My poem, “Oblivion’s Flame“, is now in the July issue of Infinite Windows.
My poem, “Therapy“, is now in the July issue of the The Dark Fiction Spotlight.
My poem, “Love’s Abyss“, is now in the July issue of Death Head Grin.
MAY I COME IN?
By Melissa L. Webb
Tom followed his grandfather into the garage and watched as he placed the box of tools back on the shelf. Something was puzzling Tom. “Grandpa, why do you always knock three times on a closed door before you open it?”
His grandfather glanced over his shoulder at Tom. “I do it to announce myself, Tommy.”
Tom frowned as he watched his grandfather finish up in the garage. “But, Grandpa, we’re the only ones home. Why would you need to let an empty room know you’re coming in?” he asked as he followed his granddad back into the house.
His grandfather turned and looked at Tom. “You wouldn’t want to run into something that may be lurking in an empty room, now would you?”
Tom stared at his granddad, dumbfounded.
His grandfather shrugged. “This way it gives it a chance to clear out before you go in.” He shivered slightly. “Who knows what would happen if you were to see it.”
Tom folded his arms over his chest. “Are we talking about the Bogeyman, Grandpa?”
His grandfather shrugged. “I don’t know what it is. I never asked.”
Tom sighed. “Grandpa, I’m eleven years old. I don’t believe in bogeymen and monsters anymore.”
His grandfather nodded. “Good. Then you don’t have to worry about it,” he said as he started walking again.
“Wait,” Tom called as he hurried after him. “What do you mean?”
“As long as you believe there’s nothing behind a closed door, there won’t be.”
“Do you believe, Grandpa?”
His grandfather stepped into the kitchen and grabbed a mug from the cabinet. “Yes. I have every since I was little. My mother taught me to knock on the door first.”
Tom smiled slightly. “Great-grandmother taught you? You know she was just humoring you, right?”
His grandfather shook his head as he poured coffee into the mug. “No, she was very serious. Mother said it would keep me safe.”
Tom snickered slightly. “Come on, Grandpa. You know you’re just trying to tease me.”
His grandfather looked sadly over at Tom as he took a sip from the mug. “I wish I was, Tommy. I wish I was,” he sighed as he walked over to the kitchen table and sat down. “Now, why don’t you go find something else to do and let me drink my coffee in peace?”
Tom looked at his grandfather for a second and then shrugged. “Okay, Grandpa,” he said and turned around. “But I still don’t believe a word of what you just said.”
“Then you have nothing to worry about,” his grandfather called as Tom headed out of the kitchen.
Tom shook his head as he made his way for the room he used when he stayed with his grandparents. Yeah, like he would fall for that. What was he, six?
He stopped before the closed bedroom door and grabbed the doorknob. As he started to turn it, Tom thought he heard a slight movement coming from inside the empty room. He pulled his hand back and froze, staring at the door.
Tom realized there was no real point to risk it. He gently rapped on the door three times before going in.
©2010 Melissa L. Webb
So, I signed my first writing contract this week. It’s for a flash fiction anthology call Seasons In The Abyss. There is a lot of wonderful talent already attached to the book and I am honored to have my story, “Repellent”, to be listed among them. The release date has yet to be set. I’ll keep you informed.
7/27/10 update: I just had another acceptance for the anthology. My story, “Icy Fingers”, will also be included in it.
THE EATER OF WORLDS
By Melissa L. Webb
From the moment I crawled out of the pit, the world changed. Contorting and shifting, reality changed to suit my needs. Fear rose in people’s hearts as hate boiled in the streets. The days of innocence had gone, fleeing faster than rats disturbed in the night.
I was welcomed into this world by the cries of the tormented and the howls of the damned. It was them who had marked my place in this world. They had dishonored their home so much, that it had been tossed away by those who had sworn to protect it.
Now unguarded and detested, this world was mine to take. And I would take it. I would use it until there was nothing left. I would violate everything, causing the world to be bled of every tear it had to shed. The prostitution of a planet was what I thrived on. It was what I was created to do.
