Archive for October, 2014

Harry Land Final Part

Posted: October 31, 2014 in Uncategorized

‘What the hell was that?’ Katie said.

‘See, we should never have come here,’ Ray said, turning and making for the end of the path.

‘Come on, this could be the coolest story since the original Harry Land story,’ Gerard grinned.

‘Or a gruesome footnote,’ Katie grinned. ‘Either way, it’ll be a rush.’

‘What the hell are you doing?’ Ray said as Katie put her hand to the damp-rotted wood and pushed gently.

The door swung open, letting out the dim light from a trio of pumpkins in the middle of the hallway.

‘Come on,’ she said, moving into the house, her feet making the charred floorboard creak.

Ray gulped hard and followed. His dinner jumped up to sternum height but he managed to swallow it as he moved into the house.

Gerard was keen as mustard, shoving past him and into the hallway.

‘Is anyone there?’ Katie shouted, her voice echoing ominously off the walls. ‘We heard a scream. Are you hurt?’

‘It’s Jeremy pissing about,’ Ray said, suddenly furious. His fear evaporated until he saw the bright flecks of blood on the three pumpkins.

The door slammed shut behind them, sounding like a bomb blast in the silent house.

The pumpkin nearest to Ray began to squirm, the lid of it moving around as if something inside was trying to push its way out.

What looked like the leg of some hairless tarantula poked out through the gap and began to claw its way slowly out of the pumpkin. Soon there were four more legs.

‘Who left a spider in here?’ Gerard laughed. ‘Nice one, but we ain’t fooled.’

They all drew a sharp intake of breath when they realised that it was a child’s hand in there, not a spider.

‘Well they must have drilled through the floor in the basement and poked their hand through,’ Katie said, trying to rationalise the creeping dread that threatened to freeze her heart.

‘Yeah, come on out, Jeremy,’ Ray said, his hatred and disdain for the nerd again overriding his terror for a second.

He grabbed the hand, and his mind screamed at him the skin was too cold, the flesh too squidgy, to be Jeremy’s, but he ignored it and pulled hard.

‘Come on out, you prick,’ Ray shouted, pulling with all he was worth. A grin of triumph lit his face as the hand began to slide out.

Ray screamed himself when he saw that the hand ended in a bloody stump. Maggots, deathly pale in the darkness, squirmed in the open bones and veins therein.

‘Relax, it’s a fake hand,’ Katie said, but the tone of her voice wasn’t convincing any of them.

This was proved to be false when the fingers wriggled as if waving at Ray. He threw it to one side. It bounced off the wall with a meaty thud and began to race across the floor towards him.

Another hand was emerging from the pumpkin nearest the door now and it was larger, almost big enough to be a man’s hand.

They ran to the stairs, being shepherded there by the hands and another pair that had emerged from the darkness of the kitchen.

They saw the smears of wet blood on the stairs and barely avoided slipping on them.

Halfway up the stairs they found a blood-covered white bed sheet.

‘Jeremy,’ Ray said, his face now as white as the sheet in his quaking hands.

They all let out a little cry at the realisation of what was going on; they were trapped in a nightmare from which there was no waking. The hands were making their way up the stairs now, crawling like huge, horrific insects.

The sight made their skin crawl as if covered with ants.

At the top of the stairs they found Jeremy. His right hand was missing, a surprisingly neat wound still gushing with blood that slid over the edge of the top step and began to drip down onto the next. His eyes had been plucked out of his skull and blood was pouring from the sockets like his sorrow was being expressed in scarlet.

‘Get out of here,’ Jeremy said, his voice racked with agony and despair. ‘Harry’s here. He’ll come for you too.’

They dragged him into the bedroom carefully, eager to avoid the hands which were moving quickly up the stairs behind them.

Ray unfastened his belt and tied it tightly around Jeremy’s wrist.

‘It’ll stop the blood flow,’ he said when he saw Katie and Gerard’s baffled expressions.

The room in which they found themselves was in utter darkness.

No sooner had they noticed the darkness than a candle flame flickered in the furthest corner of the room. A pumpkin was there, rotting and stinking, flies forming a foul cloud around it, but still holding its shape.

On the wall were dozens, no, hundreds of severed hands. They were large and small, old and young, male and female. Those of the curious, the stupid, the fearless.

‘The disbelievers,’ said a hissing voice from behind them. They looked up and there was Harry, blackened and dead and rotting. His right arm ended in a horrid bloody stump that dripped diseased blood onto the bare floorboards. His voice was hard to understand, kind of muffled.

They soon saw why.

His tongue was huge and swollen. It seemed to have two forks in it, although more soon appeared. A hideous black hand emerged from his jaws which opened wide, like those of a snake.

The skin at the sides of Harry’s leering face ripped with sickly sounds that echoed around the room. More of the dark, reeking blood slid down from the wounds.

The hand emerged, black, distended and deadly, the arm pouring from his throat, growing longer and longer, far longer than any arm could or indeed should have been.

It grabbed Ray round the throat and squeezed so hard it looked like his eyes were going to pop out of his skull.

Just before his peripheral vision faded into oblivion, he saw the hands on the walls begin to twitch and judder, suddenly alive after a year of hibernation and decay.

They began to haul themselves down from the nails which pinned them to the plasterboard. The sickly popping noises stuck in the heads of the three terrified kids.

The hands grabbed Ray’s arms and legs. He cried out as two crawled onto his face and their clammy, putrescent fingers sunk into his mouth.

One gripped his lower jaw in a grip harder than that of any vice.

The other matched the force on his upper lip, pulling so hard it felt like his lip was going to come off.

His lower jaw was yanked down with a force that tore the remaining breath from him. A third hand seized the opportunity and darted into his open mouth. Its slimy, maggot-infested fingers gripped his tongue.

He gagged as a maggot crawled into the back of his throat.

The hand gripped tight on his tongue, despite the moisture on there, despite the vomit that began to swamp it.

There was a horrendous pain as the hand tried to tear his tongue out at the root. Blood began to fill his mouth, settling in the vomit like some vile emulsion they’d use to paint the walls of hell, the flow increasing to a gush as the back of his tongue came loose. Blood jetted down his throat and he let out a dumb cry that sent blood bubbling down over his lips and onto his flabby chest.

He glanced around and saw Katie pinned to the floor by her chest and legs. Dozens of the rotting, foul hands held her down so hard it looked as though she was going to pass out through lack of oxygen.

I hope you do, Katie, he thought. Better that than what I’m feeling right now.

A set of hands gripped her left arm and pulled with a sudden savagery that wrenched the limb from its socket. Her cry of agony bounced off the walls and seemed to echo for an eternity.

The arms kept pulling and Ray was certain he heard the pop of each individual ligament as it came free.

Finally the limb was torn loose in a hot geyser of blood and thrown to one side.

The hands made their inexorable way across to the other arm.

Mercifully, the pain and shock had made Katie pass out.

The last thing Gerard saw was the hands pulling apart his ribcage in a shower of gore and holding aloft his still-beating heart. Then his head slumped back onto his chest and his eyes slowly closed.

The now-mute Ray gawped at the nightmare scene before him. Blood washed across the bare floorboards towards him but he was too lazy from the blood loss to move. The hands clamped him to the floor as surely as if he’d been nailed there.

His eyes struggled to focus on the scene before him.

The many hands seemed to have calmed their frantic gouging and wrenching and tearing. Now they were sat on his chest, as if waiting for instructions.

Harry himself leaned over, the thick black arm still protruding from his jaws which were forced open wide enough to almost cleave his skull in two. The tongue itself was stretched out to truly epic proportions, pulsing rhythmically.

Harry and Ray both turned as the door opened.

Ray’s blood-slicked jaw dropped open further – almost as much as Harry’s – when he saw the identity of the visitor.

‘Fiona?’ Harry said, the words thick and distorted by the obscenity pouring from his mouth. ‘Is that you?’

‘There should be more of the little shits on the way,’ a familiar voice said.

Miss Hopper stood there before Ray, somehow different to how he normally perceived her.

Then his eyes, with an effort that seemed to leech the breath from him, fell upon her left forearm, which ended in a ragged stump where her hand should have been.

The end was a thick mass of fish-belly white scar tissue.

She seemed to feel his eyes upon her and pointed to the prosthetic hand poking out of her jacket pocket.

‘I told you that you ought to pay more attention in class, Raymond,’ she said, the demonic grin on her face again like when she was telling Harry’s story. ‘You must be the only one who hadn’t noticed my false hand.’

His brow furrowed again, the mating caterpillars going in for their last hurrah as his final breath rushed into his lungs.

His eyes watched as she leaned into Harry, kissed his putrefying cheek.

‘I’m so sorry, Harry,’ she said, tears rolling down her cheeks. ‘Do you forgive me yet?’

If you enjoyed The Curse of Harry Land, check out some of my other titles here:

UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jacob-Rayne/e/B00HS4E3G8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5?qid=1415050609&sr=8-5

US: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HS4E3G8

The Curse of Harry Land Part 4

Posted: October 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Katie knocked on Ray’s door. He scarfed down the last of his spaghetti bolognese, smearing more of it down his double chin and leapt to his feet.

He threw the Freddy Krueger mask he’d inherited from his older brother over his head and shouted, ‘Trick or treat.’ With that, he grabbed Katie in a headlock and roughly noogied her.

‘Hey,’ she squealed. ‘This hair took me ages to sort out. Get your fat hands off me.’

He pulled out the head of one of the snakes she’d meticulously woven into her hair. ‘The hell you supposed to be, anyway?’

‘Medusa, dummy. Don’t you listen in class? We only did it like last week.’

He shook his head.

‘Where’s Gerard?

‘He’s still getting his costume on.’

Ray nodded.

‘Let’s go get him. He’ll be there all night if we let him.’

Katie smiled, itched one of the snakes. The green wool she’d woven in looked awesome but it sure was itchy.

They saw a pale figure in a crisp white sheet in front of them. Two dark eyes peered out through the crudely cut eyeholes.

‘Where you off to, you big girl?’ Ray said, upon recognising Jeremy’s skinny frame underneath the sheet.

