Creative Writing, Fiction, Horror, short story

The Goblin Saint of All Hallow’s Eve (part 29)

October 29th

(Last Year)

Something came in the mail for me today. I forgot I ordered it during my early research on goblins. It was a small, silver amulet, made and blessed by a Hindu holy man. It was supposed to ward off evil eye. I didn’t know if it would work. I didn’t even know if it was going to arrive before All Hallow’s Eve. But it’s here, so I’ll give it a try.

Our parents had a party to go to tonight. They weren’t going to go, but Cas’ condition hadn’t really changed. They left me with strict instructions not to bother Cas. If she needed anything, I was to get it for her. They left a number to reach them at should she get any worse.

After they left, I started preparing for the night’s visit. I spread salt everywhere. I knew it would hurt the Goblin Saint if it came into contact with the salt. I also laid a bunch of trip lines. If our parents saw all the nails I used in the walls and floor, they’d flip. I was hoping if I managed to trip up the Goblin Saint, I could knock it out. Something to keep the creature from teleporting, or whatever it does, out of the room. Cas was a little more lively than yesterday. We armed her with some more salt and the amulet. Then we waited.

When the creature finally showed up, the room erupted in chaos. The floor lit up with green flames where the Goblin Saint’s feet touched the salt. When Cas saw this, she started flinging salt at it. Tons of tiny green sparks popped in rapid succession. The Goblin Saint howled in pain. I rushed toward the sparks. There was a hollow thud and green flames outlined the creature as it thrashed around on the floor. I jumped on top of the thing, ready to throttle it into oblivion.

The Goblin Saint struggled with a fury unmatched by anything I had experienced before. Cas was still raining down salt. I got a couple good punches in. Then, quicker than I could react, the Goblin Saint shifted and contorted its body. It was on top of me. The green flames died down as the salt burned away. The sparks still popping off with each spray of salt from Cas.

I struggled to free myself from the creatures grip, but it tightened. Then a searing pain ripped across my chest. The Goblin Saint hissed in my ear, “You’ll pay.” Then it was gone.

“Cas, turn on the light.”

When our eyes adjusted, she gasped and I winced. There were three jagged gashes down my chest that burned like hot coals.

“We didn’t get it.” I said.

“No we didn’t. But I think the amulet you gave me helped.”

“How?”

“I don’t know. It started getting warm when the Goblin Saint got closer. I think it forced the fiend back.”

“Good, we’ll prepare for tomorrow. If we make it past midnight, we should be in the clear.”

When I finally looked around the room, there was a pumpkin with an O in one of the corners. It must have rolled over there during the struggle.

(This Year)

I was as ready as I could be to execute my plan. I took a lot of what I learned last year and added a few more defenses to stop the Goblin Saint. My parents informed me yesterday morning that they were going out of town for a couple of days. They didn’t want to be in the house on the anniversary of Cas’ disappearance. Too many memories I guess. They offered to take me with them, but I told them I’d rather be alone. They only protested a little before giving up.

My parents left just after noon, giving me plenty of time to get everything set. I did the salt on the floor and some trip wires like last year. I left the iron horseshoes up and added a few more around the room. I didn’t manage to get a hold of an amulet this year, but I did grab some silver jewelry from mom’s jewelry box. Maybe they’d have a similar effect.

The best part of my plan, though, was something new. I think the Goblin Saint was getting away because there wasn’t enough salt to keep the creature here. I figured if it wasn’t surrounded by salt, it would have an escape route. Even if it was only a small break somewhere. So I rigged up several fans with hoses connected to them. I attached the hoses to fish aquarium pumps that I submerged in large buckets of super salty water. When I turned everything on, it created a salty mist that blanketed the room.

With everything set, the waiting game started. I couldn’t help thinking of Cas and everything I put her through. I thought if I could stop the Goblin Saint, there was a chance Cas could come back. How would we explain her absence if she did return? I was musing over this when a floorboard creaked by my bed, green flames erupting from the salt.

I sprang into action, mashing the switch on the power cord that all the pumps were plugged into. Instantly, the room was filled with a fine, salty mist. The Goblin Saint let out a howl of pain that made my teeth hurt. I heard the creature hit the floor with a loud thud. The trip lines worked. More green flames burst out around the creature, outlining a spindly limbed, human-like figure.

The flames grew brighter and its howls of pain got louder. I thought for sure the neighbors would hear and call the cops. I needed to finish before the salt water ran out and the salt on the floor burned up.

