They all thought Dane was just crazy, but the dark recesses of her mind hold the secret to the numbers. [24 min]
This short story was chosen as the first-place winner in the 2013 Wily Writers Horror Contest in honor of World Horror Convention.
He’s out there, beyond the door that’s rusting metal on the outside and dried gore on the inside. He calls.
“Open the door, Dane. You can’t stay in there forever.”
On the other side of the room, in the corner of a doorless closet, Dane shrugs, her arms wrapped around bruised, bare knees, and the voices—the voices that are in there with her—laugh and whisper sweet destruction. She wants to put her hands over her ears but fear keeps her from doing so.
“Dane, I’m coming in.”
“Not!” she yells, but knows he won’t understand what she means.
Not? Not what?
Sweat beads along her brow, and Dane looks from side to side, her head twitching all the while.
Her name is four letters. Four-letter words are bad, not like three or five or seven or even nineteen. Those are odd numbers and odd numbers are safe.
Even numbers, those are different.