A Little Taste 

When I have time, I write small portions of a book taking space in my head. It is in first person and it is meant to look like an authors account of true events, or rather my life story. When I put it all together, it will be about a woman who struggles to cope with mental illness in a world that constantly judges. She copes in other ways too, but that’s the voices talking.

Enjoy.

When I was young, I would question my existence. I would ponder the meaning of why. Why did we bother to do anything if we were just going to die in the end? What was the point? Why try?
I managed to press through the thoughts. I sought out other ideas, hobbies, and allowed myself to live a little.
Once in a while, the thoughts come back.

When I was younger, I wasn’t aware of the state I put myself in when questioning why I bother to live. What a sight it must have been for others to see me sad; so suddenly.

I’m better at hiding it now. I work, I form relationships, I seek some sort of happiness. It looms, the agony, the dread. But I’m better at pushing through – sometimes. Lately, it hovers longer than I’d like. Often, it clings and I can’t shake it, wash it, peel back its decaying skin. It hangs like the air on a humid day.

I become stuck. I stick to my thoughts. They control my fighting mind; the part of my mind that resists the constant question – why are you still here? Why hasn’t anyone found you in a pool of blood?

I’m not sure, but my resisting mind wants to know why these demons keep lurking around? What is their purpose? Why did they choose me?
When you think of yourself, others don’t find themselves into the equation. Depression, for me is a one way street. Ahh, but that isn’t really true because the anxiety in me only cares about others, and the looming psychopath in me wants to murder every soul I see.
Mental illness isn’t cute anymore. It never was.

I grew up in a time where it was a growing trend of weirdos who dressed in black and were always sad. They made depression somehow glamorous and soon nearly everyone I knew wore eyeliner and combed their hair over one eye. But what about the people who were trying to act normal because they fought real demons? Not ones that pretended to just so they could fight the establishment and in return draw attention to themselves because no one at home gave a shit.
I had parents who gave a shit, they just didn’t know they had to. To them, I was normal. I did normal things, had normal friends, and had a normal mind.
I actually wanted to be normal. Instead, I fought to live. My mind wanted my soul and it almost won, more than a few times. I prayed to die and hoped I wouldn’t make it past 25. In fact, I was certain I wouldn’t live past then. I was so sure, I started doing things to speed along the process. It never happened. When 25 came, I cried until I nearly went into a psychosis. I took some pills to wash away the pain, and I woke in a heavier dispair. I was with someone then. Someone who saw my crazy. They seemed to embrace it and I’ll never know and never want to know why.
At this point, I gave in. I stayed with this person and just became someone I wasn’t – normal. I thought I should so I could at least stop the voices. I had to stop the demons.
But they were still there. In fact they came on full force. I started taking meds. It was a tragic sight. I changed. The voices stopped. The demons stopped licking the gray matter, but the claws never retracted.
I started living. I went to therapy. I was normal. But we’re not really normal, are we? We just turn into zombies.

I made cakes, made friends, cooked dinner, and went to parties. I was a wife. Sometimes I was really good. Sometimes I really sucked.

The demons played sometimes. They broke the med spell and when they played, the voices were worse than before. I would cry until I lost parts of me that I’ll never see again. I broke. After I broke, I broke again and again until the meds were gone and I started to sabbatoge my existence. If I was miserable, so was everyone else. No one was safe.
My unstable life made the voices more active. I had boughs of hysteria,as the old school doctors would say, more often than boughs of sanity. I longed to be institutionalized. I joked about it. That’s what you do. You joke about how crazy you are so you can deflect your problems. People laugh with you and it reinforces the behavior until even you start to believe the lies. They are just jokes, you tell yourself. You’re not crazy.
So you live your life. Like normal people do, but your thoughts are more demented. So you hang around people who are almost the same. It makes you feel better about yourself.
They don’t know the truth. No one knows the truth. When you confide in someone, they disregard you and just say things that they think will make you feel better because in reality you’ve made them feel uncomfortable and now they don’t know how to act around you and you find your list of friends getting smaller and smaller.
Don’t worry, you have the voices.
I do. The demons are nice as well. I enjoy their powerful hold. Their tight, crippling grip of despair. In fact, I’ve grown so accustomed to their presence I’m not sure I’d know how to be without them -which actually scares me to the core.

