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My short story entry

Congratulations to the winners! I thought the prize winner's one was quite charming. So that was why you never saw kids on the station, they were hiding from Kosh. But what did Kosh MEAN by 'Boo', eh? EH? EH? Anyway, here's my effort. A little darker...

A knife sliding straight and sharp through his mind. A terrible fear of what could be standing in a corner, smile in place and blade in hand. Samuel froze, an overpowering sense of silent terror upon him. He was frightened, but then he spied the candle upon the mantelpiece. He reached out deep into his memory and snagged upon a Hallows Eve with a long gone childhood friend of his. They had sat in the dark and played a game, torches lit under faces. It was an old game, the telling of scary stories. He recalled how his friend broke and ran back to the house, crying. How his guardian had scolded him. He had frightened him good.

And now it was Samuel's turn to fear the dark. The shadows reached out and slid over the couch and coffee table. Swirled like a cloud of ink around him drawing closer and closer. He could almost feel it pressing against his skin - pricking the hairs on his back. Samuel swallowed and reached for a data crystal. He slipped the crystal into the machine and selected 'Blinded by the Sun', desperately cultivating an air of calm. His mind plucked at the words as they sang out, a deep throbbing bass and the ethereal voice of a beautiful singer filling the room. He smiled and sank back into the couch. He allowed the words to form a barrier against the dark, focusing on every nuance of the song. But as the calm pulse of the music began to fill his mind a terrible whisper joined it. A choking and rasping voice seething sleepy corruption and decay. A vision of an old film star accompanied the voice, the words 'Love' and 'Hate' tattooed on his knuckles - eyes a swamp of cold hatred. He smiled in a sick, cloying way and beckoned. He looked as if he was gagging on syrup, when he smiled. The image pressed upon the edges of his mind, blotting out everything. And then...

The man changed into an old memory of a haunted face. A face Samuel knew. The candle snuffed itself out. The man cut his hand open upon his knife, and then dragged the knife down across his palms and along his wrists opening up the veins. Samuel let out a silent scream. His mind clutching at nothing as did his hands. And then a sudden flash of light and the man was gone and the darkness was gone. The music slid effortlessly into the second track. Samuel poured sweat. The door chimed. He turned towards it, mopping his brow and trembling.

The door swung open. Against the harsh light of the corridor stood two little boys and a girl. They were dressed immaculately in neat little shirts and trousers and held out bags, waiting to be filled with candy. 'Trick or treat!' they chorused, shrilly.

'Yes... of course,' mumbled Samuel, attempting to smile. He reached for a bowl next to the door and dropped sweets into the bags. The children stamped about and laughed. And then they fell silent as a man drew in behind them. He was a shortman just entering his latter years, brown hair and easy smile. He nodded at Samuel.

'I am sorry if they were a little rough, Samuel,' he said.

Samuel shook his head, fingering his Psi badge. 'No, please, don't be,' he said, 'They have to learn.'

'And they always learn best when they think it's a game. I remember my first time, some kid hit me with a vision of a Lovecraftian Vorlon. I had nightmares for weeks. There's something about a child's imagination when it comes to terror... we find it hard to fight it. They'll make good Psi-Cops someday, the man smiled, satisfied. 'But still I'm sorry that Jenny here had to resort to dredging your memories. Your father... I'm sorry. My mistake... I should have placed a block.'

Samuel nodded. He knew Bester, knew that he could see everything inside. There was no point in holding stuff back. There was no shame, no embarrassment. Bester shooed the children away as the first tears stung at Samuel's eyes. And then Bester was there for him, holding him and sending out signals of sympathy and comfort. And if Bester's eyes watered at the vision of Samuel pounding his tiny hands at the glass as the black bus pulled him away from his father standing on the lawn... knife at wrists... then he was only human.
Let's do the time warp again! (that love-hate was a reference, riiiiight?)

Ooo. That was really quite good. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif I never thought of what PsiCops might go through on Halloween. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Hurrah! Praise from Caeser!

It was a reference indeed, but not the one you think. It was to Robert Mitchum in 'Night of the Preacher', whose sleepy eyes of corruption have long haunted me. Thang yew!
I knew it was a reference in RHPS, too, but I never knew to what. Thank you for informing me. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
It's sourced in some kind of biblical reference, possibly?
With reference to dealing with your enemies, one on hand you've got love/forgiveness and on the other hand hate/vengence? Sounds like a parable in there somewhere.
Oh I like this one! Spooky and raising some interesting issues about what Halloween must be like for telepaths. Nice one!

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