Class Project – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

Class Project

Class_Project

A class project, how neat, thought the children – what fun we’ll have making masks to Trick-or-Treat! The scissors too sharp, the staples too biting, the matron of the classroom meticulously crafts each coveted headdress. She snips, and she clips; she rounds the corners just so as they watched in rapt fascination awaiting their turn. The ringing of the bell, other children screeching, running about in the corridor – it is Halloween after all. Her dead stare holds them still, scissors no longer moving. The echo of the last door slamming; quiet once more, she finishes the final piece. “Line up children, we’re going someplace special,” she whispers with a false smile. “To the basement.”

Fear twists their little faces, twists them so that they resembled him. Her shame burning, she helps each don their little ghostly shroud; a rainbow of hues. The trusting glint of childish glee returns, tugs at her heartstrings. Don’t all children deserve a treat on this night? Why should hers be any different; but then again, he was – different. She ushers them down the stairs, into a dank room. As she locks the door, she begins to hear the screams. She murmurs, “Happy Halloween, my sweet boy.”

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

(This is a 200 word comparative Flash piece that can be found in
the October 2014 issue of The Sirens Call eZine)

 


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop



Naked Feet – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

Naked Feet

I woke splayed awkwardly on a thin membrane that stretched as far as my eye could see. Disoriented at first, I realized there was no sound in this new place. I screamed; nothing echoed back to me, nothing but the sound within my own head. I stood and realized I was tethered to something, but I couldn’t see what. A rope protruded from my midsection. When I grasped it, I felt an overwhelming pain; it was slick and streaked my hand with filth. Quickly, I released it.

I began to walk on unsteady legs; the tether seemed endless and I walked for hours. The membrane beneath my naked feet bounced in concert with each step I took. There was a strange tangerine light here, one that shone brighter on the horizon. I traveled toward it, but it seemed the further I walked, the further away it continually became. My foot hooked on something and I stumbled. Looking down, I saw an arm. Startled, I fell backwards and landed with a soft pwoof on the surface – the first sound I’d heard since I’d arrived here. Looking around me, I could see the membrane was littered with debris, most of it human offal and limbs. How did I not see any of this before? How had I wandered unhindered for so long without stumbling until now?

I kneeled, wobbling as I did so, on the taut surface. I inspected the arm that had initially tripped me. Reaching out, I grasped it. There was a wedding ring on its third finger; it was clad in blood drenched fatigues. I ripped at the fabric like a madman until I finally uncovered the forearm. And there, where I had seen it so many times before, was the name of Pete’s son tattooed on the baby rattle he’d had inked on him the day his wife had given birth to their first and only child back in the real world. I began searching through the remainder of the wreckage. Bits and pieces identifiable; a magazine, shell casings, glasses, boots – photographs. More things than I cared to recognize. Still holding Pete’s arm, I crouched forward and wailed in despair and rage. This time the sound split the air as it slammed its way through this world, shattering the silence.

I reached down with my free hand and yanked on my tether – no not my tether, my umbilical, and pulled it free.

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop



Silly Bunny – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

Silly Bunny

Bunnies

Oh, what a lovely selection this year! Such cute little bunnies. Each with a cherubic face: round rosy cheeks, tiny pink lips, glistening wide eyes. I don’t know where to begin… I suppose I’ll just pluck one at random – what fun this will be.

They seem to grow uncomfortable when I try to coax the first one toward me. I don’t want to frighten them; don’t they know how I love my precious bunnies? I suppose the fidgeting and jostling should be expected as my impatience drives me to grab the first boy and drag him forward. Calming myself, I reach back in time and recall my grandmother’s instructions from when I myself was a youth.

“Everyone knows you start with the eyes. Nibbling them off the face is the first step. Then the ears. Yes, the ears. You begin on the right, taking small bites until you reach the crown – but don’t crack it! Breaching the skull at this point would be unforgiveable!” She would say with mock exaggeration. Giggling, we would begin peeling back the foil wrapper together. “Next, it’s the legs. Nibble, nibble, nibble! Once you reach the torso, it’s time for a final sugary treat – the bow tie. When I was a girl, I ate all the parts off my bunnies first, and then I would line up their leftover bodies to be devoured later!” She would always tickle me when she reached this part of the lesson.

The din of screaming children is a faint echo compared to the bliss of such a treasured memory. As my eyes open, I see the other bunnies gathered in the corner, scrambling and clawing at one another to climb out of their pen. Silly bunnies! You can’t get out… the wall is much too high, I chortle to myself. Then I notice the change – tears streak their once placid faces; their formerly rosy cheeks are now blotchy and rouged an ugly red. Both saddened and angered, I turn my attention back to the one I’m holding. I realize he’s squirming and shoving against my hand to be set free. My previous jubilant mood is beginning to sour. Why are they ruining this for me? Selfish little bunnies!

In my anger, I must have shaken him too hard – the little bunny is no longer struggling; blood is running in rivulets from his open mouth; his body dangles slack in my grip. Another Easter ruined. How I miss my gram and the delicious bunnies she would bring me every year; now I’m forced to collect my own. Glancing toward the corner, I see a few have given up and are sitting on the floor sobbing. The cacophony of terrified wails from the others has grown in volume and pitch. I wonder if gram was wrong. I wonder if I should set these bunnies free; they really are adorable, after all. Then I look down at the one dangling from my hand. A small smile begins to creep its way across my face. I’m a good boy, and I deserve these bunnies.

Everyone knows you start with the eyes…

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop



Testing – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

Testing

Tearing free of the straps binding it to the table, it slams its muscular body against the one-way mirror and snarls, “What have you done to me?” Its hideously deformed jaw and engorged tongue make the words nearly indecipherable. Saliva drips down the glass, its claws scratch angrily at the slick surface; the creature fights in vain to smash its way through three feet of impenetrable barrier.

From the other side of the glass, the doctor stands dead still, staring at the monstrosity thrashing against the window mere feet away. After an elongated pause, he orders, “Open Room Two.”

Without hesitation the operator does so.

As the door slides smoothly upwards into the wall, the staff can see a young woman crouching in the corner shielding two small children. Filth and vomit stain her T-shirt and jeans; their terror is palpable.

The monstrosity slowly swivels its head toward the open doorway leaving clumps of gelatinous flesh sticking to the glass; lips peel from its gums, a chunk of cheek clings to the surface, one eyelid ripped cleanly from its face. Sniffing the air, it abandons its attack on the window and drops to all fours, senses focusing on the three new beings invading its territory. After judging them no threat, it rises slowly to its full grotesque height.

“Excellent instinctual response. Specimen eighty-seven has locked onto the victims without provocation,” the doctor recites into the digital recorder he is holding. Folding his arms across his chest, he waits with the others in the control room – watching silently.

Still a good ten feet from the open doorway, the young woman clutches the children as she tries to push further back into the wall. Shaking uncontrollably, she can do nothing but shield the children’s eyes and wait.

The creature in the main chamber strides menacingly toward them. One clawed talon on the doorway, it ducks beneath the opening to Room Two.

“Switch to video feed.”  Monitors in the control room light up and display varying angles from within the multiple small chambers.

Pausing just inside the doorway, it sniffs again, fuller, stronger this time. Its vicious watery gaze assesses the three huddled forms before it. A slight distraction – pounding on the wall to the right. The young woman glances; the Goliath never wavers in its stare. The pounding is frantic; another woman’s voice howling in desperation from what must be a room next door. ‘God, is there another of these things?’ The thought flicks through the young woman’s mind.

Encouraged by her fear, it moves forward quickly, plucking a screeching child from her grasp. The woman in the other room seems to go mad; scratching, shrieking, thrashing beyond the wall.

Dangling the boy before it, the thing draws a long breath from the child’s mouth. It smells the boy’s blood, his vomit; it smells his fear. With one hand still holding the head, the other clawed fist shreds the boy’s body from its neck.

Snorting at the young woman clutching the girl, the monstrosity dangles the boy’s head above its mouth.  Still looking her in the eye, it pops the child’s head like an overripe melon with its clenching maw. It chews; it swallows. It then consumes the remainder of the head.

Lowering its own head in challenge, it flicks out a claw and rips the young woman’s T-shirt, sniffing at the putrescence staining it. Frozen in shock and fear, she does nothing. It grins. Reaching down slowly, almost gently, it lifts the remaining child from her numb limbs. The little girl struggles and begs; she tries to grab onto her would-be protector. There is nothing the young woman can do. She watches as it sinks its teeth into the squirming child’s midsection, splattering offal across the entire chamber, covering her in the little girl’s drippings. Chewing with slow delight, it continues to stare at the young woman cowering against the wall. It smells her rank terror; it sees her eyes dim as her mind slips to a distant place. It watches as her body goes limp then spasms uncontrollably.

All the while, the wailing from the room next door grows more incessant.

Awareness dawning, it recognizes the ability to reason, not simply act on impulse. It likes this feeling. Malformed knees bent backwards, it leans down and flicks the young woman’s head to the side.

It has a thought: useless.

It has a feeling: mild agitation.

It hears a sound.

Turning its head, it recognizes the scent that accompanies the untamed agony coming from the other room. Smiling, it abandons the useless mass of jittering flesh on the floor, and draws a gore smeared talon across the wall. The sound calms for a moment… only a moment… before the maniacal pounding and ear-splitting shrieks begin again.

It leaves Room Two, returns to the table in the center of the main chamber and stares with smug satisfaction at the one-way mirror. It believes it has won.

“Seal the chamber. Gas it.” The doctor orders. He then speaks into his digital recorder.

“Eighty-seven has shown marked improvement with cognitive awareness, careless brutality, and its ability to identify its own DNA. But it still does not choose to kill the stranger. Is it showing a degree of compassion?” He clicks off the recorder, tapping it against his chin while glancing up at the monitor showing him a single view of Room One.

Flicking the recorder on once more, he continues, “The reason for the test subject’s failure is still unknown. She should have been able to breach containment by now, saving her offspring. End session eighty-seven.”

Rubbing his exhausted eyes, the doctor turns to the others in the control room. “Let’s clean this up, and get her sedated as quickly as possible. She’s already gestating two new fetuses from number eighty-eight. We don’t want to endanger them anymore than we have to.”

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.

(Originally published in full on Pen of the Damned)

 


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop



Red and Blue – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

Red and Blue

I curl up next to the fireplace, rest my head against the surround. A goblet of heavy merlot in my hand; heavy for its body or heavy for my longing, I cannot say. As I stare into the crackling blaze, my mind wanders. So many memories from years gone by, so much love shared here, in this very room. My soul shrieks with grief as I collapse into a ball, sobbing.

The fire now a blur through wet eyes, my head lolls and I glance toward the tree with its twinkling lights, glittering balls and brightly wrapped packages tucked neatly below it. You always were such a perfectionist. My eyes flutter shut as the day you dressed the tree forces itself upon my mind. You were so happy, so blissful to pick the largest one available. I recall joking that one of us would have to move out so the tree could move in. You kissed me with icy cold lips and a bright red nose. Little did I know how soon I would long to feel that frigid touch once more. Your enthusiasm knowing no bounds, you spent the next week arranging everything just so; making sure that the colorful glass baubles were placed with precision, everything to an exacting measure. I recall jokingly moving a strand of tinsel when you were not watching, only to reenter the room moments later to find it placed back in its original position. The gifts. Oh, how you tortured me over the gifts long before the season began. A sad smile steals across my lips as I think of the hours you spent fretting over the perfect surprise for each of our friends. As I sip from my glass, a slight chuckle escapes me only to end in a sob as I recall your distress over wrapping each gift in the proper color foil. God, how you loved this day.

I think back upon the last evening I saw you. I was standing at the island between this room and the kitchen preparing dinner; you remembered one final detail that you couldn’t do without. I kissed you as you bounded past me, told you not to be long and that I loved you. You grabbed your coat from the hook and turned to me, purse in hand, golden locks bouncing and smiled before replying as you always did – not nearly the way I love you. I smiled back; you left. Two hours later, a knock sounded on the door. I wasn’t worried, you often became infatuated with something or other and lost track of the time. As I moved to open the front door, I noticed the bare flicker of red and blue light drifting in through the balcony doors. Seeing the officers standing upon the threshold, I walked to the glass, placed my palms and forehead to it, and knew in that moment… you were gone. When I came to after passing out, the officers helped me to the couch and explained that there was an accident at the corner – our corner, and a young woman had been hit by a car that ran the red light. You were that young woman.

My eyes crack open seeking a red light on the tree, your tree – our tree. But instead, my sight finds the red fairy lights you used to decorate the balcony. Barely able to stand, I stumble to the sliding doors. As I fumble to open them through my tears, the merlot in my glass pours onto the white carpet. My addled mind tells me how angry you’ll be if I don’t clean the deep burgundy spill right away. Finally managing the lock, I step through onto the bitterly cold veranda. Standing at the rail, I exist in a halo of red light, my long chestnut mane whipping in the wind. Another balcony, one belonging to our neighbor, is adorned in blue twinkling lights. I wonder why I’d not noticed it before now. The blue and red lights blur together as my inebriated mind struggles to adjust. Five stories below, more lights twinkle, cars rush past; the ground wears a fresh blanket of snow. I’m so tired, and the blanket seems so inviting. Please, don’t go without me – words I should have spoken that night. Letting myself lean forward, a blur of red and blue swirls all around me. I grasp the railing, sink to my knees and crawl back inside. Too much a coward to follow you; too devoted to allow your memory to die.

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop



Whump – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

Whump

The first sound I heard was the whup-whup of its wings; I could feel the pressure of the air pressing down upon me as the beast beat a steady rhythm above. I was being dragged toward it, dragged through a field of claws that scraped my skin, tore my clothes; ripped apart my mind. Whatever was dragging me had a firm grip upon my backpack and was grunting while it ran in a lumbering lurch. Fleshed in red, with pieces of luminous crystal protruding from its bark-like skin, something about it seemed familiar, but I couldn’t imagine why.

As we drew closer, creatures rushed from the dragon’s gaping maw, they hefted its green tongue, carried it aloft.

The thing dragging me halted. The others tried to grab me with their talons, lift me onto the dragon’s tongue. In my mind, I struggled; the entire time the whup-whup of the wings blinded me with coarse pellets carried on its breath. I was in the midst of an inferno. As I looked around, I saw flames licking the edges of this new hell. The dragon fought its foe with mighty plumes of spray.  The others rolled my limp form onto its side. The familiar one spoke, a glistening madness in its eyes as I rolled backward by no choice of my own and landed on the wyvern’s tongue.

Its rasping texture stung my flesh as it tasted my blood, molded to my form, began drawing me toward its maw. The beast’s minions trotted alongside, assisting the tongue as it serpentined its way back to its host. The closer we drew, the fouler the dragon’s breath became, until finally I was consumed through the yawning rift.

The beast took to the air. I could feel the rock and sway from within the cavern of its gullet. More creatures waited there; they began to pull me apart. They delved with their translucent hands into my gut, only to emerge covered in blood. I fought them with what will I had, but it was futile – one of their young smothered my face, pulsing noxious fumes into my lungs. When eventually they finished, all but one sat in stony silence. The attending creature looked down at me and spoke through some odd contraption it wore on its glistening face. It grasped my hand, spoke with a force I couldn’t deny, but force or not, I didn’t understand its words. My head lulled to the side drawn by the ever present whup-whup of the air as the wings continued to beat. As I began to lose consciousness, I saw a slit in its scales; an opening. With all that was left in me, I flung myself toward the fissure. The creature lost its grip upon my hand.

As darkness stole over me, my final sensation was one of falling.

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop



A Foul Day – Coffin Hop 2014 | #horror #COFFINHOP @coffinhop @Sotet_Angyal

A Foul Day

It moved! I swear on my mother’s soul I saw it move! Glancing up, I scan the faces surrounding the table trying to determine if anyone else saw the jerking motion. No one seems to have noticed; they’re all laughing and drinking, chattering away happily while waiting to be fed. I blink a few times to clear my eyes. I’ve been working too hard lately, putting in too many hours, that’s all. I raise the carving knife and fork, once more preparing to plunge them into the bird trussed before me. It fucking moved again! This time with an accompanying slopping sound. A bead of sweat breaks out on my upper lip; my wife is staring at me hesitantly. With both hands now resting on either side of the beast, I take a few slow, deep breaths to calm my overwrought nerves. A slight nudge comes from my right. It’s my wife, a strained smile on her face; she nods toward the foul creature. I nod back. Bringing the arm with the fork up, I dab at the dew above my lip and make an off-hand comment about it being roasting in here. Everyone laughs. A small shake of my head, I exhale and raise the knife once again to begin slicing the meat. As the gleaming instruments near the platter, I hear a voice in my head. ‘Go on ya piss-ant piece of shit – cut me open. Show everyone what a big man you are and gut me. Gut me like you gutted your wife when the doctor told her your sperm are useless. Ya didn’t have the balls to stick it to your wife and knock her up, and you don’t have the balls to stick it to me either!

What the fuck? My knees nearly buckle and my wife reaches out to steady me. I jerk my arm away. The room has grown quiet, the tension nearly palpable. I toss out another remark meant as a joke; the responding chortle is terse, fraught with unease. My wife is no longer smiling; she looks worried. I try to reassure her with a smile of my own, but a bare shake of her head lets me know she’s not buying it. ‘Ya do know she doesn’t have any faith in you anymore, right? She was expecting to marry a man, and look what she got – you! She knows about Terry, too,’ I almost utter a response. ‘Yeah, she’s known for the past month that you’re banging that bitch from work, she just doesn’t want to ruin the holidays for the family. Your ass is out of here as soon as the new year starts, buddy!

Sure that I’m pale as a ghost, I lean on the table for support once more. My head hanging, limbs trembling; the nervous tick of the fork tapping against a glass the only sound in the nearly silent room. My wife reaches over again and lays a hand on my forearm. I lash out to shove her away, forgetting that I’m holding the carving knife with that hand. We stare at one another in shock for a heartbeat before her body crashes forward into the china on the table; her throat sliced ever so neatly from side to side. As the crimson of her blood mixes with the pumpkin colored hue of the tablecloth, a slight gurgling is all that resounds. I look on in horrified disbelief, then one of the children in the room lets out a horrified screech. The demon starts again, ‘Ha! Look what you…’ I begin stabbing it with the fork and maniacally chopping it to bits with the blade while screaming incoherently. Everyone in the room is looking at me like I’ve gone insane. I try to explain about the turkey… not realizing I was still holding the knife… the pressure I’ve been under… but there isn’t a sympathetic eye in the small gathering. ‘You know what you have to do, don’t ya? If you don’t, they’ll lock you back up in the loony bin again.’ An icy cold sheet of acceptance washes over me as I move to the doorway, blocking my wife’s teenage brother from escaping.

I was really hoping this family would be different, not like the last…

© Copyright 2014 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.


Coffin Hop Goodies!

How do you get them? Comment on my Coffin Hop 2014 posts on this blog – I’m posting something new each day, so keep coming back for more chances to win. When will they be announced? When the hop ends (after October 31st). What are they going to be? A surprise! I like surprises, don’t you? ;}

Don’t forget to visit my other two blogs that are participating:
Spreading the Writer’s Word
The Road to Nowhere…

and the Sirens Call Publications blog:
The Sirens Song

Plus all the other amazing hoppers!
Coffin Hop



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