The Bunyip

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

The Bunyip is a short story from a series I am working on called HOLLOWVALE. It's about the mythical Australian Bunyip. A creature who has been abandoned by the horror genre for being out dated and not creepy enough. Well, the Bunyip crept into my head and now I hope he creeps into yours.
This is a first draft. I need some constructive feedback. Thanks.

The Bunyip comes

with a scrape and a slide

following the scent of a naughty child

licking his lips, when the child gets mad,

naughty little children never taste bad.

So don't be rude, or mean, or cruel,

do your chores and go to school

if you keep being bad, then it won't be long

till the Bunyip takes you to the Billabong.

 

"It all started when the Hollowvale Bunyip took my big brother Peter Davis into the Billabong. That was ten years ago now, but I have never forgotten."

"Bunyips aren't real Becky," Sam said matter of factly tearing off his blankets and jumping on his bed. I looked at the clock. It was eight o'clock already. Sam was supposed to have been in bed and asleep by now. I sighed. Sam wasn't an easy kid to babysit. "Fine!" I said, "I won't tell you then. Besides it's too much of a scary story for a baby like you anyway" Sam stopped jumping immediately. With his hands on his hips he exclaimed, "I AM NOT A BABY!, tell me the story." With that he sat down on the side of his bed, legs swinging back and forth annoyingly, waiting.

"I don't think that I should" I said.

"Please! Becky, come on! I'm not scared. The Bunyip is not real anyway."

"That's what I thought," Becky said sadly as she closed his bedroom curtains and sat down in the chair beside his bed. But she decided to continue, with a sharp intake of breath she started,"My brother and I were playing near the creek while our parents were fishing. I was six years old and Peter was nine."

"I'm nine too," Sam interrupted.

"Yes you are Sam, it's rude to interrupt a person when they are telling you a story," She said. Becky tried pulling his covers out to get him to lay down, he looked at her for a bit, his mind ticking away, thinking of how to stall his bedtime routine some more. Becky refused to continue until he was snug under the covers and it didn't take long before the little boy caved and crawled into bed.

"We were trying to catch some tadpoles in the creek. I remember it was cold that day because Peter pushed me into the water and I got soaking wet."

"Becky?" Sam asked carefully.

"Yes?" She asked.

"Why did he push you into the water?" he asked.

"Peter thought it would be funny." Sam nodded, and then giggled "It's not funny," she said sternly," i didn't know how to swim, i could have drowned". He stifled another giggle and then settled down with his teddy. It was missing an ear and an eye and some fluff was poking out. "What happened to BJ?" She asked him turning BJ over in her hand examining his wounds.

"I got mad and I pulled his ear off." He said. Becky frowned in sympathyat the bear, she wouldn't tell anybody, especially not Sam, but she was always a little bit afraid her toys were really alive, and treated them carefully just incase. As she tucked BJ back into bed with Sam she said, "You better hope the Bunyip doesn't find out how naughty you are Sam, or he'll come for you"

"I'm not scared of the Bunyip," He said. "He's not real".

"Well" She said, "Anyway, Peter was bored that day, and when Peter was bored he would sometimes be a bit too rough with me. I got hurt a lot when Peter was in one of his moods. This one time at the park I was about to go down the slide and Peter didn't want to wait so Peter pushed me off the playground and I fell and broke my arm. I was pretty lucky to not have gotten hurt worse. But thats just how he was. He often made me feel sad but our parents thought he was just a normal boy who liked to play a bit rough. But Peter was a bad kid. You could say, that I was a little scared of my brother sometimes."

"I want a glass of Milk." Sam said.

"Can I have a glass of Milk, please,Sam" She reminded him. Sam surprised her with a sarcastic reply. "Yes you can,and while you are getting yourself one, get me one too." He said.

Becky might have laughed at that if she wasn't already so tired. She had a book report to do. It was waiting for her downstairs on the coffee table. But Sam wouldn't stay in his bed tonight. He was restless. Becky didn't need the distraction. Maybe a warm glass of Milk would help him settle? She wondered. "Okay" She said. "A warm glass of Milk?". Sam smiled from under the covers happily and Becky went down stairs.

While Becky was heating up the Milk Sam must have gotten out of bed. She heard him make a loud thud upstairs. "Sam! You had better be in bed!" She called out. Sam's voice bellowed down the stairs. "I am" he called back. Then Becky heard his little feet run back to his room. "Good" she said quietly to herself.

Becky put two warm chocolate Milks on a tray and carried them upstairs. Nearly tripping on cars and toys that Sam had left out on the landing. She pushed them to the side with her feet. He was supposed to have cleaned those up but Becky figured she would be the one tidying up before his parents got home, as per usual.

She pushed the door open with her foot and walked in putting the tray onto his homework desk. "Okay two Warm chocolate milks" She said with a smile. She looked over at Sam. But his bed was empty.

"Sam?" she said out loud? She wondered if he'd gone to the toilet. Becky walked down the hallway towards the bathroom but the doors were wide open and the rooms were empty. She walked back into Sam's room. "Where are you hiding?" She said. She lifted up his blankets and looked under his bed. Not there. She opened his bedroom closet and pushed his clothes around. Not there either. "Sam!" She said. "This isn't funny." She went into the hallway and checked the other bedrooms. He wasn't in the spare room. He wasn't in his parent's room, or the bathroom. "Where are you?" She called out as she headed back to his bedroom. "This isn't funny Sam you need to get back into bed right now." Becky stopped outside Sams bedroom door. A cold breeze blew in from the window. It was raining outside and lightning lit up the sky. She walked over to the window and closed it, pulling the curtains closed. Wait she thought. I closed this window already.

Becky pushed the window open again. As she used her strength to slide the window upward her feet squilched in the soggy carpet. "What?" she said out loud looking down at her fett. The carpet was soaked. The window ledge was wet too. Oh no thought Becky. Had Sam climbed out onto the roof? She leaned out the window. But it was a long drop straight down to the ground. Becky was starting to worry. She slammed the window shut and decided to look down stairs. In her rush she slipped on the toys at the top of the landing and went tumbling down to the bottom where she lay in a tangled wreck.

As Becky came around she untangled herself. Her arm hurt in the same spot as her old break. Pain shot through the bone. As she tried to look around the room was stretching away from her and the lights were blinding. She blinked a few times to bring everything back into focus. She was downstairs. Her head throbbed. She remembered that Sam was hiding. "Sam?" she called out groggily."Sam, get out here now please. I need help" She waited. She tried to sit up leaning gingerly on her bad arm. It wasn't broken after all. Maybe fractured though she thought.

The screen door at the back of the house started banging. In the wind. The sound jarred her. Suddenly she was standing. "SAM!!!!" She screamed. "Where are you!?" panic and adrenalin started to course through her veins. She started to think something was wrong. She started to rush around the room, dizzily opening cupboards and pantries. Looking behind couches and curtains and then the house went pitch black.

"Oh no." She said. Sam's parents kept the torches in the kitchen so Becky felt her way back into the kitchen and opened up the drawer. She turned the torch on. "BOO!" Sam screamed. Becky screamed out, her heart pounding. "Oh my god Sam! You little turd! What were you thinking!? You scared me to death!" Sam giggled. Becky held onto the counter catching her breath and relocated Sam in the torch light beam. 'Don't move" She said.

The lights flickered back on. Becky could see that Sam was wet. "Why are you wet? Were you outside?" Sam that's not safe!" She said angrily. Sam looked down at his dripping clothes. "Yeah I was. I climbed out my window and down the lattice work. I've always wanted to try that. You should have seen your face though. It was so funny!" He laughed again looking very happy with himself.

"Go get some dry clothes on now and get back into bed. You just wait till I tell your parents." Sam's face went pale. "NOW!" Becky yelled. She followed Sam upstairs and waited for him to get dressed. When he was all dry she pulled the covers back on his bed, he climbed in and she threw them angrily over him. Then she walked over to the door, flicked off the light and slammed the bedroom door closed behind her. "Becky?" Sam called. What now?she thought. She opened the door up a crack and peered in. "Can you leave the door open a little bit?" He asked. He sounded scared. Becky was sixteen years old and couldn't stand being in the dark herself, so she conceded and swung the door open a little. "Thanks" He said. Becky went downstairs and decided to start her book report.

It wasn't long before Becky could hear Sam moving around upstairs. Sliding furniture? "Sam" she called out in a warning tone. "Get back into bed right now."

"I am in bed!" he replied immediately. Hmmm Becky thought. He did sound like he was in his room, and she could have sworn she heard movement at the other end of the house. She figured she had better check it out, better safe than sorry. Becky walked up stairs and checked in on Sam. He was still in his bed as she had left him, his covers still thrown over him how she had done. A scratching noise came from the other end of the hallway. Becky bit her lip nervously. She had to go check it out. She walked slowly down the hallway toward Sam's parents room. Every now and then she would hear the scratching sound and pause to listen. When she walked into Sam's parents room there was a cold wind blowing through the open window and there against the window sill a branch scratching at the house in the wind. Becky exhaled. She walked over to the window, snapped the end off the branch and threw it into the yard. Pausing briefly to smell the cool salty air before closing the windows. The carpet was wet from the rain too so Becky decided to walk around the house checking and closing the other windows. When she was done she went back to Sam's room.

