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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G is for Glenn

G is for Glenn.

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, House of Horrors, an all time favourite of my sister and mine.
I liked the skeletons that grew out of the monsters teeth in Jason and the Argonauts and seemed to always find those plastic skeletons either on a key ring or the like while on seaside holidays.

My sister had some great gothic children’s books, one was a collection of the original Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tales, with great illustrations. My favourite was the Sea Witch from the little mermaid, she was the stuff of nightmares! The other book my sister had was about dwarfs and giants. The one story I liked my sister to read to me was about a group of dwarfs who kidnap a princess. The scene that will never leave my brain is when the princess complains that the carriage seat is too hard, the dwarf jumps out of the carriage, plucks out his eye, throws it in the air and sees a filed of wheat…poor princess!
From their I discovered the Pan Books of Horror. I loved the covers and the blurb on the back as much as I liked the stories themselves.
The very first horror story I wrote was at school and leant the first rule of horror is you need to build the tension, let the feeling of dread creep in. Of course once you have mastered this then you can experiment every which way.th

Over the next few years I wrote bits and pieces for myself, two of my favourites were a take on a Mills and Boom style story called The Quite Storm, the other was a typical slasher horror. I loved those 1980’s horror films that were based on a holiday or date: Halloween, Friday 13th, Happy Birthday to Me, Black Christmas, My Bloody Valentine, April Fools Day, Mother’s Day! So I wrote mine based on nursery rhymes, a sample of which can me found on here under, All Fall Down.th-1

A couple more years passed and I was looking for a project to learn something new when my husband Keir spotted a creative writing class at Brighton City College. My tutors, Ruth and Maria said, for your first project we don’t want you to write we would like you to draw a rough plan of the street you grew up in, followed by us naming who lived in each house. From there grew my collection of short horror stories called Blanche Street.
Blanche Street, where all the neighbours are a nightmare. My friend Andrew Nimmo Helped me upload my e-book onto Amazon, while my friend Linus created a brilliant webpage advertising the type of synopsise of my ten tales in the style of the ones I admire from PBH.
My late mother-in-law, Hazel Bottrill created some brilliant art work for the stories, The Fall of Derrick Houser, Dead Famous, and the book cover. My other talented friends also contributed some brilliant images to go with the Blanche Street Tales, Angus Stewart: Filth, and publicity photo for back cover, Davey Sutherland: Frank, Sarah Prades and Kristan Akerman and three new pieces from Darren Menezes: Sugar Almonds, The Nightmare and Some Mother’s Son.
Finally, I found online a great editor, Jenny Prince, who through fresh eyes and is at present getting the book in shape for its (self publishing) into paperback.
More information to follow.Book cover copy-25

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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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B is for Bonsai

Take a letter of the alphabet, write flash fiction within half an hour.
B is for Bonsai.

photo by afterorangecountry.comThe art of Bonsai has always been a passion of mine, the art of keeping something so delicate in a miniature state takes a real skill, not to mention patience and dedication. Gradual manipulation of limbs, breaking and resetting the natural will. It was these skills that came into their own fifty years ago.
My daughter is as delicate as a lotus flower, as was her mother, but alas her mother was too delicate too survive. It filled my heart with such sadness to know that my beautiful daughter would never know her mother’s love.
It was the shock that I could lose somthing so precious, so easily that made me realise I had to do all I could to protect my daughter.
Have you got children? Yes! Then you will surely understand why I had to do everything in my power to keep her safe.
Please take that look of your face, you are seeing things from the point of view of a world constricted with rules and regulations, but it is these very things precisely that have enabled me to keep my daughter safe. In all the years she has never had an accident and I in turn have never had need to worry.
I home study her, everything she needs to know about the world she has learnt through me.

I believe, deep down she has no understanding of her diffrences, as far as we are concerned her world is normal. Her world is defended against all the horrors that ravarge and steal.
It is my job as a father to protect her. In the beginning I just bound her feet. Yes, there was much pain for both of us, but I knew I was doing the right thing for my daughter. Despite her bound feet, she still managed to crawl around at great speed. There were times when I needed to leave her for lengths of time, further binding was the only answer. As with her feet, I broke and bound her hands, arms across her chest. I made the decision that my hands would be her hands, I would feed her, wash her, stoke the side of her face when she cried.
As time passed, she began to grow at an alarming rate, something that I knew would only bring misery to us both and so I bound her whole body.
It took a lot of patience for the final part of the process, but as with the Bonsai, dedication brought out the true beauty.
Each day I would help stretch her legs backwards, folding, until eventually they lay flush with her back.
Eventually she came to understand that she had no need to worry about anything, all she needed was me.

www.ancient-orgins.net

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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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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?”
* * *

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Writing Everyday in October: I Love Trish.

