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Latest Stories

November 19, 2021
Flash Fiction Russ Bickerstaff

Perfect

It’s the little things. That something was wrong. But he couldn’t figure out what it was. And maybe it was the bed and the direction it was amazing. There was a problem with one of the club shops in one hand. Maybe with the thread count of the sheets. Or…
November 18, 2021
General Stories Matty LibraWolf

Haunting Stories Of The Visionaries

On a snowy mistrustful night, a newborn Skully Doyle, who was fast asleep in his cot, his visionary confused himself getting abducted from a Demonic Apparition. A woman called White Widow owns a three-headed dog called Cerberus Trio. This woman was a Satanist…
November 12, 2021
Mystery Stories Glenn Dungan

Gosh Darn It I’m Wet!

Alright fine. Okay, so the rubber duck bobs in the water, ignorant of the vapor steaming from the pool and rising to the banisters and balustrades in the warehouse. It wears a yellow raincoat and holds in a cartoonish way an umbrella inscribed with the words…
November 12, 2021
General Stories Michael McCarthy

Motherload

‘‘Whiskeeee!’’ She ducked as the chunky glass came flying across the room, minuscule droplets of the alcohol splattering her cheek. She’d become quite adroit at dodging his missiles. But she couldn’t avoid his booze ravaged rasp. ‘‘When I call for a whisky,…
November 05, 2021
Flash Fiction Benoit

Therese

Therese Synopsis Rich parents are not everything. Therese is alone. She gambles on marriage when the chance arises, and lands in court on a murder charge. Therese Bordeaux France, 1952 Therese is not normal. She's not fun and has no friends. She finds…
November 05, 2021
General Stories Lawrence Hartmann

The Quiet World

The Pennsylvania mountains surrounded the small car with majesty and grace. “When I die, scatter my ashes here,” said Roger, the driver. “Ok,” said Paul. The two were married, five years now. They had met one summer day at the Macy’s store on State Street in…
November 03, 2021
Crime Stories Benoit

Dizzy

Synopsis – Mistaken identity can be inconvenient, even fatal. I was still dizzy when they brought me into the office. Sharp suits meet hospital smock. Bloody. I could not hear much. The crash and concussion, no doubt. They were smiling, trying to be nice.…
November 03, 2021
Horror Stories Derek-Avery Patz

Movie Night

Here I text him. His profile notified me that he likes cheeseburgers; it’s our second date and Jumpin’ Jacks has the best cheeseburgers around. Gavin is the real deal, or so the twins say he is. Elizabeth and Alyssa are fixtures in this small shithole of a…
September 25, 2021
General Stories NT Franklin

Coming Home

While Rupert paced in the parking lot, a cool spring breeze went down the back of his neck and made him shiver. Or was the shiver from having to go into the boss’s office? He had issues with male authority figures, or so his last work-ordered therapist had…
September 25, 2021
Flash Fiction Sandeep

Space Age Agency

Today I want to write about a nice story about OutSpace Consulting Pvt Ltd. that hired me to work for a Space Age Aeronautics Frontier (SAAF). To create a new vehicle and technology for managing their database, missions, research and exploration endeavors.…
September 13, 2021
General Stories Kasimir Kozlowski

An Understanding

1 The sharp halogen beams of the Greyhound bus cut a swath of light across the white frozen tundra of the flatlands nearing a small town outside of Winnipeg, and the passengers are beginning to get a little restless. Henry also stirs to life. He’s been…
September 13, 2021
Fantasy Stories Abdulla Ameen

That Memorable Quest

Beneath the starlit sky, which not only had that dark blue shade but also a purple tone, with stars lying flat on the vivid plain, was the cavern he chose to spend the night. The hillside was riskier in the dark and that was the only thought that made him…

Once, when I was a lad in my youth, a girl of fancy asked me “why does the cage bird sing?” I told her something poetic and romantic that could only have come off as pretentious with ignorance. I now know the answer. They do not sing, they scream. It was only after gazing upon that mirror that I understand the horror of imprisonment; of only being able to stare at the world, of having all your screams and pleas come off as singing.

The mirror was a gift from my late Grandfather. It was a surprise as I was sure he hated me. I thought him a fool, and he the same of me. At the time I assumed this was for appearances sake, a gift to every child and grandchild of some kind. The mirror was this massive obelisk the height of an entire wall. Atop, perched and staring down were three mold dragons. Beneath the mirror, a dozen gold men carrying the thing with their bones breaking beneath the weight. It was truly a sight of craftsmanship! I placed the thing in my study, thinking the intricate carvings would offer the occasional inspiration for my writings.

At first, nothing happened. The mirror sat there and besides the passing paranoia of something in its reflection, a feeling common in mirrors, there was nothing to care about. Then I started to have the dreams.

In an ethereal body, I stared down at myself sleeping, and I was stuck there with only an occasional roll in my bed. But, as the dreams reoccurred they seemed to get longer. After awhile, I noticed something else besides my sleeping frame. From the sides of my bed, perhaps stretching from the darkness beneath, many long black, spindly arms made of smoke and brume crept to my sides. First I thought it was some strange kind of tunnel vision, but each night they seemed to get closer and closer till they reached my flesh. Than I started to see them dig into my arms and side until some blood was drawn and I would wake screaming.

These dreams become nightly curses. Every night they got a little more vivid. I noticed the things dipping and stabbing into me looked like branches, each covered in thousands of hairs like spider’s legs. Each time they dug a little deeper inside before I’d wake up. After awhile I started to wake with a horrible chilling feeling in my arms as those black spindles tickled the bone. Several would try and burrow into my ears at once, slowly jamming in till it ripped at the sides. They would slip into my closed moth, pushing aside my lips, and curl down my throat, till they would grabbed my tonsil and I jolted awake in a vomit.

There was also a chaotic sound would emanate from behind my floating dream body. I could never turn to see it, but I could feel a breath on my neck. My brain could only ever half process the sound. It was loud though; loud and terrible. I needed longer and longer each morning to adjust back to normality.

I was prone to night terrors and hoped that these would fade like the others. It took awhile for me to suspect the mirror until I noticed marks on the floor, scratches as if the thing had been moving on it’s own, trying to sneak back to it’s spot across my bed. My paranoia grew as imagined that chaotic dream sound behind me as I worked. During the times I felt bold enough to turn, there was always nothing there, just the mirror reflecting my mad face.

My last night with the mirror was truly terrible. It was late, and the constant paranoia furthered into frustration. I went to the mirror; to confront it like the cruel assailant I thought it was. It was a foolish idea and I regret it.

I looked the mirror top to bottom, the molds staring back with disinterest. With a hyper eye for detail, I stared at my own being looking for the tiniest inconsistency. I looked to see if my hazel eyes darted somewhere else, if  the two buttons undone on my night shirt were the same buttons, if the heavy black bruises beneath my eyes would grow darker like shadows in the night. I was staring so intensely into the mirror that I jumped as my reflected body dropped to the floor like a doll let go from the hand.

And then I could not move.

I tried to leave my spot in the air, to shift my gaze away from my corpse but I could not. I had entered another dream. This was the same, yet it was different. My mind was not cloudy, instead it was too sharp. The details of everything around me became hyper and overwhelming. My eyes could barely move to the fringes, screaming as they dried and begging for a single blink, which had become an exhausting effort. The chaotic sound came behind me again, and this time knew it would let me turn and see it if I chose.  Yet my subconscious, out of an animalistic fear, froze me like the chaotic force did. The chaotic sound continued to boom from behind without a care. Soon I started to see something from the corners of my vision, a blackness nipping at my sight. I wanted to see, I wanted to better look at the thousands of little things tickling my periphery, but my subconscious would not let me. I was forced to stare at my sleeping body, as the world became a little blurrier, as my eyes screamed in pain, as a fear at the things I could not see well scratched at more and more of my vision. All the while the booming sound that I recognized but could not name was moistly shouted at my neck. I stayed like this for what felt like centuries. Trapped like a picture in slow decay.

Then I woke again. I was at my desk, drool stained pages my pillow, early morning sun my savior. My groggy mind was unsure of what was real, but then the dream became clear in memory and I could feel the imagined lapse of time flay my body and soul all at once.

After that night, I gave the mirror away to my niece. She has a love for gouty things, and loves to cage exotic birds for show, the wretch. You may think I a terrible coward or fool for not destroying the mirror. There was a brief moment, after that last night, that I acted as you would have liked. When I awoke, I dragged my chair towards it with the intention of bashing the wood against its glass body. But as I approached, the dragons seemed darker in shadows, there eyes suddenly red. The men carrying, though silent, seemed to be giving terrified groans, and I could hear a low rumble from behind the reflection. So I put my chair back. I’ve never bothered to ask how my niece is doing.

Still, I am plagued by the dreams. It’s always of my sleeping body, as I hover over it like a ghost, forced to watch as creatures I can not understand have their way with it’s flesh, that chaotic noise behind me. Every night, I pray to God, I pray that I might sleep without these horrible dreams, yet my God is always silent. The only God I hear is theirs, always laughing from behind.

 

Bio: Josh Flowers was born in California and is currently living in Bangor, Maine. He's has never seen a moose, mostly because moose are jerks. He's been published in the Short-story.me horror section, The Cricket Online Review, Inwood Indiana, and is scheduled for the forthcoming issue of The Fictioneer.

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