2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

An area for literary challenges and ongoing competitive events of all kinds.

2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby He2etic » Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:40 pm

Halloween is nearly upon us. Which means one thing: Horror stories! Horror stories for everyone!

This year, Narrativium, Raziel4707 and I invite you to try your writing skills in the 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show. The winner will receive any regular priced novel from the Black Library, courtesy of He2etic.

A few rules:
1) The deadline will be October 24th so the judges will have time to review.
2) The word limit is around 2,000 words. We'll make some allowances for going over this limit but please only go crazy with the quality of the words and not the quantity.
3) One entry per person.
4) We generally prefer Warhammer and Warhammer 40k stories, but any solid horror story is acceptable. If the story doesn't fit into the Warhammer mythos, then just write it however you see fit. A good, general story is better than only a decent Warhammer tale.
5) All other regular Bolthole rules apply.
6) To enter, just paste your story in a reply below. If you posted some horror story elsewhere, just copy and paste it here to make it easier for us to keep track there of.
7) Once the entries are in, Raziel4707, Narrativium and He2etic will judge and figure out which story is the winner. We hope to announce the winner right before Halloween night.

Keep calm and carry on. And good luck writers!
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby Mossy Toes » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:16 pm

Oooh, I'd better get to work on that RiaR: Downfall idea that bloated out too large for RiaR...
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby Mauthos » Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:57 pm

Time permitting I hope to enter this competition, have many ideas brewing, lets hope one of them actually makes it to fruition. ;)
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby Mauthos » Fri Oct 21, 2011 8:27 am

He is my entry, hopefully it won't be the only one as it will be a pointless competition, but hey, this site motivates me to write so I may as well post it here.

Not sure if it really hits the theme of horror all too well, but comments/critique is more than welcome. :)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Torrential rain lashed down, hammering the earth relentlessly. Soil ran to slurry combined with pulped viscera from the multitude of eviscerated and segmented bodies that lay strewn and broken across the bleak and barren landscape.

Lightning flared, briefly illuminating a low trench dug into the wet earth virtually filled to the brim with ragged corpses, a veritable funeral pyre.

A distant rumble of thunder rolled ominously as lightning racked the air again, forks splitting the sky in blinding streaks, striking mercilessly to lance the ground under is wrath. Water pooled everywhere in large roiling puddles shimmering in answer to the raging storm overhead, reflecting the continual blaze of ferocious lightning strikes.

In the trench there was a small barely perceptible movement. A solitary man laid prone, shivering, head buried in the steaming carcass of his dead brothers in war; eyes squeezed tightly shut, hands gripping the stock of a trembling lasgun. Its power pack glinting brightly in dark; fully charged.

His combat fatigues were soaked through and as he risked a glance over the ridge of the trench fear shone brightly in his eyes, bloodshot whites gleaming.

It had been a small wave, possibly just a scouting party, possibly even searching for them. It had been sudden, a horde falling on them at every outpost and position at once, instantaneously. Warnings barely shouted or voxed through before the attack was instigated and consequently terminated with a brutal finality, they never even knew what was happening, they never had a chance.

Screams had wracked the air, drowning out the ever present storm and a pitiful few las bolts had seared the darkness followed by reverberating loud and dull thumps, no doubt the explosive force of an over-charged lasgun. A last desperate attempt at survival.

Silence had quickly fallen then without any indication and with it the coppery stench of blood had swelled, filling the air with an almost physical quality. The silence was much more terrifying than the screams and explosions had been and the horde had gone, perhaps sated, perhaps to return. He did not know.

The silence still deafened him, the constant barrage of rain, thunder and lightning a mere distraction as he strained to listen for any signs of movement, hopeful that there would be a cry, a shout, an order or even the static his of a functioning vox-caster.

There was nothing.

Trembling he pushed himself to his feet, lasgun swinging in a rapid semi-circle before him, scanning the desolate, flat and ravaged scenery.

There was nothing.

A sense of unease disturbed him, the back of his neck tingling as if someone was watching him from a distance, close but unseen. Involuntarily he shivered, the cold was eating into his very bones, his soaked clothes heavy, sticking to him damply, uncomfortable and unpleasant. A sharp cracking sound caused him to whirl, lips peeled back, choked scream tumbling from his mouth.

There was nothing.

He realized the sound had emanated from beneath his own foot, his boot snapping a finger, stripped of all skin and sinew, the digit of a dead Guardsmen crushed under his heal.

His breath came in ragged pants, gulping in air as his heart pounded in his chest, the blood rushing in his ears thudding painfully causing his temples to throb and his neck to ache. Under the constant deluge of rain he could feel sweat prickling at his skin, a clammy, unpleasant feeling and a strong sense of nausea constantly rolled over him in waves of hot and cold forcing his gorge to rise.

There. Just at the corner of a bend in the trench, something moved.

Instinctively his finger found the trigger and pumped it rapidly, blindly firing at something he couldn’t see, headless of any attention he might be drawing upon himself, complete abject terror controlling his emotions and his actions. The beams of light streaked across the trench, some high, others wide, one vaporizing a pool of water with a hiss and a puff of steam. They peppered the slick edge, tiny explosions sending gouts of mud spraying to fall splattering downwards, black heavy droplets amongst the finer clear raindrops. The smell of charred meat floated toward him, the result of his wild barrage striking and burning the destroyed bodies of his comrades.

He dropped to a crouch, suddenly aware that he stood out clearly, a tiny but distinct silhouette against the drab, flat terrain and carefully made his way to the edge. Damp earth still glowed dully from the laser impacts. He took two deep breaths, trying to calm and slow his racing heart, realizing that even in the constant downpour his face still felt flushed, hot and clammy. Wiping a quivering hand over his visage he leaned around the corner.

A shockingly bright gleam of white greeted him, the rictus grin of a disturbingly clean skull leering at him, mocking in its absence of humanity. He stumbled backward, lasgun spilling from his numb fingers to clatter amongst the multitude of other discarded and scattered weapons, his boot heal caught on something and his world reeled.

The angry black sky roiled above him as he went careening backward, arms splayed wide another scream pushing its way free from his slippery lips. He slid over the remains of a torn and ravaged leg and crashed unceremoniously into the gelatinous muck of mud, blood and gore sending a cascade of it splashing over him. Something viscous slid into his open mouth causing him to gag, the taste of it putrid and foul. Bile rose stinging and burning in his throat and he scrabbled in the slimy waste floundering onto his knees, a torrent of vomit spilling violently onto the earth.

He sank back into the mud, tears hidden by the rain yet forceful sobs racked his body and a string of spittle dangled unheeded from the corner of his mouth.

He had the marked feeling he may be the last of his regiment alive

<->

Hours had passed and for once the consistent downpour had ceased and the sky had lightened to a dull shadowy grey. He trudged through the trenches desolate and afraid, the smallest sound causing him to spin madly about occasionally letting an arc of las fire trace into the muddy banks.

All he witnessed was death, the stink of it all about him, permeating his very clothes. His fellow Guardsmen lay where they had died dismembered with dark pools of blood surrounding them like some kind of morbid halo. Crushed and skinless skulls stared at him unblinking, dark hollows reflecting the pit of despair and fear that filled his very soul. He staggered and slipped amongst them, tripping over fingerless hands and limbless torsos, more than once plunging into the mire and dry heaving. He had emptied his stomach plenty of times by now and there was nothing more to give.

He took solace in the hotshot pack that he had discovered; if they returned maybe he would stand a better chance with the increased firepower. But the voice of reason that had fled to hide cowering in the back of his mind whispered the sickening truth.

Clambering over a slick wooden platform he heard a muffled hiss and crackle. A sound he recognised, the static of a vox. Throwing his lasgun down, he hurriedly pawed through the mounds of dead, searching with a strength born of desperation for the vox-caster. His had been lost when they had attacked and he had been desperately searching for a functioning unit ever since, for a brief moment he dared to hope.

The spit and hiss of static was louder now and as he pulled another body away, its limp hand clawing at his face, he found it.

And his heart sank.

The vox-caster was repeating a simple shattering looping message.

+++The planet is lost. Repeat, the planet is lost. The order; evacuate; and for those that cannot reach the extraction site, sell your lives dearly for the Emperor. Co-ordinates to the EZ are as follows...+++

The vox fell from nerveless fingers as he dropped to his knees, colour draining from his face.

It was only a matter of time now.

He heard a rustling then, the wind picking up again no doubt in preparation for another bout of unforgiving rain to pound at him as it had so many times in the past days on this blasted and now doomed planet.

However, this rustling noise was steadily rising in pitch and timbre, a chitinous rustling, and with cold dread he slowly climbed to the edge of the dugout. Pulling himself upward, fingernails biting into the black clods of earth, he licked at his suddenly dry lips, heart pounding in his chest once more, fearful of what he would see.

The sight that greeted him was truly terrifying. An undulating sea of purple and black insectoid like bodies tightly pressed together rolled unerring toward his position. The dark mud churned underneath them as they swarmed forward. Screeches and hisses filled the air and the very ground vibrated beneath him. He heard several distinctive howls and roars above cacophony of sounds, indicative of much larger creatures.

The Hive Fleet had arrived.

He slithered back into the trench, gripping his lasgun tightly, barrel pressed hard against his head as he whispered a prayer to the God Emperor, silently praying that somehow the massing Tyranid Fleet would miss him as they devoured the planet.

