Friday, 19 September 2014

Don't Talk To The Dead

Okay, I'm continuing on from Coolerbs on the Flash Fiction from last week!  I saw this, read it, and loved it!  The top green on is the first 500, the second purple one is the next 500 and then, the bottom blue one is my work... enjoy!

Everyone knew talking to the dead was a bad idea.  
 It always ended up creating all manner of messes for the rest of the world to deal with.  The riddles the dead would weave…people knew better than to listen to them anymore.  If Osama Bin Ladin hadn’t thought he was following his ancestors plans, he probably never would have become a radical.  Hitler wouldn’t have become an elitist.  Hell, most serial killers start off by listening to the whispers of the dead.
 That said, a lot of people were willing to break their rules to carry out the wishes of a lost loved one.  Only problem was, quite often, they didn’t realize that the echoes people left behind weren’t really them anymore.  Just the worst of them would remain, the parts they wanted to leave behind and never think about again.  Their darkest secrets, their worst desires, their most wild, inappropriate thoughts.  Remnants weren’t human anymore.  Just a concentration of evil, all their former goodness stripped away forever.
 Cory already knew all this.  Knew it better than most people, in fact.  Not many people were willing to study old messages from the dead as a career, let alone be insane enough to actively attempt to communicate with them.  Cory had been deliberately talking to the dead for the better part of six years now, carefully recording each interaction, extensively analyzing every aspect of what the dead would say.
 Granted, some of these conversations were more significant, and traumatic, than others.
 He’d talked to his “grandfather” a total of twelve times now.  Each time was more difficult than the last.  Even though Cory knew, logically, that the man talking to him wasn’t really his grandpa anymore, it was impossible to completely dissociate the evil remnant from the kindly, world-wise man Cory had known.  
 The first time they’d spoken, he’d told Cory to kill a judge.  He’d said the man had murdered more than one criminal to keep them from revealing his many affairs. Cory, obviously, hadn’t done it.  Truthfully, he didn’t believe any facts he got from the dead.  They were all spinning their own, manipulative stories, not to mention that their memories were skewed by how little of their original self was left.
 Still, every time he spoke to his “grandfather” and the man wondered why Cory wasn’t doing as he’d been told, it got harder.  Having the man who raised you, the man you respected above all others, being disappointed in you was never easy, and Cory still hadn’t managed to totally separate this remnant from his grandpa.
 The longer you talked to a specific remnant, the harder it got.  All the research said it.  And, by all accounts, no one who spoke to the same one thirteen times had managed to evade either ending up in a psychiatric facility, attempting to kill someone, or committing suicide.
 Because that was what the dead did.  They tried to get more people to join them.

Then, on the thirteenth visit, as predicated, something changed. Cory could feel it through the entire day leading up to it. The night before; he could not sleep, his pumping heart becoming the soundtrack of insomnia.  He spent the night staring at his ceiling, fiddling with the air conditioner; too hot, then too cold.
On five hours of rest he went through that day, the clouds echoing his mood with long dark streaks, pressing up against each other, as if they were stitched together. He stopped a moment to look up at them. The hints of rain gave the air its own taste. As the rain began to drop, he raced towards the facility.
The facility itself was a strange location, by anyone’s standards. The rifts that allowed the remnants to bleed through had popped up on the earth surface, with little care for what stood there. Both hospitals and playground alike, leveled in the rush to study. The buildings were built up around the chambers that contained the phenomenon.
The rain was already splashing on the nape of Cory’s neck, sprinkling across his face and fogging his glasses. Yet, he stood and looked around for a moment, remembering the swing set and the long yellow slide. It was there he had first met his grandpa, when he had first been introduced to the man who would influence his life. He had not known who this man was; just an elderly man who always laughed at his jokes, no matter how juvenile.
A particularly large drop of water hit him on the upper eyelid, and he was forced from his memory. He brushed it off, and pulled out his keycard. The I.D. picture display was a much happier version of him; a much more naïve version.
The machine accepted his card with a flash of green light, and he walked inside
Besides the various monitoring areas, and overly long hallways, the building really only consisted of one room. It was a circular area, cameras all pointing at the center, recording even the slightest twitch from the pit on the floor.
That was really the best way to describe it: a pit. Darkness ebbed from it, the bright lights of the room doing nothing to diminish it. A ring of electricity spiraled around the edges, keeping anything that might escape from moving beyond it. “Grandpa” had learned that well enough during a heated conversation.
Cory was not sure why, but he felt dread as he powered on the various devices. The beeping of monitors filled the quiet room. The cameras all swiveled in their sockets and focused on the platform. A long stream of light pumped down the pit.  In response, shrieking noises came from within. A few hands reached up towards the edges, only to be electrocuted back into their place. Only one allowed through.
It took a few moments, but he eventually appeared. Rising up from the pit, like a toy at the claw machine. His skin a translucent blue, his eyes were white globes; devoid of irises.
“Hello, Cory” he said.

Cory pulled a seat around and sat down, “Hi.”
“You still haven’t killed the bastard judge.” He said.
“You’re still on about that?” he groaned, “Thought we’d talk about something else.”
“Like what?” his ‘Grandpa’s’ eyes glowered at him.
He heard the rain become heavier outside and thunder grumble like drums overhead, “Like… are you really my Grandpa?”
“Of course I am.” He snorted, “I know everything about you.”
Smiling the young man nodded, “Oh yeah, sure.  Any dead person could say that when they make contact with a living human because they have to mind-meld.  But, you sure as shit don’t act like my Grandpa… you’re a remnant, and you’re hiding my Grandpa.”
The old man said nothing as he looked down, then sighed, “So what?”
“So what?  So, my Grandpa wouldn’t get me to kill some judge I know nothing about.  And before you start bitching, I’m not going to begin stalking him like some sicko.”
“Listen kid, all you have to do is kill him… that’s all I’m asking.”
“Bargaining… jeez aren’t you past that?”
The remnant stood there in silence, knowing Cory wasn’t going to be forced to do anything, “Listen, you should know by now that your Grandpa is long gone, and I’m using him.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know.  You’re highjacking his body and all, but really do you have to blow this bullshit over me again?” Cory snapped, “I’m not doing it!”
Lightning flashed outside and they were plunged into darkness for a moment.  When the lights came back on, Cory’s Grandpa was gone, “Dammit.  Lost contact.” He stood, turning toward the computer to see how it all went down; as he knew it would have recorded everything, even when the power went off – as it was working off its battery.  Looking at the screen, he watched the last moments of the conversation.  The lightning flashed.  The lights went out and came back on.  In between those two events, a low-grade energy reading was picked up on the cameras before they switched off.  It read outside the force field which he had set up.
Looking up quickly, Cory realised the remnant was lose, “Crap!”
“Crap indeed.” A voice at his shoulder whispered in his ear.  He jumped back, running into the corner of the desk, looking around but finding nothing as the voice continued on in his head, “You’ll never find me, Cory…” it took on a sing-song tone, “I’m in your head… I’ll drive you crazy.”
“No!” he shouted shaking his head, “Get out!”
The voice whispered up close to his left ear, “Make me.”

The doctor came into his room and watched him with two other interns next to him as he sat by the window looking out at the day mumbling to himself.
“This is Cory.” The doctor said, “He checked himself in here last year and was fine for about a week, then he started talking to a man called ‘Grandpa’.  He believes he’s been talking to the dead…”
Cory turned around and looked at the doctor with white glowing eyes, “Don’t talk to the dead… don’t talk to the dead… don’t talk to the dead…”

Friday, 12 September 2014

Pictures - Parts I & II

Okay, guys, here's the thing.  I needed a lot of the scenes from the first 500 words I had chosen this week.  So, I've copy and pasted Deanmcsmith's work into here and continued on with my work; separating our works with different coloured inks... hope it runs on well enough.

The film is on original Kodak Panchromatic, which I guess makes it no older than 1928. It was archived in the foreign films section of the library, though there is no distinguishing documentation to support it. The film can is the original Kodak, though the serial numbers are missing. There looks to be about an hours worth of film, though at this point I can’t say for sure. It’s never been projected though, there don’t appear to be any marks on the material at all.

Sammi left the tablets voice recorder running while she set up the projector. Her mind was still on the stacks and the small mountain of films she needed to get through if she was to have any hope of earning a bonus in time for Christmas. The job had been a dream come true for her when she had gotten it, it would have been for any film studies graduate, but the gloss had soon worn thin. If the last three weeks and 300 films were anything to go by, then the majority of the libraries uncatalogued films would be either bad student projects or donated home movies.

The film begins with a black background, the title added at the time. It’s in German, Der Wag, I have no idea what that means. Next comes a name, Lotte Kiebar, followed by Filmregissuer. If I had to guess I’d say that makes her the director. More black background then it fades, replaced by shots taken at the entry to a forest. The lighting is superb, it’s early in the morning, the shadows giving the game away. I can see pines and a few firs, there’s a lot of snow on the ground and down one side of the trees. Camera pans down and I can see a single set of bootprints. The camera follows them down what looks like a track, the snow less thick on the ground. There’s little camera shake, the shot is slow but steady, unlike anything else I’ve seen from the period. A bird flies into the branches of a tree and snow falls down in large clumps, the cameraman jumping back to avoid it. We get a quick glimpse of the sun,

Sammi paused the film, more than a little confused. The sun was just going down in the last camera shot, despite less than 15 minutes of the film having elapsed. Rewinding the film didn’t help; there was nothing to suggest that it had been edited. It was the original take. Pushing the doubts to one side, Sammi set the film going again.

which appears to be setting. The camera is following the tracks once again, into a large clearing, a mound in the middle of it, Looking to be about 7 feet high, the mound is turfed over, the snow missing in patches. Night has almost completely fallen now.

There was a knock at the lab door, heavy handed. Sammi jumped, then went to stop the film, laughing softly at her reaction. Her hand was poised, ready to flick pause when

She realised she was the only one here.  Sammi hadn’t heard anyone approach – as she normally did in this place – and so the heavy-handed knock at the door couldn’t have happened… could it?

Reluctantly she rose from her seat and walked to the door in the semi-darkness after turning off the film completely and then switching on a table lamp.  There was a large, hinged peep-hole for those who had to be identified which had been built into this place and she quickly unlocked it and pulled it open!
Just as she suspected:  there wasn’t anyone standing there.  But if she had heard the knocking then, who the hell was it?  Sammi shook her head… she didn’t want to know.  She closed the peep hole and locked again, turned back to her work and found there was dirt on the floor.
“Bloody grots…” she muttered picking up a broom from the shelves and sweeping it up.  But the more she swept, the more there seemed to be, as she shuffled closer to the screen and found herself standing on a forest path.

It was freezing.

It was sunrise.

A bird flew to a branch.  The snow fell off it in clump and she jumped, moving slowly…

Why did this feel so familiar?

Turning back to where she came from, she found the forest path winding away from her into the mist and a person in her face manning the camera, “Action.  Walk now.”
She hesitantly walked along the path where there were now two boot tracks... instead of one… they approached a large mound which really did look around 7ft tall!  She turned to the camera person, “How did I get here?”
She smiled, “You watched the film, yes?”
“Heard somebody knocking?”
“Turned your back to the screen, yes?”
Sammi sighed, “Yes.”
“You are the next to be added on.”
She moved the camera toward the mound, grinning, “To be added on.”

“Sammi! Time’s up!” Richard opened the door to the archival room and found it empty.  His girlfriend’s bag and notes were on the table with a film running on a screen.  As he watched, it he saw somebody who looked like his girlfriend turn from a 7ft mound and say ‘yes’… then the camera turned to the mound. 

Suddenly, the camera turned to him! Richard saw the inside of the archival room on the screen, “I see you.” A woman’s voice came across the tape recorder, “And everything I see in life, how everything ends up… is all about the pictures I take.”
He glanced over her shoulder at where Sammi was standing looking as Richard watched his girlfriend slowly turn into a tree from the forest, “Hey!” he stepped into the room, letting go of the door handle.

The door slammed shut.

Richard found himself on a forest path covered in snow.

A bird flew to a branch on a tree.

A clump of snow fell, making him jump.

He turned and found a camera lady behind him, “Action.  Now, walk.”

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Wardrobe Monster

The power had gone out soon after the storm started up, and pretty soon after, her e-reader died too.  She looked outside and noticed the whole neighbourhood was in darkness. Sighing, Savannah showered by torchlight and went off to bed.
But not for long… only a few minutes after she switched off her torch, she started hearing noises coming from her wardrobe – noises she had never heard before.

Unnatural noises.

Her folks had told her there was no such thing as monsters when she was a kid.

That was crap.

She knew it.

But then, she had seen this thing destroy people’s lives in a split second, and now she was sitting up in her bed terrified of it.
Savannah knew it was crap, and closed her eyes, “It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real…” she kept chanting to herself to see if it would make the noise in her wardrobe stop.

To make her mind from going crazy…

To make her nerves from being on edge…

…to make her relax again.

She pulled the covers of her bed up to her chin and watched the door handle of the wardrobe as the shadow of the trees moved across it, “Crap, I’m in my twenties and …” she swallowed dryly, “I’m too fucking old for this shit!” kicking off her covers, she pulled on her Ugg boots, dressing gown and grabbed the waterproof torch she kept by her bed when storms like this hit and switched it back on.  Walking toward the wardrobe, she followed the large circle of light.

Five feet out, the noise started to sound like a grunting pig.  She thought it was cute – but weird – seeing it came from where her clothes were stored.

Three feet out, her gut cooled as she heard scratching coming from inside… along with screams.  The grunting was gone.

One foot, and Savannah noticed smoke was seeping from underneath the doors as she reached forward to open the door…

The door handle suddenly rattled loudly… clearly… and…
The whole door shuddered as though somebody bashed against it!

Savannah shuffled back, tripped over her glory box at the end of her bed, and sat on the end of her bed as the two wardrobe doors opened…

Two guys in Terrible Minds wrote second parts to my first.  I thought to put the links up here so you guys can read them.  As this continues on, I'll add the others on so it finishes the tale.

The Wardrobe Monster - Part 2 (Deanmcsmith)

The Wardrobe Monster - Part 2 (John Freeter)

The Wardrobe Monster - Part 2 (Soph)

The Wardrobe Monster - Part 3 (ronnehbook)