A story: Horror in the desert

Harry Phillips, Editor-in-Chief

Reading Time: 5 minutes

It was a hot afternoon in October when my girlfriend Rose and I had our lives changed completely. We were on our way to tour Arizona State University, and were in the middle of the Arizona desert. I was just staring out the window, hoping that the car wouldn’t break down, since we had no cell reception. Just by thinking that, I may have jinxed us.

“You got to be kidding me,” I screamed. “Of all the times this dumb car could break down, it had to be in the middle of nowhere! Well Rose, I’m not going to make any promises, but I think I can fix this.”

After an hour of tinkering with the car’s engine, I finally gave up. Rose was surprised that I tried for so long since she knew I was better with computers than with cars.

“Let me guess,” she said sarcastically. “We have to walk to the town which is nine miles north.”

“Ten actually.”

“Oh shut up! It’s far and I don’t want to walk that far.”

“Too bad, come on.”

If we stayed, we would freeze during the night because we were wearing tank tops and shorts, so we started walking towards town. Luckily, we came to an old two-story gray house after walking for about three miles.

“Go knock on the door and see if anyone is home,” she said.

“Are you kidding me?” I asked her. “The people who live there can be serial killers for all we know.”

“I don’t care,” she moaned. “It’s night and I don’t want to freeze. Go knock on the door.”

“Okay lazy one, I’ll do the hard work. Do you want me to carry you too?”


I sighed and shook my head, then went and knocked on the door. I was expecting an old man or woman to open the door, but a cute ten year-old boy opened it.

“Hi little guy, what’s your name?” I asked.

“My name is Charlie,” he replied.

“Well nice to meet you Charlie, I’m David and this is Rose. Are your parents home?”

“No, they went to work,” Charlie said.

“I’m sorry, I know that your parents probably told you not to talk to strangers, but our car broke down and we need a place to stay tonight. Would you mind if we stayed here for the night?” Rose asked.

“Sure, my parents usually let travelers stay overnight. They probably will even drive you guys into town tomorrow morning. Come on in. Did you guys want some dinner?”

“No thank you, we’re not hungry,” I replied.

“Okay, I’ll show you guys to your room.”

Charlie took us up to the second floor and into a room with yellow walls and two twin sized beds. It was a nice room with some pretty violets and a red bookshelf. Rose and I were exhausted. We fell onto the beds and went to sleep.

Around midnight, I woke up and went to search for a bathroom, but what I found was much worse. When I opened the door, I saw a middle aged couple, presumably Charlie’s parents, with their heads cut off and their eyes gouged out. It looked like that they have been there for days because they had started to decay. To make it worse, maggots were coming out of the eye-sockets. I suppressed my scream and I no longer needed to use the restroom. I ran back into the room that Rose and I were sleeping in and jumped onto her bed.

“Rose, wake up, Rose, wake up” I was shaking her and almost screaming at her.

“David, what is it?” she asked groggily.

“I was looking for the bathroom and I found Charlie’s parents.”

“If that is all, then it is a poor excuse to wake me up.”

“They’re dead and it looks like they have been dead for a few days.”

Her face got serious real fast and I slowly got up and grabbed our stuff. As we started to walk out, we heard Charlie say, “You really shouldn’t have seen that, it’s too bad because I would have let you live, but you leave me with no choice.” Charlie picked up a kitchen knife and smiled, then said “Run.”

We sprinted to the door to escape outside, but it was padlocked.

“I told you there were serial killers here!” I screamed. “Go and find a safe place.”

We ran off in two different directions. It looked like she went to the basement and I ran into a closet. I heard Charlie’s footsteps walk past the door and I held my breath until I heard Charlie leave. I sighed, feeling relieved, but at that moment I heard a bloodcurdling scream coming from the vicinity of the basement. Part of me told me not to go to it, but I had to make sure Rose was okay. I burst out of the closet and sprinted towards the basement. As I entered the basement, I saw Rose stabbed in the back with one of her eyes torn out. I saw Charlie standing over Rose, and then Charlie picked up Rose’s eye and ate it. Charlie paid no attention to me, but he should have.

I tackled Charlie to the floor, knocking the knife out of his hand. He punched me in my nose and started to crawl to the knife. I grabbed his ankle and pulled him back to me. He tried to kick me, but just as he tried I elbowed him in the gut and pounded his head into the cement. I crawled to the knife as fast as possible and was able to grab it. Just then Charlie pulled me back towards him. As he was about to punch me, I stabbed him in the waist. He howled in pain and I stabbed him repeatedly until I was on top of him. He looked at me with fear in his eyes.

“You won’t kill me, you don’t have the guts. I’m just a child.”

“Well guess what? You’re wrong.”

I quickly slit his throat and watched the life fade from his eyes. After I was sure that Charlie was dead, I rushed to Rose. Luckily, I was able to slow Rose’s bleeding. I was able to avoid any serious injuries, but I still had wounds. I had a cut above my eye, a broken nose and a split knuckle.

I helped Rose get to her feet and we went and found the family’s car. The car had hardly any gas, but it was enough to get us into town and to the hospital. As we were getting patched up, we told the police our experience.

The officer, however, told us that what we saw was not possible because no one had lived in that house for 20 years. He told us that the couple that last lived there was murdered, had their heads cut off and their eyes gouged out. When we told him about Charlie, he looked concerned. After hearing this he mentioned that the couple had a baby named Charlie, but he died in childbirth.

Horror in the desertRose, with a patch over on eye, and I looked at each other and agreed to never come back to Arizona. As we were getting on a bus to head home, I thought I saw Charlie smiling with his throat slit and gesturing that he will kill me in the mirror of the bus.