Friday, March 26, 2010

#fridayflash: Journey of Sorrow

Journey of Sorrow
by Louise Dragon

Icy sheets of rain slashed across her hard features & penetrated her clothing. She felt nothing. Nothing mattered anymore. The streets were so quiet she felt truly alone – alone with her feelings of nothingness – alone in a world where nothing mattered at all.

The gleaming gray and blue bus stampeded over the horizon, burped a hiss of air brakes, and glided to a stop almost at Lori’s elbow. The windows were black empty screens of tinted nothingness. The door whooshed open letting out a quick whiff of apples and cinnamon. Lori’s mind quickly wandered back to Meme’s kitchen. The kitchen of her childhood when she’d spent summers with her grandparents baking wonderful desserts in Meme’s kitchen or fishing in the stream with Pip . . . She felt around in the pockets of her raincoat for a handful of change and hopped onto the bus.

The driver, a large burly man, in a dark blue uniform who looked remarkably like Pip had in his younger days, tipped his hat and smiled as Lori dropped her change into the kiosk and hesitantly entered the aisle.

The interior was dim and cozy, like a comfortable lair or cave. It took Lori’s eyes a few moments to adjust.

Sitting close to the front was a small bird-like woman who reminded Lori of Mrs. Randall, her second grade teacher who had died years ago. The woman held a small orange lop-eared rabbit on her lap. She stroked its fur and murmured to it in soft tones. Lori had gotten a rabbit just like that for Easter last year from Max. She had named the rabbit “Honey” for his honey-colored fur. She choked back a sob remembering Max, in another fit of rage, kicking Honey into the wall -- turning him into a lifeless heap of orange fur cradled in her trembling hands.

Lori frowned and worked to blot out the sad memory as she continued down the aisle.

A soft, round, elderly woman with clinking knitting needles and a huge ball of pink yarn glanced sideways at Lori then back to her work. Lori frowned. The woman looked a little like Meme, her grandmother, who had died years ago in Farnums. A shiver traveled down her spine like a drop of ice water and she stumbled and almost fell into a seat across from the old woman.

“Are you alright dear?” the old woman shouted, her eyes still glued to her clacking needles.

Meme had been going deaf at the end, she had shouted a lot too . . .

Stop that! Lori admonished herself. Stop that right now. You’re just feeling guilty about Max!

Her mind traveled back in time. Max on the floor . . . So much blood . . .

Lori shook her head -- blotted out the images. She tried to think pleasant thoughts like her shepherd mix Trixie and some of the fun days she had spent with Max. Back in the beginning before Max got sick. Before the violence . . . Life had been pleasant then – fun. A large tear crept down her face.

“Are you alright dear?” the old woman shouted again, reaching into her sleeve for a tissue, just like Meme used to do . . .

The bus suddenly jounced to a halt and the door swung silently in.

Lori watched as a blind man entered the bus and began to carefully work his way toward the back with his dog.

As he got closer, Lori’s eyes widened. The dog could have been Trixie’s double! Same white tuft of fur on its chest, same soulful sad yellow eyes . . .

Lori’s mouth went dry. The dog coming up the aisle with his blind master sported a lopsided mouth that was toothless on one side, its tongue lolled from that side and it limped from the broken shoulder that Max had inflicted with the baseball bat right after he had broken Trixie’s teeth.

Lori shuddered and looked up at the blind man. Max’s dead face grinned down at her. Thick blood crusted from the snakebite-like wound she had inflicted in his neck this morning with her sharpest barbecue fork. She vaguely remembered a spear of pain in her left side – like a jab of electric current. Max had a gun. He had been waving it at her and yelling that she’d be next to go – and she had wanted to go. Her life had become a pit of hell and she longed for freedom, quiet, and no more fear. She would be glad to go . . .

But not alone.

She looked from the misshapen corpse hobbling toward her down the passageway to the old woman across the aisle. The old woman looked unseeingly back at Lori, her eyes clouded and milky from the cataracts Meme had at the end.
“It’s okay, dear,” the dead woman shouted, her knitting needles still moving. “No one can hurt you anymore.”

Author's Note: The first three sentences of this story are courtesy of #storystarters, a Twitter Application.

The Bus Ride

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XIX

XIX. The time that the brothers of the lily come of age
Year 2999, seventh month, sets the stage
From the three water signs will be born a man
His great power will progress the plan


The Nostradamus Code World War 3 (2007-2012)


Friday, March 19, 2010

#fridayflash: The Collection

The Collection
By Louise Dragon

“Wait, did you see that?”

“See what, Sis?” Bart asked, trying to keep the Blazer on the road with his left hand since his sister, Stephanie held his right arm in a sumo wrestler grip. He knew there was no point in trying to find the newest object of her appraisal somewhere out there on the landscape. She'd be sure he didn't miss it anyway.

“There’s a yard sale back there. And I’m sure I saw a blue glass hand”

“A who?” Bart asked.

“A blue glass hand, damn it. Will you turn this thing around and go back? Blue is the last color I need for my collection.”

Bart sighed but turned the car around as requested. He knew that there was no use arguing with Stephanie once she got a notion in her head.

Bart parked the car in front of a large Cape Cod style home, its yard littered with used clutter. In moments Stephanie, a thin elfin women in a flowered housedress, was out of the passenger side door and racing to a folding table covered with various old glass items. Prominent among the items was indeed a glass hand – it was a right hand – tinted cobalt blue.

Bart took a moment to tug down his gray knitted sweater and straighten his metal-rimmed glasses before following his sister out into the cruel world.

Stephanie, hands clasped in front of her like a grammar school kid, danced from foot to foot. Bart elbowed her gently in the side and whispered, “don’t look so eager. If you act more casual, you might get a better price.”

“That’s the one,” Stephanie whispered back. “I’ve been searching for it for years.” She gently picked up the glass icon and ran her small hands over its smooth surface. She pointed out to Bart that the small yellow tag was marked $7.50.
 Bart just shook his head slightly. Stephanie and her collections, he thought wryly, she seemed to think these collections would actually “do something” for her; she acted like they might help her in some way. Dolls, buttons, teacups, and now glass hands – she kept them on bookshelves throughout the small house they shared and frankly, Bart was getting sick of all the clutter.

A huge woman in a flowered caftan bustled over to them. Her bejeweled, purple tipped fingers held a giant wad of cash.

“That’s a nice choice,” she rasped to Stephanie as she made change. “Aunt Sophie – she’s gone now – had a large collection of glass hands. This is the last one to go.”
“What did she do with the glass hands?” Bart inquired.
“You don’t know?” the huge woman winked at Stephanie. Her large dark eyes glittered weirdly as she stepped closer to Bart, she smelled like cough syrup and licorice.

“Why Aunt Sophie said the rainbow of glass hands could only help a true collector. Only a true collector would be able to embrace the power of the sixty-five fingers.” The large woman cawed laughter. Flecks of spittle shot from her purple tinted rubbery lips. “I’m no collector, Dearie! To me this stuff is simply clutter. Aunt Sophie’s doll and teacup collection are for sale on the back porch, if you fancy yourself a “true” collector.”

Bart winced, but Stephanie seemed not to notice the invitation to check out more “collectibles”. Her eyes were on the blue glass hand, which she held cradled in her arms like a baby. Bart grasped the opportunity to shuffle her back to the car.

Once home, Stephanie leapt from the car with her treasure. Bart shook his head sadly as he watched his older sister lope into the house cradling her glass hand. She left the car and house doors wide open behind her.

Dementia? Alzheimer’s?

He just wasn’t sure these days. Stephanie may have to be institutionalized for her own good. She seemed to be getting daffier with each passing day. And those bizarre collections . . .

Bart entered the cluttered house a few steps behind his sister. He closed the door behind himself and looked up in time to see Stephanie place the blue hand into the open space on top of the alter-like bookcase holding the remaining twelve multi-colored glass hands. He watched in amazement as a spark began to form at each end of the collection. A blazing rainbow of bright light shot from the new blue hand and struck Bart squarely in the chest. He knew no more.


Gently Stephanie picked up the new doll. She straightened the little metal-rimmed glasses and adjusted the little gray knitted sweater before placing her latest doll into its new spot on the proper bookshelf.

Coll. Encyclopedia of American Composition Dolls 1900-1950 (Collector's Encyclopedia of American Composition Dolls)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XVIII

XVIII. The rule will be left to two; they will hold it for a very short time
Media reveals more pits of slime
For a long time peace will be maintained for them
Who will celebrate this transparent gem?

The Final Prophecies of Nostradamus

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Eyeland, part 4, Conclusion

Eyeland, part 4, Conclusion
Link to part 3

Why couldn’t I go home? Who or what wanted to keep me on this island?

My mind drew a blank.

I dreamed of eyes again that night: large green eyes with red pupils.

The eyes watched and followed, they seemed amused by my attempts to escape them.

I woke with a gnawing hunger and raging thirst. Returning to the cabin for food and drink, I found the beer and pastries I had snatched earlier, were back. Puzzled, I searched the entire cabin.

Someone was playing tricks.

Someone was watching me, sneaking around this cabin while I was out.

Slurping a fresh, cold, if somewhat bitter beer held back the madness. Marilyn was wrong. Someone had been watching me all along, watching and waiting for a chance to get me.

“Who are you?” I screamed, standing in the center of that beautiful cabin and spinning rapidly to catch the culprit, should he be watching now. “What do you want?”

My words echoed uselessly as the now familiar fatigue washed over me. Before my mind slipped into a total stupor, a light bulb went off somewhere deep inside. I suddenly realized that the food and drink could be drugged. With the last of my rapidly depleting strength, I rocketed the brown bottle at the stone fireplace. The comforting sounds of glass breaking followed me into the nightmare world my sleeping hours had become.

In my dream, an old crone stooped to collect the broken shards of glass.

Olive green eyes with deep red pupils gazed sadly at me from a wizened face. Her toothless mouth struggled to form words I couldn’t understand. Seemingly frustrated by my sluggishness, she reached into the folds of her shapeless robe and produced a scroll. In my dreamlike state, I followed the crone through the waxy woods, my hands clutching the leathery scroll. Strange stars in the indigo sky glowed redly at me, like the eyes of a thousand strangers. The crone paused at the edge of the beach barrier and looked back at me nervously as the red eyes sparkled all around us. She reached a wrinkled finger out to touch the invisible wall. With a spark and a light popping sound, a section of sky swung back releasing a puff of hot arid wind.

In my dream I only got a glimpse of what was out there, beyond the barrier. When the horizon swung in to let the crone out, I saw the faces behind those red eyes. Old withered faces stretched in all directions, all focused on me.

I hope to God it was a dream.

When I fumbled open the strange scroll, it surged and pulsed beneath my fingertips with a peculiar, almost electric, quality. The words carved into the swelling fabric, could answer all my questions although the prospect chilled me to the bone. The blood red letters dancing across this skin-like parchment made my eyes water with fear and heart scream with the agony of betrayal.


The Martian Chronicles

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eyeland, part 3

Eyeland, part 3
Link to part 2

By the time I’d wrestled through the waxy thicket, I felt washed out again. My brain told my eyelids to lie down even as I struggled to keep them open. The warm soft sand on the shore beckoned me to rest some more.

What the hell’s going on here? This was my last lucid thought before I stretched out on the inviting warmth of the shore.

