Short Story Sunday: Friends Forever

“My son is living a nightmare no child, nobody should ever have to deal with.”

Dr. Michael Trent spoke with the police for God knows how many times in the past three months. This time it had been about Christopher’s death. He ran his hand through his hair and sent the detectives out the front door of his home. Upstairs Hunter lay in bed in a state between life and death, sanity and insanity, between the real work and a nightmare.

It had been just another camping trip. The five boys had been camping in the woods on the edge of town for years – since they were in 6th grade. They were good kids. The parents never had to worry about them getting into trouble.

On a warm summer night, when they were all sixteen and seventeen, they camped together for the last time.

After they’d all climbed into their sleeping bags, after a night of hotdogs, smores, a few swiped beers, and a lot of talk about school, girls, and their plans after graduation, it happened.

Hunter, Christopher, Dylan, Kyle and Sam. Best friends forever. They’d always be with each other. Always.

While asleep under the stars something grabbed Hunter’s sleeping bag and dragged him into the woods. The other boys could hear the trashing, the crunching, the tearing, and the screams.

Something huge, like a shadow, like a bear, or as one of the boys put it “The Hulk”, stood over Hunter and looked from the darkness with glowing dark eyes. It could have been anything.

Hunter’s once handsome face was an unrecognizable bloody pulp. His left arm was mangled and almost fleshless. It was a miracle that the was alive.

That was in July.

On the night of August 1st Dylan was walking home through the park they’d all played in as kids. He stopped to sit on a swing, thinking about what had happened three weeks before. He never thought of himself as vain, but his friends joked he looked like an Italian Model. Poor Hunter. Tears flowed down his face.

Then mid thought Dylan was slammed to the ground by an unknown force. His head was held as if in a vice. Pain like no other exploded his entire being as someone, something  ripped off his entire lower jaw. In the morning his mutilated body was found by a woman walking her dog. She never slept easy again.

A few weeks later Kyle was at the grocery store picking up flour for his mom. She was making him a birthday cake. She knew he was in mourning for his best friend but she wanted him to have the cake. Sam and Christopher would be there.

Kyle never made it home. He was slammed against his car and an unknown thing, a creature, something too violent to be a man, took his arm. It tried to get at his face but was scared off with the yelling of other grocery store patrons.

By then nobody in town let their teenagers out at night. On a Wednesday night Sam took the garbage out to the street. The creature jumped him and took his scalp. Then it took his heart. The scalp was never found. His heart was found in the garbage can, still warm.

As for Christopher, poor Christopher, was home alone while his parents were out at a party. It drained his blood. His face, like Hunter’s was mangled. The only things left were his brown eyes and his right ear. The neighbors called the police when the two family dogs would stop howling.

After the death of Christopher the attacks stopped. The creature or whatever it was had left. Still the threat of violence and unknown horrors lingered over the town.

Two years later Kyle started his first year of college. He’d decided to go to the local Community College for two years and then transfer to UC Irvine to study medicine, or maybe political science. He liked the beach and sunshine. It would be a good school for him. Getting along with one arm wasn’t that bad. It was the nightmares that paralyzed him.

Hunter was accepted to Princeton. It was on the other side of the country and away from his memories. He’d always be in touch with Kyle. They’d always be friends.

As he walked across campus girls smiled at him and approached him. Other young men shook his hand and gave him bro hugs. He’d smile and was thankful to be alive. The scars were fading, thanks to his dad’s skills as a plastic surgeon. Actually, he looked good. He looked different but kind of handsome he thought.

He missed his friends but they’d always be with him. Christopher’s ear and nose, Kyle’s left arm, Dylan’s jaw, and Sam’s thick brown hair.

Winter came and the memories of the horror was starting to fade. Dr. Trent was hanging Christmas lights, humming Jungle Bells. He heard something in the bushes. Darn it, the cat must have gotten out. He glanced over and called the cat’s name. It was the last thing he ever did.

~ end

 

 

Thanks for allowing me to try my hand at writing horror …over morning coffee.

October 20, 2018.
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Creepies 2: Things That Go Bump in the Closet

Just in time for Halloween! I am proud to present:

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Creepies 2: Things That Go Bump in the Closet

From the masters of horror at Writers, Poets and Deviants:
Prepare for terror…

  • An exterminator meets his match in a family’s attic…
  • A cuddly toy with a disturbing origin is all the rage…
  • A boy’s survival of a deadly accident turns out to be more curse than miracle…
  • A man asks a vampire for a favor and gets more than he wished for…
  • A strange device collects and stores the rage from people bent on revenge…
  • An exquisite chess set in an old pawn shop sets the scene for terror…
  • A young man’s WW2 bayonet carries an evil history…
  • Something is alive in the outhouse…

Enjoy these chilling tales and more in volume 2 of WPaD’s popular Creepies series.
But leave the lights on…

Featuring works from: Mandy White, Nathan Tackett, Marla Todd, Diana Garcia, Jade M Phillips, David Hunter, Michael Haberfelner, Mike Cooley, David W Stone, A K Wallace

Original Cover Art by Jason Kemp

 

Bela by Jason Kemp

Bela by Jason Kemp

Image courtesy of Illustrator/Author, J. Harrison Kemp, Tenkara Studios. All Rights Reserved. Permission Required.

Remember, as always, a percentage of the proceeds of our paperback anthologies and kindle books is donated to MS charities.

The authors write for the love of writing and to help an important cause. Also, because we love some our fellow authors afflicted with this disease very much!

 

Special note and appreciation and with a huge shout out, goes to the very talented illustrator and author, J. Harrison Kemp for his outstanding cover art. His intent was to give the anthology cover a comic book vibe and, I must say, he achieved that goal! You can learn more about him by clicking J. Harrison Kemp’s Facebook page——> Tenkara Studios

CLICK HERE for download (paperback edition coming soon)

Special thanks go to Mandy White and Val Fox for their hard work and long hours editing and putting this scary good publication together. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Thank you Diana Garcia at zoltanaofthedesert.wordpress.com for the additional information.

Other WPaD Publications:

creepies

FREE right now. Take advantage of this offer and get your CREEPIES.

Fantastic stories with cover art by Jason Kemp

A hot book for cold winter nights. The ultimate in romance!

A hot book for cold winter nights. The ultimate in romance!

v_ndesires

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dragonsanddreams

 

Short Story Sunday: Camp Stories

Halloween is almost here so today I’m sharing a camp story. My kids used to sit around the fire and say “It was a dark stormy night. The Captain and his shipwrecked crew sat around the camp fire. One of the men said “Captain, Captain, tell us a story.” And the Captain began “It was a dark stormy night. The Captain and his shipwrecked crew…”

Camp Stories are usually light, sometimes silly, a lot of urban myth and a lot of tradition mixed into a tall tale that everyone knows and still sits through over and over and over.

The Ghost With One Black Eye

Daniel Mayfield had traveled far and was exhausted. He led his horse to a house off the side of the road. It was a mansion, but appeared to be abandoned. On the door was tacked a paper that said “Enter those who dare. Beware the ghost with one black eye.”

Dan was so tired he didn’t care. He took care of his horse then went inside of the old dark mansion. Upon finding a comfortable room and lighting a fire, he fell onto a comfortable bed and immediately went to sleep.

At 1:00 am he woke up upon hearing a voice.

The voice said “I’m the ghost with the one black eye. I’m the ghost with the one black eye. I’m the ghost with the one black eye.” Then all was quiet.

Dan went back to sleep but at 2:00 am he woke again hearing the same voice.

The voice said “I’m the ghost with the one black eye. I’m the ghost with the one black eye. I’m the ghost with the one black eye.” Then all was quiet.

Dan went back to sleep but at 3:00 am the ghost was back.

It said “I’m the ghost with the one black eye. I’m the ghost with the one black eye. I’m the ghost with the one black eye.” Louder and louder it said “I’m the ghost with the one black eye, I’m the ghost with the one black eye, I’m the ghost with the one black eye.”

