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Visions  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Visions
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 769

Lexis shuffled down the cold, sterile hospital corridor to her private room in the west wing of the Sunnybank Private Hospital. Her eyes were still foggy from the experimental blindness treatment. Dr Faith Savage told her she should begin to see clearly in a couple of weeks. At the beginning of the week, Lexis could only see a single bright light, flooding her ocular senses like the incoming tidal wave on a beach. It wasn’t until the seventh day that Lexis began to see shapes, dark forms dancing in the light, like marionettes swinging and swaying on the strings of a puppet master.

Lexis reached her room a staggered across the open corridor to her bed, feeling another bout of vertigo. Getting used to sight after being blind from birth was not going to be easy. She reached her bed and saw dark shadow sitting on her bed.

“Who’s there?” She said, startled by the unexpected visitor.

There was no answer and the figure disappeared when she blinked. She was now in the room by herself, but the feeling of another presence in the room did not leave easily. Lexis had only ever felt objects before, so she did not know exactly what anything was supposed to look like. The feel of an object was not always consistent with how it really looked, especially to someone who had no preconceived ideas of what things were.

Lexis felt the buzzer to hail a nurse. She was scared now, she passed nobody on the way to her room, and more disturbing Lexis heard no voices. Finding the call switch only eased her tension slightly. Without a response to the buzzer, she would still be worried.

“Hello,” she yelled after no nurse came running within a few minutes. Five minutes was the longest she waited before today.

Lexis hoped up from her bed again and fumbled her way out the door and back into the hall with a hand guiding her along the wall. No movement seemed to happen up the hall, down the hall or at the nurse’s station. This struck Lexis as being strange, especially for a private hospital, she would understand it if she went public where half the wards were vacant.

Using the rail on the wall as a guide, Lexis edged her way down the long, bright corridor, looking from side to side for signs of other patients or staff. Everything around was still a blur, but the light seemed to be clearer and, somehow sharper. By the end of the corridor, she was sure that she was living in a bad rerun of the Twilight Zone or something. It just didn’t add up, everyone was gone; disappeared over night.

A noise behind Lexis startled her, and she almost tripped over as she pivoted around quickly. Down the end of the corridor, near where Lexis judged her room would be, stood two tall, dark shapes. She thought they couldn’t be nursing staff; they always wore white shirts and trousers.

“Hello,” she called.

There was no reply, but the figures did seem to hear her call. They slowly moved towards Lexis. As they came closer, Lexis thought they were hovering a few feet above the floor, rather than walking on it like a normal person would, or should.

“Who’s there?” she said.

Although the two towering figures were now only a few feet away, they were still fuzzy, lacking clearly defined outlines. Lexis realised that everything looked as though she were watching an out of focus television.

“Welcome, Lexis,” one said.

“We have been expecting you,” the other said.

“Who are you? Where are the nurses?”

“Oh, you are between time, now,” said one.

“Between time... what are you talking about?”

“When you began looking in-between things that were and were not,” one said.

“You eventually crossed over to here,” The other one said.

“What are you talking about? Where is here, it looks like the hospital to me.”

“Here, is where you were before you could see,” one said.

“But it is in the space between what you call time,” the other one said.

Lexis looked around the corridor. It looked like the hospital she woke up in, but was that the same one she was in before the operation. She could not be sure. Without sight, she did not know exactly what the hospital looked like, so she thought she could be anywhere now.

“Oh, you are anywhere,” one said.

“And nowhere,” the other one said.

A Sense Of Spell  

Posted by Scott Wilson

A Sense Of Spell
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 100

Shiny Bling-Bling arrived home on Venus from another successful hunt for components listed in her spell book. She tipped her bag of human ears, noses, tongues and eyes onto her work bench. Shiny put each fresh ingredient in a labeled jar and flicked open her spell-book. Behind the large book sat and empty jar.

“Oh snazzlepots,” she said. “I forgot the fingers.”

Without these, she would not be able to cast the human touch spell. Not much of a market for the other human senses without the sensation of touch.

Shiny conjured up another wormhole and headed back to Earth.

After Midnight  

Posted by Scott Wilson

After Midnight
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 469

It was well after midnight, when the dog began to whine, growl and then bark. It may have saved them. Not long after Rusty woke Jim and Trudy Livingstone, they heard a faint rustle at the back door. The door knob jiggled about like wind chime being blown by a soft summer breeze and Jim could tell someone was trying to break in.

“Get my gun,” Jim said, picking up his baseball bat as he walked down the hall towards the kitchen at the back of the house. The corridor seemed alive, with shadows dancing in the moonlight before Jim’s eyes.

By the time he reached the kitchen door, Trudy was at his side with the loaded pump action shotgun, held tightly in front of her chest. Jim put his finger to his lips as his wife was about to say something.

The door handle rattled, then the couple heard the chamber of the lock click open. Time seemed to go in slow motion, and the door handle turned slowly anti-clockwise.

Rusty, the neighbor’s German Sheppard, growled loudly, and the door knob creaked to a stop. A white flash shot across the back porch and Rusty whimpered sharply.

Jim motioned for his wife to aim the shotgun at leg height at the back door. He did not want her accidentally killing the intruder when he opened the door.

The door creaked open and a large figure in a musky smelling, black robe stood covering the entire height of the doorway. The figure held a scythe in its right hand that reflected the moonlight on the gap where the face should be. A pale, yellowy white, bony face stared at Jim and Trudy in the moonlight.

Jim and Trudy were speechless. Though Jim was ready to read the riot act to the intruder, no words would make the journey to his mouth now, apart from an incoherent, ba...baa baa.

“Good evening,” the figure said in a hollow and deeply British sounding accent. “I am Death, and we have an appointment.”

“Ba...baa...baa,” Jim stuttered.

“Which one of us?” Trudy managed to say.

“Sorry, madam,” Death said. “With your husband, Ivan Trundle.”

“Ba...baa...baa”

“Ivan Trundle?” Trudy said.

“Yes, madam. Mr. Ivan Trundle of 94 Bottlebrush Road.”

“The Trundle’s live next door,” Trudy said. “This is 92 Bottlebrush Road.”

Death would have looked embarrassed, if he has a face rather than a lifeless skull.

“Oh,” he said, turning slowly towards the yard with the dog he had just zapped with a small bolt of year remover.

“Ba...baa...baa” Jim stuttered.

“Do close your mouth dear,” Trudy said.

“I do apologies for any inconvenience,” Death said. “Third time that this has happened to me this week.”

Death turned and walked down the stairs from the porch, shaking his head as he moved towards number 94.

One Hell Of A Time  

Posted by Scott Wilson

One Hell Of A Time
By Scott Wilson
Word Count:718

Toby opened his eyes, squinting from the bright yellow and red flames surrounding the cave in which he found himself. His skin stung, burning like a pig on a spit, blistering and swelling painfully. He quickly became aware of the sorrowful sound of a million moans, echoing in the vast, cavernous surroundings. Each bellowed seemed to ricochet off rough, red earthen stalactites and stalagmites like a stray bullet.

“Get up you scum!”

Toby felt a harsh sting run down his naked back. He turned and faced a towering red humanoid figure with the legs of a goat, the torso of a man and the tormented face that was the combination of a human and ram. Hanging from the creature’s tightly clenched fist was a long whip made of blood stained barbed wire and bolts.

“Get moving,” It bellowed, lifting the menacing whip high above its shoulder.

Toby scrambled to his feet, searing his palms on the hot, rocky floor of the cavern. A naked woman knocked him back to the ground as she rushed past. He felt the tearing flesh pull away from his back as the whip hit his blistered skin again. Quickly, he hoped up and joined the crowd of naked men and women of all ages, races and creeds shuffling along the sharp, rocky floor, towards the centre of the cavern.

“Hell-o, it's nice to see you all here,” A creature similar to the one that whipped Toby said, in a deep and thunderous voice. “Now, as the more perceptive of you probably realized by now, this is Hell and I am the Devil.”

“Now, you all are here for eternity. Which I hardly need to tell you is a heck of a long time. So you're all get to know each other pretty well by the end. No sorry, forgot, there is no end. Anyway, I'm going to have to split you up into groups.”

A young woman ran to the front of the group, screaming.

“Will you stop screaming, please? There will be plenty of time for that entire later, but for now, QUIET!” The Devil raised a finger and the woman’s mouth sealed shut in a fleshy gag.

“Thank you.”

The Devil opened a large parchment and looked down the list of souls for the day.
“Now, murderers, murderers... over here please... thank you. Looters and pillagers over here, thieves if you could join them and lawyers, yes you can join them to.”
Fornicators if you could step forward... Oh, bugger there are lot of you these days, isn’t there? Can I split you up into adulterers and the rest to make things a bit easy for my boys please? Male adulterers if you could just form a line in front of that small guillotine in the corner there. We can split the whisker, as you say.”
Toby looked around at the steady stream of naked men, walking against their will towards the punishment they would receive, over and over.

“Atheists... atheists? Over here please. You must be feeling a right bunch of tools about now. Oh, don’t worry; it won’t take long for the boys to make you change your mind about a few things.”

Toby tried to run. He could not move his legs and noticed that he defecated himself; the stench rose to his nose and made him vomit.

“Oh bugger it, I don’t feel up to sorting the rest of you out at the moment. What’s say we just start with a round on the rack for each of you, followed by a nice little disembowelment. Okay. Right...well...are there any questions? Yes?”

An elderly looking gentleman with a noose around his flabby neck yelled something out. Toby could not hear it and was pretty sure it wasn’t about anything like the answer it received.

“No, I'm afraid we don't have any toilets. If you'd read your Bible, you might have seen that is was damnation without relief. So, if you didn't go before you came then I’m afraid you're not going to enjoy yourself very much. But then I believe that's the idea.”

“And I'll catch you all later at the great barbeque, Bye.”

Psyc Out  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Psyc Out
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 280

Bob Reece shuffled towards the surgery door, dragging his slightly deadened left leg on the paisley carpet behind him. The stroke he had ten years after becoming a psychiatrist deeply affected the way he saw his patients.

“You just think about that,” he said in a low, gruff voice, to the young woman leaving his office. “I won’t put up with that again.”

Marge, the sixty-year-old receptionist in Dr Reece’s office, looked up from the game of solitaire she played on her computer.

“Same time next week?” Marge said.

The young woman looked at Marge, wiped a tear from her eye and nodded.

Dr Reece hobbled over to the front reception desk and taped the receptionist on the shoulder.

“Make a note on her file,” he hissed in a venomous voice. “That she is non-compliant and resisting treatment. I recommend that she be taken off her benefits and forced back to work.”

Dr Reece shuffled back into his office, tossed the young woman’s file in the red tray he reserved for ‘patients with an attitude’. He moved behind his large, antique oak desk and dropped into his leather executive chair.

Although he had his stroke twenty years back, when he was only thirty-four years old, the bitterness still consumed him. He had to work to pay the bills, keep a roof over his head and food on his table. His permanent disability made him unsympathetic to anyone on compo and he did everything he could to make them loose their compo so they had to go back to work to.

Crypt Tales  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Crypt Tales

By Scott Wilson

Word Count: 55

Under the blood, red moon, Samuel worked furiously against time. The shackles around his ankles were never a problem, nor were the one around his left wrist. Securing his right wrist and keeping the key safe for the morning took a great deal of concentration and careful manoeuvring. Lycanthropy was a real bitch.

The Carnival of Flowers  

Posted by Scott Wilson

The Carnival of Flowers

By Scott Wilson

Word Count: 55


Bright, orange petals exploded colour into the morning sky with a jubilant fanfare, followed closely by an array of sweetly, fragrant white, yellow, and pink blooms. With the first day of spring, the flora obliged willingly with the season’s expectations of filling the gardens around Toowoomba with joy and startling backdrops.

He, who has power, has power  

Posted by Scott Wilson

He, who has power, has power

By Scott Wilson

Word Count: 203

Jenny cried and sniffled uncontrollably, it was a life changing and extremely, traumatic experience for both her and her husband. Over six months ago, she ruptured the C6/C7 discs in her back, causing excruciating pain, suffering, and limiting both her ability to work and have a social life. While it changed her life in every aspect and clinical evidence, CT scans, MRI scans, and two neurosurgeon’s reports proved there were physical injuries, the psychiatrist she sought help from betrayed her over a disagreement on their first consultation. The battered ego of the psychiatrist caused him to extract revenge in the most vindictive and personal way he knew how, regardless of the evidence his accusations was blatantly false. By lodging a report stating Jenny was trying to rort the system and become “the sick person,” the psychiatrist caused the compensation board to cease paying benefits to her, leaving her without any form of income and the ability to earn a wage due to her debilitating injuries. As Peter Parker’s Uncle once said, “With great power, comes great responsibility,” there must be some justice in the world for those that abuse this power.

Good Foundations Make A Happy Home  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Good Foundations Make A Happy Home
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 1043

John could not understand why nobody else could feel it. Every time he went downstairs, he dreaded it. His parents moved into the house a month ago and he already hated it. He could feel the evil oozing out of the dark, isolated space under the patio. There was only a small crawl space in the brickwork in the middle of the wall half way up and dead bang in the centre. John wished that whoever built the house just bricked the whole wall in and did not leave this scary opening to the pits of hell.

There was only one light switch in the dungeon as his friends and he called it. You had to crouch down to get through the small doorway in the laundry and then quickly maneuver down one-step and across one meter of concrete floor to the light switch, located on the beam on the ceiling. Why the builder did not put this on the wall near the door was another question John would like to ask the builders. Just what were they thinking when they made this split-level house. Three bedrooms, bathroom and toilet on the top level, then down six stairs to the lounge room, kitchen and dining room. A long stairwell down to the garage and laundry was the next level of the house, with the dungeon another step down into the ground beneath the house.
John walked down the stairs to the laundry slowly, hoping that his mother would call him back upstairs, telling him not to worry about getting her the stepladder from the dungeon. Although John’s parents didn’t call this area the dungeon, they knew John and his friends did. They actually thought it was funny and could understand why they named it the dungeon. The area was cold, damp and constructed entirely of concrete, concrete floor, pillars, foundations and stair. The only non-concrete part of the room was the wall beneath the patio. Inside this area the floor was just dirt and never used for anything at all. Cobwebs hung from wall to floor and floor to ceiling and the dirt stank of moisture.

John entered the laundry, still hopeful of a last minute reprise from going into the dungeon. He hoped that his dad would get home before he went through the small doorway and into the feared spot beneath the house. It was four o clock and the sun was just beginning to make it’s decent from the sky for the evening. His father should be home by now, but he wasn’t. So John was going to have to go in.

He stuck his head in the doorway and looked towards the daunting hole in the brick way to his right. He turned to the left and stared at the light switch on the beam on the ceiling. He could reach it by standing on his toes, but this meant he would be vulnerable and off balance for a second. John looked back to the right, stepped quickly into the dungeon, and ran to the light switch. The hum of the fluorescent light sounded like a ghost moaning to John’s overactive imagination. He stood stationary until the single tube kicked on, faintly lighting the large concrete sepulchre.

“There’s nothing there, there’s nothing there,” John kept repeating to himself softly as he looked around for the stepladder.

“No, not there,” he said, spying the small, wooden ladder leaning against the brick wall a few feet to the left of the opening in the wall.

