November Wind: A poem by Mike Cole

He felt a chill as the air grew cold

The leaves blew gently

He closed his eyes

This November was colder than usual.

He chopped wood and carried the bundle back to the fireplace

The wood crackled as it burned.

He thought back to Novembers long before, and was left, wanting.

A time where the warmth of the fire was felt throughout.

Where his jaded smile was once whole.

Yet only the cold remained. Waiting for Winter, silently and alone.

The Mirror: A short Story by Mike Cole

She looked in the mirror every morning. She would wake, she would go to work, and she would sleep. In the morning she would simply stare. A minute, half an hour, time seemed to have no relevance. Her dreams were shattered and her life was nowhere near where she thought it would be. Now in her mid thirties, going on thirty-six, she was alone. A small apartment, where her diploma hung, unused. She had worked retail since graduation and she no longer had the energy to try to make use of her degree. She would greet the customer, come home, and sleep.

The mirror was old. It was what she had left of her parents and the mirror had been passed down in her Mother’s family for a few generations now. The mirror had a small crack, distorting her reflection just over her right eye. It gave the impression of disfigurement when in reality she was quite beautiful. Long, flowing blonde hair, hazel eyes borderline green, and a long face that had a hint of melancholy to it. If she was sad, it hardly showed.

But she was indeed sad and as she lay in bed, she decided she could not sleep and instead looked into the mirror. Instead of disfigurement she saw herself as a child. She was painting and she was smiling. As a child, she loved art. Drawing, painting, and sculpting, she had done it all. As she grew older, she focused on the practical and lost that creative spark; she had not thought about this in years and wondered what had happened to her.

Beth jolted awake from her sleep. It was 3am. Had it only been a dream? The rain pattered the window and the sound of thunder could be heard in the distance. The rain grew louder, the thunder grew closer. Lightning flashed and hit the mirror. Beth gasped as she did not see a child but a decaying corpse. Tufts of hair had already begun falling out and the strands remaining where blonde. The air in the bedroom began to smell of dirt and some other, strange odor. Spoiled milk? No, that couldn’t be it. Rotten meat? Close, but not quite. She went over to the mirror to get a closer look. The image did not fade. The jaw was disconnected and the flesh had begun rotting away. Beth was frozen. Surely this was a dream. The left eye was faded and all but gone grey. Beth slowly moved her head and examine where the right eye should have been. Instead, a worm began to crawl out of an empty socket. She looked closer and noticed it was crawling through the tiny crack in the mirror. She ran and flipped on the light. Whoever was in the mirror was gone, along with the worm. She felt a faint breeze from behind, a flash of lightning, and the power went out; she was in total darkness.

And thus concludes my October series. A month of short stories and hopefully a couple scares as I experiment with horror. I had a blast writing the short stories and while it was not my typical genre, it was great practice. Next year will hopefully be a little more involved as I work on marketing my content and making it available to more individuals. I’m excited for Halloween and have been ramping up my horror intake all month for the Thirty-First. If you enjoyed this post, consider leaving a like, following if you’re new to the blog, and sharing among your friends. It’s been a great year for the blog and your support makes a huge difference. If you want to support me as a creator, I also have a Patreon and Ko-Fi page:

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Thanks for reading and have a spooky rest of your October!

Midnight Dance

He felt his eyes close. Shadows danced as a train passed and his light flickered on and off. The clock ticked to midnight. The walls had long since lost their charm, with the wallpaper peeling, slowly. He got up and washed his face in the bathroom, trying not to inhale the mold as he entered.

He had liked his old neighborhood; off the river, in a quaint, little suburb where life seemed to stand still. But the new job was too great an opportunity to pass up.

The bathroom light began to flicker as he soaked his face in the sink. His hands began to feel numb, so he turned the faucet to the left and stumbled his way back into his single bedroom. He checked the time; it was one. He crawled back into bed and lay, staring at the ceiling. The wind began to howl and the sky began to pour. His eyes scanned the room and went slowly from the window up the wall. There was a crack and water dripped as the rain fell.

A flash of lightning and the shadows grew more pronounced, making shapes in the dark. He checked the clock and it was two.

He had heard the neighbors whispering the day before. He had said hello and was met with worried looks. A year before, the previous owner had committed suicide. When the police had come, they had only found a pool of blood and a finger, no body. The pool of blood trailed off to where the crack now laid and tiny scratches left their marks on the hardwood floor. The police theorized that he had gone insane, cutting off his own finger and then gutting himself before driving his car into the river. However, this was just a theory.

Another drip of water and the clock hit three. Another flash of lightning and the shadows seemed to inch closer to the bed. He heard a tapping on the window and another flash. The light bulb shattered and he was in utter darkness. The train passed and he could make out the outlines of a face; he was not alone.

Hi all, it’s been a bit! I’ve been extremely busy but felt in the mood to write, so here we are. As you are aware, I’ve started diving into short stories and have been mostly be doing fantasy and near-future apocalyptic story-lines. As Autumn has come around, I thought it’d be fun to dive further into horror. It’ll be sloppy at first but I’m hoping to improve through practice. Hope you enjoyed this piece and as always, feel free to comment below!

Autumn Photos just in time for Winter

This year has gone by fast. In the blink of an eye Summer was over and Autumn has come and is on it’s way out as we head towards Winter. So I decided to go out and take photos.

All the leaves are brown but the sky is not grey.

I’m quite proud of this trip. Coming home and looking at the photos, I’m glad I decided to go out. The colors absolutely pop with the photos and it truly does feel magical.

Photography is perhaps the most difficult hobby I’ve picked up; it requires taking the ordinary and portraying it in such a way that it becomes extraordinary. We walk by trees every day but do we ever truly notice how beautiful something is? And if we do, can we express it to others in a way that intrigues, that captures ones interest?

When we think Autumn, we often think of warmth; as such, most photos should reflect what our mind already wants to perceive. However, diffused, soft lighting can be just as beautiful. 

A stretched hand reaching out to greet you 

It is easy to overlook the little moments and often times we forget to look at the bits and pieces that make up the machine. Autumn simply wouldn’t be if it weren’t for the leaves.

An Autumn stroll is sometimes all we need. To feel the wind blow and the leaves rustle. It’s a time to relax and catch our breath.

As my life becomes increasingly more corporate, I hope I can still find time to capture a moment in time. A moment where I can simply take a walk and hear the birds chirp, the river crackle, and the wind sing. Moments where the rain taps my shoulder in greeting and the sun smiles through a canopy of leaves.