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Hallowed Ground

Tagged as: halloween, trick or treat, candy, psychedelia, mushrooms, 1up.

Written by Ganzicus on September 15, 2011
Very short Halloween-themed story. Any constructive criticism is welcome, but keep in mind that it is meant to be very short :)

A cool breeze swept through the street, breaking the silence of the night with the gentle rustling of leaves. Some were dislodged from the tidy row of birches lining the road, decorating the asphalt with their golden sheens. The sky was clear, and a full moon bathed the street in a faint blue light. All was still – save for the two children stalking between the trees.

"Got everything ready?" Ewen whispered. He wore the black robes of Death, complete with a mock scythe slung across his back. A simple hood covered a mop of dirty blonde hair, while a grinning skull-mask obscured the green eyes rapidly darting about.

The girl rolled her eyes, not noticing that the gesture was hidden by the green-painted box she wore over her jet-black hair. "Please," Ellen said, "you know I'm always prepared." She shook the green-painted box encasing her left arm, a dull rattle confirming her words.

Ewen grinned, not noticing that his expression was also not visible. "Let's do it," he said. "Just try to be quietÂ…" He gave her costume a furtive glance. The blocky cardboard boxes didn't make much noise, but in such a quiet place…

Ellen sighed. "I know, I know, a Creeper costume isn't very good for sneaking around." She shook her arm again. "But it's a great place to hide the candy and the – you know…" She shook the other arm, causing a pair of mushroom-shaped gummies to fall into her open palm. Behind the box-helm, she grinned, and passed one to Ewen. They continued moving along, chewing on the gummies as they went. Ellen took note of the strawberry flavouring, detecting an unpleasant bitterness beneath the candy's sweetness.

Suddenly, Ewen froze. Ellen halted mid-step and glanced around, noticing nothing out of the ordinary besides a headstone beside the road, directly in front of Ewen.

"Di-did you see that?" Ewen stammered.

Ellen squinted briefly. It seemed like a typical headstone, albeit rather out of place.

Suddenly, a wave of light erupted from the headstone. It was a ghastly red with threads of white, a rapidly-expanding globe that briefly illuminated the entire street before fading into nothingness. The children stared in shock, paralyzed by fear. A long moment passed before Ellen dared to lower her foot from its midair perch. Her voice dropped to a whisper. "What… what just happened?"

Before Ewen could respond, a hand erupted from the lawn with a sickening crack. It was a hand of pale yellow bone, with not a shred of flesh adorning it. He would have screamed, but felt paralyzed by the sense of horrified fascination. Beside him, Ellen had tensed, preparing to grab Ewen and run. The hand emerged further, revealing an entire arm that bent at impossible angles as the hand searched around, finally obtaining a handhold on the ground. It pushed itself upwards, revealing a human skeleton that had long been stripped of all flesh.

As the skeleton clambered to its feet, others followed. A veritable horde of the walking dead began to emerge from the lawn, some of the corpses still covered in decaying flesh. The skeletons and zombies began shambling in all directions, ignoring the two wide-eyed children in their midst and leaving behind piles of torn grass and upturned soil.

The headstone began to glow with an unearthly blue light. Wisps of pale blue smoke flew from its stone surface, resolving into vaguely humanoid shapes before fading into invisibility. The shades were given voice, and a simultaneously warm and eerie laughter filled the night sky. And as the ghosts departed to enjoy their newfound freedom, a cold wind rushed in, chilling Ewen to his bones. The herald of doom approached the children from the mansion ahead, the headless horseman himself astride a horse from hell. Its flesh was black as pitch, and its manes of living fire cast a ghastly light upon the horseman's black armour. The horseman himself held the reins of two more beasts striding at his side, the jack-o-lantern atop his shoulders carved with an obnoxious grin.

"COME, MY SAVIORS!" the horseman called. "LET US RIDE TO WHEREVER THE WINDS OF FORTUNE MAY TAKE US! JOIN ME IN THE IMMORTALITY OF THE ETERNAL HUNT!"

Eyes awash with glee, the children ran. They leapt atop their respective steeds, snatching the offered reins with an uncharacteristic eagerness. The horseman's steed reared, exhaling a column of flame straight into the air before charging down the street. The children sent their own mounts into a full gallop, forgetting their past lives as they followed through the horde of risen dead in the wake of the headless horseman.

Ellen's eyes slowly slid open. Her temples ached. She felt as if she should close her eyes and sleep. Her vision was blurry enough that she could only see vague silhouettes moving around in a white space. She felt nauseous.

"Will she be okay?" a woman's voice spoke. She recognized that voice. It was her mother. "She'll probably be unconscious for a few hours," another voice explained. It was male, one she did not recognize. "We'll be monitoring her vitals just in case, but I'm very confident that she'll make a full recovery." There was a sigh of relief. A hand gently patted her wrist. Ellen closed her eyes as the male spoke again. "Just be more careful next time. It's not normally toxic, but psilo–"

Sleep overcame her.

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Ganzicus

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September 15, 2011
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Comments

 
Thu Sep 15, 2011 08:04 AM +

Were they fucked up on shrooms? Is that what the gummies were for?

 
 
Thu Sep 15, 2011 06:49 PM [Edited once ] +

 
 
Thu Sep 15, 2011 06:49 PM [Edited 2 times ] +

What, my post disappeared.

Pirkid said: Were the "A"s intentional? They kinda ruined the setting..otherwise that was good.

 
 
Fri Sep 16, 2011 01:07 AM +

Pirkid said: What, my post disappeared.

Pirkid said: Were the "A"s intentional? They kinda ruined the setting..otherwise that was good.



I think it's a blog-post translation error. I've seen it on different sites where something is posted. Don't know what causes it.

On topic: This gives me a good incentive to not celebrate Halloween.

 
 
Fri Sep 16, 2011 02:12 AM +

MasterCheeze said: Were they fucked up on shrooms? Is that what the gummies were for?

The portrayal of psilocybin in this story is not meant to reflect its actual effects.

Pirkid said: Were the "A"s intentional? They kinda ruined the setting..otherwise that was good.

Not intentional, it seems to happen when I copy-paste from Word to VuTales. Either way, fixed :)

 

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