Not sure how I ended up writing grotesque horror and gore stories. This is an experimental writing project, trying out new formats of flash fiction, and a new genre. It was inspired by a few two-line horror stories I read a long time ago. I had other stories in mind, but I’ve stopped at 13, keeping it ominous, as well as maintaining my sanity to avoid nightmares. I’d say they are like the Evil Dead/Final Destination series, some find them hilarious, some terrifying. Depending on which side you belong to, I’d warn that contents are pretty creepy and not suitable for children or weak-hearted adults.
They said that I was always good in geometry. I never denied it. Geometry is everywhere; it’s about how every line, arc and angle fitted into a perfect symmetry. I could always sense that. Except for the time I failed to notice the parabolic trajectory of a shard of glass that sliced my throat.
Shawn came home hungry after a long day at work. He wanted to cook a korma. He opened the freezer and took out a box of frozen meat. He looked at the label and smiled. That was Brian’s thighs, the guy Shawn last dated.
Monica pressed the brake hard, the traffic is queuing ahead. She looked outside, to see what’s lying on the verge. Packets of chips, pieces of tyre, the skin of foxes and badgers run over. She crawled forward a bit and looked again. On the grassy land covered with trees lay what looked like a hand. She focussed hard, that was a hand! And what’s that big bin bag doing there? Monica could feel her heartbeat rising. But the traffic eased off suddenly and she drove on home.
Tinku thinks he has special powers. Not just the sights and sounds, he can remember the smell and the taste as well. He remembers the aroma of the egg curry with butter he had fifteen years back in his friend’s flat. And he remembers the putrid smell of the corpse of a woman at the crematorium — her body swollen from the Post-mortem, and the smell of cheap perfume her family was pouring on her to douse the smell.
I was on my way to the Chinese class on an auto rickshaw. The traffic slowed down in the railway over-bridge and people were looking down. So did I. There was a man, sitting on the track. Not all of him though. It was his torso, wrapped in a jute bag, sat up. His head was missing. Why did I look!
Arshad saw the bicycle thief. Being mauled by the mob. He grabbed his daddy’s hand a bit tighter. And they went to the market. Arshad couldn’t understand why they were beating that guy. Or the human form lying inside the waste bin on their way back. Thirty years on, he still wonders if the mob set fire on him or it was just mud.
There was a stale stench hung in the air. It seemed to come from Mr. Vargese’s flat on the first floor. When the smell was so strong in the stairwell, the neighbours decided to break in his flat. The moment the front door was burst open, it was clear what it was. They found his body hanging from the ceiling in the toilet. And the flies. As John cut the rope, Stan tried to hold on to the dangling legs to lower the corpse. But his hand sank through the decomposed flesh. Rotten flesh all over his hand. And the flies sat back on them.
“Sam, are you home?”. Abbey called from outside Sam’s window. Sam looked at the watch. 1:57. What the hell? Should he get up? He stayed in his bed. “Sam?”. She called again. “Coming”, Sam got out of the bed and put his top on. The next morning, people found Sam’s door wide open. He was never found. Sam didn’t wait for the third call. The devil claimed his soul.
Adewale looked up from the ground floor landing and his heart skipped. Is there a man watching over them from the top of the stairwell? He looked again, the head was still there. With three or four classmates he climbed up to the fourth floor and realised that it was a bulkhead lamp hanging from the ceiling. Nevertheless, Ade looked up every day. Except for one night, when he was slightly drunk, and there was a head instead of the lamp, watching over him. He had a sickle in his hand.
It was my idea. Imran opposite the toilet was a sissy. We made a scarecrow for Imran, using the travel kits people borrowed from the university mountaineering society. Then we hung it from the ceiling of the toilet, so if Imran ever wanted a toilet at night, he’d see the man hanging. We also took out a lamp from the toilet. Imran didn’t go to the toilet that night. I did. And I forgot about the prank. They are sending me for post-mortem today.
Parimal is into palmistry. When Malay came to show his hands, Parimal told him to be careful, but he wouldn’t say what of. During summer, they went to the hills in a group of 15. On the first night they found themselves surrounded by tribal people wielding machetes and torches. They set fire to the house. Some of Malay’s mates chose to be burnt alive. Some tried to flee but were hacked to death. That’s what Parimal saw on Malay’s hand. A violent death. Malay was hacked.
When Stefan went to the uni to study engineering, he was met by a bunch of sophomores. They dragged him to the field, down to the loco sheds. Stefan knew about ragging, but this was going a bit far. They tied his hands behind his back, laid him on one of the tracks, and bound him to the track. Stefan could hear the vibrations of a coming train. He knew about this prank before. This must be the disused track, he kept telling himself. It was, or so thought by the sophomores as well. But the loco was sent for shunting. It dragged Stefan about fifty yards, at a slow speed, shredding his body in pieces for over two minutes.
Harriet wanted to be a nurse. Yet her parents forced her to be a doctor. She never liked autopsy much, and it almost pushed her off the edge. During her time as an intern, her friends took her to the hospital morgue and slammed the door behind her. They thought about leaving her for a few minutes and let her out. They forgot as the pagers went off for a major accident emergency. Samantha came back to unlock her three hours later. She found Harriet chewing an arm, ripped off from a corpse.
***The reaper’s thirteen***
Debra always slept with her pet python. Its girth reminded her of her last boyfriend. The python stopped eating one day. She took it to the vet, but the vet couldn’t find anything wrong. She tried to change its diet but nothing happened. Then one night Debra found herself constricted by the giant snake. As her head slowly started to disappear into its mouth, Debra realised why the python stopped eating. It was getting ready to eat her.