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.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
down,” Mario Fulci said, inviting his unexpected guests into the lavish parlor
that reeked of expensive leather and polished oak. There was a desk that Mario
made himself at home behind, and there were four armchairs adorned with red
and Felix put the chairs to good use, as the trip had exhausted them, and they
didn’t want to appear rude or impolite to their host.
Reed forgot his manners at the door and declined Fulci’s invitation to sit. He
figured they weren’t going to be there long. His girlfriend, Tanya Morgan,
wasn’t as ill-mannered and accepted Fulci’s invitation to make herself at home.
pour you a drink, if you’d like,” Fulci offered.
thanks,” Felix Brown waved his hand, declining politely. “I don’t imbibe. I’m a
Mormon’s believe in the afterlife?” Fulci inquired, squinting one quizzical eye
in Brown’s direction.
not very common,” Brown informed him.
a Mormon or a Jesus freak,” Layne Foley said. “And I can drink all I please.”
Fulci said, turning his attention to Foley and Morgan. “What’ll it be?”
on the rocks, if you’ve got it,” Foley requested. And his request was soon
granted. All Fulci had to do was push a button and one of his many house
servants came shuffling over.
for me,” Morgan said. “It’s been a long trip and I’m very tired.”
you?” Fulci asked Roman Reed.
fine,” Reed assured the old man.
yourself,” Fulci said, telling one of his servants to fetch Layne a scotch on
the rocks and to get him a refill of his Jack and coke. “This time, hold the
coke,” he told his servant before the man, who looked even older than Fulci,
went shuffling off to make Fulci’s wish come true.
returned moments later with the drinks that Fulci requested, just as Fulci
inquired as to how long the group would be staying. “It’s not every day I get
to see my niece,” Fulci added. “Oh, I remember when you were just a baby. Look
at you, all grown up now. You look just as beautiful as your mother.”
was the name that Tanya adopted from her foster parents. But for the first
three years of her life, she had been Tanya Fiorelli. And Mario Fulci had never
even bothered to try and fight the court’s decision that she belonged with
the only living guardian that Tanya had, and his questionable past made the
court inquire as to whether he was physically and mentally fit to raise a three
year old girl on his own.
pleasantries,” Reed spoke for his girlfriend. “It’s coincidence and bad luck
that brought us here. We didn’t come for a family reunion. We came because our
axle snapped and Tanya insisted we spend the evening here. But that’s it. We’ll
be here for the evening and then we’ll be gone.”
could stay till tomorrow or Christmas for all I care,” Fulci said. “I’m a
lonely old man, just looking for some company. No need to get snippy.” His
sipped his Jack Daniels and eyed Reed carefully.
He was a
tall young man with broad shoulders and big, bulky arms that made him look like
a superhero under that red parka. His bald head was kept warm by a green wool
cap he wore. The baldness was his choice. He admired the way it made him look
older and more intimidating to others. He had pondered growing a thick,
lumberjack style beard to complete the look, but he decided it wasn’t a good
look for him.
wanted company, why did you give Tanya up for adoption when she lost her
parents? How come you didn’t fight for her?”
that’s enough,” she begged.
want this piece of shit to know how you felt all those years, alone and
isolated, cut off from the last of your family.”
all I could,” Fulci said sincerely. “There was constant interference. People
who tried to influence the judge and the court, convince them I was unfit to
raise you on my own.”
powerless at the time,” Fulci explained. “I had yet to establish my own
business and was practically penniless. All the bills and fees had caught up to
me and I simply couldn’t afford to fight anymore. It wasn’t feasible. That’s
when they took you away from me. They waited until I was at my weakest.”
why?” Morgan couldn’t help but ask. “Why did they want to take me away from you
you mentioned over the phone that you and your friends are paranormal
researchers; that you specialize in the paranormal and the supernatural? In the
Morgan said. “We were on our way to the Westlake Inn to film a new documentary
on Chloe Bell when our axle broke.”
myself once dabbled in the occult,” Fulci confessed. “Satanism, black magic,
voodoo, ritualistic animal sacrifice.”
shit,” Foley uttered, pulling out a cigarette.
shit,” Fulci repeated, adding, “You can’t smoke in here.”
tucked the cigarette away and finished his drink. “Can I get you a refill?”
that’s quite alright,” Foley said. “One drink is enough for now.”
say ritualistic animal sacrifice?” Brown asked.
