Joseph Alan Gharagheer
Lacey hated Halloween. The events that transpired in her life on that day were almost unspeakable, and caused her complete and utter ruin. The only thing the poor girl wanted more than to forget about it altogether was to put an end to the thing that made her hate the day in the first place.
In order to have a better understanding of why Lacey felt so strongly about a day that most people associated with fun and happiness, one must first be provided with her gruesome back story. It was several years prior that Lacey’s comfortable life was ripped away from her. Everything she had come to know in growing up, every piece of her padded lifestyle, and every true smile she had ever had no longer meant a thing thanks to this very day.
Two years ago, shortly after Lacey had turned eighteen years old, she still lived with her father. She was fresh out of High School, and she had just begun attending a local college, but she saw no point in moving out just yet. While many adolescents wanted nothing more throughout High School than to escape their overbearing parents, she actually cared deeply for her father, and their relationship since her Mother’s passing had only grown stronger. He singlehandedly raised Lacey on his own, and they had the strongest of bonds, and really, she saw no reason to leave him to loneliness, at least not while she was still practically a child.
Lacey loved her father more than anything else in her life, and she hoped to never lose him. Unfortunately for the poor girl, two Halloweens ago, that was exactly what transpired. Her father was murdered while she was out at a party and it shattered her world. What was worse was that it wasn’t something as simple as being shot. Instead, the man’s body was ripped to shreds as if it had been gnashed apart by some kind of monster. Strips of flesh were strewn about the house when Lacey found what was left of her father, and there was barely enough of his face left for her to discern his identity. His heart was completely gone, with no trace to where it could have been. Seeing such carnage in her home destroyed the innocent girl that she was. As everything she held dear was ripped to shreds around her, she fell into an emotional darkness that she could never truly climb out from again. Despite all of the sarcasm and negativity that most people her age carried around with them, she had been a very positive person, however, her spirit died along with the rest of the goodness in her life.
It wasn’t long before Lacey dropped out of college and got an apartment of her own. It was tough, but she couldn’t live in that house any longer. The memories she had were too painful, and it was bad enough with the vivid images of what became of her dear father burned into her mind without passing through the room. She could still imagine the bloodstained walls and carpet, and calling that haunted place home wasn’t something she could bring herself to do.
The following Halloween she spent her time with her childhood friend Rachel. Although she had alienated herself from just about everyone that she had associated with before her traumatic experience, Rachel still stood by her. They had been friends for so much of their lifetime, and she agreed to give up having any fun on Halloween night and instead of going out with other people their age, she stayed over at Lacey’s place to keep an eye on her.
The trauma had many negative effects on Lacey, but it didn’t make her unreasonable. It wasn’t like she was necessarily frightened that she was in any danger by being alone. She didn’t think that there was someone out to get her, especially because the attack on her father was so clearly caused by some kind of animal. She didn’t fear that anything would happen to her, but her own mind was scary enough that she would rather have someone she trusted nearby to distract her. As the day had drawn nearer, she felt herself being pulled closer and closer to the axis of insanity and she needed to keep her emotions and mind intact if she wanted to successfully make it through the horrid holiday.
Her mind did get the best of her, however, and images of her frayed father filled her mind, giving her migraines to accompany her emotional pain. She ended up laying down to rest while Rachel promised to remain in the living room in case she was needed. Lacey filled her feathered pillows with tears much like those they had grown so accustomed to throughout the year since her patriarch’s passing. Memories of the man who raised her carried her off into a saddened slumber, and she slept for several hours before waking.
Lacey woke up knowing her life couldn’t get any worse, and she would have been a lucky girl if that had only been the truth. At midnight she fell to her knees in her living room, her psyche in shambles, viewing a repeat of what had happened to her the previous year. Rachel’s golden blonde hair was the most recognizable thing, strewn about the room, stuck to different furniture and walls by chunks of bloodied scalp. Lacey fell forward, her hands shaking above Rachel’s open ribcage. Despite the gore, Lacey had to search. She had to know. Through everything, all of the torn flesh and bloodied, broken bones, she couldn’t find her old friend’s heart anywhere. She simultaneously vomited and cried uncontrollably until help arrived.
This year was going to be different. Whatever monster haunted her, she wouldn’t let it get away with it again. She had left her old town for a year after the incident with Rachel, only just now returning on her least favorite day, Halloween. She made her presence known, certain that whoever it was that wanted to continuously torture her soul would come for her. She was counting on it anyways. She checked into a motel room and she waited. After everything she had been through, her mind had become her enemy. She tried to keep herself steady, but the smallest of triggers had the capability of tossing her into a relapse. On this day, however, she vowed to keep herself together. She had to get revenge. For her father, and for Rachel, she had to exact vengeance. It wasn’t an option. She would end this monster’s reign this year no matter what.
She sat on the edge of her bed, waiting for something to happen. It was Halloween. Something had to happen. Anything else would be inconsistent. The silence was deafening to her ears, but it was important that she concentrated, or at least tried.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
Three short knocks came at the door very suddenly, which made Lacey jump from her seat. She got up, feeling for the knife handle sticking up out of her boot to be sure it was still there and made her way to the door. Seeing that it was the sheriff, she opened the door. She let him in, and tried to listen as he explained that he was coming to check on her. He also tried to tell her that returning was a bad idea, but her mind was becoming clouded. She instantly got a terrible migraine and just as she thought she would pass out, clarity fell upon her instead.
Lacey suddenly remembered everything. She remembered how she used nothing more than her own teeth and nails to rip her father and friend to shreds. She remembered the feeling as her fingernails dug into their chests, ripping apart their warm flesh. She remembered the tears that left the eyes of the people who thought her a loved one. But most of all, she remembered the feeling of warm, beating hearts between her teeth. She licked her lips and a sickening smile spread across her face as she pounced on the unsuspecting sheriff.
Hours later, Lacey woke up on the bathroom floor of the motel room. She didn’t remember passing out, but it must have been after a shower, as she was completely clean. She walked out and what she saw destroyed her. She had missed it again. She failed herself. She failed her childhood friend. But most of all, she failed her loving father. Unable to live with what she was witnessing, she grabbed her knife and raised it to her throat. With a swift swipe, she spread her own flesh, bleeding herself out in hopes that she could finally end the terrors that haunted her. She fell to the ground, a final tear emerging from her eye as she crashed. While she viewed her suicide as a failure, she had no idea that she was actually avenging her father’s death by finally killing the monster- herself.