THE SECRET ROOM
The ivy seemed to consume the large country house as we approached through an avenue of trees.
They seemed to reach down to touch us. We knew we shouldn’t have been afraid. After all, it was in the family – even if we hadn’t visited this branch for years. Indeed, not many of us had.
It was something about a deep, sinister secret – a room and a descendant who was – well; undead.
We were welcomed in through the jaws of the huge door, and we didn’t mind the dust – the cobwebs – too much. It was in keeping with the place.
We ate well that night, even if the conversation was morbid. And as darkness fell and the shadows flitted in the candlelight, our host suggested my wife may like to look around the ‘secret room’.
Not one to resist a mystery, she did so. Yet, I became unnerved as the talk turned to our Undead ancestor, and the folktales of sacrifice to keep him at bay …
and it had been so long since they’d had visitors …
The monster had come many times before.
Indeed, he was so old that his name came from some forgotten language – even the translation was guesswork.
It was known to be ugly – in every way. As for it’s victims?
Not what victims were supposed to be. Indeed, it’s latest rampage was typical.
The first victim had been decapitated – slowly, bluntly … Hackingly.
He had been handsome, a sportsman, and twenty beautiful women mourned him.
The second was beauty personified – but too good for any local man.
Her face had been slashed, pounded – broken.
The third was the richest man in the town.
His face had been hacked open and stuffed with money.
Of course, we found the monster – slayed it – as we always did, but ..
It was, indeed, ugly, yet much smaller than the myth said.
And he didn’t even have green eyes.
It seemed as if he had been traveling an eternity, everywhere he had been a kind of spectral blur as memories flashed before him.
‘Is there anybody there?’ said the Traveller, knocking on the moonlit door.
He waited, and eventually he heard the thud of heavy steps approaching from within. Slowly the door creaked open and a pained, harrowing face appeared.
The man was stooped and the haunted look extended to the interior of the house – an ancient house that must have witnessed so much as the centuries had rolled by.
The man offered the traveler a drink, and noticing the obvious fear on his face, said:
‘Don’t worry, it isn’t haunted.’
The Traveller felt at home here. His eyes became translucent and a knocking seemed to envelop the whole house.
‘It is now,’ he said.
He should never have starred in the Mummy movie. They had a reputation for hysteria about curses amongst the crew, and he was a superstitious type to begin with.
It began when one of the cameramen had an accident, and it soon went round that a shape had been seen, pushing him.
Marlene, the star’s wife and co-star, told me soon after that her husband thought he’d seen it, too. And from then on she kept me informed of its progress – it’s increasing degree of reality, as if becoming physical.
She even told her husband that she thought she saw it herself.
Anyway, three days later he was found, mutilated and very dead.
After we left, Marlene and I walked arm in arm. The curse had been a lucky break, but they do say patience has its own rewards.
A Ghostie MicroNovel
Ch 1. The killer smothered the man to death. It was done in the shadows, but the boy saw? Conjecture. Sensed. But the killer saw the boy.
Ch 2. The boy sat among the graves. He had no fear of them. Mostly he kept his eyes shut. Bad world. Yet here, he loved the scents of death.
Ch 3. They say: deprive one sense another compensates. But he hated the scent of the killer. He put it with his parent’s death; his leukaemia.
Ch 4. The killer saw the problem. The sad boy who wouldn’t open his eyes & smelt things. He’d seen him often. What if he caught HIS scent?
Ch 5. After a while the occupants of the graves danced for the boy. Scents mingled & produced images in his mind. He hated his bald head.
Ch 6. A pathetic life. Since losing his parents, home after home, each with a different scent. Then of hospital, & leukaemia smelled rotten!
Ch 7. When he left the graves the ghosts went too. Nothing could beat the scent of love. It was good; but what was the evil smell he sensed?
Ch 8. The killer – he KNEW it was. And when he pounced his ghosts were ready. You should have seen the killer flee – scurrying off like that.
Ch 9. It had been a shock for the boy. The shrinks had to drag him from the graves as the ghosts cried – put him in therapy once more.
Ch 10. The boy’s eyes were shut tighter now, as if trying to end life itself. The ghosts tried to help but bounced off a wall of scepticism.
