thriller

The Skinning Ice…

©Tanya Grout

FOR AUDIO VERSION SCROLL TO THE END..

 

My memory dragged itself out of lockdown. It had been deep in a coma, a dream perhaps, or some other state of unawareness. Maybe it was drugged. Whatever the case, it was annoying.

 

It scared me. How could I trust a mind that wouldn’t reveal details about a few moments ago, that wouldn’t tell me where I had been and what I had done?

 

I urged it to take me back to the last thing it remembered: a day of work followed by the gym and dinner with my ex. Then a few drinks: Bourbon on the rocks, “Old times…” Bad idea all around.

 

Time was missing – a lot of it. When were those drinks and how did I get from that bar to this harsh reality?

 

I was walking on ice that stretched far out over a frosted psychological landscape, blinding in its ghastly sameness and terrifying in its unending expanse.

 

I looked at my bare feet. They left red stains like I was trudging paint. No, it was too watery for paint… It was more like blood!

 

I looked at my soles. They were burned from the cold but they weren’t bleeding. It must be someone else’s blood…

 

I turned back to see an endless trail of red prints on white. I could retrace my steps, go back to the source, find out what happened – but I wasn’t sure I wanted to know what I had done this time – that is if I had done anything.

 

See, this was the thing with my mind: it always made me guilty. It wanted me to suffer. If I didn’t know what had gone down, it would just make shit up for fun. I knew this, yet I still bought into it every time. I got caught up in the story and the environment it created. I got lost in the details and then I’d question myself. Was this real or a fabrication? And then I just wouldn’t know.

 

It was a punisher, an endless thinker and a twister of facts. It made me feel like a bad person, even though I had never done most of the things it convicted me of.

 

In fact my behaviour was usually flawless, as I was terrified of making mistakes. If I did my mind would thrash the Hell out of me. I hated playing games with it. I would never win. And now it had sent me to Siberia to play MindFuck 101 !

 

Anxiety brought me back to my present dilemma: I’m walking with bloody footprints, from nowhere into eternity, holding a knife… A knife!

 

It wasn’t there a minute ago. I know it wasn’t. See this is what I mean. It’s cruel to do that. My mind put that knife there to complicate things. And now I was naked too, with scratches all over, like I’d had a big fight – one that I’d won by the looks of it.

 

Goddammit, I hated this place. I wished I could get out – out of my fucking mind! It was always painful in here and I was trapped again like a hare in a snare.

 

A hare in a snare…

 

Okay, so I’d fantasized about killing him, several times – even when I saw him over drinks. He’d screwed around. What can I say? But that doesn’t mean that I did it, does it?

 

If only I could make contact with him to make sure, make sure that he was still alive, that I was in the clear, that I hadn’t…

 

But I was out here all alone – just me and my thoughts and the details of a possible murder: the evidence in my hand, on my body, my feet.

 

Fuck it, I’ll just run. They’ll never find me. I’ll hide in this friggin ice desert. God knows no one else is here – that is if I don’t die of hypothermia…

 

Oh for Gods sakes, I’ll turn myself in. I’ll confess just to stop this bullshit, this torture. I’ll accept the punishment. “I’m sorry, so sorry,” I’ll say. Then there will be forgiveness and a jail sentence or something. God knows, I was serving one already in my brain.

 

I walked faster, away from the alleged crime.

 

I yelped, then fell to my knees from a searing pain. I saw cuts. My feet were bleeding now, as were my hands from the fall.

 

This new ice had razor blades slipping out of its surface in perfect symmetrical lines that covered the entire beyond. I would be ripped to shreds and skinned alive if I moved any further. Could it get any worse? Wasn’t this fucking endless freezer bad enough?

 

Goodammit! I’d have to go back. Face it, face myself. Or, I could just stay here and die..

 

“Shut up!” I whispered to myself. “Shut the fuck up!”

 

I took a deep breath in. I closed my eyes. I let the breath slowly out.

Breathing in, breathing out until everything disappeared, got quiet.

 

Finally calm, I opened my eyes.

 

Midnight, downtown. Jack-o’-lanterns filled the town square, their grimacing fiery faces flickering with evil. Cold white flakes kissed my skin as my feet shuffled into a fresh fall of snow. I’d been sleep walking again. Naked. Embarrassing. I always walked to the same place.

 

This was where I saw him a year ago. He was stealing kisses from that girl, like a teenager under the sheeted ghosts that hung from the town clock as it struck twelve – not caring how I would feel or how devastated I would be.