Dan unable to take anymore stood up and yelled “And if you don’t SHUT UP you’re going to be the ghost with TWO black eyes.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Have a good week everyone!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

More from Short Story Sunday

Short Story Sunday is a regular feature on Vampiremaman.com.
Expect the unexpected … and a lot of fun! Click on the title to go to the story.

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FREE DECEMBER 26, 2012 Creepies – Tales From Beneath the Bed

FREE DECEMBER 26, 2012

Creepies – Tales From Beneath the Bed

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXJU8C

A New Horror Classic!

 

Creepies

 

Looking for a little hair raising fun? Download this wonderfully creepy, scary and fun anthology from the WPAD group.

A desperate father, on the run with his daughter reveals a terrifying truth about his child… Who is the bogeyman, really? Hear the real story – directly

from the monster himself… A tiny burger joint along a desert highway – it appears to be a refreshing oasis for a traveling family… or is it? A psychic investigates an apparition of a little girl and uncovers a shocking tale…
Enjoy these chilling stories and more in
Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed.


This creepy collection of short stories by various authors is a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis, in support of one of our writers, who lives with MS. 50% of all royalties will be donated to MS research.

 

Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed [Kindle Edition]

Marla Todd (Author), J. Harrison Kemp (Author), Nathan Tackett (Author), Mandy White (Author), Zoltana (Author), A.K. Wallace (Author), David W. Stone(Author)

 

 

 

 

 

FREE HALLOWEEN HORROR – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed

FREE SCARY STUFF For Halloween

Free – October 30-31

The Internationally Acclaimed

Creepies – Twisted Tales from Beneath the Bed

Download your copy at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXJU8C

You’ll want to get under the covers with a flashlight for this one!

An Anthology from the WPAD Group (Writers, Poets and Deviants)

Get ready for Halloween! 

Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed [Kindle Edition]
Marla Todd (Author), J. Harrison Kemp (Author), Nathan Tackett (Author), Mandy White (Author), Zoltana (Author), A.K. Wallace (Author), David W. Stone (Author)

A desperate father, on the run with his daughter reveals a terrifying truth about his child… Who is the bogeyman, really? Hear the real story – directly from the monster himself… A tiny burger joint along a desert highway – it appears to be a refreshing oasis for a traveling family… or is it? A psychic investigates an apparition of a little girl and uncovers a shocking tale…
Enjoy these chilling stories and more in Creepies: Twisted Tales From Beneath the Bed.
This creepy collection of short stories by various authors is a fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis, in support of one of our writers, who lives with MS. 50% of all royalties will be donated to MS research.
Download your copy at: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009JXJU8C


This is the same talented group (of my favorite authors, including my regular human alter ego) who brought you Nocturnal Desires!

The Black Cat by E. A. Poe

The kids asked their dad if he was around when Eddie Poe was writing stories. Their dad (my husband Teddy) had to remind them that he was born in January 7, 1849, 10 months before Poe’s death. My parents are still convinced Poe was murdered. Teddy’s parents were concerned with other things like making it to California before the birth of their child (who was born in Panama). But that is neither here nor there.

The point is that Halloween is coming. And Poe was brilliant. Simply Brilliant!!!! He could scare the jeebers out of anyone and put a chill down your back with no werewolves, vampires, aliens, ghosts, witches or other such creatures. It was all humans and one black cat.

Of course Teddy said that he would have called it “The Gray Cat” if he’d met our horrible rotten cat (but that’s another story, another blog post).

So here you go, get cultured, get scared and get ready for a wild ride…

 

The Black Cat

By Edgar Allen Poe

January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849

 

For the most wild, yet most homely narrative which I am about to pen, I neither expect nor solicit belief. Mad indeed would I be to expect it, in a case where my very senses reject their own evidence. Yet, mad am I not –and very surely do I not dream. But to-morrow I die, and to-day I would unburden my soul. My immediate purpose is to place before the world, plainly, succinctly, and without comment, a series of mere household events. In their consequences, these events have terrified –have tortured –have destroyed me. Yet I will not attempt to expound them. To me, they have presented little but Horror –to many they will seem less terrible than baroques. Hereafter, perhaps, some intellect may be found which will reduce my phantasm to the common-place –some intellect more calm, more logical, and far less excitable than my own, which will perceive, in the circumstances I detail with awe, nothing more than an ordinary succession of very natural causes and effects.

From my infancy I was noted for the docility and humanity of my disposition. My tenderness of heart was even so conspicuous as to make me the jest of my companions. I was especially fond of animals, and was indulged by my parents with a great variety of pets. With these I spent most of my time, and never was so happy as when feeding and caressing them. This peculiar of character grew with my growth, and in my manhood, I derived from it one of my principal sources of pleasure. To those who have cherished an affection for a faithful and sagacious dog, I need hardly be at the trouble of explaining the nature or the intensity of the gratification thus derivable. There is something in the unselfish and self-sacrificing love of a brute, which goes directly to the heart of him who has had frequent occasion to test the paltry friendship and gossamer fidelity of mere Man.

I married early, and was happy to find in my wife a disposition not uncongenial with my own. Observing my partiality for domestic pets, she lost no opportunity of procuring those of the most agreeable kind. We had birds, gold fish, a fine dog, rabbits, a small monkey, and a cat. This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise. Not that she was ever serious upon this point–and I mention the matter at all for no better reason than that it happens, just now, to be remembered.

Pluto–this was the cat’s name–was my favorite pet and playmate. I alone fed him, and he attended me wherever I went about the house. It was even with difficulty that I could prevent him from following me through the streets.

Our friendship lasted, in this manner, for several years, during which my general temperament and character–through the instrumentality of the Fiend Intemperance –had (I blush to confess it) experienced a radical alteration for the worse. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I grew, day by day, more moody, more irritable, more regardless of the feelings of others. I suffered myself to use intemperate language to my wife. At length, I even offered her personal violence. My pets, of course, were made to feel the change in my disposition. I not only neglected, but ill-used them. For Pluto, however, I still retained sufficient regard to restrain me from maltreating him, as I made no scruple of maltreating the rabbits, the monkey, or even the dog, when by accident, or through affection, they came in my way. But my disease grew upon me–for what disease is like Alcohol!–and at length even Pluto, who was now becoming old, and consequently somewhat peevish–even Pluto began to experience the effects of my ill temper.

One night, returning home, much intoxicated, from one of my haunts about town, I fancied that the cat avoided my presence. I seized him; when, in his fright at my violence, he inflicted a slight wound upon my hand with his teeth. The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fiber of my frame. I took from my waistcoat-pocket a pen-knife, opened it, grasped the poor beast by the throat, and deliberately cut one of its eyes from the socket! I blush, I burn, I shudder, while I pen the damnable atrocity.

When reason returned with the morning –when I had slept off the fumes of the night’s debauch–I experienced a sentiment half of horror, half of remorse, for the crime of which I had been guilty; but it was, at best, a feeble and equivocal feeling, and the soul remained untouched. I again plunged into excess, and soon drowned in wine all memory of the deed.

In the meantime the cat slowly recovered. The socket of the lost eye presented, it is true, a frightful appearance, but he no longer appeared to suffer any pain. He went about the house as usual, but, as might be expected, fled in extreme terror at my approach. I had so much of my old heart left, as to be at first grieved by this evident dislike on the part of a creature which had once so loved me. But this feeling soon gave place to irritation. And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of PERVERSENESS. Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart–one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself–to offer violence to its own nature–to do wrong for the wrong’s sake only–that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute. One morning, in cool blood, I slipped a noose about its neck and hung it to the limb of a tree; –hung it with the tears streaming from my eyes, and with the bitterest remorse at my heart;–hung it because I knew that it had loved me, and because I felt it had given me no reason of offense; –hung it because I knew that in so doing I was committing a sin–a deadly sin that would so jeopardize my immortal soul as to place it–if such a thing were possible–even beyond the reach of the infinite mercy of the Most Merciful and Most Terrible God.

