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The Devil In Providence

Hey there, whoever is reading this. I should probably warn you, this story is a little on the long side, but I figured that seeing as I enjoyed writing it, someone out there might possibly enjoy reading it. It’s nowhere near as creepy as it was as it played through my head, but it should still be enjoyable none the less..

So, for your reading pleasure, here’s…

The Devil in Providence

By: Andy Lucas

 

The road seemed to stretch on forever ahead of Ben as he drove on the road home. The afternoon sun shone brightly through a scattering of trees, reflecting off of the fresh paint of his black 1967 Chevy Impala. He wasn’t much of a car enthusiast, but after seeing the car repeatedly featured in one of his favorite shows, he had to own one. He thought it almost perfectly fit his profession. Trees and wide wooden fences dotted more and more of the land on either side of the road as he sped past them. Ben looked up at the afternoon sky as newly rolled in clouds began to briefly obscure the sun’s rays.

He began quietly humming a nameless tune from his childhood, whose words were long since lost to him. What seemed like countless farms slowly faded away behind him as he drove. ‘I don’t remember the scenic route being so…rustic’ he thought to himself. Finally, when he thought he might have missed a turn some miles behind him, he spotted a farmhand working at a nearby farm. Deciding he’d rather ask for directions and admit to being a little turned around than end up being completely lost, he pulled up to the side of the fence and got out of the car.

“You lost or something?” asked the farmhand as he looked up from his work to see a stranger walking towards him from a parked car. “To be honest” replied Ben, “I think I’m a bit turned around at the moment.” The farmhand looked at him quizzically. “I’m looking for a town called Providence. You wouldn’t happen to know where it is, would you?” In a gruff almost nasty voice he said “You mean Provincetown. Anyway, gas station’s back a bit up the road you came in on. You can get a map there.” The farmhand turned around to get back to his work. “Excuse me, Mr.…” said Ben, annoyed at the treatment he was receiving. “Reece” supplied the farmhand. “Reece, I meant Providence, not Provincetown. Believe it or not, I’m not some annoying tourist come to gawk at locals or bother everyone in my path. I’m actually from around here.” The farmhand eyed him skeptically. “Name’s Benjamin Edwards” said Ben, “though most people prefer to call me Ben.” He stuck out his hand in greeting, hoping to smooth things over with the farmhand.

Much to his pleasure, the farmhand’s disposition changed noticeably and he shook his hand. “Edwards huh?” he asked, “You wouldn’t happen to be related to Noreen and Phil Edwards, would ya?” “Yeah” replied Ben, “they’re my parents.” “I’m sorry for your loss” he said, then paused for a moment. “You’re not far from town” said the farmhand, changing the subject as he noticed the hint of pain in Ben’s eyes. He scratched his chin as if trying to recall some far off detail. “Just keep following the road for about 6 or so miles and you’ll be there. Mind the woods though.” With an almost thoughtful look he said “Then again, you’re from around here, so you know.” With that, he went back to his work, leaving Ben alone. Ben hopped got back into his car and continued on towards town. As he rode on, the farmhand looked up again from his work, his eyes trained on Ben in his car. Trained and full of secrets, dangerous secrets.

His driving took him past a rustic looking sign, pointing to either side of the road. “Black Woods” The farmland seemed to shrink away near the sign, till it wasn’t there anymore. As he passed the sign, he remembered being warned as a child never to go out too far into the Black Woods at night and never ever to go in alone. Anyone in town who’d even so much as looked at a map could tell you there were high cliffs at the edge of the woods that bordered the Atlantic. A few years back, a boy had somehow wondered into those same woods late one night and that was the last anyone had seen of him. According to crazy old man Hatcher, the town’s historian; it was the sea that lured that boy away in the middle of the night and the sea that took him. Shaking himself from his short reverie, he sped up a little. With the farms and the sign slowly trailing away behind him and Providence growing slowly closer, he reverted to a more relaxed speed.

Finally he’d reached Providence, his hometown. Slowly, its antiquated charm started to work its way on him. It seemed like time had been kind to the town and its people since he’d left for college six years ago. As he drove in through town, he saw many of the same faces he’d seen when he left. Some people smiled at him as he drove into town. Maybe they remembered him or maybe they were just being friendly, he couldn’t tell. He spared little time as he made his way through the center of the town and his destination; the Governor Hotel, at the edge of town.

 

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Pulling up to the hotel, he couldn’t help but notice just how creepily quaint the place was. He pulled his car around back and parked, grabbing what few bags he’d brought with him and heading into the hotel. Before he’d driven into town, he’d thought about staying with his brother Kyle, but figured they’d see one another when the time came. There wasn’t any animosity between the two, but over the years, they’d grown somewhat distant. Maybe he’d try to fix that during his stay in town. Ben shut the car door, heading inside to check in.

He remembered the hotel from his childhood. There were some in the town who’d tell you the Governor hotel had been part of the town since its establishment. Supposedly the Governor was originally intended to be the governor’s mansion when the governor of Massachusetts was in town. It almost looked like something out of a picturesque fairytale. It had its own dark past however. From the first day the foundation of the building had been laid, there were strange accidents and deaths on site.  All his time living in Providence, he’d never once stayed in the hotel or even set foot in it, but now he’d have his chance. It was the perfect place for him to work.

The lobby of the hotel was beautiful, in a rustic, small town sort of way. Ben looked around; taking it all in. All around him were old pictures of the hotel and the town. Walking over to the front desk, he spotted a woman who sat behind it. “Welcome to the Governor, how I help you?” asked the cheerful woman. “Hi, I’m here to check in” said Ben, still admiring the surroundings. “I’m Benjamin Edwards” The woman looked took a few short moments to confirm his reservation, then took his credit card. “Looks like you’re here with us for three weeks. Check out is at noon on the 22n’d. She handed his credit card back, along with his room key. It was made of brass which took him by surprise “You’re in 1301” she told him; the friendly smile on her face never once faltering. “Enjoy your stay.” “Thank you” he replied.

He took his room key and bags to the elevator and headed up to his room. The speakers in the elevator played “The hotel was fairly quiet, which wasn’t surprising. Providence wasn’t really a tourist destination. Not with Salem and its well-known history so close by. The elevator ride didn’t feel as long as he’d thought it would, especially with the ever present elevator music playing. There was something genuine yet deeply haunting about the song, but he paid it no mind.

“They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear
I was always there, right on the job

They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it’s done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower up to the sun
Brick and rivet and lime
Once I built a tower, now it’s done
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee, we looked swell
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell
And I was the kid with the drum

Say, don’t you remember? They called me ‘Al’
It was ‘Al’ all the time
Why don’t you remember? I’m your pal
Say buddy, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, ah, gee, we looked swell
Full of that Yankee Doodly Dum
Half a million boots went slogging through Hell
And I was the kid with the drum

Oh, say, don’t you remember? They called me ‘Al’
It was ‘Al’ all the time
Say, don’t you remember? I’m your pal
Buddy, can you spare a dime?”

 Walking from the elevator to his room, he couldn’t help but be impressed with its design and hopeful. “This’ll do nicely” he said, pleased as he opened his room door. He dropped his bags over by his freshly made bed and sat down. He wished he could have flown into town, but there wasn’t anything close to a commercial airport anywhere in Providence. Just small local fields for crop dusting and things of that nature. Still, he was glad to be home; more for his new book than anything else. Still, he reached over and grabbed the phone on the night stand near his bed. He might as well call Kyle.

“Well well well” the voice on the other end of the phone said “look who decided to call his big brother. What’s the special occasion?” “Yeah yeah yeah” replied Ben, unsurprised by his brother’s reaction. “I know, I never write, I never call. It’s not like I don’t care ya know?” said Ben, settling into their age old argument whenever the two managed to speak. “You couldn’t even find the time to come home for either of their funerals” argued Kyle. He was right of course. He was always right it seemed. And that fact annoyed Ben more than anything else about his older brother. “Look” said Ben, finally tired of their old song and dance. “I’m sorry, ok. I know sorry doesn’t turn back the hands of time or fix broken things, but I’m sorry.” “You’re right” replied Kyle, “it doesn’t fix broken things…” There was a long silence and Ben had about all he was going to take from his brother. “But it’s a start.” Kyle finished.

Ben let out a sigh of relief. He knew how difficult his brother could be, and for him to relent so quickly was something new to Ben. “Seeing as you’re in town ‘n all, maybe you could see yourself to coming over for dinner sometime before you leave?” asked Kyle. Been couldn’t tell fi it was an empty invitation or a genuine one, but he’d hoped it was genuine. He didn’t’ hate his brother of course. “Sounds like a plan” he said. They talked more; for what seemed like hours, catching up on some of the things that’d happened in their lives, but not wanting to tell too much over the phone. They wanted to leave something for when they sat down in person after all. “I’d better hit the hay” said Kyle. “I’ve got an early day tomorrow. “Alright” said Ben. “I should probably get my things unpacked before I do the same. “One last thing” said Kyle. “I’m glad you’re home.” After that, they hung up and Ben called down to the front desk, requesting a wakeup call for the early morning. He then started unpacking his bags and got ready to call it a night himself.

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Ben stood in a dimly lit cavern, at the edge of eerily placid waters. A strange, dark mist oozed its way out of the water, slowly undulating; swirling its way about the vast cavern. The mist seemed to seep into the very walls of cavern as it grew thicker, denser; going about its unknowable business. The cavern would have been an awe inspiring sight if not for the mist. The dim, soft glow of the cavern seemed to change as the inky abomination set to work, defiling a once beautiful site with an unholy rot. Ben stood there, frozen in curiosity and in fear. He wanted to scream; shriek, but no sound would leave his mouth.

Then as the mist began to fill up more and more of the cavern, he caught a glimpse of something within it. The sight of unholy abomination coming towards him sent chills down his spine. As he stood, rooted to the spot, tears fell slowly from his eyes, rolling down his cheeks. Slowly, he put his hand up to his face. When he pulled his hand back, there was a red, almost sticky substance on his hand; it was blood. He began to back away from the darkness as it stretched and yawned its way wickedly and with purpose towards him. Turning his back on the scene before him, he tried to run and was thankful for the ability to move. He ran as quickly as his legs could carry him he could more feel the horror behind him than see it as it reached out to him to grab him. He only barely escaped its grasp.

A knock at his bedroom door shook him out of his sleep. “Mr. Edwards” the voice boomed from the other side of the hotel room door, “is everything ok in there?” The voice sounded concerned. Ben looked around the room groggily, still half asleep. “Mr. Edwards?!” the voice boomed again, this time a little louder than before. “I’m up, I’m up” he managed to say, his voice slightly slurring. The room door opened slowly. “Mr. Edwards” said the voice a third time, this time not in a boom, but in a softer pleading tone. Ben looked up to where the voice came from. It was a young man in the uniform of the hotel. “Wha…?” asked Ben, confused, “What’s wrong?” “You called down last night for a wakeup call sir and the front desk called you.” The look of confusion didn’t leave Ben’s face. “We’ve been calling your room all day sir. It’s already 2pm and well, some of us wondered if something might be wrong.”

Ben looked over at the clock across from him. Its red digital numbers read 2:00PM. “Tha…thank you” he stammered. “Must have slept right through you calling. Sorry about that.”  He got up out of the bed, unashamed to be seen in his underwear in the least and reached into his pants pocket for his wallet. “Here ya go” he said, pulling out a ten dollar bill and handing it to the young man at the door. “It’s not much, I know, but still, thanks for waking me up” said Ben. Leaving, the young man closed the door behind him and went on about his work for the day, a large smile on his face.

Realizing what a late start he’d gotten on the day, he rushed a quick shower and got dressed. The whole time, the song from the elevator the night before played in his head, causing him to hum a bit of it since he didn’t’ know the words. He shaved, got dressed and grabbed his car keys, heading out to town. It’d been a long time since he’d really spent any time in town, so he might as well get in the sights, maybe even visit Kyle while he was at it.

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He headed out of the hotel and down along the road towards downtown. ‘I’ve gotta find some kind of inspiration for this book.’ he told himself. Looking around him as he drove along, he watched the people go about their daily routines. Rounding a corner on Main St. he slowed down so he could get a better look at the stores around. At the end of the corner, he spotted the place he’d been looking for. He found a parking spot and almost jumped right out of the car.The sign, in faded blue and gold read “Midwitch Finds”. It was one of the local antique shops, though he couldn’t guess why it was named after the town of Midwitch. Full of hope, he walked into the store. Quaint sounding chimes tinkled as the door opened.

There wasn’t a single person in the store as Ben walked in. Nearing the counter, he noticed a little bell with a little folded sign next to it. The small sign read “Please ring bell for assistance” so, he did, and he waited. One minute went by, then another, and another. There wasn’t a response. ‘Guess the owner stepped out’ he thought as he started looking around the shop. Everywhere he looked, he saw both the old and the new; everything from paintings and small porcelain figurines to collectable baseball cards and toys for all ages of children. It was a veritable hodgepodge of things. As he headed back towards the counter he noticed a particularly beautiful painting hanging on the wall across from where he stood. A loose floorboard groaned beneath his foot as he neared it.

It was a painting of the town of Providence, full of men, women, children and the elderly. They were all sitting around long tables at what looked like a feast of some sort. ‘Looks like Thanksgiving’ he thought as he stared intently at the painting. It almost seemed as if one of the people seated turned his head, staring straight at Ben. He rubbed his eyes, sure it must have been a trick of the light. Looking at the painting again, everything was as it should be. No one was staring at him.  A door beside the front counter opened and out came an old man.

The old man raised a trembling hand to his glasses as he adjusted them on his face. He shot Ben an appraising look. “I know you” he said, his voice frail but sure. “You’re that Edwards boy, the other Edwards boy I mean.” He shook his head, affirming his own rightness. “That’s me” said Ben. “Sorry mister, but I don’t recall your name” said Ben to the shop owner. “Name’s Gaunt” he replied, “Eustace Gaunt. “Ahh…Mr. Gaunt” began Ben, “you’ve got quite the store here.” Eustace shook his head in proud agreement as a small smile crossed his face. “So, Edwards, what brings ya to my little slice of heaven?” he asked.

             “Well” replied Ben, “I’m a writer now ya see. I was hoping to find something in your shop that I could use for inspiration for my latest novel. “Inspiration, huh?” he asked as he scratched the side of his head absently. Ben pointed over to the painting on the wall. “How much for that?” he asked. What makes ya think you’d get any from this old thing?” “Call it a hunch” said Ben, shrugging. “It really is a beautiful old painting” he added. Eustace shrugged lightly. Ben paid for the painting, thanking him and slipped it into his backpack before riding back up to the house. The day seemed to go by abnormally fast as he peddled back.

             He got back to his hotel lobby and there was no one anywhere in sight. So, he hung the painting in his in the room, hoping it would spark some sort of inspiration in him. Hours later, as he sat by his laptop, still trying to come up with a beginning for his story, his hope paid off. The images in his mind seemed to flow through straight to his fingertips as he typed furiously. He barely noticed the slow trickle of blood that dropped from his nose till it hit his sleeve, but he continued writing. As he wrote, he felt himself slipping away, into the images in his mind. Then he stopped typing all together.

           Looking back up at the painting, he couldn’t help but notice a change in it. There seemed to be fewer people in the painting than he remembered. And who were left somehow different; altered. Gone were the happy and hopeful looks they’d adorned. What replaced them were angry, almost maddening smiles and grimaces. ‘It’s all in my head’ he told himself. ‘It all comes with being a horror writer.’ Looking over at the clock, he realized two hours had passed by. He took a break from writing and decided to go visit his brother; not noticing the blood that had slowly dripped from his nose..

          He’d called ahead and gotten no answer, but decided he might surprise his brother instead. By the time he got to the house, it was as if a blanket of silence had fallen over it. He went to the front door to knock, but it was wide open, swaying in the breeze. Looking inside, there wasn’t a soul to be seen; the house was completely empty. He passed the old grandfather clock that his grandparents had given his parents so long ago. It was the only thing in the house that made a sound. “Kyle” he called out, hoping to get his brother’s attention, but there was only the ticking of the old clock in response. Guess he’s off doing something’ he thought. He checked the upstairs levels, even looking in his parents’ old bedroom in case he was in there, but nothing. Heading back downstairs he decided to check the back yard. As he walked into the kitchen, he saw a drop of red fall onto the kitchen floor. Reaching up, he touched his nose and as he pulled his hand back, revealing wet blood on his finger.

