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A Chapter by Louis McKraker

A second later I realized that it was just an old woman. Tall as she was, dark as she was, she was still only human. She was as far as I could tell, at least.

My pulse slowed as she greeted me, Marnie and Drew.

She was, in fact, the owner of the store.

“Good evening, young Sirs and Madame,” she said, pushing away the long dark hair that was covering half of her face.

“Good evening,” the three of us responded simultaneously.

“Welcome,” she said, “to Chuck’s Tricks-and-Treats. I am Martha.”

A boy a few years older than us came in through a door behind the counter. He was carrying a stack of boxes.

“And this,” Martha continued, “is my son, Gareth.”

“Hey, guys,” Gareth greeted, just before he and the boxes disappeared down another aisle.

“So, who’s Chuck?” Marnie asked, sitting the jar of Monster Bait back on the shelf.

Drew put his back on the shelf, too. I held onto mine tightly though. I meant that it was going home with me this evening.

“Charles,” Martha explained, “was my late husband… He passed away three years ago. That was in the city, where we had a much larger shop.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Marnie sympathized.

“Thank you, darling,” Martha returned, turning and walking toward the counter.

The three of us followed behind her as she talked on.

“But,” she sighed, “everything happens for a reason. “If my Charles had not passed away, then Gareth and I would have never moved to this charming little town of yours… We both love it here.”

That was her thoughts, at least. I had a feeling if we had asked Gareth; he likely would have had a different opinion of Bridgewater than she knew.

No one likes our town. Even the adults hate it.

Kids hate it. Adult hate it.

Aside from the arcade (and now this place) there is nothing to do in Bridgewater.

You have to drive twenty minutes away just to get to the nearest Movie Theater or shopping mall. Even my father says the town is dying. Even though shops like Chuck’s happen to make it into our town limits.

It’s still dying.

He says that most of the population and business is all being moved to the city of Bridgeport. That’s the only place in Bridge County he says still advances. Since he is some kind of economist, which tends to study money and gains and losses, I tend to listen to him.

Martha and Gareth obviously do not.

“I want to buy this,” I said, putting the small jar of Monster Bait on the counter.

“Are you sure?” Martha asked. “It’s neat, but the label says it really works. Are you sure you want to risk it?”

“I’m not afraid of monsters,” I assured her.

She smiled, as if she was thinking back a few minutes. Thinking about how she had just frightened me herself.

 

I returned home less than an hour before sundown.

My parents and my older brother Scott were at the dinner table, digging into Mom’s wonderful spaghetti.

I walked in holding the jar I had purchased at the magic store.

Scott is three years older than me. After he received his Learner’s License a couple of months before, he had become a complete monster himself. He wanted the freedom that would come with his own vehicle so badly he could taste it; and it made him more aggressive.

“Well, look what the neighbors’ cat dragged in!” Dad exclaimed.

“And just where have you been, young man?” Mom asked, looking up from her dinner plate.

“I was with Drew and Marnie,” I answered, taking a seat at the only empty plate on the table. Obviously that one was intended for me.

“We were at the new store in town,” I continued enthusiastically. “It’s the coolest thing since soda pop.”

“They let you freaks in?” Scott asked condescendingly. “I thought they didn’t allow animals in stores anymore.”

“Shut up, jerk,” I snapped. “I wasn’t speaking to you.”

“What’s that you’ve got there, Robbie?” Dad asked.

Probably found a brain, Scott muttered.

I sat the little jar on the dinner table.

“It’s this amazing new stuff I found in the magic shop!” I exclaimed. “It’s called Monster Bait.”

Dad picked the jar up and looked it over with a curious eye.

“Interesting,” Dad said, as he read the label. “Attracts Real Monsters… Guaranteed.”

He sat the jar back on the table.

“It attracted that little monster,” Scott teased. “It must work.”

“Whatever you do, DO NOT open it,” I warned.

“Sweetie, there is no way something like that could really work,” Mom assured me. “You’re twelve years old now. And that’s too old to still believe in nonsense like that… I think your obsession with horror movies has taken a toll on your senses.”

“I don’t mean like that,” I explained. “I mean it stinks. It really, really stinks something awful… Like the time that Lucky got in our van and�"”

Mom interrupted me there, reminding me that the dinner table was no place to talk about Monster Bait, or the cat that soiled our van’s interior.

“Monster Bait,” Scott scoffed under his breath. “How stupid can you get?”

“I can only get as stupid as you,” I returned in a lowered voice.

“Boys!” Mom snapped. “Cut it out now, and eat your dinner.”

 

After dinner, Mom cleared the table, and then we all gathered in the living room for a movie. Scott left the room soon after the titles came up.

I can’t really say anything about that, though. I think our parents have a corny sense of humor, too. They always watch the dumbest movies. They find the lamest things funny.

Like I said before, I prefer creepy movies. Neither of my parents have the stomach for such horrible things, so we disagree on what to watch all the time.

I left the room not long after Scott.

I grabbed the little jar from the dinner table and headed upstairs to my bedroom room.

As I passed the door to my brother’s bedroom, which he kept closed, I stuck my tongue out at him in anger. I know, it’s really immature of me, especially at my age; but if you only knew Scott as well as I do, I’m sure you’d agree that the creep deserved it.

I continued passed Scott’s closed door, looking down the hallway to my own bedroom door.

I held the little jar in front of my face as I walked. I was still intrigued by the concept of such a thing. And if such a thing did work, I thought to myself, what havoc it would bring for kids like me in the watches of the night.

What if Monster Bait really worked?

I mean really worked?!

Can you imagine the horrors? I thought.

Horrors that would not stop with easily frightened kids like me. Horrors that would pick us off, one by one. Me. Drew. Marnie. Mom. Dad. Scott, even.

Scott most of all.

As I neared my bedroom door, I felt a chill go down my neck, then my spine.

I felt a cold, clammy hand grab me by the shoulder.

The hand gripped me tightly and spun me around.

The jar flew out of my hand and slid across the landing.

Then I was face to face with some unspeakable horror!

Something hideous!

Something evil!

Something from beyond any place we know came at me. The very thing that Monster Bait was said to attract was standing right in front of me!

Attacking me!



© 2020 Louis McKraker


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Love this already......
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Added on June 22, 2020
Last Updated on June 22, 2020


Author

Louis McKraker
Louis McKraker

NC



About
My name is Louis McKraker. I was born in Central Alabama and began writing at age nine. I don't have much to say about myself, except I'm a Piscean. I prefer poetry over prose. I love storytelling... more..

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A Chapter by Louis McKraker


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A Chapter by Louis McKraker


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A Chapter by Louis McKraker