In a far off land there stood a great tower constructed of mostly animal bones. Certainly not the bones of the animals commonly found in our world, the bones used to build this tower were the size of dinosaur bones. The tower had five pentagonal platforms each on top of the other, and each supported by five pillars. The first four platforms were essentially the same as each other, each had a broad ladder running up to the next platform; with the exception of the fourth platform. The ladder for this platform was lying flat across the decking, both its ends protruding over the edges. Without the ladder in place it was a four metre drop from the fifth platform to the fourth platform below. Thus no one could get up to the fifth platform, and more importantly, no one inside the fifth and final level of the tower could get out without risking a deadly injury.
The fifth platform wasn’t a simple flat deck of ribbed bones like the others, but a room with five walls insulated with mud tightly packed between the ribbing. The room protruded out from the central axis giving the tower the shape of a lollipop. Indeed during the daytime the tower might have looked a little like a lollipop perched atop a crag in the middle of the stony desert, but only to a keen observer because thanks to the yellowing of the old bones the tower merged almost completely into the surrounding landscape and sandy coloured sky. At night time the dessert was particularly dark because this world lacked a moon like our own. The tower was hidden in plain sight, the perfect place to keep prisoner a fourteen year old girl. Continue reading “Bella and the Tower of Bones”
“Eric,” huffed Steven, “You’ve got to come and see this! There’s a woman in the old farmhouse!”
Eric regarded his friend carefully, Steven was a slightly chubby twelve year old boy with a reputation for exaggeration. Eric was also twelve years old, but was wary of any story that seemed too incredible to be true. Since no one had lived in that big old farmhouse for years, he was duly suspicious of Steven’s account immediately. However, Eric was secretly afraid of going to the farm house on his own and since Steven was willing to do it that gave spurs to his courage to go there too.
Steven lead Eric around to the backyard of the old two story weatherboard house. The summer heat had killed off the garden leaving it a shrivelled and brown. There was a rectangular depression in the ground near a window of one of the back rooms. Eric looked at the weathered grey husk of a building and shivered. The atmosphere of emptiness within the building was so great that it seemed to be drawing the boys into its jaws. Steven was moving towards the back door as though in a trance so Eric tapped him urgently on his shoulder and pointed to something written on the waterboards next to the door. Steven looked groggy for a few moments before he focussed on what Eric was pointing out to him. Just faintly the word “WITCH” could be traced on the exposed wooden panels. Continue reading “The Old Farmhouse”
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”
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”
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”