"Becky, I can't sleep. I'm not tired. Can you tell me the rest of the story?" He asked. Lightning and thunder flashed and grumbled outside the windows. "I don't think it's a good idea tonight" She said. Sam begged her to reconsider. But Becky had decided to drop the story.

"If you don't tell me the story I will tell my mum and dad that you hit me." He said. Becky stopped. Was it worth it to stick to her guns? If Sam told his parents that she had hit him even though she didn't she would likely lose all her baby sitting jobs. What the hell she figured, it can't hurt to just tell him the stupid story.

Becky sat back down in the chair beside Sam's bed. "Okay fine," She said, "Where was I up to? Oh yeah, My brother Peter and I were playing by the creek." Thunder and lightning lit up the room again. "Well we were playing by the creek when Peter decided he wanted to go exploring. My mother said to take me with him and not to go out of their sight. But it wasn't long before Peter and I had walked too far away. We followed the creek down toward the bridge and then followed a dried up muddy creek bed until I started to get tired.

I told Peter that I wanted to sit down. "Go back to mum and dad then" he yelled. But we'd walked so far away from them that I was scared I would get lost. "Peter we've gone too far away. Mum and Dad said to stay in their sight. I can't see them any more" I told him. But Peter didn't care he wanted to keep going. He kept walking off leaving me alone in the creek. I called out to him but he didn't listen. So I started crying.

My parents could hear me crying and they started calling for us. Telling us to come back. Peter was angry at me and punched me hard in the head as he started stomping angrily back towards them. I cried some more too upset to follow him, but when Peter realised I wasn't following he came back for me and yanked me up by the arm and dragged me along with him. My brother could walk really fast but I was so little I had to run just to keep up.

When we got back to our Mum and Dad, they asked what had happened to me and Peter told them I had tripped over. I was still all wet from when Peter had pushed me into the creek so my dad told me to take off my wet coat and gave me his big warm jacket. I remember it smelled very strongly of him.

"What's this got to do with the Bunyip?" Sam asked rolling toward Becky. "Well, " She said, "I'm getting up to the part where I saw it.". Sam's eyes grew wide as saucers .

"You saw it?" He asked in a whisper.

"Yes" She said. "I saw it." and then she continued to tell the story.

So I was sitting beside the creek with my parents while they were fishing and Peter was swinging sticks at bugs and pretending to be some kind of swordsman. My Mother told him to be careful not to poke his or anybodies eyes out, But Peter didn't listen anyway. It was pretty boring at the creek while my parents fished so I started to walk around and explore. I picked some flowers and drew in the wet sand. Then I saw Peter standing in amongst the trees poking at something on the ground. I went over to see what he was doing.

Becky paused at the memory. "I don't know if I should tell you this part," she said.

"Just tell me," said Sam.

He was poking a dying rabbit. It had been bitten by something, and it was dying slowly. My brother was poking it with a stick, making it twitch and writhe in agony. It was horrible. I Begged him to stop. My Mother came over to see what the fuss was about, assuming I was crying because the poor rabbit was dying. But I was crying because Peter was hurting it even more. Mum sent us away from it. Peter was quiet and started to walk back up the creek bed. I don't know why I followed him but I did.

He didn't know I was there. I stayed nearer to the trees in case he turned around and saw me. He just walked up the creek bed looking inside cracks and holes, poking things with his stick. Then at the other end of the dried up creek bed there was the Billabong. Peter was standing at the edge of the water when we heard our parents call out for us. We had wandered off again like we weren't supposed to. "PETER, BECKY" Peter didn't turn around. I turned toward their voices. That was when I heard this weird sound. It was like a big splash. When I looked back Peter was gone.

"Peter!" I screamed. I shakily walked toward the waters edge, the ground was red and wet. With Peters blood. "Peter!" I called. Then the Water started to stir. A face popped out of the water and it slowly came toward me. It's big arms and sharp claws pulled the rest of its body out of the water until it stood in front of me. It sniffed the air around me. I was too scared to make a sound or even to run away. I was frozen stiff. The Bunyip sniffed at my fathers jacket that was wrapped around me. Then, for some reason he slowly slipped back into the water. I stumbled backwards a bit not daring to look away from the water for a second. When I was far enough away I turned and ran back toward my parents screaming. My parents must have followed the sound of my voice because they met me only halfway. Nobody believed me that the Bunyip had taken Peter. But they couldn't explain the strange footprints on the bank of the Billabong in the blood. His remains were never found and nobody ever found or saw the Bunyip except for me.

That was the day my brother was taken by the Bunyip. He was dragged into the Billabong and eaten because he was a naught kid.

