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The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

The Student News Site of Hazen High School

The Kilt

Berries and Screams

Spooky Short Story
Graphic Courtesy | Shelsy Rodriguez

It was late Fall when the leaves fell and stuck to the surface of Lake Graves Field like syrup. The city went quiet as the sun painted the sky for the last time that day. The outcasts crept out of the shadows. The City of Beth Mary had a curfew for years since the accident involving famous singer Danyell Parkinsons. She had been on a morning run in early September and then mysteriously disappeared. Everyone thought it was the notorious serial killer Chad.

The city was filled with outcasts since the time of its creation. Whether they be: raccoons, rats, or criminals, all lost souls came out at night. As the sun said its last goodbye that day, the raccoons and rats started to scavenge for food. 

One raccoon, in particular, traveled around the grimy city sewers searching. This raccoon was a timid one named Luna. She always went foraging in the dark to avoid the cruel humans that took her ear. As she searched for scraps, she smelt a beautiful mix of berries and nuts. She kept her eyes peeled for the source of such food. The scent seemed to be from an apartment on the first floor of a big brick building. Luna followed the smell to a window with a sizable hole shattered in it. Someone had tried to cover it with a tarp. The tarp flapped around to entice the raccoon to enter the room. Luna slowly crawled into the apartment as silently as possible to avoid unwanted human attention. 

The room she now found herself in had a nice simplistic layout. But the smell of the air freshener in the corner, hiding a mysterious scent, stood out to her. Luna could not place the smell but paid it no mind as she slowly searched for why she had come here. She wondered about the scent again when she was near the basement. The raccoon became suspicious of why such scents were from a basement. Luna elected to ignore the why for now to complete the mission of finding the sweet smell. When she reached the end of the stairway to the basement, she found a small kitchenette of shorts. On the kitchenette was a plate of fruit and berries. Again the raccoon wondered why this was here instead of upstairs in the apartment. She was starving and could not care anymore about the answer. 

Luna climbed up to the kitchenette to grab the food. While she was near the sink, she saw something very unusual. Luna investigated it some more. It looked like a bloody knife that was placed haphazardly in the sink for later cleaning. It seemed to glitter in the small light of the basement, and Luna was struck with a sudden dread. She was about ready to bolt and take some berries on the way when a hand suddenly scooped her scrawny body off the kitchenette. 

When she saw the person’s face it was covered by a mask. The only part she could see was his heterochromatic eyes, one was chestnut brown almost orange and one was blue like an ocean. Luna was petrified with primal anxiety to run and never stop. Luna recognized the mask from wanted posters, she remembers the poster had said: “Serial killer Chad: wanted dead for the murders of many.” She tried to get out of the masked person’s grasp, squirming and struggling to get free. 

The perpetrator of her fear sensed Luna’s anxiety and slowly took off the mask. The masked man had brown hair and a scar on his lip most likely from some sort of fight. He was lean and had some muscle mass, but to Luna, he was the human embodiment of the Grim Reaper. Her fear of what this human would do to her climbed up her spine and made her hair stick up straight. Luna was so scared she passed out and her last thought was, “I hope he lets me go.”

Later, she woke up still on edge but warm and comfortable. She also felt a hand smooth out her fur and slowly pet her. Luna thought it was heaven until she felt her stomach growl an angry song for food. She opened her eyes to search for food even though she would rather sleep some more. Luna saw the masked man again, she mentally started to spiral on why he was being so nice if he was to kill her. Again the masked man seemed to sense her mental despair and kept smoothing her fur out.

   “Good morning, don’t be afraid I won’t hurt you. You’re hungry, right? Want some berries and nuts?” The masked man asked as he moved her from his lap to a comfy chair. 

   “You are a serial killer and you’re telling me to eat your food? No way man. I would rather starve than be poisoned.” Her voice came out gravely and she shimmied her way out of the warm blanket that covered her. He placed the plate he had gotten from the kitchenette, it was full of vibrant berries and all sorts of nuts like chestnuts. Luna was grateful at the sight of the divine-looking food, but she would not dare eat it before she knew it was safe.

   “I’m not a serial killer. I’ll explain, but please don’t starve yourself just because of distrust,” he exclaimed, waving his hands wildly. He looked nervous like he hadn’t talked to a person in a while, Luna guessed he probably hadn’t.

She sniffed the food and then asked, “Fine, but you must explain yourself before I eat this.”

   “Fine by me. Hi, my name is Alexander Cloud, I was framed by my twin sister, Elenor. She never did like me much. I only wear that mask over there because I have respiratory issues and don’t like to get sick.” he pointed to the dark green mask where it sat on his kitchenette he had set it down earlier after Luna had passed out.

   “I try to save the victims my sister attacks, but their wounds most of the time are too big to stitch back up together and clean with my limited medical supplies and experience. I’m actually on my way to becoming a doctor, because then no one will question why I wear a mask and I can help save my sister’s victims more formally than I do now.”

   “What’s with the weird smell and the bloody knife then?” Luna accused Alexander

   “Oh, that’s not blood, it’s berry juice. I was chopping the berries to make them easier to eat. The smell is just my laundry detergent. I’m cleaning some juice I spilled on my clothes earlier on my way home. That’s why I’m down here in the basement, to wash my clothes.”

Luna got an answer to all her questions that day in late Fall and even gained a home with Alexander as he had put it “I have lots of space, if you need a warm home and food daily.” 


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Hey y'all! I’m Maddy Williams (she/they). I'm part of the Kilt staff. I love how the Kilt lets me rant about my interests in a formatted sort of way and make art to go along with! Hope y’all love the online version of the Kilt!
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