Thursday, December 22, 2016


Dan went to the ER room. Same old problem. Alcoholism is a disease, and will destroy the body. He was a regular there. He sat in his bed cracking jokes with the nurse. The nurse left. There was a young man in there who was obviously about to get discharged. He had his clothes on and was just waiting impatiently on one of the nurses.
"You are so annoying", Dan said to him.
"What?", replied the man.
"I have so much life left in me, but I’m on my deathbed". Dan said as he glanced out the window. "One day you will be in this bed and some punk will be huffing and puffing because he had to wait a few minutes. You will learn not everything is on your schedule."
The man rolled his eyes and gave a low, “Whatever".
The nurse came in and gave the man his instructions on a followup and handed him some paperwork.
The young man started walking out of the room and turned back to Dan. "I am sorry. that wasn't right of me. I am sorry. I hope you are ok".
He extended his hand to Dan. Dan took it and he immediately started flat lining.
The man looked at Dan in the bed as his hand dropped and the nurses came into resuscitate. Dan though to himself as he watched, “I always think the look they get in their eyes when they realize what happened to them is, so, delicious. Thanks for the body young man, thanks for the new life too."
The young man whistled as he walked out of the hospital. Reading the paperwork in his hand.Took him like 30 minutes to find the guy's car in the parking lot.
Vance adjusted the rear view mirror in the car. With a smile he says, “And I begin anew.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

Cold Shoulder

I walk the same dark street alone, always alone. Day in and day out, it is the same endless street. I speak to people that are walking along, but no one answers me. I don’t know what I have done in my small town to be shunned like this. Every so often I see family members and they ignore me too. I saw my cousin but she wouldn’t make eye contact, my so called buddies even ignore me.
I just keep walking and sleeping whenever I get tired. I have lost chunks ...of my day and then I'm walking the dark cold street to my house again. I sometimes forget the day or even what time it is. I’m going to have to go see a doctor, something must be wrong with me. Maybe in my blackouts I have done something wrong? I’m almost too scared to even try to get help. What if it’s a tumor? What if it can’t be cured?
I wish someone would just talk to me. I pray, “Please someone talk to me, tell me what’s happening. What did I do to you all? To exclude me like this is like a searing pain like I’ve never felt before. I am so incredibly alone. It’s a dark crushing weight on my soul. I can’t take it any more.”
I stop walking and yell out “Please. Anyone? Anyone?” I scream into the cold dark night. I scream until I can’t scream anymore. No one takes any notice of me. No one even looks my way.
I just sit on the sidewalk. I am exhausted. Both physically and menially. I scratch my wrist and feel a pain. I look down and notice the red jagged cut across my wrist. Then it dawns on me. This is my punishment. There is no fire and brimstone. There is my special hell for suicide.


"Ow, Chalk! Stop!" Bill yelled, as she hopped off of his legs.
It was cute when she was a tiny and would sit on his lap, curl up in a ball and suckle on one of his fingertips. Back when he found her half dead in the basement of the apartment building. These days it was just a bit too much, she was way too big for that. Around a year ago, when she began hitting her growth spurt, Chalk's appetite became insatiable. Dry food was no longer enough. She needed, even craved... fresh, wet food which was not easy to come by in the city.
So Bill though and came up with his own solution. It started with stray animals. To Bill, if they were roaming the streets then the odds were slim that they would be missed. Chalk would have a small cat in the morning and if she was good, a rat or even small dog for dinner. It worked out perfectly. For a while, at least. She began acting hungry between meals. Bill read about how meat eating animals can be trained accordingly to eat only 2 times a day. So he tried this until one night she gashed his left hand in a hunger-induced fit. Bill decided to up her intake. Problem with this is there were only so many strays in the city.
Bill decided why not homeless people. This was a great idea for a few months, but after a few close encounters with the cops and bad people, they needed to leave and find a new food source. Bill thought, Chalk needed livestock. Livestock, and less laws. Mexico is the only logical choice.
They sold what they couldn’t carry, and left the city. They purchased a small house in a small village about a hour south of the US boarder. Here they live happily. That was a couple decades ago and they haven't had an issue since. Bill only lets Chalk out at night and she's restricted to one farm at a time. Every once in a while, some paranoid farmer will catch a glimpse or get a picture of her but usually their evidence gets dismissed as a crazy "urban legend" or a hoax. Life is good here for Bill and Chalk.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Morning Rut

