Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Old Hag

This is a teaser for one of my favorate stories in my anthology, "Old Hag". Of all the stories in the collection, I think this is perhaps the most genuinely chilling.
Shortly following the publication of the book, I received an email from 'Under the bed' magazine, informing me that they were rejecting the story, which I had submitted to them almost eight months previously. I informed the woman who emailed me that, due to her delay, the work had already been published elsewhere. Evidently she took this as quite the personal insult, because I received a very insulting email back, full of patronising arrogance and veiled threats. It's curious that some people who are in a position where they have to reject other people's work, are unable to handle rejection themselves. It's also a real shame that we live in a world where unprofessional behaviour like that is so easily accepted, but ah well, creative types and ego and all that.
Nevertheless, enjoy the teaser! And if you do, you can grab the full version in the book, http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LRZD1C6



Old Hag

 

Melissa’s Dream Diary – June 17th, 2013

I first saw the old woman standing at the foot of my bed when I was thirteen years old.

I’m nineteen now, but back then I had everything going for me. I was the typical popular girl at school, people liked me and I chose the right friends to be seen with. My parents had good jobs, so they were able to afford to buy me the things that my popularity required – the right shoes, the best mobile phone, and all that crap that just doesn’t seem important after six years of sleep deprivation. I had it all going for me.

Things changed. That’s the best way I can describe it. When I think back to the person I used to be, I’m kinda embarrassed. Alright, if I’m honest, super embarrassed. I was shallow, yeah, and I was real petty. And I have to admit it, I picked on plenty of other kids, spreading rumours about them, laughing at them behind their backs, all for little other reason than that they were outsiders. You know the kind, the goths, the nerds, that kind of thing. Guess it’s kinda funny that I’m even more of an outsider than they are now, huh? Well, if that’s funny, I’m not laughing.

I turned nineteen two weeks ago, and my mother gave me this journal. It’s a pretty book, purple embossed leather on the front, with some really nice spirals at the edges, and after some thinking, I realised that this is what I wanted to use it for. Writing about the Old Hag, that is. I mean, I could have just started a blog or something, but I really don’t feel comfortable with the idea of this kind of stuff working its way onto the internet or something, and cropping up on Facebook when I’m still in my thirties. Hashtag-shit no!

But I suppose that the real thing that started me wanting to put pen to paper (did they really used to say things like that? God, my wrist is already starting to hurt from writing all this!) is that I had the dream again last night. Fuck. I keep calling it a dream. Truth is, it’s more like a visit. It’s not a dream, because I’m always awake when it happens. I’ll write about it later. Putting this down still feels freaky to me.

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