Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Horror Bites Challenge #3 - The Empty Seat

Just a reminder: It's okay to leave comments!

From the Horror Bites website:
So we had a couple of interesting tales from the library picture for HorrorBites #2 and I hope that this week more of you will be inspired to write a short horror tales. 
This week we are once again heading to the airport. The following picture was taken when I spotted a family leaving their trash behind. Before I tidied up after them I got to thinking what if this was an offering to the Trash Gods, or something more sinister.
  1. Post your link or full tale into the comments below.
  2. Giving you a count of 400-500 words this time.
  3. To make this a wee bit more interesting I’d like this story to be set during the day, its easy to scare at night not so much when the sun is shining.
  4. Closes around the 13th December

And so, here is my entry for this round of Horror Bites... I cheated a bit. You have to know a little poetry—or a song—to get this.

The Empty Seat

    It was the scream that caused me to look up. A child was missing; the mother inconsolable, the husband pleading for help. I recalled seeing the boy there myself only minutes before, sitting in the waiting area next to his parents, swinging his legs back and forth from his too-tall perch, quietly sipping his juice. I remember him smiling at me—shyly—the way young children sometimes do with strangers.
    The security guards asked everyone to move away as they questioned the parents, but warned that none of us should leave the immediate area. They would want to talk with us, too. Not that it was an issue. All flights were grounded. Heavy fog had set in. Hardly an auspicious opening for the new airport already troubled during construction. There had been cost over-runs due to reoccurring vandalism and numerous physical problems with the site. It had been built over the swamps and marshes—land nobody wanted—so fog was to be expected at times. Still, this was unusual. I stared out through the observation windows while waiting my turn to be interviewed. There was little to see. Dry grass and reeds stretched out beside the runways quickly fading into swirling grayness.
    If one gazes at nothing long enough, the eyes—or the mind—begin to play tricks. I thought I saw two figures, little more than shadows if truth be told, one taller than the other, seemingly holding hands, walking over the grounds at the edge of my vision. Only seconds passed before the mists engulfed them. I grabbed a passing officer's attention and explained what I saw. He assured me it was likely other officers securing the grounds. In any event, he doubted the child could have gotten that far. It was an entirely rational, though unsatisfying, response.
    Inside the terminal, life went on around the chaos. People bought papers from the newsstand, coffee from the coffee shop, and the music played serenely from the overhead speakers. I softly accompanied Ms. McKennitt with Yeats' last line while searching the misty grounds for any movement.
    "For the world's more full of weeping than he can understand."

 357 words without the title... 

Previous Horror Bites: 
    Reading at the Library
    Unfashionably Late

© 2016 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Monday, November 7, 2016

Horror Bites Challenge #2 - Reading At The Library

Just a reminder: It's okay to leave comments!

From the Horror Bites website:

So I hope you had fun with the last challenge and are raring to go with this next one. I realise that some of you will be taking part in NaNoWriMo this month but maybe you need a break. Or maybe this image will help inspire your opening sequence. 

At any rate here is the  next challenge,  picture kindly provided by a lovely friend who is in Aberdeen. It is a rather great picture of the Sir Duncan Rice Library, where she seems to spend most of her time as she is currently studying to be a teacher.

Slightly different rules this week just to keep you on your toes.
  1. Post your horror short or a link to your website in the comments.
  2. I’ll give you a bit more leeway this week – 250-350 words.
  3. For this tale I’d like you to include a reference to a book or to reading.
  4. Due to me taking part in Nano I’m going to keep this one open for two weeks – 10th Nov is close date.

And so, here is my entry for this round of Horror Bites...

A Little Reading At The Library

Image of Sir Duncan Rice Library - http://getwordy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Sir-Duncan-Rice-Library-300x300.jpg

    "Push me a bit closer, will you, Brad?"
    "Certainly, Mr. Pavouk. You should be very proud of this new library. Your design is striking. It's an inspiration to so many that you haven't allowed your handicap to stop you from doing great things." Pavouk smiled as the wheelchair bumped along the sidewalk. "I'm sure the people of this city will enjoy their time here, reading books and doing research. Where did you come up with the idea for the exterior?"
    "It's rather complicated, and yet quite simple in purpose, Brad. Think of the entire library as the biggest eBook of all."
    "The building is a book?
    "In its own way. It provides information. The design is made of thin metal, which is a conductor, of course. This, along with connected structures within the building, forms the circuit of an immense passive transmitter. If a radio signal of suitable frequency, even a very faint one, should strike it, the circuit responds with another signal on a slightly different frequency."
    "The building transmits a signal? That's incredible! But what purpose does that serve?"
    "It's a beacon, of course, for the others to follow. The signal can be read from quit far away."
    "A signal? To whom?"
    "To beings like me," Pavouk replied. He pulled off a glove to reveal a thin, leathery hand. The claws at the end of his fingers dug into Brad's leg whose uncontrollable spasms indicated the poison was flowing into his body. He released his grip when the twitching slowed.
    Pavouk removed the blanket from his lap. Four spindly legs stretched out from their confines. "Handicap, indeed! The only handicap I have is the irritatingly strong gravity of this silly planet. As the inhabitants often say about such things, it's a bitch." Pavouk pulled a small box from his pocket. The three lights on it flashed in sequence. "It shouldn't be long now." He looked to the sky as Brad's body fell to the sidewalk. "Not long at all."

 331 words without the title... 

Previous Horror Bites: 
    Unfashionably Late

© 2016 K. R. Smith All rights reserved