The creaking noises started softly, coming from the roof, or maybe the basement? The brats setting up for their Halloween party glanced at each other nervously, then grinned with embarrassment.
“If it wasn’t Halloween we’d expect creaky noises from an old place like this,” said a blonde brat in a Sexy Alice in Wonderland costume.
Bella, a small brunette dressed in a Sexy Vampire outfit, shook her head and spoke in a low voice. “I heard this building used to be a BDSM dungeon remodeled from a girls’ boarding school that was run by a convent that was built on the site of a Victorian brothel that burned down. It’s supposed to be haunted, but no one will talk about the ghost.”
Alice shuddered and returned her focus to the decorations: they were remaking the large hall to look like Carlsbad Caverns, covering the walls with black paper and hanging lots of little rubber bats from the ceiling.
“Where is Lindsay with those brownies?” Bella wondered.
Lindsay, wearing a fetchingly short-skirted prison uniform complete with handcuffs around one wrist, was in fact adding a very special ingredient to the brownies baking in the kitchen next door. Her friend Miley, dressed as a Sexy Wasted Rocker, sniffed the air and blanched.
“Lindsay! You didn’t!”
“Shh, I’m only adding it to one batch. We’ll give each top a ‘special’ brownie when they come in the door – it’ll mellow them out, calm them down.” She looked at her fellow brat with a raised eyebrow. “How much fun do you think we’re going to have if they’re all toppy right from the start?”
Miley had to acknowledge that…but had serious misgivings as she watched Lindsay pull the marijuana-laced brownies from the oven. Lindsay inhaled the scent with a smile – then suddenly disappeared! The unsupported pan clattered to the floor as Miley’s shriek brought the girls running from the other room.
Breathless, Alice glanced around the otherwise empty kitchen and asked, “What happened?”
“She – she – I swear I was looking right at her, but she – she’s GONE!” gibbered Miley. “She just VANISHED!” The other girls stared at her, then Bella put a kindly hand on her shoulder.
“Miley, how many brownies have you had?”
Lindsay was in shock. One moment she was in the kitchen, the next she was in…this place. Cold, dark, smelling of musty draperies and old books…and the creaking was louder here…oh my god WHAT WAS THAT THUD?
She was too scared to move in the darkness. Her heart began to pound in her chest as someone – or something – large and heavy moved closer to her…and closer…and closer…
A voice hissed right in her ear, not from any earthly lips: “You’ve been a very naughty girl.”
Everyone else was starting to arrive at the party. The girls in the kitchen had decided Lindsay was just playing a practical joke on them and that she’d turn up eventually. Alice went to the door to greet her top while Miley and Bella returned to mixing the punch; both were at the moment topless –not in the sartorial sense, but probably headed in that direction by the end of the night, considering the large bottles of vodka and Red Bull that they were trying to pour into the punch before any tops noticed.
Not only did the tops not notice, but no one at all was looking in their direction when first Miley, then Bella disappeared with soft “pops.”
The arriving guests’ attention had been drawn by a ripping sound at the side of the room. They all turned to see Lindsay emerging from behind the black paper covering the walls, in an awful state – sobbing and sniffling, her hair a mess, as she flew towards a top dressed in a Sexy Prison Guard outfit. “I’ve just been attacked by – by a Paddle Monster!” she wailed.
The others stared for a second, then some started giggling, it was just too outrageous. “A what?!”
“I’m serious, it was all dark but something with paddles for arms spanked me! You have to believe me! Look!” Lindsay hiked up her skirt to show her top Velma the pink marks on her thighs and at the edge of her panties.
Her top figured she’d just annoyed some other poor soul to the breaking point and was trying to cover for it…but as she got closer, she smelled a very familiar scent, and went rigid. “Is that POT I smell in your hair? What trouble have you gotten yourself into? Don’t lie to me, Lindsay.” Grasping her brat firmly by the upper arm, Velma dragged her into a nearby closet, from whence the assembled guests were soon treated to loud slapping sounds along with a fresh burst of tears and wailing. While the tops listened to their colleague’s performance with interest, the other brats moved away out of sympathy and embarrassment for their friend.
And that’s when Bella and Miley reappeared, also behind the black paper – yelling over each other as they clawed their way out, “Help us! It’s a monster! It’s – ow -” They tumbled out to the floor, scrambling to their feet in front of the surprised group.
“It’s a demon!” Miley shrieked. “Please someone do something before it finds us again!”
Rubbing her backside, Bella told them, “Something was hitting us! It was huge and all its arms and legs were like hairbrushes and canes and things! But we don’t know how we got there, we just vanished and suddenly we were in a different room…”
Remembering Lindsay’s brownies, Alice had an awful suspicion. “What were you doing when you disappeared?”
The two brats looked at each other. “We were just…mixing the punch,” said Miley in an innocent tone that every top in the room could see through – as could Alice. She pulled her friends aside, out of earshot of everyone else.
“Seriously, what were you doing? It might be important.”
The party had finally gotten going; the music was good, drinks were flowing and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves with the possible exception of Lindsay, who was sniffling and repenting in a corner. No one else had “vanished,” and the tops had delivered a stern lecture to Miley and Bella about practical jokes, over their protests.
Alice decided to try an experiment: it was probably insane, but she needed to know whether her theory was correct. Sidling off to a corner near the food table, Alice looked for the string she and the others had carefully rigged a few hours earlier. The brats had been saving this for later in the evening, but it was perfect for what she had in mind. Taking a deep breath, Alice pulled the string.
Instantly dozens of small rubber bats and spiders, left over from the decorations, dropped from a net up in the rafters. Tops and bottoms alike screamed as the creatures fell into their hair and their drinks – and after the initial shock, the brats who had set it up started laughing hysterically at everyone’s reactions. Alice allowed herself a moment of glee until she met her own top’s glare from across the room. Dread warring with laughter, Alice saw that a large rubber spider had landed in her top’s drink, splashing punch all over her Red Queen costume. Alice was almost glad when she disappeared before the Queen could reach her…a nice trick without a rabbit hole.
“I was right!” Alice said out loud, her voice echoing in the dark musty space, which had to be enormous. She was alone, and dark, and suddenly very cold. Experimentally she took a step forward…the wooden floorboards under her foot creaked. Putting her hands out in front of her, Alice tried to take a few steps forward in the blackness, but the uneven floor forced her to stop out of fear for her safety.
Shivering, alone, she heard the steps. THUD. THUD. Creak…THUD. Then…nothing. How close was it? What was it? Alice was shaking now…and when she heard the voice right behind her, she screamed. The echo of her scream overlapped with a terrible, haunting cackle.
It sounded old, thick – like the voice of a tree in an animated horror movie – and evil, definitely evil. “You think you’re so clever, young lady. But you’ve been bad. Very, very bad. And you’re about to get the spanking of your life.”
Alice could feel the…thing…behind her – a large presence. She was too paralyzed by fear even to cry out again. Suddenly a huge cold hand gripped her shoulder, pushing her forward, bending her over an antique polished desk that was suddenly there. Fingers like pointy branches raised her skirt and dragged her panties down to the tops of her white stockings. Alice lay there, trembling, her cheek resting against the cold wood of the desk, feeling the goose bumps rise on her other pale cheeks. “The others came back. They didn’t die. It’s just going to spank me,” she told herself. But she couldn’t control the rising terror….
An instant later her bottom was on fire. The thing had hit so hard, so fast, she hadn’t even felt the blow – just the intense burning, sudden and deep, and then another SMACK with what must be a wooden paddle, probably with holes in it, and SMACK, and now she was crying out, wriggling, but the hand or whatever it was, was holding her down, and again the relentless SMACK and the burn was impossible to stand! The paddle was covering her entire bottom, there was no escape no matter how she turned and squirmed SMACK and SMACK and SMACK…
When tears were rolling down Alice’s face and sobs choked her, the paddling finally stopped. The hand lifted from her shoulder. Her bottom throbbed and felt swollen to twice its normal size. She couldn’t bear to think what it looked like, but that was the least of her worries. From far away (or so it sounded) the voice intoned: “You may go.”
Almost unable to straighten, Alice managed it at last, pulling up her panties gingerly over her hot abused skin. Perhaps her eyes had adjusted to the dark or perhaps a light of some kind had come on, but she was able to see the outlines of furniture, and a door creaking open invitingly in front of her. But through her haze of pain and tears she remembered why she’d done this in the first place – she had to see the monster! Had to figure out how to fight it!
