The man sat against the trunk of the dried up disfigured tree. The gnarled interwoven branches seemed to be drawing in on themselves while also trying to reach out and ensnare you in its life sucking embrace. The dead tree stood at the peak of a sandy ridge. From where the man sat he could look out over the wasted barren land. What vegetation, or what passed as vegetation here, was like the tree he now leaned against. Everything was dark and foreboding showing no sign of life.
Overhead the sky was filled with angry deep purple and grey clouds that appeared to be at war with one another. Each one shot out steaks of lightening that seemed to be deliberately aimed at the clouds around them as if each was trying to take control of the shadowy expanse overhead. The heavy hot air generated by this constant battle created a skin scorching heat that blew dust devils around everywhere you looked. The dull black sand that was swept up in the heat and wind driven swirls only added to the uninhabitable appearance of this place. No rain fell here, there was no water, no moisture at all. This place was dryer than any desert on any map in another place.
There was existence here but you couldn’t call it life, at least not the type of life that would every make someone feel warm and fuzzy toward it. The things that lived here were as dark and ugly as this land itself. The creatures here were the things of nightmares for living breathing humans. They were as malformed and dark as the vegetation. He watched as a black slithering form reared back and struck at his prey and succeeded in catching the small creeping creature that had tried to escape its unending demise. He thought about how he almost felt sorry for the little monster that had just been devoured by the larger predator because he knew the damn thing would be back tomorrow. In a bit the larger creature would also be taken by an even larger predator and this would continue throughout the day. It was an endless succession of one creature after the other inflicting pain on something smaller. In this dark land the only things roaming here were the shadows of what once was and only existed in this land of shadows born of nightmares. No, there was no life here. These abominable beings would be tormented day after day and there would be no end to this torment that would be repeated over and over.
The man sat there watching the workings in the expanse before him and contemplated what his next move would be. If he decided to go rogue he knew what the ultimate consequences of his actions would lead to. The trick for them was for them to find him and he had learned and learned well how to stay hidden.
His mind began to wonder to other things. He could be walking in places that were green and lush. Places where there was water and live trees, where thing were beautiful and alive. Hell if he wanted he could be walking on the top of a mountain that was clothed in a shimmering gown of pristine white that sparkled and glittered in the reflective rays of the sun that beat down on it. He could be looking out over someplace where the temperature would burn the flesh of a skin and bone being with a mind numbing blast of cold polar air.
The man’s attention was drawn back to the place where he now rested against that hideous excuse of a tree as a dust devil came close enough that the little bits of lava hot sand pelted his skin. He didn’t have to look down to survey the damage because he knew there wouldn’t be any. Oh he felt the pain from the little beads of incendiary grains, he felt them to the bone, but no damage would be done. No he couldn’t be damaged but he could feel pain and oh had he felt pain ever since his transition.
He stood up and winced as he did. The pain was still there but not as bad as it had been and soon it would only be a distant murky memory. The man looked back over his shoulder to more of the same as what was in front of him. The clouds continued their battles overhead while the dust devils spun along their routes twisting and turning and sometimes intertwining with one another, swelling up then breaking apart to resume their random staggering paths.
Turning back in the direction he had been focused on before he again leaned back against the tree. He hadn’t yet stepped so far over the edge that he might not get out of it but he needed to make up his mind. Deep down inside he knew that he couldn’t continue this existence. The constant moving from one place to the other and never connecting to anyone except in that one moment of another’s life. That moment when everything that had gone before only mattered in determining where you went next.
There was an exceptionally loud roar of thunder and he jerked to attention thinking he might have been found but remembered they were blind to him right now. It would have been hard for them to detect him in this place even if he wasn’t off the grid but right now unless he allowed it they couldn’t see him anywhere he went. When they had come to him and told him he would no longer be a collector and would from that point on be a tracker he had tried to refuse. Of course in this, like in all things for longer than he cared to think about, he hadn’t had in say in what he did or what happened. It finally was more than his mind could process. More than he could handle. More than his damaged, twisted, blackened soul could endure.
Now he was thinking about becoming that which he had been tapped to track. Others like him who had found they could no longer follow meekly and continue to be tied to those who controlled their existence. He would, like them, no longer be bound by the tethers of his sins and a contract he had never wanted to enter into.
He like the others would take what he wanted and bring about as much chaos as he possibly could. He would leave a path of destruction that the powers that be will never recover from. He would no longer collect from their list, any list, but his own. Only he would have no list.
The man again looked out at this plane that existed between two others. They had made him a reaper of reapers and he would show them what a reaper was capable of.
He was death and now he was rogue.
Find out more about me and my books:
Book trailers at YouTube:
Blood Lines The Curse:
Blood Lines Buried Treasure:
Blood Lines Family Ties:
Journey Into Nightmares:
Nightmare Express: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mAUtqWwsK4&t=12s
I know this time of the year is not only the time for the holidays but also the endless succession of parades that go with it. Between now and into the first couple of months of the next year there will be one after the other of these shows of festivities. Here I must say that I DO NOT GET IT!
As a child I got drug to the various parades in our city and I found them a pain even then. You got wrapped up in coats, scarves, and mittens to stand around in the cold and sometimes wet weather to watch, when you could get a peek through the legs of the large guy In front of you with a kid on his shoulders, a bunch of people dressed up in various over the top outfits and formal wear marching or riding in a straight line down the street. The cacophony of racket coming from the various bands running so close together you had a hard time telling what the crap one band or the other was playing as their attempts at being heard clashed with not only the sometimes out of tune attempts of the bands in front and behind them but the constant roaring of the screaming people standing along the route. Of course I’m one day older than dirt so when I was a child about the only musical choices we were blessed with were an inspirational mix of high school fight songs, a few select carols and the list was limited so often you got the same tune one right behind the other and of course the timing from the two sucked, and the old stand by for every band, the amazing works of John Phillip Souza. I remember looking up at my parents and their smiling faces and them waving at whatever menagerie passing in front of them as I was steadily being crushed, stepped on, or clobbered by that big buffoon in front of me as well as all the other buffoons standing around us every bit as large and thoughtless as the one blocking my view of the festivities The day my parents decided that I was old enough and smart enough to know I really didn’t want to go to that damn parade was probably one of the happiest days of my life.
For years I managed to, for the most part, evade these gatherings until long after I was grown. Then I had a child. Remembering how much I hated these uncomfortable gatherings I had to inflict them on my poor unsuspecting very tiny daughter. I remember the first, and only, only time I did this to her. I remember looking down into that sweet beautiful face of my child and realizing she was as miserable as I had been at her age and knew I had made a mistake. Was this the last time I drug her to one of these things? Yes.
I said it was the last time I drug her to one but it seemed that I was to be exposed to these things for many years to come. Oh not as the person standing on the side watching as the people passed in front of me. I think my daughter was in at least one parade or the other every year from the time she was about four years old until she graduated from high school. No I didn’t drag her again to a parade but I got hooked into participating in one manor or another for years to come. I was either sitting on a float with Gina and other children, marching alongside of one, or driving the convertible that Gina and her classmate’s road on sitting up on the trunk area waving at the people along the way. Ok Gina was involved in a lot. Then graduation from high school arrived and again I thought finally an end to this. NO.
Now I’m not going into the whole background but not too long after she graduated I remarried. Why would this tie into the ranting? Because between Thanksgiving and sometime in the not to near future I will be subjected to every one of these merry little spectacles that is aired. Oh and not just with my wonderful husband but these are all a big family affair among him and his. This is one of the few times I will refer to my husband and his two children as him and his. You see once Gina graduated, she like me, tried to avoid the whole parade thing, well a zombie parade will draw Gina but not me. Gina didn’t participate in the parades because she wanted to but because of the things she was involved in required her to be a part of all that went with it. So now during parade season Gina and I become her and hers. We join in but only to make him and his happy because in the end what’s important is that family is family no matter how it comes together and being together is a blessing no matter what.
If you are wondering when we get split like this at other times, one is during baseball season. Now I’m not a fan of any sport but during baseball season the split comes in a different way. Gina and my youngest stepdaughter are Red Sox fans and my husband was born in St. Louis and he and his oldest daughter are big Cardinals fans. During the big Cold War of 2013 World War III was almost started in my oldest stepdaughter’s home when the Red Sox beat the socks off the Cardinals. That close call is talked about to this day and how close we came to the end of the world as we know it and so few people in this world were ever aware of it. Fortunately I as a neutral party was able to broker peace and avoid a total meltdown among the warring parties. So you can thank me for the reprieved from that one but should it happen again that these two teams make it to the World Series I make no promises.
Dedicated to Teresa Goodman Martin
Melissa looked down at her friend as she put the finishing touches on her handiwork. Callie was beginning to stir so Melissa hurried while she made sure that everything was perfect. Callie was beginning to moan as Melissa stepped back to admire her labor. Yes, it should work. Melissa jumped when Callie open her eyes and attempted to lunge at her.
Melissa cautiously stepped a little closer to her friend. “I’m sorry Callie. I only promised I wouldn’t kill you like I did the others. But Callie, I have to make sure you can never come after me.”
Melissa was interrupted by her friend growling through the gag as she again attempted to lunge at her.
“Now come on Callie don’t be that way. You knew that one way or the other I would stop you. I have to say though, trying to get that rebar tied to you in such a way to keep you from being able to move wasn’t easy but I do think it was a stroke of genius on my part. I mean, running it along your spine and then binding each of your arms and legs to a piece, well you are totally immobile. I have to admit I was scared out of my mind that you would open your eyes before I was finished.”
Melissa notice how Callie was looking at her with nothing but hate and loathing in her eyes, well there was something else there but Melissa didn’t want to concentrate on that part.
“Look Callie, I said I would never kill you and technically I’m not. You will simply starve and then after a while if no one ever finds you, not that it would do you any good if they did, you will simply decompose. I guess the animals could come and feast on your flesh but I have tried to keep that from happening. I really do hate this hon but that is just the way it is. It’s you or me girl and I choose me. At least I have no intention of sticking a match to you or anything like that, although I probably should. It would be quicker.”
Callie’s rage was evident in the long drawn out snarl she directed at her one time friend.
“Come on Callie don’t be that way, you know I had to do this. Anyway, I got to go. I’ve already hung around longer than I had planned. You know with what I do, what you did, we could never hang around one place too long. I have to be on my way Callie.”
The only response to Melissa this time was a low moan.
Melissa gathered up her things and started to walk away and then turned back toward her friend one last time.
“Callie I really do hope you don’t suffer long and I really hate that you got bit by that last one. At least we did kill the damn thing. You know as well as I do, the only good zombie is a dead zombie and well, now you’re a zombie.”
Catchy title right? I have a friend who is also a writer and when we get to talking we can hit upon some crazy topics. We recently had a conversation on a media site that one person responded to with, “You two scare me just hearing you talk about your books. lol.”
Here’s the kicker, we weren’t necessarily talking about our books. This is the way we talk. We’re both lovers of anything horror. Yes, we write horror. Is it good? We’ve both been told we are but that is the opinion of some and I’m sure not all. I have actually one had one bad review that I know of and as I wrote in an earlier blog, the name Steven King isn’t on my birth certificate. As for any bad reviews for the other writer, that up to her to disclose whether or not she has any but I doubt it, the only thing I’ll say outside I love reading her stuff is that no one is safe where she goes. You like that character and think it is a main one, oops, they meet a bloody end quick. No joke this lady has one scary mind. Here is a funny little tidbit about her, she spooks easily. I love it. She can have a monster, spook, or crazy person come out of nowhere and mangle and murder its victim but she quickly can scare herself.
Back to the title. Where that came from was that conversation that prompted the statement from the other friend.
My friend. “Thank you. We are so similar, we think alike. I am still smiling over our discussing the Pink Roses. You said a little blood? I said oh of course! Like most people would offer a little cream in coffee or tea! Lmao! Only us Cathy as though that conversation was perfectly normal. I went back and reread dying laughing at us. Our friendship is invaluable to me.”
Me. Honey blood is like sugar and cream to us. Hell blood is what you make desert out of and I drain it like the hot water from noodles.”
We can both laugh at our conversations but sometimes we both wonder if there is something a little screwed up in our brains. I mean what we do to some of the characters we give birth to is not pretty. Yes it probably has all been done before but I love doing it from the victim’s perspective and hell my friend just loves killing people. Oh what started this last conversation was her tripping over one of our other ones and it sent her into laughter.
Deb you are my friend, my colleague, my sounding board, and at times my mentor. Thank you for coming into my life. You have been a gift from above.
The young boy pulled the rifle close to his shoulder and looked down the barrel as he led the bird in the sights, the bird making its path across the distant sky unaware of the boy or his gun. His little finger carefully tightened on the trigger and took his shot. The bird stopped mid-flight and tumbled to the earth. The little boy watched this as if it were in slow motion. He did it, he had brought down his first kill. The boy turned and looked up at his father as if expecting to get praise for what he had just done but his father was silent.
The man had stood behind his son watching him take the shot. Now he looked down into the face of his small son and knew what had to come next. This young eight year old child was about to be taught the hardest lesson in his young life. The rustling of the brush made by the dog sounded like the deep haunting toll of some far away bell. The man took a deep breath as the dog returned with the bird in its mouth.
The boy wondered why his father hadn’t said anything. Had he done something wrong? Now it was him watching as his father picked up the lifeless bird that the dog had dropped at his feet.
The man took a deep breath. “Son how do you fix this?”
“I don’t understand.” The confusion of the child evident all over his young face.
“How do you fix this? How do you make this bird well and make it fly again?” The man tried to keep the tears from breaking through as he looked at the child.
“I can’t.” The boy now felt like he had done something wrong.
“That’s the point Son. When you pick up a gun and pull the trigger you can never take it back. You can never fix it when you take a life. That’s what you have to remember. Never aim that gun or any gun at something you don’t mean to kill. Life is precious son, all life. Even this bird. This bird will feed us tonight but never kill just for the sake of killing. Someday Son you might even have to pick up a gun to protect your life, your family, even your country but be sure that if you do that you have no other choice. Most important, make sure you can live with what you’ve done afterwards. Do you understand?”
Unlike his father the boy wasn’t as successful at holding back the tears that now burned a streak down his tiny little face.
“Let’s go home Son.”
The man whistled for the dog who had been exploring the surrounding area and turned toward the house. Placing his hand on the boy’s shoulder the man lifted his head skyward while one lone tear managed break loose and slip down his face.
Although this story is fictional it is based on what my husband’s father did the first time Buddy made his first kill and yes he was about eight years old. Buddy’s father may have been a hunter but he knew the value of life. In everything Buddy’s father taught him he taught him well. He also served in WWII.
I was never fortunate enough to meet this remarkable man because he died a couple of years before Buddy and I met. I think he and I would have liked one another. I know not meeting him was my loss. This is dedicated to Mr. Matthews. Thank you for raising the wonderful man I married.
I was sure I had shared this at some point with everyone. The story of the chocolate donut. Now we aren’t talking about any chocolate donut but MY CHOCOLATE DONUT.
Yes that had to be capitalized. You see I have only a few real weaknesses. I still love a good Moon Pie on occasion, a great cup of coffee in the morning, I’m a sucker for well-made bruschetta, and a chocolate donut on very rare occasions. That last one is something I truly don’t indulge in often at all. Once or twice a year if that. So I can only say at this point I find that my actions in the following tale of someone else’s stupidity totally justified if it is honestly what happened.
I was standing in line at a local donut shop waiting my turn patiently and behaving myself as the person who was waiting on customers took care of the gentleman in front of me, yes he was young and attractive, knowing that she would soon turn to me. I watched as she took his two plain sugar glazed donuts, yes I said two and not two dozen, and placed them ever so carefully in a nice little box and handed it oh so gently into the man’s waiting hand.
Finally she turned to me. I start out my order with a chocolate covered éclair, yes that is my true weakness, four chocolate covered donuts, and eight assorted types of the little sugar bombs that none of us need to be eating and paid for them. To my absolute horror this crazy b*^&h proceeds to pull out a large paper bag carelessly jerks up the éclair and drops it like a rock into this huge white paper sack. Oh no this bitch didn’t just do that. Now up till now all that is giving away my horror at this obvious disrespect for me and the éclair and donuts was the look of stunned shock on my face and my mouth hanging open to my knees. At this point my ire came boiling over and I let lose the wrath of indignation. Smoke came billowing out my ears, the flames of hell spouted forth from my nostrils, and the blazing rays of death shot from my eyes.
“NOOO, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?”
The place went totally silent, every pair of eyes turned in my direction. A couple of people actually got up and moved toward the door.
“YOU TAKE THAT LUMP YOU JUST DROPPED INTO THAT BAG AND THROW IT INTO THE GARBAGE OR WHATEVER YOU WANT TO DO WITH IT AND YOU GET A LARGE BOX OUT AND YOU PUT EVERY ONE OF THE DONUTS AND ECLAIRE FACE UP IN THAT BOX AND YOU DO IT GENTLY AND CAREFULLY.”
A couple more people stood up and moved toward the door.
This now cowed creature did as she was told and handed me the box hesitantly never once opening her mouth. I took my box and left the store.
Now the actual details of how that went down I’m relating as my daughter, who was with me, relayed it to her dad after we got home. I wasn’t aware that I had done anything out of the way or even raised my voice and informed Gina of this.
“Mom the windows shook in that place when you let loose on that woman.” She wasn’t smiling but was wearing a look of real concern.
Now I think she is exaggerating the whole thing because I simply do not believe that my inner demon managed to make it out that morning but I have to say that on occasion she does raise her little head when she feels she has something to say but come on really. I shook the windows?
Gina to this day stands by her account of that incident and refuses to retract it. That story now gets told every time she is with me and someone says something about what a nice person I am and that happens quite often.
If Gina is with me when that happens she always responds, “So long as you don’t mess with her chocolate covered donuts.”
I have tried to stay out of the whole politic thing because my opinion, no matter what it is, does not and should not matter to the world as a whole. If you live in the same house as me then that’s another story.
What is happening now makes it impossible for me to keep my mouth shut. If you are a Trump supporter, you won. Your man made it. Now show some grace and dignity and stop with the ugly post. If you are on the other side of the fence cut the crap and lose the gloom and doom post. Neither side is helping the situation. Right now we all need to work to heal the country. If you want to make changes now is the time to roll up your sleeves and go to work. Stop expecting the people you elect to do it for you.
Trump was elected and that is something everyone has to live with whether you like it or not. If you don’t, start now to change it the next election. If you do support him then prove he is the best man for the job and hold his feet to the fire and make him return jobs to this country, do something about health care that works and not just do away with what is in place. You may not like everyone in this country but if you want equality then make sure it applies not to just you but the man next door or the woman down the street no matter what they look like or what they believe or how they feel about another person. OK, if they want to hurt someone in this country then that’s another story, but even then due process.
This country is standing on a precipice and whether or not we pull it back or let it go over the edge is up to each individual and we all have to do our part to fix this. So come on people and let’s do what the politicians haven’t been able to in a long time. REACH ACROSS THAT TABLE and let’s show them how it’s done. Set the example and let’s make it a good one.
The book is finally finished and has been published through Smashwords in eBooks. It was accepted into the premium Catalog. This has been a long process and at times not only tiring, hard, and even volatile. Yes it wasn’t without a few meltdowns, me included. There has been laughter, tears, anger, and most of all joy. A group of people from all over the world came together (authors, artist, photographers, and many others) and made this happen. I’m so proud of what these wonderful people have done. They are supper and I love each and every one of them.
Something in the Shadows An Anthology of Horror Stories is the result of what people can do if they come together and work through the problems, issues, and let’s face it differences to create something special. To all of you again thank you for all your hard work and patience.
You can find the book under any of the author’s names or see all the authors by simply searching for the book title Something in the Shadows An Anthology of Horror Stories.
What also has to be mentioned here is the group as a whole. The Creative Evil Female Mind and Other Evil Geniuses is a fabulous group of people who have worked hard and put up with all the crap we sometimes put them through. Thank you all for being the fabulous and wonderful people you are even if we are all a little twisted.
The book will be released in paperback with a week to ten days so be watching everyone and again the authors are;
D. K. Mason who has thrilled readers with her books for a while now. No one is safe with her.
Amber C Carlyle brings a new meaning to dark creepy places.
Cathy Pace Matthews, all I can say there is she is warped.
Gary Jefferies has a way of walking you down the English countryside that will give you chills or introduce you to a new bug.
J. A. Kyser will take you on some diabolical trips that will leave you shivering.
Mary Dunaway has a way of telling a simple story that will give you chills while pulling at your heart strings.
Patricia Knight is such a sweet person and yet she scares the hell out of me.
S. J. Lucas is someone to really watch. She has a way of telling a story that will give you nightmares.
Sitarra LullaDIEs Sefton, well if she comes knocking at your door don’t answer it. This is one scary lady.
You all have heard of him, you know the wonderful guy I'm married to. The one and only Buddy. Yes him. Buddy is the he to which I am referring.
We are of course out of town. I am now sitting at the little store/restaurant where I did some of my writing on the first book.
We got to his families old farm Friday. Who cares right?
Sorry but I had to check out for a few minutes and am now sitting on the big front porch of the old home place. Meaning the family farm and not some nursing facility.
Back to the story. We were about to head out to Perkins Mini Mart (store/restaurant) yesterday morning when Buddy informed me he had bought a tracker. The following is a pretty good demonstration of how the whole conversation went down.
"Oh, I bought a tractor." Buddy said.
"You did what?" I was flabbergasted.
"I bought a tractor."
"Because I wanted one." Was Buddy's reply with a sheepish grin on his face.
"When?" I'm still trying to take this all in.
First we live in a fairly large city in a smallish house that sits on a relatively small piece of land. There isn't enough room to turn a tractor around little on be able to use one of those darn things.
"Where?" I saw all kinds of logistic issues with this right off the bat.
"In Cape." At this point you can see the look of confusion on Buddy's face at my lack of enthusiasm.
"I suppose we now have to pick up said tractor and haul it home?"
"Yes." Buddy's confusion is increasing by the minute now.
"And just how do you propose we do that pray tell?" I realize that my confusion must be as apparent as Buddy's at this point.
"We'll just put it in the back of the truck."
"Are you saying it will fit in the back of the truck?"
"Well yes, of course it will."
A little light of comprehension comes on in my brain. "Oh you bought a riding lawn mower?"
"No I bought a tractor." Buddy appeared to be insulted by my label of his new toy.
Now you might think the story should be about over and not much more to convey at this point. Oh no, no, no, no, no.
After breakfast we head off in pursuit of this, God only know what, and the adventure begins.
I now know why men get lost and why they don't stop and ask for directions. They neither know how to follow or how to give them, but I digress.
Trying to follow this guys directions, or Buddy's way of writing or verbally recounting them, was less than helpful.
Anyway after searching high and low for this guys house we finally locate the elusive place and we finally arrive at our destination. We now own a glorified riding lawn mower. Actually it is a John Deer and Buddy says it's a lawn tractor. If he wants to continue to call it a tractor then so be it I'm not about to take his fun away.
Now it's the end of the story right? NO.
We load the lawn mower/tractor into the back of the truck and head home. No there weren't any incidents on the way home. We got back to the farm safe and sound with no incidents what so ever. Now this is where the story really begins.
Buddy decided he is going to take this piece of machinery for a run around the yard. No biggie. He gets the ramps out, for some reason he puts the hood up on the truck at this point but I haven't had the nerve to ask why, and hops up into the bed of the pickup. He cranks that little bad boy up and starts backing it down. This next part I will never understand.
