Category Archives: Erika Lance

Pom Poms by Erika Lance

For Mandi, for being inspiring since the day we met.

“That is seriously the 6th time that truck as slowly rolled past. Should we ask if they need help?”

Claire looked over at Marci who had been one looking out the window and scowled. Marci couldn’t see the scowl which was most likely a good thing. Claire often thought that she, and she alone would survive a horror movie type situation.

Claire had joined the cheer squad when she first arrived at Jeffery M. Whitmore High School because they had no other activities that related to dance or gymnastics. Claire also understood stature and how to navigate the high school experience so that she came out on top.

Unfortunately, this meant she was usually surrounded by a bunch of girls who talked about lipstick and shopping and so many other things Clair had zero interest in. She chalked it up to being the negative parts of popularity.

“Seriously, should we go out there? They are parked down the block. They may need help.” Marci was persistent. Chrissie, who happened to be the captain of the team looked out the window along with Heather and Tanya. They had all decided to have a “little” slumber party this weekend to discuss Nationals.

Claire knew it would look good on college transcripts, so she was on board for helping make sure this wasn’t embarrassing.

“I don’t know if it is safe. Claire, what do you think?” Tanya asked.

Tanya asked about everything. She couldn’t make a decision herself about anything. Claire smiled; it was the fake smile that said “I care what you are saying” but really didn’t. “I don’t think you should go out there. This town is full of weirdos.” She was sure the others wouldn’t listen to her, so she felt safe in saying what she did.

Almost on cue Chrissie looked over, “I think we should. After all, they may be some slightly lost college guys or something.” She managed to sound condescending when she even said that. “Tanya, let’s go help out the stranded stranger,” and she headed for the door.

It was in this moment Claire decided that the fate of these three meant nothing to her. She could be worried. She could warn them. Hell, she could even manipulate them into staying inside. However, in this moment she realized that the cheer team would go on, even if all three of these girls were no longer breathing.

So she smiled again, “I understand. You should help them out.”

Chrissie and Tanya checked themselves in the mirror and headed out. Claire looked at her watch: 10:35pm. She then picked back up the book she was reading and waited. Marci was switching between pacing and looking out the window. She suddenly burst out, “They are gone!”

Claire looked up from her book. “What?” she asked, sure of what the answer would be.

“They are gone.” Marci was staring to freak out. “Is the van still there?” Claire asked. She thought she should make her tone more concerned to make Marci feel better and then she shrugged. She didn’t actually care.

“Maybe you should check on them?” Claire finally said. Maybe she sounded like she cared. She didn’t.

“Will you come with me?” Marci asked.

“No,” Claire said. Maybe that was a little rough. “Umm… someone should be here if they come back.” She hoped that made her sound more caring or possibly a little scared.

“Oh,” Marci started, “That makes sense,” and she headed for the door. Claire shrugged and went back to reading.

Some time had passed before she checked her watch again; it had been an hour. She moved over and looked out the window. The van was gone. Claire pursed her lips. She knew Chrissie’s parents would at least be home by morning and wondering where their daughter was. She shook her head and pulled out her cell phone.

“911. What is your emergency?” the  concerned sounding voice answered.

“My… My… My … THEY ARE GONE!!!” The drama classes were paying off, Claire thought as she “sobbed” into the phone. The operator began to ask her questions and as she answered she wondered if being cheer captain was more work than she wanted to expend.

 

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The Story by Erika Lance

To my Dad. Thank you for always supporting me and for the cheesy story starter.

It was a dark and stormy night.

The fact that these were the only words typed on the page and the cursor kept blinking back at him like some kind of symbol of failure was not making this idea anything but a bust.

Alex had decided that he needed to get out of town and away from all the distractions of his normal life to finally write the novel he had been dreaming of for years. Instead, he was at a remote cabin at the backside of a camping ground that one of his friends had found online.

He had agreed because he was trying to pen the next great horror novel but instead had spent the last three days creating nothing except a lack of snacks and a level of frustration he couldn’t stand.

He put his face in his hands and sighed. He was about to delete the only line he had written when he heard the bedroom door slam shut behind him.

He turned and it was closed. He got up and moved towards it. The windows in the front of the cabin were open. He had found out the hard way that the cabin did not come with central heat and air.