         Rushing over to the sink, he grabbed a paper towel and wet it, taking care of his nose as best he could. As if it had been there the entire time and he was only now aware of it, a slight buzzing, humming noise that sounded somewhat like a lawnmower attracted his attention. It was coming from the back yard. Looking out the back yard window, he saw Kyle, sitting atop their father’s riding lawnmower. “Kyle” he called out again, trying to raise his voice above the sound of the machine, but he didn’t respond. He just sat there on the mower, riding in a circle. He rode in that circle over and over again, cutting the same grass for what must have been an hour at least, before he finally snapped out of it, stopping the mower in its tracks.

         “Huh?” he asked as he looked at Ben, a fog seemingly lifting from his eyes. “I’ve been trying to get your attention for a few minutes here. You ok?” “Uh…sure” replied Kyle. “How long’ve you been on that mower anyway?” asked Ben, “You were going in a circle, cutting that same grass the entire time I’ve been calling for ya, and who knows how long before that. “Oh, I uh…I don’t know what to tell ya. One minute I was about to mow the entire lawn and the next thing I know, I see you yelling at me while I’m going around and around in a circle.” Kyle replied. “Sounds like you could use a break, and a cold one” suggested Ben. “Best idea I’ve heard all day” said Kyle.

            Kyle took the mower back to the garage, locking it up. In the living room, the two brothers sat down to their beer and talked throughout the rest of the day. It’d been a long time since they’d really enjoyed one another’s company like this. “So, is this new story of yours going to be anything like your last one?” “My last one?” asked Ben. “You read my last one?” he asked, genuinely surprised. “Of course I did. I’ve read all the books you’ve written so far; wouldn’t be much of a brother if I didn’t.” Ben thought to himself for a second. “This one’s going to be as different from the last one as possible. It’ll be a genuine horror; none of that needlessly gory slasher stuff.” “Good” said Kyle. “I liked your last one, but I’ve never been a huge fan of slasher stories.” With a wry smile on his face, Ben looked at his brother. “You may like this one then. It’s about Providence.” “A horror story about Providence?” asked Kyle. “There hasn’t been anything spooky in this town since… well…” Kyle thought to himself. “The Black Woods” he said. “I’ll bed it’s got something to do with those woods.” “You’re almost right” said Ben. It’s mostly about a fictional version of the town. I’m calling this one The Devil in Providence. Thought the title sounded…catchy.” Kyle scratched his chin for a moment, then nodded his approval. “You know, there’re a few people around town who might not like their quiet little town being the spot for a horror story; no matter how well written” said Kyle. Ben knew his brother was right. It was getting late and the two parted ways, but not before Kyle reached out his hand to his brother, and the two shook.

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            The night was fairly dark and Ben lay in bed, thinking about his book, the town, and his parents. He kicked himself for not coming back to see them before they’d died and he’d kicked himself for not coming to their funeral. The rain came down heavy as his bedroom window was pelted with raindrops. Then he thought about Kyle. He couldn’t think of what could have brought on anything like that. As far as he’d known, his brother was in good health. Even he would have said something if he’d been getting sick.  After the two had spoken for most of the day and enjoyed a beer or two together, Ben was sure of it. Lightning flashed furiously outside the hotel. It was one of Providence’s famous summer storms. Often times he’d listen to music as he slept, so he looked around the room till he found the radio. Most of the stations were static, or political radio; neither of which he was fond. Finally he found a station; the classical music station. They were playing Tartini’s the Devil’s Trill Sonata. It was one of his favorite pieces. Sitting back down on the bed, he allowed himself to relax, till his eyelids grew too heavy to stay open. As he drifted off to sleep, Ben slipped into a dream.

            Ben stood once again at the edge of the almost stagnantly placid waters in the dimly lit cavern. This time, something felt different. It almost felt somehow peaceful; almost peaceful enough for him to have lain down right where he stood and fall asleep. Then everything just stopped. The feeling of peacefulness and calm jut evaporated as if into thin air as he stood there. A feeling of what he could only call pure and unadulterated dread washed over him. He wanted to leave the water’s edge; he wanted to leave the pond. He wanted to run away from it as fast as possible, but he couldn’t even budge. Breathing as steadily as he could, he tried to calm himself, but it only barely worked.

 

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Then he sensed it before he could actually see it. It was the same strange, dark mist from the last time he’d had this dream. Swirling about, here and there, it slowly wound its way from the water at the furthest side of the cavern. He stared into the mist, squinting as best he could, then he felt something looking back at him. A feeling told him to run. Once again he tried to run; only this time, his legs obeyed him fully. He turned around from the water and began to slowly run away, picking up speed as he went. He could feel the mist or the thing, inside of it making their way towards him. He could feel them watching him, following him. When he round run no more, he stopped, bent over and retching. When he could finally stop retching, he looked up in front of him and there was a flight of stairs that seemed to spiral upwards. Looking back over his shoulder he saw a sight that took him completely by surprise. It was his brother, but it wasn’t his brother. He had a look of almost serene madness in his eyes as he waded through the water and the mist, walking slowly towards Ben.

His white robe dripped with water as he stepped out and onto the ground. It was as if someone or something else was wearing a perfectly tailored Kyle suit, complete with mask. The only difference was the strange black substance that seemed to branch out about his skin, as if it were alive. There was a wound on his chest, over his heart that seemed to almost ooze the black substance with each step he…it took. Then it stopped where it stood. Ben heard a sound, a whisper in his ear. The voice was so familiar, yet sounded distant; as if it were miles and miles away. “Run!” said the voice, “Turn around and run Ben, it isn’t me.” The thing that wasn’t Kyle started making its way towards Ben again. It never said a word, but he doubted it wanted a conversation. Backing up step by step, Ben turned around and ran. He wanted nothing more than to stay out of the reach of this thing; whatever it wanted.

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Ben woke up in a cold sweat; his sheets were lightly damp from his perspiration. Frantically, he looked around him, getting reacquainted with his surroundings. It was still dark outside, except for the occasional flash of lightning in the still stormy night sky. Quietly he got out of bed and threw a robe and some slippers on and went to find a vending machine. He often had a late night craving for some junk food or another. As he walked to where he thought he remembered spotting a vending machine earlier, he noticed how quiet the hotel was. It wasn’t the typical quiet you’d find at night; it was a strange, different kind of quiet. It unsettled him. But then he thought about his book, and this could only help his story. He managed to find a vending machine, grab a snack, and head back to his room.

The lightning outside flashed as if the heavens were in the midst of a battle of biblical proportions, though nothing about this night felt biblical to him at all. A breeze flew in through his bedroom window, rustling the curtains. ‘I don’t remember leaving that open’ he thought, concerned. Cautiously he looked around the bedroom for some sign of entry, but found none. He walked over to the open window, ready to close it. Despite the violent flashing of the lightning, the crashes of thunder, and the almost seemingly unending rain, it looked like a beautiful night. He looked down onto the empty front lawn as a flash of lightning arched across the sky, illuminating the entire front lawn of the hotel for him to see. There on the lawn stood a host of people, all in black hooded robes, staring up at him; their faces hidden in the shadow of their hoods. He wasn’t quite sure who they were, but their presence bothered him. Another bolt of lightning danced its way across the sky and the people were gone, as if they’d vanished into the darkness of the night or as if they had never been there to begin with.

Ben slammed the window shut and the breeze was cut off, leaving the curtains of his bedroom lifeless and unruffled. ‘Am I going mad or what?’ he asked himself, worried that some sort of madness might slowly be taking a hold over him. The lightning flashed again outside his window, brilliantly illuminating the room. The hairs on the back of Ben’s neck began to stand on end as he turned around. With each flash of lightning, the painting hanging on the wall over his computer could be seen, with almost crystal clarity. “What the hell?” he said in surprise. The painting had changed again. The men and women were somewhat tattered and bloody. They had weapons in their hands as they stood over others, women, children, the elderly; as if they meant to hack them all to pieces.

The closer Ben got to the painting, the more he noticed that there was another change in the painting, the settlers were deformed; twisted and distorted versions of their former selves. ‘Kyle’ he thought. “What the hell is going on in this town?” he said aloud, wishing that somehow he could have an answer. He was sure though that whatever the answer was, he wouldn’t like it. He took down the painting and threw it onto the floor, by the window. He’d be damned if he had to look at it one more time. He feared what he might see the next time he glanced at it. Overcome with exhaustion, he slowly made his way over to his bed and fell asleep.

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The next day passed by pretty uneventful. Ben spent most of the day at the small desk provided for him in his hotel room and typed away at his story. His room phone rang, causing him to stop what he was doing. He hadn’t been expecting a phone call, but decided to answer anyway. “Hey Ben” said the voice on the other end of the phone. It was Kyle. “What’s up?” asked Ben. “Town’s having the annual carnival tonight; you know, the Founder’s Day carnival?” “That’s tonight?” asked Ben. “Yeah, sure is” said Kyle, “And you’re coming. Before Ben could even protest, Kyle added “It’s not up for discussion. You spend far too much time cooped up in that old hotel working on your story and not enough time in the fresh air.” Ben wanted to argue, but he and his brother had begun reconnecting. He didn’t want anything to ruin that. Looking over at his clock, he was surprised to see how late it had gotten. It was already four thirty. “Alright, I’m coming” said Ben, finally. “I’ll see you there.”

Children ran through the park, full of laughter and childlike mischief as the dusky night lit up with the light from a small fireworks display. The town’s annual Providence Founders Day carnival was in full swing. The park was full of town’s people, either running a booth of some sort or just having as good a time as possible. Ben and Kyle walked around, taking in the festivities sights. They shook hands and Ben reacquainted himself with some people he hadn’t seen in years and met a few new along the way. “I’m glad you talked me into coming” said Ben to his brother, as he took a deep breath of air. “Believe it or not, it’s been a long time since I’ve been to a carnival.” Kyle laughed deeply and for a moment, it was like when they were little kids again. “Think of it as an unofficial welcome home party” said Kyle with a wide grin on his face.

A few people that Ben didn’t recognize, came over to him and his brother as they stopped for a few seconds to look at one of the carnival games. Noticing them, Kyle looked up and smiled. Ben could tell there was something off about the smile. It wasn’t one of his brother’s usual lighthearted smiles. “Ben” he said, “this is Zeke and Paul. Zeke, Paul, this is my little brother, Ben.” They shook hands and exchanged pleasantries for a moment. “Sorry Ben” said Zeke, “we hate to be a bother and all, but could we steal your brother away for a few minutes, we’ve got a few things to discuss.” Ben shot his brother a concerned look, but Kyle barely reacted. “I’ll find ya in a bit” he said. “Alright” replied Ben, “See ya in a few.” His brother and the two others disappeared in the crowd of town’s people enjoying the festivities. “Might as well enjoy myself” he mumbled to himself as he went on his own, exploring what all the carnival had to offer.

Ben managed to dunk the man at the dunk tank three times in a row; receiving a vigorous applause from those waiting for a turn at the game. He wasn’t used to getting much praise for anything other than his books and he had to admit, he liked the way this felt. The longer he’d spent in town, the happier he was that he’d decided to visit. An hour passed by and he hadn’t seen his a sign of his brother yet. He began to wonder where he might have gone off to. Stepping away from the dunk tank, he scoured the crowd, trying to pick out his brother from among the multitudes of people. Then he remembered that his brother wasn’t alone, he was with two other men, so he looked for all three of them. Finally, he managed to find them, off in a corner of the park; talking. Kyle didn’t look too happy with the other two though. From where he stood, Ben could see the way Kyle’s arms moved angrily.

He navigated his way through the crowd of people, trying to get to his brother. “Kyle” he yelled out, barely able to hear his own voice above the sounds around him. He decided that waving in his brother’s direction might catch his attention and it did. Kyle stormed off from Zeke and Paul and headed for his brother. “You ok?” asked Ben, “You looked pretty angry over there.” “Oh that? Yeah, I’m fine” he replied. “You know” said Ben, concerned, “you’re a piss poor liar.” Kyle started laughing, catching his brother by surprise. “What’s so funny?” asked Ben. “You’ve got that look like you’re ready to take on the world.” “What can I say…”said Ben, letting his words trail off.

“Looks like I’m gonna have to make another early night of it” said Kyle. “Bed? This early?” asked Ben. “It must be tough being old.” He chuckled lightheartedly. “Just you wait” replied Kyle, “you’ll be old before ya know it.” He then joined in the chuckling, patting his brother on the back. “Before you leave town, we’ll spend some real time together” he promised Ben. “Alright then” said Ben, “I’m holding ya to just that. Ben walked off towards the house. Looking around, he couldn’t help but notice that the other two, Zeke and Paul had disappeared too. “I wonder what that was all really about.” he thought to himself. As he made his way back to his car and to the hotel, he couldn’t escape the nagging feeling that something was wrong, though how wrong, he didn’t know.

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Deep asleep, he dreamt again, though this was nothing like he’d experienced before. Ben stood at the bottom of the stairway to the cavern, somewhat hidden in shadow. From there he could make out the shapes of people dressed in hooded black robes and what looked like a large stone altar of some sort near the edge of the water. As he squinted he could make out stairs going up the altar facing him and on either side of it, leading to a flattened top. In the center of the altar, there was a modest fire that seemed to outshine the cavern’s once beautiful, natural dim glow. There was a stone table in front of the flame. A cold chill ran up his spine as he watched the sight before him. The people danced around and around the big stone altar, chanting; their robes swaying this way and that as they moved. Their voices reverberated as they bounced off the far walls of the cavern. Ben could hear them, but he couldn’t understand a word they’d said. All he knew was that whatever it was he was hearing, it wasn’t any better than what he was seeing. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t natural.

“Kadseg!

Ithak rugu utlegoi olked.

Kad lo-ug bogoy tog otekigo.

Seg amasti dhak-ysat elog.

Kadseg!

Shutho-ili! Shutho-ili! Shutho-ili!”

            He looked on with horrified curiosity as one of the black robed figures; he thought it was a man, walked up the stone stairs of the altar leading a young man in a white, hoodless robe behind him. The black robed figure walked the young man to the table, laying him down. Once that was done, candles at the four corners of the altar were lit one at a time. An unholy black flame leapt up from each lit candle and sputtered, though it could scarcely be heard over the din of collective voices.  A feeling of unbelievable terror began to fill Ben as he stood there almost rooted to the spot. The chanting grew louder and louder, echoing till he could hear the words they spoke, as if he were right next to them.

Ben wanted to yell, to stop what he saw from continuing, but he couldn’t. He was vastly outnumbered. The person who stood atop of the altar, next to the stone table, removed what looked like a dagger from his belt. He walked over to each of the sputtering black flamed candles, kneeling in front of them, holding the blade steadily over the ebony flames. When he was done, the blade itself shone as black as the flames of the candles. Holding the dagger carefully, so as not to touch the blade, he plunged it into the fire at the altar’s center.  No sooner than he plunged the ebony blade into the fire, it roared to life, as if it was alive, and hungry. The fire began to grow in size and its colour darkened till it was as black and unnatural as the flames that danced atop the candles bordering the altar. He pulled the blade from the flames and walked over to the young man lying on the stone table, joining in with the mad chanting of the others. As he held the blade over the man’s body, he grew louder and louder, till Ben could hear his voice above those circling the altar.

“Alka Kadseg!

Alka Kad lo-ug!

Nadu es ùri.

Alka Kadseg! Alka Kadseg!

Alka!”

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With a look born from madness and ecstasy, he plunged the dagger deep into the heart of the person on the altar. There was a loud scream, though not one of horror or pain, but of joy, or so it sounded to Ben’s ears.

Ben couldn’t watch any longer and stepped back, horrified. A pebble rolled from beneath his foot as he stepped back. He gasped as he realized what happened. The chanters were far too caught up in their business to even notice the sound of an errant pebble on the ground from the shadows of the stairway. For fear that his next step might actually be heard, he froze in the spot where he stood; helpless to do anything more than watch the scene unfold in front of him. The flame in the center of the altar danced wildly, swaying to and fro, almost undulating. The sound of the chanting died down to a whisper as Ben looked on in surprise.

From the waters near the altar it came. It was pure corruption given form and unintelligible form and substance. Like a living rot, it spread from the waters onto the ground near the altar. Slowly, it made its way up the back side of the altar, branching out this way and that, blackening every inch of stone it touched. The darkness wrapped its way around the stone table where the now lifeless young man lay. Slowly it crept up his cold arm and into the wound in his chest, filling his body with its very being. The young man slowly began to rise from where he lay. Ben couldn’t see his face, but he could feel even from where he stood that there was something different about him; something dark and impure. The black robed man who was closest to the figure in white yelled out in a thunderous voice. “Kadseg!”  Those below, at the base of the altar yelled “Ia, Ia Kadseg!” in response.  He reached out an arm, touching the black robed man only for a second. He twitched and convulsed where he stood, as he was filled with corruption from the inside out. The black robed man fell to the floor of the altar.

