Gothic Beauty magazine!

Gothic Beauty Magazine

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

RIP Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent

John McCrae, May 1915

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

I would like to take this time to thank Nathan Cirillo and Patrice Vincent for their service to my country. Nathan Cirillo was murdered by a madman with a gun while standing guard over the tomb of the unknown soldier. Patrice Vincent was murdered on the street, targeted and run over with a car. 

May your paths now be easy, may your way be in the light. May the goddess and your god protect you on your way to where you're going. May you never worry of being forgotten. You will be remembered by many generations of Canadians. You will live forever in our hearts. 

Rest In Peace. 
So Mote it be. 

Sunday, 26 October 2014

The Cabin Chapter 4

Kirsten stared through the window at the slow, drizzling rain that came down that morning, turning the world sullen and hard, mud splashing up beneath the wheels of the passing transport trucks even on the hardest of pavement. They rushed back and forth between their beginnings and ends, and the standing community wielded, moving around them. The diner was not as bright as she remembered; the painting, yellowed and old now, peeling from its canvas above the door, however aged, still showed the same jovial spotted dog. The vase of dusty plastic flowers that sat on the back counter was chipped and glued together now, the pattern marred with the occasional forced piece. The hard, clean edges were gone; but the foundation, stern and unmovable, was still there. The dishes and cutlery were very new; so knew, Kirsten discovered, that the price tags, though washed out and pale, were still stuck to the underside of the cups. Her mother was talking animatedly to the woman at the next table, their gossiping rising and falling in volume as the now middle aged waitress passed back and forth. Kirsten glanced briefly over, attracted by the flash of movement created when her mother gave up discretion in her current position and slid over to her friend’s booth, their heads close together as they carried on their hungry conversation, catching up after a period of years. Kirsten gave the woman a long, hard look; dimly, she remembered a birthday party, and a smiling, brunette birthday girl- the daughter of the woman her mother was talking to.
“I’m just saying, Natasha, you have to be careful now-a-days.” The woman’s chin tilted down as she spoke, and her eyes darted to her friend’s daughter, as if to check if she was listening or not. Her head tilted toward her friend, Natasha whispered urgently. “But what do you mean by weird, Greta? What weird things have been happening? It’s my house, you know!” “I know,” Greta nodded, exasperated, “but it’s hard to explain!” she leaned back for a moment, working her jaw back and forth, trying to figure out what to say. “Well, you know those trees that grow around it?” she said softly, checking to be sure Kirsten wasn’t listening. She wasn’t- the napkin dispenser was much more interesting. “Yes, of course I know about my trees.” Natasha gave her a look of deep annoyance, but the woman pushed on, unperturbed. “They grow way faster than all the others. Last year, a whole sapling showed up five feet into the road overnight.” Natasha’s lip curled up. “Yea, right! What kind of drugs are you on?” Greta’s chin jerked down, her shoulders stiffening up. “Excuse me?” she asked, her eyes flashing dangerously.
Kirsten looked out the window again, the sullen world matching her mood. The prospect of the possibilities her life contained now hovered over her head, teetering dangerously and almost out of control, like an impending rockslide over a desperately busy highway. She shifted her gaze from the highway to the rest of the town. It was old, now, too- the once newly painted storefront which had seemed in childhood to be the most beautiful thing in the world, was faded and cracked as the old painting in the café. The same old barrels stood out front. Once having contained apples, now they looked brittle, pockmarked, one of them with a gaping hole in its side that suspiciously resembled a truck’s front fender. Her eyes carried on down the tiny town street, taking in the disuse and neglect. Hard times had hit here while she was gone. Absorbed in the world outside the window, Kirsten barely noticed when her mother’s friend suddenly marched by the window, her head bent down against the rain, deliberately looking straight ahead rather than at her former friend sitting in the café by the window.
“And we’ll be there until around ten o’clock.” Her mother’s voice broke into her thoughts. “Hmm?’ she asked, snapping her head around to look into her mother’s patient face. “Yea, I thought you weren’t listening.” Her mother grinned widely, laughing at Kirsten’s bewildered expression. “We’re going to a party tonight, at Jen’s, for Sophie’s birthday and we’ll be there until ten o’clock.” Kirsten scowled for a moment- she didn’t like being signed up for things. “When did you decide that?” she asked, her voice sharper than she intended. Her mother let it glaze over, gave her a thin smile and decided to drag the conversation on.
“What happened to Greta?” Kirsten asked suddenly, whipping around in her seat to peer after her mother’s friend. Natasha’s mouth pressed into a thin line behind her back. After a long moment, Kirsten looked back at her mother over her shoulder, her face a mask of polite confusion. Her mother sat rigid in her seat, staring over to the left, deep into the back of the diner. Kirsten turned that way, leaning far over in the booth to see around the edge of the red leather and towards the back. There was nothing there- just empty tables and booths, and a gold fish tank by the bathroom. The walls were faded white, peeling like the rest of the dingy town. Natasha, the table being the only thing between them, saw something completely different. A woman stood here, holding her stomach with both hands. She seemed to scream, her mouth twisted open as if in pain, but no sound came forth. She was dripping wet, water running down her face from her hair, plastered slick against her head- and then she held her hands out towards them, her anguished eyes fixed on the two women. Kirsten, completely unaware, turned back to her mother, concerned. “Mom?” she said tentatively, wondering what was wrong. Natasha stayed rigid, as if she hadn’t heard her daughter at all. Kirsten raised her voice this time. “Mama!” she shouted, slapping her hand down on the table. Natasha jerked- the sound was loud enough to bring the inattentive waitress from the kitchen. “Oh, I’m so sorry!” she said enthusiastically, hurrying around the counter with a steaming pot of coffee in her hand. Before they could so much as ask, she had flipped their cups over and filled them. She reached back, jerking a dish of cream packets off the counter, placing it on the table beside their sugar. “Do you know what you want?” she asked quickly, her face a shining beacon in the dingy day. Kirsten eyed her name tag. “Jennifer” was scrawled across it with what looked like permanent marker. The woman’s dress was neat, but the hem had been redone at least once. Her shoes were immaculate, but old. Her mother ordered for both of them before Kirsten even realized what was going on. As the waitress whisked off into the kitchen, she turned back to her mother, a bemused expression on her face. “What am I getting?” she asked, giggling at her own lack of attention. Her mother laughed, her chin tilting back. “Pancakes and eggs,” she said, and lifted her cup to her lips. She clomped it down again, pressing her fingers against her burnt lip. “too hot, don’t drink it yet!” she laughed at herself, and Kirsten joined in. “I could have told you that, look at the steam!” she giggled, moving her cup out of the way as the waitress appeared again, putting two bowls of fruit down in front of them. “We didn’t order fruit?” Natasha said, making it sound more like a question. “Comes with the meal!” was the quick answer as the woman disappeared again. Natasha looked quickly to the back, but the woman was gone- complete with the puddle of water that had been around her feet. Kirsten looked down. The bowl was almost exclusively Strawberries, and it looked delicious. Silence fell over the two again as they began their meal, Natasha glancing to the back of the restaurant every few minutes, a worried expression on her thin face.

The Cabin Chapter 3

The trill of birdsong woke her, jerking her upright from her sleeping position on the couch, cracking her neck, making her ache. Grimacing, she rubbed her neck, stumbling up to her feet and looked blearily around, as if lost in a strange place. Remembering where she was, she sat heavily down on the couch again, sighing as she leaned back to rest her neck. She dozed then, sleepy still, as the sun broke through the canopy of trees and scattered its gentle light across her body, spilling down over the couch and onto the floor. The sudden, shrill whistle of the kettle brought her to her feet; span her around even as her neck sang with pain in protest. She ran across the living room, coming to a stop at the kitchen door, looking around in a panic. 
The kettle sang, boiling, and a plunger pot sat beside the stove, coffee powder ready. She yawned widely, moving to take the kettle off. “I’m so tired, I put it on without thinking”she thought, pouring the hot water in. she had done things like this before; once, her ex-boyfriend had told her all about how she had gotten up, stumbled out to the kitchen, made coffee, and had two cups before she realized she was even awake.She sat down at the table, her eyelids unusually heavy. She wasn’t used to being so tired, especially first thing in the morning. She reached over to the counter, looking for the sugar; but it was there, on the table, by her elbow. She looked at it suspiciously, as if it might bite, but shook the thought out of her head and scooped a generous amount into her cup before she took a long sip, the caffeine registering immediately with her addled, exhausted mind. The sugar helped too, racing through her system. A sudden, loud knock on the front door shattered the morning peace. The whole Cabin seemed to jump, as if it had been enjoying her quiet company, and was now disturbed. She jumped up, running for the front door. Before she could get there, the knock came again, louder and more insistent this time. She wrenched the door open, stopping in surprise at who stood on the other side of the door. “Mom!” she cried, throwing her arms around her Mother’s neck. 
“Hi, my girl!” her Mom responded, wrapping her arms around her daughter tightly. Before Kirsten could even step back, her Mother exploded. “I couldn’t wait to go and get that cheque; I had to know what he was up to!” Kirsten grinned, stepping back for her Mom to step into the cabin. As she crossed the threshold, the basement door swung open, and then sharply shut, as if throwing its own, silent tantrum. The two women didn’t notice, engrossed in each other’s company. “You should have SEEN her!” her mother was saying, obviously outraged. She stumbled through into the kitchen, refusing to let her daughter take the bag she half carried, half dragged behind her, plunking it noisily down by the table before she collapsed into a chair herself. “Her skirt should be outlawed!” her Mother complained, leaning forward, her elbows resting on the table as Kirsten hopped over the case, running over to grab her Mother a cup from the cupboard.
 She rinsed it quickly under hot water, passing it over to her. Offering her daughter a smile, she took it and poured the coffee in, scooped two huge spoons of sugar in and took a long drink. “Mom, you’re going to be diabetic if you keep that up!” Kirsten said loudly, shocked. “I just got checked, I’m fine. Anyways she gave me your last cheque”, she said quickly, steering the conversation away from her health. Kirsten noticed, but allowed it; she didn’t want to argue. Her Mother handed her a folded piece of paper, her face twisted up in distaste. “I think he wants you to keep quiet about how he fired you, look how much it is!” she said excitedly, bouncing up and down a little. “You opened it?” Kirsten asked, laughing as she unfolded the obviously opened cheque. It was double her usual pay. “Well I just wanted to make sure he was giving you the right amount”, her Mother said haughtily, draining her cup. Before she could reach for more sugar, Kirsten intervened. 
