1st Runner Up in the 2013 Crimson Skull Contest: Waiting for Halloween by Daniel Gonzales

Olivia waited every year for Halloween to arrive so she could show her true face.
Her parents told her to hide it all year long.
“People just wouldn’t understand,” her mother said, “They don’t believe in monsters. At least not the kind you are anyway.”devil mask on girl
Her father was more severe, “If you show people what you really are, they will hurt you, they will kill you.”
Olivia was only twelve but she knew that she was a monster.
Every day at school, the other girls made fun of her, they pushed her in the mud, they pinched her arms until she felt the tears well up in her eyes but she did not tell. She knew she deserved it, she was evil.
On Halloween I can be myself, she thought. I don’t have to be afraid.
She put the devil mask over her face and went out trick or treating. Her parents decided that she was old enough to go out on her own as long as she took her little brother with her. Toby was seven and annoying as fuck. He was perfect from his blonde hair to his dimpled cheeks, he wasn’t a monster like her. The curse had skipped him.
“My sister was like you,” her mother said, “She was twisted and deformed inside and had to hide her true face. She killed herself when she was twenty two. My mother was glad to be rid of her.”
She knew that her parents talked sometimes about getting rid of her. Just putting her out of her misery but instead they let her live on.
She had the knife in her pillowcase just in case and waited for the hour to grow late.
“Olivia, when we go get candies?” her brother said in his candy corn costume.
“Soon,” she said, “I have to do something first.”
She spotted the girls around fifth avenue shortly after seven p.m.
It was the same bitches who tormented her at school every day. She told her brother to wait behind the tree in the park and she went after them. Slowly she approached them in her devil mask and heard them chatting.
“I can’t believe she wore that!” Tiffany said, dressed as some slutty witch. She looked like a whore. She knew they were talking about her, making fun of her, thinking of new ways to torment her.
“She is so pathetic, she should just kill herself already,” Amber said.
“Oh my god, did you see how hot Greg was?” Lily said.
“I would totally suck his dick,” Tiffany said, she was thirteen, a year older than the other two girls.
“Have you done that?” Amber whispered, “You know…sucked a dick?”
“Of course! I used to practice on my cousin all the time. He’s seventeen. He has a huge one.”
The other two girls said nothing.
Olivia pulled off her mask and ran behind Tiffany, jamming the knife into her back.
“OH MY GOD!” Amber screamed.
“You crazy bitch!” Lily said.
How did they recognize me? Olivia wondered, she knew she was showing her true face. Couldn’t they see the demon? The lizard skin? The horrible scars?
Amber was starting to attract attention with her screams so Olivia jammed the knife in her neck and watched the blood spurt out. She laughed, it was like a red river. It poured across the cement and dead leaves like a painting.
Lily started to run. She was dressed in some generic cat Walmart costume that looked like it came from the sales rack.
“I can smell your sin,” Olivia said and stabbed her in the back.
“Please,” Lily begged, as she fell over the blood soaked into her blonde hair.
“Now you know how it feels,” Olivia said, “But you just kept pinching me. Pinch, pinch, pinch.”
She stabbed the girl again and again then twisted the knife up in her gut and felt her open up like ripe fruit, the smell was horrendous but her intestines fascinated her. They were like strands of fleshy silly string. She could have played with them for hours but heard shouts in the distance. They had heard the screams. People were coming. She ran away.

Toby was waiting patiently for her in the park.
He was starting to grow bored and was picking pieces of bark off the tree. He had one in his mouth when she found him.
“Don’t eat that!” she said and slapped him in the back of the head. He spit it out.
Tears started to well up in his eyes.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “Just wait, we are gonna go get candy now.”
For the next hour and a half they went door to door getting candy as the sound of ambulances and police cars went by.
Parents were starting to talk, taking their kids home early.
A massacre, they were saying.
An elderly woman handing out Snickers bars warned her, “You two should head on home now, it’s not safe out there, there was a murder tonight. Three young girls.”
Olivia smiled. The fear was spreading.
Her mother had told her to punish the sinners.

Olivia took Toby back home and saw her mother sitting at the kitchen table talking to God again. She was gesturing wildly and speaking in tongues, her eyes rolling back in her head.
“I have to go out, Mom and take care of one more sinner. I will be back later.”
Her mother made garbled noises and drooled leaked down her chin.
Olivia put the devil mask back on and went back out onto the streets.
It was 9PM.

