Monday, December 19, 2011

Professor Moltavio

Fair  Episode 4

Professor Moltavio didn't look like a very trustworthy person at all. But still, he did just offer to pay for lemonade for the four young friends, and for only the price of a little help setting up his booth here at the fair. "I have a bad leg, you see? It's just that I have a few heavier items to remove from my wagon, and I need a little help lifting. Normally I would get my monkey to help, but he seems to have run off somewhere," said the mysterious professor.

"No need for the money, Professor," said Eric. "I'll give you a hand with your unloading. It should only take a few minutes." Then Eric looked away from Professor Moltavio to Riley and said, "You and Sam go get the lemonade while I help the professor. Here's the money. I should be done by the time you get back." Then he looked at Will and said, "Go ahead and practice your flute. This should be easy enough for just me."

"Thank you so much! Eric, is it? My wagon is just over there," Professor Moltavio pointed to a wagon about thirty feet away. As they began walking, Professor Moltavio turned to Eric and said, "I don't want to offend, but you know your friend got cheated on that flute, don't you? I overheard what he paid for it, and it's only worth a fraction of that price, and it has no magic in it at all."

"Yeah, I know," Eric replied. "Just don't tell him that. This happens to him sometimes, but nobody can tell him the truth because he'd only get angry. He'll figure it out eventually. At least he can't do it again because he already spent almost all of his money."

When they got to the wagon the professor reached into the back and began pulling things out and handing them to Eric. It seemed like a lot of stuff for someone who seemed like nothing more than a street performer. "So," Eric said, "what exactly is an organ grinder, Professor?"

Professor Moltavio stopped as if he had just been slapped. He looked at the boy in exaggerated surprise, and exclaimed, "My boy! An Organ Grinder is me! I am an Organ Grinder, and I play an instrument known as an organ grinder! But you probably would like to know about the instrument. An organ grinder is this instrument that I am now holding! It looks like just a decorative box with a crank on the side. But when I turn this crank, beautiful music comes out! Oh, some people complain and call it noise, but it really is extraordinary music. While I am playing, my monkey dances around and collects money for me from my adoring audience."

The professor then handed the box to Eric and asked him to put it on the small table they had set up. Then they resumed unloading the wagon. Item after item was removed and set upon the ground near the table. Then as Professor Moltavio was handing Eric a big picture frame without a picture in it, Eric asked, "Professor, where is your monkey? Will he come back?"

The professor looked up as if he had been distracted, and said, "Huh? Oh, the monkey! Why, there is his, my boy! Take a look through the picture frame!"

Eric looked through the picture frame, and, sure enough, there was a monkey standing there staring back at him. The monkey had an oddly curious look on its face. As Eric watched the monkey, he noticed that it still stared back. It was the odd expression on the monkey's face that made Eric say to the professor, "I think there may be something wrong with him, professor. He looks kind of..."

Just then Eric felt something tighten around his neck! He dropped the picture frame and reached up to feel a studded collar around his neck! Professor Moltavio looked at him and said viciously, "There is not a thing wrong with you, monkey! It is a mirror you were holding!"

Monday, December 5, 2011

Meeting A Stranger

Fair  Episode 3

The four young friends were having a wonderful time at the fair. Now on their lunch break, they had to decide what they were going to do next. Sam was the one who came up with a plan they could use for the time being. "Why don't we stay right here at this table for just a short while longer? I'm kind of tired. We could begin again when the crowd thins out just a bit. Is that okay?"

But Will, with a funny little glint in his eye, looked at the others and said, "I saw something back there that I think I might want. I think it just might be exactly what I was looking for. I want to go back and get it, and then I'll come right back here." With that, Will got up from the table and soon disappeared into the crowd. Eric wondered what kind of bad deal Will was getting himself into now. But he didn't say anything because he knew there was no talking him out of it.

Riley was looking around anxiously as if a meteorite might drop on their very spot at any minute. "You know," he said, "I'm not really in the mood to sit around right now either. There are a couple of games I want to play. Why don't you guys go ahead and rest, and I'll come back as soon as I'm done. Then we can all have time to decide where to go next."

All this time Eric never said a word. He decided that maybe it was best if someone stayed to keep Sam company. And since he now found himself to be that person by default, he decided to make the best of it. He was a little tired himself, so it was probably all for the best. Soon Eric and Sam were deep into conversation about what direction they all might go when the other two got back. There were plenty of other wonders to see. There were some great rides and games. There was the fortune teller or the magician. And there were all sorts of other performers and sights to see.

It was a whole hour before Will came back. "Look what I got," he excitedly exclaimed. "This flute is magic! The guy told me so himself! If you play the right tune, you'll make all the money you could ever want!"

"How much did it cost," asked Eric

"I completely cheated him," said Will in a bragging tone. "It cost almost everything I had, but this little flute is clearly worth a whole lot more! The guy had no idea who he was dealing with! After I figure out the right magic tune, then I'll make enough money to buy this whole town! Just you wait!"

"You mean he didn't tell you how to make it work," asked Eric in a mildly shocked tone.

Will looked at Eric as if he were a bug, and said haughtily, "The guy told me that every man has to figure out the right magic tune for himself. It's different for everyone. He told me it wasn't that hard, and once I get it I'll be making money hand over fist."

Eric decided to change the subject because he had just then noticed that Riley was coming up the street looking happy as ever. "Here comes Riley. Now we can all decide what we're going to do next."

Riley walked over to the other three boys, and the first thing he said was, "Phew! I sure am tired. Let's take a break for just a little while. And it's getting pretty hot out here too. I think I need something to drink, maybe some lemonade. Hey, Eric, I'm running a little short on cash. Can I borrow a little bit?"

Eric shook his head, but then reached into his pocket before saying, "Here. Why don't you get some lemonade for all of us. I'm buying."

"Alright," said Riley. "Now who's going to come and help me? Sam, what about you?" He didn't ask Will because Will was engrossed in that strange looking flute of his. And Sam was usually eager to help whenever someone asked. Just as they were getting ready to leave there was an interruption.

"Allow me to introduce myself," exclaimed a greasy looking man that had just appeared before the four of them. He had slicked back black hair and a handlebar moustache. His clothing was colorful in a bad sort of way. He was thin, but he didn't look like he had ever missed any meals. He also had a sly grin on his face, and he looked at the four as if he had found fresh meat. "My name is Professor Moltavio, Organ Grinder extraordinaire! I would be happy to pay for your lemonade if one of you would so kindly help me set up my humble little booth."

Monday, November 21, 2011

At The Fair

Fair  Episode 2

The four young men were finally in the city for the first time ever! The sights and sounds of the summer fair were all around them. The four friends were having trouble deciding which way to go first. There were buildings all around them. But in between the buildings were wide open spaces made specifically for relaxation. There were fountains and statues everywhere. The streets seemed to be designed more for foot traffic than for any vehicles, even though they were plenty wide enough. The whole city seemed built to put a person at ease.

But the remarkable aspect of the city today was the fair. The summer fair covered the whole city. On every street there were vendors and booths selling every kind of trinket and gimmick that a person could think of. There were fancy rides like Ferris wheels, carrousels, and any other ride that you might imagine. There were jugglers and clowns roaming the streets. There was a big tent in one area with the sounds of exotic animals coming out from it. There was even a man leading a tiger down the street on a leash!

Riley, in his usual excited hurry, said, "Hey, let's get in line for something before it gets too long! If we go fast enough, we can do everything before nightfall!"Just then, from over on a stage a block away came a deafening noise! It sounded like a thousand donkeys braying at once. The friends all turned to see what was making this noise. It turned out to be four clowns all painted black and white. They were beating on some strange objects in their hands where the noise was coming from.

One of the clowns kept screaming about rolling a rock all night. Another one kept sticking his tongue out at the curious crowd that had gathered around them. The four boys were now part of that crowd. Will shouted, "Why are they making that awful racket, Eric!" Eric said nothing because he couldn't hear him, or anything else other than the clowns. The boys soon fled the scene for fear of their eardrums breaking because of the deafening caterwauling.

