Tag Archives: horror

Another Page from the Forsaken Disks

5 Nov

            Somewhere in the forgotten folds of my brain, this story has been tickling me for years. About 15 years ago, a dear friend was trying to put out a horror (or macabre) themed magazine. I was very happy about that – not the least because I wanted her to publish my stuff. I was still trying out my writing muscles, and struggling to put together a cohesive tale. Everything was hit-or-miss, and shot straight from the hip.

            I sent this to her, she told me it was grotesque and made her happy. But I don’t think it ever saw any more attention than that. It was saved in some kind of no-longer-supported file format, and the computer was probably recycled or blown up not long after. However, I was smart enough to make backups on the best storage media that was available to me at the time: 3.5 floppy disks. Oh hell yeah.

            This story – and many more like it – were lost, gone, for all time. I can barely believe myself how lucky I am. Just having all this stuff again is like opening a time capsule. I’m going to rewrite this at some point – it seems like it deserves more love and attention than it got. But hey, that’s enough jibba jabba. Here. Here is the thing. I edited it only for spelling and punctuation, but oh man does it need some work. I hope you dig it!


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That is some creepy formatting, right there...

That is some creepy formatting, right there…


Dear *****,

I have no idea why I felt compelled to write this insane piece of weirdness. It just came to me in the night like a virus or an obsessed ex-lover with a foot-fetish. I dunno.

Anyway, since it might fit the parameters of a horror story or maybe a macabre story, I thought I’d give it to you to look at. I think it’s very rough (it is a rough draft) but could be very good. If you like it and want to use it, or part of it, for R******* please do so. Feel free to edit it to your pleasure. If you’d rather just give me feedback or editorial advice, and have me work on it, that’d be cool too. What-ever.




It was raining. It seemed like it had been raining forever. Especially while I was waiting for the bus to school. I was the last pick-up stop for the bus, and I had to wait by myself. I used to talk to Rick when he was around, but he moved all of a sudden last year. So I got to stand, by myself, in the rain, every single day.

It wasn’t the rain I hated so much, or the fact that I was alone. If you’ve never had to do it, being the last person on the bus sucks. You never get a good seat. I either ended up sitting by Martin (who spits when he talks), or I got the emergency exit seat – which is so small it hurts your legs. Given the choice, I’d rather walk the ten miles to school, which isn’t much of an option.

The bus finally came, sputtering around the bend. The evil creak of its windshield wipers was louder than it’s diesel engine or the shade of yellow our school district chose. Water splashed up from the gutter as it grunted to a stop in front of me. The doors flapped open and I climbed up the steps. Our bus driver, Burt, glared at me over his huge nose – I tried not to look at him too much – and his big, wrinkled face cracked a smile.

Burt the bus driver was not normal. He seemed to take perverse pleasure in not being attractive. He’d only been our driver for about a year, but he’d already worn out my patience. Every morning, he leered at me and said the same thing.

“Mornin’…Paul.” His fat tongue rolled over his yellow, pointed teeth. “Good to see you.”

“Yeah…mornin’.” I muttered, as I avoided his gaze. I moved my way down the aisle.

As usual, I made my way to the emergency exit seat, and sat alone. Legs cramped, I shook the rain off my coat and looked around. The bus was packed, but everyone looked tired and worn out. So it was pretty quiet as Burt ground the bus’ gears and pulled away down the road. As we left Meadow Village (our housing development), I couldn’t help notice something different in Burt’s behavior. Every few minutes, he’d look up at his big rear-view mirror, and stare at me for a second or two. Then he’d snap his eyes back to the road and cough and wheeze for a bit. Then he’d look at me again. Burt kept this strange process up the entire trip.

When we pulled into the Lakeview High parking lot, the rain had let up a little. We all got up and began to file off the bus. As I passed by Burt, he started to cough and wheeze again. I looked at him (not pleasant under normal conditions), and quickly backed off the bus.

He’s not coughing, The thought hit me, he’s laughing. What kind of freak is he?

The bus doors slapped closed as the last kid stepped off. I pushed the thoughts from my head and started for my locker, but the sound of his laughter kept coming back to me. I shook my head and dismissed it.

I was a fool.

*          *          *

There was one thing on my mind when the school was out, and we got on the bus: Trisha Bower. She was so fine. And she liked me! The thought kept running through my head. We have a date! We’re practically going out! Here I was, a sixteen year-old sophomore, and I had a date with Trisha Bower! Every male with a pulse had a stiffy for her, and she wants to go out with me. I was so wrapped in it, I didn’t say two words on the ride home. I also didn’t pay any attention to Burt.

As the bus wound its way through Meadow Village, kids got off at their stops. But my mind was absorbed in Trisha; her body, hair, voice and smell. It wasn’t until the bus was leaving Meadow Village that I realized I’d missed my stop.

“Hey,” I shifted towards the aisle, “Burt! I needed to get off back there.” His head whipped up, and he looked at me in the mirror.

Burt threw his head back and laughed; an evil, lung-wrenching cackle that echoed through the empty bus. My heart leaped up to my throat, and I got seriously worried.

“Burt,” I said, laughing nervously, “have you, like, totally lost it or something?” Burt’s cackling subsided, but he just kept driving. “Hey… um… Burt? This ain’t funny, okay?”

For a minute he just drove in silence. When he looked up in the mirror again, his face – his eyes – looked grimly insane.

“Don’t you worry, Pauly!” he bellowed gruffly, “I’m gonna get you where you needs to go!” And at that, he let loose another cackle that rolled on as the bus plowed through the rain.

I kinda freaked at this point, but not ‘cause he called me ‘Pauly’. I hoisted my backpack and marched to the front doors. I put a hand on the rail and said, “Look, Burt, you can just let me off here. I’ll walk home.”

Too my surprise, he pulled the wheel to the right, and brought the bus to a quick stop on the shoulder of the road. The windshield wipers creaked their last, and Burt ground the e-brake into place. I thought he was going to open the doors, I couldn’t even fathom that he wouldn’t. But he just sat there for a second, with his huge, meaty hands on the steering wheel and his face studying the windshield becoming covered with rain. And then he spoke, his grumbling, ugly voice low.

“It’s your turn, Pauly.” He didn’t move, but he somehow got bigger. “I don’t wanna do it Pauly. But it’s your turn.”

“Wh-What are you talkin’ about?” I backed down the aisle. “Just… just open the door Burt.” Burt stood up and turned towards me, with his head down and shoulders hunched.

“It’s not like I gotta choice here,” he snapped, “You don’t get it. It’s outta my control.” He was looking at me like I was a piece of bacon at breakfast. His face contorted into a snarling mask of repulsiveness.

I had backed all the way to the middle of the bus, and the thought struck me. Yes, Burt has finally gone bye-bye. He raised up his huge hands as he started to plod towards me.

“Relax,” he growled, “it won’t hurt as much if you don’t fight it.”

Okay, that’s it for me! I thought, as I spun and grabbed at the emergency exit door handle. With both hands, I twisted it down until it clicked, and threw my shoulder against it. AND NOTHING HAPPENED! I slammed it again – and it refused to open! I heard Burt laughing, his raspy, wheezing laugh.

“Pauly,” he chortled, “You sit there every day. You think I wouldn’t lock it?” His laughter stopped, but his cracked smile remained – twisting his big face even further. “It’s time.”

He lunged towards me, and I tried to jump clear, but his fat arms latched around my shoulders and he slammed me into the seat. He twisted me around, my arms pinned to my sides, and brought his face close to mine. The sweaty folds of flesh on his pock-marked face seemed inhuman. His eyes glittered with evil, and his tongue snaked out of his mouth to wet his milky, cracked lips. The smell was indescribable.

This can’t be happening! My mind screamed, I’ve got a date with Trish! I can’t die now! I can’t!

“Burt! Burt,” I stammered, “you don’t want to kill me! You can’t do-”

“Kill you?” he leered, his head tilted, “Why would I wanna kill you? After all, you kept me company at the bus stop every day. Every day since junior high, just you ‘n me waitin’ for the bus.”

My mind scrambled. I sat there at looked at him, and he looked back with that insane smile on his face. Somewhere, deep beneath that grisled, hideous face, I saw the impossible. Ricky. “No! No!” I squirmed in his vice-like grip, “That’s not possible!”

He just held on and said, “It’s your turn Pauly.” He inhaled, a deep slow breath so big I thought he’d pop. My eyes froze. I was paralyzed with terror. And then he…breathed on me.

Waves of odor attacked my senses: pickles and mayonnaise, tuna fish, cigarettes, moldy milk and stale beer, spoiled meat, athlete’s foot, cheese, breath mints and maybe a hint of curry – too many smells, too much sensation for my mind. I screamed, I think, though I know I flailed. Ricky had let go of me, and I spasmed on the seat. The olfactory madness was everything. The smells covered me, sank into my skin, poured into my lungs. I felt myself convulse, but couldn’t vomit – that smell had added to the overall effect too, along with sweat and methane, urine and pork.

Suddenly, I felt my body swell. It started in my feet first, but my head was the worst. My cheeks puffed and expanded, my forehead bulged and lumped at unnatural angles. I clawed at my mouth, with my mitten-like, hairy fingers. My lips curled and cracks formed, with drool and spittle filling them. Inside my mouth, my tongue probed at teeth that crumbled and at new molars that twisted and warped my jaw. Joints popped, my stomach inflated and sagged, my nose bulged and pits formed on my face.

It ended quickly. Shuddering, I sat up. Ricky stood over me. He bent down and hefted me to my feet. I wobbled, mostly upright, with a severe hunch in my left shoulder. My senses had been altered along with my body. The smell of the bus wafted to my disfigured nostrils. And I liked it.

“R-R-Ricky?” my new, scratchy voice intoned. “What…happened?” I glanced at him through my squinty, swollen eyelids. It occurred to me that his blue and brown flannel went well with his green slacks.

“My name’s Burt now,” he rumbled. “You gotta pick a name for yourself too.” After a moment he added, “Well?”

“Uh…I…I dunno, Burt,” My mind began to slow down. “How ‘bout Ernie?”

“Hmmm…I like it.” He turned and sauntered towards the front of the bus. “Well, let’s go Ernie.” I felt like my brain was mush, but I forced myself to want to know.

“Burt. Burt, you gotta tell me what happened,” I pleaded. “What’s goin’ on? What the hell am I?” Burt turned, and put a fleshy hand on my shoulder.

“You’re a creature of darkness now,” I could feel my will slipping away. “Part of a brotherhood, a secret the world will never know.” He paused for effect, but it was wasted – I was losing my ability to reason.

“You are a Bus Driver.” Burt declared, and I knew. I knew it was true.

Moments later, as I eased the bus back onto the road, headed for my initiation, I felt as if a hunger had been satiated. Burt’s words resounded in my mind, “It’s your turn, it’s your turn.”

Yes. My turn to take the wheel.



Horror Horoscope for Halloween

27 Oct
Totally legit.

Totally legit.


As a special thing for Halloween (or Samhain, or whatever), I am pleased to present this treat. No tricks. In fact, this has been put together by the best psychic I know. It is guaranteed to be at least ten percent more prognostical and prescient than any other horoscope you read this week. For reals. Enjoy!

Aries (The Ram / Fire)

Something you thought was a lie will reveal itself to be true, and take on new meaning. It could be your gentle nudge in the right direction. Or, the stars are laughing again. They’re laughing. They’re laughing at you. At you.


Taurus (The Bull / Earth)

Everything you eat goes somewhere, Taurus. But where do the doughnut holes go? You have holes inside you, Taurus. Holes. You can’t prove a negative, my friend, and you cannot poop a hole.


Gemini (The Twins / Air)

Your secret heart is in danger of ruination, Gemini. It burns, can’t you feel it burn, all the way down to a blackened cinder. Use that fire, my friend, and do the first thing that comes to mind. Fan those embers into a bonfire of fury. Burn something.


Cancer (The Crab / Water)

Why not help a stranger? The pieces will start to fall into place and the world will begin to seem fresh and new – full of possibility and hope. “Today you, tomorrow me” is the innocent phrase that runs through your head. Of course. The Karmic Wheel must turn for the Good Samaritan.

That’s why you flick your turn signal and pull over. Yes, it’s a dark, desolate highway, but the man standing by the station wagon’s open hood seems nice enough. He’s middle aged, with a spare tire around his waist and he’s going bald. Harmless. That’s the word, isn’t it? He reminds you of your cousin – the shy one who never talks at the family reunions.

This doughboy is smiling a big, sheepish grin. He seems nervous and overly grateful you stopped. The chill in the nigh air cuts through your shirt like a knife. You’re still acclimating to the weather. You haven’t even lived here for a whole year yet. Middle aged man points his tiny flashlight at the grimy car engine and shrugs. He doesn’t know what wrong with it, he says. It just sputtered, revved up real high, and died on him.

You shiver at the cold as you sidle up to the engine and lean over. There is something terribly wrong under the hood. The oil – the black, sludgy grime – is crusted and gritty and hot. But there, right behind the radiator, there is no fan. The battery is gone too, and the alternator, and the whatchamacallit. Where there should be nine hundred pounds of Detroit steel and the powerhouse behind a century of American-made car pride is you mother. And she is furious.

How could you have done this to her, Cancer? Is it that you really don’t love her at all – or is this the only way you can show your love? Some perverted, sick, serial killer dream-turned-nightmare, set loose in your subconscious mind. Why are you backing away? Where do you think you’re going? Help her, damn you! Help her.

Oh, it looks like she can move on her own. She’s unfolding her legs and arms – far too many for her to have – and she’s raising her voice. She is using your whole name to call you out. One after another, after another, her greasy legs stretch out of from under the hood. And your breath catches in your throat, your fingers pry at the door handle to your own car. The red glow of your taillights shine on the thing that is your mother. She puts her feet on the ground and lifts herself up, into the freezing cold night. Up and up, all black, grimy arms and sharp fingernails, her massive belly looms higher and higher. And you can’t even breathe, or speak, or open the door of your car.

The balding, round-faced man shrugs and looks down at his feet. He smiles an embarrassed, gap-toothed grin. He and your mom have been seeing each other. It’s pretty serious. They wanted to wait, for the right time. He hopes you and he can become friends.

You spill backwards, but the gravel on the side of the road doesn’t break your fall. You tumble into the icy earth, beyond the reach of the starless night, and the screams of your mother’s voice. Your name, Cancer. She is still screaming your name.


Leo (The Lion / Fire)

Don’t look to your community for help. They’ve been against you for years, Leo. Make new plans. Grab a partner and see how far you can make it before the inevitable happens.


Virgo (The Maiden / Earth)

You already know what to do. Why seek a confirmation of how awesome you are in these lesser creatures who pretend to be your peers?


Libra (The Scales / Air)

Want to make a million dollars in real estate? Sure, go ahead. There is no reason to delay, or study the complicated market. Go on, jump in feet first!


Scorpio (The Scorpion / Water)

So, you wanna move on, huh? Do you really think it’s the right time? Can you just throw it all away – everything the two of you meant to each other! – and just run? Go ahead, run. See if you can outrun yourself, damn you.


Sagittarius (The Archer / Fire)

The power to do the right thing is in your hands. Or maybe your pants! Hey, I know – it’s probably in the pants of the next attractive stranger you meet. Sure, that deep, ache of longing to connect to another human being might fade for a second or two, but it’s worth it. Right? It’s worth it, just to forget who are you – what you are. Is there anything you won’t do, in pursuit of oblivion, Sagittarius? We all know the answer to that.


Capricorn (The Goat / Earth)

Birth control is a terrible idea, if you want to get pregnant. And who doesn’t want to get pregnant? Men, that’s who. Don’t be a man about things. Get knocked up. Feel the wriggling, black, worm jism of some shadowy force make its way inside you. Let it fill you up, germinate within the folds of your soul. Pregnant, Capricorn. Pregnant.


Aquarius (The Water-Bearer / Air)

Turn a new page in the book of your life. Once you do, you’ll see there’s more to the big picture that you can possibly see on just one page. Who cares if your book was found in a haunted house, next to pit of discarded corpses?


Pisces (The Fish / Water)

Do you want to know what the future holds? Well, you better get used to not getting what you want. Tough titties, friend. Isn’t it enough to know that the hammer is going to fall? Oh yeah, it’ll be soon, but you don’t need to know exactly when. It’s better this way. When it happens it will be a shock, and your face will blanche in terror. Icy pinpricks will crawl up your spine, and the utter, permanent enormity of your fate will show itself. You’ll wish for a moment more – for some brief respite, or a chance to reach out for help, for mercy. But there will be nothing. If only someone would warn you, Pisces. Oh well.