art · Emergence Ascended · Emergence Collective · Horror · narrators · voice acting · writing

What do I get out of it?

As a creative person, I am driven to make stuff. Most of the time, the stuff I create is just for me, something to scratch the itch. I am usually happy with my creations; most go unfinished, however. A lot of times, there are things I do to express an emotion or try out an idea, and once I have done that, I move on to the next thing (an expression of Attention deficit disorder). But it works for me. Creating things like writing, I need a little more, I need to share some things, and I want feedback on my ideas. Not that I am seeking attention, quite the opposite to be honest, I am very introverted (The pandemic was the best thing that ever happened to me, aside from all the death and dying stuff), and for the most part have to be poked and prodded to be social.

That’s where the paradox lies, where I am not looking for attention but want feedback on my creativity, but don’t want to have to be social about it. I am terrible about self-promotion. So, what do I get out of it? There is nothing better than hearing how a story I wrote made an impact on someone. If I frightened you, or made you think about a crazy idea I had, is a sense of fulfillment that is unequaled. When I write, I aspire to write something that will make the reader just think about my story a week or month later or even want to read it again.

I did get some very satisfying writing done this weekend. Wow, I am on Chapter 28 of Emergence Ascended, and I am really happy with it so far. As far as recording Emergence Collective, I had technical issues that prevented that from happening and that is disappointing. I am starting to feel confident, my narration skills are approaching “decent”, my editing is fair. Thanks for taking the time to read! Feel free to leave a like or comment, I enjoy the conversations! You can also email me at

about me · blogging · writing

Obligatory New Year post!

I’m back! It’s a new year, and I suppose I will jump on the bandwagon for the year-end/new year transitional post. As far as the blog goes, it is less than a year at this point, but it was successful for a lot of personal reasons. Though the daily stats may not look at all successful, for me it’s not about the numbers of anonymous readers, but the few people that I have met through this blog has made it feel quite successful.

Those stats, on the surface, look amazing, but the truth is that I got suckered into one of those click-through sites. So the amazing number are really a verisimilitude of success. As I was saying, numbers are just numbers. I have met some amazing people from all over the world through my blog and WordPress. I have learned a lot this year about the community of creatives and intellectuals alike.

So do I have new years goals for my blog? My only real goal is to keep at it and try to keep a reliable schedule. I am looking forward to adding a lot more short stories and other writing. Hopefully, I will sell a book or two. I also look forward to meeting more people and get to know the ones I have already met, more. I am always happy to have conversations about just about anything, so if you don’t feel like commenting publically, you can send a message to Thanks for stopping by! Happy Newyear!

Horror · magic

Happy Halloween

Of Necromancy and love

With iniquity and open grimoire,
summoned from hell, to enslave aberration.
Barter my soul, a dark deed I call for!
Spit from my lips, this ill incantation

Sharpened by sin, my blade let go a flood
upon the alter, gift to the devil,
sacrificial offering of hot blood.
Cadaver imbibe life, I will revel!

Hardened of heart and core it will require
The wickedness of work or my intent
And grim occupation of desire
Unfettered of remorse or to lament

Razor edge of lust and red, sigil signed completes my art
Arise from the dead, lady of my heart

Alone · Horror · writing

“Alone” Part 1 of 4

In the spirit of Spooky season Please enjoy…..

Here ya go! I decided to release the entire short story “Alone”, just for you! This was my first real attempt at writing a complete story. I got the idea from a weird hypnogogic dream. The image of Luis and Randolph kinda popped in my head. I had to write the narrative. The original story is lost to the ether, what is here is a second version of it that I trimmed from the original to meet the requirements of a short story contest. The first version was probably around 10k words, but the requirements were less than 7k (if I recall correct). Anyway I trimmed it down , cutting away some of what, at the time, seemed like fluff., but in retrospect, that “fluff” tightened the narrative. I won first place in the contest, despite the trimming down so I suppose I left enough meat on the bones to make it work.

Caution, graphic violence ahead. if you are squeamish you might want to pass on this one.

Alone part 1 of 4

He stopped working just for a moment, straining to hear the unnatural sound which only offered itself when his pitchfork was doing its duty. Momma?  The sound was familiar. Again the sound pushed forward to the edges of his hearing, “Momma!” The screams sent shocking waves of fire through his veins, forcing adrenaline-laced blood to his legs. His sprint slowed to a jog as blood in the dooryard caught his attention, and the screams grew louder, more frantic. His eyes traced the thick sticky trail of blood from the garden to the front door of the colonial-style farmhouse.  

“Jimmy! Get in here and fetch me some linens! Then go run to the Doc! Hurry!” His father yelled.  

The twelve-year-old boy bolted through the half-open door, sidestepping the pools of blood that were large enough to catch full reflections of his father. He raced to the linen closet; his throat nearly closed as the painful screams echoed through the hall. He grabbed a stack of linens with shaky hands and brought them to his father.   

His father took the linens with confused and frustrated movements. Worry lines etched his pale, nearly white face as the man struggled with his inability to provide the smallest amount of relief for his wife’s agonizing labor. His voice cracked and broken, barked a frantic reminder,  
“Run, boy! Go!”  
  Jimmy sprinted headlong into the cornfield. Flowing tears carved muddy lines across his dusty cheeks. His feet kept the hurried pace long after he was out of earshot of his mother’s screams, those awful heartrending screams.  

A shiny new Plymouth coupe barreled up the long drive with Dr. Hathaway at the wheel, Mrs. Ingram, the town’s midwife, next to him and Jimmy in the dickie seat.  Jimmy did not wait for the car to come to a complete stop and jumped out of the dickie. Dr. Hathaway and Mrs. Ingram soon followed him into the house.   

The midwife cleared away the blood-drenched linens while Doc assessed Jimmy’s mother. Dr. Hathaway looked at Jimmy’s father, his face wrinkled with tension and sorrow. “I’m sorry, George, she’s not doing so well. Her breathing is very shallow, and the baby is in distress.”  
 ”Oh, Momma!” Jimmy sobbed.  
 Doc opened his medical bag and began pulling out his tools. He probed the woman’s chest with the stethoscope, then his face went sullen, “You should take Jimmy out. This… this is going to be….” He took a deep breath. “Um, he shouldn’t see this.”   

Dr. Hathaway’s grim face told George the rest of the story. George took Jimmy by the arm and gently led him to the porch. The boy sniffed and wiped his nose with his sleeve, smearing snot across his face.  
 ”Poppa? Momma’s gonna be okay, ain’t she?” Then another sniffle and wipe before slumping down against the side of the house. He was losing his battle with his own emotions; George’s voice croaked, “I don’t know, son, I just don’t know.” He sat down next to Jimmy, put his arm around him, and they both cried quietly for some time.   

Through the solid door to the farmhouse, they heard Dr. Hathaway urge Mrs. Ingram to help. ”Come here! Give me a hand. I can’t do this alone.” Both of his arms were elbow deep into the cesarean slit that opened a hole in the womb. He gently pulled out most of a tiny little body, but it looked as it was snagged, and he could not finish the extraction. “Reach in, quickly! Get the other one.” He whispered a gruff order of urgency.   

The midwife reached to the gaping split, looking away from the visceral and writhing form. She felt the familiar shape of arms, legs, and a torso, then drew out the other infant. She gasped as they awkwardly dealt with the twins. “Oh my God,” she blurted and then tried to retract her astonishment by turning her head away.  
 Alarmed by the sudden whispering and gasping, George and Jimmy jumped to their feet. George put his hand on Jimmy’s shoulder to hold him back. “No! You stay here. I’ll check and see what’s goin’ on!”  
 ”But Poppa!”  
 ”No boy, ain’t no place fer ya. I’ll come and git ya when it’s time. Just sit here fer now.”  
 George took a few steps avoiding the dried brown stains on the porch, and opened the door. Doc and Mrs. Ingram looked surprised when he walked in. They looked guilty as if they were the ones responsible for the state of the twins. His jaw dropped, and he moved a few cautious steps forward. Horrified, he looked at the infants. Confusion chiseled into his features as he shook his head, defiant that this was really happening.  
 The twins writhed and gurgled as they were cleaned. Individually they were normal, though one twin was larger than the other, and both were fine. Fingers and toes in the right places. Arms and legs are suitable sizes. All was correct, except for their heads. Their faces were normal, or at least not deformed. They were attached just above the ears; the skulls collided together in a mishap of nature that marked them permanently as freaks. The shape was all wrong, too, as if their heads were welded together then pulled slightly apart like taffy, each face looking forward.  

 They were wrapped now, looking like a mummified wishbone, cooing as infants do, natural, soothing. George now understood the reaction of the midwife. He felt it too but choked down his aversion to not alarm his son standing behind him, despite his father’s stern words. Satisfied with the swaddling, the midwife looked to the father with misty eyes, full of shame and sorrow for the man.  
 ”Do you have names for these the boys?” she asked while adjusting the awkward bundle. George’s eyes widened as if he was reacting to a cruel joke. “No. No names.” He turned to look at his son. Jimmy, so strong and handsome, reliable… normal. His son… His only son. His face hardened as he clenched his fists.  

“Take them. Adoption, whatever.” He glanced at his wife’s lifeless body, covered in a shroud of bloodstained linens. “Take them! Those things, take them away from me!” He turned his back, not wanting to look at the abominations any longer. Jimmy looked on and then took his father’s hand in agreement.  
 ”But George, there is nowhere to take them. They’re alone and helpless. They need you.” Mrs. Ingram pleaded with him.   

“No. They need a mother, who they killed. They need someone that will be able to deal with them.”  

In the months following their birth, Mrs. Ingram did what she could for them. Did what she had to do. Kept them alive. She tried to care and feel the maternal impulse that she would have felt for any other child and had felt for others. All she could feel was shameful revulsion. She knew what she should feel; she knew that it was not their fault. That was the root of her shame, and that also brought on its own indignant self-loathing.  
 She noticed the handbills during her daily trip to the market. At first, one or two, here and there, and the closer she got to town, they seemed to be everywhere. Bright red and yellow bill posters of “The Great Cirque De Lune Rouge” plastered on makeshift billboards, announcing its arrival in two weeks. It didn’t take a thought. Her decision was made at the first glimpse of the advertisement. Only two weeks, and she would be rid of them.  

Continue to part 2

Author · Horror · writing

Itch part two.

Part two. Of course this is flash fiction a rough draft, unedited. I wanted to get the meat of it down, and I’ll file it into the category of “Ill work on it more later.”

He felt as if he was aiming for every pothole and bump in the dirt road. Not slowing for corners, he skidded around each one with literal wild abandon while planning his next move. No one knows yet. I have time to make it home and pack up. Just disappear. But to where? Ditch the company truck; yeah, that’s first on the list. Fresh clothes, oh the bank, take out my saving and lose my credit cards, cash from here on out. Lost in thought, his body on autopilot and coursing with adrenaline, the giant pothole in the middle of the road came quick, and he yanked the steering wheel hard to swerve around it as the front left wheel dipped into the ditch. Yanking hard again on the wheel, he tried to pull out of it but overcorrected and careened off the road catching air as he sailed into the swamp.

                The buzzing woke him. A constant, maddening hum. The dim light of the morning showed through the cracked windshield, sending rainbow patterns over the cab of the truck. The tree that had stopped him and cracked his windshield bowed over, pinning the truck to the swampy ground but saving him from plunging deeper into the swamp.

