I sit up in bed, my heart jittery, sensing something bad happened to my little brother. I whisper-cry, “Jacob?!” but he doesn’t answer me so I know I am alone.
Touching Jacob’s space next to mine in the bed we share, I feel the wetness so perhaps he’s just in the bathroom cleaning up. I pull the blanket off me and get out of bed. The left side of my underwear is wet from Jacob’s piss spot. I drop my underwear to the floor and pull on my jeans. Cold darkness envelops me, swallowing me like a snake.
I quietly move from our bedroom and walk to the bathroom downstairs. He isn’t there, but the back door is agape. I walk out into the darkness and whisper-shout his name, but all I hear is my own voice coming back to me. It must be midnight as the full moon is high in the sky. I see lightning bugs flash by the hundreds, in symphony with the chirping of crickets; I slap at a mosquito. My fear causes my skin to tighten, pulling closer as if to protect me from something darker than the darkness. Continue Reading
If you’re going up into the back country, I have just one word of advice for you. Watch out for the Conjure Man.
Now, don’t you look at me like that. I’m not fooling. The Conjure Man isn’t just some old haint story. He’s for real. They say he lives up in those piney woods somewhere. They say he talks to voodoo gods. They say for a price, the Conjure Man can make you sick, or he can make you well. He can lift a hex, or he can place one. And if the inclination takes him, some even say that the Conjure Man can raise the dead. I’m telling you the God’s Honest truth. Don’t you doubt me on that.
Alright, I’ll tell you the story. But you keep this to yourself, understand? This is a story I never told your momma, not in all the years we’ve been married. I’ve never told it to anyone, and when I get to the end you’ll understand why. Continue Reading
A red shower of concentrated low voltage electricity sprayed the inert body from head to toe.
Kones Treloar number 4287 screamed. It wasn’t an audible scream. It was an internal, silent scream that left his nerve ends tingling. Audible screams, known to be a form of stress release, didn’t help the reform programme. Audible screams were repressed by sensor wave instigation, a simple operation carried out by Robot Assistants.
When his body stopped convulsing, Kones Treloar knew therapy was about to start again. He waited, nothing happened. Sometimes it was like that in Earth Prison-Ships. The Reform Doctors would wake you and wait, watching their monitors for prisoner-patient reaction. Kones was aware he must keep his mind blank. If he let his thoughts stray to the all-important revolution for the good old ways, painful therapy would kick in with a vengeance.
He understood Reform Doctors liked prisoners to meditate on their surroundings. ‘It was a step in the right direction,’ they informed him. Kones concentrated. He was inside a circular spotlight in a dark therapy room. The force-field walls of the spotlight restricted and imprisoned him with far more effect than handcuffs, shackles, or a twenty-first century cell could ever have done. Continue Reading