World Record Attempt Fatality Laughter Extract IX

World Record Attempt Fatality Laughter Extract IX

A Story by Brett Hernan

   We sold the farm. We'd crossed four states but it still followed us with as much unrelenting verve as on the day we'd first fled. The night is coming. Take the light and run. We heard the sounds approaching for a few weeks before they came. We didn't see anything at the time, but we felt it. When I walked in and caught him levitating I knew something was wrong. She wants out. They can't wait to get in. He slept there last night. We rewound and watched again in slow motion, looking for the appearance of the hand, but it wasn't until the fourth viewing that we saw it. We then realised it could make itself invisible at will. The pizza delivery guy could not believe it either.

   That was something forgotten. Reaching out to grasp for something that wasn't there. Having been raised from infancy on board an ocean going yacht, the sea lived in her heart. His grandfather had been a sailor, but he ran away and she never saw him again. Throwing handfuls of dirt at the wind whilst being watched by the inquisitive falcon, which knew more than we did. You already know how it ends. Before her face went out of focus and I closed my eyes I noticed, near her ears, fine, white hairs on each cheek. The last two people on earth shot each other dead. Every time I look in the mirror I get scared. Dogs barking at something coming from a long way off.

   As they reached out across the expansive void to touch, their fingers crumbled away. We never went back there again. The walls in every room of the house were obscured by gilt-framed mirrors, each of them smashed and missing their fallen pieces. Only one was found still intact, a small and tarnished, antique, ovalesque, silver hand-mirror, so old that the reflection it produced was akin to looking through a web of dark scratches. Its existence as the solitary complete mirror in a house so full of damaged items identical in nature to it was the equivalent to a magician 'forcing a card' on an unwitting volunteer from the audience. This had been the object presented to researchers for their long distance, psychic, telescopic viewing experiments. Quickly, before the imminent arrival of the bus, we switched heads.

   I also would like to believe the other kids were all too scared to speak. A series of horrific screams woke me from a sound sleep. It could not have come from the inside of the house because I was there alone. That was the point where we realised it was following us. I was forced to scream in order for them to be able to hear my voice above the rain. The power went out. Night train rides to unknown destinations. We came to the end of the line. He warned me that things would change once the lights went out. Every day yet another child's toy was found tied to a branch of the dead tree, appearing without explanation somehow even when it had been placed under continuous, all night observation. We were again woken by the screaming. Do it yourself plastic surgery worked out about as well as had facial tattooing by feel alone. Precisely at that moment I ceased to be in the room and instead merely became the consciousness of the fact that there existed a room.

   He just hung round the ruins all day long and talked to no one. She dropped the bouquet and began to run. The petals moved back in the sunlight to reveal a snow-capped mountain peak. I was forced to destroy it. There was no need to say good bye. The cold was coming. We came upon a house, locked and intact. A cold emptiness inside that just would not die. No one said you would miss her. We could hear the cannons a long way back and far ahead. I thought I could, but I can't take you with me. We all knew it was still out there. It had never been a foregone conclusion that we would all make it out of there, that was the source of our inevitable downfall. All of this having happened before was the overwhelming sensation I received when we walked on to the battle-ground. My shadow refused to follow us in there, knowing what was about to happen next and afraid of all the other shadows. 

© 2021 Brett Hernan

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Added on January 28, 2020
Last Updated on June 23, 2021
Tags: ghost, haunting, psychic, apocalypse, experimental, horror, comedy


Brett Hernan
Brett Hernan

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Low-resolution sample only. Born 1968. All of the images accompanying each of these written works are my own. (Except that one of the guy putting a flower into a soldier's rifle barrel!) more..