                Bruno tried to open his eyes. They were sticky with sleep and felt like his eyelids were swelling. He managed to pry them open and looked around, disoriented and confused about where he was. The buzzing again was loud in his ear as a massive mosquito flew through his open window. He wave his fat stubby hand to shoe it away, then noticed a series of large swelling bumps. Another huge mosquito takes the place of the one he shoed away fat with fresh blood, so fat it could barely fly, flew past his face. That’s when he remembered, and his panic began to renew. Shit shit shit! I gotta get out of here! He frantically pushed the door, but the mud had worked its way halfway up the door, and it would take a force of nature to move it. It didn’t even budge. The window then. Changing tactics, he climbed onto his knees and stuck his head out the window, but his keg-sized beer belly only threatened to get him stuck in an awkward position. Winded and out of breath, he sat back. The buzzing got louder, and he began to itch.

A shadow formed outside the truck’s window, like a cloud passing in front of the sun. But this cloud hummed with a disturbing resonance. Several mosquitos flew in and began to buzz in his face. He swats at them, irritated at the intrusion. He slapped a courageous one that had swelled to a startling red as it sucked on his leg. He smashed that one out of existence and then rubbed the sting on his leg. Another landed on his hand, and another. The cloud grew and darkened the outside of his window as the buzzing increased. “Fuck you!” he screamed in frustration as he swatted and slapped frantically. He felt as if he needed more hands, as the sheer number of the mosquito grew exponentially. A new panic took hold as the itch began to grow.

                Everywhere now. Every bit of exposed skin had begun to deform with large bulging bites. His hands, face, neck and even the top of his head were now becoming on continuous maddening itch. His swollen eyelids caused his eyes to blur and water, they itched. He rubbed them with the rough edges of his shirtsleeve, but that did little to relieve it. A sudden wave of convulsion overtook him as the primal part of his brain took over, and he began to rub and swat all over his body fending off the constant and incessant attack. Wave after wave of mosquitos flew in the window and mercilessly took full advantage of a captive dinner as they sucked and sucked.

                He must have passed out again. He woke to a blanket of mosquitos covering his entire body, greedily tapping him dry and the burning itch. Everything itched now. He pried an eye open and searched for something, anything to scratch with. He scrubbed at his body, trying to scratch every inch at once. And he cried out in agony, sending a swarm of mosquitos into the air, only to reposition themselves and begin again.”God damn it! I can’t take it anymore!” He shouted in pain and frustration.

                He saw the glint of metal from an old clipboard he didn’t use anymore; the plastic had cracked, and it was hard to write on. He snatched it up and snapped the board in half, exposing a jagged plastic edge. He started on his hand first. Dragging the edge along the top of his hand, leaving red trails as the skin scrapped away. The relief was short-lived, and he continued to rub the shard of plastic back and forth, getting redder with every pass. But it only made it worse and seemed to intensify everywhere else it itched. He dug in deeper, scraping skin away to the fat and meat below, not even feeling the pain of it, but it was the closest thing to the relief he felt.

                All he could hear was a constant buzz and the sound of his heartbeat. He couldn’t feel his hand anymore Thank god. But now he could stop scratching at his face. So swollen it was impossible to open his eyes he began to work the plastic clipboard on his face. He scraped and tore at the skin on his face. He dragged the slick jagged edge peeling of another layer, moaning in despair and feeling his consciousness slip into darkness.

Horror · Uncategorized · writing


Had to get this out, even though its not my WIP. But after a nice camping trip, this story came to mind.

CAUTION Graphic content ahead, you have been warned

Itch Part 1.

                Bruno drove down the unpaved road probably faster than he should have been. The tires splashed water from deep potholes far off the road into the swamp of the Florida Everglades. The service truck wobbled dangerously close to toppling over after he avoided a particularly treacherous-looking puddle as he careened onto the home’s driveway that was last on his list for the day.

                He skidded to an abrupt stop and shut off the engine. He put on the tattered ball cap with the logo of “Billy Bobs Air conditioning and plumbing”  and picked up a clipboard with the same logo, then climbed out of the truck. A blast of hot sticky, humid air washed over him as he stepped out and walked the twenty or so feet to the front door.

                The door opened before he could reach the entrance to knock, and an even warmer blast of air hit him from inside the house. Yup, definitely the right place, He thought. The door opened wider, and a tall thin woman with long dark hair stepped into view. “Miss, Bradly?” he asked as he looked down at the clipboard to verify her name and address. He could see her bare feet as he looked at the board, and his eyes followed them up her toned legs until his view was cut off by a thin bathrobe.

                “Oh, thank god! I thought you would never get here.” She exclaimed in a way of answering him. “It’s right out back.” She said, pointing to the house.

                She led the way around the side of her house to the broken air conditioner he was there to repair. Her bathrobe clung to her body, accentuating the curve of her hips. Damn, sometimes I really love my job, Bruno thought as he watched her hips sway as she walked.

                “Well, here it is, piece of shit that it is.” She said, motioning to the silent air conditioner.

“Uh huh, yup, these models are finicky; probably why they discontinued them about 5 years ago,” He said knowingly. “she’s not in bad condition overall, just needs a boost of coolant, more than likely.” He went on as he unscrewed a panel from the side.  

                I’ll be inside, sweating my balls off; just holler if ya need anything,” she said as she turned back to go inside. Bruno glanced again at her shapely hips as she walked away. Shook his head from side to side as if he couldn’t; believe his luck with such an attractive client.

                Bruno was feeling pretty good about himself. He managed to keep his eyes off her, for the most part, only a quick glance. He could indulge just a little and still not break his promise to himself.

He had been doing great. He hadn’t missed a single session with his therapist and has kept up on his journal. You know, really putting in the work, and he felt that he was passing this test. He voluntarily started going to a therapist; he knew that his sexual addiction was getting worse and he thought that he would be proactive. Don’t want to be one of those guys that eventually do something stupid and get thrown in prison, was his thought.

                A slight stinging sensation snapped him out of his thoughts as he saw a massive mosquito still swelling with blood as it sucked at his hand. He slapped hard, spurting blood from the engorged bug. God damn, that has to be the biggest damn skeeter I’ve ever seen. He thought, wiping blood onto his coveralls.

