“She’s a very nice lady,” Lucy said to her mother. “She brings me cookies sometimes.”
Mary smiled to herself, rummaging through the cabinets to find what she needed for dinner. As soon as they packed up the hotel room and headed for this tiny house, she went to the grocery store and got enough food to last a week or two. Daniel was out walking Emma in the stroller, and Cassie was down the hall in her room, so making dinner was left to Lucy and herself.
Tyler was somewhere else in the town. Since they got a rental house, he was staying in the hotel room they’d booked for a few more nights. He was technically on vacation with them, but not exactly.
“Well, if Cassie says it’s okay that’s fine, but still be careful.” Mary set out a pan on the stove. “I think we’ll have pancakes and eggs tonight. How’s that sound?”
“Mommy, the lady wants to meet you sometime.”
Lucy colored on the sheet of paper noisily, scribbling away with the crayons. She was sitting at the small table across the kitchen from Mary. All the appliances and big objects were crammed into one half of the room, mostly still in their packing boxes. The table and chairs were on the other, relatively empty side. Behind it was a walk-in closet pantry.
“Maybe, Lucy, maybe.” Mary cracked an egg and let the contents plop into the pan. “We aren’t staying here very long though.”
“I know that. But maybe we could all meet the lady one time near the end. I
think it’d be very nice.”
Mary nodded without really listening. Her hands moved deftly, preparing the meal.
“She likes babies, too. She said she really likes babies, Mommy, so I told her all about Emma.”
“Strangers can be dangerous, Lucy. Please be careful.” Mary glanced over at her daughter, who was focused on the paper. “You will be careful for Mommy, won’t you?”
“Of course, Mommy. I’m only talking about a friend. Friends are okay, right?”
Mary was spared from answering when the front door opened. They heard Daniel come into the living room, kicking the door shut behind him. Emma was babbling.
“I’m making pancakes, honey,” Mary called out. “Is that alright?”
“Sure thing,” Daniel said, strolling into the kitchen. “You know, I don’t recognize a single thing in this city. It’s like Marcy is a completely different town. Maybe Hardy will be, too. I wouldn’t mind that so much.”
“I met someone who knows you, Daddy,” Lucy said with a giggle.
Daniel whipped around to face her. “Who did you meet?”
“Daniel,” his wife began, “she was just telling me-”
“I met an old lady, Daddy!” Lucy exclaimed. “She was a very nice old lady.
And she said she knows you!”
Daniel turned to face his wife, furrowing his eyebrows. “What did she just say?”
“Daniel, she was telling me that-”
Lucy interrupted, “She wants to meet you! And I told her all about Emma and Cassie and Mommy and our family, and she said she wants to come over and-”
“Go to your room!” Daniel bellowed. “Go, now, and don’t come out until we call for you.”
Lucy threw her chair back and stormed out of the kitchen. “Maybe I’ll go live with the old lady instead!” and then she sprinted to her room.
There was silence for a moment, as Mary watched her husband from the corner of her eye. He stood there, silent, clenching and unclenching his fists. Daniel leaned his forehead against the wall, kicking it roughly.
“She… she just said she was a lady… I didn’t remember…”
“It’s fine,” Daniel snapped. “It’s fine. We’re just fine.”
“Just… a few more days. Then we’ll leave.”
“I know that.” He smacked the wall. “But if it starts again, we can’t leave. We can’t, we won’t.”
“If what starts? There’s no way she’s the same lady!” Mary exclaimed. “That’s stupid!”
“I’m not stupid,” Daniel growled. “And there’s something I never told you about her. And I never plan to. Just know that if another kidnapping happens, if there’s more of this, we can’t and won’t leave until it’s all over.”
“And what if there’s nobody left to take with us?” Mary said. Her hands were shaking as she faced her husband.
“Then… I don’t know.”
She shook her head, wiping her eyes. “You’d give up on our family just to close a case you should forget about.”
“I can’t forget about it!” he screamed. “It won’t forget me!”
“Who won’t forget you?” Mary yelled, storming forwards so that they were nose-to-nose. “Who? It’s a police case, not a person! Just leave it alone and come back to our family and be a real father! Don’t do this to us! Who won’t forget you? This is stupid, completely stupid, and you’re stupid, so just forget it!”
He took a step back. “But She won’t forget me.”
This is a story I told my girlfriend, over texting, because we were both bored and what’s better to entertain with than a good, scary story? Take a look at the story, in all of its raw and grammar-rule-ignoring beauty.
(Each paragraph is a message I sent, not grouped according to thoughts or anything normal.)
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once upon a time, but you dont know what time it was so it might have been 1 oclock in the morning or 3 oclock in the afternoon so thats mysterious, well once upon a time there was a little girl named Patricia Robertsin and Patricia Robertsin was a nice little girl who lived in a big mansion in the countryside. she was, however, holding a very dark secret. her parents knew this secret, and so they kept her locked up inside the house at all times.
her parents didn’t know why Patricia was like she was, but they knew that if anybody found out they would be in huge trouble with the community. they were rich, after all, and they lived in the mansion surrounded by forests. the nearest town was not for miles and miles away. anyways, there were animals that started turning up near their mansion. it was dogs, at first. the dogs would turn up and be mutilated, completely torn apart. the parents went into their daughters book, where she was writing in a notebook. as soon as they walked in, she slammed it closed and threw it under the book. they asked Patricia what happened to the dog, and she said “what dog? i didn’t know we had a dog.” the next weekend, there was a baby deer that turned up dead in the yard, also torn apart. they went into Patricia’s room, and once again she was writing in the notebook. she threw it under the bed. “what happened to the deer, Patricia?” “what deer? i didn’t know there were deer arond here.” since Patricia wasn’t bloody and appeared not to know anything about the animals, the parents figured that it really wasnt her. so instead, they went outside to talk to the groundskeeper, who was gardening. his hands were very dirty, but underneath all the dirt they thought they could see a little red. “what’s happening to all the animals?” the groundskeeper said. he smiled at them and tapped a finger to his head. “you ought to be paying attention, master. if you were paying attention, you’d know.”
since the groundskeeper didn’t give them any obvious leads, they decided to call the police department. the police showed up that evening, and found both the mom and dad sitting in the living room, nervously shaking. the police asked what had happened, and they said their little girl, Patricia, had run away. the police asked if this was why they were nervous. “no,” the dad said. “we’re not scared that she ran away. we’re scared that she’ll come back.” the police asked what he meant, and the dad told them a story. “once, when Patricia was about 3 years old, we started to notice that she wasn’t quite normal. in preschool, she got in trouble for biting other children… quite frequently. we took her out and homeschooled her. we didn’t have the time, so the groundskeeper was actually the one who watched her and taught her. a couple months after that, the family pet turned up dead. we questioned her, and she said nothing. the groundskeeper said the dog had been attacked by a vicious bear come out of the woods. but then we found bones in Patricia’s room, and we figured that she had killed the dog. since that day, she’s been normal-acting. but now the deaths have started again and we’re afraid she’s going to continue to kill.” the police looked at them worriedly and promised to protect them if she ever did come back.he asked where the groundskeeper was, and the parents said he was outside, in his shed. it was too dark out, so they decided to leave him there. the night progressed, and eventually the parents decided to go back up and look at the diary Patricia had been writing in. they went upstairs and opened it up to the first page. there was nothing but lessons from school. but as they continued turning, they started to notice something. on the last page, all of their questions were answered
the ink was as red as blood throughout the book, and the pages of the home-made journal were rough and wrinkled and dried. it felt almost like rubbing against dead and dried skin. at the back of the book, there were drawings. they depicted three human bodies, strung up on crosses, and a wild animal leaping up to feast on them. the parents shut the book, horrified, and stormed downstairs. they demanded to know what the groundskeeper had been teaching their daughter. when they reached the living room, they found the policeman was gone. they heard a scream from outside and rushed out to see what was happening. what they found was 3 crosses, put up, with the policeman on one and the groundskeeper on the other. there was one empty. their daughter was in front, rubbing her hands together. she turned back to her parents. “have i done good, mommy?” he growled, rubbing his hands together in the same way. the dad looked at them both, confused and horrified. “you thought the groundskeeper was teaching her,” his wife said, “but actually i was.” she moved forward and kissed him, but pulled back and ripped off his lower lip. “put him on the cross, sweetie.” she grinned at her daughter. “this feast is even better than the last house we stayed at.”
It was the same table we used to sit at every Friday and Saturday night. The same one where I confessed I loved him, and he confessed he loved me more. The same two chairs that we’d always scoot so closely together, until I could lean on his shoulder as I drunk the weekends away. We were young and foolish, but I missed it dearly.
“Will you be alright?” the bartender asked me, filling up my glass quickly.
I nodded as he handed the fifth shot. With hurrying footsteps, he went over to take their order. He ordered the same as always, with the same tone. Except now he was staring at her, and glancing at her lips, and holding hands under the table like secret high school lovers. None of us were in high school, yet we had enough drama to be.
Tears welled up in my eyes as the same feeling returned. When I’d seen him with her before, I lost my mind. I started screaming and crying and ran out of the library -I always went to the library, and now he did too.
My heart was being stabbed, and my throat felt pierced. All the air escaped me as it fled across the room, fogging the windows. Soon, I couldn’t even see the outside storm. They were covered in that annoying, semi-clear, gray, dense, unexplainable fog. It was like being trapped. If not for the bartender, I might have grabbed the stick from the pool table and stabbed him. To death.
I drank the fifth shot and grinned as it burnt my throat.
“You sure you’ll be okay?”
I hadn’t noticed the bartender returning, but instinctively nodded that I would, in fact, be okay despite the horrible man sitting only a dozen feet away and the dozen knives being stabbed into my heart a dozen times each.
“I’ll take a dozen shots tonight,” I said. “You can just get them all ready now.”
“That’s… You won’t be able to walk!”
“All the same.” I grinned at my own irony, and that turned into a stupid laugh which brought everyone’s attention to me. I thought about whirling around and shouting at Mike, but that thought died down as I took the sixth shot.
“What should I do if you pass out?” the bartender asked me nervously.
“Leave me here.”
“I can’t do that? I’ll get, like… somebody will sue me or something.”
“But that’s what I want!” I demanded.
“Want something else,” he said.
“All the same.” He sighed and leaned heavily on the counter, watching me take the seventh. “Please don’t die on me. You’re one of my best customers.”
“You’re losing a lot of money tonight,” I muttered. “Wouldn’t call me a good customer in that regard.”
“I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about friendships.”
I looked up and saw nervousness and worry all across his expression. I knew I was hurting him through what I did, but I couldn’t stop. I needed to drink, and I needed to drink lots. I just wanted the weekend to end. I wanted to pass out and wake up the next Friday, ready to do it all over again.
I took the eighth shot to steel my heart against compassion.
The piano music grew louder on his phone, reaching the deepest part of the symphony.
“To me, piano music is so much better.” I brushed my hair behind an ear, then rested heavily on that hand, propped up on the counter. “It just… it’s truly emotions turned into music. There are no words to describe it. It just flows; it just makes sense. Not everyone understands it, and that’s why it’s best.”
He nodded. “I like rock and roll. Sixties, seventies, that type. Not the new crap.”
I smirked. “Of course you do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means I just don’t agree.”
“All the same.” He began to tap on the counter, in rhythm with the piano and violin blaring.
“Hey, will you turn that down?” Mike asked loudly, directing it more at me than the bartender.
The old man winked at me and called back, “Nope.”
Mike stood up from his chair and walked over. I heard the chair push back and the footsteps, but didn’t look up. I didn’t want to see him, or for him to see me. But of course he already had. I felt a conflict growing, and hoped that Mike wasn’t too drunk already. When he was, things could get violent.
Leaning down next to me, he whispered snidely, “How you doing, baby?” I heard his girlfriend chortle from back at their table.
“Get out,” I growled.
“I can be here as long as I like. Even if this old man won’t turn off the-”
“The music stays on. Just because you’re heartless doesn’t mean it’s not good music.” He crossed his arms dramatically.
Mike grinned. “If I remember correctly, you like rock and roll more?”
“I like people more. Instead of douchebags.”
My ex raised an eyebrow. “Are you talking about me?”
“Are you retarded too?” The bartender reached down and turned the music up louder, until it was deafening.
Seeing a lost battle, Mike leant down towards my ear. “Please don’t tell me this is where you spend all your time, with this crusty, old man.”
I didn’t answer. My eyes were tearing up and I thought my voice would choke if I tried to speak.
“Why are you sad, huh? Are you sad I left you? Did you realize just how wrong and just how stupid you really are? You know that every single problem in our relationship was because of you.”
I clenched up my fist and my lips.
“I really don’t miss you, sweetheart. Not in the slightest. I don’t miss this dump, I don’t miss our dates, and I certainly don’t miss the sex. I swear to god you were the worst thing that ever happened to me. So I’d really appreciate if you didn’t come around here, waiting for me. I don’t want to see you, and if you think I’m gonna change my mind and run back to you then you’re dead wrong.”
Shakily, I reached for the ninth shot glass. He noticed.
“You an alcoholic now? A lesbian? Emo? There’s a next step in all those paths, you know. The same last step, and the only way to really make yourself feel better.”
I took a deep breath and downed the ninth.
“Just go fucking kill yourself!”
With a horrible laugh, he skipped away back to his table. I downed the tenth, and turned around to face him. What I saw, instead, was his girlfriend pressed against the wall. He was making out with passionately, doing all the things he used to do to me and right next to our table too. Bile rose up inside me as I clenched my fingers together. The bartender noticed and grabbed a broom.
“Out! Get out!” he shouted, running towards them and whacking.
I downed the eleventh.
Mike and his new lady ran towards the door, both of them shooting me a horrible, nasty glance. I saw the one shot glass in front of me and thought that maybe if I drank it, I would finally die. I couldn’t walk, now. I was about to fall over. So I grasped the cup and turned towards Mike.
Everybody stopped and watched me, knowing full well what a dozen shots could do to me. I grasped it firmly and brought it up to my lips. Then I chucked it across the room, where it smashed against Mike’s forehead and soaked him in the fiery liquid.
He spat at me and turned away, shoving his girlfriend through the door and into the soaking rain. They had left the umbrella, and I hoped they drowned in the rain. Both of them.
“Take me home?” I begged, turning back to my only friend. My voice was slurred, and I was surprised he could understand.
He nodded, and grabbed his keys. “You did a really brave thing.”
I simply nodded and put my arm around him as the bartender led me to his car. He opened the door and helped me sit down. A few minutes later, we were driving through stormy roads and I was frightened that we were going to crash. Maybe I would die anyways.
“Should I take you to your mom’s?” he asked me.
I shook my head. “Not. Mom’ll get mad.”
“Because you drank?”
“Y-y…” I nodded.
“Where do you wanna go then?”
I shrugged, and he took hold of the steering wheel. I leaned back in the seat until I realized we were stopped. Looking out of the window, I saw a blurry, rundown convenience store. He told me to wait and got out of the car.
As soon as he closed the door behind him, I fell asleep. Five minutes later, I was woken by the same door opening and my friend climbing back into his seat. The clock on the dashboard read 12:00 exactly. It was Saturday.
“I got you something,” he said.
I groaned and focused on the yellow plastic bag. It was probably full of medicines.
Instead, he pulled out a disc.
“Classical violin music,” he said. “I prefer it to piano myself, but the two are best when mixed.”
He popped it into the dashboard and the slow tunes began to drift towards me. I felt myself falling asleep as he drove.
“I’m taking you to your mom’s,” he said. “I know where she lives. Mike told me once.”
Mike. I’d forgotten about him.
“Is that alright?” he asked.
I nodded and began to fall asleep.
“I’m glad you didn’t take that last shot,” he said quietly, turning on the windshield wipers. “I think he deserved it more than you.”
I nodded again, my head lulling to the side.
“I wanna… say…”
“What do you need to say?” He glanced at me from the corner of his eye.
“Thank you. Alot.”
I came back to myself sitting under a streetlight, staring out at the street. It was nearly eleven o’clock, and I was alone. So many times before, I’d been in the same situation. Only now it was different.
Only a week ago, eleven o’clock on a Friday night meant partying with my boyfriend. We would stay at the bar until early in the morning, then take it back to his place, which soon became ours. Sex happened, but it wasn’t all. It wasn’t as important to us. Love was our relationship -love, not sex.
Sighing, I picked myself up from the bench and turned around. There, hidden between two buildings, was a tiny bar. It was the laziest nightspot in the whole city, but my favorite.
A minute later, pushed open the door and emerged into the dim lights. This place was never open, except for Friday and Saturday nights. It would probably close down soon. The bartender -an old man who’d lost all his hair- ran the place by himself. He wiped the tables down every hour or two, prepped the one pool table, and constantly poured the drinks.
“How are ye?” he asked as I sat down in one of the bar stools.
I shrugged, and he knew what I wanted. The same thing I’d wanted last Saturday. Anything but the usual.
“You seen Mike?” he said, turning his back to fill up a shot glass for me.
“No” was my frank reply.
“You, um…” He bit down on whatever he’d been thinking and put the glass in front of me. “Here. Whatever you need, it’s on the house tonight.”
I smiled at him, genuinely, as the nice old man gave me a knowing look and turned away to the next customer.
There were only four of us at the time. Me and a middle-aged woman sat at the bar, while two men in factory uniforms occupied a table. From the corner of my eye, I saw the woman give me an interested look, then turn back to her phone and beer.
She was wearing a neatly pressed, dark outfit, something a lawyer or therapist would wear. Judging from the briefcase beside her stool, I guessed the former. Downing my shot, I turned in her direction.
“I haven’t seen you before. Come here often?”
Her eyes flitted up from her phone. After a moment, she turned it off and gave me her full attention. “You lesbian?”
“Not in the least.”
She turned the phone back on.
“You a lawyer?” I asked, wanting to confirm my suspicions.
“You must be working a case to be this down.”
She granted me a quizzical stare. “Who are you? Sherlock Holmes?”
I shrugged. “Just wanting to talk.”
“I don’t have time to talk.” Hopping off the stool, she grabbed her briefcase and slammed a ten on the counter. “See ya.”
Walking briskly, she disappeared into the night outside.
“What was that about?” the old bartender asked. He was wiping the insides of a glass as he approached me.
“I don’t know. She’s…” My voice faded and I held up the empty shot glass. “You sure you don’t want me to pay for this? I’ll be in here a while.”
He grinned widely. “Fine with me. It gets lonesome anyways.”
“What time you closing up?”
“Whenever you leave.”
A few seconds later, he returned the glass to in front of me. “I hate selling drinks to people like you.” He sighed.
“I’m not buying, so you’re not selling.”
“All the same. Makes me feel bad. That woman who just left… I don’t care about her. But you… It’s different.”
I shrugged. “Can’t say I understand.”
“All the same.”
I heard a pitter-patter as rain blew against the glass windows at the front of the bar. Looking out on the downtown street, I saw lightning in the distance. A few seconds later, thunder roared and shook the ground.
“Nasty storm out there,” I muttered.
“I’ve always thought you should get a piano in here.” I gestured to the empty space behind the pool table. “Maybe over there.”
“I’ve always liked sad piano music.” I downed the second shot.
“Want another?” he asked gloomily.
As he picked up the glass, he set his phone down on the table and pressed a few buttons. Melancholy, soft piano music began to play through the speakers. I looked up at him, feeling suddenly very emotional. He smiled and set the glass down, now full.
“I’m deciding whether to cut you off at five or not.”
I shook my head. “Please don’t.”
“You’re gonna feel it tomorrow,” he warned.
“I’ve drank before.” I sighed, remembering the long nights and bad mornings of the past week. “Not as much as now, but still.”
