So, here’s a short story that I’ve been working on. I’m a big fan of the man himself, H. P. Lovecraft, and so I tried to write a story in his style, but in third person. Here he is:
What a happy looking guy!
I was hoping for something more awesome though. Hmm….
What a happy guy!
Ah, yes. Excellent. Anyway…
This may seem like an unusual choice (lovecraft + 3rd person) to those of you who know that Lovecraft wrote almost exclusively in the first person, but I must also warn you that when I wrote the rough draft, the original Idea was to adopt Hemingway’s technique of drinking copious amounts of alcohol before writing something, and then trying to crank out a story. I then opted out of the Faulker technique of continuing to drink until you pass out, and then wake up the following morning with a good drink and trying to edit.
Secondly, this story is meant to be a horror, and if you find it amusing, be warned that it was unintentional, and due to my occasional inability to slam together coherent sentences rather than any sort of concentrated effort.
Here you go!
The Red Medallion
The moon hung gibbous and eternal over the dark forest as Aaron crashed through the underbrush. Tree branches snatched at his coat and urged him to stop and feel they’re spindly embrace. He almost did it, too. He almost just lay down and accepted what might come: death, an afterlife, oblivion. It was all fine with him, but then he heard it again, the haunting, bestial howl. He restarted his panicked flight with a redoubled effort, one thought on his mind: it’s getting closer!
Trees, trees, more trees, roots and limbs. The soft thuds of his footfalls were diminished somewhat by the peat on the forest floor, but the franticness in their cadence was unmistakable. This was a man running for his life, they told you, a man running out of time.
He burst through a thicket of bushes and his footing came out from under him, sending him sliding, rolling down a precipice. Down! Down he rolled, down the steep embankment, over the rocks and roots that grabbed at his legs, sometimes threatening to break them. He cried out as he tumbled, knowing full and well the futility of this action. There was no one else around. No one at all. Just him and… it.
Splash! He barreled into the rocky stream at the bottom of the ravine, and a searing pain in his left arm stabbed through his mind, keeping him alert and conscious, though he could feel the tendrils of darkness creeping into the edge of his vision. He lay there for quite some time, in the mud and shallow water, waiting for the pain to stop. It didn’t.
He stood and fell back down again. His leg had collapsed out from under him. He stood more carefully and managed to stay on his feet, at least until he gave his arm an experimental prod. Bad Idea. His vision swam and he nearly passed out as he crashed back into the water. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuck.
He looked up at the opposite side and scowled. He knew, he knew that only a mile beyond that imposing wall of dirt lay his town. Safety. Struggling, he managed to right himself once more, and cross over to the embankment, taking special care to not touch his left arm.
The wall was too steep to simply walk up. He would have to climb it, here and now, unless…
He looked left. The stream stretched for miles, bordered on both sides by steep walls of earth and the dark imposing forest on top of the walls. The right wasn’t any better. No, it had be here. He wasn’t even sure if he could walk much firther that night, not with his sprained ankle, but the thing following him, it certainly couldn’t climb a–
The howl made Aaron jump and almost fall back into the water. This one sounded different, sort of anxious, like the howler was expecting this chase to be over and done with in the near future.
He threw himself bodily at the wall, cradling his left arm into his body and clawing like a madman at the dirt, trying to gain purchase on it’s crumbly surface. He managed to snag a root that seemed relatively sturdy, and tried to haul himself up with it.
His right hand was not strong enough to support his weight, and it collapsed under the strain, sending him sprawling once more into the cold stream.
A howl broke the quiet of the night, bloodcurdling and, most frightful of all, close. Ever so close. Aaron cried, and banged his fist into the river bank’s cold, damp earth.
Why why why why WHY? Why was the only thing he could think of: Why had he taken the dare? Why had he gone to that graveyard, that fucking gave yard? Why did they do this to him? It should have been easy. It should have been easy. It had been easy enough at first. Tom’s map had led him straight to the graveyard, there had been a shovel behind the shed like Tom had told him, and the grave dirt wasn’t to packed. It split apart like rotten meat to his shovel, and the coffin hadn’t even been buried that deep. Once he pried the lid off and seen it… the red medallion.
Another howl snapped him out of his reverie. Shit. He stood and began to hobble down the stream, hoping that there was something, a ladder, some stairs, something he couldn’t see further along it’s course.
If I make it out of this, he grimly thought as he looked over his shoulder at the moon, which seemed even larger and more intimidating than before, I’m never going to play truth or dare again. At least not with my friends. He laughed at this, a cruel, barking laugh that was unlike him. Friends…
High school had been so hard that Aaron had jumped at the chance to hang out with anyone, and positively wet himself when the popular kids had invited him to a party Jerry was having at his uncle’s house.
All the best looking girls were there. Ashlee, with her long, dark hair and curvy hips. Lilith, with her prodigious bosom and winning smile. Rachel, with the dimples and the jade colored eyes. All of them, and they turned and smiled at him when he walked in. Rachel even said his name, his name, as she passed him a drink. It was heaven.
They had started off the night with some drinking games. Aaron hadn’t known any when they started, but he got a good hang for them by the time they finished. He hadn’t ever drunk much alcohol before, so it all hit him rather hard. He had thought he could handle it. His father had occasionally snuck him sips of beer while his mother wasn’t looking, and he had thought that his would somehow prepare him for copious dirnking, but he had been wrong. It seemed that it was always that way. Wrong.
They had played beer pong and kings cup, flip cup and quarters, and once he had become too drunk to think clearly, they had settled down to play truth or dare. He was between Rachel and Lilith, and counting himself rather lucky. Tom had started off with a truth, and told everyone about the time he lost his virginity, much to everyone’s chagrin. It seemed like they had heard it before. Rachel took dare, and had to kiss Aaron on the lips. It was the single greatest thing that had ever happened in his life, and probably ever would. It got to Aaron’s turn, and he was still swooning. He dumbly looked at Rachel, who mouthed the word “dare” with he perfect lips. He obeyed, and they dared him to dig up a grave.
Aaron splashed through the stream, tears streaking down his face. He was crying again and he wasn’t certain why. It had just happened, like a summer storm, sudden and violent. He hoped it would break soon. He felt like it was slowing him down.
He wasn’t sure what they had planned. Surley it was to scare him in some capacity or another. Maybe dress up as a ghost and hide behind a grave, or wait in the woods until he had dug deep into the grave dirt, and then pushed him in the grave and pretended to bury him. They had never gotten the chance. Once he had locked his hand around that medallion, once he had taken it–
A splash of fast approached feet drew Aaron out of his reverie. IT was hear. Run. Run. Run as fast as you can. Sprint god damn it and… ah, but there was never any hope, was there? He fell, like so many others before him, crashing down into the stream.
He rolled over, and it was on top of him. The fangs. The claws. The rancid stinking breath, like the breath of a corpse, or perhaps the breath of something made of corpses. It was hard for Aaron to tell. He had never smelled either, but for an instant, just an instant, he had seen something in the beast’s hide, something that looked eerily similar to Rachel’s face, screaming in pain and horror as it pushed against the creatures pale, hyper stretched skin.
It tore into him, ripping his throat in one clean bite. Aaron struggled briefly, and would have been proud to learn that he damaged the beast’s leg. It didn’t cause too much trouble, but it was a badge of honor that few of it’s past victims would be able to claim before they went.
He felt it rummage through his pockets and take the medallion, and then it was gone, and Aaron was left with nothing but the cold water of the stream, and the moon, which cut through the encroaching darkness like a beacon, golden and lustrous, almost as if it were made of metal.
Oh, and I almost forgot to thank Ronni Noyce, Kathryn Jenkins and Kristy J. W. for nominating me for the “shine on”, “sunshine”, and “versatile” blogger awards, respectively. I promise you, I’m gonna do one big fucking awards post some time this months and it’s going to be utter madness. So get ready, readers, I’ve got like 5 awards to give out, and one might be coming to you!