"You just have to be the prettiest thing I have ever seen!"
"Those eyes! That smile! We love smiles! Don't we, honey?"
The smiling couple would look down at me and say these exact words every time I saw them. Which was the same time of the year that I had always saw them out of my eighteen years of living. Whether it was in a shopping mall or at a gas station, I saw them wherever I was on January the 6th. It doesn't matter where I happen to be at. They always find me.
The first time I can remember seeing them was when I was four years old. I was in the middle of the local market when I saw them in the heart of the hustle and bustle of shoppers. They stood as if it didn't bother them a bit. They were just staring at me expressionless. Smiling from ear to ear. I remember wondering if someone had given them candy since they were smiling so big.
They were the most beautiful couple I have ever seen before. They were young, but not too much younger than my parents were at the time. They were both blonde and blue eyed with soft facial features.
The woman wore a very expensive silver dress with a red shawl. Her blonde hair was styled in waves and her face was beautifully made up. The man beside of her wore a white shirt with red cuffs and grey pants. I remember thinking that he was very handsome.
I look at them curiously. Mom pulls at my hand, telling me to not let go of her since it was so busy. I listen and follow her. But soon she sees a friend in the dairy aisle and she lets go of my hand. I see the couple smiling at me. Without a thought, I decide to run over to them.
They look down at me with the same frozen smiles. I smile back but then frown. For that was when I smelt something that was close to rotten. As quickly as I noticed it, it had passed.
"Hello, Leah!" The man beams out in a crystal clear voice. I can't remember seeing his mouth move.
"You have to be the prettiest thing I have ever seen!" The woman sings in a voice that reminds me of Snow White.
"Those eyes! That smile! We love smiles, don't we honey?" The man looks right through me. He reminds me of a cold statue.
I turn around and see Mom frantically running over towards me. She grabs my shoulders and shakes me gently.
"What did I tell you?" She breathes out frantically. "Don't let go of me! Don't ever do that again? Do you hear me?"
While nodding, I am excited to introduce her to my new friends. But when I turn around to tell her, they are gone. Mom grabs my hand and tells me that it's time to go home. I look back and still do not see them. It isn't until we are checking out that I see them peeking from behind one of the walls outside, still smiling.
For the next eight years, my encounter with the smiling couple was pretty much exactly like my first. In my childish mind, I thought of them as my own special friends that no one else could have. I would draw them in all of my pictures and make sure I went out every single day in the month of January.
Mom would ask me who I was drawing in my little sketch pad.
"The smiling couple," I would shrug as if it was nothing. "They come to see me every year in January."
Mom asked me many questions about the smiling couple and I answered every one of them with full honesty. Yet she came down to the conclusion that they were my imaginary friends since I had trouble making real friends at school.
Which is most likely what I half way believed, too. It was just that every part of my body wanted them to be real.
And believe me, they are just as real as you and me.
Things started to change when I was twelve. I had close friends of my own when I started middle school and was slowly starting to depend more on myself, which Mom was having a hard time accepting.
I knew what right and wrong was and I was ninety nine percent certain that imaginary friends were not real. Which is why I was really freaked out when I saw the smiling couple that year on January 6th while I was at the mall with my friends.
We were in one of the many stores after my dad dropped us off while he went out to finish some work. I was going through the clearance rack while my friends were doing the same.
"God," One of my friends state in disgust. "What's that smell?"
My heart stops. I slowly look up.
They are standing there. People are walking right by them. Never even batting an eye. The couple has not aged. They are wearing the same clothes. They are wearing the same smiles. I stand as still as I can. I look over at my friend, Kara, and ask her if she sees them.
"Where?" She asks me.
I move my pointed finger so slow that it doesn't even look like I even moved a muscle. Kara looks in the direction I am pointing in.
She says she sees nothing.
"Leah?" She asks me with clear concern. "What's wrong? Are you sick?"
"We have to leave the store." I tell her plainly.
My friends look at me as if I am crazy but they don't refuse. We exit the store and go to the next one. Even though I would have much rather leave the mall in the first place.
The smell follows us. The smiling couple are in the next store. Smiling even wider this time. It was as if watching me run away amused them.
I wait until my friends are busy enough to go up to the smiling couple. I walk up to them with as much courage as I could find within me. The stench is gone when I reach them.
"Leave me alone!" I say in a much more pathetic voice than I had planned. "Leave me alone or... or I'll call the cops!"
The couple doesn't even blink. They're smiles don't even move. They are quiet for a long time.
"Hello, Leah!" The man happily beams as usual.
