Posts Tagged ‘horror’

Lot’s of people say that porcelain dolls are creepy. I always disagreed. I was given my first doll for Christmas back when I was eight and I loved it so much people kept flooding me with more and more. I’m now thirteen and I still love my dolls.

Their horrid. How can you sleep at night with all of them staring at you like that,” my best friend Otto says. He’s not the free spirit I am. He thinks I don’t notice but he tends to turn them to face the wall if we happen to be watching TV at my house. I can see his eyes dart every now and again to them to check they haven’t moved on their own.

The bright pink walls of my room are lined with various porcelain faces. My favourite one is one that always sits in the middle. She wears a purple dress. Her eyes are beetle black and she has a thick head of spiral curls like my own. Dad brought her back from a trip to the lesser known country of Mergovia. He was on a photography assignment from his newspaper when he saw an old woman who easily looked like she had seen one hundred years. She was selling the dolls so he brought one home for me. He said that the woman had tried to usher him some kind of warning but he didn’t understand the language. He always did have a flair for the dramatic.

I named her ‘Hate’ because of all my dolls – their faces normally serene, shiny eyes vacant – she looked like she was scowling a little. Given her stern expression and crazy hair I always imagined her angry. I would tell Hate all of the things that were bothering me. She wouldn’t dismiss them or tell me that I was over reacting like most people did. She listened. She scowled on my behalf and I felt better. I had a good thing going with Hate. That was until the night I woke her up.

It had been a particularly bad day. I had failed a Spanish test, I dropped my lunch tray in view of everyone and I had been walking around all afternoon with toilet paper stuck to my shoe. Rather than telling me this the girls felt it better to giggle at my expense. It wasn’t until I met Otto after school and he told me was it finally removed. My name being Tally, it lead to the new nickname ‘Toilet Paper Tally’. I will now bear this new name until I can talk dad into letting me move school.

I was relaying all of this to Hate, spilling my inner nastiness. She stared down at me with her scowl like she felt the pain of each of my words.

I smiled, content that I had managed to shoulder my humiliation. I switched my lamp off and laid my head on my pillow. I gave one last look at Hate and could have sworn she was angled more towards me than she had been. Anyway, off to sleep I went.

In the middle of the night I heard a soft singing. It was a tune that seemed familiar but I couldn’t quite place it. It was a soft little voice that sounded younger than my own. There was someone else in my room! I looked up. This time Hate definitely had moved. She was staring straight at me.

Well look who’s awake,” she said in a sharp, shrill shriek that wasn’t as soft as her singing voice.

I could only stare at her. How often does a doll come to life? Too often I’d say.

Aren’t you going to lift me down from here or are you just going to keep staring at me like a dim witted moron.”

You’re not real,” I gasped.

Hate shook her head. “You can bet your ass I’m real.”

Dolls don’t come to life.” I tried rubbing my eyes. My brain told me I was dreaming.

Hate shook her head slowly. It a slow moment that required a lot of effort from her. “This one does. Now get me down from here. We have work to do…”

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The land of Susiname lies the south. It takes a strong minded adventurer to wander along the silver coastlines. To delve further into the deep forests Is a quest not for the faint of heart.

It was a land of monsters. Giants, trolls and other monsters of the unspeakable variety roamed deep inland.

Susiname was also a kingdom of great division. King Desmond died. It is told that he faced the great Malwock Beast in protection of his kingdom but the beast had the better. With it’s poison the king was turned to stone. A monument was erected in his memory at the gate of the Genya Estate (home of the Susiname royalty). Some say it is merely a monument. Other’s believe that it is the petrified king himself who lies beneath.

The kingdom erupted into a civil war. A new king could not be chosen. Desmond’s daughter, Asana, was but a child of six. Blood was shed but before a full scale war was declared among the Dukes, King Roman of Navaria, a powerful neighbouring kingdom to the North and King Benjamin of Elgany, another powerful neighbour stepped in and brought peace to the troubled land.

Control of Susiname was given to those who owned the respective lands within the kingdom. It kept peace for a time. Beneath the glorious sun kissed surface, beneath the noses of the powerful benefactors, lay a horrific injustice. The Counts were unsatisfied with their gains. They wanted more. They needed labour to toil their lands and the labour was expensive. A trade began in human lives. Sold into slavery were those who had nowhere else to go, those deemed lower in caste and those who had no means of paying their debts.

Susiname had its monsters, but for each new child born into slavery there was a desire to escape into the unknown, no matter what they would be up against.

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When you move into a new house, everyone has their checklist: furniture removal, changing address with the bank, checking for resident spooks. Clifton Road was a new town for me. I didn’t know what to expect. The landlord never warned me that I would be sharing with Tina.

My first night in the house I decided to take it easy. I slumped down on the sofa to watch some television. Most of the boxes were still unpacked and the large bulky grey set was placed on two chairs because I hadn’t built the stand designated for it.

I was exhausted. I lowered my heavy eye lids. It was late afternoon so I thought, ‘No harm can come of a half hour doze?’ I would wake up, sleep refreshed and ready to get the rest of my belongings in their rightful place.

A half hour doze became a three hour slumber. I was awoken with the feel of fingers through my thick, chestnut hair. I woke with a start. The TV screen had gone blank. The movie I had been watching had long finished. I reached to my head to feel for a hand but alas there was none.

I thought nothing more of it. I put it down to my sleep addled mind.

Through the night my sleep was broken once again by a loud clatter. I leapt into action; not really sure what damage the rolled up magazine I carried with me could do to an intruder.

In the living room all the remaining unpacked boxes had been tipped over. They had been pretty shaken up. I was shaken up too!

I checked the door was locked. The windows were secure. The streets outside were empty of people. I went back to bed and fell into an uneasy sleep.

The unusual occurrences continued the next morning. I was brushing my teeth. The steam from my shower had fogged the mirror. I was busy contemplating the day ahead when with a squeak the words:

HI, I’M TINA’

formed before my very eyes. I looked behind me, even though if there were anything there I would have seen it already.

Erm, hi Tina,” I replied. I’m nothing if not polite.

I LIKE YOU,’ she wrote.

Most say I was insane for staying in that house but Tina and I got along famously. She would leave little notes like ‘GO GET EM’ in my lunch bag. Her poltergeist like abilities meant she could keep the house neat and tidy whilst I was at work. It was far from perfect but show me a couple who is.

Like most couples we argue. Like many women, Tina likes to have the last word. But it is nice to have someone to come home to.

A lot of people raise an eyebrow at our unorthodox pairing but as long as we’re happy I don’t see where the problem lies. Love is love after all.

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Another dead and the town had gathered. Set deep in the Mendelov Woods the village of Caster was hidden from the wider world. The timid people had presumed themselves safe until recently when bodies began to be found, torn apart as though from wild animals.

A bear or a wolf,” a recently widowed woman cried, clutching onto her children. “What ever it was it ripped poor Frank to pieces.”

The town mayor raised his hands to try to calm them. They were frightened. They hadn’t seen anything like it before. Frank Islay was the most recent but it had been happening more and more lately. Frank had been found close to the village entrance. He had been torn limb from limb. His eyeballs were ripped from his skull and what remained of his face was shredded beyond recognition. Only a lvoing note from his wife that he carried in his pocket had identified him.

It was no bear!” one of the village elders called. “I’ve read about this kind of thing. It used to happen all the time. It is some kind of monster.”

The town erupted into a frenzy.

We’ll have no talk of monsters,” said the mayor sternly. “There are no monsters in these parts,” he grumbled. His twinkling blue eyes met the gaze of his grandchildren. He didn’t want them to be frightened.

There are monsters. I have seen them!”

The gathering acknowledged as a stranger amongst them. He had been with them ever since the killings began. He had sat quietly in the tavern every evening before retiring to the small room he rented. No one had conversed with him. Strangers were always welcome in Caster but since he didn’t seem willing to share they left him be. Now they turned to him as though he had answers to life itself.

My name is Edgar Scholtz,” he announced. “I have seen attacks like these before.”

Edgar had a captive audience so he continued.

They prey on the evil amongst us. The liars, cheats and thieves.

The widow sobbed. “My Frank was none of those things,” she protested. He was a good man.”

Edgar thought about it for a few moments.

None of us are without misdeeds to our names. A stern word at the dinner table could be enough to invoke the wrath of this creature.”

The mayor himself was now intrigued. “You say you have faced these monsters before?”

Edgar nodded. He smiled just enough to be charming but not so much to seem as though he wasn’t taking the situation seriously.

They are of an ancient magic that is the blackest ever found. They are drawn from pure souls and sent in search of sinners like hounds on the blood trail,” Edgar explained.

The crowd gave a collective gasp. They considered themselves good people but there were misdeeds they had committed. If we take a closer look, haven’t we all?

The creature you face is called a Hangram and I will stop them.”

Are you ready to face the Hangram?

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There were no features on the image, just the outline of a woman’s frame. Black and white except for the prominent red rose that the silhouette held in her hand. Helena had only been a maid at Castle Kroestov, in the snow covered land of Navaria, but a few weeks so she was still acquainting herself with the many paintings that graced the walls.

