On The Road

The road stretched before our car, thumping under all four tires. All around us desert and mountains stretched for miles.

“Nothing. Absolutely nothing.” I thought and loved it. This was my favorite part of our family road trip. It meant that we had finally left our home state and were now plunging headlong into a new adventure.

“Honey,” my mother said from the front seat to my father, “Pay attention to the road, you’re drifting.”

I smiled as my father nodded and pointed the front of his hat to the windshield. He loved this part of the journey as well, I could tell. The car always wandered between the white broken lines on the road.

My two siblings slept, their bodies fidgeting with dreams. I sighed and looked out the window again. We were traveling up the pass, and hills were transforming into mountains.

And that was when it happened. The rumble of an engine shifting gears from behind. It was a comforting sound, one that I had been listening to the entire trip. From behind us, an engine roared and a rusted bumper came into my view.  The car swayed to the right shoulder and mom cried out.

“Richard! Pay attention! You’re going to get us killed!”

We all jumped in our seats and I almost looked away from the passing truck. It was covered in dust, it’s paint job having long since rusted out. Stained windows reflected bug smears and even more dirt. But for a moment the sun disappeared behind the roof of the cab.

I stopped squinting and looked into through the window. An aged man gripped a slightly bent steering wheel. A cigarette was clamped firmly between gnarled lips. He was bawled, with skin the same dusty worn color as his truck. He stared resolutely out the windshield ignoring our car.

Next to him sat a younger person. I could tell because they were shorter and had smooth white skin. Bib overalls hung loose, over skinny shoulders that sat hunched down in their seat. I felt a chill run to my bones as I watched a ragged towel bounce over the child’s head.

It wasn’t right. The cloth laid over the kid’s face as if hiding the child from view. I only saw the pair for a total of five seconds, while my mother continued to scold my father. But time stopped for me. I saw a rigid back, etched with terror. The kid sat stalks still, unmoved by car nor bumpy road.

I knew, deep in my heart this was wrong, it was all wrong. The light from the late afternoon sun wasn’t even on the kids face, so why would they need it to be covered.

I opened my mouth to say something, but the engine of the truck revved even more and before I could get anything out the truck was gone down the road.

Our car was slowing down. Broken from the trance I looked around and realized we were pulling off to a rest top. Ahead of us, the old truck disappeared into the mountains.

-M.E. InkOwl

By My Bedside

There’s someone stirring by my side, I feel it against my skin.

Drip, drip, tap.

Drip, drip, tap.

A hint of humidity settles in the filtered air, I can taste it. It sounds like it’s coming through the walls. At least I think there are walls, it’s all a fuzzy black. Except for that sound, it’s like a rifle crack.

Drip, drip, tap.

Soft whirring sounds come from the side of my bed, a bed that inflates and deflates on its own whim, bringing my broken body from a dead sleep to wakefulness. But something else is whirring beside me, or is it purring?

Drip, drip, tap.

I try to lift my head and look around my room, but nothing happens. I’m not awake, at least my body isn’t. But my mind is trying to take things in.

Drip, drip, tap.

There it is again, that liquid sound, did someone leave a faucet on? Air stirs at my side, I feel it travel up to my face, raising hair along my skin.

Drip, drip, tap.

Where is that drip coming from? It’s coming from beyond my feet. Except I can’t see my feet because my eyes aren’t open yet.

Drip, drip, tap.

I can’t even lift a finger, everything feels so heavy, like a bowling ball pulling on my limbs, my entire body. My body . . . This is taking too much energy, my mind is using too much.

Drip, drip, tap.

Breathing in I can taste a familiar flavor to the air, one of cloying sterilization. Antiseptic wipes, and deodorizing sprays.

Drip, drip tap. 

“I’m in a hospital.” My mind registers, and I feel my eyelashes flutter with a familiar panic.

Drip, drip, tap.

I wish that those sounds would stop, can’t anyone else hear it? I try to turn my body, nothing moves. I can’t move. But something else moves in my room, I feel it.

Drip, drip, tap.

Prickling needles across my back force me to open my eyes. There’s a second where I try to roll them around, and they do move, but I’m already too tired to focus. Everything is a bleary black and white canvas, smeared by strong sedatives. My vision settles on a sheet of gray beyond my arm where several square lights glow yellow. I try to focus on the dark shapes within each glowing light, but my eyelids close.

Drip, drip, tap.

