Terror in the Shadows vol. 12: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
Terror in the Shadows vol. 12: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
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The icy claws of death lash out from the shadows…
Sinister creatures ruin the holiday cheer at a snow-swept Christmas tree farm. A confrontation with a childhood bully kicks off a bloody killing spree. And a fire-crazed arsonist sets his sights on a local house, only to discover that its strange inhabitants have dark appetites of their own…
Scare Street is proud to present thirteen tales of supernatural horror in one volume, the perfect treat for all insatiable horror fans. From invisible killers to spectral children, a cornucopia of bone-chilling delights lurks in the darkness, just waiting to be unleashed.
As you revel in each terrifying tale, you feel a chill pierce through you. You tell yourself it’s just a cold draft. But the minute you turn the page, your fingers freeze as frost creeps across your skin. You open your mouth to scream but it’s too late… Your lips are frozen and glistening icicles nip your arms.
The chill of the netherworld has trapped you in the shadows.
And there is no escape from its cold, icy grasp…
The Beautiful Ones
I was in the john when the aliens arrived.
Kind of sums up my life up to that point in world history. And after it. But hey, when those thirty-mile-long ships appeared in orbit, they caught all the scientists with their pants down, and all the presidents and generals and fancy-titled advisers, and finally, us regular folk. Just so happens my pants were down literally as well as figuratively.
I know millions of us must have been in even more embarrassing situations when it happened. And of course, there were millions mourning their dead, millions more too sick to notice anything, tens of millions too drunk or stoned to grasp the facts at all. If you crunch the numbers—believe me, I did—roughly eight million other humans were taking a leak at that key moment in history.
The moment when history, as we’d known it till then, ended.
But still… I can’t help wondering if it was a kind of hint. The universe having a little joke at my expense. Some higher power telling me something by having me sitting in a cubicle in a crummy office restroom when the world changed, when all sensible bets about our collective future were suddenly off. I remember vividly—like it just happened a minute ago—when I found out.
And it was so banal.
I was seething at the way my dumb boss, Gary, had picked apart my report at the Monday morning meeting. I could have murdered Gary at that moment, literally grabbed his throat, bashed his head against the tiled floor of the john to subdue him, and squeezed. I was imagining it, the way he’d struggle, and I’d have my knee on his chest, and gradually he’d stop flopping around and turn a weird color…
I know, it’s horrific. I was relishing the thought of taking a life, a human life at that. But that’s how we were before They came. Well, it’s how a lot of us were. Men mostly—toxic reserves of immature, unfocused anger and resentment, ready to erupt at any moment. It was not a good state of affairs for anyone.
Oh, and Gary and me, we’re buddies now. I sometimes cook for him and his husband and their daughter. She’s cute, funny, smart—the way all kids are these days. Happy, too—but that’s just another given, now. They come over, and sometimes, me and Gary, we joke about the old days. Just regular humans chatting around a table, a bottle of red or white open to breathe, life feeling pretty good.
Nothing spectacular about that, to anyone now. But if you’d told me, on that lousy Monday morning in that stinking cubicle, that that sort of life would soon be available to every single human being on earth… Well, I’d have laughed. Not a nice, hearty laugh, either. A cynical laugh. I used to do that a lot.
Now, I just laugh when a kitten chases a butterfly or something like that. Like everyone else, I’m happy. If I drop a mug of coffee on my toe, I laugh about it and clean it up. It’s a good life.
Except for one thing.
One thing I can’t forget, can’t stop thinking about.
One thing I wish I didn’t know.
Something I’ve seen.
Which is why I’m writing this. I’m setting it down on paper because I don’t think They can scan paper from orbit or however they monitor everything. Just in case, I’ve got the blinds drawn and I’m writing at night by the light of an old kerosene lamp. Not so easy to find kerosene now—who needs it? It’s like gasoline, They made it obsolete in a few short months. I can’t believe the things we used to do just to get by, like we were all just figments of a lunatic’s dream.
But let’s get back to the story. To the thing I can’t forget. To the thing that nags and chips away at that universal happiness, or at least my personal version of it.
Whoever is reading this—if anyone ever does—I’m sorry it’s a mess and kind of clunky, as I’m not much of a writer. I started to write this in a different way, trying to be all serious and methodical, and it obviously sucked the big one, so I couldn’t get past the first paragraph.
I seemed like a real moron when I read it back. And I know me quite well. So, I tore out and burned those pages and stared at a blank leaf for a while. Then I remembered an old girlfriend who was a big reader telling me about this thing called stream of consciousness, where you just set down thoughts as they come into your head, willy-nilly, rather than over-thinking it.
So, I guess I’m doing that. Like a proper writer.
You see, I just feel I need to leave some sort of testament for future generations. Because there certainly will be some. That, at least, is not going to be the problem. We’re not going to see the human race going extinct. Far from it…
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See you in the shadows! 👻
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