April Fools Dream

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Contently Deranged Travelers
I guess I should have posted this on April Fools ha...but wrote it after the fact. A story roughly based off an idea Mikejackson1127 shared with me: "a father and his dead family at the dinner table" had no idea it would turn into this though. Thanks Mike, I'm curious to see what you do with the idea

Submitted: April 06, 2016

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Submitted: April 06, 2016

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**A story roughly based off an idea Mikejackson1127 shared with me via the CTD house under, "Rabbit hole for short story ideas"- check it out :)***

 

The apocalypse was such a wicked thing, it brought about the end of the world on April fools,  the year was 2018. Some kind of demonic joke. On that day, dimensions clashed; the spiritual world became visible and a gate had been opened in another realm releasing wickedness. Demonic beings not only from hell but various dimensions, could now walk upon earth and manifest themsevles in the physical realm. Ever since that day, gruesome reptilian-like creatures, spirits, and demons raided earth seeking whomever they could devour. They searched for any lost souls still roaming earth,  if they found one they would eat them, destroy them, or drag them straight to hell. If you died without being discovered you eventually turned into a demon yourself. There are still a few sorry souls who have not yet been found, and they await their death in some sort of melancholy trance, watching the clocks tick backwards while holding their breaths.

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Sycamore street was once bright and happy; mowed lawns and white picket fences, the perfect place to start your perfect American life, even if it was a cliché. However, the golden years were now a thing of the past, just a dream. Good ol’ sycamore was now full of darkness, ever since the sun rose out of the west; ever since the apocalypse. Now, every day was pitch black; no stars in the sky, just an overwhelming darkness. All the houses on the street were like coffins- like pale skeleton’s waiting for the sunlight to shine on their graves.  This would be the third time April 1st came round since that dreaded day, and this year, on Sycamore Street, there was a house darker than all the others, the Harlin residence. Inside dwelled the man of the house: Jay Harlin.

The house was silent except the ticking off the clock which had been ticking backwards for three years now. No one knew why. The house smelled of death with a hint of mildew and sawdust.  In the kitchen a single candle dimly lit the room. Jay slowly set the dinner table. The table was long and an antique, a gift from his grandma if he could remember correctly.

The clock ticked and the China clanked together. As he set down his plate, he took a seat. “Let’s eat,” He whispered glancing across the table at his wife and daughter. They stared at him emptily.

He sighed weakly, “Sometimes it’s as if I live alone.”

As Jay took his first bite of soup, he heard a big thump. He looked to his left and his daughter Cindy had fallen out of her chair, unto the floor.

“My goodness Cindy, are you alright?” Jay dropped his spoon and frantically ran over to check on her.

He starred at her awhile then grabbed Cindy under the arms and placed her back in the chair like a doll, “I know you’re tired but please stay upright.”

Instead of continuing his meal, Jay stared at them again. Their faces were pale and heads were bowed. They weren’t even breathing.

“What am I do with you guys?” He sighed.

After dinner he placed each into their beds, tucking them in.

Jay put Cindy to bed last, kissing her goodnight.  As he turned around to leave the room, Cindy gasped and opened her eyes. Her eyes were dark and pupils reptilian shaped. Jay had his hand on the doorknob but brought it back to his side, slowly turning around, shocked.However he was not frightened: 

“Oh Cindy. Take me.” He begged, eyes welling up with tears. He slowly made his way over to her, sitting at the foot of her bed.

She growled at him.

He became choked up, “p-please take me.” He started to stroke her hair then held his hand by her mouth, waiting for her to bite. He shook nervously expecting her to, but she didn’t.

Cindy stared at him condescendingly.

 “Take me!”  he yelled wide-eyed, grabbing her arms.

She laughed.

“Why won’t you take me!?”

She twisted her neck and arms like a snake, and motioned for him to come in closer, so she could tell him a secret. He put his ear next to her mouth and she whispered, “You’re the last soul. It would be no fun taking you.”

“No, fun?” He whispered angrily.

“Yes. I think I’ll leave you here.” It giggled, “April Fools.”

All of a sudden she disappeared, as if she were just a hallucination.

Jay fell onto the floor out of disbelief then called out to her, “Cindy? No!” He jumped up and ran out of the room, his wife was gone as well.

He ran out of his house like a mad man, running down the street, searching the houses for any other human being. There was none.

He dropped to his knees and screamed at the dark sky.

After sitting there for about an hour crying, he got up and made his way back to his house, grabbed some rope in the garage and walked to the nearest river, the one he used to fish at when he was a kid. Seeing no other way out, he tied the rope to the tree and he hung himself, he stared at the water until it became blurred, he took his last breath as his eyes started to shapeshift, just for a second, until they closed for good.

As the hours went by it became morning, after about 1096 days of darkness, the sun rose.  Shinning down on the earth, on all the houses as well as the graves.  People woke up one by one- each screaming as they saw how  light filled their rooms. Somehow they were all back in their mortal bodies, everyone remembered what happened, yet it was like nothing did. The town was restored to its previous state, the birds chirped and flew through the air, the grass was mowed, houses clean. Everything was back to the way it was. The calendar read 4/2/18. Confused, yet relieved, people cautiously went on living their lives.

Later that day, a couple children found Mr. Harlin. A week later his funeral took place. As the preacher spoke, Cindy turned to her mother and simply whispered, “That was a cruel April fools, wasn’t it mommy?”

That night, underneath the ground, Jay awoke; he opened his eyes and took in a gasp of air, growling as he clawed his way out.

Meanwhile, back at home, Jay’s wife sat at in her husbands spot at the dinner table; she cried, mourning his death.  As she was sobbing, out of nowhere, the clock stopped ticking then made a weird sound. Her stomach dropped, as she slowly lifted her head. Through blurred eyes she painfully watched the clock begin to tick backwards again.

 

 

 


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