The Black Balloons

blackballoonssite

(Horror stories about the rainforest.)

“Balloon!” Janie shouted, pointing out the window.

Angie and I ignored her. We were arguing with Adrián, the hotel owner.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t see your reservation here,” he repeated.

“Typical,” I muttered. “God damn typical.”

I’d spent a year getting this vacation planned out. Angie’s wanted to go to Costa Rica since she was a little girl and saw a documentary about the rainforest. It was our third anniversary. I was hoping it would be a special trip. The start was inauspicious.

“Balloon!” Janie yelled again, giggling and tugging my pant leg. I glanced over my shoulder through the picture windows overlooking the forest below.

“There’s no balloons, sweetheart,” I informed her, and turned back to the hotel owner.

“Look, I have the online confirmation right here. That’s the name of the hotel, yes? And that’s the address? And there, where it says ‘confirmed?’ Can that possibly mean anything else?”

“I’m sorry, sir, but you’re just not in our system. If you and your family would like to go out on the patio and rest for a little while, I will see what I can do. I’ll send over a couple glasses of wine and some fruit juice for your beautiful little girl, okay? Just give me a little time.” Continue reading “The Black Balloons”

The Worst Party In Ten Thousand Years

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(Horror stories about parties.)

“I don’t like him,” Jeri whispered. “He’s weird.”

I looked at the guy sitting alone on the couch in the corner. Lanky. Pale. Brooding. He seemed out of place. I wondered if he was someone’s date who’d gone forgotten.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover, Jer,” I replied. “Haven’t you seen that credit card ad?”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. But I don’t want to be around when he starts shooting up the place.”

“Jesus!” I hissed. “What’s wrong with you?”

“This is a party, Kay. People are supposed to be having fun, not being miserable.” Continue reading “The Worst Party In Ten Thousand Years”

The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Surgeon’s Nightmare

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(Horror stories about space.)

“The Secret Doctors of NASA” is a series of memoirs, diaries, and reports from actual doctors employed by an undisclosed arm of NASA between 1970 and 2001. These writings contain true accounts of the unusual and often highly-classified medical conditions experienced by astronauts during and after their space missions. Following the defunding of the clandestine medical program after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the majority of these accounts were left, forgotten, on tape drives in a NASA storage facility. In 2016, a former intern, whose job was to clean out one of these facilities, discovered them. Two years later, he is ready to release what he found.

Thus far, the following reports have been released: A Dentist’s Discovery, A Psychologist’s Suicide.

Releaser’s note: This account is from a post-surgery oral memoir dictated by an unnamed surgeon to an anonymous NASA official. The background circumstances are unknown.

A Surgeon’s Nightmare

Look, I’d been awake for two straight days. You guys have been putting us through hell with all the injuries from the Hephaestus Project, so forgive me if my results weren’t as great as they could have been. But come the hell on – what do you expect when someone comes to me in that condition?

So you want to know what happened in my own words? Fine. But don’t get pissed when I call your practices into question.

The patient was admitted with significant injuries to his legs, torso, arms, and head. On the surface, they appeared to be lacerations, which was strange because their severity would have caused near-instantaneous exsanguination and they would’ve gone straight to the morgue, not to me. Closer inspection revealed the wounds had been sealed by intense cold, as if the patient had been frozen either while being injured or immediately after. He was still clinging to life.

Continue reading “The Secret Doctors of NASA: A Surgeon’s Nightmare”

Randall’s Chatty Leg

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(Horror stories about limbs.)

It’s been just me and my brother for the last fourteen years. No one else. He’s Randall. I’m Joe.

Randall thinks his leg doesn’t belong to him. I thought he was crazy. He is, of course. We both are. We’ve always been. But this seemed different. Still, I didn’t believe him until his foot started to talk.

“I’m gonna hurt you, Randall,” the foot announced. It was the middle of the night. The voice woke us both up.

“See!” shouted my brother. “See!”

I bolted upright and turned on the bedside lamp and looked across the room. My brother’s fat foot was sticking out from underneath the sheet. His toes were wiggling.

“I’ll walk you off the roof and you’ll go splat all over the sidewalk. Just like your Daddy did.” Continue reading “Randall’s Chatty Leg”

A Message in a Bottle

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(Horror stories about the unknown.)

“Check this out!” Marcel called.

“What?” I asked, not looking over. I’d been trying to skip rocks, but all I could get were a few hops before the stones were swallowed by the waves.

“It’s a bottle with a note in it,” he replied. “An actual message in a god damn bottle.”

“So open it up,” I said, dropping the flat stones with annoyance. “Whatever’s inside’s gotta be more exciting than anything we’re doing.” Continue reading “A Message in a Bottle”

The Moose Hunt

Bull Moose Original

(A scary story about hunting.)

“We’ve been out here for four hours,” Red complained. I winced as whiskey and gingivitis breath wafted across my face.

“We’re getting this fuckin’ moose,” I answered. “Dad said we wouldn’t be able to, so that means we’re gonna. I don’t care if we starve to death up here.”

Red belched out another complaint, but I wasn’t paying attention. I was thinking about bagging that son of a bitch. It’d been tearing up Mom’s garden and shitting all over the yard. She’d missed out on being in the latest flower show after all her prize petunias got eaten.

No more. “Never again,” as they say. I’d be mounting that antlered head over the fireplace before the weekend was over.

“What’s that over there?” Red asked, pointing out ahead of us. I followed his finger. Continue reading “The Moose Hunt”

Beach Bodies

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(A scary story about the ocean.)

“What is it?” Charlie asked. He was ten or eleven at that point.

“Not sure,” I replied. I turned my hat forward, hoping the brim would block out some of the glare on that sunny August afternoon.

Something was floating in the water about a couple hundred feet offshore. It looked big. Long, too. I assumed it was the carcass of a whale. They’d been known to wash up every now and again.

“Maybe a whale,” I remarked.

“Gross.”

“Yeah. You think it’s gross now, wait until it reaches land and stinks up the beach for a couple miles in every direction.”

Charlie made a face. “I kinda want to poke it,” he said. I grinned. That’s my boy. Continue reading “Beach Bodies”