Friday Fictioneer 100 words: Auntie

Who’s that scratching at the window…?

Joanna K Neilson

Well, I took the image below as inspiration, but the image I’ve added underneath quite nicely sums it up! Thanks to Rochelle for hosting these 100 word challenges, as always.

ice-on-the-window

Auntie waited by the window all winter. Her drool left frozen dark brown streaks as she scratched at thick frosted glass, her yellowed teeth gnashing. Weeks passed. Auntie watched. As I reluctantly chewed up my last shred of beef jerky, and penultimate multivitamin, birds began to squawk and chirp outside. The pane had turned from grey to deep blue. Curiously, I squinted beyond. The snow was dotted with green shoots, and Auntie had become a pile of meat-flecked bones under the window. Excited, I finally prised my way out of the cabin, to explore what was left of the world.

Thank you for reading, comments are welcome!

For more Friday Fiction by other writers, please click on the little blue frog…

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Friday Fictioneers 100 words – Keep Your Eyes Peeled

I feel that this is a proper 100 words for horror fans this time, enjoy, my Eyeballers:-)

Joanna K Neilson

My Friday Fictioneer entry for 11th March – thanks to Rochelle for the prompt as always!

Warning: This went a little dark, I reckon – I saw that huge glossy shadow in the lower section and was totally drawn into it….

Prompt from Emily L Gant Prompt from Emily L Gant

Keep your eyes peeled, girl.

They move between dark places when the shadows shift. Between buildings. Inside homes.

My neighbour was left with a cave for a face.

They spread in shadows, their domain increasing as storms get fiercer, knocking out power, soaking firewood. They caused that too, of course. Moment they landed here the bastards were blotting out our sun.

So never blink. Be vigilant and you’ll catch a lifesaving glimpse. A spidery leg here, a scuttle at the corner of your eye. Shoot the bastards.

Keep ‘em peeled, girl. Here’s a razorblade. I can help, if you’d like?

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Friday Fictioneers 100 Words: Kaylee, Benji and KB

What horror can be wrought from a bunch of batteries? Please read on…in my entry for Friday Fictioneers.

Joanna K Neilson

Thanks for the link at Friday Fictioneers!

copyight-sean-fallon

Image: Copyright Sean Fallon

Almost alone on a semi-deserted junk world, Kaylee badly missed her beloved Benji-dog.

But she’d finally found a new friend within the scrap heap.

The dusty robot gratefully consumed all the batteries she’d scrounged. He sucked thoughtfully on each one, his red headlamp eyes growing brighter, and his spiny fingers twitched and rusty claws flexed.

“KB is ready,” KB finally announced in a scratchy, staccato voice.

“So we can play?” she said.

“Yes, Kaylee.” said KB. “What shall we play?”

Razor sharp teeth chomped the last cell.

“I have a great game,” she grinned, “Huntin’ the varmints who murdered Benji!”

*****

Find more Friday Fiction 100 word stories below!

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Monster Monday: The Hulk

In honour of Age of Ultron being really good fun – honestly, what did we do to deserve TWO pretty good Marvel Avengers movies? (Note, that’s British for – bloody amazing) we wanted to highlight this in a brief Monster Monday honorific to the Hulk, who is definitely one of Marvel’s most extreme mutated characters. It’s a classic Jekyll and Hyde horror story, after all.

As the human Bruce Banner, Hulk can be charmingly nerdy (at least the way Mark Ruffalo plays him), albeit with a very fucked up background. But seriously, don’t make him…

3412551-2374770-marvel_the_hulk

…angry. Duh.

And – Spoiler for Avengers Age of Ultron – (highlight to view clearly) the new Avengers movie really shows how terrifying an an out of control Hulk is, and it’s not pretty. Seriously, people screaming and crying, Iron Man barely able to contain him, it’s a mess and it’s kind of upsetting to see. 
– End spoiler

So the Hulk is today’s main monster because he embodies the popular fantasy of raging out in an uber-macho riot of unstoppable destruction, uncontainable even by the might of the world’s armies. All too often, this gets very ugly indeed. Bruce Banner’s constant battle to contain the big Green Guy is a truly compelling part of this character. And Hulk is incredibly popular. Whether you’re into it for the smash or the soul-searching, Hulk is as much a part of popular culture as Spidey and Batman, and gives licence to the wildest pumped up, bloated, testosteroney monster artwork.

