GUEST BLOG: C. DARWIN DECAY PART TWO by J.C. Eickelberg

GUEST BLOG: C. DARWIN DECAY PART TWO by  J.C. Eickelberg

Part One

“It’s nice to see you again, Dominic,” his mother said.

“And nice to see you, too, Elizabeth.” He turned to his son. “How have you been?”

“About the same as when we talked last,” he responded. “Just touching on the topic of family inheritance.”

“I see. What concerns do you have?” Dominic asked his grandson. His cloak fell off his shoulders and arched away from his sides, mimicking the angel’s wings. Logan saw Dominic’s cloak wasn’t clothing. It was a pair of wings. A figure glided to his side, as graceful as any angel.

“Good evening, mother,” Logan’s father said.

“Good evening, Gregor,” she said. “This must be that grandson of mine. My how you’ve grown into such a handsome young man. You’ve got your mother’s dark hair.” She smiled at the young man sitting on the plinth.

Logan stared at the winged couple standing in his yard. They were the warm grandparents he remembered from his youth, with the exception of the wings. He didn’t remember their wings from previous visits. He had wondered if they had passed away given their rare contact with him. When he flung out the insult about being a gargoyle, he never expected to see them as real. His grandparents appeared as close to his imagination of what one would look like. Then he looked at his father. There was no mistaking the resemblance to his grandfather’s bulky form and grandmother’s kind eyes. The only exception was his lack of wings. Some gargoyles he’d seen were grotesque. His grandmother was regal in her beauty and his grandfather was noble in his bearing. Both were preternaturally tall and well defined for their apparent age. And nothing like the bestial ornamentation on an old building.

“Logan, you are part of a long line of special beings,” his mother said. Her sable complexion glowed warm with love, but stern. She soothed his fear and uncertainty.

“Where are your wings?” Logan asked his father. “And yours? And mine, for that matter?” He looked at his mother.

“Mine were damaged too badly when I was younger to keep. Unfortunately, I had to have them removed. I have the scars to prove they were there. Yours weren’t formed correctly,” Gregor said. “Your mother was the donor of the DNA used to correct your ‘anomaly’.”

“Your anomaly was malformed wings,” his grandmother said. “I would have offered to donated my DNA, but your parents pointed out you would have been the only flyer in town. No one would have been around when it came time to get you acquainted with flying. Your grandfather and I spend a lot of time visiting family all over. Accepting communities of our kind are few and far between. Wings are a rarity here in your town. If your wings were left as they were, your spine would have become misshapen.”

“Logan, I wasn’t born with wings. I was a rarity for our kind. No wings meant I could walk among everyone and not get pointed at or taunted.” Elizabeth went to sit next to her son. “I love your father for who he is. Not for something he’s not or doesn’t have. I know the story of how he lost his wings. He knows I never had them. I almost wished I had wings to experience flight, but then I realize in this day and age, we don’t have the freedom to fly like your grandparents could in their youth.”

“Logan,” his grandmother said. “Your wings gradually reduced to nothing after your treatment. Your parents didn’t tell you because they wanted you to grow up like other kids in the neighborhood. No wings meant you wouldn’t have to hide them or explain them. Your grandfather and I lived in a small community that accepted us and treated us as equals. Neighboring villagers tended to treat us as demons, or worse. Some of my family were killed for being who we are.”

“Even though you don’t have wings like we do,” his grandfather said, gesturing to his wife, “we still love you as much as we love your father and mother. It makes no difference to us. You are family. You have your special traits you’re learning to use, and honing very well from what I’ve seen.”

“What you have seen?” Logan asked, astonished they knew so much about what he did in his spare time. “I haven’t seen you in years.”

“I saw you intercept and catch that hawk. Your timing was very good,” he said. Logan recalled the large shadow crossing the driveway when he leaped off the roof. “I saw you walk out of the house, but not how you stalked the squirrel. Your agility and reflexes are phenomenal. Aren’t they Althea?”

“They most certainly are.” She saw Logan’s confusion. “We were far above the hawk, waiting for shadows to lengthen. Riding thermals is just as invigorating as it was when we were younger.”

“I have so many questions to ask you.” Logan looked at his grandparents. Wonder and awe welled up in him. He remembered seeing images from folk art and old architecture of gargoyles or creatures more animal-like than the beings in front of him. His grandparents were quarterback and cheerleader good looking, even in their advanced age. “How old are you? Where did you grow up? Where do you live now?”

“A good place to start. We grew up in a small town in the mountains long before airplanes were thought up. Our town was the last to get electricity, and still has a population of our kind. There are many of us out there. You may have seen the gargoyles on old buildings?” Logan nodded, remembering their beastly appearance. His family did not resemble those animals. They all could walk down the street with no second looks. His father appeared as normal as anyone he’d seen at the store. The wings his grandparents had were the only obvious difference between themselves and people in school. “We are not those creatures. Wings are the most obvious similarities. Some other features are more easily left unseen.” Althea tapped a lengthened canine tooth with a long nail.

Logan looked at his fingers. His nails (or were they claws?) didn’t show their length like when he caught the hawk. He thought about them and they extended with a little effort.

“I know it’s harder for us to hide those,” Gregor said, extending his claws. They lengthened significantly. “Some of us can get away with longer ‘nails’.” He looked lovingly at his wife, who checked a rough edge on one claw.

“That I can do,” Logan said. “What about this?” He stood and removed his shirt. What had started as a downy covering of hair was filling out to a glossy coat of fur.

“Goodness,” Althea stated. She examined the color of Logan’s thickening pelt. “You certainly have your mother’s coat and color. It suits you handsomely.”

“Grandmother, no other kids have this much hair. I’ve been able to hide the claws and teeth. No one else I’ve seen in school has hair like this.” Logan’s angst came out in his protest. “People have wondered why I don’t go to the pool. I want to go. I want to have friends that accept me.”

“We will always accept you,” Althea said. “You may not have wings, but we love you. I’m jealous of you in one thing. I’ve never been able to climb as well as you do. I’m sure there are kids that would want to know how you can climb like you do. Friends will come. If they accept you, then keep them. You need to be patient with others and find how they react to us before letting them know what you are.”

“Logan. Unfortunately, your hair isn’t so easy to explain to others. Some babies were hairy. Some don’t grow out of it.” His mother gave him a coy smile. She pulled her shirt up as if to pull it over her head.

“Mom!” Logan declared as he turned his head away.

“Logan. Look at me.” She was stern.

Logan looked toward his grandparents. They showed no shock, or surprise at his mother’s action. His grandmother gestured back to her daughter-in-law.

“Logan. Your mother has more to tell you,” his grandfather said. Sternness demanding Logan to return his attention to his mother.

She stood closer to him now, shirt in hand. Wearing a skimpy top he’d seen her wear during dance practice, his mother stood unperturbed without a shirt. Logan had never seen her without something fully covering her torso. He saw the same velvety layer of hair covering her shoulders and bare belly that covered his torso.

“Yes. You have inherited something from me that doesn’t quite fit in with everyone else.” His mother watched Logan’s face. Acceptance came slowly to Logan. “I’ve seen some people watching you. Most looked who at you were taken by you. I’ve seen admiration of your good looks. That anomaly you had, wings notwithstanding, would have left you hunched over. The little bit extra I gave you through that DNA treatment meant you weren’t going have funny looking wings on a hunched back. It may have meant a little more hair, but you can deal with it. I’ve seen how well you’ve grown into it.”

“Might this be one of those classmates that watches you, Logan?” Grandmother Althea asked.

Logan peered over his shoulder to see his grandmother looking back toward the house. Her wings were wrapped around her shoulders, appearing as a cloak in the growing darkness. With a place to look, Logan turned to see someone coming down the driveway. A friendly smile on the newcomer’s face.

“Good evening, Michelle,” Logan’s mother said. “What can I do for you?”

“Good evening, Mrs. Everson,” Michell said. “I wanted to drop off your dance shoes. They came into the store today. I thought I’d save you a trip to pick them up. It’s on my way home.” Michelle smiled warmly. Seeing Logan, a twinkle appeared in her eyes. “Hi, Logan.”

“Hi, Michelle.” Logan smiled back. He forgot about his trepidation of fitting in at school. He also forgot about the shirt in his hand.

“I don’t want to interrupt a family get together.” Michelle gave the shoes to Logan’s mother. “See you at school, Logan.” She turned to leave. As she did, she pushed some hair behind her ear. Logan noticed the tuft of hair on the top of her ear. Michelle fluttered her fingers at Logan and went back down the driveway. Shock settled on Logan’s face.

“Mom,” Logan said, looking at her. “Did you know?”

“Know what?” she asked, innocently.

“That’s she’s part Lynx,” he said.

“No. I knew she liked you.” Logan looked at her, not believing her. “That’s why I told her to stop by with the shoes when they came in. She lives half a block down. I’ve heard you talk about her. I also know you’re too hard on yourself and wouldn’t have talked to her.”

“Logan,” Grandfather Dominic said. “You have more to learn about the community you live in than you know.”

“That young lady is a start,” Grandmother Althea said. “Take it from a mother. Sometimes a son needs to have his eyes opened a little by a parent.”

“Yes, they do,” his father said, humbly. “Just as they need to keep in mind, not everyone is ready to accept someone equally linked to a bird of prey, a jaguar, and a human. Or another animal.” He glanced down the driveway at Michelle.

“Mom, I thought you had a panther in your family.” Logan’s shock of being known was wearing off. “I’ve never seen spots on you.”

“I have one. A ‘birthmark’ on my leg. Michelle recognized it in dance class for what it was. When she asked about it, without concern, I knew she could be accepting of a certain young man I know. Like not having a tail, I won’t miss a mopey teenager getting over whatever it is you have to get over.”

Logan looked to his father.

“Like your grandmother said. Sometimes it takes someone else to open your eyes. You have three generations who accept you for you. One of them was a stranger to you.”

“Was a stranger? I’ve never talked to her outside of class.”

“You have your chance to get to know her. You’ve always wanted to fit in. Now there’s someone you can talk to about getting in touch with your animal side.” Gregor looked at his son. “I almost let your mother get away. Don’t do that with Michelle.”

His mother tugged the shirt out of his hand and balled it up. She put it on against his bare torso and said, “She’s not a stranger to most of the neighborhood. Michelle’s a keeper. Don’t let her get away. Chimera or not, you have a life to live.”

“I will. Do me a favor first,” Logan said, looking at his father.

“What?”

“Don’t burn dinner. I’m wanting something with no char on it,” Logan said.

“Now do your mother a favor,” his mother said. “Set the table for five. Your grandparents are staying for dinner. I’ve got some cooking you can help to finish.”

“If I’d known, I’d have gotten the squirrel, too.” Logan chuckled.

“Glad to see you’re out of your funk. Now go in and wash your paws. I don’t want to see feathers at the table,” Grandmother Althea said.

 

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J.C. works and lives in Wisconsin.  He has a beautiful wife and two active boys.  He enjoys spending time with family, reading, and, time permitting, writing.  Haunted and spooky places have always intrigued him.

Guest Blog: Smart Machines by Kay Tracy

Smart Machines by Kay Tracy

It was a Saturday, before the holidays. I had to pull some overtime on a few reports for the boss. Friday night, in the winter, now well after dark, and I couldn’t get the door to open. Something moved behind me low on the floor. A mouse?

That was three weeks ago, and I am still here. I can’t get out. Gods help me, I truly wish I could say it was because of my boss. How I wish a mouse was what I had glimpsed!

The firefighters who broke open the door keep trying to tell me I was in shock.

People sometimes ask about it, but no one really ‘knows’. Folks really don’t want to know.

You have seen them in many offices, those machines that will print, copy, and, staple. Oh, to be sure, there is someone who is designated to change the ink or toner as it calls for it. And usually, office etiquette says, if you empty the paper, then you are supposed to put more into the machine. Easy enough, But there is one thing most people never think about. I know I never did. At least, not until now.

I t was trivial at first. I started noticing little things go missing. It was easy enough to think it was my co-workers. Steph had run out of paperclips and took some from my desk. No worry there. The odd safety pin that I would keep in my drawer was next. I did think it was a bit rude for folks to go into the drawers of my desk without asking first. I mean, really!

In talking to others, I found out that they too had had things go missing from their desks. Small stuff at first. Then James complained that his new steel mug and thermos was gone. Julia’s power cord to her computer was next. Harold had an entire desk lamp disappear. The objects were getting larger, and stranger. Soon, anything that was made of metal was going missing. Small pocket change, keys, it seemed odd. Then William asked when we got the pretty staples. Everyone came to see, and there on his desk was a stack of reports with copper colored staples. I wondered about all those pennies that were once in the coffee fund can, which was now missing. But then, so too was the coffee maker!

I am desperate now, trying to find a way out of here. The parts inside the phone are gone now. The thing grows longer snakelike arms every day. The larger, more complicated items it brings to me for disassembly. I have no idea when it will have all it wants or needs, maybe then I can leave.

People really should know about these things. Maintenance includes more than just the paper and ink. More than just the “machine guy” every three months for a cleaning and lube. The staples should not be overlooked on these ‘smart machines’.

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Kay Tracy is now retired, and has time to do all the things she thought she never would do! She loves to travel, play Magic, and write.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Kay Tracy is retired and now have the time to do all the things she never thought she would! She loves to travel, play Magic, and writing.

GUEST BLOG: C. DARWIN DECAY Part One by J.C. Eickelberg

GUEST BLOG: C. DARWIN DECAY PART TWO by  J.C. Eickelberg

What are you telling me? I’m a freak?” Logan asked. He was visibly upset.

No. You’re not a freak,” his dad said. “You had genes spliced into you to correct a genetic abnormality. You’re as normal as I am.”

What kind of genes were used? Monkey? Dog? Slug? What am I?” Logan didn’t like hearing he wasn’t truly his parent’s kid.

You are as human as I am. Every piece of DNA used came from a person. You don’t have to worry about turning into a fish, or growing a tail.”

Yeah right.” Logan rolled his eyes. “I’ve seen pictures of people with tails, and little kids with enough hair for three people. I even did a report on Werewolf Boy. Is he a cousin? Or is mermaid girl?”

Nothing of the sort. Your genetic anomaly was corrected with valid strands of DNA. A flu virus was used to get the DNA into you and do what was needed. It didn’t make you sick. It made you better.” His dad reassured his son as best he could. 

“If anything, your eyesight might be better than anyone else in the family.”

Great. I won’t need glasses. What about me not wanting that treatment? Maybe I didn’t want it.” He glared at his father, disgust evident in his voice.

Then we wouldn’t be here having this conversation, and you wouldn’t have become the healthy young man you are,” his dad said. He looked at his son, tired of the conversation. 

“Is there anything else?”

When can I expect to start howling at the moon? Or should I make arrangements to catch a flight south to keep up with the flock? Are my wings going to start growing soon?” He chided his father.

He didn’t believe all his father had said about the source of DNA he was given as a child. “I’m pretty sure I remember the desire the hang out in trees.”

You always were a bit of a climber,” his dad admitted. “I’m going to say it again; only DNA from a family member was used. What do I have to say to convince you of that?”

Convince me? When half our family is built like gorillas? I don’t think that’s going to happen. I may as well be a gargoyle.” He shot this at his dad. 

“Darwin would roll over in his grave, messing around with a person’s genes.” Logan couldn’t help thinking this was a Lovecraftian conversation.

That’s not true. You’re not a gargoyle. Those reflexes of yours are more cat-like than a gargoyle’s.”

If not a gargoyle, then what am I? A snake like you for doing this to me?” He glared at his father.

“Why do I feel like I want to chase birds?” Not waiting for a response, he continued, “Come to think about it, I’m going out to go get something to eat. Do you want me to bring back a mouse for you?” He didn’t wait for a reply.

As far as he was concerned, he didn’t want to hear any more about what benefits he ‘inherited’ from the donated DNA. He just wanted to be like everyone else he met. All human, no mixed DNA. As much as his father said about getting nothing but human material, who’s to say the source didn’t start with the non-human material.

He stormed out of the house. Looking around the yard, he found the massive oak tree he spent so much time in as a kid. It had massive limbs reaching over the roof of his parent’s two story house. The lowest branch was head high. He easily leaped to this lowest branch, claws digging into the bark. Chirping birds fluttered through the neighborhood as a squirrel chattered farther up the tree. Nothing in sight calmed him. Friends down the block playing soccer held no interest. His tree companion kept yelling at him for joining it in the tree. A shadow moved over the tree. Warbles filtered down, announcing the hawk looking for something.

Logan moved silently up the tree. His movements sleek and quiet. A flurry of movement brought his attention to focus on his target. The squirrel darted passed him, moving toward the house. Its movement was too spastically for him. A better target presented itself as the squirrel made the leap to the roof. Making adjustments while moving through the tree, Logan made his leap as the hawk streaked toward the ground. Logan landed on the roof. The squirrel raced over the peek. Logan heard the door close.

Logan, what are you doing up there?” his dad said.

Like I said. I wanted a snack.” He held the hawk out to his father, still embedded on his claws. “Want some?”

Get down here,” he demanded. Logan landed next to him, as light as a cat jumping from a countertop. His father lowered his voice. “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times. No hunting in the neighborhood.”

Fine. You get the grill out. I’ll get this cleaned.” Logan smiled, showing off long canine teeth.

Good catch. That’s a big one. I’ve been wanting to catch that one, myself,” his dad said.

Logan went to the backyard to begin the task of dressing out his catch. A shadow sailed across the ground. He dismissed it as another predator scouting the neighborhood. His father made a grunting sound in his throat as another shadow passed, a larger one this time.

Dad, have you talked to Grandpa Everson lately?” Logan asked, mind lost in thought.

Not for a little while. Why do you ask?”

I’ve been thinking of him lately. I don’t remember much about him.” His dad watched his son carefully. “I was hoping to talk to him about our family.”

Why the interest? Anything your mother and I can help you with?” He watched as Logan began the task of preparing his catch for the grill.

I know all the stories you told me. I want to know what it was like for him growing up in the old country. Why did he move? Where does he live now? What did he do for a job at your age? What does he do now?” A shadow of doubt and a recriminating looked aimed at his father wasn’t lost as feathers fell to the ground.

Odd you ask about him. He just contacted me about coming for a visit. In particular, he wants to talk with you,” his mother said from the backyard. Her lithe figure, cat-like in her movements as she soundlessly crossed the deck.

Logan started at her voice. He hadn’t heard her open and close the back door, or walk across the wooden surface. “Mom, you’re too quiet.”

Not when I want to be,” she purred. “And I wanted to know what’s up with you. Why so much interest in knowing about the family? And why the hostility about being a healthy young man? Too many girls in the neighborhood chasing you home, wanting a boyfriend?” She reached to take the bird’s carcass and continued to prepare it more gently. A few bones were clearly dislocated from Logan’s efforts.

No. I just want to know what anomaly I inherited from the family.” He walked into the backyard toward the statuary his parents kept there. “What was it?” He demanded of the statues as he turned to his parents. He sat on the plinth of his favorite statue. An angel with wings hanging to the side, face looking down in concern.

I believe your grandfather was wanting to talk to about just that topic,” his mom soothed. She deftly finished with the bird as his father got the grill warming. A smile stretched across her face, white teeth set off by her sable complexion. He couldn’t help notice his familiar smile used on him. Even down to the canines.

That’s right,” came a baritone reply.

Logan turned to see a figure nearly taller than the statue behind him. In the growing shadows, he walked forward wrapped in a nondescript cloak. The width of his grandfather seemed just as impressive as the last time he visited. It was clear where his father inherited his size. Fear and awe settled on Logan as the immense figure walked into the yard. The chiseled facial features warmed with a smile in return of his mother’s…….

 

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J.C. works and lives in Wisconsin.  He has a beautiful wife and two active boys.  He enjoys spending time with family, reading, and, time permitting, writing.  Haunted and spooky places have always intrigued him.

Guest Blog : Where Nightmares Come From by Drunk Dracula

In this Guest Blog, Drunk Dracula wrote about nightmares. Check this out, and if you want more Drunk Dracula, check out his site at the end of this blog entry…. enjoy the nightmares 🙂
Where Nightmares Come From

My daughter once asked me where nightmares come from, so I told her the story my father told me and his father told him.

Long ago, there were no nightmares, only memories. Memories of the things men do and the things men see. Then sometime around the 5th Century, during the migration of Germanic tribes into what would become most of Western Europe, there was a Lord. And like many Lords of the time, he acquired land. He acquired this land the way everyone acquired land then, he conquered it.

It was in the aftermath of a particularly brutal battle, near the edges of a deep crevasse, that the Lord found a pale child wandering among the littered corpses. It was a girl, blackened by smoke and stained with the spattered blood of the fallen. She had dark eyes and a misshapen body with deformities that made even the bravest soldiers avoid her gaze and step from her path. Now this Lord was a generous one, loved by his men and his people, and he felt pity for this impish girl and he took her in, raising her within the confines of his castle.

He named the girl Nocturne for her dark eyes and her peculiar habit of avoiding sleep and staying up late into the night, seemingly for days and weeks at a time. Despite her appearance, Nocturne soon showed a Jesters talent for making the Lord and the neighboring aristocracy laugh and enjoy themselves at her stories, tales and tricks.

This Lord also had a handsome son, a Prince who would one day inherit the throne, the castle, and its lands. The Prince, like the others, also enjoyed the antics of this new girl who was always by his Fathers side, telling stories and riddles to delight the crowd. But each night, the Prince would watch as Nocturne would whisper into the Lords ear at days end, leaving the Prince to question this girl jester and the way his father seemed enthralled by such a grotesque and deformed comedienne who never seemed to sleep.

Soon, the Prince was of age and he prepared to leave the castle for his studies. He embraced his father tightly, knowing they would not see each other for years. As he rode away, leaving the only home he knew for the very first time, he glanced back at the castle and the people surrounding his waving Father. The last thing he saw before the castle slipped from view was Nocturne, there at his Fathers side, whispering her whispers in his ear.

The stories reached the Prince in the final year of his studies. They seemed fantastical at first and claimed that his Father had become a monster, a bane to his own land. It seemed the Lord had begun taxing his people harshly and imprisoning any who could not pay, condemning them to the bowels of the castle to await some form of trial and eventually, a horrible death. There were tales of lavish sin-fueled parties where the Lord would fly into rages at others, often baiting guests into heated debates, only to shackle them in chains for disobeying his view or command. Neighboring Lords and land-owners avoided the castle, fearing the tales of torture, and staying clear of the screams that lasted well into the night. And within each chilling account, what each witness never ceased to mention, was that the girl Nocturne was there, with her strange whispers for only the Lord’s ear. It seemed that Nocturne was either immune to the Dukes blood rage, or the very cause of it. Now, with this madness consuming his Father, the Prince was told that neighboring Lords were preparing to siege the castle and divide its lands among them. As the Prince rode quickly for home, he knew that any such battle would be short, since recent tales told that much of the castle had been abandoned and now only the Lord and Nocturne lived within its bloodied walls.

As the Prince neared the castle, he galloped past the villages he remembered as a young man. Once vibrant and alive, they were now shells of towns, filled with the starving, the desperate, and the dead. The castle road was littered with bloated corpses and the creek he once played in as a boy ran red with blood.

The Prince burst into the castle, sword drawn, and called for his Father. From a splintered bench in the corner of the throne room, the Lords feeble voice replied. The Prince’s Father was now thin, with sunken eyes and trembling hands, but he stood feebly and reached longingly for his son. The Prince embraced his Father and asked if the stories were true. The Lord nodded, shame washing over his pale face. The Prince gripped his sword tight and roared for Nocturne, vowing to end this damnable reign of madness. She appeared behind him, whispering a welcome to the Prince. She was seated on the Lord’s throne, her small crooked body dwarfed by the immense gilded chair. The Prince lunged at Nocturne but his sword was halted inches from her throat by the call of his Father, who cried NO.

In labored gasps, the weak Lord told his son that Nocturne was no girl, but a witch raised from Hell that day on the battlefield. It was her whispers, her foul and tiny voice in his ear that spread the madness, a rain of nightly tales of horror that he himself would in turn make real by day. The Lord said he kept Nocturne here in the castle, fearing that her tales, should they spread through the land, would inflict the very same horrors that happened here at his home. With this, the Lord gripped his sons hand and looked deeply into Nocturnes black eyes and let out his last cold breath. The Princes eyes filled with tears seeing his dead Father. As for Nocturne, she laughed. It was a tiny laugh, but a laugh that filled the Prince with rage. He stood and stared into that small witch’s eyes and in one swift motion he sank his sword through her down to its hilt. Nocturne’s laugh went silent and her eyes bulged black, dark blood seeping from her mouth. A watery, bubbling sound crept up from deep within her, traveling up her throat and past her bloodied lips. It was one last whisper. An evil sound that echoed throughout the castle, past its gates, past its lands and into our world.

Years went by, and the Prince was eventually killed in battle, the castle divided among the aristocracy. The tale of Nocturne, the Lord and the Prince was almost lost to time and the long shadows of a growing and aging Europe. But some still share the tale of the sleepless Nocturne, the girl who was something altogether not human, a creature beyond the grip of sleep, or night or day. For what the King said that day to his son was true. When Nocturne was killed, she was released from that castle and into the ether, adrift in the world. She is now free to whisper to more than just one old Lord. Her whispered stories and tales and riddles can now reach us all while we sleep. Gone are the Kings, Dukes and lands of old, now there are factories, industry, automobiles, and airplanes. But Nocturne remains, creeping silently into the bedrooms of men, of women, and especially of children. Like she did with that long dead Lord, she whispers into your ear while you sleep, and breathes vile tales of terror, of dread, of lifes poisons witnessed throughout her days on this Earth.

Maybe she’ll whisper in your ear, or maybe she already has. Because she, my dear daughter, She is where nightmares come from.

More Drunk Dracula here

Guest Blog: The Sign by Kay Tracy

The Sign

I have always struggled with these things. There are signs everywhere to give you direction. You see them, Stop signs, Green lights. These are for those obvious things in life or death. Where to look, though when things are not as obvious as you, or I, might wish them to be? It depends. There was the day that everything was in place. It was ‘ON!” I had planned it to the second! Every detail covered, every contingency accounted for. Or so I thought. All of it. I was ready to proceed, then, it began to snow. Lightly, but enough to mean there would be tracks, visible evidence would be heightened. It was a sign, a signal that this was not to happen. A ‘No’ go. Or perhaps, they chose to direct me to something, or someone, else.

I hate when anything interferes. They will only wait so long you know. I HAVE to appease them. I don’t do these things for just myself. No! You have to understand, they have very far reaching desires. My small contributions to their demands help keep them contained. Satisfied, if you will. Or so I hope. They hunger, and I try so hard to keep them in check. Of course, they frighten me. You would fear them as well, I know it. If you realized just what those dim shapes you glimpse now and then, just out of clear view, really were. Be glad that don’t. God knows, if he exists, there are days I wish I did not have. There is no time for self-pity.

It’s time now. Everything is in place, ready. Now to wait for the sign if this thing is to be done. There are people everywhere. Firefighters. Adults, and small children. And the firetrucks are inside. They could be a disadvantage, this will be very difficult with so many. I am sure I have done everything as instructed, according to the plan, but I need the sign. I have to know if this will be the time, and I am to go ahead. Is it on? Is it now? I look up, and there, above me, I see it, my answer, shining clearly.

photo credit:  centennialbulb.org

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Kay Tracy is now retired, and has time to do all the things she thought she never would do! She loves to travel, play Magic, and write.

Guest Blog : Horror Movie Conspiracy Theories: The Thing (1982) By: Kenzie Kordic

Horror Movie Conspiracy Theories: The Thing (1982)

By: Kenzie Kordic

The Thing (1982 version) is critically acclaimed as one of the greatest horror movies ever made. It has everything: aliens, isolation, frozen wastelands, and much more. Since this is such a popular horror movie, obviously there are going to be fan conspiracy theories that need to be delved into and examined thoroughly. The biggest conspiracy to come out of that movie, that is heavily debated, is that Childs is the thing in the end. This article will comb through this theory, giving you all of the supporting evidence, so that you can form your own opinions.

At the end of the movie, in the final scene, Childs and MacCready are sitting against a building, talking and relaxing, after fighting off the alien once more. One of the two had to be the alien because they didn’t kill it. They are drinking hard liquor and MacCready hands Childs a cup full of liquid and Childs accepts it, taking a drink, and the movie ends.

This is where the conspiracy starts. There are two different conspiracies related to the end of the film. The first one is that Childs had to have been the alien because he wouldn’t have accepted a drink from MacCready if MacCready was the alien. Common sense, right? The other conspiracy is that the bottle of liquor looked exactly like the other bottles that they were using as Molotov cocktails earlier in the film and some say that the bottle was full of gasoline and since Childs drank it so easily, that must mean that he was the alien.

It doesn’t matter which conspiracy you believe or which way you spin it, but without a doubt, Childs is the alien. If you believe the first conspiracy, why would a rational human being accept a drink from an alien that not only killed off all of his friends but the dogs as well? If you believe the second conspiracy, then you know that Childs has to be an alien because who can drink gasoline and not even flinch?

In conclusion, The Thing has numerous conspiracy theories, some of which wasn’t discussed in this article, and it can be fun to think about what the writers and directors were trying to portray without them holding your hand through the movie. Horror conspiracies is a rabbit hole that I love getting lost in, and I hope you do too.

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Kenzie Kordic is a young author who strives to create truly scary stories.  Kenzie has been obsessed with the horror genre for as long as she’s been able to read. She has written numerous short stories as well as working on a novel.  She can be found watching horror movies with her pup.

facebook.com/kenziekordic

Guest Blog: The Blind Seeker by Kay Tracy

 

The Blind Seeker
by Kay Tracy

The lousy weather was holding, with the same miasma of fog and overcast. Lack of sun will make people do and see strange things, so they say.

The usual snarl of homeward commute traffic seemed worse than usual today. There are always those people who drive like, well, I guess idiots would be the more polite word to use. Cutting people off as they weave from lane to lane, trying for that extra car length they just know will get them home faster. It had a been a long day, and I was not looking forward to the rest of the commute. I pulled my truck off the road to take a break, and have an early dinner. I enjoy finding small out of the way places to patronize, and my hunt for something other than the standard fast food or drive through took me a couple miles distance from the highway. This stretch of road should have seemed familiar, I had driven here before, but there! That place was new, a small Taqueria, with a big hand lettered sign, “Fresh Tamales!” Well! If you have never had a fresh from the steamer hand rolled Tamal, you are missing one of life’s great pleasures! The sweetly plumped corn meal holding the tasty secret of filling that the individual making them takes such pride in! Not very large, this place Only 4 tables, a counter near one wall, and a door opening into a small Botanica shop. I looked for the owner (it is always the owner who works in these places) and wandered next door, into the attached Botannica. The scents of the food from the kitchen mingled with numerous herbs, powders and scented candles from the Botanica. My stomach was growling.

The older woman in the shop must have heard my stomach, as she greeted me warmly and asked me “Comida?”- Food? I nodded and said “Yes! Tamal con Pollo por favor” I replied “Three, er Tres”. My Spanish is not that good and I forget the words sometimes!

“Give me a moment” the old woman replied, her English was impeccable, as she winked at me slyly! She was tall and on the thin side, not quite gaunt, but her face showed her bone structure, as well as her laugh lines!

She ushered me back to the restaurant side and placed a small plain black wooden box on the center of the table indicating that I should sit there. I sat looking at the décor. Painted plaster walls, scenes from Central America? Step pyramids, bright feathered birds, or were those the head-dresses of Mayan or Aztec kings or priests? The woman returned and brought me a frothy cup of chocolate. Mind you this is not the chocolate of my childhood in Pennsylvania, all milky and sweet. No! This was chocolate as the Aztecs might have prepared it, spicy, with a hint of chile, whipped to a frenzy!

I know I said I liked out of the way places, and I am always willing to try new things, but that chocolate, if you are not used to it, has some odd effects on one! I looked up, as I dabbed the chili sweat from around my eyes.

The woman came out to sit down at the table, “they will be a few more minutes” she informed me, “you cannot rush the magic of the Tamal, it happens as it should.”

She opened the box that had been placed on the table, earlier and took out a black cloth, spreading it out, carefully smoothing out the wrinkles. “While we wait,” she said, “Shall we see what there is to be known?”

“I am tired of the traffic,” I said, “ And I am hungry. Do I need to know more than that?” I said, laughing slightly.

“Perhaps she replied” as she lit two small candles and stood them in small cups just inside the box. I looked as she looked, down, and saw there was a shallow bowl, sort of, the only black. She was staring into it, a sort of glazed look coming into her eyes. I saw the candles reflected in that bowl, flickering yellow lights, and other colors too, red, blue, reflections from the wall paintings? I leaned in closer to see. A trick of the candlelight? I blinked as her hand appeared and she sprinkled some sort of fine white powder over the bowl. My awareness came back suddenly, and I leaned back, after all, it IS California, and there are many things a “powder” could be! The old woman spent a few more minutes gently waving her hands and staring into the bowl when suddenly her face became grave. She picked up both of the candles and turned them over into their little cups. The candles out, she closed the box and got up. “Your dinner is ready now”. Swiftly she went to the kitchen, leaving me to sit, blinking from the change in lighting. There, then. I saw it. The top of the box. There were faint white marks on it, letters? Writing? I leaned closer, yes, there it was. I could make it out, “6 205 Muerte”

I took a moment to think, 205, that is the road, the highway I had been on, that traffic nightmare!

Just then my Tamales arrived, and the aroma seemed to make me forget all about the box, and the commute. I carefully untied the strip of corn husk and peeled it free so I could take a bite, and burned my tongue, just a bit, on the hot steaming cornmeal. The clock from back in the little kitchen chimed 6 pm. The old woman turned on a tiny television she had on her counter as she brought me more chocolate, she smiled sadly at me then, as she filled the cup again for me. She placed a small vase filled with marigolds onto my table as she removed the little black

box.

I fanned my burning tongue and looked up, “ Thank you” I said, just as I saw the news started up on her little TV. There it was, the same flashing yellow, and colors I had seen in the little bowl. There! On the news. The reporter was pointing as the crawl along the bottom had something about a multi-car crash on 205, that just happened. The image was very jumpy- the cameraman was running after the reporter with his gear, (they had been in the counter-commute lanes) There it was, I stared, transfixed at the tiny screen’s image, and looked again. Three of the cars in that wreck, I recognized them, they had been near me in the commute, when I pulled off! One of them had been the idiot weaving in an out trying to pass everyone on the road. And then, there was that truck, mangled, familiar looking…