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Ice Cream Gives You Nightmares

Short story By: Matthew5
Horror



An old wives' tale becomes real for four children.


Submitted:Aug 14, 2012    Reads: 89    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Ice Cream Gives You Nightmares

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, four children (two boys and two girls) were playing at a red, blue, and yellow playground, having a great time. It was a warm, sunny summer day with a few bright white clouds in the bright blue sky. The park the children were playing in was green and pleasant with tall trees and vast grass rustling in the wind and a few flowers greeting the eye with bright colors. Brightly colored birds chirped cheery messages at each other from the trees. The children were laughing, running, and screaming around the playground.

After several hours of playing, the children were all tired and sweaty, especially with the cruel sun beaming down on the children. It was getting late, and the sky reddened with black-backed clouds. The oldest one, Tristan, a 12-year-old with a goth-style look to him, had an idea. "I know," declared Tristan, "since it's so hot out here and we're all tired, let's go get some ice cream." "Yay, ice cream!" cried the youngest one, Suzy, clapping rapidly and jumping up and down. Jerry and Kate, the two middle children, agreed.

The children walked to a small, wooden ice cream parlor with a picture of a snowman holding an ice cream cone spray painted on it. They saw an elderly woman standing next to the parlor's service window. She was dressed in a black robe, her fingers were knobby and warty, she had a pointy nose and a protruding chin, and her face was covered with warts; she reminded the children of a witch. After the children bought some colorful, fruit-flavored ice cream, the witch told a horrid story.

"I wouldn't eat that this late in the day if I were you," said the witch with a throaty, grotesque voice. "And why is that?" asked Tristan defiantly. The witch replied with a howling voice and dramatic hand gestures, "Because at first, the ice cream will feel good on a hot day like this; but when the sun goes down and the silver moon rises high in the night sky, the Night Terror comes." She paused in between the night sky and night terror parts. While the three younger children shuttered at the horror story, Tristan ridiculed the whole thing. "Oh, that's just Halloween crap," scorned Tristan disrespectfully, "C'mon, guys, let's go home and watch some TV."

Because their parents' car broke down, the children had to walk the rest of the way to the house; fortunately, Tristan knew his way around the city. Tristan called their parents, and they headed straight for home. As they walked down several lonely streets and alleyways, the day faded away like a dying candle; the sky had reddened from the sinking sun. Every now and then, the children saw a few shifty-eyed people starring at them; the park they were playing in was in the downtown part of the city so the children had to hike through creepy, desolate alleyways occasionally stained with graffiti before they could get to their quiet suburb. As the city thinned out into a suburb, the sky darkened from red to purple.

By the time they reached their suburban community, Prairie Residential Community, the heavens were totally black except for the faint purple glow coming from the west. The two younger children, Jerry and Suzy, shivered and whimpered in fear that the Night Terror would jump out from behind a bush. Finally, the four siblings reached their architecturally modest but pleasant house; the house had two stories with a red tin roof and a gable protruding from the top story.

Once the children entered their welcoming house, they were greeted by their young mother's angry complaints. "You're late for dinner," cried Mrs. Schneider sternly, "Supper's getting cold, and it's dark outside." Tristan apologized and explained, "Sorry mom, we lost track of time, and we had some ice cream to cool ourselves down." "Well, you better eat your dinner before it gets cold," said Mrs. Schneider a little more calmly.

Then, the whole family sat down and had dinner. The children's parents asked them about their day and what all they did, and the children answered back with some energy. After supper, the whole family watched a comedy movie until about nine o'clock at night; despite the humor of the movie, the children every now and then felt fear looming around their heads because the darkness of the living room made them think of the Night Terror. After the movie, the children slipped into their beds and tried to go to sleep while their parents watched an adult movie; the children had trouble going to sleep with the thought of the Night Terror embedded in their heads.

Tristan had intrusive thoughts about all the nasty comments people gave him about the way he dressed, including ones about him going to Hell. Then, he slowly sank into sleep and then into a dream. In his dream, everything around him was pitch-black, except for a small, bright white light far off into the distance. Not wanting to be in the empty darkness, Tristan moved toward the light; as he approached the light, it grew brighter and brighter.

Once Tristan touched the light, he found that it was masking a nasty surprise. The light quickly changed from pure white to blood red and scorching flames were scattered in every direction. In addition to fire and barren red rock, there were all kinds of revolting creatures everywhere; some even had body parts in places where they shouldn't be like arms protruding from the eye sockets. Some of these monsters looked like dragons while others looked like ugly, gaunt goblins.

Once this startling, nasty change took place, Tristan felt a frightening, heart-stopping feeling of falling, and fell face down on a rock. His head and body ached from the shock of the sudden impact. When he slowly and painfully stood up, he felt his head spinning a little and almost wobbled back and forth like a comical cartoon character.

Then, he felt like something was pulling him away like a great tornado or magnet; no matter how hard he tried, he could not get away from what he was being pulled toward, a Beast. This Beast was as high as a skyscraper and as big as a football stadium, it had three deformed, frowning faces, it had innumerable arms and legs, its claws were like scythes, and it even had a mouth right where its private part should have been. Whenever the Beast opened any of its three mouths, it revealed tongues covered with eyes and clawed fingers. The Beast was devouring naked humans as they slowly hovered towards its mouths.

Then, Tristan floated slowly and unwillingly up toward the Beast's hideous middle mouth as it chomped down poor souls. Once Tristan was just a couple yards away from the mouth of the ferocious Beast, the Beast slowly opened its mouth roaring as it do so. Before Tristan was all the way in its mouth, the Beast chomped down on poor Tristan cutting him into two; sharp, merciless pain shot through Tristan's upper body and strangely his lower body though it was disconnected from his brain. Then, the Beast tossed Tristan's lower body into its mouth; Tristan was freaked out at the sight of his lower body being disconnected from his upper body and that his lower body was still kicking.

Then, the giant tongue covered with eyes and clawed fingers slapped down on Tristan; the clawed fingers poked and stabbed at Tristan while the eyes unblinkingly stared at him. Tristan felt like hundreds of knives were stabbing at him all at once. There was also a green, slimy, stinky liquid pooling up in the Beast's mouth. After that, Tristan's two halves descended rapidly into the Beast's stomach through the steep esophagus, and they splashed into another slimy, stinky liquid, this time, Tristan felt as though he was on fire. Then, Tristan felt like something was dragging him under the surface of the stomach acid; no matter how hard he tried to stay above the surface, he was eventually sucked away to the bottom of the stomach. He was surely to drown.

After that, Tristan's two halves squeezed through a decent-sized hole in the bottom of the stomach and into the intestines; the intestines were lined with toothed tentacles that gnawed at Tristan. After what seemed like an hour of passing by gnawing tentacles, Tristan passed through the Beast's anus and plummeted into a seemingly bottomless, fiery pit; fortunately, Tristan's two halves fused back together once he landed face flat on the ground. Once his head stopped spinning, he saw naked people everywhere being tortured in unspeakable ways. Then, a monster covered with hideous faces came up to Tristan, hugged him tight, and gnawed at poor Tristan with its many, jagged-toothed mouths; Tristan screamed with pain as the sharp, jagged teeth sank into his flesh.

While Tristan was having a nightmare about burning in Hell, the other children were also trying to sleep with the thought of the Night Terror in their heads. As Kate slowly sank into sleep, she had a dream in which all around her was dark. Then, she opened her eyes to find a rectangle of blue and white above her; the floor she was lying on was soft and muddy and even smelled like mud. She was about a yard and a half underground! Then, a man dressed in a black suit with a shovel full of mud came to the edge of the rectangle and dumped soil on top of Kate; Kate was being buried alive! Kate screamed at the top of her lungs as the soil rained down on her.

Jerry also had a nightmare just as bad as Tristan's and Kate's. In his dream, Jerry stood just outside an eerie, dilapidated house that looked haunted. Scared though curious at the same time, Jerry slowly crept towards the house as quietly as possible. Once Jerry reached the door handle, he opened the door, and it slowly creaked open. It was very dark inside the house, almost pitch-black. He traversed down a long corridor in the house until it took a turn to the left.

Once he rounded the corner, he was greeted by a most unpleasant sight; he saw countertops everywhere with dismembered body parts, organs, and bones piled on top. There were also severed heads either hanging on chains from the ceiling or poked through spikes protruding up from the floor; blood was stained, smeared, and splattered all over the walls, floor, and ceiling, and offensive words and symbols were written on the walls in blood. The house was a human butcher shop.

Then, the silence was broken when Jerry heard a high-pitched scream which scared Jerry out of his skin. Then, the darkness produced a bald, fat man carrying a meat cleaver and a nude young woman struggling to escape his grasp. The fat man brutally tossed the poor young woman onto a clean countertop, strapped her up, and butchered her to death. Jerry wanted to throw up at the sight.

