Once Upon an Island

 

The thing hid behind trees and watched as fresh meat disembarked the yacht.  It had been weeks since the last shipment, so the creature could barely contain the blood lust raging within its decomposing body.  The thing growled and pulled against the chains holding him in place.  Its brain could no longer reason.  It only understood his ravenous need for human flesh.  The drive was constant, even after it had feasted, it still hungered. It was never fully satisfied.  It lunged its body again and reached a skeletal hand toward leaves, wafting in the warm tropical breeze.  Only a lone finger-bone  escaped the cover of foliage.  If the “fresh meat” had looked in the direction, at that precise moment, they would have seen the bony finger with its sagging, putrid skin.  Perhaps it would have been their salvation, but perhaps not… as the trees were quite some distance from the yacht.

Four teenagers laughed as they balanced the plank resting upon a weathered pier.  It wasn’t as stable as Kimmie would have liked, so she held tightly to Ted’s hand.  Ted, sensing her fright, gallantly turned his body to welcome his girlfriend safely into his arms.  Kimmie, much smaller than Ted’s athletic frame, felt engulfed within his embrace and she liked the feeling.

Carol, quite the opposite of Kimmie, jumped from the rickety plank and practically landed on Kimmie and Ted.  All three fell together to land in a heap upon the graying boards; luckily, each one had managed to avoid a plethora of jagged splinters.  The wood was old and so the pier quaked from their sudden weight.

A raucous laughter emanated from the heap,savage glow while Mark stood alone on the plank, holding all four backpacks.   Mark, feeling excluded, couldn’t help but wish, Carol, to be more like Kimmie.  What he would give to have her fall into his arms…

Like that would ever happen… thought Mark angrily.

Carol, boisterously called to him, “Hey pretty boy…get down here, already!”

Mark, shrugged off his anger, slowly smiled, and headed toward the laughing heap.  Offering Carol his hand he winked and said, “Yes, I am a pretty boy…and don’t you forget it!”

 

 

…to be continued…

[The preceding has been my  participation in the Sketch-a-Day event and also the  Weekly Horror Tales challenge, of which I host.  If you’re a fan of horror, please join me in this frightful challenge.  Believe me, it would totally make my day!]  [PS- The present horror prompt is as follows:  Write a story about a group of party-goers that sets sail on a yacht for what they believe to be a pleasure cruise. Except the captain was paid to scuttle the ship off an island populated by cannibalistic natives.] 

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Predators, Entities and Witches…My Novel Grows

(Below is part two of my novel writing adventure.  Which story idea do you like best?  Thanks for walking with me on this journey.)

blog photyoGood novels are created from good ideas.  Sometimes the thought of conjuring up a good idea can be quite intimidating.  How many times have I sat down to write, only to stare at a blank page, waiting for the perfect idea to magically pop into my head.  The minutes pass and with every tic of the clock my frustration mounts; and on and on it goes until a pen or two is tossed across the room.

Lucky for me, module two of “The Novel Class” is all about developing good ideas and strong plots.  Ideas are all around us; sort of hidden in plain sight.  The key to scoping them out is to notice…notice…notice.  Keep your writer’s instinct sharpened, play the “what if” scenario 24/7, and always remember “Life is stranger than fiction.”  According to “The Novel Class,” drop dead plots and murderous ideas are just waiting to be captured from our everyday and presumably boring lives.

The class encourages the writer (me) to adopt a “god-like complex” in which you tease the reader with hints and you control your characters by making them bend to your every whim.  I’ve never been a control freak, but damn, I have say, I really like the way that sounds!  The very power of appointing myself the god of my own make-believe world propels me head first into the throes of intoxication.  This very concept changes the whole appeal of fiction writing.  It makes me want to release an evil laugh and whisper, “…let me at’em…”

(Module two of “The Novel Writing Class” assigns me to:  Task 1:  Create three story ideas that you feel may have potential for a novel.  Also Task 2:  Consider sub-stories that could be included in all three of your ideas.)  (I have chosen to keep my sub plots secret.  I hope you enjoy!)    

1st Story Idea:  I Want To Live

9074221Amy, artist/writer/teacher, accepts a position teaching Medieval Art History at a small community college located just outside of Washington DC.  Unbeknownst to her, one of her students is a serial killer who has stalked, captured and killed eight women.  Amy becomes his next fixation.

Like Amy, all of his victims were in their mid to late twenties, well educated, and enjoyed very successful careers.  All eight bodies were found mutilated and floating dead within stagnant ponds across the state of Virginia.

Amy soon awakens to find herself suspended in darkness, hanging like a piece meat in an old root cellar, located in the back-country of the Shenandoah National Forest.

Amy wants to live and vows to do whatever necessary to escape the horrific nightmare.

 

2nd Story Idea:  The Cabin’s Rule

donner-part-starvation-campNewlyweds, Sam and Candy, are young, practically homeless and poor as Job’s turkey. They are in love and refuse to let present circumstances dampen the happiness they feel at  becoming husband and wife.

Sam’s an hourly employee at Gibbons Hardware Store and works 6 long days a week.   Sam is surprised when “old man Gibbons,” the owner and boss, offers the use his lake cabin for their honeymoon.  Sam and Candy, not wanting to spend their wedding night, in the spare bedroom at Candy’s mother’s house, gratefully accept.

Sam’s old pickup sputters angrily cursing the dirt path beneath it’s tires.  Upon arrival they are, at first,  disheartened with the cabin’s appearance of disarray and abandonment; however, still “high on love” the two quickly push up their sleeves and by nightfall the cabin becomes a quint honeymoon haven, complete with cracking fire and stone hearth.

Their night of bliss begins and in their abandonment they fail to notice the little hints and nuances suggesting something strange about the cabin.  Soon they discover something ancient living within the walls of the cabin and  become crippled with fear when they realize what “it” wants.

The horror within the cabin pits one against the other as they struggle for survival.

It seems old man Gibbons forget to share the cabin’s rule:  Two may enter but only one may leave.

3rd Story Idea:  The Witch Hunt Of Lilly

download (1)Lilly lived in the forest with her mother outside of the village.  The village folk came one by one to their stone house seeking healing from Lilly’s mother.  Lilly inherited the ability of healing and so after the unexpected death of her mother, it was only natural that she follow in her footsteps.

At the age of eighteen, Lilly lives alone in her beloved woods and  gladly welcomes anyone who knocks at her door. Most of those knocks belong to people seeking healing or future telling; however, on occasion young girls caught in the “motherly way” seek her help for quick and private resolution.  Lilly, with her kind heart, never turns them away.  As she bonds with the young women they begin to share their stories of rape, incest and oppression that lay behind the walls of the village.

The puritan village tolerates Lilly and her strange ways…for even  some of the clergy find themselves at her door in the darkness of night.  This continues until one of town’s children disappear and it’s proven that Lilly was the last one to see the child alive.

All eyes turn to Lilly and the witch hunt begins!

 

 

 

Amy’s Freedom Part 3

(The following is my latest submission to Dark Side Thursday.  It’s the continuing story of a woman within the clutches of a serial killer.  Parts 1 & 2 can be found under the category:  Amy’s Freedom.)

Amy’s Freedom (Part 3)

The Root Cellar
The Root Cellar

He pictured Amy, hanging in the root cellar.  He knew of her excruciating pain.  He had once endured the same from the hands of his father.

He would never ask Amy to endure anything that he himself had not experienced first.  No, he loved her way too much for that.

The aroma in the tiny kitchen tantalized all of his senses.  Yes, of course he could smell the perfectly charred flesh, anyone could do that, but he actually saw, tasted, heard and touched the aroma as he stood with his eyes closed.  All of his senses were heightened to the point of combustion.

He had always been that way, even as a child.  At first the strong sensations frightened him but as time passed he realized he was special and was indeed unlike any other.  He kept this secret and told no one, not his weak pathetic mother and certainly not his self-righteous father.  This  revelation of himself created an euphoria that often erupted from his mouth in mad laughter.  He tried to contain it as much as possible because he knew others would think him “crazy”.

Being different made him lonely.  He craved someone as extraordinary as himself and so he began “the search”.  There had been so many “disappointments” through the years but he was confident that Amy would be different.  He smiled.   He knew “the search” was finally over.

