SHORT STORIES OF FEAR; WATCHING YOU WATCHING ME

 

 The Dead one

I woke to a mouth already swallowing the claustrophobic earth that mounded itself over my naked torso like crumble over stewed apples waiting to be crisped but I couldn’t feel the warmth of an oven, even buried, as I was, so close to the sparks of hell but, instead of digging down to join the demons dancing in the darkness, I ate my way up and out, through the crunch of earth now meeting the acid of my stomach, past the worms that wanted to wind their wills within this festering flesh still clinging to the bones of a body the day had pushed deep down into the darkness, although nothing works alone; the night has a moon while the day bears that ball of fire which burns through all the possibilities the light can shine upon and so, too, my demise did not happen alone but had his cowardly character carved all over its bloody finality. Oh, how we come and covet and then cum and croak. My name was Benjamin Grant when air was my everything and I wanted to taste all the world had to offer, when I thought I had found it all in him and his horny little hunger I mistook for happiness. Well, now I have no more need for a name and taste only decay, destruction, and a desire only death knows how to discern. And that desire will see his downfall.

 

The Other One, Still Alive

He woke up under a twisted blanket of sharp shadows, startled by a staggered pull of starved lungs begging for air and felt, instantly, the restriction of cold hands upon him, as if trying to close the circumference of his neck, all the while knowing the owner of those hands was nowhere near, all the while knowing what had become of him, all the time reminding himself that that man no longer sought out any air to fill his lifeless lungs in a body that would be nothing more than rotting flesh for fowl figures to feast upon, deep below the daylight, far from sight. He sat there, sweating in the middle of the bed with a fat man snoring beside him and, he imagined with a grim, his Tesla igniting gossip in the gobs of the next door neighbours, a bed once their bed, now his bed, recalling how he had dug, with his own hands, this former lover’s final resting place, a place he hoped never offered any rest, deep in the forest where only savage swine sought shelter, where only callous crows came to caw. He recalled the spot where he covered the cadaver, the one he once so openly cavorted upon, in the coarse, comfortless earth while he cried with a jolt of joy on front of the sudden stillness, the smashing silence that seemed even louder than the muffled screams his boyfriend had made the moment he had pulled the plastic bag down over his head from behind while he had been waiting for him, as usual, just as he had done every morning, for the previous 7 years, by the breakfast counter, in the kitchen. But that morning he suffocated from lack of air and a gulp of coffee he never managed to fully taste.

 

The Dead one

You came into the bathroom, once our bathroom, once our choice of towels and tiles, once the place where I would take you in the shower, against the glass, my fingers in your mouth, my breath on the back of your neck and your body bending into mine. You came in and stood by the toilet, pissing, without lifting the seat, without lifting up the fucking seat. You were still half asleep, totally naked but half asleep. You wore that nakedness often on front of me as if it was something I could never again fit into. You were always standing, posing, looking for the right light to fall upon your flesh. I had thought you meant to tease but now I realise how you saw it more as a torture. You didn’t notice as I moved from behind the door, didn’t hear me step into position behind you, you didn’t even hear me as I sniffed your scent one last time. But there was nothing. I was dead, I didn’t breathe, didn’t sleep, didn’t fuck, didn’t piss, and I couldn’t even smell. You had taken all that from me, a month ago, on an ordinary morning that had barely found its light. You’d grown tired and wanted new attention, someone new to look at with admiration so you could look back and swoon at your own reflection in their eyes. Maybe that was why I chose to break one of the mirrors in the downstairs hallway, earlier, before I’d crept up the stairs and took my position. And then, there I was, standing behind you, not fucking you, not smelling you, no longer a lover of you, raising my right arm, bringing it up and out and around until the shard of glass I was holding caught my reflection just before it found the softness of your socket. Did you have a moment to catch the look in my eyes, watching you, in the glass, before it pierced its way through your eye?

 

To be continued…

 

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

SHORT STORIES OF FEAR; STILL ACHING

 

A Short story of Horror

I’d been back a month, the city of light they called it, Paris and all its lovers, everyone hand in hand, lips locked like they were lynching the breath from each other and there I was, alone. It had become my city of shadows; dark, devious and doomed.
Why did I come back here, of all places, the one city that had ripped us apart, literally? It had found us, cracked us open and drained the beat of life that bound us, blood seeping onto sidewalks, terrorising terraces, drowning the river in crimson currents, from your veins to its bed.
I was back in our home, on our balcony, waiting, wondering if I’d catch sight of you. I lost nights chain smoking, drinking, hurting all over again. Everything inside still aching from that night, even the dust felt your absence and clung to your chair, your brushes, your side of the bed, your box of sharp, sadistic tricks.