 

His betrayal had left me confused and lost. I kept looking for his love like I would a stolen object – unable to fathom that it was no longer there where I left it unguarded, or that someone would take it.

 

I guess I was still confused, haunted.

 

A kind man put his coat around my shoulders. I looked up. It was that cop with the soft eyes.

 

“Come on Brit,” he said gently, I’ll take you back. You need to rest up. The trial starts tomorrow…”

 

©Kym Darkly

THE ENERGY…

©Tanya GroutFOR AUDIO VERSION SCROLL TO THE END

 

Night was falling fast in the mountains. Dad had planned it that way. He’d said it would be thrilling when the car swept over the top of that last hill and we’d see the sun setting on the beach down below. It was a perfect getaway to celebrate my eighteenth birthday.

“This place has a real energy to it,” he’d said, “You’ll see.”

It was all ice cream and switching radio stations; it was all hair flying out of the sunroof; it was laughter and silly jokes until something brushed over my face.

I wiped my cheek, as I would having stumbled into an unseen web from an invisible spider. Funny how they crept around like ghosts: the colour of day, landing like special ops, spinning their traps undetected.

But this wasn’t a spider or a web.

A swoosh came this time, like a wind made of soft filaments that flipped my hair up and back. It brushed a harsh invisibility over my nose and mouth, blanketing and blocking off air. It seemed to hush me with a soothing sound – urging me to be quiet, to be still, but I struggled none-the-less.

My eyes peeled open, stabbed with fear at the prospect of not being able to breathe… until I realized that this strange energy was breathing for me. It had gotten inside.

Dad looked into his rear view mirror. “You’ve gone quiet back there, missy,” he said.     

Mom, pat his leg, “Leave her alone. All girls disappear into their own heads…”

The filaments were attracted to her lyrical voice and they grew, reaching their hungry fingers over and into her mouth, probing around gums and a wolf tooth that I admired. I could feel the slender threads; feel what they were doing, like they were a part of me, a part that I hated.

Shocked by this unsuspected dentistry, mom pulled the mirror down from above. She could see nothing but her own startled expression and the involuntary movement of flesh that rippled over her teeth, as the energy explored underneath.

She tried to speak, but this strange, unseen power quickly formed needle points that pierced through each lip – jabbing in through the top, pulling down to the bottom and sewing all the way through. Her mouth was sealed within seconds.

She tried to scream but all that came out was a high-pitched squeal.

Dad looked over. Mom’s face alarmed him. He could see the outward bulge and blue crush of her stitched lips, and her stretched eyes, bitten with shock.

“Chris?” He said.

She flagged him with her hand, urging him to pull over.

The energy expanded, leaning over and rolling onto him. It pressed his hands back from the wheel forcing them up into a surrender position.

“What the Hell?” Dad yelped.

The wheel was turning by itself. He’d lost control. We all had.

The force pushed down on dad’s foot, accelerating the car up the last hill at an impossible speed. All three of us stared straight ahead, pressed back in our seats like astronauts launching into space.

As we hit the top of the hill we flew high into the air like Evel Knievel on his last drag race against comets across the sky.

Here it was: the crusted ocean and sun setting over a stunning beach. And there truly was an energy to this place, as dad had said, but it was bigger and more powerful than we could ever have imagined, and it wasn’t good.

The car took a sudden turn in the air and veered off to the left. It flew across the road below and over to the open edged cliff.

Dad tried to grab the wheel, but the energy wouldn’t let him. This whole landscape was its space. It had fully moved in. No one was welcome here anymore… No one, that was, except me.

As the car zipped over the rock face, the graveyard of obliterated vehicles below came into view. Gravity took hold and the car hit a quick descent.

We barely had time to consider our impending fate – but I wouldn’t have to, as the force threw all of its might around my little body and yanked me out through the sunroof, away from my parents, up into the unlit, dusky space above: suspended in the sky.

The car crashed so far away that it looked like a cartoon puff – of destruction, of death.

The force carried me back over the cliff and placed me on top of the hill. It let me down gently as if I had floated in on a grieving black cloud.

Deep pain took me to my knees. I crumbled and cried like any girl would. I was inconsolable – unable to believe that my parents were gone.

