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  • 1–Hugh


    The whole mess started one spring afternoon, shortly after I relocated to Quimper in Brittany France. I was snoozing away peacefully after an all-night bender when a jarring noise disrupted the blissful scene: brrrrrr-ing… brrrrrrr-ing... brrrrrrr-ing… brrrrrrr-ing…

    “It’s here again,” said Gary--aka inconsiderate, entitled, surf enthusiast/trust-funded flatmate who still believed in a maxed-volume ringtone-- from down the hall.

    brrrrrr-ing… brrrrrrr-ing... brrrrrrr-ing…

    "Oh for God's sake!" I growled, covering my head with the pillow. “Answer the damned phone, you stupid stoner slacker!”

    “3 p.m," he continued, in a graver tone, “just like the landlord said it would. And right on time too.”

    I cracked open one glassy eye and peered blearily up at my cracked ceiling. “What the frickin’ hell is he talking about?”

    And then I heard it: the barking. The goddamn barking rising up from streets, from behind the walls bordering our apartment, increasing in volume, and dropping like shrapnel upon my eardrums.

    “What the hell are those freakin' mutts barking at?” I sat up then groaned as the hangover hit me and turned to shield my eyes from afternoon sun leaking in through the blind.

    “And now the noonday chorus of hell hounds has commenced.” Gary intoned slowly.

    “Well, you got that right,” I scratched my scraggly hair and beard.

    “Always they barked hysterically at the top of their lungs...” I heard the noisy crunching of veggie crisps followed shortly by a glug of V8. “Always at those same set of blue doors.”

    I stopped scratching. “Say whaaat?”

    The only blue doors I was familiar with were the ones that belonged to that vacant, bank-owned apartment down the block from us. I assumed it was left empty due to its owners not being able to afford repairs or fallen behind with their mortgage payments. Man! Was I wrong!


    After what seemed like an inordinately long crunching and glugging pause, Gary mumbled, “Those same doors to that old apartment where all those seances took place... where a group of bored teens who had heard the stories of a dread room had decided to drive out whatever was imprisoned there.

    “Always on the same day and exactly at the same time, nearly every dog in town comes to bark at those very doors... as if to keep whatever had broken loose and murdered most those kids from wrecking more havoc.”

    “What kids?” I enquired, mystified. “What the hell is he going on about? Dude must be stoned out of his gourd on bong hits, and inhaled several times what a sane human should consume.”

    Then through my vodka-induced haze, I suddenly remembered how the locals always would hurry to the other side of the street instead of passing close to that particular spot. How on one particular night as I walked by that place, I suddenly felt I was being followed and I kept checking over my shoulder, but I didn’t see anything. When I eventually got home, I was so grateful for the lights, and ended up double-locking my door behind me.

    “And it was a simple phone call that started the whole curse thing.”

    Gee, I wonder if there’s a stringy-haired ghost girl here as well? I mentally inquired.

    It wasn’t any Samara/Sadako-type grudge spirit... and what I heard and eventually, found on my own was worse than I ever imagined.

    “Those teens all thought it was just their friend calling to invite them over to dabble in the occult,” Gary continued, “and practice being junior exorcists... only it wasn’t their friend who was making all those calls.”

    He paused dramatically as if to let the words sink in. By this point in the story, cold chills were creeping up my spine, raising the hair on the back of my neck The silence lasted for another minute before he spoke again. “No... Uhuh... nope! No, siree! It wasn’t her at all. What was really making those calls was a demon-possessed corpse.”

    My eyebrows went up. “A demon-possessed corpse?” I snorted. “What in the great outdoors is that doofus spouting off about?”


    Slowly, I pulled myself to my feet. I almost slipped a couple times, but managed to regain my balance and made my way to the door. Giving the door a good hard shove, I poked my head out into the hall.

    “Yo Frank!” I bellowed with all my might. “Frankie! You know what that orange punk Gary was muttering to himself just now?”


    2–Frankie


    Thunk. Thunk, Thunk


    I woke from my trance to the sound of heavy pounding on my apartment door. I slowly opened my eyes. The room was still lit by a luminous meditation lantern next to the bed I forgot to put out before going to sleep.

    Thunk. Thunk, Thunk.

    I looked over to my fellow roomie Lizard who was still sacked out on his futon before looking to the wooden door vibrating with each hit.

    Thunk. Thunk

    “Yo Frankie!” An all-too-familiar voice shouted, making my heart skip a beat. “You home!”

    Ugh, Hugh again. Sighing, I removed my earphones, turning off the calming meditation music and slowly closed my laptop. Drunk and raving mad about something...as usual. Probably something Gary did...as usual...like messing with Hugh’s little cacti collection or stealing the clearly-marked food containers.

    Thunk. Thunk, Thunk.

    Should I go ahead and open the door, and listen to yet another episode of Hugh venting his spleen about the exceedingly self-centered and inconsiderate new neighbor who dropped ash and trash everywhere, regardless of how many passive aggressive notes Hugh may have left. Thunk. Thunk

    Okay, Hugh wasn’t perfect. He drank and smoke too much, but at least he didn’t do it at home and didn’t bring his fellow partiers with him. Also he had a steady job as a bartender at the Gossip, and made an effort to keep his areas clean...unlike the Richie Rich roomie who loved wasting (others’) energy (i.e. electricity, heating oil, gas, water).

    “Oi Frankie! What ya bloody hell are you doin’?”

    “Alright!” I yelled back as I got up and headed for the door. Then steeling myself, I pulled it open, noting that Hugh’s hand was still hanging in the air. He seemed surprised upon seeing me.


    “Oh, hey Frank,” he said, lowering his hand. He looked inquiringly at Lizard in his after lunch stupor.

    “Oh, don’t mind him,” I said, stepping aside to let Hugh in. “He's out like a log and nothing can wake him until he gets up himself.”


    After we were seated at the coffee table Hugh said, "Let me tell you the freakin’ story I overheard from Gary.”

    When he was finished, I nodded sagely. “Oh, yeah, yeah, Hugh,” I said finally. The Grisia Street Massacre.”

    Hugh started, fully awake now. “What? That actually happened?”

    I nodded again. “Hell, yeah, it happened. Might sound like something straight out of a Stephen King story, but it really did happen.”

    “And the girl...the one who made those phone calls?”

    “That part’s also true, I”m afraid,” I sighed and leaned back in my chair. “Really nasty stuff, but there were witnesses that actually heard her voice on the phone, and one friend of hers actually spoke to her at the front door...didn’t go in though since she was supposed to be babysitting some neighbor kids at the time, plus she suddenly got this huge sense of dread that she was being watched by someone or something with malevolent intentions. And then there was this other girl and her boyfriend who were hiding in the broom closet under the stairs.”

    “Wait, what?!” Hugh suddenly exclaimed, holding up both his hands. “Slow down, man! You’re going too fast!”

    “Okay...okay,” I said, eager to continue.”So this happened a year after Amityville Horror supposedly occurred, only it didn’t get the notoriety since it was quickly hushed up by the locals who didn’t want their town becoming a ‘murder tourism’ site.”

    The moment I mentioned ‘murder tourism sit,’ Lizard’s gray eyes popped open and swivelled immediately in our direction. Ignoring him, I continued. “So there was this girl–elite high scholar, really popular type. Don’t know her name, only that she was born into an old-money family that owned quite a bit of property around here including the Grisia St. Apartments. Didn’t have much luck with them though because folks always kept leaving on account of the hauntings...”

    Hugh raised his bristly eyebrows. “Hauntings?”

    Lizard propped himself up on his bony elbows as he squinted at us.

    “Yeah,” I replied. “Place had always been a source of weird energy and ghostly tales, dating back all the way to the early days of Quimper’s history. But they were minor phenomena–cold spots, whispered voices, muffled shuffling sounds and orbs floating around. More than a nuisance than an actual threat.”

    “Until?” Hugh leaned forward, his left knee banging the coffee table, spilling his energy drink over the glass top.

    “That is,” I murmured quietly, until these kids opened a door that should of stayed shut.”

      Loading editor
    • The whole mess started one spring afternoon, shortly after I relocated to Quimper in Brittany France. I was snoozing away peacefully after an all-night bender when a jarring noise disrupted the blissful scene: brrrrrr-ing… brrrrrrr-ing... brrrrrrr-ing… brrrrrrr-ing…

      “It’s here again,” said Mike--aka inconsiderate, entitled, surf enthusiast/trust-funded flatmate who still believed in a maxed-volume ringtone-- from down the hall. brrrrrr-ing… brrrrrrr-ing... brrrrrrr-ing…

      "Oh for God's sake!"[space]I growled, covering my head with the pillow. “Answer the damned phone, you stupid stoner slacker!”

      “3 p.m," he continued, in a graver tone, “just like the landlord said it would–[try a period here instead]and right on time too.”

      I cracked open one glassy eye and peered blearily up at my cracked ceiling. “What the frickin’ hell is he talking about?”

      And then I heard it–[colon]the barking. The goddamn barking rising up from streets, from behind the walls bordering our apartment, increasing in volume, and dropping like shrapnel upon my eardrums.

      “What the hell are those freakin' mutts barking at?” I sat up then groaned as the hangover hit me and turned to shield my eyes from noonday sun leaking in through the blind.

      “And now the noonday[this is a weird word to use twice in a row like this] chorus of hell hounds has commenced.” Mike intoned slowly.

      “Well, you got that right,” I scratched my scraggly hair and beard.

      “Always they barked hysterically at the top of their lungs...” I heard the noisy crunching of veggie crisps followed shortly by a glug of V8. “Always at those same set of blue doors.”

      I stopped scratching. “Say whaaat?”

      The only blue doors I was familiar with were the ones that belonged to that vacant, bank-owned apartment down the block from us. I assumed it was left empty due to its owners not being able to afford repairs or fallen behind with their mortgage payments. Man! Was I wrong!

      After what seemed like an inordinately long crunching and glugging pause, Mike mumbled, “Those same doors to that old apartment where all those seances took place...[… ]where a group of bored teens who had heard the stories of a dread room had decided to drive out whatever was imprisoned there.

      “Always on the same day and exactly at the same time, nearly every dog in town comes to bark at those very doors...[space]as if to keep whatever had broken loose and murdered most those kids from wrecking more havoc.”

      “What kids?” I enquired, mystified. “What the hell is he going on about? Dude must be stoned out of his gourd on bong hits, and inhaled several times what a sane human should consume.”

      Then through my vodka-induced haze, I suddenly remembered–[no dash here]how the locals always would hurry to the other side of the street instead of passing close to that particular spot. How on one particular night as I walked by that place, I suddenly felt I was being followed and I kept checking over my shoulder, but I didn’t see anything. When I eventually got home, [I] was so grateful for the lights, and ended up double-locking my door behind me.

      “And it was a simple phone call that started the whole curse thing.”

      Gee, I wonder if there’s a stringy-haired ghost girl here as well? I mentally inquired.

      It wasn’t any Samara/Sadako-type grudge spirit...and what I heard and eventually, found on my own was worse than I ever imagined.

      “Those teens all thought it was just their friend calling to invite them over to dabble in the occult,” Mike continued, “and practice being junior exorcists...[space]only it wasn’t their friend who was making all those calls.”

      He paused dramatically as if to let the words sink in. By this point in the story, cold chills were creeping up my spine, raising the hair on the back of my neck[.] The silence lasted for another minute before he spoke again. “No...[space]Uhuh..[…space]nope! No, siree! It wasn’t her at all. What was really making those calls was a demon-possessed corpse.”

      -

      So, I think you might want to revisit the core concept for this and actually tell us the story of the kids. As it is this is a second-hand retelling of a story and it doesn’t really work. I think seeing a story from the kids’ point of view is where this concept could be really exciting but as it is, it’s not really a story so much as it is someone recounting an urban legend in a way that isn’t exciting or scary.

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    • To ChristianWallis

      Okay, I think I got everything. It's still not finished, I'm going to be adding more to it in the coming days.

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    • Question: Is the title a pun on the Arthur Miller play "Incident at Vichy?"

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    • DrBobSmith wrote: Question: Is the title a pun on the Arthur Miller play "Incident at Vichy?"

      I would have to say no since I'm not at all familiar with that play-- "Incident at Vichy."

      The reason I named the story-- Incident in Quimper was because I was looking for a unique-sounding name for an actual place in Brittany, and this particular name came up after an extensive Google search. Also the original city name in my graphic novel version of the story was a bit too steampunk-sounding--Voxstein.

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    • The play is famous, and it was made into a movie a couple of times. It's a real classic.

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    • DrBobSmith wrote:. The play is famous, and it was made into a movie a couple of times. It's a real classic.

      I just know about "The Crucible.". I'm rather absysmly ignorant when it comes to Arthur Miller plays and classical movies. But thank you for telling me about it.

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    • Bumping this up.

        Loading editor
    • A FANDOM user
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