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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Hoodoo

Here’s to those

Capped by special rocks,

Holding it all on their shoulders,

 

Here’s to those

Dancing the three-six-five waltz,

Gyrating and shoe gazing,

 

Here’s to those

Silent observers stuck

In knowledge’s gloomy shadow,

 

Always here,

As always, here’s

To those

Who are here forever

 

Here’s to those

Who conspire with the rain,

Born from weeping cumulonimbus,

 

Here’s to those

Desert dwellers and

Inanimate Northwest golems,

 

Here’s to those

Casting oblong shadows

Without a audience to care,

 

Always here,

As always, here’s

To those

Who are here forever,

Those who are here

Holding it all on their shoulders.

Late Night Double-Feature Creature

She was getting real sick,

            Gotta give em what they want boys,

Of being asked to the late night double–feature,

            Gotta make lots of noise,

The on with the monster flick first,

            Cars spilled like popcorn convoys,

She was looking for a real reason to apply lipstick,

            Gotta wear that sweater she enjoys,

The kind of kiss to confess to her preacher,

            Gotta fight the urge to be coy,

A fella with Coca-Cola eyes to quench her thirst,

            Yawn and stretch with perfect poise,

A hand on her thigh totally unrehearsed,

            Gotta drop the cliché ploys,

Pushed up against the dashboard heater,

            Gotta tune out the Mummy noise,

She was tired of feeling like a lunatic,

            No matter what her heart destroys,

Of repressing her inner creature,

            Gotta make lots of noise,

Of silver screen laws enforced,

            Gotta give em what they want boys,

 

 

She was getting real sick of being asked to the late night double-feature flicks,

She was getting real sick of being asked by those protagonist boys,

She, the only real late night double-feature creature.

Climate’s Change

(via Daily Post, Finite)

 

The flames are always finite,

For they rely on the generous giving of

Others bodies for their warmth.

Eventually they get climatized

To the predatory pity and decide to fade,

Ash to dirty ash, spinning and

Cackling like newborns

As they spin free, dust returned

To dust, so fine it lingers

In your life line and love line

Through each wash, growing darker

And more a part of your skin.

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