I entered a contest at Mirabile Visu and WON! Woo Hoo! I love winning! I shared the podium (or rostrum as she put it) with Valamber.
The contest was to write a story of 1000 words or less with the topic of Collision, Windfall and Gift. The challenge was to include a spider and make it really scary.
Here is my winning entry. See what you think.
The Halloween Decoration Judging Committee squeezed into Bob's cubical. He'd always said that he was a true witch, in league with the dark forces, a claim that rankled Stacy, the Wiccan in the office.
Bob was a small greasy fellow who wore a van dyke, shaved eyebrows and always smelled of clover and olive oil. He had surgically split his tongue, inserted small horns in his forehead and enough piercings for ten people.
His cube always looked decorated for Halloween. As near as they could tell, the only extra decorations added for the contest were some small medicine bottles with post-it labels in scratchy handwriting.
"What is this?" Stacy picked up a bottle.
"Eye of newt," Bob said without turning. His fingers flew on the keyboard at an unnatural speed.
"Witches don't use eye of newt," Stacy growled.
Pudgy Kevin released an ear-splitting scream, "Spider!"
He had been resting his hand on the cubical wall and a large, shiny black spider had climbed on it. It was making its way up his arm quickly, headed for Kevin's face.
"Down Max." Bob tapped the desk. The spider stopped. Bob tapped again. "Here, Max."
The spider dropped down a line to the desk and ran behind the monitor.
Kevin's scream ended, and he disappeared.
"Great. This was the first cube he had actually showed for." Stacy said.
Polly noticed a bottle labeled, "Werewolf Juice."
"Pets aren't allowed." Stacy said.
"What's this?" Polly asked.
"Rainwater collected from the paw print of a wolf at midnight under a full moon. It grants the drinker the power to become a werewolf," he said.
"Really?" Polly asked.
Bob turned to Stacy, "Max is not my pet. Petunia is my pet." He flipped his overhead cabinet open to reveal a huge brown tarantula.
Stacy and Petunia both jumped at the sudden movement. Stacy shrieked, "I'm reporting that." She bumped Polly on her way out. Polly pocketed the Werewolf Juice.
"Don't think that will help you with the contest," Polly said as she backed out.
"Who cares," Bob said. Just as Polly was leaving he added, "What's in your pocket?"
"Go on, take it. Use it. Maybe then someone will believe my powers."
As Polly turned to walk away an evil laugh peeled through the office. She whirled around to see her boss Russ standing behind her. He had just stepped on a sound effect mat.
"Polly, good, I wanted to see you. MacDonald is going to Miami this weekend to handle the Patterson case."
"Sue MacDonald? But that's my case."
"Well, I think Sue can handled it better so I'm sending her."
Sue and Russ were very bad at hiding their affair. Polly gritted her teeth and shoved her hands into her pockets to avoid punching Russ. She found the bottle of Werewolf Juice there and fingered it. If only it were real.
"So I'll have to have you come in Saturday to cover Sue's work while she's gone."
"What?" She gripped the bottle.
"Sue's a little behind in her work. Saturday will give you a chance to keep up with your work and get her caught up. We can't have her fall behind just because she's handling a big case."
"In Miami in late October."
Russ smiled, "By the way, Tom won the Halloween Decorations contest."
"What? But the committee -"
Russ winked, "Tom won."
She had a death grip on the bottle.
"$100 prize, right?"
Polly nodded. "Tom won."
"Good girl." He patted her on the rump.
If his father didn't own the company and Sue wasn't the head of HR, she'd have filed a complaint. She spun the bottle in her pocket and wondered if it were real.
At the end of the day, she discovered that someone had stolen her umbrella. As she walked through the pouring rain to her car her cell rang, "What." She demanded.
"Polly, this is Jerry. I think we should start seeing other people."
Polly screamed, slammed the phone shut and shoved it in her pocket. She pulled out the bottle and looked at it. She ground her teeth, the rain dripped through her hair. Slowly, she put it back and got in her car.
Despite the tears in her eyes, and the pounding of her heart, Polly drove the sharp curved road through the Forest Preserve with extreme care.
She came around a tight turn. There, in her lane, beyond the madly swinging wipers was a tow truck. He had taken the turn too fast. She had to swerve. The road was too slick and she flew off the road, down into the flooded ditch and into a tree.
"Lucky for you I was right here, huh?" The tow truck driver said as he winched her car back onto the road.
She had crawled out of the car, bottle in hand. Her head was bloody and her clothes ripped. She made her way back up to the road. Without asking he had walked right past her and hooked up the winch.
"These roads are real tricky in the rain."
"You were on the wrong side of the road," she seethed.
"You know, it's real hard to see anything at night in the rain."
She had the top off the bottle.
"I sure hope you got good insurance, cuz I think this thing is totaled."
She never thought about not drinking it. She was standing behind him and drank it in one go. She felt the power as soon as it hit her lips, felt it working, felt the magic. He kept talking, but she was focused on the change, the growth, the power. It hurt worse than anything she had ever known, but that didn't matter.
Just before the final change, before it was too late, she thought about control. Would she be able to control this, return to normal? Would she ever be able to be human again?
With a screaming howl she lost herself to the wolf.