But see, Heather said that horror was simply thinking of the thing which terrifies you most and writing a story about it. That sounded simple enough. Except, I couldn't think of anything which scared me. Really. I'm not a tough girl. Just laid back. Y'all already know that clowns don't scare me. Heh.
But then I started reading a book someone loaned me. I got to page four and had to stop. nearly threw the book across the room. I won't tell you the subject matter. Instead, I'll let you guess. Suffice it to say, I found what scared me. I'll also let you guess how much, based on whether or not my short story gives you the creeps, 'k?
Oh. There's an assignment for you at the end. I'll tell you what this month's genre is, and you can help me figure out how to turn the setting and people into that genre. Gah.
Fliers fluttered across the patterned brick pavement, the kiosk in the middle of town square was battered, lopsided. A bat lay twenty yards off. The clock, once mounted above the small structure, lay shattered nearby, the time stopped at 5:41.
Across the square lay the remains of a small dog, possibly a Jack Russell, swollen and covered in welts. Beside it, a swim suit-clad boy of about six, head-to-toe boils and puffy. In heaps next to the two were millions of tiny bodies, spent once they’d found their targets and destroyed their prey. Littered around the square were other children, surrounded by melted ice cream cones, strewn cotton candy, buttered popcorn, sticky soda.
Listening closely it would be possible to hear screams in the distance. And a faint buzzing, or humming, angry and wild.
Here in the silent square, however, movement. Two men, clad in hazmat suits and orange sneakers, emerged from an alley, carrying medical bags. From one still form to another they moved. Never opening their bags. Checking pulses, closing glazed eyes.
Finally a medical bag was opened, a biohazard pouch removed, along with an envelope and a pair of large tweezers. Carefully, fearfully it seemed, the tweezers pinched a tiny body and dropped it in the envelope, peeled off the flap’s tape backing and sealed the envelope before dropping it into the pouch.
Circling the square a final time, the men moved back toward the alley. They paused. Turned. From a mound of tiny bodies rose a deep humming. The mound shimmered, moved en mass, rose toward the men in the orange sneakers. As one the killer bees swarmed on the hazmat suits, seeking a way in to the soft flesh. Latching on, crawling to the wrists, neck, waist and ankles.
Screaming, running, beating themselves. The men disappeared into the alley. All would soon be quiet again.
So. Help me figure out how to get the kids, the bees, the men in hazmat suits, the town square and that Jack Russell all into a romance story, will ya? I wonder if this is cheating?
Until I write again ...