50 Word Stories: In Rubble Found

They sought to break us, hurt, strike deep. Yet we found something in the wreckage of so many broken hearts, strewn rubble and buildings lost, a determination and unity that till then we’d lost. That rubble made us, not broke us, wherever in the world we watched the towers fall. 

Never Forget

The Creeping Terror 

A True Story From My Writing Life

Stardate: 18/07/2017 Richard’s front room.

It began as a tingling that I quickly dismissed as nothing. The tingling continued, so I brushed myself down and carried on typing. A little later, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye. ‘Pft!’ I huffed, must be going crazy. It happened again. Something black was moving. Ordinarily, I’d have jumped up and wrestled the lion or whatever it was, but I’ve had trouble with my eyes this last week, so dismissed it as wobbly-vision. 

When I felt something crawling up my shorts, I took more decisive action. I placed my iPad to one side, cool as a cucumber, honest, then leapt up. A spider fell out of my shorts and legged it under my writing chair before I could get him. I was not pleased. I like my writing chair and didn’t/don’t want to move. So, the waiting game is on. Who’ll blink first? Who’ll win this war of attrition? And most of all, should I put my trousers on? These are just some of the questions I shall try to answer when I next update you on THE CREEPING TERROR!

Disclaimer: The above Pixabay.com image may or may not be an accurate representation of my foe. 

The Toilet Zone

Author’s Note: It’s hot as Hell today. I’m overheating and don’t know what I’m typing. That’s my excuse anyway. On the other hand, this is a wonderful tribute to that classic show The Twilight Zone. Yes, that sounds better. I think I got away with it.

The Toilet Zone

A cloying glue of absolute night, the darkness congealed around me like a wetted cape. One might’ve said the night entangled, and it did, stalling breaths and restricting movement. It was a warm, forgiving abyss, however, and for that I supposed I should have been grateful. My friends, or rather, companions, appeared not to share my enlightened view.

“Goddamn blackness!”

“Where the hell are we?”

“When I get out of this!”

Three separate and rather differing responses to one unavoidable truth; we were lost with not a hope of being found.

“We could light a fire,” I attempted.

“In Hell? Really?”

Jonesy was a man of little imagination so I forgave him his sarcasm.

“How do you know this is Hell?” blurted Smithy.

“Because it’s dark, scary and you’re here.”

“And you,” said Sigurdson.

Sigurdson was always practical delving right to the score of the matter as was his way. 

“What do you think, Rich?” he said to me. 

“I’d say we should light a fire.”

“But I’m not cold,” moaned Jonesy, his sarcasm suddenly deserted him before the physically imposing Sigurdson, (like all Icelanders, he was enormous).

Smithy was still having none of it. He paced about in the near dark like a restless lion. Even when we all moaned at him to stop, his restless energy prevented it. “Hell my arse!” he groaned over and over again.

And so it persisted in our nightmare world until completely out of the blue, I said, “Hang on, how did we get here?”

Three blank faces, or so I imagined, not being able to see them clearly and all that.

It became a game of cat and mouse after that. Each 0f us recalled what we knew. Each of us knew little. We distilled it down to this: we each fell asleep; we each woke to know their friends there; we each were as bemused as the next.

There we stayed in our crazed new world muttering and mumbling, snitching and sniping. For how long it lasted, who could say, but it was a long time. I knew for certain it was long because, as usual, Sigurdson grew hungry. Once at the point of madness and absolute starvation, he killed Jonesy and ate him. I was unsure whether I was angrier that he’d done this, or that he hadn’t offered me any. He finished off Smithy next having chased him round and round for hours. I heard his slurping of flesh from bones from the far corner of the cavern, or whatever it was we were in, and decided I had to make a move. That’s when I began to climb. 

There was no light to reveal my way other than the strange phosphorescence that had lit our lunatic friendship. Nevertheless, I climbed with the vim and vigour of a man who saw light within reaching distance. Or a man whose best friend was about to eat him? One or the other, anyway.

When my head hit something other than rock, I almost panicked. When I heard Sigurdson closing in, I almost did so again. But almost is a funny word when you’re close to death. Instead of almost dying, I pushed up and out, the thing resting on my head angling up as though on a lever. That’s when I recognised where I was.

My mum’s bathroom had a brown Paisley design that’s was so out of taste with interior decoration, it could only have been our home. Relieved, I dragged myself out of the toilet and sat back down on the lid just as the Icelander was about to climb out. He pushed and shoved and groaned and moaned, but couldn’t get out. That’s when I did for him. I flushed the toilet.

Sigurdson was gone in a plumbing-groaning explosion of gotten-ridden-of waste. Phew!

“Are you all right love!” bellowed my mum from her bedroom. 

“I am now!” I shouted back.

“Doctors for you tomorrow. Bleedin’ ridiculous struggling like that,” she said in a lower, more concerned voice.

Ah well, that was a problem for another day.


The mountain called to me, and not in a good way. At first, I’d thought it gathering thunder its clouds hidden behind the massif. It wasn’t. A dying bear, falling rocks, world’s biggest belching squirrel, and any number of idiocies flittered through my brain as I approached the summit. The grunting, grating, growling sound overwhelmed me on that slow ascent to Hell, a total overpowering of tired senses, a vertigo inducing cacophony. Then, I was there, destination reached and all stood revealed.
Part girl, part something else, she sang her little heart out. She sang a wretched melody of she got there first, of she owned the mountain, of she was queen of the hill. And, in that moment, I knew I was never climbing down.

Nocturne: The Dead and the Deader

Part 1 here

Part 2 here

Mephistopheles had survived everything from being cast from Heaven to spending eternity in Hell. He knew when to strike, when to retreat, and when to do nothing. A Nocturne alone, he could have forgiven. A Nocturne who created others of its kind, whether of beast or human form, was unforgivable. Only he created Death. Only he was master of the undead.
He rose from the earth before the old lady’s home in a blaze of volcanic activity: magma, spewing; lava, flowing; the hordes of Hell at his side. He came prepared.
The children down the hill fled, their parents, too. The battleground was drawn and Mephistopheles waited, his great crimson horns flashing in the fire, his cloven hooves stamping at the ground.
The net curtains twitched. Somewhere, a dog howled. A yard gate creaked open.
The hordes of Hell looked upon their lord for leadership. He had no choice but to extract she who would not appear. And so he stomped across the yard, his feet leaving a blazing path, and burst through the old lady’s door. Even he turned his head from the hound before him, rotten, yet alive. It fled. He followed.
The beast of the Netherworld crashed through the hall, burst into the living room, then stopped. There before him, huddled in a chair by the net curtains, was a woman older than time itself. The moment she stood, her guise slipping, he realised his mistake.
“You are not Nocturne. You are one of the Fallen,” he said in voice of cracking granite. And Mephistopheles trembled then.

“I was Fallen,” said she, oozing into the air as black smoke. “Now, I am Nocturne. And, my emboldened once friend, I am hungry.”

It was said the hordes of Hell swept back to the underworld like whimpering children, masterless, they just upped and ran away. To the children and their parents who returned after a week of whispers, nothing had changed. All was as it was before. All stood familiar. Except, as noted one young boy, for the fire that now burned in the old lady’s fireplace, its acrid smoke spewing into the atmosphere. The flames could be seen flickering, the figure they silhouetted just sat. Nothing more.
The old lady still did not appear, though the children knew her there. The nets did not twitch. And although it might have sounded strange to say it, the world seemed more at peace than it had in living memory. Quiet even. At least, until the smoke stopped and a dog began to howl.


They came for me last night, those beasts with cobweb wings
Billowing in the moonlight, they flittered through a window
I heard the scratching of steel talons on the sill
It drowned out the indefinite whines of society
Until, silence purveyed, purchased to disguise
Purchased to cover what they were here to do, prevailed
All fell silent. All was silent. Silence was all there was
Even the wind failed to blow through the rafters
Even the rain failed to tap upon the glass
They stuttered; I felt their eyes, their cold, violent eyes
Tearing away the layers of my sleep: duvet; blanket; tee shirt; skin
They willed them from me in exquisite pain
Pain I was all too used to and not unprepared for
And so I leapt from bed with maddened eyes
They were there, and revelled in my posturing
Each one a rotting, ragged loose-knit epidermis
Not meant to house ones such as they
Not meant to house anything other than death
They eyed me with those vacant orbs, deciding
Formulating new plans, more expansive tortures
Any other man would have fled from them then
Would have torn out their hair and poked out their eyes
Jumped from the window and fled into traffic
But not me. Not this night. No longer was I their pawn
I grappled with them, though wished I’d not
I hit and bit and struck and scratched
Tore and raged and screamed and snarled
And by God’s mercy, I bested those beasts
Each one a pile of desecrated badness
Each one a stinking pile of reclusive scum
Those nightmare creatures, the bane of my nights
Lay dead in heaps of crimson malice, shredded meat
Only their eyes definable in the midnight gloom
Only their eyes, dead eyes, staring, accusatory
The same as the ones that did so in day
The same as the ones in my bedroom mirror

I Felt – I Feel

I Felt

I felt her in my bones, a chill like a dead woman’s beauty, a sneer on a cold, winter’s morning. Frozen, I held my ground, or so I told myself, for, in truth, I couldn’t move. The female presence drifted across my vision like a schooner’s billowing sail. But there was no wind? What had I been drinking?

But I hadn’t been drinking, and thus she came to me every single day and every sleepless night. No sooner would I step from the car, the door, the bath, than she was there, my own personal ghost, eyes ablaze and translucent fingers. She never once touched me; she didn’t need to. Instead, she haunted from afar, but never too far. And so it was I learnt the power of fear upon a man. You couldn’t outrun it. You couldn’t out-think it. You couldn’t outlive it.

I Feel

I feel her in my deepest sleep, my innermost fears, my soul. She lays beside me every night in our most secret place, our shared tomb coming to me when others shun me, non-judgemental and giving freely of her time. She comes to me in the grave, the grave she sent me to. One day, I’ll find out why.

I 2 WE

I am saddened

I am sad

Twisted people

Made me mad

Born for evil

Falsehoods, lies

World seen through

Terror’s eyes

I am hurting

I am hurt

With the devil

They do flirt

Angry hearts

Born for bad

Thinking clever

Only mad

We’re together 

Together we

Made mistake

They will see

As I no longer

I long gone

United us

The WE has won