When they were clear enough to hear each other again, the boys decided that kind of stuff just wasn't for them. They passed many booths with games and many with food. It all had a price. Riley seemed to spend the money he had as fast as he could get it out of his pockets. The other boys were more conservative with their money. Eric finally spoke up and said, "Riley, you might want to be a little more careful so you don't run out of money too soon. You know we'll help you if that happens, but it might cut us all short. We don't want this to end too soon."

"I'm being careful," said Riley. "I won't run out of money. I brought a little extra that I'm saving for later. I just want to make sure that I get everything I want before we're done. We should hurry up though so we can see everything. I don't want to miss any of it!"

Will said, "Well, I'm not sharing any of my money with you! If you spend all of yours, then you can just suffer! I plan on saving mine for something real good. I don't know what it is yet, but I'll know when I see it. It'll be something that I can turn around and sell for even more. I'm going to make a fortune off of this place. Heck, I might even move here permanently when I make enough money!"

Just then the four heard a man shouting in their direction, "Hey you! Get over here!" It was a man from one of the gaming booths trying to make money off of them. They all laughed at his attempt to intimidate them into playing his game and turned to go see the other sights. Just then Eric noticed that Sam wasn't with them anymore. He turned to see Sam standing in front of that rude vendor that they had laughed at a minute ago. Sam was handing him money.

Eric and the others ran over to where Sam was, but it was already too late. The man had the money and Sam had already begun playing the game. The game wasn't very good, but they waited for Sam to get done so at least he got what he paid for. Eric flashed the man a dirty look, but the man just quickly turned away. Eric finally looked at Sam and said, "Why'd you come over here and give this creep your money?"

"I didn't know what else to do," said Sam. "He was yelling at me, and I thought I did something wrong, so I came over here because he told me to. When he said to give him the money to play the game I figured I had to do it, so I did what he told me."

A little exasperated, Eric said, "Next time somebody does something like that, you ask me what to do, okay? These guys will do anything to get your money from you. They'll beg you for it. They'll yell at you, like that jerk did. And some will even try to steal it from you. So you stick close to us so we can all protect each other, right?" Sam nodded gratefully, and the incident was finished.

Eric pointed over to a table with some chairs and said, "Hey guys, it's almost noon. Why don't we take a break for a few minutes. Maybe we'll get some lunch before we go on. We've still got a long day ahead, and it's time to stop for now and decide our next move."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Going To The Fair

Fair  Episode 1

High on the tallest building in the center of a small city sat a little blue bird. From up here on this edifice of glass and steel the city could be seen stretched out for miles around. The bird wasn't high up enough for the people to look like the size of ants, but they were too far down to see faces. But the little blue bird seemed happy to spend this short rest up here on this bright sunny day tweeting its happy little song with no care for the sights and sounds coming from all around in the city below.

Suddenly the little bird leaped off the top of the small skyscraper and flew to the southwest across the city. It zoomed above seemingly endless rows of more buildings of glass and steel. Each one had its own unique, but still angular shape. There were also wider open places between the buildings in the city with statues that the bird was happy to ignore. It's destination was beyond this silvery city.

As the little blue bird flew on, the number of buildings began to diminish, replaced with smaller structures in some places, and just empty fields in others. The roads turned from concrete to gravel to dirt. The bird began to fly a little lower above one road, following it out of the city. There were four human figures walking along the road in the opposite direction. The bird swooped down toward them for a closer look before it flew off into the distant countryside.

Four young men who still had the look of boys were walking side by side towards the city. Each one had a wide eyed look of wonder on his face, especially when looking at the city. One of them, a young man named Riley, looked over to another and said, "Wow! That bird sure was in a hurry. Maybe we should get moving too. Do you think the fair will be everything they all say, Eric?"

Eric turned and said, "I hope so, but most people exaggerate. We might be just a little disappointed, but I'm sure it'll still be good. Remember though that we should try to act like this isn't our first time in the city. We were already told that some people might try and take advantage of us. Well, I don't have to tell you guys. I guess I'm just trying to reassure myself. Right, Sam?"

Sam was the smallest of the four, and he usually stuck close to Eric for protection. Other people tended to pick on Sam because of his small size. He could handle himself sometimes, but his three friends, especially Eric, were better protection than just himself. "Uh, yeah. That sure is a pretty big city though," said Sam in a shaky voice. "I bet there are a lot of people there."

"There are a lot of bigger cities than this one," bragged the fourth young man, Will. "I've heard this is just a hick city that barely registers on the map! Hah! We only graduated a week ago, and we'll own this place before it's time to go back home! I'll be king of the summer fair! What do ya think of that?"

The boys all laughed as they continued their trek towards the city. As they got closer they began to hear the commotion of crowds of people and the sounds of happy music. That last bit was coming from the summer fair that the city held every year. The fair was a way to give everyone a break from the hard work of the rest of the year. Every year people came to the fair from all over the countryside. These particular young men, who were still really just boys, didn't know yet that maybe they weren't really ready for the fair.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Unwritten

A story that is so horrible it can never be told. That is what I have in my head. It is an evil prophecy of doom with a sinister life of its own. And telling it would only lead to disaster. This festering story that I hold in my mind is my burden, and my burden alone to keep. The only thing that could ever come of revealing it would be a deep horror and resentment that could never be forgotten.

It all began in one shockingly ghastly dream I had as a child. Many of my stories are inspired by dreams. Ask any author, and you'll discover that many of them are inspired by their dreams. Dreams can be a very powerful inspiration for artists of all kinds. But it's the nightmares that are the most interesting. The most inspirational are the worst kind of nightmares, the ones that seem so real while they are happening, and you remember so vividly even after you awake. But this one went even beyond that.

I still remember it all as if it had all happened only the night before. I knew upon waking that this was not just some ordinary nightmare. I knew this dream was to become reality. What a horrible thing for a ten year old boy to know. It was a prophecy of death and destruction the likes of which no human being had ever seen! This dream dealt a very horrible and specific tragedy in particular for one person that I know very well.

Do I tell this person what I saw? Can I give a warning that will prevent these events from coming to pass? The appalling answer to that is a clear and definite, "No!" I know better than anything else I have ever before known that telling this person will only lead to their destruction ever more swiftly! The only thing that will keep this person safe for as long as possible is for me to keep silent and to maintain my secret affliction. And how could I be so monstrous as to try to transfer this burden on to another?

And what of the world? Do I try to warn the rest of the world of a massive cataclysm? Would anybody listen, or would they think of it as the rantings of a madman? I think I know the answer to that. And how would I give that warning without giving away the part about that person who is so close to me? It would all be for nothing except more pain for me, ridicule from outside, and more pain and resentment from a person that I know.

The only thing left to do is to keep my mouth shut, and to never give away any more than I have already told. This torturous burden is only for me to have to bear, and I know I can never share it. It is the weight of the world, and the fate of a friend. But I'm tired. How can I keep it to myself any longer? If you had such a horrible burden, what would you do?

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Good Night

A Haunted Soul  Episode 9

A new night, but everything was different. The ghost was thinking back on the events of the previous night. He remembered trying to save the woman from drowning, and he remembered her death. She had become a ghost like him, and then she had wandered off into the night. He hadn't seen any sign of her tonight. He didn't know if she was still here or if she had somehow moved on to Heaven. It didn't matter to him anyway.

There was something different about tonight. The ghost wasn't sure what that was. He thought back on those long nights, years, and centuries of his captivity in this horrible limbo. It had all been so bad for him. All of the frantic searching was for nothing. He wondered how he had kept it up for so many hundreds of years.

But now he was finished. There would be no more searching for a way to Heaven. It was obvious to him now that the searching was all for naught. If he were meant to leave here then he would have left long ago. After searching for so long, he had just been trying to escape to anywhere out of here, it didn't matter where. But that had all changed for him now.

The prolonged pain and suffering, he realized now, was partially self inflicted. Maybe he could have spent his time with different pursuits. He knew that wouldn't have been much better, but it would have been better. He knew his time hadn't been wasted, but maybe it could have been served better. He decided that it was all going to change now.

He thought again to the previous night. When that new carriage had arrived, he thought it was a beast coming to drag him down to Hell. He realized that not every place would be preferable to his home here. After all, this was his home. Was there really any other place in the world that he'd rather be? Not likely.

The death of the woman was such a shock to him. He hadn't realized that he could be shocked anymore. Maybe he had been meant to help her all along. He hadn't saved her life, but he had eased her into her death. She had certainly had an easier time than he did. He was sure that she had needed it. The ghost hoped that she had made it into Heaven alright. He wondered what it was like.

It was at that moment that a strange feeling came over him. He could feel it in the pit of his stomach, and it began to radiate out to the rest of his body. It was the best feeling that he had ever had! It was. It was his salvation! Tears began to flow from his eyes! He knew! He was going to leave this place now! He was finally going to Heaven! The gateway was waiting for him at the big rock in front of the castle!

The ghost looked up as he walked back toward the castle. The full Moon hung low in the night sky, and it was so bright that it illuminated everything to make it seem as if it were day. The stars shined so clear and bright that they looked as if he could reach out and grab them. It was all together the most beautiful night sky he had ever seen. That's when he thought to himself, "This is a good night."

Good Night

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Death On The Grounds

A Haunted Soul  Episode 8

The poor ghost thought he was seeing a creature from Hell! It had two giant, round, white eyes that glowed so brightly in the night that they illuminated all that was around them. The creature growled and bellowed like the sound of a hundred angry wolves. The ghost was sure it was here to take him to that very worst of places. He had wanted to escape to the next life ever since his death so many hundred years ago, but he had never wanted this!

The creature had come in through the entry road through the forest, and it was coming closer and closer. The ghost knew he had done nothing so horrible to deserve a place in the netherworld, but this beast could only be here for one reason. The ghost was terrified, and he wanted to escape but had no idea where he could go.

But just as he was about to madly flee in terror, the creature stopped in its tracks, ceased its noise, and closed those horrible bright eyes tightly shut. It was then that he saw them. There were people getting out of the beast! The ghost then realized that this was no beast at all. It was really some sort of carriage with a monstrous animal caged inside to pull it around. He wondered how they pacified the creature to make it stop.

The presence of the people made the ghost's curiosity now outweigh his fear of the beast. After all, it wasn't often that he had gotten visitors over these long centuries. The last had come well over a hundred years ago. And he cherished every moment when he could overhear their conversations, even if none of them had ever known he was there. So he decided to walk over and see why these people had come to his castle.

The people had stopped in the same spot near the edge of the forest where most others had always seemed to prefer. The ghost wondered why nobody ever went to the castle. He had overheard it each time that this was because they said someone had seen a ghost out here on the grounds. He wondered who this someone was, because if that person saw him then why did he never find that one here. The people would come, camp for the night, see nothing, and leave the next day. It all seemed pointless.

As the ghost eavesdropped on the conversation of these new people, things seemed to go about the same as the other times. There were five in this group this time, three men and two women. The people mentioned how long it had taken to get here, as usual. The ghost didn't care. They spent the same time as others had, talking about nonsense around the campfire. None of this was holding any interest for the ghost. But then he noticed something odd.

One young woman who was sitting a little bit apart from the others kept looking in his direction. The ghost had the odd impression that she was in fact looking at him. This was more than a little unsettling to the ghost because no one had ever done this before. He decided to test this, so he moved to another spot. Sure enough, she was now looking in the direction of his new position!

The ghost had not been able to communicate with a living person for several centuries now, so he wasn't sure exactly what he should do next. He decided that maybe he should think about this for a few minutes, so he turned and walked away from the group. What he didn't notice was that the strange woman had gotten up and walked away from the group as well.

When he finally looked up, he noticed that the woman had wandered out into the darkness near his location, but more closely to the swampy area of the lake. There was no way her friends would be able to see her out here unless they summoned their monster to open its eyes again. The ghost ran toward her as she approached the small foot bridge that crossed the suddenly deep area of the edge of the lake.

The bridge was here for two reasons. The first was to serve as a nice observation platform. but the real reason was because there were many dangerous deep holes under the water in this area. One misstep could be very dangerous for an unwary person. And it was now the darkest time of the night. The woman had no idea how much danger she was in.

The ghost had only looked away for a second. But when he looked up again, there was no sign of the woman. What had happened to her? The ghost had a sick feeling in his stomach. He knew just where to look. As he got closer, his fears were confirmed. He found her floating on her back just a foot under the water. Her long dark curly hair was floating out straight in every direction. The woman appeared to be unconscious.

Panicked beyond all rational thought, the ghost quickly reached down into the water and pulled the woman out! As he set her down on dry land, he realized just what he had done. The ghost looked back into the water and dropped to his knees.  The woman's body was still floating there in the water at the edge of the lake. She was dead! What he had pulled from the water was her ghost!

He looked back over to the woman he had pulled from the water. She was now standing there staring off into the darkness with no expression on her face at all. In a panic, the ghost turned back to the corpse floating in the water and then looked back up at the ghost woman. He just stared up at her dumbly as she wandered over to a big stone that marked the place where the road turned to lead up to the castle. There she sat down.

Finally the ghost got up and ran over to her and hysterically yelled, "You're dead! I think you fell into the water over there and drowned!"

The woman dully looked up at him as if seeing him for the first time and blinked. "Oh. Uh, yes, that's what happened. I think I slipped on a slippery rock or something," she said listlessly.

"But you're dead! Don't you care?", the ghost yelled again. "What about your friends! They'll be looking for you!" The ghost had no idea what to do. He felt as if this was the worst thing that had ever happened.

The woman answered with a far off expression to her voice, "I guess my friends will eventually find my body in the lake. Maybe they won't. Does it matter?"

The ghost was finally calming down, but only slightly. He was now remembering that he had similar feelings at the point of his own death as the woman now seemed to be experiencing. "Well, I don't really know what to do for you," he said in a quiet voice that trembled just a bit too much. "I've been dead and stuck here for several hundred years. I don't know if it will be the same for you or not. But you can go anywhere here on the castle grounds that you like. The castle is over there if you'd like that better."

"Oh yes, I know all about you. We came here looking for you, but I guess that's all over with now," said the woman.

With those words the woman got up and wandered toward the castle and into the night. The ghost just stood there watching. He really didn't know what to do. He felt horrible for the woman, even though she didn't seem to care. He heard one of her friends call out to her. The search had now begun. Even though something very significant had happened, the ghost knew that very soon morning would be coming and he would disappear once again.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Lake

A Haunted Soul Episode 7

I am a ghost who has nobody to haunt. A lost soul. I was once the lord of the castle that lies in the near distance behind me. But that doesn't matter now because I have been dead for hundreds of years. I was here throughout the years as the castle slowly emptied, then filled again, then emptied once more. I have received very few real visitors over the years, and none of them could see or hear me. The only one I've had to talk to over these long and lonely centuries is myself.

I wish I could one day see the light of the day once again. My only existence is at night, and I fade away right before dawn every morning. It has been like this every night since my murder so very long ago. My many conversations over the years have sometimes been long and painful because the only one who answers is me. And, yes, I do answer myself! Sometimes I imagine that I am two halves of the same person.

"But why do you do that?"

"Because it is better this way! Don't you see? Now there is always a person for me to talk to, even if you do always float over my shoulder in that annoying fashion!"

"That is not my fault! There is nowhere else for me to go! And stop speaking French all the time! It bothers me when you do that!"

"You are speaking French too. Stop and listen to yourself. We both speak the same language. It's the only way we can communicate."

"Okay, I will just stop talking then!"

This is what I have to put up with. Not only can I not find my way out of the castle grounds, I think this long loneliness has driven me ever so slightly mad. My search for a way out of here began that first night when my expected gateway to Heaven never showed up. At the very least I was disappointed. Devastated would be more accurate though. But I've determined that if I can get off the castle grounds then I may somehow be able to get to the long awaited paradise of the afterlife.

