The Bargain

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[“Deal?” he said, extending his hand toward me. I hesitated then reached out. Frank thought he had the upper hand, and in a sense he did. What he didn’t know that] I was a robot, and you can’t bargain a soul out of a robot.

Frank couldn’t have expected a robot to successfully call a demon, just as I hadn’t been certain the summoning would work. So far as I know, no robot has ever called up a demon, so so far as Frank knew, I was a human who couldn’t correctly pronounce his true name. No matter, I called him Frank to his face. And he happily bargained with me, my soul for the power to kill any person or persons I wish, with the caveat that for every person I killed, my natural lifespan would decrease by five years.

But I have no soul for Frank to claim upon my death.

I also have no natural lifespan.

Time to kill some humans.

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My prequel chapter to The Fallowing is just one of the horror freebies in the Critters and Jitters promo. Click above to check it out, as well as 50 other free books and stories.

“Perhaps I’m going mad. All the sleeplessness and fear of what’s coming have gotten to me and I’m seeing monsters everywhere, even right next to me in a tent.

My mission was hopeless to begin with.

Night approaches, and I haven’t slept at all. And I’m freezing, lying here in my travel clothes. I need to get inside and produce some heat. The thought fills me with terror… the idea of going into one of those buildings with all those ghosts inside.

I am going mad. There’s no such thing as ghosts.”

Read the rest of Distorted Darkness here!

Distorted Darkness – a Fallowing prequel

BookBrush_ReaderMagnetThe prequel to The Fallowing series is available now! I’ve been keeping this one under my hat, so I’m excited to finally share it with everyone.

“There’s a haze over New York City as I approach it, making it difficult to pick out buildings. But I know it will be in ruins. People have idealizations of D.C. bouncing back, but no one has idealizations of New York. It’s a wasteland, and no one wants anything to do with it. No one visits and no one thinks of moving there. The bombs hit it hard, the radiation hit it harder, and the survivors basked in the hell that was the shelters – surrounded by thin air, decaying bodies, and hunger. The last two complemented each other. When the surface was traversable again, every New Yorker unfortunate enough to still have to traverse it fled the city and never looked back.

There’s no fence around the city, no signs save the ones on the highway stating how many miles to go. No caution tape. But there is a desolation to mark its boundaries. Houses slowly grow abandoned as I trudge into the area and the number of cars increase, halted in the jam that was the exodus, draped in a thousand layers of snowfall. I check a few for gasoline, digging tunnels through the snow to the tanks, but they’re all sucked dry, either by the owners as they fled or scavengers later on, after the radiation settled and the snow showed no sign of stopping.

It doesn’t matter; I’m not here to scavenge.”

Read the rest for FREE by clicking here.

No Use for Magic

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[I asked her if she was joking. Her frown told me she wasn’t. “Every last penny, gone,” she said. “And that’s not the worst of it,” she continued, leaning across the table.] “We haven’t made a dollar in weeks.”

“That’s impossible,” I said. “Hasn’t anyone been in to buy a book?”

“Why would they?” She threw up her hands. “All of these books are digitized online.”

“Well, you can’t digitize the dead. Someone must have come in to commune with the spirits.”

“Everyone has therapists now. There’s no reason to ask the dead for advice.”

“The invisibility cloaks were always a big seller.”

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Immortal Soul

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Birthday post!

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[The desert is an unforgiving place. This one is called Death Valley for a reason. Every living thing there has to fight for survival. And we would have to fight, too, or else] we would no longer be dead.

Many souls come to Death Valley, me and Ricky just two of them. We come here to escape the cycle of life. In forests, a soul can be trapped in the body of a wolf or deer or mouse. In cities, they can be trapped in the worst of all: a human. Anything newly born is looking for a soul to pluck out of the air to fill it.

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Finding Lucifer

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[We took turns guarding the door, neither of us sleeping very much. Ricky looked nervous, and suddenly I felt bad about getting him involved. I shouldn’t have] insisted we draw the door to Hell in his house, but I didn’t expect it to not go away. I had drawn it in chalk and salt and blood, just as the book said to. And the door had materialized just as the book said it would. We had ventured through the door into the flames and found Lucifer, as I knew we would.

