Three-sentence horror romance: BEGINNING

BEGINNING

by Courtney Cantrell

After my funeral, I crossed nearly two continents and an ocean to get to her.

I watched through the window as she slid out of her bra and panties, the first time I’d ever glimpsed those beautiful curves glorious and naked.

When I rapped on the pane, she rushed to let me in as though understanding that our long, agonizing wait had ended and we could finally be together…in spite of my fangs…or because of them.

THE END

Flash Fiction Challenge: Continuing Someone Else’s Story, Part 2

This is for Part 2 of Chuck Wendig’s December flash fiction challenge. (My entry for Part 1 is here.)

I’m late posting this, but hopefully it will still count.

COLD

by Shane Vaughan, Courtney Cantrell, Adrienne, Wanderer, and Jonathan Bray

Shane wrote:

He is cold. It’s always cold around this time of year. The sun decides it’s had enough and pops off for a quick solstice nap. Not that he minds. He’s used to the cold by now.

He props his collar up, puffs his scarf to cover all exposed skin; all that dead, gray skin. He tucks his gloves down over the wrists and sucks on the butt of his last cigarette. Damn things never last. His wife used to say it’d give him cancer, not that it matters now. He lowers his woolen packer hat over his brow and stares at his reflection in a shopfront window. He used to recognize himself, now what is he?

It had all happened so fast; the heart attack; cracking his head on the tile floor; the ethereal sensation that he was losing life, as though it were seeping out of a hole somewhere. And then the doctors. The nurses. The scalpel. He saw it all, from outside his body. He watched as they operated, trying so heroically to save his life, but in the end the line went dead.

So what the hell is he doing back on Winthrop street in high Winter, and how did he return?

Courtney wrote (206 words):

He shuffles down the sidewalk, leaves skittering at his feet. They’re as dead as he, but at least their hop-skipping gives a pretense of life. The cold slows him, as though he’s walking through vats of the red gelatin his daughter snacks on. Childish giggles echo in his memory.

He wonders what his funeral was like. What they wore. How they sat. If her tears were as loud as her laughter.

Did his grave the next morning warrant an investigation?

His sluggish foot kicks a loose rock at a passerby. The woman glances at him, frowning. But then her eyes widen. He already knows her thoughts. Too many other well-meaning lips have spoken them. Sir? You look ill. Can we help?

And in undertones: Is he contagious?

That question always makes them back away. Even now, the woman veers aside, covering her mouth and nose with her hand. Just in case. Can’t be too careful.

If only he could tell them this is no illness they can catch by breathing his air. He shies away from them, too. Even in the cold, they smell too good. He places his hand over the scarf covering his own mouth. Even through the wool, he can feel the fangs.

Adrienne picked up my thread and continued:

He had forgotten how hungry he is as he studied his reflection in the shop window. Now, as he turns and watches the woman scurrying away, he wonders if anyone would notice her absence. A sharp pain brings him back to reality. He was clenching his jaw tightly, piercing his lower lip with his fangs. It wasn’t the first time he’s done this. Luckily he heals quickly. Shaking his head, he turns away from the woman, now a small dot a few blocks away. Now is not the time to slip up.

He keeps moving, fighting the cold breeze as it assaults his legs and threatens his pace even more. Behind him, a shadow flits under the yellow street lamps, quickly concealing itself in the shadows once more. He smiles. His lengthy pause in front of the shop window had done the trick. His plan is working beautifully.

Every move he had made since he dug himself out his own grave had been witnessed by that shadow, and it was now time to find out who, or what, it was. He turns the corner and immediately enters through the first door he comes to. The house has been vacant for years, and it is the perfect place for a predator to trap his prey.

Wanderer continued with:

The house smells slightly damp and musty. Strangely comforting, he thinks. It reminds him of the cool dark earth and the way it clung to him as he clawed his way out of the ground. A cracked mirror hangs crookedly on the wall and he unwraps his scarf, looking at his face in the spider-webbed surface. His skin looks like the cracking dried mud of a riverbed. He turns away, sliding into an alcove in the entryway. It wouldn’t do to have his pursuer spring the trap too soon.

He swallows against the wave of hunger that comes over him. No. He only wants answers. Why should a thirty five year old man with no history of heart disease drop dead of a heart attack? And why should that same man refuse to stay dead? There was a slight tickle in his gums and he consciously breathes through his nose until the fangs retract. He has a good idea why he isn’t dead or, more accurately, why he is undead, so the question is how?

He hears the front door creak and lowers into a crouch, reminding himself he only wants answers. The aroma of warm blood fills the foyer.

Jonathan Bray concludes with:

The shadow moves forward into the dim light, revealing a woman. Her face known, but not placed. He grabs her and shoves her against the wall.

“Why have you been following me?”

She screams. “Please, take what you want. Just don’t hurt us.”

“Us?” He looks around, photos of of his daughter appear and fade like dying ghosts. This was their house. What happened here? How long has he been like this?

“Where is she?”

A memory half recalled. His wife, a drink, then pain. He reaches for her she laughs. Darkness. His daughters voice in the darkness, a melodic grapnel for his soul.

“I’m sorry.” She whimpers.

Fangs sink into her before he can think to stop. She withers to a corpse in his arms, the blood runs to rot. He chokes, spits the dry gore from his mouth. The corpse is familiar. The ruined dress and wispy hair. He called her wife.

Footsteps run, he follows. She’s older now, but it’s his daughter. He smiles with bloody horrific teeth.

“This isn’t what I wanted.” She stabs the knife into her heart.

“No!”

The house is empty, numb. Now he waits for the cold. He’s used to the cold.

THE END

Vampires and Batman

Me: Hey, what’re you thinking about?

Ed: Nothin’. I dozed off. What are you thinking about?

Me: Nothing. I dozed off, too.

Ed: …

Me (excitedly): And I dreamed about this girl who was wandering around naked at a party and getting attacked by vampires.

Ed: *sigh* That’s weird.

Me: Are you surprised?

Ed: No.

Me: Why not?

Ed: It’s what you do.

Me: Why is that what I do?

Ed: I don’t know. I don’t know why you do these things.

Me: It’s because I’m Batman.

vampirebatman

10 Things I’d Rather Do Than Fight a Zombie Elf

 

  

 This post is brought to you by the letter “Z” and was inspired by Consortium Books‘ upcoming short story e-zine, Consortium of Worlds, Vol. 1 (in which you can read my zombie elf short story “Dead Reconning”). 

  
 

10 Things I’d Rather Do Than Fight a Zombie Elf

In random order:

  1. Fight a living elf
  2. Make out with a non-sparkling vampire
    We all know how that would end, and it doesn’t involve vampiric vegetarianism.
  3. Take afternoon tea with Gothmog (“Elephant Man” orc in LoTR film The Return of the King)
    Talk about one lump or two. Have you seen that guy’s face?!
  4. Engage in a Worst Poetry Contest with a Vogon
    Internal hemorrhaging, anyone?
  5. Listen to Rebecca Black’s “Friday” until my ears bleed
  6. Work out to Richard Simmons’s Disco Sweat
  7. Play hide-and-seek with Darth Vader
    “The stupidity is strong with this one.”
  8. Clean the cats’ litterboxes
  9. Catch a dragon by the toe
    If he hollers, you’re dead. Because he breathes fire and all.
  10. Try to write a novel without any coffee

_________________

What about you? What would you rather do than fight an undead zombie elf?

Zombie Courtney created with “George A. Romero’s App of the Dead” app for iPhone.

All I Have to Do Is Dream

 

Last week, dear inklings, I shared with you my thoughts inspired by Jennifer Brown’s post about “backseat dreaming”.

Jennifer is my Muse once more today. Her post Dreaming Life and Living Dreams reminded me of my fascination with nighttime dreams.

Imprisoned by dreams?

In Living Color

Once upon a time, when I wasn’t writing much, I dreamed in vivid detail and color — every night. My dreams were intense enough that I rarely woke up feeling refreshed. My husband told me that while he had a nice, quite, empty warehouse in his head at night, I had an IMAX theater in mine.

There is no better description.

After I finally realized that I was, indeed, created to create — i.e. after I let myself start becoming the writer I was meant to be — I stopped remembering most of my dreams.

And I started sleeping again, can I get a hallelujah?!?

*ahem*

Anyway, during my years of crazy dreaming, I kept a journal in which I recorded over 150 dreams. And today, my darlings, I’d like to share with you one of the weirder ones. I hope you enjoy. : )

Mortals Akseptans

Dream #67, recorded May 13, 2004

Last night, I dreamed that vampires were chasing me. I wasn’t myself; instead, I was a little girl, about 6 or 7 years old. I was at a truck stop of some sort, next to a lonely, deserted highway. Only a few other customers were in the truck stop. I think I was eating a meal when the vampires came in. I knew they were after me, so I ran outside.

I thought that being in sunlight would save me, but these vampires were immune to the sun. Several of them stayed inside the truck stop, hunting the other customers. Four or five vampires pursued me, and I ran into some sort of tunnel.

The walls were curved, and the whole place was made of metal, so I was running through a long, metal tube. Occasionally, there were large round openings in the ceiling. A male and a female vampire chased me through the tunnel, and the others started dropping in through the openings in the ceiling.

Finally, the vampires surrounded me. As they closed in on me, I turned frantically from side to side, looking for an escape. I caught sight of something strange written on the wall: the words “mortals akseptans” printed in the middle of a sun symbol.

When the vampires saw what I was looking at, they turned away and fled down the tunnel, as though they were afraid of the words. Knowing that they would soon recover and come after me again, I started running in the opposite direction.

I found my way out of the tunnel and ended up in a marshy area. The sun was shining bright, but water was rising all around me, as though I were in the middle of a flood. Suddenly, I realized that the vampires had caught up with me. I was trapped on a tiny little spit of land surrounded by water, and the vampires had only to grab me at their leisure.

I knelt and drew the sun symbol in the sand, then scratched the words “mortals akseptans” in the middle of the sun.

The symbol protected me for awhile, keeping the vampires at bay. But eventually, water eroded the ground and my feeble defense with it. The vampires came closer and closer, and I could see their hunger and desire in their eyes. Several of them were licking their lips, which were wet and red with blood. Then the dream ended.

_______________________

I’ve since Googled the word “akseptans” out of curiosity. Apparently, it is Turkish for “acceptance.” There’s probably something Freudian in there somewhere, but I don’t think I want to puzzle it out. ; )

If you, however, want to analyze my dreams or tell of your own, please share in the comments! I’d love to hear!