Child’s Play – A Chilling Short Story

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A soft, content smile graced my lips as the smell of the fresh night time air flew through my nostrils and bathed my senses. A slight skip seeped into my step as I involuntarily, subconsciously, moved to the quiet music that sounded through the otherwise quiet air. Once my mind had caught up with my feet, I stopped in shocking fear. Music. In the woods. At night.  I attempted to calm myself, it’s probably just a bunch of drinking teenagers. I breathed in time with the counting in my head and started back to my garden fence that sat at the edge of the forest behind my house. However, my feet betrayed me and began creeping towards the soft melody. No. No! I shouted internally as I didn’t want to disturb anything in case it wasn’t just a bunch of drinking teenagers.

I furrowed my sparse eyebrows as my left foot trod on a flower crown made up of rhubarb leaves and black and pink roses. How did these people get a black rose? My question was answered when I picked up the crown and the small trickle of blood, that was caused when I pricked my thumb on one of the thorns, sank into the pink rose and turned a small portion of the petal black. I gasped in fear and hurriedly dropped the flower crown. Aren’t rhubarb leaves poisonous, anyway? My jumbled mind became just the slightest bit clearer, horrifyingly, as my teary brown eyes flitted up. Two people-no, creatures-were conducting some sort of dance outside of a circle crafted by what looked to be twigs and branches. Inside the circle was a small girl, probably about six or seven years old, whose wrists were being held by the creatures and she was twirling along with them. The one on the left wore a flower crown almost identical to the one I found on the floor, except all the roses on the crown were black. My hands trembled at the thought of someone’s blood being held within the petals of the once beautiful pink flower. The one on the right adorned a sleek grey robe which cut open at the front, exposing the decaying skin which clung to the rib cage.

No heart. These creatures don’t have hearts. I could tell this due to the fact that the skin around their rib cages was patchy, some places left open and bare, which allowed me to see into the confines of their chests. I involuntarily gagged at the sight. Suddenly, the scythe that was in the right creature’s hand slashed against the ginger girl’s throat, hitting the major artery. Streams of pure, smooth blood spurted from the wound and the creatures rushed to kneel under the stream, muttering words of a chant as they did so. As I was watching in disbelief, one of their heads snapped towards me unexpectedly.

“We have another one.”

-L.H.

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