Steeling his resolve he crept back to the lip and stared in horror at the rattling bodies. Closer now he could see individual details, the glimmer and shine of their hard armoured bodies, the ropes of drool and spittle that dangled from their snapping fanged maws, the repugnant bio-weaponry formed from their very bodies.

These weren’t the Genestealers that had ripped through his regiment, these were the Tyranid Warriors and amongst them he could clearly see the hulking forms of several Carnifexes and the long serpentine shape of Raveners.

He thought about running, the foolish notion that he could outrun these Xenos monstrosities that could devour entire galaxies not registering in his fear addled mind.

He soiled himself then, the warm fluid adding to his already soaked fatigues and turned to run, stumbling down the low incline. To instantly come to a shuddering stop.

Warm dripping fluid stung and burnt at his cheeks, the hissing breath of a Tyranid Warrior fetid against his skin. Its armour glistened with the moisture of the again falling rain. Its bio-weapon lowered and its lips peeled back to expose rows of razor sharp fangs, mucus coating them as it bellowed its shrieking cry directly into his face, strings of drool splattering against his terrified form.

He raised his lasgun, the Tyranid leapt, claws sything.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby LordLucan » Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:06 pm

My entry. Enjoy!:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Little Harkan’s Adventures Behind the Mirror, a Fairy Tale.




‘There was a boy. He was always known as the fastest, the smartest and the strongest out of all the children of the town. He was the most handsome too; his beautiful blue eyes were called a miracle by some. His mother told him of his wondrous nature, his father too, and all the adults who saw him could hardly argue. Little Harkan was his name, and a little smile adorned his face. Because he knew he was the best.

‘Yet, little Harkan was alone. For no little boy, no matter how great and good, could brag and pose without recourse. The other little girls and boys wanted nothing to do with this show off little creep. When he won at scrum-ball single-handed, they left with harsh words and cruel stares. The other children had each other, and that was enough. Little Harkan watched through frosted glass, as his fellow younglings dined on sweetmeats and sugared snacks. They laughed and played and gamed with glee, while he was left in misery.

‘His tiny heart (the healthiest in the land) grew bitter and chill. He resolved to show them how much they would miss him when he was gone. He went to the metal man from Mars, who he asked ot help him hide away from all. The metal man from Mars knew great magic, but he came from beyond the sky and the town elders feared him. Harkan knew only the metal man would keep his secret; any other adult would turn him in; concerned for his health. But the metal man was cold; if he promised to hide Harkan, no thoughts of mercy or guilt would change his mind. But the metal man would not help him.

“Fetch me a trinket; a toy or mechanism, the oldest you can find. Then, little Harkan, I will hide you.”

‘So the little boy searched high and low. He rooted through the broken bits of servitors tossed out by the Governing King. He slipped into basements and pilfered old clocks and winding old cranks. The metal man sniffed at the assembled hoarde, cold and mean as he ever was.

‘“These are not old enough, foolish young boy. Now try again, little Harkan, and I will hide ye.”

‘So Harkan rushed off to fulfil his oath, and roamed far, to the quarry, long-closed. In this pit he did forage, and plucked forth a bracelet or ring; the shiniest he’d seen. He returned to the metal man, who clasped it with glee (a strange thing to see on the metal man’s face).

‘“Oh joy! By the Omnissiah’s cogs, blessed are you. You found me a trinket. Now I shall hide ye.”

‘Harkan was happy as his scheme took shape. How would those ingrates cope without him?

‘At first there was panic, as his family raised the alarm. People streamed from their homes with torches and sniffing hounds. But they soon forgot Harkan, when the smiling warm orb of the sun vanished the next day. True panic became etched on the faces of adult and child.

‘Harkan himself watched from the metal man’s house. He felt the great chill the sun’s absence conjured. He asked the metal man to help, but the man from Mars grew dreadfully quiet. He knew the dark sorcery at work. By the dull light of the house, nothing could be seen of the town. But Harkan, as told, had the best of hearing.

‘He heard wailing and screaming, and the wet squelch of guts spilling on tile. And with those animal brays, little Harkan did hear the scraping and crawling of the fiends that ate flesh. The faeries had clambered from the sky, with their terrible spells.

‘Harkan grew fearful. He was more frightened than he had ever been before. The dread and the misery he felt made his former schemes seem petty and cruel. He resolved to return, to save his townsfolk; they’d need the best to survive the faeries.

‘But the metal man forbade him.

‘“My house shall ascend, and you are bidden to join me. I shall take you to Mars, and hide you as I promised.”

‘But Harkan fled from the silver clutches of the man, and ran off heedlessly into the night. Sadly, the metal man rose in his house, fire and smoke trailing from beneath. But in the glow of the fire, Harkan saw the spindly shadows as they turned their dark eyes upon this new source of prey. Harkan tried to yelp a warning or two, but his voice died in his throat. He helplessly watched as the darkness struck the Martian house, and burned in away like a spark in a tinder box.

‘Though the dark tangle, alone, little Harkan did clamber, heedless of branches and twigs that snatched at him as he ran. The darkness of the town was almost complete, save for the lumen globes that sparked in the street. But this ghostly glimmer was more than enough to see all the things which chilled the blood.

‘Babes were fed to mothers, men were opened wide. Capering faeries danced in the gore; intestines were used as streamers for their monstrous carnival. Harkan cowered in the shadows, a mute voyeur of this blasphemous show. The children were crying, mewling like sows, as soft flesh was fettered in heinous barbed chains.

‘Harkan fled from the sights, but at every turn, he glimpsed more and more of his town-folks’ plight. His skin was cracking with the pervasive chill. His bones were breaking as cold sapping his will. People were impaled upon their own sharpened thighbones, and the faeries lapped blood like baying hounds.

‘The faeries screamed, terrifically loud. They threw back their heads and howled at the orphaned sky. Their murderous diversity was a blur to the boy; who knew only that they were torment incarnate. Desperate and cold, he wriggled his way beneath the Governing King’s Basement. Inside, he found dozens huddled and scared. The King and his subjects mingled as one, huddled together in paralytic fear.

‘All they could do was shiver and gasp, listening to the screams of the dying and the taunts of the fae.

‘“We promised our return, Thee simple mon keigh! We foretold our coming in the sky itself. Now you shall learn not to bargain with fiends. We hid your wares from the Vaul-moon. Now the other side of the bargain must be fulfilled. It is only... fair,” The faeries cackled, even as they scooped out the eyes of their slaves.

‘Harkan realised as he lay huddled next to his town-kin, that for once he was not shunned. Little comfort did this thought give, when the faeries dragged them from the basement. They came from the very shadows themselves, melting from them like rising phantoms. Harkan screamed, his voice a clarion call amidst the terrified whimpering of his fellows. Ethereal claws became real all around. ‘They snatched away the elders first, limbs clad in glowing symbols closing around necks and arms, before pulling them down into the shadows. Bodies vanished as they fell into oceanic pools of darkness. Their last cries for help were cut off by the closing of the shade-gates.

‘Little Harkan fled as fast as his little, powerful legs could carry him, but it was not enough. He passed a long mirror. His gaze fell upon the strange shape which looked back.

‘He wasn’t reflected in the mirror. Something dark and fierce snarled back. Before he could so much a yell, terrible claws and terrible jaws pushed their way through the glass; they grasped like a drowned man in a frozen lake.

‘Doorways within doorways. Coiling processionals and boulevards of blistered bone. Impossible shapes, folding end over end. The little boy; the little mon keigh wretch, was dragged through the labyrinth. He kicked and screamed, but his torment only made the faeries stronger and crueller.

‘After many days, little Harkan found himself in the twilight kingdom of the faeries; a realm trapped between darkness and starlight, like a fly in amber. He saw his star there, alongside its brothers. It was poisoned and dull, like a blood-blister un-ruptured. It had a cloying skin that he could somehow smell. They were far distant and they he felt as if he could touch them; feel their burning even as they chilled him.

‘The shackles he was bound with chewed and bit at him, hungry like vipers. They hissed and coiled, even as they cut into him. He was dragged backwards down a promenade. He felt his bones rattling against the rough surface of the ossified pier. He was pulled through a crowd of lingering things. They were pale and hunched, withered husks somewhere between cadavers and men. They lapped up his fear desperately. These parched fiends ripped each other asunder with degenerate claws to sample his tears, and the contents of his voided bowels, as they left disgusting trails through the bustling street. The bladed fae hacked and cut the through the things, as they took him to the spire.

‘The spire of a mighty faerie King. King of the Kabal of Poisoned Stars, master of the Sullen Blade and the Archon of the Shadowed Agony.

‘His body was perforated by a thousand needles and fiery barbs a she was passed upwards through the spire, which towered downwards like a stalactite in a cave. His nails were pulled from him one by one. His wild eyes took in sights of towering malice; pits of oiling oil and grand fields where whimpering men were peeled like peaches and thrown to equally skinless hounds, that slavered and howled with unnatural voices.

‘At last, he was brought before the King, deep in his lair. The dark king on his dark throne wore a cloak of skins, and clutched a bejewelled sceptre languidly in his claws. Little Harkan was thrown to the ground before the dark faerie, who peered down at the body with a lipless grin.

‘Unsteadily, the boy stood upon his two feet, his two feet (the best in his town), and he held the Archon’s gaze, though his eyes leaked with tears of blood. One of the King’s retinue raised its lash to punish such an affront. Before the whip was even raised, the Archon was on his feet and impaled the faerie through the chest with his staff. The squealing creature turned to ash even as Harkan watched. The little boy smiled with bitter glee as the fae creature perished.

