Advancing within the newly found tomb

Ahead of the crews of destroyers

Cameras were slung round their sweat moistened necks

Flashlights in hand , knives in other

Wandering deep into cold stony quiet

Unknowingly  passing by Mother

Alcoves were filled with remains of the dead

All tied to the rocks with taut  chain

A slit in the rock ‘neath the head of each corpse

To drain away liquefied brain

Each left wrist was encircled by a leather bracelet

Carved with depictions of Hells

And on each of these wrappings was securely tied

A series of tiny gold bells

And they trod through the dust and the roots and the bones

Until far down below at the end of the path

When the batteries needed a change

A sound from above then it rose like a wind

A tinkling, metal and strange

It took them a while, they had nowhere to run

And they doused the lights, hid in the dark

And the sounds of the bells and the clattering feet

Proceeded their way, eyes of spark

And she led the way, she who was Mother

And the army moved quiet as steam

And descended ‘pon those who transgressed their long sleep

They had nothing to do but to scream

When The Dark Came

It was a cold, bitter wind that blew through the town one late evening mid-December when the phones began to ring.  One, then another, then another and if you stood on the street and cupped your ears, you would hear them in all directions.  When people answered their phones, they could only hear the voices of other citizens doing the same.  Hundreds of “hellos”, hundreds of “who is there”, hundreds of hang-ups, many of them angry as the phones would ring again and again. Then at once, the ringing stopped.

Then minutes later, some parents, angry with what had just transpired in the midst of Sunday dinner, or Sunday football, or other Sunday family traditions, turned around and wondered who turned the lights out.  Then when the lights came back on, wondered where their children had gone, wondered who had left the back door open, what had happened, what was all that yelling outside, who was that, screaming.

And the sky above the town full of stars and cloudless cold night went dark.

And the wind blew.

And Johnnie, who had fallen asleep in his room while reading, leapt to the window that he kept open just a crack for he liked the cool breeze on his face. He looked out and saw night and looked up and saw thick blackness above that seemed to coil and curdle before his eyes.  And he recognized The Dark.

And Janie who had been listening to music as she drew, heard her parents talking to a neighbor, an upset neighbor, at their door.  “No” they hadn’t seen Tommy.  “Yes” their phone had also rung. “Yes”, they would help look.  And they yelled to her and she rushed to the phone and called Johnnie as she looked out into the street, people yelling, talking, shining lights in bushes and sheds and she too looked up and saw it.

And the dark hung above the city.

And the wind blew, cold and bitter and found its way into the seams of the searchers clothing.

And the children were gone

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Janie Saw It Too

Johnnie and Janie became the fastest of friends.  They became almost inseparable.  They watched television.  They wandered the streets, the parks, the cemeteries.  They went to movies, the mall, the library.  When the next autumn came, they began to attend the same school and from there, the friendship went beyond the norm.

But they never spoke of The Dark

They shared secrets, loves, sorrow, pain and happiness.  Their families became close and they all shared vacations.  They shared dinners as one, picnics as one, birthdays and Christmases as one.  The two families became inseparable, which suited them fine as none of them truly felt welcome in the town they lived..

But they never spoke of The Dark.

Johnnie spoke of his insecurities; his odd likes and dislikes the things he liked and the things he feared.

Except for the dark.

Janie spoke of her anxious ways, her esoteric preferences and her lack of friendship among the other girls at school. She spoke of the fire that claimed the lives that she was blamed for.

She did not speak of The Dark.

Yes. Janie had too seen The Dark.

Janie was at summer camp, three years previous, standing by a lake, avoiding the jeering of the other girls.  Janie was watching a fog bankrolls across the water, a wall of white, glowing in the morning sun.  Janie watched as a shape, a deep black shape, pointed, sleek, swimming shark like through the fog.  As the mist hit the shore, Janie dove to one side, her catatonic state broken by a sound from behind.  As she dove, the shape turned her way.  The sound that broke the spell was one of her many tormentors attempting to push her into the waters.  The shape took the other girl and with a snap, was gone.

She lay panting. She lay sore from striking the roots of a nearby tree.  She lay quiet, still, as the shape circled then slid off back to the lake.  She rose and headed to the cabin, unaware that the girl who slept above her would not be returning.  Unaware that the girl had even been behind her.  Unaware that she had escaped death.

But she had seen The Dark for the first time.

It would not be the last.

For she or Johnnie.

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In Which Johnnie First Sees The Dark

Johnnie was nine when he first saw “The Dark”.  It was a warm summer night, years before blessed air conditioning was brought into the home and his mother had allowed him to keep his bedroom window open.  Normally, it was not to be and he slept in sweat wetted sheets because she was afraid he would sleepwalk out the window and crash down to the street below. She relented this evening because it was stifling.  No wind.  No escape from the heat.

Johnnie dreamt of small men with ladders climbing up onto his desk and dresser and chair.  Small men with tools and hardhats.  Small men that when they saw him watching, turned his way, dropped their tools and began to head toward him.  He panicked.  He yelled for his mother.  He hid under the sheets and wished she would come so he yelled again.  Johnnie peeked out and could see the men climbing up onto the foot of the bed and he kicked and screamed and could hear the words “night terror” from somewhere in the distance.

Johnnie woke in the living room, where his parents and guests were staring in concern and horror as he stood in the middle of the room, still screaming at the top of his lungs.  Johnnie muttered and murmured as they consoled him and the words “night terror” were spoken behind his back and into ears.  He was given coke that tasted of mouthwash and crackers and cheese and was eventually ushered back to bed.

