Here Comes the Chopper
Type: Original Stories
A short Halloween story for Bloody's contest.
There was a knocking on the door. An elderly man smiled as he got up and grabbed a bowl of sweets from the table. He opened the door slowly, and gasped in mock horror as several children stood before him in a mix of clearly cheap shop bought masks and cloaks and other costumes that had the tell-tale sign of being handmade with ragged seams on show and fraying, old material underneath. The chorus of "trick or treat!" came next, and the man smiled at them all.
"Here you are! Some for you, batman, and catwoman; here you go, Mr. Skeleton, and Mr. Pumpkin and - oh; what are you?" The last child to collect goodies from the man was the shortest, and the least recognisable. They were dressed in all black, with a dark hood so the face was in shadow. There was a moment of silence. The man shuffled, almost uncomfortable before the child lowered the hood to reveal a young girl. The man looked in horror. The girl was pale with black bunches but her eyes; they were solid black and the skin around them looked as though it were burned, from acid or a serious fire. She smiled.
"I'm a demon!" she whispered. The man went cold but gave her the sweets, smiling. It was a very well made costume, wasn't it? They could, after all, make all sorts of terrifying prosthetic effects nowadays. That's what the man told himself, at least, in an attempt to cover the frozen fear inside. The terror was firmly seeded as he shut the door and the children walked away, chanting "Here is a candle to light you to bed! And here is a chopper to chop off your head!"
Had he looked at the television screen during the trick-or-treaters visit, he would have seen the exact same demon face on a young man being arrested for satanic, cult-like murder. Sacrifices. He had not heard the news and turned off the TV before any other reports were shown. But even as he ascended the narrow stairs to bed he could not shake off the uneasy feeling in his head, nor could he rid of the rhyme inside it.
Chop. Chop. Chop.
The young trick-or-treaters continued down the street. The boy wearing the loo-roll-and-cardboard skeleton costume got many compliments on how well he had to to hand make his costume. He did not admit once that his sister had really made it for him. The dark-angel boy and superhero girl also received several "well done"s. The demon girl, however only lowered her hood twice after the visit of the old man. She did not receive a word about her costume. Instead, she managed to plant a cold seed in the heart of those who saw her.
Soon, the children had knocked on the door of everyone living on the surrounding streets. They waved goodbye to each other as they went home in pairs or threes, laughing as they disappeared into the dark. The demon girl was alone. She wandered silently back along the streets, back past the houses she had visited. Back past those who had seen her face.
As she passed them, she stared at the houses for a brief second. Within these houses, lights flickered, casting dark shadows across a young couple, almost in a pattern; a quick, deathly shiver ran down the spine of a middle aged woman; a black man felt like his eyes were burning and burning. They all passed this off as faulty electrics, as just being silly, as having a headache. They were wrong.
The demon girl smiled sweetly as she skipped back to where she spent her days, humming the rhyme. She opened the gate to a graveyard. It creaked. Home. Something was different about this graveyard though. Perhaps it was the nameless tombstones. Perhaps it was the already leafless trees. Perhaps it was the empty graves. The girl danced over to a small grave and perched on the gravestone there. She was waiting. And upon the raven's scream they came.
Others with their eyes bleeding black stumbled into the graveyard, their skin burning. Many of them wept black, bloody tears, others cried out in pain. They all came in the end. They dropped to their knees before the demon girl and she grinned. She jumped down from her perch with a welcoming smile. Reaching into the child-sized grave, she lifted 6 shovels out and handed them to each of the people she had already met.
They grasped the shovels almost blindly and crawled across the damp grass until they came across a bare patch of earth. Then they dug. They each dug their grave. The girl oversaw the whole operation, the childish smile never once wavering. She suddenly looked to the moon as clocks everywhere chimed midnight. The witching hour, as it was once known. She walked to each of the graves where the demons now laid in peace and offered her hand.
Chop. The couple rose in unison.
Chop. The woman wept as she clutched the girl's hand.
Chop. The man removed his hands from his burnt pink face to join the girl.
The other demons all rose and joined her. All but one.
He refused to move from his grave. The girl's eyes turned bloodshot, red veins pulsing through them. He looked up at her and frowned. She hissed like a feral animal, and swept her arm back, commanding the others to stand back. They did. She started shaking, hand outstretched. The man rose as a vampire would be expected to rise. The demon girl placed him down apart from the rest of the pack.
"Traitor!" she snarled. The rest of the other demons joined her, chanting. Then silence. The pack marched out of the graveyard without a noise. No footstep shuffle, no heavy breaths, no swooshing of their black cloaks and ripped clothes. They went off to spread their wickedness in the night before falling back to a restless peace, trapped in the cycle of being destined to kill and spread what they were for all eternity.
The following day, the news was wild with the Halloween murders. Three had been arrested: the young boy from the night before, his sister, and an elderly man. Reports said that they all had been caught removing the victims throats with their bare hands; unusual. There were suggestions at them being a cult together although they had no previous connections. Rumours were that the elderly man, upon his arrest would not stop repeating the words:
"I will not submit."
Here comes the candle to light you to bed! And here comes the chopper to chop off your head! Chop! Chop! Chop!