Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story – Part Four

Somewhere in America
A Horror Short Story
Teddy – Part Four

The inspector had been napping when the call came. Screams from the neighbor’s house.

“Yes, yes. 3112 Sycamore. Why that’s…. Thank you, I’ll be right over.”

He set down the receiver, his mind racing. Grabbing his jacket he ran out of the station. Something was going to get resolved tonight.

The Inspector got to the house fifteen minutes later. After banging on the door for several minutes he finally jimmied a window open and climbed through to find himself in a little study with a couple of bookshelves only half filled with books and other odds and ends.

He stepped out into the living room where he’d originally met Mr. Phillips. The light from the hall showed him nothing immediately amiss. The bottle of brandy he’d seen earlier was now nearly empty along with the glass on the coffee table. He walked up the stairs taking care to observe everything but noticing nothing out of the ordinary.

At the top one door stood open and one closed. He knew which was the father’s. He went to that one first, knocking, and when that didn’t work, entering. But Mr. Phillips wasn’t there. Back down the hallway he went toward the daughter’s room.

He looked around at the furnishings in the little room, so nicely organized. On the bed a neat line of stuffed animals sat staring at him. In their center was a little doll with a porcelain face. It looked like her face had been broken at one point and then put back together again. She seemed to be smiling at him. He smiled back.

Other than that there was nothing there. Nothing but a bed, a dresser and an old rocking chair sitting empty.

Then he noticed something else. Across the room stood a little girl’s vanity with a large mirror in the center, cracked down the center, half of it in pieces on the floor. On the edge of the mirror’s frame was a thick smear of blood. He looked closer. It ended in finger prints. A man’s finger prints.

He bent down to inspect the blood spattered shards on the floor when he was interrupted by a loud banging sound coming from downstairs and hurried down to see what it was. Through the living room and into the kitchen he went, stopping abruptly to stare at the back door, banging open and shut in the wind outside.

The wind had picked up since he had entered and must have slammed it shut only to have it catch on the lock. But it was the handle that got his attention. It was covered in blood.

He pushed the door open and stepped outside into the backyard. Above him thunder clouds were gathering for another attack. Looking about he saw nothing and was about to step back in when he noticed the streak on the side of the house. He took out his flashlight and looked closer.

More blood, smeared, as if the person had lost their balance and put their hand up to steady them self. Feeling the rain on his neck he pulled up his coat collar and followed the direction of the smear, soon finding more in the form of drops on the pavement of the driveway and smears on the open door of the shed. He started running.

The path was dark. He could just barely hear her up ahead, her tinkling laughter, her smiling eyes, calling to him, telling him to hurry.

“I am honey, I am,” he called back to the night, coughing something wet into his mouth as he ran, the wooden handle cool in his grip.

It was going to be alright now. It was going to be fine. Ahead in the moonlight he could see the first of the large stone slabs, silhouetted against the moonlit sky. He was almost there. Almost there.

The inspector arrived at the cemetery thirty minutes later. The gate was open and one bloody finger print told him who had been the one to open it.

He stepped through, looking about. His trail ended abruptly in the sparse grass and darkness. Huge trees grew up all about reaching their branches out to him like long fingers whose shadows rose and fell with the wind, reaching towards him.

His trail gone, he began walking up the little path, careful to avoid stones and roots in the dark. He remembered where the little girl’s grave was. Probably her father was there.

Several times as he walked he thought he heard voices ahead or to the side, once even behind him. Vague whisperings he could barely make out. But after the first few searches came to nothing he stopped following them.

It was probably the wind anyways, it had kicked up along with the rain and now all he heard was the quick pitter-patter of droplets landing heavily on the bare branches of the trees. A few minutes later he turned a corner, passing under the bough of a large oak tree, and saw up ahead the small hill on which she had been buried.

He stopped, squinting his eyes. There, outlined against the orange glow of the moon behind it, stood what looked to be a squat, little boy with a large round head. He was holding a shovel, much too large for him, patting a small mound of dirt in front of the girl’s grave. There was something strange about him, maybe the way he stood.

The boy seemed to sense the Inspector’s presence and turned toward him. The boy’s head was big, too big. A large circle with two small circles on the top of each side. The little boy stared at him for several seconds before going back to his work. The inspector started forward.

He left the path, intending to catch the boy before he could run off. But he forgot to watch for the stones and roots. Before he’d gone more than a few yards he found himself flat on the ground. He heard a crack in the distance, like the sound of wood breaking, and stood quickly, scanning the dark horizon.

But the little boy was gone. He walked more carefully now, picking his way through old, fallen over grave stones and tree roots covered in grass.

