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In our build-up to Halloween 2021 – a time of the year that we at Edgeverse traditionally don’t give a shit about – we decided to publish a series of short stories that take traditional horror elements and give them a wobbly new spin.
We enjoyed writing these stories so much that we created a whole new collected work centred around them, titled, ‘The Bad Place.’
If slightly off-kilter horror is your cup of tea then why not take a dive into the absolutely free world of the weird and macabre world of our darkest writing?


By - Sir Jack of Godwynn

I was stabbed in the leg again. A sharp prick shot up my calf and then the dull itchiness started in my soft, exposed skin. Grumbling to myself, I scratched at it and cursed my miserable luck as quietly as I could. He was some way ahead of me now and this wasn’t going as I had expected. My relationships never do, of course!

I have never had the greatest luck with men, but I finally met one I really liked and I decided to go all-in. For once, I just gave my whole self to the relationship and I didn’t hold back. It was amazing at first and I really fell for him. I fell hard!

Within three short weeks I was reduced to trudging through a forest at night getting pricked at by thorns, while dragging my feet, my heart, and my self-respect through the mud as I followed the man of my dreams like a low-rent spy.

I watched in silence, peering out from behind a bush. He turned and looked behind him, craning his neck to look in my direction and sniffing at the air. I held my breath and felt my heart racing as the fear gripped me. If he caught me now it would be over. His eyes darted around piercingly and I was afraid they’d see through my cover, afraid he might hear the anxious drumming of my heart.

We had met at school. He was new to the area and had been in my chemistry class. He was the coolest guy I had ever met: handsome, rugged and a little bit dangerous. His eyes were like bright blue beacons, beaming out from the darkness. He seemed to shine, glowing so brightly that it was impossible not to notice him.

I was shocked when he first spoke to me. I giggled and looked away as his head turned and his eyes met mine. It was the most romantic day of my life when he said, in his low, serious and grave voice, “Hey, do you understand this shit?”

Of course I didn’t, but I told him I did and asked if he needed any help with it. He needed all the help he could get and he let me do his homework for him. I loved every minute of the time we spent together, even though he liked to tease me constantly.

We would sit in a coffee shop while I worked, him playing on his phone and checking out the girls as they walked by. Occasionally he would look at me and smile and ask what I thought of them. I knew he was just goading me, and I knew we were getting closer. I could feel the attraction as our hearts slowly pulled us together.

We had our differences. I’m a vegan, of course, and he likes meat, as raw and bloody as possible. But then, one day he opened up to me. Something had happened at home and he wouldn’t talk about it. He told me he needed me to get on his motorcycle and we rode off. The world flashed past in a blur, colours streaking by as we headed out from the small, claustrophobic town and into the woods beyond.

We stopped for me to buy beers, since he never had any money, and we ended up in a clearing together, drinking and talking.

After a while he began to tell me about himself as his smouldering eyes gazed forwards into eternity. He said that it had begun many moons ago. His family were dark, twisted people and had treated him badly as he had grown up. When he was young, they had beaten him, locked him under the stairs and left him to fight the family dog for food scraps.

This pain was what drove him, but he said it had changed who he was. He looked up to the moon and flashed me a wry smile. He told me he was something else now, something powerful.

After that, we hung out more often. Despite the problems, I knew I was beginning to fall in love with him; I couldn’t help it. I knew he was dangerous, but I was drawn to him. I just couldn’t resist. Sometimes he growled; sometimes he made howling noises when he was excited, and he refused to shave the thick, black stubble that lined his perfect face.

But then it happened.

I asked him if we could hang out on a Friday night, and he said we couldn’t. He looked away and a darkness came over him then. He said he was busy that weekend and had to go away. I knew he was lying, and it hurt me deeply.

All this destroyed my confidence, and I slunk around school feeling broken and alone. I didn’t talk to the few friends I have. Marcy and Ella asked what was wrong but I just couldn’t say without tears running down my cheeks. The thought of him off with some girl, of him pushing me to one side and going out with some pretty, empty-headed thing was just too much.

I thought we had something real, a connection that mattered to him as much as he mattered to me!

I’m not proud of what I did, but I decided to follow him. He rode his loud, black motorcycle out along the same dark roads that we had once gone on together. I had borrowed my Dad’s car and drove along behind him, keeping as far back as I could without losing him.

The further we went, the more I started to think that something was horribly, terribly wrong.

He pulled over and got off his bike, just around the same clearing we had gone to before. I drove past and found some quiet layby to park in.

There was no girl, no cheerleader on the back of his bike. He was alone, just him in this wild forest, lit under the white, mysterious light of the brightly glowing moon.

Was he meeting someone there, I wondered? I crept along into the woods, gently picking my way through the thick bushes, and I followed him to the clearing where we had first drunk beer together.

He looked away and carried on forwards, edging further into the gloom, growling and snarling to himself. I followed behind growing even more confused and increasingly concerned. What exactly was going on?

Finally we came to a hut, some horrible, dark log cabin deep in the woods, the brilliant, silvery light of the full-moon casting haunting shadows all around it. It looked abandoned.

My heart quickened at the sight of the ugly, awful thing. It was like some wretched, low-budget horror movie had come to life right in front of me. But he carried on and went straight in through the front door.

He had a key!

I found an old crate and positioned it under the dirty side window. Climbing on top of it and standing on tiptoes, I was just about able to peer inside. He had thrown off his beaten leather jacket and was sat down on the cold, stone floor, but he didn’t appear to have noticed me watching.

I wasn’t jealous now, I was afraid. I didn’t know what was going on and could only wait as this awful nightmare played itself out. As I sat myself down on the crate, I became even more terrified. I heard a scream, a blood-curdling cry that tore apart my very soul.

I waited until morning, just sat there, shaking in fear. I was too afraid to go in, too afraid to turn back. Panic had gripped me and had melted away to emptiness. I felt numb by the time that moon gave way to the first light of morning.

Eventually, with the first rays of dawn on my face, I found the courage to open the door and go inside.

The place was run down, debris strewn around the floor, and he was right in the middle, shackled to the wall with a metal chain.

“My god!” I heard myself say. He was curled up asleep like a dog, and he roused at the sound of my voice. He began to wake, blearily rubbing at his eyes. He was vulnerable and alone; he had never looked more beautiful to me.

He asked, confused and helpless, “What are you doing here?”

I rushed forwards and began pulling at the chains. “What’s going on?” I urged, my voice shrill and panicked. I reached out to offer the comfort he needed while he was at his lowest. As my hand gently rested on his shoulder, his expression hardened and he brushed my offer of warmth and comfort aside as though it were nothing.

I stopped in my tracks and my heart skipped a beat. I looked straight into his bright, beautiful eyes and waited for him to explain.

“Stop… touching me, Gregg!” he said with a growl. “Are you gay or something?”

He sat up and looked around, blinking blearily. “Wait… Have you been here all night? I could have killed you!”

“What?” I said with a smirk, shrugging at his half-garbled gibberish.

“I guess you know now!” he said solemnly, looking down to his feet and pulling his knees up like a naughty child. “I’m a werewolf. At midnight, under the light of the full moon, I change into a half-beast creature and I hunt for flesh to feed on.”

“What?!” I said incredulously. I covered my mouth and looked away; it was the best I could do to stop myself laughing.

He looked broken. His hair was a mess, his shaggy, threadbare beard half-arsedly covering his weak chin.

“My parents had to lock me away to stop me from hurting others. They had no choice. Now, I lock myself in here every full moon so I don’t hurt anyone else.”

“Um… No!” I said, shaking my head as an awkward, almost embarrassed smile flashed over my lips. I almost felt bad for him.

“It’s for the best!” he said dolefully.

“No!” I repeated more forcefully, hoping to snap his feeble fragile mind back to reality. “I’ve been here all night. Nothing happened. You just slept on the floor.”

“I’m serious!” he insisted and frowned at me in pathetic confusion. “I turned into a wolf.”

“No you didn’t!” I repeated again and rolled my eyes. “I watched you the whole time. Nothing happened at all. You just laid there!”

“But…” he stammered. “But…”

Honestly, he looked like he wanted to cry. I actually felt a little embarrassed for us both.

As I watched him sit there gibbering and blubbing, I felt I had finally seen the real him for the first time, and frankly I was not impressed. He was just a mess, a sorry loser lost in some ridiculous delusion; a scared little boy clinging tightly to a fantasy that he was something other than himself, something that only existed inside his head. This was all some manifestation of a past trauma, no doubt. The abuse he grew up with must have damaged him badly if this was the comforting fiction he escaped to, one where he was the monster and his family were right to lock him away.

He slowly got to his feet. The chains just fell away and clattered to the floor; they had never even been locked!

What must it be like to be so empty and shallow? I felt some mild pity for this horribly damaged, weak and pathetic creature, but I knew I couldn’t let it be my problem anymore. It was his burden to carry, and a real man would own it, not mope around in the shadows crying to anyone that would listen.

No, there was nothing left there for me now. It was time to move on, I could do better than this!

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What could be better than a whole book filled with this kind of stuff? A colonoscopy performed by a nervous crustacean? Reading the entire ‘50 Shades of Gray’ series? Nothing even comes close!

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