Thanks to everyone who submitted a story to our “Dark and Stormy Night” contest. We had over 140 entries, and we enjoyed reading all of them (Over 28,000 words!) We had some difficult decisions to make, but our judges have decided on our four winners. Each of the entires was chosen based on their creativity, originality, scariness, and Mozy-ness. We’ve posted them below for you to enjoy (some entries slightly edited for readability):
It was dark, despite the full moon, as he made his way to the campus library with laptop in hand. The wind blows through the trees lining the walkway. The last remnants of fall clung desperately to the branches silhouetted against the moon as they thrashed about violently. He pulled his jacket up against the chill, trying to warm himself with the knowledge that the only thing left to complete on his final exam paper was the bibliography that he’d fill out upon reaching the library.
The fluttering of a bat in the empty branches above him gave him pause. The noise quickly subsided, and he continued up the walkway toward the lights of the library. Off the path he heard the crunch of leaves. A figure stepped out of the shadows onto the pathway behind him. He looked over his shoulder at the figure. Blood red eyes caught the light of the moon. A fog began drifting in through the woods. He runs toward the lights beyond, dropping his laptop. He leaves it knowing he can recover his paper from the safety of the library. Throwing open the doors he turns around to see wet footprints and nothing more.
She was in the middle of reading her friend’s blog when she heard a sound. It was just after midnight. Her husband Ed was asleep. Quietly Judy got up to look around. The doors were locked, the alarm was on.
“Probably the wind, or a twig brushing against a window,” Judy figured.
Then, suddenly the phone rang. Who could that be? Judy answered with growing alarm. “Oh Judy,” the male voice on the other end of the phone cried out. “I need help.”
The voice was familiar. “It’s Al.” “Al Smith,” Judy queried. Yes, he answered.
“You must come quickly he said. What’s wrong, Judy asked. It’s my wife, said Al, now sobbing and noticeably shaken. What’s wrong with Milly, Judy asked.
Just then Al shrieked and Judy heard a thud as Al’s phone dropped disconnecting the call. Judy was beside herself.
She woke Ed hysterically, saying “You must go to Al Smith’s house. Something is wrong with Milly. I’ll wait here with the kids. Call me.” Ed left. Judy was now alone waiting.
There it was again.. the sound she heard before, now louder and closer. What had she done? And who was it really who had called?
All was quiet as I finished my term paper, but my blood chilled when a pop-up message appeared on my screen: “MozyHome is protecting your subconscious. Click to view which fears are backed up.” That was replaced a few seconds later with, “One of the fears that paralyzed you in the past
will be restored at midnight.” I sat shuddering in my chair, wondering which of the unbearable possibilities I had pushed to the dark recesses of my mind for self-preservation would be brought to the surface. Would the snake I knew was living in the bathroom sink come out and eat me? Would the nasty e-mail I had thought about writing, and definitely did not write, get “restored” and sent out?
12 … “Restoring your fear, please wait … Your fear has been restored successfully. Click to reveal your fear.” I clicked. “Read fault error on drive B: all contents may be lost. Abort, retry, ignore?” Ha ha, boo and pooh to you! My computer doesn’t even have a drive B: Mozy is there for the drives it does have.
The laptop sat open on the table I stared in disbelief. Account not found.
What now? I muttered.
I retyped in my login and password, Account not found. I tried another account. What was going on with this computer? I restarted it and tried again. I called tech support. India did not answer. Panic was setting in. I called the bank punched in my account number and password.
The automated voice kindly told me, Were sorry unable to authenticate please try again, or press zero for assistance. Again, no one answered.
I tried my mother.
Hello, hello, who is this? I dont think this is funny. The line went dead.
I grabbed my wallet: everything was there. My door opened, the property owner, and another woman entered.
“We will everything out by Thursday.”
“Great, Ill take it, where is the previous tenet?”
Excuse me, Im right here! I shrieked.
”She died suddenly, no family, and no one she listed as her references knew her. I assure you we are screening tenets better.”
The two left.
Trying to follow, I found I could not leave the apartment. The laptop sat open on the table, flashing, Who are you?
Again, thanks to all who participated. If you submitted a winning story, you will be receiving an e-mail with more information. Happy Halloween!