Clyde’s World

📅 Published on September 9, 2021

“Clyde’s World”

Written by Eli Pope
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available


Rating: 8.00/10. From 5 votes.
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Chapter 1: Clyde and Rachel

“Clyde, won’t you please come to bed with me—it’s late, honey.”

My eyes ached from the strain of staring into the screen for hour after hour. The screen though—is my vehicle. My vehicle to the world I’d been creating and now wished I could escape into.  I glanced over at Rachel. She looked enticing with her long leg lying outside the sheets covering the rest of her voluptuous body. But dammit, I had a manuscript to finish. In fact, I needed to write several books to finish the series. My novel started out as a stand-alone, but I got rave reviews—and fans had begun to purchase e-books and paperbacks. If I’ve learned one thing, you don’t ignore your fans or move them to the back-burner. They’re your lifeblood. Not just financially. There’s something addicting about being acknowledged and praised for your work. Hell, the publishers certainly never do. Most won’t even affirm a new writer’s existence in the publishing world. To the agents and big house publishers, we Indies are just annoying emails to delete, manuscripts to shitcan and phone calls to ignore. “No, Rachel. You know I have to get this finished.”

“Clyde! I need you over here. Stop wasting away in your make-believe world mental banging your perfect female characters when you have a hot live one right here fifteen feet from you, lying naked in bed begging for your attention.”

I felt movement down below the belt. I’m not dead. I’m just invested in powering through while I’ve been lucky enough to avoid the dreaded “writer’s block.” Besides, if I were to die today I’d leave my readers empty and stranded in a world only I can build, only I can take them where they need to go.

I thought for a moment about the internal statement I’d just made to myself. What if I did die? I haven’t felt—normal—forever.

 ”Rachel, did you leave something on the stove? I smell fire or smoke, something’s burning, maybe coffee or feathers? Something!”

“No, and I don’t smell anything—again for the umpteenth time tonight. You should see a doctor. There’s something wrong with your nose. Hell, there’s something horribly wrong with your libido! Please come to bed!”

I knew I was taking Rachel for granted and she deserved so, so much more, but my antagonist was about to make his move. The speed my fingers were tapping on the keyboard instantly maneuvered my brain to reel my attention back to the story my readers craved. Hell, I craved! The creative control I held over an entire universe, albeit digital, was far more irresistible to me than attempting to please my oversexed wife in bed across the room. Was I sick? I’m sure I had several author friends who would be thrilled to be banging my beautiful wife. But their priorities were never aligned in the proper balance to be successful. I want to be the star, The Stephen King of 2021!

 There’s that Goddamned smell again. Something is hot and about to burst into flames.

“Rachel! Please go check the kitchen. There’s something burning. Do you want the two of us and Botch to burn up tonight?” I glanced down and Botch, our lazy American Bulldog, was on the floor lying midway between Rachel and me. He was snoring and wouldn’t budge if the devil’s flame was about to singe his asshole—unless a meaty snack was involved.

Rachel threw the sheet off the rest of her body with a grumble as she landed her leg off the edge of the bed to the floor. Her nearly naked body sauntered down the hallway in disgust. Botch broke his snore long enough to lift his head to see where Rachel was headed. He must have sensed she wasn’t going to get him a snack, so he laid his head back down and began instantly snoring. She’d walked past me and I noticed one edge of her red panties were nuzzled up the crack of her ass. I did look away from my world on the monitor long enough to briefly appreciate the way her body jiggled down the hallway. Like peach Jello sitting on a serving plate during an earthquake tremor. She was a beautiful young lady and my being twelve years older now seemed to have an adverse effect on my desire to throw her down and make love like wild monkeys on ecstasy.

Turning my attention back to Walter—my psychotic antagonist, and what he was about to do to Megan made my heart pound. He was going to change her world, but even more than that, he’d change the reader’s worlds. When this book was published, fans would certainly deny hours of sleep, in order to burn through pages to find out the outcome….

In the reflection of my screen, I could see Rachel bouncing back apparently finding nothing on fire but her anger for me. She was given the perfect body for a pissed-off woman who loved dramatic entrances. Her voluptuous body along with attitude, commanded attention no matter where she was. She’d commanded mine as she somehow picked me out of a crowd of newbie authors at the New York City Writer’s Convention five years ago. I wasn’t sure what she saw in me when she smiled but, hell yes, I was eager to introduce myself. We shared great times, ferocious lovemaking and only six months before a wedding in Uptown Manhattan. The honeymoon is over and now she just seems to be a lubricious exotic distraction from the world I’ve been called to create, the one beckoning me to spend my time within. If it weren’t for Walter standing in the shadows of Megan’s darkened room— in the house she lives in on Macon Street in the little burg of Appleton Coast—I’d take Rachel in my arms and ravage her luscious body until my heart gave out or I stroked. But I have responsibilities now. I couldn’t let myself die, even in the throes of unbridled passion with my vivacious wife willing to fulfill any carnal whim I asked—not when my fans were waiting with bated breath on what Walter would do.

The only thought in my mind now was if I died—who would continue my Walter K Gyle Series? And, I’m going to die, I feel it. I smell it, it hovers over me like a dark foreboding storm. And I’m very uneasy about what to do, who to trust with my masterpiece. Who could continue the macabre world I’ve created? Who could I trust? My mind feels like it’s slipping, losing its creative drive. Melting.

Rachel walked up behind and before I could react she reached over my shoulder and plunged an ice-pick deep into the wooden top of my desk making a loud thud. She leaned over further, her head blocking my view of the screen, nudging her soft fleshy breasts tightly into my cheek and chin, then sharply whispered, “Next time, Clyde, this may be your back it finds. What the fuck is wrong with you? You’re obsessed and I have needs, baby doll.” And she shoved me so hard my head almost clipped the monitor’s sharp edge before she climbed into bed, making sure I was very aware of her presence. I turned toward the bed and saw her ass barely covered by the frilly red panties, wiggling into a comfortable position while she huffed. It was as if she could feel my eyes scanning her rounded hips when she turned her head back my way, eyes shooting daggers at me, “I hope your little dick falls off from lack of use, Clyde. I’m not gonna wait around forever and let my flower wilt away to nothing. This garden needs some steady watering from one hose or another.” And then she snapped her head back into her pillow facing polar-opposite of me and my computer screen. I could feel the chill in the room immediately, but the draw of the scene I was working on pulled me back in and I focused on the action going down in Megan’s bedroom. My fingers could barely keep up with my brain busily laying the descriptive prose which led Walter Kendall Gyles’ to his eighth victim and Megan’s last horrifying night. I was great at descriptive terror and I knew how to make the girls scream. More than once I’d felt the urge to take it past the keyboard and into the flesh itself, but for now my readers needed to be fed and until I could find the new chef who could handle preparing this meal—I’d dodge the first and last real kill before my own journey into the next world. It seemed I’d escaped death tonight from the ice-pick I’d left out beside my bottle of Dewar’s 12-year Scotch. I gripped its wooden handle and attempted to pull it from my desktop where Rachel embedded it. It took both hands to retrieve.

Chapter 2: The Novel

Walter hadn’t always been a bad guy. In fact, he was quite the contraire, he’d been kind to people most of his life. Many thought he was quiet and—different, but he’d never caused anyone to worry or fear him.

Walter grew up in a foster family. And while he loved them, he didn’t much care for them. He knew they’d taken him on because his mother had left him. Abandoned him as a five-year old after treating him like her best friend. He’d never known his father. The man just told his mother he loved her until he got what he wanted. When she’d told Walter, his father left because he’d gotten more than he bargained for, Walter didn’t seem to get it. It didn’t bother him and he’d really only remembered Momma being around anyhow. He did grow up quicker than most kids his age. It was out of necessity. Momma stayed up way past his bedtime and in return, she slept in much later than Walter did. He rummaged for food to eat from the refrigerator and cabinets on his own from the time he’d grown old enough to realize where the food was kept. The world he’d been relegated to. He knew no different.

Momma and he celebrated birthdays and Christmas, Easter—all the major holidays much like any other child who grew up with their parent or parents. His mother loved him and he knew it. She told him she loved him to the moon. He knew it meant she cared for him a lot. What he didn’t realize was his momma owned problems of her own. She had food to buy, bills to pay such as rent, utilities, insurance, and so on. He didn’t realize she’d been slipping on all those. He also didn’t know what she did for a living. He didn’t know some would think his momma was too dirty and unfit to take care of him.

One day, it all ended. His world became very different. Momma had to leave. She hugged him tightly and said she would be back, but he went to live with someone else. Someone else who had their own children. Momma visited two or three times and then never came back. He’d turned five when the bubble he lived in collapsed. He cried for Momma night after night. At first, the new family tried to console him and tell him everything would be alright. But he didn’t believe them. He cried for Momma. The new family’s mother began to scold him for it. And then she’d threaten him with punishment if he didn’t stop.

Walter just wanted to see his momma. Nothing else mattered. She was his world as imperfect as it was. He now lived in darkness, or at least its what it felt like. Walter finally realized she wasn’t ever coming back. She must have found another little boy who didn’t argue. One who did what Momma asked him to do. He no longer liked Momma. He loved her, but he didn’t like her anymore and if he were ever to see her again—he’d tell her so. After he hugged her, of course.

As he got older, he’d slip off in private to cut himself. It gave him life. It sounded crazy, but it did help release some pain.

Walter continued to live with his new family, although he never felt like they were truly his. He loved them, but he didn’t like them.

* * * * * *

Walter left his foster home when he turned eighteen. It wasn’t long after he lived on his own, he started looking for his momma. He quickly found there were lots of women who looked like the way he remembered how Momma looked. When he’d look into their eyes, he’d see his momma in them—along with the lies of loving him and coming back to get him.

He loved each one of the women who reminded him of Momma, but he didn’t like them.

Walter soon devised ways to bring women who reminded him of Momma back home. They may not have wanted to come, but he realized there were ways in this dark world to make them. He felt ashamed of how he would treat them, but it wasn’t much different than how Momma treated him. He was never cut by his momma literally, it was more a pain of being her there with him, but not really being there. It felt like cuts to his skin when Momma would ignore him and continue sleeping, telling him to go away or get his own food when he felt hungry.

Walter decided cutting the women who looked like Momma would be a good way of punishing them for not coming back home like she promised. Not deep cuts, but shallow ones. Tiny ones which reflected the pain he’d felt. This seemed to satisfy his hunger for the love he’d waited for—the days that became months and then years of hoping she would come back.

Eventually, he would need to find another momma, when the one he kept in his basement would quit crying. Would quit begging. Would stop moving.

Today though, he’d stumbled onto Megan. It wasn’t Momma’s name and he knew it. But she certainly looked like Momma. The same brown hair and brown eyes. The same empty look as if she didn’t really care about him. He’d take her home tonight like she promised. Walter would show her what she’d missed while she’d been gone. Walter would help her cry like he’d done for so many years. Like he’d helped the others.

He didn’t like her, but he did love her, because she was his Momma.

Chapter 3: The Doctor

I knew something felt horribly wrong with myself. Lately, it wasn’t only the different odors I picked up. They hadn’t changed much, it’s still always something burning. Leaves, feathers, electrical, I could never be certain, but the frequency increased and it irritated Rachel when I’d ask her if she could smell it too. But now, I’m also getting sensations in my head. Right behind my ears and eyes. A buzz or high pitch. It felt almost like my brain hummed like an electrical circuit. Some of my author friends in our critique group said it could possibly be tinnitus. I didn’t think so, I knew something was growing inside my skull. Like an alien seed pod. Of course, it was a ridiculous notion but the whole scenario began to affect my writing.

