Thursday, February 25, 2010

V I S I T O R S -- DownStream – Part 4

V I S I T O R S -- DownStream – Part 4

Link to part 3

Along the shore line, in the over bright moonlight, salmon-colored slugs slithered up on the rocks. Red fins and spines bristled from the creatures' chins and backs. Lumps of webbed flesh, some sharply clawed, dangled limply beneath raw orange gills.

There are too many. Must be at least two dozen, I'll never be able to stop them all.

"What do you want?" Alice screamed and pushed herself backwards, crab-like, with bare feet.

The closest creature paused and raised a snakelike snout into the moonlight.  With terror beyond reasoning, Alice saw Frank Long's face above the bristled chin. "We want you, babe," the Frank-slug hissed. "This joint could use a smart chick like you."

Another slug slithered from between the leaves by Alice's left foot. Inky black eyes gazed sadly from the wart-freckled face of little Melanie Thomas. "We need you, Miss Carson. Please come with us," the childlike voice rasped at her.

A slimy circle formed quickly around Alice. Her frightened eyes moved from one ghastly creature to another as more than two dozen slick pink tadpoles closed the circle.

With mounting apprehension, Alice also recognized the faces of the other members of the Thomas family and Duncan's friend, Jimmy Gordon--complete with deformed nose. Most of the creatures were faceless blobs, however, with bright red eyes and pursed pink, rubbery lips.

They don't have to kill us, just to steal our lives!

This was the last thought to spring into Alice's tortured mind before the first numbing sting of a bristle edged appendage sank into her skin. Unable to cope with the cold sliminess that crawled over her flesh consuming her body with sucking pink mouths and sharp claw-like flippers, her mind closed in on itself--refusing to be absorbed.


Alice woke with a start, the pain of her hideous nightmare still gouging new wounds. As she leaped from her desk and ran to the window to look out at the river, her reading glasses smashed to the floor. Fully expecting to see her back yard swarming with snail-like creatures from some Black Lagoon, Alice's breathing slowed considerably at the sight of the peacefully gurgling and blessedly empty Rove River.

How incredibly real the dream was!

What an overactive and completely deranged imagination I have.

Relieved to be awake and to discover that the entire experience had been but another bogus nightmare, Alice stooped and collected the broken shards of her reading glasses with trembling fingers.

The trembling of her hands eased a little as she collected the scattered drawings of her students and stuffed them back into her briefcase.

If she hadn't broken her glasses, Alice might have noticed the subtle changes in each drawing she had just collected.

And since her glasses still were not repaired when the essays and their accompanying drawings were issued back to her students Monday morning, she never did catch the mutations cleverly inserted in each childish drawing.

Residents of the town may never know if any of the students receiving these individual art works happened to notice the tiny engraving next to the circled mark in each upper right-hand corner. The engraved caricature resembled a bright pink bookworm wearing overly large glasses. If any of the students did notice the mark, would they wonder at all why the worm in question closely resembled their teacher, Miss Alice Carson?

Would any family proudly displaying their children's latest creation on refrigerators all over town guess that the town elementary school had a new visitor?


Black Lagoon: The Complete Series Set

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

V I S I T O R S , Downstream, part 3

V I S I T O R S , Downstream, part 3
Link to part 2

"I can understand a bunch of tanked up hooligans playing out at that old house are apt to see about anything," Cynthia Parker whispered too loudly to Janet Broderrick after mass last Sunday. "But I'm certainly surprised that Joanna--and even poor old Emma Salem--would go along with the charade. And that awful foul-mouthed Frank Long! I don't know about you, Janet, but me and Harry aren't sad to see the back end of the likes of him."

Although Janet Broderrick nodded knowingly, her eyes blinked too much and her face carried a frozen mask of uncertainty. A fish-shaped pink burn, that had healed over, swam across one high cheek bone.

"Shame about what he did to his family though," Cynthia went on.

"Mister-Big-Shot-know-it-all-from-New-York-City didn't know as much as he thought. I swear, you just can tell about a person . . ."

Alice had been the subject of that kind of talk before and she simply did not have the strength or courage to do it again.

No, no, not again . . .

So the nightmares continued, and Alice, who had listened to Joanna's warnings about trying to stay awake at night, grew ever more agitated and weary as her haunted days and nights rolled into a carpet woven with fear, doubt, and shame.

The Saturday before Halloween, Alice peeked out through her drawn blinds at the radiance of the October full moon. She had spent the entire day raking crispy black leaves into dark mounds. By bright moonlight the mounds looked like giant licorice gumdrops leading snakelike to the lapping shores of the Rove. In Alice's mind, she could hear the leaves rustling subtly, like taffeta skirts. The crackling leaves seemed to be trying to tell her something.


Were they warning her?

Trying to shake off a feeling of foreboding that had dogged her all day, Alice yanked a fat manilla folder from her briefcase, snapped on her desk lamp, and prepared to busy herself with work. The children had each written a page long essay on "Halloween In Our Town" and Alice wanted to grade the papers before Monday. She smiled to herself picturing the childish works, complete with brightly drawn covers, attached to family refrigerators all over town. And just in time to ring in the quickly approaching ghostly holiday.

An hour later, as Alice marked a B+ in the top right-hand corner of the last brightly drawn essay cover, she realized that she was bone tired. 

Suddenly her eyes ached from reading the childish scrawls and the muscles in her arms screamed for a rest after the full day of raking abuse they had received. Removing her reading glasses, Alice closed her weary eyes and laid her head across folded arms on the desk: a position imitated from her own students during the fifteen minute rest break they received each day after lunch.

The powerful nightmare gripped her with teeth of steel. And, although Alice knew she was dreaming, she was powerless to wake up. Her head felt like a very large pumpkin rooted to the desk.

They're manipulating us through our dreams.

The thought beamed into her pumpkin head out of nowhere and burned into her skull like a candle flame.

Again Alice found herself hovering on the Rove shore in her back yard.

Small leafy piles whispered to her, but she couldn't quite make out the words.

The cloying smell of rotting fish wafted to her across bright beams of moonlight.

They're coming.

The bouncing thought raised gooseflesh across her body; her cold hands squeezed the night air like tortured caterpillars.

A cold, slimy touch on her bare foot and Alice uttered a startled yelp, leaping backwards and landing close to one of her raked mounds. The leaves hissed and muttered in a brief, fishy smelling breeze.

Continued in my next post

Halloween: NightDance

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

V I S I T O R S -- DownStream -- Part 2

V I S I T O R S -- DownStream -- Part 2

Link to Part 1

It wasn't gangsters who had Frank Long, Alice had been thinking as she suppressed a cold shudder.  At least not your everyday human gangsters. What they were, at least how they appeared in Alice's nightmares, was terrifying. Those things went beyond reason.

Beyond sanity.

Beyond anything that she could rationally explain. Yet she knew they were still in town. Maybe part of them (those THINGS) still slithered through the rotting bowels of the old Stuart house across town, or tugged thoughts and unsuspecting inhabitants from downtown Main Street with frosty breaths of fire. Perhaps they -- Alice was fairly sure there was more than one -- floated squid-like in the murky depths of Black Lake: tentacles entwined around and through one ornery old ex-cop as they sucked out information with groping pink mouths.

These were the images that haunted Alice night and day. But what scared her most -- what rocked her nights and rolled her days -- was that she could feel them spreading: moving and searching, like starving leeches.

Lately, when she wasn't at work, Alice kept finding herself staring into the Rove River, which ran down and across her back yard from Black Lake.

Sometimes she'd awaken from a sound sleep with her toes curled awkwardly around the shoreline rocks and goosebumps the size of thimbles marching across her bare arms. Other times she'd just realize that she'd ambled over to the shore again and had lost all track of time as her gray-green eyes followed the swirling currents across rocky paths.

More than two weeks had passed since the discovery of the awful Thomas family tragedy, which many in town had already chalked up to one deranged old ex-cop snuffing out his family and then himself, but Alice -- and many others -- wasn't so sure.

Recently, Alice's intensified dreams targeted the river that babbled sedately through the back yards of her closest neighbors on Wooded Hill and angled sharply down into her dead end gully before it flowed smoothly through the woods and then out into the center of town.

In Alice's dreams bloated pink slugs drifted in the river -- like autumn leaves -- through the yards of unsuspecting townsfolk up on the hill. In her nightmares, Alice always ran to collect the spongy globs, which felt like cold raw liver in her hands and reeked of rotten fish, but they were too slippery and always evaded her grasp. She'd wake in a cold greasy sweat -- sometimes standing on shore -- knowing that the things were still washing downstream and that she couldn't stop them.

Alice's instincts told her to run to the next town meeting and warn the rest of the town--warn them that the things were coming downstream and headed for the center of town. But when she awoke the river always looked so calm: so peaceful.

Remember that they're only nightmares, Alice continually scolded herself, not really pictures of the future.

She'd learned that lesson once before; she'd learned it the hard way. While Alice secretly admired Duncan and Joanna for voicing their fears to the town, she also heard the snickers and jeers bubbling from small knots of people at Walmart, at the school, and even at church . . .

Continued in my next post

River Monsters

Monday, February 22, 2010

V I S I T O R S -- DownStream – Part 1

V I S I T O R S -- Downstream -- Part 1

Louise Dragon

Alice tossed and turned. Ghastly images flitted across her brain and crouched on the edges of her mind, like children playing hide 'n seek. In light of recent events, sleep was becoming a dreaded chore, but Alice's waking hours were even worse: much worse.

Listening to Joanna and Duncan at recent town meetings had been mere confirmation for Alice. She'd known all along that something was in town.
She'd known, because Alice knew things.

It wasn't an enjoyable gift and she'd always kept it well hidden--fearing ridicule and hostility from small-minded neighbors. Once, just once, Alice had tried to use her gift to help the police locate a missing child . . .

But that was in the past, a different time, different town, and a lifetime ago. One thing that Alice had learned from her experience, however, was that despite what she was supposed to teach the children, police aren't always our friends . . .

Best not to dwell on the past. In truth, Alice had a difficult time trusting anyone and everyone. That was why she'd purchased her cute little house at the bottom of the dead end street known as Wooded Gully. Her job, as third grade teacher, was a mere fifteen minute walk through the woods to the elementary school playground beyond. Other than fellow teachers, Alice spent her days talking with eight-year-olds. Why little Melanie Thomas had been in Alice's class until . . .

"I heard my dad say that when he found them, they were all black and charred, like burnt toast," little Nate Birdsong bragged to a circle of wide-eyed children in the playground.

"Where?" piped up little Crystal Rogers.

"I know where," said Eddy Parker.

Frowning, Nate bellowed. "You don't know everything just cause you live up there on Wooded Hill by the Thomas place. Let me tell the story."

"Well just cause your father's the sheriff, it don't mean that you know everything either," Eddy said. "They were right there--in their house."

Eddy looked around the circle from one shock-filled face to another as if expecting some negative noises.

"I looked in the window. There they were all laying--like they were just sleeping, you know--on a big pile of leaves in their living room."

"Leaves?" little Crystal questioned, wrinkling her pug nose. "Leaves in their living room?"
"Yup, black leaves like maybe they all got burnt up together," Eddy said.

"Cept the leaves where there before. I seen 'em a couple days before the Sheriff came and looked in at the dead Thomases. Seen that mean old man raking them out of the house before, too."

Carefully listening around the edges of that strange little conversation, Alice heard the children talk about how Melanie's uncle -- that awful, mean old Man -- was missing; only his gun had been found half-submerged in the shallows of Black Lake. According to little Nate Birdsong, bullets had been fired from the gun and Mr. Long's car had been all shot up, like gangsters had gotten him.

"There now, that'll be enough of that, Nate Birdsong," Alice had said, her voice shaking slightly as she broke up the morbid circle. "You'll be giving this class nightmares for sure."

Continued in my next post.


Friday, February 19, 2010

#flashfriday: The Mirror’s Eyes

The Mirror’s Eyes
by Louise Dragon

His body tingled. Would the ghostly apparition appear, just like it always did?

Howard Grouper held the special glasses loosely in his lap . . . his mind wandering back to the first time he had put the accursed things on his face. Was it only this morning?

He felt tired and spent. His world was splitting apart and he didn’t think there was any going back now.
The glasses – old-fashioned Ben Franklin square lenses surrounded by speckled gold frames – were the coolest shades Howard had ever seen. He’d found them in old man Sanborn’s house when he’d stopped by to try and finagle a few bucks from his Mom this morning. Betty Grouper did special cleaning for the county – she liked to hold on to her money though. Howard had to really lay it on thick to get even a couple of bucks for gas.
While he had been spouting his spiel to Betty, Howard spied a brass cricket on old man Sanborn’s dusty hearth. Inside that big cricket he’d found those cool shades. Betty, by then, was grudgingly peeling a few bills from her wallet and probably didn’t notice Howard pocket those glasses.

The old man is dead, Howard had thought. He won’t need these where he’s gone to.

Once Howard’s old gray Spectrum had a little gas, he donned his cool new shades and headed to The Junction, a local pool hall and beer joint down the street, to spend the rest of Betty’s money.
“How’s yer Ma?” asked Junction manager Bobby.

“She’s okay.” Howard mumbled around his beer. “Down cleaning out old man Sanborn’s place, last time I seen her.”

“Old man Sanborn,” Bobby mused. “Folks around here say that crazy old bastard chewed on too much LSD in his younger years. I’ve heard tell he talked to people who weren’t there. Saw him some visions and heard him some voices, toward the end, he did.”

Howard sat up a little straighter. He pretended to listen to Bobby, but his eyes actually watched the mirror over the bar where a bent old man entered, stopped at the doorway and glared at Howard through opaque yellow eyes.

Howard whipped about on his seat, but the room was empty. He turned back to the mirror, but it showed an empty room as well.

Howard looked at his own reflection and noticed that the new glasses lenses had picked up a bit of light and reflected back at him with a shiny yellow cast.

He took the glasses off and rubbed at his throbbing temples. Howard’s stomach felt queasy, he pushed away the beer, half finished, and moved back outside into the bright sunshine. Again he donned his cool old shades.

Halfway home, Howard glanced into the rear view mirror, and slammed on the brakes. Old man Sanborn perched on his back seat, mouth moving, and finger wagging. Howard swerved, the car spinning crazily out of control and heading for the huge oak tree on the corner of Bunch Road. Howard had a split second to get the vehicle under control.

With the car safely pulled over, he turned to confront the old geezer, but nobody was there.

He ran his hand over the dirty vinyl seat, dispersing many old McDonald’s wrappers and empty Coke cans, but the seat was cool to the touch. Howard’s head throbbed. Old man Sanborn’s mouth had been moving in his vision through the rear-view mirror. Howard sensed that the old man was trying to tell him something. He put his glasses back on and made it home with no further incidents.
Old man Sanborn is dead . . . Howard kept telling himself. I can’t be seeing him, he’s dead. But a feeling of unease and dread lingered in the back of Howard’s mind like an unpleasant taste. He took off the glasses and stared at them . . . Could they have some kind of power? Was it the glasses that gave him the visions? Maybe these glasses drove Old man Sanborn crazy.

Howard’s mind went around and around trying to puzzle out his new problem. That’s when he got the idea.

He decided to put on the glasses again and watch through the mirror for old man Sanborn to show up. Perhaps then, things would start to make sense.

Howard sat at Betty’s vanity, the glasses held loosely in his lap.

Then he put the old glasses on and gazed into the mirror, his body tingling with anticipation.

A ghostly apparition quickly appeared at the edge of the mirror and made its way toward Howard’s back. As the light of recognition blazed a yellow beacon in Howard’s brain, he gasped inwardly and clutched at the only possible explanation.

I must be dead.

Because this time, he was staring at himself – a hideously deformed, yellow-eyed, and bloody version of Howard Grouper stood at his back in the mirror.

Author's note: The first two sentences of my #fridayflash story, The Mirror's Eyes are courtesy of #storystarters – a Twitter Application.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XIV

Dragon Chronicles XIV

XIV. Legions of vessels are laid to rest
Beetles swarm in from the west
Small and compact or incredibly tall
Erasing carbon from the blue-green ball

Beetles : A Field Guide to the Beetles of North America


Monday, February 15, 2010

"Creative Writing" Award

Thank you to G.P. Ching at So, Write for presenting me with this annoying prestigious blog award. In a few moments, I will be bestowing the honor on a few of you per the rules below.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth.
5. Nominate seven "Creative Writers" who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.
6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know you nominated them.
1. I worked as a coordinator of child pagents in Tennessee for about twelve years during the 80s & 90s.
2. I won a "Monica Lowinsky" look-a-like contest in 2000.
3. I've been invited to Stephen King's house for dinner.  My whole family attended and we ate dynamites and drank cream sodas on the back porch.
4. I won a "Massachusetts State Queen" Beauty and Charm contest in 1985.
5. I auditioned for American Idol in 2001 and made it it up to "Hollywood Week."
6. I actually appeared in "The Stand."  If you look very closely at the dead bodies on the streets of New York, you might just see me there.
7. Judge Judy is my aunt on my mother's side of the family.

I nominate the following seven blogs for the "Creative Writing" award:

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Creative Writing, 2nd Edition

Friday, February 12, 2010

#fridayflash: Carillon Beauty

Carillon Beauty
Louise Dragon

“Good God, Gwen, don’t you ever wear anything that isn’t gray? You need to put a little color into your life,” Cynthia Guthrie greeted her daughter at the front door.
 “Why, Mother, so people will look at me?”
“You’re a beautiful person. When will you start thinking like one?” petite, blonde Cynthia said, sorting through the mail.

“Maybe when you start looking at me,” Gwen said to her Barbie Doll mother.

Cynthia glanced up sharply, “Spending your money on every beauty ad you read in the magazines is doing nothing but making us poorer.” She shoved a bright pink box into Gwen’s twisted hands. “Carillon Beauty? Another overnight remedy? Another miracle treatment? More like another disappointment. When will you learn, Gwen?”

“Look at me, Mother. Does that answer your question?”

Cynthia sighed, “Physical beauty isn’t everything. You’re beautiful on the inside. The work you do in the Children’s Ward—the hours that you spend at the Homeless Shelter—you’re a kind, giving person. I’m proud of you, I love you just the way you are.”

But too often Gwen had seen it. That look in her mother’s eyes. That look screamed “how could someone who looks like me, have a child this ugly?”

Gwen, clutching her newest beauty aid, hurried past the telltale hall mirror to her room. Her mother would never understand. No one who looked like her mother had ever felt the pain of loneliness that rode on Gwen’s shoulders like a heavy, woolen cloak.

Carillon Beauty. Musical beauty. Gwen had seen the ad on television, had heard a few chords of the sweet elixir. At the time, she had to have it; she was positive that this time it would work where all the others had failed.

Gwen threw the pink box on her bed. Now it seemed a pipe dream— hopeless. Her mother was right. All of her past efforts screamed out at her: each disappointment casting another blemish on her hopelessly scarred face. Idly her deformed fingers traced across the pink box. Fingers that she usually kept hidden, from the stares of curious people. Gwen had been born with three fingers on each hand, each finger branching at the first knuckle with a lobster-claw effect. As little claw-like fingers began working at the box, loosening tape and glue to get inside, her mind wandered back to the charismatic ad. A little renewed excitement grew as she remembered the broadcast. “Your beauty will bloom eternally. Let the genuine Akuba Crystal music box cast a carillon spell for you.”

Rough claws traced the beautiful heart-shaped crystal. Squinting through thick glasses, Gwen could see a stately castle nested on puffy white clouds deep inside the heavy glass. A tiny silver windup key was buried in the base.

How could she have thought that a mere $49.99 would earn her the gift of beauty? Removing the bath towel from her vanity mirror, she turned the music box key.

Winding the key was a cumbersome chore that took forever to accomplish with her twisted fingers.

The music was alive: enchanting bells and chimes wafted from the heavy crystal figurine.
 Lilting tones hovered, like fluttering hummingbirds, all around Gwen.

With piercing beaks of melody, the music throbbed into her soul.
 Mesmerized before her detested mirror, Gwen watched as beauty from deep within began to surface.
 Scarred tissue from years of useless reconstructive surgery smoothed to a healthy pink glow. Jutting, deformed cheekbones melted bringing her beautiful blue eyes out from dark caves of flesh. Clawed talons, separated into ten tapered white fingers: and yes, Gwen’s curved backbone, answering to the subtle chords of the Akuba beat, straightened, bringing her shoulders back and elevating her once heavy head.

As the beauty previously buried deeply in Gwen’s soul moved outward, it was replaced.

Replaced by something dark.

Something sinister.

Gwen felt this new outlook slither into the depths of her soul just as she felt the muscles and bones in her body shifting. For the first time in Gwen Guthrie’s pitiful existence, she felt alive—euphoric!
The Carillon Music Box changed Gwen’s life forever. She kept it locked safely away with her growing stash of trophies.

Gwen was beautiful. Even her mother’s fading beauty was no match for Gwen’s bewitching new glamour.

Men who before would have glanced quickly away in horror, now fell at her feet.

Gwen prodded the lifeless male corpse on the floor with the pointed toe of her new, red, spike-heeled pump. With a small penknife, she popped the two unseeing eyes from the face of her dead friend and cut away the excess veins and connective tissues. Two beautiful new trophies to add to her growing collection.

People would see Gwen now; she wanted them to look at her.

The Music BoxThe Music Box

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XIII

XIII. The orb’s remedy filters in
Whales of war are getting thin
Consequences echo tinny and hollow
Cleverness blesses all who follow


Friday, February 5, 2010

#fridayflash: Blaze’s Flower Patch

Blaze’s Flower Patch
Louise Dragon

Little Blaze toddled after the ball. A woman picked it up, holding it out. "No!" screamed his mother. "Not with your hands!"

Blaze contemplated the offered toy, blinked up at the woman holding it, smiled, and before Maxine could intervene she saw a whoosh of unsettled molecules as the ball bounced back to Blaze. The woman holding it disappeared in swirl of particles.

Maxine’s eyes darted about. Had anyone else seen? She snatched Blaze up and carried the squirming toddler to a park bench.

“No, Baby,” she whispered. Smoothing back his rumpled blonde curls. “You can’t keep sending the hands away.”
When Maxine panicked, she had a more difficult time communicating with her two-year-old son. She took a deep breath and began to form the words in her mind.

No, Blaze, you can’t keep sending the hands away, honey. Someone will see you; they’ll take you away.

The beautiful blonde cherub smiled sweetly up at his mother.

I’m sorry, Mommy. Her hands wanted to play. I sent her to the flower patch to play. I want to play with her in the patch. Blaze wants to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY!

A trickle of blood flowed from the corner of Maxine’s nostril and she daubed at it with a spotty, balled-up tissue. Her head pounded from the force of her son’s thoughts. The last sentence boomed in her head and left behind a sickening echo.

“Not so loud, Baby,” Maxine moaned “Be gentle with Mommy.”

Must control my thoughts . . . must control my thoughts . . . baby can hear . . . baby can hear.

Blaze gazed intently into his mother’s blue eyes. He reached a chubby hand up and touched her cheek.

I’m sorry, Mommy . . . poor Mommy . . . poor, poor, Mommy.

The words flowed softly into her head. They carried a soothing quality, tranquilizing her racing thoughts.
Maxine let herself be sedated. The child was getting better and better at controlling her . . . soon she would be no match . . . She twisted off the thought, packed the baby back into his stroller and headed home.

With baby tucked in for an afternoon nap, Maxine resumed pacing, her mind free to race away with various thoughts that needed to be cloaked or hidden while Blaze was awake.

Once the seed had been planted during that long ago (only three years) camping trip in the Ozarks (don’t forget that aliens don’t exist), her personal needs had been very carefully (too conveniently?) filled. An ancient aunt (she had never known about) had died and left her this house, plus enough money to care for her and Blaze quite comfortably for the rest of their lives.

Blaze’s mind connected with her own while she carried him in her womb. There had been no question that she would have the baby . . . he would not allow any other thoughts other than those of a happy delivery and beautiful life. Once born, Maxine found a few hours here and there, while the baby slept, to think thoughts of her own. Afraid to think them . . . she could never be quite sure about Blaze’s abilities and what he could “hear.”

Maxine had never been to the “flower patch.” Even Blaze with his half human body could not tolerate the flower patch for long. On occasions when he visited, he’d pop back moments later out of breath and very tired.

The “flowers” were hideous hand-like rubbery red appendages on gray stalks with bright orange “leaves” that resembled thick pod-like half moons. Blaze brought some back to her on occasion. She’d have to paste a smile on her white face while she pretended to sniff the rancid minty-decomp odor. She’d also have to control her thoughts, her mind repeating – it’s a pretty flower . . . it’s a pretty flower – over and over until Blaze’s gaze mercifully dropped away from her.

Blaze brought other things from the flower patch as well. One or two hideous insects of a sickening purple color like rotting plums. The insects were small enough for Blaze to grasp in a chubby fist. Their yellow eyes peered out from the tops of little stalks and their eight legs were studded with sharp-looking red thorns. Like the flowers, the bugs didn’t live long in our atmosphere. They seemed to gradually fold in on themselves growing smaller each day until they were gone.

Blaze’s unique mind tried to transmit pictures of the flower patch, but Maxine’s poor tired mind had a difficult time wrapping around these images. She caught inklings of a dark green skyline, purple clouds, and strange floating black pods.

Besides the strange woman from the park today, Blaze had sent others to the flower patch. A nurse from the hospital, a Department of Human Services Social Worker, Maxine’s friend Hope who had tried to get her to . . .

Don’t think about that – ever again!

He seemed to have the ability to sense animosity in others, but he also had an aversion to hands coming at him quickly, like the nurse, the social worker, and the park stranger. Sometimes his reactions were severe – quick and deadly.

Maxine now noticed that Blaze slept less and less. His power of manipulation gained strength each day. Soon she would not possess the strength to do what had to be done. She tried to shut the pictures out of her mind; afraid they would overwhelm her and spill out into Blaze.

She gazed down at the sleeping child and lifted the fluffy pillow above him with trembling hands . . . such a beautiful child . . . how can I do it?

The answer came back to her in Blaze’s sweet, child’s voice. She backed away from the crib in horror as the dark green sky filled her field of vision. A thick stream of blood fell from one nostril and the smell of minty-decomp plagued the other. Her breathing labored in the heavy purple air.

Let’s go play in the flower patch, MOMMY!

Legion Of Monsters / Man-Thing #1 / "A Flower In Alien Soil"
Legion Of Monsters / Man-Thing #1 / "A Flower In Alien Soil"

Author's note: The first sentence on my #fridayflash story, Blaze’s Flower Patch is courtesy of #storystarters – a Twitter Application.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XII

XII. Three marks appear on Koli’s door
Fire bursts through a silver floor
Control the minds with yellow coats
Voyages begin when the cherub floats


Dragon Chronicles XI

XI. Plague descends on blighted land
Roge’s ideas stream as planned
Bedlam pursues our troubled souls
While Old World strategy takes its tolls


Monday, February 1, 2010

Introducing Guest Author: William A Hyland IV

Introducing Guest Author: William A Hyland IV.
Will is my 16 year old nephew who attends Tri-County school in Easthampton, and lives in North Chester, Massachusetts.
I, for one, think he's an excellent writer of horror, but please judge for yourselves devoted reader as we delve into his essay of the damned entitled . . .

Circles of Hell
William A Hyland IV

The first circle in Hell is for the people who practice the dark arts. Eternally damned to live in the dark, there is no amount of light for them. As they always embraced the darkness, they are damned to spend eternity in it. The awful reek of death is everywhere and they cannot see the floor of dead bodies they eat from, sleep on, and live with. Every so often the demon Amon returns with more and more corpses to fill the chamber with, while Mephistopheles is known to guard this chamber and torture the souls within, to the point where the souls are knee deep in maggot-covered corpses. The walls constantly leak blood creating a slick surface so the damned can never escape. Permanently trapped in this torture, the lesser demons enjoy wreaking havoc upon the souls here, constantly calling to them in the voices of loved ones from the darkness, flying through the chamber and hitting the souls with clubs. The souls are trapped in a permanent state of mockery. People like Alastair Crowley and H.P. Lovecraft are doomed to this terrible ring of hell.

The next ring is created for the gluttonous, those who overate and overindulged in everything. The people trapped upon this level of hell are doomed to eat the remains of their loved ones all day, until their stomachs literally explode from eating so much. They eat the maggot and rotting flesh-strewn bodies of their closest friends and family. If they try to stop, the demons will begin to devour the damned souls’ flesh, until they resume eating. Everyday the damned souls’ flesh returns and they start the day starving. If they stop even as the demons are devouring them, they will be restrained and the food will be forced down their throats, often to the point where the throat ruptures. Trays and operating tables abound to restrain them. The room has a clean, almost medical smell about it, besides the stench of death. The demons that guard this chamber, while grotesque, have on nurses’ and doctors’ outfits. The arch-demon who guards this chamber is known as Bast, who uses her cat-like claws to rip the souls trapped inside to shreds quite often. Blood is everywhere, filling the surgical equipment, and it’s so thick and heavy you can almost taste it in the air.

The third circle is for thieves, the cowards of the wicked world. Demons only feel the need to torture these souls, the favorite torture being to chop their fingers off over and over again, healing them just to cut their hands off. The demons love this, as the thieves are cowards and the demonic have no respect for the cowardly. The demons make these souls shake and tremble with fear. They despise the people they torture and make them hurt all the time. The smell of blood is dominant here. Anyone who enters this chamber can almost feel the souls tortured pain. The ambient screams can almost be tuned out but never all the way, as they are so plentiful.

The fourth circle is where the pedophiles and rapists reign. Demogorgon guards this chamber, as he is a demon who is so terrible mortals should not even know his name. The pedophiles are doomed to feel permanently disgraced. Their extremities permanently disfigured and healed everyday, only a slight measure of the torture they must endure everyday. For the heinous acts they have committed, no torture is worthy other than to make them feel the pain of their victims. This hall is about torturing the souls trapped inside minds, making them feel the fear their victims felt. The souls are doomed to relive everything their victims have felt. The souls feel this from their victims’ point-of-view being raped and mutilated everyday. The demons even take sick pleasure in this act. The smell of rank sex and sweat is permanent in this chamber. The taste of what the demons have done to them is too terrible to begin describing, but I think you can imagine.

These circles are full of torment and pain, and the victims who enter here never escape. They will be doomed, always to this repeat pain and torture. Once here you will never escape. So maybe you should rethink the way you are living your life, as you may wind up one of these tortured souls one day.

The First Three Circles Of Hell - Epitaph For The Disfigured
The First Three Circles Of Hell - Epitaph For The Disfigured