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Fear and Fervor – A Patreon Fiction

Today’s fiction is an excerpt from this month’s Patreon work. I’ve combined my two favourite genre’s – Romance and Horror – with a dash of Lovecraftian influence. Enjoy!


Up upon the attic’s bare wooden floors, in the bodega of Casa Del Potro, between discarded paint bottles and torn canvas. Therein lies the young male we know only as Eduardo. He sits with his back against the raised mattress, naked save for a pair of dirty boxers. They reveal the stringy black threads of hair covering his legs and arms and have begun to crawl past the navel to his chest. Smudges of paint cover some of his brown skin, and the whites of his hands are lost to a swirling grey rainbow of colour.

He sleeps deeply and soundly. The dark tendrils of oily curled hair tumbled down to his chin like a frayed curtain. Near his bare feet lies a canvas still heavy with wet paint. Each corner holds a random item that keeps the canvas from rolling in. An iron stands in one corner, the severed cord wrapped in dark tape. In another corner is the one half of Eduardo’s wearable Jordan’s, the bottom half yawning with yellow strands of loosening superglue. The foot of an aged table, and one of the three metal stools keep the remaining corners down.

Caressed over canvas is a visage of improbable beauty. Flaxen tresses that divulge in hues of orange and red cascading down the back. Golden braids coil the hem of the snowy dress that sits below the smooth skin of bare shoulders. An elegant face gazes out at the viewer with gleaming emerald orbs that reach into the soul and tug it to the surface. Pert upturned nose sits perfectly on the symmetrical face above thin pursed lips. There is a haunting glare accentuated by her slightly raised brow, as though she notices something behind the viewer. Perhaps she feels the tiny pinpricks of an insect crawling up her leg below the separation of canvas and real life.

Or perhaps her gaze from canvas onto reality bears a truth she wishes not to comprehend. The artist, a living soul, tethered to the encroaching darkness ignorantly rejected as merely death. Only she, the portrait, the art, the creation, has any semblance of what awaits beyond the veil.

There is more to this corporeal existence than we can see. More beyond the ethereal presence that on occasion slinks along our spine with icy tendrils.

I will tell you the story of Eduardo and his paintings for it is a story that must be told. Perhaps it shall restore the madness that rattles my bones like arthritis.

Pray the madness does not pass on to you, for there is no fetter back to this blessed ignorance.


 

Friday Fiction: Wattpad Excerpt

As you might know (some of you definitely know), Friday’s are usually Microcosmsfic days, where 3 elements are spun and a bunch of us write a 300 word flash fiction using those elements. The prize is prestige and an opportunity to judge the next round. Last Friday I wrote a Fable called The Man and the Mice and to both my surprise, and glee, I actually won that week’s Microcosmsfic, both picked by the Judge and the Community. *Swoons*

So I wont be entering this Friday as I will be judging the entries. You can, however, enter the comp here: MicrocosmsFic.com Write great stories!

I actually loved writing that fable, and you can read the whole process of how I came up with the story, on my Patreon page (free) here: Inspiration Behind The Man and the Mice

Fridays are also days when I post a chapter of my novella, Innocence, on Wattpad. The premise follows four police officers and a young doctor, who illegally execute a known killer. Now someone (or something) is stalking them.

Here’s an excerpt from the next chapter. Innocence – A Wattpad Novella


The room spins as body leans forward to reach for the fallen injection. The body slumps onto the warm wooden floor with a soft thwack. Eyes glaze over the irregular lines that mark each thin, individual piece of floorboard.

The rows of polished plank begin to sway.

Bend.

Lurch.

They curl upward from the ground and wiggle free from their confines. Oversized gunk drips wet, grey splotches over the curling floorboards, coating them in their mucous membrane and form egg-shaped heads. The droplets slither over the wood, every drip causing the planks to writhe to life. The curled heads wiggle upwards like cat-sized maggots, squirming as the slime devours the wooden meat sack that was once the floor. Together, in rapid gyration they turn to the body on the floor in a unison of tiny beady eyes. Black as coal. Tufts of slick hair drape over the left side of their bulging heads. The gunk continues to drip over their tiny humanoid faces.

The giggles contract into hicks of breathless inhalations, gurgling with saliva dripping down the gawking mouth, then rising into a crescendo of strangled chortles winding into wild screeching.

The maggots skitter as though the sound invigorates them. They skid forward from their coiled perch in frenzied slurping shuffles. They climb over the body in a mesh of wriggling appendages.


What are you currently writing?

Friday Fiction: The Man and the Mice

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: Inventor, setting: Laboratory, and genre: Fable.


A Man sought to build a machine, to cure an illness that beset his child. He dug a hole as big as a room below his house and turned it into a laboratory. 

Many days and nights he spent there. Toiling away in the hopes of finding a cure. Yet when he finally concocted one, he feared it would kill his child if untested. 

He noticed then, many Mice that roamed about the laboratory in search of food. 

“Mice. Pray I ask thee a favour.”

The Mice, having seen the man’s compassion for his child, approached the Man without fear,

“Man, what asketh thee?”

“Merely of your labour as my assistants. My child is sick and I require your tenacious perseverance to find a cure.”

“And what shall be our fee?”

“I will build for thee a house of glass, where I shall feed you, provide water, and build you a wheel for leisure. You shall want for nothing.”

“That would please us greatly.” The Mice replied, feeling pleased at having to no longer scrounge for food.

The Man made true on his promise, and built a large house of glass with bowls filled with food, and bowls filled with water. Wheels and tunnels traversed the house where the Mice roamed freely. Beds of hay allowed the mice to repose without fear.

Then, the time came for the Mice to assist the Man, and aghast they watched a fellow Mouse pulled from the bottom of the cage, for that is what is was, and onto a metal platform to be punctured by a needle full of the supposed cure. 

The Mouse died in agony. When the Mice complained, the Man replied

“Sometimes you must sacrifice the many, for the one.”


Totally loved writing this. If you’d like to see the thought process behind this weeks Microcosmsfic, come read it on my Pareon page. It’s free to read so please come check it out.

Friday Fiction: ‘Til Proven Innocent

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: Business Person Transport : Car Genre: Crime


Schultz-Werner Automobil were renowned for their reliable vehicles – German engineering at its finest. The death of corporate magnate, Herr Michael Götze, came as a shock, more so when the story revealed that he’d died in a SW Automobil sedan. Once the coroner confirmed he’d died before the crash of a crushed oesophagus, however, the media was in uproar.

I was in uproar. 

Herr Götze had promised to appoint me next-in-line at SWA before we helped move him along to the next life. Only it seemed someone else had beat me to it.

A hurried board meeting was called by the higher-ups that same evening of the crash, where they duly informed us that Herr Götze’s Will had been amended earlier that day and the details would only be revealed in the next official meeting where his successor would be named.

“Aren’t you his successor?” Julian whispered to me as we somberly stalked out of the board room. As usual, he carried a stench of aftershave that bordered on toilet spray.

“How do you know that?” I hushed back at him.

“Everybody knows. You were his favourite.” he placed a hand on my shoulder, “They think you did it.”

It was then I noticed that stares from the solemn employees around us, suspicion drawn on their furrowed brow.

“Well I didn’t.”

Julian shrugged, then ambled off hurriedly as though my supposed guilt was contagious.

I arrived home to find the door ajar. I’d seen enough movies to know I should probably call the police. Twenty minutes later two bulky officers pushed through the door before me to a condemning sight. Frau Götze sat in a pool of her own blood, her husband’s tape recorder in her hand. The one we used to plan his death.

I had been set up.

 

Friday Fiction: Frank

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: Marshal’s Sidekick Setting: Dodge City Genre: Horror


Frank Reynolds, Marshal of Dodge City, died with an arrow to the eye. The same arrow pinned to my pillow where turning my head had brought it to my attention. I immediately rolled off the bed and hauled the rifle from under the bed onto my shoulder with the speed of a viper.

Nothing stirred.

Bella was not in bed and it churned my gut like butter. How had I not heard the intruder enter nor Bella leave? I rose quickly, assessing the wooden shaft lodged within the feathered padding. The arrow was adorned in intricate gold and emerald fletching from our Indian neighbours. I recognized the design like I would Ma’s face. I, Frank’s second-man, was the one who drew the bow after all.

A screech resounded from the front room. I dashed out to a feverish Isabella standing under the streaming sunlight cascading her shimmering, tilted silhouette. Her frock was in disarray, bonnet clutched to fluttering bosom as she gazed at the floor. Her bare feet stood in a viscous pool of yolk-hued liquid.

“Bella, what’s going on?”

“Frank?”

Her voice gurgled as though under water.

“Bella? It’s me, William.”

I stepped closer, avoiding the spillage. Iced pins prickled my chest. I fought the thrum rattling my bones – smoothed the aroused hairs along my nape with trembling hand.

“William?”

She began a slow swivel, golden rays refining her locks to dazzling white tresses. The first thing the glare revealed was the braided tongue-like cord, and the dangling pulped egg that was her eye.  My gut lurched with the stench wafting from the gaping abyss that was the rest of her cragged, hollowed face.

“He’s coming Will.” a greyed tongue languidly dripped yolk rivulets to the floor. The muck broiled, a single eye floating to the surface. Frank.

Friday Fiction: Birth of a Villain

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: Sarcastic Butler Setting: Skyscraper Genre: Memoir


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The staples in his abdomen had ripped out again, this time purposefully. Master “Gestirn” Goldstein barely flinched as he removed blood drenched, clear plastic bags from his bulging gut. The carpeted floor of the penthouse loft was covered in vital fluids. Schneider Skyscrapers were going to need a good clean-up crew. As a butler, I cringed.

“Pass me the tray.” He wheezed.

I of course obliged, manoeuvring past dead FBI agents strewn about the sparse room to the tray angled awkwardly in one man’s skull.

“Will you be serving me then, for once?”

Master Goldstein merely smiled, and watched amused as I struggled to remove the tray. It was difficult with all the blood. It was also lodged quite deep.

“I didn’t know you took drugs, Kristoff.”

“Only when you’re around, Sir. I may need some after this.”

“You’ll get used to it eventually.” Master Goldstein stood then, skin flapping over the spandex pants he wore – the only item of clothing on him. He had no intestines.

“Well yes, when you were a caped crusader for justice. Who are you now, Robbing Hood?”

He laughed as he casually removed the tray from the man’s skull. His laugh was a breathy, whistling sound from the constrictions in his body; an internal scar and his arch nemesis’ greatest achievement.

“I’ve found other ways to make a living now. A new body with a new function. I’ve been brought back to life.”

“Well that’s good for you Master Franken-Stein.”

Master Goldstein placed the bags on the tray, crushed powder in some, pills in others.

“Franken-Stein. I like it.” He swept a gnarled hand through what was left of his golden mane. The charred scars of his face made him look like the monster he was becoming – or perhaps, had already become.


I may have missed the memoir part. *laughs nervously

Friday Fiction: Confessional

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: I’ve Always Been Crazy Setting: Village Genre: Crime


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“It’s getting worse Father.”

Francois knelt within the narrow confines of the confessional. Sweat trickled down his temples but his clasped hands shivered uncontrollably.

“The Lord knows our struggles. He sees all and knows all. He will never give you more than you can handle.” The voice replied from beyond the wooden grating separating confessor from absolution.

“I understand that Father but… I literally felt as though my hands were wrapped around her neck and…  and I was squeezing. Squeezing. Squeezing! Her neck…” Francois’s whole body began to shiver. Sweat continued to trail down into his collar, while a hollowness suffused his chest and clutched at his heart.

“It was merely a dream my child, perhaps manifestations of impure thoughts you harbour towards her or her sinful occupation?”

“I don’t even know her.”

“And yet you recall her with clarity? The Lord said, if you hate your brother in your heart then you have similarly committed murder. Do you hate her?”

“No Father! I… may have seen her once? Maybe?”

“Are you certain my child? You are safe in the house of the Lord.”

“I…” Francois searched his memories and could recall nothing concrete. A flash of someone but it was hazy. Fragmented. “Perhaps I’ve always been crazy Father.”

“Ephesians tells us our battle is not against flesh and blood, but the forces of darkness.” A sombre silence filled the air. “Pray ten Hail Mary’s. Tonight, I will visit again for special communion.”

The priest’s door clicked open and suddenly a familiar scent filled Francois’ nose. He looked out the glass portal of the confessional and watched the priest slip a tattered blouse into his vestments. A familiar blouse. He shook his head and turned back to prayer, the suspicion overshadowed by his guilt. He soon forgot about the blouse.

Friday Fiction: The AGA

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: Songwriter Setting: Village Genre: Aga Saga


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Vanessa sneered at the aged AGA. A bulky, 3-door cooker sitting against the kitchen wall like a squalid interloper. It’s front creame-coloured door was peeling to reveal the shiny metallic interior. From the back, a pipe ran along the wall and attached to the black bent-tube boiler built into the wall.

“Shall you fix it then?”

The village Engineer wiped his forehead with a grimy handkerchief.

“I’ll try my best mam. We been doin’ more Aether-boiler jobs than steam… and this is very old.”

“Well I ask you do to more than just try. This is an heirloom sir, it best be fixed.”

“Of course, mam.”

She saw the scowl creasing his wrinkled face, smudged with soot like the lower-class civil servant he was.

“I’ll be in the Drawing Room. Find me when it is done.”

She whirled away in a flurry of ruffles flaring from her crinoline. Like an inverted rose, the scarlet dress flared around her hips, silk crawling up to the high-collar styled with intricate golden gears. Although the daughter of the Royal Engineer – she drew no correlation between her father and the man in her kitchen.

“Must you always be so rude, Vanessa?” mother asked without lifting her head, seated with a cello angled away from her knees.

“Is he not below us?”

“Your privileged ancestry began with a man very much like him.”

Vanessa glided across the carpeted floor and gazed out the window. The village, once further away, now loomed closer. Threatening to overtake.

“Do we not come from a family of cabaret singers, song writers and… whatever it is you do mother.”

Mother raised her eyes and sighed,

“Much like the AGA you despise so, the future catches up to us. Apart from your class, what shall you offer to it?”

Friday Fiction: Thimble

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: Seamstress Setting: Second-hand Shop Genre: Crime

I am the guest Judge for today’s Microcosms Fic, so please do drop by and honour us with your flash fiction.


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“Come in child.” She said from the doorway. Her raven hair, streaked purple under the hanging light, had been tied into a bun that pulled her face taut. Jade eyes gleamed with the cluster of gold hanging around her neck, watching the man hesitate on the porch of the second-hand shop simply named Thimble.

“Thank you.” he tucked the fedora under his arm and slipped within the gloom, hands clutching and unfurling as his gaze swept around the room. Racks lined the walls and twisted across the room, pouring with various sewing machines likely seen in an antique shop. The air swam with incense and lavender over the musk of perfume she wore.

“I’m looking for…”

“Hush. Follow me.”

She trailed a shawl that matched her hair. Arms raised like T-Rex claws led to limp hands adorned with jewels on arched fingers, leading the way into the establishment. They traipsed through the maze of shelves toward a table where a sewing machine sat to the side of it. Two high-back wooden chairs had been arranged across each other. The woman plunked down into one of them.

“Sit.” She raised her eyes at him until he carefully slid in. Clasped hands rested on the table. They sat in silence while the woman stared.

“It’s my wife!” he finally shouted, then sheepishly lowered his head, “It’s my wife.” he said softer.

“I am well aware. That is why you came to me. For protection, yes?”

He nodded. His adam’s apple bobbed as he swallowed. Eyes scanned the room nervously.

“What is your fee?”

Now it was her turn to rest her hands on the table, laid flat over one another,

“No charge at all.”

A smile edged his lips in uncertainty,

“The body… is in the trunk of the car.”

Friday Fiction: Broadcast

Today’s Friday Fiction is courtesy of microcosmsfic.com. 300 word short story using the following elements.

Character: Newscaster Setting: Snowdrift Genre: Romance


“Good e…e…evening South Africa. I am T…Thandiswa Nkomo, and th…th…this is Live News. It has…s…s been q…q…quite an eventful year, h…h…ere in the u…usually sunny southern hemisphere, with po…po…political debacles, br…broadcast agency fiascoes, water cr…crises, and presidential skirmishes…s…s. However, if y…y…y…you look be…hind me, at the cas…cascading snow that has c…c…completely encompassed most of the Johannesburg CBD, you…you will realise that this weather ph…ph…phenomenon overshadows a…anything that 2016 has brought.”

“T…t…traffic has come to a co…complete standstill and drivers ha…have evacuated their vehicles in the f…f…fear of being trapped under the biggest s…snowstorm to ever hit Joburg. What is u…u…usually a bustling metropolis, pe…ppered by street vendors, pedestrians from all wa…walks of life, and the ever present b….blaring of taxi horns, has become a de…desolate, icy wasteland.”

“I c…can’t do… this.”

*

“Ahem. Evening folks, you watching at home along with us here at the Live News studios, are witnessing a brave young lady and an exceptional camera crew, who are trapped at the corner of Marshall and Mooi Street. Thandiswa Nkomo is…

“Is she back? Can she – she will? Okay.”

“We return to Thandiswa and crew…”

*

breathes

We do not know how long this snowstorm will continue for. Emergency services are unable to get through the piles of snow that have blocked every road into and out of Joburg. We’ve managed to get some heating but I can tell from the camera crew that it won’t last long. This may be… our final broadcast.”

breathes

“My name is Thandiswa Nkomo. Twenty four years old. My crew consists of Pieter Kroukamp, camera man and Ian Markus, technician. It has been a great honour to serve you as part of Live News.

sniffs

To our families and loved ones…

sniffs

To Lesedi Musi, my fiancee…

*End of broadcast.

this-is-my-truth-now

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