A few minutes later he arrived at the grave of the little girl. There was no one there now though the foot prints of a grown man lay all about. Where Mr. Phillips had gone he had no idea. He stared at the stone for several seconds, thinking, before he realized there was something different about it, different than when he had last seen it at the burial. It was hard to see in such darkness and he bent down to get a closer look.

There had a been a large cross etched into the front of it but now that seemed to have been carefully scraped away until there was nothing left of it. But that wasn’t what held his attention.

The name on the stone was gone. It had said the little girl’s name in large roman lettering. But that was gone now, chipped away. His skin grew cold as he read what was etched into that stone facing now.

Reaching out his fingers he traced the jagged letters in the cold stone, feeling a chill run up his spine.

He stood then, still staring down at it. Beside the freshly made mound on which he stood the shovel the strange little boy had been using lay broken.

From somewhere in the distance he could hear the high pitched tinkling laughter of a little girl and he looked around to see two small figures standing on a ridge a little ways off. They were holding hands.

Lightning flashed and he shielded his eyes. When he looked again they were gone.

He looked back down at the word scrawled on the tombstone. “Daddy.”

From below him, in a grave deeper than most, he could faintly hear what might have been the screams of a man. Or maybe it was just the wind.

This is the end of: Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story

Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story – Part Three

Somewhere in America
A Horror Short Story
Teddy – Part Three

Frozen in place Mr. Phillips listened to the faint music. It was almost hypnotizing in its effect. Slowly, as if drawn there against his will, he began to walk to the door, expecting it to open at any moment. A faint light shone through its crack, flickering now and then.

“I’m just drunk.” He whispered to himself as he edged nearer and nearer to the door. “I’m just drunk. That’s all. Just the wind.”

Through the door he could hear the sound of slowly creaking wood, back and forth, back and forth. He grasped the handle and pushed it open, stepping inside.

The music stopped. So did the creaking. It was right at the tail end where the words, “out popped the weasel,” came. Only they didn’t. It stopped just before “weasel”. The silence enveloping him was unnerving. Even the wind outside seemed to have stopped completely.

He couldn’t take it. He wanted to run to the little box. To yell at it, “say ‘weasel’! Say ‘weasel’, dammit!”

But he didn’t. Something stopped him, some voice in the back his mind telling him he had no place here, no authority.

He looked around, shaking with a mixture of anger and fear. Everything was as he had left it. The dresser, upright again with its contents carefully placed back in its drawers. The stuffed animals laid neatly on the bed, as if waiting for their friend to come back.

Except…. Except for one. Her teddy bear. He had put it with them…. but now It was gone. Frowning, he looked around for it, finally finding it sitting on that strange rocking chair of hers. The one that went from side to side instead of forward and backward. He could remember her sitting there with the bear, rocking slowly as she sang, the window open. Her mother had been behind him as they watched her, completely unaware of their presence. She had had such a beautiful voice. He could almost hear her singing now, the soft silvery voice of a little girl, so soft and-

No. She was gone now. The sounds in his mind quieted as he stared at the empty space beside the bear. But how had the bear gotten there? And how was it rocking? It just sat there facing him. Almost as if it was staring at him. But it must have been the chair rocking. Nothing else would have made that sound.

He made a face at it but it continued to stare at him impassively. A shiver ran up his spine.

Glancing around more he saw the open window. That was the cause of all this. He sighed with relief as he closed and latched it. “Must have been banging in the wind. Gusts pushing the rocking chair.”

He laughed, feeling queerly like he had just done something sacrilegious. Well, so what? He could if he wanted to. He laughed again, louder. Then again.

Now he felt more at ease. What was wrong? So he hadn’t cleaned the stairs like he thought. So what? He walked around the room looking at the various objects, all neat and tidy as he’d left them for the investigation.

His uneasiness returned when he came to the stuffed animals. Especially that little doll with the child’s face and white porcelain skin. It even had eyelids. Hadn’t it been turned the other way when he walked in? It seemed to be staring at him now with its painted eyes. They all did. Was it guilt? He wondered. Is that why he felt that way? It had a little smile on its face as it stared up at him. One of those unnatural ones which didn’t quite make it to the eyes the way only a doll can do.

It blinked.

His breath caught in his throat as he stared at it. He was sure it had just blinked. Sure of it! But it just sat there now staring at him. Teeth shaking, he reached out and picked it up.

“Mama,” it said. He dropped it to the ground, eyes wide and stepped on it, stomped on it, until it was a broken pile of porcelain. Then he saw the little tag. “Talking ma-ma doll”. He took a deep breath, calming himself.

