Saturday, October 11, 2008

Halloween Flash #2

Well, here is the second installment of Halloween Horror October. It's called "Spot." But don't rush away after you finish the story. Two other folks have joined in the fun, Avery DeBow, with the very eerie "The Empress of the Fescue," and Laughingwolf, with a tightrope walking piece of prose called "flight." The links to these stories will be posted after the end of "Spot." And if you missed my "Halloween Flash #1," called "Goodnight," just see my Thursday post. Hope you enjoy!

Note: Sidney Williams has posted a Halloween Flash Horror over on his blog so I'm going to add his link to this post, at the bottom. It's an evil little piece deserving of your attention, called "Having His Say."


SPOT

Spot is my pet and I love him. My daddy brought him home last week, but already we’re inseparable. He sleeps on the floor by my bed and I feed him scraps from the table when no one is looking.

I love my daddy, too. And not just because he brought Spot home after my dog, Rover, died. Daddy knows everything. He teaches at a major university and is a doctor, though I’m always sposed to remember he’s not a “med doctor” but a doctor of Sperimental Psychology. He says med doctors are just plumbers.

I’m eight years old and one thing that worried me at first about Spot was that he was older than me. So was Rover. But when I asked Daddy if he thought Spot might die soon from old age, he said not to worry, that Rover had died from barking too much and Spot doesn’t bark.

Spot plays all the games I like, as long as I give him clear orders. I especially like to play fetch with him, and he never gets the ball all slobbery like Rover did. The only thing I don’t like is that he’s not as much fun to pet as Rover. Part of it is that he doesn’t have Rover’s soft fur, but I think a lot of it is the ugly black box attached to his head. It gets in the way a lot.

Daddy says the box is really important, though. He says that it has lectrodes that control Spot, and that without it Spot would run away. I don’t want that to happen so I’ll just have to live with the box, I guess. I sure wouldn’t want to see Spot’s picture on a milk carton like those other lost kids.

--- the end ---
----------------

Empress of the Fescue, by Avery DeBow.

flight, by Laughingwolf.

Having His Say by Sidney Williams.

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37 comments:

laughingwolf said...

lol... nice twist, charles ;)

and thx for the plug, will check out avery's in a moment....

Sidney said...

Another good one!

Donnetta Lee said...

Good, good, Charles. Love to get the creeps. I also enjoy Halloween. D

Rick said...

Laughingwolf is right, Chalres. Very, very nice twist!

Charles Gramlich said...

Laughingwolf, glad you liked it. Enjoyed your's as well.

Sidney, thankee.

Donnetta Lee, I even watched TV last night because they had the FLy and the Fly II on.

Rick, thanks. I hope it wasn't too obvious.

Lana Gramlich said...

See? I knew you were one sick bastard. MY sick bastard. Awwwwwwwwwwww.

ivan said...

Eeyoww!

The Pavlov principle.

Hard to salivate.

laughingwolf said...

get my ecard?

Charles Gramlich said...

Lana, why thank you sweetums.

Ivan, only on my command.

Laughingwolf, I did, and showed it to Lana. Thank you very much. That was incredibly nice.

laughingwolf said...

most welcome, charles... glad you both enjoyed it :D

Scott said...

Charles, good job!

the walking man said...

This tale must be from the 70's. The new world black box is a micro-ch...(comment ended for inappropriate thought content)

Anndi said...

Purrfect! No wait, that's for a cat story...

Most excellent, gave me a giggle at the end.

BernardL said...

Gripping vignette, Charles.

Leigh Russell said...

You write very convincingly as an eight year old. I like trying to write from a child's point of view. It's great fun but surprisingly difficult to do well. Take my hat off to you, Charles.

writtenwyrdd said...

You are a sick man, Charles. I love it.

Middle Ditch said...

Is everyone pretending or what?

I didn't get it. I read all the comments hoping it might give me a clue and I could also pretend and give a real impressive comment.

Deep sigh and hang head in shame.

uccodes said...

