Claire’s Fairies (Short Story)

“There are fairies in my room. They come out at night.”

My steps faultered as I reached the table. “Can’t say that’s what I suspected when you asked me to go out for coffee.”Kate only shrugged.

Kate only shrugged.

I sat down, traced my finger around the rim of my cup. There were dark circles under her eyes, her make-up wasn’t done. A scuff of dirt had settled on the left shoulder of her leather jacket.

“Fairies? Like…wings and sharp noses and pointed ears. Tinker Bell fairies?”

“Yeah, and she’s got a little green dress. No, I don’t mean fucking Tinker Bell! Jesus, Sam. I thought you’d believe me.” She rubbed her face, shoulders hunched and loose. It didn’t suit her. She was supposed to be all brass balls and curled fists instead of acrylic nails. She wasn’t supposed to be unsettled and sleep deprived.

I hummed into my coffee as I raised the cup to my lips. “Was the dress blue?”

“I hate you.”

“What do you want me to say? You’re probably having nightmares or something like that. Fairies aren’t real.” They weren’t. They were illusions, make believe. Tales for little boys and girls who still believed in Neverland.

“Either way, it’s probably just a dream. I wouldn’t worry about it.” The tips of my fingers were shaking. I gripped the cup harder.

She snorted, blew strangles of knotted hair from her face with a heavy breath. “Yeah, dreams.” Her cup jumped as her elbows slammed against the table and she rolled her sleeves up. “These are just me dreaming too, right?” Kate spat.

Tiny burns twisted the length of her skin. Each one a hand or foot print twining up her arms. I blinked, tried to ignore how thick and clumsy my tongue felt in my mouth. Her burns matched the scars that circled my ankle.

But it wasn’t real. It couldn’t be. I squeezed my eyes closed, swallowed back the cotton feeling in my throat. “That isn’t –“

“Real? Right Sam, because I just want to dig up your painful memories. I just want to hurt my best friend. I want to make your life hell by reminding you of Claire. Right? Big old Sammy boy needs to be reminded how he’s broken and crazy.

“I’m not trying to hurt you, Sam. They’re been trying to kill me for weeks. You’re the only one who can help. You won’t think I’m crazy.”

I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking. The coffee twisted and swirled in my mug, a whirlpool. My thoughts spun on high gear, I tried to ignore the memories wiggling at the back of my eyes.

Kate smoked. Maybe the marks were cigarette burns. She could have done it as an elaborate prank. I didn’t think she had it in her to be this cruel, but who could really say? There wasn’t a way in hell this was real.

“Sam. Look at me.”

I didn’t want to. Focused on the skin of my knuckles, pasty white around the cup. Focus on anything but her burns.

Fairies. She was messing with me. Kate had slipped into the deep end. She was using my secrets as an excuse to mess with my head. She wanted to bring back the night my sister was taken.

“Sam!” The coffee mug slipped from my fingers, rolled off the table and shattered. Kate gripped my shoulders, shook me back and forth to get my attention. The clatter of the café stilled for a moment.

I was a rag doll, my breath racing out of my chest. I couldn’t focus. Couldn’t breathe right.

A waitress asked if we were alright as she picked up the shards. Kate assured her we were. But we weren’t. I wasn’t. My heart hammered against my ribs and threatened to break them.

“I’m not lying. Please, you’ve got to believe me. You’re the only one who can help. You’re the only one who won’t think I’m crazy.” She had dropped her voice, leaned across the table like we were spies. Kids playing spies in a grocery store. Kids still thinking Neverland was a good, happy place.

But she’s right, I won’t think she’s crazy because she isn’t. Because I’ve been there and I’ve seen them too. Something took my sister in the middle of the night six years ago and it wasn’t her abusive and estranged father.

I stood, tried to ignore the boiling liquid that soaked my pants. Neverland wasn’t supposed to be real. All the ‘progress’ I made after Claire’s disappearance…it was worthless if she was right. And I knew that she was and I couldn’t admit it.

“I can give you the number of my therapist. He can tell you why you’re seeing fairies. It…it helped me. We can do it together.” I already knew she would say no. That I practically slapped her in the face.

Her hands slid from my shoulders. Trickled off me like spilt milk. I believed her, even though I couldn’t say it aloud. I knew my little sister wasn’t out there with some kidnapper. She was in some sort of fairy land, entranced by magic and tortured by mythical creatures. Years of therapy helped keep my mouth shut.

“Sam…”

“It’s okay Kate.” The tile on the ground was white besides the black coffee. A river of it twisted around the legs of the table. “You’re not crazy. It’s a delusion that your brain created to protect you from a memory that hurts you. It just seems real.” Rehashed words from a thousand sessions with a therapist.

She deflated into her chair, pressed her face in her hands. Her shoulders heaved. I could just hear her muffled cries over the din of the café.

I wanted to go to her, to wrap my arms around her and tell her that I believed her. That she wasn’t seeing things and the marks weren’t from her. I wanted to do all the things that no one ever did for me when Claire was stolen and I saw them in my room.

I almost did. I took a half step, the coffee staining the sole of my shoe. Another step and I would have been beside her. I would have been able to wrap my arms around her and tell her that we would dig through a thousand books to find out which fairies she had in her room and how we could get rid of them.

But I didn’t. I grabbed my leather jacket from the back of my chair, slid my arms inside. “Do you want me to drive you to your parents and talk with them?”

She shook her head and rubbed her nose on her sleeve. Her arms were covered again, she was just a sad girl in a busy café now.

“You sure? It’s easier when you have someone else with you. Least, that’s what I’ve been told. I did it by myself.”

“I believed you.” I could barely hear her above the ring of the bell as another person entered. “When you told me something…something took your sister, I believed you. When you told me you saw them in your room that night. You were supposed to believe me too.”

I swallowed the lump in the back of my throat. “Kate…I –“

“Don’t. Just get out. I don’t want your help. Just get the fuck out and leave me the hell alone.”

“Okay.” I started to leave, hands stuffed deep into my pockets.

“You were supposed to believe me. I’m not crazy!” But the entire café thought she was, everyone frozen as she screamed at my back.

“I do.” I mumbled it with half a breath as I exited the café. I knew where her story was going. She would end up like I did, obsessed. She would spend every free moment researching what wasn’t supposed to exist.

I swung myself onto my motorcycle and strapped my helmet on. She wouldn’t stop looking. I knew Kate, she was stronger than I was.

While I kept pretending I didn’t see Claire in the mirror, screaming for me to find her, Kate would find answers. That was how Kate worked.

I peeled out of the parking lot, regretting every inch I drove away from her.

 

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Mama’s Lullaby (Flash Fiction)

Mama’s Lullaby is a flash fiction piece I wrote for Stephen Willis’ writing challenge. It  is inspired by the song Brigmore Lullaby, remix by Raphael Colantonio. Hope you enjoy reading! And check out his challenge, it’s quite a bit of fun.

Mama used to sing me a lullaby.

She sang about the King and his feathered bed. She sang about the flames and the spikes. About the starving and the cold. Sang about the sparrows and the gulls.

I wasn’t supposed to worry or be afraid. Everything would be okay. The cold in my toes would be warm once the King was dead. The hunger in my tummy wouldn’t be numbed by frost I licked from window panes. Once the King was dead.

She told me to listen for the sparrows, three times they would call. Wait for three gulls to fall.

Then everything would be okay. If I helped. Pulled him from his feathered bed. Strung his head on top of a metal spike. Helped spill the blood on the streets. I was old enough, mhm, old enough. Thirteen summers was old enough.

Funny, though, how terrible things fix terrible things.

She died while I was listening to the sparrows. They called four times, not three, and she fell. Dropped like a stone in a shallow pond. I tried to wake her, shake her. But she didn’t get up. Her skin went cold. I sat with her all through the night, watched the King’s house burn. Watched blood run down the streets.

Hidden little rat in the streets, that’s what I was. And no one bothered the little rats.

Mama once told me that the world would get better. Once the King was dead. But it didn’t. It got worse. The streets were always red, the hangman was dead, and I still licked the frost on window panes.

The sparrows never stopped screaming, always in calls of three. Gulls littered the cobbled streets, falling every day. There wasn’t any singing and there was always nightmares at the corners of my eyes. Real ones, mhm, real nightmares.