                He returned to his truck and brought back a coolant tank to refill the air conditioner and finish off the day. He wrapped up the last of the repairs, thankful it was an easy fix, and went to the front door. It was too hot, too sticky, and a cold beer was calling his name. His last call for the day, She is a beauty almost done; he could just about taste the beer. The door was ajar and he could only see a sliver of light coming from the window as he knocked with the corner of his clipboard. “All finished up,” he shouted through the crack as the sound of the air conditioner hummed to life in the distance.

                “Come on in.”She shouted back from what he assumed was her kitchen. He absentmindedly scratched at the swelling mosquito bite on his hand as he pushed through the door and stepped in. Miss Bradly walked from the kitchen holding 2 glasses of ice cold water, the condensation dripping from the glass in the heat. “You should start to feel it anytime now.” He said, motioning his head toward the air vent in the ceiling. She handed him the glass of water and noticed the mosquito bite on his hand. “Oh, looks like they got ya.” She said as he took a sip.

                 “Uh yeah, biggest bugger I’ve ever seen.”

“Let me get you some hydrocortisone for that. It’s gonna itch like crazy in a few minutes if you don’t get it on quick.” She said helpfully.

                “Oh, why, thank you.” He replied, genuinely grateful, and took another sip of water as she walked down the hallway to the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. The bathroom light showed through her thin bathrobe, silhouetting her naked body underneath. He gave in and indulged another avarice look at her body as she walked, feeling himself stiffen and his heart quicken at the sight. He quickly looked away as she turned around and came back with a tube of medication. She handed it to him with a smile and said, “I go through a lot of this stuff around here, but it’s been pretty bad this year with all the heat; I swear, they just keep getting bigger and bigger.”

                He squeezed a dollop of the white paste and rubbed it on the increasingly itchy bite, feeling it quell it almost immediately. “Oh yeah, that’s the stuff.” He said in relief.

“You wouldn’t mind, would you?” She said, motioning to her back; I got a bit right in the middle of my shoulder blades; I swear they know exactly where I can’t reach, don’t ya know?” She turned away from him and let the robe slide off her shoulder to reveal her back. A nasty mosquito bite the size of a silver dollar was dead center of her shoulder blades.

                Bruno was stunned for a moment, not sure what he should do. His first thought was that this was wildly inappropriate, and if HR caught wind of it, he would possibly get fired for the liability alone. His second thought was, almost jokingly as inappropriate,  Dear penthouse forum… I can’t believe it happened to me… He smiled at himself for that.He squeezed a large glob on his hand and gently put it on the bite. She inhaled sharply, and he felt her skin turn gooseflesh for a second.

                “Oh, that’s cold..” she exclaimed through gritted teeth as he rubbed the cream. Bruno reached up with the full intention of grabbing her shoulder to use as leverage to help him rub the cream. As he awkwardly reached, his hand brushed the side of her breast. His heart beat in his chest so hard it almost hurt as his vision blurred and his penis stiffened immediately. Bruno lost himself. All of a sudden, he felt as if in a dream, a haze or fog he could barely see past. As he watched, seemingly from out of body, a fat sweaty man in blue coveralls and a blue ball cap tore away her bathrobe and shoved her to the ground.

                He wasn’t sure how long it had been. He found himself lying on the ground. The room was dark but cool as the air conditioner hummed along. His hands were sticky, and his head hurt from a gash above his thick brow. He put his hands on the ground to heave himself off the ground. A sharp pain shot up through his hand as a shard of something sliced into it as he pushed himself up. “Ahh!” he screamed and sucked air between his teeth as more fresh blood dripped from his palm. Standing now, he looked around see broken ceramic pieced from a destroyed lamp  Must be why my head hurts.

                As he scanned around, he noticed a dark shape in front of the sofa. His heart lurched in his chest as he recognized her body. He felt the thrill, tantalizing and electric as the memory of his fingers brushing her breast, then the urgency. It wasn’t me,  it wasn’t me! I did the work, everything, I worked so hard, so this wouldn’t happen. He looked back at her crumpled body by the sofa. He could see better now; his eyes adjusted to the dark. There was so much blood everywhere. He could see smears of it all over the wood floor, handprints, and footprints. He could almost make out the scene in his mind just by looking at it. The end table by the sofa and its missing lamp, but why was there so much blood? He gingerly touched the gash above his eye; it hurt but was no longer bleeding. He looked closer at her and saw an enormous amount of blood on her back, her buttocks, and legs. He noticed bits and pieces of the ceramic peppered all over her in red splotches. The scene didn’t make sense to him until he saw a heavy glass ashtray cracked in half lying next to her hand.

                Bruno scratched the mosquito bite on his hand, which strangely brought him back to his senses. His eyes darted around the room as panic overtook him. They’re gonna know! Oh god, it’s so obvious! He frantically patted his pockets, searching for his keys; finding them in his front pocket, he bolted for the door and burst out into the night. He ran for his truck and jumped in, starting it before he had even pulled the door closed. He floored the pedal down, sending gravel to shower the house, and drove off in a manic daze.

about me · Author · poetry · writing

Yee olde Correspondences

I grew up in rural Alaska. It is a beautiful, brutal, vast, and sometimes boring place to grow up. Boring for a kid at least. Living on a homestead at the end of a homemade road in a cabin, there are not really many things to do. Of course, I did the usual kid things, made forts in the woods, climbed trees, and did some fishing, but at the end of the day, all these activities were done solitarily. I have a sister, but when she is your only company to play with it can get kind of dull. Our tiny town of Wasilla Had a decent library so books became a thing. I discovered, that you can travel to faraway places with adventures and mysteries to uncover. I started reading a lot. I discovered H.P Lovecraft (Specifically “the strange case of Charles Dexter Ward” and He blew my mind, I was instantly a horror fan. My Dad encouraged Isaac Asimov, and that threw me into the Science Fiction rabbit hole.