Quickly she spun around and caught a brief glimpse of the thing that had paddled her, before it vanished itself into the shadows. “So that’s it,” Alice thought. “Well. I can’t fight it, but I know who can.”
The door led to a short dark hallway, which ended in the black paper they’d used to line the walls of the hall – Alice tore through it as the others had before her, but as soon as she got clear she whirled…only to see a blank wall where the hallway had been.
This time everyone had been watching when Alice vanished, so they were worried and waiting for her to return. The music had been turned off and her Red Queen rushed up, completely freaked out. “What happened, sweetie? Are you all right?”
Suddenly remembering her still-throbbing bottom, Alice shook her head “no” mutely. Her lower lip trembling (all right, maybe she was milking it a little for sympathy), she pulled up the side of her panties enough for Red to see the purpling bruises and dark red skin left by the monster. Red gasped, and looked furious.
“No one does that to you except me!” she declared firmly. “Although you deserved it for that stunt with the bats…”
“No, I did that on purpose…” Alice began, then realized she wasn’t helping her case. “Look, the monster can only get you if you do something really bratty. But it’s scary. We brats can’t fight it, it uses those words…that tone…” she looked around at her fellow victims, and they nodded solemnly, they knew what she meant. “We have to obey. But I saw it for a second. It really is a Paddle Monster, Lindsay was right – all its arms and legs and body are wooden things, canes and rulers and paddles. And it’s not really that big. Any of you tops could break part of it off, I think. You wouldn’t be afraid, you can fight it.” Alice paused, seeing the tops looking doubtful. “Please? Don’t let it get anyone else!”
Red stepped up first. “Well…it sounds crazy, but I’ll try. But how can I get to it? I am certainly not a brat.”
Her tone was so supercilious that a few of the brats giggled. Just then Lindsay ran in from the kitchen, carrying a steaming plastic bowl. “Here, take a bite of this,” she told Red, holding it out.
Knowing Lindsay, Red sniffed suspiciously. “But it’s just…Lean Cuisine stir fry or something, isn’t it?”
“Yes, it’s fine, really, just take a bite!” Lindsay pleaded. Alice looked at her curiously, but Lindsay just winked.
Red took a bite, and promptly disappeared. Lindsay turned to the others triumphantly. “See, I told you eating microwave meals was inherently bratty!”
They didn’t have long to wait before Red returned – only a minute later, she burst through the paper, holding a long thick cane. “I got it!” she exclaimed. “I only managed to break this off before I thought I’d better run, though – need reinforcements. But if we all go together we’ll soon tear that thing apart. Who’s with me?”
The rest of the tops agreed to go, but soon discovered they had a problem. “I don’t have any more microwave meals,” said Lindsay. “Or pot…” she avoided looking at Velma… “and we put all the bad stuff we had in the punch already.” Several tops quickly put down their cups, but Lindsay continued. “Alice did the thing with the bats and spiders already, so we’ll have to think of…oh…wait….” Lindsay’s voice trailed off as she looked at her fellow brats meaningfully.
Mournfully the brats all reached the same conclusion at the same time. With whimpers and sighs, they all went to get their bags…producing cans of Silly String, shaving cream, rolls of toilet paper, and even a carton of eggs. They set their contraband in the middle of the room, stood back, and awaited the inevitable.
The tops all looked at each other, evil grins playing across their faces. In solidarity, each picked up an item. Ten seconds later, there were no tops in the room, only angry brats covered in Silly String, shaving cream, eggs, and toilet paper.
A few minutes later, as Alice tried to get the egg out of her hair under the kitchen sink, she heard the sound of cheering. Rushing out to the main room, she saw that the tops had all returned, each holding a piece of the late unlamented Paddle Monster.
Gleefully the brats celebrated the monster’s defeat, applauding the tops, hugging each other and finally turning to head for the punch bowl.
But they found their way blocked by a line of tops holding brand spanking-new implements…and regarding the group of bottoms with stern expressions.
“Now, young ladies,” said Red cheerily, “we’re going to have a little chat. You’ve all been very naughty girls.”
The brats looked at each other, then tried to run…but they were surrounded.
Their cries echoed far into the night, as the pale moon sank below the horizon.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN – THE END