Quickly leaving the doll he turned back to the room, ready to exit, when something across the bed from him caught his attention. Something he hadn’t noticed before.
Squinting in confusion he walked past the bed to the bear. Their was something on it. How hadn’t he seen that before? He bent closer.

“No!” He whispered, tripping, so quickly did he try to back up. He landed on his butt in front of the bear, its eyes still on his. He looked at its arm. Blood clung in little wet droplets to the nappy fur. It was on his head. Around his neck. He reached out to it, his finger connecting with the wet liquid, still warm. Very slowly the bear turned its head to face him.

“No… No…” He was shaking his head spasmodically, his whole body was shaking. His breath misted in the air. It was so cold in here. “No… No!” He screamed. “N-”


His heart stopped. Cold sweat ran down his face. “Who said that? Who said that?!” He yelled, turning in circles in the center of the room. He was on the verge of crying.

I’m cracking up, he thought to himself. “There’s no one…”

“Over here, daddy.”

“No… Please God, no,” he whimpered quietly, covering his face in his hands as tears welled in his eyes.


“I can’t do this!! I cant-”


Very slowly he stood up, turning as he did, his eyes shut tight.

There was a light laugh, silver tinkling on a windy day. “Daddy,” said the voice from just in front of him.

He opened his eyes, slowly. He was facing the mirror. The one on her little vanity. His daughter stood there, staring at him with large unblinking eyes, a slight smile on her face. But she was inside the mirror looking out.

All about her was darkness and mist, slowly rising and falling, swirling here and there. In the background he could barely make out faint shapes in the darkness, darker areas moving with a life of their own.

“Hi, Daddy,” she said, waving a hand at him awkwardly, her joints stiff. Her neck was titled at an odd angle and she seemed to be straining to keep it upright.

He couldn’t speak. He wanted to scream but he couldn’t breathe. It felt like the air was being emptied from his chest. He was suffocating.

She stood there, staring out at him as he fell to his knees, grasping at his throat, that same smile she always wore. Only it wasnt… There was something about her face. Something off. It was too white. Too white and too stiff. All of her motions were.

“Daddy,” she said, blinking her eyes. Her whole face stayed still as her eyelids closed and opened again.

“No….” He mouthed.

“Daddy, are you okay?”

Very slowly he shook his head.

“Well then come here, Daddy. I’ll help you.” Her smile didn’t change. It didn’t even move as she spoke. It was as if it was painted on. The words just came out.

He edged toward her, his chest on fire. Kneeling down in front of the small mirror he bowed his head, the tears he’d worked so hard to hold back pouring forth now in a torrent.

“I’m sorry,” he said in barely a whisper, “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay daddy. I understand.” He could feel her hand on his head, her fingers running through his hair, ice cold to the touch. He raised his head to her. She was so close now. One arm was extended to the surface of the mirror, stopped as if by a pane of glass. But he could still feel it.

“It’s okay, daddy,” she whispered. He saw the tilt in her head then, the sharp bump on the side of her neck. “You can help me, Daddy.” She stared down at him with her unchanging expression.

“Yes. Yes,” he mouthed.

His lungs opened.

Her eyes seemed to grow larger, darker. “Good.”

Beside him he heard the creak of the rocking chair as something soft and furry slid off of it.

This is concluded in: Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story – Part Four

Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story – Part Two

Somewhere in America
A Horror Short Story
Teddy – Part Two

“Mr. Phillips, I’m still not convinced it was Epilepsy.” The Inspector had been at the house for almost two hours now. He had come home with them along with the rest attending the wake and yet at eight o’clock at night he was the only one still remaining.
“You say the windows were closed?”

Mr. Phillips stared into his glass of brandy, slowly twirling the last of the ice with a straw. “I – I honestly don’t remember. Was it raining that night? I may have closed them if it was. I – I don’t know.”

The Inspector, who had other thoughts as to what had happened that night, stared at the bereaved man through narrowed eyes. The doctor had confirmed the epilepsy. But then the doctor was a good friend of Mr. Phillips. The Inspector shook his head. Something just didn’t sit right with him….

“Please Inspector, today has been very trying for me. Could you….”

“Of course. Of course… Your loss.” Out of habit the Inspector dusted off his pants and stood up from the little armchair where he had been perched most of the night. “I’ll come another time, perhaps tomorrow.”

Mr. Phillips looked away, something the Inspector didn’t fail to notice. “Yes, of course.”

“If you do find anything else though, please let me know, hmm? You still have my number?”

“Yes, yes. I do,” Mr. Phillips said, glancing at the semi legible scrawl on the sheet of paper beside the telephone. “I will. Thank you, Inspector.”

Mr. Phillips showed the Inspector to the door, closing and locking it after him. He then ran to the window where he pulled the curtain aside an inch to watch the Inspector as he stood beside his car staring out into the night before finally getting in and driving off. When his brake lights had faded into the distance Mr. Phillips let the curtain drop.

“My loss….” He muttered to no one as he walked back to the sofa, downing his last glass of brandy before pouring a new one. He appeared even older now than at the funeral.

Outside the storm had only gotten worse since the service. Peels of lightning lit the back windows with a yellow glow as thunder crackled loudly above the sound of the pouring sheets of rain dancing across the roof. He couldn’t remember a storm this bad since he was child.

He stared at the silent television set across from him, slowly sipping his brandy. When he finished it he poured himself another. And when he finished that he poured another….

He awoke with a start some time later. Just how long he didn’t know. But the thunder, while not completely gone, had lessened, and the rain outside was a gentle pitter-patter once more. He started to rise but fell back as his head reeled in protest. His face felt like a freight train had hit it sometime in the recent past. He rubbed his eyes to clear the fog from them, looking around. Something had woken him. Something had-

There it was again. He couldn’t tell where it had come from. Was that it? It sounded like something tapping against something. But it was only once and then it was gone.

He sat back, trying his best to pull himself out of the mist which covered him. It was just the wind, nothing more. This house was empty now. He laid his head back and closed his aching eyes.

“Empty. All empty,” he said to himself. “I’m not even here anymore. I’ve gone to that-”

The sound came again and he quickly opened his eyes, jarred by its suddenness in the midst of so much relative silence. It sounded like it had come from upstairs.

He blinked his eyes and stood up, fighting the urge to pass out. Probably a window left open. As he mounted the stairs his gaze fell upon a step a little further up. There was a strange spot on it. He bent down to look closer. It was red and shiny.

“But-but I cleaned those up,” he said to himself, frowning down at it. He shook his head. “Must have missed it.” But it was so shiny…. so…

He reached out with his finger to touch it, recoiling instinctively at the texture of the thick liquid. Hands shaking he stared at his finger. It wasn’t possible. He had cleaned it up. And yet it was still wet. And warm. So warm.

He looked to the next step and the next. Dots of blood speckled them here and there and, once, a thin smear ending in one little finger print.

He was shaking, unable to take his eyes off that mark. He remembered that print. Remembered wiping it up with a damp rag as his mind had raced, wondering what to do. It wasn’t possible.

From above came the sound again. Only it wasn’t a tapping sound now. It was more like a rolling sound. The unmistakable sound of a ball being bounced and rolled along the floor only to bump up against the wall and then repeat after a short pause. He touched his face, feeling the cold sweat which clung to it like a death shroud.

“The wind. It’s only the wind,” he said, steeling himself to continue his ascent.

When he got to the top he looked around, trying to figure out where the sound was coming from. His heart told him where, but he wouldn’t listen. And he was so cold. Wrapping his arms around his body he started toward his room. His daughter’s room lay in the opposite direction and he hadn’t been in there since that day. He’d rather he never went in there again.

He was halfway to his room when he heard the sound again, closer now. A ball being dropped. He listened with growing fear as it rolled along behind him.

Slowly turning, the floor boards creaking under his feet, he watched, frozen in place, as a little red ball rolled slowly toward him, speeding suddenly as it passed him by, heading for the stairs. Step by step it bounced, each time sounding like a hammer against a nail. Finally it came to a stop at the far wall below him and there was silence once more.

He looked at the door to his daughter’s room, opened just a crack. It was the wind. That was all. He’d closed that door. He knew he had. He knew he had!

Outside the thunder slowly faded to nothing. And from the room a new sound now drifted. A soft sound as if carried on the wind. The delicate, stilted chiming of a child’s wind-up music box.

He listened in disbelief. He knew that tune. It was the box he’d gotten for her when she was only a few months old. He remembered winding and rewinding it for her as she lay in her crib staring up at him. She’d been such a beautiful child.

The tinkling notes of “The monkey and the weasel” played round and round as he stood there, just outside her door, the ghost of a smile playing across his lips… But it wasn’t right. It was off. He listened more intently. It paused here and there before continuing, now fast, now slow, as if it were uncertain. As if a hand was turning the wheel. A child’s hand.

After a moment the sound of a rocking chair creaking back and forth joined it. Mr. Phillips wanted to scream.

The inspector had left the Phillips’s house at eight that night intending to go home. But something kept sticking in his mind. He drove for over an hour thinking about it, unconsciously winding his way back to the station.

Pulling into the parking lot he got out of the car and walked in, heading past several others still at work. One of them sent a paper airplane flying at him. He brushed it away and headed for his desk.

A series of photos sat there, taken at the scene of where the little girl had lain from various vantage points. The idea was that she had suffered from an epileptic fit, her first, while standing at the top of the stairs. From there she had fallen, cutting her hand on a loose nail and breaking her neck in the crash at the end.

But then why so many blood spots near the top of the stairs? And that finger print. It looked like she had actually grasped at the step on her way down, as if trying to stop herself. A person in a fit would never have done that. And her hand had a cut in it yet there was no sharp object she could have cut herself on except near the bottom.

But he couldn’t prove it. Couldn’t prove anything with the doctor vouching for the whole affair. And Mr. Phillips had cleaned it all up so fast after they’d seen it.

But then there was that other photo. It had been dismissed by the others but his mind still stuck on it, pulled to it now as he sat there. It was a shot looking up from the bottom of the stairs.

Blurred but discernible the door of the little girl’s room was open just a crack. Through the crack, even blurrier than the door, one could see the far wall. And on that wall was what looked to the inspector like the shadow of a little boy standing there, bending over something. Or at least half of one. The door blocked what would have been the other half. It could have been anything really.

“It’s nothing,” the precinct’s film developer had said. “Just a spot on the film.” And maybe it was. It didn’t fit into any angle the inspector could think of. But still it tugged at him.

Finally, taking a cue from Mr. Phillips himself, he set the picture down and leaned back in his swivel chair. From his coat pocket he pulled a small cask of scotch. It had been a long day.

This is continued in:Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story Part Three

Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story – Part One

Somewhere in America
Horror Short Story
Teddy – Part One

The little girl flew through the door panting, her wavy, corn silk hair bouncing about her little face.

“Quick Teddy, we have to hide!” She whispered across the little room. Her eyes, recently moistened, glittered in the reflected light of the moon outside.

Pulling the door closed, she turned the lock on the knob and ran to her old four poster bed where her teddy bear lay sprawled amidst the other stuffed animals, some new, some old.

But he was the only one who received her attention, the only one who showed any signs of wear. He was the only one whose belly was large in proportion to its chest from years of little arms squeezing its neck and whose facial fur was stiff from nights when a tear stained little face pressed tightly against it.

Through the door she could hear the distant shouts of her father, drunk again.

“Hurry!” She said as she grabbed her Teddy. “We have to go now! Where are the weapons?”

He didn’t answer but she already knew. They were in a wooden chest in the bottom drawer of her dresser, tightly locked with yarn against the robbers.

Teddy in tow she padded as quietly as she could across the wooden floor to her dresser. Outside she could hear her father’s stumbling yet persistent steps making their way up the stairs, his nonsensical rant unceasing.

She pulled open the drawer, blowing hair out of her eyes as she rummaged through the various collectibles of a little girls life. Doll parts, a plastic phone, crayons, all of these went by the wayside as she looked for her little box.

Then she found it. It was at the bottom of the drawer buried under a thin layer of dust and an old t-shirt given to her by her mother. Her father hadn’t been the same since her mother passed. Not that he was much better before. Now the only thing she still had from her was the t-shirt and Teddy. Wiping a tear from her eye she pulled out the box. By the sound of the yelling outside her father had made it to the top of the steps and would be to her door in seconds.

“Get out here, child! Don’t you walk away from me when I’m speaking to you! You good for nothing-”

The box under one arm and Teddy carefully tucked under the other she ran to the closet, cringing at the loud sound it made as she opened it. It was dark inside but she wanted that. She pulled the door closed and buried herself in a pile of clothes, cutting her hand on an old hanger.

With Teddy at her side she reached into the little box, feeling the two little guns made of tinfoil. Her friend Bobby had made them for her when she came to school one day with bruises on her arms. It was all she had now. She hoped it would be enough.

“We have to be strong, Teddy,” she whispered to the bear. “We can’t be weak, okay? Because if we are then they’ll take us. Okay, Teddy? I love you Teddy. You’re my best friend. We’ll make our last stand together, okay? Shhh, I hear him coming.”

Two loud knocks landed on the door to her room. There was a pause as the man outside worked his confused mind trying to decide what to do next. The door rattled on its hinges as he tried to open it.

“Hey you! I know you’re in there! Open up this door! You don’t walk away from me! No child of mine walks away from me!”

There was another pause in which the little girl clutched her Teddy even tighter to her, whispering to him not to be afraid, that the only thing to fear was fear it self… that she was so afraid. If he felt uncomfortable in her embrace he didn’t say. But then he never did.

The door rattled again, a little at first, then harder and harder. “You open up, you hear me!” There was a loud bang and she heard the wood crack. “Open up now, dammit!”

