Dani Brown’s style of dark and twisted writing and deeply disturbing stories has amassed a cult following featuring horrifying tales such as “56 Seconds”, “Sparky the Spunky Robot” and the hugely popular “Ketamine Addicted Pandas”. Merging eroticism with horror, each of Dani’s titles will crawl under your skin, burrow inside you, and make you question why you are coming back for more.
The Servante of Darkness Blog proudly presents a short story by Dani Brown.
The Daisy’s Song
By Dani Brown
Trapped in poverty everlasting and never allowed to look up. Another whirlwind bad romance. Hands grabbed at her. Sharp nails clawed at the thin flesh protecting her ribs. Dragged her down. Pushed her down with the weight of other people’s problems.
Joke at Marcy’s expense. Pillow over her head. I’m only joking. Four blue walls beat in time with the endless drum loop. Blue’s bedroom. Squirmed against hands pressed over the fabric. You’re going to give yourself a panic attack.
Child’s laughter bounced off the gravestones. A cassette destined to rewind and play the same track forever penetrated the endless drum loop. A trick to lure in the weary. Everything always a joke. Begging on the floor for something to eat.
Marcy sat on top of her motorcycle jacket. The zippers silent. They only sang for Faded Star. They needed to sing for Marcy. Cracked sexbots from another world stared with glass eyes from the forest.
Blue fell out of bed and banged on the floor. An image stolen from someone else’s dream. Someone else’s nightmare. Marcy had to cater to Blue’s every need. He’s only looking out for her. Repayment for the mistake of being born. Silver spoon in her mouth. The walls danced with loud music on the council estate. Football against the wall. Eggs thrown at the windows.
Dew in the graveyard held the icy chill of the dead. Those lucky enough to be buried in coffins scratched at the lids. Restless. They needed their waxed thread back to hold themselves together. Wander the Earth. Force the daisies into silence with a different industrial beat. Change the drum loop. Change the track. Start again. The trees shrieked. Forever frozen with the faces of those trapped inside.
Wings stretched out. Marcy stroked the one green feather. Jealousy to break up the greys and blues. Honey had the world at her feet. Too distracted to see and bask in Faded Star’s love. Bask in the blue light of the touchscreen phone.
Marcy pulled her knees to her chest. Scents of juniper berries and Imperial Leather held back by the dead trees. Their limbs still strong. No leaves would ever bloom again. The occasional piece of skin hung from the branches. A final plea for help from the screaming dead.
The dead climbed over each other beneath the soil. Dropped limbs. Restless. Each bone would need to find its way back to the owner. Marcy held her hand over the dirt. Feel their movements. Trapped in their own agony. Pillow over her head. She couldn’t breathe.
A single daisy grew. Its face always protected by grey petals. A gift from another world. A Maypole in a meadow. Someone else’s dream.
Marcy waved her hand. Love can never die.
The Earth bubbled. Stopped. The dead held still. A brief moment in time, lasting four seconds. You need to settle down. Souls trapped inside, never to move on. Four seconds of white noise.
The flower opened. Golden light struggled to brighten up the blues and greys. Her bleached blonde tips highlighted in gold for a dull yellow effect. Blue wouldn’t let her dye her hair anymore.
The dead waking. Why did you take so long? I’ve been banging on the floor for fifteen minutes. I fell out of bed. Resumed the banging. Clawing. Scratching. Endless drum loop. Blasted for four seconds of white noise.
Marcy caught a glimpse of Honey’s golden hair behind the trees. Illuminated by the blue glow of a touchscreen. A different shade of blue from the supernatural light. All the road side shrines and grave offerings sent to decay in the Forest of the Dead. Honey’s bare feet stepped on them with indifference. Sexbot eyes followed her through the forest. Too cracked and used to pull her hair.
“I can see you.”
Marcy could see two. Tiny life growing inside Honey. Daisy chain in her hair. Grey aura around the flowers, waiting for death. Plucked from her meadow beneath the Full Moon. Honey didn’t know of the tiny life in her belly yet. It wouldn’t change the addiction to her phone. A Knight rode off into the night without her.
