Tag Archives: short stories

The Harvesters

Featuring in:  MUSE ; HARBOUR HOUSE ; KNOCK KNOCK 

“5:02”

If the finest meat and dairy in the Shady City is what you are after then look no further than the Harvester logo. Family run for generations the Harvester Farm has blossomed into a large franchise thanks to Dr G Winslow. Dr Winslow is a highly respected member of Coldford society and thanks to his efforts you can enjoy a harvester burger at one of many convenient locations around the city.

Chief clinician and CEO Dr G Winslow.

But as grand as they have become the family feel is still at the heart of the Harvester brand and none feel more like family than the dutiful farm hands, led by Glenn.

 

 

502: Slaughter Time

But with all things in the Shady City the Harvesters have their part to play in brewing tensions. Growing such a brand requires money and someone has to pick up the bill somewhere. The Harvesters are branching out to new pursuits.

The Harvesters Team: Curtis, Julia and Glenn. Three happy Harbour House helpers.

There will always be a true Harvester at the Harvester Farm and since the old Harvester is Ill that duty falls to his only daughter Julia. Julia finds herself under the gaze of a struggling artist. She can inspire him to greatness and in him she can find the opportunity her family legacy needs to break free from the tyranny that holds them.

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The Harvesters have to supply the meat and the Shady City is hungry. Check out these other thrillers currently available:

This Place: David Finn’s Workshop

Featured in: MUSE

As we anticipate the release of MUSE our stop on the Shady City tour this week takes us far north where the city scape starts to change to farm lands. There you will find a set of allotments. Number 605B doesn’t belong to a gardener though. This allotment house sets itself aside from the others because often, loud music can be heard blaring from it as a tortured mind tries to drown out their demons. You will find clay faces watching you from the windows – those that aren’t blacked out of course. Some have figurines hanging in them.

The land around the allotment house is dead and barren.

 

Allotment house 605B belongs to the artist, David Finn. He uses it as a workshop. It was once the birthing suite for some of the city’s most sought after paintings and sculptures. Now it only offers useless attempts at recapturing the glory days. Most of the recent pieces will end smashed in frustration or burned.

No new life has come from that allotment house recently. Only abortion after abortion as the frustrated artist falls further and further into despair.

It’s a simple wooden structure, quite unimpressive to an untrained eye but inside will once again be a hub of creativity. Breath taking pieces of art came from behind those doors before. Now it is a drug addict’s den.

The little allotment house hasn’t done with it’s story just yet though. When an innocent seeming farm girl knocks on the door it will change everything.

Click HERE to read MUSE. We are celebrating the cross over of the Harvester brand to the Knock Knock graphic novel series so for a limited time only get your copy of MUSE for just 99p/c !


 

 

No Toys In The Attic

She smelled the air. It all felt so brand new to her. It was almost like she hadn’t sampled the scent of the city before.

“You have a whole new life ahead of you peaches,” said Dennis.

He always called her peaches. He said it was because it was how her hair smelled. Dennis was the only person that had ever been nice to her. Even her parents disliked her. Her dad called her a retard. Her mother could barely look at her when her sister was so much smarter, so much more beautiful. Dennis had rescued her. He had climbed the tower of HARBOUR HOUSE and carried her away. The doctors had told her she was sick. She didn’t feel sick. They called it intellectual disability but when the doctors backs were turned the nurses called her an idiot or a simpleton. All she knew was that she didn’t think about things the way people seemed to want her to and it made them mad. She was seventeen years old but she remained locked in her childish imagination. Her parents didn’t love her but she still loved them and her pretty sister. They didn’t want want her in the home so when the doctor called and told them she had conduct disorder they locked her away in the hospital and didn’t want to see her any more.

Dennis came to see her though. He came to see her all the time and he smiled for her and he was so handsome. He held her and comforted her and she never wanted to leave him. One day he came to her and told her he had rescued her from the nasty hospital and was taking her home.

CHLOE knew she was lucky. She was the luckiest girl alive.

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Dennis took her to a place called the KNOCK KNOCK CLUB. He told her she would have to earn her keep and she was okay with that. He had rescued her so she didn’t want to upset him.

The first few nights at the club were quiet. A woman who worked behind the bar befriended her. She was kind to Chloe and as Chloe stood with an empty tray in her hand the bar maid told her that if she needed any help to come find her. One of the members of the band that played at the club smiled at her. He shook her hand and introduced himself. He was a black man with a wide smile and he made her smile too. Dennis had instructed her to tell all of them she was twenty.

At the end of the night the club began to clear. It was late. It was a lot later than she would normally have been awake. At the hospital they always told her she had be in her bed and asleep by ten o’clock. At the Knock, Knock club she had no bedtime.

After the club cleared Dennis came to her.

“How was the first night?” he asked.

Chloe hid her tired eyes behind an excited smile. “It was fun,” she said. “I liked it.”

Dennis wrapped his arm around her. She felt so safe by his side.

“Glad to hear it,” he said. “I have something more for you.”

Chloe was tired but she didn’t want to make Dennis sad so she feigned enthusiasm.

“What is it?”

Dennis tightened his grip. Now they were walking up the stairs to the upper floors of the club. He was leading her to the room she could have. It didn’t smell as clean as the hospital but she would love it all the same.

“I have new friends for you who want to visit your room,” he said. “They want to give you special cuddles.”

Chloe was confused. She had heard of special cuddles before but she always thought those were between a mother and a father.

“Do I have to?” she asked.

Dennis stopped. At first his expression was blank but then his teeth were bared and his eyes brightened. He rested a hand under her chin and petted his lip.

“You don’t want to be selfish do you? You want more friends like me don’t you?”

Chloe lowered her gaze. He didn’t like the way he was looking at her. She didn’t want him to be angry with her.

“I guess,” she said.

“I can tell them all that you don’t want to be friends with them and want special cuddles,” he said but his voice sounded upset.

“No please!” she grabbed his arm. “I can be friends with them too.”

Dennis smiled. He was happy again. He ran his finger gently down her cheek. Her heart beat a little faster.

“As long as I am always your best friend.”

Chloe agreed. She agreed to have lots of new friends but Dennis would always remain her best.

That night the first of the new friends visited her room. They were mostly men much older than her. She let them undress her and gave them the special cuddles whichever way they asked her to. At first she didn’t mind. Sometimes she even enjoyed it. As time went on it became more frequent. It even became painful. She didn’t like the new friends any more and she certainly didn’t like them leering at her naked, helpless body.

One came to her room. He wasn’t kind to her. He barely spoke to her. She let him into her room and immediately he pulled off his shirt revealing an obese, middle aged body. He pushed her onto the bed with such force she cried out. Her head hit the wooden bed frame and she began to sob.

“Leave me, leave me, leave me!” she repeated over and over again but the man took no notice. He was not a new friend.

“Shut up!” he spat on her. “I’ve paid good money so you will do what you’re fucking told!” he screamed at her.

She was frightened. She tried to climb out from underneath him but she couldn’t get away. He held her hands above her head. He kissed her but all she could do was continue to cry. She called for Dennis but he didn’t come to rescue her this time. She couldn’t wriggle away so she had to just let him have what he wanted.

“You need to get a hold of your girls,” complained the client to Dennis as he handed over a thick pile of bank notes. “That one gave me some trouble.”

“I’ll have a talk with her.”

“I’ll be back,” he warned. “Get it together or I will letknow what you are doing behind her  back.” He growled. “You remember what happened to Rex. They are still looking for it …”

Dennis shook his arm playfully. “Come on,” he said. “We’re all friends here. I’ll have a talk to her. She’s just a little overworked.”

Dennis found Chloe in her bed. She was clutching white sheets to her. The area over her lap was blood stained. Dennis sat on the bed beside her.

