If you are only JUST entering Hallow’s Eve Asylum, please go to the introduction first. This is a story that should be read in order! Each story is under 1000 words. Please scroll to the bottom to learn more about today’s author and enter a giveaway! -Katy
Room #4 “Mr. Scarecrow” By Christina L. Rozelle
His yellow eyes glow beneath Pop’s old hat. My mind’s in the reds as I twirl the key between my fingers, because I know what those punks are about to do to my love. Like darkest soulmates, she’s the heartbeat in my void, and I must have her. I must save her. I must know her name.
If only there were another way.
He shakes his head in disapproval, like he always does.
“What?” I sit up in my cot, wait for an answer. When none comes, I stand to pace my room.
There’s only one way, he finally says, his voice a whispery croak.
“There’s gotta be another way.”
He lurches from the corner to pin me against the wall. The straw from his sleeves pokes into the skin of my neck. He grips tight, cutting off air to my pipes, and blackness sweeps across the room. Before I think he might take me from this hell and toss me into another, he drops me at his feet, clad in Pop’s old boots. Then comes the switch—six good lashes to set me right again.
Know your place, little Timmy, he says. Creepy crawlers spill from the holes in his overstuffed pants and wriggle toward me. I jump up in time to hear the two pairs of shoes pass my doorway.
Now, he says, it’s time. Just the way I taught you, with Mother.
Mother. I stare at my worn sneakers; the last pair she ever bought me.
Poor Timmy, he teases. She couldn’t even bake a decent pie. She had it coming. Just like these two. Now, go.
I click the stolen key in the lock and suck in my breath, then slip through the doorway with him close behind. He wouldn’t miss this. He hasn’t missed a thing since I was a boy; since Pops blew his own head off in front of him in the cornfields with me standing there.
Mr. Scarecrow hasn’t left my side since.
In my right pocket is the stripped metal from beneath my cot. I grip it in a tight fist, sliding along the wall in the shadows. He doesn’t hide though; he never does.
The two men stand at her door and chuckle to themselves, admiring their victim . . . as I admire mine, and Mr. Scarecrow laughs, a chilling cackle. I raise my hand behind Mr. Drake, bring the pointed metal down through his neck. He slumps to the floor like an old doll, while Harold raises his hands, pleads. I don’t want to, I like him. But with that rancid breath on my neck, and those words—do it—I charge after him and plant the spike deep into Harold’s chest, and he joins his friend in forever slumber.
When I press my face against the glass window of her door and see her for the first time in weeks, a grin creeps up on me. I did the right thing by saving her. She stare back at me wide-eyed until I unlock her cell to set her free.
Joan takes my hand and we step over the two, still bodies.
“They’ll put you away for life,” she says.
“They won’t.” I hold her hand tightly in mine. “He won’t let them.”
Christina is a mother of four currently hiding from the sun somewhere in Dallas, Texas. You may find her out on rainy autumn days narrating her life in her head. You’ll also find her taxiing her children around in traffic, or stopped in random places, like your local produce section, to take notes before her ideas flitter away into the Great Beyond. Though her current series is YA Dystopian, she has many stories in the works in various sub-genres of speculative fiction (including NA and Adult) for the near future. You’ll definitely want to stick around to see what she comes up with next.
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