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Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Fire

            I was alone. Their charred corpses should have littered the ground. We just arrived a few hours ago, not enough time for their bodies to turn to ash. Maybe I wasn't alone.
            A tree collapsed behind me, the fire finally cutting through its trunk. There were fewer and fewer escape paths the longer I waited. I wanted to run, but the fire was almost to my block. The image of the house I built burning down surged through my mind, giving me strength to keep trying to quell the fire. A cracking from above made me jump to the side. A burning branch fell where I had been standing.
            I needed to get to safety, then keep trying to fight the fire. Shooting water where I was directed was easy, but figuring out the best course of action was not in my skill-set. I cursed the chief and my 'friends' for running away and dropped my fire-hose. Reluctantly, I ran towards the last remaining escape route. I turned and shouted, thinking maybe I had missed the others. Still nothing.
            I turned back around, sighing. I blinked, and something crashed into me. Whatever hit me felt limp, but hard. It landed on top of me, knocking the air from my lungs. I wiped the sweat from my eyes to see John's body on top of me. His throat looked like a wild animal had torn it apart. Not cut, not burned; eviscerated. I shoved the body off of me and scampered to my feet. I again ran towards the only passage through the burning trees.
           I closed my eyes and tried to rub away the salty sweat. When I opened my eyes I found a wall of bodies blocking my path. The bodies weren't burned, they're uniforms weren't even charred. The cause of death was as obvious as it was for Johnny; huge sections of neck were missing from each bloodied body. Something was moving the corpses. Something fast. Something I didn't care to meet. I looked around feverishly for another exit, but the wall of corpses plugged the only way out.
            The idea of shoving my dead friends out of the way was nauseating, but I had to get out of there. I threw my shoulder against the wall of corpses, toppling it over.
            Standing on the other side of the wall was a woman. Her black hair draped over her shoulders. She wore a remarkably untarnished pearl-white dress. Her face was calm. If the fire's heat and crackling didn't give me constant reminders of the dangers around me, I might have believed she was taking a casual stroll through the woods.
            The woman waved her wrist and the bodies around me disappeared. She smiled. Her black teeth reflected the light of the flames, highlighting her pale complexion.
I turned around and ran. I figured running through flames would be just as easy as running through whatever that 'woman' was. Sweat dripped down into my eyes, forcing me to blink again. When I opened my eyes, she was standing a foot in front of me. Still smiling. I skidded to a halt, just barely managing to stop myself before touching her.
            I turned to run again, but crashed into a wall of bodies. The wall fell and I toppled forwards onto the corpses.
            She hovered in the air a few feet from me. Her hair and dress fluttered as if she was underwater. “Tell everyone what you've seen,” she said in a raspy voice. The sounds seemed to scrape through her throat and force their way out of her mouth. “Tell them this town is mine. If I desire to burn it to the ground, I shall do so.”
            I blinked away more sweat, and she was gone. I stayed on the ground, motionless. A branch snapped and crashed to the ground nearby. I thanked God as I ran through the miraculously still accessible escape route.
            No one believed me. I told you all, but you won't believe me. She doesn't believe I told you. Now she will tell you herself.



Friday, August 14, 2015

I Wish I Never Existed

      I took off my blood covered clothes and stepped into the shower. I turned the hot water on full blast and leaned my head against the porcelain wall. Steam filled the bathroom slower than I hoped. The boiling water didn't hurt, nothing hurt anymore.

      I freaked out on Jimmy today. He wouldn't leave me alone, so I had to do something. I can't believe everyone saw me. My face looks so weird when I'm eating. I slammed a fist into the wall, cracking another tile.

      I rubbed the bar of soap over my body; turning the green soap a dirty brown. After a few minutes scrubbing the filth covering my body was gone. I didn't feel any better. It would all be easier if I never existed. With a sigh I stepped out of the shower and wiped off the mirror. No one looked back at me. Still.

     I would have to change towns for the 3,634th time. This was getting old.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Prologue: 'A Mirror Scene Flashback to a Mirror Scene'

     I checked my gums in the bathroom mirror. It didn't look too bad. There was still time. There had to be a way to get out of this on my own. Lightning thundered outside, the power flickered. My mind was taken back to the last time Mom and I were in the attic. Theresa told me toddlers played dress up, not 15 year olds. But I agreed to play with Mom one last time.


