CoffinHop 2012

#CoffinHop…The Winners are…

kim-coffin12
Well as you know I participated in a crazy little thing known as the #CoffinHop – a Hop for lovers, writers and readers of Horror, Dark Fiction and all the tales that send chills up and down your spine. I also ran a FLASH TRICK for a TREAT Contest.

Hold your breath, hold your screams in…

I have the WINNERS + their chilling Flash Fiction.

*Warning: VL + Horror*

First Prize = Andrew Drage (The Brewin)

THE LAST HANGOVER © Andrew Drage

~ By Brewin ~

It hurt.

Bruce wasn’t sure what it was, but it hurt like fuck.

Bruce opened his eyes and saw that he was on the couch in the lounge room at Aaron’s place. Closed curtains cast shadows across a room strewn with takeaway food packaging, beer bottles and dirty plates.

His head throbbed and his tongue felt like it was wrapped in plastic. Struggling to swallow and dampen his mouth, he noticed drool over his face and pillow…

It was a dark colour and sticky.

He touched the sides of his face and recoiled with pain. Deep gashes from his own fingernails ran from his eye sockets down his jaw line.

It had been a big night. Bruce, Aaron and Jason were drinking at Aaron’s place until sometime after the sun came up this morning, but he didn’t remember this happening. Yesterday seemed like a dream.

Oh fuck. Frank and his dad Barney died yesterday. That wasn’t a dream.

And the idiots they were, they’d decided to go down to the police scene whilst drunk to see what happened. Vincent the driver, didn’t even have a full licence. Now he’d lost it for six months and had a huge fine to pay as well. They didn’t even find out what happened at the farm. The exact events that occurred were indistinct this side of the drinking binge, but he did remember Vincent going off at them for the idea and leaving in a huff. Bruce, Aaron and Jason went back to Aaron’s place after that, numb by the day’s events… And kept drinking.

And now he’d woken on his mate’s couch to find half his face clawed off and blood all over himself. Fuck!

Bruce scanned the darkened room and spotted a light switch next to the doorway opposite.

Fuck he needed a glass of water.

Beyond the doorway lay a short carpeted hall to the rest of the house.

With some effort he sat up and yawned.

Then he heard a squelching sound from down the hallway. It ended as suddenly as it began.

Bruce felt the hair on his neck bristle from the chill of fear. He felt simultaneous needs to piss and vomit.

The squelching sound came again, this time longer, ending with a slopping thump. It seemed to be coming from Aaron’s room.

What the fuck is that?

Nature’s demands took control of Bruce’s senses and he rushed into the hallway seeking the toilet. Trying to ignore the sound coming from down the hallway, he opened the first door on his right. He closed the door behind him and sighed with relief as he disgorged his bladder. He pondered sticking fingers down his throat to get rid of the alcohol still in his stomach, but decided he didn’t feel as bad as that.

He then went through the sliding side door into the bathroom. Finding a light switch first, he grabbed a glass from the bathroom bench and filled it under the tap. He saw how bloody his hands were and looked up at the mirror.

A pale face presented itself, streaked with blood from his scratches, his eyes swimming in blood-tinged sockets.

What he was going to say to Aaron?

As he turned the tap off, he again heard rhythmic squelching, this time accompanied by a louder slapping.

I don’t remember Aaron picking up last night! Wow that’s a first!

Bruce sculled his glass of water and poured himself another.

Now the sound was accompanied by strange deep grunts that did not sound human.

Bruce shivered and spilt his water.

Then the phone rang in the lounge room and Bruce jumped, spilling more water.

The phone echoed through the house, causing the sounds from Aaron’s room to cease.

I’m fucked if I’m going to answer that.

The phone kept ringing, as the noises down the hallway resumed.

Oh shit, I better go see what the hell that is.

Bruce stepped back into the hallway and noticed a potent stench that didn’t seem to be of alcohol or cigarettes. It smelt like something rotten. The squelching and slapping continued, as did the animalistic groans.

Shit maybe I should just leave.

The phone stopped ringing as the sound of crashing objects came from the lounge room behind him. Mercifully, most of the lounge room was out of view.

Fuck! Now what do I do? The front door’s that way!

Bruce hesitated in the hallway. The sounds in the lounge room stopped but not the wet sounds from Aaron’s room.

Just stop thinking about it and go see what it is you bloody pussy!

As Bruce crept to Aaron’s door, he saw it was slightly ajar. His trembling hand pushed it open on squeaky hinges…

The door pushed aside the lurking shadows to reveal a scene of sickening slaughter. Aaron’s eviscerated corpse lay strewn over the bed and surrounding floor, dripping entrails hung out like decorations. Splashes of blood and the stench of decay saturated the room. Before closed and blood-splattered curtains stooped a hairy beast in a pose of the basest horror. In colossal claws it held Aaron’s decapitated head, rhythmically thrusting its erect member into a bloody socket. The horrifying sound it made was now dampened by the sound of its demonic bestial laughter.

It paused to meet Bruce’s dumbstruck gaze with malice. It laughed again and licked its slavering lips before resuming its necrophilic task.

The hallway creaked behind Bruce. He turned to face the huge chest of another of the demons. Its bulk towered over him as its arms swiftly enveloped him.

The last thing he remembered was a crushing grip around his throat…

___________________

Second Prize = Eric Tolles

MALICE’S ABSENCE IN WONDERLAND © Eric Tolles

Down here we all float.

Even through the mud I can hear those words; recalling some story I read as a child long before the fall. Before I ended up in the dark trying desperately to find my way back into the light. I can hear a thousand other voices, memories, talking to me as the muck impacted inside my ears hardens and scrapes against the edges of a thousand others just like them.

Down here we all float.

A lie.

It’s not even close to the truth.

I can hear footsteps occasionally, their percussions traveling through the seemingly endless feet of dirt between here and there. Like the strange muted voices of people gathered around the edge of the swimming pool that you have sunk to the bottom of, holding your breath and ticking off the seconds inside your head. Trying to break your personal record as you look up at their distorted reflections as the ripples in the water make a mess of their faces. I’m not counting anymore; I stopped a long time ago. In fact I don’t really have any use for oxygen. I stopped breathing a long time ago, too. I have no idea how long I have been down here, trying to swim back to the surface through this rock and soil. The hands of the clock bloodied and bruised and ripped, the ribbons of the flesh they used to be are back there somewhere amongst the scrabble that ruined them. A strip or two may still be in the back of my throat curled around my vocal chords like a bow; I think I can feel a tattered end tickling me, though it may just be me laughing at myself out of sheer frustration.

They jumped me, of course.

It felt like I had just woken up. My head was still full of fog from the dream I had been having; a walking dead version of Alice showing up at my door one afternoon. A small pile of bruises in a torn dress and bedraggled sweater, but her eyes gave it away-her intentions, I mean. Always ablaze with coppered fire, those two. Forever one of my favorite science lessons: that if you heat copper up enough to burn, it burns with a green flame. I let her in, cleaned her up and she repaid me with teeth somewhere in the dark. I woke up, cursing the slippery edges of subconsciousness, only to find myself wandering down the middle of a street somewhere between dusk and dawn. I froze, fairly sure that I was awake, that this wasn’t a continuation of the dream, when my stomach began to growl. And I mean that literally. Loud twistings of my guts churning against each other with a hunger I thought could only exist in my head.

And then the noise.

It came from behind me, an explosion that stretched my shadow halfway up the block. Whisper thin and slightly darker than the pavement beneath my feet, I followed it back to them to discover I was missing a shoe. But it was not completely naked, that foot, as when I reached down to touch it my fingers came back wet. Sticky. I rubbed my fingers together and brought them to my nose, thinking perhaps I might understand what it was that my foot had gotten into, and found that it smelled acrid. Metallic. My stomach growled again as I turned towards the light behind me in hopes of revealing more of the mess gathering in my palm and my jaw dropped.

The skyline was on fire.

It looked like half the city was ablaze. There were plumes of smoke rising into the sky and casting themselves against the moon like clouds. A number of the taller buildings appeared as candles burning in the darkness, their tops all wreathed in orange as the moon’s face hung above them staring down as though it was her birthday and she was gathering breath to blow them out.

Maybe that is what is all over my foot; frosting.

I’ve been running around over the top of a birthday cake.

Louder now, the noises that woke me up. I can hear breaking glass, terrified screams amidst the pattern of percussions that are shaking the ground at my feet. And gunshots. And I wondered as I stood frozen in the middle of the street, was I somehow responsible? Perhaps this group of men running towards me might be able to tell me what is going on. As I watched their rapid approach I realized that something was wrong. The pattern of their gait was off. The way they were carrying themselves was far from normal. They were zigzagging, lumbering up the street in my direction, but not towards me. Past me, it seemed, with the intention their broken frames suggested. One of them was dragging its leg. Another passed me by with both of its arms hanging limp and slapping against its sides as it ran. I tried to get the attention of a man who was missing his pants, but he didn’t seem able to respond as a large wad of hair that ended in a chunk of scalp was hanging out of his mouth.

Then shouts. More gunshots ringing out against the cacophony of voices. Someone runs up behind me, her attention turned towards the group that had lumbered past, and I reach out and grab her. Not out of thought, but of something instinctual. I yank her head towards mine and I tear her ear off with my teeth. My stomach unwinds just a little as her blood spills over my tongue and I find myself relishing the coppery sting as she shouts, “You bit me in my ear!” I quickly find the gaping wound on the side of her head and plunge my teeth back into her torn flesh, making quick work of it before the crunching of her skull against my jaws fills my ears.

It’s like music.

I take her down to the ground with me, my hands pulling skin from bone to the sound of her screams creating the score for this act. Finding purchase with my teeth at the edges of her ear canal and widening it with each bite until impatience and lust causes me to grab her head with both hands and slam it against the pavement. Again and again and again until it cracks open like a coconut and spills it’s sweet milk all around my knees. And I lap it up like a rabid dog. I pull handfuls of her brains out of the broken cereal bowl of her skull and devour every single thought she ever had.

And that is when it hit me.

Not realization.

A baseball bat.

It caught my shoulder and spun me around. The second strike landed against my ribs and I clearly heard something snap, but I didn’t feel anything. The third hit home at the back of my head. Fireworks went off inside my skull and I looked up at the moon, seeing Alice’s face reflected back at me through a gray haze just before my lights were turned off. I thought of her; her throat and the warm release of her blood. The world went black around me as I imagined eating my way through her bones.

Strike 3.

And now I am here.

For how long I have no idea, and until when I cannot say. I cannot fathom the fathoms. I feel like I have been digging my entire life. I was born amongst the deepest of roots and nursed on the blood meal of worms. Taught arithmetic with the clicking of beetle wings. Told bedtime stories by tongues of crickets. Daylight is just the dream of maggots, down here. Their slick white bodies are the contrast to the underbelly of roaches. Like angels squirming through the loam above my head. Always above my head. Always just beyond my fingertips. But I am coming, Alice.

I am coming, Alice.

And I am going to eat you alive.

I whisper that mantra into the dirt with split lips.

I scream that incantation into the rock with a ragged tongue.

It’s her name coupled with this insatiable thirst me that keeps me moving through the dark down here somewhere underground. No map lines to follow nor any light to read them by, just some instinctual narrative that escaped me in that other life, telling me when to bear slightly right or turn sharply to the left to correct my path. Save for the darkness I imagine it’s her heart I’m navigating, that’s all this is. Practice. Eyes closed tight against the brightness that reveals the interiors of those chambers.

The first, a roost for crows. A room full of murder waiting for my foretold arrival and the squawking that heralds it. They sing in unison, Who is that tapping, insistently rapping, rapping at our chamber door? And so coyly so, considering the carnage their claws are craving to create. My feet fall upon a floor of feathers as I enter, the target of 99 cocked heads regarding me with eyes of onyx. I am blinded by a rainbow of light streaming from beneath wings as they slip from their perches and their talons finding purchase in my skin. That rush of air that delivers the penance to be paid from the flapping as they struggle to maintain flight while engaged in the evisceration of flesh. The behavior once rendered now repaid in the rending of beaks. The pound of flesh, flayed and flung into the furthest of the four corners my limbs are pointing towards as I lay flattened upon that floor.

The second is full of rocking chairs. They move seemingly of their own volition until my eyes focus-still stinging from the blinding colors found in the first chamber-to see that each of those seats is occupied by a terrifying grin sitting on the face of a black feline. Each of them smiling between the stroke of their tongue across the surface of their paws while they lock their gaze upon my own. They take their time, torturous taunts delivered by the twitching of tails ending in a snap in my direction. I stand frozen, unable to see the other side as the joints of those chairs fill the room with creaking music that threatens to drive me crazy. All at once, just before I feel that sanity is about to give me the slip, the rocking stops abruptly and in perfect synchronization they all disembark from their stations and as silent as milk they pad into a congregation gathering around my ankles. They expertly zigzag between my legs avoiding the drops of blood dripping from my chest and hitting the floor beneath my feet in a pattern of soft splashes. Safe as houses, I think as I lift a foot to step forward only discover that I am quite mistaken. Several tails wrap themselves around my ankles and but with a slight tug countering my movement brings the whole mess crashing down. My face slaps against the floor and I am reminded of a similar incident as a toddler that led to that first loss of blood. I look up and those furry smirking faces have all turned into leering, yawning chasms of teeth string down at me. I await a chewing that never comes. I discover that they have opted for an endeavor far more indicative of their nature as the sound of claws clicking into place fills the air and they set upon my back. Ribbons of my flesh begin to fall in front of my eyes like the fluttering remnants of Christmas presents. They each take their turn dragging their nails across my back like an amorous lover, along with a farewell scrape of sandpapered tongue as a post script.

Room number three finds me walking barefoot through the entrance of a hedge maze whose walls stand so tall that they blot out the sun and seemingly wag their finger in God’s face. I anxiously stick a toe through the archway before following with the rest of my bloodied and bruised body. Vaguely familiar, this, as I come to a “T” intersection of a green barrier stretching out for what appears to be miles. I turn left as I hear a caterpillar in my head speaking with an English lilt, “If she’d ‘ave kept on goin’ down that way she’d ‘ave gone straight to that castle!” Well, who takes directions from a caterpillar, anyway?, I wondered. I walk for days. I walk for nights. I chase the moon into the sea and run the sun right over the cliff, looking for a sign in the twisted emerald writing that criss-crosses the walls I’ve become prisoner to. Counting my footsteps quicken the passage of time that never seems to end inside this labyrinth; but I am not lost. Dawn creeps over the horizon and I see just up ahead a pair of trees situated in the wall much like the hundreds I have walked past, but I stopped to look and then laugh about how they seemed to be like a pair of legs stretching into the sky, attached to some giant who had dropped his pants. The ivy had formed amongst the roots of these two trees like a pair of folded jeans, complete with even a belt and a buckle made of leaves. And that is when I saw it. A darker squelch of viridian that formed a symbol in the center of the belt buckle:

¥

So how’s that working out for you, I thought as I looked up and grinned towards the sharks swimming around in the sky above my head. I reached down to touch it, and my finger fell short. I thought perhaps it was my depth perception failing me, but I attempted to grab it this time and I fell forward as my balance was foiled. The symbol was on a leaf lay well past the trees, and I found myself inside a hidden opening in the wall. I stood up and brushed the dirt from my knees and this time, I turned right. I was quickly led into a neatly manicured clearing, save for a hole located directly in its center. I made my way to the edge of that opening and got down on my hands and knees and peered inside. I could see nothing. At first. Then a few distant lights began to flicker the longer I looked. Then a shadow moved against the darkness, and I bent down even further to try to see when a white paw reached out of the hole and firmly grabbed ahold of my nose. I could see the silhouette of twin ears against the dim light of the stars on the other side and then two eyes staring up at me. “Well, what are you waiting for,” its voice asked from the depths.

And then it pulled me into hole.

The fourth room made me dizzy. My stomach flip-flopped over itself and I was turned upside down then immediately right side-up in the blink of an eye. My shoulders wedged tightly inside the opening of the portal and my hands slapped themselves helplessly against my sides on the other side. My legs kicked against nothing but the air underneath them as I attempted to find some footing. I looked around but the rabbit was nowhere to be found, just a short stretch of earth around me that was surrounded on every side by an ocean. Then I saw her. My Alice, making her way out of the waves, her skin glowing. Luminescent. Wet and wild white locks plastered to her forehead just above those eyes that threatened to burn themselves right out of your skull. She bent down over me like the moon itself had come down out of the sky and whispered into my ear, “Darling, do you remember this part?”

Then the rabbit reappeared and chimed in his part, “Off with his head!”

Then mine, “I do.”

Then the blade, raised high above her head, catches the reflection of her throat and the hollow I never want to escape just before it falls upon mine and my head rolls down the shore and is carried out to sea. It eventually sinks to the depths to become home to some mutant-limbed crab, my tongue lolling out of my mouth like a welcoming mat for his crustacean compatriots.

I wake from this daydream to find my fingers wrapped tightly around a tree root and I realize that her heart is only but a few minutes and handfuls of dirt away from me.

Do you hear me, Alice?

I have been down here for years digging my way home, dying to get my hands on her heart. To see to fruition the seeming eons of honing my finger’s skill to tear a hole into her chest and unmake the puzzle of bones keeping it safe.

Are you listening Alice?

Her heart belongs to me. Her brains belong to me. Her body is mine. There is nothing standing between her and I and this beautiful oblivion other than these pages. They are but kindling to the fire burning beneath this oven. Nothing but a thin sheet of glass in its door is obscuring my vision now. But for just a little application of pressure to its surface and I will be free from these constraints.

Free to bind her in some of my own and consume her in kind.

As I climb out of the grave much worse for wear than when I entered it I muse upon the idea of rebirth, Is this what it feels like to be born?

Did I feel this clarity back then, a wet mewling thing inside my mother’s womb? Was I nothing more than a blank slate, a thoughtless beast scratching at the walls of her guts to get out? Or was I full of bloodlust then as I am now? Digging my way out of the darkness with teeth and fingers if only to use them again to get back inside? It is the only motivation I have; a raging desire to claw my way back inside her chest. I am the dead dying to make a feast of her flesh and a bed from her bones. I can only think of her blood and the warm bath my face is waiting for. The thought maddens my tongue as it pushes up and out of this thin layer of soil my mouth has wrapped itself around. My fingertips breaching the ground far above the grave I have left, timeless behind me in the depths of the dirt.

And like she did so many years ago, she once again rolls her hips and spits me out.

A wriggling mess of flesh, damp and heaving as I emerge from the darkness into the light above.

I use the roots of this tree to pull myself free of that space, the miles of hell between then and now, and towards the short distance that lay between me and her neck. I attempt to pull myself up, but my legs seem to be uncooperative; or perhaps their buckling is some kind of joke that they are making me the butt of as I seem to keep landing directly upon it. After a dozen or so attempts I finally manage to pull myself up and I lean against the face of that tree, my own pressing itself against and into the ridges and valleys of the bark that covers its trunk. I feel the wind scratching across the surface of the small areas of skin that aren’t covered by mud and for a moment the rage inside my head is soothed by the sensation. It rustles past my ears and I am reminded of the whispers that once fell from her lips and filled my head with a heat that still burns with a temperature that my lust for blood could only hope to attain.

And then my legs buckled again as my stomach, apparently awoken by the thought of a meal, churned and empties itself of the unknown amounts of mouthfuls of dirt I swallowed during my graven exodus. A river of mud and bile and bugs comes pouring out of my mouth and splashes across my hands.

And worms, still wriggling.

I pull myself back up again to embrace the tree when I hear shouting coming from behind me.

“Holy shit, man, did you see that? I didn’t know that zombies tossed cookies!”

“That fucker just pulled himself out of the ground. I thought that only happened in the movies!”

I turned to see the source of that ungodly noise and spotted 2 men on top of a white building across the street from where I had unearthed myself. I was trying to ascertain the situation, gauge the danger when something bit into between my left shoulder and my chest. I looked down to find an arrow sticking out of that space. It had yellow feathers on it. An arrow. A fucking arrow? Really? And it seemed that it had gone all the way through my body and pinned me to the tree that only moments before had been my salvation.

And then another one hit me in the stomach.

And then another through my right arm. And then another through my hip.

“Yeah! Got ‘em! Look at him, trying to get free! You see that shit Johnny? I pinned that dead motherfucker right to that tree. And you said that taking archery classes was for pussies!”

“Yeah, yeah. You got him. Now grab your machete so we can go kill that bastard.”

“But it’s already dead-shouldn’t we say something different?”

“Oh, not this shit again. Look, it’s not fucking dead if it is up and walking around. Dead is dead. Dead is not breathing, not standing, not mobile and certainly not fucking eating to sustain itself. Ok? That thing is only half dead, if you have to get technical about it. It doesn’t breathe, it doesn’t have a heartbeat. Sure, it still has use of its limbs and it certainly seems to feel the need to consume, and it has the ability to do so. That is not dead. It is some kind of disease, you know? A disease that turns it into a mindless eating machine.”

“Yeah, but the TV said…”

Fuck the fucking TV, Johnny. That’s your problem; well one of them, anyway, mindlessly believing everything you saw and heard from it. When it still worked, that is. Let’s just get down there and kill it before the sun goes down, ok? ”

“Fine.”

I watch them lowering a fire escape ladder to the level of the street. They disembark the ladder and make their way across the street towards me. They walk over to me. The shorter one pulls a knife from a sheath on his belt and starts poking me in the chest with it. It doesn’t hurt. I don’t cry out. But I do begin to feel that rage creeping back up from behind my eyes and it quickly spreads through my body. That space doesn’t belong to them. None of it does. That knife shouldn’t be wielded upon my skin by anyone other than her.

“See, man? It ain’t alive. It don’t cry out or nothing when you poke at it.”

They turn their attention away from me for a moment, arguing.

“Are you serious? It’s doesn’t bleed either, but the fact that it is standing there, that it just minutes ago pulled itself out of the fucking ground should be a rather large clue that it isn’t fucking dead!”

I think about pointing out to them that I actually am bleeding. That when I began to anger about them piercing my flesh with that blade and how that act is only meant for her; and that this thought made something stir within my chest. Something warm. Something with a life of its own. That thought motivated my legs, and I kick the one closest to me. My foot landing firmly in the center of his chest and knocking him off his feet. He rolls a few times before landing on the pavement, looking up at me in shock as his own blood began to seep from a long scrape that the pavement left on the side of his face. His buddy was quicker, and seemingly at the same time his blade caught sunlight and momentarily blinded me, the edge of his machete had cleanly sliced through all but one toe from my foot before my leg had dropped back to my side after kicking the stupid one off of both of his. I looked down at my foot in amazement, only my pinky toe remained.

And I laughed, looking back and forth from it to the finger I have been missing since I was 2.

Then I realized that I had laughed.

That I had somehow had taken in and expelled oxygen. Maybe you don’t know shit about being a zombie either, I wondered, just as the machete cleaved the air again. I ducked just in time for him to bury it in the tree behind my head, along with a portion of my left ear.

I laughed again.

Justice, perhaps?

The fatal flaw in their plan was thinking that I had a single concern for a few pieces of flesh from my body, or the couple of holes that their arrows had made. My only concern was for the body that I hoped to find behind that door up the street, not my own. That saving my own was a worthless endeavor if it could not be delivered through that threshold. I don’t even need limbs, not really, as long as I had the teeth in my head firmly held between jaws that are up to the challenge of dragging my skull across that porch and into that house. With that thought I used my one good foot to shove myself free of those restraints. Those four arrows ripping through my flesh; like a laboratory frog pulling itself free from a dissection board. The feathers tickled my skin as Mr. Machete struggled to loosen his weapon from the tree behind me. I notice a gun holstered at his side, and I pull it from his belt just as he managed to pull his machete loose from the tree. I smiled as he looked down and notices his mistake and I pressed the barrel of his gun to his chest and put the other hand around his neck.

I pulled the trigger, and his body buckled.

His arms beat against my back like bird wings and I lower him to the ground, my teeth finding purchase in his neck as I tore out his throat. I fed greedily on the sinew of tendons that had tightened as he gulped in his last remaining breaths. Too busy, too hungry, too famished to notice his buddy creeping up on this gruesome scene. Too loudly smacking my lips around the ragged flesh of his neck, tearing strips of flesh from him like ripping a piece of paper into halves to hear the approaching footsteps, or the cock of his gun.

The bullet ripped through the top of my back and exited my stomach. I looked down to see the hole it created, and I find myself wondering how deeply into the ground it went. Did it travel the same path as I did, but in reverse? Did it bury itself into one of the shoes I left behind?

I hear him cursing his miss.

Announcing his sin at the top of his lungs as he ejects the spent cartridge from his gun and fumbles with a full one. I pick up the machete lying beside his dead friend and with one deft movement I separate the lower half of his left leg from the upper half, and he drops like a bag of wet potatoes. I get up from my meal and I stand over him; my shadow falling across his face like a sun dial. ‘Time to die’, reads the clock. I slice open his throat with the edge of that blade and watch the intermittent jet of blood arcing through the air. I stand and observe until it dies off, slowly losing the angle until it turns to seep. I pick up his head by the hair and flip him over onto his back. With a firm grip on his scalp, I plant my good foot firmly against his buttocks and pull. Hard. A satisfying, wet ripping fills my ears like a new favorite song as his skull fully separates itself from his neck and is followed by his spinal column tearing free of connective tissue. I let go of his hair and pick up the end of his backbone and I turn and walk away, enjoying the rhythmic thud of his cranium bouncing against the sidewalk as I set eyes upon the walkway to her front door just down the street.

This is a dead man’s town.

My town.

Perhaps I am just lucky. Perhaps I conjured some kind of spell down there, whispering her name into the ears of insects. Maybe their legs repeated my mantra over and over, rubbing them together like man making that first fire, creating magic out of desire. Or maybe it’s the thought of our friction that keeps me safe, relatively speaking.

I make it to her porch without incident.

But only that far.

I hear screaming over my shoulder. “Zombie!,” they yell. I pay it no mind. I swing that spinal column through the air and it’s skull slams against her door with a pleasant percussion, announcing my arrival. A bullet screams its way through my right calf as I knock again with the bones of a dead man. Then another whizzes past my face and splinters the frame of her doorway to the left of my head. I knock again, and another bullet lands in my right shoulder as I hear footsteps rapidly approaching from behind me.

And finally she opens the door.

Standing but a few feet in front of me, and my legs threaten to give out under the weight of her gaze. Those eyes that lit my way through the ground, through the hours and days and weeks and months that I was in the dark. Those lithe porcelain hands and fingers that I dreamt of, plucking muscle from my bones like tearing stems from cherries. Those appendages that are now leveling a gun at my head. I toss the spinal column and skull at her feet. An offering. An appeasement. But I know that to die right at this moment with nothing more than this momentary glance would be fine. A gift, really. I close my eyes waiting for the penance of my brains being forced out of the back of my head like so much oatmeal splattering across a kitchen floor from a dropped cereal bowl, but all that comes is the deafening noise of two gunshots that missed their mark.

And I open my eyes to find out that she didn’t.

Two bodies just behind me, one on the right and one of the left now lay dead on her front porch. Each bearing pistols of their own as well as matching entry wounds in the center of their foreheads. No sin here, I notice; none at all. I turn back to face her as she stands staring at me. At the mess staring right back. Does she know of the fever that is now building in my fingers and toes? Well, what’s left of them. Does she know the danger she is in or the danger that she just dispelled being pale in comparison? Does she know that my tongue is but a whip driving my teeth into a frenzy?

She reaches out and takes my hand, and I realize with the look in her eyes that I am in no less danger than those that are decorating her front porch like it is Halloween.

And with her it always has been.

She leads me into the bathroom while informing me that “you look a mess, sir.”

I follow, letting the hunger build even as dessert sits on top of the oven, the smell of it thick in the air as I watch her leading me down the hallway, the small of her back leading down to the swell of her buttocks, the muscles pushing against each other as she moves. The sway of her hips, and something else stirs. She instructs me to sit on the edge of the bathtub, and she takes a moment to assess the situation, her hands on either side of my face as she studies it, and I see a shadow pass in front of her eyes. Her hands drop. She cocks her head a little to the left and her mouth curls down just a little as she lands a strike across my face. Hard. And another. And another. Then just one more. My lip splits apart from the slaps, and I let it trickle down and over my chin.

She smiles, and leans down and lick it from my face.

“An appetizer,” she whispers.

Then with steady hands she removes all of my clothes. I stand in the shower coated from head to toe with hardened mud, leaves, grass, dead bugs and dried blood. She undresses and climbs in behind me and turns on the water, forcefully positioning me under the showerhead. The water runs over my head and follows the maps of worm trails crisscrossing the dirt I am coated in. Slowly and deliberately she begins peeling me free of the muck and carnage I am dressed in. We spend an hour in there, together, with the mud swirling around our feet.

After, we embrace, wrapped up like Eskimos in towels, letting the heat between us evaporate the water.

Naked, we take positions in the center of her sofa. From behind her back she produces a survival knife. A Rambo blade. She giggles, that smirk that I could never deny crossing her face as it elicits the same from my lungs. She offers it to me, and I take it. I study it, and it is just as I remember them being as a teenager. Heavy, black handled and serrated on one edge. A compass is screwed into the handle, and I unscrew it, revealing the small compartment housed within the handle. Inside is a small package containing matches, fishing line and hooks. I look up at her, watching me. I toss aside the compass. No need for it, I’ve only ever moved in her direction. I toss aside the matches, because this fire has been burning out of control for years. As well I dispose of the fishing line and hooks over my shoulder; she caught me the first time she ascended those stairs so many years ago.

And I hand the knife back to her.

She presses it against my chest, and smiles as the tip penetrates my chest. A little trickle of blood slips down my abdomen. I feel the fingers of her other hand pressing into the back of my neck, her nails digging deeply into my nape and she pulls me forward and uses her full weight to shove that blade through my skin. I feel it separating muscle from bone just before the crunch of it breaking through my sternum. She twists it. Then I hear the serrations cracking apart bone as she saws through ribs to create a hole large enough for her fist to enter. Her mouth is open, hanging slightly askew as she loses herself in the endeavor, and I cannot keep my eyes off of her lips, quivering ever so slightly, and not even curiosity of the mess she is making of my chest can drag away that attention. Her hand finds purchase behind the swell of my heart, and in one deft movement I feel her pulling it free. I watch her bring it up to her mouth, and the slow stroke of her tongue pulling itself from the bottom to the top of that still beating muscle nearly drives me right out of my skin. I watch her teeth tearing into it with frenzy, and I look up for about to see the fire in her eyes moving to the knife she discarded in my lap.

And they widen.

Impatient and suggesting.

I pick up the knife and I repay the favor. Her head leaning back to offer her throat and I acquiesce with pleasure. I do what I have always wanted and what several illustrations have implied, that her neck is a Pez dispenser delivering love letters into my hands. And into my mouth. I drink from that wound like a starving man. And I am. I can feel her jaws working against mine, tilted and slurping from her throat. My teeth take over as I make that hole large enough to shove my hand into and down. Down through her body until I find that angel, that demon beating within her chest, and I tear it loose and into the air. She tilts her head back down as I lean back to examine it. To smell it before I devour it in kind. And she watches, much as I watched her, smiling. Dying. Her hands working themselves into a fury in both our laps as I finish, as we share in a literal Lupercalia. I take my free hand to replace hers between her legs. I lick the last drop of blood off my lips and she smacks me one more time, a raspy, “mine, fucker,” before pulling me in to get a taste. She pushes my hand away and she slips over and down upon a favored station, and there in the dark we create shadows of a four-limbed beast devouring itself around mouthfuls of wanton whispers until even our teeth grind each other into the dust.

And with but a bated breath, we breathe ourselves back into being.

Always one more round to take this treasure to the other side and taste this forever.

What great entries! Which one was your favourite?

kim-pollock

Hello June…I am going all Jackson Pollock on You

It’s June!

It’s time to get a little crazy, go a little wild, ride the winds…

I am going all Jackson Pollock on this month!

As stated last week… “I am going to do more than play Hookie with Tattoo. I am going to have a full-blown affair with Tattoo. The urge to write must take control over the urge to edit. I cannot wait for that delicious feeling of playing hookie and that first blush of the first draft.”

For the first time in months I am going to be flinging my creative ink at the canvas of my new WIP without thought of editing and embracing the freedom and unadulterated joy in WRITING that First Draft!

“A dripping wet canvas covered the entire floor … There was complete silence … Pollock looked at the painting. Then, unexpectedly, he picked up can and paint brush and started to move around the canvas. It was as if he suddenly realized the painting was not finished. His movements, slow at first, gradually became faster and more dance like as he flung black, white, and rust colored paint onto the canvas. He completely forgot that Lee and I were there; he did not seem to hear the click of the camera shutter … My photography session lasted as long as he kept painting, perhaps half an hour. In all that time, Pollock did not stop. How could one keep up this level of activity? Finally, he said ‘This is it.’

Pollock’s finest paintings… reveal that his all-over line does not give rise to positive or negative areas: we are not made to feel that one part of the canvas demands to be read as figure, whether abstract or representational, against another part of the canvas read as ground. There is not inside or outside to Pollock’s line or the space through which it moves…. Pollock has managed to free line not only from its function of representing objects in the world, but also from its task of describing or bounding shapes or figures, whether abstract or representational, on the surface of the canvas.”

– Hans Namuth 1950

I love the first blush, the illicit intimacy and the head-rush of a First Draft. First Drafts are all about the Writer, the Creative, the Artist. I love simply getting lost in a first draft and a new story. I love meeting the new characters and watching their scenes in my mind’s eye like a movie. I love that the story can and will go anywhere and everywhere.

What do you love about first drafts?

________________________

In other exciting News just in from this weekend…The anthology that could…

WooHoo! I am now a contributor to an AWARD-Winning anthology! “Tales for Canterbury” just scooped the 2012 Sir Julius Vogel Award in NZ for the Best Collected Works in Speculative Fiction-SciFi/Fantasy/Horror. This is a national award awarded annually at the NZ National Science Fiction Convention to recognise achievement in Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror.  Congrats to our editors: Cassie Hart and Anna Caro on scooping the win! The editing team did a brilliant job in pulling together a great crew of authors, who all contributed incredible stories all for an amazing cause. Once again, I am so proud and pleased to be part of a fantastic crew of authors and editors who helped get this anthology  out there.
There are still print copies available on the current print run of Tales for Canterbury. You can buy them here. *All profits* will be donated to the NZ Red Cross Earthquake Appeal. See talesforcanterbury.wordpress.com for more details. (* ie after we’ve paid any applicable transaction fees, printing, and shipping costs – neither Random Static nor the authors are keeping a cent)
A little background on the Sir Julius Vogel Award: The awards are named for Sir Julius Vogel, a prominent New Zealand journalist and politician, who becamePrime Minister of New Zealand in the 1870s. He also, in 1889, wrote what is widely (though erroneously) regarded as New Zealand’s first science fiction novel, Anno Domini 2000 – A Woman’s Destiny.[1] The book — written and published in Great Britain after Vogel had moved from New Zealand — pictured a New Zealand in the year 2000 where most positions of authority were held by women – at the time of writing, a radical proposition. In 2000, New Zealand’s Head of State, Governor General, Prime Minister, Chief Justice and Attorney General were all women, as was the CEO of one of the country’s largest companies, Telecom.
KKTypeWriterFeatured-BlogAward

Lucky 7 Meme & Kreativ Blogger Award

Today is catch-up day or catch a ride on a dog day ala` Garfield! 🙂

I have been tagged 5 times in the last few months in a blog meme. My latest nomination was from my good friend, Patti Larsen. The other people who nominated me are: Melissa Pearl, Jonathan D. Allen, K.S.Bowers and Velvet Skies. Check out all their excerpts. (I may have been tagged by a couple of other bloggers but cannot find the links 😦 So apologies if you tagged me in The Lucky 7 Meme and I have not responded.)

The rules are that you must post an excerpt from one of your books and this excerpt has to be seven sentences, lines or paragraphs from page 7 or page 77, seven lines down.

So here is my excerpt…

“Eliza. Listen to me. It is imperative you heed Jal’s warnings. It is as I feared. I have prayed and pleaded and begged your escape. I have pleaded to take your place instead. This is not your curse. I have brought this upon your head. I am sick with fever from guilt and from fear. I fear for you Eliza. With everything that is within me, I fear for you.”

Mama’s words and her strong grasp scare me. My eyes widen at her fear, naked in her burning eyes. It is fear not strength that lights her beautiful eyes. My heart is all at once stuck in my throat. My hopes that Mama could help me are being scattered in a hurricane fueled by fear.

Curse? She brought a curse upon my head? Oh Charles, where are you? Take me away. Take me away.

My hands are trapped butterflies in hers. They feel cold and numb. I pull them back from her’s.

I lean back from her. I cannot look at her. But I have to know what curse she had brought? What did Jal mean? What did Mama know?

“Eliza, darling child. Gifted daughter of my love. Please look at me. Do not look away. I cannot bear your disdain. He was the same with me. Please, it will break me apart if you turn me aside. Let me explain. There is so much I have to tell you. I have kept this secret too long. I did not want to burden you with my secret. But now I see it was never my secret, it was always our secret. Jal’s and mine. Eliza, look at me. I beseech you as your mother. Eliza.”

Her voice is tinged purple with desperation. At the second mention of Jal in as many moments, I turn to her. I truly look at her. I look at her as a woman, a soul, with my second sight. I can see the purple air of desperation colouring her shadow. Her eyes are wide and bright with fear. Her brow is knotted with effort. She is my mama. She must protect me. I pull myself together with effort trying to ignore the childish hum in the background.

“Mama. You must tell me. What secret that belongs to you and Jal? What curse? Is it the girl? Is it the placings that Jal keeps on talking about? Mama, what have you done?”

My mother looks at me then. She looks at me not as her daughter, she sees me for the woman I am. I recognise my image reflected in her eyes. A strong woman caught in a secret not hers. I see a deep indigo bleed into the purple air surrounding her. It is the indigo of guilt. I know where I have seen that indigo before. It is often around Father. What had she done? What had they done? All I want at that moment is release. I want to run from that room and never return. But a force stronger than my fear holds me there. My anger holds me locked in place. I fear this new dangerous emotion more than any other. I have run too long from this emotion. I have run too long from myself. My anger holds me gripped in its black grasp. I am its prisoner as much as its gaoler. I wait for Mama to speak her piece. My thoughts have finally pulled together in one single heavy black strand.

Mama takes a deep breath and starts talking.

– Excerpt from Ring a Ring o’ Roses

– Book 1 of The Curse`d Trilogy © All Rights Reserved Kim Koning.

My last task in this is to tag seven other people to participate. I have tried to tag people who have not already been tagged in the Lucky 7 Meme. So here I’ve chosen:

Rebecca Berto blogs @ Novel Girl

Rachna Chhabria blogs @ Rachna’s Scriptorium

Simon C. Larter @ Write Drunk, Edit Sober

Nina D’Arcangela blogs @ Sotet Angyal

Trish Loye Elliot blogs @ Word Bitches and Trish Loye Flagging Down the Mother Ship

Leanne Shirtliffe blogs @ Word Bitches and Ironic Mom

Elene Aitken blogs @ Word Bitches and Don’t Forget to Breathe

I also received a Blogger Award this week: The Kreativ Blogger Award

The Rules

A: Thank my nominator and provide a link to their blog.

B: List seven things that readers might find interesting about me.

C: Nominate seven other bloggers.

  • A: My nominator is the lovely Kellie Larsen Murphy who blogs @ The Dog Ate My Novel – She nominates me here. Thank you Kellie! Check out her blog…she has some excellent posts and I absolutely love the title of her blog.
  • B: 7 Things that are interesting about me
  1. In High School I wanted to become a Pathologist.
  2. I am terrified of bats – I cannot even look at a picture of them.
  3. When I was a baby, I suffered from febrile seizures and medically “died” from my heart stopping.
  4. I hate swimming in a swimming pool by myself as I have a phobia of drowning in a swimming pool.
  5. My strangest and shortest day job was 4 hours in the butchery department of a grocery store – this put me off eating meat for about 6 weeks. 
  6. I have been trained to take down armed hijackers – from my days as an international flight attendant.
  7. I have the gift of being a horse-whisperer – an ability I inherited from my great-grandfather.
  • C: It was really difficult to pick bloggers to nominate here because every blogger I follow and all my blogging friends have awesome blogs all worthy of being awarded but I decided to nominate the following 7 Bloggers who I have not yet had a chance to nominate for any awards…So here my 7 nominations are:
  1. Mary Beth Coudal blogs @ My Rules
  2. Jaye Manus blogs @ J W Manus
  3. Aniko Carmean blogs @ The Happy Horror Writer
  4. Penelope Crowe blogs @ As The Crowe Flies
  5. Marie Loughin blogs @ Marie Loughin’s I WANNA BE…
  6. Paul D. Dail blogs @ A Horror Writer’s Not Necessarily Horrific Blog
  7. Jonathan D. Allen blogs @ Shaggin The Muse

Back from the Wilds… with an Award

Image courtesy of puilee

Image courtesy of puilee

I am back from the Wilds of life with no blogging for a month. After blogging almost every day in December it felt very strange to go a month and a bit without blogging. But the rest was well needed. Life outside the world wide web was very busy with a house move, buying new battery for the Macbook and various other family emergencies, chores and errands. It has indeed been a busy start to 2012. But I am back. Well rested, ready, willing and able to get back to the business of blogging. This month I am going to give you more of a glimpse into my WIP with teasers of my cover, interview with my Amazing cover artist and background into the back story and inspiration of this trilogy. As I was without a computer due to my Macbook battery giving up its ghost, I got a lot of reading done so I will be sharing and linking to the reviews as well as featuring some exciting debut books coming out by my talented bevy of writing pals. So I am truly back in the business of online communication! Hello 2012 and Hello February.

But first…I am come back holding aloft my two-time nomination and win for The Versatile Blogger Award. My good friend and cp, Melissa Pearl nominated this blog and this blogger for The Versatile Blogger award a couple of weeks ago. I love receiving awards – who doesn’t? But I love it even more when the award comes from another writer I adore and respect. Which is the case in the case of Melissa Pearl – YA author and time travel specialist. Thank you Mel! 🙂

So I am supposed to list five things you didn’t know about me…Mmmh scratching head commences.

1) Everyone who knows me knows I am a confirmed gypsy at heart and love nothing more than a new stamp in my passport or at the very least the open road and a new road trip to Destination Anywhere….but what you maybe didn’t know is that I always travel alone. There are three main reasons why I travel alone.

i.) I am very independent and impulsive and all my trips whether just down the road or overseas are spur-of-the-moment whims. This tends to leave nobody else anytime to prepare to go with me. But then those that love me know that I am a free spirit when it comes to travel. Plans are just so mundane. Much better and more exciting to just up-and-go when the desire hits.

ii) I am a very independent and adventurous traveller. Again you would think this would make me a fun traveling companion and people would be queuing to sign up to travel with me. Think again. When I say adventurous, I mean adventurous. I don’t stick to a plan, I never go to the “tourist spots” and I love nothing more than hitting the unknown spots, leaving urban areas behind me and going out and exploring.

iii) The last reason why I am a solo traveller is probably the one I shouldn’t state here as it will definitely ensure my solo-travelling days. But in the interests of full disclosure…The third and final reason why I am a solo traveller is for the safety of any would be companions. You see, natural disasters tend to haunt all of my travels. I am not kidding here. Earthquake, cyclone, snowstorm, flood, 3 day hailstorm in a desert that usually only sees a couple of days of rain a year…these are just a few of actual natural disasters that have occurred when I decide on a whim to travel somewhere. So if you are a daredevil thrill-seeker, you may want to sign up to be my traveling companion. If you are an armchair traveller who loves nothing more than a relaxing holiday at the beach with a good book in hand – don’t pick me as your travel companion.

2) My favourite desert is cut up banana in custard. Oh I love chocolate cake, cheesecake, and other such scrumptiousness but my tried and true guilt-free pleasure is and will always be banana in custard. Guilt-free? Yes guilt-free because it is a healthy dessert. No, I swear it is. Think of it. Banana + Custard = Fruit + Dairy . So tell me how that is not healthy for you. Got you there. If you have not tried this dessert nor heard of this dessert, do yourself a favour and try it. You will not regret it. Mmmh think I am going to dish up a bowlful for myself after this blog is done.

3) My two guilty pleasure programs on television: All things Kardashian and Vampire Diaries. Yes I can see all the tsks tsks and head-shaking. But I don’t care. The Kardashian family is a family you can’t help but watch whether you want to or not. As for The Vampire Diaries…..I love the storyline, love the characters, love the back story and before you wonder whether I am Team Damian or Team Stefan I will tell you that I am both. Although to be fair in the current season I am little more slanted towards Team Damian. Who does not love a delicious bad boy vampire?

4) I am addicted to my collection of Archie comics….Not heard of them? I am shocked! Really shocked. I am talking about Archie, Bettie, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead and their adventures in the town of Riverdale. I still have 2 suitcases of these comics and digests and reread them any chance I get. They usually live in my bathroom so that I can take them out and read them while soaking in the tub. In fact I love a lot of comics or should I use the more pc term of Graphic Novels. They bring out the kid in me.

5) I am Carrie from Sex and the City when it comes to writing, dating and friends. Writing – like hers – is a passion of mine and many a time I have toyed with writing about the escapades of my dating life. As for dating, while that is an entirely other story but suffice to say I have had the disastrous dates with internet dates, millionaires, bad boys, weird guys. I have also had my Mr Big and my Aidan. But all of the dating and relationship woes and dramas have led me to rely on my friendships. Like Carrie I have AMAZING friends. They can be called upon in all times and like Carrie I have come to the conclusion that: “Maybe our girlfriends are our soul mates and guys are just people to have fun with.”

So ta-da there you have it…five things you may not have known about me.

Now to award fellow bloggers I find worthy of The Versatile Blogger Award…Drum roll please musicians…

Annetta Ribken’s Word Webbing

This lady is snarky, straight-talking, no BS, hilarious and as if that is not enough a very talented freelance editor and writer. Quite simply it is my diagnosis that you have to take a spoonful of Annetta’s word spinning on her blog at least once a week for good health and good humor.

Jessica McHugh’s No Vacation from Speculation

Those who know and love her simply call her The McHugh. She is a talented writer, poet, lover of speculative fiction and horror. She also has a wicked sense of humor and a wicked sense of the macabre. I love her because her blog never fails to entertain me. You will love her for the same reasons.

Eden Baylee’s Exciting, Exotic, Extremely Erotic

Eden is one of the kindest and most generous erotic writers you will ever meet. She is a very talented erotica author and a tireless blogger and social networker. Everyone that knows her loves her. What’s not to love? Like she says: Exciting, Exotic and Extremely Erotic. Follow her. Now.

Al Boudreau

This writer is a tireless Indie author promoter as well as a top thriller author as well. He is also my good friend and one of my favourite men in the writing world. His blog is a smart and intelligent take on the life of an indie author. You will want to read this Charming Gentleman’s blog immediately. Go now.

Paul D. Dail’s “A Horror Writer’s not necessarily Horrific Blog”

I got to know Paul through two blog hops we took part in 2011. The CoffinHop and Creepfest. Since then I have become not only friends with Paul but also a fan of both his blog and his writing. I enjoy each of his posts and love his style of writing. Follow his blog. You will not be sorry.

So there you have it folks….my first blogging back from the wilds….award in hand and passing it on to these five worthy bloggers, authors and friends. Follow them. That is my prognosis for a healthy day.

Watch this space tomorrow for the featured and much awaited interview with my AMAZING cover artist. I would love to keep her all to myself but she is just too amazing and talented a cover artist to not share with the world. And I am in a generous mood so tomorrow I will share her with you. So come back tomorrow for the featured interview. You will not want to miss that post.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

#HolidayHop ‘s Winning Fairytale is ….

These are the #HolidayHop Authors...

IT is the 28th of December…

As promised here is the Winning Author…

Thank you to all the authors who participated…I enjoyed every fairytale…

But it is a contest which means there is a Winner…

To find out whose re-imagined fairytale won the grand prized of a printed copy of the anthology,

Tales for Canterbury…click on the golden laurel image below…

It will take you to the lucky Author’s blog…

Click on this image to take you to the winning author's blog...

 

 

 

 

#Creepfest and in creeps a green elf bearing the name of winners … it may be you…

Click on the Creepmas tree to take you to more creepy posts on the blog tour...Hurry! There are Prizes!

It’s the 24th…the last night of Creepfest…the night before Christmas…

and in creeps a green elf…

She bears the names of 2 winners …

tales of Creepmas to spin was their task…

Their houses visited by the Ghost of Creepmas Past…

what horrors did he foretell, what terrors did he awaken…

The Ghost of Creepmas Past took you to the dark place of your Nightmares…

Tim C Ward

…this was his trip back in time courtesy of the Ghost of Creepmas Past…

He took me back to a time when my ears stuck out and my mom covered them with my shaggy hair. My brother and I had only one present that year, a long electronic train set. We shouted at the top of our joy when we entered the living room–me in my dino pjs and he in his ninja turtles. I pushed him aside; he hit his head on the corner of the couch and cried. I took a seat at the controls near the train station, flicked the switch, pressed the red button. Nothing happened.
My mom looked at me, hiding most of her face behind the hall. “I’m sorry. It doesn’t work.”
Tears burned as if they were lava trails burning my sorrow into permanent scars down my cheeks. The salty taste creeping over my lips drove nails through my heart. This was the worst Christmas ever.
The blood dripping down my brother’s nose and the shade of purple coloring his squinted face were too much to bear. I went to hug him but fell right through his form.
I looked up at the Ghost of Christmas. “Take me away. I’m going to be sick”

 

Ash Krafton

…this was her trip back in time courtesy of the Ghost of Creepmas Past…

 I could never sleep on Christmas Eve. I’d lie in bed, listening to my baby sister snoring, straining to hear what was going on down the hall.

Every noise would make me sit up. Was that a sleigh bell? Were those hooves tapping on the roof? The wearier I got, the more frequent the noises became.

A creek from the closet. Did Santa come out of the wrong side of the chimney and fall into my closet? Would he find my Barbies and decide I didn’t need any more toys? Would he find where I hid Sissy’s squeaky baby doll? I *hated* that thing and hid it so she wouldn’t annoy me with it. Baby toys were stupid but if Santa found it, he wouldn’t understand. He’d just bump me onto the naughty list.

The night wore on. I heard breathing outside my window. Was that a reindeer? Why did it growl? Did they eat children? Did they only eat the naughty ones?

Dawn came. I jumped out of the bed and ran to my mom’s room. “Merry Christmas!” I shrieked, relieved the ordeal was over.

“Back to bed,” mom mumbled. “Today’s not Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve.”

Congratulations to both Tim and Ash…I loved both flash pieces…

Happy Creepfest & Merry Christmas! 🙂