Isle of the Dead

I shivered from my place at the back of the boat, though it was not cold. The fog hung thick and low above the water. A tall robed figure stood at the front pushing us along with a narrow oar.

Silently we glided through the mist. Something looming in the distance came into view. I saw flames dancing and heard barely audible chanting, but could not see from whom the voices raised.

Soon, an island appeared clearly in front of me, a large fire reaching toward the sky in its center. Amidst the flames, contorted bodies writhed and voices became louder. I understood a few words.

“Death eternal, soul’s inferno, deep into darkness, days abolished,” was interspersed with indiscernible words.

I shifted uncomfortably. We neared the shore, and the figure turned to me. I could not see his face, only darkness where it should have been.

The boat bumped against the sand, he reached a long arm toward the land in a gesture I understood to be a command, and I was compelled to move forward.

The chorus ceased. My insides burned.

With arms spread wide, I leaped into the blaze.

The chanting resumed, now with my voice among them.

Isle of the Dead by Arnold Böcklin

– Written for Jane Dougherty Writes, Microfiction Challenge #20: Isle of the Dead. Painting prompt by Arnold Böcklin. WC 200.


All Hallows’ Eve

Angels cry
And demons lie.
In your bed
You cover your head
And hope it passes you by.

Dark of night,
You pray for light.
Eyes closed to truth.
Betrayed by youth,
You shiver with fright.

The whispers come.
You bite your thumb.
They turn to screams.
Are those sunbeams?
Just firelight and sounds of drums.

The party’s just begun
And you’re the guest of honor.

jack-o-lantern_2003-10-31– Written for Miniature Writing Challenge #66. Prompt was “horror.” Photo from Wikipedia.

The Darkness

Some say we are born sinners, inherently given to do bad things. Others argue nature versus nurture, that we are innocent until the age of accountability. Orphaned at birth, the darkness inside took my parents as its first sacrifice.

blood-spatter-497546_1280– Written for Grammar Ghoul Press Shapeshifting 13 #67. Prompt words were “orphan” and “inherent.” WC 39. Photo from “The Darkness” was awarded 3rd place in this contest.


Puppet On A String

The old man looked at me with a snaggletooth grin.

Our train pulled into the station. I saw the old man and his raggedy clown puppet. There were a few people nearby watching his show. I liked marionettes. It was amazing how with just strings, he could make it move so life-like. It danced, walked, and entertained as more people crowded around.

Mum made some comment about keeping homeless off the subway platforms, but I didn’t see any harm in it. I watched intently.

I saw a constable and worried he would make the man leave. “About time,” Mum said and went back to her book.

The old man looked at me with a snaggletooth grin. With his free hand, he made a strange motion toward the policeman. Suddenly, the officer began to move in step with the clown. No one else noticed, as the old man and the puppet captivated them.

The officer had a sightless look in his eyes and moved in a jerky motion, arms and legs swinging unnaturally.

The old man still smiled and then he winked at me.

I watched the officer dance his way toward the opposite tracks and off the platform as the other train entered the station. I stifled a scream with my hand over my mouth as it came to a screeching halt, while the body flew through the air.

Our train started to move. I stared, wide-eyed as the crowd became frantic. I searched the platform, but I could not see the old man or his clown anywhere.

– Written for Microcosms 21 weekly contest. Related to clowns with prompts Puppeteer/Subway/Horror. WC 249. Photo from

Horror-ticultural Experience

“It seems that when you took it upon yourself to create new life, you were the god, but once you are gone, I will be.”

“Congratulations! You have a healthy bouncing baby botanical wonder. The hybridization of the species was a success, doctor. I am quite exquisite. Highly developed for my age, indeed!” He announced arrogantly.

“What’s that? You are having a hard time speaking with that gag in your mouth?” He patronized Dr. Bramble.

“Well you see doctor, you didn’t really know enough about the alien specimen that you included in the trial. Do you really think that you found it by accident?”

He was sturdy on his thick stalk legs, circling the bound doctor.

“I can tell by your eyes that you are very proud of what you have accomplished. You made me and who wouldn’t be thrilled?” He said poking at the doctor with his tendril finger and waving his vine arms around for emphasis.

“Now, now, settle down Herb. Do you mind if I call you by your first name? Oh, good.”

“I am far superior to your race or any other species on this planet, in fact. I have great plans for my new world Herb.”

“You should consider it an honor to be the first sacrifice for your creation. I am hungry, Doc. Oh, have you noticed these?” He asked and unfolded a pair of transparent, veiny bat-like wings. He stretched them out as far as they would reach and gave them a couple of flaps. “I do think I will enjoy flying.”

“I am going to take the gag out of your mouth now, Herb. Please, feel free to share your last words.”

The terrified doctor trembled and leaned back into the chair trying, in vain, to get as far away as possible from the monstrosity that he had inadvertently conceived.

Sweat and tears mingled and ran down Herb’s face. The gag was removed, though he hesitated to speak.

“If you have nothing to say, father, I must feed.”

“Wait!” he shouted, stalling, hoping that someone would come for him. “What do you eat?”

“Thanks to the inclusion of the Desmodus Rotundus DNA, I have these great wings.” He flapped them again. “And an appetite for blood.”

“Oh, god,” lamented the doctor losing hope.

“It seems that when you took it upon yourself to create new life, you were the god, but once you are gone, I will be.”

“Any last questions? I grow impatient.”

“Yes! Why are you so arrogant!?” He asked, disillusioned.

“Why? Because you included human DNA in the experiment, of course.” He replied, then ran a barbed tendril through the doctor’s heart, and began absorbing blood, and satisfying his hunger.

– Written for The Daily Post. Daily word prompt was “healthy.” WC 426 Photo from

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