= KOH =

Scary story

read for the night

“One dark night, pitch-dark night,” spoke Dale by a bewitching voice: “one small ginger boy…”

“Wait, let’s sit down first; there is nothing to do anyway,” Chip awkwardly interrupted him and, walking up, plumped down nearby.

“…boy went,” proceeded the first chipmunk, moving by laps of his black cloak for some representation of night dense and impenetrable: “…this dark, pitch-dark night to take a walk…”

“Ooh, will it be very scary?” asked Tammy quickly, warming her paws at the candle.

“Well, if like last time…” answered with smile Gadget but really said ouch when from under Dale’s black cloak his head appeared in a white high turban; in twilight it was very unexpected.

“Unexpectedly he wanted to go to the very edge, the most darkest edge of the city,” proceeded Dale by the three times more bewitching voice: “where dark elves lived in former times until all died,” his speech was slow and stately.

“Elves do not exist, Dale,” said Foxy amazed and slowly like Dale.

“Well, you were told, indeed, that all have died, dear,” quickly answered Monty from behind the candle, and the bat shuddered and cursorily, so as not to be noticed by anybody, cautiously looked around.

“And their spirits are roaming in that quarter to this day,” Dale paused a moment and then proceeded: “There were very few brave men who dared to go there, and everything that remained there grew black…”

“Oh, it’s just like now!…” said Foxy and covered her head with her wings.

“Are you, the night hunter, really afraid of darkness?” asked Chip and touched her shoulder.

“No, I’m not afraid, but he tells it so…”

“…was black, coal-black, and, since nobody walked there, nobody knew that on the very edge of the city, one old laboratory was operational. And the boy unknowingly went in that direction…”

“Wait a minute, that’s not original,” objected Chip, having been already about to listen spellbound: “We’ve right now sitting in a laboratory, after all. Are you trying on purpose to intimidate us?”

“It’s better to listen, Chip,” answered Gadget instead of Dale: “We just have to fill in time while we’ll wait for Nimnul.”

“…The boy went on unfamiliar dark streets…”

“Well, ’spose he is no longer working here, and we lie in this wasted ambush,” drawled Monty who had been already really tired of staying in one place and waiting for anything.

“…and the boy didn’t know what ambush awaited him there…”

“What?!” blurt out everyone, even Zipper uttered something the like.

“…Because nobody knows what waits to waylay anyone beyond a closed door…” and Dale flapped his black shroud to the side, beyond which the grey rectangle of the entrance door could be seen in the distance. Everyone began to peer into the darkness, and here as if something knocked on the door.

“It needs to go and check,” quickly reacted Chip.

“Don’t go!” shouted Tammy and seized him with both paws.

“What’s the matter! okay… well, I won’t go…” answered Chip, being conscious of awkwardness, and was unsuccessfully trying to disunite the tenacious squirrel paws from his waist.

“…nobody knows,” Dale repeated it in the ensuing silence and proceeded: “It’s as correct as nobody knows what waylays everyone going by sewer or ventilation,” and he showed by another lap of his shroud to somewhere upwards where it was possible, with some difficulty, to discern an air hole of artificial ventilation. The Rangers screwed up their eyes, and then a distant roaring was heard from the ventilation depths. Foxy stared questioningly at Chip.

“Well, it’s just the wind blowing a little stronger,” answered this one, himself with amazement, and irresolutely shruged his shoulders.

“What would be the reason, I wonder, that it became stronger whereas my tail shows calm?” protested Monterey against this forecast, and everyone turned towards Dale again.

“…And all the more so, nobody can know what might, any second, waylay them beyond a window…” hissed literally Dale, and the Rangers have barely turned their eyes to the window when a strong wind blow banged it: the window ventlight struck against the wall and a stream of swift air, sweeping through the whole room, blew out the candle in a trice; many things fell down. As soon as light died out, the stream, reflecting from all walls, returned to the window and as if came out, closing the ventlight behind itself. All this happened so quickly that nobody noticed when Dale softly said:

“Yes, he’s already here…”

“I’ll lock… the ventlight,” said Chip suddenly, in some altered voice.