"You have to be the prettiest thing I ever seen!"
"Those eyes! That smile! We love smiles! Don't we, honey?"
"Who are you?" I scream at them, causing a lot of people to look my way in obvious concern. "Leave me alone! Leave me alone!"
"You know," The woman giggles childishly. "I think you need to smile more!"
My friends eventually found me and called my dad. I went home and locked myself in my room. I was terrified.
My parents eventually got it out of me with what all happened at the mall. I told her the entire story of the smiling couple. How I have known them since I was four. How they have been following me around ever since.
Mom brushes it off at first but then gets a horrible realization. What if they were actually real? Dad says not to worry about it and that it was the stress of middle school. Mom reluctantly agrees.
After that year, I hardly left the house in January. Especially on January 6th.
I stayed in my room all day long with the curtains drawn and the lights dimmed.
Yet while I slept, I could hear their giggles and see their smiles in my sleep. While they would say the exact same things, they would say other things, too.
"We miss our smiling girl," The man would say. "Where is she? Where is our smiling girl?"
I could feel cold hands on my face, my neck, my chest. Caressing me and petting me as if I was an animal. I would wake up in cold sweat, calling for one of my parents in panic.
This happened up until I was seventeen. My parents sent me to several psychologists and therapists. I had so many diagnosis about why I was so "obsessed" with the smiling couple that I didn't know what to believe anymore. My dreams were apparently from "stress" and "hormones" and I needed to be more active apparently.
I was seventeen when I had enough of their smiles, cold hands, and childish giggles.
I didn't know what they were but I came to the conclusion that they were real and that they were far from human.
I wait for January 6th like it is Christmas Day.
When it is finally the day of the smiling couple, I choose to go to a quiet book store.
Funnily enough, the smiling couple are already there to greet me. Their smiles are ten times wider. With the edges of their mouths almost touching the sides of their eyes.
They don't have to hide anymore. And I think they knew that as I was walking in. Their teeth appeared sharper and their eyes danced a bit as if they were watching a steak being grilled.
I smile at them. "What do you want from me?"
They stay silent for a long moment as they continue to smile.
"We want our smiling girl." They say in unison.
"I'm smiling now," I reply. "Now tell me what you really want?"
"We want you to know."
And just like that, they are gone.
I look everywhere for them, but they are gone.
Defeated, I decide to go back home.
That night, I had the worse nightmare of all. And I didn't know what even triggered it.
It started with when I was four. With my dad coming into my room while I was sleeping. His hands were so cold and I didn't like it. I just wanted to go to back to sleep. I see this happen all the way up until I am seventeen. I wake up in the same cold sweat and muffle back a scream.
For a couple of months, while feeling incredibly uneasy, I put this off as a terrible dream. Yet it isn't until the summer that my uneasiness takes a whole new level.
"Lee," Dad stops me from going to hang out with friends one night. "Wait for a sec."
"I grabbed you these at the store. I know you like em'. And, well, I love to see my girl smile."
What he hands me is a small pack of Godiva chocolates that I have always stashed away in my underwear drawer in my room.
I am speechless. No one ever knew that I stashed these.
"I... um... how did you know I liked them?" I say as I slowly take them.
Dad's smile falls and he finds himself searching for words, too.
Yet what he finally decides to say is: "Your mother told me. And, well, who doesn't like chocolate?"
I thank him very quickly and leave the house. I vomit right when I step outside. The smiling couple have appeared before me once again. Their smiles are covering up most of their faces now. They hold out their hands and I take them without hesitation as I drop the chocolates.
"There she is." The man sings.
"There who is?"
"Our smiling girl." The woman grins in a much lower, menacing voice.
Story entries for the November - December (2016) Sixpenceee Story Contest can be found here. Simply submit a story to enter. Stories don't necessarily have to be creepy, for example, thought provoking stories or stories with a twist are definitely acceptable.
- Story Contests
- Story Contest: January - February 2018
- Story Contest: June 2017
- Story Contest: January - February 2017
- Story Contest: November - December 2016
- Story Contest: September - October 2016
- Story Contest: July - August (2016)
- Story Contest: May – June (2016)
- Story Contest: March – April (2016)
- Story Contest: January – February (2016)
- Story Contest: December (2015)
- Story Contest: October (2015)
- Short Scary Stories
- Halloween Art Contest
- Glitch In The Matrix
- Scary Encounters
- Story Forum
- Stories & Encounters Found Elsewhere
- Off Topic
- Featured Authors
- Community Announcements
- Game Forum
- Off Topic Forum
- Technical Issues
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest