This week, a double feature from Rickey Rivers Jr and Samantha Frye wherein body parts have a mind of their own and a twist on monsters hiding in a child’s closet.
Narrated by Cherrae Stuart and Walt Livingston.
Executive Producer and Host: Tonia Ransom
All episodes are brought to you by the NIGHTLIGHT Legion. Join us on Patreon for as little as $1 per month to help us produce more stories for you to enjoy.
Hi. I’m Tonia Ransom, creator and executive producer of NIGHTLIGHT, a horror podcast featuring creepy tales written and performed by Black creatives from all over the world.
This week we have some more flash fiction for you to enjoy.
But before we get to sentient body parts and creepy children, just a reminder that all episodes are brought to you by the NIGHTLIGHT Legion. Thanks to our newest members Jason, Angela, Whitney, Calvin, Benjamin, and Eisart. Thanks also to Raymond and Jennifer for donating via PayPal. You all have my eternal gratitude. We’re working toward our goal of bringing you new episodes every week, but we need your help. Just go to patreon.com/nightlightpod to join the NIGHTLIGHT Legion and get a shoutout on the podcast.
Now sit back, turn out the lights, and enjoy “Appendages”, by Rickey Rivers, Jr., narrated by Walt Livingston.
I’ve come to the conclusion that my hands are definitely evil. I’m sure of it. Every square inch of bone-covered flesh and joints are evil. They’re the reason I’ve locked myself in the bathroom. The four walls here insure that my hands can no longer harm anyone. “Harm?”, you may say. Dangerous, you may think, but apply the labels only to my hands. Last week they struck without warning, almost strangling a woman. True and horrifying, terrible even, but not a fault of mine.
My hands, they speak, not verbally yet still, they coax. They coach. I do not believe people realize how much power your hands have over you. No, I should say how much power they could have. Does the brain control or do we control the brain? Do we have the power to tell the mind to move or is moving an impulse? Do we have control of anything?
I’ll give another; “for instance”. When your nose itches do you scratch it? Surely you do. Is that impulse or is it the brain saying “scratch the itchy spot” and you do as you are told? This is not something I used to consider. Several years ago my hands were obedient, normal. Upon wanting to relieve an itch my hands had no problem doing so. If I needed to reach and grab something, my hands had no difficulty or rebellion. However at some point something went wrong. What? I’m not sure.
There was no mythical lab accident or demonic possession, no voodoo or black magic. This occurrence seemingly happened spontaneously. My hands took control and I’m not sure if they want out or if they want something. Perhaps they want off, to be unattached from their captor?
I cannot communicate with them. If I could, surely they could not speak back. If this were fiction I’d make up a lie. I’d say, “They spoke to me. They wrote me my own suicide note!” But no, this isn’t a tale.
Even now I look down at them and question. What have I done to deserve such cruelty? I cannot recall a sin so great that the punishment would be this grand. In terms of sin against them, I do what any normal person does with their hands. I trim the nails. I cover them in winter weather. As a kid, I bit my nails but stopped. Surely that could not be a misdeed? I use them to wipe when in this same room but that’s normal, surely. I’m normal. The hands are the problem not me.
I’ve spoken of trimming the nails yet I had to stop as well. You see, at some point they wouldn’t allow me the pleasure, rebellion. The nails have grown recently, quite grotesquely. Long and horrid, I would not dare use clippers on them. Bite them, I could, but then risk what grave fate? Nails in the eyes? No. I dare not consider possibilities.
Now is the time. The time for them to get what they want. Safe from others, they are in this room. No, safe are others from them in this room and that’s good news, great news. I don’t want them hurting anyone.
Alas I fear that I am not safe here. The nails of my hands tease and prompt. They want my throat. They nip at my loins. I am afraid. Sleep is a memory without dreams. Finally, I say, no more. No more attempts at strangulation. No more attempts at castration. No more threats of endless torture. With all the strength left in arms I’ll raise my hands and chomp down on the wrists. Surely this will incapacitate? Surely this is not foolish? My mouth is wide. My teeth are ready. It is now time to end the torture.
Blood litters the tiles and my mouth is gushing with so much salt. No. I want that. I expected that but, just as I tried to bite down, my jaw forced my teeth to close themselves on my tongue. I did not purposely bite off my own tongue and yet it happened. My hands have somehow influenced other body parts. They have taught them to revolt. Either them or the brain, this must be the case. Surely the brain isn’t against me too? Unless of course the brain has lost all control and control now falls in the palms of my hands. Of course, the devils are at work.
I am bleeding out. I am choking. Yet I am writing somehow. My body is theirs. So why do I live? And is this living at all?
Now enjoy “Playthings”, by Samantha Frye, narrated by Cherrae Stuart.
Laura’s mother teased her daughter’s bangs after tucking her in. “Now remember what I said,” the woman whispered. “Don’t let those things bother you. If you get scared, come to my room, but I know you’re brave like you’ve been for the past few nights.”
Laura giggled as her mother gently tickled her belly.
“See what I can do, Mommy!” Laura said, excited. She wrinkled her nose, and the air sparkled as if full of fireflies and glitter. Laura hugged a pink, plush elephant next to her in bed as the light show dissipated.
Laura’s mother smiled. “That was a nice little trick, but don’t do that again, okay?”
