Posts Tagged With: curse words!

The Dreamer in his den (7)

*Part 7*

As the monolith dragged himself back into the dusty corners, presumably to find a broom and dustpan, Rowan gave Rolly a shove. He’d been rooted in place, only swiveling his head from Mara, to Rufus, to Galbreith’s retreating form, back to Mara. The shove brought him back to himself in a hurry.

“Fuck off,” he threw at Rowan, stepping forward and holding out a hand to pull Mara to her feet and into his arms. He brushed kisses against her temple, tightened his hold when he felt her shaking. She clutched at his arm, rather painfully, with one hand and reached up to massage the bruises on her neck with the other. “Are you okay baby?”

She nodded. “Yeah,” she answered in a hoarse whisper. “Fine. Hurts, though.” She coughed. “Like, shit, it really hurts. Ow.”

He rounded on Rowan. “Did you get your funnies, Rowan? You happy now?”

She lifted a shoulder, let it drop. “I’m never happy and that’s always funny. Not gonna say I’m sorry, if that’s what you’re waiting for. I told you he couldn’t kill her, so….” she let the word peter out, letting him know how much she didn’t care one way or the other.

“Ahem.” Rufus didn’t clear his throat, he literally said the word ‘ahem’. It probably would have been amusing under less dire circumstances. “Since you are already here, in my hallway standing idly with your Rowan, I suppose that you’ve got to take these last few all important steps and get some answers for yourself, yes?”

“Why do you keep calling her our Rowan?” Mara asked him.

Without answering, Rufus turned and disappeared into the gloom behind them, through a plain archway, plainly confident they would follow. He was right, of course, because how could they not?

They entered a cavernous room that was mostly empty, soaring ceilings, windows the size of a barn looking out into a dark night that probably wasn’t the one they were used to seeing. There was one cozily appointed corner, nestled away to their left. A fire burned merrily in greens and blues with licks of yellow to add light to the heat, and Rufus led them towards the furniture arranged around in a semi-circle, as oversized as the room that surrounded it.

Mara climbed onto the cushions of a sofa and turned to sit, legs sticking almost comedically straight out like a toddler sitting at the grown table. Rolly slid in beside her, and Rowan beside him. She returned his glare with a winsome smile, marred slightly by the blackened gums and slightly pointed teeth that he hadn’t noticed until they were nearly face to face.

He opted to look back towards Rufus rather than examine them more closely.

Three expectant faces were now staring at the man who stood, in a fancy purple dressing gown, holding his hands out to the flames, spreading his fingers until they bent almost backward. Fingertip by fingertip, they alighted, his hand a living, terrifying birthday wish in the making. He held them up under his chin as he pivoted to face them, backlighting his face into the grotesque visage of campfire horror stories everywhere.

“Welcome to your nightmare.” He paused for a moment. “Mwah-ha-ha.” He paused for another moment. “I try to pretend that I do that to be funny, but in truth I do wish that I was capable of maniacal laughter. No matter. The nightmare thing, however. This being your nightmare? That is reality. This reality, anyway, where it appears that your Rowan has brought you without your consent, and before I tell you what there is for me to tell you, I believe that first she should explain herself.”

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Categories: Fiction, The Dreamer's Chronicle | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

The house that wasn’t there (5)

*Part 5*

She couldn’t have been more than ten feet away from them, the ravaged little girl with the dirty sneakers whose toes dug back into the porch to set the swing cricking. The wicked grin still split her face, and it wasn’t the wicked kind of grin that spoke of naughty but frivolous insouciance, it was the kind of wicked grin that said that wicked secrets were barely hidden behind it and if they jumped out and yelled boo you’d be far beyond startled.

Mara took an instinctive step forward while Rolly took one back. He grabbed for her arm and missed, grudgingly stepping forward with her. The closer they got, though, the wider the grin grew until it was a rictus of inhuman proportions and wicked transformed to grotesque. Mara shuddered, but took one more step. “Are you the one who was humming in our house?” she asked, almost demanded. “I heard you, just now.”