The Moon lacked spare light for Marcy’s secret refuge. Away from the pillow held over her face. It has holes. Look. The four blue walls pulsated with maggots and rats. Trapped within. She struggled against Blue. His four walls. Never allowed to look up. Rarely allowed out of the bedroom they shared. Except, to pee. A shower, a rare luxury. Only allowed a slap to the knee.
The Moon could have been the Sun, but nothing ever grew, except her daisy. Gift from Faded Star with love. Love for Honey, never for Marcy. The light of a galaxy contained within its golden centre. Death on the air wouldn’t let it travel far.
Nothing warm. Forever winter. Never spring. Blue took away Marcy’s rings and earrings. Faded Star wanted to give them back. Only, he didn’t know where Blue hid them. Warm the graveyard with the light of the daisy open under the Moon.
A party of death below the soil where no grass grew. The scratching added another beat to the endless drum loop. A new industrial song for DJ Donnie to play in a different world with Honey’s heart bleeding out in his pocket. Engagement ring for Honey. Cock ring for Marcy with her legs in the air, shoes still on.
“Have you come to discuss retrieving your heart?”
Marcy waved Honey into the graveyard. The song of the daisy couldn’t drown the screeching of the dead.
“Did you get lost chasing the Knight?”
Honey stepped out from behind the trees. No answers for Marcy’s questions, unless staring at her phone counted towards one. She didn’t notice the decayed roadside offerings stuck to her feet. Sexbots with eyes that burrowed through her skin, searching for a weakness in her system. Implant a virus.
Her hair offered competition for Faded Star’s lonely daisy. Show the graves the light of day. Death on the air. Death in the soil. Hanging from the trees. The light from Honey’s hair couldn’t travel far. Total darkness all around.
A heart beat inside Honey. Tiny one, protected by her womb. Marcy’s womb forever barren. No children for the Knight. She could give one to Faded Star. Rejected. Deleted. Blocked. He belonged with Honey.
A safe place away from the blue walls. Pulsating with threats from beyond. Rats ate the maggots between the wall and the Void. In the land of the dead. No one to grope at her and hold a pillow over her head.
Slap on the knee. You look like a slut. Blue expected her to control the actions of others. Their eyes. If you’d only X, then everything would be perfect. I’d be happy. The pillow pressed against her face. She kicked. Blue wouldn’t let go. Marcy wouldn’t be happy until she escaped into the night, listening to the dead scratch.
Hand on the small of her back. Grey tendrils of decay spread through the new flesh. Never allowed to regrow. Ripped away with each pillow over her head. Demand from some man. Offered on a plate by the college tutor. You were born with a silver spoon, it is time to let someone else have a chance. She didn’t listen to the council estate blasting through the closed window into the night. Beating pulse of decay ran through the town. Every little thing made ten times harder. Graveyard the only refuge. Bask in the warm glow of Faded Star’s daisy. Imagine what could be in some other time. Some other place.
Blue couldn’t comprehend he made problems worse. Eyes downcast. She wasn’t allowed to look up. This is how a relationship is meant to be. You have no reference for how relationships work. Your mother has been divorced. My parents are still together. I’m only trying to protect you. In her safe refuge, she watched the dead trees. Rats scurried up the branches after a taste of flesh. Feast for the reanimated flies. Eyes only pointed down to bask in the glow of the daisy. The daisy’s song travelled through her, keeping her safe from harm.
Honey tainted with each hand around her back. Four seconds and it’ll all be over. Honey stared at her phone. Same pictures of Knight Donnie. He couldn’t control the results of a Google search.
Empathy simulation. Oh you poor dear, your parents are divorced. That means I know more about relationships than you. Pillow over her head. Mind over matter. Tainted. Run away. Cemetery. Only place to go. Dead that wouldn’t stay dead. Marcy waved her hand over the soil. They tapped back with a pulse through the dirt.
No one took in what she had to say until it was time to carry them away. Screaming into the night. Agony on a never-ending loop. Enough relief sought through clawing chunks of dirt from above. Not even worms existed below the soil. Totally infertile. Hostile environment.
Marcy’s instincts erased after years of programming. A pillow held over her face. Slap to the knee. Thrown into manufactured chaos on an endless loop. Faded Star’s daisy brought peace even if she couldn’t suck the Imperial Leather from the air.
Love under programming. Mind over matter. You’re being negative. Magical thinking. Positive thought involved acknowledging the negative and action. Grow wings. Transform. A virus in the system.
Gravity pulled free drinks with expectations of sex and relationships. But you were raped. Pillow held over her face. It has holes. Mind over matter. Same words uttered one million times before. Said enough times, some sick mantra, they might hold meaning. Erase Marcy. Rub out her intuition. Honey didn’t notice the world changing around her. Each groping hand could have belonged to the Knight. Pressed against his window for the world to see. Dead flies around her ankles.
Bad karma written into their aura. They scream when she comes in the middle of the night, unexpected. Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. With one touch and a special incantation. Ugly bodies with contorted faces left behind. Death mask howl carved into the trees. I’m only joking. Marcy lacked a sense of humour when she came in the night, wings out stretched. Green feather brushed. She reached her hand for Honey. Grabbed her around the wrist. A taste of what Marcy goes through thousands of times each day. Implanted into her brain with the drum loop. Four seconds of white noise. Start again.
Marcy’s heart belonged to Faded Star. It still beat in her chest. The daisy sang with her heartbeat. Love under will, not duress. She wouldn’t give it away. Replace the drum loop. The screams of the dead. Their faces forever carved into the trees. Watched over by used sexbots with cracks in their skin. Oozing tainted honey. Food for the maggots and rats.
Manufactured chaos in Marcy’s general direction. Shot into Honey’s brain. Virus in the system. She wouldn’t put down her phone. No signal between the graves. The dead tapped on the Earth.
Never good enough for Faded Star. Bringer of death and decay. No one is immortal. A place below the dirt, where not even worms lived.
Save Honey from herself. Show her the reality behind the masks. Emptiness is contagious. Scars on display for the world to see. Do you want to see me? Load blown in 56 seconds over the WiFi connection. Hide behind his range. Cumshot designed to impress. Marcy pulled off his mask. Shone light onto his filters. Saggy cheeks. Eyes outlined with wrinkles. Directions for her frozen tongue.
The ring in his pocket next to Honey’s heart belonged to Marcy. Honey claimed back her heart and let go. Offer it to Faded Star in the meadow. Jam the tape deck and let the daisies sing.
A deeper connection between Marcy and Knight Donnie. Still a dick. Still a jerk. Riding into the night. Two star crossed lovers dance through the sky. Stars are born. Stars die. Honey looked up, into Marcy’s eyes. Her phone sat silent with no signal. Heart broken in Donnie’s front pocket, next to Marcy’s ring.
Love can die. All over the sheets. In the middle of the afternoon. Springtime ejaculation carried over the WiFi signal. Do you want to see me? Honey should be the one with green wings in the meadow. The daisies can sing songs of jealousy. Marcy left to cry with the dead clawing at the dirt below.
“Faded Star loves you.”
Wake in bed next to him. Pillow never held over her face. Pressed against Donnie’s window. Scars on display for the world to see. Up to her ankles in dead flies. Honey pants. Breath condenses on the window. The stars in the sky dance obscured by cloud cover. Honey and Marcy can feel them overhead.
Marcy hiding in the shadows. A wave of the hand and the flies come back to life. Somewhere between the maggots in the walls and the beyond. White noise. Erase the drum loop. Drown the song of the daisies. The dead clawing at the Earth.
Marcy looked at Honey. Phone dead in her lap. The dead clawed beneath them, looking for a way out.
“I have no signal once I step into your refuge.”
Honey’s red dress covered in grave dirt to the knees. Struggled to keep tears from her eyes. Her voice cracked. Four seconds away from staring at his pictures. Burger grease wiped down his jeans, hands clean enough to paw at Honey’s flesh. Squeeze her breasts, turn her over and slap her arse.
“You can live without the Knight for four seconds.”
“Four seconds is eternity.”
Marcy held a bowl of plump green grapes. Occasional substitute for eyes when the grey tendrils of death claimed them for the Void. A tongue pressed against one. Arms held in chains. The only way out is through.
