Tag Archives: castle

Kid Logic – Friday Fictioneers

Merry Christmas to everyone from the Green-Walled Tower! There is no snow touching its ivy-covered sides since this year has been unseasonably warm where I am, although it is still Christmas inside. I have been surrounded by young children and Christmas themes this weeks: thus, this story.

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

copyright Bjorn Rudberg

Kid Logic

The boys charged up the steps of the old castle, glad to be free of the car.

“The steps are lava!” Jack yelled.

“But they’re green,” Henry said. “They’re like little Christmas trees. Maybe there are tiny people there who decorate them at Christmas.”

“And Santa delivers presents, riding in the Catbus.”

“And then a dragon comes out of the ground and fights the Catbus and the people hide in the Christmas trees.”

“Yeah, they climb inside ornaments and use them for their houses.”

At that moment, Batman ballerina ran between them, crushing innumerable imaginary Christmas trees under her feet.

my little Batman ballerina

my little Batman ballerina


Attack of the Cubblies

And now for something completely different.

Attack of the Cubblies

“Your Majesty, after several failed attempts, we finally managed to capture one of the invading Cubblies. It’s imprisoned in one of the outbuildings.

“Well, can you interrogate it?” the king asked. “Find out what they want, man!”

“It’s just too cute, your Majesty,” the captain said, his face reddening. “The first man who tried to interrogate it untied it and was going to bring it home as a present for his children.”

“Well, find someone who isn’t so damned sentimental then.”

“We did, I’m afraid. That first man we chose was Major Hickens, who is the most bitter, misanthropic man we’ve got. The others don’t stand a chance.”

“You’d better kill it then. We can’t take any chances.”

“How are we going to do that, your Majesty? None of the men will put a hand on it.”

“Well, dammit man! Thank of a way. One of you throw a bag over it, hand to another and get him to drop it in the river. Use your creativity.”

There was a thud on the roof. “What’s that?”

“They’re catapulting themselves over the walls, your Majesty.”

The window smashed and a fluffy, round Cubbly bounced towards the throne. Its wide, liquid eyes sparkled and it stretched out stubby arms towards the king as it tottered towards him. “I wuv you!”

“Aww, that’s adorable,” the king said. “Let’s surrender.”

The Circle of Unbeing, Part 4

Click to read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the story.

midnight courtyard

The wind was fierce and the cold was numbing, but Pavel did not mind. It numbed the conflict in his mind, blocking out all but simple directives. Go to the castle. Climb the tower. Find the dagger.

The streets were deserted as he made his way through the town and started up the wooded hill. He wondered where the creature—he still could not think of it as human, much less as his father—was now.

Inside the castle, he made his way up the steps of the keep and inside the unroofed hall. He had no light, but the full moon shone a phantasmal light over his path. Parts of the castle had been burned in the revolt, but the floor of the main hall was stone. He came to the high tower, its door splintered and rusted, and began to climb.

The steps were wet with slime and circled up and up until they ended in a wide chamber. Its roof had been burned away and part of its walls were gone, but Pavel could still see the remnants of broken glassware and rusted instruments that had once filled his grandfather’s study. He wondered now if his grandfather had been a monster too, or if he had found a way of transforming his son into one before he died. Whatever the case, it had happened in this room.

Pavel started searching, clearing away old bird’s nest and the accumulated detritus of fifteen years of exposure. He cut himself on a shard of glass, but kept going. His numb fingers were groping along the floor underneath a collapsed shelf when he felt the outline of a small box. He pulled it out and opened it. Inside was a dagger. Its handle and blade were black and a large ruby nested in the pommel. This had to be it.

He made his way back down, stepping carefully on the pitch-black stairs. He had just stepped out into the courtyard, when a dark shape slipped through the gate. As it crossed into the moonlight, he saw that it was the creature. It had seen him and was shambling towards him with surprising speed.

“Do it . . . son,” it rasped. “The mayor has . . . found me. He is coming. He will . . . imprison me again . . . if he can. Quickly . . . before he comes.” The creature pulled its thin garment away, exposing its skeletal chest.

Pavel held the dagger, willing himself to strike. As he looked at the monster in the moonlight, he could see more of its features. He had never known his father, or seen a picture of him, but now he could almost imagine what he had looked like when he was a young, handsome man. For the first time, he saw it as a person, who had lived in tortures unimaginable for fifteen years: locked away, starved, fed human flesh and blood. This was his father, who needed him. He set the point of the dagger between the exposed ribs and pushed the blade into his father’s heart.

“Stop!” a voice cried from behind him. Pavel looked up to see the mayor stepping through the gate, a lantern in his hand. Wadim, the night guard stood behind him. The mayor’s face was frenzied. “You release my prize from his cell and now you try to destroy him.”

The mayor stopped and let out a cry. “Crina! Crina! If it were not for this whore’s spawn, you would still be alive.” He looked back at Pavel. “You unlocked the door. You let the thing escape! My Crina was on the point of death when I brought her here. No medicine could save her, but this creature’s blood would have kept her alive, alive forever. She would have been changed, but she would have been stronger and mine still. I would not have starved her and kept her weak. No, she would have been well-fed, and powerful—powerful enough to help me. Oh my lovely daughter!”

The mayor drew his sword and advanced towards Pavel, who backed up the steps into the main hall. The mayor stopped and laughed.

“Yes, stay here. Stay here, Lord Pavel, with the ghouls of your ancestors. Stay here, where I burned your grandfather and kept your father as my pet. I will keep Wadim at the gate to make sure you stay, until hunger or cold lofts your soul on demon’s wings to join them. I am off to see your mother. She will burn tonight, in that hovelish prison where I have kept her.”

Pavel ran down the steps as soon as the mayor had left. He had to get back to help his mother, but he did not know how. The main gate was the only way out of the castle and he could see Wadim just outside the gap, spear in hand. He would have no sympathy for Pavel, not when it meant risking the mayor’s wrath.

He looked down at the dagger in his hand, still wet with his father’s blood. He could not defeat Wadim with such a small weapon. All he could do was kill himself. Yes, he would kill himself, but not yet. First he would drink his father’s blood and be changed. Didn’t the mayor said it would make him strong? His father had been old and starved, kept weak by design, but Pavel was young and strong. He would go save his mother and then kill himself with the dagger, ending their unfortunate line forever.

Pavel bent over the figure of his father. Dark blood was still welling up from the wound in his chest. He bent down and began to drink, sucking it into his mouth. It was cold and bitter, but burned like fire as it went down his throat.

His father’s eyes flickered open and then widened as he saw Pavel. “No!” he said, in a voice that was little more than a breath. “Do not do this. You . . . do not . . . know. I did not know . . . when my father told me . . . to drink from his . . . veins. Flee this hideous . . . unbeing.”

“It will not be for long, I swear,” Pavel said. “I must save my mother. Then I will join you and all will be finished.” He continued to drink, forcing down the foul blood until it stopped bubbling up from the wound.

The first thing Pavel felt was the cold, as it seemed to melt away from him. He still felt the wind, but now it held no bite. He stood up and looked around. The darkness had lightened and he could see into every corner of the dark courtyard. A wave of strength came over him. He looked at the cut on his hand and as he watched, it closed and disappeared.

A surge of joy went through him and he was off, running through the narrow gap in the gate, slipping past Wadim before he could even react. Pavel felt like the wind, moving effortlessly along the ground, devouring the distance. Ahead of him, he saw the mayor walking uncertainly down the path. He turned just as Pavel reached him and Pavel was glad to see the look of terror in the mayor’s eyes as he stabbed the dagger into his chest.

“You will never touch my mother. This I promise you. And this is vengeance for my grandfather, whom you murdered, and my father, whom you tortured.” With each name, he stabbed again. The mayor collapsed, dead on the path.

It was over. His mother was safe. Pavel turned the dagger to his own chest, preparing to end his own life. Then he stopped. It wasn’t over. There were still the thane and master of lands, both of whom were wicked men who had shared a part in his family’s misery. He would take care of them as well. But then? The town would be leaderless, defenseless against the next petty lord or robber baron who could seize it and use it for their own purposes. He could lead them well. He could do good, and help those who had been so oppressed under the mayor’s rule. He was, after all, the rightful heir. It was his duty.

Pavel dropped his hand to his side and was turning to go up to the castle when he felt a vague discomfort in the back of his mind. It was a hunger for something he had never felt before. He remembered the taste of his father’s blood on his tongue, so repellent then, but now . . . now he had a need for it, a thirst.

And it was growing.

ruined castle


The Circle of Unbeing, Part 3

Click to read Part 1 and Part 2 of the story.


When Pavel reached the house, he took the axe from behind the door and began to sharpen it. His mother looked up from the hearth, where she was cleaning out the ashes.

“What are you doing home? What’s wrong?”

Pavel looked at her, hesitated. “Wolves,” he said.

He stayed home all day, sharpening knives, watching, and fidgeting, until his behavior began to frighten his mother and he left. No one from the mayor’s manor came to summon him, which both relieved and worried him at the same time.

Night eventually came and Pavel and his mother sat silently in front of the fire—her with her mending and Pavel staring into the fire, the axe on his knees. He looked up to see her gazing at him.

“Do you think you will need that here? Do you think the wolves will come into the village—break into our house?”

“I—I’m not sure,” he said.

“It’s not wolves you’re worried about, is it?” she said.

There was a clattering outside, like wood falling off the pile. Pavel jumped, then went to the small window by the door. The moonlight was shining on their small path and garden but there was no movement.

At that moment, the chickens behind the house began to scream. Pavel had never heard them make such sound—did not know they could make such a horrible, rending shriek. He put his hand on the door handle but could not will himself to open it.

“Well, are you going?” his mother cried suddenly. “You got the axe. If wolves are at the chickens, you’d better go now or they’ll all be killed.”

Still, Pavel could not make himself open the door or explain why. He felt paralyzed. The chickens stopped abruptly and there was total silence for a space of several breaths. Just when he thought it was safe, there was a thump against the door. It came again. Someone, or something, was knocking with heavy, irregular strokes on the outside.

Thump . . . thump . . .

“Are you going to open it?” his mother asked. “Pavel, are you okay? What’s wrong? If it were wolves, they wouldn’t be knocking. Pavel, let the poor person in and out of the cold. Pavel?”

His hand was still resting on the door handle, but all he could think of was some way to barricade the door. Pull the beds across and push them against it. Block the window. Anything and everything to keep the evil outside. He looked up to see his mother next to him and before he could do anything, she pushed him aside and threw the door open.

A gust of frigid wind burst into the room, causing the fire to gutter. Pavel heard a rasping, croaking sound and then that hideous deformed face he had seen in the dungeon emerged into the light of the fireplace. His mother gasped and stepped back. The creature shuffled over the threshold.

Pavel stepped in front of his mother, brandishing the axe, but he was too transfixed with horror to strike. Now that he could see the monster in better light, he saw that it looked like a man, although one shriveled and twisted by some evil force. Its skin was yellow and thin and its eyes were bloodshot and roving. They latched onto his mother’s face and the mouth opened.

“Ah . . . An . . . Anca.” Pink spittle dribbled from its mouth as it expelled the word. Pavel’s mother was staring at the creature, her eyes growing wider and wider until she started to scream. She fell back on the floor, covering her face with her hands and screamed and screamed. Even when she fell into a coughing fit, she continued to writhe and tear at her hair.

“Mother!” Pavel ran to her side, trying to make her stop. He kept his eyes on the monster. It pulled itself a little closer.

“Pa . . . vel,” the monster rasped, staring at Pavel with its bulging eyes. And then, in a moment ghastly revelation, Pavel knew what the slavering ghoul in front of him was. It was his father.

It had been, at least. Now, one could hardly call it human. Pavel felt nothing but loathing for it and he wished he had the resolution to cut it in two with the axe. But he could not. Not now.

The monster that been his father saw the swaying of the axe in his hand and moved closer. “Kill . . . me,” it said. “The axe . . . will do nothing. In the high . . . tower there is . . . a dagger. Only it . . . can . . . kill me. I will . . . meet you . . . there.” It stopped and started to hack in short, sharp croaks. Pavel could barely look at it. “Kill me . . . son,” it said again and then, suddenly, it pulled itself around and was gone through the open door.

Pavel shut and locked the door. The fire had sunk low and the room was dark and icy. “Mother, sit up. Please,” he said, going to her and helping her up. All the strength seemed to have left her, but she got up, unresisting, and let him guide her to her chair by the fire. She picked up her mending and started to cry. The sobs came, stronger and stronger until they were shaking her thin body. The dam she had built triple-strong against the grief of her life had finally broken.

Pavel stayed by her until she finally quieted. He was putting more wood on the fire when she finally spoke. “You must do it, Pavel. You must kill him.”

“I don’t want to go near that thing again,” he said. “That is not my father. He died when I was a baby.”

“You must!” she said again. “I said good bye to your father a long time ago, and I cannot live now, knowing he is being tortured like that every moment of the day. You must kill him or I will never have peace. Do it for me, if not for him, son.”

Pavel nodded slowly. “I will go now,” he said.

moonlit night

(to be concluded tomorrow)

The Circle of Unbeing, Part 2

Click to read Part 1 of the story.

Midnight Forest

The frigid wind whipping through the tower door greeted Pavel as he reached ground level. He wanted nothing more than to run home and sit huddled by his fire but instead he crouched in dread in a protected corner until the three men of the Inner Circle reappeared, again wrapped in their rich cloaks.

“My lord, a messenger came here saying that your daughter is sick, to the point of death,” Pavel said.

The mayor looked at him hard, but then nodded. “Then let us hurry, boy,” was all he said. Pavel picked up the lantern and led the way back down to the town.

Pavel left the mayor at the door of the manor and went back to his small house. His mother was up when he returned. She looked up from her sewing, the weariness indelibly etched on her face. She never complained to him, but as Pavel had gotten older, he began to realize how hard the last fifteen years had been for his mother, the former daughter-in-law of a viscount and wife to the heir. Now, she was only a peasant woman and the least skillful of them all. When Pavel had been young, he had only thought about his own discomfort and yelled if the food she made was burned or tasteless. He would hide from the other children if his clothes were ill-mended. But she remained always like a lamb to the slaughter, though the execution stretched out over years of toil.

Pavel went and stood by the fire, still trying to process the horror he had seen in the dungeon of the castle. “The mayor’s daughter is on the edge of death,” he said after a moment. His mother’s hand went to her mouth but then dropped as she looked up hollowly at him.

“What will he do to us this time?” she asked plaintively. “When the crops were bad last year, he took a double share from our stores and when one of his cows broke its leg, he took our only one.”

“This is not our fault,” Pavel said.

“When has it ever been?” she asked. “He will kill us yet, even if it takes another fifteen years. He has a vendetta.”

“But why should he?” Pavel asked. “He killed my grandfather, but I was a baby and you were only his daughter-in-law. What could we have done to him?”

“I never told you,” she said softly, putting calloused hands over her face for a moment. “Perhaps I should have. My only crime was that I would not be his wife. I rejected his proposal and later married your father. I thought he had forgotten about it, until that night, when the people rebelled and he, their leader, took the title of mayor. A civil enough title, but he is as ruthless as any noble.”

She faced the fire, but continued to speak, slowly repeating to herself a litany of grief and injustice, dredged up for yet another bitter dose of recollection. Pavel went to bed before she had finished and her dreary murmuring cast ominous shadows over his dreams.


Pavel had just woken up the next morning when someone pounded on the door. He opened it to see their neighbor, Domnul Iorga.

“Warning,” Iorga said immediately. “Wolves are about, they say. The Cernea farm was attacked and six sheep were killed and mutilated. Also, one of the farmhands who was sleeping in the barn is dead. Carry a blade with you if you go out.”

“Thank you, I will,” Pavel said. “Have you heard any word on the mayor’s daughter?”

“Dead, they say. Last night,” Iorga said. He gave Pavel a meaningful look and crossed himself. “God be with you and yours.” He turned and went up the path to his house. Pavel looked back, but his mother was busy at the fire and had not heard. He would not tell her, at least not yet.

Pavil worked as a messenger for the mayor, as well as his duties as the midnight lantern carrier for the Inner Circle’s gatherings. He arrived at the mayor’s manor after breakfast and the guard Andrei informed him that he was summoned directly to the mayor’s study. “God be with you,” the man murmured after him.

“Is it true that Crina died in the night?” Pavel asked.

“So they say,” Andrei said. “Wadim was on night watch and said that the mayor came back after the first hour and then left again, carrying his daughter with him in a carriage. Wadim swears she was alive when they left, but an hour later, when they returned, she was covered with a sheet. I would have thought they’d go to Domnul Florea, the surgeon, but his assistant said no one came there all night.”

Pavel only nodded and hurried inside. All he could think of was the hideous monster he had seen in the dungeon of the castle, and how it had attacked Iosif. Was it possible the mayor had sacrificed his own daughter to that thing? There were rumors that the Inner Circle was involved in satanic rituals in the castle late at night. He had never believed them, but now a shock of fear ran through him as it occurred to him that what he had seen might have been the devil.

He was ushered into the mayor’s study immediately. He bowed and stood in front of the narrow wooden desk with the ceremonial mace lying across the front.

The mayor had changed overnight. His hair and beard were uncombed and his face looked haggard and wolfish. His dark-rimmed eyes bored into Pavel as if he were trying to read his thoughts.

“Did you go down into the tower last night?” the mayor asked immediately.

He knows. He knows everything, Pavel thought, as a chill of terror went down his back. “I would never go into the tower, my lord,” he said.

“Liar!” The mayor’s fist crashed down on the desk. “Sergiu saw you go in.”

“No! He was gone before—” Pavel hesitated. “I mean, yes, I did open the door to see if you were coming, but then I shut it again. I did not go in, I swear.” He was desperate in his denial; not matter what guilt his soul might endure from lying, it was far better than admitting he had gone down into that dungeon now.

“A door in the dungeon that is always kept locked somehow became unlocked. Who could have unlocked it, but you?”

“I do not know, my lord, but I swear that I did not go into the tower,” Pavel said. He could feel the sweat trickling down his back and hoped his guilt did not show through onto his face.

The mayor gave a snarl, but then collapsed back into his chair, as if his strength had suddenly deserted him.

“Go,” he said, “but may calamity find you swiftly if you are lying.” Pavel fled.

“I’m glad to see you still in one piece,” Andrei said when he had reached the courtyard again. “Did you hear about the other fatality last night?”

“Yes, the Cernea family’s farmhand,” Pavel said. “Domnul Iorga told me. Wolves, he said.”

“I have not heard of that one,” Andrei said. “I mean Doamna Korzha. Her husband said they were getting ready for a bed when a monstrous face appeared in the window. Big green eyes and teeth like a wolf, they say. The old woman screamed and fell down dead, her fare suddenly paid in full for her journey to heaven. Her husband said it was a face like a devil. Hey, where are you going?”

Pavel had taken off running towards home. There was a monster loose in the region and it was his fault. He had to get home and keep that thing away from his mother.

(to be continued)

The Circle of Unbeing, Part 1

An unusual Saturday post! This is the first story in what I’ve decided to call Invitational Prompts. This is where I ask one person to give me several prompts they’d like to see made into a story. This set of prompts is provided by my good friend, Sharmishtha Basu. Go check out her stories and thoughtful posts here, here, here or here.

The prompts were: a vampire, a small town, an old castle, and a scary tone (more mystery and spook than gore)

Sincere apologies to Sharmishtha for taking so long to finish writing this.

ruined castle

The town of Nerakrist slept, but on the overlooking hill, four figures picked their way up the overgrown track to the moldering ruins of the castle. The lead figure, a boy, carried a lantern to light the way. The contrast in their clothes was striking: the boy shivered in the fierce wind that whipped through his patched rags, while the three men behind him wore rich furs and thick woolen cloaks. They were the leaders of the town: the mayor, the thane and the master of lands. The boy’s name was Pavel.

They reached the rotting gate of the old castle and Pavel held the light for the men to enter through a gap in the timbers. They walked straight to a low door in the right-hand gate tower and the mayor unlocked it. Then they stepped inside and closed it, leaving Pavel alone.

Pavel hated the castle, but as the servant of the mayor, he had to accompany the Inner Circle whenever they held their midnight meetings there. He huddled on the ground, hugging his thin jacket around him. The lantern burned feebly and the deep shadows of the barren courtyard outside the circle of light seemed to hold creatures just beyond his vision. The castle was surely haunted, if not with spirits then with dark history. He hated being there, not because he felt he did not belong, but because he was terrified that he did.

Fifteen years ago, Pavel’s grandfather had been the viscount in the castle. His mother never talked about it, so Pavel had only the rumors and gossip of the townsfolk to rely on. They said his grandfather was a monster, a sorcerer, a devil-worshipper who captured and tortured the peasants of the region. They said that the viscount even murdered his own son, Pavel’s father, in the highest tower of the castle, even as the revolting peasants were breaking through the gate. So they said, at least.

Pavel heard footsteps outside the gate and he stiffened. No one would be foolish enough to come to the castle at any time, let alone during one of the Inner Circle’s midnight meeting. Not unless something was seriously wrong.

“Hello? Is anyone there?” a fearful voice called.

“You can’t be here,” Pavel said, looking through the gate and holding the lantern up. It was Sergiu, one of the mayor’s house servants, looking cold and scared. “Go, quickly.”

“I was sent by the mayor’s wife. His daughter Crina has taken a turn for the worse. She may die.”

“I will die if I go down there and disturb them at whatever they are doing,” Pavel said. “Wait here, if you want, or I will tell him as soon as they come back up.”

“What do you think he will do to you when he finds out his daughter died while he was away because you withheld the message?” Sergiu said.

Pavel looked towards the closed door. “It’s probably locked anyway,” he said, although without conviction. He tried the latch and door opened.

“Go! Tell him now,” Sergiu said. “He will not mind an interruption for this.” Both of them knew this was not true. Sergiu disappeared and Pavel heard his running footsteps disappear down the slope.

The mayor would be furious—it was inevitable at this point. All that remained was to determine which action would make him less angry. The Inner Circle had many meetings here, perhaps several a month, but the mayor only had one daughter and Crina was the world to him. Pavel stepped inside the door.

The inside of the tower was a barren, circular room with stairs going up and down. The Inner Circle’s cloaks hung on hooks along one side of the wall and tracks in the dust headed towards the descending stairs. There was a very faint odor of old decay that hung in the cold air.

Pavel started down the steps slowly, holding the lantern above him. The steps curved down to the right and then split, with steps going left and right. There were no tracks here and the air was totally still as if he were sealed in lead. After a moment’s hesitation, he took the left-hand stair.

It descended, straight and narrow for almost a hundred steps until Pavel reached two heavy wooden doors. One was locked, but the other was only barred with a heavy bolt slid across it. Pavel stopped and listened at the door. He should not have come. It had seemed the right thing to do, to warn the mayor about his daughter, but now that he was actually outside the chamber where the Inner Circle held their clandestine gatherings, he knew it was foolish. Any interruption for any reason would be punished harshly. But it was as if he were sliding downhill, with no way to stop. Pavel placed the lantern on the stairs and carefully slid the bolt back from the door.

The door did not squeak, which was strange for a ruin, but a blessing for him. As soon as the door had opened a crack, a vile stench of rot and death hit him and almost made him sick. The room beyond was dim, lit from somewhere far beyond. He could see black bars ahead in the gloom and voices talking.

“Please, please let me go! I’ll do anything you want. For God’s sake, think of my family.” The voice was thin and cracked from dehydration. Another voice spoke further off. It was fainter and Pavel took a few steps in to hear better.

“We are the executors of justice,” the second voice said. “The keepers of righteous violence. You do not want us to think of your family as well. You were brought here because of wrongdoing. It was you who were supposed to take care of Crina’s horse. When she was out riding, it threw a shoe and she had to walk back in the rain. It is because of you that she is gravely ill.”

Pavel moved forward and found the way blocked by a barred door, standing ajar. Through it, he could see a wide arena bordered with more dark cells. In the middle of the area knelt a man in ragged clothes, his face upturned in supplication. Fifteen feet above, three figures stood looking down from behind a breastwork of stone. They were robed in white and wore masks, but it was clear to Pavel who they were.

“Mercy!” the man cried. “I did my best. I could not have known that the horse would lose its shoe.”

“Nevertheless, the damage was done and because of your actions, my daughter may die,” one of the masked men said. He took off the mask and Pavel saw the mayor’s face contorted in hate. “There is only one thing you can do now, Iosif: die and ask God Almighty for mercy. You will get none on this earth.”

Iosif, Pavel thought with a shock. He recognized him now. Iosif, the mayor’s stableman had disappeared the night after Crina had gotten sick. They said that the wolves of the Dark Forest had gotten him as he was bringing a load of hay back to the barn. That was four days ago.

One of the other masked men, reached up and pulled a rope that was hanging from the ceiling. Across the arena, there was a click and a barred door opened. Iosif gave a moan of dread, as if he knew that the moment of judgment had come, although not its form.

Something moved in the darkness of the cell. It shuffled forward into the lamplight and Pavel saw with horror a blighted and hairless scalp, stretched thin and tight over a protuberant skull. The monster reached out a ghoulish hand towards Iosif, pulling itself forward with the other, as if it were not used to walking. Iosif turned and ran, stumbling into the gloom towards where Pavel was hiding. The creature paused for a moment, then leapt with claws outstretched onto the unfortunate man’s back. The last thing Pavel saw before he ran was the monster’s lips pulling back to reveal long, stained fangs. Pavel fled back into the hall and up the steps, not bothering to rebolt the door he had opened.

(to be continued)

jail cell

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It's All in Finding the Right Words

The Eternal Search to Find One's Self: Flash Fiction and Beyond

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Lessons, Joys, Blessings, Friendships, Heartaches, Hardships , Special Moments

A Writer's Path

Sharing writing tips, information, and advice.

Chris Green Stories

The Best Short Stories on the Internet

Finding Myself Through Writing

Writing Habits of Elle Knowles - Author


Inspiring mental health through creative arts and friendly interactions. (Award free blog)


Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!

Unmapped Country within Us

Emily Livingstone, Author

Silkpurseproductions's Blog

The art of making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

BJ Writes

My online repository for works in progress


she is confidence in shadows.

Musings on Life & Experience

Poetry, Fiction, & Non-Fiction Writings

Outside The Lines

Fun readings about Color, Art and Segmation!


a Photo Blog, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to dear dirty New York

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