The silhouette didn’t look towards the artist. Instead she offered a delicate profile with a soft outlined nose, long elegant neck and slender, statuesque frame. She reminded Helena of the old queen – Francesca. Having been dead many years Helena had only seen her in pictures but the resemblance to the silhouette was incredible. A title beneath the mahogany frame read ‘Dust and Devotion’. No artist laid claim to the work.

Helena smiled. Never before coming to Castle Kroestov had she been surrounded by so much beauty. She reached out and graced the intricate pattern carved in the frame before wiping it with her dusting cloth. She then drew her finger softly over the head of the silhouette and down the face. She felt a sharp pain fire from her fingertips to her head. In her mind’s eye she saw Francesca. She was on horseback, her long flowing black hair caught in the wind. Her blue eyes raged with anger but her lips held a serene smile. The scene appeared to be set on the outskirts of a village, at the very edge of the forest. Francesca was surrounded by adoring villagers but a man was before her who didn’t share their admiration. A thick rope was tied around his neck. His hands and feet were bound and the ropes were harnessed to three horses. He said nothing but his eyes were leaking emotion.

Declare your dedication to me,” spat Francesca. “Or be returned to the dust of the earth.”

The prisoner shook his head. “I will never devote myself to a witch.”

Francesca removed herself from her horse. She pushed into the crowd and drew a little girl from amongst them.

Eleanor!?” gasped the prisoner, recognising his daughter.

Francesca gripped the girl close to her side with one hand and wove the long fingers of the other through the girl’s fair hair. “Daddy thinks he is above the rules I have set forth,” said Francesca to the girl. “Isn’t that rather naughty?”

Eleanor nodded her head in agreement.

Do you think I should have him torn apart for such defiance?”

This time the child did not answer. She stared at her father with a torrent stupefaction only a child unschooled in the cruelty of the world could muster. “I don’t want my daddy to die!” she sobbed.

Francesca tightened the fingers that were in the girls hair and pulled at it. “What did you say?” she asked with a severe snarl.

The little girl began to cry. She tried to pull away but Francesca’s grip was too strong. The tearing at her hair was a numb pain compared to seeing her father captive.

You will watch the horses tear your father to pieces and then you will be next.” Francesca looked behind to her people. “Pistol!” she barked the order. One stepped forward without hesitation, placing a pistol in the hand Francesca had freed. She thrust it towards the little girl. “Horses don’t like the sound of gunshot. It frightens them and when they are frightened they run with all their might. You can pull the trigger.”

Annabelle, Francesca’s closest friend, had been standing close by watching the scene unfold. Becoming frustrated she snatched the gun and fired it into the air. The horses that the prisoner was tied to screamed. They reared and dashed in opposite directions. The prisoner was dragged across the rocky floor briefly before his body was torn. Francesca’s supporters held her horse as tightly as they could so he wouldn’t run too.

Francesca threw the little girl to the ground, sobbing in horror at what she had just bore witness to. Francesca’s lip curled as she stared at Annabelle. Annabelle could feel her breath struggle to gather in her chest. “How dare you interfere like that,” said Francesca. “I was amusing myself.”

Annabelle could feel a tight grip from inside her chest. Her heart pushed against it as best it could. “That man was never going to change his mind. We were wasting a beautiful morning,” she gasped.

Francesca’s nose crinkled. The pain in Annabelle’s chest seared. Blood began to pool in her mouth. “One way or another he was ending this day a corpse. You still have the daughter. She is ready for a lifetime of torment,” Annabelle managed. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

Francesca looked at the Eleanor still sobbing on the ground. She laughed and released her hold on Annabelle. The little girl was dragged onto her feet by an invisible force that Francesca summoned. Her face was awash with tears. “I’m going to take you to a new home,” Francesca warned the little girl with venom. “Perhaps I will eat you slowly. One little bit of flesh at a time.” She pushed Eleanor back into the arms of Annabelle. “Bring her with us,” ordered Francesca. She turned her gaze to Annabelle and spat, “I’m not done with you yet!” She climbed back onto her horse. Her followers lingered behind as they made their way back home.

Annabelle pushed Eleanor in front of her. “Move!” she barked.

