Arthur spoke the words over his shoulder as he groped around the table for his glasses. They were hard to miss with their stereotypical thick black frames and even thicker lenses. Cold against his skin, he shivered while fitting them into place. With the heat of his passion fully dissipated, he was quickly reminded of how cold his room could get.
Now able to see, Arthur spotted his clothes strewn on the floor. He threw on the shirt and started working at the buttons. “I hope you had as much fun as I did, wow. That was incredible.”
He was a man of small stature with a voice that followed suit, high and light. The excitement behind his molar-bearing grin nearly pushed that voice to the cracking point.
The young woman lying behind him with frazzled blonde hair, conversely, remained silent.
“I don’t want you thinking this is a normal practice for me. I’m not a serial one-night stand kinda guy. I just felt a connection between us, you know—a genuine spark that demanded exploration.”
He chuckled and turned to face her. “Usually, I try to get to know a woman before, I uh… Well, usually, that doesn’t work either, especially with a beautiful woman like you… and, never as strangers upon the first meeting, like this.”
A near imperceptible sigh escaped her lips.
“Th-that might have come out wrong, what I mean is, now we can take some time to learn more about each other. Would you like that?”
The woman stared blankly at the ceiling, seemingly unconcerned that the sheet was askew, leaving her breast exposed.
Arthur’s smile faltered. He finished dressing—buckling his belt and lacing his shoes—with full attention on her.
“I want to know more about you. I want to learn about the life choices that brought us together. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always believed in natural forces like destiny.”
“Alright. Alright, for example,” he continued, “I couldn’t help but notice the bruises. You’ve clearly had a hard time recently and I really want to know what happened to you that inevitably drove you here, to me.”
The smile, the fuzzy remnants of passion, the patience, all were gone now. Arthur jumped up, bumping into the table as he shouted, “I’m not the one who hurt you, okay? I’m only trying to help you!”
The woman’s head turned away from him.
“Fine, I’ll do this without you.”
He whirled around and grabbed a clipboard off the table behind him. Paging through the information, he read for a few moments, his frustrated breaths the only sounds in the cold room.
“I knew it. An abusive boyfriend did a number on you and left you, hurt and alone.”
Double doors slammed open behind him. Arthur was so startled he nearly dropped the clipboard.
An older man backed into the room pulling a gurney with him.
“You talking to the dead bodies again, Arthur?” He asked, smiling.
“Wha—uh, no. Well, yes. It’s my job to figure out what happened to them, isn’t it?”
“I hate to break it to you, man, but they don’t respond very well.”
“Fuck off, Allan.”
“My pleasure.” He said, laughing as he pushed through the double doors. They swayed in his wake, like half-doors to an old saloon, creating a sound akin to a faint, fading heartbeat.
Arthur pulled the sheet over the blonde’s face and spun around to check out the new arrival. It was a young brunette, with big brown eyes and full lips. He stared for a moment before fishing out her wrist from under the coversheet.
“Well, hello,” he said, kissing the back of her hand. “My name’s Arthur and I couldn’t help but notice a spark between us just now.”
~ Tyr Kieran
© Copyright 2014 Tyr Kieran. All Rights Reserved.
Sad voices drift through the early morning air as the matriarch is laid to rest, joining her husband who passed some twenty years prior. The last of the old guard now gone, the younger ones must carry the family torch.
Though the aged are usually thought of as carrying a certain acridness of the tongue and a bitterness directed at those around them, such was not the case with Mrs. Bellows. Always a kind word for all; generous to a fault; willing to open her heart and home to friend and family alike. Everyone loved her.
Beneath the ground in his little dwelling of terror, the Ghoul can clearly hear the words of the two discordant twenty-somethings as they sit on a nearby tombstone. They are bitter as all hell.
“Old bitch provided for everyone else in the family but us,” one gripes.
“Not fair. Not right at all, Tom,” the other replies.
“Sucks the big one, George. The rest of them think everything will work out for us, but the stupid old bitch gave our share to our parents for us. Shit! You know that ain’t gonna pan out. Mom and Dad believe we’re a couple of losers. We won’t see a dime of that fucking money.”
“Nothing we can do about it,” the passive one mopes.
“Maybe there is.” Hearing arrogance in this one’s voice, the Ghoul pays closer attention.
“What do you mean?”
“The old witch insisted on being buried with her favorite jewels. That shit is worth a fortune, and it isn’t doing any good rotting in the ground. That dough could be in our pockets instead.”
“You’re not suggesting… ”
“Yes, I am. Who would know?” A smile creeps across the Ghouls face upon hearing this, it’s beginning to sound promising.
George, the skittish one, hops down from the tombstone. His baggy-ass shorts almost falling off him, exposing black and white skull-figured boxers. He pulls them up to keep from tripping and starts to pace nervously while shaking his head. “You do this, you’re on your own! I’m not getting caught digging up our dead grandmother. It’s not like we’re damned ghouls!”
Oh, the graveyard resident bristles at the audacity of this statement. These two interlopers are discussing stealing from their deceased relative and one has the nerve to degrade him? This is a definite case of misplaced morality. What he does is to survive, but them? They are merely greedy boys, not caring about anyone other than themselves.
“You’re not scared, are you, George?” Tom asks, a sneer on his face.
“Well, a cemetery at night is not my preferred place to be. Pretty creepy if you ask me.”
“Look, tonight will be the perfect time to do this. We come in, dig the old lady up, heist the jewelry, shove the coffin back down, and split. The ground will still be soft, they won’t tamp it down until tomorrow. And her plot is so far from the road, no one will even know we are here.”
George shakes his head again. “Too risky.”
“Okay. I’ll come alone and do the deed, and I’ll be damned if I share it with you.”
George gnaws on his fingernail while he thinks. He wants the money. They’ll get a good sum for those trinkets buried under the ground. Enough to buy plenty of nose-candy for both him and Ginny. Yeah, Ginny, she’d spread her legs for the good shit, and he’ll still have a wad of bucks left over.
“Okay, okay!” he says, “I’m in.”
“Right on, bro. The good life is just waiting for us, all we need is a little scratch. We won’t have any more problems come tomorrow. None at all.”
Haha! Those two will have more problems than they can imagine, the Ghoul muses. Bad for them but great for me. Two main courses tonight. What a delectable feast! And what a charming host I’ll be as they walk straight into my kitchen.
Darkness is complete this evening: no moon at all, and the street lights are too far from this part of the cemetery to be visible.
The Ghoul sits, waiting patiently, knowing they will come. Tom’s intent was so intense the demon could taste it on the tip of his sensitive tongue. No way the little bastard will allow this opportunity to escape. The greed gnawing at the selfish twerp radiated throughout the graveyard earlier. It will be easy to zone in on it when he returns. The alarm will sound, the dinner gong personified.
His chest hairs feel the prickle of their approach. No lights – good boys. That’s makes it even easier. Who will be the wiser?
The duo walk toward the grave, tripping repeatedly, banging their feet into the smaller stones rising mere inches above the ground: the markers for the poor.
“Shit!” George whispers.“I can’t see a fucking thing!”
“That’s good,” Tom says. “It means no one can see us either, dumb-ass.”
“Yeah, I suppose. But I still don’t like it.”
“Stop your bitching! We’re almost there.”
Fortunately they’re holding the shovels over their shoulders, otherwise, the way these two are careening about, the damn things would be clanging on everything in sight, alerting people in the next town over of their presence.
Only when they get close to the grave do they use their flashlights, and even then, sparingly.
“Here’s where the old bitch is buried,” Tom whispers. “Let’s hustle!”
George needs no encouragement to hurry up and get the hell out of there. If it wasn’t for the thought of Ginny’s naked body calling out to him, he wouldn’t have come in the first place.
They turn their lights off and start digging. Tom would have done this alone, but with his brother here it makes for faster shoveling, less chance of being caught. It seems to take forever, but the soft dirt comes up easily.
Tomorrow night would have been much harder. They reach the casket and prepare to open it.
“Je-zus! What’s that odor?” George chokes. “It’s awful!”
“Just some dead animal. Don’t worry about it.”
Having crept to the edge of the pit, peering down at them from above, the Ghoul intones, “Let me assure you I’m anything but dead. In fact, I’m very much alive, and I’m hungry.”
“What the… !”
The monster leaps down into the grave before the words are out, his immense presence felt by the brothers even though they cannot see him. His stench makes them reel, makes their eyes water, but instinct tells them they must keep their wits to survive. They attempt to shine the lights on him, but the demon swats them out of their hands.
“Not yet, my intrepid duo. You will see me in due time, but I wish to play with my food before I indulge in the taste of your warm blood running from your pink flesh. Think of me as a kitten, a soft, furry cuddly kitten, knocking you about a bit, watching you squirm in horror as I prepare to gorge on your intestines. Worry not, I’m no glutton like you fools. I will take my time, letting each of you experience being devoured alive so I can savor it all the more.”
They swing their shovels at him, but he artfully darts away from their attack and knocks them to the side. As George prepares to holler out, the Ghoul rakes his long nails across the boy’s throat, rendering him speechless. George reaches for his larynx only to find it gone.
Tom has no intention of hollering. Even with this monstrosity bearing down on them, he’s still too greedy to pass up the hidden gems. Surely the two of them can fight off this animal. He attacks the beast with his fists first and then starts pulling out chunks of the creatures body hair wherever he can.
The Ghoul is growing angry. He puts both of Tom’s hands in his mouth and saws on them savagely until they tear free. Blood pours from the mutilated arms and the demon sucks at the blood, drinking as though to sate an impossible thirst. Tom stares at his destroyed arms in shock, barely able to stand the pain.