The girl’s mouth stretched ever wider and as the humming began again, her jaw unhinged, dropping almost to her chest while she tilted the top of her head up and back, creating a maw from which the sound emerged, faster and faster until it was one long incoherent buzzing. She stood, stick legs ramrod straight, arms stretching overhead, opening wide, encompassing their nightmare.

The buzzing set Rolly’s teeth on edge, rattled his brain in his skull, and frankly made him want to piss his pants. This was bad acid trip shit, this was not a random Thursday night dalliance less than an hour after he’d been peacefully sleeping after a rousing bout of love making. He felt a part of himself detach from the impossible reality in front of him and left the other part of him cowering in a corner, gibbering about demons and smelling of urine.

“Stop it!” he yelled, and boy did he mean it. If that unbearable sound continued for one more second he was going to lose his shit. Oddly enough, the girl stopped. A head still shaped like a badly peeled hard-boiled egg twisted around on her neck and those berserk eyes focused like lasers directly on his face. She croaked at them. “Welcome, Rolly. Welcome, Mara.”

The definition of the word and the circumstance in which it was delivered could not have been farther apart on the spectrum of meaning and intent. They were not welcome, this broken face said to them, they were interlopers of the highest regard. Here they were anyway, though, so she may as well play the game.

“Enough, I’ve had enough of this,” Mara stated. “You came to us, you came into our home, and you brought us out here. It was our bedtime, goddamn it! Now I’ve had ENOUGH of your SHIT!”

Crackling gravelly laughter rolled off a tongue that lolled out like a deflated balloon. Noise was still travelling differently; it reached the ears of the people meant to hear it, delivered directly and petering out to the sides, waves breaking against rocks. There was a lazy shimmer around the outline of the girl and, with no in-between, she stood before them, whole and unbent. Her body was that of an underfed 12 year old, and her head was cartoonish, perfectly round and too large for her neck. Giant, hollowed out black rimmed eyes took up half of her kitten shaped face and her mouth, when normal, was thin lipped and prone to sneering.

“My name is Marchessa. Marquisa? Francine. Francesca. Molly? I don’t know, I usually make one up on the spot, but I seem to be having difficulty settling at the moment.” The wicked grin flashed, snake in the grass fast. “What say you? What would you like to call me? No, not that, that’s not nice at all.”

Mara glanced at Rolly, who shrugged. “I thought Morticia Queen of the Damned was apt, sue me.”

“Kelly,” the girl decided. “For now, you may call me Kelly. Be warned, this may change at any moment and without prior notice or approval.” A pause. “No, Kelly’s stupid. I’ll be Rowan. Because it’s funny and ironic. Call me Rowan.” She held out a hand behind her and the front door opened, with a satisfying screech. “Would you like to come in?”

***

pssst…There be gargoyles in that there house…

Categories: Fiction, The Dreamer's Chronicle | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Nobody here but us chickens (4)

*Part 4*

There were no handles on the doors in front of them, so Rolly just flattened a palm against the glass and gave it an experimental push. The door started to move, but before it could open he removed his hand and wiped it on his pants. “Feels greasy,” he said. Lips sneering in distaste he did it again, and pushed until the door swung all the way out. There was no resistance.

They took their first foray into this odd dreamscape in lockstep, he clutching the strap of the duffel slung over his shoulder, her wielding the large flashlight like a club.

The fog was thicker than it had seemed from inside. While it was still moving, it was also leaving little gobs and globules of itself strung from storefronts and clogging gutters. As they took slow, small steps, their eyes roved constantly, up down and sideways.

“There’s nobody here but us chickens,” Rolly said quietly.

“You shouldn’t say that,” Mara whispered back.

“Baby, we can’t lie to ourselves. Until we see something to the contrary, we have to assume we’re running solo on this.”

“No, I know. I meant the chicken thing.”

“I shouldn’t say the chicken thing?”

“Yes, you shouldn’t say the chicken thing. It was part of a racist joke in the 1900’s, and the saying just stuck.”

“How the hell do you know that?”

“I Googled it one time. What? I was curious where it came from, that’s what Google’s for.”

“I love you, Mara.”

“I know baby, I love you too.”