Ipswich 143 - Version 2
The taste of blood slid across Howard’s tongue as the Norwich to Ipswich train rattled along the track. For the last half hour he had nervously bitten his nails, all in the pursuit of the latest high. Howard’s best mate, Kes, (everyone called him Kes, because he was always high as a kite) had raved about the mind blowing time he’d had the other night at the Caribbean Club. Some bloke had offered Kes a new kind of high at the club toilet and he said he was off his head all night, “It’s called Trish. Think ecstasy, crossed with a trip and dib-dab of speed.”
Even before Kes had finished yabbering, Howard was hooked. Kes had said he was going to meet up with a guy called Chef and get some Trish for the weekend. That had been a couple of days ago. With no job worries, Kes will still be off his face on Trish, thought Howard.
As the train pulled into Ipswich’s train station, Howard pulled out the crumpled piece of paper from his jeans pocket on which Kes had scrawled.
9 Blanche Street, Ipswich. Ask for Chef. Say, “I love Trish.”

When the train finally pulled in to Ipswich, the seasoned travellers rushed from the platform and grabbed the waiting taxies. With no sign of a bus, Howard began walking towards what he hoped was the town centre. Half way he bumped into a young couple and asked if they knew where Blanche Street was. The woman shrugged her shoulders, as the bloke said, “You sure you want that part of town mate?”
Howard nodded while trying to ignore his growling stomach, all he wanted was to grab his stash of Trish and get back to his bedsit in Norwich.
Recognising the nervousness pouring out of Howard’s body, the man shrugged his shudders and said, “It’s no more than ten minutes away, just off Cemetery Road.”

Having followed the man’s directions, Howard turned into Blanche Street and instantly understood what the man had meant. The street was a row of pre-war dilapidated terraced houses. As he walked down the street, Howard’s stomach tightened; with most of the street lights broken it was difficult to make out the door numbers.

As he crept past one house he heard a man shout, “Madeline, Madeleine!” which caused Howard to quicken his step. Each house he passed seemed to be more decrepit than the last: that was until he reached number seven. The bottom half of the door had been boarded up. Bare wires hung where the doorbell had once been and the upstairs windows were smashed.

Again Howard felt his gut jolt, but there was no way he was going back home empty handed. Taking a deep breath he raised his hand to knock on the door, only for it to suddenly fly open. A dark silhouette of a very, very big man filled the door frame.
“Y,y,y,you Chef? Said Howard?

With no ready response, Howard tried to steady his voice without much success and said, “I,I,I,I,I love Trish.”
The man stepped back and nodded for Howard to enter the gloomy lit front room.

The first thing to hit him was the overwhelming stench of stale cigarette smoke, greasy takeaway food and something else, something rotten. While trying to manoeuvre passed the minefield of beer cans and overflowing ashtrays, Howard knocked a half-eaten takeaway box off the oversized leather armchair: spilling its contents onto the threadbare carpet. Dropping to his hands and knees, Howard went to clear up the partly chewed, greasy chicken bones only for Chef to yell, “Fucking leave it, get your arse in the back.”
Howard jumped to his feet, brushed the grease from his hands on to his jeans and then followed the man through the middle room, into the kitchen.
Hanging from the centre of the kitchen celling was a bare light bulb highlighting the cobwebs that strung from every corner, the floor felt sticky beneath his feet. Howard glanced round the near barren kitchen. The only other furniture was a tatty pine wooden table, either side sat two mismatched chairs and a bar stool. Chef nodded at Howard and grunted, “Sit.”

Like a well trained mongrel, Howard quickly obeyed, pulled out the chair and sat himself down.
Chef flung open the fridge door and said, “Beer?”

Howard stared at the man’s huge hands that gripped the rusting fridge door, his fingernails caked with black grime. A trickle of bile shot from Howard’s empty stomach into his throat causing him to nod as he tried his best to swallow his sick.

Grabbing two cans from the fridge, Chef slammed one can down in front of Howard, cracked open his own and drained the contents before Howard had even opened his.

“Get that down yah, it will stop you from being so fucking jumpy.”

Howard tried his best to stop his hands from shaking as he opened his can, only for the contents to spray all over his face.
Howard slurped at the frothing can as Chef laughed while he grabbed another two beers from the fridge. As he sat down at the table he said, “So, how’d you hear about me, was it London Tony?”

….. Wanna find out what happens to Howard and the other residence of Blanche Street? why not pop over to the homepage www.blanchestreet.co.uk and click on the doors and then hurry yourself over to the Amazon link  to and get stuck into ten terrifying tales: http://www.amazon.com/Blanche-Street-Where-neighbours-nightmare-ebook/dp/B00OWFK1SA

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