A Very Maxie Christmas

The next Maxie Duncan tale is now available!

 

new maxie christmas cover

 

 

It’s Christmas time for L.A.’s newest witch, but all Maxie wants to do is Bah Humbug her way through it. This will be her first Christmas without her parents and her friends have been called away. She thinks it’s a blue, blue holiday until things get worst.

Katelyn, one of the Hotel DenMark maids, was just dumped by her fiancé on Christmas Eve. She’s a sobbing mess and Maxie knows how it feels. After all, her fiancé broke up with her in a restaurant.

Maxie decides it might be time to meddle again. She’s got a few spells up her sleeve to insure Katelyn gets her man back. After all, there’s no point in both of them being miserable for Christmas.

 

Buy it now at Amazon.

Night Rounds- Friday Flash

English: Poster showing a nurse, with her arms...

English: Poster showing a nurse, with her arms outstretched, standing before a large red cross; in background a Red Cross hospital ship, ambulance and field hospital. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

NIGHT ROUNDS
By Melissa L. Webb

I stood in the doorway of my father’s darkened room. The growing sunlight seeping in through the curtains was barely enough to throw shadows across the room. Dancing along the bed, they silhouetted the old man’s form under the covers. It was getting harder to tell if he was still alive without waking him up.

“Is that you, Son?” came my father’s gruff voice, thick with sleep.

“Yeah, it’s me, Pop,” I said, stepping into the room.

“Good,” he said, shuffling himself into a sitting position. “I thought it might be one of those damn nurses again. They like to stare at me.”

“There are no nurses here, Dad,” I told him patiently, switching on the lamp next to his bed. “You’re at home. We don’t have nurses here.”

My father was a sick man. Almost every artery in his body was clogged. He had had dozens of surgeries already, but his body was shutting down faster than the doctors could keep up with it.

I had brought my father to live with me after the first stroke. Night after night, day after day, it was only I who took care of him. God knows, I could have used some help around here, but the truth was I couldn’t afford it. I could barely afford to keep my father with me as it was, but having him live here was cheaper than placing him in a home.

So, no; there were no nurses who came into his room at night. Ever. Yet for the last week, ever since he came home from the last surgery, he swore they were there.

“Yes, there is,” he insisted once again. “They roam the house at night. They take turns coming in. They stare at me with beady eyes. They touch me with their clammy hands. I don’t know what they want, but it’s not to help me.”

“You’re fine, Dad. They’re not real,” I said reassuringly as I went about my daily routine.

Days went by and my father still swore those nurses were there.

“Do you know their names?” I asked him one day during breakfast. “Have they ever introduced themselves to you?”

His hands shook suddenly, almost spilling his orange juice. “No. I just shake my head at them and tune them out. Pretend I’m asleep. Anything to make them go away,” he said, pushing his plate away. “I don’t want to know what they are. They scare me.”

I figured maybe it was time to talk to the doctor about them. But he didn’t seem concerned. He thought, considering how many hospitals my father had been in and out of lately, it wasn’t surprising he had come down with a little ICU Psychosis. He assured me it would go away eventually on its own.

But I wasn’t so sure. My dad was terrified. I was beginning to think he might be losing his mind.

My father’s next surgery had arrived. His renal arteries had gotten so bad it was now a do or die situation.

I checked him into the hospital. The doctor did his thing, and once again saved my father’s life. Things were looking up. It seemed my father might have a chance again to be a healthy man.

I got my father settled in the surgery ward for the night and headed home, exhausted beyond belief. Eating a late dinner, I crawled into bed, craving sleep on the most primal of levels.

My eyelashes fluttered against my skin and I swallowed, feeling the familiar dry, cottony feeling in my mouth. I had been asleep, but what had woken me?

I glanced up, my room illuminated by the glow of the TV I had left on. Someone was standing at the foot of my bed. “Dad?” I called groggily, trying to pull myself from the lingering depths of sleep. I suddenly remembered my father was at the hospital. I was alone in the house.

I sat up blinking; trying to dissolve the image I hoped was left over from a dream. “What the hell?”

She brought her finger to her lip, hushing me for making noise. She stepped closer, her white uniform swayed with her, the front of it was splattered with red.

Moving closer still, her beady black eyes stared into me, boring a hole through my soul. Those eyes sat in skin much too white for a human. Black lines intersected across it here and there, almost as if someone had put her face together from a jigsaw puzzle.
Her mouth was much too large, and it smiled as she came to my bedside. Brushing a strand of greasy black hair from her face, she reached down and grabbed my wrist, holding it as if she was taking my pulse.

I tried to move, to pull away, but her clammy, dead skin against mine left me paralyzed. I was too overcome with fear to do anything, except sit there and stare at the nightmare beside me.

“Your heart is racing,” she spoke, leaning closer to me, her eyes even darker than before. Her voice was harsh and grating, and I flinched as she spoke. “I think you might require medical attention.”

