Daisy chains

” I wondered how many miracles we would have needed.  I wondered how many chances we missed.”

A new flash fiction from Rufus Woodward is published this week over at Fiction on the Web.

Read it here for free.

Thanks for reading.

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The Shorecliff Horror and Other Stories

shorecliff

The Shorecliff Horror and Other Stories.

Three new weird tales by Rufus Woodward available now to read for free at Smashwords, iBooks, or Barnes and Noble.

Three tales of loneliness and lost love, of impossible people and the weird creatures that live in forgotten places.

The Shorecliff Horror

I first moved into Shorecliff House on a bright, warm morning in early April. When I moved out again in the November of that same year, there were clouds gathering on the horizon and an icy wind threatening to rise from the North. In between those two days, I emerged from one nightmare only to fall right into another one.

The Impossible City

As it reaches out to pull him closer, Solomon recoils away a spark of dread flying through him. He feels a smile spread across the creature, a sickening, gleeful grin of delight that fades back into the darkness as it drifts slowly away.

“Not now,” he hears a low voice whisper, “but soon. Soon.”

Philippe and the Silver Flute

Somewhere in his mind, wearied though it was by his long trek, a voice called to him. A gentle voice, small but persistent, that called repeatedly, telling him to give up his journey now, to turn around and return home. Philippe listened to the voice, sitting on that rock for a long time while a light rain began to fall and the dark shape of the castle hovered black and insistent ahead of him. He listened to the voice until its words died away and he was left alone once more on the silent moor. Then he packed his bag together again and continued his journey.

The Shorecliff Horror and Other Stories’ is one of four chapbooks published by the Olgada Press.

Now available to read for free at Smashwords, iBooks, or Barnes and Noble.

A Report on a Haunting and Other Stories

haunting

A Report on a Haunting and Other Stories.

Three weird tales by Rufus Woodward available now to read for free.

Three claustrophobic tales of anxiety and dread, of hidden thoughts and buried memories, and of all the monstrous things that lurk inside.

A report on a haunting at number 11 Erskine Street, Aberdeen

There are few bloodthirsty visions here, no messages from the dead, few heart-stopping terrors. In fact, and I want to be as truthful about this as I can, let me say at the outset that whatever ghosts or spirits appeared on the night I am about to describe to you, I myself did not see any of them.

That may disappoint you. It certainly disappointed me.  But if disappointment were all this story had to offer, it would make for a rather dull end to this evening. No. There is a little more to it than that. I may not have seen the ghost that appeared that night, but plenty of other people did. And here is the rub – when they saw it, the face they were staring at was mine.

Missing pages

He took a book from his briefcase and pushed it across the table towards me. “I want you to have this,” he said. “I can’t have it in the house anymore. I should probably burn it or shred it, but I suspect that might only go to make things worse. I’ve thought this through and the only way is to get it out of the house, to get it somewhere I can’t see it. Will you do that for me? Will you keep it safe for me? I don’t know for how long. Who knows, I may never want it back again. But it’s important to me that I know where it is, that I can have it back again if I need to.”

The crescent-shaped scar

“Why aren’t you dead yet?”

Sometimes they have notes, sometimes they don’t. I’ve had more than my share of bricks thrown through this window over the years and I’ve seen all possible variations on the theme. This one was a note carrier. “Why aren’t you dead yet?” in red marker pen written on lined note paper.

A Report on a Haunting and Other Stories’ is one of four chapbook volumes published by the Olgada Press.

To read all four for free, please visit us at AmazonSmashwords, ibooksor Barnes and Noble.

 

Sir Dominick’s Bargain

“Poor Sir Dominick. Faithless, feeble Sir Dominick
Some stains you cannot clean from your soul

The heir to a fortune squanders his inheritance on wine and gambling. Destitute and alone, he makes a desperate bargain with a gentleman he meets one midnight. For seven years he will have all the riches he craves. But what will happen to him, what will become of him when those seven years are done?

Sheridan Le Fanu’s story of a man’s pact with the devil is retold in 14 poems by Rufus Woodward.

‘Sir Dominick’s Bargain’ is Chapbook number one of four volumes published by the Olgada Press.

To read all four for free, please visit us at Amazon, Smashwords, ibooks, or Barnes and Noble.

Faithless, feeble Sir Dominick

XIV
Poor Sir Dominick. Faithless, feeble Sir Dominick
Some stains you cannot clean from your soul
He comes at midnight
Here by appointment
To keep a promise

Too late for priests and prayers now
Too late to run, too late to hide
How happy, now, how inviting looks
That old oak tree with its open noose?

Like a coward you bluster
Like a child you plead
But the stranger is not for listening
Not a gentleman any longer
His coat is ragged, his shirt torn
Long matted hair worn for breeches
He takes a step towards you
He puts his stong hands upon you
And throws you to the wall
And smashes your head in pieces there

Lights go out. A door crashes closed.
A gale blows through an empty house.
From the fireplace, ashes fly and
Hang in the air, glowing silent
For an eternity, it seems
Before dropping and vanishing

Outside there is a howling
A crying of beasts in panic
Two shadows ride from Dunoran
Silent and uncanny, while
Your body lies in the courtyard
Cold and stiffening already

Poor Sir Dominick. Lost, damned Sir Dominick
What hope did you ever have?
Your bargain is not yet ended.

 

The heir to a fortune squanders his inheritance on wine and gambling. Destitute and alone, he makes a desperate bargain with a gentleman he meets one midnight. For seven years he will have all the riches he craves. But when seven years are done, what will become of him then?

Sheridan Le Fanu’s story of a man’s pact with the devil is retold in 14 poems by Rufus Woodward.

‘Sir Dominick’s Bargain’ is Chapbook number one of four volumes published by the Olgada Press.

To read all four for free, please visit us at Amazon, Smashwords, ibooks,or Barnes and Noble.

 

The fear is upon me worse every day

XIII
The fear is upon me worse every day
Fierce and growing, blowing like a gale in my
Face, a roar in my ears. Fever claws sharp in
My flesh. A poison in my blood. I dare not
Trust my eyes any longer. My tongue is thick
And tastes of ashes, and tastes of sodden earth.
I have not spoken to any man in days.
Thoughts scatter and tumble like shattered glass.
I cannot drink enough to draw them together.
Only one thing I do know – he is coming
He is coming, he is coming for me.

Oh God, can you forgive me? Father can you
Help me? I would give up much to be free of
This. I will make my confession. I will make
My penancy, give over all my vices, change all
My ways, live in retreat like a hermit, as your
Servant, as your servant, Lord. Oh God, please let
These prayers save me. Oh Lord, please let these
Prayers save me. Please let these prayers save me.

 

The heir to a fortune squanders his inheritance on wine and gambling. Destitute and alone, he makes a desperate bargain with a gentleman he meets one midnight. For seven years he will have all the riches he craves. But when seven years are done, what will become of him then?

Sheridan Le Fanu’s story of a man’s pact with the devil is retold in 14 poems by Rufus Woodward.

‘Sir Dominick’s Bargain’ is Chapbook number one of four volumes published by the Olgada Press.

To read all four for free, please visit us at Amazon, Smashwords, ibooks,or Barnes and Noble.