It was the end of October when it happened, when the shadows gradually began to find their shape in the darker tones of the season. Breath hung in the crisp air when you exhaled, like an entity all of its own. It was almost midnight on that most hallowed of all eves, I was wearing your scarf, wrapped tightly around my neck. I had the feeling it was your hands wrapped around me, almost to the point of choking me, when I saw the shadow approaching. An icy shiver cut through my veins like I’d swallowed blades, large and hole. I froze to the spot. I recognised the shadow as it came closer and, as the form found its shape, I knew it to be true. I held my breath as it came to the gate, flipped the latch and entered the garden of dying flowers beneath the spell of the moon. The door downstairs groaned opened, followed by footsteps creaking their way up along those old steps, the ones you always demanded me to fix, I wish that had been your only demand. Keys rattled next in the hallway until one twisted in the slot of my door, which used to be our door. The lock clicked just as I stepped in from the balcony. My pulse was beating so hard it felt like the veins of my body were being strangled.
The form stepped into the dimly lit room and I recognised the scent immediately as tears burnt down my face. I opened my mouth to scream but your hand caressed my cheek, wiped my tears before you put your lips against mine and I was captive once again in your dangerous embrace, after so many years of being without, being lost, being broken, regretting it all. I thought I was dead. I didn’t think I could move until you whispered to me to hold you and, without knowing it, without controlling them, my arms wrapped themselves around you and held us together so tightly that I thought we’d break.
This is death, I told myself, I exist now among the dead and yet I could smell you, feel you; your cold lips, that putrid perfume I’d always hated and your body bolt against mine.
I didn’t know how it could be, how you were standing in front of me, touching me, your tongue piercing its way into my mouth. And then the doorbell rang and shook the silence of the entire moment, the entire building and maybe even the entire world that had flipped on its axis in a matter of moments, in the encounter of a kiss, a kiss from death itself.
“Those kids,” I said, as if everything was normal, unsure of what else to say, “it’s
Halloween… you always hated when they found their way into the building, begging for candy.”

You turned and somehow you were instantly out of my grip, standing by the door, turning the handle, but I hadn’t seen you move. You stood in silence regarding the children outside, dressed as ghouls, monsters and one peculiar child hidden from head to toe in a princess costume, perfectly in character except for the gaping wound on her neck. She held a knife in her tiny hand, as real and as sharp as a butcher’s pride and joy.
“You shouldn’t be playing with this, my sweet, you’ll get blood all over your costume,” you said to her before you took the knife from her tiny fingers and instantly you were back again, standing before me, looking right inside me.
The children were still standing in the doorway as you raised the blade, cutting through the thin breath of air that separated us, as if that was all that separated us.
“I don’t understand,” I said to you, knowing time had deserted me, realising I’d wasted my freedom, watching the shadows, terrified of what would one day arise from them, “you were dead,” I said, “I saw you bleed out on front of me.”
“I know, my love and I still am. The dead don’t come back to life, not after their lover has killed them, they just come back for what they left behind,” she said as she slashed the blade across my neck, just below her scarf and the warm blood gushed from the inside out. She grabbed me and pulled me close to her as the life drained from my body, bringing her lips down on my neck and savagely sucking what was left from my veins.
“You killed me because you discovered my desire for slicing up life, so I’ve returned to show you that very desire, first-hand,” she whispered to my fading life-force.
“Happy Halloween,” were the last words I heard her utter as I dropped to the floor while she took the hands of the children who watched from the shadow of the doorway and lead them off with a vengefully demonic laugh.

   

All words and photographs by Damien B Donnelly

This short story was published as a tale in the ‘Body Horror Anthology’ from Gehenna and Hinnom Books.

CREATION IS FALLING

 

There are shadows falling
shifting suspicions into shapes
there are shadows falling
features fading into fears

There are shadows falling

There are dreams waking
as babies sleep under blankets
there are dreams waking
as stars diminish in darkening skies

There are dreams disappearing
within an impossible reality

There are shadows in dreams
there is no light in the darkness
there are shadows in dreams
there is no comfort in revenge

There are dreams
falling all around us
there is hope dying
in bombs and bullets and blood
there is a darkness
draining the daylight

There is no longer light
There is no longer comfort

There is only chaos
and creation is crying
and society is dying

Surely this is not the truth
Surely this is not the dream
Surely this is not life

my life
your life
the cost of life
the loss of life

There is a fear
wrapped around us
cloaking us
choking us
it flows through us
like a venom, vicious
making us victims
to our own vices
making us suspicious
of neighbouring races

It is drowning us
poisoning all possibility

There are shadows falling
dealing out devisions
shifting suspicions into shapes
and turning innocent into ashes

 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly.

STILL ACHING

 

A Short Scary Story.

        I’d been back a month, the city of light they called it, Paris and all it’s lovers, everyone hand in hand, lips locked like they were lynching the breath from each other and there I was, alone. It had become my city of shadows; dark, devious and doomed.
        Why did I come back here, of all places, the one city that had ripped us apart, literally? It had found us, cracked us open and drained the beat of life that bound us, blood seeping onto sidewalks, terrorising terraces, drowning the river in crimson currents, from your veins to its bed.
        I was back in our home, on our balcony, waiting, wondering if I’d catch sight of you. I lost nights chain smoking, drinking, hurting all over again. Everything inside still aching from that night, even the dust felt your absence and clung to your chair, your brushes, your side of the bed, your box of sharp, sadistic tricks.
        It was the end of October when it happened, when the shadows gradually began to find their shape in the darker tones of the season. Breath hung in the crisp air when you exhaled, like an entity all of its own. It was almost midnight on that most hallowed of all eves, I was wearing your scarf, wrapped tightly around my neck. I had the feeling it was your hands wrapped around me, almost to the point of choking me, when I saw the shadow approaching. An icy shiver cut through my veins like I’d swallowed blades, large and hole. I froze to the spot. I recognised the shadow as it came closer and, as the form found its shape, I knew it to be true. I held my breath as it came to the gate, flipped the latch and entered the garden of dying flowers beneath the spell of the moon. The door downstairs groaned opened, followed by footsteps creaking their way up along those old steps, the ones you always demanded me to fix, I wish that had been your only demand. Keys rattled next in the hallway until one twisted in the slot of my door, which used to be our door. The lock clicked just as I stepped in from the balcony. My pulse was beating so hard it felt like the veins of my body were being strangled.
        The form stepped into the dimly lit room and I recognised the scent immediately as tears burnt into my face. I opened my mouth to scream but your hand caressed my cheek, wiped my tears before you put your lips against mine and I was captive once again in your dangerous embrace, after so many years of being without, being lost, being broken, regretting it all. I thought I was dead. I didn’t think I could move until you whispered to me to hold you and, without knowing it, without controlling them, my arms wrapped themselves around you and held us together so tightly that I thought we’d break.
        This is death, I told myself, I exist now among the dead and yet I could smell you, feel you; your cold lips, that putrid perfume I’d always hated and your body bolt against mine.
        I didn’t know how it could be, how you were standing in front of me, touching me, your tongue piercing its way into my mouth. And then the doorbell rang and shook the silence of the entire moment, the entire building and maybe even the entire world that had flipped on its axis in a matter of moments, in the encounter of a kiss, a kiss from death itself.
        “Those kids,” I said, as if everything was normal, unsure of what else to say, “it’s halloween… you always hated when they found their way into the building, begging for candy.”
        You turned and somehow you were instantly out of my grip, standing by the door, turning the handle, but I hadn’t seen you move. You stood in silence regarding the children outside, dressed as ghouls, monsters and one peculiar child hidden from head to toe in a princess costume, perfectly in character except for the gaping wound on her neck. She held a knife in her tiny hand, as real and as sharp as a butchers pride and joy.
        “You shouldn’t be playing with this, my sweet, you’ll get blood all over your costume,” you said to her before you took the knife from her tiny fingers and instantly you were back again, standing before me, looking right inside me.
        The children were still standing in the doorway as you raised the blade, cutting through the thin breath of air that separated us, as if that was all that separated us.
        “I don’t understand,” I said to you, knowing time had deserted me, realising I’d wasted my freedom, watching the shadows, terrified of what would one day arise from them, “you were dead,” I said, “I saw you bleed out on front of me.”
        “I know, my love and I still am. The dead don’t come back to life, not after their lover has killed them, they just come back for what they left behind,” she said as she slashed the blade across my neck, just below her scarf and the warm blood gushed from the inside out. She grabbed me and pulled me close to her as the life drained from my body, bringing her lips down on my neck and savagely sucking what was left from my veins.
        “You killed me because you discovered my desire for slicing up life, so I’ve returned to show you that very desire, first hand,” she whispered to my fading life-force.
        “Happy Halloween,” were the last words I heard her utter as I dropped to the floor while she took the hands of the children who watched from the shadow of the doorway and lead them off with a vengefully demonic laugh.

All Words and Drawing by Damien B. Donnelly

Originally appeared in the literary Journal http://www.thefableonline.com Issue 9; Halloween Special

THE BLIND ASSASSIN

 

A Short Horror Story.