“No,” I begged, the word coming out a little more than a whisper. No wonder my father was so scared. This nurse was the most terrifying thing I had ever seen. He had been right all along. These things were in my house and I had been dismissing them as nothing.

The nurses were real.

Other shadows moved in the doorway. They swarmed in, surrounding the bed. They looked at me with their cold, black eyes. Each nurse as terrifying as the last.

“The other bed is empty now,” they spoke as one. “We need a new patient.” They all reached out and laid their clammy hands against my skin.

© 2013 Melissa L. Webb

Seep- Friday Flash (Encore)

Here is an encore of one of my first Friday Flashes.  It’s also one of my personal favorites.  Enjoy.

 

Child enjoys a puddle in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Child enjoys a puddle in Vancouver, B.C., Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

SEEP

By Melissa L. Webb

There’s a puddle under the bushes at the back of my school. It’s full of water even when it’s not raining. It just sits there, stagnant and thick, like primordial ooze from long ago.

Others walk past it quickly, head down, eyes averted, as if it’s something to be ignored at all costs. Later, they may have even forgotten doing it, but during that one moment, the fear is real.

I see it on their faces as they walk past. I see what they’re experiencing, yet I don’t get any of the same feelings when I walk by. Curiosity is the only thing that burns deep inside of me when I see that puddle.

I was late to school yesterday. I just stood and stared at that water, mesmerized by the inky darkness it contained. I felt drawn to it in ways I couldn’t explain. I needed to know more about it.

I tossed the banana I had been eating into the puddle. It floated on top for a moment before something seemed to stir below it, causing ripples to form in the murky water.

The banana began to sink as some kind of pulpy flesh began to wrap around it. The flesh squirmed against itself like a mound of worms disturbed. It quivered as it hooked itself deeper into the banana, causing it to disappear.

I stood there, amazed, as the water once again became still. What had I just seen? Something was in that stagnant mess. Something alive.

I was in total awe of the creature that called those dark depths its home. I wanted to see it again. I needed to see it again.

I reached into my lunch bag and pulled a shiny red apple from it. It glistened in the morning light as I tossed it into the puddle. The apple sat there on top of the water, as if waiting patiently to be devoured.

The water slowly started to churn as the creature below once again began to arise. Its flesh rose up around the red orb. The apple’s skin seemed to melt at the creature’s touch, causing fruity pulp to pool into the water. The creature’s flesh closed up around it, dragging the apple below.

I smiled to myself. I had a secret and it was the coolest thing ever.

After school, I checked on my puddle, saddened at the thought of being there empty-handed. But all sadness disappeared as I noticed a bird had somehow fallen in. It thrashed on top of the water, helpless to move. The liquid acted like tar, keeping the tiny bird from escaping.

I watched it flailing, my excitement rising in anticipation. The creature had waited for me. It had accepted me.

The water churned around the bird, causing it to panic even more. Still, it could not move. It just twisted and convulsed on the water’s surface, sensing its demise was close at hand.

I watched as the pulpy flesh once again rose from the water. It pulsated quickly, excited by the kill as much as I was. The bird squeaked in terror as the flesh adhered itself to it.

The feathers quickly dropped from the bird’s skin, like leaves falling from a tree. It screamed as the creature’s flesh tore into its own. Blood pooled around the creature, turning the puddle to a muted crimson.

I stood, frozen in excitement. My heart beating in sync with each scream. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here was life in its most primal form and I was witnessing it. The creature had done this for me.

The bird’s screams died as the flesh completely encased it. The creature lingered on the surface a moment longer and then sank below, back down from where it came from.

I felt drained, as if I had spent all my emotions in the last few minutes. I had experienced so much in such a short time. These were things most people couldn’t even imagine and I was living them.

That had been the creature’s gift to me. It took me out of society’s comfort zone and let me experience life as it was truly meant to be. It had given me so much; I knew I should give something in return.

And I know just the perfect gift. Today, I think I’ll shove my little sister in.

©2010 Melissa L. Webb

Whispered Words From A Candle-Lit Parlor- Friday Flash

 

 

 

WHISPERED WORDS FROM A CANDLE-LIT PARLOR
By Melissa L. Webb

A collection of lit candles on ornate candlesticks

A collection of lit candles on ornate candlesticks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Capital City, you are not restrained.

Lingering memories of nine days ago haunt your mind.

Shattered reflections, hypnotic regression.

Your understood nightmares always straining and folding.

It’s a different game now.

They call for a new sound.

As an unknown beast slouches.

Causing smoke to curl, thick and full.

You are surprised again.

Yet, the answer is already in hand.

Pitch-black affection blended with aching astonishment oozes terror into yellow eyes.

The others draw near, convinced that unexpected prayer will move the city.

Nevertheless, stains will coat the night.

 

© 2013  Melissa L. Webb