Friday, August 19, 2011

Dusk: Closing Time

Charlie stepped outside as a ship’s captain meets a coming storm. He wrapped his knuckles around the metal pizza peel, and scanned the dark places of the parking lot. There were two lights in the parking lot. One was flickering, threatening to go out. It smelled wet outside; it had not yet begun to rain but it would. “Charlie? Is it safe to come out?” Called a meek voice from the pizzerias glass door. Karen. “No, uh – I don’t think it’s safe, not yet. Shut the door and don’t answer it for anyone.” The little brass bell on the door jangled as she shut the door. “Wait – which car is yours?” Charlie asked, realizing she had given him her keys, but he had no idea which car was hers. Karen shook her head, confused, as if she couldn’t understand what he was saying. “Which car is yours?” He said again, a little louder. She said something but her voice was dull and unclear. “Open the door, Karen,” Charlie made to move back to the door. Karen seemed hesitant. “Goddamnit, Karen – I mean don’t open for anyone but me.” Charlie heard a sound – like leaves crunching, footsteps over asphalt – someone was coming.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

We are your overlords

Something I'd like to hear from those of you who have read what I've posted; is there anything in particular you'd like to see expanded or revisited? Dusk and The Shadow Down the Street are two novels I am working on, while the other stories have been passing interests in a particular theme or element.

I'm working on a couple short stories right now, all of which - and this will be true for most, if not all, of my other work - will be centered around science fiction with elements of horror. These range from childrens stories, to what hopefully will spark your imagination and creep you out just a bit. I've got a dozen more chapters of Dusk ready to be posted, while the Shadow Down the Street is under constant revision - after this post, I'm updating the blurb 'Autumn' with its most recent incarnation - take a look if it interests you.

What I'm really asking is what kind of content would interest you? Should I keep posting my stories, or work on some sort of prompt driven content, i.e you create a prompt, and I make that into a story. Make sense? Just some ideas i've had floating around today.

Let me hear what you'd like to see more of! DuskThe Shadow Down the Street ? Or something new?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Shadow Down the Street: Autumn


The small bedroom was cold. White moonlight filtered in through two drapes which were left slightly agape. The bedroom was that of a young boy; army men and trains littered the room. Brad lay, squeezing his eyes shut, pretending to be asleep.

                                                Tap. Tap. Tap.

                The noise. He had heard it once before – almost like nails on chalkboard – at his window. A dark figure blocked out a portion of the fey moonlight. Brad could see his breath in translucent plumes. “Open the window, Bradley,” whined a hollow voice from the other side of the glass. Brad's heart stopped. He had awoken from a nightmare to the intense feeling of dread - of being watched. Brad was gripped with terror; he could not scream or cry for help. He could not even move. He heard what sounded like hands toying with the locking mechanism, feeling around the door for an opening, the way rodents seek dark places.

                Brad thought he could hear whatever it was breathing, or panting – it sounded hungry. “You don’t need to let me in, Bradley.” Said the whisper soft voice. He did not know if what it was had eyes, but he felt them, of this he was sure, on him – penetrating him. It knew he was inside. It wasn't talking out loud - it was talking to him, through the window, like there wasn't anything there at all. It felt like he was slowly drowning in some unseen river. “And what did he mean; I don't have to let it in? Don't you have to invite evil things into your house?”  And then he had a clear and resounding idea: what if that is a load of shit. What if all that was between him and death was a thin piece of glass?

                A dog howled somewhere in the night, breaking the long moments of silent terror. Brad felt whatever it was leave. He felt its dead gaze lift, and the room began to warm. Bradley had felt this way before, in moments before fully waking from dreams, in the shadows of his room and under his bed – in his nightmares. It was evil, and it knew his name.

                Brad would lay there for the long hours to come, til the sun rose, all the while trying to convince himself he'd had a nightmare, that he had hallucinated the entire thing - he'd rather be crazy than have... whatever it was coming to his window in the middle of the night. At some point before noon sleep took him, leaving him with no dreams. He slept through the rest of the house waking up, doing their daily routine; the alarms, the clang of pots and pans, the showers, and the goodbyes. He even slept through the sirens of an ambulance which came barreling down Fig Street, and the growing throng of noise coming from the house on the corner.

                The woman who lived in the house was kept to herself. She was a large women who wore the type of gown that is the trademark of the morbidly obese; the muumuu. She lived there alone, aside from her basset hound Frank. She never said hello to the neighbors, never watered her lawn, and never had decorations at Halloween or Christmas. And she never would. She was dead.

                The Mailman who had only known her in passing conversation noticed her door left ajar, and went inside to see if she was okay. Typically her mutt would have caused a commotion, even at the slightest noise - but he was nowhere to be found. "Hello? Is anyone home? I saw you're door open - I wanted to see if everything was alright. Is there anyone home?" No answer. Her house was plainly decorated, if you can call doilies and porcelain figurines decorations, but Henry - the Mailman - felt that the house was somehow soured, the vice on his stomach - or more precisely his sack - grew tighter. Even before he found her body he knew something was wrong. He found her in the backyard, crumpled amongst the weeds of what used to be a flower garden. The hound, though, her constant companion, was gone.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Head: Short Story

In the moments before dusk while the autumn sun was slowly setting and the winds still played their sprinkling notes over red and golden leaves, a boy lead his father down a dirt path through a small park. “There it is dad.” The boy, who could be no older than eleven said. He extended his index finger and pointed. His father looked at where his son pointed, paused for a moment, and cringed. “Son of a… you weren’t fibbin’,” the father said, a little astonished. A head hung from the wild mass of oak tree in front of the man and his son.

The Shadow Down the Street

There are houses like it in most small towns. Some are set about a mile out of town, as if peering in coldly, its windows dim eyes and the air around it stale, while others are nestled tightly like teeth, its decay sorely sticking out. This is the house that people jokingly suggest as haunted as they pass by, or the house that a friend of a friend swears he heard something weird one night; both would be right, as both are true. The house is haunted, in a sense, like all houses are haunted. A place absorbs a memory – sometimes you can feel it on a hot day – like walking into a dream, or sometimes late at night when the midnight mist rolls in and the street lamps become glowing golden orbs, and the last days of summer feel like they will last forever.

Dusk

No one ever changes. As much as they try to explain away or justify the things they have done in the past, justify their actions, or erase their blemishes - a liar is a liar. A cheat is a cheat. A thief is a thief. No one ever changes. "What the fuck are you doing?" James jabbed my side. I felt a pang - an explosion of sharp pain in my ribs. "Fucking run, goddammit!" James grabbed my shoulders and shook me. His brown hair fell over his blue eyes; eyes which betrayed his generally cool demeanor. His eyes were filled with panic.. and terror. My feet were planted. I was frozen - I couldn't move. The controller, the signal or receptor, or whatever the fuck you call it, jumped to the back of my mind, in some corner, too scared to do anything but run - leaving me here, scared shitless, forced to watch. I really wish I wasn't such a pussy. Another shot rang off in the night. I then became acutely aware I may have pissed myself.