... With Roberta Griffin

Birds The Word Writing

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PRODUCT REVIEW
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Fiction
The Thing in the Closet
The sudden lightning and crashing of the thunder woke little Billy out of a restless sleep. The rain tapping at the window like long wicked fingernails only added to the fright that held him paralyzed in his bed. Again another hit of lightning struck with a sudden crash of thunder following it. He could tell the storm was directly over his house now. The lightning and thunder exploded right outside his bedroom window as the rain poured down. When the lighting would strike Billy could swear he saw things outside his window; Long, strange evil things with claws the size of daggers. “It’s only the tree. That’s all, just a stupid tree.” He said in an effort to console himself. He lay there watching the rain bang at his window as the tree seemed to move closer and with each step the tree took, Billy felt his strength to move slip away. “Close my eyes and count to ten. That will make it go away,” Billy told himself in childish desperation. So he did. He closed his eyes and counted to ten but when he opened them, to his horror, the tree was now at his window and its long, twisted and mangled fingers were scratching at his window.
Thunder roared, lightning flashed and a sudden screech of laughter shocked Billy into a frozen panic. Where had the laughter come from? Billy’s eyes began to search his room. Fear and dread were quickly paralyzing him. He squeezed his eyes shut and lay there filled with fear from the tip of his young hair to the bottom of his small feet. As if he willed it away, everything was quiet now. Was he safe to leave his room and run to the sanctuary of his mommy and daddy’s bedroom? He felt his strength returning. “On the count of three, I’ll just run out. That’s what I’ll do.” The lightning and thunder seemed to be stuck directly over Billy’s house. The tree continued its quest to enter Billy’s bedroom swaying and tapping at his window. Then a sudden movement in his closet stole his attention from the rain. There was something in there.
Billy’s breath caught as the door to his closet opened part way. Hidden within the darkness of his closet was an image of something and it was watching him. Every hair on little Billy stood on edge, he could feel it looking at him. He wanted so badly to sit up but fear held his body down. To make matters worse, he felt a heavy weight on his chest, one that he was all too familiar with. Just next to his bed, on his nightstand lay his asthma inhaler. It was so close but yet too far to reach. He knew he had to grab it, take in a dose and he’d be okay but, his arms wouldn’t move. He was held captive by his own fear as his eyes struggled to make out the thing in his closet peering out at him. “Go away!” he whispered and another screeching laugh hit his ears but this time, he knew exactly where it came from, It was in his closet. The adrenaline of fear made his breathing labored as he and the thing in the closet stared at each other. Thoughts began to swim through his mind so quickly he couldn’t get a grasp on a single one. It moved again! Billy lay there sweat beading on his face and head, his chest heaving up and down watching the thing in the closet move around. Another explosion of thunder and lightning pulled a silent scream from poor Billy. He opened his mouth but no sound came out. The thing was smiling. He could see its sharp, jagged teeth through its wicked grin. What the hell was he going to do? He felt an asthma attack might come on but his inhaler there on his nightstand seemed to far from reach. He struggled to move his arms but he couldn’t move a damn part of his body. That thing had Billy right where he wanted him and they both knew it. “Mama” he tried to cry out but all he could get out was a slight whisper. The thing grew amused, it’s screeching laughter, taunting Billy, jumping up and down clapping its long gray, bony hands. then suddenly it decided to speak. Its voice was like nails dragging across a chalkboard. It pierced poor Billy’s eardrums. “Oh, Billy” it cackled. “Trying to call for your mommy?” Billy’s heart raced. “I’m gonna get you Billy”, the thing wickedly sang. “I’ve been waiting for you.” Billy’s body lay flat and still. His limbs like stone, his breathing growing more and more labored.
The thing began to slowly push open the closet door. Billy’s eyes shot to the window then back to the thing in his closet. As it moved a wet slimy sound came with it. Billy’s closet door creaked open even more. Billy was losing his air second by second. Billy felt him lose control of his bladder as his pants became soaked with his own pee. Billy watched as the things long, bony fingers with even longer jagged fingernails worm their way out of the closet, pushing the door further open.
Billy closed his eyes. For some strange reason, he began to remember back to a time when he played outside in the neighborhood with his friends. He remembered skateboarding through the neighborhood. He remembered riding past old man Slater’s house and being dared to ring the doorbell. “Come on Billy. You’re not a sissy are you?” Came the chanting question from his so called friends. Not wanting to look like a sissy he pulled his inhaler from his pocket took a dose and began to walk toward the front door. Sliding his inhaler back into his pocket he looked back at his friends, all wild-eyed as they witnessed the bravery that Billy struggled to display. He walked slowly to the door, his finger pointing in front of him, ready to press the door bell. He focused on the button. It was old and dirty, like the rest of old man Slater’s house. He felt worms crawling in his belly as he reached out. Just as he prepared to push the button the door swung open. It was old man Slater staring down at him, a scowl stretched across his old and wrinkled face. Billy fell back as the old man stared down at him. Old man Slater stepped out of the doorway as Billy scrambled backward to run away. As he turned he saw that his friends were already gone. Some friends he thought. Old man Slater reached out to grab Billy but Billy got up just in time to run down the stairs and get away. Looking back now, Billy wondered if old man Slater was simply trying to help him up. He would never know.
The screeching giggle and slithering sound snapped Billy back to the reality that was waiting for him in his room. The thing wasn’t in his closet anymore. It was now in the corner of his room. Standing there grinning at Billy, tormenting him. Billy knew he was done for. Whether it was from the panic of the thing readying itself to get him or from the chronic asthma he suffered. Billy’s breathing was now shallow and his face began to tingle; his body was numb as the thing now standing over him held him tight with his bony hands. With horror Billy watched the thing pull the air from Billy. It was taking away and eating up Billy’s life force. Billy had no strength to struggle against the thing that had come for him. He knew he would never win.
The next morning, Billy’s mother walked into his room. Billy lay in bed very still. To wake him, his mother gave him a little shake but Billy didn’t move. In a panic, she screamed for his father. As he ran in they saw Billy’s inhaler on the floor next to his bed. His father cried, “Dear God. He must’ve had an asthma attack in his sleep.” His mother and father held each other crying as they look at Billy’s lifeless little body. Immediately, Billy’s older brother, Gabe, walked in and to his horror and grief saw his baby brother there on his bed. Taking a few weary steps to the closet he swung the door open. It was filled with Billy’s clothes and toys. Billy’s parents watched Gabe with confusion as he turned back to face them. His eyes filled with tears he proclaimed, “It’s my fault. It’s my fault he’s gone.” His parents were dumbfounded. “He was getting on my nerves yesterday so I told him there was a monster, a thing in his closet, and it was gonna get him. And he believed me.” Gabe broke into a desperate cry, “Billy believed me.”

