The Wraith’s Wrath

He was annoyed. Ooh, was he annoyed. He was so annoyed you couldn’t shake a stick at it. He was that annoyed.

He’d passed through death without the dying part. He was undead without becoming dead in the first place. His life as he knew it had ended, yet it carried on.

He was still here.

Walking.

He found it odd doing that without breathing, Not breathing had its ups and downs. He could pretend to be dead and startle people in the mortuary by sitting up. He chuckled inwardly as they turned a shade paler than he was. He then had to profusely apologise and explain it had all been a joke set up by one of their friends, although he could never remember their name. That’s what he told them. They were in such a state of shock they always believed him.

He liked it when he dropped his keys in the canal and could spend hours looking for them, always finding them. Being this side of life gave him great night vision, and this also helped in the murky, cloudy, and putrid waters of the canal. He even liked the taste. After about a hundred times of deliberately losing his keys, he’d had enough. He wanted more to do.

Walking through the shopping centre, he began to notice more and more people were avoiding him. Dashing into shops; crossing to the other side of the mall in a hurry; hastily talking on their mobile phone whilst scratching away at a speck of ‘something’ on their shoulder. Even the lady by the flower cart started to close early. She’d closed for lunch five times one day, he noticed.

He’d decided to try to improve himself.

Money was no object, and as nobody knew that he hadn’t literally died, nobody gathered to share his fortune between them. He was happy nobody bothered with him.

He’d bought an on-line university course in self improvement, and the first part focussed on image. Hair was the first chapter.

He’d washed, and cleared away most of the smell from the canal. He bathed in disinfectant, floral fresh, to make doubly sure. He slicked his hair back, and after building up his confidence, he’d walked across the shopping centre to the Elite Hair Management salon, kindly acknowledging all who avoided him.

The salon was open, so he walked in and up to the desk.

“Good morning, madam,” he rasped. His speech was a little rusty. “I’d like a hair cut.”

The girl on the desk giggled, and an older, stern looking woman dashed over and ushered her away. “We’re fully booked”. She said, sternly.

He looked around the salon, empty chairs everywhere, some staff filing their nails, others brushing clean floors.

“Madam,” he rasped once more.

“No!” she bellowed. “Fully booked.” She started to walk away, so he grabbed her arm, gently. Unfortunately, his hand touched the skin on her arm just beneath her silk sleeve, causing her to sizzle instantly.

Guttural sounds came from her throat next, and her eyes rolled over and over. She frothed at her mouth.

Her skin became the same shade as his, as she crossed over to his domain.

“Ah. Sorry,” He meant it.

“What have you done to me?” She rasped, staring at her reflection in one of the salon’s mirrors. Her ‘hairdresser’s elegance’ hanging on by a mere thread, just like three of her false eyelashes. Her black hairpiece hung limply like floppy coal over her left shoulder. Her tight-fitting silk blouse now just a saggy rag around her shrunken frame. “Get OUT of my shop!!!” She bellowed. She shooed him out, and he watched as she chased her staff out almost immediately afterwards. She slammed the door shut, pulled down the closed sign, and sat herself in front of one of the mirrors.

He looked at the young girl who he first spoke to when he entered the shop, who was standing beside him, shaking. She looked at him, fear etched across her face.

“I’m never coming here again.” He told her. “Your customer service skills leave a lot to be desired.”

In Half-Light

Shadows stretch forward as the the Sun disappears behind the derelict abbey, attempting to reach the trees that mark the perimeter of this now disused estate. The trees are clouded in complete darkness, but the space in-between, the space occupied by the elongating shadows, is bathed in a cooling twilight. An eerie half-light, neither day nor night. Any remaining echoes carried on the evening breeze fade gently away, as do the shadows themselves; the remaining rays from the Sun diminish.

The Sun sets. Daylight extinguished.

The day ends.

And through the now faded half-light, the night dwellers begin to emerge.

***

I’ve taken inspiration from the WordPress Photo Challenge for this short tale; but instead of using a photograph, I thought I’d paint a picture using words. A hundred of them. Just because!

