April Camp Day 5

Wow!  Two posts in the same day!

I was determined to get caught up while I could reasonably see.  (As to that:  I have been having more migraines than usual.  They almost all seem triggered by light – and those that aren’t are triggered by changes in the weather.  It sucks. I have painful eyes, in and around them and sometimes it’s easier just to stare at, or listen to, the TV than it is to brain.  So I write when I can.)

Now, we have Earnest’s story.  To be honest, I don’t like it.  It’ has it’s horror elements but the ending feels forced and awkward to me.  The characters stopped talking loud enough for me to hear around the time Earnest found the ruby. There’s a lot unexplained here.

I am fending off a cat here so I’m just going to let you decide for yourself what you like.

Muah!

WARNING:  There is sexual molestation in this story.  Continue at your own risk.

 

Eroticism Can Bring Death

 

Earnest Eaton was trapped in a corner as they advanced on him. His death is imminent and he knows it. “Please, God, please! Don’t let it end like this.” He heard a laugh and his life flashed before his eyes.

Well, the final part.

“You have got to be kidding me! I can barely walk!” Earnest shouted at his social worker.

Susannah leaned back in her chair. She had been working with Earnest for five years now and was used to his exaggerations and shouting. He was a small, arrogant man laid low by an injury caused at work. “Now, Earnest,” she said calmly. “You are not considered disabled by the government and,” she held up a hand to forestall his rant, “the law is the law. You must find a job.” She shuffled papers. “I found one for you. You will work at night, which I know you prefer. You will be working alone, which I know you also prefer. You will be able to sit down most of the night, you only have to report to your supervisor once a day, in the morning at the end of your shift.”

Now, she leaned forward. “I have to tell you that I can’t give you any more chances. I have done everything I can for you up until now. If you don’t take this job, I will be forced to cut you off or I will lose my job.” She folded her hands on her desk and stared him down when he opened his mouth once again.   “Your medications and medical requirements will continue to be covered, as well as a portion of your expenses.”   She slid an envelope across the desk.   “Mr. Haynes will be waiting for you tonight at eight.” Susannah glanced at the clock. “You have enough time to go home, get some sleep and make sure you have a meal to take with you.” She continued to give him a hard stare until he merely nodded and reached for the envelope.

“Thank you, Ms. Susannah.” Earnest, a little cowed, grabbed the envelope and his cane and scuttled from the office.   It wasn’t until he was sitting on the bus that he opened the envelope. “The Young-Allen Natural History Museum? What the fuck, Susannah?” He muttered to himself, raging, but by the time he got home and read the rest of the job description, he agreed with her assessment. It was kind of perfect for him. There would be no one around. He could bring his tablet and game all night. He’d set alarms for when he had to walk around.

Earnest showed up at 7:55 and tried to open the door. It was locked and he scowled at the heavily tinted doors.

A moment later, he heard the locks turn and hastily rearranged his face into something he hopes is more pleasant. The door opened and a head with thick hair and a full beard popped out. Blue twinkling eyes looked at Earnest as the lips curved in a smile. “Mr. Eaton?”

“Mr. Smith?” Earnest already hated the man. He was six feet tall and towered over Earnest by more than a few inches.

“Yes! Come in, come in.” Smith opened the door wide and allowed Earnest to pass through before locking it again. “It is nice to meet you. I’ve been looking for a guard for a while. Susannah is a friend of mine and she said you need a job. She assured me that you were reliable.” She’d also told him that Earnest was a negative man but that was because he hadn’t yet accepted his disability. She felt if Earnest could feel useful maybe he’d be a quality employee. Smith was always willing to help the beautiful and wonderful Susannah.

He ushered Earnest through the front of the museum, toward the back security office.   He altered his pace to accommodate Earnest’s ability and told him about the museum and the job.

“I am throwing you right into it, I’m afraid,” Smith told Earnest as he checked his watch. “I’ve given you the keys and security codes.” He ticked things off on his fingers. “Shown you how to use the CCTV and left you a map of the museum. I think you’re good to go. As you know, it’s a twelve hour shift and you don’t really get any breaks.   It is a really easy job though, so you shouldn’t need a break. Feel free to use the washroom whenever you need to but keep your food confined to this office. I have to run. I will lock up behind me. Have a great first shift!”

Earnest blinked a little, overwhelmed by the amount of talking the other man had done.   He lowered himself into the chair and picked up the notes. He had decided, at some point during the day to make the best of it. He couldn’t afford to have no income, especially if his medications weren’t covered. He popped an oxycontin and studied the map. Deciding he might as well see what he’s watching over, Earnest headed out.  

The dinosaurs captured his attention and sparked the imagination he thought long dead.   The plants and rocks bored him.   But then he came to a display that contained a quarter of an ancient village. He read the sign by the red velvet rope.

Discovered in Egypt, in what used to be Sumer, this village was uncovered when an unexpected earthquake cracked open the earth and created a crevasse. That crevasse led to a cave that almost appeared to be a perfect bubble. Cavers found this village, preserved as if in the middle of a day.

It is estimated that this village is from around 4,000 B.C. Efforts to take samples have failed. Whatever, or whoever, froze these people like this took steps to ensure that they could not be harmed. They only thing that could be done was to cut the village up in square chunks so that they could be put into museums around the world. Even then, there were only certain places that we could cut. Each piece turned out to be quite light, considering, and we were able to easily maneuver them to flat bed trucks. Your museum is now part of history as this village, which we have named Uruk 2, is shipped around the world so that everyone can learn how civilization began.

No one knows why, or how, these people were frozen but we are thankful to be benefiting from them.

The sign went on to list the tools and bits and pieces but he ignored them.

Earnest studied the people. They were quite lovely and his fingers itched to touch. The only thing separating him from them was a slim velvet rope. He looked around compulsively then moved to a post and unhooked the rope. Earnest giggled to himself as he broke the rules. He stepped onto the platform and shivered. His skin crawled and he almost backed off.

Determined, he wandered around, touching the tools and animals. He wandered through the little house, running his fingers over things. Then he went outside and studied the people. There were two small children, girls. He thought they were twins. He tweaked their noses and tugged their hair. He stood before the man and stared at him.

The man was Earnest’s height of 5’6”. He was slim, muscular, with tanned skin; everything Earnest was not. Earnest was pale, pot-belled and was missing hair from most of the top of his head. The other man was holding a spear called an elephant goad in one hand and had an animal corpse at his feet; Earnest had a cane. The spear had a sharp point tip, and a curved blade attached to it.   Earnest’s cane had a curved handle and an attachment that flipped down to make the tip of his cane pointy in the winter.

Earnest scowled and punched the guy in the chest then shook his sore hand. “A man’s man weren’t you? Providing for your little family. Hunting and bringing down the terrible, scary beasts. I bet you wrestled with their corpses, skinning them and whatever else.   Asshole.” He slapped the man and moved on to what appeared to be his wife.  

“Mmmm… you were gorgeous. I would love to have fucked you.” He reached down and grabbed his own crotch, gave it a shake. “I bet you’re tight and hot.” Blood rushed south and he reached out to stroke her cheek. He touched her hair then down her arm to her hand. He looked around again then reached out and touched her breast. He slipped his hand under the fabric crossed over her chest to pinch her nipple and cupped her breast in his hand.

Emboldened, he used both hands to cup her waist and caress her hips and ass. He crouched to stroke her legs, moving his hands up under the skirt of the toga style dress she was wearing. He reached all the way up to touch her intimately.  

“Mmmm,” he purred as he pushed himself back to his feet. He unzipped his pants and pulled his hard dick out. “Ohhh,” he groaned, “that’s so much better.” He rubbed it all over her, everywhere he could reach. He slid it back and forth against her hand, holding her shoulder to support himself.   He moved to her back and pressed himself tightly against her. He rubbed his cock up and down her ass while his hands roamed all over her chest, back and waist.

A climax shook him. He wasn’t concerned about leaving anything behind since he’d been having ejaculate free orgasms since the accident that wrecked his back. “Thank you so much.” He growled the words at her. In his anger of the last few years, his fantasies had been confined to ones involving varying levels of brutality against women. A woman had been driving the forklift that caused the accident.   This was the first time he got to act on.

“I’m going to love this job.” He picked up his cane and gave her one last grope. He felt a pendant hanging near her belly button and pulled it out.   “What have we here?” He looked up at her face in surprise. “This is an enormous, what, ruby? Where did you get that I wonder?”

After a moment’s thought, he yanked it off her neck. “No one knows it’s there, so no one will miss it.” He walked away, chuckling, as he moved as quickly as possible back to the office.

Behind him, there was a whisper of movement. The steady thump of his cane and his study of the grape-sized gem made him deaf to it. He was suddenly thrown to the floor and a wheezing yelp escaped him as a body landed on him.

“So,” said a lightly accented male voice, “you think you can molest my wife and get away with it?   I think not, my fat little crook. Thank you for freeing us from that curse. Perhaps you require some payback for what you have done. Hili!” he called. “Take the children inside the hut.”

The sounds of two protesting little girls echoed through the nearly cavernous room and then two delicate, bare feet appeared in front of Earnest’s nose. “I think we should play with him, Kizurra.   Let him up.”

The man rolled off Earnest and came swiftly to his feet. “Run, tiny hippopotamus. Save yourself, if you can.”

Earnest pushed to his feet and backed away as the one called Kizurra moved toward the woman he called Hili. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. If I’d known, I…” Earnest broke off as the point of the elephant goad lowered to jab him almost gently in the gut.

“So you prefer your women to be plastic? I am sure we can find something fake to penetrate you.” Kizurra chuckled as Earnest paled. “Run. I am going to do something I have waited far too long to do.” He grabbed his wife by the back of the neck and kissed her passionately.

Earnest turned and hobbled away, running as best he could. Every time he hid, Kizurra and Hili found him. They would hit him, tease him, tear at his genitals and his clothing, and then they would tell him to run. Finally, they cornered him in a display about evolution. He was naked, bleeding and crying. “No! Please, no! I’m sorry!”

“Please, God, please! Don’t let it end like this.” He heard a laugh as Hili pounced on him and wrenched his arms behind him.   She used the thin leather belt around her waist to behind his arms. Together, she and her husband hauled him to his feet and forced him belly down onto a sign about the differences between Cro-magnon and Homosapien. Earnest screamed when the shaft of Kizurra’s elephant goad found its way up into Earnest.

Hili whispered in Earnest’s ear, “May the Gods forgive you, and remember you. For I shall never think of you again.” Then Kizurra pulled the goad back a little and rammed it almost eighteen inches up into Earnest’s gut, perforating his bowels.  

“Kill him!” Hili demanded.

Kizurra pulled the goad out and Earnest slid to the floor, bleeding heavily and crying. Kizurra reversed his grip, taking care not to get entrails on his hands, swung and buried the curved blade in the back of Earnest’s neck, putting him out of his misery. The couple went back to their hut to gather their girls, leaving Earnest, the goad and the night’s events behind.

April Camp Day 4

Good morning! 

Yes, I realize it’s the fifth and not the fourth of April but I was having severe migraines yesterday and couldn’t see worth a damn to write.  

So here is yesterday’s offering (and I apologize for the title, really).  It is a long short story and takes a bit to get to the horror part.  I think that Earnest’s story will be quite a bit shorter.  Desmond’s story is a little over 4,300 words long and I am at more than 11,000 words of my intended 50k.  Yay me!

Enjoy!  (and please, remember, NaNo posts = first drafts = no editing)

Muah!

 

Djya say DJinn?

 

A hand shot into the air from the back of the class.  “Professor!  Is it true that you’re the one who discovered Rapunzel’s tower?”

Professor Desmond Dedrick smiled the charming smile that had by now graced so many magazines he’d lost count and heard several of the female students sigh with pleasure.  “Yes it is, Bobby.”

The University of Glasgow students leaned forward expectantly as he preened a little before speaking.  He knew he was good looking.  He was 6’3” and swam religiously to maintain the sleek body he knew most women preferred.  He lifted weights for practicality, most of what he did in the field was labour intensive.  His hair was thick, a dark blond and, he thought, his second best feature.  His first was not best shown to the general public.  His teaching voice was carefully modulated to be masculine but almost lyrical.  His students loved him, when he was there.

Desmond told them the tale of stumbling on Rapunzel’s tower when he was looking for something else entirely.  He was so used to telling the story that his mind turned to his current project – Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.  He was pretty sure that the cave lie not in the Arabian Desert, as the story insisted, but across the Red Sea in East Africa, Eritrea, specifically.  He felt the cave was buried in the Emba Soira mountain range in Eritrea and he had a really good idea where. 

He had wasted a lot of time in the Jabal an Nabi Shu’ayb range until he realized that the cave systems were too open, too obvious, just as the story seemed to make it.  If there was one thing he’d learned from solving the Hansel and Gretel story, not everything was as pretty and in your face as the story tellers would have you believe. 

After a lot more research, Desmond came to believe that the forty thieves of Scheherazade’s stories were pirates.  They docked, he felt, in a cove near the Jalua Volcano and made the forty kilometer trek inland to hide their treasure in a cave accessed through tunnels that may or may not begin in the foothills.

“Professor?”

“Yes?  My apologies, my brain wandered away on its own.”  Desmond smiled at the young man who had spoken before. 

“There’s someone at the door.  They refuse to come in.” 

“Thank you, Bobby.  Class dismissed!  I will be gone for at least a week.  Your senior TA, Juliette, will be handling all questions regarding next month’s exam and the final project you have due.”  The class was a group of second year students either just getting serious about archeology or still waffling about their major.  “The project will help me help you decide which of you will move on to third year and which of you will not.  Good afternoon!” He called over the bustle of everyone getting together.

The man outside the door ducked his head down, hiding behind his hat and the file folder he held in his hand as the students passed by him.  He cursed the professor for emptying the classroom instead of coming out to him but at the same time, he was pleased. 

Desmond appeared at the door and waved the man in before locking the door.  “What do you have for me, Donovan?” 

Donovan handed over the file.  “We found the remains of a ship and a small village, right where you said it would be.  That folder contains the GPS co-ordinates, your tickets to Asmara and the information about your guide from there.  Make sure that you treat your guide with respect and care.”

Desmond laughed that big laugh that his students found infectious.  “Don’t I always?”

“No,” the other man said quietly, “you don’t.  But you absolutely MUST with this one.  There will be hell to pay if you don’t.”  Donovan gave his friend a serious look.  Only when Desmond nodded in agreement did Donovan smile and slap his hand on the back.  “Let’s go, your flight leaves in two hours.  I took the liberty of having Catherine pack your bags.”

Desmond’s eyes turned smoky at the mention of Catherine, Donovan’s assistant.  He was a collector of woman and she steadily refused to succumb to his advances.  “You know, I could probably use another set of hands on this trip.”

Donovan laughed.  “Forget it, I need her at the office.”

Some seventeen hours later, Desmond landed in Asmara and immediately began sweating.  He grabbed his bags from the carousel and looked around for any sign of his guide.  There was no one so he went into the washroom and washed up quickly in the sink.  Donning a lighter shirt, he repacked his bag and stepped out, nearly treading on a dark skinned man almost his size but half his age.  “Excuse me,” Desmond said, not altogether politely.

“Pardon me, my fault entirely.”  The young man gave a little bow.  He was dressed in a loud Hawaiian style shirt, long khaki shorts with thong sandals on his feet.  He was also holding a sign with the word “DEDRICK” on it dangling from one hand. 

“You’re my guide?” Desmond asked with some disbelief.

“You are Professor Dedrick?” The man’s face lit up with a smile then he reached out and grabbed Desmond’s right hand, mercifully free of bags, and pumped it up and down.  “I am so pleased to meet you!  My Rezantos, Ramses, will be so pleased!  I am Ammon.”

“Uh… Yes, I am.”  Desmond looked bemused as he was relieved of his bags and ushered, almost herded, out to an old Jeep.  He knew, from studying the file, that Ramses was the leader, nearly king, of the Saho tribe that would be assisting him with this dig.  Even with his gift of languages, Saho was too confusing for him to pick up.

“In, in!  I will take you to your base camp.  The Rezantos awaits!”  Ammon ran around the side of the Jeep, tossing Desmond’s bags in, making the professor left and lower a hand as he bit back the expletive and simply prayed his equipment would be in one piece.

The ride was bumpy, hellacious and left Desmond sweating, swearing and sick to his stomach.  Once they stopped, he hurtled himself out of the car and onto his knees.  He heaved great gulping breaths, trying not to hurl the bile in his stomach, which was the only thing there.  It had been hours since the lousy meal on the plane but he was pretty sure he was about bring it back up. 

Two women rushed to his side.  “Professor!”  The rest of what they said was in the Saho language and incomprehensible.  One helped his feet and another offered him a skin bag he assumed was water.  He grabbed the bag and drank greedily until they urged him to stop.

“I am sorry, Chief.  Roads are bad.  Too many twists and turns and bumps.”  He slapped Desmond on the back.  “Come! The Rezantos, he wants to meet you.  He is eager to see what you are doing.”  Desmond straightened up, offered his charming smile to the two women who had brought him water and let Ammon lead him to Ramses.  There was dinner and dancing and a huge fire in the night.  He staggered into a tent and fell face first onto a bed that was made of a cot, a piece of foam and several heavy blankets to protect against the freezing temperatures of the desert night.  He didn’t notice the woman taking his boots and socks off.  He didn’t notice him removing his shirt and smoothing a thick cream into his shoulders and the back of his neck or how she finally tucked him in. 

