3 very short stories, each 250 words or less, written for Halloween. These stories span time and space: from ancient Ireland to modern Japan, and the most scary place of all–the back of a greyhound bus.
The Five South (Seattle to Redding)
She smiled at the man across the aisle. His shaved hair spoke of a recent prisoner or soldier. He nervously licked his lips and smiled back at her. Women like her were not found on the Greyhound.
Sometimes it was too easy, this seduction of man. The euphoric joy of coupling was unrivalled for her kind. Taking men to her bed, or to the toilet at the back of the bus when necessary, and fucking and sucking them until their essence quite literally became hers…oh, her nipples tingled with anticipation.
It was late and most people had left the bus by Eugene. She patted the empty seat next to her invitingly, while slipping her other finger down her into her underwear.
She could not pleasure herself, of course. A succubus is not built that way. But she could pretend, and it drove men wild.
Indeed he was at her side, lust raging in his eyes. His hands found her breasts and his breath was warm on her face. No one on the bus paid them the slightest mind.
She suppressed a sigh. It really was too easy. She reached for the bulge in his pants almost by rote.
She froze when she felt his burning skin. It burned beyond mortal capabilities. The shaven-haired man clasped her hands with inhuman strength.
“Do you know?” he said in a deep silky voice that belied his harried exterior. “How many kudos an incubus gets when we trap one of you?”
A Long Way From Tokyo
Akari cursed as her scooter came to a stop. She was a long way from Tokyo, and the tropical lush nature of Kyushu was filled with new sounds and a darkness the city never attained. Her childhood fear of the dark, long since conquered, remerged as strong as ever.
Out of fuel, and only kilometers away from Mt. Aso. There were people at the train station who could help, but she would have to push her Suziki along the road. No moon lit that dark sky, and even the stars seemed hesitant to shine with their full force.
She was just starting to push her bike when she realized that something was behind her.
It was a black tosa, a dog bred for fighting, killing, maiming. This one was smaller than some she had seen, but its eyes glowed like burning coals and smelled of decaying meat, dead places, forgotten graveyards.
This was no wild dog, Akari suddenly knew, but an okuri-inu, a spectral beast that preyed on lone travelers. She dropped her scooter and ran wildly, irrationally.
The hellish creature accompanied her, imminent as death itself.
Twice she almost tripped, but then ahead of her headlights appeared. She ran into the street, waving her hands and stopping the small car.
The young couple helped her into the car with murmurs of care, but they winced visibly at her scent.
She smelled of death, and would forever more.
Lady of the Barrows
She was there, alright. Sitting by the stream, meticulously washing a suit of armor piece-by-piece in the cold mountain water. She hadn’t seen me yet, thank the Dagda.
The problem was, I thought, that it was my armor. The armor I was wearing.
I ducked back down, to avoid her attention. From afar all I could see was her raven dark hair, her pristine white clothing, and her small pale hands clutching my chainmail.
But it wasn’t only imagination that told me she had no face.
I needed to return to the camp, to tell my band of warriors that there was a presence here. The sign of the Sidhe is never a good portent before battle, and already we were outmatched against the Ulstermen.
A breeze soft as a lover’s breath passed over my neck and I shivered. Something was behind me. I clung to my spear as though it were a talisman. My heart beat wildly, my body utilizing knowledge that my mind could not understand.
There was nobody there. The stream flowed, the leaves rustled in the wind, the trees stood sentry as ever. But the woman was gone.
I ran, fear lending wings to my feet.
I never saw the arrow that sunk into my throat, but I did, at last see her empty face. Only dimly aware of my dying, spasming body as her horrible wail filled my ears.
I was, I learned, the last of my men to enter Tír na nÓg.