“But don’t go you now!” hissed Tammy, not releasing him.

“I don’t know how you did that, Dale,” said Monterey in a slightly more confident voice, flicking the lighter: “but to be honest, for a long time nobody so scared me…”

“…The boy has not been scared when he climbed through a window: this place seemed so safe…”

“Come, confess, Dale, did you framed this all?” interrupted him Gadget; there were anxious overtones in her voice.

“But did he had time for it?” doubted it Monty at once: “We’re for the first time here and sit just half an hour maybe; he was in the limelight all this time,” the faces of everyone lengthened and turned towards Dale for explanations, but he only proceeded his scary story:

“…The boy didn’t know yet what was lying in wait for him inside the dark laboratory…” Dale unexpectedly waved his cloak and almost anew blew out the candle which had just been kindled. Light disappeared; the burning wick scarcely illuminated the circle of the Rangers who gathered around the candle, and it compeled to peer even more intently into the darkness in which only the white turban on Dale’s head was seen well. He proceeded likewise but much more solemnly and silently: “Any strangers don’t have to come at night to an unfamiliar place… All the more to a laboratory where someone carries out unknown experiments…”

“Ahh…” Foxy cling to Chip: “We were to have come here by day! We truly know nothing about this laboratory! There,” she showed somewhere by her wing: “what is there? But even noone inspected!”

“But who can see while there is no light here? Even no switches!” said Monty and took fright of own words.

“This is the dark laboratory…” forced Chip himself to speak and became numb with horror. For about a minute nobody could utter any words… Only Zipper buzzed something and Foxy silently almost moaned: “What awaits us… Were we decoyed here? Nimnul outwitted us…”

“And what happened to that boy next?” Chip unexpectedly for himself raised his head. But Dale was silent; his turban as if oscillated in darkness. As if he strenuously inhaled air.

“He’s here, I feel him…” said Dale at last. Being tired of suffering darkness, Monterey was on the point of readjusting the fire, but the flame suddenly blazed up and dramatically illumined the sitters. The huge crimson shadow they didn’t notice before rose over Dale.

“Dale, behind you!!!” — that one dived ahead, towards the candle, and this shadow with a disproportionately huge head and very large shoulders rushed after him. Dale fell face downwards before the candle, and the shadow as if decreased and remained immovable while the chipmunk was lying.

“Oh, but if it isn’t Dale’s shadow!” roared Monty. Everyone crawled out from shelters.

“Omigosh, Dale, look what we’ve come to thanks to you!” said Gadget, trying to subdue the heartbeat pace: “But this should be stopped, or we all shall go mad! A mere turban on a head which makes a big shadow. No more than. In other cases we would laugh. Wouldn’t we, guys?” and she looked at the others, but the horror was still seen in their eyes: “Well, what else happened?”

“Have you heard anything?” very silently asked Chip.


“Perhaps it seemed,” answered chipmunk and stood up.

“I haven’t yet told the main,” said Dale, trying to rise too, setting the turban and cloak straight.

“Well, what else?” Chip was beginning to be wicked: he as well as the all others was in such condition when seems that if one has already gone through the fear, then nothing can be horrific.

“In that dark laboratory where the small ginger boy penetrated,” proceeded Dale by the same mysterious voice: “they carried out brutal experiments…”

“Yes! Now he’ll tell: over animals!” exclaimed Foxy and tremble all over.

“Is it the truth?” exclaimed Gadget, and that chipmunk nodded assent:

“All of them have perished long ago, and their souls remained unavenged to wander at the building; they are awaiting a first man for their revenge.”

“And a small boy accidentally climbed through a window?” a bit awkwardly asked Foxy to repeat; one could see tears ran from her eyes.

“He has already climbed, he is near us,” said Dale like bewitched.

“You mean to say…” said Chip and in a shock examined the others: “No, that’s impossible!”

“It’s the truth,” answered Dale with cold and sepulchral speech: “there is no one here except us and a boy…”

“Now it will appear we are exactly those dead souls,” the bat began to whine.