I smiled as I stood back from the mirror and straightened my tie. I was the Destroyer of Civilizations, the Eater of Worlds, and I was damn proud of it.
The door to the room opened and a woman stuck her head in. “They’ll be ready for you in five minutes, Mr. President.”
“Thank you, Rachael,” I spoke as she shut the door. Looking in the mirror, I smiled once again. This world wasn’t ready for me at all.
©2010 Melissa L. Webb
Now a days, everywhere I look, people seem to be worrying about the end of the world. From the fast approaching 2012, to global warming, and now even the oil spill in the Gulf, the destruction of our planet seems to be on everyone’s mind.
I find myself thinking about it as well. The things we’ve done to this world can only be called atrocious. It’s not like we don’t deserve to be punished for our crimes against nature, but are we really doomed?
People have been saying we are approaching the End for years now. Yet, here we are, still breathing as we wait for the next Event to challenge mankind’s survival. Is this really something we have to get worked up over?
My father recalls a time from the late 40’s when his family was worrying about the same thing. Here he was, a child of maybe 7 or 8, and the people around him were telling him over and over that the end was nigh.
My father would go to church and sit, terrified, in a pew as the preacher would scream at the congregation, “Repent. The Final Days are here.” Then he would weave stories of fire and brimstone down around his flock, as my dad practically peed his pants from the terror brewing up inside him.
My dad could barely sleep at night, thinking any second, the sky would open and the hand of God would come down and scour the infestation of sinners from this world.
One morning, my father had just gotten home from church. The preacher’s words were still fresh in his mind as he got out of the car.
It had been an overcast morning, and now the clouds we beginning to part.
My father looked up at that newly cleared blue patch of sky and stopped dead in he’s tracks, frozen in fear. Huge white letters were beginning to form.
He knew what it was. It was the end of the world. The hand of God was going to come down any second.
As more letters appeared, words started to form. My father’s heart was racing as he waited for God’s message to appear, tears streaming down his face.
It was over almost as soon as it started. There in the sky, in big bold white letters, were the words: PEPSI COLA.
They had been written by a Skywriter as a part of a promotional stunt. But my father had almost died from fright on account of that little stunt, because he had been expecting something.
Sometimes it’s the fear of the thing that does more damage, then the actual event its self. We give it power. It’s the power to shape our lives and that’s what has to stop.
I for one, am going to relax and enjoy life, one day at a time.
Whatever is going to happen tomorrow, will. No matter what we do. So, we might as well enjoy the ride.
Friendship and Magic
By Melissa L. Webb
Friendship among us and magic too,
we need them both to live the day through.
©2010 Melissa L. Webb
Recently, I started using twitter as a way to meet other writers and promote my writing. I must say I have met a lot of wonderful people and made some good contacts, but I keep hearing one question over and over:
Where’s your blog?
I didn’t have one. It was that simple.
When I realized that 99.9% of the writers I had met, had one, I suddenly felt lacking. It seems that to be anyone in the writing world, you need to have a blog.
So that presented my next challenge. I needed a blog.
That is easier said, then done. I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my writing. I like to sit with my words, absorb them, mull them over till they seem right, before I send them off to face the big bad world.
(I’m overprotective that way.)
Blogging is different. You think of something to say and say it. There’s no editing it for weeks and no beta readers. It’s just you, the computer screen, and the world hungrily waiting to devour your words in a matter of few minutes.
This thought seems to give me a case of performance anxiety. I think that’s why I’ve waited so long to jump on the blogging bandwagon. In my mind, people expect something profound from a blog. Some little life lesson summed up in a few paragraphs. Could I do that? Could I actually blog about things that mattered to people?
Thinking this, I realized I had forgotten why I started writing in the first place. It wasn’t about what other people wanted written. It was about writing what made me happy. About what I wanted to bring to life in this world.
I read recently “It is better to write for yourself and have no public, then to write for the public and have no self.” I think this is the best advice I have ever heard. I write, because to me, not writing is as deadly as not breathing. I should remember that in all that I do.
So, Hello World, I am here. Whether or not you want to hear me, I’m letting my voice stand out. I’m writing to stay alive.