‘I’m going to rap on Harry Land’s door,’ Jeremy grinned. ‘You coming?’

Ray gasped. Shook his head instinctively, his mouth floundering for the right words.

‘Now who’s the big girl?’ Jeremy laughed.

‘Yeah,’ Katie said. ‘Let’s go up there and see if it’s true.’ A grin almost as hideous as Miss Hopper’s spread across her face.

Ray squirmed. On the one hand, one of the softest kids in the school was going. This was going to be seriously bad for his street cred. On the other hand, he was genuinely terrified by the story Miss Hopper had told him. His belly was doing somersaults like when he and his brother had double-dared each other to eat raw sausages the previous summer. But this was worse somehow.

He gulped.

‘See ya there, if you ain’t too scared,’ Jeremy grinned, turning and walking, singing the Harry Land song as he went.

It further put the shits up Ray.

‘You can’t let him go and not go yourself,’ Katie grinned. ‘Every kid you’ve ever bullied will turn on ya. You’ll lose any respect or fear you ever held over them.’

Ray nodded. Gulped again. The aftertaste of the spaghetti bolognese burnt his throat. His belly churned even more violently.

‘Yeah, but wait for Gerard. I ain’t in no rush to go there. No reason he should miss out either.’

It turned out Gerard wanted to go; it was the first thing that spilled from his lips.

Ray tried to protest but their taunts further belittled him. He was used to dishing out the bullying and had never been on the receiving end before. He was swept along like a twig in a raging river.

The house was even creepier than they’d imagined.

Elm trees ran riot over the house, which looked as though it hadn’t been occupied since the turn of the previous century. The windows were shattered, covered in dried dark streaks. The wooden walls were scorched in places where no one had bothered to repair them.

All three of them felt eyes upon them, although only Ray chose to believe the sensation.

The skin on the back of his neck began to crawl.

‘Is that blood?’ he asked.

‘I doubt it, unless Miss Hopper’s had the ketchup out to scare us away,’ Gerard laughed. With his zombie face paint, he almost looked dead already. Ray hurriedly dismissed this thought.

‘No sign of Jeremy,’ Ray said. ‘Bet he ain’t even come here.’

‘He will have done,’ Katie said. ‘He was super-determined.’

‘Probably ran away shitting his pants already,’ Gerard laughed. The laugh echoed briefly then cut off as if even it was scared to cross the threshold of the Land household.

‘Let’s fucking do this then,’ Ray said, a thin sliver of his tough guy persona returning at long last. He tore off the mask as his face was already starting to sweat at the thought of entering the nightmare house.

He walked much faster than he wanted to, but he didn’t want to lose any more face in front of his friends. They both looked up to him and he couldn’t be seen to be wussing out.

He took in a deep breath, raised his hand.

Squealed like a little girl when a blood-smeared hand clasped his shoulder hard enough to leave red finger-marks.

‘That was too fun,’ Katie laughed in his ear. ‘Say, you aren’t going pussy on us, are ya?’

‘Course not,’ he said, trying desperately to hide the shake of his hand, the rapid heartbeat that thundered in the middle of his throat.

‘Then fucking knock on the door then,’ Gerard said. ‘It ain’t that hard. See.’ He rapped three times on the wood.

‘Oh no,’ Katie grinned. ‘You knocked on the door of Harry Land. Now the devil will come out and chop off your hand.’

Gerard hid his hand up his sleeve and began to fake some screams.

‘Piss off,’ Ray said. He knocked hard on the door. Just the once, that was all he could stomach.

Katie brayed a fast beat on it.

‘There, can we go now?’ Ray said.

‘Ah-ah-ah,’ Gerard smiled. ‘We’re going in. Gonna bring one of those hands back home if there are any.’

‘There aren’t gonna be any hands,’ Katie said, as if explaining it to a toddler. ‘Cos it ain’t real.’

‘There might be this one,’ Gerard said, putting his other arm up his sleeve and beginning the fake screaming again.

Halfway through his screaming, the smiles on his and Katie’s faces vanished without a trace when a cry of utter despair came from inside the house.

Part five here: https://jacobrayne.wordpress.com/2014/10/31/harry-land-final-part/

The Curse of Harry Land Part 3

Posted: October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Derek grinned as he stepped up to the porch of the Land house.

‘I showed that stupid fuck good,’ he grinned. The realisation of what he’d done never really registered.

Dwight and Fiona had come with him, reluctantly at first, but soon the cash was flowing or the eggs were flying and everything was good and forgotten and fun, y’know, real fun.

The haul they’d taken was heavy in the bin bags hung over their backs and they really didn’t need to visit the house they’d, as last year, left till last.

Dwight stood at the end of the path, his eyes widening slightly, his breath like barbed wire on his throat.

His heart pounded his ribs like it was trying to escape.

‘Come on, you pussy,’ Derek said, waving Dwight forward with a casual motion of his muscled arm.

Dwight gulped and stepped over the threshold.

As Derek raised his scabby fist to bray on the surface of the door – still marked with burns from last year, Fiona and Dwight noted with horror – they both felt the urge to stop him, to grab his arm and yank it away instead of letting him touch the scorched fabric of the house where they’d all contributed to the death of an innocent man.