“I’m sorry, Teddy. I’m sorry I got you in this trouble. I love you, Teddy.”

She turned his face to hers so he could see her tears in the dark with his large bear eyes, see her trembling lips, see the shiny dark skin still swelling around her eye. “Hold onto me Teddy. Please don’t let him take me. Please.”

She whispered the final word as a large crash signaled the lock giving way.

“Dammit! You made me break the door! God dammit child! I’ll whip you for that!” Foot steps echoed across the room clashing harshly with the creak of old floorboards.
“Where are you? Where are you, dammit?! Come out here!!!” There was a pause for several seconds followed by a low rumbling laughter. “Don’t worry…. I’ll find you. The good Lord will help me with that. He’s on my side. Not the side of nasty little girls who disrespect their fathers!”

His footsteps marched one way and then the other as if in indecision about what to do next. Unknown items were plucked from their resting places and let go to fall unceremoniously to the floor.

“Dammit! Where are you?! You-” things crashed to the ground, a lamp broke, her dresser, knocked sideways, sent its contents rolling across the floor as its drawers flew open.

The last item, a little red ball, rolled to a stop against the wall and there was silence once more. She heard his footsteps faintly pacing the floor and the creak of her bed as he sat down. Then came the muffled sobs of her father.

“I’m sorry… I’m sorry, daughter. I love you. You know I love you, right? Right? You know I love you, right? Right?! You know it! Dammit, you do! Where-” his voice faded out again. She couldn’t hear anything. She strained her ears to their limit but could make out nothing.

Minutes went by as she waited, her heart gradually slowing its mad dash to nowhere. She looked at Teddy and he at her. “Is it safe now, Teddy? Is the monster gone?”

As if in answer the closet door came crashing open. Light filtered in through the thin layer of clothes, the only protection she had from the monster towering above her.

“Help me, Teddy. Please. I want to be like you, Teddy. I just want to be with you, forever.”

Large hands reached into the pile, locking onto her slim frame.

“No!” She cried. “No! Teddy, help me!” She pleaded. “Help me, Teddy!” Tears streamed down her face. The tinfoil guns, impotent in the end, fell from her hands. She knew they would never have helped. Not really.

The monster lifted her up to its face as tears flowed from her eyes like twin rivers. Desperately she kicked at him with her little feet but that only made him more angry.

“Disrespect me, will you?! Run away from me, will you?! No daughter of mine disrespects me, dammit!” He dragged her, kicking, from the room, slamming the door behind him with a crash.

“Stop it!” She yelled, her throat choked with tears. “Stop it!”

The muffled sound of their shuffling feet came through the door as they made their way down the little hallway.

“Daddy! Daddy, no! Stop it, Daddy! Please!”

There was a pause, almost electric in its silent intensity. Then came the vague and horrible sound of a little body tumbling down stairs.

She cried out as she fell, a cry cut short by a final knock of wood. It was one word not to be repeated. Teddy.

“Daughter?” The voice of her father demanded. “Get up…. I said get up, dammit! Daughter?…. Dammit, don’t play games with me, child! Daughter?…. Daughter?!”

The funeral was held the following week in the town cemetery, a sprawling acre of mole hills and tombstones with the occasional mausoleum poking its brow to the sky.
It was a dismal service with thunder clouds only adding to the darkness of the already gloomy assembly while at the same time voicing their disapproval of the fate of one so young with a pitter-patter of rain, gently staccato against the stone slabs and sickly grass.

The local priest, Father Jebsen, presided over the function. He was a thin, little man with long grey hairs poking out the side of his head like straw whiskers on an old scarecrow left in the field for too many winters.

“Mr. Phillips,” he said in his dry and cracked voice, “Would you care to say a few words?”

The girl’s father nodded somberly from his seat in the front row of the tiny congregation. Taking the proffered umbrella from his sister beside him he stood, his eyes flitting quickly to the empty plot of earth before him and the half coffin which hung there motionless in the rain. He stifled a cough and nodded again.

“Yes. Yes. Thank you, father.” To those present he seemed to have aged at least a decade in the last week. One could almost hear his bones creaking in the sorrowful expression on his face. He walked slowly to the front of the assembly, two small crowds divided by a too small hole in the ground.

Carefully folding his hands in front of him he began in a voice both choked with grief and yet practiced in its trembling nature. “It is a horrible thing… A horrible, horrible
thing… for a father to have to be present at the funeral of his own daughter.”

“Amen,” whispered the assembly.

Taking a deep breath he continued. “Epilepsy… that fateful disease born of the antithesis of our Lord of light and love, has taken another life. A life very precious to me.”