     Mom and I faced the dusty full length mirror in the attic. She stood behind me wearing her wedding dress. I was always amazed at how white she kept it. I wore my blue suit, accentuating her sky blue eyes.
The rain spattered against the attic window. Mom leaned her head over mine, but kept her stare on my eyes in the mirror. "That little slut can't take you from me," she said. “We're going to be together forever.”
     Mom smiled as wide as she could, then tried to smile wider. With a chuckle, she pulled a switchblade from between her breasts and began to chant something weird. It wasn't english, that's all I can remember. She slid the switchblade across her forehead, then she slit both of her cheeks open. Warm blood dribbled onto my hair.
     I closed my eyes; apparently we weren't playing. A lightning bolt blew up a tree in the front yard.
Mom made a gurgling sound. I squeezed my eyes shut harder. A bucket of blood and then her body fell on top of me.


      
A knock at the front door jerked me back to the present. "Thomas?" It was Theresa, her soft voice tensed all of my muscles. "Do you wanna go see a movie?" she shouted through the door.
     Blood began to dribble from my mouth. It felt like my gums were being stretched from the inside. I felt the same pressure in my tailbone and back. The only one who might be able to fix me now was Mom.
     Theresa knocked again, slamming the door with her palm. “Thomas!”
     “Now be a good boy and go rip out her throat,” Mom said inside my head.
I sighed and said to my reflection, “It's going to be depressing ripping her throat out with my teeth."


Chapter 1

     My mom was my last hope, but the smell from her rotting body was starting to make me sick. I had taken care of Theresa and the rest of the town, but none of the killings slowed my transformation. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Practice

     Relvaris adjusted his tunic and rolled his eyes.

     “I know it doesn’t seem like much, but do any of these people look up to refilling the barrel?” Alnas asked. He walked off to apply more bandages.


     Everyone Relvaris could see was either crying or wounded. The impromptu tomb grew larger and larger as more room was grown for the bodies.


     Relvaris climbed up the side of the stone barrel and rested on its edge. He was still terrible at the spell, but he was not one to ignore a Mage. As clearly as he could, he said, “Rison”. Nothing happened. After ensuring no one was looking he pulled out a small slip of paper, glanced at it, and put it back.


     “Rirson” he said into the barrel. The small puddle of remaining water at the bottom began to quiver. He adjusted his tunic and looked over his shoulder, hoping Alnas was not watching.


     A geoglomite emerged from the barrel’s rim, growing her stalk until her head was next to Relvaris. “Do not worry friend. I can not forge an arrow from sunbeams,” she said. After closing her eyes she muttered “Rirson” and the barrel filled with water from the bottom to the top.
    
     “That’s not magic,” Relvaris said. “That’s just something I was born with; like you being able to manipulate stone.     
   The geoglomite smiled, then disappeared back into the barrel’s rim. There were dozens more to fill, and it was clear Relvaris was not going to be the one to fill them.
    
      He tried to focus. After drinking a few sips of water to make room, he checked the paper again.     After closing his eyes he said, “Rirson”. The barrel filled from the bottom to the top, hurling a column of water into the air.
     
     “How’s it going?” Alnas said from behind Relvaris.
        
     The water crashed down, knocking Relvaris to the ground. He hopped to his feet and adjusted his tunic. “I got the spell to work.”

Monday, August 3, 2015

Ghosts Are Real

      Someone knocked on the locked basement door. The windowless, one-doored basement. A car drove by and illuminated the empty room for a moment. Steve stared at the ceiling with all his might.

      'I frickin told her there was a ghost down there,' he thought. He curled into the fetal position and hid under his blanket. The rumbling of a motorcycle passed by. The clock ticked twice.

      Something knocked again.
      
      He closed his eyes and pretended he was dreaming.
      
      The sheet flew off of his quivering body. He fell from the couch with his eyes clenched shut and scuttled backwards until he hit a wall.
      
      Something knocked again. He felt the wall shake.

      Two cold fingers separated Steve's eyelids. “That isn't me,” the mostly ethereal man said.

      Steve rocketed to his feet and ran through the ghost. He turned once he hit the far wall. There was no one in the room.
      
