The box arrives with no return address. Although it is addressed to her, she is hesitant to open it. The box has unusual wrapping – a metallic paper which diffuses light into a chaos of colors.

What wonders must such a box contain! She opens the package and gazes inside expectantly.

Contents reveal only disappointment. Not jewels or treasure, merely sand, without hint of color or even mica shine.

Laughing at her own disappointment, she closes the box, places it on a shelf, and promptly forgets it.

Later in the month her child, Sami, finds the sand and takes it outside to play. She sits cross-legged in front of the table, molding three dinosaurs out of the sand. While she is playing, her dog wiggles up excitedly, sniffs the sand in the box, then quickly backs away, whining. Sami comforts the dog, leaves the sand in the box and goes inside. Night comes; the sand glows in the moonlight. The yard lies eerily silent as animals give it a wide berth.
The next morning Sami remembers her dinosaurs and asks to take them to school.

While Sami gets ready for Kindergarten, Mom takes a carry bag outside. Reaching toward the box to transfer the animals, she sees that all that remains of the dinosaurs is from the neck up: the bottom half of each is gone. Not dissolved, not blown down; no extra sand lies in the box. There is just nothing there. Hearing a faint whine, she looks over to the corner of the yard and sees their dog cowering there. Each time her hand approaches the box, he whines, louder and louder until the sound is almost a howl.

A shiver runs over her as she turns back to the box of sand. There is now nothing left in the box, except a few grains of sand trailing between her fingers. She hears grains of sand strike the ground and looks down.

Her feet are gone; her legs are now dissolving into a growing pile of sand on the metallic paper lying on the ground beneath her.

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Voice-Team (@voice-team)
1 year ago

This story was truly scary. It perfectly fit our criteria of “the creation of an ordinary world that can then be invaded by … ??” Kindergarten, sand boxes, play dinosaurs – all such normal, happy, family pursuits. Until … the ending had us gasping for breath.

Sandra James
Sandra James (@sandra-james)
1 year ago

Ahhhh! That had me on the edge of my seat, Susan, and checking where my feet were at the end! Great build up, definitely fits the ‘scary’ brief 🙂

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe (@eric-radcliffe)
1 year ago

A very imaginative Halloween tale Susan, an unexpected ending. I thought I had worked the end out when I was reading it- tricked again.

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Alan Kemister
Alan Kemister (@alan-kemister)
1 year ago

Creepy Halloween story. Given the ‘Scary’ topic I knew something untoward would happen, but your ending caught me by surprised. I’d guessed a few possibilities but nothing like the one you came up with. Bravo!

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Oh my gosh. This has me shaking at my knees. I did’t expect it to be so scary. Nice one.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo (@lotchie-carmelo)
9 months ago
Reply to  Susan Giles

You’re welcome, Susan.

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