Archive | December 2015

Damned Words 15

DamnedWords_15

Rusted Relics
Jon Olson

Are they gone? The Creepers I mean? Fuck that was close. Too close. Shit, they almost got me. Cold-blooded bastards. They’re most active in the sun, yet you ventured out in daylight. We can’t take any more chances; there are so few of us left now. At one time, we were many; powerful and dominant. Then the Creepers came. Their war with us was quick; brutal; unrelenting; genocidal. These old war machines, these rusted relics, once a source of pride in our dominance, now gravestones of a dying civilization. Grim reminders of what we were and of what we’ve become.


Delirium
Zack Kullis

Delirium from the dehydration twisted his worst memory to the sweetest- the blood.  The fall into the abandoned coal pulverizer broke his back and legs, but the compound fracture in his left leg covered his face with blood.  Warm, wet blood.  What had once been nausea was now thirst and desperation.

Upside down, he raised the jagged piece of iron with his last bit of strength and plunged it into his gut, and salvation flowed with damnation.  He gulped savagely until something plugged the wound.  His fury turned to gluttony, for he had found something meaty to eat as well.


Footsteps
Magenta Nero

I hear footsteps approaching with a dull, heavy thud. Always the same footsteps. Big boots with steel capped heels. I squeeze further back into the black corner. I shun the light that streaks through the bars in a fan of gleaming dust. The footsteps stop. There’s a rustle of paper. He hurls it into my cell; a sandwich.  Always the same; a thin slice of processed meat between heavily buttered white bread. It lands in a puddle of dirty water. I never touch them but the rats do. They will come during the night, squeaking as they crawl through the bars.


Laughter
Christopher A. Liccardi

The smelling salts brought him back to his situation and the clarity of the thing in front of him. His hands ached; pinned overhead with the dagger. His thick calf muscle screamed.  He was with the other woman, then…

“Rumor has it, you like to fuck. Me too.” His wife’s voice tittered as she stepped into the light. The thing’s steel finger bore down, tearing flesh from bone. Pain exploded in to him. He could see her in the gloom, licking her lips and laughing.

In the end, it wasn’t the agony, but her laughter escorting him to his death.


God-Given Seed
Thomas Brown

We tried everything but they kept coming. Nothing would drive them off except when Pa took to the fields. “Don’t play in the corn,” he’d say. We’d watch from the first-floor window, scythe bobbing, glinting in the light, scattering the birds like dark clouds into the sky.

When Pa died, there was no stopping them. We went hungry that year. The one afterwards we brought him back. Sticks and straw, all trussed up high, old scythe stitched to his paw. Now the birds are the least of our worries. “Don’t play in the corn,” he’d say. We keep well clear.


Of A New Age
Joseph A. Pinto

We are all as one, she said, and the great wheelwork spun behind her eyes.  It bore into me, that horrible flaking of rust, the anguished drumming of the mechanism she was, and still, I would have followed her anywhere.  Into the mouth of the machine, she said.  Yes, into the mouth of madness.  I cuffed my sleeves and exhaled, watching her shudder like an awakening beast as she gathered steam.  She was right.  We are all as one.  I closed my eyes and finally, surrendered.  Extending my hand, she took me, and shorn me as she had been shorn.


Sufferance
Nina D’Arcangela

It churned along, belching foul, oily smoke into the already smothered atmosphere. Where it roamed, nothing was left; not animal, nor tree, or blade of grass – it consumed all. Nothing could withstand the creature’s path. Many generations had passed since we’d lived without fear of this demon; it was a constant in our world. We’d heard rumor of its approach, rumors we’d heard before; this one proved itself true. Crouched in our burrow, we watched in terror as the gnashing iron teeth approached. Just a few feet more – the end so very near. Call me coward, but I welcomed it.