Honey shook her head. The dead, too weak to be hungry.
“The Knight doesn’t love you. He’s off in the forest fighting his own battles. Throwing burger wrappers to the rats.”
The dead scratched beneath the Earth. Honey tapped on the dirt. No words for Marcy, lost in her daydream. The daisy hummed. Faint song to bounce off the gravestones. Memory of late spring in the meadow. Dancing around the Maypole at midnight. Marcy watched from the forest with the broken sexbots and burger wrappers.
“Have a grape. They weren’t grown out here. Nothing grows here, except Faded Star’s daisy. A gift he gave to me. From your meadow.”
Faint hint of jealousy in Honey’s glare. She couldn’t have all the men, forever trapped in her daydream. World of her own where Faded Star becomes the Knight.
“Each time I’m here, I pick it. The petals never decay before it tells me he loves me.”
Marcy’s organic love story. She didn’t say who he was. Faded Star. The Knight. Love at first swipe through the thumb of Honey. Superlike notification. Love unexpected. Donnie’s face stared back at her. Head held at an angle. Hair pointed up. Carefully waxed in front of the mirror. Filter applied. Love lost on the stiff sheets. Pillow held over her face. Feathers fell from her wings.
Resisted. Neither wanted it. Two star-crossed lovers in the middle of the afternoon. Too soon. Honey looked better on the Knight’s arm. Riding into the night. Heart held in his front pocket.
Marcy stalked Faded Star in the night. Watching him sleep from a corner hugged by the shadows. Reanimated flies quiet in the dark. I’ll phone when I get home. Still trapped under Blue’s pillow. I don’t want other men looking at you.
Surface level similarities that reached deep inside. Fill each other’s Void. I’m bursting here. Messages sent to Honey instead of Marcy. Do you want to see me?
Marcy wondered how many other women the Knight courted with those same lines. All of it implanted into Honey’s brain. One squeeze of the wrist. All it takes. Marcy wouldn’t let go. Trace her icy fingers across Honey’s warm flesh. Blood beat through her body, swirled around by the black hole inside her chest.
Blow his load over the WiFi connection. No one to lick him clean. Total lack of social skills dead on the sheets. Honey banged on the bars. Virus in the machine. He never phoned. Messages erratic when he needed to get off.
Two star crossed lovers danced across the sky. Even in the cemetery, the fog clears long enough to see for four seconds. Their lives forever entwined.
Marcy’s daisy grew bright. Competition for Honey’s hair. Light cast through the cemetery. Another green feather. Donnie. Still a dick. Still a jerk. Forever a dick. Forever a jerk. Cock ring in his pocket. Engagement ring in his pocket. Next to Honey’s heart.
Honey one click away from his home address with Faded Star’s love dripping down her thigh. Stain her red dress. Marcy’s clothes robbed from a grave. The dead wanted their threads back. Marcy didn’t need it anymore. Sew themselves together. Haunt the living and cleanse the Earth. No signal in the graveyard for that fatal slip of the thumb.
“Did you think to clean yourself before you chased him into the night?”
Honey’s daisy dead in the corner of her meadow. The ring next to her heart wasn’t the engagement ring. Cock ring for Honey. The daisy died for no reason. No heart to beat inside Honey’s chest. A black hole to suck in Faded Star’s love. Push out a baby.
Marcy would come for him in the night before his time. Save him from a fate worse than death. Carry him through the Void on her wings. He wouldn’t be warm.
The daisy died for lustful obsession. Hidden from Faded Star in the tall grasses. He searched but could never find it. Marcy knew the location. Kept out of the meadow, she couldn’t tell him where.
Gagged half asleep next to Faded Star with her own reanimated flies. He could feel her chill in his cheap hotel bed. The dead scratched at the windows. Safe in Marcy’s arms. She’d never let go. A promise made. Wasted away without Honey’s heart singing in the meadow. It started with icy fingers on his dick. Jerk off into the stiff hotel sheets. Morning surprise for housekeeping. Tainted honey dripped down the walls. Food for the dead.
“Ever think there’s no reason for anything?”
Honey looked at Marcy. Phone held in her lap. The cemetery sucked its battery away. The dead clawed at the Earth. They needed every bit of light. They couldn’t claim the lonely daisy. Recoiled against its song. They weren’t strong enough to climb out of the dirt. Rats danced around the gravestones. Their fleas jumped looking for fresh flesh. Boils to drown in. Honey immune.
Marcy picked the flower. Pillow held over her face. I’m only joking. She stopped struggling. No need to play dead. One living daisy. From the dirt that didn’t even hold worms. No faint hint of Imperial Leather for her. The scent washed away in the cheap hotel bed with stiff sheets. Only Honey could smell it. And perhaps, his wife. At home, working up a ton of debt.
“Billions of lives snuffed out for no other reason than I wanted to hold a pretty flower. Bask in its dying glow.”
“What did you do to my phone?”
“Nothing. The dead below sucked the battery. A bit of life to climb out of the Earth.”
“Don’t worry. They aren’t strong enough yet.”
Marcy pulled waxed black thread from her fingers.
“I still have their grave thread. See?”
She held it over the light of the daisy.
“They’ll fall apart if they climb out of their graves without it.”
“One day soon, the dead will wander the Earth.”
Honey stared at her.
“Why not? The dead already wander the Earth, staring into their phones. Dreaming of a love that isn’t meant to be while life passes by at the speed of light. Ignoring the love that is true.”
Honey shrugged her shoulders. Marcy’s own image stared back, dressed to the nines in a red ball gown with dirt up to the knees. Blue took scissors to her bleached locks. Each strand of hair cried as he chopped. I told you I don’t want you dying your hair.
“Why did you invite me here?”
“To get you to focus. Faded Star won’t be around forever. He loves you.”
Reanimated flies buzzed around. Honey raised her hand.
“They won’t drop dead. Not here.”
“They don’t stay dead in the meadow either. They buzz below the Earth. Faded Star might notice.”
“Then love him.”
“Why do you have more power than me?”
Power only an illusion. The pillow pressed into her face. Fabric sucked down her throat. Tasted the sweat. Decay. Dust mites. Blue only showered once every week. Never changed his clothes. Blamed for the tangles in his hair. Marcy didn’t have any power.
Marcy stretched her wings. Another illusion. Trapped within someone else’s drama on an endless drum loop. She couldn’t hear the daisy sing.
Honey ran off. Back into the trees. A shimmer from a white horse glowed in its own light. Off to chase her Knight. Marcy all alone. Wrapped within the delusionary chaos of Blue’s mind and shoved into a box with four blue walls. Face the problems before her own get buried. Knight ran off without her. She needed to be ready for when he called moaning down the telephone.
Never allowed to look up. Marcy sat in class, eyes cast down. Blue wouldn’t allow her to speak. Every time she opened her mouth, a fresh slap to the knee. Pillow held over her face. Time to go back. Face the music. Struggle. Blue looked for any excuse to be miserable with his favourite post-punk album on repeat.
A bow of human skin kept Marcy’s prison locked. A feast for the reanimated flies. Taunt the rats. Marcy pulled her knees to her chest. Water for the daisy. Back tomorrow morning.
Her fingers twitched. Blue pressed the pillow into her face. The fabric sucked down her throat. Hidden strength reached her hand. Her wings no use when locked within his four blue walls. Flies buzzed against the window. Rats climbed over each other in the walls. Marcy reached for his hand holding the pillow and scratched. He slapped her ribs. She kicked.
“I’m only joking.”
He pulled the pillow away.
“You have no sense of humour.”
White light blinded Marcy. She struggled for air, remembering the Song of the Daisy sucked away by the graves.
“You’ve given yourself a panic attack.”
His voice came from far away. Cut off the music.
Long life ahead of him. Torture some wife from a far-off land. Submissive and demure. Marcy would come for him in the end. A special place saved in an ugly tree.
The latest Release by Dani Brown
This is the story of how Marcy died. He punched the wall and told stories stolen from other people’s lives. Trapped in another bad romance. A robotic demonic shapeshifter from Mars with a life tale ripped from a Doctor Who storyline.