Helena stumbled back from the silhouette. She couldn’t decipher whether the scene she had relayed in her mind had been real or if the gloomy castle was causing her to imagine things. She stumbled from the dream. She looked at the silhouette again. It was serene, silent. Black and white except the blood red rose. The silhouette had quite a tale to tell…

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I know as you read this you will find my predicament quite silly. After all, who in their right mind would want to be made of cheese? I certainly didn’t. It was quite accidental. I’ve just had to learn to live with it. The magic I possess has been passed down to me through the generations of women in my family. Dad was a little weary of it, especially when he had to spend a week with an extra head. The extra head was great for heightened senses but not so good for his job as a buttoned down insurance salesman. Poor dad struggled to converse with his clients. Not everyone was accepting as we were. Even with the second head and other little magic mishaps, dad loved mum all the same.

As I grew older the magic became strong in me. Every time I sneezed I would set fire to the coffee table. We would chuckle and put the fire out. Not necessarily in that order.

The magic was difficult to control and when it was mixed with a clumsy gene it was positively dangerous. It was actually written somewhere that my great grandmother – a well respected witch – had been asked by the villagers for help to make their crops grow. Grandmama was only too happy to oblige. Soon the village had more food than they could eat but poor Grandmama had blown herself up in the process, which brings me to my current situation.

Most witches opt for a black cat as their familiar. Sometimes an owl or even a raven – so I have been told – will do the trick. I had opted for three white mice. That was my first mistake.

Squeaky, Screetchy and Clive – that would be the mice – were the best familiars any witch could ask for. They were cute, fun and always greeted with a squeak and a smile.

They loved cheese as most mice do, at least in cartoons. (I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this). One day the local store was out of the brand the mice liked best so I thought I could save myself some money and make my own cheese. Now, not every girl has a cow at home and even for those who do, who has time for all that churning? Not me! I would conjure the best cheese my little mice ever tasted.

I had everything I needed. The mice watched in eager anticipation from their cage. With a sway and a swoop, a jump and a loop I set about making my magic cheese. That was when it happened. In my nostrils I felt a tickle. I tried to hold it back, I really did. A loud sneeze escaped me and the whole thing back fired. Instead of a mountain of tasty cheese for my mice I instead became cheddar.

Its taken some adjusting, like keeping myself constantly refrigerated. I had a boyfriend who was allergic to dairy. Needless to say that didn’t last very long. But my mice are happy. In fact they are positively giddy when they see me…

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COMING SOON as a Torrance Media web series.

Timothy Hardship is my name. With that you would think I’ve had a hard life but its really the opposite. The truth is I was a bright and happy boy. That was until I accidentally made myself as tall as a house. Now, simple things like going to school, playing with my friends and other regular kid things present more of a challenge.

Grandad always used to tell me that little kids should give up their seats for adults because they need to stand and grow tall. I was one of the smallest boys in my class so I took my grandad’s advice and kept on my feet as much as possible, thinking it would stretch me out.

Tiny Tim they called me. Well, one day I had had enough.

I was looking through a catalogue that had been lying around the house for years. It was one of those useless things that for some reason my mum wouldn’t throw away. My finger stopped on a very eye catching, star shaped ad. ‘Make yourself as tall as a house!’ it read. A lot of hoodwink and pish posh I thought but since it claimed it was free and all you had to do was call a toll free number I thought ‘why not?’

My parents had been visiting a neighbour who had just had a new baby so I was home alone. I picked up the phone and dialled 0800 – GET – TALL. The ad was so old that I had expected the number to have been disconnected. To my surprise an automated voice came on the other end.

One moment please,” it said in its computerised, honeyed tone. Then there was a click and the line went dead.

Well I don’t feel taller,” I said to myself, putting the phone down with just a little disappointment.

***

I went to the bathroom. I splashed cold water on my face. I was starting to feel really hot. I hoped I was coming down with something so I could have a day or two off school.

I felt dizzy. I looked down at the sink. It looked a lot smaller and a lot further away than it had a moment ago. I felt something bump against my head. It was the roof! I climbed out of the bathroom and charged downstairs like a stilt walker and squeezed out the front door.

I waved my arms like great boat sails. I could now see in my bedroom window on the top floor.

My tiny mum and miniscule dad came walking down the pathway. Mum shrieked and fell faint. Dad gave a very firm, “Oh my!” and twitched his moustache.

After mum finally recovered I explained to them what had happened. Dad opened the window so I could talk to them, hunching down and peeping in. Dad tried calling the maker of the ad but they had closed business. It seems there wasn’t much business for people wanting to be as big as houses.

***

I’ve had to make a few adjustments. A sky high house has been built for me to live in. I have to sit in the school yard and listen to my lessons through the window, even when its raining. Mum was shocked at first but she says she loves me no matter my size. I’ll be big until dad can track down the owner of ‘Getting Tall’. At least they don’t call me Tiny Tim anymore.

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