Off the Radio and Other Scary Stories

Voices from beyond.

Imaginary friends.

Unsettling sights.

New houses.

Dead dogs.

The scares go on and on.

 

Off the Radio

‘I haven’t seen this for years,’ Mum said. ‘I used to record music off the radio with it.’

We were in the attic. I didn’t know what it was. Mum saw I was confused.

‘It’s my old cassette player.’

Mum picked up something else from the tin. It was a small box with two wheels on it. There was some writing on it. Mum read it out loud.

‘Top of the Charts, May 1982.’

She showed me the player.

‘You push this button.’

A door in the top popped up.

‘You put the cassette inside.’

Mum pushed the small box into the slot. She put the lid down. There was a clear plastic window. There was also a row of buttons along the bottom. One said ‘Rec.’ Another said ‘Play.’ Mum pushed down the ‘Play’ button.’

I looked through the plastic window. The two wheels started turning. Mum was all excited. She was smiling. This made me excited too. I smiled at her. She hugged me.

‘This makes me feel like a teenager again.’

A wobbly voice came out of the recorder. It was strange and angry.

‘?eM dEbRUtsiD OuY evAH yHw .DLrOw eHT lLa 4 MrAH sI tNAw I Lla’

The Boy Who Wasn’t Me And Other Scary Stories

Voices from beyond.

Imaginary friends.

Unsettling sights.

All this and more …

The Boy Who Wasn’t Me

I met a boy in the park. He said he was me. He had my clothes on. His hair was like my hair. He knew all the things about dinosaurs that I knew. The boy said that it was my turn to sleep in the park tonight. It was only fair. He said he had been here too long. I turned around. My mum was reading her book.

‘Don’t bother asking her,’ said the boy who wasn’t me. ‘She’ll only agree with me.’

‘But that’s not fair,’ I said. ‘She’s my mum, not yours. Why would she let you go home with her and leave me here? Why would she do that?’

The boy who wasn’t me smiled. He thought this was very funny.

‘How would I know?’ he said.

The boy who wasn’t me went home with my mum. I tried to stop them, but he wouldn’t let me. He stopped me from following them.

‘It’s my turn now. Leave us alone.’

Mum held the boy’s hand and they left the park. She didn’t look at me at all.

It was really cold that night.

There was no one else in the park.

I felt really sad and confused.

The park got busy in the morning. I saw loads of kids running around and having fun. I waited for Mum by the swings. She knew they were my favourite.

‘If I stand here,’ I said to myself,’ she’ll see it’s me and get rid of him. Then we’ll go home and I’ll tell her that I never want to come back to this park again. I’ll tell her all about the boy who wasn’t me. She’ll believe me. I know she will.’

It was really cold that night.

There was no one else in the park.

I felt really sad and confused.

Bara Cailín Ident test

Hi Everyone

Here’s a test ident for Bara Cailín. I am trying to capture that particularly unsettling feeling that I always associate with British science fiction, supernatural and horror television shows from the 1970s – in particular, Roger Price’s The Tomorrow People (1973-1979); Children of the Stones (Peter Graham Scott, 1977); and Nigel Kneale’s wonderful Quatermass IV (1979).