On the night of the day on which this cruel deed was done, I was aroused from sleep by the cry of fire. The curtains of my bed were in flames. The whole house was blazing. It was with great difficulty that my wife, a servant, and myself, made our escape from the conflagration. The destruction was complete. My entire worldly wealth was swallowed up, and I resigned myself thenceforward to despair. I am above the weakness of seeking to establish a sequence of cause and effect, between the disaster and the atrocity. But I am detailing a chain of facts –and wish not to leave even a possible link imperfect. On the day succeeding the fire, I visited the ruins. The walls, with one exception, had fallen in. This exception was found in a compartment wall, not very thick, which stood about the middle of the house, and against which had rested the head of my bed. The plastering had here, in great measure, resisted the action of the fire –a fact which I attributed to its having been recently spread. About this wall a dense crowd were collected, and many persons seemed to be examining a particular portion of it with every minute and eager attention. The words “strange!” “singular!” and other similar expressions, excited my curiosity. I approached and saw, as if graven in bas relief upon the white surface, the figure of a gigantic cat. The impression was given with an accuracy truly marvelous. There was a rope about the animal’s neck.

When I first beheld this apparition –for I could scarcely regard it as less –my wonder and my terror were extreme. But at length reflection came to my aid. The cat, I remembered, had been hung in a garden adjacent to the house. Upon the alarm of fire, this garden had been immediately filled by the crowd –by some one of whom the animal must have been cut from the tree and thrown, through an open window, into my chamber. This had probably been done with the view of arousing me from sleep. The falling of other walls had compressed the victim of my cruelty into the substance of the freshly-spread plaster; the lime of which, had then with the flames, and the ammonia from the carcass, accomplished the portraiture as I saw it.

Although I thus readily accounted to my reason, if not altogether to my conscience, for the startling fact ‘just detailed, it did not the less fall to make a deep impression upon my fancy. For months I could not rid myself of the phantasm of the cat; and, during this period, there came back into my spirit a half-sentiment that seemed, but was not, remorse. I went so far as to regret the loss of the animal, and to look about me, among the vile haunts which I now habitually frequented, for another pet of the same species, and of somewhat similar appearance, with which to supply its place.

One night as I sat, half stupefied, in a den of more than infamy, my attention was suddenly drawn to some black object, reposing upon the head of one of the immense hogsheads of Gin, or of Rum, which constituted the chief furniture of the apartment. I had been looking steadily at the top of this hogshead for some minutes, and what now caused me surprise was the fact that I had not sooner perceived the object thereupon. I approached it, and touched it with my hand. It was a black cat –a very large one –fully as large as Pluto, and closely resembling him in every respect but one. Pluto had not a white hair upon any portion of his body; but this cat had a large, although indefinite splotch of white, covering nearly the whole region of the breast.

Upon my touching him, he immediately arose, purred loudly, rubbed against my hand, and appeared delighted with my notice. This, then, was the very creature of which I was in search. I at once offered to purchase it of the landlord; but this person made no claim to it –knew nothing of it –had never seen it before. I continued my caresses, and, when I prepared to go home, the animal evinced a disposition to accompany me. I permitted it to do so; occasionally stooping and patting it as I proceeded. When it reached the house it domesticated itself at once, and became immediately a great favorite with my wife.

For my own part, I soon found a dislike to it arising within me. This was just the reverse of what I had anticipated; but I know not how or why it was –its evident fondness for myself rather disgusted and annoyed. By slow degrees, these feelings of disgust and annoyance rose into the bitterness of hatred. I avoided the creature; a certain sense of shame, and the remembrance of my former deed of cruelty, preventing me from physically abusing it. I did not, for some weeks, strike, or otherwise violently ill use it; but gradually –very gradually –I came to look upon it with unutterable loathing, and to flee silently from its odious presence, as from the breath of a pestilence.

What added, no doubt, to my hatred of the beast, was the discovery, on the morning after I brought it home, that, like Pluto, it also had been deprived of one of its eyes. This circumstance, however, only endeared it to my wife, who, as I have already said, possessed, in a high degree, that humanity of feeling which had once been my distinguishing trait, and the source of many of my simplest and purest pleasures.

With my aversion to this cat, however, its partiality for myself seemed to increase. It followed my footsteps with a pertinacity which it would be difficult to make the reader comprehend. Whenever I sat, it would crouch beneath my chair, or spring upon my knees, covering me with its loathsome caresses. If I arose to walk it would get between my feet and thus nearly throw me down, or, fastening its long and sharp claws in my dress, clamber, in this manner, to my breast. At such times, although I longed to destroy it with a blow, I was yet withheld from so doing, partly it at by a memory of my former crime, but chiefly –let me confess it at once –by absolute dread of the beast.

This dread was not exactly a dread of physical evil-and yet I should be at a loss how otherwise to define it. I am almost ashamed to own –yes, even in this felon’s cell, I am almost ashamed to own –that the terror and horror with which the animal inspired me, had been heightened by one of the merest chimeras it would be possible to conceive. My wife had called my attention, more than once, to the character of the mark of white hair, of which I have spoken, and which constituted the sole visible difference between the strange beast and the one I had destroyed. The reader will remember that this mark, although large, had been originally very indefinite; but, by slow degrees–degrees nearly imperceptible, and which for a long time my Reason struggled to reject as fanciful–it had, at length, assumed a rigorous distinctness of outline. It was now the representation of an object that I shudder to name –and for this, above all, I loathed, and dreaded, and would have rid myself of the monster had I dared –it was now, I say, the image of a hideous–of a ghastly thing –of the GALLOWS!–oh, mournful and terrible engine of Horror and of Crime–of Agony and of Death!

And now was I indeed wretched beyond the wretchedness of mere Humanity. And a brute beast –whose fellow I had contemptuously destroyed –a brute beast to work out for me –for me a man, fashioned in the image of the High God –so much of insufferable woe! Alas! neither by day nor by night knew I the blessing of Rest any more! During the former the creature left me no moment alone; and, in the latter, I started, hourly, from dreams of unutterable fear, to find the hot breath of the thing upon my face, and its vast weight –an incarnate Night-Mare that I had no power to shake off –incumbent eternally upon my heart!

Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates–the darkest and most evil of thoughts. The moodiness of my usual temper increased to hatred of all things and of all mankind; while, from the sudden, frequent, and ungovernable outbursts of a fury to which I now blindly abandoned myself, my uncomplaining wife, alas! was the most usual and the most patient of sufferers.

One day she accompanied me, upon some household errand, into the cellar of the old building which our poverty compelled us to inhabit. The cat followed me down the steep stairs, and, nearly throwing me headlong, exasperated me to madness. Uplifting an axe, and forgetting, in my wrath, the childish dread which had hitherto stayed my hand, I aimed a blow at the animal which, of course, would have proved instantly fatal had it descended as I wished. But this blow was arrested by the hand of my wife. Goaded, by the interference, into a rage more than demonical, I withdrew my arm from her grasp and buried the axe in her brain. She fell dead upon the spot, without a groan.

This hideous murder accomplished, I set myself forthwith, and with entire deliberation, to the task of concealing the body. I knew that I could not remove it from the house, either by day or by night, without the risk of being observed by the neighbors. Many projects entered my mind. At one period I thought of cutting the corpse into minute fragments, and destroying them by fire. At another, I resolved to dig a grave for it in the floor of the cellar. Again, I deliberated about casting it in the well in the yard–about packing it in a box, as if merchandise, with the usual arrangements, and so getting a porter to take it from the house. Finally I hit upon what I considered a far better expedient than either of these. I determined to wall it up in the cellar –as the monks of the middle ages are recorded to have walled up their victims.

For a purpose such as this the cellar was well adapted. Its walls were loosely constructed, and had lately been plastered throughout with a rough plaster, which the dampness of the atmosphere had prevented from hardening. Moreover, in one of the walls was a projection, caused by a false chimney, or fireplace, that had been filled up, and made to resemble the rest of the cellar. I made no doubt that I could readily displace the at this point, insert the corpse, and wall the whole up as before, so that no eye could detect anything suspicious.

