author-mrboo cabin horrorbox winter_storm worms

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SNOWED IN
By MrBoo

It was the end of a long day. As promised, the first major winter storm of the year had moved in that afternoon and I had spent most of the morning making sure that the cabin was ready. I moved firewood from the woodshed to the front porch and had a good stash inside, next to the stove.

On the previous day, I had driven the six miles into town and made my last-minute purchases. I stocked up on perishables, bought five more gallons of gas for the generator, in case the city power failed and at the hardware store, I got extra wicks and oil for the lamps as well as extra batteries for the flashlights. The lamps and flashlights were in case the generator failed. I was a belt and suspenders kind of guy.

While in town, I decided to pick up a bag of kibble and a case of sketties for Max. I also bought him a dog sweater, in case he got too cold in the cabin. This was the first-time wintering over for both of us. I had moved to the cabin full-time last June, after taking early retirement from the company I had worked at for twenty-five years.

Max had come along in late July. A little girl had a box of foals that she was giving away at the market and when I saw Max, I had to have him. He was just a little guy, not much bigger than a hamster. His dove gray fluff was short and thin and his navy-blue mane grew in a narrow mohawk. His tail was short and brush-like. He looked so unlike his litter mates or any other fluffy I had ever seen.

I was alone in the cabin, as my ex-wife had remarried several years ago and my kids now had families of their own, so I thought that a talking pet would fill the void better than a cat or dog. So far, I had been right.

That day, after moving the firewood and checking the generator, I decided that it was lunchtime. I heated up a can of corn chowder for myself and poured Max a bowl of kibble.

“Wunchtimes! Wunchtimes!” he did his normal mealtime song and dance, “Max wubs wunchtimes!”

“And when you get done, I have a present for you,” I told him.

He stopped dancing around and stared at me, his eyes wide and his mouth open. “A pwesent? A pwesent fo’ Max?”

“Yep,” I nodded.

“Max wubs pwesent! Gif pwesent nao!” he was hopping up and down, “Wan’ pwesent, wan’ pwesent, wan’ pwesent!”

“No,” I said, “we have to eat lunch first and you have to make good poopies for daddy.”

“Otay, eat an’ poop, eat an’ poop!” he started shoveling the kibble in.

I sat at the small round dining table and ate my soup. Max suddenly ran up to me and hugged my leg. “Wub daddeh!” he said and went back to eating.

“Daddy loves you too, ya little goof!” I told him with a smile.

He finished before I did, and ran to the bathroom where his litterbox was, singing his “good poopies” song.

“And be sure you cover it!” I yelled after him.

By the time he came back, I was done eating. I put my bowl in the sink and turned back to the excited fluffy. “Ready for your present?”

“Oh, yus, daddeh! Oh, yus!”

“Ok, now, if I could only remember where I put it,” I said, rubbing my chin.

Max looked stricken. “Daddeh wose pwesent? Max nu get pwesent?”

Looking at his face, I couldn’t continue the charade. “Here it is!” I said as I pulled it from a bag on the table.

He gasped. “Max wubs it! Wha’ is it?”

“It’s a sweater, like daddy wears,” I explained, “to stay warm.”

I struggled to keep him still while I put it on him. It fit okay, due to the elastic straps holding it on. Once it was on, he strutted around, trying to look at himself. I took a picture of him with my phone and showed it to him.
“Max wooks su hampsome!” he said.

“Really, ‘cause I thought that you were getting a little fat.” I said, teasingly.

“Max not fat, Max healfy,” he said defensively. “Daddeh am fat.”

I patted my not inconsiderable belly. “Hey, I’ve earned this. It’s my retirement gut.”

By this time, the storm’s first signs were becoming evident. The wind was increasing, and the temperature was dropping. We went to the living room and I started a fire in the wood stove. The stove was large and had a glass door so that you could see the fire. I sat in my wing-back chair with my feet up on the ottoman, doing crossword puzzles while Max sat in his bed by the stove and watched Flufftv videos on my laptop.

It was a peaceful afternoon. Outside, the wind howled and whistled as it worked at every crevice and corner of the cabin and the blowing snow hissed against the windows. Inside, the fire roared and popped as it kept us warm. Max soon tired of his videos and took a nap, still wearing his sweater and lightly snoring.

Max awoke for dinner and as his sketties heated up, he asked me to remove his sweater so that it wouldn’t get dirty. I obliged him and he ate with his usual gusto. I had a pork chop and mashed potatoes with green peas on the side. Afterwards, I made a cup of herbal tea and we went back to the fireside.

The storm continued unabated. Even with the stove going full blast it was still chilly inside, so I donned my heavy woolen sweater with the flannel lining. I offered to put Max’s sweater back on him but he declined. Instead, he curled up in his bed and pulled his thick acrylic blanket over himself.

The evening wore on. Max lay in bed and busied himself with his blocks, while singing a song about “warm housies” under his breath. I sat in my chair, lulled by the sounds of the storm and the fire. I felt very drowsy and thought about going to bed, but I was so comfortable here in the chair that I let myself doze off.

