Masquerade

Waiting for him to do something the little creatures looked at Mitchell on the cliff. Waiting for him to act, to make them laugh, their eyes were wide open. Expectation could be felt in the air.

His heart was beating fast. Sweat wet his palms.

Every day he held a show. The little creatures always laughed, always cheered.

Today his show was different. Deeper. His blue mask was sad and serious. John was watching with his red mask in his hand. He had made it himself. He was up next.

Today the little creatures didn’t laugh. They didn’t smile. Silence fell over the grass covered cliffs.

They put their masks over their faces. Started humming a dark, strange tune. Moved towards the actor on the stage, jumped from one cliff to another. Waited. Jumped again.

Mitchell took a step back. Felt the edge under his feet. Sand and stones fell into the abyss, towards the ground so far below.

Another jump. All of them, one by one.

-Please! Please! I’m sorry! I can do better! I promise!

They stared at him through little eye holes. They waited.

The masks got darker.

-Too late.

The voice was vicious and rusty… (more)

Runaway Train

Even was driving his train through the beautiful countryside. He liked being a train engineer. The meditative tranquillity of the train following its tracks, the calm attention of keeping his eyes on the way and make sure the speed was as it should be.

-A bit more steam! He had shout to be heard over the noise. The fireman threw more coal in the fire.

Even laid back, watching the smoke from the chimney. This was the life.

The train stopped on the Droftville station. Fine people went on and off, beautiful, elegant men and women. Among them was Jessica Babbit. Her life in the spotlight had made her quite a fortune.

She sat down on the seat, looking out of the window. Touched the blue little tumour on her belly, the little lump she hadn’t told anyone about, that seemed to grow when she was nervous.

An old lady was sitting by her side.

-So, where are you going?

-I’m going into town. Paperwork, you know.

-Isn’t this beautiful? The old lady lent over Jessica, looking out through the window.

The train chooed on between tall hills and green forests.

Even looked ahead. There was a cow on the track. He pulled the chain. The whistle sounded through the valley, the cow looked apathetically up toward the train further up.

It didn’t move.

There was still a long way down, and Even stepped on the brakes.

-What the… They didn’t work. -Hmm. That’s odd, Even pulled the emergency break.  The lever came off.

With the lever in his hand Even looked in terror at the cow on the tracks. It was big enough to throw the locomotive into the field.

The little lump tingled a bit, as it usually did when Jessica was annoyed. The old lady kept chatting on about grandchildren and cake and how horrible things were these days. It tingled so hard it hurt. She touched it. It had spread, grown… (more)

No Laughing Matter

-Rolling down the road with the mates, just feeling the speed. There’s nothing better.

-Change the song, dude.

-How’s it going with that babe of yours, Rocket?

-She’s awesome, dude. She’s just sooo good in bed, man.

-Yeah, yeah… Don’t wanna hear about it.

-Tom never gets laid, Jimmy laughed. -Because he’s ugl….

-What the…?

Jimmy followed Tom’s eyes to the window. A clown was staring at him from outside. They were going hundred and twenty miles per hour.

-Aaaaaahhhh! Jimmy jumped away from the window, pulling the wheel with him. The car slid over the road, out on the grass on the other side. Jimmy got it up on the road again. The car wobbled over the lane.

-Look out!

A truck was coming at them.

He got the car back in the right lane. The truck mowed passed them. The noise from the horn sounded like laughter.

-What the hell? What was that? Tom’s eyes flickered from one window to the other.

-A clown! It was a fucking clown! Jimmy screamed.

The car slowed down. Someone was standing in the middle of the road. Big shoes. Giant gloves. A tiny little hat on his head and a big, wide, painted smile.

-Drive! Fucking drive!

Jimmy sped up, changed lane. The clown jumped in front of the car.

-Aaaaaaahhh!!!

Indistinctly Jimmy hit the brakes. Lost control of the car. Left the road. Landed on the roof…. (more)

Light In the Tunnel.

Through the streets they fled, jumping over walls, crawling under fences. People everywhere, nowhere to hide. Chaos ruled.

Mildred jumped the fence to the railway, ran down the tracks. The tunnel. He could hide in there, maybe he could be safe.

He ran down into the deep darkness. He stopped, catching his breath. What is happening?

-Hey! He heard from the dark. -Are you OK?

Mildred jumped.

-I.. I think so, but I I don’t know if I’m thinking straight. What’s going on? What the fuck is going on!?

-I don’t know, the man said. He could see him now. An old man in a military uniform. Stars on his shoulders. -I mean, I don’t know what the consequences will be. But I do know what happened.

Mildred looked at him in disbelief. The old man continued.

-We opened a gate. A gate to somewhere dark, a place we should never have seen. We were doing military research, working on a new weapon. I don’t know the details, I’m no scientist. All I know is that we found ourselves staring into an abyss. Then the abyss stared back…

The King’s Arrival

He was changed. Huge tentacles came out of his back, waving in the air. His eyes were distant, blank, like a dead man, but he breathed.

On narrow paths and long roads their journey went. People stared as they walked by, astonished, surprised. Terrified.

An omen. New times had come.

In the darkness at night Mandlos and Pendlor heard their god murmur, whisper and speak in strange tongues. He never addressed them, never gave them the honour of their attention. He just was there, existing somewhere else.

One day he finally spoke.

I need a sacrifice.

The two men, his two most loyal servants looked at each other.

-We’re not worthy! Mandlos threw himself to the ground before him.

-What ever you desire, we will get it for you, oh Lord of Dark and Light, our saviour, our destruction.

I want blood, the creature said. Its eyes were flashing, its tentacles waving. What had once been a man was now a monster, a creature of darkness. But he was still their king… (more)

Thirst

Something moved in the pool of green liquid. A sphere came up. A head emerged. The form of a man was rising, taking shape in the slime. 

He screamed.

-We did it! It’s alive!

Met and Pict had been working on this project for ages. To create life, a human being from scratch. They had made it.

Magic. Alchemy. Science and Witchcraft. They had mixed it all to generate their creation. Here he was, muscular, strong. Alive.

-Hello! Met said. -Welcome to reality!

The man stood there, breathing heavily. He looked at his body, at his hands. At the two men watching him from the shore.

-Come! We have so much to show you!

He took a step closer, a bit unsteady. Another, then one more. Pict held a blanket out to cover him. He walked by as if they were not there.

-Hey! Where are you going?

He walked on. All the two scientists could do was to follow.

-You can’t leave yet! We have tests to do! Met tried to calm down the decided steps of the man creature.

-I demand you to stop! Pict said. No reaction at all.

They followed him down the slope, in towards town.

-This is not good, Pict said. -He shouldn’t go down there. That will be trouble for sure!

Met ran down in front of him, held his hands up.

-Stop! As your creator I forbid you to walk on! I command you to…

The man creature walked on like if he wasn’t there. Met fell aside.

Pict jumped up on his back to push him down. The creation was to strong, stronger than any man they had ever known.

He walked into town. The scientists stood back.

-Where is he going? Met’s voice was shaking, thin and weak… (more)