December's subject was chosen by myself and is... "A large stone was found in the middle of a field in Iowa."
The first subject for January was chosen by Sgt. Hubbard and is... "A locked box is left to you in a will."
The second subject for January was chosen by myself and is... "A person is found in the desert with amnesia."
The first subject for February was chosen by Stan Weiss and is... "The baby sitter is snooping and finds your many passports, each with a different name."
The second subject for February was chosen by T.J. Reed and is... "Rewrite a classic monster, ghost, horror story in a modern way and include the story as the title so we know what you have rewritten."
Thursday, April 12, 2012
John felt like a year in the Montana wilderness would renew his love of the world. Plus he thought being alone for a year would help him put his messed up life into perspective. So he took his savings bought some gear, paid a couple of guides to take him deep into the middle of nowhere. From there he walked another week before deciding to make home. He found a nice open spot on a ridge overlooking a stream and the beauty of it all just said “here“. It was peace and tranquility. He wisely pegged fall as the time of year to begin his adventure. The winter was hell and he used up all his supplies. He was even almost out of ammo. It had took him over a month to build his small cabin. The books he studied made it seem so easy but in truth building a cabin with an axe was hell hard. So he had just erected his tent inside the cabin for extra protection against the elements. He was thankful however because he felt incredible for having survived the harsh elements.
Spring was stunning here and he wept almost every morning as he watched the sunrise. Then one morning he was surprised to see a helicopter passing over head. He was even more bewildered when it landed in a clearing just few miles away. He had planned a year of solitude but he went to see why the copter landed only to find Lenny. Lenny was one of the guides who showed him the middle of nowhere. He was actually thankful for the company when Lenny had brought him renewed supplies. Oh the can goods were as heaven upon his lips. The ammo was a very welcome sight. He had used most of his on a pack of wolves that had decided to stalk him. Plus Lenny also gave him an emergency beacon just encase he needed help. John laughed and said he would keep it but he would never need it. Lenny spent the day and night and left the next morning. John was happy with the renewed supplies but also grieved his year of solitude was ruined. He decided to just move on and enjoy his time on the ridge. He could never get over the feeling he was not alone. Something always nagged at him he was being watched.
John woke up the next morning hoping to enjoy the sunrise only to find the skies dark and grey. He could hear thunder in the distance and see lighting flashes coming over the hills. A cool wind blew in from the north. Odd, because in the 5 months John had lived on the ridge the wind never came from the north. Well John thought, no worries he would just hold up in the cabin until it passed. He had all the supplies he needed to weather the storm.
The storm started vicious as the rain and wind pelted his cabin. It didn’t take long for his roof to leak, and leak it did. The cabin floor was mud. He took refuge inside his tent. He had almost fallen asleep when the wind shook his tent and shook it hard. He sat straight up covered with goose bumps. He listened for a minute fearing his cabin had been blown away. Silence only followed. He unzipped his tent and looked out. His cabin still stood unaffected by the storm other than the constant flow of water from his roof. He jumped as the pelting against the cabin wall began. He could only reason it was hail but he couldn’t hear the wind and the pelting only hit the southern wall. He shivered as silence once again reigned. He was startled by a knocking on the cabin door that grew into a banging. John finally found his voice and asked “who is there”? No answer so he shouted “who is there”? The banging stopped. He could hear footsteps walking away from the cabin then a great guest of wind shook the walls of his cabin. Then silence reigned again.
Gripping his pistol firmly in his hand John pushed open the cabin door. At the very moment the cabin door banged against the wall lighting blinded him, thunder smashed his ear drums and rain poured once again from the sky. When he first blinked his eyes from the flash he thought he saw someone falling off the edge of the ridge. He ran over but could see no one at the bottom. John shook his head and said to himself “get a grip ole John boy before you loose it.” That’s when he noticed it. Footprints from the door to the edge of the ridge cliff. However the footprints where made from gravel and there wasn’t any gravel around accept from the stream down below. Then he noticed the gravel piled up along the cabin and some imbedded in the wall. “Shit” John thought it wasn’t hail but gravel he had heard pelting the cabin.