He bowed his head for a moment before going on, looking out at the small sea of faces as his eyes passed over each, one by one, in a practiced, well acted routine. From where he stood he could just barely make out the face of his daughter, the front of the casket still half open.

“My daughter was…” His voice faltered as his eyes fell upon her lips, full little lips.

“Ahm,” he cleared his throat. “My daughter was…”

He blinked, trying to clear his vision. At the edge of her lips… was that a spot of blood?

No…. No, that wasn’t possible. It was probably a bit of lipstick overdone by the mortician.

He cleared his throat again. “My daughter was my most cherished companion. She was my only child and, I like to think, my best friend. I can only hope that sh…”

His voice trailed off again as his eyes, roving across the assembly, passed once more over the coffin and her face. The spot of blood was a line now, a dark, red line running back down her cheek.

And her eye… No. No, he was imagining things.

“Mr. Phillips?” The Priest had his hand on Mr. Phillips’s shoulder. “Are you alright?”

Mr. Phillips stared blankly at the man for several seconds before seeing him. He looked at the congregation and back again to the Father, blinking to bring the specter of a man into focus. He shook his head, then nodded.

“No. I mean, yes. Yes… I’m fine. Thank you.” He looked back at the coffin but there was nothing there. Only the pearly white skin of his daughter’s face. So white and so smooth. He took a deep breath. A woman in the front row whispered something to the man beside her who nodded in return.

“Ahem,” he coughed, clearing his throat. “I’m sorry, it – it’s still hard to… speak about. Thank you.” He bowed his head as he stepped aside, the priest patting him sympathetically on the shoulder.

“Thank you,” the old scarecrow said to no one in particular. He said a few more words from the good book, blessed the child and the earth which would receive her, and finished with:”We will now lay this poor child to rest. May the Good Lord take her soul.”

The motor whirred as the casket was slowly lowered into the grave by the pulleys. It was a deep grave. Mr. Phillips had specifically asked for it to be, though just now he couldn’t quite remember why. But it had been a good reason he was sure.

He sat there staring at his daughter’s face as it went down, positive that at any moment her eyes would open. Bloodshot eyes, boring into him, accusing him of what he’d done.

Maybe that was why he had wanted it so deep. So she couldn’t make her way out. The same reason he had wanted the casket open until the end. So he could watch her go down. So he could make sure she had.

He chuckled to himself at the silly thought, stopping abruptly as droplets of cold sweat broke out on his forehead.

But as it was her eyes didn’t open and he let out a sigh of relief as the casket hit dirt and the lid was closed. It began to sprinkle as he, along with his brother and father, laid the first shovelfuls of earth upon it, dropped roses and said their dutiful goodbyes. Then they left.

He looked back once through the quickly growing sheet of rain at the hole in the ground. The workers were quickly filling it in. But behind them, blurred by the thick downfall, he saw another dark figure. A fat little child with a round, porky head standing some distance from the workers beside a tree.

Who was that? He wondered, squinting his eyes as he fumbled for his glasses. He couldn’t remember any children attending. By the time he found them and put them on the child was gone. He got in his car and drove away.

This is continued in: Somewhere in America – Teddy – A Horror Short Story – Part Two


Somewhere in America – The Woman – Micro-fiction

Somewhere in America
The Woman – Micro-fiction

The man sat up quickly. “Did you hear that?”

“Hmmm?” Said the woman laying in bed beside him. She had that beautiful just-woke-up-look which some women manage with perfectly tousled hair and dreamy sleep filled eyes.

“Downstairs; I thought I heard something.”

The woman smiled and blinked at the morning sunlight streaming in through the window above her head. “Mmm….” She lay back down, closing her eyes as she stretched, two full breasts appearing above the lip of the quilt.

“There it is again,” the man said nervously. Muffled sounds came from down stairs. “It must be my wife. Fuck, I thought she wouldn’t be back yet. I have to get you out of here.”

The woman opened her eyes again, laying one hand on his shoulder. “Get me out?” She asked blankly.

He stared at her like she was mad. “Yeah!”

“Oh… will she be upset?” She stretched out again.

“Well, yeah! Come on!”

“Mmmm….” She reached for her pants on the floor beside her, in no particular hurry. Pulling them up to her she reached in one pocket and then another, frowning.

“Come on! She could come up here any minute!”

Pushing her pouty little lips out she checked a third pocket, a smile blossoming across her face. She pulled out a pack of Kools and a lighter. Laying a cigarette between her lips so it hung in the air just right she used both hands to work the little lighter.

