A Crescent-shaped Scar

There is a quality, I have always felt, about the red colour of blood that makes it almost entirely unlike any substance I can think of. Even in small quantities – a tiny drop, a small smear – it is obvious and unmistakeable. It stands out from whichever surrounding it is found in, sharp and vicious. Something in that colour contains a depth of reality that is shocking and uncomfortable to look at. In truth, the amount of liquid that poured out of me that day was probably not all that great in itself, it was after all only a small cut.  And yet, smeared loosely, oily and slick around my hands and my clothes it seemed like a shocking amount to my eyes, achieving a surreal, dreamlike effect which was only heightened by my shortness of breath and the racing of my heart.

I have never, you might have guessed by now, much liked the sight of blood, least of all my own. As a boy I avoided butchers’ shops, I ran screaming at the slightest scrape of my knee or nick of a finger. Even now I shave with an electric razor, I have a distrust of blades that verges on mania.

(This is a short extract taken from a longer story.  To read the full version for free, please visit us here.  Thanks for reading.)

haunting

‘The Shorecliff Horror’ is Chapbook number three of four volumes forthcoming from the Olgada Press during 2015.

Available to read for free now.

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Missing Pages

“I don’t remember when I bought it,” he began. “You know what I’m like. I pick these things up all over the place. I couldn’t tell you precisely where or when I found half of them. Sometimes they can lie in a pile for years before I get around to actually reading them, so that in itself is not unusual.

Neither is it entirely unusual that, since reading it, I haven’t been able to find any other copies available for sale among any of the dealers I know of. A lot of these books are old and fragile. They were always ephemeral. They weren’t made to last and there may never have been all that many sold in the first place, so it’s not surprising that having found one copy it’s hard to locate another one.

These things are not so unusual in themselves and I want to be clear about that from the start. There have been plenty of strange things happen to me in the past few days, so it’s important not to dwell on matters which may be far simpler to explain. And yet, at the same time, it is true to say that this book which has troubled me so much is one which I do not recall ever seeing until five days ago and for which I cannot find another copy anywhere in the world.

(This is a short extract taken from a longer story.  To read the full version for free, please visit us here.  Thanks for reading.)

haunting

‘A Report on a Haunting and other stories’ is Chapbook number four of four volumes published by the Olgada Press during 2015.

Available to read for free now.

A Report on a Haunting at Number 11 Erskine Street, Aberdeen

I opened his door and switched on the light. Here is what I saw. Paul was standing in his pyjamas by the big bay window that stretched right across the far wall of his room. He had wrapped himself up in the great thick curtain that hung by the window and was thrashing and flapping his arms around as though wrestling with someone, shouting and roaring as he did so. When the light came on he stopped suddenly. He let the curtains drop and turned to look around him. The expression on his face was quite unlike anything I’d ever seen on him before. He seemed like a child, scared and lost. He looked over towards me. For a moment I though he was about to turn angry, to snap at me for coming into his room uninvited, but he never did.

“Did you see someone in here just now?” he said, his voice small and wobbling.

I shook my head. “No, Paul. There’s no-one here.”

“No. Of course not.” He said. “Of course not.”

“Are you alright, Paul?” I asked. “Can I do anything?”

“No,” he said. “I’m fine. I’ll be fine.”

(This is a short extract taken from a longer story.  To read the full version for free, please visit us here.  Thanks for reading.)

haunting

‘A Report on a Haunting and Other Stories’ is Chapbook number four of four volumes forthcoming from the Olgada Press during 2015.

Available to read for free now.

The Impossible City

So long as he sleeps, he feels safe. He dreams of nothing. Nothing, at least, that he can recall afterwards. When eventually he wakes, it will be with a wrench so painful, to a world so loud and bright that he will gasp at the shock of it. When he wakes, it will be to a place so confused and delirious as to be indistinguishable from a dream. The city rolls out before him, bizarre and disorienting. Nothing he sees there will make any sense to him. It is a place straight out of a nightmare or a horror story. A place without logic or reason that defies his senses and leaves his head spinning. A bewildering place, indeed.

Everyone who comes to the city arrives innocent and blameless, they say. They don’t stay that way for long. And nobody the city has use for ever leaves, so they say. Such are the stories told about the city by the people who know of it and study it. It is a place of rumour and myth, only half believed in even by the few who have heard of it and never forgotten by anyone who has ever seen it, no matter how hard they might wish to.

A shadow hangs over this region. A dark fog that infects the soul of every living creature it touches. They cannot see it, but they can feel it. It covers their hands and lives inside their lungs, pushing and leading them for every step they take. It has a plan for every one of them. Everyone who comes to the city has a role to play in the story it is spinning and whether they realise it or not, whether they wish to follow or not, makes no difference whatsoever.

 

(This is a short extract taken from a longer story.  To read the full version for free, please visit us here.  Thanks for reading.)

shorecliff

‘The Shorecliff Horror and other stories’ is Chapbook number three of four volumes forthcoming from the Olgada Press during 2015.

Available to read for free now.

The Shorecliff Horror

Lovecraft was never really my cat in the first place, not really.  So individual and unusual a creature was he, in fact, that it was hard to imagine him ever having belonged to anyone.

He padded through my door one day a week or so after I first moved into Shorecliff House and seemed to take a liking to the place straight away. He sniffed at the carpets, peered under the furniture, crawled in and out of corners and small spaces I hardly even knew were there and, virtually ignoring me for the entire time, generally took his measure of the whole house. When all of his investigations were complete he found himself a comfortable spot on the window ledge in the drawing room and sat there in the sun all afternoon while I worked at emptying boxes and cleaning floors and getting the place as close to habitable as was possible. I didn’t pay him much attention and he paid me even less. Later that day I wandered through the room again looking for something item or other I’d mislaid and noticed that he’d left his perch and disappeared from the house entirely. I never knew where he went to or where he came from in the first place.

He made his own rules right from the start.

He was never really my cat at all.

 

(This is a short extract taken from a longer story.  To read the full version for free, please visit us here.  Thanks for reading.)

shorecliff

‘The Shorecliff Horror’ is Chapbook number three of four volumes forthcoming from the Olgada Press during 2015.

Available to read for free now.

Ghost story (not scary)

We are dead, of course. Both of us. We have been for ages and ages. So long that we can’t even remember anything else. Whatever we were, where we lived, what we did, all of that is forgotten. None of it matters anymore. It’s all gone. We live here now, strolling up and down the deck of this ship, watching the passengers come and go, watching the staff work through their shifts. We see their little intrigues, their dramas, their day to day routines, but mostly we don’t pay them much notice. They don’t see us and, most of the time, we hardly even notice they’re there either. We keep to ourselves, you and I. Walking the deck. Shooting the breeze. Killing time.

“It bothers me a little,” I said to you once, “that I don’t remember how it happened. The dying thing, I mean. The moment of it. What caused it. I don’t remember anything.”

“Me neither,” you said, shrugging your shoulders. “But, so what? Why worry about it? Why dwell on morbid things?”

“We are morbid things,” I said, getting a small laugh from you. “Surely it’s important, though? Don’t you think? It seems like it should be an important, defining event in our existence, but I don’t remember a thing about it.”

“I don’t remember being born either, but I know it happened. Maybe it’s the same thing.”

“Maybe. It feels like it should be different, that’s all.”

(This is a short excerpt taken from a longer story.  To read the full version for free, please visit us here.  Thanks for reading.)

‘The old maid and other stories’ is Chapbook number two of four volumes forthcoming from the Olgada Press during 2015.

Available to read for free now.