Archive | Horror RSS feed for this section

Haiku Friday – Singe & Deep

5 Jan

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope you are all keeping warm. The temperature in S. Florida is 55º F and it’s midday and the sun is blazing! 😮  To us, Floridians that’s like -10º F, anywhere else. Ironically, today’s prompt words from Ronovan Writes are Singe and Deep. Just reading the word singe warms me a little, but it also gives me an eerie feeling. With that being said, here’s my contribution for this week’s prompt challenge.

creepy girl-fire-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-RonovanWrites-flash fiction-story

 

“The house is on fire, and it isn’t my fault.” Emily crossed her thin arms as she stared at the burning house. She stood wide-eyed with red lips pursed.

The young female police officer in charged of her, observed her for a while. “Are you okay? I know this is a terrible experience for a ten year old girl to go through.”

The little girl didn’t look her way. She blinked a long blink and gave her a one shoulder shrug. Then she nodded her head ‘yes’, but said, “No, I don’t think so.”

The policewoman tilted her head and furrowed her brow. “I’m sorry, I know it’s got to be so hard for you. You can rest assured that the fireman are doing everything in their power to rescue your mother from the fire.”

Emily pressed her lips together, narrowed her deep-set chocolate brown eyes and then gazed at her like a puppy dog. “I left my scrunchy and my favorite teddy bear in the house. Do you think they’re burning right now?”

The policewoman stared at her and narrowed her eyes. She rubbed the nape of her neck and squatted down to be at eye level with the girl. She took Emily by the shoulders and turned her, so that they faced each other. “I think you should come with me. I can take you to the hospital where you can be properly looked after. You shouldn’t be here.”

Emily frowned and wrested her shoulders from her. She turned away and continued to stare at the house engulfed in flames. “Once I had a pet hamster. He accidentally walked into our fireplace. He made the strangest sounds as he burned––it was a he and his name was Agamemnon. Do you know how long it took me to learn that name? I was only six then, but that’s the name my mother wanted to give him. She couldn’t even let me name my own pet.” She grumbled the last sentence. “I would have named him, Apple, because he was round and had red hair like mine.” Her alabaster skin flushed making her freckles appear darker. She lowered her eyebrows and squinted her eyes. “Agamemnon died quickly and stunk up the whole house!” She turned to look at the officer. “Do you think my mom will stink like that, as she burns?”

The woman jumped to a stand and looked at the girl with a shocked expression.

Emily turned her sight to the burning house again. “I’m sure it will take much longer for my mother to die, because she’s bigger. She may stink up the whole block.” She crinkled her pixie-like nose.

“Come with me.” The officer took her by the hand and pulled her toward her squad car.

“No!” Emily screamed. “I want to stay here! I want to see.” She wore a hostile facial expression. She pulled her hand from the woman’s hand and took a few steps closer to the house. Her small chest heaved with every breath. She raised her chin and shoved her hands in the front pockets of her jeans.

The policewoman’s eyebrows bumped together in a worried scowl. She minced her way up to her and stood silently by her side. Her eyes were fixed on the girl and squinted in a furtive manner.

A fireman covered in soot and coughing approached the police officer. He took off his fireman hat and ran his hands through his hair. His face was black with residue from the intense fire, but his agonized expression was clearly seen. He gave Emily a grim look before turning to the officer again. He shook his head. “We did everything we could, but we couldn’t save her.” He lowered his voice some more and moved closer to the policewoman. “The fire got to her before the smoke. She burned to death. It was a gruesome sight.” He turned to Emily who was staring in their direction. “I’m sorry, kid.” He gestured goodbye to the officer and hurried away.

The policewoman wrapped her arms around her body. Her breaths were shallow and rapid. “I’m so sorry, Emily. The firemen did everything they could, but––”

“I know!” Emily interrupted her. “I heard everything the fireman said, even when he whispered.”

The police officer stared at the little girl with eyes glistening with pity, but her expression quickly turned to shock.

A grin spread slowly across Emily’s face, moving all her freckles.

After the first death

there is no other, you see.

Fire is complete

 

“Too many logs can squelch a fire. Flames need room to breathe.”

~Vashti Q

 

Singe and Deep are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

the fall of lilith-novel-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fallen angels-book-Amazon-lilith demon-gadreel

Enjoy your day and stay warm!

Writers Quote Wednesday – The Cursed Tree

13 Apr

A warm welcome to my blog. It is Writers Quote Wednesday and I offer you a quote and a story. Enjoy.

 

“And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are. All we can say is that this is a good deed, because it helps someone or that’s an evil one because it hurts them. People are too complicated to have simple labels.”

~Philip Pullman

scary_trees_The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-quote-short story

The Cursed Tree

by Vashti Q

 

 

The earth rumbled, and the sky turned an ominous dark grey. Large black clouds swirled across the heavens, colliding with each other. A sweet, pungent smell drifted through the air. Once the rain arrived, other odors came. The pounding water shook the plants and trees and carried their odiferous particles in the air. Jagged lightning bolts split the skies, spearing trees and turning them to ash. Deafening thunderclaps made the garden tremble. God was angry. Man had betrayed him. The Garden of Eden would no longer be home to Adam and Eve.

 

Only one tree still stood among the devastated land: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It, too, was cursed and would not last long in the tumultuous storm of God’s rage. A powerful gust of wind removed a seed from this tree and blew it out of the garden and into the world.

 

The tiny doomed seed drifted to the area of a large, roaring river and landed near its bank. The winds continued to bluster, covering it in moist soil. Buried and forgotten, the small seed took root.

 

In time, the seed pushed through the soil a green, quivering stem adorned with tiny, prickly leaves.

 

“What is it, Cain?” Abel scrunched his nose.

 

“What does it look like? It is a plant of some kind.” Cain peered at the rudimentary tree.

 

“I know that, but what kind of plant? It looks different from all the other vegetation. I do not like it.” Abel’s thick blond hair fell on his face as he leaned forward to take a better look.

 

“I think it is a newborn tree, and I do like it.” Cain stared at it. “I am going to build a barricade around it to protect it from the animals.”

 

“Why?” Abel asked. “It is ugly.”

 

“I want to see it grow. Besides, sometimes things that begin as ugly can grow to be beautiful.”

 

Abel’s brow joined in thought. Cain brushed his brother’s hair from his face. He could not stand that his younger brother never tied his hair back. On the other hand he always kept his dark brown hair tied back and neat.

 

Cain kept to his word and built a barrier around the small tree. The boy visited the tree daily and made sure it was doing well. He even spoke to it. “I know you probably do not understand my words, or maybe you do. I know not. Nevertheless, I shall take good care of you and see what fruits you bear.”

 

“Thank you,” the tree responded in his mind. He jumped, startled by the strange voice in his head.

 

Cain looked around and saw no one. His deep cerulean eyes gawked at the small tree before him. “D-did you speak to me?”

 

“I did,” the tree said.

 

Cain gasped. He took a few steps back. “How is this so? Trees do not speak.”

 

“Just because one never spoke to you does not mean that trees do not speak,” the tree said.

 

Cain stared at the tree.

 

“Protect me and help me grow and I shall bear extraordinary fruit just for you.”

 

Wide-eyed, he nodded in agreement.

 

He continued to visit the tree almost every day. He pulled any weeds growing near it. He made sure the tree’s soil was moist and that it was receiving enough water. He also took care of the surrounding land. He planted fragrant flower bushes and verdant plants to grow along with the tree. Soon, he had created a small paradise with the tree in the center of it.

 

He had many conversations with the tree and it was a good listener. As Cain grew up alongside the tree, he did a lot of complaining about his brother Abel, and the tree paid attention.

 

Years went by, and both Cain and his tree grew big and strong. He had grown into a handsome young man—tall, with long, dark hair, eyes blue like the twilight skies, and creamy skin the color of golden powder sand. He loved the land and knew how to work it well, and working it made him strong and muscular. Every seed he planted yielded luscious fruits, vegetables, and beautiful flowers.

 

One day, he came to visit his tree. Cain carried a basket filled with delectable fruits and vegetables. He grumbled under his breath as he kicked stones in his path. He let the basket drop to the ground. The crops spilled out and rolled in different directions on the lush grass. He fell to his knees and wept into his hands.

 

“What is the matter? the tree asked. “Why are you so troubled?”

 

“Nothing I do is good enough!” Cain’s eyes were dark and glistened as he continued to weep.

 

“What do you mean? Everything I have seen you do has been extraordinary. Because of you, I thrive.”

 

“My father does not think so,” Cain said. “Only my brother, Abel can do right in his eyes.”

 

“It seems that your golden-haired brother does nothing but cause you grief.”

 

“Even God shuns my crops and acclaims his sacrificed lamb. I am the eldest, yet I have always walked in my brother’s shadow. But there is nothing I can do.”

 

“Kill him,” the tree said, “you can kill him.”

 

Cain gulped air and stared at the tree, openmouthed. “No! I cannot slay my brother!”

 

“Why not? You are much stronger than he is.”

 

Cain looked bewildered. “I-I just cannot kill him.”

 

“You have never killed but your brother has killed many times.” The leaves on the tree trembled. “Every time he sacrifices a lamb or a goat, he kills.”

 

“This is true, but it is not the same.”

 

“Why?” The tree’s stentorian tone surprised Cain.

 

“Because taking my brother’s life is taking a human life.”

 

“A life is a life! Why did you protect me so, if you did not hold this to be true?” Cain’s heart leaped to his throat as he pondered the tree’s words. “If your brother Abel can take a life, then so can you.”

 

Cain jumped to his feet, nodding. He stared ahead––his blue eyes glittering with the prospect of revenge.

 

“Sacrifice your brother Abel so that you may walk in the light. Once Abel is gone, you shall grow mighty in your father’s eyes.”

 

Without another word Cain rushed to find his brother. He found him on a nearby hill tending after his sheep.

 

“Brother!” He called.

 

“I am here, among the sheep.” Abel’s long, golden hair a mess and flapping in the wind.

 

“You are always among the sheep. It is no wonder you smell like one.” Cain wore a mischievous expression. Abel chuckled until he saw his brother held a large rock in his powerful hand. He looked at his brother’s face, then at the rock, and then at Cain’s face again.

 

“That is a large, menacing rock you carry.” Abel’s voice was tremulous. “What do you intend to do with it?”

 

Cain gripped the rock until his knuckles turned white. He clenched his jaw and flared his nostrils.

 

Abel, who sat on the ground, climbed to his feet. He stared at him with wide eyes and took a step back.

 

Cain narrowed his eyes. He looked at his brother’s hooded russet eyes, at his messy hair and his sun-kissed skin. He puffed and slammed the rock on the ground. “What do you know of fear?” Cain turned and ran away.

 

He ran all the way back to the tree.

 

“I could not do it,” he said breathless. “I hate him. He is my brother and I hate the air he breathes, but I cannot kill him.”

 

“Do you remember the promise I made to you?”

 

“You promised to someday bear extraordinary fruit for me. What has this to do with my current circumstances?”

 

“Have you noticed the small flowers that have grown on my branches?”

 

“I have. Apologies, I have been meaning to compliment you on those, but so much has happened that––”

 

“Apologies are not necessary. I only mention them because in four weeks time a fruit will grow amidst each bloom. A remarkable fruit.”

 

“Remarkable in what way?”

 

“You bring your brother to me in four weeks time, and have him taste my fruit. One bite will accomplish what you could not.”

 

Cain returned home and was at his best behavior. He was obedient to his parents and kind to his brother. He must be pleasant and amicable toward his brother so that when the time came, he would not fear to follow him.

 

There was a consequence to Cain’s feigned behavior. As he became nicer to his family, it seemed to him that they too became more pleasant to be around. He began to enjoy his brother’s company and his parents’ new praises and attention. Being obedient to his parents and kind to his brother had its rewards. He was enjoying his time with them.

 

Four weeks flew by and the time had come to take Abel to the tree. Cain observed his brother as he protected and guided his sheep. Once more he felt remorse. He dragged his feet back to the tree.

 

“I have changed my mind,” Cain told the tree. “I know longer wish to see my brother’s life extinguished.

 

“It is too late now!” the tree bellowed, causing Cain’s head to ache. “He must taste the fruit I bear!”

 

Cain shook his head. “No! I no longer desire his death!”

 

“For years all you talked about was your hatred for your brother,” the tree said. “You spoke of your hatred for him while you watered me. You spoke of your hatred for him as you pulled weeds from around my roots. You said over and over again, as you pruned and cared for me, how your life would be so much better if your brother were not around!”

 

“Things are different now. I am an obedient son and a loving brother. Since I have been good, my parents show me more love and my brother is kind to me.”

 

“How long do you think this shall last? You are not being yourself right now. You are being who they want you to be, and the day you grow tired of being an imposter, they, too, shall go back to the old ways. Remember your parent’s preference for your brother. Remember how they all looked down on you, as if you were lesser than they.”

 

Cain’s heart grew heavy. His face and body slackened. He stared at the tree through eyes blurred with tears. “You are an evil tree and the fruit you bear is an abomination.”

 

“If I am evil, it is only because you have fed me the hatred that consumes you. The fruit I bear is a product of your hostility and your odium.”

 

Cain’s eyes opened wide, his breathing became shallow and erratic. He turned away from the tree, unable to stand its evil presence any longer. He ran as fast as his feet could carry him. When he arrived home he saw his mother watering the root vegetables he had planted for her.

 

“Mother!” he yelled. Eve jumped. “Where is my brother?”

 

“I do not know. He went looking for you.” Eve looked at him with confusion. “You look pale and distraught. Is there something wrong?”

 

“I must find him.” He hurried to the hill where Able spent most of his time with his sheep. He was not there. Instead, Adam tended the sheep.

 

“Father, where is Abel?” Cain asked. “I must speak to him.”

 

“Your brother went off to look for you. He said he would look for you by the river where he thought you would be tending your favorite tree.” Cain gasped and his legs faltered. He plopped onto his knees.

 

His father hurried over. “What is the matter, son?”

 

“Nothing, Father.” Cain clambered to his feet. “I have been running around looking for him, and I am a bit tired.”

 

Adam responded, but Cain did not hear his words, for his pulse beat loud and fast in his ears.

 

“I must go now, Father.” Cain hurried to the small paradise he had created by the river. Standing next to his tree was his brother, holding a half-eaten fruit in his hand.

 

“You did not tell me your tree has yielded fruit.” Abel smiled. “It is the sweetest and most succulent of all fruits.”

 

Cain approached him slowly, shaking his head––large tears falling from his eyes.

 

“Did you not catch the stench of evil and death that comes from this treacherous fruit?” Cain’s face was marked with anguish.

 

Abel flinched and dropped what remained of the fruit to the ground. His face turned ashen and he dropped to all fours. He sat on his haunches, and his tongue wagged out of his mouth. He rocked back and forth. His mouth foamed and he held his hands in front of him like paws. Then he ran around in circles on all fours, making growling noises and tearing plants apart with his teeth before eating them. He approached his brother and sniffed him.

 

Cain retreated from him, his face twisted in disgust. “He is wild, eats grass and runs around on all fours. He is mad and has the mind of an animal.” Cain’s face was red with rage. “Why have you done this?”

 

“It is what you desired,” the tree said. “You could not kill him because he was human, but now he is but a mere animal. Kill him. Or do you prefer he live like this for the rest of his existence?”

 

“No!” Cain shook his head as his heart pounded.

 

Abel continued to growl and paw at him.

 

Cain stared at him. Tears flooded his face. Abel was human only in appearance. He saw that now. He could not allow his brother to go on like this, and he would not put his parents through the shame of watching their beloved son walk on all fours and eat grass. He would do what he must in order to make this right.

 

He grabbed a large jagged rock and walked over to Abel. He lifted the rock over his head. “Goodbye, brother.” Cain brought the rock down on his head again and again until his brother’s skull became one with the ground, and his warm blood covered his face and hands and colored the verdant grass red.

 

Cain saw what he had done and shouted to the heavens as he pulled the hair out of his head. “My brother’s blood calls out for revenge, so punish me, oh God! I deserve your worst. But before you do, please, allow me to watch the destruction of this evil tree. I implore you!”

 

The earth rumbled and the sky turned an ominous dark grey. Large black clouds swirled across the heavens, colliding with each other. Deafening thunderclaps made the ground tremble. A jagged lightning bolt ripped through the sky and speared the tree, turning it to ash.

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

♦♦

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

 

Writer’s Quote Wednesday – Short Stories

17 Feb

It’s the middle of the week and that means it’s time for Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Welcome everyone! I love short stories. I enjoy writing them and reading them as well. I have written several short stories for this blog, although it has been a little over a year since I wrote the last one. That’s because I’ve been so busy working on my Fantasy Angels Series and what little free time I have left after working on my series I use to work on my blog posts, social media, and blogging.

I haven’t had the time to write short stories in a while and that makes me sad because I love doing it. Anyway, I have gotten several new followers since I posted my last short story, so I decided to post the links to some of these stories. That way, those of you that have not read them can check them out, if you like.

A Town’s Perception

Murder She WrotePart 2, Finale

Raven’s Masterpiece

A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance, Part 2, Finale

The Cursed Tree, Part 2, Finale

The Writer Next Door

“I would also suggest that any aspiring writer begin with short stories. These days, I meet far too many young writers who try to start off with a novel right off, or a trilogy, or even a nine-book series. That’s like starting in at rock climbing by tackling Mt. Everest. Short stories help you learn your craft.”

~George R.R. Martin

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.”

~Neil Gaiman

“I love short stories because I believe they are the way we live. They are what our friends tell us, in their pain and joy, their passion and rage, their yearning and their cry against injustice.”

~Andre Dubus

“I find it satisfying and intellectually stimulating to work with the intensity, brevity, balance and word play of the short story.”

~Annie Proulx

Colleen Chesebro is a writer, poet, and book reviewer. She hosts an inspiring event every Wednesday on her blog, Silver Threading, called Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Anyone can participate by choosing a quote by a favorite writer and posting it on your blog.

Ronovan, from Ronovan Writes and Colleen have joined forces! He has been linking his #BeWoW blog share (Be Wonderful on Wednesday) now to include: Be Writing on Wednesday. If you would like to combine both posts feel free to do so and link them to Colleen’s post. She will make sure and add you to the quote wrap-up she does each Tuesday. Please make sure and check out Ron’s blog for more writing inspiration and motivation!

Enjoy your day! And don’t forget to read one of my short stories.

They will haunt you . . . 

A Town’s Perception – Short Story

31 Aug

 

A Town's Perception

 

Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog today. I’m featuring a short story inspired by a nightmare I had. The nightmare was somewhat bizarre, as night terrors often are, but what I remember of it became the creative impulse that led to this story. I’ll call it a Sci-Fi/Horror.

WARNING: The story is a bit macabre.

 

( ^ Click PLAY to hear soundtrack ^)

 

A Town's Perception_Vashti Quiroz-Vega_The Writer Next Door

A Town’s Perception

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

It began with the moon.

One evening I lifted my eyes to the skies, and the moon appeared to have doubled in size. After that, all sorts of curious phenomena began to occur. Everyone in my small town was in a panic.

Strange swirls of indescribable colors were seen in the night skies. During the day the sun shone blood red and colored the skies pink. It was as if we had been transported to a different planet overnight.

When I saw the ships in the sky, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they came for us, and I was right.

In the middle of the day, they came. I watched them disembark their ships, small groups at a time. They resembled men of diminutive stature with large heads. They appeared to waddle rather than walk. They wore weird metallic suits with respirators attached to their faces.

I rushed to my daughter’s side. She lay on the bed in her room, stared ahead at nothingness and wailed, as she had done for days.

My poor child. Her mind was not equipped to handle this invasion. I held her tight. I would not allow her capture. Who knew what these small creatures were capable of doing to her—-to us.

I pushed the barrel of the gun up against her temple to keep my hand from trembling. The cold metal did not stop her wails. Poor thing, her voice was so hoarse. I would extinguish the fire in her gullet.

I pulled the trigger. She fell on her side, her eyes still open wide, as if she could still see this nightmare. I shut her eyelids and finally gave her peace.

It was my turn. I’d convinced myself, like so many others in this town, that this was the only way out. I was the last to take action since I was taught to always have hope, but even those of us who always have hope had given up.

The priest took most of the townfolk. After his last sermon, he instructed the congregation to get on their knees and pray. While the town’s people prayed, the priest left the church and locked the doors behind him. Then he set the church ablaze.

Pitiful man of God, his mind also handled the crisis poorly. He burned those people alive: men and women, young and old. He had invited my daughter and I to attend his last sermon, and I agreed to go, but my daughter was not doing well, so we stayed home and were saved from a horrific death.

I live a block away from the church, and I heard the screams and howls of the burning souls. I ran down the street and was met with a fiery inferno. The stench of burning flesh and hair made me retch. I released the contents of my stomach right there on the street. What did it matter? There was no one around to watch me. I saw the priest stagger from the back of the burning building. My stomach was tied in knots.

“Demons! The demons are upon us,” he shouted. “If you remain they will take your soul!”

“What are you talking about?” I gasped and pointed a shaky finger at the combusting church. “There are people burning alive in there.” I ran toward the church’s double doors. The heat of the blaze stopped me. I sobbed unable to act. Those were my neighbors. My friends.

“You have to burn! Otherwise the demons will take your soul. I burned them because the fire will purify their spirits.” He stared at me with wild eyes.

My hands flew to cover my mouth upon recognition of what he had done. My legs faltered, and I fell to my knees. I trembled uncontrollably as the priest took steps toward me. I extended my quaking arms before me.

“Stop! Stay away!” I made an attempt to get to my feet, but my knees buckled.

“My dear, you must not remain alive. The demons will take your soul.” His voice eerily calm. He continued to trudge in my direction.

“You’re right!” I shouted. My head nodding briskly. “I know I must die. I must tend to my daughter’s demise also.”

“What? Your young daughter is still alive?”

“Yes, she waits for me at home.”

“No, no, no!” The man of the cloth pulled on his sleeves and shook his head like a madman. “You must go to her! It may be too late already. The demons do not waste time. A young soul like hers is a prime target. Go to her! If her soul is still intact, take her life immediately and then take your own.” He took a lighter out and flicked it on. He bent over and put the small flame against the hem of his cassock.