I jumped on the outlined figure. The silver jewelry I snagged from mom started heating up, but surprisingly the flames didn’t touch my skin. They weren’t even warm. The Goblin Saint thrashed around, still howling in pain. I came down on top of the thing with all my weight, forcing the breath out of it. I seized the opportunity to land several well placed punches.

The Goblin Saint got a burst of power from somewhere, managing to roll on top of me. I used the momentum to roll right back on top. It lashed out with a gnarly hand, scratching the side of my neck. I kneed and punched, struggling to keep the creature pinned. It bit my forearm, sending shockwaves of pain up to my shoulder.

Finally, I could feel the intruder’s strength failing. During our struggle, we knocked the horseshoe off the windowsill. I grabbed it and pressed it into the things chest. A horseshoe shaped, blue flame sizzled flesh. The stink made my head swim, but I kept the pressure on.

The silver jewelry was glowing red now. It was starting to burn my skin. Luckily, the Goblin Saint was in its final death throes, convulsing uncontrollably. I managed to break loose and get to my feet, kicking at the thrashing form. Doing the only thing I could think of, I grabbed a bucket of the salt water and poured it all over the prone form. The howling gave way to a bubbling gurgle before dying out with a final whimpered word. “Pumpkins.”

After the last syllable was uttered, Cas’ voice whispered in my ear, “Tomorrow.”

When I turned on the light, my room was a wreck. Everything was soaked and a pungent smoke hung in the air. The only thing left of the Goblin Saint was a burnt husk that crumbled to dust when I nudged it with my foot. In the corner was a small pumpkin with an O carved in it.

I wonder what Cas meant by tonight? Is she safe? Is she coming home? Our parents will be beside themselves if she’s here when they return. I need to get this room cleaned up before that.

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Creative Writing, Fiction, Horror, short story

The Goblin Saint of All Hallow’s Eve (part 28)

October 28th

(Last Year)

Cas’ condition didn’t worsen but it didn’t get any better either. My mom fussed over her all day. For my part, I was out of ideas. I tried to convince my dad what the real problem was. He was having none of it. He basically blamed me for stressing my sister out. He told me to drop it and leave her alone.

Mom kept sneaking checks on Cas throughout the night. She finally went to bed around two in the morning. I took the opportunity to check on Cas myself.

She was awake when I entered her room, but having problems talking. In her weakened state, the effort took a lot out of her.

“Has the Goblin Saint been here yet?” I asked.

“Mom saw,” Cas said. “Pretended nothing happened.”

“What! What happened?”

Cas pointed to the wastebasket then to her leg. I checked her leg first. There were four circular red spots with little pinpricks of blood in the center. From the pinpricks, I could see little tendrils of darkened veins starting to form when I looked close enough.

“Did the Goblin Saint grab your leg?” I asked. Cas nodded and started crying. “Did mom see that happen?”

“No, she saw that.” Cas pointed at the wastebasket again.

When I checked it out, I found the latest pumpkin. There was a Y carved into it. I couldn’t understand how mom could see this and not be making a big deal out of it.

“Mom saw this?” I asked.

Cas nodded. “And heard the rustling. I don’t think she saw it like we do.”

“What do you mean?”

“She mentioned looking into where the draft was coming from. Then she grabbed the pumpkin and dropped it in the garbage. She said I shouldn’t be leaving balls of tissues on the bed.”

“She thought this was a ball of tissues?”

Cas shrugged. I could tell all the talking was taking a lot out of her. “I’ll figure something out.”

“You better do it quick.” Cas said before closing her eyes and passing out.

I felt helpless. I wasn’t sure there was anything I could actually do at this point.

(This Year)

I’m going to try my big plan tomorrow. I really don’t want to deal with the Goblin Saint tonight. I took a couple of sleeping pills that were leftover from last year. Maybe I could sleep through tonight’s intrusion. Then I’d be rested for tomorrow night. Once my head hit the pillow, I passed out right away.

I woke up to a piercing pain in my leg. There was a little light from the moon seeping into the room from around the curtains. It was enough to see the shadowy form at the end of my bed. The pain got worse, like something was burrowing deeper into the muscle. I kicked out with my other leg, connecting on the side of the shadowy figure. I could swear the grunt sounded more like Cas than the Goblin Saint.

The pain in my leg let up. The Goblin Saint, or Cas, or both laughed. There was a hissed “Benjamin” before the rustling noise started. Then the shadowy figure vanished.

