The Curse of Spring-Heeled Jack Part 3

27 Apr

Bartholomew went to bed early that night, with an unshakeable, eerie feeling. There was something strange about that day after leaving Ms. Berkley’s garden. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was watching him from the corners of his eyes, and when he turned to look, no one was there, like a ghost forever haunting his blind spot.

Bartholomew still lived with his parents in a little house in a little London suburb called Hollowfield. And after light supper, Bartholomew wished them goodnight and went to bed to ease his worried mind.

But even under the safety of his covers, in his bed, he felt the eyes of some invisible demon watching him from the darkest corner of his room. Bartholomew focused his eyes, afraid to shut them in case the whatever was to be right in his face the immediate moment he opened his eyes again.

But as the night wore on, he found his eyes neglecting their midnight duties, and like tired soldiers they drifted off to sleep in the silence of the dark room…

Bartholomew woke up, startled, struggling to inhale a decent breath for his lungs, as he felt the weight of something heavy on his chest. His window, which was closed before he snuggled into bed that night, was wide open with a deadly cold wind blowing in, but that wasn’t what made Bartholomew quiver in his bed. Sitting on his chest was a man, or what looked like a man. It wore a white ceramic mask with a cocky smirk drawn on and devil horns poking out of the forehead, and in the openings where the eyes were supposed to be, were two red glowing lights.

Barty couldn’t breath. It might have been because he had a man sitting on his chest, but he believed it was the crippling fear that emanated from the man that left him paralyzed.

A moment after his stunned awakening, the figure levitated upward, floating above him, uncrossing his arms and extending them towards the ceiling. They looked like metal, shining with silver claws–they were gloves.

Desperately wanted to scream, but the best he could do was little squeaks. The figure stared down from its position. It seemed to be examining him.

It continued to stare until it finally hissed out a word, “Es vos vultus mihi?”

Bartholomew shivered so hard that the springs of the mattress could be heard.

“Es vos vultus mihi?” it repeated.

Bartholomew didn’t understand. He couldn’t even place the language. Had he been able to, he would have answered any question he could, just to get rid of this monster.

The creature paused, as if comprehending Bartholomew’s ignorance. It took off its mask and Barty nearly fainted. Underneath the mask was a horrible face, a skeletal head with hanging skin and empty eye sockets, its mouth missing teeth and its tongue green with a decaying breath panting out.

A purple haze breathed out of the creature’s mouth, encapsulating Bartholomew’s head. He fell unconscious, waking up in an empty meadow with nothing but a tale and two chairs, Bartholomew sitting in one of them. There was a lovely tea set of silver on the table and a platter of biscuits in the middle.Bartholomew was tempted to grab one, but when he saw the figure appear in the chair in front of him, he thought better of it.

He appeared with skin and old, Victorian style clothing, looking like a proper gentlemen of the time. Giving a nod, he spoke. “Greetings,” he said, his voice gentle and refined, like one who was groomed with all the advantages of the noble elite.

Bartholomew was astonished, but he managed to utter a reply. “Hello,” he said, “Where am I? And who are you?”

“I’m the one you were looking for. I hold the title of Spring-Heeled Jack.”

“Title?” said Bartholomew, as he shifted uncomfortably in his chair.

“Come now, Bart,” said Jack, “I know you saw me that day in the garden of my mistress. I also saw the way you were looking at her.”

Bartholomew blushed. “I’m, sss, sorry, sir,” he said, “I didn’t mean anything by it. I was…”

“Only caught off guard by her exquisite beauty? Yes, I know. Just as I was so very long ago…”

“Long ago?”

“I have held the title of Jack for a long time now. Way before you, your parent, your parent’s parents… You get the idea, I’m sure,” he continued as he poured two cups of tea. “One lump or two?”

“Err, two,” said Barty, as Jack put two sugar cubes in Bartholomew’s cup before handing it to him.

“The title, Jack, is one not lightly carried. To be Jack means surrendering to a more chaotic personality. A trickster, wrong-doer, scoundrel, ect… But also it entails serving the mistress, as she is the one who gave the title in the first place.” He sipped his tea after giving it a stir.

“So…” said Bartholomew, beginning to feel more comfortable, “Why are you telling me all this?”

“Well,” said Jack, setting down his tea, “I am no longer the hansom, young rascal you see before you. I am old and

decayed and well to put it bluntly, dead.”

“OK?” said Bartholomew

“I have grown tired of this preoccupation, capturing young people to satisfy my mistress so she can eat them and maintain her youth, it started out as good sport until the last fifty years. It is all meaningless, you know? I’ve been trapped for approximately 108 years as Jack. I do not recall my original name, nor do I have any faith that I deserve my old name. I have done a lot of bad things, Bart, and I am ready to see my place in Hell. Though I cannot leave unless someone takes my mantle as Jack.”

“I’m sorry, sir,” said Mark, “But I don’t want to be Jack.”

“I’m afraid you don’t have a choice,” said Jack, “My mistress chose you. You will be her pleasure as well as her hunter, until she grows sick of your face. I’ve delayed my duties for far too long. It is now time for you, Bart, to take my place.”

And with that, he placed his palm on Barty’s head and said, “Nunc detur tibi nomen Jack.”

It burned. Barty cried out as he felt a hot blade etch into his skin.It twisted and turned and went on for what seemed like hours, searing his skin, cutting deep, deep till he felt the scratches on his skull itself.

“Barty! Barty!” shouted his father, shaking him awake. “Wake up, Barty,” he said, “You’re having a bad dream!”

Bartholomew woke up and rose so quickly that he head butted his father in the jaw. He rubbed his head to feel the sweat pouring out of every pore, hot, while the rest of his body felt cold and clammy. He panted as he apologized to his father, who was still rubbing his bearded chin.

“Are you alright, love?” said his mother; she looked like she had been crying.

“I saw Jack, dad,” said Barty.

His dad sighed. “It was all just a bad dream Bart,” said his father, “There is no Jack; he’s just a fairy tale.”

Bart’s mother tried to grin, but she couldn’t stop wiping her face. “I’m alright, mother,” said Bart, “It was just a dream, a really horrible dream. I’m fine now.” He smiled and tried to give his mother some courage as he desperately tried to find his own.

“That’s my boy,” said his father.

“Don’t hesitate to call us,” said his mother, “If you can’t sleep.”

“He’ll be alright, honey,” said his father, “He’s my son after all.”

“Yes, of course,” said his mother, still wiping her eyes, “Sleep well dear.” Bart’s parents left his room, their trepidations lingering with Bartholomew as they closed the door behind them.

‘Was it all just a dream?’ Bartholomew asked himself. He looked at the mirror that hung on his bedroom door and he could see something on his forehead that looked like a star. He jumped out of bed and got a closer look. On his forehead was the the satanic pentagram.

The Curse of Spring-Heeled Jack Part 2

27 Apr

“Thank you for allowing me to come over, Ms. Berkley,” said Bartholomew as the two sipped tea on her garden porch. Ms. Berkley smiled, the few wrinkles on her face betraying her age, however her young, blue eyes, so captivating, dispelled any discomfort of his own attraction for her.

“Well, I so glad that you would be honest enough to come by and fix any mistake you made last time you were here,” she said, winking at him. He had that uncomfortable feeling again. Maybe it was because he was so young and she was so much older, but if he wasn’t so preoccupied with his monster hunt, he would be easily persuaded to stay a while longer and inch his way to her upstairs room.

She was extraordinarily lovely, her light blond hair teased and flowing like a willows branches down to her shoulders, and her light green sun dress, with its low-cut front made her look like a dryad from the fantasy novels he used to read as a child.

He blushed, as he felt hotter and hotter from the conversation and he couldn’t help but think she was looking to get a little lucky herself, but surely a beautiful woman such as herself didn’t have trouble finding a man to sleep with.

“Wow, that sun is beating down, isn’t it?” he asked, trying to find a more innocent subject to dwell on.

“It is,” she said, “Maybe we should go inside where it’s cooler.” Her suggestion was well received, but Barty’s conscience calmed his animalistic appetites saying, “Sorry, but I should really get to work. I have a lot of other houses to hit this afternoon.”

Ms. Berkley smiled. “Well, I hope we get to do this again sometime.” She batted her eyes and leaned forward as she stood up from her seat.

Her cleavage was nice…

“Yes,” said Barty, “I’d like that.” He shook her hand, picked up his tool bag, and walked silently to the spot he saw the legendary myth, kicking himself the whole way there.

She was begging for it. She wanted it worse than I did.

But I’m not that guy. I’m really looking for Ms. Right.

But what about Ms. Right-Now?

I did the right thing. That’s all that matters…

Bartholomew looked down at the ground at the edge of the hedges. It was dark green with grass, except for a muddy imprint of a boot. It was deep, as if the figure was very heavy, but as Barty remembered it, he looked no more than 170 lbs. ‘There’s no way that that man made this print…’

Dropping his bag, he ran around the hedge to the other side, but there was no landing print. He didn’t find one for another hundred feet near the end of the block. He looked towards the other side. He could have jumped over this street, I think.’ He was about to cross when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

He jumped at the touch, warm and inviting as it was. “Are you alright, Bart?” asked the familiar voice of Ms. Berkley. Relieved, Bartholomew sighed. “Yes, I’m fine,” said Barty, “I, I guess I didn’t make any mistake after all,” he said.

“Oh? Well I hope next time you don’t need to fix a mistake the next time you come over.” She winked and strutted away.

Damn… that ass…

Oh stop that, said Barty’s conscience.

The Curse of Spring-Heeled Jack Part 1

27 Apr

The name had been scarcely heard for generations, only a murmur of the rumoured scoundrel survived after the first attacks, but every once in a while a new story would perk up, as it happened to Bartholomew Craig not so long ago.

Bartholomew, a young man who just graduated high school, spent the bulk of his time working landscape in the suburbs of London. Mowing grass, raking mulch, trimming hedges, it all kept Barty quite busy, so busy it left him with little time to spend with his friends during this last summer before university.

It was quite lonely; the most interaction he had was with his clients who had hired him to look after their yards. One, in particular, Ms. Berkley, a retired socialite and rather easy on the eyes for a woman her age, was his favorite, for not only was she pretty but she gave him the most generous tips.

It was in her yard that he saw an unknown man, or what he supposed was a man until it leaped clear over Ms. Berkley’s six-foot high hedges. Barty couldn’t forget his jet black hair and exquisitely, shiny black suit; he was obviously a suitor of the woman of the house, but what Barty found most peculiar (besides his ability to jump over the hedge, of course) was this white, ceramic mask he was wearing.

It had devil horns protruding from the forehead and a cocky smirk drawn on the face. There were holes for eyes and nostrils, but Barty was sure he didn’t notice any eyes behind it, but that was overshadowed by his incredible agility and anything beyond that seemed inconsequential besides.

He related this to his parents, who chuckled and said, “It sound like you had an encounter with Spring-heeled Jack.”

‘Spring-heeled Jack?’ Barty thought. ‘Spring-heeled Jack was only a fairy tale, wasn’t he?’

There was only one way to find out: he would have to make his own investigation.

The Mothman Reborn Epilogue

20 Apr

Daryl woke up to find his body healed. He looked whole, as if he hadn’t been in a fight at all. ‘Was it all a dream?’ he thought as he stood up. He didn’t know. He couldn’t figure out how he ended up in a ditch outside the power plant if was a dream, but he was completely unmarked. He did know one thing though, he felt a lot stronger, more than he had ever felt before.

He looked towards the city. The festival must have shut down for the night; his mother must have been worried by now… He faced towards home and walked down the road in the peaceful darkness.

It was an old house. It needed a lot of care, with the grass growing uncontrollably and the paint chipping unbearably, the house resembled a dying shack than a home, but with his mother working two jobs, she had little time to do  anything about it and his father had left them a long time ago.

Daryl walked inside to find his mother, asleep on the couch, the TV on, the news blaring like a megaphone. He looked over to her sleeping body, seeing her shiver, he draped a discarded blanket lying on the floor on top of her. Tucking her in gently, he turned his attention to the TV and was about to turn it of when he saw what looked like a door with claw marks running across it.

Daryl felt his heart stop as he turned the volume low and sank into an easy chair.

The Holler residence appeared, looking normal until the newsman interviewed the Hollers themselves. disheveled and frightened, they retold their story, claiming they were visited by the mothman.

Daryl’s body shook. ‘Was that me?’ he thought, ‘Was all that real?’

Another voice answered from inside that made him shiver, ‘Yes, it was.’

The Mothman Reborn Part 5

20 Apr

‘Where are you going? Weren’t you going to destroy Kevin, his family and the rest of this shit-hole town?’

‘I’m not going to do that,’ thought Daryl, ‘I’m going back to my body and I’m never doing this again.’

‘Our body, you mean,’ it said, ‘You can’t get rid of me now, and I can control you and everything myself if I have to.’

“I won’t let you,” Daryl said aloud.

‘Oh? You really think so? Your body is as good as mine. You’re weak! It’s why that Holler kid picked on you so bad. You couldn’t do what needed to be done because you’re a scared little bitch. When we get back to my body, I’m locking you up so tight in my subconscious that even in my dreams I won’t hear your insignificant bitching.’

…”You really think so?”

Daryl saw his body right where they left it. With a flash of light, they entered inside. Daryl found himself in an empty white room.

“Hello, Daryl,” said a voice behind him.

Daryl turned around to see a light-blue man standing behind him, with large black eyes and slits for nostrils. His arms and legs were long, with three digits on each. His mouth was large with great sharp teeth.

Daryl smirked. “You must be the jerk who hi-jacked my body. What’s your name?”

“You don’t need to know that. You’ll be locked up in here forever.”

“Not if I lock you up first,” said Daryl.

The being laughed. “I am intelligence! I know more about the mind than anyone else. What makes you think you can beat me?”

“I spend enough time in my head,” said Daryl, “I think I take you.”

“I will miss your misguided notions.”

The being changed into its white, red-eyed form; it’s mandible chattering like a hungry bug.

Daryl grinned as he turned into the black form he took on at the Holler house.

“Cute. Your pitiful form vs. mine. Ready to lose yourself, boy?”

“Shut up and fight, body snatcher!”

Daryl’s hands grew and stretched, gripping the creature inside. It burned and Daryl released him quickly.

It had changed into a spiny ball of fire. Unrolling itself, it changed its hands into missile launchers, shooting enormous ionic orbs towards Daryl.

Daryl, shrank and twisted around them, moving closer. The being’s arms shifted again into swords, slashing out at him. Daryl’s left arm became a large shield. He pushed forward as the being jumped over the shield and cutting Daryl’s back.

Daryl winced. “Had enough?” said the being.

“You wish!”

Daryl threw his shield at the being. It dodged. Daryl raised his fists and shot ionic darts out of his knuckles. The being charged forward with his own shield, catching the darts like a giant board. Then Daryl’s shield hit him in the back of the head, sending him forward into Daryl enlarged fists.

The being, fallen and dented, stood up as if unphased. “You show a lot of promise. But that means nothing if you’re gone.”

“Funny,” said Daryl, panting, “I was going to say the same thing.”

Daryl’s knees shook. He felt weaker somehow. And why did the being look like he was getting bigger?

“You alright?” asked the being, smiling.

“I’m fine!” said Daryl, defiantly, “Just worry about yourself.”

Daryl’s hands elongated and sharpened as he charged into the being, slashing and tearing into its shadowy body, but to no avail. It wasn’t affecting him at all, and the whole time he seemed to be growing.

“You amuse me, Daryl Leroy Kerns. You can’t hurt me that way. It is pointless for you to continue. Just give up.”

“I won’t give up!” Daryl tore into the being again and again, ripping and shredding through the shadowy body as quickly as he could, but it was useless. Its body reassembled and linked and fastened together as if a master seamstress was hard at work fixing a ravaged rag doll.

Daryl grew extremely tired from all of this, and though he was causing the most damage, the being grew bigger with every strike.

“Have you figured it out yet, Daryl?” asked the being, his mouth wide and eyes calculating, “I’ll just tell you then: the longer we fight, the greater my hold on you. I have been absorbing your life force, your spiritual essence. Soon I will have undisputed control over your body and you will be a distant speck of a memory deep in my subconscious.”

Daryl’s face filled with terror. It had been a distraction the entire time. This battle was nothing but a time waster, allowing the being to assimilate into Daryl’s body.

“Too bad you’re too exhausted to do anything about it,” it said, creating a large ball of energy in its hands. “Any last words before your soul is disintegrated?”

“I’m not done yet!” Daryl shouted.

“Stupid boy,” said the being throwing the ball at Daryl. The ball of energy passed right through and Daryl felt some of his strength returning.

“What?!” shouted the being, “You… You should be gone.” It created another ball and threw it, but Daryl only absorbed it. Comprehension dawned on Daryl’s face.

“You miscalculated, creature,” said Daryl, smiling, “You may have been absorbing my essence and gaining control of my body, but it seems its a two way street. Now that I know what to do, I think I will be taking my body back now.”

The being smiled. “You’re so naive. Just because you know the trick doesn’t mean you can replicate it. Try it! I dare you!”

“Since you asked so nicely…”

Daryl ripped into the being again with his claws, this time taking a great chunk out of it. The being screamed at the touch and fell. Again Daryl ripped and tore into the being, tearing out chunks and strips, absorbing them and growing until the being was nothing but a head.

“Please,” said the being, “Have mercy on me!”

Daryl smiled his wide toothy smile. “No,” he said, and opening his mouth he swallowed what remained of the being.

The Mothman Reborn Part 4

20 Apr

Daryl’s hand expanded and like a whip, he smacked Kevin across the face, sending him flailing into his closet doors. Kevin’s body shook, terror spreading on his face like butter slathered toast. His hair turned white, and Daryl couldn’t help but laugh as he began to detect urine in the air.

Daryl’s mouth opened wide, showing his large, sharp teeth, as he laughed at Kevin’s horror. His arms stretched and wrapped around Kevin’s body, squeezing, feeling his fragile body like holding a kitten. He picked him up and slammed him against the ceiling and then throwing him into the wall. Kevin wailed as he bounced off his bed and onto the floor.

The door swung open and Daryl spun his head around to see two bewildered parents, intent on checking on their precious, baby boy, lose control of their legs and collapse into heaps in the hallway.

Daryl smiled as his body turned in the same direction as his head. He hovered over to the fallen parents, his fingers elongating and sharpening to points. Kevin’s father drew himself onto his wife, staring directly into Daryl’s eyes.

“Please, don’t hurt my family! I don’t know what you are, but… Please don’t hurt them!”

Daryl extened a clawed hand to Kevin’s father’s chissled chin, gently scratching the surface, little pools of blood forming as if he cut himself shaving.

Trembling he said, “Hurt me if you want, but please don’t hurt my family!”

Daryl grabbed him by the throat and thrust his arm through the window, breaking the glass with Mr. Holler’s body. Daryl grinned as he saw and bloody glass shards protruding from the window frame, and like rubber band, the rest of his body joined Mr. Holler at the window.

“Mercy!” choked out Mr. Holler, “Please, don’t kill me!”

Daryl’s hand trembled. Mercy… He seemed to remember begging for the same thing countless times in his many beatings from Kevin. Never once had he relented; never once did he show any remorse. Why should he? He looked around the room. It seemed that Kevin and he had many of the same comic book heroes–Batman being one of them.

What would Batman do?

Daryl’s arm came back inside, his fingers becoming normal and clawless. He set Mr. Holler on the ground and gave one last look at the room. It was a mess. Understatement to be sure. Mrs. Holler was crawling towards her boy, who seemed to be catatonic. Eyes wide open, mouth closed tightly, arms and legs stiff, his body curled into the fetal position, not moving, not making a sound.

Daryl felt so ashamed. So like lighting, he bolted out the window into the darkness.

The Mothman Reborn Part 3

20 Apr

The Mothman Reborn Part 3

Daryl awoke on his stomach, his head facing the power plant. It looked better in the darkness. Encapsulated by the night made it look more peaceful, quiet; it looked more like a comforting place, away from people, away from the world.

Consciousness overcame him with pain and misery from his arms and stomach. The punch to the back of the head left him a little addled inside, but his fingers and wrist wailed the most. Moving them was difficult, and he could not lift himself up off the ground. Maybe it was best to just lie there for a minute… or eternity. What difference did it make? Soon he would be healed just in time to be broken again…

Then, like a power switch flicking on, a bright light beamed down on Daryl that filled him with dread. The hairs on his arms and legs stood on end and he felt a tiny surge through his body like every nerve ending jolting at once, pulsing electricity in bursts, pumping throughout until he finally turned over on his back.

His eyes gaped; if he hadn’t felt so wired he would probably have fainted from the shock and terror thumping in his mind. Hovering above him was something like a ghost, white, almost translucent, red glowing eyes, and a chattering set of insect mandibles.

Daryl’s body began to quiver and shake, but suddenly stopped as he heard a voice in his head.

‘Don’t be afraid,’ said the creature telepathically, ‘I will not hurt you. I only want o give you what you want.’

“I, I don’t want anything!” shouted Daryl, “Pu, please, leave me alone!”

‘Of course you want something,’ it said, ‘Everyone wants something. I could give you power. Power to destroy your enemies.’

“I, I’m alright,” said Daryl, “Please don’t hurt me.”

‘I will not harm you,’ it said, ‘I will remake you. Make you stronger. Don’t you want your revenge? We, together, could stop Kevin Holler from ever hurting you again. You could live without fear; with me, you would have no peer, able to live in peace. Isn’t that what you want?’

Daryl was tired. He was sick of running away from Kevin, sick of Kevin never getting expelled from school because his father was superintendent, sick of being weak and being picked on… Power… Peerless… Peace… Could he have these things, for real?

‘Perhaps you need some convincing. Let me show you what I can do for you.’

The monster shivered and shook, its molecules moving faster, appearing and disapearing, like static on a television set. Moving closer, it entered Daryl’s body through every pore, consuming his body and mind. Screaming, Daryl blacked out for a second time that night.

Not blacked out… more like released. Daryl looked down from his new vantage point far above his body. He must of been 20 feet high, hovering over his lifeless body, laying on the side of the road.

He looked at his hands to see they had no shape, except for a pitch-black, blobby-like, gaseous fluid. He felt solid, but as he reached for his body, his arms stretching to unimaginable lengths, his new hands passed right through it, feeling the warmth inside and the familiarity, the knowing that it was his body and that only he fit properly inside.

‘This is our astral form,’ said the voice, ‘We can remain in this state for a limited time. We will have to return to our body to rejuvinate before long, for now let’s fly.’

Leaving his body behind, Daryl felt like he was wearing a jet engine on his back. They flew into town and towards the suburbs in almost an instant, whizzing and zipping by the tall buildings below. Nobody noticed, even on a night like that, everyone looking in the sky for the mothman, nobody could see the flying shadow sailing over the town. It was invigorating; he felt invincible in this form–free–able to do what he wanted… and even…

In what felt like a heartbeat, Daryl found himself standing before Kevin’s house. He looked up to the second floor to see a light; someone was home, away from the festivities that beckoned from the city’s lights. Daryl rose to the height of the window and moved forward toward it, peeking in to see who was inside.

It was Kevin, sitting in what looked like a normal teenage room. Posters of comic book characters and rock bands wallpapered the walls, and a desktop computer sat at the opposite wall of the room, and just underneath the window was Kevin, lying on his bed with headphones on, reading a magazine.

Daryl smirked at his inane assailant, unaware of the dark shadow shifting through his wall and climbing onto his ceiling. He was about to feel the cold hands of death rapping at his heart, stritch scratch scratching on his feeble back, bleeding, pulsing ferociously, just the way he, Daryl, had felt time and time before. Kevin would soon know the fear and the pain that piled up over the years. And that nobody did anything to stop him?

His father kept him out of trouble; he got away with so much. Should not he share in this punishment? And what about the police, the teachers, who only gave him  scolding or a slap on the wrist? Should they not feel his wrath of equal measure?

He pondered these things for a while, all from atop Kevin’s ceiling. He had never thought of the large scale, the people behind the scenes, who remained unseen, like an audience ever watching and not participating in the torture… yet by not participating, they had let it happen. Why should he punish Kevin only? All should suffer for these affronts.

Daryl slithered his arm across the ceiling and towards the room’s door. His fingers grew long and sharp, producing an audible scratch on the door before slamming it shut.

Kevin looked up from his magazine, a bit startled, to see a shadowy hand reach for the light switch next to the wooded frame and flip it off.

He looked at his watch. It was getting late; he must have imagined the hand. He rose from his bed and walked towards the door. He felt the hairs on his skin rise and his neck felt what seemed like the breath of the dead on it. He shook these thoughts from his mind as he flipped the switch back on but as quickly they left, they immediately returned as he saw the deep grooves set into his door.

Adrenaline pumping, Kevin heard what sounded like breathing behind him. He turned around to see a black, shadowy person, with big white eyes and a wide, toothy smile standing behind him.

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