“I would not open Windows into men’s Souls”. (Queen Elizabeth I).
What lies behind that grin? Virtue or sin?
You smile in denial. The night is closing in.
“I would not open Windows into men’s Souls”. (Queen Elizabeth I).
What lies behind that grin? Virtue or sin?
You smile in denial. The night is closing in.
Many thanks to Emma (https://creative5word.wordpress.com/) for the below guest post which takes the form of a short story. Emma has also submitted a further post which will appear later in the week. Thank you Emma!
Primal By Emma Tomlinson
The sky begins to darken and my own footprints create an echoing sound, vacant, yet soft crunching, on the hardened ground. I can feel the moist air dampening my skin, the freshness almost choking me as I walk further into the night. Direction seems futile now as every turn I make appears identical and remains vast.
I can vaguely hear sounds from around me, unnatural sounds, which evoke an unwelcome chill to travel down my spine. I can feel the tiny hairs on my body rising like soldiers and reacting in frozen response. The trees appear to thicken and their branches move slow but deliberate, my path becoming narrow and overgrown.
I quicken my pace, aware my breathing is becoming heavier with each step. I can see my breath spiralling in front of me, small clouds of nothingness. I feel alone. I feel afraid.
From my right I can hear a strange panting; I can feel a sensation of being watched. The little hairs stand taller as I realise that the noise is coming closer. With fear and momentum rising, I try to remain calm and take longer strides, putting more distance between them and me. My purposeful steps are matching the thuds within my heart, rhythmic and strong. My ears explode almost with the sound, the blood cursing through my every vein.
I now feel like the hunted as I feel my every sense coming alive. My vision is becoming stronger, accustoming to the dark and now fuelled by the overwhelming fear that has almost paralysed my body. I continue. To stop is not an option. I now know my body is responding in pure survival mode. My legs feel stronger and I can feel the blood pooling near my muscles, alert, ready for the unknown.
The noises are surrounding me now. There are others. No longer a lone threat, I can feel eyes feeding on me, stalking me. Watching my every move.
I begin to feel faint, slightly disorientated and nauseas. I feel my body shivering. I pull up my hood, my coat no longer providing heat. I am drenched but there is no rain. My own perspiration is collecting in small pools on my body, although my hands remain cold and icy.
My head begins to throb and I reach up to soothe my temple. The cold of my hand shocks me and I become alert once more.
My senses tell me they are close now. My own footsteps are casting continuous echoes all around me. I realise too late that these secondary noises were not me. It was them. But I cannot escape now.
They reach me before I can react. I feel the impact and lose my footing before falling, my hairband fluttering loose and landing on the uneven earth. I can hear screaming. I realise that it is coming from me.
I awake to a continuous tone. I recognise the music from my phone. I had specifically chosen an amazon theme, the cool sounds of nature, to softly shake the sleep from my eyes.
Realisation hits me and I sit up to survey my surroundings. My heart begins to pound once more in isolated apprehension. As my eyes take in the scenery of my bedroom wall, I can feel a smile spreading from my lips. My bedspread tucked under me, my dog by my side.
A dream. Only a simple dream.
The mind of a deep thinker…or complete rubbish…it is all down to interpretation and perception…
“World War I was the underlying cause of the Bolshevik Revolution. Discuss”.
History has never been my strong point to put it mildly! I guess that its more complicated than the question suggests. Besides the war,the “great man” theory of history must have played a part. Surely old Vladimir Lenin’s powerful personality must have influenced the overthrow of the Tsarist regime. I mean it stands to reason, doesn’t it?
If it wasn’t for all my partying I’d probably be better able to answer that damn question. Any excuse for a party and you can bet your bottom dollar, I’ll be there.
“Hi Stan, mum and dad are away for the weekend, fancy coming over tonight?”
I was sitting on my bed, Ipad in hand willing myself to tackle that bloody history assignment when that text from Pete arrived. Sod Tsar Nicholas II and the Communists. It was nearly 100 years ago, what the hells it got to do with the here and now. I’ve only recently turned 18, for christ’s sake I’ve better things to do than bury myself in dusty old books, I’m off to Pete’s place.
She’s really something. That long black hair and long, toned bare legs reaching right up to her armpits.
“Hi I’m Stan, you’re gorgeous. Has anyone ever told you that?” Shit what a corney chat up line. If I where her I’d tell me to go and screw myself. What a prat you are Stan. You haven’t got a bloody clue how to chat to the ladies!
“Hi, I’m Ilana” she says in slightly accented English, fixing me with those dark eyes of her’s.
“Has anyone ever told you how sexy you sound Ilana?” If I didn’t blow it the first time I opened my big mouth then I’ve sure as hell made a prize idiot of myself this time. Any moment now she’ll adopt that look of withering contempt women’s faces take on whenever I’ve uttered a few sentences.
