A young woman receives a sinister call while home alone …
The autumn night air blew through the trees making them sway from side to side like dancing ghosts in the night. Those who lived in the neighborhood were all young professionals that worked in the business district nearby. The majority of them had all gone out to Halloween parties, but not Alice.
She sighed while looking at the time. “It’s nearly eight! Where the hell is he?”
Suddenly the phone rang which caused her to jump. Clumsily she grabbed the phone while laughing at her own skittishness.
“Get a grip, it’s probably just Nate,” she thought and decided to mess with him for being late
“You’d better be getting me the best present ever or don’t even bother showing up.”
“I definitely have something for you.” A scratchy voice answered back
A lump formed in Alice’s throat. Embarrassed, she answered, “Sorry, I thought you were... Wait, who are you calling for?”
There were a few seconds of silence before the man finally responds, “I’m calling for you.”
An impish grin spread across her lips. It was most likely one of the guys she met Jeana’s party last weekend. She had exchanged numbers with a couple since they were interested in her marketing ideas. They were all pretty cute, but Nate was the only man for her.
“Oh really?” Alice said, while grinning.
“What are you doing?”
Alice began munching on a bowl of baby carrots, “Watching TV and waiting for my boyfriend to get here.”
“Well, he won’t be my boyfriend for long if he doesn’t get here soon.” She huffed out.
“I see,” the man continued, “and do you always eat carrots while you watch tv?”
The question hit her like a punch to the gut. “How did you know I was eating carrots?” She began looking around nervously.
“Because you told me.” The man responded, somewhat startled by her question.
“No, I didn’t.” She said, anger swelling inside her.
The man flirtatiously replied, “Maybe I’m just a good guesser?”
Alice looked out the window, but it was as vacant as it had been all night. Nothing but wind rustled leaves. Except now her seclusion suddenly felt like a death sentence. She decided it’s time to call Nate and get rid of this creep. “Yeah, well I should let you go...”
“Don’t you dare hang up on me!” The man yelled menacingly.
“Fuck you!” She yelled into the receiver before slamming it down.
She might be a young woman alone at home, but she wasn’t going to let some asshole get to her. She quickly made her way to the front door to make sure it was locked and peeked out the peephole. Suddenly, the phone rang again.
“Hello.” She answered flatly.
“Listen, you little bitch! Don’t you ever hang up on me again or I’ll rip your fucking entrails out through your throat!” The man hollered.
“What do you want from me?” She whimpered out as tears started to stream down her face.
He chuckled, “I want to rip out your heart and feed it to you.”
“Leave me alone or I’m calling the police!” Alice managed to yell out through sobs.
“They won’t make it in time because I’m already in the house!” The man cackled.
Alice, in a panic, dropped the phone and ran down the hall towards her bedroom. Just as she rounded the corner a masked man slowly made his way through the house with a hatchet in his hand.
“Where are you, sweetness? You can’t hide forever, you know!” He yelled as he entered the hallway towards her bedroom.
As he turned a corner he was struck across the head with a blunt object. Alice appeared over him and looked down at the intruder with a blank stare across her face. In her right hand she held a croquet mallet. She threw it on the ground as she began to drag him down the hallway.
The man slowly began to stir, but his eyes were having trouble focusing on his surroundings. His head was pounding but as he reached to touch it he realized he was tied up. As he looked around he could tell he was in a dark, cold room with the only light source pointed straight at him making it hard to make out any details.
“Where am I?” He groggily asked.
Almost appearing out of thin air, Alice stepped from within the shadows. She was wearing a blue dress with a white apron wrapped around it. Her hair was held back with a black ribbon, and her face was blank. Save for her eyes which were burning with a lust for blood and in her right hand, she held a giant blade.
She smiled a wide toothy grin before finally speaking. “You’ve fallen down the rabbit’s hole, and now it’s time to pay the hatter.”
The man had tears swelling up in his eyes. “Please, it was a joke! I swear, I wasn’t going to do anything to you, honest!” He pleaded.
“A joke,” Alice answered as if she were trying to process the thought. Her blank face returned back to her wide grin as she let out a giggle, “Yes, a joke, I see... well, I guess the jokes on you!”
Her giggling returned and with each passing breath, her laugh descended deeper into madness. She suddenly stopped and glared at the man. “Well, now the joke is over. Let’s play a game, shall we?” As she made her way toward him he struggled to free himself from his bindings but to no avail. Alice kneeled down in front of him and assuredly said, “Now, this might hurt a bit.” Without a moment’s pause, she dived the knife into his abdomen. He howled in pain and as the hilt reached his torso she swiftly pulled it out again.
“What the hell is wrong with you, you crazy bitch?!” He yelled at her.
She angled the blade and watched the blood slowly drip from it. “Oh, a great number of things.”
Her gaze went from the blade and focused directly into his eyes. The man whimpered before desperately yelling out for help. Alice threw her head back and maniacally cackled. She suddenly stopped and dropped her head forward, her hair wrapping around parts of her face which made her look even more deranged and almost rabid. Her wide grin never wavered from her face as she stared directly back at him with eyes that almost glowed red with hunger.
“Shall we have another go?”
Alice hummed to herself as she washed the blood off the knife. Nate entered through the front door with grocery bags in his hands.
“I’m sorry babe, I know I’m late. I was the only one working tonight, so guess who got left with cataloging the new reports? Anyways, I stopped by and picked up some movies along with your favor-” He stopped suddenly when he saw her covered in blood. He rushed to her side while inspecting her for the source. “Alice... What happened?”
“He wasn’t very nice.” She turned to him as she dried off her hands. “I had to punish him.”
Nate studied her face for a bit. He finally came to the realization of what she was talking about and sighed, “I thought you were going to stop after the last one.” He puts the stuff on the nearby table and began to remove the groceries from the bags.
She pouted as she wrapped her arms around his neck. “This one asked for it... he tried to hurt me.” She put her head on his chest.
Nate smiled and kissed her forehead. He could never stay mad at her for long. “Alright... but after this one, no more. Do we have an agreement?” She giggled and nodded. “Ok, now how about you make the popcorn and I’ll set up the movie?” He said, smiling at her lovingly.
“Okay!” She chimed cheerfully before skipping off to the kitchen.
He smiled then turned to grab a movie, but he jumped when he saw a man, covered in blood, crawling on the floor. The man warily reaches up to him while pleading.
“Please... help me... she’s gone mad!” The man gasped.
Nate looked over to Alice who hadn’t noticed while she was preparing things in the kitchen. She was, instead, reciting one of her favorite poems, “How doth the little crocodile, improve his shining tail, and pour the waters of the Nile...”
Nate turned back to the man and kneeled down. “Oh, you can’t help that.” He reached down, taking a hold of the man’s arm.
“Thank you, thank you...” The man wept.
Nate placed a hand on his head and smiled, “We’re all mad here.” He suddenly grabbed the bottom of the man’s jaw and pulled with great force until he heard a sickening snap. “There, all better...” Nate said as a wide toothy grin spread across his face.
Alice continued in the back, “How cheerfully he seems to grin, how neatly spreads his claws, and welcomes little fishes in, with gently smiling jaws...”