Entry # A17


The Sleeper
By
Pamela Griffiths

Jenny had only been eighteen years old for two months, she was now allowed to drink alcohol legally, she was really looking forward to the Halloween party with her friends. The party had been arranged by her best friend Christine, they were going to use the old barn at the bottom of her garden. Christine's parents had agreed to it, they had arranged to out for the evening themselves. The girls and their partners would be able to enjoy the party without the worry and stress of keeping things tidy, they could clean up afterwards and not have too much pressure on.

'I can't wait, it's going to be a brill party' Christine was excited as they were arranging the decorations.
'Yeah, it'll be really cool, the others are bringing some booze as well so we can get rat arsed and no one will be there to tell us off' Jenny said as she swung from a wooden beam hanging a jack o lantern.

They had spent a whole week getting the barn ready for the party. Christine, Jenny and a few other friends had decorated the barn and turned it into an eerie, spooky place. They had managed to hang bunting from the wooden beams and there were a few skeleton's hanging around too. They had put a table in the far corner of the barn which they would use as a bar.

A large pasting table was covered with plastic halloween themed table covers ready to display the buffet food when the time came. They had set up the electrics via an extension lead from the mains socket outside which was set up for the outdoor tools. They had electric lights set up which were in keeping with the halloween theme. They would bring out the music centre shortly and then it would be all set up.

Jenny and her boyfriend Danny were invited, Christine had invited her boyfriend Steve too. There would be five couples attending the party, they were all friends. Christine had invited Stuart and Elli, Johnny and Gemma, Carl and Bella. The boys had decided it would be good if they could bring their own drinks and not have to rely on what the girls decided on. So they had pooled their resources and bought a few crates of lager to take to the party.

Christine and Jenny made lots of sandwiches and buffet finger food. They made some alcoholic punch in a large bowl. Everything was now ready for the party. It was Halloween and the party would begin at seven.
'Make sure you behave yourselves girls' Christine's mum told them.

'Come on Sandra' Christine's dad said as he ushered her towards the waiting taxi.

The girls waved them goodbye. It wouldn't be long now. They took the food out to the barn, let the party begin.

***

The sleeper was beginning to wake up, it was Halloween and it was time for him to come alive. Once a year he would be let loose for a few hours before having to return to his long sleep again.

Many, many years ago, the sleeper was hanged for raping the daughter of an old woman. The old woman unbeknown to him was a witch, she had put a curse on him just as he was hung from the gallows, the spit second before he died. His soul never went away and now he was doomed forever to the Halloween curse.
The sleeper was doomed to return every year on the 31st October, All Hallows Eve, to claim the souls of the young. He would stalk and suck out the life of at least one youngster, then he would return to his own private hell until the following year.

As the sleeper awoke, he relived the moment of his demise, he saw the gallows from years gone by and felt the noose around his neck, a hood was placed over his head. He could feel the noose tighten just before his light went out. He felt the drop and at that point he felt the curse enter his body. It was a jolt after the initial jolt of the drop, as his neck broke his spirit was whisked away and darkness enfolded him. His spirit was taken somewhere, he didn't know where, the witch had placed his soul in limbo. He was doomed for all eternity to return to earth once a year. He had no choice but to fulfil the curse that had been bestowed on him. He had no life and no death, his soul was forever taken by the curse.

It was beginning to get dark and he could see children dressed in their costumes, he saw this every year, he was getting bored of picking one or two of these brats to feed on. He wanted something different this year. He wanted to frighten, kill and feed, he would have his fill before this night was over. The sleeper hid amongst the shadows, watching and waiting.

***

Bella, Gemma and Elli came first then the boys arrived carrying the crates of lager. Christine and Jenny had arranged the food on the pasting table and set up the music which was playing through the speakers they had placed in the corners. The eerie lighting of the jack o lanterns and a few low powered bulbs gave out a subdued ilumination which added to the halloween scene. They had all dressed up in various fancy dress costumes. Christine had dressed as a witch, Jenny was a zombie and Elli was morticia from the adams family. Bella had dressed as a green witch and Gemma went as a vampire. The boys had all dressed as vampires with various versions of the Count Dracula look.

'Hey this is great' Danny said to Steve as they set up the bar.

Johnny, Carl and Stuart agreed. This was going to be a party to remember. They had already taken a few photo's on their mobiles and uploaded them to their facebook accounts.

The party was lively, the music was playing, they were all eating, drinking, dancing and enjoying themselves, that was until the sleeper arrived.

***

The sleeper heard the sound of the music coming from the barn, he was drawn by it. He knew this was going to be fun, he didn't get much fun. He moved from his hiding place in the shadows and he walked through the barn wall and mingled with the young people. He was really going to enjoy this. He was spoilt for choice, which one of these spirited souls would he choose first?

Danny saw the shadow whisk past him and felt the cold chill as the sleeper entered. The others felt the cold chill but didn't take much notice. They were too busy drinking and dancing and laughing to worry about it. Danny was the one that the sleeper had chosen, he was drawn to the corner of the barn by the sleeper.

Danny collapsed and the others thought he had been drinking too much, even though the party had only just started. Jenny went over to Danny she shouted Christine and Steve over. Danny didn't move when they tried to revive him.

'What the hell's up with him?' Christine asked Steve, she didn't want any trouble or they wouldn't be allowed to do this anymore.

'Somethings happened to him, he isn't moving, he looks dead'. Jenny screamed out.

They stopped drinking and dancing and Elli turned the music off.

'Someone call an ambulance' Gemma shouted above Jenny's sobs.

Johnny dialled 999 on his mobile, an ambulance was on it's way.

The sleeper was feeling good now, he had sucked the life out of Danny. He had done what he set out to do. Danny's soul was inside the sleeper along with all the other souls he had collected over the years. He hadn't finished yet though, there was still time to get at least one more soul before he had to return to his infinite hell.
The sleeper picked Elli, she was unaware of what was happening, she was drawn to the other corner of the barn. She couldn't resist, she felt the sleeper as he invaded her body with his cursed soul, he dragged her soul out through her mouth as he sucked her breath away, Elli collapsed in a corner of the barn.

The two dead friends were beyond all help and hope now. Nothing would bring them back. Their deaths would probably be reported as death by misadventure, caused by too much alcohol, even though it wasn't....
The high pitched sirens of the ambulance shattered the sleeper's calm, he drifted back into the shadows. The sleeper knew that he would have to return from whence he came, he was happy but cursed. This was his lot, he was saddened that he had to leave this world until he could return again next Halloween.


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