The house of Miss Edna Fisher was one of the largest in the neighborhood, she had a family fortune in accumulated wealth and wasn’t afraid to rub it in other people’s faces whenever she could.
She was also Olivia’s seventh grade teacher.
She was a horror. Always calling on her, humiliating her when she didn’t know an answer, she would snicker when she saw the other girls picking on her. Once when she had been flung in the mud by Tiffany, she saw Miss Fisher looking at her but instead of going to help, she had walked away.
Edna was a spinster, a mid-fifties old maid who didn’t have any children of her own so she disciplined children that weren’t hers.
For some reason, Miss Fisher had always hated her but she didn’t know why.
Did she sense my demon? Olivia thought. Does she know what I really am?
Olivia walked right up to her door and knocked.
It took several moments but Miss Fisher finally came to the door.
She had done everything to make it look as if she weren’t at home, the gate was shut, the lights were turned low but Olivia knew the truth.
“What are you—Olivia?” Miss Fisher said, surprised.
She answered the door in a long flowing white silk nightgown with a thick bathrobe over it and fuzzy slippers.
“What are you doing here, young lady?” she said, “Haven’t you heard there was a murder?! Your schoolmates were killed. Tiffany Miller. Lily Tomkins. Amber Marrow. It is all over the news. Don’t your parents have the common sense to tell you to stay home?”
“I know about the murders,” Olivia said, “Their blood smelled like fresh flowers.”
Miss Fisher’s mouth gaped in shock and Olivia pulled the large kitchen knife out of her bag, still covered in the girl’s blood. Then she charged towards the door.
Edna fell backwards onto the wooden floors and started to crawl away in a panic. Olivia stabbed her in the ankle. She screamed and kicked at her.
Limping, she ran towards the living room and the telephone.
Olivia was fast like a snake.
She threw her devil mask on the floor and then started to feel her face transform.
I am a monster. I am a demon. I am pure evil, she thought and imagined the horns and the scaly skin.
When she looked in the mirror, that was what she saw. Just like her parents told her she looked.
“Get away from me, you little freak!” Miss Fisher screamed, “What the hell is wrong with you? I knew you were a monster!”
Olivia moved quick and pulled the phone out of the wall.
She saw the bowl of candy sitting next to the sofa, Miss Fisher had been snacking on chocolates when she knocked, the empty candy wrappers laid there. She grabbed the bowl and smashed it against Miss Fisher’s head.
Miss Fisher screamed as blood poured down her forehead then she ran past Olivia and up the stairs screaming the whole way. Her ankle was still bleeding and she left a blood trail behind her.
Olivia laughed, “Trick or treat, Miss Fisher. I want to cut out your eyes and eat them. That’s my Halloween treat.”
Olivia followed her upstairs.

Edna had locked herself in her bedroom and scrambled to find her cell phone.
She dialed 911.
“Yes, police? Please help me, there is a young girl in my house and she is trying to kill me, she has a knife and I think she killed those other girls tonight. Her name is—“
Olivia burst through the bedroom door, slamming against it.
Miss Fisher dropped the phone in fright.
“Get away from me, you freak!” Miss Fisher said.
“You never liked me,” Olivia said, “I saw you turn away when they pushed me in the mud. You turned away.”
Miss Fisher got a wild hateful look in her eyes then, “Yes, I hate you! I always hated you! You are weak! You deserve to die! You filthy little bitch!”
Olivia swung the knife towards her face and sliced into her cheek.
Blood dribbled down her chin.
“Stop!” Miss Fisher said in a panicked voice, “I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry!”
“Why did you become a teacher?” Olivia asked her, serious suddenly, “Was it cause you couldn’t make babies?”
Miss Fisher said nothing.
“You obviously don’t like kids.”
“Please,” Edna said, looking her in the eyes.
“Are you scared of my demon face?” Olivia said, “Doesn’t it frighten you?”
“What are you talking about?”
“Don’t pretend you can’t see it. This is my real face. I am a monster.”
Miss Fisher looked at the girl strangely then and almost with pity.
“Who told you that?” she asked.
“It doesn’t matter.”
“You don’t have a demon face. Look in the mirror, Olivia. You are an innocent girl. Now stop this before it’s too late. We can get you help.”
Olivia looked across the room at the mirror above the headboard of the bed.
She saw her own face starting back at her.
No demon.
It was a trick. This bitch was trying to trick her.
“No,” Olivia said, “I know what I am. Mommy told me. Now let’s see where babies are made.”
She stuck the blade into Miss Fisher’s stomach and gutted her.
The smell was more putrid than Tiffany’s intestines.
Yet they fascinated her still, she watched them ooze out and put her hands through them. She played with the liver, then pulled out the kidneys. She kept cutting and broke the ribcage until she found the heart. She put it in her candy sack and left through the window before the police came.

“Did you have fun?” Olivia’s father asked when she came in the door.
“Yes, Daddy, I punished some sinners.”
“Good girl,” he said, “Maybe if you keep doing God’s work, he will heal you and make you human again.”
In the kitchen her mother was unconscious on the floor and twitching. She was having one of her angelic seizures.
“Your brother is already in bed. You have school tomorrow, young lady. You better get to the basement.”
He pulled the key from his pocket and opened the door to the basement steps.
“Off you go,” he said, “Goodnight.”
He kissed her on the cheek.
Olivia walked down the steps into the dark and fumbled around until her eyes adjusted and she saw the sleeping bag. She crawled inside and hid.
She heard the sounds of police sirens and an ambulance driving by.
Her mother’s body thumping above on the kitchen floor.
Until next Halloween, she thought and closed her eyes. Then I can be myself again.

By Daniel Gonzales
editor, Surreal Grotesque

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