Strange things have been happening in the quiet, little town. Happy faces have turned suspicious. No one trusts one another anymore. DON'T LEAVE THE HOUSE AFTER DARK.


The town is no longer safe. No one is seen outside after dark anymore. There were, of course, people who tried. They were never seen again. No one can leave either. Anyone who tries disappears at the border, their cars and things abandoned. We’re all trapped. It wasn’t always this way. We were a bright, happy town. Everyone knew everyone. We all trusted one another.

Not anymore.

I felt bad for Lori who came here just three months ago. She came just before the attacks started. She never got to experience that friendliness that came from everyone in every direction. The police are in disarray. They can’t seem to trace who is behind the attacks. It seems that no one knows anything.

 But tonight there is a meeting. It sounds like someone does know something. We just have to hope the person behind it doesn’t hear about it too. Both Kenzi—my best friend—and I are going.

There was a knock at the door. I jumped and looked through the little peephole but it was only Kenzi. I opened the door.

“Hey,” she whispered. “Are you ready?” Her voice sounded weary and I knew that she, like I, was tired of constantly having to be on guard. We both just want the town we had before and were anxious to find out what was going on.

“Yeah, I think so,” I whispered back.

“Okay, then,” she said taking a deep breath. “Let's go.”

We started on our way. The autumn air was cool on our faces. It felt strange to be outside so close to dark. Lately, people have been inside, doors locked by this time. But the old mansion wasn’t far, we should make it. And so we walked in silence.

Until now, I didn’t realize just how much I missed being outside at dusk. The sun was low and its rays painted the leaves golden. I had missed the crisp air as winter made its way toward us. I missed the peace. I turned my face to the sky and took it all in. And as much as I wanted to stop and enjoy the beauty of it all, I knew I couldn’t. We must keep moving. I turned my attention back to the sidewalk in front of me. There was no peace now and I must stay on guard. You never know who could be lurking in the shadows.

Every time I saw something move, I jumped and flinched. But it would only be the wind moving the trees or my hyperactive imagination. I was scared to come across the mysterious attacker. Dusk was closing in but the old mansion was now only a few blocks away. 

Then I saw it. Just up the street, there was a dark figure. I was near positive it was a girl because of the long, dark hair whipping around in the wind. 

“Kenzi,” I hissed and pointed to the figure. She stopped dead and placed a finger to her lips. Her brown eyes were alight with fear.

We stood in silence, our breaths held so we would not make a sound. Minutes passed and night fell. We were soon enveloped in darkness. We could no longer see the figure but we both knew it was still there. We couldn’t move forward and we couldn’t move back. For to turn around could lead us straight to the attacker. 

We were trapped. 

Suddenly a flashlight flicked on. I recoiled expecting the worst. But it was only Lori standing in front of us.

“I can’t seem to find the meeting,” she said in her English accent.

“Shh,” I said. “There’s someone over there.” 

“Yeah and turn off the flashlight,” Kenzi said.

“There’s no one there,” Lori said simply. 

“Yes, there is,” I said. “You didn’t see them—we did.”

“There is no one there,” she insisted and pointed her flashlight ahead.

“No don’t—” but there was no one there. “But there was someone there,” I said. “There was a tall figure over there,” I pointed ahead.

“Yeah it was about your height, I think it was a girl,” Kenzi put in.

“And—” I began to say but Lori interrupted.

“I’m sorry,” Her normally brown eyes seemed to gleam red.

I tried to convince myself it was only the lighting.“Uh... for what?” I asked trying hard not to be creeped out. I could trust Lori… right?

“I really was beginning to like you two.”

I felt Kenzi tense up next to me, “What do you mean?” she said slowly. 

“You two know too much,” I couldn’t see her face because the flashlight was shining in my eyes. Suddenly, the flashlight clicked off and I heard Lori start to laugh. No, not laugh. Cackle. The sound made me cringe and reach toward Kenzi so we could run away together.

But when I touched Kenzi's arm I felt something that shouldn’t be there. It was tough and dry. I snatched my hand away as I realized what I was feeling.

“Kenzi?” I wanted my voice to remain strong but it was thick with fear.

The voice that answered was nothing like anything I’d ever heard in my life. It was raspy and harsh. But all the same, it choked out, “Run,” and I did.

I ran and kept running. 

When I thought I ran far enough away, I stopped to catch my breath. Then the most peculiar sensation came creeping up my arm. I touched my arm and felt the same scales sneaking up as I felt on Kenzi. 

“Goodbye,” I heard someone say before all reality was gone. Forever.


Submitted: January 25, 2023

© Copyright 2023 Lei Belanger. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Vance Currie

Spooky! You obviously know how to write, Lei, and I see that you strive to make your work easy to read. I am a strong believer in that. If something is easy to read, people are more likely to read and enjoy it. I can give you one small tip if I may. Short sentences are good, but an unbroken series of very short sentences can be jerky to read. You could try varying the length of your sentences to make the read more interesting.
I like your use of dialogue. It is credible and makes the story more interesting than a straight narration.
Having said that, I am no expert at writing. I started writing short stories as a retirement hobby a few year ago, but I have learned a lot since I joined Booksie.

Wed, January 25th, 2023 8:39pm


Thanks for the feedback. I see what you mean about the sentence lengths. I will be sure to remember that.

Thu, January 26th, 2023 10:04am

Michael Chad Cleary

Has an excellent Goosebumps feel to it. Nicely told!

Wed, January 25th, 2023 11:40pm


Thank you so much!

Thu, January 26th, 2023 10:02am


Great Job, do more books like this!

Thu, January 26th, 2023 6:06pm


Thank you so much. I'm glad to hear you like it. I will make a point to write another like it.

Thu, January 26th, 2023 10:07am

Ann Sepino

This story is so creepy, and I love it! There's a lot of suspense in just one scene. And even if nothing of the town's incidents were revealed at the end, the way it was written gives the story a sense of completion. Great job on this!

Sat, March 11th, 2023 8:46am

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