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|Fear Itself (standard:horror, 3400 words)|
|Author: A.M. Snead||Added: Sep 24 2002||Views/Reads: 2126/1341||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Six years after the brutal slaying of their best friend, two teenage boys watch the execution of the killer. But when it is over, one boy has reason to believe that some monsters cannot be killed.|
~ The threshold snagged Larry's feet and halted him so suddenly that Billy Hatherton collided with his back. The other boy grunted and righted himself, but said nothing and made no effort to push Larry through the doorway. He simply stood in a heavy silence, awaiting Larry's final decision, ready to follow suit. Sucking in a deep breath, Larry lurched forward awkwardly and almost gagged. The air inside the small room felt thick as tar, and reeked faintly of an unidentifiable stench that clogged the windpipes. Larry's legs trembled as he sought out a chair. Billy Hatherton dropped into an empty one beside him. Both boys' eyes were yanked to the front of the unnerving room. They could see their reflections in the large pane of glass behind which heavy darkness abode, and they looked like ghosts. Larry jerked in his seat when the light in the small, cubicle room beyond the glass flicked on. Their reflections vanished and both found themselves staring at a central object that appeared ominous in itself. A single thought came to both boys at the same moment: I don't want to be here. But Larry lacked the courage to cut and run, and Billy simply relied on his friend to make the decision for both of them. Sitting should to shoulder with his friend, Larry knew the other boy wouldn't argue if he suggested they blow this off. But he suggested nothing. Glancing quickly at his friend, though, he wondered if maybe he should; Billy Hatherton's face was an ashy pallor and the nervous working of his throat warned he wasn't feeling well at all. Larry was sure they both seemed genuinely ill to everyone else in the room. The storm outside exhumed an eerie howl and pummeled the high brick walls of the massive structure in a frenzied attack. Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil... Larry shivered. The scripture was meant for comfort, and it was one he and Billy and Charley had chanted repeatedly that dark night in the basement of the butcher shop, clinging to each other, eyes closed and shouting the verse aloud so they wouldn't have to hear the tortured screams of their best friend. Larry clenched his fists in his lap and closed his eyes, sucking in a deep breath. He didn't want to think about Franky now. Or Charley, who had been too terrified to face the monster of their childhood again- even under these circumstances. Larry just wanted this to be over. The dark night swelled, pulsated with fury. What would happen if the electricity went out? Would all this be postponed, or did they have backup generators to deal with just such emergencies? All Larry knew was that he couldn't do this again, could never summon the courage to come here a second time. This was it- period. "I feel sick." Billy's face was pasty and his voice thick, as if he might vomit at any moment. Nerves. Larry was feeling their effects as well. "Just hang on." He told his friend quietly, leaning Billy's way. "It'll be over soon." Billy was shaking opening and already his forehead glistened with sweat as he hugged himself fiercely. His pale skin and lanky frame gave him a ghostly aura. "Charley should be here too." Billy shuddered as if overcome by a sudden chill. "I know, man." Larry whispered. "But he was.." "Scared?" Larry leaned forward and sighed. "Yeah." His eyes refused to budge from the object behind the glass. It sat there silently, playing dead, waiting patiently for its next victim. Click here to read the rest of this story (367 more lines)
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