If you think about it I’m doing her a service. I mean come on, every morning it’s the same boring routine. After she takes a shower and other hygiene tasks. She usually chooses a hideous outfit to wear for the day, then she’ll apply her clownish makeup. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against makeup. If she wants to wear it that’s okay with me, but her choices in color are horrible to say the least.
She always wears orangish eye shadow and base. Orange does not... look good on anyone. Who in their right mind would wants to look like a snack food. Now red would make you look pretty, but every morning she applies that orange crap to her face. After that’s done I’ll force a smile on my face that matches hers and she’ll head off to work in that skimpy skirt and low cut blouse. The outfit is acceptable, but the orange on our face drives me crazy. It doesn’t look good. Red would look better. The only problem is she doesn’t notice the way my eyes will quickly flash to anger when she’s looking over her colors, and always picks orange.
I guess it’s time I break the morning routine.
Her eyes widened in horror as I reach towards her. I can’t blame her though, it’s not everyday your reflection moves without you. I grab her hair and jerk her forward. Her forehead shatters the mirror and I keep doing it until the pretty red starts to cover that ugly orange.
I let her go and she falls to the ground where the many broken pieces of me are staring at her. I examine her at every angle as that beautiful color slowly seeps out of her. See? I knew red was our color.

Secret Observation

Every night I sit on the roof facing into her bedroom window and watch. I watch her comings and goings. Sometimes she brings someone home, but I don't get jealous, I really don't, I just feel sad. I've told myself I should just go talk to her like a normal person. But I can't. So I spend my time trying to figure out what makes her tick, what excites her, what makes her happy, or calms her down after a stress filled day. I used to get excited just quietly and watching, but she'd just go to sleep, never once seeing me there outside her window. I came to the realization that I wasn't about to get caught. But I am hooked on watching.
Recently the same man kept showing up, at first a few nights a week, then every night. This went on for almost 2 months. As sudden as he came, he stopped showing up. I kept watching, waiting for him to come back into her room. I hadn't seen them fight, but she doesn’t always come home either. So I kept watching, waiting to see him again. When I did, he was walking towards me on the roof, looking directly at me. He stopped a few feet away, and just stared.
So I gave a friendly little smile and said, "She killed you too, huh?"

Quality Time

I remember back when I was little, my family would always sit together to eat. It was a time for us to talk about what we've been doing in our lives. Just like the old TV shows, a nice wholesome nuclear family. From my earliest memories, I can always remember eating my Mom's spaghetti that has been passed down since the old country. It was a family favorite and we all made sure to clean our plates.
After a few years these moments disappeared; we aged, we gr...ew apart. Everyone still lived at home but we weren't as close anymore. Then people started moving out. My older sister was married, my little brother too, My little sister was soon off to school. My mom and dad however became old and couldn't keep up with the family time we used to have. Then it occurred to me. Get everyone together for a meal, just like the old days. I'd cook, we would sit in each other's presence and it will be wonderful. We would be like we were when things were simple. We would be the ideal family once more. Nobody seemed very excited about the idea at first but I can be very persuasive.
I worked hard all week getting everything ready. I was prepared even down to the cartoon character glasses we kids use to drink from. Finally the night is here; I even cooked moms spaghetti to bring us all closer. I pulled out all the stops. We all sat around the table in our Sundays best. But nobody was eating, I sat there with my head down just begging to hear a word, any word at all. The whole room was hot, silent, and just smelt rotten. After awhile I couldn't even look up at them, I guess I couldn't stand to see the cuts my knife made across their necks.
O’well, I tried. At least I have my memories.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

