Fiction Vortex 2014 Horror Issue

Horror 2014 5th Place: Dormant

In Grimm Webster’s story Dormant, we listen for the scratches in the walls. It is a tale of vulnerable youth, grandmotherly affection, and ancient slumbers. — Johnny Worthen
By Grimm Webster

A small hand gripped his shoulder with crushing force, dragging Peter to a halt. The new shoes he wore squeaked in protest on the polished floor of the mall. His heart pumped faster and his breathing quickened. The exit was only a few feet away. He pictured himself tearing out of his captor’s death grip and heading for the door and never looking back.

Images of police cars with flashing lights and being led away in handcuffs flooded his mind, all while the shoes squeaked like damned mice.

“Do you like them?”

“Uh … What?” He was confused by the kindness of the voice. He turned to see, not Mall security but an elderly woman.

“The shoes, dear child. Do you like them?”

“I … uh … Yes?”

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