Wednesday, September 19, 2018

An Excerpt of 80s Horror, Monster Style Short Story 'Creature of the Pumpkin Patch' from Welcome to Devil's Hill


Here is An Excerpt of my short story "Creature of the Pumpkin Patch" from the horror anthology Tales From Devil's Hill: Welcome to Devil's Hill [book one]
By E. Reyes

The night was dark and gloomy. The clouds had moved in, kicking up the wind and threatening rain at any minute. Haven’t been seen since July, lightning was flashing like trigger-happy paparazzi.

Eric and Jake were setting the snacks and non-alcoholic drinks like soda and energy drinks on the table. Lyza and Tina were bringing the good stuff.

“This Halloween season is probably the best, dude. I mean, when have you seen lightning during October other than horror flicks, right?” Jake exclaimed as he set down a bowl of nacho cheese tortilla chips.

“Dude, definitely. Plus it hasn’t rained since, like, July. I really dig this horror vibe; it’s gonna go great with the movie tonight,” said Eric, placing the sour cream and onion dip on the coffee table.

The doorbell rang.

Jake opened the door, and standing in front of him was Lyza and Tina. Lyza looked amazing, but his eyes were going crazy for Tina. She was wearing a gray Devil’s Hill High hoodie—zipped low enough to reveal her cleavage. She had on black leggings, black Converse, and her black hair was in a messy bun.

“Hey! Come on in!” Jake practically screamed. His excitement was that of a child. He hugged the girls—staying a little longer on Tina—sniffing and enjoying her fruity body spray—and asked, “So, uh, where’s the booze?”

Tina and Lyza gave each other cautionary frowns, and then Derek Hickman and his obnoxious companion, Betty Whitmore, came shoving past the girls with bags full of alcoholic beverages.

“Aw, yeah! Let the drinking begin, dudes!” Derek hollered in Jake’s face.
Jake rolled his eyes and said, “Say it don’t spray it, pal.”

Betty frowned and said, “Like, oh my God, you guys. I started a diet, like, last week? And here you guys are, like, basically shoving chips and dip in my freaking face.”

“Well, hello to you too, Betty. Good to see you,” said Jake.

Jake turned and looked at Eric. Eric gave him a look like why the hell are they here? Jake shrugged his shoulders and mouthed I don’t know.

Betty was friends with Tina and Lyza. How the girls put up with the snobby and rude girl? No one knew. They had all been friends since kindergarten, so that’s just the way it stayed.

Derek, a lineman for the Devil’s Hill High football Varsity team, was the typical loudmouth-slash-party-animal-jock who had the mental capacity of a can of Mountain Dew.

Eric looked over to Lyza, and in an instant, he felt butterflies swarming inside of his belly. The little critters were flapping and flying, making him a little nauseous. He felt his knees buckling.

Sheesh, Eric. Get it together, he thought.
Lyza was stunning. Her light-caramel colored hair laid flat over her shoulders. Her hazel eyes were staring directly at Eric. She was wearing something black—Eric did not care—he was too focused on the beauty that her face was.

Jake shut the door and let everyone around the living room. Lyza walked past the small crowd and went over to Eric.

“Hey! How are you?” Lyza said as she embraced Eric.

Eric gave her a hug, smelling the gorgeous perfume she had applied (something from Victoria Secret), and said, “Better now!” He laughed nervously and thought, Oh my Lord, that was lame.

Lyza whispered in Eric's ear. “I'm sorry. They invited themselves.”

Eric rolled his eyes, smiled and whispered, “It’s okay.”

Tina picked up a plastic cup, filled half of it with energy drink and the other half with vodka. She took a sip. “Ah, so good. It looks crazy outside, guys. The wind and rain—plus the lightning? Talk about creepy. I was nervous driving over here.”

“Like, I know, Tina. You almost, like, killed us. You were driving like freaking Vin Diesel or something,” said Betty as she sipped on a Diet Coke with rum.

Derek laughed exposing a mouth full of chewed up chips and sour cream. He opened a beer and chugged it. After he crushed the can and tossed it at Jake he said, “Dude, I’m going outside. Anybody want a cig?”

Everyone declined.

“Fine. More for me. Oh, wait! I need to drain the third leg. Where’s your bathroom, Jake the Snake?”

“Down the hallway, first door to the right. Please aim inside the toilet bowl,” said Jake.

“I’ll spell your name on the seat!” Derek laughed to the bathroom.

“Like, ew,” said Betty as she sipped her drink.

While the friends were having a conversation, something was going on outside. They were all standing with their backs facing the backdoor window, so they did  not see what was happening.

As lightning flashed and thunder cracked, and the rain and the wind filled the air, the eyes, nose, and the mouth of the jack-o’-lantern suddenly lit up a dark green. What Eric thought were just vines or roots resembling claw-like arthritic hands and fingers were now opening and closing, twisting and turning around the mud as they slowly arose. The pumpkin began rising slowly above the ground. The rain had finally loosened the dirt surrounding the monster by turning it into mud.

4

The friends, excluding Derek who was checking the medicine cabinet for narcotics, were listening to rock music as they sat down on the couches. Eric and Lyza were on the left side—close together, while Jake and Tina were making out passionately on the left side. Betty was sitting in the recliner, drinking her Coke, and checking her Instagram feed.

Pocketing six Vicodin pills and three OxyContin, Derek flushed the toilet and walked out. “Alright. I’m going out—Whoa! Get a room!” Derek laughed.
Jake tossed a couch pillow at him while still mouth-to-mouth with Tina. Derek caught the pillow and threw it in Eric's face. Eric shook his head and placed the pillow on his lap.

“Yeah—cover that boner, Eric,” said Derek as he picked up a can of beer. He looked over to Betty. “You good, babe?” He walked over and gave her a kiss. He pulled out two Vicodin pills and whispered, “Here. Found these.”

 Betty smiled and dropped the tabs in the mouth of her drink.

Derek stood up and said, “I’m gonna go have a smoke, babe.”

“Like, hurry up,” she said, and then she mouthed, So boring!

Derek laughed, “Okay, babe. Be right back.”

As Derek approached the door to the backyard, lightning flashed and rain splattered against the windows in the kitchen. Obscured to his point of view (he was dropping two pills inside of his beer) the pumpkin monster had just finished rising from the mud.

The dark green glow emitting from the jack-o’-lantern was the only light provided outside other than the spontaneous lightning. The monster stood at about seven-feet tall while hunched. It was as if the pumpkin head weighed too much to be supported by the lanky body which consisted of a mass of roots and vines. Mud clung all over the body, some of it was dripping. The hands of the creature were huge. The fingers, like the body, were also root-like but appeared to be sharp and dangerous. The feet were similar to its hands but much larger.

Derek opened the backdoor and brought out his pack of cigarettes. He tried to look up at his surroundings but the wind and rain were coming down too hard.

I can’t smoke out here, he thought as he placed his cigarettes inside the front pocket of his Letterman jacket.
Derek turned around and placed his hand on the doorknob to head back inside, but before Derek could open the door he saw something in the window above it. It was a jack-o’-lantern that was glowing dark green. Derek turned around and let out a deafening scream; at the same time, thunder cracked the night sky.


Read the full story on on paperback or ebook! And if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can read it for free! Welcome to Devil's Hill includes 16 short horror stories including "Creature of the Pumpkin Patch"


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