“Just look at that slut. You know she slept with every boy in her class.”
“I heard she did ten guys one night at Tracy Martin’s sweet sixteen. Daewon said they pulled a train on her. I don’t even know what that means, but I’m sure it’s disgusting.”
“I mean, look at her. Girl is ratchet as hell.”
“I bet she’s a dyke, too.”
“You can’t be a dyke and screw boys.”
“Tell that to Cindy. She knows this girl’s sister who went to grammar school with her and she said that she was doing girls in like the sixth grade.”
“I told you, that girl is duuurty.”
“Hey, what are you lookin’ at, nasty?”
“Keep on walkin’, bitch.”
Andi Swan pulled her books tight to her chest. She tried to avoid eye contact, staring at a point over the heads of Jazabelle, Elise, Emily and Jade. The four girls narrowed their heavily made-up eyes and spat a slew of obscenities her way.
“You like what you see, lezzie?”
“No one even likes your lonely ass. If I was you, I’d drop out of school.”
They laughed, giving each other high fives. Andi stood her ground. When she opened her mouth to speak, Emily put up a hand and said, “Don’t even think of talking to us. Just keep stepping. You’ll be late for your next abortion.”
Andi’s hand went to her throat, to the gold St. Andrew medallion that her grandmother had given her on her first Communion.
“Bitch is stupid and a ho. You waiting for me to come over and bust your dyke nose?”
Andi swallowed and cleared her throat.
“No,” she sputtered, the words collapsing to the scuffed floor.
“Well, if you don’t walk away, that’s what we’re gonna do.”
This brought the girls nearly to tears, guffawing and stomping in circles.
“I… I just want to see,” Andi said.
They stopped their reverie. “See? See what?”
The girls clenched their fists. They had riled themselves up for a good, lopsided ass kicking.
Andi let go of the cross and pointed to the ceiling.
The girls looked up in time to take the sudden explosion of concrete directly in their faces. The ceiling came down with a thunderous crash, obliterating the four girls in the flutter of a butterfly’s wings. Andi winced at the sound of their bodies popping like water balloons under the rubble. Crimson gouts of blood spurted through the gaps in the debris.
Kids screamed. Teachers shouted. The hall filled with dust and death. Pandemonium 101 was in session.
Andi coughed. Her eyes stung and her lungs hurt from breathing in the tainted air.
Mr. Bernson, her fourth period living environment teacher, ran over to make sure she wasn’t hurt. He grasped her shoulders. His fingers were hard and bony.
“Are you all right? Did you see what happened?”
Andi slowly looked to him. “I saw the crack. I tried to tell them.”
“Tell who, Andi?”
She pointed at the widening pool of blood seeping from the wreckage. He darted to the pile of concrete, yelling for help, digging for lost treasure.
Clenching her jaw so as not to smile, Andi whispered, “Dumb bitches,” and walked out into the fresh air.
Author’s Note : St. Andrew is the patron saint of sudden death.
Karma’s a bitch, especially to bullies.
~ Hunter Shea
© Copyright 2013 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.
Heed the Tale Weaver: Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Damned. Through May 7, 2013, upon each new post, a comment you will leave. A package of ghoulish goodies tainted with an offering from every member of the Damned awaits one fated winner – glorious books, personalized stories and eternal suffering at your feet. Now Damn yourself, make your mark below! But remember insolent ones, you must leave a comment, a “like” will not earn you a chance at our collection of depravity. Do not make the Damned hunt you down.
The striking of our grandfather clock woke me from a deep, bottomless sleep. The sky outside the lone window was still a dark gray, lightened ever-so-slightly by the threat of the dawn. I stretched my arms above my head and rolled my eyes, attempting to shake off my slumber.
My heart thudded in my chest.
I was alone, and on the opposite side of the parlor from my sister.
All of the candles were out.
How did I get here? The pile of books we had been reading lay a good seven feet from where I sat.
Jessamine was in the far corner, asleep and on her back.
I felt a tug at my ankle and stifled a yelp. I instinctively recoiled. In the dark, I couldn’t see what had gained purchase of the bottom half of my nightgown.
There followed the sounds of hurried clacking, as if a pair of rocks had skipped across the wood floor.
Despite my inability to see it, I knew it had to be in the room with us. It must have waited until Jessamine fell asleep, then separated us so it could do its dirty deed.
“Jessamine,” I hissed, wanting to wake her, yet terrified of alerting the ghoul, lest I become its latest morsel.
There was no answer.
Willing my legs to stand, I inched my way upwards, using the bookcase shelves to hoist myself up inch by inch.
