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May 29, 2013 4 comments

Carl lifted the lid and removed a tiny glass bottle from the centrifuge. He held it up to the light, staring at the line between the thick, putrid yellow in the bottom of the vial and the clear fluid on the top. He grinned, a lopsided, maniacal thing that stretched his lips away from teeth that were broken and stained. “He who laughs last, laughs loudest bitches.”

***

Jane opened her eyes and was greeted with a blurry wave of soft colors. She felt like she was spinning on a bar stool but the way the images would suddenly stop and swerve back the other direction meant that she was just really drunk. “Where am I?”

The words weren’t clear and after a moment she was not sure that she had said them out loud at all. A cold, clammy thing pressed against her cheek and Jane screamed in surprise.

“You are alright. Just relax. You got very drunk last night and I brought you here. When you are feeling better, I can call you a cab.”

Cold washed over her as she tried to remember exactly what had happened. She still wasn’t firing on all cylinders and the harder she tried to focus and concentrate, the more the world spun.

“I think I need to sleep some more,” she tried to say as the slur and drool combined to remove any legibility from her sentence. She felt better for having tried to say it and slipped back into blackness.

***

Carl sat the recorded on the little table before pressing the button. “Field log six. Subject is female. Approximately five foot five inches and one hundred and forty five pounds with dyed blonde hair and brown eyes. I found her drinking to celebrate something in a dive bar on the south side and managed to drug her drink.”

He tuned to examine his catch. “She is moderately attractive but looks much older than the thirty four years that is listed on her driver’s license. A preliminary examination suggests that she is a heavy smoker and drinker with a history of drug use.”

Carl picked up a glass tube that was now filled with only the thick yellow liquid and a syringe. “Initial injection of one CC was ineffective. I am not sure if it is related to the drug I used to obtain the specimen or other substances in her system. I will administer a second dose of ten CC’s. If this fails then I will be forced to terminate this experiment and move on to find another subject.”

Jane didn’t move as he slipped the sharp steel tube into her vein and pushed the plunger on the syringe. She didn’t move when the results of his research hit her heart and spread throughout her system.

She didn’t move when her heart stopped.

“Damn it.”

They sat together, him staring up at the ceiling and her, cooling off in the stagnate air of the abandoned basement as Carl tried to figure out what he had done wrong. “It must have been the roofie,” he said as he stood up and began to pack his tools. “I will have to set up a holding room so that I can allow the drugs to wear off before I try this again.”

He walked out, leaving her tied to a wooden table in the basement of a house that was for sale.

***

The night was coming to an end. Birds began to sing and a chill dropped over the neighborhood as the air of pre-dawn settled down in a thick blanket on the dew covered grass. The first joggers were stretching in front of their homes as the guy with the chocolate Labrador used an old shopping bag to clean up after his buddy.

A ripple ran through the corpse’s body. Muscles convulsed and twitched as the un-breathing lump of meat had a seizure. A loud crack echoed around the concrete walls as one of Jane’s bones broke under the strain of the shifting muscles.

The Labrador began barking at the empty house. “Knock it off Charger,” his owner said as he gave the dog a jerk from the leash to get his attention.

The body had expanded. Hair sprouted out of every surface as the bones re-aligned into a new shape. Her bottle blonde hair fell out and was replaced by a long coat of the natural brown Jane had been born with. Fillings and bridge work were lost as the teeth came into place. Her manicure fell to the floor as the claws lengthened.

It took a few minutes, but then the basement was quiet again. The corpse of a middle aged bar fly had been replaced by the body of a monster from a B horror movie.

There was silence. The joggers ran by on the street outside and Charger was far enough away to have stopped barking. None of the neighborhood had started their cars yet and only a few had alarms set to go off in the next few minutes.

The sound was soft, it would have been almost impossible for anyone to have noticed the slow, rhythmic thump of a large heart beating.

Eyes that were no longer brown opened.

The silence of a sleepy suburb was shattered by one long, hungry, howl.

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Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror, Were

Musk

May 22, 2013 6 comments

Tom dropped to his knees, a gurgling sound coming from the hole in his throat as he tried to give voice to his pain. His eyes bulged out, fear replaced by agony before he shifted to the left. A moment later, the only noise that came from the corpse was the slow drip of blood.