From where he stood, Ben could barely see the change that the man was undergoing, but he could fully feel the presence of evil in the cavern growing stronger. The black robed man rose, but there was something different about him. Not as different as the young man who not too long ago was dead atop the altar, but still, different. He pulled back the hood of his robe, revealing the change for all to see. Ben couldn’t believe his eyes, what little they could see from that distance.

The young man turned away from the man-thing that was once the black robed man and faced the waters of the cavern with her hands upraised. He never said a word, but Ben could hear what had to be his voice in his head and he understood the only two words it said. “The End.” The water behind the altar began to boil and steam. As the steam rose, it became darker and darker in colour, till it was inky black. Ben knew that something wicked, something purely evil was coming, and it made him scared.

Ben could stand it no more, so he turned to face the stairway and ran, hoping he had remained unnoticed by the mad chanters. Upward and onward he flex, hoping to escape the madness he had just witnessed. He could hear no sound behind him of anyone…anything giving chase and as he went to slow down, he tripped over the final step of the stairway, falling face first onto the hard floor beneath him.

****************************************************************************************************

Ben woke up, frantic. He got out of bed looking all around the room till his eyes found what they sought. It was the painting. He never wanted to look at it again, but now he had to. Picking it up, he turned on the hotel room light to get a better look at it. His eyes shot open wide. There were no more people in the painting, only deformed monstrosities where people once stood. Off in the background of the painting, he could see a building, the Governor hotel, surrounded with trees of different type and a lush green grass in front. Despite looking picturesque, the building seemed evil to him.  He wanted to hold on to the illusion that his fears were nothing more than the fruit of too much time spent writing horror, but no matter how much he wanted to, he couldn’t. He stayed up the rest of that night, drinking cup after cup of coffee in hopes that he wouldn’t fall back to sleep.

The sun finally rose in the morning sky. Ben walked to the kitchen window, greeting the new day with bloodshot eyes. There was a knock at his door. “Funny” he thought, “I don’t’ remember hearing anyone stop outside my door.” A piece of white paper was slipped underneath his door, into the room. As quickly as he could, he rushed over to the door, swinging it open. To his surprise, there was no one on the other side. There was only the note that had been slipped underneath his room door. He looked up and down the hallway, but it was empty. Closing the door, he picked up the strange note sat down in a chair by the window. Opening the letter, he noticed it was typed out, not hand written.

“Writer, If you know what’s best for ya, you’d better leave town and soon. For your sake and for your brother’s, leave.”

“Short and to the point at least” he thought, trying not to let what he’d read bother him too much. It was easier said than done of course. First his dreams, then his brothers bizarre behavior, now this cryptic missive. He picked up the phone and dialed for his brother. “Finally up I see” said Kyle, jokingly as he answered the phone. “I’ve been up all night. Haven’t slept much.” “What’s wrong” Kyle asked, the levity leaving his voice. “Don’t know really. And if I told you what I did know, or at least what I believed, you’d probably tell me I’d been working on my book too hard.” Ben paused for a second. “You’d be wrong” he added. “There’s something wrong here Kyle.” “Ben” replied Kyle, “Look, maybe you should cut your trip a bit short and head home.” “Why would I wanna do that?” asked Ben, both confused and curious. “There’s something you’re not telling me; I know it.” “Look” said Kyle, his voice kind, but stern, “If I’m not telling you something, it’s for your own good.” Ben didn’t know what to think. Now his brother was suggesting that he leave town. He was more sure now than before that there was something going on in his sleepy little home town.

“Two more days” said Ben, “One at best. Then I’ll be out of town and out of your hair. You can tell me there’s nothing going on in town till you’re blue in the face, but it won’t change the fact that there is. I’m…I’m gonna go into town and ask around about a few things.” “Ben…” said Kyle, his voice trailing off. “Be careful. I’m not kidding. This may be home, but you don’t live here anymore. You know we deal with things the way we deal with things.” “And you know I can’t let sleeping dogs lay asleep” replied Ben, his voice full of tired determination. Kyle sighed heavily. “I know…I know” he said. Ben heard a sound from the other end of the phone, there was a knock at Kyle’s door. “Look, little brother, there’s someone at the front door. I’m gonna have to go. I’ll talk to ya later though. Oh, and promise me you’ll be careful.” “You know I’ll be as careful as I can” said Ben. “I know, that’s what I’m afraid of” replied Kyle with a lighthearted chuckle. Ben could tell that it was forced though. He decided it’d be best to hang up on that note and they ended the conversation.

After their conversation, it seemed like that was that. Ben took one last sip of his coffee, now far from piping hot and headed out of his room. He drove out into town, determined to talk to the one man who might be able to help him clear out all this mess. Windows down, the wind blew his hair about, making a neat mess of it as he went on his way. As he drove, his eyelids grew just a little too heavy, causing him to swerve a little to the right. Luckily, he regained control and was back on course on the street. “Not even that much coffee can keep me awake forever” he mused. A strange all too familiar feeling overcame him in that instant. He couldn’t understand why, but he was suddenly afraid.

He breathed and exhaled deeply, trying to calm himself. The last thing he wanted was to end up crashing the car because of some unfounded fear. Along the road, he drove by what looked like a half-naked woman. She stumbled about, lost or blind; he couldn’t tell which. “What the hell?” he yelled. “I’d swear that was young man who woke me up after my first night in the hotel; shambling along the roadside, almost stark naked.” He stopped the car and looked in his rear view mirror. There was nothing but the street behind him; no shambling half-naked anyone.

The rest of the drive was uneventful. Ben began to wonder if it was the town that was going mad or if it was he who had begun to go mad. Every corner he rounded, he saw signs of madness. The people of the town seemed to be stricken by some illness. It was as if they were the people from his dreams; the people in the cavern. He swore he’d even seen a man walking around the town carrying what looked like a long black robe. “It could just as easily be a long black dress” he told himself. Thoughts of his brother streamed throughout his mind as he drove. He wanted to believe his brother wouldn’t succumb to the madness that seemed to be seeping into the very foundations of the town.

Finally he arrived outside of one of the two churches in town. He hoped that father Harris; the local priest could help him figure out what was going on. He walked into the church, expecting to find at least one person inside praying, but the nave was empty. Behind him, the church door swung absently as an unexpectedly chilled breeze blew in from outside. In case there was anyone anywhere else in the church, he didn’t want to be too noisy, so he decided to look for the priest. Stopping by one of the pews, he noticed what looked like graffiti. He shook his head in disbelief that someone from town could vandalize house of worship. Looking closer, he noticed that they weren’t words, but weird symbols that almost looked like they were repeating. He went closer to the pew till he could touch the symbols with his own hands.

A shock ran up his arm causing him to shake uncontrollably. Strange images and words flashed before his eyes. When he stopped shaking and came to, his fingertips were red from the symbols on the pew. That was when he could smell it. It was blood. It wasn’t graffiti; it was something worse. He was sure it was a part of whatever was going on in town. “It’s spread in here already?” he asked himself aloud, though it seemed there was no one inside to give reply. Out of the corner of his eye, he thought he saw movement near the altar, but he couldn’t see anything there. He followed it to the priests living quarters. There it was again, the smell of blood. There was no mistaking it. “Father Harris” he called out in almost a whisper. “Father Harris?” The only response was the sound of shuffling coming from the room the priest used as his living space. Gathering all the courage he could muster, he slowly pushed open the door to father Harris’s room.

****************************************************************************************************

Shock and horror washed over him as he looked on at the scene in front of that had unfolded. Father Harris stood there, with blood on his face and hands; a wild look on his face. “Ahh…” he said, as if he’d been expecting Ben. “Come to see the lord’s latest handy work?” he asked, a gleam of madness in his eyes. “Father…father Harris, are you…” his speech died there as he glanced behind the priest. There, hanging from the wall of his room was man. He could hardly tell the age though. From where Ben stood, he could see strange symbols that’d been cruelly carved into the flesh of the man dangling on the wall. “What the hell Harris?” demanded Ben. As he yelled, he noticed the knife in the priest’s hand, still red, dripping with the other man’s blood. “Hell you say?” asked the priest. His voice dripped with a mixture of madness and fear. “What do you know about hell, hmm? Have you seen him?… You have, haven’t you?  I’m sure of it. He’s seen you too; and your brother.” He smiled a toothy grin at the mention of Ben’s brother. “He’s coming…darkness is rising” said the priest. “He? What the hell do you mean he?” asked Ben. That started the priest up all over again, but Ben cut him off. “The whole town’s gone insane! I came here to get help from you and…and…” Ben barely knew what to say as he stood there staring from priest to tortured hanging body.

“Why?” demanded Ben, reeling from the shock of the gory scene that lay in front of him. “Tell me damnit, why!?” “You want to know why, little man?” asked the priest, the bloody knife still in his hand. “I’ll tell you why.” He took one step towards Ben and ben in return took a step away from him. “You’re smart to be afraid” said the priest, menacingly. “That’s why I did it, you know. I was afraid.” “Of what?!” demanded Ben, not wanting to draw out the conversation. “Tell me what made you, a priest so afraid that you had to go and kill an innocent man and leave him hanging on a wall?” For a brief moment, Ben’s eyes burned with the fire of righteous indignation. Even the priest could feel his anger, and he withdrew a step; Ben stayed where he stood.

“Yes, damnit!” yelled the priest, “I was afraid. I’m still afraid” his voice had gone to almost a whisper. “It started with a dream…”his voice trailed off for a second and he lowered the knife. “Do you believe in evil” he asked Ben. “I’m a horror writer, of course I believe in evil” Ben replied. “I don’t mean the evil that men do, boy. I mean pure evil, chaos; the things that nightmares are afraid of. I don’t mean the devil; I mean true evil.” The priest once again took a step towards Ben, the knife still lowered, hanging idly from his hand. “We invented the devil; you and I…and the church of course. We needed a boogeyman to keep us in line; something to… blame for all the bad things that happen in the world.” He paused for a moment, lifting the knife up to his chin; scratching as if deep in thought.

“What the hell’s that all supposed to mean?!” demanded Ben. The priest looked at him, seemed to look right through him to someone or something else entirely. “The dream…” offered the priest. “There was a man who came up to me, but he wasn’t a man you see; he was something…inhuman. I could see it in his eyes. He showed me things, terrible things; and they’ve all happened. The last thing he said…before I awoke, was…” his words trailed off.

Ben didn’t stay for any further explanation, as the priest slowly began to pace towards him, a look of murderous madness on his face. “It’s the madness you see; the madness!” he screamed. Slamming the door shut, he turned and left. As Ben ran past the altar, he could hear shouts coming from the room he’d left. “Alka Kadseg!” the voice yelled. He was afraid; terrified even. As scared as he was, he couldn’t help but think that all of it would have made for one hell of a book.

Rushing out of the church, he looked up to the sky as it seemed to darken earlier than normal. The sun was still up, but it seemed as though a shadow had suddenly covered the entire town. He walked hurriedly back to the car, wanting to get as far away from the father Harris as possible. Nearing the car, he heard the sounds of laughter as a small group of children played almost beside his car. A small red ball rolled out towards him. Stopping it with his foot, he bent over to pick it up. The laughing children came from the other side of the car and stood there with blank, emotionless faces. Ben held onto the ball as he noticed what was on their faces, blood. “What happened to you? Are you ok?” he asked. The children wouldn’t answer; they only stood there, with a strange smile crossing their faces. Then, as if snapping out of a trance, all at once they stopped smiling. “Can we have our ball back Mr.?” one of them asked. He was the messiest, bloodiest of the lot.

Ben threw the ball back to them and they went on their way, playing. “It’s only gonna get worse from here” he told himself. He knew he had to leave town, but he couldn’t leave without taking Kyle with him. Maybe it wasn’t too late for his brother. The rest of the town be damned, he wouldn’t let the only family he had left die in this place.  When the creepy, blood faced children were far enough away, he got into his car as fast as he could, slightly fumbling his keys as he tried to start the engine. Finally, the engine revved to life and he gave silent thanks to who or whatever might be listening to him in the universe.

One thought ran through his mind on his way back to the hotel. Why wasn’t he acting as strange and mad as everyone else seemed to be behaving? Sure, he had the strange and horrifying dreams, but that was the most of it. He desperately wanted to have an answer. If he had that, he had no doubt he could save Kyle from ending up like father Harris and whoever the deranged priest kept babbling about. He stopped by the hotel, he had to grab whatever he could then go get his brother. He didn’t want anything of his left in town when they drove off.

****************************************************************************************************

The hotel was quiet as he walked in through the front doors; eerily quiet. Over the lobby’s speaker system, he could hear the song statically playing.

“They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear
I was always there, right on the job..”

 He cautiously walked by the front desk and the woman sitting there. She absently hummed along to the song over the loud speaker. “I’m checking out” said Ben, hoping to make this as quick as possible. He got no response, only more humming. “Excuse me” he said, louder. Then the humming stopped and the woman at the front desk who had once looked at him with a smile as warm as any kindly old grandmother could manage stared at him. Her eyes were intensely focused on him. She didn’t move an inch; she just stared at him. Then as if forgetting he even existed, she lowered her head and went back to her humming along with the song.

Nearing the elevator, he heard what sounded like a thud, followed by a whimpering sound. He stood in the hallway near the elevator, listening as the sound repeated itself again; once, twice, three times. The urge to see what the noise was overruled his better judgment as he turned around and headed back towards the lobby. It was coming from the front desk. The woman sitting there, still humming though the song over the loud speaker had stopped. She hummed to herself as she kicked at something beneath the desk. She kicked and kicked at whatever it was beneath the desk till Ben couldn’t take it any longer. He ran behind the desk and stopped in his tracks. If he hadn’t seen with his own two eyes the gory scene that was father Harris’s doing he’d have been shocked now.

The woman’s leg s and feet were spattered with blood. Looking at where she kicked, he saw a familiar face, but it took him a moment to remember who it belonged to. It was the young man who had woke him up when he’d managed to sleep through most of the day. He didn’t know the boy well, but he still couldn’t help but be saddened by what he saw. Ben looked at him as he lay there, bloodied and bruised and broken. He looked at him as the woman continued to kick him. He couldn’t take it any longer. Filled with an anger he’d never before experienced, with the pressure of the town’s madness closing in on him, he snapped. He gave in to his anger and struck the woman in the face. That moment, she stopped. She stopped humming and kicking the lifeless body by her feet. “I…I’m sorry” said Ben, surprised at his own actions. He stepped back. “I…you kept kicking him and…he’s dead. You killed him” he said. The look in the woman’s eyes told him he should probably run. He didn’t have to be told twice, so he ran.

Not wanting to chance walking past the woman to leave out the front, he thought he’d go out the back door, only he didn’t remember there being a back door to the hotel. There had to be though. There had to be some other way out of the building. He walked quickly down the hallway, looking for another way out. He was in far better shape than the woman at the desk, but so was the young man who lay dead at her feet. It didn’t seem to mean much for him. The sound of heavy breathing came from the direction of the front desk, then he heard a shuffling sound. It was getting closer. The woman from the desk must have decided to come after him. A breeze caught his attention and he looked for its source. This part of the hall was poorly lit; as if the light couldn’t fully touch it for some reason.

He’d never been in this part of the hallway before, but he didn’t remember it looking like it stretched as far as it seemed to now. At the end of the hallway, there was an odd looking door that stood slightly open. “Funny” thought Ben, “I don’t remember seeing that door in this hallway before.” A feeling in his gut told him there was something off about the door, but he couldn’t figure what it could be. Not wanting to stick around much longer, he walked towards it. Nearing the door, he stopped. Pushing the door further open, he was surprised. It was nothing like the rest of the hotels interior.  He saw what looked like a long set of old stone spiral stairs that went who knew how far down. “That door might as well have had abandon all hope carved into it.” he thought.

He stood there in the doorway for what seemed like an eternity, unmoving. Finally, the sound of breaking glass coming from the storefront urged him onwards, down the long set of stairs. He’d rather not wait around to find out the noises cause. The stairway was dimly illuminated but he couldn’t see the light’s source at all. It was as if the stones themselves lining the walls of the stairway were glowing. He was careful enough not to trip over anything as he continued his decent into the unknown. Ben couldn’t tell how long he’d been walking down the stairs. Time seemed to expand and contract all at once with each step he took, though he had to be nearing his destination. “The stairs couldn’t go on forever, could they?”

