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The Tickle Monster

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When walking home, a group of friends become the first to encounter the urban legend that haunts their town. Splint and his friends encounter the devilish "Tickle Monster" who stalks their town at night, making them the first victims in a chain of attacks yet to come.

Horror / Thriller
S. P. Stephens
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

The chilly breeze cut through Splint’s hoodie as he stepped out of the local convenient store and into the dark, moonless night. He shivered and stuffed his newly purchased headphones in his pocket. The streetlight at the corner of the parking lot flickered, causing shadows of trees to pop out like nightmarish creatures across the pavement, and the distant sound of dogs barking interrupted the cricket’s song.

As he made his way down the street to his car, a figure lunged out at him from the treeline. Surprised, Splint shouted and jumped sideways into a puddle. Kevin, Splint’s friend, laughed and gasped for breath as he stepped out of the darkness, and into the flashing yellow light.

“I got you good,” Kevin choked out between laughs, “You screamed like a little schoolgirl!” Splint punched Kevin in the arm, and the bushes rustled again and two girls stumbled out.

“What happened to Kevin,” asked Ashley, who went to the same school as Splint and Kevin.

“He’s being a moron as usual,” Splint answered, “What are ya’ll doing in the woods?”

“Just enjoying a nice hike, and avoiding the drunks at the pool,” Kara stated. The pool closed down years ago, and now serves as the drinking spot for teens with no plans to succeed in life.

“Think you could give us a ride home?”

“Sure,” Splint replied, “My cars over there”. The four made their way down the street as they rambled on about prom, and who they were going to take. The crickets got quieter the farther they walked, and they soon found themselves in an eerie silence. Footsteps were the only sound in the air, and the streetlight no longer shed light on the four friends.


The sudden shout caused the teens to jump, and look around for the creature that caused the noise.

“What was that,” Kara whispered as she griped Kevin’s arm. Splint pulled out his phone and turned the flashlight on. Shining the light around, he looked for the source of the whoing. The light shined on something on a nearby rock, and then they all held their breath as it shifted on it’s perch.

It’s eyes glowed in the light, and Splint instantly recognized it as an owl. However something was odd about it. It just stared at them, and when it whooed again it sat there motionless and lifeless. Ashley began to walk toward it slowly, and Splint held the light on it like his life depended on it.

As Ashley neared the bird, Kevin realized why it didn’t move, but it was too late. The stuffed bird fell to the ground, and a man popped out from behind the rock. His clothes torn to reveal pale white skin, and his bald head was covered in various cuts, red with blood.

All of the teens screamed and took off to the car with the man hot on their heels. Splint’s heart beat like a drum in his chest and the sound of the man’s laughter and his friend’s screams filled the night.

The group made it to Splint’s car and piled in moments before the man reached them. The man banged on the car and made a sound that resembled laughing and a scream. Then in an instant he stopped and pushed his face against the driver’s window. Hot breath fogged up the glass, and then disappeared to reveal his awful, toothless smile.

Splint looked out the window at the face, and then screamed in horror as he looked into the pits where the man’s eyes were. The man stuck out his jagged tongue and licked the window as the four teens screamed for help, and then he turned around and crawled on all fours into the woods. And just as he had appeared, he was gone in an instant.

Tires screeched as Splint peeled off onto the seventh street and toward the police station. After encountering the man the teens took off to the police station in hopes that they would find the man and get him off the streets.

Light Poles zoomed by as the car sped down the street, and not a single person was out on the moonless night. Kevin comforted Kara who was in shock, and Ashley wrote down what the man looked like and where he went as Splint kept driving. As they neared the turn to the school and local church, Splint turned around. Out of the corner of his eye, Splint thought he saw something move behind Kevin, but found nothing there.

“Look out!” Ashley screamed. Splint turned around to see a man standing in the middle of the road. But not just any man. It was the man from the woods. He was back, and his eyeless pits, and smile sent shivers down his spine. Turning the wheel to miss the man, Splint drove his car into the side of the school sign. The four teens jerked forward, and and their screams silenced.