I couldn’t let that happen. My fans, my world I’d been building for them. Failing my readers wasn’t an option. This moment is what my life’s work was boiling down to. My legacy. My books were the only thing I’d done to offer this world and something like a tumor or sickness wasn’t going to stop me. No one believed me though, especially Rachel, but death hovered over my back and it seemed to be gaining. Rachel was hounding me about going to the doctor and since I constantly smelled things no one else seemed to, I caved in and went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. What could it hurt? Worst case scenario, I’d be right and I would need to buckle down and find my replacement writer to continue my series, best case news—it just lived in my head and maybe a relaxing trip for Rachel and I would release the tension inside my brain. She’d been trying so hard to pull me away from the computer. If the news was good—I’d go home tonight and shut down my writing and give Rachel what she’d craved and deserved.

I felt the familiar movement just under my belt. I’m sitting here in the middle of a bunch of old people waiting for my turn to be called—and I had a fucking rock-hard boner thinking about making love to my wife. I almost laughed out loud. Rachel would smile about this when I told her tonight. Right after I slid those bright red panties off. I suddenly felt like a high school football star about to score a touchdown. I hadn’t even thought about Walter or my fan base.

“Clyde Bassett. Please come to the front desk, Doctor Mills will see you now.”

I got startled and began to get up from my chair before I realized walking would be difficult with the situation in my pants. Rachel! I thought to myself. I quickly began thinking rainbows and unicorns, hoping the awkward tent would quickly retreat to an at ease disposition. My hormones were now officially alive and well.

“Clyde Bassett—please come to the front desk.”

* * * * * *

Two hours later and having my head placed in a round tube full of bangs, clangs, and clatter, I waited in the room for any news. The Doc walked in and I tried to read his face as he sat on the stool and began rolling up to me, reading the contents of the file he held and studying a photo. Without any fanfare he looked up and said—there is a possible mass behind your temporal lobe which could be causing pressure. From this point on I admit my listening stopped. The only thoughts bumping around my brain were, who could I get to finish my series and the fact I’d told Rachel I was dying, but she didn’t believe me.

I slowly sauntered out to my car in somewhat of a daze and climbed in, immediately put my keys in the ignition and started it. My mind swimming, overloaded with information I never wanted to hear. It’s going to be a long twenty-to-thirty-minute return trip home through the mountains depending on traffic. The doctor scheduled more tests and told me not to worry yet. A dark shadow of death cast over me, and I’m not supposed to worry. Yeah, Doc, what fucking world do you live in?

Maybe Frank. Bill? No, Paul. It’s got to be someone I know. They’re all such different authors than me. Their writing isn’t dark. Who, dammit?

I rounded a tight corner when a song came on that I loved. I reached to turn up the volume. Looking up just in time to see the semi-truck coming across my side of the lane, I swerved.

* * * * * *

My Volvo sat on its top at the bottom of a deep ravine. It seemed my diagnosis now became unnecessary. Dead on arrival.

Chapter 4: Clyde’s Deal

My head felt like it spun end over end until everything went dark. I instantly felt frigid cold. Antarctica cold. Then came the sultry heat as my eyesight awoke and unblurred.

I looked at a screen in front of me. There were flames licking at the windows surrounding me. A dark silhouette sat in the corner of the room. I couldn’t see a face, but I felt cold chills even though the heat made it difficult to breathe. The screen caught my eye and I couldn’t believe what I saw.

Frank, my supposed friend, was in my bed with Rachel, both naked and going at it like rabbits. Then the screen panned back to the left and Frank now sat at my desk typing something he seemed only mildly focused on. I wanted to be able to see the words he typed and somehow, I willed the screen to zoom in.

“You son-of-a-bitch!” I cried out loud. This banal crap of yours would never come from me. It would be obvious. “Walter wasn’t a rapist. He never made the women have sex. His endeavors were never about his sexual satisfaction. This is nothing like the story is supposed to go! The prose are…are…it’s…complete drivel…” I became furious. Frank was raping my novel. I never thought he was capable of anything but maybe a high school senior creative writing 1 assignment! “Why would Rachel pick Frank to complete my series? I’ll become the laughing stock…” And then the screen zoomed back out and pivoted to the bed. Mine and Rachel’s bed. There was Frank again, his true passion, his sloppy body all over Rachel surrounded by sounds of slapping flesh.

She’d chosen him for the sex she’d been craving from me. The acts I’d denied her because of my strife to become a wealthy renowned author, so we could retire and travel together. She did this to hurt me where she knew the pain would be greatest, fucking up my writing. She’d stuck the ice-pick into my heart figuratively. The thing is, it wasn’t Frank banging my wife that hurt. I didn’t care. Frank is raping my legacy. Could he be doing it intentionally or was he really such a lame writer?

The dark figure in the corner let out a hissing laugh as it turned. Red eyes stared at me. They were the same bright blood-red color as Rachel’s frilly panties. I found no arousal when I saw the red in those eyes though. I felt deep foreboding betrayal from both she and Frank.

I withdrew my stare from the dark figure’s red eyes and suddenly smelled something familiar. Something burning. Light gray smoke smoldered over the dark silhouette and the smell of scorching feathers caused me to choke.

The figure cackled a laughing sound as its eyes brought the pain of flame to my skin. I suddenly knew where I’d ended up at. The questions I’d spent a lifetime mocking about Heaven and Hell suddenly engulfed me when I realized that flames surrounded the room I now sat. It would be Hell and the dark figure must be Satan himself. It seemed I’d made a poor choice when I’d scoffed at Marcie back in Sunday school all those years back as a child. I’d laughed at her attempts to “redeem” me from my sin. Hell, I’d just turned eight—how much sin could I have committed? Words of wisdom from the mouths of babes. Words ignored and left behind me.

I pulled my eyes away from the corner and back to the screen. Frank sat typing again at my keyboard.

Walter had cuffed each arm with zip-ties to the bedposts and he moved his hand slowly down her leg, staring intently into her eyes with warning. He took her foot and cuffed it to the bedpost at the base of the bed, smiling a nasty foreboding grin as he calmly asked the girl, “Now, see this isn’t too uncomfortable, is it?” After securing her ankle, he lightly dragged the tips of his fingers back up the inside of her leg. Walter stared at Marcie so intently, looking as if he enjoyed seeing the terror in her face. “You’re special, Marcie, I’ve been waiting a lifetime to be here with you…” Walter’s voice trailed off to a cold whisper.

“Please Mister, please don’t do this. Please don’t hurt me…” Marcie begged.

“You mustn’t be loud, Marcie, I don’t want to have to gag you…” Again, his voice trailed off to a whisper. “I just love pretty young innocent ladies like you, of course I don’t want to hurt you…” Walter whispered as his fingertips trailed around to the opposite leg and down to her quivering foot.

“Frank, you fucking asshole! I yelled. Walter is not about sexual torture or rape!” I became livid. The excruciation of watching this creep I’d called friend, butcher my life’s work. I’d be known as a cheap Horror Erotica writer. This is everything I would never write. Cheap and overdone gratuitous garbage!

My story is about love and suffering and neglect. Walter’s only way of coping with the desertion from his mother! He cut his victims out of self-healing, not to gain sexual pleasure. Walter didn’t really understand he’d been killing his victims. And how did Frank come up with the name Marcie? I looked to Satan with question.

Another cackling laugh from the dark corner where the red-eyed devil sat. Helpless is all I felt as I returned my gaze back to the screen. Pain and fear and powerlessness overtook me as I watched the monitor change from words into live video action. Marcie, now tied to the bed, and Walter leaned over her with a knife slicing the waistband of her underwear from her torso. It WAS Marcie! She’d grown up, but her face I recognized. And Walter looked exactly how I pictured him in my mind. How could it be?

I turned back to the silhouette sitting in the corner. The sick bastard’s red eyes glowed even brighter, its cackle louder and more hideous.

It looked up and asked me a question. “Clyde—do you play poker? You know what I like about the game? You never know what you’ll be dealt. But you can make bank with either a great hand— or a fantastic bluff. You must have balls to win though, do you have balls, Clyde?

I got the nerve to respond, after all, what could this creep do to me? It couldn’t be worse than watching my “friend” butcher and adulterate my life’s work? I mean, I’m dead and in hell anyway, so I asked, “Can you stop this?”

