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The Nightmare King

By James Kennedy All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

Short Story

Have you heard the tale of the Nightmare King; he dresses in black and wears a crown made of bone. His eyes are like black marbles and finger nails are sharp as blades. He comes on Halloween night to take young ladies to his hidden palace so he could choose one to be his Halloween Queen and leaves a burning tree with hanging jack o lanterns as the signed of his arrival.

Jobe, a supernatural investigator, had heard the tale of the Nightmare King and the missing girls situation from his superiors and was sent to the small town of Redwood to investigate. The small town was surrounded by endless forest and was shadowed by a nearby mountain. Jobe arrived in the town of Redwood on Halloween day and was greeted by the mayor’s aid as he departed the train. The mayor’s aid greeted him and offered him to take him to the mayor’s manor and while on route, he explained that only two girls were left in the entire town and they, as well as their families, were moved to the mayor’s manor for protection. Jobe noticed several trees in the front lawn that were already burnt to a crisp as well as noticing a young man coming out to greet him. He anounced himself as Mayor Winsley but the mayor’s young age caught Jobe by suprise since he was used to speaking with other mayors who were of middle or old age. Mayor Winsley noted that his election was of a emergency situation as the last mayor did not return from hunting the Nightmare King. Mayor Winsley advised Jobe of the manor’s defenses as well as the placement of several guards in the courtyard during the night shift since the monster attacked at night. Jobe informed the mayor that he was confident that he would be able to put an end to their situation which pleased the mayor greatly.

Mayor Winsley gave Jobe a complete tour of the manor’s interior as well as show the room that he would be using for his stay in their small town. Mayor Winsley introduced him to the two girls that were under his protection. Juliet; who was sweet and very strong willed for a girl of her age and Nadia; who was just as sweet but nervous from the situation that they both were in. Jobe reassured them both that they were safe from harm’s reach as long as he was around however even though his words sound confident enough, Juliet was not satisfied that she would be safe and that is why she hid a knife under her dress just in case of emergencies. Jobe apologized but he had to inspect the rest of the grounds before it got dark and left their company with a bow.

Later that night, dinner was served and everyone was present at the dinner table including Jobe. Mayor Winsley asked him if he seen many adventures while on the job however Jobe was very civil about his job but Juliet was able to break his silence after probing him with enough questions. Jobe began to tell them the time he was sent to investigate an house that was haunted by a murdered mistress but before he could get to the climatic part, the lights went out in the entire manor. From the corner of his eye, Jobe noticed a tree that was set ablaze with jack o lanterns hanging from it just as described in the reports. There was no time for him to react as one of the guards was sent through the window with his mouth slit from ear to ear. The girls screamed from the sight of the body and the mayor quickly rushed them back up to their rooms. Jobe unholsted his revolver and inspected the broken window but before he could investigate further, he heard a loud scream come from upstairs. He rushed upstairs to find Winsley’s body impaled to the wall and Juliet in the arms of the Nightmare King whose claws still dripped of the mayor’s blood. Jobe shot at the beast several times however the beast was too fast for him and pierced his side before throwing Jobe out the window. As he laid there on the ground, he saw the Nightmare King leap inside a dark cloud that formed from within the burning tree and with his last ounce of strength, Jobe picked himself up and stumbled into the cloud as it faded away into nothingness.

The trip through the portal was rough as Jobe landed on his belly. Hewas in no shape to fight anything and took the time to patch himself up before stumbling around in the dark like a blind man. He found a curtain and pulled it back to reveal that he was in a castle on top of

the mountain that shadowed Redwood. Before he could take in the view, he heard Juliet's scream come from the throne room and rushed to her with his knife removed from his boot. Juliet was in a tattered white wedding dress while chained to the throne. Jobe quickly unchained her from the throne but The Nightmare King ambushed him and threw him to

the wall. The impact had knocked the wind out of him as the beast was closing in but a desperate Juliet couldn't watch him die so she picked up Jobe's knife and screamed her battle cry as she leaped onto the beast's back and repeatedly stabbed it until the beast could no longer

ignore her. The Nightmare King thrashed about with Juliet on it's back which gave Jobe the opportunity to pick up a glass shard and thrusted it into beast's chest. Juliet became horrified when she watched the beast transform into the previous mayor of Redwood as he laid dying.

In his dying hour; the mayor explained that whoever killed the Nightmare King would ultimately take it's place and would be trapped in the castle until the next Halloween night. It needed a queen that was worthy enough to take it's place in the castle while it roamed free.

The mayor's life left his eyes as he saw the sun starting to rise against the Halloween night. Afterwards; Jobe felt a sharp pain come from his cradled stomach from out of nowhere. Juliet asked him what was wrong but Jobe could only whisper for her to run. Juliet persisted

that she wouldn't leave but it was only when a partially transformed Jobe screamed at her to run again, in a demonic voice, that drenched her soul with fear and caused her to run out of the throne room. Jobe, lost of all sense of being, screamed wildly as he raced after her with

uncanny speed. Juliet's heart was beating real fast as she saw her former protector catching up to her with a ferocious look that would drive a man insane and as she made it pass the castle doors, Jobe was repelled back inside by a force field.

Juliet was safe now but she still ran as fast as she could from the castle with the beast's screams in the distance.

Several nights after; Juliet had left her hometown by train with Jobe's equipment and dairy with her. Juliet knew that she would never forget her protector and what he had done for her that night but she would always be too terrified to remember as the Nightmare king's shadow stalked her forever in the darkness.

Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, James Kennedy
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