's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" A Contemporary Funeral "

Submitted by Pyro Gibberish

Grandpa once told me about something called a funeral. He said that friends and family would dress in black and sing songs as they dropped the deceased in a hole. I don't know if I believe that people actually used to do that; it seems so odd and sad.

Whatever the case, that isn't what's happening with mother. David and I sit on the front porch and watch as the closest thing to death hoists her onto its lumpy back.

We don't see them often, so today was the first time I was able to get a good look at one; long and bloated, like some cross between a snake and a toad, but with hundreds of spindly little legs. It hasn't got much of a face to speak of; just a couple of contracting orifices near its rear end and the truncated limb it uses to take the dead.

David likes to call them psychopomps. I just call them 'those things'. What point is there in giving names to things that don't need them? We're both bitter enough watching one grab our mother without having to humanize them.

I'm crying but I try to keep it under control. David isn't so reserved, and the sound of his sobbing echoes through the cul-de-sac. He always was more attached to mom. After all, he was the one who dropped everything to take care of her when he heard she was sick.

My brother stands up, wipes his eyes, and announces, with a trembling voice, that he's going inside to make himself a drink. I nod without turning to him, my eyes fixed on that thing which is now beginning to wrap its sinewy back-flesh around that lady who raised me.

For a long moment, there is nothing but silence. As usual, the moment our neighbors spotted one of those things crawling down the street, they all shut their blinds and called in their kids. That's how it's been since I was born, and as long as David can remember.

That thing continues to sit at the curb, throbbing, as though it hasn't finished. I'm a bit puzzled; when our elderly neighbor had died, it wasn't long at all before one of the things took the corpse and went off to wherever it is they go. I check my watch quickly and find that it's been nearly two minutes.

And why had David not finished making his drink yet?

The thing makes a faint squelching noise and begins to turn towards the house. This confuses me even more. It begins its unnatural, graceless centipede-walk up the sidewalk and towards our front door.

My blood goes cold as my mind suddenly stumbles into some realization. I call for David and get no response. As that god-damned thing slithers through the door, mom still bound limply to its back, there is no doubt in my mind that David had finished his drink.