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The Halloween Project 2022 - Story 4: Black Squirrel




I see the black squirrel. I see it sitting there right now. It’s there on the front porch railing. Looking right at me. Right at me! And see it’s gnawing on something. Let me get a little closer to the window. Oh, shit! See what it’s got? I can’t believe it. It’s my VISA card! I must have dropped it out there. My goddamn VISA! What the hell’s gonna happen next.

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It’s a white squirrel now. An albino. A couple times in my life I’ve seen them. Strange little suckers. An albino squirrel actually clawing its way across the kitchen bay window. It’s horrible! At one point it just stopped, curved little claws clinging to the screen, and watched me. It didn’t just look at me here inside the house. It watched me.

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Then came the others. Slowly at first. I’d glimpse one, out of the corner of my eye, but not really see it. They moved fast. And then, one day, there it was. A blue squirrel. I know, I know, you’d say, ‘You’re mistaken’, or ‘the time of the day…?’ or ‘the color of the sky?’ or ‘maybe blue-grey?’ It was a blue squirrel; not cobalt blue, not sky blue, just blue! And it watched me too. From one window to the next. I’d move from room to room and there it was.

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I didn’t mean to hit the squirrel with my car. Of course I didn’t. Or the second one either. I never hit a squirrel in my life. Ever. But then I hit two. Well, not really two. Three actually. Honestly, I hit two and the third one hit me. All on the same day. You know, mostly they run out in the road, get confused, go right then left, tuck up their tales, and get safely to the other side of the road. But not always. You see their flattened carcasses from time to time. But they almost always get away. Always. Almost always. But not those first two. It was just a few days ago. They kind of ran but not very fast. Sort of made their way into the street. I thought the first one was sick. But then there was another one. I tried to avoid them both but you can only do so much. They just kind of scrambled back in my car’s path. You can feel the thump on your tire. Or the crunch. It’s just horrible.

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And here’s the black squirrel right next to the blue squirrel sitting on my deck chairs. Looking in. At me. Watching. And the blue one’s got something as well. What is that? My T.V. remote. How the hell did it get that? It’s pulled out the batteries and batting them around like two little squirrel toys. Here comes another grey squirrel, no, three more. Now that’s five. Just sitting. Watching me. Playing with me.

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And there was that third squirrel on the road. It was a little dark out, the sun had just set. I saw it in the headlights just sitting there. It never moved until the very last second and then it jumped. Sweet God it jumped right onto the hood of the car. I thought for certain it would fall off, but it tumbled and bumped and then grabbed the wipers. It pressed its face against the windshield. I screamed. One eye was completely smashed and blood oozed from its nose and both ears. I turned the wipers on fast and it slapped back and forth, blood and tissue from its eye smearing the glass. It jerked and jerked, tail slapping back and forth. Spasms of gore streaking the windshield, little claws clinging to the blade and then it died and finally fell off.

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I’m hiding now, just below the windowsill. I crawl from room to room and try to avoid their horrible little beady eyes. There are dozens now. Every time I take a quick glance out the window there are more and more. Gray squirrels, and the black ones, albinos dotting here and there. But now there are shades of blue and dark, dark brown, green, a deep forest green and some ugly shaded purple. All watching. All skittering like squirrels do. But watching, always watching.

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I live so far out in the country here in Maine. I might have made it to the car a few days ago but the garage is a good 50 feet from the house. I wouldn’t make it. They wouldn’t let me. I just wouldn’t. I don’t own a gun, not like it would matter there’s so many of them. They chewed through the power lines and the cable a day or two ago. My cell phone doesn’t work but I don’t know why. My nearest neighbor is a quarter mile down the road. When I got up the courage to take a peek at the front porch I can see they got my cat. Its head is on the top of the mailbox facing me. One leg is on the doorstep. That’s all I can see.

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Glass just exploded upstairs. I hear it sprinkling to the floor in my bedroom. I have to go up. I have to.

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There it is in the corner. The window is totally gone. Squirrels are sitting on the sill. It’s only 10 feet away. Crouched low in the corner. There’s a squirrel. Not a squirrel. A thing. As big as a dog. A really big dog. It has no color because it has no fur at all. Just pink, scabrous skin and a snakelike tail.

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And black, black eyes the size of acorns.

Watching me.


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