Trick or Treat?

Currently I’m writing stories by picking random horror tropes from TV Tropes. Today, I got “The Calls Are Coming From Inside The House”.

If you like short storieshorror, cyberpunk, fantasy or fantasypunk, I have plenty of stories you might be interested in checking out.

Hope you enjoy it,
– Zairron


My first Halloween in a new country, here the shops put up token sales gimmicks but otherwise the season is a foreign concept here. Bowl of treats on the couch beside me, while an old horror movie about a babysitter plays on the TV, I haven’t had a single trick or treater and don’t expect there will be.
Since moving to Australia, these holidays make me miss home the most. I’ve not been here long, and I’m not particularly good at socialising, so I haven’t made any friends to share the time with. It’s not that I regret coming here, if I had to choose again I’d still take the job. It just kinda sucks seeing the pictures of my friends back home, having fun in their costumes, with their decorations, without me.

While I’m busy feeling sorry for myself in the lounge room, I hear my phone ringing from my room where I’d left it charging. My first thought is that one of my friends back home, drunk at a party is calling me to let me know they all miss me, the thought’s a nice one, if a little bitter. It’s only when I see the call is from an unknown number that I remember that it would still be morning there.

“Hello?” I answer, it’s late so I feel justified dropping the politeness.

For a moment there is silence from the other end of the line, I can hear the crackle of the speakers telling me the call is connected, but receive no response to my greeting. I remove the phone from my ear to check the screen, sure enough it agrees the call is connected.
I suppose it might be a prank call, or some kind of shitty automated calling thing. Annoying, but not as unusual as it should be.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” I repeat myself, giving the caller another chance just to be sure. Met once again with silence, I’m feeling pretty pissed off. I’m already in a bad mood, and I’ve go no patience this this nonsense, so I blow off a little steam by venting into the mouth piece, “Alright, asshole. This shit ain’t funny, so why don’t you go fuck yourself and find someone else to annoy.”

Ending the call, I plug he phone back into the charger and return to my movie, actually feeling a little better than before. It’s a guilty pleasure, but who doesn’t enjoy telling off a telemarketer? I don’t usually have the guts, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself.
At least until I hear the phone ringing again, just as I’m seated once more. Releasing a deep, annoyed sigh, I contemplate leaving it to ring out, but I’ve never been able to ignore a ringing phone, just in case it’s an important call.
I have to rush to the phone now, since I let it ring so long while considering ignoring it. For some reason I feel the need to switch on the hallway light, the dark doesn’t scare me, but this time it seems necessary.

The moment my hand reaches the phone, it rings out. I stare at it blankly, usually I’d call back, but my history put the number as unknown. If it was the same number calling, I guess missing the call might have been a blessing in disguise.
Whatever the reason, I decide to bring my charger with me into the lounge room in case I get any more calls. In my room, I can hear the haunting soundtrack of the movie I was watching still playing in the lounge. One of those low, rhythmic pieces that emulate the claustrophobic feeling of your frightened heart beating heavily in your chest.
I hit the light in my room, walking quickly through the dark hallway back to the lounge. Weird, I must have turned off the light by habit before I made it into my room.

The heat here is horrible, back home it’s getting towards the end of autumn, while here it feels like the height of summer. Despite all that, I can feel a chill as I enter the lounge. Not that the room is cold, it’s still muggily hot, but through that I still feel that shiver piece me.
I decide I’ve had enough horror movies for now, closing out of the player on my laptop. It’s been a long time since I eaten too much sugar and watched scary movies, I guess I don’t have a tolerance for it any more. Still over an hour away from midnight, I don’t want to go to bed yet, so I jump on facebook to see what’s going on. Notifications of a couple messages from back home at the bottom of my screen.

Reading them, I felt the claustrophobic pounding of my heart pounding in my chest, this time without the soundtrack. Each message followed the same theme, less than an hour old, the oldest read, “Got a call from you but couldn’t hear you, what’s up?”
Knowing I hadn’t called anyone, I feel the fear I’d been dismissing since that first call grow powerful enough to demand I acknowledge it. Opening my phone, I check my outgoing call history. Five outgoing calls over the past hour, four to the friends I’d received messages from. One to a number I didn’t recognise.

The phone begins to ring in my hand. The screen shows an unknown number, the fifth number on my outgoing calls. My throat clenches apprehensively. There must have been someone in the house with me, possibly there still is. My common sense screams at me to get out of the house, ignore the call and contact the police, but I’m frozen in place.
My mind blank with fear, well practised habits built up over a lifetime take over and I accept the call, raising the phone to my ear and answering with the polite response I’d learned at home, “Hello, this is Jordan Alexander speaking, how can I help you?”

Slow, sinister laughter answers my greeting, my heart continues pounding faster and harder, “Trick or Treat, Jordan?”

“W-What?” I barely get the word out, my mouth is dry and unresponsive.

“I said, Trick… or Treat?”

I’m scared. Wouldn’t you be? I don’t know what to say, I don’t even know if I can say anything. Before I can answer the caller does so for me.

“Come on now, Jordan, you’re an American aren’t you? You should know that this is the part where you say, ‘Treat'”

“T-Treat”

“Good boy,” the low voice teases, “I’m gratefully for the entertainment you gave me tonight, as a present I left you a treat for you in your room. Happy Halloween.”

The click of the call ending broke the spell of fear that had been cast over me, I race from the house to my car. Checking the backseat for murderers, I peel out of the driveway and drive as fast as I can out of there.
I don’t stop until I’m in a brightly lit, populated area. Immediately I call the police and report what happened. As soon as that’s over, I break down and cry.

Eventually I receive a call back, they searched my house and found no-one there. What they did find was a picture of the back of my head while I’d been watching the movie, impaled through my skull into the underside of my bed using a long, sharp knife taken from the kitchen.

Author: Zairron

I'm writing to build a habit, practice, and be creative.

2 thoughts on “Trick or Treat?”

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