The Cabin on the Shore

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“Dark Cabin” by FireLeafBurn (2014)

In celebration of All Hallows’ Eve, I present to you a short story I wrote about a wandering man who finds himself caught out along a shore in the dead of night, and of the decrepit cabin that appears to be his only respite from the storm.  I hope you enjoy it, and Happy Halloween everyone!  Originally written on the 2nd October 2014.


The Cabin on the Shore

It’s raining as I write this. I’m cold, I’m wet, but luckily, I’ve found the cabin.

I had been walking along the shore in the blackness of night for many a weary mile. No moon lit my path, no stars overhead to keep me company. Only phantasmal clouds and shadows grim. With head down, I walked along the hard sands and slick rocks for countless hours, growing progressively colder and more fatigued the further I travelled through the endless onyx night. Finally, in the midst of a large stretch of shore lined with the skeletal contortions of menacing pines, I spied the wooden shanty.

From some distance ahead it beckoned to me. It lay like a desecrated crypt just off the high water mark, repulsive and malignant. The structure looked like it had been sitting alone in these wilds for a hundred years or more, a crumbling victim of abandonment. As I trudged slowly towards it and pondered its history, more details of its weather and time worn exterior were revealed to me in all their disfigured repugnance. The bleached wood was pale, jagged and crumbling away in parts. Its warped roof sagged with the weight of the ages, and only managed to cling to a meagre scattering of its ancient slates. There were no windows, only a single doorway, misshapen, black and decidedly uninviting. The portal yawned at me from afar, almost daring me to enter.

Increasing my pace considerably, I soon arrived at the threshold of my bleak respite. I had to get out of the treacherous weather, even if it was into this sullen coffin of long forgotten memories and lifetimes before me. After a series of raps on the walls and a wary scout around its exterior, I cautiously crept inside.

Inexplicably, within was blacker than without. This oddity perplexed me greatly, and try as I might, I could barely make out anything within the dim sanctuary of the cabin. There was a grim resonance to the place, an indefinable unease I felt in my cold bones from the very outset. After fidgeting around in the gloom, feeling my way across the walls and over the old boards, my eyes eventually became somewhat accustomed to it.

I found there to be no furniture in the place, save for a small wooden stool, eaten away in parts by generations of woodworm. I tried my luck and sat down upon it, hoping that it would take my weight and relieve my exhausted frame. Thankfully it did, and finally with an opportunity to rest, I closed my stinging eyes and contemplated the foul night.

And then I hear a sound.

It was a strange sound, muffled and faded, and coming from somewhere just outside. I could have sworn it was a voice, though I couldn’t be sure. I sat and waited, hoping to convince myself that it was something innocent. Soon, I heard it again. Nothing of this world came to mind, no animal or natural phenomena I could conjure would answer the mystery. Finally, curiosity got the better of me and I gathered the courage to tread across the creaking boards and step back out into the windswept night.

There was nothing there. Absolutely nothing but the phantom pines lining the coast and the howling dirge of the storm. I quickly scurried back inside like a rat and resumed my vigil upon the old stool.

There it was again.

But what was it, what thing was capable of such a sound? I waited and listened for maybe half an hour this time, hearing it speak, if indeed it was speech at all. I was convinced it was a voice, calling from somewhere on the shore. It tormented me, scratched at my sanity and clawed at my soul. I could take the mystery and taunting no longer, and so, for a second time, I ventured out into the salt-infused tempest.

And once again, I found nothing.

I returned to the cabin. Feeling the insatiable need to know eating away at my sanity, I found myself asking if perhaps I should explore the dense thicket behind the cabin, for maybe the source of my torment was hiding in there. Maybe the malevolent thing was ready to cause me harm. I certainly felt in danger. Regardless, I had to know. I left the worm-eaten stool once more.

After cutting myself on the vicious branches and other invisible assailants of the night, I found the thicket to be empty of all life.

Then I heard the forsaken sound again. Only this time, it was coming from inside the cabin.

I stood alone for some time in that overgrowth, facing the rear of the lonely structure. I dared not move, and so there I remained for what seemed like an eternity, rooted to the spot like the sullen guardians of pine surrounding me. I was bewitched. A prisoner of fear, my mind shackled to a sentence without end, one of ceaseless observation of demented winds whistling past the cabin’s contorted sides. My world was one of only tortuous sounds; the waves thrashing the sand, the screaming of the elements and the intermittent whisperings from the ominous shanty.

Never did I decipher a single word it said. Never could I discern a language, dead or alive. I was without answers, a clueless soul without resolution. In my stupor, I glanced skyward. Still, there were no gleaming stars to comfort me. There was no moon to fill me with light and courage. In a daze, I somehow crept back round to the front of the weathered cabin and stood in front of its open doorway. And somehow, despite myself and as if through someone else entirely, I found myself doing something that I never imagined doing. I felt like a puppet, a dishevelled marionette whose sole existence was to convey the actions of another.

In that dark doorway, I called to it.

What happened next, I have no recollection. I awoke inside the dismal hovel, the rain outside still pounding the roof, but the wind having ceased almost entirely. The first rays of morning were emerging from beyond the horizon, bathing this old shack in pale light. I was on the gritty floor, lying shivering on my back. The little stool was smashed. I doubt I’ll ever know what truly happened here this night in this remote cabin. And in truth, I no longer wish to know. All I wanted was reprieve from the elements, and now that I seem to have it, all I want is to leave.

As I sit upon the sandy floor and write this, I notice that I no longer hear the sound that haunted me. I no longer feel a power over my will. All I hear is the water. All I feel is cold.

In a few hours the weather should be clear enough to continue, but I won’t wait that long. Once I finish this letter, I shall resume my sodden trek once again. I believe the town is only another day’s walk away. Hopefully I’m right about that, and I won’t need to spend another night out here on the shore. And one day, hopefully, I’ll no longer be able to hear the echoes of that nameless sound in the dark and distant recesses of my mind.

Through the Night

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“Creepy Forest” by Ralvar (2014)

Have you ever known the feeling of being lost in the wilderness in the dead of night?  This short story is all about that heart-pumping feeling of terror and panic.  Originally written on the 5th July 2016.


Through the Night

Long past midnight we trekked the country paths, timidly traversing the moonlit lands bathed in the phantasmal glow of a haunting moon, watching silently aloft from its throne of mists. Our footsteps whispered, accompanied by the sinister screams of malignant breezes which contorted the echoes of our inner fears. Whispering and wailing in turns through gnarled bones, those warped femurs of blackened night sentinels. These stern guardians of the ghostlands, the lonely and mocking trees of the shire.

You and I, we’ve crossed this realm of spectral sights for many a mile, with many more to go, on our way to the distant embrace of a warm amber glow, hiding somewhere out there in the swallowing mire of midnight obsidian. Beyond this veil of cold unease and tension, the benevolent light awaits our arrival.

Crunching, whipping, howling resonance urges us forward, surging at our backs like a racing stygian tide, ever pushing onwards through stony undergrowth and dense thickets. Alas, we’ve lost our way in this unforgiving night, exposed and fleeing through solemn fields, leaping bounds over gnashing burns. Directionless, we’ve lost our path. Even our lunar lantern shuns and hides away, cowering behind its billowing shrouds. To stop now is to throw ourselves down, offering up our souls to the mysterious haunters of the night.

So we run.

We gallop and we bound, dragging our aching bones across endless avenues of unknown skeletal formations, and down black corridors of groaning, creeping horror. Lost to the vastness of fear, we drown in nightmare adrenaline. The consuming panic sending us cascading like frigid falls of peat-stained water, headlong and wild into obscurity. We cling to hope like a choking candle. We dare not speak and dare not turn. We simply hope for swift reprieve.

Let it appear to us, let it tear this darkness apart and drench us in its warmth. Let these grasping arms of dead things lurch and retreat. Let them feel our fear. And let the screaming winds that command them scream no longer. Let the amber beacon emerge out of this atramentous dread. Hear our pleas, listen to our thundering hearts and bathe us pitiful lost souls in your beckoning light.

Spore

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“Clathrus archeri” by Jaroslav Maly (2008)

Continuing the theme of horror for this glorious Halloween season, here’s a short story to tingle your spine and keep you awake at night.  Written on the 10th October 2016.


Spore

Barric gawked at the length of flesh protruding from the dirt. It had sprouted in a matter of seconds, he’d watched it with his own eyes. What was it? Some kind of meat plant? The man gave it a cautious kick, not entirely sure what he expected to accomplish by doing so. The pink thing wobbled back and forth violently like a bobblehead, and then it exploded.

Barric leapt back aghast as a thick luminescent cloud of yellow spores engulfed him and everything in the near vicinity. The fleshy thing fell over and seemed to deflate, then turned grey and quickly shrivelled up into a gnarled husk.

What had just happened? Barric began to panic. Did it have something to do with the mysterious factory that had sprung up a few months ago which now loomed over the town, belching out its never-ending storm of yellow vapour? Nobody had mentioned anything about odd tumours of flesh growing out of the ground before.

Barric was a nervous man at the best of times. Now standing dusted head to toe in yellow spores he felt another breakdown coming on. But before he could pull out his medication, his entire body was overtaken by violent spasms and he collapsed onto the path. An intense pain crept up his spine, he could feel it snaking its way up each vertebrae one by one. Then it entered his brain. It was soon replaced with a general numbness which, try as he might to fight against it, gradually caused him to lose consciousness.

Upon awakening some time later, Barric beheld a large crowd. Most of the townsfolk had gathered around him and were staring intently into his eyes. “He’s come to!” shouted a large woman, pushing her spectacles down. Barric tried to answer, tried to ask for help, but he couldn’t move a muscle. Only his eyes remained under his control, he hoped the people could see the fear in them and would do something. But they didn’t. Instead they huddled closer, their expressions depicting both amazement and disgust. What were they so intrigued about, wondered Barric.

Suddenly, he heard a tearing sound. It was followed by the crowd jumping back, gasping. Some began vomiting. Something was happening to him, he couldn’t see it or feel it but he could hear it, and judging from the people’s reactions, it wasn’t anything good.

The tearing stopped, and a second later there came a dull splat from somewhere below him. Barric’s vision suddenly dimmed. More people vomited, many now turned their backs or shielded their eyes. Barric’s own eyes bulged from their sockets, trying desperately to see down below, trying to glimpse what horrors were happening to him.

A new noise met his ears now. It sounded like slithering, or of something slimy and large brushing against something wet.

Then he finally saw it. It rose in front of him, blocking his view of the disgusted crowd. It was some kind of thick tendril or stalk. Grotesquely pink and fleshy, it looked like a larger version of the thing he’d seen emerge from the ground a short while before, only much meatier and thicker. It grew and snaked its way up past his head, stretching high into the polluted skies above.

How tall it became, Barric never knew, for in the next moment a man in the crowd leapt forward with a tree branch and stuck at it with all his might. The paralysed man wanted to scream out, wanted to warn him, but it was too late. The lurid thing began shaking from side to side, and before the man with the branch could strike again, it burst like a balloon.

A shower of yellow spores peppered the crowd, washing them with lemon horror. Their aghast faces were the last thing Barric saw before his world finally went black.

Like FREE Books? Have Mine!

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Dear readers,

I have great news for you.  If you like to read (and I’m making the ridiculous assumption that you do), then I’m inviting you to grab yourself a copy of my first novel “A VULGAR TALE” for absolutely free right now!  Freebies rule, there’s no denying it.

So snag yourself the most out-there novel I guarantee you will ever read.  It’s likely to destroy your soul, make you laugh (or vomit) and generally question your place in life.  It’s not for the weak of mind, body or soul.  It’s A VULGAR TALE.  It’s vulgar.  It’s insane.  It’s fantastically bizarre and most importantly, for the next few days (13th – 16th October) it’s completely FREE.  Yeah, freebies are awesome.

Check it out!

Amazon US:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JH5VSK4
Amazon UKhttp://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JH5VSK4
Amazon CAhttp://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01JH5VSK4

I’m doing this because I’m amazingly awful at the marketing and promotion game.  It makes my head hurt and I don’t like that.  Therefore, I thought I’d make the thing free for a few days, with hopes that people will be kind enough to leave a little review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, talk about it, discuss it, tell their friends, tell their pest exterminator, etc.  So if you check it out, please consider leaving a review, I’d super appreciate it like you wouldn’t believe and I’d maybe even love you a little (or a lot, if it’s a five star review).

Thanks for stopping by, and please read A VULGAR TALE.  It’s sweet.  Rock on!

Midnight People

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“The Nightmare” by Henry Fuseli (1781)

It’s the season of darkness, Halloween.  That means the nights coming alive with haunting tales of horror and darkness, fables of fear and stories to send tingles racing up and down your spine.  The following is a poem about the fear of the unknown, the black corners of our own homes and the powerful hold the unfamiliar can have over us.  Originally written on the 16th May 2016.


Midnight People

They come in the night
When the clock does strike,
Its deathly dozen
Incantations of fright.

From infinite shadows
They slink and they crawl,
As I cower beneath covers
Resisting their thrall.

Of the night they are born
In the blackest of corners,
When darkness calls forth
Its faceless foreigners.

Though veiled from sight
I feel their blight,
Leering from nooks
Teasing the strike.

But they do not move
Only linger and stare,
It’s enough to make me beg
For the sun’s morning glare.

They watch and they wait
Guarding my prison of fate,
These nocturnal jailers
Tormenting their inmate.

How long must I hold?
And when will they leave?
I pray for a swift end
To the nightmare-conceived.

As the sand slowly trickles
And my nerves are racked,
Threatening blackness engulfs me
My consciousness is sacked.

And when I awaken at daybreak
Gone are the sinister,
The faceless phantoms are slain
And I’m no longer their prisoner.

A Vulgar Tale – Out Now on Paperback!

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My First Novel “A VULGAR TALE” is Now Available on Paperback!


Dear Readers,

I am very excited to announce that my very first novel has just been released on paperback. A VULGAR TALE is unlike anything you have ever read or will ever read again, I can pretty much guarantee that. It’s like an atomic bomb going off inside your brain, but in a really good way. Why does it have this effect? Because it’s the most degenerate, twisted, outlandish, thrilling and spectacularly vulgar novel that I’m aware exists. I do not normally write stories like this at all, let alone full-blown epic sagas of near-unimaginable freakishness. Hence the use of the pretty kick ass nom de plume, “Ebenezer Hellwig”. Mark my words, I’ll never write a book like this again. My soul can’t handle that much blackness.

So maybe you want to read something that’s different. Maybe you want to read something that’s just plain weird. Maybe, you want to indulge in something so out there and so unashamedly bizarre that you doubted such a book even existed. Now I’m not trying to toot the bejesus out of my own horn endlessly here, but I honestly don’t know of anything that even comes close to what this book is. It’s very niche. It lives in a little niche somewhere in the vast literary ocean, a bubbling eddy full of used needles, condoms, the bones of the slain and general nastiness. Oh yeah, it’s A VULGAR TALE alright! The name is also the synopsis, just so you know. Make no bones about it, this is a unique beast.

So, what’s it all about? Well allow me to quote the blurb on the back of the book for you:

When a giant scrotum-like god with phallic-shaped tentacles comes from another dimension to destroy Metropolis, it’s up to two complete assholes with a history of drug abuse and mindless violence to go on a thrilling interdimensional quest to save the day and get laid.

On the instructions of a tutu-wearing biker fairy with type-two diabetes, Ludwig Scumbucket and Basehead Bart set off to fulfil the stupid and mostly-incoherent prophecy and tear shit up like only they know how. Travelling through the very fabrics of existence itself, the inept duo encounter all manner of ridiculousness…and leave it a bloody wreck.

A quest of absurdity for the ages, A Vulgar Tale is sure to warp your mind and liquidise your sanity. If you’re a fan of bizarre adventure, the more deranged the better, then this unholy tome is your jam, man. Featuring plot points fit for a king, a string of gratuitous brutality, mullet abuse and characters so intriguing they belong wedged up Satan’s colon, A Vulgar Tale is as outrageous as it comes.

Is it good? Well of course I’m going to say yes, but don’t just take my word for it. Look at the amazing quotes I got from long-dead historical figures who graciously provided me with their opinions when asked:

“It made me evacuate the contents of my bowels against my will, in a good way”
– RAMESSES II

“Better than a heroin cake”
– DANTE ALIGHIERI

“Unashamedly bizarre, ridiculous, deranged and spectacularly degenerate on a truly grand scale, A Vulgar Tale is weaponised epic on steroids”
– VLAD DRACULA

And really, who are we to doubt these fine, upstanding and very much dead people?

So there you have it, in all its glory. A VULGAR TALE is my little, mutated, bastard baby. It’s a sick, sadistic, comedic adventure with a fully enthralling quest of amazing shit and unparalleled epic gratuitously applied for your pleasure. Okay fine, I’m totally blowing my own trumpet now.

In all seriousness though, this is my very first novel and I am very proud to have achieved this life goal of mine to get it published. It’s truly different to anything I’ve ever read before so I think if you have a taste for the bizarre and things that fall firmly outside the realms of normal, then I think you’ll dig it. It’s available right now on all regional Amazon websites in both ebook and fabulous paperback (for those who like to get all touchy feely with their books).

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read this, and please won’t you give A VULGAR TALE a try? Check out the ebook’s “Look Inside” preview, read a few chapters and see if it tickles your fancy. Go on, you know you want to! Also, if you do happen to read it (or have read it already) please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads, I’d super appreciate it!

Your friend and mine,
Ebenezer Hellwig

Amazon USA:
Paperback:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1536906859
Ebook:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JH5VSK4

Amazon UK:
Paperback:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1536906859
Ebook:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JH5VSK4