Faint of Heart

“It’s… eerie.”

Fog coated the ground, oozing from some unseen place. Skirting along our feet as it snaked its way over the dead, dry ground. Souring the earth further with its muggy breath, leaving a chill to nip at my spine as leisurely as it pleased.

I hated it.

Honestly, I did.

This place…

You could hear something in the air. Whispering to you. Or maybe it was something yelling. Screaming. I couldn’t be sure. It was just a whimper of a sound, nothing more. Skating by my ear so quickly, so quietly, that I couldn’t be sure what it was.

Except:

It sounded pained.

Agonized.

The trees here were decrepit. Creepy. All gnarled, knobby branches. Naked and lifeless. Dragging their twigs across the air like tiny, desperate, old hands. Clawing their way out of the bark—

It was eerie.

Very eerie, indeed.

At my remark, The Master scoffed. His glowing purple eyes were hard to decipher usually, but, in that moment, I saw something clearly within them.

Doubt.

“If you find this eerie, you’re going to want to stop now. There isn’t a single thing about what I do that isn’t eerie, creepy, or grotesque. You might as well quit while you’re ahead.”

But…

I didn’t.

Instead, I straightened my shoulders. Ignored the voices. Got a firmer grip on the bag I carried.

And followed The Master into The Grave. Continue reading “Faint of Heart”

Night Drives: Tips and Tricks

My grandfather was a trucker. Often, he’d be on the road for days at a time, sleeping in his truck for the sake of saving a penny. He traveled from coast to coast, in places that are well-known, and places that are completely unknown. From New York to the River Canto, sitting outside of Third City’s walls. My grandpa was a great trucker, and a well-versed traveler.

Well-versed indeed.

He took some notes about driving at night—doing long hauls. He wanted to make sure his family knew the dangers of driving at night, as well as the importance of a few—at the time—little-known tips and tricks.

Here are his notes:

Continue reading “Night Drives: Tips and Tricks”

Spirit of Halloween

Cold wind bristles the trees. Leaves scatter as the children move like sheep, walking from house to house. Collecting their treats.

Not understanding.

Cute princesses and adorable pirates. Kids dressed as faux vampires, scruffy werewolves, and pop-star zombies. Silly costumes, trivial things.

Things that won’t trick.

Not in the slightest.

They’ve no idea why they’re dressing up. What the goal is.

But I do.

I know.

And I partake properly.

Not because I’m stingy. Or because I’m some crazy “purist”. But because I know.

I believe.

Tonight—and tonight only—it’s happening. They’re here.

They’re out.

Continue reading “Spirit of Halloween”

Watcher Watcher

There is a creeping sensation that comes with the night. Lurking from the shadows. Looming above or beneath with no explanation. No information. Until, finally—

It pounces.

Not all nights are like this. Some are peaceful, restful. Some are full of dreams, full of sleep. It’s just the nights where one should look over the shoulder—nights in which the dark holds more than sleep.

Those are the nights to look after.

And, tonight…

It’s one of those nights. Continue reading “Watcher Watcher”

HALLOWEEN!!!!!!

Hello everyone!

And:

Happy Halloween!!!

Well, happy October, anyway.

We all know Halloween is just around the corner, and I am pumped. I love haunted houses, I love the fall air, I love how chilly it gets, I love pumpkin seeds, and I love horror movies. As a kid, I was picked on a lot by my older brother (nothing too bad, just typical sibling shenanigans) and my only way to get back at him was to scare him.

And scare him I did.

Believe me, I did.

In fact, when we visit with each other, I still do scare him. Mostly by accident, sometimes on purpose. It kinda depends on the situation and what mood I’m in.

ANYWAY:

Halloween was always the best time of year to scare my brother. Sure, he was expecting it, but that didn’t lessen his reactions any, and it didn’t detract from the spookiness of the month. Even something as simple as a song could rock his world, that’s how much of a scaredy cat he is.