My First Favorite Author was H.P. Lovecraft however and I read everything I could get my hands on. I learned about how he would correspond with other authors, pen-pals as it were. Long conversations, that took months and years to have. But as a reader, I, of course, could not have conversations with the authors I read, (Obviously the dead ones were the hardest to reach) But in those days there were very few resources to tap into to even get the conversation started.  So I only could dream of talking to an author about the books I was reading, asking questions, and getting insight into the stories that I may have not picked up on.  Ah the days before the internet. Thank you, Arpanet (the first internet for you youngins).

Fast forward to the future. I grew up, trying my hand at writing, to realize that writing is for the soul, not the pocketbook (or google wallet (again for the youngins)). Make an Author page/blog, get your name out there and see if that works. Not so much yet, but its still new.

The Blog. The point of starting the blog was to promote me, my books, and my writing.  One side effect of writing a blog is that suddenly you are in a community.  Gone are the days of isolation in the Alaskan bush. I have started having great conversations with other authors, trading insights, asking questions, and just getting to know others that are afflicted with the same obsessive need to express our insanity to the world.  I look forward to more conversations, with other authors, and especially if you are a fan of my work, I would very much like to hear from you.

Horror · Uncategorized · writing

Happy Monday

Back at it for us working-class people, the weekend is done now back to the grind. I hope Everyone enjoyed the story “Alone.” Let me know what you thought in the comments section!

Here is an idea I am workshopping. Its quick one, sort of flash fiction.. Have fun!

Phantom Black

The beam of light pierced the veil. Like an ugly knife wound tearing a rough, misshapen hole in the darkness. The light touched a tentacle of the creature, a warm tingle drawing its attention. Confused and curious, it extended its tentacles, reaching, feeling the jagged edges of the opening. It wrapped its tentacles around it with more confusion about the nature of this new thing in its world, then examined the edges, feeling its solidity. Reaching in and gaining purchase on the inside surface, it began to pull itself through, marveling at the warm tingly, yet slight stinging sensation on its skin.

                The scientists fiddled with the device with excited banter, enthusiastic about their apparent success. The device looked like an over-engineered paint spray gun. One of the scientists adjusted a setting on the machine, causing a pleasant harmonic tone to emanate from it. The other scientist poured a black viscous liquid into a small vat attached to the instrument with tubes, hoses, and electrical connections. The first scientist starts speaking into a recorder, taking verbal notes with a shaky, excited voice. “four-thirty two hertz to four forty hertz seems to be the correct resonant frequencies to properly align the filaments. We have achieved approximately….” He looks up at the other scientist and nods his head slightly, prompting the missing information.

                “Ninety-nine point nine, nine percent.” The other scientist reads off of a computer monitor in a matter-of-fact tone.

                “Yes, right. Ninety-nine point nine, nine percent of photon absorption.” He continued, “We have found with the increased amplitude and voltage, the harmonic frequencies will correctly align the carbon nanotubes vertically; gave us an additional twenty percent efficiency.” He said, his voice still quivering with obvious exhilaration.

                Tentacles wavered through the opening, touching the air feeling the strange tingle of the light. As it pushed deeper into the new expanse, it could feel a vibration of sound emanating from inside this new space. It waved a tentacle sniffing the air, searching for the source of the vibrations. With so many new sensations, the creature grew eager and more curious. It pulled itself through the hole, sniffing and feeling.

                With their backs turned away from the black painted surface, the scientists quickly prepared their device for the new round of testing; the creature probed a tentacle towards them. The probing tentacle extended toward the sound vibrations and detected a unique sensation that triggered a biological response; Hunger.

Horror · writing

Alone part 4 of 4

The familiar smell of cotton candy and popcorn filled his nose. He stood in the shadows between the sideshow tents, watching the crowds ebb and flow through curtained doors, laughing in nervous excitement at the oddities within.  The smooth handle of his mallet felt good in his hand. His pulse pounded through every vein in his body. He could feel the throb of his heart down to his fingertips. He stayed there, in the darkness, waiting for his chance, waiting for a new Luis to walk by. His patience waned more and more as his excitement grew. This ain’t workin!They never come close enough!  
 He walked around to a small alley that led to the sugar shacks. There was less foot traffic in the dark alley, but he could walk around in the open without drawing attention.  He started to pace up and down the alley when he saw two boys leave a concession, each holding a corn dog and cotton candy. One boy was about five years old, but the other looked like he was fourteen. Their hands were so full of food that they had a hard time managing the load and taking bites simultaneously.  There are two! How do I get them apart? Luis? How?  Then it came to him.   

Randolph started to run toward them, then tripped and fell hard on the hard ground. He let out a yelp of pain that was half acting and half true. He grabbed at his ankle then screamed again.  
” Ouch! I twisted my foot!” he cried, rolling around on the ground. The two boys ran to his aid, the older one reaching him first.  
  ”Hey! Are you all right?” he asked with genuine concern.  
 ”Oh! My ankle! I think I sprained it pretty bad.” Randolph rolled back and forth, hoping he was convincing. The little boy came bounding up, juggling his treats and almost dropping them once or twice. Randolph looked at the younger one. ”Hey, kid!” He winced. “My folks are at the funhouse mirrors. Go get em, will ya?” he pleaded, sounding deeply pained.  
 ”Uh, uh sure thing!” The little boy replied and then scampered off down the alley. Randolph watched him until he rounded a corner.  
 The older boy stood over Randolph holding his hand out, “Can ya stand up?”  
Randolph reached out his left hand and took hold. The boy pulled him to his feet. He caught sight of Randolph’s shriveled arm and yanked his hand away in disgust. That’s okay; he’ll get used to it.  
 Randolph looked at the boy, who was now looking very cautious. The boy stepped back, his eyes adjusting to the dark, started to see details of Randolph’s makeshift bandage. Randolph’s heart quickened as he gripped the mallet. The boy looked down at the mallet with a confused look. Randolph swung out. His hand moved fast, but he controlled it this time, taking care not to hit him too hard. The mallet connected with the side of his face. The confused look on his face twisted into pain, and then his knees crumpled. He started to scream out in pain as Randolph clocked him again, this time on the top of his skull. The boy wobbled but did not make any more noise.   

