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Eric S. B

Lisa was getting ready to lock up for the night as a last car pulled into the video store's parking lot. She cursed under her breath, leaving the doors open, and headed back to the counter.

A lone man got out of the car. He was young, probably in his mid-twenties, and wore a black jeans and a matching jacket. Long dark hair spilled over his shoulders. He made his way inside and headed straight towards her. Without bothering to say hello, he asked, "Do you have any Fulci?"

Lisa's tired mind fought to make sense of the question as she stared into his blue eyes. "Excuse me?" she said.

"Fulci, the Italian director," the man said in an irritated tone.

"I don't think so," Lisa answered.

The man pulled a .38 revolver from his jacket pocket and pointed it at her face. Lisa blinked as her mouth went suddenly dry.

"That's too bad," the man purred. "I guess I'll just have to find another way to amuse myself tonight."

Lisa's heart thundered in her chest and a slight layer of sweat began to form on her brow.

"Tell me," he asked leaning closer, "What are you afraid of?"

Lisa was so terrified that she told the truth. "The dumpsters. . . The dumpster out back. I can't stand to take the night trash out by myself. There's something inside of it. I don't know how, but it's always there, watching me, waiting for me to get too close."

"Really." The man grinned feeding on her fear. "Show me."

"No!" Lisa squealed, "I can't. . . "

The man pulled back the revolver's hammer, clicking a round into place, and shoved the barrel against her forehead. "I said, show me," he ordered.

Lisa led him out back to the dumpsters, making sure to give them a wide berth. As the man examined them something thumped inside the largest dumpster.

"Ah." He smiled, dragging a crate of trash over to its side. "Let's take a look at your fear."

The man climbed onto the crate and peered down into the dumpster. In a blur of movement almost too fast for the human eye to follow, a large furry hand matted with blood and feces grabbed the front of his jacket and pulled him inside.

Lisa screamed as she heard the sickening snap of bones that echoed in the dumpster. She ran through the store's rear entrance, slamming the door behind her, and fell to her knees. Tears burned in her eyes as she realized the thing of her fears was real. The last thing Lisa heard before the blackness came was an animal like roar as something tore the door from its hinges and entered the store.



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