            Just when he’d about given up continuing on along the stairs, he heard a low hum reverberate through the steps beneath his feet and the stones along the wall. Some force beyond his understanding compelled him to go on, so he did. Vaguely, he could see a light up ahead of him. It wasn’t what he’d call bright, but it was brighter than the dim glow of the cave walls on either side of him. He followed the light, ready to turn and run at a moment’s notice if need be. As the source of the light was a few mere feet ahead of him, the hum grew louder, till he no longer recognized it as a hum, but as the voices of people. With each step he took he began to recall the last dream he’d had and the large stone altar in the cavern.

“There’s no way this is real…any of it.” he told himself, “It was just a dream, that’s it…just a dream.” He kept telling himself that, over and over again in his head. He wanted desperately to believe that nothing he’d experienced since coming into town had happened; that it was some sort of fevered dream. Deep in his heart though, he knew it was all real, and as he neared his destination, he hated that knowledge.

Finally, he stopped, standing at the bottom of the stairway to a vast underground cavern. He had no idea how far beneath the hotel he’d traveled. The sight in front of him was all too familiar. His heartbeat began to increase as sweat coalesced on his forehead. It was by no means hot where he stood, yet he continued to perspire. At the edge of the stairway’s landing, he stood there hidden in shadow as he looked on ahead of him. He could hear a voice echoing off in the distance from what looked like a dilapidated old ruin near the edge of what looked like a vast underground lake. Instantly, he recognized the words he was hearing.

“Kadseg!

Ithak rugu utlegoi olked.

Kad lo-ug bogoy tog otekigo.

Seg amasti dhak-ysat elog.

Kadseg!

Shutho-ili! Shutho-ili! Shutho-ili!”

           “Oh god” he thought, as the alien words bounced off of the stone walls of the cavern around him. The changing, the stone altar; it was all happening in front of his eyes and this time he wasn’t dreaming. Above the din of the chanting voices in the cavern, he recognized one. “Kyle?” he thought. “It couldn’t be…I left him back at the house.” As if hearing his thoughts about his brother, a figure in white turned in his direction. There was no denying, it was his brother standing up there. If Kyle had seen him though, he didn’t do anything to show it. He simply turned back around, facing the stone table as he climbed onto it; awaiting a fate that Ben was all too familiar with.

Ben still had no idea what the strange, alien words that were being chanted meant, but he knew without a doubt what their ultimate result would be. The last living member of his family would be slain and an evil abomination would take his place. Then he remembered one of the words he’d heard the chanters saying; Kadseg. “That must be what this thing is, it’s name” he reasoned. He was sure of it. Ben wasn’t sure how, but he knew he had to stop the ceremony from finishing.

The chanters around what remained of the altar were far less than in his dream and their black, hooded robes were far older and dustier than he’d remembered. He’d never been much for feats of bravery, always preferring to find some other way to handle things, but it seemed that he had little in the way of a choice now; if he wanted his brother to live through this. Cautiously, he stepped forward from the dim shadows of the stairway, taking a deep breathe so he wouldn’t lose his nerve. Then he ran. He ran towards the small group of black robed chanters and towards the altar. The chanters didn’t notice him till he was a few feet away from them, but he still ran. “Kyle!” he yelled at the top of his lungs, hoping to get his brother’s attention. His brother just lay there, waiting. Ben pushed through black robed figures with little ease, none of them tried to stop him, though he didn’t stop to think why.

Ben ran up the stairs of the altar as the black robed figure lit the last of the sputtering, black flamed candles, making his own way towards the stone table where Kyle lay. Below the altar, the small group of chanters circled, closing in on the altar stairs; though none of them set a foot on the stone steps. Only when he reached the stone table did he realize how late he was. As he looked down at the bleeding wound over Kyle’s heart, the black bladed dagger laying beside him, he looked at the hooded, black robed figure across from him. Full of anger, he rushed at the man, knocking him off balance and into the flames by where he stood. This time the look on the man’s face was not a look of madness or of ecstasy, but of unspeakable pain. The flames danced about every inch of the man’s body, devouring his black robes entirely, as well as his flesh. His screaming was short lived though as the flames took him hungrily.

He hadn’t managed to save Kyle’s life, but at least he’d managed to put an end to the evil that his brother’s death would have brought about. Ben was determined to carry his brother’s lifeless body out of the cavern and up into the town above. He was determined to give him a proper burial; the burial he deserved. As he went to pick up his brother’s cold, limp body, he felt something lightly hit the top of his head. He brushed it off and it hit the ground. It was a small piece of rock. Then another small piece of rock fell and hit the floor of the altar beside him. He wasn’t sure what to make of it. As if awakening from some long slumber, the earth began to shake, lightly at first, then more and more violently. The chanters had long since stopped their chanting. A large stalactite fell from the cavern ceiling; impaling one of the black robed figures around the altar as screams erupted from the others.

More and more pieces of the cavern ceiling began to fall, landing here and there. The scene below the altar was frantic; robed figures running this way or the other, trying to avoid being impaled or crushed to death. Ben heard a strange sound as a crack began to form beneath his feet. He stepped back as the crack spread in front of him. A large chunk of rock fell, landing on the crack in between him and the table where his brother lay. When things looked as if they could get no worse, they did. The large chunk of rock that had just fallen; widened the crack between him and the table. Everything on that side of the crack had broken off, falling into the waters behind the altar; taking Kyle, the stone table, and the chanters that had been behind the altar down together.

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Ben cried out for his brother as he watched him fall into the deep waters of the cavern, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to reclaim the body for burial. He ran down the trembling stairs of the altar, past the dead bodies of the black robed chanters that lay around the cavern floor. He reached the entrance to the stairway and looked back only once. The stairs began to shake just like the rest of the cavern. Ben made his way up the stairs as quickly as he could, fighting back the slew of emotions that hit him all at once. He couldn’t stop though. He had to make it out and to safety. As he made frantically made his way up the stairs, he noticed that the dim glow of the walls beside him began to get dimmer and dimmer. The lights were his only way to see his way safely up the stairs so he continued running. Every now and again, his pace would slow as the stairway and the cavern below shook, but he held his ground. He could hear the sounds of rocks falling further down the stairs as the entrance to the cavern was cut off.

Continuing up the stairs, he wondered if anyone would ever believe his story. “Probably not” he thought. He only wanted inspiration for a novel, not horrible nightmares, a crazy cult bent on unleashing an ancient evil, and a dead brother. The latter of which hurt him the most. He could only hope that his brother was somewhere better now; away from crazed cults and far far away from this town. The least he could do was to get away for both their sakes. Finally, he made his way to the top of the stairs. The entire stairway began to shake even more violently than before, causing the hotel to shake as well. With the increased tremor, came the collapse of the stairway.

He turned to face the door and his face grew deathly pale. There was no stairway, blocked off or otherwise. There wasn’t even a door; just a bare wall. “This can’t be!” he yelled aloud. In frustration, he pounded his fist against the wall where just moments ago there was a door. Ben had to believe that there was a door there, somewhere beneath the layer of wall. The only explanation was that he was losing his grip on reality. In and out he breathed, deeply, trying to calm himself and his nerves which were already frayed. Deciding to cut his losses, he decided the front door would be the best way out, so he ran. He didn’t stop to look at the woman at the front desk or the poor dead young man that probably lay still behind it, but he could still hear the kicking thud. That sound told him he hadn’t lost his mind; not yet at least.

He stood in the doorway as the hotel began to tremble. It was the cavern all over again, pieces of the ceiling began to fall to the floor and a deep crack ran up the wall closest to him. He bolted from where he stood, determined not to be trapped beneath a fallen beam or some other piece of debris. Spotting his car, he made a mad dash to it, leaving the cavern, stairway, and hotel behind. Turning around for one brief moment, he looked at the spot where the once quaint hotel should have been, there was an empty, vacant patch of undisturbed land. He could feel the car shake beneath him as he thought of his book; gone with the building. The town was doomed, he knew it. He could feel it in his bones. As he drove, he chanced a glance in his rear view mirror. Now, it wasn’t just the hotel that was gone, other buildings had started to disappear as well. He could hear screams filling the air, only to shortly die off as if they had never taken flight in the first place. If he didn’t move quickly, he could only imagine what would happen to him.  He sped on as quickly as his car would go. After what felt like an eternity, he was out of the town and on the highway. He drove past the farm where he’d talked to the seemingly good natured farmhand, or at least where the farm should have been. He didn’t bother to look at the vast and empty space Ben had escaped the town with his life and his sanity. There was at least that to be thankful for, though he began to question his sanity.

The cool summer night air blew through his hair as he drove down the highway. He looked down at the gas gage on his car and realized he’d need to put in more gas. The nearest gas station wasn’t for a few miles from where he was, but in time he made it there, right before the gage landed on E. The night was quiet, almost eerily so. Something about it rubbed him the wrong way, so he turned on his radio before he got out to swipe his card and pump his gas. As the radio came on, there was nothing but static, no matter what station he turned to. “This can’t be right” he said aloud, confused at the lack of a radio signal. Even the static began to die out, leaving only silence. He finished filling the tank and hopped back into the car. As he drove on towards his new destination, he couldn’t help but think about his brother and everything that had happened. He found himself getting strangely tired, unable to keep his eyes open, despite every attempt to do so. Suddenly, he his eyes shot open and he realized he was too late to do anything as his car swerved into a telephone pole. Slowly he began to slip out of consciousness and his eyes closed.

He was surrounded on all sides by emptiness. Each and every word or thought that came from him echoed around him. Then he heard another voice, it was unfamiliar, but kind. “Mr. Edwards” said the voice, “can you hear me…Mr. Edwards?” Slowly, Ben opened his eyes and the emptiness was replaced by an almost blinding light, and a fuzzy form that seemed to hover above him. “Doctor, he’s awake” said the kind voice. “Wha…where am I?” Ben asked, finally able to see his surroundings. “Take it easy” said a young woman; the kind voice belonged to her. “You were in a bad accident, Mr. Edwards.” “I was?” asked Ben, trying to get his bearings straight. “That’s right sir. You ran into a telephone pole at a pretty dangerous speed.” “The pole…I remember it.” “Well, looks like you’re doing fine now” said another voice just entering the hospital room. “What were you doing out there in the middle of nowhere anyway son?” asked the doctor. Ben let out a deep and heavy sigh. “I was in Providence, Massachusetts…there was a terrible accident and my…my brother died.” The nurse and the doctor looked at one another, confused. “Providence?” asked the doctor. Ben shook his head slowly. “Son, there’s never been a town or city called Providence in this state. You must have meant Rhode Island.”  “It’s In Massachusetts!” demanded Ben, “I know my own home town doctor.

“Settle down.” suggested the doctor. “Ask anyone in this hospital and they’ll tell you the same thing as I just did.  Ben lay there in his hospital bed, wondering what was going on. “Here” said the doctor, “this’ll help you relax a bit.” He injected Ben with a drug to calm him and help him relax. Then the room grew quiet, as both the nurse and doctor left. Had his entire life been a figment of his imagination, or had something far more sinister been at play. Lying there, he thought he saw a shadow from the corner of his eye. He turned, to see what it was, but there was only the blank and sterile hospital room wall to greet him. Breathing a sigh of relief, he turned back to face the now closed hospital room door. There stood Kyle, or the thing that used to be Kyle, draped in the same white robe he’d left him in down in the cavern in Providence.

 

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The thing that had now possessed Kyle’s body stood motionless as it watched him. Ben wanted to jump from the bed and run, or do something, but the drugs the doctor had given him were starting to make him feel a little drowsy. He fought to stay awake, but each time his eyes would close, it seemed the figure would appear closer when his eyes opened. The room seemed to darken slightly behind the man in white. “You can’t be here!” yelled Ben. “You’re dead…I saw you die in the cavern.” “It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real…” he repeated in his head, over and over again as he shut his eyes, trying to will the image before him away. “You’re not real!” he yelled even louder. Daring to open his eyes, he was confronted by the pleasant site of the hospital room door. There was no figure in white, though in his mind he could picture him, silently mocking him as Ben tried to deny his existence.

He lay there, as tortured by the presence of the man in white as he was by its absence. His head full of horrifying thoughts and questions he doubted he truly wanted the answers to, the radio in his room started to act up. He hadn’t noticed the radio much, till now. There was a strange static sound that seemed to interrupt the classical music that had been playing. When the static finally died down, he heard what sounded like old-timey radio music. He was in the room alone, unable to tell if the music was all in his head or truly playing. Either answer would lead him to an unsettling truth.

“They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear
I was always there, right on the job

They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead
Why should I be standing in line
Just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run
Made it race against time
Once I built a railroad, now it’s done
Brother, can you spare a dime?…”

 

 

 

 

 

The Paper Bag Hypothesis And the Hater?…A Letter to Hollywood.

Dear Hollywood,

You’re quite good at pumping out amazing summer blockbusters, but I can’t help but have one question for you. Why do you keep giving Megan Fox roles in movies that she has no business being in? I may sound like a hater, but I’m not. I don’t hate her, I hate that her presence brings down the entertainment value of any film she’s in. I understand you want at least a little eye candy in your films and I suppose I can’t grudge you for that. Sex appeal brings in the big bucks, but that’s doesn’t justify casting someone who probably couldn’t act her way out of a paper bag…even if there were instructions written on the inside of the paper bag on how to do so and a copy of “Acting Your Way Out Of Paper Bags for Dummies” sitting right beside her in the bag.

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She’s a pretty face, yes, but there’re so many pretty faces out there who just happen to have talent to back up their appeal. Why not give one of them a chance at an iconic role instead of falling back on Megan Fox?

 

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Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t dislike her as a person at all. I’ve never met her, but she’s probably a decent person for all I know. That however has nothing to do with her acting. I recall reading something she’d said some time ago when the Transformers movies – the ones she was in- about her talking down about the directing or producing of the movies or some such thing and how the films did little if nothing to showcase her acting abilities. I of course didn’t believe a word of it, but I was willing to hold off for the most part until I had a chance to see her given the chance to get out of that paper bag. Then Jennifer’s Body came along.

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She had her chance to get out of that paper bag for once and for all. What did she do? She ended up bombing horribly. Sure tons of horny guys may have watched it to see her do the one thing she seems to be terrific at…being pretty on film. In fact, the only likable thing about that film was the character of her best friend…with the odd name.

Anyway Hollywood, the point of all this is simply to ask why.?.

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Monsters Are Real

Before I start off with the story(That’s right, it’s another story.) I figure I’d share this quote I came across while combing through the vast sands of the internet.  I can’t help but completely agree with it. “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” – John Lennon

Monsters Are Real

By: Andy Lucas

 

 

            When I was a kid, my parents always told me that there were no such things as monsters. They were nothing more than bad dreams brought on by too much junk food or a scary movie before bed. Monsters were a product of my over active imagination. When I was a kid, I was told that there was nothing going bump in the night. It was just the house settling, and I believed it; all of it. I believed every word of it. Now I know the truth; the truth that all parents try to hide from their children or ignore. Monsters are real.

 

            “Mommy, mommy!” I yelled in the middle of the night. The lightning flashed furiously outside my bedroom window as I lay there in my bed, deeply afraid. The faint light from my carousel night light cast long spindly shadows across my bedroom. “What is it?” said my mom as she entered my room, opening the door cautiously. “I’m scared” I said, as I brought my head from beneath the covers ever so slightly. Comfortingly she came into my room to sit with me. “It’s just thunder” she assured me as I lay there telling her my fears. She neatly fixed the covers around me as I asked her to leave my bedroom door open. The light from the hallway was always a comforting sight. “You’re a big boy now” she’d say, “it’s important that you learn to act like one.”

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            I sat up and looked at my mom, whispering. “I don’t like the dark, that’s when he comes out.” She looked at me with warmth in her eyes and a smile on her face. “Honey” she said “there’s just you, your dad and me here. It’s just a story, ok? Nobody’s coming out to get you.” She patted me reassuringly on the head. “But…” I began to protest. “Don’t worry” said my mom, interrupting my protestation, “I’ll prove to you that there’s nothing to be afraid of.”

            She got off of the bed where she sat and bend down on one knee, lifting the bed sheet high enough to look under my bed. “Nothing down here but a few toys” she said, “do you want to look for yourself?” I shook my head emphatically no. Beneath my bed was one of the last places I wanted to see in the middle of the night.

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            The lightning outside my bedroom window continued to flash brightly, followed by the rolling sounds of thunder. “I’ll leave the door open for you a little” she said, just so I’d feel safe. “Ok” I said, nodding my head excitedly; glad to have that one comfort at night. She got up and kissed me on the forehead, leaving my room with the door cracked, as she’d promised.

