Holding Back The Dark

Three little girls, each smiling so sweetly,
All brushed their teeth and combed their hair neatly
They crawled into their beds and said goodnight
And then their dear mother turned out the light

It was Mommy and Daddy’s monthly date
Dinner and dancing would keep them out late
So they called a school girl with bright red hair
To watch the kids while they wouldn’t be there

The sitter said “Goodbye, go have a ball!”
And went to the kitchen to make a call
She ordered pizza, two extra larges
And headed off to check on her charges

But in the girls’ bedroom, something was wrong
The smell of sulfur, a strange, whispered song,
The girls snapped upright and threw back the sheets
Now was the time to stop being so sweet

They leaped out of bed and grabbed the sitter
Pulled out her hair and hit her and hit her
They tied her with ropes and dragged her upstairs
And chained her to an old, broken chair

The three little girls played a wicked game
Calling things from afar that have no name
Standing in the attic, they drew a star,
A nine-horned goat, and a woman with scars

They summoned a creature with their dark curse
That holds back the edge of the universe
A wall between us and our unknown fears
Keeping out the ones that ache to be here

The attic walls vanished, darkness crawled in
A thing with knives living under its skin
A sound like wind, and vast wings being spread
The girls gave a name to this nameless dread

“It’s not time for bed, and not time for tea,
It’s time to join Mother Eternity
Mother dwells in between her world and ours
And holds back the things from beyond the stars

“Don’t act so frightened, you little coward
Now it’s time for you to be devoured
I’m glad it will be you instead of me
Dying for our Mother Eternity”

The girls grabbed her throat and long knives slit her
And silenced the screams of their poor sitter
And the creature dragged her to a new place
Outside of time, and beyond all of space

It tore her flesh with teeth without number
And retired for another year’s slumber
Until the girls would stop acting so nice
And bring it a new sitter sacrifice

Deathbed Tale

Deathbed Tale

Thank you all for coming. I am glad to see you all here, even though you are undoubtedly more concerned for your inheritance than for me. I’ve been a cold-hearted bastard for a lot of years, even more than you know. I can’t imagine that you’ll ever forgive me for what I’ve done, so I only ask that you judge my deeds in the proper context. That is why I have called you here – to tell you about my life and my sin, and to explain why one of you will die with me.

I grew up in a nothing town in the Arizona desert. Not even a Post Office; just a school, a diner, and the last gas station before the highway to Las Vegas. The only thing I had in the world was my friends. There wasn’t much to do, but we had so much fun that I never worried about the future.

I remember one night, desperate for anything to do besides homework, we had a game of hide-and-seek in the cemetery. Read more…

The Sound of Charlotte

The Sound of Charlotte

A

t first, I would cut myself so deeply that my shirt would be soaked in my own blood. I used to cut myself all the time, until I learned to relax and let the blade guide my hand. A six inch blade, stainless steel, handle made of ivory. They’re dangerous as hell, but nothing shaves as close as an old-fashioned straight razor.

After a quick shower, I put the stopper in the drain so I can run Charlotte a bath. Charlotte is still in bed. I head back to the bedroom and lift her out of bed, taking her across the hall and lowering her gently into the tub.

Even now, she is still so beautiful. Pale white skin, hair a cascading waterfall of black curls. Her lips are tattooed blood red, permanent makeup. I turn on the taps again, until the water is high enough to cover her breasts. She never liked being naked around me, never liked it when I looked at her.

I come back to the bedroom to get dressed. Black pants, dark blue blazer, and black knit cap. I hear Charlotte’s voice calling from the bathroom. “Leo, honey? Could you pick up some pasta and cottage cheese on your way home? I feel like manicotti tonight.”

“You don’t need anything,” I shout. “We’ve talked about this before.”

“Please, Leo? I haven’t had any really good Italian food for so long. Please?”

“Fine, fine. I’ll bring you your pasta. Anything to make you happy.”

I slip the razor in my pocket and leave for work. I have to creep quietly down the stairs so the landlady doesn’t hear me leave. I owe her several months back rent. I get on the subway, and think about Charlotte all the way there. Charlotte and the razor.

