Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

It’s A Match

Dearest Diary,

Christmas is over, and there was one gift on my list that I didn’t get. It’s been on my mind for weeks, consuming my every second, reminders screaming at me from the street of the one thing I lack.

Valentine’s Day is coming, but I can’t even think of a candle lit date with a lover. Lovers are ten a Penny. I can find a new plaything in an instant, but there was another craving, something so essential that I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t function, until I had what I needed.

I needed to be a mother.

I’d see them everywhere I went. Happy women with bouncing, blossoming babies. They’d share smiles with their little ones, a kind of love I’d never quite captured, and as I watched them pass me by, I felt empty and alone.

My dolls were no help, staring back at me in silence as I sobbed, until their stares became glares, and that was the moment I realised that they shared my need. The flat was so quiet. We needed a child of our own to be a real family. My dolls dreamt of someone to play with them, and I dreamt of a child of my own to give all the love that soared within me.

It wasn’t easy. Babies are so heavily guarded. Mother’s instinct, I suppose, a protective, possessive power that keeps their infants shielded, so a baby was out of the question. I tried, of course, but I could barely get close. Those witches, selfish and furious, wouldn’t share their blessings with me, so I had no choice but to look elsewhere.

As children get older, it seems their parents care less. They let them play a little further away in the park. They let them walk to school in little groups. They let them go to the corner shop all alone, and that was how I met my daughter.

She left the shop with an armful of sweets, and our eyes met as I sat on the bench across from the door. I waved, her eyes lighting up as she spotted the huge pile of sweets beside me on the bench. It didn’t matter that she already had sweets of her own, every child wants more, and I had plenty to spare.

She ran towards me with a bright smile, and that was when I knew I’d found my little girl. She may have been born to someone else, but she was always meant to find her way to me. She was always meant to be my daughter.

We talked for a while as I watched her, overwhelmed with choice, picking through the sweets. She told me that her name was Chelsea, but I made a note to change it later. It just wasn’t the kind of thing I envisioned for my little Princess, you know?

She was about to go, worried about getting home to do her homework when I asked her if she’d like to have a tea party with my dolls. She was only six years old, after all, and there was plenty of time for homework, so why shouldn’t she have a little fun?

She couldn’t say no, taking my hand and walking back towards the flat with me, her face glowing with the biggest smile I’d ever seen.

I thought she’d be surprised, maybe even a little frightened when she got home and saw my dolls. I’d dressed them up nicely and made them look their best, but they can still be a bit of a shock the first time somebody sees them, especially Marilyn, due to her difficulties since Pumpkin’s fixed her up for me, but Violet wasn’t scared at all.

I decided to call her Violet, because my mother always liked floral names.

When we arrived home, the dolls were sat around the table as Marilyn struggled to fix some sandwiches, her jaw dropped, but no scream audible as the knife went back and forth over her limp wrist. I ran and pulled the knife from her flesh, mopping the blood from the sideboard, and Violet just sat down at the dining table smiling over at me.

Once I’d cleaned Marilyn up and put her to bed, Violet and I shared tea and sandwiches, talking about her favourite books and cartoons. We braided the hair of my dolls with hair long enough and did make up for the rest, and as time went on, I forgot that someone else had stolen so much time with my little girl from me, and I got lost in how happy I was, smiling, just like all the women I’d seen.

As I tucked her in and read her a story, she began to ask about her “Mummy”, and after a little back and forth, we agreed that I was her Mummy and the woman before was just a nasty imposter. She still argued with me about it, even after we agreed, but that’s kids for you, so childish.

It was just a phase. She was up bright and early the next day, pulling at the front door and yelling, probably eager to get to school, but I pulled her back towards the living room, deciding then and there that she needed to be home schooled.

She began to cry sometime around lunch and she didn’t stop until long after sunset. I gave her sweets. I let her pick any doll she wanted to play with. I let her watch television, until she saw herself on a breaking news bulletin and freaked out. I tried everything, but she wouldn’t stop crying, and her crying had begun to become shrieking.

I didn’t want to resort to it, but I had no choice but to call an old friend. Within minutes, Pumpkins had arrived, Marilyn shrinking away in tears as she saw him stride past her in the kitchen. He rounded on Violet, eyeing up the restraints on the bed as she struggled against them, and simply shrugging, deciding that it wasn’t his business.

I didn’t want to do it. I’d have preferred my little girl to remain as she was, rather than becoming another living doll like Marilyn. I already had a living doll! And besides, Violet was my heir, my very own little girl, and I wanted to be able to teach her so many things, but… her screaming was going to attract unwanted attention, so if Pumpkins stealing her light would shut her up, then it was a sacrifice I had to make.

He winced at her weeping but knelt beside the bed, stroking her cheek gently as he kissed her forehead, preparing to snatch her soul, but as his lips lingered and her screams rang out, I realised that something was wrong.

“I don’t have anything for him to take, Mummy.” Violet whispered, her voice still and her sobbing silenced as our eyes met and her own flashed with anger.

Pumpkins backed away, giving me one last look of pity from the small holes in his mask before he ran from the flat without a word. Violet gazed up at me, motioning with her tied hands to the kitchen.

“Bring me some biscuits.” She snarled. “And a new dolly.”

Motherhood isn’t quite what I thought it would be. You see, dearest diary, I’ve finally met my match. I understand why her parents let her out all by herself when she was such a little girl.

She was no such thing. I still don’t know what she is. She has no soul and she certainly isn’t human, but, my dearest, darling diary, she is my little girl, and I will love her all my life, or as long as she lets me live.

Love forever,
The Puppet Mistress

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

The Madness Of Desire

The night that we met, I didn’t tell him what I wanted him to do, but I told him that I wanted him to do something for me. I couldn’t promise him that it wouldn’t hurt, but I promised him that it would feel good, after a while. His glance was curious, yet cautious, as if he knew that he should turn me down, but couldn’t quite bear to do so. He licked his lips, like he knew how delicious I could make his days if he did what I wanted. It was dangerous, and so was I, but I was too good for him to care.

Above all things, Brendan craved control. He had always felt left behind, forgotten, overlooked and undervalued, and I suppose that made him hungry for power in a way that he couldn’t control. He had tried to pretend that he didn’t care, and that he was satisfied with his life just as it was, but I could see the glint of ambition that still remained in his eyes, and I knew I could put it to good use.

He reminded me of my Father. Not because they were similar, it wasn’t that at all, but because he reminded me of the kind of men my Father had associated with when I was a little girl. I’d come home from school and there would always be some guy, sitting miserably in our living room, complaining about his lot in life. He’d turn them around, give them something to live for, something to believe in, and they all went on to do great things. The second I saw Brendan, I knew that he had the same potential.

My methods weren’t exactly the same as my Father’s, but things seemed to work out for me anyway. I just wanted to make my Father proud. It had been my only dream since he was taken away from me, and with Brendan, I could tell that I was finally close.

I let him think he had control of me. If you want control, you have to give it up, or at least convince someone that you have. I’d fawn over him, flutter my eyelashes, make a show of him in my very best baby voice.

“Oh Daddy, you’re so strong.” I’d coo, at the very littlest things he’d do, and he couldn’t get enough of it. “Oh Daddy, I can’t live without you.” He was addicted. It’s all about getting them hooked, you know? Everyone has a vice and the trick is to become that vice.

He thought that he was lucky to meet me, but I leave nothing to chance. He was always going to meet me, I made sure of that. I’d watched him for months, making notes on the downtrodden frown he’d wear, how it worsened with each day, with the storm clouds that followed him growing heavier each time he left the house. He liked to drink in the same pub every night, and he’d rant and rave about all the things that bothered him, but he could tell that nobody was really listening.

It was all too easy. You take a lonely, bitter man, bring a little sunshine into his life, and he’ll die for you, if you ask him too, kill for you without a second thought. I shone above him, like the sun, smiling across the bar from him, watching him smile for the first time in weeks as he realised I was looking at him.

It didn’t take long to wrap him around my little finger. All I had to do was listen, nod and smile. Pretty soon, he would die for me, if I asked him too, kill for me without a second thought, but I didn’t ask him to do either. I asked him to keep hold of something for me.

It was just a little thing. Just a little favour for Daddy’s little sunbeam. I knew that he would do it, but frankly, I enjoyed watching him want to do it. I liked to watch him beg when I’d say “I don’t know Daddy, maybe it’s too much…” He’d plead with me to let him help, and it was divine. I’d um and ah, watching the man twist himself in knots with his desperation to prove himself and please me, and just when I could see him close to breaking, I’d relent, knowing that with each moment, his will was breaking, and there would be no going back.

I asked him to keep the pendant at first, around his neck, all the time. He swore to me that he would, and I watched as it dug deep inside of his mind. He didn’t know what it was, of course, so he had no way to prepare for what it would do, and that was half the fun (for me, anyway).

I’d stay up and watch him writhing in the bed, tormented and tortured by the terror of the visions I was planting in his head. Some might say I was being cruel, but it builds character.

My Father used to do this for a few nights, but I kept Brendan under the pendant’s spell for two whole weeks, and by the end, he was terrified to sleep, and a blubbering mess when he was awake, but one coy glance from me and he’d do his best to fake a smile. He wanted to impress me, make a show of himself, but both of us knew that he was falling apart inside, and I was only just getting started.

I put up my Father’s old mirror in the bedroom, high above the bed on the ceiling, and as he tried to get to sleep, I’d stare up into it, knowing that he’d stare too. It made a madman of him. He’d stare up at our reflection, his eyes heavy as the night wore on, and just as he was on the cusp of sleep, a ghostly hand would creep onto his reflected shoulder, or grip around the neck of his reflection, and he’d jump, suddenly wide awake as he searched the bed for what he was so sure he’d seen. That would go on for a few hours every night before his weak, little human body just gave in, and it was very entertaining.

I didn’t just want to freak him out a little, or even just break him. I needed him to be totally destroyed, mine to toy with entirely, and so, it was necessary to play with my food a little.

I would whisper to him as night fell.

“Astaroth.” He’d stare up at our reflection, his eyes wide and frightened, but he didn’t want me to stop, I could tell. “Come home to me Astaroth.” He didn’t know what it meant but the more I said it, the more he’d see in the mirror. I would watch the reflection with him, whispering, dropping kisses softly on his neck as I spoke, skeletal fingers wrapping around the throat of his reflection, and all he could do was whimper and cry.

I left the pendant around his neck, watching him weep every night as the nightmares chased him wherever he went, and as morning came, I would kiss his tear stained cheek, and ask him if he thought he was ready. He would always tell me that he was, despite me not even explaining what I needed him to be ready for. It didn’t matter to him, I suppose. He adored me, I’d made sure of that, but it wasn’t enough. There was something more I needed from him, and I needed him to really beg for it.

I told him to go off into the village and show me that he was worthy, and he came back with the head of a local police officer. I told him to find me somewhere safe, and we went on the run, making a little home in a new hotel room every few days, watching his face flash across the news broadcasts as the population began to panic. I told him to amuse me and he robbed a bank, bringing me home piles of bank notes and a handful of coins. I kissed him, letting him push me up against the thin walls of the hotel bedroom, hearing a little sob escape his lips as he sighed in ecstasy.

There’s always a part of them left, you see. I can take them to the edge, make them do things they wouldn’t believe, and they can’t stop themselves, but there is always a tiny little sliver of them left inside, a little part that doesn’t lose their mind, that is terrified of what they’ve become. If I ever loved him, that was the part I loved the most.

Last night, he came home, his hood low over his eyes, blood dripping slowly down his nails onto the hotel carpet, and he dropped to his knees before me. I rolled my eyes but held him close, listening as he sobbed against my knees, shaking, as he tried to swallow the few seconds where that small part of him would question what he’d done.

“Are you ready, Daddy?” I whispered, watching him look up at me with tear filled eyes and nod repeatedly. He clung to my dress, big puppy dog eyes pleading with me as the sky grew dark outside.

I couldn’t tell whether he agreed because he thought it would bring him relief from my torment, or because he truly craved the power I promised he would have if he didn’t deny me, but either way, I had played with him enough, and I was ready to take things to the next level.

I had tried with other men before, and I’d always got close, but never quite made it, but Brendan was something special, I was sure of it. In the end, I didn’t tell him how things would end. He didn’t need to know, and he’d be happier not knowing. Why couldn’t his last moments be a little joyful?

I placed the mirror before us, propping it up on the dresser and laughing to myself at the trouble he’d had carrying it to each of our secret hideaways. He held onto me, his arms tightly gripped around my legs as he sat, defeated by my side, staring into the mirror with me.

I had promised him power would pulse from his fingertips, and it wasn’t a lie. I promised him that he’d have control, and that was a lie, but it didn’t matter. He was too weak to stop me, and too weak to stop him. My Father grinned from behind our reflections, pulling Brendan towards him and prising his jaw open. I smiled back at my Father, watching him tear the pendant from his own throat and force it down the throat of the helpless, sobbing man in the mirror, while Brendan knelt silently beside me, clinging weakly to my waist.

His grip weakened as I watched him weaken in the mirror, blood splattered across the glass as my Father’s jaws closed around the last of his body, swallowing the last few bites with a smile.

“Hello Astaroth.” I whispered, looking away from the mirror and down to the man by my side with a hopeful smile.

“Hello my darling.” Brendan snarled, standing with a grin and pulling the pendant from his neck. He threw it against the mirror, watching the glass shatter as the pendant fell to the ground with a clatter. A low growl left his lips, and his green eyes were now red. At last, my little puppy dog was a great man, or, to be more specific, a great demon in a weak man’s body.

My Daddy was home, at last.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Daddy’s Girl

The night we got engaged, she kissed me, and all that I could taste was cheap, cherry alcopops, fizzing feverishly against my tongue. It was divine. The floor was sticky and a relentless bass line buzzed in the air. She pulled away, took another swig of her drink and then pulled me back to her passion, both of us, intoxicated and enchanted by the night.

It wasn’t my usual haunt. God knows, I knew I didn’t belong somewhere like that. My partying days were long behind me, but she was there, and so, almost compelled, almost bewitched, so was I.

I knew that something wicked waited for us back at the house, but I didn’t care. I couldn’t care, because my mind was racing and my senses were swimming in the lust I’d lost as the years had gone by.

She was my temptress, the one and only vice of a sensible woman who had grown sick of seeing the world pass her by.

She made me feel young again, my stomach bursting at the seams with butterflies every time I thought of her. I had never met anyone like her. I knew I never would again. It sounds pathetic to say it, but I needed it. I needed to feel like I was part of the world again. No longer invisible, finally listened to, desired and adored. I clung to how she made me feel, so sure that I’d do anything she asked of me.

I didn’t know how true that was.

It’s love, isn’t it? It drives you crazy. I’d think of her day and night. I’d watch her sleep, spend all of our time apart texting her. Texting! I never really texted, until Lacey. I got an Instagram account, posting a new picture of her every day, my heart pounding when she’d leave one of those little love heart pictures as a comment, emojis, I think she said they were called.

I’m not as old as I’m making myself sound, but I was old enough to know better, and yet, I still fell for her. I fell into her world and now I can’t get out. The worst part is, I don’t think that I want to.

They’re always following us. They can’t get enough of her. Everywhere we go, I can see them. They never come to us directly, but they’re always there, hiding, watching, giggling and staring.

I thought it was the age gap at first. Twenty six years is a lot, even if she’s not a baby. I could understand the staring. A beautiful woman with a middle aged matriarch who’d never got round to having a family of her own.

It wasn’t that. I’d stare back, always wondering, but it wasn’t me, or the differences between us. It was her. They’d fallen into her world too, and they adored her, worshipped her even. They couldn’t bear to be apart from her, and once I knew, I understood them, because neither could I.

If it was just that, I suppose I could live with it. Even with everything else, I’ll learn to live with it, caught up and captured by the jazz that plays every time she looks my way, her sweet, sultry song that seems to echo all around me when I’m in her arms.

It was inevitable. We all have our weaknesses, even Lacey. Her weakness was a hunger for the weakness of others. She couldn’t stop herself, and neither can I.

I tried not to see it, but it’s the kind of thing you can’t look away from. At first, it was easy to forget, as if it would catch the corner of my eye but be blown away by the sight of her. I’d look at her, deep into her dark eyes, and there was no more doubt or fear, for a little while.

She’d fix me with those little looks, holding me in her healing stare, a soft, sweeping kiss on my trembling lips, and there were no more questions, but the longer it went on, the more questions arose and the less effective her gentle gaze became.

Last weekend came the moment when I couldn’t avoid it anymore. I unlocked the front door, walking through the dark house and trying to ignore the slurping up ahead. I’d hear it every few days when I returned from work but I’d just think of her, my beautiful girl, and it all went away.

“Catherine…” She sang my name, the slurping stopping for a moment as the kitchen light flickered to life and I turned towards her voice. “Come here baby…” She was surrounded by them, all crowded around her, crouched on the kitchen floor, and she was at the centre, straddling a struggling man. “Come to me Catherine…” Her long eyelashes fluttering as her tongue ran across the blood that dripped down her lips. “Do you want some?” I staggered back, watching her return to the man, digging hungrily into his chest with sharp, spindly claws, the cracking and crunching of his bones, repulsive.

It was disgusting, but as she raised her head from his body once again, her soft, bronzed cheeks covered in blood, she was bewitching, and I was back under her spell. I can’t be sure, but I’m not sure I was ever free of it. I don’t know that I ever will be.

They’re here too, you know. Dotted around outside your house. One of them even made it into the house with me, he’s under your desk over there.

Don’t look, it’s really not worth it. It won’t change anything.

You’ve got a minute or so, but you won’t escape from Lacey, or, to give her her full title, Little Fawn, The Princess of Darkness. No, it’s not a joke. I suppose I just had a lapse. A little crisis of faith for a moment, but just now, through the window, she looked at me, and I was back, trapped inside her world again, just like all of them, and in a sense, just like you. You won’t serve her, like them, or love her, like me, but you’ll belong to her too.

We all do, whether we are the food in her stomach, the servant at her feet or the lover in her bed. Whatever Lacey wants, Lacey gets, and right now, she’s hungry.

She likes it in this world, you know. Her Dad doesn’t like her spending so much time here but she absolutely loves it. She can have anything she wants here. Anyone she wants. I suppose I feel special that she chose me, and you should too, even if she wants something less enticing from you. Don’t be so jealous. We’ll all get a look at lovely Lacey, and we’ll all be covered in scratches by the end of the night, so just try and enjoy it while you can.

It isn’t personal, by the way, all this. We’re not picking on you, it’s just, she’s hungry, and, well… you were in.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Dennis

I moved into his house, and he found me right away. I’d see him out of the corner of my eye at first, just a shadow, with nothing but his own eyes. He had soaring, silver eyes, large as saucers, and always watching.

He’d watch me, and I’d watch him, neither of us moving, neither of us speaking, just watching. At first, he was a shadow, but then, he began to grow. When I took my eyes off of him, the room would spin, wild colours clashing against the walls and the circling ceiling, bottles would fly from the cupboards, pans, clattering on the sideboards and so, I’d look at him again, just as he wanted.

I stopped sleeping because he wanted me to. He didn’t ask. He never spoke. He didn’t have to. He’d stare as I stepped closer to the bed, and my body froze, my veins chilled as his eyes bore into mine, and then, I would stay up.

I would make coffee, only ever dropping his gaze for a moment or two, dropped into the topsy turvy turmoil as his anger began to boil over, and then, as the kettle clicked and steam rose from the spout, I would look up, back into his eyes, and slowly, with every cup of coffee, his face became a little clearer.

He was once a shadow, but he grew, taller than the sky, endless and everywhere and all I could do was look. His eyes seemed larger than before. I don’t recall the day. Maybe a Tuesday or a Sunday. Something with “Day” in it. It didn’t really matter.

Nobody called. The doorbell seemed to always be ringing but nobody was ever there. I’d turn on the news, but it was always the same thing. My new friend, staring out of the screen, his mouth moving but nothing but static would pour out, and I’d watch it for hours, transfixed. My friend sat beside the television, watching me, watching him, watching me. There was no news, just him. There were no calls, just him. There were no visitors, just him.

The dance went on forever. He’d stare. I’d stare. I’d stare while drinking coffee. I’d stare while eating whatever I could find in the cupboards. I’d stare while going to the toilet. I’d stare while drinking cup after cup of coffee by the back door as the rain fell heavy outside.

When he came to stay, it began to rain, and it never stopped. The sky grew dark, because that was how he liked it. He didn’t tell me, but I knew.

When I noticed the sky, I noticed his long claws, and he’d drag them along the floor as we walked through the house. They stained the carpets, charcoal black, but it was okay, because… well, it just was.

A few days went by, I think, and I began to hear him speak through the static. It might have been a few days, or maybe a few weeks. It was so hard to tell with him. He didn’t want me to know, so he didn’t tell me. My phone wouldn’t tell me either. He made sure of that. The phone didn’t get it, you see.

I sat down to watch the news, and he sat down by the television, a little spot of drool dripping from his fangs as he watched me, and on the screen, for the first time, I saw him smile.

He opened his mouth and began to speak, the scales of his face seeming to shine under the studio light, and at first, it was the same garbled static, but as I leaned closer to the television, I could finally hear him. It was so faint, almost inaudible, but at last, I could hear him.

“You like it here in my house?” I nodded, falling to my knees before the screen and staring so intently that he began to blur, becoming pixels to my tired eyes. “You stay and be a good little girl for Dennis?” I nodded again, feeling his claws on my shoulders. I looked down from the screen and could see them reaching out of the television, gripping onto me as he grinned from inside the screen. “My good little girl?” I nodded, feeling his claws again, down on my waist, and I turned away from the screen, seeing him where he always sat, reaching out to me.

There was a wide, wicked smile across his face, his jaw dropped and his fangs hanging low over his lips. He nodded, his silver, secretive eyes spinning in his skull as he began to laugh, and I laughed too, nodding along as he pulled me to my feet and our faces fell against each other.

“Good little girl!” He hissed, holding my face tightly in his claws. Blood began to drip down onto my shoulder as he pierced my flesh, but I just nodded and I stared, because I was a good little girl.

It hurt, I think, lasting for days, or maybe for minutes. Maybe it hurt, maybe it didn’t. It’s very hard to tell. I watched the rain over his shoulder and the room began to pulse, the tumble dryer shaking and scooting across the floor as eyes appeared in every rain drop, rocketing down from the sky until I returned his stare and felt the world soften as he smiled.

We stayed that way for a few hours, maybe a few days. I just don’t remember. They say that I was only in there for a week, but I don’t think that they get it. Nobody gets it. I fell asleep, or fell unconscious, according to them. Dennis didn’t like it. I could feel it happening. I was in his arms, looking up at him and he was looking down at me, and I was slipping away. I knew I should make a coffee, but the kitchen was so far, and the kindness of rest was so near. My eyes would close and the kitchen cupboards would clatter, opening and closing in a ferocious fury, so my eyes would open and the house would fall silent again. We played this game for a few weeks, or maybe a few minutes, before I finally lost, and then, I awoke in hospital.

The house was full of carbon monoxide. That’s what they said. It was an old place, I suppose, the only place I could afford. The boiler was shit and the landlord even shittier, so I fell into… well, I don’t know. There was no Dennis. There was no clattering kitchen cupboards, no movement from the dryer or the bottles. They’d found me collapsed on the living room floor, one hand reaching up to the television, with empty coffee cups everywhere, but beyond that, everything was in its proper place, and it hadn’t rained for days.

I told them everything I’d seen and heard, but it had all been a hallucination. Not even really in my head, just a game played by the gas. My sister had rung the doorbell almost every day, but I’d never made it there. She told me that she’d seen me, through the living room window, struggling to the door but always turning away, loudly announcing to someone inside that nobody was there. It was a bizarre sight, according to her, and at first, she thought I was in a mood with her, but after a while, when I stopped trying to answer, she’d worried, and after another while, the front door was broken down, and I was rescued.

I felt stupid, in the hospital, telling them all of my stories about Dennis, sheepish about not noticing the gas that had almost killed me, but everyone was so kind, understanding of the mistakes a young woman makes when renting her first place.

I moved in with my sister while the place was fixed up, and again, she was so kind. She presented me with the guest room, and the sheets were soft, and the windows poured bright, beautiful light into the space. That night, I slept, at last, but it took me a while. Something kept me awake. Probably all the caffeine I’d ingested after the previous week, or maybe just the struggle of getting used to a new place. I got there in the end, and it was worth it, because as I awoke, I felt peace wash over me as I sat up, stretching my arms and watching the sunlight creep into the window as dawn broke.

That’s when I saw him. It all fell away. The sunlight faded, my eyes, his once more, and there he was, watching me again. As our eyes met, the sky fell dark and the rain began to fall outside. I kept his gaze but the room began to dance around me, the bed rocketing beneath me as the door slammed open and shut and the wallpaper tore itself from the walls, leaving nothing but empty, dismal darkness all around us.

“You stay and be a good little girl for Dennis.” He snarled, and I had no choice but to nod. I had no choice but to accept his presence. This was not a game of the gas, or the madness of my mind. This was not his house, but he held dominion over it, just as he did over me, and with a click of his claws, we were back at home, stood before the television set, my face, grasped in his grip as my blood dripped slowly down onto my shoulders, and that is where I stayed.

That is where I will stay, because it is what he wants.

It was not the gas that found me, but him.

You don’t get it. They don’t get it. I don’t get it, but it’s what he wants.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else

Millie was a vegan, until she wasn’t. Last night, I came home and found her at the kitchen table, surrounded by meat, uncooked, raw, filling plates and bowls. Blood poured from her lips as she shoved handful after handful into her mouth, not seeming to notice I was there. Nothing seemed to matter but her hunger as she chomped and choked on the endless trail of meat, shovelled from the table to her mouth. It was grotesque, unbearable, and so unlike her that it terrified me.

I called out to her, pulling the bowls from the table, sending them clattering to the sideboards, shuddering as she stared up with cold, angry eyes.

“I was hungry.” She whispered, softly, her voice starkly different to the shocking image before me. “I’m going to bed.” I cleared away the mess as she shuffled off towards our bedroom without another word. The dishcloth was soaked in blood when I’d finished cleaning the table, and as I stacked the dishes by the sink to wash, I cast my mind back, trying to figure out how we had reached this point.

Millie and I had been on a walk in the woods with Buddy (not the most inventive dog name, I’ll grant you), but he was still restless, so she took him across the fields for a bit of a run. They were out later than usual, and by the time they got back, the dinner I’d made her was cold, but after a moment or two, it didn’t seem to matter.

Buddy was nervous. He sat in the hallway cowering as she threw his lead to the floor and stomped upstairs towards the bedroom. I approached him, and he cowered, gently whimpering as I reached out and pulled him into my arms, feeling him shake as I carried him up the stairs after Millie.

As I turned the corner into the bedroom, I could see her by the bed, staring across into the mirror with her hands clenched tightly around something. Buddy began to kick and struggle in my arms as we approached her, and I placed him gently on the floor, watching him scarper back out of the bedroom and down the stairs with a yelp.

“I found him in the woods.” She thrust her hands towards me, opening them up to reveal a bird. A robin, so small that it fit in one hand. Its feathers were falling away, its neck twisted and its eyes opened wide. “It had all these candles around it, like spotlights or stars.” She pressed the bird into my hand and I shrieked, recoiling in horror. “It was such a beautiful sight.”

She fell back against the bed, the bird falling from my hands to the floor as I rushed to her side, helplessly holding her in my arms as she began to thrash against the sheets, screaming. “His father spoke to me!” She yelled, reaching out into the air with a panicked look. “His father is coming for me!” Her voice shocked me, seeming to come from everywhere at once, gravelly, almost grave. The lights began to flicker and I could feel her temperature rising as she struggled against my arms. “We’re going to have a child.” She fell silent and the room descended into total darkness.

She was still against the sheets, but her eyes shone in the darkness. The silence only lasted a second before there was a knock at the window. I jumped, holding her closer and looking up at the window. There was nothing there. Not a creature, not a tree branch, not an explanation at all for the sound, but again, it rapped against the window again and again through the night, but after a while, it seemed to fade away, and I fell into a shallow sleep.

It only lasted a few hours before I awoke. The alarm clock was flashing the witching hour into my sore eyes and Millie was gone. I closed my eyes, burying my head under the covers, hoping it had all been a dream, but as I opened them again, beneath the dark sanctuary of my duvet, I felt a weight atop the covers, a little song, so sweet, but so unexpected began to fill the room.

“I made you breakfast Abbie.” Millie called with a giggle. I jumped, not able to recall hearing her walk up the stairs and into the room. “Something very yummy.” She lifted the blanket, showing an excited, almost sinister smile as she placed a tray before me, and to my astonishment, grinned as the robin hopped up onto her shoulder, both of them turning to stare at me as I looked down at the tray. I couldn’t understand why, but something about the scene unsettled me, and something told me that I’d regret lifting the cover from the plate to reveal the breakfast.

“It’s 3AM.” I whispered, pushing the tray back across my lap towards her. She shoved it back, her smile unmoving as she took my hands and placed them onto the cover with her own. “No, I’m not hungry.” Tears began to fall from my eyes as her grip tightened and she began forcing me to lift the cover. I screwed my eyes tightly shut, refusing to look down but she threw the cover to the floor and reached up to my face, beginning to force my eyes open with her fingers. Pain seared through my face as I fought back, the robin taking flight from her shoulder and beginning to circle my head, its sweet song ringing out as I had no choice but to look down.

“I made you breakfast Abbie.” The voice was no longer hers, a black hearted, monstrous snarl escaped her lips and surrounded the room. “Eat it!” On the plate, surrounded by lettuce leaves and cherry tomatoes was Buddy’s head, still covered in fur and splattered with blood. I screamed, nauseous and horrified as I struggled against her grasp, shoving the tray down the bed. “Don’t be sad. Father might bring him back one day.” I was overwhelmed, terrified as the bird flew to and fro across the room and Millie held my head in place, forcing me to look over at the tray. “We all come back if Father allows.”

I struggled until I was free, pushing past and bolting down the stairs. What was left of Buddy was littered on the bottom step, and while I couldn’t quite believe my eyes, I could swear I saw his tail wagging as I ran past. I could barely breathe, grabbing the keys and rushing out the front door into the car. I just drove. I didn’t know where I was going, but I couldn’t stop, tears streaming down my face as the thought of Buddy, the bird and Millie circled in my head.

I drove for hours, round and round the village, into town and back out again, until I arrived at the fields. The sun was coming up, and as little sense as it made, I felt drawn to the place. I parked the car and walked towards the fields slowly. It was a big patch of land owned by Mr Anderson, a farmer in the area. I’d known him since I was a kid, and he’d always let people walk their dogs in the fields as long as they didn’t disturb the crops. He approached me as I walked into the fields, and upon seeing the shock across his face, I was suddenly aware that I was wandering the fields at 7AM, in last night’s clothes with a tear stained face.

“Abbie, are you okay?” He yelled, running over to meet me. I pushed past him, pointing over at the fields. I could see the disturbed candles on the ground before me, but as I gestured to them, he simply didn’t look, as if he couldn’t see what I was talking about.

“The candles… the bird…” He looked back at me blankly, taking my hands gently in his own with a smile.

“Let’s get you home, okay?” I shook my head, glancing back at the candles in the field as he pulled me towards his car. “I’ll drive you and Millie can pick up your car when you’re feeling better.” He pushed me into the passenger’s seat and before I could stop him, we were driving back towards my house.

“She found a bird in the field.” I muttered, but he didn’t say a word, silently driving me back towards the house, and back towards Millie.

I hoped that when we arrived, he’d finally see what I saw. The robin fluttering round the house, Buddy’s body, Millie, unhinged and unlike herself, but as we pulled into the driveway, everything was… normal. Millie came running from the house, wrapped up in a dressing gown, buddy bounding behind her, his tail wagging madly. She rushed to the car, snatching me from the passenger’s seat and scoping me into a tight hug almost as soon as the car slowed to a stop.

“Oh, thank God you found her Mr Anderson!” She cried, tears springing from her eyes. She held me so tightly that it hurt, her fingernails digging into my arms as she made a show of her gratitude. “She’s been a little unwell, you see.” She released me, pushing me gently towards the house as she turned to Mr Anderson.

“It’s okay.” He smiled sympathetically, gesturing to his car. “Did you want me to give you a lift to pick up your car?” She returned his smile and opened the door, pushing me towards it. .

“Yes, thank you.” I tried to push back, but she shoved me again, so hard I almost fell through the doorway, her eyes glowing red as she looked back at me. “Abbie, why don’t you go and have a lie down while I get the car?” Buddy padded towards the door, following me into the house but as the door slammed shut, he was gone. I turned to look at the hallway, and just as before, just as I’d needed Mr Anderson to see, on the bottom step was Buddy’s body, his blood dried into the carpet.

I was frozen in place, the house seeming to groan and grunt around me as the soft song of the robin began again. I ran towards the kitchen, blocking my ears with my hands as the robin filled the house with its incessant song, but as I threw open the door, I froze again, falling to my knees as the smell of blood filled my nostrils. It was everywhere, all over the kitchen sides, the table, the floor. I was stunned, sobbing in silence as my nightmare continued.

“Father needed a Mother for the children.” The same voice that I’d heard from Millie hours before suddenly filled the room, and I looked behind me, hoping with all my heart that she wasn’t back already. “We need a place to go, and someone to take care of us.” There was nobody there and the door remained closed, but a soft knock cascaded with the wood of the door as I turned back to the blood soaked kitchen. “If she’s a good mother, he will set her free one day.” I looked up at the table, where the robin had settled, its little claws covered in blood as the voice escaped its tiny beak. “He’s just borrowing her body for a little while.” I looked up at the robin with disbelief, and it looked back at me with disdain. “But if you tell, Father will be very cross.” I nodded, not sure what was happening, or if I could trust what I was speaking to, but acutely aware that I had no other choice.

I did some research when she was out. I looked up so many keywords that took me nowhere, until I found a link to a post about a bird and some candles. This has happened before. I followed the rabbit hole and found more and more posts, all with the same story. Someone found a bird, surrounded by candles, and it drew him in, and then, they were captured.

His name isn’t Father, I don’t think anybody knows his real name, but he wants bodies, hosts, people for him and his parasite children to lock onto, and when he’s done with them, he gets them to set a trap for the next poor soul to find.

I couldn’t find any information on what he does with the people he leaves. All the posts were written by their friends, lovers, siblings and children. The survivors, never the victims. I sent a message to a few of them asking what happens, but they all deleted their accounts minutes after I sent the message, so I’m on my own.

He still needs her, for now, so I play his game. He’s taken over everything that she is, and his hideous offspring have taken root in that damned bird. There’s at least two in there, maybe three, so loud, all the time, but I put up with it, and I put up with him, Father, or whatever he is.

I play along like nothing is wrong, but when he isn’t looking at me, with my lover’s eyes, I’m always busy in the background, trying to find a way to free her, because I know, as unlikely as it sounds, that there must be part of her left in there, and one day, before it’s too late, I’ll set her free.