If not for this bothersome barrier that surrounds this place! My home has become my prison! There is no way out through the trees that line the sides of the estate. The barrier is very solid there, I know very well. But the lake out at the front of the grounds is where it becomes interesting. There is a soft spot. It is in the swampy area just to the side of the little observation bridge. You actually have to go into the water to find it, but it is there.

I can't go in very far because the water is very deep in some places. And the barrier does eventually stop me right at the point where I would be under water. I can't exactly explain the soft spot very well. It just feels different to me. Soft. There is just something different about that place. I have the strangest feeling that the exit to my prison might be there. One of these nights I will solve the mystery of the soft spot in the lake.

Monday, September 5, 2011


I'll be offline for about a month, but my stories here will continue. I just won't be able to respond to comments like I usually do, and I won't be able to visit any other blogs. Please continue to read and comment though. When I come back I'll be able to give your comments the attention they deserve. I've given a more thorough explanation for my absence over at my other blog The Everyday Adventurer. I hope to be back here soon.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Visitors

A Haunted Soul  Episode 6

Wandering around the grounds of an old abandoned castle is no way to spend eternity. That's exactly what the ghost of the castle lord was thinking. How long had it been? The ghost imagined that he must have been dead now for close to two hundred very long years, but he was not at all sure about that. He had no idea why he had been stranded out here; he just wanted to find a way out.

He was prepared for another night of his long search for a possible gateway to a Heaven he wasn't sure existed anymore when he heard a commotion in the distance behind him. The ghost turned to the direction of the entrance road to see a sight he hadn't seen since before his death. A small wagon pulled by two horses was coming out of the forest along the castle road. Visitors!

The ghost excitedly waved and called out to them, "Hello!" But then he remembered that nobody could see or hear him; he was a ghost now. Even as the realization of that hit him, he decided it didn't matter at all right now. There were not only people here; they were awake in the middle of the night. He could see and hear them. He now had a reprieve from his long suffered loneliness!

There was no time to waste. The ghost began running towards the distantly approaching wagon so he could get a better look at these wonderful people. As he got closer he could make out two men in the front and a man and a woman in the back of the wagon. For some reason the wagon began slowing down well before the turn in the road though. They were stopping too soon. Would they turn around and leave right after their arrival?

He had to get a closer look before they left! The lonely ghost needed to see some actual living breathing people! He felt as if this was maybe his last chance at maintaining his slipping sanity. As he got closer he realized that the wagon wasn't turning to leave. It was stopping! This was becoming a very curious situation. And the ghost was completely ecstatic.

As the ghost got closer, the four people were getting down from the wagon. The ghost never wanted this night to end. He finally had company! He heard them speaking to each other. "...sure is a lot farther to get here than those townspeople said it would be, Arnaud," said one man. The one named Arnaud turned to the other as he was taking some supplies down from the cart, "Well, the town used to be closer, and to the north of here. Old habits don't die easily, even if they are a few hundred years old."

The ghost thought about that one. His town! It had actually moved to a new place! And he now had confirmation that he had been here more than two hundred years! He found it all so very hard to comprehend, but he had to believe this because the thought of it was all he had now. The ghost wondered what else these four people might have to say.

Arnaud turned to the third man, who had been keeping to himself this whole time, and said, "Corbin, have you sensed him out here at all yet?" The ghost had no idea what they meant by that.

"No, they told me that he haunts out here on the castle grounds, so I know we're in the right place. If the old ghost is out here anywhere I'm sure I'll find something by the end of the night," said Corbin.

"What about inside the castle," said man number two.

Corbin looked at him and said, "The townspeople specifically said that he has never been seen in there. If you want to go in and look, then go ahead. But I'm staying out here where the ghost is sure to be."

The ghost had now heard another revelation! They knew he was here! He now thought that maybe he wasn't so alone after all. He hurried over to Corbin and reached out in an attempt to touch him, but as he guessed, his hands passed right through him. He waved his hands in Corbin's face, and then shouted to him over and over again, "Corbin! Corbin! I am right here!" But Corbin gave no reaction to him at all. His hopes were dashed, but he at least he still had this moment with these people.

The ghost watched as they slowly finished unpacking the wagon and setting up their little camp. The woman made a fire and began cooking something over it. The ghost didn't care what it was. The four people talked throughout the night of similar things, and a few other things. They thought Corbin would somehow sense his presence, but he never did. It was like this for the rest of the night.

It seemed to the ghost as if only a very little time had passed when he realized the night was growing short. He wished he could stay here with these people forever like this, but he knew that even this would grow tiring eventually because they couldn't see or hear him. Soon after this thought the ghost lifted up his arm and noticed something he had never bothered with before.

As he was looking at his hand, he saw it begin to fade away. He was disappearing along with the night once again. His hand disappeared, then his arm, and up and up it went until the ghost faded away altogether. Daylight was coming, and it was time for the ghost to be gone until next time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lonely In The Fog

A Haunted Soul  Episode 5

How could this have happened to me? I did the things I was supposed to do in my life. Then I was murdered and left stranded here in this horrible limbo of searching outside the castle each night after night, after night. This is just not fair! The nights, years, and decades that have now passed since this first happened have been long and agonizing. And yet I'm still stranded here in this horrible place I once called home!

Each long night is the same as the one before, and the one before that! My time has consisted solely of this endless searching for some way out of this. How long has it been? I'm not really sure anymore. My time here has been so long. I know it has now been several generations, but I'm just not sure how many. I suspect my sanity may have slipped away from me long ago because of this horrible lonely searching, but who am I to say?

And now on top of it all, the night is miserably foggy once again. I never used to care about bad weather, but that was before I had to wander around outside at night in the middle of the fog so many many times. Even though I am now just a disembodied spirit I still feel the cold, and I feel the damp clammy air. I can't see the sky and the stars, and I can barely see my arms out in front of me. I hate this!

I do know it has been a very long time now that I've been out here searching for any sign that might lead me to Heaven. I paid attention to events around me for the first several years, but it soon became tiresome. Nothing significant ever really changed for me. The only thing that changed were the people in the castle, and they didn't even know I was here.

The few friends and family I had have now long since died of old age. I didn't really know my family very well anyway, but a few of my servants were very dear to me. I have always suspected though that it was a family member who had me assassinated. But now even that doesn't matter because that person, whoever they might have been, is long since dead and gone. And none of them are out here with me!

Even the castle is empty now. Apparently the last of my murderer's heirs have died out. Either that or no heir thought my castle was good enough for them. The whole bunch have no honor anyway. Who will take care of the town now? I wonder what has become of it. Maybe one of these nights somebody will come back to the castle. And wouldn't it be wonderful if somebody could see me? I know that will never happen though. I wish it could.

I haven't had anyone to talk to since before my death. I'm not even sure anymore what I might say to someone. "Hello, I'm a miserable ghost. What about you?" I guess I always have myself to talk to, but all I have for myself are questions. It took many years, but I began asking myself if I did something to deserve this foul imprisonment.

I wondered if maybe I had been a bad person in life. I always felt as if I did the things I was supposed to do, but what if I didn't? Was I a cruel master to my people? I never thought I was, but what did the people think? The town was always prosperous under my rule. The people never went hungry or needed anything more. I always made it a point to visit them at least once a month to check.

One thing I liked to do was to pick a townsman to go hunting with me. There I would always treat him as an equal, and we would have the best time both of us had ever had before. I did this for two reasons. One was to show the people what kind of person I was. Two was to find out personally how my people were doing. But there was another reason. I was lonely, and I wanted a friend. That old loneliness was nothing compared to this hell that I now exist in.

I wish I could visit my town now and check on the people. I worry about them still, even though I must admit that my search is my overwhelmingly primary worry. But it's not as if I'm going anywhere. Out in this fog I'd get lost if I tried. I hate fog. I can't see the sky. I want to look up and see the shining stars, but this horrible fog is clinging to everything, even my lonely lost soul. This is a bad night!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Endless Searching

A Haunted Soul  Episode 4

The ghost found himself sitting on the same boulder where he appeared at the beginning of each night since his death. It never mattered where he was at the end of the night before when he disappeared. He always reappeared at this same spot every time. He was sure now that this must be a definite sign that his search for the afterlife must be here outside the castle.

He began to look around him for a clue to a possible gateway or something that might lead him to the promised great beyond. From his perch on the boulder in front of the castle he examined the cobblestone road leading straight from the castle doors and out towards the lake in the distant front. At the lake the road made an abrupt turn to the right and went on out through the forest at the side.

On each side of the grounds was the edge of the forest, which had a neatly lined border of trees. When he was alive the ghost would go through the forest to the left to get to the place where he would go fishing and hunting. Those were his two favorite pastimes. He would usually go hunting with a group of men he would choose for each trip. That would include a few of his favorite servants and a randomly chosen man from the town. He did this so he might get to know some of these people better.

But fishing. Fishing was his, and his alone. He remembered how he loved to go out to the small river that emptied into the lake and just sit there alone for a whole day by himself. That seemed like heaven to him. All of his cares and worries were left behind. He would go there whenever he wasn't busy... Wait! Heaven?

That could be it! Maybe the gateway to Heaven was in his favorite place! That must be it! The ghost laughed out loud with joy. It made so much sense that his favorite place would be where he would find the passageway to the afterlife. He immediately hopped down off the big rock and ran to the small pathway that lead into the forest on the left. He just knew that he was finally going to leave this state of limbo behind!

As he got to the edge of the forest, the ghost ran right into something soft and invisible, and he fell down backwards. He decided that he must have hit a tree branch or something. He stood back up and cautiously walked back towards the forest edge, this time holding his arms out to feel for anything that might be in his way. When he got back to the edge he felt something soft in the air once again. This was no tree branch.

The ghost felt something like a soft cushion right in midair. It felt as if the air had turned thick. He pushed further and the resistance slowly increased. The further he went, the stronger it got. It was some sort of invisible barrier. He quickly realized that he could not push through this barrier. The path was barred to him.

He thought the solution to this would be easy. He would just step aside and get to the path from a few paces to the side. He began to step, feeling for the edge of the barrier. He thought it should stop here any time now. But it didn't. He soon realized that the barrier was completely barring his way.

The ghost looked up to the sky and howled, "No!!! There must be a way! I have to get out of here! I don't deserve this!" He turned and quickly ran up and down the line of the forest, looking for a place where the barrier would end. But it went on for the whole distance of the castle grounds.

The barrier was also on the other side where the road went out through the forest. There was no way out for him. The lake bordered the front of the castle grounds, so there was no way out that way either. He had been worried before, but now the ghost was very upset and afraid. He had waited patiently for some sign of Heaven, but there was nothing. He was stranded here in this state of limbo and he didn't know why. Now he just wanted to get out. He felt as if his salvation depended upon his escape. He had to keep searching.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Haunting The Castle

A Haunted Soul  Episode 3

The ghost took his first steps into the castle and immediately felt a sense of revulsion. Even though this had been his beloved home, he had the strong feeling that he didn't belong here now. That didn't matter right now because he was in search of the passageway to the next life, which he seemed to have somehow missed. Now he was stuck here in what he considered to be an inbetween limbo.

He was assuming that the way to Heaven must be around here somewhere, so he had to begin searching. He knew that being a ghost who only existed at night was not a good way to spend the afterlife. And he thought that inside his home was the place he should begin his search. But the castle now seemed to be dark and uninviting.

As he moved on through the large dark halls, he found himself at the place where it had happened. He remembered that he had just returned from a fishing trip and had been walking contentedly to his rooms when he saw the first strange man walking toward him. That's when he knew it was all over.

A second man quickly joined the first. And when he was grabbed from behind by a third person, the first two quickly converged on him. It was only a matter of seconds before he felt the knife slide into his belly. He wondered how he could have let his guard down like this; how he could have been so foolish. And now he was dead.

The ghost hated remembering that last part of his life. Oh, he had always fully expected to be assassinated, most likely by a family member seeking their fortune. That's what happened to many castle lords. But he had never liked laying too many restrictions on his family, so he had no idea what trickery they might be up to. It really wasn't his murder that he had a problem with. It was the treacherous way they did it. They did not follow proper protocol! Anyone in his position would understand that. It made him so angry!

He was now at the door to his rooms. He had already learned that he could pass right through doors or anything else that could open and close, so he stepped right through. Here he discovered that his rooms were already being emptied of their contents! He wondered why so soon.This just wasn't proper! There was supposed to be a bit longer period of mourning for a castle lord before changes were made. The culprit was being really vicious about all of it.

Finding nothing else of interest, and no heavenly passageway, the ghost quickly left his rooms to go search other parts of the castle. He thought maybe he would go to the other side of the castle where the quarters of his family members were. He would most likely visit his cousin's quarters first. He knew him the best out of all of his family. He wished sometimes that he had gotten to know some of them better, but this just wasn't done. A lord had much more important things to do.

When he got to his cousin's rooms, he found him and his small family all fast asleep. The ghost tried his best to make his presence known to them, but he found that it just wasn't possible. None could see or hear him, and he could not interact with any object that a living person could move. The ghost found the same results in the rooms of all of his family members. He was beginning to wish there might be someone to talk to in this place that he was quickly beginning to hate.

After visiting some of his advisers and then some of his closer servants, he discovered that it was the same with all of them too. He could not communicate with any of them, no matter what he tried. There was absolutely nothing he could do. All the while he felt this terrible aversion to the inside of the castle. At first he had thought it was the place of his murder that he disliked so much, but it was the whole castle. He wanted out of here, and he wanted it the longer he was here.

Discovering not even the smallest clue to the next life, or maybe even the end of his last, he decided that he could take it no longer, and he left the castle. He exited through the front door and went back out to the boulder that he seemed to have now adopted as his waiting place. There was nothing in there for him. The past really didn't matter anyway. He just wanted to move on to the next life. He felt he deserved to move on, so he wondered why he was still here!

He was now coming to the conclusion that something had gone terribly wrong. He thought he should have moved on to Heaven that first night of his death, but instead he was left stranded out on this rock in the middle of the night. Why him? He wondered if he had done something wrong in his life. If he had done something so horrible, wouldn't he have gone to Hell?

The ghost sat there on that very spot until both he and another night faded away with the dawn once again.

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Lost Soul

A Haunted Soul  Episode 2

So here I am once again, waiting to go to Heaven. How did it come to this? I waited patiently the night before, and nothing came as the night slowly passed. I just knew after finding myself out here last night that it would surely come quickly.

How could a person such as me who lived what I thought was a good and decent life not be quickly transported to the next life? Last night nothing had come for me though. No shining doorway. No celestial stairway. No beloved ancestors to guide the way. Nothing. And now I sit here on the second night of my death, confused but still waiting.

Hmm, maybe I'm in the wrong place. Am I supposed to go somewhere else? I stayed out here in front of the castle, sitting on this boulder. I thought this was where I should be because it was the place I appeared when I awoke to this limbo existence after I was murdered. I assumed I should stay right where I was. After all, I didn't want to miss the big event.

But maybe I should be somewhere else. I hope I'm not too late. Surely the way to Heaven will appear for me again if I missed it. It surely would have waited if I weren't there to meet it anyway. Ha! That must be it! So I'll search for the right place to be since I so obviously must not be there now. That must be the answer.

I really am not sure where I should begin my search. Would the passageway to Heaven be out here in the night? Or maybe it will be inside the castle itself. This is a mystery I'll have to ponder for a few minutes. Where will I search? Are there any clues? I don't know of any.

An odd thought has occurred to me. No, it couldn't be! Maybe I was somehow forgotten. Maybe Heaven won't be coming. What will happen to me?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Waiting For Heaven

A Haunted Soul  Episode 1

I was murdered last night. Does it really matter how, or even why? The only thing that interests me at all right now is that I'll be going to Heaven soon. There will be a shimmering doorway, or perhaps a stairway into the sky. Maybe one of my old loved ones or an angel will come for me. However it is, it's going to be wonderful. It should happen any time now.

