Dreams - Angry Hourglass
“Little pig, little pig, let me come in,” whispered the voice in the dark.
Maisie giggled beneath her duvet, she loved the creepy games Daddy played. Being scared was her favourite thing.
“No, no by the hair of my chinny chin chin,” she laughed in reply.
“Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down,” said the voice and she felt warm air tickle the top of her head. She giggled again. Waited. But when she peeked out Wolf Daddy had gone. Her dreams that night were filled with the sound of squealing swine.
“Sleep well, darling?” asked her father next morning at breakfast.
“Yes, Daddy,” she said, stretching and yawning. “I had a lovely dream.”
He smiled absently at her before returning his attention to the stock market downturn, another late night ahead he thought but at least this time he had got in before dawn. And Daniel was around … somewhere.
When Maisie got home from school she found a note. Daddy would be late. She smiled, not in the least concerned. He was always back in time for her bedtime story. She drank a glass of milk, dreamily gazing out of the window at the sun slowly setting on the horizon … blood-red, her favourite colour. Time for bed it told her. She brushed her teeth carefully, picked up Teddy and snuggled down once more. And waited. She heard a door. Footsteps on the stair. A creak by her bed. Daddy.
“Here comes the candle to light you to bed,” he crooned. “Here comes the chopper to chop off your head.”
A soft kiss and then he was gone. Her dreams that night were filled with the sound of axe on wood.
When she woke in the morning she opened her eyes to a wonderful surprise. Her walls were now crimson! Daddy had re-decorated for her as she slept. Maisie stepped over the body on the floor and made her way to the kitchen. She put down the axe and poured out her cornflakes, thought about her pig brother in the basement. At least she wouldn’t have to share her chocolate milk with him.
Jeremiah’s Birthday - Microcosms HM
(Required elements: disturbed teenager, Sussex village, horror)
His meds had worn off and Josh could only watch helplessly as his hand defied him yet again, ripping at old wounds so he bled anew. The moon averted its gaze from his shame; instead tactfully washing over the silent Weald, Burwash slumbering below, blind, deaf and dumb. Just like Jeremiah Pardon. Even at this distance Josh could see the old man sitting on his porch, his chair rocking back and forth, creaking out an iron rhythm, creating an invisible chain between them. He could swear Jeremiah was looking straight at him. Was he really blind? Suddenly he needed to know. Josh walked back, along the dead lane, into the dead village, past shrouded families coffined by night, drawn by the magnet of Jeremiah.
“Like nails on a board, isn’t it?” whispered a voice in his ear.
He jumped. Could’ve sworn it was Jeremiah but the man still sat in his chair, rocking.
“Like nails in your flesh.” This time on his other side.
“Like nails in your soul.” And finally Jeremiah stood in front of him - even as he still rocked in his chair. “Nails,” he repeated, as Josh tried to turn, to retreat but the chains pulled harder, pulled him closer, until he could see nothing but the ever-widening mouth as it turned from a sneer, to a grin, to a hungry void, snuffing him out like a candle, muffling his screams to a whisper.
The village continued to sleep as the youth turned his deadman’s shoes back towards the hill. Tomorrow it would wake to the annual tragedy that refused to go away. At the same time it would celebrate the longevity of one of its oldest inhabitants, Jeremiah Pardon.
Jeremiah patted his stomach contentedly. Thought of the birthday cake his neighbours would bring him.
A writer - I think that says it all.