Terror in the Shadows vol. 14: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
Terror in the Shadows vol. 14: Terror in the Shadows Anthology
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Every page is torn from your worst nightmares…
An aging woman sacrifices more than she bargained for in her quest for eternal youth. A group of kids explore a decrepit slaughterhouse only to find that one of them won’t be coming home. And when a deep freeze strikes a small town, one man discovers something sinister lurking beneath the ice and snow…
Scare Street is proud to present fourteen tales of supernatural horror in one volume. A new entry into a library packed with your darkest dreams and your greatest fears.
As you walk through the dank, musty aisles, cobwebs brush across your skin. Creaking shelves tower on either side of you, a maze from which there is no escape. And the ancient tomes, bound in blood red leather call out to you…
Ravenous monsters, cackling witches, diabolical demons… Every malevolent spirit that has ever haunted your dreams waits for you here, trapped within these vellum pages.
Now the terror has been unleashed. And don’t forget… no screaming in the library!
James watched the cartoon lion on TV as it sat patiently in its cage while obnoxiously drawn children poked it with sticks. It stared at the audience in annoyance. A thought bubble appeared from the lion’s head, picturing him sitting down to a nice meal, napkin on his lap and utensils in hand. A giant sandwich was placed before him with one of the boy’s hats as a garnish. It was a warning of what would happen if the bars of the cage weren’t holding the lion back.
Then one of the children poked the lion through one ear and out the other with the stick, popping the thought bubble. The lion snatched each of the children’s sticks in one quick motion, whacking all of them on the head and producing musical notes like a xylophone.
“Would you turn that down?” James’ mother glared at him. She grabbed the remote and lowered the volume until it was practically muted before heading into the kitchen. James sighed and moved closer to the TV so that he could still hear.
“We should be fine, but I bought some candles and some extra batteries for the flashlights just in case,” his mom said over the phone, a dismantled flashlight and bag of supplies on the counter next to her. “Last time there was a storm like this, the power went out for maybe five minutes max.”
Rain hit the window like the keys of a frantic typewriter, sandwiched occasionally by thunder and lightning.
“Hey, James,” called Henry, from the far end of the couch and the other side of his laptop. “I’ve got a video you’re gonna wanna see.”
James moved to his brother’s side as Henry clicked the play button. The video showed the inside of a convenience store through a grainy security camera. A teenager came into view in one of the aisles, removing his backpack and looking around. When he was satisfied that no one was nearby, he grabbed some bags of chips and stuffed them in his bag. Without warning, the face of a clown popped up on screen, giggling. He wore a yellow polka-dot suit with matching gloves, and the smile on his face was terrifying.
James jumped back and screamed while Henry laughed. The noise drew their mother back into the room, phone held away from her as she stared daggers at James.
“If you don’t quiet down, I swear—” She didn’t finish her sentence before returning to her phone call. She didn’t need to as her message was quite clear. James gave Henry an angry push and then moved back in front of the TV.
“That wasn’t funny,” James huffed.
“Hey, just be glad you don’t know his name,” Henry teased.
“What do you mean?”
“No, I shouldn’t tell you. You’re not old enough. Plus, you’d be more scared if you knew who he was.”
“Tell me his name!” James pleaded, getting frustrated. “Is he a monster or something?”
“Okay, fine. I’ll tell you,” Henry let out in a whisper. “But it’s a secret. You can’t tell anyone, especially not any adults. That’s one of the ways he can get you.”
James gulped. “So he is a monster,” he whimpered.
“No one’s sure. They say that he just appeared around town one day. Nobody knew where he came from and almost nobody was brave enough to ask. Except for one kid, who looked a lot like you, James.” Henry smiled mischievously as his brother’s eyes went wide with fear. “The boy asked the clown who he was. That was his first mistake. Once you ask his name, that’s when he’ll come and find you.”
James shuddered, realizing he’d just asked about the clown’s name himself.
Henry continued, “Instead of answering the boy, the clown just laughed. He laughed like it was the funniest joke he’d ever heard. And when he stopped laughing, he said, ‘Don’t you know? I’m the Clownman.’
“Later that night, the boy heard three taps on his window. And when he looked outside, he saw the Clownman floating there, wearing the same yellow polka-dotted suit that he was wearing in the video I showed you. And when the boy saw him, he screamed and ran away. That was his second mistake. He gets very mad if you’re the one to break eye contact with him.”
James was terrified now, his breath short and audible.
“What did he do then?” he asked, as Henry reveled in the anticipation he’d built.
“Well, he did the one thing you should never do when you encounter Clownman. Once he saw him, he ran to his mom’s room and woke her up.” Henry paused, faking sympathy for the boy in the story. “And once you’ve told an adult about Clownman, he has no choice but to kill you both.”
“You’re making this up!” James shouted, hoping to convince himself, as Henry laughed.
“What did I just say?” their mom called from the kitchen. “What are you screaming about in there?”
James gulped and responded with, “Nothing.” He had no desire to endanger them both if the monster was real.
Henry smirked and closed his computer, satisfied with the fear he’d instilled in his brother. He got up off of the couch and began to head to his bedroom, saying, “Have fun out here alone, nerd.” But before he could reach his destination, a peal of thunder crashed overhead and the power went out. James let out a worried whimper, his mother cursing from the other room as she hung up the phone to finish putting batteries in the dismantled flashlight. Henry used his laptop as a temporary light to find his way back over to James while their mother came and handed them a flashlight each.
“Here, don’t lose this,” she said. “I have one for each of us.”
“You know you can just use your phone’s flashlight, right?” Henry asked.
“Yeah, very clever until your phone runs out of batteries. And then what do you do if there’s an emergency, huh?” she retorted. Henry didn’t answer. “Exactly. Now, the power should come back on soon. I’m gonna go lay down, so please be quiet. And don’t do anything stupid while the lights are out. The last thing we need is for one of you to break a bone tonight.” She looked down at the laptop, the Clownman still visible on it, and she pointedly asked, “What’s that?”
Henry closed it and said, “Nothing. Just a video.”
“A video you’re using to scare your little brother?” she demanded. “I don’t need him having nightmares! If he can’t sleep tonight, that’s your problem, not mine. You understand?” With that, she went upstairs to her room, leaving the boys alone.
James looked at Henry with terror in his eyes, the boys using their flashlights to light up as much of the living room as they could. When they heard her door close, James shoved his brother again.
“Henry, you showed her Cl—” James stopped himself before continuing, avoiding the name. “You showed her him!”
“Oh no,” Henry said, a hint of put-on dramatics in his voice. “You’re right! Good thing I made a deal with Clownman, so I’m safe.”
James narrowed his eyes. “What do you mean you made a deal with him?”
“Oh, it was nothing, really. I just told him that as long as he leaves me alone he can eat you instead,” Henry joked, laughing as James winced.
“That’s not funny!” James said in a forceful whisper. “You said if you know his name, if you break eye contact, and if you tell an adult, then he kills you. And you did two of those things!”
Lightning flashed and Henry’s eyes went wide as he looked past his brother, at something James couldn’t see. Thunder followed, and Henry didn’t blink. James followed Henry’s eyes to the window behind him, but when he turned around, nothing was there. When he looked back at his brother, Henry was looking down at his lap, his demeanor much more timid than before.
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