Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Here's my first guest blogger post. Feel free to read more about Autumnforest on her blog:
I’m known as Autumnforest on my blog, “Ghost Hunting Theories” blog. I’m a ghost hunter, a psychic and a horror writer.
I write horror, but more specifically I enjoy writing atmospheric paranormal horror and erotic horror. I was a storyteller as a child, but later when I learned to type in my teens, I found myself writing fiction all the time. I couldn’t stop. I started out in romance and then went into doing a lot of published self help nonfiction, but then settled for the thing that has always been the constant in my life; horror.
I’ve entered a lot of short story contests and won a few at online magazines and a printed one, as well. I won the short essay contest for “Ghost Adventures” show last October having to do with their stay at Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum. Right now, I’m in the semifinals of the Kreepy Krawlys essay contest. It’s a really exciting one. One of my things on my bucket list was to have a hand in a haunted attraction’s creation. That’s what this contest is about; an essay that will be the basis of a haunted attraction.
I grew up in a 250-year-old mansion in Northern Virginia. It was taken over by the North during the Civil War and used as a field hospital and then the South took it over again and used it for the same. The wood floors were still stained from the blood. I grew up digging up relics and NBC did a special on the house’s ghosts and mediums came to do séances and newspapers did articles. At one time, it was considered to be one of the most haunted houses in America. It was during that childhood that I not only experienced many paranormal happenings, but I also developed my psychic talent for touching objects and reading their history. It began with relics I dug up around the grounds. I never knew it was a psychic skill until I was well into adulthood. I thought everyone did it.
A Short Story By Autumnforest
Wolves At The Door
They raced the pathways through the woods by moonlight. The lunar cycle didn’t matter. Clouds or rain, snow or new moon, they owned the forest. In a pack, the beasts kicked up dirt, tore at hiking trails, and pursued the abundant deer and wild turkey. Their haunting howls resonated back and forth from hillside to hillside.
“Coyotes?” The hitman pressed his face to the cabin window to glance out at the murky moonlight outside.
He stepped away and finished off the glass of Jack Daniels as he studied the gym bag. He had to think clearly about where to hide the cash just in case he was followed.
Collapsing back in an overstuffed chair, the criminal turned on the TV. The local resort’s channel touted the Olympic-sized swimming pool at the main lodge and went on to brag about how it was a giant preserve where hunting was not allowed and wildlife abounded. They encouraged the visitors to enjoy the woodland paths in total privacy.
Privacy. He chuckled at that. The resort was a nowhere place, a dead end mountain no one knew about. The criminals knew that cabin #5 was a special location. It was not only completely isolated by the woods, but the resort had a policy. If you were willing to shell out the cash, they’d protect your privacy completely. They had no records of a #5 cabin and no housekeeping. They liked to say, “this is the place to get lost.” In fact, the key was sent to him in the mail so he didn’t have to go further up the mountain to the lodge and be seen in public.
The hitman’s associates knew the in’s and out’s. He was learning them, but admittedly he wasn’t the brightest of the batch. He was no alpha dog, but he could provide a service when requested. Making hits was easy. Cash was plentiful. He never made this kind of dough in construction.
He ran a meaty hand over his grizzled face and sighed. The howling outside the cabin reached a crescendo. It unsettled his already taut nerves. He had no guilt about the kill, but he sure had fears about the cops finding him.
He got up and flicked on the front porch light. It shone on the pine trees nearby. Something shuffled by the side of the cabin and thumped the wall. He flicked the light off and held his breath.
“Just a raccoon.” He told himself, but his mind was seeing that strange black car that was following his car the last 10 miles to the mountaintop resort. Sure, they kept going on to the lodge, but they did see him turn down this road.
“I should check.” He grumbled as the howling stopped outside and he cautiously opened the door. Thinking about the coyote pack and their calls, the killer felt a bit of nostalgia. He missed his gang in Philly. It had been a long time since he could go home and run with them, intimidating everyone on the streets. No, his work in Jersey took him away from there and it was too dangerous to go back.
“Yeah, I’m a coyote without my pack now.” He commented sadly.
The area near the cabin looked clear in the half moonlight. His car was tucked in behind the building out of sight. The cabin itself was completely engulfed by huge rows of wild bushes and brambles. No one would ever guess it was there. Even the ground was gravel strewn and showed few tracks. Just in case, he walked over into the circle of moonlight and kicked at the gravel to be certain no car treads could be seen.
The hairs on his neck tickled. He knew he was being watched! He spun around, squinting into the woods nearby, a bead of perspiration rolling into his eye and stinging him blind. He backed up towards the cabin, surveying the area cautiously.
“Who’s there?” He called out, his voice cracking.
Something thrashed the bushes nearby and the hitman backed up a step, squinting into the darkness of the shrubs.
“You’re not gonna catch me.” He vowed under his breath.
Without warning, something yanked his shirt, pulling him to the ground with a thud. Shaking off the stars in his head, the hitman studied the dark figures above him. The half moon settled between their heads, casting them in silhouettes. There stood five man-like figures, hunched over, long snouts sniffing, smelling of wet dog and snarling lowly in threat.
“What in the hell are you?” He cried out.
The leader stepped forward and lifted him up easily with one gnarled furry paw as if he weren’t a 6’2″, 250-pound man. Claws dug into the hitman’s shoulder and he winced. When he braved opening his eyes again, he looked straight into the fiery red eyes of the beast, fangs exposed and glistening in the light. For a panicky minute, the hitman remembered the cries of his last hit. The man had been on his knees, begging to pay him cash, do anything to just live.
He whimpered hysterically just as his victim had.
Behind him a beast snarled loudly, another howled. Then the leader bent, teeth sinking readily into the hitman’s shoulder with a crunch. As his knees went weak beneath him, the beast leader grabbed the hitman by the hem of his shirt and dragged him deep into the blackened woods as the criminal lost consciousness.
The resort manager came the next morning, grabbed up the bag of cash, the traces of the occupant, and used the car key to move the vehicle to his cousin’s car shop where it would be parted out.
It never failed; crooks were looking for an easy out. He provided it for them. The pack of other thieves-turned- werewolves brought the criminal into their fold. They had all the fresh deer and wild turkeys they could want and the resort manager continued to give them new members. It was an amicable situation that helped both sides, as well as cut down on the uncontrolled population of wildlife in the preserve. In fact, he was feeling pretty pious about his life mission as he drove off in the criminal’s Mercedes Benz at sunset.
A stealthy creature followed not far from the bumper, eyes of fire, fangs exposed. He wasn’t the brightest of the batch and he was no alpha dog, but he served his pack well as he stalked their next member.