The window fogged as water spurted from the metallic shower head. Liza gladly stepped into the steamy vapour. Hot water eased each muscle running down her icy flesh. Liza grabbed the shampoo bottle and began to build a thick lather in her brunette locks. As she massaged her scalp she couldn't help but dread the impending icy future. The pleasure received from the hot shower would be short lived. Soon enough she would have to face the icy winds and horrendous snow. It was the worst weather Michigan had ever seen. Thousands of people housebound due to twenty inches of snow. Each road was hazardously slippery with thick, uneven ice. Most folk were using up vacation days, calling in sick with the flu, or having to quit their jobs. A brave few were forced to go to into work due to uncaring bosses. But beyond the snow and below freezing temperatures was something much more ominous lurking in the snow storm. Ever since the snow started in February there had been a rash of disappearances. The police were clueless. There was no pattern to the citizens going missing. All ages, men and women, rich and poor. Something deadly was out there taking anyone they could, and it terrified Liza to no end. Would she be next? After running a bar of vanilla scented soap over her body it was all she could think about. The usually pleasing fragrance did nothing to distract her wandering thoughts. These innocent people being taken, or worse yet, murdered. A lot of them had no reason to runaway or commit suicide. Most had families that they adored and careers they loved. To think they were abandoning their lives was very unlikely. As Liza ran a razor over the embarrassingly thick stubble of her legs, which she kept to maintain warmth in these horrible conditions, she jolted at the sound of the front door opening.
But it was then she realized it was her roommate Clara. No doubt being dropped off by one of her many gentlemen friends after a hard night on the town. Snow be damned. What a trooper. Clara infuriated Liza. She worked at a bar with its regulars being lowlifes and drug dealers, and still made more money than Liza, much more. But Clara had something Liza didn't have, huge breasts. Liza was a petite woman in her late twenties with long brown hair. Clara was twenty two, blonde and busty. Weight was distributed in the right places giving her an enviable curvy figure. But because Clara didn't mind wearing tight, low cut tops to expose her chest, tips would come in hot and heavy. As would the men. Liza worked at an office in town, slaved away each and every day for a third of what her slutty roommate made. Liza went to college, studied hard, and for what? Some hussy to make three times more than her? But Liza smiled at the fact if she wanted Clara gone, she could kick her curvy ass out. It was her condo which she'd shared with an ex-boyfriend. When Liza came home to find him screwing some red head on the couch, he had been kicked to the curb. But the rent was too much, which is when Clara came around. She made more than enough to pay her portion of the rent. And truth be told, Liza was making her pay most of it.
From the warmth of the bathroom in the basement, Liza could hear Clara stumble around until she eventually collapsed on her squeaky mattress. Noticing the time from the shower radio hung from a metal pole, she shut off the water and stepped out into a large red fluffy towel. A quick pat dry and she entered her bedroom and began changing into thick winter clothes that were laid out on her bed. Fortunately she didn't have to work today, but that driveway wasn't going to shovel itself. So, armed with a music player blasting pop beats into her ears, and a giant shovel, she braved the brisk.
As if she'd been slapped in the face, her cheeks became instantly red, nose already red and snivelling. But music, and the thought of getting back inside, kept Liza motivated. The snow hadn't given up in the slightest. Thick, cold, wet and heavy blobs fell from the sky. The front lawn consisted of snowy mountains, burying trees and fences, freezing plants, and even drowning cars.
Already thigh deep in snow, Liza began to shovel. But it didn't take long for her arms to burn, and a hot sweat to form on her back and under her breasts. Only minutes had passed, but by the excess of lactic acid sizzling each and every muscle, it felt as if she'd just finished a marathon. Her driveway wasn't that long, so if she persevered and pushed past aches and pains, she could get it done before nightfall.
And that is exactly what she did. Scrape, lift and toss. All the while music blaring in her ears. But as evening was approaching, and the temperature lowering, with no outdoor lighting, she called it a night. Liza propped the shovel aside the garage and began wading through the sludge, wetness seeping into her boots, her toes freezing beyond belief. As Liza scratched at her itchy scalp under the pink woolly hat, her fingers caught the headphones. The cable twanged and took her music player down as it dove into the heavy snow at her side.
“Damn it!” she hissed, lips dry and cracked.