John retreated back inside the cabin to seek refuge from the rain. John shivered but not from the rain. He shivered from whatever the hell bizarre shit that was going on. He remembered his emergency beacon and turned it on. He had decided his Montana vacation was over. He need civilization before he went stir crazy. He began to pray he hadn’t already went stir crazy. Then he heard a pecking sound on his cabin door. Like a bird pecking on it. Then another and another. Finally it echoed through his cabin which he began to see as his coffin. At least ten birds pecking on his door he decided. “Stop, stop” he shouted and then he shot at the door with his pistol. The pecking stopped but then the cawing began. “Crows?” John pondered. He opened the door after pausing several times to quiet the shaking in his hands. It was only a light drizzle now. He stepped out and saw ten crows sitting on branches surrounding his cabin. Each mocking him with there caw. He began firing at one of them over and over and with each shot missed it mocked him again and again caw, caw, caw, caw. Finally with his clip empty he spun and ran for the cabin. He had only taken a couple of steps when he was knocked to the ground by something. His gun slipped from his hand and skidded over the edge of the ridge. He scrambled to his feet as blood filled his eyes. He blinked and looked at what had knocked him down. Nine dead crows lay on the ground. He looked back to the branch and saw that one still mocking him caw, caw, caw. John ran for the cabin and once inside hid in his tent grasping his shotgun as if his live depended on it.
It seemed like hours passed with the rain pounding the cabin again. The cawing finally stopped but as it did he heard it, a gun shot and heard the bullet hit the cabin wall. He dropped to the floor and began yelling “there is someone in here stop shooting”. Then it came to him, that was his pistol, he knew the sound of his 40 cal. anywhere. But he emptied the clip and his ammo was in here. He yanked up his ammo case only to find the 40 Caliber rounds missing. The shots began again. He tried to count them. Then they stopped. He laughed for he figured they ran out so he leapt from the tent and ran outside with his shotgun in hand. He would make that bastard pay for shooting up his cabin. He opened the door and smacked his face on a dead crow hanging from his door frame. He screamed. Then bolted out looking for his tormenter. However he could only find an eerie silence. Then the hard rain returned and he back stepped to the cabin. He shook the rain off and spotted his pistol completely disassembled on the stump he used for a table. That meant whoever had put it there must be hiding inside his tent so he pumped round after round into the tent. He finally mustered up the courage to look inside the tent after the trigger just clicked. No one there. John just retreated to a corner of the cabin and began chanting “just leave me alone” over and over.
Lenny and the rescue team found John in his cabin huddled in a corner clutching his shotgun mumbling “just leave me alone”. They didn’t understand the piles of gravel, the dead crows, or why John had shot up his cabin and tent. The only thing John could tell them was “just leave me alone”. Lenny wished the storm hadn’t been so severe. Maybe if it hadn’t taken them a week to get here John wouldn’t have suffered his melt down. Then again maybe the Native American legend of the Animiki the great storm spirit Lenny had heard occupied these lands was true. Lenny laughed at the notion. John just went stir crazy.
Animiki watched as the humans took John away. Animiki had been willing to share the ridge with John because he liked him and he could smell his ancestors blood in him. However when the white man had came from the sky Animiki knew it was just matter of time before he would bring more back here with him and that Animiki could not have. He felt sorry for John but in time John would be alright and peace had been restored on the ridge, on Animiki’s ridge and this ridge was all Animiki had left.
The rain! Oh, the rain! It descended in torrents and sheets and buckets, seemingly determined to drown the world outside my doors. Glancing outside I couldn’t even see the front sidewalk through the downpour. The entire world, as seen from my doors, seemed to be dark and drear and uniformly gray, desolate of light or life or merriment of any kind.
And the noise it made! It hammered on my rooftop and beat at my windows so! It was as if Nature Itself were trying to beat it’s way into my home, intent on mayhem most foul.
Wisely, I decided to forgo my morning constitutional down to the newspaper shop (since indeed, my rain slicker was at the dry cleaners), and spend a quiet morning at home inside where it was quite dry and cozy.
In preparation for my mornings pleasure I had lit many lamps about my study and kindled a merry fire in the hearth, bringing a wholesome and cheery glow to the room. A steaming kettle of water and a goodly supply of my favorite Chamomile tea along with some fresh scones with small pats of butter sat on the table beside my chair.
Several days before I had finally received my long awaited copy of John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” and I had fidgeted ever since, awaiting the time where I could settle in and lose myself in this engaging tome.
Now was the time! Let the merriment begin! I poured myself a cup of tea and waited patiently the requisite three minutes while it steeped, admonishing myself not to be impatient and nibbling on the corner of a scone in the interim. At long last, my cup was ready, steaming the fresh enticing scent of chamomile throughout the room. With a happy sigh, I settled down in my chair and opened my book to the first page and began to read…
I had no more gotten to the first sentence when such a loud banging came at my door that I started and sloshed tea into my lap. Before I could even set my book down it came again! And again before I could rise from my chair. It was as if someone were trying to batter down my poor front door with his fists.
“Coming, I say! I’m coming! Oh, do stop banging on my door! I just had it painted!”
I hurried to the door and opened the small viewing window set cleverly in the door to see who exactly it was. All I could discern through the blowing wind and rain that there seemed to be some sort of monstrous apparition on my doorstep. It could have been a bear or one of those great shaggy mountain monsters that the native have reported in Tibet. A Yaki, or something. A great mound of beast almost the size of my doorway. And it was standing there waving a paw at me!
And then it spoke!
“Aargh betterment sputnik grease pole!” It cried, waving a hand at my door.
“I say…. What?”
“Millennium hand and shrimp, Bugrit!”
“Bugrit!” It cried. “Bugrit, Bugrit, Bugrit!” Both arms were now waving in the air, slinging water everywhere. The poor creature was positively soaking wet in the downpour.
Although I really did not want such a huge thing in my home, I was nearly in tears at the thought of turning anyone or anything away from my door during such an inhospitable night. Far be it for anyone to say that I, William Winesap Wetwhistle III was anything but hospitable. Especially to those less fortunate that I.
So with no small amount of trepidation I unlocked the door and opened it wide, bowing slightly as I said “Please do come in and get warm. Can I get you anything? A towel, perhaps?”
The apparition stepped through my doorway and I could see in the light that instead of coarse fur as I suspected, the being was wearing what seemed to be a wool coat of enormous dimensions and great disrepair. I could not see a face as much as the hint of two beady dark eyes sunk deep behind layer after layer of sopping wet clothing.
“Yard beagle meant spunky cheese holes!” Came the muffled voice.
“I’m sorry. I don’t quite understand you.”
With a growl of frustration, the enormous being began fumbling with the buttons of it’s coat and after a moment, threw it off, revealing another coat inside of that one. It immediately began unbuttoning the coat underneath that one and again tossed it to the floor revealing another coat as underlayment.
I watched in fascination as layer after layer of clothing was shed in an ever growing pile on my parlor floor. Coats and jackets and scarves and mufflers and neck warmers and a succession of hats that was almost astounding.
And as the pile of cast off clothing grew, my visitor visibly shrank. Layer by layer and garment by garment.
For nearly five minutes I watched my visitor rid himself of layer after layer of clothing until with a final shrug, he divested himself of an enormous cable knitted maroon sweater with a large yellow “R” stitched into the design. And there, standing before me, was a youngish man of about my size. Pale and ginger haired. Panting a bit from the effort it took to divest himself of his home made rain gear. I could only imagine the time and effort he took putting all of that on in the first place. Looking a bit hot and disheveled but quite dry, despite the rain. I guess it hadn’t time or even so much as dared to try and soak through all of those layers of clothes.
“Yardley Michael Sheepsoul?” he said.
“Aren’t you Yardley Michael Sheepsoul? The bloke with the patent crop rotator for sale?”
“Oh good heavens, no.”
He looked around in confusion.
“Isn’t this 221B Baker Street?”
“Not at all. This is 221B Bleeker Street. Baker street is north of here. Across town. Easy enough mistake, I suspect.”
He looked around in growing horror at the mounds of clothing laying about in piles and drifts at his feet. His already pale face grew paler and just before he fainted dead away he cried “I came to the wrong bloody house…………….?”