Revisiting (flash fiction)

Revisiting

Karin opened the door and walked into the house. She turned to look at Janelle.

“Come in.” she said smiling. Janelle walked in looking puzzled..

“It’s like I’ve been here before. It seems so familiar.” Janelle said confused.

“Look at me.” Karin commanded. Janelle looked at her and then stood transfixed. Soon Karin would feed from Janelle and erase her memory, again. Hopefully this time Janelle would forget everything, otherwise Karin might have to drain her completely next time.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 79

This was written with the prompt familiar provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #238.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

Blue (poem)


Blue

her eyes were deep blue
that was all I knew
staring into those eyes
and believing her lies
as she bit into my neck
making me a complete wreck
while she drained me dry
leaving me to slowly die


Joanne Fisher

Word count: 38 +,prompt

This was written with the prompt blue provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #236.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

No Mirrors (flash fiction)

No Mirrors

“Thanks for letting me stay the night. I didn’t know what I would do when I got lost.” she said.

“No problem.” I replied. “We’re happy to help.”

“You’d be surprised by how many people get lost around here and end up at our door.” Helena, my partner, added.

“I was hoping to freshen up, but can’t find any mirrors here, not even in the bathroom. You two girls a couple of vampires or what?” she laughed. We laughed too. She would find that out for real once it was dark and we needed to feed.

Joanne Fisher

Word count: 95 + prompt

This was written with the prompt mirror provided by Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt #235.

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

13 Horror Films: 7. Next of Kin (1982)

7. Next of Kin (1982)

“What are you going to do with that big house now Linda?”

Though regarded now as a cult classic Australian horror film, Next of Kin actually started life as a New Zealand black comedy about murderous caterers, but morphed into a moody gothic horror produced and set in Australia (though still written and directed by Kiwis). This film also has a very 1980s electronic music soundtrack.

Linda Stevens (Jackie Kerin) inherits Montclare, an estate owned by her mother, which includes a large rambling house that is used as a retirement home for the local elderly. Linda has been living somewhere else and has returned there after her mother’s death to work out what to do with the estate. She is thinking of selling it, though the estate has been in her family for several generations.

The same day she returns, a new boarder, Mrs Ryan (Bernadette Gibson) moves in later that evening, brought by her son Kelvin (Robert Ratti). The next morning while Linda is away rekindling her romance with Barney (John Jarrett), Lance (Charles McCallum) one of the residents, finds the body of another resident dead in the bath. Later that evening Linda looks after the house and someone switches off the power. While she is fixing that she comes back to find the washbasin and bath are overflowing with water in her bathroom. She is convinced someone else is in the house and wonders if her long dead Aunt Rita, is not as dead as everyone thinks. Dr Barton (Alex Scott) assures her that Aunt Rita was sent away to a care facility as she was a sick woman and died there. When Linda returns to the house she sees through the widow a woman in her room wearing her mother’s coat, though all the residents were away on a field trip.

After reading her mother’s diaries, Linda finds out that twenty years before, several residents were found dead in baths or the bathroom. Her mother wrote she thought there was something evil in the house. Linda comes to suspect that Dr Barton and Connie (Gerda Nicolson), a longtime employee, are in collusion and are murdering residents (and may have done so in the past as well). Convinced they are also planning to murder her, she flees the house and gets Barney to come back with her to grab the diaries. While she waits outside, she finds the body of Carol (a friend of Barney’s) with her throat slashed in the fountain. She enters the house to see if she can find Barney….

Have Dr Barton and Connie been killing the residents all these years and getting away with it? Will Barney be okay in there? Is the ghost of her dead Aunt Rita haunting the house, or is she actually there in person? Who would want to live in a creepy old house anyway?

The last few minutes include:

  • someone using a sledgehammer not for it’s intended purpose
  • a sharp handle of a comb stabbed into an eye
  • two dead bodies in a blood-filled bath
  • an exploding diner

If you do want to see this film, maybe I could provide a link for you….

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

A Familiar Face (flash fiction)

A Familiar Face

I headed to Anna’s place, as she had invited me over for dinner. We had only been dating for a short time, but already I had fallen deeply in love with her.

“Come in love.” She said when I arrived. We went to her living room.

“You hear they’ve found another victim of the Faceless Killer?” I asked her. They were called the Faceless Killer since they peeled off the faces of all their victims and took them as a trophy. Anna went over to her drinks cabinet.

