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)

Bonfire Stories

“Your turn, Nico. You tell a story.”

“OK, I’ll tell you a story.” Nico filled his cup from the bucket of water. How he loved being here, deep into the forest, where the water was fresher than any water you’d buy in town. “I’ll tell you a story you’ve never heard anything like. And it’s true. All of it.”

“Yeah, yeah. Just tell the story, asshole.”

Nico shut up for a moment, took a deep breath. His eyes moved to Gerald, then back into the fire.

“There was a forest, pretty similar to this one. A forest where no one knew what lived and lurked. It was too dense, too strange, too dark.”

Gerald giggled. “Yeah, just like this one.” Nico sent him a glare. His smile faded. “Go ahead.”

“One night, a hunter went into the forest, walked far and long, looking for beasts for trophies. He went where no man had ever walked before. He found a lake. There he waited for the beast.”

“What kind of beast?” Bill was enjoying the story

“Any kind, just as big as possible. The biggest, fiercest beast in the woods.. And he waited. The sun went down.”

The darkness was getting denser. Gerald put some more logs on the fire. Nico stared into the shadows between the trees.

“He heard a roar. A deep, dark roar from somewhere far into the woods. He smiled in the darkness, knew the time had come. He got his horn out, blew it. It made a long, organic sound. The sound of prey.”

They heard something in a distance… (more)

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)

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)

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)