Just a Bad Dream

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A six-pack of horror b Peggy McFarland



    Just a Bad Dream

    Knock Knock Whos There?


    The skinny guy with the bed-head hair and bloodshot eyes was introduced to me as Roach, so I figured he'd accept

    my invitation to step outside. I watched a vein pulse beneath his pale

    temple as he inhaled deeply, then smiled and indicated for me to lead the way. In the alley, I smiled my most

    coquettish smile and asked how much he smoked to earn his nickname. His

    cool hands clasped my warm cheeks; I felt vulnerable, desired. "They call me Roach because I'll survive no matter

    what," he said and then grinned. His fangs gleamed in the moonlight.


    Al drove Spike to the abandoned cabin to shoot him; one less loose end. Following orders, Al dragged the body

    to the cellar. Blood seeped into the dirt floor, fed the forgotten. Rotting

    parts slithered, merged. Al fell as the ground shook, fell into the gaping chasm, felt something yank his legs,

    claw his stomach, rip out his intestines, feed on him. As his world

    blackened and his body went numb, the quiet part of his brain realized, this had nothing to do with loose ends.


    Preheat oven to 375. Saut chopped onions, carrots and celery. Add balsamic reduction, a splash of

    Bordeaux , eggs and cracker crumbs and work into the ground meat. Form

    into a loaf and bake for one hour. What kind of ground meat? Where's my Joy of Cooking? she thought as

    she slammed shut Having Guests for Dinner by Jeffrey Dahmer.

  • A Six-Pack of HorrorTHE INNER ANIMAL

    For the second month in a row, hundreds of dead bodies were discovered the morning after the full

    moon. Witnesses reported deadly attacks by snakes, lizards, leopards,

    eagles, scorpions and one bizarre nutcase implied a ravenous hula girl murdered his best friend. Rafe shut

    off the news, knew he was responsible because he accepted that stack of

    crisp Ben Franklins, opened shop for the biker gang and tattooed each one with their 'animal spirit' instead of

    escaping to his hide-away. Sure, he arrived at his cabin before dark, but he

    knew better. On the day of the full moon, even during daylight, his senses magnified and he couldn't concentrate

    with the allure of hearts beating and the heady smell of their blood. He

    should have controlled his impulse and stuck to needles, not his sharp, claw-like fingernails to carve those



    She scraped the dirt from under her nails, scrubbed her hands at her kitchen sink. She stared at her yard,

    admiring her handiwork. The row of new bushes was just the finishing

    touch her landscaped yard needed. Glad she had the foresight to start planting a week ago, she retrieved her

    phone to complete the last task. In a broken voice, she stammered, "He

    said he'd be ri-right back. He left for cigarettes yesterday."


    Ray pounded against the splintered walls, his knuckles bloody. He screamed, not sure if it had been

    minutes or hours, but his voice only croaked out his pleas of, "I'M NOT

    HERE, PLEASE, NO -- RAY'S NOT HERE -- LET ME OUT!" He sobbed;

    wishing he'd never stumbled upon the urban legends website, or read the story about a quirky stone marker

    supposedly located about an hour north of his home. He had laughed at

    the warning: never recite the children's riddle with your own name or else you could disappear. Not believing it really

    existed, he made the pilgrimage, found the gravestone with the "Knock

    Knock Who's There" inscription and with reckless audacity, declared "Ray Michaels." The ground shook before

    fracturing, sucking him inside a coffin crowded with decomposing corpses.

  • About Peggy McFarlandHER STORIES

    appear or will appear soon at Absent Willow Review, FlashShot, Everyday Weirdness, Long Story Short, Sonar 4

    E-Zine, hoi polloi III, Harbinger*33, WordSlaw, 6SV1 and 6SV2. Follow

    twitter.com/peggywriter for a daily dose of nanofiction.