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Cheesy Fears

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“Do not anger the Che’breh!” A booming voice crackled through the tv speakers.

“Why are we watching this again?” Ally dug deep into the popcorn bowl and pulled out a handful.

“Because! Cheesy horror is a staple of this time of year. Plus “Wrath of Che’breh” is a classic horror B movie.” Seth wormed his way onto the already crowded couch.

Brandon snorted and reached over for the popcorn bowl. “Wrath of Che’breh is hardly even a decent B movie. This one-” he motioned to the tv with their free hand, “- deserves a rifftrax treatment.” He grabbed a few kernels.

“What, you mean you don’t enjoy movies with half assed props, a literal wrathful cheese god, and bad acting?” Mike elbowed Brandon’s side.

“Guys, shut up! You’re going to miss the best line in the film!”

“Your human hubris shall lead to your doom via Che’breh’s Curds of Prey!”

A mixture of laughs and groans filled the space.

“Curds of Prey? What’s next? Che’breh calls for Limburger sacrifices?” the edges of Erin’s mouth twisted up at her own terrible pun.

Another round of groans and chuckles filled the room-
Until the lights went out, casting them all into darkness.

“Aw man! We were almost to the end!”

Silence fell over the group, aside from the soft munching of popcorn.

“So who’s going to go check why the lights went out?” Brandon asked.

“It’s your house, Brandon! You go check!”

“Fine! Fine.” He stood up from the couch and padded away in darkness. “Mom? Mom, why’d the lights go out?”

The other four sat on the couch and waited.

And waited.

“Hey, shouldn’t Brandon be back by now?” Ally asked.

“Maybe his mom just has a lot to say about the power going out?” Mike suggested.

“Isn’t he afraid of the dark?”

“Grabbing a flashlight?”

Ally shrieked, she jerked her knees up and hit Seth in the process.

“Ow! Jesus, Ally, what was that for?”

“Something touched my foot!”

“Really? Come on, your mind is just playing tricks on you!” He rubbed the spot she hit. “That’s gonna leave a mark.”

Not long after that Mike yelped in pain. “Christ!”

“Oh what now?

“Something bit me! Erin, did you bite me?”

“What? Gross, Mike, why would I do that?”

“Alright!” Seth stood up. “Everyone off the couch! Ally you go to the corner by the door, I’m going to stand by the TV, Mike can stay at the couch and Erin can go stand by Brandon’s bed!”

“Who died and made you leader?” Despite a soft sneer Mike had a mostly joking tone to his voice.

“At least this way we’ll stop hurting each other.” Ally said as she took slow even steps towards the door.

They all stood silently and waited for Brandon.

Eventually the door opened, and a single flashlight beam illuminated the darkness.

“Oh thank god, Brandon what took you so… long?”

Small shapes covered the beam and suddenly darted off.

Ally started screaming, she darted in front of the flashlight beam that cast a shadow of her being attacked by small bird-like creatures.

“Help me!”

“Oh- shit, Ally, I’m coming!” Seth darted forward and vaulted over the couch towards her. He dove into the swarm of odd creatures and tried to swat them away. And that’s when Seth smelled something familiar.

“Cheese?” He grabbed one of the things out of the air and squeezed it. It was a cheese curd. A flying cheese curd. He felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck. “Ah-!” He quickly slapped the spot and came away with more cheese on his hand.

“What the-”

“Seth, what the hell is going on over there?” Erin’s voice shook with fear.

“I don’t know! Ally’s covered in these flying biting cheese creatures!”

“Cheese- What?” Mike huffed. “Oh, I get it, You guys are pranking me and Erin.”

Ally screamed louder.

“No we are not pranking you! Ally is seriously in-” He felt another sharp pain, but on one of his arms this time. “Fuck!”

“Seriously, guys! This isn’t funny anymore! Now there’s something gooey on me how are you even doing this?” Erin viciously shook one of her arms- the unseen goop making rather gross wet sounds as it collided with the floor.

“Yeah this is really going too far-hrk-” Mike suddenly stopped. He coughed.

“Mike?” Seth darted around the swarm of cheese curds for the flashlight. Seth shielded his eyes as he grabbed for it, and felt someone’s hand. “Brandon? Brandon, are you the one holding the light?”

He wrestled it from his friend’s hand and turned it around on Brandon. A thick camembert rind covered his nose and mouth, tears streaming down his face.

“Oh god… Choking Camembert…” He whipped around to where Ally was.

He had been right. She was covered in little bird-shaped cheese curds, their tiny cheese beaks covered in blood. “Curds of Prey…” He turned the flashlight to Mike on the couch.

Mike had multiple stab wounds, one piece of Stilton was protruding from his neck. “Stabbing Stilton..”

Suddenly flame erupted from where Erin was standing.

“Flaming Fondue!” Seth backed away from his friends. “The four cheese deaths of- of Che’breh!”

The house began to shake as Seth watched his friends perish horrible cheesy deaths before his eyes, as the elder of cheese rose for its billion year sleep.

~~~

And then Seth woke up panting.

“Jesus- fuck. What the hell?” He glanced around his room and found no trace of cheese or dead friends. He let out a large- almost relieved- sigh. That was a weird dream.

He threw off his covers and grabbed a bag he’d packed the night before. “Time to head up to Camp Clarity for the camping trip!”