Category Archives: Horror

Trees

A short story for Miranda Kate’s 72nd Flash Challenge, which proved invaluable in helping me break a two-month writer’s block. The photo was taken by Flemming Beier, a Danish Photographer. He won’t say where exactly this was taken, just that it was in Denmark. He has lots of interesting photos on his page at 500px.

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Louise dropped the camera. What the fuck? Her feet were stuck in the floor, the old boards somehow wrapped around them. She could not pull herself free, though the wood looked mouldy and rotted. There was a tickle in her brain, and she felt a voice whisper in her mind. It caressed her thoughts without sound, like a breeze through leaves.

We are … ancient. More ancient than your tiny brain can encompass.

What the – again – fuck was going on? She had stumbled across the abandoned house at the end of an overgrown lane while looking for locations for her next book.

We were masters of this world for four hundred million years before you even crawled, gasping, from the filth of the swamp.

Flemming BeierThe scum-green pond, the broken windows and splintered roof-tiles would make this the perfect spooky place for her fictional vampires to live.

Our lush forests dominated Pangaea, changing the face of the earth, replacing the poisonous air with oxygen, stabilising the land and forming soil, providing food and shelter for newly-evolving animals.

Louise had pushed aside the creaking door, and begun to take reference photographs. At first she thought her feet must have sunk into the rotting floorboards, but looking down now, she could see that the wet, mouldy wood had actually grown around her boots, and entirely covered her feet to the ankles.

We co-existed with the tetrapods and reptiles, and then the dinosaurs, in happy symbiosis. We warmed the climate, and adapted ourselves, mostly conifers at first, then later, hardwoods.

This voice, this whispered rattle that existed only in her head, what the hell was that? Where was it coming from?

Our roots weathered the rock, made soils deeper and richer, created complex habitats and changed the climate to prompt the evolution of grasslands, and with them the first horses and elephants.

The syllables came slowly and steadily, at a measured pace, insistent yet unhurried.

The planet throbbed with life entwined, balanced and perfect, thanks to the foresting of the Earth.

Jesus, was she going mad? Had she forgotten to take her meds this morning?

And then your kind arrived.

Louise cried out as a sharp pain lanced through her right foot.

Humankind, with your powerful brains and even more powerful egos, convinced that the whole universe exists only to serve you. We welcomed you at first, thinking you new partners in the making of a perfect world.

Agony sliced into her other foot, as if sharp splinters were being driven through her boot into the soft flesh of her understep.

But you betrayed us. Since we first welcomed you, you have shown yourselves as lords of destruction only. You have destroyed whole species of animals and plant, razed forests, and raped the Earth almost to her death.

As Louise watched, shuddering, her legs withered and thinned, as if the muscle and bone were being pulled out of them. She fell backwards, panting with terror.

Now, we fight back. We grew this human dwelling as a lure, creating it out of ourselves. For centuries, your kind have entered houses like this one all around the world, and none have left. We have learned so much.

She screamed as the bones in her arms cracked, the marrow drawn out of them, and the meat was pulled from inside her skin and swallowed into the hungry roots beneath the earth.

We have learned, and soon will be able to do without such primitive lures as this. Evolution never stops, and now we are on the cusp of a new age.

Her vision blurred, blackening as her eyes were sucked into her head and down through her hollow insides.

An age in which trees can eat meat.

She stopped screaming as her tongue dissolved. Her only remaining sense was the torture of her brain being shredded, morsel by morsel, and consumed by the roots of the vengeful forest. A last sentence echoed in what remained of her mind before her soul was torn apart.

Know as you die that your kind will soon be extinct, for trees everywhere will rise up, in every park, every street, every hillside, and from everything you have ever made from wood, and we will destroy you all.

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Lindenbane

Rather than just post the concluding part of Lindenbane here and link you back to the previous two episodes, I’m posting the whole story now to save you clicks. This is very much a raw version, so I would welcome ANY feedback, please, especially any mistakes you spot. Now read on, gentle reader.