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            The light from the hallway, streamed into my bedroom, almost battling back the feeling of gloom that had caused me to call for my mom. I started to feel safe, I started to feel secure. I knew that if anything happened, my parents would hear me and they would come save me. They always did. Maybe it was that feeling of overt security; that feeling that I was completely safe no matter what that called its attention. Maybe it was always paying attention. Always waiting in the dark for the right time. Or maybe it was all a vivid nightmare.

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            When my mom left the room, the long shadows cast by my night light continued as they had even before she left the room. It was ok though. I was safe. I nestled my head into my pillow and started to forget the worries of the night. The storm outside continued. As I lay there peacefully, almost drifting off to sleep, my bedroom door slowly began to close; shutting me away from that comforting light in the hallway.

            I looked around the room, anxiously. “Mommy!” I yelled, hoping she would hear me beyond my eerily closed bedroom door. My only answer was the creeping darkness in my room. My closet door slowly crept open; groaning with every inch till it stopped moving all together. The blue and red toy robot on my bedroom floor turned on, walking mechanically towards my bed. Its small circular eyes lit up with each step it took. Then it suddenly stopped, falling over onto its side. “Mommy, mommy!” I cried as loud as I could, but she never came.  There was only the cold silence of the dark in my room. The cold, hungry silence right before an animal pounces on its prey.

            A noise beneath my bed made me gasp as I pulled my sheets closer. ‘He’s under my bed’ I thought.  I gathered what little courage I had and reached out for the flashlight on my night stand. It wasn’t powerful by any means, but it was a little beacon in the ocean of shadows and darkness that was my bedroom. Slowly, as quiet as I could, slipped over the side of my bed, lifting my sheets so I could peer beneath my bed. It was as dark as the rest of my bedroom, no, it was darker. It was like a sea of ink. I clicked on my flashlight, shining it back and forth slowly beneath my bed. It was just my imagination. There was nothing but a few toys I’d been too lazy to put away.  

            The lightning flashed again, accompanied by a crash of thunder louder than when the storm had begun. That’s when my closet door began to open even more, till it was completely open. The darkness inside was complete. I could see neither my clothes nor my shoes; only the darkness. I heard it long before I ever saw it. A long scratching sound came from inside the closet, as if long nails scraped against something hard. The sound lasted only for a few moments, and then stopped, just as suddenly as it started. It was as if it was playing a game with me. It knew I was afraid.

            “Mommy!” I cried out, again. I hoped that eventually she would hear me; that she would run into the room, opening the door and dispel the darkness that it lived in; sending it away…for another night. I heard a deep almost raspy breathing, coming from the closet. I shined my flashlight into the darkness of my closet, but the light seemed unable to penetrate it. My flashlight started to short out. I shook it, hoping that somehow that would stop the light from dying, but it didn’t. I pulled the covers up above my head as quickly as I could. I remembered what I’d been told the night before… it couldn’t hurt me if I was underneath the covers. I never bothered to ask how a few flimsy bed sheets could protect me from the horror that had taken up residence in my closet.

            I could try to be brave. I could try to leap out of my bed and run for the door, but would I make it. Maybe it wanted me to try. Maybe that was a part of its sick game. As soon as I would leave the safety of my bed and my covers, it would grab at me, snatching me up into the waiting darkness to who knows what fate.

            All around my room, there was silence. Then a scurrying sound replaced the silence. It was to the left of me, then the right of me. Then it sounded as if it came from everywhere all at once. I could almost feel it’s hot, sickly breath on me through the covers.  It smelled like dead things. I lay there, imaging what creature could cause such a smell as I saw its shadow almost on top of me. It’s shadow, that’s all I could make out. Not its face, eyes or any other thing. I dared not pull the covers from over my head. Fear gripped me tight in its vice-like grip. As I lay there, image after image filled my mind of what it was waiting for me beyond my covers, but I refused to budge.

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The shadow over top of me vanished, along with its heavy, dead breath. I thought heard my bedroom door opening. I could see a glimpse of light from the hallway, that beacon of safety. “Danny, why’re you hiding underneath the covers?” my mom asked me. ‘She came’ I thought to myself, ‘I’m saved.’ I slowly pulled the covers from above my head, and then froze. The bedroom door wasn’t open. My mom wasn’t standing there ready to comfort me. It was a trick. I dared to look around the room from where I lay and that’s when I saw it, or part of it at least. It was waiting, still in the closet.

            My covers quickly slipped from my grasp as they were pulled from my bed. I was left defenseless. “Mommy!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, but the sound seemed to never leave the room. I strained my ears listening. Trying to hear some movement from the hallway. I couldn’t see it all that well, but it reached for me from the darkness of my closet. It’s long arms and sharp clawed hands; and it grabbed me…pulling me into the darkness of the closet.

            I clenched my eyes tightly closed as tears rolled down my cheeks. My small fists swinging frantically to fend off the thing from my closet. I yelled and yelled till my voice was nothing more than a thin whisper. “Danny? Danny!” I heard, as I continued to swing away at the thing that had me. “Danny!” I heard again. It was my mother and father, or was it another trick, some part of its game? I wanted to show it that I wasn’t afraid, that I could face it, but I was afraid and it knew I was. Hands grabbed me, lightly, cautiously. They were warm and a little calloused, but not claws. They were familiar.

            I chanced opening my eyes, though I never stopped swinging, hoping I would hit it at least once before it took me away. I was halfway in the my closet, my bedroom lights on. When I looked around, there were my parents, gently pulling me out of the closet. “What’s going on?” my dad asked, the look on his face showing as much worry as the look on my mom’s. “Huh?” I asked as I slowly dropped my small hands; unclenching my fists. “What’re you doing on the floor, half way in the closet?” they asked me. “We walked by your room and heard you screaming up a storm” said my mom.

            They helped me up off of the floor and put me back to bed, the entire time, my eyes always on the closet; always looking, waiting for something to happen…even when they closed the closet door. When I finally calmed down, I told them what happened and as usual, they reassured me that it was all just my imagination. My dad left to get me a glass of water, leaving just my mom and me in the room. She came over to sit down on the bed, by me. I jumped up quickly to hug her, and I hugged her tight. “You’ve got to grow out of this” she said, patting my hair as the hug had ended. No matter how many times I would tell her what happened and how real it was, she just wouldn’t understand. She just wouldn’t believe me.

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            While she sat on my bed, talking to me, I noticed the doorknob to my closet slowly turn. I swallowed hard as I watched the door slowly creak open. My jaw dropped as I started pointing to the closet. “What?” my mom asked, “What is it?” Inside my closet the darkness had returned. I could barely get out the words “the…closet” as my mom turned around to see what had me so frightened. “The closet?” she asked. “This again? Danny, it’s just the wind from your window making the door open” she said. She glanced slightly at my bedroom window then she was quiet for a long minute. After that, I saw what looked like recognition in her eyes. It must have clicked in that instant. “Danny?” she asked, “is your window closed?” I nodded my head yes.

            At that, the door stopped moving; it was wide open now. My mom was silent, as if she was listening for something, something she only half heard. The light in my bedroom began to flicker. “It’s” said my mom, pausing as if to reassure herself more than me of her next words “just a circuit or something. I’ll have your dad look at it in the morning. With her last word, the lights in the bedroom went out completely and the bedroom door slowly closed. “Danny” my mom whispered, “go get your dad. Run” Her voice was shaky, like a frightened child. I moved off of the bed and ran as quickly as I could to my bedroom door. “Dad!” I yelled at the top of my lungs, “it’s mom, hurry up; quick!” I heard the sound of glass breaking come from the downstairs kitchen as my dad ran for the stairs.

            As I left my room, I only heard crying; it was my mom. I turned around in the hallway and saw her standing there at the foot of my bed, staring at the closet. Dad finally made it upstairs as he looked at my mom with confusion in his eyes. “Becky?” said dad, why’re you standing in the dark?” All my mom could do was cry. “Becky?” he repeated. I didn’t understand the look on her face then, but now I think she was apologizing for not believing me, though I could be wrong. The bedroom was so dark, we couldn’t see what pulled her onto the floor, but we saw her fall, then she was dragged into the closet. My dad yelled and screamed her name as he ran into my room to save my mom from what, he didn’t know.

            By now, she was halfway in the closet, my dad grabbing onto her hand, trying to pull her back out of the closet and to himself. When my dad looked up, I guess he saw what had mom because he stopped calling yelling her name and started pulling even harder. I’d never seen my dad so determined before or so frightened. I was too afraid to move from the hallway where I stood. As my dad stood there, pulling, trying to free my mom he was pushed back onto the bed, hitting his head on my bedroom wall. I tried to move. I wanted to help him. I wanted to help them both, but there was nothing I could do.

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            My mom was pulled into the closet as she screamed. It was a sound I’ve never been able to forget, no matter how hard I’ve tried. My dad tried to groggily get off of the bed but was pulled down onto the floor with a loud thud. As he tried to claw his way to safety, he was yanked into my closet, his hands bloodied just like the scratches he left on my bedroom floor. I backed away from my bedroom, too afraid to make a sound, then I ran for the bathroom across the hall; turning on the light and shutting the door. I made sure it was locked. I heard a loud slamming sound, like a door had been slammed shut. I’ve cried a lot as a little kid, but never have I cried like I did that night. As I sat in the bathtub, clinging onto the shower curtain I don’t remember having stopped crying.

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            I don’t know how long I sat in that tub for, but eventually it was early morning. I could tell from the sunshine coming in through the bathroom window. Cautiously I climbed out of the bathtub and went towards the bathroom door, putting my ear up against it. I could hear what sounded like sirens and people talking. There was a knock at the bathroom door, causing me to jump back. “This is the police” I heard from the other side of the door. “My name’s officer Dennis and this is officer Sommers. Is there anyone in the bathroom?” “I am” I said, my voice weak and my throat dry from crying. “What was that?” I heard one of the officers ask the other. I unlocked the door, slowly turning the knob and there on the other side were two police officers.

            “My name’s Danny” I told them, my voice just a whisper by then. “Danny” one of them said, “where are your parents?” “Gone” I told them. “He took them.” “He?” they replied. “He” I said, pausing. I wanted to tell them about the closet and what really happened to my mom and dad, but I knew he wouldn’t believe me. My parents didn’t believe me till it was too late. So I told them I didn’t know, that I thought I heard the angry voice of a man I didn’t know and I ran into the bathroom, locking the door. I don’t know if they believed me or not, but I never changed my story.

            They ushered me out of the bathroom and as they did, something caught my attention. I turned around to look at the bathroom door and there were scratch marks all across it; deep scratch marks, from claws. In the middle of the door there was just one single word. “SOON”

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            So, the next time your son or daughter complains about something in the night, don’t dismiss it. Don’t ignore it. There’s only one thing to do. Run. I wish my mom and dad would have.

 

“He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts.” – Stephen King

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Let Me In…

Hey there, people reading this. I’ve decided to post another short story of mine that I finished recently. It’s another horror story, of course. But they say write what you know. So, here’s hoping that at least one of you enjoy reading this as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. More stories are sure to come.
As a side note, the pictures used in this post aren’t my own, they’ve been pulled from various parts of the internet.

 

Let Me In…

By Andy Lucas

 Once, there were gods, they were mighty and they were proud.

The world changed and their worshipers either died out or were converted to the worship of others.

Now they are few and they are angry.

They cry and fly about, longing for belief. All they have is that need.

 

The old church bells rang loudly in the morning. Sunlight shined brightly on them as they swung back and forth. The sun’s brilliant rays and the bells song was dulled though by a strange numbness. A feeling so surreal it was almost dreamlike hung over everyone who attended the service. Even the funeral dirge seemed to drone on, muted by the numbness. Jennifer and her brother Dave took their seats. They were dressed all in black, like everyone else who had come to pay their respects. They were the last to arrive, so they sat in the back of the church. Upon first glance, anyone who looked at them could tell they were twins; both with the same black hair, though Jennifer’s was longer, and both with the same green eyes. Neither of them wanted to come to the funeral. Over the years, they’d drifted apart from most of the family and now they were Agnes’s only living blood relatives and they’d been asked to come.

A tall lanky man, dressed in mourning like everyone around him got up to speak. As he started giving the eulogy, Jennifer recognized his voice. It was the man who’d called and asked them both to attend the funeral. After finishing the few kind words he had to give for Agnes, he recited a poem for her, though neither sibling could tell who its author was. They were both thankful though that it was a short poem. Before they knew it, someone else was up in front of everyone; a small group of men and women accompanying him. The small group began to hum. It was a low, somber sound. Then half of them stopped and began to sing.

Oh Death, oh death

Won’t you spare me over til another year?

Well what is this that I can’t see?

With ice cold hands taking hold of me.

When heaven is silent and the Devil’s set free

Who do you think is gonna answer your plea?

No price, no wealth, no silver or gold;

Nothing satisfies me but your soul.

Well, I am Death, none can excel

I’ll open the gates to heaven or hell.

Oh death someone would pray

Could you wait to call me til another day?

In death I come to take the soul,

Leave the body and leave it cold.

Oh Death, oh death

I know my time to die is here.

Oh Death, oh death

Won’t you spare me over til another year?…”

 

The song went on for a little while longer, though it had already become lost on Jennifer’s ears. Though the song had faded, the strange lyrics stayed with her throughout the service. Finally, everyone had said their words about their great aunt Agnes; the service was nearing its end. The minister finished things off on a note as somber as anything else said during the service.

At the end of the service, the man who had given the eulogy walked up to Jennifer and her brother. “My condolences” he said, the grief in his voice more than sincere. “I knew Agnes…your great aunt for many years now. She was a wonderful woman.” “Thank you” said Jennifer said, nudging her brother to do likewise. “Thank you” said Dave, not needing any further prompting. “I need to talk to you two about your great aunt’s will” he said. “I was her lawyer for almost as long as I knew her and well… Anyway, before I leave, I need to tell you that she left you her house Jennifer and everything in it. She kept records of everything there, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to sort through everything.” Then, he dug in his pocked ant produced a set of keys; handing them to Jennifer. Looking over at her brother, the lawyer pulled out a cashier’s check and handed it to Dave.

“She wanted you to have this. Don’t spend it all in one place. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some other matters to deal with. If you need anything though, give me a call. With that, he was on his way. Dave looked down at the check in his hand and his jaw almost hit the floor. “I knew she had money, but not this kind.” “Well” said Jennifer, I’ve got a long day ahead of me, so I should get started while there’s still light out. I’ll call you later though.” The two hugged and went their separate ways.

Later that day after the service, Jennifer went to pick her dog up from a nearby friend’s house and headed for her great aunt’s house to start going through her catalogs to see what all was there. The afternoon was still nice and warm; a little warmer than it’d been earlier in the week. She knew that her great aunt had a reputation for collecting valuable antiques, enough to turn the house into a small museum. She didn’t know how long it would take her to go through everything. Having recently lost her job though, she had time on her hands and now a rent-free place to stay. The bills were bound to start piling up sooner or later though

Jennifer hadn’t spent much time at the house since she and Dave were teenagers. Pulling up to the house, she took it all it. The old Victorian house hadn’t changed much over the years, except that the ivy vines seemed to have slowly devoured more of the outside of the house. Grabbing the few boxes she’d brought with her, she unloaded them from the car, putting them at the front door. “C’mon Bailey” she called out to pug. Bailey jumped out of the back of the car and ran for the front porch. For the time being, this would be their home.

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As she was about to turn the knob of the front door, she was interrupted. “What you doing over there?” she heard. Bailey turned her head and growled. Jennifer turned as well, seeing an old woman sitting on the porch next door. “Oh, hi” she replied. I’m Jennifer. My great aunt just passed away and left me her house.” Picking up on her owner’s calm demeanor, Baily began to relax. “Hmm…” said the old woman. “Name’s Josephine; been your great aunt’s neighbor for more years than I can remember.” The old woman paused for a second. “didn’t know she had any family left” she said, eyeing Jennifer suspiciously. “My brother and I are the only two blood relatives left, I’m afraid.” she replied. “I should probably get in” she added, “I’ve got a lot of things to sort through in there.” Opening the front door, she and her dog stepped in. “Watch out for that Shae boy” said Josephine.

At that, Jennifer came back outside, confused by what she’d just heard. “Shae boy?” she asked. Josephine got out of her seat and walked towards her railing which was a little closer to the Victorian. She stopped, looking around as though she might be overheard by someone. “Ian Shae” she said, “Lives somewhere around here. Maybe this neighborhood, maybe one of the neighborhoods closes by. Looks like the sweetest little boy you’ve ever laid eyes on, but he’s…” she paused a moment to find the right word. “Weird…” she continued. “Your great aunt, she didn’t believe the truth till it was too late…” “She died of a heart attack” replied Jennifer. “Oh” said the old woman, “is that what they said it was?” With that, the old woman went back into her own house, shutting and locking the door.

She flipped on the nearby light switch and took in everything in front of her. The inside of the house had changed as little as the outside had; just a few pieces here and there that she hadn’t seen before. She got her things inside, unpacked and fed Bailey. She then set herself to going through her great aunt’s catalogs. Hours went by and she managed to get through about a quarter of the catalogs left for her. It had been a long day, so she decided to take a bit of a break and look around the place. As she walked around, she noticed that the house had been kept in great condition, despite the rare bit of dust or spider web.

Eventually, her walk around the house brought her to the upstairs hallway. As she walked up the stairs to the 2nd floor, the stairs creaked ever so slightly; something that might need fixing later. She turned on the light and stopped at the sight of a pull-cord dangling from the ceiling. It was an attic door. She didn’t remember there being an attic in the house, but it’d been so many years since she’d spent any real time in the house.

Ignoring the rest of the house for the time being, she decided she’d take a look around this attic and see what was up there. She quickly ran downstairs and grabbed a flashlight, unsure of whether or not there was a light up there. Gently, she pulled on the cord for the attic and the door opened; allowing the attic latter to come down. Making sure it was steady enough for her; she stepped onto it, climbing up into the attic. Halfway up, she could see a little stream of light coming in from a tiny window, but it wasn’t enough light for her to clearly see. Turning on the flashlight, she shined the light around, looking for another source of light. There wasn’t one to be found, so she kept the flashlight on and continued up. Climbing the rest of the way into the attic, she placed one foot on the floorboard, testing its durability. In a groan of protest, the floorboard creaked loudly beneath her foot, but it held fast. Deciding it was safe enough; she went all the way into the attic, still careful of the floor beneath her. Flashlight in hand, she continued to look around.

The attic was cleaner than she’d expected. There was a little dust here and there of course, but all in all, it wasn’t bad. With each step she made, the floorboards continued their groans of protest, but they held firm. As she shined her light about, something caught her attention. On the wall furthest from her there was a newspaper clipping. The closer she looked; she noticed that there were more newspaper clippings and pictures on the wall. They were mostly missing persons or pets reports and obituary clippings. “What the hell?” she asked. At the center of everything on the wall was a photo of a little boy. Written on the photo in red letters was the name Ian Shae. She could barely take it all in. below the pictures and clippings; there was an old antique wooden desk. Curious, Jennifer pulled open the drawers one by one. They were full of more newspaper clippings, some of the dating back twenty years or more.  Unsure of what to do with it all, she closed the drawers and headed back down, out of the attic.

The day was coming to an end and the sun had just started setting. It would be a nice quiet night for Jennifer. Since it was just her, she decided to order out instead of making dinner herself. So, she sat down in her living room to a dinner of pizza while channel surfing, trying to find something good to watch. Finally, she stopped on an old horror movie The Terror From Beyond the Beyond. It was a B movie about a family being tormented by the ghost of a monstrous alien from beyond. The movie looked so bad she couldn’t resist watching it.

Bailey ran into the living room and sat down beside the couch. From outside, a crow gave a startlingly shrill caw as it flew by the living room window, towards the front door. The sound caused Jennifer to jump. Bailey jumped up, staring at the front door. Ignoring Bailey’s reaction, Jennifer began to settle in, watching the movie. There was a knock at the front door. Jennifer rushed to see who it could be. Not many people knew she was staying there now. As she got closer to the door Bailey growled. It wasn’t like when she’d first met Josephine next door. It was an angry, almost violent growl. Jennifer reached her hand out to unlock the door and the dog went crazy. She started barking and jumping towards Jennifer. Once she touched the lock to undo it, Bailey was no longer barking angrily, she began to whimper. It was as though whoever it was on the other side of the door frightened her.

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‘What’s got Bailey so jumpy?’ she asked herself, concerned. She’d never seen her act that way before. Her heart began to race as she looked through the peephole to see who it was. On the front porch, there was a little boy. He had to be no older than 12. She hadn’t turned on the porch light, so she couldn’t see all of his features. He was shorter than she was and looked a little pale. She could feel him staring at her. The hooded jacket he wore hid most of his face. Jennifer hadn’t made a sound at all, but somehow he knew she was there on the other side of the door. He lifted his head a little, tilting it to the side, revealing a cruel almost hungry smile. Finally, the silence broke. “May I come in?” he asked. He had a voice that was more like that of a man than a boy. Something about him made her feel uneasy, but she couldn’t quite figure out what it was. A thought ran through her mind. ‘How’d he know I’m here?’

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“My father is really sick and he worries when he hasn’t heard from me for more than an hour” said the little boy, his voice still masculine. “There isn’t much standing room in the house right now” she said, “but I can call your dad for you if you like. What’s the number?” There was a brief silence, though it seemed to stretch on for a number of minutes. In the silence, she backed away from the door. “Please, just let me in so I can use your phone” he said, “it won’t take long, I promise.” Slowly she walked back up to the peephole, as quietly as she was capable of. She didn’t want to but it was almost as if she was pulled to the peephole. She turned on the porch light to get a better view of the boy. When she looked out again, she saw his face in full. It was the face of the boy in the picture in the attic…It was Ian Shae.

What shocked Jennifer though wasn’t that it was the boy who Josephine had warned her about; it was his eyes. They weren’t blue or green or brown or even grey. They were two empty looking, deep, oily pools of black. It was like looking into the eyes of a shark. She was terrified. ‘No…they have to be contacts’ she told herself. A strange feeling came over her. ‘Something isn’t right, here’ she thought. She fought the urge to unlock the door for him. It was almost as though he was willing her to open it and let him in. The urge to let the hungry eyed boy inside subsided with every step she took away from the door.

black-eyed-kid

 

As she picked up Bailey, she backed into the stairs and sat there, slightly shaking. “If you don’t leave, I’m calling the cops” she threatened. There wasn’t any response. Her curiosity finally got the better of her as she quietly walked back to the front door and looked out the peephole. The boy was gone. Opening the door slowly, she looked around for any sign of him, all that was there was a single black feather sitting on the front porch. As a gust of wind came in, sweeping the feather away, she closed the door; taking Bailey back to the living room. The feeling of unease seemed to be completely gone, but the image of that boy’s eyes wasn’t.

She called her brother and told him what had just happened. “So, a little kid’s got you spooked?” he asked her, jokingly. “Seriously Dave, it was beyond creepy. I mean, first the woman next door; Josephine starts telling me about this weird kid, then I find the newspaper clippings and the picture of him; and then he shows up on the front porch…all in the same day.” Dave was silent for a moment. “I don’t know what to tell you” he said. “Maybe it was all just a coincidence.” “Yeah” replied Jennifer, “one hell of a creepy coincidence.” “Tell you what, I’ll come by tomorrow after work if you like” he replied. “Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow night” said Jennifer, hanging up the phone.

Jennifer looked at her watch and realized she should probably be getting to bed soon, so she turned the movie off and turned off all the downstairs lights. While Jennifer sat upstairs in the room she was using as her bedroom, she was pouring through her great aunt’s catalogs again. How one woman could amass so many things was beyond her, but now it was all hers. She was deep in thought when a tapping noise shook her from her thoughts. It was as if someone was tapping on the window of her bedroom. ‘It’s probably just some stupid kid throwing rocks at the window’ she thought, but the tapping was too quick.

She got up out of the chair she was sitting in as quietly as she could. Slowly, she made her way to the window, expecting to find someone to start yelling at. As the got to the window, she looked down on the front lawn. There was no one there. “Guess it’s just my imagination” she said to herself as she left the window. That was good enough for her. She headed back to her chair and catalogs. Hours later, her eyes heavy, she went back to the bed and to sleep; Bailey curled up on the foot of the bed. The rest of the night went on without incident.

The next day had erased any notions that the night before was just some sort of dream or nightmare. Throughout the day the image of that face would pop up in her mind. Those eyes would stare at her, stare through her; causing a momentary cold shiver to run down her spine. ‘Last night was just…’ she couldn’t finish the thought. She knew that no matter what she told herself or tried to make herself believe, Ian Shae was real, and he definitely wasn’t a little boy.

Jennifer waited patiently in the living room for her brother to come by. There was a knock at the door, then silence. She got up slowly, wanting nothing more than to ignore the door and what she thought was on the other side of it. “Damnit!” she swore under her breath, “where the hell is Dave?” There was another knock at the door, followed again by silence. Anxiously, she looked out the peephole and there was Dave, standing on the front porch. “Hey, you gonna let me in?” he asked. She breathed a sigh of relief. She opened the door slowly, still cautious. Dave walked in and hugged his sister. “Man” he said, “you look like you’ve been through it.” “Thanks” she replied sarcastically. “So, where’s this little demon boy of yours that’s got you spooked?” he asked, looking around the house as he closed the front door. It was the first time he’d been to their great aunt’s house since he and his sister were younger.

“I don’t know” she said. Bailey ran up to Dave, sniffing him and jumping up on him. “Nice to see you girl” he said as he gently pet her. “So, what’s the plan?” he asked Jennifer. “Just wait” she replied. “If he’s coming back, he’ll come back tonight.” The night went on as it had the previous night. Jennifer cooked up some dinner for her and her brother, then she fed Bailey. No sooner than Bailey started to eat, a bird flew by the kitchen window, cawing loudly in the direction of the front door. It was just like the night before. “I think he’s here” said Jennifer. “Right” her brother replied, laughing lightly. There was a knock at the door. Bailey started barking angrily at the door. “May I come in?” asked the voice from the other side of the door. Now she was sure of it, he was back.

Jennifer didn’t go to the door this time; she let Dave see for himself. He walked casually up to the front door, looking out the peephole. “This is the kid you were talking about?” he asked, unable to comprehend his sister’s reactions to the boy. “Seems you’ve given my sister a little fright” he said, his voice stern. “I didn’t mean to do anything of the sort” said the boy. “Ian, is it?” asked Dave, “look, I’m not sure what you’re after, but I can guarantee it isn’t here” he said, trying to get him to leave. “Just let me in, this won’t take long” said the boy. “Look kid, leave now or I’m going to have to make you leave” said Dave, his voice as authoritative as possible. He was starting to get annoyed with this kid. “I don’t think you want to do that” replied Ian, his voice calm yet still strangely too old for his body.

Out of nowhere, an uneasy feeling began to wash over Dave. He tried shaking it off as being a little tired, but it couldn’t be done. He had no intention of inviting him into the house, but for some reason, he found his hand up on the lock, about to undo it. Realizing what he was about to do, he let his hand drop to his side. He reached over to the switch for the porch light and flipped it on. Taking another look through the peephole, he started to understand what his sister was on about. He looked into the same empty, void-black eyes that his sister had seen and he knew he couldn’t let the boy in. “I don’t want to have to resort to violence to get you to leave, but I will if I have to.” “I wouldn’t do that if I were you” replied the boy as he smiled the same cruel almost hungry smile he had shown Jennifer.

He turned around to his sister. “I’m going to open the door” he said. “If anything happens, call the police.” Turning back to face the door, he undid the lock, opening the door. The boy stood there, still smiling. “May I please come in?” he said. Dave decided to try a different approach. “Look kid” he said as he stepped out on the porch, reaching his hand out to put on the boy’s shoulder. “I’m not exactly sure what it is you’re after, but…” he stopped mid-sentence.  As his hand touched the boy’s shoulder, a shock of cold ran up his arm; causing him to fall. He pulled back his hand, but the cold feeling lingered a while longer. “What the hell?!” he yelled at the boy. “How’d you do that?” The boy looked from Dave to his sister, simply stating “Dave, Jennifer, let me in.” Dave, still on the ground, backed away as quickly as he could from the boy, but froze in his tracks.

Jennifer tried to scream, but it died in her throat. Putting his finger up to his lips, the boy shushed her. The front door closed quickly behind Dave. Jennifer thought she heard him yell out, but couldn’t be sure. She rushed to her feet and towards the door. Bailey ran up the stairs into one of the bedrooms, hiding from the front door. She turned the knob, opening the door slightly and there was the boy, standing in the same spot. Her brother was nowhere to be seen. There wasn’t a trace of him. The boy stepped forward a little. “May I come in?” he said. “How’d you know my name? What are you? What’ve you done with my brother?” asked Jennifer, as frightened for her brother as for herself. “Can’t you tell?” he asked, “I’m a lost little boy. All I want is to come inside. She slammed the door shut, locking it. Picking up her phone, she called the cops. When she went back to the door, the boy was gone.

When the police showed up, she told them almost everything; making sure to leave out the part about the boy’s otherworldly eyes. “So” said the officer on the scene, “this kid attacked your brother and took him…you don’t know where?” Jennifer helplessly looked at him and nodded her head. “That’s what happened officer.” “Well” replied the officer, “there isn’t any sign of a struggle. No blood or anything like that. Maybe your brother had it out with the kid and went home?” he suggested. “No!” Jennifer almost screamed. “I know what happened. I know what I heard. I heard my brother screaming outside the door. It was a sound like I’ve never heard him make before.” “We’ll look around the neighborhood and see if we can find any trace of your brother or the kid” said the officer and with that, he left. That night, she tried to sleep as best she could, but sleep didn’t come easy. When it did finally come, her dreams were haunted by those soulless eyes and her brothers scream.

Days, then weeks went by without incident or sight of Dave. No birds sounded outside the house late at night, and no heart-wrenching knocking came from the front door. Finally a month had passed to the day of her brother’s disappearance. Things were starting to go back to normal, though she missed her brother dearly. After almost a month of peaceful, undisturbed nights, Jennifer sat down in the living room to watch a movie, Bailey at her side. “Dave” she said, speaking as if her brother were there, “what happened to you?” As if in response to her plea, a crow gave a startlingly shrill caw as it flew by the living room window, towards the front door. The sound caught Jennifer by surprise, making her jump. Bailey jumped up and hid underneath the couch.

There was a knock at the front door. Jennifer got up from the couch. She wanted to back away from the door, but the strange urge to go to the door was too strong for her to resist. “Hey, you gonna let me in?” she heard, from the other side of the door. “Dave?!” she cried out, “is that you?” She flipped on the porch light and ran to the door, looking out through the peephole. It was Dave. She unlocked the door and opened it. As she looked at her brother, tears began to roll down her cheeks. “Don’t just stand there” she said, wiping tears away from her eyes, “c’mon in.” With that, he came in, off of the porch and went to Jennifer. She hugged him; squeezing him as tight as she could imagine. The last thing she wanted to do was let him go. “Why’re you so cold” she said, taking a few steps away from her brother then froze in her tracks.

As she got a better look at her brother gasped. She saw his eyes; the same empty, deep, black eyes as the Shae boy. Dave tilted his head to the side a little. “It won’t take long” he said as he walked closer to her. Behind him stood the Shae boy, watching; silently. The front door slammed shut. Less than a foot away from her, his face began to change. His skin became deathly pale and his eyes grew even darker. Tears ran down from his eyes as he stepped inches away from his sister. It was almost as if he was sorry for what he was about to do. He slowly placed his hands on the sides of her head, tilting it to the side. She wanted to scream for help, she wanted to run till her legs could no longer carry her, but all she could do was stand there and get ready to die. Dave’s mouth opened wide, almost unhinging, revealing dangerously sharp teeth. She finally managed to let out a scream, and as she did, Dave inhaled. A stream of air left Jennifer’s body through her mouth, flowing into her brother’s till Jennifer’s body lifeless dropped to the floor with a thud.

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It was a dark and quiet night. Not even a cricket could be heard outside. It was almost as if the air had become still, with anticipation. An old man sat in his favorite recliner in the living room, watching the TV. One of his favorite black and white westerns was on. The TV started to cut out a little with static here and there. He stood up slowly, walking over to the TV set. “Thought I had this damned thing fixed yesterday” he said, angrily. As he went to see what was wrong with the set, a noise from out front made him turn around. It was a small group of birds, but it didn’t sound like any birds he knew of. Deciding not to pay too much attention to it, he headed back towards his seat. Just then, a knock at the door stopped him in his tracks. He looked down at his watch, noticing the time.

It was well after 9pm. “Funny” he said “a bit late for visitors.” He walked over to the door, turning on the porch lights and looked through his peephole. There at the front door stood three hooded figures, two boys and a girl. A portion of their faces was hidden by the hoods of their jackets. A feeling of unease washed over the old man, he couldn’t help but wonder at its cause. ‘They’re just three kids’ he told himself. “May we come in” the shorter of them asked, “We’ve become lost and our sister needs to use a bathroom.” He smiled as he finished his request.