       I don’t remember what happened before, no clue as to who I was, what I was, but afterwards, everything that happened afterwards is a completely different story, because when you open your eyes after death, you discover a whole other way of living.

Tick tock, tick tock.

        There is darkness mostly, she left me no eyes to escape the blindness but I can see when I want, when the need fills me. I see shape in sound and smell, these are my senses now, she left me those. Guilt, regret, remorse, those weaknesses have no part in what I’ve become. I’m no longer accountable to the standards Men hold as law. I am beyond law and now, as I’m technically dead, I’m beyond Man.
Tick tock, tick tock.
        “I remade you, better than before. You were a drunk, a drug addict with no direction. No one gave a shit for you. You would’ve died one day, I just gave that day a name. You should be grateful, I’ve given you something greater than life; indestructible, eternal death among the living,” she declared that day, the first day of my everlasting existence, as I realised the horror of what she‘d done. I wasn’t human anymore, this was true. I would be unbeatable, also true. But she hadn’t given me eternal death, it was eternal damnation.
        I recognised her voice from somewhere before death, a sound bite on TV, a ranting about experimentation, radiation, creation; bringing heaven to earth. “I’ll build a world that will never need creation again, all will be eternal,” she’d bragged. I remember that. I’ll always remember that. She won’t, not anymore.
Tick tock, tick tock.
        When I first awoke, to her recreation, I felt no pain at all, that came later, when I came to understand what she’d made of me. She was my Frankenstein, she’d remoulded me from her miscreant mind. “Without sight you’ll see much better,” she whispered to my naked form, strapped to a gurney, as forceps wrenched my eyes from their sockets. “The tongue just teases you with taste,” she insisted, “this’ll teach you to taste from within,” and she snipped the tongue from my mouth with a blade, severing it from service with a single slice. Afterwards, she stitched it to the back of my neck, to remind me of all that was now behind me.
        I was not a body of blood anymore, my veins had been drained, dried out like taunt twine that tore through my flesh from the inside out. My innards had been expunged, discarded, floor fodder for vermin to devour and they did, nightly, as I lay there, a monster metamorphosing. In my chest, empty of all organs except my heart, a machine of amorality maintained me, pumping a self-sustainable liquid through the little that remained of me; limbs that had been ravaged, a hand severed and replaced with a scythe, legs hacked at the knees, mounted on metal spikes while my manhood was slit, sliced and stuffed with the slivering tongue of a serpent, still hissing. I was a despicable demon, an envoy of evil, a punishment for a world that had dismissed her dreams of total autonomy as nothing more than an inhuman, unjustifiable, godless existence. I was her retribution. She believed I’d bring them all down for her but she misjudged who was master. A monster knows no master. A monster needs no master. Monster is master.
Tick tock, tick tock.
        Monster let her believe she had control while she trained me, taught me to walk, to hunt, to appreciate the divinity of my own damnation. Monster appeared grateful to his creator and her darkness, monster acted thankful to his creator and her inventiveness until one day when monster stabbed his spikes into his creator’s feet as she leaned against the wall, smiling at the completion of her own genius. Monster smiled as his scythe slit her from nipple to neck and his one remaining hand reached inside her and disgorged the heart from her blood bathed body before her face even had time to register fear. Monster left her there, in her darkness, in that heartless body, further fodder for the vermin who’d already begun to sniff her out.

        That was 4 years ago. I can finally admit I’m grateful to her. I’ve lived more in death than I ever could in life. I don’t need food or drink, don’t shit or sleep. I exist as if everyday were the first, do you understand? Can you understand me now, now that I’m standing behind you, so close that your skin prickles with fear as I sliver my scythe around your neck?
        You came looking for me, didn’t you? Foolishly searching the shadows for the monster you thought was myth. Well, now you’re truly the fool because this monster is no myth, nor a white knight. I am the Blind Assassin, devoid of compassion. She removed that from me when she raided my body of blood and being. Do you hear the ticking clock? Tick tock, tick tock. It’s inside me. It goes where I go. It counts down humanity while I continue on, slaying it. I feel nothing for you people anymore, nothing. And in a moment, you’ll feel nothing too.

        And he was right. In an instant blood spewed from the gash in the human’s neck and splattered onto the glasses that covered Monster’s eyeless sockets and down onto his tongueless, grinning mouth as the clock continued counting…

Tick tock, tick tock.

        He’d killed his creator but he couldn’t extinguish the desire for revenge that she’d transplanted into his useless, still beating, eternally damned heart.

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly