THE CURSED BLANKET OF AKHETATEN

A Goosepimples Story For Big Kids Who Aren't Scared Of Sleeping Without A Night Light

"FOR A VERY SPECIAL GRANDDAUGHTER." Well, that was awfully thoughtful, although Diane wondered if her grandmother would ever stop sending presents. After all, she was 33, and a successful advertising executive. Christmas and her birthday were one thing, but Valentine's Day gifts?

Still, it was hard to be mad at such a nice gesture.

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The wearable blanket was warmer and softer than Diane had expected. A little tacky, sure, but in a fun way, right? And, oh, just imagine the look on Brad's face when he came home and saw another piece of Michigan gear in their condo! "Guess you shouldn't have gone to UCF," Diane chuckled. And with that she curled up on the sofa for a nap.

When Diane awoke, the condominium was pitch black and silent. "Brad?" she called. There was no response. As Diane pushed her way off the sofa, she noticed something...different about the blanket.

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Staring at the garment with a confused look, she tried to make sense of the situation. "Maybe I just wasn't paying close attention when I opened it. I saw the yellow and the M and my brain just assumed it was Michigan instead of Missouri. That must be it." Diane began to take the blanket off, but found it - as if it had conscious thought - cinching itself tighter around her shoulders.

"Stupid blanket! It must be defective! I told Grandma to stop trusting those hucksters at QV-"

"siiiiiiiiiiiiiileeeeeeeence," came the whisper of a disembodied voice, freezing Diane in her tracks. "weeeeee are in controooooooooooool."

Now Diane was very worried. Had she left the gas on? Was she having an aneurysm? Ghosts couldn't be real. Then, the blanket tugged at her again.

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"ohhhhh we are verrrrrrry reallllll i assuuuuuuuure youuuuuuuu," hissed the terrible invisibility.

"Who are you? Why are you doing this to me? I don't like Illinois! I don't even think they're on television!" screamed Diane. She had to find her phone and call - well, nobody would believe her, but they'd have to send someone to help all the same. If she could only reach her hand inside the blanket and into her pocket...

"nooooooooooo diaaaaaaane you doooooon't want to dooooooo thaaaaaat." The blanket forcefully pinned her arms back, holding them there with a strength that was as cold as it was resolute. "you will oooooooonly make this woooooooooooooorse."

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"You have to get out of here," thought Diane, "and you have to do it now." Sweat pouring from her brow, she racked her brain for a solution. Ah! The sliding door! She always left it open when she napped, with just the screen closed to keep out bugs! All she had to do was kick it out and get to a neighbor's house.

Running to the back of the condo, the blanket working itself tighter and tighter around her torso, Diane unleashed kick after kick against the screen door's frame. It was sturdier than she expected, but it began to give way.

"suuuuuuuurely you won't leave the hoooooooouse dressed like thaaaaaaat?"

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No one ever saw Diane after that day.

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