John eyeballed the most direct route from the light switch to the stepladder against the wall. He whimpered, realising he would have to walk in front of the opening to get past it and retrieve the stepladder. No two ways about it, the path against the furtherest wall was blocked off by the old mattress and wheelbarrows.

John took five deep breaths, and then ran to the first support pole. He hide behind it for a second before peering around the corner at the brick wall. He took another five deep breaths, and then ran to the brick wall. There was no way he would touch it so he stood in front of it, building up his strength to fly past the opening.
“You can do it, you can do it.” He said softly to himself. John built himself up and took a step towards the opening.

“Johnnie...Johnnie...” a soft whisper floated across the chill in the air to John’s tingling ears.

“Just my imagination, just my imagination,” he said to himself again.

“No, I’m not,” the voice whispered to him softly. “I am right here, Johnnie.”

John put his hands over his ears and forced himself to walk across the space in front of the opening. He grabbed the wooden stepladder and swung back around. Inside the opening, John saw the faint, Smokey face of a small boy floating in the dark background. The boy smiled at John with tiny, but razor sharp teeth and big pitch black eyes. Those eyes, John thought. He had never seen anything as horrific in his life. There were no whites to the eyes and they were solid, not like the opaque face surrounding them.

“Come here, Johnnie,” The voice said in a whisper as harsh and coarse as a lifelong smoker.

John felt his strength seeping from his body, as though he sprang a leak and his very essence oozed out of his pores. He was petrified, but could not help but be drawn towards the face and the entrance to hell.

* * * *

John’s father came home half an hour later. He kissed his wife and put his brief case down next to the front door. He walked up the stairs, past the two single bedrooms and into the master bedroom, stopping briefly at the bedroom filled with John’s toys and books.

“I think we should seriously pack up the kids stuff the last owners left behind,” he shouted down the hall to his wife.
John’s mother walked up the hall and looked into her son’s bedroom, with a distant feeling of familiarity.

“I suppose you’re right, honey,” she said softly. “It’s not like we are going to have children any time soon.”

Bad Prospects  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Bad Prospects
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 1135

Patrick Lawson panned another load of silt and grit in his rusted, weather beaten tray. It was the end of another fruitless day, gold prospecting the tranquil and peaceful creek on the outskirts of Gympie. While he found no gold that day, he still smiled to himself. Tonight, he would meet with Mrs Jones, the local constable’s wife for another evening of prospecting.

He packed his gear and bathed in the creek, downstream from his camp save polluting the water for drinking. Patrick pulled on his clean moleskin trousers and heavy, dark blue cotton shirt and walked towards town. By the time he reached Gympie’s main street, it was dusk and Constable Jones was already on duty, doing the rounds near the Royal Hotel.

“Quickly, come in before anyone sees you,” Elizabeth Jones said to Patrick.

Patrick scurried in the back door of the cottage, looking from side to side to make sure no one saw him. Inside, Elizabeth grabbed him by the waist and pulled his muscled torso toward her soft cotton skirt, kissing him passionately.
Patrick unbuttoned her blouse and cupped her soft, lily-white breast in his hand. If felt tender to his weather beaten hands, better than anything he handled during the day. She unbuckled his belt, harshly pushed his trousers down below his knees and began stroking him tenderly.

“Away from the window,” Elizabeth gasped, breathing deeply and panting with lusty excitement.

“I can’t wait,” Patrick said. “It’s been a week since we met.”

Elizabeth scampered to the bedroom, pulling her blouse and skirt off when she got to the brass bed and fell backwards with her legs spread invitingly at Patrick. He pulled his trousers off the rest of the way, kicking them to the side, and unbuttoned his shirt as he walked quickly to his lover.

“I wish we could run away together, Patrick.” Elizabeth said after they made love, resting contently on Patrick’s tanned and muscular chest.

“Aye, so do I.”

“Let’s do it, tomorrow.”

“I’ve nothing to keep me here, but I don’t know how we’d survive if we up’d and moved south. You’re probably to used to the luxury of a roof over your head and warm meal every night. I can’t provide that.”

“But you can provide me with all the satisfaction and love I desire. Not like this cold relationship my marriage has turned in to.”

“Aye, can’t imagine the constable being to tender in the sack.” Patrick cupped her breast gently and kissed her on the neck softly.

“Let’s go, Patrick. I can’t handle all of this sneaking around and waiting for him, to leave for long enough for us to meet.”

“If you’re sure,” he said, kissing her on the cheek. “Then I’ll meet you down by the river tomorrow night. We’ll ride out of Gympie under the moonlight. By the time they start looking for you we’ll have a good day’s head start.”

“I’ll leave a note saying I’m going to stay with my sister at Bundaberg for a few weeks.”

“And if we head towards New South Wales, they’ll never find us.”

They made love again twice before Patrick had to leave and Elizabeth had to fix the bed and other disrupted furniture around the small workers’ cottage.
That night, neither of them slept well. Both excited about the prospect of being together forever, not more sneaking around or hiding their feelings towards each other. Patrick was still half-awake at daybreak when a voice boomed through his tent in a deep, authoritive voice.

“Patrick Lawson, you will come out of your tent with your hands on your head.”
Patrick slowly rose from his uncomfortable bed on the hard rocky ground and poked his head out of the tent.

“What’s this about?” he said to the five troopers standing with carbines pointed at him.

“Please come out where we can see your entire person. Slowly as it does now, we don’t want any trouble from you.”

Patrick did not recognise four of the troopers, but did know the face of the fifth, Constable Jones. He did not know if this had anything to do with last night, but did not want to give them reason to gun him down. Slowly, he left his tent and stood in his faded red, long johns before the armed men.

“What’s going on?”

“Patrick Lawson,” Constable Jones said harshly. “You are under arrest for the murder of William Baxter.”

“What, who?”

“Put your hands behind your back slowly.”

Patrick did not react immediately and received a heavy blow to the kidneys from the butt of an army carbine. He fell to the ground, winded and clutching his side. Three troopers fell on his heavily and roughly pulled his arms behind his back, forcing his face into the rocky ground with more effort than needed. The fourth trooper locked a pair of heavy manacle tightly around Patrick’s wrists, cutting into the thick leathery skin with the rough edges.

The troopers hoped off Patrick and pulled him to his feet, almost dislocating his right arm when jerking him up.

“I don’t know what you are talking about,” Patrick started to say.” You must have the wrong man.”

“Oh, we’ve got the right man, Mr Lawson,” Constable Jones said harshly, leading Patrick towards the five horses grazing a few feet from the tent.

* * * *

“Is this your pistol, Mr Lawson?” Sergeant Williamson said to Patrick.

The sergeant held up a battered old revolver in front of the cell Patrick sat in on a rickety iron bed. Patrick looked at it carefully and could tell the worn handle and barrel was definitely his.

“I can’t be sure,” he replied. “It looks like any old pistol to me.”

“Aren’t these your initials on the grip?”

“P.L. They look like mine. Where did you find it?”

“It was found next to the body of William Baxter last night at nine o clock behind the Royal Hotel.”

“But I wasn’t at the Royal last night.”

“Do you have anyone that can back that statement for you?”

Patrick thought deeply. He sure did have someone who could verify his story, but at what cost? He wondered what would happen if he told them that, he was shagging the constable’s wife at the time of the murder.

“No,” he said sadly. “I live in the tent the troopers found me in this morning. Unfortunately, by myself.”

“Then you have no proof of just where you were last night, do you?”

“No,” Patrick said, shaking her head in defeat. “No, I don’t.”

“Then the trial will be held in two weeks at the Gympie court house.”

Patrick hung his head low in sorrow. He could not get a message to Elizabeth and he would not implicate her in her infidelity to save himself from the gallows. It was more disgrace than she deserved.

Black Diamond  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Black Diamond
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 300

Out on the street for a living at the age of fourteen, it feels like the picture has only begun. The harsh reality of life has already hit home and Sarah Diamond felt as though they had her under their thumb. The landlord of the small single room flatette she rented in the hostel, the men who paid her for her services by the half hour. Sorrow and madness filled her day, not much better than living at home with an abusive stepfather. At least she knew when and where she the abuse would come from. The one hundred dollars hardly compensated the feeling of disgust and loathing, but at least no one took it free.

Darkness fell on the city again, also seeming to fall on Sarah with heaviness in her heart she expected. She accepted her lifestyle, falling into the drug scene that accompanies her line of work without too much guilt or loathing. It no longer numbed the pain significantly. She does not ask for pity, she knows that there is nothing anyone can do. One day, she will save enough to dig her way out of this situation, or at least she hopes she will. She is not confident she will ever escape after talking with women twice her age that started the same way, thinking the same thing. By the time worked the streets of the Valley for more than a few years you knew you were never going to leave.

Apart from on Pretty Woman, there were no stories of a knight in shining armour coming to save girls like her from the streets. She was, and would always remain, a diamond in the rough.

Mr Powers  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Mr. Powers
By Scott Wilson
Word Count:1542

An ad on the front page of the Courier Mail stated boldly in a full-page feature, ‘Want to be a super hero? Come try out for the latest reality TV show – My Hero.’ Splashed across the bottom half of the page were a variety of costumed characters arrayed in all the colors of the rainbow and all manner of zany outfits. According to the ad, the auditions would be held on the weekend at the distribution warehouse of Dark Idol comics between eight in the morning until five that evening. Founding editor and storywriter, Jack Idol, would be judging the auditions himself.

“Take a look at this,” Chris said to the group of nerds hanging out at his flat. “A full page, color ad. That must have cost a fortune.”

“Guy must think he’s Stan Lee, throwing that sort of money around.” Ivan, Chris’ friend with an unnaturally large red afro said in a nasally voice.

Chris’ other two friend, Charlie and Shaun, paused the Star Wars Jedi Knight game they were playing online, and looked at the ad with childlike excitement.

“We should enter,” Shaun said.

“Yeh,” replied Charlie. “Use the characters we created in Champions.”

Ivan pulled out his superhero role-play game book and took his well-worn character sheet from the page. He held it up beside his head, looked at it then looked at his three friends.

“I look just like Transistor,” he said mockingly. “Don’t I?”

The rough sketch on the piece of paper held the image of a muscle-bound superhero wearing a tight, bright blue, spandex costume with a silver T across the chest. The three friends burst out laughing at the ridiculous comparison between the hero on paper and their wiry framed friend with thick, black rimmed glasses. The absurdity of even thinking they could dress up like their heroes caused immense amusement to the four friends.

“What have we got to lose?” Shaun said. “The auditions are on next Saturday, so we won’t miss work. Don’t have to tell anyone we are going.”

“Yeh,” said Ivan. “It’ll be a blast. Dressing up as our characters will be super fun.”

Charlie threw a Spiderman figurine at Ivan, hitting him on the forehead.

“What did you do that for?”

“To bring you back to your senses. Where are we going to get costumes in three days?”

Chris opened his laptop and Goggled costume hire in Brisbane. He sifted through a dozen or so possibilities, excluding those that specialised in B&D outfits, until he narrowed it down to four that looked half descent.

“I’ll give them a call, see what we can get sorted out,” Chris said, picking up the cordless handset on his desk.

By the third phone call, Chris tracked down a costume hire shop that could supply four different superhero type outfits that could have symbols, letters or emblems Velcro’d on in a range of styles and positions.

“Okay, “Chris said cheerfully. “Let’s go check these costumes out and get ready for the auditions.”

****

First thing Saturday morning, the four friends drove along Ipswich Road, through the industrial precinct until reaching the address of the auditions. The four friends dressed in their super hero costumes, under their normal clothes. Outside the warehouse, a large crowd of costumed men, women and children gathered already.

“I thought we’d be here before the majority of other contestants,” Chris said.

“It’s cool,” Ivan said reassuringly. “I’m sure we will be just dandy. The amount of time we’ve played these characters in Champion will give us a better knowledge of the powers and characteristics than the others.”

After waiting in line for two hours, the four friends finally reached the entrance to the warehouse. Seated at a shiny, stainless steel table were Patricia Shields and Justin Smoke, two assistant editors for Dark Idol comics.

“Name and powers,” Patricia asked Ivan, who was first in line.

“Transistor,” said Iva. “I have the power over radio waves.”

Charlie was next in line.

“Speedball. I have superhuman speed and can run so fast I barely touch the ground. Water is not a problem, as I can run so fast my weight does not make me sink.”

“Next,” Justin said.

Chris stood forward and flexed his biceps, or lack thereof.

“Iron Law,” he said. “My superhuman strength is the result of an accident in a foundry. Now, my skin is as tough as iron and my strength, that of a dozen men.”
Shaun was the last of the four to enter the warehouse.

“Fire Fly. I have the power to fly and shoot fireballs from my eyes.”

“Together, we form the HAAS; Heroic Alliance of All Stars,” Shaun added.

“Oh,” replied Patricia. “A super group. We have not seen one of those today. Jack will be very excited.”

“Follow me,” said a gorgeous, red head in a tight latex bodysuit.

She lead them further into the warehouse, through a maze of passageways and corridors, all constructed in the same shiny, stainless steel that the desk outside was made of. Pale blue fluorescent lights hummed softly in behind the opaque diffusers in the ceiling.

“How much further?” Ivan asked their host.

“The secret lair is at the heart of the building. It won’t take us much longer to reach it, gentlemen.”

“She’s sure in character,” Charlie said to his friends.

“Where are the other contestants?” Ivan said, looking around the corridor.

“Each contestant has been allocated a host to evaluate their character. Once the ten are chosen, you will regroup in the arena for the final stage of the audition.”
They followed their host to a small auditorium, where she instructed each of them to sit in a stainless steel chair, which looked more like a modern electric chair than anything of comfort.

“I think I might stand,” Ivan said to the host.

“I’m sorry. You must take a seat for the interview process. They look uncomfortable but you will understand why shortly.”

Ivan reluctantly sat down, joining his three friends on the cold, hard seats in front of the host. She stood on a small platform in front of them and asked them personal questions individually. After almost an hour Ivan, Chris, Charlie, Shaun and Ivan felt like they had been interrogated by ASIO. The host left them in the room by themselves.

“Some of those questions were just weird,” Chris said.

“A bit personal to, I thought,” said Ivan. “I felt like I was being grilled for a crime I had committed.”

“I suppose it has to be very thorough for legal reasons,” Charlie said. “I mean some of the stunts and stuff we will be attempting might be pretty dangerous.”

“Yeh, I suppose.”

The host re-entered the auditorium.

“Please sit back down in your chairs,” she said. “We will now proceed to the main arena.”

When Ivan, Charlie, Chris and Shaun took their places back on the sterile chairs, the host clicked a button on what looked to be a DVD remote control. Thick, steel cufflinks shot out of the arms and legs of the solid chairs, locking the four friends into place.

“Hey, what’s this all about?” Shaun yelled.

The chairs began to vibrate, and then lift an inch of the floor, before turning around to face a doorway opening in the wall to the left.

“Let me out of here!” Ivan yelled.

The host walked down and ran her hand across Ivan’s arm.

“You’ve been selected as part of the final ten contestants. Now, you will get to meet the great Jack Idol.”

The chairs slowly moved on a track in the floor through the doorway, then into a dimly lit passage. The momentum picked up until the chairs moved at a nice even pace of twenty kilometers an hour.

“We’ve got to get out of here.” Charlie yelled over his should to Chris, who was in the set behind him.

Chris struggle and wiggled in the shackles but they did not budge.

“Look, we must almost be there.” Shaun shouted, seeing a white light approximately the same size as the door they left the auditorium through.

The chairs flowed out of the tunnel into an even larger auditorium, capable of seating over one hundred people if packed in. There were six other solid stainless steel chairs situated around the outside of the lower level. Sitting on each seat were other superhero fans, dressed up as their own hero.

“Ah, the last of my super team.” Jack Idol said in a jovial voice that echoed in the large, empty room.

“You have all passed the auditions and will participate in my quest to create real superheroes.”

“I think you can unlock these now,” Chris said, rattling the shackles on his wrists.

“Oh, I think we might keep them on for a little bit longer now, Iron Law. I am going to try and turn you into the character you wish to be.”

“What the...” Shaun yelled.

“Each of you has given me the story of how your character gained their powers. I am going to try and replicate this scenario and see if I can actually give you the powers.”

“You’re crazy,” yelled Ivan. “You’ll kill us.”

“Perhaps, Transistor. However, imagine if I don’t. You will be real heroes.”

Kiss of Death  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Kiss of Death

By Scott Wilson

Word Count 198

It was only a brief encounter, like wind through the trees, it came so suddenly. But then it was gone like it had never been, if it weren’t for the unseen after effect perhaps there would be no way of knowing it really happened.

How could I have ever seen what was really happening, even though it felt like I was in a dream. She seemed like a lost heart, not a demon that would take my soul as she took me in her arms, and brought me to an end. She promised paradise as she lied upon her bed, like a fallen angel with the devil's charm. It was a night of passion and heat, unlike any I had ever experiences before, and now, would ever experience again.

I tried to stop as she held out her hand, but the fire was burning inside like a furnace of pain. We just met, but she knew what I wanted and she gave it and more, but now I must pay the price. We were strangers, passing in the night like ships at sea. How could I have known?

Rock Soldiers  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Rock Soldiers
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 668

Back in the summer of '83, Ace was going off the track in a big way. He lost his wife and son in a drink driving accident, well because of a drunk driver. With the driver being a high profile lawyer and buddies with the Premier of New South Wales, he managed to get off the charge with no criminal record; no time served and not even a fine.

Ace began drinking' and driving' himself after the trial and disappointment of seeing a powerful man escape justice. Each day was bringing me closer to Hell, with the Devil in the passenger's seat of his automobile. The Devil said to him each time he started the car, “Hey Ace, let's not be silly, there's a life out there to steal.” I didn’t know this at the time, I just thoughts he wasn’t coping with life.
He was a good friend of mine and we had been in a band, The Rock Soldier, together since high school. I don’t know how I missed how stoned Ace was the night of the accident that he caused when we drove home from a gig down in Sydney. I thought he must have been coming to terms with his loss. I thought Ace was back.

It was midnight on 12 December and we were on the highway back to Brisbane after four months touring the east coast; playing at any and every pub or hotel that would book us. I was sick after eating a bad batch of Chinese takeaway, otherwise it would have been mean me driving, and the accident probably would not have happened. Ace assured me he hadn’t had a drink all week and he was sober. I smelt his breath and he seemed clean, so I felt safe with him at the wheel.

The sound of a police siren screeching like a banshee, hot on our tail woke me. I could see the flashing red and blue lights in the mirror and feel a chill in the car that was not from the AC being too high. I told Ace to pull over, but his eyes were glazed over and he did not seem to be focused on anything. They looked glazed over, as he had skulled a bottle of Jim Beam while I was asleep. I tried to grab his arm, but something stopped me. An unseen cold, bony hand grabbed my right arm and pushed it away. Nobody else was in the car, but I swear I saw someone, something, in the rear vision mirror when I looked back at the police car again. Something sort of human, but red and black, with horns like a ram and jagged teeth like a great white shark, smiling at me. When I blinked, it was gone and only the flashing lights of the patrol car were there again.

I heard Ace scream, “I am invincible.”

I didn’t see the truck we hit or remember that much else from that night. In amongst the wrecked metal, smell of leaking fuel and blood, I rolled in and out of consciousness. Ace’s neck seemed to be at a strange angle and as I could tell, he wasn’t going to be waking up any time soon.

Friends say they will stay with you right through that danger zone, but the closer you get to that fiery hole the more you realise that you will have to make it alone. I felt my right leg burn; I looked down and saw the bone protruding from just below the knee. That pain was not as bad as the pain I felt, seeing Ace’s soul painfully pulled from his corpse. Ace looked at me with terror in his eyes and there was nothing I could do.

When I think of how my life was spared from that near fatal wreck at least I know that if the Devil wants to play his card game now He is going to have to play without an Ace in his deck!

Darklands  

Posted by Scott Wilson

WORD SLAW: My Legacy, S.Wilson  

Posted by Scott Wilson

WORD SLAW: My Legacy, S.Wilson

Death on Strike?  

Posted by Scott Wilson

Death on Strike?

By Scott Wilson

Word Count:1174

“Sod you then,” Death said to the spirit of the lawyer, holding onto his corpse, or at least he was trying to with his ghostly fingers that could not grab anything physical.

Death released his hold of the lawyer’s right leg, turned and walked away mumbling about being sick of people always saying it wasn’t their time, blah , blah blah.

“Nobody appreciates what I do,” Death grumbled. “Fine then. Let’s see if you lot can do a better job of things yourselves.”

Death kicked a cat that was hanging around the corpse of the lawyer. One of the cat’s nine lives fell out of its body and began licking its balls, not noticing that it was no longer attached to the body containing the remaining four lives.
Skulking along the street, Death continued mumbling and complaining until he was far out of earshot of the bewildered lawyer.

The lawyer finally realised he had escaped Death’s cold and bony grip, but was still laying outside of his physical body. He sat up and looked around, perplexed by his current situation. There he was, obviously completely dead, but not in Heaven or on his way down to the flaming, sulphur pits of Hell. He tried slipping back into his body. He could lie in the spot his body was but not stick to it. Inside his body’s head, he could see the aneurism that caused his dead moments ago and curiously poked it with his finger.

“Well, bugger me,” He said. “Now what do I do?”

He turned towards the fading figure of Death in the distance, leapt up and ran off down the road waving his arms and trying to attract the attention of the being he was just trying to escape.

He passed a young teenage couple lingering around the pieces of their gold Mitsubishi Lancer, wrapped around a telephone poll in the centre of the road. They looked just as confused as the lawyer, looking at their broken and bloodied bodies in the torn and jagged skeleton remains of the boy’s brand new car. They did not even notice the lawyer run past, chasing Death down the road.

“Hey, wait up,” he yelled as Death approached a crest in the hill.

Death turned around and shook his head from side to side, the bony teeth rattled like beans in a can.

“What do you want?” Death groaned in a low, monotone voice, devoid of all emotion and enthusiasm.

“Hey, what am I supposed to do now?”

“What do I care,” Death grumbled. “You were soo concerned about hanging on to your body before. Why not go back there.”

“I tried,” the lawyer said. “But I can’t get back inside. What do I do?”

“Not my problem,” Death said, turning to walk away. “I quite.”

“But, but, you’re death. You can’t quite.”

“Sure, you all hate me when I come to take you to your final destination, like you haven’t had your whole life to prepare and then act like it’s a big surprise. Do you know anyone who hasn’t died? No. So why the big fuss when I try and do my job?”

The lawyer reached out and touched Death’s thick, black hessian robe.

“Look, nobody liked me when I did my job either, but I still bloody well did it. Now you just stop feeling sorry for yourself and either put me back in my body or take me to Heaven.”

“Fuh,” Death chuckled. “You weren’t going there. Honestly, did you really think that is where I was going to take you?”

“Well, why not. I won every case I took to trial. Has to be worth something doesn’t it.”

“No, not really,” Death said, pulling out a set of shiny, gold scales from inside his robes. “Look at all the bad stuff on the other side here. Cheating on your taxes, lying, purgery, getting criminals off murder charges when you knew darn well they were guilty and being a downright unfriendly person.”

“You can’t be serious, being unfriendly? You can’t use that against me. It doesn’t say anything in the Bible about being a cheerful, laughing baboon, now does it?”

“Oh, I don’t care. I don’t make the rules, do I? I just get faxed the list at the start of the day and have to listen to you all whinge and whine while I try to finish my job on time. I am sick of hearing, I’m too young to die, I haven’t achieved everything I want to, But I just put the kettle on.”

“Look,” the lawyer said. “I’ll make a deal with you...”

“Like I haven’t heard that one before,” Death moaned.

“No, no seriously. If you put me back in my body, I’ll work for Legal Aid for the rest of my life.”

“Sorry, even if I had the slightest inclination to consider that pathetic attempt at a bribe, I don’t have the power to do anything about it. You’ll have to take that up with The Boss.”

The lawyer became furious and shook his fists in Death’s face.

“Now you look here sport. You take me to The Boss, then so I can sort this and get back to work. I’m going to be very late for an immensely important case. It’ll ruin my reputation if I’m not there for the closing session.”

Death shook his head again, wishing he had the power to send this annoying little man back to his body, just to shut him up. He was really beginning to get on Death’s nerves.

“Hey, are you the Grim Reaper?” a young boy, who had just been run over while skateboarding home from getting a bottle of milk for his mother. “Aren’t you supposed to, like come and get me or something?”

“I quite this morning,” Death said in his monotone drawl.

“Cool,” the boy said. “So can I like, go around and haunt my English teacher? Like, she says I can’t write or, like spell. I think she is full of shit, and all. What does she know?”

“You can do what you want,” Death said, looking worried about the large group of recently deceased spirits coming up the hill towards him. He sighed and thought, “Why did I stop on the top of this hill, if I’d waited until I got over the crescent they wouldn’t have seen me.”

The young boy was already half way back down the hill, running past his physical body lying under the car close to the scene of the accident the lawyer passed a few moments before. He did not seem to be the least bit worried about being dead at all.
Death sighed, wishing he hadn’t left his pale white horse, Sam, at the office this morning because it had a bit of a sniffle and didn’t feel well. He should have known that it was going to be one of those days.