 

Sam swallowed audibly. Then he asked Becky something that she had always wondered. "Why didn't the Bunyip eat you too?" Becky chewed her lip as she wondered about it for the millionth time. "I don't know" she said. Sam cuddled BJ closer, the fluff sticking out of it's ear hole tickled his face and he carefully tucked it back inside the bear.

Suddenly he looked confused. "Becky, what does the Bunyip look like?" he asked. Becky closed her eyes and tried to remember. "It's big, it's skin is the colour of the Billabong water. It has big arms like a silver back gorilla but its skin is like a toad. It has long claws and walks on all four feet. It's face is hard to explain. It had a long nose like an anteater maybe, I've never seen anything like it before. And it has a really big mouth with so many teeth." Sam nodded his head.

"And it's tail is pointy like a crocodile?" He asked.

"Yes" Becky said "Are you ready to go to sleep now?" She said looking at the clock. It was nearly eleven P.M. Sam's parents would be home soon. "I don't want to go to sleep" He said. Becky explained that his parents would be home any minute and Sam swiftly changed his tune. "Okay" Sam said and closed his eyes and snuggled down into his blankets. Becky left him there with his door cracked open and went down stairs to work some more on her book report.

At about eleven thirty Sam's parents came home. Sam's mother came toward Becky apologetically. "Sorry we are so late. There's been some flash flooding and a lot of the streets are cut off. That Mr. Schubert from the school is out there driving around for god knows what reason" She said as she put her coat on the hangers and adjusted the thermostat.

What was Becky going to do? Her house was on the other side of town. "You will have to stay here tonight. The roads across town aren't safe. Give your mum and Dad a call if you can and let them know. It would be negligent of us to let you go out there." Becky decided they were right. She was too tired to drive now anyway. Rainy weather always made her sleepy.

Mrs Sorenson smiled and flopped down on the sofa next to Becky. "It's been a long night" She said with a yawn. Mr Sorenson kicked off his shoes and joined her,"How was Sam tonight?" He asked rubbing his eyes. "Well, he decided to pay a trick on me earlier. He climbed out his bedroom window down the latticework and was outside hiding. Scared the living daylights out of me. Be careful at the top of the stairs too, his toys are still out. I tripped and fell down the stairs on them earlier. I forgot to clean them up" The Sorensons were quite upset about Sams behaviour and decided to figure out an appropriate punishment in the morning. Mr Sorenson, who was a doctor did some observations on Becky, after profusely apologising for his sons behaviour and sent her to bed with some Nurofen for the pain.

Mr and Mrs Sorenson offered her the spare bedroom and left her there while they grabbed her some clean linen. She watched them both check in on Sam and she assumed they must have tucked him in and given him goodnight kisses even though Becky was sure he must be asleep by now. Becky called her parents to let them know what she was happening and to also let them know that she was safe.

Mrs Sorenson came back looking apologetic. "I'm afraid I’ve had the spare and guest linen sent out for cleaning, but I have the spare Blanket from my bed if that will be okay." Becky didn't mind at all. In fact she was quite tired. There was a thud in Sam's room. The Sorenson's looked startled but Becky calmed them down. "He's been up all night" She said."He just won't go to sleep." She said.

"I have to admit I was a bit surprised to find him in bed asleep," Mr Sorenson admitted. Becky laughed politely and headed over to the bed. "Goodnight" She said. The Sorenson's bid Becky Goodnight and headed to their bedroom.

Becky snuggled under the soft blanket. It smelled of perfume and aftershave. No doubt the favoured scents of the Sorenson's. It was warm though and the house seemed cold so she pulled it up around her. It wasn't long before she heard Sam making noises in his room. Soft Thuds and a gentle scraping like he was scratching his nails along the plasterboard.

"Sam!" his father yelled sternly down the hallway. "Go to bed!"

Becky closed her eyes and drifted into an uncomfortable sleep. She dreamed of the Bunyip.

A Blood curdling scream woke her up the next morning. She raced toward Mrs Sorenson who was standing at Sam's bedroom door in shock. When Becky looked in she saw that the carpet was covered in bloody mud. Sam was gone and his blanket hung half inside his bedroom and half outside of the window. There in the muddy mess, dragging marks and an all too familiar footprint that Becky couldn't fail to recognise. The Bunyip had taken Sam.

The Bunyip comes with a rip and a roar

climbing in your windows

and scratching at your doors.

Sitting by the water or sitting in your home,

If you have been naughty you shouldn't be alone.

 

So if you live near a Billabong,

heed our warnings, hear our song

The Bunyip lurks by the Coolabah trees

All naughty things done, The Bunyip sees.


Submitted: August 10, 2015

© Copyright 2021 SabethBUTTERFLY. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Cthulu45

Great story. There could be a few changes in the format to streamline it a bit and there are a few grammatical errors but overall great job :)

Wed, January 17th, 2018 11:25am

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