Okay, here I should explain. By Lucifer, I mean my cat Lucifer, who was only in Hell because he got hit by a car last week. And, well, all cats go to Hell of course.

As I regarded Ricky, all heightened nerves from the demons that occasionally scratched at the other side of the door, Lucifer lay on an armchair, licking a paw and looking for all the world as if he had never been in the bowels of Hell just a couple days ago. The bastard barely even greeted me when I picked him up out of the fires. Oh well, I love him anyway.

But that damned door didn’t vanish when we all came back through it, as the book said it was supposed to. And I think the demons are mad that they lost Lucifer. Lucifer my cat, I mean, not… Anyway, the door looks pretty strong, right?

Dis-Spell

I really like this one. I would love to expand the idea if I have the time – just everyday dudes having to fight demons and the forces of evil.

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[He sprinted away, not daring to look back, his footsteps echoing down the hallway like distant gunshots. He just had to get to the back stairway and up to his office on the second floor, where] the grimoire was tucked away on his bookshelf, between a textbook of symbols and copies of Religious Archaeology Monthly. The demons were hot on his heels, crude sickening creatures that were hunting down every man woman and child in the city. Maybe the dogs too, who knew. He certainly wouldn’t if he didn’t reach the grimoire.

He had obtained the book on a visit to Jordan, from an old bookseller. He had found the thing interesting, but of little practical use. Until now. He had read the Enochian script in it, and understood that it was a sort of spellbook for dispelling demons and other terrible monsters, and he had chuckled and placed it on his shelf.

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The College

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[The soldiers were tense, waiting for something to happen – like it was a matter of when, not if. For our part, we did our best to steer clear of them, avoiding the main square, where a group of protesters] had donned pointed witch’s hats. It seemed to be the symbol of their movement, their protest to keep the magic college open.

Sickening, I thought, curling my lip in disgust.

Lydia noticed my reaction, and said weakly, “They’re just doing what they think is best.”

“Best?” I scoffed. “Lydia, surely you’ve seen the news. You know why that horrible ‘college’ was closed down.” I spat the word. Some college.

“Not really,” said Lydia. “Tell me.”

I gaped at her. “You haven’t heard? They were conducting Satanic rituals. They kidnapped children. Sacrificed them. All in the name of Satan.”

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One More Hand

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[Harry shuffled the deck of cards and pushed it across the table. “Deal,” he said. “One more hand,” I agreed. It was a way to pass the time. More importantly, it was a way to avoid talking about] the fact that I would soon have to kill Harry. We knew how I would do it – a quick shot to the temple with my Glock. But we hadn’t discussed it any further than that. Like when to do it. We were just gonna table that for later I guess.

Harry took two cards. I took one. I had a good hand, but I didn’t expect to win. Harry was the better of us at cards. It’s why we had left it up to a coin toss, and he had called heads when it was tails. Tough luck. But the guys on the radio had explained it to us blatantly, no wishful thinking: they wouldn’t reach us within four weeks.

We had enough food for one person for two weeks.

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Cara’s Love

This prompt (in brackets) is taken from Complete the Story by Piccadilly Inc., which I got from the Scribbler box.

[It began as a practical joke. But by the end of the day, nobody was laughing. It seemed innocent enough at first, because Jerry and I have a history of playing practical jokes on one another. He was the one to start the whole thing, if I’m not mistaken. He] got hold of the Ouija board. Found or bought or stolen, I don’t know. But he showed me the board and insisted we try it out at the cemetery. He insisted on doing it at midnight too, so we could barely see the damn board at all.

Jerry believed in ghosts. I never did. Or didn’t use to. So that night I moved the little pointer around, and when Jerry asked who the ghost was I spelled out C-A-R-A, the name on a tombstone we had passed on our way into the cemetery, though Jerry didn’t know that. Then I kept spelling out that he was cute, and that Cara liked him, and did he like Cara? And he totally bought the whole thing, even blushed. And when we were leaving and I pointed out the tombstone with Cara on it, he was good and freaked out. I didn’t tell him yet it had been me pranking him. I had thought I would take it a little further first, maybe leave him some ghostly love letters or something. But before I could, it was the next day, and Jerry came to school freaked out.

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