Tag Archives: horror

200 Words at a Time, Part 3

The telephone of writing continues.   This time I picked a story that stuck with me.  It was something I’d normally read being a horror with a religious bent.  But,  it compelled none the less.  Here’s my attempt.  

The beginning is from boydstun215.   The second part is from Adrienne.  And,  of course, the challenge is from good ole’ Chuck Wendig.

200 Words at time, Part 3

By Boydstun215

The soldiers carried the man across the narthex and through the nave. They lumbered along like some giant, wounded insect, three pairs of cold, stiff legs shuffling clumsily beneath a motley carapace of steel and leather. Close upon their heels, the master-of-arms was careful to avoid the hissing droplets of blood that the insect left in its wake. His sword was drawn.

At the end of the nave and standing at the foot of the chancel, the bishop held a gilded crosiers at arm’s length as if to thwart to advance of the shambling mass making its way toward the altar. In his other hand he grasped a large silver crucifix. Despite his advanced age and diminutive stature, the crimson-robed bishop made for an imposing figure. “No further,” he whispered. The soldiers stopped , unsure of themselves. One of the men looked down nervously into the pale face of the man he carried while the other two turned their heads in askance to the master-at-arms. For several moments the only sound was the steady hiss of the blood as fell from the lifeless man and met the cold marble floor.

“It must be done here,” said the master-at-arms. “Take him to the altar.”

By Adrienne

The bishop moved aside, letting the soldiers scramble up the few steps to the altar. His crimson robes did nothing to shield him from the cold radiating from their frozen armor. The slick marble stairs proved difficult for the exhausted soldiers as they stumbled and fell under their heavy load. Grim-faced, the master–at-arms followed their procession, only sheathing his sword to offer aid in heaving the unconscious man atop the bare altar.

The soldiers scurried away, stealing a glance at the stone table before fixing their gaze on their snow-crusted boots. The master-at-arms moved to the side of the altar where the man’s head rested. His shallow breaths produced a faint mist in the cold air. Steady drops of blood from his mouth had already created a small pool that hissed quietly on the stone. The master-at-arms looked down at the man’s face, searching for any hint of the soldier he once knew, but finding only the thing he had become. A sharp intake of air through the pale, bloodied lips tore the master-at-arms away from his thoughts.

The bishop joined the master-at-arms. Two terrified altar boys carrying trays covered with vials, books, crucifixes, and various cutting tools followed closely behind.

“It is time.”

By Me

The bishop took the vial from the boys with a slow deliberation he pulled the cork free.  The once dead soldier began to stir as he shook it, lightly, over him.  The liquid splashed against the body glowing for a moment as an acrid scent wafted upward.

The soldier’s lips pulled back bloodied teeth bared.  A low, animal like growl erupted from his mouth.

The bishop glanced at the master-at-arms.  “Hold him.”   And, he turned even as the man moved to obey.  He lifted up the cross with great reverence.   He muttered quiet words over the struggling thing.

The skin darkened, as more feral growls overwhelmed every other sound.  The soldier fought as the master-at-arms’ muscles strained to keep him still.

The bishop handed the cross back to the altar boys.  He took up a knife, and several empty vials.  He motioned to the book, “Read.”

One of the boys opened the book.  His eyes stretched wide and hands unsteady began to read. The archaic words weaved in between the snaps and snarls.

Bishop made a careful slash across the flesh of the soldier.  The blood was a dark violet against its skin.  He held the vial against the trickle allowing it to fill with blood.  “Soon, we can finish this.”

 

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Scarecrow, the Mint, and the Moon

Another blog entry for Chuck Wendig’s weekly fun contest. http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/06/02/flash-fiction-challenge-choose-your-random-words/ Check out the link if you want to read a pretty amazing blog, or enter the contest yourself.

 

Scarecrow, the Mint, and Moon

I felt my feet dangling above the wet dirt. I wondered what had awoken me from my slumber. Then, I saw it. A pack of double mint gum right between my swaying shaggy, worn boots. “Well great,” I muttered to myself internally. I wasn’t awake enough yet. A panic gripped me as I jerked my head upward, but it didn’t go anywhere. “Must not be a quarter moon. I’m safe. I can stay half awake all night hanging from this post.”

I heard a shuffle of boots as light broke across the my field of vision. The light tinged with reds, oranges, and yellows. Sunset, it was sunset. A few quiet whispers too indistinct for me to hear them or if it was more than one speaker.

