Nightmares

When I dream, I normally have nightmares. Perhaps it’s one of the drawbacks of being a horror movie junkie, but this week has been particularly brutal.

The first dream, I was running from a serial killer who only killed people who were awake in the house. My husband and children were safe because they were asleep, however, I was awake in this dream and the killer continually came after me. The dream seemed so real. I swear I could smell the grass when I ran from him. I felt pain in my leg when I landed after a fall.

The next dream, a snake bit into my stomach. Its fangs were stuck in my stomach and the rest of its body writhed as it tried to dislodge from my skin. I swear I could literally the snake’s body flailing back and forth, as well as pain in my stomach from where it bit me. It seemed so real that I sat up in bed thinking I had a snake attached to me.

I’m scared to go to sleep tonight.

Back to basics

Two weeks ago, I had surgery. In the time I spent recovering, l have been working on my 6th book. It has been nice going back to spending my every waking hour working on Reckoning and getting that wonderful rush when I pull up my manuscript after going to sleep for the night.

It’s going to be hard going back to weekly live streams, making videos, and searching for American Horror Story season 7 news. I love making videos, but I belong in the closet writing my novels.

American Horror Story Fucked My Writing Life

It’s so true. Before American Horror Story Season 6, my life was nothing but writing novels, playing in the sun with my kids, and reading books. Now, I try to complete novels while track of all American Horror Story news and putting it out there for everyone to know. I miss those long nights of burning the writing midnight oil in my closet working on a chapter while music played in the background. Where oh where did those days go? I finished Murder by Alpha while working on my channel, however, I miss obsessing over storylines, character developments, plot twists, dialogue, and crying when I kill a character off.

My creative longing is deep.

Chelsey

Written and Created By: Mary Ann Moody

For Chelsey

Someone’s in the house! Chelsey thought as she stared silently at her closed laptop. She left it open before she went downstairs. The silence inside the large two story house penetrated her mind, and made her body jump at the tiniest noise. There could only be one explanation why the laptop was closed. Someone closed it.

Chelsey lunged for the bedroom door. The idea someone was hiding in the house literally chased her through the hallway, and down the stairs. The silence scared Chelsey more than anything. Absent from the house were the ordinary home noises, a toilet running, the house settling, noise from the neighbors, a dripping faucet. Chelsey heard none of it. It made her feel as if she had been swallowed alive by her own home.

A door slammed shut somewhere on the second floor when she was halfway down the stairs. Chelsey screamed bloody murder and ran out of the house, forgetting her keys and cell phone. She stopped in the driveway to consider her options before running blindly into the quiet street. For one brief moment, Chelsey reconsidered what had actually happened. Maybe she was acting irrational? However, the thought of going back into her own house scared her. She went to her neighbor’s home, knocked on the door, and begged them to call for help.

The police arrived shortly afterwards, as did her husband, Steven. After Chelsey explained why she thought someone was in the house, the police and Steven searched their house from top to bottom. At Chelsey’s request, the officers specifically searched the attic. Steven assisted the officers with pulling the insulation out of the floors of the attic to make sure no one hid underneath. All searching came up empty.

“Maybe the perpetrator left after you escaped the house?” A young male officer suggested kindly to Chelsey afterwards.

“I guess so.” Chelsey relented.

“There’s no one here now. We searched every inch. We’ll have officers drive by every once in a while tonight, just to be sure everything’s okay. Your husband went through the house. Said nothing was taken, but we dusted your laptop for fingerprints since you said the perpetrator touched it. The person might’ve been wearing gloves, but we dusted it just in case. I’ll let you know if we turn up anything there.”

“Thank you, officer. I’m sorry I bothered you.” Chelsey said to Officer D. Rank, and his partner C. Greenwood, as written on their badges. The assisting officers left once the house was cleared.

“No worries, mam. That’s what we’re here for. You have my number, and my partner’s. Call us if you hear or see anything suspicious, we’ll be here to check it out. And we’re on duty tonight, so that number will route straight to our patrol car. We can be here in mere minutes.”

Steven put his arm around her as they watched the officers drive away. He felt the tension in her shoulders. Hopefully, this was something Chelsey would get over quickly, but he felt irritatingly wrong. “Ready to go inside?”

