Where are you Juliet?

lake sunset

Gasping for breath, Jake sat up. He was cold! Where am I?
Are you okay?”
Juliet looked at him, concern in her big brown eyes.
“I must have fallen asleep. I had a weird dream.”
He put his arms around his new fiancée and hugged her close, kissing the top of her head. She smelled good. The mists of his nightmare faded as she lifted her face and kissed him again.
“What did you dream?” she asked.
“I can’t really remember, I think I was drowning!”
“Well there isn’t much chance of that happening is there”? You were the champion of the swim team in high school. No drowning for you Jake”
He smiled at her and kissed her again, pulling her close, feeling the warmth of her body close to him.
“When shall we get married. I want to wake up next to you every morning for the rest of my life.”
“Next June,” Juliet replied, “everyone loves a June wedding.”
She stood up and walked down to the lake, dipping her toes into the cool clear water. Jake shivered, but he didn’t know why. Juliet turned and reached out to him, here
come sit by the water for a while, it feels good. They sat with their toes in the water, the sunset and fading light turning the lake’s surface red.
It looks like Hell!
“I’ve never told anyone this before, but I got a bad scare down here one night. I thought I saw a lady in the middle of the lake.” Juliet said as she gazed into the distance.
“What, you mean in a boat or something?”
“No, it was weird and scary she was just hovering there. Half of her body was under the water. She had long hair. I know it was just the light playing tricks with me, but it scared the crap out of me. I thought it was a ghost.”
“Did you ever see her again?” Jake could hardly get the words out of his mouth as his dream flooded his brain. The sun was gone and the remaining light played tricks with the shadows. He began to shiver. He took hold of Juliet’s hand. It was as cold as ice. When he looked at their reflection in the still water he froze.
He was alone!

The Lady in the Lake – was it me?

lake sunset

A college grad! She couldn’t believe it. 22 years old!

“Mum, I’m home!”

SURPRISE!!!!!!

The quiet dark house exploded into a mess of bright light and excited voices. Juliet stood in the doorway as a sea of happy faces rushed towards her. She was pummeled with hugs and kisses. The party started in the early afternoon and didn’t ease up until after six. Finally she found a quiet place in the garden and sat down to catch her breath. A hand touched her shoulder. It was Jake, they’d been sweethearts since high school.

“Your parents did you proud, were you expecting this?”

“Are you kidding? I had no idea. I was sad they couldn’t come to see me graduate, but mum’s illness makes things tough. This was fantastic. Did you help?”

Jake smiled “A little. Lets take a walk by the lake. I want you to myself for a while.”

They walked hand in hand down the hill, the fading sunlight reflected on the distant glassy surface. Juliet shivered and stopped in her tracks.

“Are you cold? Shall we go back?”

“No, I’m okay, someone walked over my grave that’s all!”

“What a weird expression that is, I wonder where it came from?” Jake said as he put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer.

They sat on a bench close to the water and kissed. A romantic setting, the sort of setting that begged a proposal! Juliet said yes and they kissed again, softly, lovingly and then with unbridled passion.

Afterwards they walked to the edge of the lake and sat for a while, dipping their fingers into the shallow water, it was cool, clean. Jake turned his back for a moment, there was no splash, no scream for help, but when he turned around again Juliet was gone.

“Juliet, this isn’t funny, where are you?”

Silence. “Juliet?”

He looked at the water, its glassy surface was still.

“Juliet!”

She looked at him from the depths of the lake, a wicked smile on her face. I was lonely, but it won’t last forever. I’ll have you with me, I’ll catch you.

I’m the lady in the lake and I take what I want.

“Jake I want you!

Its all in the eyes.

reptilian_eyes_by_spartans_99-d4h3bed.fw_

The were only two people in the waiting room.

“Mr and Mrs Liddle?”

“Yes, are you going to take us to our daughter, is she okay?”

The Dr. ushered them to sit down, talking to them as he did so.

“It’s not a good time to see her right now. She’s unconscious and we still haven’t figured out whats wrong with her. I was wondering if you could tell me anything about her current health.”

June’s parents looked at each and shook their heads before answering.

“Fit as a fiddle! She’s on the school running team, she swims, she’s in a dance group. Really she’s fine. Why are you asking, whats wrong with her?”

“She’s very sick right now. Did you notice any change in her weight, or any stomach problems?”

June’s mum replied. “What? no! She eats like a horse because of all the exercise she does. I went shopping with her last weekend, to get a new outfit for her cousin’s wedding. She’d actually dropped a dress size, she’s down to a size 8. In fact I wish she’d put some weight on. Why are you asking?”

The Dr. didn’t have time to answer. A nurse ran into the waiting room.

“We need you NOW!”

He ran after her, back into the room where June lay. She was covered in blood. One of the nurses had a bundle of blankets in her hand.

“What the hell is going on here?” The Dr. yelled.

“Emergency C-Section! We had not choice, this little fella would have clawed his way out if we hadn’t.”

The doctor looked at the bundle she was holding. A perfect baby boy looked back at him.

Meanwhile, at the other side of the world, a baby girl was born after a very short pregnancy. She was cute as a button. She was normal in every way, except for her eyes.

 

 

 

 

The Vessel

ambulance2“What wrong with me?” June’s whispered as the ambulance sped along the road to the hospital. Leslie, the WPC, squeezed her hand. “It’ll be okay love, we’re almost at the hospital, you’re in good hands. There’s all sorts of weird bugs going around, you probably have stomach flu or something.”

The first responder looked at Leslie and shook her head. June didn’t see!

The ambulance barely stopped before the door burst open and a team of nurses and doctors swooped on the barely conscious passenger.

“She’s fading fast. Something is sucking the life right out of her. Her stomach is swollen and……”

“And what?”

“Well it looks bruised, but the bruises seem to be coming from the inside. Hard to explain.”

“Come on folks, lets see what we have here.” The doctor spoke urgently!

Within seconds they had her in a room in the hospital, talking vitals looking into her eyes, talking to her. Before fading into oblivion June spoke once. In a weak voice that was barely distinguishable she whispered, “It’s crawling around in my stomach.”

The doctor pulled up her sweater. Everyone froze! June’s abdomen had taken a life of its own. It was swollen to four times its normal size, but even with the swelling you could see a shape in there, almost like it was vacuum packed.

“Is she pregnant?” The doctor asked. The nurse looked at the notes taken in the ambulance.
“Says here she had stomach pains, maybe a bug or stomach flu. Vomiting, dizziness, nothing about being pregnant. She’s only a kid!”

“Are her parents here?”

“Yes, in the ER waiting room.”

The doctor took off his gloves and went to find them.

“Don’t do anything until I come back.”

Hidden in the clouds, the whole scene was being observed.

“Our vessel looks strong. She’s doing well. You all know what to do don’t you. We’ll soon have a new queen among us.”

 

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….

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.