It was Summer

Woo, more first drafts! This one is hot off the press, I literally finished writing it and uploaded it. Maybe one day i shall edit this but for now enjoy the rough draft, I quite like it for once.

 

It was summer, you just had to step outside and you could smell it on the air. The cool breeze brought with it the sweet smell of freshly bloomed flowers and the laughter of children as they played in the street. The little caule de sac was full of them, running back and forth with hose pipes and super soakers drenching each other and enjoying the sensation of the water, softening the heat from the sun. all the parents were gathered around the one house, the barbecue blazing away and emitting the smell of charcoal to compete with the flowers. There were smiles on everyone’s faces and nobody even looked twice as a car pulled up outside one house and a tall, handsome boy stepped out. He looked around and smiled at the scene, before bending low and pulling a bottle of wine from the back seat of his car.

Emily was sat alone in her house. She was looking across her living room at the TV but she didn’t even register that the TV itself wasn’t switched on. Her eyes were blank, deep in thought and when the doorbell rang she almost jumped out of her skin. Sheepishly she moved slowly to the hallway and stood staring at the front door, reluctant to open it until the doorbell rang again and she was forced into action. Tim was at the door, earlier than they had agreed but he had a huge smile on his face and as he walked into her home he gave her a peck on the cheek and offered her the bottle of wine. Emily declined the drink and lead him through to the living room where she sat down on the settee and he sat beside her, wrapping one arm over her shoulders and pulling her in close.

‘So how have you been Em’s? I didn’t think it would be so long for you to want to see me again.’

‘You’re early’ Emily replied. She tried to affect a smile and failed.

‘I couldn’t wait to see you again, you don’t look best pleased to see me.’ Replied Tim, his smile broadening.

‘I guess…’ started Emily, looking for something to reply with but finding nothing.

‘You OK Em’s? you’re a little slow today’

‘I’m fine just…thinking about something on the TV’

Tim turned to look at the blank screen of the television before turning back to Emily, confused.

‘I turned it off when you got here.’ replied Emily, trying again for a smile and this time managing a small one.

‘Well what was it about’

‘Oh…nothing really’

There was silence for a minutes before Tim spoke up

‘Well I hope you didn’t invite me over just for small talk cos, to be frank, you suck at it Emily’

Then he leaned in close to her and pressed his mouth to hers. Emily pushed him away and but her persisted and pulled her closer.

‘Wait…no wait’ she managed to say and he finally let her go

‘What Em? This is why I’m here isn’t it?’

‘…how about that drink after all?’ she said, managing her small smile again

‘Good idea, maybe it’ll loosen you up a bit.’

Emily went to the kitchen with the bottle of wine and, making sure to take her time, grabbed two glasses from the shelf and poured two generous portions. She paused looking at the half empty bottle and then grabbed her glass and drained the contents in a few gulps before pouring herself another large portion, which she then drank some of before picking up the glasses and heading back to the living room.

Tim was lounging on the settee, making himself at home and when she entered he smiled at her again and took the offered drink. He had a sip from his glass and turned back to see that Emily had half finished her glass already. He smiled again

‘Either you’re really thirsty of you’re looking for some liquid courage Emily, what’s the matter? You worried?’

‘No I’m just…I’m not worried, maybe a little nervous.’

‘Nervous? But why? It’s not like it’s the first time. And you liked it so much last time, that’s why you invited me back, I know what you like’

And Tim pulled her close again, wrapping one arm around her and holding her tight as he kissed her again, pushing his tongue into her mouth. The other arm slowly moved down her back and settled on her arse, squeezing tightly. Emily tried to go with it, tried to enjoy it but it wasn’t long before she was pushing him off of her again. Or trying to. Tim’s grip on her refused to loosen and the harder she seemed to force it the harder he seemed to hold on. Emily tried to say something, to object again but it was hard with his tongue stuffed into her mouth and his weight slowly pressing down on her. In the end she had to bite down on him to get him to finally pull away.

‘Jesus what the fuck Emily? I know you enjoy it rough but fucking hell bitch’

‘I was trying to say…’ Emily panted out ‘Not here…’

‘Then where? You wanna go to the back of my car again?’ demanded Tim

‘No I mean…not up here, I can’t make a mess, let’s go downstairs’

Being interrupted had always been a pet peeve of Emily’s and even under the circumstances she felt her anger rising at Tim. In response Tim smiled stupidly at her, like a vast coin had just dropped for him.

‘Oh right, I get it, you wanna keep us secret then’ he said with a smirk

‘Yea, that’s right come on.’ Replied Emily and she stood, downed the rest of her drink and then, leading Tim by the hand, headed to the basement.

Emily’s basement was a basement in name alone. The wooden stairs down were clean and well-kept with a small red carpet that ran down the middle of them to help keep your footing. The room itself was clear and well-lit with three different lights and the floor, though uncovered was polished wood with plenty of space to move around. At one point Emily’s dad had wanted to make it into a recreation room and at the far end there was a projector screen pulled down on which he had planned to show movies but had never gotten round to it.

Emily grabbed a few rugs from a corner and lay them across the floor while Tim walked around examining the room.

‘Nice little place you have here, would be great for a man cave…’ he said as he turned back.

Emily was slowly unbuttoning her shirt and watching him and he smiled again as she exposed her bra.

‘Or maybe just a little love nest.’ He finished.

He smiled at Emily, knowing what was about to happen, she tried to smile back

‘Now we get down to the rough stuff’ he said, advancing on her

She backed away

‘No point in running, this happens now’ said Tim, lifting up his shirt.

He almost had his shirt over his head when the thing emerged from behind the projector screen.

It was big and grotesque, beyond describable as anything but a horror from some twisted imagination. One arm reached out and grabbed Tim by the top of the head as another wrapped round him and plunged long clawed fingers deep down his throat. Blood bubbled up and spilled on the floor and with hardly any effort the creature pulled Tim’s jaw away, throwing it to the floor by Emily’s feat and splattering her with blood. Then it moved its head around and sank it’s hellish jaws deep into the wound it had made. There was a gurgling sound and blood flowed like a waterfall down Tim’s chest and pooled on the floor. Finally the thing ripped its head free, bringing with it a chunk from Tim’s neck which it devoured in seconds.

Tim’s corpse dropped to the floor and the thing crouched low over it, moving it’s hand over the remnants of its face before looking up towards Emily. She backed into a wall and stared, terrified, unable to move and just stared back at the nightmarish scene that had just taken place in front of her.

‘Please…don’t hurt me’ she managed at last

The thing smiled.

‘Why would I hurt you?’ it replied, Tim’s voice issuing from its fiendish lips ‘You helped me, fed me, don’t you know you don’t bite the hand that feeds you?’

‘I’m so sorry…’ Emily stammered.

‘Sorry for this thing?’ the creature said, indicating to Tim’s body.

It bent low and clamped its mouth over one of Tim’s staring eyes in some disgusting parody of a kiss and when it pulled away more blood was oozing from its lips and Tim’s eye was gone.

‘This one had some horrendous intentions for you, but I think you knew that. It’s better this way.’

Emily didn’t know whether to run of throw up

‘don’t worry about the mess by the way, I’ll deal with it, I don’t want to miss a drop of this.

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The Fish Market

Not sure where the idea came from for this little piece, but I wanted to make up sort of a little world where fantasy esque creatures are thrust into a real world and how they get by and of course I had to put a weird little spin on it. I don’t even know what genre I would put this into but I kinda like it all the same. As always it needs some polish.

 

The rain started suddenly and without warning, falling in thick, icy sheets that quickly made a river out of the roads and soaked anything that was unfortunate enough to be caught out in it. People ran for cover, animals found shelter wherever they could and sat looking sadly up at the sky. Any who could avoid going outside did so and the few that were forced outside covered themselves as best they could. The streets emptied quickly so there was no one to pay any attention to a lone figure walking slowly and calmly down the pavement. He was a short man, dressed in a long coat and a wide brimmed fedora which, though both originally grey, turned black in the rain and must have done little to protect the man from the fierceness of the weather.

Unperturbed the figure carried on his steady pace down the road, even pausing at one point, offering a hand out to a dog that hid beneath an upturned crate in an alley, but the dog refused to move. Chuckling to itself the figure moved on down the street. Passing a small oriental restaurant the man looked into the window, inspecting the clientele. Almost all of the inhabitants within were younger of between the teenage and young adult age group, certainly no one over thirty, and each seemed to be wearing an assortment of clothes inappropriate for the weather and that would have been considered odd in the era they were originally made in. hanging around in small groups they were laughing and joking with their friends and not one of them seemed to notice the figure, soaked through, staring through the window. Staring up at the sign that hung above the door and proclaimed in Japanese that the restaurant was Asian Oceans, the man chucked to himself again before continuing round the side of the building, making no effort to avoid puddles as it went, and entering the dimly lit alleyway behind it.

Heading down the alley the figure came to a door painted bright red that lead to the back of the restaurant. The man knocked twice on the red slide on the door and waited, the slide was drawn back and a set of eyes peered out into the rain, taking a good measure of the figure stood before him. The figure greeted him in Japanese and tipped his hat back so that the man inside could get a clear look at his face. The man inside returned the greeting and slide closed. After a few seconds there was the sound of a bolt being drawn back and then the door swung open.

The figure stepped inside and removed his hat. What was revealed when the hat was removed would have put the chills up the spine of any normal human being. The man’s flesh was pale and clammy, seeming to hang off the man’s head and giving the impression that it was too big for the body it covered. It was completely bald, lacking even eyebrows and the sunken eyes were farther apart than they should have ever been. A pale yellow in colour the iris on each was far too large and the nose on the face was flat and small to the point of hardly being there at all. As the man looked around it took a few deep gasps of air before letting out a deep, throaty cough and then smiling with a mouth too wide. There was the sound of a bell from the other side of the room that the man had entered and a door swung open and the man who had opened the door walked in. The strange looking figure had a brief glance of the restaurant kitchen and through a serving window, the front of the restaurant through the open door before the man who had entered lammed it shut quickly.

The man who had entered was Asian, with a shaven head, dressed in a white tee shirt and black slacks with a tea towel shoved through his belt. He was unassuming in every way. Entering the back room he looked at the figure and shouted something in Japanese, pointing to a hat stand that stood by the door. The figure waved his hand dismissively, revealing long pale figure, webbed fingers, and removed his coat.

If the man’s facial features were alarming then what was under his coat was terrifying. He was completely naked, the pale and clammy appearance of his skin continuing down his entire body making his look old and wrinkled, the skin sagging unpleasantly. His knees and elbows were further down his limbs than they should have been and the Asian man saw at a glance that he was missing any obvious genitals. On the man’s neck there were three deep gauges in the flesh on either side that expanded with every breath taken, gills. The stench that radiated from the man as soon as his coat was removed was a pungent mixture of rotten fish and salt and as he hung his coat up on the hook he make a nauseous squelching sound.

Just then the door to an old and grimy looking fridge that stood to the side of the room swung open and out stepped a small man, also Asian, in traditional black attire. He looked around and saw the pale man. Smiling widely he hurried forward and bowed low. The pale man responded with a simple tip of his head before motioning to the fridge the man had emerged from and asking in slow Japanese

‘Shall we?’

The small man in black nodded ecstatically and responded

‘Yes, right away’

The two figures stepped through the fridge door and entered a long flight of steps leading down and twisting so that they end was concealed. The walls were compact dirt with seemingly little thought to stability and they were lit by small lanterns that hung from the ceiling, a fire blazing away curiously brightly inside each one.

‘It has been a while Mr Lawrence’ the small Asian man said in a friendly tone ‘you used to come more regularly, not found preference somewhere else I hope’

The pale man, Mr Lawrence let out a small giggle before replying

‘Where else could I go Mr Himitsu? You’re establishment is the best in town.’

They both laughed at this before rounding a corner and entering into a vast cavern. The walls were the same compact dirt but this cavern was bustling with activity. Many people were walking around several of them were naked like Mr Lawrence, with the same clammy skin but some of these were various colours, others had sail like fins running down their backs but all appearing to be male. Many other people were dressed like the kitchen worker from above them, running back and forth carrying large crates of unknown contents. Round the walls there were wooden shacks painted in bright colours with vibrant patterns, many of them built back into the walls themselves and all windowless, the doorways covered by bright cloth curtains. By the side of these shacks were large pools of water in which many of the naked man were relaxing, as if in a hot tub but without the bubbles.

By the far wall there was a rope pulley system and as the pair watched one of the workmen attached a crate to the rope and gave it a quick tug and soon the crate was being hoisted up towards the hole in the ceiling through which the rope was coming.

‘Would you like your usual tub Mr Lawrence? Or were you planning on being adventurous today?’

