Short Horror Stories, Part 1
I Know When My Husband Is Cheating on Me
I know when my husband is cheating on me. It’s funny, something like 60% of marriages end in infidelity, but you never think it’ll be yours. There are so many articles on it too, how to tell, what signs to watch for, ‘is he spending too much time at the office or just working hard?’. Crappy episodes on daytime TV. Some silly girl sobbing as it’s all revealed.
These articles, shows, dramas, they’re for weaker women. I knew the moment my husband didn’t love me anymore.
Oh, it’ll start small. He’ll smile more, for no reason. He’ll laugh at little things she says or does – things that he would have never in a million years found funny if you said them. And it’ll only get worse. His face will light up like a sun when he sees her. And he will see her – you can’t stop it. She’s everywhere in his life. Invasive, like a cancer. Or a leech. Sucking all of his attention and love away from you.
And then, even worse, his friends, your friends, will notice. They’ll tell you they’ve never seen him before like this, how happy he is. It’s enough to make you sick. And finally, he’ll tell you. Tell you he’s never felt love like this before, that he doesn’t know how he lived without her.
Well. Something had to be done, obviously. I love my husband. I’m not having some little temptress steal him away from me! What kind of woman would I be then? No. So I took matters into my own hands.
Thank god she’s still little. I don’t think I could have drowned her that easily if she could walk just yet.
I Should Have Read the Reviews
My girlfriend moved out three weeks ago. My cat, Ruk, was really close to her and now that she's gone, I can tell he's a bit lonely. Especially when I'm at work. I came home a few times to my curtains ripped up, or all the toilet paper in shreds.
The last straw was when I came home after working late to find he had clawed a hole the size of a dinner plate into the side of the sofa.
I decided I had to do something. I tried different toys, even catnip, but nothing worked. One night while browsing Amazon, I saw a pet camera. It's a tiny camera that records your pet on a live feed so you can monitor their behavior while you're away. It even has an audio function so you can talk to them.
Sounded silly but hey, I love my furry dude so I bought it. I got overnight shipping and installed it immediately. I decided to set it up in my bedroom, as that was where Ruk dwelled most.
My first day at work I think I checked that camera thirty times. When I spoke into the microphone, Ruk seemed to be happier, and I noticed there was no destruction around the house either.
By day four, I figured I'd solved the problem with Ruk.
That leads me to right now. About thirty minutes ago I climbed in bed with Ruk, ready to close my eyes, when my phone buzzed. A notification from the pet cam. I almost ignored it, sure I'd just triggered the thing. But I opened it anyway. What I saw made my grip tighten on the phone.
Instead of a video of myself in bed I saw a man, tall, gangly, with pale skin, and large eyes. He was moving into my room with exaggerated steps, like a sneaking cartoon character.
He got right up to the lens, so close I could almost smell his rotten breath, and he smiled. I immediately paused the video, terrified. I looked at the spot where the man should have been standing, but there was no one there.
I went onto Amazon and found the pet cam, and read the reviews, hoping for some weird glitch. It had to be a joke, right?
The first dozen reviews were pretty standard, but it was the last that caused me to bolt upright.
The customer complained that the camera was on a time delay, sometimes as much as fifteen minutes.
I went back to the video and pressed play with shaky fingers. I watched in horror as the man slithered under my bed, giving the camera a wink before disappearing in the darkness. Then I saw myself enter the room and climb in bed before the video ended.
Now I'm sitting in my bed, knowing he's under it. I could call the police, but I doubt I'd have time…
So please, do yourselves a favor and read the reviews.
The Blind Child
Sylvia pointed a trembling finger at my brother Arthur. Her milky, unseeing eyes gleamed in his direction, and his wife, Agnes, trembled with indignation from across the table. My husband's face colored as he dropped his fork and dragged our daughter back into her bedroom, scolding her as they went.
The rest of the night was awkward, and the pep in our conversation never recovered.
Two weeks later, Agnes was stabbed to death in her office parking lot. An inebriated college student found her, almost vomited all over her, and called the cops.
My brother swore that he bore no ill will against my daughter, but I could tell that he was lying.
One day, the middle-aged woman who taught my daughter how to read her braille called me. "Ma'am, I don't know what's going on but your daughter's been whispering, 'electrocution, electrocution,' for the past half-hour and it's starting to distract her from her lessons. Could you please talk to her?"
Sylvia, in her nine-year-old lack of understanding, told me it was "just a cool new word" she learned at school.
The death of an electrician made headlines the following week. It was a freak accident involving tangled wires and a bucket of water.
Sylvia's teacher's face was blurred for privacy, but her voice was as familiar as anything to me:
"He was…my partner…my soulmate."
While my husband was working late, I called Sylvia into the living room.
"Honey, is there anything Mommy should know?"
"Honey, you know you can talk to me."
She denied it once more, "I have no secrets from you, Mommy."
My husband walked into the living room with his hair tousled and his eyes distant.
Instead of rushing to hug her dad, Sylvia simply turned towards him. "Fire," she said.
My heart stopped. Every time Sylvia said something like that, it was the person's partner who died, and of that reason too. A fire? Was Sylvia merely making predictions, or was she putting a curse on me for snooping in on her business? Why, this devil child—
I grew paranoid, checked the appliances and electronics constantly, and cleared the house of any fire hazards. That was my life over the next few days. All the while, I kept my eyes on Sylvia. Sylvia. I had grown almost hateful towards my own daughter.
My husband came home one night, wounded and blackened with soot, while I sat in the living room and Sylvia listened to the radio beside me. "What's the matter?" I asked.
He gulped. "One of my colleagues, her house…her house caught fire. She was trapped in, but I managed to escape."
That turned the gears in my head. "What were you doing in her house?"
The expression on my husband's face was a sufficient admission of guilt. I opened my mouth to speak—no, to scream—but a smaller voice from beside me looked at me and whispered:
There was a hunter in the woods, who, after a long day hunting, was in the middle of an immense forest. It was getting dark, and having lost his bearings, he decided to head in one direction until he was clear of the increasingly oppressive foliage. After what seemed like hours, he came across a cabin in a small clearing. Realizing how dark it had grown, he decided to see if he could stay there for the night. He approached and found the door ajar.
Nobody was inside.
The hunter flopped down on the single bed, deciding to explain himself to the owner in the morning. As he looked around, he was surprised to see the walls adorned by many portraits, all painted in incredible detail. Without exception, they appeared to be staring down at him, their features twisted into looks of hatred. Staring back, he grew increasingly uncomfortable. Making a concerted effort to ignore the many hateful faces, he turned to face the wall, and exhausted, he fell into a restless sleep.
Face down in an unfamiliar bed, he turned blinking in unexpected sunlight. Looking up, he discovered that the cabin had no portraits, only windows.