Monster

            When I was ten years old, I had watched, helpless, as the monster killed my mother. Now, ten years later, I almost pitied him in his weakened state. But I had no time for pity, forgiveness. I don’t know why the vile, smelly creature let me live that day ten years ago. But I had promised him that one day, I would be the one to kill him and I was here to make good on that promise.

            The room I found him lying in reeked of beer and cigarettes. I guess that’s what his kind subsisted on between their bloodthirsty hunts. He was lying on a small mattress in the corner of the room…mouth open and in mid snore. It was one of those nasty sounding, phlegm producing types of snores belonging to a creature who is succumbing to some illness, or very old age. But the monster wasn’t that old for his kind, so maybe he did suffer from some affliction.

            He opened his eyes, but in his delirium thought I was someone else.

            “Bring me some water,” he croaked and closed his eyes again.

            I didn’t move. I stood there watching him and listening, but no one else was in the crappy, little, run down house. He resumed his death rattle snore. I decided I needed a little fresh air. I left the room and exited the house through the front door. I stood on the front porch of the old house and spread out before me was the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. A mixture of different shades of pinks, oranges and reds streamed across the western sky above the grove of Cedar and Fir trees that blocked the view of the house from the long, winding, country road. The house was secluded, which made sense since his kind preferred to remain isolated from society.

            As I watched the sunset, the old John Denver song came back to the forefront of my mind…sung so many years ago in elementary school. Country road, take me home…to the place, I belong… I didn’t belong here, but I guess he did…his kind.

            I turned back toward the house. It was small, and the wood was grayed out from years of exposure to the elements because there wasn’t a drop of paint to protect it. There were a couple of Texas live oaks on either side of it and the skeletons of dead bushes in front, under the windows on either side of the porch. This had been someone’s family home long ago, but now the monster desecrated its memory.

            The light was fading fast, so I walked back into the house to finally exact my revenge and feel the closure I desired so much…after all these years.

            I walked back into the dank, musty, bedroom. He was sitting up…a gun in one hand and a beer in the other.

            “Who are you?” he asked.

            “You don’t recognize me?”

            “Um, no. Should I?” he asked as he took a swig of the stale beer and pointed his gun at me.

            “So, you’re going to murder me too? And you’re using a gun? You were a little more hands on with my mother, but I guess you’re weaker now,” I said, taking a step toward him.

            “I don’t murder…” he began as he was overcome with a violent coughing fit and dropped the gun, while managing to hold onto the beer.

            I stepped closer and snatched the gun from the floor. The monster laughed and downed the rest of the beer before smashing the bottle against the wall beside the mattress and then pointing the broken, jagged, end that remained toward me.

            “I won’t go down without a fight,” he said.

            “No, your kind never does,” I answered.

            “My kind? I’m no monster. I save lives.”

            “Not a monster?!” I shouted, “You save lives?! You murdered my mother! She was innocent!”

            “I don’t kill innocents. Only evil scum. Those that deserve to die. I’ve always been careful not to kill those that do no harm.”

            “My mother never hurt anyone!”

            “Look boy, if I did kill your mother, she deserved it. You just weren’t aware of your mother’s crimes.”

            I wanted to kill him right then, the self-righteous bastard. But I needed him to remember. I wanted him to know who I was.

            “Think back old man, to ten years ago. Do you remember murdering a young woman in her own home in front of her ten-year-old son?”

            The monster just looked at me with dead eyes.

            “You can’t remember a ten-year-old boy who made a promise to you?”

            It finally sinks in. I see it in his eyes. But there is no fear in them, just realization.

            “Well go ahead and kill me. It’s better than the Big C anyway, as Stephen King likes to call it.”

            I just stare at him, while he stares back. This is not how I envisioned it. I raise the gun and point it at his face. He just sits there. I shoot him and it’s over in an instant. I look at his lifeless body slumped over on the aging mattress and I feel nothing. Ten years of hating and hunting, but I feel numb. Closure is not a thing.

            I walk up to his lifeless body, letting the gun drop from my hand and summon the six-inch claws to extend from my fingertips. I then drive them into his chest and pull out his heart. It’s still beating as I rip into it with my fangs and devour it.

Tremble by Nikki Freeman

Tremble is a fun ride! A page turner for sure, or button pusher if you’re reading on Kindle. 🙂 I could hardly catch my breath as I read it, and almost lost my job because it was so hard to put down!

It’s both a psychological and paranormal thriller! The suspense and surprises along the way keep the reader on her toes. The main character, Becca, has been recently widowed, but thought she had found love again with someone she had considered a friend. It turns out that her friend/lover has a very dark side which he was expert at hiding from everyone, as truly sinister people often are. She returns to her childhood home to escape him, in spite of the the tragic memories of an abusive mother that she had escaped so many years before. But the haunting of memories in the old house is nothing compared to the actual haunting that she had forgotten about. Her childhood imaginary friend, was not so imaginary it turns out.

