Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Message

From the team at Spook City,
we send our valued authors
and readers the very best wishes of the season and we look forward to seeing you all back here in 2012.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Floating Image

"FLOATING IMAGE" - Amy Barry

I wake up as sunlight forces
its way through the curtains,
I look out the window,
pollution clouds smother the town.

Alone, alone in this silent room,
cold sweat pearls my forehead,
his face comes into view,
I yearn to embrace him.

I can’t break away from staring at him,
I shake my head not knowing what to say,
shiver at his stony eyes,
our eyes lock for a moment.

His face looms in close,
his eyes flicker, my body tenses,
mind races, my ears burn from
the sound of my own scream.

A voice cuts into my thoughts
a sad, forlorn cry,
I suck in a deep breath and he is gone,

Am I awake or still in my dreams?


BIO: Amy Barry is a Public Relations consultant by profession. She writes poems and short stories. She hails from Malaysia and now resides in Athlone, Ireland.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Banshee

BANSHEE" - Susanna Dunne

She cries through' the night
combing her long white hair
and it doesn't quite matter where, either
She'll not be too far away
to warn us that
Death is so very near.

Someone we love very dearly,
shall soon reach Heaven's Gates.
Her wailing and wailiiiiiiing
is ever so frightening!

it'll make our hearts beat
even faster.

Paler, we'll be.
Too scared to move a single muscle
Any hair upon our heads
will instantly stand to attention! Like soldiers.
Skins shall crawl sending shivering sensations
right through us
Feelings of terror! so, overwhelming.


Cats meowiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing so viciously

But she doesn't mind that does she?
they do keep her company after all.
It isn't a good idea to take a peek

out through our windows
if or when she may pay us an unwelcome visit
although it might only, be cats growling,
making quite a fuss outside our dwellings

But then this lady who wails
and cries like a child in the night
Yes, the Banshee.
Beware! Be very aware
try not be too tempted too take that peek
just to see if it is she, this creature
who roams in the dark.

Picking up that lonesome comb
With its missing teeth should be left well alone.
'Cause that indeed
wouldn't be a very wise thing to do
now would it?
or one may well regret it


Meooooooooooooooooooooow........

BIO: London born Susanna moved to Ireland at the age of ten and is now married with four sons. She loves to write standard poetry, haiku, senyru and short stories.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If only things were different

"IF ONLY THINGS WERE DIFFERENT" - Eamon O Cleirigh


It was the eyes that woke him, sweat streaming down his face and the sheet stuck to his back. The eyes, piercing black in a sea of rancid yellow, like pus from the ulcer on his old mother’s leg before she gave up the ghost and died screaming in the back room.

The eyes, glowering at him, but only from the side, as if lurking from a dark corner, so when he’d turn to catch that glare, there’d be nothing but the darkness of shadow, of memory, guilt, the  weight of which he felt on the back of his neck, pulling at those thoughts and deeds he’d worked so hard to banish.

He wiped sweat from his brow with the duvet cover, closed his eyes and ran the material along deep-etched lines borne of graft and worry, fear and guilt. And age. He was of an age where such things shouldn’t matter, where the peace of night – every night – shouldn’t be sliced open, disembowelled by accusing, knowing eyes, black in a festering sea of bile, a rank cancer filling his dream life, from dusk to dawn, every night, without fail.

Maybe things would change if he confessed. But that would mean admitting – accepting – that it was down to him. He stumbled to the basin and pissed, with pain, not caring if his aim was true. There wasn’t anything worth caring about, anyway. All was lost and gone, and life ran empty, like his bladder, shrivelled and wasted. Respite, hard-edged and alien, hid out of sight, akin to the dragon’s eyes, giving no rest, whether light or dark.

He could take himself away. Pack a bag and disappear. Who would know? There was nothing left to find – the years had passed and sound and smell no longer lingered, though he was certain, almost, that those leering eyes knew all that had been – remembered her cries from the back room – smelled the rotting leg left unattended – a witness to the horror of those final moments.