They’d come to a corner, a corner that should ostensibly have been the corner of Fitch and Franklin, but most definitely was not that corner any longer. Mara stopped walking and stood, rocking back and forth from heel to toe, and really looked around. There was an unseemly, unfinished quality to everything that she saw. It all appeared to be the idea of what it was supposed to look like, as opposed to the thing itself.

There were no details. The buildings that looked like stores had no signs, and you couldn’t see anything through the front windows, just a flat black reflection. She walked towards one, leaning closer and closer, waiting for her reflection to appear but it never did. She pressed a fingertip against it and noticed the same greasy feeling Rolly had complained of. It felt warm, though, which for some reason tripped her out even more than the lack of a reflection did.

She walked back to Rolly, where he was gazing off down the side street. “There’s not even any front doors on the houses. It’s like a little kid’s drawing. A disturbed little kid. Hey, like a disturbed little kid who would hum in someone’s fuckin ear while they were sleeping!” He seemed to feel he had had some sort of revelation. “What if all of this is her?”

“Her?”

“Well, yeah, I guess I just thought it sounded like a girl. Didn’t you?”

“Could’ve been, sure. For awhile they sound a lot alike though.” She rummaged in her pocket, pulled out a couple nickels and a hair elastic. Keeping a coin and shoving the rest of it back, she tossed it up and down a few times and then winged it right where a convergence of foggy particles were congealed. A tendril shot out and grabbed it, immediately flowing back into the main body of condensation.

“Holy SHIT, Rol! Did you see that?” She turned towards him, scared, excited, too full to be called anything but manic, possibly bordering on lunacy. “I thought it would bounce off, maybe, or, or, I don’t know, I wanted something to make a fucking noise, there’s no fucking noise, but it fucking caught the nickel, it caught it…” She trailed off because her mouth couldn’t catch up with her brain, which was okay because her brain was rapidly shutting down.

He gripped her hand, partly for comfort and partly because the terror of being so far out of anything remotely resembling a comfort zone was starting to strangle his will to keep exploring. “I gotta say there’s a part of me wishing we’d stayed inside, at least for a little bit longer.”

“Yeah, well, there was no point. Murdered in there, disemboweled out here, it’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure but every choice sucks balls.”

He genuinely laughed at that, but let it trail off because the sound just sort of dried up even as it appeared. Then she felt him freeze in place.

He rolled his eyes like a spooked horse, gesticulating wildly at something behind her without even moving, and she turned quickly.

There was a house on the corner now, where moments ago a blank storefront had stood. This house not only had a front door, it had a front porch and the front porch had a swing. The swing swung back and forth, a brittle ‘crick’ of the chain at each push, and each push came from beat up sneakers wrapped around little feet attached to skinny legs belonging to the startlingly gamine girl who sat on it.

She dragged her toes across the porch and slowed, slowed, slowed to a stop. She looked right at them, face splitting into a wicked grin.

“Laa, lalala, lala, laaaa….” she hummed.

*****

Author’s note – when I first jokingly thought about titling this post tonight, I did Google the origin of the saying ‘Nobody here but us chickens’ because I had no idea where it came from. I can’t guarantee that what I read is the last word of its origins, but it did say that it’s earliest known usage was as the punch-line of a racist joke in 1902. So, I left it in there, because it’s interesting as it’s not what I would have assumed it was and now I won’t it use anymore because it’s rude. TRIVIA!

Categories: Fiction, The Dreamer's Chronicle | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

The dreadful, clammy night (3)

*Part 3*

“There’s nothing new to be gained by this perspective, Mar,” said Rolly quietly, his head still stuck out into the night. “We can’t see all that much and I still can’t hear shit.”

Mara was already pulling on a pair of jeans. “I know, baby. I wanna go outside anyway, I really need to see if there are any other people around. I really want to talk to another person.” She did a shimmy and a jump and even under the exigent circumstances, Rolly forever enjoyed that moment where she yanked her jeans over her ass. “It’s no offense to you, if you weren’t here I’d be a fucking basket case, I just want a stranger to tell me I’m not stark raving.”