propErtY princE

My friends jokingly call me a property prince. But I really don't earn enough off of that to be considered “worthy” of that title. Sure I’ve flipped a few dozen places, but I’m not into real money properties. The places are middle class stuff, plus it is the hobby that I have turned into a full time job. I guess in the beginning I may have bought into the whole “choose a job you love” stuff. I’ve learned that doesn’t really mean anything since then though.... A job’s a job, that’s all there is to it. You put in hard hours, looking forward to weekends and holidays to rest. Quit time feels great to everyone, regardless of the job.
I buy old, dilapidated houses, foreclosures, whatever has a good price. I spend my time and money restoring them before selling them for a small profit. This profit then almost immediately goes into buying, restoring and selling another house and so on. I earn enough to survive. Yet, with the long hours, the rising cost of supplies and hard labor my job sometimes doesn't really seem worth it. I know many others that have tried, and failed, to make it in this business.
So if not for the money, why do I do it then? For the pleasure of providing that customer with their dream home? Maybe I like seeing the joy on a young couple's faces? No, not really. If I’m going to be completely honest with you. There is really only one reason I do what I do.
I do it to observe, to study, to learn you could say.
I have multiple eyes, dozens of them. Hidden in walls, closets, cracks and corners. Not noticeable to the happy new families, couples, single, young, and old that buy my restored houses. Sure sometimes I see them turn around and look over their shoulder as if they expect to see someone watching them. I see them seemingly trying to shake off my eyes burrowing into their backs with a light shiver. I even see the little ones stare intently at the closet. As if they can sense my eyes hiding there. Kids are so observant. However, they never find the cameras, my eyes, and I continue to watch. I see them search through their home at night, double-checking the locked doors and dark corners before going to bed.
I observe them as they go about their lives. Every day I sit down after work, watching them as they cook, play, relax, study, shower, sleep and even make love. I watch their every move, the young and the old, as if watching a reality show. I just wish I had more hours to spend watching, but I need to restore more houses. I need more sales, more eyes. Now, I know you’re wondering what atrocities I do to these "poor people"... Don't worry, I only ever observe them, that's it. Or I haven't done anything yet anyway. I'm still just watching and waiting.
Waiting for the right one to appear in front of one of my many, many eyes.


I love buffets style meals. It doesn’t matter what the food. American, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Southern, Cajun, Surf N Turf, I love it all. I love to go around and look at what is the popular dish, getting a sample and sit back and enjoy the food and show. See I’m a exterminator by trade. I’m who you call when you have ants, mice, bugs and the rest of the creepy crawlers. I have an extensive collection of chemicals. That is where my pleasure of giving random... people the relief from the fear of death. Let me explain.
Most everyone is afraid of death. We don’t know when or how. We don’t know if it will be peaceful or painful. Well I help them. I have mixed a little elixir that will cause a heart attack within 3 minutes of ingestion. Because it is a heart attack, no one questions it. People are happy and laughing one minute, the next they have crossed over. I have seen birthdays, weddings, graduations, and anniversary parties. One minute the weight of the world is on their shoulders, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, the next, the bliss of death.
Here is what I do. I look over the bar. Seeing what is best. When I decide what is the fastest mover, I drop a single drop of courage on it. My favorite food to use is bread. Since the mixture is clear, orderless, and tasteless, people don’t notice it. Just another condensation droplet. I sit back and enjoy my meal waiting for the lucky person who’s worries are over. There is usually a bit of a excitement, I finish my meal, and walk away feeling great because I did a good deed.
I enjoy my outings. Once a month, a different city, a different buffets. Tonight is my 157th good deed. I will enjoy a good meal, and help someone escape all their worries.

Weight Loss Made Easy

She is what some call large, chunky, chubby, big boned, or to be blunt fat. Weight loss has always been a struggle for her. It has always fluxed. The medicine she takes can cause weight gain. Couple that with her poor diet, lack of exercise; a rather hectic work schedule, she was sitting directly in the middle of the ballooning waistline. She started having anxiety about losing weight. Stress made her gain even more. She tried all the diets, and no...thing worked. It was a vicious cycle.
Her doctor says she really need to lose the weight. Being at least 100 pounds overweight at this point, placing her on the bad end of the B M I charts. Meaning her health will suffer, which makes more stress, which makes her gain more weight. She was at the end of her rope. It all came to a head while she sat at home after a marathon of TV, and looked at all the ate. She cried all night and vowed to change.
She started to change things. First she started eating a little better, began stepping exercises while she watched the news each evening, and she stopped taking the meds. She always said they were really nothing but a crutch anyway.
She was getting through it, hacking along as they say. It's tough really wanting to lose it and not being strong enough in the mind to do it. Things were becoming a lot clearer she though when she quit taking all those useless pills.
She was really looking forward to her yearly checkup the next day. She though the doctor will be really pleased to see that she has lost 43 pounds since the last time she was there.
She sat down in the waiting room think to herself, she was in a better place in her life. She certainly was a lot stronger, both physically and mentally. If she wasn't, she wouldn't have been able to cut her whole arm off!
Smiling to herself the though, “Maybe weight loss IS good for me.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


Twins are the Best

Have you ever wished you had a twin? Someone who would always be there to talk to, be a companion, and to go on all your crazy adventures with? Of course you did, most people do. I had a twin brother growing up, and it was the best.
Twins have a special bond, but for Lee and me, having each other was all that we had ever known. The two of us were so much alike in personality, favorite foods, attitude, and of course, appearance. The only way people could te...ll the difference between us was the natural parts in our hair. My part was on my right side, and Lee's was on his left.
We were not like some twins. At school we’d get alone with other kids, but every afternoon we’d go home or to the park and talk about the day together, twin to twin. We would talk about who was being obnoxious, which girl might have a crush on me, and stuff like that. Growing up wasn't easy, so I'm glad I had Lee.
Mom and dad worked a lot, so Lee and I were mostly on our own. Our family didn't have much money, and I remember one Christmas we just got one gift for the both of us - a new leather baseball glove, ball and bat. Whenever dad came home mad and yelling, we would go right to mom and ask to go play ball in the park. She always said yes. We played with that ball until the white parts turned grey and the stitching started to give.
One day, we stayed playing in that park until almost dark. The air was getting chilly, and I was ready to go home, but I stayed a while longer for Lee. Because we both knew that dad liked to pick on him the most. As we walked home under the street lights, Lee and I kept our fingers crossed. We were wishing that dad would be passed out by now, but when we opened the door we found him awake on the couch, beer in hand, yelling at us about where we had been.
It was a pretty stern whipping. As usual, Lee got most of it. I felt terrible for him and I wished I could defend him. When it was over, we went up stairs, brushed our teeth and got ready for bed. As Lee was changing into his pajamas, I saw the red bruises starting to form on his right arm. I counted three big ones.
Then I looked down and saw the three red bruises on my left arm.
I looked up again and stared at my reflection in the mirror, speechless.
I always wanted a twin.

Monsters Everywhere

He lived in a modest house, in a safe neighborhood. He had many friends, and liked school. The boy had the ideal life, however; he sees monsters everywhere. A night doesn't go by that his father doesn't have to hunt for them in his closet or under his bed. Everything was always something sinister; a storm to him was something trying to get in, a shadow cast from the night light was really a monster waiting for him to close his eyes. As a busy singl...e dad, he tries not to let these requests bother him, but he would be lying if he said they didn't get a little frustrating. He just chalked it up as what most dads have to do raising kids. He always joked to himself, who knew that the ideal tiny suburban house could hold so many monsters?
This last week it's been the monster in the basement. Normally the son doesn't go into the basement, but his father had finished renovating it a few weeks ago and needed help moving the boxes back down there. While they were working the boy swore he kept hearing something scratching at the walls. Of course, this noise became a monster trying to claw its way through the brickwork. His father assured him that monsters weren't real and that it was probably just rats. He hoped that would settle things, but if anything it had gotten worse. The next night the boy told his father that when he walked past the basement door he could hear the monster calling his name.
The father couldn’t sleep the next night. He laid in bed thinking this is his Ex girlfriends fault. You'd think that after two weeks walled up down there she'd accept that she's not getting out and stop this. All she's accomplishing is scaring his son and forcing him to reassure his son, once again, that there's no such thing as monsters.

Monday, December 12, 2016


People think they are safe. People think they will not be effected by them. They appeared out of nowhere, mangled, nasty creatures of our own creation, but no one knew they were creating them until it was too late. They seem to appear overnight, without announcement or warning. They will appear out of nowhere, and will consume everything, as their only intent is to grow larger, stronger, until everything, including the human race has disappeared. They will appear in the corners of your room, under the bed, and in those hard to reach places. People fight back on their own, and sometimes even hire professionals to get rid of the scourge. It attacks everywhere and everyone. Babies, children, adults and the elderly are all being bombarded. No one is safe.

Today, I woke up to the screams, and shouts of other survivors, when one of them shouts the words which I know will not be the last time I ever hear:  Dust bunnies.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Father & Son Inc.

