“The year is nineteen-ninety-nine.”
That sentence brings me back to my senior kindergarten class when I was five years old, where we used to read out the date on the blackboard every single day. The year 1999 exists as a stain in my mind however, as a memory that will not go away no matter how I try to forget it. 1999 marked the year I lost my first tooth, my first time on a plane, and unfortunately the early loss of my childhood innocence.
That one memory that refuses to be wiped, it all started with that new (or old) TV. At that time Pokémon was the latest fad to hit the school. Pokémon cards, games, stickers, and the most popular, the TV show. So of course every time I came home from school, I would stay glued to the TV until Pokémon came on at five. The only problem was that my dad watched the news at 5:30, and Pokémon episodes were back-to-back, which meant I had to miss an episode everyday, something I whined on and on about. My dad got tired of hearing me complain everyday, that must be why he went and bought another TV.
My dad put the TV he bought in my room, unfortunately it was just an old, small boob tube, with rabbit ears even.…
When I was young, I was always told the sounds I heard at night where made up. “It’s just a figment of your imagination” my Father would always tell me. But every night, as I layed tiredly on my stomach, covered from head to toe in blankets, I could have sworn I heard what almost sounded like someone tapping their fingernails across the floor of the attic above my bedroom. Whenever I heard it, (usually around the first night of every month) it would begin ever so quietly. It’d always start out with just a few taps, repeating themselves for hours some nights, and only seconds on others. That was usually enough for me to start jumping into my parent’s bed those nights. But, as I got older, my parents would start locking their bedroom door, insistent upon the belief that my imagination was just getting the better of me. But I knew something wasn’t right.
I usually would try to sneak out of my bedroom those nights. I’d wait silently under my covers listening until I heard the latch of my parents bedroom shut closed.
Then I’d silently sneak downstairs and sleep on the couch those nights, just to avoid the noises coming from the attic.…
10:00 A.M. (Tuesday Morning)
“When you’re workin’ in a way that I do you might be able to be called somethin’ like the King of Wall Street, the brand new Andrew Carnegie, that guy at your local bar who turned one dollar bills into cigars… When you go lookin’ for the scoop like I do for so long, you only get the deep and gritty stuff for a while, and then it dries up. It’s like being on a train drinkin’ some of that imported wine only to find some fat high-roller took the last of it while you were still in the middle of a cup; it’s like when you meet a nice girl for a short time, and after you order the lobster, the bill you pay makes the already-eaten lobster spill back all over the table! I tell you, if you wanna make it nowadays… you gotta play dirty. You gotta take the shots that no one else’ll take. You gotta dig down so deeply through the dark until you find the shining light at the end of the damn tunnel. And sometimes you should just probably stay where you are… considering you may end up deficatin’ yourself.”
The old man adjusted his red spectacles and threw down the papers in front of him in disgust.…
I was always afraid of the lunch lady when I was a kid. I don’t know why; maybe it was the toxic stench of her breath, or the dead look in her eyes, or the unkempt hairs dangling off her chin. No matter what the reason was, my palms grew sweaty and my heart pounded every time I passed her in the lunch line. I never felt quite at ease until I had left the cafeteria, and even then I still was worried I would catch sight of her in the hallway between classes.
One day I got into a fight with another kid named Jeremy, and we both received detention. It was his fault really. I had been passing him in the hall when he quickly stuck out his foot in front of mine and sent me sprawling to the ground, all my books flying through the air. Samantha, the girl I had a crush on, happened to be standing in the hallway when it happened, and she joined everyone else in laughing and pointing at me. My rage got the best of me, and Jeremy and I were soon throwing punches at each other. After the teachers broke up our fist fight, we were sent to the principal’s office. …
A dream of pale, flesh colored thread.
I blinked back the darkness encompassing my vision, revealing again the dusty room we had been biding our time in. I must’ve fallen asleep, and the Sun was now dead, the window revealing night blanketed over the countryside. The moonlight casted shadows of corpses of forests and dead verdure, the sheets of snow reflecting the light with a strange sheen.
The musty scent of moth-eaten chairs and aging wood was dry in my lungs as I inhaled it, causing me to sneeze. The noise was loud, echoing throughout the spacious living room, and the interruption reminded me of the silence of the place, a midnight graveyard filled with the absence of life. I got up off the wooden chair, scratching my freshly dyed blonde hair, and went over to my bag. I pulled out my vial of klonapin, and I could feel the dismay etch into my face as I realized it was empty. I subconsciously began picking the scab on my wrist at the thought, peeling it off before I realized I had even done it.
