He tried to run, but tangles of branches and undergrowth clawed at him pulling him back. His face, old and wrinkled, was gashed and bloody, and he tripped on a decaying log. The smell of rotting leaves and mold made him gag as he tried to stand. Bile rose up in his throat and he choked back the acrid taste. They were coming!

He looked back into the inky darkness but saw nothing. Then, a distant deep humming sound sent a wave a panic through him and he thrust forward again, desperately trying to break free. The humming became louder and deeper, and he felt its vibration moving through his body. He looked back over his shoulder and saw blurred images moving closer. A foul breeze picked up and blew strands of grey hair across his face. The breeze became a gale and as he looked back again the shapes descended upon him, orange and black, black and orange, wings beating fiercely, huge black eyes gleaming in the moonlight.

“Grandpa… wake up!” cried the boy. “It’s almost time to go!” The boy leapt onto the couch.

“Huh. What? Where are we?” the old man sputtered. The TV remote lay next to his hand where it had fallen.

“Mom said to put on my costume NOW. She’s getting ready to put the candy out by the door.” 

“Okay boy. Go now. I’ll be ready in a minute.” The old man shook his head and glanced at the TV. He saw the banner headline across the bottom of the screen – BREAKING NEWS. What were they saying? Dangerous killer in the northwest? 

He went to the front door and peered outside. In the twilight, rows of pumpkins along the sidewalk gave off a faint glow lit from within. He turned on the porch light and pulled on his overcoat, boots and the special black and orange scarf he wore every year.

“Grandpa! Look!” 

He turned and gasped. “NOOOO!” The giant killer hornet, four feet tall, ran towards him. He clutched his chest and fell to the ground.

“Sorry boy… get your mother… now.”

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    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    11 months ago

    I absolutely loved the riveting descriptions at the beginning of the story, Preston, then you lull the reader into thinking everything is okay after all. Great writing.

    Thompson Emate
    Thompson Emate(@thompson-emate)
    11 months ago

    This is a lovely story, Preston. I love the twist. Please, can you throw more light on the ending?

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    11 months ago

    Well, this is a roller coaster of a story, Preston! You had me fearing the worst for the old man, only to breath a sigh of relief that he was safe and sound on the sofa! You really do have an exceptional talent for descriptive writing, as demonstrated in your opening paragraph. But now, I’m back to feeling fearful for Grandpa. Did he have a heart attack? Excellent writing!

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    11 months ago

    I love it, Preston, especially the twist at the end. Lovely. Well done.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Preston Randall
    10 months ago

    You’re welcome, Preston.

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    11 months ago

    Preston, I read the first two powerfully descriptive paragraphs without breathing and a heavily beating heart. Your brilliant writing took the reader through a whirlwind of emotions. Well done!

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