New video up! Check it below, and if you like it, be sure to like and subscribe, and maybe even hit up my Patreon for more exclusive, patrons-only content!
New video up! Check it below, and if you like it, be sure to like and subscribe, and maybe even hit up my Patreon for more exclusive, patrons-only content!
Here’s a random short story for you all. This was originally published in The Siren’s Call (link to the issue on my Fiction page) under the name Alex Chase (aka yours truly). I hope you’re having a great day–share this with your friends, and you’ll certainly make mine.
Arrest Report 10134
*The following is a transcript of the questioning of suspect 10134, who was apprehended for drunk and disorderly conduct, grand theft auto and two counts of using a vehicle while under the influence of an unknown intoxicant. After arriving at the Exxon station at the outskirts of Hashfield, he proceeded to steal an oil tanker and drive it down 3rd avenue. He was arrested after driving four blocks. The suspect has refused to identify himself and had no ID on him. He is a fair-skinned male, Hispanic or perhaps Asiatic, late thirties, and stands 5 foot 11.
Officer Jallot: Please state your name and age for the record.
Suspect: Its name? Nah, I dunno its fuckin’ name.
OJ: Not its name, your name.
S: My name? Listen, sonny, my name isn’t important. What, you really think you’re gonna get some hot tips out of a guy like me? I got nothing’, guy, no info, got it?
OJ: Listen, we’re only here to figure out why a quiet little guy like you, especially a guy with no record and no debts, would go racing off into the night in an oil truck, endangering the lives of God knows how many others.
S: Oh, is that what you’re on about? …I’d say you wouldn’t believe me, but you wouldn’t care, and I’d sound like a tool for saying something so cliché, so I guess I’ll make the most what little time we have and get straight to the point… ‘Sides, were both in law enforcement, so I’m not going to BS you. See, there’s this thing, up on the hill, up in the Gentech lab where I work, that’s fuckin’ eatin people, you got that?
OJ: Excuse me?
S: You heard me. They made a damn monster up there. Not like they meant to; at least I hope they didn’t. But they did, so I had to try.
OJ: I’m not following. Who did what, and what did you have to try? Are you talking about some sort of animal?
S: No, no, they built it. Wait– not built. Solid things are built; this shit’s water, it’s untouchable, it’s chaos, sonny, and you just can’t fight that. The universe loves chaos, you know- that’s entropy for ya’. At least, that’s what the white coats would say. This thing, though, it shifts around like it never had a shape, like it don’t even know what shapes are, and when you least expect it, it’s tearin’ you right apart.
OJ: I need you to calm down or I’ll be forced to secure you to the county jail immediately. Now, slowly, start again.
S: Fine, sonny, but don’t come crying to me when this thing gets ahold you ‘cuz you’re too full of ya’self to listen. See, this all started a few months back. I worked night security over at Gentech. Some eggheads were working on a cure. A cure for everything. Developed some kind of formula or serum or nanobots or some other fancy science shit that’s supposed to turn regular cells back into stem cells or something, coat those little computer things in your own DNA so you can do whatever the hell you want. Reverses cancer and everything, or its s’posed to.
OJ: So what’s this have to do with the oil truck?
S: Calm the fuck down, you sound like my wife. Nag, nag, nag! Let me tell the story and we’ll get there when we get there, all right kid?
OJ: Sorry. Go ahead, then.
S: Ah, don’t apologize, got two kids of my own, just as impatient as you. I’m used to that by now. Anyway, I’m there, watching the front door, cause it’s my station and it’s been my station ever since Jim decided he needed to go to UC Davis instead of Atlantic Community College, when out of the blue I hear a scream. Naturally, my first thought was, ‘Oh fuck, I’m so fired.’ So I’m racing down the hall, thinking to myself, ‘Shit, shit, please don’t let anybody else be here, better be a tech dropped a beaker or some little tiny small accident ‘cause I’m not getting fired tonight,’ when I round the corner into one of the labs where I think it came from.
S: Why you gotta ask like I wasn’t gonna tell you? I’m sittin’, I’m talkin’, you ain’t listenin’! Sit back, son, I’m not gonna leave you hangin’. So, back at the lab, I walk in and I see broken glass. I was like, ‘Hell yeah, just a beaker!’ Then I notice more. It’s too much glass. Way too much. I catch on that all the glass is on the ground, all the beakers and test tubes and flasks, all of everything is smashed to Hell and one of the test chamber doors is wide open. Lying on the ground is a pretty young thing named Daisy Thompson. Ain’t that the most American name you ever heard? She was a right fine young lady, beautiful, like somebody plucked her right out the ground and stuck her in a lab coat stead of a vase. ‘Cept she wasn’t fine tonight. Something clawed her, scratched her the hell up. That lab coat of hers was shredded, stained red, hanging all around her. So I rushed over to her, put my fingers to her neck, check see if she’s got a pulse, got breath in her chest, and you know what sonny?
S: She wasn’t dead! Not at first, anyway. Poor little lady didn’t stand a chance. She’s bleedin’ out, sayin’ something about their experiment goin’ wrong, that the computers overpowered the test subject and I’m not sure if I heard right but she seemed to say that he just downright melted, went splat on the floor in a puddle of shifty goo. Then Donnie Figueroa apparently stepped in to clean up what was left of it when some kind of tentacle thing, like a snake, shoots out wraps around his leg and drags them down into that puddle like it’s a hole to some alternate universe. ‘Cept its no hole, and there’s no new world on the other side, and life ain’t the twilight zone — it’s way stranger and a hell of a lot worse.
OJ: *Chair scrapes* Okay, it looks like we’re done here.
S: I’m almost done, wait, hold on, you need to hear this! I sit there, starin’ down at this girl the same way you’re staring at me: bug eyed and disbelieving, sure that the person I’m talking to is straight off the rocker. That’s when something scuttles along the floor next to me. I look down and there’s something like a head on top of a metal spider, staring at me, all shiny-wet with blood, flittin’ toward Daisy. Then this mutant-spider-flesh-psycho-cyborg thing lifts one pointed leg and splam! Put its leg right through the girl’s neck. The leg turns into a tube and the whole thing rolls up into this one skinny little tendril that works its way in. Seems to twitch a bit and some bumps start rolling along and I realize it’s drinking her brain. Have you ever seen someone’s brain get sucked right outta their skull? Makes you wanna hurl, I’ll tell you that. Her head starts cracking in ‘cuz there’s so much pressure, blood and pinkish-grey stuff sprayin’ the wall behind her. Then the tentacle jerks, flinging her head into that wall, sends skull shards everywhere. Then… Oh God, then it forms the shape of a man, buck naked, with a snake for a tail, and he starts hounding after me. I run out and I’m so freaked that the world goes black ‘til I see myself hit the emergency switch. Then I realize, ‘Shit, even if we can kill this thing, people might use the data in the lab to create a new one.’ I mean, if you thought you could create something that would make sure people don’t get sick anymore, wouldn’t you? If not for the people, then for the fame and money. So I ran out, hijacked that oil truck, and I was aiming to destroy that building and its godless research but ya’ll stopped me.
OJ: *Sighs loudly* Sir, please stand and put your hands behind your back. We’re going to continue tomorrow when whatever substance you been using has worn off, ok? I don’t want you getting worked up and risking injury to yourself.
S: *Chair scrapes* I’m fine with that, sonny. I just wanted to make sure you were aware of what you might be getting yourself into. I’m just trying to get by, make sure I do what’s right by me. You want to kill me for that, go ahead.
OJ: We’re not going to kill you, we’re just holding you for your own safety until your arraignment.
S: …Is that so? You know, officer, you’re a decent guy. *A harsh laugh is heard* A bad cop, but a decent enough person.
*The suspect was placed in a holding cell overnight. After a few hours, Officer Jallot began to hear a slight commotion from the detainee area. Upon investigating, he found that every incarcerated person had been slaughtered, with the only officer guarding them terrified to the point where he was able to speak. The victims were found without brains. Carved into a wall was the following phrase:
You’re a good man, Jallot. Stay that way. I’ll have my eyes on you.
Writing, for me, is about passion. Making money is nice but unnecessary; I’ll write on whether I receive one dollar or one million the next time I see a paycheck–if I see one at all. Writing is what I do. It’s my career. It’s me.
One thing that I really love to do, though, is send my work to charity anthologies. I haven’t seen many out there, but of the two dozen + stories I’ve had accepted for publication in recent months, two will be appearing in such anthologies.
I write to you to ask for help with Shadows and Light, a charity raising money for domestic violence, featuring yours truly. Sent out by Andrew Scorah, this call isn’t looking for stories about domestic violence itself; all we need are a few more kind souls willing to donate their stories for this cause.
This isn’t about us, the writers, or our stories. This is about using the written word to aid with and maybe one day overcome a crippling and unforgivable act.
If you’d like to send a story to Mr. Scorah, or would just like to help spread the word so the anthology reaches more people upon release, any and all of your efforts would be greatly appreciated. You can find the anthology and contact information for the editor on Facebook, or see below for details.
We must do what we can in the world to stop the spread of darkness, even if all we can do is reflect others’ light. I hope some of you can join me on this journey.
CALL TO SUBMISSION
Doors are still open to submit a story to the Women’s Aid charity book, Shadows and Light. Women’s Aid is the key national charity working to end domestic violence against women and children. They support a network of over 300 dedicated specialist domestic violence services across the UK. If your fighting other abusers you’ve gone beyond survival- you’ve transcended abuse and become a warrior! Come be a warrior, donate a story.
I do not want anymore stories featuring domestic abuse, I am now looking for genre stories, what ever genre you work in then give me something riveting, entertaining, and leave me and the readers wanting more. If you are interested please send submissions to email@example.com. Submissions open until 25th July
While you will not be paid for the story, you will be helping a most worthy cause, and will get more coverage for your name, free advertising is always good. 1000-6000 words.Attach it as a word file, and neatly formatted 12 point roman text, line spacing exactly 12 point, justified, with correct indents at first line 0.3.
Here’s the present line up for SHADOWS & LIGHT
2 Graham Masterton
3 Seumas Gallacher
4 David Edgerley Gates
5 Keith Dixon
6 Andrew Peters
7 Kelly Matthews as K.A Hambly Author
8 Samuel Dickens
9 Frank Sonderborg
10 Caitlin O’Connor
11 Thomas Pluck
12 Gerry McCullough
13 Aidan Thorn
14 William Rose
15 Tina Bausinger
16 Gay Ingram
17 Kerry Elizabeth Blickenderfer Black
18 Marie Bishop
19 Linda Bonney Olin
20 Andrew Scorah
21 Kevin Holton
22 Paul D Brazill
23 Cath Bore
24 Dana Wright.
In light of a lot of good news this week, which helps make up for the bad news of the last few, I’m posting my oldie-but-goodie, “The Clock Tower,” here for your free entertainment. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments, share if you like it (or even if you don’t), and above all, keep writing.
Some have speculated that the manner in which one dies correlates to the treatment one is given in the afterlife. If this is the case, then my death will have me revered as a king. I have been allowed to pass this one message back to the human world so that they may be granted a glimpse of what I learned before I passed.
The earliest thing I can remember was falling. It’s strange, but at this point I feel as though whatever I have done before, whoever I was and any memories I might have had are irrelevant. I do not know how I arrived in this place, but I found myself falling through a massive tower.
When I began my descent, I fell in a slow, soft manner, as if I were sinking into slumber. I was falling down the center of a massive tower. I remember the top was adorned with all manner of stained glass. Despite the beauty of the windows themselves, their images were monstrous. They depicted one of a distinct variety of creature that was wholly focused on controlling or consuming human life. I felt that my fall was slowed for the purpose of showing me such images, though I do not know what the purpose of doing so could be.
Once I had passed these depictions, I found myself speeding downward, faster and faster. The further down I fell, the more the smooth granite and stained glass was replaced by machinery and crumbling brickwork. I fell down, past winding gears and humming bits of metal until, at a speed that should have killed me, my body slammed into the groove between two cogs.
The cogs snagged, attempting to crush me in their teeth. They were not successful. I felt an agony in my chest and was sure my ribs had broken, but I couldn’t be sure. All I knew is that I was trapped. The machinery was not strong enough to kill me, but too strong to let me go.
I attempted to pry myself free, but I was unsuccessful. I pushed and pulled at the giant gears, I kicked, I writhed, I prayed- nothing worked. I tried for what must have been hours, if not days, to pry myself free. I gave up and waited, no salvation, not even the grim specter himself, came to free me.
Looking around, I had been whisked away into what appeared to be some massive clock tower. At no point did I see a top or bottom to the structure. I had no idea how large it was, but it was bigger than anything I’ve heard of.
Above me, I could some of the mechanisms I’d fallen past. They had all stopped as well; a pendulum hung frozen at a thirty degree angle, gears of all shapes and sizes had come to a standstill and, from what I could tell, the entire tower had come to a standstill.
Craning my neck, I looked below me, only to see more of the same.
I saw the same thing while looking in opposite directions. I saw brick walls dripping with befouled oil. I saw a plethora of machine parts, intertwining pipes and clockwork. I suspected something within this structure controlled more than a simple clock face. I saw an infinite blackness beyond the parts that caused my heart to race.
Once, when I was a boy, I went hiking with a neighborhood friend in a local forest area. I slipped and fell into a hole that I had not seen while walking behind my friend. He had not heard me fall and thus assumed I’d abandoned him. I woke alone, in the dark, with no way out. I screamed for hours, sure that I was going to die, before someone found me.
That isolation, that helplessness, was nothing compared to this. At least, when I was young, I believed the God would watch over me in death.
I had since lost my faith. If any god was watching over me, I suspect it would not be acting in my best interests.
I trembled with the near-certainty that I would never escape and took to counting the seconds in order to maintain my sanity, since there was little else I could do. After glancing at my watch- a new-looking piece with a gothic-styled analogue face- I shut my eyes, ticking the seconds off one by one.
It was an utterly mind-numbing process, but that was precisely what I needed. I clung to each number that I counted off, keeping my attention strictly devoted to this singular process. It was a desperate, miserable action that I could not avoid. Eventually, as I neared the one thousandth second, I looked at my watch again to be sure I was counting accurately.
It had not moved. I shook my head, sure that I’d misread it, but it had stopped.
I had looked at my watch, very briefly, while falling. Though I looked for only a second, I was sure it had been moving before.
Logically, one could assume that my watch had stopped, but I was something of an expert on such timepieces. I did not recall working with watches, but upon looking at my watch, I felt as though I were intimately familiar with the small device. The face was not cracked and the metal didn’t show the slightest hint of gouging of scuffing, as one would expect from a collision. Despite my closest scrutiny, there did not appear to be anything wrong with my watch.
A thought crossed my mind. I shook my head, attempting to dismiss it, but it grew stronger and more persistent until I could not deny it: By some impossible means, my collision with the cogs of this tower- and my having stopped their movements- had halted the flow of time itself.
I laughed silently at myself, sure that I must have been trapped for far longer than I thought if I’d been able to imagine such nonsense!
Despite my attempts to deny it, my extended stay only confirmed what my addled mind had come up with. Though I could not know the length of time for which I was trapped, it must have been days, if not weeks. I didn’t feel hunger or pain or the need to sleep. All sensation, all emotion aside from my desperate wish for freedom, had been reduced to nothing.
Then I heard something above me. It was the cry of someone who was experiencing absolute terror and absolute elation at the same time. Looking up, I saw a shape hurtling through the darkness. It was another man!
He plummeted past and crashed onto a horizontal gear beneath me. I bent my body and looked, sure that I’d find his head splattered against the metal, but he survived, as I had! I was sure now that time had stopped because this man had not died- if time did not flow, then I could not imagine the cycle of life and death had continued either.
The man looked up at me and smiled, saying, “So it was you!”
“Me?” I inquired, keeping my voice. My instincts told me that remaining quiet was an imperative task, so I uttered, as soft as I could manage, “Me who did what?”
“You’re the reason time stopped!” He said it so plainly and with such certainty that I did not doubt him for a moment.
“So I was right,” I said quietly. He heard me nonetheless.
“You were right? You sure were!” His voice echoed across the walls. “All signs of aging have stopped! The Earth still spins, but the old and sick don’t die, babies don’t age and the babes stay perky and beautiful,” he chuckled. I heard something scuffling. I didn’t know what it was. “And the best part is that there are no consequences! I always wanted to try heroine, you know? Stupid, sure, but a bunch of my friends did it when I was in college. I shot up, did two, three, four doses, I was higher than God, buddy, and I didn’t even feel sick later! Can you believe it? And to think, people want me to help you get free!”
I wondered at this last sentence. Though I could not be certain whether or not I had friends and family beyond these walls, something told me that a rescuer had been sent for very impersonal reasons. I tried to grasp at why I felt this way, but could not, as though the truth was hidden in the banks of a dense mental fog.
He had started to laugh, but his face suddenly drooped. He had heard the sound too. Before he could respond, a creature came fumbling from the darkness.
I saw it below me and gaped in abject terror. It was the size of a small car with the shape of something utterly obscene. It was a bloated, rotund thing with ten arms. Each arm ended with a hand that ended in talons. These appendages grabbed on to the machinery, using the gears as handholds to propel itself through the tower.
When the man below saw it, he screamed. He screamed so loud that I was sure no creature, living or dead, could have failed to hear it.
The beast wrapped a hand around the man’s torso, like an angry child grabs a toy, and then released its grips on the clockwork. It plunged back into darkness as the man continued to scream.
A moment later, the screaming changed. It was no longer the cries of a grown man afraid for his life, but the shrill wails of one who knows his life is being taken. A terrible ripping sound echoed from below. His screaming stopped. I did not know how, but my very soul knew, beyond any doubt, that this beast could kill regardless of the passage of time.
I clamped a hand over my mouth, terrified at the thought of the thing returning. I remained silent for a long time as tears rolled down my face.
As time passed, more people joined me in my damnation. I heard some land far above me, some far below, but they all met the same end. The clock tower beast would clamber up through the mesh of pipes and pendulums only to ensnare a victim and fall to the bottom. I assumed, somewhere far beyond the blackness, the creature had some sort of lair. As this continued to happen, I began to smell the awful fumes of raw, shredded human flesh.
Because time had stopped, I was doomed to smell the remains of my fallen brothers and sisters for all eternity. Their corpses would never rot and never fade; my only hope was that the beast would grow hungry and feast on what was left.
With each life taken, I drew closer to a terrible realization. Though I tried to ignore it, the thought possessed my being, bit by bit, until I could no longer ignore it.
These people were coming here to rescue me. They needed time because they needed death. Without death, they couldn’t think of a reason to continue existing. They were suffering in the stagnation of a life without limits.
And yet, there I was, suffering the most of all for granting mankind immortality!
I do not know why, but I began to laugh. It was a tickle that started in my chest and worked its way to my throat. At first, I only chuckled. I tried to suppress it for fear that the beast would find and kill me.
The more I thought about the beast, about my temporarily immortal race, about the agony of freedom, the harder I began to laugh. It was the most singularly terrifying moment of my life; it was a glimpse into my mind, as though my body was warning me of the impending loss of my sanity. The sound reverberated through the tower, deafening me, yet I still heard the beast’s approach from below.
The harder I was forced to laugh, the more my mind disobeyed me and began to succumb. My terror was slowly changed into a beguiled sense of liberation. It was the full understanding of what my situation truly meant. Freedom brought people misery, so what must my entrapment bring me?
This is the thought that came to rule me. In the last seconds of my life, the singular notion that I was happier and freer than any other living being was the only thing I knew.
Death no longer scared me; my destiny had always been to make others appreciate what they have. My end would return the blessing of death to mankind; with death, happiness would return to them.
This was my duty. It was my duty to make my kind happy and free. It was the only thing I had been created for. This is why I had been allowed to see the windows near the top of the tower!
To know death and limitation is to know the effort and skill required to accomplish something- and the act of defying death is what gives people the drive to do mostly everything! To think of all the people who exercised to prolong their life- but you cannot prolong a life that will not end! Writing a novel was once considered an impressive feat, yet if a person has one thousand years in which to do it, it isn’t nearly so! Religion would crumble- who fears a creator that they will never have to face? Who would fear a decade in jail when one has a millennia to serve the sentence?
I knew with the most absolute certainty that death wasn’t a limitation, it was freedom. Knowing that oblivion was coming for me, I welcomed it with open arms.