He got to the door and tried to turn the knob and pull it open. It wasn’t budging. He had only been given one key that opened the front door which he was pulling out of his pocket when he realized there wasn’t a lock on this door.

It opened inward so he tried to push using most of his weight against the door. After a few tries, the door flew inward with such ease that Alex ended up landing on the floor of the now darkened room into something wet.

He stood up looking around for the light switch, noticed his hands and arm were coated in blood, and just then the door slammed shut again.

Alex noticed the room was beginning to chill and being slightly wet was not helping the situation. In the total dark, he heard the sound of something moving to the left.

“Who’s there?” he said, immediately regretting it.

He heard the noise again, this time closer.

Alex moved back, reaching out with his hand until he felt the wall behind him. He began to move in the direction of the door. Before he could reach it, he heard a voice very close to him “Alex… Where are you going?”

He jumped. The voice was that of a woman, although it sounded scratchy and weak.

“Who are you?” he sputtered out.

He felt cold fingers on his face as the voice said, “I’m going to give you what you wanted.”

Alex wanted to pull back but he had nowhere to go. He felt his heart beating against his chest as the noises around him lead him to think whatever this thing was, it moved without stepping.

“Are you going to kill me?” he finally asked.

“Kill you?” It began, then started laughing. “You’re already dead.” As the final word was spoken, the lights came on and there he was laying on the bed, covered in blood. His eyes were open and staring blankly into nothing. There was a wound along his neck and chest.

“What? Wait… I don’t understand,” he said, looking around for whatever the voice was attached to. He was alone with only himself in the room.

“You wanted a story,” the voice said.

 

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Why Ghosts Suck by Erika Lance

Amanda, this starter made me laugh out loud. Thank you.

“I used to think of the day I met you as the worst day of my life. Now, thanks to you, I know it gets much, much worse.”

Saying this to Billy, the name I made up for him, didn’t seem to have the desired effect. He just smiled and let blood appear to fall from his mouth.

The first time you see a ghost it can be scary, possibly even terrifying. Or, like me, you could just ignore it.
A word of advice: NEVER just ignore it.

Especially a ghost that looks like a school bully from the Little Rascals.

I had seen him in the hallway on my way to school, but I figured I was still dreaming, or tired, or hadn’t had enough energy drink to get me through the day. Needless to say, I just walked past him. Such a bad idea.

So, during second period, in the middle of a pop quiz in English, he appeared in front of my desk with his eyes falling out of his head. This of course caused me to fly back in my chair, like any normal human, and caused the person behind me to fall, and the person behind them…well, you get the point.

Needless to say, I was the only one, of course, that saw him. I asked others, but instead of confirming the existence of Billy, I am now sitting in my third therapy appointment being asked how my meds, which I am not taking, are working out.

Billy is sitting upside down on the ceiling above the therapist’s head. This is distracting as he doesn’t just sit. He makes a grotesque visage out of everything. So, I seem like I am a crazy person when I react. Lucky for me, I am reacting less and less.

In the last two months, I have yet to figure out why Billy has decided I am his latest playmate. He has dropped different hints. If you call walking into grizzly scenes of what I can only assume is his death a hint, although when I walk close to the body it disappears.

So… My life goes on… And on… And on…

Sigh.

 

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Bubbles by Erika Lance

For Sasha, thank you for this amazing starter.

I don’t remember dying.. but they all say I have.

As she listened to all of the people standing around the casket, she finally realized they were speaking about her in the past tense.

What had happened?

Was that a casket?

She was dead?

She remembered the spotlight being on, the music playing, singing the new number that Jimmy had written for her. What the hell was going on?

Bubbles had known she was going to be a dancer for as long as she could remember. She had dreamed of twirling on stage with some of the best dancers in the world.

Growing up, she had taken ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, everything she could think of until she had puberty hit and the gods had seen fit to give her the largest set of melons she had ever seen.

Although she still practiced all the time, her dream had changed from one of dancing to one of entertaining.

Bubbles had become a world renowned burlesque performer. Her shows were sold out every night.

The memory started coming back to her; she was 90% done with her routine when she suddenly slipped on a loose feather in her amazing peacock costume.

Well, it couldn’t have been that amazing, since she was looking up at a crowd now gathered around her.