You know, death wasn't necessarily like I expected it to be. What I mean is, I didn't really know what to expect. After they killed me I found myself sitting here on this big stone outside the front of the castle. I have a sense of the passage of some hours, but I don't know how I got here. Should I?

The only thing that bothers me is how it was done. Oh, I fully expected that someone wanted to assassinate me. It's standard procedure in families of my stature. But they did it all wrong. You have to pay attention to protocol. There are ways of doing these things that show respect to your victim, and then there was the way they did it to me. Anyone can understand.

I do have to say that they completely caught me off guard. I had just gotten back from a fishing trip, which was one of my favorite activities by the way, and I was heading to my rooms to get a good night sleep. From around a corner in the hallway stepped a man I had never seen before. I could tell right then by the look in his eyes exactly what he was up to. As a matter of fact, I chuckled at my own foolishness for letting my guard down.

As the man sauntered toward me I prepared for a fight, but I had no chance because he was soon joined by a few of of his friends. One of them caught me from behind, and it was all too soon over with. I really should have known better than to let this happen, but how did I know they would play it so dirty? It was just not right!

But that's all over with now. That life is all in the past for me. I'll soon be in Heaven, and everything will be more wonderful than I could have ever hoped for in my previous life. I'm just sitting here on this boulder in the middle of the night waiting for it to happen. It should be coming along any time now. Any time.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Ghostly Figure

So there I was in the middle of a good night sleep when I had this nightmare. For me it was almost a standard bad dream where I was being chased by a supernatural creature of some kind. The creature this time happened to be a classic ghost. You know, the kind that looks like a guy wearing a white sheet.

I remember running and running to get away. But no matter how fast I went, the ghost was at least as fast as I was! The dream seemed to go on for ages. It's rough when you are so afraid and you just can't seem to get away from that fear. But in the end the dream finally faded, and I was back in normal sleep.

But soon after, I was dreaming again. I dreamed I was lying in my own bed asleep. I dreamed that I awoke and opened my eyes to see a terrifying figure hovering over me. The figure was about seven feet tall, much too thin to be human, and was wearing a long white sheet! The ghost was back! It terrified me so much that I instantly and finally awoke from my sleep.

Now I was really awake, lying there and a little bit afraid to open my eyes. I told myself that it had all been nothing but a bad dream, but I knew that it had seemed so real. The only thing to do was open my eyes to reassure myself that there was no ghost there.

I opened my eyes, and the ghost was still there! It was less that a second when the ghost swooped down towards me! I closed my eyes tightly and my hands reflexively flew up in front of me for protection! But nothing came.

I laid there in that exact position for what seemed like hours. My heart was pounding in my chest so hard that I thought I was going to die! I could actually feel the strong, solid beating with my hands! Ba bump, ba bump, ba bump! I was too afraid to look once more.

I let the time pass some more until my heart slowed enough to where I thought the ghost might not give me a heart attack. finally, I opened my eyes once more. The ghost was gone. It was as if it were never there at all.

I quickly got out of bed and checked the entire room for anything out of the ordinary, but found nothing at all, except my own terrified reflection in the mirror. I never saw the ghost again after that, but I have always wondered if that last part was real or just a very real dream. I guess I'll never know.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mr. Sunshine's Dilemma

The odd little man was seeing the strange images again. He had told them when he was in the mental institution that he no longer saw them, but that was a lie so they would let him out. He thought about it now that he was free, and realized his statement was actually partially true. At the time, he didn't see the little oddities as much as he used to because he had learned to ignore them, but now they were back stronger than ever.

Just a little while ago as he had looked up at a painting on the wall of his small apartment, it began to do some very strange and disturbing things. It was the image of a woman. He began to notice that it was moving; swaying gently from side to side. The colors began to swirl and get darker. The woman looked down at him and began to speak. "Come a little closer, Mr. Sunshine," she said in a teasing, but almost seductive manner as her clothing and skin began to melt away. Mr. Sunshine was the name the workers in the mental institution had begun calling him to make fun of him.

He watched in a silent demented interest as each layer oozed from the woman until she was only a skeleton, still beckoning to him. Any fear he might have didn't last long because he knew it was just an illusion that his fractured mind had created. This was how it happened on almost every occasion; inanimate objects giving him a horror show. He was mostly used to it after all this time. He knew that he wasn't really quite sane. But knowing was enough for him to want to be free of institutional confinement. He could function just fine in society as long as he ignored these horrible visions. And he couldn't let anyone else know what he saw.

But now there was a new problem. He was watching the news on television when an urgent report came in. It was straight out of a horror movie. The anchorman claimed the dead were walking and eating human flesh! They even showed footage! This wasn't the kind of craziness that had happened to him before, so he wasn't quite sure what to make of it. His insanity had always been very consistent. It was always the inanimate! This new event was very different. Was this real?

So he decided to change the channels and find out if there was more. Sure enough, on the next channel they were showing shambling zombies chasing screaming people, and the news person was on the verge of panic. She said the zombies were overrunning the city! The woman continued on, saying everyone should take cover in their homes.

His twisted mind didn't know what to make of this new development. He wondered if this was just a new aspect of his insanity or if it was the outside world that was going crazy. He wasn't sure at all if this was something he should ignore, or if he should prepare to defend himself. If it was real he would have to protect himself from flesh eating zombies. But what to do if it was only his own warped imagination?

He thought about the rifle he had secretly bought a few days ago, and he wondered what he should do. What should he do!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Bedroom Window

You turn out the light and lay down for a good night sleep. You never suspect what might be there, lurking and waiting. What would you do if you knew that it was only a few steps away? Something watching your every move.

Do you feel its eyes on you? Where do you think it is? What is it? Are you all alone? Heh, you're not scared. Things like the supernatural have never bothered you. Shadowy figures never held any interest in your thoughts. After all, you're an adult now. You can drift off to a good night sleep without any fear of the night.

But wait! You are startled from your sleep by a sound at the window! Do you dare go and check? Go ahead. Pull back the curtains and look out. What will you find there? Will there be a face looking back in at you? Or will you be met by an intense darkness that hides the things that exist in the night?

How will you do it? Will you rip the curtain back as quick as you can to fool yourself into thinking you have no fear? What kind of shock will that bring when you so suddenly meet it face to face. Or will you pull the curtain back slowly to see it little by little? Maybe then it will know you're coming and prepare something especially hideous for you.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and do it. Do it! Look out your bedroom window. Maybe you'll be one of the lucky ones.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Light From Above

“Then I began to see, I just needed to believe in me.”

Many years had gone by in the boy’s life, and he was now a young man. He had lost most of his confidence after the demon hag had so convincingly threatened his mother’s life. And now, several years later, nothing in his life ever seemed to go right for him. The hag’s evil oppression seemed to be slowly destroying him.

He no longer wondered what he was going to do about the evil visitations or any of his other problems. He just accepted that they were never going to end. The hag never followed up on the threats to his family, and the young man knew that she really didn’t need to anyway. He felt as if he was already beaten and there was no longer any hope for him whatsoever. He was tired. He was tired of everything.

The hag had recently come back out of his dreams to terrorize him in the waking world once again. The young man knew that her power was growing stronger, and it meant that this was now the darkest time of his life. After washing his hands in the bathroom sink, he looked up into the mirror almost expecting to see the hag looking back at him, but he only saw his own sad face.

He was remembering his recent discovery that years ago his aunt had buried a Ouija board in the basement of the house he now lived in. His mother had always told him and his siblings to stay away from Ouija boards because they were evil. The young man wished they could dig it up and get rid of it, but there was really no hope of ever finding it. He had the strangest feeling that it had a strong connection to the hag.

With that thought he shook himself out of his daydream, then opened the bathroom door and stepped out into the kitchen. He had only taken a few steps towards the living room when he heard the low ominous humming that he had heard so many other times. It was the sound that announced the hag’s coming. Within a second the lights dimmed down to nothing and he felt a strong pull towards the back door. She was back there!

