Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Charlie Cochet. Fans of Charlie’s THIRDS series will be excited to see a fun Halloween “outtake” with some of their favorite guys! The image is a stock photo from a DeviantART artist who specifically allows it to be used on outside websites, with credit and links posted. Big thanks, to both the author and the artist, for sharing. Now… on to the story…
“I don’t like it here.”
Sloane turned to find his partner and lover standing in the doorway, his pouty lips forming a deep frown. How long had Dex been lingering there instead of stepping inside?
“Why?” Dex stared at him like he was nuts. He waved an arm around the room. “Because this place is creepy as hell, that’s why. Seriously, dude, look around you!” His voice took on a hoarse whisper. “I sense an evil presence here.”
“Yeah?” Ash called out from across the room. “I sense an idiotic presence, and I’m looking right at it.”
Dex folded his arms over his chest but didn’t budge from the safety of the doorframe. “Screw you, Ash.”
Sloane hadn’t really stopped to admire the décor. On Dex’s suggestion, he inspected the room, seeing only a crime scene. Destructive Delta had been on their way back to HQ after a long shift when they’d been called in to stop by the crime scene in case the perpetrator was still around, but when they arrived, Hudson had declared there wasn’t one. The old Therian had died of heart complications. The body had been taken away over a half an hour ago. They were just waiting for Cael and Rosa to finish up with the CSAs.
Now that Sloane took in the old-fashioned living room around him, he had to admit it was kind of creepy. Thick cobwebs hung from every corner of the room. The faded furniture and most surfaces held blankets of dust. The only light came from the yellowed lampshades of several table lamps. It also smelled of mothballs in here. According to the neighbors, the Therian had been a bit of a recluse.
“There’s nothing here but a bunch of dusty old trinkets.” Sloane walked across the faded brown carpet to an antique chair sitting next to a small wooden door which was most likely a closet. On the chair were three large marionette puppets, their white faces smudged with dirt and in some spots the paint was chipped away. Okay, that’s kind of creepy.
“What’s the matter, McClane?” Ash teased. “You afraid of ghosts?”
With a scoff, Dex sauntered into the room. “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” He stepped up beside Sloane and gave a start. “Jesus! What the hell is that?”
“I think they’re puppets,” Sloane replied.
“Of course. Because this place wasn’t nearly disturbing enough. Who would keep something like that?” I took a step to his left then his right. “I swear their eyes are following me.”
“Hey, Rookie.” Ash held out a zipped up document pouch that looked about as old and beat up as the rest of the room. “Make yourself useful and put this back in that closet.”
With a grumble, Dex swiped the pouch and swung open the closet door. He let out a high pitched shriek, slammed the closet door shut, and bolted from the room like it was on fire. The document pouch sat on the floor where he’d been standing only seconds ago.
“What the hell?” Sloane opened the door, wondering what could have caused his partner to let out the sort of high pitched sound only dogs could hear. Inside the closet were floor to ceiling shelves stuffed with an army of creepy dolls, some of them broken while others in a state of decomposition. Tiny black spiders crawled over the dolls and into some of the empty eye sockets. With a slew of curses, Sloane slammed the door shut. Behind him, Ash laughed his ass off.
He turned to his best friend who was looking down at his phone. “You knew those were in there.”
“Yep.” Ash grinned brightly and waved his smartphone at Sloane. “And I got it all on video.” He pressed play and Sloane heard Dex’s shriek. “I think I’m gonna make it my ringtone.”
“You’re such an ass.” Sloane rolled his eyes, swiped the pouch from the floor, and tossed it at his friend. “Thanks. Now I have to deal with this.”
“Don’t care,” Ash said cheerfully as he walked off.
Sloane found Dex sitting inside the Bearcat, a rifle in his hand.
“Easy there, gunslinger. They were just dolls.”
Dex narrowed his eyes. “That’s what they said about Chucky.”
Sloane settled onto the bench beside his partner with a chuckle. “You watch too many movies.”
“Maybe. But at least if some dude in a hockey mask or nails pinned to his head comes after me, I’ll know what not to do. I mean, seriously. If you see or hear creepy shit, you don’t go to check it out, you get gone. You run, damn it, and don’t trip over the first twig you come across.”
With the doors to the BearCat closed and his team still inside, Sloane pulled Dex close. “Aw, is the big badass Defense agent in need of a hug?”
Dex put down the rifle and pouted. “Yes.”
“All right.” He pulled Dex into his embrace and smiled when his partner snuggled up to him.
“I think I might need a kiss, too. You know. So the bogeyman doesn’t get me.”
Sloane pulled back and arched an eyebrow at him. “How will a kiss stop the bogeyman?”
“Because kisses give you cooties and the bogeyman doesn’t like cooties.”
“Who told you that?” Sloane held back a smile at his partner’s goofy grin.
“I just know.” Dex wriggled his eyebrows. “It’s how I got Billy James to kiss me in the art room back in fourth grade.”
Sloane laughed. “That’s sneaky.”
Dex shrugged. “It worked. So, you gonna give me your cooties? I’m also in need of a lot of comforting. Might need to sleep in your bed tonight.”
Sloane chuckled and pulled Dex in for a heated kiss. As soon as they got home, Sloane was going to give Dex a whole lot more than comforting. He’d have to remember to thank Ash. Sloane had never been much a fan of Halloween, but this year, he might just look forward to things going bump in the night. Especially if it meant his partner ended up in his arms. Happy Halloween indeed.
About The Author
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!
Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.
Website: http://www.charliecochet.com Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog Email: email@example.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/charliecochet Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet Newsletter: http://www.charliecochet.com/newsletter THIRDS website: http://thirdshq.com
About The Artist
Image: Creepy Puppets 3
Artist Page: Fuguestock http://www.deviantart.com/art/Creepy-Puppets-3-270554502