Thursday, 27 October 2016

Roadkill | Original Horror Story by Michael Whitehouse

He liked to kill animals. It was a game he’d play during the longer drives. Jones wasn’t a bad guy entirely, he wasn’t particularly rotten, at least not to the core. He’d never kill a dog, for example, that would of course be wrong. Dogs were part of the family, they could be loved and they could love in return, no, dogs were like people - you couldn’t kill them, not even the smaller, louder, more opinionated ones. Cats? Well, cats were something of a middle ground. Jones had no doubt that they could be loved, but he wasn’t convinced that they could return that love. Not like a dog. A good dog would be loyal, but to Jones a good cat was one that just did its business outside. Cats would go where the food was, they’d never love their owners, not really. Martinez, one of Jones’s coworkers, reckoned that if a dog was as big as its master it would still show love, but if a cat was as big as its owner, it would be dinnertime. But they were still a pet, so he wouldn’t aim for them, but he wouldn’t brake for one either - that seemed fair.

Deer? He would avoid, but only because hitting one would wreck his car, and in its current state of disrepair such an impact would all but finish the old girl off. Most people seemed to consider deer to be cute like a cuddly toy, but to Jones they were vermin, along with every other untamed creature roaming around out there. Squirrels, frogs, mice, rats, hedgehogs, they were all fair game. Foxes? In his mind they were like dogs, but after one of them had been bold enough to wander into a house on the other side of the city, and gnawed off a baby’s finger before being chased away by a horrified mother, he decided that they were viable targets. Kids should be protected from those dirty, filthy beasts.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Podcast Section Open

Hey, all. Just a quick note to say that the Podcast section of the site is now live. You'll find links to the podcasts I've been a part of, as well as links to the narrators who have adapted my stories on Youtube. It's a work in progress, so let me know if I've missed anything.

~ Mike

Friday, 21 October 2016

Chapter One | The Sins of Abigail Flesh

Read Previous Chapters. *Feedback encouraged*

Detective Inspector Harnley pulled the white sheet back over the body. The woman had been dead for several days according to Jansen, the pathologist. He was glad that she had no children, heaven knows what she would have done to them if she had.

‘I’ll send you my report in the morning,’ said Jansen in his usual nasal tone, wrinkling his nose up as he often did when concentrating on something.

Harnley stood there for a moment. Usually, that would have been the end of their business for the night, but it was clear that something was on his mind. ‘Jansen…’ 

‘Yes, detective?’

‘Have you ever had experience with mass hysteria?’

Jansen laughed under his breath: ‘ So that’s what’s been bothering you. Three violent incidents in as many nights and you think this is some sort of panic?’

Harnley didn’t know what to think, but he’d never known anything like it. A few days earlier he’d attended the death at Queen’s Cafe; the next night another at the football game; and now this: One Miss Freud - no relation - 63 years of age, worked part time in a local charity shop. Heavily involved in the church, and while the town knew her as a gossip, most thought her harmless. She’d never married and was the first to remind anyone about the dangers of living in sin, but no one would have thought her capable of such violence.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Footage Found: Rorschach and the search for Great Horror

A Genuine Surprise
Being a fan of horror can be frustrating. At times it can feel like a never-ending trudge through mediocrity. Horror is one of the most easily accessible genres out there. Everyone can relate to being afraid of the unknown, and this fear of what's in the dark makes it fertile ground for independent filmmakers. You can do this on the cheap, boys and girls, no need for a $150million budget. Just a spooky soundtrack and some teenagers running around in the dark, and before you know it you'll have a viral hit.

The truth is, however, that horror is one of the hardest genres to get right.

Maybe it's because we're so used to seeing every trick in the book. A slow build up, then a jump scare. Loud noises thrown at the screen. People lost in the woods. Vampires roaming the Transylvanian countryside. Mad scientists unleashing their horrid experiments on the world. Terrifying creatures from another world picking off the isolated crew of a spaceship one by one. We've been there and seen it all, so we cannot be surprised. This translates into an ever-receding unknown which no longer holds fear for us because... Well... It's no longer unknown.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

On Hallows' Eve | A Horror Poem by Michael Whitehouse

Each Halloween, 
as the leaves start to fall. 
Treats laid out sweetly, 
for the tricksters who call. 

That long lonely night,
where the dead rise once more;
something warped, twisted,
creeps close to your door.

And on Hallows' Eve,
should you pass glowing eyes,
or a candlelit grin
'neath black darkened skies 

Walk on weary traveller,
to another path tread,
for a vile vengeful spirit
might just take your head.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Sins of Abigail Flesh: Prologue on Sander's Street

The Sins of Abigail Flesh

Prologue on Sander's Road

It took place on the 12th of November. Two cars were strewn across the street, their crumpled bodies silent. I guess everyone else had been asleep. Part of me wishes I hadn’t been there to see it. I’d lived on that street for 47 years, my husband alongside me. We’d raised our kids there. They’d played in the park on the corner of Bolan Crescent; no doubt falling in love with someone at the high school before learning about life’s little cruelties. Sander’s Road was a special place; anywhere is when you make it your home.

I hadn’t slept for days, not well at least. Geoff and I had loved each other, he was my world and I was his. But that was all gone now, taken away by that torturous disease. On the 10th I patted what was left of his white hair resting on the hospital pillow, and kissed him on the head before he breathed his last. Our kids were there, grown now. My boy Sam even has a slight wisp of grey coming in at the sides. I guess life takes its toll on everyone, even the young.

There I was sitting in the front room of our empty house, trawling through old letters and photos at 2 in the morning. I’d cried every night since Geoff had been taken into hospital, by the time he actually up and left I couldn’t cry anymore. I was numb. I wanted to feel something: anything. The photos were reminders of times past, good and bad, and I was hoping they’d bring my grief back to me; not feeling anything seemed a betrayal. The only emotion that came was one I was ashamed of — relief is a terrible feeling when it’s for the passing of someone you love. But I got so tired, so weary. Not just for me, but for him.

The Sins of Abigail Flesh | A Horror Novel by Michael Whitehouse

It started with random acts of violence. Disagreements which would usually have been quickly forgotten, now bloodbaths. Grudges which warranted nothing more than a disapproving look turned into brutal scenes of torture and murder. Yes, the sleepy town of Hengeworth had never seen anything like it, and neither had Chief Inspector Harnley. An outsider, Harnley soon suspects that these twisted acts of hatred are connected somehow. Convinced that he can stop the bloodshed, Harnley races against time to put the pieces together, but can he do it before the town consumes itself? 

* All chapters of this book will be made freely available. Feedback is encouraged*

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Nostalgia of a Typewriter

Jack Skellington Approves this Message!
When I was a kid I started writing stories at about the age of 5 or 6. I'd take some A4 paper - sometimes lined, sometimes not - and fold the pages over in the middle so they looked like a book. If I was really lucky, my mum would staple the pages on the book spine so that they held together better. I'd draw the name of the book on the front cover, accompanied by a picture, usually something badly drawn using bright colours which wouldn't look out of place on a Jackson Pollack. After I'd finished the cover I'd move on to the blurb at the back. It would only be then that I'd really think up what was going to happen in the book. Then, I would fill the pages inside with all the pictures and stories a child's imagination could conjure.

And so I'd make those books during some free time in school. The corner of a playground, in a quiet class somewhere; the stories would just come out. I'd sit on the carpet of my bedroom surrounded by toys, and in my stories they'd come to life and have a part to play in the real world. Usually, the stories would be science fiction, pastiches of the stuff I loved. Intruders was a blatant rip off of Transformers, huge mechanical robots fighting it out to decide Earth's fate. I wrote thinly veiled recreations of The Goonies, Explorers, The Lost Boys, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Star Wars... I was quite the hack plagiarist at five years old.

Soon, I started to share my stories with my friends. Not so much the books - it would take an entire university of Egyptologists to decipher my handwriting. No, I didn't show many people the books. They were for me more than anyone else. My little worlds to play in. But I did share them in a way. I told them. I would tell people about the stories I made, but quickly I realised what really grabbed the attention of my friends. It wasn't stories of weird and wonderful far off lands where the spiders were as big as a car, or the little island off of Russia where all the people had three arms and were expert goalkeepers. No, what really captivated my friends were the stories they could relate to; the myths surrounding where we lived. I populated our suburb with many weird and terrifying creatures, and over the years I got pretty good at scaring my friends so much they'd keep looking over their shoulders on the way home. In some ways, I believed the stories myself.