Wednesday, November 16, 2016

My Brother and Me, Christopher Lee, and the Divine Popsicle Sticks

I never really considered myself a macabre child, but the more I think back to the things I liked as a kid, the more I remember how drawn I was to the supernatural and creepy. Maybe it was because I was raised Roman Catholic and the supernatural stuff really stuck with me, a lot more than the be kind to your neighbor and don’t steal from the collection plate directives. I was both curious and terrified by the idea of Hell and demons, death and resurrection, and the whole good versus evil thing. Also on my maternal side I come from a very old world, superstitious Italian family who prayed to statues of saints and believed in curses. So I guess I was well primed for my fascination with things that go bump in the night.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't walk around like Wednesday Addams or anything. I was a normal little girl who played with Barbie dolls and cooked with my Easy Bake Oven. (I did like to melt crayons in it, but what kid didn't?) My room was pink and frilly and I liked to play princess dress up and run around in my ballet tutu. But I can't deny that from an early age I found creepy stuff really cool.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Welcome to Walingford

 


Walingford is a place rife with dark history and dirty secrets, and where Dr. Patrick Denny, renowned fiction writer, has returned to the profession he had forsaken years before—psychiatry. To the astonishment of his long-time girlfriend and ambitious literary agent, Helen Olssen, Patrick abruptly moves them from the glamor and excitement of the big city to the quaint, little backwater, abandoning a lucrative writing career from which they both profited. Manipulating his way into a job at Everston Psychiatric Hospital, or Foreverston as the more lucid patients call it, the overconfident and sometimes reckless doctor plunges into the damaged psyches of the most disturbed and hopeless—an insomniac, a schizophrenic, and a catatonic. But as he endeavors to untangle the mysteries of their troubled minds, his own tormented past begins to bleed into his present, and the macabre storyteller that still dwells within pushes him dangerously close to madness.

–From The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree

©2014 TM Gregg

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Crone's Table



“The crone lit a lantern that sat on a lopsided wooden table, revealing the clutter and filth that crammed the room from floor to ceiling. Jars filled with all manner of plant, animal, and fungal remains crowded the table. Baskets and rolled up rugs and broken furniture were stacked against every wall, obstructing any light that may have had a chance to penetrate the dirt-covered windows. Except for a narrow path from the door to the table and from the table to the staircase by the smoldering hearth, the floor was piled three feet high with a calamity of bric-a-brac that teetered on near disaster.”

–From The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree

©2014 TM Gregg

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Michael's Mausoleum


"As he had done every day, three times a day, for decades, Michael checked the chains to make sure they were secure. He listened for the familiar rustles and scratches from within. With a bitter spitefulness he banged on the old metal door.‘You still in there, you sick bastard?’he laughed derisively. 'You hungry? Got a nice little fresh baby out here for ya!' A weak thud against the door made Michael laugh harder. 'Come on, is that all you got left? Don’t you want this sweet, juicy little girl?' The door thudded more violently. 'Ho, that’s better.' The sound of nails clawed at the door frenetically. 'That’s right, try to get out, try to escape, ya evil bastard.' From within the stone enclosure, a cry of anger and despair and frustration echoed out into the dense wilderness around them. Michael chuckled and limped through the debris of the old cemetery, aware of the location of every broken piece of headstone, every depression in the spongy earth.'You’re not going anywhere,' he mumbled to himself as he hobbled toward his home in the forest. 'You’re stuck here!' he shouted over his shoulder. 'Just like me,' he said matter-of-factly to the overhanging trees."

–From The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree

©2014 TM Gregg

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Everston Psychiatric Hospital



“Patrick’s car peeled up the winding driveway and rounded the hospital into the parking lot. As he hurried up the stone steps, the building loomed before him, the entire row of second floor windows ablaze with light. Amelia’s awakening had obviously caused quite an uproar…He could hear her as soon as he entered the building. The inhuman sound grew more terrible the closer he got to her floor, her wing, her room.”

–From The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree

©2014 TM Gregg

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Tree



“The bonfire raged at center stage, and then, with a sudden burst of sparks, died away. Patrick watched the glowing embers fade into the darkness, and just as the last one blinked out, a moonbeam descended upon the smoky remains. A hush of silence fell about the clearing in anticipation of what was to come next. From behind him, the tops of the pines exploded into flames, lighting up the night like giant torches, and from the ashes of the bonfire sprung a tree. Its sinewy ranches unfurled into the burning sky, swelling into huge leaf-covered boughs that blotted out the stars and the moon. Its trunk expanded in great undulations, growing to an enormous size before Patrick’s astounded eyes. The earth rumbled as gargantuan roots snaked beneath his feet and knocked him to the ground.”

–From The Tower, the Monster, and the Tree

©2014 TM Gregg

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dear Missus Cummins

 


 

DEAR MISSUS CUMMINS

IM WRITIN CAUSE IM WORRIED BOUT YER HUSBAND MASTER CUMMINS I WORKED FOR IM HERE IN WALINGFORD BUILDIN THE TOWNS TOWER I HAVENT SEEN IM AND IM STARTIN TO WORRY THAT SOMETHIN BAD HAS HAPPENED I THINK HE MAY BE SICK IN THE BRAIN SINCE HE BEEN ACTIN REAL STRANGE THESE PAST FEW WEEKS AND IVE TAKEN TO CHECKEN IN ON IM

THIS MORNIN I WENT TO HIS BORDIN HOUSE AND HE AINT BEEN SEEN FOR TWO DAYS SAYS THE LANDS LADY WHO LET US INTO HIS ROOM AND ALL HIS STUFF WAS GONE CEPT THIS JOURNAL BOOK THAT I SENT YOU BUT WE DIDNT THINK IT PROPER TO READ THINKIN IT WAS MEANT FOR ONLY YOU

I HOPE THAT MASTER CUMMINS HAS RETURND HOME AND ALL IS GOOD IF NOT IM FRAID SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAS HAPPEND

SINCERLY
ARGUS RILEY






This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.


©2016 TM Gregg