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The Old Man – Scary Story-A-Day: Day (3) *edited*

I missed yesterday. If you were looking forward to a scary story to prep you for Halloween, I am sorry. However, I try not to disappoint too much so to make up for my lack of words, I give you gore. If you are not a fan of the sick and twisted, i suggest you turn back now. This is a story for those who don’t mind a little blood in their coffee.

This one is rather long – at about 2,500 words. So settle down, and lock your doors, and remember: sometimes it is best to let your neighbors be.

Enjoy.

He kept to himself. He mowed his lawn. He paid his taxes. He was just odd. Something was off about him. While he was mostly quiet, many times heavy bangs coming from his building would excite the neighbors, enticing a few to call the police. Small threats, and empty promises kept the neighbors slightly satisfied and slightly displeased. He continued and we all just breathed a sigh of exhaustion. There were some neighbors you should just leave alone.

That was rather difficult for some and a more difficult for one neighbor.

“I can’t listen to the awful banging anymore!”, her hair tickled her nose as it fell from the mess of a mop on her head. She brushed it aside and continued to gripe. That neighbor scared my Peaches into a barking frenzy last night. She nearly wet the bed!”

She was the type of neighbor who knew of everyone’s business. If there was anything you wanted to know, she was your gal. While the information was always skewed, the entertainment value was worth the inquiry. She was a petite, but stout woman, in her 40’s. Widowed, she lived with her small poodle, Peaches, in a simple two-bedroom ranch sitting on a few wooded acres.

She looked at me for an answer. I shrugged my shoulders. There wasn’t a thing we could do about the noise. We could call the cops, let them threaten the old man, and let the cops tell us he would be more cautious. Bla, bla, bla… It was all the same song and dance.

“I don’t know what you think we should do, Abigail. We have notified the police before and nothing gets done. Perhaps if it bothers you so much, you should tell him to stop yourself.”

She turned on her toes at the very word. Her dog yapped at the abrupt movement of her petite, stout body. She scooped Peaches off the ground and offered the poodle words of condolence. She looked at me sternly, and for a moment, I was back in reform school getting punished by the dean.

“Perhaps, my indifferent neighbor,” she scolded,” I will.”

She marched her little legs down the dirt road, and She wondered if her indifferent neighbor wondered if she would ever see her and her yapping poodle again.

Abigail’s feet met the top of the hill. Despite her small frame, she managed to make the trip quickly. There was a sick feeling bubbling in her guts when she saw him inside the building. The sun sunk over the roof, and darkness started to ooze over the trees behind her. Swallowing her fear, she stepped toward the building, dog in tow. Sensing something its owner wasn’t privy to, the dog started to growl. Abigail continued, brushing off her dog’s warning. She stroked its black, wiry fur, speaking in comforting tones. The dog continued to growl, followed by shaking. Abigail leaned her head near the poodle’s face to ease its fears. Peaches, scared of its own shadow, abruptly turned its snarling jaws and latched its perfectly sharp teeth into Abigail’s cheek. She screamed in agony, dropping her beloved pooch. Peaches ran away from the scene, yelping.

 Abigail grabbed her cheek. Blood flowed down her face, onto her neck, and seeped into her freshly pressed clothes. Shocked, she fell to her knees, flinging her body from the pain. Not one for knowing how to compose herself, she wept. Dirt clung to her skin and latched itself on loose strands of hair.

“What is going on here?” The voice was low and garbled. Years of smoking left a thick film of mucus lining his esophagus. He tried to clear his throat.

“What are you doing curled up on the ground? Get up!” He grabbed her by the arm and swung her to her feet.

The pain left her and fear encased her. She stood frozen, shocked a man of his size could lift her stout body with one arm. She stumbled as she regained her bearings. He caught her arm. She violently retrieved. His eyes made their way to her blood-soaked cheek.

“You better get that fixed. I can see some tendons.” His grey eyes, met hers and she shuddered before frantically feeling her open wound. She nearly lost her composure when she felt the sticky tendons dangling from her face.

“Come inside. I can fix you right up.” He reached for her arm. Abigail withdrew. He gazed at her, almost confused by her sudden disagreement. “You need a bandage. I have some supplies in the house.”

