Category Archives: Stories

Halloween Special

Dearest Reader,

‘Tis with great regret I write to tell you that I have been attacked this night; from the darkness came the spirits of writers past, claiming back the awful stories kept hostage in my grey loft. Surrendering to their threats, I write this message from within the crypt where my dearest memories reside.

Stars dare not cross this sky. Light flails and gasps as the shadows suffocate said emerging spectrum, swallowing its presence with their hollowed souls. Soft gossamer drifts from the ceilings, reminding me of a tale once told many years ago. There was a girl, probably thirteen years or more, who was driven from her home by the vulgar associates her mother entertained. Left to fend for herself, she soon stumbled into an avenue only fit for those who enjoy the benefits of dark nights and full moons. Unbeknownst to this girl, her tantalizing scent and throbbing pulse was all she needed to reside with these pale strangers. Summer came and went and soon autumn set in. She was the subservient messenger for her new found family. Their delicate frames and sharp canines were enough to keep her in check and if she felt an inkling to leave the fine establishment she now called home, the claws of the young, hairy cousins were enough to change her mind.

Halloween approached with the swiftness of death, calling out to all who supported the shadows and skulked in the basements of the decrepit surrounding buildings. At the request of the almost porcelain elders, who sat at the high table all day and all night in the attic, she sifted through the cupboards and larders, searching for something festive. Soon she found a linen closet well equipped for the romantics. Soft gossamer in gold and silver swished through her fingers, drifting on invisible air towards the uneven floorboards under her naked feet. Excited, she ran through the house, hammer and nails in hand and soon the rooms felt like Bedouin tents awaiting pale concubines to perform the sensuous dance of the seven veils for their blue tainted captors. All the residents were pleased with her efforts and promised her light for the first time in that year. Candles were carefully lit and placed around the property, highlighting the gaunt ceilings now chipped and flaking; the gnarled door handles barely capturing the soft light emanating from the waxy tall spires of light. Sadly, that was the last thing the quiet residents saw as the gossamer caught aflame, sucking up the heat with great fervour. Before anyone could escape, the crumbling residence was engulfed, the screams of the girl the last thing passers by heard.

To this day, if you listen carefully, gossamer cries through your fingers as it slinks away, flittering like candle flames from your fingers.

Alas, dear readers, my gaolers have returned to torment me further. They say my stories lack a certain scary quality befitting the day. Apparently, pulling my fingers back and tearing my toe nails is deemed appropriate torture for such a crime. My only solace is knowing that my ears have not been touched, unlike the little boy from No. 16. When he was three, his mother decided to teach him a lesson about listening to her. She decided to scare some sense into him and chose the Halloween night when all the other good children were happily celebrating the existence of witches and ghouls, and gorging on sweets. This tall witch herself, decided to take her dear littling out trick or treating, but with evil intentions, wandered closer and closer to the forest just behind the houses.

Once out of view from the other parents, the nasty woman persuaded her son to follow her into the forest, whereupon she left him for the foxes and wild pigs to devour. The poor child tried to listen out for the direction of her footsteps to find his way out of the labyrinth of statuesque trees looming above him. She laughed and darted to and fro, in and out of sight, calling to him to listen better. What horrible torture for a child so young. Now, deep inside, we all call for the woman to fall to her just desserts, but it is with sadness I tell you what happened next. The wild pigs were not interested in the morsel crying out in front of them. They saw fit to chase and eat the harpy screaming to her young one to follow and listen. The young boy watched his witch of a mother serve a greater purpose in life. Horrified at the sight of her being chewed to nothing, the boy collapsed. The pigs, sensing the youngling’s need for guidance, revived him and led him deeper into the forest where the animals congregated on special occasions. It was decided that they would watch over the child until he was old enough to leave the forest and join the evil mankind who tortured their young. This was never to be. The child stayed young, forever reliving the halloween night.

To this day, if you leave your window open at night, you will hear the cries of the child as he cries for his mother who tried to teach him to listen. Some say it is the cry of the tawny owls, but now you know better.

 Thinking of the youngling never growing old, never leaving that forest, brings to mind certain spirits we were told about by our grandparents when we did not behave: the tokoloshi. To some Afrikaans people, it means, little spirit. To me, it meant little demon! Whenever my grandmother found me doing something naughty (which was often) she would tell me that the tokoloshi would come and teach me a lesson. It terrified me to think that something tiny could reach me and torture me, but to be honest, these spirits holding me down now have similar qualities. I guess our fears never leave us, no matter how old we are and the myths surrounding our childhoods follow us into our old age.