That said:

I’m going to take a break from stories today (not entirely, of course, since I’ve already kind of told a few, and since stories are, apparently, an integral part of my life) and instead, I’m going to share a few spooky songs that ought to be blared at this time of the year but are, generally: ignored, or overlooked, or not well-known enough to get to be part of everyone’s spooky halloween spirits.

Without further ado, here is my list: Continue reading “HALLOWEEN!!!!!!”

When the Warlock Wakes

I knew a genius once. He was my mentor, actually. Taught me, first in high school. Then, once again, when I entered college. And then, again, when I went for my master’s degree. And my doctorate. And again, afterward.

When I became his assistant.

He taught me a lot. A whole awful lot. About tons of things. Theories and science and things you could see.

And things you couldn’t see.

The man I knew was a genius. An absolute genius. It wasn’t his mind that made him that way, or his IQ. No.

It was his determination. His willingness to explore. To find. Discover. He always saw himself as a pioneer. An explorer. Someone who wasn’t afraid of the turning seas. Of never reaching land again.

Because to him, it didn’t matter.

If he could find the unknown, delve into lands unseen…

If he got his answers, then it didn’t matter.

Nothing did.

I’ve only just recently come to that conclusion. That understanding. The man I knew was a genius, yes.

But at what cost? Continue reading “When the Warlock Wakes”

Metal Eternity

There was a trick to it. There must be.

Or there wouldn’t be so many.

Stories can’t all add up to nothing. Neither can missing people. If something is out there, it’ll drop hints. Leave clues. It won’t go unnoticed. It might stay mysterious, yes, but it won’t go completely unnoticed. Everything leaves a trail.

Everything.

And this one? This trail?

It’s going to lead me to the jackpot.

There are no pearly gates. Not for me. I already know that. But there won’t be a hellfire either. No mouth swallowing me whole. Death will reach for me…

…and he’ll miss.

If only I can just get this right. Continue reading “Metal Eternity”

Voodoo Man

Don’t play with fire.

Such a stupid saying.

Y’know, we used to keep ourselves warm with fire. In the winter, it was the best way to survive. Just about the only way to survive. You think we learned that by playing it safe? By not messing around? By keeping away from fire?

No.

It’s a stupid saying. Moot. Self-defeating.

You want to tell someone they can’t play with dangerous things? Get a better example. One that’s always sturdy. One that has no exceptions.

Like…

Voodoo. Continue reading “Voodoo Man”

Monstrous Answers

A monster walks through the forest.

His antlers brush against branches. The darkness cloaks him in kind favors. The moon highlights his skull, hitting the red of his eyes, making them glow.

A monster walks through the forest.

His home.

His feet leave no marks, he can’t afford them to. The long, jagged, torn tail that trails behind him looks like a shadow’s spine. Teeth dangle from his bangles, his anklets. Pieces of forgotten creatures, long since dead.

A monster walks through the forest.

And as he does, he must come to a stop.

There is another creature here.

One that is forgotten.

But not dead.

Not by a long shot. Continue reading “Monstrous Answers”

Alligator or Crocodile?

“Do you know what the difference is? Between a gator and a crocodile?

“No?

“Well, I’ll tell you. Because it’s a secret.

“Sure, you could compare their teeth, their snouts, their eyes.

“You could even compare their body size.

“But you know what the real difference it? Where it counts?”

You still say nothing. You just watch me.

Doctor.

That’s what they call you.

A man backed by paper. By schooling. A man surrounded by staff and nurses, preparing his symphony for him. Readying the insane to his liking. Prying their minds loose for him to crack open.

A man of science. Of scholars.

His brown eyes stare bleakly into mine, leagues of dirt above me.

I shake my head.

“Never mind. Even if I tell you, it won’t matter.”

“And why is that?” you ask, as if you really care to know. As if it’s a real question. Not something fueled by psycho-analysis.

I shake my head again.

“Because even if I tell you, you won’t know the difference until it bites you in the ass.”

“Is that a threat?”

If it is, he doesn’t seem upset about it.

“It’s a fact.” Continue reading “Alligator or Crocodile?”