I tried to scream as I watched the fire spread and grow on the flammable cloth of his priestly vestment, but I opened my mouth and sounds did not leave my lips. I gathered all my strength and lifted myself off the ground. I wanted to run. Instead I barely escaped the wailing priest who floundered, engulfed in flames. I staggered past him. The crackle and pop of his burning flesh lingered in my ears never to be forgotten. Noxious smoke attacked my nostrils. The stench was so great, I could taste it.

The very next day, the little men came.

It’s time now. My daughter is gone. The entire town is gone.

*

A gunshot is heard. Men in white lab coats and facemasks run into a young girl’s bedroom. On the twin bed, dressed in pink, lies a pre-teen girl and a thirty-something-year-old woman. Both females are deceased due to gunfire wounds to the head.

“We’re too late,” one of the men in lab coats said.

“Well, maybe it is for the best,” his partner said. “There is nothing we could have done to reverse the effects of the chemical agent.”

“It’s a shame what happened in this town.”

“Yes, but how could we know Compound K would have this effect on them?”

“No––we had no way of knowing that the solution we prepared to cause infertility in the men and women of this town would turn into a powerful, hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug when combined with their water.”

“We’ll have to look into the town’s filtering system before we try this again in the next small town.”

“I agree, but let’s not allow this small speed bump to deter our cause.”

“Doctors,” a young man interrupted, “you asked for bottled water?” The men nodded and each took a bottle. They hardly took notice of the fellow. The young assistant leaves.

“Of course it won’t deter us. Our cause to save the planet by ending overpopulation goes beyond a few casualties.”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call five hundred people a few casualties, but such things happen in the name of science.”

“Absolutely.” The scientist gulps down his bottled water. Suddenly, he sputters. His eyes widen. “Th-thi-this water was bottled right here in this town!”

The other scientist fumbles with the bottle, trying to see the manufacturer’s name.

“How could this small town have a bottled water company?” Wide-eyed and hands trembling, the scientist stares at the lettering on the bottle. He reads, “‘We take pride in our fresh, clean mountain water and we use the highest quality water filtration systems.’ They bottled this water four days ago.” He drops the bottle, and it crashes to the ground.

“No!” his partner yells. “We put Compound K in the water supply seven days ago!”

“Maybe it won’t affect us in the same way as the townspeople. We’ve only drank a small portion in comparison to what they must have drank in the course of several days.” His voice wavers and his body shudders at the thought of having ingested the solution that caused all the townspeople to go mad and kill themselves. The other scientist stares at him, unnervingly silent.

Unexpectedly, the first scientist cries out and recoils. “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me. You will never take me alive!”

“What is the matter with you?” Staring at his partner and looking perplexed the second scientist takes a step back. “Oh, no.” His face slackens as realization hits.

His partner continues shouting, “You’ll never take me alive, Nazi!” He grabs a lamp and charges.

The scientist wrestles with his crazed colleague and seizes the lamp from him. The madman bites him on the shoulder. The scientist beats the man on the head and shoulder repeatedly until the lunatic finally unclenches his teeth and falls to the ground dead.

The scientist falls back against the wall, panting. He slides down the wall, landing in a crumpled mess on the floor. He holds his head in his hands and stares at his partner’s limp body, whose blood meanders toward him. Rivers pour from his eyes. His body shakes and convulses.

His eyes do not reflect what his mind sees.

The flames of hell surround him while demons dance around and torment him with everlasting pain.

 

A Town's Perception

Copyright © 2013 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday

1 Jul

Hi everyone! I’m posting this very late today and I have Comcast to thank for that. Since I moved to my new house I’ve had nothing but problems with Comcast and my WiFi connection. It works one day and then it’s out two, three, or four days. I’m getting really frustrated with this situation. Well, my internet is finally working––lets see how long this will last. Okay, I’m done venting.

Writer’s Quote Wednesday | Silver Threading

Writer's Quote Wednesday

Horror Quote

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'”

Do you enjoy reading horror novels? What are some of your favorite horror writers/novels?

Image

Short Horror Story – Raven’s Masterpiece

5 Oct

Best friends

Raven and Nina - Bffs

Raven and Nina – Bffs

beautiful-bestfriends-besties-blonde-brown-hair-Favim.com-141657_large

“Lake Creepy-Crawly”

Nina & Raven

Nina & Raven

(^ CLICK PLAY for music track)

Ö

Raven’s Masterpieces

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Ö

ö

“Raven, I can’t believe you’re really going through with it.” Nina’s face was frozen in an astonished smile.

 

 

“Once you and Travis leave for college, there’ll be nothing left for me in this small town.” Raven frowned. “Besides, I’m an artist, Nina! I need to expand my wings and fly!” She swung her arms outward and fell back on the grass surrounding Lake Creepy-Crawly.

 

 

“But . . . New York is such a big city. Aren’t you afraid you’ll be swallowed up by the masses?”

 

 

“I plan to shine bright like a Nova. By the time I’m through with that town, everyone will know my name.”

 

 

Nina glanced at Raven and giggled. Raven joined in her laughter and suddenly jumped to her feet.

 

 

“Lets go in!”

 

 

“Go in where?”

 

 

“Lets go for a swim in the lake. For old time’s sake.” Raven’s blue eyes glittered with mischievousness.

 

 

“No way! Why do you think the town nicknamed it Lake Creepy-Crawly? If you go in, you won’t be swimming alone. There are things in that lake. They’ll crawl all over you.”

 

 

“That’s not true!”

 

 

“It is!” Nina yelled. “No one has gone swimming there for years. Not since the incident.”

 

 

“Do you mean when the fish died?”

 

 

“It was more than just a few fish. Old man Sam said that the big company out by Expiry road had something to do with it. He saw them dump things into the lake one night. The next morning, the lake’s fish were floating on the surface. Dead.”

 

 

“Old man Sam drinks!”

 

 

“Yes, but he wasn’t the only one who witnessed the dead fish, and everyone knows that nothing grows or lives in that lake anymore, except . . . except those things.” Nina shuddered.

 

 

“It’s been a while since that happened.” Raven looked out to the lake. “Those things have probably always been there. Besides, they’re tiny.”

 

 

“They were tiny. With time, everything changes . . . and not always for the best.”

 

 

Without waiting for the end of Nina’s sentence, Raven ran and jumped into the lake and splashed around happily, as though she hadn’t a care in the world. A powerful feeling of foreboding enshrouded Nina like a suffocating blanket. When Raven finally emerged from the lake, Nina rushed to her.

 

 

“You’re nuts! Sometimes I think you just do crazy things to torment me.”

 

 

Raven scoffed. “Who’s being dramatic now, huh?”

 

 

Nina picked up the blanket they had been sitting on and placed it around Raven’s shoulders.

 

 

“Ugh!” Raven groaned. She tilted her head sideways and pounded on it with the palm of her hand.

 

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

 

“There must be water in my ear.” Raven shook her head. “There, I think that did it.”

 

 

“I don’t know how you could swim in that murky water. Look at it—it’s black!”

 

 

Raven waved her hand dismissively. “Let’s go home.”

 

 

“Yes! You need a shower.” Nina giggled, pinching her nose and waving her hand as though to clear the stench in the air.

 

 

“Gimme hug! Me want big hug!” Raven joked as she ran after a screaming Nina.

 

 

*Two months later *

“Campus life is great! ” Nina raved on the phone. “I’m really enjoying myself here. I’m doing really well in my classes, and I’ve made some new friends. Oh, and Travis says hello!”

 

 

“That’s great. I’m doing okay, too. I’m painting almost non-stop. I showed one of my works in progress to the manager of a posh art gallery downtown. He was impressed and offered to show my work in early November.”

 

 

“That’s awesome, Raven!”

