Lady Crocodile

Gripping

‘Your Winnie,’ she mutters, pressing harder with the face wipe. ‘Your dragon, your beautiful dragon girl…’

Sitting before the mirror at her dressing table, she doesn’t recognise the woman staring back at her. There is familiarity in the face, as there is familiarity to be found in anything if a person is subjected to it often enough, but that is all. Still, she keeps looking. She must look, every night, before Seth turns in for bed, desperately studying the features that emerge from beneath her makeup. The ritual of recognition is on-going.

The bedroom is dark, save for the light from the first-floor landing, which spills through the open doorway. It is easier when the bedroom is dark, as though that makes it all right; as though it is acceptable that she cannot properly see herself when she can barely see anything else. Canned laughter carries through the house, and…

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By A Window Into The Dark

Glass

ImageThere wasn’t an exact action that led to it.  Not when he screamed at her, calling her a whore, pushing her out of his room, his face snarling and spit flying onto her face as his fingers dug into the flesh of her upper arms, leaving bruises that would not go for days,  physically dragging her out. Nor when, a week later, the whole thing was repeated, this time, the fire of the battle not burning quite so bright, yet the hurt and pain still so palpable.  Not when the files on her desk seemed to procreate while she slept, to return to the office to find they had almost doubled and with every breath she took, the tears threatened to consume her whole making it almost impossible to even concentrate on one of them.  Not the constant downpour of rain, the grey clouds that hung over her head but felt as if they hung over her entire life. It was not a single action, but a combination of these, each weighing down on her so heavily when the moment actually happened.

Just another glass of wine, another swipe of the iPad, staring at it and seeing nothing.  Looking up at the faces of the people she lived with, feeling them judge her, scorn her.  Feeling the emptiness in her heart and the actual physical pain of loss as if somebody had died.  But somebody had died, hadn’t they? Even if that somebody was only something in her heart and in her head.

She cut her nails to the quick, regretting it the minute it was done, but at least now, they were all straight again, most of them having been torn and broken from the battle the week before.  She wondered about painting them and realised she couldn’t care.  She wondered about straightening her hair and realised she didn’t care about that either.  She wondered about her life, and realised she couldn’t give a damn about that either.  She wondered how she had got to this point in her life, and realised that it was years of ignoring what had been slapping her in the face.  The masochist that she was, had not stepped back to see what was hurting her, but rather, had taken each blow as it had mounted over the years and buried it.

Now, here it was, staring her point blank in the face.  Her life a mess, her nails and hair a mess.  Her heart a mess and that was the moment, the precise moment she broke.

She killed the cigarette that was only half smoked, downed the rest of the wine in her glass, put her iPad away and got up.  She didn’t say goodbye to anyone as she headed out the door and it didn’t matter because nobody really noticed her leave.  The endless drizzle that rained down on her head went unnoticed, as did her car as she walked past it.  She headed east, towards the cemetery which she knew would be coated in darkness, quite and empty, aside from the dead, who she knew, would remain silent and not stop her from what she had to do.

As she walked, she gathered speed, her mission clear in her mind, her only objective to do it.  She passed the usual street litter and didn’t even realise she was looking for anything until she bent down to pick up the glass bottle that was lying against the curb in the street, holding it tightly to her body.  The tears had begun to roll silently down her cheeks again, mingling with the rain that was falling but she didn’t notice.  The lump in her throat bobbing against her skin, but she swallowed it down as she had been doing for days and gripped the bottle tighter.  Crossing the bridge into a darker street, her feet began moving faster, almost running now, eager to get to it, to feel something, to feel pain, to feel hurt, to scream…to be.

Arriving at the cemetery, her wet hair plastered to her face, her clothes damp, she ran through the parking area and past the newer graves, heading towards the back where the hills sloped higher and the graves were spaced wider apart. It was full dark, and the only light that she could see was that of the keeper of the cemetery, who was clearly snug in his little cottage, dry and warm.