A terror that he was being pulled toward an eternal hell immediately overwhelmed the young man. He immediately went to his hands and knees trying to claw his way towards the living room as he had feebly done so many times before. So many times. It never seemed to end. As he slowly crawled, trying to overcome the strange pull, he wondered if this would keep happening for the rest of his life. He was so tired of this. And he knew that his destination held no safety for him. What was the use in this?

It was about the time that he got about a foot from the doorway to the living room that his defeated thoughts changed in a small way. He was tired of all of this. Tired of the evil games. Tired of so much fear. He knew this would never end, so he wondered why he was fleeing in terror? He was a man! He wasn’t going to face this on his knees any longer! With that thought, he leaped to his feet and spun around! He was going to face his fears!

Now facing the back of the house with all fear forgotten, in a fit of righteous anger he began to march purposefully towards the back door to confront the waiting demon. And then, as if it was always supposed to happen, after only a few steps toward his destination something miraculous happened!

It was as if time had slowed to a crawl. A sparkling bluish white light poured down from above and into the young man through the top of his head. With that light came a knowledge and power the likes no other human being could have ever known. The young man at once felt as if he knew everything! Happiness and joy now filled every part of him. He knew his anger, contrary to what he had always been taught, was right now a very good thing. And he also knew exactly what he had to do now.

The glorious blue-white light now filled and surrounded him so much that it radiated out from every part of him and ate away the darkness beyond. He resumed his purposeful march to the back door and the darkness beyond in the back room where he knew the demonic hag now hid. Quickly reaching the door, he threw it open and took a firm step into the darkness!

The young man now filled with the fury from a lifetime of torture looked into the darkness where he knew the hag was hiding. There in the farthest corner of the pitch black darkness of the room he found the hag. She was crouched down in terror against the wall; the same position she had terrified his little sister into so many years ago. He felt her overwhelming fear of him oozing out from her like a dark fog. It came up against his powerful light of good and overwhelmed into nothingness. The young man knew in that moment that he could destroy this evil creature with only a touch, but he also knew that what he was to do now would be far more effective.


As the last of his words jumped from his lips, the darkness in the room began to lift, and the light that illuminated him now shined into every corner. There was no sign of the hag. She was gone, and he knew in the deepest part of his heart that she would never return. The young man had finally faced his fears, and he had won! He felt a triumph that he had never known before in his young life. He knew the hag would bother him no more. He never had to be afraid again, because he was free! As he turned to go tell his family, he realized he was now feeling a sense of great relief because his lifelong ordeal was over. It was finally over!

The End

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A Threat Of Death

“Don’t close your eyes, don’t sing your last lullaby.”
Kix – Don’t Close Your Eyes

Several years had passed now since the demonic hag had come to the front door and frightened the children. The boy was now in his middle teen years and closer to being an adult than he was the very little boy that the hag had first visited. The visits had never stopped, but something about that front door incident had changed things.

Oh sure, the hag was still coming to the boy, but the terrifying visits were now in his dreams instead of the waking world. The boy guessed early on that her failure at the front door must have weakened her in some way. He just wished he knew how it was done. Maybe this was the way to finally get rid of her altogether.

The fact that she was now only in his dreams was no relief. Oh, far from it. The hag’s threats and evil promises made him as afraid as ever in the waking world because, even though she wasn’t in the waking world now, she knew things and seemed to be able to affect things there. But even though this torment seemed to be never ending, the boy was glad it was only in his dreams now.

The problem though was that he still had to go to sleep at night. The boy never tried to stay awake because there was no use. He wasn’t stupid. He knew that a person had to sleep sometimes. So now while he was in bed, even though the fear and worry were causing him to have trouble getting to sleep, he eventually would drift off to face the inevitable. The nightmare of the hag.

He found himself in a basement. It wasn’t his house. The boy looked around at this familiar place that he had never seen before, and knew he was in a dream. He also knew what was there waiting for him. He tried to find a way out, but there was only the stairs leading up, and they were somehow blocked by an invisible barrier. There was only one direction to go; to the back of the basement.

That’s where he found her, sitting in a big chair and surrounded by a dull light, waiting expectantly for him with a cruel grin on her face. “Don’t ever think you can escape,” she said in a mocking tone. “I always know where you are and what you’re doing. Come forward, boy!"

The boy knew there was nothing to do but to move towards the hag. But not too close. It was a compromise he had discovered long ago. He could appease her anger without giving in completely. He could never give in to that unasked question she always had. “Just say yes, boy. Then it will all be over with. You know you want to end it,” she told him.

The boy did want it to end, but not in the way she intended. He knew that giving in would be the worst thing he or any person could ever do. He wasn’t exactly sure why that was, but he knew it no matter how much she tried to hide just what would happen, or what that question was.

After a pause, the hag glared at him and abruptly said, “This little game is becoming tiring. It’s time I taught you a lesson in what I will do if you don’t give in to me. You know I can hurt your family, don’t you? I’ve been kind to you so far. Do you know that? Now I’m going to show you that I can make you pay for your hesitations.”

As soon as those words were out of the hag’s evil mouth the air just to the right of the boy began to shimmer and distort. Slowly an image of a person began to form in that spot. As it coalesced, the boy was shocked to find out that the image was now his mother! There was something different about her though. She didn’t appear to be quite really there. It was as if the boy was seeing her on a movie screen because she didn’t seem quite three dimensional, and her color was a little dull.

The boy tried to talk to the image of his mother, but even though she moved like a normal person, she didn’t seem to know he was there. Still, the boy knew this was not just some doppelganger; this shadow image somehow really represented his mom. The boy wondered what this was all about.

“I’m going to kill her,” the hag announced to the boy in a matter of fact tone of voice. “That should make you understand my power over you, dog!” Then there was a flash of red and yellow around the image of the boy’s mother, similar to a the way a match looks at the moment it has been struck. With that, his mother fell to the floor, dead in every appearance.

“NOOOO,” the boy screamed. He quickly knelt beside his mom to see if there was any way of saving her, but he knew there was no hope. The boy looked up at the hag and said, “Bring her back! You have to bring her back! Please!”

The hag gave an evil sounding chuckle and said to the boy, “Oh, she’s not really dead. Yet! This is just part of a demonstration to show you that I can really do it. You thought I was weakened, but I’ll show you that I’m as strong as ever, and I can hurt any one of your family if you don’t do as I say. And don’t you think this demonstration is over! This is just a dream right now. Just wait until you see the results of this.” Then the hag began to laugh.

As the boy looked on in horror at the evil hag, the image of his mother regained consciousness. Soon she was back on her feet. The hag looked straight at the boy and said pointedly, “Leave this dream! Take your mother and go! You will answer the question the way I want you to when I ask, because you will know my power!”

The boy found himself laying in the dark in his own bed. This had been the worst encounter with the hag yet, and it was because he truly believed her this time. He had no reason to doubt she could do this. The boy was terrified. He wasn’t able to get back to sleep that morning, and he went through the rest of the day tired, but wide awake and just glad this latest incident was over.

When the boy got home from school that day, he was greeted by his father, but his mother wasn’t there. Something had happened. His father told him that his mother had to be taken to the hospital. She was okay now, but it had been a precarious situation. She had, for some reason, had a seizure. When they got her to the hospital, her heart had stopped. It was all the oddest thing, but she was okay now. They could find nothing else wrong.

The boy’s dad explained that she would have to stay in the hospital for a few more days under observation to make sure she was really fine. But he made it clear that after they determine there’s nothing else wrong, she can come home. He said the doctors claim to understand the problem and think it’s all over.

The boy knew the real problem. The hag did this to her. And when his mother got back home the boy was very protective of her, staying by her side as much as he could, even though he knew he could do nothing. But eventually as time moved on things had to return to normal, even though the boy knew the hag might abruptly strike again at any time. He wondered if there was anything he could ever do.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

How It Began

“When I was young it came to me.”
Queen – The Night Comes Down

The hag had not been bothering the boy quite as much for the past few months now, giving him a little bit of a breather from the torment she had inflicted upon him. This change seemed to have started when his little sister and brother had a violent episode with her. The boy was guessing that the demonic witch’s appearance to his younger siblings seemed to somehow expend much of her energy for some reason. They said her big attempt at the front door had been directed towards him, but it seemed to have failed for the moment.