Rolly grabbed a pair of sweat pants off the back of a chair and sat to drag them on. “You wouldn’t be a basket case. You’d be a She-Hulk until you got everything under control. Ha, then you’d spend a month hiding under the covers and be a fucking basket case.”

“So what do you think we’re gonna find out there?,” she asked. “I can’t even guess. Like, are we crazy, like right around the corner everything’s all light and life and hunky-dory? Is everyone gone? What if everyone’s gone?”

Stamping heels into tennis shoes and zipping up a hoodie, he shrugged. “Dunno. They either are or they aren’t.” He dragged a giant sports duffel from under the bed and threw it on top of it. “I, however, am going to go with the assumption that there is a chance that outside of these walls there’s unfriendly shit. So, you’re going to go grab our ball bats. I’m going to grab the big flashlight, fuck it, and the little one too, and a kitchen knife.”

Mar stopped short on the way to the hall closet. “Rolly, seriously, a knife?” She looked towards the window, where no sound or movement floated. “Okay, fine, yes, a knife. I’ll throw in a couple bottles of water and some crackers, because who knows, maybe we don’t get to come back in.” Breezy words for a terrifying possibility. “But we’ll still look totally normal, so if we are the ones who somehow both devolved into lunatics trapped in the same delusion, no one will even be able to tell.” She smiled brightly and spun on a toe.

Rolly was trying to be rational in an irrational situation, which was commendable but also very easy to get wrong. For instance, you couldn’t ever stop remembering that there was no logic to fall back on, it was all spur of the moment calculation that could be undone by single moment’s hesitation. Ball bats, knives, and flashlights were all very good, but would they actually do any good? There was no way to tell, and better at least a sense of bravado than cowering.

Mara came back into the room with an armful of supplies. She tossed them down onto the bed for Rolly to pack as the man approached the endeavor like a real life game of Tetris. He could somehow fit the ability to live for a week into a bag that size; it was a bizarre gift.

“Okay,” he said. “We’re ready. Let’s go.”

As they walked towards the front door, Mara cleared her throat. “Uh, Rolly, I feel like I should tell you that when I went into the kitchen I heard the humming again. It was by the door.”

He glanced sideways at her but didn’t slow his stride. “Did it sound like an invitation or a warning?”

“A what? An invitation?” She thought about it for a second. “I really don’t know that it sounded like anything other than humming. It was the exact same sound we heard before.” Now they were in front of the door and she stopped with her hand on the deadbolt. They waited and listened, but there was no more humming, nothing at all in fact, stopping them from stepping out into the corridor, but still they hesitated a moment longer.

She turned the deadbolt. They waited. She snicked the chain lock off. They waited. As she reached for the lock button on the door handle, the humming came again.

“Laa, lalala, lala, laaaa….”, fading away, not as if the hummer was walking farther away, but as if the hummer was disappearing.

“Warning?” Rolly asked again. “Or invitation?”

“Doesn’t matter,” answered Mara, and turned the knob. She re-locked the door from outside, unsure whether she was protecting what was inside or defending herself from it, and whether or not such feeble security mattered anyway. Nothing for it, now.

From their first few steps into the hallway, they knew immediately that they were in fact the ones who were crazy. At least they were in it together.

It wasn’t their hallway. There were no patterns on the wallpaper, or the carpet, whereas theirs had geometric designs woven in. The stairs at the end of the hall had disappeared, replaced by a flat plane that led directly to a large, double front door that they didn’t recognize. The monotonous color scheme was unrelieved. What could loosely be called light was coming from tacky electric candles in tacky art deco holders on the walls.

Mara stepped closer to one of them, peering closely at the crude details. “Ugh. It’s a face.” She pulled Rolly over and pointed. “It’s a face, like an outline of a face. It is a decidedly unhappy face.”

The face hewn into the candleholder was indeed not a happy face. Quite the opposite, actually, seeming to indicate extreme suffering with just a few lines. Foreboding, that was the word for it. It boded of foes. They stepped back and walked forward once more.

She caught him staring at her again, and stared back confused. Then she shook her head. “Just say it, you moron.”

That stupid grin. “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”

“I’m glad you’ve got that out of your system, because we’re at the front door now, and our lot in life is not about to improve.” They both turned to look through the glass.