“Not yet. It’s a nice day out.”

He took a deep breath to control his patience. “There’s no one in there, Chelsey. The police made sure of it. Besides, I’m home now. I’ll make sure you’re safe.”

“I just ….don’t want to go back in there. It still feels as if ….someone’s in the house.”

“Are you telling me it’s haunted?” Steven scoffed.

“No. I don’t think it’s haunted, but something is wrong in there. Remember a few days ago, when I told you I thought someone watching us while we slept? I think someone’s in there, with us.”

“That’s ridiculous! The police just searched the house! Are you freaking crazy?” Steven shouted, but regretted it the moment the words left his mouth. He took a deep breath, and said, “I’m sorry. I’m really ….sorry Chelsey. I didn’t mean that. I just ….I’m confused, tired. I wanna take a shower and go to bed.”

“Then you do that. I’m going to a hotel.”

“Oh, come on Chelsey! Are you really going to leave me here, without a car, no food, and go to a hotel? You can’t be serious!”

“I’m not staying here tonight.” She declared.

“Okay, just listen to me for a second. Just listen to me.” He took a deep breath, and started over with a rational tone. “Even if we go to a hotel, we’ll still have to come back to the house. It’s inevitable. Babe, this is our house. It’s where we’re going to bring our kids home from the hospital. We’ve made so many memories here ….I don’t wanna throw all that away simply because you suddenly have the urge to do so-”

“That’s not what I’m doing, Steven. There’s someone in our house. I’m not crazy. I’m just trying to protect you!” Tears fell from Chelsey’s eyes. “I don’t think I could live if something happened to you.”

Steven hugged Chelsey to him. He smiled at her, and kissed her neck gently. He whispered, “Back at ya, babe. I’m sorry. I completely screwed up and said the wrong thing. If you want to go to a hotel tonight, I’ll come with you.”

Chelsey squeezed her eyes closed, and cried harder. Moments like these showed her how much Steven truly loved her. It made her feel guilty for placing her fears in front of the needs of her family. She wiped away her tears, and straightened her spine. “No. You’re right. The police searched. Even they said there’s no one in the house. I guess ….I’m being selfishly scared.” She chucked to relieve the tension in her body. “We can stay.”

Chelsey lied through her teeth, but she felt silly over calling the police and getting so worked up over a closed laptop. But one tiny piece of her brain reminded her, she didn’t close the laptop or slam the door. She forced the thought away. She had confidence in herself. She would be safe.

Steven made dinner in the kitchen while Chelsey worked on her novel. They made conversation about Steven’s day, trying to be ordinary people locked in an ordinary day. For Chelsey, it worked. After they ate dinner, she went upstairs into her office to work on her book. The day’s events were lost. The music played, and she was doing what she loved.

Twenty minutes later, Steven walked into Chelsey’s office to check on her. He smiled when he saw Chelsey typing rapidly on her computer. “Hey babe. Coming to bed?”

“In a minute. I want to finish this scene.”

“Okay. I’ll leave our door open. Just holler if you need me.”

“Thanks. Nite babe.”

Chelsey worked on her novel until her eyes started to close. She must’ve fallen asleep at one point because her forehead smacked the keyboard. “Ouch.” She muttered as she rubbed her head. Only the light from the outside street lamp, and her computer screen, kept the room from total darkness.

Right as she clicked on the menu to shut down the laptop, Chelsey heard a scratching sound. She spun around in her chair to see if the source was Steven, but he wasn’t standing in the doorway. Before she could wonder about the noise, a piece of carpet near the door rose up from the floor. Her eyes widened, and she held her breath as a flash of heat started at her toes and rushed into her face. Panic made her limbs turn into rubber. She felt paralyzed with fright as the sound of the carpet flopping backwards reached her ears.

Then it hit her. Between the ceiling of the garage, and the floorboards of her office, there was a crawlspace. Chelsey nor Steven had been in there, even when they bought the house. The previous owner used it for storage, and it was the one place Chelsey didn’t ask the police to search. She heard something shift in the dark. The sounds of a second breath in the room forced her to panic. Her heart beat so fast and furious, it echoed through her body, and pounded in her ears. The will to scream or move was lost to Chelsey. Once her eyes adjusted to low light, she saw it.

