A Tricky Treat

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


A Halloween tale from beyond the shadows.

Submitted: October 26, 2017

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Submitted: October 26, 2017

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The blinking light in the distance was barely discernible through the curtain of heavy driving rain, the rumble of the waves crashing against the rocky shoreline had melded into one continues thundering sound. The storm looked set to rage for quite a while yet; the old woman thought, as she stared out in the direction of the light house. Somewhere beyond that blinking light was a small sea going craft, a craft that would end up broken on the rocks before this night was through. A particular strong gust of wind buffet the window of the small cottage, it found its way through the gaps in the wooden frame with a howling sound. The woman smiled contentedly at the creepy sound, it was perfect weather for Samhain. Samhain was the beginning of the dark half of the year, her favourite time of the year.

Samhain in the city had always been good for her, maybe too good for her; in the end her activities had drawn just a little too much attention. Forcing her to move far from the more urban settings she had always operated in. Here on the West coast, pickings were a little slimmer, no trick or treaters made the rounds in these parts. But she was adept at the old ways; she always managed to manipulate situations to bring her what she desired. A movement by her elbow drew her from her muse; she leaned across and stroked the silky coat of the huge black cat that had jumped on the window sill by her side. The old woman leaned over and crooned softly in the ear of the feline, words that would have held no meaning to most anyone who overheard them. However the cat turned his head and stared into the woman’s eyes, a serious of sounds deep in the throat of the animal sounded as if it was communicating something to its owner. The old woman cackled softly to herself and returned her attention to the storm blowing outside.

The sleeping woman in the fireside chair stirred and sat upright, she was instantly wide awake. Her movements brought the cat from a curled position on the hearth to his feet; the cat crossed the room in a blur and stood by the front door. Turning its head the animal made another series of guttural sounds deep in its throat; its yellow eyes appeared to glow in the dimly lit room as the animal stared back at its master. The old woman had gained her feet by now and had crossed the room with surprising agility. Bending at the waist she stroked the felines head and spoke softly. “I know Lucifer I feel it too, our trick has worked and soon we shall have our treat”. Outside the storm had all but died and the night was pitch dark, her earlier incantations had done their job. The blinking light of the light house on the head had been extinguished. The woman lifted the latch of the front door and stepped outside into the early morning darkness, here she stood with her face turned towards the dark sky, her eyes tightly closed as she sniffed the air. The huge black cat sat by her feet patiently waiting, eventually the old woman opened her eyes and lifting he arm she pointed a skeletal finger into the darkness. “This way Lucifer” she whispered to the waiting animal.

The woman lifted the lantern that hung in the porch and followed the cat into the darkness, she moved across the rough terrain with a speed and agility that belied her appearance. The cat moved ahead of her in the darkness keeping up a constant stream of low growling sounds, the woman had not even bothered to light the lantern, instead trusting the animal to guide her in the darkness. Before long they stood on the hill overlooking the rocky shore, it was only then did she decide to light the lantern. Holding it aloft she could just about make out the debris of the broken craft on the rocky shoreline below her, the cat purred loudly and rubbed off her thin legs. The old woman raised her face to the sky and muttered a few indiscernible words before cackling loudly to herself, then without seemingly any thought to the perils, she started quickly down the narrow steep path to the shoreline below. The animal followed her down remaining a few paces behind her, as if it was aware that it was subservient to the woman in what was about to take place.

A small blob of brightness among the debris of the boat scattered on the rocks, immediately drew her attention when she reached the shore. The cat made to move towards it but a sharp command from the woman sent it cowering to the shadows behind her. Moving closer she could now make out the shape of the small girl lying on the shore line, the brightness came from the yellow raincoat she was wearing. Dropping to her knees the woman felt for a pulse with her skeletal fingers, it was faint but it was there. Alive and fresh she thought as she once again cackled softly to herself, the cat had ventured from the shadows and now stood over the child sniffing her. “Easy Lucifer, no raw meat, you know the rules”. The woman scolded the animal softly. Rising now she held the old storm lantern aloft and began to search among the debris, an uneasy feeling was beginning to settle over the old woman. Where? Were the rest of the bodies, the child would not have been on board the boat by herself. Turning to the feline she uttered words in the old tongue, the cat immediately disappeared into the darkness beyond the pool of light from the lantern. A while later it reappeared and made a sound in its throat, the woman thought for a moment before shrugging her shoulders and lifting the unconscious child like a rag doll and placing her over her shoulder.

Back at the small cottage she stripped the child of her wet clothes and wrapped her in a heavy blanket, and then she laid her in the fireside chair. Hopefully the child would not regain consciousness until everything was prepared; the woman had been expecting to make more than one trip to the shore tonight. Had she known that one solitary girl would be her bounty, she would have prepared everything earlier. Her vision had shown her the vessel but she had no way of knowing that it would be just one child washed up on shore, perhaps her parents or siblings would wash up on shore in the next few days. But even if they did they would not be fit for eating, after all she was not a ghoul or other lowly carrion eater. Detailing the cat to stand watch over the child, the woman began stoking the fire beneath the large cast iron pot. Then it would be only a matter of filling it with water and other ingredients to compliment the tender young flesh.

The woman fumbled about in the woodshed searching for the choice pieces of kindling, her mind busy trying to recall the exact recipe her mother used to prepare the dish. It had been a bit of a disappointment really, had she been able to remain in the city she would have a fine selection of trick or treaters. Back there she would not only have feasted well on this night, but she would have filled the ladder with enough dry cured meat to tide her over till spring. But once the police had started to go door to door making inquiries, she knew it was time to move on. The piercing shriek startled her out of her imaginings, in all the time she owned Lucifer she had never heard him make that noise. Perhaps another survivor had found their way to the cottage, maybe there would be food for the ladder yet. Dropping the wood she reached for the small axe and made her way quietly to the cottage, nearing the door she stopped and strained her ears for sounds from inside. However nothing greeted her only deathly silence, for the first time in a very long time the woman experienced fear.

Standing there in the darkness she suppressed the urge to call out to the cat, projecting her thoughts inside the building she attempted to sense his life force. Nothing! Not only could she not sense Lucifer, but there appeared to be a complete absence of life forms inside the small cottage. Something was wrong; perhaps the storm had somehow interfered with her abilities in some way. Less than five minutes earlier she had gone to the wood shed leaving a very much alive Lucifer watching over an injured but still breathing child. Tightening her grip on the axe handle she crept forward and lifted the latch quietly, bracing herself she eased the door open. When it was almost fully open she threw caution to the wind, and burst into the room with the axe raised above her head. The first thing that hit her was the smell of blood and scorching hair. The pale naked figure stood in the middle of the room, long streaks of crimson stained her naked torso and around her mouth. The old woman stared in horror at the piece of fur covered meat the child tore at with her needle like teeth, what was left of Lucifer sizzled on the glowing embers of the fire. Before she had a chance to react the child had somehow crossed the room. “Trick or treat” the girl whispered as the sharp teeth tore open the old woman’s throat.

 

 

 


© Copyright 2018 Patrick G Moloney. All rights reserved.

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