I'm sitting on the front porch at this point and from where I'm sitting I can only see the top of the cab of the truck and the raised hood. You'll understand why this is important to the story shortly.
About half way down one of the ramps breaks in half right smack dab in the center. Now this should have caused, at this point Ill just call it the tractor, to go tumbling off the back of the truck right? Again no.
Now for the good part. When that ramp broke the front of the truck went skyward while the tail gate of the damn thing made contact with the ground. The moment that the said tractor was firmly on the ground the front end of the truck fell back to earth with a resounding thud and the hood came crashing down. Instead of the damn thing tumbling over and pinning him underneath he somehow manages to get that damn thing to land on all four wheels just like a cat landing on it's four feet. Needless to say it scared the crap out of me and left Buddy visibly shaken.
After I managed to put all my nerves back where they belonged I called a friend. You would think her first concern would have been is Buddy OK, did it damage anything, or are you all right. Once more I must answer you with a resounding no. Her major response was did you get it on video.
Do what? No I didn't get it on video because the last thing I expected was for Buddy to manage to put his Dodge Ram Hemi with mega cab on it's ass and it's nose turned skyward. Note to self, in future be sure to always carry a camera and have it ready to go anytime Buddy decides to do something that might result in some similar situation. Oh crap I'll be carrying a camera all the time.
I've revised this because when I first wrote it I left out an important fact. Buddy and my anniversary is May 1. We go to the farm every year on that date to celebrate because we were married on the farm. Last year we weren't able to go on the actual date so this was our anniversary trip. The reason I mention this now is because it later occurred to me that the man damn near gave me a heart attach on our anniversary trip. Happy Anniversary Sweetheart here's a heart attach.
The Fairy Prince
He sat alone at his desk looking at the screen of his computer. He lived in a world apart from others. He left his tower of solitude every two weeks and only because he like everyone else had errands and he had no desire to die of starvation or do without the day to day necessities of life. He might live alone and rarely ever mingled with others but he still had to live with himself and like all other people he had a nose and he didn’t want to offend his own senses any more than he wanted to offend others.
Of course when he went out it was on four wheels instead of two legs but that wasn’t the reason he kept himself separated from the rest of the physical world. Yes he had lost his legs in a horrible accident many years before but the real pain that he carried with him was the loss of the woman he had loved since high school. He had lost her the same day he had lost the use of his legs. Of course the biggest loss had been the loss of the sweet little girl who had been the result of his love for his lady. That sweet little angel that had been the center of his and his wife’s world and his whole world had crumbled and vanished as if it had all been a beautiful dream. He had awaken to a cold hard reality that he had never been able to face. He had retreated into his own little prison more and more as time went on.
As he looked at the screen in front of him he felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time. He felt the stirrings of something warm in his heart. He had become someone who lived through social media where he could keep people at a safe distance without them truly touching the softest parts of his soul. Oh he cared about several of the people he talked with regularly but without the personal contact with them he managed to keep his emotions in check and his delicate heart protected.
Now something new had been added, a small child. Over the past several months he had looked at the photos of that sweet little face and thought what a beautiful child. A small tiny little girl way too small for her years who somehow seemed to always be smiling. The little girl’s grandmother had told him that she was pretty much that way all the time. It didn’t seem to affect her that she had been born with certain physical problems, she continued to smile and never seemed to understand there were things she couldn’t do. Like him this little girl was in a wheelchair but she still found so much in life to laugh at and explore.
Her grandmother had posted a new video of this precious child. The child’s mother was holding her in her arms and spinning her around and around under a blooming tulip poplar tree. Well to be honest it was a purple magnolia but it didn’t really matter what you called it. The tree was in bloom and the sun was shining on it in a way that it gave the tree a bright golden glow as if it were lite from within the branches and looked almost otherworldly. The petals of the blooms were falling as if by some wind that was coming straight down from the heavens above were making it look as if the purple petals of the blooms were in fact raining down. The soft delicate petals appeared to dance in the air around the mother and child as the woman continued to turn with the small girl in her arms. The child had her arms held straight our and had her head thrown back letting the delicate material fall on her face and then float off appearing to dance around her little head. She laughed as her mother continued to spin and the sound was a soft musical sound that reminded him of the most delicate bells you could imagine.
The more and more he had watched the video the more the petals had looked less and less like the parts of dying flowers and more and more like the fluttering wings of fairies and they were paying homage to the child as if she was their little queen. Toward the end of the video he would have sworn the mother disappeared and the little girl looked like she was floating in air suspended by all the little purple winged fairies that were her loyal subjects. The golden glow from the sun reflecting off the tree appeared to grow even brighter. The effect of the sunlight made the little queen looked as if she were dressed in flowing golden robes that spiraled and fluttered in the air as the girl continued her midair ballet. Her long dark hair was animated by her mother spinning her but the force that was driving the petals down caused the child’s hair to fan out as if too were being played with by a gentle breeze.
When he had watched the video the first time he had imagined he saw something that he knew wasn’t possible. He had to watch it again to see if his mind would pick up the same whimsical images and somehow knowing that he would. After he had viewed it the second time he had slammed the top shut on his laptop not believing what he had just see. If possible it had taken on an even more surreal appearance as the mother disappeared even quicker the second time he watched it and the petals from the flowers appeared to pair up and tiny little bodies had formed and joined the two. The golden glow looked as if it now showered the child in golden fairy dust that clung to the child’s skin, hair, and her shimmering golden garments. The third time the mother disappeared almost from the beginning and everything else that he knew couldn’t be there became more pronounced.
The man had watch that video now more times than he could count and every time the magical world he saw became more defined and more real than anything he had ever seen in the real world. The first time he had watched it was two days ago and the past two nights when he had fallen asleep he had dreamed of that child who now ran through open fields and danced in the wind. She always seemed to be calling to him to come and run and play with her. When he would wake in the morning it had been with regret and he felt an even bigger loss than he had ever felt before. The sadness of losing the feeling of the wind on his face as he followed the little fairy queen into her world of magic, wonder, and freedom was like falling back to earth and landing with a bone jarring thud. Finding himself back in his utilitarian apartment would make him feel like his heart was being ripped from his chest as he opened his eyes. This morning he had awakened to a new pain. A pain that was physical and was centered in his shoulder blades and left him almost paralyzed by the sheer force of it.
Now he sat in his wheelchair looking at his bed and was torn between returning to the magical world of the video and his dreams and fearing what new agony might accompany his waking in the morning. He wanted to go back to that land of dreams where he would run and fly and follow his little queen with all her other subjects but he was also afraid. Was he losing his mind and what did he do in his sleep that was causing him even more pain than he normally endured. He realized the pain, no matter how severe it was, was worth those hours of freedom and joy he experienced in his sleep.
He moved himself into position to relocate himself from his chair to his bed and settled in. He wanted to go to sleep. He wanted that other world even if it were just a dream. That dream world had become his heaven, his idea of the total separation from the cold world he lived in and the cruelty of his memories. He closed his eyes and soon was asleep and almost immediately he was first running and then flying through the air in pursuit of his golden clad queen as she led him and all the others through the beautiful world they occupied. He ran farther and faster than he had before and when he took flight he flew higher. Sometime somewhere he thought he heard something in the far off distance but he paid no attention to it. He continued to run and fly. He laughed and played and realized he was nothing more than a small boy himself. He decided he would stay here forever and never go back to that other place.
They didn’t find the man’s body for several days because he didn’t go out much and he didn’t interact with many people. He had lain in his bed undisturbed until his landlord hadn’t heard anything from his apartment in almost a week and became worried about his quiet tenant. When he was found he was lying on his back with his arms outstretched as if he were flying and there was still evident a look of total peace and almost happiness on his face even though his body had become bloated from death and was showing the advanced stages of decomposition.
Books by Cathy Pace Matthews
Blood Lines The Curse
Blood Lines Buried Treasure
Blood Lines Family Ties
Journey Into Nightmares
Something in the Shadows
An Anthology of Horror Stories
by a group of very talented writers