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Red King, White Queen

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Living has never been simple for Angela. For a few years now he has made his presence known to her, turning her dreams and life into visions of bloodshed and fear. As if not enough, creatures of the unknown have also now joined in the fray and combined, her life is literally a living hell. Neither day nor night she can escape the torments, leaving her sanity hanging in the balance. Amongst all the madness, her late father's items slowly start to offer answers to some of her questionable visions and Angela starts to release that there may be more to this than just her mental state that she first assumed. With mankind's Great Judgement looming in the not so far distance, can she put the pieces of this mental jigsaw together in time and solve her little mystery...

Horror / Thriller
Calleigh Edwards
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

Resting back into the tired arms of her sofa, Angela finishes off the last of her drink before allowing herself to relax and cuddle up with a book. She had already read it a few times now but felt she liked it enough to give it yet another go, hoping to notice something she may have missed. Losing herself within its pages, Angela underestimates the strength of the drink upon her empty stomach and feels herself becoming woozy, sleepy...she passes out, the book falling from her fingers to the floor in a crumpled heap. She starts to dream.

A battlefield stretches out across a great plain. A desolate expansion of mud chewed up by many an armored boot and hoof, soaked in the blood of the fallen. Once proud men of their nation now lying in the morning’s sun, their skin bloated and festering as flies and scavengers pick away at this verifiable buffet of sorts. Amongst the dead and dying, one lone man stands tall and proud, steadily making his way through the carnage. A face of stern determination, eyes focused on what lies ahead as the goal of his conquest draws to its conclusion after many years of searching.

High up on the balcony of her towering prison, Angela feels slight dizziness as she looks out and almost immediately her eyes meet with his gaze. Although still quite some distance away, she feels as if he is right there by her side, his piercing brown eyes burying deep into her very soul. The fiery emotion of wanting fills her body, shortening her breath to gasps and brings a tingling to her inner thighs that calls loudly upon her fingers to ease its suffering. Transfixed, unable to pull away, Angela watches as he moves closer, moving through the carnage with relative ease. The stench of death invading her nostrils, the chorus of millions of flies in her ears, Angela finds all these senses fading into a cold silence upon him finally reaching the boundaries of her tower and the great door that blocks him from his goal. A smile of happiness slowly spreads across her lips.

Almost immediately, a sudden commotion breaks the silence. A small door to the side of where Angela stands is flung open and four knights come rushing to her side, surrounding her, brandishing a sword and shield to their defense. Despite heavily armored, they appear to be uncomfortable and fidget nervously as if expecting a whole army to face off against. Instructing each other in an unknown tongue, they wait for this lone knight to make his way to them before launching themselves into the fray with a guttural battle-cry. This is clearly a fight to the death, to whatever reason justified their means as of this moment is unknown except they appeared to be trying to protect her.

Vulnerable, Angela tucks into a small recess in the wall to hide and tries to remain out of sight, pulling a curtain across in hopes nobody will notice her. Peeping out from behind the curtain, she watches the dramatic fight unfold as the stranger easily lays waste to two of the four in a matter of mere moments. Noticing a dark yellow liquid pooling at the feet of one of the remaining, Angela feels he is unlikely to last much longer and sure enough, after the proud swing of a sword, his head is sent rolling from his shoulders. Landing with a sickening thunk, it tumbles across the stone floor and stops just short of Angela’s hiding place, the cold look of fear framed in his widened eyes. Covering her mouth, Angela forces herself to kick it away, gagging in disgust as she feels his still warm blood squelch between her toes.

With a triumphant cry, the man vanquishes his final foe and clips his sword back into its scabbard. Dressed rather strangely for a knight, sporting a simple leather jerkin, cloth pants and naked feet, it would be quite surprising to anyone how he was able to survive. His garbs more like a squire that would be seen assisting his master in the stables, let alone be seen fighting upon a battlefield. Nevertheless, there he stands, not a single cut or abrasion to his skin and only a minute of blood marking his trousers. Surveying the scene, he smirks and turns his immediate attention towards the recess and where Angela is hiding. Walking slowly over, he pulls back the curtains sharply and extends a hand in greeting to which she receives without hesitation. His brown eyes once again meeting with her gaze. “My sweet lady, it has been far too long. Come, we must leave...ugh!”

Eyes widening, Angela watches in horror as his smile crumples and looking down, notices the long shiny blade of a sword protruding from his chest. Feeling all is not well, Angela traces the sword with her eyes and quickly realises, to her horror, that she too has succumbed to its blade. A cold, clammy sensation grips her body, mind beginning to swim and thoughts instantly become irrelevant. Looking past the man’s shoulder, she can just make out the face of one of the knights from earlier, looking just as horrified as her for some reason known only to him. Vision growing dark, shapes merging into a mere blur as her life begins to fade, in her final moment she hears her would-been savior whispering words clearly meant for her. “I’ll find you, even if I have to burn down this entire world!”

Suddenly, she is awake, the nightmare adorning her chest in beads of sweat that slowly soak into her hair and sheets. For just a dream it sure felt real enough. Breathing laboured, head pounding likely from the whisky, she whimpers alone in the dark whilst unknowingly rocking herself for comfort. As days turned into weeks, Angela found everyday life much harder to take, the lack of precious rest from nightmares turning her menial job held at the office into a complex array of calculations and causing her enough errors to make even an office junior appear above her station in development.

This period of transition marked the start for the other events that would soon follow. A symphony for the macabre, visions of unspeakable atrocities that would give any keen horror fan a ride for their monies. What was once only something that sleep would bring now was to enter her waking world. This is when the creatures came, small numbers at first but quickly escalated wildly like a sudden flash flood of carnage upon Angela’s daily life. They stand approximately four feet in height, emaciated looking, with huge claws and teeth that massively dominate their skull in proportion to its size. Despite this form, they certainly weren’t deprived of any appetite and often displayed quite the insatiable hunger although appearance gave a great impression otherwise of intense starvation, standing on the precipice of life and death.

Angela noticed the first one around her boss, scampering out of his office just before the traditional reopening of the blinds on his cubicle that he did every time the secretary visited. Everyone knew about what dictations he had her doing. She felt it was just a figment of her tired mind until that is, Angela noticed a fresh bloodstain down his trousers that lead straight up to his...”What the fuck!” An acrid taste gushes into her throat, forcing her to swallow for fear of painting her desk in a technicoloured yawn. Her skin turns cold, clammy, as the scent of a strange metallic quality biting at her nostrils.

Where his groin should have been, a roughly gouged hole of torn flesh, complete with dangling intestine and leaking bowel matter. What made the scene even more unusual is that he didn’t seem any worse for the matter, in fact behaving as if nothing was wrong despite leaving footprints of blood and feces wherever he walked that day. His secretary faired not much better, her breasts mangled in fatty-blooded lumps, jawline clearly broken with a huge chunk torn from both her cheeks and half her tongue missing. The pair a truly gruesome sight.

Lunchtime that day was spent at her desk alone, staff raising their eyebrows in interest at Angela as she was known to be one of the more friendly, approachable type. Any attempts by them to investigate the matter of her sudden melancholy were quickly shrugged away, dismissed in what felt like a rafter of excuses and lies. Robbed of any appetite, she sat and tapped her fingers aimlessly, eyes flitting back and forth to the clock in hopes time would move faster. At precisely 5 pm, she was already pulling on her coat and fleeing straight for the exit. Heading out into the warm sunlight, the crowds of the rush hour beginning to build, Angela is greeted with a sight that makes her want to run for home, never mind waiting for the bus.

Across the road from the office, a woman stands talking on her mobile and paying little heed to her surroundings. Alongside her, bounding around like a playful puppy, yet another of those abominations is noticed by Angela. Nuzzling between her opened legs, it takes one look at Angela and grins manically, almost as if you say “I see you watching, well..watch this!” Turning, it reaches up with a wicked-looking claw and proceeds to slice the woman horizontally across her stomach. In an instant, the creature is bathed in a rush of blood and entrails which then begins to play with a show of depraved delight, tearing and chewing on her intestine like a sausage.

Almost throwing up, Angela runs from the scene, a few of her colleagues noticing and commenting on her sudden strange behaviour as of today. Pushing through the crowds, tears welling in her eyes, Angela wastes no time in trying to distance herself as far as she can from the vile scene. Running for what feels like miles, she eventually comes to a stop and tucks herself away into an alleyway, her lungs feeling as if they were ready to burst. She had never been the keep fit type, loving biscuits and “tasty treats” between meals, sometimes even straight after. She cursed her sweet tooth, her dentist these last years probably sustained his lavish lifestyle on the costs of her visits alone. She certainly didn’t do herself any favours.

“Oi, yes you!” A rather pissed off male voice calls from an opened door, glaring angrily in the direction of where he could see Angela crouching. “Get lost, scram!” Picking up a chunk of brick, he throws his warning shot and sends it crashing about a meter from her head, smashing into pieces upon impact. “Bloody junkies, I’ve had enough of your types ’round here. Get moving, otherwise, I’ll call the police.”

Not in any frame of mind to protest her innocence in this matter of mistaken identity, Angela picks herself up, with not even a single word to her defense, quickly straightening her coat and heads back out onto the streets. Huddling herself for comfort, eyes darting nervously towards the direction of any noise, the remainder of her journey home has her in an absolute mess by the time she reaches the threshold of her home. With a shaking hand, she fumbles with her keys to unlock the door and practically throws herself inside, slamming the door behind her without any regard to the noise. Robbed of her appetite and sleep, the rest of that night she spends in a series of tearful outbursts and questioning her sanity.

The next day, sluggish and simply feeling as if she couldn’t be arsed, Angela refuses to eat her breakfast and instead sits playing with its contents, flicking them around her plate as a toddler do. Looking at the clock, almost constantly, she is in no frame of mind to face work or even the outside world for that matter. Reaching for her phone, she decides to call in sick and fumbles out some excuse that the takeaway she ordered the day before had kept her sat vigil on the porcelain throne all night. This she hoped, would also explain the constant dry heaving and her off-coloured appearance back in the office the previous day.

At first, upon her unwanted return to work, she found a way to block these small horrors from pricking at her mind, or merely had she just become numb to their theatrics? Life, for the small part, seemed to return almost back to normal although by now, this was something Angela could only dream of experiencing once more and vowed never to take her life for granted again if she only could do so. However, it's never best to celebrate victory too early and Angela is once again thrown deeper into the melting pot of madness. Two eventually becoming six, six onto fifteen, etc. until pretty much all the staff on her floor were walking around the office, resembling extras from the cast of some zombie B-movie, all the while those creatures running amok between them all in one wild party.

It was clearly only a matter of time before even someone with the strongest of wills would succumb to the daily orchestrations from these creatures. The visual eviscerations sometimes staying the same in some people but differing at times on others for some odd reason. The stench, however, remained very much the same except only to change in its potency depending much on the level of damage done to the bodies due to that particular daily feasting.

Sick days for Angela began to increase, excuses of ailments sounding as if she was just pulling things at random off the internet at one point. It was around this time, unfortunately to the necessity of survival, Angela’s company fell into financial distress and a culling of the staff had to be made in order to cut costs. Alas, due to her poor sickness records, Angela was one of the first to be given the chop and she was sent packing with no more than just a handshake. With only so much in her savings, benefits only to barely cover bills and no room for luxuries of any kind, life became suddenly quite the challenge to survive but at least, she didn’t have to worry about spending hours a day in mental torture...that was until her job searching benefits were cut.

“Sorry, but we are needing to address your current situation. We have recently been made aware of some behaviours that raise concerns over the veracity of your benefit claim. To help you understand, we’ve been informed your actions during the interviews to be that of a disturbing nature, an exaggerated fear of your surroundings, and towards the staff, thus leading to a quick termination of their interest in your application.”

So, you’re trying to tell me that I’m going nuts?” Angela scoffs, knowing full well what was to become of all this. She could try arguing until she was blue in the face but her protestations would likely be as welcome as a fart in a spacesuit. The pause of silence on the other end of the phone said it all really.

“Miss Edwards.” The voice finally replies and exhaling deeply, it presses on with the matter at hand. “We can’t help but feel you are purposely trying to avoid gaining employment in order to remain on the income. This is against one of the rules of the benefits scheme therefore we have been left with no other choice but to cancel your seeker's allowance, I’m sorry.”

Closing her eyes tightly, Angela knows deep within in her heart where the truth lies and that she dare not speak of it for fear of being judged by others. Her silent tongue towards this accusation of her character, however, gains Angela nothing but an instant sign of guilt without any words from her to stand up and argue against their scrutiny of her actions. Angela is simply caught between a rock and a hard place in a battle that she can’t possibly win. A single tear wells from her left eye and softly rolls down her cheek to where it cushions itself against her upper lip, only to be swiped away like some bothersome insect. “Fine, no problem.” Three simple words, phone call is canceled and the phone is thrown aside to the floor. Crumpling to the floor, Angela weeps as a new fear of survival adds several new bricks to the wall already surrounding and crushing in on her everyday existence. With bills looming, she was in need to make money and fast..but how?

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Zina: F for annoyance of every chapter reviews

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Horror stories : I loved everything about this story. This story had great dialogue in it and it also had a great plot to the story as well.

Dan_Ortiz: Loved this story. It kept me feeling very tense throughout not knowing what was going to happen next. Really good characters too.

ERICK: the book was so good who ever wanna read he did it so good

BlondeCookie: Great story!! I loved the whole thing the twists turn’s characters all perfect!!! Loved it!!

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Tiffany: I'm in the process of reading this wonderful book at the moment, I'm still at the very beginning where her Mom thinks she has an imaginary friend ect.... So far I've been staying interested the whole time and it's making me feel like I'm on the edge of my seat wanting to know more and more!! It's...

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