We received a lot of stories for our Halloween Hunt Writing Contest, and from September 16th we're publishing one each day until October 6th - when the Winner's story opens as a hunt!
Read them all and stay curious.. whose story got turned into the hunt?
The stories released are unedited and pasted as submitted to us.
- Kiana -
Today's story is by Ami Deceit
and it is called
The Monkey Dream
It's an overcast day. Grey clouds fill the sky, promising a storm to come. The world seems to lack any color. There is a gloomy stretch of beach. The reflection of storm clouds on the ocean's lulling waves. There is a heavy mist on the horizon. There is a young woman swimming out from the beach, heading deeper in to the ocean. Her shoulder length blonde hair floating in the water as she moves farther from the shore. About 50ft from the beach, she finds a group of small of Tufted Capuchin monkeys, about 5 totaled. They are spaced out and throwing a little football back and forth. Smiling, the young woman wants to join in the monkeys fun. She swims up to an empty space between 2 monkey's. She waves her right arm in the air, calling for someone to toss the ball in her direction. The mist seems to surround the group as they play. The mist surrounds the group, the beach no longer in their view.
Things are going well at first, everyone having fun. One of the monkeys tosses the ball to the young woman, but it's thrown too far over her head and lands a few feet behind her, just in the edge of the creeping mist. The woman hesitates at first, a sense of dread shakes her. She treads water, not moving an inch. The little monkeys start start to chirp at her to hurry up. Reluctantly, the woman slowly swims out to get the ball. The mist swallows her up, and soon she can no longer see the monkeys, their chirps sounding distant even though they couldn't be that far away. With the mist, it was hard to tell. The clouds and water darken, and the woman is all alone.
The ball is floating with in her reach, she raises her hand out of the water, clutching at the football. Turning about, she is unsure of which direction she came from. It's even darker now, she turns around again. Looming out of the darkness, floating in the water, is an old carny cage. The cage is made of wood, painted darkest red, with thick black iron bars. Ornate gold painted trim frame the bars. The paint is peeling and cracking. Atop the cage sits a large sign, a cartoon monkey's head and shoulders. HIs large, bulging almond shaped eyes give off a eerie glow in the mist. His large, toothy grin, stretch in a mocking grin from ear to ear. His teeth, unnaturally long, leave the woman feeling unease. The hands of the monkey clamp down on to the top of the cage as if holding it up. The womans eyes slowly move down to look between the bars. Shadows fill the inside of the cage, not giving away any clue of what could be inside.
As the cage bobs in the water, a low deep growl comes from inside. It sounds like no animal she's ever heard. There is a scraping sound as well, as if something were trying to escape. Caught between wanting to swim away, and being rooted in place, the woman finds herself only able to continue to stare at the cage, eyes wide with a growing sense of fear. Another growl, louder this time, finally causes the girl to flee. Faster now, she begins to swim back towards the little monkeys. Even as she leaves the mist, and returns back to the group, she can't shake her fear that something horrible is out there with them. She has to warn the others.
As the young woman opens her mouth, and begins to speak, a new sound cuts through the mist. Distant at first, but coming closer. The group turns toward the beach, towards the sound. Out of the mist comes a small outboard motor boat. At the bow of the ship stands a thin old man with a double barrel shot gun pointed to the group. A scraggly salt an pepper mop of a dog stands behind him. The old mans fierce eyes are burning with hate, little pinpoints under bushy gray eyebrows. He is shouting something, but over the roar of the boat it is hard to tell what he is saying. The only words that one can make out are obscenities and mentions of a creature.
The woman and the little monkeys are startled. Eyes wide with fear, their mouths hang open in shock. The boat is cutting the group off from the beach, their only choice of escape is to swim farther out in to the ocean, in the mist. The group starts to swim as fast as they can. As they enter in to the mist, everyone becomes separated. The young woman is swimming is hard as she can, growing tired. She isn't sure where to go, or if there even is a place to go. All she knows is that she can't stop swimming. In other parts of the mist, she can hear the blast of a shotgun, cries from the little monkeys, the motor of the boat, and faintly, the old man.
