The Taylight Zone - Anthology Five

08 - Black Vomit - Kimberly

It was nice to be home on Halloween. It was the first time this had happened in a while.

His brother, Isaac, was attending a Halloween party at the house of a friend of his. Zachary had chosen to go to his first co-ed sleepover.

"So, Taylor, what are you doing tonight?" his mother asked with hope in her voice.

"Nothing, I guess. Why?"

"I was wondering if you would like to take the little ones trick-or-treating. Either that or watch Zoe since your father in in New York."

He sighed. "Sure Mom. I'll take them."

She kissed his forehead. "Thanks honey."

The day passed quickly, Zac and Isaac leaving for the sleepover and party, respectively.

Dusk fell and his mother went over the rules for trick-or-treating. Only go to houses in the neighborhood. Walk on the sidewalks. Carry a flashlight. Go up to the houses with the kids. Check their candy before they eat any of it.

He gathered up Jessica, Avery and Mackenzie and herded them out the door into the ever-darkening night using his flashlight like a cattle prod.

It began quite boringly. Go to a house. ing the doorbell. Say trick-or-treat. Someone in the house would hand out candy and say, "My, what scary costumes you have."

That last part made him laugh. Jessica was dressed as a ballerina. Avery was an angel. Mackenzie was a Power Ranger. Nothing really seemed scary about that to him. They all laughed it off as they walked from house to house. They weren't here to be recognized as having the scariest or best costumes. They were in it for the candy.

As he walked down the street, his left eye began to twitch very slightly. He shook it off.

A moment later, the eye again. An image in his mind. Something that gave off bad vibes. He couldn't tell what. He closed his eyes, cleanched his teeth and swallowed the saliva that had begun to pool beneath his tongue.

It went away. He continued to walk his brother and sisters around the neighborhood.

His left eye twitched again. An image. A different one this time. It was blurry as the other one had been. More bad vibes. He rubbed his eye and shook his shoulder-length blond hair from his face.

A few more houses. The eye twitched again. That first image again. Other senses kicked in. Smell. It was something bitter. Yeasty. Some unknown voice said, "Drink it up!"; it was obviously beer.

It stopped. More houses. Again. The eye. The second image with smell and sound. The smell was sweet. Like sugar cookies almost, but not quite. Sound. "C'mon! It's not gonna hurt you to try it," another voice, a differnt one; this voice spoke of a drug.

He couldn't see now. The first image blended with the second image and yet, they were still separate. He stoppsed walking adn sat down. Everything he saw, heard, smelled was something that wasn't really there.

His left eye was twitching like crazy now. His stomach churned. His throat burned, his lungs as well. His head was a jumble of sight, sound, and smell.Was any of it real?

He started to cough. His throat felt like a million wasps were stinging. In his mouth, something thick. What was happening? It was a vaguely metallic, salty taste. Blood? Why was he coughing up blood?

A wave of nausea, but not related to the blood. It came up through him, his stomach acid burning his raw esophogus. Why didn't it stop?

The images cleared. He looked down.

Black vomit. He knew that phrase. He had once been looking up a word in the dictionary and had come across the definition for "black vomit". Vomitus consisting of dark-colored matter. Would blood be considered dark-colored matter? His consciousness gave way to darkness. Blackness. Black vomit.

He awoke in a hospital, his mother at his side. "Why? What...."

He shook his head. His mother wept silent tears. "Y'know, it's not every night that a mother gets to come to the hospital because three of her sons passed out at about the same time. ne because they drank too much. One for taking a shitload of drugs. The other for no apparant reason other than he threw up some blood for no apparant reason."

That eye again. One twitch. a final image. Three brothers standing in front of a word. Togetherness. He knew those brothers. Hell, he was one of them. One was Isaac. The other was Zachary.

The image morphed into the last image he saw before passing out. Black vomit.

He smiled and closed his eyes.