Their lips were moving and they seemed frantic about something. She couldn’t understand them over the ringing in her ears and the distant beating of… something.

What was it?

She couldn’t think of it. This was silly. She was normally very good at distinguishing sounds.

She tried to move and couldn’t.

The faces above her were becoming more frantic.

They looked like her mother did the first time she did her routine on the parallel bars. Well, the first time she did her routine and fell off the parallel bars.

Wait, Did she fall?

She tried to open her mouth to ask a question but found she couldn’t move.

This wasn’t good.

She also noticed she was getting cold; that it, the cold, was seeping up under her body.

It might be because of the stage, or because she was wet… why was she wet?

It began to get dark then, so dark and so cold; they looked so scared, the faces.

She looked down at the casket now. Finally able to focus.

Her boobs still looked huge, even from here.

 

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Complete Dark by Erika Lance

For my friends Lisa and Tracy… Welcome to the Darkside!

Nothing could have prepared me for this… literally nothing!

She looked shocked. Maybe confused and possibly a little sick.

I would love to tell her that I warned her about what this was like, but I would be lying.

In truth, I am glad she is shocked.

Sometimes it takes a person truly seeing what man is capable of in order to value what they have in this life.

I don’t think this is one of those moments.

When she had told me what he had done to her, that part of me that we all hide or most times ignore came to the surface.

That part of me is complete darkness.

A plan, the plan, had come more quickly than I suppose it should. I knew what to do and how to do it.

I had to know she was sure of the choice she was making. Actually, I knew she couldn’t make that choice. She wasn’t capable… Most people were not.

It took me only a week and I had ensured every detail was taken care of. When you think about it, there are so many open areas in any state; for us, there were swamps with all manner of hungry creatures.

The only instruction I had given her was to not bring her cell phone. Actually, I had dropped mine and hers at a friend’s party we had stopped by for a little while to make sure plenty of people had seen us there. When we showed up later, the remaining party-goers would be so drunk the missing time will have evaporated.

As I unrolled the tarp containing the body, containing him, I handed her some gloves and I put some on myself as I picked up the hedge trimmers to begin the project of making him into bite size portions for the wildlife. Can’t have a gator dragging around an entire arm.

I didn’t give her any tools. Her job was scattering the pieces.

In under two hours we were done. We hadn’t spoken the entire time. The only noise she had made was when I used the hammer to mash his skull into little bits under the skin. Harder to piece together if it came to it.

After burning the clothes and tools, we got in the car and headed back to the party. She got out of the car and only said “I’m hungry” and entered the party.

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Hunting by Erika Lance

For Mandi, who has been inspiring since the day we met.

She put it in her mouth, trying not to think of the song “long thin slimy ones, short fat juicy ones….”

Marla looked down at the pile of leaves, twigs, berries, and grubs she had managed to forage.

She wasn’t sure, but she thought she was probably the only one left alive at this point.

When they had first been all dumped together, they had numbered eight. There had been five males and three females.

The “hunt” did not start until the fifth night. She remembered the exact moment she realized what was happening and that staying together was not an option.

When they had taken out the first person, a girl–her name was Tiffany or something very cheerleader like–they had done it using a cross-bow. Then they strung her up by her foot and left her there for all of us to see.

That was the moment Marla decided that she was going to find a way out.

She had heard a rumor about games like this one. Rich men usually paying a bunch to hunt humans for sport. She never understood it. Unless you chose humans that were armed and had the skills needed to be good prey, then what you were really doing is hunting something a little more skilled than a cow?

After she and a couple others had broken off from the group, she had only seen one other person alive. The first couple of times she had come across the strung up bodies of the others, she had used that area to sleep.

She was very sure that they wouldn’t come back to that specific spot since that was how they displayed their trophies and the hunters would not assume that the prey would sleep next to a dead body. Most probably would not.

As she looked down at the grubs wriggling in her hand, she wished she could bring herself to eat some of the dead meat that had been hanging around. But for starters, she couldn’t figure a way to get the meat off the corpse. She didn’t have any knives and most importantly, she didn’t want to be a cannibal.

She stuffed the grubs and leaves in her mouth and chewed quickly. She was constantly hungry but never starving. Then she drank a little from one of the streams she had found and made her way into the trees to find tonight’s sleeping spot.

She never slept in the same place twice. She was also careful never to leave a trail. She made sure not to break branches and to cover any footprints.

When she had chosen what direction to go, she had chosen left. There was no science; she had to choose a way to go and she chose left.

Marla had also found a branch she could use as a staff and a club if needed. It was interesting the relief she felt when she held a weapon in her hand.

It was late and Marla had been sleeping for a while when she first heard the noise. Whenever she was woken, the first thing she would do was hold her breath and listen. She heard the noise again. It was something large moving near her.

Most of the time, the hunters were in at least pairs if not a “hunting party.” She had seen them several times and had remained hidden through all of it. She stole a look this time and this one seemed to be alone. She wondered if he had gotten separated.

She watched him. He pulled out what she could only assume was a compass and turned around several times. It was funny to her when she discovered that most people thought using things like a compass or a map were easy.

As she watched him fumble, she realized that he must not have a cell phone out here. This caused her to smile. She did the only thing she could. She followed him farther. She wasn’t sure the total time she had actually followed him; with no watch, she couldn’t be certain and she also had to be careful. She couldn’t alert him to her presence.

She waited until he stopped, slung his rifle over his shoulder, and unzipped his pants to pee.

That moment she moved out, swinging her branch. She knew the first hit had to count and had to at least knock him down. That is exactly what it did. Then she bashed his head in until it was a bloody pulp.

She then removed everything of use from him. Even though he was much larger than she, she took his slightly bloodied jacket and all of his supplies. She even opened his wallet and removed the cash and his driver’s license. His name was Jim.

She smiled as she walked away. Now it was her turn to hunt.

 

 

 

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Best Day Ever by Erika Lance

For my friend Lisa Zeien, you are truly an amazing princess!

The entry theme of Star Wars hummed through his head as he entered the boardroom.

Today was the day he was finally making it to the top. Brian knew had an idea that would revolutionize the company. He had run the numbers, and it was a guaranteed success.

It had taken him a few months to convince his Vice President to propose it to his Senior Vice President, who then proposed it to his Chief.  As he opened the door, a small knot formed in his stomach, nerves, he took a deep breath and continued to walk in.

Brian had arrived over an hour before the meeting was to begin. He wanted to ensure that nothing went wrong during the presentation. One technical glitch or ill placed slide could take away from his credibility and he knew it.

He set up his presentation at the far end of the room near the projector. He carefully laid out the booklets containing the proposal at each of the seats. He ran through the presentation, each slide reciting his prepared speech. He was even ready for questions. As the time finally arrived, he was 100% sure he was going to nail it.

As the board members and other important executives arrived, Brian greeted each one of them. His confidence was at the highest point it had ever been. He knew, truly knew, that this day would change his life.

As he began the presentation, he could see that there were skeptical, if not almost disinterested, looks on most of the faces. The exceptions were the people who had already seen the presentation and he could tell from the looks on their faces that they knew something the others did not.

Brian showed the final slide. There had been a few questions throughout, but overall he had seen the reactions change from the mostly negative to very positive.

Brian was pulling his chair out to take a seat when he heard the first spray of shots. They were so loud and his first reaction was to cover his ears. Then he felt the sharp pain as something hard and sharp hit his back and he tumbled forward.

He lay there wanting to feel for where the pain was but he was having a hard time breathing. He continued to hear shots and screaming for a couple more minutes. He looked to his left and saw one of the executives, the COO, laying with several shots in the chest. His face looked as if he was looking into the distance.

Brian tried to focus and looked back to the right and saw one person still walking around. They were wearing black khaki pants and boots. Black spots were beginning to form on Brian’s vision. In some distant part of his brain, he knew he was in terrible pain but the shock seemed to be keeping it at bay.

As the person who seemed to be the only one still moving got closer, he would hear one shot here and there, and as they came around the corner he heard a familiar voice. “Brian, fuck dude, what are you doing here? Shit!” It was Mark.

Brian had worked with him as a project manager until a few months ago when he was let go. Brian had heard rumors about spending company money for escorts and drugs. The story everyone had been told was the department was downsizing. Brian guessed that Mark didn’t take that very well.

Mark was still talking and he felt his body being moved as the blackness consumed him. He smiled a little as the Star Wars theme began to play again in his head.

 

 

 

 

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