Running to the top of the hill, she finally stopped, wiped the tears and the rain from her face and tried to catch her breath.  Placing her hands on her knees she leaned forward and a sob escaped her mouth.  This time though, she did not try to stifle it.  The sob rolled out of her chest, quietly at first, but then gained volume as she pushed it out of her.  Finally free of people and those that judged her, those that would good naturedly ask her if she was all right, and her having to say that everything was just perfectly fine with her, when all she wanted to do was scream that her life was over. The pain that gripped her kept her doubled over and she allowed herself to finally let go.  The lone sob was soon followed by another, then another until she was stood there, weeping uncontrollably.  A guttural howling escaping from her throat that she had not only never heard before but didn’t recognise as coming from herself.  

Raising her face to the sky she screamed “Oh my god it hurts so much!” dropping the glass bottle on the ground next to her before she once again bent over and sobbed. The slow drizzle continued to fall on her as she stood there.  Finally letting all the pain and the hurt out.  Finally letting go of all the emotion that had been building up in her for not only days, but for years.  Finally being able to be herself, to let the mask slide and to be raw and true to herself.

Nobody noticed her as she stood there, nothing but her shoulders moving as she cried, her feet firmly planted in the wet grass, until eventually she raised her face once again, and once more wiped her tears.  She squared her shoulders, looked down to find the bottle and picking it up, attempted to smash it on the grass.  The bottle bounced off the ground, rolling down the hill still intact.  She let out a howl of frustration, chasing after it and reached it just as it clattered on the gravel pathway.  She picked it up again, bringing it down hard on the ground, once more howling from the pit of her stomach as she did so, but this time, being satisfied as she heard it burst into many glass pieces.  There was no moonlight to illuminate the pieces and she felt around, picking a few up, discarding those that weren’t sharp or big enough, until finally she held two jagged pieces of glass, each with sharp points, able to slice through anything. 

The girl stood there, running her finger over both pieces, feeling the edges and finally, for the first time in days, smiled as she felt one of them slice through the skin, a droplet of blood immediately beading on the tip of her finger.  She threw the other piece away, not noticing or caring where it landed and headed back up to the top of the hill, this time sitting down on the wet grass, holding the glass tightly in her hand.

She continued to cry, much softer now though, the worst of it finally spent, but the feelings of angst and sorrow in her heart still very much present and as she sat there crying, she realised that nothing would ever make her happy again.  That the hurt in her heart was too great, that the person she had been presenting to the world was not who she was, and hadn’t been for so long now she had no idea how to ever come back from that. 

And then, from nowhere, a strength came over the girl.  She bit her bottom lip, stopped her crying and once more, wiped her cheeks with her hands and wiped her nose with the sleeve of her wet shirt.  A slight smile forming on her lips she rotated her arms around so that her wrists faced upwards and looked down at them, the smile on her lips getting broader.  The girl didn’t think any further, she merely brought the hand that was holding the piece of glass towards her left wrist and dragged the jagged edge over her skin, slicing her skin and her wrist wide open.  The pain was nothing like she imagined.  It was merely a biting sting and then nothing.  Disappointed, she took the piece of glass in her other hand and repeated the process to her right wrist. Not hesitating as the glass bit through the skin and started slicing, forcing the glass deep into her arm.  Even as she did this, she remained numb and realised that her empty life was only a reflection of her empty mind.  The pain she had hoped to feel, a bitter disappointment that hadn’t materialised, she saw as a sign that she was doing the right thing.  That her heart had truly shut down, and that she would no longer be able to feel anything. That she was empty.

Blood poured from the gashes in her arms but she only stared at them for a few seconds before she lay back, closing her eyes as the rain beat down on her face, spreading her arms out to the side.  The girl felt nothing as she stared up at the dark sky.  She felt nothing as her blood bled out into the grass, soaking into the already wet ground.  She felt nothing as she closed her eyes, softly whispering ‘Please make the darkness go away’.

She no longer felt the rain as it softly caressed her and finally, felt nothing at all.

 

By A Window Into The Dark

Misunderstood

It wasn’t as if this was new to him, people looking through him as if he wasn’t even there. The giggles he would hear coming from the young secretaries when they did happen to notice him. Sneers on the faces of the jocks, as he called them, and sometimes those very same men would punch and kick him when they knew no one would be looking. A typical day would involve Sam burying his head in paperwork or staring intently at his computer when he was at his desk, or hurrying through the corridors at work, eyes downcast, feet moving at great speed to get to where he needed to be.Image
Even at the lifts, nobody would ever hold the door open for him. No, he was much more inclined to see the doors slide shut as he hurried towards them, the occupant/s of the lift usually looking away, as if not wanting to see the defeatist look on his face as he tried, yet again unsuccessfully, to reach the lift in time.
This was a typical day in the life of a man who was tired, so very tired, of being misunderstood.

After the incident, nobody could quite say what was the snapping point? What was the ‘stressor’, if you happened to be listening to the FBI or ‘the straw that broke the camels back’, if it was the interview with his mother you were listening to. A lot of people had a lot of ideas, but nobody knew for sure. Only Sam knew and Sam wasn’t saying.

The morning before it all happened started out like any other. Getting to work earlier than normal, Sam went to his desk and put down his bag. He was immediately concerned when he noticed that the pile of papers he had left on his desk had been moved. Furthermore, the hand-outs he had done, ready for the meeting at 9am this morning, were missing. After spending a few minutes going through ever single pile of paper on his desk, Sam realised that they were gone. Where the hand-outs had ended up, he could only guess, and he wondered if perhaps David had his hand in this, as David had been hanging around close to his desk yesterday evening when Sam had finally finished putting them all together. No matter, he thought, there were two things in his favour today. One – he was early in the office and two, the documents were all saved on his hard drive.
And so, Sam went about making another eight copies, printing and stapling them and had just finished the last one, when his co-workers started making their way into the office.
Sam peered up and looked at the clock on the wall. Ten minutes to nine it read. Desperate for a cup of coffee but not wanting to be caught out again, Sam put the newly printed hand-outs into his top desk drawer and made his way to the kitchen. Gretchen, his boss’s secretary was stood gossiping with Penny, the biggest gossip in the typing pool. When he came closer they both glanced up and looked at him. Gretchen rolled her eyes and Penny giggled, but neither one said a word while he hunted for his coffee mug. Sam felt his face begin to go red as he searched and searched, his coffee mug nowhere to be found. What made it worse was that neither Gretchen nor Penny spoke a word while he searched, but rather, just stared at him, irritation on their faces, as if they couldn’t wait for him to get lost so they could continue talking, talking about him probably, he thought.

“You lost something loser boy?”
Sam peered out from behind the cupboard he was currently searching and saw David standing by the kitchen door, looking down at him.
“Erm, my coffee mug, I cannot find it.”
“I am sure I saw the cleaner throw it out yesterday. She said something about it being the most disgusting mug she had ever seen” David replied, sneering and both Gretchen and Penny giggled.
Sam stood up. He knew at that moment that his coffee mug had probably been thrown out, but doubted very much it was the cleaner.
“Oh, OK, very well” he muttered and looked down at the floor.
“And don’t even think about laying your prissy hands on any of my mugs” David said, moving towards Sam, the size of him enough to threaten, if not the fact that his body language was screaming that he would hit Sam at any minute.
Sam sidestepped David and made a hasty retreat out of the kitchen, but not quick enough so as not to hear all three of them laughing as he left. He pondered with the idea of going outside and getting a coffee from ‘Cafe Nero’ – a coffee shop just around the corner, but glancing at the clock again, realised that the meeting would begin in 2 minutes and that he had run out of time.

It wasn’t unusual for Sam’s boss to ask him to make coffee and tea for attendees of his meetings. Sam wondered why he didn’t ask Gretchen, his secretary to do this, but normally, he would wave Sam over and instruct him to make a certain amount of cups of tea, and/or a certain amount of cups of coffee. Having made 5 cups of tea, 3 cups of coffee and having run downstairs and ordered a dozen croissants from a nearby bakery and depositing these on the table in the boardroom, Sam finally found himself back at his desk and opened up his email.

‘Loser’ was the title of an email in his inbox, sent at 5.43pm last night.  Clicking it, Sam noticed the email body was empty, but there was an attachment with it.  He double clicked this and finally saw what had happened to his hand-outs from the previous day.  In the picture was a set of hands holding his print-outs.  Sam was pretty sure it was Derek’s hands – A guy who was so huge he appeared to be on steroids – that sat at the desk next to his, but  Sam couldn’t be sure. The person who was holding the print-outs was in the process of feeding them through the shredding machine.  Sam looked over at the shredder and indeed, lying in the paper receptacle was his print-outs, shredded into a million coloured strips.
The sender of the email was ‘Youre_a_loser@mail.com’ but Sam knew that there was no point in reporting this.  The guys at IT treated him just as bad, if not worse than most of his co-workers. He sighed, deleted the email and moved onto the next one, so beginning his work day.

By lunch time, Sam had got through a significant amount of work and decided to take the book he was currently reading with him to the coffee shop around the corner.  He didn’t enjoy reading or eating at his desk, mostly because people would talk too loud, or tease him about the book he was reading or make fun of the sandwich his mom had prepared for him. At least at the coffee shop, he was almost guaranteed to get a good hour of relative peace while he read.  He bent down to retrieve his book from his satchel but found his bag was missing.  He heard a few titters around him.  People who had obviously been waiting all morning for him to discover the theft and felt the heat rush to his face as he blushed.  He looked to the left and the right of his desk. Gone.
His wallet was in the bag, his library card, and the keys to his home.  He felt the edge of panic and looked around the office; unable to help the look of pleading he was sure was all over his face.
“What you looking for Sam?” Gretchen asked, looking up from her computer, a mock look of concern on her face.
“My bag, it’s gone!”
“Bags are for girls, Gay boy” Derek retorted getting up from his desk and grabbing his coat.
“I’m sure I heard David say that he saw a bag in the men’s room earlier.” Sarah volunteered from the other side of the office without looking up from her computer, a trace of a smile on her face.

He knew it was a trap.  Of course it was a trap.  But there was nothing that Sam could do.  He desperately wanted to get it back, to know that he had all his things back again, to get his book and to escape from this wretched place and so, with trepidation, made his way to the men’s room, the sound of sniggering and soft voices trailing behind him.

As always, the smell of stale urine assaulted his senses as the ‘Men’s Room’ door swung closed behind him.  There, in the urinal, soaked through with what was obviously pee, lay his satchel.  David, Greg from the IT department and Derek were standing at the basin washing their hands.  
“Is that your girlie bag lying in the piss?’ asked David looking at Sam through the reflection in the mirror.
Sam moved forward to retrieve it, his nose screwing up at the smell, disgust washing over him as he touched it and felt it was soaking wet.
“If you want to be a man, you should get yourself a briefcase and stop with the girlie bags, gay boy’ Derek said, smoothing his almost-there moustache and grinning at his own reflection in the mirror.
“Look, please leave me alone.  I don’t do anything to bother you.” Sam said, feeling disgust at himself as he heard the pleading in his own voice.
Greg, moving quickly, was suddenly stood in front of him, blocking his escape route from the men’s room.
“Are you going to take that ladies bag, all covered in piss with you?” Greg questioned him, the look of revulsion clear on his face.
“Please…” Sam heard himself beg
“You are a sick, messed up loser” Greg replied and pushed him hard.
Sam fell backwards, his back hitting the white tiled wall, but his feet slipped out from under him and he fell with a thud, landing in the urinal, the back of his pants immediately soaking through with piss and water.
David and Derek both laughed at him and shook their heads.  Greg, as if enraged even further by this, kicked Sam’s satchel, sending it flying across the room, into one of the toilet stalls.
“You piece of shit, you make me sick” He snarled, the look of loathing all over his face.
“Chill Greg, he isn’t worth it.” Said David, still grinning and he held the door open, waiting for Greg to follow him and Derek out of the restroom.

Mortified, Sam got up and retrieved his bag. His body was shaking – From fear? From anger? – He thought it was probably both.  The seat of his pants was wet through, the legs of his trousers wet in places and his satchel reeked of urine.  He opened the bag and dug inside and found his book too was soaked through.  Everything inside was wet and stank.  He felt tears prick his eyes.  He couldn’t go back into the office now? Wet and smelling like this?  He couldn’t go to the coffee shop either, not now that his book was virtually unreadable.  They had taken everything away from him.  His print-outs, his coffee mug, his bag, his book, but most importantly, now his pride.  Sam would put up with it no more.
Lifting his satchel up and throwing it over his shoulder, Sam wiped the one tear that had managed to escape and was making its way down his cheek.  He stood up and squared his shoulders and with all the determination he could muster, Sam headed out the door and headed for the lift.

People waved their hands in front of their noses and some made gagging noises as he walked past, but he no longer noticed.  Gretchen, on seeing Sam as he hurried past her, noticed he was wet from the waist down, wondered if he had pee’ed himself and for the first time, felt a small sense of disgust when she looked over at Derek and David, seeing them grinning and realised what had happened.  She shook her head softly from side to side but continued typing.
The doors to the lift were closing as he neared the lift, but this time, Sam stuck his hand in the way and doors opened again.  He stepped inside and not a sound was uttered by any of the 4 occupants as they travelled the 12 floors down. Even if someone had said something, it’s doubtful that Sam would have heard, the buzzing in his ears was too loud, the anger too acute.

Sam didn’t stop at Cafe Nero’s that lunch time. No, for the first time since he had started working in the city, Sam hailed a cab and gave the driver the address to his home.  He took no notice of the questioning look on the taxi driver’s face, nor did he notice when the driver rolled down his window to allow fresh air in the cab.  When the taxi cab pulled to a stop outside the home that Sam shared with his mother, he asked the cab driver to wait and without waiting for a reply, or paying the driver, Sam fished in his bag for his key and entered his home.
Throwing his satchel to the ground and pulling his wet pants off, Sam threw them into the corner of the room. Next, Sam removed his underpants and his shirt.  He walked over to the washing basket and dug out his old sweatpants and a t-shirt. Then, replacing his office shoes with loafers, he dug out a clean, dry bag from his cupboard.  Finally, Sam headed over to his grandfathers safe. Long dead now, the safe was where his mother kept her father’s things. His papers, the deed to the property they lived in, a few sentimental items and his gun with a few boxes of bullets.  Sam packed the gun and all the bullets into the bag, swung it over his shoulder and headed out the door, back to the waiting taxi.

The taxi driver smiled to himself, pleased that his fare had bothered to change out of those reeking clothes and wasn’t surprised when his passenger told him to head back to the office block he had picked him up from not 15 minutes earlier.

********

Standing, outside the building, Gretchen was almost hysterical with not knowing what was going on.  There must have been 15 police cars and at least 4 ambulances all converged outside her office building and she was surrounded with weeping and bleeding people.  She didn’t spot a single one of her co-workers and the news that was filtering through to her wasn’t good. A gunman, someone said they thought his name was Sam, had apparently gone into the building and began shooting everyone. 
“I need to get inside, please!” she begged the tenth police officer that ran past her, but like all the others, this one only shook his head. “I’m terribly sorry ma’am, nobody is going in and only the injured and the dead are being brought out at this time.”

Somewhere deep inside of her, realisation finally hit and Gretchen fell down to the ground on her knees, screaming out in anguish, tearing at her hair and thanking God that she had left the office to run the errand that her boss had given her.  She screamed and screamed, and even though there was no blood on her, paramedics ran over to her and swiftly loaded her into a waiting ambulance and sped away with the hysterical woman.

In The Name Of Science

A little bit of crime and horror mixed in together….my very favourite kind

Head-Squid_small

“Alright, Detective Dickhole, what do you have for me today?”

Pathologist Leonard Kessler’s voice echoed through the cold room. The acoustically prone surfaces usually kept his spoken words to a minimum, but he never missed the opportunity to insult his big brother.

Darren Kessler shivered, folding his arms tighter against his chest. “I still don’t know how you work in here.”

“You get used to it, just like Dad’s cooking.”

“I’m still trying to digest his meatloaf from last Easter and still trying to get warm in here.”

“The trick is to stop tying, just accept it.” Leonard said.

“Screw that. I’ll wait for evolution to give us internal thermostats. Anyway, I pulled some strings to get this case for you,” Darren said, smiling. “I know you like working on the weird ones.”

“Lay it on me!”

“The body,” Darren said, reading from the file folder and pointing to…

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By A Window Into The Dark

Hard

A decadent dark piece of writing. Enjoy!

Sotet Angyal

I sit here sipping from my glass, a fine glass at that; delicate in nature, with spinning hues of barest midnight blue drawn through its perfect surface, creating an undulating wave of confused beauty. Beauty; I look at the cavern around me, the carved seat I rest upon, my enclave, my domain, my perfect world. Things of beauty surround me, but only at my beck and call. True, some have come crawling, but I find I’ve no use for such sniveling. They – are no longer amongst us. Is there not a creature worthy of my attentiveness? Ordering one of the grovlings to fetch me a new pet, I wait with little patience.

Finally, she is brought before me. “Kneel.” There is no question she will do as instructed, they all do. I toss a collar onto the floor, it is attached to a leash fastened to the arm of…

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By A Window Into The Dark

Bad Company

He surprises, time after time!

“So, am I correct in assuming that you only go for our white women?” Richard asked, spearing the slice of grilled pork with his fork and jabbing the meat into his eager mouth.

Here it was. The moment of truth that Nathan had been dreading since before he arrived. The question, delivered with such revulsion that his many hours of mental gymnastics had proven inadequate preparation for the sting once the words finally sliced through the tenuous air.

He shot a sly glance across the table at his host.

“Richard, it’s obvious you and I come from different worlds, but we’re not all that different,” Nathan responded, the frozen eyes from the faces of so many dead animal heads mounted on the walls staring down at him, urging him to continue. “In Philly, questions like that don’t get asked. It doesn’t matter how others live their lives. My guess…

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By A Window Into The Dark

A truly disturbing yet addictive (for me at least) read. Enjoy

Nails grate across stone; she comes for me.  Hellish echoes impaling the frailty of my senses through the back of my skull.  Scratch, ssssscratch.  Blistering pants herald her arrival from somewhere deep within my institution of darkness.  Blistering, born sodden with covet, sin.  I am unsure to whom those breaths belong.

She comes for me.  My sex-starved thing.

Beg

Limbs twist; these cords bite into wrists, offering little freedom, holding fast my famished body to this chilled limestone.  So chilled.  I strain to see her; this dark surrenders nothing.  I shudder with the callousness of a desperate want.  So desperate.  Nails grate across stone; ever closer she slinks.

Beg

“Choke me,” into obscurity, I gasp.

Nether’s inviting ledge…always upon which I teeter.  A void exists below, an oblivion so familiar; I will be lost should I fall.  Much the same as this thing…this thing the light of sun has…

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By A Window Into The Dark

From Pen of the Damned – a disturbing and horrifying tale that will have you searching the shadows at night, hoping nothing is hiding, waiting to leap on you.

Tearing free of the straps binding it to the table, it slams its muscular body against the one-way mirror and snarls, “What have you done to me?” Its hideously deformed jaw and engorged tongue make the words nearly indecipherable. Saliva drips down the glass, its claws scratch angrily at the slick surface; the creature fights in vain to smash its way through three feet of impenetrable barrier.

From the other side of the glass, the doctor stands dead still, staring at the monstrosity thrashing against the window mere feet away. After an elongated pause, he orders, “Open Room Two.”

Without hesitation the operator does so.

As the door slides smoothly upwards into the wall, the staff can see a young woman crouching in the corner shielding two small children. Filth and vomit stain her T-shirt and jeans; their terror is palpable.

The monstrosity slowly swivels its head…

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By A Window Into The Dark