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It has been going for the last four months in KULTUR magazine, but here now I shall offer a sample of the very first part of my horror series, which has two more parts ahead to go.


(Excluding Prelude)

Melissa was almost certain that he had been looking right at her earlier. She had never been so sure . As  her friends were standing down by the bar and entrance doors, Melissa had stepped off toward the far wall. She had thought that she had glimpsed him, moving off up the staircase to the first floor of the building. It had been him hadn’t it? She had seen his face before he disappeared. Did he want her to follow him up? She shook her head at how stupid she felt, but for the smallest, positive feeling she walked over in the direction of the stairs. A long etched crack had appeared there, starting at the base of the floor and rising up in a crooked manner, and she looked up the staircase by the wall and saw that it continued on up. It was so strange and she could swear that it had never been there before. The building certainly was decades old, if not even older, she knew. The building often seemed to stand on the street above as if it were in some quite pain, resting uncomfortably on the hard ground of the streets there.

The lights that were placed intermittently along the ceiling above the staircase did not seem to be working well, most of the them out with only one or two flashing dimly on then off. Despite this problem, she decided to follow the crack up the staircase. It was to her, one of those unusual, neglected things that should be followed, explored and she did heard some muffled sound higher up she believed.

The crack which continued up, in such a haphazard broken up way was so curious, crooked and wild, almost artfully elaborate, as if chiselled into the wall by some unknown artist. How could it be continuing so far up, without breaking once, one continuous line of ruin like that? It even suggested to her that the building was actually unstable, dangerously at risk of cracking open, falling down, the floors above might come down at anytime of weakened more in future? It was an uncomfortable thought, especially while she was still inside and climbing the stairs. It made her slightly uncomfortable then, almost stopping her in her tracks. An unexpected breeze of cool air brushed up past her suddenly, drawing her attention upwards again. She looked up to the next first floor of the building. Reaching the top of the stairs eventually, she saw the crack in the wall end as it met the doorway there. The doors themselves  strangely appeared much older and weaker than usual-some rot setting in, even a little moss and mold around the edges. Was the building really in such a bad state, she wondered?

She stepped inside the long open corridor of the first floor-this floor mainly sold and displayed gothic costumes, outfits, clothing, fetish wear, and related inspired accessories and similar dark things to wear. Melissa very often spent much time there alone, just admiring the fascinating, amazing work that had gone into the producing the beautiful garments, jackets, dresses, skirts, and other gothic items there. She never fully believed herself to be  so beautiful enough to wear a full entire gothic outfit all of the time, even in clubs under darkness. Right then, she was in torn black tights, embroidered ruffled black and purple mini skirt, her t-shirt was navy blue and lime green, hair black with brown parts. She did however wear heavy dark black eye shadow, purple and silver lipstick and her face was subtly powdered lightly white.  She needed to feel different, unique, special, her own kind of person. This was her look, her identity which set her apart from many others.  It put her into the subculture she loved and connected with most.

‘A cracked sanctuary, a shadowed wise place to be, my secret home to me’ she quietly spoke aloud to herself as she looked around at the stalls and walked ahead.

Melissa looked around her, the stalls and rooms very different. The entire floor was blanketed in deep dark gloom of shadows, there were only thin slits of moonlight here and there every few yards between the individual stalls and shops. She had not ever been in the building at night like this before. Should she be there at all? Would she get caught and be banned permanently from this possibly her favourite hangout area? This did worry her, but she was still so tempted forward onward. A short flick of light appeared to her left. She looked then, and saw a window to her left, only small, and saw her own image, reflected. Just before she walked on, she stopped and realised that she looked a little different in the reflection. She looked back. Strangely it was gone from the window, and she realised that she should not physically be able to see herself from that angle. She continued on, forgetting what she may have seen.

She did not want to steal anything at all, she would not dream of doing that kind of thing, not there or anywhere. But with all of the very many hundreds of different items of clothing and accessories she did want to look at them. There was only her there still, she remembered. Only her to know, she thought to herself. She did look around, a little apprehensive but eager in the darkness and moonlight. She twisted her black hair between her fingertips thoughtfully.

A flapping sound appeared by a window to her left, startling here then. She turned so quickly, with a gasp. She looked over and froze, shocked. She imagined someone grabbing her, catching her there then, calling the police maybe. Carefully she then peered out of the window, standing by it, she looked down and around outside the building. The dark streets below, street lamps illuminating just a couple of people casually strolling past then. What had the sound been? She was just simply overly nervous she realised. She nearly laughed.

Shaking her head with embarrassed relief, she slowly then walked up to a stand at the front of a stall, and took down a beautiful long gothic trench coat, feminine with cut open long tails and studs down the back, pvc pockets shining in the moonlight behind slightly. She smiled and then,  dropping her own smaller jacket on the floor pulled on the longer new one. She felt very important, powerful, sexy. It was so cool, very badass in fact, she thought as she moved around, folding her arms, stretching them out. She could be in a band, or some damn awesome wild gothic punk priest poet feminist gal. Felling confident, she walked over and took up some other things then-she added studded hair clips, leather gloves with lace around them, then slipping off her skirt she pulled on a much more elaborate and heavily tailored gothic long skirt. She felt darkly glamorous, unstoppably sexy and better than ever.  Moving slightly, she felt proud but then caught some person near. She twisted. Again she turned and noticed a window close to her. Her partial image reflected just slightly once more. She stood care and still, just enough to make sure. Yes, it seemed to be her. But as she stared, again the image seemed different. Was it the clothes or make up? She took a slow step toward the window.

There was suddenly some sound then, up at the far end of the floor, she heard. What was it? Who was it? There was no one else around there was there, she thought? If there were, she might actually be in some other kind of danger she considered then. She was only there, well for no real reason, but why would anyone else be there right then?

She gripped her gloved fist tightly and stared right into the dark ahead. She looked across at the wall to her left, and noticed the crack in the wall had come all along through into the first floor. She was almost sure that she had not noticed there minutes earlier when she first walked in.

The unusual sound came again then,  some possible rustle, or scrapping of shoes further up maybe. She swallowed, took in a breath, then stepped ahead slowly. She was ready, feeling strong in these fantastic different gothic clothes. She would defiantly kick someone’s arse if she had to for sure, she thought. There was then a break of light at the far end of the floor, past a dozen or so shop stalls and rooms. She saw what seemed to be possibly the outline of a man in the darkness around.

Quietly then, a voice spoke

‘Here all alone?’

Who was it? Someone she knew or someone who knew her? Could she trust whoever it was there, she wondered?

‘Who are you? She asked, tentatively with hopefully some audible confidence

‘And who are you? Good question’ the voice responded. She thought she could almost make out a smile on the face bathed in shadow all that way from her.

‘Are you the guy from the gig downstairs? We, we kind of saw each other?’ she asked nervously

-To read the rest of part 1 and the whole series, buy KULTUR magazine, visit their website now.



Author of science fiction novels Orbital Kin and Minerva Century-also horror, literary fiction, many short stories and screenplays. Always reading, writing, watching films, playing guitar/bass, and am a husband with a coffee addiction. New horror novel due for 2017. This is my blog, offshoot from my website. It will be where I post current thoughts, opinions, views, reviews, or discussions about contemporary film, movies, books, video games, television series mostly in the horror, science fiction, fantasy and their sub-genre offshoots. The entertainment not in the mainstream (for the most part) and proud of it. Also follow me on twitter- @ParsonsFiction, and facebook - James E Parsons

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