All my life I knew that I was different to everyone else. People would ask me how I knew they were near me and all I could express was that I just knew it. I could even let people know when doors opened or closed, when others were home or not, or if someone was walking or running behind a wall, and all without seeing them. The adults speculated that I had the second sight, while the children preferred to spread rumours that I had the devil’s touch. The adults informed us that this was nonsense and that no one had had the devil’s touch in generations, however, I could see in the faces of some adults the echo of genuine concern from generations passed. The children believed that I had the devil’s touch because I could also make the lights turn on or off without touching the wall panels. No one could see how I did this, and at the time I didn’t understand either. No one could point out to me what I was doing. I was a source of wonder and fear for everyone around me, yet I was still a small boy and my unusual abilities hadn’t gotten me into trouble yet.
My life was still relatively normal until when I was fourteen I woke up with the realisation that someone was breaking into my bedroom. I made the lights come on without touching the wall panels in my usual way and there standing in my room was a woman in a thick black jacket, she’d obviously smashed in my window to get into my room for the glass was so freshly broken it hadn’t started to melt into the floor as it typically did when broken. She signalled to me that she knew that I was the boy with the devil’s touch. Feeling that I had to reply to her, as she was an adult, I signalled back that she was correct. She unbuttoned her coat and it slid from her naked body. She was the picture of mature womanhood in full bloom. However, I was only fourteen and found her terrifying. She saw the fear in my eyes but signalled for me to keep still because she just wanted to lie in bed with me. Continue reading “The Devil’s Touch”
The evening sun was waning over the abandoned city, and the cats were on the prowl. Leo Socks was walking down what he believed was an empty alley way just minding his cat business when from out of a bin sprang a red fox. Leo regarded the newcomer with consternation. He’d seen foxes before, but few as bold as this one. He was after all deep in cat land.
“Say, what brings you here Mr. Fox?”
The red fox skulked as he crept sideways yet was careful to maintain eye contact with Leo.
“Who are you?” Croaked the fox.
“Socks, Leo Socks,” said the cat coolly.
A broad toothy grin slipped across the fox’s face. Leo instantly recognised the meaning of this grin and bounded forward just as the fox did the same. They connected in mid air except Leo landed on the fox’s back and sprang back off again driving the fox’s nose down into the ground in an dramatically uncontrolled landing. The baffled fox snarled uncomprehendingly at what Leo had just done; cats generally run away from foxes not attack them head on.
“You’re very brave for a cat!” Hissed the red fox. Continue reading “The Tuxedo Terror”
There once was a platypus named Herbert who lived in a river deep in the bush. Like most platypuses, Herbert was happy living underground or exploring the riverbed believing this was the reach of the entire world. If you asked a platypus what the world looks like they would tell you it is equal parts water and land, with the land at the bottom and the water mostly near the top. This explanation had satisfied all the platypuses for centuries; except for Herbert, who was different to the other platypuses: Herbert had doubts.
Herbert would often ask difficult questions, especially during the long nights sitting underground in his little cave counting the worms wiggling by. He often wondered if there was more to the world than just the riverbed and the little underwater caves the platypuses lived in. However, platypuses pride themselves on knowing everything and whenever he spoke to the other platypuses about his doubts they smugly told him that there was nothing beyond the riverbed but more riverbeds.
Herbert asked what lived in those other riverbeds and the answer always the same, “some of them have other colonies of platypuses, but most of them are full of monsters that would eat a platypus if they could! So a platypus must never ever leave their riverbed else they will get eaten by a monster.” Continue reading “Herbert the Platypus”
“Hey Bree, what’s up?”
“Oh, nothing much, I just wondered if maybe you had heard any news about Amelia recently.”
“You mean about how she’s pregnant?”
“Yah, that’s it. I mean, yeah, I know about that, but I was wondering if you knew of anything else, since you’ve known her since high school?”
“Not really, she’s always kept a lot to herself, in fact I was chatting to the guys about her last night, and we’re all kind of confused, we didn’t even know she was dating anyone, then she announces online that she’s pregnant out of the blue. I kind of thought one of the other guys might have been secretly dating her, but we soon found that’s what everyone else was thinking! Some of the guys even thought I might be the father. But we had established by the end of the night that no one here knows who the father is.”
“Yeah, that’s right, the other girls don’t know either, Amelia is being really tight lipped about it. It seems to be a pretty well guarded secret because I haven’t found anyone else who knows.”
“Yet she seems really happy about it all.”
“Yeah, she is. Too happy if you ask me.” Continue reading “Amelia’s Baby”
Zoe was not like other girls and it wasn’t because of her sparkling crystalline eyes, nor was it because of her mischievous grin and cunning glance, in fact is wasn’t even the red polka dot ribbons she used to tie up her chestnut coloured bangs. Zoe was the quiet girl in school who did her work silently and interrogated anyone who wanted to be her friend. She was a mysterious girl, a girl with secrets, a girl with a passion. An obsession some might even say.
Paranormal events, psychic readings, the occult, tarot cards, the illuminati, conspiracy theories, alien abductions, and ghost stories: She read all about them. Typically she did this at night hidden away in her wardrobe with a torch. She had turned her wardrobe into a secret hideout where she stored her bookcase full of ancient and forbidden knowledge. Her room was filled with arcane objects and photographs of ghosts and fairies. She was a believer in the paranormal.
One day she was tinkering with a walkie talkie and learning Morse code so she could send messages into the aether to contact the dead. She hoped she could also manage to tune the receiver into the wavelengths used by ghosts to communicate.
So it was hardly surprising that one hot summer’s evening, as she was tinkering with parts of a radio transceiver, she heard a message: Three long, three short, three long. SOS. Continue reading “Zoe and the Fly”
The village of Imbrick was perched far on the northern shore. The forest to the south of the village was so thick that from above it looked as though the village was being engulfed and eaten by a giant dark green slug. The forest was infested with packs of wolves and so the locals rarely ventured down the road through the forest, and instead they traded with the odd fishing boat that passed by. The villagers were often out of touch with developments in the towns and cities far to the south and so it caused great excitement when each year a priest would visit the village to bless and preach to the villagers and give them news of the events affecting the rest of the nation.
One evening a strange man cloaked in the tattered robes of a cleric stumbled into the village. His flesh had been scratched and ripped so the villagers took him in and tended to his wounds. The strange man pretended to be asleep while the villagers around him discussed who he could be. The blacksmith argued that because of his robes he must be the priest who came to visit them each year. The milk maid pointed to the torn garments and proclaimed that they were too small to be a man’s. The village was divided and did not know which to believe. The strange man hearing this awoke the next day and introduced himself to the villagers as the replacement priest sent to visit them each year about this time. He said that he had been attacked by a wolf and most of his robes torn away from him. Continue reading “The Fool of Imbrick”
A long time ago, in the lands far to the North, there lived two children: Ethen and Latharna. The children lived in a small village in the valley with their father and their stepmother. One winter’s day their stepmother told them there was nothing for them to eat and directed them to go into the woods to the village on the other side of the mountain to ask them if they could spare some food. Ethen and Latharna set off into the woods for the other village for they were very hungry.
The woods were covered in snow and the bushes all bare of fruit. Latharna looked for mushrooms in the woods, while Ethen looked for bugs they could eat. However, by midday they had almost arrived at the village and had found nothing they could eat. That’s when Ethen noticed something glimmering in the snow by the road. Ethen picked up the glimmering thing to discover that it was a silver cup. The two children marvelled at the beauty of the cup, but decided to keep going on to the village as they were so close.
As they approached the village they noticed that something was wrong. There was no one in sight.
“Where have all the people gone?” cried Latharna.
“Maybe they’re hiding?” said Ethen.
The two children searched the village but could not find anyone. They were just about to give up and go home when Latharna thought she heard voices. She motioned for her brother to keep silent and the two children carefully moved in the direction of the voices. They were coming from a field they previously checked and had been empty. Peeking from behind a fence they were astonished to see that someone was trying to plough the field; in the middle of winter! They looked even closer and were even more astonished to find the plough was being pushed and pulled by two little people with wings! Continue reading “The Children of the Thaw: The Silver Cup”
Long ago in the town of Marlenburg, there once lived a young woman called Bessica. She was an intelligent and educated woman, but she wasn’t pretty and every day she lamented her lack of beauty. She could not help but notice that all the men of the town ignored her, they liked the prettier women and she was angry with envy. All the men except for Jamie, the fletcher’s son, he liked Bessica and would bring her flowers and sometimes she’d chat to him and tell him of her frustrations. He would listen to her for hours and give her as much of his company he could spare.
Bessica appreciated Jamie, and although she had no romantic interest in him, being a poor boy, she decided to teach him how to read in return for his companionship. Jamie struggled at first, but soon mastered the alphabet and could read a few simple books and letters by himself. The love and respect for Bessica grew deep and strong in Jamie’s heart, in his eyes she was indeed the most beautiful woman in town. He told her one day that he was so thankful for teaching him how to read, that he wanted to marry her. Bessica told him he was sweet, but that they were not meant for each other.
In truth Bessica felt ugly, she felt insulted that she an educated woman was being completely ignored by all the gentlemen, and she could only be courted by a mere fletcher’s son. She would howl with rage at her mirror Continue reading “The Tragedy of Bessica”