‘The usual will be fine Himitsu, how long will I be waiting?’

‘It might be a short wait sir, as you can see the weather has made us busy today.’

Mr Lawrence was lead towards a tub by the side of a large turquoise hut with a yellow wave pattern on the which he eased himself down into an let out a sigh of relaxation.

‘Is there anything I might get you while you wait Mr Lawrence? A drink perhaps?’

‘No thank you Himitsu, you said yourself that the wait won’t be long’

‘Not long at all sir, another customer is just finishing up now.’

Then a bell rang from somewhere high up in the roof of the cavern and Himitsu bowed and walked away leaving Mr Lawrence alone. The bald man let himself slip a little further into the tub and placed his hands behind his head, closing his eyes and listening to the bustle of activity around him. His peace was not long lasting though as there was a loud cracking sound from the back of the cavern followed by some shouting in Japanese. Mr Lawrence looked up and gazed towards the back of the cavern where there was an especially large pool but rather than more people it was filled with large smooth black orbs about the size of a football which reflected the light of the torched that surrounded the pool.

A large crack had appeared in the side of one of these orbs and as Mr Lawrence watched it shuddered and a piece of the orb fell away into the water clearly revealing something inside moving. As Mr Lawrence watched as a man in a workman’s jumpsuit ran over and picked the orb out of the water reaching inside the hole he pulled away the outer shell and revealed what was inside. The creature was about a foot long, a dark grey in colour looking like a huge slug but with hardly a tail and very discernable arms and legs. As it was pulled from its shell it looked up with a grotesque parody of a human face, opened its bulbous black eyes and let out an ear splitting cry that filled the cavern. It howled like a child but with a sickening tone to its voice that sent a chill through an already cold cave. The workman grabbed it by its tail and carried it nonchalantly off to a small side cavern that lead off the main one and out of site, taking what looked to be a huge cleaver off a hook on the wall as he went. The crying continued for what seemed to be an age once the two were out of sight and Mr Lawrence sat and watched the entrance to the cavern until the cry was suddenly cut off by a sick thudding sound and a squelch.

‘Mr Lawrence, If you are ready Miss Gao will see you now’ Himitsu had reappeared and bowed low, indicating one of the huts around the edge of the cavern

‘Thank you’ replied Mr Lawrence, heaving his grotesque body up out of the Jacuzzi and slowly. On the way over to the indicated hut Mr Lawrence saw the man who had carried off the spawn from the egg walking across the cavern and placed a dripping sack into a bucket that had lowered from the ceiling. Giving the rope a quick tug he stood back as the bucket rose up towards the ceiling. Mr Lawrence smiled and entered the hut. Inside was decorated in blue and pink ribbons and the floor was covered in similarly covered cushions. Across these cushions a woman was sprawled, barely covered in the same ribbons that covered the walls she looked up as Mr Lawrence entered and smiled slyly. No words were said; she just adjusted her position slightly and pulled away the ribbons to reveal herself to him. Her body was the same pale, soggy looking skin as Mr Lawrence, sagging in repulsively and the stench of salt and oil was overwhelming. Mr Lawrence smiled and dropped to his knees in front of her.

As Mr Lawrence left the restaurant a few hours later he took his time to slowly was around the front and glance in at the people sat at the tables. Every single one of them laughing and smiling, joking with friends as they devoured huge platefuls of sushi. Mr Lawrence smiled too. If people only knew what went into their food.

Munchies at Midnight.

So when I was bored at work today ( as I often am) I set myself a little writing task. I haven’t ever writen a transformation scene before and decided to add as much unnessesary gore as I could. I guess there would usually be more to this story but for now this is all I have, may add to it later. Not really much to say on this so…enjoy?

Keith sat in his armchair and stared at the TV. He wasn’t watching what was happening on the screen, he couldn’t focus. Occasionally his eyes would dart to the window and stare for a few moments out into the darkness that enveloped the moors outside until he saw one of them moving before he quickly looked back at the screen. The shutter to the garage was open and a cool breeze rolled in and sent the hairs on the back of his neck on end. Keith clenched his fists. He was nervous and when he was nervous he couldn’t help but clench his fists, it was old habit and he had never been able to kick it. Not that it really seemed to matter, at least it was harmless. His stomach rumbles and Keith considers going to the fridge and grabbing something quick to eat, but he could hardly convince his legs to move. Anyway he would eat soon enough.

Try as he might Keith couldn’t stop his mind wandering. He thought about the poor couple whose car he had serviced as they came through his station. They had been a nice pair, had paid him and even tipped, they had smiled at him and joked, even offered him some of the food they had had in their car but he had refused. The woman was pretty, she was very pretty. Her summer frock had been blown about in the wind a bit and the man, tall, strong man, had made a joke about Marilyn Monroe. Keith had tried not to look. He had warned them to avoid being out after dark and they had joked about that too. Stupid people.

There was movement at the window again and Keith looked over to see a pair of yellow eyes staring in at him. He looked away and a few moments later the eyes were gone. Your stomach moans again but not because of the lack of food this time. Sweat starts to form on his brow and Keith wipes it away before undoing the top two buttons of his shirt. Outside he can hear them padding around on the concrete surface of the garage out front. He had left the shutter open. Switching off the TV he wasn’t clenching his fists now, he was shaking, finding it hard to even hold the remote. Keith stood and started to cross the room on unstable legs, intending to switch the light off.

And then the pain hit him. A burning, searing pain that ripped through Keith’s stomach like a knife and was so intense he was thrown to the floor. He let out a scream of agony and ripped at his shirt, pulling the fabric from his body with inhuman strength and hurling it across the room. More eyes were at the window now. Small amber specs that stared in at him with grim amusement as the moonlight shone down upon their owners. Keith grabbed for the ever tightening waistline of his jeans, desperate to get them off as well but he was bent backwards as another pain ripped his back. There was a loud snapping and cracking as his vertebra cracked and twisted, warping and stretching into a whole new shape. Keith let out another scream that became a gargled cough as blood spilled from his gaping mouth, bringing with teeth that had been forced from his gums by new sharp fangs. The muscles beneath his skin strained against their confinement as they grew and new hair started to sprout in tufts from all over his body.

The lining of Keith’s jeans finally gave up under the strain and burst, leaving nothing but shreds clinging to the rapidly mutating body. Fingernails dropped from clutching hands as new claws started to tear through the skin and the bones in Keith’s legs snapped to pieces as new bone underneath forced their way through, twisting Keith’s legs into a new shape. His bottom jaw stretched outwards, his new fangs protruding upwards and his screams of pain became simple guttural, feral moans before his top jaw followed suit. Finally his skin, which had been straining and stretching under the growth of new muscles finally failed and it split like the seams of the jeans had. First the thighs gave way, ripping apart and unleashing a torrent of blood, then came the back soon after, splitting down the spins and allowing the new form to push through. Finally the skin around Keith’s face split, first at the corner of the mouth, giving him a gaping Glasgow smile, then the rest of the face tore away, leaving just a bestial snarl looking outwards. Blood burst from the shredded remnants of Keith’s body and the floor and walls were covered.

The thing that was left in the ruins that had been Keith slumped to the ground, hair matted and slick with blood and still quivering as it finished the last of its metamorphosis. Its snout sniffed the air, trying to find the scent of its pack mates and finally locating them outside the door to the room in which it lay. Its clawed hands wiped blood from its face in a bizarrely human act and its amber eyes regarded the room. Slowly it raised itself to its feet and looked around before rearing up onto its hind legs. The blood soaked beast was massive; standing almost eight feet all when reared up it crossed the room in just a few steps and threw its weight against the door, throwing it open.

I honestly have no idea what to call this.

So I’ve had a busy time of it recently, hence why I haven’t been posting stories as much as I would like to, not even my older ones but I have just been brainstorming a few ideas for which of my stories I have written that I want to bring together for a collection. Added to that I went to a friend’s gig/after party in London and despite having a really good time of it I have decided I’ve had enough of the industrial music scene. I’ll still listen to the music and I’m keeping my Mohawk but I just don’t want to deal with the people involved with it anymore, who knew such a fringe group of people could be such self-important dickheads? Not to mention the heavy drinking and drug usage has run its course with me. Used to be a time when people were cutting MDMA on a CD case and I would have done a line and licked the case clean, last weekend I didn’t even want any. There are a few friends I’ll keep but I doubt anyone will notice my absence really. That sounds really mellow dramatic but hey, moving on always does. Anyway here’s a short piece I wrote about the topic in the spur of the moment, hopefully I post better stuff in the soon.

