's 2016 Horror Write-off:

The Boxes: Cabinet

Submitted by Sam Miller

It is dark. It is empty. I am alone. I am floating. My limbs trail below me. My eyes see nothing.

I hear muffled sounds from around me. A loud bang followed by slow tapping. I hear humming. A loud creaking as a tall tower of light appears behind me, bringing with it substance and surface. I am surrounded by silver things and paper things and brown things covered with symbols and drawings and pictures I cannot understand. Green things and red things and blue things and yellow things. The light blinds my twin massive eyes, and it scares me to hiding behind a soft brown bag. With two spindly arms I crawl over behind it, my many other limbs trailing behind me. A being gazes into the chamber, its eyes massive and wet and its skin disgustingly porous, its head topped with a long mess of pale strands. It hums softly yet loudly, as it reaches into the area and grabs at the very bag I am hiding behind. Frantically, I scrabble around, trying to hook myself onto it or hide behind another mysterious object. My frantic and fearful actions are to no avail, and I am revealed. The giant being screams, violently slamming shut the light, dropping me into empty dark nothingness again. I hear muffled sounds again, this time different ones, and when the light again appears I am in a different place, with different shapes, and with a different being gazing into the chamber.

It is dark. It is empty. I am alone. I am hungry.

I slide the door to my apartment open, maybe a bit too hard, making a loud bang. I apologize to the door out of instinct. My feet take me into the apartment, and I turn on the lights to reveal my home. My belly grumbles, reminding me how hungry I am. The cabinet. I move over to it, my footsteps clicking and clacking on the hard floor. My hand grabs the handle to the door to the cabinet, opening it creakingly to get to the snacks inside. My voice hums a little tune, a song that's been stuck in my head for the past few days. My eyes gaze around the cabinet, taking in the many colors on the cans and bags and containers within. I see a brown bag of chips, and go to grab it, only barely noticing the slight shadow that passes behind it. My hand grabs it, feeling some extra weight clinging to it. I wrench the chips out of the cabinet, and see a thing behind it. A shuddering body made of hard carapace, its many spindly tentacles splayed about it, some reaching up to the bag. But, to top it all off, are two massive yellow eyes. I scream loudly, slamming the door to the cabinet shut and grabbing a fly swatter to kill the terrible thing that was scuttling and crawling all over my food, but when I open the cabinet again it is gone.

I eat the chips.