“WE ALL SCREAM, PART ONE” 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!!!!
WE ALL SCREAM, PART ONE
A single drop of the thick, red liquid fell from his finger. Billy Jones looked to his feet; the liquid dripped down the side of his shoe and onto the spotless, tile floor. He looked at his finger and licked the red substance from it “I certainly hope you’re going to wash your hands,” a dark haired girl next to Billy said. Billy snapped his head to her, his finger still in his mouth.
“Of course I am, Tina,” Billy said. “We’re not even open yet. It’s not like I’m serving anyone.”
“Yeah, but Mr. Strawser is pretty anal about the cleanliness around here. These two little shops are his pride and joy, his family’s legacy.”
Billy scoffed and looked at the tubs of ice cream placed in the serving bar before him. “His entire life has led to serving average ice cream to unsuspecting neighborhood kids?”
Tina wiped her hands dry after she finished washing a few of the metal spoons and then aggressively tossed Billy the towel. “Clean your hands,” she demanded. “Mr. Strawser will be here in like five minutes and we need to be ready to open. It’s the first day of summer. I hope you’re ready to work your wrists until they sound like loose cranks.”
Billy tossed the towel over his shoulder and pushed past Tina to the sink where he washed the thick, strawberry topping off his fingers. “I wouldn’t want to upset Mr. Strawser, now,” he said sarcastically.
Tina went to the front door and unlocked it. The door, as well as the entire storefront, was made from glass and looked out onto the busy Main Street of Easton Park, Illinois – the town where Mr. Strawser decided to open his flagship shop, Strawser’s Creamery.
Tina saw a family pull into the empty lot and all climb out of their minivan. She smiled. This was her second summer working for Mr. Strawser and there was something about it that she absolutely loved. The muggy heat outside was perfectly contrasted by the cool, brisk interior of the shop. So cool and brisk, in fact, that she proudly wore her blue Strawser’s Creamery sweatshirt. Billy wore a t-shirt with the company logo on the breast pocket, but over time — maybe even after the first day — he’d realize how cold it could get in the freezer-heavy shop. Being Billy’s older sister, Tina found a certain, sick joy in just letting him find things out the hard way.
The family came in through the front door, jingling the bells that hung just inside, and ordered their sweet, cold treats. Tina served them all while Billy watched — sort of a last minute, on the job training exercise. The next customers who came in, Billy served while Tina supervised.
In the first three hours, Tina and Billy had served over two dozen customers. Tina took note of how Mr. Strawser hadn’t shown up yet, and being the first day of summer, it struck her as odd. It was like a coach not showing up for the first ball game of the season. Plus, Mr. Strawser had been elated by his latest feature flavor, Chocolate Marshmallow Crunch. The flavor itself was imported from a “secret distributor”, as Mr. Strawser put it. He was only being playfully unforthcoming, but still wanted to keep his mysterious new partnership a, well, mystery.
Speaking of the new flavor, Tina realized she hadn’t even put it out yet. “Billy, can you get the tub of Chocolate Marshmallow Crunch?” she asked.
Billy knelt down and opened the freezer cabinets under the bar. He shoved a few tubs out of the way but couldn’t find the Chocolate Marshmallow Crunch. “I think we’re out,” he called up to his sister.
“It’s in the cellar,” she said as she served a young couple who she assumed were on a date.
“We have a cellar?” Billy asked, seemingly unaware that a small ice cream shop like Strawser’s Creamery would not only have a cellar, but actually have a need for one.
“Through the door in the back,” his sister said. “There’s a hatch on the floor.”
“Okay…” Billy said. After walking through the door in the back, he saw the hatch Tina was talking about. It was on the floor between two long, wire shelves of napkins, plates, boxes of cones and other dry toppings. “How did I not see this thing earlier,” he said to himself.
Billy lifted the handle on the hatch and a burst of icy cold air rushed up from underneath the shop. Once the frozen air dissipated, he pulled his phone out to ignite the flashlight. Then, he slowly descended the creaky steps to the cellar.
He found the pull cord from an exposed lightbulb on the ceiling and yanked on it. The cellar barely lit up, so he continued to use the light from his phone. He aimed it straight ahead, trying to see through the frigid mist that was aimlessly drifting through the small room. The light caught something ahead and reflected a silvery shine back at him. He moved through and noticed it was a freezer. He opened it.
Empty; not a single extra tub of ice cream in sight.
Something clicked behind him and Billy turned around fast, aiming his light. “Hello?” he called out. “Tina?” The clicking sound continued, like the tip of a nail continuously tapping on the ground; something was scurrying across the cellar floor.
Billy still couldn’t see great through the icy vapors, but he could tell that something was moving straight ahead; something shifting in the darkness right next to the wooden stairs that he came down.
“Hello?” Billy called out again. He pushed forward until he saw the shape of someone crouched down on the floor. “Um, I don’t think you’re supposed to be down here,” Billy said, sternly, yet cautious of the shadowy intruder.
The person wheezed uncomfortably. The closer he got, within the beam of his light, Billy noticed the back of a man’s head. His hair was mostly gray with longer strands of white mixed in. Billy recognized the hair as being the same color and length that Mr. Strawser had.
“Mr…Strawser?” Billy questioned. The man abruptly shot to his feet and leered directly at Billy. Billy gasped in horror. It was Mr. Strawser. But at the same time, it wasn’t…
The old man’s face and exposed skin were covered in giant green boils that all breathed up and down in unison. His mouth was missing most of its teeth, with the few that remained barely hanging on. His eyes were just the whites, vacant of their pupils and iris’, and his clothes were slipping off his deteriorating form.
Billy didn’t know what to say. He covered his mouth as if not to scream and slowly backed away. Mr. Strawser tried to shuffle himself closer to Billy, extending his arms outward. His bones cracked loudly with every little movement he made. Suddenly, he dropped to his knees; a sickening splat sounding off the cellar walls.
“I made a mistake…” Mr. Strawser gurgled.
Billy was speechless. He took a step back, his feet crunching down on tiny beans, or something, within a dark, sticky substance. The brief scent of chocolate wafted up.
“Get out,” Mr. Strawser gurgled. “Or they’ll get you too…”
With Mr. Strawser’s final words, the green, bubbly skin on his body, along with his clothing, all slipped off his bones, splattering against the stone floor. Billy stared at the old man’s skeleton on its hands and knees, which then swiftly collapsed to the ground as well.
WE’LL CONCLUDE OUR STORY NEXT WEEK…
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!