Chomp
Blaze McRob

Metal scrapes against metal, hastening the demise of the already deteriorating structure. From inside the darkened crevices they wake, ready to finish their job. Rust calls to them, sounding a dinner gong. Already, the transformation is happening. Not much of the infrastructure built by humans remains; not many of them remain. Chomp, chomp, chomp. Those who have eaten more than their share are now becoming the eaten. There is no place left for them to hide.

An unlucky one walks beneath the girder at the wrong time. The rust eaters have done their job. The flesh eaters now do theirs.


The Pit
Craig McGray

They’d done it for decades, maybe even centuries. Each full moon, the elders gathered the chosen and brought them to the pit. Eager and naïve, the chosen were led into the forest with hopes of a promising future, dreams of becoming one of the guardians to protect the clan from evil intruders who would dare take them from their home and destroy their way of life. However, true evil comes from within and the elders were pure evil, through and through. Once inside the pit, true intentions were revealed and the elders feasted on the pure innocence of the weak.


Relics of the Old World
Tyr Kieran

Massive machines moored in ancient soil, now unearthed to behold—such barbaric contraptions of whirring gears, sharp slicing appendages, and explosive, rotating turrets. Their victims’ screams and spilled blood now nothing more than faded memories and miniscule footnotes in historical annuals. Moving metal warriors left to rust. Their purpose of aligning world views and beliefs through slaughter, has been long forgotten. But, such effective devices they were! Nothing unifies like fear and power. These sleeping giants, abandoned in their finest hours, have endured. They lie silent… simply waiting for new marching orders. Well, I say, “Rise, and unify us again!”


Each piece of fiction is the copyright of its respective author
and may not be reproduced without prior consent. © Copyright 2015
Image © Copyright Dark Angel Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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What’s Inside

“Did you do it, did you open that thing?” William asked. Shelly was sitting on a splintered tree that had fallen during the storm. She didn’t take her eyes off the box. She’d been holding on to it since the storm.

“Not yet, but I want to open it. Don’t you think I should? I want to see what’s inside,” she whimpered.

Shelly found the black box, with its weird writing and odd symbols while they were digging through the debris. What they found was this ancient relic Shelly had inherited from her mother.

From the second she touched the box, she’d been unable to do more than sit, cradling it like an injured child. She hadn’t eaten or slept much in days and wouldn’t leave it long enough to go with William to the shelter.

“Honey, you need to put that damn thing down and get some food. You’re gonna get sick. I can watch it for you so nothing happens to it.” William pleaded with her. He didn’t want to take it away, but he was getting nervous.

After the storm, the plan was to find a shelter that would take them in until they could move what little there was to his sister’s place. Then Shelly found the box and didn’t want to leave.

“I’m not very hungry. You can go without me, Will. I’ll be fine sitting here,” she said, her voice hollow and distant.

William felt the wind pick up but the moving air was no comfort. The temperature had gone up ten degrees and he feared another storm was on its way.

“Shelly, we should get inside somewhere before the weather kicks up again. Look at the clouds. What if we take it with us?”

Shelly answered, but not in words. She began cooing at the box and caressing it. She had her back turned and he couldn’t see the look on her face. William walked around to the front of the tree where she was sitting.  “I want to stay here, Willie. It wants me to stay here,” she finally moaned in an odd, baby doll voice.

Her eyes had a sunken-in look and her skin was gaunt on her diminished frame. Had it only been a few days since she’d eaten?  “Shelly?” He touched her arm, but she was a statue.

The wind picked up and it began to rain. William knew staying any longer was a bad idea. It might already be too late to get far enough away but he hadn’t heard the air raid siren go yet. Maybe the storm would be fast and blow itself out, but they wouldn’t survive without some cover. The debris from the last storm whirled, leaving cuts all over his exposed skin. He barely noticed.

“Baby, we need to get out of here, now!” he shouted. It had grown so dark that even the short space between them was like looking through black ink.

“I can’t leave yet. It’s about to open and show me what it’s been hiding,” she said, in that spooky baby doll voice again.  “You’re going to want to see this, Will.”

Her fingers stopped caressing the lid and began to lift one corner.  The light escaping the box was dim as Shelly wormed her finger deeper, making the space between the lid and the box bigger.

The light brightened and William realized that as the light intensified, so did the storm. Dawning recognition hit him. The storm hadn’t come from the plains; it was that damned box. Shelly was letting it out of the box.

“Shelly, no!” William shouted as he leapt forward. He was going to slam the lid back down on that thing before it killed them both. She might lose a finger, but…

He reached for her, grabbing for the box and trying to push the lid back in place. Shelly turned slightly at the sound of his voice and the box slipped from her lap. She began to shriek.

William tried to ignore the pain he heard and made for the box as it hit the ground. It skidded away in the mud. The lid popped up for a moment and the wind matched her screams. Then, it closed and the storm puffed out instantly.

He looked at Shelly to see if she was alright but she was sliding limply from her seat on to her knees.

“Shelly, are you okay? Oh my god, Shelly,” William cried out, trying to catch her. He didn’t want her to smash her head on any of the fallen debris. Everywhere he looked, he saw sharp gouging death winking up at him.

Shelly crumpled into a ball and collapsed before he could reach her. He screamed at the sound of her head and face slapping the wet earth. She twitched once, violently, then was still.

William lurched forward onto his knees, heedless of the glass cutting in to him. He reached under her wet hair, wanting to see if she was alive, but something bit into his hand.

William pulled his hand away, screaming and holding it to his chest. He had squeezed it shut instinctively, and now he could see blood pooling in the spaces where his last two fingers should have been.

Shelly lay forgotten for a moment as he held his hand to his face. The missing digits hadn’t registered just yet. It felt like hot iron was being poured over the place where his fingers had been. He clapped his other hand over the stumps and searing pain bolted down his arm. He thought he was going to vomit right there, watching the blood rush through his fingers.

When he realized she could have fallen on whatever just cut him, he snapped.

“Shelly!” he yelled. Was something gnawing at his wife while he knelt there nursing his own horrible injury? The shock of being bitten was almost too much.

He pulled his shirt over his head to wrap around his hand. When he looked down, she was no longer lying on the wet ground. It took him a moment to realize that she had moved a few feet away. He shook his head, trying to clear his vision.

She was sitting with the box in her lap again, caressing the lid. Her face had a twisted, horrified look that he had never seen on any human before.

“Shelly,” he asked, trying to keep his feet.

“You shouldn’t have taken it from me, Will. It doesn’t want you to touch it.” She looked up at William with a demented, hateful grin. William’s heart skipped a beat.

“What are you doing Shelly,” William asked.  He moved in closer to her.

“I can’t stop myself, Willie,” she said. He could see the outright terror on her face. The look stopped him in his tracks.

“Baby?”

For a long moment, Shelly sat, staring blankly back at her husband. Her fingers had stopped on one corner of the lid.

Finally, she smiled again. It was part Shelly and part whatever evil had taken hold of her in the last six days.

“I can’t, William…” She trailed off. William relaxed a bit. Then he watched in horror as she ripped the lid off the box all at once.

“SHELLY…” his voice ending in a blood-curdling scream.

Shelly laughed, in that spooky baby doll voice. She stood and stepped blindly into that darkness.

~ Christopher A. Liccardi

© Copyright 2015 Christopher A. Liccardi. All Rights Reserved.

The Game of Life

Beads of sweat emphasized the early night’s chill along his exposed neck and brow. The Policeman stood on their stoop, shifting his weight as much for warmth as from impatience. After a few brisk moments, a man answered the door.

“Oh… hello, Officer,” the homeowner said, greeting him with large, hesitant eyes. “Is there something I can do for you?”

“I’m terribly sorry to bother you, Sir,” the officer replied. “We have a criminal on the run in this neighborhood, so for everyone’s safety, we’re performing house to house searches. Would you mind?”

