Creative Work



*Note: This story was published with The NoSleep podcast in season 12 ep. 12. Please go give them support and love! They are a wonderful outlet for horror writers and voice actors, and has created a community and space for those of us who enjoy writing the dark things. This story happened to be read by Addison Peacock who is one of the co-hosts from The Cryptid Keeper Podcast which I wrote my first mini-post about!


I hit my steering wheel and let out a groan of frustration as my GPS once again desperately searched for the proper path to lead me down.

“Come on!”  I yelled at it, refraining from smacking the small machine mounted on my dash.  “What the hell?”

I was driving back to school after a spring break spent at home, and for some reason I had the bright idea to choose the “faster route available” my GPS had told me about.  Now, I was driving down a country road with cornfields on both sides of me and not another car in sight.

“Recalculating, recalculating.”  My GPS’s fake British voice said again.  

I took a deep breath, gripping my steering wheel harder and trying to calm myself down.  In moments like this it was easy for me to get too worked up, and I knew that wouldn’t get me less lost.  The small arrow that represented me on the GPS screen was spinning around, and I groaned again in frustration. I took a deep breath and grabbed my phone, using speed dial to call my roommate.  The phone rang, and rang. Julia never answered her phone the first time; she sucked at having a phone all together, really. I let the first call go through to her voicemail before dialing again and waiting patiently.

The phone picked up, and Julia sounded out of breath and hurried.

“Yes, hello, hi, what’s up?”

“Hey…so…I’m lost.”  I said, fearing the onslaught of teasing I knew what coming.

“You’re lost?  What the fuck dude, how are you lost!?  You make this drive all the time!” I heard the humor in her voice and she laughed.  

“I don’t know…my GPS said there was a way to “save ten minutes” but then it started freaking out and it keeps recalculating and I’ll drive two blocks one way and then it recalculates again, and then again and I’m gonna throw it out the window!”  

“Wow, Jackie, calm down sweetie.”  Julia laughed lightly. “Can you like…pull over somewhere and try sending me your location?  I can google map you and maybe we can figure out where you are.”

I took a deep breath and looked around me, trying to determine the best place to pull over.

“Okay, okay, yeah I’ll try that…”
There was a small gravel area up the road a ways, and to the right side of the pavement where I imagined police would lie in wait for unsuspecting teens racing down the dark country roads at night.  I pulled over and I heard the sound of gravel underneath my tires. I threw my car in to park and sighed.

“Okay, hang on.”  I put the phone on speaker and went in to Julia’s contact.  

“Okay, yeah just try and dr-…pe–..get–..ho-“

Static started to overtake Julia’s voice and I felt my forehead crease.

“Jules?  Jules, hello?”  I took the phone off speaker and pressed it against my ear.  

“J– ck-“  

The line went dead and a message popped up, accompanied by a beep, alerting me to the loss of my cell service.  I let out a groan of frustration, throwing my phone down on the passenger seat and hitting my steering wheel again.  The small arrow on my GPS that represented me spun around one last time and stopped dead, the line that stretched out in front of it on the screen lit up blue and I gasped in anticipation.

“Proceed to the route.”  

“Alright, listen up.”  I glared at the screen inlaid in the dash of my car.  “You gotta stop being such an ass and get me home already, alright?  I’ll stop cussing at you if you start doing your job.”

I closed my eyes, trying to let all the negative energy out of my body and calm myself before getting back on to the road.  I followed the blue line on the map, and let out a sigh of relief when it didn’t start to once again recalculate.
“In one mile, turn left.”  

A stop sign was approaching, and I rolled to a stop.  There were no other cars around, so I sat there for a moment and took in my unfamiliar surroundings to try and shake the feeling of uneasiness I had in my stomach.  

“Turn left.”

I flicked on my turn signal and turned my car on to what was now a dirt road.  My GPS seemed happy with the way we were going.

“Continue for three point five miles.”

I took a deep breath, settling against the back of my seat and relaxing a little bit.  This was the first time it hadn’t recalculated after thirty seconds of driving. My shoulder muscles relaxed, and I actually let myself flip on the CD player in my car.  Show tunes filled my car and I sang along softly, glancing down at my GPS screen every now and then to ensure that it was still working. When I reached the end of the 3.5 miles it instructed me to turn right, and I drove between two cornfields for another two miles.  Then I came to a small tunnel. It was one of those industrial tunnels made of solid concrete where people definitely came to shoot up at night, and where you wouldn’t want to be caught dead as a woman when the sun went down.