Becca manages to find true love in the form of a helpful neighbor soon after she returns to her childhood home, but she and those around her are in constant danger from her psycho former lover and the supernatural. Nikki Freeman even delves into the mind of the serial killing ex-boyfriend as he relentlessly pursues Becca by any means necessary.

I’d like to think Ms. Freeman is a Supernatural fan like me because at one point a ghost hunter in the story says, “Son of a bitch! That’s awesome!” Seems like she’s paying homage to Dean Winchester there! 😉

I loved this book and there’s even a twist at the end, which I really love! Sequel maybe?! Tremble by Nikki Freeman is a 5 star read for sure!

Here’s the link for Tremble published by Hellbound Books:

Tremble by Nikki Freeman

Stephen King Was Right

So Stephen King was right when he said, writers have to read; or is right I guess, because he probably still says it. I would like to add, that writers need to watch TV too. There is so much great writing on television now and I get so many ideas there. My latest short story idea came to me from both reading, and binge watching on Netflix.

So I just finished reading this little ditty and it’s awesome by the way! I’ll be writing a review very soon. Kandisha Press has outdone itself with the horror anthologies that they publish. Here’s the review I did for the first one, Under Her Black Wings. Their third anthology, The One That Got Away, is coming out on February 1, 2021:

These collections of horror tales, all written by women, are some of the best I’ve ever read. Jill Girardi is chief honcho at Kandisha Press and she and her crew are sweeping the internet and the world with thrilling tales of terror!

So my newest idea for a tale of the macabre comes from a combination of reading and TV watching as I said. For those who follow my blog (all 12 of you!), you know about my fascination with the television show, Supernatural:

No, I’m not an obsessed fan girl, although, I like watching pretty people doing cool stuff as much as the next guy. I really love the writing and creativity on this show and the humor inserted amongst all the serious, scary stuff is what I love the most about it. Anyway, so I was watching Season 7, Episode 3, “The Girl Next Door”, and it’s one of the episodes where they leave something dangling. Dean kills a kitsune who happens to be a mom, and her ten year old son sees him do it. For some unknown reason, Dean lets him live and of course the boy vows vengeance. Well of course that character never shows up again in the series. (SPOILER ALERT-if you haven’t finished the Supernatural series yet.) They must have forgotten about him because he should have been the one to kill Dean. Anyhoo, I filed this kid away in the back of my brain.

The next day, I’m reading, Graveyard Smash again, and I’ve gotten to the story, “The Invitation” by Janine Pipe, and all of a sudden as I’m reading it the kid pops to the front of my mind. So long story short, between that short story and the TV episode, it totally clicked in my mind. I grabbed my handy dandy spiral notebook (I like to write by hand first) and I began the story. I love it when a plan comes together!

So coming soon, my review of, Graveyard Smash and my newest horror tale, “Monster”! And read, everybody, read!! Oh yeah, and watch TV!

Links for Kandisha Press books:

Under Her Black Wings

Graveyard Smash

The One That Got Away

“Is it Really You, Granny?”

            Tears streamed down Bella’s face as she gulped down more cheap wine and watched an episode of Supernatural on Netflix that she had seen a thousand times before. It was the one where dead loved ones “phoned home” to their grieving relatives. One of them even used AOL Instant Messenger because the episode originally aired in the mid 2,000s.

            Bella hadn’t showered in two days and she wore the same pjs for said two days. Needless to say, she wreaked, and her TV watching domain wreaked too. She had been drinking for almost the entire time too. There were two empty wine bottles on the TV tray next to her recliner and a third one already half empty. Empty chip bags were strewn about the floor around her and the current bag of Ruffles that she was working on was in her lap; a lap that was covered in chip crumbs and spilled wine.

            This season of Supernatural was the one that featured the beautiful, but troubled character also named Bela, except with one l. But the name was more fitting for that character because she was truly beautiful. The real-life Bella who lounged in her own filth was not so beautiful. She was middle-aged, fifty pounds overweight and alone. She regularly had her gray hair touched up with blonde highlights, but she put no effort into anything else on her aging, sagging body. She had given up on wearing makeup long ago.

            Bella, the real one, shoved more chips in her mouth as crumbs showered over her lap and then washed that down with more crappy, red wine. As she watched the dead contact the characters on the episode, she entertained a crazy thought. She found herself in this current state of despair because her grandmother had just died the day before. Even though their meetups often ended in arguments, she had truly loved the old woman.

