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       "Weirder Than Weird" 18 Bizarre Tales From a Disturbed Mind, p.1

           Francis Burger
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"Weirder Than Weird" 18 Bizarre Tales From a Disturbed Mind
“WEIRDER THAN WEIRD”

  18 Bizarre Tales From A Disturbed Mind

  By FRANCIS BURGER

  “For my brothers and sisters”

  (Pax vobiscum)

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  Introduction

  A Special Wedding Gift

  The Price Of An Acquired Taste

  The T. T. Society

  Tell A Tale Tavern

  The Legend Of Jedidiah Crane

  It’s Under The Ice

  The Haunted Woods Of PawPaw County

  Revenge Is Very Sweet

  It’s What’s For Dinner

  Arrival Time

  A Tale Of The Damned

  Nightmare On Walrus Island

  Sweet Mary McBride

  The Black Box Of Sumeria

  A Gift For Timmy

  The Unexpected Visitor

  Escape

  Devils Tower

  In The Company Of Geese

  Bon Apétit

  INTRODUCTION

  If you’re like me you love the short story. A few years ago, for whatever reason, I had a bunch of crazy stories flow into my head, from God knows where, and get stuck there like some log jammed river. The pressure begged release and in an attempt to save some semblance of my sanity (what little I had) I finally decided to get them down on paper. “WEIRDER THAN WEIRD” is the result.

  As a kid, I loved the classic TV shows such as: The Twighlight Zone, The Outer Limits and The Night Gallery. I was totally hooked on their semi-dark themes and quirky nature. I suppose this is where my strange taste in stories originates from.

  I don’t quite know how to describe my own stories other than to say they are like camp fire stories for adults. For the most part, this collection leans toward the dark and creepy but there are also a few goofy tales of fantasy interspersed within that I think help to take the edge off.

  You won’t find the standard fare of Vampire, Zombie or Wolfman here, nor will you find my stories riddled with blood and gore and all the other cliché artifices. (Ok, maybe one or two are a tiny bit bloody but you’ll hardly even notice.) For me, these stories are really just an exercise in imagination. My intentions are only to bring to you, the reader, something truly original and hopefully entertaining. I’ll leave that determination up to you. By the way… I’ve added one more story to this collection at the last minute, so you’ll be getting nineteen stories in all. I mention this because the book cover reads eighteen. I didn’t want you to think I counted wrong, it’s just that, in all honesty, I’m too lazy to redo the book cover.

  So without further adieu…I leave you to your reading, and a few timeless and appropriate words from Monty Python…

  “NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!”

  A SPECIAL WEDDING GIFT

  It was the typical wedding ceremony followed by the typical reception, only, what would transpire in the next few minutes, no sane person would ever dare call typical.

  The bride and groom decided, at the last second, to open the wedding gifts before leaving for their much anticipated honeymoon vacation in Hawaii. A most unusual box among a multitude of others heaped upon the gift table caught the bride’s eye. It was decorated in silver-white moon shapes and blue stars and had a number of odd, indecipherable phrases written on it that looked to be Greek or Latin or some other obscure and pompous language. She read the small tag on the top of the box and a happy smile radiated across her pretty young face. “It’s from Aunt Sophie!” she exclaimed to the drunken guests who now crowded around the table to watch the unveiling.

  Standing close by, the mother of the bride rolled her eyes then turned to her best friend who was eagerly sucking on a sloe gin fizz.

  “No telling what could be in that box.” She commented with a slight slur. “That damn sister of mine just couldn’t take a few precious minutes out of her busy schedule to make it to her own nieces wedding. Oh, no, that would be far too bothersome for her majesty, the witch queen! She’s probably, at this very moment, in some remote part of the world tracking down some…some bat wing or God knows what weird ingredient for one of her whacky potions.”

  The woman paused and took a long swallow of something green in a tall glass, then burped.

  “More likely, she’s getting cuddly with a local witchdoctor somewhere, trading incantations and… God knows what else.” This made her laugh. “Am I right Belinda or am I right?”

  Her friend returned a nod in solidarity and mumbled something that sounded like witch, but wasn’t, then refocused once again on her drink.

  The bride removed the lid from the box and pulled out, of all things, a long stemmed silver chalice. It was richly engraved in nude figures and mystic symbols and encircled at the top with green and red gems. A few people laughed out loud at the sight of what they thought was a foolish and impractical gift. “Now there’s something you don’t see every day!” said the groom with a smile, trying in his own way not to seem too impolite. Inside the goblet was a rolled up note that the bride proceeded to read to the crowd.

  “It says… Dear Niece, this magical gift is specially made for you. Be wise in your choosing, for it allows one wish to be fulfilled and one wish only. Just state your desire then immediately drink from the cup. Aunt Sophie.”

  The bride turned to the groom and shrugged her shoulders. “Why not give it a whirl,” he said with a wink, “what’s to lose?” The guests shouted their approval. With that, the groom popped open another bottle of champagne. The cork rocketed into the crowd and a few game drunks immediately clamored for its retrieval, comically falling over one another as though it was a second wedding bouquet being tossed by the bride. Everyone laughed. The groom poured the champagne into the chalice, filling it halfway then presented it to his bride with a slight bow.

  “Here’s your chalice my lady. Your wish awaits.”

  The bride took the chalice in hand with a giggle then turned toward the eager faces. “If I could have just one wish…I…ah…” She paused before going on and her eyes suddenly filled with tears. “If I could have just…one…wish, it would be that my father could be here to share this very special day with me.” She then drank from the cup.

  There was a collective sigh acknowledging the beauty of the sentiment and a few sniffles could be heard, but a few seconds later a raucous crashing of dishes suddenly exploded from somewhere in back causing everyone to jump. All eyes focused upon the kitchen from where a number of blood curdling screams now issued forth. The double doors swung open. A black and moldering figure in a wrinkled suit and tie stepped through and ambled its way on unsteady legs toward the bride. The reek of decaying flesh hung heavy in the air as the figure raised both arms to embrace the terror stricken bride.

  “Hello, Princessssss…” came a whisper from its cadaverous mouth; the weakened words, barely audible as foul air escaped through its worm-bored lungs. A stream of wriggling maggots dribbled from its nose and mouth, cascading to the floor in a gruesome pantomime of wedding rice. The utter horror of it all momentarily quieted the guests and in those few brief moments of silence, the bride’s eyes softened with sudden recognition. She yelled out in a most tender and loving voice, “DADDY!”

  THE PRICE OF AN ACQUIRED TASTE

 

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