‘The King spat and hissed, berating his followers in his alien tongue, before returning his gaze towards little Harkan. He held the King’s gaze, as he stroked the face of the boy, long talons gently carving into his face, making the boy wince. The faerie’s green eyes flared like stoked embers at the boy’s discomfort. With a gesture, the Archon dismissed all his minions, save for a towering monster that looked like something which had torn itself from the womb of a man and wolf at once, and merged in their dying blood until it became something less than either.

‘“Much spirit. Much fire... but too young. You are not ripe. There is so much to learn. Tell me why I should not eat your bones. Speak swiftly,” the Archon hissed in the tongue of man.

‘The boy quaked in his tattered boots as the Archon purred its demands. The boy wracked his mind for a solution.

‘“A game. We shall play a game. If I can guess your name, you must let me live.”

‘The Archon was bemused, and asked what he would get, if the boy should fail. The boy promised his soul, for eternity. The Archon smirked. A deal was struck.

‘“Three shall be the limit of your guesses. My guardian, Ventral, shall be the judge.”

‘At first the boy guessed his name as Malice. The Archon laughed and spat in the boy’s face, leaving a corrosive burn upon his cheek.

‘The boy Harkan guessed again. He looked around the room, at all the trinkets and stuffed birds dangling from chains. He guessed “Raven...ish.”

‘Once more, wrong. The Archon lashed his face with his hand, and chuckled playfully.

‘Weeping, little Harkan finally, after watching the Archon’s appetite and hunger for pain, called him ‘Ravenous’. But the boy did not know how to say the word. He had only ever seen the word in books. What he actually said out loud was ‘Ravandas’.

‘The Archon screeched in irritation, throwing his staff to the ground, as Vectral boomed from his bestial lips. “Correct.”

And so little Harkan was saved from death.’


The eldar mother concluded her tale with a wicked grin, gently pushing her bloody finger into the mouth of her child, who knelt before her, his eyes wide with savage lust.

‘And what happened to the mon keigh child?’ he whispered, licking his lips as his mother plunged her talons into the dying slave beside her once more.

‘Ravandas kept his word.’

Her son seemed shocked, until he saw her wry smile.

‘...In a manner of speaking. The boy was never killed. He lived on for many, many years. He lived on after his legs, the most wonderful legs of his town, were cut away and given as gifts to rival Archons. He lived as his innards and arms were also taken from him; their potency undeniable and addictive to certain Covens. He even lived as a haemonculus took his voice, and trapped it in a crystal amulet edged in dead wraithbone. He lives still, as the final prize gifted to Ravandas’ most successful of minions...’ she purred, stroking her child’s wiry hair.

‘You mean...?’

She nodded, as she toyed with the necklace that hung about her neck. As her son stared more closely at the ornament, he saw something moving within the little sculpted cage.

Two perfect, beautiful blue eyes darted wildly, still as lustrous and beautiful as they were when a human bore them in his sockets.

It was true then that little Harkan lived forever. And truly, he was never alone again.
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Residue

Postby greywulf » Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:13 pm

Image


The ladder wobbled under me as I climbed it one handed, lugging a heavy toolbox to the top of the creaking steps.

There was just so much to do to the hab, even with the work already done by the maintenance crews that had gutted the disused Heavenly Towers hab block before my new employer, Mr Hub, had purchased it.

From where I was I could see down the hall to the lift, the sight of its stained metal doors reminding me of the two days spent trying to get the bastich thing to work properly. So far I had only managed to get the lift to travel as high as this floor.

“Got it for a funting’ steal, sonny,” Hub had told me, when he had showed me around the rundown building. “There’s minor damage to the cosmetic stuff, nuthin’ wrong with the structure itself. Just needs a bit a love.”

From where I was, perched atop a ladder that had seen better days, it needed more then a bit of love.

With a grunt I placed the toolbox onto the ladder top, taking a moment to catch my breath. “Place needs gutting,” I murmured, digging in my toolkit for a screwdriver to jimmy open the light panel above me. “Heavenly Towers, my ass.”

As I searched in the jumble of tools and parts, the corridor was plunged into darkness as one by one the lights went out, the constant buzz of the fluorescents replaced by grim silence.

The windows on this floor had been steel plated over after the hab had been abandoned, their removal the next task on my list, the only glimmer of illumination coming from the slither of light shining between the lift doors.

Then even this started to leave me, as the lift began to move between floors, grinding loudly as it went, the light moving upwards and leaving me in complete darkness.

Cursing my luck, I blindly scrabbled for my torch amongst the mess of equipment in my toolbox.

That was when it dawned on me.

The lift had gone up.

I hadn’t been able to make it travel past floor twelve, where I was currently standing on a ladder in the dark, bleeding like a funting pig. But up it had gone, with no one in the lift to begin with.

That meant someone would have had to call it.

The protesting rumble of the lift stopped, and I could hear the doors squeal in their runners on the floor above me.

~~

The stairwell door creaked slightly behind me, the noise echoing around me in the dark as I shone my torch along the corridor.

The air in the corridor was scattered with floating dust, the beam of my torch lighting up these wandering specks at the edges of the gloomy space.

The walls were black with rot, the red paint peeling in rancid sheets and moulding onto the stained carpet. Dirty crimson of the emulsion had leaked into the discoloured carpeting, streaking it a dark ruby, as if the walls themselves had been bleeding.

That and the discarded, ruined furniture littering the hallway did nothing to settle my nerves. Every time I took a step my torchlight cast another disturbing shadow, every broken chair and twisted pipe becoming a thing of nightmares.

A dull creaking and thumping echoed down the corridor, the sound rhythmic.

As I moved further down the hall, I swung the torch from side to side to check the apartment doors, finding each one dented or damaged in some way.

I went to continue through the dark, but stopped and checked the closest door again.

Where the numerals should have been there was nothing but a huge scorch mark. From the colouration of the mark, it seemed that the burn had penetrated the metal from inside the room.

Slowly I reached out and placed my hand on the stain. The surface was cool to the touch, though slightly clammy against my palm. I pushed against the door, testing to see if it was unlocked. It didn’t budge, not that I expected it to. Every room should be locked on this floor, but the randomness of the lighting, not to mention the lift, was beginning to show me that this building liked to surprise you.

Taking my hand away from the room’s door, I turned away.

Sudden movement was caught in the glare of my torch as I moved, the drifting dust disturbed further down the hallway by the passage of something half seen.

Stepping over the charred remains of a mattress, I walked slowly towards the scraping and thumping coming from the corridor’s end.

My torch beam revealed the source of the noise.

The lift doors were closing and opening, clattering backwards and forwards on their runners. Something had to be jamming them, activating the lift’s door safety protocols. I couldn’t see anything blocking them, at least nothing obvious.

As I stepped forward to check out the problem, I heard a scraping sound coming from round the corner to the right of the lift. The floor’s service closet would be located round the dark turn. Maybe a rat was camped out in there, doing what ever it was rats did in the closets of rundown hab blocks.

The light of my torch glinted on something as I paced towards the lift, the bright beam highlighting something wedged in one of the doors’ bottom runners.

Kneeling in the dirt and soot, I dug my fingers around the jammed object, trying to tug it free. Unable to get a firm grip, I placed my torch between my teeth, now able to get a better hold with both hands free. It eventually came loose, the effort of pulling it out overbalancing me, my footing slipping on the grimy floor. The shock of falling made me gasp, the torch dropping from my mouth and tumbling to the floorboards before me. The beam spun wildly as the torch landed then bounced, curving round the corner as it rolled away from me.

Pocketing the mysterious item, I scrambled on all fours after my wayward torch.

The narrow metal door to floor thirteen’s service closet was illuminated in the torchlight, it dull surface scratched and dented.

As I reclaimed my flashlight, my eyes were drawn to the door's rounded handle.

It was slowing turning.

My stomach started to knot, panic building.

My hand started to tremble, suddenly numb fingers unable to turn on my torch

The door opened, creaking slightly as it swung gently on its hinges. The closet was shadowed, like a yawning pit.

“Help …”

A girls voice was speaking from within the gloom, low and frightened.

Slowly, I moved away from the doorway, the soiled floor creaking as I shuffled backwards on my knees.

There was a movement in the darkness, as something stirred inside the storeroom.

“Help…” the girlish voice said again, more insistent this time.

With a careful motion, not wishing to frighten the concealed child, I raised my torch slowly.

“Don’t worry, sweetheart,” I said reassuringly. “You’re safe now. Come on out.”

My thumb found the torch’s activation stud. The switch clicked, as I pressed down on it, the sound loud in the darkened hallway.

I shone the torch into the darkness of the storeroom.
The figure revealed within the storeroom lurched forwards, babbling incoherently as it emerged.

Before it barrelled into me I caught a glimpse of blistered flesh and tattered clothing, as I once again landed on my back amongst the debris on the corridor floor.

Panting and scrabbling, I shuffled backwards, back-pedalling away from the jerking figure in front of me.

The torch swung back and forth in my grasp as I moved, illuminating my attacker briefly each time the beam cut across it.

A worn ceramite mask moulded like the face of a young girl.

Blistered rotten flesh, its skin split and corrupted.

With a shrieking cry, the thing fell upon me, scrabbling at my face with knotted fingers.

Using my torch, I smashed my attacker in the throat, the attack not seeming to register. The thing just kept jabbering, scratching my cheek with splintered fingernails.

“…help… …you” the creature said in its childish voice, while it wrapped an iron grip round my throat. “…help …you.”

Gasping, I smashed my torch against the hands squeezing my neck, unable to loosen the clenched fingers cutting off my air.

“Let… me… go,” I spat breathlessly, punctuating each word with a blow from my torch. The assault loosened the grasp around my throat enough to allow me to scramble free and get to my feet.

The creature on the floor yowled like a tortured cat as I stamped hard on its upturned ceramite face, bringing my foot down again and again, and again until it remained still, and brownish coolant fluid dribbling from its eye sockets.

The sight was stunning to say the least, if not surreal. I had seen a lot of stuff in my time, but I will admit I had never seen anything like that before.

“Throne,” I murmured, rubbing my temples. “What the funt is happening in this bastich hab?” My skull was throbbing, as if I was recovering from the granddaddy of all migraines.

Using my mangled screwdriver, I poked the smeared remains on the floor before me, finding metal and cabling intermeshed with the flesh and fluids.

Looking up I could see a tattered apron stuck to the ceiling, a frayed monogrammed HT logo just visible in one corner.

“It was a funting maid servitor,” I said to myself, “Why would a maid wanna gank me?”

Massaging my sore ribs, I sat up and got to my feet unsteadily, my headache and the gore-sodden carpet making it difficult. Or, I mused, help me? It had said those two words after all, even as it was trying to throttle me to death.

I went to press the elevator button, knowing now that it should work. It came up, so it could go back down.

Before I could tap the switch, the lift descended, clanking as it went.

“Can my night get any worse?” I asked myself, turning to walk back to the emergency stairs. As I did so, I noticed my left hand.

Its palm was pulsating with a dark light, streams dripping from my fingertips. As I stared in wonder and horror, the trickles of obsidian radiance pooled around my feet before running down the corridor. The river of gleaming darkness flowed away from me, only to pool around the door to room thirteen.

My left hand was leading me, dragging my outstretched arm along. Even though I was pulling against the black tendrils seeping from my fingers, the rope of bubbling pitch relentlessly dragging me.

The puddle of shadow around the door was moving now, flowing up around the doorframe to coat the flaking paint on the walls before spreading over the metal door.

As I was being pulled towards the darkness I could see things writhing in the gloom, beings with tendrils and snapping mouths. As I stared at the blackness, it stared back. And it knew me. Every misdeed in my life was wrenched from my mind, paraded in front of my eyes to torment me. Sobbing, I began to pray for my very soul, as the wall before me began to fold in on itself.

A yawning chasm opened up, revealing a seething squall of caressing darkness and searing light.

My head began to pound, more and more with each beat of my galloping heart.

The ebony streaks linking me to the squall erupting before me began to pulsate, and I could feel my very life being bled from me.

“What the funt is going on!” I screamed, watching as something began to drag itself towards me through the tempest of energy.

It was a little girl, her dark hair whipping around her face as she clawed her way forwards. I could see her pretty face, perfect and serene. Innocent and angelic, she dragged herself towards me, her white nightdress billowing in the storm.

“What do you want?” I cried, as the little girl took hold of the tendrils flowing from my hand, using them to pull herself closer to me.

She was almost at the rippling mouth of the abyss, her sweet face staring at me.

As I watched, those pretty features melted and blurred, slipping slightly to reveal what lay beneath.

Something more nightmare then human.

Something terrible.

I screamed, trying to pull my hand away and escape the terror.

Still the foul creature came, discarding the image of the little girl as it dragged itself from the wall and the terror beyond it.

It stood above me, a mass of churning emotion given form. Its nightmarish maw opened and it spoke, though I could feel the thing’s terrible voice, rather then hear it.

Image

The words clawed through my mind, plucking at it violently.

I started to sob, falling to my knees in the filth and pooling black.

Fingers capped with sickle like-talons stretched out to me, trembling in their eagerness to feel my flesh, the touch of the creature’s fingertips blistering my skin as it caressed my forehead before it touched my eyes.

The last thing I felt after that was the crack of my jaw dislocating, the last thing I heard my own voice screaming.

The last thing I saw, a spreading stain of pitch-black froth.
Last edited by greywulf on Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby YeOldeGrandma » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:13 pm

About 500 words - as I understood it, there was no lowest word limit, right?

It is said

It is said there was once a village. Deep in the Drakwald forest it lay, a small rural community like so many others. Simple woodsmen leading simple lives, on the very outskirts of the Empire community, where nights were dark and the trees loomed high over the log cabins.

