Mannequin

Not really sure who will enjoy this one and to be fair if you do enjoy this I worry ‘cos I think it’s some pretty dark shit. I hope no one reads the sparse stories I post for a happy ending because I don’t think I have written one yet.

Despite the blazing hot weather and bright sunlight outside the inside of Marvin’s Mannequins was kept relatively dark, with the majority of the light being produced by several large lamps that hung over the displays that lined the edge of the shop’s interior. Despite the size of the shop the centre of the room was kept clear of all furniture, allowing for any viewers to move freely with no fear of anything prohibiting their progress. The Displays that did feature in the room were high wooden cabinets that reached from the floor almost all the way to the high ceiling, the frames polished to a dark mahogany hue while the thin glass pains were cleaned to the point where one would not believe that they’re were there without reaching over and touching them, an act made impossible by red velvet rope that surrounded each cabinet, keeping viewers of their contents just out of arms reach. The shop itself smelled slightly of bleach and other such cleaning products, not so much that it disturbed any potential views but just enough that it could be noticed. Of course no one that entered would ever comment on where the smell came from, the immaculate presentation of the store front was enough to tell anyone that the proprietor spent copious hours making sure it was always ready for visitors. Today however the shop had been kept rather quiet. The sun and the warmth outside had diverted peoples attention from the shopping district and out of town to the beaches, parks and anywhere else where the children could enjoy the outside while the parents would idly chatter amongst themselves, leaving Marvin’s Mannequins to sit in silence.
That silence however was broken by the soft jingle of the bell above the door, followed by the thud of boots on the solid wooden floor as someone entered, bringing with them a warm breeze of outside air which was quickly cut off by the careful closing of the door. Hayley was a regular of the store, often finding any reason to venture into town to peer into it’s displays and over the months since the store’s opening she had struck up a friendship with the store’s proprietor. With pale skin but dyed black hair and dressed in all black, complimented by black makeup, Hayley fulfilled the stereotypical gothic young woman look to perfection as she smiled a small smile to herself and walked to the first cabinet. At just 5’5 Hayley wore her heavy platform boots to boost her height, boots which now thundered loudly across the floor as she crossed the room to gaze at the display.
Inside stood a porcelain doll. Her long blond curls hung over her tiny gingham dress which covered delicate white stockings the attire finished off with small black shoes. Hayley’s blue eyes stared into the doll’s glassy hazel ones which in turn stared right back. In Hayley’s opinion the eyes that had been crafted for this doll, and indeed the eyes of every doll in the store held more life and emotion that those of most the people’s she knew. The eyes of these dolls seemed knowing and intelligent to Hayley and when appreciated with the small smile that each doll wore they seemed to radiate some strange love that Hayley had often could only be the love and attention of the creator that he had poured into each of their creations. Hayley walked around the room in silence except for the thumping of her boots as she always did upon her visits, stopping to gaze upon ever doll she saw and appreciating them all for everything they were worth. Just as she finished examining a doll dressed in a very vintage 50’s style attire a voice called out from behind her, causing her heart to skip a beat as she jumped.

‘Back again Hayley?’

Hayley turned to see a tall but slender man in a scruffy apron with unkempt blond hair with grey streaks standing behind the counter. He looked through his thick glasses at her and smiled warmly.

‘I should have known it was you from the way you stamp around in those big boots of yours’

‘Mister Richard, You scared the life out of me’ replied Hayley with a smile, one hand clutched to her chest.

‘I am sorry about that, but then again so do your boots every time you step into my shop’ replied the man with a chuckle

‘And I’m sorry about that, I’ll try to remember not to wear them next time’

‘Oh don’t be silly, don’t change the way you express yourself just on my account. And for the thousandth time it’s Marvin’

‘I’ll try to remember that one as well’ replied Hayley.

‘So who is it you’re examining today my dear?’ asked Marvin, absent mindedly pulling out a cloth and swiping a spot of dirt off the handle of the door he had just appeared out of.

‘Oh, just all of them, as always Mis… Marvin

‘You keep coming in here and one day you may even buy one.’ Joked Marvin

Hayley looked down sheepishly at the very large price tag that sit in front of the nearest doll.

‘Maybe one day I will, when I win the lottery maybe.’

Marvin chuckled

‘Or maybe one day you come in here enough and I’ll feel charitable and just let you have one’

‘That’ll be the day Marvin’ replied Hayley with a small laugh of her own

‘Maybe, but for now have one of these’ he said, offering Hayley a small box with the lid of, revealing a row of small dark chocolates.

Hayley hesitated, she had been growing increasingly conscious of her weight recently, well ever since her rough breakup with her ex boyfriend.

‘Oh Hayley, It’s just one, I won’t tell if you don’t’ smiled Marvin

Hayley managed a half smile and took one of the smaller chocolates, popping it gingerly into her mouth as marvin returned the box to behind the small desk that stood by the door to the basement.

‘I take it by your hesitation that things still aren’t going right with Josh?’

Hayley swallowed hard.

‘Things are exactly how I want them to be, I don’t want anything to do with him.’ She replied quickly

‘Oh Hayley, the eyes around you can see the truth, as can mine. You can’t fool an old man’s eyes.’

‘I just…don’t want tot talk about it.’ Hayley replied

‘Than I shan’t talk.’

Marvin inspected the sad look on Hayley’s face for a moment before smiling as a light bulb turned on in his head.

‘I know something that will cheer you up, Have you ever wanted to see how these dolls are made?’

‘Hayley looked up from the doll she had been examining and looked at him Marvin.

‘Well it would be interesting’

‘The how about I show you my workshop downstairs? I have been working on something that I think you will really like’ Marvin said, his tone almost bursting with excitement.