“Thanks, you’re a sweet guy. My family’s from Hungary. I came here as a little girl but I’ve still got a slight accent”.
“Really, didn’t the Soviets invade Hungary in the 1950’s?”
“Yes, in 1956. Its known as the Hungarian Uprising. My parents are from an ancient Magyar family, aristocrats in fact. When the Soviet tanks rolled in they managed to flee to the UK”.
Wow perhaps she can help me with my essay and, even if she can’t I just want to spend as much time as possible chatting to this gorgeous girl. “Do you know much about the Bolshevik Revolution?”
She throws back her head and laughs, her perfect white teeth glinting in the candlelight (Pete’s always had a thing for candles, he says it makes the atmosphere more intimate).
Stan” she says entwining her fingers in mine) history is my passion. Since the birth of civilisation my people have been persecuted and killed. The Hungarian puppitt government was just one manifestation of the suffering inflicted on my race. So, yes I know all about the Bolshevik Revolution and it’s effects on my people”.
“Do you think you could help me with an essay on the causes of the Revolution? I need to hand it in on Monday morning”.
“How about tomorrow, at, say 1 pm?” I say knowing full well that my parents will be visiting friends on Saturday and won’t return until Sunday evening.
“I’m not a daytime girl. I party all night and sleep late into the day” she says squeezing my hand. Thrills of anticipation shoot through me. “I’ll be with you just as the moon rises which (she says consulting her mobile) will be a little after 9”.
“Hello Stan” she says, looking absolutely stunning in a very short red dress which leaves little to the imagination.
“Hi Ilana. Come in” I say trying not to blush.
“Thank you”. Her Hungarian accent, barely imperceptible yesterday, seems much more pronounced this evening. Perhaps it’s the lack of loud music which makes me notice such things.
We walk through into the lounge.
“Would you like a drink?”
“No, just sit next to me” she says patting the sofa.
I plop down next to her. “Stan you are a very handsome man” she says her blood red lips parting in a smile to reveal those amazingly white teeth. So perfect. Sharp little daggers of enamel glistening under the overhead light. I draw back involuntarily.
“Stan, I thought you liked me, is something wrong?” she says her delicate tongue moistening those ruby lips.
“No its just that” I trail off my eyes fixed on those needle sharp little teeth.
“It’s a privilege experienced by very few men to enjoy the intense pleasure of one such as I” she says her mouth inches away from mine. She leans in softly taking my face in her hands. Her lips so soft on my neck. Feather like kisses sending waves of delight through me. A sharp scratch like a needle when one gives blood. She laps greedily as a cat drinks milk. I am giddy with fear and desire.
The child dreads the bogeyman, the figment of fevered imaginings. The creature lurking in dark corners, croutched, like a cat ready to pounce. Adults frighten children half to death with ghosts, ghouls and other things which go bump at the dead of night. Kids lie in the dark, needing the toilet but not daring to leave the relative safety of their beds, for ghastly demons lie in wait for the unwary child. But the abused child, he who is to terrified to speak knows that there are no goblins waiting to torment him for he lives in hell and endures the torment of a flesh and blood devil. Oh to be the child frightend of ghosts and ghouls. How lucky in comparison is he?
I love you because I can tell you my darkest secrets, things which would make the strongest of men go blubbering in search of his mummy. You judge me not, my blackest fantasies are your deepest desires.
In the depths of night when all but the vampire sleeps we speak of philosophy, of the darkness which lurks within the human heart. You are always there for me, my girl beautiful and serene. You laugh in time with my laughter and weep as I weep. Never changing, fixed, emortal caught in the brightness of my screen you are my virtual girlfriend, a machine.
I vividly recall as a child sitting in the darkened school library reading Edgar Alan Poe’s “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” and feeling a chill run down my spine at the thought of the continuing beating of the dead man’s heart in Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart”. There is something chillingly wonderful about frightening oneself half to death. Attending a boarding school I recollect lying in bed in the dormatories with their wooden floors telling and listening to others relate tales of ghosts and ghouls. Having listened to such stories it was no easy matter to pass a peaceful night’s sleep as my dreams where inhabited by things which go bump in the night.
“Great British Horror” Volume 1 will not disappoint those who enjoy the horror genre. I have only read the first story, “The Thing Behind the Door” and I am hooked already. John a boy who has suffered terrible bullying at the hands of 3 fellow pupils during his attendance at a brutal school takes a hideous revenge on his tormentors and their children. The story begins prosaically enough with John feeling a sense of relief at the death of the parents who maltreated him. However the tale soon takes a darker turn with John determining to kill the children of Clayton, Louise and Jennifer, the people who tormented him during his school days. John either consciously or unconsciously summons “the thing behind the door” which exacts a terrible vengeance by killing the innocent children of John’s former tormentors. We never see “the thing” clearly. It is a mere shadow on the wall or, more frequently a menacing presence pervading the derelict school to which Clayton, Louise and Jennifer return in order to kill John who they know will be there. The story ends in blood and gore with all the protaganists meeting grizzly ends. Throughout the narrative it is the satanic presence, “the thing behind the door” which dominates although it is only fleetingly glimpsed by the people in the story.
