Monday, October 29, 2012

Original Short - The Shimmers

Loretta took another drag of her cigarette.  The smoke burned all the way down into her lungs, feeling like she had just swallowed a red-hot briquette, and coughed out the smoke.

“Baby, you are SUCH a lightweight!” Mick laughed.  He passed her the bottle of tequila.  “Here, this should help.”

“You are such an asshole,” she spat back at him.  “You shouldn't even be driving right now.  Pull over and let me drive.”

“I’m fine,” Mick said.  “I always drink better when I drive.  You can’t even…”  A bright flash of light filled the sky, cutting Mick off in mid-rant.  He threw his left arm over his eyes and slammed on the brakes, bringing the car to an abrupt halt as the front of the car crumpled inward, the metal screaming in pain. 

“What the fuck did I hit?”  Mick said.  “Babe, are you okay?”

 “Huh?”  Loretta said, turning towards Mick.  “Yeah, I think so.  You?”

“I’m good,” he said as he unbuckled his seat belt.  “I’m gonna go check this out.  You stay there.”

“No way, I’m coming with you,” Loretta replied.  She unsnapped her seat belt and tried the door, but it wouldn't budge.  “Help me get my door open.”

Mick got out and went around to the passenger side.  He grabbed a hold of the door handle and placed his left foot on the side panel and pulled.  As the door swung open, Mick went down on his ass. 

“Smooth move, ex-lax,” she laughed, helping him up.

“The 80’s called,” he said.  “They want their jokes back.  I can’t see a thing out here.  There should be a flashlight in the trunk.”

As if on cue, a huge beam of light invaded the night sky, and an ear-shattering din filled their heads.  They cringed and covered their ears, unable to hear their own screams over the roar.  The reverberation stopped abruptly as the light changed to a soft glow. 

In front of the car was a huge structure.  It was raised a hundred feet off of the ground by six glimmering beams, each radiating a different and unique hue.  They appeared to be made of steel from one angle; glass from another.  Mick approached the beam his car had smashed into and reached out.  He pulled his hand back suddenly, the beam so cold it burned.

They walked underneath the structure and looked up.  The underside of the structure appeared to be made of the same material as the beams, but also had the illusion of movement, as if under water.

“She is beautiful, no?” A voice from behind froze them in place.  “It is quite unfortunate that you are here.”  He was neither young nor old, with features just out of the reach of human comprehension, shimmering like the structure above them.  He didn't quite walk towards them as glide, and the air around him smelled like sour milk and tasted like the seashore with undertones of rotting fish.  Touching their shoulders, all three of them vanished.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Original Short - The Window

“They call it The Window,” she said.  Her eyes would not meet mine as she hesitated.

“Go on,” I prompted, afraid to hear what she had to say, but knowing my life depended on it.

“They say it has been here for thousands of years,” she continued.  “It was here when man first crawled from the sea, and it will be here long after you and yours are dead and buried.”  As she continued, she lifted her gaze, but did not see.  It was as if someone…some thing…was now speaking through her.  Her eyes were not her own now.  Colors and shadows swam across her pupils, which were huge and black as death.  I tried to look away, but couldn’t, as goose bumps crawled along my flesh, and the hair on the back of my neck rose.

“He who had once ruled this land,” she continued.  “He who was forsaken in favor of the weak…they say He lives beyond the shimmering glass of The Window.  He who will return and reign terror and fire and blood upon the Earth once more.  It is He whom we serve.  It is for Him we give our lives.”

Before I could move, she pulled out a long, dark blade and drove it into her chest.  Raising her hands toward the sky, she let loose an ear-piercing scream as I watched…as if hypnotized…as the blade began to twist in her chest.  I stepped forward, only to be thrown backward by an invisible force, as she collapsed to the ground, writhing and undulating under the blade.

I lifted myself up on my elbows and stared as the woman I had met only minutes earlier finally stopped moving.  The blade dropped from her wracked body and disintegrated into dust.  Clouds that were not there earlier moved in front of the sun, as lightning flashed blindingly across the sky and thunder came crashing down from the heavens.

And still, my body aching as if tiny pins were digging into the very nerve center of my brain, I got up.  As if on will power alone, I moved with all the resolve of a parent who had to save his child, and walked toward The Window.  As my hand reached forward, a dark crimson light began to pulsate behind it.  A mind-numbing buzz began in the back of my head, moving across the temples and into the forehead.  I closed my eyes and prayed, tightening my hands into fists, the nails digging into the palms of my hands, willing the pain from behind my eyes…until it was gone.

When I opened my eyes, the woman was gone, but The Window was still there.  The skies had cleared up again, and the pulsing crimson behind The Window was now just a pleasing shade of pink.  I hesitantly reached out towards the glass, pushed inward, and walked through.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Original short - Living fiction

I had to take some time away. I’d been having nightmares; not just random nightmares, either. This has never happened to me before, but the nightmares featured a horrible, evil little man. I’ve created sinister characters in the past, but they’ve never left me afraid to fall asleep.

I put the manuscript in the top left drawer of my desk in the study, locked it, and left. Just took off. As I was pulling out of the driveway, something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I slammed on the brakes and held back a scream.

“I was saying hello,” he said, “but you had a look 100 miles away. Sorry for startling you. I just moved in across the street and am in need of a ladder, if you have one. Oh, by the by, my name is Mel; Mel Evolent.”

“No!” I yelled, and sped away. I turned right on the next corner and pulled into the high school parking lot, barely having enough wherewithal to hit the brakes and put the car in park before breaking down and crying.

“I must be going crazy,” I thought. I slapped myself twice, the sting bringing tears to my eyes, and tried to convince myself I was still asleep and having another of those nightmares. It was no use. I was definitely awake, and most likely slipping into the depths of insanity.

“I must have misunderstood his name,” I rationalized. “There’s no way he can look like him AND have his name too.” I sat there, trying to reason this all out. Same name, same hair and eye color, same creepy little nose.

“He asked for a ladder,” I whispered. The character in my book used a ladder to climb up on people’s roofs at night and slip through the highest windows that people never kept locked (I needed to do something about the one in my house), and murder people in their beds.

“If I steal all the ladders in the neighborhood, he’ll have to go buy one, and they can trace that back to him,” I said. “He’s too smart for that.”

A week later, I had a dozen ladders in my garage. I tried to convince myself that I had done enough, but knowing what I really had to do, until I heard sirens coming up the street. Four police cars stopped in front of my house, the officers got out and crouched behind their patrol cars, pulled their guns, and told me to stop right where I was. A crime scene investigator came out of my garage after the cops had me on the ground and handcuffed.

“There’s a lot of blood on two of the ladders,” she said. “We won’t know for sure until we get them back to the lab, but it doesn’t look good for this guy.”

I looked across the street, and there was Mel, standing on his front steps, a knowing little grin on his face.