This was my very first flash fiction story. Eye finally found a home for it in the JEA antho, Doorway To Death. A chilling ‘through the eyes of the killer’ look at the games demons play with the unwary. A carelessly misworded covenant made with a demon has left this man with the short end of the stick in this unholy pact. Forced to do battle with the demons of his dreams, one is able to take his place in the body and through powerful sorcery, the happenings of the dream world become apparent and manifest in the world of form, with very final results. Eye hope you enjoy it.
THE EMPTY PLAYGROUND OF FRIGHT
By Toneye Eyenot
Every night is the same. I wish it weren’t so but what can I do to stop it. The waking world dissolves and falls away into the abyssal realms of sleep, placing me in an emptiness fraught with the dangers of my own mind. I try with all the intent I can muster, to think of naught. This, to no avail. Little by little, those malicious devils poke their beady, hungry eyes out of the darkest nooks of my empty playground of fright. Once again, like a deliriously starving trout, I take the bait. A flood of defensive thoughts erupts from below what lies above and I move with the certainty that I must kill without mercy or hesitation, if I am to survive this ripple in the fabric of reality.
My inert shell in the world of form is compelled to rise from my bed chamber, as these foul purveyors of ill will begin to weave the world of form into the realm of ultimate possibilities.
You must understand. This is reality. My reality. Perhaps, it may even become your reality. Oh, those seekers of Power. Their words, carried into the eternal now to be made manifest in the world of form. An utterance in err on behalf of the mage would surely strike him with a lingering and woeful burden. A burden, which in my case and to my own unfocused err, is one of nightly maniacal slayings in a most brutal and bloodthirsty fashion. My whole attention is bound to the playground of fright, though my empty body filled with the impetus of pure hatred and disgust, follows my every gesture in the world of form as it is in the realm of ultimate possibilities.
I was distracted by that thought for a moment there. Sorry. Am I awake? This place seems familiar but I can’t think whether I have dreamed it or “lived” it… Or is the empty
playground of dismal terror my true home; and the life that I desire, the one I am dreaming “awake”? Oh look. Here I go getting distracted again! I really must pay attention to my surroundings. Shit. I don’t have any weapons. Nothing! I can’t see them but I can feel the terrors around me closing in. My body moves to the kitchen to retrieve the painfully keen bladed carving knife, which I gratefully accept! I fear the battle will begin in moments and tho sharp and true this blade may be, I just hope it’s enough. My movements here have taken my oblivious flesh puppet out the front door and into the brisk night air. The offset backstreet is typically unpopulated at this hour but the weavers will see to it that this changes.
The part, I think, that disturbs me most is their screams. Ah, like this one! They sound eerily human. This part! Did you hear that? The faster you hack at the throat, the more of a rhythm ensues in their gagging cries. I have to do it fast because I can’t stand those wails of human anguish. These demons, these… tricksters! Entire blocks appear before me, as I wander tentatively through dimly lit streets and narrow, darkened laneways. An approaching rumble fast ascends to a gravelly roar. Eyes of blazing fire that cause me to shield my own eyes and sprawl unceremoniously behind a nearby shrubbery. The beast slows to a standstill close by, giving two loud roars before falling silent and closing its eyes.
In that first instant of perfect darkness, knocking reverberations assault my hearing and
before my senses can do me service what do I rise to my hands and knees to see? Four of
them forming a loose arc around myself and the shrubbery. One of them is holding a staff or club and is pointing it at me, while the other three talk amongst themselves in a language I can understand fluently and in voices, loud and clear as a pristine lake at the peak of the days sun… yet I have no idea what they’re saying. I’m cornered here. Ok, shhh… Don’t think. Act.
The closest of this bastard spawn of mutants also happens to be the smallest. Not much
bigger than me, thankfully. The point of my knife tears instantly through the layers of throat flesh, up under the chin travelling straight through the brain. Staring into its eyes, I see memories of a childhood. Laughter and happiness…Love. I feel guilt begin to take hold as the life slowly fades from the eyes staring back at me, a stiff arm slapping uselessly against my hip. Using the fresh corpse as a shield, I rush its lifeless bulk into the next demon and cleanly withdraw my knife, sending both into a backwards tumble as I spin quickly in a crouched stance with a backhand slash. I can’t see the sorcerous demon with the staff! The third however, stands in shock, watching its guts pour out onto the ground at its feet. Knees trembling and breathless gasps convulsing this imminent corpse, I plunge the knife deep into the chest and divert my gaze to the second fallen. Where did that damn sorcerer go?
Funnily enough, that was the last thing I thought about before telling you this. A deafening BANG! immediately followed by ripping agony as my ribs explode and tear through the flesh of my gut and chest. It is over before my body hits the ground. But is it over?
Their host has been eliminated, so the purveyors of ill will withdraw from the world of form. Realities shift out of alignment and I am now an unwilling resident of the “empty playground of fright”. I’m one of them now. They won’t bother me anymore. That is little comfort when I could have a potential eternity in this damned place. I don’t even know if I’m awake anymore. Was I ever awake? Gah!! Even in the transition of the Death cycle I can ramble on!
That “body” that I used to call ‘Me’… That was never Me. Whilst I was here in combat dire; the sleeping form in the bed became occupied by a denizen of this realm, who used Me as a conduit between here and the world of form. A very lucky break tho short lived, as the invading parasite had nowhere to go but back to the darkness to once again wait…
I am whoever I choose to be, but that person must first choose me. An extremely unlikely scenario, I am beginning to imagine. It only seems to have been moments and already, I feel so incredibly lonely. I am happy that you have sat down to hear my story. I just want to keep you here with me. Forever. There is one thing I must ask you….
Do you like to play with knives?