The following is a short piece of fiction. Maybe.
Lisa sat at her desk, fingers hovering above the keyboard. She’d turned the lights off ages ago when the final stragglers had collected the last of her tiny chocolate bars. Well, save the personal stash she kept nearby for times like these. Times when she had trouble knowing what to write.
Moonlight spilled through the window, illuminating her face with a strange silvery glow. It was a full moon for All Hallows Eve. The perfect atmosphere to write a scary story.
Her fingers flew across the keys, words spilling from nowhere as the mood struck her. A girl, alone in the house, in the dark. Cliche? Perhaps, but this was a rough draft so she’d go with it for now.
Tap, tap, tap.
Lisa’s hands froze. Who’d knock on the door when the lights were out? Probably another teenager without a costume, holding out a pillowcase. She’d have to ignore them. They’d get it eventually. Midnight was too late for trick or treaters.
She resumed her rough draft, trying to block out her internal editor when the knocking came again.
Damn. She waited, helping herself to a chocolate. Then it came again. She’d have to answer. Tell the kid to get a life. She crinkled up the wrapper and tossed it in the trash on her way down the steps. Her fluffy slippers masked the creak of the old wooden steps. She pulled her robe tightly around herself and stepped up to the door.
Tap. Tap. Tap.
“Who is it?” she asked, her voice ringing into the silence, making her aware of just how empty the house was.
“Happy Halloween,” said the voice. It was a girl. Not very young sounding though.
“I’m out of candy. You could have woken the kids.” The lie slipped out, meant to both make the girl feel guilty for her insane persistence, and also so she’d think there were other people around. It did feel a little creepy. Good for writing.
“You’re lying,” said the girl. “You don’t have kids.”
Lisa stepped back from the door, hugging herself tighter. Probably just a kid on the street. Someone who knew a single woman lived in the house. Not freaky. Not at all.
“And you still have candy upstairs on your desk,” added the girl when Lisa didn’t respond.
“Go away,” she said, staring at the deadbolt, which was securely in place.
“You called me. Let me in.” The knob twisted, making Lisa jump back further. She fumbled in her robe pocket for her cell, but it was still upstairs on the desk.
“I called no one. Go away or I will. The police.”
The knob stopped moving and Lisa stood there for several minutes, staring at the brass bulb, waiting as her cold breath fogged in and out of her mouth. Satisfied the girl was gone, she crept to the peephole and peeked outside. Just to make sure.
Staring at the door was a girl with the whitest skin she’d ever seen. It glowed beneath the moonlight, almost emitting its own light. Her eyes were dark orbs – no pupils, no whites – and her hair fell to the ground in sheets of black, darker than the surrounding night. Like shadows dancing around her shoulders.
Lisa turned to run upstairs, but found herself face to face with the girl.
“Who are you?” she asked through unsteady breath.
“I am your muse. You called to me. You asked me for a scary story, so I’m here to give you one.”
“Okay I’m scared. You did it. Now leave.” Lisa opened the door, while watching the girl at all times.
“I have to provide an ending as well,” the girl said, cocking her head to the side. “We should go upstairs. You’ll want to write the rest first.”
“Wh…why?” Lisa asked as the door swung shut behind her, the handle flying from her grasp.
“You won’t be able to write the end.”