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Latest Stories

December 05, 2022
General Stories M Da Costa

Only Sixty Five

Standing outside the supermarket Harold noted the diminishing line of trolleys. It’s going to be busy, like last week. Tuesday was ‘pensioners’ day; besides the specials, it was a time to socialise. His wife, Mavis, was an imposing lady and thanks to her job…
December 05, 2022
Poetry Peter Greenhall

On The Come Down

What a weekend, How great was that? Total mayhem, Too much of that. Sliding down the walls, Excessive sweating too, Can't keep still, Body is aching through and through. Then come the shivers, Poison in my blood, Wish I could detox, Gun in my hand, I really…
December 05, 2022
General Stories D.A. Cairns

A Place of Refuge

“I’m so tired of this weather,” said Spider. “Me too,” agreed Beetle. “I want to be out running around in the sweet, long grass feeling the sun on my back.” She extended and beat her wings suddenly out of frustration. “Calm down,” said Spider. “It can’t rain…
December 05, 2022
Poetry Peter Greenhall

Relief Its Over

Thank god we no longer exist, A couple, Together, A faded mist Smiles and laughter, At times it was great, Who could be dafter?, Oh for f**k sake. Then the intimacy began, Between us two, Drinking and flirting, I've got feelings for you. Kisses, a connection,…
December 05, 2022
Romance Stories L Christopher Hennessy

Exploring The Nature Of It

Part One Holding open the door for her was always the better part of my day when life, as it does, places people together, for whatever reason. Our reason was to learn. Her name I prefer to keep to myself and her eyes still have me mistaken. Dark green, I…
November 10, 2022
Horror Stories Robert Pettus

Three Musky Tears

A hulking drop of sizzling, putrid acid-rain crashed with force into Carew Tower, crumbling thousands of the old khaki bricks, sending them falling weightily downward hundreds of feet to the street below—its Art Deco, classic beauty now destroyed. Another…
November 01, 2022
Poetry Ava

Company None

Set up a company. None. I am thinking of what it should be. None. Hard to tell. None of my business. Anywhere and everywhere, ‘How To Discuss What Matters Most’. Live or die. I am on my way to Cambridge. Whether it is your negotiation or your solution, I…
November 01, 2022
Poetry Peter Greenhall

Economy

How can we see this through, Rates rising, Inflation too, How much more, Can we take from you? Blame the war, A far gone place, Energy crisis, In your face. Not of our making, Nor the Russian people too, NATO expansion, Putin warned not too. Costs are way too…
November 01, 2022
General Stories Lawrence Hartmann

The City

She was 40 years old. Halfway to eighty, she thought. Half her life is over. “Today is my birthday,” she said to the waiter at the café. “Happy birthday, ma’am,” the young handsome man said to her. People were calling her “ma’am” now. Was she looking like a…
October 20, 2022
Poetry Ava

Wait For The Sunrise

A morning, Suddenly rain, Not so early, Wait for the sunrise. A typical night, It was raining, Prevented the outdoor artwork, Went back to word. I feel the feeling, It’s from you, But it’s not about me, Save the word. I feel the feeling, Just like you in me,…
October 20, 2022
Poetry Peter Greenhall

The Boys

 Boys, boys, boys, Who do you wanna be, A good boy, naughty boy, or An apple from a bad tree. Boys, boys, boys, The choice is yours to see, Read book's, University, Safe, reliable. Boys, boys, boys, What do you want to do?, Fighting, earning, and screwing, No…
October 20, 2022
Mystery Stories Norman Marcotte

The Nose Knows

The two detectives walked slowly down the path of a blooming field. It was 8:40 am on a sunny Sunday morning when they were called to the suburb of Mapleridge. All they were told was to investigate a situation whereby a body had been found in a park behind a…

STOP DOING THAT!

David Krane knew something was wrong the moment he stepped foot into the town. Not just the sort of wrong he was used to. No, not that at all. It was really, really wrong.

Wrong was one hell of an understatement.


The unsettling fog shifted and spun around him like a spectral embrace as he walked, his heavy boots crunching on gravel and broken glass. He almost left cold fingers brush against his face, but it was probably the wind.

Yes, it was definitely the wind.

Countless houses were boarded up on the streets, their window panes covered with tape and plastic. Metal skirtings blocked gates, and doors had massive wooden boards nailed to them. Rubbish, blackened bins, wrecked cars and broken toys were thrown everywhere, like some giant had emptied his bins on the streets. Krane had never been anywhere this unsettling…or quiet. He shivered despite the warm coat. He liked to think he had seen it all, but he knew it was a lie. His thoughts were cut off as he stepped on a splintered piece of wood, a stabbing pain spiking through his heel.

‘Shit,’ he murmured, stumbling over to a rotting bench and examining his injuries. A nail or a shard of glass had pierced his shoe and breached skin, drawing blood. He wrenched his boot off and examined the cut. Suddenly the bench he was sitting on collapsed, sending a crackling noise bouncing down the streets. Confused by the situation he got to his feet and dusted himself off.

‘Hehe. Hehe, haha.’

It sounded like child laughing.

It felt like an icy bucket of water had been emptied inside him. He glanced around, looking for the source of the sound. There was nothing.

He could have sworn he heard a child laughing.

I’m losing my mind, he thought. His hand instinctively reached for the ‘puffer’ in his pocket. At least there was no one around here to hide it from. He pressed on the trigger and sucked on the gush of the delicious poison. His head bounced around for a moment and then everything came back to normal.

‘Now, where to?’ He glanced quickly at the directions on the sketchy map that he had been given. He spotted the marked house and set off, his pace slightly faster than before.

He just couldn’t shake the feeling that someone – or something was watching him. Watching, watching, watching, watching…

WHY? WHY ME?

*

The date is the 12th of Nov, 20--. I’ve arrived at ---------. It’s quiet. Where the hell is everyone? It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It feels…different. I just wanna get this done and get the hell out of here and never, ever, ever come back.

*

The rusty swings in the park rattled in the wind, their chains whimpering and shaking with terror. Krane did his best to ignore it, stepping over a pile of rubbish and navigating his way through a graveyard of broken building scaffolds and timber panelings. He turned up the stairs and onto a balcony that was soaked with rain and moss, possessive black vines snaking up the woodwork. He tried the door handle, surprised to find that it was open. He entered the dimly lit house, the hallway aligned with still portraits of what was probably the former residents. They looked hollow and empty, as if someone had sucked all life and joy out of them with a straw.

Suddenly the door slammed shut with a gigantic clang. He walked back to investigate.

Somehow he wasn’t surprised to find that it was locked.

WHY DON’T YOU JUST TURN AROUND FOR A MOMENT?

*

I swear I’m going crazy. No disrespect to the people that used to live here, but this is one screwed up town. And what’s with all the toys on the ground?

*

There was a half-eaten slice of cake in the kitchen, and Krane hadn’t eaten in hours. He greedily wolfed it down, not even caring how old it was. It was only when he was hungrily chewing on it did he realize that it was warm and tasted fresh. He quickly swallowed and gazed at the cake. It couldn’t have been cooked recently…half these houses had been empty for years. The thick dust on the floor could attest to that.

He gave up trying to think about an answer. Logic never got him anywhere in situations like this, and it certainly wouldn’t help him now. Glancing down at the plate he noticed the words “slice of life” engraved on it in loopy letters.

Slice of life, he thought. Heh.

Another one of those awful portraits hung in the kitchen. Actually this one wasn’t so awful. It showed an old woman with a weather-beaten face, chuckling at some private joke as she smoked on a heavy pipe. He raised the cake in her direction. ‘Grandma, you make some damn good cake.’

He didn’t expect a response and wasn’t disappointed. The portrait didn’t move.

It was time to find a way out of the house. He turned around to go when he noticed that the fridge was on. Now that was strange. He grasped the rusty handle and yanked it open.

Countless body parts were aligned neatly across the shelves, their stumps still bleeding heavily as their bucketed their contents onto the floor. Krane slammed the door shut, almost tripping backwards in his haste to get out of the house.

In the hallway it just got worse. Images were flashing before his eyes, colours screaming at him, twisting, turning. Three bloodied corpses in the hallway, lashings of blood on the walls and floor. The portraits all staring, their faces contorting into savage snarls. Something screaming. An axe being lifted and smashing down. A fire. Smoke, ash, burning. Things burning. Burning, burning, burning.

Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit….

He fumbled for his puffer, and with shaky hands inhaled deeply. His squeezed his eyes shut and opened them again.

It was all gone.

Barely able to stand up straight, he stumbled into the next room, barely hearing the door behind him slam and lock shut.

HEHEHEHEH. YOU’RE REALLY CLUELESS, AREN’T YOU? YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE COME HERE, BUT YOU PROBABLY KNOW THAT BY NOW.

