Welcome!

Welcome to my lair. I write mostly horror short stories, but you will also find non-horror on here. If you just want to be scared head right here. If you prefer to listen to stories you can do so here. I hope you enjoy the ride – and feedback and comments are always welcome!

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//Anton

How to write a NoSleep Hit

Now, let’s get down to business. I guess I need this; to clear my conscience and clear my mind.

I lied to you.

I’m sorry. I think.

But this is the cure. The revelation. The big attempt to clean my samskaras as the Hindus would say. Clear your samskaras, your ballast, and you can free yourself from the eternal and painful cycle; the suffering; the punishment of rebirth.

This is how you write a NoSleep story. Or any horror story.

The first step is to have an idea. A concept, let’s say a man that appears behind your reflection.

You have to feel yourself into the moment. You have to stand in front of the mirror, with all your intention and all of your heart, and you have to stare at that empty space behind your reflection and you have to see him, there, with a straight nose and a perfectly symmetrical face and this smooth haircut, the hair, perfect, completely without hair loss, the way only actors in Hollywood can have it, combed to the side.

And you imagine him, standing there. Imagine what he looks like. How close does he stand? Does he keep his distance at the beginning, but then, over time, he steps closer?

A good horror story takes time. You cannot just churn it out in a few minutes. You have to feel it over days; you have to make the fear real – grow it, feed it, let it nourish and consume you at the same time. Continue reading

Storm

That’s how my memory starts.

Me, shivering and sitting on my hands, clenching my butt cheecks together, and staring past my grandma, who smiles at me, towards the window. There is a storm outside and I’m watching the dark clouds and the lightning and the rain hammering against the window and I would rather be outside.

Grandma smiles. She says „It’s okay, we can call the police soon.“ When she finishes speaking her lips are just flat, dry, gray pancakes pressed on one another and I look away from her, back down to the wet, black, moving mass on the ground.

A heap of dirty laundry, but moving every few seconds.

I was 3 when dad went to the shelter with me. Some of it I remember, some of it he told me afterwards. Dad tried to get me to pick a cat, but I walked right by the cats towards the dogs. Some were pushing against the metal bars, others just sat in the corners of their kennels and then there was that dog, some pitbull breed, and I put my hand through the metal bars and before dad could pull me away the dog had his head pressed against my hand and I must have giggled like rarely before or after.

So we got Vitaliy. Continue reading

Narration of “Know Thy Neighbour”

Nearly two years ago I posted my short story “Know Thy Neighbour” on Reddit’s NoSleep community. Strange things happen on the internet, because somehow, about a year later, Craig of Chilling Tales for Dark Nights discovered the story and managed to win amazing voice actress Lynne Darlington to narrate the main voice and Jeff Clement to speak the male voice and do sound design and post-production. The result is a chilling and wonderful narration and now I want to congratulate particularly Lynne, and also Craig and Jeff, as their narration and with it an excerpt of my story will be featured in the next edition of one of the reference works of voice acting.

If you haven’t yet – listen in, to “Know Thy Neighbour”:

It just won’t stop ringing

It was always there. When I was young it came rarely, maybe when I was close to crossing the street and hadn’t looked left and right yet, or when I left a sharp knife on the kitchen counter, or that time when I was at the supermarket and there was a man that kept following me for four or five aisles, until I found mom again.

I think it somehow connects to my intuition. I’ve heard others describe that they can feel a shiver on the back of their spine, or that the hair on their arms stands up when they are nervous. For me the only time the hair stands up is when I’m cold.

And else, when I’m scared, there is the bell.

I can’t remember the first time I heard it. The first memory I have of hearing it, when I was at my grandmothers’ place at the strange round pile of stones, and I was digging through the stones to look for rabbit babies, when it was ringing, thundering in my ears, I wasn’t surprised or scared. I must have heard it before. It started ringing, loud and clear, and when I kept digging it got louder, as if a huge church bell was slowly moved closer to me, ringing more vigorously and faster with every single stone that I pulled to the side.

Maybe grandma heard the bell too. I remember she came running, screaming for me to get away from the well. I was on top of some of the stones. And the stones started moving. And grandma grabbed my arm, but my legs, they fell with the stones and hit against the wall. I remember how grandma’s arm shivered when she pulled me out of the hole. She was old then already, maybe 60 or 70, and she was the same thin that she has always been in my memory.

“Hold onto me,” she said. “Hold onto me.”

And below us, far below, I heard the stones hitting a hard floor. Continue reading

Memories

She says she studied at Yale, but it’s so hard to believe her when I remember it so vividly.

I met Kodi just a few months back. She was sitting in a café with a copy of Lord of the Rings on her table – or was that me? I was wearing a bright purple sweater and I approached her and took the book of the table while I made a joke about never having heard about it. I’m not really sure if it was a joke. And I’m not really sure if it was me or her that said it.

“Tolkien, what a strange name.”

It’s confusing, this amalgam in my head. There’s somewhere a dent in the conversation.

“Yeah,” she said. “Don’t you know him?”

“Not really,” I said. “Is he new?”

I laughed and looked at her face and the tight purple sweater. Continue reading

The Museum

Right out of school I wasn’t really ready for life yet. I needed to get out; get away – see the world, and if the money wasn’t enough for the world, then at least my own country.

I stumbled into him on the way South. A kind lady threw me out on a country road – and he was already there, lying in the dry grass with a cheap grin on his face.

“Been here for an hour,” he said. “Hard spot to catch a ride.”

We talked. Shared a cig he had stolen from his last ride. When there was still no car in sight – at least none that would stop – we walked side by side, our loose shoes sliding over the dirt in unison.

The heat was bad, but worse was the lack of prospects. No cars in sight and only an occasional house interspersed between the large fields. Max saw it first. The blue sky was still above our heads, but a front of gray was approaching from the horizon.

“Better find some roof,” he said.

We had passed the last house nearly twenty minutes ago. The next one, a large building with white walls, was not that far ahead. We pressed on, with larger steps, while the front of gray already swallowed the color of the land.

A large sign, nailed against the fence. The first word must have fallen off, but most letters of the second one remained:

“Muse m” Continue reading