Colin F. Barnes is a quill-wielder of short fiction and obsessive novelist. He writes dark, edgy Sci-Fi, Horror and Thrillers. This website features some of his work, his thoughts, and general writing balderdash. Here’s more about him.
The Fall and Rise of Little Lake
It wasn’t unusual for the snow to fall so aggressively that they would be trapped in their tiny police station, and luckily, that night was one of them. Lucky because it meant they couldn’t get into the town, which over the course of a week was now full of angry, scarred townsfolk ready to do drastic things to the law.
The small Canadian town of Little Lake was under a spell of irrational mass-hysteria. All week, Marley-Anne and her deputy received panicked calls from residents concerning strange noises coming from under ground. Some were even convinced that recently buried family members were coming back to haunt them.
The sheriff and her deputy were used to the occasional crazy, but the whole town was another matter. And so they waited — waited for the state troopers to lend a hand.
Three days they said. Three days to reach Little Lake. The snowstorm, however, was too heavy, and the troopers wouldn’t be able to make it through the Rockies to Little Lake until the storm had passed. It was usually bad at that time of year, but Marley thought it seemed especially harsh.
In the meantime at least they were safe from the crazies, and the station was comfortable. It was more like a small home with a couple of cells than a police station. Marley’s girlfriend often accused her of treating the place like her home. Marley looked at her the small open office; she had her hunting rosettes on the wall, along with pictures of her family, and it was her espresso machine gurgling away in the corner, ready to dispense terrible coffee into her favourite chipped mug. She admitted, her girlfriend was probably right, it did feel like home.
“I think your nipples are going to get frostbite, Marl. Want me to help keep them warm — with my hot mouth?” Mike breathed a plume of what he called ‘the hurr’.
“Kind of you to offer, but it’s this that’s the coldest.” Sheriff Marley-Anne extended her middle finger and poked her tongue at the deputy.
“I’ve got just the place for that,” Mike replied, smirking. His harelip curled
“Look Mike, no woman is going to stick a finger up your ass, you should try the gay bar in Hoddleston. Its open now in fact, it’ll only take a days trek to get there, if you don’t get eaten by a grizzly — they like weak meat.”
As was usual when his sexuality was called into question Mike sunk into his creaky chair, swivelled round and looked at the weather report on the police meteorological network. “It ain’t moving,” he said referring to the dense snowstorm.
“It better, we’ve only got food for four days. I’m eating you by the way. I won’t even wait until you die naturally. Imma gonna shoot with ma pumpy, and cook ya fillets on ma stove,” Marley said, with a mock ‘Deliverance’ accent.
Feigning hurt feelings, Mike retorted, “I’d be happy to eat you Marl, and I wouldn’t even need you dead, if you know what I mean?”
Marly rolled her eyes. Three days of this shit. “You’re as a subtle as a Mack truck. I’d walk out into the bear fields covered in salmon before letting your filthy, bearded face between my legs. I bet there’s squirrels fucking in there.”
Mike spat his coffee so it dribbled down his brown tie and stained his shirt. “Goddamn it Marl, look what you made me do.”
Marley slapped a hand on the desk, leant back in her captain’s chair and laughed. “How does your wife put up with you, huh?”
Mike shrugged, loosened his tie and stood up. “I’m going out-back to get a clean shirt, don’t get any ideas while I’m gone.”
“I’ve seen your browser history Marl, it’s been a couple of weeks since you’ve seen Jela-”
“Oh fuck off Mike, go get changed you filthy bum. Oh, and check on the witch while you’re out back, she’s been quiet for a while now.”
“Will do boss.”
It was only a walk through a short corridor to the paltry two cells of the station. Only once in the ten years Mike had worked for the force had they needed to use both. Out of habit, he briefly looked into the first one, which of course was empty. He moved to the cell holding Madame Yagga. She was naked, again. He found her like that in the woods a few days previous. Well, naked wasn’t appropriate. Nude was a better choice. Her skin was smeared with the gore of a dead bear. The crazy woman had eaten its entrails. Even her hair was entwined with muscle fibre and tendons. Mike wasn’t proud to admit that it scared the shit out of him — literally.
