The Hungry Visitor: Short Fiction

Day four and only three more days until Halloween!

If you missed any of the other stories that I wrote for my challenge so far, you can find them here:

Monday: The Best Way
Tuesday: Whirlpool
Wednesday: Buzzkill

Let me know what you think of them! One thing I really like about doing this type of challenge is how it really kicks the creative part of my brain into high gear. Not only am I writing a piece of fiction every day but based on prompts from you, which does increase the difficulty. But I am always really happy with how the story turns out. And now onto the next tale!

Today’s prompt is: a vampire decides to go trick or treating.

Dedicated to Michael A!

The Hungry Visitor

“Aren’t they so cute?” Elena peeked through the curtains covering the front window.

Night was already setting, the streetlights had flicked on, and the moon peeked over the tops of the houses opposite. Dozens of children, stuffed into snowsuits then squeezed into costumes, crunched through fresh snow, dragging along pillowcases of candy, and screaming with excitement at the Halloween decorations that turned the street into a spooky wonderland.

Miniature, sausage-limbed werewolves, princesses, cats, fairies, super heroes, and cartoon characters went house to house, hungry for sweets and treats. Parents, bundled up in jackets and scarves, waited on the sidewalk for their little ones to complete the yearly ritual of yelling “Trick or treat!” and expecting only treats from the strangers who opened their doors.

The doorbell rang once, twice, three times.

Elena jumped off the couch and straightened her cape. Her husband, Andrei, met her at the door with their bucket of candy. Opening the door revealed three little witches, their dresses bulging over pink, yellow, and white snow suits. Their faces were painted green and pointy black hats sat over knitted headbands. The three little girls held out three little buckets in the shape of cauldrons, singing “trick or treat”!

“What cute little witches!” Elena cried, dropping candy bars in each of their buckets.

“What are you?” the smallest witch asked.

Elena took this opportunity to rear back and pull out the plastic stake from her belt. Andrei followed suit by holding out an oversized plastic crucifix.

“We are vampire hunters!” Elena crowed, trying to look fierce.

The three little witches glanced at one another then shrugged, navigating their way back to the sidewalk without so much of a thanks.

“I don’t think they understood,” Andrei said.

“Guess not.” Elena tried to feel too disappointed as another group of children breached the shoveled foot path to her front door.

The night settled firmly down over the street, the stream of children slowed like the popping of kernels in a microwave bag of popcorn. Andrei lost interest and made his way to the couch to select a movie for them to watch while finishing their second bottle of wine.

Elena looked down at her nearly empty bucket of candy. She plucked one of her favourites out and pulled the wrapper open with her teeth, popping the bite-sized treat between her teeth.

“That’s probably the last of them,” Andrei called from the couch, topping up their glasses. “You can probably turn the lights off.”

Elena leaned out the front door, peering one way then the next, her breath puffing out in milky-white specters, but didn’t see any kids.

“You’re probably right.” She closed the door, turning the deadbolt home, and flicking off the porch light. She’d take down the decorations tomorrow, when the sun was up.

She brought the bucket of candy with her to the couch, Andrei kicked his feet up on the coffee table, a movie set up and ready to stream on the TV.

Elena set the bowl on the table and the door bell rang, once, twice…six times.

“We got a late one!” Andrei sat up and picked out his favourite chocolate bars from the mix “You should just give ‘em the rest.”

Elena rolled her eyes but picked up the bucket, slipping a couple of her favourites into her pocket, and making her way to the door.

She flicked on the porch light, then opened the door without a thought, revealing a small boy standing on her front step.

The boy was dressed all in black, his dark hair slicked back, his skin pale. The thing that caught her attention the most was that, unlike every other child, who had visited that night, this kid wasn’t wearing a snow suit under his costume to ward away the early snowfall and chill.

In fact, his clothes looked thin, threadbare. He held a pillow case in his bare hand, unaffected by the cold, and his narrow lips were set to a scowl. Tips of fangs hung over his bottom lip, unnervingly realistic looking.

“Uh, hi?” Elena looked down the street one direction then the next. No parents in sight.

The boy examined her with bright blue eyes. She felt dissected. Then he held out his pillow case without a word. Elena looked down at him, then back at the boy’s emotionless face.

“Um, okay?” She grabbed a handful of candy, eager to be rid of him, and reached out.

The boy’s right hand shot out, gripped her wrist in a vice. Pain shot through her arm at the pressure but when Elena tried to pull away, she couldn’t. The boy kept her trapped.

“Honey?” Andrei’s voice seemed distant.

She tried to jerk her hand away again, nothing.

“H – hey!” She dropped the candy bucket, chocolates spilling all over her welcome mat.

The kid reached out with his free hand – how he was keeping her pinned with only one hand was beyond Elena – and he stroked her forearm with his long, sharp nails.

“Andrei?” Elena’s voice cracked with panic.

She heard his feet hit the ground, his footsteps across the living room floor.

“Oy, kid!” Andrei lunged, slapping at the kid’s wrist as though the boy was reaching for the cookie jar right before dinner.

The sound of the slap echoed down the street but the boy didn’t flinch. His grip on Elena’s wrist tightened and she cried out for the pain. Andrei grabbed her arm and tried to pull her away, but the boy was stronger, standing unmoving on the front step as she and Andrei – two adults – struggled.

“You left me, Mama.” The boy said, finally, his voice as icy as the air around them.

Elena noticed that condensation did not rise from his lips though. And his eyes did not reflect any light. They were frigid, bottomless depths. Old beyond their years. Inhuman.

“Let go of me!” She was screaming but she couldn’t – wouldn’t – stop. “Let go, let go!”

The boy pulled her over the threshold and Elena tripped, falling to her knees on the front step, bringing her eye to eye with the boy. She recognized those eyes. She recognized that voice. She didn’t want to. But that blue shade was undeniable, that foreign accent was unmistakable.

“You left.” The boy’s grip tightened and Elena felt something crack in her wrist.

Andrei stepped forward, his fist connecting with the boy’s jaw. The kid fell back, taking Elena with him, as he refused to let go. They both fell into the snow in front of the house, the cold biting into Elena’s exposed skin.

“Elena!” Andrei stumbled down the steps. “Are you okay? Shit!”

The boy was up like lightning, wrapping his arms around Andrei’s neck, and choking out the rest of his words. Elena’s head rang from the fall, she must have struck it on one of many of the cute decorative rocks she had placed out on the front lawn.

Andrei collapsed in the snow, a crimson spray arcing from his neck like a gory rainbow.

“No!” She tried to reach him, but suddenly the boy was in her way, snow melting in his dark hair.

“You left me there, Mama.” He knelt. “You killed Papa and left me there.”

A trip with girlfriends, a venture deep into Europe. Memories she had pushed away. A foreign romance that turned sour. A pregnancy. A horror. Elena had thought she had left it all behind her.

“No!” she cried.

“I won’t let you leave me again, Mama.” The boy – she’d never even given him a name – reached for her and, with supernatural strength, pulled her head into his lap. “You owe me. Consider this child support.”

Sharp blades of cold pain into her neck and she felt her strength, her heat, her life sucked away.

x PLM

4 thoughts on “The Hungry Visitor: Short Fiction

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