A Stranger Saved me From a Serial Killer

It was close to midnight when I was leaving the University campus. I had been working late in the photography lab, developing photos for a project my tutor had given me. This was well before digital photography, so I had been in the dark room for a long time dipping the photographic paper into different liquids, and left the photos to develop overnight. Read more »

Trust

I was nine. At the beach with my family. It was hot; the sand burnt my feet as I walked. I had been moaning for a while. So much that my mom thrust a ten-dollar bill into my hand and told me to get ice cream for everyone. As I was leaving, she told me to go with my sister, Bridget. Read more »

The Boy and the Moon and Other Bedtime Stories

It’s a sombre affair when you have to clean out a loved one’s house. I wasn’t close to my father. He left my mother when I was young, and I never saw him after that. All that remained of him to me was the ghost of his former self. The man who read stories to me as I slept. I didn’t know the foul smell on his breath was alcohol. I didn’t know what he did to my mother, she kept it to herself. When he didn’t come back, I cried, and my mother consoled me. I told her it was her fault he had gone. All she did was apologise. I didn’t realise why she walked with a stick, and why she was blind in one eye. Read more »

The Rats!

It was a rat that woke us. A large motherfucker that was sitting on the kitchen table. It looked as startled as me when our eyes met. There’s very little point in cursing at a rodent, it means nothing to them. Read more »

My Father Punished me When I Talked to Ghosts

I’ve been blind since I was born. As I grew up everything was described to me in such vivid detail, I didn’t even realise why it was that important to see, especially having no reference point to compare it. We lived on a single floor ranch house, that’s what father told me. In my mind, I could see of course, although unlike how a sighted person could. I had spatial awareness. I knew where my bedroom was, the bathroom, the living room and the kitchen. Each wall had its own texture. I don’t know if that was done on purpose, or that I could feel things others never noticed. Read more »

Never Leave the House

You expect to be frightened if someone raises their fist to you, and you are, the first time. You worry about the pain, the loss of teeth – maybe their knuckle will connect with your eye and it will pop as the punch lands. After the tenth time, the pain no longer concerns you; it’s a punctuation mark in the narrative of your day. Read more »

You May Have Already Won!

We’ve all seen those You may have already won £50,000 leaflets that come in the post. The rational among us know that they aren’t worth shit. Even if it’s a real competition, there’s usually a catch, like only one prize, which could have been won months ago, and the price to text in more than covers the prize money within a couple of days. Enter as many times as you want. A total scam. Read more »

I Received a Text Message From Someone Who Said They Could Prove the Paranormal Was Real

I run a paranormal website. I write articles about ghosts, Dybbuk boxes, strange happenings, really anything in the fortean universe. I’m a skeptic, but don’t give that away in my articles. There’s nothing worse than a skeptical paranormal investigator in my world; we are hated. We are seen as the people that ruin everyone’s fun, and aren’t interested in being convinced. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. I lost my parents when I was young, so anything that could prove that there is an afterlife would be a God send to me. I wanted nothing more than to contact them. I would ask them if they were okay and where they were, was death something to fear. Read more »

Halloween Night

£25 an hour to look after two little children, I wasn’t going to turn that down. It was Halloween night and I had grown out of it, but it didn’t stop their parents from going to a Halloween party of their own. Read more »

Hunger

I’d known Laura since I was a little girl. She’d always struggled with her weight. She hadn’t had many friends, and the ones she did have drifted away as we entered our teenage years, until I didn’t see her at school at all. I recognized her on the other side of the road, in that way you recognize an actor before realizing it was someone who looked familiar though not the same. Her face was gaunt, almost grey. Her hips that once accentuated an hourglass figure now gone; her frame pencil thin. Read more »

Why The Leaves Fall

I was ten when I became a man, that’s what my father told me anyway. It was when my innocence was taken from me. Snatched by the hands of fate, not quickly, but slowly and cruelly. A boy should remain a boy until the time is right. Read more »

Don’t Tell Your Mother

There was a quaint red-brick shop on the edge of our village. It stood as a representation of our community, a hub for the town to socialise, to buy our food and conveniences. Mrs Carter, a plump, round woman with rosy cheeks, greeted patrons of the business, she didn’t judge, it wasn’t her job to. When I was a child, she’d sneak me a chocolate bar when I’d pay for our family’s groceries. Read more »

My Dad was a Mortician

When I was six, I remember my teacher telling me that thunder was clouds bumping together, he was proud when he told me that. I took it at face value. It’s amazing what you believe at such a young age. When I was helping my father work and lightening struck, filling the room with bright light, illuminating the bodies that lay peacefully on the benches, I told him. He could see I was scared. I hated helping him, I dreaded it. Read more »

I Bet My Brother He Couldn’t Raise the Dead

Yes, it does sound silly, but he’s also ten. We’d watched Frankenstein (2015 edition) with our Dad at the start of summer. Now that is a shit film, but Ben was obsessed with it. He told me that he could do that and I said he couldn’t. He asked what I would give him if he did. I said he could have my soul, that he could use it to give his monster personality. We shook on it. Read more »

Don’t Make Her Upset

I don’t know if this says more about where I used to live than it does me, but when I first heard a house alarm go off, I did nothing. I moved from the city to the country to get away from shit like that, trying to sleep while a house alarm drowned out the traffic, or a car alarm ringing through the night. So, to say I was annoyed was an understatement. It had been going off for twenty minutes before I opened the back window to see if I could work out what direction it was coming from. Read more »

Five Hundred Teeth

I saw an article today about some poor Indian child getting over 500 teeth removed from their mouth. It’s lucky they were able to have the surgery; some aren’t that lucky. Have you wondered why it is you don’t hear more about that happening more, babies born with distressing deformities? It happens more often than you’d expect. In my country it’s rarely on the news, and if it is, it’s usually when conjoined twins are successfully parted, never if it’s unsuccessful. Then again, you don’t hear about every heart surgery that goes wrong, or brain tumor that couldn’t be excised. The truth though, is far more horrifying. Read more »

Have You or a Loved One Been in an Accident in the Last Six Months?

I was in a car accident on Monday, nothing serious, but the shunt from behind gave me whiplash, I’m sure of it. My neck throbs all the time. Now, I’m not someone who’d usually think about litigation, it was an accident, and it was a work colleague of mine. He’s an asshole, sure, but no hard no foul. He asked that we didn’t go through the insurance and that he’d cover it himself. I know he’s on good money, so who was I to argue. Read more »

Valeday

My mind is still spinning to say the least, you do not expect your world view to change so radically within minutes. I think the last time before today was when I was a child and I saw my mother sneaking into my room to put a Christmas stocking at the end of the bed. I was six. Today I am thirty-five, and this time with the benefit of years of knowledge and experience, it is much more dreadful, how much of my life has been a lie. Read more »

Teeth

As I sit writing this, I’m tonguing my gums. I don’t miss my teeth, I thought I would at first. Though there’s something soothing about running my tongue along the soft flesh, not yet healed and hardened. It tingles a little. I jump sometimes when I press too hard. I’m not sure some of the cavities are healing well. That seems of little consequence after what I’ve done. This is taking me a little while to write and in my state I think you’ll understand. Read more »