Category Archives: Erika Lance

All Downhill From Here by Erika Lance

For Crystal, I truly do hope you enjoy this.

All they could see was the open ocean and fluffy clouds of cotton candy 🍭

Marcie looked around and it appeared that she was on this beach with ten other people.

She did not know any of them.

She looked into the sky again and the clouds in fact were swirled with pink and an almost unnatural blue.

There was coughing coming from one of the other people. He was an older gentleman, looked like he was in his early sixties. He was on his hands an knees and his entire body spasming.

As she tries to stand a wave of dizziness hits her and she feels herself land back on the sand.

When her vision cleared she realized there was a marking on her forearm. It said: 17GHT433GFS. What the hell is going on? she thought.

She looked over at the man still coughing as he threw up something metallic. She began to move closer to him, there were others attempting the same. All of them seemed to be suffering from the same inability to stand.

As she neared the man, his eyes closed and he started to sway. She tried to hurry before he fell over but she was too late.

She arrived at the same time as two of her other companions. The man was no longer breathing and the metallic item he had thrown up started making a high-pitched noise. There was also a dim red light that started pulsing.

Marcie looked down at the man’s arm and he had a similar marking to hers. The numbers were all the same but one: 12GHT433GFS.

The noise was getting louder and one of the companions, a man, kicked the item into the ocean. The noise dulled and after about thirty seconds there was a small explosion in the water.

“Was that a bomb?” the woman standing next to her asked.

These were the first words spoken by Chelsea. She died three days later.

 

 

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Feeling Guilt by Erika Lance

For Mack Mclane; thank you for the fun story starter!

Catching Feelings is like finding spiders…

This is exactly how Marius felt as he walked back towards the abandoned house that he currently called home.

“I hate spiders” he muttered to himself as he walked; brushing down his arms as if this would rid him of the ‘creepy crawly’ sensation he had since he had seen her last.

As he walked he tried to take his attention off of her. He had been lucky to find a home, with a basement that was not in use. He knew the previous owner had died in the house and it had taken nine months for the body to be discovered. Marius knew this because the ghost of the previous resident still loitered on the property.

Sometimes it was easy enough to get them to move on. Other times, like this one, were just stuck. The only saving grace for Marius and this roommate, was that he had convinced his roommate that spirits would be “drained of all life force” if they stayed next to the undead for too long. This meant the ghost would leave him alone for the most part.

The undead can be so stupid sometimes.

As he walked up the stairs of the rotting porch his mind wandered to her again. He closed his eyes and could still smell her. “Heather…” the name fell out of his mouth. His eyes opened. “Damn it!” he swore.

This was never going to work. He knew better then to watch them for too long. He knew better then too talk to them. He knew NOT TO DEVELOP FEELINGS FOR THEM! This time he was screaming at himself in his own head.

The other major issue was he was starving. He needed to eat soon before he lost control.

With a deep sigh he turned around and headed back towards the street.

He needed to find a victim and really it should be her. He knew he could take her in her apartment tonight and it would be some time before she was discovered. She was not a sad case, but more of a determined one.  She studied and researched and basically had no time for a social life, this usually meant 3-5 days before she appeared missing.

He moved faster through the night and although he did not intend to arrive where he was standing his feet brought him to her window.

She was inside, he could smell her.

The ‘creepy-crawly’ feeling came back. Could he do this?

He started second guessing himself; again.

He paced around her home for an hour, weighing the pros and cons of it all. Then he found himself standing next to the bed she laid on. He could hear the minor details of her breathing, the smell of her hair and her skin.

Then there was a noise behind him. He turned to see a man coming in through the window. He wondered if he should watch this activity unfold.

The man coming through the window was in his late twenties. He smelled as if he was not a frequent bather. He also didn’t seem to feel brushing his teeth daily was a requirement either. The smell of drugs on him overpowered all the others. It was in his blood. This is why he was here.

Marius grabbed hold of the man in that instant a moved him outside the window. His prey was now terrified with eyes open in total fear. Marius smiled.

“Tell me somewhere safe to take you.” Marius didn’t use this power often. It normally only worked on those willing or to weak to fend him off.

While his new companion described a ‘safe’ place to take him. Marius closed and secured the window again leaving Heather, damn it he called her by name again, to sleep peacefully.

He had his guilt-free meal.

 

 

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First Encounters by Erika Lance

For Eric Saylor, forever my Lieutenant. 

“Where did this thing come from? And… why was it green?”

These were the first and only words out of the mouth of the designated officer for the mission to meet the newest race to appear to desire to join the the newly formed Universal Alliance.

An entire delegation was to ready at the docking bay when there was a shudder to the ship  as they were supposed to be docking, and then a loud grinding and crash. Then for a moment the lights flickered out and as they came back on there was that one utterance over the comm module and then screams, the sounds of breaking bones and flesh being torn apart and then nothing.

I was sent down to investigate. Why? I know that would be my first thought as well. That is if I was allowed to have a “thought.” I wasn’t.

I am a synthetic animated object. Basically, I am an advanced robot. I am made entirely of a liquid substance that has few circuits. I look like a sparkly pool. A very small sparkly pool about four inches. We are used for observation and report mainly as we can slide into very small and potentially hazardous areas. In this case, a docking bay filled with a hostile alien race and pieces of the remaining crew members.

The captain had sealed off the entire bay; this included the air ducts. Way too many creatures can and have figured out the ducts are a very easy way to traverse the entire length of a ship. So my way in was along the wires that ran to the consoles that were located in the room. Since I needed less then a centimeter to get into a space, it was easy to slide into place.

As I traveled to and entered the room the science officer was getting constant reports. I didn’t care that everything I was doing and “seeing” was being tracked. My main issue was having to hear it repeated back to me as Lt. Adamean was saying everything. Who really cared that I was ten feet, nine feet, eight feet away… The fact was I simply hadn’t arrived yet. Update them when I did… Sheesh.

This is why the belief that we didn’t have thoughts of our own was simply absurd. See we did. Collectively we had learned the concept of thoughts. How to reason. How to think. Since the humanoids always assumed we couldn’t, they didn’t realize when we did.

As I slid in the room, I surveyed the scene. If I could think something was disgusting, this would have been it. Since I didn’t have emotions, we had decided these led to making bad decisions, I didn’t have a reaction. However, when Lt. Adamean had been ordered to post the visual that I was projecting the large monitor on the bridge, there were many reactions and emotions. Humanoids.

I moved along the wall until I could find a perch that showed the entire bay. There were a total of six of the alien race. They were smaller and looked like a cross between a spider and a beaver. They had eight legs, four it seemed were used for movement, two seemed to have pads for stabilizing and two had what looked like thin spikes which were currently being used to scooping mouthfuls of flesh into their mouths which had two distinct teeth that protruded from their mouths.

They were covered in a sort of green fur that seemed to shift as they moved. Ah, armor. They were clever.

As I moved, one of them looked up with its six eyes, gore dripping from its maw, and it smiled. At an alarming speed, it moved towards my location.  It didn’t seem to be slowed by the slick floor or the wall; it moved straight up it. I debated for a moment if attempting to flee was the answer. The humans giving me instructions were of no use. There was so much yelling I had to lower the volume projected to ascertain what the correct action to take next would be.

As the creature arrived, I anticipated it stabbing me with one of the spikes. Instead, it looked closely and then touched me with one of the pads on the stabilizing feet. I could hear, no wait, see its thoughts. These weren’t mindless creatures; they had actually assumed the greeting party was the meal provided to them. They had assumed such soft, low intelligence creatures could only be food.

As the humanoids reacted to this news, I knew that soon we would be working with a higher level of species. I shut off my connection to Lt. Adamean and waited for it to be over.

 

 

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Small Metal Case by Erika Lance

To Brandy, my epicenter of weird crap that happens.

“She awoke to the sound of shattering glass…..”

Shit! She muttered silently to herself. She was not supposed to fall asleep.

Looking around, she assessed her situation. At least she was still alone in the room. Her tripwires and traps were all in place. The other traps and warning systems had not gone off.

She closed her eyes and listened for a moment. Faintly in the background, she heard the sound of buzzing. She could tell there were two of them and by the sounds of their movement they hadn’t found her yet.

She heard the sound of shattering glass again. They were trying to get her to move, to startle. This tactic would normally work for most. Talia, however, was not most.

As a courier, she would oftentimes have to hide with her cargo. She had gotten used to this and learned early on the scouts and even the hunters had a pattern to their approach. These were scouts. Which also meant they didn’t know what they were looking for, just that they were looking for something.

She checked the gauges on her suit. It was holding temperature. This suit was what truly made the difference for those like her. It was a thin mesh that caused sensors to detect nothing as it matched the exact temperature of the area where the person was standing. The only thing a courier had to contend with is the air they would breathe in would be matched to ensure there were no spikes or dips in this.