Abigail turned up her nose. She was in a great deal of pain, but her instant disgust of even entering such a place wouldn’t stop her from being rude. “You want me to enter your building and let you touch me! I would rather get an infection. I can manage my own body, at my own house.”

He stared at her face, watching the wound seep blood into her mouth as she spoke. Each flex of her muscle made the tendons twitch. It was rather amazing, as he wondered how she was managing to speak.

Noticing how he was rather engaged at her misery, she stepped back. “Stop making all that racket. I would never have come here, but you keep managing to disrupt the entire neighborhood. Now I have this terrible issue, and my poor Peaches has run off. I ought to sue you!” She squared her eyes with his and waited for a rebuttal. Instead, he remained mute. She scoffed at his silence and turned on her heels, making her way back home.

Abigail clenched at her cheek, trying to stop the flow of tears. Her stomach was in knots and her body trembled. Nearing the top of the hill, she started to call for her beloved poodle, but the pain in her cheek intensified, and she sobbed from her sudden mix of emotions. Feeling weak with exhaustion and deciding she was a good distance away from her recent trauma, Abigail started to take a seat on the side of the dirt road, but the swift end of a 2×4 against the back of her small rounded head helped her take the rest she was looking for. He drug her to his building.

He laid her on his work bench layered with. Blood leaked from her cracked skull. Her eyeballs started forcing their way out of their sockets as the blood pooled behind them. He looked closer and saw bits of her brain making its way onto the dirt floor. He stepped back to fully take in his work and felt a sense of pride. He was disgusted by her. She was rude. He wondered if he had hit her on the head a little too hard. Often, he didn’t know his own strength.

A scream came from a room inside his building. He left his possession rotting on the wooden slab.

She was cold and hungry. But they all were. The chains were old, but strong. Each were attached to each other, chained by the hands and feet, while the main attachment roped its way through a small opening in the metal frame.  

He stripped them naked and often dressed their wounds. They were always dirty; filthy from the dirt floor and their lack of facilities. The flies swarmed their bucket in the corner of the dark room. One of the girls crawled into the adjacent corner; left to decompose. The maggots had set in. It wouldn’t be long until the hunger pangs were larger than their need to never feed on human flesh, no matter how old.

She screamed. Her voice echoed against the steel walls. He would come. He would be angry. It was her arm that pained her. A fresh wound that grew infected. She sulked over the injury. It was purple and the blood was dark. It was the bone scraping the top of her skin, begging to be free from its confinement, that left her in agony. She kept screaming.

He flung open the door and they scrambled to the walls, hiding in the shadows. He went for her and yanked her off the dirt floor. She fell limp; weak from lack of water and food. Her tears soaked the earth.

Her arm snapped. She let out an intense yell and they all watched as her bone broke through the skin. Blood dripped from her fingers. In immense shock, the fragile girl lay silent at his feet. He kicked her in the face, the top of his steel toed boot meeting her thin jaw. It snapped and hung sideways, exposing the inside of her mouth. The girls shuttered and gasped, finding their bodies closer to the cold steel, hoping to disappear into the metal.

He left. The door slammed behind him and the girl in the corner was now a fresh meal with a broken arm.

His fresh victim twitched on the bench. He walked over to the door, and poked his head out for the chance of any new visitors. Satisfied he would be left alone to do his bidding, he bolted the door and returned to the twitching, arrogant, insufferable neighbor on the slab of wood.

Peaches scraped the bottom of the door leading to her safety. She whined and pleaded, barking insistently. The noise took her from the TV and out onto the lawn. She could see Abigail’s front door from her porch, making her neighborly interactions much more retched. She despised the lady. Seeing Peaches wanting to crawl out of her skin delighted her in a strange way, but she also enjoyed silence.

She made her way across the lawn, over the road, and onto Abigail’s porch. She knocked on the door. Surely Abigail was done cussing out the old man by now. There wasn’t an answer. She twisted the door knob, it crept open. Peaches rushed in at the mere sound of the door swinging on its hinges. She flung herself onto her bed, shaking.

The indifferent neighbor wasn’t the one to go prying in the night. She had more sense than that. Instead, she was the type to fix things in the day light, or not at all.