“Okay, Mommy, Rupert will keep me company. He’ll chase the beasties away.” Laura cuddled the stuffed toy.
“Yes, Honey, be brave and let Rupert protect you. Now, get some sleep, and I’ll see you in the morning.” Laura’s mother adjusted the bed covers around the girl and gently kissed her forehead.
Laura smiled and nestled further in bed. “Yes, Mommy. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, Sweetie.” Her mother turned out the light as she left Laura’s bedroom.
When Rupert fell out of the bed in the middle of the night, Laura woke with a start. She saw a thing in her bedroom. It sat on the chest of drawers staring at the big pink numbers of her Hello Kitty clock. The thing was a caricature, an enormous head attached to a small body. Talons enabled it to perch on the edge of the chest of drawers next to Laura’s bed.
The glowing hot pink numbers illuminated the monster. Lines swirled in curves and whirlpools of bright chalk white and green across its face. The light also highlighted a smile so wide it was vicious. Laura thought the long nose that curved upward resembled a bird’s beak she saw in one of her books. It reminded her of the clown masks Mommy kept hanging on the wall in the living room. Laura didn’t like clowns.
“Mommy?” Laura’s trembling little voice was barely above a whisper.
The diminutive fiend twisted its head and stared at Laura. She pulled the bedcovers up to her nose in reaction. Laura stared at the door of her room. Her mother was just down the hall. That thing wouldn’t dare follow her. Her mother was powerful, and monsters didn’t dare bother her. Besides, it would leave in the morning, hopefully. Laura stared at the thing again. She had to be brave. Its eyes glowed pink like the clock’s numbers, and the smile grew fuller, sporting needle-sharp teeth.
It vaulted from the chest of drawers, turned a somersault in midair, landed at the foot of the bed, and ran. Laura saw that it was a little girl entity, for it had two pigtails. They sprouted from each side of its mask-like face and fluttered like black feathers. Black fur covered its body, and it started into a full run towards the head of Laura’s bed, claws out and ready. Laura pulled the covers tight.
Just before it could get to Laura’s face, she lowered the bed covers and grabbed it. Its fur was soft and cuddly. Laura squealed quietly and smiled. “Mommy won’t mind,” she said. “Mommy tells me not to pay attention to things like you. She says that you keep girls and boys awake at night trying to scare them, but I’m brave, and you’re not scary at all. I like you! We can play tea party, and I can put pretty ribbons in your fur, and we can play dress-up too.”
Laura gave the creature a sloppy kiss on the cheek. It attempted to wipe away the residue. The wide, toothy smile it had turned slightly down into a frown. The creature struggled to free itself, but Laura held fast and squeezed.
“We will have good fun together, but you have to be extra quiet. Mommy will be upset if she finds out that I’m playing after my bedtime. She doesn’t like it when I do that.” Laura motioned to the monster in her arm by putting her index finger over her small lips. “So, be quiet.”
It tried to growl loudly, but the sound was more like a whimper. Laura turned on a small lamp that stood on a pink table. She sat the little monstrosity in a chair. “Now, don’t move. I’ll be right back.” It sat perfectly still. Laura went to the bottom drawer of a bureau near the table and brought back an armful of toys. She set the table with a miniature teapot, saucers, and teacups.
“Mommy said not to use my magic, but I like playing tea party and dolly, and I love when things like you get all soft and cuddly like my teddy bears.” Laura directed the beam of a flashlight towards a wall.
The monster turned to see scores of its comrades on display. Their bodies were as motionless as stuffed animals, but their eyes were aglow with the torment of their imprisoned state. The varmint tried to get up and run, but its legs didn’t work, and it fell to the floor.
Laura gently picked it up and positioned it back in the chair. “You see?” she laughed. “It’s already working. You can’t run away, and why would you want to run away from my nice tea party? In the morning, you’ll be as soft and cuddly as my elephant Rupert. You’ll be with me forever and ever.” A sinister twinkle shone in Laura’s eye.
The monster growled again, and a howl rumbled in its throat. Laura touched its mouth, and its lips instantly sealed shut, stifling the sound so it wouldn’t alert her mother.
“I told you to be quiet!” Laura said a little too loudly.
“Laura?” Her mother called. “Is everything okay in there? Is there something in your room?”
“Mommy, I’m fine.” Laura motioned to the little monster. Her eyes glowed orange, and the beast whimpered.
“Okay,” her mother said. “Go back to sleep.”
Laura saw a frown grow on the thing’s face. “Don’t be sad. I’m going to look for the other beasties so they can play with us. I know that they’re just hiding. I’ll find them, and then I’ll have lots of new playthings. We’ll have lots of fun together. Just let me get everything ready, and then we can go look for more guests for the tea party.” Laura giggled as she looked around her dimly lit bedroom. The bright eyes of hiding night monsters dimmed in fear.
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And to thank you for listening until the very end, we have a creepy fact for you.
Have you heard of the urban legend of the black-eyed children? They appear in groups, pleading for help from adults. From the very start, they give their victims an uneasy feeling. Legend has it that before they attack, they reveal their true eyes–solid black, with no whites. No one knows why they appear. Theories range from aliens to vampires to the devil himself inhabiting these children. But one thing’s for sure: they seem to need an invite, so beware strange children who knock on your door late at night.
Join us next week for an interview with Samantha.