It is said that the village was cursed. It is said that every year, on the dread night of Geheimnisnacht, when the stars dimmed and Morrslieb cast its baleful glow across the skies, creatures would appear from the forest.

It is said that no man or woman, no matter how brave, had ever had the courage to lay their eyes upon the beasts. When dusk fell, the villagers would nail up their windows and hurriedly bring in their cattle, before bolting their doorways shut. No fires were lit and no one would sleep. They would huddle together within their homes, quiet as they listened.

It is said that the creatures would come at midnight, and leave at the first rays of dawn. And in that time, the villagers could only listen; listen to the rustling of wet leaves, listen to the snivelling and snorting outside their doors, listen the scratching on their walls. Only when morning’s light could be seen shining in from beneath the doorways, it would be safe to come out. The creatures would be gone, leaving the village swept in mist, but untouched.

It is said, though, that had anyone not been inside his home that night, he would have disappeared as well. And no matter how thoroughly the woods were searched, no body would be found.

It is said that time passed thusly for centuries. The people would go about their lives as normal during the rest of the year, silently agreeing not to speak of the matter when not needed to. But they would never forget.

It is said that on one of these accursed nights, when Morrslieb burned and the creatures prowled, there was a young girl in one of the houses. It is said that she was left alone, as her parents tended to her younger brother. And it is said that as their eyes were kept busy with the babe, she crept closer towards the door.

It is said that through the bestial snorting outside, she heard her grandmother calling for her.

And it is said, told all across the Drakwald, across campfires and inn tables, that she opened the door.

There is no proof of whether this village has ever existed. Many have searched the woods without result. It is very possible indeed that it could just be a bedtime story, meant to scare children from disobeying their parents, or a moral tale for the men and women of the Empire to keep an eye on their young ones.

But there are those who claim that, while they’ve never found any houses, or anything else indicating anyone has ever lived there, they’ve been to places in the forest where the wind seems to moan in lament, almost as human lips would. And if they’ve listened carefully, they’ve been able to hear the faint echo of a little girl crying.

Or so it is said.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby He2etic » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:49 pm

There's no rule about less than 2,000 words, so knock yourself out YeOldGrandma.

Just a heads up, contest closes tomorrow night!
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby The_unchanged » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:25 pm

Damn! I just got back from Barca and realised I've missed this! Had a cracking idea too! Oh well next time I guess! Loving the entries so far!
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby He2etic » Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:25 pm

Alright, competition's closed! Raz, Narry and I will be busy reviewing the stories and will come to our choice soon.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby greywulf » Fri Oct 28, 2011 7:35 am

Good luck to my fellow Bolt-Horror writers!
Everyone has produced a great piece, I don't envy the judges their role!
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby LordLucan » Fri Oct 28, 2011 3:52 pm

I like how we all did something totally different. I loved Residue, with the horrid shadow ooze, myself. Also love the hammer-horror style title. Awesome greywulf. i wish I had computer prowess.
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby Raziel4707 » Fri Oct 28, 2011 4:08 pm

There were no bad stories, though two in particular leaped out and grabbed me by the throat. Awesome work all!
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby He2etic » Sun Oct 30, 2011 9:36 pm

Tallies are in and the winner is....

LordLucan, with Little Harkan’s Adventures Behind the Mirror. Congratulations to him and well done on all the other contestants.

Happy Halloween everyone!
Last edited by He2etic on Mon Oct 31, 2011 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby Bod the inquisitor » Sun Oct 30, 2011 11:11 pm

Well there can be only one, winner that is.

Congratulations LL.

I’ve loved reading all these stories and loved the fact that each used a different and not obvious aspect of our beloved 40k and Warhammer. Just goes to show there’s more to both universes than war :D
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby YeOldeGrandma » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:11 am

Congratulations to Lord Lucan, though I do believe his story was named differently.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby He2etic » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:00 am

YeOldeGrandma wrote:Congratulations to Lord Lucan, though I do believe his story was named differently.


Ach, sorry about that. Corrected.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby LordLucan » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:31 am

Oh that's awesome! Thanks guys!

I'm really pleased. I wasn't sure if the fairy tale angle was going to work. Glad that it did. Oh cheers again guys!
Check out my debut fantasy novel from Fox Spirit Books, The Hobgoblin's Herald (https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hobgoblins-Herald-R-Aston/dp/1910462047). If you've read it, please rate and review it on amazon; I'd be eternally grateful. The sequel, Eater of Names, is out in 2018, so watch this space.
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby greywulf » Mon Oct 31, 2011 12:31 pm

Gosh darn it!

I didn't win!

Good show, LL! Well played!
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Re: 2011 Bolt-Horror Writer's Show

Postby He2etic » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:12 pm

LL, please PM me which book you'd like off of the Black Library site, as well as the shipping address you'd like me to send it to.
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