers.
A low, rumbling laughter spilled out from behind the cedar tree across from where Bey attempted to hold his ground. It grew louder, intermixing with more wet popping and slapping sounds. Bey listened closely, though it made his stomach churn angrily. He heard what could only be compared to chewing before another tearing sound echoed throughout the empty space between the trees. Bey gagged repeatedly, repulsed by the thought that something was eating Chensei. Another bout of laughter erupted and then he heard leaves crunching underfoot. Bey held up his pointed stick, his entire body shaking uncontrollably as a figure slowly surfaced at the edge of the treeline, near the walking path.
“What have you done with my sister?” Bey shouted. “Who are you? What are you?” Bey paused a moment, stricken to silence by the realisation that it was definitely a “who” instead of a “what”. He was only answered with more laughter, loud and clear unlike before. Ever so slowly, a woman stepped forward, her head bowed to the ground. Her hair was
Bey couldn’t move. His eyes betrayed him. It wasn’t logically possible. A single tear rolled down his ashen face as he dropped his only source of protection. The woman stepped forward, only stopping when she was inches from Bey’s face. She inhaled deeply, taking in the scent of fear the pulsated off of him. She licked a wet, blood coated line from his collarbone to his earlobe, moaning in anticipation. Bey let out a strangled cry, painfully pushing his back into the trunk of the tree.
Twice the Chill by Rachel A Olson / Horror / Thrillers & Crime have rating 3.7 out of 5 / Based on33 votes