What Have I Become

“It’s a hell of a deal.”

The estate agent’s words crept slowly into my head on that first night. They were soon banished by the scratching.

By the second night the scratch had become a thud.

It was coming from the kitchen. From under the table.

I toppled it over and threw the dusty rug to one side. A hatch.

I pulled it open, stared into the darkness beneath. Slowly, a man appeared.

It was me.

Hair longer, beard overgrown, but it was me. I, the other I, murmured something, his voice distant and tired.

“It’s a hell of a deal.”

Dead and Buried

The darkness didn’t bother Arthur all that much; he’d grown accustomed to it over the years. The being buried alive irked him a little, though.

He could still hear their laughs as the concrete poured over him. It crushed down on him now, remorselessly breaking bone after bone after tiny, pointed bone.

He passed considerable time imagining the ways in which he would one day carry out his revenge. Perhaps not on the people who did this to him, of course, but their ancestors would do just fine.

If being buried alive was bothersome, being immortal was going to be murder.


Final Destination


That’s all the note said. Written on a scrap piece of paper tucked under an old, black cell phone.

John had used the phone once since he found it. “Home,” he had told the operator. He was surprised to open his eyes and find himself on the porch of his childhood house.

He planned to go a little farther this time.

“Operator. Please state your destination.”

“Wherever my wife is.”

There was a click. John took one last look at the headstone in front of him and closed his eyes.

Every Four Hours

The door rattles gently in its frame. I stretch out my fingers and wrap them around the worn hilt of my blade.

As always, I take a deep, painful breath.

The door explodes open and I swing forward. I slay nothing but air. The shadow creature flows out and latches onto the ceiling above me. They’re learning.

I stab upwards into the dark, my blade slicing straight through black and hitting stone. Silent, the creature slowly fades into an icy nothingness.

I slump back into my chair.

As always, I take a deep, painful breath.

I reset my watch, and wait.


My Millie bounces past the well-dressed man and onto the sitting chair. Mother watches from the arch leading to the food room.

“You know why I’m here?” asks the well-dressed man.

My Millie looks up at me. The well-dressed man turns and stares, then shares a long glance with Mother, who now has water coming out of her eyes again.

“Is Hector here right now?”

Mother leaves the room.

“How many invisible friends have you met before, doctor?” my Millie asks.

“None, Millie,” replies the doctor man.

My Millie smiles and waves me over. “Hector will be pleased.”

Oh, I am.


Short dress, big chest, freckled cheeks. She’s almost too pure.

“Thanks again for the ride, mister.”

I’ll be damned if this hitch-hiker is a day over eighteen. She’s fluttering her baby blue eyes in my direction.

It’ll all be over soon. Keep calm.

“Not a problem,” I lie.

She crosses her long legs, flashing up a wink of black lace.


The engine revs.

Just make it quick.

“Say, mist-”

By the time I turn the passenger seat is empty, stained black leather stretching back into its usual form.

I lean forward and gently tap the dash. “Feel better now?”


A cold, quiet domicile. Perfect.

Then, sirens. Sounds. Painful, unwanted noise.

They scream, panic. Usually at my hands. Today, something else.

A growl, slowly building. I sense it.

They hide on the second floor. Watch from windows. I lurk, unseen, silent.

Sirens drowned out. Now, only a roar.

They see it. A rising carpet of blue and black. They hug, pray, whisper. I simply watch. For a moment, the warmth of normality.

But the blue rises.

And rises.

And swallows.

Soon, the domicile is gone. So are they. Their screams washed down.

I drift away. Searching for somewhere new to rest.


Wednesday 18

Not a good day. Trapper sick.

Thursday 19

Trapper worse. Overheard Daddy say he’ll have to “deal with him.” He thinks it’s the Infection. Mom agreed.

Friday 20

Saw Mom stroking Trapper and crying. I snuck out of my room earlier and said goodbye to him myself. He just led there.

Saturday 21

Trapper is gone. Daddy took him into the backyard and then came back in shaking. Mom hugged him but I ran upstairs.

Sunday 22

Daddy is sick. Mom’s crying.

Monday 23

Mom says we’re leaving. I’m packing now.

Tuesday 24

Daddy is dead. Mom won’t say what happened. We’re going to Aunt Ruth’s.


Short red dress, long auburn hair, tight creamy thighs; she stood out from the rest. He pulled over.

“Chessels, please.” Her voice was soft, careful. She slid inside.

Mirror adjusted, he watched her, red dress riding all the way up.

“I do believe you plan on raping me.”

His body stiffened. “I’m-”

“Except, you will not. You see, if you were like me, you would already know what was soon to occur. And, importantly, who I was.”

A half-formed realisation was blasted from his consciousness. Pink and red painted glass.

A short roll and a sudden stop later, she was gone.


The winter chill bit hard. John tightened his scarf and rushed Megan out of the front door. The garage spotlight, long-since on the blink, fought valiantly against the dark.

John slammed the door behind Megan as she slid onto the back seat. He climbed into the car himself and turned the ignition.


He took a short breath, then tried again.

Not even a splutter.

“It’s fine, dear. It’s fine.” He almost believed it himself.

She shifted behind him.

“Daddy,” Megan whispered softly. She hadn’t called him that since the day Andrea died.


“There’s a man sat next to me.”