Should I finish this story?

Hi, Splattercore.I wrote a quick chapter, more like half a chapter, today and pulled it out of my head. No plot. No research. No working through characters first. I just wrote it because it was in my brain and held me captive for most of last night. I'd love to know what you guys think of it...

The darkness enveloped her entire being as she trembled through the cold and lonely cemetery, clutching her goose-bumped arms to her chest. The moon was full, but still didn’t provide enough light for her to see, and to make matters worse, her flashlight batteries had died several tombstones ago.
    The crisp fall leaves crunched under her sneakers as she walked through rows and rows of the dead who had met their fates mostly over a hundred years ago. Vaulhurtz Cemetery didn’t take new additions. It was over a century old and the newest grave there was over sixty years old. It had filled up rather quickly when it opened up to the elite and after The Great Depression, it was completely full.
    Most of the stones, she noticed, were upright and had gargoyles and other creepy monstrosities on top of them, as if a grim tombstone would make death a bit easier on the families or something to that nature. Nonetheless, she combed through every single one of them and would continue to do so until she found the right one.
    The stone she was looking for would have the name Margaret Anne Thatcher on it, and it would be one of the oldest ones in the place. The grave, of course, would be completely empty-or so Sarah hoped.
    The story that her grandmother had told her that night, right before she took her last breath, was a very disturbing, if not sweet one.
    Margaret was her grandmother’s grandmother. Right before the turn of the century, Margaret married a plantation owner in South Carolina to ensure that her family’s financial status stayed put. Unfortunately, poor Margaret got more than she bargained for. The plantation owner, William Thatcher was an old, crotchety, cranky, mean, cantankerous and abusive piss-pot of an old man. When slavery was abolished, he kept his plantation running by whatever means necessary, and he worked his new, young bride to the brink of near insanity.
    Finally, as the thoughts of the grizzly story her grandmother had just told her replayed in her head for the umpteenth time, Sarah found a stone marked “William Thatcher.” That meant that his wife’s stone would be close by.
    Feeling sick from thinking of the cruel punishment that Margaret had received all those many years ago, Sarah spat on William Thatcher’s grave, and as she passed, she found Margaret’s stone sticking out of the ground next to it, below a grand oak tree.
    Her stone read “Margaret Thatcher, wife and mother. RIP.” That was it. No dates. Nothing else at all.
    A chill swept over Sarah’s shoulders and she pulled her shovel from her side and began digging as quickly and efficiently as she could without getting caught. Then again, on a night like that with the darkness sweeping through the entire cemetery, no one was likely to be about.
    When she plunked the shovel into hard ground the first time, she barely made a dent in the earth.
    “Shit.” She cursed, resting her shovel against the tombstone for a minute to tie her long dark curls back in a quick ponytail. Then, as quickly as she could, she resumed, pushing the shovel into the ground a bit deeper.
    She didn’t have time to wait on a court order to have the grave exhume, and as long as that body had been dead, if it was even in there, she had no reason to exhume it anyhow. Not from a legal stand point, that is.
    Personally, she had a very big reason to dig her up. Her grave would contain her destiny, according to her grandmother.
What better way to spend the night of your beloved grandmother’s death and your own eighteenth birthday then to go grave robbing? Her thoughts roamed towards sarcasm, but she shrugged it off.
    Margaret, according to the stories, had left strict instructions after she faked her death with the help of a few friends, that only the ninth Thatcher woman born could open that grave. Only the ninth would know what to do with the contents, and only the ninth could make things right again. Then, after leaving her daughter with relatives in Virginia, well hidden from William Thatcher, Margaret had disappeared to England, never to be heard from again.
    Sarah Thatcher was the ninth born daughter after all those years. Most Thatchers were males, though they were all powerful enough in their own as warlocks. It was known that the witches held the most mystique. This, according to Margaret, was why it had to be a daughter, and not a son.
    She pushed the shovel back into the dirt again, after making just a small hole in the earth, and pulled up a gigantic chunk of earth this time. Proudly, she heaved the dirt over her shoulder and kept at it, wondering what on earth was in that grave that was so darned important.
    Whatever it was, she wanted it. It could be money. It could be deeds. It could be jewels that Margaret had stored away. And then again, it could be completely empty. Who really knew...
    Three hours later, she hit the top of a very old black onyx casket wrapped in heavy silver chains with a silver name plate on top that had Margaret’s name on it and a number nine. It took her all of twenty minutes to uncover the rest of it, retrieve the set of bolt cutters from her bag, and tear into the heavy silver chains. She hacked at them longer than she thought it would take to get decrepit metal to break, but once they fell to the sides of the casket and she unlatched it, she felt she was ready to proceed.
    With one heavy, deep breath, she pushed the top of the casket open, and to her shock and horror, there was a very fresh body inside. A male body, dressed in turn of the century garb and a gothic top hat. He didn’t look over a hundred years old at all.
    On the contrary, the corpse looked brand new and not a day over thirty, albeit he was a bit dusty.
    Sarah gasped and stood back, waiting for a stench to hit her, but it never did. Just mold and musk. Her heart jumped into her throat.
    Silver-blond locks of shoulder-length hair was draped over the dead guy’s shoulders. White lashes covered the closed eyelids of the corpse’s sleeping face. If it weren’t for the fact that the dead man wasn’t breathing, she would half expect him to jump up and start talking to her.
    Frustrated, Sarah turned around and peered up at the moon and the star-sprinkled night sky. Holding her hands up in the air, she muttered, “Some destiny this is!” Then, she tossed the shovel on the ground and turned around again to face the corpse.
    “Dude, I don’t know who you are or why the hell you’re in my great great great great, a million times great grandmother’s grave, but you are not what I expected, here!”
    She closed her eyes and stood on her knees at the side of the grave. There had to be something in there besides a dead guy!
    Bravely gathering her wits about her, she slid one hand into the side of the casket, past the corps’s chest and into the lining, checking to see if there was a letter or a document in there. Perhaps a key to some kind of other buried treasure with a map?
    She slid her hand down further, closer to the corps’s arm and closed her eyes as she felt around the rock-hard, chilling-cold body.
    She moved her hand to the other side of the body and slid her fingers into the lining of the other side of the casket, right above his chest again, still keeping her eyelids tightly closed.
    Then, she felt cold fingers wrap tightly around her arm and heard a low growl from below her.
    Her knees wobbled around in the fresh dirt that she was sitting in, and snapped her eyelids open.
    With more force and strength than she’d ever felt in her entire life, the corpse animated and pulled her inside, right on top of him. His eyes were a fierce red, his face stone cold, chiseled, and angry.
    There were no words to describe the horror that she felt inching down her spine, nor the cold of death that the corpse spread over her skin when he touched her. Nothing could describe the pain that spread through her neck, either, when he bit into it with a force stronger than death itself. Warmth spread over her neck and into her chin and chest when the fresh blood from her new wound seeped all over her and down her shoulder.
    She couldn’t even scream. It came out of her throat in a gurgling, but no coherant words escaped.
    He held her as tightly as a lover, but gave her not pleasure, but pain and suffering instead. It lasted only a minute or so, but to Sarah, the splintering, dull bite felt as though it was an hour before he finally released her, pushed her off of him and out of the grave, violently, and let himself out to stand next to her.
    “You’re Margaret Thatcher’s granddaughter?” His voice was low and raspy, but he spoke with a brilliant English accent and wiped her blood from his lips with the sleeve of his earth-worn shirt.
    Her head was spinning and she felt weak, but managed to nod in his direction with utter hate in her eyes. “Yes,” She whispered towards him as she pushed herself up from the mound of fresh dirt that she’d shoveled earlier.
    “You’re a witch?” He asked her.
    “Apparently so. That’s what they tell me.” She sassed him, but knew that it was true. She was a witch, but not a very good one. She got her spells mixed up and always managed to ruin them in one way or another. Either that or they simply backfired on her.
    Wiping a bit of blood from her shoulder, she gathered her bag and her shovel. “Well, it’s been horrible meeting you, and I hope I never have the pleasure again! Had I expected a vampire to greet me, I would have left this grave alone.”
    “Ever met a vampire before?” He asked, straightening his clothes, staring at her.
    “No, but there’s always a first time for everything, and hopefully a last!” With that, she spat blood from her mouth and realized that her lip had somehow been busted when he’d thrown her from the casket. “I’m leaving now. Good luck with the whole bloodsucker thing.”
    A sly grin crossed his lips. “You’ll be seeing me again, Sarah Thatcher.”
    “In hell, maybe.” She mumbled, feeling beaten and misinformed as she walked back out of the cemetery, searching for the iron gates she’d climbed over to get in a few hours ago. 

Let me know what you think through comments here. If it sucks, please tell me so. You won't be doing me any favors by telling me that the beginning of this story is great when it's really not. Go ahead. Take your best shot. I'm a big girl. I can deal with some criticism. :)

~Rhiannon Mills 


Man is His Own Worst Enemy

Sometimes, the worst of the gore comes from real life. Well, at least what could be real life, or could have been. Through movies and story, we are forced to accept the atrocities of man in various form. His violence. His anger. His hatred. His self-loathing. His frustration. All of these things walk out of the shell of what we deem sane and swim in the sea of insane.

These are nothing more than the truth of man. Maybe his desire. Hidden. Or not. Some reflect history, some symbolize it. But make no mistake, when it comes to gore, man is the greatest inventor of dastardly ways to make a presentation.

So today, we explore man on his journey. Where has he been? Where did he come from? Where will he go? If history has taught us anything, the answers are to the pits of hell, from the pits of hell and to the pits of hell respectively.

Ex#1: A Gun Isn't Enough.

It amazes me how often man uses weapons as a psychological means to something more grizzly. So often we see or hear a story about how someone pulled a gun on someone to get them to do something that ended up with their death, not related to the gun, irregardless of what they thought would be the outcome. And in these cases, I think I'd choose the bullet to the torture.

I can't think of a worse way to die. You think that if you just do what the crazy man says, he will let you go- then BAM! Your jaw cracks like a lobster claw at the hands of a high-dollar patron at some fancy seafood restaurant. What manner of man could even do such a thing? How does he sleep at night? This is probably the most vulgar of examples I can provide- and oddly the least graphic.

Ex#2 Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned:

It is often said that a woman provoked wreaks Hell upon her antagonist. This ancient Greek play by Euripides is perhaps one of the best examples. In the short version of the story, Medea and Jason fall in love and have kids. Jason later obtains an offer to take the King's daughter as a prize or a bride.... Well Jason, Medea didn't like that too much so she:

Now, I first learned of this play taking a drama class in college. The version I watched showed Medea coming to greet Jason outside her home with blood all over her- which was later revealed to be from her having murdered her kids. I think that is a bit PG rated compared to the version I linked above. In one instance, the older son expedites the death process of the younger son- then goes on to expedite his own death... How sad.

Ex#3: Are You a Faggot? Bullshit!:

Eventually, the cruel nature of man can get to you. Your once happy thoughts, innocent and carefree in nature, turn into bitter lemons of vindication and dramatics. You seek to let the shitty world know just what they can do with themselves and the following is the result:

Well, to be honest, those assholes had it coming to them. The military, in this story, should have done a better job of filtering people out who clearly would not mesh with their hostile ways. And that drill sergeant was a prick.

Ex#4: They're All Going to Laugh at You....

The hell they are! Put pigs blood on me and I am going to decimate you like one of those comic books... you know like Jean from X-Men, when she discovers her phoenix thing. Yeah, screw you, you adamant little self-righteous bastards!

Before there was Columbine, there was telekinesis. Just like above, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned...

Look, the point is that mankind is mean and violent to mankind. All of the above are stories that are fiction. But as almost anyone in fiction writing or anthropology will tell you, almost all stories are based on some kind of fact. In fact, some gruesome stories are buried in our history books even if, likeLizzy Borden (OJ anyone?) they were never proven.

So before you go out to strange neighborhoods, or join the Marines, or send your religiously dysfunctional reared child off to school, or decide to screw over your kids' part of the will, you'd better make certain they aren't some crazy ax-wielding, telekinetic psychopath waiting for their fifteen minutes of infamy... AT YOUR EXPENSE!

Aaaahhh! What the heck was that?

I don't know why I put this here. It has nothing to do with this post...but I just really like it and I'm allowed to do erratic things when I've just seen a ghost.
So, today, I have another real live ghost story for ya. 

I was minding my own damned business at my computer, working on some emails that need to be read and returned, and the dryer stopped in the laundry room. 


So, I get up out of my comfy chair and push it under my desk, hot foot it to the laundry room, open the dryer, grab an arm load of clean, dry, hot laundry and begin to carry it through the bedroom and into the kitchen so I can fold it on the kitchen table. 

Only, I never made it to the kitchen. Hell, I didn't even make it out of the bedroom. I got to the first step between the laundry room and master bedroom, seen the most horrible thing I've ever seen in my history of ghostie sightings, dropped the clean, dry, hot laundry on my bare feet, and lost my breath completely and stood frozen in that doorway for about five minutes.

So, what is it that I saw today, do you ask? 

Again, it was the most horrible thing I've ever seen and I've seen a lot of dead folks. Or, their spirits. However you wanna put it.

I saw the graying, nearly rotten, standing straight upward corpse (only she was completely animated) of a lady standing straight up next to my bed. She was covered in blood, though I'm not sure it was hers and its really hard to see details when you're looking at ghosts because their forms are sort of shadowy and graying. 

Yes, I know that was a run-on sentence. Sue me.

She looked to be a bit older than me, though not much. She had long-ish dark hair and wore a long dress with full-ish skirts. In  one of her hands she held out the severed head of another woman. Or it could have been a very long haired man. I don't know. I couldn't tell because it was so damned grizzly. 

And in my bedroom. In. My. BEDROOM!

It's one thing to see a perfectly harmless ghost, one that doesn't wish to hurt you. But, when you see one like this who is clutching someone's head by the roots of their hair, it's a different ballgame altogether. Wanna know how I know she didn't like me?

It could probably be because she was practically growling, though there was no sound. I could just see her doing it with her mouth and facial expressions. 

And this all happened after my husband left for work and the kids were outside playing with the neighbor's kids and I was in here all by myself. 

I had to share this with Splattercore because I'm still pretty damn shaken up by it. And in case you're wondering, I folded the laundry and put it away, rather than leaving it in my apparently haunted bedroom.



Roadside Crosses

Something about spring in Indiana really brings the roadside crosses to bloom. I mean that in the most respectful way possible.

Perhaps my having grown up in Dallas, the large and widely distributed city it was, made me unaware of the number of people getting their number pulled on the road each day. Maybe people in Dallas just don't make a big deal about it. Or maybe it's because everyone drives like an asshole with the beer shits, hastily en route to the nearest toilet, such that everyone is accustomed to dealing with the Pandora's Box of the highway with more skillful tact.

There is one roadside cross I will never forget.

I had to give up my car last year because finances simply could not keep up with the burden. This put me in the interesting situation of having to walk about three miles one way to the nearest bus stop. Considering the circumstances, paired with the reality that the nearest store of any variety was a mile away, I had to rely on friends and my roommate for the occasional beer run, McDonald's binge or grocery shopping.

Well this was one of those days. I bribed Andrew with the promise he could share the spoils if he would be so kind as to take me up to the store to grab some tasty domestic piss beer. It was a drinking kind of day. He agreed and so we proceeded to head out.

View Larger Map

That map was where we lived. And as you can probably tell, I could see all the way down to the intersection of the main road (Stop 18) pretty easily.

So as we got in the car, we noticed that there were several cars lined up leading to the exit. Considering there wasn't really ever any traffic on the road, we were both a bit curious as to what exactly was going on. Little did we know that our timing would bring us to a situation of helplessness and morbid imagery.

As you may have figured out, there was an accident. It just so happens that this accident involved a Ford Focus making a left turn and a helmet-less motorcyclist meeting the side of the Focus.

We pulled around the commotion and saw a body on the ground. People crying, some frantic on cell phones, several hunched over the body or on the ground trying to determine what they could do to help. We figured we had some obligation to make sure we did whatever we could to assist (mainly to make sure 911 had been dialed).

This guy was not dead. His face had taken a harsh beating and he was not moving a muscle. "He is barely breathing," announced one of the people. His head was drenched in blood, profuse bleeding continued through his nose. I will never forget that image- the blood was pulsing out of his nose and onto the gray pavement. The color was like a bucket of bright red paint, lightened by a bit of white- almost as if it were fake. Maybe it was fake? Maybe I was dreaming?

I was helpless. What the hell could I possibly do to help? I questioned the nearby people to make sure 911 had been called. Moments later I heard a siren, which I'd have thought would have happened sooner since we lived about one mile from the fire station.

It was then that I told Andrew we should move on. We had nothing to offer and would only be in the way. So, we did. And I felt guilty.

I was captive to my sympathies. From that moment on, I was trying to figure out if there was anything I could to help this guy. Was he even still alive? Could he pay his rent? Maybe I could help keep him from not having a home when he got out of the hospital? (I automatically assume everyone is broke like me and couldn't cover a day of rent without a job) I didn't even know him, how would I even find out? I had to do something.

I tried to call the nearby hospitals. I got one reply that was very vague, as expected. It seemed that he was in stable condition and that was all they would tell me, understandably.

Not a day went by that I didn't think about that guy. As it so happens, I had to pass this intersection every day to get to my bus. Not like someone in a car who can speed along to their destination. And not like most of the residents, who had no idea the event had occurred- they probably barely noticed the odd patch of crusty blond and dark-colored sand that the fire department used to clean up the scene.

I had to. I had no choice. I tried to play it out in my mind like some kind of detective. How in the hell did that guy manage to find himself in that dire of a situation on a quarter-mile road with clear visibility to the intersection?

And then I saw it. The start to the trail of doom. Narrow black streaks dug deep into the pores of the concrete, starting about four-hundred feet from the collision. He must have been speeding. But how fast could a motorcycle go in such a short notice? More importantly, why?

Answers I would never know. Questions I would never stop asking, as two times a day I had to pass this intersection on foot. Staring at blood-caked sand and broken bits of glass and metal- that over the next couple of weeks would all disappear- leaving a tiny black stain on the ground that would eventually itself blend back into the color of pavement.

About two weeks later, a cross. No name. No message. Just a white cross with a white flower planted on the corner.

My friend, being the internet guru that he is, eventually found the obituary. I had scoured the internet for several days and couldn't find anything. Small town Indiana, eh?

As it turns out, our victim had just gotten his crotch rocket that day, and in a testicular show to his friends, he whipped his bike down that road at the speed of light (about 70 mph), only to find that in the few seconds it took him to see the focus turning left, he did not have enough time to stop. The driver of the Focus must have been making her turn right as he came into view. She didn't have time to get out of the way.

I still feel bad for that guy. But I don't have much respect for crotch rocket operators. They have no idea how easy it is to fuck up their life. And someone else's. I am sure that girl that was driving the Focus will never forget that day and never stop asking herself what she could have done different.

But in all fairness, I don't think she could have done anything.





Since I decided to finish my degree in English (creative writing focus), I realize that I have to deal with poetry. And I have made many attempts to write vague poetry. It is supposed to be about raw emotion and things you can relate to experience. One of my to-be instructors has said that if I cannot openly share my experiences, for better or for worse, what's the point of sharing them? We are who we are, having been where we have gone. So here goes:

It all started with a spark
as it always did.
A passion in the heart
like a snare drum echoing emotion.

Red was the color of his eyes
as fire ignited his intensity.
Not paying attention to the band
he made them follow his own beat.

Red was the color of his face
as exhaustion soon set in.
So overcome with sweat and heat
nearly passing out but strong
with determination.

Red was the color of his blood
as his aggression carried on.
Breaking the stick that empowered him
and punctured skin.
He no longer knew the song.
But traded old stick for new
and carried on.

Red was the color of his blindness
shifting the passion to his feet.
The double bass reverberated
unwilling, with protest,
but unable to escape.

Red was the color of the welts
left upon black bruised indentations of the head
of that snare drum that he beat on
and beat on and beat on
until there was no more red.

Red is the color of the memory
from all who attended that show.
They will never forget the passion in him
that day.
As in him red
was the only color they'd ever known.

(This is not about a drummer. But I use it because I love music and relate to a drummer's passion.)

Please note that if you get the symbolism, I am not asking for emotional charity. Just writing as a writer is supposed to do.


Real Ghost Stories

There is something about me that not many people know. The reason not many people know is that I'm always afraid they'll think I'm just plain bat-shit crazy. I'm not crazy, not really, but I do have a few senses that most people don't have. There are others like me and others similar, but I still feel weird about it. So, I'm going to share it with Splattercore. You might think I'm crazy, but most of you are probably as nuts as I am. 

Firstly, I see ghosts. Sometimes.

The first time I ever remember seeing a ghost was when I was only about three years old. My parents and I lived in a little house in Saxapahaw, North Carolina, and it was Easter morning. It was raining cats and dogs, and I desperately wanted to hunt eggs outside. My mom and dad told me no, and that no one was hunting eggs outside in the rain. I wasn't the only one inside. 

Boy, were they ever wrong. When I looked out their bedroom window, there was about twenty kids following behind one adult, in a perfect line, walking up to the top of the hill where the old textile mill was. In my mind, I just knew that they were hunting eggs without me!

The ruins of a late 1800's mill in Saxapahaw, picture taken present day :)
So, I pointed out the window, and made both of my parents come see all those kids out there, going up the hill to hunt eggs.

They didn't see a damn thing. 

"But, b-b-b-b-but they're right there!" I screamed at my parents for nearly ten minutes, pointing at all those kids. They were going to get my eggs, dammit! 

Again, my mom and dad gave me a weird look and assured me there were no kids out there. 

I saw other things, too, but I don't remember many of them until I was in high school. My mom had just moved into the house that her father's father built from the ground up. She was excited with the move and loved the idea of being close to my grandma (who lived just a hop, skip, and a jump away), and she loved that she found old newspaper clippings in the walls when we moved in. 

I loved the history of that house, too. My great-grandfather was a moonshiner. During prohibition, many men (and women sometimes) made homemade hooch in stills they kept hidden from the law. My grandpappy was one of those hooch runners. Southern Appalachia was full of them, but it was a good way to get your alcohol and a good way to make money during the Great Depression some years later, too. On the mountain that he lived on, he was the only living soul there that had a vehicle during the depression. Oh, and he had horses and livestock that he didn't have to slaughter to survive-although, I know they did slaughter their own meat. They just didn't have to.

Well, my grandfather made his living moonshining for quite some time, and he married my Cherokee grandma, Betty. Betty was quite a looker. Tall, long dark Cherokee hair that hung down to her hips (like my moms and mine), beautiful big brown eyes, and really nice arms. My mom takes after my grandma Betty. They look exactly alike! 

Betty and my grandfather raised a small family in their little house up in the mountains. They had a young daughter and my grandfather and my grandfather's brothers. Well, when my grandfather was little, he was put in charge of watching my auntie (who was his little sister) while his parents were working outside. My grandfather was very little himself. Maybe seven or so...

Anyhow, he grabbed a rifle from his daddy's dresser and accidentally shot his baby sister. The bullet went through her and into a dresser behind her, bursting much of the wood from the end of the dresser. My great grandfather kept that damn dresser and my grandpa had to look at it every day until he left for overseas during WW2. 

Years later, when I was just fifteen, I saw my great auntie. I was watching a movie in the living room, and turned off the tv and vcr, then settled down to sleep on the loveseat. Before I got to sleep, the tv turned back on, then the vcr started making a noise. I looked up, and just beyond the tv stand, in the bathroom doorway, was my little auntie-but, I didn't even know she existed until a few days later. She was pretty. She had her hair in pigtail braids, very long and dark Cherokee hair. She had freckles on her face like my mama, and she was holding a kitten. She didn't speak, didn't smile, just stared at me. Later, my grandmother told me about her, and it gave me chills and I remember crying for about an hour over her death. My grandfather struggled with that for his entire life.

A few weeks later, I was sleeping in my bedroom, but heard a noise and thought I'd heard my mama calling for me. I looked into the doorway and there was a woman that looked like my mom, but wasn't her. She had long hair, braided to one side, dark Cherokee eyes, and I thought I was going to shit myself. Luckily, I didn't. It was my great grandma, Betty. 

I see ghosts from time to time, at the oddest times. I've seen miners walking home from the mine, carrying their axes and mining lights across the train tracks below my house. I've seen young, old, and in between. I'm sort of used to it now, but every time I see one, my heart leaps into my butt and I get chills.

I googled Saxpahaw, North Carolina a few days ago, though, and found out that the kids I saw were probably the children of Mill workers from the early 1900's. They went to school in the town and also worked in the Mill some, too. They were probably on their way up to the Mill when I saw them. I even found a picture. 

They took all my damn Easter eggs!


My Very Own Zombie

A good friend of mine is creating a new zombie image every day for the entire month of May. A few days ago, he made one just for me-a Clarke Gable Zombie (cause I love Gone With the Wind).

I wanted to share this zombie with you guys because I've never had my own zombie before!

The artist, David Naughton-Shires, even put my name in the poster...How about that? 

Anyhow, it got me thinking about what a zombie outbreak would really be like and if I could really have my own zombie version of Clarke Gable. What would I do with him? 
Here's one good idea: I'd tie him up in a shed in my backyard and feed people to him that I don't particularly care for. I'd take pictures with him and have him properly trained to fetch the paper. Then, I'd write a book about how to train your zombie. 

And I guarantee that if I had my own zombie around here, I wouldn't have much of a problem with neighborhood dogs scaring the shit out of me and keeping me pretty much locked up in my own house. 


Into the Bloodied Maw We Stare

(Blog inspired by Rhiannon, colored by Nat Geo, and not-so-much Nat Geo)

So you finally graduated high school and decided to pursue your scholarly ambitions. Or maybe not. Perhaps you decided to revive old dreams of being in the circus and putting up an exhibition of amazing feats for all of childlike society to adore. Whatever your motivation, you ended up taking the world by storm and brought to our table (as it seems most of us eat dinner watching TV anymore) a new feat of strength sure to prove the girth of your testosterone cannon.

Well, if you make it out alive that is.

I am not sure what it is about humans, but we never cease to amaze and be amazed. We look at nature with her violent, scorned-woman beauty and say to each other "I can control that." Then we set out to take nature by the horns, so to speak, and she never fails to remind us who is boss.

We even have TV shows dedicated to the ferocity of nature in animal form; time and again we look into the abyss lacking fear only to discover the abyss looks back. Not only does it look back, but it displays all its aggression and prowess with adornments so vivid that no imagination can recreate. But despite the warnings, we advance in what can only be reasonably dubbed our own courtship routine.

Often, we find ourselves staring at her in exquisite form and she flaunts. She adores the attention. Surely she appreciates being the subject of our educational programming, folklore, religion and canvas. She poses, inquisitive as to what we will have learned through time, but knowing that in reality we've learned nothing. Time and again we prove this human shortcoming; yet time and again she tries to give us the benefit of the doubt.

And so we take advantage of her seeming innocence and naivety. We sit in the distance watching for when the moment is right. Stealthily we creep in attempting to get closer. With our tranquilizer loaded we reach the range of attack. With a subtle movement of muscle we wage war on her body- watching her fall helplessly to the ground; once majestic and almost godly, now just a slumbering beast helpless to the devices of our rapacious innovation and cages. We then try to tame her. Dress her. Personify her- perhaps the most dangerous of our conquests.

And she plays along. For a while. But then she puts us right back in our place reminding us that we are the ones who should be alert to the lurking danger within the tall grass of the Serengeti.

WARNING: This video is graphic and quite disturbing. Watch at your own risk. Splattercore neither finds this entertaining nor do we advocate the harming of animals- especially ones doing animal things despite our best efforts to conquer them. Video supplied for the purposes of better illustrating (a) our stupidity as people and (b) the unfortunate consequence of anything dealing with mankind in regards to "the cost of doing business" with mankind.

Sadly, as we do with each other, when nature reveals the provoked chaos beneath the beauty, we are quick to claim "foul" and seek out the hired hand of vindication to make right that which we so often forget we made wrong. However, despite our best efforts nature always wins.

For she knows our beginning and she knows- nay, she is- the mistress of our demise.


Choose Your Adventure!!! (HEY- pick one, not every page!!! Cheater.)

Evil children
Our love of blood
Crazed maniacal teddy bears with one eye
Lunatic figures of bloody history
Video game blood
Crazy teens fascinated with death
Half bleached dancers/musicians with epic videos....

This is a portion of where we have been in a few weeks. And I must admit, I am impressed with what this group is creating. Now, it is your turn to take the director's chair. Pretend like it's one of those awesome "choose your adventure books"- you know, the ones you had so many fingers in but eventually ran out and had to accept the literary death you created from bad choices (upon bad choices, upon bad choices)?

Maybe there is a great movie we need to watch and spread the word about. Or maybe a book. Or perhaps a crazy topic we've not yet covered. Whatever it is, post your blood thirst here and I am sure we will think of something to share with the rest of the Splattercore zombies.

Okay, unoriginal, I know. So propose some ideas for what you would like our following to be called.

Either way- give us some ideas. Or bring us a shrubbery. Either will be dandy and well and burns nicely in Hell.



My Real Life Horror Story With A Panther

My mother grew up on a mountain (Barker's Ridge) in West Virginia, and we moved back up there when I was about 13. I moved first and lived with my Grandma and then a year later my mom followed and we moved into a house right below my Grandma's place. Mountain life was unlike anything I'd ever dreamed of before, and getting used to it was a big issue for me, but I took to it like a fish to water. Probably because mountain living is in my blood.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone in West Virginia lives way back in the boogey woods. My dad's family lived on a hill-what others (not from WV) would call a mountain, but what mountaineers see as smaller than a real mountain. I live on that same hill now (in Itmann, right below one of my uncles and my paternal Grandmother), so life on a hill is even way different than life on a mountain.

Barker's Ridge has bears, deer, coyotes, and all kinds of other creepy critters, and that was a big adjustment too. I loved to walk from my Grandma's place (quite possibly the highest point inhabited on that mountain) to my great uncle's house below a bit, and then out the strip and back. That was a great work out! I hated, however, making the trek from my grandma's house to my great uncle's house in the dark at six in the morning to catch the school bus. Then, when I moved in with my mom, right below my grandma, it was basically the same walk, except that my mom lived in this little holler-closer to the woods and even more out of the way of modern society.

I got used to it and it got to the point that bats flying ahead sometimes and deer sometimes stirring in the woods didn't scare me. I could sometimes even hear the occasional bear moving around further into the woods. I learned to identify which sounds could be threatening and which ones weren't. Bobcats scared me the most, but I learned that if you stamped your foot at them - if you see one - they scurry back into the woods scared to death of you. Problem solved.

When I was in the 9th grade, though, something very different happened. Something I never expected, and no one even told me about until about two years ago-long after high school had ended.

I got up one morning at 4:30 as usual so that I could take a shower and blow dry my hair and get ready for school as usual, in time to be to the bus stop by 10 til 6 (so that gave me ten minutes to sneak and smoke in my uncle's driveway). At ten til, I walked out the door of my house and up the driveway, hem hawing around with my backpack and carefully avoiding mud puddles so that I didn't get my shoes dirty. I think I even stopped once or twice to adjust my shoes and shift my super heavy backpack around.

When I got to my uncle's house, he was waiting for me on his porch, shotgun in hand. Usually, he was asleep because he worked night shift in the coal mines. When I made it to his porch, he had already anticipated my arrival and had the sliding glass doors open, quickly ushered me inside, and then said, "There's a coyote in your driveway. Don't go out there this morning. There's a whole pack of 'em in the woods. Stay in here until the bus comes and I'll wait with you."

One coyote doesn't scare me nearly as much as a pack of them, so I listened. The idea of being ripped to shreds by a pack of wild dogs before school didn't appeal to me very much. When the bus came, I got on-with my uncle standing at the door with his gun at his side-and I went to school a little shaken by the news of the coyotes, but the next day I walked to the bus stop as usual and no coyote activity. That meant I could smoke outside in peace.

Years later, I learned the real story. Sure, I was there to experience this, but apparently there were things I didn't know.

Apparently, the real story went something like this...

I left my house, through the front door, as usual. I stopped in the driveway to adjust things, and stopped to do whatever it is teenage girls do. I hem hawed over puddles and through rocks in the road. Meanwhile, I was being stalked.

By a big freakin' cat.

I'm sure to him I'd be rather tasty...
I'd heard my mom and grandma talking about the panther sightings on the hill and I'd totally rolled my eyes at them. A panther? On the mountain? Nah...

I couldn't have been more wrong. My uncle watched it stalk me and he held his gun at the ready in case the damn thing tried to grab me. He didn't make a sound for fear of spooking the cat. If the cat were spooked, I would have been a goner for sure. Panthers are just gigantic kitty cats. They play with their food first. It would have grabbed me from behind, went for my neck, possibly snapped it, and then played with me while I tried to get away. It would have left a blood trail from the overgrown driveway into the woods, and my mom would have just thought somebody or a bear maybe had killed a deer there in the middle of the night. Until I didn't come home from school that night, she'd have no way of knowing what happened to me.

About two years ago, my uncles finally told me about the story. I thought they were kidding at first, but then my mom confirmed that it was true and that they didn't tell me cause they didn't want me to freak out and never go to school again. It makes me wonder if they kept an eye on me after that, though lol. I'm sure that they did. I think...


I Told You It Came From Hell!!!!

This post is rated 1986 for colorful descriptions of morbid things and excessive use of the words "fuck" and "shit".

It was the 80s and back then, as I'd imagine it is now, there were toys that everyone had to get for their kids. These people would flock to their nearest store, beat the shit out of each other to get to the front of the line and then proceed to trample the remaining shit out of people to get to the stack of glorious toys.

Then they would beat the shit out of each other at the toy mecca. Sometimes they would take the toys and impale each other. Other times they would strap bombs to their tits and threaten to turn everyone into a steamy pile of cannibal's goulash if they didn't back the fuck off her toy, yo?

Yeah, not much has changed. Except now it seems we give kids guns as presents- so those grueling battles at the store are probably really interesting sometimes...

Well, as I was saying, it was the 80's and one fateful Christmas, my mother decided to do me the biggest favor she could: she bought me one of those toys. We're not exactly sure who told parents that this toy was the hottest item that year. We never really are. But, for some reason, parents were going ape shit to get their hands on one so they could be the hero for their little tyke who would shower them with a myriad of sentiments like "I hate you" and "stay the fuck out of my room" in only a few years.

So anyway, this toy ended up in my possession. My mom later recounts that she has no idea why she got me one. She knew nothing good would come of it- and it even scared the shit out of her. Nonetheless, I now share this experience with you from start to finish, hoping that in the therapeutic embrace of blogging and reading responses, we can all purge our minds of terrible childhood toys.

"Oh mother," I'd say, "thank ye so much for this fine specimen of toy. I shall indeed be the talk of the school when show-and-tell comes along. We'll dance, we'll chant, we'll giggle and rant. Why indeed it will be marvelous and I will be the envy of the lot! Thank ye much, mother."

Yes, I was an arrogant, well-spoken British chap at the age of Kindergarten.

Now, since a lot of you reading this are like ten and stuff, I figure I should explain. Teddy Ruxpin was a bear. Not just any bear, but a magic bear. He came with a book. Now, since this was the 80's and most of us didn't know how to read at that age, except for me because I was a bad ass, Teddy would do it for you.

Yes, Mr. Ruxpin was able to read along with you. His eyes would move, his mouth would flap, and he had a pleasant voice that would tell you of magical things and places.

In order to get him to talk, we had to use those D sized batteries and tapes. No, I will not explain to you what a tape is. But I will show you a wonderful commercial that will help fill in the imagination blanks:

I wish I could say that I would have become the most popular kid at school from the event, like that poor little fuck in the commercial. But pretty much if you grew up in a trailer park like I did, your parents beat the shit out of each other at the nearest Wal-mart and got you one too. So, when school finally started back up, needless to say, the popular kids were the pricks whose parents had a time machine, went to the year 2003 and bought their kids an iPod, then ventured back in time to make sure that they could prove their love with something no other kid was sure to have gotten.


So show-and-tell was basically a waste of time. And that was just the beginning.

Sometimes, late at night, Teddy Ruxpin didn't want to go to sleep. No, he had business to tend to. People to tie up and disembowel. Pentagrams to draw. Demons to summon. Unicorns to ride. Blood of virgins to smear on his face so he could become the most powerful wizard ever. You know, typical bear shit that most only dream of, but Teddy Ruxpin went out and got.

The only thing Teddy couldn't do was open a closet door. So, that's where the little fucker went. In the closet, at the bottom of anything I could pile on top of him. Batteries and tape removed. Closet door shut. I stopped putting my clothes up...

But I think I was wrong. About two months later, there was a story about some kid down the road who was thirteen and was found hanging from a tree by his intestines, scalp removed, odd markings all over his body, his blood dripping down his face. Police found a video tape of the murder. It went down like this:

Kid: (Playing Ghost Busters and stuff) Have no fear, the Ghost Busters are here!

Teddy: (lurking in the bushes) .

Kid: AAHHH! There's one right there!

Teddy: (now out of the bushes, right behind kid) You ain't afraid of no ghosts, but I'm a whole different motherfucker!

Kid: (turns around) Who said that? (looks down) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! WHAT THE FUCK?!! OH FUCK! OH SHIT! OH FUCK! OH FUCKSHIT!

Teddy: Scream all you want, but I'm Teddy Ruxpin and I'm going to eat your dinner now.

Kid: (stops screaming) What? You're going to eat my dinner now?

Teddy: (licks lips) Yes. Your bitch of a mother was too lazy to cook, so she made you one of those TV dinners that are all the rage now. You had chicken fried steak, corn and mashed potatoes made by Swanson. Quite delicious, albeit rubbery. Anyways, I am going to cut your gut now, and feast on your food that is partially digested. This is something that I have to do because as you can see, I have no teeth.

Kid: (backing away slowly) Um... What the...

Teddy: (advancing towards kid, pulling a Teddy Ruxpin-sized knife out of pocket) Don't run little man, I really hate chasing people.

Kid: (starting to run, Teddy in hot pursuit) GET AWAY FROM ME! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!

Teddy: HUZZAH! (slices kid's Achilles heel, kid falls to ground immobilized)

And basically Teddy did what he said he'd do. Pretty damn gross. He literally cut the kids stomach open, inserted a straw, started slurping out mushy chicken fried steak, corn and mashed potatoes and then lassoed the kid's intestine over a tree branch and hoisted him up.

The rest of the details are just too much to describe here. I am trying to keep this post rated "PG-13". No, not 1986 "PG-13", where uttering a curse word was enough to land you an "R" rating. Rather, "2011 "PG-13.

So, back to my story.

Once I learned of this, I did the only thing I knew I could do: I attempted to make Teddy blind, by gouging out his eyes. The only problem was that I underestimated Teddy's will to carry on.

We got into a tussle, Teddy started choking me. I punched him in the testicles. He whimpered, then went into a rage and started to bite my ear. Then he realized he was having no luck (because he doesn't have teeth, remember?) and started pleading for me to let him go. I caved, because I am a sucker for pleading. Set Teddy down, and made him promise he would never do evil again.

He looked at me with his remaining eye, tears streaming, Teddy-blood flowing from the empty socket, and promised he'd never do no evil again.

As you can see, Teddy's creepy factor went up ten-fold. I had no choice but to retire him to the closet again. He said he fully understood.

But what I didn't really understand at that naive age was the implications of a double-negative. For you see, when Teddy said "never do no", he did so intentionally to take advantage of my trusting mind. Having said that, he might as well have said "Hahahahahaha, I am going to kill you in your sleep and eat your dinner!", because that is in essence what he meant.

Stupid kids.

Anyway, mom remembers finding the disfigured toy in my closet once. We never talked about it again. He stayed there for the longest time. Until a few years later, when we were packing up to move, and I discovered that he was no longer there.....

So if you happen to be a parent, especially one in that suburb of Dallas I grew up in, two things: (a) Please don't buy your kid these shitty toys and (b) if you see an eyeless, two-foot tall demon bear in your house, kill it with fire! Unless you have kids like the ones I blogged about last week, in which case you should let them fight each other and catch it on film and post it on youtube for Splattercore to blog about.


PS: I am not kidding. That bastard disappeared and to this day no one knows how or why.


Taking A Blood Bathory

Artwork by my friend, Ian Misfit
We often think of gore and horror as only pertaining to books and movies, but sometimes we neglect some of the real life horror stories throughout history-the ones that modern books and movie scripts are usually derived and molded from, at least in part.

One of the goriest serial killers of all time has fueled vampire books and horror for centuries now. Many, many centuries actually. Some akin to the stories of Vlad the Impaler (my Dracula-yes, he's mine), the stories of Countess Elizabeth Bathory are some of the goriest, nastiest, bloodiest accounts of murder and blood-bathing (literally) ever. 

This woman was insane. Very, very insane.  She was only tried for the deaths of 80, though in reality, it's said that there were over six hundred! 

Some of the charges were as follows: 
  • biting hands, faces, feet, genitalia, etc.
  • sexual abuse
  • freezing them to death
  • performing surgeries on the victims-often fatal
  • burning or mutilation of the victims hands, faces, and sometimes genitals
  • starving victims to death
Bodies were often burned or buried in unmarked, shallow graves. Who really knows where she found all these women, but it's said that she had suppliers. I guess that adds human trafficking to her list of offenses, although in the sixteenth century I think that was actually allowed. Not sure. Either way, it's creepy. Can you imagine being bought only to be tortured, killed, and drained of your blood so that some bat-shit crazy Countess can bathe in it?

Oh yeah, Countess Bathory bathed in her victims' blood, according to legend, because she thought it was like stepping into a really twisted version of the Fountain of Youth. 

I know, however, that Bathory wasn't born to be a serial killer. She was born into society as a noble lady, part of society's nobility, I mean. Her family was of high society, as high as you could get in sixteenth century Transylvania. She was related to a Cardinal, a Prince, and a cousin who was the Prime Minister of Hungary. She married a Count, but he took her surname so that she could keep it (evidently her family was more popular than his). The Count was away at war through much of their marriage, and thus, a manservant in the Bathory household introduced Elizabeth to the occult. 

She bore several children after waiting ten years to start a family, and after 29 years of marriage, her husband-the Count-died in battle. This is when, according to my online sources, Elizabeth went bat shit crazy and began taking part in some pretty odd behavior. The first thing she did was send her mother-in-law away from the Castle. Not so bad, right? Well, then she began to take part in some freaky weird rituals involving animal sacrifices. She became so vain and obsessed with losing her beauty in that time. I read somewhere that she'd had a maid to comb her hair one day, but the maid accidentally pulled a strand. So, Bathory smacked the maid's hand so hard that it drew blood. A drop of the maid's blood hit Bathory's hand, and she swore that the blood maid her skin look younger. Elizabeth made her Major-domo and a servant strip the girl's clothing, cut her open, and drain the girl of all of her blood so that she could bathe in it. 

I really wish I were kidding.

After this, Elizabeth gained a few henchmen to carry out her dirty, bloody deeds for her. She found suppliers for her need for youth (she wanted young virgins, according to some legends), so she probably had a pretty steady stream of young women to kill. 

Once, a victim escaped her castle and told the authorities of the horrible atrocities that went on there. The castle was raided, and they found one dead girl, one half dead and full of holes, several in the dungeon that were pierced and full of holes, and 50 bodies were exhumed below the castle. 

A trial was held, and Bathory's two witches (yeah, this serial killer employed help from witches, too!) were executed. Bathory herself wasn't allowed to be executed because of her noble blood, so she was placed on strict house arrest.

The fact that her husband dying seemed to be what started this whole blood bath debacle made me wonder if the loss of love might have been part of the reason she went wacky (Get it? Wacky? *grins*). Or it could have been that after she watched her husband die and partially decompose she might have decided that she didn't want that to happen to her. Perhaps it was vanity that drove her mad. It was said that Elizabeth Bathory was one of the most beautiful women in her time. 

Think about it this way: back then, they didn't have embalming fluids-or at least they didn't use them if they did have them-and bodies would lay out for a day or two before being buried. Perhaps watching one who was close to her, that she may have even loved (arranged marriage, so it's hard to tell if she loved him or not) go through the changes of decomposition really, really fucked her up. Who really knows! 

All I have to say about her is this: I'd love....LOVE....to write a book about her. I may just do that one of these days.


The Smell of Death

Faster than the explanation of what's to come; faster than the hole to be dug; faster than the peace of death's needly kiss are those five seconds you get to say goodbye.

This blog site is dedicated to the grotesque and often bitter end to that which we all share in common as we read- life. We find ourselves constantly in the wake of an entertainment industry thriving on our gross curiosity and morbid fears. Many would look down upon us with loathe, thinking us some sick bastards who disrespect and mock the recurring theme of humanity we all have some fear of.

This may be true for some. Certainly there are morbid folks out there who take great joy in the decay of life. But nonetheless, death is a part of us, our culture and our celebrations. Why, this past Sunday, many celebrated the rebirth of a figure whose death promised them salvation- Jesus.

For me, it is not a sort of leisurely cheap entertainment. In fact, often I disconnect from scenes where death is displayed in colors more vivid than the forth of July aerial sparks we so fondly enjoy. My disconnect isn't a form of denial- but rather an acknowledgment and moving on- kind of like the social dysfunction we call promiscuity.

But today, when faced with the real whim of death, I did what most of us do... I died a little on the inside. Not so much because death occurred, for in this situation, death had already happened perhaps a month prior. No, I died inside for the same reasons that I think we, however small of a population (though I feel like everyone has this relationship in some fashion; be it in a movie, book, video game or music), all do when faced with it.

Peace. Jealousy. I used to have a theory that said we cried at funerals not simply because we will miss the one we love, but because we are jealous and feel great peace.

Jealous because they now know what we yet do not. Regardless of your faith and how much you have of it, one fact remains: none of us know for sure what lie on the other side. In this regard, I strongly believed that we were jealous of the dead. Their suffering and curiosity were both severed. Their time had come. They left us behind to wade in the morbid pools of anticipation.

Peace because especially when dealing with someone or something that has suffered for a long while, we feel relieved. We no longer have to deal with their outburst of abuses, deep ruses of their fear and strength. We no longer have to wonder when their last breath will draw near. We no longer have to take care of them, a task that we do out of love, but one we dislike greatly simply because we feel as if we are doing useless acts to calm inevitable storms.

Think me not insensitive. I cried. I am sad. I did not know this poor soul laid to rest well. I was not attached to him. But as I saw him accept his fate, long ago, witnessed by his lack of interest in holding on- which resulted in a rapid consumption of his mass and mind- I realized he was far braver than I.

He had a smell today, unlike anything I have smelled before and something for which I have no words. I knew, when taking him in, that his time was nigh. Having made all the necessary arrangements, and returning to him hours later, that final visit was all we had standing between us.

I had to carry emotions on behalf of other people who had fond memories. Those souls could not be there. I had to deliver their affections in the form of tears and sobs and comforting whispers. He could not look me in the eye. He knew what was coming but he also knew it had to be done. I think he felt like he was letting me down and putting me in this position of having to make that decision.

The doctor struggled with the needle- trying calmly and quickly to find a vein. He lay still not wincing with the pain of both needle and prediction. After what seemed to be hours, the correct placement of the needle was set and the long road of medicinal travels commenced.

Half-way through the process he let out some sound, a process that had to take a lot of effort as he had already lost the ability to communicate beyond whispers that day. And within seconds he passed to a slumber, his body unable to withstand the cruel force of gravity any longer.

We waited. Finally, the confirmation had to be, and was made. "He has passed," said the doctor with a rehearsed voice of comfort and professionalism. This was something he had done countless times before. How he managed to hold his composure is nothing short of a reality that his exposure to death had allowed him to find the beauty of it.

Wrapping Chekov in a towl, the doctor began to take him to the next step of the process which would prepare him for the final step. I had expected a sort of rigid reply from Chekov, having been under the impression that with death, stiffness sets in. However the bounty of peace we had just afforded him carried through with the total disconnect from his body. He was as flowing and responsive as the ocean, being pushed gently by the wind. His body rippled in response to the movement.

It is in this moment I realized that to some degree, my theory was not far off. Exposure to death prepares us for it. With each story, life lost, movie watched we become attuned to its call. We become peaceful to its cause. We realize that as cruel as it seems, this earth is not the end (we can talk about ghosts some time).

For the first time in my life I watched something die. I pushed the button, so to speak. I held him until he passed. Despite my distinct former fear of touching or being in proximity to the dead, I was able to pet his lifeless body and tell him I was sorry.

May you rest in peace. May you find comfort in death now for comfort humans and medicine could not and nature would not give to you in the last chapter of your life. I am very thankful that we are able to do for you what we cannot do for one another.

I shall not pursue this topic any longer for I have said all I intended to say. But in the macabre comes serenity. Thank you for showing me that, friend.

R.I.P. Chekov