I turned on the light to look at my leg. It looked like Cas’ did last year. Except the pinpricks of blood were a little bigger. I tried to stand up to check the wastebasket, but my leg nearly gave out. I sat down on the edge of the bed before I fell over, reaching over to grab the wastebasket instead. The Y pumpkin was there.

This either ends with my plan tomorrow or I’m done for.

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Creative Writing, Fiction, Horror, short story

The Goblin Saint of All Hallow’s Eve (part 27)

October 27th

(Last Year)

My parents took Cas to the doctor today. Cas is running a fever and her skin looks a little orange. There was an area on her arm, the one the Goblin Saint touched, that the veins were much darker than normal. They radiated our from one spot.

The doctor gave her sleeping pills for the “insomnia” and some antibiotics. He told my parents it was some sort of infection. They needed to monitor her. If it got worse, they needed to bring her back immediately. I knew it wouldn’t get better unless we stopped the Goblin Saint.

I’m sure our intruder is not getting in through normal means. I think it’s sort of materializing in the room. That could explain the rustling noise. But how do you stop something from magically appearing? Or, barring that, stop it from leaving?

The only thing I could think of for tonight was leaving the lights on. I was so obsessed with getting evidence, I overlooked possibly the simplest solution. I think Cas actually mentioned it at some point the last few days.

Cas would be no help tonight. She was shivering, with the sweats and barely conscious at times. When I got in her room, I did my best to cover the cracks around the door so no light could slip out. I didn’t want to alert our parents. Then I started the waiting game.

During my watch, the lights started making a weird humming noise. Then they flickered a few times before going out. I knew it wasn’t a power outage because I could see lights outside. I heard the rustling leaves noise followed by the squeaky floorboard, but I couldn’t see a thing. The sudden change from light to dark was disorienting.

I tried to follow Cas’ groans and another creak of the floorboard. I wound up bumping into the dresser instead. When I did, the Goblin Saint laughed before hissing ‘Cas.”

The rustling leaves sound came again, stopping just before the lights jolted back on. The after image of the lights looked like a little humanoid figure when I blinked. Once my eyes adjusted again, a plain pumpkin covered in those tumorous growths, sat on the end of the bed.

(This Year)

Sleep eludes me. My brain is fried yet I can’t sleep. I can’t stop thinking about Cas and how crappy of a brother I was to her. I was supposed to protect her. That’s what big brothers do, right? Instead, I failed her. Now I’m paying for it.

I don’t think I fell asleep, but dreams still haunted me. Maybe it was a waking nightmare or a vision. I couldn’t tell. I didn’t know if I was seeing something from the past or if it was currently happening.

In the hallucination or dream, Cas was scooping pumpkin guts again, but this time she was also carving them. She looked different though. Not really herself. She looked like she was part goblin now and seemed to be enjoying her work. Every now and again she would yell at one of the other kids.

The Goblin Saint was in the background throwing pumpkin guts and laughing. Then the creature looked right at me. I felt it’s yellow eyes weighing my past deeds. I felt like I failed the judgement. Miserably. The Goblin Saint laughed harder, plucked a pumpkin from the ground, and threw it at me. By instinct, I threw my hands up to block it.

I was shocked when I felt something hit my hand. When I lowered them back down, the vision was gone but the tumor infested pumpkin lay on my bed.

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Creative Writing, Fiction, Horror, short story

The Goblin Saint of All Hallow’s Eve (part 26)

October 26th

(Last Year)

Our parents didn’t bother keeping vigil for a second night. Guess they figured I got the point. The lack of sleep and worrying finally caught up with Cas. She’s been sick all day. It’s actually a good thing because I know she got some decent sleep today.

I didn’t want to get caught in Cas’ room again so I waited quite a while after I heard dad’s snoring start. Then I tip-toed down the hall and slid into her room without a sound.

I still hadn’t figured out where the Goblin Saint was coming from. I knew it wasn’t from under the bed. The next logical place was the closet. With that in mind, I wedged a book under the door and propped my back against it. It would be tough getting past me if that’s where the thing came from.

As I sat there fidgeting and counting the number of times I blinked, I heard that floorboard creak. I tried a different tactic and slunk toward the noise. Hoping stealth would prevail where quickness failed.

It didn’t work. The Goblin Saint knew I was coming. It hissed out the word “pumpkins” mere inches from my ear. Its rotten breath warming my neck. I shivered and wrapped my arms around myself. There was a slight rustling, like leaves blowing down the street. Then nothing.

