Passing in Passing : Scary Stories – Short Horror Story

Bleacher Bay. Deep into a summer night. The sound of the surf, somehow intensified by the moonlight…

My sister and I woken.

Our names called.

It was supposed to be the last weekend of our vacation. Instead we run, terrified, across the hall, to see our parents dying together in one bedroom, and my father says in words mixed with blood:

“The book is buried under the birch tree.”

“You’ll understand who you are.”

Understand who you are.

My cousin and I watched our parents die. My sister and I—

Understand you are.

There was grief. Followed by transformation, subtle at first; then uncanny. The book was just where father had said it would be. My cousin and I found it together. Opened it together. Understood it together.

We became:


“You look just like your father,” they told me.

“Isn’t she just the spitting image of her dear late mother?” they said of her.

“Agnes,” I said.

“I feel that’s my name now,” my sister said. Agnes was my mother’s name. My father’s name was: “Henry,” my sister calls me.

The book makes it clear.

We bury the book under the birch tree in the backyard of our family home.

We age.

We become adults.

One day, Agnes calls me. “Henry, it’s time,” she says.

I’m watching my son play in the living room as I speak to her. Her voice breaks. “I don’t have many years left,” she says.

“Cancer,” she says.

I watch my son play and I say: “We must then go this summer to Bleacher Bay.”

I hear her breathing.

I hear her daughter singing in the background.

My son looks at me, smiling. I smile back. Agnes says, “We must.”

The winding road transports us, at first hiding the water—before suddenly revealing it: flickering through passing trees, then in glorious prospect!

“It’s just as I remember,” Agnes said.

It was true.

We arrived at the same white wooden houses.

Trees thinning. Sand dunes opening onto the beach. Calm seas. Graphite sky.

We let our children run laughing along the untamed coast.

Let them make castles.

Made them write their names in the pale sands.

As night fell, they went to sleep, and my sister and I stayed up talking, reminiscing. “Is it truly time?” she asked.

I said, “They’ll find us as we—

found us,” she said, taking my hand.

We have already arranged the pills, laid out the knives. Yet even though I believe, still my hands shake, my heart pounds.

Moonlight streams in through the window, reflecting

I say, “How ancient do you think we are?”

“Primitive.” She slices.

I call their names: my son’s; my sister’s daughter’s.

“The things we do for life—” I, too, cut. “


They come.

“The book is buried under the birch tree,” I tell them.

My son screams.

Looking at him, I see myself.

Looking at myself, I see him.

I shall never forget seeing the bodies.

I shall never forget seeing the bodies.

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