A Song to the Ghosts

Hey all, I’ve not written in a little while but I was desperate to get this out to everyone. I was working on a post apocalyptic book series a few months back but I wanted to write a few shorts just to create the world in which it’s set as it mixes classic post apocalyptic settings with the monstrous mystery of H.P Lovecraft. If that sounds interesting to you have a little look at my first short story and enjoy


A Song to the Ghosts – A Far World Story

The song played it’s scratchy symphony to the few patrons who were having no business with the three Big-dogs who had just entered with entitled cockiness. In all respect they pretty much owned the place and Lee knew that, no matter if her name was above the door or not. The mayor would have backed her up if he had not been lay in the middle of the street with vultures pecking at his sticky, dry innards. Everyone was under strict orders not to move or bury his corpse, unless they wanted to be sent out to the rough sands for the monsters to get them.

Lee focused her gaze on them with her one good eye, hoping they would not see her fear in it as she stood still. Harv was in charge today so he was the one to step forward with his missing tooth grin. He took a seat at the bar as his two companions Falk and Turner stayed in their place. He put his hands on the bar interlocking his fingers as he looked up at her.

A glass of your best, Please” he said although the last part was so forced and she could tell it was a word he never normally used. She hesitated for just a moment before taking a glass and reaching up for the dusty bottle on the top shelf, the stuff no one could normally afford. She could feel their eyes on the frame of her behind and the sounds they made only clarified her sense, feeling somewhat disgusted she turned quickly to pour the dark brown liquid into the glass. She left the bottle with him and took a step back crossing her arms. Harv just looked at her for a long moment before taking his drink.

Thanks Beautiful” he grinned before downing the drink. His statement stung her more than anything could. It was not the first time he called her it and every time he did it hurt and made her feel sick. She was considered very beautiful once. She had been a cute kid who grew up to be a rather stunning young woman who caught everyone’s eye back in the day. Days before massacre that left fifty dead and years of dwindling population to the point only about a hundred people were left but Ash’s dictator ways took care of that leaving only twenty or so people left, the oldies who actually awaited death but too scared to do it by their own hand. The massacre left her face badly scarred that she could no longer see the beautiful young woman any more, she was long dead. Beautiful? Yeah once maybe but now it hurts her more than being told flat out she is ugly.

I paid two weeks ago” she said “I have another two weeks to go, that was the deal” watching his hands, making sure they do not reach for the cannon on his hip as she would not have time to grab the short two barrels under the bar. His eyes locked with her one eye and snagged the fear that was there.

Things are changing” he grinned “Now it’s going to be once a week”

ONCE A WEEK?!” she was actually shocked, the monthly was doing enough damage and this change would see her gone for sure “But I don’t make enough to pay that”

Better find a way soon” he said looking down at his glass as he poured himself another, she was watching him drink away any money she would be lucky to make, not that anyone would be able to afford that anyway.

It’s not possible, what I give you only leaves me with enough to eat a few days in the week anyway, I’ll starve” she said almost pleading feeling the tear starting to roll.

Well i’m sure if you do some accounting and think of a fair price” Harv said looking back to her “you could rent out that sweet axe wound between your legs to these fine fellows” he gestured to the old, long-dead men who paid no attention to what was happening. They just sat minding their own business, some even hoping they would be shot dead to perhaps frighten Lee into submission.

Fuck you” she spat before the fear could come back and tell her that that was not a smart move, but the bullet that struck the bottle just past her left ear got there first. She stood as stiff as pole looking down the smoking barrel and saw Harv was no longer smiling. The music had stopped just as a couple of the old men made their move out, the ones who maybe still wanted to leave anyway.

You will do as we tell you” He said still pointing the hand cannon at her face “If you just can’t do it then maybe Ash will find a way for you to make the money back over in Gatlin, and I don’t think you want to see what they do to females there” he smiled again, this time it was much more sinister “And just to make it sink in that this is not just false promises…the boys and I will give you a little demo”

Lee was grabbed suddenly, she had not noticed they had moved from behind Harv, Turner had grabbed her by the right bicep and Falk was hopping the bar to get to her other side. She gasped and struggled but they were far too strong for her as they hoisted her onto the bar, pinning her shoulder so hard it felt like they were trying to crush her. She tried to kick but her feet were getting nowhere near them and they just laughed off her efforts, seeing it was no use she calmed herself just as Harv got off his took his hunting knife out of his it’s sheeve. It’s shine was almost hypnotising as it caught the light. He brought the point under her chin as she tried to slow down her breathing as if the slightest movement would cause the knife to puncture her skin. The cold steel shocked her has though it was hooked up to a battery and all she could do was stare up at grinning devils that hovered over her.

She felt when Harv put the blade under her ratty, brown shirt and slid it up as if he was opening a box, the light tearing noise made her guts react and she nearly threw up when he opened it up exposing her still firm breasts to the other drooling dogs. One of them began sucking hungrily on her nipple as Harv sadistically teased the other with the cold steel. She finally broke and began to cry and wish they would just get this over with or even better kill her first, they might like that idea better.

The music came back on clear as day, nothing skipping or cutting out, it was perfect. Harv looked over at the jukebox and took a step back. The other two let go of her and joined him giving her time to roll away and cover herself up. He was facing the window with the mid afternoon sun blasting through, only his shape could be seen as he pressed the button, scrolling through the selection of music the jukebox had on offer. He was maybe too calm for this kind of situation, a woman on the verge of rape and three armed men behind him like he had experienced it before, perhaps use to worse situations. The machine made a wurring sound as he electronically flicked the pages with the button.

I think you better get out of here friend” Harv said “you may not want to see what is about to happen”

The stranger just went on browsing without a care in the world, the three men looked at each other in bewilderment. Lee could now see it was the stranger who had come in just ten minutes before they arrived. She didn’t see his face but he put a note on the table and said only “Cold”. The only cold drinks places severed was soft drinks as canned alcohol was rare. He took his drink and sat around the corner in silence.

Hey cunt head!” Falk barked at him “you’ve got five seconds to hit the road before we make a meal out of you”

Lee saw the sun shining in front of him as though it was made to make him glow, like an angel or a knight. She had gotten used to the idea that good samaritains were long gone but the shining sun gave her hope. He was not going anywhere and she knew that.

I think this filth…” Turner started before the deep voice of the stranger cut him off.

Only one of two things are going to happen” he started “One of them being quite pleasant, you and your men get out, leave the lady be and don’t come back, she owes nothing”

The men were ready, watching his movements like Hawks but he made no sudden gesture at all, but still hands close to guns was the best way to be.

Or;” the stranger went on “I can stain the floor boards with your blood and leave you alive just long enough to feel everything and wish it would end”

The three men laughed, no one would say such crazy things to soldiers in Ash’s army as it would be seen as an instant death sentence. He had clearly been drinking a long time today and the best thing for him would be to drag him outside and put a bullet in the back of his head. Harv gestured to Falk to do the honours. He walked forward still belly laughing as he reach his hand up to grab the drunkard by his shoulder. He saw a flash and suddenly felt cold. The stranger was now facing him and all Falk could see was his eyes and his right arm slightly extended pointing down. In his hand was machete with blood dripping from the blade, the tip pointed to hand wearing a familiar glove. He could not scream when be looked at the stump of his wrist which hand long dark streams of blood flowing out. He looked back up into the eyes of his redeemer before he passed out through shock.

Harv and Turner stood not believe what they had just seen, the stranger moved fluidly with great speed. When Falk’s body hit the deck and started to shake the stranger fixed his eyes on Turner and then Harv. Turner’s hand twitched as he hesitated to reach for his gun but the stranger angled his head just slightly as a warning. He reached fast but not fast enough as the stranger’s free arm came up and pointed directly at his head unleashing one single round into the middle of his face. Harv saw the back of Turner’s head open up like a rose in bloom as his face was sprayed with blood. The lifeless body hit with a hollow thud and Harv wondered why he could not reach for his gun, his hand was still intact, the fingers twitching madly but the shock would not allow him to move. The stranger was upon him casting a shadow as he looked into the calm eyes. The stangers turned to look down at Lee who tried not to look back, he noticed a small trickle of crimson on her neck before looking back at Harv who was paralysed.

You made the lady bleed…” was all he said before he sliced between Harv’s legs with the long blade he put there when he got to him, Harv hardly noticed until he heard the blood drumming on the floorboards, then the pain settled in. His hands clamped straight to his area, pants torn and fingers trying to hold the skin together but the cut was too deep and blood was trickling out of him fast. He fell to his knees whining as he looked up into the eyes of the stranger who was unravelling the shall from around his head. He saw the face of a young man, not a teen but the stubble on his face but someone much younger than him. The eyes were a deep grey and his eye brows seemed naturally angry. His sun-kissed skin was clean and almost unmarked apart from the scar running from the bottom of his eye down his cheek. He didn’t have time to take in much more than that as his sight was fading and his body was getting weaker as he slumped to his side onto the grown unable to make much more than a low whine as he lay bleeding out.

Lee stood up against the bar, too scared to make any movement as she saw how fast this stranger could be, all she could do was watch him and hope his temper had calmed a bit. He turned to look at her and she almost gasped at the sight of him, half fear and the other awe. He was handsome and young, she had not laid her eyes on someone with features as clear and clean as his in a long time. The stranger looked her up and down a moment and took a step towards her which made her jump. He changed his approach, sinking down and showing the palms of his hands to her, his face softened.

Hey, it’s okay i’m not going to harm you” he said as he moved slowly to the bar taking off his backpack and putting it on the surface, their eyes fully connected. Lee kept the two parts of her shirt held together tight as he took folded fabric from his pack, it was a t-shirt, brown but very clean, it had printing on it; “Pink Floyd”. A shirt such as this is worth a lot of money to buyers, whatelse could he possible have in there? She thought then cleared it. He’s trying to help you, be thankful He hooped it over her neck and pulled it down, allowing her to strip out of her ruined garment without hassle or even trying to get a look at her because his eyes were on hers the whole time.

That’s much better right?” he said with a small smile which was not forced in anyway, it was the smile which everyone had lost over the years, the smile of a good person.

I can’t take this from you, this is worth food and water which I don’t have much of…”


I have little money but you can take it..” she babbled feeling a tear rolling.

Absolutly not” he protested quietly

Please, please PLEASE! Let me repay you” she sobbed

There was a long silence, the last two old men were making their move to leave this time, but the strangers gaze on them told them to stay put, so they did.

There is something you can do to repay me” he smiled

Lee hesitated and looked around a little before moving her hands to slowly take off the shirt he had put on her.

no no no, not like that” he said laughing a little bit “How about you fix us both a drink and we will talk?”

They sat and talked, Lee told the stranger everything, From life restarting, to the massacre all the way to new days. He listened intently not asking any questions as he sipped on the same tipple Harv greedily downed. She had cried a little bit having unearthed memories she had forgotten but they all had to be told. The stranger asked for his favour, which was to rebuild what was destroyed, make a stand against Ash and his army, survive and prosper, that was all he wanted.

Just tell them that there is hope if you stand together, you may have troubles but if you fight back then you will bothered less” he told her. She nodded, not thinking it was a hopeless idea because she knew fine well that she could do it, Bringing the people back from the caves might be a job but it’s the only way. She had it in her, she used to so she can have it once more.

I’ll be coming back here one day, quite soon, I would like to come back to a change” He said softly but the old men could even hear him and they seemed to agree, nodding and grunting with feeble yet fierce determination.

Gather your men, gather your weapons, rebuild and fight back” was all he said before he stood up leaving a single coin on the table. He went over to the bar taking pencil and paper from his pack as Lee joined him watching as he wrote and drew. The symbol was a sword with with a skull right on the hilt, the writing said simply we are the rising.

I want you to make a sign and put it up high for all to see, this should make them second guess coming here” he said handing her the paper, as she gazed upon it the stranger went through the pocked of the said and laid their offerings on the bar, money and quite a pretty amount of it. He did not take any for himself.

you can start your new life by burying your falling leader and…doing what you will with the filth” he said gesturing to the dead bodies before he left. Lee wanted to call him back but knew he had to leave, she stood in the door way and watched him head west, over the hill.

I love you stranger…” was all she could whisper as he disappeared.


The Hatch – Chapter Three -Pandora’s Box

Jason looks at his pale watery refection in the mirror, that nightmare really took it’s toll on him, thank god he didn’t remember any more of it. His eyes dark and weak like they had been open all night long without even a blink, His lips were rough and cracked he noticed as he began to brush his teeth, what was causing this?  he was feeling fine, so why did he look like he had aged close to ten years over night?. He went to his bedroom and got dressed before moving to the kitchen where his mother was cooking breakfast, she was as much of a morning person as one could be, always dressed and fully ready for the day and singing along to the radio, unstoppable. She was wearing her ratty, old Bruce Springsteen t shirt today, always had to be in a good mood to wear that, fun mom. She turned with the frying pan in her hand.

“Good Morning Handsome” she smiled “Did you sleep okay?” she asked moving the fried eggs from the pan to the two plates she had set up.

Jason took a seat at the kitchen table “Not really, I had a bad dream and i’ve been feeling sluggish” he said truthfully as she turned, laying the plate on the table in front of him. He was not really hungry in the mornings but he ate anyway. Violet Parker was a single mother since Jason was seven, rather than sitting around crying about not having a man around to help her raise her son, she pushed all that aside to become the best mother she could possibly be and it worked a treat. The only downside is pretty soon she would have to stop being so mother like because Jason was becoming a young man and he would no longer need her in certain ways. It was going to be hard to back off and let go a little bit, she had gotten so used to who she was over the past thirteen years.

“A nightmare?” she asked sitting down with her breakfast and a steaming cup of coffee “you’ve never complained about nightmares before, despite with the kind of films you watch”Jason takes a bite out of the sausage on his fork before looking over to his mother, she did not fully approve with him watching horror films with his friends but boys will be boys and who’s going to stop them?

“This one was different, it was like” Jason started as he tried to remember but the dream had completely left his head “I don’t really know, but wasn’t like anything from a film”

“That happens honey, Just don’t let them get the better of you, they are just dream after all” she said with a reassuring smile as she held her cup in both hands. For 38 years old she still looked the same from when she was in her mid twenties, aside from the crows feet next to her eyes and the occasional back spasms she would get when the seasons changed she was still a beautiful woman, Some of Jason’s friends would make vulgar comments from time to time and would be rewarded with Hulk like punch in the arm if they took things too far.

“What are your plans for the day?” Violet asked as she took the plates, scraping the leftovers into the dogs bowl for later.

“Just hanging around with Tommy” He told her “Hey mam, could you make some lunch for me please, We have a busy day and I wont be home for dinner”

“I hope you lads are not going too far out of the town” she said disapprovingly as she took the loaf of bread from it’s place to make sandwiches.

“No we’re not, we are just down by the green pool, but it means you wont have to cook and i wont have to walk all the way home only to walk all the way back there” he said with a grin, hoping his theory won her over. She shook her head, smiled and proceeded to make food for him and Tommy. Jason ran back up to his room to gather a few things before coming back with his backpack over his shoulders. His mother handed him two Tupperware to back before giving him a strong hug, not wanting to let go, deep down she hated not having him home cause knowing he was around was the piece of mind in being sure he was always safe but that’s not what she could ever do.

