Headlight Contest: Cabin Fever Short Story

The wind whistled through termite holes wormed into old spruce wood, melodic symphonies of the long since departed laughter and warmth. The snowflakes, hurling themselves in spirals at the frosted window, were visible in the dim light of citronella candles long passed use in summer heats. 

Dahlia dozed on the creased leather lounge chair, embers of a long burned out fire glowing on her face. 

Tap.

“Alfie?” Dahlia called, stirred from her meagre nap. The baby was silent. Her socked feet padded leisurely to the window, frosted beyond transparency. She pulled her sleeve down to itch her wrists and wiped a circle into the fog. Through the immovable wall of white, she saw a light. It gleamed for a moment before disappearing into the darkness. 

The sound of wet tears filled the room, and Dahlia went to tend to her brother.

“Alfie, what is it?” her teeth chattered a little as she finally noticed the burnt out fireplace, “I’m sorry I fell asleep, kiddo. I should have kept the fire stoked.”

“Dahly-” he mumbled through the tears, “Dahly.”

“Yes, I’m right here. Shh, look- I’ll get the fire going again and everything will be all warm and cozy again.”

She lay Alfie back in his crib and went to restoke the fire. Smiling at the warmth it provided, she returned to her seat in the leather and-

Tap Tap.

“Alfie?” Dahlia jumped, startled from her fleeting nap. The baby was still. Her socked feet padded cautiously to the window, frost casing the sill and bottom half. She used her rash-red palm to wipe away a bit of fog before looking outside. Through the immovable wall of white, she saw two gold lights. They gleamed for a moment before disappearing into the darkness. 

The sound of staggered whimpers filled the room, and Dahlia went to tend to her brother.

“Alfie, what is it?” her teeth chattered harshly as she turned to notice the burnt out fireplace, “I’m sorry I fell asleep, kiddo. I should have kept the fire stoked.”

“Dohly-” he gurgled through the hiccups, “Dohly.”

“Yes, I’m right here. I’ll get the fire going again and everything will be fine.”

She lay Alfie back in his crib and tripped on a loose plank walking to the fireplace. Her knee bashed into the floor, and the candle light swiftly flushed out. In the darkness, she felt her way through the cabin to restoke the fire. Breathing at the relief of light, she returned to her post in the leather and-

Tap Tap TAP.

“Alfie?” Dahlia screamed, ripped from her fickle slumber. The baby was wailing- deep guttural moans resembling pigs in a slaughterhouse. 

“Daggy-” was barely intelligible from his howls, “Daggy!”

“Alfie, what is it?” She sobbed, pulling at her hair in a mania to stop the sound, “I’m right here. Dahlia! Me! I’m here,” a metallic taste filled her mouth as her teeth began to chatter beyond control.

“DOGGY!” a voice which was not Alfie’s screamed from the infant’s mouth. Slowly, Dahlia turned to face the window he was facing. Two golden wolf eyes, glowing with a hellish vibrancy blinked. In horror, Dahlia watched as her own warped reflection- a melted clash of red flesh, matted fur, and white bone began to claw at the window. 

“No… it can’t be-” Dahlia screamed, looking down at her own hands, now melting the very same as the thing breaking through the glass. A shrill scream escaped Dahlia’s throat as the window shattered and the creature pummeled towards her, crawling on it’s sickly arms and bleeding paws until-

Dahlia dozed on the creased leather lounge chair, embers of a long burned out fire glowing on her face. 

Tap.

Madison Lofmark

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *