Curious Fictions: Two Free Stories

curious fictions

Note: No original article this week. I’m off visiting with family. But have no fear! I have two free stories for everyone!

Curious Fictions is the new hotness for authors like myself. It’s a website that allows us to post free stories and cultivate a followership. The website is clean and very easy to navigate. I’ve joined Curious Fictions to encourage me to write and get stories out into the world. I plan on using the platform to give attention to stories that I love, but may not be right for most markets.

I’ve put up two stories, both of which can be found here.

My first story, ‘The Eldritch Film Club’, is a weird little story written in the 2nd person. I love this thing to death though, so please take a look.

The second is called ‘Manifesto: Abnormality at Z33.1’. This story came about after I spent a couple of days outlining a novella idea. I saw the skeleton of a fun little story and this is what came of it. If this novella ever sees the light of day, this will serve as a perfect little prequel.

Halloween Freaks – A Halloween Short Story

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Halloween Freaks

A Halloween Short Story

The houses on Packard Street no longer celebrate Halloween. When the 31st of October rolls around, we engage our deadbolts and close our blinds. The porch lights remain dark and we wait for the Halloween Freaks to arrive.

They first came the year after Jenny passed on. Jenny loved Halloween more than any other holiday. In the 53 years we’d been married, it was this autumn night that she looked forward to the most. She loved to see the kids in their costumes, their eyes bright. She’d welcome them with handfuls of candy, grinning in the way that made her so beautiful. I never cared much for the whole thing. I keep a smile and went along with it though. I would have followed Jenny to hell and back.

That Halloween that they arrived, I poured myself a drink and sat at my window. The street was teeming with excited children and parents doing their best to keep them near. I figured I could watch the festivities and think back on Halloweens past. Looking back, I wish I hadn’t done that. I could have flown to another place, spending the holiday on a beach somewhere. Then I maybe could have stayed there. Let the house rot. There is nothing left for me there anyway.

The kids couldn’t see them. Neither could their parents. But my neighbors could. I could. There is something about the people that live on Packard that makes us cursed. We see them on our porches. We see them in our gardens. Lurking near windows, poised just out of sight…

How would I describe them? Long. Withered. Skulls that glowed, amorphous eyes tethered wetly in cavernous sockets. They don’t have feet. Just legs that dangle and sway as they float above the ground. They don’t speak. They don’t call out to us. They float and they shine and they only come along when the sun sets on Halloween night.

When I saw them for that first time, I thought it was some kind of complex costume. I remember leaning forward, nearly pressing my brow to the blinds to get a better look. That’s when I saw them open their glowing lips and letting that foul orange light out that I realized exactly what I was seeing. Some kind of supernatural event, creatures birthed from some kind of darkness. The creatures’ heads twists and that light spin over everything, giving the shadows unholy life.

Someone called the police after. They came, lights flashing. I watched Mrs. Myers talking to them, her eyes bulging and her face flushed with fears. The officers left, shaking their heads. Of course they wouldn’t believe. Why would they?

No one talked about them after. We went about our lives. Pretended that we didn’t see what I called the Halloween Freaks. But I think that everyone dreaded the return of autumn.

They came again that next year. I drank nearly an entire bottle of whiskey as I waited. That year they floated from one end of the street to the other. There was less kids that Halloween. Even though no one else could see the Freaks, I think they could feel them. Perhaps it was the pull of their unholy light. I know I felt it. The nightmares I had that night were dark and foul. Jenny was in them all, her lips glowing. And, when she opened her mouth, the world twisted and squirmed, colors running together like blood down a shower drain.

Why do they come? What do they want? Are they spirits, tethered to this earth? Demons escaped from the deepest bowls of hell? I don’t know. I’m not sure if anyone does. They float from one end of the street to the other, lingering to gaze into windows, their inner light shining over everything.

The children have stopped coming. The street is nothing but dead leaves now. I’m 80 years old. I started coughing earlier this year, and bits of blood have started to appear on my handkerchief when the fits get particularly bad. It’s Halloween Day, about an hour before dark. They’ll be coming any minute now.

When they do, I’ll be waiting. I’ll put on my coat, pick up my cane, and I’ll walk right down my warped front porch stairs. I intend to greet these Freaks, perhaps touch their withered flesh.

