Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

True Love

They say that you can speak what you need into existence, and so, I suppose you have to be careful about the lies that you tell. It sounds like a simple lesson, but it’s one that I’ve learned in the worst way imaginable.

Have you ever said something without thinking? Have you ever hurt someone without meaning to? It happens all the time, doesn’t it? It’s just part of life, but you can’t take it back.

I never meant for any of this to happen, but she’s on her way here now. She’s only a few minutes away and when she gets here, my life is over, in every sense, so I’m letting you know, whoever finds this letter, that you must be careful what you say, and never tell a lie that you can’t handle coming true. She’s going to kill me. I wish I could stop her, but I can’t. Please, just listen to what I’m saying. Be careful what you say.

It all started with Lorna.

Lorna was the first name that came to mind when Jessie asked me on a date. Jessie was… well… I don’t know. We’d never spoken, and she had always kept to herself, so I knew nothing about her, except for the fact that everyone thought she was a bit strange. I didn’t really know what to say to her when she asked me. I had barely even noticed her day to day.

People in the office used to joke about her having a crush on me, and sometimes, I thought she might, because of the way she’d stare over from her desk when she thought I wasn’t looking, but I didn’t think about it too much, because she’d never actually acted on it. She’d bring me lunch every day, cups of coffee every morning when I arrived at work, and I suppose maybe I should have seen it coming, but I was never the best at reading signs. When she finally plucked up the courage to ask me out, I panicked and just made up a girlfriend.

It sounds stupid, because it was, but it was a reflex, I guess.

Her name was Lorna, named after the cat I’d had as a kid, and we’d been together for a few years, according to my rushed, ridiculous lie. Jessie’s face fell, her heart shattering before my eyes, and I felt awful, but I’d already told the lie, and I had to see it through. She shuffled away without another word, sniffling a little, and I tried to get on with my day, hoping she’d get over it.

She did not get over it.

Jessie started talking to me more after our first conversation, seemingly emboldened by the rejection, and she was full of questions about Lorna.

I was suddenly trapped in my lie, having to come up with reasons for why Lorna never accompanied me to office social events (she wasn’t out to her family yet), why I’d never mentioned her before (we’re very private) or why nobody else had heard about her (again, we’re very private). She started asking what Lorna looked like, and again, I panicked, picking several aesthetics from thin air and pushing them together to create my imaginary girlfriend.

The day after that conversation, Jessie arrived at the office with a freshly cut and dyed blonde bob, and was wearing a halter neck summer dress, just as I’d described Lorna. It creeped me out a little, but I just tried to forget about it. Jessie was strange, and off putting, but so far, harmless.

It was just a haircut, and a dress. It was nothing to worry about. She was a little scary, but nothing I couldn’t handle. I stayed away from her and tried not to look when she’d stare from her desk, and I just hoped she’d get over it.

Jessie asked me more about Lorna. She wanted to know what she was like, what I liked about her, all the details. I just kept spinning lies. I even took the opportunity to try and scare Jessie off, making up elaborate stories about Lorna’s jealousy. I suppose I hoped that she would worry about Lorna coming after her, but she didn’t seem to get the message.

Every day, she had more and more questions about Lorna, and I’d feed her lie after lie, watching her slowly emulate the girl. I don’t even know why I did it. I think I just hoped she’d start to think that she couldn’t compete, but instead, she just tried as hard as she could to be an impossible girl. It all came to a head a few months later. Jessie was buzzing around my desk, asking questions for her attempts to live vicariously through Lorna, and I just didn’t have the patience for it. I shouted at her, telling her to leave me alone. I felt guilty instantly. She looked crushed, just like she had the first time I turned her down, but, well… it had to be done, didn’t it?

She backed off after that, and I didn’t hear much more from her. It was just the same sad looks from across the office but nothing more. Not hearing from her every day allowed her to fade back into the background.

As time went on, I forgot about Jessie, and about Lorna, and I met Dawn. She was perfect. I was crazy about her the second we met, and that was something I’ll regret for the rest of my life.

Dawn and I hit it off right away. We were inseparable. Everyone could see the chemistry between us, including Jessie. She was furious, storming around the office in a rage, shooting daggers at me every time she looked my way, but that was just the start. She cornered me in the office canteen, pushing me up against the wall with a sneer.

“What would Lorna say?” She whispered, her fingers closing around my throat, her eyes manic. “I’m going to tell her” I struggled against her grip, but she sank her fingernails into my flesh, pulling a yelp of pain from my lips. “I’m going to tell her.” Her nails dug into my skin, blood trickling down her fingers as she tightened her grip. I choked under her grasp, her eyes burning into mine with a fury I’d never seen. The others pulled her back, throwing her to the ground as I fell to my knees, spluttering as a few of my colleagues rushed to help me. Jessie was spitting and screaming, restrained by a few of the bigger guys at the office, but they were clearly struggling to keep her away from me.

She was suspended from work after that, but it didn’t keep her away from me. I created a monster, I guess. Love, lust or whatever it was Jessie was feeling was intense. She couldn’t stop herself. She started showing up at my flat, all hours of the day. She didn’t scream and shout like she did at the office, she’d just stand on the pavement across the road, staring up at the window for hours. No matter the weather, rain or shine, every evening after work, she’d be across the road, watching me.

I called the police, but they’d just tell me again and again that until she actually entered my flat or hurt me, there was nothing they could do, so there she stayed, staring up at my window for hours on end.

Her suspension at work was lifted but she never came back to the office. She’d still stand outside of my flat, and started holding vigil outside the office too, just watching me. It was uncomfortable, unsettling, but for the most part, unthreatening. I guess she had got her violent urges out of her system, and all she wanted to do was watch, so after a while, it just became another part of my life. That sounds crazy, but she just kind of faded into the background. I barely even noticed her day to day.

Time went on, and Jessie just became another aspect of my life. She was just… there. She was always watching, but that was all. My life moved on. I got a promotion at work, Dawn and I adopted a cat from the local shelter. Christmas was coming, and we’d talked about getting a bigger place, maybe taking some bigger steps together, so we were supposed to be saving our money, but there was one, rather expensive gift that I couldn’t stop myself from buying.

I was walking home, the ring burning a hole in my pocket, begging me to ask the question when I saw Jessie across from the flat. I wouldn’t have noticed, and I almost didn’t, but as I turned to close the door and head upstairs, I looked over the road, and there she was, side by side with an almost identical woman.

I opened the door again, glancing over and there they were. Jessie, looking back with a big smile, and by her side, a stranger who seemed almost familiar, but I couldn’t quite place her.

They didn’t say a word, they just watched, and as I slowly retreated into the flat, I knew they were still there. I sat by the window, watching them for most of the night, unable to escape the unease of them. Jessie hadn’t bothered me for a long time. She was there, but that was all. Her new friend added something more sinister to the situation. She seemed so familiar, and she just stared up at me as I stared down at her, silence and suspicion between us.

I must have fallen asleep at some point. I woke up, and they were still there, soaked from the rain and watching my window as the first snow of winter began to fall from the sky. They stayed through the storm, always there whenever I checked. Days passed. I went to work, I took Dawn for drinks, for dinner. We went shopping. Life went on, again, and Jessie, along with her new friend faded into the background.

I barely noticed them, until this morning.

Dawn was gone when I woke up. It was a Sunday, so neither of us had work. I walked around the flat, calling out to her, but the whole place was silent. I called her phone, but it just went straight to her voicemail. There was more silence as I hung up, wandering the flat again, checking places I already knew were empty as my heart raced. The silence was stifling, but short lived. All of a sudden, there was a thud against the window. I rushed to the living room, but there was more silence, and I could see nothing out of the ordinary. Jessie was across the street, as usual, wearing matching smiles with her new friend. They kept their hands behind their backs, staring up at me, as usual.

I looked down, trying Dawn’s number again, sighing as her voicemail message began immediately. There was another thud against the window, and my eyes snapped up, watching blood drip down the glass onto the snow that gathered on the window ledge.