“No, not at all. Please, come in.” The man stepped back and ushered the policeman into his home.

The house was warm and full of light. Two faces peered at him from an adjoining dinning room. The officer could smell Christmas dinner before he saw the mouthwatering spread.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “We’re just taking precautions.”

Then, turning to the father, he asked in a hushed tone, “Is there anyone else in the house?”

The man shook his head, “No, no one.”

The officer nodded and turned back to the family, “Please carry on with your meal. I won’t be long.”

Wide eyes followed the officer as he stalked down the hall, hand on his pistol, weapon at the ready. Room by room, he searched and after a few moments, he confirmed the house was clear.

Returning to the dining area, Officer Mitcheltree stood for a moment. He watched the holiday scene—the small, happy family sharing home cooked food that clung to their souls, laughing as they created a memory for future cherishment; bad puns spoken over poured gravy and steaming roast turkey nestled snug against blended potatoes and acceptable gluttony.

Watching the interaction, hearing the high-pitched innocence of their young daughter, nearly caused the officer to flinch.

The mother was the first to notice the police officer standing there. “Is… everything alright, Officer?”

A silent moment passed, his non-reply thickening the tension in the air.

“W—would you like to join us for dinner?” the father asked.

Sweat collected along the cop’s chin and dripped to the floor. His gaze lingered on each member of the family, their kind offer drowned out by the hammering of his own heartbeat.

With each passing second, concern and confusion creased their expressions further.

Officer Mitcheltree raised his gun, pointing the weapon point blank at the father’s head. Half-lidded eyes unfurled into wide disbelieving orbs. Before any of them could do more than inhale, the officer pulled the trigger.

Blood, skull fragments, and gray matter splattered the table, desecrating the partially carved turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, holiday linens, and the terrified faces. A scream hurled free from the mother’s throat, but the gun’s second bullet deprived her lament of its longevity, jolting her head backward with such force that it dislocated vertebrae in her neck. Dangling, her head hung at an unnatural angle.

When the young girl’s gaze shifted from her dead mother back to the murderous police officer through the haze of fresh tears and fading gun smoke, she found the weapon pointed at her.

Her eyes climbed the barrel to meet his. Tears streamed down their cheeks in unison. The officer squeezed his eyes shut as he squeezed the trigger for the third time.

His face contorted as the hard-clamped humorless grin broke open under the pressure of raw emotion. A loud, guttural yell seemed to burst from every pore, reverberating throughout his body. He fell to his hands and knees and wept in oxygen-starved fits. Many minutes passed until he managed a semblance of composure.

Electronic music chimed from his waist.

He fished a cell phone from his pocket and looked down at the screen:‘Unknown. No Caller ID’.

Officer Mitcheltree touched the answer prompt and waited.

Neither party spoke. Soft sounds of calm breathing and a distant, continuous rumble came across the line – nothing else.

“It’s done,” the officer said, breaking the stalemate. Then, as he fought back another bought of emotion with gritted teeth, he added, “A life for a life.”

“Hmm… Show me.”

“Fuck you!”

“Now, now, Officer Mitcheltree. Be civil.”

“Civil? I did what you asked, now give me back my family, you son of a bitch!” the officer said, spitting into the phone.

“Of course, but first, I need proof of your efforts.”

The officer opened the camera app on his phone and snapped a photo of the morbid scene, then sent it to the number provided.

“I see,” the voice on the other end said. “A life for a life it shall be. We can finalize our exchange in the bowels of Reformation Chapel.”

The policeman’s eyes shifted back and forth as he dug through his memory.

“The abandoned chapel off Farmstead Road? That’s two hours outside of town!”

“And if you hurry, you’ll arrive just in time.”

“Just in time for what?” the officer shouted, but the call had already ended.

***

Officer Mitcheltree stalked down the steps of the old chapel. With the aid of flashing lights and a wailing siren, he was able to make the trek with six minutes to spare; the use of caution was now an option. Gun raised, he reached the bottom to find a narrow walk-through pantry that opened up to a larger room. He padded across the shelf-lined hallway, his eyes searching for movement.