Those eyes, never there when he looked, yet always felt, would prove a constant reminder, a strangling weight, a rusting ball and chain, ensuring there could never be the safety of distance between deed and drowning guilt.

He shuffled back into bed and pulled the duvet up to his chin, exhausted but afraid to close his eyes. If only things were different.

BIO: Eamon lives in Sligo, Ireland, but hails from Dublin.  From an acting background, he now prefers to spend his time writing poetry and long fiction. He's busy coming to terms with life as a realist.
 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Glendalough

"GLENDALOUGH" - Máire Morrissey-Cummins


An austere life
of poverty and prayer,
weeps from wet,
moss grown granite.
Ritualistic chanting
echoes church ruins,
circling gravestones
of nameless souls.

Dark spirits
cloak the forests,
casting eerie shadows
on a quivering lake.
The evening mist
drifts the mountains,
sighs through the valleys,
as dusk descends
on a long forgotten past.

(Glendalough is a 6th Centuary Monastery in County Wicklow, Ireland.)

BIO:  Máire was born in Ireland but has lived throughout Europe and presently moves between her homes in Ireland and Germany with her husband of 30 years. Being very creative, she enjoys painting with watercolour and acrylic mediums, and is a published poet with the Irish Haiku Society and Haiku Ireland. Máire has also had a number of standard poems published in local and foreign poetry anthologies, journals, e-zines and online forums.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mist

"MIST" - Rachel Sutcliffe





ghostly skeletons
shrouded in mist
winter trees








BIO:  Rachel's creative writing took a back seat when she spent two years teaching abroad but personal circumstances have led her to focus on her writing again.  She's had the pleasure of seeing her poems and short stories published in various anthologies, e journals, magazines and newsletters such as Forward Press publications, HaikuJ, thefirstcut and Static Movement. Rachel recently set up her own blog which you can investigate further, here: http://projectwords11.wordpress.com

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Presence

"THE PRESENCE" - Dean Farnell 



Footsteps on your landing is a very scary sound,
Creaking on the staircase when you know no-one's around,
"I'm sure this house is haunted", my mother always said,
"We are definitely sharing with a presence that is dead."

She'd sometimes scream out loud, she'd sometimes even cry,
It's not easy sharing lodgings with someone that has died,
She said she couldn't take much more, she never seemd to rest,
It's hard to catch a wink of sleep, in a house you know's possessed.

I wonder what these walls have seen before we came to stay?
My father said he didn't care, as "We're staying anyway,"
"We are not alone," she said, "There's a presence in the hall,"
My dad was in denial 'til a vase smashed on the wall.

Dad was never scared too much, and always chose to doubt,
But it was one October night when something freaked him out,
It was on the stroke of 3am he heard some eerie screaming,
He then told Mum he'd had enough - "Collect our things, we're leaving!"

BIO:  Dean writes quirky songs and poetry as a hobby and is delighted to list over 350 various radio stations and podcasts on which his works have been played. His poetry has been published in horror mags and Trembles & Scream Magazines. “The Monsters Ball" song became the opening theme tune to an internet TV Show series titled "Late Night at The Horror Hotel " which was produced by Horror Shop Films. Dean’s song "666" topped the UK Unsigned artist top 40. You can find more of Dean’s songs here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DEAN+FARNELL&aq=f and read his poetry here: http://deanfarnell.typepad.com/blog/2011/06/the-horror-poems.html


Senyru #5

"SENYRU #5" - Marion Clarke
  


Trick or Treat
a stranger uses my face
as a disguise






BIO: Marion Clarke from Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland, has had poetry, short stories and non-fiction articles published online and in print. Two of her stories are included in The Infection Anthology recently published by Pantoum Press and available from Amazon. Marion began studying and writing Japanese short form poetry two years ago and has become passionate about the form.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Echoes

"ECHOES" - Peter Emmett Naughton

Some people swore that the house was haunted.

Others thought it was cursed, and still others thought the building was simply off in some intrinsic way that they couldn’t quite describe, but felt whenever they passed the place.

