Sunday, November 18, 2012

Did Dave Defend His Title?

My friends Eric and Liz hosted their Third Annual Scary Story Contest on Friday night, and I know all of you are wondering: Did Dave defend his title? Was he able to top last year's brilliant story?

For a synopsis of the event itself, head over to Sentence of Dave.

But if you just want the answer to the question, then here it is: Fuck yeah!

The competition was stiff, but I won Best Story and took home the big money, and I even grabbed a few votes for Scariest Story, despite the fact that I don't have a scary bone in my body. 

Here is my Award Winning Scary Story for 2012. Enjoy.  Right after my story, is my eight year old son Alex's story . . . he wanted to enter and dictated this to me moments before we left the house. The babysitter probably thought we were insane. His story is rather similar to mine, which might say something about my depth and sophistication as a writer.

          DOXY 517        

Stanley Wetherbaum, divorcée and father of two, emerged from the door of his Craftsman-style ranch. He stood on the gabled front porch for a moment, breathing in the crisp fall air, and then hopped down his front steps. His face and clothes were covered with blood, and he held a small curved bone in his right hand.

Mary Chen made a similar exit from her green Cape Cod across the street. Her white blouse and brown slacks were spattered with gore. One pant leg was torn at the hip, Stanley noted, revealing a sturdy but not so unattractive slice of haunch.

Stanley waved his daughter’s rib bone at Mary. He shouted, “I killed Iris. Ripped out her jugular and ate her heart and liver.”

Mary shrugged her shoulders. “DOXY 517, I guess.”

They walked across their lawns and met in the road.

“I killed Timothy,” Mary said.

“You did? How did you catch him?” Timothy ran cross-country for the high school. He made varsity as a freshman.

“I didn’t have to. He was playing his DX. I always told him: ‘when you’re playing that thing, the whole house could be burning down.’ I hit him in the head with the pointy end of my iron. Then I ate his brains.” Mary suppressed a giggle.

Stanley looked up and down his street. It was empty. A quiet Sunday morning, for the most part. Sparrows chirping. An occasional siren or scream, but in the distance.

         Mary said, “Should we turn ourselves in?”

         “Haven’t you been watching the news? The police are a wreck. They were on the front line, with no information. It’s only some of the military that were able to get inoculated. Ironic, right?”

         “Bio-weapons . . .” Mary shook her head. “Nuclear wasn’t enough?”

         Stanley turned and looked at his house. The cedar shake siding needed a paint job.

         “I think Anna’s hiding in the attic,” he said.

         “Do you want to eat her?”

         “Not right now, but I ate her rabbit. I’m sure I’ll want to eat her later. Children and animals, that’s what they said.”

         “I tried to catch the cat, but I fell down the steps on the deck.” She laughed and pointed to the rip in her slacks. “Do you want to eat me?”

         Stanley thought for a moment. “No. I’m full, but even if I wasn’t, I still don’t think I’d want to eat you. I think I want to go inside and digest. Maybe lie down and take a nap. Listen for Anna.” Stanley scratched his blood spattered chin with Iris’s rib bone.  “Do you want to eat me? Do I look tempting?”

         “No,” Mary said. “Not right now, but I wouldn’t trust that.”

         “DOXY 517,” they sighed in unison.

         “It’s not our fault,” Stanley said. He took a look at that sliver of exposed leg. Smooth olive skin. He decided to take a chance. Normally, a stocky, small-breasted Asian widow wouldn’t be his type, but things were different now. He took a deep breath, and then went for it.

“Later,” he said, “after we digest, do you want to hunt down that chubby Greek kid from up the street . . . the Fondakakis kid? Do you want to hunt him down, kill him, eat his brains, and then have sex over his dead body?”

Mary thought for a moment, and then said, “Yes. Yes I would. I would like that.”

“We might as well enjoy it. Like drones weren’t enough. They always have to have something new. Even if they sort it all out, they’ll never be able to press charges.”

“You’re right, “Mary said. “We might as well enjoy it. I don’t feel like a ‘rabid zombie.’”

“Katie Couric didn’t know what she was talking about.”

“I’m sure she was able to get inoculated,” Mary said.

“I don’t feel anything like a zombie. If anything, I feel more alive. Hyper-alive. And I don’t feel a bit of guilt. You know what? In the sixties they had their free love, and in the seventies they had cocaine and disco, and-- what did they have in the eighties?”