      Another knock, harder this time, shook the floor. A screw fell from the rusty hinge.

      The ghost rose from the floor in front of Steve. “I don't think it's going to wait for you to answer the door,” he said.

      “Then why is it knocking?” Steve asked. The realization that ghosts were real could bother him later.

      “How should I know?” the ghost said. “Answer it.”

      A tiny hand knocked, barely audible over Steve's heartbeat. He twitched his eyes between the ghost and the door. “You answer it. You can't die.”
      
      “I did my part, now you have to save us.” The ghost began to fade away.

      “But you didn't even do anything except-” he was gone before Steve finished.

      “Open the door,” a raspy voice whispered from the basement.

      With his legs trembling Steve took a step forwards. He erupted in sweat, shock finally letting his body get in the way.

      A rattling cough bounded from behind the door. He backed up against the wall.

      Steve grabbed and abandoned an umbrella, a textbook, and a couch cushion before confidently grabbing an iron fire-poker. He centimetered towards the door. The smell of rotting pizza from the previous nights party blocked any odor the horrid thing below oozed. A breeze played with the wind chime outside.

      The fist pounded again. The top hinge fell from the door, a screw dropped from the middle hinge. Steve did what he hoped was the sign of the cross and inched towards the door as fast as he could.

      “Open-” A hacking cough interrupted the voice from the basement.

      Steve reached the door as the coughing stopped and held his breath. Something was wheezing on the other side. He put his ear against the door.

      The creature in the basement hacked up some horrible creation and screamed, “Dude open the frickin door! I've been passed out down here for like 20 hours!”

Sunday, August 2, 2015

House Sitting


     John walked into his vacationing uncle's home. “I'm just here to take care of the pets,” John yelled up the stairs to the ghost. “You leave me alone, I'll leave you alone.” John already knew the door to the attic would be open. “No need to worry about me locking you up, no reason for me to close your door. You leave me alone...” John trailed off. He hated repeating himself, and he hated being scared of ghosts even more.

     The idea that ghosts get angry when locked in an attic was ingrained in John long ago. The ghost did not care. Ghosts do not use doors.

     The thumping of Gus hungrily jumping against the side of his terrarium reminded John it was time to feed everyone.     Having eight pieces of food made Gus's day much better than when he had 5. The dogs and the cat had only the image of food on their minds. All three animals did not care that they were in John's way.

     After feeding and watering all the animals John sat down to play a card game. The ghost did not appreciate being skipped when John prepared dinner. So many people thought that just because he was a ghost he didn't have to eat. The ghost slammed his door. John told himself it was just the water pump, or the hot water heater. The animals didn't notice as they devoured their food. 

     Strong updrafts of wind began to merge with downdrafts in the distance. John didn't bother to check the weather reports. Lightning crackled the electric poll outside John's house. The power went off. In total darkness, ghosts grow tangible, working teeth. The animals knew and ran to their pre-determined hiding spots.



     John did not know.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Man's Search for a Wife

      Mist covered them both. The pink sun of morning rose, the light glinting her ring.
      “Well, best get you home,” the man said.
     He picked her up and carried her in his arms. “We can't be lollygagging around, sitting in the grass. Some of us have things to do today.” With a 'hmrph' he turned and walked towards the docks.
      Her rank odor forced his nose inside his shirt. “Long due, woman, long due.” He gave her a soft, reassuring pat on her thigh.
      The entire sun emerged and its yellow melted the mist. The caw of the rare seagull broke the silence as they neared the water. 
    “You have two choices,” he said. After placing her on her feet, he propped her up by her armpits. “You can either agree to be my wife, or you can go for a swim. I hear the water makes you sick if you come in contact with it. And in your current state, I can't imagine you surviving the romp through the water.”
      She remained silent.
      “I figured you would say that,” he said with a sigh.
      He dragged her to the water's edge. He pulled the diamond ring from her finger, nearly tearing it off in the process. He smiled, then pushed her into the water. She didn't scream.
      “See, look at you now. All I wanted was a wife.” He turned and walked away.
      She bobbed in the water, her face submerged. The wake of a ship flipped her body, nearly tearing the tiny scrap of neck that still attached her head to her body.