Tag Archives: ghosts

Delilahs vampires~Road to Antebellum

Authors note: Hello friends and fellow fiction geeks. This is part 2 of my vampire story. I hope you enjoy it, please read part 1 to catch up. I felt a cold, dreary night was a perfect night for a little horror story. 

The gloomy fog saturating the rolling valley was a living entity. With an indifferent hostility, it crept across the atmosphere, overpowering everything within its realm. The man riding shotgun was convinced they would be doomed if Brutus lost his way. But the stallion trudged forward without a thought, its massive head spliced the mist in half as it clumped down the muddy road towards its destination.

Delilah, once open for brief bits of conversation, had retreated into a disquieting  aloofness. Besides an occasional word of comfort to her beloved animal, she hid under her cloak and ignored the stranger sitting next to her.

An hour had passed since the murderer climbed into the front seat of her outdated wagon. He was still damp and angry for renting the car he abandoned. Hunger swirled in his stomach, but he pushed it aside as he began to imagine the consequences of not taking care of the business he was sent to resolve. Food was the least of his concerns.

“How far is the next town? I need to get to a phone and we’ve been on this fucking road for an hour and there’s no sign of life anywhere. How do you people survive out here in the boondocks? It’s the twenty-first century, why don’t you have a car? I might have to shoot myself if I lived here.”

The woman turned her head slightly and chuckled under her breath. They were passing a grove of barren apple trees that stood like an army of skeletons waiting for orders. A rotted wooden fence ran for miles on either side of the road as if attempting to keep the ghastly shoulders from escaping their barracks.

“You don’t say much do you? Your personality fits right in with the rest of this horror show. Look at your clothes, what is that? A fucking cloak?” He laughed and slapped the side of the wagon. Brutus snorted in retaliation.

“Things are different here. Our towns and villages are small, our people stay in when the weather is not welcoming. You can learn a lot from these woods. Nature is life’s greatest teacher.” Replied the mysterious woman.

The man looked at her scrawny frame with a mocking smile and observed his surroundings.

“Can you at least throw the horse into a higher gear? Can’t imagine we’re going as fast as possible.”

She turned her head at his remark.

“Why are you in such a rush? I told you before that I would give you sanctuary. This particular road is seldom used. You are lucky I stopped to help.”

“But you’re blind! How do I know you’re heading in the right direction? Talk about the blind leading the blind, can the horse see where he’s going or is he winging it too?”

“Oh, don’t worry about Brutus. He is smarter than you and I. He sees everything, I trust him with my life.”

The passenger ignored her and rubbed his hands together to warm himself. The fog was still thick and moist and denied the sun access to life on planet earth. He remembered the chill that had soaked his bones the night before and shivered.

“Wouldn’t happen to have an extra jacket back there would ya?” He asked while turning around to rummage through her belongings.

With a quickness he had never encountered, the woman grabbed his arm and looked directly into his eyes.

“No.”

If he was on the streets of Chicago he wouldn’t have hesitated to lay her out.

But those eyes. Those horrible, albino eyes penetrated his chest and struck fear into his heart.

“You must not touch any of my things. They are sacred, and private, and once we reach our destination I must ask you to keep your curiosity to yourself.” She demanded and released his arm.

He pushed his rage aside quickly and began to laugh.

“Well…I was taught never to bite the hand that feeds you. I’d hate to make you upset. What did you say your name was again?”

“Delilah.”

“Delilah, huh? And how long have you lived in these woods Delilah? I’m assuming you don’t get out much do you?”

“Yes that is my name. And I have always been here.”

He began to retort but howling erupted from deep within the foreboding apple grove. The hair on his neck froze instantly.

“Did you hear that? You need to move this fucking horse and buggy. I don’t want to get eaten alive by wolves in the middle of nowhere.”

“I told you this was no place for a hitchhiker. But fear not child, you are safe with me.”

“How so? Got a gun handy? Let me guess, you people use pitchforks and spades to drive away the monsters?”

She laughed an innocent, childlike laugh.

“There are much worse things to fear in this life. Dying shouldn’t be one of them. Like I said, as long as you’re with me, you’re safe…do you have a name?”

He hated not having a weapon on him. But if the old bat was confident and unconcerned, he would relax. If wild animals decided to attack their wagon, he would push her off and take control of the reigns.

“Well, if you’re Delilah, I guess that makes me Samson…Yeah, just call me Samson.”