Entering the main room, the officer stalked to the table at its center while twisting and turning to check for threats. The room was still, silent, hot.

He wiped sweat from his brow with a quick brush of his forearm.

“Where are you?” He shouted. “Where’s my family?”

No answer came except for the echo of his own desperate pleas and the clanking of mason jars as he bumped into the table.

Electronic music chimed from his hip.

Again, the screen read: ‘Unknown. No Caller ID’.

Officer Mitcheltree answered the call, “Where’s my family?”

“I have returned them to you in accordance with our arrangement.”

The cop whirled around, searching for his wife and daughter, but there was still no sign of them. “No more games! Where are they?”

“Your answer is on the table.”

Mitcheltree wiped the sweat from his eyes and inspected the items on the table. At first glance, they seemed nothing more than simple canning supplies left out from when the pantry was in operation many years ago, but focused attention revealed that they weren’t covered in dust. One large Mason jar was sealed and full of a gray powdered substance. The other was significantly smaller, open and empty—unused.

The policeman picked up the large jar, hoping to find a note or some kind of clue, but there was nothing else on the table but the two jars. As he brought the phone back up to his ear, prepared to unleash a flurry of threats, something caught his eye.

A piece of masking tape labeled the far side of the tall jar. He read the name as he turned it in his hands, “Mrs. Mitcheltree & Daughter.”

“What the Fuck is this?” he said, breathing the words into the phone—his chest suddenly feeling hotter than the rest of him, his throat tightening. He put the jar down with a loud thunk and backed away.

“A life for a life, Officer.” the kidnapper stated firmly. “I asked for life. A life to save a life. You misinterpreted and provided death.”

The cop’s head swam, the room began to spin; the heat not helping his focus. He stumbled further away from the table. That’s when he spotted the small metal door in the opposite wall. The source of all the heat—a crematory.

“You misunderstood my request, Officer Mitcheltree. You chose death. You killed your family.”

“Oh, God. No!” the policeman cried out; reeling. He fell backward into the shelves. Glass jars clanked together. He turned on instinct; looked with wavering vision at the objects before him.

“If it makes you feel better, you’re not the only one who’s made that mistake.”

Shelf after shelf carried large ash-filled Mason jars with masking tape labels. He couldn’t quite make out the letters, but he knew they were names. Then, he realized each one was paired with a smaller jar also filled and labeled.

“I have a lovely collection, don’t you think?”

This time, the voice echoed—sounding in both ears.

The policeman turned and the last thing he saw was a smiling face and a descending sledgehammer.

~ Tyr Kieran

© Copyright 2015 Tyr Kieran. All Rights Reserved.

Raw

I pound my torn fists against the sides of this box, but the effort is useless – there is no escaping oneself.  Scratching, clawing, chewing a splinter I manage to create in my mad scrambling does no good; I simply ravage myself further. Bloody and raw, I fill with a pressure that threatens to burst from my haggard being, further tainting this polluted soul.

There is no escape from the crushing weight of my prison. I beg to be saved from the anguish in which I languor; but there is no salvation, not for me; not for one so undeserving, uncherished, unloved. There is only the false glimmer of light, one my inner demon allows me to glimpse for his enjoyment and my unrelenting torture.

Scuffed, scrapped, tattered and torn, a thing not palatable to another, I slide to my knees; a pile of rent flesh brutalized by the walls surrounding me. I clutch at the only thing I have left, a scrap of sanity, but my fingers… they no longer close. A wail erupts from my stricken lungs; my raw throat bellows a croon no one will ever hear.

My demon laughs; he finds my anguish a great delight. I am a toy to be played with, a thing of distraction, a means to pass the eternity in which he will dwell within me.  I cannot escape him, though I try – all the more to his amusement. He watches me struggle in futility, basks in the restriction of breath that bands my burning lungs. He hears my silent shriek of agony, licks the salty tears that streak my filth-ridden face.  He is my tormentor, he is my keeper, he is my salvation – though he shall never grant it.

The walls of this box are by now a forest of splinters; it matters not where I lay for comfort, I find none – there is only jagged surface to be sought here. This prison so impenetrable, no other shall ever glimpse it, nor shall I ever be released from it. I have no false hope, only a fool would hope for mercy from such a thing.  Though I am a fool, I am not that fool…

Awash in a pool of my own shattered dreams, I find no blame other than mine to own. My demon chuckles as he reminds me this box is of my own design, made impregnable by my own failings.

Yet still, I rub my ragged and blood caked palm along the shreds of wall hoping to find the smallest fissure, a mere crack, any sign that can offer even the falsest of hope that someday I will break free – but there is none.  There never has been.

In this box, I see my deepest desires turn to dust; my most cherished dreams die; my fate sealed forever.  I find my demon observing my anguish, relishing the unending torture of my most exquisite pain.  Here, I am me – I am this quivering thing that lies upon the floor begging for a mercy that will never come; beseeching my demon for a small measure of what others are granted, but I shall never have. I am destined to scrape and scratch and gnaw at this unyielding pen that is minuscule in breadth, yet without end.

Why will it not swallow me and put to rest this pathetic shadow of my former self? Consume me, I beg of it, but it will not. What use am I to the box if it has no grief from which to feed; no pain left to color its darkened walls; no feather to pluck while my remnants jerk in concert?

My demon wants me locked in this box for an eternity, perhaps because it seeks the same as I do – a measure of level tolerance. It lives a lone existence, my demon, though I believe it was meant to, whereas I am meant for more. I am meant to be free from this punji-ridden hell of despair…

Another false hope I harbor; another path to mental decay I shall have to avoid for as long as I can. One more shattered reality in a world filled with tightly sealed boxes. Yet without these boxes, would I not be only an empty shell? Another harsh reality to be born on the back of so many others I wish were not mine. But the lie told that all is just, is just that – a lie. With each whispered falsehood the box containing my soul shrinks further, the desperate pitch of my moaning crescendos grander, the laughter of my demon grows stronger; a promise that one day, I will succumb to this crippling madness.

~ Nina D’Arcangela

© Copyright 2015 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved

Payback

The afterbirth sits still in the bottom of the coffin, a mixture of bone and stale blood. Bolt after bolt of lightning rip through the evening sky, illuminating the scene, and casting an eerie pall upon the torn asunder remnants of what had, only moments before, been a resting place for a vile woman. Rats, drawn to the scene by the musty pungency of decayed clothing and fresh bones to gnaw on, frolic around, their whiskers twitching in delight. Not even the deafening roar of the thunder scares them off.

Mists weave through the graveyard and play their games of here one second, gone the next. They are on a search . . . a search of seeming randomness. Random to them perhaps, but there is cause and effect at work here.

At the edge of the cemetery, the house waits in eager anticipation of welcoming its new owner. Perhaps new is not the best choice of wordage. Five years is a long time. A lot can happen; a lot has happened. Renewal is approaching.

The old timbers sing a song of allegiance to the one who was the mistress of everything surrounding her, their oak cacophony of weathered groans added to the still settling of the house within the confines of the foundation, twisted and bent from many years of use.

Evil use.

Dust lingers everywhere in the basement, some entrapped within the spider webs dwelling in every corner and extending well out into the room, the masters of the web feeling safe when the son of the mistress was in residence here. He never ventured down to the dark, dank places where his mother had held court. Always . . . always, there was the fear of what was down there in his mind.

Screams implanted in the basement walls tell a story more vividly than any book possibly could. The still bloodied torture devices share the dried crimson with the rest of the room, the light produced from the storm above penetrating through the dingy windows and forcing a tapestry of visual elements, seamlessly interwoven in a constant state of flux. Creeping shadows waltz between the walls and the room proper, visiting everything, pulled along by memories of what transpired here. Only when the sky is dark and the lights are off do they jostle for some substance against the realities of what once were in this debased cavern of Satanic jurisdiction.