I awoke with a start. It was dark in the cabin, the only light coming from the stove. The power must have failed. Max was pushing on my leg, calling me.

“Daddeh? Am dawk, daddeh. Max nu wike dawk,” he said plaintively, “Dawk am tu scawy. Nu wike singing.”

My pre-storm prep had included putting oil lamps and lighters throughout the cabin. There was one next to my chair on the end table, so I quickly lit it. I then fed the stove to calm Max down. I assumed that by singing he meant the sound of the wind outside.

“There you go, buddy,” I said, “Nothing to be scared of.”

He still seemed worried, so I lit a couple more of the lamps. It was too cold, dark and windy to go out to the shed and start the generator. The oil lamps and flashlights would have to do for now.

I checked my wristwatch and it was almost midnight. Time for us to hit the sack. “Hey, Max, I think that it’s time we went to bed. You want to sleep on the bed with daddy?”

He was sitting facing the front door of the cabin. Looking at me over his shoulder with a strange look on his face, he said, “Daddeh, deys a fwuffeh ou’side on da powch.”

“What?” I exclaimed, “That’s impossible. It has to be below freezing out there, not to mention the wind.”

“Nu, daddeh. Deys a fwuffeh on da powch,” he insisted.

“How can you know that?”

He turned back to the door. “Max hear dem singing.”

Maybe he had had a very vivid dream and couldn’t shake it off. If so, there was one way to change his mind. I grabbed a large, six-volt flashlight and went to the front door. I zipped up my sweater and opened the door. The wind almost pulled it from my hands as I shined the light around the porch. As I expected, nothing was there.
Then, just to my right, what I thought was a lump of snow moved a little. I reached out and brought back a large, red fluffy, covered in snow and ice. It was shivering violently.

“Holy shit, Max, you were right!” I brought it in and slammed the door. As I carried it to the stove, it’s body felt strange. Almost lumpy. “Max, bring a towel from the bathroom!”

But the gray stallion had backed away and stood unmoving, staring at the red fluffy with wide eyes.

I saw that he was useless, so I sat the frozen fluffy down on the mat and fetched a towel myself. I wrapped it up as it thawed out and put more wood into the stove. The red fluffy wasn’t shivering so hard and I thought about drying it with the towel, but I didn’t want to touch it again. Its lumpy body felt wrong.

As the fluffy warmed, the towel caught the melting ice and snow. I tried to talk to it, but it remained unresponsive. After 15 minutes of that, I went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee on the propane stove. I was waiting for the coffee to steep in the French press when I heard Max’s voice.

“Daddeh, buggy munstahs awe awake nao,” he said quietly.

“What are you talking about, Max?” I turned and left the kitchen, going into the living room. What I saw stopped me short.

The red fluffy was crawling with thumb-sized things. Buggy monsters was the best description I could think of. As I watched, they emerged from the fluffy’s body and orifices, leaving large holes behind. The red fluffy’s body seemed to shrink and deflate from this exodus.

When my kids had been much younger, we had a hutch of rabbits for several years. And every summer one or two would become host to a cuterebra or two. These things on my living room floor reminded me of those bot-fly larvae, except these things were much larger and almost pure white.

Max had retreated further but still stared in horror at them. I moved in for a closer look. They moved about by contracting and expanding their bodies. I counted about 30 of them, as they crawled their way over the towel and away from the host, which was now covered in bloodless holes. I assumed that it was dead. I told Max to stay where he was and ran into the kitchen. I grabbed an empty mason jar and a pair of tongs.

Back in the living room, I used the tongs to place the parasites into the mason jar. Once I got them all in, the jar was almost full of the nasty white maggots. I sealed the jar and left it on the table. Then, from the bedroom closet, I got a box and placed the body of the red fluffy and the towel in it and sealed it up with duct tape. I took the box and put it out on the front porch.

Back inside, I swept across the floor with the flashlight, making sure that I hadn’t overlooked any of the larvae. Assured that I hadn’t, I sat down and noticed that my hands were shaking. I had never seen anything like that before and I was a little freaked out. That fluffy had been more bug than bio-toy. Fuck the coffee, I thought, I need whiskey.

In the kitchen, I poured a double-shot and downed it. I thought about it and poured another. I went to the table to make sure that the lid was screwed on tight on the mason jar. I thought about putting the jar on the front porch as well, but I wanted the town vet to see them and I hoped that some might still be alive by the time the storm ended.
I noticed Max staring at the jar. “Max, stay away from them, ok?”

“Yus, daddeh,” he said, “can daddeh heaw dem singing?”

“No, no I don’t hear anything,” I told him, “do you?”

“Dey singing pwetty song nao,” his voice was soft and dreamy, “suu pwetty.”

I scooped him up and carried him to the bedroom. I took one of the lamps to light my way and extinguished the others. In the bedroom, I sat Max down on the bed.

“I want you sleeping in here tonight, ok?”

“Otay, daddeh,” he said with a yawn.

I stripped down to my long johns and got under the covers. I turned the wick down on the lamp, to act as a night light. Max curled up beside me and in no time was snoring. I quickly followed him to sleep.

