Friday, August 12, 2011

Real Faces of Evil

          Twigs cracked underneath my feet, I could swear I was going fast enough to fly.  My heartbeat swelled in my head and drowned out my heavy breathing.  If I gasped any more, my chest would explode.  My pants ripped on the underbrush.  I could smell him, he was getting closer.  Fuck.
          I pulled a branch back and snapped it behind me.  I heard some indistinct yelling so close, but it felt so far away.  He really was that close to me.  The lake house was about a half a mile away.  I had no idea if my body was going to let me continue at this pace, but I had to try.  I had to get there.
          The wind had picked up and my eyes started watering down my cheeks.  I didn’t have time in my frantic haze to tell if I was actually crying, or if it really was just the wind.  My shoe got caught on something and flipped off into the dark.  The next step down had my leg jolt with a searing pain, something had lodged itself in between my toes.  I looked down just long enough to see blood pooling around the stick that was protruding out.  I wanted to vomit, but shook the image out of my head.  I continued to run, as fast as my limp filled run would take me. 
          “Shut up!”
          “Just freaking stop!”
          I looked behind me to see if I could make him out.  He might even be up in the trees, I had no idea.  I just wanted to get out of the forest.  My head was pounding from the last two mile run, I could barely make out anything in the dark.  I saw the lake house up ahead, it wasn’t that much farther.
          “Erica, don’t you dare!”
          “Just stay away from me!”
          The pain was getting increasingly worse, and the limp was ruining my pace even more.  He was going to catch me, this much I was sure of.  Though, every time I looked for him, he wasn’t anywhere.  It seemed like his voice was coming from all over the woods, and I couldn’t pinpoint the sound.  I couldn’t shake the picture out of my head.  Those dark eyes, the deafening silence after he changed.  The anger the loomed behind every sense of his being.  The romantic side of me thought that maybe this was just the mysterious part that ever girl dreamed of.  But I quickly reminded myself that this wasn’t a blockbuster movie, this was my life – and this wasn’t a mystery.  It was as clear as day, but as dark as night.
          I pounded my feet up the porch steps and reached to open the door – we never kept the porch door locked, but now there was good reason to.  I gasped as gnarled hands curled around mine and I was face to face with Victor.
          “Get. Your. Hands. Off. Me.”  I tried to shake him off, but it was useless.
          “It took you long enough to get here.”
          “Well, if you don’t mind, you can just go home, okay?  Just get out.”
          “You know,” he leaned into me.  I could smell that musky smell, the smell I never was able to place before now.  “I’m not like them, I don’t need an invitation inside.”  I shifted under him.
          “Look,” he released my hand.  “Can we just talk?”  I shook my head, speechless.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of his.  The darkness, the emptiness, all of it I had never seen in true color before tonight.  His quickness to get angry with me, I thought we were just going to another one of those semi-abusive couples that really do love each other.  But no, nope.  I had to go and fall in love with a stupid freaking… do I dare even say it?  Do I dare even admit to myself how deeply in danger I am?
          I winced.  The pain in my foot was finally catching up to me and I leaned on the glass door for support.
          “Erica…”  He looked at my foot and to the look at my face.  His hands melded back into their regular form, the still rough looking, but ever so much more pleasant to look at hands that I had held many nights before.  I started crying.  He lifted my foot up, and I bit my lip, instinctively pulling away from him.  “What on earth did you do?”
          “I don’t…”  I lost my footing and slumped over on Vincent.  “This doesn’t mean…”
          “I know, love, I know.”  He lifted me up and carried me into the lake house.  “But right now, we need to get this stick out of your toe.  I mean, this is really disgusting.”
          “Says the guy that looks gross thirty percent of his life.”
          “More like twenty, and I don’t think it’s that gross.  Is it?”
          “It’s fowl.”  I nuzzled my head into his shoulder.  “It’s disgusting, it’s horrific, it’s horrible, and I can’t believe I’m still in love with you.”  This was me, and my boyfriend.  My disgusting werewolf of a boyfriend.  Oh, I know that you’ve seen on those movies – the nice fur, the warmth.  But no, this was some horrible half-man, lanky kind of creature with gnarled, worn limps that looked so ferocious that you wanted to run the opposite direction.  There was nothing romantic about his shape shifting.  It was scary.  And that’s why I ran blindly into the night – I was terrified of him.  And I wasn’t sure that anything would be the same, but I was sure happy to not be stepping on my foot anymore.

I don't typically write science fiction - I always find that most of those stories fall flat after a point.  Not other authors, I think some people have done a great job at creative fantasy works - but I don't have that kind of skill in my writer's box.  But it's fun to experiment with shorts every once and awhile.  If you're looking for a great Science Fiction read, check out Brom's The Child Thief.  It is the evil side of Peter Pan - and yes, it's wicked cool.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


He stopped in his tracks.  The horse’s muzzle shook underneath the reigns behind him.  He could feel the frostbite seeping through his fingertips as the snow filled in what footprints they had made.  The horse’s breath fell in wisps upon his shoulders, causing a small break of warmth in the bitter, dead cold of winter.  No one ever believed that they would have the opportunity to die like this, like Miles was currently.  He never believed he’d get the chance to think of his short thirty-two years of life before it was ended.  Who would ever believe that through the cold of winter that you could still feel the fire on your face?  You could see you son napping with red cheeks, curled up next to his favorite stuffed animal.
“Dad, we can get one someday, right?”  He shook the ragged puppy in Miles’ face.
“Sure, son, whatever you want, we’ll get it, definitely.”
And that’s how it all began.  The brutal cold pierced through their cabin, came down the chimney, dowsing their fire.  His wife begged him, said it would be too much on his body, that they could just eat Kasha.
There was no way Miles would ever let that happen.  The way his son’s face lit up at the prospect of riding her.  She was the closest thing he ever had to a friend.  So much for living the nomadic life.
Something that no one ever tells you about dying, is the ultimate peace that washes over you after you’ve already accepted it.  It has that pit of despair, that desperate desire to continue, but there comes a time when you finally just relax, and accept what’s coming.  So this was it, this was Miles’ end.  And he wanted so badly just to get Kasha to safety, or somewhere, maybe that someone could find her.
So he pushed them forward.  She nudged his back every once and awhile.  The brown mare had her own language.  It was if she was begging him, begging his legs, to keep going, one step at a time.  Miles had no regrets.  His family would starve if he didn’t get back, and he supposed that was a regret, but maybe they wouldn’t.  He held on hope for them, that this bitter, cold winter wouldn’t shake their bones like it did his.  He always thought he was the weakest one anyway.  His wife had such a painful childbirth, and she had made it out with an exhausted smile on her face.  That same sideways smirk that she always gave Miles at the best of times in their life.
And his son had overcome the famine.  He had survived two grave illnesses that many children his age had died from years prior.  All of this without medication.  Miles knew, or convinced himself, they would make it.  They had to make it, because one more step in this white snow wasn’t going to happen.  He knelt down and felt the dampness seep up through his two heavy layers.  The whinny behind him made him reach up and scratch Kasha’s nose.  “It’ll be okay, girl.  You have to keep going.”  He pointed and looked at her, pleading.  “One more mile, girl, it’s fine.  Please.”  She nudged his shoulder.  He felt hot tears rising up in him.  He choked them back, it was no use to have them freeze on his face.  It would just make him colder.
Miles blinked slowly, holding eye contact with Kasha.  “Please, Kasha, go.”  She opened her great mouth and grabbed his jacket, almost pulling him up.  Miles couldn’t help but let out a meek laugh.  She was choosing to die with him.


Though I could see this becoming a longer piece, I don't think it will.  Frankly, I know nothing of being a nomad, having settled down for most of my life.  I've always wanted to just live on the road, travel to random, outback destinations.  Some of my favorite stories are of people trapped in the wilderness.