Horror Suspense Thriller

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

        Where I come from, no one stays out past dark. You don’t dare look in the mirror in the middle of the night or glance out the window when it’s pitch black. There’s stories and legends that there are creatures that like to wander around during those times. I’ve never witnessed any of these rumors before, but I’ve been told that when my grandmother was little, she experienced some of these firsthand.

               I remember sitting on the living room floor one family get together while grandma told her story, and still to this day the images she painted in my head still haunt me. She told us of how when she was younger, her and her friends snuck out to go to the park and drink. Not one of them thought anything of it and that the rumors were just that, rumors. That’s until midnight hit when they were outside.

               There were three of them including my grandma, just swinging on the old swings and drinking having the time of their lives. When they heard a blood curdling scream coming from the corn field behind them. They all froze and slowly turned their heads toward the field trying to rationalize what they just heard.

               “I bet it was just a fox.” My Grandma’s friend Darcy said. “They always scream like that when they’re trying to find each other. Just ignore it.”

               They went back to gossiping about what happened in school that week when they heard another scream, but this time it was closer. The wind picked up a bit making the leaves above them rustle with an earie sound.

               “You know, I think we should probably go home. It’s getting pretty late anyway, and we’d all be dead if our parents caught us sneaking back in our houses…” The other friend Katie said.

               “…. Yeah, I guess you’re right. Plus, it seems to be getting a bit chilly out.” My grandma said.

               “You both are just scaredy cats. Are you really going to let a fox and some wind scare you that much that you want to go home when we NEVER get the opportunity to go outside at night? Whatever, y’all can go but I’m going to stay right here and finish my beer.”

               Katie and grandma got off theirs swings and started to head through the park back home. They only got to a wooden fort that was built in the middle of the park when they heard another scream back towards where the swings were.

               “Darcy?!” Katie yelled.

               “Please, she’s just pulling our legs. She wants us to be scared out of our minds and come running back to her.”

               Another scream rips through the night. A scream that sounded like it would be the definition of pain and horror. Both Katie and my grandma sprint back to where they left Darcy on the swings. But she wasn’t there anymore, instead, there was a trickle of blood on the swing where she sat.

               “No” breathed my grandma and Katie started to silently cry.

               There were only a few streetlights in the park that lit up the road, otherwise most of it was incased with shadows at night. The swings were tucked in the far back of the park next to a shelter. Reluctantly the two friends decided maybe Darcy fell off the swing and went to the shelter to find some water to clean the wound. Still not wanting to believe that the town rumors might be true.

               They slowly pushed open the door to the shelter and it was pitch black and there was no electricity to the building. They silently listened to see if they could hear their friend, and they did. Or what sounded like her.

               On the other side of dark building, they heard a whimpering and sobbing. “Darcy?” My grandma called out and the sound stopped. “This isn’t funny anymore. You’re hurt, let’s go home.”

               As soon as those words left my grandmas lips Katie let out a scream towards the window. My grandma spun around and looked to where Katie was staring and that’s when they saw that the rumors were true. For looking back at them through the window was a figure, back lit by the streetlights enough that they could make out the golden strands of hair covered in blood. Enough light cascaded upon the face for them to see Darcy’s smile but not her eyes. Her eyes were completely black and there was blood smeared on her face as well.

               Katie started to cry again, and they took a step backwards toward the door when the creature that looked like Darcy smiled a toothy grin to show even more blood. With the flash of the smile the creature disappeared, but the fireplace in the shelter ignited by itself making the girls scream. The room flooded with light. There, where they heard the whimpering, lay Darcy. Her body mangled and bloody, but her face… she didn’t have a face and her hair was chopped off. Well, more like ripped off her head.

               Katie and my grandma took off out of the shelter, sprinting as fast as they could through the park trying not to look at anything but what was right in front of them.

               They were almost back to the wooden fort where they first heard Darcy’s scream and they saw a shadow run from a tree into the fort. They stopped dead in their tracks panting for air and frantically trying to think of what to do next.