“I’ll pinch you now,” said Gadget and drew near her.

“Don’t! don’t!” the other girl began to worry: “I’ve had enough of that I’m already in the other world.”


“Yes, Zipper, a terrible place,” agreed Chip: “Was it possible to pass into the other world so as to execute some mission of revenge? After all, nobody killed us, eh! Simply someone manipulates us.”

“Right, Chip,” exclaimed Gadget: “But we wouldn’t revenge on a small boy?”

“On a small ginger boy,” responded Dale and there and then began again to play the oracle by an apathetic voice: “From the very beginning we planned an ambush for a small ginger boy, as it was, to revenge on him.”

“What are you saying?” Monterey powerfully struck himself forehead: “Yes! How I could forget it?!” he buried his face in paws and spoke fiercely and blaming on himself: “I knew this scary story even before the very beginning, long ago, since the childhood,” at this moment everyone stared at him: “But I couldn’t understand why it was mentioned he is ginger. Indeed — now it all ties up! To revenge on Numnul — but we have come exactly for this purpose!”

“Wait a moment…” said somewhat dumbfounded Chip: “Do you both with Dale have made plans it or what?”

“Nothing of the sort! All people of our quarter knew this story!” roared Monty.

“I understood absolutely nothing,” said Tammy with aloofness, gave all up as a bad job, and moved aside to take seat on the table edge on which all action was taking place.

“But wait a little — all is a piece of cake,” brightened Gadget: “This turned out Nimnul’s history, old and real, which became known a long time ago. Being a small boy, he penetrated into the laboratory where souls of innocently murdered animals revenged on him.”

“Really?” sarcastically smirked Tammy: “why he is alive till now, then?”

“Oh yes, but why?” Gadget turned towards Dale.

“Because you still don’t know the tragical end of this story…”

“Button up!” brought down a peg him Monty: “You’ll let me do the telling, You’ve drove us all into such horror by your stories as it is!” he took breath and proceeded: “What is death! For many people this is not even a punishment. After all they even say about god that if he wishes to punish a man he first deprives of his senses. Souls of innocent murder victims have revenged on that man — arranging for him a night of horror in an abandoned laboratory — and then he went balmy from the going through fear, became a madman. Of course, it was Nimnul! That scary story commonly came to an end at this place, but now it becomes clear, whence in what follows he will have such zealous attitude to science and all kinds of experiments in laboratories! From the going through horror from which he couldn’t go out. Only now he agonizes the others…” there Monterey became thoughtful; the all others also somehow hung their head in gloomy reflection — when suddenly a faint plaintive moan seemed to be heard and broke likewise quickly.

“Omigosh, Dale, it’s not so funny any more” Gadget anxiously tried to interrupt his deep reflections: “That’s enough of scaring everyone!”

“Firstly, it’s not me,” uttered Dale beyond the shadow of irony: “Secondly, I had no cognizance of similar story at all which had already existed before — I’ve discovered it only here and now; thirdly, I’ve already told the ginger boy is for a long time here.”

“I understand nothing!” exclaimed this time Chip.

“Come here,” called up him Tammy: “Let’s sit, together shall not understand.”

“This all is surely great,” Chip wasn’t stopping: “but two things obviously don’t coincide: the first is why he is a boy? All has turned back? We’ve got to the past? And the second is what we should revenge on him for, then?…”

“As for he is for a long time here, is this still cared noone?!” exploded Dale which was calm hitherto: “I tells about it for the umpteenth time!”

“Is he really here?” roundeyed Gadget: “Why we’ve not seen him?”

“Because he is small,” Dale roll up his eyes. And here a one more sound, like whimpering, was heard, and has ceased again.

“Dale, show your paws!” exactingly demanded Gadget.

“My paws are clean, and intentions too. What is more, the denouement is near…” and while he was saying it, stretching them by palms up, a someone’s moan resounded. A chill ran upon the skins of everybody: it was like something subtle and repulsive and quite near. There was impossible to drop the idea of that it was a child who moaned. Everyone looked around but saw nothing.

“We should revenge on a child!” at this thought Foxy cower in a shock down.

“Aha, she is not quite scared yet,” protested the squirrel: “Here unknown creature screams, maybe under the table, but she suddenly plunged into sympathies with him!” but everyone had disturbing thoughts somehow or other, and when everyone has received evidence that that is not Dale’s trick, and their knees have began to shake, the moan repeated itself, and then a thin voice began to lament:

“Ah… Save me-e… Ah… Help me-e…”

“Omigosh, who is it?” jumped up Gadget the first. Zipper has described a circle from above, but from height could descry nothing too.

“Wait a little,” stood up Monty: “This goes from Dale’s side. What is there behind your back?”

“Let’s see now,” said Dale and turned at the box standing slightly aloof behind his back. While he was opening the cover, inarticulate sounds and something like a children’s whine was coming from there: “Open! open!” at last he directed his paw inside and, throwing away by one wave his black cloak, placed on the floor in front of the amazed Rangers the children’s whirligig of strange device. The whirligig looks as usual, besides it finished in top by something like a human head.

“What tricks, Dale?” said displeased Chip: “By what else you are gonna make a fool of us? Or we all now should sit down by a circle and whirl this toy?”

“What toy I am for you, damned rodents?!” answered the whirligig, and only just everyone have noticed that it’s able not only to speak, but also grin spitefully and rotate eyes.

“What a thingumajig you dragged?” could only utter Monty.

“Omigosh, take a long hard look at it!” lit up Gadget.

“Z-z-z!” Zipper nearly fell right on the candle.

“Precisely — this is Norton Nimnul,” summarized Chip.

“We so much waited for you…” smiled Foxy at last of the whole time, brushing away a tear by her left ear.

“Who?! What?! What do you want with me, damned rodents?!” squeaked that one.

“What we want?” asked Dale to repeat: “This!” he sat down cross-legged before the whirligig, took its head by two fingers and whirled with gusto — the whirligig spun with squeal, and so swiftly that it was impossible to discern neither the head, nor anything another. When it has stopped at last, its eyes were looked every which way, and the mouth was breathing convulsively.

“Don’t do that again!!” yelled the whirligig when it has recovered breath: “I’d vomit, if I had a stomach!”

“Then will you, maybe, tell us what is going on here at all?” Tammy approached him: “We’re rather sick of this all. In the long run we’ve caught you, you is defeated!”

“Damnation!” whirligig-shaped Nimnul broke out into abuse: “You won’t hear anything from me!”

“In that case our attraction goes on,” and with an crafty smile Dale took its head by two fingers again.

“No-o-o! Please, no. I’ll tell all, I’ll confess to all!” the whirligig begged for mercy.

“But, you know, the essence of any whirligig is to whirl,” disagreed Dale and intended to spin it.

“Ah-ah-ah!” yelled the whirligig: “I am a victim! I am a victim of own criminal plan!”

“So that’s what it is…” Gadget examined everyone: “We all listen.”

“Approximately one month ago I, Norton Nimnul, the greatest of mad scientists, had conceived the most insidious plan of all accepted before. I’ve created the portable whirlformer — the device for transformation of any live creature to a whirligig.”

“And what such thing can be needed for?” frowned Gadget.

“You never can understand of all greatness of my genius! That’s great, if you can transform any live creature to a whirligig, he-he, he-he-he!”

“H’m, what a moronic head!” sniffed Tammy.

“He must be suffered so much…” sympathetically sobbed Foxy.

“Yes, I awfully suffered,” proceeded Nimnul, squealing: “when I’ve not noticed what damned rodents have filtered into my dark laboratory. While I was silently working in the corner, not visible and not heard for anybody, this one in a dunce’s turban and smock sneaked up from behind me and switched on my portable whirlformer right on me! And then crammed me into a foolish box while I was out cold!”

“How basely at a capture of a criminal!” jeered Dale.

“Ah, all the same you get mixed up in it!” exclaimed Chip, hardly containing himself.