The next morning, he woke at dawn, feeling energetic, refreshed and ready to go.  He dressed, shaved and strode from his tent and, once again, ran smack into Ammon.   “This is becoming a habit,” he said with amusement as Ammon apologized again.

“My Rezantos wishes to see you before you begin this morning, Chief.”  Ammon herded Desmond towards the leader’s home.  There he acted as translator for Desmond and Ramses until both were satisfied.

It took three days of walking and searching in a half circle wedge pattern that ranged out from the discovered village remains before Desmond found the cues he was looking for, deep in the foothills.  Each wedge of the search pattern had been fifteen kilometers long but on this day, Desmond had continued after dark. 

“No, no!  You must not!” Ammon insisted.  “There are ghosts in the dark.  And many large animals that come out to hunt.  It is safer with the fire.”

“Then we will make torches and burn them brightly.”  Desmond laid a hand on Ammon’s shoulder.  “I cannot leave without knowing for certain.”

“Leave?  We were led to believe you would be here for a full seven days.”

Desmond shook his head.  “We are already outside where I thought it would be.  If I don’t find it today then I will have to leave.”  He watched as Ammon argued with, and shouted at, the men with them.  All but one left as Ammon shook his fist at their retreating backs.  When Desmond gave the other man a questioning look, he straightened his back and thumped his fist on his chest, as if to say that he wasn’t afraid.

Together, the three men made torches out of dead tree branches, bark, strips from the bottoms of their shirts, and the wire and fuel that Desmond carried in the pouches on the belt he always wore.  Donovan always made fun of it, calling it a Batman utility belt wannabe.  Now, Desmond snorted at the memory, as he always did when the belt was useful.  He pulled out his lighter and lit each torch carefully.

He took a moment to center himself and reached out with his senses.  He just knew that cave was nearby.  It was the same way he’d found everything else.  He called it instinct but it was more.  He only used it when he was incredibly frustrated because it felt like cheating to him.   This time, Desmond’s gut feeling pulled him to the north and a little west, deeper into the foothills.

They walked for another two hours before there was a glimmer high on one of the stone walls that surrounded them.  Desmond held his breath as he ran, stumbled, tripped to get closer.  The glimmer is a sigil, one that he’d found in his research.  “Look at the walls!  Find another one!”

It took them another hour before they found the largest one.  It was on a cave wall that seemed to be smooth and whole.  Desmond handed his torch to Ammon in order to study the wall and the nearly invisible cracks along it. Suddenly, he flung his arms up and shouted, “Open, Sesame!”

The three men held their breaths for a long moment before, with a loud CRACK! a portion of the wall pushed out then slid to the side.  It stopped after only a couple of meters.  It took quite a while before the three were brave enough to step inside that cave. 

It took a moment for Desmond’s eyes to adjust but when they did they nearly bugged out of his head.  Piles of gold, pottery, silver, silks and treasure of all kinds, were in piles here and there, some of them piled haphazardly.  Suddenly, trail of flame raced along the walls and brightened the room so that all that glittered became blinding.  He turned to find that Ammon had touched the flame to a pool of oil settled in a small basin by the door.  Ammon shrugged an apology but Desmond didn’t care. 

All that mattered was that he was right.  He’d found the caves of the forty thieves!

The Saho men stayed by the door, too afraid to move further but Desmond explored the cave, touching this and that.  He poured jewels from one hand to another, rubbed silks on his face.  He found an old lamp and, for some reason, carried it with him.  He found a cache of weapons and tucked an old dagger under his belt. 

“Come, come!  It’s time to go back,” Desmond said excitedly.  “I need to tell Donovan that I found it!”

As soon as they were clear of the cave, and he’d closed it, he wrenched the sat phone off his belt and was surprised to see the lamp still in his hand.  “Donovan!  I found it!”  He listened to the excited chatter on the other end.  “Yes, yes…Yes! …No. It’s bigger than I thought.  I’ll need at least The MaryAnn and twenty men.”  He named his ship, a large research vessel he’d had to have retrofitted to contain his gear, tools and storage compartments.  “Call Mr. Hakimi over at the Cairo Museum and Mr. Singh in London.  They’ll both need to come down.  I’ll send my friend here to pick them up from the airport.”  He smiled at Ammon.  That little bit of evil was his own, for the trouble each man has caused him in the past.  “We’ll deal with the Americans when the time comes.  Is there anyone in Africa who needs to be notified? …Okay, call him too.”

Desmond hung up his phone and, with renewed energy, set off at a jog back toward the small tent village. 

The next morning, he woke up rejuvenated, again, and realized that he was still holding the lamp.  He sat and studied it.  There was an inscription on it he couldn’t read for the dirt encrusted in it.  He had been quite surprised to find such a thing among the glitter in the cave.  He rubbed at the inscription with a piece of soft cloth.  As soon as the cloth touched it, the lamp shook slightly.

Startled, Desmond stopped.  He stared at it for a long moment then tried to set it down.  It was stuck to his hand.  He began to sweat when, after opening his hand as wide as he could, with fingers at full extension, the lamp stayed stuck to his hand.  He took a long deep breath and decided that the lamp wanted to be taken back to the cave, so he would do that.  He dressed quickly, if awkwardly, though the lamp did seem to adjust itself to get through his sleeves.

He stepped out of his tent to find a small group of people waiting for him, with Ammon at the head.  As one, the group gasped and took a step backward.  “What?  What is wrong?” 

“You… You do not look the same as you did yesterday morning, Chief.”  Ammon almost looked horrified.

“What?  What do you mean?”  Desmond didn’t feel any different.  Ammon snapped out a word and someone scrambled to hand Desmond a mirror.  He lifted it to his face as his stomach clenched in the first real fear he had felt in years.  He loved his looks, used them often.  He had known he was good looking from the age of four.  Women and little girls fell all over themselves to make him smile.  He focused on his image and gave a wordless cry.  

“I am so sorry, Chief!” Ammon sympathised.  He turned to listen as one of the village’s women elders pointed at Desmond’s hand and spoke urgently.  He looked back at Desmond with some consideration.  “She says that there is a legend attached to the lamp you hold.”

Desmond almost threw the mirror away but instead studied his image again.  He had aged ten years overnight.  The sun bleached streaks that were woven into his dark hair had turned white.  He had crow’s feet around his eyes and lines bracketing his mouth.  He turned his head side to side, examining the look.  He decided he could work with it.  However, as he studied his face, new wrinkles and more white appeared in his hair.  Terrified, he threw the mirror away.

“What?   What is the legend, man!?” Desmond grabbed Ammon with his free hand.

Ammon hastily freed himself.  “It is said that the lamp will lay dormant for many years, centuries even, but as soon as someone such as you touches it –”

Desmond interrupted. “Like me? What do you mean like me??”

“Someone who is healthy and has a strong, vital life force.”

“What does it do?”  He looked panicked and reached for Ammon again.

Ammon backed up a step. “It will suck the life force from you in order to revitalize the genie inside it.”

Slowly, Desmond lifted the lamp to stare at it.  It seemed to stare back at him.  Finally he lifted his hand to rub it.  He stroked it once with his sleeve and a sense of urgency came over him so he scrubbed hard at it.  The lamp rattled and shook and began to hiss and yet he could not stop rubbing.  Smoke began to spew from the spout to pile on the ground and shape itself in a way that reminded him of the old show I Dream of Jeannie.  Only when the smoke stopped was he able to stop rubbing.  He watched the smoke firm itself and coalesce into the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

She had sun kissed skin, an hourglass figure and thick, wavy black hair that tumbled around her shoulders.  He found himself gazing into chocolate brown almond eyes set in a heart shaped face. She had a perfect, straight nose and the incredibly kissable lips that were curved into a smile.  A slim chain adorned with lavender pearls draped her head with a length running down her part to divide and curve over her forehead and bow towards the back of her head.  She was draped in gauze with three scarves as a belt and hammered gold cuffs around her wrists and ankles.

Desmond didn’t hear the screams and cries and shouted prayers of the villagers.  He didn’t hear Ammon’s desperate pleas for him to step away and not say anything.  He didn’t notice that the lamp was taken gently from his fingers until he saw it cradled in the woman’s fingers. 

“Good day, my master,” she said in accented but perfect English.  “I am a Djinn and my name is Sheherazade.  I am pleased to meet you.”

“Sheherazade?”  Desmond’s mouth dropped open in shock.  “Are you not the woman of a thousand and one tales?”  At once, his fear turned into curiousity.

“You have heard of me?” She blushed and looked at the ground.  “Do the stories displease you, master?”

“No, I… Wait, why are you calling me master?”

“You have freed me from my slumber, I am yours to command.  Thrice you may command me.  If you choose, you may free me from my lamp forever.  I must give you whatever you wish for.”

Immediately, Desmond’s greatest wish popped into his head and out of his mouth on a wistful sigh.  “I wish I could understand all languages, written or spoken.”