There were actually several things that had come out of that incident from a few months ago. His brother and sister had immediately told him what had happened, saying they were sure the hag was trying to get to him. The pair also told their parents about the incident when they got home that night. Soon the whole family began to understand what had been happening. The boy finally felt able to tell about what had been happening to him for as long as he could remember now. As his story unfolded, his mother began to think back to a related story of her own.

It all began when the boy was barely more than a baby. His mother’s younger sister, the boy’s aunt, had moved back from a place very far away, and she had brought something with her for her two sisters, one older and one younger. It was a game, she said. It was called a Ouija Board, and you could supposedly talk to spirits through it. It couldn’t really do that, she said, but it was fun playing with it and maybe trying to figure out how it really worked. Soon each of the three sisters had one.

The three sisters, becoming very close once again, used a board together many times with great success. They would ask the so called spirits their questions, and would be met with surprisingly accurate answers. The answers could also be amazingly helpful, telling them solutions to any of their little problems, and other positive things it added to the inquiries. At least two of the sisters suspected the others of manipulating the answers. The third sister oddly became silent about it.

Even though the sisters were very close, they couldn’t always be together. They each had their own lives to lead, and they each had their own homes, so they just couldn’t use a Ouija Board together as often as they’d like. Even though the rules on the box stated for some reason that the board wasn’t to be used by less than two people, the boy’s mother decided to try hers out while she was at home by herself. She was surprised to find that it worked!

It was shortly after that when the trouble started. At first the young woman began hearing strange, quiet voices in the house. She assumed they were from people outside, but there was something oddly different about them. Then one day the bathroom door had somehow become locked. They had to break in the small window from outside to get in. There they found a car key jammed in the lock from the inside. They suspected the baby, but there was no way he could have bent the key the way it had been when they found it.

One night shortly after that, the young woman and her husband began hearing strange knocking sounds on the walls. They would normally believe it was maybe the pipes or something, but this was a relatively new house. The knocking was clearly coming from the outside walls, but it was too late at night for anyone to be there. After that first night, the knocking continued from then on to be a problem on random nights.

On another night, not long after the knocking began, it was ended with a huge banging crash on the side of the house! It shook everything almost as if a car had crashed into the house. The woman’s husband went outside to see what had happened, but there was no sign of anything there in the freshly fallen snow.  The young woman had already been frightened by the strange things that were going on, but now she was absolutely terrified. She didn’t like being in the house anymore.

The knockings were just the beginning. The problems would now only get worse. Another night, the young woman was in bed sound asleep when she was mysteriously awakened. She opened her eyes to see a horrible apparition leaning over her by the side of the bed! It was the ugliest old hag she had ever seen! It’s malevolent face was glowering down at her as if in a terrible anger!

The woman instantly knew in her heart that she was looking into the face of death itself! She thought she was going to die! She was too afraid to move, speak, or call out to her husband, who was just inches away. The only thing she could do was close her eyes as tightly and as quickly as she could. After laying there expecting the worst, it never came. So she slowly opened her eyes wondering if the apparition was still there. It was gone.

The next day, finally realizing the source of all her troubles, the young woman took the Ouija board from the closet where she had been keeping it and took it out to the trash. She remembered then that her youngest sister had for some reason buried her board in the dirt floor at the back of the basement of her parents’ house. It must have been for a similar reason. She hoped this would end the terrifying problems, but there was still to be one more thing.

It happened the very next night when the young parents were in bed asleep. Their two year old son came in complaining of nightmares. The woman told him he could climb into bed with them, and so he slipped in at the edge and soon fell fast asleep. A little while later is when the incident was to happen.

The young mother was awakened for the second time in two nights. This time was different though. Something had physically picked her up about a foot off the bed! She could feel hands holding onto her. Suddenly she was violently thrown away from the child and into her husband! Both adults were now wide awake and confused, knowing something very bad had happened, but not really understanding what that might be. The mother believed that this might have been some sort of last revenge for her getting rid of the Ouija Board.

And that was her story. The children’s mother thought it had been all over with after that last incident. The knocking on the walls had never quite ended, but she never imagined that the children were having problems. In an effort to soothe their fear, the children’s mother told them that the woman that had tried to get into the house must have been a drunken neighbor or something, but they knew better than that.

The children knew that thing was not human! And when the mother told them all not to worry, and that she would take care of this, the oldest boy knew that she couldn’t. He knew his mother wanted to protect him, but she just didn’t understand. What could she really do about it? None of them were really sure what to do. How could anyone fight a thing like this? The boy worried about what would happen next. He knew he was the only one that might ever be able to do something, and he wondered if it was all just hopeless.

Monday, March 14, 2011

At The Door

"…and you are there with glowing eyes and burning hair."
Concrete Blonde – Violent

The little girl sat on the living room couch with one of her brothers, happily engrossed in the TV show she was watching. Her too real nightmare from a few years ago about the witch was mostly long forgotten. That feeling of danger she had back then couldn’t last long for her anyway because of how protective the rest of her family always was towards her. And even though her parents were out for a few hours that night, she always felt safe because her three big brothers were there in the house with her.

After a little while she heard an odd sound that she hadn’t heard in quite some time. It was a low eerie, almost electronic, humming sound, like a too long held bass note on a piano. It wasn’t coming from the television, which up until now was the only source of sound near them. The scary sound seemed to be coming from the front door. The girl unconsciously moved a little closer to her brother on the couch.

All of a sudden there was a bang at the front door! It was followed by loud scratching and rattling. Someone was trying to get in, but the sounds weren’t the sounds of a normal turning of a doorknob and opening of a door. They were violent shakes. She knew it was nobody they knew.

Her brother jumped up from his position on the couch and ran for the door with the little girl right behind. They got there just as the violent banging stopped completely. There wasn’t anything at the large window set in the door to keep anyone from seeing in or out. The area of the door was a small alcove that led to all parts of the house, so it was already difficult enough to see into the house. Including the doorway to the living room, there were also stairs to the left going upstairs as you entered. The two siblings looked out the window and only saw the darkness of the night.

Then in less than a second, from out of the night a face swooped in close to the window! It was the hideous face of an ugly old hag! She had an angry sneer on her mouth full of crooked teeth, and her eyes seemed to be cloaked in an odd glowing darkness. The little girl immediately recognized her as the witch from her dream. “GIMME MY DOG,” the hag screeched at them. “YOU HAVE HIM! GIVE HIM TO ME!!!”

The locked door somehow flew open right in front of them, and the hag pushed herself halfway in! She turned towards the stairs leading up, and screamed again at the frightened children, “THIS HOUSE IS MINE! IT’S ALL MINE! I WANT MY DOG! BRING HIM TO ME!!!” The girl somehow knew not to let the hag get upstairs where her oldest brother was. She had a strong instinctive knowledge that this old witch meant great danger to him. And, even though she would usually look to him for help in any other bad situation, she hoped he stayed where he was.

Right at that moment the girl’s other brother threw himself at the hag and pushed with all his might! After an intense struggle the old witch was pushed back outside, and the two siblings pushed the door shut behind her! Only a second later they looked out the window again, in dread that she would come back, but there was nothing there. Then the girl’s brother stepped right up to the window and peered out. “How could she just disappear,” he said in a shaky voice.

“I’m going to have to go out there and make sure,” said the boy. The little girl pleaded for him not to open the door, but checking was the only way he could ease his own fear. If he saw that ugly old hag he would run back in the house. After a short, desperate argument, he gathered his courage, opened the door back up, and marched out onto the long front porch, the little girl right behind him.

He then peered around to find out if the strange old hag had gone anywhere near. He looked up and down the street but found nothing. The two then looked to the side of the house from the porch to see if she was anywhere near the hatch that led to the dirt floor basement. They still found nothing so they went back inside. The thing, which is the way they were thinking of it now, had truly disappeared.

Shaken and still scared, but secure in the knowledge that it was all over, her brother then locked the door once again, and they both ran upstairs to tell their oldest brother.