Deep in the middle of night, alone and moonless on top of the hill, I started to shake. I was unsure of what this thing wanted from me. I wondered if it would unclasp its grip on my own life, or if I would be enslaved to do its bidding, whatever that might be

©KYM DARKLY

 

 

HUNTER…

©KYM DARKLY 0

Hunter’s eyes dropped to the floor. Horrified she watched blood drip, drip, drip onto the aisle beside her feet. It came from the cabin that held her suitcase above.

 

In truth she didn’t know how she got here or why that suitcase was hers. She was coming out of a stupor, a drug-induced amnesia it seemed, and was trying to remember, trying to put it all together:

 

Just an hour ago, she had watched each toe swing into view as she had started to come to – one foot in front of the other: click, click, click.

 

She’d felt a weight in her right hand: a steel handle dragging a suitcase behind over gravel and concrete. She’d looked up. She was headed for the bus depot! But why?

 

She’d felt inside her pockets and pulled out four things: a ticket, a key tied to a tag that read #15, another smaller key, and a note. She’d stopped. The ticket was a one way to Gravesmouth. On it was a name. She said it aloud, “Hunter Price.” She assumed it was hers.

 

She’d opened the note and read: Get on the bus. Do not call attention to yourself. Suitcase remains closed at all times until you get to Motel 26, room 15. Do not talk to anyone!

 

She had nowhere else to go. Once on the bus, night fell fast and early. Tiny lights scoured down carving shadows into skeletal cheeks and hollow eyes.

 

It was a slow trip of empty roads and tall trees with a few memories slipping back in: a scuffle, a knife, some blood and someone screaming…

 

Flipping back to the present: horrified, Hunter watched blood drip, drip, drip onto the aisle beside her feet. It came from the cabin that held her suitcase above.

 

There was a man in front listening to some music, and an old woman behind who seemed to be sleeping. Hunter’s hand flew up and switched off the light. She took off her dark, wool coat, removing the contents of the pockets and putting them in her purse. She laid her coat on the floor, using it to sop up the crimson evidence of something she hoped she wasnt guilty of.

 

Hunter slid out of her seat. She would have to pull the suitcase down to stop the blood. She quietly opened the cabin and padded her hand around for the handle. Another hand moving in behind made her jump. It was the man from the seat in front. “I can sure help you with that ma’am.”

“No!” She said.

He seemed surprised.

“It’s not as heavy as it looks.”

The man looked puzzled. He reached in again, “You sure. It ain’t no bother.”

“Yes!” She snapped. “You should never do for someone what they can do for themselves, right?”

Puzzled, the man nodded his head and sat back down. “Just bein’ polite.”

“Thank you,” she said.

He turned back to his seat and put his headset back on.

 

Hunter removed the suitcase. Sitting down, she pulled it in close and pressed the coat around it with her foot. What had she gotten into?

 

Arriving at Gravesmouth, everyone scattered from the depot quickly; even the driver had run inside to get some smokes. It was desolate except for a sole black cab that appeared to be waiting for her.

 

Soon she was inside #15, alone with the case. Peeking through the blinds to make sure no one saw her come in, she locked the door. Turning back, she swallowed hard, then fumbled for the little key in her purse. She shoved it into the lock of the case and rattled it back and forth as hard and fast as she could. What the Hell was inside? As the latch finally broke open, she flung the lid back.

 

She gasped as she saw a face beneath some thick plastic and a pair of hands cupped around the chin.

 

Shaking, Hunter grabbed a pen and paper from the nightstand and wrote a quick “Do not disturb” note to post on the door, but she was arrested by something familiar. She dropped the pen. She stepped back. Ice rippled up her spine.

 

She pulled the note from her purse and held it beside the one she just scrawled. The writing was the same. It was hers. Had she written that note of instructions to herself? If so, why? Why would she do that?

 

Hunter rushed back to the suitcase. She ripped the plastic off the face – at once hit with a disturbing smell and the disgusting sight of a neck that had been sawed through: flesh, blood and bones, mushed with crushed pearls.

 

She bolted backwards. Again something was familiar. The face: she knew this face – the mole, the scar. And then the hands, she knew the ring… What the Hell was going on? Was she crazy?

 

She rushed to the bathroom, turned on the taps. She splashed herself with water.

“This can’t be happening. It’s not happening,” she said looking up at her face – Her face! She leaned in closer to the mirror.

 

Her lips trembled uncontrollably. Her body shook and her knees were giving out.