P.S after reading this back through to myself I realise it might sound a bit like some desperate cry for help but that is far from the intent, just something I did to let some feelings out.

 

The lights dance around the dark club, their rainbow coloured beams illuminating the figures writhing on the dance floor for brief seconds at a time before plunging them again into darkness. You sit at a booth alone, or at least you feel alone, the shadowy figures seem to hardly notice you are there despite the fact they chose to come sit with you. the light passes over them for a second and you hardly recognise the faces anymore. One of them looks at you and gives you a quick smile which you haven’t the heart to return. You stand and move around the table, the man sat next to you hardly bothers to give you the space to leave.

Your legs ache, and no normal ache, they aren’t just tired, they feel old. Your bones feel rigid and moving sends spikes of pain through your shins. You can’t say if it was the dancing, the boots or what that causes the pain but every time you come here the pain is a little more vivid. The table next to you seats some old friends now alien to you, they bend low over the table, one at a time and inhale a large mountain of powder. In the dancing lights the snow pile glows pink, then red, then yellow, green blue orange. The figures smile invitingly and you feel yourself moving to join them, one line and your head will be filled with all the pretty colours that the powder promises, the pain will be gone and for another night you can love this place, the same place you have spent the last six years. But you hold yourself back, you know if you give in now you may never leave this place, you’ll be here until it kills you. You move through the dance floor towards the door, the bodies around you twist and turn wrapping briefly around you before backing away as you move through them. they are somehow all out of time with each other and yet somehow still all in time with the thunderous music that shakes the foundations and as your boots strike the floor you feel the old desire to join the dance. But again you don’t.

As you pass you see the people’s faces, they look down on you from their platform boots, masquerade smiles hiding contemptuous sneers. You have never been good at hiding your own contempt and as you walk you draw yourself up, towering above their artificially enhanced height from which they intended to look down on you until they are no higher than the tiles they dance on. You mount the stairs and look out one of the open doors. Out there somewhere is the person you followed in here, the reason you spent so long in this place and the reason you fell in love with it. But she left long ago and no matter whether you leave or stay she is long gone. You look back over the crowded floor once more. The bodies swaying like vibrant waves glowing in the sea, each person shining brighter as a coloured light strikes their corresponding illuminous clothing, fake dreads, braids, arm covers, corsets. Everyone colour coded with one colour to offset the black of the rest of their outfits. You smile to yourself that you never got that far into the scene. As you turn to leave your hand finds a bottle by the door. And an examination of the label reveals the familiar stag head logo that has kept you company through the years. You keep hold of it, no use dropping everything at once. Finally you step out the door and into the rest of the world. It is no brighter here, just different. Maybe you can learn to like different.

Returning Home

So I haven’t posted as much as I planned to recently because I have been working on a submission for a publisher that I would kill to work for so i have been working mostly on that. Added to that it’s Wrestlemania season…or it was, and as such I have been pretty much just solidly writing fight scenes. But here is another old short story I wrote ages ago, probably one of my more complete stories. enjoy.

 

The sun sits high in the sky as you drive slowly down the street of your childhood. The trees of the park to the left of the car sway gently in the light breeze and happy couples walk down the pavement hand in hand, smiles on their faces. As you drive you think how crazy it is that after fifteen years away from your old home the street still looks the same to you. The old railing that separated that one house from the one next to it was rusted now but still looked as strong as it ever had. The bed and breakfast still stuck out as mile with its white washed walls and black windowsills and the pub on the corner was still full of old men even at this time of day, maybe not the same old men but still bent and grumpy looking.

Finally pulling into the drive of your old house you leave your car and take a moment to enjoy the warm air on your skin. The breeze is refreshing and there is a sweet scent on the wind. Finally turning you attention to the house you are taken aback at how little it has changed since the last time you saw it, all that time ago when you moved out. You had thought then that it would be the last time you ever saw it but your brother had changed that. You pull out your phone find some small amusement in the fact that you have lost signal, this place hadn’t changed at all. You open the text and read it again to yourself.

You had rarely kept in contact with your brother, with any of your family if you were being truthful to yourself and to get a request to meet was unusual. At first you had thought that he might be in trouble or needing money but when he mentioned the old home you knew it was something else, why would he want to meet here? Why else but to discuss your parents. You remember how hard your brother had taken their deaths, very hard and after the way you had left home, well you were never there for him. That was part of the reason you had decided to come, hoping in some way to make amends for the years that you missed.

With no other car in the drive you have to assume that your brother has yet to arrive and thinking that it would be nice to see the house again on your own first you decide to head in. The windows are boarded and the for sale sign lays abandoned in the front garden but otherwise your childhood home is intact. You were surprised when no one stepped up to buy it after your parents death, a desirable place like this would have been ideal for a new family but for some reason it went untouched. You reach the large front door and stand before it feeling like a child again with it still looming over you as it always had, it’s black gloss finish had chipped and flaked until now it was all but grey a few streaks of the wood underneath visible. You reach into your pocket and withdraw the old house key that you had refused to return to your parents out of spite and that, for reasons you could never explain even to yourself, you had kept it. It slides easily into the door lock and with the slightest pressure the mechanism clunks and the door slides open letting light stream in and illuminate a scene you almost forgotten.

You step into the hallway and onto carpet the colour of which you had forgotten till now, the sunlight streamed into the darkened room and filled it with light, the small dust particles that float up with every footfall glittering in the beams of the sun and dancing a merry dance in the gust of wind that floats in behind you. You gently push the door closed and the light fades, in the warmth and darkness you feel a sense of serenity wash over you, your memories flooding back to you, you feel like you never left this house, like you could still find your way around it in the dark. The gaps between the boarded windows let in some light and you use this to find your way over to the hallway light switch giving it a curious flip but not expecting much.

To your surprise the lights in the hall quietly flicker then come on strong, illuminating the surrounding area and revealing the room to you again. The walls, once a bright red colour had faded to a pale pink with the white skirting boards had become a grey cream in colour but they were still largely unchanged. The pictures on the walls were still there, family portraits from years past showing you and your brother at a very young age, your parents when they were in their prime and their family dog, long since gone, caught mid bark by the cameraman, his expression seemed to be one of playful surprise.

You are just about to turn and head into your old lounge, see what has changed there when you think you hear something behind you. You turn to see the door that lead down to your old basement. Memories fill your head of being scared of that place. It had always seemed dark and full of monsters to you when you were younger, and who could blame you for thinking that, you were a child when you had first moved in and children’s imaginations do tend to run away with them. When you had grown up you had just forgotten about the basement, forgotten or simply didn’t care. A sudden sense of excitement rushes over you and you open the door and flick the light switch, again surprised when the basement light up with little difficulty, thought the lights were never very bright down there. Seeing the steps again remind you of a time that you and your brother had stood atop the steps looking down and he had dared you to go down but you had been too scared to even go to the first step.

Now you descend the steps, slowly, carefully, the wood straining with every movement but they are stronger than they let on and you make it to the bottom of the stairs with no problem. Your eyes slowly adjust to the darkness and you can make out a pile of boxes pressed into a corner of the room, as well as a broken vacuum cleaner a few piles of old clothes and various other bits and pieces that seem of little interest. You head over to the boxes and open one but it is too dark to really see what is inside so you carry it over so it is directly under the light where you can get a better view. When you look inside the box your heart skips a beat. Inside are what seem to be hundreds of you and your brother’s old toys. Everything from Action men to Polly Pocket, My Little Ponies and Mighty Max, you feel a rush of all the games you used to play with each and every one you see rushing back to you. You pick up one of your old dolls, a rag doll with red hair and a big dopey grin across her face that you could never help but smile back at, her little checked dress was frayed at the edges and more than a little faded but you remembered taking great care of this one even as a child.

Replacing the ragdoll you are hit with a memory of a time when you had been playing with it and your brother had stolen it and been throwing it around until he accidentally got it stuck in a tree. You had cried and cried until your mother had come out to the garden and taken you inside without letting you explain what had happened. That night you lay in bed crying quietly at the loss of your doll until your brother had crept into your room, covered in mud and with a tree branch in his hair and given the doll back to you. He had crept out in the middle of the night to get it back for you.

This memory suddenly made you tear up. You felt awful, after your brother had done that for you and after a hundred other times when he had been there look after you, he had been willing to do so much for you. He had once been willing to fight a guy simply because you had said you didn’t like him and he probably would have if you hadn’t stopped him. And after all that you hadn’t been there for him when you needed him, you had left him to mourn the loss of your parents alone while you sought it from others. Resigned you stood up to from the box when you heard a sound upstairs, you were going to find a way to make up with your brother for what you did. You turn back towards the stairs just in time to see the shadows in the far corner leap up and engulf you.

