Lizzie Koch’s Picture Choice:
Title: The Night Horror Came To Play
It wasn’t much of a grand opening. But then it wasn’t much of a town. And that’s what attracted Lucille. Sleepy town news tended not to travel. She set about decorating her shop, ready for Halloween, and waited.
With the offer of free hot chocolate, Lucille didn’t have to wait long. Bustling with life, it was just how Lucille had imagined it until she saw a familiar face in the crowd. He smiled as he approached, flashing his badge.
“And how many masks have you sold this time?” Detective Steve Carson asked, taking one from the hands of one young boy who was about to protest until he saw the gun tucked under his jacket.
“Not as many as I’d like,” Lucille snapped. “It’s not against the law!”
“No, but murder is!” He said it loud enough for the shop to become still. “If I were you, ladies and gentlemen, I would put the masks back and go back to your homes.” Steve looked at the bewildered faces, motionless, masks in hands. “If you don’t want to die a horrible death that is. These masks aren’t as innocent as they look.”
A snigger broke the silence. “Let me guess, you put the mask on and it takes you over,” a teenager said.
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. These masks are made from skin. Now I wonder where she gets that from.”
The shop emptied as masks lay strewn across the floor. With a smug look, Steve began to leave, turning to Lucille: “Wherever you are, I will be there, stopping you, getting the proof I need to lock you away forever.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about and you’re ruining my business.”
Steve smiled, shrugging. “Just doing my job.” He opened the door, letting the cold night air in. His shrug turned to a shiver. “Think I’ll take one of these to go.” He picked up a hot chocolate, inhaling the sweet aroma before sipping the thick, creamy goodness, letting the door close behind him.
It was a busy dawn. The streets were deserted apart from Lucille in her truck. She looked at her watch before making the final call of the night. The motel was also deserted; another reason for liking small towns. She looked at the register before making her way to one of the chalets.
The door creaked as Lucille gently pushed it open. Darkness met her. Once her eyes adjusted, she saw the unmistakable heap on the bed, and the empty hot chocolate cup sitting on the side.
Breaking a smile, Lucille couldn’t resist turning on the light, to see her handy work, to see what she had created. Yes, Steve had been right, of sorts. The masks were her creation, her way at keeping costs down. Her way at making realistic masks for Halloween.
She looked at Steve’s empty eyes staring back from a grotesque face, contorted in pain as life seeped out of him leaving a shell, suitable for a mask. Yes, Steve was right about the mask; a face once human now nothing more than leathery skin and all because of her special brew, given away free. The masks were her best sellers. And she loved seeing small towns wear them for Halloween. A sigh escaped her lips. She would miss Steve chasing her across country. Maybe she wouldn’t sell his mask but keep it for herself. She bundled him in the back of her truck along with the others, a faint smell of hot chocolate still lingering on the victims.
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I dream of sharing my work with the big wide world one day as a published author. Right now, I share flash fiction with a wonderful community of writers and friends. If you liked this story, then why not visit my blog at http://40somethingundomesticateddevil.blogspot.co.uk/ for more. Thank you. Love Lizzie x