Legacy of the Lake

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The pregnancy hadn’t been a good one. Juliet had been bedridden for most of it. The birth was a struggle too.  Afterwards she barely found strength to hold Sacha. The beautiful baby girl was named after Jake’s grandmother.

“Do you want me to go? I can leave you to get some sleep if you like.” Jake asked.

He worried as he looked at her exhausted pale face, and the dark rings under her eyes.

“No, stay. Dad will be here soon, stay until he leaves. Talk to him for me. I’m just so tired, but I want him here, I want him to see Sacha.” her voice trembled, “Wish mum was still here.”

Jake reached out and put his hand over Juliet’s. “She’s here, she’s watching you.”

“But I don’t feel her. How do I know?” She shivered. “It’s so cold in here.”

Jake took another blanket from the closet and tucked her in. There that should keep you warm. “I’ll be back in a second,”

He found a nurse “Whats wrong with her? Why is she so weak? It’s 24 hours since she had the baby, shouldn’t she start to feel better? I’m worried, I don’t want to lose her.”

“We’ll watch her, she’ll get better everything looks fine, but she’s exhausted. The trauma of losing her mother isn’t helping. Did the police ever figure out what happened? Was it suicide?”

Jake hung his head. “Can’t see she’d kill herself, but why would she get so close to the lake in her wheelchair? Tragic accident is what they’re saying.”

The shadows in Juliet’s room gathered unseen around the crib. Sacha slept, swaddled in blankets as a dozen eyes looked down at her. She’s perfect they whispered she’ll be ours soon. The keeper of the lake.

Juliet didn’t hear them, she was slipping away into a drug induced haven, blocking out a terror she didn’t yet know, just like her mother before her. The family legacy continued and Sacha was next in line.

 

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Headlights?

headlights-1449254_960_720OK, I’m gonna be brave!

She edged her way forward, keeping her left foot close to the grass that marked the edge of the road.

Don’t want to be wandering along in the middle of the road in this fog.

June prayed for headlights! Prayed for a car to come. If it did it would be traveling slowly and she’d be able to stop it. All she needed was company! She tried to walk fast, but her pace was sluggish. The mist was holding her back. She might as well have been walking through molasses. It was sucking every ounce of energy from her.

Dad, why aren’t you looking for me, I’m late home, I’m lost. 

What was that? A shape moved quickly across her path. June stopped dead in her tracks.

“Hello!”

Something touched her shoulder and she spun round.

“Not funny! Who’s there?”

The mist began to glow. She felt a weird warmth from behind. She turned around and looked into a pair of dazzling lights. Shielding her eyes with her hand she smiled and slowly walked towards them. At last! 

“Can you help me? My car broke down.”

The lights blinked and a door slid open between them.

Somethings wrong here. This isn’t a car, what is it?

June turned to run, but it was useless, she was pulled backwards. She tried to get some traction. She tried to escape. It was impossible. A strong magnetic force had taken hold of her. It pulled her toward the lights.

“Help! Somebody help me.”

She was sucked into a cavernous space. The lights went out. The door slammed shut and she was enveloped in a murky green darkness….

2017 Annus Mirabilis

img_0582No, I’m not learning Latin. Although if I have time, I may take Italian Lessons! For those of you who faithfully follow my blog, you’ll know I’ve been absent for a while. You could say I’m trying to get my $*%@ together again! I’ve been writing since I was in High School (and that’s a VERY long time ago), my head is full of stories, some true, some started by my late dad, and some in a back room of my brain, waiting to break free.

My absence was caused because my life has changed a little. I lost my job a couple of years ago, and my new position, with a much larger company, is much more taxing. I come home drained. I think I’ve finally gotten used to that. My health changed, fought with it for a while, but hopefully I have that under control too. Lastly my husband doesn’t travel any more, so the house is a little noisier. Now thats fixed that too. We had a small addition built, which gives me a little more privacy in my little study.

Now, I’m comfortable again and ready to hit the ground running.

I’m working on re-editing a couple of old stories, which will be released as a compilation later this year. It’ll be a cheap buy, because I want lots of folks to read it. Two of the stories were the first I ever published, and in my excitement to get them out there, I omitted making them perfect. I’m making them perfect now. (well as perfect as possible).

It feels good to be back, to be writing again!

 

EYES ON ME!

one-sunday-morning

She tossed and turned, but sleep wouldn’t come. The bedroom was cold! She could see her breath, the bed was cold too!

The furnace must have broken!

