Not One Word

By: Spencer DiSparti

The board lay before them, smiling up at them through wooden teeth; the alphabet never looked so terrifying.  The girls eyes were transfixed upon it, enraptured by it, with a mixture between fear and wonderment.

An electric excitement coursed through their tremulous hands as they both grasped the planchette.  They began to speak in unison; their voices eerie and hollow in the stygian attic.

“Come to us, O Great Spirit!”

The glass eye trembled beneath their grasp, quickly scurrying along the board like a disjointed crab, leaving a trail of letters in its wake.

HELL…O

Their possessed tongues flopped in their little mouths, pulled by invisible strings, and before they could retract them the words spilled from their parched lips.

“What is your name, O Great Spirit?”

The planchette danced across the silent board once again.

A BADD…

ONE.

A nonplussed expression fell on the girls’ faces.

“Were you a bad boy?”  One of the bolder girls asked.

BOY

“Yes, boy, you stupid ghost!”  The girl said in agitation.

“No Jessa, you don’t know who it is.  Don’t mess with it.”  The other girl exclaimed.

“Oh Mary, don’t be such a scaredy-cat.  It’s just a silly game.”

The planchette moved along the board again.

JES…SA

The girl named Jessa guffawed.

“Oooooo, are you trying to scare us?”  She said defiantly.  Then a deviant smile slowly spread across her face.

“Are you the devil?”

Suddenly, the planchette began to shake violently underneath their hands.  The girls shrieked, trying to free their hands from it, but it wouldn’t budge.  It felt like there was a magnet pulling at them.  The hideous eye froze and then slowly crept along the board encircling a word that would never have the same meaning again.

YES

The Castle by: Spencer DiSparti

Image

There beneath the skeletal moon, its face ablaze with pale, blue fire laid a spire of a ruin, its towers taunting the very heavens above.  Its yawning gates beckoning me to enter.  My fear silenced by the cries of curiosity as I crossed the forbidden threshold.

Stepping into the womb of night, my eyes were bathed in blindness, the chill air seeping into my very bones.  To my right, velvet drapes adorned a monolithic window, like a pair of demonic wings.  Viscid tears poured down the dark walls in thick droplets.

I came upon a long hall lined by an endless row of candles on tall wrought iron staffs.  Their disembodied flame shining like pearls in a sea of blackness, their ghostly light exposing framed faces, painted with melancholy.  Their deep, hollow eyes following each trembling step I take.  There were men with terror-stricken faces, men with sullen expressions, their deep wrinkles revealed like the scars of time.  There was other things, spawns of some chimerical design.  Things with large obsidian eyes, others with withered lips that exposed their rotting teeth, frozen in a hideous smile.  But most were ineffable abominations that I could not comprehend.

At last the hall opened up into a colossal domed chamber, and at its zenith hung an enormous chandelier aglow with some hidden inner light.  Enraptured by its resplendence I began to hear an eerie voice of music fill the heavy air.  A nocturne of beauty that slithered up my spine and into my soul with its haunting melody.  I stood directly under the great lamp though I do not know how it came to be.  An opaque mist swept through the room, breaking into many nebulous shapes of all variety, solidifying into faint human bodies.  Their spectral forms swirling and twirling about me in a perpetual dance.  Shadows of a long, forgotten past.

All of a sudden a sharp cackle severed the lovely cadence, tearing me from my reverie.  The crowd continuing their slow dance, lost in their own fantasy.  I stared in the direction from where the hideous laughter erupted; there in the gloom stood a looming shadow on the very edge of darkness.  The shadow then emerged as a whole, like some demonic statue.  It stood motionless, its features illuminated in the soft gilded candlelight.

On its head was a rusted crown.  Its jewels missing like broken teeth.  Tentacles of damp, disheveled hair clamped about its skull like an opalescent egg.  Its filthy robes dangling off its haggard frame like strands of broken web.  Only its sunken deep-set eyes were blazing with life.  Its contorted mouth pulled back in a painfully grotesque grin as it said in a low, creaky voice, “Hello, old friend.” And with horrific clarity, I realized that that forsaken creature was me.

© SD 2013

The Never Ending Nightmare By: Spencer D.

falkor

The little boy jumped from cloud to cloud, picking out shapes along the way; a fluffy teddy bear with one button eye here, a half mutilated chocolate bunny with it’s delicious entrails seeping out there.  His reverie was soon broken when he saw him.  There, hovering like a demented dog was that insufferable luckdragon, Falkor.  He felt those possessed eyes fixed upon him, feeling them probe the very depths of his soul.

In waning desperation he quickly jumped off the nearest cloud in hopes of escaping this soon-to-be nightmare, but the shaggy demon was too fast and seized him by the scruff of the neck.  It was too late now.

“Why hello Atreyu, it is good to see you again, my friend.”

“I am not your friend!”  I practically spat out the words.

“Why of course we are Atreyu.  We would have to be if we are going on another adventure.”

I don’t know how long I screamed, but I screamed long enough to where the sky began to warble about me to the point I thought it might rip in half.

“This is really getting old.  I’m not a child anymore Falkor, I’m a grown man for God’s sake!”

“You can never age when you are in the Never Ending Story.”

“I’m 38!”  I screamed.  “I’m starting to think of all the dragons I met, you are the unluckiest one.”

The hairy beast looked at me with those bedeviled eyes and I saw in them a smoldering fury.

“You’ve been with other dragons!!” He growled.

“Duh, these are my dreams pal.  I can do whatever I want.”

Slowly, he began to dig his claws into my body.  Then he looked down at me fuming with jealousy and said, “Not anymore…my friend.”

And I knew I was doomed to live in this never ending nightmare until the end.

A Furry Boy’s Night Out by: Spencer D.

Mr. Were sat at the bar and howled for another beer, his lulling tongue slavering all over the counter.  He hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in the last few weeks.  Ever since the change, he has been having night terrors every single night.  It’s hard to make a living when you are a werewolf who used to be the only town’s butcher.  Now he doesn’t care about how he carves the meat, just as long as it’s fresh.  His fiancé left him, screaming in terror at the monster that now occupied the other side of the bed.
Becoming even more depressed, he shoved his snout deep into the lukewarm beer.  Terrorizing the local villagers seemed to not be a very lucrative business, considering he almost burnt half the town to the ground last week, half-crazed with hunger, he didn’t realize that he stumbled right into an active witch burning and ran directly into the burning pyre. The hapless maiden was flailing her tiny legs in the air; the fervent flames licking her feet, as his huge bulk demolished the whole structure just in time.
Even though he saved the young girl from being burnt to a crisp, he consequently annihilated the entire village.  Luckily, for his sake, it was the rainy months and eventually the downpour stopped the conflagration.
As he continued to reflect on past events, he heard a faint sigh, like a subtle breeze whispering through the trees.  Or more accurately, like a door whining on rusty hinges.  And before he could turn around, he saw, or rather felt a shadowy presence loom over him.  Turning his head ever so slightly, he saw two pale eyes boring into him.  He gave out an inhuman, yet girlish shriek as Mr. Vamp folded in upon himself rife with laughter.
“That wasn’t funny.”  Said Mr. Were not amused.
“Of course it was Wolfie, you practically jumped out of your hide.” Replied Mr. Vamp with a ghoulish grin.  “Oh, don’t be so sensitive Wolfie.  Heavens, that thick coat of yours is sorely misleading.”
“Why do I even hang out with you?”
“Because you have no other friends.  I hear you’ve got quite a violent temperament.  I would assume that would warrant people from not wanting to be in your company, but this is mere speculation of course.”  The vampire said sardonically.
“Of course.”  Mocked Mr. Were.  The vampire slid in the chair next to him.
“What’ll you have Vampie? A glass of wine?”
A look of revulsion crossed the vampire’s face.  “No, no, too rich for my blood, just water for me, thanks.”
Mr. Were looked at him quizzically, clearly puzzled by this contradiction, but he let it go.
“Cool night out.”  He said lamely.  He was never one for conversation.  Small talk was the best he could do.
“Yes, for you untamed beasts it is, but we don’t come with an oversized winter coat.”
“An oversized mosquito is what you are.”  Mr. Were fired back.
The vampire’s lips curled in amusement, as if a cat were simply toying with its prey.
“Ooh, good one Wolfie.  By the way, don’t you have a tree you could be marking?”
Mr. Were bristled at the insult.  “How dare YOU!”  At this the other barflies swiveled their swollen heads toward the odd pair, and a silence fell over them.  Then the bartender sauntered over to them.  He was a burly, heavyset man who clearly was very formidable in his younger years, but now his once flat stomach displayed a heavy paunch and hairy arms riddled with stretch marks where once thick muscle reigned.  “Hey, keep it down.  I’m tryin’ to run a business ‘ere.”
The vampire waved his hand as if brushing off a pesky insect.  “We were just having a lively chat which you just interrupted, good sir.”  This last word was said with a glint of steel behind it which made the bartender take a step backward.
“In the meantime, a side of taters for my friend and me.” barked Mr. Were.
The bartender yelled at the cook in the back and within minutes a plate of hot fries appeared before them.
“I don’t care for his attitude.”  Mr. Vamp said contemptuously.
“Ne neither.” Mr. Were agreed.
“Why on earth do you frequent this establishment?  It’s so…seedy looking.  And it has the stench of vomit mixed with a hint of wet dog.”  The vampire gazed out of the corner of his eyes to see if he got a rise out of the werewolf.
“Hey, when you insult this place you insult me.”
“I was insulting you, you nitwit.”
“How ‘bout I just give this place a new paint job with your blood right now?”
“It really wouldn’t be mine you’d be spilling.”  The vampire jeered grabbing a fry off the greasy plate; the fry barely touching the tip of his snake-like tongue as he recoiled in horror.  “There’s garlic on these!”
Mr. Were could no longer contain himself and burst into a stentorian laughter.  Well more like a garbage disposal that had too much food crammed into it.
“And you knew, you filthy mutt!”
Instantly the werewolf doubled in size howling all the while, “How DARE you call me that!”
The vampire looked at him not phased in the least by this, as he thoroughly cleaned his tongue with a napkin.
“Heavens, it must be a full moon tonight.”
Hearing this raucous, the bartender ran over.  “If you two don’t pipe down I’m gonna have to ask ya both to leave, got it?”
The two creatures turned their eyes on the hulking man.
“Did you hear that Wolfie?  He wants us to leave.”  Mr. Vamp said in sarcastically.  Clearly not sadden by the thought of being kicked out.
“Yeah, I heard him loud n’ clear.  What, you gotta problem with our kind?  Are you a beastist or somethin’?”
“Oh here we go.  Please Wolfie, spare us both your pathetic soap box for one evening.”  Pleaded Mr. Vamp.
“No, this guy needs to learn a thing or two.  You can’t just discriminate and get away with it.”
The big man’s eyes grew wide and he began to stumble over his words, “No-no, s-sirs.  I just n-need to keep the, the peace ‘ere.  P-people just wanna ‘ave a good t-time, ya know?”
“I certainly do, Mr…”
“Mc-Mc-Kenny, sir.”
“McKenny, yes.  Well Mr. McKenny, I suggest you keep that ill-tempered mouth of yours firmly shut before old Wolfie here…how do I put it?”
“Makes you a new asshole.”  Mr. Were chimed in.
“Not exactly the words I was looking for but it will suffice.”  Mr. Vamp said, clearly irritated.
Mr. McKenny’s face grew grey, but before the bartender could even respond an apish looking man stumbled over to them, oblivious of their argument.  His beady little eyes slowly shifted below his shelf-like forehead from one creature to the next.  “What the..?  You guys are the ugliest sons of bitches I’ve ever seen.”
At that Mr. Were snapped.  And Mr. Vamp knew he could no longer prevent the werewolf’s fuse from going off.
“Wolfie?”
Mr. Were’s eyes blazed with malevolence.  “Yeah?”
“Try not to leave too big a mess.”  Then Mr. Vamp resumed sipping on his drink.

© SD 7/29/13