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“What’s wrong?” he asked her. Chloe fell onto his shoulder sobbing. “I thought you liked giving special cuddles.”

She didn’t want to upset him. He was the knight that had come to rescue her like in the story books. He had taken her away from that horrible hospital and loved her when her own parents didn’t.

“I do like special cuddles,” she said. Her teary eyes were still wide and unfocused. “I love them and I will give more if you want me to.”

Dennis patted her back.

“Good girl.”

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The Knock, Knock series is free to read here at Vivika Widow Online or click HERE to download for kindle.

KNOCK, KNOCK: Episode 1: Welcome to the Club

Knock, Knock: Episode 2: Don’t Come Knockin’

Knock, Knock: Episode 3: Sleep Tight Sam

Knock, Knock: Episode 4: Take A Bow

Knock, Knock: Episode 5: A Room With A View

Knock, Knock: Episode 6: Picking Up Strange Women

Knock, Knock: Episode 7: No Kids Allowed

Knock, Knock: Episode 8: Kids These Days

Knock, Knock: Episode 9: Shootin’ The Breeze

Knock, Knock: Episode 10: Calling Last Orders

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The Most Ghost (Part of the Myths and Tales Collection)

I bought a lovely new house. It had everything – high celings, lovely gardens and splendid views. My nearest neighbour was not so far away that I felt isolated and yet not so near that I had to see them all the time. You could go so far as to say it was perfect!

Moving day came. I must have been so exhausted unpacking I didn’t even notice at the problem at first. I slept well the first few nights. It was on the fourth that things started to change.

Bump, bump, bump through the night. It was a little irritating at first but I ignored it and I assumed I could sleep through it but continued on and on.

The next morning – after having spent the worst nights sleep of my life – I decided to call in an exterminator.

He came around noon, carrying potions and poisons that would kill on known creatures on God’s earth.

“I think it’s rats,” I complained. I was a little disgruntled that I hadn’t been warned of it before I moved in.

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’ve seen all sorts of things. I’ll take a look,” the exterminator said with his moustache twitching.

He did his checks. There was a lot of banging and clattering. Finally he emerged wearing thick goggles.

“So what is it? Rats? Roaches? I want all the details so I can sue the estate agent.”

The exterminator took his goggles off.

“It’s none of those things,” he said.

“Then what is it?” I asked.

“We’re going to have to bring in specialists.”

“What is it?” I asked again.

“Ghosts.”

“Ghosts! I knew the house was old. I just didn’t realise how old.

“Not just one ghost. There is a whole family of them,” the exterminator said with a knowledgable air. “You are infested with them. I’ve never seen a ghost infestation like that in all my years.”

“How did that happen?”

He seemed to know what he was talking about so I had to ask him.

“It all starts with one lonely ghost. Then they invite their friends before you know it you can’t get rid of them. The government is the cause of this really for not keeping stricter checks on them.”

I don’t know how much the government could do. If the ghosts were lonely maybe they just needed somewhere to go.

“It’s best you just ignore them,” the exterminator went on. “Pretend they don’t exist. More often than not the problem just goes away. Or you can call a specialist to get rid of them. They just want to come here and make us like them anyway.”

I started to feel sorry for my ghosts. What if they needed help?

“If they are lonely why can’t I just give them a place to stay?” I wondered more to myself.

“But what if one goes bad and starts throwing things around and hurts someone?” the exterminator was appalled that I would accommodate the ghosts.

“Even if one of them were bad that doesn’t mean they are all bad. In fact some of them may actually be really good and want to help around the house … you know … contribute.”

The exterminated started gathering his equipment.

“It’s your choice,” he said. “I wouldn’t have them in my house, around my children. In my experience they just want to come to nice places like this and drive out good people like yourself.”

I ignored the ignorance. I wanted to learn more about my ghosts. I wanted to learn their individual stories that brought them to my home.

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Cat Splat! (A Myths and Tales … Tale)

They say cats have nine lives. Mine has an infinite number and let me explain to you why.