The flat, dingy concrete that stretched out on either side of the tunnel opening was covered in spray paint, and as I approached I involuntarily slowed my car till I was sitting completely still about 10 yards back from the tunnel.  There was something that made me uneasy about the path that my GPS was leading me down. The tunnel must have taken a turn somewhere, because I couldn’t quite see what was on the other side.

“Proceed on the route.”  My GPS said to me.

I turned down my show tunes a tad, and tried to rid myself of the feeling in my chest.

“Come on, Jackie…it’s literally a fucking tunnel.”

I looked at the graffiti that adorned the concrete, and I saw faint etchings above the mouth of the tunnel that I tried to make out, letting my car roll forward a few feet.  All I could see were the vague etchings of unfamiliar figures. The figured were hidden in places by spray paint, and I shook my head to clear it before taking a deep breath and pressing on the gas.  My car moved forward, and into the tunnel.

It was dark.

It seemed like the minute the tail end of my car entered the tunnel, I was swallowed in complete darkness.  I hesitated for a moment, car barely rolling forward, until my automatic lights flicked on. The inside of the tunnel was bizarrely devoid of graffiti, but about fifty feet in the walls had giant cracks running down them.  There were gouges as though someone had used a scythe to and scraped it down the concrete. The foreboding feeling in my chest was growing stronger, and I anxiously checked my gas gage to make sure I wasn’t in danger of running out.  I still had half a tank, which made me feel better…if only slightly.

My CD started to skip, and the display screen on the stereo blinked.  I felt my forehead scrunch, and I tapped the screen. There was no reason for my stereo to be affected by my environment…in a tunnel or not.  I turned it off and on, and when it came back on the CD played just fine again. I cleared my throat, trying to ignore the ever growing anxiety.

When I saw the small circle of light up ahead I pressed on the gas, watching my speed go from thirty five to nearly fifty to get out of the tunnel as quickly as possible. My reliable little compact emerged from the tunnel, and in to a suddenly gray day.  It looked like I was driving through a remote little town, but there seemed to be little to no evidence of human activity. To my left was an extensive, empty field of yellowed grass. Up to the right hand side there was a small gas station with a singular pump that looked like it may have never been used.  Shoebox sized houses lined each side of the road. A couple of the houses had bikes leaning against their sides. Each house, however, almost seemed to have never been lived in…or at least not lived in for several decades.

Rain drops started to splash on my windshield; big, fat, heavy drops.  

“Continue five hundred feet.”  My GPS said.

I came to a stop at a stop sign, and looked around.  There wasn’t a single car in sight: not in a driveway, not parked on the street…there wasn’t a car anywhere.  The anxiety in my chest spiked, and I turned on to the street my GPS indicated. At the end of the road there was a large, looming building that looked like it might be a school building.  

“In four hundred feet, arrive at your destination.”  

My throat tightened, and I stopped my car just before the parking lot.  There, twenty feet from my car, was a small huddled figure. When it moved, I saw a glimpse of pigtails and I realized in horror that it was a little girl.  For a brief moment, my anxiety dissipated and the deep down maternal instinct that I was pretty sure every woman had kicked in. I quickly got out of my car, leaving my door open and the engine running.  The rain was slowing down, and through the soft drops I heard soft sobbing. I pulled the cardigan I was wearing closer around me, and walked slowly toward the little girl.

“Sweetie..?  Are you okay?”  I stopped two yards back from her to make sure I didn’t startle her, a small girl our in the rain crying was clearly in a lot of trouble and I wanted to make sure that she knew I was safe.  She wore what looked like a school uniform, a white polo shirt that was wet from the rain and a pleated black skirt. “Sweetheart, where are your parents? Do you need help?”

The girl said nothing, continuing to cry softly.

I felt my stomach tighten slight, the anxiety of before returning slowly, but it fought with my instincts to help this small girl.  Slowly, I closed the gap between us and gently laid a hand on her shoulder.

“Honey, let me take you home…I can help-”

My words caught in my throat as she, no it, turned to look at me.

