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Red Rain, Glass Dogs and Rats
Author's note: I wrote these for three of my best friends (I won't post their names up here) and they're dedicated to them. Happy Halloween, all year round, when you read these creepy stories!
Aunt Jane had found Quinn outside of a barbershop, standing in the pouring rain on a story day. Stormy days were great for shopping, so Aunt Jane had been walking along the street when she saw the girl. She was what people would call “abnormal” and in the town of Twelker, anything abnormal was hated and feared. Quinn was small, with emerald green eyes and bright red hair like copper on fire. She was wearing a gray dress that had been badly sewn and had crossed stitches in black thread across one side. She had black laced up shoes and a necklace with a topaz jewel on the end of it.
Aunt Jane had just left the SuperBuy, a huge shopping mall in the center of town, when she noticed Quinn standing on the rainy street. At first Aunt Jane had thought her eyes were glowing, but it was just the light of a passing car.
“Where are your mother and father, dear?” Aunt Jane had asked. Had they left her there in the rain, or was she lost?
“They sent me here in case anything bad happened.” Quinn replied. “They said they’d come back for me someday.” Aunt Jane realized that the girl was an orphan, and that her parents had obviously lied to her.
“Why don’t you come with me, and I’ll try to find your parents?” Aunt Jane offered. “What’s your name?”
The girl thought for a moment, trying to remember. “Most people call me Quinn.” She answered finally, following Aunt Jane back home. Aunt Jane secretly hoped the girl would stay with her. It was very boring and dull in Twelker, and maybe having a kid would be fun.
Three years later, Quinn still lived with Aunt Jane. Since the day she had been found, Aunt Jane had paid to have a room added to the house, and had bought her all sorts of new toys and books. She bought Quinn a china doll with curly blonde hair and a blue dress with fluffy white trim on the edges, and a blanket with pictures of animals on it. She decorated Quinn’s walls with glow in the dark stars and posters of ponies and The Powerpuff Girls and she bought her all sorts of new dresses. She signed Quinn up for piano lessons and sent her to school. Everything was perfect.
Then a few days before Christmas break, it started.
“Alright children, I want you all to line up. I’m going to give you your parts for the Christmas musical this year.” Quinn’s teacher Ms. Carrie announced. Quinn eagerly lined up with her classmates, hoping to get the part of the candy cane fairy, the part she’d been practicing for since Halloween.
Hannah Miles pushed past her, smiling at Ms. Carrie and straightening her green velvet hair bow. “I’ve been practicing for ages, Ms. Carrie.” Hannah gushed.
“Oh, very nice, Hannah. Okay students, this year Santa will be played by Stephen LeVeck.” Ms. Carrie called out. Stephen clapped his hands in delight and took the script from Ms. Carrie.
“Rudolph the red nosed reindeer will be played by Lizzie Atron!” She called out cheerfully. Lizzie smiled as the rest of the roles were given out, one by one, until all that was left was the role of the candy cane fairy.“This is so exciting!” Hannah beamed, holding up her plastic hand mirror to admire her long golden hair. Quinn tried to ignore her, her attention returning to Ms. Carrie.
“And this year, the role of Santa’s daughter, the candy cane fairy, goes to… Hannah Miles!” Ms. Carrie declared. Hannah stepped up to the front of the room, taking a fake bow and smiling sweetly. Quinn stared wide eyed in disbelief.
“What part will Quinn play, Ms. Carrie?” Seth Rogers the kid who was playing a teddy bear asked.
“She… oh dear, there aren’t any more parts! How about you be the curtain puller? When a new act comes up, you pull the curtain!” Ms. Carrie suggested, nervously brushing a strand of her long black hair out of her face.
That evening, Quinn watched out the window of her room, her eyes glinting madly. She turned off her light, so the glow in the dark stars were the only things visible, neon green in the vast black space.
“How dare Hannah get the part? I had been practicing three whole months to play the candy cane fairy!” Quinn thought angrily.
All of a sudden, the doll she had on her floor flew up into the air, and then landed again. Quinn couldn’t believe it! Was it magic? Then her new clown doll fell from the shelf above her pony poster, but before it hit the ground, it flew back up again, twirling in circles. Quinn was doing magic, real magic!
“I should be the candy cane fairy! Hannah doesn’t deserve the part! I’ll bet she can’t do magic!” Quinn thought to herself. “I can move things with my mind and she can’t!”
The next day, Quinn woke up to the sound of Aunt Jane screaming in fright.
“The snow is red, like blood! In our yard, it’s all red! Is this some kind of sick prank?” Aunt Jane wailed. Quinn sat up, looked out the window, and saw that it was true. The snow outside all the other houses on the street was white, but the snow on Quinn’s house’s lawn was bright red, like blood.
“Quinn, don’t be scared. Some teenagers must have played a joke on us or something, okay?” Aunt Jane exclaimed, running into Quinn’s room. Then the phone rang.
“Ms. Carrie, hello… what? A freak accident? Hannah Miles is dead? Okay, I’ll tell Quinn. Bye.” Aunt Jane muttered.
“Aunt Jane, who was that?” Quinn asked.
“That was Ms. Carrie, Quinn. Hannah Miles fell out of her bedroom window somehow last night. Come on, we have to go shopping for your candy cane fairy costume.” Aunt Jane replied, eyeing Quinn warily as she smiled. Quinn put on her yellow rain slicker and headed out to the car with Aunt Jane, watching out the window.
“Quinn, do you remember anything about your parents?” Aunt Jane Asked suddenly. “Where did they live, and where did they work?”
“They worked at a chemical company, but they’re gone, so what does it matter?” Quinn told her.
“It doesn’t matter, I just wanted to know.” Aunt Jane sighed. Who was Quinn? What was Quinn?
She pulled the car up to the fabric store, where she always got Quinn’s clothes. Quinn looked around excitedly, trying to find the right fabric.
Then she saw it, the soft glittery white roll of fleece with red and green stripes and gold trim. It gleamed in the fluorescent ceiling lights. Quinn read the label, written in black marker. “Angel dust.” She whispered. “Aunt Jane, look at this!”
“Quinn, that’s way too expensive. How about this type?” Aunt Jane asked, holding up a roll of red plaid cotton. “It’s called Rocking Horse, and it’s very pretty.”
Quinn stared at it in anger. It was really pretty, but where was the glitter, or the gold trim? It just wouldn’t be the same!
“NO, I WANT THIS TYPE! NOW!!!” Quinn screamed. Before anyone could say another word, every window in the store shattered into millions of tiny glass pieces. Aunt Jane yelped and dropped the roll of fabric as the store clerk backed away fearfully.
“I don’t know what happened, sir!” Aunt Jane gasped, staring in terror at Quinn.
“Look, take your fabric for free, and take your monster child and go!” He shrieked. Quinn grabbed the “Angel Dust” fabric and followed Aunt Jane to the car.
“What are you? Why can you do these things?” Aunt Jane screamed. Quinn stared back innocently as drenching ice cold rain fell to the ground. Then Aunt Jane’s cell phone rang.
“Hello, Jane Erlenmeyer speaking. What? She’s dead, too? Oh no, I’ll… I’ll tell Quinn. Yes, goodbye.” Aunt Jane muttered.
“Well, what were you going to say?” Quinn demanded as Aunt Jane hung up the phone.
“That was the school principle. Ms. Carrie was getting some chemicals ready for the grade 9 science lab, and then all the doors and windows locked by themselves, and the chemicals spilled over by themselves, and they made this gas, and now she’s dead! Quinn, what are you?” Aunt Jane yelled.
Then a black car pulled up, the only other car in the parking lot, and a tall woman with frizzy red hair and safety goggles got out of the car.
“You escaped again, experiment Quinn112?” The woman scolded, grabbing her hand and pulling her into the car. The car sped away, and Aunt Jane looked up, a shocked expression on her face. It was still raining, but now the rain was turning red.
Many people have a phobia – an unnatural fear they can’t control, but Stephanie’s phobia bordered on the fringe of madness. She would go into hysteria even at the sight of a small field mouse. Perhaps she had a right to be afraid, after what happened one night the year before.
It was evening when Stephanie left the small office where she worked, a real-estate agency in a small town. The city was visible in the distance, a big busy gathering of skyscrapers, factories and cars, but the small town was desolate. Because it was a warm evening, she decided to walk home and cut through the town park on the edge of a small lake nearby. Her apartment was on the other side.
She headed down a path surrounded by leafy trees. It was surprisingly dark on the path, dark enough for some deranged criminal to jump out or a stray dog to attack. Stephanie began to go faster, wanting to get to her apartment as soon as possible. She had heard stories about things, unpleasant things that happened to people in the park at night.
Then, coming out of the shaded path into an open area, she saw that the sky was still light. She decided to walk a little slower, but she still couldn’t forget the stories she knew about the park. She rushed through the park past a deserted playground and an empty swimming pool and towards the lake in the middle. Soon, another path loomed ahead, surrounded again by thick trees. Stephanie glanced down the path. Nobody seemed to be on it. She quickly turned around, checking to see if anybody was behind her, then she hurried down. There was no point in turning back.
Once on the path, she could hear nothing but the rustle of leaves. The sounds of the city in the distance had been drowned out by the rippling of the lake water as the warm wind gusted past her. Stephanie was almost at the end of the cold cement path when she heard a noise, a noise not coming from the city, or the wind or the water. She told herself it wasn’t real, that it was just her overactive imagination from the awful stories she knew about the park, but it was as real as everything around her…
It was the sound of heavy footsteps behind her.
She rushed down the path, her shoes thudding on the cement, but she gasped when she realized that the heavy footsteps were quickening as well, chasing her. She got to the end of the path, turned, and jumped behind a group of small rose bushes near the lake. Just a few feet away was the shadow of a man, ominous in the fading sunlight. The man went and sat on a bench a few feet away, his face hidden in darkness so Stephanie couldn’t see it.
“What if he’s waiting for me to come out? What if he never leaves?” Stephanie realized in fear, her wide eyes, looking from the man to the lake. All of a sudden, she nearly screamed. An ugly gray rat, it’s scraggly whiskers twitching and its teeth clicking dangerously, was crawling up to the man, stopping at his feet. A few seconds later, three more of the revolting little creatures joined from the darkness, letting out high unnatural squeals, their beady little eyes flashing creepily in the light.
“What if one comes up to me? What do I do? I hate rats!” Stephanie thought, starting to panic. She had always hated rats; from the second one crawled across her bed one night when she was six. She had to bite down on her hand to keep from screaming as a white rat with red eyes that glinted like rubies joined the four others at the man’s feet. Before she could even think, the man pointed his long sharp-nailed finger at the bushes where she was hiding, and the four rats began to scurry towards her.
Stephanie wanted to scream, to run, to be back in her apartment where it was safe, but she was frozen in terror as the rats crawled up to her feet, their noses moving weirdly as they sniffed the air. Stephanie couldn’t take it any longer. She stood up, backed away from the rats, and suddenly felt her foot sinking.
She had stepped in a rat’s nest behind her.
Dozens of baby rats scurried from the hole, squealing and squeaking in terror. Stephanie pulled her foot from the hole and shrieked as she looked down. Without even realizing, she had stepped on one of the baby rats.
Terrified, she began to run, bumping straight into the man who had scared her in the first place. She could see his face, but that only made her fear increase as he looked down at her. He wasn’t a man. He was a white rat with a narrow nose and ruby red glinting eyes, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and black tie. He held out his clawed hand, beckoning for her, his tail twitching.
Stephanie pushed past him, knocking him to the ground. She didn’t want to look back, but she turned her head and saw millions of rats rushing out from the suit on the ground, the rat man gone. Stephanie never reported what she had seen. She never told the police or her friends from work or her family. She never even mentioned it. She never saw another rat as scary as the ones she had seen that day again… except for the rat man. He was always around somewhere… in her mind.
Jackie hated her grandmother’s clear glass poodle ornament. It had two real emeralds for eyes that glinted in the light, and a ruby for a nose and a diamond collar. According to her grandmother, it was one of a kind, an antique and very valuable, but Jackie avoided it whenever she came to visit.
Her grandmother lived in Nova Scotia, Canada. Jackie’s parents forced her to go visit every summer, to the crumbling shack at the edge of the sea. There was a television, but no cable, no satellite and no DVD or VHS players. The windows were cracked and dust had collected on the windowsill. The kitchen smelled bad and Jackie’s guest room was musty, with cobwebs on the ceiling. She used to have nightmares as a kid about zombies crawling in through the hole in the wall right beside her bed, next to her pillow, and it still creeped her out just to think about it.
“Jackie dear, let me tell you about my glass dog.” Her grandmother beckoned. Rolling her eyes and groaning, Jackie turned off her music player and sat on the musty couch next to her grandmother to hear the same story again.
“When I was a teenager, your age, I went to New York City. It was 1950. The sky was clear and blue, and the sun was shining over the skyscrapers. Oh, how beautiful it looked at night, the city lights flashing, making the smoke from factory smokestacks turn random colors. It was fantastic. Anyway, just before we left, I saw the glass poodle in the window of a jewelry store, and my mother bought it for me. She told me always to keep it. Then on the way home, she just died, for no reason. Ever since then, I could feel her spirit was with me in the dog.” Her grandmother sighed.
“Well, thanks for telling me the story, granny. I’m going to go call my friend, Vinnie.” Jackie muttered, trying to get away.
“Wait, Jackie. I want you to keep it.” Her grandmother exclaimed, holding up the glass dog. “No thanks, granny.” Jackie replied, trying to get out of it, but the look on her grandmother’s face was weird looking, as if Jackie’s life depended on the glass poodle.
“Have it Jackie, because it’s very important. Pass it on when it’s your turn.” Her grandmother commanded.
“What do you mean, granny?” Jackie asked, carefully taking the glass dog and putting it in her pocket. “Granny?”
Her grandmother had died.
The next day, Jackie got off the airplane that went from Nova Scotia to San Francisco, California. She had called the police, and they contacted her parents. Her grandmother had been taken away, and the house was going to be given to her when she grew up. She still had the glass dog in her pocket.
“Mom, Dad, thank God you’re back! It was so creepy, and I had to sleep at the police station all night! The fat homicide detective who worked there fell asleep too, and he snored.” Jackie moaned, shuddering at just the memory of it. “Granny gave me this, it’s the weird glass poodle she had.”
Jackie held up the dog, letting the sunlight shine on it. The emerald eyes were radiant, positively glowing. Her mother and father stood there crying, mourning the loss of the grandmother.
Her grandmother’s story echoed in her mind, about New York City and the jewelry store. It was a big surprise that anybody would want a thing like that, but if it was her grandmother’s last wish, Jackie would keep it.
Then she saw it, something so horrible and terrifying, it made her scream…
Her grandmother’s reflection was in the glass dog, her face like a wrinkled prune. Jackie dropped the dog, and it thudded to the ground, cracking in half. A horrible moaning noise escaped it, making everyone in the airport cover their ears and squeal. The ghost of her grandmother drifted out of it, and up into the air, vanishing, while screaming, “I told you to keep it!”
Finally the noise stopped. Jackie stood there, afraid to move, staring down at the dog. One of the little emeralds had fallen out, leaving the dog one-eyed, and the ruby had a scratch on the surface now.
Before she could even scream, the airplane tipped over, as if some huge invisible force had pulled it down, on top of Jackie. As everyone began to scream and cry and run away, the dog vanished into thin air, leaving behind just the single emerald eye in the middle of the airplane runway.