I heard a tearing sound, followed by something far worse.
The smacking sounds of mastication, broken by eager, glutinous breaths, filled the parlor.
“Jesssamine!” I shouted.
Still no reply.
I needed light. It was impossible to face the ghoul in the dark. My spirit wavered between bravery and death by panic. I fumbled around the desk until I found the matches.
I struck one against the desk. It sputtered for a moment, then fizzled out.
The sounds in the corner stopped.
I could feel the ghoul’s penetrating gaze cut through the dark.
I grabbed another match, and with unsure hands, tried again.
The match stick broke in half, falling to the floor.
Clack, clack, clack, clack.
Those odd footsteps again.
Now a gurgling sound, a bubbling death rattle of a cry.
“Please, dear God, help,” I whimpered as I reached to pick out another match.
My cry was answered, as my thumbnail flicked across the match head, a brilliant flame roared to life.
And in that same instant, I wished I’d never brought light into the parlor.
My doll, my porcelain companion, stood on two small legs, leering at me. Its face had turned a mottled green, and bloody teeth sprouted from a mouth that was never designed to open. Weeping warts covered it from head to toe.
Worst of all, a strip of flesh, Jessamine’s flesh, hung loosely from its mouth.
I yelled in horror upon seeing my sister’s exposed throat. She lay, still as death, as her blood pumped onto the floor.
The demonic ghoul had truly left my poor, dear sister.
But it hadn’t gone to hell.
It had made a vile home within Lucy.
The ghoul clenched and unclenched its gnarled hands and slurped up the shredded flap of Jessamine’s throat.
I don’t know what overcame me then. I had been living for half a year under the specter of Satan and his damned minion. Fear, as much as Lucy, had been my constant companion.
There was no longer room for fear. This abomination had destroyed my family, and I knew at that moment that I would never again be the same. My heart turned cold while my temper flared like the center of a great bonfire.
Snarling like a mad person, I grabbed the candle and leapt for the ghoul. Cackling, it tried to sidestep from me, but I snared one of its slimy legs.
Warts burst open like blossoming flowers and a vile, hot fluid leaked onto my hand, burning my skin.
Still, I held on.
It shrieked. It hissed. It chomped its jaws and just missed snagging its teeth into the back of my hand.
With a flick of my wrist, I managed to get it to flop on its back.
Lucy’s blue eyes had been replaced by obsidian pools of hate. I moved my hand that held the candle onto its throat. Once I had a firm grip, I transferred the candle to my other hand.
“This time, go back to hell where you belong!” I shouted.
I brought the flames tips to its eye and heard a satisfying sizzle as the onyx orb melted. I moved the candle to its other eye and didn’t stop until both eyes were gone.
Suddenly, the ghoul’s protests and flailing stopped. Its tiny body twitched once, and was still.
Reluctantly, I let it go so I could rub the burned skin on my hand. The ghoul was dead.
Keeping a close eye on it, I walked on unsteady legs to my sister. Her face looked so peaceful, as if she had died in the midst of the most wonderful dream.
The tears came in a torrent, and I held her head in my lap, ever watchful for signs of the ghoul’s return.
I stayed there in the corner with Jessamine’s cooling body for two days.
When father returned, I was too weak to run into his arms.
His face was aghast.
“What…what…what?” he stammered.
“It was the demon in Jessamine. It became a ghoul. When it left Jessamine, it hid inside Lucy. You can see it, right there!” I screamed, pointing at its lifeless body.
But when Father picked it up, he held only my Lucy, her little head fractured but still the Lucy I’d always known. Her eyes were tiny points of ash, but Jessamine’s blood had somehow been cleansed from her porcelain face.
Despite my anguish and exhaustion and vexation, I began to laugh.
I laughed while my father pulled me away, and in his carriage, all the way into town. I laughed when he brought me to hospital, and even when they carried me to a room that smelled funny and was so bright, it felt like I had been thrown into the center of the sun.
And I still laugh now, ten years later.
They think I did it.
Esther passed on from infection.
Jessamine perished from her wound at the ghoul’s hand.
Mother never regained her sanity. In fact, she’s in a room not very far from my own. I pass her in the yard sometimes. She spits curses at me and blames me for the evil that befell our family.
Only I know it was the ghoul; the demon that slipped into our Old Manse and within my departed sister, the dearest person in my life. And when it tired of a human host, it found Lucy.
I tell everyone but no one will believe me.
Evil is real.
The ghoul was real.
And Lucy is still somewhere, outside these four walls. If you see a doll with burned eyes, run. Run and pray your soul hasn’t been tainted.
