A collection of horror, mystery, and science fiction tales, with contributions from fellow writers, James Darko and Dexter Lynch. If you wish to contribute, I'd be happy to showcase your writing. Just send me a message. The stories are free to read and always will be. Some are better than others (I'm speaking only for myself), but I can't give all my best ideas away for free, ha ha. Feel free to share any stories, but please be sure to give credit where credit is due.
Friday, August 22, 2014
Fairview, Long Island, there’s a tunnel located on Essex Street, too narrow for
any vehicle to squeeze through. Kids like me used to use the tunnel as a
shortcut when walking to and from school. Not anymore. Access is prohibited by
local authorities ever since the disappearance, and subsequent discovery of
most unpopular kids in high school have their own circles, a group of friends
to call their own.
O’Malley. An outcast since the day he was born, Grady didn’t have any circles.
He didn’t belong to any group or gang. Most kids were mischievous,
rambunctious, but Grady was downright malevolent.
He wasn’t a
bully; more of a prankster. Except most his pranks used to involve fire.
expelled from our high school after he torched the gymnasium. After that, he’d
waste his days away hanging by the tunnel on Essex, smoking joints and drinking
cheap beer bought from the gas station.
attendant at the gas station never used to card anyone for beer. He’d just
charge extra to those that were underage and pocket the leftover cash. We
didn’t care though. We were just happy to have a steady beer supplier.
day, Grady O’Malley never returned home for dinner. His parents called the
police after the first day, declared him missing.
search led the police straight to the tunnel on Essex, where they found what
remained of Grady’s body.
and chest was riddled with lacerations that cut so deep into the skin it
scrapped the bone. The left side of his face remained intact, while the right
side had been maimed beyond recognition. The flesh had been stripped right down
to the skull.
were never able to determine if it was the work of a person, or a wild animal.
But nobody’s dared step foot in that tunnel since Grady was found there.
incident spawned a series of urban legends that circulated through town. Some
say Grady’s spirit still haunts the tunnel. Some say if you go to the tunnel
and say his name three times, he’ll appear out of nowhere, and kill you where
you stand. And some believe that whatever inflicted that horrific damage to
Grady still dwells inside the dark tunnel.
was for sure, Mikey and I were about to find out the truth.
* * *
real name was Michelangelo. His father was a big TMNT fan.
if his IQ reflected anything, it was the fact that he was about the furthest
thing from a Michelangelo. That’s why we called him Mikey. Michelangelo simply
didn’t suit him.
intelligent or creative, unless it came to constructing a device to smoke
marijuana out of. Mikey was what we call a MacGyver smoker. Give him a crazy
straw, a milk carton, and a snorkel and he’d make a bong out of it.
that, he wasn’t very sharp. In fact, he was about as sharp as a marble. And if
that wasn’t bad enough, the poor kid sort of looked like Rocky Dennis. The
phrase “a face only a mother could love” definitely applied in his case.
But I still
hung out with the guy. I kind of felt bad for him. Not many others were willing
to even give him the time of day.
Sunday, April 20th, 2008. Most of the shops in Fairview were closed,
but the Wendy’s on Main Street was still open. So Mikey and I grabbed some
burgers and met up with Devin Morris in the parking lot, bought a dime bag of
purple haze from him.
Devin if he wanted to smoke, but when he saw I was with Mikey, he passed.
walked down Main Street towards Twins Lakes, our usual smoking spot, we passed
the gas station.
grab some beers?” I asked.
“I spent my
last five bucks on the bag,” Mikey said.
through my pockets to see if I had any extra cash, but came up dry. “Oh well,”
I shrugged. “At least we can still get high.”
Sienna emerged from the gas station, six packs of beer under each arm. Twin
sisters, they were roughly the same height and the same weight. They both had
silky blonde shoulder-length hair and peach-toned skin with a scattering of
golden freckles on their cheeks.
the twins,” I said to Mikey. “Play it cool. Don’t say anything to embarrass me.”
say nothing stupid. I’m no idiot.”
debatable,” I muttered as we approached the girls under the awning of the gas
ladies,” I said, careful not to call them girls. “Where are you two heading
with all that beer? Mikey and I are going to Twin Lakes to roll some joints.
Wanna come with?”
other plans,” Sienna said, grinning. “We’re going to the tunnel on Essex.”
tunnel?” I repeated. I knew what Sienna referred to. I just couldn’t understand
why they were going.
the anniversary of Grady O’Malley’s death,” Violet explained. “We wanna see if
all those rumors are true.”
are crazy,” I said in playful fashion. “Mind if we tag along?”
supposed to go to the tunnel,” Mikey said. “We could get in trouble.”
