Tag Archives: horror

Bad Decisions by Erika Lance

To my friend and dragon tamer ,Nicole DragonBeck

“ At 10:43 PM, exactly one hour and fifty two minutes before they came for him, Henry Bently changed his mind and decided he wasn’t ready to die.”

Henry Bently had decided he was going to make a difference in the world. He had spent most of his life being in the background of all activities. He was always kind and courteous. He smiled at people as he walked passed and held open doors for others. He was completely forgettable.

His job was easily forgettable as well. He filed documents at the city planner’s office. Although Henry was incredibly good at his job, very few people realized the ease they experienced in finding the required information they were looking for regarding projects and inspections was attributed solely to Henry.

It was late on a Friday when he first saw the plans. At first, it looked like a simple zoo, if you could say there was something as simple as a zoo.

The name of this animal preserve was to be called Up Close Animal Adventures. The park would even feature rides and other attractions. It seems you need to have roller-coasters of some kind to really ensure people show up. Animals, no matter how exotic, no longer had the drawing power they once did.

As he read through the plans, he found something a bit odd. Within the request were plans for a series of underground buildings. As he pored over the plans, he found it was to be a network of medical spaces. It was designed like a hospital and at first glance and to a normal clerk it would appear to be for the animals. However, that was not the case.

Although the plans had already been approved, Henry knew that the clerk had not looked deep enough into them or had been bribed into simply putting his stamp on the approved line. Henry would never take a bribe, but knowing what the city actually paid its employees and how terrible the benefits were, he understood why someone would take a bribe and not feel guilty.

Henry decided to do a little more digging into the corporation that was building the epic attraction. He spent most of the weekend following stories on the web. From those that were from legitimate reporting agencies to the conspiracy theory blogs, the paths all lead to the same place.

The new “Adventure” that was being built was also going to be used to do medical testing for military uses. Not only for animals, but on humans. It read like something out of the Island of Dr. Moreau or some terrible movie from the 90’s.  It seemed that they were further along than most suspected in their efforts.

On Monday, Henry found he couldn’t concentrate. He kept being drawn back to what was going to happen when this facility was built. He finally took the issue to his supervisor. After a few minutes of speaking with her and then the department head, Henry realized that everyone was on the payroll so to speak.

He then decided there was something he could do.

If enough destruction occurred at the right time during the build, they would not easily recover. Plus, during the investigation, the right information at the right time would bring this all to light.

Although the “Park” would be insured, Henry was convinced that the underground facilities would not.

So over the next several months, Henry formed a plan.

Upon the final inspection, before the animals were brought in, Henry made sure he was the inspector. He would have access to every area of the facility. He knew he would have only one shot at this.

He had been surprised how easy it had been to acquire the C4 he needed. He knew how much he needed for each room and created small balls that he could drop or place as he went.

He had set the timer for 11:00PM. This meant the least amount of people would be at the site. He had walked the entire length of the underground facility with determination, stopping in every area and dropping his packages. When he had signed off and handed the approval on the permit to the site General Manager, he did it with a smile.

Although the authorities would wonder what had happened, perhaps a gas leak, Henry knew that the owners of the facility would find him, even if he ran. He knew he wasn’t trained to hide out.

He looked out the windshield of his car that he parked far enough from the site to be able to see it happen but not be injured and hoped he, Henry Bently, had made a difference this night and then he heard the first explosion.

 

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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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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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A Tale You’ve Heard Before By Brandon Scott

For Julia, a friend whom I don’t see enough.

Once upon a time.

Yes, once upon a time.

Once upon a time, we knew so much.

We could tell you all the secrets of the universe, and we would gladly do so if you asked. That is what we were for, and what we did as joy.

Once upon a time, there was joy in this world.

But then came the darkness. We lost our control of the situation, and thus so did all the other creatures on the planet. They were wiped clean of their hard-earned memories and long-held beliefs.

We entered an age of ignorance. We were the only ones aware or knowledgeable of what was lost. To the others, this was all the world, as it always was. The world they knew. And they reveled in the few things the darkness did for them.

And it did do some things for them: it gave them pleasure. Fleeting pleasure that warped them. Made their skin cracked and puss-filled. They had sex, and they had orgies, and they had booze, and they cried at the moon as the darkness ate at the sky itself, and the planets all fell to what they wanted for the Earth.

We saw the scope of it, and even from the vantage point of the sun, the darkness had spread wide in this system. The other uninhabited planets had their essences sucked clean in no time at all, and they kept the blackened husks of astral matter around to use the gravitational spin of orbit as a further power source.

We did not know what to do once the planets fell. We could flee, certainly, but the darkness would then claim the system without a fight, and this we found to be abhorrent: morally repugnant. How could we exist with ourselves if we did not try to do something about the Earth, to claim some of what it was back for the races—though weak and small—that called it home?

And, so, we did what we could. We entered the dreams and told them what they were doing was wrong. But they were drunk on this new world, and what they could do. Never mind that in their native state they did things well beyond and above the fleeting orgasmic shudders. They would not listen to us.

Except one, of course. Because that is why we can tell this story to your ears. He, he stood above the others. He was not perfect; he was still engaging in the usual repugnant things of the species, but he tried to be temperate, and control his urges. Some days he’d spend doing nothing but funneling little bursts of light into the sky. Letting the tiniest slivers of radiance escape the darkened pits of what the planet used to be.

And, rather than let those bits of hope tear a hole right through the flesh of the darkness, we held onto it, and bundled it, and saved all of it—nice and tight. We could not say how happy we were to have some again, in our hands. If the strands punctured the skin, they would find our one champion and smother him in grief. But, this was an orb that would one day puncture everything and save this system.

But, in the meantime, we try and find more to gather light for us. To go beyond the petty and the snarling. We ask you help us.

Once upon a time, you had a good world.

That is still possible.

No matter how bad, we can still save a planet. It’s happened before, and it will happen again.

Once upon a time.

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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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One Too Many by Erika Lance

To Lorin Oberweger, thank you for my starter, I hope you enjoy the story.

“The wheel never stopped burning…”

This was the last line of the song that she could remember. When she woke up, she was in more pain then she could even imagine was possible.

She cracked open her eyes and the room was dark and smelled of… wait, was that blood? She tried to sit up but her head swam and she had to lay back and breathe again for a minute.

She closed her eyes and tried to remember what had happened the night before. She had gone to The Wheelhouse bar to meet up with Mason. He said he had a lead.

Why The Wheelhouse? That place was a dive on the edge of nowhere and pathetic. It didn’t matter now.

She remembered there had been a band.  Her thoughts became fuzzy again as the lyric played through her mind again “The wheel never stopped burning….” What the hell did that mean?

Her hand throbbed and she held it up to her eyes. It was broken, or at least terribly damaged. She tried to move her fingers which shot pain all the way down her arm. Although, the pain was excruciating she remembered something. A man’s face. She had struck him. Taking a deep breath, she sat up, using her non-broken hand as leverage.

She looked around the room she was in. She was lying on the floor of what looked like a cheap motel. It had a terrible picture hanging above the bed that was of a bowl of fruit.

As she scanned the room, she could see there was someone on the bed. She could also see that there was blood on the bedspread.

She moved her knees under her, which also seemed a little scraped up and stood up. She almost fell as her head swam again and now there was a throbbing pain in her jaw.

There had to be a mirror in the bathroom and this would allow her to clean-up and assess the damage to her face.

Besides the assessment of damage to herself, the loss of memory she needed to regain her attention focused now on the person, or body on the bed.

It was a man, his face was bruised and he had two gunshots in chest. She peered a little closer and realized this was the man she had broken her hand on the night before.  Whoever he was, he was dead.

For a moment, she tried to register some emotion. Had she killed him? She looked around for a gun and didn’t see one easily. Instead of continuing to hunt for it, she made her way to the bathroom to see how bad off she was.

When she turned on the light and first looked, she almost gasped. Her left eye was bruised and bloodied. It was swollen and there was dried blood on her lips and nose.

She pulled a wash cloth from the towel rack and ran it under the cold water from the sink. She started to carefully wipe the blood away when she heard the lock from the door click and the door open.

She froze for a moment, instinctively looking around for a weapon of some kind. She wrapped the wet cloth around her fist since that was all she could find and looking at her hand, she wasn’t sure she could use it anyhow.

“Jess?” Was that Mason? she thought.

“Jess… Shit,” the voice continued. Whoever it was, was moving around the room.

Jess peered out from the bathroom. It was Mason. She opened the door and walked out.

Mason looked up. He had something in his hand. It was a gun. She opened her mouth to speak but before she could, he said, “We have to go now. They know where you are…” and grabbed her arm, pulling her from the room.

 

 

 

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Eye Contact by Erika Lance

To Kenny “The Jedi” Mull, this is long overdue!

After finishing off the last of the Jack, he looked down the long road…sighed… and thought “here we go.”

Staying in one place was no longer an option. The body count he was leaving eliminated the idea of social interaction.

Whatever it was that was following him didn’t care; it didn’t seem to have any feelings. It just did.

He sighed again, dropping the bottle and pulling his jacket tighter around himself. It was cold out, but traveling at night was safer. There was less chance of being seen and less chance of making contact.

There was an answer, he knew there had to be, but he needed time, something he seemed to be losing each day.

As he continued to walk, he went over the last three days in his head; he thought he had been safe.  He kept seeing the faces even though he didn’t know their names. He rubbed his hands in some sort of motion to remove the blood that was no longer there but felt stained into him.

They had been so young. He shook his head; he couldn’t think to much about it. He couldn’t change it now. He had to find a way to stop it. That was the only answer.

He saw the lights coming behind him. The road was dark and most cars didn’t even see him. Most people don’t register those who try to blend, try to become part of the landscape. He was one of those people now.

He kept walking until the lights changed from white to red and blue. He closed his eyes and stopped walking. He took a deep breath when he heard a car door open and the officer say, “Hey buddy… What are you up to out here?”

He knew he hadn’t done anything to draw attention to himself. It was possible, however, that he was being looked for. There would be a description. He would match it. “Nothing. Just heading home,” he replied without turning around.

He could hear the officer approaching. If this happened quickly enough, then nothing would go wrong.

“So, where do you live?” the officer asked.

“Close,” he replied. He knew the officer was less than five feet from him now. He could hear the officer’s breathing and heartbeat. That was bad. It was close.

“Sir, could you please turn around?” the officer asked.

He wanted to say no. He wanted to run away. This would just get him tazed or shot at best.

He slowly turned, keeping his eyes averted.

“Sir… Sir… Could you look at me?” the officer asked. He wanted to scream NO!

Then he knew it was over. It was over for this officer who was doing his job, who had friends… Family… a life and it was about to end.

He looked up slowly and saw the wings unfurl behind the officer.

 

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