next book’s coming (!?SOON?!)–progress coming here. Here? Here. I’ll post updates here. Daily?! DAILY, THAT’S A COMMITMENT 😡
“WHAT IS IT?” A collection of short stories: ghost stories, mystery, drama, some light horror, AND ROMANCE?! ;O wink wink
first major work I’m going to publish where I’m gonna try to not hide under EPIC IRONY. No jokes here, no GIGGLES, no LAFFS. I’ve always wanted to write stuff that wasn’t BULLSHIT. But God, I’m scared. Oh well.
Sequel for Rodrigo’s coming along too, but I’m terrible at dividing my attention. It’s actually coming along so nicely that I don’t know which I’ll finish first, even though I *WANT* to prioritize the “serious” project. But I don’t want to… I don’t… it’s just so… I can’t think right now, I need to go lie down.
Everything hurts, I can’t breathe, I’m hot, and I feel like I’ll never be at peace as long as I live.
What was I s– oh yeah, I’ll start posting updates of that here too. I really need to reorganize the entire site… I really don’t like wordpress… ive complained about this before…
whatever. better updates coming soon.
Anyway, the following’s part of one short that will be in the book. I hope you enjoy it. No title yet, not ending yet, no idea where I’m going with it yet. No idea where I’m going myself…
“There’s nothing here,” reported the bald man. “The whole house is empty. Nothing but junk.” He dropped a bag at my feet.
“Of course there’s nothing here,” said the big guy. “He was lying.”
I turned to face them and the big guy was pointing his rifle at me. I raised my hands. I wasn’t lying. There was more here before! Food, furniture, everything! I never thought I was that afraid of dying, but my ears began to ring.
Then behind him, I saw her standing in the front doorway. The bald man saw my eyes and turned to look at her. He turned back at me with an eyebrow raised.
I was relieved. See? I wasn’t lying. She must have moved all the stuff.
“Behind you,” I said to the big guy, my hands still raised, his gun still trained on me. “She’s there!” I could barely hear my own voice. I looked at the bald man pleadingly.
The big guy didn’t turn from me, but glanced over at the bald man for confirmation. He just shook his head. “There’s no-one there,” the bald man assured him. My nerves shot straight back up and the ringing nearly deafened me. He wanted the big guy to just kill me.
I saw her say something, but I could hardly hear anything.
They both spun around, surprised. Okay, I was saved.
After a second, the big guy spoke. His voice was just barely loud enough for me to make out what he said. And then it was as if I’d received a blow to the head. My vision grew blurry, and I stumbled back.
He had asked “Who’s there?”
The girl scowled. She moved closer and spoke again.
The big guy raised his gun straight at her for a moment, then moved it just to her side. His voice raised to a yell. “Come inside slowly!” But there was uncertainty, fear in his voice. He’d pointed his gun correctly the first time. Somewhere inside he knew she wasn’t hiding behind the doorway. Her voice had come directly in from him.
She started walking towards him. I watched but said nothing. Her eyes glanced at me once, twice, and then she turned her head and watched me as she moved.
The bald man was very perceptive. He looked back at me, and he saw where my eyes were. Following her approach. The color left his face in an instant and he dashed away from the big guy’s side, just as she reached him and held out her hand. The big guy fell to the floor.
The bald man turned to me. But I couldn’t understand what he was saying at all.
The girl must have spoken again. He recoiled from her and cried out loud enough for me to hear.
He hesitated for a split second, eyeing his companion, but then took off and ran out the door.
The girl watched him leave then turned to me. As if being pushed, I backed up against the wall.
And as she approached, the pressure increased. I sank down to the floor. And she bent down to meet my face. She touched my forehead gently. The crushing pressure in my head finally released, the ringing stopped, and at last I could hear more than my own breathing. And she spoke again.
I understood then.
“I can’t hear your voice,” I said to her. She smiled warmly and moved her fingers slowly down my eyelids.
When I opened my eyes, the Sun had set. And she was gone.
I felt safe enough to stop and take the big guy’s equipment, then I emptied the bag of junk the bald man had collected. It really was mostly junk, but among it was a framed family photo. And there she was inside it, flanked by her parents, looking at me. Smiling warmly. I dared to take it with me.
On my way back home, I almost tripped over the bald man, lying on the path not fifty feet from the house. He didn’t have much that I wanted. But I took it anyway.
The older guys had never warned us about that place. But we should’ve known by them never going there. Plenty of places weren’t worth the risk, whatever the risk was.
“You saw her, right?” one whispered to me when I came back home. I nodded.
“Either you see them or you hear them. Never both. For most people it’s neither.” he said.
“Them.” I knew I had seen others in the woods before. Never on the trail, but never very far off.
“She doesn’t want to be heard,” another veteran said. “If you hear her, you’re dead.”
I knew it was a stupid question even as it left my mouth: “What does she sound like?”
But he answered anyway. “Well, I’d imagine she sounds like a young girl.” All but one man laughed. After we’d eaten, I confronted him away from the others.
“I’ve heard her,” he told me.
I didn’t know what to say to that, so I just looked at him. He continued.
“If you go back and get something for me, I’ll tell you what she sounds like.”
“Some deal,” I said. “She didn’t kill you, right? You can go back yourself.”
His voice broke. “I can’t bear to hear her like that.”
Familiarity? Something clicked and suddenly I recognized him.
“Please,” he continued, “I don’t have much. But I’ll–”
I interrupted him. “A picture?” I asked.
He nodded and his eyes filled with hope.
I told him to wait. I went into my tent and returned with the picture. He saw it in my hands as I approached, and a sad smile grew on his face as tears dripped from his eyes.
“This is you,” I said pointing at the man in the photo. “And your wife… and your daughter?” I pointed at the girl.
“Yes,” he whispered.
I didn’t ask him anything else that night. I told him to keep the photo.
But I was still curious about something he had said.
A few days later, I returned to the house with the photo. The old man didn’t want to keep it. He just wanted to see it once more before he died. It made more sense for her to have it.
She was standing in the doorway, smiling. She said something, and I raised my hands and shrugged. She laughed silently. I handed her the picture, and her smile disappeared.
“I met your father,” I said. “He misses you.”
She whispered something, but didn’t look at me.
“I brought something for you,” I told her.
I took my bag off my back and took out a pencil and a pad of paper. She couldn’t resist laughing at the solution and clapped her hands together. I heard the clap.
She took them them from me and jotted down her words. She held up the pad to me.
“He told you about me?”
I shook my head and lied. “He refused.”
I didn’t want to tell her what he had told me. What would be the point in telling her that her father had to drink himself to sleep? That her voices haunted his dreams each night? Her voices.
“Not one voice. A pack of hungry wolves if they could talk. Deep, horrible. Evil. I understood every word, but I couldn’t understand why they were coming from my little girl’s mouth.”
He might not have been able to stand it, but I couldn’t even hear her. And she’d saved my life. I wasn’t afraid of her.
She invited me inside, and once again, I saw a perfectly clean and living home. Not the empty, abandoned house I’d returned to with the two men.
“How are you doing this?” I asked her.
She shrugged and lied down on a sofa where the big guy’s body had fallen just a few days ago. I sat down at her feet.
I talked to her for a while, and she answered my questions as best as she could, which wasn’t very well at all. Frequently, she would forget and try to speak to me, and put her hand to her mouth to excuse herself. I tried not to imagine what she sounded like. The sounds that repulsed her own father. That were a death-sentence to anyone else. A few times, I was conscious of sounds of nature outside, and I’d remember that I wasn’t truly deaf. My deafness to her felt like a thin barrier between myself and a nightmare I couldn’t understand.
But that horror was separate from her. She was nothing but pleasant to me.
After a while I asked her if she wanted to see her father again. She nodded, but wrote something else.
“They won’t let him come here.”
I didn’t ask who they were, but I knew she must have meant the others I had seen. I asked if she’d go to him instead and she scribbled her answer.
“He’ll die if I leave.”
I assumed she was still speaking of them. I asked her if I was safe on the trail and she nodded.
“If you want, I can bring him a message,” I regretted the words as they came from my mouth. Why was I volunteering to be a courier?
HOPE YOU ENJOYED THAT SNEAK PEEK AND DIDNT THINK IT WAS TOO STUPID. CYA LATER GATOR