I gave him
a look as if to say don’t blow it.
him,” I said. “It’s four-twenty and we got a bag of purple haze. You
you can tag along,” Sienna said, leading the way.
* * *
was visible beyond the mouth of the tunnel. It was a pit of darkness I had
trudged through many times in the past, but that day, it gave me the chills
just to be standing near it again.
offered us beers, which we accepted, and I rolled up the first joint.
“To Grady O’Malley,”
Sienna said, tipping her bottle and letting some beer pour out to the ground.
Violet said, mimicking her sister’s actions.
As I passed
the joint to Sienna, she smiled provocatively and asked, “Truth or dare?”
predictable,” Sienna said, rolling her eyes. “Fine. Who would you rather make
out with, me or Violet?”
twins,” I said.
Sienna said. “That doesn’t mean we kiss the same.”
pick Violet,” I said, hoping to make Sienna jealous as a ploy to see if I could
get Sienna to actually make out with me. Maybe she’d see if she could convince
me to change my pick.
Sienna said to me, stricken.
first,” I said, still trying to play the role of the gentleman. “Let Violet go
Sienna said. “Go ahead, Violet.”
dare?” Violet asked.
asking you,” Violet smiled. It was an evil grin that helped me read her mind at
once. “I was asking my sister.”
to ask one of them,” Sienna said.
“I can ask
whoever I want,” Violet said. “And I’m asking you. Truth or dare?”
Sienna said, rolling her eyes again. The joint had burnt out at this point and
been forgotten. “Dare.”
“I dare you
to make out…” Violet started. I had my fingers crossed in hopes that she’d
utter my name. “…With Mikey.”
seem repulsed by the thought as I had assumed she would be. She seemed quite
eager to show her sister up by any means.
do it,” Sienna said.
tunnel,” Violet added. I watched as the color drained from Mikey’s face. He
hadn’t stepped foot in that tunnel since the Grady incident. He wouldn’t even
go near Essex Street until this day.
I whispered. “You have no idea how lucky you are right now. And the legends
aren’t true. They’re just silly rumors. There’s nothing to fear inside that
whispered words of encouragement, Violet and Sienna bickered back and forth.
really didn’t want to go inside that tunnel. And I can’t say I blame her.
Violet said, egging her on.
you who’s a chicken,” Sienna said. “Mikey, I’m about to make your dreams come
true. Let’s go.”
his arm, tugging him along. She stepped into the cavernous structure, dragging
a terrified Mikey along with her. They disappeared into the darkness and Violet
and I stood, waiting from them to eventually return.
my beer and helped myself to another bottle. I found the joint that Sienna had
discarded and lit it again. Violet was timing them with her phone to see how
long her sister would actually make out with Mikey.
moved closer to the mouth of the tunnel and peered inside to see if she could
catch some of the action. Suddenly, a sound emerged from the tunnel. But it
wasn’t the sounds of smooching that emanated, it was screams.
running out, her eyes wide with terror, her white blouse stained red.
awful!” she cried. “Just awful!”
happened?” Violet asked, a quiver in her voice.
know,” she said, shaking. “I could only see parts of it. Those eyes…glowing
red, like blood. And the hair…and the teeth. My God, the teeth. They were like
* * *
ran as fast as I could to summon the police and the paramedics. I ran until my
legs throbbed and my heart beat like a jackhammer against my ribcage. I ran and
ran, and then I ran some more until I reached the gas station and used the
phone to call the authorities.
cops arrived at the tunnel immediately. I was hoping it wasn’t too late. I was
hoping Mikey would still be alive in there somewhere.
was dead. And what remained of mangled, chewed up face scarcely resembled a
face at all.
I lost contact
with Violet and Sienna after graduation. It was probably for the best.
was sealed off permanently after Mikey’s death. They cemented it in and put the
word out that anyone caught trespassing there would be arrested on sight.
Again, probably for the best.
didn’t stop the bodies from piling up in Fairview. I tried hard to forget that
day. I drowned myself in a sea of booze and pills and every other drug
imaginable. But it wasn’t enough to numb the pain.
writing this, it’s Saturday, April 19th, 2014. Mikey’s anniversary
is right around the corner. And I promised myself one day I’d return to the
site. I promised to return and finish this once and for all.