Archive for Friday Fiction

Friday Fiction: The Wailing

Posted in Original Fiction with tags , on April 30, 2010 by gobbets

Here’s the next installment of the Banshee story…

The bunch of flowers arrived on our doorstep the day of the funeral. The old ones always sent flowers, or chocolates, or made little oatcakes. Sometimes surviving family did the sending, sometimes the ‘thank-you’ tokens were organised as part of the ‘arrangements’. I couldn’t for the life of me see what they were thankful for.

Not everyone sent gifts though. Younger people often didn’t even realise what had happened, or put no faith in the ‘silly local superstition”. Lucky them. I wished the calling in my blood could fade away like the old beliefs – a silly folktale that no longer served any purpose. But it didn’t work like that.

“Sabine! Come and put these in some water!”

I had long since learned it did no good to mope about and refuse the gifts. Mum would just make sure they ended up in my room, and do her best to make me feel like I was somehow offending the dead. Like they cared anymore.

The flowers were purple irises. Pretty. I set them on my desk and tried to ignore them and finish my biology homework. It wasn’t difficult; I was naturally good at biology. Must have something to do with the full-colour, no-gory-detail-spared visions of how people were going to die.

I had my first vision when I was 13. I was washing the dog out in the yard and started to feel a kind of pressure in my head, not a headache exactly, that came afterwards, this was more like someone blowing up a balloon in my skull.  Then I could just see it – the artery closing, the heart struggling to pump the blood out, but filling up instead. And then my view changed and I saw Mrs McNaulty from down the road gasp and clutch her chest. It was all over in a few seconds. I ran inside terrified. Mum tried to comfort me but she was obviously pleased. Not that she was happy Mrs McNaulty was going to have a heart attack, but the genes were only passed on to girls, and usually to only one girl per banshee family, per generation. Mum’s sister had been a ‘wailer’ but she’d only had sons. I got the impression that mum had always been a bit jealous of her sister’s ‘gift’ and was proud her daughter would be next. Lucky me.

I’d gone to stay with Aunty Cora for a few weeks afterwards to learn how it all worked. She took me out to Mrs McMaulty’s house that night and sat with me until the time came.  She held my hand when the scream tore out of my throat, and gave me icecream when I could barely speak the next day. Aunty Cora tried very hard to make me feel like I was special, like I’d been chosen to take over the family business. I just wish we owned a fish and chip shop instead.

I cried when I heard Mrs McNaulty had passed away. Exactly one week after Aunty Cora and I had sat below her window and I wailed for the first time. It always happened a week after the vision but I guess it just wasn’t really ‘real’ to me until I saw the ambulance in her driveway. I’d taken to walking past her house every day on the way home from school, and every day I saw her in her garden or sitting on the verandah I’d thought that it was all just a silly mistake. She’d smile at me and nod her head, like we had some kind of secret. Then she was gone, and a packet of oatcakes arrived with a thank-you card.

Mum and Aunty Cora called it ‘the gift’. I called it ‘the curse’. Banshees see death, but they can’t stop it. What’s the point of an early-warning system if you can’t change anything? If the person is just going to die anyway? I asked Aunty Cora and she said that a Banshee’s job is to allow people to make their peace with the world before they pass on, to tie up loose ends, or set anything right that needed fixing.

“But that only works if they know that they’ve been warned!” I’d argued.

“Surely the old stories are going to die out, once all the old people have passed on, and none of the young ones will even know what the wail means, so what’s the point?”

Aunty Cora had just smiled. “You’d be surprised how many folks around here still believe in the old ways.”

That much was unfortunately true. I’d caught my best friend Molly tying a lock of her hair in a knot and slipping it into Bryon’s school bag last week. When I confronted her she just grinned and said, “well grandma said it worked on grandpa – it’s worth a shot!”

I don’t know why they even bother teaching science at our school.

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Friday Fiction: Monster Mash Ups

Posted in Original Fiction with tags , , , on April 23, 2010 by gobbets

I’m skeptical about mash-ups. I know Pride and Prejudice and Zombies has been immensely popular, it even has a sequel: Dawn of the Dreadfuls. Not to mention the spate of other mash-ups that followed in its wake: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Zombie Jim; Alice in Zombieland; The War of the Worlds Plus Blood, Guts and Zombies; The Undead World of Oz; Emma and the Werewolves; Mansfield Park and Mummies; Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters; Android Karenina; Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers….

But I just can’t help but lament the lack of new, original stories in an era of remakes, reloads and sequels – not to mention the fact that while the mash-ups obey the letter of copyright law I’m not convinced they’re really in the spirit of the law… though I must admit to a fascination with Android Karenina

Anyway, I digress…

In an effort to come to grips with the whole mash-up thing I thought I’d have a go at the genre – but using nursery rhymes.

Mary Had A Little Zombie

Mary had a little zombie, little zombie, little zombie,
Mary had a little zombie, its flesh was grey as stone.

And everywhere that Mary went, Mary went, Mary went,
Everywhere that Mary went the blood was soon to flow.

It followed her to school one day, school one day, school one day,
It followed her to school one day – breaking quarantine.

It made the children run away, run away, run away.
It made the children run away, to protect their brains.

Any nursery rhymes you’d like to see invaded by zombies (or vampires, werewolves or other nasty bitey thing?) Let me know for future Friday Fictions!

What’s your take on the mash-up phenomenon?

Friday Fiction: Zombie Poetry

Posted in Original Fiction with tags , , on April 9, 2010 by gobbets

Zombies are big at the moment (I mean popular – the idea of giant-sized zombies is too terrible for words!). So much so that the Cordite Poetry Review has dedicated their recent edition to zombie poetry: Zombie 2.0.

Normally for Friday fiction I’d give you something new of mine, but since I’ve got two poems published in this edition (Zombies are People Too, and Dead Things Come To Those Who Wait) I though I’d cheat a little and let you enjoy the whole delicious feast of zombie morsels to your heart’s (or brain’s) content. Don’t forget to chew!

Vote for Friday Fiction!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 15, 2010 by gobbets

Which critter from the Monster Alphabet would you like to see in the next Friday Fiction?

Leave a comment below by Wednesday and the most popular will make an appearance (and possibly eat some of the other ones!)

Friday Fiction: Horror for Toddlers

Posted in Original Fiction with tags on March 12, 2010 by gobbets

Know a toddler learning their letters? Help them out with the Monster Alphabet!

There’s a monster for every letter – except ‘E’ – that’s your job! Send me your best monsters (by type or by name) starting with E! The reader with the best answer wins a prize (they don’t have to be present for the Monster Alphabet photo shoot!)

But there’s more! Which alphabet monster do you want to see featured in future Friday Fiction? Comment to cast your vote!

A is for Anansi
B is for Banshee
C is for Chupacabra
D is for Drop Bear
E is for ????
F is for Frankenstein’s Monster
G is for Golem
H is for Hellhound
I is for Iceman
J is for Jaculus
K is for Kobold
L is for Lake Monster (of Loch Ness)
M is for Minotaur
N is for Nekomata
O is for Ogre
P is for Poltergeist
Q is for Quasimodo
R is for Revenant
S is for Selkie
T is for Troll
U is for Unicorn
V is for Vampire
W is for Wendigo
X is for Xing Tian
Y is for Yeti
Z is for Zombie

See – isn’t learning the alphabet fun?

Friday Fiction: Carla’s Lunch

Posted in Original Fiction with tags , on March 5, 2010 by gobbets

Well ‘zombie in a tutu’ was the winner of the Friday Fiction poll – and your wish is my command!

Carla’s Lunch

Carla had been hungry for as long as she could remember. Her long, lean legs stretched out in front of her and she sat, staring at them absently. While the other kids at school munched on chips and drank bottles of softdrink, Carla would nibble halfheartedly on an apple. They thought she wanted to. They thought she looked down on them. But oh how she envied their chocolates and burgers from the tuckshop, the smell of the greasy meat and melted cheese filling her nostrils with the wonderful savoury scent of fat, making her want it so badly that she had to walk away from them.

She dreamed every night of food, of grabbing great handfuls of their lunches and running away to stuff herself behind the tennis courts. But then she’d wake to her muesli and fresh juice and stare down at those thin legs, the flat tummy and slender, almost bony hips and know that it was worth it. She’d get to dance the lead again this year.

Carla shifted awkwardly, smoothing her tutu under her legs. She was starving. The hunger just got worse and worse. She didn’t just miss food – she craved it, her mouth filling with sour spit at the thought. Her hunger had become a burning hole in her shrunken stomach, her throat constricting with her need. When she couldn’t stand it any longer – when the gaping hole in her stomach threatened to devour her entirely, Carla rose slowly, carefully to her feet and made her way to the corner where she’d left it after her breakfast earlier that morning.

“Look at me now, Mrs Glodny!” Carla thought smugly, drawing out the anticipation of her lunch. The cold blue eyes of her dance teacher stared back at her, fixed forever in that disapproving glare. Carla knelt beside her meal reverentially, giving thanks in her own way for the gift she had been given. Drawing the scent deep into her lungs, she grabbed a handful of Mrs Glodny’s innards and started shoving the gobbets of flesh into her mouth ecstatically. She had been hungry for as long as she could remember but only now was she finally free to satisfy her hunger. Becoming a zombie was more fulfilling than she ever could have imagined.

Prepare for Friday Fiction!

Posted in Original Fiction with tags on March 1, 2010 by gobbets

The first of the Gobbets Friday Fictions will happen this week – so in preparation I need you all to choose our own adventure!

Friday fiction will be a short piece featuring one of the following:

A – A zombie in a tutu (thank you Peter for putting that image in my head!)

B – An evil unicorn

C – A werewolf bartender

So take your pick and post A, B, or C as a comment. Let the voting begin!