Bookdust

Double Fine Group of Fine Writings

1,016 posts in this topic

I wrote this as a sophomore in high school. Forgive me, it's trashy.

Brerwood, Colorado was another one of those small towns where everybody knew everybody, from the well-dressed individual walking from the bank, to the shaggy hobo sitting on the bench outside the town pharmacy, asking random customers for any spare pocket change. It was here that small businesses boomed, places like the local diners, the libraries, the movie theaters, and even the little antique shop on the corner of Browning and Harley. Barbecues happened every day in the local park, and students still brought apples to their teachers. But that one cold day in August, the rain had been pouring for hours, and the antique shop on Browning and Harley was almost completely empty, with only the little statues and vases to keep the old woman who stood behind the counter company, except for the one customer who had just walked through the door, soaking wet.

Stintson's Antiques was a quiet little shop, kind of like that one shop or place that you've never been inside but continuously drive past. If one were curious enough to stroll inside, that person would find him or herself getting less than they bargained for. Stinston's didn't sell Chinese artifacts from the 18th century or anything like you would see in an adventure movie. It sold things like fine china, models, lamps, vases, pottery, things that only certain people with a certain kind of taste would buy. It also had a fine collection of mirrors. And the single customer, who went by the name of Simon Duvall, was looking at one hung up on the wall at that very morning. Behind the counter was an old bespectacled woman, wiping down her glass counter top with a bottle of Windex and a paper towel, and although it didn't see like it, she had been watching him every second he was in there.

The mirror was in the style of the 1800s, big and fancy, with only a light amount of dust on the rims. Carved into the frame on the sides were small songbirds perched on branches, and on the very top were a pair of crows looking in the opposite direction. To Simon, it brought to mind that old poem, quote the raven "Nevermore." However, that wasn't the only reason this mirror had gotten his attention. His wife Helen, who worked as a veterinarian almost her whole adult life, was the kind of person who had a fancy for old knick-knacks and toys, her first childhood toy being a jack in the box from 1903. And she had been telling him how much she wanted a mirror so she could do her makeup in the morning properly, so it was a win-win, seeing as how she always took forever in the bathroom. To add to that, that day was her birthday, and he had just got back from a business trip without her knowing.

"Excuse me, miss," he said to the old woman behind the counter. "What can you tell me about this mirror? The one with the birds?"

She placed the bottle and towel down on a stool beside her and walked on over, fixing her glasses so that she could see better.

"Oh, yes, I remember this one. I bought it at a house sale over in the hills a few years ago. Dusty old thing, it was. The only reason I bought it because apparently the mirror belonged to Margaret the Hatchet."

"Margaret the Hatchet? There's no way that this old thing belonged to her."

"Well, that's what they told me. Said it was the one she would comb her wiry black hair in front of every morning, and the one she apparently killed herself with."

"I seriously doubt it. If this were Margaret the Hatchet's mirror, then it wouldn't be in this shop right now. It'd probably be in some Vincent Price-type guy's house. So, no, this has to be a fake."

"I don't think so, young man. After all, the last owner apparently did the exact same thing up in Hillsdale, Connecticut."

"What?"

"You remember, right? The elementary school killings?"

Two years before, a farmer in Hillsdale, Connecticut, kidnapped a group of students from a field trip, brought them back to his farm on the outskirts of town, and killed them with an axe. The police found the bodies three days later, the farmer having slit his own throat with a large shard of glass from an old mirror.

"Oh, my God…"

She started walking back to the counter.

"Well, son, I'm certain that something else would suffice for you. Lord knows that a nice young man wouldn't want something like that in your home, especially around your nice young lady friend."

He turned his head, having noticed what she said.

"What?"

"The ring, son." She pointed toward his hand, a ring around his finger.

"Oh."

"So, is there anything else that you would like to look at? A ship model, maybe? I have some good models for—"

"I'll take the mirror."

The woman looked confused for a second.

"Sure, I'll take the mirror. I mean, it's clean, my wife needs one, and from the look of it," he leaned over and looked at the price tag taped to it, "it's affordable."

Without another word between the two, he laid two crisp hundred-dollar bills down on the counter and walked out the store, mirror under his arm, but not before placing a five in the tip jar beside the cash register. Walking back to the store, he began to think more and more about the legend of Margaret the Hatchet. Margaret was a woman of twenty born into a rich family mostly made up of other women. She was said to be the most frightening-looking woman you would have ever come across, with skin like rotten burlap and a body skinnier than a bamboo shaft. She and her family were filthy rich, having more money than she could ever spend due to the mining business, but the only thing she ever truly wanted was to look beautiful like her four sisters. One night, they locked Margaret in the basement of their house so she wouldn't frighten away dinner guests who were members of aristocracy. That night, she cut her way out using an axe, and proceeded to butcher her entire family with that same axe, the final victim being her oldest sister, whose intestines were strung about the house like Christmas tinsel. A constable was alerted due to horrific screams, and as he climbed up the stairs and into Margaret's room, she slit her own throat with a shard of her own mirror.