There were dozens of stories floating around about the former residents and every generation seemed to have a different idea about what went on there. My grandfather told me the house was inhabited by the ghost of the man who built it, having supposedly died of a heart attack the moment he completed its construction.  My mother claimed that it was plagued by the restless spirits of teenage twins who had succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning in the basement, and my best friend’s uncle told him about the accidental drowning of a young boy in the upstairs bathtub.  There was a girl in my homeroom that told a story about a beautiful newlywed bride who had been mysteriously electrocuted after plugging in a lamp in the living room.  Even the quiet boy who sits in front of me in English class and never raises his hand claimed that an infant in the house had been crushed in its crib by a loose board falling from the floor above.

I’m not sure if I believed any of these accounts before me and Brian went to check the house out for ourselves that night, but I believe them now.

It was just after dusk when we approached the front porch.  My mother’s meatloaf was sitting in my stomach like a brick that made me queasy every time I took a step and much of my excitement over investigating the house had started to ebb, but Brian was determined, so we made our way up the steps and went inside.

There didn’t seem to be anything particularly extraordinary about the place.  I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting, something more extravagant and luxuriant I suppose, a gothic manor in miniature.  Instead we found a modest house that looked a lot like our own homes with only slightly more ornate furnishings and appointments.

Everything was coated in a thick layer of dust, but the interior itself was surprisingly well preserved, marred by only the barest traces of age and neglect. We went from room to room looking for confirmation of what we had heard.  There was a bathroom with an old claw-foot tub on the second floor, but that in and of itself proved nothing.  We checked all the outlets in the living room, but none of them had even the slightest sign of scorch marks on the faceplates or the surrounding area.  Likewise all the flooring appeared to be of the same age.  There were no obvious indications that any of the boards had been resurfaced or replaced.

We were getting ready to leave, our adventure an apparent bust, when we heard it.  A low hum rising up from beneath us that shifted the dust on the floorboards and sifted it down through the spaces between them.

I turned and looked at Brian, our faces stark mirrors reflecting the same mix of curiosity and apprehension.      

After a long moment I pointed to the basement.  Brian nodded and followed me down the stairs.

The room was black, our flashlights providing only a thin wedge of illumination.  I paced carefully over the unfinished floor until I felt the dirt thrumming underneath my feet. 

We both dropped to our knees and dug into the earth with our hands.  After several minutes of scooping up loose soil, we found the source of the sound.

There, buried beneath the basement, was a small, metal box.

It vibrated in my hands like a hummingbird and I nearly dropped it in surprise.  Brian and I gazed at the box for what felt like hours, neither of us saying anything.

I gestured wordlessly to the latches on either side that held the lid shut, and Brian and I each placed a hand on one of them.

We stared at each other for a moment more and then we opened the box.

Nothing was ever the same after that. 


BIO:  Peter fell into fiction by writing stories to amuse his grammar-school classmates, which helped him overcome his shyness, but led to very few completed homework assignments.  He has an abiding love of cheese in all its gloriously stinky forms, horror movies with a sense of humor and trashy punk and garage-rock. He was raised, and currently resides in, Chicago with his wife and cats. Peter's writing has appeared in The Delinquent, Candlelight and Black Words On White Paper.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Last Picture Show

"THE LAST PICTURE SHOW" - Dorothy Davies

It mattered not that the curtains looked the worse for wear, the hem hanging down a little, the runners showing where the weight of the curtains had dragged holes over the years. The fact remained they were temporarily hiding the reason the building had an existence – the huge silver screen. Fly speckled, marked here and there, it mattered not. The anticipation from the audience in the auditorium was palpable, a hush of unspoken words, a withholding of the rustle of popcorn and other comestibles, that indescribable smell and atmosphere accumulated over many years: bodies' clothes, food, sighs, tears, cries, held breath, screams and laughter. 
           
This was the last picture show. At the end of tonight’s performance the doors would close for the last time. In future, films would be shown in the new multi screen complex across town, bright, glittering place with chrome and fine flooring, with carpet and seats that tilted and did not move when you leaned back. Move as in their moorings had come adrift from the floor. It added something to the ambience of this old, much loved building.
           