Butter Wouldn’t Melt!

The red skies have gone (almost!) and the signs of last night’s volcanic eruption are nowhere to be seen. The Courtyard is as it was, even the plant pots are back in place. The plants seem to be a little different – but then again, they’re plants, and that’s what they do – when you’re not looking at them, the next time you do look, they are completely different from the last time you noticed them. Try not to notice the plants around you, and then see for yourself!

Time has that effect as well. Differences don’t appear when you’re around something all of the time, but don’t see them for a while and the differences become apparent.

The same is true of this blog… actually, no, the same is false. This blog is always changing – in fact, the blog changes that many times even the most obvious changes aren’t noticed. Now, is that true or false? I er…

I waffle.

My Inner Zombie is telling me to sleep. It comes to something when one’s Inner Zombie needs to sleep. Not Inner Zombie – Inner Athlete. Mind you, looking at my athletic prowess, you would be hard pushed not to compare me to a zombie – but I digress.

Things are back to normal around here.

Again…

And they say romance is dead

Old Mal creaked and groaned as he leant forward in his dusty old chair. He was bent completely double with his arm out-stretched as far as he could, but he still couldn’t reach it.

He muttered something inaudible.

“What’s that you say?” Ornelle, his wife, glanced up and over at him from her dusty chair. “Oh – what are you doing? Let me help you.”

She dragged herself up out of the chair and across the candle-lit room. She first pulled up and straightened out Old Mal. Then, she picked up his hand from the floor, which was still clutching a single wilted rose. If it wasn’t bits of him falling off, it was bits of her. It was something they were both used to after becoming undead several and then some years before.

“I wanted to surprise you.” Old Mal said, sheepishly.

“After five hundred years of you doing the same thing,” Ornelle reattached Mal’s hand, “You’d think you’d know by now that I don’t like roses.”

***

It’s February 1st. White Rabbits!
And this is my post for my new Monthly theme.  I’m starting early.

Night of the Gathering

Out into the Grinds the Inners went
To join the annual gatherment
Of creatures featured in stories told
Both modern and from times of old

They joined the likes of Warlock Seers
Magicians, Wraiths and other fear-
Some creatures for one party night
Filled with fun and lots of frights

Spooky music whispers by
Sirens wail from way up high
Witches cackle and cast their spells
With high jinx provided by lots of elves

My Inner Zombie, Bogeyman, Creation, Woman (Thomasina) and Typist (Fingers / Fangers) all left the confines of my mind earlier this month, just for this very night (well, last night). A strange gathering takes place annually out in the Grinds, with just about every creature in existence in attendance… far too many to mention, but including vampires, skeletons, ogres, mermaids, dragons plus those mentioned above and many, many others.

My Inner Typist was the biggest surprise as he doesn’t have a ‘physical’ body as such, just a few (not so) nimble fingers… Io==Oi, I herad that… and I was expecting him to be there as a couple of ‘Thing’-like creatures (out of the Addam’s Family) but no, he instead put a sheet over his invisible body and went as a ghost. Apparently, he looked quite the part as normally a floating sheet would require a certain amount of special effects to pull it off (the look, that is, not the sheet), but he just wore the sheet with a couple of eye-holes for good measure.

As usual, the Gathering abruptly ended at midnight. The attendees flew, buried, cackled, faded, dissolved, exploded, ran, popped, or walked away as one. The Grinds were completely clear at 12:05am. No mess. No fuss. They’re very thoughtful, these monsters.

My Inners are all back inside now. I was tempted to keep them out there on Halloween,  but thought better of it. They’ve been out there for a month anyway.

Hopefully, they’ll lie low for a while now, and allow me to do some proper blogging.

Tomorrow is Halloween. I have a spooky tale lined up for this year’s extravaganza, starting at 7pm UK time, and then continuing throughout the evening on the hour, every hour, up until midnight. The tale also features a familiar name… I hope you can pop by, if you get the chance!