's 2013 Horror Write-off:

" Alice Went to Sleep "

Submitted by Raven

Alice went to sleep, but she didn't wake up. No, no, no, the story shouldn't just skip to the ending...

It was late August, and Alice was exhausted. Another 8 hours stocking shelves, another 8 hours having her ass pinched by her greasy boss, another 8 hours of making less than minimum wage. After a long day of toiling and harassment, Alice went back to her tiny apartment and her ill-tempered landlord. Alice had little respite.

Alice never dreamed that her life would turn out like this. Of course, she was too old to believe that a dashing knight in shining armor on a majestic white stallion would ride in and save her. Her last relationship ended when her boyfriend was arrested for possession and distribution of methamphetamine. She didn't care. He beat her frequently when he was tweaking out. Alice would have been jealous of her friends finding their special someones, except Alice had no friends.

Alice was starting to get hungry, so she checked the fridge. It was completely bare, except for a box of baking soda and some moldy baby carrots. Liquid dinner again, thought Alice. Alice got out a large bottle of vodka, which now made up the majority of her diet. Alice set the bottle on the broken laminate countertop and reached for a glass. She grabbed a smudged pint glass, but it slipped from her hand. The vessel shattered on top of her right foot, sending splinters into her skin. Alice started to scream, but she was cut off by her cantankerous bitch of a landlord screeching in Polish from downstairs. “Sorry, Mrs. Kowalski!” shouted Alice, holding back tears of pain. “Spierdalaj kurwa! Pizda!” replied Mrs. Kowalski. Alice dug the shards of glass out of her foot with a paper towel, and drank dejectedly out of the bottle.

After downing the rest of the vodka, Alice stumbled to the shower. Alice slipped out of her clothes and crawled into the grimy tub. She twisted the rusty handle to turn on the water. After a gurgle from the pipes, a jet of water struck Alice on the chest. It was freezing cold. Alice shivered and punched the tiles in frustration. “Shit! I didn't pay the gas bill!” Alice took the tiny bottle of shampoo she took from a roadside motel and lathered up with the frigid water. When the water ran out, Alice got out of the shower and dried herself off with a mildewy, threadbare towel.

Alice tumbled onto her futon. She didn't care enough to put on clothes. Alice grabbed the pillow and started to cry. It wasn't fair. She worked her ass off and got nothing for her efforts. She didn't know why, but she was compelled to pray.

Dear Jesus, it's me, Alice Brown.

I don't even know if you're real, but you're all I have left.

Please get me out of here.

If you don't help me, I won't blame you. Nobody's ever cared enough to help me out.

Jesus, God, Krishna, Allah, whoever the fuck's out there.



Alice passed out drunk. And the gods answered.

The skin around Alice's back came to life. It shifted as though ants were crawling within it. Alice's skin sloughed off of her scapulae and trapezius muscle with a wet, meaty sound, but Alice felt nothing. The rest of her skin started to animate, coming off of her arms and legs. The wound in her foot split open like a flower. Her long red hair fell out as her scalp tore from her skull. The squirming mass of skin slid off of Alice's raw red body, like a molting snake. The rubbery integumentary puppet's face, if it could be called that, formed the closest possible thing to a smile. With a noise like rustling silk, the living hide slid under the door and was gone. Xipe Totec, the flayed lord, gave her freedom in death in exchange for her skin.

Alice went to sleep, but she didn't wake up. But her skin had.