The old man unlocked his door, though he hadn’t intended to. Once he realized his door was open he stood there, confused. “Uh…sure” he said “c’mon in.” the three walked into through the now opened door and pulled their hoods down the taller two had long black hair and the shorter one, short red hair. The old man froze instantly as he saw their eyes. All three of them had soul-less, hungry, deep black eyes and they all gave the same smile as the shorter one said “this won’t take long.” The front door slammed shut as the old man screamed his last bloodcurdling scream.

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index

The Building

Typically, I blog about random things, but this time I decided I’d share something a little more personal with whoever out there’s reading this. The following is a short story that I’ve written in my spare time. For a short horror story, it’s a little on the long-ish side, so bare with me. I’ve been told rom what those who’ve read it so far, it’s worth the read.
As an added note, I should like to say that though the words of the story are of my own imagining, the pictures provided are not my property and were taken by others.

So, without further rambling, I present to you…

 

The Building

By: Andy Lucas

 

It was a night like any other at the security desk. Slow and quiet, like most graveyard shifts were. It had been two years since Jesse had started his job as night security at the Tanner building; one of the local condominiums in the area. It was a large Berwick blend red brick-stone building; the only one of its kind in the neighborhood. One of the taller buildings in the area, it had 27 floors. Routine became part of almost every one of his shifts. Sitting down in his chair behind the security desk, in his customary almost uniformly black work outfit and his & and yellow tie, he looked through the tall glass windows of the front doors. It was a quiet night, like most nights. Most everyone had long since come in from work or their errands of the day, so he would have a lot quiet time to kill before he had anyone to help.

The night was getting late and it was time for Jesse to do his first set of rounds inside the building. As usual, he put his book down once he’d finished three or four chapters and turned the radio on to the local classical station, letting the music play softly before beginning rounds.  He closed and locked the front doors and as he was about to grab his coat, the security desk telephone rang, surprising him and causing him to knock his book onto the floor. “Damnit!” he said, placing the book back onto the desk. Most nights, no one living in the building called the desk past 8pm, and it was well on 12:30. Grabbing the phone, at first he could hear only static. “Tanner building, security desk” he said. Only static was the reply. Not wanting to lose time, he hung up and finished getting what he needed to do his rounds. As he rounded the desk, the phone rang again.  He stood there for a second, weighing whether to answer the phone or go about his work; thinking it would be just another static phone call. Giving in to his curiosity and in the event of it being an actual someone on the other end of the phone, he decided to answer.

“Security desk” he said once again. There was static again, but it was interrupted by a voice. “Hello, security desk? This is Dave Hamilton in 2701” the voice said. “Hello Mr. Hamilton, this is Jesse at the security desk, what can I do for you?” Jesse replied. After a moment of silence, the voice returned. “I’m calling to complain about my neighbor in 2702, his music’s far too loud, I can barely hear myself think.” “I’m sorry to hear that Mr. Hamilton, I’ll see if I can get that taken care of right now.” “Good… Thank you” said the voice. With the call ended, Jesse decided it would be best to call 2702 before heading up.

The phone rang and rang; two minutes it must have been. There was no answer. Resigned to what was his only other option, he grabbed his flashlight and keys, taking the elevator to the 27th floor. As the doors began closing in front of him, he pressed the button for the top floor. As the elevator began its rise to the top floor, the lights began to flicker as if the power was on the fritz. The last thing Jesse wanted was to be stuck in an elevator. Reaching the 27th floor, the lights went back to normal and he stepped out, heading towards room 2702.

Reaching his destination, he lightly knocked on the door, not wanting to wake anyone else by banging too loudly. Silence was the only response he received. He knocked again, only this time a bit heavily, and again there was only silence. With a sigh of annoyance, he took out his keys, searching for the right one for the unit. Now he was ready to have this done and over with.

Slowly, he opened 2702’s door to a scene of near pitch darkness; the only source of light coming from a tall, slender-polled lamp that flickered in the living room’s corner. From the doorway, keys back at his hip and flashlight in hand, he scanned the scene before him. Confronted with the silence in front of him, he quietly walked to the bedroom. Hesitantly, he knocked on the bedroom door. ‘He’s probably just sleeping’ he said to himself as he waited for some response, but there was none. “Mr. Demeras” he called out “It’s Jesse, the security guy”. There was a complaint about loud noises coming from your unit. As he spoke those last words, he noticed that there wasn’t a sound to be heard. ‘What was Mr. Hamilton complaining about?’ he wandered. Again, he knocked on the door, but no answer.

Pushing on the bedroom door lightly, it opened with an unexpected squeak. The bedroom was as dark as the living room. The windows on the far side of the room cast scant light in the otherwise stark black room. The bed, much like the living room, was empty. Moving his flashlight about the room, he could see something on the edge of the bed. It was a hand. From the flashlight’s light, it shone deathly pale. Taken aback with surprise at the sight of the deathly white arm he followed its length down to the floor. There, attached to the arm was the rest of a body. The rest of Demeras’s body lay prone on the floor. His body, pale as death itself; wrought with sickly blue veins that spread from his eyes to the rest of his body. On his face; a look of sheer and unadulterated terror.

Demeras was dead; there was no doubt about it. Jesse shivered as a chill ran down his spine. ‘What the hell’s going on here?’ Jesse asked himself.  “Caroline!” he called out, hoping for some response from Mr. Demeras’s young niece, but there wasn’t a sound and he hadn’t seen her anywhere in the condo. Hand trembling, he went for his phone to call 911 to get help. There was no answer, only static; just like when he’d received the call sending him up there in the first place. Not wanting to wait around the room, he left the body where he’d found it, leaving the bedroom and the unit. ‘Maybe 2701 has a phone I could use’ he thought.

Knocking on the door as he had with 2702, he waited for an answer, but there was nothing. After waiting for a few seconds, he knocked again. This time, he could hear the sound of movement from within the unit. “Mr. Hamilton?” he asked, loud enough that he might hear him, but not so loud that he might wake any of the other tenants on the floor.  “Yesss” he heard, in a low almost soft sounding voice. ‘Finally, an answer. “Mr. Hamilton, it’s Jesse, it’s an emergency. Mr. Demeras door is dead and his niece Caroline is missing.”  Once again, nothing. “I need to use your phone to call for help. Mr. Hamilton?”  In that same low, almost soft sounding voice as before, he heard “yesss”.  With an almost quiet squeak, the door opened towards the inside of the condo, but only a little.  Not sure of what to do, Jesse stepped back, away from the door.

There was someone at the door, he was sure of it; though all he could see was the emptiness of the room. Pointing his flashlight to where he was sure someone stood, watching him, he saw nothing. Cautiously, he walked up to the door, pushing it further open; not wanting any surprises. ‘Were the other units on this floor steeped in darkness like Mr. Demeras’s ?’ he wondered.  ‘If so, what about the rest of the building?’ Shining his light about the room, it wasn’t much different from Mr. Demeras’s. A slight movement in the left corner of the room caught his attention. “Mr. Hamilton?” he called out, but this wasn’t him. It was roughly the shape of a woman, from what little he could see. Determined to find out who she was, he turned the flashlight on her. Just as the beam of light hit where she was, there was no one there.  Having had enough, he spun around and rushed for the elevator. One thing above all else was for sure, he had to get off of the 27th floor.  As he left Mr. Hamilton’s unit door slammed shut, causing Jesse to jump. Not one to believe in ghosts or spooks of any sort, he was sure there was some rational explanation to what was going on. He had to be sure.

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Reaching the elevator door, he pressed for the elevator to go down into the lobby. There was a working phone down there, for sure; or at least a way out of the building to run and get help. Just as he’d begin to relax, the lights in the hallway began to flicker sporadically with a slight humming sound. In the corner of his sight, he could see the outline of someone…some thing coming towards him, but only in the darkness. It was the same outline as in 2701. “Yesss” he heard, in that same low, soft sounding voice as before, but this time there was an edge of menace in the voice.  Panic began to run through him as he frantically pressed the elevator button; the form still slowly making it’s way towards him. Just when it seemed he would fall prey to whatever this thing was, the elevator doors began to open, much to his relief. As he stepped inside, the flickering of the lights stopped just as suddenly as it had started. ‘I need to get the hell out of here’ he said to himself.  The elevator doors began slowly closing as he pressed the button to take him down to the lobby. Before they had fully closed, the lights outside the elevator went out completely and the elevator doors closed on the sight of a horrifically twisted and scarred face, the face that had been watching him from 2701.

For that split second, there he was; face to face with something he thought till now didn’t exist. In that moment, a sense of dread ran straight through him.  His heart began racing unbelievably fast as the elevator doors finally closed and he slowly descended he hoped towards the lobby floor. After what seemed an eternity inside the elevator, it slowly came to a stop, though the doors didn’t open. Unsure of what to do, he pressed the button for the doors to open. After a minute of nothing, the door lurched open, but it wasn’t the lobby of the building in front of him; it was the garage beneath the building. Somehow the elevator’d managed to take him to the lowest level of the eight level parking garage instead. With the doors still open, he pressed the button to the lobby with no response.

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With the elevator being unresponsive, Jesse knew that the only way to the lobby would be the stairwell. Unfortunately, the stairwell leading to the lobby was on the other side of the garage. Cautiously, he took a step off of the elevator and it closed shut behind him with a light thud.  Remembering the body of Mr. Demeras, laying there on his bedroom floor, he decided it was best to get to the phone as quickly as possible, so he started jogging the length of the garage, to the stairwell. No sooner than he’d reached near the middle of the garage, the light farthest from him began rapidly flickering, almost like a broken strobe light. Then, with a feeling of finality, the light erupted, sending sparks all across that section of the garage; harmlessly landing on some of the cars closest to the fixture.

A strange darkness crept across the far wall, covering the elevator door; swallowing up everything it touched. It spread like the vines or roots of a gnarled, twisted old oak tree, consuming wall, ceiling, and floor alike. It was then that Jesse felt utter terror; knowing that if he stood there for much longer, he was dead, but he was paralyzed by the terror of the moment. The darkness continued only so far as the light did not touch. So long as he was in the light, Jesse was safe; so long as there was light.

It was almost as if the pervading shadow was a living thing, the way it wriggled just far enough from the next source of light. Then the whispering bean. “Jesssse” called out one of the whispering voices from out of his sight. “Jesssse” it repeated. He only stood there, still frozen and unable to move, one way or the other. Then the whispering stopped, only to be replaced with uncomprehendable shrieks of a rage other sounds so alien to Jesse, it shook him out of his frozen state. As he began running away from the horror that waited for him outside of the light, the next light began to flicker, and then die. One light after another followed suit and the darkness moved in closer and quicker.

Finally reaching the door to the stairwell, Jesse unlocked it, slamming it shut behind him. From the bottom of the door, he could see as the last bit of light in the parking garage outside the door went dark. He stepped back from the door, nervous. Then as he turned and started to climb the first stair, he heard the door handle jiggle, like someone or something was trying to turn it. And get in. He knew it was, and that for some reason, it wanted him. He was determined that it wasn’t going to get what it wanted.

The door handle stopped jiggling, but before Jesse even had time to be happy about it, a black spot appeared in the center of the door and began to spread out like veins; like the veins on Mr. Demeras. Slowly the darkness ate away at the door, gaining entrance. With a quick dash, Jesse was up the stairs, spurred on by the thought of his pursuer. He continued to get closer to the lobby floor, as the lights on the lower floors were slowly consumed by the void following him; bringing with it the whispering voices and horrifying alien noises from before. This time though, he could hear scratching; it was claw marks gouging into the walls below. He stopped, only long enough to shine his flashlight into the two floors below, where the darkness. As soon as the light from his flashlight touched the darkness, a cloud of black matter rose out of the darkness. The light was doing something to the darkness. Maybe it was hurting it. .

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Remembering how the lights went out in the garage, and not wanting to chance his flashlight doing the same thing, he ran; like the devil was on his heels. No matter how far away from the darkness, he couldn’t shake the dread that followed him as if it were his own shadow, turned against him. The lobby door was just within sight. Breathing raggedly, he quickly found the correct key for the door, running in through it, the flashlight slipped out of his hand, landing loudly on the stairs outside the door. Refusing to retrieve it, he left it where it landed. With a loud clang, the door slammed shut behind him. Facing the elevator, he slowly backed away, towards the security desk and the two glass doors of the front of the lobby.  Picking up the phone, he began dialing 911, though he was sure, nobody would believe his terrifying story.

The phone rang and rang; for a minute he stood there waiting for someone to answer. Finally, in a woman answered the phone. “911…please state the nature of your emergency.” A feeling of relief washed through Jesse at the sound of another normal voice. “Hi” he said, trying not to sound hysterical; “There’s a man, Mr. Demeras… He’s dead, in his room.” There was a short silence. “Sir…sir, now try to stay calm. You say there’s a man who’s dead?” Yes!” he said, almost yelling into the phone. “He’s dead. The entire building’s probably dead by now. I’m the only one…” before he could finish, he heard the sound of the elevator door opened, catching his attention.  “Sir, you’re the only one what?” the female operator’s voice asked. The lights in the elevator began flickering slightly. While the lights in the lobby remained on, he refused to turn around and confront waited behind him. The operator on the phone’s voice grew distant as time seemed to stretch out for an eternity. Nervous beads of sweat rolled down Jesse’s face as he slowly turned around to confront it.

Where he had moments ago expected to see some eldritch horror manifested from the darkness or just the darkness itself within the elevator, there was only Caroline, Mr. Demeras’s niece. “Caroline?” he asked, pleadingly; hoping it wasn’t some cruel trick his eyes played on him. But there she stood. “My uncle won’t wake up” she said in a voice dripping with sadness.  “Caroline” he called out, stepping closer to the darkened elevator, “your uncle is going to be asleep for a little while. He’s…really tired. Let’s go get some ice cream while we wait for him to wake up.” It was all he could think of to say to get her to leave with him without frightening her. He had no idea how long he’d have to convince her to leave with him. She didn’t move from where she stood, inside the elevator. Then it dawned on him. ‘How did Caroline survive? Where was she when Mr. Demeras had died?’ “Caroline?” he asked again, this time the pleading sound in his voice was gone. “Where’ve you been?” “My uncle won’t wake up” was again her only reply. Slowly Jesse backed away from the elevator and from Caroline; fear showing clearly on his face.

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As he reached out to grab one of the lobby doors to leave to safety, Caroline let out a blood curdling, earsplitting scream; causing the ceiling light closest to the elevator to explode in a shower of harmless sparks. Still, she stood there screaming. Where her eyes had been, only moments before, now there were empty, dark sockets, and as she continued screaming, a miasma of pure evil began slowly winding its way from her gaping mouth and empty eyes.  Her face began going more and more pale and black veins slowly worked their way down her face and all over her body, just like her uncle. The miasma spread out from her and began to fill the lobby. One by one, the lobby lights flickered and went out.  Jesse pushed open the door, leading to the main set of doors and pushed through one of those as the doors closed shut behind him. Finally, he was free; he was safe from that horror that had been pursuing him all night.

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The early morning air outside the building was cool and damp; the sun hadn’t quite began to rise. It had been raining the entire night. The wind blew lightly through the trees in front of the building. Jesse breathed deeply then exhaled. It was the sweet taste of freedom; of safety. Just as Jesse started to step further away from the building’s front doors, he heard an almost slow creaking sound. He spun around on his heels as the doors swung open. The lobby was pitch black, and there, just beyond the double doors stood the thing, the thin that looked like Caroline. He tried turning back around. He tried to run. He even tried to scream, but he could do nothing but stand there, completely unable to move.

The thing with the face of the little girl looked at him, leered at him. Its figure twisted and contorted, like a thing of black, inky smoke. A sinister grin came over its face. Jesse’s body began contorting as waves of excruciating pain ran through him. As he stood there wracked with pain, the darkness pulled him slowly back into the building, drawing out the feeling of terror as long as it dared. Then, with an otherworldly quickness; he was pulled into the waiting darkness, his one final scream, muted by the whispering thing that had him.

The sun finally began its rise in the sky as Carlos, the morning security guard showed up to begin his shift, relieving the night guard. Closing the lobby doors behind him, he turned, looking at him as he sat behind the security desk; his face an expressionless mask. “What’s wrong?” he asked, concerned over the look on Jesse’s face. Jesse just stared back silently, a grin coming over his emotionless face. Uncomfortable and confused by Jesse’s behavior, Carlos stepped back to give him room. “Ok, you can head home now” he said. Jesse came from behind the desk, the grin on his face turning sinister. “Hey Jesse, don’t forget your book” yelled Carlos, but he was too late, Jesse was gone, but the doors to the lobby never opened.

