The Greyhound cut through the freeway at night like a silver bullet. Unfortunately for me, this bullet was on four balding tires and shaking like a cat shitting razorblades. I was motion sick, trying my best to sleep, and there was a ghost sitting next to me and trying to talk my ear off.
There are certain things that can really take you by surprise and pretty well muck up a whole afternoon.
Being shot… well that’s a good start.
We’d taken to calling the creature ‘The Twister’ due to the vaguely humanoid yet twisted form of its limbs and flesh. It seemed to have no rhyme or reason behind it, contorting in impossible ways that made it difficult to look at for long periods of time. Studying the beast was near-impossible – it seemed to alter itself so greatly between viewings.
Just a small thing I worked up the other night, trying to get back into the habit of scribbling out the spooky images of critters that lurk around my head. I’m not much for drawing anything TOO human, but these creepy shapes of mine have a life of their own that makes them so much fun to scratch out onto a ‘page’.
Just wanted to toss up a quick apology for the lack of writing lately. Continue reading
In my experience, the older undead can come off as right pricks.
Truthfully though, once you’ve faced death and rebirth, excitement doesn’t come easily. A lot of this, though, can come off as harshness and bitterness. Most of ’em, though, really don’t mean it to.
The younger ones, though… they’re still processing it. They still act just like they’re alive for awhile. It’s pretty amusing, actually, and most days I wish it lasted.
I like to give it a month, tops, before the gravity of things sets in and changes ’em.
A dry voice pulled me out’ve my head as the reanimated chap to my right spoke up.
“Say again?” I asked, shaking my head a bit and raking the hair out of my eyes.
A rattling sigh followed and the words came again.
“I said – ‘at least you can actually see me,” the tall bald man stated, rubbing his hands over his hairless scalp. The flesh there was starting to grey and look dry.
“That’s the beauty of the spell, Mr. Wells,” I replied matter-of-factly, slipping on a pair of cheap gas station sunglasses to shield myself from the morning sun. “I’ll never see you as you were, but everyone else? They’ll see the same ol’ Henry as you always were.”
I shut it and looked ahead. The park we walked through was beautiful once, but it had gone overgrown, the caretaker having left weeks ago. If it wasn’t for my other ‘job’, I’d have been tempted to take it over myself.
A beat of silence passed as I contemplated this, and Henry Wells looked around anxiously before spitting out words I’d heard thousands of times.
“Why me?” he asked quizzically, staring out across the unmowed grass.
“Dunno really, Mr. Wells. Cryptic as it sounds, it wasn’t your time yet and your timeline hadn’t run its course,” I muttered around a cigarette, bringing a flame to the end and inhaling.
“But, I mean… I’m DEAD, right?” he sputtered, comically flabbergasted.
“Nope. Done is done, Mr. Wells. You’re reanimated, as per my assignment.”
I started walking away with a wave and he called out to me, frantic.
“Don’t worry,” I called back without turning. “Someone will be in contact. It may not seem like it, Henry, but this is just another day. Make ’em count!”
Smiling, I walked off, leaving him there gaping.
I had other places to be, anyway. Spells to cast, lifelines to save.
Another day, another dollar.
[Excerpt from a journal entry. Discovered August 3, 2020]
Before we knew it, the rain had washed our lives away.
Flooding was rampant. The masses cried for the ‘end of the world’. Support for religions skyrocketed. And through all the madness and chaos, it just kept raining. EVERYWHERE. Climates be damned, it was all just a constant downpour.
People started losing their minds trying to survive.
And just as the micro-apocalypse had started taking hold… it stopped.
The rain ended abruptly on Monday, July 6.
We had weeks to rejoice before the panic returned. The water levels were starting to drop again and people were starting to rebuild.
Then ‘they’ started appearing.
Out of the water came the “Others” as people started calling them. They looked and talked like us, but they were different. Shiny and new. Glistening, as if their skin was freshly painted on.
People didn’t notice at first, but they weren’t just brand new faces. They were us.
When we did notice, it was too late. Reports came flooding in that the “Others” were replacing the original folks they took their likeness from. It was seamless originally, but somewhere they fucked up.
I know… I know you probably want to go find your family members and friends. But just be careful you know damn sure who you’re meeting up with.
The “Others” outnumber us now.
Someone once told me every doorway is a portal to something new.
I doubt they were speaking literally, but the fact of the matter is… they were right.
Now, I’m a skeptical sort of lad. A pretty well ‘non-believer’ when it comes to things of the paranormal variety. Let me tell ya’, though… when you walk outta’ the house in the morning and wind up walking back in? It can kinda’ mess with your worldview.
Hah. I know that look. S’pose it’s storytime then.
Like I said, I was getting ready to leave for work. Kissed the wife g’bye and rushed out after her like I always do – looking down at my phone all the while to check the scores from the night before’s hockey game. The Pens lost, a’course. ONE time I bet on a game…
When I looked up, I was standing back on the other side of the closed back door.
On the inside.
I shook my head and turned to grab the door handle, whiffing only air.
The handle was gone. Scuffed wood stood in its place and I stared at it for a long time, the gears in my brain clicking around like a busted up pocket-watch.
When I got back to my senses, I noticed the handle was on the OTHER side of the door this time. I was tired, sure, but not that tired. I turned slowly to look over my house and realized that EVERYTHING was back-asswards.
“What… what?” I gibbered aloud, my morning-brain tryin’ to rationalize and let me know that I wasn’t crazy.
It wasn’t exactly doin’ a great job.
When a voice rang out from ’round the corner, I damn near lost control of my bowels.
“Honey, you back from work already?” it said, in my wife’s sing-songy alto voice.
I stammered something and moved around the corner. Sure enough, my wife stood there, clear as a dang bell. She looked at me quizically and tilted her head.
“Feeling alright, babe?”
I went to speak and found my mouth had gone bone dry.
“Uyuh, hon. Just a weird day is all…” I grumbled, looking past her and into my backwards living room. An icy hand gripped my heart but I kept it together, stumbling to the couch and plopping down.
Y’see… my wife and I have been married awhile. Almost 15 years in the fall. I hadn’t heard that much joy from her to see me in awhile. Hell, we’d been goin’ on some hard times for awhile. I think we fought more than we talked. Mostly about trying again for a little one. But now… all that tension was just gone.
I should have been cheerin’, yaknow? But something in my head just kept screaming at me. ‘Get out! DANGER Will Robinson!’
She spoke up again and I fought to listen through the thrumming of my pulse in my head.
“Lisa is gonna’ be home from Rich and Carrie’s house soon,” she called, dishes in the sink clanking around as she washed them absentmindedly. “She said she misses daddy too much.”
She giggled and I felt myself slipping, a cone of blackness pulling my vision away from me as I sunk into the couch with a moan.
– – – –
Notes: This small idea for a story came to me tonight as I was gettin’ home from work. Thought it would be a nifty start to a small series, so here we are. I’m tossing this together in my head as I go along, so lemme know if anything’s out of place.
It’s not much in the way of ‘horror’ just yet, but I’ve got some eerie things planned. Just you wait. 🙂