I stepped forward, chilled as my heart pounded, watching as Jessie and her friend stepped back onto the pavement. Pressing my fingers against the glass, I looked down at them, watching Jessie’s friend pull her hands from behind her back with a grin, my stomach turning as I watched her raise Dawn’s head above her own. That was when it all fell into place. My lie was across the street, holding my lover’s head in her hands. I couldn’t understand how. I couldn’t understand why, but Lorna was across the street, somehow in the flesh, despite being fictional.

I fumbled with my phone, trying to call for help, my eyes blinded with tears, the two girls walking closer to the edge of the pavement as my mind raced. I felt like I was losing my mind, but, hey, maybe that’s what I deserve.

I did this. I don’t know how, but I did. I told a lie, and now, it’s become the truth. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody, but it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t care. She’s already forced her way through the door downstairs, and I can hear her outside the front door of the flat. It won’t be much longer now. I didn’t mean to hurt anybody, but it doesn’t matter, because Lorna is such a jealous girl.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Forever Faithful

Those bastards drove right past me. It was dark, but I had a torch, waving it madly from the side of the road as they approached. It didn’t matter, because they drove right past me, and now, they’ll get what they deserve.

I just needed a ride into the village. It wouldn’t have been too far. They were going that way anyway, but the trouble with people today is that they’ve got no kindness in them.

If they’d pulled over and let me in from the rain, I would have told them about Luna.

We all know about her round here, but they were from the city. Probably here for the wedding, I imagine. We always get weddings here, because the church is pretty and makes for great photos. The local hotel loves it because they always host the reception, and it makes money for the rest of the local businesses too, so we can’t complain, but Luna doesn’t like it.

They say that she was due to get married. It was back in the 40’s, just after the war. Luna was the most beautiful girl in the village, and her family were loaded too. They owned the hotel, and she was the only child, so everything was destined to go to her one day. Her parents wanted her to marry a rich man, even a Lord, but Luna fell in love with a local shop boy, and as young people tend to do, she thought she knew better and wouldn’t marry, unless it was to him.

It was quite the scandal, but her parents relented eventually, and a date was set. The whole village turned out for it, with the exception of the groom, and one of the chambermaids from the hotel. As it all turns out, Luna’s love had already given his heart to somebody else, and after making off with as much of Luna’s fortune as he could carry, they ran away to the coast, leaving Luna in tears at the alter.

She ran from the wedding, humiliated and heartbroken, and she was never seen again… Not in the state she left the wedding, anyway. Some think she was hit by a car, or drowned in the lake, but the truth was so much worse.

A few weeks later, the shop boy and his maid mistress were found dead in the forest that surrounded the village. Their bodies were mangled, torn to pieces, and it took a while for the police to even identify them, but eventually, they realised it was them. Somebody, or something had lured them back to the forest and massacred them.

Nobody would say, but everyone got the feeling it was Luna, and assuming that she’d had her pound of flesh, they began to breathe a little easier.

The trouble was, Luna hadn’t quite had her fill. Something bad happened to her out in those woods, something horrible. Not by the hand of man, oh no. Luna was killed by nature. She was walking through the forest, blinded by tears and lost her way. She called out for help but in the thick forest, nobody could hear her. It gets so dark in there. Even in the daytime, you’d swear it was night.

Nobody came to rescue her, so she was lost to the elements. She almost made it, bless her heart, she crawled out, hungry and thirsty, covered in dirt and rainwater. She made it onto the side of the road, but all the cars just drove past. They didn’t see her. They just drove past.

That’s where she died, where you just picked me up. People say that if you listen, you can still hear her by the side of the road, crawling on the floor from the forest, pleading for somebody to drive her up to the hotel. Anyone who’s smart will stop, and take her home. She’s always grateful, gives them a sweet smile from her swollen, rotting face as she leaves the car and runs up the path to the hotel.

Those two weren’t smart though. See that car up ahead? They came down for the wedding, just got engaged themselves, but they’re not going to make it down the aisle.

You see, Luna doesn’t like people that don’t stop to give her a ride, and she dislikes couples even more. I suppose it’s a bit of a sore subject for her, with all she’s been through.