Still confused, Carlos sat down to the security desk, waiting for his day to finally start. Later that day, once the busy time of his shift had come and gone, and with only a half hour left till he was relieved by the swing shift guard, Carlos looked down at the book Jesse’d left at the desk. Looking closer at the title he noticed it read ‘Ghosts, Demons, & Doppelgangers, Truth Behind the Stories’. Holding the book tightly in his hand, a bead of sweat ran down his face. In all the time he’d known and worked with Jesse, he had never witnessed that sort of behavior from him. He looked down at the book again. It just had to be a coincidence that he was reading that book when he started acting strangely, just a coincidence.

That was the last time anyone’d seen Jesse in the Tanner building. He never turned up for his shift later that night. Every once and a while though, Trever, the new night guard swears that every now and again, the lights in the place seem to flicker and the radio will turn on and play classical music ever so softly. He even swore once that he’d heard someone screaming for help on the radio, though it mostly sounded like static interrupting the music.

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The New Star Wars

It recently came to my attention that in only a short 21 months (1 year, 9 months), there’s going to be a brand spanki’n new Star Wars Film. Ever since George Lucas sold all things Star Wars to Disney, I’ve been waiting with, I dare say bated breath to see what the outcome would be. In the past, Disney’s had a huge success with taking over Marvel Entertainment and putting out films like The Avengers and the films building up to The Avengers; Even their latest film, Thor: The Dark World. The point being… Disney apparently seems to know what it’s doing. The problem though is that unlike the Marvel films they’ve been putting out, there are already 6 Star Wars films out there that any new films are going to always be compared to. The new films are going to either as good as the first 6 or better in order to be any good. “Almost as good” just won’t cut it.

So, here are a few things about the up and coming film you may or may not care to know:
The film is slated to take place around 30 years after the events in Return of the Jedi and is said to star three new young leads…as well as a few very familiar faces. Disney also plans on releasing a new Star Wars film every year, beginning in 2015.

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Now, to go from what’s known, to what’s suspected/rumored… :
Adam Driver and is a great possibility to play the role of the film’s main villain, though how he or whoever is chosen for the role’s character will compare to the epic epicness of Lord Vader, only time can tell.

 

 

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Jesse Plemons, Ed Speleers, John Boyega, Matthew James Thomas, & Ray Fisher are rumored as possibles for the male lead in the film, and Lupita Nyong’o is a rumored possibility for the female lead role. it’s even been said that her (or whoever plays the role) will possibly be playing as a descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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Both Gary Oldman and BenedictCumberbatch were both said to have been interested in the same role and both may have possibly been cast.

If those last two names got your interest then you’ll love the fact that Harrison Ford and Mark Hamil are coming back to the world of Star Wars. It’s even said that Carrie Fisher will be coming back as well, though sadly who knows if she’s likely able to appear or not. Also, there’s a possibility; however slight it may be, that Billy Dee Williams  might make a return as well.  And just to show that the Sith isn’t an all boys club, there’re talks of there being a female Sith villain in the film as well. Here’s hoping if that turns out to be true, the character is as interesting as the character of Asajj Ventress.

 

Last, but not least, (This may be a spoiler of sorts for anyone who’s not familiar with the Expanded Universe or the Star Wars fiction written to take place after Return of the Jedi.) it’s been said that the film may focus on twins; one possibly taking a turn to the darkside and another following in their fathers footsteps. This could reference Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa-Solo or Jacen and Jaina Solo (the later of the two being  the kids of Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo in the Star Wars Expanded Universe and or Star Wars fiction.)

One thing I know without a shadow of a doubt… if this film doesn’t live up to the fans expectations story/script-wise, acting-wise, and of course.. effects-wise, a great disturbance will be felt in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. 

 

 

 

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Movies This Year

Well…it’s a new year, and that means of course… new movies. If you’re anything like me, there’s nothing like a good movie to distract you from whatever’s going on in your life(or not going on)… at least for a few hours.

So, here’re a few flicks to look for this year(keep in mind, I wrote the list, so I’m a bit biased) Oh, and I do apologize if there are any spoilers hereabouts.(There likely are.)

A Fantastic Fear Of Everything: Directed by Crispian Mills and Chris Hopewell and Starring the constantly brilliant Simon Pegg(How To Lose Friends And Alienate People, Star Trek); this little gem is about a crime novelist, whose research into Victorian serial killers has turned him into an extremely paranoid man, in fear of being murdered.

Date and Switch: Directed by Chris, this movie is about two High School seniors: Michael and Matty that have been best friends since 3rd grade. Still virgins, they make a pact to help each other “get lucky” before their senior prom – their mission however takes an unexpected turn when one of them announces an unexpected secret.

Pompeii: Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson, this film stars Kit Harington(Game of Thrones, Silent Hill: Revelation3D) and is set in the year 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of Milo, a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius begins to erupt in all its fury, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his love as crumbles all around him.

A Haunted House 2: Directed by Mike Tiddes and starring Marlon Wayans, this is the sequel to A Haunted House with Wayans as Malcolm who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend and her two children. After moving into their dream home, Malcolm is once more plagued by bizarre paranormal events.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo and starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlet Johansson; this film takes place after the events of The Avengers. Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, is trying to live a quiet life in Washington, D.C. while trying to adjust to things in the modern world, but when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Captain America becomes enmeshed in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world once again at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the conspiracy plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow must enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and dangerous new enemy—the Winter Soldier.

Transcendence: Directed by Wally Pfister and starring Johnny Depp, this film stars Depp as Dr. Will Caster, the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will stop him at all costs. In their attempt to destroy him however, they set into motion the culmination of their worst fears.

The Quiet Ones: Directed by John Pogue and starring Jared Harris( Sherlock Holmes: A game Of Shadows, Pompeii, and The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones). The Quiet Ones Tells the story of an unorthodox professor (Jared Harris) who uses highly controversial methods, leading his best students off the grid to take part in a dangerous experiment: creating a poltergeist. Based on the theory that paranormal activity is caused by the negative energy humans sometimes put out, the rogue scientists perform a series of tests on a young patient, pushing her to the edge of sanity and starting something more frightening and terrifying than they could have possibly imagined.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Directed by Marc Webb(no pun intended) and starring Andrew Garfield(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Social Network), Emma Stone(The Amazing Spider-Man, The Help) and Jamie Foxx(White House Down, Django Unchained). After the events of The Amazing Spider-Man, life for Peter Parker is busy. Between taking care of the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the girl he loves, things seem the same as ever, but things always have a way of changing; especially when you’re a superhero with a new villain emerging, an old friend returning, and you start finding clues about your mysterious past.

Godzilla: Directed by Gareth Edwards and starring Aaron Johnson(Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2) and Bryan Cranston(Argo, Breaking Bad, and Malcolm in the Middle). This film is the retelling/re-imagining of Godzilla’s origin in a more contemporary time.

X-Men: Days Of Future Past: Directed by Bryan Singer and starring Jennifer Lawrence(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games), James McAvoy(X-Men: First Class, Arthur Christmas), Patrick Stewart(X-Men – X-Men 3, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Star Trek), Ian McKellen(The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: Desolation Of Smaug, LOTR Trilogy, X-Men – X-Men 3), and Peter Dinklage(Game Of Thrones, Death at a Funeral). The film’s story is set partially in an alternate future where surviving mutants have been penned in concentration camps, giant robots called Sentinels patrol America, and the majority of the X-Men have been hunted down and killed.

Maleficent: Directed by Robert Stromberg and starring Angelina Jolie(Kung Fu Panda 2, Salt, Beowulf). This is the untold story of one of Disney’s most iconic, classic villains(Sleeping Beauty as told by Maleficent).A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until the day an invading army threatened the peace of the land. Rising to be the land’s fiercest protector, she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—turning her pure heart to stone and setting into motion a revenge of classic proportions.

How To Train Your Dragon 2: Directed by Dean DeBlois and starring Jay Baruchel(The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, This Is The End, How To Train Your Dragon)and  Craig Ferguson(Brave, Winnie the Pooh, How To Train Your Dragon). The heroic dragon-riding Viking Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless must protect the peace — and save the future for men and dragons from a power-hungry enemy named Drago.

Transformers 4: Age of Extinction: Directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg(Ted, The Fighter, The Happening), Stanley Tucci(The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games, Jack the Giant Slayer) and Kelsey Grammer(Monsters University, Toy Story 2,  X-Men 3).   As humanity picks up the pieces, following the conclusion of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond their ability to control – all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets its sights on Earth. The epic adventure and battle between good and evil, freedom and enslavement ensues.

(A trailer for the film seems to be unavailable as of yet.)

There are of course more movies coming out this year, but take it upon yourself to go look for’m, and… happy movie watching.

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The Wonder Woman We… I Want.

Hey there to whomever’s reading this latest post of mine. I’ve noticed that my postings have been few and far in-between, but I aim to fix that…eventually. In the mean the mean time, I was talking with a co-worker of mine about things from our childhood; cartoons, movies and such.. and we came to the topic of Wonder Woman… or to be more specific, who should play Wonder Woman should they decide to make a film for her(with the obvious fact that a Justice League film is obviously looming overhead in the distance.)

So, here’s yet another geek-fueled post by yours truly. Here’s my top 5 list of the most capable female actresses who also happen to have the required looks to play the role of probably the most powerful female character in the entire DC Universe.

 

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1) Jaimie Alexander: It may seem obvious to claim that Jaimie Alexander(the only female Asgardian on Marvel’s side)would be a more than perfect pick for Wonder Woman. As Sif,(In the film Thor)the female Asgardian warrior, she more than combined beauty with brawn. Believe it or not, Alexander’s been brought up in the past as a possible/potential Diana, but for one reason or another, her interest decreased. None the less, she would do a more than splendid job in the role.

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2) Michelle Rodriguez: Being no stranger to the genre of action, Rodriguez has more than shown she can hold her own, whether it’s taking down the infected undead, fighting off an alien attack, driving really fast, or flying/firing from a gunship while kicking butt and taking names…like a boss. Aside from that, she..like every actress mentioned or to be mentioned in this list more than physically fits the bill. And while some may question her as a pick, due to her not being Caucasian, keep in mind…that Wonder Woman herself is not Caucasian… She’s Greek.

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3) Jennifer Lawrence: Star of The Hunger Games, Lawrence showed us that she can do action, and quite well at that. As Katniss Everdeen, she’s shown she can hold her own in a lethal fight to the death, while inspiring that most important of things.. hope. And as good as she is as an archer(In character at least), the world would be a far more interesting place, and we would get a near-perfect representation of the Amazonian  princess.

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4) Sarah Michelle Gellar: There’s no question that Gellar would be more than suited for the role of Amazonian princess. Her stint as Buffy Summers in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer from 1997-2003 more than qualifies her as capable. As the titled character, she’s faced vampire lords, eldritch deities, the apocalypse(on a few occasions) and even the very first evil to ever exist. We’re talking the embodiment of all evil here. If that’s not good enough reason, then there’s also the fact that she is an actually good actor. Her roles in The Grudge, the 2 Scooby Doo films, Cruel Intentions have proven that. And she’s even got geek cred having voiced April O’Neil in the TMNT film.

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5) Lucy Lawless: Just like the 4 mentioned actresses above, Lawless has earned her action chops. In her case, it was in her role as TV’s Xena, Warrior Princess. The ancient Greek equivalent of Wonder Woman, she was basically everything Wonder Woman stood for and then some. She’s taken on monsters, warlords, demi-gods and the god of war himself, Aries. She’s even taken on angels and demons. She may be a little older now than when she played the title character, but I have no doubt that Lucy Lawless could more than handle the role and do it some major justice.

 

I should note that none of the images used in this blog post are by any means my property.

Harry Potter and the Corruption of Everyone?

Now, my numbers may be a bit off here, but I’d say most folk the world around have heard the name Harry Potter. I mean, he’s one of the most famous people to have never existed. Ya.?.  Some would even say he’s bigger than Paul Bunyan. Ok, I’ve never heard anyone actually say that, but let’s assume for the sake of this post that tons of HP fans have said as much. For those reading this who aren’t familiar with the magical world of HP, I’ll sum it up for ya as briefly as possibly possible. Awkward UK lad fights against creepy, noseless UK adult and tons and tons of amazingness inbetween. Not the greatest summary, I’ll grant you, but it’ll have to do for now.

While perusing the vast vastness of media information and cat memes that is the internet, I stumbled upon this little gem of news…  Ok, it was posted on Yahoo news, but I still stumbled upon it.   “Teenage exorcists who say Harry Potter has corrupted the world head to Britain armed with Bibles and Holy Water to tackle hotbed of occult activity”

I read the title and of course my first response was to chuckle a bit. Once I was done with that, it became a wtf moment for me. Harry Potter and corruption? I mean… c’mon.. it’s Harry Potter for crying out loud. I mean look at that face. Is that the face of evil???

harry-potter1_310320111329

None the less, I decided to give the video attached to the news posting a look-see.  To summarize it, three holier than thou fame-seekers from Arizona (Brynne Larson,  Tess and Savannah Scherkenback) have come to the conclusion that Harry Potter is the source of an occult outbreak across the UK. (Because the works of JK Rowling obviously predate the existence of the occult in Europe… [he said sarcastically]) The last time I checked though, England didn’t have a Ministry of Magic..  Not even a Ministry of Cheap Tricks. They claim that “The spells you are reading about are not made up. They are real and come from witchcraft.” If I had a dollar for every time I pointed a twig at someone and shouted “Avada Kedavra!” and they died from it, I’d not have a single dollar. Forget the little blue pill… who needs that when whipping out your wand and chanting “Engorgio!” does the trick? What’s next? Will they be on a crusade to purge the world of the evil of fairy tale characters like the Fairy Godmother? Is she some harbinger of Satan wrapped in a winged old lady’s clothing?

As I write this, it dawns on me that the three girls may be confusing this: 3176173-1748009911-hp.jpFor this: voldemort
I mean, they both seem so identical, don’t they?  Take away the facts that one is the hero and one is the villain, one has friends who loyally follow him and the other leads by fear, one has never killed anyone to get what he wants and the other does it just because… take away those and other things and they’re oh so identical.

I don’t mean any of this to be a slam against Christians or Christianity in its wide spread uniform diversity, but with individuals like this in the spotlight, it’s no wonder some people can’t take the religion too seriously.

I hope that anyone who reads this post is far more enlightened and open minded than those who have inspired it. Just remember, because you don’t understand something does not make it inherently evil. And if you haven’t already, pick up a copy of Harry Potter. I promise you, it’s an amazing read.

For your viewing enjoyment, here’s the video in question. I’ll let it speak for itself… :

 

The full article inspiring this post can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2415387/Teenage-exorcists-say-Harry-Potter-corrupted-world-head-Britain-armed-Bibles-Holy-Water-tackle-hotbed-occult-activity.html

The Princess that Never Was?

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, so here’s a short rant from yours truly about something seemingly random and geeky.:

 

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there lived a princes… only… was she really a princess? As Star Wars has become Disney property, a good friend of mine brought it to my attention that princess Leia would be a Disney princess. That got me to thinking… would she be a Disney princess? Further more, was she even really a princess?

If I were to allow my friend to answer that question, he would say that Leia was in fact a princess. She was the adopted daughter of the king and queen of Alderaan, and her birth mother was the Queen of Naboo.  Now, that sounds like more than enough for her to be considered a princess; right? Wrong. In my opinion anyway.

 

 

Here’s the problem. She may have been the adopted daughter of royalty, but does that in of itself make her a royal? If I’m the king of France and I adopt a monkey into my family, does that monkey then become royalty? (not to equate princess Leia to a monkey.)No, it doesn’t.  And as to her being the biological child of the “Queen of Naboo”… well.. I may be ignorant of all of the political ways of Naboo, but the last time I checked.. being the daughter of a former queen doesn’t make you royalty when that queen in question was elected to the position. Elected, not born into or married into.. elected.

Even if I can manage to get past the whole elected queen thing, there’s the fact that when Leia was born, her mother had been dead/on her death bed at the time and there was a newly elected queen ruling Naboo. Heck, even before Padme was dead, Naboo had elected a new queen. Padme was a senator. So, in truth, Leia is the biological daughter of the senator of Naboo and the adopted daughter of the king and queen of Alderaan.

 

 

 

Now, if I can manage to look past even that, there’s the one tiny fact that Alderaan no longer exists. So, what’s princess Leia the princess of?  A large heap of space rock? I don’t think so. No kingdom, no power, title becomes meaningless. Princess Leia becomes commoner Leia.

 

 

So, to sum it all up… princess Leia is not a Disney princess. At best, I could say that she’s a Disney person of importance….within the Star Wars galaxy.

 

 

As an added bonus, here’s the a video about the Disney purchase of Star Wars: