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Fragments of Fear 2: Fragments of Fear, #2

Fragments of Fear 2: Fragments of Fear, #2

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Fragments of Fear 2: Fragments of Fear, #2

157 pages
1 hour
Aug 31, 2016


These eighteen horror stories are a bit longer than the previous Fragments volume. Hopefully they will draw you deeper into their web. I've thrown in an extra special morsel at the end, I hope you find it to your liking.

Aug 31, 2016

About the author

Michael Kelso self-published his first short horror story seven years ago. Since then he has gone on to self-publish many more, won 2 horror writing contests, and publish his debut Crime fiction novel.  He conitnues to work on his next novel, a YA sports novel, along with sequels to his first crime novel.  Michael lives with his wife and children in Pennsylvania. Author interview: https://www.qwertythoughts.com/authors-lobby/interviews/michael-kelso/5d2c15e11a1ffb34782c440f Review of One on One: https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=102148&fbclid=IwAR3f66nynkRjlEECORSPN-S83Ph4pCxxgHmn_9J-WDo5TPGeHc6ILx5wsHg

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Fragments of Fear 2 - Michael Kelso

This story is an original work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locations is entirely coincidental.

Some of the stories in this collection are particularly graphic in regards to violence, blood, gore, language, adult themes and sexual references. This collection is not recommended for those under the age of eighteen.

When I write horror I do it with two goals in mind. The first is to terrify the reader, but the second is to make them think. Hopefully I have accomplished both goals in all of these stories.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention those who have assisted and/or inspired me through the process of writing this collection. Dean Kuch, Linda Engle, Mark Valentine, Michael Cahill, T.R. Mullins, and Mike Battaglia. But most important, as always, is my wife and family. They are so valuable and put up with so much from me, I can’t even begin to say thank you enough. Love ya guys!

Cover photography and design by Michael Kelso

Please visit my author website for more of my works, a look at my blog, and more news of upcoming events.



A 2nd Chance







Halloween Trip


Hello Dolly

Last Ride


Night Shift



Daddy..(Winner of Fanstory.com’s November 2015 Horror contest) 

The Journey

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10



Happiness. Such an odd word when you work for the DMV. Every once in a while some young punk will mug for the camera when I take their photo, but I just scowl and retake the picture.

I couldn't tell you the last time I felt happy. I'm not saying my job is bad, just boring, and boredom can do strange things to the mind.

Like a power converter that changes direct current into alternating current, I turned my boredom into apathy.

My boss was an overweight, vindictive, bitch, who used to bring food in for the clerks every Wednesday. At first, we thought it was a nice gesture, until Tom said that he didn't like her crab puffs. The change in her demeanor was total and terrifying.

Tom didn't work there much longer. He just didn't show up one day.

No one criticized her food after that, no matter how bad it was. We ate whatever concoctions she made as she towered over us, waiting for approval. No one dared to hint that it wasn't the most delicious thing they had ever tasted.

For months we endured this forced feeding. If you look back over the records, I'm sure you’d find that the most absenteeism occurred on Wednesdays.

I say this as I hang by a pair of handcuffs chained to her basement rafters. I guess I shouldn't have said I hated her corn dogs, but I just didn’t care anymore. 

The door opened and the stairs creaked as she descended into the basement. She wore a plastic smock over her clothes, and a smile. Of the two, the smile seemed more odd. It wasn’t warm or friendly, but the look of someone who has struggled with the balance of sanity and finally teetered over into 'unhinged'.

Comfortable? she asked, as she lumbered over to a large wooden table with a meat cleaver stuck in it.

What are you going to do to me? I asked, trying to remember how I got here.

Nothing. I just came down to get a roast from the freezer for tomorrow. It’s Tuesday night, and I wouldn't want to disappoint your coworkers.

She pulled a roast out and set it on the table. I glimpsed the marking on the package and wretched.

What’s wrong? Are you sad you won't be there? Don't worry, I'll save you some leftovers. You need to keep your strength up.

She pinched my cheek then mounted the stairs again. I watched her go, hoping one of them would snap under the strain and the fall would break her neck.

No such luck.

She paused at the top and looked back.

It's a good thing you came along when you did. This was my last piece of meat.

Memories flooded back to me as she slammed the door.

The parking garage.

A handkerchief over my face.

And worst of all, the marking on the roast that said, 'Tom'.

A 2nd chance

Edna never used to be afraid. She walked every morning, greeted neighbors, smiled at children playing, and felt safe. This was her neighborhood, far away from the horrible city. She had lived here all of her life. The crime and violence never reached her.

Then 'they' came.

SHE PEEKED OUT THROUGH the small slit between the boards that she covered the window. Other houses had the same look. Boards nailed over windows, grass overgrown, like the entire neighborhood had been abandoned. She watched for the evil creatures who roamed, in search of victims.

Thank God my pension is direct deposit.

The store down the street used to deliver her groceries. Edna had ordered a large delivery before they stopped. She gave Bobby, the delivery boy, a fifty-dollar tip.

That's for risking your life to take care of an old woman.

He smiled and drove away as a pizza delivery van screeched around the corner, bearing down on him. Within seconds, the all too familiar rat-a-tat of gunfire rang out. Bobby's truck swerved and hit a phone pole. The van stopped and a young man hopped out. He yanked Bobby's body from the truck, took his wallet, and got back in the van. The tires squealed as they drove out of sight. Edna stepped away from the window, collapsed in her chair, and wept.

Bobby's body laid there, decaying, for days. A horrible artifact of the way things were. Edna knew that there were people in the other houses, but none of them risked exposure to move him.

Calling the police had become an exercise in futility. They were so overwhelmed that they wouldn't bother with a single, low profile, murder.

Edna phoned other stores in the area, looking for someone to deliver her food. The ones that bothered to answer said it was too dangerous.

In desperation, she ordered from a website. Surprisingly the delivery truck showed up the next day. The young man was very nice and helped her carry the groceries inside. Within five minutes of him leaving, there was another van at her front door.

Edna turned on the TV to forget about the horrors of the world.

'... And the selfie the girl took helped police identify her killer,' the handsome anchorman said. 'In other news, the President today denied allegations of corruption, saying that her recent abolishment of the second amendment, and subsequent confiscation of all privately held firearms, was not influenced by a second party. She claimed that the violence would diminish once more police were hired. When asked where the money would come from, the press conference abruptly ended.'

Edna closed her eyes, and dreamed of a time when her late husband had chased off robbers with his service .45.

I'm glad he didn't see the day when the government would turn its back on people like this.

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a chainsaw cutting through her front door.


Freddie drove past the cemetery every day on his way to work. Most days he was too busy trying to induce hearing loss through loud music to give it a second glance.

One day, he noticed a freshly dug grave. He quickly pushed this to the back of his mind where the weather forecast and an off-color joke from yesterday resided, then continued about his day.

Two weeks later the grave still sat empty. It had become more than a curiosity for him, it was bordering on obsession.

Every day as soon as the cemetery came in sight his eyes shot to the open grave.

Finally he couldn’t take it anymore. He pulled in, parked his car, and walked up to the rectangular hole in the ground.

A strange mist appeared, becoming stronger

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