Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Blood

The breeze, gentle at first, carries the voice to my mind. “No, not again!” I think, cupping my hands over my ears, trying to keep from hearing its taunting, knowing that I can handle only so much of this.

Night after night it comes, and even though I expect it to surround me, it finds a way to sneak in when my guard is down. I’m leveled by its assault, barely able to think, and unable to retain any semblance of vertigo. I fall to the carpet, writhing in pain, and my mind gets ever so close to the abyss separating sanity from insanity. Nearer and nearer I approach the gash dividing reality from what does not exist. And the drop from the precipice to what lies below is long and deep. Yes, it is like a bottomless well, devoid of water and waiting to fill itself with whatever it can.

“No, you can’t have me!” I shout. “Go away! Leave me alone!”

Laughter . . . laughter joins in with the whispered words, knowing I will crack, that it is only a matter of time. If anything, the laughter is worse, forcing its way on my entire body, its vibrations rubbing against my flesh, working along the distraught hairs on the back of my neck and radiating outward from there. I retch from the sensations of thousands of bugs crawling over me, knowing they will bite, but not sure when. The remembrance of biting bed bugs from a long ago place and time reach my mind, and I fear that they are here in my study and attacking me with their taunting presence before they bite and suck out my precious life-giving fluid.

Slapping wildly against the onslaught, I know I have stepped over the line when their teeth find their mark and my body convulses in the agony.

Just enough biting; just enough blood removed; and just enough crawling. Always the push is ever so close, enough to push me to the brink, but not all the way over. Yes, the voice knows; it always knows. Enough of the voice! I must defeat it.

“You cannot ignore me forever, you know,” the voice whispers in my ear, the words moving the bugs to the side. “You will listen to me; you have no choice.”

“No! Leave me!” I holler. “You don’t exist.”

Silence . . . blessed silence, but it does not last.

“Ah, but I do exist. I existed before, I exist now, and I will exist in the future.”

The present; the future. I must not allow this creature access to these two-time continuums. If I do . . .  No, I cannot even think of what might happen.

I force myself up, working against the vertigo problems, not wanting to subject myself to attacks from above. No more can I grovel before the beast. It must be dealt with from a position of strength. Heh, heh. This is how I will defeat it.

A clap of thunder encapsulates my room, and a rumbling beneath me rises up and splits it in two. One of my feet is left on one side, and the other one struggles to maintain balance on the opposite side of the tearing. The chasm becomes wider, and I push off with my right leg, attempting to propel my body to the other side, but my efforts are not enough. My hands grasp the far side as I slip and slide back, reaching for a secure hand-hold but not finding one. Ever closer I get to losing my grip and falling into the darkness below. My body flails against the side of the abyss, looking for a place where I can gain a foothold.

None is to be found.

Blood pours from my hands as I pull myself up ever so slowly, getting away from the forces waiting below. Every hand hold comes with a price attached, my body wracked in pain from the physical assault and the tearing inflicted on me. Finally, with a last heave, my entire body is out, and I am secure under my desk. The two sides slam together in defiance, as if to show me the power still resides within the room.

This time I’m not in any hurry to get back up. My body is beaten down, and I need to recoup. There is more to come; there is always more to come.

The breeze switches to a gale-force wind and blows a dense fog into the room. This is no ordinary fog: I’ve experienced it before. Now! Now is the time to get up.

My head demands release from the torment, but my body is not cooperating. I bob and weave like a punch-drunk boxer having gone one fight too many. Yes, I can’t conceive of fighting even one more round.

The fog is up to my chest, concealing what lies beneath. More suspense; more agony.

Serpentine entities wrap themselves around my legs, squeezing, relaxing their grip then repeating their torture. The veins and arteries in my already pummeled legs scream out in pain, not knowing what the next moment will hold.

“I take it you’re not enjoying the massage the vipers are affording you?”

Staring into the coal-black eyes of the horned beast speaking to me, his prominent brow and deeply creased face glaring at me, the hairs on my body once more tingle. All the stops are being pulled out tonight.

“I’m talking to you, boy” he says, “And I don’t like to be ignored.”

Rage replaces my fear. “Fuck you! Your presence is unwelcome here.”

Lightning and thunder reverberate through the room, being the outlet for his anger.

“Not welcome here? You have no choice in the matter. You don’t dictate what happens. I do.”

Scenes from days gone by play like a panorama of horror against the walls, ceilings, and floors of my room. And then  . . . and then they become alive once more, the dancing, naked bodies and their conjuration circle; the altar with a frightened virgin laid out upon it, her virginity attacked mercilessly as demon after demon take her and inject their seed into her, so many of them that the blood from her womb flows out onto the altar and then to the floor, the rivers formed from the confluence of blood and juices beating a horrid staccato against the floor.

And they come to me, tearing my clothes off and leading me to the altar. As before, I am always the last one to penetrate the woman lying before me. I cannot fight it. The forces against me are too strong. How I am able to rise up and perform as a man is a mystery. I am disgusted at what I am forced to do, and yet, at the same time, excitement bursts from my loins and I do what is demanded of me.

She stares at me, still in shock at what has transpired, but her eyes tell me she understands.

“You are weak,” the horned one says. You have always been weak. But that doesn’t matter. You were not conceived for the purpose of your own strength. Yours is another facet of birth.”

His words fly into my mind, knocking my mental stability down even lower, but the anger in me from what he has implied – no, more than implied – keeps me from going over the edge. What is he saying? I must know.

He laughs. “No need for you to speak to me. I know your thoughts. Ah, it is not for me to answer your questions tonight. She . . . she will answer them.”

My mind swirls from all I have seen and done, my eyes closing, attempting to refocus. When they open again, my study is as it was before anything happened, and I am clothed once more. It is as if everything that happened was only present in my mind.

But I know better.

The voice returns to me again, this time more insistent, not attempting to convince me now. Demands are hollered into my ears, my head shaken by the impact.

No more can I hide in my study. It is time to confront my demons.

I follow the voice to the cemetery. Yes, I know where it is coming from. As much as I have feared this moment, I realize it is necessary for me to attack the demons running rampant through my mind.

The mist, the same fog as before, has settled over the grave, but it parts when I arrive, exposing a shovel resting against the headstone. Trembling with fear, I take it into my hands and start digging.

With each pass through the dirt, the voice gets louder, telling me to dig faster, echoing its need for release. Sweat pours off me, my confusion and fear melding together. What do I do when the source from which the voice emanates is laid out before me? Releasing the demon cannot be a good thing but, then again, how do I silence the voice forever?

Shovel after shovel removes the dirt until I hit the top of the coffin. Instead of an increased volume from the voice, there is silence. A trick! Yes, this is a ploy. I am supposed to be lulled into a sense of false security, but that won’t work. I can’t be tricked that easily.

But what do I do now! I need to open the coffin and satisfy my curiosity once and for all. If nothing is here to worry about, then I can put my mind at ease.

Then again, the possibility exists that maybe all of this does reside entirely in me. Am I losing it? Is my mind going?

I must find out! I must!

With a vengeance, I tear the shovel into the coffin, not caring about any damage I might incur. What difference does that make? She is already dead. When I’m done, I’ll cover everything back up again.

I grasp at the last remnants of the lid and tear it off. I must see her now!

Looking down, a bright moon at my back, I stare at her and smile.

There’s nothing here to worry about,” I think. “She’s dead. As dead as they come.”

Starting to shovel the dirt back in on top of the coffin, I stop as soon as I start. She sits up, pieces of flesh dangling down from areas on her skeleton, teasing me with their very presence. The musky odor surrounding her almost forces me to pass out, and her eye sockets, long ago remaindered to empty holes, take on a red glow and stare at me. A smile breaks out on her skull, flashing those perfect teeth she always had when she was alive.

“I knew you would come, my son,” she says. “It took you a while, but my faith in you never wavered.”

My heart beats faster than it has ever beaten before. Never have I been so afraid. All the things happening around me when I was growing up are nothing compared to this. My mother, dead for five years, is still alive: if you can call her condition anything close to normal. All these years, she has called to me, imploring me to come to her, but I refused. Until tonight. My supposed closure is anything but.

“I gave you life years ago,” she says. “Now . . . now it is your turn to reciprocate. You will give me life.”

My mind reaches for an answer to what she is saying, but none is forthcoming.

“You are confused, my son. Don’t be. I pushed you out into the world forty years ago, and now you will do the same for me.”

Horror burns through every fiber of my being as she grabs me and pulls my body into what remains of her vagina. She and I both convulse as my adult persona is totally absorbed into her birth canal. She writhes in pain as the size of me works past her vaginal opening and rejuvenates her long dead body, bringing life back to her once more. My blood pours out of me and into her, supplying her with the precious liquid she so needs to live once more.

I scream out in pain, the sounds muffled between her thighs and that part of her expelling me so many years before.

She lies in the coffin a little longer, waiting for the pain to subside and the transformation to become complete. Five years is a long time to wait for a second coming.