Fulci said. “Goats, chickens, you name it. The eighties were a fucked up time.
And Satanism equaled paranoia. People didn’t quite understand it, so they
jumped the gun, and anyone that was associated was guilty. Like those poor kids
you probably read about from Arkansas. Damn shame what happened to them.”
exactly were the purposes of these sacrifices?” Brown pressed further for more
and prosperity,” Fulci said, gesturing around the room with his hands as if to
illustrate his point. “Voodoo is a powerful thing. It can grant many wishes.”
bet,” Brown said, unconvinced. He couldn’t tell if Fulci was sincere or if the
old man was having a laugh at their expense.
that noise?” Foley asked.
noise?” Brown asked his friend.
infernal racket,” Foley said. “I can’t tell where it’s coming from. It sounds
like buzzing or humming or something.”
suspicious momentarily, wondering if Fulci had his servant slip something in
Foley’s drink. But then Brown joined in again.
yeah,” Brown said. “I hear it now. It sounds like…like someone set a television
to a dead channel. I hear nothing but static.”
what it is!” Foley exclaimed. “Static! Where is it coming from?”
hear a thing,” Fulci insisted.
do I,” Morgan said.
not hearing–” Reed cut himself off as a loud buzzing sound caught his ears.
“Wait, I hear it now. It sounds like a hive of agitated bees.”
it coming from?” Foley said in a tone that practically demanded to know the
don’t hear a thing,” Fulci insisted, pressed a button to summon his elderly
servant and request another Jack and coke, hold the coke. “Should I have
Michael show you to your rooms now?”
don’t you regale us with more tales about your dabbling in the occult,” Reed
suggested, scratching at his ears. He didn’t even realize he was doing it until
Tanya nudged him and whispered over to him. And still, he couldn’t tear his
fingers away. That buzzing, that static noise, it was growing louder.
not,” Fulci sighed with exasperation. “It’s getting late. And you have to call
a tow truck in the morning and get a move on. I wouldn’t want to hold you up.
I’ll have Michael show you to your separate quarters.”
* * *
Fulci was as old school as they come and requested that while Roman and Tanya
were under his roof, they sleep in separate beds. It didn’t make a difference
to Roman. The buzzing consumed him. Stricken with this awful din, Reed snuck
out of his room after he thought everyone else had gone to sleep, to pinpoint
the source of this ruckus.
coming from any of the rooms on the second floor as far as he could tell. And
as he descended the stairs, he couldn’t trace the source to any of the rooms on
the first floor either.
the basement door a crack and peeked down at what appeared to be infinite
darkness below. Down those stairs that were practically invisible in the dark,
he could hear the faint rattle of a boiler.
hum of static wasn’t coming from the basement. The sound seemed to be
everywhere and nowhere all at once.
had exhausted all other possibilities, the only thing left to search was the
But as he
ascended the stairs again in darkness, he heard movement on the second floor.
“Who’s there?” he whispered as he reached the top of the stairs.
there?” he called, a little louder this time around.
me,” Brown whispered back. “I’m trying to track the source of this noise. It’s
interfering with my sleep. I can’t even think straight.”
checked the entire house,” Reed told him. “The only spot left to check is the
that’s where we’re heading,” Brown said, somewhat reluctantly. “Should I grab
my camera for this?”
yet,” Reed said. “But if we see or hear anything that’s strange, we’re
recording it. Fuck what Fulci thinks. He doesn’t even have to know.”
* * *
soon as they ascended that rickety ladder and made it to the attic, they were
wishing they hadn’t. Reed could feel the negative vibes and energies traveling
in a hundred different directions.
through the thick static, he could hear the whispers of a hundred different
travelers that had yet to cross over.
Morgan, Brown, and Foley–they were clairvoyants. They could see and hear what
others could not. Like spirits, for instance.
hadn’t Tanya heard the static too? She wouldn’t have lied about something like
that, and she couldn’t have been the only one besides Fulci to not hear it
God,” Reed said, abandoning Brown and rushing down the rickety wooden ladder.