Stepping from the shovelled path and into the blobs of white, she scavenged. The music player itself was red, so it would stand out. But the headphones were white strings of plastic, they would blend in with the snow. And with the sun gone, only a gentle kiss of light from the moon, this would be an impossible mission. Liza wanted nothing more than to go inside, take a nice long bubble bath and settle down with a good book and piping hot mug of cocoa, sprinkled with marshmallows. But she couldn't afford to replace the mp3, and the longer it was in the soggy white mass, the more chance moisture had of leaking inside and breaking it. To her dismay the snow itself felt even colder, the feathery gloves not doing much except soaking up wetness. They were glued to each finger, sodden from a day's labour. Then her fingers felt something. Got it! She smiled, noticing how tight and uncomfortable her face felt due to the freezing temperatures. But the texture wasn't hard plastic. It was leathery. Among the skin-like material were sprouts of hair, some type of fur. Curious, Liza dug. It then occurred to her that the neighbour's dog Toffee liked to run free, and adored the snow. The little pug had been kept inside for so long it must have been driving him mad. The poor dog must be stir crazy. But that tiny dog out in this was a sure way to get it killed. A bolt of dread stabbed Liza's stomach. What if this is Toffee? Dead! Anxious she clawed frantically. Triceps and biceps were stinging, her hands trembling from the ice cold, but now that thought had entered her mind, she had to find out. A light coming on from the house startled Liza as she paused and looked up. Then it dawned on her that this was around the time Clara would start dressing for work. After all, those breasts weren't going to squeeze into inappropriately small tops by themselves. Liza tutted and commenced digging to see a face staring at her from the snow.
Red eyes, white hairy skin, and a row of incredibly sharp looking fangs. The face of some kind of snow monster was staring directly at her. Liza screamed and stumbled backwards landing on wet sludge. The Antarctic werewolf began to rise from the frosty depths, growling into the night. Liza scurried frantically, but the sludge was too slippery to gain any friction. Thinking fast she rolled to the front steps and climbed up them, breathing hard. Her hand grasped the handle as she fell inside. Liza smacked into a side table where keys were often kept. A vase of flowers rested atop. But not for long as her impact sent the various roses crashing down to the wooden beams. The glass shattered into a thousand pieces and danced along the wood, tinkling as they dispersed everywhere. Roses bounced as they hit the floor, petals breaking off and landing in the puddle of water that had flushed from the smashed vase. Steps thumped loudly as Liza lay looking at the door, praying the beast wouldn't try to get inside.
'What is going on?' Clara shouted from behind, then ran to Liza after seeing her sprawled at the front door.
'What's wrong? What happened? Are you okay?' Clara crouched, panicked.
All Liza could do was point to the snowy monster standing at the front door glaring at the two defenseless women who would make delicious evening meals. Clara yelled and ran to the door, bolting it shut.
'What the hell is that thing?' she panted, helping Liza stand in her many layers of winter attire.
'I don't know, it was hiding in the snow. I know one thing, that door won't hold it,' Liza wiped sweat from her face.
As if the winter beast had heard that comment, it started banging on the wood and grunting loudly. The girls screeched and dashed upstairs, racing into Clara's room and locking the door.
'What are we gonna do?' Clara began to cry.
'Call the police! Where's your phone?' Liza asked, taking off the heavy coat and tossing it onto Clara's unmade bed.
Clara thought for a second and then paced to her bedside table and picked up a small silver phone and instantly dialled three numbers. Liza breathed heavily until the cops answered. She looked around the room, noticing how disturbingly tidy it was. Apart from the crinkly bed, which she only left maybe half an hour ago. The carpet was clean, wood looked polished, perfumes and makeup were even neatly arranged on the dressing table.
'Yes hello,' Clara yelled.
'Yes we need help, there is some kind of large animal outside our house and is trying to get inside,' her weeping became hysterical as she ran fingers through her slightly damp hair. Liza assumed she hadn't had chance to dry it after leaving the shower. All she wore was a skimpy skirt and tiny strapless top, breasts bursting out like two scoops of vanilla ice cream. Clara continued to describe the creature and give out their address as Liza stepped to the window. She peered down to the front door to see it had gone. Just when she was about to deliver the good news, she noticed something much more alarming. The furry demon was climbing up to them. Like a cat that weighed no more than twenty pounds, it shuffled up the walls with knife-like claws scraping the wooden beams. They had maybe a minute until it got to Clara's bedroom window and broke through. Liza grabbed Clara's arm and rushed to the door, twisted the lock backwards and kicked it open.