               “Carol, what… what do we do?” Katie said to my grandma.

               “I… I don’t know. We could try to get to the road and run in the light maybe?”

               And with that plan, they took to the road and ran as fast as their legs could take them back to the closest house, they could get to which was Katie’s. They grabbed the door and didn’t even care if they were quiet anymore, they just wanted to feel safe.

               Now, in the sanctuary of Katie’s bedroom with their adrenaline wearing off they began to sob uncontrollably. Loud gasping of air and wailing consumed the room and soon the house causing Katie’s parents to wake. They frantically got to the bedroom to console both girls and asked what happened and both girls told them everything.

               With terror in both parent’s eyes, they looked at each other and nodded as Katie’s dad left the room and her mom hugged them both. Grandma never knew what Katie’s dad did after he left the room but the next day it was announced that Darcy had gone missing. The whole town went on a search to find her or anything that lead to her whereabouts.

               My grandma and Katie were told to go look around the park for any information on what happened to Darcy. Both girls confused that Katie’s parents didn’t tell anyone anything went back to the park. They went to the swing and saw there was no blood. They walked to the shelter and cautiously pushed open the door. Inside there was nothing. Absolutely nothing. Darcy’s body wasn’t laying in a pool of blood anymore, in fact, there was no sign there was blood here in the first place.

               Confused and becoming frightened again, the girls went back to the town hall which was the meeting place for the search. They reported they found nothing and went to go find Katie’s parents. After they found them, they asked what happened. Why no one knew about the creature in the night and what happened to Darcy’s body.

               The parents just looked at them both and said, “I have no idea what you girls are talking about. Darcy’s body? Creature in the night? Girls, Darcy ran away in the middle of the night.”

               Shortly after the search was called off Katie and her family moved away. No one every talked about Darcy again, even her parents erased her existence from their lives.

               Grandma’s story would end there, and she would refuse to answer any questions about it. Sometimes I think that the three friends just got really drunk and imagined everything and that Darcy did run away that night and had always planned to. That her family was so embarrassed about their daughter’s behavior that they decided it was best to act like she was never born, as evil as that may be.

               Now years have passed since I first heard that story and I’m living on my own. I still find myself avoiding the mirrors and windows at night now and then but I’m young and need that night life. I’ve never seen anything in the dark anyway and everywhere I go is always lit up, so I think I’ll be just fine. The story is just a fading memory of my grandma now.

               It’s Friday night, well I guess technically it’s Saturday morning, and I stumble through my front door. Way too many drinks tonight but it was so much fun after such a stressful week. I head to the bathroom to wash my face but stop before I walk in. The mirror. Why am I thinking about this now? There is nothing in my mirror, it’s fine, just go wash my face.

I turn and look at my reflection. Nothing is there, no sign of anything evil. I sigh and continue with washing my face. I head to the kitchen to grab something to eat when I hear what sounds like a fox somewhere outside my window.

My blood runs cold.

It’s just a fox, it’s not like I haven’t heard them before, I think. I’m just jumpy because I’ve had too much to drink, and I just was thinking about the mirror.

I start to calm down and continue to rationalize things to myself.  I grab some leftovers from the fridge and spin around towards the dining room.

There in the window over the table, stands a dark figure. My body goes completely stiff when it moves into the light to show its black eyes and bloody smile.  

September 20, 2022 18:26

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Sylph Fox
02:33 Oct 23, 2022

Hi Toni, I really enjoyed your story! I can picture how scared and confused the girls were during and after what happened especially with how the adults were acting, you have portrait these well. I'm starting a audio book channel and I'd really love to feature your work. If you’re interested in having your story read by me I'd really appreciate it if you'd contact me at SylphFoxSubmission@gmail.com. Thanks for considering me to adapt your works to an audio book channel.


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Carl Tengstrom
15:25 Sep 25, 2022

A very amusing and at the same time very scaring. The suspense is uphold throughout story. The ending is tremendous even though somewhat expected. The language is perfect and easy to follow.


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