Home > Cthulhu Mythos, Flash Fiction, Horror, Writing > Like a Headless Chicken

Like a Headless Chicken

I have been working on rush jobs during the day and working outside during the evening and weekends. This doesn’t leave a whole lot of time to write.

That said, I do have quite a bit of writing done. I am almost half way through the final edit of my first book. This is a modern fantasy story with wizards and monsters living in the world today. My working title is Double Occupancy. Once I finish the editing, I will be submitting this to agents and trying to find representation. Wish me luck.

I have also submitted a handful of stories to a number of different places and I am waiting to see if any of them will be accepted. One of them, a pre-colonial Native American’s and Cthulhu story, has been accepted and I am waiting to get the marked up copy from the editors. I will wait to announce it fully until we are closer to publication.

I love working with editors. I have heard of other writers who go on tilt when someone marks up their submission. I don’t get this. The editor is there to help your work make more money. What part of this is a problem?

Oh well, like I said, wish me luck and I hope to have good news to report next time.

L. E. White

Recorded

Dr. Martin sat a tiny digital recorder on the table between them and pressed the little green button. There wasn’t a sound, but the square display flashed and changed from its reflective black surface to a soft, dark grey with a single white line across it. The doctor cleared his throat, and the line spiked up and down at the sound.

“This is Dr. Zackery Martin, interview tape 12 with patient Allen Black.” The movement of the display mapped the modulation of the voice it recorded. Spikes up and down showed that he was speaking in an even, steady voice.

The flat line bounced up and down as the doctor made a variety of noises while shifting in his seat and adjusting his clip board. There was one final spike when he clicked his pen into writing position and then the line went flat. It remained that way while he looked at his subject. Neither said a word for at least a minute.

“Allen, is there anything you would like to say before we begin?”

The line bobbled a little as it recorded the sound of the couch cushion rubbing against Allen’s head while he shook it from side to side.

“Alright then, would you please continue your story from where you left off yesterday?”

“I will.” The voice that answered Dr. Martin was soft and deep. When he heard it, he always thought that it sounded very calming. The voice did not draw attention to the speaker and Dr. Martin assumed that it would be easy to miss in a crowd.

He looked down at the recorder. As Allen spoke, the line would drop down below the mean, but it never spiked up. Dr. Martin had experimented with his recorder for hours after his first interview with Allen. For everyone he recorded, the voice would cause the line to move up and down, showing more than just volumn, but modulation.

Allen’s voice never spiked.

As Dr. Martin watched in fascination, he became lost, drowning out the words as he watched the device.

“We had laid the candles out in a large circle around the woman who was suspended above the well. She did not scream or cry, because she believed that we were about to make the world a better place. The all knelt, bending until their heads rested upon the earth. Once they were in place, I struck the triangle, signaling that they begin their chanting.”

Dr. Martin started when Allen paused for breath. He looked down at his tablet and saw a strange symbol of curving lines and tiny circles that he had doodled. “What was the chant,” he asked, running his finger over the symbol.

“Nig hi ulath. Me go Fei Nu Areth.”

Dr. Martin felt a tiny shock where his finger traced the symbol. It was like he had just touched the doorknob after walking across the carpet. It was the same snapping sensation as he remembered from childhood.

The doctor glanced at the recorder and his eyes widened. As Allen continued the chant, the modulation stopped moving at all. Dr. Martin had the sudden image of those words in the air, moving out of the room and down the hall rather than into the recorder.

When he lifted his eyes to look at the back of his patient’s head, Dr. Martin saw the air between them shimmer, like heat rising off the road in the distance. It wavered and distorted for a moment before the doctor realized that the disturbance was expanding.

“Allen,” he said, and the fear in his voice made it shake. He saw that on the recorder.

Allen stopped chanting. The air shimmered for another moment before the effect went away.

Dr. Martin let out a deep breath of relief. He opened his mouth to ask Allen to continue his story, but stopped when he felt the presence of someone else in the room behind him.

The doctor turned to see who was there and gasped.

Allen laughed, a hysterical, high pitched laugh while lying on the couch with his eyes squeezed tight. The recorder moved up and down, not in time with Allen’s laughter, but with the muffled, wet screams of the Doctor.

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  1. July 4, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    That last line was absolutely creepy!

    • July 7, 2014 at 11:36 AM

      I am really glad to hear that you liked it. Thanks.

  2. ganymeder
    July 4, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    Muffled, wet screams was the perfect, creepy touch to this story! Well done!

    • July 7, 2014 at 11:39 AM

      Thanks. I appreciate that.

      I am trying to leave a little more to the reader’s imagination. I think my recent work is over doing it.

      Now to see if I can keep it up.

  1. July 5, 2014 at 7:03 PM

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