Category: Horror

The Accident on Titan

Do you know about the motor pub? The one on Vine Street? It’s a little hole in the wall, but it’s popular with people just passing through the area. 

I was there last Thursday, a bit early in the night. I had finished my research for the day and decided to celebrate before the place got too many customers. Well, when I was there I saw a man sitting alone at the bar, and you know me, I just had to chat with him. I love to chat with anyone I can and there is no one better to talk to than someone drinking alone. 

He looked like he was passing through. I had never seen him at the bar before, so I didn’t think he was a regular.e had a suitcase sitting next to his stool, with his foot wrapped around one of the handles. I admired his determination to keep his belongings safe, but honestly, all he’d get out of that situation would be a broken foot if anyone with any determination tried to take his stuff. But I digress.

I sat next to him and offered to buy him a drink. He thanked me and ordered a whiskey straight. He drank the whole thing in one gulp. Told him, “You didn’t wait for me, but I’m not buying you another.” I laughed.

He didn’t.

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Meet Me at the Gates of the Cemetery

Peter Grange walked past the fake marble pillars that flanked the sides of the large wrought iron gate. He took a moment to appreciate the ornate flourishes of the metal flowers. If you couldn’t bring flowers, these would never wilt.

Peter turned to walk to the street and back home, brushing off some dirt from his jeans. As he looked up towards the road he saw a figure leaning against a street lamp, standing just between the two cones of light from the lamps bulbs. A faint cloud of cigarette smoke wafted away from the figure and into the leftward patch of light. 

The figure spoke up, “You don’t see many people here this late.”

Peter smiled. “Guess I could say the same.” He stopped halfway between the gate and the street lamp.

“So what are you doing here then? Paying your respects?”

Peter wanted to laugh but instead came out with, “Not exactly. More like, I was just doing some cleaning up.”

The figure shifted its weight, still resting entirely within the shadows. “Oh? You make a lot of messes.” The figure vaguely gestured towards the dirt stains on Peter’s workman jeans. 

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Step Mother’s Note

Dearest daughter,

I know when you went to sleep you still didn’t consider me your mother, but I hope you know that I always considered you part of my family.  By the time you read this, you will have woken up from your rest. I hope that you are feeling better. I know things haven’t been easy, and I hope when you wake things will finally be easier, fairer.

I know that this situation has taken a deep toll on you. It’s taken a toll on me as well, but I don’t mean to make this about me. 

What I am trying to say is, I hope that by the time you wake you can find it within your heart to forgive me. I never wanted to hurt you. I never wanted to do this, but… I hope you can at least understand why, even if you can’t forgive me.

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Growth

Michael breathed in at the pause in the conversation, passed the phone from his right hand to his left, and then let out his sigh.

On the other end of the phone, Mae asked him, “I don’t mean to be annoying or anything, but I have to ask.”

Michael flopped backwards onto his bed. “Please don’t.”

“I think that answers my question.”

“I know, I know. I need to clean it out, just…”

“Just nothing, you need to do it.”

Michael rubbed his face with his free hand. “I know.”

“You can do it dude. You’ve already come so far, and I just know that you can keep going.”

“I want to clean it. I really do.” Michael rested his hand on his chest. “Haven’t taken a bath in…since…in a long time.”

“Is that why you can’t clean it?”

Michael got quieter. “What are you saying?”

“Just, like, is, you know, he, is he the reason you can’t clean the tub?”

Michael sat up and swung his legs off the side of the bed. “I mean, I guess. It’s like, when anyone else is here they smell mildew, but for me, it smells like him.”

“Oh…okay.”

“I don’t mean he smelt like mildew or mold! I just mean that I don’t smell what everyone is smelling. It smells, to me, like his cologne, the smell of the sheets after he woke up, his chest when he held me, I guess.”

For a moment, just a brief one, the line was silent. 

Michael broke the silence “Do you think…if I told him I love him, that he’d still be here?”

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Incommon Haunts: Last Stop

Janine closed her leather jacket, trying to get herself just a little warmer. Late October wasn’t the coldest by any means, but it was a bit windy. She kept walking towards the old platform, holding a large bouquet of white lilies held together with a rubber band and wrapped in a Kroger shopping bag. She stopped for a second and looked at the Kroger bag she was carrying them in, tilted her head, and furrowed her brow. “Is this good enough? Fuck. It’s fine, no time anyway.” She stopped talking to the flowers, removed them from the bag and threw the bag in a trash can just before the stairs up the platform. 

Janine walked along the stone platform, listening to her own footsteps echo between the old train station and the apartment complex across the street. In the middle of the platform was an iron bench, recently renovated back to its original design from over 100 years ago. Janine was a sucker for art nouveau, but she could still appreciate its more art deco stylings, with its bold sharp shapes and sleek symmetry. 

She sat down on the bench and brought up one arm to rest against the back. Her flowers sat next to her. Turning towards the sign hanging just a few feet above and to the right of her, she confirmed that this was the right stop. The clock on the wall confirmed that it was the right time too. She was a few minutes early, but honestly, she was always early for these kinds of things.

Turning back forward, she jumped a little as she noticed that an older woman was sitting next to her now. The woman was wearing an old-fashioned bonnet with lace and a floor length dress. It reminded Janine of the Mennonites that would come into town to sell bread, and presumably other things. She only ever bought the bread and the pretzels.

Janine started to tap her foot and check her watch, occasionally turning towards the other woman who was sitting stone still. Janine would open her mouth, and then stop herself before looking back at her watch.  

The old woman finally seemed to shake awake and move a little. She blinked, once, twice, three times, and then yawned. She stretched and bumped into Janine. “Oh! Sorry dear, didn’t see you there.” She took a long look at Janine, starting at her eyes, following her nose, down to her mouth, then chin. “Have we met?”

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Followed

At the end of Nathalie’s leash was a soft and fluffy Wheaten Terrier named Roxy, wagging her tail as she went. Roxy was walking at a steady pace, matching her owner’s gait, staying right by her side. Or, more accurately, slightly ahead. Roxy would start just at Nat’s side, but as they got further along their route, Roxy would get just a pinch of excitement and walk in front of Nat, but not too much.

It was a crisp winter day. It had snowed last week, and while there were a few piles still left in some people’s yards, the snow had mostly melted. Today, however, the morning grass was covered in a frost of icy dew. To Nat, the yards looked like they were covered in a dusting of sugar. Nat looked down at Roxy, “Maybe I’ll make some cinnamon rolls today. But none for you girl. Hope you like the smell though.”

The pair turned around a corner in their flat neighborhood, just past a four-way intersection that connected their block to the wider neighborhood system. Soon, on their right, would be a small playground, just past a narrow patch of woods. Roxy picked up her pace, just a pinch more, and pulled her tail in tight. 

Here, on this stretch of their walk, made the extent of the weather so much easier to grasp, as long stretches of grass were left open. Nat wasn’t sure if they were just large yards, or just unsold properties, but either way, both sides of the street were wide open on either side, and just sparsely dotted with houses. Here, Nat felt alone, felt cold, felt tight. Nathalie pulled up her zipper just a bit more, up to the top of her neck, and then pulled tight on the drawstrings of her hood. 

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A Gentle Sound

Grace woke up, rolled over, and stretched her arm to pull Izzy closer. Her hand felt empty mattress, so she patted along for a few seconds before finally opening her eyes and seeing that Izzy wasn’t there. Even with the blinds pulled, she could tell it was deep in the night, as no light peaked out from the corners of the window. 

Grace yawned, “Izzy, honey, where are you?” She sat up and stared at the empty half of the bed.

Grace felt a tickle of breath across her ear – Izzy’s voice. “I’m on the roof. I want to show you something.” Grace, startled, looked around the room. She rubbed her eyes and blinked them open again, but still Izzy was not near. Shaking her head clear, she mentally prepared for leaving the warmth of the blankets and threw her legs over the side of the bed. It took her a second, and a great amount of energy to take that single small step to the cold hard wood floor, and then into her slippers.

Across the hall from her room was the guest room, the door and window open to the small veranda roof at the front of the house, pointing toward the street and the city below. As Grace forced herself through the thick unrelenting sludge of being half awake, she whispered to herself, “Thank God Mom’s not visiting.”

Grace dragged her feet forward and pushed aside the lightly fluttering curtain so she could poke her head through. Izzy was standing at the edge of the roof, the tips of her toes just past the gutter. The side of Izzy’s face was illuminated by the drag of her cigarette. Grace started to crawl out, hoping not to be too loud and startle Izzy. 

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Incommon Haunts: Finished Business

Emma sat on the edge of her mother’s old double bed. She only came in here to dust the furniture and vacuum the floors even though no one had lived there for a few months. And also for the visits.

She ran through the events of the last few days, making sure the omens were the same and that she was sitting in the right place. There was yesterday when the raven flew into the house. Emma tried to chase it out but it just kept landing on the picture of her mother sitting above the fireplace. Then this morning, without warning, she thought she smelt the same scent as the white lilies she placed on her mother’s grave at her funeral. 

And finally, just a few minutes ago, there were those two identical twins in the second story hallway beckoning her to her mother’s room. Emma shooed them out and sent them back to the house next door and was determined to have a talk with their parents, but right now, she needed to wait for her mother.

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A Landscape of Thorns

Dear Alexia Ashgerd,

I hate to write to you like this, but it is of utmost importance that you read this letter fully. I need you to understand what you are doing, but I fear that what I say may fall on deaf ears. The whole idea seems absurd to any logical thinker.

I read of your recent discoveries in the Adirondacks. The stories are saying you followed clues in old oral traditions and found a series of a tunnels, caves and odd structures. It all reminded me of something that happened a few years ago.

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