*

Was it that cake? No, it can’t be. And how the HELL is there a freshly baked cake here? No. I can’t focus on that now…I need to…do what I have to do. Then I’ll leave.

*

After everything he had ever seen in his entire life, nothing came close to this.

He had been in this room for a good hour now, and there was still no way out. His puffer was running low. If he became stuck here without it….

No. Don’t give in.

It was an old lounge room with antique furniture and a shimmering mirror that let off a sensation that really bothered him. When he approached the mirror, it seemed to glow and sent a vibration pulsing through the air, making a low hissing noise as it did.

He noticed a .45 caliber revolver lying smugly on the desk. Aiming at the mirror he fired off the three rounds. The sounds were deafening, but none of those sounds were the mirror shattering. It stood there mocking him and impenetrable as always. He threw the gun down in anger, on the verge of giving up.

It was then that he noticed half the items in the room weren’t visible in the mirror, such as the lamp on the desk. He could see himself walking over to it, but when it picked it up the movement was not visible in the mirror. It showed him holding empty air.

‘Huh.’ He let his hand go limp, dropping the lamp. It smashed to the ground, making a loud smash that was louder than it had any right to be. When he looked in the mirror he saw something materializing on the desk. A few moments later he saw that it was the lamp, a perfect reflection of what had been there a few moments ago. But when he looked back at the floor, the lamp bronze shards were shattered into countless pieces.

Was it because I broke it?

What else was different? Gazing carefully into the mirror, he noticed there were a few objects that he could see, but the mirror couldn’t. Waking over to a picture frame – one that showed a large spiral tower, completely drawn with black charcoal – he dislodged it from the wall, tearing the image from the frame. Just like the lamp, the mirror showed the eerie picture where it had been a few moments ago, framed perfectly on the wall.

Not even considering the why or how, he started destroying everything he could see in the room that differed from the mirror’s reflection. A vase, a toy UFO, a plastic stick, a CD-ROM, and an umbrella.

But it still didn’t change anything.

It was then it noticed the purple candle in the corner. He walked over to it, a sudden inkling coming over him. Reaching into his jacket pocket he brought out a lighter, flicking a hungry blue flame into the air. He lit the candle and stepped back, a strange smell seeping into the air.

He jumped as the mirror behind him shattered, giant fragments of glass spilling onto the floor. He did it.

Gingerly stepping over the glass splinters, he headed into the next room.

THIS IS REALLY FUN!

*

I need to get out of here. I’ll come here for what I came for and then get out. This place wants to destroy me…

*

Krane walked down the dusty hallway, wiping the cobwebs away as they caught in his face. Coming to the end of the hallway he pushed the door open, not knowing what he would see.

The room was raining.

It was raining inside. The ceiling was pouring rain. There was no noise, and the water sunk into the ground the moment it touched the wooden floor.

Just like the blood.

He had to hurry. Pulling his hood over his head, he strode past the toys and drawings on the floor, noticing for the first time that this room was a child’s room.

A shard of ice spiked through his heart.

He walked over to the desk, his hands finding the two things he was looking for. The object, and the note.

He looked at the object, a slender talisman with a clouded jewel in the middle. It was strange to think that such a small piece of twisted, black metal had destroyed this entire town and everyone in it. But he had learned long ago not to be fooled by appearances. The more innocent something was, the more dangerous it was likely to be. He placed it in his pocket and then glanced at the note, the water splattering on the page and dripping to the floor, crying ink.

I had to do it. I didn’t want to, but I did. No one understands what it’s like having this power. She found out about it. I had no choice. I’m sorry. It had to be done, and I would do it again, again, again, again, just to make sure no one finds out. But I’m done now. Whoever you are, you can have it. It’s twisted everything it touches beyond recognition and reality.

Don’t try to find me. You won’t. No one will. It has to be like this. That poor, poor little girl…why did she have to find out? This burden is mine to carry. But this one burden…her burden…it’s too much. I’m getting out of here.

God forgive me.

James K--------

12th of June, 19—

4, Lamb Street, --------

Krane walked out of the house, out of the street, out of the town, with no one but the rain for company.

Jeremy Szal is a person who spends far too much time dreaming of weird places, making friends with evil aliens and reading twisted ficton. His stories have been published in Blitz, Tharunka, Author's Promoter, Short-Story Me, and (upcoming) Robots and Rayguns. He can be contacted over at: http://jeremyszal.wordpress.com/

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