And still a dollar or so short …
But, here’s the 500 word max story:
Gran’s Last Diary Entry
The big storm. That’s when it happened.
Lightning and thunder scare the grumpkins outta the dog, and she patters around, panting and whining and fretting. Nobody sleeps. That’s why I was awake, why I saw it.
Record rainfall. Lots of lightning, flashes of blue-white light that lit up everything. I went to the window to check on the old Orange Pippin apple tree It doesn’t like flooding, and the roots are shallow for the size of it.
A woman dashed through the downpour from the direction of the bus stop. No umbrella, head down. One of those new fluffy pets sat on the fence next to the lane. Cute as a baby monkey with fluffy, long tails, mottled white fur. It hummed at the woman. She stopped. The fluffy remained fluffed. It didn’t look wet. I watched as it curled its tail around the woman’s leg, unfurled the pincer at the tip, and stuck it in her thigh. The woman folded up like a rag doll, held up by one long fluffy arm around her throat while the other removed the clothing from her midriff. One single long tooth emerged from within the dark, fluffy lips.
Don’t argue with your grandmother. I saw it. My brain shrank at the sight of it.
It’s that tooth they sink into the belly. A long way in. What do they suck out? Who knows? But it fluffed up a lot, and it hummed loud enough to rattle the glass.
I must’ve moved. That fluffy thing saw me. Those big, round eyes, deep brown with a twist in the pupil. It clicked like a lens, and I heard it, and I knew.
Then I see the others standing at the windows of every house in the street. All staring at me. I’m the only person I know who doesn’t keep one as a pet. The only living person.
Soon, I’ll be food. Soon, I’ll have an open wound on the belly that won’t heal. In a few days, I’ll wither and die, like all the others. Don’t let the quacks tell you it’s the lurgy.
See for yourself.
Please look after dog. If she survives, she’ll need someone familiar, someone she knows. You’re the last in the family. The only one who’ll read this last page.
My bones are so old, 92 yesterday, the day of that storm. Even if I tell them, they’ll say it’s dementia, but don’t believe it. When the next storm comes at night, hide behind the glass, see for yourself. Trust your own eyes.
But take care, cos it’s a hive, and seen by one is seen by all.
You may recognise where it came from, but don’t tell anyone. It’s one of those stories that stick in my mind until I make a real, full-length story from it, so playing in the meantime makes it more alive and desperate. And then … well, I have an outline and a few scenes done, so if you want a nightmare story, tell me and I’ll move it into the schedule.
The first Black story is finished (bar the grammar check and proofread, and a few beta readers) and due for publication in October 2021 – unless the world falls apart again.