 

 

“Will you come for the opening?”

 

 

“But we talked about me visiting for Halloween, remember? To see how New York celebrates our favorite holiday?”

 

 

“You could stay through the first week of November,” Raven said in a sullen voice.

 

 

“What’s wrong?”

 

 

“Nothing. Why do you ask?”

 

 

“You don’t sound like yourself. Aren’t you excited about Halloween and your very first art show?”

 

 

“Of course I am. It’s just these headaches . . .  I can’t seem to shake.”

 

 

“Have you seen a doctor?”

 

 

“No. It’s only headaches. Two Advil, and I’ll be all right.”

 

 

“But if you can’t get rid of it—”

 

 

“The pills will help take the edge off so I can get back to work.”

 

 

“Alright, but if the headaches continue, you’ll need to see someone.”

 

 

“Yeah, well . . .  If I want to have these paintings done by the opening, I’d better get back to work. We’ll talk again soon.”

 

 

“Okay. Bye, Raven. Take care.”

 

 

*One month later*

“Aaaahhhhhh! Aaaahhhhh! Get out of there!” Raven pounded her head. She collapsed to the floor and pulled her hair with both hands. She screamed and groaned as she squirmed on the floor of her one-bedroom apartment.

 

A banging on the door did not stop her howling.

 

 

“Miss Raven! Open the door, Miss Raven!” An old woman banged on the door. “That racket is driving everybody crazy!”

 

 

Raven opened the door. Her long dark hair was disheveled and covered a good portion of her face. Her shoulders were scrunched around her ears. Her blue eyes, once vivid azures, were now dull and foggy, with intense redness where the whites should be and deep dark circles underneath. Her usually rosy lips were pale and dry.

 

 

At the sight of her, the building superintendent flinched and squinted, as though trying not to capture all the unpleasantness at once. “Are you ill?” She stared at her wringing her hands.

 

 

“No. I’m fine.”

 

 

“You don’t look too good. Maybe you should see a doctor.”

 

 

“A doctor can’t help me with what I’ve got!” Raven bellowed making the woman jump. “You need to leave me alone.”

 

 

“I have received countless complaints from your neighbors about screaming, loud banging and crashing noises coming from your apartment.”

 

 

“You keep knocking on my door!”

 

 

“And each time you tell me that the noises will stop, but I keep getting complaints from your neighbors.” She added with a grumble, “If the noises don’t stop, I’ll have to call the police.”

 

 

“I assure you–––the complaints will stop.”

 

 

The superintendent narrowed her eyes. “Make sure they do. I don’t want to come back here again.” She turned and shuffled away.

 

 

Raven followed the old woman with her eyes until she was out of sight.

 

 

*

“Hello, Raven. How are you? I’ve been calling and leaving messages, but you never return my calls.”

 

 

“Hi, Nina!” Raven said in an excited voice.

 

 

“Are you alright?”

 

 

“I’m great!”

 

 

“Why are you yelling? You sound manic. Are you sure you’re fine?”

 

 

“I’m just excited to hear from you. I’m sorry about not returning your calls. I’ve been very busy, working on my paintings. I’m all done now! I have left over materials, so I’m using them to decorate for Halloween. You’re still coming up, right?”

 

 

“Yes, of course.”

 

 

“Good! I’m throwing a Halloween party! I’ve invited some friends and neighbors. You’re going to love what I’ve done with the place.”

 

 

*All Hollow’s Eve*

“Raven is going to be surprised to see you. I hope she doesn’t get angry,” Nina said.

 

 

“Why would she? I’m your date for the party.” Travis blinked at her and smiled.

 

 

“She hasn’t been herself lately. Sometimes on the phone, she seems despondent and her voice is barely audible; other times, her voice is excited and shrill. But the last time we spoke, it was more like a groan or a growl.”

 

 

Travis scrunched his brow. “That weird.”

 

 

“She’s been having these terrible headaches, but she refuses to see a doctor. I’ve been calling her all day, but I haven’t been able to reach her. And yet, she knows I’m arriving today. I hope she’s okay.”

 

 

“Well, she’s throwing a Halloween party. How bad could she be?” Travis said. “She’s probably busy putting the party together.”

 

 

“You’re right. Halloween was always our favorite holiday. She’s probably knee-deep in Halloween décor right now. It’s going to be fun.” Nina tried to force a smile. “Anyway, thanks for coming with me.”

 

 

Travis and Nina approached Raven’s apartment building. They rang the buzzer several times, but no one answered. Travis pressed on the inner door, which swung open.

 

 

“Hello,” he called.

 

 

There was no answer, so Travis and Nina started up the stairs. When they reached Raven’s apartment , they found the door ajar.

 

 

“I was expecting festive lights and blaring music.” Travis glanced at Nina with a puzzled look on his face.

 

 

“Why is her door open?” Nina shook her head and bit her lower lip. The door creaked as she pushed on it, and they entered the dimly lit apartment. All the lights were off, except for a small lamp on an end table near the sofa. The curtains were drawn. The smell hit them almost immediately––rancid, jolting, evil—a stench to make the inside of their noses burn.

 

 

“Wow! She really went all out with the macabre theme.” Travis scanned the room his face pinched.

 

 

“What’s that smell?” Nina covered her nose and mouth with her hand.

 

 

“That is one of my best works,” a dark, sinister voice answered. Nina and Travis jolted and directed their eyes toward the voice. Nina’s legs faltered. If it weren’t for Travis, she would have fallen.

 

 

“Raven?” Nina gasped.

 

 

Raven’s skin appeared ashen and leathery. Her ratty, black hair framed her face like heavy curtains. Her eyes were bloodshot, and she wore a raggedy long black dress.

 

 

“Do you like my painting?” Raven tottered toward her.

 

 

Nina reached for Travis’ hand and gave it a squeeze. “Your . . . painting?”

 

 

“Yes, come and have a look.”

 

 

Nina and Travis followed Raven deeper into the apartment. Nina’s heart pounded. A thin film of cold sweat covered Travis’ forehead.

 

 

“At first, I couldn’t figure out what my series of paintings should be about.” Raven waved a paintbrush like a conductor’s wand. “Then an explosion of light went off in my head. Why not make paintings of my neighbors gathered for a great supper?”

 

 

“Interesting concept.” There was a slight tremor in Travis’ voice.

 

 

Nina stepped closer to the painting to have a better look, but then backed away. The stench seemed to be coming from the painting itself. Its surface was slathered in deep red paint and there were rubbery objects attached – no doubt the type of props that gag shops offered around Halloween. Nina looked around. All of the walls were adorned with the dark red paintings.

 

 

“So, you like them?” Raven’s manic tone was back in her voice.

 

 

“Well . . . ” Nina gulped.

 

 

“I like your costume, Raven.” Travis fidgeted and glanced at Nina.

 

 

As Raven brought up her hand, Nina noticed that the handle of the wooden paintbrush had been sharpened to a point. Before Travis realized what was happening, Raven had stabbed him in the chest. He stumbled and fell on his back. Nina wailed, dropped to her knees and began to shake him. He lay still, his eyes wide open.

 

 

“Why Raven? Why?” Nina stared imploringly at the monster that was once her friend.

 

 

“I’m not wearing a costume.” Raven glared at Nina. “Do you like my paintings or not?”

 

 

Nina was sitting on the floor directly beneath one of the paintings. She peered at it through eyes blurred with tears.

 

 

“Well? What do you think?” Raven’s voice became angry and vicious.