Fuck. Fuck, what was I going to do? The last dose was probably flushed out of my system by now, what if something happened?…
The unrelenting dirt road twisted and turned in front of James, small rocks popped under the tires and a cloud of dust billowed behind him as he drove on through the forest. He was visiting his brother over a long weekend of three days. A trickle of sweat fell over his brow and into the rims of his glasses. He was a city person, he had never been in the country for a day in his life, and, although the hot Italian sun and rough terrain was bothersome, he found a sort of peace in it that was unique and irreplaceable.
He remembered the words of the leering old man that had sauntered out of his old barn, his crumpled lips bulging with tobacco. James had asked the man “Ciao sir, Do you know how to get to Ridge End?”
That was where Wayne had gotten his new log cabin, the one he would only use for vacations.
The man had smiled, as if he was glad to see someone at his barn after years of loneliness (even if they were trespassing), and said through stained teeth, “Of course good sir, in about a half mile there will be a fork in the road.…
Hope didn’t like being home without her parents. All of her friends did, and they had all shared wild tales of what exactly they had done when their parents were gone. They all seemed to get a sense of satisfaction at disobeying their parents and defying their rules. Hope didn’t have a rebellious streak. It wasn’t that she was a goody two shoes; it was just that her parents had always been reasonable with her, and in turn, she complied with their wishes.
On this particular night, Hope’s parents had gone out for Dinner and a movie, and probably wouldn’t be back until very late at night. Hope flopped down on the couch and picked up her book. It was a novel by Stephen King. Before long she was beginning to grow a little nervous. Her eyes flitted around the room, seeing she was still alone, she relaxed a little, before noticing the open door that lead into the kitchen.
The light in the room was out, and the darkness was unsettling, Hope couldn’t shake the feeling that something inside the kitchen was watching her, perhaps leering with a sinister grin.
Hope tried to continue reading her book, but kept getting distracted.…
The child jolted awake in the middle of the night, a scream lost in his throat. He was covered in cold sweat and trembling all over. The nightlight next to his bed illuminated his room. There was no monster. He had simply imagined everything in a brief, terrifying nightmare.
His hand reached through the darkness and pulled the cord to his lamp. The bulb flashed on and his room was liberated from the blackness. He would sleep with the light on just in case.
He tossed and turned but was unable to go to sleep. The problem was that he really had to pee. He did not want to venture out into the dimness of the rest of the house, he was afraid of the beasts that lurked in the dark corners that were waiting to snatch him and eat him up.
He eventually realized that he would not be able to go to bed until he relieved himself. He gathered up all the courage he had and let one foot touch the ground. He screwed up his eyes, waiting for a mottled green hand to come out from under his bed and grab his ankle. But it never came. He let his other foot touch the ground before making his way to the door and opening it slowly.…
I always loved traveling carnivals. They held a mystery to me as a child, with the way they appeared overnight in an open field. I rode my fair share of rides and even won a prize or two, but the side shows fascinated me the most. The Man Who Could Eat Anything, munching away on nails and light bulbs. The Spider Lady, with the body of a giant black widow and the head of a woman. I would line up to see them as many times as I could.
I used to love carnivals. That changed when I was twelve, during the summer before my family moved away from my home town, Hystoria. My two best friends, Tommy and Wes, excitedly pounded on the front door of my house one morning. This wasn’t unusual for us. During the summer months, they practically lived at my house. My mom didn’t mind. We stayed out of trouble and out of her hair.
My mom opened the door, and they fluttered by with a chorus of, “Good morning, Mrs. Tilman.” Mom shook her head with a giggle, barely getting out of the way of the stampede. “Morning, boys. Michael is in his room.”
I was sitting on my bed, still in my PJs, when the dynamic duo crashed through the door and pounced on the bed.…
To be honest, I’ve never thought about murder and death. I’m used to just pushing through thoughts like that, you know? Especially for a 27 year old scientist. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen my share of coffins and corpses here in Vail, Colorado. But that was before the freak accident with the Tesla coils killed me, and I was a, shall we say, guinea pig of new weaponry for the US government. I’m kinda glad I’m not as human anymore. They’re are so petty. They kill for money, ego, materialistic pride.
I kill to feel.
The power running through my wire veins, electricity crackling in my palms. I feel less mortal that way and the power is so tantalizing. It’s satisfying. Energizing. And each scream, every breath, every swear and spasm is delicious.
My past is kinda normal, with a good childhood. Yeah, before I was weaponized, I had a wife and 9-year-old son. We lived in a gorgeous house in a quaint little town I never remembered the name of. Pine trees seemed to claw at my heart with beauty and the mountains only made my love for my human life grow.
But when I wasn’t human anymore? Well, let’s just say they were my subjects of my power.…