The man stared at her in disbelief as she inhaled, dropping the lighter on the quilt. Closing her eyes once more a look of absolute bliss passed over her face and she fell back on her pillow, her hands above her head, chest pressed comfortably into the air.

“My God, are you crazy?”

The slap was fast and hard. “Don’t call me crazy,” she said, her face suddenly millimeters from his own. He blinked saying nothing, too shocked to think straight.

“Mmm…” She put one hand on his face. “You’re cute,” she said, gently stroking the rough stubble there as she kissed his lips softly.

She pushed him down against the bed and pulled herself up, crossing her legs. Through the door footsteps were making their way up the stairs. The man was sweating. She smiled.

She took another drag and reached out over the side of the bed, the inside of her naked thigh extended across his face to balance herself. She plucked her purse from the ground, pulling it up to her as a woman opened the door.

She was a tall blonde with wavy hair and beautiful features. She wore business casual with a Louis Vuitton purse clutched in one hand and appeared to have been on the verge of saying something when her eyes fell on the naked woman sitting comfortably in her bed with a lit cigarette pressed deep between her middle and index fingers. The woman was smiling at her with a ‘well, hi, and what’s your name?’ Look on her face. The purse dropped from her hands, landing silently on the thick shag carpet.

“Hi, what’s your name?” The woman in bed asked.

“I’m his w-wife, S-Susan,” the woman began, her voice choked with sudden tears.

“Oh good!” Cried the woman in bed, daintily clapping her hands together. Cigarette in hand she pulled a gun from her purse. With one eye closed and her tongue between her lips she took aim and fired. The man’s wife dropped to the ground.

Carefully blowing on the gun she put it back in her purse and pulled out a cell phone, dialing a number into it. She put the phone up to her ear and took another drag from her cigarette as she waited for someone on the other end of the line to pick up. A moment later they did

“It’s done,” she said into the receiver

She waited a moment longer and then put the phone back in her purse, turning to the slack-jawed man beside her, a big, bright eyed smile gracing her colorful cheeks.

“Wanna have another go before I leave?”

This story is part of a series of short stories to come. Please let us know what you think and, more importantly, what else you would like to see, i.e. subject, emotion, background, style, etc.

Thank you,

The Temperamental Monkey

Somewhere in America – The Love Zombie – micro fiction

Somewhere in America
The Love Zombie – Micro-fiction

It was a beautiful Fall evening when first I laid eyes upon her. Her dark hair glistened in the soft morning sunlight, weaving slightly in the wind. Her lips were the deepest red, like rubies floating in a sea of milk, such was her skin.

She had that beautiful “just woke up” look upon her face few can manage but which seemed to come so naturally to her. Truly, It took my breath away.

It was just one of those chance meetings, really. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was sitting on a park bench reading my newspaper. She was across the street gnawing on a young man’s thigh.

They said they were zombies, migrating to our fair city. But I was not then, and never will be, a bigot. She was what she was, just as I was what I was. And I wouldn’t want her any other way. Zombie. Such a prejudicial name. But I didn’t care. Call her a zombie if you like. To me she was my flower.

So there I was, reading along, when something tugged at me. It was a man, ugly beyond belief, odorous and badly in need of medical attention by the looks of it. Drool cascaded to the ground about his feet and I had to side step quickly not to have my new shoes tarnished. I brushed him aside with a wave of my hand. Riffraff.

And then it happened. I saw her. And as fate would have it she saw me. The paper in my hands, suddenly forgotten, dropped to the grass. I stood up. She lifted her face from the young man.

I could see the hunger in her eyes. The same one that now burned in my chest. I could see it in her gaze, in the way her jaw worked as she stared back at me, the sensuality in her hips as she limped toward me. It called to me, pulled me on.

We met beneath the shadow of an elm tree, our arms instinctively rising to embrace one another. And I was to quickly find that she was was no beginner, no prude. Her lips moved to my skin as flowers arch for the sun. I moaned in a mixture of ecstasy and agony as they freely roamed my body.

It was all so sudden, so fast. I was becoming lightheaded. I wanted to tell her to slow down, to enjoy the moment. But my heart urged me on, dared me to immerse myself in love’s true embrace. And I did.

My heart was pounding. My knees were weak. We both knew where this was going. There were people around, but we didn’t care. We had that connection that few in history ever truly have.

And so, throwing caution to the wind, I allowed her to pull me down onto the soft grass, her need insatiable as was my own. I continued to moan as she tasted my flesh with her tongue, her lips urgent now. It was the Original Sin in full play.

As the world dimmed I thought of the future years we would spend together, the children we would have. I thought of our love and how it would grow. Just me and my love zombie. My Lombie.