“SIREN HEAD” by Scott Donnelly #MicroTerrors

SIREN HEADby Scott Donnelly #MicroTerrors

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“Micro Terrors: Scary Stories for Kids”™ 2023


SHOW OPEN: 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!!!!

STORY: SIREN HEAD. The following is based on a digital cryptid created by artist Trevor Henderson.
On a residential street lined with nearly identical, upscale homes, the dinner bell was about to ring for Gideon Hawke and his little brother. It was a summer evening, warm and bright even as the sun headed west. In the streets, kids played kickball and tag. Some kids, who were lucky enough to have pools in their backyards, ran out, wrapped in their towels, when they heard the joyful sounds of the ice cream truck.
There was something warm and comforting about this day for Gideon. He’d heard his dad recount endless stories that always began with “When I was little, we didn’t have cell phones or Playstation. We’d run around outside all summer long until the street lamps came on.”
And now, after actually having one of those days, Gideon finally felt an appreciation for what his dad had told him countless times. What happened that day was a freak occurrence — all the kids in the neighborhood, completely on their own, played outside. Gideon could hear his dad now — “It’s a miracle. This won’t happen for another hundred years and should be documented.”
And just like in the stories his dad would tell, he heard ‘the dinner bell’, or in reality, he heard his mom call for him and his brother from just a few houses up. Gideon grabbed his little brother, Finny, by the hand and together they left the kickball game, telling their friends they’d be back tomorrow. Same street, same time.
But then, just as they began the walk home, something happened. The bullhorn on top of the ice cream truck seemed to expel a horrible squeal of sharp static. Gideon and Finny covered their ears just as they saw so many other kids do. The bullhorn popped loudly, sending a small shockwave of its linger squeal across the neighborhood. Silence fell over the street. Small pockets of whispers and gossip began. Gideon saw a young girl, wrapped in her swim towel, drop her ice cream cone and stiffen up in fear.
“Hey, what’s going on?” Gideon asked, sensing that everyone else seemed to be aware of something that he wasn’t. The girl snapped her head toward him, startled by his words breaking the silence. She raised a finger to her lips and whispered back:
“Shh. Just go home.”
“Go home?” Gideon questioned her. “What are you talking about? What’s wrong here?”
The girl hushed him again. “He’s coming. If you stay silent, it won’t know you’re there.”
“What won’t know I’m here?” Gideon refused to whisper. He was confused and wanted answers. Suddenly, in the air, an electrical squeal erupted, echoing throughout the neighborhood. It sounded like feedback from a microphone, but much louder.
“Gideon, I’m scared,” Finny whimpered at his brother’s side, tugging at his t-shirt.
Gideon looked to his left where he saw someone in the window of a house, slowly and quietly closing the sash. He looked to the opposite side of the street and saw someone else closing their blinds. Gideon and his family may have been fairly new to the neighborhood, but whatever was happening here seemed to be a regularly occurring thing. Everyone else knew what to do, but Gideon and Finny were left in the dark.
The feedback continued to echo through the neighborhood and bounce across the valley that surrounded it.
“Gideon, let’s go home,” Finny cried, tugging harder at his brothers shirt.
Gideon nodded, his anxiety starting to get the better of him. He grabbed his brother’s hand, but that was the exact moment the feedback abruptly stopped, fading out eerily over the valley. Next came a single, crashing thud which shook the ground. Instead of running for cover, all the kids outside, along with the ice cream truck driver, knelt down and braced themselves on the ground. A second earth-shaking thud followed. Then another and another. Something large and heavy was walking!
Gideon spun in circles, looking for anything that could have caused such tremors, but he didn’t see anything. In his mind, he expected to see a giant animal or some kind, perhaps even a dinosaur. As crazy as that thought was, he couldn’t think of anything logical that it could have been. So a dinosaur was as good a guess as any. As the heavy steps continued, shaking the ground and almost throwing the kids off balance, Gideon still couldn’t spot the source of it.
Then, a buzzing static filled the air, interspersed with otherworldly beeps and dials. There was a voice in there too, mechanical and computerized. It repeated a series of numbers and garbled words that Gideon couldn’t decipher. Then, the siren rang.
It erupted, slowly at first, but then wailed like a tornado siren. Being the midwest, tornado sirens were commonplace. But aside from a test once a week at noon, they would only go off if the weather warranted one. But this was dinnertime and the skies were clear. There was no storm coming. As the siren whirred, louder to softer, softer to louder, Gideon began to tingle with fear. The whole scenario started to feel surreal, dream-like. Finny yanked harder at his brother’s shirt, ousting a loud gasp.
“Gideon! Look!” he screamed.
Gideon spun around and then saw it. It was towering over the row of homes behind him, lumbering along in what felt like slow motion. It was a figure — a creature — of some kind, taller than a telephone pole. Its long, gangly body looked brown and vine-like. Its arms, spindly and abnormally long, swung slowly at its sides. Atop of a tall, thin neck, were two sirens — like loudspeakers or megaphones — sprouting off from either side.
Gideon felt flush as he looked up at the bizarre, uncanny sight. With each heavy-footed step the thing would take, the ground shook.
Finny screamed and ran for the house, catching the attention of the structural menace. It placed its footing and turned slowly. Somehow, without any visible eyes, it was able to spot Finny running through the road. As much as the other kids wanted to shout out and tell the young boy to stop, they knew better. They knew they too would become victims. And that’s exactly what happened to Finny. The monster released a burst of static through its sirens and reached one of its spindly arms down, snagging Finny in mid-run. It lifted the boy up into the air, over the houses and shoved him into one of its speakers, like it was a mouth.
Finny’s screams turned into electronic bursts of static and feedback. The sirens continued to whirl, and Gideon, astonished at what he had witnessed, collapsed to the ground, losing consciousness a moment later.
The sirens had faded to silence and Gideon slowly opened his eyes. As he adjusted, he could tell it was still around the same time of day. The sun had made its way even further west, now spreading a warm, red glow across the sky and neighborhood.
He noticed someone next to him. It was the little girl who had tried to hush him. Gideon sat up and saw a bunch of the neighborhood kids gathered around.
“Are you okay?” the girl asked.
“Yeah,” Gideon said, “I think I’m—”
He stopped, now remembering everything that happened. The sirens. The monster. Finny…
Gideon sprung to his feet and frantically looked around, scanning the tops of the houses, looking for the monster. “Where is it? Where did it go?!” he shouted in a panic.
“It’s gone now,” the girl said. “Until next year. It only comes once a year.”
Gideon focused on the girl and then looked around at all the other kids who seemed to just accept what had happened.
“Where’s my brother?” Gideon asked.
The kids all remained silent. They either didn’t know, or didn’t want to say. “What was that thing?” Gideon trembled.
The girl sighed. “We don’t know. But we’ve always just called it Siren Head.” Gideon couldn’t believe what he was listening to. “Siren Head?” he questioned and then laughed. “There’s no way. There’s no way something like that exists. Not in the real world. I must be dreaming.”
The little girl frowned. “You’re not dreaming.”
Gideon glanced around at all the other kids again. They looked at him as if they were conditioned by whatever that ‘Siren Head’ thing was to just accept it and move on.
“That thing can’t be real,” Gideon tried to convince the others, as well as himself. But he wasn’t so sure now. He saw what he saw and his eyes have never deceived him before.
The little girl forced a trounced smile, and said, “If enough people believe in something, anything can be real.”

SHOW CLOSE: 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!

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