Read more…

So a woman walks into a bar…

So a woman walks into a bar…

P

retty crowded in here tonight. Mind if I sit next to you? There aren’t any other open stools. Thank you kindly. What’s that you’re drinking? Black Russian? Sounds good, think I’ll get me one of those.

I see you’ve noticed my hand. – No, no apologies needed. I’m not self-conscious about it, not after all these years. You can look all you want. After all, it’s not every day you see a man missing two fingers. – Wood shop? No, not hardly. Much more interesting story than that.

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Oxygen

Oxygen

E

ric stopped at the corner to rest, just for a moment. His lungs burned. The lab tech had given up chasing him after just a few blocks, but these things were relentless. He held himself up against the streetlight, shivering in its sickly glow. There was no point in staying in the darkness. They could smell him.

Behind him, the sound of shoes scraping across the blacktop. Getting closer. “If they see you,” he thought, “they’ll start howling again.”

Move!

Read more…

Id

Id

“B

lack twenty-two!” called the croupier. That made twelve numbers in a row I’d lost. I started to wonder if that was enough to make it look believable. Well, it was too late now. My tiny friend and I had already agreed on the thirteenth number. The little guy had a thing for the number thirteen. I placed my next bet, and the croupier spun the wheel again.

The men and women at the table had their heads bowed, watching the tiny ball spin. It was almost as if they were praying to it. It was a tiny god deciding the fate of every man at the table. Or it would have, if it weren’t for my tiny demon.

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Dead Water

Dead Water

B

illy Skaggs and the search party had a long trip ahead of them. They had found the horse, but the trip back home would be three days’ ride through the middle of the Nevada desert. Billy loaded his saddle bags with two full canteens, a map, and what was left of the food. “Hey, everybody,” he called, “Ready to go?”

Pappy, Billy’s boss, had come to him four days ago with an important mission. One of the horses had broken through a fence and wandered into the desert. “Now, normally I would never send you out after just one horse,” he said. “I’ve got hundreds of ‘em, so losing just one ain’t nothing I’m too troubled ’bout. But this here horse is different. I was going t’ ride ‘em out to town, ’cause I needs t’ get my watch repaired. The clock maker is a friend of mine, and I was going t’ shows him my antique, silver-plated revolver. And wouldn’t you know it, before I could leave, the horse escaped!”

“And,” said Billy, wanting to cut to the chase, “It has your antique revolver in the saddle bags.”

“It sure does! Now Billy, I need you t’ go look for ‘em. Take three of the other ranch hands and form a search party. The horse escaped about six hours ago, so you need t’ get goin’ right away!”

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Darkness Under The Stars

Darkness Under The Stars

A

leister Stephens flicked off his flashlight and waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. The moon slowly shed its blanket of clouds and shivered in the cool, autumn night.

Aleister blinked and rubbed his eyes, the cemetery coming into focus. He crept slowly across the grounds, following the path worn into the grass by countless mourners. He stopped at the foot of an immense, granite crypt. The crypt had been erected a hundred years prior, despite the protest of local churches. It was covered in runes and sigils, the ancient signs of alchemy and dark magic. The man buried there had ordered the engravings, believing that they would protect his soul from the baneful devils that he had called up so often to serve him. Unfortunately for him, the mystical carvings did nothing to stop grave robbers.

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At Night, My Mind Goes Walking

At Night, My Mind Goes Walking

E

ver have that feeling that you’re forgetting something? You’re packing for a trip, and you get everything loaded in the car. You walk out of the house and get in the car and you know, you just know, that you’re leaving something important behind. I feel like that a lot. Most of the time it’s just paranoia. Except for last weekend. It was a Friday night, and I had just walked through my front door, when it hit me: my mind was missing again.

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I, Scavenger

I, Scavenger

T

hey always come to me at night. I fall asleep, and they climb out of their frozen tombs, creep into my bed, and scream. “I can feel the emptiness inside! I know what you did! Where is the rest of me?”

Some nights they don’t say anything at all. They just come, dragging enormous bags of wet sand. They bury me in it. I just lie there, unable to move, choking to death.

Please understand, I am not an evil man. I never thought I was hurting anyone!

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