It was a creature with brown scales for skin, and large horns protruding from its head. Big red eyes filled with a mixture of interest and malice shined brightly in the light. It watched her, never allowing Chelsey to break eye contact. Large globs of drool fell from the creature’s long, sharp teeth. It sat on its rear haunches, waiting patiently for the right moment to strike. Chelsey jumped up from her chair. At least, she tried to get up. Sitting in the chair for such a long period of time made her legs numb, and she fell straight to the ground the moment she stood up. As soon as she was on the floor, it pounced on top her. Chelsey finally found her voice and screamed before it clasped its hands tightly around her throat. She tried to punch and kick it off of her, but the creature painfully dug its knees into her chest. Chelsey didn’t give up. She used all of the strength she could muster to fight it, but the creature was much stronger. If only she could take a breath.

The creature threw its head back, laughing with glee when Chelsey’s body went limp. She stopped struggling, and her lips turned blue. But the laughter emanating from the creature didn’t sound demonic. In fact, it was high pitched and feminine. Like a woman’s laughter.

Monica Cartonie breathed heavily under the monster mask. She knew strangling someone wasn’t as easy as it was in the movies, but man, this took work. She watched Chelsey for a few seconds to make sure she was dead.

“Is she dead?” Steven asked from the doorway.

Monica removed the mask from her sweaty face, and said, “Yeah. She’s dead.”

“Then we better get started.”

“Yeah, we should.”

“I’ll go get the curtain, we can drag her down the stairs easier with it.” Steven said. He reached for Monica to kiss her deeply. They clung to each other in a passionate embrace.

“I’ll help you, lover.” She giggled as she took off the rest of the monster costume and dropped it on the floor near Chelsey’s body.

They left to grab a plastic shower curtain to place Chelsey’s body in. Steven said the shower curtain from the guest bathroom would work best. Together, they laughed in the hallway at the fact that their plan had worked. No messy divorce, a huge insurance payment from Chelsey’s life insurance, and Steven would finally be with the woman he truly loved.

“Let’s get this over with.” Steven said.

They went into the office. The light had gone out. Steven flipped the switch on and off, and finally, it came on. The light exploded into the big room, temporarily blinding them. When Steven could see, he saw the monster suit standing upright in the room as if someone were wearing it.

“What the hell?” He muttered just as the light went out.

The closet door creaked opened slowly, and spilled light into the room. A tall dark shape stood in the closet, projecting its shadow across the carpet. Steven held his breath when he realized Chelsey’s body was gone. They watched in horror as Chelsey staggered out of the closet to stand beside the monster. Gradually, Chelsey turned her head reveal her white face, and silver eyes boiling with a burning malevolence.

“Kill them.” She whispered to the demon, and pointed at Steven and Monica.

Chelsey’s ghost listened to the bloodcurdling screams of Monica and Steven as the monster tore them apart.

The End

The First

Created and Written By: Mary Ann Moody

“Look at me!”

Cullen woke with a jolt. He sat completely still in his bed, listening to the sounds of his apartment. Currently, all was quiet, but he swore he heard something. Was it his phone? Someone at the door? He reached over to gaze at his cellphone. No new messages. He pushed the sheets off his body and got out of bed. His bare feet tapped the black tile floor lightly as he made his way to the front door. When he got to the peephole, he looked through. No one was outside. He was dressed in pajama pants, so he opened the door and gazed into the hallway. It was empty of all residents.

Must’ve been the damn neighbor. He thought to himself and closed the door.

“Look at me!” A girl screamed at Cullen the second the door clicked shut.

After he jumped a foot in the air, Cullen frantically searched for the source of the scream, but there was no one there. He stood in silence for a few minutes, trying to convince his heart to calm down. There had to be an explanation. He continued to search with his eyes around the apartment, but it was completely empty.

So who screamed? He wondered. Maybe it’s the television in the spare bedroom.

