It was the night before Halloween and the Coltons were gathered in the living room of their suburban house, watching an old scary movie. The unspeakable horror that carved its victims in a million pieces just for fun had yet to be seen fully on-screen, instead hiding in the corners of broken reflections or bizarre camera angles that made you wonder if the director wasn’t high when he shot them. The unnerving music was on point at least, high-pitched staccato strings intertwined with improvised analog synths to give it a distinctively spooky sound whenever blood and guts were about to burst.
Save for the matriarch, the six members of the family were all having fun, laughing in the face of brutality as if it were an almost two-and-a-half hours comedy sketch.
“This is so bad.” Quentin grinned, accompanied by his twin brother, Axel.
“And that’s what makes it great!” Sally, the older sister, said as she delivered the last popcorn in the bag from their excessive salted misery.
“I really don’t understand what you see in these...” Helen retorted, dismayed. Family nights had stopped being the same since they had moved from campy shows to psychedelic slashers, but such was the way of the majority and all she could do was suck it up and pretend to smile now and then.
“It’s almost over.” Her husband, Harold, comforted her. “Only twenty more minutes or so.”
“And they’re easily the most intriguing ones.” The other daughter, Natalie, declared. “Just watch.”
The gruesome spectacle continued as the last surviving major characters met their untimely demise until only the fiery redhead with a nose piercing and ripped jeans remained, looking incredulously at the camera as she realized what the beast that was destroying them really was.
“No!” The character screamed before her gaze fell on a broken shard and darkened eyes stared back at her. The movie faded to black, and so did Helen’s patience.
“She was possessed the whole time? Come on, that doesn’t make any sense!” She vociferated.
“Of course, it does,” Natalie smirked. “That’s the beauty of it. The enemy within you can never fight, controlling your actions in silence until it manifests itself. I love that! It’s so fucking hot.”
“It’s ridiculous. And you say this thing spawned a sequel?”
“Three, actually. I have them all queued up. Ready to watch the next one?”
“Hell yeah!” The brothers raised their beers.
“Not me. I’ll pass.” Helen got up from the sofa and headed to the kitchen to get some more wine.
The bottle stood on the marble island, filled with cool crimson ecstasy with cherry notes. From the angle where she was looking at, it was if someone had collected the fake blood from the movie and had put it there, waiting for her.
“What a dumb movie.” She muttered with a part of her secretly hoping someone would at least agree with her.
The bottle remained still, yet its contents stirred, a solitary bubble floating to the top, whispering:
“Yes, it was. Nothing like that could ever happen for real.”
“Exactly.” Helen’s gaze lingered on the dark red liquid as lidless pupils peeked from behind it.
“And if it did, it’s not like you would ever do it.”
“Of course not.” She poured a glass and shook it gently in her right hand, more bubbles popping, the mysterious voice flowing in every single one.
“But what if you did? Wouldn’t that be something else?”
“That’s a scary thought.”
“Scary is just another word for exciting, isn’t it?”
“I don’t have any claws...”
“You have me...” The bottle rolled off from the table, shattering into a dozen pointy knives on the kitchen floor. “Want to have fun?”
Helen turned to stare at her beautiful family entering the division to see what happened, the most unexpected of words crossing his parched lips: