Diagnosis: FEAR

“Dr. Anton Strah M.D. August 12th, 2011, 8:46 am. Patient #34, Mrs. Johnson, will arrive shortly for her appointment. This will be our 9th session. Mrs. Johnson has shown significant signs of debilitating fear and phobia. She is scared of her future, fearing for her well being in the days to come.”

The man placed his recording device gingerly on a polished end table. He sat in a tall leather chair, his right leg draped over his left at the knees, exposing a few inches of pale, imperfect skin above the sock. His age was starting to show in new colorations across his body, but his lean face still clung to a somewhat youthful complexion and his gray hair projected experience and intelligence rather than an air of depreciation.

Leaning against the right armrest and pursing his lips with effort, the doctor burrowed into his pants pocket for a tobacco pipe and matchbox. He lit the Revyagin and, waving the exhausted matchstick through the air, he sat back with a sigh. His posture eased as he puffed. A few moments later, still staring reflectively at the far wall, he continued speaking to the empty room.

“In paranoia, Mrs. Johnson has closed herself off from the world, keeping communication to an absolute minimum. She has begun to lash out violently at the people around her. Over our few sessions, she’s regressed to more instinctual behaviors. There is much more to unearth here, but current findings and theories are as follows:

“Mrs. Johnson’s fear, along with all previous patients, follows a natural progression that begins with anxiety. This first stage is quite common. Anxiety is a wide-spread occurrence in society. It is one of several emotional manifestations of what I’ve come to call the Fear Index: Anxiety – Fear – Horror – Terror.

“Experienced emotions progress sequentially—one building upon the other. There are many variables that affect the speed of progression along the Index, some examples of which are re occurrence, personality traits, life experiences, and sobriety levels, but the sequence always remains intact.

“In some cases—let’s call upon Mrs. Johnson’s reactions of horror during session 2, for example—it seems the initial emotional reaction is from the top end of the Index, but with close examination the theory still holds. The stages are indeed experienced consecutively, simply at an accelerated pace. After all, one cannot experience horror without anxiety, nor terror without fear. The logic behind the Index becomes clear when each stage is defined.

  • Anxiety = Stress caused by minor and/or subliminal worries or problems.
  • Fear = Amplified anxiety from unknown dangers, real or imagined.
  • Horror = Fear coupled with knowledge; knowing what dangers will or are happening.
  • Terror = Horror with understanding, realization of helplessness and lack of control; the danger is imminent and inevitable.

“Physical variances within my patient group seem to have had no affect on the uniformity of their reactions. The noted physical characteristics are as follows: gender, nationality, age, height, weight, and physical deformities/limitations. Unpredictable variances have occurred, however, from psychological characteristics, which are, of course, more difficult to identify and catalog without more extensive analysis. Therefore, I have decided to allocate more time in that area.

“Taking Mrs. Johnson, again, as an example, she has displayed a fascinating speed variance in her Fear Indexian manifestations based on Motherhood. Her own distress yielded more subdued reactions than in the situations which focused on her offspring.

“This variance has also occurred in other patients and their array of relationships, indicating a solid pattern of behavior. Even in documented studies where the direct distress was greater than that on the familial connection, the pattern persisted.”

Dr. Strah fell silent for a moment. Puffs of smoke danced and whirled before his calm blue eyes like ethereal projections of the gears working in his mind.

“It never ceases to amaze me, this contradiction that all humans have in fear and violence. We try like Hell to avoid problems and stress. We run from confrontations and shelter ourselves with paranoia and antisocial tendencies. We scoff at the military. We shake our heads at the news. But we watch. Oh yes, we watch. And they continue to feed us violence and fear, because it’s what we want. It’s what we crave: rubbernecking at car crashes, dangerous sports, bloody horror movies, stunt videos gone wrong, snuff films, war after war after war. It’s clear we can’t live without fear and violence… our lives would lose value and become utterly meaningless.

“Ah, but I’ve run off track. So… today’s session with Mrs. Johnson will pick up where session 8 ended. I anticipate the three days between sessions has served as a period of recuperation for her, and a catalyst for amplifying the direct link to her phobias through reflection.

“I also anticipate that it will take little prodding to send her up the Fear Index. Once at top of the Index, her comprehension will be documented and discussed in the hopes of seeing improvement in her current destructive and rebellious behaviors—the road to acceptance.”

A buzzer cut through the doctor’s thoughts, humming sharply on the phone next to his recorder. With calm slowness, he tapped the embers from his pipe and propped the sculptured briar against an ashtray. Depressing the illuminated button on his phone, he answered the call. “Hello, Edward? Allow me a moment in preparation then please bring her in.”

“Of course, Doctor.”


Dr. Strah, with recorder in hand, walked around the leather chair and back to a massive desk. The path beneath his shiny Oxford shoes changed from carpet to tile with a sudden clacking rhythm. A nearby coat rack supplied him with a white clinical jacket. Depositing the digital recorder on the desktop, he opened the upper-most side drawer and tugged twice on the latex glove box, as if pulling tissues from a dispenser. With sounds of stretching rubber, he pulled on the gloves and laced his fingers for a snug fit. Then, he pocketed a vial of clear liquid and a syringe before closing the drawer.

The double doors behind him opened as Edward wheeled Mrs. Johnson into the room and positioned her at the center of the tiled flooring. He was impeccably dressed and groomed in a manner identical to the doctor; black and white semi-formal attire topped with an earth-toned sweater and lab coat, slicked back hair, short beard, even the rubber gloves. He was the spitting image of a young Dr. Strah, if one could only ignore the thick scars that ran down his cheeks like streaming tears and the vivid oddity of his hetero chromatic eyes—bright blue in his right and vibrant green in his left.

Edward walked around her gurney, locking the wheels and checking the straps. Satisfied, he placed a gentle hand on her shoulder and leaned in to offer her a warm smile before going about his work throughout the room.

A bright light kicked on as the doctor stepped over to the gurney. He held up the syringe, filling it with liquid from the vial. “Mrs. Johnson,” he said, leaning close. “It’s good to see you again.” She squeezed her eyes shut. He pumped the hammer on the syringe, shooting a stream of morphine into the air. “Let’s begin, shall we.”

Bringing the needle down in a swift, sure arc he injected himself—eyelids fluttering as the cold tingling rush coursed through his veins. He moved his eyes across the room in a slow sweep of fascination and wonder. Eventually, they settled back on the woman and he smiled in a wide jackal’s grin. “Much better.”

Edward wheeled over a cart brandishing an array of metal tools that shot a band of reflected light across Dr. Strah’s face.

Mrs. Johnson’s quick breaths neared hyperventilating levels. Tears ran down, collecting in the curves of her ears. Her gag only allowing muffled vowels and whimpers.

Selecting a scalpel from the tray, Dr. Strah spoke with a calm passion.  “As always, please depress the appropriate button to indicate your emotional level. And remember, this is for posterity, so please… be honest.”

~ Tyr Kieran

© Copyright 2012 Tyr Kieran. All Rights Reserved.

Wretched Harvest

A stale wind blew through the Appalachian woods, sending the branches of the trees into a frenzied dance and driving a flock of birds from their nighttime perch.

As they took flight, she coughed. And when she did, she coughed up blood.

Bitter warmth streamed into her mouth, pooling thick at the back of her throat, choking her struggling breath.

Behind teeth that ached with the pain from gums swollen by repeated blows to the skull, her bloated tongue tried desperately to form a sound. Willing her vocal cords to act — to speak, to scream, to do anything — all she could muster was a small whimper as her body ignored her pleas.