Hulk Smash eyes glowing David Nakayama

However, not everyone finds the Hulk terrifying…and we’re all a little curious about those conveniently size purple pants. Right? No? Er…enjoy, and thanks for Eyeballing with us.

Monster Monday: Mr Swivel from Colder: The Bad Seed, by Paul Tobin & Juan Ferreyra

Comics are fast becoming our favourite way of consuming quality horror on the Haunted Eyeball. Our latest crush is the newish series ‘Colder’. The introduction to the first collected volumes run like this:

Declan Thomas is an ex-inmate of an insane asylum that was destroyed in a fire, he has the strange ability to step inside a person’s madness—and sometimes cure it. He hopes to one day cure his own, but time is running out, as a demonic predator pursues him.

However, what got our attention was this character from Colder: The Bad Seed. The terrifying Swivel is a very particular variety of monster with a chilling speciality…

It gets worse...

It gets worse…

Just looking at him is enough to make you shit kittens. But it gets worse. Swivel collects human fingers and isn’t too particular about whether you’re still attached to them. Yeah. Most issues from The Bad Seed open with him, er, ‘harvesting’ from hapless people who are innocently hailing taxis or walking dogs. Swivel might just make you careful where you waggle your most useful appendages from now on. *waves*

Swivel's mini-scythe has devastating effectiveness.

Swivel’s mini-scythe is devastatingly effective. *shits kittens*

That said, there’s a brilliant moment where he and his little mouth-fingers (still with us?) delicately remove a splinter from a little girl’s pinkie. Think it’s actually our favourite bit.

mm - Colder splinter swivel 6 panel

The guy just really, really loves himself some good quality fingers. Not your usual Eldritch being, right? The guy is a true aesthete…of fingers. Yeah. Shudder.

Colder is weird and troubling and truly insane. So naturally, we highly recommend that Eyeballers get hold of Colder volume 1 and volume 2: The Bad Seed, as soon as possible! If you love gorgeously upsetting visuals, this is for you.

Oh, and this is the cover for Colder: Volume 1. It’s awesome. It’s also terrifying. So you’ve been warned. Firstly, we present a kitten. If you scroll down further down than the kitten well,  just don’t have nightmares:

Don't scroll down don't scroll down just think about the kitten...

Don’t scroll down – don’t scroll down  – just think about the kitten…

Ready?

Issue 1 doesn't have Swivel and his fingers. But it's still freakin' weird. Also recommended.

Issue 1 doesn’t have Swivel and his fingers. But it’s still freakin’ weird. Also recommended.

Yeah. Would you like some brain bleach? Come back next time, y’all:-)

Friday Fictioneer: When Ben Burned Down the Bandstand

Friday fictioneering, Bandstand Burn!

Joanna K Neilson

A strangely psychotic piece this week – think it was partly prompted and crystalised by everyone’s shock, including my own, at the hideous air crash where the pilot apparently very calmly flew himself and 150 other people into a mountain – for no good reason (all will probably be revealed, I suppose). Still, fucking unbearable to think about. Shudder.

This act of senseless brutality freaked me out and filtered its way into my story, though it’s also still inspired by the band picture. Apologies to the band people btw😉 At least this guy has a clear motive for his dreadful actions, however dreadfully weak.

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Friday Fictioneer By Dave Stewart

Bandstand Burn

When Ben burned down the bandstand, he didn’t seem the chap. He’d always been a nice guy,  we’d never heard him snap. But his one true love was music, and he had longed to play. But talent at it…

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Live horror: Don’t Go Into the Cellar Presents…13th March 2015, Art House Southampton

skull, cellar, morbid curiosities

Don’t go into the Cellar Presents…

A spooky evening was had by all as The Haunted Eyeball attended Morbid Curiosities, a production based around classic horror stories, adapted by Don’t Go Into the Cellar and performed at the Art House.

