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  • Leann Sterling

Hello? - Horror Writing Sample

(Warning: Contains blood and mild body horror)

You sit up slowly, bleary eyes blinking at the scarcely adorned wall in front of you. You don’t remember falling asleep, but you suppose you must have. You stretch, your aching bones cracking and popping as you do. How long have you been sleeping? You don’t feel rested at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. You’ve never felt so worn out in your life, that you can recall.


You stand, toes curling against the cold tiles beneath your feet. Your socks are worn thin, but they offer some level of protection from the chill. You stretch once more and scratch your stomach. Your mouth is dry. Perhaps a glass of water would do you some good.


You shuffle out to your kitchen, opening a nearly empty cabinet and retrieving a glass. You’ve been meaning to do your dishes for a while now, but you either have no time or no energy. Though, there’s no reason for either of those things, you think. Why can’t you just be productive?


You fill your glass with water from the tap. You’ve been told not to drink tap water, but it hasn’t killed you yet, and it’s cheaper than the bottled stuff, so you do it anyway. You bring the glass to your lips, drink your fill, then open up your fridge and lean down to squint at its contents:


  • Ketchup, half empty

  • Milk, down to the last pathetic serving

  • Vegetables, no longer their vibrant green

  • Leftovers, from...you don’t remember when


You close the fridge, straightening. You’re not hungry anyway.


Behind you, you hear rapid thumping sounds. They grow louder, then fade away, like someone running past you. You turn, confused, but see no one in the dim light. You fumble for the light switch in the kitchen, then flip it upwards, the lights flickering on. Still, there’s no one there. But you’re sure that you heard something…


“Hello…?” you call.


You sit up slowly, bleary eyes blinking ahead at the stripping wall in front of you. You don’t remember falling asleep, but you suppose you must have. You stretch, your aching bones cracking and groaning as you do. You hate impromptu naps - you only feel more weary and disoriented than you had when you fell asleep.


You stand, toes curling against the cold tiles beneath your feet. Your bare flesh almost feels like it could just freeze there. You should move before it does. But first you stretch, and scratch your aching stomach. You’re hungry. Perhaps a drink of water and a quick bite would do you some good.


You shuffle out to your cramped kitchen, checking a cupboard, but there are no clean glasses. You shrug it off, taking a glass from the pile in the sink and filling it with water from the tap.


Deja-vu. You swear you did this already. Then again, it’s your apartment. You go through these motions all the time. Why should this be any different?


You must be more thirsty than you realized, since you drain the glass of its contents in seconds, before returning it to the pile of dirty dishes. Food. You’re still hungry. You open your fridge, leaning down to squint at its contents:


  • A bottle of red...something

  • Milk, though it smells more sour than it should

  • Remnants of vegetables, now mushy and brown

  • Meat?


You consider backing out, but your stomach growls in protest. Reluctantly, you grab the meat, biting a chunk out of it. It coats your tongue with the taste of rust. You gag.


Behind you, you hear rapid thumping sounds. They grow louder, then fade away, like someone running past you. You turn, confused, but see no one in the dark room, illuminated only by the cold light of the fridge. You fumble for the light switch in the kitchen, then flip it upwards. The lights make a clicking noise, flicker, then go out once more. You scan the room again, more carefully this time. There’s no one there. But you’re sure that you heard something…


“Hello…?” you call.


You sit upright in bed, eyes shooting open, but for a moment, you see nothing. Then your vision slowly fades back in, and you can see the barely habitable space you call your room. You don’t remember falling asleep, but you don’t remember much of anything right now. The only thought pounding in your head is Hungry. Hungry. Hungry.


You stand, toes curling against the freezing tiles beneath your feet. You can barely feel it, though. You look down at your bare feet, the skin there cracked, caked in mud and rust. You’re so itchy. Your skin feels too tight. You scratch your aching stomach. Harder. Until skin is peeling away beneath your nails. Until your hands are red.


You ignore the screams of your aching bones as you shamble to your kitchen. You can’t breathe, but there’s no time for breathing now. Water. You need water. You turn on the tap, sticking your head under the faucet and gulping down fluid by the mouthful, ignoring the way it splashes into your face and dribbles onto the floor. Your throat still feels like it’s made of sandpaper, but you can wait no longer.


You leave the tap running in your haste to get to the fridge, throwing the door open. The bulb no longer lights up, and the inside is barely cool. You reach in blindly, grabbing fistfuls of whatever you can and cramming it into your mouth. You can’t taste it, but you feel liquid ooze from your lips, hear it splat onto the floor. You don’t stop. You must eat. You must eat.


You freeze. Behind you, you hear rapid thumping sounds. They grow louder, then fade away, like someone running past you. You turn, confused, but see nothing in the pitch black. There is no light. You squint into the darkness, trying, trying desperately to make out even the vaguest of shapes, but you can see nothing. But you’re sure…


“Hello…?”

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