She left and returned to the comfort of her home, stopping at her porch, watching the TV flicker in the dark.  She didn’t care if she saw the snotty winch at all. She secretly hoped the old man found a use for her like he had found a use for the others.

BOOM!

Her heart fluttered. It was the old man again. Her heart skipped a beat and a smile creeped across her face. She turned to look in the direction of the noise. A small glow could be seen over the top of the hill. It nestled above the trees like a looming fire. She returned to the dancing of the TV and turned up the volume. It helps muffle out the screams.

 

 

 

The Property Next Door – Scary Story-A-Day, Day 1

I have never really talked about something I truly love, and that is Halloween. One glance around this blog, and anyone might know I have a dark hole in my heart, even if it is tiny. It is filled with horror movies, dark poems, and creepypasta.

I have decided I will bless you with a story-a-day until the arrival of Halowen. Each story is completely different, but is related to the things I see everyday because inspiration has to come from somewhere.

I worked on this piece last night. it is surprising that even on my small iPad keyboard, how quickly one can type out 2,000 words. That is the rough word count of this particular story. So settle in, dim the lights, lock your doors, and become acquainted with the Property Next Door.

A little note: I am working on “showing not telling”, if you have any time, please let me know how I did. Thank you

It occurred to me the property next door was calling my name, not literally, of course, but something was pulling me toward its rotting side paneling, it’s grimy windows, and the front door swinging on only two hinges. The hedges were overgrown. The untamed branches scraped the siding and helped devour the decrepit house. The grass entangled with the thick weeds. They seem to dance across the yard. Each lady beckoning me to join in their seductive tango. I sat on my porch everyday staring at the rusted, sagging tin roof that sat lifelessly on drooping metal siding. Ivy climbed up, around, and inside the house. The earth was consuming the tin shack and it wanted me to join the party.

I was certain I would only ever watch nature devour the house, as I sat from the safety of my porch, rocking in my chair, but the need to walk into the depths of the tangled grass and weeds, to walk inside the tin house that may fall to its death if I push open the swinging door, was strong; stronger than the will I had to stop myself.

I stepped off my porch, onto my freshly cut lawn, out onto the gravel road that led to the highway. My feet dragged behind me as if my mind were trying to stop me, but my heart, or perhaps it was my ignorance overriding my logic, pulled me forward, and I ignored my slow, crawling pace.

I reached the enchanted dance, and I was sure the weeds and grass separated their romantic entanglement to let me pass with ease. As if they were waiting; waiting to soak up my remains like the remains of a rotting corpse. They flowed back and forth, tickling my skin with each pass. I was in a daze. My feet became a little lighter with each delicate touch.

I paused to take in the tin shack. Each window caked with grey grime so thick, peering inside was out of the question. It was something I wanted to do because a sliver of logic bled into my brain after turning to see the weeds and grass had returned to their dance. This time, the dance was more sinister, and my heart jumped as their touches become more aggressive, as if they were now forcing me to open the door and go inside.

A weed snapped its filthy tip across my cheek and my head whipped violently to my front. My eyes becoming locked on the door swinging from the bottom two hinges. It was open further than before. A blade of grass whipped my calves almost putting me to my knees. I turned my head to look behind me and I saw a wall of tangled grass and weeds so thick a chainsaw would see difficulty getting through. The wall grew quickly behind me, growing thicker and taller, becoming more violent. It pushed me onto the front porch, my feet stumbling on the swooping, rotting wooden steps. I fell to my knees not being able to regain my balance after the wooden step seemed to trip me. I hit my head on the swinging door. My vision blurred and a knot grew on my head. I struggled to get to my feet, gaining splinters from the unmanaged porch. My hand flinched with each piece of entering wood through my skin. I found my way to the door handle, not needing to open the door; the door opened slowly, inviting me in, saving me from the dangers of the outdoors.

The daylight leaked in from the opening between the sagging siding and the oddly shaped roof. The sun’s rays lit the floor which wasn’t a floor at all but a placement of dirt. I was inside a house made of tin sides, a tin roof, and a dirt floor. My mind raced as to who would live inside a metal box without a floor. The tin house contained a small kitchen without any appliances save for a hot plate. Roaches scurried across the counter. A mouse hid inside a rusting can. In another corner rested a cot. The tattered blanket swept over the sides with a brown pillow that was once white. A 5 gallon bucket sat in another corner. It was once a green bucket. You could see the original bucket’s color along the bottom edges, sinking into the dirt. The rest of the bucket was covered in filth, feces, and a thicket of flies, roaches, and maggots. The more I stared, the more bile began to crawl up my throat. I quickly turned away and started for the door. I didn’t care what I thought the weeds looked like outside, I was removing myself from this property. Logic had filled my brain, drowning out the desire of my heart to stay and explore. I raced toward the door which was actually only a few feet away being as the tin shack was only ten or twelve feet wide.

I reached and what was once a door hanging on two hinges was a door fully hinged, bolted to the wall. I placed my hands on the knob and shook violently, screaming for the house to let me out. Stoping myself from becoming too hysterical, my fully logical brain remembered the sagging siding and knew I could climb on a counter and slip my body out of a wall.

I ran to the roach infested counter. I placed my hand on the wood to brace myself for the climb, and roaches fled in all directions. I tried to remain calm as a few found their way onto my skin. I stepped onto the counter top and grabbed the broken siding. I pulled down as hard as I could, but my foot slipped from the moldy, feces covered counter, and I fell to the dirt floor. When I regained my bearings, the oddly placed roof had swiveled into its proper place, aligning with the siding, locking all the possessions and inhabitants inside. The windows were now black and locked. The sun was blocked, now only bouncing off the tin roof, giving more life to the ivy that encased the metal.

My heart skipped, my stomach churned, my head ached. I was in a near panic; willing to tunnel my way out. I became angry at myself for becoming entranced by the rotting piece of junk on the property next door. I screamed and the house shook with what felt like laughter. The sink rattled, the cot scraped across the dirt, and the filth filled bucket, bubbled. Each pop oozed on the floor creating mud, and growing a stench foul enough to make the roaches flee.

Looking all around, feeling my heart pound through my chest, I saw the roof shift to make room for something sinister. The ivy began to tear its way inside the oddly shaped roof. It crawled down the metal walls, and seemed to thrive as it reached the dirt and make its way to my ankles at a faster pace. My breath left my body as I yearned to scream. I clawed my way to the only exit and the ivy wrapped itself around my legs leaving me with only the use of my arms. If only I could unbolt the door before the ivy trapped me forever. My nails dug into the door frantically. Each scrape broke a nail making some of them bleed. I screamed in agony, but mostly from fear. I was going to die in this house, encased by the same ivy that I watched take over the house from the comfort of my porch.

The same logic that failed me earlier in this tragic day, reminded me of a knife I kept in my pocket. The ivy circled its way around my waist closing up all entry into my pockets. I took my blood soaked hand and struggled to fit my hand between the dough exterior of my jeans and the sticky coarse skin of the treacherous ivy. Although I disagree, at the moment, luck would have my hand finding my only salvation. My blood soaked nail beds made a lubricant. The ivy had found its way around my trapped arm. I kept my free arm above my head, but the ivy grew faster. I grasped my knife and wedged it out of my pocket. I tossed it onto the dirt. I shifted as best as I could so my nearly free arm could reach the knife. My fingers scraped the dirt, barely managing to wrap my bloody hand around the grip. Once I had my fingers firmly planted, I screamed with my last big breath of air. The ivy had reached its way around my throat, circling up my chin. The ivy had wrapped itself around my upper arm, leaving only my lower arm free. What was left of any movement I could muster, I aimed at stabbing the ivy. The knife made its way to the thick, green ivy around my upper arm. Each thrust was devastating. Blood was everywhere. But it wasn’t the ivy that bled. Sensing danger, the ivy shrank in size with every pending stab. I never had a chance. The ivy made its way around my face, locking its grip around my eyes.

I was trapped. I lost all hope. I let the ivy wrap me into a cocoon. My bloody arm unlocked its grip around what I once thought was my savior. You could hear the metal house shifting. The dirt floor parted like the Red Sea. The oddly shaped roof once again became oddly placed. The sagging siding let the sun highlight its certain spots. The door became slightly unhinged and completely unbolted. The roaches and mouse took their assigned places, and the weeds and grass stopped arguing and began their romantic, persuasive dance; making itself reading for its next victim who stares curiously at the property next door.



New Opprotunities

Some things in my world are happening. As I typed that sentence, I want to add a qualifier – something extra, and when I tried, my mind went blank. Let me try again…

Some things in my life are happening, and I know exactly what to do. I embrace them.

This week, that isn’t even over, has been a whirlwind of opportunities. I have been given a few grand opprotunities that put me exactly where I have always wanted to become – a writer.

It feels weird to say, to think, and to even speak that word, and this is only because the time may be coming where it seems more real than before. I have always considered myself a writer; even as a child and through my adulthood. However, now it seems different. Now, people are asking me to work for them. That is the part I am having a hard time processing.

Recently, I started a blog – oh yes, another one. It is filled with one of my passions, horror. I started a blog where I review horror movies. Someone reached out to me and asked if I would post my reviews on moviepiolt.com. This is very exciting for me. The exposure from this could be phenomenal.

After I finished some other opportunities today, I finally posted on their site. You can read my first post here. I am seriously beyond excited and have told anyone who will listen.

If you are a fan of horror, and love to watch short films, read reviews, and look at weird stuff, then go check it out.

And thank you for following me, reading what I have to say, and believing in my muse.

The Darkness

A short story about losing your mind. 

The dreams are strange. The confusion upon waking grows. It festers, boils, and locks on to what may be reality. Were they dreams? Was it what is perceived as real? My mind can barely tell the difference. 

When I woke in the morning, my body pulsed from the heat brewing inside me. I paused before I plummeted down the steps. Visions oozed through my mind. They slowly began to erase what my eyes saw around me. The trees merged into the buildings. The cars melted into the asphalt. The birds vanished into the clouds. I held onto the railing as I slowly made my way down the stairs, out of my apartment. I shut my eyes tight, hoping it would all go away. The sun broke my concentration. When I opened my eyes, the world was melting. I gripped the railing tighter. My body temperature rose and my pulsing skin began to keep pace with my  quickening heartbeat. I sat on the steps, refusing to ungrip the rail. The world was melting into my dreams. 

I envisioned the melting buildings and trees merging into monsters. The birds were popping when they touched a cloud. Their blood soaked remains covering the ground below them. The cars sank into the asphalt that began to boil. I screamed. The screams were not enough to drown the sounds inside my head. Strange voices began to emerge, calling my name slowly. They grew louder and began to increase the pace. I screamed until my voice cracked. I covered my ears. I shut my eyes. I rocked back and forth. I broke and started to cry. The tears were hot and I could feel them burning my skin. I tried to stop crying, but I couldn’t. I scratched at my face until it bled. My nail beds were covered in flesh. 

The world was melting and starting to fade. The darkness oozed over the monsters. It flowed over the clouds. The birds fell to the ground, but now walking away unharmed. The darkness crept over asphalt, cooling it’s boiling core. The cars froze from the cooling ground. My screams were stolen from my lungs. The darkness reached inside and took all the air. Black surrounded my corneas. It pushed me into the steps. I laid in an uncomfortable position, frozen; the world consuming me. 

Large amounts of time passes. I hear beeping, but it feels far away. The air is cold and it smells of bleached urine. I try to open my eyes, but they are heavy. I try to move my body, but it’s weighted down, constricted. If only my eyes would open so I could see. A light flashes and it blinds me. I hold my eyes shut. The beeping is louder. The smell of urine is stronger. A shadow crosses over me. I slowly open my eyes. She wears white and stands over me. I look down at my arms to see I am confined, strapped to a bed. She takes a syringe from her pocket and injects the line coming from my arm. I try to fight, I can’t. Sleep drapes it’s blanket over me, the darkness returns. 