“Well, now Clyde. Do you care to play a game?”

I felt the instant urge to look away, but I forced myself to face my fear, in hopes for the answer I prayed for. Funny huh? Sitting in hell asking Satan for a favor—and praying to a God I never believed in until now, that this cast-out angel would give me the answer I sought. If I wasn’t scared shitless, I would have laughed out loud from the irony.

“You’ve got me over the barrel. I’m dead either way so, I guess I’m all in.”

Satan responded almost immediately. His voice a loathsome raspy tone resounding an echo of death and terror woven within each word it spoke. “Clyde Cavender Bassett…” He spoke slowly with focus accentuated on each of my names. “…Which would you save if it were possible—your precious wife whom you ignored? Or your life’s arduous works and certainly memorable legacy to the world you’ve left behind?”

I answered instantly with fervor. “My written artistry without question. My wife didn’t even wait until my body could be interned before she shacked up with Frank and allowed him to butcher my manuscript.”

The devil hissed a loud laugh to my response. “Are you certain? There are no more cards to draw, no do-overs. You’d be famous, still dead of course, but many others have made the same choice you are faced with.” His outline smoldered as he spoke, the burnt feather odor becoming evermore dank and nauseating.

“I’m all in, Satan—that is your name, isn’t it?”

“I prefer Prince of Darkness but I answer to Satan.” A sizzling guffaw followed. “This next part to ‘seal our deal’ so to speak, will end our little game and cause some brief pain, but is necessary to call you the winner of this hand.” The dark silhouette moved closer to me. “I’ll need you to hold your left hand out, palm facing up….”

I slowly did as instructed, my shaky hand reached forward hesitantly, and when I’d extended it as far as I could, I slowly turned my palm upward. Looking into the two molten-red pools where what appeared to be his eyes, I saw the movement of a dark, shadowy object getting closer until I felt the sharpest, deepest, burning pain I’d ever felt. I couldn’t bring my hand back my muscles were powerless to do so. I’d never smelled burning flesh before, but I suddenly smelled sweet bacon followed by sizzling death. I looked down at my palm and saw the word SUCKER now seared and blistering in the palm of my hand. I turned to look at the screen, to count my winnings. This time I saw Walter, in live action where he’d stood moments ago, only Marcie wasn’t the girl lashed to the bedposts anymore. It was Rachel and her skin bore small cuts over it’s entirety. They were barely oozing any blood from them at all, but I could see Rachel’s tears and hear her cries of sorrow and fear. She kept begging him to stop, but Walter’s eyes gleamed with lust. She’d come back and he loved her, but Walter kept dragging the shiny blade softly across her skin as Rachel stared at me, as if she were looking into the camera, into my eyes.

There peaked a tear of sadness in Walter’s eye and it screamed of his torment. He’d been lonely so long before Momma came back home. This time he knew it to be real. It felt different, it felt like family.

I watched Walter continue his homecoming ritual with Rachel, I felt two distinctly differing sentiments. The first, I’d now become a truly famous author who would be remembered for his literary brilliance and portrayal of the human condition. And secondly, while I watched Rachel’s pain she was forced to endure, the beginnings of a tear seeped from my eye—mirroring the one in Walter’s. And I spoke a final monologue, hoping she could hear it straight from my lips. “I loved you dearly, Rachel—but I never really liked you.”

Rating: 8.00/10. From 5 votes.
Please wait...

🎧 Available Audio Adaptations: None Available

Written by Eli Pope
Edited by Craig Groshek
Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek
Narrated by N/A

🔔 More stories from author: Eli Pope

Publisher's Notes: N/A

Author's Notes: N/A

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Copyright Statement: Unless explicitly stated, all stories published on are the property of (and under copyright to) their respective authors, and may not be narrated or performed, adapted to film, television or audio mediums, republished in a print or electronic book, reposted on any other website, blog, or online platform, or otherwise monetized without the express written consent of its author(s).

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1 year ago

This is the worst thing I’ve read on Chilling Tales.

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