As I slept, strange eyes watched me from everywhere, plagued and tormented me. Like a hermit crab, I clambered restlessly trying to escape the eyes. Everywhere I hid, another eye opened and peered curiously into my dream. I awoke with a start expecting to find eyes, like stuffed olives, floating on the horizon. Luckily, I was quite alone. In the distance, I could see my house perched on the shore and was thankful that the island had stayed put while I slept. I couldn’t imagine falling asleep in this strange place. Usually I can’t sleep well anywhere but in my own bed.

Marilyn would be out of her mind with worry.

What was I saying? Marilyn worry? She’d probably headed off for work this morning glad not to have me underfoot. She was always after me to get out more. Could I help it if I liked staying home? Enjoyed the solitude of my castle? Wistfully I gazed over the river at my house. If I couldn’t find the boat, I’d have to swim for it, weak and tired or not. My muscles screamed at the thought, while my stomach rumbled and my mouth felt like the desert after a drought.

I had to find that damnable boat.

After searching the entire strip of sand, I concluded that I mustn’t have moored it securely enough.

Washed downstream, I mused, striping out of my shoes and socks and stuffing them into my pockets. Not the ideal weather for swimming but that’s what I got for larking out on an adventure instead of working.

I expected the bite of cold water on my toes. What I got instead was, knocked on my butt. As I approached the river—I swear I could smell river water—my face slammed into . . .

Into . . .

Nothing . . .

Don’t get me wrong, I slammed into something hard, but nothing was there. The horizon stretched before me, across the river and into my back yard. Yet, as I neared the river, I smashed into an obstruction: a barrier of some sort I discovered as I traveled down the beach and tried to get off the island at different points.

I could run my hands over the river view, like it was an artist’s picture. Stronger than mere canvas, I found as I bounced a rock off it with a sharp ping. The barrier holding me in place was smooth and cold. Little currents pulsated beneath my groping fingertips.

Madness edged across my cranium, as I pounded on the perfectly replicated waters of the Rainbow River. When my pummeling fists were raw, I slid dejectedly into the soft sand. My mind refused to accept this situation. How could this be? How could I gaze at these familiar scenes of home and be as far removed as if jailed?

As I watched, the river raged, clouds rolled, and the sun went down just like any spring day in Maine.
Continued in my next post

Sketches of Maine

Eyeland, Part 2

Eyeland, Part 2
Link to part 1

Cupping my hands over my mouth, I shouted, “Hullo-o anybody home?”


Cautiously, I put my boot on the first step—not even a creak. The cabin smelled new, like fresh cut pine. Its outer walls held the same waxiness of the trees and bushes that I’d encountered earlier. Inside, it was a Real Estate treasure: the kind of cabin rich out-of-staters would pay up the nose for, with a healthy commission for yours truly.

As I browsed through the kitchen, I noticed that along with a fully stocked ‘fridge, the cupboards contained enough food to feed a small army. Someone must live here or was planning to move in soon.

Ha, imagine the poor dude’s surprise when he went looking for his new island paradise and it was gone: washed away with the spring rains. It could only happen in Maine!

Before I left, there were some temptingly familiar brown bottles in the fridge. I was sure nobody would miss one beer, but just to be on the safe side, I tucked a dollar bill under the remaining brown soldiers.

The beer was cold, sharp and bitter and as I headed for the boat, I speculated on how long that ‘fridge had been without power.

Worries about the power situation soon faded when I couldn’t find the boat. Although I was sure about where I’d left it, the damn thing had vanished. It seemed like I’d been on the island only a few minutes, but the sky was darkening rapidly.

I was tired, so tired that finding the boat seemed like an insurmountable task. My mind wanted to worry about it but the tiredness seeped in and pushed the worries aside.

In the beautiful cabin, I stretched out on a soft bed and drifted.



I awoke feeling fuzzy and disoriented. I’d sensed movement in the night and remembered some vague worry about the island moving downstream, better find out. Food first, I was starving. Dude that owned this cabin wouldn’t miss a few Pop-Tarts, I thought, parting with another dollar. The pastry was almost as bitter as yesterday’s beer, but it stopped the hungries as I headed toward the island’s shore in search of my boat.

Continued in my next Post
The Twilight Zone Companion

Monday, March 15, 2010


Louise Dragon

With mounting sensations of dread I watched the spring rains gush over the Maine countryside—cropping the banks of the Rainbow River with each surge. Flooding became more eminent as the minutes ticked by.

Returning to my desk, I forced myself to concentrate on the briefs before me. My wife Marilyn had left for work an hour ago.

“Children have to learn, Gary, even if it’s raining.”

Worrying was my bag. I worried about Marilyn out during the flood watch, I worried about the river overstepping its banks and flowing into our living room.

I’d be worried about selling another house, or people watching me if it wasn’t raining.

Marilyn, forever scientific, never worried about anything.

“Nobody’s watching you,” she’d admonished me often, “why would anyone be watching you? Do you think you’re the center of everyone’s universe? Or possibly you’re slated to become the next alien abductee?”

Sarcasm was another of Marilyn’s traits.

As I glanced out at the turbulent waters, for about the tenth time, I felt familiar stress building behind my eyes.

What if our house washed away?

Where would we go? People would come and look. Complete strangers looking, watching.

It’s happened before, why back in ‘eighty-seven . . .

As if to punctuate my thoughts, an island drifted down the Rainbow River headed for shore at breakneck speed.

Islands don’t float, do they?

This one hovered about thirty feet offshore. It was quite large, about the size of a baseball diamond, and sported spindly growth, like pins and needles, over its surface.

I tried to go back to work, but the island drew me to the back door repeatedly. Against my better judgment, I walked along the Rainbow’s shore in my yellow slicker trying to get a better look at the island. As the rain turned to a drizzling patter on my face, I decided that with the flooding possibilities dropping: I could probably row over and check it out.

But what if . . .

The “Tom Sawyer” hidden inside me took over, shoving Gary Denton—shy, mild mannered Real Estate Agent, to the back of the boat.

I should be working, but the island loomed before me.

Like an amusement park waiting for patrons, it was silent and ominous with little tendrils of ground fog rising toward the swollen sky. Not an expert rower, I counted on the current to help with the work and wasn’t disappointed.

Oh, hell, I’ll just explore it quickly and then go back to work.

I knew the rain could pick up anytime and wash the island away, so I wasn’t planning to stay long.

A ribbon of sand, three feet wide, circled the island. Fifty yards along, I picked up a path leading into tangles of brush in the island’s center. A nugget of worry slid down my spine like an ice cube. Where were the animals and birds? Not a twitter of sound could be heard. The island seemed clean, no dried leaves, no insects; the branches and brambles had a waxy feel, almost synthetic.

When I reached the center I was surprised by a cabin, tucked neatly away in the brush. It held an air of newness as if it had grown there: not your everyday Maine shack.

Could someone live here?
Continued in my next post

Shutter Island

Friday, March 12, 2010

#fridayflash: In The Name Of Evil

In The Name Of Evil
Louise Dragon

Dear Sibyl, I write, tortured by an inability to form the right words on paper. Perhaps a phone call . . . No, too risky. I nibble the hard plastic pen before braving on.

Better get out now while you still can.

Tears in my eyes keep me from continuing. My best friend Sibyl: sweet, unsuspecting Sibyl. What can I tell her? I can't tell her where I am. Junior and I are safe for the time being.

I must warn her, all that we've discussed in the past is no coincidence. But, how can I explain without Sibyl thinking I've gone off the deep end. Surely that's what my husband has told her.

Dropping the pen in frustration, I stare unseeingly into the night sky while my mind wanders back to the beginning, back to the day when I walked into the BBC and met Sibyl for the first time . . .

My memories are so clear . . .

It had been right after Halloween and our guest speaker that night -- Anne Bolorice, the housewife from Bracer who had lost fifty pounds. We joined on the same night, both of us determined to take off extra pounds before the holidays.

It was while we were filling out our membership cards, in the back room, that the subject of husbands came up.