He first came into my life as a kitten. I was ten years old and I came home from school one day to find my dad was up to something.

“Come meet your new friend!” he cheered.

I didn’t have many friends as a child so my dad thought a pet would make an ideal companion. My heart leapt with joy when I heard a meow. He ran at me, his eyes gleaming with instant friendship but rather than leaping into my arms he misjudged and jumped right through the open window. We were three stories up!

Luckily he was okay. He was a little dazed but okay.

“That’s one life lost already,” dad joked.

That day the grey kitten earned his name. Splat!

What featured after that was a long line of mishaps. Starting with Splat! having climbed into a tree. ‘Most cats do that’ I hear you say. Whilst I had the fire brigade on the phone I looked out of the window and Splat! toppled from one of the top branches.

“Never mind,” I told the fireman. “He’s down now.”

Splat! Shook his body and ran off onto his days adventures.

Keeping Spat! out of trouble and away from danger was no easy task. He was run over by Mrs Ninn, who came charging down the street in her little green car looking over the steering wheel through her thick prescription lenses. Splat! didn’t stand a chance. I was distraught. I should have known better by then though. I ran to him. Mrs Winn sped away not realising what had happened. Splat! was still breathing. By the time I reached him he was back on all four feet.

“Are you all right?” I asked.

“Meeeouch!” he gasped but disappeared off. He even came back with a disgruntled mouse that night.

The more of those things happened to him the more I began to realise how amazing a cat he actually was. There was feline agility and then there was surviving an attack from the Keddle kids’s nasty Pitbull.

Splat! was no ordinary pet. That much I was sure of. When I asked dad where he had gotten him he replied, “some old lady.”

I paid a visit to that old lady. She had at least fifty cats.

“I never intended on becoming an old cat lady,” she explained to me. “Splat! and all of his brothers and sisters come from a special breed that dates back to Ancient Egypt. They were worshipped because the never died.”

She pointed to a fat one sleeping in the corner. It had the same grey fur as Splat!.

“That’s Heckles,” she said. “He’s the father of most of them. He’s been with me my entire life and I’m eighty eight! My mother had him at least thirty years before that.”

Heckles opened his large yellow eyes and looked up as thought to say, ‘so what?’

I looked around at the other cats. One brown one with a white dab on it’s nose was using a litter box. A far cry from the creature worshipped by ancient people.

I returned to Splat!. He was stretched out on across my bed bathing in a small slither of sunlight that broke through the window. What was I going to do with an immortal cat?

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Little List of Doom

I once had a little red notebook. It could rest quite comfortably in the palm of my hand. I was only twelve at the time this all happened but I had pretty small hands. Anyway, this book had been in my family for generations. Lots of the pages had been torn out. It didn’t seem like much when I found it amongst the boxes in the attic. We were clearing out junk and I pulled this little red notebook from the dustiest box, hidden in the darkest corner.

“What’s this?” I asked my mum.

Her eyes widened. She was never one for dramatics but I saw a true look of fear on her face that day mixed with general bewilderment. “That was your gran’s,” she replied.

My gran had lots of weird belongings. I remember some of the strange statues we had found after she moved to sunnier climates. They looked eerily like little people carved out of wax. Some some of them had needles sticking in what I would imagine would be very painful places. Mum melted all of the dolls down and threw them away. My gran was a little weird. I always thought so but as a kid it was really fun to be around. When I stayed over with her she would show me all sorts of old books and tell me ghost stories. I said I could handle it but she told them so vividly that I would wake up in the middle of the night and swear that the ‘goober man’ was watching me. ‘Goober man’ was one of her favourites. He was a dusty old creature who stalked the ancient streets where my gran lived. The fingers and toes of little girls – just like me – were his favourite delicacy. He had long thin strands of hair covering a liver spotted head. His eyes were bulbous and yellow. His fingers were long and he had sharp teeth for gnawing on little bones. He sounded awful. I didn’t want a visit from him. As I said gran loved telling me stories of ‘goober man’. She would see how scared I would be getting and she would laugh. She was a little strange.

“Can I keep this?” I asked my mum of the little red book.

Mum wrinkled her nose. “It’s all rotten and there are hardly any pages left.”

I agreed but I did like the red cover. It gave the notebook some importance. Mum shrugged her shoulders and continued sorting the junk so I slipped the book into the back pocket of my jeans and helped.

That night when everyone – mum, dad and my little brother Ray – had gone to sleep, I kept my night light on and finally had a look at my new red notebook. There was an inscription inside that read:

ENEMY LIST; ENEMIES BEWARE. GONE FOREVER.

This actually made me smile. Even the most patient and tolerant of us would love the chance to make certain people in our lives disappear. One name came to mind – Stacey Willen. She was a nasty girl in my class who had being going out of her way to make my life a misery since we first started school. She would tease me about my hair, my clothes and pretty much everything about me. She had her loyal band of supporters who laughed at her jokes that really weren’t that funny. They were all so eager to gain her approval that they wouldn’t even help me up when she pushed me into the mud. They just stood there like grinning hyenas like it was the best comedy in the world. Just that day I had been sat underneath the tree reading a book. It was a very sunny day. The tree was offering a nice cooling, shady breeze. I was enjoying my reading, blocking out the nonsense screaming of my classmates in the school yard. Stacey must have spotted me from across the yard and felt unable to leave me content. She marched over to me and snatched the book from my hands.

“Give me that back!” I protested.

Stacey sneered. She wasn’t particularly bright. She opened the book in the middle and spat on the pages. Not quite having caused enough havoc she turned to the end and ripped out the last three pages. Seeing I wasn’t reacting she got bored and threw the book back at me, hitting me hard on the arm.

Staring at my gran’s enemy list I took a pen from the night stand. It had thick black ink. She would have to be the first name. STACEY WILLEN. Content with myself I turned off my light and fell into a comfortable nights sleep.

The next morning when I arrived at school I had half expected Stacey to be there to greet me, somehow knowing I had added her to my enemy list. To my surprise her usual band of supporters were gathered but there was no Stacey.

“She has just disappeared. Her parents say she was in her room last night and when they went to check on her she was gone! They think she has ran away. The police were around and everything,” Stacey’s appointed ‘second in command’ was telling the others.

Stacey disappeared? After I had added her to my enemy list? Surely this was just coincidental. I knew my gran was weird but surely she wasn’t that weird?

Mr Perlman was the caretaker at the school. He was always shouting at the kids and he spat when he spoke. He was a bitter old crank and never had a nice word to say about anyone, even sweet old Mr Faben – the headmaster – who was technically his boss.

He sat at a table in the entranceway making sure the students made their way to class in a timely and organised manner. He wore a battered old hat that was once red but now yellowy and in desperate need of a wash.

“Move it along Wilson!” he spat at me even though he could clearly see I was moving to my first class. I turned and looked at him to verify exactly what it was he was shouting at me for. I had after all just crossed the threshold into the school. He pointed savagely at his brown forehead. “Are you a moron!? I said move along!”

I shook my head and grunted. I took out my red notebook and smiled to myself as I wrote down, in heavy letters, MR PERLMAN. It did make me feel much better. I walked along to my class. If I had turned at that moment I would have noticed the seat where Mr Perlman had been in just moments before, empty except for the battered old hat.

That afternoon over lunch I saw Mr Faben wandering around the hall looking for Mr Perlman. I didn’t think anything of it. I just saw it that the student body was getting a break for an afternoon both from Stacey Willen and Mr Perlman so it was win win. I overheard the girls at the table next to me discussing the maths test we were to have later that afternoon. They were in my class, they knew me well by name but never invited me to join them. It seems they thought I was a little odd. They hadn’t met my gran. As the girls left the lunch room, offering me but a fleeting glance I began to think of how under prepared I was for the maths test. I and many twelve year olds would much rather be doing anything else than sitting a maths test so for kicks I took out my red notebook once again. This time I added MISS PARSON AND THE S32 MATHS CLASS to the enemy list.

Eventually the bell rang and I swung my bag over my shoulder and took a deep breath. I arrived at my maths class and it was empty. Everyone had gone, even Miss Parson.

Whilst the school was in turmoil trying to find out where an entire class of students, a rookie maths teacher and the caretaker would have disappeared to I slipped my red enemy list back into my pocket. I was going to have to learn to use it wisely…

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Coming soon as a web series!

Four Sisters

There once lived four sisters, who remained very close,

Each had a husband and children to boast.

With a neat house each, lined in a row,

status and wealth clearly on show.

The first was named Scarlett, fiery and wild.

She and Lance had only one child.

Lance had been working late quite a lot,

having fun with his secretary, until he was caught.

Scarlett cooked him his favourite meal,

laced with an ingredient that was sure to appeal.

By the third mouthful, Lance was dead.

He should have considered his wife; before sharing another’s bed.

Then there was Ruby, elder and smart.

She and Jeff shared a love of art.

Jeff was a failed painter, Ruby had the cash,

so Jeff raided her personal stash.

Gone was the wealth she had scraped and saved.

Jeff didn’t care as long he had his way.

Ruby took a gun; no one would steal from her.

Fifteen shots were fired; it was all a blur.

Elder still was the sister named Rose.

Both she and Archie were writers of prose.

Archie favoured filling his day with drink.

He would hit Rose and wouldn’t think.

Rose had had enough as most of us would.

He didn’t treat them as a father should.

She took up the knife the next time he raged.

She stabbed and stabbed so that she may be saved.

The eldest of the sisters was a lady named Blanche.

Her husband, Taylor, had grown up on a ranch.

Taylor was an outdoors-man; he really loved to hike.

This was something that Blanche herself did not like.

She accused him, beat him and screamed in his ear.

‘Why would you rather be out there than in here?’

One day when it had all gotten too much,

Taylor was found hanging by his hutch.

So the four sisters, always remained close.

The judge had seen that stand out the most.

They once had neat houses, standing in a row.

Now they wait together, for their time to go.

The Myths and Tales webseries will be coming soon from Torrance Media.

Click HERE to read Vivika Widow’s Myths and Tales!

Princess and the Beetle (part of the Myths and Tales collection)

 

CThere once was a princess who lived far away.

She was in love with a prince so they eloped one day.

On the way to the church, they received terrible news.

A dragon was loose so the prince had to choose …

PNB

The much loved poem, The Princess and the Beetle, joins the Myths and Tales web series and we couldn’t be more excited.

The official release date of the web series will be released soon so don’t forget to check back.

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Click HERE to read the full poem…

Coming soon as a web series from Torrance Media. Directed by Leo ST Paul (The Walk) and written by Vivika Widow. Check out the trailer!

The Day I Met my Mummy

It was my thirteenth birthday and I was spending it with my Aunt Lola. She was a quirky old lady who had known me since I was born. She wasn’t really my aunt at all but she had been such a close family friend she earned herself the title. I had come to live with her after an unfortunate accident with a moose and a very high cliff claimed the lives of my parents.

“Well Loopy,” she said. (This was just a nickname she had for me. My real name is Lucy) “I can’t believe you are thirteen years old already.”

Given that I was so accident prone, having broken several bones several times, I was pretty mesmerised that I had reached teenage years too. Aunt Lola always made a big fuss of me on my birthday. She had no children of her own so all of her affection was aimed towards me. She gave the most random and strange gifts each year so now that I was a little older and a little more ready for her antics I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. She put an envelope into my hand and kissed my forehead. “I hope you like this one.”