Disappearing into the back for a few minutes, he reemerged with a wet cloth. “If you wanna wipe the tables down, I can pay you something. I’m guessing you don’t have much.”
I nodded. “Nothing. Right now, I’m at my mom’s. Mike didn’t leave me anything, and whatever I left at his house probably got set on fire.”
“So you wanna wipe some tables?”
I shook my head. “Nope.”
He held the cloth towards me. “All the same.”
“Nope.” I took a deep breath and downed the third glass. “Go wipe ‘em so you can fill me up again.”
He grunted and walked around the counter, heading over to where the two men still sat. I followed the bartender with my vision and noticed the two workers were getting ready to leave. Maybe I should follow suit and head to my mom’s. It wasn’t really a home, but at least it was a bed.
As they left, both men tipped their ballcaps at me. I gave them piercing glances, which they promptly ignored and headed outside into the storm. Now, it was just me and the old man.
“Lazy night?” I knew the answer.
“One of the laziest.” He wiped filth from the newly vacated table into his hand.
“You think this place will ever kick up again? I remember it used to be really booming.”
He ran a hand over his face, sighing. “Doubt it. What you remember wasn’t that great. It was better, but not great.”
“You know how you could really pick this place up?”
“How?” he asked, looking at me amused.
I nodded towards the phone still playing orchestral music. “Get a piano.”
“Unless Billy Joel’s willing to play it, I doubt it would make a difference. I’d be out of a few hundred bucks.”
“Few hundred? Why don’t you try Goodwill?”
He threw the dirty cloth into the back room and dumped the contents of his palm into the trash. “They don’t sell pianos at Goodwill.”
As he walked back over, I gave him an expectant look. He understood and grabbed the glass, filling it up. Then he handed it back and I immediately downed the fourth shot.
“How do people get by without alcohol?” I wondered out loud.
“Religion.” He chuckled to himself.
I felt a gust of wind and turned to the door. My heart sunk as Mike and his new girlfriend walked in, arms wrapped around each other and sharing a soaked umbrella.
“G’day, Mike,” called the bartender. “Have a seat. I’ll be right with you.”
Mike gave me a devil’s smile, which I returned with hatred. He led his new lady to the table farthest away from me, over against the wall and by the window. This wouldn’t end well.
To be continued…
Here is my latest author video, talking about Australia, my sales rankings, some updates on She 2, and just having a good time!
You won’t wanna miss it!
So not a horror story this time, or really any genre! It’s an anomaly. Enjoy 😉
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“We were left here long ago, by the people you don’t want to meet.”
That’s what the islanders told us when we first stepped foot on their shores. They stared at us, with hollowed-out eyes and starved faces. For years, we’d been looking for them. Sailing around from coast to coast, always watching in the distance for an island yet undiscovered. They didn’t know we were coming, and they didn’t know why we were there.
“Who left you here?” I asked the old man, sitting across from me in the dimly-lit hut. There was a table between us, empty except for a small bowl made of a coconut shell that the chief used to drink from.
“It was long ago,” the man said darkly. His eyes rolled up into his head, as he thought deeply of days far past.
“You already said that,” I snapped. “Just tell me who. It’s important to some people. Some very important people.”
“They were… tall. And they had things to shoot us with. Lots of them. Dangerous, dangerous men. Dark and cruel men.”
“That describes a lot of people in this world,” I said. “Some would say that describes you.”
“We are not cruel men,” the chief scoffed. “We have merely survived. We killed from necessity. Not of lust for blood and flesh.”
“You’re trying to tell me that the bodies hanging outside on poles were for necessity?” I asked. “They have spears driven through their entire body. In through the top, out from the bottom. How is that survival?”
“That was punishment. Justice. These are also necessary for survival.”
I leaned forwards, over the table, and stared at his dark face. The shadows cast a harsh light on both of us. “I have seen and done cruel things. We are both men here. Tell us what has taken place on this island, and I will take you back to society.”
“We are not of society, and we will not be children of commercial enterprises. We have lived, and thrived, apart from you all.”
