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Tales & Wails: Don't Look

Entry 6: Can curiosity kill?

Don't Look

Christina Wallace

“Help! Help me, please!” The voice called out. He screamed from house to house and banged on every door, but no one dared. I pulled the pillow over my head to drown out the sounds. I never knew what happened to them, but I knew that whoever it was would never be heard from again.

When the wind arrived the first week of October, they came with it. We called them The Visitors. No one knew who they were or why they came. No one had ever seen them except for those who called out. Officials had warned that laying eyes upon them may be what causes one to vanish.

At night we draw our windows and don masks, hoping no voices will call out. We pray no one bangs on our door. Most of all, we never help. One night it was a woman’s voice who cried out, and the next day I discovered a dear friend had gone missing.

The winds lasted only a week, and then The Visitors would depart. It was day five, and someone had found themselves at the mercy of The Visitors every night. Why did they look? Why would they open their doors? No one had any answers; we only prayed for their souls.

On the evening of the sixth visiting day, I awoke to the most peculiar sound. Papers drifted along my floor, being moved by a breeze. My window was open. I froze. Would I be safe if I laid in bed and acted as though nothing was wrong? Could I close the window with my mask on?

My heart pounded furiously as I pulled back the covers and shuffled my feet along the floor, making my way toward the window. My mask was firmly in place as I pushed away the curtains and felt for the window frame. The cold October air kissed my chest as I tugged on the window to pull it down. It didn’t budge.

Then came a knock. Not one fueled by fear but a calm and steady knock that echoed through my soul. Did I dare speak out? I could. I squeezed my eyes tighter and dove for the bed. The window didn’t matter. I wouldn’t lose my life to curiosity.

I pulled the covers over my head and prayed the morning sun would come swiftly. Everyone knew The Visitors only arrived in the evening. But I couldn’t ignore the scraping on the window sill and the shuffle of feet moving across the wood of my floor.

A presence lurked closer to the bed and stopped hovering above me. I didn’t breathe for fear of inviting them closer. I squeezed my eyes shut as tightly as possible to avoid seeing what fate awaited me. I hoped blindness would be my safety.

“Mommy?” a voice whispered. My daughter’s voice. Sophia.

A wave of relief crashed over me. I needed to get Sophia to safety. She couldn’t be awake, not with my window exposed in the way it was. I sat up and stretched out my hand to take hers. I opened my eyes to the horrific realization my daughter had moved across the country with her father over five months ago. The creature staring back at me wasn’t my daughter.

The face was too angular to be human. Its yellow eyes felt hypnotic as they stared back into my own. I dared not move as its taloned three-fingered hands reached for my face. Our minds synched. I saw what they saw and lived what they lived. The only way to spare my life was to pass the burden to another.

I fled the house and screamed for hours. I pounded on every door begging for help. When the sun rose, I became them.

They call us The Visitors, and we come only once a year. We used to be you, but soon you will become us. No one is safe.

About the story

I wrote this story based off another story I wrote based upon a writing prompt. The premise being you can't look outside at night. I believe the best creepy stories are those where you don't know what the bad thing is for as long as possible. It keeps you on the edge of your toes. I wanted to write something with that creep factor that people could relate to. The feeling of not knowing.

Connect with Christina

Tales & Wails is a short story competition is a chilling combination of spine-tingling stories and visuals co-hosted by the Slush Pile Monster Writing Group and Fantasticarium.

All lovers of the macabre, gothic, and spooky stories are encouraged to participate. Whether you’re a writer, ghost hunter, or just want to get into the Halloween spirit, join us!

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