Jason walked to the crossroads and could not see Tommy anywhere in sight; he was probably still in bed, seemed to be the easiest thing to imagine him doing. No point in turning back since he was already so close to the green pit so he moved on. He took it steady down the rocky path when he heard noises through the natural silence that comes with the location. Further down the path he could see in the distance that Tommy was already here, digging away like his life depended on it. He walked a little further on getting closer to the green pit before he made his presence known.

“Thought you were going to wait for me” Jason said dragging his feet through the long grass over to Tommy who was out of breath and sweating. He had already done a lot of digging, carving out a boarder around the steel trap door. The mud streaked over the steel like dirty fingers had been clawing it from the outside, it had a few dents from Tommy digging too far. they both worked hard together to see how much more they could uncover

“Have you tried opening it yet?” Jason asked hesitantly, he wanted to open it so much but at the same time there was a little voice coming from within saying nothing good will come from it. there must have been a reason it was covered, it must have been discovered at some point in the past, why hadn’t they opened it? because they were not stupid kids probably.

“No, I was waiting for you” He smirked “Think I’d try to open it without my best mate here?” Jason paused for a moment looking at his friend who could not keep eye contact, Sweat beading on the bridge of his nose, rolling down when he looked up to the sky scrunching his face to it violent sight.

He had become very tanned over the last couple of days and Jason could clearly see that his stout, chubby little friend was dropping a few pounds which brought some assurance to him, His own father, Phillip Parker, a good hard working man had grown a little overweight in his final years. He made no secret that he loved to eat, he would tell Jason that the best part of dinner was knowing that you worked for it. In his late twenties when he first met Violet Bates, who seven months on he would marry BEFORE she fell pregnant, Phillip was a tall, strong and wickedly handsome man. Charm the knickers off a nun that lad Jason’s mother would say with that dreamy far away look she would hold with the slightest hint of a smile. Once Phillip was married and settled down with a steady and secure job, He seemed to let himself go in a way. He was in no way depressed in face he was the opposite, He was one of those people who seemed constantly happy, one of those people you could imagine who would sleep with a lunatic smile on their face. Some days he was neutral but always seemed to crack a smile. He started to get bigger, his muscles were no doubt still there, there was just extra meat on them.

When Jason was around seven, His dad took him to the canal to catch tadpoles. He had been a few times and loved it, running down the wooden walk way which seemed to stretch on for miles from two banks on each side going along with it. He remembers at the end there were two very large, ancient looking pillars of rock which always frightened Jason for some reason. Jason would stare through the mods of long grass which would hang down into the almost swampy water and spy a dragon fly which would shoot out and hover in front of his face. Dragon flies were nothing to be scared of, they varied in sizes but what Jason loved so much was how they seemed to float in the air, swaying this way and that way before shooting off along the canal. Phillip laughed heartily when Jason took chase to find out what secrets they were keeping from him. They almost seemed to beckon him playfully come on Jason, keep up with us. The hard rubber of his wellies knocked against the wooden slats, a few of them were loose but the walk way was wide enough for him to land on if he fell, rather than going head first into the green murk where the creatures Jason was yet to discover lurked, He dropped his net and container to pick up more speed to keep up with the Dragon flies. His dad’s laughter seemed more and more spaced out and dwindling as he looked on, usually it would end with him hardly being able to breath, his face frozen in laughter and the sound would take a pause for a good ten seconds before he let out one last ha-ha as he calmed down. Jason saw the family of fireflies disappear into the long grass, the musical hum of their wings lingering which Jason tried his best to stay as quiet as he could, his breathing rapid and heavy from running. listening to try and figure them out. He carefully reached his hands out, small fingers tenderly digging through the long hairs of grass and pulling them apart like a green curtain of nature. The Dragon flies shot out and whipped passed him, their wings buzzing against his cheeks as they passed by, sending a joyful shock through his body as he whipped around to watch them ascending into the white abyss of the sky. Jason smiled and cheered them on like it was some kind of space shuttle launch, he could almost hear them say got things to be getting on with Jason, but we will see you next summer. But little did he know this would be the last time he would ever see them. Once they were out of site he noticed he could not hear the laughter coming from his dad anymore. He looked around behind him and he was not in sight, Jason in his innocence had a feeling his dad was playing a game and hiding from him. Jason went back down the way they came from and looked carefully in the grass, giggling cause he got the sense he was getting closer

“Where is daddy?” he said in his small voice, that is what his mom used to say when they played hide and seek “Where did daddy go?” His dad would normally let himself be known for his son to find him, and just to make a prideful point Jason would jump on him to claim his victory.

Jason saw the things he had dropped to run after the dragon flies with more speed were still on the ground but his dad was nowhere in sight, he would have picked them up. Running now, Jason’s fear builds inside him sickly when the coldness of being by himself grasps him, he had never been scared of the dark or what he imagined lived under his bed but he could not bare to be left on his own. “Daddy? where are you? DADDY” he screamed as the tears started to run down his face. He did the only thing he though would work, run back to where they parked the car at the side of the road, stay in sight of the traffic with a frightened look and scream until he was heard or seen, he  screamed non stop for almost half an hour before his voice was no more than a whine, but someone eventually pulled over to help him. Jason never saw his daddy again.

“It’s rusted shut isn’t it?” Jason asked with a smile, He know good and well that Tommy would have been trying his all to get the handle to move.

“Yep, won’t budge an inch” Tommy said in defeat as he sat down on top of the hatch “I’m knackered” Jason joined him and pulled two cans of warming coke handing one to Tommy. They sat and drank almost in silence, just enjoying the sound of the nature around them. The Green Pit had become more and more shut off from the world, it was stuck somewhere back in time. No one wanted to do anything with it so it was just left as it is serving no real purpose other than just being. Jason thought that was nice, there was something special about that because he felt like he and Tommy could claim it as their own, especially more now that it held a secret that only they knew about, Well them and Tommy’s brother, Damon, who was coming down the dirt track off the main road, holding hands with his girlfriend Amy. Damon was sixteen and played rugby for his comprehensive school, He was big, bigger than their dad. He would give his little brother a hard time because, well he was an older brother. All in all he was a nice lad and was the boy’s go-to for their problems although these days he spent most of his time hanging around with Amy.

“Oi! get out of there before I call your dad” Damon called with a smile, Tommy jumped for a moment thinking they had been caught doing something bad by one of the busy bodies in town but he settled down when he could see it was just his big brother.

“Dame-O, HA!” he stood up “TOLD YOU WE FOUND IT, WE FOUND THE BUGGER!” he cheered

“Watch your mouth you little shite” Damon said as he and Amy waded through the long surrounding grass, Amy looking down and keeping her hands up in the air, scared that a snake might jump up and bite her “Hiya Jason lad, how your mom?” he winked.

“Hey Damon” Jason smiled as he stood up next to Tommy who was still breathing heavily from the digging and getting even more out of breath from being so exited “She’s good, still to good for you”

“Ah, I’ll win her over one day, believe me” he smiled and looked down to see the boys stood on top of the hatch and it’s larger surrounding dirt caked mass. “Frig me” his face dropped a little bit, his eyes moving to cover the whole dug up area “didn’t think it was like this”

Jason remembers his nightmare, it had been stuck all the way back there since he woke up and just seemed to hang over him. Why did he dream of the Hatch? why did it rumble beneath his feet and why was Adam Brooker in his dream? Just thinking of the night he had brought that very hot, twisting feeling in his stomach, making him fuss where he stood and folding his arms across his gut. As Jason spoke to Damon and Amy about what they were planning to do if and when they could get the hatch open. Jason looked up uncomfortable and all it took was the sunlight to blast into his eyes for him to roll forward and let out a big geyser of bile into the grass with a guttural choking sound. It burned his throat and tasted like coke and sour copper, his stomach contorted trying to push up more but there was nothing else to bring up, all it was doing was stopping him from catching his breath which streaked when he tried to breathe in. The others came around him, Damon putting one hand on his chest while rubbing his back and Amy holding his hand.

“It’s alright mate let it out, theres a good boy just relax” Damon seemed to almost whisper as he calmed him down. “Poor darling’ you okay?” Amy asked while rubbing his hand. He managed to take in a nice deep breath as he settled down a little bit.

“I’m okay” he said hoarsely, throat still burning from the vomit and eyes watering “Thank you”

Damon took a closer look at him, feeling the damp skin on his forehead and observing his features with a deepening concern for his brother’s friend who he considered a second brother himself. “You don’t look too well Jay, you sure you’re alright?” he asked “did you have some breakfast this morning?”

“Yeah I did, it just came out of nowhere” Jason thought, his breakfast was fully cooked and apart from the rough night sleep he had there was no reason for this out of nowhere episode. It must be the sun, a very hot day he barely noticed must have taken him by surprise. Sun stroke, his mom had gotten it when they went on holiday in Greece and she was throwing up for a day or two, that must be it. Damon said it would be wise if they took him home and he got some rest, Tommy was not to thrilled with that idea but a look from Damon that pretty much said it’s happening you tubby little shit, now less of the lip before before I nail you to a tree by it made him change his mind.

As they slowly walked along side the main road, Amy holding his hand Jason felt much better but decided not to pipe up because Damon was the voice of reason, very caring and a man of the world in his eyes and others. He looked down at his T-shirt, the front of it was crusted in specks of stomach fluid which stank of coke. He couldn’t help but feel embarrassed when Amy smiled at him as he had a crush on her and couldn’t face the fact he’s discharged in front of her kill me now god, just make it quick. When they arrived at his house Violet was cleaning the outside of the windows when she got the feeling Jason had been up to no good, but Damon explained everything. She still looked down at him a little bit disapprovingly when she noticed his clothes and hands were caked with dirt.

“Well I think someone should get inside, have a bath and get into bed, don’t you?” she said looking at him, he knew it was more of a fact than a suggestion. He nodded.

“Thanks a lot you three for looking after him, god knows how much more of a mess he would be in if you weren’t there” she smiled at Damon and Amy while Tommy leaned in to whisper in Jason’s ear

“I’ll be on the radio tonight if you’re still awake” he grinned in hope. Violet had bought Jason and Tommy a pair of long range two way radios for Christmas to stay in touch once it was time for them to be home.

“Yeah, I’ll leave mine on” he said, feeling and looking much better than he was forty five minutes ago.

He went inside, his mom stayed out talking with the others, probably boring them with her talk of the latest fit celebrities with Amy, How it felt almost being done with school with Damon while Tommy swayed on his heels wanting nothing more than to go home. He got in the bath washing all the dirt off of his body which clouded the water into a murky grey puddle, he had hoped Damon didn’t tell his mom what they were actually doing today, she would have something to say on the subject and he didn’t want to hear what it was. She knocked on the door a few minutes after he was fully cleaned and just relaxing in the hot water, She had put out his pyjamas on the bed and was making him a light dinner to eat while he was in bed, even through he was feeling fine he couldn’t pass that up could he? he could just stay in his room until late watching films, reading and munching away on a bedroom picnic. He got out of the bath, dried off, brushed his teeth and got ready for bed, The sun was still striking through his bedroom window and he could feel the warm carpet under his feet. He went into his closet to pick out a book and a few films to last him the night he was going to make of it.

Not feeling like he could handle something too long winded he picked out a book containing a collection of short stories he had not read as of yet, still brand new with the pages untouched and brilliant white. He settled himself under the covers after putting on the first horror film and began to read the story.

Elliot Hanson who was awakened in the night by music which seemed to be coming from the cemetery which was just across from his house. He thought maybe it was local youngsters having a party or some kind of sexually rampant ritual but the music seemed really off. It sounded like 50’s be-bop and big band music, not something horny teenagers would ever listen to.

She knocked and cracked the door open just slightly “Hiya love, are you decent?” her voice said through the small gap.

“Yeah, I’m in bed” Jason said laying his book to one side and sitting up more against his comfortable pillows. She entered his room with a smile and most importantly a bed tray which practically glowed like a religious artefact to him. She put it in front of him as it stood on it’s fold in and out legs either side of him.

“Thought you might need to replace what you lost today” said said with a smile as she took a seat on the side of his bed, taking time to look around his room which over the past couple of years he made very much his own with posters, drawings and his own kind of decor which consisted of paper-mache skulls, bones and shrunken voodoo heads. Most boys his age would start to embrace things as their own, themes which would travel with them for a very long time into old age in some cases and for Jason, it had to be horror. Violet was very much into the macabre at a young age too, perhaps it was in their genes.

“You want to talk about happened today honey?” she asked, giving him a sympathetic look which he didn’t like much, made him feel more child like than he was comfortable with but it was just a compulsion she had, what maybe all mothers had one way or another.

“I don’t really know what happened, one minute I was fine and the next I was throwing up without much warning” he explained, it felt like a lie because as far as she knew him and Tommy were out playing army or pirates but what he told her was the truth, no reason to feel this guilt. She reached out and fiddles with his still damp hair as he chewed into a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich.

“You did look a bit out of it this morning, think that might have anything to do with it?”

“I felt fine mom, and I feel better now, it was probably just the heat” he explained to her as it was the most logical reason he could have put it down to. She reached out her hand and took his, stroking the top of it with her thumb and she smiled more this time.

“Just want you to know, if there is anything you feel like you can’t tell me, I’m telling you that you can, you can tell me anything you want to” her voice was a caring whisper but each word felt heavy on his mind. There were things that he could not tell her, he couldn’t tell her about the hatch down in the green pit and he couldn’t tell her that he was starting to become scared of it. She came forward and gently hugged him, he hugged back tight, feeling more content when he was in her embrace.

CSHH! hey man, I just walked past Damon’s room and Amy was changing and I saw her BOOBS! over CSHH!

Jason couldn’t hold in his laughter through both the comic appeal of the excitement in Tommy’s voice as he spoke and the nervousness of his mom hearing it come through the two way radio. She stood up and tried to hide the smile which was breaking through started to move for the door.

“Okayyyy” she said in response of Tommy “Well I’m going to clean up in the kitchen and settle down with my soaps and let you boys talk about whatever it is you must talk about” she turned before heading out “I love you sweetheart” she said as she closed the door. Jason grabbed the radio from his night stand.

“Just so you know, my mom heard every word of that, over” he bit his tongue and tried not to laugh to loudly.

“oh….crap, over” was all he could manage to say and that really broke Jason’s laughter out like a mad man “Any way dude, these things are huge I have no idea why she hides them so much” Tommy went on but Jason was only half listening to what was being said, He found his mind drifting back to hatch. He was starting to dislike the idea of opening it up and making a club house because it clearly wasn’t a clubhouse in the past, it was something else, something more serious. It had been hidden under dirt for a reason, and the grass hand been left to grow over it for years. It had been forgotten, left to fade but…but that is not why it was made.

“I don’t know how Damon stays so calm, oh man I…”

“I think we should cover the hatch back up” Jason finally brought himself to say almost weakly in a voice that sounded so shaky even he thought himself he was going to cry. He spent his curiosity of the hatch and he wanted no more to do with it not allowing the evil curiosity to get the better of him.

“what? are you still sick?” Tommy asked

“No I’m fine, I just think we should cover it up and forget about it”

“easier said than done mate, we might have the discovery of the century on our hands here, now how can we just pretend that doesn’t exist?”

“I have a bad feeling about it Tommy, we might not want to discover what is in there”

“what are we going to find eh? some old clothes, food containers and a few old books? Come on Jay it’s worth just having a look isn’t it?”

Jason sat silently for a few moments thinking, it was 50/50 in his mind, any decision was like that and every act had two reactions or so he was taught in science but he was also told it could be put to anything mad does in day to day life. If they opened a hatch they might find nothing but any empty shell, scattered with the artefacts of its original boring purpose, However they could also find something that was not meant to be found, something that can only be hidden and not banished by those who left it. Or they could forget about the hatch all together, cover it up and move on but the reaction to that is that they would not be able to forget. They would live on and every once in a while that little voice in the back of their minds would taunt them, Don’t you want to know what is inside? sure you do, everyone would want to know if they found it. 

“Look let’s make a deal” Tommy started “we get the thing open and take a look inside, if it’s nothing then we close it up and just leave it alone, If you help me, I’ll give you my Twilight Zone box set, sound good?”

“I guess we could just talk a look” Jason said giving in “But it’s rusted shut, we can’t open it”

“Damon said he would give us a hand, chip away at the rust and oil up the handle”

“Right, okay well I’m in”

They agreed to meet down there on mid Saturday and work on trying to open it up, Jason couldn’t help but think he was digging his own grave. He got back to his book and read about how

Elliot felt when we went into the graveyard to investigate, finding an open crypt where the music was coming from. The air was thick as cold as he stepped inside seeing the narrow, stone sptiral staircase which ventured down underground. The music became louder and he was travelling down into the darkness for what seemed like half an hour until light at the bottom allowed him to see the steps and he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw a party in full swing at the bottom of the crypt. Men in crisp tailor made tuxedos and women in long flowing ball gowns. He stood as he was just surveying the vast underground room; A band playing at the far end, woodwind, brass, percussion and singers. a bar down along the left side and the dimly lit VIP area on the right. Dancing, drinking and just having an all around good time it seemed, was he dreaming or was this some kind of performance art?

Jason suddenly stiffened up as though he was being juiced with 5000 volts, the book fell from his fingers bounced off of his chest and lay closed on the bed. He could not move a single muscle not even his eyes or his mouth to scream out. He started to convulse violently on his bed which bashed against the wall, his nightstand began to shake to through the effect of the bed and all the stuff on top was shaken off of it. They made thuds loud enough to get the attention of his mom who raced up the stairs and flung open the door to see her son in some kind of seizure. Thinking quick she rushed over and pried open his jaws to be sure he would not swallow his tongue. The look of fear on her face was grave and it almost frightened Jason more than what was happening to him. He tried to speak but nothing was working, all he could do was let what was happening to him happen. Finally he could close his eyes but instead of darkness all he could see was a strobe light which seemed to hypnotise him and draw him in.

dust twirled in the air and the whole corridor had a hint of dull greyish-blue to it, very cold almost sub-zero against his skin as he walked on the cold steel floor amongst the turned over desks which primitive broken computers. He just seemed to walk over the broken glass without causing any harm to himself. This place went from occupied to forgotten in a hurry he thought, panic and chaos happened fast and they just had to get out. He was not in control of himself, his legs carried his body towards the thick protective glass which was easily ten inches thick, but the crack on the other side had spider webbed in thin strands. The strobe light he saw was coming from inside but illuminating nothing within the room on the opposite side. There was a blow torch on the floor next to the observation window and in front of a large steel door, they tried to seal it but there was no time. Where were these truths coming from? how did he know what happened? He didn’t, He didn’t know anything about anything but they were still coming to him.

“you should not be here” A voice boomed in his head, it came from nowhere but from within himself “Get out boy, leave and do not come back” it told him.

“What is this place?” he asked the voice.

“A place that should not have been made, they played god and payed for their foolishness, they saw what was not meant to be seen by your kind?”

“My kind?”

“Human…” it answered “they did their work and did not like what they saw, it scared them”

“did you kill them?” he asked

“No…there is worse than me here, I tried to stop them but they just went on, they wanted monsters….what they got was worse”

He opened his eyes and stared up at his mom who was holding his body in her arms, her face lit up when he had stopped his shaking but her voice was still in that of total fear.

“Jason? are you okay baby? what happened are you hurt?” he was silent for a moment or two testing the muscles in his body for any sign of pain, moving his tongue to make sure he had not bitten it off. He looked into her eyes and smiled to reassure her.

“I’m fine mom” he said “Just a bad dream” he lied. The ice cold steel was still under his feet and the even colder air had goose-bumped his flesh, he could see it. It was real he thought I was inside the hatch.

The Hatch-Chapter Two-Better Left Forgotten

Nightfall, the best time to get any work done, even if it just sifting through files, photographs and text books, It was the time he could get all the information he had been gathering out of his mind and onto the page. In his later years, David Knight found solace and peace after almost a life time of fighting and watching his back with a gun in his hands. Those days were a distant memory after years, He hardly remembered a thing. His Doctor said it was a form of PTSD, he said he felt fine and unchanged but that was the issue. The reason he felt like a million was because he blocked a lot of events that had happened in his past, the Doctor said he was one of the lucky ones. yeah thank’s a lot doc, remember your first fuck? CAUSE I DON’T! Writing was David’s way of filling all the voids he had in his mind, places, characters, plots, events and twists counted for almost 50% of his life.

Music was a massive part of David’s life, nothing cheered him up more than listening to his favourite bands such as Tangerine Dream, Porcupine Tree, King Crimson and Pink Floyd. He loved the strange alien-like sounds that were not listener friendly enough for commercial radio. But since David couldn’t find other music her liked her would play the same albums over and over until he could hum every minute of one without even thinking about it. Needing something fresh he discovered the never repeating worlds of podcasts. Filled with juicy information on any topic you could think of but his topics for discussion varied from world events, more silly, fan boy themes he loved.

He brushed back his growing, greying hair as he stared down at the pages lay out on the floor about the conception of his home town of Littleton. His mind was awash of dates, plans and names of people in charge of development. God, this shit is boring, he sat back and rubbed his eyes in frustration before some sweet sounds soothed his ears. His two girls ran into the office happily after their bath, they both jumped on him in excitement.

“I thought you’d both be in bed by now” he said taking control of them and settling them down on his lap.

“We have to say goodnight don’t we?” Harley asked, at eight years old she was so much like her mother in looks and in temperament. Janie was different from he older sister, she was much more laid back and less hyper.David always thought she looked like his mother.

“Well goodnight you two” he said giving them both as kiss on the cheek. His wife Debra showed in the doorway with the light shining behind her. She was everything he had hoped for in his teenage fantasies. All the other lads wanted a slender girl with a huge arse. All David wanted was a girl he could hold by the curves that were in all the right places, and Debra was just that, Bright natural blonde hair, a pretty face which made her look like she was still in her late twenties. If he had still been that nervous young boy now, he’s be stuttering though sentences with her like her had a clapped out motor in his throat.

“I promised them if they settled enough in the bath for me to get them clean, you’d tell them a bedtime story” she said with a smile as she leaned against the doorway of his study with a gloating grin.