The thing didn’t have a face.  There were flesh covered, empty eye sockets and no nose.  Its mouth was too big, filled with needle like rows of teeth.  What should have been lips were nothing more than ragged flaps of flesh that oozed something black and tar-like.  I stumbled back several steps, nearly falling but managing to keep my feet underneath me. The things maw opened, its jaw stretching farther than should ever be possible for anything human or otherwise.  I watched in horror, frozen to the spot as its jaw unhinged and a horrifying, guttural scream filled the air. The scream was deep, but high pitched at the same time. The noise sent waves of nausea over me.  It was unlike anything, anything I had ever heard.  It was worse than sounds from my worst nightmares, a sound that should never exist in our world.  

It drew a disgusting, flem covered breath and screamed again.  

Underneath me the earth shuttered, and the side of the building up ahead exploded.  From within emerged a creature like something out of the darkest, most disturbing mythology I’d ever read.  It had arms that were boney and ragged strips of flesh hung from exposed bone, and they ended in huge claws.  I now knew what made those giant gouges in the cement of the tunnel. It didn’t have eyes, but somehow it knew where I was and angled it’s huge skeletal body toward me.  Its body had too many angles and joints, and its whole body oozed the same black goo that came from the girl like creature’s mouth.

It felt like things were moving in slow motion, but then everything snapped in to sharp clear focus and I turned and ran back to my car.

The big creature was as tall as the school building, and it started skittering toward me like a cross between a lizard and a spider in the way it moved.  It screeched in the same way that the girl like creature had, but louder…so much louder.  It was deafening, and before I got in to my car my body betrayed me and I heaved onto the pavement.  Bile burned my nose and my throat was raw, but I wasted no time as I threw myself in to the car.

I threw my car into reverse and shot backwards toward the main road.  My tires screeched as I whipped around and pointed my car back towards the tunnel.  I slammed the gear shift back to drive and stomped on the gas, the pedal hitting the floor.  I heard the scream of the creature again and I tried to hold back vomit as my brain rattled in my skull. My eyes flicked to my rearview mirror and the creature was too close; it flung itself down the road, destroying houses as it went.  It felt like the tunnel was farther away than it had been when I entered the horrible place. Now, as I flew down the street, it wasn’t empty anymore. From the houses that weren’t destroyed yet emerged creatures like the girl like one I had first seen.  They were various sizes, all of them with the same horrible mouths and eyeball-less sockets.

I heard the screech of metal, and a scream tore out of me as I saw the creatures clow scrape my trunk in the back window.  

“COME ON, COME ON!”  I screamed at my car, slamming my hands on the steering wheel.  “What the fuck, what the FUCK!?” With one last ditch effort I pulled my foot back and slammed on to the gas pedal.  My little car shuttered, but the speedometer needle finally reached the 120 mark.

The tunnel was in sight, and I felt myself explode in to tears as I sobbed and screamed and beat the steering wheel.  I looked back into the rearview mirror and I saw it’s bony, dripping arm reach out and make contact with my car once again.  I saw my speedometer dropping fast and I screamed.


I turned my wheel violently to one side and with the most horrible shriek from the creature I freed my car from its grasp, but I couldn’t hold down the bile anymore and I vomited down my front.  It didn’t even phase me, my car flew into the tunnel and my headlights flipped on. I couldn’t see behind me, but I could hear the thing behind me. I heard it’s claws on the concrete walls, and the sound of giant chunks being torn from the walls.  I heard its disgusting shrieking and I vomited again. The scrapes on the wall were getting less and less deep as I went, and suddenly the walls were smooth again, merely cracked with age. I heard the shrieking of the creature fading in to the distance.

My car burst out of the tunnel.

I kept driving.

I drove until my car ran out of gas and then I got out of my car and I ran until I couldn’t run anymore.


I woke up in the back of an ambulance.  My skin was cracked from sunburn, my throat was dry from dehydration.  The paramedics were poking and prodding me, and I passed out again. The next time I woke up I was in a hospital bed and Julia was asleep in the chair in the corner, and my mom and dad were coming back in to the room.

“Oh sweet Lord.”  My mom said, rushing to the side of my bed.  “Jackie, oh my God…baby…” She grabbed my hand and kissed my knuckles, and the backs of my hands, and my cheeks, and my forehead.  Her eyes were filling with tears. “Oh thank God.”

“You really had us scared, kiddo.”  My dad said, always the most stoic one in the family.  