Once the butcher finished his horrid, abominable work, Jerry made a run for it back the way he came but couldn't because there was now a wall where the corridor used to be. The butcher turned around and approached Jerry; Jerry made a run for it, but no matter where he went, he couldn't find any way out of the room. Then, the butcher suddenly appeared right behind Jerry, snatched him away, and dragged him to a clean countertop where he strapped him up, slowly raised his razor sharp meat cleaver, and swung it down in a split-second butchering poor Jerry.

Unfortunately, the youngest of them all, Suzy, was not spared by this nightmare malady. Once she sank into a dream, she too found herself standing right outside a dilapidated, eerie house that looked haunted with three stories and several gables and towers. She slowly crept toward the house and entered through the creaky door; it was incredibly dark in the house and cobwebs lined all the worn-and-torn furniture and corners. It was very dusty, the paint on the walls was chipping and cracking, and there were holes and cracks in the walls, ceiling, and floor.

Suzy cautiously crept down the foyer to investigate the house and climbed up the stairs at the back of the foyer which groaned and complained as she carefully stepped on them. Once she reached the second floor, she turned left and entered one of the rooms down the hall; the room appeared to be an old, creepy bedroom judging by the bed with curtains on it. Suzy felt a strange desire to open the closet door even though it gave her the creeps. Once she opened the door, a sheet ghost with a bloody mouth appeared in the closet; Suzy screamed at the top of her lungs at the sight.

Then, in the middle of all their nightmares, the children were bathed in pure white light until their nightmares vanished. Then, they found themselves lying on a tile floor together in some fire-lit, dark yellow marble hall with occasional mirrors here and there; they also found the elderly woman by the ice cream parlor standing over them with a stern look on her face. "Didn't I tell you kids not to have ice cream at such a late hour?" she reminded sternly. Tristan replied with an apologetic face, "We're sorry; it was just so hot that we couldn't resist." Kate asked, "Where are we?" The witch answered in a throaty voice, "You are in the Night Terror's domain; the only way to escape your individual nightmares is to defeat the Night Terror. Follow me."

The five of them traversed down the hall until they found another one that turned left. Before they entered the hall, the witch turned around and said in a throaty voice, "Now you will have to defeat the Night Terror yourselves because it's your nightmares, not mine." With that, she vanished with a puff of grayish smoke. Once the children rounded the corner, they saw a darkly dressed, ghostly man sitting on a dark yellow throne; he had ghostly black tendrils protruding from his body.

"Welcome to my domain, puny kids," said the man in an echoic voice. "Who are you?" asked Kate. "I am the Night Terror, and I shall damn you all to my dungeons!" roared the man in an echoic voice, and he flew up into the air and swooped down toward the children. The children made a run for it down the original hall, but the Night Terror seemed to just hover behind them as if he was being towed by the children. After about a minute of running, the children passed the throne room again; after another minute they passed the throne room again and again and again minute after minute, yet the hall was as straight as an arrow.

Then, Tristan heard a throaty voice in his head saying, "Burn the picture of him when you pass it; it's the only way to kill the Night Terror". As they charged down the hall, Tristan spotted a piece of paper taped to walls; as he got closer, he saw that it was a picture of somebody. This had to be that picture the voice was talking about. Tristan tore it off the wall which caused the Night Terror some pain and dunked it into a fire that was close by. Once the picture touched the flames, the Night Terror spontaneously combusted and sank to the ground crying out as he burned.

Then, the children turned back and watched the picture burn; what they saw defied all logic and science. As the picture burned, the images on it began to change; for example, the Night Terror's image changed into that of a bluish cartoonish vampire dressed in dark purple, and the background changed to a graveyard. After that, the image was blacked out, and the paper itself began to crumple up into a paper sculpture of a dragon that was not burning up in the fire. The children were puzzled by this strange occurrence; their only explanation was that they were in some kind of dream realm with no laws of physics.

Then, the children saw everything blur around them as they were sucked away out of the Night Terror's domain; then, they all suddenly woke up with a gasp. They all looked at their alarm clocks and found that it was about 4:00 in the morning. They all had breakfast talking about the things they experienced in their nightmares; their parents that they were crazy. From that night on, the children never had ice cream so late again, even when it was hot playing on that playground.





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