Maybe they have some secrets to share. Anything is possible. After all, it is Halloween.

 

Happy Halloween! I hope it’s suitably spooky.

– Logan Noble

Night Shift at the Blue Acres Care Facility

Jake’s phone died with a feeble buzz. Jake tore his ear buds out from his ears and stuffed both his phone and the headphones into the front pocket of his scrubs. Just his luck. Stuck on the night shift with no music.

He looked out over the quiet of the care facility. The silence of the place was starting to get to him. He wished he’d kept his job at McDonald’s. Sure, the pay was better here. But the hours certainly weren’t.

He’d been stuck with the graveyard shift at Blue Acre Care Facility. It was his job to serve as security between the hours of 11 PM and 7 AM the next morning. He was a knight in scrub armor for a building of old people who couldn’t care less about him being there. The only other employees in the building were some catty nurses at the front desk, another security guard in the East Wing, and his buddy Darrell working laundry downstairs.

Five days ago, Jake had been on the Laundry Crew as well. Then it started happening. Old people began dying. Not the normal way they do in facilities like this. This was the fishy sort of death, sometimes multiple in one night. The night shift nurses’ (during their rounds) would find them, mouths open wide and their dry eyeballs bulging. Maybe. Jake suspected that was an exaggeration.

You know what wasn’t an exaggeration? The corpses in the basement. The biggest snowstorm in southwest Michigan had struck earlier in the week. The heavy ice and snow had pulled down power lines and trapped people in their homes. Most of Allegan had lost power, including the morgue up the road. They couldn’t get the bodies. No power to keep them cool. So they were being kept in the service hallway in the basement. Covered in sheets with the doors locked up, a portable cooling system running overtime to keep the bodies cold. Darrell said that the hum of the thing was driving him crazy down in the laundry room.

The owners of Blue Acres had lost it. They couldn’t figure out why their patients were dying. Was it disease? Something more sinister? Jake had been pulled from laundry and stuck at a security desk until an investigation could be completed. His job was to watch the hallway. That’s it. The nurses did everything else.

Everything had been quiet though. Not that Jake minded that. What could he possibly do if someone came strolling down that hallway anyway? Some tall fella, reaching for a door handle, smiling at Jake as he–

It’s so cold

Jake startled and nearly fell from his chair. Someone had just spoke! It had been clear enough that he felt like it was coming from directly behind him. Jake jerked his head around. No one in the hallway except for him. Nothing. You need sleep. You need to get on the day shift. He settled back in, alert for a few minutes. After a while, the complete and utter silence wore on him.

Jake felt his eyes growing heavy. He let them close, just for a second. Behind his eyes, tinged at the edges with darkness, the hallway stretched out. Bad art and maps of the facility dotted the walls. Ice crept up from the floor, frost turning hard as it reached ever higher. Something was walking down the center of the hallway. Impossibly tall. Spindly arms tipped with thin fingers. Fear blossomed in Jake’s chest, red-hot. He got a quick glance at the figure before he averted his eyes. It was maggot-grey, its wrinkled torso shot through with cerulean veins. It walked in a jerky movement that made Jake’s head swim. The ice was creeping higher and higher, consuming wall lights like black mold in a rotting house. The Maggot-Thing turned its head and stretched its neck out, the loose skin pulling ever tighter at the base of its squashed head.

It’s so cold please Lord it’s so cold

Metal crashed against something hard and Jake screamed awake, his hands lashing out at his desk. He stood up, his heart thudding. Midway down the hallway in front of him, the basement door had been thrown open. Muffled footsteps echoed down his desolate hallway, growing distant as the metal door closed. Someone is breaking in!

Without thinking, Jake ran around his desk and charged toward the closing door. He’d fallen asleep and someone had taken the opportunity to rush down the stairs! No. Not today. He was going to put an end to this.

Jake reached the door right before it latched. He yanked hard and threw himself through.

He took the stairs two at a time, his chest heaving. His heart was threatening to beat through his ribcage. He had no plan. No way to fight an intruder. What are you doing!?

Jake stiff-armed the basement door and found himself on the other side. He looked right, facing the laundry and boiler room. Empty. He turned left, his eyes scanning up from the floor. When he saw it, he felt his stomach churn.

Blood covered every inch of floor. A severed hand lay off to the side, coated in red-tinged frost. Its deceased owner lay in the center, torn asunder. Organs gleamed pink. Dark skin was coated crimson. Darrell. His only friend. Dead.

Jake fell into the wall, stifling a scream. He was barely holding on. At the end, just beyond Darrell’s mutilated corpse, the utility hallway double doors were thrown wide. Cold air rolled through into the main hall. The sound of the industrial cooling machine droned on, the hum of a thousand mechanical wasps. Jake could see everything.

It’s cold please save us please

He saw two rows of gurneys on each side of the utility hallway. Twelve sheets covering twelve cold bodies.

The intruder must still be down here. He’d unlocked the utility door. He’d killed Darrell. Fear and rage melded inside of him. He knew, in the rational part of his brain, that he should flee. Call the police and let them hunt this murderer down. But Jake didn’t want that. He wanted to hurt this monster. Break his bones. Inflict on him what he had on Darrell.

His tennis shoes crunched on the frosty floor. His breath misted. Claustrophobia clamped an icy hand around Jake’s throat. The utility hallway was a small space. Only a few closets with extra supplies or old furniture. The corpses took up every other square inch. Jake looked around, his fists clenched. He wasn’t sure what he was expecting. But–

Voices seared through his brain. Jake howled and clamped his hands to his ears. It did nothing to stop them. It was a pandemonium of wails and howls, punctuated with whispered threats. The sound was coming from inside his head.

Ice was creeping up the walls. A pipe suddenly burst, the sound blowing Jake’s eardrums out. He reeled, his hands thrown out for balance. His fingers found the cold resistance of a corpse. He cried out and hugged his arms back to his body. He was beginning to blubber now. He felt helpless.

The double doors slammed shut.

Jake stopped and stared. You’re trapped. He heard the door lock engage with a final click. The air was ice now. It was getting colder.

Jake rushed the doors and threw his shoulder into them. They rattled, but did not give. He did it again and again, the shock of it traveling through his body. He could feel his face and fingers going numb.

The voices raised in pitch, laughter keening through. The corpses were laughing at him. They’d sprung a trap. He was a victim now. But for what purpose!? Why!?

From behind him, Jake heard the silky rustle of sheets moving. Jake paused his attack on the door. The voices had gone silent. He wanted to turn around. He wanted to see what he’d heard.

Jake did, tears forming in his eyes. All twelve corpses were sitting up. Wrinkled skin and dry, bulging eyes. Pale flesh gone loose with age. One by one each corpse smiled, lips pulling up into a rigid mockery of a human smile.

Tears rolled down Jake’s cheeks. He was frozen, his back pressed hard into the unyielding door. Then, from the corner of the hall where darkness gathered, the figure from his nightmare emerged. It’s real. Its fat, heavy head brushed at the ceiling. It’s nearly translucent skin quivered in unholy anticipation, long fingers curling and uncurling. The Maggot-Thing walked toward Jake, its gait long and unnatural. It was a hulking horror unlike anything else that Jake could have ever dreamed of. Cold emanated from it. He could see the air twist, an aura of sheer rime.

The corpses swung their legs around and set their feet on the frozen floor. Sheets slithered down in unison, the sound nearly lost under the roar of the portable cooler. They began to close in, each lurching body still grinning. The Maggot-Thing’s head twisted like a towel in a wringer. The skin split in several places, the blue wounds bloodless and gaping. It hunched over, pressing its gargantuan hands on the nearest gurney. The metal twisted under its weight.

They planned to claim him. As they had so many before. The first corpse grabbed at Jake. Jake fought, but it was no use. They were too strong. There was too many of them. They had him by the arms, by the legs, by the neck. He thrashed uselessly. The Maggot-Thing turned its head skyward in vile ecstasy. Its skin twitched, the veins inside squirming.

The voices in his head had gone silent. They had nothing more to say.

 

 

 

 

My Reads For 2017

Hello world!

In 2017 I took on the Goodreads Reading Challenge. I met my goal of 50 books over the course of the year. I’ll be posting an article talking about some of my favorites. If you click the link below you can see all 50 of the books I read:

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