“The Thing Behind The Door” is a chilling tale of what can happen when evil begets evil. The cruelty of Louise, Jennifer and Clayton comes back to haunt them and their families with a terrible vengeance. There is no humanity in this tale, only death and darkness.
On a positive note all the proceeds from the sale of the book go to Centrepoint a charity which helps young homeless people in the UK.
For “Great British Horror” Volume 1 please visit http://www.amazon.co.uk/Great-British-Horror-Volume-ebook/dp/B00E3D6CH0. My collection of short stories, “The First Time” is free in the Kindle store from 4-8 October, http://newauthoronline.com/2013/10/04/free-book-promotion/
Wanker flirting with that barmaid like that. He says that he was just having a laugh but I’m sick of it. Everytime we go out it’s the same
“Oh its just a laugh Lucy. Just chill out, get a life”.
“I’ll get a life without you” I told him as I threw my vodka and coke in his face. He was furious but give him his due he didn’t retaliate. He’s a womanising arsehole but he has never been violent.
Its dark walking home. Still its only 20 minutes from the pub to my flat. He’d better not think of coming back there, tosser! Shit its raining. I’ll be drenched. I new that I should have called a cab but I was so het up, not thinking straight.
That blokes been following me for the past few minutes. Don’t panic Lucy it’s a coincidence. He just happens to be going in the same direction as you. I can’t see his face. That hat pulled down almost hiding his eyes, I don’t like it. Christ he’s walking fast, almost running. Keep calm he just wants to get home out of the rain the same as you. But he’s running straight at you. Fuck the alley’s empty just this weirdo and me. Scream, call for help. But he hasn’t done anything, he’s only running. Shout anyway it will scare him away.
“Help, help someone please help”.
There are no houses around here. No one can hear me. I shouldn’t have gone down this short cut, It saves 5 minutes but its taken me away from the main street. Oh Christ why didn’t I call a cab. Please, please god help me. He’s running now. I can here him calling for me to stop. You must be fucking joking mate I’m not stopping for you! I can’t run in these heels. Off they come. I haven’t been to the gym for ages. God I’m so out of condition I’m wheezing like an old man. My chest’s killing me and I’ve a stitch in my right side. Must rest. Can’t rest he’ll catch you. Must stop for a moment. I can’t. Oh fuck he’s still gaining on me I wish I’d kept going to the gym with the girls. Please, please no he’s almost on top of me. Run, Run Lucy, must get away. I can see the street lights up ahead. Just one more spurt and your back in civilisation.
He’s waving. What the hell does he expect me to do, I’m not stopping! Oh Christ he’s caught up with me. He’s got something in his hand and he’s pointing it at me. God is it a gun? Why me?
“You left this on the bar. God lady you where in a hurry. I thought I’d never catch up with you. This is your mobile isn’t it?”
Like a living thing it lurked in the spare room quietly clicking away to itself. No one knew about it save for the boy and he told no one. What would have been the point of telling? Had he told they would have called him mad, a strange child with a tenuous grip on reality the adults would have remarked. Sometimes even he doubted the existence of the thing. During the day the room stood silent and empty except for the presence of a chest of drawers, a single bed and a wardrobe. The homely presence of the furniture, solid and dependable reassured the boy during daylight that all was well in the house. When the sun shonne on the walls the horses imprinted on the wall paper filled the child with delight. He imagined them galloping across sunlit green fields their long mains blowing in the wind. He galloped with them wild and free, nothing could hurt him, his spirit was one with the sky and the wind.
At night the thing came. Click, click it said crouching in it’s corner coiled and ready to pounce. The thing never left it’s lair but the knowledge of the loathsome presence filled him with dread. Click, click it said waiting patiently in the dark for it’s prey.
Looking back he never could recall having entered the room. Some how or other he was there in the presence of the unspeakable clicking thing. It never spoke, perhaps it was incapable of speech, the thing merely bided it’s time and when the time was right struck like a beast launching itself upon his prey. Click, click the machine whispered to itself it’s tentacles reaching for the boy’s neck. Choking he fought with the thing. It was strong but he always managed to wriggle away somehow. Perhaps the thing wanted him to escape. Like a cat which takes pleasure in catching a mouse, releasing it and giving chase once more the thing would let him go only to wait, patiently for the next tussle.
He called it the strangling machine on account of it’s propensity to choke him. Click, click, click echoing down the years the thing reached into his nightmares, filling his brain with the terrors of the night. Click, click click … …