This story is by Blake Edwards and was part of our 2017 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the Summer Writing Contest stories here.
Mitchell leaned his motorcycle around the corner of Bell and Story street, and passed the Romanian knife shop where his wife had taken him to buy a set of knives last year. They had strange blood crimson blades, she wanted them to match the red painted walls of their kitchen. They were one of the few things she had picked up before she left him back in September. He turned the throttle to straighten up the bike and didn’t let up until he reached the red streetlight at the end of the block. Garrett stopped his motorcycle beside Mitchell’s.
“What’d you do that for? Mitchell? What the fuck are you looking at?” said Garrett.
Mitchell was staring at a creature on the sidewalk. It had the body shape of a young woman with an hour glass figure, it had no eyes but his skin was tingling. It was watching him. Tentacles fell over where the mouth should have been. Each one was wriggling with separate life than the others and had its own yellow tooth at the end. The creature wrinkled its brow and tipped its forehead in his direction. The light turned green and he accelerated forward.
Garrett followed him until they pulled into the grey slab building where they rented an office for their lock smithing business. They went in and unlocked the office door. Garrett sighed and took off his concealed pistol and listened to the missed message on the blinking office phone.
“Those damn Eastern Europeans locked themselves out again. Can you run back over there on Story street?” said Garrett.
“Can’t you do it after the meeting with the land lord?” said Mitchell.
“You remember how much they freaked last time, we can’t afford another lost customer.” Said Garrett.
“I’d go but I’ve got to get this mud off my pants before the meeting.”
“Alright, alright, I’ll be right back.”
Mitchell grabbed his pistol, lock picking set, and his lanyard with the lock smithing license. The license photo showed a beaming, happy Mitchell before his drinking had gotten out of control, before he had unleashed the man who had hit his wife. He climbed on the back of his bike and headed back in the direction he came. As he got to Story street he could feel his skin tingle. He looked on both sides of the street but there was only an old man walking his dog. Mitchell felt something slither around his throat and he went to flick the bug off but felt a worm slithering. He looked down to see five tentacles squirming on his shoulder. He brought his eyes back to the road to see his front tire hit the curb and sent him over the handlebars and into the glass panel of the Romanian knife store.
Mitchell looked around in the dark shop with its glass counters. His bike was sticking out of the back of the shops wall, leaving one of the glass counters shattered. He looked toward the door and the creature was gliding in his direction, its face aimed downward towards him. He pulled his Smith and Wesson revolver out and fired three slugs at the creature. It whirled in pain but the bullets passed through it and into the store front. Mitchell limped towards his bike and pulled out his tire iron but the monster pushed him into the counter and fell upon him. The tentacles were wrapping around his arm and were reaching towards his face. His loose hand reached for a broken piece of counter glass but they felt a handle instead. He looked and attached to the handle was a blue bladed knife. He swung it across the top of the tentacles. The creature winced back and retreated to the street and disappeared. A dog was barking and the old man came in.
“Are you okay?” said the man.
“My leg…am I hurt good?” said Mitchell.
“Got a small piece of glass in your thigh, be you’ll be okay.” Said the man.
The Romanian couple walked in through the front door. They had serious faces. The husband walked over to Mitchell and grabbed the blue knife from him and stuck it in his belt.
“Get back in here.”
The creature timidly glided in through the broken window pane and approached toward Mitchell.
“Get back where?” said the old man to the Romanian. The Romanian man looked at Mitchell. The creature loomed over Mitchell’s body.
“Help!” said Mitchell.
The Romanian man knelt beside Mitchell and held his shoulders to the floor.
His arms and legs convulsing to get free of the tentacled monster.
“Help, for fuck’s sake!” said Mitchell.
“Call 911, he’s having a seizure!” said the old man to the Romanian woman.
“Dan Ratherby here on Story street where earlier today a motorbike accident occured. Jim Daily was there to witness this tragic event.” Said the report.
“You talked to the driver before he passed? Did he seem intoxicated?”
“No…he was lucid. Breathing heavily and in shock but he was there with just a piece of glass in his leg. Started shaking real bad in a fit, I didn’t know what to do. The owner of the store tried giving him cpr, I couldn’t see his face but blood was coming out. He must have been spitting up.” Said the old man.