“Oh well” he said standing up holding them both on each of his strong arms “since I don’t have a say in this, looks like I’ll just have to” he smiled at his daughters as he carried them off to their room. Debra tried not to make eye contact and grin but it was clearly too much effort, The look her gave her seemed to say “I’ll get you back for this”

Harley and Janie still shared a room and would for another year or so until they could afford to extend the house a little bit more. He flopped them both onto their beds and tucked them in tight and warm. Pulling up a chair between the two of them her flicked through the book collection on the night stand.

“Dad, can you not just make a story for us?” Harley asked clearly bored by the repetitive children’s books she’d listened to over the years.

“Yes, tell us one of your stories” Janie agreed

They were both very much like him in that way, not into what all the other kids were into, they liked the darker side of things. Harley loved to watch Goosebumps after school and Janie was growing out of the princess and pony phase pretty fast also.

“I’m not sure you will like any of my stories girls, at least not until you’re a little bit older” he explained, not that they wouldn’t be cheering for the scary stuff but he had never been able to simplify things for a younger audience. “have I told you girls about “The Phantom of the Opera?” he asked putting on a spooky act for them.

“I love this one” Harley said grinning like a Cheshire cat, looking over at her little sister.

“I haven’t heard it before” Janie said, clearly confused by the title of it

He felt it was a good story to tell them, he could keep it pretty mellow and not scare them too much before they had to sleep. It was a classic story so it couldn’t fail. For forty-five minutes he acted out, voiced and reacted to the tale which was still very fresh in his mind and they loved it. By they end they were getting sleepy, so to send them off nicely he even added his own little Epilogue to cap it all off.

As he took a slow wander back to his study, he scanned the walls and observed the framed posters that hung solidly on them. The posters were a symbol of his accomplishments in the world of writing over the past ten years. The titles really stood out, almost like they were shouting out their own importance. “The Miner” his first novel which he felt would have just been treated as another cheap horror story which you could find in the bargain bin of any book shop, made a loud enough noise among readers to have his name be spoken among them in terms of how he would follow it on. “Running Scared” was his next piece, he ditched the blood, guts and supernatural scares for a more real fear in the ways of a devil worshipping cult. This catapulted his career into the light and which helped him provide for his family and be home almost full time. Titles poured out of him like water from a broken bucket and her just kept churning them out over and over. His talent was evident but his passion began to die out. He realised that what he was writing was playing to what would sell in the publishers eyes, his latter work he really was not a fan on. He’d sold out before he even started and it made him sick. His last book “The Fields” was a ghost story he really wanted to tell and sold purely on his name alone, he didn’t know it was something his readers wanted to read but he didn’t really care, it was something he wanted to write. As much as he was determined he was going to write what he wanted to the next obstacle came up, he didn’t know what to write anymore. But something he learned from an early age was if you get hit a block, start again and that what was he was going to do.

The podcast was still playing through his computer on the desk where Debra sat looking through his research really deep in thought as she didn’t acknowledge his presence. He stood for a moment or two watching her as she took a highlighter to the page she was reading, being an English teacher he trusted her judgement and wouldn’t dare accuse her of meddling in his work. He always thought she was destined for much more than just your run of the mill English teacher, but it was a job she loved and what she always wanted to do.

“Have I missed anything?” He ask with a light grin as she looked up at him, the glow from his desk lamp washing over her.

“No, I don’t think so, you’ve highlighted some very key points here” she said looking back over the research as he approached and leaned over her shoulder.Her scent made him feel warm inside, rose oil which perfumed her skin cream she would use after her shower.

“The land was bought by Raymond Day back in 1955, he wanted to build homes affordable for the working class in a quiet area” she began to read a page about the towns inception as if she was reading to one of her classes. “The process of getting a full hold of the land proved difficult for him, at first the hunt for finding who owned the land lead Day on trail which would lead him to a branch in the government who would not sell as they wanted to use the land to build satellite facilities.”

David took a seat and relaxed back as he lit up a cigarette to drift into mellow haze as he listened to Debra tell him the history of Littleton. “everything almost looks the same, just a lot more cleaner back then” she said browsing through the photographs. Many places around the town were still in development as the photographs captured what was the birth of the town of families moving into their new homes, happy and content with fresh new life.

“Honey, why don’t you get off to bed? you’ve been taking care of the kids all day, i can finish up here soon” he told her, knowing once she got her mind started on something there was no taking her away from it. She looked up with a sleepy grin and nodded before getting up coming across to give him a kiss on the cheek “you won’t be too long, will you?” she whispered

“No not at all, i’m getting pretty tired myself, just need to settle on a starting off point for tomorrow” she said back kissing her on the lips before she left trailing a hand up his chest and off his shoulder. He sat for a moment before heading back over to his desk and activating his coffee machine as he looked over the photos Dawn was looking over. Part of the fun in this was trying to see if he recognised anything of present day in the black and white photographs. The Cinema, the Library and the secondary school where almost hard to miss. The shopping high street was still under construction but you could see the main road which stretched from Leafwell to Harrington at the top of the street, something stood out in the far background. Three black military style vehicles travelling along the road, close together. No other cars were on the road, just the strange, eerie single file line of cloak and dagger looking trucks. He calmly chewed on his bottom lip as he studied the photograph, a cloud of familiarity was looming over him as the back of his neck tingled.

He felt the rain lashing down on his face when he looked up and drumming hard on his helmet. His hands bare and stinging from the immense cold, what a night to be out on patrol, only 2 more hours left and then sleep for 4 hours before his next rude awakening. His feet where in agony but it was a pain he had come to be used to these days until the time he could take off his boots and bask in the relief which he thought felt better than a good old wank. Protection detail was the worst, nothing ever happened and whenever it did it was only minor, no cause for alarm, at least that’s what he was always told. The thought they had a right to know why they were guarding a place which they knew nothing about but all he got in return was the whole “don’t ask no questions and move on” talk which shut him down in his tracks. 

He stopped and reached into his pocket for a packet of cigarettes, holding his rifle in the crook of his arm as he lit it and took the longest drag before blowing out the cloud which twirled and faded into the night sky. He knew fine well smoking was bad for his health and would no doubt be having some effect on his fitness but he really didn’t give a fiddler’s fart, as his father would say. for a short minute he felt like he was in heaven until he was startled from behind

“come on lad, get feet movin” Phillip “Flash” Matthews moved into his line of view with a mischievous grin and stuttering laughter. He was a small, skinny lad who hailed from stoke-on-trent and his accent really got on people’s nerves when he talked too much. 

“you daft little fucker” he said trying to collect himself “you scared the living shite out of me” he felt his heart rate slowing down and seizing to pound against his rib cage. He and Phil had joined up together and became friends from that day on. Phil was very confident and cheeky for his small stature and was one of the best boxers in the reg. David was a much bigger lad, not body builder like but natural something they would work years to achieve themselves. They were very much an odd couple and many people would say that their personalities had been switched at some point.

“got to be on your toes mate, cause the enemy will cap ya if your not” he said slowly walking back as David followed.

“I’ll fucking cap you in a second” David grinned, pretending to raise his rifle.

“Mate you couldn’t hit the ground if you tripped over your shoelace” 

“thought you had the night off?” David ask as he and Phil walked side by side down the road which was right next to the danger zone, the only place they could not go into.

“I did” he said “But the boys are playing cards, i can’t sleep and there’s only so much you can read an out of date library book”

The walked on a little more until they got closer to the gates of the danger zone, the gate was padlocked with a heavy, thick chain binding the two together.

“Thinking about what’s in there?” Phil asked reading the deep in thought expression on David’s face

“Haven’t been able to think about anything other” he admitted not looking at his friend, instead looking at the a stark, grey building with black windows. David hated secrets, even if they were for good reason but the thought of information that was to be kept from him kind of pissed him off. Then there was the thought of finding out the secrets, and that chilled him to the bone and made him not want to find out the secrets. 