She looked at him and nodded with understanding. In order to appease Samson, she gently snapped the reigns and snickered at Brutus. He obliged and began to trot faster, leaving the howls and orchard behind them.

Time passed slowly as they made their way up and down the same deserted road as before. Samson and Delilah said nothing to each other. The only sounds emanating in their world originated from hoof beats and the occasional squawk from a crow. The melody caused the stranger to fall into a restless slumber and he dreamed of terrible things.

Dark shadows filled a dimly lit stone hallway. Candles burned on the walls, the ancient purple rug underneath his feet was stained with blood. He couldn’t remember if he had entered the chamber willingly, nor did he recall opening the heavy oak door that led him to this place. His legs were rubbery and each step he took reverberated into the blackness in front of him. Picture frames hung every five feet but the portraits were faded from time and mildew distorted them beyond recognition. He attempted to shout for help but could not because his tongue had been removed. There was no memory of the diabolical procedure. No pain. Nothing. To make sure it was gone, he stood near a candle and put a finger in his mouth. Nothing but saliva and an empty space where it once resided. 

Something began to knock on the inside of the walls and was followed by soft crying. It sounded like a child’s voice. He put both hands on the ice-cold stone and put his head against it to hear better. But the crying stopped at once. 

He backed away and began to jog down the endless hall until more crying could be heard. He stopped and pressed his head onto the slabs once more. The mournful pleas died out and were replaced with whispers. Evil whispers. Whatever lived in the tomb of stone was not alone. He heard them whisper to one another. Quietly, as if they knew he was listening. 

Everything went silent. After a moment he backed away and stood all alone in the middle of the hallway. Urine ran down his legs and his heartbeat echoed in his ears. His eyes were trained on the floor and his arms hung loosely at his side.

In his peripheral vision, he caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure running towards him with arms outstretched. He saw no face, he heard no devilish screech, he turned to face it head on and when it was a few yards away he went to scream with every horror filled fiber in his being.

But his tongueless mouth would not allow it to ever escape his lungs. The creature laughed with an ungodly voice and pounced on him.

Samson jerked awake and felt sunshine on his face. Delilah stood over him with a smile.

“Are you alright child?”

His bearings were still lost and the nightmare too fresh. He reached for his tongue and smiled when the soft, spongy piece of flesh reacted to its owners fingers.

“Yes…I’m fine. I just had a bad dream. Why have we stopped?”

“Because we are here.”

“Here where?”

“The sanctuary I promised I would take you to. Welcome to my home Samson. Welcome to Antebellum.”

—-to be continued—–

Advertisements

Delilahs vampires.

Authors Note: I watched “Interview with a vampire” a few weeks ago and decided to write my own vampire thriller, due to its length, I’ve decided to break it up into two or three parts. This is part one and was written entirely on my phone because my computer is no longer working. The second part will be published sometime this week. I hope you enjoy, feel free to leave some commentary! Music to read by: “Voodoo” Godsmack.  

Rain fell in a hostile sweeping motion, causing the frightened stranger to seek shelter underneath a rickety lean-to left over by some previous nomad. Thunder rumbled and followed streams of lightning across the midnight sky. Ominous clouds engulfed the heavens, leaving the moon stranded somewhere in the atmosphere without a chance to comfort his weary soul. It was a cold rain and it soaked into his thick, unforgiving skin. His body ached in remembrance of his king sized mattress and his spine was erect from both fear and dismay.

Howling erupted from somewhere he could not see, his eyes opened wider and his ears moved to the haunting sound of wild animals lurking in the background. The thought of being eaten alive by carnivores with ferocious, razor-sharp teeth made him yelp aloud. He smacked his hand over his mouth and tried hard not to scream for fear of summoning the wicked creatures closer to his shelter.

It was a cold rain and it was an eerie, horrible night to be stranded in the woods. The wind played the tall pine trees like a harpist stroking the strings of his beloved instrument. But this was not a peaceful, relaxing tune. The world around him echoed and cried and he remembered the old Irish folklore about banshee’s ascending from hell in order to warn of impending doom. The storm was ruthless, leaving nothing exempt from its unstoppable power.

He cursed underneath his breath and swore to kill someone at the car rental agency. They promised “great cars at affordable prices”. But they had given him a lemon on four wheels and it had broken down a few hours after leaving the lot. The family had untold millions and access to whatever they wanted, but since he was yet to be “made”, he was on his own as far as comfort was concerned.

When the howling commenced for a second time, he pictured flesh being torn from his bones and wolves dragging him into their cave as they feasted on his scrawny frame without a second thought.

He was a wolf. A predator that stalked the streets in search of easy targets. The organ pumping blood into his veins was rock solid and filled with a murderous agenda and an appetite for everything unholy. Like the animals that stalked the dark forest surrounding him, the eyes in his sockets were empty, void of life and only satisfied when the scent of prey drew near. The family had sent him on a mission, if successfully accomplished, he would finally earn his stripes and receive the respect he deserved.

The target was a former Capo turned FBI informant who fled Chicago several months earlier and had been located deep in the Adirondack mountains in New York. It was an easy job and he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty because the rewards were worth it. But things had turned south quickly. He wasn’t in New York for more than a few hours before his car died in the middle of nowhere. The dirt road leading to his destination was a swamp, the rain and fog was too thick, and once the engine began to stutter and stammer and give in, he decided to abandon the small hatchback to its fate. With the hope of finding a nearby town, he began to hoof it.

Mother Nature had other plans as it bore down its wrath upon him. When he came across the lean-to, his boots were saturated and his mind played terrible tricks. Doubt crept up his legs and overtook his senses. Exhaustion, fear and respite from the rain took its toll and he began to drift off into sleeps soothing release.

By the time he came to, the monsoon had dwindled into a friendly drizzle and the morning sun was rising somewhere he could not identify. The world was hidden under mist, he stepped back onto the road and attempted to gain his bearings but it was to no avail. The howling had ceased and he hoped the animals had moved deeper into the vast territory and found another target to spy on.

The silence was deadly and it began to haunt him. No cars, no humans, no fast food. Just a jungle of nothingness and a date to keep with a former mobster. He was very punctual when it came business and he hated to disappoint the family. This was his opportunity, nothing would come between it.

An hour into his nature hike brought little in the way of civilization. The mud roads turned into sloppy pavement, he thanked the gods for this as walking became less of a burden. He was drenched. His new boots ruined, his cell phone was waterlogged and the anger, that terrible, piercing anger was slowly pushing his patience further into oblivion.

Then he heard the sound of hoof beats echoing through the air. Turning around, his ears tried to pinpoint the exact location and a spring of hope began to materialize in his mind. He stood very still while the noise grew closer and closer.

“That’s a fucking horse, it’s gotta be.”

Through the ghostly fog a giant beast began to come into view. It was pulling a small cart  and its driver was shrouded in a heavy cloak. The horse was jet black with ripped muscles and long snout that undoubtedly exhaled fire and brimstone as it tore into the ground that it trampled.

He stood on the shoulder and waited for the caravan to come to a halt. As it drew nearer,  all he could distinguish was the old person holding the reins. Its head was bent low and hidden by a hood. Grey, stringy hair flowed from underneath, its hands were ancient but in control of the monster that pulled it. The person underneath the cloak appeared thin, and a large wooden box sat unmolested in the rear cargo bay. A familiar chill ran up the young mans spine as the sinister apparition came to a stop ten yards away from him.

The horse and driver remained quiet. Not a breath could be heard, nothing moved. The fog seemed to grow thicker as the seconds ticked.

“Hello there. My car broke down about ten miles south of here, do you know if there’s a town close by with a payphone?” The murderer attempted to communicate with the odd human in front of him.

“This is private land, why have you trespassed? This is not a place for hitchhiker’s.” Came a raspy, emotionless reply.

“Like I said, my car broke down. I don’t see any trespassing signs, and this is a public road is it not?”

He deduced it was the voice of an old woman. Knowing what was at stake, he was prepared to take the necessary steps to keep things from getting out of hand.

“Who are you and why have you come? These woods are not to be trifled with. I can assure you there are things here that go bump in the night. Take heed of my warnings child, turn away now, go back to where you came from.”

With that warning she made a strange clicking sound and the horse began to move once more. His blood pressure started rising as he stepped closer to the buggy.

“Take it easy, I’m stranded in the middle of nowhere, can you at least give me a lift? I have money.”

A gut wrenching screech emerged from the driver seat as she laughed at his proclamation. This caused his belly to flip with unease, his anger, that devilish anger, was giving him bad thoughts about the old coot staying warm under her wool overcoat.

“I don’t know what’s so funny but-”

“Money! Alright young man, I shall give you sanctuary if you are in dire straights. I hate to see you end up like so many other hitchhiker’s who dare venture out here alone. You are brave aren’t you? Yes very brave indeed. Come, come up here and join me.” With a wave of her bony hand, she beckoned him.

He had yet to see her face, it was still hidden underneath her hood. He stood a moment and contemplated the offer.

“What is your name woman? And before I climb aboard your ship, I want to see your face. I don’t normally ride with strangers, but these fucking woods are creepy as hell and my legs are tired.”

“You wish to see my face? Very well, my name is Delilah and these are my woods. I don’t get many visitors, it could be nice to have supper with such a strapping young man.”

Delilah slowly put the reigns down and grabbed the rim of her hood gently and pulled it back. To his surprise, her skin was soft as porcelain, her grey hair now shone with a beauty he didn’t recognize earlier. Even her hands seemed less wrinkled.

But her eyes were solid white. No pupils.

The man standing in the muddy road gasped and looked away.

“I know what you’re thinking boy. I was born blind and my eyes are sensitive to light.”

Usually one to make quick decisions, he found himself at a loss and wasn’t sure if he should get on board with a woman who at one moment appeared to be ninety years old and the next, thirty. But he had people waiting for him to complete a task. He needed to get to a town fast, he chalked it up to exhaustion and a terrible night in the woods.

“Are you coming or not? I have no qualms about leaving you here to fend for yourself. This road is seldom traveled, you’re lucky I stopped. But alas, these woods are alive and to leave you alone would be akin to manslaughter.”

“How did you know I was standing here? If you’re blind, how did you see me?”

“I see many things. One needs only intuition, and a loyal horse.” She answered softly as she cooed at the animal.

He found himself attracted to her. A sudden rush of punch-drunk emotions left his guard weakened. He stepped carefully across the broken down road and stopped to admire the beautiful stallion and its flowing ebony mane.

“Are you a gypsy?”

When she laughed she sounded like a young maiden, not like the gaggle of an old dying crow he had thought he heard a minute ago.

“There hasn’t been a gypsy in these lands for a hundred years. I am just a widow, a wanderer who found a piece of earth to settle on. You inquire about much, fear not child. You are in good company, Brutus is a marvelous horse and will not fail to deliver us safely to our destination…I cannot say the same for your automobile.”

He snickered and was obliged to agree with her. He thought about going back to the car and setting it ablaze but lost his train of thought when a flock of ravens flew over his head. They appeared out of nowhere and settled atop a large evergreen, squawking and pecking each other for a better position on the branches.

The woman tilted her head into the air. Her thin, pinkish lips opened slightly. Her face grew tense as if the birds were a bad omen.

“We must leave now, the journey is far and the weather is not on our side. If you wish to come, I suggest getting in. If not, leave now. Go back to where you came from, this is no place for strangers.”

“Why are you frightened? You’re afraid of these woods aren’t you? What did the birds have to say?” He questioned with a laugh.

She ignored his mocking tone and clicked her tongue. Brutus began galloping forward, leaving him on the wayside.

“Hey! Wait for me!” He yelled and ran quickly towards the passenger side of the wagon. In one athletic motion he grabbed hold of the wooden frame and hoisted himself into the seat. The grey haired woman said nothing about his performance and kept her eyes on the rocky trail. The hitman turned around to look down the road and noticed the birds.

They were quiet as they watched the two humans make haste. Their beady eyes were lasers. Their sharp beaks, closed. There were hundreds and they all watched him carefully in deafening silence.

—–To be continued—–


One doomsday in December.

Authors note: According to some, the world will end next week. I don’t think so, but I can’t stop my imagination from running wild and writing a what-if short story of something crazy taking place. This account of the End of the world need not happen, I hope it doesn’t. But if it does, at least I gave you fair warning. Music to read by: “Seasons in the abyss” by Slayer.

I was eating wonton soup the day the earth moved for the first time. My kitchen resembled a normal size closet, there was a tiny fridge shoved in one corner and I ate my meals on a small plastic table situated along a wall near a cracked window. It overlooked a crowded street with an overgrown park on the opposite side. I had some money but interior decorating was lost on me, I was single and barely home. I couldn’t have cared less. There was always noise outside, but not now. A quiet had come over the city and was followed by screams of terror when the globe shook again. The world was being called to account for its selfishness and I had a nightmarish view.

It’s funny how time slows when a catastrophe is taking place. When monotony is broken and everyday life is in jeopardy, people become animals and no one can stop the carnage that’s left in their path. I witnessed the anarchy, I watched the elderly get crushed in stampedes and the young abandoned by their parents. Material possessions meant nothing now, important schedules weren’t kept, and trivial arguments were forgotten. My own success as a writer was flushed down the toilet. When fire began to rain down from the heavens I was just another terrified man looking for shelter.