In this welcome, I will bid you farewell. Listen out for the gossamer and the cries of the babe in the woods and think kindly of me, dear reader, for warning you before they come to get you and your half stories awaiting to be told.

 

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The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff

If you would like to read this story from the beginning, click here.

CHAPTER THREE Continue reading

The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff

For the first chapter, please click here.

CHAPTER TWO Continue reading

The Adventurous Four: Search for the Amoulean Staff

CHAPTER ONE Continue reading

Death Becomes Her

“Why?” she whispered more to herself than to the shadow. It moved, shifting around her bedraggled body. “Why me?” she asked, a whimper distorting her words.

“I come where I am called,” it seemed to say as it swayed to and fro. “It’s nothing personal.”

It felt personal to Emma.  She didn’t want to die – death had been the last thing on her mind earlier that day when David had finally asked her out.  She had her A’ level prom dress on order and shoes to die for hiding at the back of her cupboard, just waiting for their debut.

The shadow stilled. It was time. Darkness enveloped her mind, permeated her soul. She shivered as a last boost of adrenaline coursed through her veins, burning her insides as she twisted and struggled for breath. Silence.

Sad news of Emma Watson’s death hit the school. Staff and students alike were shocked by the news and mourned the passing of such a wonderful young lady.

A Little Peek…

Continue reading

That’s Not My Name

Continue reading

Book Tuesday: Cecil The Bully – Chapter Six

If you’re just joining Cecil and the gang, take a gander and check out Chapter One!

CHAPTER SIX

Week two. Tiny Thomas giggled. He always giggled when he had a naughty plan up his sleeve. Beefy Bertha nudged him and he stifled the giggle into a gurgle down his throat. Cecil walked up to his two friends, not suspecting a thing. Continue reading

Masquerade III

Alore drifted with elitist elegance, her long neck bowing in acknowledgment of the guests we passed at the Ball. Their gasps did not go unnoticed and she paused, waiting for me to draw closer before whispering, “Why are they staring so? Is it the amulet that draws their attention?”

I nodded, smiling at the awkward glances of the older guests who obviously knew my bloodline. Dre’gons descended from their fire breathing ancestors with a mixed history of bloodshed and hatred. My ancestors were known for their unflinching cruelty towards other realms and the amulet had been used to wipe out usurpers daring to contradict the Dre’gon rule. The less than amorous stares were from the families who had tasted our wrath and I watched their anger at my presence. Alore was too young to know the history and her devotion to me would be lost in an instance if she knew the power I held over the amulet. The sooner we returned it to the keeper of the realm, the better.

A curly haired man approached us and welcomed us to the ball. We followed him as he led us through various rooms, accessing worlds so wonderful and sometimes dangerous as we tried to find the hostess keeping all in order. He introduced himself as James, a close friend of the keeper’s, and since she was busy pulling threads of destiny and time together to contain the various visitors, she had asked him to play co-host. My attention was drawn to a stunning woman dressed in a devils’s outfit with fiery red hair. She ran past us dropping her red leather mask on the floor. A sturdy gentleman followed suit and picked the mask up, holding it with passion as he placed it over his own face.

Suddenly, a shadow in a green cloak flittered past, sending shivers down my spine. I recognised the spectre and knew trouble would be brewing soon. We had to find the keeper.

——————–

I watched as Dre’gon’s attention waned from the she-devil to the green spectre. The amulet felt hot against my skin and I clutched it tight, feeling the burning imprint of its scaly dragon shape into my palm. Not much time was left at the Ball and soon all the worlds would return to their orders, far away in different lands. I had to act now.

“James, does the keeper know that we have the amulet of destiny?” I asked. He nodded slightly, taken aback as I showed him what lay in my hand. The amulet glowed, heat emanating from its tiny gems scattered across its scaly surface. A pulse of energy scoured through my body, throwing me against Dre’gon’s solid chest. He caught me to him, steadying my thin frame as the amulet pulsed again.

“We must find the keeper of the realms now!” growled Dre’gon. His shocking blue eyes glittered and little green flecks filtered through, turning clear blue to an almost Aqua. The gems on the amulet lit up, matching his eyes and the dragon shaped bracelet lifted into the air, escaping my desperate clawing hands and cries. The creatures in masks around us stopped to watch as the threads above us suddenly became visible and the amulet drew them together. Guests screamed in alarm, fighting to escape the ornately decorated room. Flashes of reds, greens, blues burst and crackled above everyones’ heads and screams drowned out my voice.

Lifting my arms up slowly, I used the power of the souls I had harvested to tether the threads. Cracks appeared in the wooden carvings framing doorways and windows and the earth shook. Dre’gon seemed to grow as the amulet drew out more power from the threads, his red hair spiking up as his feet levitated. I screamed for him to help me but all was in vain. Somehow he was linked to this amulet. Of course! The dragon! Fire! Wrath! My mind cried out as the childhood stories of horror and desolation flashed through. Dre’gon belonged to the warlord family that had slayed millions in order to keep their rule. I choked down the tears as my powers stuttered. The flashes were spiralling above us and James had run away with the rest of the guests. Only Dre’gon and I remained in a once beautiful room as we fought for the powers of the amulet.

——————————–

My focus had to remain on destroying the amulet. If Alore succeeded in stopping me then all would continue on forever. But how to tell her to cease this battle? How to let her know that only I could bring this all to an end and if she continued her attack, deaths would continue?
I felt her powers against me, but my soul was not as others. My soul was something she did not want to taste. I had to destroy the amulet and fight against her attack, both in order to save her.

“Lady Alore,” I heard James call out.
Her focus wavered. I put all my efforts into destruction. The final layer of metal melted away and the blood of ancestors flowed onto my skin. The explosion of light and wind was all engulfing.

Screams met my ears as I opened my eyes. The world was a different place. I no longer saw things in the hues as they were in reality. I looked down at the fear on their faces, the horror on that of Alore. The betrayal in her eyes.

“You beast!” She yelled at me. Her powers could not even touch my thickened hide.

“Stop!”

All those that had returned with James turned at the sound of the woman’s voice.

“Keeper,” said James. “Lord Dre’gon has betrayed the Lady Alore and attacked us. And now he has turned into that!”

“No.” The keeper’s voice was calm and the room went quiet. She walked towards me. “I have waited a long time for one of you to come and take back what you left here. Take back the pains, the agonies, the tears.”

“What do you mean?” Alore asked.

The keeper looked from my now red scaly hide to the beautiful lady that had been my love. “Only one of the Dre’gons could bring peace to this place. No longer is there a need for protection. A Dre’gon of pure heart had to make the sacrifice and take back the blood left here by his ancestors when the deaths were caused, and with that sacrifice he also has taken on the suffering of those dying moments inside of him, and will holds these excruciating agonies until he dies.”

Alore looked at me and calmly walked up to my now enormous body. “You knew, when I asked you to come here, what you would do. You saw the amulet. You knew you would sacrifice, be this. And you still came.” I felt her loving touch more painfully than all her power combined.

I stepped back from her. No more of this. It was now time to leave. To go where my kind lived. The keeper knew. She nodded as a giant doorway opened before me and allowed me through.

With one last look back, I saw Alore being held by the keeper.

Not every story has a happy ending. She lives, that is enough for me.

The End.

A Halloween story by Ronovan and Eloise

In case you missed the first and second instalments, please click on the links below.

Masquerade
Masquerade II

Picture from coolchaser.com

Masquerade II

I hated the cold more than the witch we was chasing. Dark, nasty forest filled with ethereal beings were not my cuppa. Nor was Brogan, but he’d sooner slit me throat than let me go. Damn roots and cold moss, whisperin’ trees and the witch floating through ’em. The sooner we catch her and gut her, the sooner I get back t’ my hole in the wall in Pauper Street, of course after we raid tha’ Masquerade Ball.

‘er body jerked as Brogan grabbed it and threw ‘er across the forest. No sound she made. The crack from ‘er skull musta shut her up good. Eh! Brogan slapped me for gigglin’ and told me to shut my pie hole. It’s okay. I’ll have me fun with her later. He slowly removes the amulet from her neck, a wee thing it is. So fragile ‘n I could snap it in a second. He pushes me back as I try to reach for it. The darkness in me tries to reach for ‘er. The solid punch lands me in the dirt again. I hate Brogan and watch his thick neck click as he tries to reach for ‘er again. I trace the pulse throbbing in the sinew along the yellowing skin and watch the life blood flow through to his puny brain. So easy to kill him.

She sighs and her soft breath eases my mind. I watch her flimsy body float against the cold mossy ground and she looks fragile. We ‘ave the amulet and the power to destroy the keeper. Brogan promised I could play wit ‘er. My turn.

Suddenly a burnin’ light from the ugly ol’ tree she was climbing into flashes and somethin’ awful climbs out. He is big ‘n strong an’ I run for cover, hoping he doesn’t find me. He knows. He knows the darkness that lives in me.
***********

The creature, for I dare not bring myself to call it anything close to human, skitters away from me in a manner proving its inhumanness.

“No, it’s not me you be takin’ so easily,” it screeched in a high pitched voice. Before I knew it, the filth was upon the lady.

“Stand away from the Lady Alore and you will live long enough to die by beheading. Touch her and burn before Hades comes for you!” I said as I made my way forward towards the filth threatening the lady. My skin burnt as I strode further into this strange world and closer to the thing hovering near Lady Alore.

“One more step Lord Dre’gon and I do more than kill the girl.” The black teeth smiled as I paused. “Yes, it’s no secret in this realm about what it is you ‘ave for ‘er.” The foulness of its thoughts were a stench greater than the strong odour emitting from the form itself.

“You have a choice to make,” I said. “Touch her and I kill you. Run and I kill you. Or you can give up and die at a later time in a less painful manner.” My matter of fact smile brought a return of the fear he had shown moments before. I stepped closer.

“Eh! eh! eh!” it cried. Fingernails grew into claws before my eyes. “If I am to die, then I choose to die enjoying what I like most.” It slipped its claws down toward Lady Alore’s dress.

My movements were quicker than the vermin-like creature expected. The skin on his wrist burnt inches above the ball gown as my hand grabbed his in a vice like grip. His screams reached through the dark dense forest and winged creatures took flight bringing a commotion to the heavy silence.

“Timmins will not die like this,” it cried in defiance. “We will break through the realms!”

“So you’re Timmins,” I smirked. “For someone so well known for killing, you are certainly . . .” the pain hit me suddenly. A blinding pain so strong it blotted out everything else.

“Let go!” Timmins screamed. My grip tightened as the pain increased. “Nooooo!”

The scent of roasted flesh drifted through the silent air.

A hand touched my vested shoulder. My eyes opened to the vision of Lady Alore, her mahogany eyes filled with concern.

“He’s dead,” she declared as I turned to find the filthy creature I had held just a few seconds before.

I turn to the charred bones at my feet. He looked better dead than alive, the black teeth grinning out of the scorched skull.

“But I’m not,” huffed a deep threatening voice.

Large arms wrap around me clamping my arms to my body, restraint my burning touch from reaching his skin. A hissing sound pierced my ears, growing to a roar. I turned my head to see Lady Alore standing tall. Her eyes burned a fierce golden brown, the soft folds of her dress vibrating as the energy around her grew with every passing moment.

“I forgot about her,” said Brogan.

“Your mistake,” I said with a smile.

“What?”

His sack cloth shirt turned to drifting mist as Alore lifted her arms to the sky. His evil soul, unable to stand against her energy, slowly disintegrated into the darkness. He struggled and staggered backwards. I turned to stop his retreat. Brogan’s evil was stronger than the many souls Alore had fought in the past. She shivered as her strength waned. My hands found his throat as his found mine.

“You will die too,” he groaned as the pain of his burnt soul ravaged his body.

“No,” said the quiet voice of Lady Alore. “Filth will be defeated with filth.”

Dirt pelted the eyes of the big man. Brogan loosened his grip slightly and that is all I needed. The burning took longer than it did with Timmins. This evil was deeper, blacker in the heart. I watched as his insipid body disintegrated under my heated touch. It was over.

Alore ran to me, enfolding me in her warm embrace. We both knew this moment wouldn’t last and relished the sweet embrace. I would return to my world and she to hers, but for this one moment, we had each other.

A soft light glowed from the old tree whose trunk seemed covered with baby ferns. Alore turned towards the light and grasped my hands, my deadly hands without flinching.

“Come with me Dre’gon. Let us go to the keeper of the realms together.” She pulled my willing body towards the old gnarled tree, only stopping to pick up a strangely shaped amulet from the ground. I frowned, recognising the shape of a dragon bracelet, but said nothing. She didn’t need to know this amulet belonged to the Dre’gon family. She had no need to worry of its curse.

The light shone brighter as we approached the tree and with the flexibility of a garden imp, she bent forward and pushed through the small wooden door to another realm filled with music and laughter. I sighed, knowing the implications of showing my face at the Masquerade Ball. My family were not welcome at such events and a strange feeling of foreboding filled my chest. My bright blue eyes flashed green as I pushed through the portal, a shadow following as deftly as death itself.

**************

The final instalment of Masquerade will be tomorrow. Happy Halloween!

Special thanks to Ronovan, Lord Dre’gon, for this instalment of Masquerade II, as he shared his story of how he saved Lady Alore.