He gave her a thick jacket, trousers and warm blankets when they first brought her in. She had tossed them to the corner of the cell. She sat cross-legged in the middle, wearing just her skin. Her now clean brunette hair — courtesy of the single, small shower room of the station — fell around her narrow shoulders in wide dramatic ringlets.
Dull thuds echoed around the cell as she rocked back and forth on the unforgiving floor. Mike couldn’t take his eyes from her pert breasts as they jiggled back and fourth. Her sexy mouth pouted into a knowing smirk. Her eyes were closed and her hands rested on her knees as she continued to rock. Then she started to hum a strange, intermittent moan in syncopation with her movement. Mike moved closer and pushed his face between the bars, his growing erection throbbed against his pants.
“Mmm, mmmm, aahhhh. Mmm, mmmm, aahhh,” Yagga continued softly.
A buzzing noise started to grate inside Mike’s head. His vision blurred and he let himself fall against the bars, transfixed on the now wild-eyed woman.
Yagga stopped her rocking, stood and continued her moaning chant as she padded towards Mike. She pushed her breasts between the bars, squashing them into Mike’s chest so that he could feel her hard nipples.
The buzzing increased, and his head felt like his brain was altogether too large for its casing. Reaching out he touched her shoulders. Her skin was like fire, and he quickly let go. Yagga giggled and gyrated against him. The heat of her body penetrated his uniform and he felt himself come in a long, juddering orgasm.
Yagga pressed her mouth against his and breathed in. She took his breath into her, mixed it with her own before exhaling. Taking the mixed air into his lungs, Mike suddenly felt light headed. Multicoloured dots and stars bloomed and winked in his vision. He collapsed to the ground with a clank.
“What the hell are you doing back there Mike?” Marley called out. When there was no answer, she grunted, stood up and headed to the short corridor linking the front office to the cells and washroom.
“Jesus–” Marley pulled the gun from her belt. “Hold it right there missy.”
Madame Yagga stood outside of the cell, Mike’s keys in her hands, legs astride his prone body.
“Oh Sheriff. You’re really pretty when you’re angry.” Yagga stepped forward two steps, still wearing nothing more than a wide grin.
“I swear I’ll shoot in the face if you take one more–”
Yagga shook her head so that her face was obscured by the wild thrashing of her hair. She held her arms out wide and vibrated.
“Goddamn,” Marley lowered her gun, and stared in awe as the witch began to change shape. Her previously flawless skin began to sprout thick clumps of black fur, and her head extended into a snout with rows of dripping fangs.
Falling onto all fours, Madame Yagga, in bear form, bounded towards Marley, who fell backwards. Yagga planted all four paws either side of Marley’s body, trapping her to the floor. Marley closed her eyes as drool splattered onto her face.
“Sweet lord, get this demon off me,” she cried. Feeling the weight of its stomach push her into the floor made her thrash like a pinned cockroach, she felt about as small given the power of the beast atop her.
A furious growl rung in her ears. Marley thought she would lose an eardrum under the sound pressure. But as soon as the roar had quietened, it was replaced with a light breathy voice.
“Marley my lovely, I am not a demon, look at me, my darlin'”
The sheriff felt a soft brushing of lips on her ear, followed by hot breath on her neck. Marley twisted her head and opened her eyes. Madame Yagga stared back with an intense look and curious mouth. Her skin was like milk and it seemed to radiate.
“Hello gorgeous,” Yagga said. She laid on top of Marley, pressing their breasts together. One leg squirmed between Marley’s and Yagga’s right hand deftly stroked the side of the sheriff’s neck.
Marley blushed, looked away with confusion. “Just — what the — ”
“Just a misunderstanding sweat-pea,” Yagga breathed her words seductively, close to Marley’s ear.
Marley jerked away. “You were a fucking bear!”
“Sshh baby, it’s ok, calm now.”
A soft hand stroked Marley’s neck she felt herself relaxing despite herself. Yagga rubbed her thigh rhythmically against her crotch. Marley moaned as she was becoming warm and moist.
“Close your eyes cherry-lips, and listen,” Yagga said. “The dead are rising. They’re hungry and will consume the entire town unless you do something about it. The townsfolk are delirious with fear. They need you.”
Marley concentrated on the words that floated inside her head like slow-motion butterflies; their fluttering wings tickling the inside of her skull. It wasn’t unpleasant. “I understand,” Marley replied.
“Good chicka, you’re going to let me out of here, and I’ll take you to a — man — who can help you.”
Marley noticed a definite pause before ‘man’ but nodded her understanding, she wanted to leave the office, and find this man before things got ugly. “OK, Madame Yagga, we’ll go see this man.”
“Oh goody, I’m sure he will love you. And call me pumpkin, Madame Yagga is so formal, I only use that when at the bank or the lawyers.”
“But we’re snowed in, we can’t get out,” Marley said.
“It’s ok Sheriff, I can sort that — you have a maintenance tunnel in the boiler-room.”
“Yup, they didn’t tell you? This wasn’t always a police-station m’lovely. I used to live here, but was evicted for…” Yagga trailed off, and resumed, “it doesn’t matter now, come on, let’s go see a man about dead people.”
Yagga moved to stand, but Marley grabbed at her arm and pulled her back down on top of her, “Pumpkin, wait, don’t stop.” Marley breathed heavily and squirmed under the witch as she wrapped her legs around Yagga’s thigh.
Yagga raise an eyebrow, grinned and reached a hand down between Marley’s legs and rubbed, bringing deep satisfying moans from the sheriff.
“Seriously Pumpkin, you must be freezing, let me go back and get you some winter-gear,” Marley said.
“I’m fine poe-poe. The cold don’t bother me much,” Yagga replied with her cheeky smirk, still naked.
Yagga lead Sheriff Marley through a steel door at the end of a narrow, dark corridor. It lead out into the woods behind the station.
As soon as Marley stepped out of the tunnel and into the frozen air she felt it. Hundreds, no, thousands of thumps and bumps coming from under the snow covered ground. Scratching too — like fingernails on wood. She squeezed the ribbed barrel of her pump action; ol’blasty gave her a degree of security. But she was still trembling with fear. It was creepy as fuck, that was for sure.
“They buried the dead in the woods?” Marley asked, steering at the floor.
“It’s not important, love. What’s important is that you stop them from clambering from their graves and eating the entire village. You can hear their frenzy; the poor bunnies are hungry. Come, follow me, we’ve not got a lot of time.” Yagga jogged through the woods, darting with light feet and athletic agility over tree trunks, roots, branches and other obstacles. Marley tried to keep up, but her heavier frame and restrictive, bulky winter clothing meant that she lagged behind. The naked witch was still in sight, and so she followed as best she could. Her lungs started to burn with the deep breathing of the harsh winter air, and her feet began to blister from the ill-fitting heavy shoes.
It seemed to Marley, that they had run for hours through the woods. Occasionally a bear would scamper off, and squirrels would join their race only to dash off in the hunt for nuts. Time stretched out like liquorice-lace, the more you pulled on it, the longer it drew out, until you pulled to much and it snapped. Marley waited for the snap.
The thumping and scratching and now moaning increased in velocity and volume.
Marley was sure a hand would burst through the undergrowth and drag her under at any minute. Yagga had resorted to skipping and whistling while Marley tried to catch up. It all seemed like some big game to the witch. Why was she so carefree about it all? The idea of the dead coming back to life made Marley’s skin crawl, and the pit in her stomach felt heavy like a black hole. Dread threatened to consume her, but bright, twirling Yagga helped her to focus. Still, despite the focus, the seed of doom in the back of the darkest corner of her mind continued to grow.
Marley stopped and leaned on her knees, waiting for her pounding heart to ease. I need to give up the donuts and twinkles, she thought to herself, and get my arse to a fucking a gym.
“Are you all right cupcake?” Yagga said, bounding up to her like she had just spent a weekend at a spa-resort. Not a single bead of sweat broke from her flawless skin. Even the snow seemed to melt before it reached her.
“Can we take five, pumpkin, I’m fucked.”
“Sure thing, wanna see something weird?”
“Erm — no?” Marley said, hesitating, not wanting to offend the strange woman, “I’m just a little stressed-out at the moment, this is all kinda new to me.”
“What’s that love?”
“The dead are rising in my town, that’s kinda new to me, that. And not a little fucked-up.”
“It could be worse darlin'”
“Really? How could it possibly be worse? We are on the verge of a zombie apocalypse and I’m freezing my cunt off in a blizzard with a dancing, naked witch.” Marley stood and stamped her feet, trying to get the blood flowing.
Yagga stopped her playful dancing and looked altogether a different person. Marley thought she may have gone to far and upset her, she was a strange beast for sure, but what else was she to say? ‘No, it’s fine, everything’s fucking hunky-dory’?
“Look, pumpkin, I’m sorry, I’m a little scared is all, I didn’t meant to offend you.”
“In less than an hour, the dead will make their way out of the ground. That’s bad, real bad, but it could be worse by a long chalk.”
“Sure, you’re right, every situation could be worse. I understand.”
Yagga swayed her hips hypnotically and walked right up to Marley until her pert breasts touched Marley’s.
“There’s an angry mob of villagers who would see you in the ground. Even now they burn your station.”
Marley looked behind her, following Yagga’s gaze. A plume of dense black smoke rose in the snow filled sky. In small snatches, Marley saw flickering flames.
“Shit, Mike’s still in there!” Marley turned to run, but Yagga grabbed her by the arm and pulled her back as though she was nothing but a toy rag-doll.
“It’s too late for him, we need to move now, we are just a few minutes from the hermit, he can help stop all this.”
“But it’s Mike for fuck’s sake, I can’t stand by–”
Red heat bloomed on the side of her face and the crack of the slap cut off her remonstrations immediately. Her skin broke, and a trickle of blood seeped from the thin gash and blotted the frost-covered ground. The scraping, thudding noises stopped.
“Calm down and look at me.”
Marley took a deep breath ready to shout at her, to relieve some of the pent up rage and frustration, but as soon as she looked into the those deep eyes, she was transfixed and unable to speak.
“You see how the dead respond to you Marley? You’re native aren’t you?
Marley nodded her head. “I can trace my family back 300 hundred years, we’ve always been here.”
“Ok, listen to me. You’re going to follow me, and in less than thirty minutes all this will be over, and you’ll have Mike back. But for now, I need you to focus on me and follow me, you understand lover?”
Yagga wiped a hand across her check, and licked the blood. She smiled and nodded. “Ok? Ready to move on? ”
The smooth, warm prickling sensation inside her head made Marley smile, it tickled in a soft pleasurable way. She nodded, feeling calm and relaxed. She even contemplated leaving ol’blasty behind, but something stopped her from dropping the weapon. “Ok, lead the way, pumpkin.”
“Always keep looking at his face,” Yagga said in hushed tones. She lead Marley to a large, hollowed out tree that grew out of the side of a ruined stone building. It resembled an old medieval fort, but on a smaller scale.
Marley stopped before the collection of bushes arranged in front of the tree. “This don’t look normal, ” she said pointing to the building.
“Like anything is normal?”
“Come, let’s go in. Remember, just the face.”
“Ok,” Marley said slowly. She tried to think of reasons why that would be a problem, perhaps he was an amputee, or suffering from some nervous condition.
The bushes were easily swept aside, and they were presented with a narrow door carved into the face of the trunk. The overpowering smell of fish wafted through the dark entrance.
“A bit of a fish connoisseur huh?”
“Something like that.” Yagga said, leading Marley further into the tree to a small room no larger than 20 foot square, with low ceilings made of wide wooden beams. Wall shelves bowed in the middle from the weight of jars filled with what looked like black oil.
“Yagga. Didn’t think it would take long for you to darken my patch.” The ‘hermit’ hobbled from a small alcove and stood behind a gnarled iron workbench with ornate scrollwork along the sides.
“What’s up Sats?” Yagga twirled emphatically, Marley wondered just what the hell was going on, the hermit, or ‘Sats’ as Yagga called him looked the personification of a frown. His whole body was bent and miserable looking. The hooked nose and busted teeth didn’t help his cause much, nor the dark widows peak. In the light of the small room, his skin had a reddish quality, and he was unusually hirsute along his shoulders and back.
“It’s Jeremy.” He sighed. “What do you want, witch, and who’s this beauty — an offering?”
“Not quite. She’s the native.”
The Native? What the hell is she going on about? Marley thought. She opened her mouth to speak, but Yagga touched her arm, and a hot pulse flowed through her body rendering her unable to speak.
“Is she willing?” Sats asked.
Yagga nodded. “We don’t have much choice, do we?”
Sats looked at the floor, cocked his head and spoke in a grave voice. “No. We don’t, they are near the surface.”
“Shake a hoof then Sats, let’s get on with it.”
Marley was dragged through a low doorway into a dirt-floored room. The walls were stone — still rough from when they were first hewn, presumably from the fort. Maybe it was part of the fort she considered. It smelt of old vinegary wine, and something else, something metallic. The panic set in when she saw the remains of a skeleton still shackled to an iron cross on the far wall.
She turned to bolt, but the hermit blocked her path. He flashed a hand towards her face. She was too slow to react, and hit the floor hard, sending a cosmic array of birthing stars to bloom in her vision before the black veil descended.
“Will she be enough?” She heard Yagga say before she lost consciousness.
Something warm flowed down her legs like warm honey on pancakes. Her thighs felt slick with it. Marley squirmed and quite liked the sensation of this warm liquid between her naked flesh. She couldn’t reach the source of this flowing moistness. Her wrists were shackled, and iron chains rattled, giving her barely an inch of movement.
Violent tremors broke out beneath her feet, and a cold, hard hand gripped her ankle and pulled on her, but the unforgiving restraints held her to the cold surface on her back.
She tried to scream out, but large ball strapped to her mouth muted any screams she could muster. Spittle dribbled over her lips and onto her breasts. Salted tears flowed liberally from wide staring eyes.
In front of her was a hoof footed male with a large pulsing erection. It was the hermit, and he swayed as though in some kind of trance, chanting diabolical sounding syllables. Yaggga was next to him, naked as usual, apart from the gaudy symbols smeared in some reddish brown ink on her body. She was stroking the hermit’s phallus with one hand, and held a knife in the other.
“Ready?” She asked him. He nodded frantically and took a step towards Marley so that he was just a foot away. Yagga followed with a curious smile on her face.
The hand still gripped Marley’s ankle and was soon joined by another. The tremors grew in ferocity, sending heavy vibrations through the wall and her back.
Yagga’s eyed turned up into her head and bled. She slashed with the knife once across Marley’s stomach. She reached in and pulled her intestines and guts until they spilled on the dirt floor. Oddly, Marley felt no pain, only sheer horror.
Her breathing was reduced to shallow draws through flared nostrils. Marley tried not to think about the hot liquids dripping on to her feet from where her guts used to be. The stench was too much and she wanted to heave, but the ball gag meant she just choked.
Yagga turned to the hermit, handed him the knife and stroked his throbbing rod until he ejaculated black liquid into the steaming pile of guts. With his last spurt, he thrust the knife into Marley’s heart. And exclaimed with a deafening roar some foreign word as he pulled the knife out and let the blood splash onto the floor.
“It’s done.” Yagga said. She stroked Marley’s face and whispered into her ear. “Let yourself go, Love, you’ve done so well.”
Marley felt her heavy lids close out the horror scene, and she wished for the long-sleep.
The tremors stopped. The hands around her ankles turned to dust.
“It was the necromancer, wasn’t it?” Sats asked Yagga.
“Yes. But she didn’t know we had a native.”
“She was the last one though, what are we going to do for the next attempt to raise the dead?”
“She was the last yes, but I’m going to deal with the necromancer myself. I need a jar of your mojo though. The most potent one you have.”
“Of course. Can I keep her body?” He asked, pointing to Marley.
“Sure, her spirit has moved on, you do what you want with it.”
The hermit smiled.
Yagga took the jar of mojo from the hermit and walked out into the woods.
“You sure you can do it? You know…”
“What?” Yagga asked.
“Kill your sister – the necromancer.”
Yagga walked off into the night, heading for the town. After twenty paces she stopped. In front of her a black bear wandered into her path, its fur ragged and bloodied. Yagga approached, and placed her hand on its head. It snorted, and nuzzled into.
“Hey Marley, glad to see you made it. Want to come and help me kill my sister?”
The bear nodded its head and roared, before nuzzling her again.
© Colin F. Barnes 2011