He pushed the door to Tanya’s room open and crept up alongside her bed. She
wasn’t breathing. Not a snore, not a whimper, not a sound came from her body.
reached under the blanket and confirmed his suspicions. Tanya didn’t have a
dead,” Reed told Brown as he entered the room. “Has been for a while.”
you talking about?” Brown asked, bemused.
talking about that Motel 6 in Ridgewood. The night that I told you Tanya was
sick and we needed to be alone. She wasn’t sick. She tried to kill herself. She
OD’d on sleeping pills. I made her throw them up, gave her CPR. I thought I had
brought her back. But she’s been dead this whole time. Dead and following us
around. I think she wanted to lead us here. I think it was her intention.”
Foley’s scream echoed from the adjacent room. Reed and Brown dropped everything
and went rushing to Foley’s aid.
found him standing in front of the vanity mirror, straight shaving razor in
hand. He had taken the blade to his own head, and sliced off both his ears to
silence the din.
stained the mirror, the plush carpets, and the antique dresser that Foley was
Foley, what have you done to yourself?” Brown asked.
a Mormon is allowed to take the Lord’s name in vain?”
this is the only appropriate situation,” Brown said.
still hear it,” Foley wailed. “I can still hear that fucking static…”
to get him to a hospital,” Brown said.
Take him. I’m going to find Fulci, and I’m going to get to the bottom of all
* * *
pushed the long, narrow doors of the master bedroom open and marched right in.
But even when he screamed Fulci’s name and kicked the side of his bed, he
couldn’t garner a response.
when Reed got the bright idea to check Fulci’s pulse and his greatest fears
were realized. Fulci was dead. He had spent the evening conversing with a dead
Reed should’ve stopped there. But he couldn’t leave well enough alone. He had
to be certain. He stormed through the house, checking the pulse of every maid
and servant that dwelled within those walls.
dead. Every last one of them was without a pulse.
he stepped back into the hallway and saw that rickety wooden ladder that led to
the attic, it almost seemed to beckon him.
Reed was going to find the answers, the truth was hidden behind that static. So
he ascended the ladder one final time.
energy he felt was incredible and otherwise indescribable. It was stronger than
anything Reed had felt before. And he’d stepped foot in every supposedly
haunted place that America had to offer.
the static, he could hear the voices. And the voices were at their most shrill.
were the voices of the tortured and the damned. The voices of those condemned
to relive their final days over and over again in agony.
you think?” Tanya’s voice cut through the static.
and stood aghast as Tanya and her uncle gathered amongst this sea of the dead
that was only visible to the eyes of Reed.
or Foley had been there, they’d have seen it too. But they were long gone by
then. Brown had absconded with one of Fulci’s many vehicles and took off into
the night to find Foley a hospital.
been so curious about the afterlife,” Fulci said. “Now you have your answers.
Join us and live forever.”
not ready,” Reed said, his voice quivering. Even a man as big and strong as
Reed had his weaknesses and fears. The fear of death was something that had
loomed over him his entire existence.
was time to let go.
ready,” Tanya encouraged him. “Join us and we can be together again, forever.”
of the dead parted, revealing a lone window in the center of the attic wall. It
was dawn and the sun had just started to peek over the horizon. He could see
only a light glare through the glass that guided his steps.
shattered upon impact and Reed’s body plunged through the poorly sunlit gap. He
fell about thirty feet, but the plunge seemed eternal to Reed. And that’s
because it was.
moment, Reed was reliving his death over and over again. His sin would be
accomplished,” Fulci cackled.
Tanya nodded. “Another soul collected for our dark lord and savior.”
you’d come back to me eventually,” Fulci said. “I knew you couldn’t resist the
temptations of the dark side.”
about the other two?”
be back. They always come back.”
house is two stories,” the real estate agent, a hefty woman in her forties,
informed the happy young couple who were expecting their first child. “It has
an attic, a basement, parlor, and fifteen rooms in total. That includes three
bathrooms and one sauna.”
the man said, arm hugging his wife’s shoulder. “The previous owner must’ve been
was,” the real estate agent said and laughed.