~ Hunter Shea
© Copyright 2012 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.
(continuation of ‘Mercy‘ chapter 1 s2iKoL-mercy )
Jessamine slept often, those first few days after her return. I was allowed to take her to the garden for one hour each day, where I read poetry to her and piled dozens of fresh picked flowers on her lap. The hail storm had laid waste to our vegetable garden, but the heartier flowers that lined the old house were spared its wrath.
“Do you remember how it felt when…” I couldn’t bring myself to finish the question. Father had told me to never mention the word exorcism again, especially in front of Jessamine.
She shook her head. “I don’t remember a thing. It just felt as if I’d disappeared, like sleeping without dreaming.”
“Please don’t go away again.”
“I promise, I won’t. Big sisters are supposed to take care of their little sisters, not the other way around. Thank heavens you had Lucy to watch over you while I was…gone.” She cradled Lucy in her hands, smoothing her thumb over the tiny fracture.
I had to say something that had puzzled me ever since her possession. “You’d think living in the Reverend’s house would have prevented something like this from happening. I mean, this is sacred ground of sorts. ”
Jessamine stares at the old stone manse, at its tall windows and gabled roof. Her eyes glazed over as if with fever. Her lips were dry and cracked and her voice was soft and distant when she replied, “Yes, you would think so.”
Despite father’s insistence that we put Jessamine’s episode behind us, lest we give the evil the power to creep back into our lives, it was hard for me to stay silent. I had so many questions.
I lay in my bed letting the questions twist round my brain. The moon was full and brilliant and cast silvery shafts of diaphaneity across our small bedroom.
How did the evil worm its way into Jessamine?
Where did it go?
How did it go? Was it simply a matter of saying the right words by the Reverend, or was it something more, something that couldn’t be seen or heard?
“I’m sure it’s in hell, where it belongs,” my sister blurted from her sleep. It was if she had read my thoughts!
It gave me a terrible fright. I touched her lightly on the shoulder but her heavy exhalation told me she was in a deep state of sleep.
The house took on a preternatural silence and the radiance of the moon no longer seemed so gay. Sleep did not come easily.
I was awakened by Esther’s piercing scream. Jessamine and I threw off our blankets and rushed down the stairs.
Esther was still in her nightclothes. A wide, dark streak of blood marked the trail of her pained walk from her room by the kitchen to the dining room.
She reached out to us with shaking hands. “Help…me!”
It was awful. Her round face was red with strain and rivers of tears flowed from the corners of her eyes. Our charwoman had always been a source of invincibility in our home. She lay upon the floor like a helpless rabbit caught in a trap. Her leg was a mass of gore. With trembling hands she tried to stanch the flow of blood.
My father brushed past us and knelt by her side. He asked her how she had come to be hurt but poor Esther could only babble. The house was awash with our cries.
Mother had been given a prescription of laudanum to help her frayed nerves, so she remained oblivious to the commotion.
“Jessamine, fetch me that cloth over there,” he said.
When he turned to ask for her help, I saw the red, pulpy swath that had been carved into Esther’s leg. The edges of the wound were ragged, as if…
As if something had gnawed the flesh from her leg.
Esther’s moans died in her throat when she passed out, and I ran to the well to fill a basin with water.
The doctor arrived an hour later. He took Esther with him to the hospital. She awoke when Father and he lifted her from the floor and screamed like a madwoman all the way to the doctor’s carriage.
None of us ate that day. We couldn’t get the image of her gnawed-upon leg out of our brains.
“Father, what could do such a thing to Esther?” I asked. “Could it have been a wolf?”
He shook his head and smoothed the sides of his great, bushy mustache. “I’m not sure dear. Esther was in no state to tell us. Perhaps when she settles down at hospital, she’ll recall. I’d say it had to have been some animal she encountered in the yard. I want you girls to pray for her recovery and that it wasn’t…rabid.”
When mother awoke in the early afternoon, she shuffled throughout the house, calling for Esther, wondering about supper.
It seemed we couldn’t escape the madness.
~ Hunter Shea
© Copyright 2012 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.
Chapter 3 will be available on Halloween Day on Hunter’s blog, www.huntershea.com. To be concluded on Pen of the Damned in December!
They say the Old Manse rests on consecrated ground, but we know different now. When evil comes, it does so without warning, without provocation, and without a care of the sacredness or sanctity of one’s home.
The devil lives among us. In fact, it sleeps in the parlor beneath my bed, the one I shared with my older sister, Jessamine, until four weeks ago. It festers within her frail body, a host that grows weaker with each passing day, so weak that I wonder how much more my poor sister can endure.
