J is for Janice

J is for Janice From the day she was born, Janice was given everything she wanted. She didn’t need to cry for too long before either her doting father or loving mother would be at her side, fussing over her with reassuring words of comfort and kisses on her forehead. From this moment on Janice knew that she was a very special person and because of that she could have Read more

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible. Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair. As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making Read more

H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster. The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. Read more

G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn. I’ve always loved horror stories. Skeletons have been at the forefront. I had a full size paper, glow in the dark skeleton and then a bit later the poster on the opposite side of my bed was of a skeleton on a motorbike, which I thought was great! I think i got it after seeing th esketon riding a motoabike in the Hammer Horror, Doctor, Terrors, Read more

F is for Fur

F is for Fur. Roger lay in bed, every time he opened his eyes the room span madly making him shut his eyes tight again. Downstairs he could hear the others getting on and knew that he too had to get up. Ever so gradually, Roger held both hands tight round his face as he lifted his head off the pillow. With his eyes still tightly shut he made the familiar Read more

A-Z of Horror

I is for Impossible

I is for impossible.

757ebca39a183a207ddaebe1503b7da0Having blown out her one hundred candles, with a slight relieve that her dentures didn’t come flying out covering the butter icing, Alice was quite exhausted and glad to be back in the solitary of her room, where she lit up a stogie and sat back in her chair.

As much as everyone had made a great fuss over her centenary birthday, with just as many making ‘ohh’ and ‘ahhh’ noises over her best wishes from the queen, Alice was not so fussed. In all her years nothing had compared to the magic of that one summer when she was just a girl, sitting in the garden, listening to her sister reading.

After her great adventure, falling down the rabbit hole and all the people she had met, she had honestly thought, hand on heart that her adventures would have been greeted with the same passion as she had felt, but alas this was not the case.

When Alice tried to explain that what she was telling her peers was real, this only made everyone around her more concerned for the young girls mental health. When she refused to admit it was all part of her imagination, her peers got angry and said she needed to be shut away for her own good. And so for the next ninety-three years Alice lived her life behind the great wall of Jupiter Hills Institution for the Mentally Insane. Not that that was what the place is called these days; successive management teams had come and gone, each adding their own view on how the inpatients should be cared for but more importantly how the institution was viewed by the outside world. These days the place on top of the hill is simply called, “Jupiter: Where We Care to Care.”

Alice would have liked to protest over such sentiments, but she learnt a long time ago that such acts of defiance only led to electrodes, isolation and beatings.
When she first arrived she longed to find a cake to eat or a drink to drink, to transform and escape this madness.

Her obsession with food and drink led to a frightening disorder which led to being force fed, a particular horrible experience which went on for many years. Now of course everything is liquidised and fed directly in to Alice’s stomach and Alice no longer has the fight to fight back.Forcefeeding

And so, back in her windowless room, where suppression of natural stimulants are all part of Alice’s “care to care” package which for decades had been, as far as the powers that be were concerned, a great success. Although it took a lot of punishment, otherwise know as conversion therapy, eventually Alice’s spirit of th imagination was broken and eventually they have cured Alice of talking about her delusional dreams.

Although Alice stopped speaking wonders from that summer day, she just had to close her eyes, as she did everyday at three and let her imagination bring everyone back into sharp focus.

And so Alice settled down in her chair, the only other furniture in the room was a bed, and waited for the ticking noise to fill her head, only this time the ticking sounded different, louder, outside of her head, filling her room.
Afraid to believe it was true, Alice kept her eyes firmly shut until the ticking became so loud that it was quite impossible for it to be just inside her head.
First Alice opened her left eye, then her right and then shut them tightly shut again as she processed the sight of the white rabbit standing in the middle of her gloomy room. Again Alice was too afraid to open her eyes as she realised the wish that for so long she had held tight had at last come true.
Alice jumped as a slight touch was felt on her knee. This time her eyes sprang open wide and their stood the rabbit, standing by the rabbit hole with his , pocket watch in hand. Although Alice had wizened beyond all recognition of her youth, the rabbit recognised he right away, held out his palm and said, ‘It’s Time. Let’s get out of here, let’s go on an adventure’.

 

 

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H is for Hipster

H is for Hipster.

The reason the new eatery stood out so much to Donald, was its choice of setting up shop in a part of town where the most exotic experience to be had was a mangey charity shop for a local cat charity. But that’s how these Hipster cafe’s start isn’t it, they move into a place with low rent and once they are established others move in. ‘Gentrification’ they call it, nice if you can afford to go to these places but they always cost an arm and a leg…
Thankfully for Donald, money really was not a problem. Donald would like to say he was one of those geeks that invented an app that changed the world, or at least helped soak up some of that teenage time that is so lucrative these days, but the truth was his parents were very, very rich, both died before they were fifty and left their rather tidy bank balance to Donald, their only child.

As any one with new money will tell you, the first thing you must do is go out and buy a house with more bathrooms then you’ll ever use, an indoor pool that will stink the rest of the basement out with chlorine and then of course there’s the expensive clothes. At one stage Donald wouldn’t wear anything but Gucci, including socks and pants; did you know you can even get Gucci toilet paper! The thing is, after a while such things become pointless, they become everyday things that you have. The back bedroom was filled with boxes of shoes Donald never wore along with a ton of gold bracelets, rings and pendants, all just to show everyone else how rich he had become.

For the first year Donald felt like a king, but after a while people with less then him got jealous and ignored both him and his wealth; while those with the same amount of cash or more either didn’t see what was that special or they would go out of their way to outdo Donald with something more extravagant.
Eventually Donald realised that the only way his fat wad of cash was going to make him happy (and noticed again) was to spend it on what the super rich simply called, “Experiencers”.

And so Donald went down that road. First he got dropped off by helicopter on top of Egypt’s three most famous pyramids, The Great Pyramid of Khufu, The Great Pyramid of Kahfre and The Great Pyramid of Menkaure. As amazing as those views were, after a while Donald realised that there was only so much sand and horizon he could take in without getting completely bored. And so he tried other stuff to satisfy the itch that being incredibly rich just could not quench. Donald went swimming with dolphins in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, walked on the seabed of the Bahamas, just to say he’d been up close to sharks, travelled in a hot air balloon across the Serengeti National Park, but after a while his eyes stopped seeing how brilliant these things were as they became ordinary; and so Donald found himself chasing something more tangible.

That’s when quite by chance Donald came across this new Hipster bar. Now, Donald has eaten just about every exotic, rare animal, vegetable and mineral out there, so he was more then relived when the maitre’d came over. A tall man, with an immaculately trimmed black beard, quaffed hair and exquisitely ‘dressed down’ in a Vivian Westwood red lumberjack shirt, jeans and hand-stitched wild-bore leather boots. Showing no pretence to keep their conversation private, the maitre’d announced to Donald (and the room) that he recognised the hunger in Donald’s eyes for something more then was on the menu and if he would like to wait until the end of the evening, he could promise Donald a taste sensation. In turn, Donald felt a tingle rush through his body that he had long forgotten was possible, which he knew everyone else in the restaurant could also now feel.
For the next hour the waitress was suitably aloof in her attendance to Donald’s needs, ensuring his glass, (trimmed with gold leaf that dispersed on his lips) was kept topped up with Croizet Cuvée Léonie. To those who have no idea, this just happens to be the most expensive and rare cognac’s in the world.

By closing time Donald was swaying slightly on his barstool. In all honesty he could have happily gone home, grabbing a burger (gourmet of course) on the way and watched some porn on his ‘Stuart Hughes’s television’…never heard of Stuart Hughes? Why would you, very few people can afford a 22ct, diamond encrusted TV set.
As much as Donald wanted to go, he knew that if he turned down the offer waiting for him, it would never be offered again and so he drained his glass as the last of the customers were leaving and followed the waitress through the back swing doors and saw the maitre’d, smiling, “I hope you have enjoyed the ambiance of our little eatery and that the cognac has warmed your soul.

Tingling with anticipation, Donald gave a little chuckle as he was invited through to the VIP lounge; sparsely decorated, a small flambé table where the chef stood, a single round table and two chairs. The red walls contrasted fiercely with the black floor and ceiling; as did the chef’s bright white uniform. Donald noticed that the blond chef sported the same Hipster style of quaffed hair and beard of the maitre’d, who was standing on the opposite side of the private dinning room by a small round table with two chairs either side.
Pulling the chair out, the maitre’d gestured for Donald to sit, then joined him on the other side. The maitre’d then reached inside his inside jacket pocket and pulled out a device that looked like a cigar cutter. Out of all of Donald’s vices, smoking had never been high up on his list, but if the next thing on offer was going to be a, Gurkha Black Dragon, then who was he to refuse?

The maitre’d held the device up to the light and said, “This is one of only five in the whole world, made from extremely rare, Rosé Snake Wood. You see the pink glisten within the tanned wood, It’s a miracle of nature, never been seen since. The blade is made from harden steel and then coated with rhodium, the edges of the wood are trimmed with Cononish Scots Gold. If you look along top edge of this exquisite device you will see it has been encrusted with jadeite.”
Now, normally Donald would normally be lapping this all up, but for the first time in his life it all just felt a little bit too over the top, ‘It’s just a cigar cutter’ thought Donald. Besides, the brandy was now beginning to gurgle in Donald’s gut and the thought of smoking a cigar would be the best ingredient to bring it all back up.
“If it’s all okay with you, said Donald, I’m not in the mood for smoking. even if it is a G. B. D.”
But then the maitre’d showed Donald a small flawless diamond on the side that when pulled down, the blade’s aperture concertinaed tightly shut.
Unable to help himself, Donald blurted out, “I’m a sucker for gimmicks like that, how much for the cigar cutter?”

The maitre’d looked back with some puzzlement, then added, “Oh, I’m sorry if you were misled sir, this device is just part of a bigger ritual, you see this hand crafted device has been specially created as a kitchen utensil, nothing to do with cigars”.
Slightly puzzled by his words, Donald nodded for the maitre’d to continue.
“You’re a man of frivolous wealth, so you understand the need for such extraordinary expensive instruments, they are all part of the performance.”
The Chef then came to the side, wheeling the flambé table all set to show off his cooking skills.