Randolph looked around to see if anyone saw them. Satisfied they were still alone, he reached down and pulled the boy over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.  The boy groaned, muffled by the awkward position. “Wha-why?” then went silent again. This trip was not as hard as the other time. It was much easier carrying the boy than dragging him, and Randolph was thankful.   See that, Luis! I told ya I’m no half-wit! I’ll show ya!  
The barn came into view, and that seemed to make the boy feel lighter all of a sudden. He could still feel his heart race at the excitement of it all. He almost giggled in delight at the sight of the barn. He slumped the boy down at the entrance then pulled him in. The small area was hard to move around in, now that there were three of them in there. He pulled at Alasdair. His stiff cold body proved much more difficult than he wanted, but he managed to get him out of the barn. He crawled back in, then propped the new boy where Alasdair was. He fumbled in the darkness, wishing he had thought to get a candle or lantern but found the small wooden box. Now we can be together… Now I don’t have to be alone!  
 Randolph unwrapped the burlap, the sticky dried blood pulled at his head and scalp, causing him to cringe.  He leaned back, putting his head next to the boy’s, reveling in the familiar sensation of closeness to another. He opened the wooden box. Silver glinted in the soft moonlight that filtered in through the cracks in the ceiling, the little metal points gleaming with purpose. He picked the largest needle from the box and then felt for the thread. Only short-end pieces, clipped from countless sewing projects, but nothing long enough for his task.  He pulled at the burlap, finding a strand and unraveling it from the weave. It took a few tries; in the dark, threading the large needle was difficult, and more so with his excited fingers shaking in anticipation. He lifted the needle to his head and thrust it in. He expected it would hurt, but he barely noticed the first stitch. The boy groaned when the needle pierced his scalp; the thick burlap fiber sounded like hemp rope sliding through canvas. Randolph kept the mallet at the ready in case the boy was roused. That’s okay… It will all be better very soon.   
 He pushed the needle in again, this one hurt a little, and he felt warm fluid drip down his head. The fluid had a putrid smell and did not feel as thick as blood.  It will be all better. It will heal up nicely, won’t it, Luis?  The dried scabs of blood that caked the burlap strand started to feel like razor blades slicing through his head as he did his work. His arm tired at the awkward position, but he kept at it. Almost done, Luis…Almost together again.  


Horror · writing

Alone part 3 of 4

His face felt hot and flushed with instant anger. His arm shot up, he heard a hollow sound and a distinct squishy crack before he had even realized that the wooden mallet was in his hand. Luis only made a gurgling moan before his legs gave out, pulling them both down in a heap.  Luis lay half on top of Randolph, pinning him in an awkward position. Hot sticky fluid trickled into Randolph’s eyes. “Oh no! I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!” he blurted in instant regret. ”Luis?” he asked in an apologetic voice. “Are you okay?”    

No answer. He held his breath, listening for his brother to respond. Only stillness and silence from his brother.    

He wriggled under the dead weight, maneuvering his trapped arms free enough to leverage himself out and onto his back. Staring at the stars, he wiped the drying blood from his eyes. Pink bloodstained tears welled up in his eyes as the silence thundered in his ears. He’s not breathing.  His heart began to pound as that realization sunk in.    

“Luis?” He asked again in hopes that his mind was playing tricks on him. He’s not moving, not breathing. Oh no, Oh no! I killed my brother! He let out a sad moan and then began to sob. “Oh Luis, why did ya have to be such a meanie?” he whimpered between sobs and sniffles. His tears only washed more of the salty blood in his eyes, stinging them. He started to lift his head, but it was almost impossible without the assistance of his brother.   

Maybe he’s not dead. Maybe I could get help. Maybe he will be all right. That thought gave him strength. He slid his legs around enough to get his knees on the ground in a pitiful bowing position. He slid his arms under his brother and lifted with all his might. The gawky position his head was in removed any hope of leverage he may have had, and his shriveled left arm wasn’t strong enough to even budge. He rocked back and forth, trying to gain momentum.    

Just… a bit… more… He gave one last heave and then collapsed on his brother, pushing out what remaining air that was trapped in the lungs, making sick guttural gurgle. He lay on his brother catching his breath, neck aching from the awkward tilt.  

He sobbed quietly. His left arm pinched under the body started to cramp and burn as needle-like tingles danced on his fingertips. He rolled back onto his back, releasing the pressure on his arm, and stared back to the sky.  

Between breaths and an occasional sniffle, he felt a twinge deep in his belly. Like little butterflies fluttering around, growing in intensity as realization filtered to his mind, deeper and more meaningful. I killed my brother. The butterflies in his stomach sped up at the thought then turned to outright fear. He sniffled again, and his sobs became panicked.  

