I Made This Up In My Head

“I’d always see him–not in real life, but in my mind. And it was more like I was imagining him going about his daily life. We crossed paths often; he saw me too, I know that . . .”

I Made This Up In My Head

” . . . I usually stop thinking about things for a while, and then I come back to them later on. Not this one. Letting go wasn’t easy for me,” she continued. “One day, I saw him in my mind, and held out my hand. I don’t know what I was thinking. Something had to give, and I just wanted the visions to stop–vision’s the right word for this?”

“Yes, it makes sense.”

She sighed. “Okay, good.” Then she paused, her mouth open, like she had forgotten what she had wanted to say.

“You held out your hand?”

“Yes,” she said slowly, still thinking. “Then he reached out and grabbed my hand. In real life, not in my head.”

The listener nodded thoughtfully before adding: “You were missing for five years. Gone, and no hints, no trace.”

She shook her head. “It’s just so surreal, remembering it all. I didn’t really think it was happening at the time. I just couldn’t accept it. That’s how I managed to stay sane, I think. The things I saw . . .

” . . . When I finally came to realize that it was all real, I was horrified at everything. Frightened by him.” She turned to her psychotherapist. “Everyone’s so happy to see me alive, but I can’t really tell them what happened to me, I can’t show him to them.”

“Who is he?”

“His name is Druzinga. I just call him Druzi–did it to see if I could annoy him at first, to be honest. Getting anything from him was difficult,” she looked away for a minute, her eyes visibly unfocused. “Everything was wrong,” she added.

“With him?”

“That, and the situation,” she replied.

A long pause followed, which the therapist finally broke. This Druzi was another matter altogether. Getting anything from him was a nightmare.

The creature, as they referred to him, was puzzling. It was clear that it had the capacity to understand and communicate with humanity, it simply refused to speak to them. Any form of analysis, or examination for that matter, was all but impossible without Marianna’s presence.

The thing existed.

That was enough for them.

“How did it make you feel?”

“I don’t know,” the reply was instant, automatic. Hollow. It rang true nonetheless. “Angry at first, then lost. It’s not easy being with someone you have nothing in common with.”

“Did you ever blame yourself?”

“I can’t say that I didn’t, but it wasn’t something I beat myself up over. Obviously he’s not human.”

“No, that he is not.”

ashkenaz

The Thing Which Devours All

I sit in my comfortable chair, drinking beer from a blue goblet. I’m just fancy like that. With each sip thoughts of the current winter pass through my mind; so far it hasn’t been so bad. At least I’m not cold. Last year was cold, but last year I still worked at Walmart–you’ll always be cold there (cold with anger, that is).

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The Thing Which Devours All

What does this have to do with winter? I don’t know, it’s just a black and white photo of a flowering maple. I always come back to it when I scan my photo gallery. Years ago I took the picture. Like many plants, they flower in the spring, waxing and waning in the summer and fall, falling into a deep slumber in the winter months.

The snow, the cold. Nature has fangs, and it will use them. Not out of spite, and yet not without a reason. Just not spite.

Winter is like reality: it’ll swallow you whole if you’re not ready for it. Which is funny. Winter is a part of reality. It’s also a mystery. The holidays just don’t seem festive without the snow. A fresh covering of snow quickly changes a landscape into a marvellous wonderland. We don’t want it, and yet we can’t really live without it.

Somehow I feel as if I’ll never understand it.

As for the picture, black and white photography has its own mystery. Without any mystery,  things would get very dull, very fast.

Which begs the question: what is the thing that devours?

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The Birth of Henry

The Birth of Henry

This story is a sequel to Tank Baby, and ultimately a prequel to Apocalypse Man.

Luke walked down the dimly lit corridor at a brisk pace, following the sounds of a shrill chirping. “Here comes the baby!” he said as he opened the door to the dark room. Flicking a switch turned on a dim light. The room was filled with machinery; at its centre there was a tank, where the chirping noise originated. The disturbance was caused by the fetus inside of the tank . . . The one they had affectionately named Henry.

There was a lot riding on the success of this project, with the hope that Henry would grow into a stable adult. Considering his species violent heritage (right down to their own self-destruction), there was no way of predicting the outcome.

Luke sighed at the thought.

Without a second to lose, he called for assistance. As soon as the two nurses arrived they went straight to work. Artificial birth was not a hard process, yet it still required a certain level of precision. It was also tedious. The tank was slowly drained of amniotic fluid, while the fetus was removed by hand–one of the nurses placed their hands around the baby, carefully . . . To avoid being bitten. Feeding tubes and other wires were then removed. Minutes became hours as Luke looked over the newly born baby, going over a mental check list. He’d done this so many times, he knew the process by heart.

Once satisfied, the baby was wrapped in swaddling cloth by one of the nurses and taken into another room. It would just be Henry in that room, as a safety precaution.

ashkenaz

Kept Awake At Night

Kept Awake At Night

That’s a lie, I slept like a rock last night; I had a great weekend, relaxed, ate proper meals, interacted with other human beings. No, I woke up in the morning today, and the nightmare kept on playing out even as I lay awake. It’s like it wouldn’t stop. The thing had its own agenda, and it wasn’t going to change its schedule for me.

Not a chance.

Most dreams don’t bother me. They’re just that: dreams. Once, I heard that if you didn’t dream, you’d go insane.

(A case of use it or lose it?)

This dream though . . . It made me sick. Just the thought of it makes me want to vomit. Don’t worry– nightmares are useful . . .

ashkenaz

Save Me From The Things In My Head!

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Save Me From The Things In My Head!

It’s not the tales of Stephen King that I’ve read, I need protection from the things in my head . . .

–Jimmy Buffet

The bane of the creative thinker (or just the thinker): thinking.

Who said don’t blink? WHO said that!?! Forget that, stop thinking! The more you overthink something the worse it becomes! We are our own worse enemies!

OH THE HORROR!

(Think and they’ll hear you!)

Is it just me, or has anyone else wondered if there’s someone in the world who can hear your thoughts? Really now, how many of you say to yourselves: wow, I think too loud! Can brain waves translate to sound waves on the quantum level?

(ARGHHHH!)

((There’s a punctuation error in the quote! Brain cells exploding!))

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logo_2014design_2Theo approves of this message, but only because it’s crazy. Just don’t think about it, he says.
Ashkenaz has nothing to add on this matter.
Who’s Ashkenaz?

You Go Under It

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“That building’s been sitting there for years. It’s abandoned, but people would use it for photo shoots and such. A few years back, someone decided to set it on fire. Got sick of looking at it.”

You Go Under It

“It’s an eye sore,” he replied. He was new to the area, and had asked an older woman about the building, out of curiosity. “You’d think the city would have torn it down by now.” It was sitting smack dab in the downtown area.

“You’d think,” she shrugged, “Easier said than done. Take care now!” she gave him a pat on the shoulder before turning to go.

“Thanks for your help!” he smiled at her. It was a small city, but very friendly. He followed the fence down a smaller side street, searching for a sign. The sole reason for his visit was to fulfill a promise he had made to a friend. There was something they had left in the building, and now he was here to retrieve it.

A bright object caught his attention. Bending over to look at it, he found that it was a tube. Tucked inside was a note. You go under it, it read. Assuming that meant the fence, he began walking again. A few yards away, the fence was lifted up enough for him to get through.

There were no cars in sight, and no one had seen him so far. Or no one cared. Either way, he had made it into the building without any problems. He brought out his flashlight, clicking it on. Another glint caught his attention, and true enough he had found another tube. Where do you get a tube for messages? he questioned as he scanned the note.

Basement.

And why make a friend promise to pick up your old belongings, from an abandoned building no less? He found it strange that he had only just begun to find the situation strange.

The basement was musty, but otherwise dry. The walls and floor were both concrete. Everything else was burned or buried. What he wanted, however, was a metal box.

His foot kicked something over; he could hear it tinkling across the floor. “Another tube!” he exclaimed, oozing sarcasm. This time the note said, Under the stairs. He sighed, thankful for the affair to be over.

It was late when he finally checked into a hotel. He was laying on the pristine bed, staring at the box in his lap.

What’s inside?

He gingerly opened the latches, then lifted the lid–his mouth made a pronounced ‘O’ shape at the contents. A strange ebony skull grinned up at him. It was humanoid. Somehow. Long, thin, with a jaw similar to a wolf’s. With a grimace, he lifted it out of its container, turning it over in his hands, trying to get a sense for how it worked.

A strong, unpleasant odour of rotting meat came from it. It clung to his hands, coated his nose and mouth, caused his eyes to water. He locked it back inside the box, disgusted.

He had promised to retrieve the box from the building, but there was no longer any intention of giving it back.

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Green Needles

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Green Needles

Nature is relentless in so many ways–and we’re talking about the inspirational aspect of it, not the constantly-trying-to-kill-us bit (that bit is huge). Even a simple pine* needle yields its detail under close inspection. If you look close enough, what else would you find?

What else?

(Don’t blink.)

*Or spruce, we could be wrong.

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The Anatomy of Darkness

The Anatomy of Darkness

The Voice, Episode 2. Or, why you shouldn’t be afraid of the dark, but maybe the things hiding in the cover of darkness.

And scripts.

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Seeing the Forest

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Seeing the Forest

The good thing about the snow is that it brings on the holiday spirit. (Yay, Friday!)

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I Have a Heart

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I Have a Heart

I like to tell people I have the heart of a small boy, then I tell them it’s in a jar on my desk.
― Robert Bloch

We seem to recall Stephen King saying the same thing. Or something of the like.

(This one came from Goodreads. Horror quotes seem to be sorely lacking.)

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Old Bones

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It’s exactly what you think.

Old Bones

I was cleaning out the attic when I stumbled upon a mouldy box. It was hard to miss; it had a strange musk about it.

When I opened it I found the most exquisite thing–rotten bones, darkened with age, and covered in lichen–but I knew I shouldn’t have seen them that way. They were (to be clear) rotten bones. The smell emanated from them, and I’m sure that’s where the rot came from too.

Still, they caught my attention, inspired my imagination.

Until my fingers began to shrivel. They were green, and grey.

Covered in lichen.

The doctors were able to save one of my hands–the left one–but my right arm was amputated up to the elbow. After that, I knew better than to pry around in places I didn’t belong. I even took the liberty of moving.

Away from that diseased place.

I’m sure the house is tainted. It’s been on the real estate market ever since then; it will only be a matter of time before it meets its fate with an arson. I can guarantee it.

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The Ice Winds Cometh

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The Ice Winds Cometh

I saw snow today. Twice actually. Therefore our harsh Canadian winter can no longer be denied. It’s also Saturday.

You better beware.

(Of the Icky-Sticky Bear!)

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It Only Tempts the Strong

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It Only Tempts the Strong

The charm of horror only tempts the strong.
― Jean Lorrain

And clever as it is–like a pack of wolves–it takes out the weakest links first. Why bother with the stronger members when there are only a few of them? Cull the masses, and save the best for last.

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An Inconvenient Monster

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An Inconvenient Monster

Apparently we weren’t safe. Not during the day, not even on the water. Crowds wouldn’t deter them. As reality would have it, we were sitting ducks. Nothing could stop it.

We would be forced to fight it.

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