Marty’s Story – Deadhead – Part One

The blade rips into his flesh as he cuts, using the knife like a saw, his bloody, torn flesh falls to the floor below him, and he laughs, staring at his reflection.

“It was the words that drew us in, it was the night that sealed our sins, the devil smiled from somewhere afar, as our hero burned the dying star, whispered words, vaulted sins, the devils work, forever, begins,” he says, the lights flicker, as energy snaps violently through them, as he continues to look into the mirror, the blood drips from his face into the sink, he grins, his face grotesque, ripped and torn into a mask, in the form of a demented smile, that is now carved in his flesh. With a shaky hand, he raises the bloody knife once more, stretching the skin around his eye with the other hand, then digs the blade in, and screams….

He feels his mouth go dry, nervously he grabs a glass that sits on the side of his desk, placing the sheet of paper down as he takes a large mouthful of the liquid, he feels the vodka burn his throat as it goes down and he lets out a hiss of satisfaction.

“I’ve read a lot….” He stops in his tracks as he takes a quick, sharp breath in, as he attempts to quell the burn from the vodka, hisses again, before pressing his lips together tightly. “I’ve read a god damn lot of shit you’ve wrote over the years Marty, but this has got to be the best fucking piece of writing you’ve ever placed on my desk,” he says looking over to Marty, who has a broad smile on his face.

“See Bernie, I told you it was worth the wait, it’s good right?” Marty says, slapping his hands together in excitement.

“It’s better than good, it’s wrong, fucked up, pushing the boundaries of good taste to the extreme wrong, now where’s the rest?”

“It’s coming,” he says leaning back in his seat.

“Coming? What the fuck do you think this is? I’ve got half an issue ready and waiting for this baby you’ve been gestating, now two days before the issues published you tell me its coming?”

“You said it yourself, it’s the best piece I’ve ever written, don’t you want the rest to be just as good?”

“Don’t throw my words back in my face Towns, it’s not good form, just tell me how long you need?”

“Another few days, four at the most, I wanna get it right, I want the whole thing to mesh perfectly.”

He empties the remainder of the glass into his mouth and sucks another quick, desperate breath of air in with it, hoping to dull the burn once again, “Two days, that’s all you’ve got, you don’t have it ready by then I’m going run with Jones’ story.”

“Jones? Seriously Bernie? You’d give that hack half an issue? Can’t you push it back a few days?” Marty says in shock, sitting up in his seat.

“He’s got something ready, you don’t, and two days is the best I can do. Templar’s tying my hands Marty, they’re cutting expenditure, the old man wants us to meet deadlines without fail, every issue,” he says pouring himself another glass, and filling Marty’s as well. “Mate between me, you and the bottle, they’re getting close to pulling the pin, I went to see the old man yesterday, fucker looks ready to run, he’s got that look, you know, crazy eyes and shit. I can’t push back now, it’s gotta be what it’s gotta be,” Bernie says quickly draining his glass once again.

“Fuck! Seriously? I’ll see what I can do, but I can’t promise it’ll be ready,” Marty says as he clenches his hands into tight fists.

Bernie lets out a loud, boisterous laugh, “Shouldn’t be too hard sport, you’ve got a killer start.”

“It’s not the start, it’s the end. I just thought jumping to the end at the start of the story gave it a, you know, a sorta fucked up twist, see what’s going to happen, before it all really begins,” he says, as he picks his glass up from the desk, letting the vodka dance around on his tongue, swishing it around in his mouth, before he swallows it.

“Sure you’re not being too cerebral for the readers? I mean, we’re no high-end magazine Marty, we’re penny dreadful shite, trying to pull a Stephen King might alienate the readers.”

“It’s clever I know, but the way it opens the story up, allows itself to connect straight to the ending makes it more fun. It gives you guts, gore, and a hell of a draw card to drag you in, you don’t like the idea?” Marty replies quickly.

“I get the whole trying to draw the reader in shit, I love that. It’s just sticking the end at the start, it’s more what they do in the movies, or big publications, not what we do in shock horror magazines mate,” Bernie says, filling their glasses again.

“Trust me, you’ll love it and so will the readers, you’ve always said it’s all about impact, well, this is it, I want the reader drawn in straight away, I want them to WANNA know what’s gonna happen next, why he’s carving up his face. I mean, don’t you?”

“Okay, okay, you’ve won me over you little shit so stop trying to sell it to me. Does Wilkinson have a cover yet?”

“You know Gareth, he’s working his way there, it’ll be ready.”

Bernie swivels in his chair and leans back, resting the empty glass on his enormous stomach, “So tell me, oh great sage, how are you going to cut the ending so it flows into the beginning?”

“Easy,” Marty says as he empties his glass again, slamming it in the desk. “I’m going to smash cut it straight in, no bullshit, just straight into it,” he says with a twisted smile, as the vodka burns down his throat, all the way to his stomach.

A Glimpse, Into Tomorrow

The room was dim, only lit by the light of the computer screen and the burning embers of his cigarette. His fingers move quickly over the keyboard, as the words drift from the depths of his imagination, or, from another’s.

“You know what happens next,” a voice says from the darkness.

“I know, you told me this part, I know it better than you,” he replies quickly, nervously taking a drag on the cigarette.

“It’s important, the words must be correct, no holes, no mistakes, it must be as I said,” the voice hisses.

“I know alright, a billion times, every time, I know what happens, okay!” He barks back, looking over his shoulder into the shadows that shroud the room.

“Remember your place child, for you live because I have need of it.”

“Without me you’re nothing, so don’t try threats. I’ve agreed with your game, I know what I have to do, you get everything you want and I get my life back, better than it was, no bullshit plot twist, no screwing me over. I get it all back, how it was before you ever entered my life!” He says.

“When I have him, when I have fathers sin, you will have what was promised, now type, write my words, and together, let us burn this world!”

The Roundhead, Part 8 – Hammers And Claws

“I’ve lost count how many times we’ve done this part, where I tell you what’s taken place, how many times that thing has taken my life, and taken me back to the start, back when this all began. Always, like a film, it rolls, some things are exactly the same no matter what I try to do, where others, they unfold differently every time, and the closer we get to an answer, the further away we become. I guess it’s the head, it becomes jumbled, confused, but, that’s what it wants,” Marty says tapping his forehead, Jimmy and Carter sit there, speechless, staring blurry eyed at the screen.

#

The lights flicker as the dead girl stares towards Steve, he can feel beneath his feet, a light tremor, as she opens her mouth to speak, “Its power grew strong from the words that were written, read and spread, so strong that the beast broke free of it cage, now the stories no longer hold it at bay, for the world knows it by its name, so dare not say it for it will come, dare not hear it for it will know, dare not see it for it will be, say it once and you will see, come now say it with me, The Roundhead, The Roundhead, THE ROUNDHEAD!” She screams before disappearing like all the other heralds before her. Sweat runs down Steve’s brow, his eyes dart around the call centre, and he can see the fear, the panic, in his colleague’s eyes, then, the screaming starts, for it is here. He smells it first, before he feels it’s hot, rancid breath on the back of his neck, everyone begins scrambling away in panic, and Steve, slowly turns around, starring into its dead, black, soulless eyes.

#

“It’s coming, the beast, that thing, it’s making its way towards us from a few levels above, so, we’ve got to act fast, if we’re going to stop it, this time, or last time, or, next time, if need be. I know what you’re thinking, I know you’re wondering how’s this possible? I really fucking wish I could give you the answer, but, I don’t, I can’t, fuck, I don’t even believe it myself. Not anymore, if you really want to know,” he says as he runs his hands through his hair, grabbing two handfuls and pulling, before he looks back to the screen.

#

Its teeth grind against each other like fingernails down a chalkboard and it lets out a low, inhuman growl before it attacks. The pain is everywhere, all at once, as it rips one of its massive hands through his chest and wraps its powerful, fingers around his insides, he convulses, the beast tightens its grip and then, he flops forward, silent, void of life, as it crushes his heart, lungs and most of his rib cage, then tosses his husk to the side. It looks around the building, stalking its prey, then attacks, like a rampaging bull, storming towards the fleeing crowd.

#

“I don’t even know if this is real or I’m just talking to myself, but if I’m not, and this is happening, you’ve got to finish the story, you’ve got to finish it my way, not its.”

Jimmy looks to Clarke as he chews nervously on his fingers. “This is some of the weirdest shit I….”

“You’ve ever seen,” Marty says interrupting Jimmy, his mouth opens wide in shock and he tightens his grip on the back of Clarke’s chair.

“Y-Y-You can hear me?”

#

“This can’t be real, it just can’t be real!” Patto mumbles to himself as he sits, huddled underneath his desk. He flicks his phone on and fumbles with it, as his shaking fingers fail to follow his commands, but, finally after a few frantic seconds, he manages to dial triple zero, and he sits, waiting.

“Police, fire and rescue or ambulance?” the voice asks on the other end.

“Police,” he whispers.

“One moment,” the woman replies, seconds pass and the line begins to ring, as does a phone two desks away.

“Fuck!” He hisses as he hangs up and redials again, suddenly the desk is ripped away, it stands, looking down at him, and growls.

#

“No, I can’t hear you, I just know what you’re going to say, when you say it, because, I wrote you saying those words, fuck,” he says with a laugh, “I even wrote my words, I think. Honestly, this never took place originally, not in its version. You see, Jimmy, you died back at Sonia’s and Clarke, you never existed. But I had a problem that needed someone to fix, what I needed done, so, I made a few changes at the last minute. Changes that will throw its plan sideways, I hope, I mean, I’m not sure anymore what it really is capable of, all I know is we have to disable it’s power, it’s strength, trap it, somehow, and then deal the blow we need to deal, that’ll break the chain and release the world from it’s hold. Listen to me, talking to you like you can actually talk back, which you can by the way, but, I control what you say, well, sort of, in a way, maybe this is the final version of it all, maybe this time, we stop it,” he says as he looks through the screen at them. “Anyway enough about me, we only have a short time left before the beast gets here, or not, sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes, he distracts it long enough, other times, he’s trapped too long down below, and it gets here early. But, this conversation always happens not matter what, so, what do you want to know? Or should I just give you the answers?”

Three Minutes Ago

“What the fuck is this?”

“The other place, the world where the beast was trapped, where it stores our sins, locking us away, so we can’t be used against it.”

“How is any of this possible,” Jar asks, as he tightly clutches his forehead and squeezes.

“How is anything possible?”

“That’s not an answer.”

“It wasn’t meant to be, you have to understand, when we first realised this wasn’t just a story in Marty’s head, we were too far gone,” Gareth says. “Marty, he told me more times than I remember that it was real, and each time, every time, I convinced him otherwise. But you see, it wasn’t me, I wasn’t ever given the chance to take in what Marty was saying, and it wasn’t until I realised, until I saw it in the mirror, hidden, deep in my reflection, that the beast had infected me, like it did Marilyn. I was its tool, it used me to control him as it used Marilyn to control you, each time it felt threatened, the beast used it’s tools to control those it did not have total power over, those who were outside it’s realm. But now, again, it’s time to go stop the beast, it’s time to…”

“It’s time to do nothing, it’s time this story finished, once and for all,” she says, slithering out of the shadows, her large, black, dead eyes almost glow within the darkness, her mouth, ripped into her dead face, with rows of razor sharp teeth, her snake like tongue flicks like a whip, as several more, demonic, dead souls comes from out of the darkness, towards them.

“I guess, we’re going to be late for our date again, sure hope she doesn’t get made at us,” Gareth says reading himself, as the dark heralds, attack.

#

It pulls Patto’s limp body into the air and with one squeeze of its massive hand, crushes his skull, his legs quiver around like a fish out of water, then, flop lifelessly down. It tosses his corpse to the side, as it takes a gigantic step forward, and another, before the beast turns, its soulless, empty, eyes, come to a stop over one of the cubicles where a couple have taken refuge. The woman lets out a scream as it looks straight towards her and the man grabs her from behind, desperately shoving his hand over her mouth, trying to muffle her cries, but, it’s too late. The beast rips the cubicle apart around them, until there is nothing between it and them. They both cower before it, begging for their lives, then, just as it’s about to strike, it stops, and slowly, the beast turns its head, looking away from them, letting out a low growl and smile. “Your words are as dead as your pawn, now, there is only, The Roundhead.”

