Original dark fiction and horror stories, authored and illustrated by myself, Timothy J. Whitcher, as well as updates on my creative projects. Also contains my musings on writing, both fiction and non-fiction, movies, comics and the paranormal... and anything else I damn well please.
Thought I'd post a story by one of my greatest influences, the one and only H.P. Lovecraft. I was introduced to Lovecraft through a book I purchased at age twelve through the "Schoolastic Book Club," through my Middle School. I have no idea if this program still exists, but I give it much credit for introducing me to Sci-Fi, fantasy and horror literature.
Written on December 12, 1920, the story still resonates today, and was the start of Lovecraft's delving into New England as a setting for horror, leaving gothic trappings behind.
Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down black cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and the desolate mountain are their shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths on uninhabited islands. But the true epicure in the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous.
Most horrible of all sights are the little unpainted wooden houses remote from travelled ways, usually squatted upon some damp, grassy slope or leaning against some gigantic outcropping of rock. Two hundred years and more they have leaned or squatted there, while the vines have crawled and the trees have swelled and spread. They are almost hidden now in lawless luxuriances of green and guardian shrouds of shadow; but the small-paned windows still stare shockingly, as if blinking through a lethal stupor which wards off madness by dulling the memory of unutterable things.
In such houses have dwelt generations of strange people, whose like the world has never seen. Seized with a gloomy and fanatical belief which exiled them from their kind, their ancestors sought the wilderness for freedom. There the scions of a conquering race indeed flourished free from the restrictions of their fellows, but cowered in an appalling slavery to the dismal phantasms of their own minds. Divorced from the enlightenment of civilisation, the strength of these Puritans turned into singular channels; and in their isolation, morbid self-repression, and struggle for life with relentless Nature, there came to them dark furtive traits from the prehistoric depths of their cold Northern heritage. By necessity practical and by philosophy stern, these folk were not beautiful in their sins. Erring as all mortals must, they were forced by their rigid code to seek concealment above all else; so that they came to use less and less taste in what they concealed. Only the silent, sleepy, staring houses in the backwoods can tell all that has lain hidden since the early days; and they are not communicative, being loath to shake off the drowsiness which helps them forget. Sometimes one feels that it would be merciful to tear down these houses, for they must often dream.
It was to a time-battered edifice of this description that I was driven one afternoon in November, 1896, by a rain of such chilling copiousness that any shelter was preferable to exposure. I had been travelling for some time amongst the people of the Miskatonic Valley in quest of certain genealogical data; and from the remote, devious, and problematical nature of my course, had deemed it convenient to employ a bicycle despite the lateness of the season. Now I found myself upon an apparently abandoned road which I had chosen as the shortest cut to Arkham; overtaken by the storm at a point far from any town, and confronted with no refuge save the antique and repellent wooden building which blinked with bleared windows from between two huge leafless elms near the foot of a rocky hill. Distant though it was from the remnant of a road, the house none the less impressed me unfavourably the very moment I espied it. Honest, wholesome structures do not stare at travellers so slyly and hauntingly, and in my genealogical researches I had encountered legends of a century before which biassed me against places of this kind. Yet the force of the elements was such as to overcome my scruples, and I did not hesitate to wheel my machine up the weedy rise to the closed door which seemed at once so suggestive and secretive.
I had somehow taken it for granted that the house was abandoned, yet as I approached it I was not so sure; for though the walks were indeed overgrown with weeds, they seemed to retain their nature a little too well to argue complete desertion. Therefore instead of trying the door I knocked, feeling as I did so a trepidation I could scarcely explain. As I waited on the rough, mossy rock which served as a doorstep, I glanced at the neighbouring windows and the panes of the transom above me, and noticed that although old, rattling, and almost opaque with dirt, they were not broken. The building, then, must still be inhabited, despite its isolation and general neglect. However, my rapping evoked no response, so after repeating the summons I tried the rusty latch and found the door unfastened. Inside was a little vestibule with walls from which the plaster was falling, and through the doorway came a faint but peculiarly hateful odour. I entered, carrying my bicycle, and closed the door behind me. Ahead rose a narrow staircase, flanked by a small door probably leading to the cellar, while to the left and right were closed doors leading to rooms on the ground floor.
Leaning my cycle against the wall I opened the door at the left, and crossed into a small low-ceiled chamber but dimly lighted by its two dusty windows and furnished in the barest and most primitive possible way. It appeared to be a kind of sitting-room, for it had a table and several chairs, and an immense fireplace above which ticked an antique clock on a mantel. Books and papers were very few, and in the prevailing gloom I could not readily discern the titles. What interested me was the uniform air of archaism as displayed in every visible detail. Most of the houses in this region I had found rich in relics of the past, but here the antiquity was curiously complete; for in all the room I could not discover a single article of definitely post-revolutionary date. Had the furnishings been less humble, the place would have been a collector’s paradise.
As I surveyed this quaint apartment, I felt an increase in that aversion first excited by the bleak exterior of the house. Just what it was that I feared or loathed, I could by no means define; but something in the whole atmosphere seemed redolent of unhallowed age, of unpleasant crudeness, and of secrets which should be forgotten. I felt disinclined to sit down, and wandered about examining the various articles which I had noticed. The first object of my curiosity was a book of medium size lying upon the table and presenting such an antediluvian aspect that I marvelled at beholding it outside a museum or library. It was bound in leather with metal fittings, and was in an excellent state of preservation; being altogether an unusual sort of volume to encounter in an abode so lowly. When I opened it to the title page my wonder grew even greater, for it proved to be nothing less rare than Pigafetta’s account of the Congo region, written in Latin from the notes of the sailor Lopez and printed at Frankfort in 1598. I had often heard of this work, with its curious illustrations by the brothers De Bry, hence for a moment forgot my uneasiness in my desire to turn the pages before me. The engravings were indeed interesting, drawn wholly from imagination and careless descriptions, and represented negroes with white skins and Caucasian features; nor would I soon have closed the book had not an exceedingly trivial circumstance upset my tired nerves and revived my sensation of disquiet. What annoyed me was merely the persistent way in which the volume tended to fall open of itself at Plate XII, which represented in gruesome detail a butcher’s shop of the cannibal Anziques. I experienced some shame at my susceptibility to so slight a thing, but the drawing nevertheless disturbed me, especially in connexion with some adjacent passages descriptive of Anzique gastronomy.
I had turned to a neighbouring shelf and was examining its meagre literary contents—an eighteenth-century Bible, a Pilgrim’s Progress of like period, illustrated with grotesque woodcuts and printed by the almanack-maker Isaiah Thomas, the rotting bulk of Cotton Mather’s Magnalia Christi Americana, and a few other books of evidently equal age—when my attention was aroused by the unmistakable sound of walking in the room overhead. At first astonished and startled, considering the lack of response to my recent knocking at the door, I immediately afterward concluded that the walker had just awakened from a sound sleep; and listened with less surprise as the footsteps sounded on the creaking stairs. The tread was heavy, yet seemed to contain a curious quality of cautiousness; a quality which I disliked the more because the tread was heavy. When I had entered the room I had shut the door behind me. Now, after a moment of silence during which the walker may have been inspecting my bicycle in the hall, I heard a fumbling at the latch and saw the panelled portal swing open again.
In the doorway stood a person of such singular appearance that I should have exclaimed aloud but for the restraints of good breeding. Old, white-bearded, and ragged, my host possessed a countenance and physique which inspired equal wonder and respect. His height could not have been less than six feet, and despite a general air of age and poverty he was stout and powerful in proportion. His face, almost hidden by a long beard which grew high on the cheeks, seemed abnormally ruddy and less wrinkled than one might expect; while over a high forehead fell a shock of white hair little thinned by the years. His blue eyes, though a trifle bloodshot, seemed inexplicably keen and burning. But for his horrible unkemptness the man would have been as distinguished-looking as he was impressive. This unkemptness, however, made him offensive despite his face and figure. Of what his clothing consisted I could hardly tell, for it seemed to me no more than a mass of tatters surmounting a pair of high, heavy boots; and his lack of cleanliness surpassed description.
The appearance of this man, and the instinctive fear he inspired, prepared me for something like enmity; so that I almost shuddered through surprise and a sense of uncanny incongruity when he motioned me to a chair and addressed me in a thin, weak voice full of fawning respect and ingratiating hospitality. His speech was very curious, an extreme form of Yankee dialect I had thought long extinct; and I studied it closely as he sat down opposite me for conversation.
“Ketched in the rain, be ye?” he greeted. “Glad ye was nigh the haouse en’ hed the sense ta come right in. I calc’late I was asleep, else I’d a heerd ye—I ain’t as young as I uster be, an’ I need a paowerful sight o’ naps naowadays. Trav’lin’ fur? I hain’t seed many folks ’long this rud sence they tuk off the Arkham stage.”
I replied that I was going to Arkham, and apologised for my rude entry into his domicile, whereupon he continued.
“Glad ta see ye, young Sir—new faces is scurce arount here, an’ I hain’t got much ta cheer me up these days. Guess yew hail from Bosting, don’t ye? I never ben thar, but I kin tell a taown man when I see ’im—we hed one fer deestrick schoolmaster in ’eighty-four, but he quit suddent an’ no one never heerd on ’im sence—” Here the old man lapsed into a kind of chuckle, and made no explanation when I questioned him. He seemed to be in an aboundingly good humour, yet to possess those eccentricities which one might guess from his grooming. For some time he rambled on with an almost feverish geniality, when it struck me to ask him how he came by so rare a book as Pigafetta’s Regnum Congo. The effect of this volume had not left me, and I felt a certain hesitancy in speaking of it; but curiosity overmastered all the vague fears which had steadily accumulated since my first glimpse of the house. To my relief, the question did not seem an awkward one; for the old man answered freely and volubly.
“Oh, thet Afriky book? Cap’n Ebenezer Holt traded me thet in ’sixty-eight—him as was kilt in the war.” Something about the name of Ebenezer Holt caused me to look up sharply. I had encountered it in my genealogical work, but not in any record since the Revolution. I wondered if my host could help me in the task at which I was labouring, and resolved to ask him about it later on. He continued.
“Ebenezer was on a Salem merchantman for years, an’ picked up a sight o’ queer stuff in every port. He got this in London, I guess—he uster like ter buy things at the shops. I was up ta his haouse onct, on the hill, tradin’ hosses, when I see this book. I relished the picters, so he give it in on a swap. ’Tis a queer book—here, leave me git on my spectacles—” The old man fumbled among his rags, producing a pair of dirty and amazingly antique glasses with small octagonal lenses and steel bows. Donning these, he reached for the volume on the table and turned the pages lovingly.
“Ebenezer cud read a leetle o’ this—’tis Latin—but I can’t. I hed two er three schoolmasters read me a bit, and Passon Clark, him they say got draownded in the pond—kin yew make anything outen it?” I told him that I could, and translated for his benefit a paragraph near the beginning. If I erred, he was not scholar enough to correct me; for he seemed childishly pleased at my English version. His proximity was becoming rather obnoxious, yet I saw no way to escape without offending him. I was amused at the childish fondness of this ignorant old man for the pictures in a book he could not read, and wondered how much better he could read the few books in English which adorned the room. This revelation of simplicity removed much of the ill-defined apprehension I had felt, and I smiled as my host rambled on:
“Queer haow picters kin set a body thinkin’. Take this un here near the front. Hev yew ever seed trees like thet, with big leaves a-floppin’ over an’ daown? And them men—them can’t be niggers—they dew beat all. Kinder like Injuns, I guess, even ef they be in Afriky. Some o’ these here critters looks like monkeys, or half monkeys an’ half men, but I never heerd o’ nothing like this un.” Here he pointed to a fabulous creature of the artist, which one might describe as a sort of dragon with the head of an alligator.
“But naow I’ll shew ye the best un—over here nigh the middle—” The old man’s speech grew a trifle thicker and his eyes assumed a brighter glow; but his fumbling hands, though seemingly clumsier than before, were entirely adequate to their mission. The book fell open, almost of its own accord and as if from frequent consultation at this place, to the repellent twelfth plate shewing a butcher’s shop amongst the Anzique cannibals. My sense of restlessness returned, though I did not exhibit it. The especially bizarre thing was that the artist had made his Africans look like white men—the limbs and quarters hanging about the walls of the shop were ghastly, while the butcher with his axe was hideously incongruous. But my host seemed to relish the view as much as I disliked it.
“What d’ye think o’ this—ain’t never see the like hereabouts, eh? When I see this I telled Eb Holt, ‘That’s suthin’ ta stir ye up an’ make yer blood tickle!’ When I read in Scripter about slayin’—like them Midianites was slew—I kinder think things, but I ain’t got no picter of it. Here a body kin see all they is to it—I s’pose ’tis sinful, but ain’t we all born an’ livin’ in sin?—Thet feller bein’ chopped up gives me a tickle every time I look at ’im—I hev ta keep lookin’ at ’im—see whar the butcher cut off his feet? Thar’s his head on thet bench, with one arm side of it, an’ t’other arm’s on the graound side o’ the meat block.”
As the man mumbled on in his shocking ecstasy the expression on his hairy, spectacled face became indescribable, but his voice sank rather than mounted. My own sensations can scarcely be recorded. All the terror I had dimly felt before rushed upon me actively and vividly, and I knew that I loathed the ancient and abhorrent creature so near me with an infinite intensity. His madness, or at least his partial perversion, seemed beyond dispute. He was almost whispering now, with a huskiness more terrible than a scream, and I trembled as I listened.
“As I says, ’tis queer haow picters sets ye thinkin’. D’ye know, young Sir, I’m right sot on this un here. Arter I got the book off Eb I uster look at it a lot, especial when I’d heerd Passon Clark rant o’ Sundays in his big wig. Onct I tried suthin’ funny—here, young Sir, don’t git skeert—all I done was ter look at the picter afore I kilt the sheep for market—killin’ sheep was kinder more fun arter lookin’ at it—” The tone of the old man now sank very low, sometimes becoming so faint that his words were hardly audible. I listened to the rain, and to the rattling of the bleared, small-paned windows, and marked a rumbling of approaching thunder quite unusual for the season. Once a terrific flash and peal shook the frail house to its foundations, but the whisperer seemed not to notice it.
“Killin’ sheep was kinder more fun—but d’ye know, ’twan’t quite satisfyin’. Queer haow a cravin’ gits a holt on ye— As ye love the Almighty, young man, don’t tell nobody, but I swar ter Gawd thet picter begun ta make me hungry fer victuals I couldn’t raise nor buy—here, set still, what’s ailin’ ye?—I didn’t do nothin’, only I wondered haow ’twud be ef I did— They say meat makes blood an’ flesh, an’ gives ye new life, so I wondered ef ’twudn’t make a man live longer an’ longer ef ’twas more the same—” But the whisperer never continued. The interruption was not produced by my fright, nor by the rapidly increasing storm amidst whose fury I was presently to open my eyes on a smoky solitude of blackened ruins. It was produced by a very simple though somewhat unusual happening.
The open book lay flat between us, with the picture staring repulsively upward. As the old man whispered the words “more the same” a tiny spattering impact was heard, and something shewed on the yellowed paper of the upturned volume. I thought of the rain and of a leaky roof, but rain is not red. On the butcher’s shop of the Anzique cannibals a small red spattering glistened picturesquely, lending vividness to the horror of the engraving. The old man saw it, and stopped whispering even before my expression of horror made it necessary; saw it and glanced quickly toward the floor of the room he had left an hour before. I followed his glance, and beheld just above us on the loose plaster of the ancient ceiling a large irregular spot of wet crimson which seemed to spread even as I viewed it. I did not shriek or move, but merely shut my eyes. A moment later came the titanic thunderbolt of thunderbolts; blasting that accursed house of unutterable secrets and bringing the oblivion which alone saved my mind.
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Another flash fiction challenge from terribleminds.com
These are addictive!
