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The Author

by Thorn Death 2 months ago in fiction
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A fictional story about a horror writer and the secret behind his success

        It's a night like many other nights. The air is sweet and mild with a crisp chill to it. The streets are empty except for resting cars. Pumpkins line the sidewalks and exaggerated spider webs hang from all the houses. Small children are trying, and struggling, to fall asleep because of their excitement. Teenagers are watching poorly made and cheesy horror movies from the comfort of their cosy beds. Meanwhile, parents are stressed because there's so much to do tomorrow and there doesn't seem to be enough time. Despite the excitement, terror, and worry, they all drink their pumpkin-spiced drinks and focus on the good. The good, of course, is that in less than two hours, it will officially be Halloween.

        There's one house on this street that stands out from all the rest. Like its neighbours, it's two stories high and is completely decorated for the holiday. The locals particularly love this house and the owner a lot. For those too old to be trick-or-treating, it's the décor. There's a fake cemetery in the yard; complete with hanging zombies, witches, and more bodies of different types. On the porch is a gang of life-sized skeletons. They're wearing suits and dresses and other types of clothes. Some are holding knives, others cups of 'tea', and some are holding nothing at all. Nearby, a large cauldron is ready for the big night. A blood-spattered throne chair is sitting up behind it. Speakers are lined up to play music and a variety of scary sounds; such as creaking floorboards or howling ghosts. Eerie green lights shine down on the deck to give it a ghoulish glow. And to make the setup better, the concrete trail leading from the sidewalk to the porch steps is lined with lawn bulbs dressed up as ghosts. Indeed, the owner of this home likes to go big.

        As expected, the children love this house simply because of the amount of candy they're given - alongside the size. They can almost feel the burn in their wallets just by looking at the selection.

        One can't help but wonder if the people of this town will still love this house if they knew what was hidden on the inside. It doesn't seem suspicious to the naked eye, but if one were to look a little closer, it would be a different story. For instance, the skeletons on the porch are far from plastic. They're real bones. And the rug in the front room? Most look at it and assume it's just an abstract version of the moon. If they were to ask, however, they would find that it's the symbol of a cult that exists only five miles from here. And the patterns of curves marked on the couch are no curves at all, but chants written in an ancient language. And in the dining room, the chandelier that hangs so delicately? People have yet to notice the human skulls perched on top in place of traditional candlesticks. Then there's the hallway filled with the beautiful paintings of Margaret Keene, or so it would seem. Anyone who has not mercilessly studied the work would never notice that they are renditions. The rats, the fangs, the blood... Those aren't part of the originals. The average person also wouldn't realize that there are real eyes hidden in the pupils that have been painted over. However, the real shockers are in the bedroom.

        Where most people would have a dresser, he has a mini-fridge. Then another one, then a third. Atop the second is an old TV with an attached VHS player. Across from the setup is the man's bed - made and looking at though it hasn't been used in centuries. Right next to it is a normal bedside table with a lamp, an old telephone that you have to spin to dial, and a Murderer Encyclopedia. Further to the right, against the wall, is a long bookshelf full of tapes. There are no proper bookends, however, there are jars full of bloodied teeth and fingers. The tapes are alphabetically categorized; complete with last names first, then the first names, followed by a date stamp. There's a second bookshelf full of the same stuff, and a third waiting to be finished.

        On the other side of the room are a small table with a laptop on it and a chair. There's a charm hanging off of the device. It's not so much of a charm as it is a patch of skin and a tattoo engraved on it. It appears to be two inter-connected hearts with an initial inside both of them. But that's the strangest thing on the table. Next to it is the closet. The doors are wide open and the clothes are perfectly straight. There's one suit, one shirt, one pair of pants, two hangers for the missing shirt and pants, and two sets of pajamas. On the floor are three pairs of shoes: a pair for special occasions, a pair of slippers, and a missing pair for everyday life. Instead of plain walls, there's one large mirror covering all three of the closet's sides. Everything is spotless; perfect, in place, and straight. It's all meticulous; seemingly obsessive.

        A cry rings through the house suddenly. It's the kind of cry that makes you want to cry too. It's the kind that could wake a man from a dead night's sleep in a cold sweat. It stops quickly - turning into a sharp and short scream. If one were to follow the sound, they would find themselves in a musty, blood-soaked basement. There's only one room, and it's stocked full of tools, tables, and chairs. Strapped to one of tables next to a pile of tools in this nightmare-filled basement is a young woman no older than twenty-five. Her skin is red with cuts and a few spots peek out from underneath the liquid. She's no longer breathing or moving, nor living or put together. All of her limbs have been removed.

        The owner of this house, a man wearing a long white coat, cackles at the discovery of her death. The laughter continues as he pulls a trash bag out of one of the end tables. He cleans up the body, the tools, the blood, and anything else that makes the space look dirty. Everything gets washed to a state of perfection before he goes upstairs. The body is left at the bottom of the steps, for him to take care of later.

        He goes up to his bedroom and reaches into one of his fridges. He pulls out a covered soup container that reads "human soup". In the fridge next to it, he gets a transparent cup full of blood. He moves over to his desk and sits the items down. Inside the desk drawer is a plastic container with disposable silverware. He sits down in the chair, takes the lid off the food container, and opens the laptop. He gets to work; typing and eating at an accelerated speed.

        "Alright, Davis, this is the moment we've been waiting for," A short man says to the villain while patting his jacket down. "Get out there and promote this book to the best of your ability. Get the crowd interested."

        Davis laughs. "Conrad, relax. This isn't my first interview, you know."

        "Yes, but it's never too late for a pep talk. As your manager, it's my job to make sure you're always feeling well and prepared for something like this." He stops playing with the jacket. "And it's Ian, not Conrad." A series of cheering and applause fills the air. Ian pats Davis' shoulder, saying, "Go get them."

        Davis walks through a curtain onto a stage. The cheering gets louder as he makes his way onto the stage. He shakes the hand of a woman sitting across from an empty chair, then sits down. The noise lessens as he waves out to the crowd. He feels almost like a king.  No matter how many times he goes through this, there is always this feeling of godliness; as if he were something bigger than a person.

        "Welcome and thanks for coming, Mr. Stewart!" The woman says enthusiastically.

        "Please, call me Davis, Mr. Evans," He responds with a kind smile.

        "Please, call me Samantha," She says with a smile of her own. "I would just like to say, Davis, that I love your work. The Empire's Power is one of my favourite books of all time. How on Earth did you come up with the idea?"

        "I'll admit that it was inspired by something my nephew said. It was a joke about a kingdom having a mind of its own and killing all its citizens. Something about it spoke to me, as silly as that sounds."

        "Oh, that's so cute! And what's the novel you're working on now? Is it a sequel?"

        Davis shakes his head. "No, no, not at all. The Empire's Power was a side work for me, something to relax my brain with. I doubt there will ever be a sequel. What I'm working on now is called 'The Author'. It's about a famous horror author who has a side nobody knows about."

        "Oh, so it's about you," Samantha joked.

        He smiles. "I suppose you could say that. The main character is based heavily on myself and my life. However, there are differences. For instance, I'm not hiding from the police."

        "That sounds fascinating!" Samantha exclaims. "What's his big secret?"

        "I'm afraid that if you want to know, you'll have to buy the book when it comes out," He says with a twinge of mystery in his tone.

        "When is the release date?"

        "With luck, July 19th."

        "All of us Davis fans are going to have to practice a lot of patience then." They laugh together. "I've always wondered, what inspired you to start writing in the first place?"

        He thinks about the question carefully. "I'm not sure. I guess you could say I got bored of all the books I owned and could never find any that interested me. That lead to me deciding to write my own."

        "Why did you pick horror?"

        "After a few years of writing every other genre imaginable, I got tired of happy endings. I was fourteen when I started writing horror stories. I didn't like them, though. I didn't think they were as good as they could have been, so I started learning about the human body. I focused more on biology and once I got the chance, I joined a forensics class. It gave my books a level of authenticity."

        "Is that why you continued to study the body in college?"

        "Yes. And up until I became successful, I worked in a morgue. It helped give me most of the information and experience I needed to write realistically detailed novels."

        "Why do you feel it only gave you 'most' of the information and experience you feel you needed?" She asks.

        "I write about murder, and I have never murdered anyone." With a sly smile, he continues, "At least, I'd never say if I have."

        The room laughs, unaware that his comment was more than a joke. The interview continues for half an hour. Once it's over, he steps behind the curtain to receive compliments on how well he did. He doesn't listen to the words as they're said. He simply thinks. Davis has been killing people for twenty years, and he's been writing about his crimes the whole time. The police know a serial killer is living nearby. They haven't figured out yet that it's him, despite the many accusations that sound like jokes, but they know there's a threat in the area. At this point, he's simply mocking them.

        "You sounded a little cocky out there, Davis. You might want to work on your attitude a bit before the fame gets to your head." Ian says to him as they're walking out of the building.

        "I might be cocky," Davis starts. "But it's to be expected when you know you're smarter than all of your fans."

fiction

About the author

Thorn Death

"Here lies a resting place for dark minds."

Sharing my stories, articles, and photographs

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