Suddenly a large shape looms up from out of the mist. Unsure what it is at first, it becomes clear that it's land before her! Swimming as her life depends on it, she exits the mist. Before her, is a small island. Mostly beach, with a handful of palm trees scattered about. In the center of the island stands an unusual fort of a building. She crawls on to the beach breathless, and walks toward the building. A fabric is stretched between multiple poles, forming a misshaped circle building, The building was several stories high, each level stacked on top of the last, like a multi-teir cake. The height of the building seemed never-ending, climbing too high in the sky to see the end.
As the woman nears the wall, she can see that the wall fabric is stretched so thin, that the lights from the inside of the building shine through, giving the fabric an orange red glow. Reaching out to touch the building, she slowly runs her hand across the building. At first she thought it was some sort of rubber latex, then she realized there were little hairs sprouting out of the fabric, she leans in for a closer inspection. With a shock she jumps back, as she realizes what the walls are made from. Human skin.
She is shaken from her shock when she realizes that the sounds of the old man is getting closer. She is unsure what to do? Face the crazed old man or go in to the only shelter -and untold horrors- on the island? She knows her time to decide is running out. Franticly, she begins to run around the side of the building, look for a way in. Finally she comes to door way, and dives through. It takes a moment for her eyes to adjust. There are blinding white little floor lights scattered about the room, casting bright lights on some parts, creating heavy shadows on others. The large room consist of several scaffolding levels, multiple ladders and stairs, all leading up. On some of the levels, for display, where 2 poles and between them where stretched human face skin, their mouths gapping in an O shape, smaller display lights shinning under them.
The old man was closer now. she could tell he was near by. Panic in overload, she begins climbing up one of the ladders closest to her. Ladder after ladder, level after level, up and up she went. She finally reached a room, she leaned against the wall sighing. That's when she noticed something else was in the room with her.
A low growl came from the other side of the room. With heavy thubs, a horrible creature slowly steps out of the darkness. The creature was covered in disgusting, matted black fur. It's chest glistened with gore. Twitching arms hung at it's side, long, gnarled fingers flexing. Broad shoulders arched back. Eyes glowing like red hot coals. The mouth hangs open, in a ridiculously large grin, the skin tightly pulled back over the gums, exposing every sharp tooth in his mouth. Long strands of saliva drip to the floor. It moves closer to the woman.
With a gasp, the woman runs to the next ladder going up. She climbs like a mad woman. It suddenly accrues to her that this must be the creature that the old man is really after, not her or those little monkeys. Now, if only she can find the old man! She can faintly hear him. She thinks he must be on a level near to her, that he must have gone up in a different direction then her. Can she find him though?
On she climbs. Her heart is pounding. She can feel the creature chasing her. What does it want? Why is it chasing her? She continues to climb up. How many levels has she gone now? How many are there left to go?
She reaches another wide level. Its filled with hallways. Down the hall she runs. Turning a corner, she comes to the center of the level, a wide open space with dirt floor. There in the center, is the old man and his dog. The girl starts to cry as she tells the old of the horrible creature that is chasing her. Soothingly he pats her shoulder to calm her down. She begs him to help her. He nods his head slowly and promises to catch the creature.
The woman relaxes for the first time, closing her eyes and letting out a small sigh. When she opens her eyes again, she is looking down the barrels of the shotgun. "WHA-??" she exclaims in shock. The old man sneers at her, calmly tells her not to worry, that he will get the creature, if it's the last thing he ever does. Then he shots her point blank with both barrels, she dies instantly. The old man puts his gun down and tells the dog to start digging. After a few mins there is a large hole about 4 ft deep. With his foot, the old man pushes the dead woman in to the hole. He then reaches down in to the hole, and begins tying large sticks of dynamite to her shirt and jacket.
After a few mins have passed, the creature shambles in to the center room. He growls loudly at the old man, and slowly walks forward as if to attack. Then the creature notices the hole. He sees the dead woman slumped down there. The creature makes a sad little wail, his face is etched with sorrow. Getting down on all fours, he crawls down to the woman. He is so sad. He puts his head on her chest, and holds her in his arms, crying.
The old man lets out a loud laugh, and presses the button to detonate the explosives. The crazy old man miscalculated the blast, and used too much dynamite. The blast shakes the entire fort, causing the levels to collapse in on it's self. The blast not only destroys the whole building, but sinks the island as well.