He’d bought the ticket on the internet, off his iPod on the cab ride to the airport. Sure, he’d had to use his credit card, but he’d be safely in Argentina before anyone even knew he was gone, so the paper trail would end at the airport. Was this the best idea? Mark didn’t know. He thought he was lucky to even have a single cohesive thought, let alone a fool proof plan. Sitting on the edge of the back seat in the air conditioned taxi, he felt a trickle of nervous sweat break from his sideburn and trail down the side of his face. The black night made a mirror of the cab’s door window, and he looked away from the reflection of his worried expression. He hadn’t meant to do it, but it had happened. He was still in shock. Today had been like any other day; dragging himself through another tension filled mundane day at a job that he’d loathed, his only goal to clock out and head home for a couple cold ones. But when he’d come home, she’d been in the mood to fight. If he’d just been able to have a few beers… but no; she lit into him. It was the same old same old. When are you going to do something about that job? You should’ve advanced by now, not been demoted to a lower pay scale. And why home so early? Did you beg off the overtime that you were supposed to work today? We’ve got bills, you know. Mother said you’d be the death of me!
That’s when he hit her. Harder than he ever had before. He knew it was bad when he could see her left eye was aimed towards the bridge of her nose, as if examining a fly that wasn’t there. She cursed him the whole time he helped her. He got the cold compress, stopped the bleeding. That’s when he saw her cheek bone protruding through the skin. She cried in jags, saying how he was going to pay. That’s when Mark ended it. She lay on the couch, cold compress on her face, eyes closed. Mark told her to be still and he’d call the police; an ambulance. But instead, he got a pillow from the bedroom. She kicked and flailed, even scratching his neck, but it was quicker than he thought it would be. Then he called American Taxi.
Mark hunched his shoulders, pushing his forearms down on the tops of his thighs, fingers interlaced, squeezing till his knuckles were white. He shivered spasmodically, listening to his teeth grind through his jawbone. When they pulled up to the departing flights drop off, he became aware that he had been rocking himself back and forth.
“You okay, Bub?” came the Middle Eastern accent from the cabby.
“Yeah. Like the taxi cold, do you?”
“No air conditioning like this where I’m from, my friend. Need help with your bags?”
“I’m good. Here’s fifty. Keep the change.”
“Thank you. Good day,” said the cabby, handing Mark a receipt, which he crumpled and left in the cab. Grabbing his carry-on and one suitcase, he pulled himself from the cool interior of the taxi into the humid exhaust perfumed air of the airport. Buzzing sodium lights made Mark squint as he hurried past the baggage handlers to his flight. Mark dropped his suitcase off at the counter and headed for the security checkpoint. There was a line of shoeless business men waiting to have their carry-ons scanned. As each proceeded through the metal detector, Mark became more and more nervous. What if they were looking for him? Is it possible that someone had found Sally? Sally’s body; he morbidly corrected himself. It had been an hour and a half cab ride; two hours including the half hour he’d had to wait for the cab. Her nosey sister may have stopped by. That bitch was there three nights a week, and usually without as much as a heads-up. But no, no one bothered him. No one gave him a second look. Soon he was sitting in a thinly padded chair, nursing a Coke, hoping it would help settle the butterflies that had decided to roost in his stomach. Still nervous as hell, Mark took the opportunity to pat himself on the back. He hadn’t wanted it to happen, but it had. He was going to be free; starting over. He had to admit that he’d had fantasies, daydreams, about getting rid of her. First he’d imagined divorce, but in reality, that would’ve been worse than staying put. Cheaper to keep her, they used to say as kids. He’d dreamed of just taking off and hiding. That’s what her old man had done, but it wasn’t quite as easy in the modern world. Maybe he’d intended this outcome for a while. Mark thought, and if so, so what?
Mark boarded the plane and as he’d hoped, got a row to himself. The flight was long, but uneventful. It was daylight when they landed; the air hot but dry, the sun warm on his face as he walked across the tarmac to the baggage pick up. The first thing on his mind was a cool shower, a cocktail and a soft bed. The ten thousand he had withdrawn from his personal account would last a year if he were careful. He’d have plenty of time to figure out his next step.
“Mr. Hartford?” came a voice from behind him, “Mr. Hartford. Please stop.”
Mark turned. Two Argentinian Policemen were approaching him, hands on holstered revolvers.
“Yes? What’s this about?”
“May we see your satchel, please sir?”
Mark handed over his carry-on innocently. There was nothing inside but toiletries.
“Looks to be heroin. You are under arrest…”
“What? Heroin? There’s some mistake…”
That’s when Mark noticed it wasn’t his bag. Similar, but definitely not it.
“No mistake. Drug trafficking is a very serious offense here, Mr. Hartford. A life term. You must come with us, Mr. Hartford.”
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In 1998, Jane Fishman, a reporter for the Savannah Morning News, began a series of articles about a possibly haunted antique bed in the home of Al Cobb of Savannah, Georgia. Cobb bought the vintage late-1800s bed at an auction as a Christmas present for his 14-year-old son, Jason - a purchase he later regretted. "Three nights later," Fishman reported, "Jason told his parents he felt as if someone had planted elbows on his pillow and was watching him and breathing cold air down the back of his neck. He felt sick. The next night he noticed the photo of his deceased grandparents on his wicker nightstand flipped down. So he righted it. The next day, the photo was facing down again. Later that morning, after leaving his room for breakfast, he returned and found in the middle of his bed two Beanie Babies - the zebra and the tiger - next to a conch shell, a dinosaur made of shells and a plaster toucan bird. That got his parents' - and his twin brother, Lee's - attention. Trying to make sense of the irrational, Al called out, 'Do we have a Casper here? Tell me your name and how old you are.' Then he left some lined composition paper and crayons and, with his family, walked out of the room. In 15 minutes they returned and found written vertically in large block childlike letters, 'Danny, 7.'" With his family out of the house, Al Cobb decided to continue trying to communicate with the spirit of Danny. With the same kind of notes, Danny indicated that his mother had died in that bed in 1899, and that he wanted to stay with the bed. He also made it clear that he didn't want anyone else sleeping in it. "The same day they found a note reading, 'No one sleep in bed,' Jason, who had moved out of the room, decided to stretch out and pretend to take a nap. That, says Al, was a mistake. 'I doubled back in the room to pick up my clothes,' remembers Jason, 'when this terra cotta head that had been hanging on the wall came flying through the room, just missing me before it smashed on the closet door.'" "No one really knows," Fishman writes in her second installment, "who - or what - is leaving the copious notes, moving the furniture, opening the kitchen drawers, setting the dining room table, flipping over the chairs, lighting the candles, arranging the posters to spell out a person's name, Jill, then hanging the finished product on a bedroom wall. Jason also spoke of other spirits: 'Uncle Sam,' who had come to reclaim his daughter he said was buried under the house; 'Gracie,' a young girl whose sculpture sits in Bonaventure Cemetery; and 'Jill,' a young woman who left a number of handwritten messages, among them one inviting the Cobbs to a party in their living room." Parapsychologist Andrew Nichols, head of the Florida Society for Parapsychological Research, investigated the case. "What happened at the Cobbs," he told Fishman, "- more specifically to Jason - would have happened without 'Danny,' or the bed. It was the electromagnetic energy of the wall - that Jason started sleeping next to when they moved the bed there - that charged a psychic ability that the boy already had."
Sounds like a pretty far-fetched explanation, but an interesting case.
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This is a flash fiction I wrote for a challenge on troubleminds.com
If you're a writer (or a reader, for that matter) check out Chuck Wendig's amazing blog!
Death is a new beginning, isn’t it? That’s how I see it. I felt the hard steel barrel tap my teeth. The taste of gun oil isn’t unfamiliar to me. I’ve tasted the bitter-black tang on my fingertips when I absent mindedly touched my lips while cleaning my collection. My collection.My obsession. Hand guns, shotguns, long rifles. Cool slick lifeless tools that could bring death racing on an All American Harley; thoughtless, mindless, yet cruel. No good intentions, no bad intentions; no intentions at all. My tools. My way. Death’s way.
I’d used them all to take lives. Their creators would be proud. Deer and bear; man, woman and child. I’d killed and cleaned many a man before my first deer. I killed the last deer out of necessity. Since I’ve found this abandoned cabin, I’ve survived on the few staples that I’d bought at the Quikie Mart when headed out of town. Shot the cashier, as I’m sure you know. Couldn’t resist. Not like you can send me away any longer for another one, right? Probably did him a favor. That bitch of a wife was giving it to him pretty good from what I could hear from their phone conversation. You know, all things come out of chaos. Good and bad. I truly believe that. Probably did that bitch a favor, too, since he could’ve had life insurance or something. Maybe he was boinking his daughter; who knows.
Didn’t take the time to take his body. Didn’t look all that appetizing anyways. Geez, how some people let themselves go. Where was I? Oh, that gun barrel taste. Sure would be easy to catch up with death. I’ve been chasing its shadow for years. You’d probably get a hard on if I blew off the top of my head, but I couldn't care less. I decide when death comes, not you. I know you think it was you who brought me here, but I could’ve went right on killing, you can count on that. I’ve been at it now for, what, thirty-two years, four months and five days. Held a forty hour a week job and had a wife and kids. Church on Sundays. Well, had a wife and kids is right. They’ve been gone a while, sure you know that by now. I only regret I never caught up with them for a little quality time. Even stayed away from the bitch’s parents. Took some will power, that one. Couldn’t take the chance of giving you hick cops any whiff.
One bullet will give me sweet release. I hope my blood and brain spatter won’t obscure this note. Kidding. I’ll be sure to use one of the Glad bags that the last hunters so graciously left on the kitchen counter. Locks in freshness. There will be silence at last. Sure, you’d love me to say, “silence from the torment in my soul, blah, blah, blah.” Silence from the idiocy of the human race, is more like it. Silence from the pathetic whining and begging to an apathetic God. Everyone I eradicated begged for mercy. Hey, you gotta’ go sometime, why not entertain me? Some entertainment. It was exhilarating at first, then just made me want to finish off the next tool all that much more. Damn, it’s cold in here, but I won’t light the fire. Why make it easy on you? Hell, I’ll have departed well before you get here. Dearly departed. Get it?
Had a couple beers. Still taste that oil. I’m a little hungry, but cold hotdogs don’t sound too good and I damn sure not eating raw venison. I’m not crazy. Where was I? Oh, yes. The human race. I’ve had more guilt stepping on a roach. Dead roaches? Guilty as charged! Everyone else? Not so much. What keeps you from killing someone? Let me help. Fear. Fear of retribution. Retribution from Mother, Father, friend… society. God. Mortality. Death. Well, I don’t fear. I’m a carrier! That’s a good one. Ha.
It’s dark now. Colder still. I’d like to pretend that you’re getting close. Might motivate me to get this over with. I’m not afraid of dying. It’s no different from what I already am. What you already are.
I heard you outside. I should do it. Quit writing. You have your chance; take it. I won’t fight. It’s done.
That was the strangest sound I’ve ever heard. I don’t think it’s you, but it could be, couldn’t it? Ha. You think you’re good. I’ve been sitting so still. Deathly still. My left leg fell asleep, but it doesn’t bother me. Got the gun right here. Now that you’re here, maybe I’ll wait and kill you first.
DAILY SUN (A-P)
Serial killer Thom McFarland was found dead in an abandoned hunter’s cabin in a secluded wooded area outside of Saginaw. State Police were investigating the killing of Juan Carlos, a Quikie Mart employee who had been shot in an apparent robbery attempt when officers were approached by local hunters who found McFarland’s body. The body of McFarland was found bound to a metal chair. Authorities report that McFarland had been tortured for possibly up to twelve hours by unknown assailants. The torture wounds were survivable, however police state that it appears that he had later been mauled by bears, probably drawn to the cabin by the scent of a deer carcass found within, which resulted in his death. McFarland, infamous for the deaths of at least forty Saginaw area citizens, had been known as the self-proclaimed “Grim Reaper" killer. The case is still under investigation.
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"Because Michigan is largely rural and there's a lot of wide open spaces and people tend to spend a lot of time communing with the outdoors, it gives rise to these kinds of legends and stories, just because of the connection people have to their natural surroundings," said Steve Cook, production director of WTCM-FM (103) and --AM (580) radio in Traverse City, and an expert on the Dogman.
The 52-year-old Traverse City resident also is the modern-day father of the creature.
In 1987, Cook wrote a song about the legend to play for listeners on April Fools' Day. But when it aired, Cook's half-fact, half-fiction ditty was no joke to many who heard it. Calls and letters began pouring in, as listeners shared stories of their encounters with a similar beast -- Michigan's Bigfoot, the Wolverine State's Chupacabra.
One of them was Robert Fortney, who said he saw it in the 1930s while fishing the Muskegon River near Paris. When a pack of wild dogs approached him on the bank, Fortney fired a shot from his .22-caliber hunting rifle to scare them away.
"All the dogs scattered out of the way, except a very large black dog with blue eyes. It stood and looked at him for two minutes. He was amazed by fact this thing was standing there looking at him on two legs," Cook said of Fortney's account. "He claimed he never told anyone in his family or friends about it, because he thought he was crazy. When he heard the song, he thought, 'Wow, there's really something to this, I really saw what I saw.' He claimed (it) up until the day he died. That was the first of a more or less avalanche of reports we've received over the years."
Until that point, Dogman had been local folklore.
The Odawa called him Wendigo and the French explorers, aloup-garou, according to a documentary Cook later made after collecting material that included this diary entry by a Comstock resident in 1857: "Near the barn, it stood as if a man, yet it bore the countenance of a grey wolf."
More modern accounts include that by a vanload of hippies who said they were harassed by the Dogman near Cross Village in 1967.
Police took an incident report in 1987 from people who said they saw such a creature in Luther. There are photos of something from the U.P.'s Garden Peninsula in 1968 and Onaway in 2004 and unexplained tracks discovered in the Waterloo Recreation Area in Chelsea in the late 1980s.
"I made it up completely from my own imagination as an April Fools' prank for the radio and stumbled my way to a legend that goes back all the way to Native American times," Cook said.
The song now goes into the station's play rotation every year around mid-September and also has been aired as far away as Arizona and Tennessee and on Armed Forces radio in Japan and Germany.
Cook said profits of almost $60,000 generated by his song and documentary have been donated to animal rescue charities.
"I'm tremendously skeptical," Cook said of the legend, "because I've sort of seen the way folklore becomes built from the creation of this song to what it's turned into ... but I do believe people who think they saw something really did see something. I also think the Dogman provides them with an avenue to explain what they couldn't explain for themselves."
Filmmaker and Ann Arbor native Rich Brauer, 57, who finished shooting "Dogman" in September, said: "Every culture has a mythical woodland creature that they blame stuff on. I don't know what it is about people that they want to blame stuff on something like that. There's an inherent imagination that people have, especially when they go in the woods and start to hear things and their hair stands up on the back of their head. ... It might turn out to be a chickadee on a stick, but up until that moment, it was something huge."
Janet Langlois, a folklore expert at Wayne State University, said that as far back as Greek mythology humans have been drawn to tales about "people who cross boundaries, like centaurs. We're drawn to them and frightened by them. It points out how complicated the relationship humans have with other nonhuman animals or creatures. We're always fascinated by creatures."
Big picture, she sees a larger purpose in such legends that cross cultures and time periods.
"It can range from simple entertainment to other complex, philosophical ideas about the universe," Langlois said. "I tend to think stories, even though they're simple and incredible, are building blocks of thinking about the nature of the universe."
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I've been a bad boy and haven't posted anything for awhile. Work has been a royal pain in the ass, although I can't really put too much blame on "work" as this blog is supposed to be my mental escape from just that.
I really need to finish "Werebitch," and I have every intention to. But of course, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I even know how I want to end it and have even written a few critical lines, yet for some reason I haven't been able to force myself to write the probably two-thousand words to complete the journey.
I haven't made any headway in regards to my Kindle book either, even though I've created the video for my Kickstarter.com funding project and have even paid to have an ebook cover created (which is pretty cool, by the way).
So, maybe this post with be the catheter to expell the fluid from my mind's eye. In other words, maybe I'll get out of my funkadelic funk and get on with my funky self!