A week ago, I heard Father mention a word I’d never heard in my studies before.
Reverend Newton claims Jessamine is possessed by an evil spirit. It’s the only thing that can explain the physical change in her body, the mad gibberish she spits at us unabated, the fantastic feats she performs at will. Just yesterday, I watched her rise from the settee as if she had the weight of a cloud. It took Mother and Father to pull her down from the ceiling.
Oh, the terrible things it/she said to Father. The awful epithets it/she hurled at Mother.
The worst is saved for the Reverend. How the demon in Jessamine despises him.
The good Reverend arrived four days ago. Most of his time has been spent at her bedside, reading scripture, sometimes shouting, other times issuing commands in a soft yet commanding voice.
My sister’s exorcism is in its fourth day. It feels and looks as if we have all aged twenty years. Mother’s hair is whiter, and the weariness of Father’s eyes along with his sunken cheeks have given him the mask of a much older, decimated man.
Tonight is to be the last night. Either Jessamine will die or the Reverend will perish from the struggle between God and the Fallen One. I know in my heart of hearts that neither can persevere another day.
I was ordered to stay out of the parlor, but I can’t leave my sister’s side. I watch in mute horror as her body contorts and strange, terrifying sounds issue from her chapped, raw lips.
A hail storm, wild and white with gale winds that batter the glass windows of the Old Manse, howls in unison with the demon that has lodged itself within Jessamine’s throat. She is so pale. Her body is awash with sweat and blood, yet she shivers as if immersed in an icy lake.
“Child, the Reverand’s Bible!” my father shouts at me.
My heart hitches in my chest and I freeze.
It takes everyone in the room, Father, Mother, Reverand Newton and Esther, our charwoman, who was strong as ten horses, to contain my teenage sister’s writhing body. The popping of Jessamine’s shoulders and hips bring a wave of nausea to my already tormented belly.
“Mercy! The book!”
My mother’s panicked voice breaks me from my stupor.
Jessamine had smacked the book out of Reverand Newton’s hand when he tried to place its binding against her flushed, creased forehead. I find it under the chair and run to him.
Using his free hand to press down on my sister’s chest, he opens the book to a page with a red felt bookmark and begins to read.
“Submit yourselves to God! Resist the devil, and he will flee from you!”
Jessamine roars, an inhuman wail that sounds like a zoo of beasts in agony.
I step back, stifling my tears. I squeeze my doll, my only source of comfort, tight against my breast.
“We’re almost there,” the Reverand says to my father.
Jessamine’s eyes roll to the back of her head and her body goes limp.
The Reverend continues, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up!”
A hail stone the size of a man’s fist crashes through the window. The angry wind follows, billowing out the heavy, maroon drapes. All of the candles snuff out and we plunge into darkness.
I scream. I know I’m supposed to be strong and brave for my tormented sister, but out it comes anyway, a scream from the pit of my soul that won’t stop until my throat is torn to pieces. I want it to cease! I can’t bear another moment under this roof, wrestling with the devil that has taken hold of my dear, loving Jessamine.
Through my screams of terror, there is no way to know that all had grown deathly still.
A pair of cold hands place themselves on either side of my face.
“Mercy, please, it’s all right,” a voice hushes. Stale breath brushes across my face.
Reluctantly, I open my eyes, and my spirit soars.
I throw my arms around my frail sister and we go crashing to the floor.
“Be careful,” mother admonishes.
“You’re back! You’re really back!” I cry, gazing into her clear, exhausted eyes.
A stream of tears flow down her cheeks and she kisses the top of my head. “I am,” she replies. “And just in time, I see. You dropped Lucy.”
She hands my doll to me and I notice the crack in her once perfect, porcelain head. It runs from the corner of her right eyebrow to her painted hairline. Normally, such a tragedy would devastate me, but on this day, it was a pittance.
My sister had returned!
…to be continued, Part 1
Written by Hunter Shea, Story & Concept by Ivy Shea and Veronica Shea
~ Hunter Shea
© Copyright 2012 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.
Hank was finding it difficult to keep his balance as he thrust his hips between Silvana’s long, parted legs. She moaned in delight as each drop of sweat splashed onto her taut belly. Normally, such erotic groans, coupled with the warm tug of her deliciously wet sex and the steady bounce of her perfect, soft breasts would have been enough to send him over the edge, but he was so busy trying to keep himself from falling onto his side that he ended up grinding away like a porn star, which, in this case, was not a bad thing.
Maybe there was an advantage to losing a leg.