‘Well…OK then’ replied Hayley who couldn’t help but get swept up in the wave of Marvin’s overwhelming excitement.

Opening the door behind him Marvin beckoned Hayley into a long corridor that lead to a long staircase leading down. Leaving the semi dark of the storefront and entering the brightly lit back of the shop gave Hayley a sudden head rush but she battled on through it and followed Marvin to the staircase. Steadying herself on the wall Hayley carefully followed her friend down the steps making sure not to miss any in her chunky boots as she descended. At the bottom she found Marvin bouncing on the balls of his feet in front of a wooden door with a small wooden sigh nailed to the front reading Where the Magic Happens which had clearly been a product of the Disney company.

‘After you my dear’ he said through a broad grin that threatened to separate his head in two.

Hayley opened the door with one hand while the other gently massaged her head through her hair, the rush had been replaced by a slow spinning sensation that was starting to turn her stomach slightly. As the door opened Hayley saw a room almost as large as the store front up top but with only a small workbench pressed to the back of the room behind what appeared to be a hospital gurney. There was a smell of burning plastic and looking around Hayley saw what looked to be coffins stood up along the left wall with a table and chair sat in the middle of the room with the majority of the lighting pointed towards them. Hayley tried to take a step forward but her legs gave up underneath her and she fell forward twisting slightly as she went only to find herself caught by the surprisingly strong hands of Marvin who slowly lowered her down son that she was lying on her back on the cold concrete floor. The light above her was blocked out by the blurred face of Marvin himself appearing above her. He said something but the words were just a muffled mess and the more Hayley tried to strain to hear him the darker the room got and the fainter Marvin became.

Hayley awoke briefly as she was placed carefully onto the gurney but she quickly passed out again. She awoke again as she felt her boot being tugged from her foot. Through the deep throbbing in her head she managed to hear Marvin tut and pass a comment of which she only managed to partly hear

‘…eally that short? Well I guess it won’t matter in the lon…’

But then Hayley’s passed out again briefly. The next time she awoke Hayley felt her dress being pulled carefully down her thighs. At this she tried her best to struggle, to call out for help but the best she could muster was a slight wobble as tears started to form in her eyes. Marvin ran a hand over her calf and up the inside of her thigh before stopping himself and making another comment, this time Hayley didn’t make it out. Marvin then caressed her belly slightly before chuckling.

‘Maybe the chocolate was too much’ he said before turning to see the tears running down Hayley’s face ‘Or maybe not enough for you. But oh well, this should keep you out for the duration’ before he disappeared out of Hayley’s sight. Trying her best to turn her head achieved nothing for Hayley and she was suddenly struck in the neck by a stinging sensation followed by a hot feeling that spread quickly through out her shoulders and up to her head.

‘Night night Hayley’ came Marvin’s voice again

Hayley finally woke again some time later, she couldn’t tell how long she had been out but she seemed to be sitting up and her throat was dry and her stomach was rumbling with hunger.Terrified Hayley tried to open her eyes but found them stuck shut, as if something was gluing them closed. Her fear intensified as she realised it must have been Marvin. Hayley tried to scream but she found her lips were sealed as well, this time by something on the outside of them that was keeping them shut, worse was that her entire body had been glued into place and the more she struggled she felt whatever it was tearing painfully at her skin as if it was going to literally rip her skin off of her. Hayley’s heart was racing as she struggled and tried to thrash and scream, tasting blood as the skin on her lips was eventually ripped away from what was covering them and she managed to let out a moan of fear and agony as blood filled her mouth. And then she hears hurried footsteps, followed by Marvin’s voice.

‘Hayley HAYLEY! Relax! It’s OK, stop struggling before you ruin everything.’

Then Hayley felt something wet and cold but soft being pressed to her eyes, and then whatever was gluing her eyes closed slowly softened and Hayley managed to wrench her eyes open. Looking blearily around Hayley saw that she had been sat at the table that stood in the middle of Marvin’s ‘workshop’ it was impossible to move her head but she could still look around with her eyes, not that it granted a much better view. All Hayley could see was the far wall with the three black coffins propped up against it. She tried to struggle again and again found her skin in agony but there was the smallest amount of movement from her arm though the motion, as small as it was, felt like razor blades slicing underneath her skin.

‘Hayley STOP! NOW!’ came Marvin’s voice again and he moved into view.‘Look be careful, You’re still setting. Any movement now and you will ruin everything.’

Baffled and terrified by what he was saying Hayley tried to scream. The face she had known for months, happy and benevolent seeming was now pale and strained, there were bags under his eyes as if he hadn’t slept in days and his eyes were darting around the room as if looking for something that was just beyond his vision.

‘Oh but I suppose you want to know what I mean’ Marvin continued, ‘Well no use hiding it now. I did say I was working on something you would like.’

And Marvin moved away, reappearing next to one of the coffins. Hayley strained her arms and, through the pain she felt her right arm move a little more. Marvin was beyond noticing, he had opened the coffin and, though his body was blocking Hayley’s line of sight he was clearly straining with something heavy. Hayley watched in terror as he dragged whatever it was backwards to the table and then with one last burst of effort he turned the thing around.
Clutched in his arms was a huge doll, only slightly smaller than Marvin himself and unlike the smaller counterparts upstairs with their childlike figures this one was clearly a full grown woman. The proportions were perfect and the eyes staring back at Hayley were more real than any she had ever seen Marvin create before, but again unlike their upstairs counterparts these eyes had none of the love, rather they contained more terror than could possible ever be replicated in anything man made. Held in Marvin’s arms was a real woman, covered somehow in a bizarre porcelain mould that had trapped her essentially inside the doll body and with a sudden horrified realisation Hayley realised that this must be the same fate that had befallen her and she too had been transformed into one of those things.

‘Beautiful isn’t she? Not as beautiful as you of course but how could she be? She was only a prototype for the process I have been working on. What do you think? Oh I know you can’t talk but I know what you’ll think. You’re in love with what I have done for you. You’ve been immortalised. You’re a beauty that will never age. Oh There were a few broken eggs to get here but it was all worth it for you Hayley. You were my inspiration.’

Marvin continued to ramble his mad motivations, his words seeming like a thick black sludge that flowed into Hayley’s ears and filler her head with horror. She had to get out of here. Her eyes, the only part of her not covered by the mixture were spilling tears which to her horror Marvin mistook for tears of joy.

‘Oh Hayley I knew you’d love it. You loved my dolls so much and I just wanted to give that love back to you, for you see, I love you Hayley. Ever since you first stepped into my store and I saw you’re countenance I knew I was in love. The way you looked at my dolls I knew we were kindred spirits and I knew we would have to be together, This way there is no reason for you to ever lose your radiance and we can share each other always.’

Marvin propped the human doll he was holding up against the table and to Hayley’s horror he approached, one arm moving out of view and Hayley could only imagine it creeping over her cheek as his face moved closer to hers. Desperate Hayley screamed as best as she could through her porcelain mask, the sound coming out as a muffled cry that was loud enough to stop Marvin in his tracks.

‘Hayley No you have to be careful!’ cried Marvin who’s voice was filling with panic, increasing crazily in pitch.

Despite the agony of her skin tearing free from her muscled Hayley tried to free her arms, trying to force Marvin away and with a final crack like breaking glass her Arm moved at the shoulder, flying forward and managing to collide with Marvin’s face. As she did this Hayley saw her arm. It was a solid pale pink, shiny and inhuman as if someone had covered her in a thick, solid layer of cling flim. Cracks had appeared where she had moved and there was no blood pouring from each crack, flowing freely down her arm and onto the table top in front of her. The sight of her own arm coupled with the horrified squeal from Marvin filled Hayley with a greater desire to escape. Fighting through the slicing pain Hayley managed to force her legs to the floor with another loud crash and staggered to her feet. The table shifted as she bumped into it and the doll that Marvin had propped up fell forward, stiff as a board, colliding with the floor with a shattering sound. Hayley had no ability to move her head but she could only imaging the terrible mess that lay inside the girls porcelain coffin.
Marvin screamed a high, childlike screech at this but Hayley was already desperately trying to manoeuvre her mostly static body away and in the direction of the door.   One leg was completely unmoving and the other was only free at the hip, meaning that Hayley was dragging herself along the floor in a torturous two step. Her breathing was heavy, every ragged breath pulling more blood down her throat and into her lungs and the tears in her eyes were almost blinding her. It was a small miracle that the door to the workshop was open and despite Marvin throwing himself in her way he seemed unwilling to touch her as if any attempt to restrain her would lead to her breaking into a thousand pieces. Indeed when Hayley made it to the door he moved out of her way begging and pleading with her to stop, horrified that he may nudge her into the doorway and break her.
As she exited the door Hayley found herself with a final obstacle. The stairs seemed to be insurmountable. She was completely unable to mover her knees but she knew she had to escape. Desperately raising her leg as high as the agony would let her she tried her best to get her one movable leg onto the bottom step. Tried to get into a position to make some attempt at a hop upstairs. Alas it was not to be. Hayley felt herself falling backwards. With no way to stop herself she fell slowly backwards. The world seemed to slowly rotate around her as she felt herself falling, almost in slow motion to the sound effect of another scream from Marvin. Hayley didn’t feel the impact. As soon as her head hit the concrete floor the porcelain covering her body shattered, ripping away from her and taking chunks of flesh with it. There was a blinding white flash of pain and Hayley was passed out. Waking just one more time Hayley found herself lying numbly in the lap of Marvin who was weeping over her broken body. Wishing for it all to just end Hayley passed away, the last thing she heard was the lamenting of Marvin as he raised a shard of smashed porcelain from the floor and held it to his wrist.

Motionless

Just a quick bit of sci-fi I wrote out of boredom.

