Posts tagged horror
Story 10: The Boy and the Barrow Part 2

Trip tossed and turned. No matter which way he lay, the ground seemed bumpy underneath him. There was a stone poking up through the fabric of his bedroll and the cold nipped at his nose. He sighed. Victor’s snores seemed to penetrate the entire fabric of reality, never mind anything else.

The story he had told floated in his mind. One of the tricks they had taught him at the Library to take advantage of his memory was to treat each memory as an island, a piece of rock, floating in an infinite dark gulf. Bridges connected the memories, allowing him to see how one linked to another. With a thought, he could fly, run, walk, from one island to another, reviewing the objects and scenes there.

Read More
Story 10: The Boy and the Barrow Part 1

For the tenth story, I knew that I wanted to return to Trip and Victor. This was also a genre I haven't really tried; horror. I think it turned more into surrealism that actual suspenseful storytelling, but I'm sure I can practise. It's not really my forté but I'm sure I can work on that!


The hillside sloped lazily down towards the path and Trip ran down it, gleefully pinwheeling his arms around. The wind whipped his robes around him and teased at the stubbly hair growing through on his head. He reached the bottom, sandals crunching on the gravelly road, and looked back up the hill. Like some dark patch of treacle slowly sliding down a wall, Victor was making his surly way towards the path.

The man looked older, Trip thought. Visibly. Like the events of Fennica, just a few short weeks, had aged him. He was still made of boot leather and twice as tough, but there was a definite slouch that hadn’t been there.

Read More
Story 9: Cog519 Part 3


Merry Christmas! Here's part 3 of steampunk horror story 'Cog519', which is now available as a podcast!


The weeks that followed seemed to go in a blur. 519 learned everything that Nef put before him, quickly turning his hand to just about any skill that was needed and producing works that a contemporary master might have wept to see.


Without fail, every morning, 519 asked Nef if he had a name for him. Nef always replied with “Not today, 519; ask me tomorrow,” though more and more of late he had been wondering what impulse prevented him from giving 519 the name he desired.

Was it that Nef had long since given up self-correcting ‘him’ to ‘it’? Even Lot, on his twice-weekly tours of the research facilities, had occasionally slipped up. Choice of pronoun made 519 seem somehow human in a way that was still alien, and the two jarred. As if calling it ‘him’ was enough, and to give it a name would be too much, too close, too human.

Read More
Story 9: Cog519 Part 2

Merry Christmas! Here's part 2 of steampunk horror story 'Cog519', which is now available as a podcast!

Back in the lab, Nef walked slowly around the table on which was sat Cog 519. It was much shinier now; even as it had been walking back to the workshop with him, its joints had eased as it self-lubricated. About halfway there, it had quietly announced “Self-cleaning system initiated. Do not be alarmed.” Nef had almost stumbled in sudden panic, but then he had heard a strange amberic crackling from behind him and, when he turned to look, the fine layer of dust and grime on the armour was simply being burned away. Lightning crackled over it, apparently generated from the shard of amber at its heart, and then the blue light effect died away. While not completely clean, it had definitely come down from needing ‘full clean’ to merely a ‘light buff’.

It had followed every command perfectly, including the one to deactivate, and now it was slumped to one side. Nef fingered the amber shard still held firmly in the cog’s chest; should he remove it?

“Another long-range recon unit in the making,” a low voice said behind him. He turned to see Supervisor Lot entering the room, his long white coat stuffed with tools of every sort. He came up to Nef and clapped one meaty hand onto his shoulder. “I heard you’d found a good one, but this… this is exceptional.”

Read More
Story 9: Cog519 Part 1

Merry Christmas! Here's part 1 of steampunk horror story 'Cog519', which is now available as a podcast!

The amber light glinted off the exposed metal, the strange yellowish glow giving it a dull sheen. It was curved, definitely; Nef brushed a little more of the loose soil off of it and tried to assess his find.

Just an hour ago everything had been going full speed; the tunnels were needed for the incoming refugees, the Matron had said, and needed soon. Nef looked around at the earth-moving equipment, and the worried faces of his team. The site was going to have to be cordoned off, he realised. This was too dangerous to simply leave, or go around. The cog - what else could it be? - would have to be exhumed, examined, learned from and then probably recycled. And the workers… they’d have to be memory-modified. More time. More effort. More expense.

He turned around. “It’s a shield,” he said, “probably a few decades old, no more.” He smiled and shrugged. “I’ll bring it out; go have a cup of something hot and I’ll tell you when you can continue.”

Read More