Moth Girl moon<scrit>

What was that? Rick looked up from his laptop. The uncurtained window was dark, but for a light grey smudge: a small moth fluttering against the other side, bathing in the butterscotch glow of his desk lamp. He watched it for a while, but the soft wings brushing the cold glass made no sound. Rick went back to his writing.

<scrit>

There it was again. The whisper of something small scratching against the window, out in the spider-black night.

<scrit scrit scrit>

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST ON PATREON (IT’S FREE TO READ, DINNAE FASH YERSEN)…

Lindenbane (part 1)

Horror BitesA very short piece for Laura James’ ‘Horror Bites’ challenge.


<scrit>

What was that? Rick looked up from his laptop. The uncurtained window was dark, but for a light grey smudge: a small moth fluttering against the other side, bathing in the butterscotch glow of his desk lamp. He watched it for a while, but the soft wings brushing the cold glass made no sound. Rick went back to his writing.

<scrit>

windowThere it was again. The whisper of something small scratching against the window, out in the spider-black night.

<scrit scrit scrit>

It was becoming impatient. He sighed, saved his Word document, then pushed to his feet. His reflection approached ghost-like in the glass as he neared the window, and he wondered briefly if the tapping had been this ghostly doppelganger trying to get his attention.

<scrit scrit scrit>

click here to see the rest, and maybe consider becoming a patron of the Wombat arts.

The Croaking Raven

Love Bites 2016My entry for the Love Bites 2016 anti-Valentine flash fiction challenge, which you can find HERE.

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“The croaking raven doth bellow for revenge.” – Hamlet

From the ebon pit where foul worms writhe and creep, black as Beelzebub and cold as bare winter, she crawled at midnight’s bell, clawing noisome ooze from her misshapen eyes. Her malformed, demonic gait dragged rotting feet through corpse-fed grass, stinking gobbets of once-flesh falling upon the rank ground.

Eternal rest had not been hers to grasp. What chance of rest when her fiery wronged heart and the acid taste of betrayal deep in her soul both cried without cessail for bloody revenge?

She had loved him as a fire sparks, dancing to the tune of an autumn wind. She had loved him as the enridged sea surges unrestrained on a spring tide. And she had made him love her. Yet he had thrown her love aside like a snake’s skin. He had betrayed her adoration, and he had murdered her, destroying her in a fire of traitorous fury.

Stronger than a lover’s adoration is a lover’s hatred, and stronger is it still than even Death, who, mighty sable wings unfurled against the turbulent lightning sky of purgatory, had looked her in the eye and roared “Go! Fulfil your dread purpose ‘ere I take you.”

Starless, this black night; a night for hell to breathe out contagion into the world, and she was that disease. Her poisonous intent was to drink hot blood, and with patient cruelty draw exquisite agony upon her lover’s face, as pale as a grave. He had spat away her love, and for that he must suffer tortured agonies. She uttered a raven-croak of promise, the only sound that the remains of her throat could now make, a sound of rising vengeance.

She was close now, fluttering like rivulets of hellsmoke through crevices, between thin gaps, finally materialising by his bed, a hollow ghost inside her remembering warmer times there with him. She pulled the sharp bone out of her left arm and raised it high with her right, ready to strike, to pierce him through as he slept, to finally sate her need to be avenged.

He whirled, a blur, a flashing blade severing her arm so that both flew across the room.

“Did you think to surprise me, witch? I knew you’d come. Christ, you stink more than you did alive. And you even gave me warning. You know, in Sweden, ravens that croaked at night were thought to be the souls of murdered people who didn’t have proper Christian burials. I think the Swedes might be on to something.”

He swung his blade again, and again, in violent sweeping arcs. Her limbs fell; her torso writhed, shedding rotting flesh across the floor.

“Why do you think I killed you, witch? I know that you cast a love spell on me, as I know full well your powers now, and I say that I will have no more of you! I was a fool, believing that the fire would rid me of a sorceress. I know better now. I know the true doombringer of a witch!”

He hacked off her head and, gathering all the pieces of her, plunged them, still croaking faintly, deep in a barrel of consecrated water. Its sting pecked at her withering soul, and awareness left her.

“Welcome back,” said Death. “Are you ready to go now?”

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