2017 Nightmare Fuel Day 31

People saw the picture in the paper

Assumed I’m drunk in it and fell

Or worse

I’m a melting witch (The image proves it!)

And I’ll admit it looks odd.

My clothes are ruined and my hair.

Oh! My hair is a disaster.

But I was tired, not deranged.

And that foamy mess on the ground

Was a vat of beer they tried to pour

Over my terrible hair… or just my head

I’m mid laughter, telling them off.

My survival training was complete

And my whole group made it

We all looked similar, it just happened to be me

That made it in the papers.

My group was the only group not to lose a person

I know what happened to those missing

And I’ll never tell.


2017 Nightmare Fuel Day 30

Protecting the door,

he waits, he waits

Hoping beyond hope that his task is worthy

Fog lingers, age rots, paint peels and yet

He remains

 

Protecting the portal

For the return of his friend

Left a thousand hours ago

Maybe only seconds

Maybe years

How would he know?

He just waits

Counts the leaves,

Hard to keep track, over 209,087

His friend said to

Stay

So he counts

Unable to be as still in his mind

As he keeps his body

 

Perched on the aged door,

His waking dreams

Always show his friend

Triumphantly returning

But each twilight filled hour goes by

Nothing changes

 

Nothing changes


2017 Nightmare Fuel Day 29

“Tools are tools, and meat is meat,” Hirah said over her shoulder. She carefully set out the saw, pick, handful of knives and ceramic bowl on top of the clean white cloth. Everything in easy reach on a side table.

“I disagree-” Anaiah said.

“Obviously. But you only just ran out of food.” Hirah cut off the discussion. They stood on either side of the large kitchen table, a deer carcass between them. The silence hung between them as they glared at each other.

Hirah spoke first. “You gonna help me with this meat or not?”

“I’ll help, but this isn’t what I’m concerned about,” Anaiah said with a motion over the deer.

“I know your concerns, voiced them before, haven’t you. Been here two days and been outraged the whole time.” Hirah picked up the sharpest knife and began to skin the deer.

“I’m trained as a doctor, and I know the risks better than anyone else,” Anaiah pulled the fur in just the right way, with just enough tension to be of help. The job took half the time.

“Tools are tools, and meat is meat.”

“Broken record.”

“No.” Hirah said and slammed the knife down on the white cloth, left a smudge of old blood behind as she turned toward Anaiah. “You’re wrong. Morals change in crisis. Survival becomes more important than ethics. I’m sorry but hunger rules us all. If there is meat, if it is salvageable, and won’t make us sick, we eat it, we preserve it. End of story.”

“Eating any meat might mean short term satiation at the cost of long term survival. Eating…” she paused and swallowed the words she was about to use. “Eating all meat available will lead to a deteriorating populace. It’ll start with mood shifts, presents like anxiety and depression, loss of interest. Fear of new faces, new things.”

“That’s the times we live in, not necessarily our food sources.” Hirah picked up the knife again and began work on the innards.

“Speech will become slurred, hard to understand. I saw at least three members of your community with slurred speech yesterday. They can become mute, lose the ability to read, frustration in the loss of function.”

Hirah nodded she was listening, and considering what Anaiah said.

“Forgetfulness, disorientation, loss of everyday skills, repeating words, unsteady while walking, gate interruption. I’ve noticed every single one of these symptoms in your population, plus more. Some become completely dependant on others for even simple tasks like using the toilet. I’m right, aren’t I?” Anaiah’s eyes shone as she spoke, hopeful to make it Hirah understand.

Hirah nodded, and drew a heavy sigh. She continued to work on the deer, expert cuts and a pile of meat formed on a separate table. “What about blindness, and tremors?”

“Symptoms of Prion disease. The more your group eats… all meat… the more it will spread through them.” Anaiah’s voice trembled as she spoke, still unable to voice the terrible truth.

“I thought having a doctor would help, but stopping hunger is the real problem?” Hirah said.

“Yes.”

“Mommy?” a little voice called through the canvas flap door.

“What is it Ginger?” Hirah said. And wiped her hands clean, went outside, Anaiah followed.

A group of ten little kids, no more than 6 years old, and a girl with pig tails stood in front of them, as if their leader.

“Mommy, we’re hungry.” The little girl’s eyes glowed, and for a moment Anaiah wanted to run, to scream, to get away from the glow. But the little girl gazed at Anaiah, and all was forgotten.

Hirah and Anaiah headed back in to finish work on the deer. They spoke in unison, “Tools are tools, and meat is meat.”


2017 Nightmare Fuel Day 28

“You rang, Little Miss?” Her pull, followed by a command was irresistible. I popped through a painting that was close to her. She wore her favorite tutu over her school outfit, and looked adorable as usual.

“Of course I did, Pete. I’m lost.” She looked up into my eyes, and her gaze fell on the little flower I brought with me. It was surrounded by flying animals from my realm called chiroropia, tiny bat-like butterflies that glowed. Her face lit up in a smile as she reached up for the flower.

“You know no one else can see me, or the flower, Little Miss.” I reminded her gently.

“I know Pete,” but she glanced around anyway. “Tutor left me behind, don’t like her.”

“Want me to hunt her down?”

“No! Stay,” she pouted up to me.

“For a little while,” I said down to her, and stepped out onto the cool marble floor of the museum. Human art hung everywhere, and I admired some of it. Others seemed unworthy of admiration, much like humans.

“Why is art important?” She looked up at me.

“Little girl, are you lost?” A guard came up to her and knelt down to her level as she spoke.

“No Ma’am.”

“Who are you here with?”

“My best friend, Pete. He’s invisible.” She leaned in and whispered her secret.

“Okay, well, if you get upset, tell someone dressed like me and we’ll help you okay?” the guard waited for her to answer.

“Yes, ma’am,” she said, already distracted by a chiroropia flying down a hallway.

As the guard left, she spoke into a contraption on her shoulder. “Be advised a small girl in a tutu is wandering our halls alone. She is calm, but keep an eye out for her adult.” The chatter from the contraption was too garbled to make sense, human speech was enough trouble for me.

When I get back home I should trim my claws, they clanged on the floor too loud. I followed Little Miss for an hour, when her tutor appeared, flustered and worried.

“I told you to wait for me,” the woman growled in low tones to Little Miss.

“But…” Little Miss said.

“You will address her with respect,” I whispered into the tutor’s ear and gooseflesh appeared along her exposed neck and arms.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have left you alone so long.” The tutor’s attitude changed in an instant.

Little Miss didn’t miss a beat. “No,you shouldn’t have.”


2017 Nightmare Fuel Day 27

Everywhere I wear my mask,

Even if I must straw my flask.

Smiling is my favored gaze,

‘How do you do?’, my phrase.

Each day it seems more people shun,

Turn away or out right run.

I’m not sure what I need to fix,

Make-up, sales pitch, or other tricks.

The material I used was top notch,

Smooth like silk, colored butterscotch.

My hat covers other imperfections,

But I can’t even get directions.

No one will talk to me, alone or in a group,

They say worse things than nincompoop.

I’m cordial, considerate, and my appearance is neat,

But I step on the sidewalk and clear the street.

I’m just a lonely guy in a human skin mask,

Only ever did a single disagreeable task.


2017 Nightmare Fuel Day 26

Is it looking at me? It’s too damn dark, I can’t even tell if it’s facing me. My heart raced, as the train swayed, unconcerned about my fear. If anyone watched the cameras anymore, they long since gave up caring. The smell was enough of a clue to any potential riders, old piss, rotten food, layers of sweat, every surface had been touched by a million people.

Only the desperate entered the desolate subways anymore. I had to get across town, and didn’t have the money for better transportation. The government promised the subways would continue to run, for anyone who wished to use them. Technically accurate.

But then the creature shifted its footing, and I saw the shine of the dim lights reflected in my direction. It was looking at me, and my mind couldn’t process anything anymore. Instinctively I froze. As if time slowed, I saw it reach up, and grab the overhead steadying bar. Its fingers ended in claws too long. The bulk of its body seemed wrapped in a coat, thick against the cold above ground. It had a head, two eyes, but that’s about all I could make out.

After a while, it hadn’t moved, and I relaxed again.

“Last stop – Macy’s/Sear’s/Best Buy/Safeway sponsored this auditory reminder.” I jumped, and the creature mirrored my movement exactly.

It’s a joke, an illusion. I’ll just ignore it. I moved to the exit, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the creature continue to mirror my movement. The dim light didn’t improve in the subway station, and as the doors opened, the inside smell mixed with dust, and exhaust smell. I put my hand over my face and stepped out.

The creature mimicked me, hand over mouth, and walked at the same pace toward the stairs up.

I paused, and pretended to answer my phone, and the creature did the same, a silhouette in the grey tiles, and concrete pillars. I pretend hung up and squared my shoulders to face it.

“Hello?”

As if an old fashioned tape recorder captured my own voice and replayed it, I heard “Hello?”

“I’d like it if you went upstairs first.”

Same crackling repeat of my own words.

“Fine.” I shook my head, and raced toward the stairs. The creature followed me every move, and we got closer.

There were no extra details visible, as if all light entered the creature – never to be seen again.

Refusing to stare, I made my way upstairs, and it took the opposite side of the stairwell and moved up with me.

Just before the sun beam hit me, I felt the creature touch my hand, an icy plunge of my blood, it whispered, “I’m solar powered.” It ran the rest of the way up the stairs, and waved at me as it faded to nothing, as if it existed in thin air and only the lack of light made it visible to me.

I smiled, as I had heard of these creatures, and most of them got attacked on sight. I had spared it, and in doing so I gave me a secret. Pixaligators were a myth no more to me.


2017 nightmare Fuel Day 23

The last moments of your life are intense. On Earth, a strong belief is your whole existence replays in an instant, or the important parts at least. But what they don’t tell you is that only happens if you’re a lucky human.

What happens is truly dependant on nearly infinite variables, the placement of your particular star in it’s particular universe. The way you have been breathing for the last five years. The number of pets you were kind to, and the number of plants you happen to kill over your lifetime. The smallest things can effect your last moments, and many many things out of your control.

Maybe that’s one reason humans cling to stories. Everything is controlled, spelled out, literally. There is an illusion of order, a reason for the cup in the scene, or the hint of foreshadow in the face of a new character. Humans crave patterns, explanations. They were born with the hubris to name everything, molecules, animals, events, celestial bodies, all in the name of better communication.

What happens to some, in their last moments, is a uniform understanding of the universe. They see the chaos and natural order of entropy, and get a glimpse of everything they know going dark, just like their own universe will do one day. What’s fascinating is that some humans change this with their own filter. Some fill with despair, understanding coming too late to them, while are are euphoric, grateful.

It’s a personal matter, the end of life. Humans are singular in that they believe they are alone, during both life and death. Maybe they even experience their lives in a solitary state, unaware of everything around them.

No one is ever alone.