He renewed his resolve and rolled back up, leaning heavily on his brother. He dug in deep with his feet, trying to get better leverage. Shoving his arms deep underneath, he pushed hard, his feet sliding on the dry ground, rolling his brother enough to get his hands a little farther.  Leaning back, he managed to pull the body onto his knees. With all his strength, he lifted. His brother came off the ground far enough to give him hope. He grunted under the full weight and leaned back, centering his balance. “Almost… there!” He grunted, and then his arms gave out. He felt his brother slipping, the weight pulling his head down along with it, anchored to his brother’s. He gave in to gravity, half dropping, half falling over. He stumbled and collapsed back to the ground, digging his knee onto his wooden mallet, sending shockwaves of agony up his leg.    
 The helpless, trapped feeling fueled his panic and desperation.  He reached down, blindly feeling for the mallet, his only tool, his only means of escape. He lifted his arm high and swung down hard with concentrated effort. The mallet smashed onto his brother’s head with another wet-sounding hollow crunch. His eyes blurred as the shockwave reverberated the impact to his skull. He lifted the mallet again, slinging streams of blood into the air, then slammed it back down. With every swing, there was less crunch and more squish with each forceful collision. He pounded viscously, blood, bone chunks, and bits of brain flying in every direction. He pounded his brother’s face and skull into an unrecognizable mass of bloody gore.  Sounds like pudding. He chuckled at the thought and then started to sob again with a strange wash of confused emotions.  Brain pudding. He laughed again.  
 His head felt light as it pulled free from its lifelong companion. It made him feel dizzy, and he swayed back and forth, trying to stabilize the new sensation of unrestricted freedom.  His head throbbed from the separation. Not every swing was true , and he nicked his own head a few times. He heard a noise from behind him, a voice maybe, or voices. His head moved in jerky ungainly movements as he looked down at his brother. A new fear as the reality of what he had just done hit home. Murder.  
  The voices sounded louder. He pushed himself up using his mallet like a miniature cane, standing erect , and stumbled a few steps to the side. More dizziness took hold as his weaker left leg struggled to manage the new weight pressed on it. He gave one last jerky look at his brother and then took off toward the tree line. Half running, half stumbling in an uncoordinated gate, like a sailor who had been out to sea too long and was not used to solid ground. Flashes of white blinded his eyes with every jarring step he made, sending lightning bolts of pain through his throbbing and bleeding head.  He kept his awkward stumbling pace through the trees for what seemed to be hours. Tree branches whipping him in the face, and his fresh gaping head wound, driving stinging pain he had never before experienced.  
  The moonlight filtered through the trees as he came to a clearing. The soft silhouette of a barn, half-collapsed from neglect and dry rot, beckoned him. He did not know how far he had gone or how long he had been running, but his weakening legs and increasing dizziness told him that this place was as good as any. He needed to rest. He needed to sleep, and maybe he would wake up from his nightmare. The barn did not look safe. The entire front side was a mass of rotting broken timbers. He stumbled in the darkness around the barn, looking for any opening that did not have rusty nails and sharp shards of wood sticking out. He found an opening that looked like it must have been a hayloft, but this was on the ground. The barn had to have collapsed in on itself many years ago, leaving a small cave-like hole just big enough to crawl into.   

He collapsed onto rotting hay breathing hard, thankful to be off his feet.  He lay back in the darkness, putting his head against the wall. An intense pain reminded him of the damage to his head. He reached up to touch his wound, realizing he still clutched the bloody mallet in his hand, then tossed it away as if it was burning his hand.  His hand gingerly touched the edges of his wound, delicately feeling around trying to gauge his injury.  He felt the flaps of skin and pieces of sharp bone, wet with blood that still trickled down his neck. His heavy eyelids and sticky wet fingers told him that he needed to bandage his head and stop the bleeding or he would die.  He felt around, looking for anything that he could use as a bandage.  His fingers, sifting through rotting hay and other unidentifiable vegetation, touched on a coarse fabric. He lifted up, straining to see. Most of a rotted burlap potato sack.  
 He pulled at the fabric, ripping the decayed cloth easily into two long strips. He gently wrapped it around his head. He moaned and gritted his teeth as the scratchy and rough burlap touched the tender lesion. His eyes closed, vertigo and a dull throbbing in his head pushed him into unconsciousness.  
 Feverish dreams, strange and disjointed images flooded his mind. Tossing and turning, he woke in brief bouts of sweat-filled screams and confusion. He was disoriented, groggy memories of rotting hay, broken decayed timber backlit by bright sunlight, or dark shadows cast in silver moonlight.  
  Sharp piercing pangs of hunger pushed him back to lucidity. He opened one bleary eye, half squinting as the bright morning sun peeked through the slats in the timbers of the barn.  Another bolt of hunger shot through him, making him double over. “Luis!” He cried out, reaching over to touch his brother; then, another pain struck him as the memories came back to his sleepy mind. Tears welled up in his eyes, and he shuddered in sorrow and loss. Luis… he thought with a wave of sadness and guilt.  

Hunger prodded him to move. He lifted his head, surprised by its lightness, another aching reminder of solitude. He sat up, stiff, weak from fever and lack of food. How long? How many days have I been here?   
  He waited for the wave of dizziness to pass. He crawled out of his refuge and looked around. The hayfield was overgrown, long since abandoned, as many farms had been lost in this depression. The grumbling and ache in his stomach urged him to move on unsteady weak legs. His head throbbed at every footstep, but the constant reminder that he had not eaten for days kept his pace despite the pain. He followed a small stream, taking sips of cool water to fill his stomach with something, anything, until he found food.    

The scent of apple pie snared his nose, catching his attention and drawing him up a small embankment.  At the top of the bank, he could see a white farmhouse shrouded with the same kind of trees and shrubs that hugged the stream. Drool slipped from his dirty chin onto the bloodstained shirt in long dangling strings. Licking his lips, he pushed past the brush into the backyard of the house. Blinded by starvation, he ignored any consideration of knocking or announcing his presence and marched in. He followed his nose, the scent of the apple pie pulling him to the kitchen.  
 The pie sat near an open window overlooking the barnyard. Enthralled by hunger, he took the last few fast, hurried steps. In an instant the pie was in his hands, almost too hot to hold, almost. He scooped a huge handful with his crusty bloodstained hands and shoveled it into his mouth. Hot steaming apples burned his throat and tongue. A woman stepped around the corner with an armload of firewood for the kitchen stove. Her eyes traced a trail of dead leaves and dirty footprints into the kitchen.  Drying muck covered the work boots and up to the knees of his grungy coveralls. Dark brown stains worked their way up in increasing frequency along his back until the strange brownish-purple color was uniform.  
 ”Alasdair? What have you done and gotten yourself into?” She barked in frustration and impatience. Randolph stopped chewing. He turned his head with an odd downward tilt. His shoulders followed, and then his foot with a half step.  Her eyes widened, and she opened her mouth to scream. Randolph took one large step, dropping the last remnants of the pie to the floor with a resounding clatter of breaking glass. Lightning quick, his hand was on her throat with sticky pie filling and filth squishing through his fingers from his vise-like grip. Another step forward, and he pushed her straight down, slamming her head to the ground.   

Firewood flew from her arms in all directions, almost drowning out the sound of her cracking skull on the hardwood floor. Her hand felt frantic, finding a piece of firewood. She hefted it upward to fend off her attacker , but the weapon glanced off his shoulder with no effect.    

He squeezed harder; blasts of red-streaked the whites of her eyes, popping in bursts as the pressure forced the capillaries beyond capacity, leaving her with a blank crimson stare. A pool of blood welled from beneath her head, soaking into bits of pie crust and glass.  
 He let go and stood up , then watched the blood expanding on the ground. Luis! Look what I had to do now! If’n you were still here, it all woulda been different. She would have gone to the lawman! But I fixed it, see?   
 Glass crunched under his feet as he stepped back. He looked around the kitchen for the icebox. His stomach did not grumble painfully anymore, the pie took care of his immediate need, but he was still hungry. He spied a slab of salt pork, took a large bite, and stared out the kitchen window, chewing absent-mindedly. A boy about his age came out of the barn across the yard and driveway.  That’s Alasdair, I bet. He looks just like you, Luis.   

The boy carried a sack of feed and began slinging it this way and that amidst a gaggle of chickens, all trying to get the most feed first. He watched the boy finish the chore, wiping sweat from his brow. The boy looked over toward the house, then kicked a rock, and then started walking to it.  
 Randolph ducked down, just out of sight of the window. Did he see me?  He peeked over the sill. The boy was still walking, kicking rocks, and whistling. Randolph watched him as he was headed to the water pump, his heart aching at the resemblance. He took another bite of the salt pork, his right hand idly fidgeted, scratching his cheek, pulling up the strap of his coveralls, then sliding down to the loop on his hip, finding the mallet.  A pang of regret washed over him. He pulled the mallet out of the loop and looked at it, its polished handle from years of use. The worn, frayed, splintered edge on the head now had red-brown stains with strands of hair and small bits of flesh.   

I don’t have to be alone.  The idea worked its way in small, almost imperceptible steps, like wading into cold water, getting more comfortable the farther in it got. I could…  He gripped the mallet feeling its familiar weight.  
 Alasdair whistled his way to the pump. Wiped more sweat from his forehead and grabbed the handle. Randolph watched him as he almost danced around to the lever and pulled up a small wooden bucket, placing it under the spout. Randolph dropped the salt pork on the counter, turned, and charged, running to the barnyard door. Alasdair came into view again, his back to the door, pumping the handle with vigorous intent, water gushing into the bucket. He pulled the bucket up and poured it over his head. Randolph closed the distance with his awkward, uneven gate, bringing the mallet high over his head. The boy shook the water off his head, catching sight of Randolph. “What…?” He blurted, raising his arm in defense. It was too late. The mallet came down, but the full force of it was deflected by Alasdair’s arm and only brushed his head, ripping a long slash across his forehead just above his left eye. Alasdair stumbled back, wincing from the blow.   

Randolph brought the mallet back up for another strike just as Alasdair swung the bucket with a wide arc, hitting Randolph’s head with the full impact. Now it was Randolph’s turn to stumble back. He let out a loud cry as the pain collided with his previous injury. His eyes blurred for a moment, and he thought he would blackout.   

Alasdair did not wait for Randolph to gather himself. He charged, his fist reared back, and then shot forward with blinding speed. Randolph dodged the strike, feeling the wind of it glide past his nose. The missed attack sent Alasdair off balance. He stumbled forward, trying to regain his equilibrium.   

Randolph seized his opportunity; he grabbed the back of Alasdair’s coveralls and helped him along, guiding his head into the water pump. A muffled clank ended the bout. Alasdair crumpled on the ground, a wide gash on the top of his skull opened up like a blooming flower that welled up with thick dark blood.  
 Randolph’s head ached again. The fight left him hot, sweaty, and thirsty. He started pumping the handle until a steady flow of water surged from the spout. He held his head under the stream, the cool water soothing his head. He watched the water drain off his head, soaking the makeshift burlap bandage, turning different colors from clear to a murky yellow then to a rusty brown.  The cold water eased his throbbing head and cleared his mind. He looked down at Alasdair. He was bleeding, but Randolph could see his chest move in shallow breaths. He is gonna be okay. He’s still breathing, Luis! Just need a lil’ fixin up is all, and he be right as rain.  
 Randolph stepped over and grabbed the straps of Alasdair’s coveralls, and dragged him toward the house. He dropped Alasdair like heavy luggage when he reached the door of the house. He went in and rifled around the home, eventually coming out with a small wooden box with delicately painted flowers and the slab of salt pork.  
 The trek back to the barn seemed to take all day. Randolph’s powerful right arm tired more and more often, and he was forced to stop to rest every few yards.  The small entrance hole in the collapsed barn was tight, and it took more effort pulling the boy’s body through than he wanted. He propped Alasdair against the wall and pulled out the painted wooden box, then leaned his head back next to Alasdair.  
 He opened his eyes. It was getting dark, and he could barely see the outline of the small opening to his hovel. The wooden box lay on his lap unopened. Alasdair’s cold, breathless silence told him that he would not need it. He gritted his teeth, forcing back tears. I can’t be alone anymore, Luis! I just can’t!  He crawled out of the barn and headed off into the night.  

Continue to part 4