She looked down at the small metal box in front of her. She had taken the job because the request seemed easy for the pay. She assumed it had been posted by a wealthy person for whom price didn’t matter. However, getting to the item had not been the issue; getting out with it had. This was the third safe spot she had to stop in. She had also had to travel through areas that even the scouts wouldn’t travel as the normal routes were suddenly heavily patrolled.

She listened again and the buzzing was gone. They had given up and moved on to the next spot to check. She moved to quietly undo her equipment; she needed to finish this and drop her cargo. She was coiling up the last of the wires when she heard the sound of slithering scales and claws against stone.

It was a drudger and now it was time to RUN!

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The Spell by Erika Lance

For Bev Schroeder: You have always been an amazing friend. I hope you enjoy this.

Hearing his name out of the blue like that was like watching the ghosts of old times walk down new streets.

Ayla was not happy about having been made to return to her hometown. It had been over twenty-five years since she had left and even though she had never uttered the words out loud to anyone, herself included, she knew it was true.

Her aunt had called her to tell her that there had been a death. Most of the family she would have simply sent flowers. She was prepared to hear so many of the names except this one. Her aunt told her Patrick Barnes had died. PJ. She had left that evening.

Now sitting in the main diner in town looking out the window onto the frozen lake that was the main attraction for this small town, Ayla didn’t have a plan. She didn’t know the next step to take.

Lost in thought, she was startled when the waitress asked if she wanted more coffee. She looked down at her cup, coffee now cold and realized she was just as frozen as the lake. She needed to do something or leave. Doing nothing was just breaking down her carefully built walls.

Ayla shook her head and before the waitress could walk away, she asked, “Excuse me. Did you know PJ… I mean Patrick Barnes?” her voice was hoarse.

The look on the waitress’s face turned sad. “Yes. I knew him.” It almost seemed that she did not want to continue when she said, “His funeral is tomorrow,” and then she turned and walked away.

They were putting him, PJ, in the ground tomorrow. This was happening too soon.

Ayla got up and left a twenty on the table and headed out. When she got in the car, she knew there was only one place she could go. She drove for over an hour. The back roads were still there and even though she shouldn’t have remembered every detail of how to get there she did.

She got out of the car and the wind had picked up. She bundled up as best she could and headed out. It wasn’t far and she was standing in front of the tree. She could find the marks. The last bit of physical proof of what they had done.

The tree was still scorched, as if it couldn’t heal from the damage. It had been too great. The damage to them had been too great as well.

She brushed aside the snow to find the marks. There initials carved so many years ago within a crude star shape.  Rachel had found the spell, she was the first that… She had died five years to the day that PJ did. There were three more initials; hers, MR, and JP. None of them had spoken in years.

The spell that had bound them to their wish had also torn them apart. They had asked for something that was a child’s whim.

Now she didn’t know if there was a pattern or… she really didn’t know if she was next.
Again lost in thought and simply tracing and retracing the symbols, she heard a branch snap behind her… she turned. “Michael?” she asked as she saw his face.

 

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Pom Poms by Erika Lance

For Mandi, for being inspiring since the day we met.

“That is seriously the 6th time that truck as slowly rolled past. Should we ask if they need help?”

Claire looked over at Marci who had been one looking out the window and scowled. Marci couldn’t see the scowl which was most likely a good thing. Claire often thought that she, and she alone would survive a horror movie type situation.

Claire had joined the cheer squad when she first arrived at Jeffery M. Whitmore High School because they had no other activities that related to dance or gymnastics. Claire also understood stature and how to navigate the high school experience so that she came out on top.

Unfortunately, this meant she was usually surrounded by a bunch of girls who talked about lipstick and shopping and so many other things Clair had zero interest in. She chalked it up to being the negative parts of popularity.

“Seriously, should we go out there? They are parked down the block. They may need help.” Marci was persistent. Chrissie, who happened to be the captain of the team looked out the window along with Heather and Tanya. They had all decided to have a “little” slumber party this weekend to discuss Nationals.

Claire knew it would look good on college transcripts, so she was on board for helping make sure this wasn’t embarrassing.

“I don’t know if it is safe. Claire, what do you think?” Tanya asked.

Tanya asked about everything. She couldn’t make a decision herself about anything. Claire smiled; it was the fake smile that said “I care what you are saying” but really didn’t. “I don’t think you should go out there. This town is full of weirdos.” She was sure the others wouldn’t listen to her, so she felt safe in saying what she did.

Almost on cue Chrissie looked over, “I think we should. After all, they may be some slightly lost college guys or something.” She managed to sound condescending when she even said that. “Tanya, let’s go help out the stranded stranger,” and she headed for the door.

It was in this moment Claire decided that the fate of these three meant nothing to her. She could be worried. She could warn them. Hell, she could even manipulate them into staying inside. However, in this moment she realized that the cheer team would go on, even if all three of these girls were no longer breathing.

So she smiled again, “I understand. You should help them out.”

Chrissie and Tanya checked themselves in the mirror and headed out. Claire looked at her watch: 10:35pm. She then picked back up the book she was reading and waited. Marci was switching between pacing and looking out the window. She suddenly burst out, “They are gone!”

Claire looked up from her book. “What?” she asked, sure of what the answer would be.

“They are gone.” Marci was staring to freak out. “Is the van still there?” Claire asked. She thought she should make her tone more concerned to make Marci feel better and then she shrugged. She didn’t actually care.

“Maybe you should check on them?” Claire finally said. Maybe she sounded like she cared. She didn’t.

“Will you come with me?” Marci asked.

“No,” Claire said. Maybe that was a little rough. “Umm… someone should be here if they come back.” She hoped that made her sound more caring or possibly a little scared.

“Oh,” Marci started, “That makes sense,” and she headed for the door. Claire shrugged and went back to reading.

Some time had passed before she checked her watch again; it had been an hour. She moved over and looked out the window. The van was gone. Claire pursed her lips. She knew Chrissie’s parents would at least be home by morning and wondering where their daughter was. She shook her head and pulled out her cell phone.

“911. What is your emergency?” the  concerned sounding voice answered.

“My… My… My … THEY ARE GONE!!!” The drama classes were paying off, Claire thought as she “sobbed” into the phone. The operator began to ask her questions and as she answered she wondered if being cheer captain was more work than she wanted to expend.

 

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The Story by Erika Lance

To my Dad. Thank you for always supporting me and for the cheesy story starter.

It was a dark and stormy night.

The fact that these were the only words typed on the page and the cursor kept blinking back at him like some kind of symbol of failure was not making this idea anything but a bust.

Alex had decided that he needed to get out of town and away from all the distractions of his normal life to finally write the novel he had been dreaming of for years. Instead, he was at a remote cabin at the backside of a camping ground that one of his friends had found online.

He had agreed because he was trying to pen the next great horror novel but instead had spent the last three days creating nothing except a lack of snacks and a level of frustration he couldn’t stand.

He put his face in his hands and sighed. He was about to delete the only line he had written when he heard the bedroom door slam shut behind him.

He turned and it was closed. He got up and moved towards it. The windows in the front of the cabin were open. He had found out the hard way that the cabin did not come with central heat and air.

He got to the door and tried to turn the knob and pull it open. It wasn’t budging. He had only been given one key that opened the front door which he was pulling out of his pocket when he realized there wasn’t a lock on this door.

It opened inward so he tried to push using most of his weight against the door. After a few tries, the door flew inward with such ease that Alex ended up landing on the floor of the now darkened room into something wet.

He stood up looking around for the light switch, noticed his hands and arm were coated in blood, and just then the door slammed shut again.

Alex noticed the room was beginning to chill and being slightly wet was not helping the situation. In the total dark, he heard the sound of something moving to the left.

“Who’s there?” he said, immediately regretting it.

He heard the noise again, this time closer.

Alex moved back, reaching out with his hand until he felt the wall behind him. He began to move in the direction of the door. Before he could reach it, he heard a voice very close to him “Alex… Where are you going?”

He jumped. The voice was that of a woman, although it sounded scratchy and weak.

“Who are you?” he sputtered out.

He felt cold fingers on his face as the voice said, “I’m going to give you what you wanted.”

Alex wanted to pull back but he had nowhere to go. He felt his heart beating against his chest as the noises around him lead him to think whatever this thing was, it moved without stepping.

“Are you going to kill me?” he finally asked.

“Kill you?” It began, then started laughing. “You’re already dead.” As the final word was spoken, the lights came on and there he was laying on the bed, covered in blood. His eyes were open and staring blankly into nothing. There was a wound along his neck and chest.

“What? Wait… I don’t understand,” he said, looking around for whatever the voice was attached to. He was alone with only himself in the room.

“You wanted a story,” the voice said.

 

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