"You know what would be cool? If some guy someday wrote a bunch of short horror stories inspired by NHL team names."
(Part 1, The Horror from the Pacific, can be found here).
The Central Division of Fear
a collection of short horror fiction
by Mr. Megalodon Q. Pennyfeathers
"John, you've got to help me! There's a crazy Indian chasing after me and trying to kill me!"
John held up his hand and shook his head, disappointment evident on his face.
"Now Corey," John said, "when you say 'Indian,' do you mean a 'Native American'? Because you should know that that term is considered offensive. Of course, you MIGHT be referring to someone actually from the nation of India, in which case - "
THWACK went the obsidian head of the tomahawk as the sharp black stone buried itself in the back of Corey's skull, spraying John with blood and bone and brains.
You have your cellphone on silent, of course. You aren't stupid. The park rangers had warned you that if you were going to insist on bringing your phone with you while climbing during what they described as "avalanche season" then you had to make sure it wasn't going to ring and bring the whole damn mountain down on top of your head.
Well you DID insist on bringing your phone - what's the point of this whole thing if you can't Tweet pictures of yourself from the side of the mountain, after all? - but you had checked to make sure it was off a dozen times before buttoning it up inside your heavy coat.
Now, you've found the perfect spot to take your first picture. The mountainside behind you is swollen with snow, huge heavy swaths of it. You pull your phone out of your pocket, careful to make sure you don't accidentally turn on the volume. You take off your glove to use the touchscreen and get the camera ready.
You hold the phone out at arm's length, smile, and press the button. The camera captures an image of your smiling face before the device slips from your sweaty hands and falls with an echoing clatter down the rocky cliff below you.
The mountain behind you roars in response.
The stars were wrong.
Mike knew it the moment he woke up. He knew the stars well. Before his life had started to go off the rails, he had even taken an astronomy class...though that was a long time ago.
He looked up through the translucent roof of his tent and his jaundiced eyes sought out the familiar points of light...and none of them were where they should be.
His heart began to beat faster. He knew what this meant. He knew what he had to do.
Mike sat up and unzipped the door of his foul and filthy tent. He slipped outside into the night, scratching at his beard with one hand and digging the long rusty knife out of a garbage bag outside the tent.
The stars were wrong, and they reflected in Mike's mad eyes as he set out to find the people who were responsible.
You want to know where the wild things are?
Look behind you.
From Pablo Picasso
All he could see was blue. Not the cool blue of an ocean or the clear blue of the sky, but the harsh, burning blue of a malfunctioning television screen. He saw it everywhere. There were no shades or edges, just the hard horrible blue.
He closed his eyes, and the blue was there too.
His ears were full of the bellowing buzz of the blue world. His lungs ached as he tried to breathe in the blue. His skin was being crushed from every direction at once, every inch of him compressed by the weight of the blue universe.
He went mad at some point, and then the blue was within his head as well.
If he cut himself, would his blood be blue?
You wouldn't look twice at me if you saw me. Nobody does.
Nobody suspects a thing. That's one of the things I love about people: they're so damn TRUSTING.
Another thing I love about people? The smell that comes off of them when they're dying.
In a lot of ways, I'm just a regular guy. I have friends. In fact, it was one of my friends who suggested I go on a cruise.
He's a good friend, so I took his advice. I went online and booked a cruise. It's a singles cruise. And I got a really great deal, too!
A guy like me really couldn't ask for a better set-up than this. A few hundred strangers on a ship, drinking themselves stupid late into the night. A hardworking crew to clean up any mess left behind, and a whole ocean to hide the bodies.
I'll have to do this every year!
What if the plane crashes?
It's unlikely, but it DOES happen.
How many plane crashes have you heard about it in your life? Probably a couple of dozen at least, right? And each one carries hundreds of people. Hundreds of people who end up spending their last moments together, seeing each other scream and cry and panic and then die grisly, horrible deaths.
So the simple truth of it all seems to be that whether or not the plane YOU happen to be on plunges down into the ocean in a ball of fire is, at best, random chance.
Do you consider yourself a lucky person? Think before you answer. If you're NOT a lucky person, than you'd be a fool to ever get a on a plane, right? And if you ARE a lucky person, well...don't you think that luck has to run out, some day?
You're due for some trouble in your life, right? Things do always tend to even out in the end, after all.
Maybe it would be better if the plane DID crash. At least then you wouldn't have to live with this crippling worry any more. It would almost be a relief for the engines to finally fail, after you've been expecting them to for so many years.
Death might be a mercy, at this point. Death is the end of worry.
Anyways, this is your captain speaking. We'll be flying at a cruising altitude of...
The End...FOR NOW!