I folded my arms, still glaring at him. “Punishment is necessary. And so you will be punished, if you don’t tell us what you’ve done.”
“You think we are criminals? We are scavengers.” He grinned widely. “We are the real people of humanity. The originals.”
“You, too, were part of society,” I reminded him. “When we were both young, you were normal. We grew up together. Our father taught us the same. And yet you-”
“I was taken by the men you call savages. I call them heroes. They have rescued me and taught me.”
With a great thrust, I stood up abruptly and threw the table over, where it smashed against him. Without blinking, the chief stared at me, ignoring the wooden planks broken and scattered across his side of the room.
“If my guards were here, they would kill you,” he warned.
“If my gun was here, I would do the same to you.”
“They brought me here, and they left us here. We were all children back then. There were 30 of us. Half boys, half girls. And over the many years, we had more children. Until now. Half a century later. You expect us to go back to society? We do not want to. We have been here our entire lives, living alone, and now you want us to be happy and return to ‘normal?’ I think not.”
“I didn’t come here to ask you to return, brother. I came here to demand it.”
“I will not return. I will not leave this island.” The chief turned away, with his back to me.
“Then you will not live.”
I walked out of the hut, and saw the large ship in the distance. My helicopter was waiting on the beach, and I quickly approached. I boarded in a flash, and we rose up into the air as I saw my brother on the beach, staring up at me.
All around him was herds of people. They crawled on all fours, with blood pouring from their mouths. Dead bodies hung on poles, 15 feet tall, and little by little they were eaten away. The people were animals, climbing up the poles and taking bites out of them.
The people on the poles were alive, writhing in pain, until they bled or were chewed to death.
“Radio back to headquarters,” I said to the pilot. “Tell them to send in the planes and the bombs. Let’s blow these monsters to high heaven.”
“Disgusting, the things we saw on that island,” the pilot said.
His copilot sat beside him, not saying a word. Both of them were helmets, covering their entire faces, with thick fireproof suits on.
“They’ve gotten worse since the last time I came here. It’s so hard to find my way.” I sighed. “They’ve multiplied, too. There were only a few hundred last time. Now there’s nearly a thousand. All of that over 10 years.”
“It’s about time that we kill them all,” the pilot mumbled. “Sickens me.”
He glanced over at his copilot. “You aren’t saying much. You alright, Jimmy?”
Jimmy glanced over at his friend. And then he turned his attention back to me. He smiled, blood running from his lips and over his uniform.
“That’s not Jimmy…” I said quietly. “That’s not-!”
Blood squirted all over the pristine, leather seats as not-Jimmy tore us both to shreds with his claws and teeth. He crawled on all fours over to the seat, and expertly maneuvered it down to the ship. As he landed, the bodies of the sailors were piled up on the aircraft carrier, each of them impaled with sticks.
Crawling around the boat were herds and hoards of blood-soaked, dripping, starved, and excited creatures. They weren’t humans. They weren’t part of society. But as their leader slowly made his way to the ship, wearing his chief outfits and swimming through the water, peacefully.
They were making their way to the shore. And after all 3,000 of the monsters were on board, they started sailing.
To humanity’s society.
In the end, I ate myself
“Hold me closer. Hold me closer. Let the nightmares fade away. Pull me tighter. Pull me tighter. Towards the light of precious day.”
There was only one man who knew where I was. Deep in the heart of the asylum, with slimy walls and thick doors that were always locked, I was found in the fetal position. This small, damp room had been my home for all the memories I still clung to.
I’m still not sure how I got here. It had to have been years and years ago, back in a time that I can’t remember. I’m sure there’s a world outside of this forsaken place. I just can’t imagine what it would be like.
When The Man came into my room missing an arm, I asked him what happened. It was only four cycles of food from the last time I’d seen him, but he hadn’t been missing an arm then. But on that day long ago, he came in with a bloodied, bandaged stump.
“How did that happen?” I asked, gesturing at the injury.
“Painfully,” was his only reply.
“Is there fighting going on outside?” I questioned him. I was careful not to overstep the boundaries that had been set up through flesh and blood and torture. Too many questions -or too broad a question- would only end up badly for me.
He considered what I’d asked, and then decided to answer. “There is not much I can tell you. Only this. If you ever step out of this place, you’ll find the world outside not so friendly as you might imagine.”
It took me a second to realize he’d left without giving me anything. It seemed that my question had unnerved him, so much that he forgot to lay down the food he brought. I called out twice, but to no avail. I missed my meal cycle for that day.
I curled up in my favorite corner of the room and began to sing the only song I remembered. Some days I could recall the entire thing. Other times I was lucky to grasp hold of a sentence. “Hold me closer. Hold me closer. Let the nightmares fade away. Pull me tighter. Pull me tighter. Towards the light of precious day.”
That was about a year ago. Since that day, The Man looked in worse shape every time I saw him. For 11 months, he would visit me once or twice a day. Over the final month, however, those visits dropped, diminished, and eventually disappeared.
It had been three weeks since I saw him when I made the decision. Unless I took some action, I was going to die. So, one day, I stood up and I made my way across the pitch black room to the wall where everybody entered in from. They always came without my knowing, and I never knew that somebody was with me until I heard them speak. But when I approached the wall, I found there wasn’t one.
I continued walking. Step after step led me down a hallway that I had no idea was there. For years, it’d been beat into my head there was a wall, and that I could not pass that wall. But there was nothing. Nothing there to block my escape, and especially nothing to punish me if I tried to get out.
For ten minutes, I carefully and methodically made my way down the hall. There were two dark walls on either side, one grimy floor under my feet. I tripped, once, and felt a pain around my waist. I’d forgotten about that pain, which was as forgotten as the place I was born. That pain was not allowed, because it reminded me of gender and of difference.
What I saw at the end of the hallway is something I will never forget, and will never make sense. Because there was no asylum, like I expected and had been told by The Man. When I walked out of that hallway, I saw grass.
There was a lush plain of grass, and a gigantic, thick wall surrounding the valley. On top of that wall, millions of people stood watching. They laughed and chuckled and pointed and stared. It took me a few minutes to move, but at last I understood.
Across the valley from me were three other people. They, also, were tired, starving, thin, and miserable-looking. I walked over and asked them what we were doing there. I knew what they would say.
“We are the ones groomed to eat and bred to feed. But now we have no food.”
I glanced around us and saw large portions of the grass were gone.
They saw my eyes and said, “It doesn’t grow back. For now, we have food. When the grass runs out, though…”
I went to the corner of the natural arena and began to sing my song.
“Hold me closer. Hold me closer. Let the night then fade away. Pull me tighter. Pull me tighter. Towards the light of precious day.”
That night, as we were all sleeping, I rose up and killed one of them. In the morning, I blamed one of the others and they eventually turned on each other, fighting. One of them died. The other was too weak to protect himself.
With food to last me for a few weeks, I settled back and began to eat the bodies before they went bad. I explored the caves where the other three had lived, but could find no entrance. One of them, however, contained the body of The Man. He cared for all four of us, yet somebody turned on him and killed him. They all hoped for food, for a meal. So I punished them with my teeth.
“Hold me closer. Hold me closer. Let the night then fade away. Pull me tighter. Pull me tighter. Towards the light of precious day.”
In the end, I ate myself.
Starting in March, I will be releasing more short stories on this blog. These will range from sad, to scary, to everything in between. It’s just a spur-of-the-moment type writing, to take up the time when I have nothing to do.
What that means, sadly, is that one category from the home page has to go. So, as of March, the “Free Writing Course” page will no longer exist! You can still find those lessons, of course, on the blog, but only for a limited time. I have something planned for those in the future, but I’ll keep that to myself for now 😉
Mark your calendars and get ready for some intriguing stories. I’m excited about this new series of posts, and so I hope you are too!
Also, on a final note, please invite your friends to check out my blog. I’m trying to grow the traffic coming through here, and anything is appreciated! These stories will be my newest -and latest- attempt to get some more visitors.