A big, broken piece of glass. Probably nothing but a coincidence, Simon thought to himself as he loaded the mirror into the back of his car, hurrying over to the other side before he got too wet from the rain, which had gone from pouring to pissing.

The old woman reminding him of the Connecticut murders got him thinking: why did he just buy a $200 mirror that allegedly belonged to two psycho killers? Why, in the name of God, did he just buy his wife something like this while it's past is apparently bloodstained? He stopped thinking about it after a minute and just continued thinking about the topic on hand: it was his wife's birthday. He had just bought her a present, and she will be very happy to see him, and her brand new mirror.

Ten minutes later, he pulled into his driveway and walked up the brick-laden stairs to his front door. He went to put in his key into the lock, but the door swung open before he could. His wife, Helen, stood there in her white tank top and denim jeans. She looked more beautiful to Simon right there then she had on the day they were married. She squealed with excitement as she leapt into his arms, kissing him all over his head. He greeted his wife in between kisses with the usual "Hi, honey," and then told her that he had something for her, bringing her around back to show her the mirror. She paused for a moment, looking like she had noticed something about it that Simon hadn't, but then her smile returned and she hugged him and thanked him for her gift.

As the two lay in bed later that night, Simon found himself awakening and standing in the bathroom, unsure of exactly what had compelled him to do so. He ran the tap, rubbing warm water over his face, eyes, and the back of his neck. Sniffing, his face was immediately brought upwards towards the mirror. He opened his eyes a bit with his fingers to clear crust off of the sides.

Cut her.

That was the first thing he heard before he collapsed to the ground with the fiercest migraine he'd ever experienced. His stomach wretched and his temples felt like somebody was driving screwdrivers right through them. His eyes rolled into the back of his head, and bile began to trickle from the corner of his mouth.

Cut her.

He fought the agonizing pain and started pulling himself upwards. He wanted to scream for his wife, but he found himself unable to omit any sound. He looked into the mirror and noticed that his nose was now bleeding, and then he threw up into the sink. After he finished, he looked down and saw that it was a strange ebony color, like pitch mixed with brown bile. Suddenly, he was sent down onto the ground again, this second wave of agony worse than the first. He could then smell the bad meat again, closer to his face this time. He then realized that it was breath. He could even feel hair down on his face, like someone was leaning right down over him. He wretched for a few seconds on the floor, and as he stood he felt cold hands on his shoulders.

The words he spoke were not his own. Not his voice.

"Listen. You hear it, don't you?"


The first thing that had attracted Mattie Ferguson to the front door of Simon Duvall's house two days later was the smell. She lived right next door to Simon and his lovely wife Helen, who went shopping with her on Wednesdays. She claimed to not be a busy body, but her husband began complaining of a smell that obviously wasn't coming from her house. She opened every window in her house, but still was unable to determine the source, until she finally decided that it had to be coming from next door. Couldn't be Mr. McClinton to their left, he suffered from bacillophobia. She then got a big whiff of whatever the smell was, which could either have been bad hamburger left out (no, the smell wouldn't be strong enough) or, as her husband so rudely put, "Their shitter's backed up." Eventually, she had to go over to see what was causing it, because her husband was starting to feel sick.

She rapped on the door, suddenly finding it open and unlocked. As she stepped in, she was quite startled by what she saw: furniture slashed open and thrown about the room, the television smashed and various photos thrown about the floor, shattered glass left around the frames. What startled her further were the lipstick words written all around the room, on the walls, the mantelpiece and even the ceiling. They all said the exact same thing: "I'M SORRY HELEN." She noticed the smell was getting stronger.

She continued down the hallway, calling out to Simon and Helen only to find no answer. She then noticed that the bedroom door was wide open, and she could see something inside. She continued forward and walked right in. She then shrieked in pure horror.

What had been Helen Duvall was now a butchered corpse, the abdomen sliced wide open with the intestines stung about the bed. The sheets and pillow were soaked jet black with blood, and tendons and cartilage hung from her gaping throat, gored to the point of where her head could be pulled off with a slight tug. Her eyes had been stabbed repeatedly with an icepick, which now rested in her forehead. The wall showed a stale brown splatter from where blood had flown from her neck wound, a cut so deep and fierce that her head barely hung on to her neck from muscle. Pools upon pools of blood had begun to turn brown. Flies hung in the air alongside the scent of death.

Mattie backed out of the room, unable to gag. Unable to scream. She then ran out the door and didn't look back, finally managing to scream when the police arrived, to find two bodies.


Simon hadn't noticed nor cared when Mattie entering the house. He had been quite busy in the bathroom, sitting in the bathtub crouched in a fetal position. He couldn't think of anything right there; his mind was an empty black hole, and whatever he had done the night before had driven him to the brink. And then she began to talk to him.

What has happened, she has earned. 

"But… I… I..."

Stop. Listen. You hear it, don't you?

"No, no, no, no, no…" He began to sob.

I hear her now. She's waiting for you. She knows what you did. She's waiting for you in Hell.

"NO!"

Take the mirror. Smash it.

"What?!"

End it and you can be with her. And your baby girl.

"What?! SHE WASN'T—"

Yes she was. You knew all along. The morning sickness, the terrible appetite. Don't try and fool yourself.

Simon screamed until his throat was raw. He felt trickles of blood slide down and eventually he couldn't make any sound at all except and agonizing scratch.

You know what has to happen now, don't you?

Simon finally stopped screaming and found himself unable to respond. He was shaking with raw hatred and horror, tears and mucus streaming from his face and he sobbed. He looked at his hands and shirt; they were caked in blood. Somewhere in the back of his head he heard the sound of infantile crying.

He stood in the tub, lifted the mirror high above his head, and shattered it against the side of the sink. Shards flew out, into his arms and around the room. Most shards went into the bowl of the sink, showing dozens of shattered images of Simon. 

Do it.

He picked a piece out of the bowl, seeing her burlap face in the reflection as he did. Blood dripped down his hand as he held it up.

He placed it against his throat.

The rotting thing smiled. He began to drag.

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1 hour ago, James Marion said:

Wow, reading all of this has been super super fun.

Yes! A vict--I mean--reader! 

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3 hours ago, hot said:

Thanks. For a little clarification, part of the reason this is kinda unfinished is because it was part of an audition for a play-by-post game. So it was more of a pitch as to why this character would be involved in the game than a completed idea. Basically, we were told that we were running off to liberate this prison and needed to come up with a reason why our character would be going there. 
 

So, basically, I don't even know what the deal is with this prison!

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So I have ultimately decided to include scares in The Troop, out of my own frustrating experiences with The Blackcoat's Daughter and It Comes At Night.

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Posted (edited)

You guys ever think of posting stuff on FictionPress (Daishi from Telltale has a few stories on there) or Inkitt? I have an account in both, but I ceased using FictionPress after TMM and I only use the Inkitt account to get free vouchers for books, but I'm seriously considering using them again once I have something I feel comfortable publishing.

Probably Inkitt, because the stories I've read on there feel a bit more professionally written. FictionPress is okay but a lot of the types from FanFiction tend to branch out into there.

Edited by Noname215

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I'd probably try the traditional publishing route first.

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I might try online publishing as an attempt to keep up my motivation, maybe. It's easier to finish writing something if you know someone's reading it.

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7 hours ago, Bookdust said:

I'd probably try the traditional publishing route first.

I would only do online for short fiction. Stuff I can just throw out there for the sake of feedback. Larger stuff I would definitely save for traditional publishing, unless I intended on entering a contest.

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2 hours ago, Noname215 said:

What do you guys usually look for in a horror film

A sense of humor. Even if it's barely there. A bit of self-awareness and/or playfulness in a horror film goes a long way with me.

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Luckily I do have certain moments of humor in The Troop. The rest of it is mostly cold and macabre. 

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i like to see a bit of social commentary too, like in Get Out (race in america) or It Follows (sexuality) 

if it's done in a subtle way it can make the movie all the more memorable, because it confronts us with the things we are already afraid of 

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James actually read this entire thread?

What dedication :o

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2 hours ago, hot said:

i like to see a bit of social commentary too, like in Get Out (race in america) or It Follows (sexuality) 

You can't beat They Live.

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4 hours ago, Anemone said:

James actually read this entire thread?

What dedication :o

Right? I can't even do that now. There's over a 1000 posts of us ranting on about our projects.

Edited by Bookdust

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5 minutes ago, Noname215 said:

About 800 of those are me ^_^

One of these days I'm gonna make a list of every single named project you have.

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1 hour ago, Bookdust said:

One of these days I'm gonna make a list of every single named project you have.

The Troop
Five Empty Coffins 
Black Orchid 

The Carnival 
Under The Black Flag 
The Eye Of The Orient
 
Crosshairs 
Ballbreakers
 
The Mourning After 
The Big Ass Movie 
The Eight Laws
A Man Who Walks Eternity
 
The Marauders
Mister Sandman
One Hundred Flying Fists
We're Off To The Witch
The Fast and the Furryous
A Nightmare on Elm Street: The Dream Demon

Getting Felt
Pathogen
Are You Afraid Of The Dark
Shake Em On Down
Mods & Spambots
Ruby Ridge
Psalm
Of The Hideous Heart

Bold = finished.

Italic = In progress.

Underlined = Incomplete, stagnant.

Normal = abandoned

Edited by Noname215

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You're insane.

Soar

Fair & Everett

That's it. Sure I have other projects, but they'll have to wait. My limited free time is split between those two projects and those two projects alone.

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Most of them I just do an outline and then don't go beyond that. I only give my full attention to the ones I like the most.

Besides, there's six projects on that list that I've already finished.

Edited by Noname215

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I just don't know if I got it any me anymore. I think I missed my shot. It feels like I'm deflating creatively and I barely have time to think about the few projects I do have anymore.

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Dude, I really wanna read Fair & Everett, after all your talk about it. Don't you go denying me that.

If you truly love something, you gotta stick by it. If you love writing, then write! No one is stopping you but you.

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