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The Horror Next Door: Halloween Flash Fiction by cam

Chris has written more than 300 flash fiction/short stories. Working Vacation was 21st out of 6,700 in the 2016 Writer's Digest competition.

the-horror-next-door

“It just turned this way a little more,” whispered Lisa to her babysitter at the other end of the couch. Beth’s thumbs flew over the keypad. Lisa had been trying to get her attention for the last forty-five minutes, but Beth ignored her and kept texting her boyfriend.

“Would you at least look? Lisa said.

“Would you stop? Can’t you see I’m busy?” Beth looked back down at the screen.

On the covered, unlit porch of the house next door, through the side window of her living room, Lisa could see it. Rain fell and thunder rumbled like a bowling ball doing a slow roll. Lightning flashed and windows shook. She was peering through tiny rivulets zigzagging down the glass. Earlier, she had only seen a faint glow, but since then, a single patch of yellow light had appeared.

Lisa had seen him sitting on the porch during the daytime wearing blue jeans and a faded red flannel shirt. Dry, cracked mud covered his leather work boots. His eyes followed her as she walked past.

Her parents had gone to the latest Halloween horror film at the cinema, though they could have stayed home with Lisa and watched a horror show, live, from the house next door.

“I’ll be right back,” said Beth. She disappeared through the dark archway to the bathroom. The glow of her cell phone lit the way.

the-horror-next-door

Lisa got up and walked toward the window. How could it be moving? It's a Halloween decoration. Halfway across the room, she stumbled on the corner of the area rug. She regained her balance and raised her eyes.

A pair of yellow eyeholes stared back. A sharp toothed grin covered the lower half of the face that was deep red in the shadows.

The creature vaulted over the porch ledge. Leather boots splashed in muddy water, and it disappeared toward the rear of the house. Lisa ran to the front door. The doorknob on the back door rattled. A small pane of glass burst inward.

“Beth? Beth!”

“What do you want, you little brat?”

“It’s your boyfriend. I think he’s at the back door.”

The bathroom door and the back door swung open at the same time. Lisa ran out the front and shouted over her shoulder, “You’re a really bad babysitter.”

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