Pulling the covers tightly around her, Lou burrowed into them. They felt damp and icy!

Dammit whats wrong. 

Reluctantly she got out of bed and grabbed her robe. Her fingers touched something gelatinous. She screamed and recoiled! Fumbling in the dark, she looked for the light switch.

Found it. 

Frantically she switched it on. Nothing. She reached for the bedside lamp, it didn’t work either. Pulling back the drapes, she looked out of the window. The world was engulfed in fog. Heavy, dark and thick. Swirling like clouds.

I feel eyes on me!

Carefully, slowly and trying not to panic, Lou made her way downstairs and into the kitchen. Pitch black, hard to move, hard to breath.

She found the flashlight in the cupboard next to the sink.

Thank god!

She switched it on, it worked. Shining it into the darkness of her home gave her some relief, there was nothing to see.

I need to get some heat in here.

Lou made her way down to the basement and the furnace.

Somethings wrong!

She opened the basement door, letting out a cold stench. It came from something unfamiliar, something terrifying. She didn’t want to look, but couldn’t help it. A dozen distorted, decaying faces looked back at her, their mouths open in a silent scream.

Oh dear God in Heaven!

She fainted!

Horror on the Lake

8A tranquil cottage perched on the edge of a lake, far from civilization. A writer called Jane lived there. She was a recluse. Occasionally Jane took part in radio interviews and podcasts, but never interviewed live. One of her novels, “Hidden Horrors” became a best seller, but she declined book signings.

“Jane, your book sales would go through the roof if you appeared in person. Don’t you want to be a millionaire?” her agent asked, but Jane remained in her cottage by the lake. Her vast garden made her almost self-sufficient. A new cell tower gave her mobile phone a signal. She submitted all manuscripts electronically. The royalties from her novels more than provided for the rustic life she lived. Her mail was delivered weekly, along with dried goods and meat.

Jane watched the late morning sun dancing on the ripples in the water.

“Mummy look, who’s that over there?”

Jason was six years old now, he was a slow developer, but could talk well. Jane looked across the lake to where he pointed and saw the bulky shape of his father. The shape retreated into the shadows.

“Its nothing to worry about sweetie, maybe just a bear or something. I’ll keep my eyes on it. The bears don’t bother us.”

“Maybe we should get a dog mummy, to scare the bears away.”

Jane shivered as she remembered what happened to Penny. “Yes, maybe one day we’ll get a dog.”

Jason turned round and looked at her. From the back her child could have been any other six-year-old. His face told a different story. His huge green eyes almost met over the bridge of his nose. His mouth was wide, way too wide, and those huge teeth! Jane shuddered. She should have never given birth to the child, but she didn’t have a choice. Her pregnancy lasted only three months, and it was painful. The creature who raped her, never left her side until the abomination was born. He was gentle, and tended to her, but only as a vessel to continue his dying legacy. Now he sat across the lake and watched, making sure nothing happened to his offspring.

Jason ran to her on all fours, looking more and more like his father every day. He jumped up and hugged her. At six years old he so strong he knocked her on her back, bruising her face. She was terrified of him! Felt no love or affection, but needed to play the role of loving mother in the hopes that one day she’d escape.

Halloween – The Scent of a Woman

lakePenny lifted her head and sniffed the air! She stood up and growled, then whimpered. Jane closed the door and came back inside.”Hey, don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere without you. Penny stood rigid, staring at the closed-door.

“You want to go for a walk? Come on the, let’s get your leash, don’t want you to get lost do we?”

Usually when the W A L K word was mentioned Penny barked, excited to be outside. Today that word terrified her, she hid under the bed.

“OK, I guess that’s a no!”

Jane poured another glass of wine and walked to the window. The view was hypnotic. Maybe I should have become a painter, or photographer. She thought to herself. Tired and frustrated she sat in front of her computer again.

The lake was still and deep, she wrote, a single canoe was moored by a boat house. The night was silent. Somewhere, deep in the forest, evil waited. It wouldn’t have to wait long.  

The words began to flow, so engrossed was she in her writing that she never heard Penny’s pathetic whining as the dog cowered beneath the bed.

An hour passed before Jane came up for air. She’d written almost a full chapter. Yes, we have liftoff!

Pleased with herself, she stood up and stretched, her creative juices flowing. All is not lost!

“Penny come on, let’s get some fresh air, you need to pee.”

Penny whimpered and backed further under the bed. She could smell danger and wanted no part of it!

