I love Halloween and I usually dress up for the day, but this year I don’t have that luxury. The Halloween spirit in Nice is lacking, making me miss Halloween in the states even more! However, I am still able to celebrate traditionally by watching scary movies for the month, and tonight we will be watching The Conjuring.
I also wrote a flash fiction, short, short horror for the occasion. I’ve included a video that complements the story, and I’d like to thank PrincessCzaria for allowing me to use her thirty-seven-second-video. It was exactly what I wanted for the story!
Ring Around the Rosie
Ada Langan looked and thought nothing special or peculiar about the oval leather mirror. Old and worn, the aged leather, despite a gash on the right corner, looked decent. She walked away from the bedroom, appreciating the secondhand mirror that came with her new place. The apartment couldn’t have been more perfect: spacious, high ceilings, and such charm on top of Capitol Hill. For the price, she would have been insane to pass on the amazing deal. It was unheard of for a thousand-square-feet place to cost only eight hundred dollars! She not only had a bedroom, but now an office where she could study for her MCAT, and a splendid bathroom with a porcelain claw foot tub.
Inside the office, she unpacked her textbooks, stacking them onto her bookshelf. Silence suppressed her cheery vibe and she yearned for music. She walked into the living room, switched on the light and approached her iPod station on a vintage chest. She pushed the ON button and closed her eyes, smiled to Etta James’ voice.
Ada took two steps into the office and froze, bewildered. Etta’s voice stopped in mid-singing, as the familiar nursery rhyme “Ring Around the Rosie” played in full blast. She heard a little girl’s laughter, little footsteps creaked on the hardwood floor.
“Hello? Who’s there?”
She scanned the room and grabbed her wooden umbrella. Tiptoeing, she inched forward, balancing her stride and holding her breath, then thought she was being silly. A little girl could do no harm and she had no reason to be afraid. She dropped her precarious stance and walked into the living room, still grasping the umbrella. Her presence stopped the child’s song, but next to the iPod her incense glowed and the room was redolent with citrus. Certain she did not light the incense, she suspected the child intruder. But no one stood among her in the living room, which connected to the open kitchen. Her little intruder couldn’t have gone anywhere else but out the front door. If the little girl had come towards the bedroom or office she would have seen her.
Ada rested the umbrella against the wall and opened the front door, the door that she didn’t lock and scolded herself for not doing so. The long dim hallway stood empty. Halloween decorations adorned her neighbors’ doors, reminding her of Hallow Eve’s Day. Kids were out trick-or-treating, reveling in their sweet treats. Despite so, she couldn’t help but wonder if she was an easy victim of a Halloween prank by a neighbor’s disobedient child. She remembered seeing three kids on her floor, and one of them being a little girl. Would that same little girl come in here and dare do such thing? But how could the girl have turned on the music that didn’t exist on her playlist?
Closing the door, she turned the lock and made a mental note of it for next time. She had a habit of forgetting such little but important details. Several steps toward the office, she acknowledged her wrong assumption. She listened to the light footsteps coming from inside the bedroom. A little girl’s chuckle taunted her and meddled with her patience. She had enough. Whoever’s child this was needed to be reprimanded by the mother for trespassing.
Her rushed footsteps entered the bedroom where she expected to find the little girl. But no sight of her. Ada eyed the portal to her clothes. She remembered hiding inside closets as a little girl.
“I know you’re in there.”
She reached for the door. No little girl hid behind the hanging clothes. Pushing the door back, her throat tightened and body tensed when she felt her shirt tugged from behind. Finding courage, she turned around but saw no one. Then the bedroom door slammed shut and she jolted, the scare wreaking havoc on her heart.
“Ring Around the Rosie” emanated from the living room and the tone of the child singer turned malicious. Ada felt a chill that felt like death and it magnetized the hairs on her goosebumps. A heavy force set upon her lanky body and stopped her in her tracks as she ran for the door. The light in the room morphed into a fiery glow, playing tricks on her eyes. The oval mirror whispered her name, inviting her over. Compelled to look into the mirror, she sauntered towards it and gazed into her own brown eyes. Paralyzed, she couldn’t scream or tear away from her own grinning image. She knew not one muscle fiber of her face helped her wear that ominous smirk. She ached to break free, run away and hide from her mirror image.
The music slowed in the background, the repetitive lyrics flowed out as though each word meant to linger. The invisible girl taunted her prey with maddening chuckles from behind and waited…
In the mirror Ada’s eyes darkened like black buttons and her complexion mottled. Her ears tuned in to the child’s malevolent voice.
Ring around the Rosie
Ada’s neck and face developed red rings, rosy bumps.
Pocket full of Posies
The citrus aroma dissipated and replaced with a foul, rotting smell.
Ada’s lung burned and she wheezed. Her eyes dilated as though they were going to pop. Her flesh felt volcanic and the rotten air suffocated her.
We all Fall Down
Ada collapsed on the floor, a loud thud. A little blond girl manifested with empty eyes and smiled down on her as she fell into darkness.