This is a horror flash fiction that I wrote after reading the first Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book after re-watching the movie. I hope you enjoy it. It is short, have fun.
On the other side of town there is a house that leans and creaks, nearly falling into the river. You know the one, by the bridge? It is a house with one floor and paint that peels from its walls.
In this house lived a small boy and his father. The mother had left for the coast a few years ago, after the Dad had yelled one too many times. She was lucky because she escaped, but she wasn’t able to take Steven away.
Steven was a small kid. Always covered in mud and wearing ratty clothes. People would drive by and see him playing outside. They would drive by and whisper to each other that it wasn’t right how that Daddy treated his boy. That it was so sad what had happened.
Then they would drive away, little Steven’s eyes glowing red in their tail lights.
As he got older he stayed small. His clothes became threadbare, and he stopped going to school. He would play in the yard all day and night, going to the river behind the house.
People who drove over the bridge would sometimes watch as they saw his Daddy take him by the collar and pull him up the porch stairs and into the house. He wouldn’t be seen for a few days after this. And the yelling couldn’t be heard by those who drove their cars down the road, with their radio turned up.
They turned their radios up because they knew.
Across the bridge was a pet shop, and the owner was friends with the boy’s mother. When she was still in town, they would talk in the library sometimes. That was why she gave Steven the lizard on his birthday.
Steven would smile and chase the lizard around the yard. Collecting coins from the grates on the side of the road and picking up bottles to return was how he paid for the lizard’s care.
Then, Steven’s Dad came home drunk one day. Steven was dragged outside and crying. Cars passing by saw this and saw the Dad holding a dark green lizard by its tail as it kicked and flailed. The Dad gave the lizard to the boy and yelled at him.
“THROW IT AWAY! GET THIS OUT OF MY HOUSE!” He yelled. Steven fell to the ground and cried.
He couldn’t do it.
So his Dad did. He threw the lizard into the river.
The drivers did call for help this time, and when Steven’s Dad came back to the house to take care of his boy after his two years. Steven had something waiting for him.
* * *
People haven’t seen Steven since his Dad’s body was found. His back was cracked in half and head chewed to bits, his lower half was down the river and his upper half at the out pipe for the storm drains. The pipe that was next to his house. Not a lot of people remember Steven now, but a few older people do. Not a lot of older people left in this town now…
You can tell who remembers Steven though. They avoid that house. But that doesn’t stop them from being found dead. Chewed apart down the river.
Those who are still alive won’t live much longer when they hear the child’s voice laughing from the storm drains. Echoing through the pipes. Followed always by short words from an unfamiliar voice that they strangely still know, and the snapping of long jaws.
“You knew… didn’t you?”