He lifted the fillets from the grill and carefully plated them upon delicate bone china.  He then poured the Quinta Do Crasto, Vintage Port, 1997 into crystal goblets.  This particular wine, crafted from Portugal’s indigenous grapes, was thick and juicy and pared well fillet mignon.  The steaks were resting and the wine poured; the only thing missing was Amy.

He opened the cabin door to an autumn forest.  The aged root cellar was visible from the porch.  He stood for a moment, surveying the crumbling stone and then took a step into the fading sunlight.

******  

Amy hung limp from a splintered plank that ran the length of the underground hole.  The cellar was old.  It had been built by Scotch-Irish immigrants during the early 1800’s.  The hole was barely six feet high, so Amy’s hair fell into blood, tears and a dank soil that reeked of mold and decaying vegetables.

Amy shivered.  She closed her eyes to the dark and began to picture the two loves of her life, Rudy and Sky.  Her heart ached as she pictured Sky’s smile and Rudy’s wagging tail.  She determined, there in the darkness, she would live to see them again.  Her focus upon them would be her survival.

The screeching sound of rusting hinges caused her to open her eyes once again to the blackness around her.  She held her breath and listened intently.  There was a brief silence and then a faint creaking of wooden stairs.

Amy realized she was no longer alone.  She heard footsteps, slow and methodical…

One…two…three, and then a pause…

four…five…six …another pause…

seven…eight…nine…and then breathing…slow rhythmic breaths…in and out…

Amy’s heart seized with fear and she wanted to scream, but then, with the strike of a match, her face was bathed with golden light.  She squinted from its shock and tried to focus. The flickering light threatened to die, but a dank breeze quickened the flame, and she found herself staring into the bluest of eyes, inches from her face.

He smiled when he saw her eyes widen with recognition.  Slowly he pulled the tape from her mouth, freeing her question of…

“Why…”?

Amy’s Freedom (Part 2)

Below you will find my submission to the DARK SIDE THURSDAY event.  The idea is to write something dark and scary using 500 words or less.  This is part 2 of Amy’s story.  I hope you will check back next week for it’s continuation.  Enjoy part 2 of Amy’s Freedom.  (Part 1 can be found in July Archives…7/24 to be exact)

Part 2

2 Rusty ShackleAmy floated in and out of consciousness as she hung in an old root cellar. Exhaustion and pain, from gravity, and her own, body weight, made even shallow breathing near to impossible. The vessels in her brain bulged heavy with blood, so no matter how hard she willed herself to stay awake, she eventually could do nothing but surrender to the pain.

In those short waking moments, she tried to remember what had happened to bring her to this place of hell. Memory came and went in flashes, and the very moment she thought she understood, darkness clouded her mind and once again she fell into unconsciousness.  At first this was frustrating, but then, in a sick sort of way, it became a game of cat and mouse.  Amy conditioned herself to capture, hold, and tuck away every memory from each awakening moment.

Conscious once again, Amy began to sort the snippets of memory she had collected…a cabin…a phone call…Rudy… barking and growling…utter fear and confusion…  Slowly, ever so slowly, the pieces fell into place and Amy was able to remember the sequence of events that had led her here…

******

She and Rudy had finally arrived.  The thunder-boomer had made the crooked roads difficult to maneuver, so the two hour trip had turned into three.   Rudy, eager to escape the confines of the truck, scratched at the closed window.  Poor baby, he had been cooped up for hours, so it was no surprise to Amy, when he jumped out and rolled vigorously in the fresh rained upon grass.

 Smiling, happy to see him so excited, she chuckled and began to gather her suitcase, satchel and easel.  Carrying all three, Amy opened the front door of the log cabin, she and Sky had built together.  

The musty air, that had been trapped all winter, assaulted her nose causing her to pause for a moment, but Rudy nonchalantly padded past her and went inside.  He busied himself sniffing here and there as Amy opened windows.  A cool mountain breeze rushed in and Amy breathed it deep into her lungs.  Looking at the rustic walls, Amy felt a peace that she hadn’t known for months.  She now, secretly, thanked Sky for insisting that she take this week to rest and relax.

The cabin, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, sat in the middle of a “dead-zone” with no signal reception, therefore, a land-line phone had been a necessity.   The old black rotary, hanging on the wall, began to ring. Simultaneously, Rudy, who had sniffed or heard something of interest outside, began to bark. 

Amy picked up the phone with the intent to say, hello, but was interrupted by the voice on the other end,

“Amy…Oh my God I’m so glad you answered…lock…”    

Sky’s voice could not be heard over Rudy’s barking and vigorous scratching at the screen door, so Amy couldn’t hear to remainder of the sentence,

“…lock the door…he’s there…Oh my God, Amy he’s there…”  

Oblivious to Sky’s warning, Amy laid the phone down and went to let out the frantic dog.   Rudy rushed outside.  Amy turned to pick up the phone but stopped when she heard a deep and low guttural growl.

 Rudy, a happy-go-lucky Golden Retriever, rarely growled, so a wave of fear urged Amy to go inside; but love for her dog wooed her to make sure he was okay.  Love winning, she turned to go outside.  Stepping out the door, Amy became face to face with Rudy, who crouched low and snarled at her with bared teeth.     Amy, shocked and confused to see her loving Golden transformed into something  so vicious, began to coax her dog,

  “Rudy…Rudy…what is it…”  

The word boy never left her lips because Rudy lunged forward and all she saw was golden hair and gnashing teeth.  After that came the darkness.

******

Amy cried alone in the darkness as she thought of Rudy.  Confused and cold she  hung naked from the rusty shackles around her ankles.  Awaiting her captor…

Amy’s Freedom

Below you will find my submission to the DARK SIDE THURSDAY event.  The idea is to write something dark and scary using 500 words or less.  This is the beginning of Amy’s story.  I hope you will check back next week for it’s continuation.  Enjoy the beginning of Amy’s Freedom.

IMG_1715 (2)Amy opened her eyes to nothing, and she was confused.  She tried to bring her hands to her eyes thinking she could rub away the dark, but her hands were bound behind her back.  A wave of panic surged through her body.  She tried to scream but  could only mew like a kitten.  Her mouth was sealed with a sticky substance she knew to be duct tape.   Her breathing came hard and ragged in and out of her nose.  The sudden loss of carbon dioxide brought her to the brink of hyperventilation.  

Cold fear tightened around her neck and suffocation like the grim reaper threatened her life.  Knowing death was eminent, she tried to concentrate on slowing her breathing.  Again she tried to move but to no avail except for a slight sway back and forth.  To Amy’s horror she realized she was hanging upside down.  Warm liquid ran down her legs from her shackled ankles.  The shackles that bit into her skin had been tightened by a man three times her size.  The pain was almost unbearable and Amy did the only thing she could. Silent tears dripped to mix with the blood and cold earth below.  

Amy hung helpless like a piece of meat waiting for the butcher’s saw.

******

He was confident she wouldn’t be able to escape.  The shackles he used were old but solid, and he had added a bit more force when clasping them to her ankles.  There was no way she could get out of them.  He hadn’t wanted to leave her but he had worked up an incredible appetite and he became grumpy when he was hungry.  He smiled at the thought, and looked at the spinach he sauteed and saw that it had reached perfection.   No, he didn’t like being grumpy and besides it was most important to display his good side to his guest.

Yes, he had already decided to play the perfect gentlemen.  He would be ever so kind and gentle as he cared for her wounds and afterward he would present a dinner cooked to perfection in honor of their first night together.   He reached for the steaks that had been marinating overnight.  The hot grill sizzled when both fillets kissed the iron.  God it smelled good.  He smiled knowing that Amy would enjoy them.

He thought of Amy.  God she was beautiful.  Beautiful but not glamorous, and he liked it that way.  The first time he saw her in class he thought of Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island.  Her innocence had captivated him so much that he found it hard to concentrate on the lesson she taught.  After a while he got past her smile…she was always smiling, and settled in upon the content of her lesson.  Not only was she a “looker” but the lady could teach.  She taught through example so the technique developed right before your eyes.  It was almost as if they were the only two in the room, instead of the twenty five other students.

******