Hey!! What's the story?


~ A story in the Shadow Fabric mythos ~ 

By Mark Cassell 

Lena’s boot stubbed a tree root. Arms outstretched, she flew forwards, her rucksack pressing her into the earth. Gravel and twigs tore her palms. She grimaced and rolled sideways, seeing only towering pines and blue sky. Neither offered help, nor did the geothermal mist that obscured the surrounding trunks.
        That now-familiar sulfurous stink clawed down her throat as she gulped air and chewed agony. Silence, save for the pulsing blood in her ears. As a solo traveler, on a backcountry trek through a fraction of Yellowstone’s 9,000 square kilometers, she realized just how far she’d hiked.
        Her hands were a crimson mess. She sat up and shrugged off her rucksack. Smearing blood across a pocket, she grabbed tissues and began wiping her hands. More mist enveloped her as she removed stones and splinters. Eventually, she dropped the tissues and squinted into the mist. The gnarled root she’d tripped over hooked from the earth like an arthritic finger. Patched with lichen, it appeared as though someone had burnt a symbol into it. An hourglass, perhaps?
        A chill crept with the mist, and darkness pushed into her periphery. Her breath snatched. She shuffled backwards, and her back thumped rough bark. Shadowy clusters, like tangled phantoms, thickened. Approached.
        Black tendrils lashed out and snatched up the bloodied tissues. Something crackled, hissed, and the blood faded. The tissues floated to the ground, each now marked only with dirt.
        Another tendril slithered forwards to coil around her ankle; cold, wet... Agony. Searing. Skin blistered. Smoldering flesh and fabric mixed with the sulfur. She gagged. Her flesh wrinkled, feeling like a billion writhing maggots. Every inch taut over her bones, crackling, crispy and flaky.
        Freezing. Her lungs tightened.
        Something clutched her mind and yanked it into the shadows. From a growing distance, she saw her frail body. Her head, now little more than a skull with wispy hair, broke free—a hollow, rustling sound. It rolled. From gaping sleeves, an arm slipped and fell and cracked the skull. Bones splintered like dead branches. Dust plumed.
        Lena watched from the retreating shadows, to where her life once was.

Author photo (c)Christopher Shoebridge

Mark Cassell lives in a rural part of the UK with his wife and a number of animals. He often dreams of dystopian futures, peculiar creatures, and flitting shadows. Primarily a horror writer, his steampunk, fantasy, and SF stories have featured in several anthologies and ezines.

His debut novel, The Shadow Fabric, is a supernatural story and is available from Amazon.

Views: 115

Comment by Shakes on October 27, 2014 at 17:08

A great introduction to your work and style...I'm off to fashion me a suit cut from the finest shadows.

Comment by Ronnie Capaldi on November 2, 2014 at 16:12

So well worded to give the story power, fabulously detailed. Glad you earthed it with a specific place also, Yellowstone.

Add a Comment

You need to be a member of 99fiction.net to add comments!

Join 99fiction.net

Quirky social network for writers and creators. Try our free fiction competitions. Hey!! What's the story?


Who Do You Show Your Stories To?

Started by Daniel Hale in Sample Title. Last reply by Mary Chandler Nov 9, 2015. 3 Replies

I'm still working at the story-a-week thing, and keeping up with it so far. One thing I'm wondering is who I should show them to to get feedback. Some of these I want to put in the novel/collection…Continue

A Formatting Question-- How would you...?

Started by Angie_Fayre in Uncategorized Sep 2, 2015. 0 Replies

Okay, I know that there are about 3 instances where you'd regularly use italics in fiction: showing foreign/made-up goblidigoober words, "indicating mental thoughts" and putting stress on words being…Continue

Publishing Percentages!

Started by Naomi Rawle in Sample Title. Last reply by Gia Lee Jul 19, 2015. 3 Replies

Do you send everything you complete off for publication? What's your written/submitted ratio like? What do you consider a successful percentage? Or do you go for quality over quantity! (I mean…Continue

Tags: publication, deal, percentage

New works: published and otherwise.

Started by Zachary T. Owen in Sample Title. Last reply by Naomi Rawle Mar 27, 2015. 4 Replies

What stories/books/poems/novels have you recently completed or had published?I'll go first:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDvvPFBisAA^This…Continue

Blog Posts

Title Advice?

Posted by Daniel Hale on December 14, 2015 at 18:29 0 Comments

I just completed, as near as I can tell, my first book: a collection stories disguised as a novel. I do currently have a working title that I was initially happy with, BUT it may now be too obscure or inapplicable.

The title as it is now is "The Psalterdemalion." This is a combination of two of my favorite words: Psalter, which is a small book of psalms, and Tatterdemalion, which is a man dressed in multicolored rags and tatters. My thinking was that the man character, a story thief,…


A Memory Resides In Soho

Posted by Ronnie Capaldi on November 24, 2015 at 21:06 0 Comments

A Memory Resides In Soho

On the 1st August 2015 a special night had arrived for seventy-five year old Robert Harris and his seventy-two year old wife Barbara.  Robert was nattily dressed in a blue suit and Barbara looked elegant in a long flowing red and black flowery dress. They were in the heart of the…


Final Stretch for my First Project

Posted by Daniel Hale on November 16, 2015 at 2:41 0 Comments

So I've got my stories together for my first collection, and am currently working on the connecting narrative. I haven't even thought yet how I'm gonna get this published. Gotta start thinking what I need to do. 


Posted by Ronnie Capaldi on November 12, 2015 at 17:40 0 Comments


Mark stood on a sea cliff top. A wave below roared in and sprayed out a ferocious impact. Its retreat left a glistening carpet of foamy shale. To his left, a slender figured girl appeared, dressed only in a skimpy black nightie. Her blonde hair fell over her face. Scarlet lips whispered to him,…


© 2019   Created by Jem (Admin).   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service