Copy/Article

What Are The Five Stages Of Sleep Cycles?

You’ve just climbed into bed ready for a good night sleep. You unwind as you slowly drift into the peaceful world of sleep. At this point, you can be easily awakened but still, slowly you drift. Your eyes gently move as your muscles relax. During this early period of sleep, you may experience sudden contractions in your muscles which often gives you the feeling of falling. This is stage one, the first of the five stages of sleep cycles.

Now slipping into stage two, your eye movement will stop and your brain waves will slow down with only an occasional burst of brain wave activity. Shortly after, smaller brain waves called delta waves begin to mix together with even smaller, faster brain waves quickly creating stage three, whereas, stage two and three almost work together within a shared stage.

Now into stage four, you continue to sink further into sleep. The brain moves into the production of delta waves exclusively during stage four of the cycle. Scientists have stated, stages three and four are known as our deep sleep stages and within this stage, it can be a difficult time to be woken from.

The fifth and final stage of your sleep cycle is REM. Strangely enough, during the REM stage, your breathing becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow. Your eyes begin to twitch quickly and your limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. During the REM stage, your brain waves become as active as when you are awake. Your heart rate and blood pressure rises and your body loses some of the ability to regulate its temperature. While in the REM stage this will be the time when you experience your dreams and if woken at this time you may be able to remember your dreams.

Studies show an adult will usually spend 50% of their sleep in stage two, 20% in the REM stage and 30% divided amongst the other three stages of our sleep cycle. On average a person will experience three to five intervals of REM sleep each night while the average time needed for sleep for adults young and old is approximately seven to eight hours.


Fiction

Short Horror Story... I hope you like Vampires.

The Invitation

“It’s so cold.” Luanne whimpered, holding onto what was left of her shredded dress. She and another girl Carlene, a girl she’d just met that night, her clothes also ripped to shreds both shivered, hiding behind a thick bush, watching the clouds of mist rapidly escape through their chattering teeth and cold, bloody noses with every breath they took. The two of them couldn’t be older than eighteen. Two beautiful, young and spry girls ready to break the teenage chains and propel their selves into the wild and limitless world of adulthood…or so they hoped.

Everything started when Luanne and Carlene, along with a few other girls had been invited to attend a sorority initiation. As excited as Luanne was to be invited, she had this eerie feeling of foreboding that she couldn’t shake. If she had only listened to her gut instinct. If only…

As Luanne and Carlene held each other shivering from both the cold and terror she knew the other girls trapped within the confines of that regal plantation home were dead. They had to be. “This has got to be a dream.” Luanne whimpered. “This ain’t no dream. We’re in a nightmare.” Carlene stated, her voice quivering. Just as soon as the words had left her mouth she started to choke. A wet gurgling sound surging its way up through her throat and exploding from her mouth. “It’s blood!” Luanne gasped. “I feel sick.” Carlene whispered. The weakness in Carlene’s voice seemed to be racing against the paling of her skin…

Luanne knew they better move it before they were caught so she slowly got to her feet and looked over the brush that was their cover. The fog was thick so that played in their favor but then again they couldn’t see too far ahead themselves. “Fuck it. We’re making a move!” Luanne stated as she grabbed Carlene and practically dragged her along as she ran for cover within one of the weeping willow trees that grew throughout the oversized front lawn. If she could just get to her car they’d be free from this nightmare…

Feeling the effects of the abuse her body and mind had endured only minutes ago inside that plantation house began to make Luanne sick and angry. Her energy was beginning to falter. It was hard enough for her own legs to move her body forward but she was practically dragging Carlene behind her. With her eyes on that Weeping Willow, she pushed on. Sadly enough she considered for a split second leaving Carlene behind because she knew she was slowing her down but she shoved that idea out of her mind immediately. She wasn’t raised that way, she was taught to care for those that were weaker than her and to help those in need of help. She lost count of all the strays she’d rescued and found homes for. That was her goal, animals. She was going to become a Veterinarian and volunteer some of her time to some of the several rescue agencies. That was if she was able to make it out of this nightmare and away from this godforsaken place…

Just as Luanne dragged Carlene inside the cover of the long weeping willow limbs and leaves Carlene began to laugh. “What the hell are you laughing for?” Luanne demanded with both shock and fear in her voice. Carlene allowed a few more giggles to escape before she exclaimed just where they were. “Don’t you see? I mean, don’t you get it?” Carlene now looked dead but she was still alive. Luanne thought. I mean, hell, she’s talking still. “Get what? Get what exactly?” Luanne demanded as her body convulsed with adrenaline and fear. Carlene simply lay back and look up at the inside of the tree. Then her eyes slid over to look at Luanne…

Luanne stepped away from Carlene. She didn’t like the way Carlene was looking at her. She scared her now. Carlene’s mouth slid into a bloodstained grin. “We’re hiding under a Weeping Willow Tree.” She said like it explained everything. “And?” Luanne asked with a quivering voice she no longer could control. “And don’t you read ancient folklore? Don’t you realize what this represents?” Carlene asked, her voice beginning to take on the frustrated sound of a razor sharp edge. She looked at Luanne’s scared and confused expression and couldn’t help but laugh. “This is the death tree, my friend. We’re going to die.” Carlene bolted upward and pointed a pale finger at Luanne. “You’ve just led us to our death you bitch!” Luanne stepped away from her. She was telling herself to run but her body wouldn’t move. “What? I…” A sudden loud and violent slamming of the plantation house’s front door rattled Luanne to the point she nearly peed herself. Carlene sat glaring at her, unfazed by the sinister sound of the door opening…

From the front porch, Luanne and Carlene could hear the soft, soothing voice of Veronica, the exquisitely beautiful leader of this sorority. “Luanne, Carlene? Please come in from the cold. You’re certain to catch your death out there.” Veronica spoke with a somewhat maternal tone in her voice. “We wouldn’t want that now would we?” Her questioning voice flowed through the large garden. Luanne’s heart was now in her throat. She clutched the tree to keep her knees from knuckling under. She was under the duress of so much fear and panic she didn’t know what to do. Should we go back in? Was this really a weird dream? Or did I imagine all of it? She turned to look at Carlene. Her eyes bore into Luanne with a seething anger. There was a light hissing sound that escaped through Carlene’s tightly clenched, blood stained teeth with every rapid breath that escaped her. Then she noticed it. On Carlene’s neck, there was a wound. It was a bite mark from what looked like a human’s mouth. She also noticed Carlene’s body was growing more frigid and stiff. She was dying if she wasn’t already dead. Luanne couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “Luanne…” Veronica’s voice called out to her almost song like, snatching her attention away from Carlene. I have to get out of here, Luanne thought as tears started to pour from her eyes. “I have to go now.” She couldn’t take her eyes off of Carlene’s deadly corpse of a body, snickering as she stared back at Luanne. “I’m sorry I couldn’t help you.” Luanne cried as she stepped backwards from Carlene’s sinister grin…

Luanne took a final look back at Carlene before shoving through the shelter of the weeping willow leaves only to step into the thick cover of fog. “Luanne darling, please come back and join us,” Veronica called out. Luanne was filled with adrenaline and panic, she didn’t know which direction she should run so she took a chance and bolted towards where she believed her car might be. She ran and she ran and she ran further still. Then the laughter came, faint at first but before she knew it, she was surrounded by the sound of laughter. It moved around her with extreme speed. She was being taunted. The laughter would sound right next to her ear, then another laugh would sound miles away and yet another laugh would crack from behind her. Terror-stricken, Luanne spun in circles screaming for them to leave her alone, their laughter only grew fiercer. Finally, she screamed so loud she dropped to her knees and hid her face in her hands rocking back and forth, defeated. When she lifted her head she had accepted her fate. Through the thick fog, she saw Carlene and all the other girls, pale and bloodied surrounding her with beautiful Veronica standing before her. Unable to speak her eyes pleaded with Veronica’s sympathetic expression. “You foolish girls come here every year expecting to become a part of something you’ve conjured inside your pathetic brains. Ideas you’ve taken from movies and television. My apologies dear but that’s not real life.” Luanne forced herself to speak. “This can’t be…” Another sympathetic smile crossed Veronica’s lips. “Real life? You’re correct. On the contrary. This is your death. Welcome to it.” With that, Veronica showed her fangs and pounced onto Luanne with the fierceness of a wild animal.


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