I created this place for some of Lady Euphoria Deathwatch’s stories to reside. In August of 2008 I started to go to a writer’s workshop. I had been writing stories for my own amusement for years and I’d been blogging since the May before. I was ready to take the next step. I wanted feed back for my fiction. As the classes progressed I challenged myself to write using different styles of writing and using different types of story categories I hadn‘t really used before. When I wrote a piece in the Horror group my life changed. Kissed by this muse I have been writing short stories in this vein since then. If you are looking for blood and gore just for shock value, please look elsewhere. You’ll not find it here. That said, they are not all devoid of blood completely. Blood, death, ghosts, and odd happenings do have a place here.

Feel free to add your two cents, inform me of needed corrections, or let me know what you thought about any of my stories. Any comment is appreciated.

Did you feel a Shiver or a Thrill?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Random Circus

9-21-08 edit 03-06-09
By Lady Euphoria Deathwatch

When I was younger my grandfather would come to visit and he would tell me this story every time. According to him it happened in the town where he was born.

The circus was neither the largest nor the best that anyone in town had seen but you were sure to see a show and anything could and sometimes did happen when the circus came to town. In fact any circus was always worth the price of admission. This was the town of Random and the only thing that Random was known for was that it was the place where the circus elephant died.

You see, many years ago, before cars and trucks, the circus walked from place to place and horses along with other work animals pulled the circus wagons. And Random was the place that the old elephant decided to up and die. She just stopped in the road and wouldn’t move and two days later she was dead. The circus moved on without even looking back at her and the towns people had to bury the carcass themselves. So right there where she lay getting all foul and smelly next to the town square, they dug up the square park and heaved the elephant in. It took all of eight days and every man and boy was needed to help. Using every shovel and even boards they moved the earth and stones with wheelbarrows, carts and even sacks. Mothers and wives made soothing ointment for the blisters on the men’s hands. It took three teams of oxen to pull the elephant into the hole. They didn’t even stop for Sunday services either because the smell on a hot summer day was just awful.

Eventually the mound of earth sunk back into place and people kinda’ forgot about it in their day to day lives. But every year when the circus came back to town it was all that they could talk about. Strange things started to happen with every circus show from that day on. Nothing you would expect, like hearing an elephant trumpet in the still of the night or seeing an elephant walking down the street by itself. No, they experienced things like high wire performers that would fall from their tight ropes but not get hurt, falling far too slowly to be in real time. Tents would blow up into the air like a cyclone had picked them up but not one thing inside the tent would be disturbed. Wild animals would get loose and be found sleeping in someone’s chicken yard with all the chickens accounted for and not one person harmed. You just didn’t know what would happen but it would certainly be a head scratcher.

After a while the circus’s didn’t come around as often. Going to the circus wasn’t as popular as it had been and it was too hard for most of them to turn a profit so a lot of them just closed down. And the ones that did still travel weren’t coming to small towns anymore. The town of Random was down to a small third rate circus every five years or so.

No one thought about the elephant buried under the town square anymore. Some kids didn’t even know about the story of its death or the circus mystery miracles. Old folks sat on the park benches and dozed in the afternoon sunlight over the elephants bones as bees buzzed over the summer flowers planted in the park.

Marcus Williamson was the first to realize that the trucks and vans driving around the square were from a tired, run down, fourth rate, one ring circus and that they were heading for the empty lot next to the supermart store.

Not one word had been forwarded of their coming. They just showed up like it had always been that way and acted like they should have been expected. In fact that is just what they said when someone asked. That they were supposed to come here again but no one in town could remember that particular circus ever being in town before.

Mr. Warner owned the empty lot and let the circus park there but didn’t want them to set up their tents on his property. The lot had recently been black topped and he wanted the macadam to settle without large tent pegs being driven through it. The only place left with room for the tents was the town square itself, so they set them up there.

The people on the square scrambled home to tell the others and to get their money ready for a ticket. By the time the show started the next day almost everyone in town was crammed into the large, well worn, patched up circus tent. Some bought tickets for both the afternoon and evening performances. Word had spread like wild fire that this wasn’t a show to be missed. The old stories were being told in every house and on every street corner. No one wanted to miss a chance at seeing an elephant miracle for themselves.

Everyone was on pins and needles wondering just what would happen this time around, flying people or tame tigers on the loose? Maybe it would be something never seen before.

People strained to see around the people in front of them as all the performers came into the ring and lined up in a circle to start the show to the sound of trumpet music over the loud speakers.

Jumbo’s circus had a lot of things but mostly it was full of used up circus people and animals. It did not have an elephant. The first circus to be without an elephant since the day the old elephant had died on the road around this same square.

As the fanfare music ended, the ground started to rumble and tremble under the tent as the circus people bowed to the applause. The tent pegs slipped out of their moorings. The rigging came down first, only moments before the tent canvas itself and the earth belched the smell of sulfur. People were coughing and their eyes were tearing as they scrambled to safety.

When the towns people finally make it out from under the tenting and pulled it back to try to rescue the circus people trapped under it, what they found instead was a crater with a dead elephant. The elephant was wearing the word Jumbo printed on a tattered and faded material sash on it’s back laying at the bottom of the hole. Not one circus performer was ever found. They had disappeared. Their belongings on Mr. Warner’s lot were searched to find someone to inform of the calamity. The only information they could find were some very old papers that told Random that the circus people were the direct descendants of the circus that had left the elephant behind for the towns people to bury so very many years ago. And now all the town could do was to bury the elephant in the hole again for it to rest in peace.

The mayor got up a collection for a one fourth scale statue of an elephant to be placed on the center of the square and the children in the town of Random play and ride on it’s back to this day. Only they don’t know that it is anything but a plaything to keep them happy on a summers day, and the elephant in the ground underneath them doesn’t seem to mind. Just to be on the safe side the town of Random doesn’t have a circus come to town anymore. But no one misses going to the circus when it comes to a town close by, because it just might be close enough to see an elephant miracle for themselves.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Out of the Blue

By Lady Euphoria Deathwatch

Andy had left work for the day and walked down the street without a care in the world. The sun was shining and the breeze was just the right temperature. Birds sang in the trees while squirrels ran up and down the bark. He couldn’t help himself and started whistling a tune, something he hadn’t done since he was a boy. In fact he felt like a boy again on this golden afternoon.

Harriet had the day off and was walking down the same street to shop. She was going in the opposite direction and could see the storm clouds on the horizon coming towards them. The sheer dreariness of the coming storm made her sick inside. She grumbled under her breath as she made her way toward Andy waiting for the light to change so he could cross the street.

As the sun shown down on the corner of Main Street and Park Avenue they met crossing the street. Harriet growled at Andy’s whistling and Andy gave Harriet a friendly wink. Flash Crash! Lightning out of the blue. They were both hit and knocked to the ground. People ran up to them and tried to revive them.

Andy found himself in a strange place. It was a dark and misty forest like place. There were forms just out of range that he couldn’t quite make out that watched him and skulked about. He hoped, wished, wondered about the small weak light in the sky, wanting it to grow into the beautiful warm sun again and burn away the darkness all around him. He screamed and shouted at the things on the periphery to no avail. He felt cold and scared. He didn’t want to move but felt that he had to follow the light.

Harriet was now looking up into the sunshine. It hurt and her flesh felt like it was burning. The people around her looked like they had halos from the brightness. She closed her eyes to the glare. She could hear them trying to help her, she just couldn’t answer back. The pain was too much. She only wished that they would leave her alone and stop hurting her.

The ambulance driver told the police officer on the scene that only one of them seemed to be making it so far. The police officer held the crowd back so the paramedics could do their jobs.

Andy waited for a long time before he felt up to moving and to look for some shelter in the mist for the night that must soon be coming. At times the light in the sky seemed to be getting larger, at others he was sure it was smaller than at the start. He told himself that the mist was making it look that way. He walked through thick brush and briers, all the time keeping the weak light in sight.

Harriet could feel the cold shaking start from deep inside her. “Shock” she heard someone say. She had her eyes closed against the brightness and the pain. The shaking was making the pain turn into agony. She tried to stop the shaking but she couldn’t control anything any longer. The siren started to wail and it strangely calmed her, like it was doing the screaming for her.

Loaded each into separate ambulances, they made their way at top speed to the nearest hospital with a burn unit. The police had cleared the road for them.

Andy was getting tired of fighting the brush and slowed his movement toward the light. He used all his strength and concentration to make a narrow path. He was hurting and tired but he just had to get closer to the light. Small as it was he knew it was where he needed to be. When the greenery opened into a clearing he ran for all he was worth for the other side, afraid that the light would fade into night.

Harriet was bathed in white warm light. The shaking had stopped. They must have given her drugs for the pain because she couldn’t feel anything any longer. Her eyes were still closed and she let them do whatever it was that they needed to do to her. It felt like floating and she just let her body ride the waves of warmth. The voices didn’t concern her any longer. The words didn’t make any sense to her anyway. If only the light would fade and she could sleep like this.

The stretchers were brought into the emergency room one after the other and a separate team of doctors and nurses worked on each of them with all the skills and equipment they had. The young adults in their care were going to get every chance to regain a life to live in full.

Andy heard the bugs of night starting to make noise. It sounded kind of like beeping in this strange new world he found himself in. He checked to see if it was his cell phone, but he had lost it a while back. The light was getting closer and lower in the sky. Night would be falling soon and he still hadn‘t found a place to stay. He didn’t want to. All he could think of was getting to that cool pale light.

Harriet was getting a headache. The meds must be wearing off. She tried to open her eyes but they wouldn’t work. Nothing worked in fact. Everything she tried to move on her body stayed still. She started to panic but couldn’t make a sound. Would they think she was dead and send her to the morgue, then bury her alive? ‘No, they gave her meds and that was what was keeping her from moving. It would wear off any minute.‘ she told herself.

The gurneys were moved one to the morgue and the other to a room in the intensive care unit of the hospital. The families and friends gathered in the waiting room were told of their respective conditions. Unable to visit, they were left crying and clutching to one another. They drifted off to make arrangements according to their loved ones status.

Andy waited holding his breath as the last of the light faded from view. In the darkness he sat where he had stood and cried in sheer frustration. When he was done crying out all his anger and pain he was resolved once again to try all the harder in the morning. He sank into the cold darkened greenery and slept.

Harriet was in a drug induced coma but her mind dreamed on. She found herself with a lantern in her hand looking down at Andy sleeping on the forest floor. After a while she got tired of waiting for him to wake on his own and poked him with her hospital slippered toe.

Andy woke with the light of the lantern just inches from his face. He could feel the warmth of it on his cheek. His body was chilled with the damp into his very bones but he didn’t want to move and frighten Harriet away.

“I’m not standing here all night.” she said to him and waited for him to rise before pushing the lantern into his hands. “You can carry this for a while, I’m tried to death of the brightness of the thing. I hope I never see it again.“ And she turned and walked into the darkened misty woods.

In the doctors lounge, two very tired doctors sat and talked about the day they had encountered. The two people from the same lightning strike had them both too busy to talk before this.

“I still can’t believe what a day I had. We tried to keep her alive, we really did, but she just stopped trying and died despite the fact that she had the lesser injuries of the two. I just came from finishing the paper work. Twelve o’clock midnight was the time she expired. Now that doesn’t happen often.” said the first.

The second shook his head. “That is funny. But I can do you one better. The guy I had was dead and sent to the morgue when he woke up on the table and scared the devil out of the coroner getting ready to prep him for autopsy. I had to pass him on to the next shift because I was swamped with paperwork for sending him down there in the first place but I know for certain he was gone when I pronounced him and signed the papers.”

The door opened and the still white lipped coroner slumped down in the nearest chair. All he said was, “Midnight! It had to happen to me at the strike of midnight.”