|Nights of Hell (standard:horror, 4683 words)|
|Author: A.M. Snead||Added: Sep 25 2002||Views/Reads: 1850/1170||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|When a writer gets trapped within the hellish caverns of his own imagination, he discovers that Hell is not just a place he writes about...but a place that truly exists, whether you believe in it or not.|
1- Richard Vaughn wasn't certain he believed the things he wrote because he'd never really thought about it one way or another. He just wrote, and he was good at it. People liked horror and Richard liked giving it to them. Oh, they didn't want the horror to be real, but they did enjoy being scared with the subconscious understanding that all they had to do was close the book to end the nightmare. But what if the horror was real? What if it wasn't just fiction? What then? Richard Vaughn wasn't really prepared for such questions when they were suddenly, and quite forcibly, presented to him. The eerie little man met him on the street. Stopped him, actually, in the middle of a busy sidewalk to ask him if he believed that the Hell he wrote about in his Nights of Hell series existed. It wasn't a new question, or even an uncommon one for someone such as himself. Certainly Stephen King and scores of other horror writers had been asked similar questions over the years. But for Richard, the questions had always come at opportune times, when he'd expected and anticipated them. Writers' conventions, book signings, etc.. But the day he'd been stopped on the sidewalk and had the question shoved at him, he had not been prepared. He didn't like being unprepared for such questions. He despised those who caused him to falter or appear uncertain about anything concerning his literary choices. But this creepy little man had managed to do both. "Excuse me?" Richard met the other man's beady eyes that seemed to penetrate his soul. He had to look down to meet those unnerving eyes, because the question asker stood barely five feet tall, nearly an entire foot shorter than Richard himself. "I asked if you believed it was real." There was a nasal quality to the pudgy little man's voice that made it sound as if he had a cold. His cheesy suit and pasty skin repulsed Richard Vaughn, a man of impeccable taste for finer things. Image was everything, he had learned early on. Slobbish, unfit people annoyed him. And this man in front of him was both. "If I believe what is real?" Of course Richard had heard the question the first time the bothersome little man had presented it, and understood exactly what he meant, but to answer a question- any question- without at least minimal speculation of just what, exactly, was being asked was, quite frankly, foolish. "If you believed what you wrote." The nasal voiced man repeated patiently. "If you believe that such a Hell truly exists." Richard stared at him in silence, performing his own quiet speculation of the question. He sensed this man was trying to trap him somehow. Perhaps get him to admit to something that could damage the image he'd worked so carefully at creating. So he gave him the answer he gave to everyone who asked; "I believe in the possibility." The pudgy man just looked at him. He wasn't satisfied, that much was clear. But did Richard Vaughn give a whit? Absolutely not. This man was not a fan and therefore meant didly to him. How did he know the slobby little man was not a faithful reader? Well, Richard just knew. He'd been long enough in this business, and met enough fans to recognize one on the spot. This creepy little excuse for a human being was not one of the millions that flocked the bookstores on release dates, lusting for another frightening ride on one of Richard Vaughn's horrorcoasters. Oh, he had no doubt that the short man before him had indeed read his books, but not for entertainment. Rather to collect fuel for his attack. "I don't believe you." Nasal voice challenged. "I don't care." Richard started to shove past him, but the annoying man shuffled in front of him again. Richard was certain that if he just brained the creepy little man up alongside the head with his briefcase that he could afford the proper legal counsel to get him off without a hitch. "You really have no idea, do you?" The accoster's voice softened slightly, somewhat reducing the nasal quality. Richard was weary of the questions, especially when they made no sense. Click here to read the rest of this story (446 more lines)
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