“What…what happened?”
I knew what had happened in that town.  I remembered it all. I had been having nightmares about it the entire time I was unconscious, trapped in a never ending loop of shrieking creatures and brain rattling pain.  

“You didn’t make it back to school…Julia called the police…”  My mom sat on the edge of my bed and my dad came to the otherside, kissing the top of my head and putting a hand on my mom’s shoulder.  “Someone from a nearby town drove by you and thankfully called 911…because Julia had called, they had a record of the report and called me and your father.”

“Sweetie, what happened?”  My dad asked. “They found your car and it…”  He trailed off and I knew it was because whatever he was going to say next would sound crazy out loud…just as my story would.

I was saved from answering when the doctor came in.

I had suffered from exposure.  They told me they didn’t know how long I was outside before I was found, but I was severely sunburned and totally dehydrated.  My mom and dad finally left to get dinner, and Julia had to get back to school. I was in the hospital for three days, and when they let me out I went home with my parents.

I haven’t driven my car since, unable to stomach the idea of going anywhere that would require guidance other than my own familiarity and memory.

At night, I could still hear the shrieks of that creature and I could hear my GPS in my dreams saying over and over again: Recalculating.


The NoSleep Podcast s12 e12

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B Calm Blood-n-Guts Old vs. New

Cabin Fever Needs a Vaccination (spoilers, kind of)

Let me start this off by saying I am NOT an Eli Roth hater: on the contrary, he has been my favorite director for several years now. If Eli Roth is attached to a project, I WILL watch it. So it truly pains me to say that the remake of Cabin Fever was one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time. If you’ve seen the original film, then there isn’t much to spoil, but if you haven’t and don’t want key plot points ruined come back after you’ve watched the 2002 original.

The new filmmakers used the exact script from the original, 2002 Roth film and it was more or less a shot for shot remake. We all know we are living in a time of remakes: Evil Dead, Pet Sematary, Child’s Play. Reboots and remakes are everywhere you turn, but Cabin Fever – in my opinion – did not need a remake. For starters, the film was not even 15 years old at the time that it was redone by director Travis Z. Second of all, it was 95% a shot-for-shot remake of Roth’s original teen horror film.

I’m well aware that shot-for-shot remakes can, and have, worked. However, the brilliance (and absurdity) of the original Cabin Fever was the way in which Roth constantly shocked the audience with the frantic pace and bold body horror. The film worked because of its originality, and a exact remake is anything but original. Remakes like Evil Dead or The Thing took brilliant pieces of original cinema and made enough changes that they felt fresh and inventive to both new fans and fans of the originals.

Obviously I can’t speak for people coming to this movie without having seen Roth’s original movie, but I’m not even sure a new viewer would enjoy this movie. The pacing seems off from the very beginning, the actors don’t deliver the dialogue in a convincing way, and the beloved comic relief sheriff was changed to a blonde sex pot whose laugh lines feel forced and uncomfortable.

The thing that I have always admired about Roth is that he doesn’t hold back in his film making. The point in his movies is often how much can you watch before turning off the TV? With an exact remake the fans have already experienced everything there is to experience from that story. The shock and the rush viewers got that first time watching Cabin Fever is gone.

The few things they did try and do different did not add anything better to the plot, just made things more unrealistic and corny. The main character Paul, played by Samuel Davis, finally gets a shot with his childhood crush only to find out she has gotten the flesh eating disease ravaging the small community. By the end of the movie Karen, played by Gage Golightly, has barely any skin and has been attacked by an infected dog. She is laying in the boat house where they quarantined her begging for Paul to kill her. Paul stands there for far too long dealing with his inner struggle. When he finally decides to put Karen out of her intense agony the gun won’t fire, so Nick takes a shovel and shoves it into Karen’s mouth and severs her jaw which, shockingly (that’s sarcasm), doesn’t kill her. He then SETS THE SHED ON FIRE AND BURNS HER ALIVE.

The original Paul, played by Ryder Strong, also chooses a shovel to help end Karen’s misery. However, rather than stab her in the face with the shovel he bludgeons her with it. Bludgeoning is still a pretty nasty way to end someone’s life, but at least Paul 1 didn’t set her on fire. The remake of Karen’s death scene is frankly one of the strangest scenes in a movie I have ever seen. The pacing is awkward and weird and you just wind up feeling sick in the worst way for this poor girl who keeps begging for him to kill her.

