Thursday, 2 April 2009

Extract from "The Lord of the Law"

Here is an extract from "The Lord of the Law", which appears in The Fourth Black Book of Horror now available on and This story is in the same series as my tales "Cactus" appearing in Midnight Echo #1 and "Hell's Ambassador" in Black Box.


I’m forced to sit upon the ceiling, because gravity has reversed for me. I’m trapped in a hotel room. I dare not look out the window, afraid of what I’ll see. At least I had the courage to confirm the window is locked, so I can sleep at night.

This morning the Lord of the Law has returned. He deems to reverse gravity and sit with me. His clothes don’t hang downwards like mine, bunching at my neck and armpits. His clothes are clean.

“Are you ready to apologise?” he asks me.

I look at him. He wears the shape of a man, but his density is all wrong. When he’s still it’s like he’s painted on the wall, a two-dimensional picture of him on a canvas. The occasions when he does move I feel it is the room that shifts and warps around him, propelling him forward in its flux.

“I still don’t know what you want me to apologise for?”

He won’t look at me.

“Haven’t you tormented me enough?”

He doesn’t say anything. Instead the cracks in the ceiling and walls extend. They open silently, run before my very eyes.

I feel an unseen density press upon me, like swimming in water.


“Mr Skolling, self-denial serves no one. Not me and especially not you.”

“But I don’t know what I have done.”

He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t move.

So I sob. I’ve been sitting on the ceiling for two weeks, trapped in dirty clothes, trapped with nether-light that casts shadows on every surface. All the time I’m wondering if I’m ever going to escape.

“What do you want me to do?”

“We’ll talk again tomorrow.”

“Please, just tell me?”

He rises, walks onto the wall, turns, walks to the floor, turns and goes to the bar fridge, every step silent as if he is not there.

He takes a beer, opens it, and pours it into a dirty glass. I can smell it. I want it. He knows this. He places it on the side table, its liquid suspended above me.

“What did I do?”

He leaves me, not through the door, but by melding into the wall, vanishing like a shadow surprised by a bright light.

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