Feeding time.

©2022 Michael Raven

Trudging through the snow to the shed, Marcus’ fingers fumbled with far too many keys to find the right one. Most of the keys were useless, by design. He had made all of them himself with the key cutter he’d bought online. Each key was a corrupted copy of the real key to the shed, all designed to be imperfect copies to frustrate the casual snoop — all but three of the keys. One for the shed door itself, another for the concealed trap door within the shed, and the final one for the reinforced steel door within the dirt cellar underneath the trap door.

He’d not stopped there, either, for each tumbler was warded against tampering, leaving a nasty surprise for anyone attempting to bypass the keys Marcus carried. Furthermore, each working key required Words to bypass the wards. He had left nothing to chance — he couldn’t afford discovery of what he kept locked away underground. It wouldn’t end well for anyone, least of all for himself.

He found the first key as he reached the shed when it warmed to his touch. He slipped it into the lock, whispered his dweomercraft under breath. The lock turned, and he had no reason to suspect that it would not. His guests could hear him already, though he walked velvet soft and the door made no sound. Maybe they could sense him. There was still so much to learn about them.

Their howls might have been called animalistic, except there were no animals that made such noises and, even after all this time, the sounds made icy fingers crawl up his spine. He was not sure the sensation was not their work as well, but he had gotten good at masking his reaction.

“Feeding time,” he said in a voice little over a harsh whisper. It was enough, and the howls below reached a crescendo expressing fury and hunger. The sound made him smile. It meant his captives would cooperate after they satiated themselves on what he had brought for them to eat.

Marcus gestured and the used car salesman stumbled in to the shed, obedient for the glamor and the drugs, a stupid expression on his face. In his confused mind, the man thought he was going to bed Marcus’ daughter, one that did not exist.

Marcus thumbed through the keys again, waiting for the cooling sensation to tell him that he held the second key, the one for the trap door.

5 thoughts on “Feeding time.

    1. Unfamiliar with that series. My own sense of horror is a combo of Lovecraft (and ilk), Stephen King, and a bunch of camp B-type films. Mix with Creepy and
      Eerie magazine issues and toss in some Gothic, and well… You’re most of the way there.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Loved Lovecraft when I was younger, then onto Poe interspersed with plenty of Russian novels. Quite liked some Stephen King novels although the films were never as good as the books.
        Tales of the Unexpected was a TV series from the late ’70’s/early ’80’s which originally was based on adult short stories by Roald Dahl. Went of the boil a bit when they introduced other authors.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That triggered the memory a bit. I forgot about those, quite possibly because I was always feeding on campy stuff by that period (or King) and didn’t get around to watching them.

          I don’t know why they keep ruining King’s books when they make it into a movie. The early movies were at least somewhat faithful to the books, but then everything just went off the rails at some point and they take perfectly good stories and ruin them with bad casting, bad direction, bad scripting, or all of the above.

          Liked by 1 person

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