A sound awoke me. My mind was fuzzy and I had a hard time registering what had made the sound. Then it came to me, breaking glass. Did one of the lamps fall over and break? I reached down, feeling for Max but he wasn’t on the bed. I suddenly remembered the mason jar full of larvae and jumped up, calling for Max. When he didn’t answer, I grabbed the lamp and ran into the living room.

The first thing that I noticed was that the jar was still on the table, but it had burst open. The maggots were on the table and some had fallen to the floor. Now, however, they were as long as my middle finger and twice as thick. They were crawling for the edge of the table and falling to the floor.

Looking down, I could see that they were falling onto Max, who lay on his side on the floor. As I watched, the larvae bored into his body, which grew and became lumpy. I could see one of them pushing its way into his anus, while another waited its turn.

“Max, NO!!!!” I shouted, “GET UP!!!”

“Daddeh,” his voice was harsh and raspy, “Wissen, wissen tu dey song. Suu pwetty.”

And I could hear their song. It was very quiet and peaceful. I found myself becoming hypnotized by the beautiful melody. I wanted to let them take over my body and mind so that I could hear their song forever. Underneath the melody, a calm, reassuring voice spoke. It told me to lay down and let them come to me and then I would be able to add my voice to the song, forever and ever.

I wanted to do that so badly, but I forced the sound away from my mind and bolted for the front door. If I was going to live, I had to run away. But outside, the storm still raged, and the porch was surrounded by huge drifts of snow. I was snowed in. Standing there shoeless, in my long johns, I knew there was no escape for me. Not by running away, at least.

I re-entered the cabin and a handful of the worms made their way towards me. By now, they were the size of bratwursts, pulsating with an inner energy. Their song was louder and clearer now. Ignoring it, I grabbed up the largest ones and went to the stove. They were already trying to bore their way into my hands, which hurt like hell.
I opened the stove door with my foot and tossed them in, followed by another piece of wood. In the fire, the song changed. No longer beautiful, it became discordant and chaotic. As the maggots burned, they shot out dark red flames and gave out a foul smoke.

I turned back to Max. There were no more of the worms around him. His body was swollen at least twice its normal size and throbbed and pulsed.

“Max, Max, can you hear me?” I asked, tears rolling down my face.

“Yus, daddeh,” his voice was so quiet that I almost couldn’t hear him, “hewp fwuffeh. Wa…wan die.”

His skin was splitting open and I could see the larvae roiling inside of him. I knew what I had to do.

“Daddy loves you, Max,” I said as I put him into the stove. I slammed the door and latched it just as there came a large flash of dark red flame. “Never forget, daddy loves you.”

I stayed awake the rest of the night, drinking and feeding wood into the stove. I wanted to be sure that every last larva had burned to ash. As the sky grew lighter, the lights in the cabin flickered and came back on. The power was restored. The nightmare was over. I was beat and more than a little drunk still. I needed coffee.

Rising from my chair, I turned to the kitchen. There stood a blue fluffy.

“Uh oh, daddeh,” it said, “wooks wike ‘ou fo’got one!”

Its skin split and fell away, exposing a huge larva that grew until it was as tall as I was. Then it jumped at me.


Uploader MrBoo,
Tags author-mrboo cabin horrorbox winter_storm worms
Rating
Source Unknown
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Comments


- Reply
MrBoo: One of my favorite YouTube channels is Vet Ranch, about a vet clinic in Texas that takes animals due to be euthanized and fixes them. About a year ago, they featured a kitten with a cuterebra, or bot-fly larva, in its head.

Since then, I've wanted to write a story that dealt with fluffies and parasites. I started this about a year ago and decided that it was time to finish it.

Hope you like it. All feedback is welcome.

- Reply
gr1m_1: kind of reminds me of the movie dream catchers
or mind worms
*shudder*
- Reply
Anonymous1: What is a drop of rain, compared to the storm?
- Reply
Anonymous2: no stop. I like to sleep, I don't want to not sleep.

- Reply
favelour: >not choosing to sing in the many's symphony of life
>2017
- Reply
PeppermintParchment: Pretty good. It was certainly a new concept.
- Reply
Anonymous3: The ending is a bit campy (THEN IT JUMPED AT ME OOGA BOOGA) but it's definitely a fun concept. Grim said it reminded him of Dreamcatcher which you should definitely watch if you haven't. Nice work this

- Reply
MrBoo: @Anonymous: You're right, the ending was kinda cheesy, but after a year I wanted to be done with it and the other endings I had envisioned were worse.

I also agree with the Dreamcatcher comparison. The novel was very much in my mind when I started writing the story.
- Reply
Inky_little_fluff: ..........

- Reply
FluffyPuncher: Should have been posted on Halloween.
- Reply
Anonymous4: That fucking ending...

- Reply
MrBoo: @Anonymous:
Yeah, I hear you. The other endings that I thought about included one that was a Ground Hog's Day dream sequence (which would have dragged the story out forever) and one where government operatives swoop in to save the day, but end up burning the cabin down.

At least the one I went with finished the story before it became too long. And there was a little jump scare there, right? You know, a little scare that made you pee your pants just a little? No? Well, fuck it, then.