The world looked exactly as it had through their bedroom window. No color, no sound, no people. Nothing but mucky looking fog and bilious light from strangely shaped street lamps.

It wasn’t even their street anymore.

* * * *

Get ready for the real weirdness to start in the upcoming Part 4, There’s nobody here but us chickens. Haha, I don’t think that’s what I’m gonna call it, but it would fit and it made me laugh….

Categories: Fiction, The Dreamer's Chronicle | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

One can always dream…(1)

Rolly rolled over in bed with a disgruntled yank that pulled the blankets with him. “Jesus, Mara, what are you doing? Shut up.”

Mara poked her head around the bathroom door and stared at the bed. Rolly lay with his head facing away from her, completely alone, grumbling into his pillow about creepy little kids humming. She stifled a laugh and crept closer. Just as she raised her knee to slide into bed as quietly as she could, she froze, cocking her head to the side.

Angry now, Rolly rolled back in her direction. “Damn it! What is the matter with you!” Catching sight of her wide eyes gleaming in the mostly darkened room further away than they should have been, whatever he had been about to say next trailed off. “Mara?” He sounded unsure.

She slid the rest of the way into the bed next to him, leaning close to whisper. “It wasn’t me, Rol. I was in the bathroom, I heard you yelling. I thought you were talking in your sleep.” Before she could tell him that she had heard it, too, it happened again.

It sounded exactly like a creepy little kid humming.

Rolly was out of the bed, tripping over tangled blankets wrapped around his knees, and slapping at the light switch on the wall before Mara could figure out what direction the noise seemed to be coming from. The humming cut off abruptly. Wide eyed, he turned around to stare at her. “What the fuck, Mara? What in the actual fuck?”

She shrugged, ginger curls bobbing against her shoulders. She wasn’t really scared, not yet, but she was decidedly uncomfortable. “It sounded like it was coming from right here.” She was still whispering. She cleared her throat, and tried to continue in her normal voice. “It sounded like it was in bed with us.”

He held out a hand to her, and she took it, let herself be pulled up and across the floor, out of the room. Their fingers twined tightly as they walked with an oddly graceful nonchalance, no quick-stepping scaredy-cats here, no sirree. They took the few steps down to their sunken living room in one giant stride and turned the corner again into the catch all room. His computer, her yoga mat. His books, her comics. His Kuerig, her French press. He lifted their joined hands to stop her.

Mara reached out to shut the door but Rolly shook his head. No way in hell was something going to sneak up on them; he’d much rather watch a monster walk up on him than have one jump out and yell boo.

He crossed his arms, fingers tip-tapping on his tattooed forearms. “So. Uh, what did you hear, exactly?”

“I went into the bathroom to get a drink of water,” she started.

He couldn’t help himself. He grinned. “I dehydrated the hell out of you, baby.”

She smacked his arm and laughed. “Shut up, ass. I went to get a drink of water,” she paused, eyebrows raised, until he gestured magnanimously for her to continue. “I went to get a drink of water and you started yelling at me. Or, you thought you were yelling at me, whatever, so I stuck my head out to see what the hell you were doing and you were saying something about creepy kids.” She felt goosebumps rising on her arms. “Dude, I came over, I was going to talk to you, try to get you to say more weird stuff, and then I heard something.”

She stepped forward and grabbed onto his arm. She was scared now, alright, all of it rushing up to smack her in the face. “Holy shit, Rolly, it sounded like it was in bed with us!”

He nodded to her. “I know, love, I know. I thought I must have dozed off when you got up because I didn’t feel you come back to bed, but all of a sudden you were humming in my ear like a complete asshole. I swear, I don’t remember if I felt anything there, but I don’t think so. I don’t think something was there. I heard it, though, right in my damn ear.” His hand started to go up towards it, he stared at it and lowered it back down. “Did you see anything?”

“Nope.” She shook her head. “Nothing.”

****

So maybe a cool idea that will go somewhere and work out how I picture it…? I’d love to be able to write a weird sort of fantasy/horror hybrid tale 🙂

Categories: Fiction, The Dreamer's Chronicle | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

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