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Specimen by Roald E Peterson Iii Out for a simple walk, Carl encounters two aliens hunting for scientific specimens to study, and they ... [3,882 words]
Insomnia
The Day The Rain Stopped by Jeremy Lee Henderson A story about death and friendship. [802 words]
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TITLE (EDIT)
Insomnia
DESCRIPTION
Where do writers get their ideas? Sometimes it's best you don't ask...
[597 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Horror
AUTHOR
Jeremy Lee Henderson
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeremy Lee Henderson is over a quarter of a century old. He was born in South Korea, but speaks no Korean except for a handful of obscene phrases and the first verse of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
[April 2003]
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL ADDRESS
[email protected]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (2)
The Day The Rain Stopped (Short Stories) A story about death and friendship. [802 words] [Drama]
Thoughts On The Dawn After A Starry Night (Short Stories) A bad breakup, two days with no sleep and a 4 hour cram session for an art history exam went into this one. [563 words] [Mind]
Insomnia
Jeremy Lee Henderson

                Once upon a time, on a very dark, very lonely night, the people in my head began speaking to me...

They had probably been speaking to me for years, but only in the heavy stillness between midnight and forever could I hear them. Their voices weren't very loud; such is the nature of ghosts.

That's how I tend to think of them: ghosts, dead voices from other worlds, possibilities that could have been, but were stillborn in the wash of time and destiny. Fate snapped their cords, and instead of existence in the living, breathing world they found themselves relegated to the darker regions of my brain.

I tried to ignore them at first, fearful the din of whispers would drive me mad. But eventually a night came that lasted forever, and try as I might I could not shut the voices out. So I listened, trying to make sense of the chaos of lives being lived within me. Some were frightening: monsters hidden beneath human faces, madmen who built shrines from the bones of murdered birds, or bathed in the blood of infants to give them eternal youth. Others were mundane, people living lives of such numbing ordinariness it hurt to listen to them. Some I hated, others I loved with agonizing fervor.

All of them were slowly driving me mad.

Slowly the voices grew louder as more ghosts joined the mob. I began to think they would soon crack my skull in two, spill out like a horde of Athenas from the head of Zeus. I found that I could hear them during the daylight, began to wonder if others could hear them too: an insistent hiss, like a far off tide washing across some strange, gray shore.

The rest of my life began to blur into the stories spun by my ghosts. Who was I? The old man fleeing the demon with the iron smile? The golden-eyed girl who lived among killers? Or the young man who sacrificed his sanity to spend his nights listening to other people's dreams?

So I began writing their tales down, filling page after page with their lives. And as each story unfolded, as each ghost was given voice by my hand, they disappeared from my head. Years went by, pages and pages were filled with them. From the most prosaic to the most fantastic, I recorded what they had to tell. Pale children with hearts of glass who sang to the sea, a woman who captured an angel with a net woven from nightmares, a lonely hunter haunted by the howls of murdered wolves, all of them set free. And eventually...silence.

The last of the ghosts flew from my mind, and their parting came so suddenly that for many nights I continued to write. But without them it meant nothing; I wrote lines of nonsense until the emptiness in my head finally hit me. I was alone.

So I waited, hoping that perhaps a last straggling ghost would appear. But the silence endured. Sleepless nights drifted by as I waited, pen clutched in my hand to catch the voice of a stray spirit. And the heavy stillness between midnight and forever stretched longer and longer...

And still I wait, waiting for the ghosts to return, to fill my head with their stories and their lives. But I do not wait idly. I have found ways to pass the time. Day by day, the tower of bird skulls grows taller, and as I stare at my bloodstained face in the mirror, I smile in the knowledge that I have not aged a day in years.

      
      
      
      

 

READER'S REVIEWS (10)
DISCLAIMER: STORYMANIA DOES NOT PROVIDE AND IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWS. ALL REVIEWS ARE PROVIDED BY NON-ASSOCIATED VISITORS, REGARDLESS OF THE WAY THEY CALL THEMSELVES.

"This is a superb piece of writing. It grips you from the very first sentence and unfolds steadily and elegantly to a most disturbing ending that nevertheless ties everything neatly together. It has a haunted, dark and obsessive atmosphere and a quality of genuine dementia that makes it extremely memorable. I look forward to reading more of your work. " -- David Gardiner, London, England.
"Great! Try writing about frogs, that should be funny." -- Ivana Milakovic.
"This story is visually and emotionally haunting - a wonderful collection of nightmare images that avoid both the obvious and the banal, combining freshness of approach (no tired old cliches here) with the ability to remain uncomfortably in the memory. More please." -- maximmise.
"This reminds me of Hawthorne & Poe. A lot of Romantics, Wordsworth especially, deal with this idea of specters and other-worldly inspiration with an set time limit. Wordsworth seemed to think you felt these voices when you were young and lost them as you got older. You seem to suggest that the voices themselves sustain youth. That's an interesting take on it. I like the ideas behind this story. It was formed with a clear purpose and structure. That's not easy to do. Some people just ramble, like me. What's a little off-putting is that the narrator is kind of flat. We don't find out much about him personally, what he likes, dislikes, and why? The best points are when you get into the specifics about these voices. It's gosh darn near good poetry. I'd like to hear you write a poem on the same topic with the same tone. That would be sweet. Thanks for letting me blab. " -- Scott W. Hazzard, PB, New York.
"Absolutely haunting and wonderful- and so relevant to fellow writers. One of the absolute best I have found anywhere on the internet." -- Ellen Lauder, Calgary, Canada.
"Im not a literary critic, but I know what I like. And I liked this." -- Miss Jackie, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
"This one is about as good as it gets. A little gem. Powerful imagery perfectly handled. Would make a wonderful introduction to a book of short stories. Everyone visiting the site should be directed to this one first." -- Krist, Paderborn, Germany.
"Fantastic. His dearest wish became his worst nightmare. This struck me as like hostages who become involved with their captors. Cope with something for long enough and you not only become accustomed to it, but you can't do without it. Nice one. Oh and the best opening para I've read for a while. " -- Sooz, Dalton, Cumbria, England.
"Absolutely hypnotic ... especially loved the ending. Your writing belongs on the pages of a book at the top of the best seller's list !!!!!" -- Judith Goff, USA.
"Definitely the most engaging piece I've read on here. Brilliant description" -- jl watts.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2001 Jeremy Lee Henderson
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
April 2003
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
2518
 

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