Jumping at the chance to enjoy a live performance of some of our favourite classic horror stories, the Haunted Eyeball raced to see Morbid Curiosities on, the appropriate evening of Friday 13th March 2015. Climbing up to the cramped, yet cosy, upstairs rooms of the Southampton Art House, we hungrily devoured four tales of ghoulish terror, originally authored by Victorian crime writing gentleman Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the 20th Century’s finest weird fiction writer, H P Lovecraft. The atmosphere was built by the obligatory spooky skull and strange, horned creatures perched on an intimately sized stage. We couldn’t wait to find out what stories would unfold and who would present them to us? Would it be Lovecraft, of Sherlock Holmes, or…or…

In fact, Harry Houdini (Jonathan Goodwin ) was to be our narrator, and he presented the evening using a rather jarring inflection. He SPOKE like this, “Ladies AND GENTLEMEN!” which was in some ways far scarier than the first act. Indeed, the HORRORS that he proclaimed would FOLLOW made us ALL the JUMPIER because of his randomly loud VOICE.

OK, we are nitpicking about volume. In a larger room it would be fine, and the presenting style perfectly fit Houdini’s outlandish, earnest sense of showmanship. It drew us directly into a ghastly world of horror and mystery.

After introducing himself, Houdini passed the first story to his associate, the genteel Mrs D’Odd (Amy Bullock). She described her rather tongue in cheek ghostly encounter, based on Selecting a Ghost by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Nailing the pomposity and the aspirations of a would-be aristocrat, this drew belly laughs and many eerie moments, all played out nicely with an excellent payoff.

With one ghostly tale laid to rest (or not), Houdini returned to ponder over a horned skull, and talk of false séances that enraged him. Although very well performed, Playing with Fire by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was simply less impressive as a story – and this is a personal reaction. Basically, when you bring unicorns into it, it all veers away from the horror we’d turned up for, and for some reason it was a little harder to follow. Although performed with gusto by ‘Houdini’, we wanted some real, gut-wrenching horror, dammit, and were on tenterhooks for the eventual appearance of anything by H P Lovecraft. Given Houdini’s presence, we already had an inkling what of one of the stories would probably be, but were wondering what the other one might be from.

Part two

It turned out that both of the last two stories were by H P Lovecraft, and here the show fully hooked us again.  ‘Miss Rhodes’ (Amy Bullock) gleefully told the tale of The Hound, wherein a twisted couple, whose playful games with the dead would make Leatherface blush, get a nasty surprise when they grave rob an ancient amulet. Amy Bullock clearly took delight in the monstrous side of Miss Rhodes’ character. A truly great interpretation.

To our considerable delight, another Lovecraft gem followed. Of course, the presence of Harry Houdini meant we had immediately suspected that one particular story had to be told, and we were not disappointed. Under the Pyramids was bombastically presented, and vivid enough to smell the incense.

The stories of Conan Doyle and Lovecraft more than overcame the cramped conditions of the Art House top floor, and despite the presence of bright light, electronic speakers and drunken shouting from outside. The second half of the show was strongest, from a horror fan perspective – but when it got there it delivered pretty much what we were hoping for. Morbid Curiosities was an enormously fun event, and  we recommend for all UK-based Eyeballers to attend one of their shows as soon as possible. We can only hope that the shows get the creepy locations which they truly deserve, maybe somewhere like an old manor house or the Vaults of a long-disused port. The Haunted Eyeball sincerely hopes to see ‘Don’t go Into The Cellar’ and its other uncanny productions again. Nothing compared to hearing Lovecraft’s uncanny words spoken aloud with a group of people, and we had chills when the show rounded off with:

That is not dead which can eternal lie,

And with strange aeons even death may die..

Cast and Credits

Houdini – Jonathan Goodwin

Mrs D’Odd, Miss Rhodes – Amy Bullock

Director – Gary Archer

Scripted by Jonathan Goodwin

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