She was naked, bathed in fear. The threads of rope that secured her hands over her head burned, turning her wrists to pulp. A fallen tree branch stabbed into her side as the humid tongue of autumn licked at her exposed flesh and wet, blood-soaked soil sucked her backside and buttocks into its hungry mouth.

Amid the renewed hammering of her heart and the gurgle of blood and saliva bubbling over her lips, she thought about how her pathetic existence had brought her to this moment. She had despised her life in this small, North Georgia town. It had been one consumed with brutal drudgery and unbearable insignificance. But, somehow, it never seemed more precious to her than now as she lay on the ground dying.

Her body ached; bruises welling up on her legs. On her back. And on her arms. A swollen cheek squeezed closed her right eye, and a broken jawbone obscured what little view she had left of the world from which she’d spent so much time planning escape.

Through dwindling sight, she looked up into the face of her killer.

And he stared back.

His striking features no longer embodied the big-city charm and grace that had drawn her to him in the bar and later successfully encouraged her to his side as they left arm-in-arm. This man that she, for a moment, had thought could be her savior from small-town agony was now little more than a fluid silhouette fumbling in the shadows above, the faint glow of moonlight creating a shimmering halo around his dark frame.

His eyes gleamed from deep sockets, and gore-smeared lips smiled at her as he did little more than grunt, assessing her with as much significance as would a butcher to a hog.

Repulsed by the sight of her own fluids coating his face, she looked helplessly into the night sky. As a child she’d been fascinated by the stars – always a source of hope and the promise of far-off places. And there as usual, the bears – major and minor — glimmered in the dark expanse. Crouching nearby was Orion the Hunter, leading his rag-tag band of gods into battle with lesser creatures.

Her murderer breathed into her face, stealing away any thought of rescue from above. His was little more than a cruel wheeze, accompanied by the falling leaves that glided silently through the air, intermittently obscuring her view of the heavens. Several of them clung to his bare torso; her own blood serving as the glue that kept them in place.

Through tear-filled eyes, she noticed pieces of her self clinging to his chin. She thought he must have bathed in her, smearing her essence in great swathes across his body. Bloody handprints, like those of a child artist with bedroom wall as canvas, crisscrossed his chest and shoulders.

Squatting over her, his weight was immense. His powerful thighs rested on her own. He said nothing. Oddly observing. Burning menacing holes into her brain. Her would-be knight, was no longer the man he had appeared to be. He was, instead, an animal wearing the skin of her Lancelot.

Perhaps it was shock, or impending death playing a dirty trick on her mind, but behind him the darkness seemed to part; as the curtain of night was silently drawn back. A void appeared where there had once been only shadows, and through it stepped a small boy. His skin was smooth with youth, surely no more than 10 years old, and dark, unruly hair poked playfully from beneath the brim of a ragged baseball cap. The child’s shocking blue eyes glimmered from behind his caramel-colored features.

She felt an odd sense of calm in the young boy’s face.

In his right hand he carried a large coin, flipping it over and over, its silver guilding glinting in the moonlight.

First heads, then tails.

He let the coin fall to the ground. It landed with a dull thud that silenced the voices of the forest.


Once again his eyes met her’s, and he calmly said, “Last call… Looks like this time you’ve won.”

With the boy’s words, her killer plunged his hands into her body. The horror in her midsection was like a brush fire through dead wood. Flames of pain spread through her as his sharpness sunk deep inside her bowels. His was a penetration that was never deeper, a violation never more extreme. Oily pieces of her slipped through his fingers, and she shuddered as his rough hands snapped a rib.

She fought the urge to look down at her abdomen. Instinct told her to grab at the coils that now burst from her stomach like meat from an over-ripe melon and shove them back into her vented cavity. But the rope held her instincts in check.

An audible smack accompanied her intestines as they sloshed onto the soggy ground beside her. From the exposed mass, he retrieved an unrecognizable piece of her, something that vaguely resembled a photo she’d once seen in a schoolbook.

Vomit urged her throat open while the bears looked down from the sky. They snarled, ravenously. All of nature, it seemed, had turned against her.