I crept in quietly, almost on tiptoe, not wanting to disturb anyone’s breathless anticipation of the curtains gliding open and the screen being revealed in all its tarnished glory. I found empty seats, which I didn’t expect, and sat three in from the side aisle. It was not the best of positions but it would do. There was room for two others if they chose to come and share the rest of the row with me. On my other side someone grunted and shifted, but did not look round.
           
The music blared, the numbers began rolling, white on black and the pre-feature programme began. I allowed myself to submerge all thoughts in the magical moment, the losing of self in the actions on the screen. Someone crept in as quietly as I did and sat down next to me. We nodded to one another in the darkness, nothing said, eyes swiftly turning back to the screen. A sigh seemed to come from my new companion, one I echoed. Contentment. Filmgoers of the world unite!
           
All too soon the interval came and music blared out of ancient speakers. There was chatter and laughter, a sense of heightened emotion, anticipation, eagerness, a mixture of so much unclassified, indescribable. My companion, an elderly man I had seen many times before, nodded in time to the nonsensical piece of rhythm which ended and began again, same record. A few people laughed. It ended, it began again. This time whistles and shouts had erupted, there was stamping of feet and yells of laughter. By the time it began again, when it was obvious to all that the impending closure had left the cinema with just one record, the entire audience was in uproar, laughter shaking ancient dust from ancient carvings and light fittings. I smiled; the sense of the absurd was beyond belief and unbelievably funny. My companion was laughing so hard I feared for his heart.
           
It took a while for the audience to settle down after the nonsense with the record, but the main feature began and the theatre became silent. Clint Eastwood strutted his stuff across the screen many times larger than he actually is –or was – shooting all and sundry, fighting his way out of this battle and that. It was almost a shock when the film finally ended. The credits rolled and we were on our feet, some ready to slide out, others prepared to stand and show respect as the National Anthem was played.
           
It was then I smelled smoke.
           
It was then I realized three things, as I did at this point every Halloween. First, the theatre had caught fire, second, judging by the frantic screams and yells of trapped people, the fire doors would not open and third, recalling the local newspapers I had seen afterwards, not one of us survived.
           
Where we were is a block of flats, ugly, functional, utilitarian and dull. We died because some idiot, anticipating the closing of the cinema, locked the doors. This I knew, this I could accept, if only…
           
…We were not summoned back from our graves every Halloween.
           
I just wish that the dead could be allowed to sleep in peace.
          
Author's Note: The first part of this story actually happened, but not on the Isle of Wight where I now live. Here there was a very old cinema and someone who used to entertain the waiting audience with a glove puppet around the side of the curtain…


BIO: Dorothy Davies is a writer, medium and editor. She writes her strange stories, usually with the help of spirit authors. Dorothy is a full member of the Fictioneers, and editor and contributor to many Static Movement anthologies. She loves to write. You can read more from Dorothy here:www.oneinspecyal.com and here www.circle-of-light.co.uk

Christmas Morning

"CHRISTMAS MORNING" - Rick McQuiston

Jeremy rolled over in bed and glanced at the clock on his nightstand. 5:55 stared back at him in red LED numbers. A tiny red dot was lit next to the a.m. designation.

Not even six o’clock yet, he thought sluggishly. Still too early to get up.

But the anticipation that he harbored for Christmas morning was severely tempered by the memory of what he had witnessed earlier that same night.

Or thought he had witnessed.

It was shortly after two-thirty a.m. when he woke up, as most children do, overwhelmed by the curiosity of what lay under the Christmas tree. With excitement that could only be fostered in a child on that most anticipated of nights, he gleefully crawled out of bed and tip-toed down the stairs to investigate whether or not jolly old Saint Nick had fulfilled his holiday duties.

The Christmas tree in red, green and blue illuminated the room. Jeremy’s father didn’t like leaving lights on at night, but made an exception on Christmas Eve. Making his way through the room Jeremy kept his eyes on his destination…the Christmas tree, or more accurately, the presents underneath it. He was fearful of breaking his parent’s rule about not looking at them before morning, but his curiosity got the better of him.

He paused briefly, taking in the beautiful sight of the room before locking his still groggy eyes on the Christmas tree which loomed directly in front of him in the far corner of the room. It stood there, silently guarding the brightly wrapped treasures beneath it, daring anyone to unwrap them before the morning. It was large, nearly eight feet tall, and was packed with such an assortment of ornaments and tinsel that nearly no green was visible on it at all.

Since Jeremy was an only child he knew that virtually all of the gifts were for him, a thought that increased his excitement ten-fold. It was one of the many perks of not having any brothers or sisters.

Jeremy’s heart raced in his chest as he approached the neatly stacked gifts under the tree. He immediately focused on two of the larger ones, wrapped in bright red and blue-stripped wrapping paper respectively, and slid closer to them for a better look as he reached for the larger one he noticed something out of the corner of his eye.

Something on the tree shifted.

Jeremy looked up from his gifts and watched for any more movement. After a few tense minutes he was satisfied he had imagined it and he continued examining his future prizes.

But a small part of his mind wouldn’t let go of the movement. It tried to rationalize it but failed to attach any plausible explanation.

A mouse in the tree? A loose branch? A faulty light strand?

Possibly, but unlikely.

Jeremy looked at the tree again. It was beautiful, fully lit with shimmering ornaments and dazzling tinsel, but there was something else as well. Something he couldn’t explain, but felt nonetheless.

The angel fastened to the top of the tree gazed solemnly across the room. Her flowing garb of gold and blue obscured most of her body, trailing down to mingle with the other decorations. She was the crowning glory of the tree, standing guard year after year from her lofty holiday perch.

Jeremy looked up at her, momentarily forgetting about the presents. He recognized the look in her tiny glass eyes. Even though they weren’t real they still conveyed the Christmas spirit. But they also seemed different somehow, more detached from Christmas and less concerned with holiday cheer.

Jeremy’s gaze fell upon the presents again. He huddled up close to them, periodically inspecting each and every one as he glanced back at the stairway.

And then he noticed it again.

There was movement in the tree. Only this time it was more pronounced, and in a different area, closer to the top.

Now he was getting nervous. He still wasn’t sure if he were imagining it or not, but the uneasy feeling that was settling over the room was unmistakable. He

scooted away from the presents and stood up, all the while never taking his eyes off the tree. Slowly turning around his only thought was getting back to the safety of his

bedroom. In the morning with the added security of his parents and daylight he could truly enjoy the holiday and tear into his presents.

He resisted the urge to look back as he scurried toward the stairs. He was afraid that he might see something he would regret seeing, possibly for the rest of his life. Within 30 seconds he was tucked safely under his covers trying desperately to fall back asleep.

Jeremy glanced at the clock on his nightstand.

6:17 a.m. Still too early to get up. Not that he really wanted to get out of bed. But the thought that eventually his parents would come into his room and make him wake up frightened him. They would no doubt be curious as to why their little boy wasn’t awake yet on Christmas morning. He would then be obligated to go downstairs with them and open his presents…the ones under the Christmas tree.

Jeremy looked over at the clock again, somehow hoping that time had moved backward.

6:24 a.m. Still too early…

“Good morning big guy,” Jeremy’s dad bellowed as he flipped on the light switch. “”Don’t you want to see what Santa brought this year?” He was gesturing towards the hallway. His mother was standing behind him, beaming from ear to ear, a red and green coffee mug in her hands. Jeremy smiled as best he could and slowly crawled out of bed. Part of him was excited, but another part was scared to death.

“Come on big guy,” his dad continued to urge, no doubt reliving his own childhood through his son. “I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Santa was generous this year.”

Jeremy pulled his slippers on and rubbed his eyes. Maybe he just imagined it all; it was the middle of the night, and he hadn’t actually seen anything. Excitement began to overtake his thoughts as he stood up and yawned. His parents then ushered him out of his bedroom.

And downstairs, standing in the far corner of the living room, was the Christmas tree. The red, green and blue lights on it, supplemented by a hint of daylight streaming through the windows, filled the room with holiday cheer.

The tree outside a nearby window laid on its side, mostly covered by freshly fallen snow, its pine needles lying on the frozen ground beneath it. It had been discarded carelessly, tossed aside like yesterday’s trash.

The Christmas tree shuddered with anxious excitement when it heard the approaching footsteps in the hallway upstairs. It adjusted the angel at its top slightly, one of its many hunting tactics, and waited.

Jeremy looked over at the clock again, somehow hoping that time had moved backward.

6:24 a.m. Still too early…

“Good morning big guy,” Jeremy’s dad bellowed as he flipped on the light switch. “”Don’t you want to see what Santa brought this year?” He was gesturing towards the hallway. His mother was standing behind him, beaming from ear to ear, a red and green coffee mug in her hands. Jeremy smiled as best he could and slowly crawled out of bed. Part of him was excited, but another part was scared to death.

“Come on big guy,” his dad continued to urge, no doubt reliving his own childhood through his son. “I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Santa was generous this year.”

Jeremy pulled his slippers on and rubbed his eyes. Maybe he just imagined it all; it was the middle of the night, and he hadn’t actually seen anything. Excitement began to overtake his thoughts as he stood up and yawned. His parents then ushered him out of his bedroom.

And downstairs, standing in the far corner of the living room, was the Christmas tree. The red, green and blue lights on it, supplemented by a hint of daylight streaming through the windows, filled the room with holiday cheer.

The tree outside a nearby window laid on its side, mostly covered by freshly fallen snow, its pine needles lying on the frozen ground beneath it. It had been discarded carelessly, tossed aside like yesterday’s trash.

The Christmas tree shuddered with anxious excitement when it heard the approaching footsteps in the hallway upstairs. It adjusted the angel at its top slightly, one of its many hunting tactics, and waited.



BIO: Rick is a forty-three year old father of two who loves anything horror-related. He's had over 250 publications so far. Rick has written two novels, five anthology books, one book of novellas, and edited an anthology of Michigan authors - they are all available on Lulu and Amazon. Rick is also a guest author each year at Memphis Junior High School, read at various libraries, doing many book/ art shows, and is currently working on his third novel.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

There are states worse than death

"THERE ARE STATES WORSE THAN DEATH" - George Wilhite



There are states worse than death
Hear me before you smugly reject
My assertion

Walking through a neglected cemetery
My fate was woven
Shadows converged
Creating the solicitor
Of my immortality

No Faustian bargains
When the shadows come for you
Life ends swiftly
And the torture begins
You wander the earth
Yourself only a shade
An echo, a husk
Of “once was”


BIO: George Wilhite is the author of the short fiction collection On the Verge of Madness. His work has also appeared in numerous print publications and online at Yesteryear Fiction, MicroHorror, Eschatology Journal and The Fringe.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beauty Sleeps

"BEAUTY SLEEPS" - Dorothy Davies

It is the strangest thing that someone can be the love of your life, the one you cherish beyond all others, the one who holds your very soul in their fine delicate fingers that are like chains, so tight do they hold your priceless gift of love, and yet you look at others.
           
It is so because I can do nothing else but go with what nature made me – male.
           
Talk to me not of those who stay devoted to one person their entire married lives, talk to me not of those who fall in love, lose that loved one and never ever look at another person as long as they live.
           
 I disbelieve them.
           
We are all born with the driving need to perpetuate the species.  It is true, this I acknowledge, that men and women have used that excuse for eternity to justify their dalliances outside their relationships which were supposed to be everlasting.  It is an excuse.  It is also valid.
           
There are some of us who are driven by darker needs.  Those of us who rise and fall with the waxing and waning of the moon phases, those of us who respond to the call of nature in different ways, those whose bodies change and whose physiometry is not entirely under their control.  Ah, do you think, even now in this enlightened age, that such mythical creatures as werewolves, vampires, shape-shifters and the like are no more than that, myths? Do you not understand and accept that every myth, no matter how strange, has its basis in fact somewhere in the distant past, even if that past is as distant as the Stone Age and beyond?
           
Think on it now.  Know that dragons once existed as dinosaurs did.  Likewise unicorns and werewolves and all the other mythical creatures, mer-people, centaurs, need I go on?
           