I just miss my mama’s lullaby.

 

Mr. Billy, an adult picture book

So I apologize this post wasn’t released on Friday. I ended up spending a night in the hospital and have been recovering since. That being said, I have recovered and everything should be back on schedule as usual. A flash fiction story will be posted this Friday for you and blogs will resume as normal afterwards.

To the point of this blog, I’m here to tell you all about my current project: Mr. Billy. Have a blurb.

Abby always played in the woods behind her house, among the birtch trees and the bramble bushes. Her dad told her to be careful and she always was. Until she stumbled across Mr. Billy. He dripped ink from his finger tips and fed her candy canes in the summer and promised to take her nightmares away if she let him be her friend.

So she did, because she was tired of dreaming of all her teeth falling out. 

Mr. Billy said he would take the bullies in her class away to a place where no one would find them, not even God. They were friends, and friends needed to stick up for each other.

And they went missing, child by child. Abby heard her dad whisper to her mom about the things the police found in the woods behind her house. Terrible things, tiny teeth and bones with ribbions of red flesh. Things that came from the other little boys and girls that went missing.

But Mr. Billy told her not to worry. It was just a game of hide and seek and God was the seeker.

What is Mr. Billy? 

Mr. Billy is a horror story of about 10,000 words. I’m still in the first few drafts of the story, so it’s subject to change. It focuses on Abby, a young second grader, and a friend she finds in the woods named Mr. Billy. It’s a dark tale focused on showing how the innocence of youth is a dangerous thing and how parents, no matter how hard they try, can’t always be a shield of protection. I’m looking at sometime 2017 to publish it.

A picture book for adults?

First off, who doesn’t like beautiful artwork in their stories? Works by Brom, such as Lost Gods and The Child Thief, are absolutely wonderful twisted tales with illustrations. My goal with Mr. Billy is to have a short story for adults with beautiful illustrations, much like Brom’s work. There’s four concept images for the main story so far, exluding the cover art. Here’s the concept for the cover:

 

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This is going to be the style for the story. The art will be done traditionally, most probably painted with acrylics before being scanned. The book will include a terrifying story and hauntingly beautiful illustrations.

Why this project? 

Mr. Billy actually has a huge place in my heart. I fell in love with the story and the characters while writing it and knew this was something I needed to keep ‘for myself’. I also knew I needed full creative freedom for this piece, which is why I’m self-publishing instead of going the traditional route.

Now, I usally publish horror under the pen name ‘George Spisak’. As you can see on the cover art, I’m using the name ‘Kyra Spisak’ for this horror piece. There’s a reason for that. This story will be one of the few horror pieces to be published under Kyra Spisak because I am working on it with my grandfather. It’s a project between the two of us with me as the writer and him as the artist.

He may have told me my pen name is stupid and I may have decided it wasn’t worth the explaination or the agrument.

I’ll be updating you guys on the project at least once a month so that everyone is on the same page. I’m seriously pumped about this, and I’m hoping you guys will fall in love with Mr. Billy just like I have. More information will be coming along as the project developes and expands, so stay tuned!

Dryad: Know Before You Read

She hadn’t expected to find anyone else in the apple grove.

He was there, tucked among the trees and waiting. For her? Maybe. But it was a maybe she would take. She had already fallen in love, infatuated and head over heels for a man she didn’t know. Yet she knows every physical inch of him. The way his lips curl in a smile, how the noonday sun catches his hair, the smell of his skin and the pressure of his hand in hers. She could close her eyes and find him by scent and touch alone.

And still, there’s something not right about all of this. Something in her heart and her head whispering about how wrong it all is. A half-remembered name. She’s already gone too far. There isn’t an apple grove anymore, the woods are getting darker and she’s heading deeper. 

She can feel it in her throat, a thickness and agitation that wasn’t there before. 

She’s terrified. 

 

Dryad is a fantasy short story written by Kyra Spisak and featured in New Zenith Magazine. Dark and twisted, it is a shocking tale that reminds readers of the true nature of the Fae. They are not the gentle, beautiful creatures in a daughter’s picture book. They are twisted monsters.

Purchase a digital copy here or a physical copy here.