I didn’t sleep the night before. I had stayed up intentionally and after midnight, I figured we were safe. There weren’t any bells or whistles, no gongs ushered in the end of the world. I hadn’t seen any angels or demons, no intergalactic battle between aliens and humans, no warning. The end came like a lion stalking its prey, it waited in the brush for a time and then pounced on humanity, tearing it to shreds until it bled out.

I watched a documentary that week on the Mayan civilization and their take on the apocalypse. A reporter interviewed several “professionals” about the subject. All but one laughed at the absurdity. They mocked the signs and disregarded the ancient people. The doctor who voiced his agreement had beady eyes and a pointed nose. He rubbed his hands together nervously and with mock seriousness, told the camera to prepare for destruction beyond the scope of the human imagination.

I had always walked past the lunatics with signs proclaiming the end of the world and wrote them of off as fanatical drunks. But they had been right. The world as we knew it had collapsed and the government could do nothing to save the people. Oh, I am sure they had reserved a nice spot for the president and his staff deep underground somewhere. The rich and famous were sleeping in disaster shelters. But guys like me, well, I never thought much about it. For all intent and purposes, I had made a “disaster” backpack and kept it in my Jeep. It was mostly protein bars, flares, beer and rope.  I figured if the world ended on December 21, I would relax in the park across the street with a beer in one hand, a protein bar in the other, and I would watch asteroids streak across the sky and hurtle into earth.

I am not a violent man but when gunfire could be heard throughout the city, I reached into my closet and pulled out my own shotgun and began loading it with ammunition. The thought of going to a park and getting wasted never crossed my mind and I forgot about my useless survival kit. I was able to run down the emergency stairwell to safety. I wanted to be on ground level and away from tall buildings. I was going to call Audrey but hesitated. We hadn’t spoken since she rejected my offer for marriage three days earlier. I think she was sleeping with her boss and besides, she hadn’t phoned me to see if I was alive.  I let him worry about her.

A group had congregated near the emergency exit behind my building. I knew these people, we had been friends. But like I said earlier, darkness takes over a person’s heart when their own lives are at stake. They talked quickly and interrupted each other, they threatened and cursed. I walked away when I had the first opportunity.

“Could this be it? You said nothing was going to happen!”

“I never thought this shit was true. Hey, Hey! Get away from my car!”

“Has anyone seen Ralph? Poor little thing must be frightened all by himself…”

“I told you to grab more water! What are we going to do with two bottles! Tommy! Yo Tommy! You have to go back for more! ”

“I have some ammo too. I’m not taking any chances. We should take stock of our supplies and lock up tight. Who knows if the earthquakes are over? We need to worry about our own. ”

“Worry about yourselves, that’s what everyone else is doing!”

The crowd hushed when sirens began filling the air with mechanical, bloodcurdling screams. To make matters worse, a foot of snow covered the sidewalks; massive drifts dominated alleyways and intersections. The temperature had dropped below freezing during the night and remained bitter through the better part of the following morning. People prayed and begged for help but nothing could be done.

My friends were sliding on frozen pavement and plunging into the belly of the earth, cries for help could be heard all over, but many were snuffed out quickly. It was a ghastly sight. The news stand attendant met an untimely demise too. He was taking a bite out of a sesame seed bagel when the earth decided to open up and let off steam. The poor bastard tilted backwards with wide eyes and outstretched hands and went to his grave with cream cheese on his face.

The city I loved was completely flattened. Bloody heaps of human remains littered the streets. Billowing clouds of smoke and fire poured from the crust of the earth. Looters wielded bats and took what they could. I watched a man put a bullet in his own head. A young child screamed. The National Guard stood by helplessly while the evil emerged from their holes and took the city hostage.

And then something happened I could not explain.  The hairs on my neck stood up and every sense in my body was heightened. I told myself there was no such thing as ghosts.  But hell taught me a different lesson that day. Before I died, I remembered hearing very loud chanting. I heard ancient whispers echo into my ears. I could hear drums and wooden flutes and when I closed my eyes, I could see Indians dancing around fires.

It was then that I saw spirits exiting the massive cracks in the ground.

At first they were very beautiful, greens and yellows and reds mixed into one trailing wisp of air. The people in the streets could not fathom this phenomenon. They stood and watched and some defecated themselves. Others approached the ghosts in childlike wonder and laughed. The blood in my veins froze as dead warriors started marching forward, their faces melted into horrible masks. They opened their mouths and revealed rotted tongues. I saw the weapons they brandished, I heard them chant one more time, and then everything went black.


Rose of Sharon

Authors note: Music to read by “There’s no place like home” Michael Giacchino

Wicked dreams invaded her sleep. The nightmares had been going on for some time, and there was nothing she could do to stop them.  Every night, when the moon would creep over the horizon and extinguish the comfort of the sun, great waves of fear would wash over her soul. Sweat would soak the nape of her beautiful neck as she ascended the staircase one step at a time. Shadows would play tricks on her mind, causing her to see things that weren’t there, hear things that could never exist. Her house was very quiet after dusk and making noise would only summon ghosts, she tread lightly in pink, cotton slippers.

Rose of Sharon was an exceptionally gorgeous young woman filled with brains, courage and up until recently, a sound mind. When the clocks in her home struck the coming of bedtime, she prayed silently for one night’s sleep without waking up screaming. The vodka had helped but was wreaking havoc on her body, the hypnotist was a waste of money and the dream catchers she had purchased from the Indian reservation were malfunctioning.

Her mother had loved John Steinbeck’s novel Grapes of Wrath, so she named her daughter Rosasharn and spelled it exactly the way he had. She figured a child with three first names was more likely to be bullied than anything else.

The troubled girl put a kettle of hot water on the stove and waited for it to boil. She was drinking herbal teas to help relax her body before attempting to fall sleep. She took a seat at the kitchen table and looked at the black and white photo of her mother sitting on the counter. She loved her mom desperately, and could almost hear her whispering quietly in her ear like she had when she was a child. “Rosasharn, my sweet Rosasharn, sleep well precious one…you are special don’t ever forget that.”  

She slipped her cheek into her hand and tried not to cry as memories of her mother flooded her vision. Her dark hair was hanging loosely so she took a strand and twirled it in her fingers. When steam erupted from the teapot, she poured herself a cup and dipped and dangled the small teabag until brown liquid floated around in delicate circles. The hour was approaching and a tiny knot began to form in her rock solid stomach. If her mother had been alive, she would have asked her to sleep beside her to stay away the demons. She wasn’t embarrassed by this terrible fear of hers. She had confided in her boyfriend once, but he had laughed and told her to take some sleeping pills. She never broached the subject again. She was alone in this battle for sanity and dread overtook Rose of Sharon’s heart.

After finishing her tea and making it safely to her bedroom, she flipped off the light and climbed underneath the Egyptian cotton sheets. Once her eyes adjusted to the hellish darkness, she gazed around to make sure the boogeyman was not lurking in a corner, or worse, underneath her bed. She checked her cell phone to see if he had wished her goodnight. He had not.

Pulling the blankets up to her chin for warmth, she looked out into the night’s sky and noticed the full moon staring down at her, burning into her retinas. Her mother used to tell her that the moon was Gods bellybutton. She giggled at the stupid, but sweet memory. She felt good tonight and maybe sleep would come without any repercussions. The tea was working its’ magic and numbness spread up her toes and towards her neckline. It was only an hour before she began to dream.

Lightning bolted across the clear desert sky and was not followed by thunder. There were no clouds, no rain, all was still. Streams of electricity dominated the atmosphere, not even a god could survive the onslaught of sheer power. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was being played on a piano somewhere and the music reverberated into the thunder-less world.

 Rose of Sharon walked down the valley of death in a white dress and matching white sneakers, oblivious to the raging war above her head, she hummed along to the depressing music. The trail she followed was endless in length, but she marched on in order to find the pianist and demand to know the reason for playing such a sad song, a terribly haunting song. One she had heard in all of her dreams.

 Rattle snakes watched her carefully from coiled positions along the side of the path. Their tongues never left their deceitful little mouths, and their eyes were fiery red with hatred. Hundreds of them sat frozen as the woman in white trudged onward. Their eyes never left her. She was terrified of snakes and took note on how they remained human like.

 As she progressed up the dusty trail, she encountered a house that reminded her of her own home back on planet earth. There was a small lawn, white picket fence, and the ominous piano sat on the front yard. Only it was not her home, it was his home. He was sitting with his back towards her playing the song over and over again on his Baby Grand. She had walked hundreds of miles in mere seconds and hadn’t seen any buildings or people. But now she had found him.

As she drew closer to the compound, the man stopped for a moment and straightened his back. This caused her to halt for a moment.

“So young lady, you’ve managed to find me. You have been searching for a long time, haven’t you Rosasharn?” He said in a very deep voice.

“How do you know my name?” She said while walking slowly towards him.

“Oh, you’ll find that I know a lot of things. I know where you were born, where you went to school, how your mother died. Little things like that. But don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone her dirty little secret.” The mysterious being told her. He had yet to face her.

“She had no secrets, she was a saint. What are you talking about? Is that why I have so many nightmares?”     

The creature said nothing but went back to his melody. She began cautiously towards the large instrument.

“Go no further. I have been sick and I don’t want to infect you.”

 Noiseless lightning flashed and flickered. The snakes had begun to slither closer.

 “I want you to tell me why I have these dreams, what does this have to do with my mother? And why do you keep playing that song?” She said and was immediately overtaken with unquenchable fear.

 “…Many people think this song was written because he was extremely sad. I think Beethoven experienced some sort of inexplicable joy and this was the masterpiece that was created in his heart. As to your other questions, your mother is the one haunting you. She knows you have a special gift and is trying to deter you from utilizing it.” He said matter-of-factly.

The young woman stood dumbfounded and quite alone. Things began to move and come alive in the distance. She wanted to wake up but could not find the strength.

“Why are you fearful child?”

“Why won’t you face me?” She said to the back of his head. Her voice began to quiver and her right arm began to feel tight as if some unseen force was squeezing it.

 “I’m very sick, dying actually. Won’t you come in for some tea?”

 She looked up at the house and began to back away. Something was not right, her chest heaved and her knees shook. Rattling grew louder and things began to move in the windowsills.

 “No, I want to go home.” She cried. Her arm began to hurt more and more.

  The creature turned around and she screamed.

 “But darling… you are home.”

 

He let himself into her house, she had given him a key for their anniversary. When he opened the door to her bedroom, she was kicking underneath the covers and moaning softly. He tiptoed into the room and sat on the bed and gently touched her arm in order to wake her up. He knew she was having another nightmare. The doctor told him to do it in a non-aggressive way so she wouldn’t react badly. When she told him about the dreams it broke his heart.  All he could do was sit and wait for her to awake from it. He touched her forehead with a cold rag and rubbed her shivering body. He wished he could take them away so she would be at peace.

“Rosasharn, it’s me love. Wake up baby.” The man bowed his head and prayed for her.


Trifecta Challenge: The midnight hour

Trifecta Challenge: Week forty-eight In keeping with the month of ghosts and goblins and things that go bump in the night, our discussion topic for the week is things that scared you as a child. Write a 33-333 word story using the word  Sinister. This story is exactly 333 words. Music to read by: Enya “Tempus Vernum”

Thunder shattered the sound barrier as quarter sized droplets of rain pummeled the newly installed Anderson window. Shadows cast ghostly apparitions on the inside of Jonathan’s bedroom wall causing him to sweat in fear.  He took the bottle of vodka and turned it upside down, disregarding the burning fire coursing down his throat. He needed to stop the nightmares. He knew the true horror of things that transpired beyond the midnight hour.

She made me buy that cursed thing, I was against it. She always gets her way. Jonathan looked in the mirror and cursed his wife under his breath.

With his ratty blanket wrapped around his shivering body he walked towards the window and watched the storm rage with fury. The wind screamed like a banshee released from hell and lawn chairs were scattered about the grass. It was terribly dark and he pulled the blanket closer to his chin like a child trying to protect himself from some unseen monster.

But there was a monster, a living thing walked around his home. It had no business doing so and it had already driven his wife mad. His skin crawled at the thought of its wooden legs moving forward with inhuman speed and agility. The gypsy said it was just a block of wood, a child’s toy, and the silly stories surrounding it were better left for camp fires and Halloween night.

His bedroom door creaked open. Jonathon turned quickly just in time to see the outline of the sinister puppet standing upright in the doorway.

My God, this isn’t happening. In the name of all that is holy, please go away you cursed devil! It stood for a moment before making its way into the bedroom.  He wanted to scream himself into insanity but his voice could not be found.

“Why are you hiding up here? We have many things to discuss Jonathon.” The painted lips began to form a smile as it howled with laughter and started towards the human.


Road Trip: Beyond the sight of man

Rocky Mountains
Golden, Co
Photography by Gabriel

When I wake up in the early morning hours I find myself lost between different lands. Upon opening your eyes, the first thing to hit the center of your pupils are the Rocky Mountains. All you see is darkness at its base, but when you gaze at the multicolored sunrise above the hilly terrain you are hit with a sense of shock at the contrast between earth and sky.

It reminds me of the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Long Island. If you get to the beach at sunrise, you will see pitch black waves rocking back and forth with no sense of direction. If you look deep into the horizon and past the breaking point of the waves, reds and oranges welcome another day into existence. The dark water is alive with life and as the sun rises, it makes the liquid seem less ominous. Sometimes you forget the world is circular because at that moment, you are certain the earth stretches east to west for billions of miles, as if running alongside the heavens. A cosmic battle of the ages with no winners, their job is to keep us filled with questions and wonder and mesmerize us by creating natural phenomenons.

Then I moved to the middle of American, where flat land stops abruptly and bows down to majestic mountains. In the morning, dark, rolling hills cut the purple sky in half in these strange, zigzag, up and down patterns which seem to go on forever. Stars still shine and the moon hangs high above the earth in victory and awash in the suns reflection. Every color of the rainbow mixes in with white clouds and all is quiet underneath its banner.

Once I am fully awake I remember where I am and what I’m doing here. Although I don’t understand the why and the when, I feel all these questions will be fulfilled in due time. The place I came from seems to fade away with every sunset, the future, like every sunrise, remains a mystery to my mind and my soul and yet I wait in expectation, hopeful and captivated by the strangeness of it all.

Speaking of strange, two nights ago I checked into a local motel out here in Colorado and found myself caught in a creepy, personal version of Ghost Hunters. Unbeknownst to me, the place had a reputation for being shady and a hangout for various sorts of arch criminals and vagabonds. Not that I have a problem with consorting with different people, I’d rather not stay in a building where shootouts occurred and people died.

Anyway, I rented a room and made my way down the dark corridor with an uneasy feeling in my stomach, this was strike one. Upon entering the pad, I put my stuff down and prepared myself for a shower in a bathroom with a puddle of water sitting in the middle of the floor. Strike two. I spoke comforting words into the mirror, you know, kind of like a pep talk to keep me going. As I stood in the middle of the lavatory in my birthday suit the madness began.

Oh Shit!

An unearthly whisper shot past my ears and the hairs on my neck stood up sending my nerves into a panic overload. At this point I am extremely vulnerable because I had to put on my clothes before running through the walls like some cartoon on steroids. As this was all transpiring, my heart beat a hundred miles an hour and my mind was screaming for me to leave this place of the damned. The evil twin girls from The Shinning flashed in my mind and all I wanted to do was scream. After I managed to throw on my clothes and pick up whatever crap was lying around I made it into the hallway safely without anyone or anything grabbing my shoulder. I would have screamed, my lord I would have screamed!

Point of the story is I managed to get out of there alive and in one piece with a full refund. There is another world beyond the sight of man. Whether you choose to believe is your prerogative, but at that point, in that room, I was not alone. My skin crawled, my lungs filled with fear and my mind played tricks on me. I’ve never had a problem staying in motels before and I have stayed in plenty. I knew I wasn’t losing my mind, when I checked into my beloved Motel 6 an hour later I spoke with the cute lady behind the counter about the haunted motel. My story was confirmed when she explained to me how many people have left that motel in fear.

I’m usually one for exploring the unknown and the eerie, but not then. I want to know what I’m walking into first before signing up to be a Ghostbuster. I think it’s only fair to warn your patrons there are spirits roaming about the halls. If the creepy lady at the front desk would have explainedthis to me I would have been in the mood to deal with the unseen. But, like many of the adventures I’ve had on this trip so far, it makes for good conversation.

Get em’ Ray.

Today is opening day for the NFL and I am sitting here in Starbucks drinking the cheapest coffee a guy can find in this particular establishment. This will be the first time in many, many years I will miss my beloved Jets open up the season and it’s amazing how little I actually care. Priorities can change when you are broke and homeless and on the verge of mental collapse. You see the world differently, you grow up faster, you pray for help and you try to remain strong while you rebuild and regroup and start from absolutely nothing. Like the ghost which haunted me a few nights ago, the unknown is a scary, otherworldly existence I have come to despise.

I don’t have anything else to add except this: Don’t be afraid, the morning light will shine eventually and the darkness cannot stand it. Take it easy.