There’s a certain stench that accompanies stagnant water. Waters that have risen and fallen with the same stretch of green floating across the top. With the same moss hanging off the trees. With the same plants rooted in the muck. There’s a certain stench to swamp water—waters that don’t churn very often.
And the stench is horrendous.
I claws up, into your nose, whether you like it or not, and it tends to linger long after you’ve left the swamp. In the smell, you can sense the old age of the water, the different types of mold that creeps along tree roots, the green muck that adorns the backs of the gators you pass by—their beady eyes lit up in the light of my lamp, glowing like dying coals.
Swamps, to put it nicely, are disgusting. Places to go and stay stagnant. Places to be when one wants to smell what dying is like. Places that have nothing new to offer.
Places that hold old, old waters.
And the old beasts that come with them.
Continue reading “Swamp Thing”
I remember heaven.
I remember the glory that reigned there. The peace of it all. I remember being so fulfilled that I thought about nothing. Wanted nothing. Needed nothing. I remember sitting in the mouth of heaven, laughing for no reason at all, other than to let some of the light out of my soul.
I remember hearing it.
I remember heaven.
And I remember heaven cracking.
Remember hearing you calling me.
I remember the moment I remembered that I used to be alive. That I used to have a life. That there were people I loved and respected.
I remembered, then, that I used to have you.
That I left you.
And I remember a voice gently calling me. Asking me if I wanted to try something.
Just for a little while. Just for you.
I remember the day heaven let me go—just for a day, mind you—just so I could visit.
So I could comfort you. Continue reading “Time’s Loss”
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.
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.
It sounded pained.
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.
“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.”
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”
It isn’t about how strong the thing is.
It’s not about the body. Not about the mind. Not about the heart.
It’s not about that at all.
It’s all about the spirit.
Strength of the spirit, to be precise.
How strong is a thing’s spirit? That’s what decides what it becomes. Who it becomes.
Who it challenges.
Who it takes.
Who falls for its cunning.
The strength of your spirit decides whether you fall for the voice.
Or not. Continue reading “Strength of Spirit”
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.
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”
It was on fire.
In an instant, the smoke alarm was protesting. Yelling at me from above. Judging, like a tiny, angry, petty god. Screeching before I could fix my mistake. Refusing me a chance to right my wrong.
Waking my mentor.
Disheveled, he burst through the door—his bluish white hair all askew, and his beard half-smushed from sleep—his eyes going wide when he saw the scene before him. When he saw the flames, and smoke, and chagrined look on my face.
“Damnit Beatrice, I told you: no summoning fire-sprits! And definitely not in the house!”
“Yes sir,” I intoned, saddened as he grabbed the fire extinguisher.
And, with one blast of continuous white fog, he put the fire out.
Dispelling the spirit. Continue reading “Ghost Fire”
There are cracks in the wall.
I can hear the creaking of the floorboards. See the rot from the water that leaks in. Here, the floor isn’t sturdy. You could fall right through—the boards are as thin as wet paper. Here, there isn’t much shelter from anything. This old, desolate house. Oozing and creaking and moaning along with the things that fill the walls.
Where do you think the cracks came from?
Obviously, they came from them.
They spill out some nights. Flooding the house, over and over again. Playing like a song on repeat. Scratching and screaming and scurrying over the ceilings. Wailing and terrorizing and eating away at the souls of others. Desperate and jealous. Creatures that haunt, that steal, that kill—all for pleasure.
I was raised with them, you know.
I grew up here, in this house.
It screams at me.
And I hear the rhetoric again. The chanting that always filters through the screams. Words that float through the panic, through the muck, through the mire of spirits unrested. I hear their demand. The threat of what’s to come if I don’t heed them, if I don’t obey. I hear the words, carrying from the house to this faraway place, and I suppress a shudder.
Protect the ghost. Continue reading “Haunted Nevermore”
I’m not a people person. Everyone in this desolate wasteland of a town knows it. It’s glaringly obvious. Like an old oak standing alone in the desert. This town is small enough that they all know I’m gruff. Grumpy, even. A little surly. But, that’s only because I don’t interact with people much. I’m harmless really, but still.
Yeah, I’m not a people person.
But, who can blame me?
When this is the price to be paid for interacting with others…
If this is what comes attached with people…
Why would I be a people person? Continue reading “Devil’s Well”
There’s a man in the clock.
The clock strikes one…
The man frowns.
Man in the clock.
The clock strikes two…
The man comes down.
Stop the man in the clock. Continue reading “Man In The Clock”
Bring the night. Continue reading “Hunter, Oh Hunter”