A Story Full of Questions

I have been plagued with a Windows phone. It works when it wants to and when it does work, it is great. When it doesn’t work, it found itself being thrown. I have anger management issues. So I traded that P.O.S in for a phone I have had since it made its debut and have returned to when my other phones start lacking. The iPhone. Call me names or start calling me a conformist if you would like, but I am rarely ever near my computer and when I am, I have to put together a presentation or wrote a research paper. My phone is for fun things. I got my iPhone and signed into my account. To my amazement, all of my old apps I love start downloading themselves to the phone. Awesome. I open the note app and expect it to be empty. I was wrong. It is full of old stories, ideas, and some quotes. Oh My God! I could die. But if I did, I wouldn’t be able to let you read something I wrote around three in the morning a few years ago. I edited the story because when you write at three in the morning and read it when you are coherent, it tends to not make much sense. So here you are. I give you a story for your Sunday. Here, in the land of mountains, it is dreary and cold. A perfect day to read. Enjoy and Happy Sunday.


I run through the thick woods, trying to be careful of every step. Hoping I don’t break my ankle or something worse that will render me useless. The thick brush seems to encase itself around me and I struggle to break my self free of its tight clutches. I break a branch that nearly smacks me in the face and my eyes catch what I have been searching for. Its peeling paint and sagging roof remind me of every stereotypical idea my thoughts can produce about killers. The old, decomposing house in an area thick with trees, hidden from view. Although the windows looked incased with mud, I did my best to become like the house – hidden. If anyone was inside, I didn’t want to bother them. Not just yet. The sun was setting and the fading light offered the right amount of camouflage . I came to what looked like a bathroom window. It was nested at eye level and to my amazement, was cracked open. I wondered if it was a trap, but erased the thought from my head. How could they know anything. Everyone I loved was dead. Unless they tortured them. If that was the case, I knew to be extra careful. I put my face to the glass. I wanted a better look inside. I took the sleeve from my coat and scraped a small section of mud and filth from the window. I could barely make out the lining of a shower and toilet. I surveyed the window for wires or any thing suspicious. Satisfied I wouldn’t die instantly or become impaled, I slowly opened the window. It made small creaking sounds and I cringed every time. I pleaded for no one to be inside. I finally opened the window and started to squeeze in, feet first. The floor felt slimy and it took all my strength to hang onto the window sill and keep my balance. In seconds I would find out what was under my feet and I wasn’t ready. I imagined a layer of film from an once overflowing toilet. Or just grime from a house in ruins. I must have been seduced by the crisp night air, for as soon as my entire body entered the bathroom, my nostrils filled with the smell of bile. I almost lost what was left in my stomach. But another stench crept in and it took a while for the smell to register. I have smelt it before. My mother smelled the same way before she died. I know because I held her in my arms. It was all I could do to keep her alive, but the wound was so deep. I then knew what it was. Blood. I thought of how my mother knew exactly where to cut. To make a mark in her skin that no one could heal. When I found her she was covered and lying in a pool of this familiar stench. I tried to stop the bleeding, but it was too late. The bathroom was suddenly my old home and I could see my mother curled up on the floor half awake, half dead. I was sad and deeply confused. When she died I only felt anger. I see her on the floor and I want to run to her. A loud sound from another room breaks my trance. I quickly hide in the only safe place – the shower. It’s an old tub that rest on for post in the shape of talons. A single rod from the floor hold a circle that hangs above the tub. A moldy plastic sheet hangs from rust covered hooks. I pull the sheet around me and wait patiently; silently. Trying to hold my breath. My heart is pounding and I swear it sounds like drums. The footsteps grow louder and I prayed they would pass the bathroom door. Please don’t have to pee. Please. The footsteps stop in front of the door. A voice from another room yells at the person in the hallway. I can’t make out the words, but it causes the person to grunt in a disaproving tone. The person starts to open the bathroom door and I am sure that I will be seen. I can die just as my mother did – on a bathroom floor. Except no one will be there to comfort me and I will not have taken my own life, just brutally murdered in a bathroom. The door pushes open and I cover my mouth hoping my silent breath will stop my noisy heart. The voice from the other room yells again. The bathroom door shuts slightly and the person grunts loudly and walks down the hall. This is my chance. I step out of the shower and slowly make my way out of the bathroom. Away from my death. I can feel my mothers clutches and I stall. Half of my body in the hallway and half in the bathroom. I search the hallway for the next available hiding spot and shake my leg. “not today, mother”. This momentary fight for life gives me the courage to doge into an adjacent room. I hide in the closet and find myself seated holding my knees on the floor. I decide to wait until the house is empty. Until then I devise a new plan. I’ll find my answers in the morning.