A strong, girlish voice broke in. “Devin, this is stupid. You are stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.” Her tone went a pitch higher with every stupid she uttered. “Do you think a pack of mint gum, saying some dumb phrase is going to make McNalley’s scarecrow wake up?”

I have to agree with Devin’s girlfriend? Friend with Benefits? Girl who was ‘his friend’? That double mint gum, and some dumb phrase wouldn’t wake me up. But, a pack of mint gum under a quarter moon would. I wonder when some whispered code words got added to the lore. I thought about it, I’d only been asleep a few years. Perhaps, McNalley died, went crazy, or something worse.

“Trish, come on. I thought you wanted to see real magic. If we can get this,” He slapped my chest with his hand. “To get up, it would be real magic. Don’t chicken out.”

An annoyed feminine sigh responded with the cluck of the tongue, I assume this was Trist. “I’m not afraid. Check that, I’m afraid of looking stupid in the middle of a corn field.” A pause as I could hear her feet move. “Besides, I’m not sure if we should be hanging around McNalley’s place at night.”

Now, I was starting to become really concerned about McNalley. We were best friends. He turned me into a freakin’ magical construct, but only after I died. Typically, drunken farmer tractor sort of nonsense. But, had he died? I’d have to ask these kids once I was moving.

Devin went back to whispering. “Oh come and unveil yourself great nature spirit.”Wow, who’d been filling that kid’s head with nonsense.

I could hear Trish shuffle back and forth. I caught a glimpse of her tanned legs shooting of a work boot. The sound her skin rubbing made me think she was cold. “Stupid Devin, why didn’t he tell the poor thing to bring a coat.”

Irrationally, I attempted to jerk my head to the side. To my surprise, this time it worked. “Nice, thanks kids.” My voice was the same as I was alive. Cheery, but a big gravelled from all the smoking.

Both of them leapt back. Devin was a tall, gangly kid with brown eyes, and hair. He hadn’t grown into himself. Trish a tanned, hard working farm girl from top to bottom. “You scared now? Ha.” I hopped off the pole.

“Are you going to kill us?” Trish lip trembled. I noticed her hands wrapped around a bat. Yeah, she was the brains of this brainless operation.

I laughed. “Hell, no. What happened McNalley?”

Devin stepped forward blocking my straight path to Trish. “Didn’t you kill him?”

“He’s dead.” I felt myself fall back against the pole as I wiped a tear from my painted on eye. “That bastard. Who killed him?”

Devin’s shoulder lifted up and down. “No one knows. They found him in the basement, with a scary book, his own blood, and some candles.”

Together me and McNalley learned a lot about summoning and binding spirits. I needed to see in the house. I’d be able to sense what he was trying to do. “Grab the mints and let’s go.”

The kid grabbed it and trotted behind me. Apparently, reality sunk in and he threw them at me. Trish and Devin took off screaming and running out the field.

I knelt down picked up my soul anchor and continued to McNalley’s house. The place looked run down, the porch needed a new whitewash, and the whole place needed a good scrubbing. Nobody wanted to buy the creepy, old man’s house. I opened his hand carved door stepping right up to double set of stairs. One going up with hand carved rails, and one going into a dark, dingy dungeon. I went down, flicking on the light as I went.

The basement was an old storage cellar. The ceiling hung low, filled with old metal shelves, and one small altar. I walked over and saw he planned to do. Based on what he carved into the rock he was binding another spirit. There was only one other person he’d bother with. “Patricia.”

“How did you know? How can you hear me?” A voice like nails on the chalkboard.

I saw a thin outline of her older, scowling face, no body only a ghost. “He didn’t like anyone else. He called you and the backlash energy killed him. I’m magically delicious now, so I can see you. What killed ya?”

“Heart attack. I don’t want to be here. I want to go back.” Being trapped without a body, and no one to talk to sure had mellowed out her personality.

There was only one way I knew to free Patricia, but I’d be gone too. I didn’t really want to be here. I only agreed to the whole thing for McNalley. “I’ll free you.”

A few pokes and the secret compartment opened up. Inside was his focus, a fishbowl filled with thing he loved mints, Patricia’s perfume, a bit of corn, moonshine, and a page out of the bible. What a stereotype. I picked up the focus and shattered it against the wall.

Right away Patricia vanished. I felt myself unravel. I chuckled, maybe I’d see McNalley in the place we go after.

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