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Tales of Horror and the Supernatural 2

by

Graeme Winton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Copyright Graeme Winton 2014

 

 

Sleeping Partner

 

I stood in the shadow of Ripon Cathedral’s south side wrapped in the dark and gazed down the natural slope of the graveyard. A swirling mist engulfed the lower part and made the headstones look as if they were moving. The orange glow of streetlamps fought against the dark in the distance.

Organ music drifted out of the Cathedral as I flowed out of the shadows and levitated upright down the hill and mingled with the mist. Ecstasy gripped me as the long departed souls from the ancient graves flowed back and caressed my core. If I were alive, it would have been an orgasmic experience.

I laughed as I gazed up at the dark mass of the Cathedral which seemed to hover above the fog. I then drifted onto the street at the back of the graveyard with menacing energy flowing through me. A man walking his dog passed me. I growled! He turned around, but seeing nothing he hurried away.

I drifted through a walkway and drew back into the shadows as two women walked toward the town centre. I laughed out. One woman screamed, the other turned and said: “Who’s there?”

One who is neither here nor there!” I rasped.

Show yourself!” shouted the woman who had spoken.

Come on Izzie,” said the other woman, anxiously pulling her friend.

I crawled away along the walls of the walkway cackling as the women scurried away.

In the town square nine PM rang, and a crowd gathered as I flew among the rooftops. A man in a long, grey coat blew a horn as the crowd cheered, so I landed next to him and blew in his ear. I then raised him up through the cold air before leaving him balancing on top of the tall obelisk which dominated the square.

The Hornblower screamed as he plunged through the air toward the ground. The crowd screamed in horror as they watched, with unbelieving eyes, the man thump into the cobbled ground.

As his soul left, I flowed in and raised the crumpled body and made it dance in front of the dazed crowd. Mothers grabbed their crying children and ran toward their cars.

What devilry is this?” shouted a vicar.

You ain’t seen nothing yet.” I said as I made the man’s head spin.

I then felt myself being tugged up into the air, and I watched as Ripon became smaller and smaller before disappearing.

Opening my eyes, I watched lights dance around my darkened living room as cars passed the windows. What a weird dream, I thought. I had fallen asleep on my settee. Looking at my watch I drifted back to sleep.

 

I stood in the shadow of a shop doorway in Stonegate York and gazed along the ancient street toward the illuminated mass of the Minster. A strong wind blew litter along the street as the last of the shoppers scurried past well-lit windows. I screamed as I flew up and over them. Suddenly, I was dragged into an old room above a shop advertising a haunted house.

I hovered over a group sitting around a large circular table with a crystal ball in the middle. They had their arms stretched out at either side with hands held.

As I heard them ask if anyone was there I grabbed the breasts of one female who screamed. The room then erupted into chaos as I grabbed one of the men by the testicles and threw him onto the table.

What’s going on,” screamed a panicking woman.

Well, you asked if anyone was there… I’m here!” I rasped.

I walked into the ornate vastness that was York Minster and strolled along the Nave as the choir boys were bringing Evensong to a close. The admission desks were closed, and the attendants were closing the Cathedral. The last few tourists lingered in the light before heading out into the dark. Gazing up into the Central Tower I held my arms out in a cruciform shape and rose into the air. I revolved, slowly at first, but then becoming faster and faster. I set up a vortex and screamed like a banshee as I spun. Choir boys and tourists shrieked and ran for cover as an internal storm raged. Candles snuffed out, sacred cloths and drapes were dragged along the floor and then sucked up into the vortex. The Tower windows imploded and the swirling air filled with a million deadly shards of glass.

I woke up, slipped off the settee and opened the curtains. The sun was shining through a freezing fog. Another weird dream, I thought, just much more intense this time. I showered, dressed then left for work after gulping a cup of coffee.

After another boring day serving the public I left the store and walked home through the frozen Wetherby streets. I bought the Yorkshire Evening Post on the way home intrigued by the headline ‘ York Minster Vandalised’ on the billboard outside a newsagent.

The warmth from the central heating system greeted me as I opened my front door. Grabbing the mail I headed into the kitchen where I flicked on the kettle. Then, in the lounge I sat down to read the newspaper.

Apparently the Cathedral in York had been subject to a storm which blew through the interior and smashed the Tower windows. Investigators puzzled as to why the windows blew inwards rather than outwards. All the events happened with the door shut.

I stopped reading and gazed at the ceiling. Snatches of last night’s dream came to me. “Nah, just coincidence,” I told myself.

The kettle clicked, so I folded up the paper and was about to throw it on the carpet when I saw the small headline: ‘Odd Happenings in Ripon Results in Death.’ A local Hornblower was hoisted up to the top of the obelisk in the town square and then fell to his death in front of a gathering. “Coincidence?” I asked myself.

 

I burst through, and out of the cold turf into a night where a wind blew specks of snow horizontally. Looking around. I was in the graveyard of a massive dark structure. I realised the building was a cathedral when I saw the illuminated Gothic windows.

Keeping to the shadows I moved round to the front and then crossed a grassed courtyard. I turned and looked up at what I realised was the West Front of Peterborough Cathedral. Suddenly I heard a moan and looked in the direction. What seemed to be a thousand dead souls rushed at me and scooped me up. Together we ascended, swirling high into the sky as the snow stopped.

Eventually, I set down on Long Causeway one of the main shopping streets. I shape-shifted into a beggar and sat in a shop doorway. No one paid much attention except for a bunch of kids who mocked me and threatened to take my money. I stood up, and they ran off, so I sat again and watched the people of the night. Eventually, the snow and the kids returned. They stood around me in a semicircle, and one youth told me to hand over my money or I would get a kicking.

Shifting into a vampire I shot up and grabbed the youth. I exposed his neck and sank my fangs into his soft flesh. After sucking his blood I tore away half his throat. Then looking up at the stunned other kids, with blood dripping from my fangs, I asked in a rasping voice: “Who’s next?”

Awoken from the shock they ran off screaming into the night. I laughed as I dropped the dead body and then, assuming my human form, I disappeared into the snow-flecked darkness.

I heard the moan as I was engulfed and then swept up by the dead souls. Carried over the buildings toward the black mass of the Cathedral I screamed as they carried me toward the snow covered cemetery and the open grave I had burst out from.

Down I went into the black, open maw. “No, no,” I shrieked. Then, I woke up shaking and switched on my bedside light. Placing my hands on the comforting feel of my bed I calmed down.

I left my bed, showered and dressed. I then sat ready for work determined that there would be no more sleep for me.

The next day I became alarmed after reading about a young man found dead in Peterborough with his throat ripped out. I made an early appointment with my doctor and gave him a shortened description of what had been happening to me. He prescribed sleeping pills under the assumption that drugged sleep would not produce the same levels of dreaming I had been having. He also made an appointment with a psychologist for me. Due to my anxiety he acquired an appointment for the next day in Leeds.

That night, I stayed up for as long as I could before taking two sleeping pills and falling asleep on the settee. I awoke the next morning with the realisation I couldn’t remember any dreams.

I dressed and took the bus into Leeds St James University Hospital. The Psychologist, Dr Taylor, a man in his late forties, ushered me into his surgery and asked me to sit in front of his desk. I then explained what had been happening to me, leaving out the nasty bits. He listened, asking the occasional question.

In his analysis he talked of dreams and astral projections, then he said: “You appear to be breaking new ground Mr Connal. Until now I thought the concept of the demon soul belonged to horror and science fiction tales. I wonder what Jung and Freud would make of this?” He mused with a smile. He then regained his serious countenance and continued in his deep voice. “So, summing up what, on the face of it, we have here is the soul being possessed during sleep. Not normal sleep with dreams, but sleep where your soul is leaving your body.

What can be done?”

Well, we can start with medication. You say there was no activity when you took the sleeping tablets?”

Yes.”

These work on a certain part of the brain, so I’m going to prescribe something similar just a bit stronger. And I will set up an analytical survey.”

 

Levitating just above ground level I moved across the iron bridge which connected part of Balgay Hill with Balgay Cemetery in Dundee. A full moon gazed down on the headstones, which covered the hill and then swept off in the direction of the river Tay.

A dog howled as I sucked up power from the dead souls, then flew into the air and headed over towards the river which looked like a giant silver snake in the moonlight as it passed by the orange glow of the city.

I dropped to a few metres above river level between the road and the rail bridges, which connected Dundee with Fife, and spun violently. Waves built in intensity from both directions of the river.

A huge wave surged up the Tay and crashed into the road bridge ripping away a central part of the structure. I moved up into the air and laughed as I watched cars       pull-up just centimetres from a drop into the maelstrom.

Seconds later another huge wave, moving in the opposite direction, crashed into the rail bridge pushing over about a third of the metal structure. A train heading south stopped just short of the ragged edge of the expansive gap.

I stumbled out of bed and opened my curtains. The sun had just risen into the frosty sky. I showered and dressed, then sat in the living room and watched the breaking news from Scotland on the television. The bridges on the river Tay had been destroyed by a mysterious, violent storm.

At nine thirty I was sitting in Doctor Taylor's surgery.

Now Mr Connal, I have had to cancel an appointment with another patient to deal with you and your demon soul.” Taylor said.

I need help Doctor Taylor. I had another dream last night where something bad happened even after taking the sleeping tablets.”

Look Mr Connal I think….”

Please help me,” I interrupted, moving forward on my seat.

Very well, we will go ahead with the survey this afternoon.”

At the survey in a large room in the hospital a nurse asked me to put on pyjamas, and when I was ready to lie on the bed, which I did. Then Dr Taylor and an assistant entered the room.

Mr Connal are you comfortable?”

Yes Dr Taylor.”

He and his assistant then swabbed my scalp, which I keep shaven, and stuck padded electrodes on my head and one next to my heart. After a while the lights softened and relaxing music wafted.

Slipping silently into the room, I watched from the shadows. After a while the younger man stood up stretched and left the room. I left the shadows and moved the bed. The Psychologist looked up, but after a while returned his gaze to his monitor. I then grabbed my body and jerked it up into a sitting position.

The good Doctor howled, then stood up and ran to the door, but I beat him to it and after turning the lock I threw the key away. I then grabbed him, rose into the air and revolved. Suddenly the door crashed in and the assistant rushed in gazing at us in shock.

Wake him up!” shouted the Doctor, between screams, “wake him up now!”

The assistant ran over to the bed and shook my body. I woke up and watched as the Doctor dropped out of the air.

Shit!” I shouted as the assistant ran over to tend to the Psychologist. The Doctor, however jumped up and pressed a red button on the wall.

Wind up the experiment,” he said to his colleague as two burly nurses appeared.

Immobilize Mr Connal,” he said pointing at me.

 

“Come on Davey-boy, you know I have no option. You’re a danger to others and to yourself,” the nurse said as I sat on a bed in a strait jacket in an empty room in a mental hospital weeks later. I didn’t know if it was day or night because the bright, electric lights shone all the time.

You can’t stop me sleeping forever!” I shouted.

You know the procedure, I’m just going to sedate you.”

He loaded a hypodermic needle and then with the help of the two other nurses he injected me.

Wait!” I shouted. “You can’t do this, I have rights!”

 

One day or night the door opened and Doctor Taylor walked in and threw a bag on the floor. He grabbed me and released the strait jacket.

Get some clothes on.” he growled with eyes that flickered red.

I pulled on the clothes and shoes that were in the bag. We then left the room. A big nurse appeared and asked: “What are you doing Doctor?”

Taylor showed his ID card.

But…” said the nurse as Taylor grabbed him by the neck and threw him across the hallway.

Outside, Taylor rose into the air. “There you go, now get some sleep,” he said turning toward me. He then shot off into the dark screaming with laughter. It had appeared that my soul demon had selected another sleeping partner.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping Partner (Part Two)

 

A million souls tugged me out of my body and we flew through the starry night, finally landing on a converted church. Stamford Lincolnshire, a peaceful town until…

Bastards!” I shouted as they flew off. I thought I was clear of this sort of thing—It had been months since I broke out of the mental hospital and, despite living roughly, I slept well.

Ah well, I thought. let’s see what mischief I can get up to here.

I gazed through the window of a café. I could see the two red ball-like reflections of my eyes in the glass as could the young couple sitting in the window seats. The woman screamed hysterically as I laughed, pulled up my hood and walked away.

Hey you!” shouted the woman’s boyfriend, who had run out onto the High Street.

Yes?” I asked turning around.

You scared my girlfriend,” he said approaching me.

Yeah well, get over it sonny,” I said turning away.

He grabbed me, so I pushed his arms off. I then swivelled around crouching, pulled his trousers down, and pushed him away. “Now consider this a let off son. Go back and sit with your girlfriend.” I said as I stood up and then rose into the air.

Flying over the rooftops I landed in the grounds of a church after a while where I accidentally demolished a wooden noticeboard. I then walked over to a candle-lit pub, which fronted a brewery, and walked into the perfect semi-darkness.

The place was half full, so I walked over to a roaring open fire and sat at an empty table with my hood over my head. After a few moments of peace a bunch of young people approached.

The women sat at a table opposite me and the men jostled about asking what everyone was drinking.

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