The second bedroom was tiny, only enough space for a desk, chair, and a couple bookshelves. On top of one of the bookshelves was an old fashion television. The television was so old the wires would sometimes spark if it was left plugged in and made the television on by itself. He checked the spare room, and the television wasn’t on. The sound of footsteps above him indicated his neighbor was home, and Cullen assumed his neighbor had their television up too loud.

He decided to go back to sleep. His tall muscular body fell right into the cozy bed. He dug his face into the pillow, took a deep breath, and closed his eyes. The air conditioner kicked on. Cullen smiled when he felt the cold air caress his leg. He loved air conditioning. The man who invented it should be deemed a genius. His long arms wrapped around his pillow, and he settled into the bed.

“Look at me!”

Cullen popped his head up. It sounded like someone screamed from inside his room. His voice shook when he asked, “Hello?”

No one answered. Cullen checked under his bed, in his closet, the spare room, the kitchen, the living room, but he didn’t find anyone.

Am I going crazy?

He went back to bed. Maybe he was dreaming? Or hallucinating? Either way, Cullen pulled his covers up and snuggled into the mattress. He postponed getting truly comfortable until five minutes passed. If the minutes passed, and he didn’t hear a scream, he’d go back to sleep.

Five minutes passed.

Ten minutes passed.

Twenty minutes passed.

I can’t believe I freaked out over nothing.

“Look at me!” The voice called beside him.

Cullen jumped from his bed and dashed into the living room. Someone was in his room! The hardwood floor kept him from sliding into the front door. When he reached it, he unlocked the deadbolt, and turned the knob. He managed to open the door three inches before it mysteriously slammed shut, refusing to let Cullen out of the apartment. As he stared at the door, a silent horror crept up his body. Someone was in the apartment. He had to get out. A small wooden chair was nearby. He grabbed it and heaved it as hard as he could into the front window, but it didn’t break.

“Help! I’m trapped in here!” Cullen screamed and banged on the walls. Panic set into his mind and ran rampant so he couldn’t think straight. He rammed his knuckles into the drywall over and over in hopes someone would hear him, but no one came to Cullen’s aid. Only the blood from his knuckles was left behind on the walls as evidence of this terror.

He stared at his hands in horror. He’d never seen his own blood before tonight. The sight of it sent Cullen into shock. He backed away from the wall, watched the blood drip from his fingers, and fell into the couch. His eyes were wide with horror. His heart beat so fast it felt as if it would explode out of his chest. Goosebumps ran amuck on his arms and legs, and he physically jumped at every tiny piece of noise. He covered his eyes, and allowed the fear to get into his mind.

A thick brown leather book fell from Cullen’s bookshelf. He uncovered his eyes to look at the book, but he didn’t dare move from his spot. He considered the sofa a safe place, and there was no way he was going to move just yet. Cullen stared at the brown leather book. Perhaps this is what the voice wanted him to do? The seconds ticked away while he stared at the book.

“Look at me.” The voice hissed into his ear.

“No.” He whispered as he shook his head.

The book skidded across the hardwood floor, and stopped right in front of the couch where Cullen sat. “Look at me.”

His hands trembled as he reached down for the book, but it wasn’t a book. It was a photo album. The leather felt hot when he picked it up, as if the book had been warmed just for Cullen. In his hands was his prized possession. A smile forced its way onto his face the moment he thought about opening it, but he didn’t want to take a trip down memory lane right now. Instead, he just held onto the book.

“Look at me.” She softly hissed.

Cullen opened the photo album. The spine creaked with age as he opened it. Inside were pictures of his victims. After he abducts and kills them, he clipped their pictures from the newspaper as a memento. All the girls were young brunettes with nothing else in common. It kept the police off his trail and enabled him to continue hunting. The photographs were in order. His first victim was the first picture, the second victim the second page, and so on. He hesitated to open the photo album.

“Look at me!”

Cullen forced his eyes to look at the pictures. On the first page was Jocelyn Langastino, an eighteen year old college freshman he abducted and murdered. His first. He stared at her picture in horror when he realized he heard someone breathing right next to him. He dared to look at her.

“You can’t forget your first.” Jocelyn hissed into his ear. “Ever.”