Motionless. The only way to describe the wasteland of Braxis. The rolling dunes of the desert were completely without movement. From one side of the horizon to the other one could look an they would see nothing but the barren plains of grey, the desert of Braxis being not covered in sand but ash. Over the centuries since the planet’s core had burst the ash thrown up into the atmosphere had settled and compacted under the harsh winds and heavy rain storms, leaving a solid floor of darkness, leaving it motionless, or all but motionless. Slowly and tentatively something small broke the surface of the ash. A small creature, it’s fur matted and coarse carefully poked it’s head from where it had been hiding beneath the cover of ash and, after many minutes scouting the area. Broke from it’s cover, running a few feet it hid in the shadows provided by the closes dune and went to ground, flattening itself to the floor and watching. Taking it’s time the predator waited, knowing that before long it’s patience would be rewarded. Finally it’s patience was rewarded when something moved, skirting the desert quickly it darted forward before stopping. Sliding forward almost leisurely the predator moved, what it was hunting didn’t matter, only that it was soon to become food. The hunter had learnt after years of life, how to move silently but quickly across the desert and before too long it had closed on it’s prey which was still very much unaware of it’s presence. Staying low the hunter stopped, knowing that even as it closed, one wrong movement would cost it it’s meal. The ash moved minutely before it as it carefully moved again, finally it was close enough, the time to strike was now and with one surge of it’s muscles it burst forward and out of the ash, It’s huge frame exploding from the ash like a breaching whale and it’s jaws scooping up and enveloping the small rodent which hadn’t even realised it was being stalked and which managed a small, pitiful squeal before it disappeared completely into the maw of oblivion.
The Dust Devil lay on the surface of the ash,resting it’s huge frame allowing it’s scales to absorb some small amount of sunlight from the clouded sky as it chewed it’s prey a few times before swallowing. In the distance it watched a as a trio of dust clouds made their way across the desert, the Devil had seen clouds like this before, it didn’t know what caused them but it’s primitive animal intellect told it that it was best to stay away for now. Even if it moved at top speed it was no match for the vehicles on the horizon, but what else it knew was that sooner or later those vehicles would releases softer, slower targets and then maybe it could claim a more significant meals that the one it had just had. Casually the beast turned back to the ash, using it’s ram like nose to crack the surface and then pulled itself underground again. The only sign that it had ever been there being the long thin track left by it’s dorsal spines as it moved, punctuated by one larger crater before the trail continued, turning east and following after the clouds on the horizon.
Heedless of the display of nature that had just occurred the small army jeep sped on across the wasteland, it’s wheels kicking up huge plumes of ash as it did so, causing the bus that followed behind it to need to keep a good distance to it’s left in order for the driver to be able to see where they were going and the same said for the cargo truck behind that, causing the convoy to gouge a wide series of tracks out of the previously perfectly flat ash.

Welcome to Prime Time

One of my favorite kills of Freddy Krueger was where he smashes a girls head into a TV that he has just grown out of, moments before he quips ‘Welcome to prime time, Bitch!’ don’t ask why but I had that in mind for the title of a story so…yea this was basically based around that line alone.

Billy Hanley lay lengthwise across a sofa, his head resting on one arm
rest, his legs dangling over the other. Idly he flicked through the
channels on his TV, bored. The room was dark, the curtains closed so
as to prevent any glare on the screen and the lights switched off. On
one channel a pair of cowboys dodged between rocks as they popped
shots off at each other, on another a heard of animals drank from a
river in Africa, in yet another the news was showing some old woman
receiving some award or another as if it mattered. Billy sighed and
dropped the remote to the floor where it bounced and the channel
flicked back to the wildlife documentary.

Just then the door to the room swung open and a stream of light poured
in, followed by Billy’s mother. Who looked around the darkened room
before finding Billy’s prone form and scowling.

“William Hanley you have spent the whole holiday on that sofa watching
the television, why can’t you go play outside like all the normal
twelve year olds?”

William took a few seconds to even respond, slowly turning his head to
gaze through bored eyes at his mother.

“All the other twelve year olds are at home playing on their games
consoles that their normal parents bought them” he said with a hint of
frustration in his voice.

“Well I pity them I really do, while they lock themselves away,
rotting their brains with their toys you have a chance to have some
real fun and maybe learn something, a chance you consistently
squander”

“If you wanted me to have fun you would buy me a console like I asked
for mum!” Billy half yelled at her.

“I am not having this argument with you again William; you can have
one of those toys when you can buy one for yourself.” She turned and
went to leave the room before stopping.

“And keep the lights on while you’re in here wasting away, watching TV
in the dark will ruin your eyes.” And with that she flicked the lights
on and stormed out.

Billy closed his eyes for a few seconds against the harsh new light
that filled the room. His mum had told him a hundred times about
watching the TV in the dark and it was as bullshit then as it was now,
it had done him no harm. He adjusted his position on the sofa and
returned to watching the documentary but was bored within the minute.
Picking up the remote again he started flicking through channels
again. Old movies, reality shows, news and documentaries were all that
was on. TV during the holidays sucked.

Billy was just considering, with a bitter taste afterthought, of
taking his mother’s advice and taking his football out to the back
garden and kicking it again the wall for a while when he noticed
something on the TV screen, A small crack like a brilliant lightning
bolt crashing across the top corner of the screen. Curious Billy
changed the channel a few times and on every channel the mark was
there. Billy’s stomach tightened, if the TV was broken or damaged then
there would be no point in buying a games console, he would have
nothing to play it on. Getting up from the sofa Billy approached the
TV and sank to his knees to examine the crack. It looked to him like a
tear in a piece of paper, a jagged line that almost separated the
corner from the rest of the screen. Billy raised his hand and ran his
finger across the mark, not sure what he expected to feel. To his
horror as he ran his finger down the length of the mark a small piece
of the screen, about the size of his finger nail, came away from the
rest and fell to the floor like a leaf in a breeze.

Billy scrabbled and grabbed the small piece of screen, it was thin as
tracing paper and weighed nothing and held it up to the screen, trying
to piece it back together like a jigsaw but in his panicked state he
only succeeded in knocking off another flake of screen which drifted
away. Billy turned away, planning to call for him mum, maybe she could
fix the TV but his voice caught in his throat. He couldn’t bring
himself to reveal that the TV was broken; he knew he would be blamed
and then his parents would never trust him again. He desperately
turned back to the screen and then noticed something.

Behind the screen, it wasn’t just bright white like he had first
thought, there seemed to be some depth to the screen despite the TV
being flat screen. In fact there seemed to be room behind the screen.
Slowly Billy reached up to the screen, his panic completely replaced
by curiosity. Very carefully he scratched at the corner of the rip in
the screen and pulled away a few inches more of the screen, the
picture that was on the TV continuing to play despite chunks of the
screen being removed, as if the rip wasn’t there at all. The picture
on the screen disappeared from the chunks that Billy scratched away,
turning pitch black and floating away like ash.

As Billy scratched he seemed to fin there was more and more room
behind the screen for his fingers to fit into and before long his
entire hand could pass into the void behind the screen, allowing him
to pull away almost all the screen in one go. Sitting back, the ragged
tatters of screen in his hand Billy looked into the space behind the
screen. It was like a huge empty space behind the TV, the floor was a
polished, shiny white and the walls were so far back and the ceiling
so high they could not be seen, they seemed to fade away into just
pure white.

Billy stared, moving closer and closer trying to see more of what was
behind there, he could see something, small moving squares that
floated freely in the air but they were all too far away to be seen.
Carefully, Billy reached his hand forward; it passed through the empty
screen and into the world behind it. Leaning forward he placed his
palm on the floor, it was solid, it was really there. Billy pulled his
hand back, looked to the door, contemplating again whether to call for
his mother but again something stopped him. He took a deep breath,
looked to the screen, and leaned forward.

He passed his head and shoulders through the screen. Looking about he
found that he was very close to the ground, about as high as a cat
flap. He leaned further in so he could fit his arms through the
screen, placing his hands on the ground he found himself in a weird
position where his upper body was close to the ground where his legs
were almost standing up. Billy wiggled and pulled with his hands,
feebly crawling until he could get him knees through the screen, then
he managed to leopard crawl like a soldier on TV till he managed to
get his legs and feet through.

Standing slowly Billy looked around him. The world seemed to be
exactly how he had seen it. Nothing more than a wide open space that
faded into white rather than blackness. His footfalls made no sound
upon the white floor and despite the emptiness, when he spoke there
was no echo, his voice completely lost in the air. Looking back where
he had come from Billy saw that his TV screen was nothing but a small
opening in the air, floating a few inches off the ground, peering
through it he could see the room he had just left, empty and unmoving
like an image on a CCTV camera, he was looking through the screen back
into the room he had left like one would look through a window.

Looking around again Billy saw that the moving shapes he had seen
before were more screens floating in the void, some the same height as
his own some at head height, some so high in the air he would never be
able to see them. Walking cautiously up to one of these screens he
stooped slightly to see through it. Beyond there was someone’s living
room. A family were lounged around on two sofas arranged around a
coffee table. The first sofa had a rather fat man on it, rapidly
emptying a packet of crisps into his mouth. On the next sofa there was
a woman a lot thinner than the man who threw a worried glance across
at who Billy assumed was her husband. Between them sat a small girl
with dark hair in pigtails who watched the screen intently, clearly
oblivious to her parents.

Billy waved, pulled funny faces and even shouted but they all seemed
unable to see or hear him. Cautiously he reached his hand forward,
expecting to pass through the screen as easily as he had his own but
to his surprise his hand hit something and there was the dull clunk as
his hand hit glass. Billy pushed against the glass with all his
strength but it didn’t seem to move. He knocked hard against the
screen and for a second the girl looked around as if she had heard
something, but then her mother turned and said something to her, Billy
could hear nothing on the other side of the glass, and the girl
returned to intently watching the television.

Billy walked away a bit and paused for thought; he guessed that the
reason he couldn’t be seen or heard was because the people on the
other side of the screen were watching the TV, not what was behind it.
He guessed that they hadn’t pulled their screen away like he had and
could not see through like he had. He wondered if the girl would have
so willingly clambered through the screen to this world like he had.
But then he saw another screen, this one at perfect head height for
him and he bound over to it.

As Billy ran along towards the new screen he was vaguely aware of a
sound, very quiet as if it was in the distance, it sounded a bit like
wind rushing along far away. But he dismissed it as nothing so interested was he in seeing through more screens.

 

When Billy reached the next screen he peered through and saw another rather large man, this one though was somewhat younger, sat very close to the TV and he had a games controller in his hand. He was rocking back and forward with the motions he was making on the controller and he had a microphone almost in his mouth. Suddenly the man threw his controller to the floor and screamed something into the microphone. Billy couldn’t hear what the man had shouted but by the look on his face he could tell it wasn’t something good. Probably something full of abuse and swear words. Billy moved on from this screen and wandered around, looking through as many screens as he could find.

Through the next one he checked he saw an old woman stood doing the ironing, occasionally looking up and staring out at Billy, not seeing him like everyone else. Another screen had a pair of children fighting to sit closer to the screen, while a mother walked around in the background, carrying a baby and talking on her phone. The children looked to be trying their hardest to fit through the screen like billy had but they also hadn’t removed their screen so they wouldn’t be able to. Billy smiled to himself when he thought this as if he had been so clever to be the only person to figure this out.

The next screen that Billy came to had a woman in front of it doing exercises, Billy couldn’t help but find her pretty and the figure hugging outfit she had on was far from covering, billy sat and watched he going for a while, partly wishing he could push through the screen and get to her but more just enjoying the voyeurism of the situation. Finally Billy pulled himself away and looked about for another window. He noticed however as he glanced around that the world seemed to have gotten significantly darker, something he had not notices as he had been running around. Indeed, where it had once been a brilliant white in colour it was now rather a drab grey. Also the rushing sound he had heard before had grown louder rather than abated and seemed to be coming from all around him.

Billy decided it was time to leave this new world he had discovered and get back to his screen. Looking around he saw how many screens there were surrounding him each with people he didn’t recognise and none of them showing his own home. Running Billy looked this way and that, up and down, everywhere he could think of but the world was so vast and the screens so numerous he couldn’t imagine finding his own. Worse the noise had grown louder still and the ground was now not just grew but seemed to be moving around. It looked like a thousand ants ruching beneath his feet. It looked like static.

Billy was in full panic, his heart beating in his chest, he saw the pretty lady doing exercise again, the family, the old woman, he saw people he didn’t recognise, a woman sat on her own, a guy asleep on a sofa. Billy started yelling but nobody could hear him. There were no distinguishing features of the world at all, Billy was lost, he didn’t know how far he had walked, and he didn’t know if he was even going in the right direction. Every time he saw a smiling face through a screen they looked to be leering at him, every laugh he saw was directed at him.

Then finally Billy saw it, he saw his sofa through a distant screen, it was far off but he would recognise it anywhere. He started to run as fast as he could towards it. He feet beating off the ground and his breath coming in ragged gasps. As he drew close he saw something move on his screen, his mother had walked into the room. Billy called as loud as he could but she still could not hear him. His heart leapt to see her, he was almost home safely. But then his heart sank. His mother had tuned to face the screen and she was holding the remote in her hand. Billy could imagine what she would be saying to herself. Complaining he had left the TV on again. Billy screamed and cried and shouted for her to stop. He was so close now. He slid down on his knees, hoping to slide through the screen but just as he drew within feet of the screen his mother pressed the button and all of a sudden the screen was black.

Billy hit the screen with his knees and heard that dull thunk of something hitting glass. He screamed and beat his fists off the screen but to no avail. His cried did nothing and eventually his fists started to slip in the blood they were leaving he had been pounding away for so long but finally in the end Billy’s tears were lost to the sound of static.

A little Self Indulgence

I have a bit of a love hate relationship with scripts. The ability to write long coversations with ease is invaluble but at the same time they do somewhat limit the ability to be descriptive of enviroments and actions. That said I have been mulling over for a while something I read years ago about it being important to create your own characters and make them your own and so my mind turned to how I would design a character in the same vain as horror classica such as Pinhead, Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees and the like. Now I’m not comparing my characters to greats like them because I think my invention is as good, just that they are the type of design and style I was looking to replicate.

INT. A BEDROOM.
A man sits at a desk, the only light coming from the computer
glowing computer monitor in front of him, he is naked except
for a pair of boxer shorts and as he scrolls through the list
of videos on the screen he licks his lips. One had controls
the mouse while the other slowly slips from where it had been
resting on his leg and creeps down the front of his shorts.
As a video plays he starts to rub his cock vigorously. On
screen a woman is dragged down a back alley by two men, her
blouse ripped violently off of her body. By the time the
second man gets his turn with the now broken and battered
woman the man at his desk has already spilt his seed and is
lounging on his chair looking satisfied, and glancing around
for tissues.
HIDDEN FIGURE
I trust that was what you wanted.
The man at the computer looks around in fear
MAN AT DESK
Who’s there? How did you get in
here
A figure steps from the shadows, unnaturally tall and thin it
is dressed in a bizarre black outfit so tight that even in
the dark its ribs can be seen through the material, strangely
pointed and sharp. It’s shoulders are adorned with a ragged
looking cloak and it wears boots up to its knees. On its head
is a cavalier hat complete with silver feather that shimmers
in the dark. The hat is tilted in such a way that the pointed
brim covers the figures eyes.
THE CAVALIER
My name is without importance, it
has long since been lost beneath
the sands of time, as for how I
entered, the door.
(thin, pale lips curl into
a smile beneath the
pointed hat)
MAN AT DESK
I’ve been here all night, I can see
that door and no body has been
through it.
THE CAVALIER
I did not say I used that door, I
used the door. But again, it is of
no importance.
MAN AT DESK
I don’t know who you are or what
drugs you’ve been taking, just get
out of my house now, I’m calling
the police.
THE CAVALIER
Call whoever you want, They won’t
hear you. I won’t allow them to.
MAN AT DESK
Look Just get out, I have a gun in
this desk here and I will use it
THE CAVALIER
(smirking again)
You have no such weapon, nor would
one aid you even if you did. I am
beyond threats from this world
MAN AT DESK
(becoming hysterical)
Look I don’t know what you want but
get out I really will call the
police
THE CAVALIER
And as I have told you, they will
not hear you. As for what I want, I
have come for you Anthony Rouse
ANTHONY
How do you know my name?
THE CAVALIER
How could I not know the name of
the man who called me.
ANTHONY
I don’t know you, I have never
called you. You won’t even tell me
who you are.
THE CAVALIER
Your mouth doesn’t need to summon
me, your actions are enough, I hope
that you enjoyed them, they may be
your last for a very long time.
Anthony falls backwards out of his chair and scoots away
across the floor. In response The Cavalier takes a few
delicate paces forwards, carefully placing each foot in front
of the other.
ANTHONY
You-you’re here to kill me? Why?
HELP! HELP!
THE CAVALIER
(licks its lips as if
savoring a great taste)
Kill you my dear Anthony?

(MORE)
No, you are not going to die,
though your actions may have
condemned you to a fate you would
consider worse.
ANTHONY
Please No!, What have I done to
deserve this? Why would a demon
like you come to me?
THE CAVALIER
What have you done? My dear Anthony
you have just finished signing your
own fate, The ink isn’t even dry on
your hands yet.
The Cavalier turns it’s head towards the door for a moment
before turning back.
(beneath it’s hat there is
a glint of gold from an
amber eye which is hidden
as The Cavalier turns
back)
THE CAVALIER (CONT’D)
Beyond that door is a room where a
woman sleeps. A woman you promised
as you were wed to her that you
would love forever and yet as she
sleeps you are in here committing
adultery of the mind and yet you
have the indecency to ask what it
is you have done? And you asked my
identity before, you may have found
a fitting answer as Demon seems
like a fitting way to describe my
personage
ANTHONY
Please, Poor Monica, you can’t kill
me, think of her? Where would she
be without me. I provide for her, I
put food on her table…
THE CAVALIER
(Anger rising in its voice
for the first time)
An appeal to consider the innocent?
Where was she on your mind as you
were in here defiling the bond the
two of you signed? How can you lie
there and ask me to think of her
when you never did. Provide for
her? When was the last time you did
anything with her wellbeing in
mind? You call yourself a man when
really there is no chivalry in your
heart.

THE CAVALIER (CONT’D)
(MORE)
I, who addressed myself as demon am
more a man than you. Those tears
you weep are not for her but for
yourself.
ANTHONY
(begging)
Please no! There must be people
worse than I am, all I did was
masturbate, there are men out there
cheating all the time, right now
someone is with a whore while his
wife is at home please why me?
THE CAVALIER
Worse than you? Yes there are, but
it is not them to who I appear, but
you.
ANTHONY
I can change…
THE CAVALIER
Change Anthony? That is an
admission of guilt. People who
change are people who are wrong.
You have put yourself in a position
you should never have been in
Anthony, This is your own doing.
The Cavalier raises a hand and Anthony rises off the ground.
He starts to twitch and scream as he convulses in the air,
clearly in excruciating pain even though his body shows no
sign of physical damage.
ANTHONY
(between screams)
Please no! God in heaven no!
THE CAVALIER
(unleashes a dark laugh so
evil that despite the
mystical space he exists
in manages to wake Monica
in the next room)
A great man once wrote, that There
are more things in heaven and
earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of
in your philosophy. None of these
things will you see My dear
Anthony. You are going beyond
earth, and with your crimes, you
will never see heaven.
Anthony, still convulsing, drifts across the floor until his
chin rests perfectly in The Cavalier’s outstretched hand.

THE CAVALIER (CONT’D)
As soon as their skin touches Anthony’s convulsions stop and
he hangs from The Cavalier’s hand entirely, The Cavalier its
self showing no sign of struggling to hold him.
ANTHONY
P…please, a second chance.
THE CAVALIER
You have had a chance Anthony, that
is more than some get. Now come,
there is so much yet for you to
experience.
The Cavalier finally lifts its hat, tipping it up with one
delicate finger and showing a ghostly pale face that houses
golden eyes glowing so intently that they seem to bore into
the very soul.
The door opens and Monica steps in, turning on the light she
stares around the empty room. The chair is still on it’s side
on the floor and on the computer screen the second man
finished with the woman as the first pulls a knife to slit
her throat.
MONICA
Anthony?
End.

750 words.

The city of Indus, one of the largest cities left in the world. A sprawling metropolis of skyscrapers rising so high that, from the ground, the sky couldn’t be seen save for a few select spaces. The city had prospered greatly from the introduction of the ‘sharing of information act.’ a law passed that gave the police the right keep record any information they wanted from the populace of the city. At first the act faced extreme opposition but as the poverty rate increased so did the crime rate. Eventually the masses turned in favour of the more right wing political parties. By the time the act was finally initiated, the right wing parties had won office by a landslide victory. At first the results seemed to be in favour of the act. The crime rate plummeted as more and more criminals were apprehended thanks to the easy access of the information that helped to bring them to justice.

Eventually however the results started to slow. Be it because of the lack of criminals or of people entering the city but the act again seemed to be losing favour and there were talks of votes to remove it from usage. With the chance of their master key idea being removed, the right wing parties had to find a new way to ensure their stay in government. They decided that they only way they could keep their stay was through money and as such they started to sell the information that the police were gathering to any company that wanted to buy it and with a little side dealing, most of the police force was also added to their payroll.

As the information leaked companies became more and more successful at targeting their adverts at people. The increased income allowed more information to be bought which again boosted the companies’ profits which in turn helped to lace the government’s pockets. It wasn’t just the businesses that benefited though, it became easier and easier for people to find what they wanted. With just a few simple clicks on their computer they could have almost anything they wanted and there would always be a market for what they wanted as companies could tailor their products to the people who wanted them by simply monitoring what the people were talking about on social media sites, blogs and other internet sources. Eventually the people became lazy, contented with their lives and being, what seemed to them, to be pampered. Why complain when anything you want could be yours for a price and with such ease? When the time came for another election the only people who turned up were the people being paid to do so.

Within a few simple years a political party had used standard information about the people to earn enough money to buy the city. Most rival political parties were gone within a year, fading out to the sound of apathy. Now, with the entire city under the control, the government gave up their pretences of being there for the people, they sat back in their chairs letting the money sweep in and protecting only their own interests. The police started to sell their information, not just to businesses but to anyone who could afford to pay their prices. Suddenly identity theft was on the rise. People could lose everything in a night whilst anyone with the money could change identities like changing clothes. As the police started to become more corrupt the crime rate started to climb. As the upper echelons of society started to weigh down on the lower classes more and more people started to turn to crime to try and scrape a living for themselves and their families.

Those rich enough to keep their heads above the rising poverty level flocked to the upper levels of the city, the skyscrapers and the high rise apartments were filled with the super-rich, those still lucky enough to be on the governments pay role and anyone with enough political leverage to get themselves a hand up. The luckiest of all were members of past opposing parties, kept afloat to keep up an appearance of diplomacy in the city, though everyone knew they were nothing but glorified pets being kept as a sign of power.

As the rich rose the poor sank deeper and deeper into the depths of the city. The darkened alleys became rank with criminals. Murderers and thieves, rapists, vandals and all sorts of gangs that fought amongst themselves. There was no worse fate than to live on the streets below the skyline and look upwards towards the shining upper city, knowing that you would never reach there. For once you had fallen down into the heart of the city, there was no way out again.

White Wolf

The sun had hardly slipped below the horizon by the time the rain had started, not a heavy downpour by any stretch of the imagination but sufficient enough to provide most of the would-be nightlife pause for thought before ensconcing onto the streets of Southampton. The clouds in the sky made the streets even darker than would be usual for a cold winters night and there were plenty of alleys into which the light failed to stretch more than a few feet. It was in one of these alleys in which Sindrax lurked. Staying just beyond the line of light created by a nearby streetlamp to remain out of view of any passers-by, he intently watched the office building opposite, waiting for his contact to emerge.

Sindrax had arranged the meeting place for the nearby park where he and his contact could exchange information relatively unnoticed and even if someone did spot them they would hardly think anything of them. That was if Sindrax’s associate didn’t ruin everything. However even in life, when Sindrax had still answered to his old name, he had been somewhat paranoid and death had only reassured him that it was better to be overly cautious than too lax. And thus Sindrax had decided that he would follow his contact to the meeting point, allowing him to get there first so that Sindrax could observe his movements and ease his paranoia somewhat.

Though mostly covered by the high buildings that flanked the alley Sindrax was soaked through before anything happened though death had since stopped his feeling the rain or the cold. Even so it was still unpleasant to feel ones clothes clinging to their body and Sindrax’s dark jeans and shirt were doing just that as he stood semi protected in the alley. Finally the doors swung open and a figure stepped out. Sindrax tensed, the figure was a woman, short at about 5’2 and dressed in a black business suit and white shirt with the top button undone. Her hair was platinum blonde, almost white and hung down to her lower back in a ponytail.

Paranoia started to fill Sindrax’s head, he had been expecting a male as his contact, was this just someone who happened to leave the building first? Was she his contact? She was pale enough and had that look that all kindred wore of disconnect and contempt for the world around them, why had he not been told who to expect? And where the hell was his associate? He had said that he was going to survey the area but for all Sindrax knew he had gone off chasing rats.

The woman looked around as if inspecting the environment before starting off down the street. She was heading towards the park for certain. Sindrax closed his eyes, focusing his energy before opening them. The world’s colours seemed to light up, brighter than they could ever really have been. The dark shadows faded away and even the blackened sky seemed to brighten, the moon becoming as the sun was during days that Sindrax would never again see. The few people that were on the street also seemed to light up but unlike the surroundings they seemed to radiate a single light, each one giving off different shades though most of them in hues of blue or purple. Sindrax turned his attention to the retreating form of the woman. Where everyone else’s aura had been mellow shades hers was a deep blood red. She was kindred without a doubt. Sindrax shook his head and the colour faded from the world, making it seem cold and empty, almost monochrome in comparison. He took one last look around for his associate and upon seeing no sign of him cursed under his breath and strolled out into the street and after the woman.

Attired as he was in a black sweater, coat and jeans Sindrax drew little attention from passers-by as he strolled confidently down the street, making sure not to get too close to his target but keeping her within sight. Studying this woman Sindrax decided that dressed like that she was likely a Ventrue, trying to make the world think they were more important than they actually were, Sindrax knew that if his associate hadn’t disappeared he would have spit in disgust. However walking down the street, his eyes fixed on her he couldn’t help but notice the way her thighs swayed and the way her trousers were pulled so tight over her…no he mustn’t get distracted, he had a job to do, a favour he owed to the camarilla.

When they arrived at the park Sindrax broke away from his target and went wide of her while still staying behind, he tailed her all the way to the clearing in which the bandstand where they were supposed to meet stood. Expected her to go and stand by it, Sindrax was annoyed to see she instead stopped just short of the treeline and lurked there looking out over the clearing and keeping the bandstand in sight. Sindrax cursed, she was smarter than he had given her credit for. Pausing for a moment he pondered on what action to follow next, not sure whether to just watch or approach, eventually deciding that she must be his contact and she clearly wasn’t going to make the first move he circled back to behind her and made to announce himself.

Phantom Limbs XVII

Friday 14th September 2116

James Dylan’s Audio Diary

What have I done? The last thing I remember is seeing the bar as I walked down the street. The bar and the bang. What have I done? Where did I get the gun? I was just. I wanted to try and…why did I go in? Why did I order that drink? And now…Phil. The poor man didn’t deserve any of this. His house. It was so sparse. There were bottles strewn about the place. He was as drunk as I was. But he had more sense than I did. He tried to run. Cried for help. He didn’t listed to me. To my mad, drunken ramblings and I go angry. Why couldn’t he just listen? No…I can’t blame him. This is all my fault. What have I done? Now I’m just sat in this house. Alone again. With blood on  my hands. What happened to me? This is a new nightmare. My child is gone. My wife. Phil…they’re all gone. And it’s all my fault. I pushed them away. I pulled the trigger. The police will be after me now. It’s only a matter of time.

What can I do? Or is it too late for everything? Is there anything I can do to make up for the evil I have done? The computer. The automated bank. Maybe one last thing I can do…for Mily…thank god Joanna always insisted on separate bank accounts. There isn’t enough money there to buy Mily that present she wanted. Maybe her grandmother  and mother can scrape the rest together between them. Maybe after everything I can still afford to give her that little house she wanted. Got to move fast. I can hear something moving outside the door. Am I still drunk? No. It’s got to be one of those police hounds. Those mechanical hounds, more machine than I am. But less cold… there. My last deed done. They are definitely outside the house. I can hear it snuffling beneath he door. I guess this is it. Joanna.. Oh Mily. I am so sorry…

James Dylan logged out.