Slow down a second…

They’re about to swerve off the road, just watch.

Don’t get out and check on them! Luna doesn’t like that! Just keep driving. Luna will take care of them.

Aren’t you glad you picked me up, eh?

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.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

The Ice Cream Man

Nobody wants an ice cream in November, but that doesn’t stop Tony from making his rounds. He drives around the estate every evening at five, every day of the year, even Christmas, but nobody ever buys ice cream from him. Not in November. Not in August. Not ever.

The jingle jangle of When You Wish Upon A Star was torture on hot summer days when I was a kid. We’d all hear it, no matter where we were, every day at five PM. I used to plead with my Mum for an ice cream, but every day, she’d always refuse. I was in too much of a strop to really notice at the time, but looking back, there was always a slight nervousness to the “No”, as if it wasn’t really ever about the ice cream.

Everyone knows the rumours about ice cream vans that sell their wares after summer. They’re a front for drugs or organised crime, but behind the decorated doors and windows of Tony’s van lay a much darker secret.

My mother knew the secret, as did all of her friends. All of our parents knew, and now, so do I. My Dad almost told me once. I asked him for an ice cream and he lost it.

“Do you want to end up like your Uncle Matthew?” He blurted out, before my mother shot him a furious look and he went quiet. I didn’t know that I had an Uncle Matthew, and I didn’t know what had happened to him, but now, I do.

It was the end of November, and all the children in the neighbourhood were on their best behaviour as Santa was just a few weeks away from visiting, all the children except Ricky, that is. Ricky was a little shit, but he didn’t deserve what happened to him. No kid deserved that.

He’d been playing up all day, and as his mother called him in for dinner, he just pulled a face at her and ran down the road, right into the path of Tony’s van. The familiar tune rang out as the van screeched to a stop, and Ricky stared up at the van, licking his lips as the thought of forbidden ice cream seemed to fill his mind.

His father rushed down the street, snatching the boy up in his arms and pulled him away from the van. Ricky was carried, kicking and screaming back into his house as the rest of the neighbourhood kids laughed and jeered at the little troublemaker. We all went in for our dinner too and the night went on, as normal. We all thought that would be the end of it, but that night, as the neighbourhood slept, I could hear that song again, just down the road.

I crept quietly to the window, hoping not to make a sound as I pulled the curtains back and peered out into the dark night.

Tony’s van was idling outside of Ricky’s house, and up the garden path towards the gate tottered Ricky, barely awake, almost in a trance.

I was watching Ricky walk towards the van when something else caught my eye. Out of the window, a long, thin claw extended, white as snow, beckoning the boy closer.

He walked, silently through the gate and towards the van, a hideous creature crawling from the window to meet him.

Its whole body was white, ridged and ragged. It watched Ricky with soulless, silver eyes and let a long, black tongue smack against its pale lips, before smiling down at the boy, rows and rows of sharp teeth glittering in the moonlight.

Ricky rubbed his eyes, looking up at the van with a start, seemingly awake at last. He screamed, but it could only be heard for a second as the creature captured him in his arms, lifted him high above its snapping jaws and dropped him into its mouth.

Ricky fell silent, with only the sounds of the creature chewing left to fill the empty, quiet night. I couldn’t look away, frozen by fear as the creature spat Ricky’s skull to the pavement and then turned its head towards my window, its jaws bursting into a bright smile as its eerie, endless eyes locked onto mine.

“Would you like an ice cream, Denice?” The creature called, its bones seeming to shift and shudder as its skin shifted to a human colour, hair began to sprout on its head as its jaws retracted and as the seconds went by, I realised that it was turning into something familiar… or somebody familiar. Tony. “I’ve got plenty of red sauce to go on top.” He cackled, slamming the serving window shut as I scrambled back to bed, pulling the covers over my head.

I was awake all night, shivering under the covers, jumping at every sound and praying for the morning to arrive. The night seemed to last forever, but eventually, dawn broke, and with it came the most horrific sound I’ve ever heard. A howling, hurt, heartbroken scream from Ricky’s mother woke up the whole street. She sobbed, hysterical and horrified as the neighbourhood rushed out of their houses to find out what had happened.

I stayed in my room, looking down from the window as she clung to her little boy’s skull, rocking back and forth, her eyes full of tears. She knew exactly what had happened. They all did, but they didn’t dare say, and now, I knew too. It’s been weeks and I can’t get the sound of her screams out of my head, or the visions of poor Ricky and what Tony did to him.

I told my Mum what I’d seen as she walked me to school, and she went white as a sheet, pulling me off the pavement and into an alleyway, shushing me as I tried to resist. She just stared at me for a second as we stood, alone in the alley, and then she pulled me into a tight hug, shaking as tears fell from her eyes. I didn’t go to school that day, she took me home, locked the door, and told me everything.

My Uncle Matthew was her older brother. They had lived on the same street, and one day, Matthew had gone to buy ice cream for the two of them. They’d only just moved in, so nobody had been able to warn them about what happened to Tony’s customers. She didn’t know how long he had been roaming the neighbourhood, or why he had settled on us, but she knew that nothing good ever came from that van, or the thing that lived inside of it.

Tony still drives around in his van, stopping extra long just outside of Ricky’s house, dripping red sauce from the serving window across the pavement with a devious chuckle, but everyone stays inside, running for their front doors the second they hear that song. None of the other kids know why, but they’ve been told to do it, and I suppose the fear of being on the naughty list is enough to keep them in line, but I know exactly why we run, and I know that we’ll keep running, because Tony’s got a taste for the neighbourhood kids.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Living Doll

Her name was Jade, and you loved her more than me. It was hard not to take it personally, but I suppose that’s only natural. You are special.You’re not just someone that I can forget. I’d spent so long looking for someone, surrounding myself with the most beautiful things to take my mind off my longing, but all along, I was looking for you.

Good God, I have longed for you my whole life.

I have always wanted you. Day and night. Every hour and every second. I always knew that I was waiting for you, the details were a little fuzzy, but once the fog began to clear, and my destiny became certain, it was like I finally sprung to life and everything made sense. You had been waiting for me all this time.

Do you remember when we first met?

I replay it in my head all the time. There you were, all alone in the bar, no ring, no drink in your hand, and I decided I was going to fix both. You liked beer. Ice cold, and I got you another, and then another, watching your lips curve into a smile whenever you talked about the romance movies you love, your favourite football players and how good your mum’s roast dinners were.

You say you were being friendly, but I think that we both know it was more than that, don’t we? You weren’t thinking about her at that moment, you were thinking of me. You were being more than friendly. You wanted me to know you, and now, I do. You looked at me like you knew we were fated to meet too. I could feel it in my fingertips, pulsing with electricity as yours found mine, and we connected.

You didn’t tell me about Jade. You took me back to your flat, and you made me yours. I’d never belonged to anyone before. I was a daughter of no-one, a lover of no-one, a victim of no-one, just a free, fluttering bird that flew above the world, until you. I had my vices, my playthings, but nothing had ever consumed me quite like you.

Your kiss clung to my lips for days. Grasping and greedy, my lips tingling as you took over my mind, melding with my soul through secret texts and hushed phone calls after midnight.

I called you my movie star. Named after one of the greats and twice as beautiful as Norma Jean. My lover. The keeper of my heart. My movie star, Marilyn.

I couldn’t wait to see you again, collapsing and rising at the thought of you and your hypnotic hold on me. I didn’t have to wait long. I was lost in our love affair, the phone calls and tempting texts, when I bumped into you, dashing and darling, with your arms draped around that bitch.

You blushed, blustering your way through an awkward conversation as you tried to explain that we were friends, shooting me a pleading look that sent me sailing from the stars and I swallowed our secrets, nodding as you told her that we were “just friends”.

I was incensed. Smart enough to stifle the cyclone that was whirling and raging inside of me, but bubbling underneath my skin, feeling the pain pulsing within as I made my excuses and left, tears bursting from my eyes as I turned the corner and was free of your gaze.

Sometimes, I’d wonder if you’d ever understand my pain. It tore me apart. I’d try to forget you, falling back into old fantasies, all the things that used to thrill me, but there was nothing that could compare to you.

I’d stay up all night, sobbing until I choked, helpless on the bedroom floor with a head full of memories.

You had been waiting for me all this time, and she was ruining it, so of course, something had to be done, but what? I assembled all of my favourite friends, surrounded myself with their wise, silent stares, and though they didn’t say a word, I knew exactly what they were suggesting.

It might interest you to know that unlike you, your precious Jade is not quite as promiscuous as you. It was a lot harder to get her home, but I am, as you are learning, quite determined. She kept telling me that I was pretty, but that she just couldn’t be unfaithful. It made me wonder if you really did love her more than me, and that made me all the more determined.

Do you know, it’s much harder than it seems to buy drugs? I did consider that as an option, but the whole plan fell apart when I realised that I knew absolutely no drug dealers. I’m used to intoxicating people with my charms, you see, so this was new territory for me.

Luckily, I made a new friend who had just the thing I needed. He didn’t ask for much in return, just a little something from you, but I honestly think you’ll be better off without it. Isn’t it funny that it’s easier to employ the services of a soul eating monster than it is to get Rohypnol? They call themselves Light Stealers, and I have to say, the name is very accurate.

One look from his stony, black eyes and she was putty in my hands, falling into my arms in silence, ready to be taken home and taken care of. The room was glowing, the air seeming to glitter, but it was like the world went away, and she went limp in my embrace, a little white lip escaping her lips as he captured them in a kiss.

One look at the lights went out in your precious, pretty Jade. I could hardly believe my eyes, and I couldn’t believe that I’d gone to all the trouble of creating my collection without the help of my mysterious new friend. He is a God send and well worth what I’m paying him… or what you’re paying him, I should say.

I carried her home, with a little help from my unusual ally. He was such a polite fellow, called himself Pumpkins. He said he’d be staying for a few days, and I made up the spare room for him. It was the least I could do.

Jade didn’t struggle, and she didn’t cry. She didn’t even scream, she just looked up at the ceiling with a sweet, peaceful smile.

I barely noticed the sound of you knocking on the door, because I was so enchanted by the scarlet that sprang from her skin. Pumpkins answered the door, a wicked smile peeking out from beneath his mask as he beckoned you inside.

You screamed, in delight, I assume, but you were so excitable that you tried to run. We couldn’t allow that, Marilyn. You’d miss out on all the fun we’re going to have! Wouldn’t that be terrible? Pumpkins took just enough from you to keep you still and silent, but he left a little of the sweet shine in your eyes for later.

I continued making up Jade for us. She was okay before, I suppose. A little plain, a little bland, but I made her into a miracle.

Her stomach was like silk, slipping and sliding through my fingers as I dug down into her abdomen. You have to remove these things, you know, otherwise the final product will be a mess, and I take a lot of pride in my work. I wanted her to be our perfect little plaything, and she is, now that I’m finished with her.

Oh, she’s beautiful now. Like a dream, or a devilish fantasy. I can barely resist her, and every few moments as I hold her to my heart, I think that perhaps, she is so beautiful that I could forget you.

That is the true fantasy, my dear. You are unforgettable, but that’s okay, because you’ve decided to stay.

You’ve been such a bad girl, Marilyn, but I believe in second chances. If you behave yourself, I’ll let you join in my game.

I know you can do it. You might have tripped and stumbled before, but the road to true love has never run smooth, darling. I forgive you. I forgive you for all the pain and the heartache, because I can see what you’re becoming. I’m perched on the bed, Jade joining all my other friends behind you, but you, my sweetheart, you are before me, rising from the carpet without a cry as Pumpkins works his magic.

I am a good lover, and I love all my dolls equally, but I must confess, when you are finished, I think I might just love you the most. I think you might just be my favourite. All my playthings are pretty, but never before have I had a living doll, and darling, I’m so glad that it’s you.

Love forever,
The Puppet Mistress