2012. That's when they said the world would end. Well, they were partially right. That's when it all started to fall apart, but it was a matter of progression. There was no great Earth shattering destruction like in the Hollywood version. The religious community had it...

Why do we feel So safe in the light, With nerves of steel So free of fright, When darkness lies Round every bend, And sleeps inside The most trusted of men? For even with the sun, Riding high in the sky. All its light is undone, If you just close your eyes. Within that darkness, Behind closed lids Lie...

I met her by the willow tree, That by itself does stand, Beside the old dirt road that leads, Into a long forgotten land. The road no longer has a name, Its dirt is of the deepest red, That on the days when it does rain, The road appears to have been...

The time period is the late fifties. Liesel has thick, shoulder-length, dark red hair that curls at the bottom and she wears a pale yellow dress that snugly fits her thin frame and accentuates curves that are not there. The color of her dress matches...

Chapter 1 The sounds of people screaming filled my ears and a dull pain was throbbing in my head. I realised I was lying on a cold, hard surface and I had a faint metallic taste in my mouth. I gave a splutter and opened my eyes; they felt like they were full of needles. I waited for my pain filled eyes to focus as the swirls of colours around me began to form shapes which gradually became more and more detailed. The world lay on its side and I saw broken, half demolished buildings weep fire and smoke. The sky was a dark shade of crimson. The sounds of screaming just wouldn’t stop, but…I couldn’t see anyone that could be making the noises. The surface I was laying on turned out to be the remains of a road, the cracked tarmac beneath me was freezing. I peeled my face off the frigid ground and sat up, every bone in my body ached and I found it very difficult to move around without a sharp pain jolting through me. I rubbed my throbbing head and groaned. A woman began wailing shrilly above the other screaming voices, but she stopped suddenly and her cries were replaced with a gurgling sound which also cut out and the other screams filled the void. I looked at the raging inferno that used to be Des Moines, the capital of Iowa and stood mesmerised. How could this carnage have taken place in the few hours I had been asleep? I looked around me. I shuffled around three hundred and sixty degrees on my ass. The entire city was completely destroyed. The buildings were in ruin, the mainframe of the high rise apartment blocks and the office buildings were all crumbling. The windows were broken and fire spewed from them, licking at the air that had been tinted a foul grey. I remember the night before, everything was how it should have been; I recall giving my friend Rebecca a call in the evening to organise something at the weekend, we were going to go bowling…after that I went on my computer for a few hours and watched a horror movie before going to bed, a fact which I’m beginning to regret. With the thoughts of demons and killers racing through my head, I called it a night and fell asleep in an instant (The fear of a murderer residing under my bed had long since vanished). If something was wrong, or if something happened I would have known right away. The apartment I live in overlooks the whole city and the walls in my room are paper thin so the slightest little noise, every scratch, every bump, everything. There is no way this could have happened in such a short space of time without me knowing about it. Unless...unless I had been asleep for much longer than I thought. Yes, perhaps I was drugged or maybe I had been hit over the head. That would explain me being slumped down on the tarmac. That fucking tarmac was so damn cold. That couldn’t have been the case though, unless I was kept under constant sedative for a very long period of time - which seemed rather pointless to me if I was going to be dumped into the street anyway - there is still no way in hell that the entire city could have been destroyed in the time it would have taken for me to wake up. So what the fuck could have done all this? The screaming never stopped. With a great strain I crawled on my hands and knees and awkwardly pulled myself onto my feet and that’s when I noticed it; the tarmac around was covered with dirt, I mean plastered, buried, there was just dirt everywhere as far as the eye could see. All except the one little area I had been lying in. I froze in place, for some reason I did not like the look of it at all. There was something, I don’t know how else to say, wrong with it... The dirt was heaped very evenly as though someone had carefully applied set amounts to set areas of land and then levelled them out with utmost perfection. It must have taken god knows how long to do. How would someone even go about doing something like this anyway? What would they need to put dirt on the ground in a city for? It’s not like any crops could grow in the middle of the road. And, the question that made me shudder the most: Why? I had a niggling feeling in my head, an instinct if you will, to stay away from the dirt, not to touch it no matter what. I didn’t know why I felt that way, but I usually follow my gut with these sorts of things. I had no idea what I was going to do when I became hungry, felt the urge to sleep, required shelter in the event of a downpour or storm, or when I felt the need to urinate (I felt like not even my piss should be allowed to touch this cursed soil), but for the time being I decided to just stay in my little bald patch of tarmac and sit tight in the hope that someone might come staggering from the ruin looking for help. In my heart however, I knew this just wasn’t going to happen. I tried stretching my arms and legs in an attempt to relieve myself of the aching in my body, thinking that perhaps I was just hurting from the cold. Another high pitched scream, what the hell could be making those sounds? There isn’t a damn thing there! After about half an hour of pacing up and down my few feet of clean land, I began to feel a little better, but a new feeling which was just as bad as the aches and pains had replaced the old. It was an inescapable feeling of total dread, like something was about to come crashing ferociously from behind one of the ruined structures at any minute and tear me apart. The screams began to get to me, at every cry of anguish I whipped round in a fear filled frenzy to try and identify where each one was coming from each time to no avail. The dread within me grew and grew at every yell, every dull moan, and every screeching voice. I lost track of time, although it felt like an eternity and I was sadly aware that I had developed a paranoid routine from which I could not break: Scream. Jump. Look around wildly. Tense up nervously. Relax. Scream. I felt like screaming myself, I was beginning to cramp up from being tensed for so long. My fear spewed out of me in the form of frightened yelps, cold sweats and neck hairs that stood to attention profusely. It was at that point I made the mistake of glancing at my feet. I was ankle deep in the satanic dirt that surrounded the dead city. In my blind fear of the unknown, I must have stepped out of my holy ground without even realising. It was cold and seethed beneath me. It crawled up my legs and squelched in my shoes, molesting my feet and corrupting them. Denaturing my toes and seeping into the cracks in my skin. I felt a warm release slip down my leg and I vomited. The vomit rested on the surface of the dirt and swam there for a moment before bubbling angrily, turning black and becoming part of the shadowy mass below. I just stared at where it had been and gave a feeble yelp before the world defocused and I lost all consciousness. Chapter 2 I awoke with my head once again throbbing madly and to my dismay I was greeted by the sound of blood curdling screams, now louder than ever. It had become very dark and somewhat humid. Where the fuck was I anyway? There was a faint orange glow coming from somewhere in the distance. It wasn’t much, but it was enough to faintly see by, after a few hours of optical adjustment that is. The glow illuminated what appeared to be some sort of vast underground bunker. The walls were shimmering with what I assumed to be water and the floor was covered with moss and fungal growths. There was a rank smell in the air and it reminded me of the basement below my mother’s house. It smelled of damp. AAAAGGHHHEEHHH!!!!! Where is it coming from…? I tried lifting my head up to look around and felt a sharp tug on my hair which sent a sharp pain through my head. Once again I tried looking up only to be greeted with the same tugging. I went to reach for my head to see if my hair had been caught in some of the dirt when I hit the ground or if some gruesome entity was holding it, but I quickly found my arms were also incapable of movement. I panicked and thrashed madly at whatever had me and found that my legs and upper torso were also held tight. The black haze before my eyes began to lift and I saw with hazy vision that I had been pinned down to some sort of rack on the wall with great leather straps. I flailed in another attempt to break my restraints, but the straps proved to be too thick, I may as well have been trying to break through a wall. Nevertheless the little spark of hope in my mind told me that if I continued struggling after a while the restraints may begin to loosen, or maybe someone would hear me and find me. FWAEeeehAAAAaaagghhhh! Do they ever fucking stop screaming?! After what must have been the best part of two hours of non-stop wiggling in place I finally gave up. My limbs and torso were red and bloody from where the leather had dug into my skin and I felt a wave of despair hit me like a train and cried tears of terror and anger. The screams had become louder still and were more fearful. I heard the sound of someone crying hysterically and another voice was shouting out incoherent words and sentences. The only words I could make out were “never leave”. I felt a dripping coming from above me and a faint sound had begun to ring over the sound of the screaming. It was unlike any sound I have ever heard before, the only way I could describe it was like the clang a hammer makes when striking an anvil, but it was…alive. It sounded as if this “hammer” had a voice to it, its clangs changing pitch rapidly as if something was communicating with something else in some ancient language. CLAAAaaannng! I prefer the screams, the screams have structure. The dripping above me persisted and I tried to crane my neck up to see what it was. I couldn’t do it obviously, but after a while the steady dripping on my head began to infuriate, madden me. I had to see what was falling on my head; it was my goal for the next hour. When I finally stopped trying to look up at the ceiling all the muscles in my neck were pulled and aching horribly. I looked at the orange light again and noticed it had gotten slightly brighter, like it was moving towards me. I dismissed it and decided to try and get some sleep. That sounded like a wonderful idea, so I shut my eyes and eventually fell into a very uneasy sleep. In my dreams I heard screaming. Screaming and clanging.

There was once a guy living in our neighborhood named Jimmy, he got picked on a lot for being a confident and funny guy, his mouth tended to get him into a lot of trouble and he seldom learned his lesson. He was just very...

June 1st 1922 Dear Journal, Today my mother bought a mannequin for me to put my products on in the store window. It is unusually heavy for a mannequin, but a mannequin nonetheless. I am thankful for it as I believe it will attract more women to...