But they were too slow.

Knock.

Knock-knock.

Knock.

The final knock echoed away into the night. This time the moon was fat and full, watching them like an unblinking eye.

‘Lights are on but no one’s home,’ Derek chortled. ‘Remind you of anything?’

Dwight laughed, more to avoid a kicking off Derek later. Fiona faked a laugh.

‘Get it?’ Derek grinned, his booze-glazed eyes like pinpricks in a pumpkin. ‘Cos the guy who lives here’s a fucking ’tard!’ He started laughing the kind of laugh you only get after drinking more than you can handle and brayed again on the door. ‘Yo? Open up, you stingy bastard!’

A realisation hit Dwight and Fiona like a falling building: Derek didn’t remember what had happened here last year.

They stared at each other for a numb second. Neither wanted to be the one to tell him and they came to the unspoken agreement not to broach it. After all, they’d soon realise there was no one home and move on to greener pastures, like the Richardson’s place on the next street, which was ripe for the picking.

‘Are you there, you goddamn simpleton?’ Derek bellowed, braying a fist into the door and swallowing half of his penultimate can of beer in a oner. His resultant belch echoed around the porch.

The latch of the door clicked.

The door opened with the kind of squeal you only ever hear in horror movies or in a nightmare. You don’t ever want to hear that sound in real life, trust me on that.

‘Yo, numbnuts!’ Derek shouted into the darkness.

‘Wait,’ Fiona said, pointing into the porch where a pumpkin waited for them.

‘Cough up or get fucked up,’ the legend carved into the pumpkin read.

Icicles ran through Dwayne and Fiona’s veins. Derek was too drunk and stupid to care.

As Derek stared down into the pumpkin, light dancing back and forth across his face, a dark fluid that looked like blood spat up into his face.

He cursed and wiped it off and gave the pumpkin a hearty kick. A handful of pound coins fell out of the open lid of the pumpkin.

Derek’s face lit up like that of a kid at Christmas and he greedily scooped up the pound coins and shoved them into his pockets.

One of ’em fell from his pocket and he ducked to pick it up, scraping his hand through the dark liquid on the floor.

‘This is blood,’ he said, suddenly fifty shades more sober.

He hurriedly wiped his hands on the curtain and spun. The house was still in darkness.

‘I don’t like this,’ Dwight said.

‘Shut up, you big girl,’ Derek said.

The chill in the air made them pull their clothes tighter round themselves.

The flicker of a flame came from the upstairs landing, though they’d all have sworn on their mother’s lives that it wasn’t there when they walked in the house.

‘I really don’t like this,’ Dwight said.

As he turned to walk down the stairs – eluding Derek’s furious grasp – the door slammed shut, sending waves of cold through the house.

Dwight gulped and turned towards his friend on the stairs.

Derek was first up the stairs of course, his pig-headedness wouldn’t let it be any other way.

The second pumpkin was there, halfway up the snaking staircase. The dying light cast by the candle in its hollowed out carcass scattered shadows across the walls.

‘Plenty more where that came from,’ was plastered across the wall in what looked like dripping blood. It appeared almost black in the fading light.

He saw the glint of gold in the pumpkin’s head, illuminated a little by the dancing flame atop the pumpkin’s candle.

He ducked his hand in, felt dozens, no hundreds, of pound coins in there, even the dry crinkle of paper money. A grin crossed his lips and left a split second later when the snarling jaws of the pumpkin snapped shut around his wrist.

He cursed, pulled away, taking a large chunk of his flesh. Blood spattered down onto the bare floorboards, seeming to melt into dark stains that were already there.

‘You ok?’ Dwight said. ‘We can go if you want to?’

‘Are you shitting me?’ Derek said, snatching his arm away.

Fiona gave the pumpkin a wide berth. The eyes seemed to follow her, the mouth to widen as if imagining how she would taste.

The top of the staircase was cast in a blanket of shadows. The floor up here was darkened, with what looked like a dried pool of blood staining the old floorboards. There were also burn marks.

It looked like there was the chalk outline of a body there, too.

Minus one of its hands.

They moved into the bedroom.

The pumpkin was behind the door this time. The pool of light it cast was dim, and Fiona and Dwight only saw the room for a second, before the door slammed shut.

‘Time’s up, motherfucker,’ Fiona would later sob, traumatised, onto police report and into local legend, ‘That’s what it said on the wall, in foot-high letters.’ She sobbed, sniffed, took a gulp of coffee. ‘That’s what Derek said to Harry, before he threw the lighter.’ She gulped again, let what she had said sink in.

The crime scene team, upon entering the room, had seen that her story was true. The foot-high letters were carefully traced across the wall in fresh blood. The prints didn’t match anyone on record, although Fiona had a funny feeling that they’d match the missing right hand of Harry Land.

Yeah, they’d match those just as fine as you’d like.

‘So what did they do to him, miss?’ Ray said, suddenly sitting bolt upright in his chair, his eyes glued to her, his ears pricked up.

She smiled a knowing smile. ‘I could tell you but you’d have nightmares for the rest of your sorry life.’

‘Please tell us,’ the kids said.

She shook her head. ‘It’s enough to tell you that there was blood all over the walls. Derek’s own hands were missing, I’ll tell you that. His arms ended in ragged, bloody stumps. And his eyes, they were the worst part. They were just staring… glassy. Dead.’

A couple of the kids baulked. The rest were ok; in this day of movie violence and sadistic video games they’d no doubt seen worse on the idiot box.

‘So, what happened to him?’ Ray said. ‘I mean, who did it?’

The malicious grin once again played across Miss Hopper’s lips. ‘Who do you think?’

‘It was Harry, dumbass,’ Jeremy said, suddenly full of confidence.

Ray’s brow furrowed, his two thick black eyebrows meeting in the middle like a pair of particularly hirsute mating caterpillars. ‘But…’ you could almost hear the cogs in his head turning as he struggled to process this information. ‘…Harry died. How…’

Miss Hopper snorted laughter. ‘It’s Hallowe’en, time for a scare,’ she sang to remind him. ‘If you trick or treat you’d best beware. Don’t knock on the door of Harry Land, or the devil will come and chop off your hand.’

Ray’s brows furrowed further still.

‘He made a deal with the devil to pay them back, slowpoke,’ Katie Frank said, shaking her head in disbelief that he still hadn’t figured it out.

Miss Hopper smiled and nodded. ‘Yes, him and his friends.’

‘So what happened to them, Miss?’ Ray said.

That night, they got home, tried to sleep, but terror consumed them, prevented them from getting a restful night. They heard fingers drumming on the window like the legs of an immense spider.

And looked out to see a lone hand on the windowsill. No body attached to it, just a festering, oozing piece of dead flesh.

But it wasn’t dead, the fingers, though rotten and dead and harbouring countless maggots, had a strength and a dexterity that managed to open the latch on the window.

It crawled into the room, like some horrid creature.

And…

It grabbed Dwight’s arm and pinned it to the mattress. He opened his mouth to scream but another hand – this one much smaller and fresher and scabbed with eczema – crawled up the bed and clapped down over his mouth so hard he couldn’t scream, could barely even breathe.

He fought hard, but it was too late for him.

Much too late.

This shadowy form appeared in the room, so dim and tenebrous he struggled to make it out.

He said there looked like horns on the top of its head and glowing red eyes that blazed through the snaking shadows. There was a snort that sounded like a bull or a goat, then his bulging eyes fell upon the razor sharp axe held aloft in the apparition’s huge hand.

It was the same axe Harry had used to chop off his hand.

It held it up for a second, and he was certain he saw it smile, heard it laugh. The noise echoed around in his head.

Then the axe plunged down, slamming into the skinny wrist with a force that instantly severed his hand.

Thick gouts of blood sprayed out, hitting the ceiling and bouncing back down onto his trembling body. It was like he took a blood shower, one of the cops who found him would later say.

And before he died, his own hand crawled up his body, slowly, savouring every inch it moved. The dead fingers flexed then grabbed tight around his windpipe. His struggles intensified, but the hands held him tight. He wasn’t going anywhere.

The severed hand crushed in ever tighter, forcing out the meagre amount of air that remained in his starving lungs. Then it pulled hard, tearing his throat out in hot hails of blood. It was the last thing he saw; his own, severed hand holding aloft the crushed length of his larynx.

When they found him the hands had gone, of course, but they found trails in the blood. Found Derek’s fingerprints, and those of Fiona, whose body was never found.

The severed hand was never recovered either.

‘Woah, that’s brutal,’ Ray said, a whiter shade of pale covering his already pasty face.

Miss Hopper nodded.

‘So now you know where the song comes from,’ she said. ‘And you know why you must avoid Harry Land’s house if you decide to go trick or treating.’

‘Ah, that ain’t gonna happen to any trick or treaters,’ Katie said. ‘That’s just a scary Hallowe’en story. Not true.’

Miss Hopper’s face was instantly robbed of the glee it had previously exhibited.

‘It is true. And none of you must ever go there. Every year since the unfortunate night of Harry’s death there have been kids curious and stupid enough to visit poor Harry’s house. And every year there have been kids who have never returned home. Hands that have never been found.’

‘Bull-shit,’ Jeremy piped up, his voice much more powerful than his usual timid self.

‘I don’t think any of us should go,’ Ray said. ‘It sounds scary as shit to me.’

The reversal of the usual classroom roles was startling for most of the class. Most of them began to heckle Ray.

‘You must promise me that none of you are ever going to go up there,’ Miss Hopper said, face grave.

The kids all looked around each other. A handful of them were reluctant to promise, but Miss Hopper saw that most of them were terrified. They’d rather swallow their own shit than go up there, judging by the timid, clammy faces that stared back at her.

Jeremy, Katie and Gerard were the only ones who were yet to promise not to go to Harry’s house.

‘Come on, guys,’ Miss Hopper said.

‘We promise,’ they said together with a complete lack of sincerity that made her think of the spin-doctor politicians she’d seen on TV spinning a web of lies ready for the next election. Not my fault if they get themselves killed, she thought.

She began to talk again, but the bell sounded. As the last bell of the school day, she knew she had more chance of flapping her arms and flying than keeping the unruly kids in class.

‘Please, kids, I’m begging you, don’t go up there,’ she shouted as they shouldered their bags and jostled to be first out of the door.

There was trick or treating to be done, scares to be dished out and no time to waste on school.

Part four here: https://jacobrayne.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/the-curse-of-harry-land-part-4/

The Curse of Harry Land Part 2

Posted: October 28, 2014 in Uncategorized

Reggie’s face lit up in a horrid scowl.

Harry, still unable to free his hand, screamed as the flames bloomed around him, the heat already enough to sear the hairs on the back of his legs.

‘Mammy,’ he screeched, a cry as piteous as any that had ever been heard, and doubled his efforts to free his hand.

The dry wooden floorboards and the beams in the walls were fuel to the hungry flames and the downstairs was a raging inferno within a minute.

‘Cough up or get fucked up,’ Derek grinned, slamming the door shut on the terrified Harry, whose back was now ablaze, his hair and flesh fizzing and crackling like bacon in the pan.

Harry screamed again, his desperate but weak struggles not enough to free himself from the clutch of the heavy oak sideboard.

Screams from upstairs hit their ears as the raging inferno made its way into Harry’s mother’s bedroom.

Derek grinned and proceeded to lean on the fence and watch.

Behind the door, Harry’s struggles and screams intensified.

Then abated.

Through the crackle of the flames, the bloodcurdling screams from upstairs and the approaching sirens, they heard meaty thuds and saw a dark pool begin to spread beneath the door.

‘It’s blood,’ Fiona said, wide-eyed.

Again, the survivor said there was a reflection in that pool and it weren’t that of no man.

Its eyes were aglow like the house, the story goes. But it was smiling. The flames weren’t touching it, it just seemed to walk through ’em like they were nothing.

The screams from upstairs cut off suddenly, horribly.

There was a heavy thud, like part of a body hitting the floor, the story goes.

Then the struggling sounds from the hall abated.

‘Are you happy? He’s dead, you prick,’ Reggie spat.

Derek grinned, and it weren’t the grin of no man. We have that on good authority.

The job was done, or so it seemed.

Derek turned away, the triumphant grin still on his face. Dwight and Fiona followed him, his spineless accomplices in cowardice.

Reggie planted Derek a good one, smashing his nose across his face in a spectacular display of blood and snot. Derek landed on his arse hard, knocking the breath from his body.

By the time Derek regained his senses, Reggie had kicked in the front door, slipping a little in the immense dark pool that coated the floor in the hall. He tripped over something in the hallway.

Harry’s hand.

He’d taken the axe to it in his desperation to get to his mother’s room and save her from the flames.

Reggie followed the trail of blood up those stairs, being careful not to slip in it – his legs and ass were already sore from his first fall. He found Harry by the bedroom door, his bloody stump pressed against the wood as if to batter it open. The door was dented a little, bloody smears across the white-glossed wood.

Then Reggie was being carried away by strong arms. He saw a face distorted by the flames, and he reckoned it was the face of God.

It was the fireman of course.

And Harry’s mother was ok, she’d just realised screaming was using up a hell of a lot of air. She’d laid low, soaked some sheets in the sink in the en-suite – yes, a house that shitty had an en suite – and waited it out.

But Harry.

Miss Hopper shook her head, her face taking on a sorrowful expression.

‘Poor Harry.

‘He bled out at the scene. Poor bastard loved his mother so much he died for her and all because of a prank some dumbass kid decided to play.

‘And worst thing is he would’ve been okay if he hadn’t gone in after her. She survived the fire, only to die of a broken heart a few weeks later.

‘But that wasn’t the end of the story…’

So Derek remembered very little about what happened. He was bombed, right?

Dwight and Fiona, they were fucking traumatised by it. Reggie knew he’d done his bit but he was one hell of a nice guy, he couldn’t quite come to terms with it. He kept going round there, leaving flowers and shit. He felt really bad, even though it wasn’t his fault.

Poor sod. Wrong place, wrong time.

Derek never showed any of that, the only thing he seemed to remember was that he had got one over on some poor retarded bastard. The reality that he’d played a big part in his death didn’t really register.

Derek was a master at denying things.

Anyway, Reggie struggled with nightmares, wished he’d done more. Yeah, he was that good a guy. In the end, it drove him crazy.

The others eventually forgot about it.

Till the next Hallowe’en.

Part three here: https://jacobrayne.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/the-curse-of-harry-land-part-3/

The Curse of Harry Land Part 1

Posted: October 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

It is with great pleasure I am sharing with you all the first part of a terrifying new Hallowe’en story. Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way. Like pretty much all of my work, this is a horror story. There’s gore, swear words and scenes that may disturb. That being said, enjoy…

‘It’s Hallowe’en, time for a scare,

If you trick or treat you’d best beware,

Don’t knock on the door of Harry Land,

Or the devil will come and chop off your hand,’ Miss Hopper sang in an ominous sing-song voice while rolling her eyes up into the back of their sockets. In the dancing flames from the freshly carved pumpkins she looked the wrong side of insane. In fact, she looked positively demonic.