And in this calculation I was not deceived. By means of a crow-bar I easily dislodged the bricks, and, having carefully deposited the body against the inner wall, I propped it in that position, while, with little trouble, I re-laid the whole structure as it originally stood. Having procured mortar, sand, and hair, with every possible precaution, I prepared a plaster could not every poss be distinguished from the old, and with this I very carefully went over the new brick-work. When I had finished, I felt satisfied that all was right. The wall did not present the slightest appearance of having been disturbed. The rubbish on the floor was picked up with the minutest care. I looked around triumphantly, and said to myself –“Here at least, then, my labor has not been in vain.”

My next step was to look for the beast which had been the cause of so much wretchedness; for I had, at length, firmly resolved to put it to death. Had I been able to meet with it, at the moment, there could have been no doubt of its fate; but it appeared that the crafty animal had been alarmed at the violence of my previous anger, and forbore to present itself in my present mood. It is impossible to describe, or to imagine, the deep, the blissful sense of relief which the absence of the detested creature occasioned in my bosom. It did not make its appearance during the night –and thus for one night at least, since its introduction into the house, I soundly and tranquilly slept; aye, slept even with the burden of murder upon my soul!

The second and the third day passed, and still my tormentor came not. Once again I breathed as a free-man. The monster, in terror, had fled the premises forever! I should behold it no more! My happiness was supreme! The guilt of my dark deed disturbed me but little. Some few inquiries had been made, but these had been readily answered. Even a search had been instituted –but of course nothing was to be discovered. I looked upon my future felicity as secured.

Upon the fourth day of the assassination, a party of the police came, very unexpectedly, into the house, and proceeded again to make rigorous investigation of the premises. Secure, however, in the inscrutability of my place of concealment, I felt no embarrassment whatever. The officers bade me accompany them in their search. They left no nook or corner unexplored. At length, for the third or fourth time, they descended into the cellar. I quivered not in a muscle. My heart beat calmly as that of one who slumbers in innocence. I walked the cellar from end to end. I folded my arms upon my bosom, and roamed easily to and fro. The police were thoroughly satisfied and prepared to depart. The glee at my heart was too strong to be restrained. I burned to say if but one word, by way of triumph, and to render doubly sure their assurance of my guiltlessness.

“Gentlemen,” I said at last, as the party ascended the steps, “I delight to have allayed your suspicions. I wish you all health, and a little more courtesy. By the bye, gentlemen, this –this is a very well constructed house.” (In the rabid desire to say something easily, I scarcely knew what I uttered at all.) –“I may say an excellently well constructed house. These walls –are you going, gentlemen? –these walls are solidly put together”; and here, through the mere frenzy of bravado, I rapped heavily, with a cane which I held in my hand, upon that very portion of the brick-work behind which stood the corpse of the wife of my bosom.

But may God shield and deliver me from the fangs of the Arch-Fiend! No sooner had the reverberation of my blows sunk into silence than I was answered by a voice from within the tomb! –by a cry, at first muffled and broken, like the sobbing of a child, and then quickly swelling into one long, loud, and continuous scream, utterly anomalous and inhuman –a howl –a wailing shriek, half of horror and half of triumph, such as might have arisen only out of hell, conjointly from the throats of the damned in their agony and of the demons that exult in the damnation. Of my own thoughts it is folly to speak. Swooning, I staggered to the opposite wall. For one instant the party upon the stairs remained motionless, through extremity of terror and of awe. In the next, a dozen stout arms were tolling at the wall. It fell bodily. The corpse, already greatly decayed and clotted with gore, stood erect before the eyes of the spectators. Upon its head, with red extended mouth and solitary eye of fire, sat the hideous beast whose craft had seduced me into murder, and whose informing voice had consigned me to the hangman. I had walled the monster up within the tomb!

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For more scary stories – and I mean really scary and fun get a copy of Creepies the new Horror Anthology from the WPAD group. Proceeds go to MS Research. Click here and check it out!