“CTHULHU AT MY CHEESEBURGER!” by Scott Donnelly #MicroTerrors
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“Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids”™ 2023
Welcome to Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids, where it’s always the spooky season – full of chills, thrills, and spine-tingling spooks! Micro Terrors are family-friendly frights for those ages 8 and up. And while our stories are for younger ears, we are still talking about things that go bump in the night, and some children may not be able to handle what others can. Parental consent is recommended. Now… for tonight’s MICRO TERROR!!!!
CTHULHU ATE MY CHEESEBURGER
We were having our family reunion at Lake Weeping Tree in upstate New York. It was hot and bright, just as you’d expect from a typical summer day. My family had claimed the east picnic area for the event, so we had it all to ourselves — all thirty five of us. The area included a shelter house, a grilling area, our own personal playground, a sand pit for volleyball and a dock for fishing.
Lake Weeping Tree was majestic. The water gleamed a piercing blue and sparkled beneath the summer sun. Most of the lake was surrounded by an endless sea of pine trees that reached up into the sky, some of their tips mere yards away from touching some of the lower flying clouds.
My uncle was grilling hot dogs and burgers, but to my surprise, he wasn’t using the designated grilling area near the shelter house. He had brought his own charcoal grill and set it up on the fishing dock. He was using a couple of my older cousins to transport the cooked food back to the shelter house in exchange for fresh, raw patties and cold hot dogs.
I wandered down to the lake side and made my way to the dock where I stood at my uncle’s side as he grilled. He seemed distracted; every couple of minutes his attention would waver from the sizzling food and drift out into the lake. He had definitely piqued my interest; of all thirty five of our family members, he was the only one who didn’t appear to be enjoying himself.
“Why are you grilling down here?” I asked him. “There’s a perfectly good grilling spot up where all the action is.”
My uncle looked down at me and smiled. “Because this is where I can keep an eye on things much better,” he said. Looking back to where all my family was playing and mingling, I could kind of see what he was talking about. Everyone was in view.
“No,” my uncle laughed, “not on them. On the lake. On the…creature.”
I slowly looked back up at my uncle and then out into the still waters of Lake Weeping Tree. “What creature?” I asked.
My uncle joined me in looking out onto the lake. “I’ve been coming to this lake since I was little like you. My first summer here, I saw something strange in the water. At first it was just below the surface; I honestly thought it was a manatee or something.”
“A manatee?” I laughed. “Don’t they live in the ocean?”
“They do,” my uncle said. “So it wasn’t a manatee. It was something else. Something that shouldn’t be there. Something that has been hidden away for who knows how long in order to preserve its existence.”
My uncle definitely had my attention now. What could he have possibly been talking about? I was fully prepared for him to say that this little, isolated lake in New York was home to the Loch Ness Monster.
“Have you ever heard of Cthulhu?” my uncle asked.
I strained my brain for an answer to his question, but couldn’t come up with anything. “No, I can’t say that I have.”
“It’s a gargantuan entity that’s been written about countless times. It’s said to stand over a hundred feet tall and looks like a bizarre mix between a dragon, an octopus and something completely cosmic or otherworldly. It hibernates in the deepest parts of the ocean, only coming out on rare occasions.”
I swallowed hard as I looked back out onto the lake. “That thing is in there?” I asked nervously.
My uncle laughed again. “No, not the big one. But one of its offspring. I saw it my first summer here. It breached the surface, revealing its scaly, green skin. Then I saw its tentacle-like mandibles flapping in the water. It rose up and I froze. Then it simply just disappeared into the lake and I haven’t seen it since.”
I had to admit, my uncle’s story was a little bizarre. A creature like that couldn’t exist; there was just no way. As I stared at the sparkling lake, wondering what could be swimming beneath its surface, my uncle returned his attention to the burgers on the grill.
“You want cheese on yours?” he asked.
“Yes, please,” I said. He placed a single slice of American cheese on one of the greasy burger patties and let it melt down around it. He placed it on a bun, added a slice of tomato and a handful of shredded lettuce, then handed it to me.
He opened the cooler next to the grill and saw he was out of burger patties. “I’ll be back in a second,” he said. “I have more beef up in the other cooler.”
My uncle then jogged away from the dock, heading up to his truck where he had a backup cooler of burgers and hot dogs. I decided to sit on the edge of the dock and let my feet dangle off the edge. I lifted the top bun of my burger and scoffed at the tomato and heaping pile of shredded lettuce. I wanted a cheeseburger, not a salad!
I looked at the water beneath my feet. It was a fairly clean lake, but just under my feet, I could see mud swirling beneath the surface as if something had disturbed the sediment a few feet down.
Probably just a fish, I thought. No way it was Cthulhu’s baby.
How silly, I thought. My uncle must have just been mistaken all those years ago. Maybe he just saw an eel or a large fish. The creature he described was clearly something out of a science fiction horror story. There was no way an octopus dragon could exist. And if something like that did live in the lake, how come it hadn’t been seen since? It was probably a simple case of a childhood imagination running—
Something rolled in the water beneath my feet, breaching the surface and revealing a green, rubbery skin. It thrashed, extending several long tentacles out of the water. They all writhed before me like a bunch of inflatable tube men playfully attracting customers at a car lot. Then, the creature rose up from the swirling, now murky, lake, and I could see the features my uncle spoke of.
Its head was that of an octopus with two red eyes and more than a dozen tentacles squirming like snakes from its base. Its body was green and thick. It had large, strong arms with sharp claws on each finger tip and what appeared to be dragon-like wings protruding out from its back.
I just stared at the unnerving sight before me, unable to move or speak. It wasn’t as large as the massive one my uncle described from classic literature, but it for sure could have been one of its babies. The plate that held my burger shook in my grip. I was shaking all over.
Suddenly, the creature reached out with one of its strong claws and I closed my eyes, prepared to be devoured. But all it did was grab the burger from my plate, throw it into his mouth, and sink back into the depths of the lake.
My burger! I thought. As the water settled beneath my feet, my uncle returned to the dock with a platter of fresh burger patties and hot dogs.
“You okay?” he said. “Sounded like you fell in or something.”
I stood up and held my plate out in front of me, showing it to my uncle. “I believe you!” I shouted.
My uncle stopped. “Huh? What do you mean?”
“I believe you,” I repeated. “Cthulhu ate my cheeseburger.”
My uncle just stared at me. He probably thought I was mocking him or something.
“Look,” he said, “if you didn’t like the burger, you could have just said so. You didn’t need to toss it into—”
—a splash behind me sent something up out of the lake and into the air. My uncle and I looked up, trying to see what it was. But then, it all landed with wet splats on the dock between us. It was the slice of tomato and the wet glob of shredded lettuce that was on my burger.
My uncle’s eyes went wide and then he looked at me and said, with child-like excitement, “Let’s make another one!”
“Hold the veggies this time!” I exclaimed, completely understanding Cthulhu’s hatred of vegetables.
Thank you for listening to Micro Terrors!!! Join us each Saturday for another scary story! For more fun, visit our website at MicroTerrors.com where we also have spooky games you can print out and play — like wicked word searches, mysterious mazes, and more! MicroTerrors.com is also where you can find us on your favorite social media and even send in your own scary story for us to tell! Plus, you’ll learn more about our author, Scott Donnelly, who has other horrors for both young and old! I hope you’ll join me again soon for Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids!