Paper Or Plastic: A Halloween Tale, Part 3
Written By Myron J. Clifton
“Ahhhh..Le…Le…LEAH LOOK!” Zoey stammer-screamed.
“ZOEY! I SEE IT. RUN!!” Leah replied, as she pushed by Zoey running through the kitchen, past the dining room, and into the large family room where Beanie and Dunya looked up with confused looks on their faces.
“What happened?!?” Beanie said, slowing emptying one of her cherished sugar straws.
“The plastic bags are… haunted or something!” Zoey said as she entered the room.
“Thanks for leaving me, Leah.” Zoey punched Leah on the shoulder.
“Why were you just standing there, staring? I’m trying to stay alive, girl.” Leah smiled at Zoey and the girls laughed their fear away.
For a moment.
“I want to see!” Dunya shouted, as she got up and motioned toward the kitchen.
“Dunya!” Zoey and Leah shouted in unison, as they had so many times before when trying to stop Dunya’s impulses.
“Okay, look. We need to figure this out. Leah said pragmatically, as she sought to understand their situation.
“Because, if we figure it out what we are dealing with, we can devise a plan to do something about those bags.” Leah plotted.
“Good idea, Leah. Okay, what do we know?” Dunya asked.
“Dunya.. look at you being logical and not so impulsive. Good girl.” Zoey said somewhat condescendingly.
“Don’t be a butthole, Zoey.” Dunya shot back, before the other three girls, reacting to Dunya’s favorite insult, each gave her the teen girl look that got the results they wanted:
“Sorry.” Dunya mumbled.
“We know the creepy store manager was mean to Pop.” Dunya started.
“He caused her hands to bleed.” Zoey piped up.
“Omg, he was the worst! Tall, thin, creepy, and clearly abusive.” Beanie mumbled quietly as she chewed her way through a Mounds mini candy bar.
“I saw a piece of Pop’s bandage in the closet with the moving and crinkly bags.” Leah added.
The girls were quiet, except for the sound of Beanie now slurping another sugar straw.
“Wait!” Zoey shouted, startling her friends.
“Leah, the bags that were moving.”
“Yeah, that was scary.” Leah responded.
“I think they were starting to make a shape. Do you remember?” Zoey asked.
Leah turned her head up, closed her eyes, and let her mind drift back to the moving, writhing bags in the closet. She could see in her mind’s eye the bags swirling, twisting, turning, and… taking shape!”
“Yes! Zoey, you are so correct. The bags were taking shape. I can see it now.” Leah said enthusiastically.
“But into what shape, Leah.” Dunya asked.
“I don’t know. We don’t know. We.. ran before it was finished.” Leah answered, looking back and forth between Zoey and Dunya.
“So, we need to go back, see what it turns into and then decide what to do.” Dunya said assertively again, and again surprising her friends who were used to her being more flippant than assertive.
The girls were in agreement and motioned for Beanie to follow them.
“This new Dunya is weird. But I like it.” Zoey whispered loudly to Leah and loud enough for Dunya to hear.
Dunya elbowed Zoey in the arm.
The girls arrived at the laundry room, with Leah turning the light on as they did.
The waited but nothing happened.
“Leah, open the closet door.” Zoey asked.
Leah cautiously approached the door where she paused.
Then she reached out to the door handle and as soon as the very tip of her finger touched the door handle, the lights went out, shocking the girls and causing Leah to quickly withdraw her hand and jump back away from the closet door.
It was too late though. Leah had released the door handle as she jumped back, causing the door to be slightly ajar.
“Look” Zoey quietly whispered.
The girls all saw what Zoey saw.
They each held hands and pulled themselves closer together.
The light emanating from the closet door was moving it what first appeared to be circular motions, and then a few moments later, up and down, then side to side.
The girls were frozen and silent and tightly holding on to one another. The room was dark and quiet, as the light made no noise.
And then Leah and Zoey recognized the familiar crinkly sound caused by the plastic bags twirling and twisting.
“It’s doing it again, girls.” Leah spoke into the air quietly but certain her friends heard every word.
“I want to see.” It was Dunya as she motioned toward the closet door, pulling Beanie closer as well.
“Dunya!” Leah forcefully whispered to her bold and foolish friend.
But Dunya was not deterred. She reached out with her right hand while her left hand continuing to tightly grip Beanie’s hand.
Dunya grabbed the door handle and pulled it outward.
The light was blinding and Dunya raised her hand and arm in an attempt to shield her eyes. The other girls did the same.
Then the noise started: CRINKLYYYYYYY.
Each of the girls sought to cover their ears while also trying to keep their eyes shielded from the bright light.
“Look!” It was Dunya who spoke first, through clenched eyes.
The bags had formed a tall thin shape.
It was the store manager’s shape!
The plastic continued to swirl and make crinkly noises but now the overall shape didn’t change. It had settled on its form, and now its mouth area opened and its arm lifted, pointing toward the girls who stood stunned and silent.
“P…p….pa…pap..paper….or….Pl..pla…plas…plastic” The thing said in a garbled and harsh sound.
Before the girls could react to the horrible sound the thing produced, the thing grabbed Dunya who was closest to it and wrapped her head in a plastic bag that were in place of hands.
“NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” Leah screamed, shocking the sugar straw from Beanie’s hand and causing Zoey’s eyes to open so wide she looked like a Jack o’ Lantern.
But before Zoey’s huge eyes could even blink, another plastic arm shot out and grabbed her, too, and wrapped her head in a plastic bag-hand, too, and muffling her attempts to scream.
Leah turned to run, but it was too late to her, too.
The thing produced two more plastic arms and grabbed both Leah and Beanie, pulling each girl toward its tall, thin, plastic self with its crinkly plastic bag hands.
All the while the crinkly plastic bag horror thing that had the shape of the mean tall thin manager from the Halloween store was still swirling and making the awful crinkly noises.
Only now its noises were somewhat muted because it had what it came for:
Halloween treats made of four teenage girls who were in its grasp.
The girls were squirming and trying to free themselves, but the plastic wouldn’t give and wouldn’t allow the girls to break free no matter how hard they twisted and turned.
Now they were struggling to breathe as the tall and thin plastic monster squeezed tighter and tighter in an effort to try to stop them from moving. But that’s not all.
The plastic monster was slowly twisting more plastic bags around each girl, starting at their feet and slowly working the plastic up high and higher.
The girls fought back and continued moving and trying to scream.
Beanie stopped moving first. And then Zoey. Both were passed out.
But then, just when it seemed all was lost, a small opening near Dunya’s eyes allowed her to see Leah, who saw Dunya at the same time.
Dunya stared at Leah and she saw Leah’s eyes dart back and forth quickly.
Dunya followed Leah’s eyes – as she had done in class for many years at the girl’s school, and saw what she was looking at: Pop’s torn bandage was stuck to the tall thin plastic monster – and it was right where the monster’s heart would have been if it had a heart.
Dunya looked back to Leah who was still darting her eyes back and forth. Dunya noticed that Leah’s arms were behind her back so she was completely immobile.
Dunya however had an arm that was wrapped up but also close the tall thin plastic monster’s heart because of how it wrapped her up when she was grabbing the handle to the closet door before this nightmare really kicked into gear.
Dunya looked at Leah whose eyes now slowed down and appeared reddish from the plastic thing squeezing so hard.
“Don’t pass out, Leah!” Dunya thought but couldn’t say.
Her eyes darted to Zoey and Beanie. Both were still passed out, since unlike she and Leah, neither had an opening to see or breath.
They’re being squeezed into plastic and they can’t breath. Dunya said to herself.
“It’s up to me.” She mumbled.
Reaching around up with all her might, Dunya motioned her left arm upwards and towards the thing’s heart, where Pop’s bandage was stuck in all its bloody gore.