“As you command.”   She touched his forehead and immediately it seemed as if everyone around him was speaking English.

“Wait!  I didn’t meant to ask for that.”

“I did warn you, my master.”   She smiled gently. “You may command me but twice more.”

“Ch-Chief.” Ammon approached him cautiously.  “The telephone on your belt has been ringing.  And,” he bit his lip, “you have aged again.”  As Desmond whipped the phone off his belt, Sheherazade gave Ammon a look that had him quaking in his boots but he stood firm.  “I have heard of you,” he said.  “I will not let you take this man.”

  The Djinn smiled coldly.  “You have no say in the matter.”  She disappeared and reappeared right in front of him, chest to chest.  She gripped the back of his head and pressed her lips to his.  She sucked the life out of him.  Twenty-one year old Ammon aged then shriveled and turned to dust.  Sheherazade licked her lips and stared at the rest of the villagers. As one, they turned their backs on her and ignored her.  She smiled smugly, pleased, and returned to her place by Desmond’s side. 

As he hung up the phone, she touched his arm gently.  An electric shock jumped from her to him but she soothed it with a stroke and he ignored it.  Smiling, she asked, “Master, would you not like to see the cave of treasures again?  I can transport you right there.”

Desmond gave her a cautious look.  “Would that be a wish?”

“Oh, no, of course not.  I have offered to do it for you.”

“Then yes, I would.”  He turned, looking for Ammon.  “Where is Ammon?”

Sheherazade shrugged delicately.  “I do not know,” she said in a soft but sweetly sad voice.  “He said that he would not work with you if I was around and left.”

Before he fully understood what he was doing, he spoke in Saho to the nearest person.  “Tell Ammon that he needs to pick up those men at the airport around midnight.”  As he waited for an answer, Sheherazade wrapped her hand around his wrist.

With a sickening wrench in his gut, he found himself standing in the cave.  “This is wonderful!  All this history!  And I proved that Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves is real!  This will be the crowning achievement of my career so far.”

“I am happy that you are so happy, my master!” 

Desmond stretched his back and noticed an ache in his lower spine and his hips.  “I need to explore this cave. It looks like a system of caves.”  He went from the large front room to the back and found several corridors.  The Djinn trailed after him. 

Desmond began to move slower and slower.  He explored a room full of silks that were miraculously intact.  Not a single moth hole in any of the fabrics.  He moved on and found dishes made of bone and ones of delicate china that was beautifully hand painted.  In another room, he knelt to look at a stack of Persian rugs and found he had trouble getting up.  Sheherazade helped him to his feet and he groaned at the effort and the amount of pain it took. 

“Come,” she said, “You should rest.  You have been at this for hours.  There is a room with furniture in it.  I know there is a comfortable divan.  I will provide food and wine.”  She led him to it and settled him into the seat.  A table held a tray with a plate, a knife and fork and a goblet.

He smiled at her.  “Thank you, I don’t know what I would do without you.”

Sheherazade smiled.  “Let us pray you never find out.”  She handed him a silver goblet and turned to get the pitcher of wine.

Desmond lifted the goblet and twisted it to look at the engravings.  He caught his reflection and howled in dismay.  “What have you done to me?  I am an old man!”  His cheeks were sunken and his eye sockets nearly hollow.  His skin hung limply from his skull.  It was then that he noticed the paper white, frail skin dotted with liver spots.  He grabbed the knife from the tray and plunged it into her neck. 

Hot blood spurted all over and Sheherazade screamed.  He twisted the knife and left it in there, holding on grimly while she fought him.  As her blood coated him, he began to feel stronger.  She fell, limp and bloody, to the floor and he stared at her corpse, aghast. 

“No, no, no!  What have I done!  I cannot live without you, Sheherazade!”  The knife was still in his hand and he used it to slash his wrists.  The declaration and action shocked him but he could not stop it.

As his blood joined hers, he began to die.  “I wish I had not done it!  I wish I had freed you instead.  We could have made a life together.”  With his last breath, he watched her spring to her feet. 

She waved a hand and closed his wounds.  She took the knife from him and leaned over him.  Her eyes were black pits with fire burning in them.  “Fool,” she spat.  “I am immortal.”  She stood and stared down at him as the lamp appeared in her hand. 

Sheherazade smiled.  “The lamp must have a captive.”  With a wave of her hand, she wrapped him in magic and restored him to himself at his most handsome and charming.  “A gift from the lamp, your youth and your looks.”  She put the lamp on the floor near him and waved her hand again. 

Smoke crept from the lamp to circle Desmond’s feet.  He struggled but her magic held him.  The smoke burned as it climbed over him, changing him until he was nothing but a pale grey fog. 

“In you go,” she said.  The smoke reversed and sucked Desmond into the lamp.

He landed in a posh living center that, again, reminded him of I Dream of Jeannie. He wondered suddenly, if there had been another lamp and another victim and another Djinn freed, who decided to make light of it.  “No!” he shouted.  “You can’t keep me here!”  He climbed on the couch that rimmed the edge of the lamp and banged on the walls.  “Let me out!”

Sheherazade picked up the lamp and smiled at it.  “And as a gift to me,” she said, knowing he could hear her, “the lamp has given me your life.  My name is Davina Dedrick and I am the greatest archeologist of all time.  You will have two hundred years to think before anyone will begin to think of searching for the cave you will be buried in.  Good bye, Desmond.”

The lamp winked out of Davina’s hand and reappeared halfway around the world, stuck in a pile of ice, while Desmond screamed into the silence. 

April Camp Day 3

Good morning!  

Today’s story is Clara.  The story took quite a different turn than the way I expected it to go.  I expected that she’d do some channeling and the spirit she was channeling would take her and hold her prisoner and that the story would be about her confinement.

Nope.  I’m scratching my head over this one but I think it was successful.  The thought of these things happening to me scares me silly so I’m calling it horror.

Read on, Macduff!  And do keep in mind that these are first draft stories, hot off the presses.  No editing has been done.  Yet.

 Have a wonderful Sunday!  

Muah!

 There are triggers in the story (rape and forcible confinement).  If either of these things cause you PTSD flashbacks at any level, do not read past Clara leading Vladimir into the consultation room.  

Californian Spirituality

 

Twenty-seven year old Clara Clifford sauntered down the street in the little seaside town she lived in.  It was a tourist town full of quaint little shops running the length of a steeply angled main street that ended on an ocean beach.  A few streets branched off the main thoroughfare with more shops, each with tourist rentals above them.  Expensive looking cottages lined the beach, most of them on pillars with long staircases that jackknifed back and forth or descended in stages with tiny decks breaking up the long descent.

People turned to look at her as she walked and she smiled at each of them.  “Blessings of light on you.” 

She spoke those words to a young family and the girl, whom Clara estimated to be about six years old, asked, “Why do you say that”

Clara got down to her level, the bells on her scarf belt jingling softly.  She clucked the girl under the chin.  “The light is better than the darkness, right?” 

“I guess so.” The girl’s voice was doubtful. 

“In the light, you get to smile and play.  You feel good and love is everywhere.” 

“Does that mean that the dark is bad?”

“Do you mean night?”  When the girl nodded Clara smiled and said, “The night is a good thing, it’s necessary, for everyone needs the opportunity to rest and dream about the day.  But the Darkness,” and the little girl could hear the capital D, “is a bad thing, more often than not.  It causes pain and illness.  We need both Light and Dark, so that we appreciate the Light and the love of our friends and family better.”

The little girl thought for a moment then nodded.  She reached out and touched the scarf on Clara’s head.  Immediately, her mother admonished her, “Clary!”

Clara glanced up at the mother to let her know it was alright then she smiled more brightly at the little girl.  “Wow!  Your name is Clary?  Mine is Clara.  It is a real pleasure to meet you.”

Clary stuck out her hand, as she’d been taught.  “Hi Miss Clara.  I like that our names are almost the same.  You’re pretty and you sparkle.”  Clary was referring to more than the sun glinting on all the beads and gold and silver Clara was wearing.  “But how do you know when the Darkness is a bad thing?”

“Well, I think you know that because your tummy tells you.  It will tell you to leave it alone.  Sometimes it will tell you to run away.  When it does, you should listen.”

“How do you know?”

The question triggered a memory of her ex-husband giving her a concussion with a very expensive bottle of wine.  The only two people who knew she was still alive were her parents, even if she could never see them.  Her father was Bruce McDonnel, America’s number one mature hottie in Hollywood.  “Once upon a time I stood still while the Darkness swirled all around me like tornado.  I saw the Light flickering in the distance and I ran toward it as fast as I could.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Clary’s mother said.

Clara rose to her full height and noted (and ignored) the husband admiring her curves.  She smiled gently at the mother.  “Thank you.  I had the spirits to help me and guide me through troubled waters.”  

Literally.  Clara had an affinity for ghosts and spirits.  She spoke to them often and they had helped her escape her marriage by stirring up the waters around her ex-husband’s beloved boat until a storm capsized them and broke the boat to pieces.  Clary had lashed herself to the sailboat’s mast and the spirits took her as far away from there as they could.  They helped her because she helped them and had developed a good relationship with the Otherworld all her life. 

Clary reached up and touched a pendant that was made of sea glass wrapped in copper wire. Her fingers stroked over then move to a vial holding a red liquid.  “Is this blood?” she asked.

“Clary!” This time it was her father that was shocked.  Nevertheless, both parents waited for the answer. 

“No.” Clara chuckled.  “It’s sap from a tree called the Dracaena cinnabari, otherwise known as the Dragon’s Blood Tree.  It has healing properties.”

Both parents visibly relaxed.  Clara unwound a leather bracelet from her wrist and looked at the parents.  “Do you mind?”  She waited as the pair looked at each other then shrugged and looked back at her before shaking their heads in unison.   Kneeling down at Clary’s level, she held up the long bracelet.  It was covered in pretty stones and little doodads, including a pentagram, a fairy and a dragon.   She tied the bracelet behind Clary’s neck. 

“I,” she said, “having been waiting for the person who owns this necklace to find me.  It is very glad to be protecting you.  Your Grammy tells me that you are a super good little girl.” The mom gasped.  “This necklace will help protect you from the Darkness but you have to do to things in order for it to be always working, do you think you can do them?”

Clary stared at the necklace in awe.  “Yes!”

“You must hang it up in your window whenever there is a full moon.  And you must always listen to your tummy when it tells you that something is bad and you have to run away.  Always listen.  The necklace will help you.”  Clara looked at Clary gravely.  “Promise me that you will do those two things.”

“I promise.” Clary’s voice was solemn.  Then she threw herself on Clara.  “Thank you!”

Clara hugged the little girl then untangled herself and stood. 

“What are you?” asked the mother, forgetting her own manners for the moment.

“A clairvoyant.  You may also call me a medium.”  She smiled that the two parents.  “Your mother says that the new child will be a handful and that it serves you right.  Then she laughed.  She wants you to know she loves all of you and she’s glad to see that you are treating the house well.”

Tears welled up in the mom’s eyes.  “Thank you, thank you so much!”

“You are welcome.”  Clara’s skin turned to ice and she glanced over her shoulder.  She saw a dark shadow heading towards her.  “I need to go now.  Have a beautiful life in the Light.  It was nice to meet you, Clary.”    She skirted around the small family and headed towards her shop, a half a block away, at a good clip.

The dark shadow bore down on her quickly and she was almost running by the time she reached her shop.  She darted in the open door and stopped.  She turned around and watched the entity bounce off the barrier of her protections.  Clara smiled.  “I will never let you get me.”  She turned away from the door.  “Never again,” she whispered.

“Clary!  I’m so glad you’re back.”  Brandy, her shop assistant, hurried over to her.  Brandy was in her forties and looked like she was stuck in the 1960s. Brandy booked appointments, handled payments and kept the storefront, which carried all things necessary for protection and divination, stocked and selling well.  “There’s a client coming back soon who is insisting on a reading.  I don’t like the looks of him.  He smells like patchouli and he squints.”  Brandy shook her head.  “I don’t think you should do it.”

“Of course I will do it.  You know we don’t turn away readings.”  Clara hugged Brandy.  “I am so glad I have you.”

Brandy relaxed into the hug but muttered to herself.  “I just don’t like it.”

Clary let go of the other woman and looked around.  “I see the big resin dragon is missing.”

“Yeah, a teenager with obviously rich parents and an obsession about dragons bought it.”  Brandy laughed.  “I mean he was obsessed! This kid knew everything there was to know about dragons and every TV show or movie they’d been in.  He almost bought the jade one too but stopped because he figured his dad would ‘have a cow’.”  She mimicked the kid’s voice and grinned when Clary chuckled.

“I’m sorry I missed it.”

“You should be!  I–” she broke off as bells rang by the front door.  “See,” she hissed. “I don’t like this guy.”  The bells were charmed to let them know when exceptional Darkness crossed the threshold.

“Shush.”  Clary turned to the newcomer.  He was dark, with thick black hair, a heavy brow and thick eyebrows that overshadowed eyes so deep and dark Clary wasn’t sure he was looking at her.  A big, hooked nose and thick lips reminded her of Eastern Europe.  She estimated that he was in his mid-fifties.  “May I help you?  My assistant says you are looking for a reading.”  All around him she could see spirits that lingered.

“Da. I want you to help with this thing that makes disaster happen around me all the time.”

“What thing would that be?”

“I don’t know!” he shouted.  Crystal rattled on the shelves and he immediately apologized.  “I just know that nothing goes right,” he said in a softer tone of voice.  “No spells, no healing, nothing I See.  It started six months ago and I have been searching the world over for the one who can help.”

Clara spread her hands, palms up, as she watched the spirits at play around him like ghosts in a Casper movie.  “I am not sure what I can do.”

“Bah. You have power. I can see.  Where is your table?”  He slapped five hundred dollars down on the counter.

“I don’t know.  I have not encountered anything like you before.”   She ducked a little as two of the spirits flew at her.

“Playing hard to get?  Okay.”  He stuffed a hand in his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of bill that made Brandy sigh in envy.  He peeled off another five hundred dollars.

“No!  That’s too much!” Shocked that he’d offer so much, Clara tried to push it back but Brandy swooped in and snatched it.

“She’ll do it.”  Brandy smiled sweetly at Clara.

Clara stepped around the counter and headed to the doorway covered by a heavy curtain.  “This way…”  She left the end of the sentence open for him to leave his name.

“Vladimir.  Thank you.”  He reached over and dragged the curtain open, held it for her.

The bells rang again at the front of the shop but she ignored it as she led the way to the small round table.  The doorway was charmed to keep anything that would harm them out.

 “Have a seat, Vladimir.” Clara gestured to the smaller chair.  She ignored the trappings she used for tourists.  There were those who needed the table thumps, ghostly noises and flickering lights, but she didn’t think Vladimir did.   And, frankly, there were days when she needed to use them because the spirits were stubbornly quit.

Obviously, this was not one of those days.  She grimaced at the spirits lazily floating around Vladimir.  They looked expectant. “What do you need today, Vladimir?”

The man pulled out the dainty, purple velour covered chair across from Clara and grimaced at it before gingerly planting his ass.  “Already said I need you to fix the problem.”

Clara sat in her own chair, one that reminded her of the chairs Buddhist Rinpoche sat in when presiding over Temple gatherings.  Brandy had insisted on it, saying that clients would expect something royal-ish.  “I’m not sure I understand the problem.”

Vladimir stared at her for a long moment and she met his eyes.  She felt as if she was being sucked in, deeper and deeper into an endless void.  She forced herself to close her eyes to cut off the feeling and gave herself three deep breaths to return to some sort of equilibrium.  She opened her eyes as Vladimir said, “I do not know why I keep having so many problems.  It is like I am being sabotaged.”

Behind him, one of the spirits appeared to giggle.  Clara resisted the urge to smile.  “Do you know that you carry spirits with you?”

Vladimir nodded.  “Da. I do.  They are family.  They help me.” 

She looked at him, met his eyes.  “Are you sure they’re helping you?”  

He looked offended but, still, maintained eye contact.  “They would not do such a thing.”

Clara felt as if she was floating.  “Is there… ah… Is there anyone who died recently who may have a grudge against you?”  There were stars in his eyes.  The blackness began to gently cradle her.  Her scalp felt as if someone was running icy fingers through her hair and she jerked herself backwards in the chair and turned her gaze to the print on her wall, let herself be soothed by the soft water lilies.  “I’m sorry, I seem to have missed your answer.”

“My wife.  She always seemed to be mad at me.”

Those icy fingers returned to Clara’s scalp and she shivered.  “Excuse me a moment.”  She moved to rise and Vladimir’s entire demeanor changed. 

“Sit. Down.”  The order was issued quietly but with such malice that fear turned her stomach contents to churning acid.  “Good girl,” he said when she lowered her behind back into the chair. 

His spirits flew at her and she opened her mouth to scream.  He merely pointed a finger at her and her voice disappeared.  The spirits bound her to the chair.  She tried to scream again and again.   The talismans that rose up at her distress and obvious danger quieted themselves and with a slash of his hand he undid all her warning systems and protections. 

Clara whimpered as they all broke.  She could feel each one disintegrate, if felt like someone pulling a hair out by the roots.  The largest felt like a kick to the gut.  Tears began to stream from her eyes and she tried to scream again.  She watched as he moved to the door and wove a complicated spell in a language she could not understand, using gestures she recognized as very old and very old world. 

He returned to the table and sat down again.  “There now, my dear, you can make all the noise you wish and no one will hear you.” He gave a small nod in her direction and all her silent screaming became audible. 

The high pitched sound bounced around the room and she could see the spirits that weren’t holding her trying to get into the energy stream of her fear.  She stopped screaming when her throat began to feel like glass shards rubbing together.  “What… What do you want with me?”

“My beloved Mama died many years ago and since then she and I have searched all over the world for someone powerful enough to host her essence.  Someone who would not fail to support her and all her power.  Someone whose power could compliment and add to her own.”  He leaned forward, folded his hands on the table and smiled at her.

With his deep set, inscrutable black eyes and shiny white teeth, Clara was reminded of a shark.  She shook her head violently.  “No. No no.  I am of the Light.”  She started talking fast. “I am too Light, too bright to take in a dark one.”

Now, he looked offended.  The icy hands that hand been holding her began to pinch and slap.  “My Mama is not dark.”  He leaned back and smiled again as the dark presence that had followed Clara all her teen and adult life came into the room and hovered behind him.  It slowly formed into the black and white shape a woman in her late thirties.  She stroked his hair and smiled at Clara before leaning down to whisper in his ear.   “She tells me that she found you when you hit puberty.  The flash of light was so bright she could see you half a world away.  She came to investigate and found you.”

The spectre of his mother moved through the table to stand in front of Clara.  She reached out to stroke Clara’s face and she jerked her head back so hard she swore she gave herself whiplash.  “Don’t touch me!”  As the hand kept reaching for her, Clara said it again. “No!  Don’t touch me!”  The hand slid down her cheek and she moaned.  “Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.”

“You were perfect, she said.  You would grow up into a beautiful woman.  We continued to search, just in case something happened to you, but she was right.  You are perfect.”  Vladimir got up and moved around the table.  He pulled her to her feet.  The spirits restraining her wrapped themselves around her and encased her in ice when she tried to slap him. 

He held her in place with a hand tightly knotted in her hair at the base of her skull.  With his free hand he caressed her face, traced her lower lip with his thumb.  When she tried to bite him he slapped her.  Her head whipped to the side and she cried out as both her face and her scalp burned with the pulled.

“Ahh… I am sorry, Mama, of course you are right. I should not damage your vessel.”  He leaned down to press a kiss to Clara’s sore cheek and she screamed again, hurting his ear.  Vladimir wrapped his hand around her throat and squeezed.  “Scream again and I will silence you again.”

Clara shut her mouth and merely whimpered as his hand traveled down her body.  He tore the gauzy blouse from her then cupped her breast in his hand and feel the weight of it.  He brushed the nipple with his thumb and watched it spring to life.  “So beautiful, such perfect skin. Look, Mama, how responsive the body is.”

He bunched her skirt at her hip and pulled it up.  “Hold her,” he commanded the spirits.  Once they had her held up without his help, he released his own hold on her and knelt before her.  He slid both hands up her legs from her ankles to her hips.  “Such soft, beautiful skin.”  His fingers slid along those most private folds and he looked up at her in surprise.  “She is aroused, Mama.” 

Vladimir tipped his head, obviously listening.  “Ah, that is why.  It has been too long since you felt a man’s touch, has it.  We can fix that.”

“No!” Clara spat the word at him furiously as he pulled his belt open.

“Yes.  I, too, have been too long without a woman.”  He removed his shirt to reveal a well-muscled torso sprinkled with dark hair.  He draped it over her chair and removed his pants and undergarments.  He returned to stand before her and stroked his already half hard shaft.  He was impressively large.

“No! I will not allow this!” She began a desperate, made up on the spot, chant to remove the spirits and one reached in to press her tongue down.  She struggled violently, gagging on the fingers.

“To her knees.  If she wants to use her mouth, let her.”  He watched as they brought her down.  “If you bite me, solnishko, I will break your jaw.”  The spirits forced her mouth open and he slid over her tongue.  He looked down at her.  “Worship it.”

His mother’s spirit moved behind her and grabbed her by the head, forcing her to move.  She moved Clara’s head back to the tip and down all the way to the base, ignoring the way Clara gagged and fought.   This went on for several long minutes, until Clara was doing it on her own, just to get it over with.

Vladimir groaned.  “See, it is much better when you co-operate.”   He pulled away from her.  “Put her over the table.  Spread her legs.”  Soon Clara was bent face down over the table with her legs wide open.   He gazed at her. “You are so pretty.  Mama was right, you are perfect,” he repeated.

His Mama knelt below the table and spread Clara’s most intimate lips apart and pinched her clit.  Clara screamed at the icy fingers and the electric jolt.  “No!  Let me go, please!” She squirmed violently but the spirits held her fast at the wrists and ankles. 

“We have established that it isn’t going to happen.”  He knelt behind her and studied her more closely.  “But I must taste you.  You will enjoy it, I promise you.”

And to Clara’s utter dismay and humiliation, she did.  She came twice, screaming both times, as his hot tongue laved her inside and out and his mother’s icy one sucked on her clit. 

“Now, to business.”  Vladimir rose, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.  He placed a large hand on her lower back and another on himself.  He placed himself at the entrance to her core.  “Scream for me, my pretty.” 

He sheathed himself within her in one stroke and as she screamed her pain and fury his mother’s spirit entered her through her open mouth. 

As he continued his assault on her body a war waged in her mind.  It didn’t take long until Clara found herself in a glass box in her mind.

I think I will allow myself to hear you for a little while, young one. You may amuse me yet.

Get out of my head, you bitch!

Now, Clara, it is only proper to be polite. My name is Valentina.  You may call me that, or Ma’am, but if you call me anything else you will pay, like so.  Clara screamed as her entire self turned into nothing but electric, burning pain.  It cut off as suddenly as it started.  Do we understand one another?

Yes… Valentina.

Good girl.  You may watch. 

Vladimir moaned in pleasure as Clara’s body suddenly began to push back against him.  “Ah Mama, there you are.”

The spirits released Clara’s body and rejoiced as mother and son were reunited in the body of a young American woman.  Inside Valentina’s new mind, the conquered spirit sobbed wretchedly, almost totally broken.

A little while later, Vladimir and Valentina left the small room.  Brandy smiled as the came into the storefront.  “That was a long session!  I hope it was successful.”

Valentina smiled at Brandy with Clara’s mouth.  “It was, very successful.”

April Camp, Day 2

Good afternoon!

It’s time for the next installment of the Edward Gorey inspired CampNaNo

Now, even though today’s writing has reached a total of 5,509 (that’s 3,398 just today), you’re only getting part of that.   

I finished Basil right on the minimum word count and decided to keep going.  So I decided to start Clara.  I am 1,729 into it and the juicy part is just getting started.  I mean, I could tease you with part of it but what kind of person would I be, eh?

Oh… just me. 😉

“You should be!  I–” she broke off as bells rang by the front door.  “See,” she hissed. “I don’t like this guy.”  The bells were charmed to let them know when exceptional Darkness crossed the threshold.

“Shush.”  Clary turned to the newcomer.  He was dark, with thick black hair, a heavy brow and thick eyebrows that overshadowed eyes so deep and dark Clary wasn’t sure he was looking at her.  A big, hooked nose and thick lips reminded her of Eastern Europe.  “May I help you?  My assistant says you are looking for a reading.”  All around him she could see spirits that lingered.

“Da. I want you to help with this thing that makes disaster happen around me all the time.”

“What thing would that be?”

“I don’t know!” he shouted.  Crystal rattled on the shelves.  “I just know that nothing goes right.  No spells, no healing.  It started six months ago and I have been searching the world over for the one who can help.”

Clara spread her hands, palms up, as she watched the spirits at play around him like ghosts in a Casper movie.  “I am not sure what I can do.”

“Bah. You have power. I can see.  Where is your table?”  He slapped five hundred dollars down on the counter.

“I don’t know.  I have not encountered anything like you before.”   She ducked a little as two of the spirits flew at her.

“Playing hard to get?  Okay.”  He stuffed a hand in his pocket and pulled out a thick wad of bill that made Brandy sigh in envy.  He peeled off another five hundred dollars.

 
See?  It has the potential to be a good story.  I’m not certain about the horror part just yet, which is why you’re not getting it.  What you are getting is the short and sweet, bloody Basil story.
It’s a gory, bloody slasher short.  I like it.
I’m going to watch The Voices now.  Enjoy the story and enjoy the rest of your day!
Muah!

Bad Manners Don’t Pay

Basil Banks screamed.  It was high pitched and hurt the ears of the monkeys in the trees above him.  His heart, already taxed from running through the jungle, gave an erratic thump-thump before settling in the fast paced rhythm Basil’s terror had set. 

The head of his assistant Jeanie swung from the vine, her long brown hair was the rope.  Her mouth was open in the scream he assumed she died on and there were little bite marks all over her face.  Her neck was jagged, like her head had been torn from her body and part of Basil’s busy, scientific brain wondered how her hair hadn’t been torn out. 