“More drugs?” Mary was having a hard time following this.

“Right, more drugs and synthesizers and punk rock. And what did we get? What did our generation get? Nothing. A bad economy. This is our thing. This is our Woodstock.”

“We did get the short end of the stick.”

“If I find my daughter, I’m going to rip her eyes out and swallow them whole.”

“I don’t feel guilty either,” Mary mused.

“I used to feel guilty if I used a single plastic grocery bag. This is liberating. I was so sick of driving Iris and Anna to dance practice.”

“It’s nice when they get to high school,” Mary said. “They can take care of themselves. Go to their own activities.” Mary trailed off, thinking about all the children and all the activities they would no longer be participating in.

Stanley said, “You look exhausted. Go get some sleep and digest. We’ll meet in a few hours.”

                                                   *           *            *

Anna lay still in the attic. She had wedged herself between the joists so she could see through a slit in the vent. She could see her father and Mrs. Chen talking in the street. Not talking, really. Grunting and chittering. She couldn’t understand a word of it. They were covered in blood, and they both kept making jerky, sudden movements, like marionettes. That was one of the effects of the viral prions. Degradation of motor skills. The insulation made her legs itch, but that was the least of her worries. She was prey. Animals and children, that’s what they wanted. She didn’t think anything could have been worse than her parents’ divorce, but this was worse. This was all the parents. Total divorce. Was her mother doing the same thing, at this very moment? Mumbling gibberish and eating her step-brothers? Tears ran down her face and fell into the pink fiberglass. Iris was dead. Really dead. Anna had never felt so sad and alone.

Her dad started back for the house. She wasn’t going to think of him as her dad any longer, she decided. Even if he did remember how to get through the access panel and into the attic, he still wouldn’t be able to shimmy through the crawl space the way she could. He would either fall through the ceiling or get stuck. And the way he was spazzing around, there was no way he could climb up and in. She was safe, for the time being. But what could she do? Where could she go? All the kids were left alone now. Hunted. Until they were old enough to catch the virus, until their hormones tapered off . . . the man on the news said around drinking age. Twenty-one or twenty two. Maybe in ten years they would have a cure. How could she survive until then? How long did food in a can last?

She heard her father enter the house, knock around and moan a bit, and then it was silent, except for the TV. She could hear the voice of the newscaster, but not make out what he was actually saying. Her neck was tired from craning. She desperately wanted to get out of the house, but she knew she had to wait until dark. She closed her eyes and rested her head on her arm. She imagined an island, full of children, with fruit on the trees and fish in the water. A safe place.

                                                *               *                 *

         Several hours later, Stanley awoke from his nap. The TV was too loud, but he couldn’t find the remote. A bald man in an army uniform was recommending that all “infected” people stay in their homes and wait. “Just stay put and wait it out. Help is on the way,” the general said, and then looked to his left, off-camera.

         Stanley got up and wandered outside. The street was empty. It was late afternoon. He had slept for a long time. He thought about that piece of Mary’s leg, those ripped slacks, and decided that he would knock on her door. See if she was up for it. Hopefully, she wasn’t taking the guy on TV seriously.

         He knocked several times, but got no answer. He looked in the window, but all he could see were Timothy’s feet, protruding from the kitchen. The rest of his body was obscured. He didn’t want to just walk in, that would be presumptuous, so he went around the side, to the fence gate. He knocked on it, and then noticed that it was unlocked. He thought he heard something from her backyard. He pushed the fence gate open and went back.


         Mary was on all fours, her bloody face buried in the Fondakakis kid’s belly. Her pants were down, and the Fondakakis kid’s father was behind her, pumping away like a wild animal. In broad daylight, rutting like beasts.

         Mary heard her name over the grunting. She raised her head out of the boy’s viscera, wiped off her mouth and looked at Stanley. She could see how hurt he was.

“DOXY 517?” she said in a small voice.

“DOXY 517,” Stanley sadly agreed.

         Charlie Fondakakis stopped thrusting and also looked at Stanley. His shirt was unbuttoned to the navel. He was fat, hairy, and bloody. Stanley was appalled. He looked away. He wasn’t even jealous. He was disappointed . . . disappointed in her choice, but what could he do? She could have waited. This wasn’t civilized. He turned, shoulders hunched, and shuffled off. He felt sad and alone. He wanted to find his daughter and smash her head in. He wanted to bite a dog or a raccoon or a possum. He knew it was stupid, and he knew he would end up fat -- fat like Charlie Fondakakis -- but he was angry and lonely, and he wanted to feed.

