Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Boy on The Scooter

Click-clack, click-clack.

The little boy rides down the street,

No more than four years old.

And though he smiles warmly up,

His face is pale and cold.

No one knows just who he is,

Or why he stops to grin,

But all the mothers love him, and

They all invite him in.

But the boy has other things to do,

He’s got somewhere to go;

But he won’t tell you where it is,

He’d rather you not know.

He’ll never say another’s name;

He’ll never ever call —

And yet, somehow he seems to laugh

Without a sound at all.

In the old woman’s mind, a memory stirs:

She’s seen him once before.

A little boy, of four years old,

Though he talked a great deal more.

Yes, laughing, did he used to ride,

Yes, laughing, down the street;

His eyes shut tight, feeling the

Ground fly beneath his feet.

But with a roar of engines

And a crash to hurt your ears,

The boy was fallen on the ground,

His mother bent with tears.

But, oh, it was so long ago!

He must be all grown-up —

That is if he survived the crash,

And lived to try his luck.

Of course, this is a different boy,

Cold, and pale, and strange —

No boy was like this in her day.

Oh! How the times have changed.

But no, the woman cannot see

The truth behind the guile.

The hidden, crafty, vengeful thoughts

Concealed beneath the smile.

And off the sidewalk, to the street,

The boy flies without sound,

Though a scream of terror comes

From the mothers gathered round.

One of them leaps after him,

No thought to cars passing by,

And with a crash, and cry of pain,

She collapses, there, to die.

Without a word, the boy rides on;

Never once turns to look back.

Soon, no pale boy is too be seen,

No sound of dreaded clack.

A four-year-old can’t understand

The meaning of life and death.

He only knows his mother forgot him,

And turned around and left.

At first he tried to speak to her,

But she did not bat an eye.

She’d only sit beside the window

And rock herself, and cry.

So beware the boy who never talks —

Next he may come after you.

He wants to be completely sure

That other children get forgotten, too.

Click-clack, click-clack.

Welcome to The Horseman Hospital

Hello, there! Welcome to the Horseman Hospital. How may I help you?

A slight pain in the neck, you say? Well, have no fear, we can soon fix that! No, no need to wait in any waiting rooms. Here at the Horseman Hospital, we always put the customer first. Just follow me, I’ll take you right over to the doctor’s office.

You know, we’ve been getting a lot of business lately. It’s strange — the minute the doctor opens these doors, suddenly everyone around town’s been getting all kinds of pain in their bones. Arthritis, broken arms and legs, bone marrow infections — everyone has some kind of problem that the doctor can fix. Mostly the pains seem to be in the neck area. That is the doctor’s area of expertise, but it doesn’t stop him from helping anyone who needs it. The doctor is a very generous man.

Oh, the decorations? Do you like them? The doctor loves horses — used to be a horseman himself, you know. Hence the name of the hospital.

How long have I worked here? Oh, I don’t know. It seems like ages… But really, it isn’t such a long time. Only a few years.

When did I start? I… I can’t really remember. Exactly. Perhaps I have been here for a long time. With the doctor you can never be sure.

Here now, here’s the office. You just wait here and I’ll consult the doctor.

 

Hello again! Did you have a nice wait? Good, good. Those magazines are very interesting, aren’t they? I always like to read about the actresses, they seem to have lives that are so much more interesting than ours. Mine? Oh, I practically live in this hospital. Family?… No…

The doctor says he’ll need some X-rays. Oh yes, it’s standard procedure. That’s right, just come along. Now, we’ll just strap this on… there! Now stay very still!

Very good! I’ll just take these over to the doctor. Oh no, he won’t be seen yet, he’s preparing for a big surgery. Don’t be silly, he doesn’t mind! Just wait here, and I’ll be right back with the verdict!

 

Alright, now. I’m afraid I have some bad news. The pain in your neck appears to be the beginnings of what may be a tumour — the doctor will have to take a closer look. No, no, there’s nothing to worry about! The doctor will take care of everything.

Just lay down on this table, here. The surgery? Oh, don’t worry, he’ll get it done. The patient isn’t that bad. In fact, you could say that the patient is no worse off than you.

Just stay still — actually, lift your chin just a little bit, we want the infected area to be well-exposed to the doctor. Well, you seem very nervous! Don’t be silly, it’s natural to be nervous. I’m just going to give you this shot. It has a medicine in it to keep you calm. It’ll pinch a bit, but only for a minute.

Alright, I’ll give the medicine a minute to get into your veins, and then I’ll be back. The doctor will be right behind me.

 

I’m back! Well, how do you feel? Can’t move anything, you say? Well, that’s just the medicine. You see, it’s supposed to do that. The doctor can’t work on you if you’re constantly moving.

I suppose I might as well explain it to you. The doctor isn’t here yet — he doesn’t like to be seen till the very last minute.

In a few seconds you’re going to fall unconscious. You’re the surgery, you see. The doctor’s been waiting for you. I should tell you that he really isn’t a doctor. You should be grateful that you’re going to drop off. When he operated on me, I was fully conscious, but I couldn’t move to fight back. But I hardly remember that, now.

You needn’t look so afraid. He only wants your head, after all. You see, the doctor doesn’t have one. He wants to see if yours fits.

Really, you ought to have seen this coming. Everyone who comes in here is so stupid. You’d think everyone would be just a little suspicious. After all, it is called the Horseman Hospital.

Ah… that sound you hear: those are his footsteps. He’s not a very fast walker. That’s why he prefers horses. Don’t fret, though, he’ll be here before you drop off.

That’s him now! I’ll just let him in.

Don’t even try to scream, dear. He can’t hear you. You can’t even open your mouth.

Oh, calm down. It’s only an ax.

The medicine’s working, now. You’ll hardly remember any of this when you wake up. If your head doesn’t fit, that is.

I think I hear the bell at the front door — we have another patient!

I’ll just leave you two alone now.

Goodnight.

 

Hello, there! Welcome to the Horseman Hospital. How may I help you?

The Man of Her Dreams

(Author’s Note: This is the first in a month-long series of short scary stories that I’ll be posting every day throughout the month of October. I have never written a scary story before, so these are probably not going to be all that great. However, there is a chance that I’m better at scaring people than I think I am. So, it is highly likely that these stories will either bore you to tears, or disturb you quite a bit, because there is no way that I can write a good scary story without it being dark and disturbing. So, if you’d rather not run the risk of my writing being good and giving you nightmares, you probably shouldn’t read them. Just a warning. *evil laugh*)

Every night I have the same dream.

I am walking down a street. On either side, there are houses. The windows are open. Children play on the lawns. None of them notice me.

As I walk, the leaves crunch under my feet. The wind whistles around me, a chilly finger on the back of my neck. I pull my sweater tighter around my shoulders. As I shiver, anxiety steals up my spine, and I glance around nervously. Still no one even glances at me. I begin to whistle; not a blink. It is as though I don’t exist.

The street is not familiar to me. It doesn’t seem to ever end. I can’t be sure, but I feel I must be miles away from home.

A jumping rope smacks the cement, and I wonder, “How did I get here? Why did I come?”

Crunch, crunch.

Smack.

Shhhh…

The wind hushes me. I stop whistling.

It begins to darken outside. Mothers open their doors and call out. Slowly, slowly, one by one, each child disappears into his own house. I keep walking. I want to knock on the doors, ask for food, for bed. Yet something in me laughs at the idea. They would never let me in.

Through the open windows I can see the families eating. It is dark outside now, and cold. Inside, the houses look so warm and bright. But I don’t knock. They won’t let me in.

It’s when the first family turns off its lights that I begin to hear the footsteps.

Slow, shuffling ones.

I look around nervously, and there is no one there. But the footsteps continue. I try to walk faster. The footsteps do not pick up speed. I break into a flat-out run. The footsteps shuffle slowly on. But they don’t fade into the background. They never get farther away. But… no… they couldn’t be getting closer.

On and on, I keep running; on and on, the street goes. The steps seem so loud. I try to cover them up, timing my own footsteps with them. At first it works, and the crunching of the leaves masks the shuffling of… whatever it is — but two more families turn their lights off, and as the windows close the leaves stop crunching. I am still walking, but I make no sound. All there is is the heavy footsteps and the beating of my own heart, which in the silence seems so loud… And then I realize that there is only one more house still lighted, and I have reached the end of the road. It is a dead-end.

The woman in the last house shuts her windows, turns off her lights.

The footsteps stop.

There is a silence. Nothing moves. The wind does not blow. The leaves do not rustle. Even my heart seems to have stopped beating.

And then, suddenly, he’s there. Next to me. I don’t hear him, but somehow, I know.

I snap. With a wild, silent scream, the tension that’s been building up in my throat explodes. And I’m at the lady’s door, screaming screams and shouting shouts that make no sound, pounding and pleading for her to please let me in, please, but why won’t my voice come out, why can’t I hear myself? Of course, no one comes, even though no one could possibly be asleep yet… no one can hear me. No one would care if they could.

I can feel him getting closer. His eyes follow me, pricking the back of my neck as I run from one door to the next, trying, trying to make a sound, and there is still nothing but silence.

But then a footstep. And another. He is walking again, following me as I run down the street that never ends, screaming and screaming, but nobody hears me. There is only one sound. The slow, heavy shuffle.

I stop. I turn around. Because there is nowhere else to run. Nowhere else for me to go.

But the man never does anything. I know he is a man, now. He is a shadow, standing silhouetted against the moon. He stands there, watching me. And now I know why I am afraid: because I know that I will have to wake up soon.

That’s when I wake up. I wake up, and roll over, and there he is. Lying beside me. Watching me, always watching me. I don’t know this man. I knew him years ago, when we first married. I don’t know him anymore. The man in bed next to me is a stranger, with hollow eyes and breath that never seems to smell of anything but alcohol.

I never remembered having the dream before. But I remember it now. I am slipping in and out of the dream. My husband’s face melts before my eyes into the shadowed, hidden face of the man of my dreams. My heartbeats sound as heavy and slow as the footsteps. The hands around my neck are as cold as the wind. It hurts, and I want more than anything to just go to sleep. I scream, but as in the dream, no sound comes out. No one can hear me.

But I’m not scared anymore. I can feel myself falling asleep now. I’m not sure what I did wrong. My husband isn’t the type to tell people what they did wrong. But there is always a punishment. This is mine. He’s not shouting, but whispering. I don’t know what he’s saying. I don’t care.

I’m back on the street that never ends. The man is watching me still. But the moon is setting. He is disappearing. The lights in one of the houses turns on. The door opens and the family beckons me inside, smiling, welcoming me. I can’t tell if this is a dream. It must be. But I can’t find fear in my heart. I will never have to wake up.

***********************

“What is it?”

The Inspector looked up at his young assistant, his face pale. He looked so weary. “Just another drunken husband that went to far.”

“Did they find the body?”

“Yeah. He didn’t even try to hide it, he just went to the bar. We’ve got him in solitary now.” He looked down at his papers, frowning in bewilderment.

“What’s up, sir?”

“The poor girl…” He hesitated, trying to force the words out through the shock and puzzlement. “… She was smiling.”