‘Roses’ was written back in 2012 (good god that was four years ago now) for a horror short story competition. Though it didn’t win, I’ve always remained rather fond of the concept; it’s also one of the few stories I’ve ever managed to finish completely, so it has that going for it too. I’ve always meant to return to the story, perhaps re-draft it with a fresh coat of paint or maybe even dust off the notes for a follow-up to it.
It’s a story very much inspired by the places I spent a lot of my childhood running about in. The hills and forests of Central Scotland, something you had easy access to when you lived in the middle of nowhere. A place of great beauty, yes, but also a very ancient place. Vast stretches of nature, untamed by human hands. These are the places that inspired the myths and legends of Scottish folklore, the tales of otherworldly beings beyond the comprehension of man. Creatures that operate by different laws, who punish those who violate their rules even if they do not understand them.
I’ve cut the story itself up into several parts, just for the ease of reading. It’s not the longest of pieces, given that its a short story, but pacing can make all the difference in a horror story. Even if I feel its a bit dated now in comparison to some of the stuff I write now, its nice to have as a reminder of where I was just a few years back and what I was writing.
Special thanks go to Greg for taking the time to sit down and edit the various drafts of this short story, for cutting back the chaff and repetition so that its vaguely legible.