 

This was the face she saw in the trunk. She touched the grooves in her cheeks, stole a finger over the mole on top of her lip, caught the shine of that ring and the pearls. Was it her? Was that her head? If so, what was she? Was she alive or was she dead?

 

A hard pounding made her gasp. It was the door. Maybe it was the police, but what would they think if they saw her in the flesh and her head in the suitcase? Maybe they’d think she was a magician or that shed killed her twin. Did she have a twin? Maybe she was hallucinating.

 

Another pounding shook the walls. They weren’t the only ones who wanted answers, she thought. She wanted them too and she was ready to face whatever this was, no matter how terrifying.

 

She ran back into the other room. The panes trembled and there was a deep rolling under the floor. A massive shadow stood outside the door.

“I want my merchandise!” its horrific voice yelled.

 

Hunter froze, her mind unraveling, as the door blew off and the panes flew out with a force that sucked her into the air and threw her against a wall, falling at the shadow’s feet.

“I like it when my commodities deliver themselves in pieces,” the voice blasted.

 

And suddenly Hunter understood. It all came back to her in a flash. She’d done one bad thing after another her whole life. Shed been on one long trip to Hell, and someone had made sure shed get there quickly possibly her husband.

 

She, a humble ghost, had delivered her own head to the Almighty Fallen Angel. She had arrived…

 

©kym darkly

 

 

INTERVIEW WITH A DEMONOLOGIST! Bat Anderson

©BAT Anderson

Even people who have very little interest in horror have seen the movie The Exorcist by Peter Blatty, adapted from his book by the same title. Many attempts to depict exorcisms have been made since then, though none have had the same impact as this one. Winning two of its ten Academy Award nominations, the depraved demonic possession of a young Linda Blair shocked audiences and opened new doors into the world of supernatural horror. Possibly the most striking thing about the film, in my opinion, was the realism. I think that was what scared me the most. I could feel it happening and sensed that a possession was in fact a possibility.

It’s one thing to see a film or read a novel about such things, but what is it like to perform exorcisms in real life? For some answers I interviewed real-life Demonologist Bat Anderson:

Kym: The word sounds so dark, but in reality what you do is so good. Could you explain for our readers what exactly is a Demonologist?

Bat: “A Demonologist is a person who has strong faith in God, then studies everything Demonic: names and ranks… you learn who is the most powerful and who has legions of demons underneath him. Demons act and have tricks associated with them. I have studied under a well-known exorcist and friend. He did not charge me for the two years of training, but I did have to buy a small mountain of books. I had to study… and then I was quizzed. It was like a college course for sure. I won’t go into my studies in depth; I don’t want readers thinking all they have to do is read a few books and think they know what they are doing. It takes a ton of scripture and a ton of faith along with a lot of books, not to mention a ton of first-hand field-work.”

Kym: I’m wondering if there is a specific way that you would define a demon? I hear so many different definitions, like it’s a negative spirit from a deceased human, or a fallen angel etc. What is your definition?

Bat: “No a demon is an entity that never walked as a human! It is a fallen angel that was never in human form! Although they can come to you as a human spirit… They hate mankind and they are out to destroy anything human! I have heard people referring to demons as stupid! Well truth be told, demons have been on earth since the beginning of time. They are not stupid and they have many, many tricks up their sleeve. Anything they can use to take you off your game they will search for it and use it. They use a li’l trick on ghost hunters; they act like the spirit of a child, and will attach themselves to anyone and end up at their homes. If ghost hunters do not protect themselves they will end up with company they can’t handle, or worse! The only definition that I have of a real demon is pure evil! Demons are master deceivers not from this earth.”

Kym: I’m wondering if there was any kind of event in your life that led you to want to do this kind of work? If not, why do you think you are drawn to it?

Bat: “I did not choose this field, I was called to it by a priest! And though it wasn’t my calling (the Priest should have been in the mafia), he would not take no for an answer! I had dealt with demonic activity growing up. I really didn’t want to get into this field! But the more this priest pulled teeth, the more I agreed.”

Kym: So you don’t have to be a Priest…

Bat: “No. You do not have to be a Priest to be a Demonologist. The Priest chose me. If you are a Catholic Priest you could get trained in Demonology… I am not Catholic. That is why I was sworn to secrecy by him – the Priest, and friend; his name is not spoken by me, because it goes against the Catholic religion for [a] non-Catholic to be trained as a Demonologist.

A word of caution, you must be very knowledgeable in the Bible and with scripture and [have] a profound faith in God and understanding in your enemy. You cannot wake up one day and say “Oh, I will go out and fight demons!” Not so. A demon can fight you psychologically as well as physically. If you are not well prepared and ready for a real fight… stay home. If God is not in your heart and not number one please do not bother; you will lose, or worse!”

Kym: So, you’ve performed exorcisms…

Bat: “Yes I have done four and I assisted in at least ten before I was told I was ready. It is not something for the faint of heart.”

Kym: I have to ask, are exorcisms anything like we see in the movies?

Bat: “Yes and No. No because Exorcisms do not have special effects and yes because I have seen and felt things that most would run from. The movies we all know [are] not real but when you are working with a real Exorcism and looking into eyes of pure evil, and there is no Director waiting to say cut… I have been bit, scratched, punched and my hair pulled… and then when the Exorcism starts it can be worse. If your faith is not strong and you are not careful, you and everyone stand to be injured. It is for real, no actors, and no special effects.”

Kym: You seem to be a very positive person. Are you negatively affected by coming into contact with Demons?

Bat: “Yes, I am 95% positive and 5% negativity comes from being in contact with Demonic Entities. They affect you psychologically and physically. One thing I have learned is to hide my fear; they look for any portal to attack. Fear is one and your body is another portal. Demons are highly intelligent and resourceful, and most of all they are pure evil. They will use anything to throw you off your game. It is Christ who does the fighting. I am a mere weak vessel. God is the victor and I am the instrument.”

Kym: How does a Demonologist protect himself from a Demon?

Bat: “I can only answer for what I do. Prayer and asking for forgiveness is first. Sometimes I use Holy Oil to anoint myself along with prayer for protection and I also ask for the Angel Michael to be by my side. Yes, there are many and there will be other Demons around. I have seen them as I have done Exorcisms, but my faith is very strong. I also know that Jesus and the Angels are with me, Amen.”

Kym: How do you know you are dealing with a Demon?

Bat: “I do some psychological profiles. Some think they are possessed and are not, but my screenings keep me informed. I am also empathic, which helps me immensely. Also once you have felt true evil it can hide, but being empathic does make it a little easier for me to find it. Seldom these days do I find myself playing hide and go seek. In the beginning it was not always easy but today I am better at knowing the tell-tale signs. And yes there are some mental issues that can mask Demons, as well as just plain mental issues without Demonic influences.”

Kym: What is the worst thing you have encountered during an exorcism and how did you deal with it?

Bat “Okay, I was doing an exorcism on a young lady. Her husband called me in tears; he said his wife was possessed! He said he called a Priest and the Priest walked in, saw his wife and left without saying a word! I was puzzled by this, so I told the man I’d be there in an hour and a half. He was local. I did my protection prayers and used my holy oil, then set out to see what was up!

The husband was standing outside when I arrived! I shook his hand and introduced myself. He was visibly shaken. I asked where his wife was. He just pointed to the front door of the tiny house. I asked him to bow his head, as I said a brief protection prayer.

I walked toward the door and turned. He had not moved, I said, ‘Are you coming?’ He said no you go, please! I thought that very odd. I stopped just short of the door and said another protection prayer. I opened the door and walked in.

It was like walking into a freezer, and the stench was breathtaking! I looked around and didn’t see anyone! Then I caught a brief glance of a foot high in the air. I looked up and a young, thin naked woman was levitating five foot in the air! As I looked up I seen her eyes were rolled back in her head. Her white eyes met mine. A smile came upon her face. She began floating down to me slowly. In a minute she was face to face with me. It was then I realized why the Priest left! She was face to face with me, feet never touching the floor. I looked into the white eyes and said, ‘You know why I’m here. Now let’s get to work!’

I placed my hand on her frozen forehead and said…. ‘Demon what is your name?’ It screamed at me with a lion’s roar. Then her feet hit the ground! At that point the fight was on! But… my first instinct was to run right out the door!

I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard a soft voice say… ‘Do not run, we are with you, be strong.’ And I was. The exorcism lasted six hours! I was dead tired and wasn’t sure I was going to make it through, but I did and as I was fighting this demonic entity, I could see others! But I had very strong help.

At the end, the young lady was laying on the kitchen table. Her color had come back, the air was warm, and the stench was gone! The house felt like a house and not some desolate cave in a mountain! When the demon left it was like a roar of a lion again and two windows burst out! Then it was gone!

The husband came running in and over to his wife! He covered her and carried her off [to] the bedroom so she could get dressed and she did. The man thanked me at least a hundred times. The man handed me a check for eight thousand dollars. I gave the check back and told him to donate it to a local church!

I did get the name of the demon, and it was one of the most fierce I ever met. It was so very strong and it could have taken my life at the snap of its fingers! But it wasn’t me it was fighting; it was who was with me: My God and savior! It would have killed me for sure, but it was the God of life who fought it! I don’t take credit for what I do. God has that glory.

I cannot tell you everything that happened that day, but the demons were defeated and I live another day to tell the facts of that meeting. But the truth is, it was the most frightening entity I ever encountered, and God be willing, I won’t ever have to face anything that powerful again. I have faced many, but never this strong! Amen!”

Kym: That sounds really terrifying and I’m sure that retelling the story can also be draining as I can feel you reliving it, so I’ll just finish with two quick questions: What don’t we know about Demonologists?

Bat: “There are real and there are fake. Personally, my colleagues do not accept me in the Demonology field because I do not have a certificate of authenticity, but in the field you cannot just pull out a certificate and show it to a Demon because he will laugh at you. Because of my Facebook status I refuse to sit there and look down my nose at people who are not Christians. I do not preach fire and brimstone. I am not a judge; that is God’s work. I am just a mere man, I have many flaws but my love of Christ is what keeps me going. As for my colleagues, all I can tell you [is] Kiss my Bat butt!! I am here to help people with paranormal issues and [with] being demonically influenced, obsessed and possessed. I have fun on Facebook, but when it comes to people needing help, it is all about business then. Someday I will write a book and hopefully it will inspire young hearts and minds that love and serve Christ. Amen.”

Kym: And lastly, what do you love about being a Demonologist?

Bat: “I love everything God. He is my Savior and love everything about His word (meaning the Bible). I love His message. I do not fight Demons, however, Jesus does. He is in my heart and if he wasn’t the Demons would win every time.

Thank you for the interview; I can only hope that it will inspire people to get into this field and fight the good fight.”

Kym: Thank you Bat. It was such a pleasure talking today. I really appreciate your time and your honesty. 

If you have any comments for Bat, please leave them in the comments section.

 

©kym darkly

SOUL WITCH…

©Tanya Grout

The ramming boulder took the door right off its hinges. Old rotting wood flew back across the room, almost hitting Kari – a startled eight-year-old who darted behind the leather sofa.

 

The police were astounded at what they saw: Old Woman Ireland was secured in her rocker by the window, anchored in. The green tendrils of a plant behind had shot up horizontally from their heavy urn, and plumbed deep into the woman’s ears. From here they had torn painfully through her skull, through parts of her brain and then had ripped out her eyes, pushing the ocular tissue to the side in strange, bloody bulges.

 

The sturdy stalks had then crawled down her face, crisscrossing into her nasal cavities, plummeting down her trachea and into the trunk of her body, exploding out of organs, creating a maze of convoluted control over this powerless body.

 

Shocked EMS personnel cut off the old woman’s shirt, as the photographer documented parts of the plant that could be seen under Mrs. Ireland’s wrinkly skin. Some of the vines had travelled down her arms bedside fragile veins, riveting each limb immovable in a right-angled position. These slender stems had then spilt off and out of her fingers forming an extended hand of woody digits, with little green shoots that trapped many a fly with their undulating stickiness.

 

Other vines had carved a stronger journey through her trunk and pushed through the fragile tissue of her lateral thighs, sliding off the chair and down to the floor. They had then grown through the soft wooden planks; deep into the basement and into the soil underneath, where they had became rooted.

 

There was just one question from the lead inspector: “How on earth could this happen?”

 

Only Kari knew, as she had envisioned it, had planted the little bulb in the urn and had fed it thoughts to help it grow. Although #158 hung from her mother’s toe at the morgue, the magic had been passed on at birth and Kari had used it well to avenge her mothers murder, keeping Granny Ireland alive through the whole torturous ordeal. Yes she was still alive…

 

© kym darkly

VERY DARK THINGS…

©Tanya Grout

What everyone saw was a shining, articulate woman holding it all together – living her dream: the talk shows, the brilliant performances, the book release. She’d made millions. She was beautiful and smart. She made people laugh; yet behind that glossy image, a nightmare was beginning to unfold.

It was the fast insanity of it all, the dragging of her mind into a quicksand of Hell-bound thoughts. How could this happen: laughing one minute, desperate and lost in the next?

This thing that had crawled into her in the middle of the night was sucking on her soul, draining her life force, and was taking her down, fast! It had burrowed a hole inside that nothing could fill, had manufactured a terrifying emptiness, a darkness, an excruciating migraine of madness.

Was it a demon, a creature, a ghost?

Who could she ask? They would think her crazy. She’d become tabloid fodder, a joke. She would lose her reputation – lose it all. She knew she was sick, but she felt so alone.

Lee looked at the bottle of pills in her hand. It would be so easy: one snap decision to stop the suffering and just like that she’d be gone. Another celebrity overdose – an addict they’d call her, just like they did with all the others. But they’d be wrong and this thing would just move into someone else…

 

©kym darkly

FANTOM…

image

 

It had come again in the middle of the night, undulating under the sheets like a flat fish might swim at the bottom of the ocean.

Petrified, Bobby jumped out of bed. He watched the creature, with its wave-like motion, slink under the covers heading down to where his feet would always be, the place where it would wriggle before slipping off and away.

In his mind he thought he would catch it and maybe even cook it, if it was a fish, although his mother had said that ghosts couldn’t be eaten or cooked.

You’re not escaping this time, Bobby thought, ripping the sheet right off in an attempt to expose the mystery. But he didn’t see anything. It was invisible as ghosts tended to be.

Bobby got closer, bravely holding out his hand in the terrified hopes that he might touch it. He padded around until finally his delicate fingers landed on top of the slippery creature. Bobby yelped, but kept his hand there on the invisible eeewy fish, desperate to make sense of this thing that haunted him night after night.

The wires from his head sent out crazed signals to computers and machines that measured his brain for activity. Suddenly the sleep lab was full of personnel, but Bobby was oblivious. He was trying to hold onto the cold ghoul that kept escaping his grasp.

Suddenly angered, Bobby grew violent. He threw the sheet back on the thing to see where it was and grabbed his heavy Bible to kill it with. Slam, Slam!

“Ughh, it’s already dead,” said Dr. Rupert from behind the lab’s glass. Doesn’t he get it?

“No, he doesn’t get it. He’s just a kid,” said Rebecca – his striking sidekick.

“I know darling, but we need a kid who can catch one, so we can study it,” replied Rupert.

Bobby’s vital signs were in trouble. The beeps jolted them back to the computer screens.

“Its attacking him. This always happens,” Rebecca said, “Just stop it right now! We dont want to lose him.”

Ignoring her, Dr. Rupert gave a go-ahead signal with his hand through the glass.

The crew did what they were instructed to: sprayed the phantom with a new liquid that had been developed by the brilliant grad student: Rebecca McCauley.

This new variation worked and the crew grew excited as they could finally see a true ghost, albeit a vicious orange jelly that had planted its entire sticky being over Bobby’s face and torso.

Their own faces turned to horror quickly as they witnessed it sucking his brains, blood, tongue and other tissue out of his eyes, ears and mouth with a vicious pumping cycle, ultimately sending out a huge splat of blood back up at the glass of the lab.

 A flat line, and the ghost released its obliterated victim. There was no more live tissue to refuel its dependency needs and so it slipped back into invisibility and disappeared before it could be captured.

Dr. Rupert sighed – annoyance. “Call the parents, our condolences, he went mad, congenital defect and we couldn’t save him.”

“You fucking do it. I’m done,” Rebecca snapped. On her way out she slammed the door, torn over why she still loved this cold-hearted man…

In the blood splattered lab, Dr. Rupert reconsidered. “I’m not sure that’s a ghost…”

© kym darkly

SLUGS ‘N SNAILS

©Tanya Grout

The finger broken, snapped open. A gasp. A fear escaping her startled eyes. His heavy hand cracking the digit further back at the knuckle, with rage. This was just the beginning for Marshall Shaw – leader of “the movement.”

He dragged her up by the hair to the open stage, onto the village platform and yelled out, “She just ain’t human!” There was terror in his voice.

The crowd’s eyes moved like marbles on sloped surfaces, searching for answers. They stirred. How could he treat her so violently? She was his wife!

“Come look at her,” Marshall cried. “Bring your vision, and your mind, and your judgment!”

The bravest went first towards the wretched woman, now on her knees, hair twisted in his fist. Marshall held out her hand for all to see: inside the skin was a strange machinery. It wasn’t bones and blood. It looked like cogs and wires and screws… but upon closer inspection they saw that the stuff inside was made up of other creatures, tiny ones they had never seen before – wriggling and writhing, each in tune with the other.

“She ain’t one of us,” Marshall yelled.
“Maybe she’s from the future,” Old Woman Wise snarled.
“’Nother planet is more like it,” came the preacher’s reply.
“A Witch!” Yelled Marshall, “with all them critters inside.”
“Let her be,” cried the woman’s sister.
“Are ya gonna meet yer maker tonight too, little sister” he snapped back.
She had children. She would be quiet.

“Friends,” Marshall addressed the crowd, “help me to break her open!”

Ten or more men rushed to the stage. They wrestled and fought with the screaming woman until they pulled her arms from their sockets, her torso in two and her head right off.

Big greasy sluggish ropes of flesh and detailed scuttle-spiders with cog-like qualities issued from her core. Fish-like entities and jumping eels flopped and flipped. Her face melted as creatures crawled from her head, out her eyes, nose and mouth.

When the last jellyfish of a miniature monster oozed from her bloated abdomen, the human body casing was dry. In the desert heat it sparked alight and flew up into the air like a balloon; then it blew right up, sending the men scuttling towards their wives.

“Whatever they are, they’re spying on us,” Marshall asserted. “And each and every one of you’s has got to prove that your wife ain’t one of ‘em.”
“How do we do that?” One of the youngest men asked.
“By lining ‘em up and breaking their fingers open…”

©kym darkly

THE TEETH AND THE TONGUE…

©Tanya Grout

It was stuck between his teeth: that familiar tongue that should have swirled with sensual beauty and ease, but his mind had other plans and so he’d arrested its movement with his own.

It was an awkward moment. He just didn’t see her that way any more. She had become an investment and so her tongue was just a thick cumbersome piece of flesh that sent him into a rage he knew mustn’t express.

Truthfully he wanted to bite the damn thing right off, but that would reveal his deeper plan. Faking enjoying a kiss was sickening even to a man who’d accept sex from strangers. The best he could do was to pull away prematurely leaving her wondering, as she had as of late.

“Is it an affair?” She inquired, yet again.
No, it’s the fucking monster inside me, he screamed inside his own head.

The documents had been signed a long time ago, but he’d taken a calculated while to follow through. If he waited a year, he’d reasoned, the insurance company wouldn’t suspect the drowning, the poisoning, the strangulation, or whatever the Hell he was going to do. If he showed up at church with her on his arm, even better: people would say how devoted he was.

No, it wasn’t a goddamned affair! When greed possessed him he just wasn’t human, and that was all…

©kym darkly

WIDOW BLACK…

©Tanya Grout

While smashing the tips of the flower stems, so they could absorb fresh nutrients and water that filled the heavy crystal vase, it suddenly occurred to her that she could smash her third husband’s head in.

Asphyxiation and arsenic were out of the question, as Melisha didn’t want to draw attention to the first two mishaps in her marital career.

Smashing would be excellent. It would relieve her of the hatred that had been building. She could really pound it out, crush his skull, maybe bash an eye out while he begged for his life from her dead, psychopathic eyes. How fulfilling.

She could pay him back for the derogatory comments, for the affair and for making her dependent once again on a man for money. What’s a gorgeous young woman to do?

It would be his fault. He was the one seduced to elope after just days of dating. He was the one who kept her imprisoned in this kitchen, cooking things he demanded like a spoiled child. He was the one who lifted her skirts and made her feel sick with his perverted demands. He deserved it: to die.

A hammer might be nice. She would buy one on her walk to pick up fresh bread, apples and wine. She’d buy two bottles. He’d be an easy target, sloshed and expecting freaky sex.

It would be a break in – a robbery. The police would never suspect her. It would be too violent for a woman’s hand, especially one with a perfect French Manicure and such a sweet disposition. She’d have to buy a knife too – a sharp one, one that wouldn’t hurt her too much when “the robbers” ripped it across her own delicate face.

It’s decided then, she thought, pulling a perfect apple pie from the oven.

A soft roaring drew her attention to the window. As Adam rolled his Royce up the granite driveway, she poured him a Scotch and wrote him a quick note: Make yourself comfortable darling. I’m treating you right tonight. Then she slipped quietly out the back to buy wine and bread and a hammer…

©kym darkly