""Beneath the pressure of torments such as these, the feeble remnant of the good within me succumbed. Evil thoughts became my sole intimates-the darkest and most evil of thoughts.""
-Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Night of The Senior Prom

Based on DarkMedia City's Friday Fright's theme:  Dance of the Dead or Undead

I roll over on my back and watch the sun creep its morning presence through the strung up torn sheets used as a sorry excuse for drapes.  This morning I didn’t care, because for the first time since Mama and I moved to this dead beat town to live with Granny I feel human again.  
“When the sunbeam gets to the large crack in the middle of the ceiling I’m gonna get up.”  I promise myself aloud.  I stretch my thick legs over the end of the same bed I’ve had since I was twelve and think about health class yesterday and learning how the sperm finds its perfect mate.  “Hum, I wonder what Brad’s thinking about right now?”  
I smile at how yesterday’s usual crappy morning turned out to be the perfect day.  I’m sure it’s not every day that Brad Weasley, the all star Senior Quarterback and winner of last year’s State Championship Wrestling Competition, and just about the hottest guy at Valley Hill High, asks an all star seventeen year old nobody from out of town to the Senior Prom. 
I can’t wait to see the look on the cheerleading squad’s starving supermodel wannabe faces when Brad Weasley walks into the dance holding hands with a well fed, never worn lipgloss, never worn nail polish or eyeliner and a never have had their hair cut in fifteen years super babe!   
Holding true to my promise, I get out of bed and pull my stretchy jeans and faded tee shirt from the dirty clothes pile.  Giving some thought to how my frizzy hair looks for the first time since maybe sixth grade, I walk into the bathroom and confirm it looks best in a ponytail, like it does everyday.  
I make my way down the tiny dark hall toward the kitchen and find my usual plate of mile high pancakes covered in loads of melted butter and syrup.  “Morning Mama and Granny.”  I plop down and shovel a forkful of the gooey goodness into my mouth.
Mama looks up from the spread out paper.  “Morning, Tracey Ann.” 
Granny nods and smiles.
“I was just reading here the Senior Prom is this weekend.  Be nice if you were going.”  Mama said.
“I am.”
Mama jumps up from her chair and lifts Granny by the arm and the two burst into a silent square dance.  
“Oh Mama, it’s nothing special he’s just some boy from the football team.”
Mama stops swinging Granny around and staggers over to me and pats her right hand on top of my head.  “Tracey Ann, going to your Senior Prom is a big deal, it’s a dance you’ll remember the rest of your life.”  
The week went as slow as molasses dripping from a tree, but Saturday finally arrived and I couldn’t wait for six o’clock to come and to watch Brad Weasley pull into the driveway in his red hot Mustang.
I made my way down the hall and into the sitting room where Mama was watching the same episodes of I Love Lucy she watches every Saturday night and Granny was crocheting the ugliest blanket I have ever seen.  “Is that for me, Granny?” 

As usual, she just nods.
I spin around once and clear my throat.  “How do I look?”
Mama waits to mimic a line with Ethel before taking her eyes off the television.  “Tracey Ann, you will knock them all dead.”  
Granny looks up, nods and goes back to crocheting my ugly blanket.
Sick of listening to Mama repeat every word of I Love Lucy, including Lucy’s annoying whine, I get up from the couch and peek through the worn drapes.  “Mama, I think my date forgot to pick me up.  I’m gonna walk down to the school.” 
I grab the cool vintage handbag I found at the second hand store with my dress and swing open the front door.  “Good night, don’t wait up.”  
“Tracey Ann?  I’d be careful if I were you.”  Granny never looks up from her crocheting.  “Things ain’t been right in this town ever since, oh what do they call them, showed up.”  
“I will Granny.” Geez, when she does talk she says the weirdest things. 

The closer I get toward the end of the block, thumping music fills the empty street and when I turn the corner every window of Valley Hill High is flashing like the disco floor from that old fashioned movie Mama makes me watch with her.    
The ear piercing beat of the music along with the thumping lights shoots a tingle of excitement down my spine.  I pull the door open and suddenly it goes silent and I shout into the darkness.  “Hello!”  I take a step inside and the door pushes me further in.  “Brad!”
Using my hands along the locker walls to make my way to the gymnasium I think about turning back and running home.  Then I remember how excited Mama was I was going to the Prom and decide to find out what’s going on.  
I pause outside the wooden doors and adjust my under garments, take a deep breath and smile like Mama always told me to do when I was scared and then count to three before pushing my way in.     
Through the shadowed light, silhouettes of heads fill the gym and soft whispers echo from the walls.  “Tracey Ann, you made it.”  Brad steps forward from the crowd and I’m blinded by the sudden lights.
“Brad, what happened to your face!”  
“This is my face, I wear a mask like all the teenage zombies  do.”  
The cheerleading squad stepped forward and one by one they pulled their starving wannabe supermodel mask off and the last thing I remember is smiling at the site of their sunken eyes and rotting flesh.  
The sound of Mama’s footsteps echo down the hall as she makes her way into the kitchen.  “Tracey Ann, why are you on the floor?
With ease, I twist my head backwards and hold up my morning delight for her to see.  “Mmmm, yummy!”  Starving, I rip the last delicious bit of morsel left clinging to Granny’s thigh bone and shove it in my mouth.  
I can still hear Mama screaming after she slams the front door and decide to let her go for now, because dinner will be here before I know it.  
I twist my head back around and sink my teeth through Granny’s wrist like a hot iron on a cow’s behind.  The crochet needle that was tightly grasped in her hand clings to the floor and I wonder if she finished making my ugly blanket.
Granny’s fingers are as sweet as fresh husked corn drenched in butter and I think about dinner.  “Geez, Mama was right, it was a dance I’ll remember for the rest of my endless existence.” 

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Surprise

Based on Vamplit Publishing's theme: Celebrations Gone Wrong

The passionless sex should have been the first clue and the dead silence a warning sign.  Even after the seventeenth first kiss with a gentle caress down the back, followed by two weeks of hot and steamy sex and then silence, Jenna still had high hopes of ending her loneliness.  

She believed staying up all night connecting with would be suitors online would one day lead to her finding Prince Charming and falling madly in love and living happily ever after.  To Jenna, all the late night commercials featuring online dating success stories was proof enough to her that she too would one day be one of them.  
As the first sign of dawn peaked through the half opened blinds the alarm blared Jenna from her sleep.  “Geez, the morning comes quick.”  She rolled onto her left side, hit the snooze button and smothered her face into the overused pillow. 

Remembering today was her bosses’ birthday and she had unanimously been selected by her peers to provide the cake, she plopped her feet on the floor and walked zombie like to the shower. 
Feeling revived, Jenna slid the crimson colored gloss across her lips and like every morning, read aloud the sticky note stuck to the mirror.  “Today’s the day.” She smiled back at her image.  “If it worked for Mel Fisher, it’ll work for me!” 
She slid the closet door open and stared at the thirty shoe boxes neatly piled high.  “I think I’ll wear leopard today.”  Being five foot ten, Jenna loved wearing eight inch heels.  She felt they showed off her long slender legs and that they gave her one up on the competition. 
Before leaving for the bakery she decided to check her inbox for messages from last night’s connections.  While waiting for the computer to boot up she sat down, crossed her legs and closed her eyes.  The computer dinged and she saw that one message was waiting.  Jenna crossed her fingers and whispered, “Please, please, please be the one.”  
After clicking the mouse once, the screen became alive with vibrant colors and a flashing red envelope with white letters that read, “Surprise!”  

She clicked on the link that said, open here, and read aloud.  “Congratulations!  At midnight tonight you are an official one year member of MatchMadeInHeaven.com!  In celebration, we have a surprise for you.  Tonight at midnight be sure to sign in and download our very special surprise gift box.  We guarantee you’ll find your soul mate or we’ll gladly refund your entire year’s membership fees.”  
Jenna jumped up from her seat.  “Sorry Mel Fisher, but tomorrow is the day!”  
The clock seemed to be stuck at 4:30 for over an hour.  Jenna thought if her coworkers didn’t stop chattering about what they were doing over the week-end with their husbands her head would explode.  The only solace she had in surviving the next thirty minutes was thinking about her surprise tonight and that come Monday morning she’ll be the one endlessly talking about what she and her future husband would be doing over the upcoming week-end.  
“So Jenna, what big plans do you have?  Another on-line date?”  
Jenna turned her stare away from the clock and toward Marcy’s direction.  The cocky smile on her face washed Jenna’s resentment away.  “It’s a surprise.”  Jenna smiled.  “You all will just have to wait until Monday to find out about it.”   
Marcy laughed.  “You know Jenna, there are other ways to find a husband.  You’re a pretty girl and redheads are the thing now.  You should try getting out and being seen.  Hey, I know us girls are stopping by TJ’s after work for a drink.  Why don’t you join us?”  
Knowing her Grammy would be disappointed if she didn’t make her usual Friday night stop with a bucket of chicken and wanting to spend a couple of hours sprucing up her make-up and hair before midnight, Jenna declined.  
Besides, she preferred the intrigue of meeting someone new online and building a relationship before meeting for the first time in a cozy restaurant over the instant face to face disappointment of someone in a bar spewing out drunken lies through liquored breath who was only interested in a one night stand.
The anticipation of finally meeting the one and only in her life drove Jenna wild with speculations.  Would he have dark hair or blonde?  Would his eyes be green or blue?  What if he were rich beyond her wildest dreams and what if he had the body of a Greek god?  All the what if’s were making her heart race as she entered her password and delicately touched the enter key.    
There in her inbox was a red box with a white bow that said click here.  Jenna paused before accepting.  Colorful confetti streamed down the screen with the message, we searched for a soul mate for you and we’re sorry to say we will be refunding your membership fees.  
“What the hell!  This is all wrong!  Today was my day.”  Jenna flew out of her chair and ran into the bathroom sobbing.  
Jenna tossed and turned for hours wondering if her loneliness would ever end when suddenly she noticed the computer was casting a strange green glow.  “What the?”  
She sat up and walked toward the desk and hit the enter key.  “Jenna, I have been searching for you my whole life.  Please won’t you join me in a world where love has no boundaries and life is infinite?”  
Jenna placed her palm against the green glowing hand print on the screen and screamed as inch by inch it pulled her soft flesh into the screen, melting it down into millions of megabytes.    
Come Monday morning, Marcy turned her computer on and saw she had one message waiting.  When she clicked on the red envelope she was shocked to find Jenna had quit for she was now happily married and traveling around the globe.

Total word count:  996

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Invited

Based on Vamplit Publishing's Reader's Choice: Haunted Houses
The soft whispers of the room faded to silence as the flickering flame reflected off the glowing white marbles that only seconds ago were Madame Weir’s steel blue eyes.  Her head tilted toward the ceiling and she cried out, “Come one and all.  Do not be afraid.  You have loved ones here calling out to you.”
Mary Beth held the last of the air in her lungs waiting for a sign from her recently deceased mother while John, her husband, sat holding her right hand softly snoring.  She released her over held breath and glanced around the table and wondered if the woman squeezing her left hand or the two men across the table holding hands were just as longing to talk to a departed loved one as she.    
Madame Weir convulsed in her chair and then she stiffened.  Her head dropped forward and turned toward Mary Beth.  Her bottom jaw dropped opened and she sat motionless.  
Mary Beth nudged John with her right elbow and took a deep breath.  “Mommy, are you here?”  
John shook his head.   “What . . . what’s going on?”   
“Shhh, I think my mother wants to say something.”  
The amber glow from the melting candle danced shadows off the tapestry hung walls and the stiffness of the room deafened Mary Beth to Madame Weir’s silence.
“This is a crock.  Mary Beth I told you she was a fake.  Your mother’s dead and she’s not coming back!”  John scooted his chair across the wooden floor and mumbled,  “Thank God.” 
“Sit back down John.”  Mary Beth gave an apologetic smile to Madame Weir and the other believers.
Suddenly, the patio french doors flew open, turning the flickering candle into an exhausted bellow of sulfur.  A stream of moon light beamed across Madame Weir’s face and from her stretched out mouth an eerie voice said, “Why did you let me die?”  

Her wailing started the moment they left Madame Weirs and continued the entire thirty minute drive home.  John pulled into the driveway and pushed the garage door opener.  “Look Mary Beth, that crazy old woman just said that to get you to feel guilty.  They always prey on the one person most eager to believe the dead can come back.  That’s how they make their money.”  He pulled the car into the garage.  “I don’t want you to ever go back there again.  Do you understand?”  

Mary Beth stared straight ahead, in silence.
“Fine.”  He shut the car door and made his way into the house, slamming the door.
Mary Beth’s cell rang, bringing her out of her trance.  She looked at the number and answered.  “Hello Madame Weir.  Did my Mother contact you again?”  
“No, Dear.  I’m sorry to be calling you this late, but I didn’t have time to warn you before you ran out of the house.”
“Warn me?  Warn me of what?”
Madame Weir paused.  “That wasn’t your mother that came to me.  It was someone else, and they were very angry.”
“Who was it?”
“I’m not sure, but it was someone who died a long time ago who wasn’t ready to die.”
“But, you said you called to warn me.”
“I did.  You see when a person dies before their time and their soul does not move on into the light they wander in the land of the lost dead waiting for someone to invite them out.  Someone whom they can take revenge on and you my dear are that person.”
“You mean, they blame me for their death!”
“Just be.”  Madame Weir took a long breath.  “Just be very careful.  Good night my Dear.”  
“But wait!”  Mary Beth looked around the darkened garage, fumbling for her purse.  She grabbed the arm strap and wasted no time getting into the house.


The neon numbers flipped to 3:59 as Mary Beth wiped the last tear from her dried up tear ducts.  The pain of never speaking with her mother again seemed unbearable, but she knew she had to move on or the thought of it would drive her insane.  
Mary Beth sat up and reached out with her left hand and gingerly touched John’s shoulder and whispered.  “You’re right John, the old woman is crazy.”  Not expecting an answer she added.  “Tomorrow, I’m blocking her number so she can never call and scare me again.  Like you said it’s probably her tactic for getting fools like me to come back and spend more money.  I hate it when you’re always right, but I guess that’s why I went against my values and married a divorced man.”

She lifted her robe off the end of the bed and draped the sheer material across her shoulders and stepped out into the hallway, closing the door behind.  She began to descend the stairs when she noticed through the dim moonlight a wavering translucent figure moving toward her.  She froze and closed her eyes and prayed.
“Do not be afraid.  I want to thank you for setting me free by inviting me out of that dark and lonely prison.”
“What do you want from me?”  Mary Beth gulped.
“But, I don’t know you.  Why do you want revenge on me?”
“I’m not here for you.  I’m here for him.”  A long boney finger pointed up the stairs.
“John?  Who are you?”
“I came to make our divorce final.  He promised till death do we part, but he broke that promise when he murdered me.”
Knowing the truth helped Mary Beth drown out John’s screams that filled her head during the dead of night.  
Knowing her house was haunted by the ghost of her recently departed husband’s wife gave her an idea.
In the year it took to implement her plan, Mary Beth and her live-in house ghost became the best of friends and on the anniversary of their meeting they eagerly awaited their first guest to The Invited Inn - A Haunted Bed & Breakfast.   

Total word count: 1,000

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Based on Vamplit Publishing's Friday Flash Theme: Little Shop of Oddities

The speedometer on the 1974 Gremlin teeters between fifty and fifty-five as it makes its way down the lone highway toward the setting sun.  Cassie reaches out with her right hand and turns the radio volume up as high as it will go.  
“Seasons in the Sun, my favorite!”  She flicks through the overflowing ash tray and pulls out the tiny remnants of the Columbian Gold she spent half of last week’s pay on and pushes the lighter in and bounces her head from side to side.  "We had fun, yeah, yeah..." 
The Gremlin spats and sputters to a grinding halt.  Cassie looks at the darkening dashboard and watches the gas gage land on E.  With the last of the engine's momentum, she swerves off onto the right shoulder of the road and pulls the lighter out of its holder and presses the glowing tip against the singed joint.  “Thank God!”  
Cassie’s state of self-induced euphoria vanishes with the sudden surrounding thickness of black and she frantically searches for signs of hope through every window.  After searching hour by hour through the endless dark, she realizes her only hope is in the rising sun.    
Waking to a flickering light, Cassie holds her left hand in front of her face and sighs.  “Thank God, a police man.” She sits up and winds the window down. 
“Ya alright, Miss?”
 “Yes Sir, my car ran out of.” She pauses to catch her breath.
“Why I just live up the road a piece.  Be’d happy to give ya a lift.”   
“I. . . think I’ll wait until a police man comes by.”  
“Reckon, ya'd  be waiting a long time.  My mama made a big pot of stew tonight, if ya hungry.”  
Beyond the munchies, Cassie smiles and grabs her purse.  “I guess since your Mother went through all the trouble.”  
The truck makes a sharp left turn and the beam from the headlights shines across a freshly painted sign.  “Mr. Strange’s Shop of Weird Things.”  Cassie checks the lock on the door.  “You’re name is Mr. Strange?”  
He presses on the gas and throws his head back in a spine chilling laughter.  The truck bounces across the rough terrain and Cassie grasps at anything that resembles a door handle, but she soon realizes the only hope she has is that her death will be quick and painless.
The vibration of the hybrid engine blends with the surrounding silence of the lone highway as Jeremy drives toward the rising sun.  He reaches out with his right hand to adjust the angle of the GPS when his phone rings.  He pushes the handsfree option on the steering wheel instead.  “Ironside Realty.”
“Hey, Jeremy, heard you were coming back into town!  Wanna party tonight?”  
“No, Steve, I’m only back in town on business.   I don’t plan to hang around any longer than I have too.  You know how I feel about this place.”
“Yeah man, I know.  I just thought...”
“Steve, are you there?”  Jeremy taps the steering wheel and looks at the GPS.  “Shit, I lost all signals.”  
Familiar with the unchanged landscape Jeremy drives straight toward the blaring sun with only his memory as a guide.  He pulls the visor down and randomly selects a CD.  “Humm, Hits of the 70‘s.  Oh why not.”  He pushes it into the player and hits the play arrow and clicks the volume button on the underside of the steering wheel three times.    
“Seasons in the Sun, please, anything but that!”  He hits the seek button several times.  “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”  He clicks the volume switch up two notches and nods his head up and down to the beat of ‘Sundown’ by Gordon Lightfoot.
A tall tower of overgrown vines captures his attention and he slowly veers the car off to the right.  The leaves wiggle in the breeze and suddenly a gust of wind blows them open enough for him to read, “Mr. Strange’s Shop of...”  He makes a right turn onto the dirt path and follows it to the very end.
He waits before getting out to take in the sight of the abandoned building.  The shutters were rotted through, the winter winds blew all the roof shingles off and every window had a rock size hole in the middle.  The only thing untouched by time was the sign swinging over the front door.
“Mr. Strange’s Shop of Weird Things.”  He steps out onto the gravel driveway of overgrown dandelions and makes his way toward the door. 
He pushes through the remaining slats used to make the door and walks into the dust covered room.   Stuffed roadkill made to look like two headed rabbits, a unicorn deer, eight legged armadillo's and a rattle snake dog covered the walls.  Buckets lined the floor with tiny versions of the wall hangings. 

“Now that is strange, but not surprising.”
Jeremy makes his way down a small hallway, looking into the dilapidated kitchen, bedroom and bath.  He notices a door with a padlock around the handle.  “Oh, why not, no one lives here.”   He gives a shove with his right side.  “Crap that hurt.”  He stands back and lifts his right leg and kicks his foot hard against the aging wood.  
The door breaks wide open and he steps inside.  Covering his mouth, Jeremy hopes he’ll make it to the bath in time to add his breakfast to the filth covered toilet.   
He paces up and down the hall.   “What do I do...what do I do?” Unable to fight the urge, Jeremy slowly walks toward the door and again steps inside.  Stuffed roadkill made to look like a German Shepherd with human legs, skunks with human eyes, turtles with human hands, and the weirdest of all the oddities, a half bear, half human creation.
Jeremy walks closer to look at the decayed face.  “Cassie!”  
“Never did know her name.”
Jeremy spins around and splatters his remaining breakfast across Mr. Strange’s hatchet.  

Total word count: 1,000    

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tingling Cat Toes, It's Bloody Hearts Blog Hop Tuesday!

Won't You Be Mine...to bite?

To celebrate Valentine's Day, and the last day of Vamplit Publishing's Bloody Hearts Blog Hop, I wanted to share four of my favorite flicks where love's gone bad and my top pick in honor of my book giveaway, Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls.   These are movies you can really sink your teeth into, so cuddle up next to someone special, but not too close, they just may bite!

My Bloody Valentine (1981)
My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
Sleeping with the Enemy

Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check out one of T.K. Millin's Friday flashes and add a comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of Demonic Dolls!

Efi Loo, The Cat Vamp

Monday, February 13, 2012

Hippity, Hoppity It's Bloody Hearts Blog Hop Monday!

Hosted by Vamplit Publishing  
To kick off the two day event, Efi Loo wanted to sink her teeth into five superstitions that don't involve black cats!   

If a girl sees a dove on Valentine's Day, she will marry a man with a golden heart.

If a girl sees a sparrow on Valentine's Day, she will marry a poor man who will bring lots of happiness in marriage and life. 

If a girl sees an owl on Valentine's Day, she will never marry.

If you receive a red rose, your lover loves you!

If you receive a yellow rose, your lover is jealous.

Time to move on to Efi Loo's Blog Hop Contest!

Efi Loo is giving away three copies of Satan's Toybox: Demonic Dolls; autographed by T.K. Millin, which features her story, Mr. Jingle, along with 17 other terrifying tales of creepy, scary, demonic dolls!  
Image courtesy of Angelic Knight Press

Here's how to participate:
  • One, be or become, a follower of The Cat Vamp Diaries: All Things Scary
  • Two, read any one of T.K. Millin's flash fiction stories found in Efi Loo's Friday Flash Fiction Gallery
  • Three, add a comment, good or bad, during the Blog Hop dates of February 13 & 14
  • Winners will be notified on Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Be sure to hop on over to Vamplit Publishing to check out all the cool blogs participating in the Bloody Hearts Blog Hop and all their pawsome prizes, and don't forget to come back tomorrow for a special Valentine's Day treat!

Thank you for hopping along, and hope you enjoyed a scary tale or two!

Efi Loo, The Cat Vamp