You are asking about the other realms, fairies and the like. They have been with us since the world began; they are timeless, immortal and real.  Ask no more.  It is fact.
           
The facts are these.  For the first time in my existence I fell in love.
She was amazing, so beautiful the sun hid its face when she walked the earth.
So intelligent that philosophers stopped their philosophising and listened to her instead. So joyful that the very birds stopped singing to let her celebrate life.
           
How trite are these descriptions, how cliché ridden! How truly awful! And yet there is no other way to describe the effect she had on the world – and on me.  I was lost.  Completely. For the first time I thought I had found someone who would truly hold my love and life for eternity.
           
In some ways I was right.
In other ways I was not.
           
We courted, we married, we lived.  Within a year I was bored.  Beauty at that level is boring as it has no imperfections.  Perfection is hard to live with as you constantly measure yourself against it and find yourself lacking.  I stared hard at the mirror some mornings and knew, handsome as I know I am, that I could not match her perfection.  When we had dinner parties or entertained in other ways, everyone looked at her and not at me.
           
The male ego is very easily damaged.
           
Her knowledge outshone mine. I could not hold an intelligent conversation with her; she would pin down my obvious faults and pour scorn on them.
           
I looked for others, less beautiful, less intelligent, less knowledgeable.  I began to recover my equilibrium.
           
She suspected, of course. 
I denied it, of course.
           
We continued in a state of truce for a further year when, to my horror, she announced the one thing I had not thought of – she was to have my child.
           
I should explain that I am not the kind of man who seeks perpetuity through a bloodline.  I am not the kind of man who relishes the thought of his home being wrecked with baby items and his sleep wrecked through baby wailing and adoring fluttering people gushing over its every smile, burp and frown.
           
I took care of that.  Knowledge she might have, sense when it comes to the male ego she does not.  I took care that she did not discover what had been fed to her and mourned with her at the loss of the child.
           
But possibly not good enough, for soon after I realised her eyes had turned to another.  For a while I encouraged it, the pressure being taken from me, which suited me well but then it galled me that she would look elsewhere.
           
It was time to take the next step.
           
The person who supplied the material to induce the miscarriage supplied further material for me. 

It worked.

I had her buried, so we had a grave to mourn over and cherish, those of us who professed to love her.  I had her buried because I liked the idea of beauty asleep in a grave.
           
 I imagined her rotting, slowly, everything eating her away, slowly.
           
I played the field, after a due period of mourning had passed, I had fun, something I had forgotten about and could do. 
           
But something was troubling me.  Something I felt I had overlooked.  Something I should have known – but didn’t.
           
A friend commented that I knew, of course, she was not dead, but sleeping. This is a religious comment and I ignored it.  At first.  He persisted, telling me over and over that she was not dead but sleeping. The word ‘vampire’ was mentioned.
           
I laughed.
           
Then I recalled the time I cut myself and she fastened onto the cut and sucked it until I thought she would take the finger clean off my hand.
           
 I wondered why I had been foolish enough not to recognise my own kind.
 I had to do something.  My mind would not rest.
           
One dark overcast storm tossed night I took shovel and courage and went to her grave.  I dug and dug until I uncovered the coffin, untouched, unscarred by its internment.
           
When I prised off the coffin lid and looked down at her perfect face, she looked up at me and smiled.


BIO: Dorothy Davies is a writer, medium and editor who lives on the delightful Isle of Wight, a small island off the south coast of England. There she writes her strange stories, usually with the help of spirit authors. This one, she says, was written with the help of Bela Lugosi who was not only a talented horror actor but also a very good writer with an infinite supply of strange and chilling tales. Dorothy is a full member of the Fictioneers and editor and contributor to many Static Movement anthologies. She loves to write. You can read more from Dorothy here:
www.oneinspecyal.com and here www.circle-of-light.co.uk

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Creaky Floors

"CREAKY FLOORS" - Vincent Daemon

I’m a ghost in chains
An invisible frame
And no one saw me die

Yet with those stares                           
I’m in the attic upstairs
Haunting all night long
An outsider fiend
A soul unredeemed
Humming a death-dirge song

Something sad happened here
The soul just won’t depart
Banging the boards
Of a crawlspace floor
Above which I fell apart



BIO: Vincent Daemon has appeared in the anthologies "Through The Eyes Of The Undead" and "Heavy Metal Horror." Other credits include the magazines Hazard Cat, Substance, Screams Of Terror, as well as being a regular contributor to the Freezine Of Fantasy And Science Fiction, that also released his apocalyptic horror punk novella "Waiting For The End." Vincent also performs in the musical deconstruction project, Youth Of 1945, as well as his own musical recordings. He can be reached at vdaemon13@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

signposts

"SIGNPOSTS" - Kaarin Vanderway


whorls and ties
bound me to you. the release. gritty, a rebellious life to crave
words and lies
brought me death. deceased. a pity, for all the love I gave
worms and flies
will bring them to me. the police. out of the city, here to my shallow grave
but whisps in skies
of ghosts and spirits. pleased. will signpost you, my pretty. and enslave

BIO: Kaarin has shelves crammed full of notebooks containing poems she's been scribbling since her early teens and plans on one day collating them into some sort of order and hopefully doing something with any that aren't total rubbish.

More than a feeling


"MORE THAN A FEELING" - Anna Harris

Have you ever seen a movement out the corner of your eye?
Or heard a whisper somewhere near but couldn’t work out why?
Have you felt the sweep of fingertips, brush across your hair?
But when you’ve spun about you’ve found there’s really nothing there?

Have you sometimes walked into a room, and felt a sudden chill?
You check the windows for a draft but the air is calm and still,
And yet you feel a presence there, a sense you're not alone,
and you try to shake the feeling you're not completely on your own.

Perhaps you’ve paused atop the stairs, once or twice - or more
Before you’ve turned the key that lead you through the cellar door?
Do you lie in bed at night; stare at shadows on the wall,
But convince yourself you’re seeing things, that there’s nothing there at all?

So often after midnight, do you wake up with a start?
Then strain your ears for any noise, with your hand across your heart?
Or peer into the hallway, holding tight to every breath,
Just in case there’s something out there that will scare you half to death?

Yes you do, I know you do, I’ve seen you late at night,
Trembling under blankets and clutching pillows tight,
You think your house is haunted by, a spirit you can’t see,
And yes you’re right, I know you’re right, because that ghost is me

Don't expect the rocking chair to cease moving by itself
Or books of yours to rest quietly, undisturbed upon the shelf
Floors will creak and mirrors fog, of this you needn't doubt
Because I'm here to stay no matter what; you'll never ever chase me out

BIO: Anna Harris lives in Australia and has prose and poetry of varying genres published in her home country as well as in the USA and the United Kingdom.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chilling in the Morgue


“CHILLING IN THE MORGUE” - Dean Farnell


I'm relaxing down the mortuary
I have a few old friends with me
My worries, now I haven’t any
I’m just chilling in the morgue

Lost a duel with a massive truck
I guess I just ran out of luck
Now my life’s no more, it sucks
So I’ll just chill out in the morgue

I came in just two days ago
Or maybe three, I don’t know
I’ve a tag upon my biggest toe
Now I’m chilling in the morgue

It’s not so bad, as life was hell
I wasn’t feeling very well
My body had this rotten smell
So I have to chill out in the morgue

With problems gone for now, at least
I can now just rest in peace
Things are cool when you’re deceased
When you’re chilling in the morgue


BIO:  Dean writes quirky songs and poetry as a hobby and is delighted to list over 350 various radio stations and podcasts on which his works have been played. His poetry has been published in horror mags and Trembles & Scream Magazines. “The Monsters Ball" song became the opening theme tune to an internet TV Show series titled "Late Night at The Horror Hotel " which was produced by Horror Shop Films. Dean’s song "666" topped the UK Unsigned artist top 40. You can find more of Dean’s songs here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=DEAN+FARNELL&aq=f and read his poetry here: http://deanfarnell.typepad.com/blog/2011/06/the-horror-poems.html