You may have noticed the sudden appearance of many short horror-themed stories on the page. These are entries for Stephen Zacharus' Halloween fic contest, which can be found here if you want to enter: http://graffitiwall.tripod.com/halloweencontest.html
This, by the way, is my entry.
A Halloween contest entry by David Macintyre.
I don't remember what time it was when I arrived on the island. Just the color of the sky.
Light navy blue. Color of morning.
"Well, welcome to paradise." My breaths of excitement were quiet enough to hear his sarcastic, emphatic sniff.
"It's beautiful, man. I don't know why you hate living here so much."
"Gets lonely. You understand."
I looked around the altar in stunned awe, taking in the lush jungles and sun-drenched peaks of Angel Island. I felt a shudder of comfort across my body as the humidity broke a single bead of sweat from my cold, blue forehead and welcomed my wind burned cheeks.
Real warmth. I loved it already.
"I think I'm going to like it here."
Even though I could have, I didn't think about why I was on the island. About the pain and remorse that came after Shadow's death. About the aching in my bones and the knowledge that we ALL needed a vacation, and fast.
All I thought about was how sorry I would be to leave in a few weeks. I'd stay as long as I could, but Tails only agreed to bring the Tornado 3 up here once, and I'd have to get on. It's not easy to fly here, apparently.
Until then, I was free, alone on the island. Alone to bask in the sunlight and warmth, alone to relax in the crystal clean lagoons, alone to take all the relaxing jogs I wanted through the perfect green jungles.
With Knuckles, that is.
"What's that sound…"
Something had to come along to spoil it all, of course.
I opened my eyes, glancing around in search of the source of the sound. Nothing.
A protruding stone in the altar dug into my back, and I moved to the right. The ground and stones around me were bathed in the green glow of the Master Emerald. I could hear Knuckles snoring nearby.
Then I saw it.
Out in the jungle I saw a flurry of flickering white lights, mostly translucent once they came into full view. The area around them seemed to be expanding.
Then I heard more.
A sort of metal scraping sound, not very loud, but in the silence of the island I could hear quite clearly. As long as I kept my breathing to a minimum.
Which wasn't easy once the moaning started.
"What the hell?"
It was a kind of low, guttural noise. Long and loud, something I'd expect from a 17th century torture chamber.
What the fuck was out there?
Aliens or something?
Not wanting to think about it anymore, I closed my eyes tight and tried to go back to sleep.
It took me an hour.
By that time the lights were making their way down here.
"What are you worried about? So you heard a little noise. Big deal."
"I thought we were the only ones here. And this wasn't a little noise, Knuckles, it was a fucking ghost!"
"Come on, stop worrying. I feel 'em all the time."
"Sure. There's lots of them here, all the spirits from the old guardians. Not uncommon."
My eye twitched.
"I sense them because of all my interaction with the emerald. Spiritual value. Sends a chill up your spine, but nothing major."
"And I'm SEEING them why?"
He shrugs, returning to pulling at a loose looking tree.
"Just one of the lucky ones, I guess."
I spent the day with Knuckles, the unholy moaning and lights on my mind all afternoon.
That night I waited until he was asleep. Then I got up and walked into the jungle, armed with a hunting knife.
I'm not a knife fan, granted, but it'll do.
Stupid, stupid, stupid me.
This time I didn't wait for the lights to appear again, but I probably should have.
As I walked further into the jungle, the canopy blocked out more of the sky, darkening the pitch around me with every seemingly thundering step and loud, mechanical breath.
Goosebumps run up my back as I keep walking, knowing now that I couldn't find my way out of the jungle even if I wanted to. And I do.
But I keep walking, no other options left.
I keep walking, with no clue as to what I'll find.
Constantly I berate myself for letting myself do this. I shouldn't be disturbing the ghosts.
Hell. Maybe I'm just a tourist.
My thoughts are cut short as I nearly fall down a hill, failing to catch myself in time and landing headlong in a slippery mud patch on a hill. I roll down the hill.
I breathe heavily, sounds of the jungle surrounding me.
I don't even know what's in here.
Could be anything…
Predators… lots of them.
Crickets. Darkness. I keep thinking I hear footsteps every two seconds.
I don't allow myself to move. Even though I want to get up and run, run as fast as I can and keep running until I get out of this jungle.
Oh, stupid me.
I've got my eyes closed.
I open them.
A bright, ghostly light floats over me, seeming to stare down in curiosity.
I keep giving sharp, frightened breaths as it moves around.
Then it moves back.
What must be its arm beckons, assumingly for me to get up.
I do so, not in any mood to argue.
Then it begins walking.
I look around.
I'm in a clearing I don't recognize from yesterday, when Knuckles showed me around. The stars shine down, allowing meager vision.
I walk after the ghost, its arm beckoning again.
Then it walks over to a tree, waving its arms at a small lump on the ground.
I follow it, and look at what it seems to be trying to show me.
One that practically screams 'open me'.
I hesitate over it for a long moment, then slowly slide my hand over the buckle and lift the flap.
I find a flashlight.
I look up at the ghost, who is now pointing at the tree, or more specifically the shadows
It was now I noticed a small knapsack resting against the tree. I walked over and opened it. Inside I found a flashlight. Nothing else.
The ghost waves its hand at the tree.
Yeah, okay, point it at the tree. It's fucking dark out here anyhow.
I point it at the trunk of the tree.
There are two words carved into the side of the tree, looking like it was done in a hurry with a hatchet or similar hefty tool.
I tilt the beam further down the tree until I find something lying against it. The hairs on the back of my neck are still on end.
I am unable to take my eyes of the corpse of my deceased friend Shadow, complete with cuts and scars and rotting flesh.
This doesn't make any sense. He hasn't been dead that long.
The rat that crawls out of a hole in his stomach explains everything.
He's still wearing his grayish-blue jumpsuit, my only speculation as to why he's here being that he chaos controlled after his fall or something.
The only thing on my mind now are the two words carved into the tree.
This was set up. This was not an accident.
Shadow thinks it's my fault.
I let go.
Now he's dead.
Now the most horrifying moment of my life.
I drop the hunting knife when I see the corpse stir openly.
It gets up slowly, face burned and scarred. It scowls hard at me. A fucking zombie.
I scream my lungs out.
I drop the flashlight.
Into a tree.
The next thing I see as I turn around is the zombie form staggering towards me, clutching the knife.
I let out one long, hard scream, hopefully enough to alert Knuckles.
But to no avail.
The hand with the blade comes down on my forehead.
Knuckles found Sonic's body late the next afternoon, in a clearing that hadn't been there the day before. It appeared manmade.
The dead form of Shadow was sprawled across Sonic's, both laying against a large tree. The rotting form of Shadow was clutching the knife that protruded from Sonic's bleeding forehead.
Knuckles inspected Shadow's conspicuous-looking body. In the daylight he could see that the skin and fur appeared synthetic.
Tearing some off, Knuckles found the circuitry and metal he had half expected. At throwing the body behind him in saddened fury, he saw what appeared to be a shapeless, vaguely humanoid white hologram flicker into view, projected from a damaged camera in the false Shadow's chest.
Then it faded from view for good.