He was exhausted. The rain pattered and whistled in the evening air. He could hear the tick of the clock as it moved closer to midnight. His new home held an eerie quiet to it. The floorboards creaked and the fire crackled even as the howling wind began to pick up. He heard thunder strike. ‘One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four, five…’. Another crack, one mile away. The lights flickered and then the lights were out. He made his way downstairs; with each step the floorboards creaked. Thunder and then a flash of lightning. “Was that a streak of green?’, he thought. No, it couldn’t be. Lightning flashes are white, not green. The owls were hooting tonight. On most evenings, he typically only heard one. Tonight, it sounded as though they were hundreds; every owl in the forest must have been awake, watching for some unknown presence in the dark. He heard a light tap on the window. Just a gentle, *tap, *tap*, *tap*. As he walked down the stairs, he stumbled. He caught his fall on something furry. Soft, almost like feathers. It was his trench coat, hanging neatly on his coat rack. At least he had made it downstairs. He walked by his fire, growing dimmer with each passing moment. The flames danced back and forth, illuminating the shadows on the walls. He found his way to the kitchen, where he fumbled to grab a flashlight before heading down to the basement, where the breaker was located. *creak*, *creak*, *creak* went the floorboards. *creeeeaaak* made the door handle as he opened it and peered into the darkness below. Each step was heavy and the sound of wood made the journey tense. Water splashed as he hit the ground floor. He went deeper into the basement. He heard a gentle hoot and his flashlight beam hit glowing, green eyes in the dark.
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:
Thanks for reading and have a spooky rest of your October!
The Church: A short story by Mike Cole
The church had existed since the early 1600s, having been established when Walden was built. As time passed, so did the church. Vines grew and the church stood abandoned, waiting. The boards creaked, and the walls began to blister. No one could remember if there had been any worship there but assumed there had. The grass in the yard was overgrown and weeds grew aplenty. The gate was locked but the cast iron fence had since rusted, giving entrance to a place no one would go. Occasionally the bell would ring, however, not to any frequency that the average church goer was accustomed. The bell would always ring at 3am and those who were awoken from their slumber say that on cold nights they could see a light flickering by the altar. At 3:01am the bell would stop and the light would dissipate. If one looked closely, they might have seen a dark shadow and heard the old, rotting boards creak but perhaps that was nothing. On foggy nights where the moon shun full, it is said the bell grew louder and the sound came closer to town. Some say humming could be heard on these nights, growing louder with the bell and coming to an end on the 33rd chime, on the 33rd minute of the 3rd hour. Town gossip, perhaps, but the fact remained, no one ever went near the old church.
And that’s a wrap! For the entire month, I am dedicating this month to all that goes bump in the night. This month is shaping up to be a month of short stories as I practice my writing in different genres. Horror is fun but extremely difficult to write, so please let me know what you think! If you enjoyed this article, consider liking, following and sharing my blog! If you want to support me as a creator, below is a link to my Ko-Fi and Patreon pages!
Your donation helps quite a bit and I appreciate everyone who is currently supporting or supported in the past! With that said, please let me know what you think! I welcome all feedback!
Hades: A short story by Mike Cole
Hell. A place long forgotten, a land of dead Gods. Tales have existed since the dawn of civilization. His search was over; the long forgotten forest had been found. A lifetime of research had led him here, an insignificant forest located on the Underbelly of Volcán Wolf, thought to be the Oceans end. The land was scorched and the ground gave a molten hue. Embers sprinkled the landscape and lava poured from the volcano into the Ocean, creating steam as the heat touched the surface of the water. The sun was beginning to set and as it hit the scattered boulders with a crimson glow, he thought he could very well be among the land of the dead. Night enshrouded the island.
With a torch in hand, he kept moving. He could feel death creeping slowly and every now and again he would see a shadow move out of the corner of his eye. He walked through the charred forest until he reached the cliffside, jagged rocks awaiting him below. He slowly began his descent.
The Ocean greeted him as he walked down the narrow cliffside, finding it strange that a path had seemingly been carved into the rock. Lava began flowing from the cliff above and violently splashed down unto him; he felt a searing pain in his right arm. His flesh began to burn and melt. A wave crashed and his arm turned to steam. When the mist cleared, his arm was bone save for a few tendons still attached. He didn’t much feel the pain, adrenaline having done it’s work. As he got closer to the water, snow began to fall; how odd. Fire and Ice, two entities that typically don’t coexist. The snow swirled, blinding his vision and he awoke in a cold sweat. He did not remember drifting off and the ever present snow was gone; had it only been a dream? The wind whistled in a tone that almost sounded like whispers and rain began to pour; soon, thunder and lightning would follow. He entered a cave near the volcano.
Water fell on his head. It felt warm. As he went to wipe it off it lingered on his hand, refusing to yield. He moved his torch so he could see what appeared to be a red substance, with a smell of iron. He heard rushing water and looked to his right. A red river? He blinked and the water was crystal blue. Was he dreaming or was he awake? Thunder struck outside and the rain howled with the wind. The howling grew louder and louder, no longer seemingly coming from outside but rather deep within the cave. The torch flickered as a gust caught hold and the shadows danced around him. Three heads began to form; the Torch went out and there was silence.
And thus October has begun. As the blog continues to grow, I am grateful for the support. I enjoy writing and have been thrilled my poetry and short stories have been so well received. As I’ve brainstormed ideas for the blog, I decided on a month dedicated to the spooky and supernatural. This will be the first of hopefully many Octobers where I focus on the scary and the beauty of the changing of seasons. I hope you all enjoyed this short story inspired by Greek mythology! As a reminder, if you would like to support me as a creator, below is a link to my Patreon and Ko-Fi pages!
If you like my content, consider following, liking, and sharing with others who might enjoy. And as always, thanks for reading! What are you most excited about for the month of October? What are you doing to celebrate the season? Let me know in the comments below!