Thomas Novosel

blog for art, writing, and games

Tag: horror

Eating Houses (flash fiction)

This story is about houses that sit on the sides of rural highways, the ones that are surrounded and overgrown in greens. You probably have passed by one if you are from rural areas, or have driven through farm country.

This story was written out in pencil in a small Moleskine notebook the other night, and the photo attached was taken at the end of last summer while I was driving through upstate New York. Enjoy this slice of horror, have fun.

Eating Houses

Trees hide broken and lost places. Tall grass aides and abets the forgottoning (to purposely work to forget). With each wave of bushes grown, of prickers spread, of mudholes birthed, the old house recedes further and further from view.

It is first pulled back from the highway (a rural road that many use). Then the weeds poke holes up and through the driveway’s pavement. Breaking the lifeline that keeps the derelict ship connected to civilization.

When the wind blows, the grass rolls in waves against the house. Pushing it towards the tree line. Loose boards and rotten shingles break free and sink into the ground. At each inch they relent, pausing long enough for birds to stake generational claims to the rafters within. The birds will eventually scatter though. They will break out the remnants of broken glass from the windows.

This is how you can tell that the earth is pushing again.

Even if a wall falls, or the roof caves in under the pressure of each blow. The fields will not relent until the forest is fed. The woods hunger for fading memories and lost homes.

The last meal is almost all gone now… All that remains is the fallen stone chimney, and even that will be sunken into the woods dirt belly soon. Maybe a hunter will see the chimney though? See it before it is all gone?

It won’t matter though. It doesn’t ever matter, because human eyes don’t pause for long.

Muddy water will suck those crumbs down between glances. Old cabins will go down, the meals made by people for old woods are soft and simple in construction. Structures that are quickly left behind, or visited so little that woods can lick it down until it is green and soft with moss and red rot.

The woods will be fed though. Someone always has done the work and someone always will. If the grassy fields are purged and burned, then the behemoth will seduce the worship of another. And it may even demand even more of their hands and willpower.

The green is all, and the green is forever, as long as there is green it will hunger. Its endless corridors will beckon the down, the weak, and will always find the willing.

Photo of a steel roof poking through a line of pine trees and overgrown grass.
Taken with my phone on a drive through rural upstate New York.

SNAP SNAP (flash fiction)

This is a horror flash fiction that I wrote after reading the first Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book after re-watching the movie. I hope you enjoy it. It is short, have fun.


On the other side of town there is a house that leans and creaks, nearly falling into the river. You know the one, by the bridge? It is a house with one floor and paint that peels from its walls.

In this house lived a small boy and his father. The mother had left for the coast a few years ago, after the Dad had yelled one too many times. She was lucky because she escaped, but she wasn’t able to take Steven away.

Steven was a small kid. Always covered in mud and wearing ratty clothes. People would drive by and see him playing outside. They would drive by and whisper to each other that it wasn’t right how that Daddy treated his boy. That it was so sad what had happened.

Then they would drive away, little Steven’s eyes glowing red in their tail lights.

As he got older he stayed small. His clothes became threadbare, and he stopped going to school. He would play in the yard all day and night, going to the river behind the house.

People who drove over the bridge would sometimes watch as they saw his Daddy take him by the collar and pull him up the porch stairs and into the house. He wouldn’t be seen for a few days after this. And the yelling couldn’t be heard by those who drove their cars down the road, with their radio turned up.

They turned their radios up because they knew.

Across the bridge was a pet shop, and the owner was friends with the boy’s mother. When she was still in town, they would talk in the library sometimes. That was why she gave Steven the lizard on his birthday.

Steven would smile and chase the lizard around the yard. Collecting coins from the grates on the side of the road and picking up bottles to return was how he paid for the lizard’s care.

Then, Steven’s Dad came home drunk one day. Steven was dragged outside and crying. Cars passing by saw this and saw the Dad holding a dark green lizard by its tail as it kicked and flailed. The Dad gave the lizard to the boy and yelled at him.

“THROW IT AWAY! GET THIS OUT OF MY HOUSE!” He yelled. Steven fell to the ground and cried.

He couldn’t do it.

So his Dad did. He threw the lizard into the river.

The drivers did call for help this time, and when Steven’s Dad came back to the house to take care of his boy after his two years. Steven had something waiting for him.

* * *

People haven’t seen Steven since his Dad’s body was found. His back was cracked in half and head chewed to bits, his lower half was down the river and his upper half at the out pipe for the storm drains. The pipe that was next to his house. Not a lot of people remember Steven now, but a few older people do. Not a lot of older people left in this town now…

You can tell who remembers Steven though. They avoid that house. But that doesn’t stop them from being found dead. Chewed apart down the river.

Those who are still alive won’t live much longer when they hear the child’s voice laughing from the storm drains. Echoing through the pipes. Followed always by short words from an unfamiliar voice that they strangely still know, and the snapping of long jaws.

“You knew… didn’t you?”


This picture was found in the British Libraries Flickr collection of public domain images.
You can find it here.

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