Daily Darkness: Peasant

Hello, friends,

Did you know one of the most prolific serial killers in history was a woman? Elizabeth Báthory was said to have killed as many as 600 people, many of them young women, in whose blood she bathed to grant herself eternal youth.

I can only hope that didn’t work the way she hoped.

Anyway, here’s a story inspired by this rather grim beauty ritual.

***

Peasant

 

Eating the poor didn’t work.

No matter how much proletariat puree her guests consumed, The Duchess heard, saw, felt the rumble of hordes of common folk rushing all around her gates. No matter how many her guards slaughtered, the masses always returned.

Her doctor unleashed a plague. It rendered the meat inedible, the stench unbearable, yet would not reduce the population.

Every woman she saw stumbled around, pregnant with multitudes. Every man panted in a virile haze. Children aged before her eyes. Every face was too familiar.

She’d spent years bathing in blood. Now the victims were back for hers.

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Daily Darkness: Reflect

Hi everyone,

I’ve always had this weird obsession with mirrors. Hope it doesn’t do me in one day…

Until then, here’s a story. Be sure to like and share!

***

Reflect

 

Since Penny’s death, Jacinta has broken every mirror she’s seen. She has to. Every so often, Penny’s there, looking back. A smile. A wink. A nod to say, I see you seeing me.

They called it a game. There’s no winning when you mess with stuff like this.

Penny wound up with her neck broken at the bottom of her stairs. The paper wrote it off, saying she fell, drunk.

Jacinta’s dad did the autopsy. The girl broke her own neck, then fell.

Whenever it’s around, the reflection moves, commanding her from within the glass, playing with her.

For now.

Daily Darkness: Hothead

Hi there,

This story is for a friend of mine who spends way too much time playing Overwatch. 

Hope you enjoy it! Be sure to like and share if you do.

***

Hothead

 

Mac set turrets, camping on the payload. Apparently, no one else on his team wanted to complete the objective.

“Let’s go, assholes!” He shouted into his microphone, voice filling his basement as he stared into virtual reality. “We have a mission, remember?”

No response.

He looked around: the others had vanished. His character could no longer move.

The payload began creeping along its track, carrying him to an incinerator.

“What the hell?”

The fire approached. He felt the heat on his skin. Hairs burned off his arms.

Screaming, he tried to take the headset off. He never got the chance.

Daily Darkness: The Salon

Hi again,

Here’s a more experimental piece. I don’t usually write in the 2nd person, so be sure to let me know if you like this one in the comments!

***

The Salon

 

The shop on 34th isn’t one you go to by accident. It’s not a place you go to, ever. This is where you go when there’s no hope left for the tangled mess on your head.

It works like this. In your most vain hour, staring through tears into a smashed mirror, your reflection whispers the phone number. You call. You make an appointment.

At the appointed time, you arrive, neither late nor early. A stylist who’s face you can’t quite see makes you beautiful again.

Your payment: hearing whispers from your hair. Some are innocent, some atrocious.

You obey.

Daily Darkness: Employee of the Month

Hey everyone,

If you’ve ever worked retail or food service, you know all about the pressure to keep customers happy.

If you can’t do that, maybe you can just keep them quiet…

***

Employee of the Month

 

Daniel wiped blood off his shoes.

Mopping floors hadn’t been in his job description, but he wouldn’t tolerate any complaints.

“Filthy morons,” he whispered, hoping his customers’ ghosts would hear. “This wouldn’t happen if you just stay quiet.”

He couldn’t believe how easy it was.

Get me your manager!

Then:

I’ll take you to her.

Take them into the back, where he spent all day carving meat anyway, then…

He smiled as Julianna approached. His manager looked him over.

“Danny, you’ve been great, but I’m sorry. We’re letting you go. You have a bad attitude.”

His eye began to twitch.

Daily Darkness: Resort

Hi,

UGH, this one got too real. Still, had to write it. Too many people actually go through this. Maybe not the same way, but insulin prices–among other extortionist drug prices–mean people literally, actually die every day from not being able to afford medication.

They say the best things in life are free. Too bad life isn’t.

Also: I know suicide came up in another of my recent posts, but don’t worry, I’m fine. I’m actually doing great these days. I know some aren’t, though, and if I can draw attention to some of these issues, the non-mental health reasons people commit suicide, maybe we can start to fix them.

TW: suicide, chronic illness, under aged drinking.

***

Resort

 

Janice tipped the whiskey back, smiling, intoxication on her eyes and on her lips.

“I know, I know—the scandal! A teen, drunk, livestreaming!” She giggled. “Hey kids, don’t be like me.”

Another long swig.

“Don’t drink, okay? If you can avoid it, don’t be diabetic either. Don’t be poor, but if you’re poor, don’t be an orphan.” She stopped grinning. “You know insurance cut me off like that?” She snapped her fingers.

Her eyes locked on the bottle. “Insulin is so expensive.” She chugged the rest. “I’d prefer alcohol poisoning to ketoacidosis. I love you all. Be well. Goodbye.”

Daily Darkness: Pick

Hey everyone,

People are full of bad habits. Some are worse than others.

***

Pick

 

Jimmy rammed his finger back up his nose.

His momma always said, “You’ll get it stuck!” Pappa said, “It’s gross! Grown boys don’t do that.”

Maybe he was a little old, but he liked doing it. Boogers kept him from breathing easy. How was he supposed to keep his nose clean if he didn’t pick it?

Something felt wrong today. His nostrils were just a tiny bit wider than usual. Maybe he had cleaned too well yesterday.

Then he poked something tough.

The tough thing broke.

Gooey gray and soft pink dribbled out of his nose as little Jimmy collapsed.