“He was such a good son,” she says . . .

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2013 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

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About blazemcrob

Horror writer Blaze McRob Blaze McRob, writer of over seventy legacy published horror novels. I was a ghostwriter long before anyone had an idea we were lurking about. Through my adventures in the craft, I-or my author alter egos-have won virtually every award to be won. But awards mean little, don't they? It is the reader we wish to enthrall, and our souls to purge. So now it is time for Blaze to write as Blaze, and time for previous recipients of my tales to write more of their own material. In addition to my dark novels, I write horror shorts, flash fiction, and poetry. Ah, the sweet rhymes of iambic pentameter intermixed with glorious free-style. I am single and have eight children, my youngest only three years old. They are my life and the reason I fight the demons and the pain. blazemcrob.com

27 responses to “Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Blood”

  1. Gloria Richard Author says :

    The pace, the visceral reactions, the fresh descriptors (no cliché alerts in your writing, Blaze)

    Stellar!

    I connected on a personal level with “…my mind gets ever so close to the abyss separating sanity from insanity. Nearer and nearer I approach”…

    The words reminded me of an experience I had during self-hypnosis meditation. I traveled an unknown path (blue skies, serenity, white cloud puff, non-Pen-of-the-Damned exemplified).

    The path eventually led to a narrow opening between two cliff faces. I would have to pass between them to discover what was on the other side.

    The thought scared me, and I chose not to take that path. Until I read this post, I’ve often regretted that decision. What opportunities did I miss?

    Now? After you yanked me on-scene in your short story? I can leave the “what if…” behind.

    Thanks, again, Zack, for the turning me on* to this site. Just when I thought it couldn’t be done, free-to-be-me found a precipice she didn’t want to jump.

    [*Fiction writer Pen-of-the-Saucy might have ended that sentence there. Good thing she’s busy writing elsewhere today. 😉 ]

    Like

    • Gloria Richard Author says :

      Clarifying! Pen-of-the-Saucy (yes, I semi-stole your theme) loves word play. Comment to Zack intended as a my-kind-of-fun wordplay.

      I write steam…

      It’s hard to turn that off. Shoot me.

      ERK! Or (given the name of this site)…

      Conk me on the noggin with a Louisville Slugger.

      Like

    • blazemcrob says :

      Thank you so much, Gloria. It makes me very happy when my readers enjoy my tales. After all, that is the real reason we write, is it not? There is always an abyss in all of our life decisions. We walk a precarious path. One wrong move, one extra extension into the unknown and it could be over for us. But who decides where sanity ends and an unstable mind begins. No one that I know.

      I feel we need to challenge the barriers to what lurks in the unknown. If we don’t, we short-change ourselves. As humans, and as writers, we must not wallow in the depths of mediocrity.

      Blaze

      Like

  2. Thomas Brown says :

    A truly horrifying piece of fiction! I think this is probably the most visceral story I have read on Pen yet. The writing is powerful and read very quickly, I think due to the character’s mental turmoil at the start, which draws you in without realising. Then we reach the graveyard and all kinds of Freudian horror kept therein! A shocking, surreal horror story, Blaze. The bar has been raised!

    Like

  3. jaimiengle says :

    Holy shit! That is one f-ef up story. Really cool, unique, and expertly written to keep me scared to the last word.

    Like

    • blazemcrob says :

      I had a post on my FB page the other day warning people that this story went over the top. The reverse birth theory just sprang into my mind, jaimiengle. It is unique. Heh, heh. I love your f-ef attribution. 😀

      Blaze

      Like

  4. Daemonwulf says :

    Whoa! You warned us that we were in for a certain ‘treat.’ And you didn’t disappoint. This is truly the most fucked-up (and I will happily use the F-word.. *fuckface grin*) piece written to date for Pen of the Damned. And, to my Fiery Fiend, I must say that was simply awesome! Talk about engrossing! The narrative sped by at such a break-neck pace that I was hardly able to keep up with the words as they flowed down my screen. Truly a dark and dastardly journey you have taken us on Sir McRob…if that IS your name. *Hellish grin* Really a great thing! You leave me wanting more… *pseudo-Oedipal smile*

    Like

    • blazemcrob says :

      Ah, my wulfen friend, that you enjoyed my story makes me truly happy. A little barrier pushing can be most enjoyable: for the writer as well as the reader. As for the Sir McRob, that is a part of my secretive lurking about in the Damned Dark that surrounds us all.