Then he saw her eyes and understood.

The exquisite blue eyes had been pushed back into her skull, eyelids torn and mangled and claw marks extended up across her forehead.  

Basil stuffed his fist in his mouth to contain the moan of despair. He had, foolishly, hoped that if they survived together that the horror would make them a couple and he’d finally get to fuck her, like he’d been trying to for years.  He pushed past her and screamed again, a choir boy high yelp of disgust, as her head bumped his shoulder and the thick fluids dripping from her slid down his arm hot and slimy.

“Cold. It should be cold,” he muttered to himself, ignoring the fact that it was forty-three degrees centigrade and the humidity in the Amazon was at one hundred percent.  Warm water dripped down the back of his neck and he jumped forward like he had been goosed.

He tripped on a vine and sprawled across the jungle floor to come face to face with a line of leaf cutter ants.  He swore they stopped to look at him.  He pushed to his feet and stepped over the ants.  Once more, he began looking for a hiding spot.

“They won’t get me.  It’s not my fault.  Someone will save me.” Basil slapped his hand over his mouth, trying to shut himself up.  “I wish I was being chased by a tall fairy queen!”  He stopped and closed his eyes briefly to wish for just such a thing.  And then he wished to wake up in his bed at home.

He spotted a big tree with roots that almost made a cage.  It was dark and shadowed in there and he hoped he would fit between them.  He finally had to admit to himself that he wasn’t in Army shape anymore, not that he’d liked all the PT in the Army but at least he’d had a flat stomach.  Mostly.  Being a nurse at a CSH (“pronounced cash,” he said to himself as his mind went back to his first day on the job after deployment) meant he hadn’t had to work so hard at the physical. 

Basil squeezed himself between the roots and hunched down in the darkness.  He was grateful for his lack of height, for once.  At 5’7”, and scrawny and super smart, he’d always been the brunt of jokes from the jocks in his high school.  Jokes he thought would stop in the Army.  They’d gotten worse there, and he’d hardened himself against people.  He became the best there was at being a nurse and his arrogance had grown.

After the Army, he’d gone back to school and gotten his PhD in biochemistry.  He’d be the one to find the cure for cancer.  And he’d show them all that they’d been wrong not to be his friends.  His mind went back to the first day they’d come to the jungle. 

Two guides and four armed men met them on the tarmac and bundled them into jeeps.  “I thought you said there were only four of you,” the lead man said to Basil.

Basil shrugged and gave the man a hard look.  “I need these two extra,” as he gestured to the five people with him – three women and two men.  “They are specialists on insects.  I don’t need to explain myself to you.  Let’s go.”

They had set up camp and taken guided hikes, looking for the plants and insects Basil thought would hold the key to the cure.  It hadn’t taken long before small shadows started to appear in fleeting glimpses, seen by everyone.  Basil had woken up one night to find a small man, about three feet tall, rummaging through their food supplies. 

“Hey!” Basil shouted, rushing out of the tent before he could think about it.  He kicked at the creature, (no way was that a man in his eyes), and shoved him away from the food.  “Shoo!  Go on!”  He waved his hands and shouted, treating the small man like a wild animal.

The pygmy, for that’s what he was, turned to stare at Basil.  He bared his teeth and hissed. 

Basil stumbled back in fright.  The pygmy’s teeth were sharpened to points, white paint streaked his dark skin and his eyes were bottomless pits of black. 

One of the guards and a guide emerged from the tent they shared and the guide spoke urgently in a weird language of clicks and whistles.  The miniature man jerked his chin at the guide, gave Basil one last glare and left the camp and melting into the jungle night.

There were more incidents of pygmies wandering into the camp – women, children, men who were obviously warriors.  Each time, Basil screamed at them to get out, to leave the camp alone.  Then, about two weeks into their excursion, Basil picked up one of the children, holding it well away from himself to avoid the kicks and scratches aimed at his face, and threw the small boy to the edge of camp. 

The crack! of the small boy’s head hitting the tree was loud and wet; so much so that the entire camp stopped moving.  A man came running into the camp, screaming at the guides and Basil.  Whatever he said made the guide’s olive skin turn a sick yellow as he paled.  He argued but the man was adamant. 

The pygmy stared at Basil for a long moment then jerked his head forward and hissed as he made some sign with his hand.  As he turned to leave the camp, the grieving mother gathered her young son into her arms and all of the pymgies disappeared.

“What?” Basil demanded.  “What did he say?  Did he understand it was an accident?  I never meant to kill the boy.”

The guide stared at him a long time.  “He said that you will reap what you have sown.  That was the chief’s only son, after a long time trying to produce one.”

Immediately, Basil turned to everyone one else.  “Pack it up!  We leave in an hour!”

His team of scientists all objected.  They had sensitive experiments going that couldn’t be moved.  If they left then, all their time in the extreme heat would be wasted.  It would be hours before they could begin to shut everything down.  Basil, always thinking of the bottom line, relented.  He decreed they’d leave at dawn.

When dawn came, Basil had left his tent and started shouting at everyone to get up.  The guards and guides were gone.  Basil stormed around the camp, furious.  He slowly began to notice what a mess the camp was.  Experiments were trashed, clothing was everywhere and a sticky liquid coated everything.  He stumbled on the torso of his lead aid and screamed long and loud.  John was headless and missing all his limbs.

Now, huddled in the tree roots, after finding more of his team scattered in a wide radius in and around the camp, Basil had to admit that maybe he had made a mistake in throwing that child.  Maybe it was a mistake to dismiss the pygmy tribe as useless. 

The chittering of a monkey made him jump and bang his head.  The monkey started screaming and jumping up and down.   It incited others to do the same.  Basil was suddenly worried that the goddamn creatures were alerting the pygmies to his presence.  And, as if to confirm that, one of the little capuchins stuck his head into Basil’s hiding spot and grinned.

Basil paled.  The monkey’s teeth were sharpened to little points and there were markings on it that didn’t belong on a monkey.  He scrambled to free himself from his hiding spot and was subject to a number of bites.  He tried to run but was swarmed with the little creatures.  More and more of the monkeys came and clung to him.  They gripped his hair, his clothes, the tiny fingers pinched his skin to hang on to him.  They bore him to the ground just by the sheer weight of them.

They held him down and forced him to turn his head to the side.  One of them stood upright and shifted into the human form of the pygmy chief.  The shift was wet, loud and looked like it hurt.  It terrified Basil more than anything else could have because it confirmed for him that all the monkeys holding him down, pinching and tearing at him, were shifters.  It meant that a couple of the monkeys they had in captivity were probably pygmies, afraid to shift back and show themselves.

As the chief grinned a terrifying smile, Basil knew two things.

One, he had committed a terrible crime.

And two, he was about to pay for it.

His next scream was the ear splitting scream of a man in excruciating pain.  He lived through most of the tearing and ripping of his flesh.   He watched them chew and swallow bits and pieces of him.  He screamed until his voice gave out.  His eyes bulged with his pain, until one of them plucked them out.  He lived until someone bit through a major artery and he bled out.

Basil was left a wet, juicy corpse in the middle of the jungle with no one to miss him and mourn him.

 
 

Fiction Friday NaNo Edition 4

Good day, my friends.

CampNaNo has begun.  That means I am writing 26 little stories designed to scare, creep and freak out my readers.  I have decided to share my stories with you.  One a day.

I’ve never written horror before so I’m not sure how it’s going to go down.  In this first one, I was trying to drive Amy mad along with scaring her.  My first bit of feedback says it was definitely creepy.  

I leave it to you, my peeps, to tell me how I’ve done today.

Have a great Friday! 

Muah.

An Alphabet of Death

A collection of 26 stories of blood and gore

 

Before I can even begin I must warn you that what you are about to read is meant to be horrible, terrifying and shocking.  There will be tales that will gross you out, tales that shock you and tales that will fill you with dread.

Some of those stories, I’m afraid, involve potential triggers; such as child abuse and sexual assault (even if one of those assaults is by unicorns).  

Fear not!  Each story is approximately two thousand words long.

Actually…

Fear.  Do.  For that is my goal.

 

 

 

A Faire Death

Amy & the Arbalest

 

Amy stood at the entrance to Dunfermline Abby and Palace and scowled at the security guard.  “Look you over paid rent a cop!  I am the head of the faire that’s opening today and I need to make sure it’s ready.”

“I cannae let you in, lass.”  The Scotsman stood tall and glared down at the woman currently driving him insane.  “I’m no to let anyone pass until six.”

“’I cannae let you in, lass’,” Amy mocked him.  “What is it with you Scots?  Freaking nose grinders and rule followers, the lot of you.  It’s five-thirty!  Let me in!”

