My Watcher by Nina D’Arcangela @WiHMonth @Sotet_Angyal #WiHM8

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My Watcher

My watcher gazes upon me, great despair and longing seeping through her gently fluttering lashes. She lives a life of torment, a life filled with a depth of pain and depravity that rivals my own. Closer she wishes to draw, trying – always trying, but the measure of her success is a cruel and harsh one that denies, not grants, the wants of those like us. Unable to do more, she watches.

She watches as I sink ever further into the squalor that is my self-imposed exile, my place of preciously preserved pains, the darkest recesses of my mind where even I cannot find respite from my own deranged ramblings. Gasping for a breath that will never come, hope a thing lost to a moment that can never be regained, I will forever dwell in this chasm of nowhere. Capable of infusing life into me once more, yet unable to wade such a distance, she must simply watch as I succumb.

She watches as I prance about in this tattered garb, seeming to most a thing so giddy; a toy bright and shiny – all the while, inside… nothing but a fool. She sees my cracks, my flaws, all that makes me unworthy. She is witness to the tarnish that dulls my plating, the rust that flakes my surface, the debris that hinders my step. She gropes at the pile of destroyed dreams, hoping in vain to free me; the more she digs, the deeper the rubble becomes. She must watch as I succumb to what others have done, and what has become of me.

She watches as I shatter into innumerable shards, only to suffer my tears as I collect each delicate fragment to me; insistent upon rebuilding my ruined castle once more. Tears of acid crawl down my cheeks, the madness that accompanies them the crumbling of the world – my world – should they ever truly be unleashed. A steady stream of tangible harm inflicted by so many, each droplet a testament to the life I bear. Her desperate plea for me to hush heard only as an echo in my ear. Her arm stretched towards me, wanting so much to offer reprieve, is hindered by obstacles both beloved and unfair. She must watch as I succumb to what others have undone within me.

She watches as I flay open my own flesh for allowing moments of weakness, glimpses of joy, lies of happiness that happen in an instant, gone all too quickly. Brief encounters, an hour, perhaps two. Touching, loving, seeing, hearing; feeling – breathing; for the first time in so long, breathing. A small step that leads to a brighter existence, a false step placed upon undulating ground. A promise of the sweetest forever, but no promise ever made, a faith always held – a mourning that shall never end, my forever, my reality.  This she must watch as I succumb not to what others have undone, but what I have done to destroy me.

Would I give so much more for even a lie of something less, if that lie was not this? With all the wasted remains of me, I would…  But my watcher stands as guard. She will not allow one to crumble, for the other would fall, no longer even the loathsome wreckage that now exists. Scalding tears pour in a cascade of deafening silence from her eyes. She must always watch me from behind a glass wall that cannot be allowed to shatter for all that would be lost.

A pile of forever swept to the side so that the tendrils of this now never break for what should have been.

~ Nina D’Arcangela


© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela

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Stop by my other blogs for more Women in Horror Month content!
Spreading the Writer’s Word – A new Horror Flash-Fiction from a different female author daily in February!
The Road to Nowhere – Horror movie picks by The Damned staring strong leading ladies daily all month long.

And don’t forget to visit the Women in Horror Month official web site
for more great 
WiHM8 events and posts!

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Primal Urge by Nina D’Arcangela @WiHMonth @Sotet_Angyal #WiHM8

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Primal Urge

Tearing free of the straps binding it to the table, it slams its muscular body against the one-way mirror and snarls, “What have you done to me?” Its hideously deformed jaw and engorged tongue make the words nearly indecipherable. Saliva drips down the glass, its claws scratch angrily at the slick surface; the creature fights in vain to smash its way through three feet of impenetrable barrier.

From the other side of the glass, the doctor stands dead still, staring at the monstrosity thrashing against the window mere feet away. After an elongated pause, he orders, “Open Room Two.”

Without hesitation, the operator taps his keyboard to execute the command.

As the door slides smoothly upwards into the wall, the staff can see a young woman crouching in the corner shielding two small children. Filth and vomit stain her T-shirt and jeans; their terror is palpable.

The monstrosity slowly swivels its head toward the open doorway leaving clumps of gelatinous flesh sticking to the glass; lips peel from its gums, a chunk of cheek clings to the surface, one eyelid ripped cleanly from its face. Sniffing the air, it abandons its attack on the window and drops to all fours, senses focusing on the three new beings invading its territory. After judging them no threat, it rises slowly to its full grotesque height.

“Excellent instinctual response. Specimen eighty-seven has locked onto the victims without provocation,” the doctor recites into the digital recorder he is holding. Folding his arms across his chest, he waits with the others in the control room – they watch silently.

The young woman clutches the children as she tries to push further back into the wall. Shaking uncontrollably, she can do nothing but shield the children’s eyes and wait.

The creature strides menacingly toward them. One clawed talon on the doorway, it ducks beneath the slight overhang that forms the box known as Room Two.

“Switch to video feed.”  Monitors in the control room light up and display varying angles from within the multiple chambers.

Pausing just inside the doorway, it sniffs again, fuller, stronger this time. Its vicious watery gaze assesses the three huddled forms before it. A slight distraction – pounding on the wall to the right. The young woman glances; the goliath never wavers in its stare. The pounding is frantic; another woman’s voice howling in desperation from what must be a room next door. ‘God, is there another of these things?’ The thought flicks through the young woman’s mind.

Encouraged by her fear, it moves forward quickly, plucking a screeching child from her grasp. The woman in the other room seems to go mad;  scratching, shrieking, thrashing beyond the wall.

Dangling the boy before it, the thing draws a long breath from the child’s mouth. It smells the boy’s blood, his vomit; it tastes his fear. With one hand still holding the head, the other clawed fist shreds the boy’s body from its neck.

Snorting at the young woman clutching the girl, the monstrosity dangles the boy’s head above its mouth and releases it.  Still looking her in the eye, it pops the child’s head like a melon with its clenching maw. It chews; it swallows.

Lowering its own head in challenge, it flicks out a claw and rips the young woman’s T-shirt, sniffing at the putrescence staining it. Frozen in shock and fear, she does nothing. It grins. Reaching down slowly, almost gently, it lifts the remaining child from her numb limbs. The little girl struggles and begs; she tries to grab onto her would-be protector. The young woman can do nothing. She watches as it sinks its teeth into the squirming child’s midsection, splattering offal across the entire chamber, covering her in the little girl’s drippings. Chewing with slow delight, it continues to stare directly at the young woman cowering against the wall. It smells her rank terror; it sees her eyes dim as her mind slips to a distant place. It watches as her body goes limp then spasms.

All the while, the wailing from the room next door grows more incessant; more frantic.

Awareness dawning, it seems to recognize, to reason; not simply act on impulse. It likes this feeling. Malformed knees bent backwards, it leans down and flicks the young woman’s head to the side.

It has a thought: useless.

It has a feeling: mild agitation.

It hears a sound.

Turning its head, it recognizes the scent that accompanies the untamed agony coming from the other room. Smiling, it abandons the mass of jittering flesh on the floor, and draws a gore smeared talon across the wall. The sound calms for a moment… only a moment… before the maniacal pounding and ear-splitting shrieks begin again.

It leaves Room Two, returns to the table in the center of the main chamber and stares with smug satisfaction at the one-way mirror. It believes it has won.

“Seal the chamber. Gas it.” The doctor orders. He then speaks into his digital recorder.

“Eighty-seven has shown marked improvement with cognitive awareness, careless brutality, and its ability to identify its own DNA. But it still does not choose to kill the stranger. Is it showing a degree of compassion?” He clicks off the recorder, tapping it against his chin while glancing up at the monitor displaying the view of Room One.

Flicking the recorder on once more, he continues, “The reason for the test subject’s failure is still unknown. She should have been able to breach containment by now, her agitation and adrenal response is clearly heightened when her offspring are in mortal danger. End session eighty-seven.”

Rubbing his exhausted eyes, the doctor turns to the others in the control room. “Let’s clean this up, and get her sedated as quickly as possible. She’s already gestating two new fetuses from number eighty-eight. We don’t want to endanger them anymore than we have to.”

~ Nina D’Arcangela

© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela

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Stop by my other blogs for more Women in Horror Month content!
Spreading the Writer’s Word – A new Horror Flash-Fiction from a different female author daily in February!
The Road to Nowhere – Horror movie picks by The Damned staring strong leading ladies daily all month long.

And don’t forget to visit the Women in Horror Month official web site
for more great 
WiHM8 events and posts!

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Bloody Valentine Horror Event – Cracked Glass

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Cracked Glass

Slamming her head into the window, he hears it shatter with a resounding crack. “Look what you made me do? You think I’m made of money, huh?” She cringes as his boot comes up, landing in her gut. Gasping for air, spitting up blood and the remains of her meal, she reaches for a piece of the cracked glass; stumbling and unsteady. “What? You gonna stab me now? F’ing tramp!” She drops the sliver, tries to apologize, but the rage in his eyes is beyond reason. She curls in on herself to protect her already battered body. Instead of the expected kick, he slams his elbows down onto her bent neck. The crunch of bone is unmistakable.

~ Nina D’Arcangela


© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela

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Visit A.F. Stewart’s

The Bloody Valentine Horror Event

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Stop by A.F. Stewart’s Bloody Valentine Horror Event going on today from 9am – 4pm on Facebook for featured author discussions, books, links to other participating blogs, and plenty of Bad Love!

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Bloody Valentine Horror Event – Swept Away

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Swept Away

Dwindling twilight; a summer breeze. He hands her a chilled glass of wine. She smiles, thanks him, sips the dry fruity liquid and blushes. He returns the smile, sips from his own glass and looks out over the lapping water of the bay. Taking her hand, her leads her down the steps, across the patio and opens the gate leading to the surf. Slipping off her shoes, she steps through the gate and onto the cooling sand. He follows. Hand in hand they stroll to the water’s edge. Leaning down, he places a chaste kiss upon her forehead, her cheek, her moistened lips. They walk in silence, letting the water caress their ankles.

Rounding the tip of the inlet, the water is much more aggressive, the waves coming ashore with more force. The open ocean lies before them. They’ve always dreamed of sailing away together, escaping the drudgery of day to day life and living as nomads on the sea. They walk for what seems hours, both glasses long since drained, both sets of feet tiring of the sand. She smiles in the moonlight and nods the way they came, indicating they return home. Never one to deny her, he smiles his agreement. They turn, begin the trek back; the tide is coming in. She veers towards the gentler sand; he tightens his grip, holding her in place. She glances up, sure he has misread her cue. His face is shadowed, but seems harder, less indulgent. She tries to pull her hand free; he doesn’t allow it. He draws her further into the water; she tugs back, still believing he is playing. The moonlight slants across his face; she sees no mirth in his smile, but an ugliness she didn’t know existed. She begins to panic; he drags her toward the undertow. Being the stronger swimmer, he doesn’t fear the water at night; he relished the fight of the high tide. She swims only when the sea is calm, terrified of the unseen depths. Waves begin to crash over them; she sputters; he grins. Turning with an iron grip on her wrist, he drags her out into the inky blackness.

Eight days crawl by; he still clutches the swim trunks the police believe he was wearing the night he returned home, unable to find her. The detective sits on the opposing deck chair, tells him there is nothing more they can do. He begs, he weeps, he pleads for them to understand she would never enter the water at night alone. The detective understands, is sympathetic, but must still inform him they are declaring her lost at sea. The only item found thus far is her swimsuit that washed ashore. He identified it himself she reminds him. He is shattered, a broken man, the love of his life lost. The detective apologizes once more and excuses herself. The police presence withdraws from his home, his life, his world. He is the affluent one; there is no reason to suspect foul play. There wasn’t even a life insurance policy to question; she never had one. Playing the part of the grieving widower, he ceremoniously lays her to rest at sea; their friends all mourn his loss.

Three months later, he sails into port; she waits for him in the lavish bungalow they purchased on the French island of Réunion. They’ve had no contact in the months between. For two estranged lovers, it has been an eternity. They reunite; he pours each a glass of wine; she asks if there was suspicion. He tells her of his hysterics, burying his wife at sea, the long journey to reach the island. She asks again if he was suspected of having a hand in his wife’s death. He laughs as he answers that while he did indeed have exactly that – a hand in his wife’s death – they never suspected a thing. She asks how that could be. He smiles, places his wine on the table and cups her face while reassuring her the plan was flawless. Convincing her older sister to marry him, then gift him her wealth was a stroke of genius; it placed him above reproach and set them up to share a lifetime of extravagance. She’s the one he loves. The wedding; a ruse.

She smiles in return; she’s been swimming these waters for quite a while. She knows which underwater caves have air pockets, and which don’t.

~ Nina D’Arcangela


© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela

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Visit A.F. Stewart’s

The Bloody Valentine Horror Event

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Stop by A.F. Stewart’s Bloody Valentine Horror Event going on today from 9am – 4pm on Facebook for featured author discussions, books, links to other participating blogs, and plenty of Bad Love!

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Bloody Valentine Horror Event – Gentle Breeze

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Gentle Breeze

Wrapping my arms around you, your long locks caress my face in the gentle breeze. I reach up and stroke your hair back into place. I smile down at you, your clear blue eyes taking on an aquamarine glimmer in the brilliant rays of the sun. Leaning forward, I place a gentle kiss upon your full lips. They’re frigid beyond belief, not with lack of desire, but from the coolness of the autumn season. Wrapping the blankets tighter around you, I cuddle in closer, hoping to share my own warmth with you. You are all that matters to me. Was that the twitch of a smile I see? I laugh with joy as I hold you closer, trying to warm your cold body. I talk of plans we have for our future together, delight in allowing my mind to wander the exotic destinations we’ll travel to as I describe them, knowing an eternity awaits us. My head upon your breast, I speak of such things for hours.

Looking up into your eyes once more, I see peace and tranquility there. I see my future reflected in those beautiful glistening orbs. Again, I arrange your wind-mussed hair, make perfect your countenance, for you are perfect, and I’ll see you no other way. As I run my fingers through your luxurious blonde mane, my thumb brushes your cheek rougher than I would like. The smudge of your makeup reveals a bruise upon your creamy flesh. I kiss your cheek, I apologize profusely for hurting you. More makeup smears as my lips move over your skin. My brow creases as I look upon you again. Something is not right. Lifting myself to one elbow, I stare into your face… I begin to scream.

***

“Damn, man! Why do they keep letting her do this to herself? It seems cruel, if you ask me.”

“The Doc says it’s a form of therapy. She can’t come to grips with what she’s done. He thinks bringing her here and letting her lay on the grave might save her. More likely to break her for good, if you ask me.”

“I don’t know, man, it seems twisted. I know she was convicted on an insanity plea, but is this any less fucking sick than keeping your dead girlfriend propped up like some frigging Jenny doll in your bedroom?” He snuffed out his cigarette, “I mean, damn. Look at her. It’s like she’s really holding the dead chick the way she cups her arms… and the talkin’, it’s like she’s really talkin’ to somebody. Then the screams, man – I hear those fucking screams in my sleep every night. Why make her relive it over and over again? I think the Doc gets off on letting her dress up and do this. Why doesn’t he just give her some of those anti-psychotic pills everyone else gets? It’s been like five months now, right bro?”

“Shit, man. Don’t ask me – I just work here. There she goes, running toward the street again. I’ll get her this time, you just have the restraints ready.”

~ Nina D’Arcangela


© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela

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Visit A.F. Stewart’s

The Bloody Valentine Horror Event

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Stop by A.F. Stewart’s Bloody Valentine Horror Event going on today from 9am – 4pm on Facebook for featured author discussions, books, links to other participating blogs, and plenty of Bad Love!

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China Girl by Nina D’Arcangela @WiHMonth @Sotet_Angyal #WiHM8 #Film #women

China Girl

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Perfect poise, that’s all I ask: lips, crimson red; rouge, just a touch; skin, creamy alabaster. I’d prefer a dark brunette for balance but I suppose a chestnut will have to do. Yeah, yeah – that one.

Have a seat, dear, right over there. Yes, right there – sit still. No, I don’t want you to move. Don’t move, don’t blink, don’t fidget. Good. Now, shutter your eyes slightly… yes, just like that. Splendid: your shape, your size, your pallor, it’s all good; but not your leg. Huh? Yes, it’s lovely, but we don’t need it. I’m sorry; did you say something, again? You do realize that when you speak, your face moves, right? Did no one tell you to sit quietly and look the part, not try to play it? No, don’t answer that; answering is the same as speaking. Of course I realize you’re not an idiot – please, can we just get through this? Please? Thank you.

Okay, smile brightly for the camera; after all you are the leader lady… What? No, not leading lady, sit back down; what are you jumping around for? Sit, please? Thank you. Come on now, you’re entire expression just soured.

Listen, sweetheart, I ask you not to move, you tilt your head; I ask you not to speak and you hurl insults. Please, doll – just turn back toward the lens. Thank you; yes I understand that you are cooperating with me. Now honey, sit still, look at the camera and smile. Will you at least try to look pleasant? Do you know how many technicians will have to look at these frames over and over again?  Fine, turn sideways; a three-quarter will do. Quite the drama queen you are, or rather, would be, if sitting here wasn’t an indication of where your career is headed. Cheer up, toots, you’ll live in celluloid infamy – even if the public never knows it. Hey, that’s a very un-ladylike gesture to make at me!

You think that sneer is making it onto my reel? Go back to pouting; I can at least work with that.

~ Nina D’Arcangela


© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela

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Okay – I know this post is a little tongue-in-cheek and lacks horror, per se, but it does address a very interesting role women played in the days of analogue film making – and some of those films were horror. If you don’t know what ‘China Girls’ or ‘Leader Ladies’ are, and you’d like to read more about them, check out this link to an interesting article published by Atlas Obscura.

The image used as the prompt for this piece is from Rebecca Lyon/Chicago Film Society where you can find more information, and an impressive selection of images relating to ‘China Girls’.

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Stop by my other blogs for more Women in Horror Month content!
Spreading the Writer’s Word – A new Horror Flash-Fiction from a different female author daily in February!
The Road to Nowhere – Horror movie picks by The Damned staring strong leading ladies daily all month long.

And don’t forget to visit the Women in Horror Month official web site
for more great 
WiHM8 events and posts!


Bloater – Pen of the Damned Flash Fiction @PenoftheDamned

The Mission: Pick two of the five words and write a 100 – 150 word flash piece incorporating them. Here is mine.

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Bloater

Menthol, that’s all I smelled. The bloated mass before me waited patiently. I picked up the scalpel, the fluorescent light humming above glinted off its metallic surface. The Y incision made, I peeled back the outer layer of skin exposing globules of fatty residue and further decomposed tissue. Thick yellow fluid oozed from the gangrenous edges of the incised flesh. The second stroke sliced through muscle, invaded the stomach cavity; the gaseous release hissed in competition with the fixture overhead. The half-digested, half-rotted contents within were easily discernible. Next, I moved to the throat and began a vertical slit in the esophagus. The small, elongated objects lodged in the upper esophageal sphincter left no doubt; they were human fingers. Removing my mask, I glanced at the chart, confirmed the preliminary findings.

Cause of Death: suffocation due to blockage of the systema respiratorium.

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Visit PenoftheDamned.com to read seven other interpretations of the same word-prompt: Damned Echoes 4


© Copyright Nina D’Arcangela.

 

 


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