I heard Cas groaning in her sleep as I flicked on my flashlight. There was a jack-o’-lantern facing her on the pillow. It was so close it could have been sucking the breath out of her. She was still groaning. When I grabbed the jack-o’-lantern, she grew quiet and still. The R carved into it was leaking a thick, orange substance.

(This Year)

I still wasn’t feeling great today. The fever was gone, but I was still achey and felt like my head was stuffed with cotton. On the plus side, the iron horseshoes I ordered came in the mail today. I told my parents it was for a project I was working on.

I hung one over my bedroom door and one over the closet. I also put one on the window sill. I read that iron horseshoes kept evil away. No harm in trying.

My sleep was sporadic. No dreams, at least not that I remember. When the rustling sound I heard last year started, I sat straight up in bed. Then a voice whispered “Benjamin” in my ear. It was Cas’ voice. It was followed by “pumpkins” hissed in the other ear by the Goblin Saint. The sound like rustling leaves happened again. After it stopped, I could tell I was alone.

I clicked on the light on my phone, but didn’t see anything at the end of the bed. I moved the light to my pillow and there it was. The jack-o’-lantern with the R leaking a thick, orange goo.

I wonder why the horseshoes didn’t work. Maybe because the Goblin Saint has already been in the house? Maybe because Cas was with him? Though I don’t know if the Goblin Saint was forcing her or if it was by choice. They probably didn’t work because it’s an old wives tale. I’ll leave them up though. Just in case.

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Creative Writing, Fiction, Horror, short story

The Goblin Saint of All Hallow’s Eve (part 25)

October 25th

(Last Year)

My parents took turns keeping watch on my bedroom last night. Every time I tried to leave, one of them was there to question what I was doing. I could only get water or use the restroom so many times.

I worried about Cas and how she’d fare by herself. I hoped she slept through it tonight and maybe the parents would back off tomorrow. Although we did sort of escalate it a bit with the salt last night. I feared the Goblin Saint would retaliate for the injuries we inflicted on it.

When I finally got the chance to talk to Cas today, she looked terrible. “What happened last night?” I asked.

“She looked at me dazed. “I didn’t sleep more than five minutes last night.” She mumbled.

“What else?”

“When I woke from my snooze, there was a jack-o’-lantern sitting on my chest staring at me. The mouth was an O.”

“I’m so sorry, I tried to get to your room but mom and dad kept watch all night.” I said.

“That’s not the worst part.”

“There’s more?”

“Yeah, my head felt funny when I woke up. When I reached up to rub my forehead, it was all sticky. The Goblin Saint put pumpkin guts in my hair. Seeds and all.” After finishing, she started sobbing.

“We’ll catch this Goblin Saint before All Hallow’s Eve or at least make it stop. I promise.” But I wasn’t sure I would be able to keep that promise. I’d do everything in my power to keep it though.

(This Year)

More fevered dreams. Cas was harvesting a pumpkin patch. Only she looked different, thinner. More gangly. And dirty, I mean filthy. She would pick one, take it to a rickety wooden table, lop the top off with a rusty knife, scoop the guts out, then replace the top. Over and over, while a shadowy figure lurked in the background screeching orders. Whipping other children for working too slow. The Goblin Saint threw handfuls of pumpkin guts at them, forcing them to eat the raw innards.

I woke up drenched in sweat. My fever must have broke shortly before. When I opened my eyes, a jack-o’-lantern sat on my chest, looking surprised by the pumpkin guts smeared on my face. The seeds were matted in my hair just like Cas last year. This needs to stop. The Goblin Saint is getting more substantial the closer to All Hallow’s Eve it gets.

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Creative Writing, Fiction, Horror, short story

The Goblin Saint of All Hallow’s Eve (part 24)

October 24th

(Last Year)

I did a little research on getting rid of goblins. After sifting through a bunch of junk articles, I found a few plausible remedies. The one about using salt seemed like the most legitimate. I seem to remember other instances of salt being used to keep evil away. It was worth a try.

I spread a thick layer in a wide swath around Cas’ bed. I gave her what was left to throw on the Goblin Saint when it showed up.

There was no creak of a floorboard to signal the Goblin Saint’s arrival. Only a quick flash of green flame, then the smell of rotten pumpkin. A sickly, spicy smell. Cas actually screamed and flung the salt all around her. Some must have made contact because little pin sized pops of green flame went off in rapid succession. They were accompanied by a few low grunts, then silence.

