Saturday, October 31, 2015


The street lamps flickered in the distance and then, one by one, started to blink out.

Sonja's mind raced with fear as the darkness of the deserted street marched toward her with each failing lamp post.

This cannot be happening. She thought to herself. That old fraud could not have done this.

It was only her mind playing tricks on her.

But the dark spreading toward her seemed very real and very final as she stood on the damp sidewalk, frozen with fright.

She should not have listen to Fiona; her stupid friend had suggested that it would be fun to go to the old fortune teller tonight instead of going to the usual Halloween parties. And when the creepy woman in the cluttered and incense-stinking shop had suggested Fiona was a shallow and vapid person, she should not have let her storm out without paying the woman for her unappreciated services.

The crone had grown scarily angry and muttered some incantation in a language Sonja did not understand or even recognize. Before she could go after her friend, the crazed woman clutched at her arm with a bony hand, cursing that, 'the darkness will take the both of you!'

Sonja pulled herself away and ran out of the grimy shop after her friend, however, Fiona was no where to be seen. Sonja called after her as she quickly walked back down the street the way they came but her friend had seemed to have just vanished into the night.

As she had walked on, there seemed to be fewer and fewer people out on the street, until it felt as though the entire neighbourhood had been abandoned and Sonja was left alone in the lamp-lit night.

And now, those lights were going out as she stood and watched fearfully, until all but the lone streetlamp post that shined down upon her were darkened.

From her tiny island of light, she looked frantically around; searching for signs of any other illumination, but there was only the complete and utter darkness that surrounded her now.

As her eyes strained to see anything in the pitch black that lay beyond the circle of amber light she dared not move from, something large and hideous moved in the shadows just on the edge of her field of vision.

Sonja's blood turned to ice as she heard the unmistakable sound of heavy hooves stepping on the cement of dark sidewalk outside the circle of lamp light.

A huge and menacing presence loomed up from the darkness behind her, and though she dared not turn to see it, she knew it had come for her.

One single, crunching hoof clomped down; breaking into the sanctuary of light, and Sonja let out a blood-curdling cry, sprinting out into the darkness; her fear of what lay in wait abandoned to the need to get away from whatever nightmare was behind.

Her scream was cut abruptly short as a car horn blared and its tires screeched on the pavement, too late to avoid hitting the woman that had suddenly run out into the middle of the street.

As the diver got out a saw the crumpled body of Sonja lying on the ground in front of his car, he looked around at the well-lit street and called out for the passer-bys to call for help.

In the crowd of people the had gathered to witness the grisly scene, the little old fortune teller stood watching, her wrinkled and creased face, distorted by the lamp light, and by the cruel smile she wore with satisfaction.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Wendy and the Whale

Wendy laid back and looked up at the vast swirl of stars as they drifted by, relaxing her breathing to match that of the great beast's beneath her.

Sometimes, even she got caught up in their quest and forgot to take the time and really appreciate the beauty that surrounded them, so it was nice to just lay there and breathe.

Scanning the constantly changing kaleidoscope of twinkling stars, she caught sight of her tent out of the top of her vision. Her modest little dwelling was a few meters away from where she lay and a wave of contentment washed over her as she looked upon it.

Here, so far away from everything she had ever known, it was all she really needed. It gave her a sense of pride that she was able to get by with just a sturdy, green canvas tent and cot; not even the fact that they were pitched on the back of a giant whale as it swam its way across immensity of space.

She rolled onto her side and patted the whale's rubbery skin lovingly as it sang out its own contentment with its high pitched cooing song.

The massive orb of a derelict moon reflected the solar system's distant sun's light a pale blue as the whale crossed over its expanse; a small silhouette against the moon's surface.

Wendy and the whale had travelled through many lonely star systems together, in search of the lost space cruiser that held her home planet's entire population inside its great, city-sized hold.

The ship had been on its mission to seek out a new, viable home planet after the destruction of their own, when Wendy had accidentally opened the aquarium containment unit while sneaking in to swim with the big whale.

The two vagabonds tumbled out into space as the ship jumped to the next system, leaving them to follow slowly behind; to try and pick up any signs of the engine's particle trail and track them from galaxy to galaxy.

So, in fact, it might have been Wendy and the whale that were lost, though she could not really put any blame on the whale. It was her fault they were wandering through the cosmos, and she was determined to find a way to reunite them with the ship, and their families.

But for now, it was nice to take a break and enjoy the wonders of the universe as she rode through them on the back of a whale.

As the strange creature made its way passed the blue moon, a small ship drifted cautiously in the shadows of a slowly turning asteroid, its pilot sat watching from the cockpit; watching and waiting to see where the beast and its tiny passenger would lead them next...

Monday, October 19, 2015

My Love

Why do you shake, my love?
Though, the fire is roaring with its heat so bright,
There is indeed a chill in the air that cuts me to the very bone.

Why do you shiver and quake, my love?
For it was I that was lost in the dark and cold of the woods tonight,
Though I cannot remember how I came to be there, dirty and alone.

Why have you gone so pale, my love?
It was I who had visions so terrible and full of fright;
Visions of being buried alive in the earth so deep,
For past sins I had to atone.

Why do you not come to me, my love?
I have returned home to you, but you do not delight.
After I awoke in that muddied field,
At the foot of that foreboding tombstone.

What is that you whisper, my love?
I cannot not hear what you have said.
Mutterings to yourself,
That I cannot be here...

That I am dead.

Monday, October 12, 2015


King Ricardo squinted angrily through the long, golden telescope that was pointed out the window of his private chambers, toward the neighbouring kingdom of Gertal; homed in specifically on his rival's castle's balcony window.

There, standing leisurely with his foot resting upon a footstool, puffing a bejewelled pipe, King Hildegar looked out over his kingdom, trying to make it seem like he was not aware Ricardo was watching.

The stupid fop had done it again! Ricardo thought angrily to himself as he caught sight of Hildegar's fur-lined, crushed purple velvet cape draped perfectly upon his frail shoulders.

Every time he thought he had gone out and hired the best tailors of the land to create the most luxurious and elegant cloak out of the most decadent fabrics to rest upon his sturdy shoulders, that pretentious cad, Hildegar would one up him with his own ostentatious creation!

Well not for long! He steamed and swung round to storm over to his chamber doors, knocking the telescope spinning wildly as he did.

"Capers!" he bellowed as he opened the big, oaken doors wide.

Before he was more than a few steps down the winding staircase leading to the lower floors that housed his army of personal tailors and seamstresses, the head garment master was bounding up to meet him, several apprentices scurrying up after him.

"Yes, my liege?" the garment master bowed deeply as they met the King standing over them a few steps above.

Ricardo roiled and yelled about how his current cape was an embarrassment and how could they let his lordly frame to be sullied with such a tattered and peasant-like garment, which he whipped from around his shoulders and hurled furiously to the ground.

"What did your highness have in mind?" the garment master ventured timidly. "You only have to ask and we will do our utmost to please your every royal whim." He bowed low again, his assistants mirroring his placating stance.

Oh, he had something in mind, Ricardo mused to himself, and it will show that pissant Hildegar once and for all which King wears capes around here.

Dictating his plans, Ricardo watched as their faces went from attentive listening, to intrigued scepticism, then finally, bemused horror as they heard his completed orders.

When he was finished, he made sure they understood, and told them to begin right away for he wanted the task completed for sunrise the next day.

As they began to scuttle off, he bade them to have the hideous cloak he had discarded burnt in the kitchen fires, then turned to storm back up to his chambers to shut himself away for the rest of the day to sulk.

The new day's sun rose in the east as King Hildegar opened the doors leading to his balcony and stepped out in the fresh morning air; the lavish purple cape flowing behind him as he swept out on to the stone carved balcony.

He breathed deep the brisk spring air and surveyed all that lay below his tall reaching tower, content with the world, and his beautiful cape.

A shadow fluttered across the sun and darkened the light upon his balcony, sending a chill over his skin so that he pulled the cape's furry edges closer around to keep him warm.

Looking up at what had caused the shadow, Hildegar gasped and swore aloud. Quickly, he ran to his own golden telescope to get a closer look at what he saw.

Through the looking glass's magnifying lens, King Hildegar could make out the figure of his rival Ricardo standing atop the highest turret tower of his shabby castle, as a great, long blue velvet cape draped itself over the parapet walls.

The cloak was massive, so much so that it was literally blocking out the rising sun's rays from making way to Hildegar's own castle.

He fumed with annoyance, picking up the handcrafted ottoman he loved to rest his foot upon while lording over Ricardo, and chucked it over the balcony's stone-carved railing.

Once again looking through the telescope, Hildegar could see Ricardo standing, smiling smugly with the ridiculously long, flowing cape, perfectly rippling in the morning breeze as he tried to make it seem like he was not aware Hildegar was watching.

Hildegar scream out with jealous rage.

It was a magnificent cape.

Turning with a snarl to dash open the chamber doors, he shouted, "Capers!!"

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Dawn Patrol

The stars had begun to fade from the still dark skies as he made his way across the grassy field, dew wetting his leather riding boots.

Brisk, fresh air tussled his dark hair as he approached the staging area, his leather helmet tucked under his arm.

There was the usual bustling around the corrals as he arrived; the young Handler apprentices running to and fro at their masters' commands. The old Handlers, most of who were retired Pilots themselves, making sure all was prepared for the early morning departure.

He neared the corrals' blackened Stonewood fences and one of the apprentices ran hurriedly up to him to take his leather satchel from him, and then sprinted back to the pens to pack it on his mount.

Stopping just outside the corral gate, he looked up at the blackness of the clear sky; deep, purplish blue began to seep into the edges of the horizon as the sun made its way back from its nightly journey.

This was his second favourite part of the day; his favourite would come soon enough.

A familiar sound came from behind him and he turned to see a grizzled, old Handler leading his mount out of the shadows of its pen.

While some of the other mounts of the Patrol pulled and lashed against their reigns as the Handlers struggled to keep them in check, his simple strode toward him, its head held proudly high and its gaze held steadily upon him.

Pride filled his own chest as well as the magnificent creature cantered closer to him, not needing to be led by the old Handler at all. The old man grunted his greeting and passed over the reigns before ambling off to attend to his other duties back in the pens.

With a soft whisper, he patted the creature's armour-skinned neck and it purred deeply, rumbling like some massive feline at its master's touch.

A quick adjustment of the stirrups and saddle upon its strong back and, donning his helmet and goggles, he clambered up onto the beast and strapped himself in.

Behind him, the other members of the Patrol were mounting up as well.

With a quick shout and a gentle prod of his heels, his mount leapt into the air agilely and began to beat its powerful wings.

Almost spanning twice its own length, it beat its leathery wings gracefully, lifting both rider and beast easily into the chilly dawn air.

Deftly guiding its movements, he spun them around in a smooth arc that faced them with their backs to the rapidly approaching sunrise.

The entire team of the Dawn Patrol came into formation around him in its standard flying wedge as he took the lead.

The cold wind whipped around him and could not help but grin with the pure pleasure he felt as they flew across the skies; racing against the dawn's orange light.

Tapping the beast's sides with his heels in a complicated pattern, he sent a message to his mount and felt the surge of energy within its mammoth body.

With a deafening roar, his Dragon belched forth a torrent of flames from its mouth, signalling to all those below that the Patrol was high above; keeping them safe as always.

This was his favourite part.


Along the sidewalk of the tree-lined street, the little old man shambled; his beat up steamer trunk in tow. The rusty wheels of the trunk's hand cart rattled loudly, breaking the peaceful quiet of the residential avenue.

On their way to school, Richie and Tim doddled as they stopped to look at the strange wildlife of caterpillars, beetles, and spiders that thrived upon the grassy yards of the well-kept homes they passed.

Across the street, Richie spotted the little old man who had stopped and set up his trunk atop the hand cart which doubled as a stand for the worn and battered case.

The hunched man stood serenely beside his closed trunk; as if awaiting any interested parties to arrive.

Richie tugged at Tim's packsack and motioned for them to go over to see what the old man was all about.

Reluctantly, Tim followed as he ran to catch up to Richie who had already started to cross over to where the benign looking old man stood.

"Hey, Mister," Richie blared unabashedly. "Whatcha got in the trunk, there?"

The old man smiled to greet them as Tim came up beside his friend, but the way in which his grin did not touch his black eyes made Tim's skin crawl. There was nothing benign about the little old man in the brown polyester suit.

"Oh, hello, boys." He said in a tinny voice that set Tim's teeth on edge. "My trunk? Oh well, I have something very unique inside; very special."

He placed his ancient fingers upon the leather-bound case, gently kneading its scuffed surface as he leaned in closer so he could lower his already quiet voice to a whisper.

"Would you believe," he started, the black pools of his eyes glistening. "That inside this old trunk of mine, I have a real, honest and true ghost?"

Richie scoffed loudly, but Tim's eyed the case warily.

"There ain't no such thing as ghosts, mister." Richie stated brazenly. "My dad told me, they're just in stories to scare people."

"Oh?" the old man questioned mockingly. "Is that so? Well, I can tell you for a fact that there are ghosts and that I have one right here in this trunk."

Tim looked from the serpent-like smirk on the old man's wrinkled face to the mysterious steamer trunk with an impending sense of dread that made his stomach tense and knot.

Richie laughed out loud this time.

"Oh yeah?" he said belligerently. "Prove it. Show us your 'ghost'!" he nudged Tim with his elbow knowingly, but Tim continued to stare at the now menacing trunk on its rickety old cart stand.

A curious thought popped into his and a got the better of his fear so he heard himself start to speak before he realized what he was doing.

"How," he creaked, "how did you catch a ghost in there?" His own voice seemed distant in his ears. "If it's a ghost, couldn't it just float through the case and escape?"

Finally looking back to the old man, Tim was startled by the knowing wink he gave as his smile grew, this time making it all the way to his raven-black eyes; making him all the more terrible.

"Ah, yes." The old man delighted. "That's the tricky part. You see this is a very special trunk. Why don't you boys come closer and I'll show you."

Crossing his arms in defiance, Richie scoffed again and took a bold step toward the trunk. Tim however, an icy chill stealing over his heart, shook his head and took a step back.

"We... we better get to school, Richie." He said as he tried to pull his friend away by his shirt sleeve.

But Richie pulled away, moving closer to the trunk still.

"We got time." Richie stated, not taking his eyes off the old man who simply smiled his sickly smiled back at the pig-headed boy. "Go on, show us."

Sliding his bony hands to the trunk's tarnished brass latches, the old man's smile broadened and he became even more hunched and warped-looking as the locks snapped open.

"You sure now?" The old man inquired, almost gleefully. "You really want to see?"

Tim backed away as the trunk top creaked open to let a sliver of the darkness it held inside, and real fear gripped him; terror at what was in that darkness.

Richie's smug expression started to falter as the lid slowly opened wider and Tim almost thought he heard him whisper, "No."

But he would never be sure, for as he looked on in terror, the image of Richie doubled and a transparent version of his friend began to be pulled from his solid form and sucked into the blackness within the trunk.

Finally finding his legs, Tim turned and ran; horrid cries from Richie mixed with the cackling laughter of the old man filled his ears as he sprinted down the street, leaving his friend and the nightmare of what was happening behind him.

The screams and laughter faded and were soon replaced by the noisy squeaking wheels of the big, leather-bound trunk being pulled along on its cart by the little old man in his brown polyester suit, shambling along the picturesque suburban street.