'What the hell are you doing? Have you lost your mind?' Clara angrily spat.
'It's climbing the wall outside, it's coming up here!' Liza shrieked.
'Oh my God,' Clara muttered as Liza dragged her into the hallway, yanking the door shut.
'What are we gonna do now? That thing will easily be able to break through glass,' Clara sniffled, hands trembling. Remembering she had a police officer on the phone she quickly updated him on their situation and said goodbye, begging them to hurry.
'I think we have to go into the attic,' Liza suggested, looking up.
'But I hate attics!' Clara moaned, brushing moist hair from her face.
'Well it's either that or get shredded to death by that thing coming for us!' Liza hissed.
Clara reluctantly agreed as Liza pulled the string, letting the stairs fall from above their heads as they both scurried up, full of fear. Once they were both safely in the attic, with the stairs retracted and the door shut, all they could do was wait for the emergency services in silence. It didn't help that the attic was incredibly creepy. And to avoid detection they thought it best to leave the light off. Darkness surrounding them, wind howling and snow making a moist slap on the roof. There was a tiny triangular window that allowed little light, but it was barely enough to see much. Old insulation, dusty floorboards and overhead beams, cobwebs dangling in corners, and cardboard boxes stuffed with Christmas decorations. They both sat in silence, breathing lightly and praying the monster didn't get inside. But no sooner than they collectively thought it, did a window break below. A loud smash followed by furniture bashing and knick knack’s cracking on the floor. But the most terrifying noise was the low growling, vibrating the attic floorboards. The ruckus of furniture being upturned and destroyed echoed throughout the house. Clara fought hard to stifle screams and tears of horror, chewing her lip to choke down any noise that would alert the predator to their location.
'What do we do?' Clara whispered, forehead frowning.
'Oh!' Liza almost shouted out. 'There are vents up here to allow ventilation for each room. We could look down into each one to determine when it has gone?' Liza shrugged, speaking so silently she was barely audible.
'What choice do we have,' Clara pessimistically muttered, shrugging her almost bare shoulders.
Each crawled delicately around the attic, palming the floor for vent covers. But each only wafted up gusts of dust, holding in coughs and almighty sneezes. The rubbing of hands on wood luckily went unnoticed by the beast as he was making his own much louder sounds. Bashing, smashing, snapping and clouting. No doubt the place would look like an earthquake had hit by now. Liza dreaded the clean up, but simultaneously hoped she would live long enough to do that. Then Clara waved her over.
'I have one!' she whispered excitedly, arm flapping dramatically.
Liza joined Clara as she was opening a small block of wood atop the vent. It was the vent to Clara's room. No longer was it shockingly organised and tidy, now the monster had demolished everything. Shelves splintered into hundreds of pieces, bed sheets torn to shreds, a pyramid of ripped clothing on the carpet, and the window shattered, allowing wind to rush in and blow any fragments of the chaos. Each woman froze when the beast charged back into the room, sniffing loudly. Oh my God, he can smell us! Liza's heart thundered.
The white furry demon began smelling the various garments and clothing pooled the floor. After several items of clothing were nosed and disregarded, he angrily ran to the dressing table and hammered both arms down, the claws snapping the wood in half. The ease in which that was done, terrified the women. Facing the monster head to head clearly wasn't an option. If presented with the opportunity to fight or flee, fleeing fast and far was the only sane solution.
The two halves of the dressing table opened up several draws, the contents of which poured out, rolling on the carpet. Perfume bottles smashed and let pleasant fragrances fill the room. Which previously had been overtaken by the sweaty, earthy, manure stench of the intruder. It paused for a moment, nostrils detecting the change in odour, head turning. It didn't take long for the thing to discover the source of the smell and crouch to the crumbled cologne bottles at its feet. The white beast scraped up each fragment of glass and smelled it. Which was when his head shot up and looked directly into the vent, directly at the horrified expressions of two helpless girls.
'Oh my God, he is looking at us!' Liza gasped, her trembling hand covering her face.
'What do we do?' Clara cried.
