The Final Countdown (Short Story)

The emergency broadcast ran on this sort of constant loop, filling all corners of the room with the radio quality voice of Mr. Shuja Willow. I had tried to shut it off, but none of the buttons, remote or console, had worked. I basically had the whole dialog memorized by this point and had started adding appropriate chuckles and snorts when Shuja said something particularly cliché or blatantly false.

 

Attention all citizens of this great republic, I come to you today in what appears to be our final hour. After extensive analysis of reports from both the Apple Luna and Bezos Martian colonies, we here at MSNBC/Fox can confirm the presence of a large celestial body approaching on a collision course with both the Moon and Earth. The estimated time of arrival for this object is within [Two Hours, Thirty-four minutes, fifteen seconds] and current trajectory shows it colliding with the Western third of this great nation and vast parts of the Pacific ocean, potentially also hitting Eastern sections of the United Chinese Nations. The outcome of this event is… incomprehensible… yet hope cannot be lost. Congress and Commander Kennedy have begun scouring the dusty tomes of the obsolete NASA program for all records of deep space objects of this size and their last known position as well as opening up communications with all other major powers on the planet. Google and Musk Robotiks have dedicated all their AI bases towards calculating the impact and potential survival rate of such an impact. All areas not highlighted on our MacDonald’s Meteorology Maptm should be aware that while they won’t face this challenge to humanity directly, smaller meteors WILL break off from the main leviathan and ecological extremities will scour the land. Citizens are advised to do everything in their power to get emergency supplies, and, if you would, brace for impact. The only remaining option we have as a species is a swift response from the world, our leaders, and most importantly, our technology that has so long saved us from the attempts of Mother Nature to eradicate us. All YOU, the beloved citizen, can do is hope with all your might for your loved ones. Technicians save us all…

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Entry #19

Author’s Note: Blame Persona 5 for the delay in my publishing this. (God, but that is a very long and very awesome game.) Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Austin and me! 🙂 ❤

The slamming of the door served as an exclamation point on Big Mac’s dramatic exit from Reggie’s garage. Jackson’s whole body shook as he absentmindedly rubbed his hands together. He turned to face Ann Marie and found that although there was evidence that tears had been running down her cheeks moments ago, it appeared that they had now ceased. In fact, Jackson was surprised to find Ann Marie more or less collected. No running to the door in regret, no uncontrollable shaking; Jackson would have thought her to be in shock if she didn’t turn away from his gaze to begin removing the gym bag from Todd’s head.

When it was off, Ann Marie put her hands on Todd’s shoulders and bent slightly to make eye contact with him. “Are you all right?” she said. Continue reading

Sycamore Man (Short Horror Story)

Sycamore Man

 

A Short Story By AJ Tompkins

 

The Claye Family had arrived in the new world in 1704, stumbling into a large chunk of property near Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The third son of a baron, Oceanus Claye had departed England with the intent of winning his father’s favor (and perhaps a higher stake in his will) by proving himself an astute businessman. He made the move with his wife, Priscilla, and their two young daughters, Humility and Sarah.

 

Having won the Aspway Plantation during a gambling spree in London, the move promised to be a new start for the newlyweds and their children. Oceanus promised to forgo the gambling and drink, and Priscilla was forced to cut off her relations with the rakish Myles Johnson of Birmingham. The house and property were large, some of the largest in the area, and had already shown a habit of turning a profit in the rice trade. Much of the labor was done by a mixed crew of indentured servants and African slaves, who had endured much cruelty under the Aspway command. Oceanus, despite his flaws, had never had the stomach for cruelty, and he essentially retired the whip during his lifetime. Most of those in indentured servitude were released from their bonds, and Claye honored their deals, carving out small parcels of his own land for them to farm. Most sold it back to the plantation at respectable prices, seeking to move farther north.

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Little Birdie (Short Horror Story)

Little Birdie

 

A Short Story by AJ Tompkins

 

My father used to have me help him clean the kills he would bring home from hunting. The smell of stale tobacco and blood mixed sweetly in the garage, and I was always so happy to get to spend those Sunday evenings with him. He would have me pluck the birds, a menial task no one could mess up. The feathers came out in clumps and left the skin coarse, much like the stubble did my father’s face. It wasn’t until I was six that he finally let me make an incision or get my hands dirty inside the creatures. The removal of the guts was my favorite part at that age, I would lay them out and ask questions about the purpose of each little meat pile.

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Horror Anthology (Oct. 2017)

Salutations peachy peoples,

First, thank you for partaking in our little project here. If you came here just to find out what this post is about, welcome, please feel free to partake in the rest of our work as well, it’s quite good. In particular, two of our writers are working together to craft a Stranger Things/Twin Peaks rip-off that has been going for a full year now. If you frequent our blog (there has to be at least one person, amirite?) know this is a bit of a departure from my (AJT) usual style. To celebrate Hallows Eve, the turning of the season, and just for fun, this year I am attempting to craft a short horror story a week for the next month. I will post all the stories individually, and add them to this anthology post as well. I don’t know if I have the chops for horror prose, but this seems like a fun challenge.

In the coming weeks, you can expect… Little Birdie (slasher piece), Sycamore Man (a gothic tale), Cat Scratch Fever (curses and nursery rhymes, oh my), & [F4M] Prey Seeking Hunter (grotesque, uncomfortable, psychological thriller). I look forward to crafting these, to having deadlines, and to hearing your feedback. Happy Early Halloween everyone!

 

Edit: I’ve fallen behind, but promise to finish the project!

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Entry #14

Ann Marie laid on the bed and browsed Facebook as the warm sonic tones of Maggie singing “All That Jazz” drifted down the hallway. It was a month before the end of summer and most of the pictures on Ann Marie’s newsfeed showed various acquaintances on vacation in sandy places or laying in the sun at the Quentin’s Lake Reservoir, so named for frontiersman Nathaniel Quentin who founded the first trading post in Deercliff in the early 1800s.  Ann Marie scrolled through the newsfeed absentmindedly and then rapidly flipped back up to the top of the page to check her notifications. She had posted a picture of her and Big Mac about three miles up Harris Creek Road at one of the many waterfalls that ran alongside the road where they had stopped to drop a fishing line and enjoy a picnic. She saw that only four people had liked the photo and decided to turn off her phone’s screen and to drop it gracelessly onto her chest. Continue reading

Entry #12

“So this is where you’ll spend most of your shift, probably,” said Kate, holding the door open so that Todd could step into the borderline miniature kitchen. Todd slouched into the room and bumped up against the brushed steel stove top and Kate followed.  There was scarcely room to turn around with both of them in there. Continue reading

Entry #10

The misshapen wooden steps in front of Delia Leonne’s trailer house sank into the mud under Todd’s weight as he ascended them. He took a moment to make sure he was properly balanced and then knocked on the brown plastic door.  As he waited he examined his surroundings and saw stacks of sun-faded milk crates and a pile of pallets leaning up against a crumbling burn-barrel. The air was grey and little drops of rain sputtered out of the sky, touching the various pools of water that speckled the muddy yard. Continue reading