Ch 11. When life gets unbearable we can raise the will to fight or give in. But a child, bald, his eyes shut? Yet the ghosts knew.
Ch 12. And the killer would do better next time. He got rid of all scents. An anticeptic, chemical smell assaulted the boy; crept within him.
Ch 13. The boy sat by the graves. A ghostly hand reached out, & another. He opened his eyes as his hair grew & his parents took him to heaven.
WHO AM I?
The nature spirit was acting destructively.
There was no beating about the bush – he literally beat it to pulp.
Well, people had ignored him too long and he was attention seeking – overflowing with a vengeful personality. Indeed, they couldn’t even get his name right.
Over the eons they had referred to him as a god, a demon, a fairy, a vampire, a werewolf, ghost, discarnate entity and now they’d even given him bug eyes and called him an alien!
And he was not having it!!!
It was as if HE didn’t know who he was any more. And are they afraid of him nowadays?
But as he continued beating the bush, swirling around the air, deforesting the forests and generally having a climactic time, he knew they’d soon need him once more.
THEN he’d teach them for ignoring his ways.
It was a crazy old house – by reputation and, as he explored, by experience.
The starecase held horrors for him as he saw some of the house’s nightmares; it’s memories.
Well, I say nightmares, but as the murders, the devil worship and myriad other horrors materialized in front of him …
More than nightmares.
In one particularly cold and macabre room he got lost in the fifth corner.
To him, it seemed an eternity to get out.
But the statue …?
This was different, more shocking, deep.
It stared into his eyes. Bore into his mind. Filled him with its memories.
This was the victim – the inspiration for all that had occurred in the house; the first house, the font of all nightmares.
The first house …
And the last.
And he was frozen – locked – as if stone.
And here he would stay until the next one looked into the mirror of his soul.
THE LAST DRIVE
It was a long trip and by the time it got dark I was already tired of driving.
As the hitchhiker appeared in the lights I decided to pick him up – maybe conversation would keep me awake. But there was none – he just sat in the passenger seat, staring ahead.
After a while, I dropped him off, and the tiredness intensified.
Still, soon another hitchhiker came along and I picked him up. It wasn’t until he got in that I realized it was the same guy. How he’d got ahead of me I don’t know. Maybe he’d got a lift in a sports job.
After a while, I dropped him off.
The tiredness was getting really bad by now, so when I saw him again ahead of me, I was compelled to pick him up once more – the mystery itself was stimulating, in a way.
Well, he drained me completely that third time of feeding. And as I lay here in the road, the vampire driving off, I guess I’m going to die.
THE LATE CLIENT
Madame Gracie had been delayed getting to her séance room.
It had been a bad car accident outside and she hoped her client wouldn’t be late also. While she waited, the ectoplasm seemed to be forming easily. It appeared in nearly every facial orifice and of a particularly thick constituency.
Perhaps it was the close proximity to death today; so gloomy. And her initial contact with her spirit guide proved difficult.
Perhaps it was the archaic words she used.
Eventually her client appeared but seemed rather distant, as if not there at all.
‘Who are you?’ he asked, frightened.
Madame Gracie’s first thought was that he had died, but as her spirit guide came through loud and clear, she said, rather surprised:
‘Oh, I’M dead.’
A MicroNovel of a horror-ible life
Not to be read by Arachnophobics
Ch 1. The spider was there – it always was. But enough! I tortured it. Then … Splat! Yet … I could have sworn it gave a look of hate.
Ch 2. Can they get in the mind – your world? I imagined the beastie everywhere & such a web of circumstance began, as if trapped. Paranoia!
Ch 3. My descent into madness. Crawling thru life, the spiders crawling over my skin, unseen. I scratch – try to erase the bad. Scream!
Ch 4. I was stung; in everything. Career collapsed. Wife left. Sanity gone. I live in fevered mind – as do they. Crawling. Damn victimhood!
Ch 5. Driving will save me. Escape! Creditors, enemies, all crawl, itsie bitsie, towards me. And the wall! It hits my car. Blood. Do I die?
Ch 6. Elevator, down. Getting hot, dark. So this is death. Ebony black; those crawling monsters blacker. Is Hell for creepy crawlies? Am I?
Ch 7. The Doc said I went splat. But he rebuilt me; an intricate web of silk? Cocooned? But not my mind. No, not now they wanted revenge.
Ch 8. To cheat death. I drew into myself; went to the country. Recluse. Alone with nature, nest-led in harmony. To awaken, crawling over me.
Ch 9. There came a time. Hope arose. I shrouded myself in concrete – the city. Fewer horrors. Eased the mind. I could live. Go on. Thrive!
Ch 10. Confidence reborn. Was that all it took for rebirth? I spun my own web of optimism. A job came. A home. A woman! And fulfilment.
Ch 11. Life was good – as long as I didn’t look in the corner of my eye. The terrors, the monsters, gone. They do with a good woman to kiss.
Ch 12. If only vanity had not come, also. Why did I look in the mirror? See the world reversed, as it was! Then, consumed by a black widow.
Ch 13. Epilogue. Karma. I’m behind you, creeeping, crawwwling along. You can’t see me yet – ’til I touch your leg. Splat me!!! If you dare.
WHERE? WHO? WHEN?
Where now? Is it in my nightmares or reality?
Is there a difference any more? I’m not so sure. They say like can oppose like, but was it meant to be as terrifying as this?
Is it so difficult for me to be as one, rather than a fragmented mind of contradictory thought?
The werewolf does what he does – horrendously, omnipotently.
He wraps his hands round my throat; his urges round my mind.
Can I stop him with a thought, or do they not have effect upon this reality?
When will I breath my last?
Will I welcome it? Will I yearn to be
free, finally released from this opposed likeness, my twin?
They never expected Granddad to visit but it was always good to see him.
The grandchildren crowded around him, wanting to play, but he seemed a bit distant. His son was soon worried and asked if he was alright.
‘Of course I am,’ said Granddad, but he sat down, tired, and began to talk about his family’s future, his hopes for them.
This worried the son even more and decided his father should lie down and rest.
He saw him into the bedroom and turned off the light.
The phone rang then.
As he listened a tear fell, and afterwards he rushed into the empty bedroom.
His father had made one last visit.
We get what we deserve, we’re told.
I deserve more. Never to have felt the body of a woman; never to have felt love. Why!?
Because I’m ugly. Because the dice were stacked against me from birth.
Maybe that’s why I became an Adept – why I descended into the occult. And yes, I know it’s wrong to use it for yourself, but …
I chose her. She was beautiful. And soon such good looks would be mine.
The spell was difficult – changing ugliness to good looking was almost miraculous – and I knew it would take months.
Slowly I watched her changing, her good looks transferring to me. I’d look in the mirror for hours after each session ….
It was clearly working. Soon I would be a handsome – almost pretty – man.
But we get what we deserve – why wasn’t I told?
For it soon became clear I’d never have trouble feeling the body of a woman again.
It was mine.
THE NOBLE UNDEAD
Since he was last staked the noble undead one had declined in people’s imagination.
A new world was coming. Science was advancing, and how could superstition survive this onslaught of reason? And without superstition he could not take bodily form again, his memory condemned to be hidden from culture.
For he lived on fear, and if people no longer knew how to fear … ?
He thought long and hard about this as he roamed through the ether.
One day he found himself in a book filled study, and it occurred to him that imagination now existed in words; and if imagination was there, why not fear?
He looked at the man sat at the desk and made his decision.
He entered through his ear and soon found a comfy place within his mind to think. And as the man called Stoker began to write, the undead one knew he would rise once more.
We were told the house was haunted but how could we resist?
It was so serene – both my wife and I felt it. At least, at first. But as we began to experience the presence more and more, it was inevitable it would come between us.
‘It’s evil,’ my wife would say, but I never believed the accidents were down to the presence. My wife had always been somewhat clumsy.
No, all I could feel in the presence was loneliness, a need to be loved once more …
Did I fall in love with her? Was the sight of her in the long flowing dress merely illusion?
Were those experiences at night true ecstasy, or simply vivid dreams?
Certainly I never noticed that, as the presence became happier, a loneliness began to cling to my wife. Yet I suppose it was inevitable she would take action …
The exorcist was very good. I could almost feel the horrendous shots of pain that began to cripple the presence, and I felt the sadness as she was banished.
Later I rediscovered my love for my wife, and when I bought her that long flowing dress I knew we could be healed.