Laughing as he does so, the beast flicks a flashlight at George. “Shine this on me and watch as I devour your bother. You wish to know what foulness carries such an awful stench. I grant your wish, if you’ve the stones for it.”
He allows the shock of it to sink in for a moment or two, enjoying the terror emanating from both boys, hearing the pounding of their hearts, tasting the salt on his tongue from the rivers of nervous sweat pouring from them, and scenting the blood that trickles from the gnawed-off stumps.
Then he lunges at Tom’s midsection, tearing into the delectable innards, rolling them around his tongue like spaghetti on a fork. Tom’s attempts to scream are mere gurgles of blood. No sound issues forth.
Methodically, the Ghoul eats away at him, enjoying the sensation of the struggle left within Tom’s body as he tries to resist: a hopeless cause. Soon, the taste of death is added to the succulence of his flesh.
Turning to an almost comatose George, he says, “Don’t worry, I won’t leave you out of the fun.”
George tries to back up, but there is no place to go. The Ghoul throws him atop the coffin, slowly tearing off chunks of his flesh, savoring every delicious morsel as his meal twitches in agony. The closeness of the ‘kitchen’ excites him even more, for this is his domain to rule.
Good times must come to an end, and George goes the way of his brother, the scent and taste of their recent lives tickling the giant’s hair. He completely devours the bodies and leaves their bones in the grave with their dearly departed relative.
“Mrs. Bellows,” he says with an exaggerated bow, “I will now allow you to rest in peace. As you can see, I have given you company. Maybe not the best of companions for your new life, but at least you will not be alone.”
He climbs out of the grave and covers it up, making everything look the same as it did before the carnage began. Stuffed to the point of near regurgitation, he sits on Mrs. B’s stone refusing to allow an ounce of her ungrateful grandchildren to escape.
A great night, indeed. This new existence of his is most satisfying.
~ Blaze McRob
© Copyright 2014 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.
I hit the ground just like they taught us and immediately go to work separating from the parachute. Echoes of machine gun fire and distant explosions rattle my nerves.
I hope to God they dropped us in the right place. Scanning my surroundings, nothing looks familiar.
Waist-high grass provides me with enough cover as long as I remain crouched. I wish I hadn’t lost my equipment satchel during the jump; all I have is my combat knife.
Although it is dark, I see a tree line not too far from my location and bolt for it. Running, while trying to remain as low as I can, I fully expect machine gun fire to open up on me but thankfully it doesn’t.
As soon as I’m in the cover of the tree line, I get down on one knee and try to get my bearings as well as my breath.
Through thick branches on the other side, I see lights.
Edging closer, I see that it is a small German outpost. A small descending trench system leads into a wider dugout with a camouflage canopy over top. Voices are murmuring to one another and I think there are at least two German soldiers in there. I bet I could…
“What are you doing here?” a man asks in German.
I slowly turn my head and make out the distinctive black uniform of an SS officer.
Without hesitating, I pull out my knife and leap onto him, my blade finding its mark in his throat. Blood comes gurgling out from the wound as I cover his mouth with my other hand; he quickly dies.
I hide his body in some bushes along the tree line and begin searching him, removing his Luger P08 pistol. Feeling a little more confident clutching the firearm, I creep toward the outpost.
I slip into the mouth of the trench and slide behind a couple of stacked wooden crates, so close to the enemy that I hear them talking. There are at least two of them.
“When did you see him last?” an SS officer asks.
“Maybe an hour ago,” a woman’s voice replies.
“What was he wearing?” the officer asks.
I raise the Luger, taking aim.
A young soldier suddenly steps in front of me.
“Grandpa’s right here!”
I fire twice into his chest.
“No!” the woman screams.
The SS officer slams into me, taking us both to the ground. He knocks the gun from my hand and forces me onto my stomach, handcuffing me.
“Hang on, Jeffery!” the woman yells. “Hang on!”
The outpost dissolves and suddenly we’re in my kitchen. The woman is my daughter, Trish, and the SS officer with his knee in my back, a police officer.
Trish looks over at me with anger, fear and sadness screaming from her eyes. Another police officer rushes into the kitchen.
“I found Officer Gardiner,” he says. “His throat slashed and hidden in the trees along the property line.”
To my right is my World War Two combat knife, the blade streaked with blood, lying next to Officer Gardiner’s sidearm.
I look back at the young soldier that I just shot.
It’s my grandson Jeffery.
He’s lying on his back, his chest soaked in crimson.
Oh Jesus, I shot my grandson!
Trish is now talking to a third police officer in the living room, crying heavily but coherent enough to speak.
“He hasn’t been the same since he developed Alzheimer’s. It’s been causing all of his war memories to resurface, causing bad flashbacks. We thought we had hidden all of his weapons but we must’ve missed… oh my God… Jeffery!”
~ Jon Olson
© Copyright 2014 Jon Olson. All Rights Reserved.