The monster before them bared his fangs. He immediately started jumping, desperately trying to reach them with jagged claws fashioning dried blood and dirt, swiping through the air only inches from the vent. The girls scrambled away, huddling in the far corner, crying hysterically. They were both dripping with sweat, anxious and afraid. But soon the creaking floorboards stopped, and the whooshing of the claw waves came to a standstill.
'Has he gone?' Clara stopped sobbing as her ears pricked up.
'I'm not sure..' Liza replied, chest becoming less tight, oxygen flowing more freely.
Needing to know, Liza crawled across the attic to the vent.
'Liza! What are you doing?' Clara panted.
'I just need to make sure...' Liza muttered, reaching the vent and lowering her head to it. Her eyes surveyed the insides of Clara's room. It appeared to have gone. Nothing but an incredibly messy room, no sinister brute in sight.
'I think he's gone..' Liza informed just as the lights in the duplex went out. Darkness swallowed every room.
The girls were so far beyond panic. Liza scurrying helplessly back to Clara, hands brushing dust and catching splinters.
'Clara?' Liza hushed into the abyss.
'Clara? Are you okay?' Liza was now more terrified. It had been very strange she hadn't heard any screaming from her roommate.
In the martyrdom Liza remembered that there was a torch up there in one of the Christmas boxes, which she was conveniently near. She blindly fumbled through the decorations and lighting, until she grabbed a long plastic shaft with a switch. Eager to bring light into the black attic, Liza flicked up the button, shining a ray through to the end of the attic, where Clara should have been.
I didn't hear her move, how could she have moved? Liza worried. Shining the ray down into the boxes in hopes of finding a weapon, the light fell upon the decapitated head of Clara.
Liza gagged immediately, forcing back heaps of vomit from gushing out her mouth. Her throat was burning. Veins and arteries dangled from the neck like spaghetti. They dripped blood inside the box. The bottom of the box was filled with blood. Unable to hold back the vomit, it exploded from her throat, streaming from her mouth into the box. A violent burst of orange, lumpy liquid splashing into Clara's blood. After a couple of purges, and a wave of heat spreading throughout Liza's body, she backed away to the window. Sweaty, petrified and remnants of vomit decorating her neck like a seashell necklace. She sat, knees held to her chest, tears flowing energetically. The smells that hung in the attic now were far worse than dust and mould. It was rife with the metallic tang of blood, body odour, barf, and the sickeningly sweet scent of urine. Liza held down sick for the second time, breathing deeply. But her back against the window did feel good. The cool glass was nice. It suddenly occurred to her it wasn't the best idea to sit with her back towards the window. No sooner than she thought it, did Liza hear a heavy breathing; it was animalistic and horse-like. It stunk. But more importantly, it sounded close. Very close. She wasn't sure if paranoia was taking hold, or if she could in fact feel saliva dripping onto her neck. Along with air tickling behind her ears. Liza swung around and looked out the window. The beast had its face pressed against the pane, teeth scratching the glass and blood pouring from its mouth. The red eyes bore into Liza's. This was the single most petrified she had ever been. Liza kicked away from the window and scrambled across the attic for what felt like the millionth time, back running through more dust. She held the torch aimed directly at the beast, needing to know it stayed put. She frantically thought of a way out, but feared there was none, that this was it. Which was when her elbow hit something hard and sent a sharp pain shooting up her arm. She shrieked in excruciating agony. The torch had gone vertical now, and shone light at the top of the attic. The golden ray exposed a second monster crouched on the wooden beams, readying to pounce. Another white furry beast with spit glistening on its unimaginably sharp fangs, jaw agape and eyes full of hunger for meaty flesh and refreshing blood. Liza screamed, for that was all she could do as the monster from the roof dropped down, viciously attacking her. Followed by the second beast who broke the window to join in the savagery, bringing in a bitter cold. As Liza was tore apart limb from limb, skinned alive, muscles devoured greedily, the last sensation she felt, was the icy wind screeching inside the attic. These were very icy predators.
'Icy Predator' is from Wesley's upcoming collection 'Gore Zone: 14 Tales Of Gore & Horror'
Due for release late 2015!
Check out his latest release, 'Nightmare Fuel, The Ultimate Collection Of Short Horror Tales'. A bestseller in three categories, featuring award-winning tales.
Now available from Amazon only 99 cents / 99 pence!
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Bestselling horror author, marketer, blogger, reviewer, business owner, freelance writer.