My hands began to shake. Given my aunt’s fondness for all things odd there was no telling what the envelope contained. Therein could lie the secret to a number of mysteries. It could hold the key to eternal life. It could be a coupon for 10% off at any local clothes store. I tore open the envelope excitedly. A shining slip of paper fell onto my lap. I picked it up allowing the coloured paper to delight the eyes. On that special paper read the words, ‘Special Access to the Museum’. Well it wasn’t the secret to the universe but it was a great idea none the less. I was the strange kid who would rather sit in the corner of the playground reading about battles of old than play with the other children. I would much rather hear what ancient Greek philosophers had to say than my fellow classmates who stood at the edge of the football park picking their noses.

There was no time to lose. I had heard on the radio the week before that the local museum had just opened a new exhibit on Ancient Egypt. I grabbed my shining red rain jacket that was water proof but still light and airy. I pulled on my backpack which had the emblem of several superheroes embroidered on it. Aunt Lola had been complaining of what she called ‘the hardships of older ladies’. I wasn’t sure what exactly this meant but to combat it she had to lie with her feet elevated and a piece of silver on her forehead, counting backwards from one hundred.

I decided to leave the Egypt exhibit to the end. It had been busy when I arrived with business men awing at the new set up and mothers being dragged by their progeny because they thought it looked ‘cool’.

The day began to wind down. The museum emptied itself of the day trippers and quietened. As I walked through the main foyer the rubber soles of my shoes squeaked. I saw the fresh sign that directed the way to Ancient Egypt.

There was a lot of gold around. The walls were covered In hieroglyphs. I couldn’t tell if the curators had actually read the hieroglyphs or if they were merely there to impress the visitors because from what I could read they told of a bathroom disaster somewhere off the banks of the Nile.

As I absorbed all of the knowledge that the exhibit had to offer I heard the doors to the section close. I was the only person around, living at least. The lights dimmed except on the large mummy that was encased at the end of the hall. His face had been preserved all that time in a stern expression. The accompanying information explained that his name was ‘Ahmose’. He had been a fisherman but not a particularly good one. His people saw him as cursed, a jinx if you will. Ahmose was responsible for all the ill fate that befell them. Poor Ahmose. It seems he was accident prone like me. Because he had bumped into a builder, causing him to fall, destroying the temple that was in construction it seems he was now preserved for people of my year to gawk at his stupidity. They took jinxed folk very seriously in those days.

My head was buzzing with all the warmth, knowledge and dusty artefacts that the museum had to offer. I made my way back out to the main hall intent on catching the bus home. I pulled open the door but it was locked. ‘Surely they would check everyone had gone before they locked up,’ I thought. There was a heavy smash. My heart leapt from the steady thud of a tortoise to the gallop of a hare. I could feel a presence looming behind me but I couldn’t bare to look.

‘Argh!’ cried a dusty, throaty voice.

Slowly I did turn. Ahmose was now standing upright for the first time in many years. The paper that gave me special access to the museum slipped from my pocket. Ahmose reached down to pick it up with a crunchy crack of his mid section. He clasped it between the remains of his fingers and held it out to me.

“Leave me alone!” I screamed. “Help!” Surely the museum wasn’t deserted.

“Argh!” Ahmose replied.

With a quiver of my extremities I reached into my pocket and took out my mobile phone which Aunt Lola insisted I carried in case of emergencies. I was pretty sure that being attacked by the undead could very well be considered an emergency.

“Hello?” Aunt Lola answered.

“Help me!” I cried out.

“What’s wrong?” she asked still calmly balancing the silver on her forehead.

“A mummy! Its came to life. I have to get out of here!”

Most people when they tell their aunt something like this they either think they are crazy or attempting a practical joke. Not my aunt. She returned as though it was an everyday occurrence. “Do you like him?” she asked.

“Like him? Its a mummy! He’s going to kill me!”

Aunt Lola groaned. “Oh don’t be so dramatic Loopy. He’s your birthday present. Don’t you like him?”

I stared at Ahomse. He stumbled backwards almost tripping over his own left foot. “Argh!” he groaned again looking at his left leg. “How many people can boast having their own mummy,” continued my aunt.

“Not many,” I agreed.

“Enjoy,” she said and hung up leaving me alone with the dial tone and my mummy.

Ahmose lifted a piece of pottery from the shelving. It slipped from his fingers and smashed on the floor.

My most immediate problem was devising a plan to get out of the museum that looked possibly locked, take my mummy on the bus and get home whilst not getting caught for thieving from the museum.

Next birthday I’ll just ask for clothes?

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Zombielicious!

I was just a little kid when I first realised I had the power to bring things back from the dead. It’s not a skill that I would put on a job application or anything but it is definitely something not many people can do.

My beloved gerbil, Flower Pot, died and like most kids losing a pet I was distraught.

“We’ll put him in a nice box and bury him,” mum had said softly.

“Just put him in the bin.” My elder brother was not so sensitive.

I hadn’t been able to bring myself to move Flower Pot. When he started to stink we all agreed the time had come.

I lifted Flower Pot from his cage.

“He was a good gerbil,” I muttered ceremoniously. Then I felt his little foot twitch.

“Don’t be silly,” said dad. “That gerbil is long gone.”

I was almost at the point of agreeing when Flower Pot twitched again. I almost dropped him when he flicked his little ears, opened his beady eyes and turned over.

“He’s alive! He’s alive!”

Mum, dad and my brother all shared a shocked expression that could only have been heightened if it had been me who had come back from the dead.

I grinned. My pet was safe and sound. His furry little body was warm again. He gave a squeak. I gushed. Then he sank his teeth into my finger. I had to shake him off. It took dad and my brother’s strength combined to pull the blood thirsty rodent from me. Flower Pot fell to the ground. He ran across the room. In the commotion the chair was knocked over, landing on the gerbil. Flower Pot still ended up in a box in the yard that day.

When word got out that I could bring pets back to life I was inundated with requests. I tried to explain that Fluffy and Snowball wouldn’t be the same but people were so attached to their animals who was I to stop them?

When Mrs Albot at number twenty four asked me to bring back her boa constrictor George, I had to call it quits. There was already a monster rabbit terrorising the local kids and a vicious goldfish in the pond in the park. We really didn’t need a 7ft reptile with a taste for flesh slithering around.

I hung up my walking dead pet business and life carried on as normal. That was until I met Harry.

Walking home, clutching the straps of my backpack and whistling to myself I passed the church. There was a teenaged boy sat on the steps. He was weeping behind a mop of black hair. His arms were tucked inside the sleeves of his hooded jacket.

“Are you okay?” I asked. I loathed to see a stranger in trouble.

He looked up at me teary eyed. His eye liner had smudged.

“It’s my girlfriend Zoe. She’s gone!”

He removed a photograph from his pocket. It was of a girl who would have been very pretty if it weren’t for the black curtains of hair almost concealing her entire face. Two blackened eyes peered out and black painted lips pouted.

“She was so young. There was so much ahead of her.”

I felt sorry for him. My aunt said my ability was a gift. I wasn’t so sure. She hadn’t seen Flower Pot almost rip my finger off. Then again, I hadn’t tried it on humans before. Maybe this time it would be different.

The boy led me to the open casket that Zoe lay in. She looked peaceful. Her face was as pale as it always had been. She wore her signature black. Judging by the photo the girl had been preparing for her funeral her entire life.

I touched her forehead. Harry gave a gasp that echoed through the church as her eyes opened. She sat up like a villain in a vampire movie. Zoe reached her hands out and Harry helped her out of her satin bed.

It was quite a romantic scene really until she lunged forward and tried to chow down on his neck.

“Yeah, she may get a little bitey,” I warned.

“Are you feeling okay?” he asked her.

“Urrggh,” she replied.

Harry turned to me. “What is wrong with her?”

“Considering she was dead not a few moments ago I think she looks great,”

“Urrrrgghh!” she agreed.

“She won’t make much of a conversationalist and you will have to stop her biting people, but all in all you have her back. She looks zombielicious!”

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