He shoved the bile-coated organ into his mouth. And just before her eyes closed forever, she saw him flash a set of perilous razors as he bit off a section of raw meat, her juices spilling over his lips and dripping onto his chest as he chewed.

The boy standing beside her looked on quietly as the Liberator completed his task.

And somewhere in the distance, from the grainy speaker of a jukebox in a roadside bar, Charlie Daniels played a vicious, dueling fiddle.

~ Daemonwulf

© Copyright 2012 DaemonwulfTM. All Rights Reserved.

Devil Dolls

Shadows on the wall so eerie, made the little girl grow teary,

Watching shapes of hideous evils casting their disturbing gloom.

As she shuddered , nearly crying, all at once she heard a prying,

Much like someone trying, trying to get in the room.

“T’was some evil thing,” she figured, prying to get in her room.

“More than this, it’s bringing doom.”


Oh, so clearly she remembered, all was safe when first she slumbered,

Yet ‘twas every scary trembler brought it’s fear into the room.

Thus it went she longed for freedom, away from all the bad to come,

In her spread, patchwork of welcome, welcome for the coming doom.

But the scared and ominous youngster felt the wrath from evil’s womb.

Much noise now within the room.


Thus the sunken fears around her, tearing at the edge of horror

Scared her, brought her awful angst that ‘round her head did loom.

So she took to calm the pounding in her chest; she tried retreating

From the gruesome evil sounds, gaining entry to the room.

Yes, the gruesome evil sounds, gaining entry to the room.

This it was, and so much doom.


Who is there, or what, she wondered, wanting now to enter room.

But the fact was, she was frightened, feelings of her fears so heightened,

That her heart was oh so tightened, tightened deep within her room.

So deep inside her frightened mind, she tried to run from the doom.

Deep angst there, inside the room.


List’ning to the scary prying, as she shuddered, thinking, crying,

Fretting, fearing fears no children ever had to face in room.

But the horrors were so eerie, and the darkness made her teary,

And the only thing she wanted was a happy place, ‘nought doom.

This she wanted, and her mind repeated of a place, ‘nought doom.

Merely this, inside her room.


She returned to blankets hiding, all the fears inside her chiding,

But this time the sound was grating, closer , closer to her room.

“I’m scared,” said she, “I’m scared about the things that lurk inside this place,

What could there be the fear to chase, and so much more ‘tis gloom?”

Why could her soul be yet so torn, and drawn to fears of doom?

‘Tis the angst, inside the room.


And no more fear could she handle, her heart aflame just like a candle.

Inside the room a scream so loud, brought her mother to the room,

And when the lights were turned on full, Demonic Dolls did on her pull.

With the force of dolls so awful, so many now inside the room,

Sat upon a floor so shiny, in the middle of the room.

Sat and sat, in room of doom.


Twins on toybox top were sitting, evil faces, twisted smiling,

Blond haired boy with knife so handy welcomed Mom into the room.

His bright white eyes were rimmed in black, and stared at her, all set to hack.

Her body not would he let back, for now this room would be her tomb.

And so the boy advanced to her, and blood tipped knife t’was spelling doom.

Said the child, “This is your tomb.”


She tried to run but was stopped short, for other dolls came to abort

Her effort now turned to failing, dolls swept o’er her like a broom.

Dolls with her were not agreeing with her plan of capture fleeing

And now from her was much weeping as she faced her final doom.

Many dolls did come to anchor her to floor of daughter’s room.

Anchor her in her new tomb.


And so the boy did end her life, no more for her to feel its strife.

With one move, he finished her, and no more would she feel the boom

Of all hardships she had suffered, and no more pain need be buffered,

For all the dolls ‘round her muttered, “No more will you feel the gloom,

Your life upon the floor will stay, incumbent not on the gloom.

Welcome now in to your tomb.”


And so more dolls from toybox came, involved for now in their new game.

Former playmate now did hover close to entry of her room.

Trapped by those now giddy dollies, intent upon newfound follies,

Licking lips ahead of jollies, thinking of the young girl’s doom.

Time it was, for her gloom.


Thus the dollies’ lips were smiling, inside their minds so beguiling,

Set upon the girl so fragile, blocking her from leaving room.

And before her eyes were blinking, the dolls had all started thinking,

Others on the floor were drinking, her mother’s blood inside the room.

All this now, unholy, ghastly, scant and horrible place of doom.

‘Twas the horror in the room.


As they came intent on stopping all the effort from her leaving,

Knowing now their thoughts had changed concerning changes in the room.

So now they planned on her having, a life in here everlasting,

As their playmate, keen on staying, lightened mood inside the room,

Yes their playmate, keen on staying, lightened mood inside the room.

Change from doom, though still a tomb.


They dragged her next to teddy bears, upon the floor they had no cares,

Though their innards had been torn by knife of evil boy in room.

Twin girl did jump from off her perch, on top of toybox did

She lurch. Horror—horror and regret from the girl t’was trapped in gloom.

Damn, oh damn this harsh regret, still within this horrid room.

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


Twin girl in white upon the child, did force her face down mean and wild,

Into the blood of her dead mom, the evil girl with blood did groom.

And twin’s white dress, once so flaunted, dripped with blood, now undaunted.

In this place of horror haunted, much was kept within this room.

Nothing—nothing more of horror —kept here —kept here in this room.

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


“A part of us you now will be, and never more will you be free.

Demonic Dolls surround you now, and all of us will share this room.

Become a part of what we are, and never will we wander far.

And so embrace what now you are, forget about impending doom.

For you will never go too far, forget about impending doom,”

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


“Heed you now our words of greeting, friend or foe can be so fleeting.

So stay with us and be our friend, and we will have fun in this room.

And those against us who will come, will feel our wrath much more than some.

And all who rail that we are one, shall feel the strength within the room.

Together we shall conquer all, and ’round the rest our hate will bloom.”

Place of gloom, and still a tomb.


And so the girl, now is sitting, still is sitting, still is sitting,

On the shiny floor of horror, deep inside the room of gloom.

And her eyes have all the knowing of the dolls around her showing,

And the knowledge still is growing deep within this eerie room.

And her mind becomes as eerie as the others in the room.

No place of gloom, or a tomb.

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2012 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

The Hunter

Slinking through the shadows, the wakened beast starts to rage.
Cursed and bound to endless dark, he hates his moonlit cage.
Longing for a taste of light, the hunger swells within.
Lips pulled taut across his fangs, he dons a feral grin.

Corded muscle starts to quiver with the song of night.
Snout turned up to sniff the air, he tracks his victim’s flight.
Yellow parchment wings expand with a muted rustle.
Deadened twigs crack in the woods ‘neath his victim’s hustle.

Her pounding heart provides the song pulsing in his ears.
Flee and chase, a pointless game, performed throughout the years.
Razor talons glint beneath the silver glow of moon.
Eyes slit with enraptured bliss, he knows it will be soon.

Caught up in the thrill of hunt, the demon gives a howl.
Withered leaves fall below; he emits a smell most foul.
Pungent sulfur fills the air; his victim starts to cry.
Blinded by a veil of tears, she knows that she will die.

Sprawled in savage tumble, they go crashing to the ground.
His amber eyes dance with glee; she begs without a sound.
With an ominous rumble, he claims his frightened bride.
Wings pressed flat against his back, he thrusts his fist inside.

Prize in hand and bathed in blood, he holds her stilling heart.
Depraved, he licks it clean and beholds the Devil’s art.
Coiled over crimson form, he eats his fallen foe.
Take heed when in shadow, or this hunter you will know.

~ Adriana Noir

© Copyright 2012 Adriana Noir. All Rights Reserved.