“Well, I guess I can afford to take my Mom out to breakfast, then!” she said, pushing the sugar bowl away. “Oh, really?” her Mom brightened even more than usual. Kirsten was reminded of a spotlight. A sudden, loud banging on the door startled them, both women screaming and jumping up. A loud laugh sounded from outside the door, and Kirsten ran to open it. With her back to the kitchen, looking after her daughter, Kirsten’s Mother didn’t see the shadow that streaked from behind the corner near the freezer, rushing right past her and down the stairs into the basement. Kirsten opened the door to find an old, bent man there- tool kit in hand, his usual smile hitched even higher than usual at the sight of the young woman. “Welcome home!” he said happily, swinging his arm up and around her neck. “Hi, Mr. Halloran!” she said, kicking the door open wider to let him inside. “Hello, Natasha!” he held his hand out to her Mother, rushing past her, now and into the house. “Hey, Burt!” her Mother said easily, grinning widely. A sudden, loud hiss came from the basement. “What was that?” Kirsten asked uneasily, leaning far to the right to see past the old man and down the stairs into the basement. 
“Probably your water heater,” Burt said soothingly, hobbling towards the basement stairs. “Your Dad called me and asked me to come and check on everything, said he didn’t know how long you planned on staying”, Kirsten nodded, rushing over to the top of the stairs. As the old man descended into the darkness, her fingers groped for the light switch. She clicked it on, and the basement was suddenly illuminated with bright light. 200 watt light bulbs hung in three places among the floor rafters. As the lights came on, an even louder hiss sounded“, he was right, I think there’s something wrong with it!” Burt said loudly, calling back over his shoulder as he scooted awkwardly along, compensating for his bad leg. “Well, I was just about to take Mom out for breakfast, do you mind?” she called down the stairs. Burt was a trusted friend, and safe to leave in the house. “Go ahead! Betty has new specials you might like!” he called back, plunking his tool box down on the floor beside the water heater, walking around it, examining things. 
“Okay, we’ll see you in a bit!” Kirsten called down again, and the next time he looked up, the young woman was gone. Burt shook his head, feeling his own age at the sight of the girl he had known since she was born, so grown up now. He tilted his head, listening for the sound of the car’s engine pulling away. Another hiss sounded, and he brought his attention back to the water heater. He put his hand against it- it wasn’t warm- and, bending stiffly down, he began to undo the bolts on a panel. The hiss came again, but this time, something seemed off. Burt stood up straight, looking around the empty basement. There was nothing else down here- the hiss must be coming from the water heater. But when it came again, he knew he was wrong. It came from far off in the corner, in the dark beneath the stairs. He squinted, his old eyes unaccustomed to the dim after the bright light in the rest of the basement. Suddenly, something moved there.
 “Hey, there, boy!” Burt said, holding his hand out as he recognised the shape of a dog beneath the stairs. The dog fixed its eyes on him, licking its nose. It was large and black- its ears pointed, its snout long. “Come here, doggie!” Burt said jovially, thinking this must be Kirsten’s dog. But as the dog came toward him, he realized it couldn’t possibly be. As the dog came into the light, its eyes gleamed red. Its lips pulled back, revealing several rows of long, pointed shards of teeth. It snarled, and Burt screamed, scrambling backwards, towards the stairs. 
The dog lept up, hissing loudly as its teeth came down on the old man’s throat. Burt’s screams cut off, blood bubbling out of his body, coating the dog’s face as it held him down, almost purring over its prize. As the blood slid along the basement floor, the dog dragged its prize away, into the shadow beneath the stairs. After a few moments, the basement was as silent as it had been before. The old man and the dog were gone, the shadows swallowing them as quickly as the dog had come. Suddenly, the old man’s tool box moved on its own- sliding slowly, quietly, over behind the water heater. His red, red blood sank into the cement floor- almost as if the house itself were drinking it, satiating itself after a long wait. The light clicked off, and the door at the top of the stairs swung shut. The house sat, patiently waiting for Kirsten and her Mother to return home.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Chapter 2- The Cabin

Shaking, she turned towards the kitchen, her mind a reeling whirlpool of combined fury and outrage. She turned back towards the phone for a second, her arm raised, her finger pointing at it as if it, personally, had done something wrong. The basement door silently clicked open partway behind her back. Shaking her head, she turned away from the phone, stomping towards the kitchen, determined to relax as she had intended for this night. It was impossible, however- as she unpacked her bags, putting the items in the empty fridge, grabbing a bowl out of one of the plastic bins in the cupboards to fill with fruit, she found herself slamming things down. It was only when she realized that she was crying that she gave up, heading out to the living room to flop down on the couch, miserable. As she landed, a cloud of dust flew up, making her sneeze repeatedly, on top of everything, so that when the phone began to ring again, loud and insistent, she didn’t even realize what the noise was at first. After a few rings, she jerked up, running over before the answering service took a message. “Hello?” she asked, her voice louder, sharper than she intended. “Why are you yelling at me?” her Mother’s hurt voice came over the phone. “Oh, no, Mom I’m not, I’m sorry!” she stammered, guilt rising in her throat. She explained herself, spilling the whole story to her Mother so quickly she wasn’t even sure she was keeping up. “And now I’m out of a job!” she said finally, after the hand on the clock had moved ten minutes. Her Mother exploded with maternal outrage. “How dare he! You were the best assistant he’s had- he said so himself last Christmas!” “I know what he said, I guess things changed,” She said, miserable. She reached out, hooking one of the tall kitchen chairs that stood along the tall counter where the family ate. She pulled it over, climbing up to sit and finish the conversation. With her back turned to the hallway, she didn’t see the flash of light that streaked from the partially open basement door, all the way down the hallway, and around the corner that led into her room. “Well, at least you don’t have to deal with his moods anymore, right?” her Mother was saying. “Well, yea.” Kirsten sniffed, feeling a bit better. Maybe now, she could find a job that didn’t require a 4 AM wakeup. Still, the idea of having to walk back into the office to pick up her last check made her shiver. Almost as if she could hear her thoughts, her Mother’s voice once again cut in. “And don’t you worry about going back there,” she said sternly, her voice almost icing over the earpiece of the phone. “I’m going to pick it up.” “What?” Kirsten asked, the suggestion knocking her train of thought out of her head. “I’m going to pick up that cheque and get a gander at whoever he’s replaced you with.” Her Mother said, and Kirsten could practically hear the sword being drawn. “Are you sure that’s a good idea?” she asked nervously, winding the cord up around her fingers so hard it almost broke. “Of course it is!” her Mother’s voice rose to a tremulous pitch, suddenly changing back to its old reassurance. “And don’t forget, you still have the education money your Dad and I put away for you. That’s still there, it’s yours.” Kirsten nodded, realization flooding through her heart. She could go to college now, be properly trained. “Thank you, Mom, I-” her Mother cut her off again, rushing through her next sentence. “Oh, sweetie, I have to go, your brother just came home and he’s bleeding so I’ll call you in the morning okay? I love you have a good night!” the words came so quickly that Kirsten couldn’t get a word in edgewise. As she snapped her mouth open to answer, she heard the phone drop down on the other end, and a second later, the silence of the open line. “Okay, then!” she said to the empty room, smiling widely. Her hair brained Mom always made her feel better. Considering her options for college, she jumped up again, heading back for the kitchen. She grabbed a can of pasta sauce out of the cupboard, twisting open the top in one fluid motion, grabbing a pot out of the plastic bin as she passed. She turned a burner on, putting the pot on to heat, pouring the sauce into the pot. She turned towards the back of the house, heading for the freezer that had all of the meat in it. Looking back, she could see the pot beginning to simmer. She went around the corner, jerking the freezer open. Fishing around, she found a pack of sausages in the bottom. She stood up, closing the freezer solidly, sliding the lock over. She went around the corner, stopping short by the doorway into the kitchen. There, on the stove, pulled far away from the burner, was the pot she had left on when she left the room. The burner burnt bright red, wasting its heat into the room. She ran over, reaching out to click it off. Impulsively, she grabbed a knife off the counter, looking around the silent house. How did the pot move? Her heart pounded as the possibilities ran through her mind. Her skin crawled, almost as if someone breathed on the back of her neck. Nervous, she looked over her shoulder, only to find empty space before her eyes. She turned towards the door quickly, intending to run out of it- and stopped short at the sight of the fully armed alarm system. No one could be in the house- the alarm would have gone off. She stopped in confusion, putting the knife down on the table. Deciding she must have taken the pot off before she left the room, she let it roll off her shoulders, turning back to the pot. She put it back on, dropping the sausages into the sauce and turning the burner back on. She watched it until it started to bubble, stirring it now and then. She turned the burner down, heading towards the living room. She grabbed the remote, clicking the TV on. Sound filled the room, erasing the rest of her worries. The basement door swung suddenly wide, banging against the wall. Kirsten jumped, screaming as she turned, holding the remote up as if to defend herself. The news woman droned on as Kirsten began to laugh. She went over to the door, wiggling it back and forth. Deciding it must be loose, she pulled it shut, laughing at herself. She turned back to the TV, glancing over at the pot, it bubbled merrily, filling the kitchen with steam. She sat down heavily on the couch, sending up another cloud of dust. The report was about a school shooting, and Kirsten found herself paying rapt attention, her hand pressed to her chest in compassion. Behind her back, the pot simmered down further and further. Suddenly, the spoon she had left in the pot moved- it seemed to pick itself up, stirring the contents around. The burner dial turned itself down, all of this unseen by Kirsten, who still sat, listening to every word the people on the Television were saying. All movement in the kitchen stopped, as if waiting for a reaction. When none came, the far cupboard suddenly opened, a large plastic bin sliding slowly and silently out onto the counter, which was level with the shelf. It pulled itself far out, along the counter, stopping beside the stove. After another moment of silence, the cupboard door click softly shut. As the music signaling the commercial break sounded, Kirsten jumped up, remembering her dinner. “Oh, shit! Shit!” she said, expecting it to be burnt. She ran into the kitchen, running all the way to the stove before she noticed anything was different. She stood there silently, staring at the container, the changed temperature, the unburnt food for a long, tense moment. The atmosphere seemed heavy, now- the cabin seemed almost to breathe. Suddenly Kirsten smiled to herself, laughing once again. She decided that she must have been so wrapped up with the report, that she did it all automatically. The atmosphere seemed to lift, and Kirsten turned quickly to grab a boiling pot. She filled it with water out of the sink, putting it on another burner. She pulled a pack of pasta out of the container on the counter, sliding it all the way down and back into it’s cupboard. A few minutes later, she had her dinner, done, the pots now soaking in the sink. She went back into the living room, breaking her own personal rule of always eating at the table, just this once. She ate while watching the news, until it ended, and then she flipped through the channels until she found a movie she had been wanting to see- she had never had the time before. She only got to watch half of it, however- the house was warm, and the food was filling, and soon she fell asleep, what was left of her dinner going cold on the coffee table. In her sleep, she swung her legs up, lying down with her head on the armrest of the couch. As she slept, the house once again took action. As the TV turned to commercial, the volume turned itself down, until the channel was just loud enough to hear. A dusty blanket that was on the back of the couch pulled itself down, draping itself over her sleeping body. The living room light clicked off, shrouding the sleeping woman in darkness. Kirsten, completely oblivious to all of this, slept on, dreaming of a storm. After a few moments of silence, the basement door once again swung open, slowly and softly shutting itself, as if to avoid making any noise. In her parent’s old bedroom, the old clock chimed ten times to mark the hour. The sleeping woman pulled the blanket closer, dreaming on and on into the night.

The Cabin Chapter 1

The car rose up beyond the trees, travelling along the mountain track, and Kirsten leaned far over in her seat, forgetting to watch the road as she peered nervously up at the sheer rock face beside her, watching for falling boulders. The warning signs were everywhere; but this, thankfully, was the last pass before she got to her family’s cabin. She held her position, glancing forward much less than she should, until she had leveled out with the mountain beside her, and the road carried true between two farms.
As she passed a small, square house, white with blue shutters, a small lean-to garage seemingly hanging off the side of the house, she caught side of the faded pink reflective ribbon her father had hung years before to mark the beginning of their driveway. She turned off into the driveway, giving a small wave to the neighbour, who was marching enthusiastically down the road, obviously on a new fitness kick. The woman smiled widely back in return, nodding and waving as enthusiastically as she marched. She disappeared along with the rest of the world as the car was completely surrounded by low hanging branches.
She hopped back in pulling the car up in front of the garage. She leant far over, popping her glove box open, and fished out the old remote. It wouldn’t work the first time; anxiously, she had to smack the remote off the steering wheel twice before the groggy, infrequently used door sprang to life, complaining loudly as it screeched up into the roof of the garage. She pulled in, turning around in her seat to watch as the groaning metal slid happily back into its previous position. Hoping it would open in the morning, she hopped out, reaching quickly out to snap on the light, unnerved in the dark.

One seemed to be a dairy farm. Tan cows ran all over, even up in the yard right by what appeared to be the house. The other, had an orchard; she could see, flashing by as she drove, workers walking between the rows. The barren trees seemed to pull their branches in for warmth against the late October cold that frosted its way over each blade of grass each morning, turning the world into a glittering, perfect replica of the daytime world. It was dusk; the sun set behind the last tiny lump of a hill that was the nubby top of this mountain; yet, from a distance, the mountain looked as if it ended at a point.

Her phone rang, loud and insistent, but she ignored it; she was driving, and she knew who it would be. She could picture her mom, chewing on the middle of the phone cord anxiously as she waited for her daughter to pick up the phone. The road forked here, and she turned right, taking the less beaten path, away from the town that started at the end of the other road, down the other side of the mountain a little way. She had to look carefully for the cabin’s driveway; it was well hidden, no gate or anything.

They bounced and scraped along the car, and Kirsten found herself wishing she had asked her father to check out the driveway last weekend. He usually came up every fall to fix up the driveway, but he hadn’t yet, this year- and it was significantly overgrown. No one knew why the trees grew so quickly here- they simply did, overtaking the whole property if left unconfronted. Finally, she broke through the trees, coming to a short stop in front of her brother’s old bike, left on its side in the middle of the driveway. Cursing she hopped out, grabbed the bike by the handle bars and flung it into the yard for dealing with later. The light was fading, and she wanted to get inside before dark.

She bent into the back seat, slinging her bag of clothing over her shoulder and grabbing the bags of food she had brought with her- fruit and vegetables, milk and bread- all things not kept up here at the cabin, which was regularly stocked full of dry, canned and frozen goods. All of the dry goods had to be kept in plastic bins, to deter mice. She swung the door to the inside open, shuffling in sideways before dropping everything heavily down on the kitchen floor. One glance around told her the cabin needed dusting. Sighing, she snapped on the kitchen lights, pulling her bag of clothes out of the middle of the mess of items she had dropped on the floor. She stepped over it all, heading to the back of the spacious cabin, towards her room.

It had once been the room she lived in, before they had abandoned mountain life to move to the shining, noisy city for her father’s job. She snapped on each light as she went, even flinging the door to the den open, turning on the fan that sat in the corner of the room. The cabin was dusty from disuse, laden with memories. As she passed, she yanked down a missed Christmas wreath that still hung in its place on her brother’s door. She rounded the final corner, coming into her old room. Her four poster bed stood in the corner, her forgotten pink curtains draped, dustily soft down to the floor, hiding what was beneath the headboard. She dropped her bag on her dresser, crossing quickly to the bed, jerking the mattress up. She flipped it over, coughing as the dust flew up. She turned on her desk fan, reaching up to jerk the sticky window open. As the dust cleared out, she went quickly to her closet, pulling her plastic bin of bed sheets out. Quickly, she made her bed, and, grabbing her duster out of the corner of the room, started dusting things. Her room, although the biggest, was quickly done- she didn’t keep a lot of things here.

A sudden, high pitched beep caught her attention. She froze, listening carefully. She was alone here- the closest neighbour was back on the highway, and it took 15 minutes of driving to get to the cabin from there. The beep came again, and she spun around, facing her bedroom door- and the rest of the house. She took a few silent steps open, standing beside her dresser. As silently as she could, she eased it open- pulling out a long, sharp knife she kept there. It wasn’t for everyday use- it was silver, and double sided. She didn’t even know if it was sharp.

She took a cautious step into the hooked hallway, coming to rest against the wall beside the turn that led into the hallway where her parent’s room and her brother’s room’s doors were. Slowly, she tilted her head just enough to be able to see down the hallway. Behind her, a shadow moved across her room, disappearing into the small bit of wall above her closet door. Oblivious, Kirsten turned the corner, moving quickly down the hallway past the two closed bedroom doors into the living room, the knife raised high. As she turned, the blinking red panel of the alarm system caught her attention.

“Oh!” she said out loud, relief flooding her body- she had forgotten to hit the master code. She ran forward as the alarm let out another ear splitting beep, hitting the numbers just before the alarm went off. Sighing with relief, she turned to head back to her room- stopping short at the basement door. It hung open, the immediate stairs disappearing into blackness only a few feet down. The unnatural cold that emanated from the basement sent shivers up her spine, and she slammed the door shut as quickly as she could. Suddenly, the phone rang, and she screamed, slipping and falling hard to the floor, her arm coming down on the marble countertop as she fell.

Pain shot through her arm, and she screamed again, landing on one knee to prevent herself from falling further. She groaned, getting up on her feet. She hurried over to the phone, jerking it off the wall. “Hi, Mom, I’m okay…” she was cut off by a hurried voice on the other side. “Kirsten, this is John” It was her boss, a CEO of a big company in the city. She had worked for him for the last few years, as his secretary. “I’m calling to tell you you’ve been let go...” “What?” she said incredulously, her jaw dropping open. She had not taken a sick day the whole time she had worked for him, had worked tirelessly to make sure he had everything done the way he wanted, when he wanted- had put up with his nasty moods, his angry retorts every time she buzzed through to his office.

Just this morning, he had, in his smooth and oily voice, told her to have a nice time on vacation. Now, things were totally different. “I’m sorry, Kirsten,” he was saying, his voice falling on nearly deaf ears. “But I cannot afford to keep you on when you just take off whenever you feel like it.” He mouth dropped open, and for a moment she was speechless. “What? I’ve never taken a day off in the whole-"

“I think you will find that you have if you look at your records.” He interrupted her, his oily voice taking on a smug tone. “My records will show that I am always on time-“he interrupted again, ending the conversation. “Your records will show that you have simply refused to show up for work 6 times in the last month. You can pick up your final cheque when you get back from your little getaway. You’ve been replaced.” And with that, he hung up the phone. “What the hell?” Kirsten shouted out to the empty room, staring at the silent receiver which hung, old and heavy in her hand. She slammed the phone down, the bell jangling out sharply from the force.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Something Scary comes our way in Canada!

Stephen Harper's Government is seeking to change the copyright laws of the formerly democratic country of Canada to allow Political parties to use News Agencies footage and reports without permission and without having to pay for it. It would also allow the government to force news agencies and television stations to broadcast whatever the government wants (but, doesn't that just create a perfect propaganda machine if ever they decide to use it?) I say that Canada is no longer democratic, because Stephen Harper's government achieved majority rule in the last election (despite the fact that 60 percent of Canadians did NOT vote for them) and does not have to allow any discussion on any issue or ask permission to pass almost any law anymore. In my opinion as a citizen of this country, that is not Democracy (something that always made me very proud to live here)- that is tyrannical rule.

So, I am spreading the word around by posting it here. I figure the more people know about it, the better- although it will not stop the law from being passed, or make the Governor General step up and stop the government from doing this, I figure that it will help Canadians to, in future, make better political decisions and not be fooled by a man who resembles a significantly older, duller version of Barbie doll's Ken doll.

Here is a link to CTV's article on the subject-

-This blog belongs to Horror Author Cheyenne Leo. All outside contributions are credited. Thank you for supporting Darkness Reigns.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Angry Eyes

For those of you who follow my twitter feed, you already know  who this freaky man is. For those of you who don't, I would like to formally introduce you to; Angry Eyes- a spirit who has been around since I was a very little girl, hence the odd name. I named him Angry Eyes because of the red that runs from his black eyes.

I first met Angry Eyes in the secure facility Day Care that I attended between the ages of 3-6, which was built out of a re purposed residential school. I didn't know the history of the place when I was a child, only that my stepfather's family (who are Native Canadian, and many of them attended residential school) did not like the place and would not come to the school for any reason.

One day when it was "Nap time", everyone got out their mats and lay down as usual. the teacher and her assistant would walk up and down between us, making sure no one was doing any bullying or playing or talking or pretty much anything other than laying there quietly pretending to sleep for 15 minutes. halfway through the time, the phone rang and first the teacher and then her assistant left the room-the assistant watching through the door way to where we were.

As I lay there, listening to what the teacher was saying on the phone, I heard a new sound; footsteps, coming from the back of the cavernous classroom. Thinking another kid had gotten up, I opened my eyes, looking towards the door where the assistant stood, speaking to the teacher and watching us. Usually, if another kid got up, she would yell out for the kid to lay down. But this time, she kept scanning the room as if nothing was happening. confused, I rolled over and looked to the back of the classroom.

It wasn't a kid- there was someone very tall, walking between the rows like the teacher did, looking at us. I could see some of the kids the tall person was closest to moving, rolling over to look at him. The assistant saw them move, and we were told to lay down. Everyone did again, but the tall person kept moving between us. As they got closer, I could see they were a man. And then, as he finally looked at me, I saw what I tried to depict in the painting above. He has shiny black eyes, gray skin on most of his body, and red blood running from his black eyes. Beneath the blood, there is blue face paint. As a child I had not yet seen face paint other than the kind my mom paid the lady at the fair to paint for me- a tiger, or "Sailor Moon." As he looked at me, he suddenly seemed interested in me, and stepped over the girl beside me (who immediately curled into a little ball) to crouch down beside me and get a better look, I guess.

When he crouched down beside me, I could see more of the details of his face. Even right beside me, he seemed to fade in and out, like turning on the light would just wipe him out. I said, "Hi!" just because he was looking at me so intently- his reaction to which, was to disappear. Suddenly, the assistant was standing over me, and told me not to talk. a few minutes later, "Nap Time" was over and we were allowed to run around again. When I spoke to the other kids about what had happened, they all said they had seen the man- but none of them had seen his face.

That night, as I was just beginning to fall asleep, I felt something move the blanket by my shoulder. Thinking my mother was there, I opened my eyes to say goodnight to her- and saw Angry Eyes instead. He was leaning over me, looking at me as carefully as he had in the classroom. This time, however, I felt scared, and screamed so loudly that not only did he disappear, but my mother came flying from the front of the house so fast she almost broke my bedroom door. She comforted me, and when I told her what had happened, she told me what I have told so many people in the years since. You should not be afraid of a spirit- no matter how scary they look. They don't have power over you, and they can't hurt you unless you allow it. She told me that I was stronger than him, because I am alive, and he is not.

From that night on, I was not afraid of Angry Eyes- most of the time. He would pop out suddenly sometimes and scare me that way, but I could sit on the couch with him standing behind me without freaking out- something that was, at that age, impossible with any other spirit. As I got used to him being around, he began to follow me, and eventually, he came to be my spirit guide.
When I asked him to tell me about himself, he told me that he was never alive- that he had always been a spirit, but that he had been born from the sadness of the children who lived at the school. Not knowing what he was talking about, I repeated what he had said to my stepfather, who, needless to say was very freaked out. I was 3/4 years old- I didn't know anything about residential schools, or that any children had ever been sad in the old building.

When I got older, my parents told me what Angry Eyes had meant. I remember I cried because I couldn't understand why Residential schools had ever been allowed to exist.

To this day, Angry Eyes is still hanging around, sometimes here and sometimes not. He is the reason I tell people to respect a spirit, no matter if it is a Demon or an innocent little kid, because they are all intelligent, with emotions like you and I. He is the reason I am not afraid of spirits at all, and I believe that him being around is what enabled me to keep seeing spirits past childhood- most people grow out of it, I didn't.

Angry Eyes is now part of the family.