She wrote fictional horror stories. Or were they?
| It was a dark and stormy night. The headlights collapsed before the thick wall of impenetrable fog. The car scraped the guard rail and she jerked reflexively away as the rain pummeled against the weak and wounded volkswagen.
She tossed the manuscript away disgusted. She couldn't believe anybody would be so lame as to start with the proverbial dark and stormy night. She watched as the flames caressed one another in the stone fireplace. Reaching for her fourth coca-cola of the evening, she considered just grabbing her favorite red pen and scratching a C on the paper and not bothering to read any further. Her conscience nipped at her like the rambunctious German Shepard pup that was chewing on the edge of the fringed rug. She should read to the end. Picking up the manuscript once again she opened it to the last page.
Then, looking in the mirror she realized that there was no reflection. It all came back to her. These people were not ghosts. She was. That stormy night she had gone off the cliff. That was her grave she had been at. She screamed a mournful scream and felt herself being drawn away into the nevermore.
Egads. OK. That was quite enough. She grabbed the pen again and marked a very polite C- which was very generous to her way of thinking. Pulling the plaid throw over her short pudgy legs she settled back into the recliner popping another Milk Dud in her mouth. She chewed happily, feeling her teeth stick together, as a faint whisper of something about blood sugar wisped across her consciousness.
She glanced at the stack of manuscripts she had already waded through. All of them written eagerly by optimistic young authors, none of whom had a lick of sense or talent. On the far wall stood a mahogony bookshelf holding her numerous volumes of horror and mystery books she had authored. She had been flattered being approached to host the symposium at the national writers conference. She liked the attention. She arranged one listless brown hair behind her rather over-sized ear automatically pushing the thick eyeglasses back onto her pug nose.
In interviews they made her out to be a ghoul. Where do you get your ideas? Do you ever scare yourself? Do you have nightmares? What absolute dribble. She would tell them the truth. They never believed her. She pulled herself up into a sitting position, potato chip crumbs from earlier falling onto the floor and the overzealous puppy bounding to lick them up. She put all the manuscripts into her briefcase ready to be returned tomorrow. She took the plastic off the recently dry-cleaned suit. She hated them, but felt it gave her a more dignified look.
Her deadline for the next novel was in three days and she had not yet started. It was time to deal with it. She slipped into her worn flip-flops. The puppy whined and piddled excited at the prospect of a walk. She ignored him. Grabbing her keys she set the alarm locking the door after her. It was a dark and gloomy night. A smile almost crossed her thin drawn lips at the thought. Almost.
It was a short drive to the large rusty fence. She knew it would take a bit of effort to open and that it would creak in the night, the way she had heard creaking doors in those horrid butcher films on t-v. Flopping up to the gate with an uneven cadence she took a deep breath, focused, and shoved the gate which swung open with a loud groaning creak and a bang as it flew against the concrete wall. Well, that should wake the dead. This time a full smile did, indeed, cross her plain face.
She hoped the dramatics would be subdued and knew that it was a useless hope. Walking up to the crypt she stood among the graves. There were many ghosts here yet earthbound, but they were hardly worth her notice. She stood in the same spot she always did, pulling a small flask out of her pocket. Opening it, she flung the vile smelling fluid against the tomb, her voice booming as much as it could, "elaytu vasuva etad manomy!" The words vibrated in the quietness of the cemetery. She tapped one foot impatiently. It was becoming a bore having to deal with this insolence. Once again, this time with a deathly quiet, she menacingly whispered, "elaytu vasuva etad manomy."
A wind formed from nowhere growing stronger, whipping the trees, leaves flying everywhere. Then the rumbling began. Deafening and menacing, louder and louder. The gray mist began to form itself into a shape that only in a nightmare could be considered human. Red eyes glowed out of the mist and a cavernous mouth filled with jagged teeth and drool appeared.
The air filled with a high-pitched scream. She turned and looked behind her. Two foolish teenagers semi-clothed and terrified were staring at her. Oh well, wrong place, wrong time. The Flaming eyes focused on them and a tendoned, unskinned arm pointed in their direction. The shrieks dissipated as the souls were ripped out of their bodies and held in the outstretched hand.
"I hope you are done playing now. She chided. You know what I need. What have you got for me?"
The demon rose up menacing. She pointed one short finger at it and it settled again. It pulled something up from the earth below and a twisted, screaming, corpse appeared begging for Mercy.
"Tell all" the cavernous voice growled. "Tell all and you will be spared." The flesh was bubbling and burning off the corpse as it screamed in torment, only to reappear and be burned off once again. One eyeball boiled and burst only to reappear once again. "Speak!"
The damned began to speak. Telling of the horror of its demise, the treachery, the sadistic pleasure in which it had lived its life. Meanwhile, the puppy barked and growled as a keyboard began to rapidly type and a printer chugged to life pulling through sheet after sheet of paper, spilling her next blockbuster novel out onto the floor.
"Good." she nodded her head in approval. She walked away past the two young bodies. She looked longingly at the young supple body of the female. Such a pity. This dilapidated thing she was using now was pathetic. However, it had been necessary at the time to take what was available. Looking at the young man's femur, she grabbed his ankle and placed her foot on his hip gave a huge twist. There was a sickening pop as the flesh was torn and ripped from the body. Then she stepped on the dangling foot and again gave a powerful twist leaving the ankle and foot lying in the mud.
On the way home, she stopped at McDonalds for three cheeseburgers and two large fries. She had worked up an appetite. Letting herself into her place, she waited for her restless hound to slide across the oak floor in front of her. Then she handed him his new bone. "Here you go Hannibal, a bit of a snack just for you." It was bigger than him, but he managed to pull it across the floor to his favorite place under the antique table where he proceeded to rip and tear at the flesh chewing happily.
She kicked off her shoes and relaxed back into the recliner grabbing another coke. There was still some blood on her hands and she licked it off enjoying the full deep taste of it. She found the remote and clicked on the television. Letterman was on. That was good. She enjoyed him. She chewed relishing the taste of the hamburger and wished she had bought five.
She would have to put this body to rest soon. It was old and wouldn't take her through the day without putting it down.
Tomorrow was another interview. She would tell them she sold her soul to the Devil and that is where her ideas came from and they would laugh at her and ask, "no, really, where do your ideas come from." She would pause, then smile, and say the damned only knew. And they did.