#

“How do we stop it?” Clarke asks.

“The perfect question, in fact, the only question worth asking. When you ransacked my apartment, you removed this,” he says, holding up a red flash card. “This little drive will change everything, I had a friend code it with a little program, that’ll, well, it’ll set off a chain reaction that should, if it works, put an end to this story and that thing. You took it from my computer and sat it out with all the other junk you brought back with you, you need to get that drive.”

“Give me a second, I know exactly where it is,” Jimmy says as he runs out of the room and Marty looks directly at Clarke.

“Jimmy’s about to scream, because it’s here, hunting for the one thing it knows will stop it. Now, this is where it gets real fucked up, if you can call it anymore fucked up than it is. But, that’s neither here, nor there anymore, just don’t run out of the room straight away, count to thirty and then run out. When you get out there, grab the drive from Jimmy’s dead hand and bring it back here.”

“Are you…..” But, he doesn’t get to finish, as Jimmy screams out from the other room and Clarke instinctively gets up from his chair.

“Count to thirty remember, then run out, grab the drive, run back here, plug it into my laptop, and that’s all you need to do, it’ll do all the rest. But, just so you know, it’s going to kill you as well, regardless of what you do. You, you’re the biggest threat it has, you’re an anomaly, you never existed, and it knows it. So, don’t fail, we can’t let it win, everything ends if it does, everything.”

Clarke swallows a mouthful of dry air as he slowly counts under his breath.

NOW!” Marty yells, Clarke jumps up, and runs out of the room, he stops, frozen, as Jimmy’s disembowelled body lies at the feet of the beast. Clarke locks eyes with it, and it’s deep, black, endless eyes slowly, begin to drag him in. He desperately pulls his eyes away, and sees the drive in Jimmy’s hand, frantically he makes a dash, grabbing it, but, he slips in the pool of Jimmy’s blood, crashing to the ground, and the beast, lunges for him. He somehow manages to scramble to his feet and runs back towards the room as the beast follows close behind, once inside the door, he grabs the laptop, shoving the drive into the USB port as the beast grips him by the leg and pulls him out of the room. He looks, desperately, one last time, at the screen, and into Marty’s sorrow filled eyes.

“I’m so sorry,” Marty says as the beast rips Clarke in two, like a wish bone, then, there is silence, and the beast, smiles. Suddenly, the lights flicker as they begin exploding all around it, then, it appears, a pale, lifeless image, and it speaks.

“I am Sonia Winters, know my name,” she says, the beast lets out a low growl as another flickers into existence.

“I am Sally Donnellson, know my name,” she says and then another and another, until the room is not just full, but overflowing with the ghosts of all who it has devoured. The beast lets out a roar as it rips it’s massive, clawed hands through the images, but they pass through. Unable to inflict damage, the beast screams with anger, as the thousands, upon thousands of voices repeat the same words over and over again, and slowly, it realises what is at play here. Slowly, it feels its power draining away, it stumbles backwards, and, then he appeared, the first soul taken, his father, and his dead, black eyes look into the beasts.

“I am Marty Towns, know my name beast, for this is my story and there’s nowhere else to run!” He says, and the beast screams as all the souls he devoured, all the souls he sucked within himself, all the souls that gave him power, fight back, with one purpose, with one desire, for the world to forget the beast and to remember who they are, who, they were. Across TV and radio station’s, through internet connections and phone lines, blanketing any technology that it can touch across the entire world, their cries, their names, their call, is spread. It screams in agony as it slowly begins to be ripped back, from this world, and back, to where it came from. It lets out one, final, vicious scream, and then, it is gone, leaving only the chorus of souls, who now themselves, slowly begin to disappear. Their words still repeating, over and over again, ‘know my name, know my name, know my name,’ until, there is only Marty left. He stands there, in the centre of all the carnage his story created, then, he looks towards you, and he speaks, “My names is Marty Towns, know my name, for this is my story.”

#

 He leans back in his seat as he reads over the stories last paragraph, and lets out a satisfied release of air as he presses down on the enter button, scheduling the final post for his Halloween masterpiece. From the corner of his eye, he sees a notification pop up in the top portion of the screen, telling him that the first chapter had been posted and he smiles as he switches off the monitor.

“Think you know how it ends, wait and see, you piece of shit,” he mumbles to himself as he gets up from his seat and looks over to Abby, “You hungry girl?” she wags her tail, jumping up from her bed, he smiles as they head out into the hallway, into the kitchen, and he reaches up into the top cupboard, grabbing a can of dog food out. He stops in his tracks, as he feels something sticky on the floor and flicks on the light, his eyes grow wide, and drops the can, as he finds himself standing in a puddle of red liquid that has seeped out from underneath the pantry door. Slowly, he reaches out, gripping the handle to the door tightly, then, slowly opens it. He feels the blood drain out of his face as he takes a step backwards in fright, before him, stuffed into the shelves of the panty, are the broken, bloody bodies, of Clare and his two girls, then, Abby starts barking uncontrollably, and he catches a whiff of a rotten, foul smell….

roundheadmk2

THE END?

All artwork by Yazgar, check his stuff out when you can!

The Roundhead, Part 7 – Coffin Nails

One Year Ago

He stares out the window, the lights of the city burst, pop, flicker and shake, he spins around, clutching his neck, as he feels something cold touch him, but the room is empty. He slowly turns around, looking back out the window again, and freezes in place. In the reflection of the window he sees a shadowy figure standing behind him.

“What do you want?” he asks, he clutches his ears tightly, as whispers erupt, his eyes pulsate, shifting in and out of focus, the room spins and he drops to one knee.

“Please, leave me alone, I won’t do what you ask, I can’t!” He yells, the voice rips into him again, and he falls to his knees, collapsing onto the floor.

NO!” he yells, tears running down his face, his head, throbbing with pain, and then, it stops, and he is once again staring out into the city.

“I can’t do it,” he says softly as he looks over towards the open laptop on the table in front of him, the open document has a single word written on it, he rubs his eyes, and looks back out to the city, lost, in his thoughts, until her voice pulls him back into reality, and he turns, smiling as she runs towards him.

“Daddy!” she yells as she leaps into his arms.

“Hello possum,” he says as he squeezes her tight. “Did you have fun?” he asks, she pulls herself away, a beaming smile on her face.

“It was so much fun, you should’ve been there Daddy, can we go tomorrow, then you can see it!” he smiles and kisses her on the forehead.

“It will be over tomorrow, and I have to work anyway,” he looks over as she walks in with Sally, asleep, hanging over her shoulder.

“Everyone okay?” he asks.

“Too much sugar and running around, she was out as soon as I started the car, did you get everything done?” she asks as he gently takes Sally out of her arms and they kiss.

“Almost, just a few things left, nothing that can’t wait until morning.”

“Can I go look?” He smiles and she kisses him and excitedly runs down the hall.

“Daddy,” she says softly in his arms.

“Hey knucklehead, did you have fun?”

“Yeah, you should’ve been there, it was…” she says with a smile, as she snuggles into his neck.

“Write, or I will kill them all,” a disembodied voice, whispers into his ear, he spins around, his heart pumping a million miles an hour, sweat pouting off his body, Sally sits up, staring at him, her eyes, black pools of nothingness.

 Now

The lights flicker as the dead girl stares towards Steve, he can feel beneath his feet, a light tremor, as she opens her mouth to speak.

 Four Months Ago

“I’m telling you it’s the perfect idea, I was thinking of just running it as a story I’d write every now and then like Bad Day, but I think Halloween is the perfect time to do it. Have a whole week running chapters of this one story, each day, until the big end on Halloween night. The only problem is, I think, maybe, I might change the name to something like The Deadhead or something like that,” Marty says excitedly.

“Dude, I love the idea, but I’ve got to disagree about changing the name, I’m a fan of The Roundhead, it’s the perfect name. Changing it now would be, well, it’d be wrong. I mean, I know that’s only because I’ve read the original short, and in the end the decisions yours, but, I say, stick with The Roundhead,” Gareth says.

“I don’t know, I just, I guess I just feel it doesn’t have that serious ring to it, people might not take it the right way.”

“Nah man, it’s an awesome name, you’ve got to keep it, it works, trust me. It’s the only name it needs.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right, I don’t know. Anyway I love the sketches, you’re starting to get an idea what it looks like, what, it really looks like.”

“Cool, I’ve almost got it sussed, but, I’m still just missing something. I’m sure after I play around with it some more I’ll get a real good image of what it looks like, then I’ll be happy. Have you finished the end yet? I really want to know how it all turns out.”

“Almost, I had the ending, but I think, that’s going to change, there’s too many things that don’t work and the whole mythology, it has to be solid. I liked where it was going, but, I think I can make it better, or, it can make itself better, I don’t know, it’s a work in progress. One thing I’m definitely changing is Jimmy dying at Sonia’s, I mean, it didn’t fit the rules, not at that stage of the game anyway, so it can’t work, jerks will pull that thread apart straight away.”

Gareth laughs, “Who cares, if it works, it works, you’re always going to have people picking shit apart, but I can’t wait to see how it ends.”

“You will, I just want to make sure it’s all sorted first, once I’ve done that, once I’m on top of all the mythology, I’ll send it to you.”

 Now

“Its power grew strong from the words that were written, read and spread, so strong that the beast broke free of it cage, now the stories no longer hold it at bay, for the world knows it by its name, so dare not say it for it will come, dare not hear it for it will know, dare not see it for it will be, say it once and you will see, come now say it with me, The Roundhead, The Roundhead, THE ROUNDHEAD!” She screams before disappearing like all the other heralds before her. Sweat runs down Steve’s brow, his eyes dart around the call centre, and he can see the fear, the panic, in his colleague’s eyes, then, the screaming starts, for it is here. He smells it first, before he feels it’s hot, rancid breath on the back of his neck, everyone begins scrambling away in panic, and Steve, slowly turns around, starring into its dead, black, soulless eyes. Its teeth grind against each other like fingernails down a chalkboard and it lets out a low, inhuman growl before it attacks. The pain is everywhere, all at once, as it rips one of its massive hands through his chest and wraps its powerful, fingers around his insides, he convulses, the beast tightens its grip and then, he flops forward, silent, void of life, as it crushes his heart, lungs and most of his rib cage, then tosses his husk to the side. It looks around the building, stalking its prey, then attacks, like a rampaging bull, storming towards the fleeing crowd.

 Three Months Ago

“It’s evolving, the more I work on it, the more it changes, the more it’s started to drag in reality, the more pieces of my life become part of the story. And it’s grown, it’s not just one story, but three, maybe more.”

Gareth laughs, “Taking it to the next level, that’s crazy man, I can’t wait to read the changes once you’re done. I gotta say, I really liked the first draft, it worked so well, like nothing I’ve ever read before. You know, I’ve been thinking, it could easily be a movie, or a TV series!”

Marty laughs, “It could be, I don’t know, I see it as a movie, I see how every scene plays out, sometimes, I can almost touch it. But I’ve gotta say, the closer I get to the end, the more I find myself getting scared. Like, I’m actually fucking worrying that this whole thing is something more, something real. Things like this conversation, it, it belongs in the story, like its part of its web, like it had to happen here, to happen there.”

“Marty man, you’ve got to take a step back, don’t let it weird you out. I think it’s awesome you’re drawing reality into it, I think it’ll draw the reader in more, bends it, shapes it, and gives it a real creepy feel. Fuck man, I think it’s an awesome idea, but, don’t lose it, don’t get too deep that you can’t find your way out.”

“Yeah, well I’m trying to take care of that, but, we’ll see, I’ve still got heaps of time to do some changes. And the sixth chapter, it has to have a complete rewrite, Steve just doesn’t fit into it as well as he did when it was just his story, but, I don’t know, I just know the whole ending will take place in the precinct as The Roundhead starts hunting them all down, and then, it’s still not clear yet, but it’s almost done.”

“Man, it’s the original, I mean, I know what you’re saying and all, the whole scene plays too soft, like they should be more stressed out and shit. But, don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but, you might need to get rid of the whole Patto and Steve scene and just smash cut to the call centre or something, I know you’ll work it out.”

“Yeah, I don’t know, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see where it goes.”

 Now

“This can’t be real, it just can’t be real!” Patto mumbles to himself as he sits, huddled underneath his desk. He flicks his phone on and fumbles with it, as his shaking fingers fail to follow his commands, but, finally after a few frantic seconds, he manages to dial triple zero, and he sits, waiting.

“Police, fire and rescue or ambulance?” the voice asks on the other end.

“Police,” he whispers.

“One moment,” the woman replies, seconds pass and the line begins to ring, as does a phone two desks away.

“Fuck!” He hisses as he hangs up and redials again, suddenly the desk is ripped away, it stands, looking down at him, and growls.

 Two Months Ago

“Dude call me back when you get this message, something weird is going on, I-I think its real man, I think somehow the story is starting to cross over from the page to reality. I know it sounds crazy, but something I wrote, something, fuck, something actually happened, it actually fucking happened. I’ve decided I’m not going to post the story, I can’t, call me back when you get this.”

 Now

It pulls Patto’s limp body into the air and with one squeeze of its massive hand, crushes his skull, his legs quiver around like a fish out of water, then, flop lifelessly down. It tosses his corpse to the side, as it takes a gigantic step forward, and another, before the beast turns, its soulless, empty, eyes, come to a stop over one of the cubicles where a couple have taken refuge. The woman lets out a scream as it looks straight towards her and the man grabs her from behind, desperately shoving his hand over her mouth, trying to muffle her cries, but, it’s too late. The beast rips the cubicle apart around them, until there is nothing between it and them. They both cower before it, begging for their lives, then, just as it’s about to strike, it stops, and slowly, the beast turns its head, looking away from them, letting out a low growl, as a shadowy figure moves forward, strobing, in and out of focus.

“How is this possible? Your sin is mine,” it growls.

“Your little weapon failed, she may have finished me off, but she never claimed my sin for you,” Jar says, as he stares down the beast.

“What makes you think you can stop, what the very creator of life could not? Did you know he buried me, hid me away, because he could not destroy me, did you….”

“I don’t really care about what he couldn’t do, anyone smart enough to create something like you, is not as bright as they think, and anyway, I’m not here for a history lesson, I’m just here to send you back to wherever you came from.”

“You will do no such thing, I am the beast, I am what your parents warned you about when you were but a child, you will not stop me, you will only lose.”

“I never came here to stop you, I just came to keep you occupied, while they do that part,” he says, with a sly smile. “You may’ve killed me, but I’m going to make sure you go back to where you came from, and you’ll never come back.” Suddenly ghostly images being appearing, and a chorus of voices begin chanting the same words over and over again.

The beast falls to the ground, onto all fours and screams in agony, “NO, THIS IS MY STORY, NOT HIS,” it screams, as the room implodes in darkness, then a blinding white light tears through it and Marty screams, as he leaps up from the bed, he searches the room, frantically, squinting into the darkness, as Abbey barks furiously at the doorway.

“What the fuck is going on?” he says to himself out loud, leaping up from the bed he pulls the door open, and Abbey charges out into the hallway, it’s then that he feels his phone vibrate vigorously, while Abbey continues to bark like crazy out in the hallway. Slowly he pulls the phone from his pocket and places it to his ear. “Gareth, it’s late.”

“Dude I tried not to, but I fucking couldn’t help myse…”

“Shut the fuck up, we’ve done this already,” he says softly into the phone.

“What? What the fuck are you talking about, are you fucking watching?” Gareth says.

“Gareth, I said, we’ve already done this part.”

“It, it, it’s gone motherfucking viral, world FUCKING wide, just like it’s supposed to, you’ve gotta see it Marty, people are sharing it thousands at a time! I can’t believe it, I can’t, but it’s happening, it’s really fucking happening!”

“For fuck sake, snap out of it, the story’s restarted again.”

“Oh god, it’s been happening the whole time hasn’t it?”

“Gareth, I-I-I… FUCK!” He stands there, in silence for a few moments, before he presses a hand against his forehead, and closes his eyes. “You already said it, but I guess, you didn’t really want to admit it, word for word,” he says as he takes a deep breath and waits, Abby barks furiously out in the hallway, then lets out a yelp, followed by silence.

“Marty, dude, I-I-I…”

“I know man, don’t stress, like you said, it’s only a story,” Marty says as he takes a deep breath and walks out into the hallway, the lights flicker violently, exploding seconds later in a shower of glass and flames, he can make out Abby’s still form a few feet away, and standing over her, as he knew it would be, is a massive, hulking shape, looking towards him, with deep, black, pools for eyes.

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME!” he screams.

“I want you to stop fighting me, I want the story to end my way, I want, what is mine,” it says in a deep, gravelly voice.

FUCK YOU!” he yells, the beast charges towards him, and drives its hand through his chest, ripping into him with its razor sharp claws, and, as Marty’s life drains from him, the beast stares in his eyes, watching, savouring, devouring, all that Marty once was. Then, releases its grip, letting his lifeless body crash to the floor, and Marty’s dead eyes stare towards the phone, lying a few feet away.

“Marty! This can’t be fucking real!” Gareth yells into the phone.

Static tears through the phone and Gareth pulls it away from his ear, as he feels it’s warm, hot, putrid breath on the side of his face, followed quickly by these words, “You both shall die, over and over again, over and over until the ends of time, until you stop fighting, until, your world, is mine.”

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TWO HOURS UNTIL THE END.

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The Roundhead, Part 6 – Crossing Over

The room spins, he tastes the saltiness of blood on his tongue, he tries to move, but the pain that rips through his body, is agonising, paralysing him to the spot. Seconds, soon turn into minutes, as he lies there, starring up at the ceiling, before finally, trying again. This time, he manages to push past the pain, and forces himself up from the floor with the help of a chair, he clenches his teeth together in anger, his body is like one massive, tightly wound muscle, that refuses to obey his instructions. He grabs at his belly, feeling the wound, and presses against it desperately, in a bid to stop the pain. He remains there, for more moments than he wishes, but, his eyes are invaded by pockets of black and white flashes that make it almost impossible to see, he lazily attempts to swat them away with a wave of his hand, and he feels the warmth of it splash against his face. He looks down at his hand, and although he sees little of what’s before him, he can make out the rich, red blood shining in the light of the city that comes through the window.

“You’re dying,” a woman’s voice says, one he recognises instantly.

“S-S-Sam, y-you came back?” He says, as he squints his eyes, searching the room, it takes him several passes before he sees her silhouette, standing in front of the windows, and clenches his hands together, into fists, biting into his bloody lip. “I-I-I, I’m so sorr…”

“LIAR! How could you leave me there, to that thing?”

“I-I-I, I didn’t know, if I did, I-I…”

“Don’t,” she says, stepping into the light, he can see the red glistening, wet, vibrant, dripping, the impact of the drops hitting the floor vibrate like waves hitting the shore, in his ears. “I’m not the only one you failed tonight, I’m not the only one you fed to the beast.”

“Mar…”

“Not her you fool, she was its play toy from the beginning, before this story was words, I’m talking about her,” she says, he sees another shadow move from out of the darkness. His head throbs, his eyes pop with flashes of red and whites, and then, her face, becomes clear, Sonia Winters stands before him.

“You could’ve saved me,” she says, as she steps towards him, he can feel her coldness, an electrical charge passes between them. “You could’ve saved me from it, you could’ve saved us all.”

“H-How? That thing, it was too fast, i-it…”

“No, that’s not what happened. You were too worried about her, too concerned for her, like it wanted you to be, like it needed you to be,” she says, he feels her hand strike, his stomach screams in pain. “Now, it’s time for you to see, what we see, down there, in the coldness of it’s belly.”

He screams in pain, his head breaks open and then, he’s alone. His vision explodes in and out of focus, his head throbs as his world spirals, and then, everything stops, he takes an agonising, slow, step forward. Actually calling it a step is a lie, it’s more like a shuffle, one that you see zombies from the old horror movies do. Then he sees it, a flash of light coming from the ground, followed quickly by music, and his eyes tighten as he tries to focus on the phone, a few feet away. He takes another step, and then another, letting out a cry of agony, as he falls to his knees, he feels his innards move, and then something tugs on his groin. An uncontrollable shaking feeling begins to flow though his body, followed quickly by a coldness, he looks down, and, even though his vision is still impaired, he sees his stomach, intestines, and other bits that should be on the inside of his skin, hanging to the floor. He feels something rush up, along his spine, then crash into the back of his skull, followed by a warmth that envelopes his head. After a few moments of silence, a hand grabs him by the throat, and he feels the slimness of her tongue run up, along his neck, coming to a stop at his earlobe, then bites into it, he’d scream if he had the strength to.

“It’s over lover boy, it’s won,” she says, her voice, distant, lost.

“M-M-Marilyn?”

“Miss me?”

“W-Why?”

“Because we’re all a part of its story, make believe characters living lives that just don’t exist, our words, written by someone else, for someone else to read. There’s no life in this flesh, not ours anyway.”

“B-B-BULLSHIT!” Jar screams.

“I’m sorry, but it’s true, isn’t it? Or are you going to hide in the shadows, like the coward you are?”

“You’re tainted, and you’ve ruined this, we could have stopped it!” his voice says, from the darkness, Jar’s eyes grow wide, and dart around the room, looking for the newcomer, or, maybe he’s not new, maybe, he’s always been here.

“Don’t you see, what you’re trying to do is impossible, there’s nothing you can do, nothing you can change, no matter whose skin you hide in, the story, will end the same, the way it wants it to.”

“Bullshit, it’s my story, I’ll end it the way I want it to end!”

“Stop your lies, the beast has already won, can’t you see, we’ll all end up, down there, inside, where our sins are as one,” she says as she violently rips back on Jar’s neck, a popping sound can be heard, and he hits the floor, lifeless, still. She leaps to her feet, twisting her body, then crouches like an animal, ready to attack. “Show yourself tool, the master wants you to stop running, it’s time you came home.”

“My sin, belongs to me!” He yells as a blade tears through Marilyn’s neck, removing her head from her shoulders. Her body drops to the ground with a thud, thick, black ooze gushes from her decapitated corpse and he lifts her head up, in the air, starring into her dead, empty eyes. “Let he who has no sin, suffer eternal, beast you will not win.” The darkness of the room is broken by a light, quickly followed by music. “He’s not going to answer,” he says.

#

“Answer your fucking phone!” Jimmy says as he slams his onto the desk and looks back to Clarke.

“You know neither of them answering is weird, right?” Clarke says.

“I know.”

“So what do we do?” Clarke says as he looks back at the screen and stares at the frozen image it.

“I guess we press play, and see where it goes while we wait for one of them to get back to us.”

“You press play,” Clarke says, Jimmy gives him a look of concern and then leans across, pressing the space bar. The video continues with Marty spinning around to look behind him. He turns back to the screen and runs a hand nervously through his hair, then slaps himself, before he looks back into the camera. “They won’t call back,” he says, Jimmy feels a cold shiver go up his spine, as does Clarke. “The words you’re both looking for is, what the fuck? I mean, that’s what I’d think you’d say, if I was writing your characters, which I am, or have, or will, fuck I’m not sure anymore. Everything’s falling to pieces, what was, is not, what is, was not, it keeps trying to stop me, it keeps countering everything I try to put in its way. The only thing I know for sure, right now, is that Jar, Javier, Havier or however you pronounce his name, is dead, and Marilyn, she’s been the beasts for longer than I realised. One of its pawns, it put in place to stop me, to distract me, and him. But we don’t have time anymore, it’s coming, it’s trying to stop me, you, us, from finishing the story, which’ll continue just after the pause that follows with you two looking at each other after I say this line,” he says, Clarke and Jimmy nervously exchange glances before they look back at the screen.

#

The screwed up piece of paper crashes against the wall and bounces into the waste bin as Steve McKinnon raises his hands up in the air, celebrating his victory.

“And McKinnon does it again, still the undefeated champion!” he yells proudly.

“Turn it off Steve you tosser, you just got lucky and anyway, you missed all the craziness that was going on, I’m coming to the end of a twelve hour shift, while you’re just starting, so, you’ve got an unfair advantage,” his work colleague says sitting in front of the cubical next to him.

“Fuck off Patto, there hasn’t been a call relating to any of that shit in over seven hours, so mate, you turn it off. And anyway, once is lucky, three times is skilled mate, so pay up.”

“Double or nothing?”