Blurry shapes and muffled sounds were all that were known to Splint. His vision slowly came back, and he instantly regretted it. Ashley was already out of the car and was helping Kevin pull Kara out of the wreckage. Getting out of the car, Splint heard the all too familiar sound of horrific laughter and turned to see the man down on all fours only a couple hundred feet away from them.

The man sat there for what felt like years. He just sat there. Laughing. And then he began to crawl slowly toward the terrified teens, and they took off toward the school. As they ran, Kevin looked back and saw the man crawling after them. Long, pale limbs stretched out here and there, and his laughter seemed to grow louder. They reached the front door and slipped into the dark. The sound of their breathing and footsteps echoed off the walls, as they made their way down the hallway.

When they were halfway down the hall and near an open door, the sound of the front door closing made the group turn around and stare into the darkness. Ashley held her breath and put her hand over Kara’s mouth as the sound of scuffling shot of of the abysse. Then the hall went quiet, and the four looked around in horror. Then a scream filled the air.

Kevin screamed as something grabbed his legs and pulled him to the ground. He kicked wildly and tried to crawl away, but whatever had him grabbed his legs once more and pulled him into the darkness. Splint and the girls screamed and took off to the open doorway ahead of them. They reached the doorway and slammed the door closed and then blocked it with a desk. They stepped back and stared at the door. Anticipation killing them, and adrenaline running through their veins.

The door began to shake and jolt wildly. This continued for only a few minutes, and then it ceased and the room went quiet. Ashley walked over to the teacher’s desk and tried the phone only to find it dead, and Kara limped over to the windows and began to pull one open.

“Guys through here…” Kara started, but was cut off as the ceiling panel above her caved in and the man darted down, grabbed her, and then retreated back into the ceiling. Splint and Ashley scream and shoved the desk over and sprinted out of the room. Kara’s screams echoed the halls for only seconds before disappearing.

Splint and Ashley turned a corner and Ashley fell to the floor, tears soaking her cheeks. Splint kneeled down and they scooted to the wall attempting to catch their breath.

“What do we do,” Ashley choked out, “he’s everywhere”

“There’s an exit in the gym,” Splint replied calmly, “I can distract him and buy you some time to make it. You can go get help and come back for us”. Ashley shook her head no, but Splint continued, “Both of us won’t make it. Your faster, and have a better chance of making it”

Ashley finally agreed, and Splint got up and walked around the corner and into the darkness that filled the hallway. After a few seconds, Ashley got up and ran down the hall to the gym doors. She tried them but they didn’t budge. She pulled and pulled but no matter what the doors stayed shut.

“No, no, no,” she cried. Hot tears streamed down her cheeks as she gave up and slumped down to the floor. She sat in the silence for a second before Splint’s scream reached her, and the tears rolled down faster. Closing her eyes, she recalled all of the times she had complained about having to go to the gym. For sports, award ceremonies, dances.

When Ashley opened her eyes she found herself face to face with the man. His hot breath was sour and the pits where is eyes should be, held her stare. He just sat there staring at her and smiling. Then he raised a long finger and poked the tip of her nose, and turned and scurried into the dark abyss.

Ashley released the breath she didn’t realize she had been holding and slumped forward. She took a few deep breaths and then began to stand, but stopped when she heard the faintest noise. It was a giggle. A giggle that turned into a laugh. And before Ashley could stand and run, the man crawled out of the shadows with lightning speed, and Ashley’s screams filled the school.

“Good girl Lucy,” Zach said as he rubbed his dog’s head. The cold air gave Zach goosebumps and he regretted not bringing his coat. It had been three weeks since Zach’s brother Kevin and his friends had been found breaking into the school. When they were found, they had grins torn into their frozen faces, and someone or something, had eaten through their insides. Leaving behind bloody husks with ecstatic expressions of glee.

Out of nowhere, Lucy began to bark and pulled at the leash trying to sprint out into the bushes. Then Zach heard it. A faint laugh. It was like a silent scream and sent shivers up his back. He decided to go back inside and as he closed the door to his house, a scream like laugh filled the woods and a long, pale hand slammed against the glass on the door.

The Tickle Monster Will Return...
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