The Tattooed Tree

Naked and trembling, Trevor stops to catch his breath. Already he feels the curse cast upon him. The tattoos on his stiffening torso become more pronounced, resembling wall-sized etchings.

His arms shoot upward, branching outward, simultaneously dividing into limbs of various density. Immobile, his legs fuse together, while his feet extend out all around him. His toes multiply, scattering and digging deep below the earth at the same time.

Moisture penetrates throughout his whole being, or whatever self-awareness is left. The last thought as he can describe it as such is that he wishes, out of all the tattoos he has, he had avoided the heart with Her name carved on it. He didn’t know she would take it to heart and act as if she owned him.

Face Time

Meghan sighs as she sees the night slipping away too soon. Almost ten in the evening and she still has no date. She swipes the photo to the left, but soon changes her mind and swipes it to the right. She reads the brief profile of the guy she decides to pursue: “Enjoys anything that rocks — rock candy, rock climbing, and hard rock. Rock me hard!” She snickers at the last sentence.

“Oh yeah, baby,” she thinks to herself.

She texts him: “What flavor rock candy you like?”

Seconds later a response comes back: “Cherry”

She texts back: “I’ve got on cherry lip gloss.”

“Yum,” flashes on Meghan’s iPhone screen.

“I wish I was somewhere listening to hard rock now,” she types in, hoping to get something going soon.

“You’re playing my tune. Want to hang out?”

Meghan likes that and keys in, “Sure . . . when?”

“Let’s face time,” he messages back and adds his number for her to call.

“Cool,” Meghan thinks as she punches in his number.

A toothy grin dominates Meghan’s phone screen. She catches her breath as her eyes rake over the green cast of the face with bulging eyeballs and stained teeth that seems to take on  a countenance that doesn’t look human at all. As soon as her brain registers the freaky visage, a scream escapes through her lips, now quivering from repulsion. Laughter from the screen erupts just as instantaneously.

She throws the phone across the room, screaming and hearing the laughter. She realizes she’s just been goblined*.

*Goblined – when a person gets startled, surprised, or freaked out by a goblin; usually occurs when a person least expects it. These are Halloween times . . . the countdown begins . . .

The Bored Chairman

The small rental house sits on a hill, far from the neighbors. Its solitary perch is what attracted Tim to the place. Shy by nature, he considered it a find when he came across the cozy cabin lookalike even though it was reputedly haunted. In all his 50 years, he’s never encountered any paranormal or extraterrestrial activities and finds no reason to believe in them now.

As he’s wont to do every evening, Tim finishes eating dinner on his kitchen table, sips his rye, and starts talking to the empty chair across from him. Although timid, he likes to hear the timbre of his own voice when no one is around. He continues to spout about his day when the wooden chair transforms into a wooden head with its facial features and hair looking painted on. Its expression appears focused, fully engaged at what he was saying.

It must be the whiskey, Tim thinks to himself.  Can’t be delirium. Although he’s been called a drunk, he doesn’t believe it because he can still stand and walk after many rounds of shots.

He rubs his eyes and stares at the chair, slapping his hands on the table just to make sure he’s awake.

“Ho now,” the outline of the mouth blurts out.

“Who are you? I didn’t invite you here.” Tim tries to assert himself.

“Day in, day out . . . especially day out, you jabber on and on. So here I am to wackle, wackle back at ‘cha.”

“What does that even mean?” Bewildered, Tim can feel goosebumps forming on his arms and the hair behind his neck rising, as he’s starting to register the deadness of the wide-eyed expression on the face. Tim inches away from the table as he notices the head shaking a little, as if trying to move from its place.

“I’ve always wanted a body to call my own.” The head nods.

The sudden change of subject and the subject itself are enough to cause Tim to bolt out of his chair. As if powered by an invisible slingshot, the head catapults toward Tim, who loses his balance from the hit. Before recovering from his fall, Tim feels a little top-heavy, almost as if he is wearing a football helmet.

“I also wanted a buddy of my own,” Tim hears in his head, knowing the thought is not his own. Heart thudding, he runs to the bathroom mirror and looks at his reflection. The wooden head stares back at him with a wide grin.

Image by blogetta


He plucked out her eyeballs.
She was too sleepy to see the guy with the spoon.
He mused he would give her the moon,
Do something funny, just like a looney ‘toon,
Now he feels like a goon.

Because of her scream,
He can’t be fulfilling her dream
As he realized she was being figurative
When she said, “Pluck my eyeballs,
For I find you unattractive.”


“Ya got a big mouth on ya is yer problem, Eddie. How many people ya ate? Ya gotta pace yerself or we’ll get caught. I gotta do somethin’.” Royal, Eddie’s best friend glares at his shack mate, who is moaning at every chew.

Eyelids half closed, Eddie is too preoccupied savoring the last of his ill-gotten meat. There’s nothing like a good summer barbecued shoulder. Granted, it took him a few hours to wrestle it out of his prey who outweighed him by 65 pounds, but he triumphed, making him especially proud of his latest kill.

“I just looove tourist season,” Eddie mumbles, trying to keep in food from spilling out of his mouth.

With pressed lips, Royal saunters off to get his leather sewing kit. As he approaches his friend from behind, he says, “Sorry, buddy; this is fer yer own good.” Royal takes a swing at the back of Eddie’s head with a big sock filled with heavy rubber balls.

With Eddie stunned, he quickly proceeds to sew his friend’s mouth. As he almost finishes, Eddie’s lids flutter open. Eyes looking panicked, Eddie grunts, “Mmmph . . .”

“Oops, I forgot to ask if ya had any last words,” Royal mumbles, feeling a little guilty as he locks the stitches.

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper (a book blurt)

Every week I go to the library to pick up movies or books I’ve reserved. I also do a quick browsing around to see if anything interesting might catch my attention, and this book sure did. I decided to start reading it as soon as I got home and I finished it close to four hours and 284 pages later. A pleasant surprise was finding that the different settings in the book included Budapest of all places, among other European countries I that I recently visited; it was interesting to recognize so many places. However, the story was equally captivating. It’s about a highly regarded forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Lily Dominick, whose life takes a twisted turn after seeing an unusual patient, a criminal who claims not to be human. Rather, he says he was artificially created by an ambitious, but misguided scientist.

The patient’s claim is not so much what makes Lily sees him as different from all the heinous criminals New York delivers to her office. Rather, it’s his claim of being at the scene when her mother was murdered. At only six years of age, Lily witnessed her mother’s violent demise. As their conversation continues, the details he provides, and his startling claim of being her father, starts the story spinning into a suspense full of uncertainty and supernatural events. The story also explains how the legends of Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula came to be told.

Well-written and engrossing, the book makes me want to read more of what Andrew Pyper has written. This is a beginning of a new readingship. I am listing the books below as I finish reading them.

The Damned


. . . Home for Christmas: Part 4 of 4

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

[Part 3]

I see you’ve gotten to the last written page, Mr. Lang. If you go to the back of the journal, I inserted the ripped part of the page there.

“Dec. 24: . . . home for Christmas. I  p . ; l ls  n  I  a e l p . . . “

It is difficult to make out the rest of his scribbles. I see you can’t decipher them either, Mr. Lang. That’s all I have for you, sir. So, if there’s anything else . . . Please let me walk you out. You know we have a beautiful place here; we don’t really see too many people come out this way. Thanks for visiting. Okay, good-bye . . .

Mr. Lang looks like he’s headed out in the same direction as our Mr. McCue. Perhaps he too will find his place in our valley. I’ve been here many years now since I’ve been given the post of Overseer. I take good care of my residents. I feed them well. In time, they will be ready to spread out and take over more of this world.

[To see Part 1]

. . . Home for Christmas: Part 3 of 4

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

[Part 2]

“Dec. 23: I’m freaking out. Nothing appears normal here. I’ve lost track of time. The sky always looks dim and heavy. How can that be? What’s become of day and night?  It doesn’t get bright or pitch black. It’s as if there’s a dirty film over the place. My legs feel like they walked many miles, but I keep seeing my car directly ahead. Is the car following me? I can’t figure things out. I’m tired, but I can’t fall asleep. I haven’t slept since I woke up hours ago, but it must have been a whole day because I can feel my chin’s five o’clock shadow.

And what’s with these trees? Some are twisty or bent to the ground, while others are completely straight. They don’t feel right either. There’s some kind of slime coming out of the squat looking ones. I’m also starting to hear something like a cross between murmurs and light rustling. For some reason, my nose is also picking up smells that kind of makes me want to throw up.  My mind seems to be playing tricks. I’m writing what I can so I can read it later to see if I’m making any sense, although my eyes aren’t helping. They seem to getting progressively bad. Am I becoming myopic?  I’m thirsty and hungry but my body can’t seem to stop from walking around. I’ve actually tied my legs to a tree stump so I will stop walking. I can barely write.

I just want to be . . . “

To be continued

. . . Home for Christmas: Part 2 of 4

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

[Part 1]

“Dec. 22: I’m so mad. I can’t believe I slept through the night. I lost so much good driving time! What the hell?  I set my smartphone’s alarm, but it didn’t go off. Soon after I woke up, I started driving, but I can’t seem to find my bearing. There’s no reception; my radio just spews out static. My smartphone’s good for shite. And my once-trusty compass keeps spinning around in circles as its hand goes round and round. So it’s no good here either. Weird.

I got out of the car to see if I can find anyone. Strange how silent it is out here. No wildlife sounds of any kind, or even the distant drone of a jet airplane. All I see is long stretches of dirt road with odd-looking trees. Never seen the likes of them. I tried to take a picture with my smartphone, but it’s a dud. I’m going to hike around to look for some kind of a bird’s eye view.”

To be continued

. . . Home for Christmas: Part 1 of 4

Image: Pixabay

Image: Pixabay

Deep in the woods of Pine Valley somewhere in the northeast part of the new country is where shadows rule the isolated acres of trees. Only a few have ventured there. Among them was a poor soul by the name of Kevin McCue; he took a wrong turn as he drove on the long, winding, mind numbing drive up toward the hills. His destination was supposed to be a cozy cabin in a small town called Spruce, to celebrate Christmas with his young family. Instead, he made a detour that fateful day.

Later on, his journal was found near the Zipcar he drove. The rented Honda Civic was in a ditch. Yet there was no sign of Mr. McCue anywhere. As caretaker and Sheriff of Pine Valley, I pored over the journal to find a clue of his demise. And right now I don’t feel optimistic.

Peruse the journal entries for yourself, Mr. Lang, so you can confirm what you need to with his grieving wife. Please make yourself comfortable and read, while I pour you a cup of tea.

“Dec. 21: I’m excited to see my baby Nicole and my beautiful wife, Penny. I told Penny this is the last long distance trip I’ll take for the next two years. I’m going to be home more often so Nicole will know she’s got a daddy. I’ve been driving for eight solid hours and I’m getting tired. The weather has been surprisingly mild up here in the hills. I’ve decided to stop in Pine Valley to take a quick nap and then resume driving. My head is starting to feel light, so I’m going to stop writing for now and get me some sleep.”

To be continued