“Fuck off, you’ve already played that hand, I’m happy to just coast home on my winnings, let the fans sit and salivate for my return.”

“See, and that’s why you’re a tosser,” Patto says as he turns back to his desk.

“Sore loser,” Steve says as he stretches in his seat with a wide grin of satisfaction, a signal pulses over his head set, and he prepares for the incoming call to come through.

“This is Police Emergency, you’re talking with Steve at Sydney City Local Area Command, what is the state of your emergency?”

“It’s coming for me, it’s in the house, it killed them and now it’s coming for me,” a woman screams frantically on the other end of the line.

“Who’s coming for you Ma’am?”

“It is, it’s coming for me, you have to help me, you have to!”

“Ma’am calm down, that’s what we’re here to do. Now, in order for me to help, I’m going to need you to answer a few questions so I can make sure we get assistance to you as soon as possible. Can I start by getting your name and address?”

“Sandra Nevil, 32 Chenternut Apartments.”

“Thank you for that Sandra, just so you know, I’ve sent your address through to dispatch and they’re sending someone your way right now. Okay, next question Sandra, who else in is the house with you?”

“My brother and their two girls, but it’s, it’s killed them already. You’ve got to hurry, I don’t know how much longer I can stay hidden from it.”

“Sandra, help is on the way, they’ll be there soon, so don’t you worry. Now where are you hiding?”

“I’m in a small room that comes off one of the bedrooms.”

“Is there only one entrance to the room?”

“Yes, the door is hidden behind a cupboard in the girls room… Oh my god, that thing, whatever it is, it killed them, it ripped them apart like they were nothing, oh god, please help.”

“Okay Sandra, you need to stay calm and keep your voice down, do you know where the intruder is at the moment?”

“No, the last time I saw it, it was down stairs, it attacked my brother and I ran up here. Oh god, I ran, I left him to die, my own brother!” She screams.

“Sandra, do you know where they are now?”

“I-I-I, I don’t know, maybe I heard it in the room before, I’m not sure, everything seems confusing.”

“Okay, now Sandra, I’m going to have to place you on hold for a moment while I pass this information on to my supervisor, so we can make sure you get looked after correctly.”

“No!” she yells, “Please Steve, don’t leave me, it’ll get me, I know it will, I don’t want to die alone!”

“Okay Sandra, okay, I’m not going anywhere, and you’re going to die, not while I’m here, so you just hold on. I’ll keep the line open so you’ll be able to hear me and I can still hear you. But I need to check with my supervisor to make sure people are coming for you, to keep you safe, okay?”

“Please, just hurry.”

Steve turns around in his seat to be met with poking, prodding eyes watching him, a set of those eyes belong to his supervisor who stands a few feet away, rubbing her neck in anticipation, she nods to Steve and turns quickly, picking up a phone.

“How are you doing Sandra?”

“Losing my fucking mind, it’s going to get me like the rest, like the stories all over the news.”

“What are you talking about? You’ve got to tell me everything if I’m to help you, everything you tell me is vital to us making sure you get out of the house in one piece.”

“The murders that’ve been happening, the Roundhead killings, that thing, from the videos, it’s real!”

“Sandra, please, listen to me, whoever’s in your house, it’s not this Roundhead thing from the news reports, that video was said to be a hoax. The Prime Minister announced hours ago that all the people involved in the killings had been apprehended and all the killings stopped. So, you just stay with me, and I’ll make sure you get out of this.”

“Easy for you to say, you’re safe in some fucking office somewhere, so of course you’d think that. But I’m telling you, it’s fucking real, it just killed my brother and his family and now it’s going to kill me, while you sit there on your high horse talking down to me, drinking your fucking coffee!” Sandra screams.

“Sandra, please, calm down, if there’s someone in your house they’ll hear you.”

“If? What you don’t believe me now, you think I’m crazy?”

“No Sandra, I never said that, I’m sorry if it came across that way, but please believe me, I only have your safety in mind.”

“My god, do you hear that?”

“Sandra what do you hear?”

“Can’t you hear it?”

“Sandra, stay with me, what do you hear? Tell me?”

“Oh my god, no, no, not you, please, NOT YOU!” She screams in terror and then the phone crashes to the ground.

“Sandra?” Steve yells as her screams get more volatile and he can hear what he can only assume is Sandra’s body being thrown around the room, “Sandra!” he yells, and then her screams stop and everything goes silent.

“Sandra! Answer me, Sandra!” Steve yells into his headset, but the silence is the only answer he receives, until finally after what seems like forever, he hears the phone being picked up from the floor. “Sandra?”

“Close your eyes, and pray that no one dies, because you’ll all be dead, if you meet ROUNDHEAD!” a gravelly voice screams through the other end of the line, Steve jumps frantically to his feet and rips his head set off, throwing it to the ground, he stands there for a few moments in shock, his heart in his throat and he begins to perspire uncontrollably. From the corner of his eye he notices the rest of the call centre sits in silence, with everyone’s eyes on him. Then he feels a coldness run through his body, an intangible feeling that he finds the answer to when he sees her, standing a few feet away, pale and lifeless, with her dead eyes glaring straight at him.

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TOMORROW IT ENDS

All artwork by Yazgar, check his stuff out when you can!

The Roundhead, Part 5 – Moments To Forget

Jar drags deeply on the cigarette as Marilyn makes her way out, onto the roof, and passes him a coffee.

“Well it’s official, it’s been four hours since the last reported death,” she says as she looks out, over the quiet city.

“Do we have a final tally?”

“Unofficial numbers sit at twelve million, give or take a thousand either way,” she says, brushing her hair from her face as a cold breeze flows past, she feels her eyes swell, then, a few tears escape, and, as she tries to secretly wipe them away, he places a hand on her shoulder and she digs her head into his chest, letting the rest out.

“It’s okay, better out than in I say, like so many things in life. Although, farts are the worst in my opinion, I mean, did you know that you can explode if you hold them in for too long? Which is why I believe in self-preservation and ventilation.”

“Stop it, you’re not funny Jar,” she says with a laugh, smothering a cough into her jacket.

“Your words say one thing but your eyes say something else,” he says with a smile.

“Do you think, it’s over?”

“It has to be, doesn’t it? I mean, seriously, who’d believe shit like this could actually happen? That some basement dwelling dreamer who wanted to be a writer, could bring to life a creature like that, just out of his desire to write something that would make him famous, or, at the very least, make some money, it’s just crazy!” He says, looking down at her, he can see from her glassy eyed response, the day is finally taking its toll. “How are you holding up, champ?”

“Exhausted, overwhelmed, done, basically, with everything that’s going on, I just, I mean. This isn’t something I need, we need, right now.”

He kisses her on the forehead, “I’ve know you for twelve years, been your partner for eight, we’ve both seen a lot of shit, and this, this is the craziest. But, it’ll all settle down eventually, and when it does, we’ll talk, about everything.”

She smiles, “So, what do we do now then, while we wait?”

“We leave the boys to find the breadcrumbs left on his hardware, before the feds take it from under our noses. We go home, we get some rest, or at least try to, and we deal with it all tomorrow,” he says, she leans up towards him and they share a stolen kiss.

“Can’t we stay here, together, or get a room somewhere? I don’t want to go home right now.”

“You’ve got to go home, Clive and the kids, they’ll be worried sick, and I don’t want a repeat of last time again.”

She grabs him tightly and presses herself against him, “Get your shit then, I’ll drop you off along the way.”

#

Marilyn’s car pulls up outside Jar’s apartment and he steps out into the cold night air, letting out a shiver, before he peers back into the car, smiling, “You go straight home, and get some rest.”

“Rest? Clive’s going to still be awake, he’ll want to talk, again, and Sandra’s still there, fucking sucking the house dry of everything. Are you sure I can’t come up for a little while?”

“Go home to your family Marilyn, neither of us need this right now,” he says as he closes the door and she pulls away, grabbing one final glimpse of her before she is out of sight.

He makes his way quickly up the stairs to his loft apartment, tossing his jacket onto a chair and throwing himself onto the couch, face first. He screams into the pillow as he lets out all his built up frustration, not only over the case, but over his overly complicated love life. He flicks on the TV and stares at the images as they move about, like fireflies in the night sky, nothing more to him right now than static, than white noise, and then, he hears a voice, cutting through the darkness and his eyes slowly open. The light of the TV silhouettes two figures standing before him.

“Not now, please, I just need sleep, why do you two keep coming to me, why do you keep doing this?”

“Because you need to deal with this, you need to know what’s really happening, what’s really going on.”

“What, that this is all a story? That some amateur writer made all this and we’re just characters in his stupid fucking fairy tale? I’m not buying it, I won’t, I know I’m real, I know my life, I’ve lived it, I’m not just some made up fucking character,” Jar says as he closes his eyes again. “Now, please, just let me sleep, just for an hour, then, I’ll happily talk to you all you want.”

“When you wake up, it’ll be too late,” once of the voices says.

His eyes open again the house is pitch black, the TV dead, several hours have past. Slowly, he pulls himself up as his eyes adjust to the light, then, they widen in panic, as he sees her, standing a few feet in front of him, unmoving. Her long blonde hair cascades over her shoulders, and, he recognises her instantly, “Sam?” He says softly as he rubs his eyes, but she doesn’t disappear, she just stands there, watching him.  Slowly he reaches for the lamp on the table beside him. He fumbles around for a few moments, not daring to take his eyes off her, but, eventually, he has to, as he can’t locate the switch, and, as he does, she jerks forward like a poorly cut together video tape, clutching him by the jaw, turning his petrified face to hers.

“It flows, deep below, underneath, inside the concrete, past where it began and where I rot, you’ll find it there, and you’ll know fear, you’ll know its name,” she says, and then, she is gone, and he sits there, alone, frozen in fear, as her disfigured image lays burned into his mind. He snaps out of his trance, gets to his feet, quickly makes his way over to the table, and begins emptying his jacket pockets onto it, until he comes across his phone. Quickly, he brings up his contact screen, presses a number, waits for a few moments for it to start ringing, then presses the phones loud speaker button, tosses it on the table and pours himself a drink.

“Do you realise what time it is?” Marilyn says, from the other end of the line.

“I just had a visit from Sam.”

“Sam? But she’s…”

“She’s dead, I know, that’s why I’m calling.”

She sits up quickly, “I thought shutting down the site stopped it? And anyway, you haven’t read any of the stories, isn’t that how it moves from victim to victim?”

“How the fuck do I know, we’re all just taking gu…..” He stops mid-sentence and everything goes quite.

She gets to her feet, breaking out in a cold sweat, “Jar?” she says, waiting for a few moments, but no reply comes. “Jar, are you still there?” again she waits, still without reply, “Javier?”

The phone scratches along a surface of some kind, “I-I-I’m here,” he finally says softly, she lets out a sigh of relief.

“What the fuck were you trying to do to me?”

“Marilyn, w-w-we didn’t stop it.”

“What? What the fuck are you talking about?”

“It’s in the house.”

“What is?”

“It, the beast, it followed her,” he says. “It wants me now, it told me, it told me everything, and it makes sense, all of it. The stories, they were the start, but it’s the technology, it’s how it moves, and it’s getting stronger.”

“Hold on Jar, you fucking hold on!” She yells as she grabs her keys from the table.

“I-It’s t-t-too late for me, g-g-get out, I should’ve never called you-u, run!”

“You’re serious aren’t you?” She says, but only silence is her reply, “Jar? For fuck sake don’t do this, what’s going on?”

“It’s coming for you, god, oh god, I love you Marilyn,” he says as the phone crashes to the ground followed by silence and then it disconnects, her heart races with panic as she pulls the phone from her ear, tears running down her face. She jumps in fright as the phone begins to ring again, her heart skips a beat when she sees Javier’s name on the caller id, and she answers it quickly.

“Jar, what the fuck happened? What’s going on?”

From the other end of the line a deep, gravelly voice begins to say, “On the coldest night, you gave me your sin, I claimed you then, but I let you run free, now I come calling, now I am free, soon you will remember, you will remember me!”

She staggers backwards, dropping the phone, “Honey? Are you okay?” Clive asks as he staggers out of the hallway, rubbing his eyes, as soon as he sees his wife’s face, his turns to panic. “Marilyn, honey, what’s wrong?” He says as he rushes to her side.

“It’s Jar, something’s happened to him,” she says as she collapses into his arms.

“What? What’s happened? Is he okay?”

“I-I don’t think so, get Sandra and the kids out of here,” she says through her tears, as her mind races, trying not to think of Javier, or what, she knows will happen next.

“Tell me what’s going on? What happened to Javier?” He yells.

“GET SANDRA AND THE KIDS NOW!” She yells back. “I’ll tell you once we’re….” She feels all the hair on her body stand on end, and she knows it’s too late, it’s here.

“Marilyn what the fuck… What the…?” Clive says as the huge, behemoth of a beast stands before them, and it lets out a low, inhuman growl.

“Father,” Marilyn says softly, as the beast almost smiles at her words.

“Hello my child, it’s time, to come, to play your final part,” It says, slowly she turns to face Clive, her eyes, deep pools of nothingness.

#

Marty collapses into his seat, and places his head in his hands, then looks up nervously at the screen. “Things are getting weird, really, really weird. Clare and the girls left to go up the coast today, totally unexpected, her sister Helen went into labour six weeks early, and she asked Clare to be there for her as Will, her partner, is in Melbourne for work and couldn’t get a flight down until tomorrow.” He shuffles in his chair, his eyes dark and drawn in, he bites his bottom lip. “I know it doesn’t seem like anything really, but it’s Tuesday, tonight the story starts and in the story Clare and the kids are up…” His phone rings suddenly and he quickly answers it, switching it over to loud speaker.

“Dude what the fucks happening, I got your message,” Gareth says.

“I can’t do it man, I can’t post it, I just can’t, it feels wrong, I’ve told you the whole time it feels like I haven’t been the one writing this, and now, with Clare, it just seems, too much of a coincidence,” Marty says nervously.

“You’ve gotta relax Marty, that’s all it is, a coincidence, nothing more. I know you’ve lived and breathed this thing for the last four months, putting your heart and soul into it. Trying to do as much as you can for people to take notice, and now the day is here it’s okay to get nervous, you’re just a little rattled is all, post it dude and don’t worry, it’s just a story.”

“I can’t do it man, I can’t.”

“Why not? Because if it’s all true you get killed in the opening scene?”

“No, it’s not that, it’s the ending man, I-I-I still haven’t finished it, I can’t, I won’t! And the rewrites, they keep happening, sometimes, I swear, without me even doing them.”

“Just stop it man, if you keep adding to it, changing it, you’ll never be ready, anyway, I thought the ending you had was tight.”

“It was, sort of, but, it’s the way it ends, it’s wrong, it’s, it’s not my ending!”

“Marty, mate, finish it, and stop fucking worrying, it’s just a story,” Gareth says.

“I know you’re right, I really do, but it’s just….”

“Marty, it’s just a story, fuck, it’s your story, end it the way you want it to, if you don’t like the ending, just change it, but don’t sit around moping and throw away all the work you’ve done, all the work we’ve done. Just get it out there, and see what happens, it’ll be a hit, with or without the ending I’ve read, trust me,” Gareth says, for a few moments there is nothing but silence.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Marty says finally.

“Of course I’m right, just finish it and move on dude.”

“I know, look, I’ll talk to you later,” he says as he hangs up the phone and looks back at the computer screen, he jumps in fright as he sees a reflection in the screen, the reflection of a large, hulking figure behind him, as does Clarke. He quickly presses pause on the video and slowly takes it back a few frames, his heart beats a million miles an hour as he stares at the blurry, black shape behind Marty and screams for Jimmy.

roundheadmk6

Go HERE to read part 6.

All artwork by Yazgar, check his stuff out when you can!

The Roundhead, Part 4 – Through The Looking Glass

You can read part 1 HERE, part 2 HERE and part 3 HERE.

Jar sits there staring, studying each of the sheets of paper that are pinned to the wall, each piece, a clue, a tale of death, destruction, and more importantly, a tale of the beast. He doesn’t notice Jimmy make his way into the room, it’s not until he’s beside him that he hears his name being called, and slowly turns, half aware, it’s not until he locks eyes with Jimmy, that he’s dragged quickly back to reality.

“Is everything okay?” He asks.

“N-N-Not really, you need to look at t-t-this,” he says, holding out a sheet of paper.

“Do I really want to see this?”

“I-I, I Think you need to r-r-read it,” he says, Jar takes the piece of paper.

“Is this another story?”

“J-J-Just read it,” Jimmy says again nervously, Jar gives him a look of concern, before looking down at the words, and begins to read.

“You’re misunderstanding what’s going on,” a voice says.

“How am I misunderstanding anything?” Jar says.

“Because you’re looking for an answer when you already have it.”

“Bullshit, there’s no answers here, it’s just all batshit crazy,” Jar says, turning back to the wall.

“Then, be, batshit crazy, if that’s what it takes to start believing, be it. Because you need to get on the right side of the fucking fence, real soon.”

“It’s not that easy believing in something like this.”

“Then let’s help you make it easy,” another voice says. “Look at these stories, not the first chapter, that’s done, it’s going to teach you nothing.  And the second, well, you know it, because you were there, so, that’s where you can start believing, but the preludes, they hold the real key.”

“How? They’re all snippets, nothing, each one is a dead end.”

“Are they? Read them again, but look at the likes, look at the shares, look at each person, each character, and you’ll see there’s a match on every single one. The death, then the beast, they’re all connected, like a flowing, ebbing river, and the answer, lies in there, as does the survivor, she holds a key, but hurry, it’s coming.”

“What? It’s coming? You mean that thing?”

“It knows, it’s after us, it’s coming for you, you’re fated to die, we all are, but, explaining it all right now, will just make no sense afterwards. Just remember this one thing, don’t trust her, she lies, the beast, already has her.”

“What? Don’t trust who?”

“Jar?” A voice says, he looks up from the paper, sweat running down his brow, he suddenly feels light headed, pockets of black and white exploded before his eyes, and then, he sees it, the beast, from before, and scrambles backwards, pulling his revolver free.

“JAR!” Marilyn yells, two shots ring out then everything fades away to white, for a moment he stands there, in limbo, until he feels something tightly grip his arm, and pulls him back into the room. But, it’s not the same, or is it, his mind explodes with pain, he presses himself tightly against the wall, sweat pouring from him, his eyes wide with fear, they frantically search the room, desperately looking for it, only for them to find Marilyn, standing a few feet away.

“What the fuck is going on Jar?” Marilyn says, he grabs his head, closes his eyes tightly, and takes several long deep breaths, before opening his eyes again, looking at her once more, her face, shows her concern. “Jar?”

“I’m okay, it’s nothing, just, I’m tired, my mind wandered, sorry, I didn’t mean to,” he says as he quickly turns back to the wall.

“Ja…”

“Don’t, okay, just don’t, we don’t have time to stop, she’s dead, that’s all we need to know right now, just like the rest here, just like the others he wrote about. Every single name, every single one.” She places a hand on his arm, and grips it again.

“Jar, do…” he pulls away once more, stepping towards the board.

“Two months before all this started, they began releasing these short stories of people sharing the story, in each story, they get visited by these creepy arsed ghosts, like the freak show we saw, they say their rhyme, a different one each time mind you, then disappear, and that’s when the big hunk of muscle, this Roundhead thing,  shows up and kills our unsuspecting victims,” he says as he turns to her, his face, empty, white, exhausted, his eyes puffy, his lips, cracked, dry, he runs his tongue along them, but, his mouth is just as dry. “I mean two months, two fucking months he was writing these things, and this Wilkinson guy, he was sharing images of what he was doing over on his pages for just as long. I mean look, this was the thing we saw wasn’t it?” He says ripping a picture from the wall and slamming it on the desk. “He fucking drew it months before the attacks happened. That means these guys knew that thing existed, I mean, you don’t just make something up like this, not something this fucked up anyway. Honestly Marilyn, if you want my best opinion, these guys, they were touched, really, fucking, touched. But you want to know what gets me, what makes me really fucking curious. It’s that no one ever said anything, he names people, places, other people, how they die, what they do to make it happen, and these people, these fucking retards, they fucking die. But the best part is that some of them, and when I say some, I mean, almost all of them, they fucking liked these posts, the ones depicting their deaths. So tell me, how didn’t they recognise themselves? I mean, how? Is it that insane to ask the question, or are we beyond that?”

“Is insane a word we’re even using?”

He looks over to her and stares at her for a few moments before looking back at the wall, “I guess that’s a fair call,” he says.

“Fair call? Jar, it’s me you’re talking to, get your head out of your arse and talk to me for a minute,” she says as she grabs him by the face and forces him to look at her.

“Look, I’m sorry, but, this case, it scares me, and that thing, whatever it was, is, it’s unbelievable, plus that story, it was me Marilyn, it was what happened, it was my life, and he wrote about it weeks before it happened. Then mix in the dreams, the ones that I had before all this, are now happening, while I’m awake, so, it’s all got me a bit stretched. And that thing, it killed that girl like she was nothing, it could’ve killed any of us, you, me, Jimmy, fuck, even Jones, but it killed her because that’s what the story said had to happen, I mean, is this, us, right now, part of the story? And who the hell is this Mackenzie guy, there’s no record of him, or a crime scene being attacked by that thing, does that mean it hasn’t happened yet, and he seems like someone, important….”

She grabs him by the hand and kisses him, then pulls him from the room, down the hallway, and into one of the interrogation rooms, quickly locking the door behind them.

“Ma…” He goes to say but she stops him with another kiss.

“Shut up, turn the camera off and fuck me!” She says.

Some minutes later he leans back against the wall and stares at her as she tucks her shirt in and tightens her belt, a cigarette hangs from his mouth, unlit.

“We should be working?” he says.

“We’ve been working all night,” she replies with a smile as she finishes doing up the buttons on her shirt.

“We’re still working.”

“If that’s what you call working, I’d love your job,” she says as she wraps her arms around his waist and buries her head into his chest.

“You know what I mean.”

“I know, but can’t we ignore it all, just for a little while?”

“In a little while, once Jones’ people manage to get in the state, they’ll seizing all the shit we took from Towns and Wilkinson’s apartment’s, you know Jones wants his face all over this, the piece of shit, he sees the bigger picture, the world stage, his way up the ladder.”

“And he’ll get it, while we continue to rot down here, in our own personal hell.”

“New Zealand is still an option,” he says with a laugh.

“You’re serious?”

“One day, but you still have to deal with Clive and the kids, he’s not stupid you know, he’d know by now something’s changed.”

“You always know how to bring a woman down.”

“Better to do it after, than before,” he says with a smile. “But, we should go see Jimmy and Clarke, have a look at what they’ve found, maybe we could steal Jones’ thunder, get that promotion ourselves, and leave this place behind.”

“Fat chance,” she says as he reaches up and plugs the security camera back in, they both quickly exit, making their way to the forensic crime labs, where Jimmy sits pouring through all of Towns’ hard drives.

“So tell me you’ve turned up something?” Jar asks, Jimmy turns to them with a frustrated look on his face.

“Not a lot, half the files he has are encrypted with shit we’ve never seen before, so I had to call in a couple of favours from a few sources outside the normal channels, but, as yet, none of them have paid off. And on top of that, he’s got an unusual system in the way he saves things, which is making it hard to work out what’s useful, and what’s not, to the investigation. So, we’ve divided the work, Clarke is running the laptop through the sifter while I’m concentrating on all hard drives and flash disks, which, I might add, are plentiful,” he replies as he throws his arms out, gesturing to all the hard drives and flash cards that sit in front of him.

“No other parts of the story?”

“Nope, only the two chapters and the preludes we’ve already seen, and just in case any of you’ve forgotten, lived through, as that nugget of fuck me I’m in an episode of the Twilight Zone, always needs to be thrown back out there. We also found a heap of poems counting down from thirteen to one that seemed part of the story line maybe, but they’re mediocre at best, with no real information in them. There’s also a shit load of movies, porn, bits and pieces of other stories, a massive series of novels he was working on, and, more porn, but no other part of the Roundhead story, not that I can find yet anyway. But, like I said, I’ve still got a lot more shit to wade through.”

“What about access to the WordPress site, have we got anything back yet?”

“Still waiting on them to get back to us on that, so far all they’ve done is shut it down like the warrant requested, getting access seems to be more of a battle. But, I’m leaving that to Jones, I mean, that’s what he gets paid for, right?”

“So, what you’re really saying is we’re still just holding our dicks?” Jar says.

“Speak for yourself Jar,” Marilyn says as she elbows him in the stomach.

He lets out a small grunt, “Okay, point taken, we’re just holding our nuts,” he quickly takes a step back as she swings a harder elbow his way. He holds up his hands and laughs. “Stand down Sargent, I don’t want to get taken down by friendly fire.”

“Well, keep your nuts in your hands then sailor,” she says with a wry smile.

“Okay you two, behave, if I wanted to deal with bickering children I would’ve stayed at my sisters instead of coming to work. So why don’t we all just look on the bright side, if that’s what you want to call it. Sonia Winters, our busty friend from earlier, who as we know, featured in part two of the story along with all of us, is the last official victim. So, we can at least confirm the site and the sharing of the story was somehow connected to all this shit,” Jimmy says.

“We’ll call it the bright side,” Jar says.

From the other side of the lab Clarke pokes his head out of a small room, his face pale, white and clammy, “Y-you…” He stops and clears his throat before he starts again. “You two picked the most profoundly precise time to stick your noses into our neck of the woods. I-I-I, I think you all need to come and have a look at this!” He says as he disappears back into the room. The three quickly squeeze themselves into the room, behind Clarke’s chair and all look towards the open laptop on the desk.

“Is this where you tell us you found something?” Marilyn asks.

“It’s something, but, more like I just shat myself kind of moment than anything else. Let me start by saying, his file system, is atrocious, to a point where I’d say there isn’t one, that’s until, you get to this folder,” he says as he nervously hovers the mouse cursor over a folder titled ‘Derek Clarke’, they all exchange confused looks before Jar asks the inevitable question everyone’s thinking.

“He’s got a folder on his computer, with your name on it. Is there something you haven’t told us?”

“No sir, I’ve never met this guy before and I have no idea why he’d have a folder named after me on his laptop.”

“Do we know what’s in it?”

“I’ve no idea, I’m too scared to open it. Fuck, after Jimmy read that chapter of his story and then that professor on the TV telling you to shut the site down, I didn’t want to open it on my own.”

“Don’t be a wuss, like a Band-Aid, we’ve all seen your mardi gras pictures, I doubt there would be anything worse out there than that,” Jimmy says as he reaches over, pressing the mouses button, and another screen opens displaying over two hundred video files.

“Okay, I’m not the most computer literate person out there, so you boys are going to have to tell me what we’re looking at?” Jar says.

Jimmy squeezes his way past Clarke again, “They’re video files, and by the looks of it, they’re all date marked, so, they’d have to be record logs of some kind. But, the best way to find out is to open one,” he says as he double clicks on the first file.

Marty sits staring into the camera and nervously smiles, “So, this is entry number one, in what I’m hoping will be the most defining, most… Fuck,” he places his head down and waits for a few moments before looking back up at the camera and smiles again. “Welcome to the first entry, in what will be the defining record of creation, as you’ll journey along with me as I work through the ups, and the down, of birthing The Roundhead. Over the next few months you’ll witness the birth of what very well could be, the next, the next,” he hangs his head again. “The next what? Freddy Kruger? Pinhead? Fuck, they all sound like I’m full of myself, why do I have to compare it to any of those, anyway?” he says as he looks at the screen once more.

“Pause it,” Jar says, Clarke quickly presses the pause button, and a cold shiver runs down his spine as he looks into the frozen eyes of Marty, he slams the lid closed.

“Got the heebie-jeebies?” Jimmy says.

“Yeah something like that.” Clarke says as he nervously shuffles in his chair and looks up at Jar.

“How many files are there?” Jar asks, Jimmy swallows a dried, horrible, mouthful of air and turns back to the laptop, takes a deep breath then opens it again, quickly closing the video.

“T-T, two hundred and thirty-three.”

“What’s that in time?”

“Ummmm, eight hours and sixteen minutes.”

Jar places a firm hand on Clarke’s shoulder and squeezes it.

“I’ll call you if I find anything,” Clarke says.

“Have I told you how much I love you?” Jar says.

“Not lately.”

Jar leans down and gives Clarke a big sloppy kiss on his cheek, “We don’t need words,” he says with a smile as he and Marilyn leave the two of them in a room, Clarke looks at Jimmy who smiles awkwardly back at him.

“It’s got your name on the folder,” he says as he quickly exits, leaving Clarke alone once more, he turns to the laptop, and opens the video back up, for a few seconds, he sits there, starring at Marty, before he presses play once again.

roundheadmk6

Go HERE to read part 5.

All artwork by Yazgar, check his stuff out when you can!

The Roundhead, Part 3 – Severed Throats

You can read part one HERE, and part two HERE.

Jar’s eyes rattle around in his head like a slot machine, his heart beats quickly in his chest, and he struggles for a breath, as he, like the rest, try to make sense of the moments that just took place. He forces himself up, from the ground and quickly grabs Marilyn, pulling her to her feet.

“Are you okay?” He asks, gently running his hands through her hair, resting them on her shoulders, squeezing them.

“I think so,” she says softly, looking over, towards Sonia’s body, she jumps in fright, clutching hold of Jar tightly, as the apartment’s door slowly opens, on its own.

“What the fuck?” Jones says, nervously pulling a cigarette from a packet and lighting it, his eyes close as he draws in a deep, long drag, then they shoot open again, he lets the smoke release, and repeats his question. “What the fuck?”

“Don’t ask me,” Jar replies as he crouches over Sonia’s body and closes her blank, empty eyes.

Jimmy clears his throat as he raises his hand awkwardly into the air, and all eyes fall on him. “Isn’t it obvious? That thing, whatever it is, is our killer, is this Roundhead character,” he says. “It’s like it’s using the story as a way to bridge a doorway into our world, you know, using the power of the people reading it, or sharing it, to give it the ability to cross over.”

“Did you hit your fucking head back there?”

“My head’s fine, besides being a little rattled. But anyway, I’m just repeating what Towns wrote. It’s all on the blog, the whole idea behind the story, and he’s got notes, shit loads of them, before I came across the second chapter that’s what me and Clarke were looking at, it’s actually quite fascinating, if you think about it.””

“I can’t see this ever being fascinating,” Jar says, he looks at Marilyn and can see the panic in her eyes, he flashes her a reassuring smile, but they both know, they are out of the depths.

“Seriously?  Some hack writer tells the future in a short story and gets it right, but not just right, he gets it dead on, word for word? And you say it’s not fascinating?”

“Right now I couldn’t give a good god damn fuck about the story, what I care about is how the fuck are we supposed to deal with this thing? We don’t have the man power or the capabilities, and to make it worse, no one will ever believe a fucking word of what just happened,” Jones says.

“Manpower isn’t what we need, the story is the key, while it’s out there it’s giving that thing its strength, the more people who read it and pass it on, the more power it gains. What we need to do is delete the story, wipe it from the net all together, stop people sharing it, reading it, and in theory, it should stop it,” Jimmy says.

“That’s impossible, you said it’s been shared millions of times, over multiple networks. There’s no way in the world we’d be able to take it all down, not easily, anyway,” Marilyn says.

“That’s where you’re wrong, if I had a pen I’d draw it for you, but all we need to worry about is the original post. You see, all the shares go back to the original, they don’t post the story itself, they just share the link, so, all we have to worry about is the blog post, and, maybe the blog as well. See, I was reading the second chapter, and only the first chapter’s been released, so it’s safe to say he’s scheduled the whole thing to be posted over the next few days, all the way up to Halloween, like the blog says. What we need to do is stop the posts, delete them completely, and that should technically kill its power source, once and for all. I think anyway, I mean, I’m just throwing shit at a fan right now, so, I don’t know.”

“Which takes us back to the earlier question of you hitting your head, because right now you sound crazier than those religious nut jobs that picket abortion clinics,” Jones says.

“Considering we’re dealing with a killer from a story, that’s coming to life and killing the people who are reading the story, about them being killed, in the story. I wouldn’t be wasting time, asking about my sanity, not when the real question is, what else’ve we got that could explain what we just saw?” Jimmy says, they all stare at him, and then all eyes fall on Jones.

“What? It sounds crazy, I’m not….” a plumpish man in his mid thirties bursts into the apartment, cutting Jones off before he can continue.

“Holy fuck!” he yells. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, really I am, but you’ve got to take a look at this, you’ve got to take a fucking look,” he yells as he holds his phone out towards them. “This just aired on Serbian national TV and it’s gone viral,” he says as he presses play.

“Good evening, I am Olga Branković, and thank you for joining us for this special bulletin. Tonight, we see a world locked in terror, as, over two million victims around the world have been claimed by, what police are saying, is a well-organised, highly sophisticated terrorist attack. Reports of these brutal and savage attacks, that are being referred to as ‘The Roundhead Murders’, are being recorded from every continent, across the globe. Right now I am joined by ex-chief police inspector Aleksandar Kasun, author of the book, ‘In their eyes he sees’. In his book Aleksandar talks to fifteen of the world’s most brutal mass murders, as he journeys along with these people, trying not only to understand why they became what they are, but to understand why they did, what they did. Aleksandar, thank you for joining us,” Olja says.

“Thank you Olja, I wish I could say it was a pleasure to be here, but on this day, a day where the cloud of darkness has dropped over, not only Serbia, but the entire world, I cannot say that I am.”

“Can I start by asking the one question that’s on everyone’s mind, what’s the reason for these brutal and senseless killings?”

“Well Olja, I, like many of the general public have been watching these extremely disturbing events play out, and I too have questions, like they do. But, I, also have answers, you see, I am blessed, not only to of had the experiences I had while writing my books, but also, with over fifty years as an officer in Serbia’s Police Force. So, my first question would be, who could organise such decisive, and elaborate attacks? Attacks where the victims have included, not only your carefree, average, everyday civilians, but, also, politicians, movie stars and other prominent people in our society. You see, our killers, and I say killers, because there is no other answer, our killers, have amassed an obviously large underground sleeper sect that have managed to somehow burrow themselves into every aspect of the worlds populated areas, waiting, until such a time that their organization decided to activate them, and this Roundhead story seems to be the perfect cover, but….”

“That’s bullshit and you know it!” A voice yells out from across the studio.

“Please, Professor Milovanović, your turn to participate in this conversation will happen soon,” Olja says as the camera swerves around and focuses on Milovanović.

“I’m not going to stand here and listen to his hog-wash, this isn’t the work of some sleeper cell mumbo jumbo shit, or terrorists. This is something, something older than time itself, before man, using technology against us, making our strengths, our weaknesses. This is a beast from the bowls of our imagination, that’s been given form and now feeds on us all, driven by it’s jealousy of what we are, and it’s need to claim our world as its own. Can’t you see? It’s so clearly evident from the murders that’ve already taken place, that no imaginary sect could pull off such brutal, violent attacks in such a short time frame, no matter how well organised. My research paper on the beast of bedlam covered such a story, in twelve thousand BC this beast carved its name across the lands as it rode on the coat tails of a story that was passed from village to village and then town to town. Look at the name it chooses now, this Roundhead name was given to it by some writer on his blog and then when it was ready, it made him spread it to the world, gorging itself on all who shares it’s story, taking their souls, their sins, into itself, making it stronger, as it breaks free of the bindings that hold it. This silly, insane belief that there is a group of numbskulls running around murdering everyone is ridiculous. The beast has returned and this time it will take everything from us, because we’ve built a world where there is no distance, there is no sea, there’s no part of this planet I cannot reach with social media, and once the beast is full, we will all pay!”

“You call me insane, listen to your own words, you’re the one who’s insane!”

“Then I dare you to share the story!”

“What?”

He marches up to the desk and slams a tablet on the table, “I dare you to sign into whatever social media site you like, and share the beast’s story.”

“You’re mad, I will not be bullied into something as silly as this,” Aleksandar says as he launches himself up from his seat.

“Why? Because you know I’m right? Because you fear the beast?”

“This is absurd, if it will stop your ramblings,” he says as he grabs the tablet and quickly signs into his Facebook account, easily finding a shared copy of the story and shares it to his page, then slams the tablet down. “Come on then beast, come and eat my soul!” He laughs as he stretches out his arms, looking around the room and then back at Milovanović. “I think maybe, your beast is…. i-i-is….” Standing a few feet away from Aleksandar, is a pale, lifeless woman, staring towards him, with cold, dead eyes.

“The beast answers all who call, and so all humanity will fall, as the beast grows stronger and the cage grows weak, prepare yourself for the beast, for soon it will be here to feast, on your flesh and your soul, so say its name while you can, for soon, it will be too late!” And then, the woman disappears, and everyone sits, in silence, staring at where she was standing.

“T-T-Tell me you got that?” Olja yells.

“I got it, I got it,” the cameraman yells back.

Milovanović grabs the camera, and stares down the barrel, “I told you it was real, the mark of the beast has been made, and now it comes for the foolish, we must stop the story, freeze it in place, Javier make the phone call, don’t hesitate, do it now!” He yells.

“You made me do it, you tricked, tricked, tric…..” Aleksandar is suddenly hoisted up, into the air, then slammed into the desk as the beast lets out a deafening roar. It storms forward, and swipes widely at Milovanović, severing his throat, he falls to his knees, choking on his own blood, his eyes, wide with horror, as the beast looks down at him, with its endless, black, soulless eyes and lets out another roar of defiance.

“I told you before, it’s my story not yours, I’ll keep coming for you, so run, run little man, but, you’ll never win!” It screams as it drives its massive fist down, and the video ends.

They all stand there, with their mouths open and then all look to Jar.

“Don’t look at me, I don’t fucking know the guy, seriously,” he says, looking at Jones.

“Get the fucking number for the company that runs this fucking WordPress site and get them to take it down, delete it from existence, before the next chapter of this fucking story is posted.”

Jar pulls his phone from his jacket and frantically types information into it, several seconds pass, as he waits, the screen lights up and he groans, “Fuck, it’s all email shit, no direct contact numbers for any actual person…. Wait, hold on, I think I’ve got one,” he says pressing a number on the screen, the phone takes a few moments before it finally begins to start ringing, going straight through to an automated answering service. “Fuck,” he mutters as he waits for the message to guide him onto the next stage, it takes another few minutes of him thumping buttons and answering questions, that at several points, lead him back to the beginning, until, finally, he has another human on the other end of the line.

“This is Sarah from Automatic support, what’s the nature of your problem?”

“Sarah, my name’s Detective Inspector Javier Toddard from the Sydney Special Investigations Unit based at Sydney City Local Area Command, identification number RDG-five-six-seven-eight-four, I need to talk to someone about taking down one of your blogs?”

“Without a warrant detective, if you are truly who you say you are, there is no information or assistance I can give you,” she replies, he darts a look at Jones.

“They need a warrant?”

“Give me five minutes, and get me their fax number,” Jones says as he searches through his contacts and selects a number, seconds later the phone is answered “Judge Turvell, sorry for the interruption. Yes sir, I know it’s late, but I need a warrant to access the WordPress account of a Marty Towns, the company who hold the account won’t give us access without one. No, it can’t wait a few hours.” More minutes pass, as Jar relays the fax number to Jones, and then Jones onto Turvell. “Thanks George, I’ll explain the nitty-gritty stuff later, but, trust me, you won’t believe it,” he says as he hangs up the phone and nods towards Jar.

“It should be coming through now,” Jar says.

“Please hold the line while I go and check the machine,” she says as she places the phone on hold, music plays and Jar darts a look to Marilyn again, she meets his gaze, letting out a cold shiver, and gives him another, fake smile.

“Okay, Detective Toddard, I have the warrant, I’m sorry about that, but we do have procedures that must be followed. Now, how can I assist you with Mister Towns’ account?”

“Shut it down, permanently!”

“Permanently?”

“Yes, did I stutter? I said permanently. I want it gone, as in, I want none of the posts or scheduled posts, or any of the other shit that comes with this site, to exist anymore.”

“There is no need to be rude, I’ll put a takedown notice in place and contact the user.”

“That’s not going to be possible, the user’s dead, just take the site down, now!”

“I’m sorry Detective, but we have procedures in…..”

“I don’t give a fuck about your procedures, take the site down, NOW! Or the next warrant you’ll see will be the one for your arrest for obstructing a major police investigation!”

“I-I, of course, I’ll take it down,” Sarah says, he can hear the fear in her voice.

“How long will it take before its offline?”

“It will be immediate.”

“That’s what I wanted to hear,” he says as he hangs up the phone and looks at Jones. “Okay, sites down, now what do we do, hold our dicks?”

“No, we get Jimmy and Clarke here to collect up every hard drive, flash disc and whatever else they can find, get them back to the labs, and make a start on sifting through all this shit before my team arrive in the morning, we’re going to make sure this thing stays dead!”

roundheadmk6

Go HERE to read part 4.

All artwork by Yazgar, check his stuff out when you can!

The Roundhead, Part 2 – The One After The Preludes

You can read part one HERE.

He walks into the apartment, catching her eye immediately, she faintly shows signs of a smile as she gets up and makes her way over to him.

“Jar, where the hell’ve you been? You were supposed to be here an hour ago.”

“Where haven’t I been? This town is fucking falling apart, people are getting killed every few minutes, and no one has any clue how or why it’s happening. So Marilyn, let’s not get into why it took me so long to get here, let’s just concentrate on the fact, I’m here.”

“I was worried,” she says softly.

He smiles and nods towards Marty’s body, “So that’s zero?”

“That’s what we’re naming him. As far as we can tell, he was the first, then his friend, the one who called triple zero, Gareth Wilkinson, after that it gets messy, but, we can pin point it all starting here.”

“Fuck me, where are we sitting on totals?”

“We count at least five hundred and seventy-two that’re linked to this case, Australia wide it’s sitting around twelve thousand. Worldwide, last I heard, it’s somewhere in the millions, and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.”

“Jesus christ, and what, the shirts up town think this guy and his buddy have something to do with it all?”

“No one’s really sure yet, but it’s not stopping the theories from being thrown around, and, most of them are landing on Marty Towns’ doorstep, and his blog,” she says. “The word Roundhead, that’s been written in blood at each of the murder scenes, is the name of a murderous creature from a series of stories Towns was releasing, some Halloween special he was doing on his blog to try and spotlight his writing skills.”

“So what, these murders started taking place as a, what, a tribute to this thing, our two boys created?”

“That’s one of the theories.”

“Do we have any idea what this Roundhead story is about?”

“No one here really has a clue, Jimmy said Towns only released the first chapter six hours ago, he was online when it went viral, and said the story seemed to be like a disease, almost everyone who read it, passed it on.”

“I’m guessing he didn’t read any of it?”

“Nope, he said he’s not a big reader, he’d rather wait for the film instead. But Clarke, he started to read it, then all this shit started happening, and he hasn’t bothered with it since. But, he did make the comment that Towns must’ve seen his death coming, because he’s killed part way through the first chapter.”

“Almost like he sacrificed himself to get the ball rolling. Do we know if Towns has any connections to the other victims?”

“None so far, the only connection is each victim seemed to’ve read the story, and posted it on social media. That seems to be what got them targeted, right now Jimmy and Clarke are going through all Towns’ computers and social media, so, if they find anything, we’ll know soon enough.”

“I doubt you’ll find anything special here, it looks just like the rest,” A large balding man in a suit says as he walks into the room, followed quickly by another two suited men.

“What did you do wrong to find yourself handed this case?” Jar says.

“Fuck you Toddard, you see anything else happening in the city tonight?”

“Boys, hands off your dicks, Jones, It’s always a pleasure to see you, but this is our jurisdiction, so you can take your suits and go back the way you came,” Marilyn says.

“Honey you ain’t got shit, not anymore, this is classed as a federal matter now, not state, and this, this is just a bunch of crazy freaks on drugs running some bullshit internet flash mob shit. Technology ain’t worth the price tag we’re made to pay for it, and these kids, they’re just exploiting it. First with their flash mob dances, then their flash mob protests, it’s no surprise something like this eventually happened,” Jones says as he clears his throat and coughs violently into his hand, wiping some mucus on his shirt.

“With all due respect, I think….”

“With all due respect Detective Nevil, I don’t really care what you think. I’ve been shifting my arse from one side of this town to the other for the last four hours, and I’m just about done. So why don’t you take captain moustache over there and go ask the neighbours if anyone heard anything like the good little lap dogs you are, and, if you do a good job, maybe, I might let you chew the bone a little bit longer.”

“You can…”

“We’ll be happy to,” Jar says as he grabs Marilyn and drags her out of the apartment.

Seconds later, a lanky, long haired man comes stumbling out of another room, he stands in the doorway, and the room itself seems to vibrate with energy for a moment, then, returns to normal. He looks around the apartment, until, finally locking eyes with Jones, “Ummm, where’s Detective Nevil?” he asks quickly.

“Doing a reach-around of the neighbours, what’s got you all in a tizzy, geek boy?”

“Y-Y-You’re Jones?”

“And you’re who, the scarecrow?”

“I-Is that supposed to be some reference to the wizard of Oz?”

“Well look, he does have a brain,” Jones says with a laugh, nudging one of the two agents with him. “Now, what’s got your little heart pumping so fast?”

“This,” he says as he hands Jones a tablet, he runs his eyes over the words on the screen, his eyes widen, his hands begin to shake, and he slowly, looks up at Jimmy, clearing his throat once again.

“Is this shit for real?”

“Do you really want me to answer that question?”

“Get the fuck out of the way!” he says as he charges out of the apartment.

#

She falls onto the couch and giggles, ‘You’re silly, I don’t know why I even still talk to you?’ she types into her phone and presses send, smiling to herself.

‘It’s because you like my smile and my parent’s money :)’

She giggles, ‘I have more money than your parents, so it’s not that :p’

‘Well it has to be my smile then :)’

‘Maybe you need to come over so we can get to the bottom of this? ;)’ she types, rolling over onto her stomach and stretches her legs as she sends it.

‘When I finish work?’

‘When’s that?’

‘Seven, I’ve got the graveyard shift tonight’

‘Seven 😦 that’s way too early for me to be up :o’

‘Sorry babe, it’s the best I can do, Frank really needs me tonight. Two of the other drivers haven’t shown up for their shifts, Frank’s tried calling them like a dozen times and still hasn’t got any answers, they just go straight through to message bank. He’s worried they’re victims of this Roundhead shit that’s going on’

‘Wow, really? I was watching some news report on Facebook about it. It’s some scary shit, it’s almost like one of those movies you keep making me watch!’

‘:p Yeah, well, the story going round is it’s connected to some story that was posted online, the guy who wrote it, lives in your building’

‘Really? Who the fuck?’

‘Marty Towns, I think he lives on your level as well’

‘I fucking know him, how crazy’s that?’ she turns back over, brings up Safari, and types in Marty Towns. Seconds later the screen shows her multiple results, she presses on the top suggestion, and the web page for Twisted Roads of Madness quickly loads up. The first post that’s on the screen is titled, ‘The Roundhead Part 1 – You Are My Sin,’ she instantly clicks on it. Then, for the next few minutes, she sits there, in silence, as she reads the story, letting out a giggle of excitement when she finally comes to the end. Her finger hovers over the share button, then, as she bites nervously down onto her bottom lip, she presses it and switches back to messenger.

‘It’s not a terrible story, I’ve read worse, but I can’t see why people are getting killed over it. I might go say hello and get his autograph, it could be worth something in a few years’

The lights suddenly flicker above her and she pokes her head up from the couch, almost falling off in fright as someone knocks on the door at the same time, she sits there for a few moments, as they knock again.

“Just a minute,” she says as she looks through the peep hole, Jar and Marilyn stand on the other side of the door, and she slowly opens it ajar.

“Hello Miss, sorry to disturb you, I’m Detective Inspector Javier Toddard and this is my partner Detective Senior Sergeant Marilyn Nevil, we’d like to ask you a few questions about your neighbour, Marty Towns?” Jar says as they both hold up their badges.

“Has something happened?”

“He’s dead, Miss?”

“Winters, Sonia Winters,” she says as she opens the door, looking a little shocked. “Please come in, I didn’t know Marty that well, just enough to say hello. He seemed like a nice guy, his family all seemed happy. How did it happen? Is his family okay? Does it have anything to do with all the murders on the news?”

“We’re not sure on any of those questions yet Miss Winters, we’re still putting the puzzle together, but it looks like…” He doesn’t have a chance to finish his sentence as Jones storms into the room, followed closely behind by Jimmy, Jar spins around quickly, surprised. “Is there…” Jones slams the tablet into his hands.

“Read it, but first let’s get the fuck out of here, all of us,” he says as he turns around, suddenly the door slams shut, and the latch locks.

“What the hell is going on?” Jar asks.

“It’s the fucking story,” Jimmy yells as he taps the tablet. “The fucking story, it’s his fucking story and we’re in….” but before he can finish explaining Sonia cuts him off with a high-pitched scream.

“WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT!” she screams pointing to a pale young boy, standing a few feet away, blinking in and out of focus. Everyone stands there, staring in disbelief.

The lights flicker and explode around them, as the boy begins to speak, “He’s opened the door and you’ve welcomed it in, you’ll tell yourself, it won’t smell your sin, but it’s too late, your time is due, the beast is coming to devour you,” And then, he disappears.

“What the fuck just happened?” Jones says.

“The girl, her, Sonia, she read the story, and she shared it,” Jimmy yells.

“H-How do you even know that?” Sonia asks.

“That’s a great question,” Jar says as he turns and looks at Jimmy. “How do you even know that?”

“Read the fucking story, like Jones told you, it’s all there, we have to… Fuck,” Jimmy says as he lets out a nervous laugh. “It’s happening exactly the way he wrote it, word for word.”

“Well, if you know what’s going to happen next, tell us?”

“T-T-That,” Jimmy says, pointing behind them, towards the towering beast.

It lets out a monstrous roar and takes a thumping step forward, “The words are heard, and the time has come, so come my child, your time is done, the beast has arrived, to fill its need, but enough with these words, let the screaming start!” it says in a gravely, deep voice.

“This is not happening,” Jar says as he quickly pulls his revolver free, throwing a concerned glace over to Marilyn, that’s when it strikes, rushing forward, like a broken picture on a carousal, sending them all flying, crashing to the floor, and it grabs Sonia, by the throat. Then, with little effort, it rips a large portion of it away, leaving her standing there, gasping for air, as her body pumps litre after litre of life giving blood out through torn flesh, until, she drops to her knees. Desperately, she tries to take one, last gasp of air, but instead, crashes face first to the ground, dead. The beast, slowly turns to the others, letting out a deep, primeval growl, before it flickers away like an extinguished candles flame.

roundheadmk6

Part 3 can be found HERE.

All artwork by Yazgar, check his stuff out when you can!

The Roundhead, Part 1 – You Are My Sin

He leans back in his seat as he reads over the stories last paragraph, and lets out a satisfied release of air as he presses down on the enter button, scheduling the final post for his Halloween masterpiece. From the corner of his eye, he sees a notification pop up in the top portion of the screen, telling him that the first chapter had been posted and he smiles as he switches off the monitor.

“Think you know how it ends, wait and see, you piece of shit,” he mumbles to himself as he gets up from his seat and stumbles over to his bed, where he collapses, almost instantly, into a deep, dark, fevered sleep, his body drained and in need of a recharge.

It’s little more than an hour later when he’s woken by his phone violently vibrating in his pocket, he fumbles his way in and pulls it out.

“Gareth, it’s late,” he mumbles into the phone, not even looking at the caller ID tag.

“Dude I tried not to, but I fucking couldn’t help myself, are you fucking watching?” Gareth screams down the other end of the phone.

“Watching what?”

“Don’t give me that shit Marty, we both know what I’m fucking talking about, the blog man, the fucking blog! It’s gone crazy, just like you fucking wrote it would!”

“What?” Marty says as he slowly sits up on the side of the bed, rubbing his eyes.

“It’s gone motherfucking viral, world FUCKING wide, just like it’s supposed to, you’ve gotta see it Marty, people are sharing it thousands at a time! I can’t believe it, I can’t, but it’s happening, it’s really fucking happening!”

“Calm down man, I can hardly understand you, give me a moment,” He says, stumbling towards his desk and switching the monitor back on, somehow dropping the phone in the process. His jaw drops open, his eyes widen as he stares at the screen, watching the notifications flash up, then seconds later, replaced by another. For a moment, he feels his heart beat begin to pick up pace, and his eyes dance, as the screen strobes violently, like a light show at an all-night rave. He shakes his head, jerking back into reality, and peers into the nothingness of the floor below, searching for his phone. His eyes take several moments to adjust to the darkness, but once they have it only takes seconds to find it, as he can still clearly hear Gareth talking, who, is mid-sentence when he finally puts the phone back to his ear.

“…. you hear me Marty or is this the part where you dropped the phone? Or does me saying that mean you’ve just picked it up? I really should’ve reread the first chapter before I called. Anyway, six million new likes in the last thirty minutes man, holy fucking shit, that’s like, unheard of!” Gareth yells.

“I know,” Marty says softly, as a smile grows on his face, he can feel the blood rushing to his cheeks, and he begins nervously tapping his foot on the ground. “I fucking knew it, I fucking knew it was going to be awesome. But how the fucking hell did it travel so fast? It only posted like an hour ago, that’s just insane, none of the preludes even got close to that, nowhere near it.”

“It’s because you didn’t make a big deal about them in the story, so they were never a big deal in reality maybe? Anyway, it’s been shared over every social media platform you can think of, by just about everyone, who’s anyone, and more who are no ones. You did it man, we fucking cracked the big time! I mean, I had my doubts, I thought maybe, maybe we’d get some traffic, you know like the preludes, but it’s gone insane, like, out of this world insane! And my sites exploded as well, like off its guts exploded. The traffics moving through and not just to like my stuff, but they’re buying too, they’re fucking buying anything connected to the story, all my original prints, it’s like they can’t resist!” he says with excitement.

Marty laughs, “They can’t, like you said it’s in the story. But, remember, you know what’s going to happen ne…..” He stops mid-sentence, as something crashes to the floor beyond the bedroom, his dog Abby lets out a low growl from her bed, and as Marty slowly turns his chair towards the doorway, droplets of sweat run down his forehead.

“You better not be thinking about going out that doorway?”

“Why? Because of what happens next?” Mary says as he gets up from the seat, nervously biting into his bottom lip.

“Stop it.”

“Stop what?”

“What you’re doing right now, this, acting out the story, turning the joke into something fucking creepy. It was funny when you first started trying to scare me with your creepy arse phone calls and then this whole Clare going up the coast shit, but now you’re taking it too far!”

“What phone calls?” Marty says as he places a hand on the door handle.

“DON’T! I fucking swear to god, I’ll hang up!”

“You do what you have to do, but I’ve gotta go through the door,” Marty says as he pulls the door open quickly, and Abby rushes out, into the hallway.

“Seriously Marty, this isn’t your story, just lock the door and call the cops, PLEASE?”

“If it’s not my story, then I’ve got nothing to worry about, do I?”

“Oh god, it’s been happening the whole time hasn’t it?”

“You already said it, but I guess, you didn’t really want to admit it, word for word,” he says as he takes a deep breath and waits, Abby barks furiously out in the hallway, then lets out a yelp, followed by silence.

“Marty, dude, I-I-I…”

“I know man, don’t stress, like you said, it’s only a story,” Marty says as he takes a deep breath and walks out into the hallway, the lights flicker violently, exploding seconds later in a shower of glass and flames, he can make out Abby’s still form a few feet away, and standing over her, as he knew it would be, is a massive, hulking shape, looking towards him, with deep, black, pools for eyes.

“Oh fuck Gareth, it looks just like your drawings, only…” He stops midway through his sentence, as it suddenly moves forward, appearing and disappearing, like a poorly animated cartoon, until it’s standing just a few centimetres from him. He feels the urine run down his leg, it’s warmth spreads quickly across his groin, followed by a coldness, that threatens to freeze him in place, he lets go of the phone, and it crashes to the ground.

The large figure leans forward, its hot, putrid breath wafts into his face, causing his eyes to sting and water, then it speaks, “I’m the whispers in your ear, the words that only you hear, but now, as the seal between our worlds break, to let me in, to do my worst, to take your sin, I……”

“YOU CAN’T BE REAL, IT’S ONLY A STORY!” Marty yells, it grabs him by the face and lifts him high into the air, letting out a low, gravelly growl, before it continues.

“… I’m given shape, I’m given form, I take my name, you chose it well, so let it be your final word, so say it, say it, say it with me, say The Roundhead, and, I’ll set you free!” It says through razor sharp teeth as its grip tightens, pulling him close. The next few moments they stare silently at each other, until Marty, through clenched, bloody teeth, sucks in one final, desperate breath, as his face twists with anger.

“FUCK YOU!” he yells, then the beast drives its hand through his chest, ripping into him with its razor sharp claws, and, as Marty’s life drains from him, the beast stares in his eyes, watching, savouring, devouring, all that Marty once was. Then, releases its grip, letting his lifeless body crash to the floor, and Marty’s dead eyes stare towards the phone, lying a few feet away.

“Marty! This can’t be fucking real!” Gareth yells into the phone, but his cries are only greeted by silence from the other end. His heart races a million miles an hour, in desperation he hangs up the phone and quickly dials triple zero, seconds pass before it’s answered.

“Police, fire and rescue or ambulance?” The woman asks on the other end of the line.

“I was talking to my friend on the phone and something happened, I’m not sure, but he said he thought someone was in the house with him, and then, and then he went to take a look, it sounded like, fuck, it sounded like something happened! You need to send someone over there straight away!” He quickly yells down the line.

“I’ll put you through to police emergency, please stay on the line sir,” she says as the line disconnects.

“FUCK!” He yells as it takes another few moments before the phone is answered again.

“This is Police Emergency, you’re talking with Mike, what is the state of your emergency?”

“I was on the phone to my friend Marty, Marty Towns, and h-he, he thought he heard a sound in his apartment, and h-he, FUCK! He went to check it out and then there was some banging and shit, he dropped the phone and then nothing! I think something’s happened to him!” He says quickly, in one breath.

“Okay sir, can you tell me your friends address? And, have you tried calling him back?”

“No, I called you straight away, FUCK! He could be hurt or worse, it’s just like his story, it’s all coming true! You’ve gotta get someone over there!”

“Please sir, calm down, we’re here to help, now, what’s the address of your friend?”

“Seventeen Palm Drive.”

“Okay, I’ll send someone out as soon as possible, now, can I get your name a…” before Mike can continue his questions the line goes dead.

“Hello?” He yells into the phone. “HELLO? FOR FUCK SAKE IS ANYONE THERE?” He yells shaking the phone vigorously in front of his face. “FUCK!”

A cold shiver runs down his spine as the air feels suddenly electrified, his computer lets out a spark, followed seconds later by a groaning noise, and then, explodes, sending Gareth crashing to the ground.

“WHAT THE FUCK’S GOING ON?” he screams, frantically looking around the room, and then, that’s when he sees it. Standing a few feet away from where he lies, is a pale, lifeless figure. Slowly Gareth’s eyes work their way up towards the figures head, he fights the urge to look, but he feels helpless in his actions, and his heart jumps a beat when he stares into the figures, dead, soulless eyes. “M-M-Marty?”

Marty shows no reaction to Gareth’s words, he just stares off into nothingness, and then as if someone had pressed play on a remote control, he begins to speak, “Its words need not be read, for it only needs to be shared to spread, from the depths it comes to feed, first on those who gave it life and then on those who passed on its seed.”

“This is not fucking happening, it can’t be, it’s just like you w….” His words fall short as a huge, behemoth of a figure rises up behind Marty’s pale form as it flickers away, and then the beast moves forward, as if life blinks with each movement of its jerky, awkward steps, until, it is standing before him, looking viciously down at Gareth. It’s cold, lifeless, black eyes stare at him, its decaying, putrid stench wafts into his face, he holds back the desire to throw up, not through desire, but because he is frozen in fear. Then, it brings its huge foot down on to his head, slowly putting pressure on it as it speaks.

“You played your part, you gave me your heart, you created my visage, you captured the dark, and now as I break through, my journey complete, your duties are over, you’re obsolete,” it says driving it’s massive foot to the floor, crushing Gareth’s skull, and then, flickers away into the darkness of the night.

roundheadmk6

All artwork by Yazgar, check his stuff out when you can!

Part 2 can be found HERE.