Roth endorsed this remake, and for that reason alone I wish I was able to say I enjoyed it. I think everyone who is a hardcore Eli Roth fan can admit that Cabin Fever (2002) has its own problems. It is a clear debut film, but it was a debut film that set him on a trajectory within the horror community that everyone was dying to see. He followed it up with films Hostel, Green Inferno, and Knock Knock all of which kept on the same path of “how long can you watch” as Cabin Fever.

I don’t really like to write negative reviews like this because in most situations I want to credit artists for their creation rather I like it or not. In this situation, however, with it being a shot-for-shot remake I don’t feel nearly as bad saying this: Do NOT waste your time on this remake. If you want to watch a remake of a classic go with Evil Dead instead: even more blood and a fantastic amount of originality. If you’re in the mood for Roth-like body horror just watch the original Cabin Fever (and the original has added bonus of Ryder Strong and his face). But I’d strongly recommend giving the new Cabin Fever the pass the next time you’re ready for some gore.

*Also, Eli Roth’s History of Horror is absolutely incredible. If you don’t have a Shudder subscription it is worth the 4.99 a month alone.

Cabin Fever (2002)




Cabin Fever (2016)




Eli Roth



Bumps in the Night Podcast Scares

I Promise: Alice isn’t Dead

img_0130I’m sure everyone that would be interested in a blog such as this has become familiar with the incredible world of Night Vale Presents and all the audio magic they do. Before I was as die hard about podcasts as I am now a friend of mine told me about Welcome to Night Vale because she was sure that I would be obsessed instantly…

This is, unfortunately, the part where I have to admit that I was not instantly obsessed with Welcome to Night Vale. It was delightfully strange, and absurdly weird but it didn’t quite hit the spot I needed out of a podcast at that moment. Shortly after, though, the same friend introduced me to another of Night Vale Presents audio dramas: Alice isn’t Dead.

Now, to say that I was instantly obsessed with Alice Isn’t Dead would be an understatement.

I remember sitting in the passenger seat of her car, listening to the narrators incredible voice, delighted to hear that it was about a lesbian couple, and sufficiently creeped out by the arrival of one of the series several big bads. It was the horror that I was looking for. It gave me a pit in my stomach when I listened to it at night, and I had to be careful of how much I listened to when I was driving.

The basic premise of the show is that the narrator (who remains nameless for nearly all of season one) has completely abandoned her life to become a truck driver and search the country for her wife, Alice, who she had thought was dead. While the narrator is on the road, she encounters a man that isn’t quite a man who she refers to as “The Thistle Man”.  As she makes her away through the United States the narrator begins to encounter unexplainable, and seemingly supernatural, events that become increasingly more life threatening as the show progresses.

With it being a three season series, that’s about all I can explain without giving any spoilers.

But one of the things I can definitely talk about is the incredible lesbian representation within this show. The narrator, played by the incredibly talented Jasika Nicole, is a lesbian truck driver with an anxiety disorder and possibly one of the most amazing voices I have ever heard. It’s a unique show in that Jasika Nicole is the only voice actor throughout the entirety of the first season. The whole thing is delivered through the CB radio in her truck, and all of the conversations are retold by the narrator rather than acted out by multiple voice actors.

I’m accustomed to podcasts like The NoSleep Podcast or The Black Tapes where each part is acted out by a different voice actor, so when I fist started Alice I was surprised to hear only Jasika Nicole’s voice throughout the entire episode. However, as you fall more and more in love with the narrator as a character it because easier to image yourself sitting in the passenger seat of her cab and listening to her retell her stories in real time.

Alice isn’t Dead mixes the delightful absurdity of Welcome to Night Vale with the genuinely terrifying that is more expected from a network such as Shudder. If you’re looking for a whimsical horror story, Alice isn’t Dead is the perfect podcast for you.

But be forewarned, you will absolutely want to binge the entire three seasons in a row.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

*And a quick side note*
The creator of Alice isn’t Dead has also written a novel of the same name that is a stand alone adaptation of the podcast. I have not had the opportunity to read the novel yet, but it is slowly creeping closer to the top of my reading list. Once I have finally sat down and read the entire thing I will update on how the novel compares to the podcast.

Night Vale Presents: Alice isn’t Dead 

Alice isn’t Dead Wiki 

Alice isn’t Dead Novel Alice isn’t Dead Novel