Familiar

girl and cat

– PrettyScary @ Deviantart

Christina rubbed her soft, feline fur against Gwendolyn’s face as the ten-year-old girl looked into the distance at nothing and everything.

“Yes, I can see it now, too, dearest.” The child was entranced at the interplay between energies from four of the ten dimensions.

“Silly little one, Christina chided. I detected the intermix ages ago.” In mid-sentence, the white cat’s tone changed from one of annoyance to affection, for she dearly loved the girl, and she always would.

“That’s because you are wise.” To anyone looking at the scene, the fifth grader was lying on her bed on a lazy Wednesday afternoon after school, contemplating gray clouds which threatened rain later in the evening. Yet gazing into her eyes, it would have been easy to tell that they might as well have been blind, at least to anything in the so-called “real world.”

“It’s best not to get too lost in the vision, my sweet, lest you lose your way and be forever swept into other spaces.”

Continue reading

Advertisements

The Castle’s Secrets

bran castle

Found at bran-castle.com – Image credit not given

“Mommy, why are we staying up so late?” twelve-year-old Ileana sat anxiously on the edge of her mother’s bed while Queen Marie of Romania patted her hand.

“I want you to meet someone, but he only comes late at night.” She made her smile look comforting, but she too was nervous, and in her case, with good reason.

The door to the Queen’s grand bedroom in her Bran Castle retreat slowly creaked open. The servants were forbidden to come unbidden at this hour, so it could only be one man.

“You are welcome to enter, Vlad.”

He was dressed in black, though the white of his shirt showed through the cloak’s dark collar.

“Thank you, my Queen. Is this the little Princess?”

Ileana stood and bowed. “It is good sir. How may I address you?”

A moment of uncharacteristic compassion glimmered in the Impaler’s eyes as he whispered, “Father.”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google Maps image/location and use it as a prompt for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 148.

Today, the Pegman takes us to Bran Castle, Romania. I looked it up and found it has a tangential association to the Dracula legend, although it’s doubtful author Bram Stoker knew of its existence when he penned his famous novel.

That said, I dipped into the histories of Princess Ileana of Romania and her mother Queen Marie, who indeed used the castle as her personal retreat.

Ileana was born in 1909, and although it was alleged that she was really the child of Marie’s lover Prince Barbu Stirbey, Marie’s husband, King Ferdinand I claimed paternity. Here, I’m suggesting another father entirely.

Can a vampire, a member of the undead, impregnate a living woman? Probably not if you think of a vampire as an animated corpse with no living biology (in spite of the Twilight movie series), but I recall when Marvel Comics ran their Dracula title in the 1970s, in one issue, they did have Dracula on a throne seated beside his living Queen, who was enormously pregnant, so some have suggested the possibility.

And I suppose if a demonic Incubus can have “relations” with a woman, so can a vampire.

Anyway, it makes good Halloween fodder.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

The Night of the Succubus

stone in the woods

© Sue Vincent

Trigger Warning: This story is at least PG-13 with a little R thrown in (I tried to be as circumspect as possible and still retain the overall imagery of the story), so if you’re offended by sensual language with a touch of horror, you might want to stop reading now.

Lilith was always the first to arrive, but as the great mother, she was responsible for preparing the holy site for the others.

“Mother!” Naamah ran into the clearing, and with a gazelle-like leap to clear a fallen log, she fell into Lilith’s arms. If mother and daughter were human, their embrace would appear lewd and obscene, their hands and tongues sliding sensually over each others supple, lightly clad bodies, but for the most ancient of demons, this was a standard greeting, especially after being parted for an entire year (though at their age, a year wasn’t considered very long at all).

They parted as Rahab and Vashti arrived. Then Shelomit, Helah, and Jezebel joined them. As the sun hung low on the western horizon, the others came, and after engaging in the same ritual greeting, which stopped short of becoming a frenzied orgy (for that was yet to come), the hundreds gathered in several concentric circles around the tall, verdant phallic idol.

Continue reading

The Halloween Monster

monster

© Liz Young

Arthur stopped off at his sister’s last night, realizing he was too drunk to drive home from the bar. Staggering into her backyard the next morning, he discovered the apparition. Melissa followed him, looking bemused.

“Like it? I’m putting it out front for Halloween tonight.” It was then he noticed she was pointing a pistol with a silencer at him.

“Hey, what’s that?”

“Last year, you got off on that drunk driving charge where you killed a little girl. I’m fixing justice.”

That night, Melissa got a lot of compliments on the realistic display of a monster in a cage.

I wrote this for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the prompt to craft a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words long. My word count is 100.

For some reason, I thought of a man who was hung over coming across this scene and being totally bewildered. The story wrote itself after that.

To read other tales inspired by the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.

Saving Gremlin Town

Montpelier, Vermont

“Ready, Landon?”

“I guess.”

Eight-year-old Landon and his friend and teacher Buddy, the small Ambrosial Dragon, were in the center of his bedroom. After the boy’s recent adventures with Gremlins, Buddy had determined that evil forces from other dimensions might be able to gain access to their world through the Gremlin’s realm. Buddy said he and Landon had to do something about it.

Landon wasn’t convinced. The last time he had come face-to-face with a Gremlin, he had threatened to badly hurt the child if not kill him. Buddy didn’t think he was in all that much danger, but Landon was worried anyway.

He came prepared. Inside his backpack, he had his invisibility cloak and his magic glove. He also had the soul coin in his pants pocket, though he wasn’t sure what good it would do.

He always wore the magic amulet around his neck on a chain, the one that looked like a small, old fashioned railroad lantern.

The living stuffed animals were all watching awestruck from Landon’s bed. It was late at night and Grandpa, Dad, and Landon’s sister Dani were all asleep. With any luck at all, the dragon and the boy would be back before anyone missed them.

Landon felt like he could use all the luck he could get.

Continue reading

Halloween 2017: The Stalker

stalker

© Tanya Setyaeva – Original art from Theme of Absence

Last year I participated in a Halloween writing contest at Theme of Absence. I didn’t win, but my story The Stalker was subsequently published. Because October 31st is upon us once again, I thought I would present the beginning here and then a link to the full tale below. Enjoy.

The girl panicked when she literally stumbled over my last victim. The body had been steadily decomposing at the bottom of that shallow gully for months, and it must have been pretty disgusting to trip over and nearly fall on top of a rotting corpse.

The poor girl. She can’t be older than sixteen. She had gone for a walk through the forest near the cabin her friends had rented, the sun went down, and she got lost.

She’s running blindly now, certain she can hear my breathing, my heavy footfalls, the rustling of tree branches I push aside as I stalk her. It’s a deception to get her moving. She could hardly suspect the truth.

I know she’s not an adult, but I’m very attracted to her. She’s shapely, great hips, firm breasts, but even dressed in those skimpy cutoffs and tight t-shirt, I can tell she’s still not really confident about her appearance. I think she dresses that way to prove to herself she’s sexy. She really is. I’ll enjoy myself inside of her.

To read the complete story click here.

Halloween 2017: Rising of the Ancient

tomb

Image: tvtropes.org

I originally wrote this over a year ago and thought it might be appropriate to present it again, this been Halloween and all. Remember, on Halloween, not everything is as it seems.

Adam and Sarah Hartley cautiously began their descent into the tomb. The illumination from their flashlights revealed the ancient stone steps leading down into the darkness and into history. They also believed they were being led downward into the ultimate enlightenment.

The Hartleys were the world’s most famous married Biblical Archeology team. Well regarded by both other archeologists and Christian researchers, they were credited with several important finds between 2020 and 2045, including the true burial-place of the Apostle Mark. It was long supposed that his body was stolen from Alexandria in a barrel of pork and was put to rest in the city of Venice, but the Hartleys discovered a codex that revealed this to be a ruse. The following year, they located the remains of Mark in his original tomb on the outskirts of the modern Egyptian city of Alexandria.

Now, Adam and Sarah are in Egypt again, this time investigating what could be the most important find of their careers. If the scroll they had discovered and translated last year was right, it would be the most significant discovery of the last two-thousand years: the true final resting place of Jesus Christ.

For the full story, click here.

Stones in the Forest

stump

© Yarnspinnerr

You got me out here to see a pile of cement, Jeremy?”

“I tell you there’s something inside the concrete.”

“If this is what you brought me out here for…”

Fifteen-year-old Jill turned in a huff but her age-mate Jeremy grabbed her arm. Everyone thought they were dating, but they’d been best friends since second grade and they still were.

“Last night I was on the trail at sunset and saw a glow from over here.”

“You think it was this?”

“I think it was something.”

She sighed. “Okay, we’ll wait.”

A breeze picked up. They both shivered but not from the chill. As the last rays of daylight faded, the strange object began to glow an eerie light and the two could see the pile of stones inside.

“I told you.”

“Jeremy, I’m freaked. Let’s go.”

She turned and tried to walk away but her feet were frozen. They both looked down and saw why. Skeletal hands were grasping their feet and ankles. The next morning, the disguised cairn would be two people taller.

I wrote this for the FFfAW Challenge for the Week of October 31, 2017 hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to craft a tale of between 100 and 175 words. My word count is 175.

I’m actually disappointed with my effort and maybe given more time, I could have come up with something different, but two teenagers alone in the woods as the sun goes down and then encountering something evil leading to their horrifying demise seemed to be what was in order…in other words a typical 1980s horror movie. After all, as I write this tomorrow is Halloween.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Just Walk Right In

jack-o-lanterns

Some creations of Steve Clark, the world’s fastest pumpkin carver – Found at History.com

“So, you think we should just walk right in?”

“Why not? The invitation seems pretty clear.”

“Look, I’m not all that sure about this ‘invitation’ business. After all, we’ve just got this one guy’s word for it.

“Yeah, but he worshiped the boss for like twenty-five years. He should know what he’s talking about.”

“Okay, I get that, but he’s gone over to the other side now, actually warning people about us and that invitation thing.”

Continue reading

Your Pumpkin is an Invitation for Demons

jack o lantern

Found on a Facebook “Chuck Jones” group page

Oy. Here comes Halloween again and tons of controversies seem to be surrounding the event this year.

First off, I should mention I don’t celebrate Halloween for the most part. On the evening of October 31st, my wife and I make sure all the doors are locked, we close all of the window shutters, and turn out most of the lights. When the doorbell rings, we ignore it.

Not sure what the Missus does (probably reads), but I do allow myself to watch the original 1984 film Ghostbusters just because it’s so much fun.

We aren’t paranoid about Halloween. We don’t think it’s evil, or sinful, or horrible. We just aren’t into it.

But there are a lot of people out there who are going bonkers about Halloween.

Continue reading