Unedited, Uncensored, Unsettling…
An absolute bumper crop of freshly plucked horror this week, as a great many of you rose to the challenge posed last week. Namely, to pen a poem based on one of the pictures kindly provided by Stitched Smile’s own resident poet James Matthew Byers.
This week sees contributions from Tilby Noir, Dan Naden, Jason Morton, Mike Lane, Nubilouserror, a haiku from Aiden Leingod and something silly from me. Each story is beneath the picture that inspired it.
I hope you enjoy them… the next challenge will be going up on the blog tomorrow!
Untitled – Tilby Noir
The tree once stood proud and tall
Til my death brought its pall.
My life stolen by greed;
My body hid beneath the tree.
In black soil, my spirit writhes.
Hatred burning, vengeance thrives.
As my form rots and molds
The gnarled root grows.
Branches twist and leaves darken,
An impending doom no soul hearkens.
Evil in my soul breeding,
From the tree, I am feeding.
As the oak shrivels and dies,
From my cursed grave, I do rise.
Til I taste my killer’s blood,
Forever onward I will trudge
In gratitude for the tree
Who gave its life to resurrect me.
Medallion – Daniel L. Naden
Round is the sun
Round is the world
The disk of light illuminates
The disk of home
A road trails away
Far from the city
Far from civilization
To a desolate land
Through the dark hills
Shadow haunts the land
Evil stalks the hills
The road fades, fails
At the foot of a barren mount
The sun races toward night
Made shorter still
By tall horizons
Writhing shapes rose
From valley and crevice
To pursue me
Up rocky slopes
Round is the sun
Round is the moon
Rarely they meet
To love briefly
Their separate ways
While they love
Sun and moon
Whispers of the night
The slopes move
They dance and gibber
As ghoulish nightmares
At the summit
Black as pitch
Old as evil
Waiting for me
Grab me at last
Toward the gaping maw
Of the wicked ancient
Death is close
Not much longer
Round is the moon
Round is the sun
The lovers part
The sun peeks
An eye around
Its beloved moon
The sun catches evil
I sit at the summit
Or fled sun’s wrath
Yet evil remains
A shape in my hand
My hand in the shape
Reminder, or more?
I cannot say
I dare not ask
Round is the sun
Round is the medallion
I carry it always
Holding evil at bay
To the sun
Until it meets
The moon again
Untitled – Jason Morton
I came from nothing,
To nothing I go,
To reach out from beyond,
I’m calling, do you hear?
Is there something that you’re missing?
Is it a memory of me?
I remember you,
But it seems I am forgotten.
I saw you kiss him the other day,
He asked for your hand in marriage,
It’s only been a few years,
Seems like I’m forgotten.
So I thought I your everything,
That you would never love anyone
The way that you loved me,
But now I see the truth,
I am forgotten.
Does he kiss our children goodnight,
The way I once did?
Does he make you happy?
Though I am gone,
I never thought you would forget me.
I guess I’ll never know,
I guess I’ll never see,
Forgotten I lie,
Beneath the dirt of a thousand sunsets.
Forever is a long time,
It never ends,
I think I’m just lonely,
I miss you!
So many years go by in a blink,
I’ll see you again,
When you join me in death.
I’m reaching out to flex my spirit
I hope you remember me…
Untitled – Nubilouserror
Silently it waits
Tree of darkness
Choking the life
Out of me
It inches closer
The sharpest knife’s edge
Bright red blood
Seeping into oblivion
Untitled – Aiden Leingod
Imprint of nature
Mankind scratches the surface
Just one size fits all
Into the Machine – Mike L Lane
Between my time to sow and time to reap,
Too old to be young and too young for old,
I swam beneath the depths of restless sleep
Past hopes adrift and seas of worries cold.
I hit honesty’s murky shores with doubt,
My head fighting to rise above the waves.
Sincerity took hold to guide me out
And the child led me to the ancient caves.
“Where are we at?” I asked Sincerity,
But the youth’s lips simply would not respond.
With a familiar shrug, he only smiled,
Halted in his tracks and pointed beyond.
Into the darkness he bid me to go,
Where to, I did not know. I did not know.
The light shined dimly down the beaten path
Where I discovered a man hard at work.
I stood still, afraid to provoke his wrath,
As he fought levers with a fearsome jerk.
The flesh machine ran on giant bone gears,
Teeth grinding and gnashing to keep the pace.
The stringy man fed it blood, flesh and fears.
There were no eyes or mouth upon his face.
I cupped my shrill scream to stifle surprise,
But he showed his palm; no cause for alarm.
His hand was a mouth and fingers with eyes.
“Come closer, poor soul. I mean you no harm.”
Towards his machine he bid me to go,
What for, I did not know. I did not know.
Aghast, I asked what he wanted with me
And what foul demon speaks and sees with hands?
“I have a face with no good eyes to see
And I run without feet to eat the sands.
For you, I can fly but I have no wings.
I am a harmless soul, destined to kill.
You should not flee from such impending things,
But regardless, you most certainly will.
My work is unending, habitual;
Feeding your life into the flesh machine.
It is ever forward, perpetual.
Your mere being is its only cuisine.”
Into the machine he bid me to go,
But no! I would not go. I would not go.
Charging the beast, he was taken off guard.
I shoved his arm into the grinding gears
And heard a painful snap, bone-crunching hard;
The cursed limb falling betwixt sharp sheers.
He cursed and swore, a howling, shrieking rave,
“You will always feed the machine, damn fool!”
But I fled with haste from the creature’s cave
To the wakeful shore, far from the mad ghoul.
Sincerity met me, his face grown old.
“Why have you aged so much, my timid child?
We must escape this dreadful creature’s hold!”
With a familiar shrug, he only smiled.
“Into the machine we will always go,
It never stops. This I know. This I know.”
The Thing from Another World – David Court
Disclaimer: The picture by James reminded me of one of my all time favourite films. I apologise to both you, the reader, and John Carpenter for the content. However, I don’t apologise for any spoilers – you’ve had thirty-five years to watch it, so it’s your own lookout.)
Toppling towards Earth,
the place of our birth,
is something burning bright like a furnace.
It’s an alien vessel,
which at a rough guess will
plummet out of control to the surface.
There are few places parkier
than the depths of Antarctica,
where the landscape is nothing but snow.
But then something of note, a
loud helicopter rotor
of a chopper that’s hovering low.
They’re in hot pursuit
of a stray Malamute
but keep failing to hit with their gun.
The Norwegians are frustrated
and get quite agitated when
it reaches Outpost thirty-one.
The chopper lands on a verge as
the gunner emerges
and pulls out a grenade which he’d stowed.
The throw’s fucked up a treat
and it lands at his feet
and the pilot and chopper explode.
With reckless abandon
He keeps shooting at random,
gibbering, clearly off his head.
As stray bullets fly by,
Bennings is caught in the thigh,
and Garry shoots the Norwegian stone dead.
MacReady and Doc. Copper
head off in their chopper
and find that the Norwegian base is
just a charred shell that’s filled
with dead bodies, as well
as a humanoid corpse with two faces.
They bring it from there
for their biologist, Blair.
“This thing isn’t human,” he proposes.
and meanwhile the mutt
confirms somethings afoot,
as the bloody thing metamorphoses.
Whilst their dogs buy the farm,
MacReady pulls the alarm
and Childs turns the dogs into toast
Blair checks out the corpse
“This is alien, of course,
and can perfectly mimic its host”.
“It’s from an alien race
come from deep outer space
and we can’t let it get out of here.
If it reaches civilization,
It’ll mean all our damnation.
Earth’ll be assimilated in just a few years.”
Bennings dies by cremation,
and they’re forced to lock Blair in the shed.
With an axe he went crazy, Oh,
and chopped up the radio
and killed all the sled dogs stone dead.
Copper says “With our blood,
a simple test should
reveal the alien now rather than later.”
But the blood stores are trashed,
al the samples left smashed.
It’s clear now that there is a traitor.
The biologist Fuchs
says that he’ll take a look,
and that he’ll continue Blair’s studies.
But later that night
of him there’s no sight
so venture outside, do his buddies.
They find Fuch’s corpse burnt black,
and so Windows heads back
in order to go raise the alert.
Nauls too, is deflated
fearing his friend assimilated
when he finds a scrap of MacReady’s torn shirt.
As the team congregate
to debate MacReady’s fate,
he appears with explosives, quite stressed.
“I’ll blow you to bits,
If you attack me, you shits.”
(Norris suffers a cardiac arrest).
Without hesitation, they try
The outcome for Norris looks bleak
but to their disbelief
his stomach sprouts teeth
and teaches Copper a hands-off technique.
The mutated fellow
is toasted like a marshmallow
although one you wouldn’t dare digest
“Windows, gather everyone round
and tie them all down.
We’re going to try out a test.”
Clark, who fears for his life,
goes for him with a knife,
and MacReady just shoots the man dead.
They’re all stunned into silence
by this act of violence
having seen their friend shot in the head.
“Guys” said MacReady,
“I think I’ve got a theory.
The alien just wants to survive.
if we can just determine,
who’s a host to this vermin,
then we might just stay alive.”
Everyone tied and seated,
a copper wire’s heated
and placed into samples of blood.
But when the wire tip was probin’
it leapt off as far as it could.
With little advance warning,
Palmer’s now transforming
as tentacles sprout from his head
Windows hesitates to flame him,
and death comes to claim him
and MacReady has to burn them both dead.
Garry’s been through the wringer,
He feels loathe to linger, so
it’s only fair that he seems a grouch.
“You’ve been through a lot,
but I would rather not
spend Winter tied to this fucking couch”
With Childs left to guard,
the others head to the yard
in order to go and test Blair.
They open his shed
and find they’ve all been misled.
The alien has tunnelled out of there.
Though they thought him Mammalian,
turns out Blair is an alien
and the blighter’s given them the slip
He’s been scavenging equipment
which is for his ship meant,
and has part-built a makeshift space ship.
Garry looks all forlorn.
“The Generator’s gone”
“Is there any way we can fix it?”,
MacReady asks with a frown.
Garry stares at the ground,
“No, I meant as in somebodies nicked it”
“Oh, bugger, shit and damn,
I know the things plan.”
MacReady states, with some consternation.
“We’ll all freeze to death,
and we’ll breathe our last breath –
it’ll be safe whilst it’s in hibernation”
The most hopeful prognosis
was to lay the explosives
agreed the remaining three guys
The dynamite was placed
(and Blair melts Garry’s face)
but then came the biggest surprise.
A vast tentacled Blair
bursts out into the air
popping open like some vile haemorrhoid
But with some dynamite (the last),
MacReady triggers the blast
And the base and the beast are destroyed.
As the flames all burn higher,
MacReady sits by the fire
as Childs reappears with a wry smile.
They can do nothing but watch
as they both share some Scotch.
“Why don’t we both just wait here a while.”