Hosts (flash fiction)

Hosts

A team was sent to investigate the planet’s surface. They found an inordinate amount of tiny flying insects everywhere they went. After taking off their protective visors they were swarmed by them. They signaled for immediate retrieval.

“What’s with the red eyes?” the commanding officer asked when the team returned onboard. They didn’t say a word, but opened up their sample boxes and suddenly the entire ship was engulfed with tiny insects.

Once the spaceship was under the insects control, via their human hosts, the insects now planned to explore the rest of the galaxy, and take it over.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt tiny flying insects provided by the Carrot Ranch May 27 Flash Fiction Challenge.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires, part 16 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

16

Robert Thompson and Angela Haynes looked at the building before them. A large white villa in the hills above New Kingsport.

“So this house is owned by a Charles Davies then?” Angela asked.

“Yes, better known as Chuck. Let’s just say he is, or was, notorious for having his fingers in a lot of dubious pies. That’s how he’s made his wealth. Now he seems to have vanished off the face of the earth and yet his car has been seen regularly making trips to the city below picking up people and bringing them back here.” Robert replied.

“And I assume all the people that walk in there never seem to walk back out?”

“You would be right there.”

“How did you find this place?” Angela asked.

“The night Freya and Sarah disappeared, I managed to obtain all the video footage from the gas stations on the way to the city using my FBI badge. I assumed they would head to the city and I hoped the car they were in might stop at one of them. After reviewing the footage and seeing all the cars that stopped there, I searched for their owners. Out of all of them, he is the one that seems to have disappeared since then. No one has seen him alive since that night.” Robert informed her.

“Well done.” Angela told him. “Of course the fact that all the curtains are closed is a dead giveaway.”

“Shall we go in and see if they’re still there?”

“Sure. They should be sleeping now, if they are there.” Angela replied. Robert looked doubtful.

“Don’t count on it. If we’re expected, they may be staying up just to surprise us. Keep alert. Robert warned. They both moved forwards to the front door.

*

Freya peeked through the curtain and watched the two hunters talking outside the house. Once they started moving to the house she withdrew from the window. She turned to Sarah who stood beside her.

“We’ve got to hide now.” Freya told her. Sarah hid among the clothes in a large wardrobe, while Freya found her dagger and hid it in the inside pocket of her coat. She then leapt up to the attic opening and waited.

In a short moment the front door was forced open and she heard footsteps in the floor below. They seemed to go through the rooms one by one.

“Oh look! A pile of dead bodies. What a surprise!” The woman’s voice said. “Do vampires realise how much of a foul smell they make?”

“I don’t think it particularly worries them.” Said the man who was currently going by the name of Robert Thompson. Freya knew him as Alejandro Cortez, and a host of other pseudonyms. She then heard them walking up the stairs.

“I’ll check out this room.” The woman whispered.

“I’ll look in that one.” Robert answered. Freya heard someone walk into the room below. They walked around the room and then looked in the wardrobe. Freya jumped silently down to see Sarah suddenly launch herself at the woman hunter from out of the wardrobe. To Freya’s shock, the woman remained unfazed and quickly stuck a wooden stake into Sarah’s heart. Sarah turned to dust with a look of surprise on her face.

“No!” Freya screamed out. ”You bitch!” The woman turned in shock at her voice. Freya ran at her and deftly deflected the woman’s attempt at staking her. In one quick movement, Freya grabbed the woman’s head and snapped her neck. She fell lifeless to the floor. Freya collapsed onto her knees and sifted her fingers through the dust that had been Sarah. “Sarah no! We had so many plans…” she sobbed as she sat there. Tears of blood ran down her face. She heard footsteps come into the room.

“That’s two of my assistants you’ve killed now.” Robert stated.

“And they deserved it.” Freya shot back as she slowly stood up and faced him.

“The game’s up. Come back with me to the Institute. We’ll look after you. That’s all we want. You don’t have to die here.” Robert offered.

“No.” Freya replied. Robert look disappointed.

“Then I’ll have to kill you.”

“Come at me then!” Freya taunted. Unexpectedly, she then ran at him. He quickly got his stake into position and stuck it into her heart. Freya pulled out her dagger and pushed the blade deeply into his abdomen. With all her remaining strength she dragged the blade through his abdomen until it was through his other side. She then cut upwards. Robert shoved the stake deeper into Freya until she finally went limp and collapsed onto the floor. Moments later he collapsed too. Robert lay there bleeding out. He looked over to Freya’s inert body.

“Dumb vampires!” he said as everything went black.

The End.

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires, part 15 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

15

Freya awoke. The sun had only just set. She knew they had to go soon, so she gently shook Sarah who was sleeping beside her. Sarah awoke wide-eyed and alert.

“What’s the matter?” Sarah asked alarmed.

“We need to get out of here. Now we’ve killed one of the hunters, more will come. The sooner we’re away the better.” Freya told her.

“Can’t we just try to get the other one?”

“No he’s probably guessed by now we’re here. He’ll either be gone or awaiting reinforcements. If he is still here, he will be extremely difficult to get to.” Freya advised. “It’s best we pack up and go.”

“We haven’t got a car.”

“We can always hitchhike.” Freya suggested.

“Okay.” Sarah replied. She got out of the bed and headed to the kitchen. Freya followed her. They warmed up the remaining blood and finished it off. “Do we hide the bodies somewhere, or shall we just let them be found there on the floor.”

“Just leave them for the hunters to find.” Freya suggested.

“Well if they’re going to find them, then I want to leave a message for the dick wad.” Sarah went over to the bodies and produced a pocket knife. Freya watched Sarah carving letters into Tom’s forehead. After she had finished, they packed up their few belongings and went soundlessly out the back window.

Once outside, they walked across the road and stuck out their thumbs to the passing traffic. They didn’t have to wait long for a car to stop for them. It was a red Jeep.

“Where are you sexy girls headed?” asked the driver. He was a man in his forties with short brown hair and a rather cheesy mustache. He wore a Hawaiian shirt and white shorts.

“We’re heading to New Kingsport.” Freya told him. He smiled.

“It just so happens I’m heading there to. Climb on in.” he told them.

“Thanks.” Freya said, as she and Sarah both got into the back seat. They drove off.

“My name is Chuck by the way.” He told them.

“Of course it is.” Freya replied.

“I’m sorry?” he asked.

“No matter.” Freya replied smiling. “I’m Freya, and this is Sarah.” Chuck began to wind down the window.

“So you girls got a place to stay in the city?” Chuck asked.

“We’ll probably just go to a motel.” Freya answered.

“Two pretty girls like you staying in a motel? No, I won’t hear of it! You’re welcome to stay at my place. I’ve got plenty of room.” Chuck told them.

“Thanks, that sounds great.” Freya replied.

“Yeah we’ll make it worth your while.” Sarah said smiling at him.

“We certainly will.” Freya agreed. Chuck smiled. He was in for a good time tonight, he thought.

On the way he stopped at a gas station. Freya and Sarah looked at each other.

“At least we’ve got somewhere to stay for a while.” Sarah stated.

“Hopefully…” Freya answered. She felt disquiet that they had stopped here, but there was nothing she could do about that. When Chuck got back, he was all smiles.

“Well off we go!” He stated. “If one of you wants to sit in the front with me, you’re welcome to.”

“Thanks, but we’re okay here.” Freya told him. “So what do you do Chuck?”

“This and that.” He answered.

“What about you two?” he asked.

“I’m a student.” Sarah replied. “Though it’s the holidays.”

“What about you Freya? Are you a student too?” Chuck asked her.

“You could say that.” Freya answered guardedly.

When they got to the city, Chuck drove to his house in the hills. It was a large wooden villa that had a scenic view of the entire valley. Below them New Kingsport silently glittered with thousands of lights. Chuck unlocked the door and walked in to his house. Freya and Sarah walked up to the doorway and waited.

“Come in you two!” Chuck told them.

“Thanks.” Freya replied as they both walked over the threshold.

“This is the lounge and here is the kitchen.” He told them. “Do you two want something to eat?”

“We certainly do!” Sarah replied. Both Sarah and Freya followed Chuck into the kitchen. He turned around to see them both advancing on him with their fangs out. He screamed.

Afterwards, Freya and Sarah sat on the couch. Sarah was resting her head on Freya’s shoulder while Freya had her arms around her. Sarah had the TV remote in her hand and was flicking through the channels. Both of them had blood dripping from their mouths.

“It should take them a while to find us here.” Sarah said.

“Yes my love.” Freya replied. She kissed Sarah on the forehead.

Freya was thinking about Chuck stopping at the gas station, which would give the hunter a car to track, and that would mean he would be here sooner than Sarah realised. That hunter followed her everywhere. He was relentless. No matter where she went, he would eventually turn up. She was tired of the constant chase, tired of the hunt, and realised she needed to take a stand. She needed to get rid of him, even if it cost her life, and Sarah’s. She looked around. This place was as good as any to make a final stand against the man who constantly stalked her. This would be the only way she could be rid of him forever…

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires, part 14 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

14

Robert went to the phone in his room. He picked up the receiver and then dialed a number. He waited for it to be answered.

“This is Little Bo Peep. I need to talk to the Big Kahuna on this line.” He then hung up and waited. A short time later the phone rang and Robert answered it.

“Report.” Said a voice.

“My assistant Tom Mitchell has been killed by the two vampires we were tracking. It turns out they are staying in the same motel we are.” Robert told him.

“That’s unfortunate.” The voice replied in an expressionless tone.

“I did warn him to be careful, but he did not heed my concerns. I don’t think, in the end, he was suitable for this line of work.”

“Few are.”

“So what are my instructions?” Robert asked.

“You are to sit tight until we can get you a replacement. Do not do anything until they arrive. Where are you?”

“I’m staying in the Sunny Meadows Motel just outside the town of Lawrence.” Robert answered as he looked out the window at the carpark and the highway beyond it. “I’m in Unit 28. The vampires are in Unit 13. I’m currently looking across at their unit. How long before the replacement comes?”

“They should arrive early tomorrow. Where’s your assistant’s body?”

“With the vampires. I assume they’ve been feeding on him all night. There is also a local person missing. I suspect they were the first victim.”

“If they know you are there, they may come for you tonight. Be on your guard.” The voice warned.

“I’ll take all the precautions I can.” Robert answered. “There is an Inquisitor nearby. Do you think I should approach them about this situation?” Robert asked. There was silence.

“No. Stay where you are. They may already be aware of the situation. I will call this number tomorrow in the morning.” The voice said. Then they hung up. Robert put the receiver down.

“I guess I’m having a night in.” He said to himself. He went to a store and grabbed some food and, once back, he locked the door and put a chair under the handle. After ensuring all the windows were secure, he placed another chair that was equidistant from the door and the window. Opening his suitcase, he pulled out several wooden stakes. One he put in his inside jacket pocket and another by his right foot held in place with a band in his sock. He took out the Glock from his shoulder holster and checked the clip was full.

Once it grew dark, he turned out the light and sat on the chair. From where he was he could see both the door and the unit the vampires were staying in through the window. He sat there and waited. As the night wore on it got quieter, aside from the occasional traffic sounds from the highway. At around two am Robert thought he could hear footsteps on the edge of hearing. They were softly moving towards his door. Then he could hear the door handle slowly move as something attempted to open it. Robert knew he could suddenly open the door and drive a stake through whoever was trying to gain access to his room, but he was under orders to sit tight, and besides, what if it turned out to be just a burglar? That might be a hard one to explain…

The night deepened and Robert continued to sit there waiting. Occasionally he glanced at the vampire’s unit, but saw no signs of movement or activity. No further attempts to enter his room were attempted. Once the sky began to lighten, he relaxed and stood up. He felt stiff from sitting there all night. He decided to take a short nap. The phone woke him up several hours later.

“You survived then.” The voice said.

“Yes. At least one of them made an attempt to enter my room, but they were rather cautious.” Robert answered.

“Your replacement will arrive shortly.” The voice told him before they hung up again. Around an hour later there was a loud knock. Robert answered it. Standing there was a woman only slightly shorter than him. Her skin was black and her long dark hair was in braids. She wore a suit like him.

“You must be Robert Thompson.” She said in a thick Caribbean accent. “I’m Angela Haynes, your new assistant.”

“Hello Angela.” He said holding his hand out. She briefly shook it and then walked into the room and looked around. She was carrying a suitcase in her left hand. “Where are you from?”

“I”m from Barbados. So where are the vampires now?” Angela asked.

“Currently they should be sleeping in their unit.” Robert told her. Angela set her suitcase down on a bed and opened it. She pulled out a stake.

“Maybe we should go and deal with the problem!” Angela said holding the stake in her hand.

“I was about to suggest that.” Robert told her.

“Then let’s go man!” She urged. Robert led her to Unit 13. Using a wire he quickly picked the lock while Angela stood in the way so nobody could see what they were doing. When Robert opened the door, the first thing that hit them was the stench. They both walked in to find two bodies lying on the floor, one of them was Tom. Robert shook his head at his former assistant. One of the vampires had cut the words YOU SUCK! onto Tom’s forehead. Robert guessed it was Sarah, since it wasn’t Freya’s style.

“If only you had listened to me.”

“It definitely smells like vampires.” Angela said holding her nose. Robert looked around. There was no sign of Freya or Sarah. On the bench in the kitchen was a jug with dried blood.

“It looks like they’ve gone. I kept an eye on this unit all night, but never saw them leave.” He went to a back window and found it was open. “I better call in the cleaners. One of our own is here.”

“So where have they gone?” Angela asked.

“They will probably go to the nearest city. Vampires like anonymity.” Robert told her.

“Then they’ve fled to New Kingsport?”

“I would guess so.”

“Then that’s where we go next.” Angela said.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires, part 13 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

13

Robert and Tom walked into the motel room. They both placed their meagre luggage onto the floor. Robert walked over to the windows and closed the curtains.

“Shouldn’t we still be out looking for them?” Tom asked.

“I’ve been driving all night and day. I need some rest. Besides, I’m sure they’ll eventually leave evidence of their passage.” No sooner had Robert said that then his cell phone rang.  He answered the call. “Yes? I see. Thanks for letting me know.”

“Is there news?”

“Yes an abandoned car has been found not far from here. They obviously drove it until it ran out of gas and then presumably walked away, which means they may not be far from here.” Robert informed him.

“I wonder what happened to the car’s owner.” Tom mused.

“I would guess he’s buried in a shallow grave somewhere, probably where they picked the car up.” Robert answered.

“They could have taken another car.”

“Wherever they go I’m sure we’ll hear about it.” Robert said confidently.

“So what do we do now?” Tom asked.

“We wait for further news.” Robert answered. “Though there is an Inquisitor nearby. We could ask them for help.” Tom stared at him in surprise.

“An Inquisitor? Aren’t they the enemy?”

“Well yes, but sometimes the enemy of enemy can be our friend, when we need them to be. Inquisitors hate rogue vampires as much as we do.” Robert told him.

“But aren’t we meant to be destroying all vampires?”

“Well that’s what we tell people, in essence were just getting rid of the troublesome ones. Vampires that are quiet and follow the rules set down by their own council don’t usually get targeted by us.” Robert replied.

“Huh?”

“We have to be selective on who we go after. The reason I suggested we use the Inquisitor is they are essentially doing the same thing we are doing: getting rid of the vampires that could expose them all. Vampires have managed to survive for millennia as they have convinced everyone they don’t exist. Vampires like Freya who go on killing sprees threaten to expose that lie.”

“So why doesn’t our organisation just tell everyone vampires are real?” Tom asked.

“Because that is not our brief. We don’t know the ramifications and overall psychological effect on society if it was revealed that vampires actually exist. Besides if they are exposed, then our organisation may be exposed too, and we don’t really want public scrutiny on our activities.” Robert replied.

“But surely the Inquisitor might kill us too?”

“Yes they might. That’s the risk. Which is why I’m only thinking about it at this stage.” Robert told him. “Now I suggest we both get some rest. It’s getting dark. The next few days might be hectic.”

“I thought I might go to the bar across the road first.” Tom told him.

“You plan to drink or pick someone up?”

“Both hopefully. There might be some hot chicks there.” Tom stated. Robert sighed.

“You have to keep focused son. This constant need to go out and prove your heterosexuality has me convinced you are scared you might be gay.”

“What?” Tom screamed out.

“You’re obviously bothered about sharing motel rooms with another man as you are concerned people might think you’re gay. People who are confident in their sexuality, gay or straight, don’t worry about things like that. Which means to me that you’re struggling with your identity.” Robert told him. “As I said you have to keep focused in this job or it will get you into trouble.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!’ Tom stormed out of the room. Robert shook his head and lay down on the bed.

“I touched a nerve there!” Robert said to himself as he drifted off to sleep.

Tom walked angrily outside. How dare Robert accuse him of being gay! The nerve of that man. He stormed across the road, but was met with a loud car horn. He looked to see a pickup truck with two women in the front. A blonde woman was at the wheel while a brunette sat beside her. They were dressed like farmers and were looking rather annoyed with him. He stopped and let their pickup truck pass. A golden Labrador barked at him from the back. Once he checked the road was clear, he walked across.

Tom ordered a whiskey and thought about Robert’s words. It appeared that the organisation he was working for was far different than what he thought it was. When he was recruited he was told he would be killing vampires, but it had turned out far different than he had expected.

“Want to buy me a drink?” asked a voice that broke Tom out of his reverie. He saw there was a young blonde woman standing beside him.

“Sure! Bartender, whatever this woman wants.”

“Can I have a double bourbon please?” the woman asked. The bartender nodded and poured her a drink. She drained the glass in one go. Tom looked at her in wonder. She turned to him. “You been here long?”

“No just passing through. I’m staying at the motel across the road.” Tom told her.

“Me too! I’m there with my girlfriend.” She replied smiling. “We sure could use some company.” Tom quickly finished his drink and left a few dollars on the bar.

“I’m so there!” he replied. That would show Robert. He planned to brag to him about this threesome tomorrow.

“Great! Follow me.” She said. Tom followed her across the road. She led him into a room on the other side of the motel from where he was staying. She opened the door and beckoned him to go in first, which he did. She followed him and closed the door behind her. Tom then saw her friend.

“Oh my god it’s you!” He exclaimed upon seeing Freya smiling at him evilly. He turned to quickly leave, but found his way to the door was blocked by Sarah, who now had her fangs out. Both of them advanced on him.

“This is for Britney!” Sarah said. They muffled Tom’s screams.

to be continued…

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

Please donate! 🙂

©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Dumb Vampires, part 12 (fiction)

Dumb Vampires

I’m taking a short break from The Oracle, and will use this opportunity to finish the Dumb Vampires storyline. In the previous episode the vampires Freya and Sarah fled the city after the death of Britney. The hunters Robert and Tom are chasing them…

12

Freya peeked through the curtain to see it wasn’t yet sundown. She lay back in the bed with the sleeping form of Sarah beside her. On the bedside table was a mostly empty bottle of Jack Daniels, as well as copious bloodstains. Sarah definitely still loved her alcohol, even as a vampire, which had surprised Freya.

They had fled the city and driven all night using the two dead bodies with them as food. Once dawn broke they went down a back road and covered the car windows up and slept all day. When it was dark again they abandoned the car and walked along the road. Sarah managed to get a passing car to stop for them. After feeding on the driver and hiding his body, they took the car and drove it until it ran out of gas. Luckily they weren’t far from a town and managed to find a motel not long before the sun came up. Sarah found there was a bar across the road and came back with the Jack Daniels and a companion to feed on. Freya had to admit that Sarah was getting better as a hunter. She had to come to a decision soon: either she had to cut Sarah free or take Sarah as her partner from now on. As she had always survived on her own it felt weird to have someone with her all the time, but she had grown fond of Sarah, though she didn’t like to admit this to herself.

She sat up and carefully got out of bed. Stepping over the body on the floor, she went to the small kitchen. Opening the fridge she poured some blood into a cup and warmed it up in the microwave. As she was drinking it, Sarah appeared with her blonde hair all mussed up. She grabbed some blood as well and warmed it up.

“It was a great idea to put all their remaining blood into a jug.” Sarah commented.

“Yes, otherwise it would go to waste.” Freya agreed.

“So what’s the plan?”

“We shouldn’t stay here too long as we are bound to get noticed.”

“Like we did at my place?” Sarah asked.

“Well yes. We stayed there far too long. We almost got caught.”

“Well I did have a large friend’s list.” Sarah stated. “So what do we do next?”

“We need to head to another city. It’s easier to blend in there, especially if hunters are after you. New Kingsport is nearby.” Freya told her.

“So what do we do? Steal another car and head for there?”

“I think that would be best, but I think first we should lie low for a couple of days here. Hopefully the hunters have no idea which way we headed. The quieter we are the better.” Freya informed her. “Anyway what do you want to do? Strike out on your own or stay with me?” Sarah looked at her surprised.

“I’m not sure I would know what to do on my own. I thought we would just stay together.” Sarah admitted.

“You’re already showing signs you can hunt, and all the other stuff will eventually come to you. I think you could definitely make it on your own.”

“Are you trying to get rid of me?” Sarah asked looking upset. “You’re all I’ve got now Britney is gone.”

“No. I just wanted you to know that you don’t have to stay with me if you don’t want to. Of course you’re welcome to stay with me for as long as you want.” Freya explained. Sarah suddenly put her arms around Freya and held onto her tightly.

“I never want to leave you.” Sarah told her.

“Okay.” Freya replied as she put her arms around Sarah’s quivering body. She now knew she could never let Sarah go. Both of them heard a car drive into the car park. Out of curiosity, Freya opened a curtain to see a familiar car parked there. Two men got out of the car. She turned to Sarah. “The hunters are here.”

to be continued….

Joanne Fisher

Index of previous chapters: Dumb Vampires

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Door (flash fiction)

The Door

I went to visit my friend Madeline. When I arrived she was cutting up meat in the kitchen. I looked around the room and noticed there was a door in the middle of a wall that I swear I had never seen there before.

“Is that new?” I asked her.

“Hmm what?” she asked without turning round.

“That door. I don’t remember it being there before.”

“Oh that door! Yes it appeared there a few days ago.” she stated.

“Appeared?” I asked.

“Yes. One day it wasn’t there, and then another day it was.”

“And you don’t think that’s odd?” She turned to look at me.

“Yes it’s very odd. Open it and have a look inside.” she suggested. I cautiously walked up to the door and opened the door slowly. All I could see inside was total darkness.

“Is there a light?”

“No it’s totally dark. If you walk in there with a light, the darkness will eat it up.” she told me.

“Excuse me? Eat it up?”

“Walk in there and you’ll see what I mean.” she urged. She stopped cutting up the meat and walked to my side. “Go on!” I gingerly put my foot forward to find there was a floor there. I took a few cautious steps in. I turned my phone’s torchlight on and found it failed to illuminate the blackness around me. I turned to face Madeline.

“That’s totally weird!” I remarked. She smiled at me. It was then I saw her eyes suddenly turn red.

“Goodbye.” she said as she closed the door and I was engulfed in darkness.

“Hey open the door!” I screamed. I walked forwards to where the wall and door should be, but found nothing but empty air. I flailed around lost in the pitch black. “Please open up the door!”

Joanne Fisher

This was inspired by the prompt March Writing Challenge Day 30 – a character encounters a door in their home that wasn’t there before provided by Emine Beasley. Though it wasn’t the main characters actual home…

In other news: I finally got around to submitting some poems to this years issue of Catalyst. I probably won’t hear back until October.

Please donate! 🙂

©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Victory (flash fiction)

The Victory

Meredith suddenly realised a year had passed since the zombie apocalypse. It had been close, but they had prevailed in the end and now things had finally settled down.

So many were missing, she thought as she went into the town centre. She had a busy day today of wandering mindlessly through town with all the others. She might be a zombie now, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t put in a full day of shambling. She mused it was such a shame they couldn’t get fresh human meat anymore, they all had to make do with livestock now.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt to write a story that takes place a year later provided by the Carrot Ranch March 18 Flash Fiction Challenge.

PSA: Please don’t mistake my penchant for absurdist humour for social commentary. Please ensure you all get fully vaccinated for coronavirus. It’s the best way we can defeat the current pandemic.

Please donate! 🙂

©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Recent Horror Movie Roundup (article)

Over the last few months I’ve been watching quite a lot of horror movies, essentially trying to catch up with ones I’ve missed of late. I thought I would give you my 12 favourites so far. These are not all necessarily the best movies out there, but they’re ones I quite liked, or ones that resonated with me in some way. I’m going to keep the list to films made in the last twenty years as I’ve also watched a lot of older films like all the Christopher Lee Dracula movies, but I would find them harder to rate against more modern films as they really come from a different era. These films are in no particular order and if there are films you plan to see in this list, but haven’t yet, then there may be spoilers ahead (I’ll do my best not to reveal too much). You have been warned.

1. The Descent (2005)

Woman loses husband and child in a car accident. A year later her friends persuade her to go caving with them. They end up finding a cave that hasn’t been explored for a long time and discover there are bipedal creatures stalking them. Someone compared this film to Alien, if it were set in a cave. A very claustrophobic and dimly lit film. There is a theory that there are actually no creatures and the main character has gone insane…

2. Ready or Not (2019)

Woman marries into rich family to find they have wedding night ritual that involves her randomly selecting a card and the rest of the family playing a game… Unfortunately she selects Hide and Seek and finds her new family are now trying to hunt her down to kill her. Darkly comic with rather violent bloody scenes. Has a brilliant and unexpected ending.

3. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

An unnamed woman is found in a house where a massacre has occurred. Father and son coroners (in their downstairs medical lab) try to find out how she died and some clues to her identity. As the autopsy continues it gets stranger as they find impossibilities, such as writing on the inside of her skin. A very dark and atmospheric film.

4. Dagon (2001)

The closest to a direct Cthulhu Mythos film we may ever get. This film is not actually based on H.P. Lovecraft’s tale Dagon, but his The Shadow Over Innsmouth. If you like weird fish people and tentacles then this is your movie. Wonderfully atmospheric. Word of advice: don’t watch this film while eating the remains of a fish stew like I did. Just don’t.

5. The Ruins (2008)

A group of American tourists holidaying in Mexico decide to visit some Mayan ruins. Hilarity ensues. Well not really. In fact, not at all. This film will make you suspicious of any plant covered ruins, probably for the rest of your life. There are some really gross bits in this one.

6. Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)

This is a sequel to Unfriended, a film I haven’t seen, but as the characters are completely different from the first one this film stands extremely well on its own. Main character steals a computer from the Lost and Found of a cyber cafe (are they still a thing?). The entire film is seen through the screen of this computer. He is online with a group of friends when he finds a hidden cache of videos on his “new” computer showing quite disturbing and violent acts. Then the original owner gets in touch with him and things start to go haywire as the main character and his friends get enmeshed with a secret cabal on the dark web. A very compelling watch. The main character is a doofus.

7. Midsommar (2019)

After the main characters sister and parents die tragically, she travels to Sweden with her boyfriend and his group of friends. The boyfriend and one of the other friends are anthropologists keen to study a remote Swedish community. The vibe of this film is very much like The Wicker Man (and by this I refer to the original 1974 film) with the main character feeling out of place amongst people who still worship their pagan gods, and like The Wicker Man, a sense of unease begins to build. Stunning cinematography and gorgeous settings. I really liked this one, but as it’s over three hours long you have to invest a lot of time into this one.

8. The Children (2008)

I think this is a remake of a 1980s film. A family gets together for Christmas only to find the children suddenly become ill, and then they become murderous. Confirms my suspicions about children and makes me glad I never became a parent.

9. Raw (2016)

Vegan girl goes to Veterinarian school, but is forced to eat some meat during her first week there. Her body begins changing and she starts craving raw meat. I think you can see where this goes…. There are some really shocking moments in this one. It also shows how older siblings can be really awful people.

10. Teeth (2007)

Comedy horror where a chaste Christian girl discovers she has vagina dentata, or in other words, her vagina has teeth. Hilarity ensues as she uses her “gift” to exact revenge on certain males who have wronged her.

11. The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)

This is a dark one. It starts with two girls stranded at their Catholic boarding school during the start of the Christmas holidays. The older one is worried she is pregnant, while the younger one is convinced her parents are dead since they have failed to come and take her home. She also believes she is possessed. There is also a second story of a young woman who has escaped from a mental institution. How these two narratives combine and how it is slowly revealed what actually happened during that holiday is unsettling and chilling. Some moments of gory horror.

12. Banshee Chapter (2013)

I deliberately left this one last. I’ve watched it three times now and there’s something about this film I find compelling and terrifying. Loosely based on the H.P. Lovecraft story From Beyond, this movie is full-on Cosmic Horror. A journalist tries to find out what happened to her friend who has disappeared. She uncovers a video of him taking an experimental drug and then finds more video footage of secret government trials of this same drug being used on volunteers in the 1960s. The drug turns their mind into a receiver which lets things from another dimension enter them and wear them as skin. She also uncovers a numbers station that transmits a sequence of letters and numbers that are the same as what people in the video are repeating. In the end she contacts a famous counter-culture author (very much based on Hunter S. Thompson) and they end up searching for the place the numbers are being transmitted from. Disaster ensues. It took a long time to get this film out of my head. The song The Girl in the Window which plays during the closing credits (and one other time during the film) also got stuck in my head. In the end I downloaded and listened to it for days trying to decipher the lyrics… If you’re a sensitive soul like me, this may not be the best film for you…

Anyway I hope you found this article interesting. I’m also wanting to see Underwater (2020) a film with Mythos overtones and starring Kristen Stewart, La Casa Muda (with English subtitles), and Hagazussa (with English subtitles). If anyone knows of where I can find free (or extremely cheap) versions of these please let me know.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Detective (flash fiction)

The Detective

Raewyn was about to close the shop. It was dark outside and it had been a slow day with few customers. A man suddenly walked through the door and flashed her some identification.

“Hi ma’am, I’m Detective Jones. We’re checking the area as one of the world’s most notorious serial killers has escaped from a prison nearby. We need everyone to keep an eye out for anyone acting suspiciously, as the killer will be dangerous.” He told her. Raewyn put her hand up to her mouth in shock.

“That’s terrible. What do they look like?”

“He has short brown hair, is of medium height, and prefers to wear suits.”

“So he sort of looks like you.” she replied. The Detective smiled.

“I guess so ma’am.”

“Does he have a name?” Raewyn asked.

“He’s known as The Detective.”

“The Detective?”

“Yes. He likes to impersonate police detectives to put his victims at ease. Then he kills them horribly.” he replied. Raewyn went pale and slowly backed away from him. He smiled at her as he began to remove something from his coat pocket…

Joanne Fisher

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher