Author Guest Post: Stephen Thorn

Today’s Author shares a beautifully worded, dark short story.

The Glowering Pines






The words were there again this morning, scratched during the night into the new snow that slicks the cabin’s front steps. “I love you,” it read, beautiful in its simplicity and poignant in its timing. Every time new snow or wind obliterates the message she rewrites it. I recognize her hand– how she curls the top of the L and tail of the E, just as she did in the love letters we exchanged when I was a handsome young man wooing a green-eyed maid whose smile made my heart skip a beat whenever it appeared. The letters are clear in the crystalline covering but no other marks mar the frozen tablet. From the stoop to the black wall of silent pines more than a dozen yards away there is a clean, pristine expanse. Not even a footprint.
Breakfast almost comes from a bottle but I resist; have to conserve the precious amber anesthetic. Supplies are getting low, and when they’re exhausted there’s no way to get back to civilization for more. I have food for several weeks yet and I can always melt snow for water–God knows there’s enough ice and snow here to keep me supplied for the foreseeable future–but the really critical stuff is almost gone. Two fifths of oblivion
won’t last long. A week, maybe. Then I guess the blessed stupor that stills the whispering voices of the pines and lets me catch a fleeting few hours of sleep will be lost to me and it will only be a matter of time before I succumb to the seductive whispers and walk out into the trees and leave the cabin behind me for the last time. Part of me thrills at the thought of meeting my precious one among the dark, eternal trees, of holding her once again as I did in the happiest moments of my life. And part of me cowers in numb horror at the same thought.
I stand at the window looking out at the early morning sunlight trying to pierce the shadows under the glowering pines. The woods are too thick, the branches too heavy with needles for the feeble light to reach the ground during the summer when the sun is at his strongest, but now, with the shroud of snow added to the fortress’ walls there is only murky shade beneath the trees. The clearing where this cabin stands fills with watery
light as the sun rises but outside that small oval the light never quite wins the battle. Somewhere out there she sleeps, in a hollow log, perhaps, or in the silent, stony crypt I built for her. Maybe just on the frozen forest floor. I doubt there’s enough sunlight filtering through the boughs to disturb her slumber.
Behind me the hearth glows with cheery flames. I can’t quite say why I build the fire every morning and keep it crackling all day. True, for survival I need the heat, but I don’t really care whether I survive another day or not–yet, for all that, the flesh and its encoded self-preservation instinct won’t permit me to just let the cold claim me. I suppose that’s why I still lock myself up in this tomb every night, even though I know she can’t come in unless I invite her.
I see myself reflected in the glass panes with the dancing fire behind my image. It brings to mind a quote from many years past: “A vampire has had a glimpse into Hell. They know what awaits them.” I wonder if that’s true, that she’s seen past the veil into the infernal pits and if she’s damned into that torment when she truly, finally, dies. Is that also what waits for me someday if I lose the will to resist and fall into the velvet noose of her embrace? Will her kiss condemn me as she is condemned? And is the end worth the cost of admission? Every morning I decide that it is. And every night I change my mind and lock the door and pour another four fingers of delicious oblivion to silence the voice that floats in from the pines and calls my name and begs me to come out to her.
 Click here to read more short stories by Stephen
My review of The Glowering Pines:
A very short story, but beautifully worded, pulling you into the character’s dark world. The winter cold and dark pine forests set the mood just right for such a tragic tale. The man is agonized, stalling his decision to end his life in the arms of his beloved  (a vampire) or go on for a bit longer. So captivating I encourage readers to click on the link for the rest of the story. I found this author an amazingly talented word-smith and I hope he writes a novel. I’d love to read it!
Other work by Stephen:


Stephen lives near Harrisburg, PA.  He enjoys writing, scary movies, reading, collecting knives, photography, target shooting, and surfing the ‘Net.

Stephen’s writing includes horror fiction, science fiction, humor, erotica, and lyric poetry.  His publishing credits include”A Short Conversation” (see Weird Western Yarns, below), “To Search in the Shadows”, “Case No. 24174K”,  “The Unwelcome Kind of Tenants”, and “Spirit Elk”; and a medical article for Easyriders magazine.

Favorite quote:  “Those who beat their swords into plowshares will someday plow in servitude to those who have kept their swords.”

Find Stephen at: