Back from the dead.

Well, you failed. The Holidays didn’t recieve enough words ransom.  They ordered Krampus to tear me piece by piece and devour me.

His acidic saliva melted my flesh in unimaginable agony.  His serrated teeth tore the muscles from my bones as if I were cooked chicken. For hours my pain blinded me while screams ripped from my disentigrating throat. The vile taste of poisoned blood coated my tongue and life ceased to exist.

Thankfully! I know a rakshasa. More specifically, an Ak’chazar.

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She was able to pull me from the grips of a grim reaper and heal what left remained of my body. They are some very powerful creatures. Don’t ever piss them off.

So here I am,  back from the dead.  The nightmares will haunt me forever.  The cold weather causes aches in the flesh she regenerated me from and I’m still here creating worlds of fantastical creatures for you to dive into when the day is just to long.  Don’t count me out. It’ll take more than a Krampus to get rid of me. 

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Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

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Asylum VI

A century later, everything fell to ruin. Rot covered the structure and spread to the nearby town. A place now only children visited for a good scare. The object of dares and double dares on late night weekends. Fear coats the misty air, mingling with a vile sense of danger. Voices are rumored to echo in the night. Ghosts of a tortured past still looking for a way out.

Stories of tragedy often times attract the weird and demented as they hunt ghosts of the past for a thrill. Visits often times result in false findings. That is until the night of the incident. The ‘tragedy’ often whispered in cities within walking distance.

This night, a night of death, a group of kids think it fun to test their grit. Together, laughing and jeering they approach the edge of the abandoned town. This is their story.

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Horror Movie Cliché

When my life ended,  it wasn’t the creaking of the stairs that warned me too late. It wasn’t the flickering of lights, or the unnatural draft blowing through the room. Not the fear in my belly, or the sense of being watched. I didn’t hear voices and ask who’s there. No. I didn’t creep in the dark of a haunted house. 
When I died, it was the breath on my neck,  the stab of the knife in my back, the pain that brought me to my knees.  That’s what warned me too late. 
It was the machete you plowed through my center, the one we used to hack away at the overgrown vines on the door. I didn’t have a cliché horror movie moment where the viewer yells “He’s behind you.” No, your betrayal made no sense. The shock of it left me in pieces as you stomped your way through my escaping blood. The laughter coming from your gut chilled the last remaining heat from my body as I lay lifeless. My last sight was your retreating figure not looking menacing at all,  but rather joyful.  My heart beating quickly at the rapt confusion pushed what blood I had left at your distant feet.  My body cold, my life extinguished.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

Asylum III

For years I heard voices in my head. I ignored them as best I could when I figured out no one else could hear them. At first,  that was okay. But then they began to get louder. Demanding. Bordering on homicidal. I tried prescription drugs I bought off junkies. Mind altering drugs. They only made things worse.  The voices stared to take control.  Making me say things I’d never say.
I couldn’t take it anymore.  I didn’t care about my pride any longer. I checked into the nearest asylum. I told them about the voices.  The nurses put me up for the night and told me the doctor would be in in the morning. While screams echoed the hall and my cott smelled of duty people and I didn’t want to know what,  I lay in wait for the first rays of light. 
The night was long. The voices got louder than the screams down the hall.  My head bounced hard against the concrete wall of the room until I’m sure it started to bleed.
The sun was a welcome sight as the voices faded with the night. I was escorted to breakfast by a burley nurse in black scrubs. The cafeteria tables brought my memory back to high school. I found one abandoned. The top apparently used as a carving post. Words and images covered nearly the entire surface.  I sat and looked around the now silent room. 
Weariness settled in me.  Everyone peered at me with they’re own crazy eyes.  Whispers echoed softly but no one moved their eyes from me or turned their head to speak to anyone else. 
Choosing to ignore them despite my screaming instincts and voices I nibbled on a piece of bread as I concentrated rather hard on my tray. ‘Show no weakness’ the voices urged.
A heavy thump and the violent vibration of the table alerted me to a rather large presence to my right. I could feel eyes burning through my right temple,  but I refused to acknowledge it.  I shut down a shutter that wanted to rip through me, causing me to bite down on my lip. Salty iron bloomed in my mouth where the roll I was still chewing absorbed. I forced down the disgusting food while avoiding the gag reflex needing a release.
Wet, foul breath met my cheek before a large inhaling breath sounded in my ear.  They were smelling me? The voices went quiet.  Almost as if this thing could hear them too and they feared it.
A wood chopping preceeded another vibrating of the table.  Our of the corner of my eye a beefy hand used a carving tool to scar the wood more.  Curious, I shifted my head to watch. His head snapped back to me,  his cold eyes freezing my thoughts. The voices ran.  I could hear their frightened screams fade.
His large, dirty hand slammed onto my tray making me flinch.  With his eyes still holding mine I didn’t see the roll he took until he pressed it to my bloody lip briefly then,  with my blood visible to me, he shoved it into his mouth. He chewed briefly and swallowed.
No amount of will power could keep the nausea at bay. My hand instantly covered my mouth in attempt to avoid projectile vomit. I rushed to the nearest trash can and let loose everything I had.
A nurse gave me a napkin and proceeded to escort me out of the room. Looking back briefly, the man was now seated in front of my tray. Food in one hand and carving tool in the other.
The walk was a blur as my mind tried to make sense of the crazy man. “Have a seat.  The doctor will only be a moment.”
Dazed, I looked around the room. I wasn’t sure I was seeing things right. I rubbed my eyes, hoping the shock from breakfast was making me delusional. While the furniture n albeit a bit dirty, looked normal; the decor wasn’t. Where one would typically see models of body parts for teaching purposes, there were real body parts. Skulls, rib cage, hearts in glass jars that I could swear beat on occasion. Stuffed crows were placed on the end of a shelf as if to balance the death out. I reached out my hand to touch one without realising I had gotten out of the seat. It snapped at my hands and squawked at me. That’s when the voices came back. But not only voices, faces too. All around me I could see who the voices belonged to. Their cries a caphony of ear splitting noise. In a failed attempt to down them out I pressed my hands tightly to my ears. The only thing I silenced was the sound of the doctor walking in. His hand on my shoulder made me jump in fear that the voices could now touch me. I swung my hands out, hitting the doctor in the shoulder. He grasped my hands in his own until my senses returned and the voices stopped. The faces remained, expressions of fear so clear on their murky faces.
“Please, have a seat.” He said kindly, letting go of my hands. I did as told and took him in for the first time. His hair hung in dark soft waves just below his eye brows and his eyes shone a light, almost white blue. His full lips curved into a polite smile, undoubtedly perfected over the years to make others feel at ease. He was tall, but not too tall. Fit. Athletic build. Perfect. Too perfect. Even his voice lured you in. I was the fish, and he the unbaited hook. I didn’t want to see that hook baited. I’d lose all my self control.
Wary of this far too pristine doctor I sat in silence waiting for him to speak. What he said frightened me.

“I hear them too.”

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Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

Asylum II

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They speak of a young girl that wonders the halls. Something terrifying they claim. With her dirty off white gown dropping to her translucent knees and her straight brown hair hiding most of her face flowing down her ribs. The echo of her cries fill the halls but she never says a word. They tell me that death follows her every step and the smell of rot would burn in my nose. I was told of horrific deaths that befell those in her presence and how their blood fed the asylum. It’s stories like these that assure me that they truly belong here. They are the crazy ones. Not I. No, I don’t believe in such horrific things. I don’t belong here in this high security asylum. My reality is sound, not full of things you might find in books. Fantasy has always been just that, fantasy. As I lay here in my used rusty bed that groans and protests with each creaking spring. My roommate is squatting in the corner on her bed mumbling nonsense as she glares at me then the door. I initially thought she was waiting for someone to enter, but that long past as she continued her subtle eye shift between myself and the door. I could still feel her eyes on me in the darkness. Maybe that’s what made me crazy. I could always feel people looking at me, or about to touch me.

I couldn’t sleep this way. Not with her muttering, and not with the heavily abused springs poking at my side. I couldn’t sleep with the dusty, musty pillow supporting my head. Nor could I ignore the faint odor of something foul slipping in from under the door. I tried to hide my nose under the covers, but the vague smell of urine mixed with cheap dryer sheet scent made me toss it to the floor in disgust. Now I just lay here rather uncomfortably, on my side with y right hand over my right ear and the other over my nose while my knees beg for space on the small bed near my chest.

My roommate continued to babble and not even my hand could block her out. I nearly passed out from exhaustion until I noticed the lack of mumbling behind me. Her breathing started coming in gasps but no frantic mumbling. I turned to look at her, forgetting the dark. They don’t give us switches in our room for lights. To make us sleep, they claim. My eyes won’t adjust, there just isn’t a single ray of illumination to allow for even poor vision. Her breathing stops, but starts again in heavy gasping. I feared she might be having adverse reactions too the meds they forced down her throat earlier. There is no telling what they gave her. They told me mine will be here tomorrow but wouldn’t tell me what it was.

The smell from the hall grew in its intensity nearly making me gag. Stomach acid made its way up my throat but I forced it back down. Crying echoed through the room in chilling waves. Pulling myself to my feet, I walked to the barren bathroom. If  it could even be considered a bathroom with just a toilet and no bathtub. Not even a mirror occupied the wall. I switched on the light. It was so far up, fixed to the ridiculously high ceiling that the dim light only illuminated enough to see shadows in the room. So many shadows were shifting around that I’d swear the light was swinging to and fro.

“Are you okay?” I asked tentatively to my crazy roommate. Cries continued to echo through the room and the putrid stench of rot grew stronger. The air was thick with the horrid smell making it exceedingly difficult to draw a breath. The air became frigid and my gagging turned into full on vomiting. I slammed the door shut and hugged the grimy toilet. The filth made me vomit harder until I cold only dry heave a minute amount of stomach acid.

I awoke, not realizing I’d fallen asleep on the dirty floor with my face near the urine coated toilet base. Scrambling to my feet clumsily, I fight my way out the room trying three times before I could turn the knob. What greeted me on the other side made me wish that I’d stayed in the bathroom. The light shinning through the only barred window showed a most horrendous sight. My roommate lay on the floor, face deep in her own blood. Her bowls were stretched out as if they’d been played with by a child. A scream locked in my throat, building pressure. When at last I was able to let loose, the sound pierced my ears, scratched my throat raw, and caused my lungs to burn in protest of their lost oxygen.

The slamming of feet across tile and voices shouting found little purchase in my ears. A flurry of movement entered the room and the last thing I felt was the pinch of a needle then a burn race up my arm before darkness consumed me.

Death’s Best Friend

Death can be so cruel. It comes at inopportune times, teases us with flashes of the past, and frightens us with the unknown. Little Violet, however, doesn’t seem to mind. Death visits her room every night. He’s her best friend. He teaches her things her parents would never let her learn. She once tried to tell her parents about him, but they didn’t believe her. An active imagination is what they called it. An imaginary friend. Thinking nothing of it they let it go. Violet didn’t mention him again.

He would bring her gifts. Little trinkets covered in blood. She’d wash it away and hide the gift under a loose floor board that he showed her. There were toys, jewelry and stuffed animals. He once even brought her an old coin. Soon the small storage space filled to the brim and she couldn’t get it to shut anymore. When she told death so he just shook his head not understanding. She lifted the board and showed him. He still shook his head. She didn’t want to hurt death’s feelings but if her mother and father were to find the things he’d given her, they would think she stole them. Frustrated she threw a decorated rock at him. One he’d given her last week with purple crystals on the inside. Death grew angry. His eyes flamed red and his scythe took on a more menacing appearance. He roared at her before disappearing.

Violet didn’t want to play with Death anymore after that. She didn’t want her parents to be mad at her, and she didn’t want the gifts he brought to her. The next night when he returned she covered her head under the covers and pretended he didn’t exist. He tried to pull the covers back but she held them tight, her little knuckles squeezing with all their might. He roared in anger again before leaving. For a week this continued. She’d hoped he would go away. On the eighth day the night remained quiet. Death didn’t visit, and gifts weren’t given. Little Violet finally got to fall asleep.

The next morning her parents found her cold body laying in her bed surrounded by toys, trinkets, and jewelry they’d never seen before. They trailed around her body, off the bed and into a loose board not far from her bed. In their grief they called the police, assuming someone had murdered her in her sleep. There was no sign of forced entry, no fingerprints, and nothing wrong with her to show any violence.

In the days of waiting for her autopsy reports, her parent’s started the painful arrangements of her funeral. Family arrived from all over to help. Violet’s little cousin, Joseph, slept in her room with a few older siblings. He slept fitfully and complained of laughter filling the room keeping him from sleep. No one else herd anything so they figured he’d been effected by his own grief as he was close to Violet.

The next night the same thing happened again. He stayed awake hoping to catch the culprit. What he saw, he knew no one would believe. Violet was kneeling over the loose board in her room pulling out phantom toys and playing with them as a cloaked figure watched from behind. She laughed and didn’t seem to mind the figure’s presence.

“Violet?” Joseph asked in a broken whisper. She looked up immediately and smiled. Taking the phantom teddy bear in her hand she used it’s paw to write ‘PLAY WITH ME’ on the wall. The writing was red, and her hands were too. He looked at the wall, then back at her. Frightened, he pulled the covers from her bed over his head and prayed she’d go away. That he’d go away. The scary cloaked man watching her.

The words were still there the next morning. Joseph insisted he did’t write them, that Violet did. The family berated him for his tasteless joke and made him clean it off the wall. It didn’t matter how much he protested and swore up and down that he didn’t do it, no one would believe him. He refused to sleep in there again, and no one forced the issue.

On Violet’s funeral day her parent’s received the autopsy report in the mail. Cancer. Their daughter had bone cancer that not once ever showed any sign in any of her yearly checkups. When they inquired about it, sure that it was a mistake, the doctor insisted that she’d had the disease for years.

Your Beloved Author,
Sandra Easter

(Photo origin is unknown.)