 

 

Nina jolted and wiped the wetness from her eyes with trembling hands. She shuddered as she was finally able to see the painting for what it was. Those rubbery objects attached to its surface weren’t from the gag shop – they were real intestines, brains, hearts, tongues, spleens, and who knows what else. How many people died here? Her stomach churned, and she felt lightheaded.

 

 

“Tell me!” Raven stared at her with a wolfish expression. Then she became calm and studied Nina’s face. Suddenly, Raven said cheerfully, “If you don’t like it I can always improve it.”

 

 

Raven lurched over to Travis’ body and grabbed his head, lifting it by the hair. She buried the tip of the large paintbrush into the tear duct and popped the eyeball out. She did the same with the other eye to the rhythm of Nina’s wails. She grabbed the eyeballs dangling on his cheeks and yanked them from the optic nerve. Nina felt an expansion in her head and a weakness throughout her body. She retched several times.

 

 

She can’t have a fainting fit. She has to get to her feet! Nina’s eyes shifted to the door. Raven stood between her and the exit.

 

 

“Here we go. Much better, right?” Raven attached Travis’ eyes to the bowl of soup in the painting. The painted bowl was now crowded with eyeballs. “My neighbors were always watching me, so I decided to paint an homage to their prying eyes.”

 

 

Nina screamed. Her hands flew to cover her mouth. Trembling, she clambered to her feet.

 

 

“I knew it! I knew you wouldn’t be happy for me!” Raven twitched with rage. “I knew you wouldn’t like my work. Well––I have a few more improvements to make, but for the final touches, I’ll need something from you.”

 

 

Raven lunged at Nina, clutching her filed paintbrush.

 

 

Nina’s legs started moving, as though on automatic pilot. Her heart beat loudly in her ears.

 

Raven chased her, howling ghoulishly.

 

Nina ran to the kitchen. Her eyes darted. She spotted a large knife sitting on the counter. She grabbed it and held it in front of her. Her mind raced and she panted.

 

Raven charged and ran into Nina’s extended arm, which held the knife. Raven stared into Nina’s eyes and moaned. Nina thought she heard her murmur, Thank you.

 

 

Nina released hold of the knife, and Raven slid to the floor. Nina kneeled next to her and rocked back and forth, sobbing. Her mind was unable to fully grasp what had just happened.

 

 

“Why? Why did you do this? Raven . . . why?”

 

 

She saw the answer to her question as Raven took her last breath. They crawled out of her ear by the dozens—the wiggly wormy things she recognized from their hometown lake. The parasites were vacating Raven’s head, no longer having a live brain to feed on.

 

Copyright © 2013 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

 

A-sexy-and-macabre-painting-of-a-girl-lying-dead-on-a-tiled-floor-by-sarah-Joncas-643x500

 

 

 

 Edible Body Parts –– Bread!

 

zombie_head_bread

 

Okay, before you guys go off the deep end, let me explain. The images of the human body parts are unsettling I know, but guess what? They’re actually bread. Yes! Your eyes are not playing tricks on you. Thai artist and baker Kittiwat Unarrom creates these edible bread sculptures and sells them at his family’s bakery!

I don’t think I’d be able to put any of this bread in my mouth without retching, but hey, if you’ve ever fantasized about eating a person zombie-style hop on a plane to Thailand and visit Kittiwat’s bakery and you can do it legally. Read more about this Body Part Bakery and The Walking Bread here. Check out this video.

Yes, all of this is edible!

Yes, all of this is edible!

Edible bread body parts

Image

The Train Ride From Hell – Finale

4 Mar

Happy Tuesday everyone and a warm welcome to my blog! Today I’m posting the fourth and final part of my short Horror series The Train Ride From Hell. I hope you enjoy the finale!

NOTE: You must read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 in order to follow and enjoy the finale.

WARNING: Do not read this series alone or in the dark.

The Train Ride From Hell – Finale

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

“Why do you watch?” the girl asked with furrowed brow. I gazed at her, and this time I felt love for her. I didn’t want her to suffer any longer.

 

“I don’t know, but I will not look out again. You were right to stay in your seat.”

 

“I stay in my seat because I already know what is out there and where I will be going,” she said with her face tight barely able to hide her anger and pain.

 

“How do you know this?”

 

“That isn’t important.”

 

“Where are you going?”

 

“My stop is Violence. I committed violence against you…”

 

“I forgive you!” I spurted.  She smiled faintly at me.

 

“…and I committed violence against myself–when I slit my throat after stabbing you in the belly.”  My hands flew to my mouth, and I continued to sob.

 

“I’m so sorry for what I did to you–to your entire family. You don’t deserve to be here. You’re just a child who suffered greatly, and you were traumatized by your mother’s death. You deserve a second chance.”

 

“There are no second chances here. I will be transformed into a twisted thorny bush and fed upon by beautiful women with wings. They will resemble you so that I will always remember the face of my victim. Every bite these creatures take will be devastatingly painful to me. Every branch torn and every thorn plucked will cause me unbearable pain and suffering, but every branch and thorn will grow back so that my suffering may be infinite.”

 

“No!”  I couldn’t bear the thought of this. My heart was torn to pieces.  “I don’t want you to hurt anymore.”

 

“What we want is no longer pertinent.” I looked at her wretched little face. This was my fault entirely–this young girl’s suffering and her ghastly fate. I must somehow undo this!

 

I left my seat and ran up and down the aisles.

 

“Conductor! Where is the conductor? I must speak to him!” I yelled. Immediately,  I heard his voice behind me.

 

“What is it you must say to me?”

 

“Do you have the power to remove someone from this train and release them from their fate in hell?”

 

“I do not.”  My heart sank.  “However,” he continued, “the people on this train have the ability to save themselves.”  The creepy conductor breathed new life into me with his words, and I lifted my head high.

 

“Surely you do not believe you can save yourself?” he sniggered. “You are a greedy, self-absorbed woman!”

 

“I am not attempting to save myself. I deserve whatever comes to me, but there’s someone here that is innocent.”

 

“No one on this train is innocent,” said the conductor in a malicious tone.

 

The young girl approached the conductor and me and held onto my arm, but hid herself halfway behind me. Her hands were cold and trembling.

 

“This girl is innocent! Everything she did, I drove her to do it. She was traumatized and not in her right mind. She deserves another chance.” The conductor’s face altered, becoming still more hideous and wicked, and his irises became red balls of fire. I was frightened, but stood my ground.

 

“She is not wholly innocent!” he growled. I flinched and the young girl hid further behind me. I could hear her whimpering.

 

“I will gladly take whatever punishment was meant for her!”

 

“You have your own punishment to bear!”

 

“Then I will accept her punishment as well as mine! She has already suffered enough because of me. She doesn’t deserve to continue to be tormented for the things I’ve done! It is my turn to hurt. I will suffer on her behalf!” I meant every word with all my heart.

 

The conductor began to grow out of his uniform. His skin became rough and a fungus green. He grew thrice the size, his face so ugly it was painful to look upon. His chest heaved with each audible breath. His long burly fingers balled into tight fists. He growled, and long sharp horns exploded out of his head. He stared at me with his red eyes and snarled, showing me his large, razor-sharp teeth. I trembled and my teeth chattered uncontrollably. I screamed and sobbed as the heat radiated from the monster’s blazing hide, singing my skin. I turned to shield the girl from the inferno, and what I saw stunned me.

 

She was aglow.  Airy.  She looked radiant and happy.

 

“I have been forgiven. Thank you, this was your doing. I am going to a good place now.” With these words her ethereal body floated up and traveled through the train’s ceiling, disappearing from view. “Thank you!” I heard her say again from the distance. I took a deep breath, feeling relief. She was safe now and she would never suffer again. I gaped at the monster before me through squinted eyes.

 

“I’m ready to receive my punishment and hers. Take me to whatever nightmare awaits me.” My voice quavered, but I had made my point. The beast slouched forward and with a thunderous roar, lifted his claws to attack me. I could feel its incredible rage!

 

 

I opened my eyes. The pain was excruciating. Groans escaped my lips. I couldn’t move.

 

“Welcome back,” said a man wearing a white coat. I stared at him in awe.

 

“Can you speak?” he asked in a kind voice.

 

“Yes,” I croaked.

 

“You’re in St. Francis Hospital. You were involved in a serious automobile accident. Apparently you received a serious puncture wound in your abdomen during the crash. You’ve been in a coma for the last few weeks. We didn’t think you would make it, but in the last couple of days, your vitals began to stabilize. I believe you’re going to be alright now.”

 

I must have seemed crazy to the doctor as I began to simultaneously laugh and cry despite the pain. Yes, I will be all right now, and so will she.

 

Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.

girl in paradise

Photograph by Amanda-Diaz (DeviantART)

Leave a comment with your thoughts. ;D

Image

The Train Ride From Hell – PART 3

27 Feb

The Train Ride From Hell - PART 3

Hi everyone! I’m so happy many of you are enjoying my short Horror Series The Train Ride From Hell.  Today I’m posting Part 3 of the series. If you have not yet read Part 1 or Part 2 I suggest you read those first.  As always, I must warn you that this is a Horror story, so you may want to read it in daylight and/or with a buddy. Thank you!

The Train Ride From Hell – PART 3

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

I shook my head from side to side. My lips trembled and waterfalls fell from my eyes.

 

“No–please! I didn’t know,” I pleaded. “You’re right, I never thought about the people in the men’s lives who I slept with. If I had known this would happen, I never would have done the things I did.”

 

“It’s too late now,” she whispered.

 

“No, no! I’m sorry. I will change my ways. From this moment on, I will always think of the consequences of my actions. I don’t want to go to hell!” I grabbed the girl by the shoulders again. “Please help me! I’m sorry about your mother. I didn’t know–I would have never had the affair with your father if I had known the consequences it would bring. I will never have another affair. I will respect the sanctity of marriage from now on. I swear!”

 

“It’s too late!” she cried and turned away. My eyes darted from one face to another of the passengers. Some were demons, but others were humans like me, waiting to be taken to the appropriate circle of hell. It was becoming hotter in the train. I was sweating. I was panting heavily, wringing my hands. There’s got to be a way out for me. This can’t be happening to me. I went back to the girl who had returned to her seat. My heart was pounding hard against my chest.

 

“Who brought me here?” I asked. She glanced at me. Her face was ashen and her lips trembled. “Who brought me here?” I insisted. “Maybe if I spoke to the person–or thing–that brought me here I can convince him that I’ve changed and don’t belong here.”

 

“I brought you here–when I killed you,” she hissed.

 

I stared at her dumbfounded. I’m dead? This can’t be true.

 

“I was overcome by grief when I found my mother. She had taken poison. The expression on her face told me it was neither a quick, nor a painless death. I will never forget the look on her face.”  She closed her eyes and released rain from under her eyelids. Then she glared at me.  “I had to make you pay. Now, I am on my way to the last circle of hell to burn for all eternity–with you.”  The look on her face was bleak. My body slumped. I felt hollow, except for the burning pain in my chest. She murdered me, yet I felt only pity for her. I was remorseful for all I had put her through.

 

The train stopped. The passengers did not willingly file out of the train anymore. Tall, sinewy, dark green monstrous creatures forced them to exit, kicking and screaming. Trembling, I inched my way to the opening and looked outside the train. I searched for a sign to tell me where the train had stopped. The sign read: Gluttony.

 

This was a muddy place, and it rained ceaselessly. The rain must have been freezing cold because the passengers that were forced out began to shiver almost immediately once they were outside the train. They were stripped of their clothes and tossed by the green monstrosities into a muddy pit.

 

The rancid, putrefied smell of this place penetrated through the invisible field that kept me inside the train. The ogres took pleasure in physically torturing the people. The people were also forced to wallow in the foul mud and eat mouthfuls of it while the green brutes urinated and defecated within it. It was a repugnant scene. My stomach ached, and I was nauseous. I retched time and time again, but released nothing.

I hurried back to my seat convinced I would not look outside at any of the other stops. I was bawling uncontrollably. I couldn’t imagine spending eternity in a place like this, but the thought of her suffering for all time perturbed me most. I had to do something, but what? What can I do?

covered_in_mud_The Train Ride From Hell

Muddy rain_The Train Ride From Hell

Comments are greatly appreciated.

Image

The Train Ride From Hell – PART 2

25 Feb

sad_girl_train ride from hell

Hello my friends and welcome to my blog. Last week I posted Part 1 of my short series The Train Ride From Hell. As promised I have posted Part 2 today. Remember there’s a warning attached to this series: do not read at night . . . or by yourself. 😉 Enjoy!

The Train Ride From Hell – PART 2

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Limbo? Where is this place? I’d never heard of Limbo. My mind was reeling. I continued to stare. The place didn’t look too bad. There were green fields and flower bushes. In the distance there was a large mansion surrounded by gates.

 

 

Perhaps I could speak to someone there. Maybe they had the answers I sought and could help me get back home.

 

 

I made an attempt to flee the train, but I couldn’t get past the round opening. An invisible energy prevented me from exiting the train. Suddenly, I felt an ice-cold hand on my shoulder.  It was the conductor.

 

 

“I told you this wasn’t your stop,” he hollered. “Take your seat!” His eyes turned into red coals. I flinched and hurried to sit by the girl again. I stared at her, shivering, still feeling the cold on my shoulder transferred by the conductor’s eerily frigid hand. She glanced at me with sad, moist verdant eyes, then she turned to look ahead.

 

 

“Who are you?” I asked, but she gazed forward. I grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her. “Who are you? What is this place? Why am I here? Why are you here?”  She screamed and pushed me with such force that I slid off my seat and onto the worm infested floor. Rats came running toward me the moment I landed. They began to bite any exposed skin. I howled and grimaced. I grabbed onto a seat and holding it, I clambered to get on my feet. I sat next to the girl again. I put my feet up on the chair wailing and trembling with fear and pain. She glowered at me. Her chest heaved in rhythm with her breathing.

 

 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell at you or hurt you. Please tell me what is happening––why are we on this train?” I waited for her answer.

 

 

“This is no ordinary train, it doesn’t take you to places you want to go.  It takes you to places where you deserve to go.” Tears streamed over her rosy cheeks.

 

 

I stared at her for a long time, trying to understand what she was saying. A drop of slobber on my hand indicated I had my mouth open the whole time. I wiped my hand on my blouse and wiped the dribble around my mouth with the back of my hand.

 

 

“I understand now that I’m not traveling in an ordinary train, and I realize that some of the people on the train are not people at all, but why am I here and how did I get here?”

 

 

“Why do you assume I know these things?” She scrunched her eyes and nose.

 

 

“I just a feeling that I have and you look familiar to me somehow. Please, tell me everything.” If I could have gotten on my knees to beg her I would have.

 

 

“I’m not sure you want to know everything.” She lowered her head.

 

 

I shifted in my seat and faced her. “I do! I do want to know. Please! How much more do I need to beg before you will answer my questions?”

 

 

“Alright. I will tell you everything.” She tossed her long, sooty black hair back.

 

The train came to a screeching halt again. My heart galloped in my chest. Once more the opening appeared. I was overwhelmed with the desire to look out again. I rose from my seat and watched the people getting off at this stop. Some were demons and some were regular folk like me. They looked frightened and sobbed as they trudged to their destiny. Some had to be forced out by the fiends.

 

 

I rushed and joined them. They stepped out of the train with ease, but I hit a wall and couldn’t traverse the opening. I looked out, and what I saw terrified me. There was a frightful storm. The people were blown to and fro by terrible winds. The winds came from different directions and violently tore off their clothes. It smashed them against walls, the ground and each other without rest. Lightning and thunder moved through the area with loud booms and flashes so bright, they caused temporary blindness! The passengers’ faces warped and twisted in horror and pain. The doorway began to close. Before the circle closed completely, I caught a glimpse of a sign, which read Lust.

 

 

A cold wave of realization began to overtake my body. Artic liquid circulated through my veins. I needed to know what the girl with the vivid green eyes knew and I needed to know now! I rushed to her. I grabbed her by the arms and yanked her to her feet.

 

 

“Tell me! Tell me!” I yelled in her face. “Where is this train taking me?”

 

 

“Hell!” she screamed.  “You are going to hell.”  I released her.  Everything spun around me.  My legs were weak and couldn’t sustain me any longer.  I plopped down in my seat.

 

 

My heart was in my throat. “How did I get here? Who brought me here?” My voice was thick and hoarse and didn’t sound like my own.

 

 

“The question you should be asking is why you are here.”  There was resentment in her voice, in her eyes.

 

 

“Why am I here?” I was not eager to know the answer but I had to hear it.

 

 

“You are an evil woman. You hurt people.” She scowled.

 

 

I shook my head. “No! I never hurt anyone!”

 

 

She narrowed her eyes. “You never stopped to think how your sleeping with married men to use them and take their money affected their wives and children!”

 

 

I was speechless as I gawped at her. Her doleful green eyes turned dark as she continued to say terrible undisputed things about me.

 

 

“Like a witch, you enticed my father and put him under your spell. You ensnarled him with your wiles. He became obsessed with you. He stopped trying to hide his affair. He didn’t care who knew about you. Well, my mother knew of you and so did I!” Her face was etched with sorrow.

 

 

Her withering expression made my heart grow heavy. She hung her head.

 

 

“My father became more and more distant from my mother and his children. We no longer mattered. You were all he cared about. My mother could not bear the pain any longer. So she took her own life.” She lifted her eyes from the ground and glared at me. I gasped.

 

 

“You drove my mother to suicide! You killed her and now you are going to hell for it!”

Stormy Weather

Don’t miss PART 3!

Image

The Train Ride From Hell – PART 1

21 Feb

The Train Ride From Hell

Hello everyone! Today I’ve posted PART 1 of my short Horror Series:

The Train Ride From Hell.

The inspiration for this story comes from an account I read on my friend Ashwin Kumar’s Blog (My World… My Words) about a terrible train ride he had taken not long ago–Sunrise Shots From Train. I hope you enjoy it. Let me know your thoughts.

WARNING: Do Not Attempt To Read This Series At Night!

 

The Train Ride From Hell – PART 1

The piercing note of a horn woke me. I sat upright in my seat, then started when I heard the roar of an engine. I checked my surroundings. My pulse raced as I realized I was aboard a train. I shook my head trying to shake away the fog in my brain. Why am I on this train? Where am I going? I sprung to my feet and searched for a sign or map––anything that would indicate where I was. I saw nothing. There were no advertising billboards or maps, no neon signs telling me what the next stop would be.

 

I looked out of the grimy window nearest me. Smoke. Maybe fog? I could hardly see anything at all. I noticed the train’s walls. This train was not like the ones I’ve taken many times. The walls on this train were black like wrought iron, covered with a slimy film. Ugh! I looked at my seat. I screamed and recoiled. The seat was covered in grime, and there were roaches crawling all over it!

 

I stared at the people quietly sitting in their seats. My stomach churned painfully. The walls of the train seemed to shift up and down. I became dizzy and nauseated as I witnessed cockroaches crawling over some passengers’ laps, chests and even heads! Rats fiddled around their feet. Certain areas of the train’s floor moved. No––there were hundreds of slimy worms wriggling about. I retched repeatedly. I couldn’t understand why these people remained calm in their seats while insects and vermin crawled all over them. Who were these people? Where was this train going? How did I get here?

 

I scuttled down the aisle glancing at the different faces. Some were in a trance––they seemed to be in some sort of stupor. A large worm slithered halfway into a man’s ear while he sat motionless and stared ahead, his eyes glazed. With unsteady hands I pulled the worm out of his ear, slammed it on the ground and stomped on it. The man turned his head and smiled at me. It was not a grateful smile. The smile was evil and grotesque. Right before my eyes, his face shifted into a demonic form, then back to that of a man. Disconcerted, I tottered away.

 

There was a whirling sensation in my head and my breathing became shallow. I saw a woman with cockroaches crawling in and out of her hat. I pulled the hat off her head and threw it to the ground. Dozens of roaches spilled out and crawled all over her face. Her head whisked in my direction and she cackled as insects crawled into her mouth! I was overcome with feelings of queasiness. My heart was pounding loudly in my ears. My eyes jumped from passenger to passenger. Suddenly, they all stared at me at once, some grinning, others laughing, and yet others sobbing. Some faces flickered from human faces to that of demons. I clutched my hair and screamed again and again. I ran up and down the aisle. I couldn’t find a way out. Besides, the train was moving at an alarming speed. I couldn’t escape.

 

“Where am I?” I sobbed into my hands.

 

“You’re on a train,” a young voice responded.

 

“I know I’m on a train, but where am I . . . ” My voice trailed off when I saw her. She was a girl––no more than sixteen. She appeared almost angelic. There were no bugs crawling over her pretty face. She looked as out of place here as I did.

 

“Do you know where this train is going?” I stared still in disbelief.

 

“I’m not sure, but I have an idea.” She had an agonized expression. I continued to look at her for a while. She was definitely not like some of the others.

 

“Do you know how you got aboard this train? Because I have no idea how I got here!” My body trembled. She looked at me askance.

 

“Take your seats the train will make its first stop shortly!” A conductor showed up out of nowhere. I ran to him.

 

“How did I get on this train? Did you see when and how I got on? Someone must have brought me onboard. Do you know whom? Where is this train stopping?” The conductor only stared at me with a look of revulsion on his face.

 

“Sit.  Down.  You will see soon enough. You won’t be getting off here.” He laughed. He had a malevolent, doom-laden laugh that sent chills up and down my spine. I glanced at the girl; her face was pale––her eyes wide. When I turned to speak to the conductor again, he was gone. Having no choice, I sat by the girl’s side. Her hands trembled and she gazed at me with doleful eyes. I sobbed quietly.

 

The train was about to stop. I heard the squeal of steel wheels on steel rail. I tried to look out the window, but the glass was too dirty, and a thick wall of fog blocked my view. I glanced behind us. There was a gap between our row of seats and the row behind us. That’s usually where doors would be located, but there were no doors.

 

The train stopped with a jolt. The black, slimy wall between the two rows began to open. A round opening appeared, growing larger as if a flame were eating away at it. Passengers began to get out of their seats and file out of the train. I was not sure I wanted to go anywhere these people went, but I was compelled to see what was out there. I stood. The young girl gasped and held onto my arm.

 

“Don’t!” Her eyes were large with fear.

 

“I need to see.” I wrested my arm from her hold.

 

I rushed to the round opening and stared out. There was a sign right outside the train on the platform that read Limbo

 

Sad

SAD – Illustration by Sebastian Ruhs

Be sure to read PART 2