Archive for the ‘creative writing’ Category

Outland, outlaw, outgunned by sun,
My sins and dust merge into one.
I count off days in shallow breaths,
Alone, unknown, disowned by death.

Removed, remorse, regret sustains,
Condemned by conscience that remains.
She rides with me, a ghost named Beth,
Alone, unknown, disowned by death.

I’m haunted, haunting, home is hell,
A murderer exiled to dwell
These barren plains prolonging breath,
Alone, unknown, disowned by death.

Outland, outlaw, outgunned by sun,
Alone, unknown, disowned by death.


“Exiled” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night


“Boogeyman” Copyright © 2010 John Ecko. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night


Note: This short sci-fi horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.


She was already regretting her decision. It was Eric’s idea to spend spring break on a five day Caribbean cruise aboard the luxury liner, Morning Mist. He insisted the trip would help their marriage. Claire was well aware of his adulterous affairs, but Eric continued to deny them.

The seas were particularly rough this evening as Claire allowed herself to be coaxed topside so Eric could catch some fresh air. As each wave crashed alongside the ship, the spray rose ten feet, nearly soaking them both. Claire was becoming claustrophobic, realizing that only three feet of walkway and a flimsy life line, were all that separated her from the raging seas.

“Eric, I’m going back inside,” she said.

“We’re just about done here anyway,” Eric responded with an unfamiliar, cold detachment. “We’ve been done for a long time.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

Eric shrugged his shoulders in reply.

Tiring of his cryptic behavior, Claire toward the interior door.

Before she knew what was happening, she felt a strong pull from behind, causing her to lose her balance, and fall over the life lines and into the sea.

Claire struck the water, horrified, then desperately called up to Eric. Her shouts were drowned out by the roaring sea.

Eric did nothing… but watch.

He did this on purpose! her mind accused.

He then blew her a kiss for confirmation, and departed from view.

My God, he planned this!

There was no time to consider the broader implications of Eric’s actions as the cruise ship became smaller; the deck lights growing dimmer upon the erratic surface of the sea. She called out in vain, but struggling against the waves was taking its toll. Claire turned on her back and floated, trying to remain calm and conserve her strength. Due to shock, she briefly lost consciousness.

When Claire awoke, she was all alone in the darkness, surrounded by an indifferent, black ocean. The Morning Mist was long gone.

Disorientation and panic nearly overwhelmed her.

Then she saw the buoy.

What on earth is that doing out here? Claire wondered.

Just fifty yards away, a dark pillar bobbed up and down in the night – an inviting sight in an otherwise desolate ocean. Claire swam for the buoy, locked an arm around its base to keep her head above water, then passed out.


The Coast Guard found her at nine o’clock the next morning while conducting routine checks on all navigational aids in the area. Claire was dehydrated and bordering hypothermia. As they pulled her from the sea, she managed to tell them her name and the name of her ship.

The next day, the Coast Guard Captain who rescued Claire, walked into her hospital room with a ship’s manifest and some disturbing news. He looked ill.

“Did you find my husband, Eric?” Claire hissed.

The captain told her that the manifest held the names of all 700 passengers on board the Morning Mist, including Claire and her husband. He took a deep breath and finished, “A terrible storm sank that vessel. No one was believed to have survived. No one, until now.”

Claire felt the blood drain from her face as the Captain told her the rest:

“That buoy you latched on to, Claire, was a hazard buoy.”

She shook her head. “I… I don’t understand.”

“It was there marking the exact location of a wreck… Claire, The Morning Mist was discovered five years ago… 30 feet beneath you.”


“The Buoy” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night



Hello everyone! It’s almost time to embark on another horrific journey into the darkness (Now, doesn’t that sound inviting?). In just a few more weeks, Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains, will commence. I can now release the premiere date: Monday, August 28th.

So, what can I share about the new story arc so far? I can tell you that the premiere chapter will pick up right where we left off at the end of Book Four, and that it’s going to be very intense right out of the gate. The Shadow Dead have come… and that is not good news for our survivors. The first chapter will be titled, Obituaries… and yes, there will be death… lots of death. The second chapter will be titled, Wick, and will tell a creepy little thriller of a tale. Sorry I can’t say more.

Looking at the new arc from a wider perspective, Book Five will take us back out into what’s left of Northeast Ohio, and give us a much bigger picture as far as what’s happened ‘out there’ since our survivors went into hiding beneath the Wasteland during the long winter. Book Five will take us into unfamiliar territory as we visit new places, meet new people, and of course, discover just what the hell the dead have been up to. Book Five will also bring us closer to understanding the mysterious forces at work in the world that led us to the horrific event, known as The Change. There will be two new additional flashback story chapters centered around the origin of the Shadow Dead, and a continuation of the strange happenings occurring at an orphanage (which is not an orphanage). We will find out what happened to Gina. We will hear strange words whispered like, ‘Alpha Zombie’ and ‘The Nomad’. There’s a lot more, but of course, I can’t talk about it… lol.

I had a lot of fun writing during the month of July, accelerating through more than 30,000 words. I intend to keep writing like a madman going into August to find out how far I can get before crashing into a highway horde… lol.

If you haven’t discovered them yet, I started a collection of stand-alone stories and poems of a dark nature that I will continue to post on occasion, located in the top tab under ‘Other Short Works’. So, if you want to read some other dark offerings I’ve written over the years, be sure to check those out.

Time permitting, I hope to have one more episode of After The Dark, my DFTD talk show, ready shortly before the premiere to help us kick off Book Five.

That’s it for now. I’ll tell you more when I can. I hope to hear from you all after the premiere.



Last summer thoughts still chill my bones,
Some things are best just left alone.
Like when we buried John Simone,
A boy we preyed upon with stones.

We didn’t mean to make him fall,
Just scare him for a bit- that’s all.
Unlucky shot with rock quite small,
Struck Johnny’s head- that tree was tall.

We took our prank beyond what’s fun,
As John twitched once beneath cruel sun.
His lifeless eyes, aimed like a gun,
Condemned us all for what we’d done.

Quite desperate to save our skins,
We buried John, but not our sins,
And vowed to never speak again,
Of that dark day kept locked within.

For months we lived enslaved by fear,
And wondered if our crime would clear.
But no one found the grave that year-
Yet something from the dark drew near.

Was late one night I heard the knock
Upon my door at three o’clock.
An eerie voice began to mock,
“Come out, come out, I’ve brought your rock!”


“The Stoning of John Simone” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night


Note: This short sci-fi horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.


There’s no dawn. No sun. Just a panoramic view of the black, cold spaces that stretch from one end of oblivion to the other. Sprinkled with light- each speck- a brilliant lie of hope, like a lighthouse many miles distant before drowning.

All evidence of home, obliterated before an indifferent, red giant, is contained within this life pod’s memory banks. I am the sole caretaker of this knowledge, the last of an extinct species. Time is my undertaker, in partnership with Death, who has whispered a promise he intends to keep. All my thoughts are recorded and amplified within these long silences between stars.

We saw it coming, and raced against time, sacrificing all for technology that could outrun mankind’s fatal bullet. We made a machine powerful enough to shoot men into deep space, cryogenically frozen in a box the size of a school bus to preserve man’s arrogance, or perhaps his defiance toward the inevitable- a lasting testament carved into the void that reads, ‘Man was here’.

Well, mankind had it wrong, and since I am the first and the last, and all other life pods that were launched after mine never escaped our dying sun’s grasp, then my word is also the final authority on all matters.

I wasn’t supposed to wake until reaching Alpha Centauri, our closest star system, and I will succumb to madness long before then. I continue to hear Death knocking on the door to my capsule. He’s telling me, that my debt is long past due and he’s been waiting to collect. There are no celestial maps to gather my bearings upon this infinite, black sea, no distress beacons that will be heard, no prayers that I can offer to a long absent god.

I know that I haven’t crossed a fraction of the distance needed, and yet, I am over a thousand years old.

My body continues to function in this hellish sleep-state. My mind stays awake- just a ghost in the machine.

The console continues to record my bitter thoughts. I pray these words will be my last:

Man, in all his glory and achievements, has gone through extraordinary measures to send its last remaining descendent beyond the edge of known space… to be buried alive.


“The Black Sea” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night


Note: This short sci-fi horror story is unrelated to Don’t Feed The Dark.


It was the beginning of the end of life as Tommy knew it. Nothing could prepare him or the rest of his high school senior class for Career Day, and nothing would ever be the same for any of them again.

Tommy resisted attending, as was common, but he remained the good son, unwilling to embarrass his family name by giving in to fear. Besides, attending Career Day was not only a mandatory requirement to graduate high school, but it was required by Federal Law in order to work anywhere legally within the United States. There was also the penalty of imprisonment and steep fines for parents who were found deliberately withholding their children from attending–a deterrent against the radicals of society that continued to cleave to archaic and obsolete principles from long ago.

The turnout was huge this year as Tommy and his parents waited their turn in line to speak to his appointed career counselor. Up until now, Tommy’s dreams of becoming a professional football player seemed within reach. He had already attracted the notice of several college team scouts last year and his potential for becoming one of the youngest rising star quarterbacks seemed inevitable.

But by 2030, nothing was inevitable or unpredictable. Horrific advances in medical technology had made it so.

As Tommy watched the thinning line of students ahead of him, he wanted so desperately to run and never look back. Another student went in and Tommy wondered what his face would look like when he exited–how many years, more or less, would be reflected there. Of course, no one was allowed to witness this transition, for things did not turn out so well for some.

He could feel his father’s shaky hand on his shoulder. “It will be alright, Son.”

Tommy gave him a sharp look and responded, “There’s no way you can know that.”

The future was once a terrifying and beautiful mystery, but that was all about to change today. For on Career Day, each student’s date of death was revealed for the first time, initially calculated at birth and kept hidden until educated on how to handle the shock of such news, and with it, the unraveling of many dreams.

Tommy knew that if his date of death was anything less than thirty years, he’d never be able to pick up a football scholarship. Scouts wanted athletes, and anyone projected to die in their late thirties to early forties raised a red flag toward possible early hereditary health issues, which would make Tommy an insurance liability that no football team owner would consider.

Of course, there were other careers Tommy could pursue, dependent upon his longevity. If time permitted, he could continue a short-term degree in a less exciting profession; spend what time he had working for corporations that preferred “short-termers” because they could cut down on long-term retirement expenses and save companies money. Of course, anyone working for them would have to sign special wavers absolving corporations from covering death expenses. But Tommy loved football–had a real gift for it. He found it so unfair that his fate, after all his hard work, could be decided by one lousy day, one day that had already been decided long ago.

Tommy’s thoughts were interrupted as the sound of a mother’s tears could be heard following a student exiting the Career Day booth from three lines over. He could just make out a young boy and his family, quickly escorted out by security to private offices on the other side.

Some were left devastated, finding out that they had only a handful of years left to live, while others–a lifetime. Career paths were broadened or narrowed considerably, according to each outcome. Short-term counselors awaited to provide emotional support and a much shorter list of alternatives for the remainder of some student’s lives.

Tommy couldn’t shake the chill that seized him. That boy could be me, he thought.

“Next,” a counselor called toward him.

Tommy looked back at his mother. Her face was always so radiant with hope, even now. “Go on, Tommy,” she encouraged. “It will be alright, one way or the other. We’ll still be here to love you no matter what you find out.”

Tommy smiled then reluctantly turned and walked toward the booth to discover his fate. All he could do was hope for the best and throw one final pass toward heaven asking God to let him play ball. But as he considered the mother’s cries from three lines over that continued to echo in his thoughts, Tommy realized that being prohibited from playing football was not the worst thing he could find out today. He began to feel his own mortality weighing him down with each anxious and heavy step.


“Career Day” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night


After the Dark1 (2)


“Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of After The Dark. I’m your host, John Ecko, and this is the Don’t Feed The Dark after-show that will attempt to answer your burning questions while we shine a light into some of the darkest corners of this chilling apocalyptic serial to see what we can uncover.

Each episode we will explore a diverse range of topics as we sit down with our featured special guests who have come right out of the pages of this dark serial novel to enlighten us and hopefully give us some additional insights into their characters, as well as what we can expect in the days ahead.


At this time, I must advise you, avid readers, that from here on in, there will be major spoilers discussed. So in the event that you haven’t read the first 38 chapters of Don’t Feed The Dark, I strongly suggest that you don’t continue on with us until after you’ve caught up. Consider yourself warned.”


Both John and Marcus are seated before the audience. John gets up, hands raised, and begins. “Welcome back, ladies and gentleman. It’s now time for part two of our exciting, and a little unnerving, interview with our special guest, Marcus Dempsey, a.k.a. Russell Bower. Please put your hands together and let’s make Marcus feel welcome.”

(Most of the audience stand and put their hands together. The rest sink in their seats to escape notice.)

John sits. “Well, Marcus. Welcome back to the show. I’m looking forward in continuing our discussion to find out what’s in store for our resident serial killer.”

“You should probably stop calling me that, now,” Marcus says with a smile. “In this new environment, I’ve seen enough murder and mayhem by the rest of humanity to convince me that the term ‘Survivor’ is just another synonym for ‘Killer’.”

“That’s very true,” John says with a nod. “Hell, by the old standards, looking at what folks are getting away with after The Change, I guess anyone could be classified a ‘serial killer’.”

“Exactly,” Marcus says. “Besides, I think my purpose has evolved beyond the typical slice-and-dice murder crime scenes. All things considering, I think my character has shown consider restraint. Don’t you?”

“Yes, you’re right,” John says. “With the exception of catering to the savage, or The Other One, I was starting to think that you were done with killing. In fact, it really seemed like you were staring to become one among the community of survivors. They certainly value having you around.”

Marcus laughs. “Yes, no one minds having someone around who can keep them safe. Most people don’t even care how you do it, just as long as they can keep on breathing. I guess that puts me in a very unique position. I can be both protector and predator, dependent on the circumstances.”

“But… I started to sense, especially in your latest tale, that you even shared something more with this group, or at least, the core group that you traveled with. A sense of belonging, perhaps?”

Marcus rubs his chin and takes a moment to consider the question. “‘Attachment’ is probably a better word. I think I simply got used to operating within this group, functioning on some level to address the concerns of the whole, but ultimately, serving my own agenda… which is always… The Lady. As long as one does not come into conflict with the other, I could always serve both ends.”

“Meaning, you could be both Russell and Marcus. Embracing your new persona while still holding true to the former. Is that a correct assessment?”

“Yes, and no,” Marcus says. “I believe I could entertain an alternate existence as Marcus… if not for the savage who is constantly there to remind me that it’s all a farce. Believe me, that blood-thirsty maniac is constantly challenging the confines of are delicate arrangement. For that brute, I am holding him back, or, holding us both back from truly indulging in the apocalypse… and he despises me for it.”

“But you are the one in control, correct?”

“Most of the time,” Marcus says, and then sighs heavily. “Honestly, John, it’s becoming more and more difficult to deny the savage. I think he’s growing stronger within… and I sometimes wonder who will prevail in the end… and what that will mean?”

“That’s a truly disturbing thought,” John admits. “I think we are all bothered by your present character’s motives. But a Marcus Dempsey controlled by the savage… well… that would be disastrous.”

“Agreed,” Marcus says.

(For a moment everyone gets quiet.)

“Well, enough of that,” John says. “Let’s shift the topic, shall we?”


“Let’s talk about the mysterious Alysa. How does she make you feel?”

Marcus laughs. “You sound like a therapist I once killed.”

(The audience laughs.)

“Seriously though,” John continues, “that young woman seems very enamoured with you. Any thoughts?”

Marcus shifts uncomfortably in his chair, and everyone notices. “This… woman… finds me half dead after my unfortunate fall from the cliff, then pretends to be my savior as she nurses me back to health, all the while hoping to validate her worthless existence, hiding away from the world, by taking advantage of my injuries, knowing that I’m temporarily reliant upon her. Of course, this was what I thought at first… and then she pulled the rug right out from under me. My thoughts? I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone dead more that that woman in the woods.”

“Clearly,” John says, sensing Marcus’ agitation. “So… she tries to belittle you, tries to seduce you, has been drugging you since the beginning, leading to all sorts of strange hallucinations… is there anything we can take at face value from this woman?”

“Absolutely not,” Marcus says. “If I’ve learned any one thing that is true about Alysa, it’s that she’s very dangerous.”

“You had a chance to kill her at the cabin. Why didn’t you attempt it?”

Marcus smiles. “I didn’t bother because it was a power-play. Alysa wanted me to know that she wasn’t afraid of me, so she put on a show of vulnerability to see what I’d do. Although I was no longer a prisoner in that bed, she was very much still in control. There was only one option… and that was leaving… as she intended.”

“Interesting,” John says. “How much do you think she knows about the real you?”

“I think she knows enough, and revealed just enough, to let me know that I was vulnerable.”

“Because of Gina?”


“So what do you suppose she really wanted from you if everything else was an act?”

Marcus shook his head. “That’s a very good question. Truth is, I hope I never find out. I believe Alysa understands the value of information. Anyone can learn how and where to cut someone with a sharp enough weapon to do the most damage. It takes real skill to know how deep to cut to kill quickly and how shallow to prolong pain. But only a master knows how to do the most damage to someone with nothing but your tongue. Possessing and wielding information effectively is the most devastating weapon available.”

John nods. “And that’s what you’ve done a lot of, if I’m correct. How you devastated Tony before leaving the community seems like a perfect example of what you’re talking about.”

“Precisely. Knowledge waits, like a patient predator, for the most opportune time to strike.”

“And you’re saying that Alysa understands this as much as you do?”

Marcus sighs. “She may be more deadly with it than I could ever be. I wasn’t about to stick around and find out.”

“So, she let you go, then?”

“I believe she gave me a choice. A test. Whether I passed it or not is beyond me. But either way, she was prepared for whatever I chose.”

John shakes his head. “So, what was it about you that made her go through all this trouble? Why all the games and deception?”

“I believe she acquired enough information from the drugs to arouse her curiosity. The hell if I know for sure. She was able to hide herself from me… and that is not something most can do. I usually find a crack in most people, something to exploit… but not this woman.”

“So… has Marcus Dempsey met his match?”

Marcus smiled like the devil. “I certainly hope so.”

(The audience laughs.)

“We are almost out time,” John says. “I want to ask a few more questions before we finish. Near the end of the episode, Alysa opens a large chest, presumably full of her personal belongings. What’s described to us is a bow. Beneath the bow, a dark metallic suit, two gauntlets with razors for fingers, and a large cow-skull looking helmet. I don’t have to tell my audience what all that added together sounds like.”

Marcus laughs. “It is very interesting.”

“So I’ll just ask the million dollar question: Is Alysa a Shadow Dead?”

Marcus raises his arms and says, “I was long gone before that scene. Your guess is as good as mine.”

“Damn it!” John says. “I knew you were going to say something like that. Okay, next question. Will we see Alysa again in the near future?”

“Not if I kill her first,” Marcus says, and adds nothing else.

“Okay… okay… how about we just address the elephant in the room. What can you tell us about your next encounter with Gina… assuming, of course, that you find her?”

“All I’m permitted to say is that there’s a special kind of bond between myself and Gina… and a special kind of blood, which runs within us both. One way or the other, we’ll be exploring that blood in a very intimate way.”

“I don’t like the sound of that at all,” John admits. “Well, we’re just about out of time. Is there anything else you can tell us about the next story arc found in Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains?”

Marcus consider this, and then says, “There’s going to be a lot of death… and you all know how excited that makes me.” He adds a wink.

(The audience laughs nervously.)

“Well, Marcus, it’s been great finally having you on the show. I sincerely hope you never find Gina… but if you do… I hope she’s a much faster runner than you.”

(The audience laughs.)

“It’s been a pleasure,” Marcus lies. He could really care less.

John turns to the audience. “And that’s a wrap for this episode of After The Dark. As always, if anyone has any additional questions they would like to ask Marcus about his character, story line, or anything else Don’t Feed The Dark related, we will endeavor to answer your questions, if possible. How about a big hand for our special guest!”

(The audience stands and applauds… ecstatic to see the serial killer depart.)

“Just a reminder: Don’t Feed The Dark, Book Five: Remains, will begin in August. If possible, the author has informed us that we may have one more episode of After The Dark to kick off the premiere. See you all next time!”


Please show your support for Don’t Feed The Dark by voting for it at topwebfiction Just click and vote. Nothing else required. You can vote every seven days to help me keep this series listed.

Thank you,


“The Other Me” Copyright © 2010 John Ecko. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night


We’ve made a reservation,
A vacation just for you.
The rooms are kept quite private,
To enhance your special moods.

The meds are recreational,
Provided free of charge.
We recommend you try them all,
To find your ‘shooting star’.

Dinner’s served at seven,
On the other side of time.
Don’t fret about an evening suit,
Your one-sleeve jacket’s fine.

The show tonight’s an improv,
Something from your younger days.
The stage has been sedated,
For the drama, we call, Rage.

Sit right back, enjoy the show,
We promote participation.
What was that? You’re not alone?
They’re just hallucinations.

Just listen to the pleasant voice,
Which hides inside your hide.
At times the show’s quite brutal,
And the actors seem quite dead.

The doctor will come shortly,
For your dose of ‘sweet forget’.
He’ll even help you tie your shoes,
And clean up all the mess.

We ask that you return all props,
You’ve borrowed from the kitchen.
The chef will need his butcher’s knife,
For tomorrow night’s creation.

We’re pleased we could accommodate,
And fan insanity’s spark.
The theater of your mind,
Demands an encore in the dark.


“Madhouse Theater” Copyright © 2010 Scott Scherr. All rights reserved.

If you’re new to my blog and want to read something a bit longer, feel free to check out my ongoing serial novel, Don’t Feed The Dark, and tell me what you think: DFTD Chapter 1-1: Demon Night