The thing seemed to realize what Dunya was trying to do, so it squeezed harder.
Dunya let out a grunt, as the pain became unbearable and she reached higher and higher toward the bandage and monster heart.
Dunya felt her strength waver and just as she was close to giving up, she felt her arm being pushed upward. Looking over at Leah, Dunya saw that Leah had wrested her own arm free enough to reach over and help Dunya.
Feeling renewed strength, Dunya finished reaching up for the last few inches, pushed on by Leah’s semi outstretched hand.
Dunya reached up and grabbed the bandage.
The tall thin plastic thing screamed a high pitch wailing that was terrifying to Leah and Dunya, and caused Beanie and Zoey to open their eyes and show fear at their recognition of their predicament.
Dunya squeezed the bandage as tight as she could. And as she did, blood squirted in all directions, splashing all over her and the girls, wall, and floor.
The tall thin plastic monster that looked like the mean store manager, let out one last scream and burst of light before it exploded and shot out a massive glob of plastic bags all over the laundry room and kitchen and with many falling harmlessly at the feet of the very relieved girls.
Then the tall thin plastic thing collapsed on the floor, releasing the girls who fell to the floor at the same time.
The girls immediately started inhaling sweet, sweet oxygen, while holding hands. Except for Beanie who had already found the sugar straw she had dropped earlier.
Dunya was the first to stand up, holding the bloody plastic bandage, and breathing heavily as she looked at her recovering friends as they each began standing up.
“Are you all alright?” she finally asked out loud.
“Dunya, you did it. I didn’t think you’d understand me. I saw that bandage and knew it was the key to getting us free. I don’t know how I knew, but I did.” Leah answered. She was second to her feet, and once she was, she hugged Dunya.
“Come on.” Dunya said as she began helping Beanie and Zoey stand up.
Let’s get out of here and go eat more candy, now that this nightmare is over.” Zoey said, as she started to walk out of the laundry room.
“Okay, you all go, I’m going to put these plastic bags back in the closet so my dad doesn’t have a fit later.” Leah said, as the girls laughed.
“Leah, can you throw this bloody bandage away, too?” Dunya asked. She was still holding the bloody bandage and was ready to let it go for good and for ever.
“Sure.” Leah said as she reached out and delicately accepted the bloody bandage from Dunya.
“Ugh. I’m going to put this in the outside garbage bin. I can not sleep knowing this bloody bandage is still inside” Leah answered as she opened the back door, walked down the stairs, and motioned over to the garbage bins.
“What a weird and strange night. A lot weirder and way more scary than last year.” Leah said as opened the garbage lid and dropped the bloody bandage in, before going back inside to be with her friends and resume their Halloween festivities and candy eating.
The girls were in the living room and the air of fun had returned, candy was being traded and tossed around, and Beanie was drinking from her eighth sugar straw of the night.
“Omg, nobody will believe this story!” Leah said as she ate gummy worms.
“I’m not telling because I don’t want anyone to think I’m crazy.” Dunya said as she sampled her third candy bar, an Almond Joy.
“Mhhmmm mmmm.” Beanie mumbled while drinking from a sugar straw while also chewing on chocolate covered raisins that she’d collected from her friends because nobody in their right mind would even consider eating chocolate covered raisins for Halloween. Or ever.
“Well, at least it is finally over. No more stupid plastic bags that actually looked like tall thin mean store manager.” Dunya said.
The girls finished sorting, sharing, trading, and eating candy late into the Halloween night.
They all slept close to one another on the oversized sofa sectional just so they could talk late into the night, and not because they were still spooked by the spooky events from earlier in the evening.
Meanwhile, outside where the garbage bins were, and where Leah had thrown away the bloody bandage…there was a light pulsating within the bin….and the bin was just starting to shake and emit a low-pitched grumbling sound…
The End. Happy Halloween!
Copyright 2018 Dear Dean Publishing. All Rights Reserved.