The Art of Darkness

Unspooky Saturday

November 5th, 2011 by Cobwebs

I originally did this for Shellhawk’s October Dreams ghost story marathon: She asked her guest bloggers to write about their scariest ghost story, but since the story that scared me most isn’t really all that spooky, I sort of took a different tack.

I enjoyed writing it, so I thought I might do a few for my weekend NaBloPoMo posts this month. And I’ll start off by recycling content because…um…I’m environmentally conscious and hate to let the electrons go to waste.

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My scariest story isn’t intrinsically all that frightening; it’s an Inuit legend that I happened upon in a book of ghost stories when I was in second grade. Our teacher had assigned us one of the other stories to read–the 70s were an awesome time to be in elementary school–but I decided to read the rest of them as well, and this one just scared the everliving crap out of me. But it isn’t going to scare you because you aren’t seven years old. Probably. So instead of trying to be spooky, I’m going to break it down Myths RETOLD style.

okay so there are these four hunters right
they’re out in the middle of nowhere
and a blizzard starts up
which they somehow were not expecting
despite living in the arctic
and just before they all die of exposure they find an abandoned hut

this kind of thing always happens in fairy tales
people are always finding cottages in the wilderness
or falling into holes next to magic tinderboxes
or being chased into the one cave on the entire planet where Spock is hiding
not that I am bitter about that

so instead of thinking
finding this hut is way too convenient
and maybe it would be better just to freeze to death
they all think SWEET
and hustle right on in

they build a fire and go to sleep
and the next morning three of them wake up and find the fourth one dead
and instead of thinking logically
and yelling HOLY SHIT ONE OF US IS A MURDERER
and refusing to take their eyes off each other
they are all remarkably blasé about this
and I guess stack the body up in a corner somewhere
and go about their business

I don’t know what their business would be
because they are stuck in an abandoned hut
in the middle of a blizzard
and the internet had not been invented
so maybe they just stared at the walls all day
but that is not the point of this story

but the blizzard does not stop
so they have to spend another night in the hut
and they go to sleep
and the next morning only two of them wake up
and they look at the second dead body
and go, huh

this is not normal behavior you guys

so the blizzard still does not stop
and that night one hunter says
welp, two hunters dead in two nights
there’s no pattern there
so I’ll be going to sleep now

but the other hunter is smarter
or has maybe seen more horror movies
and decides to lay down
but only PRETEND to go to sleep

so he lays there for a while
and suddenly sees movement in the rafters
and one of the bundles up there rolls over

let’s stop a minute and consider this
they have been stuck in this hut
with nothing to do
for three days
and there is not just one
but apparently several
mysterious bundles in the rafters
and nobody has considered investigating them
these hunters are made entirely of concentrated stupid

so the bundle rolls over a couple of times
and then a GIANT FUCKING SKELETON ARM
comes out of the bundle
and reaches down
and sticks a finger
into the back of the sleeping hunter’s skull
and pulls out his liver
and then goes back into the bundle

somehow the remaining hunter does not shit himself lifeless
but instead deduces that the bundle contains a giant skeleton
which perhaps is not a hard conclusion to draw
but he further deduces that the skeleton was not buried properly
and thus is sad
and so is consoling itself by eating livers

and a fava bean and chianti joke is way too easy here
so I will simply inquire
why the skeleton thinks that eating livers
will make it less emo

so the hunter waits until morning
when I guess the skeleton will be napping
and then kicks the stove apart
and runs out of the hut
and instead of continuing to run until his legs are worn to nubs
he turns around and watches the hut burn down
and the doorknob rattles for a while
like something is trying to escape
but eventually it stops
which is kind of a shame
because a giant flaming skeleton bursting out of the door
would be awesome

so the last hunter defeats the skeleton
and since the story never says the blizzard stopped
he probably freezes to death
but at least he isn’t turned into liver snacks by eldritch horrors

the moral of this story is to always go hunting
with companions who are dumber than you

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