His blinds drawn to let light in, a nightlight moved from the bathroom to his room, Johnnie tried to sleep.  He scanned the room.  He searched for the men, the ladders, the tools.  Johnnie saw nothing.  He shuffled up to the edge of his bed, against the wall.  No feet or hands allowed to slide down between the bed and wall and an extra pillow placed behind him, he watched and began to doze.

As his eyes grew heavy and blinks became longer and drawn out, he saw The Dark slide out from under his desk and chair and dresser and across his feet and slowly out the window, into the night night air.

The Dark smelled like smoke.

Johnnie screamed.

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He twisted his head, and moved to the side
And he peered in the cupboard door crack
There in it he saw a brown blinking eye
Angrily staring right back

He flung open the door, expecting a child,
Perhaps his small dog or his cat
But nothing was there ‘cept boxes and cans
So he shut it and straightened the mat

Turned off the lights, he grabbed his warm milk
He thought to bring his walking stick
Made it to the landing, flicked off the last switch
Then heard the cupboard door go click…

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Trepidation, bedlam mayhem
Enter they, the bar
Walk en mass with purpose, whispers
Bouncer, dance floor, far
To the table, they arrive
Autographs and smile
Fashion, heels, skirts so tight
Nervous all then while
Noone noticed ‘neath faux skin
Not just pretty, they
Wrong nose here, angled leg
Magical and fey
When the eve was in high swing
Spilled drinks, sweat and smell
The four began to chant and glow
Throbbing air from spell
With a flash of blue and red
Addled mass then dropped
Energy renewed the four
Some hearts burst, all stopped
Models rose and left the carnage
Stole into the night
Floating up above the corpses
Witches they, took flight

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Take THAT Stephen King…

Had a nightmare last night that we bought a haunted rental property that had infinite rooms and odd creepy tenants.  My youngest and I were exploring it when we both woke up within a few minute of each other with nosebleeds.

I’m too lazy to turn it into a book or even a story today. Pretend I did by adding lots of descriptive words, sub-stories and plot. See, just like a real story.

Take THAT Stephen King…

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When he first noticed the hum, he searched high and low. He could not find the hum but he could hear it. A child’s hum. A girl’s hum. A “Hummmmmmmm. Hummmmm..” hum. He heard it night and day in the house, in the garage, in the shed. He asked his wife. She could not hear the hum. He asked his daughter. She could not hear the hum. He asked his cat. The cat could hear the hum but the cat merely puffed up its tail and ran away. The cat did not like the hum.

When he first saw the girl, she was standing in the shadows in the yard, between the shed and the fence. A white dress.  No shoes. Dirty feet and hands. Grey skin. Red eyes. Red lips. She looked at him and opened her mouth then closed it with a “Hummmmm. Hummmm. Hummmmm”.  He said “hello. Are you lost?” And as he moved closer the hum got louder. She became frightened. She moved away. She hummed faster and louder and louder still till he stopped and backed up saying “okay, I’m sorry. It’s okay…” Then she vanished before his eyes. He didn’t tell his wife.

She came back. That night when he went downstairs to get a snack, and he shut the fridge, she was there beside the sink. “Hummm. Hummm.”. He dropped a chicken leg. She hummed. He swore. She hummed. He moved closer and she hummed louder. His wife yelled “can you grab me some water?”. He jumped.  The girl pointed up and shooke her head “no…” And hummed more. He looked away toward the stairs and yelled “honey maybe you should…” The girl hummed faster shaking her head side to side “hum hum hum himm hummm hum humm..” and promptly disappeared.

He did not tell his wife.

The girl came back.

May times.

He learned to stay back. He learned to ignore, kind of. He learned to not freak out when he awoke to see her face inches from his in the middle of the night. Humming then sliding into the abyss of the rooms inky blackness. He told his psychiatrist.  He told his best friend. He told his wife.

One night the storms boiled and roiled above the house. The man had a headache. The man was mad at his boss. The man went to bed and could not sleep. He heard the hum. He followed sound downstairs. He followed the sound outside. He followed the sound to the garden. He saw the girl standing. Above the small special place where his wife had buried the ashes of her first daughter. The daughter from her first marriage. As the man approached he knew already who the girl was. He said “Hello Deirdre” and the girl stopped humming. She pointed toward the upstairs window. She looked angry. She shook her head “no”.  She hummed.

The man’s wife looked outside. She saw the man in the special place. She hummed as she put on her dressing gown. She went downstairs and outside. “Dale..” she began “did you see her again.. where is she..” The girl pointed at his wife and began to scream.

The scream ended as the girl disappeared, melding into the night.  He asked his wife. She could not hear the scream. He asked his daughter. She could not hear the scream. He asked his cat. The cat could hear the scream but the cat merely puffed up its tail and ran away. The cat did not like the scream.

Neither did the man.

Soon, he would need to find a way to end the scream.

The girl screamed day and night. The girl pointed at his wife and screamed from the foot of his bed.

Soon, the man would need to find a way to end the scream.

He ran to the bathroom late at night, leaving the girl screaming at his wife. He sat and covered his ears and wrapped a towel around his head. The screaming continued. The screaming was muffled but there. He tried to sleep in the tub. He wrapped another towel and another and late in the eve the screaming stopped.

He slept. He woke. There was a hum. A man’s hum. A man stood inside the shower curtain. He stood with the girl. They hummmed. They hummed a “hummmm. Hummmmm. Hummm.”

She looked like him, the humming man. She sounded like him. They hummed as one. They hummed as one and pointed toward the bedroom.

He knew what to do.

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