“No I hadn’t. What do you want? I was going to have a whiskey.” She asked.

“I’ll have a whiskey too thanks. Anyway it’s the twelfth victim now. I wonder what they do with all the faces they take? The police still have no idea of the identity of the killer.” Anna began to pour the drinks. “You were out last night. It was fortunate you didn’t end up being the killer’s next victim.”

“I was on the other side of the city from where it happened.” She replied.

“But I thought you hadn’t heard about it?”

“I must have forgotten I had. ” Anna told me.

“Anyway no one knows where it happened. The killer murders their victims elsewhere and then moves the bodies to where they’ll be found.” I replied. Anna shook her head.

“Maybe I’m just confused about it.” She laughed. She came over with two glasses. I took the nearest one and we clinked the glasses together. “It’s great to have you over.” I gulped down the whiskey in one go. It had a bitter aftertaste. I screwed up my nose.

“I’m not sure I like that whiskey.” I said. She laughed.

“Can I show you something?” She asked as she took my hand.

“Sure.” I replied. She led me to her basement. We went down the stairs and I was instantly hit with the smell of bleach and other chemicals. Her basement was full of benches and what looked to be medical equipment. “What do you do in here?

“I do taxidermy. It’s sort of a hobby.” She answered. She led me through a door and we came into what looked to be an underground study. On the opposite wall were eleven faces with holes where the eyes were. She selected one and put it over her face. “I turn them into masks. I haven’t finished the latest one yet.” I was stunned. I could not believe what I was seeing.

“You’re insane!” I told her. She took the mask off and put it back on the wall.

“Maybe.” She said shrugging her shoulders.

“I’m going to call the police.” I said. She turned round and looked at me.

“Oh are you my sweet?” She said beginning to advance on me.

“I am.” I replied defiantly. My vision was starting to get blurry. As I backed away I stumbled. She laughed.

“I think the poison I put in your drink is starting to kick in. You won’t be calling anyone, my dear.” I fell to the floor finding it difficult to move, or even breathe. Anna stood over me. She then kneeled. “You’re so pretty.” She said as she lightly stroked my skin. “It’ll be nice to see a familiar face every time I look up at my wall from now on.”

Joanne Fisher

I think you have to be a little twisted to write stuff like this…

I’ve spent most of the day in bed due to my back. In fact I wrote this story in bed on my phone. Today is the day I usually go supermarket shopping, but I was unable to. On Facebook I appealed to friends and family to pick some things up for me that I needed, and what do you think the response was? Silence. Absolute silence…

This was written with the prompt Day 5 – A Familiar Face provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain (volume ii).

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

13 Horror Films: 6. Nightmare (1964)

Since it’s almost Halloween, I’ve decided to write about 13 horror films. I’ve also decided to choose films that are not so well known or have been overlooked. Some will be contemporary, and some will be older. These posts will contain spoilers, so you are warned.

6. Nightmare

Nightmare is a Hammer horror film. Unlike some other Hammer horror films of the period, it’s not a monster movie so there are no vampires, or anything similar. In reality it’s more a psychological horror film.

The film opens with Janet (Jennie Linden) attending finishing school. She is troubled and has nightmares every night, often waking up screaming much to the annoyance of her classmates. In then end she is taken back to her home by her teacher Mary Lewis (Brenda Bruce). When they arrive it turns out a nurse, Grace Maddox (Moira Redmond), is already there at the request of Henry Baxter (David Knight), Janet’s guardian. The housekeeper Mrs Gibbs (Irene Redmond) tells Mary about Janet’s eleventh birthday when Janet found her mother standing over her father’s dead body with a bloodied knife in her hand. Her mother was sent to an asylum, which is only just down the road. Mrs Gibbs says Janet had a nervous breakdown and is worried she has inherited her mother’s illness.

During the night Mary finds Janet walking around the house at night. Janet tells her she saw a woman in her room who then beckoned her to follow. The next morning Mary goes back to the school. On the next night Janet is again wakes to find there is a woman in her room. She follows her and finds her in the bedroom with a knife in her and a birthday cake on the nightstand with eleven candles and Happy Birthday on it. Janet runs away frantically and by the time Grace finds her she is hysterical. The doctor sedates her the next day and makes it known to Henry he wants Janet in properly supervised psychiatric treatment.

On the third night Janet is woken by someone trying to open her door. She gets up and finds no one there. She follows a shadow and comes to her parent’s bedroom though the door is wide open and the lights are on. She returns to her room to find the same woman from last night lying on her bed with a knife in her chest. She is sedated and sleeps in Grace’s room. The next day is Janet’s birthday. She goes downstairs only to find the woman from the last two nights standing there. Freaking out, she goes back upstairs, breaks a mirror, and cuts her wrist with a shard. Later in the day she is taken downstairs. Henry, the doctor, and a specialist are there, as well as a woman facing the window. Henry introduces his wife and it turns out to be the same woman Janet has been seeing. Janet freaks out again, picks up the cake knife and stabs Mrs Baxter to death. She is taken to the asylum. When she is being taken away she sees the same woman again looking out a window. It turns out the woman Janet has been seeing is Grace wearing a wig and a mask. Grace and Henry have conspired to make Janet kill Henry’s wife, so Henry gets her money and they can marry.

Grace and Henry are on their honeymoon staying at a hotel. While there, Grace begins to get suspicious. A woman keeps ringing for him, the bartender says he has been here before with another woman, though Henry denies it, and she finds menthol cigarettes in Henry’s jacket pocket, though neither of them smoke those ones. When they go back to live in Janet’s home, the suspicions continue. A woman keeps ringing for Henry, but not leaving a name. Grace keeps seeing a woman in the hallway wearing a nightgown. She is told Grace has escaped from the asylum and begins to suspect Henry is hiding her, as she keeps finding Janet’s creepy doll everywhere. The marriage between Henry and Grace begins to fall apart as they argue and Henry denies all her accusations, including the knife she found by her bed when she woke up one morning, which she is told Henry had borrowed from John, one of the servants. Grace begins to suspect Henry is trying to get Janet to kill her too…

Do Henry and Grace get away with their deception? Is Henry lying to Grace? Has Janet escaped and got murderous intentions for Grace? Who is the woman Grace keeps seeing? And who keeps ringing, and why?

Find out here:

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

13 Horror Films: 5. Devil’s Pass (2013)

I’ve decided to write about a particular horror film every day until Halloween. I’ve also decided to choose films that are not so well known or have been overlooked. Some will be contemporary, and some will be older. These posts will contain spoilers, so you are warned.

5. Devil’s Pass (2013)

Devil’s Pass is a Russian/British found footage film that speculates on what happened in the Dyatlov Pass Incident of 1959. Dyatlov Pass, if you don’t know, was an incident where nine Russian hikers, led by Igor Dyatlov, were found dead in February, 1959 on the eastern slopes of Kholat Syakhl in the Ural Mountains. The strangeness of the incident has created a lot of speculation over time. According to the Russian authorities, six of the hikers were determined to have died of hypothermia, and the other three died from physical trauma. One of them had their skull caved in. Something had made them flee from their campsite with little clothing on. In 2019 the Russian government reopened the case and determined it was an avalanche that killed them, the survivors dying of hypothermia with inadequate protection from the elements. Not that this has stopped the conspiracy theorists…

The film opens with Oregon University psychology student Holly King (Holly Gross) talking to the camera about how she is planning to travel to Russia to explore the area around Dyatlov Pass to find out what really happened there in 1959. Going with her is cameraman (and friend) Jensen Day (Matt Stokoe), audio engineer Denise Evers (Gemma Atkinson), and climbers Andy Thatcher (Ryan Hawley) and J.P. Hauser (Luke Albright). After training in mountain conditions they travel to Russia. The film then cuts to news reports of the five missing American students who seem to have disappeared in the very same region the Dyatlov Pass hikers disappeared. Then it is revealed the Russian government had recovered their camera footage, but were refusing to release it. Hackers manage to retrieve this footage, and so the film then continues with what happened once the five Americans got to Russia.

The group goes to a Russian mental institution to try and talk with the only surviving member of the Dyatlov expedition who had turned back after the first day due to feeling ill. He subsequently had a mental breakdown. The authorities refuse to let them see him, telling them he is dead, but they get a shot of him holding a sign in an upstairs window that says “stay away” in Russian. They then get a lift from Sergei (Nikolay Butenin) who takes them to see his aunt Alya (Nelly Nielsen) who was part of the original search party looking for the Dyatlov Pass hikers. She claims she found another two bodies (making the count 11), one them holding a strange machine, but the military took them.

After the first day of hiking they wake to find two sets of large footprints going round their campsite. What they find strange is there are no prints going in or out. It’s as if they appeared near their campsite walked around it and then disappeared. Several of the group think Holly has been pranking them. Later in the day they find more prints in the snow. They come to a weather tower and find a severed human tongue in it. Holly reveals to Jensen she had a recurring dream as a child of being here and finding a door and on other the side was darkness that swallows her up.

Towards the end of the second day Holly realises they have come to Dyatlov Pass, though for some reason they have arrived much earlier than they should have. Once it gets dark Holly and Jensen take a look around. Holly uses a Geiger counter and finds the radiation is stronger than it should be. It leads them to a bunker door in the mountain that had been covered up by snow. Jensen remarks that it locks from the outside as though it is keeping something in. Early next morning they are awoken to the sound of explosions and an avalanche hits their campsite. Denise is lost under the snow and Andy gets a bad leg fracture. Jensen fires a flare and a short time later two figures appear, but they have no packs. Spooked by them, Holly, Jensen, and J.P. run off. The two figures start shooting and J.P. is hit. They run to the bunker door and manage to open it. Inside is a tunnel.They walk down it until they come to a lab. There they find logbooks of dead Russian soldiers that ends at 1959 and pictures of the USS Eldridge, the ship that was supposedly part of the Philadelphia Experiment, which Jensen explains, involved teleportation and time travel. He says the sailors in that experiment were either fused to the ship or mutated.

Looking for a way out they come into a room where a dead soldier is lying on a table with his tongue missing. In the corner are the bones from dead bodies that are all misshapen. They also come across a camcorder identical to theirs that has all their footage and even footage of their current activities and conversation. Then they are attacked by mutant humanoids who are able to teleport at will. They are chased into a room which they seal shut. In this room is a strange looking tunnel…

What happens next? Do they escape? What is the strange tunnel they’re in? How come there is a camcorder identical to theirs with the same footage? Where did these mutant humanoids come from? Did they work out what happened to the original Dyatlov Pass hikers? Did this movie just get sillier as it went on?

Should you want to see this movie, let me know and I’ll find you a link (if you can’t find one)…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

The Graveyard Shift (flash fiction)

The Graveyard Shift

Nancy enjoyed doing the graveyard shift at the local radio station. It meant she could avoid most of the people that worked there and she could play whatever she wanted. Being a night owl had its advantages.

“Hi this is Graveyard Nancy. I hope you’ve been having a great evening so far. Whoever is still awake send me a message. Let me know your thoughts. Tonight we’re going old school starting with some Led Zeppelin. Here’s When the Levee Breaks.” she said into the microphone. She pressed the key and the music began playing. A short time later messages began appearing on the computer screen in front of her. She scanned them. So far they were just the usual types of comments people sent. Then one caught her attention:

You've got such a nice voice.
I would like to meet you.

Nancy looked at it. There was always at least one of these ones. She was still musing about what to do with it when a new song began playing. Another message appeared:

I'm right outside.
Please let me in.

She got up from her seat and looked out the window to the street below. There may have been a shadowy figure by the door…

Let me in
Or I'll find my own way in

Her heart began racing. She thought she could hear someone below trying to force the door open.

“That was Evidence by Faith No More. And now here’s Joy Division with Atmosphere.” Nancy said. She stood up and opened the studio door. She crept down the hallway until she got to the stairs. She listened intently and then slowly went down them…

A few minutes later she returned to the studio. She sat down again and wiped the blood off her mouth. She liked it when the meals came right to the door.

“That was Iggy Pop with The Passenger. And now here’s Nirvana with Come As You Are. And keep those messages coming!” Maybe another one would come tonight. Her voice always brought them here.

Joanne Fisher

This was written with the prompt Graveyard Shift provided by Sammi Cox’s 13 Days of Samhain (volume ii).

Please support this blog – Ko-fi 🙂

©️2021 Joanne Fisher

13 Horror Films: 4. Crucible of Horror (1971)

I’ve decided to write about a particular horror film every day until Halloween. I’ve also decided to choose films that are not so well known or have been overlooked. Some will be contemporary, and some will be older. These posts will contain spoilers, so you are warned.

4. Crucible of Horror (1971)

“How could he recover? There was enough…”

aka The Corpse. Not to be confused with Crucible of Terror which was released the same year. Crucible of Horror tells the story of a mother and daughter deciding to murder the abusive sadistic patriarch of the family and it’s unexpected results.

Walter Eastwood (Michael Gough) works in insurance and lives in a very nice house with his wife Edith (Yvonne Mitchell) who is an artist, his son Rupert (played by Michael Gough’s real life son, Simon), and his daughter Jane (Sharon Gurney). Walter is very cruel and domineering to his wife and daughter. Not long after the film begins an acquaintance accuses Jane of stealing money and Walter goes up to her room with a cane and brutally beats her with it. Later on it’s revealed this is not the first time he has done this. There’s also a suggestion he has an incestuous interest in his daughter. He always wants to know where she’s been, he opens and reads all her mail, and there’s also the way he touches her. The next morning when they all come down for breakfast, Jane has a large red cut down one of her hands and cuts on her legs. When Walter and Rupert go off to work (they both work together), Edith suggests to Jane they kill Walter, and so a plan is hatched.

In the weekend Walter drives to his hunting cottage. Later in the evening Edith and Jane travel there to join him. They drug his scotch, and Edith then forces more drugged liquor down his throat using a funnel as he lies passed out. They take him upstairs and make it look like he has committed suicide by intentionally overdosing on narcotics and alcohol. After that they drive back to London and wait to hear about the finding of his body.

On Monday morning Rupert rings them saying Walter hasn’t turned up at work and no one is answering the phone at the cottage. He tells Jane she has to go the hunting cottage. Edith and Jane travel back there. to find the bed is empty. They find a wooden crate outside that is addressed to Edith. Inside it is Walter’s dead body. They load the crate into the station wagon and drive to an abandoned factory. The crate is pushed over an embankment and you here it splash into some water. They return home again.

During the night the parlour window is smashed in and they both sleep uneasily. When Edith checks her art studio she is startled by Walter’s body hanging down from the rafters. She runs downstairs and joins her daughter. Walter appears and she collapses.

The next morning Walter comes down the stairs dressed in his suit as though nothing has happened. Both Walter and Rupert have breakfast as the women look on. Walter opens a letter addressed to Jane and reads it out loud and then tears it up. Both the women look devastated. They murdered Walter and it didn’t even stop him. You get the feeling there is no way out of this for either of them…

You can watch the film here: Crucible of Horror

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher

13 Horror Films: 3. Rubber (2010)

I’ve decided to write about a particular horror film every day until Halloween. I’ve also decided to choose films that are not so well known or have been overlooked. Some will be contemporary, and some will be older. These posts will contain spoilers, so you are warned.

I’m going to try to keep it brief tonight as today I finally had my first Covid vaccination and I also did a lot of walking, so I’m feeling very tired at the moment, and a bit sore.

3. Rubber (2010)

“All great films without exception contain an important element of no reason, and you know why? Because life itself is filled with no reason…”

So you think you’ve seen everything? How about a film featuring a murderous sentient car tire? I didn’t think so…

Though it is in the English language and is set in the United States (the Californian desert to be precise), Rubber is actually a French movie directed by Quentin Dupieux. It is a horror comedy that satirises the slasher genre. It’s also a film within a film as a group of people with binoculars in the desert are watching the proceedings, though the producers try to kill them all off at one point…

At the beginning Sheriff Chad (Stephen Spinella) gets out of a car boot and says in all great films things happen for “no reason” (some of these “no reasons” he lists are intentionally questionable) and this film is a homage to “no reason”. And then for no reason, an abandoned car tire named Robert comes to life and first tries crushing things in his path (yes apparently the tire is male) and then discovers he has psychokinetic powers that enables him to explode animals and other objects he encounters.

When Robert gets to the road and starts following a woman driving a red car (Roxanne Mesquida), he starts exploding people’s heads. He follows the woman to a motel and watches her shower through the open door. He then stays up all night watching television in the adjacent room. After killing the maid who had thrown him out of the room, the police finally get involved led by Sheriff Chad, who gives up investigating at one point when he thinks the audience watching it are all dead, but it turns out there’s one person still watching out there.

After several days of leaving a trail of bloodied corpses, the police finally track down Robert to a house (where he is again watching television). They try to entice Robert out with a mannequin that’s packed with explosives, but it fails. The lone remaining audience member (Wings Hauser) chips in with his own suggestions on how it should end, but in the end Sheriff Chad strides into the house with a pump-action shotgun and fires it several times. He walks out tossing Robert’s carcass to the audience member…. but then… Robert is reincarnated as a tricycle. Yes, it’s a reboot of the franchise!

Don’t take this movie too seriously. If anyone wants to see it, let me know…

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©️2021 Joanne Fisher