Drip, drip, tap.

I can feel someone squeezing my legs, one by one. Their hands feel massive as they close around my calves. Under my back, the mattress hisses and I feel something move. I feel like I’m falling.

Drip, drip, tap.

But there again, a feeling that someone is standing beside me, interrupting the natural flow of air. And with that presence a resounding sense of fear, stronger than anything in my body. I feel my heart rate pick up, pushing blood through my body.

Drip, drip, tap. Pant.

Why am I here? What’s happened to my body?” Rational thinking stumbles across the stage of my mind, vying with panic and fear. I force my eyes open and look up to see . . . darkness.

Drip, drip, tap-pant.

“Remember. Remember, something happened.” I cast around for stray thoughts, “But what?”

Drip, drip, pant, pant.

“That’s someone breathing,” I realize at the same time the thought shuffles into focus. There’s a presence beside the bed. I try to turn my head and look, but my neck still won’t bend. Only a quiet pulsating strum happens and I feel strength ebb away.

Drip, pant, drip, pant.

And then it dawns on me, “Crash. You were in a crash, a-a car crash.”

I felt my eyes focus on ceiling tiles, cables and tubing coming from the wall beyond the head of my bead.

Pant, drip, pant.

“The car, it flipped . . . after . . . after it hit something.”

Pant, drip, drip, pant.

“Something.” The word echoes over and over in my head.

A rolling perfume of putrescence blinds my senses and I screw my eyes shut. It’s revolting. No longer is the air filled with the smell of rain, but wet hair and rotting leaves. My body beings to shake as chills run through every part of me, waking it all up from a dream.

Pant, pant, Pant.

Except this is reality.

“Something. The something.” My mind reels. “The something was horrifying, gut-wrenching.”

I felt warm breath on my arm, pushing through the thin scratchy hospital gown onto my hip. Someone was breathing on my body, the panting sound perfectly timed with water hitting a stainless still sink.

“I’m not alone.” I think, “What a stupid thing to realize.”

It was then, as my body shakes even harder upon the slick plastic mattress, and I remembered everything.


Pant, pant, pant. Lick.

My eyes settle on a form crouched low over the foot of my bed, head twisting over my arm. Matted fur covered a grotesque human form. Knees that bent backward stuck up in the air, as if broken. Antlers twist from a head full of ragged hair twisted with leaves and twigs.

“Oh no.” I breathe out as the face turns up to me. A face born straight from the nightmares of hell. An upside down face looks up at me, wrinkled like aging leather. Dull shark eyes sink in where the chin should been and a smiling mouth frowns down where eyes should have been. A dark wet tongue flicks out between broken teeth and it breathes out quickly, excitedly.

Pant, pant, pant.

All I can do is screamed, scream in delayed desperation as it’s face splits and jaws open wide to greet me.

-M.E. InkOwl





Of Masks Within

Touch not the dark knit mask, the light of life shall leave you.

A broken husk, your form will be, withering to dusk.

You seek unending knowledge for the road you wish to walk.

But I know what lies within your heart, a blackness and a rot.

For all of us, fall short it seems, of perfection’s greatest wish.

To be better than those we love, giving in to our regrets.

Hold back your thoughts as we walk in a garden full of faces.

I’ve taken mine and placed them here, within their good graces.

But hold you still, till night sinks in, I will show you then.

The treasure you want, but dare not deserve is just beyond your reach.

So bind your hands with guilt and lust, my knives have already been cleaned.

I’ll take your desires and cut from your face, the hope you there in are hiding.

And piece together a beautiful mask.

Please, let me knit out the darkness within.

-M. E. InkOwl

Watched By The Gulls

Call me forth from sands unbound,

The Vagabond has found its victim.

‘Neath wooden plank and rotten weed,

Hide body freshly dying.

With gulls circling ’round, and crabs a climbing,

Protect that which should not have happened.

For innocent eyes did see true crimes,

Of passion and anger grew deadly acts.

Till life left limb and bone.

Now to the gulls flees evidence until the dawn breaks its vow.

And searching earth near endless shores,

the guilty, their secrets keep.

-M.E. InkOwl

Quintus Naeniam

We take these cups of woven bone,

And shake them round these monuments.

With blackness in our other hand, we disturb the sleeping dead.

Get you up! Oh rotten corpse,

Our work for you has come!

Forget the rest so easily earned, as your body laid down its head.

Feel the ground cleave and crumble forth,

Your tomb has been unsealed.

Reach out from soil that holds you captive.

You have been bound,

By living flesh and cunning minds.

So must you seek revenge.

Reek havoc upon the beating heart,

Rise up now, oh living dead.

-M.E. InkOwl

Silent Witness

I stood there, a silent witness, as a form was pulled from the car. They struggled against mute captors, pushing through the grasses.

At the age of twelve, what are you suppose to do? They were all adults, and adults are never in the wrong.

“Matthew,” my mother had said only an hour ago, holding my face while she sniffed back tears, “why don’t you go wander on a path down by the canal? I think you need a break.”

She had been arguing with someone on the phone. Her urgent whispers had reached even my room and I could tell it wasn’t good.

With all my strength I mustered a smile and said, “Okay, mom, I can do that.”

“Thanks, honey! Come back in an hour or two. Okay?” She called out as the screen door shut. A glimmer of hope could almost be heard as she went and picked up the phone.

So I had wandered, waving at a solitary hunter scouting out the area for hunting season. It starts the day after tomorrow.

And now this.

“Hrrrggfnn!” Shrieks the form as it is carried into the grass. I almost giggled at the sight of the person. They look like one of those old-fashioned mummies from the black and white movies my dad use to watch.

But the laugh never came forward as I watched the other men step out of the car. They had huge guns, some kind of automatic machine gun.

“Put him in over there.” Yells one man, I think he’s the leader. There’s something all too familiar about his voice, but I can’t see his face. They walk, with rubber galoshes, into the wetland. The man thrashes, even more, he must know what they are doing.

A thought floats into my mind, “They must have done this before, to multiple people.”

I shiver, my heart beating fast within my chest.

They’re all in the water and mud now, reeds bending this way and that.

“Right there should be good enough.” Grunts one of the hauling men.

“Mmmmgfhh!” Screams the form.

With a heave, all four men toss the body, feet first into the muck. With a splash and gurgle, it sinks half way in. The wrapped up person is screaming and sobbing. I can hear him perfectly.

I look down, seeing water ebb and flow on my side of the bank.

“Ah man! He only sank half way!” It’s the leader. I look up to see him laughing, standing on the runner of the truck. And then it dawns on me as chills run up my spine.

“Come on, do it right or the boss will have us all down here.”

Shock almost sends me face first into the water as I watch the man in the truck laugh. I know that voice, my entire life. In the living room yelling at my mom, in my bedroom yelling at me. Bile rises in my throat and I try not to make a sound as I watch my father sniff and look around. I had heard his voice through the speaker of my mom’s phone, it was one in the same.

Men push and pull in the mud around the form and it sinks further and further in. The man shrieks and groans with each move.

Finally, with a gurgle, the body disappears just beneath the surface and their work is done.

“That was fun.” Joke my father and he jumps in the car, but not before saying, “Who’s ready for lunch?”

They get into the truck and carefully back out onto a dirt road. I watch as dust kicks up along the lane as the head back into town.

I want to run, I want to help, but the bubbles have stopped coming up. I couldn’t move even if I wanted to.

My father.

And now I sit here, helplessly looking at the now calm water.

My father’s a murderer.

-M.E. InkOwl

Someone’s Haunting Me

“Jack. . . Jaaaaaack.” Voices whisper from the walls as I walk down a cold hall.

I’m there again, in the dark, in the snow.
Words came from behind me, “All work and no play, makes a dull boy, Jack.”

“Hello?” I call out, knowing whoever it is, is just out of sight.

The walls stand in silence as if to breathe me in. I start down the hall, away from the voices, knowing they will follow.

Door after numbered door pass me by and in response to the increasing number, anxiety takes hold.

“Redrum!” Scratches a voice from under a door.

They’re calling to me, wanting to find me.

And kill me.” Fear, a wet hot feeling, pushes through my resolve. And I feel it coming.

“Come play with us, please.” Now before me lays a scene of utter terror. Smeared carpets and walls, two innocent forms staring up at the ceiling. Death.

“Come play with us.” They say, turning broken necks toward me.

“No! Noooo!!” I scream now throwing myself around a corner, away from the horrific memories now forever etched upon my mind.

They weren’t going to have me, they weren’t going to take me, or my family.

“Wendy!” I screamed down the hall, filling the very walls move around me. “Wendy! Run!”

Fear shook through to my fingertips as I turned down corridor after corridor. I yelled again for my family, “Danny!”

And suddenly he’s there, standing before me. A dapper suited gentleman wiping away at something in his hands.

“Jack.” He says with a smile, “Jack, you’ve got to stop this, right here, right now. Your family is getting out of hand.”

His words stop me. I’ve seen him before, many times. The lines of reality blur and something within me yearns to push forward, to flee. But his eyes bind me to the spot.

The man continues, “It’s like I said, they need a talking to, a good talking to. You can’t leave us here like this Jack.”

I know he’s lying, he doesn’t even exist, at least not anymore.

“You’re wrong,” I say, sweat beading on my forehead, “You’re wrong!”

He just smiles and shakes his head.

“Now there’s no need to yell. You’ve got a job to do,” He looks around the hall and smiles, “a great job right here. And they’re not going to take you from us are they?”

Again a flicker of rebellion quivers within me, but then I remember. The look on Judy’s face, the judgment passed there.

“Yes, there is that,” the man says to me reading my thoughts, “remember what she accused you of? Remember?”

It’s all I need. A light goes out within me and I feel my mouth twist into a smile.

“Oh, I remember alright. I remember.” I say the words, grinding my teeth together so hard it hurts.

“Good, I’m glad you do.” The man says, beckoning me forward. He turns and walks down the hallway. I do the only logical thing and fall into stride behind him. We pass door after door until finally, we stop at a familiar junction.

The man turns to me, holding something in his hands.

“Now let’s attend to this matter. It’s like I was saying, they need a talking to, a real good talking to, do you agree?” He says brandishing an ax in his hands.

Slowly I reach out, running a hand over the clean cut edge. I look over my shoulder at the door they’re hiding from, then back to him. He pushes it towards me with a smile and I grasp it in my hands, feeling its weight.

“Yes, Grady, I agree,” I say and lift the ax over my head. Somewhere beyond the door, I hear my wife scream. I bury the ax blade into the door.

-M.E. InkOwl


The Shining, by Stephen King.

Quotes are taken from: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/shining/quotes/

Quattuor Carmina

Upon this wood, we cast our net,

Gleaming in the evening light.

With drops of blood so tainted spill,

We break down its wards of light.

Dance round the circle,




The elements now align.

Yew, Iron, and Copper.

Break upon our burning hands.

For we call upon the powers beyond,

Crumble those stones of might.

And with forked tongues, we do lick up,

Our victory tonight.

-M.E. InkOwl


It’s in my father’s old workshop, see just there at the end of the row.

I’ve only ever seen it in parts, for it takes its time to stalk me while laying low.

Never do I willingly go to my father’s workshop all alone.

It means to do me great harm, I can taste it in the air.

As dust settles around my feet, I hear it clicking between equipment, coming near.

“Son, you’ve got to face your fears of the dark.” Comes my father’s familiar lecture as we sit down for dinner.

‘There’s nothing in my workshop that wants to kill you, there’s nothing in there that actually can.”

My mother tells me, “Stop with these foolish stories boy! You won’t make it long in life lying as you do and carrying on about Heaven knows what.”

But they are wrong, I do not lie. It waits for me, in there, in the dark.

I am powerless to stop the relentless turn of time.

Days pass and I grow taller. My father expects more from me in his workshop.

No more can I avoid going to that place alone, for I am expected to be my father’s right hand.

Every time I cross that threshold I feel it come nearer and I am powerless to stop it.

Death is inevitable but unpredictable and I know I’ve already seen too many sunrises.

Even now I write this knowing I am seeing the last sunrise of my short life.

I go now, bound by expectation and fear.

If only they understood.

The dark thing that is the shadows will consume me, body and soul, I have no doubt of that.

So this is it, the end.

My end.


-M.E. InkOwl

Within Reach

There’s something in the darkness with me,

It’s rotten and feted, yet living, I can tell.

I can’t breathe for fear of letting it know,

Each rise of my chest brings it closer still.

A rasping shadowy form.

 But it knows I’m here, already so,

the glowstick in my hand makes sure it knows.

Sometimes I can see the glow, reflected in hollow eyes.

But I’m trapped down here,

Down a deep, deep dark well.

And there’s no chance I’ll ever get out,

So I’ll breath one more breath, and then close my eyes.

And accept that I won’t live to see the dawn.

-M.E. InkOwl