“it’s probably nothing more than daft government plans, where the annual budget is going and what factories to close down, shit like that” Phil said 

“I just bloody hope that’s all it is” David said, letting some of his fear slip out

“Come on Dave! you’re not not actually spooked by that place are you?”  Phil asked at a hint of disbelief that his larger formed friend was actually showing fear.

“Not of it, more of what could be in it” he admitted

“David, there is nothing in there” Phil tried to brush it off

“Alright then, well why is it being guarded twenty four seven by armed military?”

Just as Phil was about to answer, they heard the alarm ringing out around the camp, looking around as all the spot lights came on. The lights searched the area, holding on them for a few seconds before moving off and scanning the perimeter. Door busts open and the men came running out, some hardly even dressed but dare say they don’t do their part. David looked up to see a helicopter, fast approaching in the night sky with it’s lights blinking, The whole place had went ape shit in the matter of sixty seconds.  

“Alright men, just keep calm out there and wait for further instructions, warning do not shoot on sight, repeat DO NOT SHOOT ON SIGHT” the voice of Rory Brighton boomed over the speakers like big brother from nineteen eighty-four. Phil followed by example as the others made their way closer to the main cargo gate which was being unlocked.

“what is it?”

“a fire?, explosion? could be an outbreak”

“Nah, it’s a false alarm…please Christ be a false alarm”

Speculations were all a buzz as they all took position near the gate pointing their fire arms as the helicopter began to descend behind them, David could feel the force of the propeller blades on the back of his neck. Rory was soon on the scene, dressed in a pair of boxer shorts, combat boots and a green vest. His hair grey and ruffled as he had just gotten out of bed. He was approached by the man who had come from the helicopter, two heavily armed personnel by his side as he made straight for Rory.

“You were given the strictest orders, none of your men are to pass into the danger zone under no circumstances, Sargent” The main said in a calm but authoritative tone.

“I assure you, I have told my men this of high importance, Sir. If any of them have gained entry then they did of their own accord against my orders” Rory explained as the man just stared onto the cargo doors as the gates were unlocked and pulled open. Two more armed personnel rushed in wearing gas masks and holding their guns ready for any surprises. David saw one of them get right up to the control pad at the side and quickly move back halfway down the road leading to the cargo bay as the door began to open.

“HOLD YOUR FIRE LADS” Rory shouted turning to us all to see us positioned ready to shoot at whatever were were to. The door opened slow and loud, nothing but darkness was seen, maybe the hint of a few boxed stacked at the side of the entrance. The man with in the grey overcoat raised a megaphone to his mouth and called out.

“This is Officer Fredrick Pike” he started “Come out with your hands up now and nothing will happen to you, If not, my men will enter and shoot on sight do you hear me?” He said clearly enough to make the dead understand. 

Soon after that there was moment and everyone who had a weapon re aimed and checked they were ready to fire, Rory again told us to hold until the order was given. In the gloom a figure could be seen moving forward, slowly and struggling. David looked up from his sight for a less distorted view to see what it was. Chatter started once it was clear enough to see it was someone wearing one of their own uniforms. 

“That’s it, come out, nice and slow, hands up” Pike said through the megaphone which bounced into every empty corner of the open ground.

The figure moved forward further into the light to show it had very little left of it’s hands to raise, one whole arm was missing at the shoulder, the brilliant flash of white bone could be seen splintered in the socket. The other was torn of just below the elbow nothing but red tendons and veins hanging out of the chewed stump.

“Oh god…” was all Rory could see as he came into full view, the men further down the road were now backing off away from the approaching, chewed up mockery of what was once a man.

“It’s Jake!” a voice called from the group, David looked around him to see that one of his fellows Jake was not aiming with them, the thing they were aiming at was Jake. His face melted, skin fused over one eye, no nose and lips and part of his cheek burned completely from his face. The bottom half of his face held in a grotesque, skeletal grin with flesh still falling away in a viscus mess on the ground. David was paralysed at the sight and all he could see what what used to be a friend of his, one eye open in immense horror as he stared forward, legs buckling causing him to lunge.

“DROP HIM!” Pike shouted and in a split second the bullets from all four armed men tore though Jake’s body, ripping chunks out of him as blood seemed to turn to red mist which clouded lingering in the cool air. The final shot hit Jake in the jaw at and angle, shattering it and blowing out the back of his head before he fell to the floor. All David could do was watch without any emotion, tears streaming down his face in shock.

There was a long silence as steam rose up from the lifeless hunk in the middle of the road, no movement, Pike turned to Rory.

“you just killed one of my men” He said fuming “without warning you shot him down dead”

“He was dead the moment he went into that place, Sargent” Pike said coldly with no flinch in his eyes whatsoever.

David suddenly came to when he felt the burning between his middle and index finger, flailing his arm around as the hot butt of the cigarette fell to the floor. He brought his scorched fingers to his mouth as he stamped out what was left of the cigarette. He sat back, one hand rubbing across his eyes and coming away wet with tears, he’d never had tears after a bad dream. Then it hit him, it was not a dream but a memory. A memory he had buried long ago, now wishing he left it buried.


The Hatch – Chapter One – The Discovery

They were getting deeper into the beck, Jason could feet the mud squelch and squeal under his feet as Tommy led him further than they normally venture. Although the sun was blazing down on their left shoulders, Jason couldn’t help but give into the cold chill that ran through his body as he moved branches out of his way which whipped him at every wrong move, almost like they were telling him to turn back and forget about the Hatch.

“I swear, my brother said it’s down here somewhere, he said directly through the middle of the trees and straight on from there until you hit the clearing” Tommy explained as he whacked branches away with the rusty, metal rod.

“Your brother is full of shit, Tom” Jason spat back “Does he still hang about with that guy with the terminator arm?” he laughed

“You know that was a joke, so shut your mouth” Tom continued to whack away at the branches “I think we are getting closer”

“Better get there soon I’m getting scratched to crap here” Jason said unsnagging his clothes from the harsh vegetation.

They ventured miles into the sticks for a stupid secret hatch which might not even exist in the first place. He had heart the stories growing up, some seemed legit such as it being an old nuclear fallout shelter which had become forgotten, but some ideas were total insanity such as it being a bottomless pit. That always made Jason laugh, how would anyone now it was bottomless? did someone come back up from there saying “Hey people, don’t go down there because you’ll be going nowhere fast”. But if this hatch was there, what was down there? and why would it be left to the elements?

“We are home free, Matey” Tommy called out clearing the way with his rod like a chubby little knight chopping through an evil forest to get to the damsel in distress. Jason joined Tommy out in the sunlit clearing after almost half an hour of hacking through the wilderness. He could see where they were, the green pit, a place were teenagers would come hangout on a Friday night, drink beer, smoke weed and god knows what other shenanigans. He could see the old trail leading down from the main road, his mother would tell him to stay away from there all the time; “you’ll end up like that young Brooker lad” she would say to him. The green pit was a mass of long grass surrounded by a man made footpath where people would walk their dogs around the perimeter of the large area of un-kept grass.

Jason punches his friend in the arm quite hard, making him rub at it as if it was on fine as he hisses “what was that for?”

“you tit we could have just come down the old trail instead of getting torn to shreds back there” Jason scorned his friend.

“well i didn’t know we’d end up in here did I?” Tommy said scowling back at Jason before looking at the jungle of grass in front of him “come on, let’s see if we can find this thing” he said taking a long stride into the grassy pool. It was so overgrown that it made you doubt it’s depth, like you could just step into a deep take with a green grass topping but the grass only came up to above Tommy’s knees. Jason watched him as he waded through the grass like it was a swamp, he looked like a cave man striding into the ocean to catch his breakfast on a spear.

“you coming in or what?” He called back to Jason as he stabbed the steel rod into the ground sinking it into the dirt.

Jason and Tommy searched the long grass for almost an hour coming up with nothing, both boys started to sweat even in the dying sun as they searched for this mythical door in the ground, the humidity made the air feel thick and dirty in their mouths and their hair bush out even with the sweat running out of their scalps.

Jason could not get his mother’s words out of his head, “you’ll end up like that young Brooker lad” this brought back a memory he had forgotten, He was only 12, old enough to start forgetting key points of his short life? Adam Brooker was a boy who he was in his class when he was about 10 years old. He was scruffy and lived in the bad part of town. He would wear clothes day after day and you could see them getting more and more grimy at time went on. His finger nails all ways had dirt under them from his outdoor adventures. But this never stopped him being popular, he was the kid who would do all the things that the others wouldn’t. Jason remembered him stealing a teachers glasses off her face and running around the classroom with them as Mrs.Cloud tried to chase him blindly around the classroom. He remembered laughing along with the class at the time, stupid but still made him laugh deep down.

Jason was kept off school that day when Adam’s latest stunt went horribly wrong, He’d been walking home from school with some other kids. When they passing the trail down to the green pit they could see that some of the old kids had made a swing one one of the trees with a rope and an old, short plank of wood. The tree itself loomed over a steep hill which was almost like a small cliff with a distance of sixty feet from top to bottom. None of them dared reach for the rope swing  until Adam did a run and jump grabbing onto the rope and positioning his feet on the wooden plank. He was cheering himself on as he pumped his body to swing higher. It looked so dangerous, the others began to get scared seeing him swing out over the drop so recklessly. They pleaded for him to get off the swing, but their fearful pleas only made him swing harder. It was Kelly Chambers who heard the initial crack of the branch, she looked up seeing it starting to give. Kelly said before she could finish warning him the branch finally snapped and gave way with the force of his swinging. They all watched him disappear off the drop but didn’t see him land although Kelly, who has now moved away, heard him land. She said the sound of his body bouncing off the ground made her feel sick. When they looked over the edge they expected Adam to pop up out of the grass waving his arm and calling back up to them “I’m alright!”, the longer they stood looking down the more they knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“FOUND IT!” Tommy called out from the middle of the grassy pool “I’VE FOUND FUCKING THING!” He said stabbing the ground over and over, hitting solid metal under the dirt. Jason waded his way over to Tommy almost tripping over in the long grass a few times, he stood with Tommy looking down as the rod sank into the grass and dirt, stopping solid in the ground.

“You know it could just be a rock, right?” Jason scoffed, he was tired and just wanted to go home, take a bath to wash the sweaty stickiness from his body.

“Only one way to find out” Tommy said as he began to rip up fist fulls of long grass, tossing them aside. Jason let out a sigh and began to help his determined chubby friend who was rummaging like there was a sandwich in it for him. They uncovered much of the dirt but before Jason could suggest ways they could dig Tommy sank his fingers into the moist dirt and started scooping up clumps tossing them to side with with dead grass they had ripped up. It didn’t take too long until Tommy uncovered a flat surface, too flat and smooth looking to bed any rock. Jason sank to his knees opposite his friend and began to claw at the dirt. The surface felt smooth under his finger tips, smooth and cold and the damp mud began to streak along the surface. They uncovered a lot of the surface, even the hint of valve wheel to one side. Tommy’s brother was right all along, it was a hatch of some form.

“I don’t believe it” Jason said when they stopped and stood up, staring down at the partially dug up hatch door.

“It’s too late to do much more, we should head home” Tommy said doubles over, muddy hand on the knees of his dark blue jeans “We can collect something’s and come back tomorrow, shovels, water and food, I’m bloody starving”

They covered their findings with the blades of grass they ripped up in case someone was to find it before they get back to work tomorrow. They walked up the trail and along the main road back into town as the sun completely vanished. Tommy talked about what could have been down in there and his theories were each as mental as the others. Jason was always much more of a realist, he didn’t believe in monsters, ghosts or anything of the kind where as his friend always looked deeper into things such as horror movies where at the end of the day there was nothing more than just an idea someone had decided to write down and make into a motion picture. His idea that Godzilla could really happen were always fun to listen to but Jason never pondered such ideas.

“Look man, it’s probably nothing, just an old abandoned fallout shelter, but it’s somewhere we can maybe turn into a den, hang out all day, show off to girls, we will be the lads with the shelter everyone will want to hang out in” Jason told him as they got to the road which they both lived on opposite ends of.

“yeah you’re right there i guess” Tommy said giving in to Jason’s shut down of his fantastic theories, “Meet up back down there tomorrow?” he asked.

“I’ll bring a shovel and food, you bring water and whatever else you can”

“Bacon and sausage?” Tommy asked with excitement

Jason shook his head and smiled “Ham and cheese” he said

“Hmmmmm, that will do” Tommy started to run off down the road home, he shouted over his shoulder “Bring some music too” Jason turned on heel and took the walk home

When Jason woke up in bed, his head down to his waist glistening in sweat as the heating was in need of repair. He wiped the perspiration from his eye lids with his equally perspired hands which just made things worse. Getting up out of bed he felt a motions lash him with a hint of breeze over his body. He stood, taking a moment to wake up a little, looking around his bedroom. Comic books littered the floor in front of his T.V, some of his favourite titles which he would happily share with Tommy more often if he wouldn’t get mayonnaise all over the pages. Spawn, Swamp Thing and Toxic Avenger were among his favourites. Above his bed was a poster of the amazing lita, a female wrestler who he would one day marry.

He walked groggily into the bathroom to get a drink of water, as he drank from the glass she could see how pail and sickly he looked in his reflection. He actually felt sick, was it from the sun? or the intense heat that was microwaving him from the inside out? he downed the water fast and desperately before filling up his glass one more time. He did the same thing but this time he let out a deep burp which could have been mistaken for his fathers after taking a gassy mouthful of beer. He covered his mouth and listened for any stirring from his family in their rooms. He made his was quietly back too his room, acting as though he just dropped a spoon in the kitchen at 3 am, you know that face you make when it happens. Silently he closed the door and got back into his bed actually feeling comforted by the damp. cold sheets. It wasn’t long before he was fast asleep but in the clutched of a violent fever dream. He felt the grass tickling his bare feet and the ice cold wind blowing over his body as he stared down at the hatch.

“Blaaaaaaaaaaaaab!” He could hear in the distance, He looked around him but the sound seemed to be coming from nowhere.

“Blaaaaaaaaaaaab!” it was closer this time, or just louder as the he could feel a rumbling coming from the hatch as he stepped onto the the steel, it was the dead of night but he could see everything so clearly and the rumbling got louder and louder and shaking much more violently under his feet.

“BLAAAAAAAAAAB!” It was right next to his ear this time, he turned his head to his left and the source of the sound was as clear as day. The nightmarish form of Adam Brookes was standing right in front of him, his dead skin grey and shining, his neck was almost non existent as his head had been pushed down into his torso, giving him a disturbing hunchback form as opposed to the straight standing dare devil Jason once knew. His eyes were a brilliant white, no iris or pupil to be seen. His hair blonde, dry and sticking up apart from his crown which was busted wide open, slick, grey brain matter and blood running out of the cracked egg and down the right side of his head. He was unmoving and staring at Jason blankly, his mouth twisted into a sick, frantic grin as he opened it to speak one last time.