Great story. I found a pirate costume for my dog at 1800petmeds.com. I also found a coupon code RADIO that saved me 10% and got me free shipping on the order. He looks great and I saved money.

Charles Gramlich said...

Scott, thankee.

Mark, I tried not to specify the size too clearly.

Anndi, glad you liked it.

Bernardl, thanks.

Leigh Russell, well I feel about that old mentally.

Writtenwyrd, well both you and Lana said it so it must be true. :)

Middle ditch, hum, the kicker is that "Spot" is really a human being, a kid that has been brought home by the father to serve as a pet for his son. The black box is contains implanted electrodes. I used to do such electrode implantations in rats in graduate school.

Greg Schwartz said...

good story! and you got the child's voice down pat. i read a richard matheson short story told from a little girl's point of view last year, and before then i never realized how hard it is to write a child narrator.

David Cranmer said...

Charles, these are a lot of fun. Do you post these every year? If so it could be a great collection to publish one day.

Charles Gramlich said...

Greg, thanks. I guess I was channeling my inner 8 year old.

David Cranmer, this is actually the first year it occurred to me but I think I'll make it an annual tradition. I've already got a few more ready to go.

Avery DeBow said...

Very creepy, but I expected nothing less. Have you seen the movie Fido? It's about how the country deals with zombies after they become mainstream parts of society. Great movie.

I have one more piece of flash I may put up in the next couple of days. I was inspired (tormented into writing it) by a traumatic incident involving a very mangled, suffering, dying baby dove.

Avery DeBow said...

Oh, and thanks for the plug. I'll shamelessly accept a neon sign, as well.

JR's Thumbprints said...

My first reaction: They don't put dogs on milk cartons.

My second reaction: Spot ain't no dog!!!!

Miladysa said...

That's another button pushed.

You wicked man! *grin*

Miladysa said...

I've posted one too ;D

Charles Gramlich said...

Avery, I've not seen Fido but that sounds rather interesting. We watched "The Happening" last night and it was really lame.

JR, then your thought processes led you to the right place. Or "wrong" place perhaps.

Miladysa, thanks, I'll be posting another story later today so I'll put a link to your story with that.

Paul R. McNamee said...

Good tale, Charles.

And I, too, recommend Fido!

CrazyCath said...

I needed to read it twice - very clever. Very very good twist. You write great psychological thriller stuff. I want to read more of yours in this vein.

Writing as an eight year old is a real talent and you got it off pat. Well done. The narration spoke as a child but there was no sense lost in the story - I could understand what the child was talking about. "Lecrtodes." "Sperimental psychology." Brilliant.

Ello said...

Oh wow That was awesome!!! I love the twist - it made me laugh and shudder!

ChrisEldin said...

Cool and creepy!

writtenwyrdd said...

I used to do such electrode implantations in rats in graduate school.

Okay, now I have to know: Can you make them move like you want with these implants, or inhibit speech or screw up thinking? Because, well, that would be a really cool thing for a bit of spec fic.

Maybe you could give us a post on that sort of thing some time if it isn't unethical?

Aine said...

You have a very sick, twisted imagination. (And I bet you'll take that as a compliment-- LOL!)

Of course, I'm the one who laughed at the end of your story...

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, I'll have to look for "Fido" for sure.

Crazycath, thanks, I must have been channeling my 8 year old self since it just came to me.

Ello, thankee. Much appreciated.

Chris Eldin, creepy is good.

Writtenwyrd, I'll post about it sometime. We didn't implant motor control electrodes, although those can be implanted. We put in stimulation and recording electrodes in an area of the brain called the Pyriform cortex to study the effects of repeated stimulation on brain changes. It's basically a model for how learning might occur.

Aine, so if you laughed, I guess that makes you the sick one eh? Lol. I do take it as a compliment.

Vesper said...

Wow! I didn't expect that ending. A great flash story!

Charles Gramlich said...

Vesper, thanks.