“Well, did you think what is another thingy, lying behind my back?” and everyone looked askance at an uncomely-looking thing, in appearance — like a soldering iron, and inside — who knows it.

“So-o-o…” Chip blew off superfluous steam: “Well, okay, the crime is completely detected, we can congratulate each other and go to bed in the end.”

“No, Chip.”

“What is it now, Dale?”

“I haven’t told my scary story to the end yet.”

“What have you been thinking up?” blurted out Chip, and besides such disapproving clamor was beginning to it that nobody could sustain such pressure. Nobody. But not Dale.

“Don’t forget that I have captured Nimnul, and only thanks to me, probably, everything ended happily, while all of you have been sitting around the candle and trembling with fear. And now you’re gonna leave at all, never finding out the tragical ending of this scary story…”

“We know it, indeed,” objected Gadget: “Nimnul went mad.”

“That was in Monty’s story; that was long ago, and also one person cannot go mad twice after all!”

“Well, if it’s not for long, I’m ready,” answered Monty: “It’s even interesting to me.”

“That’s good,” bucked up Dale: “This all is not for long. The denouement is near…”

“All right, now your entrance,” Chip clapped his hands in a forced fashion.

“Well…” uttered Dale in earnest, entering into the image of an arrant storyteller: “Our story is coming to a upshot. The story was scary, but the end of it also should be, as I’ve promised, scary, very scary…”

“Goes again!” the squirrel roll up her eyes.

“Well, he promised so, indeed,” objected the bat: “Come on, Dale!”

“I would gladly unbosom it straight without concealing anything but there is the one among us who knows it best of all. I want this story to be finished by Nimnul himself,” and all together switched their attention to him.

“But I don’t know any stories!” protested that one.

“He knows best but wanna give a surprise for us,” said Dale and slyly winked at Nimnul but that one was only protesting. Then he bent over him again and took his head by two fingers, warning.

“Don’t you dare do it!” squealed the whirligig-shaped.

“So what happens if I’ll whirl you again? Your memory will be refreshed?”

“Just try me! You won’t have a chipmunk’s chance when I’ll be released!”

“That’s perfect, let’s have a spinning,” and Dale whirled it with all his strength ten times faster. The Rangers even more puzzled what is going on looked how Nimnul rotates on his axis, quacking and letting out metallic sounds.

“Oh-oh-oh!…” uttered him at last after stopping: “By ginger! Oh my head!”

“Oh lord, he hates me!” the chipmunk feigned fright.

“Not half! You’ve seriously infuriated me!” yelled the whirligig by a thin voice, jumping with anger up and down on its suction cup and helplessly rocking to and fro.

“Well, since you don’t want to tell us the true ending of this story, you will, maybe, tell us what is this blue switch on the device for?” And Dale pointed the finger at it and even switched it.

“Paltry slime! But it’s only for that my great invention could transform a whirligig back to a live creature.”

“Aha!!!” exclaimed Dale enigmatically and flashed by one eye: “And you say you don’t know the end of our scary story!”

“Hey, what you wanna do?” howled the Rangers all together.

“I’ve promised the ending will be scary, because we take part in the scary story! And there is no story more scary, than extremely scary for you personally!” said Dale, winking, and brought his finger nearer to the red button of the device.

“No, don’t do it!” howled the Rangers.

“What? Ah! Yes!! Do it!” howled Nimnul.

“Do you hate us?” Dale addressed the whirligig-shaped scientist, inciting.

“I do!”

“Will you tear us to pieces?”

“Just let me get at you!!”

“Very well,” Dale had time to speak before he pressed the button. Something like a flash has struck at Rangers’ eyes, dazzling for a one second, and since the second second a swiftly growing man began to appear before them. Monterey recoiled when in his face the huge boot of Nimnul has sprung up as if out of the ground.

“I’m so mad!!!” thundered the voice of the recovered own aspect, whereas all the others fell head over heels from the table:




© KOH, 2008. Original Russian writing.
© KOH, 2008. Translation to English.