The guard was offended. He spread his feet a little more and crossed his arms.  He looked her over scathingly.  Unfortunately, he had to admire what he saw, a tidy little package in denim and a sheepskin lined leather jacket.  He saw a hint of Spanish in her, though her accent was Canadian.  That little mouth of hers looked kissable.  …Well, he imagined it might be if it wasn’t currently thinned with annoyance. He wondered idly how she’d managed to break her nose; the bump on it made her look adorable. “We’re not a lot of rule followers.  If ye hate us so much, what the fook are you doing here?”

“That is none of your business!” She pushed her straight black hair behind her ear and glared at him.  “Let me pass!  I have to make sure it’s proper and ready.  Those fools never get anything right.”

“Seeing as the faire proper doesn’t open until ten, you’ve plenty of time.”

She growled.  The guard almost grinned but he tilted his head as if he was listening to something behind him then abruptly stood out of her way.  He swept her a gallant bow and smiled.  “Sure, ya can pass.  May you find all you deserve this morn.”  He straightened and graciously offered his help.

“I don’t need help from the likes of you.”  Amy sneered at him then marched past, nose in the air, smug that she’d won the argument.  Amy was the Chief Gentlewoman of the Privy Chamber, and styled her persona after Kat Ashley, Elizabeth I’s former governess.  Her costumes were in the heavy garment bag she carried over her shoulder with one hand.  In the other she had a toolbox.  Her arms ached from holding them and she wished she had brought her wagon.  As she walked up the faire’s main thoroughfare she cast a quick but critical eye over the grounds. 

The booths were all locked down with tarps covering their fronts.  There were colourful flags and streamers.  Flags with coats of arms indicating the lords’ houses fluttered here and there.  A movement caught Amy’s eye and she stopped, turning to her left to peer around a booth selling funnel cakes. It was one of many booths that irritated the hell out of Amy because she didn’t feel it was in keeping with the times, even if the oil was boiled in a cauldron.  The booth was run by, she ground her teeth on the thought, a trio of witches. 

She eventually came to the conclusion that the movement was a flap of tent that had come loose and was moving in the morning breeze and kept moving toward the tent that made her home base for the weekend.  She moved off the main path and moved one over, cutting between the double rows of tents.  As she reached the mid-point, she realized that there had been no breeze and grew suspicious again.  She stopped and called out, “Hello?  You’re not supposed to be here.”

Nothing.

“If you’re that manky guard,” she borrowed a low and dirty slang word she’d heard, “piss off.  I don’t need your help and I’m not doing anything wrong.”  She kept on and turned right when she reached the next commerce row. 

Fog crept along the ground, heading for her.  Mist suddenly appeared and brushed her face.  She grunted in irritation at the cool dampness and tried to wipe her face on her arm.  Tendrils of fog seemed to be reaching for her and she trembled a bit with sudden trepidation.  Her steps slowed a bit before she laughed at herself and moved forward.  “Don’t be ridiculous, Aims, nothing is coming.  Ghosts are a myth.”

She moved faster again.  If it was a tad quicker, well, she was making up for lost time.

The fog reached her and icy fingers seemed to grip her right ankle.  She yelped as the cold burned into her skin and reflexively kicked out her foot.  The cold went away but whispers started up around her.

Bitch…

Hell is coming for you

Evil woman

Amy shuddered, the full body shudder that makes your joints ache.  “The stories about this place being haunted are just that,” she said to herself.  “Stories designed to make foolish people come and look it over.”  She paused to stare up at the high stone walls with their multiple arched windows.  “No one appreciates the history anymore.” 

No one appreciates you.

The fog crept up her legs and wrapped around her thighs, burning her with cold there too.  She felt the fabric of her jeans give way.  She looked down as the pant leg slid to her ankle.  Burned into her thigh was a word.  At first she didn’t know what it was but the longer she stared, the clearer it became.

BESS

She screamed and tried to run for her tent.  People began to appear around her. The flickered in and out and each appeared to be cursing her.  Something caught her left ankle and something else pushed her between her shoulder blades.  She fell on her face so fast she had no time to scream.  Her tool box went flying and broke open, spilling small carpentry tools and makeup all over the ground.  Her garment bag was snatched from her fingers.  She rolled over, trying to dislodge the weight on her back and stared in awe as her garment bag hung in the air and the zipper slowly slid down. 

As the bag was pushed back after the hanger, she suddenly remembered Bess.  Amy and Bess had been in line for the same position in the Queen’s Privy Chamber and Amy had been desperate to secure it for herself.  So she had planted some of the Queen’s jewels in Bess’s things and waited until it’d been discovered.  She herself had whispered in the Queen’s ear that Bess should be executed (banned from the faire).  A trial was held and Bess was found guilty.

Another named was burned into her thigh, making her scream high and loud. 

JULIA

Julia was stuck as a washerwoman after the smear campaign Amy had orchestrated so carefully no one had known where it really started.  And so it went.  While her costumes were taken and shredded by unseen hands and Amy tried scrambling away despite the weights on her shoulders and chest, names were burned into her legs.   She was sobbing and going into shock as the last bit of fabric fluttered to the ground.

A face appeared in front of her and a hand slapped her cheek.  Keep it together.  It’s the only way you’ll get out of this.

Amy choked on her scream, trying to keep it down and nodded.   The weights lifted off her chest and she clambered to her feet.  She tried to run but the pain in her legs hampered her movements.  She limped as quickly as she could toward her tent.  It was in sight, only a dozen meters away.  She was pushed and poked and prodded. 

Traitor.

Deceiver.

Whore.

The fog wrapped around her arm and burned another name into, this time her arm.  She whimpered, beyond screaming. 

ANGUS.

She had seduced Angus into cheating on his wife.  The husband and wife team were owners of the faire and had been looking for someone to work with and directly below them.  He was Gentleman Sewer of the Bedchamber and his wife was Queen, the two highest positions of this particular event. The person they chose would have access to almost every part of the event from the smallest planning detail to the largest.  They’d have a spot right beside the royal tents and be automatically in the Queen’s Privy Chamber.  Amy had fucked her way into her position on the committee. 

Am reached her tent and tried to untie the knots holding the door flap in place.  Ice formed over them and she whimpered again.  “No, no, no, no no no,” she muttered over and over. 

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Run.

The last whisper was hot on her ear and it made her scream.  Briefly she wondered why the guard hadn’t heard her.  The echoes of her last scream were still bouncing off the stone walls.  She gave up on trying to get into her tent and stumbled around the side of it.  She tripped over a peg and landed on her hands and knees. 

Get up. 

Get. Up.

Run, little liar.

Run, Laura.

“My name is Amy!” she screamed.

No.

No.

Murderess.

Amy got up and ran.  She sobbed and panted, “Yes it is.  It’s Amy!”

You killed that little boy.  A flashback had her blind and she tripped again, falling against a tent and almost bringing it down. 

Drinking at an office party.  Driving home drunk in the summer twilight.  A small boy chasing a ball.

The thud that made her puke on herself and sober up fast.  She didn’t stop, kept going as the screaming started behind her.  She’d gone home, removed her plates, put on another set even though her car was (deliberately) dirty enough that most of the numbers weren’t quite clear.  Cleaned up herself and her car, packed a few items of clothing and a favourite book, and then grabbed the bug out bag her father, a man with many secrets, had taught her to keep.  She drove her car, gagging on the stench of regurgitated alcohol, to the lake.  She sat there until midnight, trying to calm herself down, and then tossed her bags to the ground and drove her car off the pier using a weight on the gas pedal. 

She’d watched as it sunk, watched every last gurgle.  The only thing missing, she’d thought at the time, was a body.  Then she’d pulled on a baseball cap and walked for miles before hailing a cab to take her to the airport.  From there she’d taken the first flight out, one to somewhere in Asia, she hadn’t cared, and gotten off at the connecting flight in Belgium.  From there, she’d gone to Scotland. 

The whole thing had happened several years ago and she’d thought it was done, no one was looking for her anymore. 

“It was an accident,” she cried.

You ran.

Bitch.

Child killer.

Cunt.

The last word was hissed in her ear and ice formed on the upper curve.  People appeared around her as she stumbled into the open. She backed up until she was against a wall.  The people were dressed as commoners from several centuries, though the majority seemed to be Elizabethan.  They were all armed – pitchforks, knives and cranked crossbow that Amy’s brain informed her were arbalests. 

They hissed curses at her, insults, as they advanced.  The people with arbalests began to swing them in up to aim at her.  Then, as one, they pulled the trigger and a dozen bolts flew at Amy to hit her in the chest. 

Amy died as the ghostly bolts hit her.  They solidified just before they reached her.  She died with a screamed apology on her lips and the walls of the abbey opened up to receive her body.

A few minutes later, the guard at the gate sauntered along to clean up her belongings, making it look as if she never appeared.   As he did, the fog cleared and the mist dried up to reveal a beautiful dawn.  “Nice job,” he murmured as a warm kiss was pressed to his cheek.