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Shortest horrors.
by John Michaelson

Self explanatory.  Grotesque and taste free tales.  More than 200 words and you might as well obviate your wordy, banal selves. 

Title: Flatmate.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

Nelson hated everything about his flatmate:  her shifty sideways eyes; her mammoth stomping feet; her thoughtless thick tongue; her threadbare clitoris; her weedy T-rex arms; her sensitive ears; her flaccid boobs.  Thank God he kept them all in different parts of the freezer.

Title: Necropolis Babe
Author: Hugh Hazelton

The municipal cemetery high above the city seemed vast, and Lucien was beginning to fear he'd become disorientated.    Everywhere rows of pristine white headstones and straight, grey tarmac paths that every so often intersected.    Yet the place appeared completely devoid of human life.

Lucien sought his bearings again.   The multiply overlaid sounds of the city rose quietly around.    It was just a matter of walking long enough in a straight line, surely?    And there came again that other sound.    'Clink ... clink ... clink ...'      Lucien looked around in a fruitless 360 degree scan.    Crazy.    Although evening it wasn't even dusk yet.

 He hurried on.    It came again.    Closer.    Closer still.

 A figure in green overalls suddenly leapt up beside him.    Lucien gave a start, then relief flooded as he realised she must be a cemetery worker.    She was clutching what looked like a hammer in her hand.    And wow, but wasn't she gorgeous!     Lucien felt himself becoming characteristically tongue tied.

 "You're ... uh ... working late then?"

 The girl gave him a smile fit to make his knees wobble.    She indicated with her hypnotic, come-to-bed eyes towards the shiny marble headstone by her feet.

 "They spelled my name wrong," she said. 


Title: At Midnight
Author: Anonymous!

T'was on the bridge at midnight,

Her figure stood a' quiver,

I kissed her and her head fell off,

And floated down the river.

Title: The root of all evil.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

Professor Richard Dawkins awoke with a party in his head and the Lord God perched at the foot of his bed.

 Hang on - let me get my equipment.
 Oh - okay.

The Lord told him that, while he could turn a blind all-seeing-eye to the odd agnostic, he was unable to ignore a Channel Four production.

 Me?  To hell?

Professor Dawkins became anxious.  Mad people always had this effect on his nerves.

 Will it be purgatory?  Like in the Old Testament?
 That's a bit post-modern isn't it?

The Lord was most pleased that he had created irony.  There was much rejoicing amongst His seraphs.  He explained that most God fearing folk had to slave a lifetime to get to heaven.

 What's your point, unproven deity?
 But I thought I was going to hell.

When Professor Dawkins realised that he would spend the afterlife surrounded by believers, he screamed himself out of consciousness.

Title: Water is thicker than blood
Author: Peter Philips

when freeze dried. Such a shame his guests had mistaken the plastic tubes of gore, in his freezer compartment, for fruity-pops.

Title: The American Psycho.
Author: Jen Hazelton (aged 13) Daughter of Hugh Hazelton (aged 53)

A boyfriend and girlfriend were driving down a deserted road surrounded by praries when the car ran out of gas.  

"Don't worry, I'll walk to the nearest gas station and get some," the boyfriend said.

When he'd gone his girlfriend got bored and switched on the car radio.   There was a local news report on about an escaped psycho who was armed and dangerous.   Then she heard a banging on the car roof.    It was annoying, so she turned some music on.    Then she found the car surrounded by police officers and heard someone shout:   "Come out with your hands up!"

She did, and saw the psycho she had heard about on the news report.   He'd been making the banging noise on the car roof - with her boyfriend's severed head.

Title: Conium Maculatum L
Author: Geraldine Harper

Susan smiled sweetly as Kevin tucked into his heathy burger bap.
"Stop feeding me crap," he'd insisted many times. "Sausages, mince, burgers - you never know what's in them. Can't you come up with something better? Haven't you heard - You are what you eat? You should read up on things, cook healthy meals, serve herbal teas. You're hopeless"

So, Susan had carefully prepared this meal, using the very best, fresh, organic ingredients.  The burger was made from soya, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, and fresh onions. The salad was fresh spinach and water cress. She'd even baked the bread rolls that very morning.
Kevin didn't even notice the slightly acid taste of his home-brew tea.
"Well," said Susan, as Kevin slumped to the floor, "you asked for herbal tea, and I found (from reading up on it) that hemlock is a herb."

Title: The purge
Author: Clive Aldridge

The men from the village were there, he knew them all, or at least he used to know them, because now they looked only slightly familiar, changed far beyond their filthy flesh and dishevelled clothing. They moved with an awkwardness that made them appear unnatural. Their paralysed faces were set and expressionless; it was as if they had been carved from the cold grey rock of the prison gate from which they were emerging.

The faces were dead, but the eyes were alive, everyone had red rimmed eyes that shone with the cold fire of fear, darting left and right, trying to comprehend what was happening.

Terror dragged his stomach towards the floor as the harsh metallic sound of the machine-gun being cocked reverberated around the courtyard…  

Title: Jack
Author: Dillidge Carver

Mary was right pleased with the job, ‘he’d come along plenty late, so he had… Just appeared outa the fog, sudden like - but he was a gent see, fine and proper. It’ll be silver coin from this ‘un, no mistake. Silver coin… and that’ll keep the landlady’s busy tongue in her head. He was right eager too, pushin and shovin like that! It’ll be a gin supper before the rent, I’ll be needing. He was getting forceful this Toff – he’s panting like a bloody dog.  ‘What’s yer name sir?’ bold as brass, talk to him, slow him down. A handful of hair and he wrenched her head over to one side, his quivering lips wet against her ear;

‘They call me Jack’  

The glint that danced in his wild eyes was eclipsed by the glint of steel that flashed out from inside of his fine coat. 

Title: It's Only a Dream
Author: Carl Glover

Dripping with sweat, fighting for breath, another bad night for Joanne. Two am was always the worst, symptomatic of stress, apparently. Her homeopath had prescribed Arsenicum. Dissolving those sweet little tablets under her tongue each day seemed weird, but after months of the must lucid, terrifying nightmares, anything was worth a shot. This together with her therapist’s suggestion that to exorcise her demons, she should continually chant to herself 'it's only a dream'.

That night was particularly brutal, a tattooed and heavily pierced face in hers, something very tight around her neck, a relentless heavy weight bearing down on her, a disgusting pungent odour. The vivid sensation of being strangled numbing the agony of a rape scene in which she was the victim. "ITS ONLY A DREAM" her muffled cries, went unheard.

At least the morning always brought the relief of consciousness, and the reality check that it had only been a dream, except this time....

Title: Grizzly.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

The trap snapped like a thunder clap.  Beneath its rusted iron teeth, Peter's ankle didn't stand a chance.  Every time he looked at it he swooned.

Ooeeh - you sure as hell got yourself in a mess there son.

Oh - thank God.  I thought I was going to die out here.

The man was in his late forties, dishevelled but well equipped for the terrain.  His teeth resembled vandalised gravestones.  With him was a young, red haired girl.

Lookee here Shirley Mae.

He sure don't look too swell Paw.

Suckers always gets in trouble when theys far away from home.

Peter almost passed out when they pried the trap's bloody mouth open.  Waves of relief washed over him.

Oh - thank God.  You know - I had terrible visions of me starving to death out here.  Or worse still, getting eaten by a grizzly bear.

Ain't no grizzlies in these parts son.

What's the trap for then?

For you son.  Shirley Mae - go get the hatchet.

Title: Such a shame.
Author: Jan Miklaszewicz

Blue Rondo a la Turk drifted in from the patio this balmy evening late spring.  Douglas sucked his teeth as he washed up.  Things just hadn't been the same of late.  Mum sulked in the living room, gazing dispassionately at Emmerdale; Dad stayed out back, humming whilst he fed the lawn.

They didn't seem to want to talk any more:  Dad spent all his time out of the house and Mum gave every last dreg of her attention to that bloody telly.  Such a shame; it really was.

Douglas finished up and patted his hands dry.  Reaching in the fridge for a cold beer, he felt his stomach lurch.  Mum hadn't made a very nice meal this evening.  Perhaps he should have buried her like Dad.

Title: Cinderella
Author: Anonymous!


Dressed in yella,

Crept upstairs to kiss her fella,

But instead she found his snake!

How many babies will it make ...?

Title: The Journey
Author: Lloyd Williams

It was refreshing to finally have a breeze rushing through his hair. He’d been waiting to take this journey for so long and now he was on his way. The rush of the air was invigorating until his eyes, so cold, began to stream with tears.

    Within seconds everything had taken on a watery façade, he couldn’t see a thing. He knew however that he was still going in the right direction for there no wrong turns on this road to take. He was definitely getting closer and closer and then, he saw it.

     The grey mass rushed towards him, his insides lurched for an instant and then all was dark.

Some say he leaped from the twentieth floor, others the thirtieth and some as high as the roof. Nobody knew for sure. His identity remained a mystery as did his reason for jumping. The note in his pocket had been rendered unreadable by the ocean of blood, spilled upon his impact.

Title: 'Cold Steel'
Author: Lloyd Williams

    It had been a long day and horror was the last thing he wanted and yet he couldn’t look away. He’d stumbled across a collection of short stories full of macabre imagery and he was hooked.
    Exhaustion seemed to be creeping up from the shadows in his room, shadows amplified by the light of his computer screen and he elected to call it a night…after he’d read one more piece.
    The title, ‘Cold Steel’ grabbed his attention like a shrill cry in the dark and so he double clicked.

“It had been a long day and horror was the last thing he wanted and yet he couldn’t look away. He’d stumbled across a collection of short stories full of macabre imagery and he was hooked.”

    A cold breeze blew across his bare shoulder blades and caused a shiver to run through him. It felt like he’d been tickled by a million tiny fingers however he only had a few lines before he could collapse into his warm bed.

“Exhaustion seemed to be creeping up from the shadows in his room, shadows amplified by the light of his computer screen and he elected to call it a night…”

One line to go and then bedtime, just one line when a sharp prick in the nape of his neck made his head sit up.
'You sonofabitch. Did you think I wouldn’t find out? Well you were fucking wrong!'
He felt the cold steel of a knife slide smoothly into his neck and glide through his throat.
   The warmth of the blood streaming down his chest caused goose bumps to crawl along his flesh and all he could think was, ‘gottta read the last line, just one more line.’


Title: DNA
Author: Dillidge Carver

DNA - he loved it. The exact science - no ambiguity, no anonymity and no hiding place - an indelible ID for each and every individual upon the planet.

There would be no hiding place for this raping, murdering beast when the database search finished … This time he had made a mistake, they all do sooner or later – a hair, some blood, some semen… With this monster it was saliva. A conscientious forensics officer had found some drool upon the latest victims face.

He wiped the corner of his mouth with the back of his hand as the excitement and anticipation mounted.

A match! Got him! But with the result came mortifying terror, for as he read his own name on the screen, so all those vague, fragmented and distant nightmares that he’d suffered gathered vivid clarity as they came rushing out of their deep subconscious hiding place into his conscious memory.

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