Margret was crouched behind one of the desks that weren’t flipped over. She had her cheek pressed against the floor, no longer worried about messing up her make up, and was watching the room in front of her.

She had heard the commotion outside, but instead of jumping up with the others to go see what was happening, Margret had taken a moment to save her project and lock her computer.  A few seconds spent in the attempt to save her work saved her life. She had just stood up when Ann’s body had been thrown across the room to smack against either side of Mr. Franklins’ office.

Now, she watched as Tom’s eyes went glassy and the gigantic, hairy foot stepped down into the growing pool of the cute man’s blood.

She could hear it sniffing the air. A sniffle, two steps one way, another sniffle, and then two steps back the other. She knew it could smell her; her fear or the musky perfume that she had decided to wear. What it smelled didn’t matter. The monster was searching for her.

When it stepped around the desk behind her, Margret closed her eyes. “Please don’t let it hurt,” She whispered as she heard the sniffling speed up.

There was a soft, wispy sound beside her face, and Margret couldn’t help but crack open one eye to look at the bloody fur of the beasts paw beside her. There were bits of some stringy body part clinging to the curved claws that rested a few inches from her face and Margret squeaked before shutting her eyes tighter. “Please don’t let it hurt.”

Whatever this was, it sniffed all over her. Margret remained rigid, her face on the floor while bent over on all fours. She tried to keep quiet, but more to keep from screaming than because she thought the creature might leave her be.

The monster leaned further down. It lowered its weight onto her and put its face down beside her cheek. Tears and snot leaked down onto the floor as Margret bit down on her lip and drew blood.

When her cheek was touched, it was rough, warm and wet. One, long, drawn out touch that ran from the base of her neck, up her cheek and then came away at her hair line.

It had licked her.

The animal licked her again, then drew away and started sniffing again. It alternated between the two, until Margret’s face was as wet and sticky as the day her father had brought home her first puppy.

When the creature used its nose to push Margret from behind, she slid forward and sprawled out. The tongue licked behind her knee and Margret opened her eyes. A new terror had replaced her fear of being torn apart.

As she looked under her desk, trying to think of any escape from the attentions of whatever this was, she saw her overturned purse. The new bottle of perfume had rolled out and sat facing her.

“Full Moon Musk: Call The Wild.”

Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror, Were

Return

May 15, 2013 2 comments

The surface was smooth, a dark mirror that reflected the soft yellow light of the old bulbs in a way that made it hard to determine the color of the liquid in the bowl.

The bowl itself did not help. It was stone, old and rough and stained on the outside from years of use. It was so much older than anything else in the room that everyone looking at it felt small compared to the years the object had seen.

She gazed into the bowl, long white hair hanging down in a wispy veil. The veil was tattered, due to its age and a lack of care. The hairs stuck together, knots and tangles that added character to the veil, as if someone had woven in beads and baubles over the years.

We sat and watched. None of us dared to move or even take a deep breath for fear that we might disturb the seer and ruin our chance to get an answer.

My parents sat side by side, holding hands and waiting for an answer. Years had been passed while we were searching for my brother, but so far, none of us had heard anything.  We were so strung out from searching and hunting that we had neglected our health, walking skeletons that he might not recognize if he did return.

“There is no answer here.” The old fraud raised her head, revealing two white, sightless eyes. “He is not on the other side.”

“I thought the spirits could find him on this side?” My father looked furious, but I knew he was nothing but words. The man’s fire, passion and soul had been burned out of him by the search light he had carried on so many dark nights.

“The spirits could find him on either side if he were normal,” the old woman said. “You have kept something from me. He is not normal is he?”

My mother began to cry. My father trained an angry scowl on the seer as he wrapped his arms around my mother. It did no good, the old woman was blind, but if it made him feel better it was alright.

The crone turned her white eyes on me. “He is not normal and you knew that.”

Both parents froze and turned to face me. They stared at me with wide eyes while the blind woman stared at me with sightless ones. But as they looked, I stared back into the past, to the green and yellow eyes that had looked back at me from the porch. Those eyes had been glowing too bright to be hidden by the shadows.

When he had walked towards me, I dropped to my knees to pray. I mumbled hymns as he relieved himself on my down turned head. I had stayed there, terrified of nothing but a pair of eyes as he walked away. I never told anyone. I couldn’t tell them. If they believed me, believed that my brother was possessed, then our whole family would have been burned.

“Say the word child. There is only one and it is the truth.”

“What is she talking about?”

“What do you know young lady?”

“Say the word child. It is the only way to give them peace.”

I was crying. Big, salty tears streaked down my face as I tried to look at my mother. Her face was so blurry. My father’s face was red, despite my inability to see the details.

“What did you see?” The old woman’s voice was so quiet that I wondered if she had spoken aloud or if I had imagined it.

I turned to the window, unable to face them when I said it, but found my voice stolen. A single, croaking sound rumbled out of my throat as I saw his eyes glowing at me through the glass again.

The seer gasped and keeled over. I was right behind her and the last sound I heard as I felt the weight of my skull drag me backward to the floor was a slimy voice that made me imagine slugs crawling on my arms.

“I am home.”

Categories: Horror

Graverobbers

May 8, 2013 3 comments

Torin pressed his back to the cold, damp wall and bit his lip in an effort to keep from screaming. His hands clenched the handle of a beautiful axe, but his arms betrayed him, quivering from fright at what he had just witnessed. The big man fought to slow his panic. He forced himself to take deep, lung filling breaths of the dank air that filled the cavern. He tried to direct his mind to examine the mundane details of the odors in this hellish place so that he might master the fear that made his knees quake.

The warrior could smell the rotting roots and the heady scent of the fungus that they had walked over as the group had entered. He and his friends had stood in a low fog of spores as they stared at the remains of a once great tomb.

“I told you the map was real.” The short man in the front turned around to look at them. He turned from face to face, looking up at Torin so that he could look each of the group in the eyes. “The Necropolis of Dranoel.”

“Yes Marcus, you were right,” the heavily armored man on the far right of the group said. “And I do owe you an apology for doubting you.”

“No Nale, you owe me a lot of beer when we get done.”

The group laughed at the rogue’s concept of apology as they headed toward what they had believed to be a simple place to pillage.

As they walked forward, Orin said, “All accounts say that Dranoel was a minor necromancer who had built a tomb the size of a village as a base of power. As far as anyone knows he was hunted and killed by the King’s guard for grave robbing. In truth, it was a preemptive measure to quell the possibility of threat. The wizard’s body was burned and the ashes scattered long ago.”

Torin looked at the imposing structure as the group approached. This was no town, it was a fortress. But, he figured that legends were often wrong so as long as there was treasure, he didn’t care about the buildings description.

There hadn’t been any more laughter after that. There had been nothing but eerie silence as the group methodically explored the ruins. There was a great deal of treasure for a minor necromancer, but nobody complained.

They fought into the heart of the complex, long dead corpses rising up to meet them as they went. They plundered, many of them finding wonderful things that would fetch piles of gold and kegs of beer.

They explored, until they found the mistress of the necropolis.

The legends had been close. Dranoel had indeed been burnt and scattered. What the legends had not known was that Dranoel had been an apprentice. The portrait of him standing beside his mistress showed a beautiful and terrifying woman. The group had stood and marveled at the work until the cleric stepped closer to examine it. The creature that fell upon him had once been voluptuous, but it was now wrapped in linen and its touch had rotted poor Orin’s head off his shoulders before his prayers could escape his lips. The others ran as his attacker turned on them.

The creatures in the deep vaults were powerful. The men had no names for most of them. Almost ever one of them had been a woman and with each encounter, another of Torin’s friends fell.

Torin had watched a vampire tear Nale’s throat out. The creature had been voluptuous and beautiful. It had mesmerized three others, so that despite his yelling, they stood there and waited for her to finish his leader and come for them.

Marcus had been swarmed by spiders made out of bone and skull. Some of them still had long braids trailing from the stained bone.  Marcus was bitten, over and over, until he fell and screamed while blood bubbled out of his mouth to obscure the sound.

Gore spattered Torin’s armor. The stink of it mixed with the air to make the big fighter want to vomit. Twenty men had entered the city. One man now tried to calm himself enough to think of a way out of the hell he had entered.

He was alone. He was still blessed with dark sight but Torin didn’t know how long the spell would last with his friend dead.

It was so cold. Even for a cave, the air felt frigid. In the moon light of the seeing, he saw his breath. Torin had never noticed seeing his breath while underground before.

Goose flesh erupted over his body. Shivering from fear became shivering to keep warm.

Torin closed his eyes, squeezing them while grinding his teeth together to keep his jaws from chattering.

It seemed that the hall was getting brighter. Even with his eyes shut, the darkness was less than it should have been. It soon seemed like he was lying outside, facing the sky, waiting for the sun to come out from behind a thin cloud.

The warrior lost the war with his jaw, and the clicking of his chattering teeth sounded like an army running down the hall towards him.

The light became brighter. Torin now squinted his eyes shut against the brightness. There was no warmth, he felt as if he were again standing guard duty in the southern garrison. Standing and holding a pike while frost spread across the poor excuse for a cloak that they had given him. He tightened his jaw, managing to stop the chattering long enough to hear one whispered word.

A single word, so quiet that it might have been whispered by his mother when she died in the night.

“Handsome.”

If the walls had ears would the doors have mouths

May 1, 2013 7 comments

Thomas struck the heavy wooden door with the hilt of his dagger. His muffled curse was lost in the echoing boom of the strike. “Why won’t you open?”

“Because I am locked.”

The next sound that escaped Thomas’s mouth could have been described as any number of things. “A girly holler”, “An effeminate exclamation” or “A feminan utterance” would have all worked.

“You scream like a little bitch,” was the description that Joshua used. “You spend your time selling trinkets to any creature that will buy them and you wet yourself when a door talks to you?”

“Shut up. You are not the one standing in front of it.”

The door laughed, a deep booming that had it rattling in its frame. “You mortals are hilarious.”

The two men looked at each other and then back at the door. Joshua hefted his axe and Thomas picked up his torch.

“Maybe we can convince you to unlock and allow us past?” Thomas bounced the axe against his palm for emphasis.

“You may make one request,” The door replied, its voice didn’t seem impressed by Thomas’s threat but it was a magic door, what would or would not impress it was hard to determine.

“I wish you would grant us entrance into the dungeon.” Thomas said.

“I said that you could make one request, not a wish.”

Joshua smiled at the door as he slapped Thomas on the back of the head. He stepped forward and asked, “Will you unlock so that we may open you please?”

The door seemed to bow and shift. Joshua turned and smirked at Thomas, “It looks like it is smiling.”

Thomas shook his head, “Looks like an evil smile to me.”

The door didn’t respond to that. A moment later, the two explorers heard the click of the lock being opened.

“Doesn’t matter what it looked like,” Joshua said. “We can go in now.”

*****

“I wonder how we get through this door,” Hamlin said as he examined the lock. “Someone tried to pick this once before but I don’t think it worked. These scratches are a sign of a novice fighting with that lock.”

“I will tell you what I told them,” the door responded. “You may make one request.”

The thief cocked his head as he looked at the door from where he had leaped to the side when it began to speak. “Fine,” Hamlin said. “I want you …”

“Stop!”

The short man turned to look at the men standing behind him. The hardened group of warriors and thieves had spent years crawling through dungeons and raiding tombs under the guidance of the priest who had just interrupted him. Had any other man done that, Hamlin would have tossed a blade into his throat without pausing in his request. Draly, however, had saved his life often enough to earn a stay of execution.

“I think our request can be better used another way.”

Hamlin nodded, putting his tools away as he did so. The cleric stepped directly in front of the door.

“Make your request.” The door’s tone had changed, it was now brooding and menacing.

One of the fighters in the back elbowed his brother and whispered, “I don’t think it likes him.”

Draly ignored them and focused on the door. “I want you to tell me the story of what happened to the last group you granted a request.”

The door sighed, “They died forty feet down the hall when they were attacked by a shadow squid.”

The fighters tucked away their weapons and drew out torches. Draly turned to Hamlin, “See, the information was more valuable than simply granting us access to the hall.”

“So how do you plan to get past the door then?”

“Take it off of it hinges,” Draly said as he raised one arm to point at the side of the door. “They are on our side. We just need to hammer the pins out.”

The door whimpered as the men moved forward.

Categories: Fantasy, Flash Fiction