When you awaken you don’t know where you are, you slowly drag yourself into a sitting position and wearily and shakily, glance around at your surroundings. Your head is throbbing painfully and the room you find yourself sitting in is almost pitch black. As you slowly look around you start to remember what you were doing. You were in your old childhood house and you had gone down into the basement for some reason. You had been looking through a box of old toys and then you got up when you heard a noise, then you blacked out. Why? It could have been a head rush but you doubt it, you remember something moving in the corner, something in the shadows, no, no it was the shadows, the shadows had attacked you. but that was crazy, you must have hit your head hard.

You reach up and feel where most of the pain in your head is coming from and sure enough there is a sizeable lump there. You try to get to your feet and with some unsteadiness you make it, you look around again now that your night vision has started to return to you and you see you are in the basement as you had thought. The light had gone out and when you reach up to feel where it is, you find that the bulb hadn’t just gone but it had shattered, leaving only ragged chips of glass behind. As you wonder how the bulb had burst without showering you with glass you, you notice something moving in your peripheral vision and spin towards it. You strain to see anything against the darkness but you can’t make out anything. You gaze harder and note that there is defiantly something moving, slowly and delicately but moving. Starting to feel panic rising you take a step back as whatever it is starts to move slightly closer. Whatever it is it is big and you know that you want to get away from it. You take another step back and feel something hit the back of your legs; you stumble and desperately try to retain your balance but to no avail and you collide with the ground again.

Pulling yourself back to your feet you see it was the box of toys that you stumbled over, the contents strewn across the floor you notice the ragdoll and a crazy sensation makes you want to grab it, to hold it for comfort but in the darkness the goofy grin has become a smirk and the blank eyes seem to be staring at you. You turn and run, your shoes hammering off the stairs you take them two at a time until you are almost at the top when the stair you are on gives way under you. Hitting the ground once again you sprawl, one leg stuck in the hole where the step had been, the other trailing down the stairs. You pull hard with your arms, dragging yourself up through the doorway, the chips of wood snagging your clothing and cutting scratches down your thigh. You turn to just to examine the damage and see that the shadows have moved right to the bottom of the stairs, the thing seeming to be swathed in them as it advanced methodically, everything behind it being reduced to pitch black.

You haul yourself to your feet and thunder down the corridor to the front door. Hardly even noting that night had fallen, causing what had once been a bright scene filled with memories to become a darkened tunnel of fear. You slam into the door, twisting the latch and pulling with all your might but even with all your strength it doesn’t budge an inch. Dragging your nails against it you cry out for help, slamming your fists into the hard wooden surface and pulling again and again at the door but it refuses to move. Tears filling your eyes you scream again before turning, almost out of instinct back to the door to the basement.

Shadows had already started to seep out of the doorway and as you watch the thing in the darkness stepped into the hallway and turn towards you. In a snap decision you hurl yourself to your left and sprint into the upstairs you your house. As you pass the pictures on the walls the eyes follow your flight accusingly and the happy bark of the dog turns into a snarl of anger. Reaching the top of the stairs you instantly head to the room at the end of the hall. Your old room. You barely notice that it has been completely stripped of anything that you had in there and left barren as you throw yourself into the corner, completely devoid of anywhere else to go. You curl into a ball and hug your knees to your chest sobbing as you sit there in silence waiting for the thing to find you. Time seems to drag on, becoming aeons as you whimper on the floor until the door suddenly bangs open and shadows slowly flood the room. The thing advances slowly crossing the room at a leisurely pace, taking its time before it reaches you. You fill a chill sensation as it draws nearer, your insides twist in fear and your screams catch in your throat.

When the thing finally does reach you it seems to take a hold of your foot. Your whole leg feels as if it has just been plunged into ice water and any attempt you make to move it is futile and the thing slowly works its way up your body, the ice sensation spreading until it becomes fingers clutching at your throat. You gag for breath but the grasp is so tight that you can’t even gag, nothing is passing through your windpipe and as you gaze ahead the thing moves in front of you, staring you right in the eyes and you feel yourself become light headed and you attempts to breathe become more and more feeble.

Fin