Let’s Get the Band Back Together

The word of the week was BAND, and I went “Let’s get the Band Back Together”. In this piece our main character learns the hard way not to agree to something without knowing all the details, and suffer the consequences of their actions.


Let’s get the band back together, she had said, and the noise I had made in response was more one of acknowledgment that she had spoke, than one of agreement.


Let’s get the band back together, had sounded so innocent than when it did register, I thought nothing of it, and assumed that she wouldn’t follow through anyways


Let’s get the band back together, had made me assume that she had called those of us that were still among the living, and arranged a reunion at her place.


Let’s get the band back together, didn’t bring to mind images of pentagrams, dark magics, sacrifices, or three people too afraid of the crazy lady with the knife to say no to her terrible plan.


Let’s get the band back together, made you think the band, just the band, and not the things that followed through the door that we had opened and did not know how to shut.


We got the band back together, but it was short, terrifying, full of screams that would haunt me till the day I died, and in the long years that followed, where I lived in fear every-time I saw movement from the corner of my eye, I would never again make a hmmm of acknowledgment.

The Boogeyman

Every so often I write something and when I come back to read it I creep myself out. This is one of those times. While it was supposed to be a child afraid of the dark in a new place, there is a bit of a darker undertone at the end of the story, that leads the reader to a darker place. Read at your own risk.


There was something in the dark, and she didn’t know what to do about it. Right now she was as safe as she could be with the blankets pulled to her chin, and to leave the room, to get to the light she would have to run right by it and be at her weakest.

She felt the tears welling up in her eyes as the fear passed over her in waves, each one stronger than the last, but she was brave. She didn’t scream. She wanted to, she knew with a single cry that someone would come, and rescue her, but then they would know that she was just that kind of kid that cried.

She was too old to believe in monsters, but there was something in her room in the darkness and she was afraid. Lying here in this new place, new bed, she was alone in a room for the first time she could remember. At the group home they were packed into the room, so overcrowded Ms. Edwina had almost lost her funding. She overheard the inspector saying that the only reason they didn’t pull it was because it would do the same things to all the other places in town.

This was her sixth foster home, and each one before this had other kids. Most had more than one foster kid, but even the homes with real kids, she still had to share. This place was different. It was big, and empty and for this first night it was just her and her new foster mother. She was told there was a foster father as well, but he was out of town, she would meet him tomorrow.

She shuddered at the thought. She hoped he was better than the last one. Anyone would be better than the last one, she didn’t even like to think about him. Ms. Edwina said that was better, that it was best to just put him out her mind. She would never have to think about it again.

This place, this place would have to be better. She would be safe here, if she made it to morning that is.

Gone

This is the story of Jackie, who one day finds that a friend is missing, then another, and then a lot of people are gone…Where are they, what happened to them? No one knows, read Jackie’s story as she struggles to figure out if she is losing her mind, or people are really just gone. At first blush it wouldn’t seem obvious that this was inspired by the idea of surviving a zombie apocalypse, but it was. The idea that at some point along the way that surviving just isn’t enough anymore, and with no end in sight, being bitten would be a blessing.


As a child Jackie had read a story about a girl who found her face on a milk carton and everything changed. The girl soon discovered that while she lived a happy life with her “adoptive” parents, or as she called them, parents, her biological family had been devastated. There was no going anywhere alone, always a parent present, their lives had been forever changed.

Jackie guessed thats kind of what she expected. It would make sense that a person disappearing would leave a hole in the the lives of the people around them That the not knowing would drive them crazy, though Jackie felt that in some cases knowing was actually worse.

So when one of Jackie’s closest friends, Betty, had disappeared, she did not expect what came next. More specifically she did not expect to be the only person who remembered Betty. She couldn’t understand how this was the case. Betty taught second grade, she had a boyfriend, parents, a sister, an apartment, and a car.

When Jackie went looking, she could find no evidence of any of this. Betty’s parents knew her as the girl down the street, Betty’s sister loudly stated that she was an only child. Betty’s boyfriend, single of course, resided in Betty’s apartment, and drove her car. Each person Jackie spoke to, looked at her as if she had two heads, they had never heard of Betty.

It went about as well as you would imagine, when Jackie showed up at the police station to file a missing persons report on someone who had no record of having ever existed. Seventy-two hours later she walked out of the psych ward with a prescription, a follow-up appointment, and a tentative diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Jackie however knew the truth; Betty was real, and Betty was missing. She took the medication though, despite the side effects, because Jackie believed in modern medicine, and even she had to admit her own story sounded insane.

Then she went to visit Betty’s sister again, only the person who opened the door wasn’t Betty’s sister. Martha had never heard of Grace, or Betty, and offered to call someone when she saw how upset Jackie was getting. Jackie left, and headed straight for Betty and Grace’s parents, who still recognized her as the girl next door, but claimed, rather vehemently, that they had not had any children.

This time Jackie skipped the police station, and a week later Betty and Grace’s parents were gone. Jackie got her meds adjusted, and it seemed like that solved the problem. No more of Jackie’s friends, and family went missing, and even she agreed it did seem likely that she made them up. Even though her imagination was never quite that good, and she still had very vivid, life-long memories of these people.

It was almost a year later when she started to notice the cracks in the foundation, so to speak. While Jackie’s friends and family were around, there seemed to be less people around in general. Cafe’s, theatres, and other business’s everywhere were just a little too far below capacity for it not to be noticeable. It wasn’t just her that noticed this either, well, it kind of was. It was complicated.

No one seemed to notice that people, on the whole seemed to be missing. Instead the reports focused on the negative impacts of over-development in small towns, how building too much was almost as bad as too little, that local business owners were struggling to keep the doors open with so few customers coming in each day.

The strangest part was, they seemed to accept it, despite the fact it quite obviously made no sense. If no one was gone, no one had left, no fewer people come to town, then why were the businesses struggling now? Why, wasn’t it a problem 10, 20 years ago when they opened? None of it made any sense, and It seemed everyday now someone disappeared, a shop missing, never opened, and then it happened.

She stepped into her parents house to see a wall of pictures of only her. Ben never existed, her own brother was gone The worst part was, all she felt was relief. It seemed to travel in families, the disappearing, and that meant that she would be next. That there wouldn’t be anymore waiting, no more fear, no more pills.

When she saw the thing in the fog, she didn’t run away, but walked towards it. It looked, surprised as she eagerly took it’s hand. “About time.” She said amiably, and it filched. The fog grew heavier and heavier, until at last Jackie couldn’t see even herself, and she too was gone.

Nos Sumus in Tenebris

This week’s six-sentence story prompt by girlontheege was EDGE. I wrote about a woman walking home after dark, with the feeling she is being followed. Or alternative summary “you aren’t afraid of being alone in the dark, you are afraid of not being alone in the dark.”


She wasn’t a paranoid person, and she couldn’t explain it, but tonight as she walked down the empty street towards her house she knew without a shadow of a doubt that she was not alone.

She stopped and started a few times, took a few detours, picked up her pace, but every time she surveyed the area she could see that there was no one else around.

She could feel them through, the eyes watching her, making the hair on the back of her neck stand up as every primal instinct told her that she was being hunted.

The area was residential, all the house lights off, and she had moved from a speed walk to a run when she she finally heard something scraping behind her, followed by a growl that reverberated down her spine as she was paralyzed by fear.

Then it was in front of her with the dim light of the street lamp glinting off the razor sharp edge of the teeth that were about to end her life and she had one final thought.

You aren’t paranoid if they are actually out to get you.


For those wondering about the title, we are in the dark nos sumus in tenebris