There are monsters living under his bed. At night, he hears them whisper to each other. They talk about him. About which part of him they’re going to eat first. They wonder how they’d season him to make him taste the best. One of them thinks he’d be delicious with just salt and pepper. Another one is adamant he’d taste the best cooked in barbeque sauce and topped with cheese. The most boring one would eat him plain.

            He never sleeps. Not at night anyway. That’s when they’re awake. He listens to them discuss cooking techniques. They all have a claim on a part of him. Salt and Pepper has his right calf, Barbeque has his right forearm, and Cajun has his left arse-cheek. One unlucky monster has his ears, and every night it ponders how to make them taste nice. The one that always disturbs him the most is Garlic. It talks about the skewers it’ll make out of his eyes.

            So, one day he decides to get rid of them by buying a new bed. He dismantles the old one and doesn’t see any monsters, but he can hear them again when he tries to fall asleep. And they sound angry.

            They start talking louder, so even when he tries to sleep on the sofa, he can still hear them chattering upstairs.

            Running short of ideas, he decides to set fire to his bed. He covers his bed in olive oil and balled up newspapers. It seems only right to cook them.

            Their screams are high pitched and childlike. It hurts his ears, but he forces himself to endure. To stare and watch as his nightmare goes up in flames.

He doesn’t notice as the flames catch the carpet. They creep towards him. The screams turn to cheers as the fire licks at his trousers.


The Mist

The mist crept over the hill, lazily making its way towards the village. Its tendrils reached out, pulling itself closer to the unsuspecting townsfolk. Down, down, down the hill it moved, reaching out to the first villager, who contemplated it with bewilderment, as he stretched out a hand towards it with hesitation. The mist wrapped round his fingers, holding him fast. Even as he tried to yank his hand away, he could do nothing to break its hold as it made its way up his arm. He screamed in despair, as onlooking villagers struggled between their conscience and their innate response to run. As they backed away from the man, the mist took another villager prisoner, winding its way up her leg and around her body just as it reached the first man’s heart. It buried itself into his chest as his face distorted in pain. Then, all at once, he gave up. He stopped yelling and his eyes went dead as the mist pulled from his body, dropping his lifeless corpse to the floor, before moving onto the next victim.

The villagers were running for their lives now, dropping their baskets and scooping up their children in their arms, to run home before barricading themselves in. But the villagers were fools, as no locked door or window would stop the mist from getting in. No trap door would stop it from finding their families, as the witch who sent it would not allow their crime to go unpunished. It coiled round each one of its prey before leaving them to drop lifeless and forgotten.

The village was an orchestra of screams as the mist took each person prisoner for a brief moment in their last breaths before releasing them again, only for them to drop dead.  It wound its way into the homes of the rich and the poor, money doing nothing to hold back the thing that would bring them their end. The witch should not be crossed.

Some villagers had the sense to run from the small town, leaving their friends behind to be taken by the mist but they had all had a part in angering the witch and the mist did not let them leave alive. It raced up behind them, moving at a pace that could never be outrun, grabbing at their hands and feet before winding around their bodies and toward their hearts where it was stopped, never to beat again.

One young girl made it as far as the border of the village, her dirty blonde hair streaming behind her.  Adrenaline pumped through her veins, urging her little body forward as the mist chased her down. At the last minute, it stopped, leaving her to run from the terror it was causing, run towards the next village, to allow her to share their story. This would be their warning to never attempt to deceive the witch for it would result in the same miserable end.

So on the girl ran, leaving behind everyone she’d ever known to be engulfed by the mist.