Stranger at Home

-They are coming! Squeak! Coming! The bird looked towards the castle far away on the other side of the fields.

-They are coming, they are coming! The other birds echoed through the woods. A war was about to begin.

The squirrel ran through the woods, wanting to get a good spot.

The soldiers marched. They were many, and heavily armed. The trees shivered as they passed by.

On the other side of the forest there was another land, vast, beautiful and fertile. A king ruled, better than most. According to the plan, he was not to rule much longer.

-Some battle, wasn’t it? The squirrel jumped back and forth between the branches. Blood was flowing, people were screaming. It was over.

-Some battle! Some battle! The bird flew off, over the battle field.

Perkel was lying under a pile of bodies. Some friends, other foes, all dead or dying. He was unhurt, but he didn’t move. Mercy would not be granted for anyone who was caught, and the army he had fought for was destroyed. The attack had been demolished.

Men started carrying the bodies away, putting them in piles further down. Perkel crawled down a ditch, reached the river. He let himself in, drifted away from the horrors he had been a part of.

A bird circled above him, watching him with interest. Further down he reached the forest. He pulled himself up, crawled in between the bushes. Lay on the ground, rested. Tried to get his mind back in place. It felt splintered, destroyed. Images of violence rushed through his inner eye, fear tormented his soul.

-Hi!

Perkel jumped around.  There was no one there. He grabbed a rock from the ground.

-Up here, silly! Squeak!

He looked up in the trees. The bird was looking down at him. A squirrel was watching from another tree.

-You escaped, didn’t you? The battle! You deserted! Deserted!

-I did. Perkel looked down, moving the grass with his foot. -I didn’t want to die.

-Well, you didn’t, did you? The squirrel jumped down a few branches, to get a better look. It seemed uprightly happy for him. -Now what you going to do?

-I have no idea… I can’t go home, that’s for sure. I’d be killed for deserting. And I can’t go back to the land we were attacking, My kind won’t be welcome there now.

The squirrel looked at him with its head on the chess. -There’s not many choices left, then, is there?.

-No choices! No choices! Squeak!

Perkel looked around. The forest was dense and wild, and he had no idea how to survive there. -How would I even find food? he said out loud, expecting no answer.

-There are nuts everywhere at this time of year, wouldn’t you know? The squirrel jumped up to a higher branch, threw him a cluster of acorns. -You’ll be fine, don’t you think?

-And bugs! Bugs all over! We’ll teach you! Squeak!

Perkel lived in the forest for years. When winter came closer, food was getting scarce, and he missed home, his family. His wife and child. He didn’t know how they were, let alone the worry he felt for them believing he was dead. Still, he stayed. There would be no pardon from the king if he returned.

His beard grew long and wild, so did his hair. The third year he made a decision.

-I’m going back home, he told the squirrel. -I need to see my family.

-You’ll have luck, don’t you think? I sure hope they will treat you right…

-I sure hope so. Thank you, my friend, for everything.

He walked through the forest, the way he had come long ago. He walked through the fields, hoping no one would see him. He reached his little farm in the country side.

There was no one there… (more)

Keep It Down

-Turn it down! The broomstick was banging hard on the ceiling downstairs.

Disco John turned up the volume. Music should be loud. If that grumpy old man didn’t understand, it wasn’t his problem. Lazy old chump, he never went out. John hadn’t even seen him, ever, the four years he had been living here. What did he know about disco?

John rocked around the floor, trying out his latest moves. Soon he’d be back out there, impressing the chicks.

-Turn it the fuck down!

John didn’t hear it anymore, he just felt the pounding in the floor. He kept dancing.

Between songs he heard a knock on the door. Probably the neighbor again. The door was locked, so it didn’t matter. His brand new Audio Research D-150 amplifier made his hair fly, his blood pump. The knocking got harder. He could hear it over the music now.

-Keep it down, will you? John mumbled, turning the music up to full volume. The bass made the floor shake, the walls, his mind and heart. He kept dancing.

There was something disturbing the rhythm. Something off balance, the room was shaking out of style. Disco John looked at the door. It was moving. Out of the entrance window he saw the neighbor standing on the veranda outside. Damn, was he ugly. No wonder he never went out. The slamming got harder, so hard the door was threatening to break.

-Hey! Be careful with the door!

The edges  were bulging in. The neighbor was making some horrible sounds outside, screaming louder than his speakers. Damn, was he pissed. And strong. Too strong. John held on to the door.

It was giving in. Tentacles came in over it, around the edges. John put his weight on.

-OK, OK, I’ll turn it down! Relax, dude!

The door gave in. John fell back, holding the door to keep the neighbor away as he came pouring in through the opening like toothpaste out of the tube.

-Calm down, dude! John crawled backwards into the room. The neighbor came in, his tentacles holding on to the walls.

-Calm down! I’ll turn it down, OK? John couldn’t be heard over the music.

The neighbor looked around the room. His eyes locked on the stereo in the corner. John’s new Skyfi Audio system. A grin spread over his hideous face… (more)

Weeds

Weeding his garden, Gerald looked up at the sky. The sun was down, but there was a strange light, this bizarre shine. He did not know why.

Something was sitting in his bushes, a strange little creature. It looked like a butterfly. Or a bat or something. Something weird.

He walked closer. It looked at him, moved its head to the side. It laughed. It laughed a wicked laugh, as if the joke was on him. Even though he had done nothing.

It flew off.

Gerald followed it. Walked behind it, through the garden. It flew slow, too slow, like it was defying laws of nature with its strange, nasty movements. Every once in a while it turned its little head, grinning towards him. It gave him the creeps, but he kept walking.

It flew over the fence to the neighbour’s garden. Gerald followed, even though he hated the neighbour, and the neighbour hated him.

It flew across the highway. Gerald followed. Cars came speeding by, beeping their horns.

He followed it down to the rocky beach, where the waves went high and violent. The beach where you couldn’t swim.

At the end of the beach there was a rock wall. In the wall there was a hole. Into the hole the little bug flew and disappeared.

Gerald looked into the hole.

He could see a light. Fire. Shadows moving, little creatures dancing around.

His little friend turned towards him. Its eyes were sharp, like ice, burning with the fire. Gerald realised he was the one for whom they were waiting.

The beach disappeared. The huge waves coming on the rocks, the sound, the humidity. All was gone.

Little demons were dancing around him, jumping, flying. Little monsters laughing at his old self, what he was, who he had become.

-Coward!

-Worthless old man!

He knew they were right. The heat burned his skin. Their words pierced his soul. He felt strong.

He was back on the beach.

The waves had calmed down.

The strange colour in the sky was still there.

He knew now, what he had to do… (more)

One With the Moment

Tranquillity. The sound of a bee going from flower to flower in a distance, a butterfly’s wings flapping. Silence.

She crossed her legs, lifted her hands. Fastened her eyes on a point in the wilderness. She let go.

The world beyond the present faded. Thoughts swept through her mind like leaves in the wind, like sticks in a river. Moving on to somewhere else. She observed them as they floated by.

The moment became her, she became the moment.

She saw things clearly here, from outside. She could see everything as they really where, freed from obsession, from her self.

She lifted above her problems, her desires. The grass underneath her left her body. She floated above the ground.

A scream. A bird far up in the sky, a predator searching the land. She felt the bird. The bird was her. She was the bird… (more)

Odin’s Visit

Since Christmas is a time for traditions (and I’m on holidays), I’m republishing this story about Santa’s early origins first published the first Christmas here on Fictionspawn Monsters, and then republished every year since. Happy Yule, everyone!

The celebration of the turn of the darkness had already started. The children were waiting for Odin to come with gifts, as they all thought they had been nice this year. Freidis knew Solvar had not. She hadn’t told anyone.

Solvar looked at her with a nasty grin. He knew as well. He knew. And he would do it again, she was sure of it. She hated him, but most of all she was scared. He wouldn’t get any gifts this year, she thought. He wouldn’t get any gifts at all… (more)

The Dead Man

-You’re late.

-Sorry, Jake. He put up a fight.

-A fight? He was supposed to be drugged.

-He was. I think he was, but he was fucking impossible to kill. We had to strangle him for ages.

-Well, get him in there and let’s get going… Wait… That’s not.. That not him, you morons!

-What do you mean it’s not him? It has to be! He was the only one there!

Ted and Jeremy dropped the body on the ground.

-I know his fucking face! That’s not Byron, I tell you.

-Now what the hell do we do? Ted scratched his head.

-Well, we still have a body to get rid of. Jeremy pulled the dead body’s leg..

-Aaaaaahhhh…

-What was that?

-He made a sound. Jake poked him with his shovel.

-Aaammmmmaaaaahhh…

-He’s alive, goddamnit! Can’t you stupid fuckers do anything right? You were supposed to do one little simple thing, bring him here dead, and you come with the wrong guy, and he’s fucking alive! How stupid can you be?

-He’s not fucking alive, asshole, and you better be careful who you… Ted took a threatening step closer.

Jake slapped him in the face with the shovel. Ted fell on the ground, stayed there with his face in the grass.

Jeremy grabbed the shovel, pulled it. Swung Jake off his feet. He fell on top of him, punched him in the face.

-You fucking lunatic! Take that! And that!

Jake’s eyes widened, looking over Jeremy’s shoulder. Jeremy turned his head. Weight came down on him.

-Oooooooooaaaaaahhhhh…

The dead man sunk his teeth into the back of his head… (more)