It’s late at night, and one by one the after-hours crew is sneaking out of the office.
Which would be fine, except now Sammi’s working alone.
And something is waiting in the dark…
“Partners Garrick and Ortega are assigned the stakeout of a suspicious house, using a thermal imaging camera. But when the equipment picks up a strange presence nearby, their mission takes a dark turn.”
Here’s a teaser:
“Holy shit, Eric, lookit this! Eric!”
“Seriously, check it out. Number 126.”
“We’re supposed to be watching 124.”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. Dude, just look.”
“Quit calling me ‘dude’.” Garrick snatched the thermal scanner out of Ortega’s hand. “What am I looking at, exactly?”
“Heh. You’ll know.” Ortega leaned his seat back so Garrick could aim the thermal past him. Its screen changed colours as he traced the house across the street.
“Which one’s which, again?”
A small wisp passed over the screen as Ortega exhaled loudly. “I told you. Red is hot, blue’s cold. It’s not hard. You shoulda been paying attention in training.”
“Right. Well, us big boys sometimes have other things on our minds.” He twisted the gold band on his finger and thought about belting the kid, just once. “You keep your eyes on 124 while I’m looking at…whatever you find so interesting.”
“Uh-huh. I’ll let you know if I notice a nice man carrying a bushel of marijuana over his shoulder… See it yet?”
Garrick had traced the front bushes and first floor of the house: nothing but faint glimmers from the electricity in the walls. Now he raised the machine, sweeping back and forth as they’d been trained. Paid attention to something, you little shit, he thought. The screen reddened slightly as he aimed the imager up the stairs and past a warm room — a bathroom, someone probably had a shower — then at once the screen blazed with colour. There was movement, repetitive and rhythmic. “What the hell?” It was something living, for sure, but it was much bigger than a person…
Grab a copy and see what’s going on at Number 126…
What could be going on right next door to you…
“Kuchisake Onna, also known as The Slit-Mouth Woman, is a scary Japanese urban legend about a disfigured Japanese woman who brandishes a large scissors and preys on children. She has an enormous slit mouth, which extends from ear to ear in a horrible, permanent smile.
The Slit Mouth Woman walks the streets of Japan, wearing a surgical mask and hunting for children. If you cross her path, she will stop you and ask you a question. If you give her the wrong answer, there will be horrible consequences.
Picture the scene. You are walking home from school and your path takes you down a deserted city street. Suddenly, you hear a faint noise coming from the shadows. You glance over and see a beautiful woman standing there. She has long black hair and is wearing a beige trenchcoat. A surgical mask covers the lower half of her face. In Japan, wearing a surgical mask is not uncommon during flu season, to prevent spreading germs.
She steps out of the shadows and blocks your path.
“Am I beautiful?” she asks.
Before you can answer, she tears off her mask, revealing a hideously deformed face. Her huge mouth is sliced from ear to ear and gapes open revealing rows of sharp teeth and a big red disgusting tongue twisting and twirling inside.
“Am I beautiful NOW?” she screams.
Terrified, you struggle to answer her. If you say “No”, she pulls out a huge pair of scissors and kills you immediately, chopping off your head. If you say “Yes”, she takes her scissors and slices your mouth from ear to ear, making you look just like her. If you try to run away, she will hunt you down and kill you, by slicing you in two.
The only way to escape from Kuchisake Onna is to give a non-committal answer. If you say “You look average” or you look normal, she will be confused, giving you just enough time to run away.
There are many rumors about how Kuchisake Onna got her horribly disfigured mouth. Some say that her slit mouth is the result of plastic surgery that went horribly wrong. Others say that she was injured in a terrible car crash. Some even believe she is an escaped mental patient who was so demented that she cut her own mouth apart.
According to one legend, years ago, in Japan, there lived a very beautiful woman who was extremely vain and self-absorbed. Her husband was a very jealous and brutal man and he became convinced that she was cheating on him. In a fit of rage, he took a sword and slit her mouth from ear to ear, screaming “Who will think you’re beautiful now?” She became a vengeful spirit, and began wandering the streets of Japan, wearing a surgical mask to hide her terrible scars.”
(via the Anime Lovers forum; which I came across by accident when I was using Google image search. I swear.)
Just in time for Halloween, I thought I’d share an excerpt of my short horror story, “What’s Inside”. Graphic, disturbing, and unsettling, this one’s my favourite!
“She’s only a little dead. I can feel the warm. The bits inside, for sure, are hot.
There was a lot more blood than I expected; more than when I done either the mouse or the chipmunk.
Maybe it’s because of the babies. I learned in school that a lady has more blood when she’s pregnant. “It’s because the baby needs more food,” Mrs Chappel told us. I don’t know what that had to do with anything; I just wanted to hear about the blood. But when she talked she rubbed her hand around and around on her belly, and the sound drove me bananas until I couldn’t hear her words anymore. She was always touching her belly and smiling; I don’t understand why she was so happy to be getting fat.
I’ve got my favourite sharp stick here and I squidge it around inside. There’s some lumpy stuff, and a thing that looks like a kidney bean. I tried poking at it but it got stuck on my stick and I had to shake it off. It went splat when it hit the dirt and had little stringy bits like a spider’s web all over it.
I kicked some dust on it. It’s not what I want.
I get up close again, and don’t get any grass on my knees. My Mom just bought me these jeans and she’ll be mad at me if I wreck ’em.
The knife I took out of Daddy’s drawer is right here with me. It’s all rusty and I couldn’t get it open at first but I worked real hard and it opened right up. It just took some wiggling.
“My clever boy,” Mom says inside my head, and it makes me smile. I love my Mom.
It’s starting to get a little dark out. Goosey bumps are all over my arms, even though I have my coat all did up.
What happened was I stayed in the cloakroom after the last bell. I was trying to think. It was warm and dark in there, and even though it smelled like wet boots it made me feel safe.
Mrs Chappel came to the doorway of the cloakroom and pulled me out of the pile of other kids’ clothes. There’s babies inside her, two of them. I wanted to know if they could see me from in there.
“Do your babies have eyelids?”
“Well, that’s a good question. Yes, I think they do.” She was rubbing at her belly again and her hand went scratch scratch scratch against her shirt.
“It’s too loud! I don’t like when you do that.”
Her hand stopped. “Okay, Cody, time to get you home. Put on your coat.”
I let her help me, even though I’m big enough to do it myself. And then I had a lightbulb.
“Mrs Chappel, my mom can’t come get me today. Can you take me home?”
“Hmm. Why don’t we call her? We’ll go to the office and I’ll let you use the phone.”
“No! She can’t come. She had a appointment. And my dad can’t come either. He works.”
Mrs Chappel’s eyebrows went all up.
“It’s close to here.” It’s not, really, but I tell good lies.
She got down on her knees and zipped up my coat. Her eyes were big and brown, with little bits of green.
“I can’t take you home to an empty house, Cody.”
“I could…I could go to my neighbour’s. She’s old, so we can’t call her. She doesn’t hear. But she watches me, sometimes.”
Mrs Chappel tried to stand back up, but it wasn’t easy for her. I put my arm out and let her push on it, but I knew she wasn’t really putting weight on me. Grownups never think you can do stuff.
I do lots of things that grownups don’t know about.”