      Blaze

      Like

  5. Joseph Pinto says :

    Holy crap, Blaze, I had intentions to call my mother and say hello earlier, but reading your story shot that all to shit! lol My first reaction as I read ‘Ashes to Ashes, Blood to Blood’ was: “oh no Blaze didn’t…oh yes he did!” lol I believe that’s what good horror is supposed to do – shock the reader, shake them silly, leave them wondering what the holy hell, and then begging for more. I think you’ve more than achieved that here.
    Disturbing, visceral, and completely (ahem) absorbing… I simply loved it!! Great work, Blaze!!

    Like

    • blazemcrob says :

      Thank you for your kind words, Joe. I set out to write a deep psychological tale with a huge twist at the end, and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      I love how you use the catch words, disturbing, visceral, and completely absorbing. 😀 You are a sly fox.

      One of my biggest fans told me she thought this is the best thing I have ever written. I’ve written many tomes, so this makes me thrilled. I had branched off into more of the horror/sci-fi/adventure gamut lately, but I will be doing many more of these Freudian pieces. The Damned Dark tales are the best.

      Blaze

      Like

  6. Nina D'Arcangela says :

    Blaze! Holy friggin’ WTF??? Great piece. I’m gonna focus on my favorite bit – the last third of the story. I really liked the concept of the mother reassuming the life she gave. Hauntingly twisted, completely off-the-farm, and grotesquely disturbing on so many levels! I think you’ve got a much longer piece lurking in there, and I for one, would love to read it in fully ‘fleshed’ out! ;}

    Like

    • blazemcrob says :

      Yes, Nina, there is more to come with this tale. I didn’t want to do a ho-hum story to start off the new year. We all get tired of the same fears and monsters done in the same boring ways. This has never been written about before, so I went for it. That’s what’s so enchanting about our little enclave of The Damned: There are no repetitive stories here. We have great poetry and off the wall short stories. Just one example is Run that Joe wrote last week. I was a long distance runner for many years, and the story was way cool. It spoke to me. We ARE the damned!

      Blaze

      Like

      • Nina D'Arcangela says :

        I absolutely loved Pinto’s Run! It was wickedly creative, and as someone who feeds off violence, it struck a very distinct cord with me as well. When that boy lets his creative mind have full control of his brain, there is no stopping him.

        As to your piece – I fucking (apply Daemonwulf’s pseudo-apology here if needed) love that you wrote about Mom resurrecting herself by reassuming her adult son into her womb! There was no fear of judgement – and beyond the fabulous concept itself, I think that’s one of the things I liked about it the most. My (much) earlier post, Chewing, is about a teenage girl being raped both physically and mentally. Like you said, one of the beautiful things about this group is we don’t need to be afraid to touch the untouchable subjects if we do it with tact, creativity, and Damned good writing!

        We ARE the damned! No doubt about it!

        Like

  7. Christopher Shawbell says :

    Blaze,
    You really dug into some deep issues in this piece. The voice in his head, the parasites, the chasm opening to Hell, and then the return to the womb was a disturbing journey through this man’s psyche. I enjoyed the read and the “not knowing” of the journey. When you took me to the climax, it all rushed in and came together. “Poor soul…” was all I could think.
    Wonderfully wicked. Thank you for posting.

    ~Christopher

    Like

    • blazemcrob says :

      Thank you for taking the time to read my little tale, Christopher. I am honored that you enjoyed my spin on life, death, and rebirth. All the writers in Pen Of The Damned tend to weave tales that take readers to new and Dark places.

      I will continue to write “wonderfully wicked” stories. 😀

      Blaze

      Like

  8. zkullis says :

    Reading this was like a bar fight. I felt myself pulled in, delirious with emotions ranging from excited, frightened, shocked, sickened, and then getting cold-cocked with that consuming conclusion made me want to pick up another bar stool at “Club Blaze” and starting swinging again.

    Wicked cool. Who will push the envelope, if not the Damned?

    Like

    • blazemcrob says :

      Wow, zkullis! This is one Damned fine review. I am thrilled that a tale as short as this should evoke so much imagery in your mind. My favorite part is where you said “Club Blaze.” Already, I am thinking up a story based on a club that would be nothing like the one Bogey ran in Casablanca.

      Thank you!

      Blaze

      Like

  9. blazemcrob says :

    Come on, zkullis, you know you want to read this story. Why . . . why I can see you as the bartender even. Yes! this can work!

    Blaze

    Like

  10. fiona mcvie says :

    Wow Blaze
    I really enjoyed his
    You really knowhow to but word together to make a great story
    I want more please xxx

    Like

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