“Penny what’s wrong with you?” Jane asked as she grabbed a dog treat and crouched down to coax her companion from the shadows. Dogs can be smart at times, but not when there are treats involved. Penny scuttled forward, licking her lips in anticipation. As her mouth closed on the treat, Jane grabbed her.

“Gotcha!”

With Penny tightly secured under her arm, she headed to the front door. Penny wriggled and whimpered, but Jane held her tight.

“Look, nothing out here to be scared of, it’s a beautiful night.”

She placed the dog on the porch, “Now go do what you have to do, its cold.” Penny walked back inside and poured another glass of wine, pleased with herself. Her head was full of words and evil images. She was inspired.

The cold air worked on the dogs bladder. She ran down the porch steps and sniffed until she found a place to pee. She looked into the darkness with wide eyes. Something bad was lurking, she felt it. The scent was strong, Penny whimpered, but not for long.

A huge six-fingered hand grabbed her belly, a second-hand grabbed her head. She didn’t feel the teeth sink into her back. The quick twist of hands broke her neck in seconds.

When Jane walked back onto the porch she couldn’t see her dog, but she could hear her, or so she thought.

“Penny! Penny come on, its cold out here. Don’t stray. Where are you?”

Great, just when I’m inspired!

Grabbing a flashlight from the table by the door, she pointed the beam into the darkness, towards the sound.

“Penny!”

What she heard was the sort of sound Penny made when she ate wet dog food. Oh god, she’s found a dead animal.

“Penny, put it down! Penny! Oh my god!”

The strong beam rested on a horrendously disfigured face. A pair of huge deformed hands held the remains of her pet. Blood dripped from the creature’s chin. Penny’s blood!

The grin grew wider as it took another bite before dropping the remains to the ground. He looked at Jane and sniffed. She’s woken a different type of hunger inside him. One he hadn’t felt before!

Halloween – The Scent of a Woman

halloweenCome on, think, come up with an idea! You have to write, if you don’t write you don’t eat! Funds a are low!

Jane sat at her desk tired, frustrated and brain-dead. Writer’s block had set in and it looked like it was here to stay. It’s Halloween for Christ’s sake, I write horror stories for a living. Why can’t I come up with a single idea?

*************

A couple of miles away, in a derelict house on the edge of the lake, sat a man, the word man is used loosely. He was more mutant than human. Born from an inbred cult who’d been dead for a decade, he was the only survivor of the mass suicide of the Lake clan. For days he crawled across their limp bodies, looking for nourishment, which he’d eventually found. I don’t think I need to tell you what he ate. He was five years old when he was left to fend for himself, and already damaged. More to the point, dangerous! His now dead family were the only people he’d ever known, a loveless breed who lived in caves and tree houses deep in the forests of the Appalachians. Preying on lonely hikers, stray dogs, and anything else they could eat. Their language was a serious of grunts, mixed with the occasional word. They were long gone now, except for one, and he was hungry!

**********************

Pouring herself a glass of wine, Jane stood by the window and looked across the lake. She’d used money she couldn’t afford to rent this place, hoping to get away from worldly distractions and write. She had no cell phone signal, no television, and was miles from the nearest town. Her only living contact was Penny, her elderly mutt, who lay sleeping on the rug by the fire. Have I wasted the last of my savings? She walked out onto the porch. It was a beautiful clear night. The lake reflected the full moon. It looked like mercury. Other than the rustling of the trees, and the sound of the night creatures, all was still peaceful.

************************

At the other side of the lake one of the silent night creatures felt Jane’s presence. He sat still and sniffed. His animal instincts smelled human. It smelled woman. Instantly aroused he silently rose and looked towards the scent. He’d located his prey and moved stealthily towards the cabin.

Trolls, Bridges and Billy Goat Gruff

billygoatIt was just past midnight when Toni approached the stone bridge that crossed the river by her home. She smiled, remembering how she’d been scared of this bridge when she was a child, scared of the nasty troll she believed to be hiding in the darkness beneath it. Glenn, her older brother was to blame. He told her the story of Billy Goat Gruff, changing it slightly to make her scared. He had her believe the troll hadn’t really died, but was roaming the country looking for naughty little girls, because naughty little girls tasted so good.

“But I’m not naughty,” she told him tearfully.

That was a long time ago.

Halfway across the bridge stopped and listened. What was that?

“Who’s tramping over my bridge?”

Sure it was her brother she shouted, “Glenn, I know its you, come up here, you’re not funny. What are you doing out at this time of night?”

A throaty evil chuckle echoed from the darkness, “I’m coming to gobble you up.”

“Okay you’ve had your fun, come up here right now.”

“Are you a naughty little girl?”

“Glenn?”

Confused and scared Toni leaned over the stone wall, thinking her brother was going to great lengths to play a prank on her. What she saw was a small, squat shape with white flowing, scrabbling up the bank as fast as it could.

Shit!

She sprinted along the short pathway to her house, surely she could outrun the twisted midget. Breathless and terrified she made it home, but the handle of the front door didn’t turn, it was locked. She ran around to the back, same thing, locked.

“Mam, mam, let me in, open the door!”

Footsteps from within.

“Thank GOD! Mam, hurry!”

The door opened slowly, too slowly. Toni barged through and pushed it closed behind her, locking it quickly.

“Mam, where’d you go? Someone tried to get me, call the police.”

Silence!

Then she heard the raspy voice again.

“I’m going to gobble you up Billy Goat Gruff.”

“I’m not Billy Goat Gruff.”

“You’re a naughty child though, even better!”

*****************************************

Toni sat bolt upright in bed and screamed at the top of her lungs. “Help, MAM!”

The light went on in the hallway. Oh thank heavens, I’m in bed, I was dreaming.

The door opened and a small body with a wizened head stood where Toni expected her mother to be. It’s the last thing she ever saw!

 

Ghostly Guidance

swamp1

Larry and his wayward friends left, pleased and excited with the way the night had turned out leaving Jack, Janie and I at the kitchen table, where we talked long into the night. Photos from the old tin were spread out in front of us. The faces on them were now familiar to me. Everything made sense now, well sort of.

“My mom and dad were killed in a car accident when I was twelve years old. I was home alone when the police knocked on the door. They took me with them and arranged for me to go into foster care.”

“Why? Did you have no more family?” I asked.

“No, I didn’t even have a birth certificate.”

“Where was your home?” Jack asked.

“Colorado Springs, it turns out my parents weren’t my birth parents, but took me in when I was a baby. There was no legal documentation. No way of knowing where I’d come from.”

“How do you know they weren’t your parents?”

“A neighbor told the police when they were trying to track down family. She’s known my mom a long time, knew she couldn’t have kids.”

Jack shook his head, “You were so close, less than an hour away from me for all of these years. How did you end up on here? How did you get involved with the scumbags on Colfax?”

“I ran away when I was fifteen. My foster parents were awful, I was nothing more than an unpaid child minder to their spoilt kids. The man tried to abuse me several times, he’d hit me and threaten me. It was a nightmare. His wife didn’t believe me, she hated me for telling her.”

“How did you come by the photos, the ones you’ve just showed to us?” I asked.

Janie’s eyes filled with tears. “I found them in my mom’s room when the cops took me back there to collect my belongings, I’d never seen them before so I snatched them, hoping they’d help me find my real parents.”

“You know the girl in the photos is my daughter Janie, don’t you!”

“Yes, thats why I’m here, I recognized you when I saw you walking down the road one day. You were younger in the photos, but I knew it was you. I figured out you were my grandad. I was happy, but scared to talk to you because I’m a no good drifter!”

Jack covered his face with his hands, rubbed his bleary eyes and then spoke in a weak trembling voice, “Don’t ever say that about yourself. I can see you mother in you. I knew the first moment I laid eyes on you. I don’t care about your past, what you’ve done, or where you’ve been. I want to make your future better, I want to make up for everything you’ve missed. Your mother died giving birth to you. I let her down, I miss her and I can never fix that, but you are going to have the life she never got chance to live!”

I could see it was time for me to leave.

“I’m going to let you two talk and figure out your future, I’ll see myself out.”

Jack looked up at me. “Thank you for everything!”

“Hey, don’t thank me, thank Alice Hobson, she’s my grandma and the one who pushed me to help. I suspect your wife and daughter conspired with her to draw Janie to the barn, and close to you. Its got to be more than coincidence”

I felt my gran smile inside my head, she liked it when I talked about her.

“You’re different that for sure,” Jack responded, “but in a good way I guess.”

I looked back towards the kitchen before I opened the front door. Jack and his new-found grand child sat opposite each other, holding hands across the table. Behind Jack, and probably only visible to me, stood his wife, she smiled across at her daughter Janie, who stood behind her namesake. They were there for a few seconds and then they were no more.

The kitchen was filled with the smell of fresh bread.