Wendy agreed to join Ryan and a few of his jockey friends for a night of gallivanting through the “Haunted Forest.” Halloween was right around the corner — the last thing she wanted to hear was her boyfriend’s whiny voice if she chose not to meet them in the forest with three of her buddies from the dance squad.
“Whose brilliant idea was this anyway?” She found herself talking to the reflection in the mirror as she propped and defiled her cheery face with black makeup, red lipstick, and white eye-shadow. She gently placed the novelty fangs in her mouth and practiced a pronounced lisp while donning a witch’s wig atop her brunette waves.
The plan was to meet up at the forest, pay the $10.00 fee, and enjoy the haunting put on by a few of their classmates. Wendy was sure many of the props used were older than her parents, including Dracula who was appropriately placed in his coffin on the creaky porch of the haunted house.
Moss hung from the old oak trees, fog hovered over the grass for half-a-mile into the forest, and a rank odor filled her nostrils as she worked her way to their meet-up spot. Streaks of bloody handprints lined the outside of each shed. “They’re really playing it up this year. I bet Ryan and the boys are enjoying this.”
She reached the spot where they were to meet. Her shoes were damp from the sudden wetness of the ground beneath her. The incessant echo of a drip, drip, drip filled the forest. She felt those drips land on her shoulder. She touched the cape of her costume and rubbed her index finger and thumb together. “Raspberry sauce or ketchup.” She placed her fingers to her nose and sniffed. The smell of copper and dead skin was strong on them.
She looked up . . . Ryan, David, Josh, Sonja, Hallie, and Beth were hanging above her in the trees. Pieces of them were cut off and tied to the person to their left. Wendy felt her throat lock up. The slow roar of a scream escaped. As soon as she heard it, she covered her mouth. But that one scream was all it took. The shadow of her late boyfriend appeared before her. Its hand waving a bloody knife.
Wendy tried to run but her body began to sink into the ground. Ryan’s shadow cut off her left arm and right ear. Wendy howled before a lustful moon. One more flick of the knife to take her lower lip and she screamed with a might that could wake the dead.
Her once pretty frame had been dismembered. Her beautiful hair laid limp on her head. Her incomparable scream echoed throughout the forest. To her left was Beth, still flinching — her eyes stuck in an astonished look. Wendy screamed once more and Ryan’s shadow was there to catch it.
Dracula studied the menu for tonight’s dinner. He looked at Ryan’s Shadow and placed his order: “I’ll have your best scream of the night.” Ryan’s Shadow disappeared then reappeared with Wendy’s severed head. Her face was permanently distorted — her eyes popped out of their sockets. They opened the jar and the sound of her scream pierced their eardrums.
Dracula was satisfied. “Yes . . . Yes! I’ll take two.”
TV Trope used: Screaming woman