We’ve reached the last Monday before Halloween! In just a few days, the ghosts and ghouls will be free to walk among us, wreaking havoc upon the living, the dead to rise from their graves and feast upon our flesh, and the vampires to open their coffins and come for our blood…okay, maybe I’m getting carried away here. Hopefully we won’t really get attacked by the undead. But it does mean that it’s finally time for me to publish the final chapter of my free Halloween horror story, “Movie Night.” If you’ve missed the first few chapters, you can find One here, Two here, and Three here.
So, now, for your reading pleasure, I present to you the final chapter of, “Movie Night.”
Movie Night: Chapter Four
by David Anthony
(image courtesy of Simon Howden at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Jill stood motionless in the darkened living room, peeking out through the vertical blinds. She wished she knew what was going on over there. She could barely even see the house through all of this rain. There were no street lights out here in the country, making the night impossibly dark. The lights were off over at Tina’s house, that much she was sure of, and she thought she’d heard something bang over there—a door, maybe? The roar of thunder? Or it could have been a gunshot.
Jill glanced down at her watch for the thousandth time. He’d been gone too long; something must have happened. Her cell phone was clutched tightly in her right hand. She chewed on her lower lip as she stared down at it, considering her options. She knew she should call the cops. She felt like such a horror movie cliché for not calling them. She was becoming that stupid girl who always got hacked up by some psychopath, because she didn’t do the smart thing and just call the cops!
But what if she was wrong? What if she was just being paranoid? Maybe they were playing a Halloween prank on her. It was hardly unlikely, on a night like this. Her dad was always on her to not be so emotional, to use her brain and think before she did something potentially dangerous or embarrassing. Of course, calling the cops wouldn’t be dangerous (unless they sent out some psycho cop!), but she’d certainly look like a fool if Tina and Michael showed up in a couple of minutes, alive and unharmed. No, it was best to just wait. They’d probably be back any second now.
The TV screen suddenly flashed off. Jill jumped, dropping her cell phone. The time and lights on the satellite box also disappeared, leaving the room in silent darkness.
An icy wave of fear settled over her, raising goose bumps all over her body. She knelt down on the ground and began feeling around in the dark for her phone.
“Shit,” she muttered. “Where the hell are you?” Her hand hit something metallic, sending it skidding across the room. “Damn it!”
A shadow flashed by outside the window. Jill froze. Her heart began thundering in her chest. Could it have been Michael? She hoped it was him. She prayed it was him. Slowly, quietly, she stood and backed away from the window.
The doorknob rattled, and Jill gasped, putting a hand up to cover her mouth. She stood there silently, holding her breath, unable to move. Someone was out there…trying to get in. The knob rattled again, and the locked door shook in its frame. Then, as suddenly as it had begun, it stopped. She stood there motionless, silent, listening for movement. She crept closer to the door.
Was it Michael out there? If it was, why wasn’t he saying anything? What if something happened to him? What if he was hurt? Panic flared within her, pumping red-hot through her veins, as the dark questions continued to form in her mind. She had to know who was out there.
“Michael?” she called out softly.
Something slammed into the door! Jill screamed, jumping back a step! Whoever—whatever—it was, pulled back and slammed against the door again. They hit the door again and again, harder and harder, like the storm itself was finally demanding entry, coming to drown her with its fury. The wooden frame began to crack and splinter.
She looked around frantically. She had to get out of here. No, she had to find a weapon. Wait…the cell phone! Where the hell was the cell phone?
The door was about to give. She had to do something now! She had to hide! She turned and raced up the stairs, taking them two at a time, hoping she wouldn’t miss any in the dark. She reached the top and hurried into her parents’ darkened bedroom. The closet door stood wide open, inviting her in. She ducked inside, closing the door behind her, just as the sound of shattering wood exploded through the house.
Jill held her breath, trying to calm her nerves. She needed to stay perfectly still, as silent as the dead. But her body betrayed her, shaking violently with fear. Her heart pounded so loudly she was certain he would hear it. Carefully, quietly, she leaned forward, trying to see through the narrow slits in the door.
The shades were still up in the bedroom, and rain pelted against the windows, obscuring her view of the outside in a watery haze. Brief flashes of lightning illuminated the room, and she was able to make out the nebulous shapes of furniture in the gloom: a king-sized bed, an oak dresser, an end table. None of the shapes looked human. None of them moved…at least not yet.
She let out the breath she had been holding and tried to get hold of herself. She couldn’t play the part of the victim. She had to find a way to escape. She looked around the room. Maybe, if she could get to one of the windows, climb down and run to—
Coming up the stairs!
Jill stood back from the door as the intruder reached the landing at the top. Slowly and methodically, it continued on down the hallway, the nerve-grinding sound of its footsteps growing louder with each step. It turned the corner and entered the bedroom where she was hiding. Jill peered out through the slits of the closet. A tall, dark-clothed figure stood lurking in the doorway, dripping rainwater onto the hardwood floor. The thing’s face was a terrible, grinning red devil. It looked around the room, grinning mischievously as it searched for her, a sharp carving knife clutched in its right hand.
It turned and looked straight at her.
Jill slapped a hand over her mouth to stop the scream from escaping, and backed away from the door. She prayed it couldn’t hear the small, whimpering sound coming from her throat. It just stood there, staring at her, for what seemed like forever, never making a sound. She thought she would faint from the terror pounding through her veins.
Finally, it turned away.
Maybe it hadn’t seen her, she thought. The room was dark, the slits in the door narrow, hardly enough for a person to be seen through…or so she hoped. It leaned down to look under the bed and she saw her chance. Lightning crashed across the sky and she threw open the closet door and raced for the stairs.
But the devil-thing was much faster than she’d anticipated. Its hand shot out and caught her by the arm, swinging her backward, and throwing her down onto the bed. She screamed as it climbed on top of her, pinning her down with its weight. It pressed the razor-sharp edge of the blade to her throat.
A soft chuckling began to emanate from the thing’s grinning mouth. It reached a gloved hand up and pulled off the wet latex mask. “Sorry about all the theatrics,” Patrick said. “But I thought it would be appropriate, being Halloween and all. What do you think of the mask?” He held it up. “I thought it would be a bit more original than using any of the classic ones from the movies. This is, after all, my movie.”
Jill could hardly comprehend what was happening. Her body was trembling, her eyes clouding with tears. “Patrick, please,” she said. “Please, don’t do this…”
“Don’t you dare tell me what to do!” he screamed at her, his eyes flaring with anger. He pointed the knife down at her. “This is your fault! If you had just been a good girlfriend, done what you’re supposed to do…none of this would have happened.” He pointed the knife at the house next door. “And they’d still be alive.”
The blade was stained with blood.
“Oh, God!” she cried out. Tears streamed down her face.
“I know…terrible, isn’t it?” he said with mock-sincerity. “But don’t worry, you’ll get the chance to make it up to them. I’m going to give you one more chance to be a good girlfriend. And if you cooperate, I’ll make sure your death is quick and painless. If you’re not…it might take all night.” He put the blade back to her throat and sat up, taking some of his weight off her. He reached down and started unbuttoning her jeans.
Jill squeezed her eyes shut tightly and tried not to scream. Nobody could hear her, anyway. The neighbors were too far away, her boyfriend and best friend both dead, her parents miles away. It was like she really was in a horror movie…the kind that didn’t end well. She just hoped it would be over quickly.
Her thoughts turned to Michael. She regretted bringing him into all of this. If she hadn’t asked him to come over tonight, hadn’t allowed him to go over and check on Tina, had just done the smart thing in the first place and called the cops…he’d still be alive. She wondered if that was his blood on the knife.
Her eyes snapped open. Patrick was pulling her jeans down over her hips. The knife was no longer at her throat. “Hey, Patrick?”
“What?” he said, sounding annoyed. “I hope you’re not planning on becoming…uncooperative.”
“No. I was just wondering…is that the same knife you used to kill Michael?”
He looked up at her, smiling triumphantly. “Why, yes, it is—thank you for asking! I wish I could keep it as a trophy, but it will have to be disposed of…evidence and all. Michael got what he deserved. He should have known better than to try and steal from me.”
Jill felt a wry smile creep onto her lips. “Then you fucked up…he’s not dead.”
Patrick’s smug grin melted away. “What the hell are you talking about, you stupid bitch? And why are you smiling? Of course he’s dead. I stabbed the shit out of him.”
A pair of strong arms wrapped around Patrick, pulling him off her. The knife fell to the floor and Patrick was dragged out into the darkness of the hallway. She could hear his legs pounding frantically on the hard-wood floor as his screams echoed throughout the house. There were other sounds—savage, inhuman growls, the sickening crunch of breaking bones. There was a loud, sharp snap, and then all went silent.
Moments later, Michael walked back into the room. His clothes were dripping wet, tattered and bloody, but he appeared uninjured. Jill ran to him, wrapping her arms around him in an elated embrace. Tears rolled down her face.
“You have a thing for dangerous men, don’t you?” he said. “You okay?”
“Yes,” she said. “Just barely.” She pulled back and looked him in the eye. “I was so scared. You hear so many things. I wasn’t sure what was really true and what was, you know, movie stuff. So, a knife…”
“Can’t kill me. A stake to the heart, chop off my head, sunlight, plenty of other nasty stuff…but not a knife.” He gave her a sly smile, brandishing sharp, white fangs. “Patrick thought of himself as the killer in a slasher movie, but he ended up the victim in a vampire movie.”
After a few minutes, Jill’s body stopped trembling. She began to relax, the danger now passed. They moved to the bed and sat down.
“What about Tina?” she asked. “Is she okay?”
Michael grimaced. “She will be…but she’s seen her last sunrise.”
Her eyes widened with alarm. “You turned her?”
“I had to. She was almost dead when I regained consciousness. She’ll be fine, though. I’ll go over there and clean up before I leave, take her with me when I go. I’ll help her get acclimated to her new ‘undead’ lifestyle. What do you think? Will her parents buy it if I have her leave a note saying she ran away with some guy?”
Jill laughed. “Definitely. That sounds exactly like something she’d do.” She frowned. “What about Patrick?”
“Yeah, he’s going with me, too. I have some friends who can…dispose of him.”
She crinkled her face in disgust. “I don’t think I want to know how.”
“Trust me, you really don’t.” He grinned. “See…I told you we’re scary.”
She wrapped her arms around his neck, looking him in the eyes. “Well, you did save my life. I’d say that’s pretty romantic.”
“Yeah, I guess it is.” He leaned in and kissed her.
She pulled back and said, “You know, we do still have a few hours left before sunrise…and my parents aren’t coming back tonight.”
He arched an eyebrow. “You mean…”
She gave him a seductive smile and pulled him down on top of her onto the bed. She closed her eyes as they kissed. His face moved down and began kissing her neck. He paused, and she felt a brief moment of uncertain anticipation, and then she felt it—a sudden, sharp prick as two points penetrated the side of her neck.
And she knew that nothing would ever be the same again.
Well, that’s the end of the story! Hope you’ve enjoyed it! Feel free to comment and tell me what you thought, and don’t forget to head on over to my Works page to see what else I’ve written! Thanks for stopping by, and have a great Halloween!