Dark Monstrosities

The alley is dark, but if I want to get back to the hotel before the heavy rains come, this is the fastest route to take. My shadow is joined by a second shadow, and I instinctively turn around to see who is following me. There is no one there. Shit! I’m doing one of those double shadow things where I cast a shadow in front of me, and a second shadow forms behind me.

I laugh as the crazy antics play out before my eyes. The shadow in the rear looks like it’s trying to catch the one in front. The dark heads bob and weave, one going to the front while the other one goes to the rear. Run and chase, the one in the rear never standing a chance of catching the other one, no matter how the light filtering through the alley catches my body and casts my double entendre.

Complete darkness occurs as street light after street light pops ahead of and behind me, the stench of the burned sodium vapor tearing at my throat, and making my eyes tear up. Damn! What caused this?

No light anywhere. The city is black.

My gut instinct says to run, but how can I run if I can’t see? It was bad enough in here before with just a little light. My only course of action is to slow things down so I don’t trip and break my skull open. If it rains, it rains. Too bad for me.

I’m not alone. Scurrying sounds are everywhere, small animals most likely. Probably rats; I can hear their claws traipsing across the blacktop.

Just what I need! I hate rats. I’ve never been bitten by one, but I’ve had them crawl on me, so close their whiskers cut a swath of uncertainty deep into my gut, and me not knowing if I would become a tasty snack for their voracious appetites or if I would luck out.

I am a Pied Piper once more, the darkness drawing them out, and the sound of my rapidly beating heart acting as a pipe to attract them to me. The farther I go, the more of the bastards join in, the sound of their approach driving me crazy! Are they really there? Am I imagining the whole thing? Maybe there are only a few; maybe none at all.

The darkness! Yes, that’s what’s causing the paranoia in my mind. Once I’m out of this alley, everything will be just fine. No more rats; no more scurrying sounds.

But… but how do I leave? I have no way to get my bearings. There is no light anywhere. Disorientation rears its ugly head as I bump into trash dumpsters scattered about, slip on loose gravel spread around, and attempt to control the anxiety attack swelling up inside me.
“Breathe, damn it! If you collapse, you’re fucking gone. The rats will get you for sure then.”

Air! I can’t get enough of it. My head spins from a lack of oxygen; my feet refuse to follow any patterns of sensibility. They flail about in bewilderment, forgetting that they have a function and they know what it is.

The walls of the buildings move in on me, shrinking the space I have to move about in, narrowing the distance the rats have to go to get to me. Visions of rats and me being crushed together, our bodily fluids joining and becoming one, the common pool of blood between us forming a river, running through the slanted alley road towards the sewers, creates a panorama of horror which causes me to shake, the rattling so bad the trash dumpsters I grab on to for support move about on their grease laden wheels.

Escape! I need to escape! Everything is after me!

There are no city noises to guide me to a place of safety. Nothing. Absolute silence. Where is everybody? The lights just went out. This isn’t an apocalyptic event. Where are the fucking cars? They don’t need electricity to run.

Reaching what I believe to be a main road, I wander aimlessly about, attempting to find some way out of where I am and toward my hotel where, dark or not, I will be able to escape the rats and the walls closing in on me.

Ahah! I cross the road, sure I’m on the way to my hotel, when I’m funneled back into the alley. The walls close in on me, slamming shut from where I just came, forcing me to move ahead. There are no other choices.

What’s forcing me to go through this alley? Is there purpose behind it all? Can’t be. A dream of some sorts. Yes, that’s it. Just a bad dream.

But wait! Pain is coursing through my body from jockeying into walls and trash dumpsters. I shouldn’t feel pain if I’m asleep, should I?

Again, the rats! Only now they seem bigger, their footfalls slamming into the warn pavement as if they’re the size of dogs, big dogs, the size of German Shepherds. Get a grip! There are no rats that size. It’s impossible.

Shoved to the ground by the force of these things, I repeatedly get up, only to be slapped down again, not once, but many times. And the whiskers rub up against me, taunting me, telling me there’s nothing I can do about it. Damn! They are as large as they sounded.

They herd me down the alley, not stopping in their assaults, even giving me a bite here and there to tell me what will happen if I don’t go along with their wishes. The nervous sweat pouring down my body flows into all the wounds I’ve received, creating not-so-sweet burning sensations that add to my anxiety.

Once more the walls close in on me, pushing my fear of being trapped in the dark alley higher and higher. My vertigo completely gone, my dizziness makes me lurch about like a drunk, and I no longer need the assistance of the rats to knock me to the ground. Sand and gravel join the salt as they are shoved into my cuts from the impact as I roll around in my confused stupor.

Huge, black shapes loom up ahead of me, two of them, so dark that they make the light-less alley seem like a well-lit thoroughfare of neon. Not a sound is uttered by them. They merely stand ahead of me, waiting ever so patiently for me to reach them. As much as I am terrified by the rats, these new entities have a much more powerful presence, and I seek to retreat from where I came from.

Yes, I’ll just force my way through these rats, find some kind of strength, and get out of this alley.

Shit! I can’t! My retreat is blocked off again: a wall has formed behind me. My only escape lies on the other side of these monstrosities of the dark.

The black entities advance towards me; the rear wall pushes in my direction as well. There is no escape. I am doomed.

They hover over me and force their way into my body. The pain is excruciating as they take control of what I once was, but never will be again. My strength is sapped, but I must hearken to their commands.

We walk out of the dark alley and into a world of semi light as the power slowly returns to the grid. My shadows have now combined into one Dark Being. And me? I have split in half, my head bobbing one way and the other, my rear self, trying to catch up to my front self.

My shadow self smiles…

~ Blaze McRob

© Copyright 2015 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.

Darkened Reflections

I sit here listening to the rain tinkling off the darkened glass of my window. Like so many nights before, I peer into an eternity of nothingness that shows only my blurred face in its shadows. Shadows that dance around in the ambient light as the wind whips and sways the tree limbs, keeping pace with the rain as it shifts from a patter to a pounding, to a more gentle touch on the pane.

I begin to turn away and see just the merest suggestion of movement from the corner of my eye, I turn back… But nothing has changed, nothing is different, no one is there. My blurred view is as it was before. Rivulets of rain running down the glass; impressions of shapes I know so well that exist beyond the safety of my window; my face looking back at me lost in the dreary visage of the existence in which I suffer. A face distorted by the passage of the rain running over the glass… a face twisted in pain.

I wander to the door, drawn by a force both within me and beyond these protective walls. What an exquisitely beautiful night to breath in the smell of the wet grass, the saturated earth, the dampness all around me.  What a sumptuous night to twirl circles in my tattered gown, soaked and clinging to my body like a lover that has been released but wishes not to go. What a glorious night to stroll under the rows of the ever reaching Maple trees, listening as their limbs sing a song of agony as they rub against one another.  I let the rain wash me clean under the hidden moon before wandering farther into the shadows of this night.

The beast, he wakes; I can feel him watching, waiting, growing from the pangs within me. Will he come to me, this creature of anguish? The rain is slowing, a mere drizzle now, barely even falling – floating on the breeze like his warm breath upon my bare neck.  Will he stalk me in the lingering mist?  I live knowing he terrifies me, even as I long for his touch; the touch of a soul as dark and tortured as my own.

The moon tries to protect me with its light, but I hide in the shadows as does he – this monster of beauty and destruction; this primal creature that will destroy me; this half-man half-beast that will ultimately consume me.  How long can I resist his not-so gentle pull into the dark of the  woods that now surround me? Do I even wish to try? Or would I willingly rush to him if only he would beckon?

I stand on the brink of the deeper shadows trembling with fear; fearing the need to take that final step. I feel his want calling out to me – yes, he wants me to enter his world, but he does not guarantee that my journey there will be a sane one. I move out of the shadows and  fall to my knees weeping, begging him to emerge from the dim recesses and enter my world of glowing moonlight. But he fears the light, no – not fear – hate. He hates the light. This light that shines upon my upturned face and tangled hair has been his undoing. He was not always this beast, he was once a creature so different, so full of life, that he has no choice but to loathe the fact that I have not become what he is. His presence near demands that I enter his domain; his mind delves into mine impaling me with his desire. But I know his lust is insatiable, and once he has touched my darkness, I will never return to the light again.

Frightened, I cannot move; he is enraged – so angered that he nearly allows himself to reach out and grab hold of me, dragging me to him. I will not fight, I will let him take what he will, yet I cannot offer my submission even under his heated gaze.  But no, he will not take me, I must come to him; my damaged companion, my kindred tortured soul who seeks nothing more than I – a release from this distant embrace of hellish pain we are destined to exist within.

With a snarl of anger and disgust, he leaves me yet again to weep at the edge of the darkness, screaming silently to be where he’d have me go.

I hear him howl into the night; he screams his rage while crying out his longing for that which may someday leave what  meager light the moon sheds to walk in the dark at his side – owned by him for all eternity.

skull_fangs2

~ Nina D’Arcangela

© Copyright 2012 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Heed the Tale Weaver: Celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Damned. Through May 7, 2013, upon each new post, a comment you will leave. A package of ghoulish goodies tainted with an offering from every member of the Damned awaits one fated winner – glorious books, personalized stories and eternal suffering at your feet. Now Damn yourself, make your mark below! But remember insolent ones, you must leave a comment, a “like” will not earn you a chance at our collection of depravity. Do not make the Damned hunt you down.


Eternal Incineration

Everything I once had is gone. It wasn’t a lone thief who’d snuck in during the middle of a single night to clean me out. It was instead a series of small burglaries, committed by an efficient team over more years than I recall. Their robberies began when I was just a boy and when, like most children suffering from few friends and social isolation, I spent most of my time alone — hidden away in my room, surrounded by the few possessions that made life bearable. I didn’t realize it then, but it was this solitary life that offered the opportunity for the shadows to begin slipping into the world of walls that I’d built…

————

When I awoke this morning, my sheets were wet with sweat. It may have been due to the nightmares that had returned with renewed fervor, or maybe it was only my body signaling the return of the heat. The mercury in the thermometer was rapidly approaching the 90-degree mark; and it was only 9:00 am.

Outside, the Sun burned through a cloudless, blue sky. A single step onto the porch allowed the Michigan heat to wrap its humid fingers around my throat, squeezing the breath back into my lungs. Down the block, amid joyful screams and shouts much too raucous for early morning, a group of overheated kids cooled off in the gallons of water that gushed into the street from an open hydrant. Their shrieks turned urgent as a sad-eyed, pony-tailed lookout alerted her comrades to the approaching police cruiser. As the children scattered, I stepped back inside to begin what looked to be a long, hot and profitable day.

————

Even as a child I knew the shadows that haunted my nights were the manifestation of something very bad. They gained access to my room by flattening themselves as thin as pieces of paper and sliding silently beneath the door. As I cowered in my bed, with my sheets bundled tightly under my chin, I watched their darkness stream across my threshold. Once inside, they’d pick themselves up off the floor, some of them growing so tall that their jagged heads bounced off the ceiling. Then they’d creep slowly around the walls, slipping into the corners of my room where they’d wait, sitting quietly until my body was forced to accept the sleep that my will denied it. All the while, the shadows flashed gashes revealing stained teeth, and their yellow eyes glowed at me from the dark… 

————

The years haven’t been kind to Detroit. The loss of jobs, home foreclosures and increased suicides as savings accounts vanished have made life hard and finances tight for those left behind in this dying city — myself included. While I rarely credit my painful experience growing up on the farm for much of anything, I do attribute that life to my enduring work ethic and the reliance on self that’s led to my having survived in the city all these years.

While I work hard when I have the work to do, my job itself is seasonal. As such, it’s important I take advantage of the warm months when fresh food is more plentiful and less expensive. Falling back on farm tradition, I still spend much of my time preparing foods to carry me through and earn extra money during this off-season, when I’ll sell some of the canned preserves, cured meats and pickled sundries I store in my pantry. It’s curious, but the demand for life’s basics never seems to dry up in the city.

————

Thinking back, I remember so many nights spent lying in bed in the farmhouse, the fear paralyzing my body, as I stared out at the monsters through squinted eyes. With my heart beating so fast I thought it would jump from my chest, I’d sometimes work up the nerve and risk a peek at the shadows that now shared my room. I’d look on as they tore themselves from the darkness, only to have some of them crawl onto my bed and stick sharp fingers in my ears or rub greasy palms across my skin, all while their slithering tongues dribbled hot spittle into my face. Others would go to work searching my room. They’d rifle through my belongings, snatching from me whatever they chose to make their own…

————

I can’t really complain about the work I do. Growing up without much of an education, I’m become quite satisfied with my how life has turned out. I’m my own boss. I control my destiny. I’m able to provide for myself well enough; and I still find the time  to help so many.

While not very social, it’s rare that I get the chance to discuss my humanitarian passions with others. But when I do, people are rarely impressed. Nobody much cares about the needy anymore. So, when the topic is raised, I’ve learned to just say I work in heating and cooling. This keeps the pain of conversation short.

————

It wasn’t until sometime during my teenage years that I allowed my intruders to know I was aware of their break-ins. That’s when all Hell broke loose. Once the shadows realized I knew they were there, they began pilfering at an alarming rate. I suppose after so many years of my acceptance it was only logical their thefts would become more purposeful. And, unfortunately, I didn’t realize the extent of the damage being done…

————

Beyond the obvious wrinkles on my face, not a whole lot has changed in my life. I still spend most of my time alone, giving me plenty of time to think. I don’t much enjoy looking backwards. There are too many memories I’d rather forget. But I learned long ago that such is the way with life. It often has its own plans for us.

During spring and summer, I drive seven days a week, sometimes for up to 12 hours a day, and with only thoughts and music for company. The truck is old and the tunes play through bad speakers, often repeating the same few songs in what seems an endless loop. While not everyone’s cup of tea, my music has become the soundtrack for my repetitive life; and it does help drown out the many voices from the past that scream inside my head.

————

I realized several years ago that I had advanced well beyond any normal state of self-denial, choosing to believe I’d simply misplaced the things that, in reality, the shadows had stolen from me. With each incident of their private looting, I became more willing to overlook the evil taking place, choosing instead to leave them to their thievery in peace…

————

My best customers live among the idyllic, tree-lined avenues in places far outside the city. The streets here flow with enthusiasm as the residents embrace the hope that money and possessions instill. It’s in these bedroom communities where the financially fit make their lives meaningful, choosing to seclude themselves behind groomed hedgerows and manicured lawns where the darkest of life’s shadows often hide unseen.

I sometimes feel like a modern-day Pied Piper, stealing them away from the false pleasantries of pool parties, baseball games, family picnics and lives spent replacing nighttime fears with the daytime horrors of video games. They chase me down with sweat-soaked dollars gripped in eager fists and clamor at my window while the music explains how ‘Weasels’ sometimes go ‘Pop.’ Their voices bark orders, but instead I hear a cacophony of pain crying out for something they don’t realize exists. Sadly, my inventory of fudge bars, frozen treats and waffle cones offer only a momentary chill from the fires I know burn within them. But always among every group of smiling faces seeking sweet salvation from the ice cream man, there’s at least one child whose eyes melt from the heat of the same sadness I know all too well.

————

I suppose if I’d been a more capable person, I wouldn’t have allowed myself to be consumed by the shadows that have waged war on my world. Because of them I now live in a place of secrets filled with sorrow, lies and the searing  pain they’ve brought. I no longer care that the darkness inside me has free reign. After all, it was I who allowed the shadows entrance in the first place. And it was I who let them rip me apart, slowly chewing me into pieces over the years, permitting them to ultimately take everything from me and leave only fire in their wake…

————

With the children long gone, their fires temporarily extinguished, I pull away from the curb as ‘It’s a Small World’ blares from the loudspeaker. Glancing into my rear view mirror, a pair of sad, fearful eyes stare back at me. The delicate gaze of the brown-eyed boy who’s wedged himself between the coolers in the back of the truck may fool some; but he doesn’t fool me. I’m all too familiar with the shadows that visit him as he lies paralyzed in his comfortable bed at night. I know how he yearns to be free of their thievery. And oh how he wants to beg me to extinguish the pain that burns inside him; but the bandana tied around his mouth doesn’t permit it.

Even through the mirror, I can see the dark faces of the demons reflected in his tear-filled eyes. The monsters don’t yet know it, but they’ll soon be evicted from their new home. Won’t they be surprised when I pluck his eyes from his skull and secret them away with the others inside the pickling jars that line the shelves of my pantry. I smell the flesh on his bones. It’s laced with fear, making it by far the best cut of meat for curing. And most importantly, the innocent little heart beating in his chest needs protection from the evil that seeks to steal it from him. It’s this delicacy that I’ll remove with utmost precision and all the tenderness that such an important possession demands. It’ll be stored away safely inside my airtight freezer, where its virtue will be forever preserved from the shadows that seek to cook it on a spit over the flames of Hell.

It is I, alone, who must save these innocents from the demons that intend to steal their souls, leaving them hollowed out and eternally incinerated on the inside. I just can’t allow the shadows to turn another child into the monster like the one they made out of me.

~ Daemonwulf

© Copyright 2012 DaemonwulfTM. All Rights Reserved.