I said, "some of these women go out for supper after the meeting. If the Big Beautiful Club is to help us lose weight, isn't it ironic that they eat directly after the meeting?"

Sibyl laughed, a silky captivating sound, and said, "why, I'd never live it down if I went out to eat after the meeting. It took weeks to talk Foster into letting me come here in the first place." Her face reddened before she continued, "he's my husband and he loves me just the way I am. I'm Sibyl, Sibyl Downing."

I remember searching her round face surrounded by short, dark hair--a few strands of silver just beginning to show. I recall thinking how her words had sounded like the ones I typically used when making excuses for my husband.

Confused, I blurted, "Foster? Did you say Foster? I'm married to a Foster too. Foster Bane, I'm Leslie, pleased to meet you. How strange -- Foster is an uncommon name -- but, it seems we both have one."

I swept my gaze from the points of Sibyl's high-heeled pumps to the neckline of her fuzzy pink sweater as she was giving my Nikes, jeans, and tee-shirt the same dubious once-over.

"I have a son," I had blurted as though announcing an incredible accomplishment. "Foster Junior, he's in the third grade, we call him Junior."

"I have a son too," Sibyl had replied. "Also Foster Junior, we've always called him Fosty. This is very strange, how long did you say you've lived in Woodruff?"

"I didn't say, but actually I've lived here since my marriage to Foster. This is his hometown. What about you?"

"Same here," she murmured with a slight frown, like she thought I was demented and making this all up. "Well, gotta go," she'd breezed. "My guys are waiting for me. See you next week?"

Oh, naive Sibyl, that was only the beginning . . .

She and I were so different, yet our families were practically identical. Back then; visiting Sibyl had been like never leaving my own home. I knew she had felt it too. I remember our long phone conversations about the weirdness of our husbands both being born on June 15, 1960, in the same town, yet they were total strangers.

Suspicion tweaked me when they (the Fosters) met for the first time. Those dark-eyed glances shot sparks whenever the two men conversed. They seemed to understand each other perfectly, with a minimum of words. While Foster Downing was small and slight, like a jockey and my husband towered over him, like a football player, the affinities between their personalities had been bizarre.

After that first get-together for a game of cards and a few beers, things happened fast. So fast, I regret I couldn't share everything with Sibyl at the time, I had Junior to think about. Now that he's safe, I must warn her.

Toying restlessly with my pen, I wonder . . .

Will she think me insane after reading this letter? Worst yet, will she consult her husband with this information?

Curiosity played a big part in my discoveries. My life had always seemed normal until I'd met Sibyl. After that things began to bother me about Foster. We seldom entertained: Foster liked his privacy. I wasn't allowed to work -- a woman's place is in the home, Foster always said. I was kept totally in the dark about finances, repairs, and his business dealings (why worry your pretty head about that).

After I met Sibyl's family, almost a carbon copy of mine, I decided I really needed to find out what the hell was going on.

Do the Downings have a cellar, I wonder? I looked in our cellar. I'd always been apprehensive of dark places and had to force myself to go down there. I needed to know why Foster spent so much time tinkering in his workshop but had never produced any new end tables or the shadow box he'd promised to build for me.

I found the secret little room with its altar. The blood and bits of fur on the cold slab of stone called forth pets we'd had in the past. I began to suspect what had become of them.

His book of words -- it was right there, in plain sight – a leather bound volume of his life. I wanted to vomit when I discovered how I was selected to be his bride. Singled out as good breeding material with wide hips and a shy maternal nature.

I practically gagged when I read the words -- a naive, innocent with an unsuspecting temperament. Unsuspecting of what?

I suddenly realized I'd never kept any really close friends before Sibyl? What happened to them? Could they all have mysteriously moved away? After reading the book and finding out how Foster did it, I discovered that it wasn't merely animal blood on that stone altar.

Satan's foster children, that's who they are -- it's all in the book. Birthdate-06/15/60=666. I added up the numbers.

We (Sibyl and I) are the breeders of Satan's foster children. According to the book, Junior would be disciplined in the ways of Satan after his twelfth birthday.

Not my son! I've removed him from the evil influence of his father, I only hope it's not too late.

What does any of this have to do with Sibyl? I didn't figure it out right away.

Fosty will be twelve on his next birthday. His birthday is in early June, like his father's, and my son.

This is how I know there must be another: a carbon copy, a Gemini, the sign of the twins.

Sibyl's Fosty is the twin to my Junior in the same way that the two adult Fosters are twins -- evil twins with the heart and soul of the devil. I have learned from my readings that they must remain near each other to retain their power. If Foster Bane should leave Woodruff to search for us on his own, he must do it as a simple man. If both Fosters begin the search, together, I'm done for . . .

Done for . . .

Wearily I force myself to finish the letter describing my plight to Sibyl as best I can and post it from a town miles away from my present location. Sibyl will understand -- she must.


Five days later, in a small New England town called Woodruff, Foster Downing rereads a letter. His wife, Sibyl is now but a cooling corpse in a fuzzy pink sweater resting peacefully on the stone alter in the bowels of her pleasant little home. Smiling thoughtfully to himself, Foster folds the letter and inserts it carefully into his overnight bag. In the morning he's going on a trip with his young son Fosty and his good friend Foster Bane.

A little unfinished business.

A maniacal howl of laughter floats over the small New England town giving many town residents an uneasy feeling that they cannot account for.

The Blackstone Chronicles Omnibus: Brings to Terrifying Life the Small New England Town of Blackstone and the Secrets and Sins That Lay Buried (Six Part Serial Novel on One Audiobook) [4 Audio Cassettes/4 Hrs.]

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XVII

Dragon Chronicles XVII
Northern wind will cause the siege to rise
Blanketing the world with brighter skies
The newcomer gives praise, and power will grow
Nothing can stop the massive overthrow

Nostradamus 2012

Friday, March 5, 2010

#fridayflash: The Pigeons of Wheaten Manor

The Pigeons of Wheaten Manor
Louise Dragon

The abandoned mansion blended into its woodsy background so thoroughly that Josie and Adam would have slammed right into a wall if not for the pigeons.

The two teenagers ducked their heads when a swarm of about two-dozen multicolored birds flapped noisily toward their faces.

“Whoa!” Adam yelled. “Where’d they come from?”

Josie peered ahead at the chameleon cottage crouching in the overgrown brush like a lost toy.

“Found their birdhouse,” Josie said. “Look at this place. It’s really old.”

Adam, however, gawked at the surrounding cypress trees. The pigeons roosted all around them. They gazed down with red-rimmed yellow eyes. A few hopped back and forth on their branches as if uneasy by the presence of people.

Josie could feel those tiny eyes boring into her back as she moved off toward the house.

Flying with a thunder of flapping wings the pigeons soared quickly past her to settle on the porch roof. Their cooing and scratching unsettled Josie’s nerves a little as she ducked her head and stepped up on the porch. Adam, her best friend, wandered off to the back of the house, but the pigeons didn’t follow. Josie could still hear them pacing across the boards of the old porch roof.

A musty old rocking chair creaked when she touched it; just behind the chair lay a green plaid sleeping bag. The sleeping bag looked too new to be part of the original house, Josie thought running her hands over the soft fabric. A bump in the bag proved to be a fanny pack tucked down into the folds of the flannel. Josie gingerly slid out the fanny pack, which was unzippered – its contents fell to the porch floor. A pink girl’s wallet held some photos of a teenaged girl with a brown mottled birthmark running across one eye like an eye patch. Josie frowned at the photo. The girl would have been pretty if not for the birthmark.

Josie poked through the wallet and learned that the person in the photo was Marjorie Slate and that she lived at 36 Ford Street, here in Wheaten. Josie placed the contents back into the pack and had decided to take it with her to return to Marjorie, when a small gray pigeon floated quietly down from the porch roof. It landed on the top step of the porch and gazed warily at Josie. The pigeon had a strange brown streak running across one eye, just like . . .

Shoo, get out of here!” Josie shouted. The pigeon fluttered away quickly just as Adam came flying around the corner of the house.

“Hey, Josie, there’s an old pigeon coop in the back -- right next to about ten or twelve rickety gravestones. It’s so quiet back there that it’s creepy, ya know?”

“Yeah,” Josie said glancing at the spot where that last pigeon had flown to, “creepy!”

Josie quickly told Adam about the fanny pack and its contents.

“Maybe, she’s still around here somewhere,” Adam said, glancing at the sleeping bag. “Let’s look for her, maybe she’s hurt or something.”

The pigeons overhead whooshed off the roof and settled in the dusty yard. In a loud flurry of feathers they all breezed off into the woods at once leaving an eerie silence behind.

Josie felt goose bumps the size of thimbles on her bare arms. The hairs on the back of her neck stood at attention. She suddenly felt as though her breath had been knocked out of her. She looked sideways at Adam and was suddenly afraid of him. She could feel her eyes roll back into her skull.

Something pecked at her brain, a nibbling tickling sensation see-sawed through her consciousness – kill him so we can eat -- but she pushed the strange thought away with almost a giggle and followed Adam into the creepy house.

The interior of the house was not what Josie expected. Instead of emptiness and desolation, it was completely furnished with old-fashioned flowery furniture. It looked as though the folks who’d lived there had gone out to pick berries one day and never came back. Dirty dishes still littered the kitchen table. Old food on them would have long ago been devoured by rats, mice, and insects. Mouse droppings littered the floors and open surfaces. Their shoes crunched over the debris as they walked about. Cobwebs shrouded the rooms with an eerie filtered light.

“Josie” Adam said, “what do you think happened to the people who lived here?”

Josie could only shrug. She felt empty and sad?

“Something must have happened, they’ve been gone for a very long time. Should we check the other rooms in case anyone – like Marjorie -- is here?”

Adam nodded and they carefully creaked their way through the old house looking for clues to its abandonment or ownership.

All of the bedrooms were empty with neatly made beds – moth-eaten and grimy now – but in their day they had probably been neat. Old homemade quilts and braided rag rugs gave the two children an inkling of the way homes may have looked years ago.

As Adam and Josie tread gingerly through a workshop-like room in the rear of the house, pigeons swirled through the sky outside the window. Some of them landed on windowsills and pecked loudly at the glass.

With each new peck, Josie’s head pounded. Strange garbled words stabbed at her brain.



Josie’s eyes rolled back in her head. She picked up a rusty hatchet and planted it in the center of Adam’s skull. She then dragged the body through the back yard and into the woods where the swarm of pigeons flocked to it and began to feed on Adam’s still warm flesh.

Josie screamed and passed out cold.

When she awakened, she fluffed her new gray feathers and glanced quickly around at her new friends. Then she pecked into the flesh with ravenous hunger.

The End

Pigeons From Hell

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XVI

 Dragon Chronicles XVI
At five and forty degrees, the sky will burn 
Abysmal heat from the second fern
The king will want to enter the new city
Frustration reigns with the new committee

Nostradamus: The Complete Prophecies for the Future

Monday, March 1, 2010

Dragon Chronicles XV

Dragon Chronicles XV

The human realm of Angelic offspring
Float into existence with a coiled wing
Three brothers will be wounded and die
The numbered matrix tells a great lie

Note From Weezel:  Due to a power failure at my house that lasted from Thursday Night [2/25/2010] to Sunday Morning [2/28/2010] I did not get a #fridayflash story posted last week.  Hopefully I will have a great #FF piece ready to post this Friday.  Thanks friends, for your continued readership.

The Power of Failure: 27 Ways to Turn Life's Setbacks into Success