Night Terrors: the curse

PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields
PHOTO PROMPT – © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

June 1970, in an old abandoned hospital

Sandra Berrier was getting worse. Her father toiled day and night, going without sleep for days; he had to find a cure quick.

Trial after trial and no success; just when he was about to give up, he noticed a certain quietness in the lab. All the test subjects were sleeping peacefully. The drug worked!

When they awoke, the subjects were alert and responsive…and pain free.

He injected his daughter with the serum. She responded quickly. “Daddy, I’m better!”

Running to his daughter’s open arms, what he saw next drove him over the edge.

This story is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. click the link to discover more stories based on the photo prompt. For the rest of the Night Terrors series, click this link: NIGHT TERRORS

Night Terrors…so far

Each week, a new installment of my series ‘Night Terrors’ can be found on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers. By following the rules of the blog, each episode is just 100 words long, and has to stand on its own as a work of fiction.  Here is the complete series …so far.

I

October, 1958

She used to love to watch the whales, and the birds.

Little butterfly buckles swinging from her pigtails as she laughed and danced with her daddy.

Then it hit her.

Like a thief in the night, her life was stolen.

The disease was rare, and incurable, and hopeless. A life of constant pain.

Her daddy was a scientist who vowed to devote entire his life to find a cure. he would risk everything to succeed, including his reputation and even his life.

When Jonathan Berrier began his experiments, he did it for all the right reasons. Things would eventually change.

II

December 1962

In a lab hidden deep in the amazon jungle, a man is seen pouring a strange liquid into a test tube. He takes the mysterious substance to a room where an agitated man is tied to a chair. The moment the liquid is administered, the subject goes quiet.

“Finally! It works. This elixir will calm mental patients so that they can be diagnosed  and properly treated.” Jonathan was overjoyed with his discovery.

His biggest challenge was finding test subjects. At first he had no problem, as the country’s maximum security prison provided more ‘volunteers’ than he would ever need.

III

sometime in 1969

The first tests were easy. Driven by the need to help his daughter, Jonathan stopped at nothing to find a cure. Treating the prisoners as if they were lab rats, he  kept them in locked cages while he toiled with his experiments.

As he infected his test subjects, he was able to monitor any changes in their symptoms. Many of them died on the table, unable to withstand the pain. All this while his daughter dealt with the disease and hardly ever complained. Those men were weak and didn’t deserve to live while his daughter bravely fought for her life.

IV

June 1970, in an old abandoned hospital

Sandra Berrier was getting worse. Her father toiled day and night, going without sleep for days; he had to find a cure quick.

Trial after trial and no success; just when he was about to give up, he noticed a certain quietness in the lab. All the test subjects were sleeping peacefully. The drug worked!

When they awoke, the subjects were alert and responsive…and pain free.

He injected his daughter with the serum. She responded quickly. “Daddy, I’m better!”

Running to his daughter’s open arms, what he saw next drove him over the edge.

V

October 1971

Jonathan certainly didn’t foresee the side effects of his experiments. Although the test subjects calmed down, there were complications. Within days, the subject’s muscles tightened, their arms deformed, and tumors covered their entire body. Despite these massive changes to the subjects’ bodies, not one of them exhibited pain. This wasn’t what Jonathan wanted to accomplish.

For now, Jonathan decided to promote his elixir as a pain killer. His subjects became addicted to the elixir, and would do anything for more.

In December 1971, one of the test subjects escaped. Fully aware of his appearance, he chose only to come out at night.

VI

January 1972

The pain was getting worse. The medication he was given prior to his escape was wearing off. He had to get to a phone and call for more.

He waited until the sun set before making his way to town. Next to a burger joint, he found a payphone. Although he swore never to contact that madman again, his addiction to the meds and his immense pain caused him to do otherwise.

“Jonathan! I need an injection!” He pleaded.

The voice at the other end of the phone said calmly “Bring me more test subjects and maybe we can talk!”

VII

Present Day

Tiny dust storms formed as his hard, cold feet hit the dirt road.

A pair of cheap Wal-Mart sneakers and tattered coveralls that came from good will, he was nothing special to  look at. In fact, he seemed invisible wherever he went. Most people simply ignored him (mostly out of sheer terror) and he liked it that way.

Each day he left his ramshackle home to go to the convenience store down the road. He rarely bought anything; choosing instead to sit on the front porch and stare at passersby. His unshaven face and dirty clothes sent shivers to anyone who happened past him, as they quickly hurried on their way.

His eyes seemed to stare right through you, as if he could read your soul, and he rarely spoke. Many believe that he could not utter a word even if he tried. Little kids called him the Devil, but we all knew that he was much worst.

He smelled too; like the cheap weed that he sometimes smoked while sitting in the center of town. The local police seemed to let him do whatever he wanted, as if they feared him as well. When he wanted something, he simply took it, the store owners only too happy to see him go.

He had a child you know, with a girl he took one night. She was the daughter of a local, and although the town searched frantically for her, her body was never found. Some guess that he burned her when she was no longer useful to him.

The child was born so disfigured, it was difficult to determine whether she was male or female, or is she was even human. She lived every bit of ten years, and could be seen scuffling behind the man, her malformed legs all mangled and filled with hair that resembled that of a goat. On her head, it appeared as if she had two small horns, which locals attributed to small tumors. Her face was filled with growths as well, again thought to be tumors. She never learned to speak, instead letting out grunts and murmurs as she stumbled behind that monster of a father.

One night he came to town, his daughter in his arms. It sounded as if he had been crying, but we all know that monsters don’t cry. He threw her lifeless body on the ground and proceeded to light a fire in the center of town. When the flames were at their highest, he threw her dead body into the fire, and watched as the night air filled with the scent of her burning body.

Although some watched in terror, none moved to stop him. With a screeching sound of despair, he dug through the ashes with his bare hands and collected what remained of his daughter, and headed out of town. He never even bothered to bury what was left of her body, choosing instead to discard her carcass in the ditch along the way back to his home.

Other girls were ‘collected’ by the beast throughout the years, but nobody was aware of what he used them for…nobody except for Jonathan Berrier of course.

Night Terrors VI: Locked Cages

This is the latest installment of my Night Terrors series, and my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Be sure to check out the froggy link at the end of the story for more tales based on the photo prompt.

The first tests were easy. Driven by the need to help his daughter, Jonathan stopped at nothing to find a cure. Treating the prisoners as if they were lab rats, he  kept them in locked cages while he toiled with his experiments.

As he infected his test subjects, he was able to monitor any changes in their symptoms. Many of them died on the table, unable to withstand the pain. All this while his daughter dealt with the disease and hardly ever complained. Those men were weak and didn’t deserve to live while his daughter bravely fought for her life.

PHOTO PROMPT – © Claire Fuller
PHOTO PROMPT – © Claire Fuller

career choices

I was sixteen when I told my parents that I wanted to be a logger. My dad almost cried. Dad worked as a logger (and practically anything else he could find) for many years and his only wish was for me (and my siblings) to do something better.

They both coaxed me to do something else, like college or even trade school. I didn’t think I was ready to leave home at 16, so I opted to do a program at a local college. Clerk Accounting was the only program where there were seats available.

Armed with a terrible set of math skills, I attempted the program. I hated math throughout grade school and I hated it in trade school. One thing I did like were the girls in the business courses…perhaps the only reason why I continued the course.

The instructor told me that my writing was atrocious. Not knowing what the word meant, I thanked him for the compliment and continued to do my writing as sloppy as I had been, sometimes even more sloppy in hopes of another great compliment from him. I didn’t get one.

By Christmas it was obvious I wasn’t going to work as an accountant. BORING! Even if I could manage to finish the course, I wouldn’t want to work at this. I missed the outdoors and wanted to work along with my dad, in the woods.

After Christmas, all students in the Clerk Accounting program had to go out on a work term. Mine was with a now defunct building supply company. The owner was insane and never spoke one word to me the entire time I was there, (Two of the longest weeks of my life) and his sons (the manager and assistant manager) were as rude as the senior.

They wouldn’t let me do anything. Each day I was to sit and stare at an empty general ledger. This was done while sitting in an abandoned office next to the toilet. What a smell!

The only time anyone spoke to me was when the toilet was occupied. Being sixteen, nobody took me serious, not even me!

Back at the college for two more months of suffering. Typing and office management courses. I must say, the only thing I took from the entire program was my typing knowledge. I learned to type on an old manual Sears typewriter. I was second fastest typist in the school, bet only by a limber fingered girl who I had a crush on.

Trouble with learning to type on a manual typewriter? I pound the keys. I usually go through two keyboards per year, (Even now!!)

One day the instructor approached me. He said that my math grades weren’t high enough to pass the course (big surprise), and that he recommended that instead of working to obtain a Clerk Accounting diploma, I should work towards a Bookkeeping certificate instead. This meant that I would be moved from the CA class and into a female filled Bookkeeping classroom. Of course I agreed!

I didn’t do well with that class either. I spent too much time looking at all the girls. Remember, I was sixteen. (youngest graduate in high school that year) I bet I would have scored 100% if I was tested on the names of the women in the classroom!

Anyway, once I finished the school year, bookkeeping certificate (worthless anywhere in the world) in hand, I quickly traded my general ledgers and pencils for a chain saw, and did what I always wanted to do….for twenty years.

I am working at a great job now, but still look back fondly on all the years I worked alongside my dad, cutting pulpwood, chatting, and basically loving life.

Night Terrors: Jonathan’s back story

PHOTO PROMPT – © C.E.Ayr
PHOTO PROMPT – © C.E.Ayr

She used to love to watch the whales, and the birds.

Little butterfly buckles swinging from her pigtails as she laughed and danced with her daddy.

Then it hit her.

Like a thief in the night, her life was stolen.

The disease was rare, and incurable, and hopeless. A life of constant pain.

Her daddy was a scientist who vowed to devote entire his life to find a cure. he would risk everything to succeed, including his reputation and even his life.

When Jonathan Berrier began his experiments, he did it for all the right reasons. Things would eventually change.

This story is part of an ongoing series entitled ‘Night Terrors’, and my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. Check out my site for more on this story.

For more stories based on the photo prompt, click on the little froggy.

Night Terrors: The call

PHOTO PROMPT – © Madison Woods
PHOTO PROMPT – © Madison Woods

The pain was getting worse. The medication he was given prior to his escape was wearing off. He had to get to a phone and call for more.

He waited until the sun set before making his way to town. Next to a burger joint, he found a payphone. Although he swore never to contact that madman again, his addiction to the meds and his immense pain caused him to do otherwise.

“Jonathan! I need an injection!” He pleaded.

The voice at the other end of the phone said calmly “Bring me more test subjects and maybe we can talk!”

This is the fourth installment into the series Night Terrors, and also my entry into this weeks’ Friday Fictioneers.  Please check out my blog for the other episodes.

P.S.

The little froggy is your link to more stories based on the photo prompt. Be sure to check them out!

Night Terrors III: Side Effects

PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods
PHOTO PROMPT -© Madison Woods

I am currently working on a series entitled ‘Night Terrors’. Using the weekly prompts from Friday Fictioneers, I plan to bring  you the entire series.

Be sure to check out the rest of the story here:

Part I Night Terrors

Part II Jonathan Berrier

Jonathan certainly didn’t foresee the side effects of his experiments. Although the test subjects calmed down, there were complications. Within days, the subject’s muscles tightened, their arms deformed, and tumors covered their entire body. Despite these massive changes to the subjects’ bodies, not one of them exhibited pain. This wasn’t what Jonathan wanted to accomplish.

For now, Jonathan decided to promote his elixir as a pain killer. His subjects became addicted to the elixir, and would do anything for more.

In 1971, one of the test subjects escaped. Fully aware of his appearance, he chose only to come out at night.

This is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers. click on the little froggy for more stories based on the photo prompt.

Flash Fiction: Jonathan Berrier

PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan.
PHOTO PROMPT © G.L. MacMillan.

Before reading this story, and my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers, please read the first part of this new series. You can follow this link. Night Terrors.

December 1962

In a lab hidden deep in the amazon jungle, a man is seen pouring a strange liquid into a test tube. He takes the mysterious substance to a room where an agitated man is tied to a chair. The moment the liquid is administered, the subject goes quiet.

“Finally! It works. This elixir will calm mental patients so that they can be diagnosed  and properly treated.” Jonathan was overjoyed with his discovery.

His biggest challenge was finding test subjects. At first he had no problem, as the country’s maximum security prison provided more ‘volunteers’ than he would ever need.

for more stories, click the little froggy.

ORB

As the two tiny boys played with their toys, one of them noticed it. Immediately he began to crawl towards the amazing orb. Reaching out to touch it, maybe taste it, the small boy was enveloped in its aura. Soon he was one with the thousands of amazing colours that made up the mysterious object.

Too young to realize that his sibling had disappeared, the other boy crawled toward the object as well. He too could not avoid the temptation to touch it. The room was now empty, except for the mysterious ball that has now changed its colour to match the floor. The ball begins to roll up the wall and as it smashes through the window, the tiny slivers of glass also become part of the ball, possibly adding to its energy.

Rolling down the street almost invisible, nobody notices it, except for a stray dog who follows it until the ball rolls into a corner. The ball then begins to shrink, but before it can fully disappear, the dog wolfs the object down, gives a loud burp, and then continues on his way….

The rest of this story is sheer terror. Stay tuned.

The Wooden Rose: Number 16

PHOTO PROMPT © Dee Lovering
PHOTO PROMPT © Dee Lovering

The tenants of the retirement home were sleeping in their beds; either from exhaustion from this morning’s tragedy or from the drugs they were administered. Not everyone was sleeping. One sour looking old soul sat rocking in her chair, smiling as if nothing had happened. She never lost sleep over death, after all, she was responsible for the murders of over fifteen men throughout her lifetime.

Now, in her 90th year, one would hope that she finally retired. That is what Peter thought. He fell in love with Stella the moment she moved into the home. He quickly became number 16.

The fifth and final installment of The Wooden Rose is my entry into this week’s Friday Fictioneers.  I am working on a new series for Friday Fictioneers. you can read the first installment HERE: NIGHT TERRORS

Click on the little froggy for more stories based on the prompt.