“Our five Star chef is renowned for bringing out the flavours out of the most unusual of dishes. He’s skill is to create flavours that are unique to you and to you alone, flavours that will have you craving for more. Now, I am sure you would like to taste something like that, Sir”.

The truth was, Donald was bored. He had seen such performances, flambéed, dry-iced, sparkled, smeared and candy-popped more times then he cared to remembered and was about to leave when the maitre’d grabbed Donald’s hand, slipped the device over Donald’s middle finger and with a quick flick of the diamond, lopped Donald’s middle finger clean off. The chef then grabbed Donald’s hand, and quickly cauterised the wound with the flat of a soldering iron.

The scream lodged in Donald’s throat, as all urgers to move failed his shocked and horrified body. It was all Donald could do but to just sit and watch as the chef skilfully de-boned Donald’s fingers, stuffed it with an array of ingredients and then shallow fried it in the most delicious, European White Truffle Butter (A smell Donald knew well).
As crazy as it sounds, the smell took away all the pain that was throbbing from Donald’s stump as his mind buzzed with anticipation.

The chef then placed a deep matt black plate in front of Donald, and delicately placed Donald’s cooked finger in the centre of the plate at a millimetre of an angle.
With his good hand, Donald picked up his finger, sniffed in the most amazing aromas then popped the finger in his mouth and was amazed at how the flavours danced across his palate and made his heart sing.
Amazed at how eating his own finger made him feel; slightly dazed Donald lifted his left hand up to his face, slipped off his platinum, diamond encrusted wedding ring (Donald was never married) and offered up his wedding finger to the maitre’d. Again the maitre’d quickly snipped Donald’s finger off and handed it to the Chef who in turn cauterised the wound, then set about de-boned the finger.

The aroma made Donald drool as the chef once again produced the most amazing flavoured tapas which Donald quickly devoured. The maitre’d gave a wry smile and explained that the dishes tasted so good as Donald’s palate was reacting with the unique flavours he had grown up with all his life, the taste of himself. This was why Donald had never experienced such taste sensations before as it was only with the expertise of the chef’s great talents that he was able to bring out the amazing flavours that were causing Donald’s taste buds to sing so widely.

Before Donald had any real contemplation about what he was doing, the maitre’d had snipped off every finger and all of Donald’s toe’s which Donald in turn greedily swallowed. As he took the last gulp of his stuffed big toe, The maitre’d said, “Now sir, there is one more digit that will truly compliment the taste sensation…”
The electric charge, coupled with the smell of cooked flesh, filled the kitchen. By now, Donald had a crazed look in his eyes; he knew he had to take the final step in this ‘experience’.
As he stood up on his back heels, he went to undo his belt around his trousers, only to realise that he no longer had the ability to preform the task. The maitre’d stepped forward, undone Donald’s trousers and slipped the cutting device over Donald’s penis and with a set of Cononish Scots Gold tweezers, stretched Donald’s member as tight as he could before making the final snip.

Donald felt nothing but a lust to taste his meat, only to watch in horror as the maitre’d threw Donald’s manhood in a bucket on the far side of the kitchen, and then high-fived the chef.
Clutching at his groin with his stumps, Donald felt woozy, he was losing blood fast. The maitre’d wrapped his arm around Donald’s shoulder and led him back in to the kitchen and into the walk-in freezer. Along the way Donald spotted a crate of cheap cooking brandy and a rack of empty ‘aged’ Croizet Cuvée Léonie bottles. Donald was equally horrified to see a cardboard box filled with hundreds of identical, ‘digit cutters’ that on mass looked decidedly cheap. The maitre’d then settled Donald by several containers of monosodium glutamate, and said, “Don’t worry sir, it’s all about recognising good taste.”

H is for Hipster

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E is for Ego

E is for Ego.

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As his mother I have to take a certain amount of responsibility to the way things came to this. Of course I thought he was the most beautiful, special baby in the whole wide world, and that was something that I told him every day he was growing up. His father thought the same, but really it was me who pushed the image that our son was the ‘bees knees’ the cat’s pyjamas’ my golden boy. You have to understand that I was only wanting him to have everything I didn’t.

As the father of this monster, I have to say I never saw it coming. My wife idolised the boy and to keep the peace I went along with it thinking that a bit of praise would get him to the top of the pile, but I wanted to discipline him more but was always held back. My wife was never one for corporal punishment, it never did me any harm, now I wish I had beaten some sense into him before it had got to this.

As the family priest I took his confessions, listened to all the terrible ungodly things he said he wanted to do and as my faith dictates, I could do nothing but offer spiritual guidance.

As the teacher I could only request that he be home schooled, passing the buck? You bet yah! It only takes one bad egg to ruin the lives of the other children. Besides, I’m not paid enough to put up with that kind of behaviour, I knew things were only going to get worse and I was not going to be part of it.

As his mate, I was well up for a bit of mischief, hey we were kids, that’s what was expected of us, a bit of smoking weed in the park, playing silly pranks on the neighbours’. You have to believe me I had no idea he would do the thing he did, but then no one was telling him not to.

As the police officer on the scene I was horrified that a boy that age could commit such an act, but as he is under age I can give no further comment.