***

Blood pours from the gash giving life to her son many years ago, and her reincarnation of moments before, sliding down her legs and, hastened by the pouring rain, mixes with the wet soil, the mud becoming a churning mix of red and dark loam, the stench of copper pushing away the odor of ozone from the maelstrom of fury launched from the skies. Night crawlers slip through the mess in vain, either killed by the toxic mixture they wiggle through or by the crushing death delivered by the feet of the woman above them as she stumbles towards the house ahead of her.

“Every step is closer to my healing,” she thinks. “I can rest when I return home. I must. There is much to be done when the Master returns.”

There is electricity in the air, but it is not merely from the storm. Power surrounds everything for miles. Once again, the possession of control over all that dwells within this backwoods bastion of separation from the rest of the world is due to shift.

***

Foot falls plant themselves on the dark steps –  something of substance, but bereft of visual acuity – and trudge upstairs. A heavy door is opened, leading to a place well implanted in the conscious awareness of the house.

A fireplace springs to life on its own, like an entity of flame bearing reason and purpose, and spreads its light throughout the vast living room, one large enough to have held large gatherings of believers from the old days. Soon . . . soon, it will again.

Books are ripped from the shelves of the book cases in the study and tossed into the corner. Invisible hands replace them with new books, those with strange symbols on their old leather covers and covered with inscriptions like none of the books removed. The light from the fireplace in the other room finds its way through the open door and causes the casting of dancing shadows on the walls and ceilings.

The door slams shut and heavy feet walk across the rough-hewn wood floor. The cushions of the recliner sitting directly opposite the roaring fire take on a sunken appearance as the chair groans under a heavy weight. Still, nothing or no one can be seen in the room. Slowly, the chair reclines and a contented cackle emanates from the fabric covering of the worn recliner.

Spirals of flame dance about, high one second and lower the next. Orange and yellows intermix with the occasional red – his favorite. Always, the flames ignite thought in his mind, those not welcomed by the common rabble, those not part of the new path.

He sits and waits . . . waits for the next piece of his intricate plan to fall into place. Patience is his.

***

With each step taken, she gains strength, knowing deep within her dark soul that the last five years will not have been in vain. A test. To get stronger, one must suffer. She has done that, and more.

Dying vegetation spreads out from the path she takes towards the house. She is the center of a circle with an ever enlarging diameter, one of death and decay. Grass withers and dies, in spite of the nourishing rain beating down. Trees raise their branches in homage to a God above who is deaf to their supplications. Their leaves shrink and fall as the limbs look like skeletons picked apart by voracious bugs intent on consuming every tasty morsel available to them.

Silence from the animal life occurs as a migration of survival sets in, much like rats scurrying down a rope from a ship tied to a dock, knowing ahead of time that the vessel is doomed and will float no longer. If only humans had the good sense that these creatures have. But they don’t, do they?

At long last, she sees light coming from her house. Her son must have left the lights on for her. “How considerate,” she thinks.

Reaching the porch, she drags her naked body up the railing and is two steps from the top when all light vanishes from the house. Wicked laughter calls out to her . . .

***

The door is unlocked, and she pushes gently against it, hoping for the best but not knowing what’s going on. Not only is the interior of the house dark, but there is no light outside, as well. It is beyond dark: there are no shades of gray coming from the corners where the black resides; there are no shades of black even; there is only the darkest black.

Trying to recall where everything is arranged in the house, she hugs the wall when she gets inside and slowly navigates around the perimeter of the living room. Still not completely in charge of all her senses, her balance is off – enough to cause her to bump into things . . . things that are not placed where she remembers them to have been. Damn kid anyway!