         Charlie and Mary got back to it. Stanley listlessly walked through the gate, head down, gazing at his blood-covered sneakers. He didn’t see his daughter slip out of the house, into the coming dusk. Anna saw him, though . . . took one last look at what was once her father, listened one last time to his subhuman grunts and growls, and then she ran into the night, in search of bigger kids . . . kids who would know what to do. Maybe they had guns or sharp knives, or a place to hide out. Maybe someone knew how to drive. She resigned herself to the fact that the adults were gone, and she was on her own in a grim and ugly world.

Now here is my son Alex's story. Note the parallels, despite the fact that he did not know a thing about my story. Also, note his liberal use of ellipses . . . he considers ellipses to be an absolute must for a scary story, and told his younger brother: "Every scary story ends with DOT DOT DOT!"

                                                      Dead People

Once there was a hobo. People threw stuff at him because he smelled.  One time somebody threw a rock at his head and he fell over and went down a hill and into a stream and floated into the sewer. In there, somehow, he turned into a zombie, and then he went back to where he usually lived.

            At first, people were scared of him. Then, people started throwing stuff at him again. One of them got too close and . . .

            Then he met another zombie. His name was Dead-Eye. He could see everything in the whole world. They were planning to eat the king of the world. This was the year 2380. When he called a meeting of the United States of America, they came and ganged up on him, and ate him. Then the zombies ate everyone in the meeting. Soon they ate everybody in the world. Then they took a rocket-ship and floated to Mars, to see if there were any aliens to eat.

            But there was one person left on earth. The ship was headed back. Is that one person you . . . ?


T.J. said...

The formatting of this post is the scariest thing I've seen in a long time.

zman said...

So ... Jacksonville.

Dave said...

had some scary font problems. too hung over to solve them . . . feel free.

Mark said...

Don't do it, TJ. Leave that shitty formatting up as a tribute to Dave's lazy incompetence. As well as the apathy of the rest of us.

T.J. said...

oh, don't worry, I ain't touching shit...

zman said...

Barnwell will get 1000 words out of the last 2 minutes of the Cowboys game, including 250 on Jason Garrett's decision to forego the intentional safety.

zman said...

Delay of game?! Tuuuurible.

TR said...

If Garrett takes the safety, lead goes from 4 to 2 and a figgie beats you. Can't do that.

T.J. said...

The end of these 1 o'clock games is sweet...

Mark said...

Hey there, Bucs.

zman said...

I think punting to Cribbs from your one inch line will result in terrible field position. At least the safety gives your defense room to work.

rob said...

i'll never look at greek food the same way

mayhugh said...

I find the Steelers' uniforms to be very distracting. I can't even tell which guy on the offense has the ball, I'm that rattled.

zman said...

Their pants are very equestrian.

zman said...

In other news, the Eagles lost 6 in a row. They're -90 on the year. Only the Chiefs have scored fewer points. How is that possible?

rob said...

mason led new mexico by 5 in the pit with 10 seconds left. and lost.

rob said...

at dinner this evening, my father-in-law sneezed without covering his mouth. everyone at the table, including me - sitting at the opposite end - was sprayed with sputum. it was, as you might imagine, really fucking neat.

zman said...

Think of it this way -- at least you have 4 more days to recover until it happens again at Thanksgiving.

TR said...

How we feeling about this newest version of Express Yourself? Shazam says it's by something called Labrinth. Sounds good in the "I'd only crank it with the windows up in my car" kinda way.

TR said...

3rd and 13 and the Ravens call a wide receiver screen. That's some Sanchezian lack of faith in your QB.

rob said...

the traditionalist in me hates the maryland to the big 10 move. the realist in me thinks maryland's athletic department is far too fucked up to take meaningful advantage of the incremental revenue they'll take in. the surrealist in me is...oooo, spiders!

rob said...

uconn headed to the acc as soon as tomorrow. the big east, she is well and truly deadfucked. georgetown goes to the acc, st. johns, seton hall, villanova to an expanded atlantic 10. the rest scramble.

Danimal said...

in the last 30 days, i am batting. .250 in the friendly wager department. that would be great if we were talking about lottery tickets. i'm sure i can make up for it this wkd.