As the judge I would have sent him down without any possibility for parole, but I have to abide by the letter of the law. Youth custody will only exasperate his ego, in five years he’ll be out, worst then ever. Maybe next time i’ll be able to right this wrong.

As the victim I want to tell him his actions have been life changing in the worst possible way. I had hoped that our meet would make him see the error of his ways, I had hoped he would at least apologies, but all I got was a smirk. My life will never be the same again.

As the child I can do what the hell I like. I am the Ego.

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D is for Darkness

D is for Darkness

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The cupboard under the stairs had always been a dumping ground for stuff that might be of use, and so over the years it has become quite full. When he shone the torch past the clutter a shiver rippled throughout him, the beam seemed to go way beyond the wall at the back. The rational side of him told him to shut the door on the junk and get back to what he was doing, but the niggling voice at the very back of his skull said he really had no choice, he had to go.

And so he began to pull out all the rubbish and dumped it in the hall, with the promise to himself that he would sort through it later, but first he needed to explore the darkness. His mind was taken back to when his older brother would routinely throw his shoes to the back of the cupboard under the stairs and then dare him to venture into the bleakness, telling him it was where the bad things lived.

Taking a deep breath he began to venture further inwards, stumbling over long forgotten rubbish as he went. It was only when he looked back that he realised he had gone deeper then he had wanted too and yet there was further darkness ahead. The walls closed in as he crawled further onwards on his hands and knees. Turning every now and then, the door through which he had came was now a long, long way off: a pinhole of light. The boy he had been a long time ago would have hurried back, but he was a man now, a man who should no longer be afraid to face the darkness, and so he carried on.

The ceiling gradually lowered meaning that now he was now slithering along on his belly.
With great difficulty, he turned his head, but the light through which he came was now a long distant memory, darkness stretched behind him as it did in front with no end in sight and so he carried on crawling.
As he crawled, the light from the torch began to diminish. He knocked it against the side of the wall that now felt harder, solid like the inside of a cave. The light extinguished, forcing him to reach out in blindness as he carried on feeling his way. Gradually the space began to open up, higher and higher until he found he could stand. Searching his pocket he found some matchers, lit one illuminating the walls around him. Marks covered the walls, at first making no sense, as he was staring, the match burnt his fingers, making him let out a yelp, which echoed back, but in a long forgotten voice. Spooked, he tried to reach for his way back but each time he found a wall blocking his escape. Panic filled his head as he grabbed the matches, striking one, but it failed to light, as did the next and the next. Taking a deep breath, he took hold of a match, the last of three in the box. Slowly, carefully he pulled it across the side of the strike pad, the spark fizzed and lit, the bright light showing row upon row of tally score marks chalked into the black walls.
“What the fff…” Before he could finish his sentence, the match once again burnt his fingers, causing him to once again yelp, which was once again echoed, but in a strained, once familiar voice.
Tentatively he pulled out the second match, struck it a light and stared at the marks. Raising the match he saw the wall went up for eternity. He tried to spy for his way back home, only for the match to extinguish before he could make up his mind which way to turn. With just one more match left, he desperately tried again to find a way out. He waited and waited, hoping to wake from this very bad dream, until he gave in and lit the match. Looking down he spied a piece of chalk, “Oh” said a voice he now recognised all to well, as he struck the next tally mark on the wall.

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C is for clown

Take a lette rof teh alpherbet and write flash horror fiction within half an hour

www.evilclowns.org

C is for clown

C is for clown.
Her name was Fiz, well her name was actually Caroline, but everyone called her Fiz on the account that she was so god damn physically fit! Not that you would recognise Fiz these days, she’s changed. No scratch that, she has transformed into something completely different, not through her own choosing mind.
No one has any idea who was behind the nightmare, but there must have been a world wide group involved because the pandemic spread within days. I think Fiz was the first victim. As much as I miss her, I’m glad it was her who answered the door and saw the package, I know, I know, selfish comment, but she is no longer aware of who she was. To be honest, I’m not sure I would be able to tell her in a line up, not that I would want to put myself through that.
I’m running away with myself now, I need to tell you about the package. I guess Fiz thought it was a gift to her, admirers were forever leaving things on the front step, flowers, chocolates, one guy even left her a teapot, I think it was his way of being romantic, “Let’s meet over tea” something like that. It was a lovely teapot, makes a great brew and the spout never drips.
Sorry, I’m transgressing again aren’t I, where was I? Oh yes the package, it was plain brown paper and string, Fiz might have thought that was quaint, you know plain flicker.comand simple, I don’t think Fiz ever had anything plain or simple in her life, ever. She loved to accessories, I know, I’m digressing, but it will help you get a better idea of who Fizz was. Do you know those, Sobranie cocktail cigarettes? Fiz would coordinate her clothes to match the coloured cocktail cigarettes. She would make me laugh, her funny ways. The ironic thing about the whole situation is that she was never particularly funny, never cracked a joke. Don’t get me wrong, she liked to laugh, more of a titter when she’s had a little bit to drink of fizz but never, never loud, not like that time.
I’m running ahead aren’t I. So, it was a Wednesday morning, I was still in bed, so were our flatmates, Posh-Sarah and King Albert, both have excellent breeding but absolutely hopeless in a crises. I heard Fiz shuffling about downstairs, making herself a cup of tea, no doubt she had a pink Sobranie on the go as she always wore pink pyjamas. I then heard her go to the front door and then there was a long silence, I think she was drinking her tea, bit of toast, cigarette. Then I heard this terrible scream. All three of us came running down to see Fiz sitting at the kitchen table, parcel opened in front of her with Fiz herself holding the side of her face; we all thought she had been slapped.
Fiz was more angry then upset, it took a lot to pull tears from her face. She then pointed a finger at the sprung snake and tin on the floor. It was King Albert who picked the tin up. It transpired to be a joke, one of those fake tins that when you shake it you think there’s something inside, Fiz thought it was jewellery or something, but when she opened it out sprung a fake snake, hitting Fiz on the side of the cheek.
None of us thought much more of it, I think privately we all chuckled to ourselves but that was it. It wasn’t until later in the day that I noticed a white streak across Fiz’s face. At first Fiz wouldn’t believe me, she refused to get out her hand mirror to look, (which belive me was a shock in itself!) It was only when I picked up a magazine,Majesty or Posh I think and pretended to read it that I noticed from the corner of my eye Fiz sneaking her mirror out and having a look. She didn’t say anything, she just got up and went to her room. She was in their for an age, I mean it felt like forever. Eventually I tapped on her door and asked if she was okay. Fiz mumbled something then opened the door a fraction. I was shocked at her red eyes, she had been crying. I don’t think she knew what to do, so she just opened the door a little more and showed me the side of her face. The small white mark had spread rapidly, completely covering the side of her face.
I think Fiz was hoping that I wasn’t seeing what she was seeing, but when she quickly realised I did she yelled, pulled me into her bedroom and slammed the door behind me.
I’d never been in Fiz’s bedroom before, It was a lot messier then I imagined, knickers on the floor, a plate with some unfinshed dinner by the foot of the bed and an ashtray filled with multi-coloured tips. Okay, okay, I’ll get on with the story at hand. Together we went through every lotion and potion Fiz had but nothing would remove the white. It was only while she was trying her Joan Malone face wipes that I noticed her lips getting redder. At first I thought it was because she had been rubbing her face so much or that she was having some kind of allergic reaction to all the stuff she had spread across her face.
Fiz must have seen my face because she started to panic, she ran over to her dressing table and tried to scream, but her face just kind of froze. I was watching her transformation from across the room, reflected in the mirror, it was all so surreal, like I was watching something on the television. The red smear grew into a wide grin, while the white covered her whole face, blue stars sprang up and bled across each eye and her perfect nose blew up big and bulbous. I went to take a step closer to Fiz, only for this chilling chuckle gurgled from her open mouth made me slowly creep out of her room, close the door and run.

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Somebodies Son.

Somebodies Son.

P1080145The moment I walk into the chemist and see her I know she is my mother. I wait and watch her in the security mirror. When she turns the corner I bump into her, knocking her handbag and its contents to the floor. Dropping to my knees I apologise, “I’m really sorry. Are you okay? Here’s your purse.”

She’s so grateful she doesn’t notice me slipping her notebook into my coat pocket. As she wanders off she leaves behind a scent that is unmistakably Mum.
Only when I’m safely back in the side street do I allow myself to look at her little notebook. The cover is black, crinkled like crocodile skin. I run my thumb over the gold lettering, M.a.r.g.a.r.e.t. A tingle ripples up my hand. Over the years I have thought of many names for my mother, but it makes perfect sense that she’s called Margaret. Margaret’s are strong, honest, and reliable… just like that Mrs Thatcher.
On the first page mum has written her name, Margaret J. Lawrence, 11 Blanche Street. Her handwriting is so neat, I wish she had been around to teach me.
She’ll be home soon, if I’m quick I can surprise her. How pleased she’ll be to see me waiting. I catch sight of my scruffy face in a shop window, I can’t remember when I last shaved or washed. Mum will help transform me back into her son. Perhaps we’ll even make it on the front page of the Ipswich Star, “Long Lost Son, Home at Last.”
When I eventually get to Blanche Street my heart sinks. Opposite the row of tatty run down terrace houses is a dirt track where a couple of burnt-out cars and a white van is parked. This was not what I had been expecting. In dreams I saw us together living in a country cottage with roses around the door or perhaps a detached house with a long gravelled driveway. I’m puzzled. What could have happened to my mother for her to end up living in this hellhole of a street.
The front door is locked and the curtains pulled tightly shut, a good sign, you never know who might be skulking around in an area like this.
I think of mum, she looks so much different to what I had imagined. She’s aged more than I expected, but that doesn’t matter as greying hair can easily be dyed back to blonde. When we are together I will help her with her makeup. Her lips will be rose pink for daywear and poppy red for when we go out on the town.
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Want to read more? check out the full tales at blanchestreet.co.uk for link to buy the book.

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Bystander: a horror story.

Bystander: A Horror Story.

Spilt milk
As Megan opened the back door, her mother’s voice boomed out from the lounge, “Don’t blame me, blame the cat.”

Negotiating the minefield of saucers of souring milk, Megan mumbled to herself that the damn cat had been dead for years. Stepping into the back room, she looked around at the fading floral wallpaper, marked out with bright squares where pictures had once made the place a home. Back then Lilly had been very keen to present to the world a well maintained home, with everything in its place. However, that was a long time ago, now the house was practically an empty shell. The front room was the only place in the house that was barely hanging on to its former memories.

Megan had had the room converted into a bed-sit after her mother had suffered a small stroke and could no longer manage the stairs. That day had been a test of everyone’s patience; with her younger sister, Gloria complaining that she had little time to spare, as she still hadn’t found the perfect outfit for Charle’s and Di’s wedding. The fact that she would be sitting at home watching the event on the television did not seem absurd to her at all. In the end, Gloria got her husband Nigel to help shift the furniture around downstairs to accommodate a single bed. Lilly had wanted her double bed, but even she had to agree it would leave little room for her wing-backed armchair and precious sideboard. In the end the single bed was wedged against the front door, allowing Lilly to see through the middle room and the kitchen at the back. Her armchair was placed by the window while the sideboard took pride of place against the far wall.

In the centre of the sideboard stood a faded black and white snapshot of Lilly and her husband Joe on their wedding day, to the left, a photo of Gloria, aged fifteen wearing a light pink sash declaring her, ‘Little Miss Brighton, Seaside Queen 1969’. A year later Gloria had married Nigel, a man seven years her senior. Their collection of brightly coloured nuptials dominated the other side of the sideboard alongside a stash of memorabilia from Gloria and Nigel’s various holidays abroad, including: a conk shell from the Maldives, a ship in the bottle from the Caribbean and a Micky Mouse letter rack declaring Florida, ‘The Sunshine State’. Megan had thought her sister had married too young, but now she saw that her sister had been more than canny in getting away with caring for their mother.

The only photo Lilly had of Megan had been tucked behind the other memories. It had been taken the year before she had left school. She hated the face that stared from the frame, all teeth and hair; harking back to the time when she was openly known as the ugly sister; a label Megan had never quite been able to let go off. On numerous occasions Megan had asked her mother to get rid of it, only for Lilly to snap back, “If you’d got someone to marry you, or done something important with your life, then I would have had that framed instead.”

With a deep breath, Megan stepped into the front room and once again the stale smell of her mother and the state of the room reminded her that things could not carry on like this for much longer.

“Is that you Meg?” boomed Lilly.

“Yes Mum, replied Megan, “you’ve lost your teeth again?”
* * *

Like to read more? pop on over to blanchestreet.co.uk for info on all ten tales and how to get your hands on the e-book

 

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Writing Everyday In October: Breaking the Magician’s Code.

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Wandering around with a glass of chilled Champaign in one hand, while balancing a trio of hors d’oeuvres in a napkin in the other; Bunny Brunson mingled among the tuxedo clad/designer dressed partiers, chit-chatted some empty conversation, before deciding that actually she was bored to tears and she should just ask for her handbag and fake-fur and leave… that was until she heard a voice from her distant past, and knew fate had finally dealt her a chance for revenge.

Disposing of her fancy pastries in the nearest plant-pot, Bunny downed her Champaign, grabbed another from a passing waiter and pushed her hips in to the massed circle of doe eyed fans who hung on to every word of her ex-flat mate and foe, Brandon Blade, the UK’s most celebrated close up magician; only back then Bunny had known him as plain old Steve.

Steve hadn’t changed a bit; he still had all of the ladies, and some of the men, wrapped around his pinky finger as he connected three diamond rings together like a daisy chain, then made them disappear into thin air. Bunny rolled her eyes as she watched Steve rub his hands together, before pulling each ring out from three different women’s cleavages. The crowd roared with laughter, applauding the great magician, but Bunny knew his true character.
Thirty years previous, Bunny and Steve had been roommates, both piss poor and working in one of the less fragrant Soho night spot, known to its clientele as The Rancid Rat, due to the nightly sighting of vermin scurrying across the bar floor whenever someone dropped a homemade pork scratching.

Back then, Steve had promised they would be best friends forever, riding through the bad times in a vapour of Blue Nun, embracing the good times with a bottle of the house gin. Whenever Steve got pissed he would slur, “Me and you, Bunny are like swans, bonded for life,  together we’re gonna make it to the big time.” Even when the hangover’s had subsided, Bunny had believed him; so it felt only right that Bunny would share all her secrets, from how she had lost her virginity, aged sixteen with the lad who’s dad owned the local chip shop, to more recent gossip that an up and coming magician had come to The Rancid Rat early that evening and was on the look out for help with his act.

Later that night when all the punters had left The Rancid Rat, Steve smiled through gritted teeth as Bunny spilled out her news in greater detail: “His name’s Paul and he’s a proper magician; pulls a rabbit out of the hat, card tricks, the lot. He said he’ll soon have his own show at The Ritzy and that if I joined him and this other girl, Debbie, I could earn twice what I’m getting now.”

Steve began to take more of an interest as he filled Bunny’s glass with a splash of tonic and a good glug of gin and told her to carry on.

“He asked if I was honest and said I needed to promise him that as long as i’m never late and never break the magician’s code, I can be part of his act. Aren’t you pleased for me Steve?”

By this point Steve was only half listening, as he topped Bunny’s glass with more gin, while giving his best alligator smile

The next morning Bunny had woken with her head banging ten bells a second, while her mouth felt as if it had just been sprayed with industrial strength dog deodorant. Pulling herself out of bed, she stared at the silent clock, both hands firmly stuck at midnight.

By the time she had managed to stumbled out of the house, catch a cab she could ill afford and eventually got to the audition, she saw Steve sitting were she th-1should have rightly been,
Steve turned to Bunny and said, “Sorry Bunny love, didn’t I tell you I was also auditioning; you’ll like this, not a lot… but you’re never guess what, the Darling Mr. Daniels had offered me the job.”

Bunny tried to get Paul to change his mind, but his only reply was that he could not stand tardiness, and left.

 

By the time Bunny had managed to walk back to the flat, she found that Steve had already been and gone, taking anything of value with him.

Although the next few years were tough onth Bunny, she too managed to get out of Soho and became the glamorous assistant to Fay Presto.

Bunny put all bitter thoughts out of her mind as she traveled the world with Fay and in time forgot all about her slime-ball flatmate Steve…until now.

Bunny pulled her top down a little, knowing that Steve aka Brandon could not resist a bit of breast and pushed her way to the front of his adoring crowd. Of course Brandon didn’t recognise Bunny, he just saw her as another admiring face, wanting to see him do his magic. With the rings all rightly returned, and a business card slipped to a woman young enough to be his daughter, Bunny knew it was time to break her promise and reveal the magician’s code.

With all eyes on Brandon, Bunny piped up, “Do you ever do anything more elaborate, then pulling jewellery from women’s cleavages?”
Everyone turned to see who had dared say such a thing to the great Brandon Blade. Without saying a word, Brandon turned his back and began to levitate. The crowd cheered and gave an applause; everyone that is except Bunny.

“Don’t you get bored of copying David Blaine’s magic? Said Bunny, “Don’t you think the world wants to hark back to some good old fashioned magic, say like…Paul Daniels?”

Brandon scoffed, “That’s end of the pier stuff, no real skill involved, just a lot of smoke and mirrors.”

Holding back her smile, Bunny pressed on, “Oh you’re right, particularly when they have those silly assistants, with their big hair, tits and teeth.”

With the champagne and adoration flowing through his veins, Steve found his tongue running away with him. “I couldn’t agree with you less, Paul Daniels would still be working the clubs in Soho if it hadn’t been for his assistants. As Daniels would whole heartily agree; with the big illusions it’s the assistances that do all the work.

‘Gottcha’, thought Bunny as she went in for the kill. “You mean like when he saws Debbie McGee in half.”

Caught in the moment, Brandon yelled, “Exactly!”

“But there’s no skill there”, retorted Bunny, “Doesn’t she just push a pair of mannequin legs through the hole?”

“That’s what I thought,” piped up someone else in the crowd, “Doesn’t the magician just wiggle a lever to make the feet move?”

Incensed beyond belief, Brandon threw his arms above his head and said, “Of course it isn’t a mannequin, it’s another person in there. They have to manoeuvre themselves into a tight spot and wiggle their stilettos on cue, it takes someone of great dexterity, not forgetting great legs!

Bunny threw her head back and laughed, “I heard Debbie had complained their assistant in the early days was forever farting like a trouper, making Debbie gag.

With a little too much champagne flowing through his veins, Brandon retorted, Oh Really? I think you’ll find it was Debbie with the tooting toosh, It was Debbie who farted.

By now the crowd had stopped smiling as metaphorical penny’s began to drop all around, but Bunny knew she just needed to push Brandon with one final comment. “Wasn’t it also true that Debbie complained that the assistant had blotch legs, didn’t she say they resembled a half baked Spotted Dick??!”

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Unable to contain his anger, Brandon exploded, “That woman was always jealous of Paul’s hidden assistance and for the record, Debbie has breath like a cat!

“How would you know?!” Screamed Bunny in a tone that Brandon just wasn’t used to. Puffing out his chest Brandon shouted back, “Because I was the legs of Debbie McGee!”
The crowd quickly dispersed with the young woman tearing Brandon’s business card up and throwing it in his face. Bunny in turn looked around the empty room and said, “Wow, you’ve made them all vanish Steve; now that’s Magic!

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writing everyday in October. Anna Nicole Smith, Love After Death

From our Afterlife showbiz reporter: Kelly Ross.

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Dressed in a figure hugging, pink satin dress, fabulous fake fur stole, diamond drenched chocker, perfected platinum blond hair and flawless makeup, Anna Nicole Smith made her debut into the afterlife with the usual style, panache and a touch of car-crash that had made her the most talked about woman (after Princess Diana) in the National Enquirer.
Standing at the top of the stairs, Ms.Smith raised her hands above her head, went to speak but instead slurred, “Do you Like my Body? It’s all down to Trimspa you hear?”

When the only response was a whispered, “Is she drunk?” Ms. Smith threw down her hands, pushed out her bottom lip and sulked. Thankfully a lone female voice shouted, “I love you Nicole”, which was just the thing Ms. Smith needed to get her back in her stride as she switched from grumpy brat, to the sultry, sexy, siren Ms. Anna Nicol Smith we are more attuned to.
Assured she had the audience’s complete attention, Ms. Smith thrusted her ample assets forward and swished down the stairs; gyrating her hips in a fashion that one could almost have assumed Ms. Smith was in fact spinning an invisible hula-hooping all the way down to the bottom step.
As was Ms. Smith’s want while alive, she was greeted by the maître d’ with a substantial serving of deep fried gizzard wings, large fries and a diet coke. Ms. Smith squealed with delight, chowed down with a ravenous appetite, which is not unheard of for those who have made the journey into the afterlife, burped loudly and said in her distinctive Southern drawl, “Well this sure is heaven, thank you all, I’s was famished.”
Next came the main part of the afterlife floor show that as always is the main draw for these shows. A ripple of an applause filled the auditorium as the wardrobe mistress pulled a cloths rail with a single dress, hidden under a very pretty, pink silk protection cover.

Ms. Smith squealed with delight and announced she was so glad to be changing her outfit as she was already bored to tears with her present attire.
Next, Ms. Smith was taken behind a changing screen, blindfolded and asked to strip. Not wishing to miss an opportunity, Ms.Smith shouted, “Queue music!”.
The band instinctively began to play, “You Can Leave Your Hat On”.
Unbeknown to Ms. Smith, a back light shone onto the screen allowing the full effect of the striptease to be observed. Such was the performance, one had to wonder if Ms.Smith wasn’t a little aware of the playful prank being played on her.
As the band reached its crescendo, a pink silk camisole and matching knickers came flying over the screen, just as the auditorium was plunged into complete darkness.

A cough and shuffle of anticipation rippled through the darkness as the sound of the wardrobe mistress slipping the dress over Ms. Smith’s head was followed by Nicole letting out a huge belch,
“That should give this pretty dress some room”, giggled Nicole as the wardrobe mistress pulled and buttoned Ms. Smith into her new frock.
A cymbal simmered from the percussion section of the band, as a single light pierced through the darkness.The other percussion instruments gradually joined in while the spotlight expanded until a perfect silhouette of Ms. Smith was once again in full view. Then came the big reveal as the screen spectacularly fragmented into ninety white doves, causing the audience to gasp at just how stunning Ms. Smith looked.
Still blindfolded, Ms. Smith’s voice cracked slightly as she tried to reach out to her adoring fans and asked, “Do I look pret-ty?”
A collective “Ahhh” and clapping of hands, quickly brought back Ms. Smith’s smile.

Once the applause had died down, the Grim Reaper slowly made her dignified entrance, scythe in hand. Again there was a murmuring of anticipation from the audience, which in turn made Ms. Smith let out a giggle and a very faint fart.
Unable to hold back her excitement any longer, Ms. Smith pulled in a deep breath, which in turn put considerable strain on the upper part of her dress and cried out, “Is this when I get my sur-prise? Is this when I fin-ally get the thing I’ve always dreamed off, tell me now, is now the time I fin-ally  get what I tru-ly de-serve?!”
The Grim Reaper in turn, whispered sweetly, “Yes Nicole”.
Stamping her feet in quick succession, Ms. Smith enquired, “Does it begin with ‘M’?”
To which the Grim Reaper again whispered very softly, “Yes Nicole”.

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Unable to control herself, Ms. Smith span round and round, shouting, “I’ve got it, i’ve got it, I beat E. Pierce Marshall, I’m rich, I’m rich at last I’m rich.”
The Grim Reaper waited for Ms. Smith to stop spinning and with a quick flick of her Scythe, snipped Ms. Smith’s blindfold in two. As it fell to the floor, Ms. Smith looked down and saw she was wearing a massive white, meringue inspired wedding dress.

Slightly dumbfounded and rather confused, Ms. Smith turned to the Grim Reaper and asked, “Am I ma-rry-ing the mon-ey?”
The Grim Reaper solemnly shook her skull, clicked her boney finger and thumb in the band’s direction, who again hit their stride at once as they played, Mendelssohn’s, Wedding March’.

Meanwhile, the distinctive sound of a wheelchair creaked out from within the darkness.

Nicole had a terrifying moment of clarity as she realised just what the ‘M’ stood for as the creaking wheelchair pulled itself out of the shadows, a musty Howard Marshall, dragged his dusty tongue across flaking lips, smiled a toothless grin and croaked, “I love you Nicole, I’ve been waiting for you baby and the really good thing honey, I’ve got viagra! And best of all sweetheart, sugar-pie, we have all of eternity to consummate our marriage over and over and over again.

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Writing everyday in October: Run!

 

IMG_3720“Run!”

Her horror snares me. I’m on my feet running, fast, but from what?

Crowds scurry, infectious fear.

A chorus of terror urges us, to run, run faster.

Hysteria rules, out of their homes they pour: stampeding, screaming, caterwauling.

The horror! Faces underfoot, no time to stop, just keep running.

But running, running from what?

Posted on by admin in blogging, creative writing, fiction, Flash Blogs, Flash fiction, Gothic, Gothic horror, Horror, short, short story, urban gothic, Writing everyday in October Leave a comment