‘Stop it, Miss, you’re scaring the shit out of us,’ Kelly Forrest said with a shudder.

Miss Hopper let the curse go – though she usually pursued each and every cuss word like a shark after a blood-smeared swimmer – as she realised the effect her words were having on the class.

‘So what’s the story with Gary Land?’ Ray Potts said from the back of the class.

He slouched low in his chair, his muffin top poking out over his threadbare black trousers, his endlessly chattering jaw chewing a tasteless wad of gum while his chubby fingers drummed a restless beat on the desktop.

‘Harry,’ Kelly said.

‘Yes, Harry Land,’ Miss Hopper said, giving him her most furious why weren’t you listening? stare.

‘Whatever,’ he said, drumming harder on the desk.

‘Wait a minute,’ Miss Hopper grinned. ‘You don’t know the story of Harry Land?’ Her finger trembled a little as she pointed at Ray.

Ray shook his head, his jowls almost slapping him in the lugs as he did so.

‘Do any of you know the story?’ she said with malicious glee.

One kid raised his hand.

‘Yes, Jeremy?’

‘About how he used to piss in front of the school most mornings?’

Miss Hopper stifled a laugh – and the urge to slam him for swearing (Jeremy had it hard enough when his stepdad went upside his head for coming home covered in mud and bruises from the beatings of the school bullies, Ray Potts among them) – and nodded. ‘Yes that was him, but this story is about something different.’

A sea of puzzled and curious faces stared back at her.

She rubbed her hands together, her glee reaching fever pitch now.

‘Ok, then. I’ll tell you,’ she said.

The light from the pumpkins once more danced around her face, the moving, contorting shadows distorting her features.

‘Harry Land made a deal with the devil,’ she said. ‘Because God wasn’t listening. But that was later. What happened first was…’

Three young boys. One girl. Thought they were the loser’s club from Stephen King’s It or some shit.

Wandering around on Hallowe’en. Decked out in crappy, three quid Hallowe’en costumes, trying to score some candy and cash.

The youngest one, Derek Sykes, was drunk on his father’s whiskey. Thought he was God’s gift to practical jokes. The others were sober, just a few months into being teenagers, whereas Derek was only twelve.

They called on all of the houses on Harry’s street, even walked past his house, calling loud enough to make sure he knew they were coming back.

‘The time has come,’ Derek said, swaying slightly from the effects of the drink on his frail body as he stepped onto Harry’s porch.

Harry opened the door, mouth agape. If the surviving child’s words are to be believed, a thin strand of drool ran down over his pasty, stubbled chin and landed on the bare floorboards at his feet, just in front of where his chalk-white big toes poked out through the ends of his slippers.

‘What do you want?’ Harry said.

‘Trick or treat, motherfucker,’ Derek said, flashing his fingers in a crude gun sign. ‘Cough up or get fucked up.’ A malignant grin crossed his pale features.

His three companions, Reggie, Dwight and Fiona, all grimaced. The man was clearly not in his right mind. His eyes were rolled back in his head like a walking corpse.

Pissed as a newt, Dwight’s dad used to say.

‘Sorry, don’t get ya,’ Harry said, his glazed eyes and blank expression revealing that this was the truth.

‘Come on, Derek,’ Reggie said. ‘The poor guy’s sackless.’ He turned to walk down the path towards the ramshackle gate that separated Harry’s house from the main street.

Derek cursed and brought back his right fist to strike Reggie in the nose.

Reggie backed off, raising his hands to indicate he didn’t want any trouble, though he reckoned he could put Derek on his arse if he needed to.

Dwight and Fiona said nothing, just watched.

‘Cough up or get fucked up,’ Derek repeated, swaying even more. ‘That’s how we roll.’

Reggie shook his head, stared into Derek’s eyes. ‘Not with him. He doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. Hurting him would be like punching a baby. I’m not having anything to do with it.’

‘You help me wreck his house or I’ll knock you out.’

‘You couldn’t knock out a wank, you daft bastard,’ Reggie said, shoving Derek to one side and turning away.

Derek bounced off the wall and swung a punch that hit nothing but air.

Reggie looked Fiona and Dwight in the eyes for a second and slowly shook his head. ‘I thought you guys were better than this,’ he said, walking up the path away from the Land house.

Harry, scared and confused by this young troublemaker on his porch, began to edge the door closed. Derek’s eczema-scarred arm poked into the gap, jamming the door open.

He held his hand out, feeling totally, utterly entitled to something from poor old Harry.

‘And he was entitled,’ Miss Hopper said, allowing herself a sinister little smile that played across her lips for the merest hint of a second. She snorted laughter, a hideous, sadistic sound that chilled the children’s blood. ‘But not to what he was expecting.’

Before anyone could butt in, Miss Hopper had continued.

‘Please, leeme alone,’ Harry uttered. Again, the survivor of the hellish ordeal swore a string of drool tumbled from the man’s hesitant lips.

Derek’s eyes lit up with a maleficent light.

He leaned in low, the alcohol on his breath stinging poor Harry’s nostrils.

‘Listen, you retard, it’s Hallowe’en. You give us kets, or preferably money, and we don’t egg every inch of your sorry house.’

Harry’s eyes grew wide, his lips struggling to articulate the fear he felt.

‘My mam,’ he said. ‘Asleep in bed. She ill, you wake her.’ His face displayed total childish innocence. He was harmless, wouldn’t have hurt a fly.

Until what they did to him, of course.

Derek smiled wider, clearly too stupid or drunk or mean to realise – or care – that Harry didn’t have the slightest idea what was going on.

His arm drew back, the first egg sailing up towards the crescent moon that smiled down upon them.

The egg seemed to take an eternity to land but it shattered right across the bedroom window, spattering its yellow payload across the dirty glass.

Harry cried out, holding his hands to the sides of his head.

‘Plenty more where that came from,’ Derek said, pointing to the cool-box full of eggs he’d toted round the street.

‘I think we’d better just leave it,’ Fiona said, grabbing his arm and trying to lead him away.

‘Get off me,’ Derek snapped, pulling his arm away and raising his fist to slug her.

Dwight watched, too startled to do anything.

Fiona cowered away.

‘We do it, or none of ’em will give us anything next year,’ Derek said, his tone indicating that he thought this would be the worst thing in the world.

He had no idea of the worst thing in the world.

Not yet, anyway.

Harry cowered after taking an egg in the face.

Derek’s laugh filled the porch. Fiona looked to Dwight. He was too chicken to resist Derek, even when he knew he was doing something wrong. Dwight picked up an egg too and sent it sailing in through the doorway. It bounced off the back of Harry’s head as he turned to wipe the first egg off his face.

Derek began to sense that he was getting nowhere, sensed it was time to up the stakes.

Mere eggs were not going to get the result he wanted.

He pulled out the bottle of lighter fluid he’d hidden in his pocket. Dwight and Fiona both gulped. This was suddenly a hell of a lot more serious than they’d thought.

Harry didn’t react, he was too busy pulling shards of egg shell out of his bloodshot eyeball.

‘Cough up or get fucked up,’ Derek said, holding the lighter fluid aloft like a trophy. ‘Shit just got real.’

‘This is a really bad idea,’ Reggie said from the sidewalk.

‘Get lost then,’ Derek spat.

Reggie moved back a little, unsure of how to react.

Dwight and Fiona froze in inaction, gawping at each other, their eyes occasionally flicking to the bottle of lighter fluid.

‘I’ll tell everyone how you pussied out,’ Derek grinned.

Dwight and Fiona shrugged, this was somehow worse than whatever lunacy Derek had in mind.

‘Listen to me, you backwards bastard,’ Derek said, carefully enunciating every syllable. ‘If you don’t give us money, paper money, we’re gonna set your shithole house on fire.’

To prove his point, he took the lid off the bottle and threw it into the hallway of Harry’s house.

Harry’s eyes widened again, and, in a moment of hideous clarity, they saw the tiny shard of egg shell that stuck in his iris.

They saw he understood.

Saw he was foraging in his tattered pockets for money to stave off the murderous drunkard on his front porch, his trembling hands scattering coins across the floor.

They also saw that it was too late.

Harry was down on his knees now, trying to pick up the dropped coins from under the heavy wooden sideboard that occupied the space behind the door. Derek ran in and tipped the sideboard over, making Harry utter a scream as his hand was trapped beneath it.

The zippo lighter Derek had lifted from his father’s jacket glinted in the pale light of the moon.

Reggie had seen what was going down from his spot on the sidewalk – he’d been unable to leave the scene, as instinct had told him that something bad was going to happen – and had ran in to stop it.

The surviving kid had later said they’d seen the devil’s reflection in that lighter, in place of where poor Harry had been, but of course, the words are a little on the unbelievable side.

Nothing anyone did was quick enough.

‘Time’s up, motherfucker,’ Derek spat, and threw the flaming lighter into the house.

Part two here: https://jacobrayne.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/the-curse-of-harry-land-part-2/

Harry Land promo

Start the scares early with the first part of a fiendish Hallowe’en story.

Free Hallowe’en Terror

Posted: October 17, 2014 in Uncategorized

Jacob Rayne's photo.

‘Jacob Rayne is one of my Favorite authors and this book is one of the many reasons why.He infused horror with sci fi this go round and man oh man was it a success.I found myself constantly terrified but unable to put the book down because I needed to find out what he had in store for me next.This book is written in such a way that before you know it half the story has gone by in a haze of terror and gore,yes folks Jacob delivers big time for us lovers of the horror genre and sci fi.I know when I pick up a Jacob Rayne book I will not be disappointed,he has a gift for the macabre and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.So buckle your seat belts because The Lazarus Contagion is the wildest of rides’.

The Lazarus Contagion

Posted: October 4, 2014 in Uncategorized

My second novel is a horror/technothriller mashup with boatloads of gore and scares. Here’s the blurb:

‘Nothing ever happens in Taunton.

Until the gas-masked gunmen arrive and send Mark on a frantic flight from his once-quiet home town.

Soon Taunton is at the heart of a horrific conspiracy that threatens to change the face of the world.

Life may never be the same again…’

Here are the links:
UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00NAI0FW2

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NAI0FW2