Of course, what should she expect by now? He wouldn’t have left the house exactly the way it was. The way he felt about her, he certainly would not have wanted a shrine left in her house. Why had he stayed, anyway? He should have left, if not only for his sake.

The light switch she comes to just before the door to the study does nothing when she flicks it. Damn! The power went out. Now what? She can’t see a thing. Does she find a chair and wait it out? No, no! A bed would be better.

It’s not her bed she finds when she gets to the bedroom. Bob moved hers out when she died. Probably all her furniture too. She’ll find out once she wakes. Hopefully there will be some light by then.

Her son’s bed is king sized. The fucking weasel was never a king in her mind. He was always lacking: he never had the spunk to do what was expected of him. It matters not now; it never mattered. As in the predestination beliefs of Calvin and his followers, so did it apply to her son. Certainly not from any Christian viewpoint, but from that of the Master.

Bob’s life, and death , as well as hers, went according to plans. And now, everything will evolve to the next level.

She slides beneath the blankets, dragging the mud, raindrops still plastering her body, and the blood still pouring from her vagina, along with her. Cold . . . the cold from being buried for five years in the damp, chilling confines of her coffin, not even the waterproof wadding able to make things any more hospitable for her, is still deeply rooted within her bones. Every worm working through her body, tearing flesh away from bone, is felt as she tries to find a place of comfort. The blood and flesh of her son rejuvenated her, but the bones are still hers. And the bones are cold.

Shadows move about her, not visible within the dark, but they are there none-the-less. Pressure pushes out from the walls, the ceiling, and the floor. Especially the floor. The damned beings remaindered to their next incarnate still roam there, their souls refusing to leave.

And their souls are hungry . . . hungry for revenge.

Damn! If only I had the strength to repel these bastards. Force them down to the basement where they belong, she thinks.

But her strength is not what she needs to send them back. Soon enough. For now, she needs to rest.

Light floods her room, courtesy of the open door of the bedroom, coming from the living room. She slips her weary body from the bed to see what’s going on. She had heard nothing to indicate that anyone had entered the house. What . . . what is happening?

The flames in the fireplace dance about eerily, telling her a story, one without words. Shadows cavort around freely, their multi shades of blacks and grays, crawling throughout the entire room. Heavy pressure surrounds her, getting close then retreating, only to get closer and closer, the game not wanting to find closure.

Demonic laughter surrounds her from every corner, from behind every piece of furniture, causing her to drop to her knees from the pain coursing through her brain.

“Come on, Dottie. What’s wrong?” a voice shouts out. “You’ve been waiting five years for this moment to come. Surely a little mixture of dark and light can’t stay you from your zeal.”

“Master! Master! You have returned to me. I am ready to serve you.”

“Yes, Dottie, but what about that ingrate son of yours? His body, consumed by your soul and bones, has given you life eternal, but his soul. What about his soul?”

She stares at the Master and shakes in fear. Damn! His soul . . . his soul is still wandering. Even now, I can feel him.

“Yes, Dottie, his soul is still loose. It never entered my kingdom, and I know he wasn’t pure enough to walk through any Pearly Gates.”

He grabs her hand and drags her out the door, out once more into the pouring rain. The intensity of the lightning increases the closer they get to the cemetery.

“You will help me find his soul, Dottie. Then you can take your place at my side. Not a moment before. Call to him! Call to him now.”

Evil pleadings are carried through the moisture laden air, but nothing happens. There are no returned calls of longing or even acknowledgement. All that can be heard are the sounds of the storm all around her.

***

Bob relives the moment again; his mother drawing him back into her dead body; the incredible pain as his entire frame was forced through her vagina; the tearing apart of flesh and organs, everything going to supply new life for his mother at the same time his was forced out of him. The agony and pain remain within his soul, the torture embedded in his mind.

His mother and Satan get ever closer to where he sits on his mother’s tombstone. He raises his hands up to the sky and feels the power surrounding him.

“Payback’s a bitch!” he shouts . . .

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2015 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

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