Cas was whimpering as I moved to inspect the area. I was just stooping over to check the salt on the floor when our parents burst in and flipped on the light.

Dad demanded to know what was going on in the most commanding dad voice he could muster. Cas and I started talking over each other trying to explain what happened. They weren’t buying the story. Even when I pointed out the burnt area of salt that looked like a footprint. Mom freaked over the mess and wafted her hand in front of her nose from the smell.

They didn’t believe a word we said, even when I showed them the evidence we gathered already. Dad was ticked about us using his video recorder without permission. They gave me credit for being so creative and resourceful. So much credit they grounded me. Even when I pointed out the singed pumpkin laying in the salt on the floor. The F on the side impossible not to see.

They told me to clean everything up, stop harassing my sister, and go to bed. But at least we knew the Goblin Saint could be injured.

(This Year)

I told my parents I was sick. They acted like it wasn’t a big deal even though I never got sick. I guess they’re preoccupied this close to the anniversary of Cas’ disappearance.

My leg still has that oily feeling. No matter how many times I wash it, the taint lingers. It’s nothing you can feel by touch, it feels more like it’s lingering under the surface.

Fevered dreams tormented me last night. I couldn’t tell what was real or hallucinations brought on by the fever. I remember Cas standing over my bed. She didn’t say a word. But her accusing eyes cut more than any words ever could.

As she stood there, her features morphed and contorted into something else. Something squat and gangly. The thing she became bent down, pressing its face so close to mine I could smell it’s breath. The scent of rotting pumpkins filled my nose. The sickly sweet aroma making my head swim even more, until I passed out.

When I finally woke up today, a singed pumpkin, with an F on the side, rested next to my head. I needed to get better or I wouldn’t be able to stop this.

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Creative Writing, Fiction, Horror, short story

The Goblin Saint of All Hallow’s Eve (part 23)

October 23

(Last Year)

My plans were not working out so well. Cas wasn’t much help either. The closer All Hallow’s Eve got, the more she drew into herself. I had to really coax the simplest conversation from her.

“Any ideas Cas?” She just stared at the end of her bed. “Seriously, are you even listening? Cas!”

“Huh…” Cas slid back in to reality. “Oh. Well. We could tell mom and dad.”

“Maybe in a day or two. Anything for tonight?”

She stared at the closet door. “Hide in there.”

“Too far away. But that gave me an idea. I think there’s enough room under the bed. Being that close, maybe I can grab the Goblin Saint and hold on.

“Maybe.” Cas said as she squeezed her eyes shut.

“But I’ll need your help. Can you be brave and help?”

“I guess.” She actually looked at me. “What do you need?”

“When I grab it, throw your blanket over it, then jump on top of it.”

“I don’t want to touch it. When the Goblin Saint brushed my arm, I felt like there was a thin film on that arm for days.”

“Please Cas. You’ve got to be strong. I can’t do this alone.”

“I’ll try.”

Getting under the bed was a lot harder than I anticipated. I managed it after inhaling a dust bunny or two. There was a little room to move once I got past the frame. Then I waited for the creaky board to signal me to action.

The second I heard it, I grabbed out, hoping to connect. I caught hold of a leg, between ankle and calf. It felt like the arm I grabbed before, slimy with a spongy hardness beneath. I heard Cas move and felt the edge of her blanket touch the top of my hand. She didn’t leave the bed though.

I could feel the weight of the blanket pulling toward the floor. My grip shifted and it didn’t feel like a leg anymore. Then the blanket was completely covering my arm. I knew I held a plain pumpkin. I could feel the ridges and nothing else.

(This Year)

I’m not sleeping anymore. For the life of me I can’t figure this Goblin Saint thing out. I made it all up. Didn’t I? Or did I read about it? Maybe I dreamt it up. Maybe all this is a dream. But that would be a extremely long dream. It’s making me sick.

I guess what really made me sick was the physical contact from the Goblin Saint. At some point early this morning before the sun came up, it grabbed my leg. Fingers like vines wrapped tight around my calf. A wave of nausea swept through my body.

As quick as it started, the vines shifted to what felt like petite fingers. I called out, “Is that you Cas?” As the fingers gradually faded away, releasing the pressure on my calf. The pressure was replaced by a light weight on the cover. A plain old pumpkin, with no letter. I grabbed it and chucked it across the room, splitting it in two. Shortly after, I started feeling icky. I couldn’t get the oily feeling off my leg. It makes me feel so unclean.

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