Friday, October 10, 2014

Nightmare Fuel, Day the Ninth: Fear.

Not all horror is supernatural. Today's quick sketch, mostly dialog, takes a different and more domestic direction.


"...and see their sharp beaks, ready to tear you apart."

"Bradley! What are you doing?"  Her voice was sharper than the talons of the imagined bird. I dropped my hands.

"we were playing. He's fine."

"That's mean. You're torturing him."

I took a deep breath, spoke calmly. No need to lower myself to her level. "No. we're playing. It's a game."
 Image source:

"A game for you. Where you torture him."

"A good startle is healthy. It gets his heartrate up. Besides, my dad played games like this with us all the time. It didn't do anything to me."

"Your dad," her voice took that whisper-scream tone she uses when she's mad but doesn't want to make too much  noise. I saw the muscles on her neck tighten, her nostrils flair a bit, "is an ogre. If you were anything more like him I wouldn't have married you in the first place. Sometimes -" her voice trails off. We've moved away from his bed as we argued.

"Sometimes what?" I keep my voice low, but it's hard to keep the pain out of it.   My hands tighten into fists, fingernails biting against my palms."

"Nothing." She is sullen, contrite. I know she knows she's wrong, but she won't back down. "I" a pause. "I think you should sleep on the couch tonight. And stay out of his room."

I lie awake a long time, I see his hands above me, tightened and flexed into claws, reaching ever closer, yet not touching me. I can hear his breath, the hint of memory of his voice.

I'm never alone.

Nor will my son be.

Quietly, I step out of bed and walk to his bedside, my hands raised like claws.

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