            Bella’s iPhone was on the TV tray amongst the army of dead soldiers that had done their duty and given their lives in contributing to her current state of sloppy drunkenness. She set down her wine glass and carefully removed her cell from amongst the sentinels. The back of it was sticky with wine residue, but Bella was too drunk to care. She typed in her passcode and after two failed attempts managed to type it in correctly the third time. She looked at her recent calls and the third one down said, Granny, because she had just talked to her grandmother a few days prior.

            She looked at it for a moment and then pressed it and placed the phone to her ear. It rang a couple of times and Bella was about to put the phone back down because even in her current mental state, she knew she was being stupid and crazy…

            “Hello, honey,” the familiar crackling, Texas accent of her Granny said through the phone.

            Bella jumped from her chair, chip bag flying from her lap and phone launched from her hand as if it were on fire.

            Bella stood, trembling all over as Netflix continued to the next episode of Supernatural as if nothing had happened. As Bella watched, her phone lit up and vibrated as apparently her Granny called her back. She watched the phone move about the carpet, while she remained frozen in place. Her heart raced as she stared at it. The phone went dark and just as Bella had convinced herself that she had imagined the whole thing, the phone resumed its antics.

            Bella said out loud, “Fuck it!” and swooped up the phone and answered it.

            “Hello,” said Bella.

            “Why did you hang up on me honey?”

            Bella was sobbing now as she listened to the familiar voice.

            “Bella? Why are you crying?”

            Bella got herself under control and asked, “Is it really you, Granny?”

            “Of course it’s me, honey,”

            “But, but, you died…”

            “Well yes, but there is an afterlife, honey. You know that” said Granny.

            “There are phones in the afterlife?” asked Bella.

            “Not exactly, you’re actually imagining all this, honey.”

            “Imagining this? I’m not really talking to you?”

            “Oh, you are talking to me honey, but not on a cell phone.”

            “What?!”

            “The caoineag has you,” said Granny, “She’s bringing you to me.”

            “Bringing me to you? What’s a caoineag, Granny?”

            “Have you heard of a banshee, honey?”        

            “Yes, but banshees just announce upcoming deaths in a family. They don’t take the living anywhere.”

            “Well, think of this caoineag, as a souped-up banshee. She’s been with our family for centuries. She came over to America with our Scottish ancestors. She harkens all the way back to our Norse origins. She was once the human granddaughter of Godred Croven, King of the Isles. Her name is Ragnailt ingen Amlaíb. She was a great queen who was relegated to the history books as simply the wife of the ruler of southern Hebrides when he had her murdered and took control of their kingdom. Being a descendent of Odin, death could not stop her. She has stayed with the women in our family, growing stronger with each passing century…”

            “Why have I never heard of her before?” asked Bella.

            “It just never came up,” said Granny.

            “Never came up?! A creature haunts our family, and it never came up?!”

            “Well, the conversation never took that direction.”

            “What?! Oh god, I am so drunk! I’m joining AA tomorrow, I swear!”

            Bella opened her eyes. She had passed out in her recliner. She smiled because for a glorious second, it seemed to have all been a dream. But then she saw the creature, a hag wearing a shredded, sooty gown. Her thick white hair hung in voluminous waves around her ghoulish face. She hovered in the room between the TV and the recliner. She looked down at Bella, opened her gaping, toothless mouth and wailed.

            Bella screamed, then with a waive of her hand, the caoineag snapped Bella’s neck. The hag opened her mouth further and sucked Bella’s troubled soul from her body.

            The last thing Bella heard was the theme music as the Supernatural episode ended and the creature whisked away carrying her soul to join that of her Granny’s in eternity.

            Bella’s last thought was, ‘why can’t Sam and Dean be real’, as she was carried to her impending doom. Well, she was pretty sure she was doomed anyway. She and her Granny hadn’t been the nicest people in the world…

Quarantine

Sooo….I’m currently quarantined because I was in close contact with someone who is now struck down by Covid-19. I’m on the fourth day of said quarantine, and the first three days were not handled well by me at all. The first day was the worst, because I allowed my anxiety to take control of me the whole day, and that night I couldn’t sleep because my heart wouldn’t stop racing. I’ve wasted three days of prime writing time just waiting to get sick. I kind of snapped out of it a little yesterday; did a few household chores and worked out, but no writing…

Well I am writing this now and getting caught up on Supernatural. 🙂 I only have four more episodes, so no spoilers, please! Anyway, I’m trying to get the writing juices flowing again, so that’s the reason for this post. Tomorrow I get back to real writing; there will be more horror stories coming your way and the next chapter of Darkest Timeline!

For now, here’s a Supernatural meme: