Tag Archives: weird fiction

Dead Man Walking

I am a dead man walking. That’s not a metaphor, not a promise of a future event the way you usually think of it. I really am dead — and have been for some time now.

I walk the streets of this city. I pass by people on the sidewalk, and they instinctively shy away from me. They see me, they know I’m there, but they always pretend they don’t. I guess I can’t blame them for that. I wouldn’t, either, were I in their shoes.

I’ve walked for what seems like ages. You’d think after a while I’d stumble across a recognizable face, someone from my past. I haven’t. Every face is that of a stranger. Every encounter is new. And cold. So very cold. The people around me shrug me off, like they would an unwanted hand on their shoulder.

I don’t think this is the afterlife. Everyone I meet is clearly still alive. And warm. So this must be something else. But no one seems to know what. Believe me. I’ve asked. There are no answers here. There are no answers anywhere, it seems.

And so I walk. Alone. A dead man walking still.


I drag a finger along a wall as I walk around the room. I can feel the grainy surface of drywall and paint. Approaching the corner, my fingertips lift off the surface slightly, pulling further away as I draw closer to the junction of the adjoining wall.

“Why’d you do that, Linds?” Jubal is watching my progress, at my request. I need a witness.

“Just watch,” I breathe quietly. I step closer, and the laws of physics break and bend. The closer I step the further away the corner gets. My hand draws closer, but the corner pulls even further away.

“Whoa,” I hear Jubal say from behind me. I can hear the shock in his breathless tone. It mirrors my own the first time I experienced this.

I press closer still, and now the space between hand and corner visibly distorts. My fingers twist and the walls warp, and no matter how hard I try, I cannot touch that corner seam. Nor any other. They are all beyond my reach.

“What. The. Hell,” Jubal whispers.

I pull my hand back and rub my fingers. “An excellent question.”


Grey mist sails past his face, and it is enough to shake him from his reverie. His mind is sluggish, slow, as though he is awakening from a dream. Perhaps he is, but then he has woken into a nightmare.

He looks down at his hands, outstretched before him, palms up. His skin is grey, wrinkled, gnarled. He doesn’t remember being old, but he understands that there is much he does not remember.

Past his fingers, the ground is an even deeper shade of grey. Anywhere else, it would be green, but here the grass, like everything else, holds no color at all.

At his back a dark building looms, blacker than shadow. This he knows — somehow — without even looking. Entry is forbidden, and impossible. A fence of smoke encloses him in this tiny yard, and again he knows, without quite understanding how, that to cross that line would expose him further to the nightmares of this place.

But cross it he will, eventually. He must. There is… SOMETHING… out in those mists, and its call will allow him to do nothing else.

Everywhere I Go

You’ve heard the expression, “Everywhere you go, there you are.” Well, I’ve got a variation for you.

“Everywhere I go, there you are.”

Frankly, I’m getting tired of it. At first I thought it was just me. You know, how you see a familiar face in a crowd, only to look again and it’s not who you thought at all and the resemblance is only passing. Thing is, it was clearly your face.

It happened infrequently at first, then with increasing regularity, to the point where it was unsettling. And I don’t get unsettled easily. But you already know that.

I tried catching up to you once, to confront you, but by the time I got to you, you were gone.

And then things got really strange.

I had a day recently where I saw you, through a glass storefront, then glanced to the side and saw you again, across the street. Moments later, I saw you twice, walking side by side, holding hands with yourself, having a conversation.

Has the world gone crazy, or have I? All I know is this:

Everywhere I go now, there you are.

Driveway to Nowhere

It was a long, paved driveway to nowhere. Fifty yards of winding tree-lined blacktop ending in an open field. There was no building at the end, nothing to indicate the driveway’s purpose, no sign that a building had ever stood here. Zack stood at the end of the drive and let his eyes trace over it.

“You looking to buy?” Startled, Zack turned to see a wizened old man with a cane looking at him.

“I’m not sure,” he replied. “I still don’t understand the point.”

The old man grinned, an unsettling gap-toothed smile. “Ah,” he said, “you’re asking all the right questions.”

“I haven’t asked anything,” Zack puzzled.

“Not in words, no,” the old man said, “but here.” He reached up with a gnarled paw and tapped Zack on the temple. “You won’t be sorry you bought the place. It’s a real winner.”

Zack began to object when a stinging sensation on his hand distracted him. He raised his hand in time to see a drop of blood fall from one finger and land on the pavement. He looked up, and the old man’s eyes were luminous.

Porcelain Birds

“Did you see that?” Amanda said. She pulled her bike off to the shoulder and waited for Sarah to join her.

“See what?” Sarah asked. She distractedly brushed a lock of hair from her eyes.

“Those birds.” Amanda gestured at the flock now residing in a nearby tree. A moment before they had been in the road, pecking at the remains of some unfortunate animal. “When they took off,” she continued, “the sunlight on their wings made them look kind of metallic.”

“It’s probably just natural oils or something.” Sarah sounded bored. “Birds have those, y’know. Keeps them dry or something. C’mon.” She started to pull her bike back onto the road, but a shimmery, glass-like sound drew her up short.

Several of the birds were shaking out their feathers. Small slivers glinted as they fell to the ground, tinkling together like glass snowflakes.

Amanda swallowed, suddenly nervous. She had just realized that these glass-like birds seemed to be watching her and Sarah — and that they were utterly and completely silent.