It had been six months since his motorcycle had tipped over on that tight curve as he exited the highway to his house. Unlike the Gretchen Wilson song that they had played several times at the pig roast that night, he was not one Bud Wiser when he hopped on his Harley. By the time he and the bike had stopped their skid (with a bone rending crash against a tree that stopped him from going over a cliff), his left leg was nothing more than a few strips of flesh and a stump of exposed, splintered bone.
Every aspect of his life from that moment on had been pure hell, with one exception.
She’d been his nurse right from the moment he’d been brought unconscious into the ER. When he needed pain meds, she was there. When he woke up crying or freaking out, she was at his side, holding his hand.
Now here he was, two days out of the hospital with the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, his comforter and healer, Silvana. Amazing how he had managed to step up in his class of women exactly when taking any physical step up was a journey that usually led back to square one.
“Oh God, I’m gonna come,” Silvana squealed. She grabbed his ass and pulled him deeper inside, shaking with the wildest orgasm Hank had ever seen, heard or felt. It was like riding Space Mountain and Splash Mountain at the same time! And Jesus, did he love her mountains.
Before he could take a breath, she had managed to switch positions. Her breasts swayed across his face, her dark nipples brushing across his lips. “Now it’s your turn,” she whispered.
Between her full, tan breasts dangled a long white key held around her neck by a thin gold chain. If she moved down any closer the key was bound to smack into his nose or worse yet, poke one of his eyes.
Silvana shifted her weight and he winced.
“I’m sorry baby, did I hurt you?”
“It’s okay,” he stammered. Pain and pleasure were now conjoined twins and he didn’t know whether to come or scream. It only took seconds for the former while he did his best to hold back the latter. She remained straddled across his hips while he grew limp inside her.
“Wow,” she huffed, out of breath.
“That’s putting it mildly.”
Hank’s eyes roved up and down her flawless body, covered in a delicious sheen of sweat. “Pinch me, I must be dreaming,” he said.
To his surprise, she reached down and tweaked the flesh of the stump that was once his leg. He recoiled in pain.
“Hey, that fucking hurt!”
“Can you forgive me?” she cooed. She massaged her breasts together, smothering the strange white key between her cleavage. As much as he hated to admit it, because the woman had just intentionally hurt him, he was helplessly hypnotized.
When the key reemerged, he said, “That’s an interesting necklace. Where’d you get it?”
Tracing her finger across its ivory edges, she said, “Someplace very special. It’s a real working key, you know.”
It was about two times the size of a normal house key with a considerably sharp point.
“Must open a pretty big door.”
“The biggest,” she replied with a husky giggle.
It suddenly dawned on Hank that even though they had spent a ton of time together during his recovery in the hospital, he really didn’t know much about her. In the hospital, she was a competent, caring nurse. In her apartment, she was a barely contained erotic hurricane. And now she was giggling over this strange key like a little child who knew a secret that no adult could ever understand.
“You know, you’re not my first,” she said, inching up to rest on his stomach. At least she was further away from his wounded leg.
“I kind of got that feeling.”
Again with the giggling. “Not that. My first, you know…” She tilted her head to look down at the spot where his leg should be.
“You mean amputee?” he said, a cold prickle of doubt inching up his spine.
“I guess you could say it’s like a fetish of mine. You’d think they’d be grateful, but they never are. I mean, look at me!”
She removed the necklace and held the key in her hand.
A bilious swarm of dread made Hank’s flesh grow cold. He tried to move out from under Silvana but was as weak and defenseless as a baby.
“When they brought you in that night, no one told you that your leg came in thirty minutes later, or what was left of it.”
“What are you saying? They could have reattached my leg?”
She shook her head. “But I saved it. The thing about a leg is there’s so much bone to work with.”
She brought the alabaster key to her cherry lips and kissed it.
“It helped me make the key to your heart, baby.”
“No, no, no!” Hank struggled to move out from under her.
“And now that I have the key, I’m going to lock you up nice and tight.”
Silvana raised the key above her head and plunged it into his chest, expertly finding the gap between his ribs and puncturing his heart. It beat wildly for a moment and the world spun.
“Silvana,” he whispered.
His heart slowed, and the pain that had been his constant companion ebbed into the ether.
Her face slipped out of focus. The sound of her labored breathing grew distant, fading as he hurtled into the unknown.
Hank felt the blood grow still in his body and his life seep into the musky sheets.
“Now you’re mine forever,” she whispered, and twisted the key.
~ Hunter Shea
© Copyright 2012 Hunter Shea. All Rights Reserved.