Authors: Sam West
By Sam West
Copyright Sam West 2014
INTRODUCTION BY SAM WEST.
I love extreme horror. The chances are you do too, seeing as you’re reading this foreword. I wanted to write a novella that played homage to a vast array of my favourite horror films that I simply don’t have the space to list here. Such as Texas Chainsaw, Hills Have Eyes, the first Wrong Turn and anything Nightmare on Elm Street, even the TV series from the 80s. Seriously, I love Freddy Kruger
In my humble opinion, horror sh
ould be fun. I don’t mean laugh out loud funny, I mean entertaining.
Above all, you should have a good time, morals be damned. Because good horror, be it a book or a film, is a moral waste ground. It is a shameless exploration of our deepest, darkest fears. And let’s face it, our deeply buried, sadomasochistic desires.
a moral message is inserted the whole thing deflates like an old party balloon and you, the reader or film goer, end up feeling dirty and cheated.
Can you remember the reasoning behind the banning of A Clockwork Orange back in the 70s? It wasn’t because the film was violent and people got murdered and women got raped, it was because the
film was violent and the perpetrators
were having a good time doing it.
And that, to me, is what horror is all about. Personally, when I write horror I leave my morality, my principles, and my fundamental human decency at the door. The gleefully malicious, sick and twisted side of me rocks up and do you know what? I have an absolute ball.
writing this shit. I relish every last drop of blood that flows through these virtual pages, I savour the
of breaking bones and the blood curdling cries of the tortured…
I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
“Are you seriously fucking telling me I’ve trekked fifteen fucking miles for this?”
“Doesn’t look too bad to me,” Craig said, not believing it for a second.
Beth had a point, but all the same. He’d just about had it with her moaning. This was supposed to be
Note to self,
Next time I invite a girl I hardly know on holiday with me, don’t. I don’t care how fucking hot she is…
t those two ever wait for us? They’re always like a hundred miles in front.”
Maybe it’s because
they’re sick of listening to you moan, and because there are slugs that move faster than you,
Craig thought, but didn’t say.
“Come on, they’ve stopped, they’re waiting for us to catch up.”
Jessie and Tim had stopped at the fork in the path. Straight ahead the winding, cliff top trail continued into the far distance. Left led down into the village of Hanow.
Above, the sky threatened rain. It had been bright sunshine five minutes ago but now the wind stirred the surrounding foliage and the sea churned angril
y against the high, rocky cliff face. Jessie and Tim stood still, their bright blue, pull on macs flapping around their bodies.
“Jeez, what a dump,” Beth moaned.
Craig had to admit, the village wasn’t quite what he had been expecting. As far as he could see, it consisted of three tumbledown cottages. That was it.
Jessie threw him a smile as they approached and Craig’s stomach gave a little lurch. Even after a fifteen mile trek she still looked as fresh as when they had
first set off this morning. She positively glowed with happiness at being out in the great open.
oh why did she have to be his best mate’s girl? Maybe, if he looked more like Tim, then he would be with her instead. Tim was over six foot, broad shouldered, and in possession of dark, film star looks. Craig was too short, too blonde and too average. OK, so some chicks dug his boyish charms, but Jessie wasn’t one of them.
nd there he was, stuck with Beth the moaning ninny.
“Pub must be down
there somewhere,” Tim said. “I could murder a pint.”
They walked in pairs down the narrow, gr
avel road. Of the three cottages, one was boarded up. Thick planks of wood were nailed haphazardly over the windows. But the thing that struck Craig as odd was that the planks were on the
“Bit strange this
,” Tim called to Craig over his shoulder. “The old guy in the B and B said it was a village. Doesn’t look much like a village to me.”
“Yeah,” Craig agreed,
“I thought there’d be a shitload of holiday cottages here at least.”
“Who cares, I’m starving, and my feet are killing me. If
there aren’t any buses that go from this shithole back to Penzance I’m going to fucking kill you all,” Beth moaned.
Oh, shut up,
But Beth irritating him wasn’t at the forefront of his mind. Tim’s words were. He was right. Why would the old fart that had the B and B describe this place as a village when it blatantly wasn’t?
It was just a bit
It made him uneasy, but he couldn’t say why.
he road veered off to the left, taking them down into the heart of the village. If it could be called that. Craig figured it must be the centre because the pub was here. Just a pub. Nothing else. Nothing else except for wilderness, that is.
there’s a pub,” he said to Beth. “How bad can it be?”
She just glared at him.
Craig noticed that her mascara had run and her foundation had settled into orange patches on her skin. He wondered why she had bothered with makeup in the first place. Jessie hadn’t. But then, Jessie didn’t wear much of the stuff in the first place. Jessie didn’t need to. Beth, on the other hand, wouldn’t be seen dead without a full face of porn-staresque slap.
“It’s so pretty,” Jessie sighed. “I wish I lived in a place like this.”
“You’re kidding me right?” Beth grumbled. “I’d rather fucking
That can be arranged,
Craig thought uncharitably, then immediately felt guilty. He figured he was just tired and hungry. And fucking desperate for a pint.
They stopped in front of the pub. It was a long, squat building. The faded sign nailed to the stone wall proclaimed it to be ‘The Dirty Swallow.’
“Let’s hope they’re still doing lunch,” Tim said, pushing open the single door. “Or they serve dinner early.”
“Amen to th
at,” Beth said, hot on his tail.
Jessie, however, didn’t
move. She stood staring up at the pub sign, her pale eyebrows drawn together in a frown.
“What’s the matter?” Craig asked.
She turned to look at him and he felt his heart kick. She really was quite beautiful, even if not in an obvious way. Her jaw was too square and her pale lashed, grey eyes were too far set above the slightly too long nose to be considered conventionally beautiful. But to Craig, she was perfect. Absently she brushed a strand of natural, pale blonde hair off her equally pale forehead that had escaped the hairband.
“It’s a funny name for a pub, don’t you think,” she said, turning her attention back to the sign.
Craig shrugged. “I guess.”
“I don’t know, it’s just,
” She grinned. “Hey, ignore me, shall we go in?”
Craig felt the first raindrop land in his eye.
“After you,” he said, holding open the door for her.
It was dark inside. Once Craig’s eyes adjusted he took in his new surroundings. Everything inside was wood.
Black wood. The floor, the bar, the long tables and benches, even the ceiling.
nd Beth were already at the bar.
The four of them were the only customers in there.
“Do you have a wine list?” Beth was asking the old lady behind the chest height bar.
Oh Jeez Louise…
The old woman shook her head. When Craig drew closer he realised she wasn’t that old. She was stooped, and had obviously dyed blonde hair pulled up in a bun. On second glance she looked nearer
fifty than eighty. Her mouth looked sunken from lack of front teeth, maybe that was what made her look so ancient.
“Well, I’ll have a pint of bitter. Better make that two,” Tim said, nodding towards Craig. “Jessie? What would you like?”
“Just an orange juice thanks.”
“Me too,” Beth added.
“With a double vodka, seeing as the staff here wouldn’t know a decent wine if it came up and bit them on the…”
“Beth!” Craig snapped. “Come and sit down with me, let Tim bring the drinks over.”
Craig was mad at her. Why couldn’t she behave like Jessie? He hadn’t known she was this bad.
Well, he hardly knew her at all, not really. All he knew was she liked having her tits sucked when she rode him, she took her coff
ee black and she listened to the kind of crappy, boy band pop music that made him want to kill himself.
Shit, he should’ve dumped her for that alone, not invited her away on
with them. But Tim had kept on and on with the, ‘you gotta bring someone.’ So he had.
What a huge fucking mistake.
“I’ve got blisters on my fucking blisters,” she moaned, kicking off a brown walking boot to massage her foot.
He studied her face. How did he ever think she was cute? Her features were all scrunched up, kind of reminding him of a gerbil
. Her nose was short and snub, her eyes small and close set and her mouth narrow. Her chin was weak and without makeup, or in this case, with smudged makeup, she was amazingly plain. Her roots needed doing too, he duly noted. There was a dark line along the parting of her long blonde hair.
had a banging body though. She was short and slim, but she rocked the most perfect curves Craig had ever seen. Her tits were full and high, her waist tiny. All four of them wore the same bright blue, pull on rainmacs that they had picked up cheaply in a gift shop in St Ives for this hike. Yet Beth still managed to look like she should be starring in some sleazy pop video, shaking her booty.
Tim came up with the drinks.
“The lady behind the bar says they’ve stopped serving lunch but her husband is still in the kitchen and she’s gonna ask him to rustle us up some sandwiches.”
“I would hardly call that withered old thing a
” Beth scoffed.
“Oh come on Beth, she’ll hear you,” Craig hissed.
“I don’t care,” she said in a loud voice. “I’m hungry. I’m sure her husband hasn’t got anything better to do, we’re doing them a favour, I doubt they see much business.”
The sound of a throat clearing made them all
snap round their heads.
“Michael says he’ll be happy to
make you something to eat.”
All four of them stared at her.
Craig almost choked on his beer when he saw that the old hag was unmistakably
The flowing, patchwork skirt she wore billowed out from her heavily pregnant belly. It looked like she might drop at any second.
Jessie, dear, sweet Jessie was the one that knew what to say.
“Oh, you’re expecting, congratulations. You must be due soon. Is this your first?”
But she’s fucking ancient,
how is that even possible?
“I’m due anytime now
. And no my queen, it’s most definitely not my first. Are you folks here on holiday?”
Tim was the next to speak. He appeared to have sufficiently composed himself and his easy charm was back. He threw the old lady one of his special ‘Tim’ smiles, a smile that cracked open his entire face and made knickers drop.
“Yeah, we’re staying in a B and B in Penzance. Actually, we wanted to ask you something.” He rooted through his backpack as he spoke, and pulled out an old bus timetable. “Says here that the last bus leaves from Hanow to Penzance at six pm. Would you mind pointing us in the direction of the bus stop?”
The old/young woman chuckled. “
There’s no busses that go from Hanow, my ‘andsome. My guess is your staying at old Jake’s Bed and Breakfast, The Jolly Sailor?”
Er, yeah,” Tim said, “how did you know that?”
“Because he’s a bugger for handing out
out of date timetables to unsuspecting tourists. I think he does it for kicks, he ain’t been right in the head since his wife passed on, God rest her soul. Did you even check the date on your timetable?”
Tim frowned, and studied the pamphlet. “Shit. It says two thousand and seven.”
“Ay. Hanow hasn’t been near a bus route for many years. Not since they built more of them fancy roads. We’re a bit off the beaten track, so to speak. Used to be that a mile hike would take you onto the main road. But the main road moved, now you walk two miles and you get to a road no one uses no more.”
“Oh my God Tim, how could you be so stupid? That
fucking years old.” Beth snapped.
“Hey, it’s not my
fault, I didn’t see any of you guys wanting to read the timetable. I said the last bus left at six and you all blindly took my word for it.”
of bloody checked the date of the thing,” Beth went on.
Craig threw her a look and it seemed to work. She sat there sulking, her arms folded across her chest.
“Tim’s right, it’s not his fault, we all should have checked,” Jessie said, ever the peace keeper. “What’s your name?” she asked the woman.
“Margaret. It’s a pleasure to meet you, and thank you so much for going out of your way to feed us. My name’s Jessie, and this is Tim, Craig and Beth,” she said, nodding to each of them in turn.
“You’re more than welcome, my ‘
andsome, and it’s a pleasure to meet y’all too. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, and all.”
“It doesn’t matter, we’
ll just call for a taxi,” Craig said, thinking aloud.
“You do that,” the woman called Margaret said. “But if
you want to, there are two double rooms going free above the pub. I used to have a B and B, but I gave it up when the family started growing. You folks are welcome to stay here for the night. You can even stay for free.”
“We couldn’t possibly
take advantage of you like that,” Jessie said.
But Craig got it. Jessie didn’t want to stay in
Hanow anymore than he did. Seems like he wasn’t the only one to be creeped out big time by this pregnant old hag.