“Go get my belt. ” The father said through clinched teeth.
“But Dad!” The boy said, almost crying.
“Now.” He repeated, his voice stern.
With a whine, the young boy turned and ran down to the front room where he found his father's belt laying quietly in a evening shadow. Toby approached cautiously, his eyes focused on the thick wide brown belt. Sweating, the small boy paused as he picked up the belt and strained then to listen for his father. Waiting just a few seconds in hopes to hear the man calm down, his movement to take on a relaxed slump, a heavy fall to the bed, or even a creak from a chair. There was nothing.
Swallowing, Toby slowly crept back to the bedroom, returning to the big man like a servant bearing an offering. The belt heavy in his sweaty hands.
“Good lad.” His father said, taking the belt and wrenching it firmly around the woman's wrists, the owner of the house was so easily pinning down by his father. Then, with a smile, handing his roofing hammer over to Toby. The weight he has felt untold times was almost unbearable now.
“Like I showed you. Where do we hit?”


Dear Dirty Filthy Stinking Liar,
I never thought anyone could be so despicable so treacherous, so evil, not even you. And don't try to make me think I'm crazy like you did when we were married. You tricked the Doctors and Police think I was. You're the one who's crazy. I know that now. You'd have to be, to do something like this. I haven't contacted the police. You have already convinced the police through your lies that I am the problem. Instead, I'm going to put eve...rything into this email, as a permanent record of your actions.
As per the court agreement, you were to drop off our daughter at my apartment on Friday. At first everything appeared to be fine. She seemed like the same old Tabby; her hair in braids like I used to fix it, warm smile, and that threadbare turtle she carries everywhere. But after you drove away, she seemed different somehow. Nervous, frightened, and skittish. She seemed like someone I didn't recognize. Not like my Tabby at all. That's when I understood what you'd done.
Did you really think I wouldn't know? I'm her mother, I gave birth to her, you monster.
She tried to cover for you, you trained her well. She denied that anything was wrong. But I figured a way to find out the truth. I took her to the lake, and we went for a ride in the boat, out past the reef, where we used to go fishing as a family. Remember? It's so nice and peaceful out there, perfect for talking, but we just sat quietly, watching the sun go down and the stars come out.
Then I pushed her into the water. Ha! Who's the crazy one now, Lee? Did you actually think you could fool me? You really thought I'd believe that she was my daughter, my Tabby? Sure, she looked like her, talked and cried like her, even wore her clothes, with "Tabby" written on the tags. But you forgot one thing: our daughter knows how to swim. That imposter, that phony Tabby you sent, she pretended she could swim. She even followed the boat for a few hundred feet. But eventually she went under, just like the big fat dirty stinking faker that she was. Even with her last breath, she was still calling me mama, still pretending to be my Tabby! I don’t know where you found her, or how you trained her. She was a filthy little liar. Liar, liar, liar pants on fire. Just like you, Lee.
This was supposed to be my weekend. My time. The doctors said I was ready. The judge agreed. You were the only one who still thought I was unstable. But you were wrong, weren't you? Last chance, Lee. Bring Tabby over here now. The real Tabby this time. Or I will come and get her myself, and nothing on earth will stop me.

Rockets Red Glare

Billy saw the first blast light up the night sky, most would just stare in awe. Billy isn’t one, his instincts took over and without thinking he hugged the ground like he was part of it. Fear isn’t a bad emotion, but a very helpful one. Fear is the emotion that keeps people alive. It tells you that there is danger. Move, dodge, and get away from it. It is our basic fight or flight response.
All within a second, another fiery explosion lights up the sky.... With the third explosion, billy looks around for a safe place. The flashes of light and booming tempests are coming faster now. Each explosion seems to shake the very ground and sends waves of sound you can almost feel.
He can see in the reddish light a small mount of dirt, just a feet away. It isnt a fort or bunker, but it is better than laying face down on the ground in the open. Billy pushes off the ground with his adrenalin fueled muscles and scrambles to his feet. He begins in a crouched run, but after a few steps and another series of explosions, billy’s legs are pumping as if he was in a race with death itself. Every step feels as if time is slowing down. The safety the mound promises is coming closer with each agonizingly slow step. Instead of taking the last step, Billy leaps. Sliding as if he was stealing home plate.
Safely behind the mount, Billy curls himself into a ball, clamping his hands over his ears to shut out the booming explosions happening around him. Billy lost the track of time, waiting and hoping the blasts would end. During this Billy heard a familiar voice, yell out his name. Knowing the voice was someone he could trust, he reluctantly lifts his head over the mound.
“Billy”, said Uncle John. “Either get out here with the rest of us and watch these fireworks, or I’ll send you to the car.”
Billy dusts himself off and walks back to his family enjoying the fireworks display.


Being driven up the long driveway, it was dark, always in the shadows, even in the middle of the day because of all the overgrown trees that lined the road that blocked out most of the light. The unnerving and unwelcoming view of the asylum appeared before her. the place permeated sadness, sorrow, and death from every crack and opening.

When she entered this place of misery she could see all the other people in their own personal hell. Some of them sat motionless either because of the treatment they had received or because of all the medicines they had been pumped with, others were whispering and laughing to themselves or something their imaginations created. Some were shouting and screaming. Sanity it seemed would never prevail here.

Those that were to far gone to be saved were locked in what can only be described as cells. Small rooms with iron bars over the windows, a bed, some had a desk and chair, and a thick metal door. The door was solid with only a small opening, where every now and again you would see some wild eyes peering through at you or a hand would appear beckoning you towards them.

She was trapped in bedlam, or that’s what it felt like to her. Her own personal hell. Slowing walking past one of the treatment rooms one of the more disturbed guests was strapped to a old gurney. The male patient howling. The screaming echoed, with electrodes strapped to his head, his screams only silenced by the loud hum of electricity surging through him as his body becomes rigid and starts to shake violently. She stood and watched as this happened and found it strangely amusing.

She was unable to take her eyes off him. Its as though some deluded puppeteer is controlling him; making him dance for their own sick twisted amusement. The poor soul was unstrapped from the gurney. Carried and placed in a wheelchair where he is taken back and dumped on his bed where he is left to lay in his exhausted state.

The days pass. She find it hard to keep her own thoughts safe, her sanity in tact, this place of madness is true torture. No feeling of love, of forgiveness, of happiness, of sympathy. She thinks all hope is lost. This place has a cold dark dispiriting feeling with a sense that death would be a welcome pleasure, and patients only real escape.

She spends most of her days in the social area. Not very accurate name, since most of the people are totally void of any expressions and seemingly oblivious as to what is going on around them. They just sit staring into the abyss of their minds. Most them look like empty shells, completely dead on the inside.

This particular day, she notices someone sitting in the corner, wearing a dirty straight jacket, repeatedly head butting the wall and laughing like a mechanical clown. It seemed to her it was almost as though he knows that death is waiting for him, to take him away from his own insanity.

A frenzied sound suddenly erupts, in the hallway. She can hear a grunting laugh that doesn’t quite sound human. She follows the sound and finds a patient sitting on the floor, he somehow had managed to get hold of a sharp instrument of some kind and had slash his wrists and throat. He just sits there in a pool of his own blood with an almost serene look on his face.

For the first time in what feels like an eternity, in all this madness, some of these people show a spark of life and almost seem excited at what’s just happened. Some jumped, others clapped, it was like a watching a crowd at a sporting event cheering their teams on to victory. Moments later staff hurry around trying to disperse the excited crowd that has gathered and load what now seems to be a lifeless body on to a stretcher and wheel it off down the corridor somewhere.

As the weeks turn into months, she starts finding it hard to distinguish whether she is a patient at this house of misery and despair or has become just another cold-hearted, unfeeling, uncaring mental health care worker administering daily torture rather than the help that these people need.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

There are no monsters

“Shh…” Seated on the edge of her bed, he held his four-year-old daughter, gently stroking her hair. “Shh. There’s no such thing as monsters.” he said softly.

“There are, Daddy!” she sobbed. “Mommy told Aunt Elm there’s a monster in the house.”

“No.” He replied as he laid her back on the pillow, humming softly, and holding her hand until she fell asleep.

He slowly got up and slipped out the door into the hall, looking back to check one more time that she was sleeping peacefully. His wife stood at the kitchen sink washing the dishes from dinner.

“What’s the matter with you?” he growled. The flat of his palm striking her cheek. “Where do you get off telling her about monsters?”

“I didn’t–” she begged. As he gripped her by the upper arm.

“There’s no such thing… as… monsters!” he said in a low voice, his fists under scoring the words.

The Punishment

It lasted six days. Six bloody, horror filled days. No one knows for sure what caused the great culling of mankind: some say it was God, others think it was aliens or perhaps a military experiment gone horribly awry. Maybe it’s just the natural order of things. Who really knows, perhaps nature every so many eons scrapes the slate clean and starts over. It doesn’t really matter now.

Nature is bleak and very cruel. It started with the weakest. Parents woke... to the nightmarish screams of children and elderly being torn apart by beloved pets and wild animals. What was loved family members the night before, were feral animals the next morning. Birds then descended from the sky to pick at the the dead and dying, while huge masses of insects seem to appear from no where. It seemed that all the kingdoms revolted and knew they had to destroy the biggest threat, man. No one was safe.

If that wasn’t enough of a cataclysm. The sun shot solar rays towards the earth, downing planes and boiling the oceans along with anyone or anything in them. It destroyed electronics with a spectrum of radiations. The planet heat rose and melted the ice caps. Then it went dark, clouds and smoke shielded the sun. The once romantic moon drew close and flung our tides across cities, while sink-holes swallowed the remaining who didn't drown. Mountains sprang up and islands sank under the assault of world wide earthquakes. You could feel the terror through the darkend sky. It killed most the life on earth. Miraculous the plants were the least effected.

Only the strongest or more likely the luckiest survived, though many wish they hadn't. The world, our world has been thrown back into the stone age and life is tortuous. In one brutal swipe, nature once again became our master, perhaps this was humanity's punishment for its arrogance in thinking we were God.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

One Breath

She walks down the sidewalk, on her way home from work. The street lights are just starting to turn on. She steps a quick, lively pace. Almost running late, she starts to think about dinner: fish or chicken? Maybe a couple steaks would be nice. Bottle of wine, a few candle, a little music. She smiles to herself and brushes a curl of hair away from her eyes. Her only worry is at which store to shop at.

She didn’t know he was there until he’s just a breath behind her. She only sees a flash of metal; a gasps escape her lips, then his right hand, hot wet, and grimy, covers her mouth, and a sharp knife is pressed to her delicate throat. He pulls her backward into a shadowed alley. She staggers back to keep up; She feels cold metal on her throat. Panic rises and instinctively she grabs at his hand, but he grunts and deliberately jerks the knife. The tip of the blade, jumps and nicks a neat little prick in the side of her neck. she cries out through his meaty fingers and try to lean away. But the knife tip is against her neck on the right, and his head presses into the left. Tears come as she realize: there nowhere to go.

His grip shifts only slightly, to better hold her with the knife. Hot breath smells bitter, almost sour as he pants in her ear. His right hand comes down, yanking her arms down with it. Fear driven now, and she beg.

“Please, no,” she whimper, her body stiffening. His rough tongue licks the side of her neck; his right hand grabs her breast and squeezes. “You can have my purse, just please don’t–”

He growls in frustration and jerks the blade up again, harder this time. The smell of sweat, dirt, and filth assaults her nose. She tries to wail, but the sound doesn’t come out, pressing her head back, but his shoulder catches it. Not just a dot now, there is a short, vertical line on her skin that burns hot. Weeping, her hands ball into fists and she begs for release. Fear begins to ebb as despair gently settles in. He pulls the ear rings and necklace, as the knife presses harder against her skin.

But the instant before he releases her, the knife flicks back in a practiced, circular motion. Knees weak, she drops to the ground and her hand comes up to her neck. A long line burns, and her hand comes away sticky wet with blood. She stare up at her attacker, seeing for the first time that he wears not rags, as she assumed, but a expensive suit. Instead of filthy dirt, and disgusting, he is handsome and stylish.

He stares down at her and their eyes lock. Still panting, he watches intently as she collapse to her elbows, holding her bleeding throat. He made sure to catch both arteries, so it won’t be long. Despair rears its ugly head one last time as blackness creeps in at the edge of her vision. Blood, her life. drips from the knife he still holds in his right fist. His eyes are black pools, reflecting nothing but madness, and his lips part into a slight smile.

She’s sprawled full-length now, not even your arms will work. Her hand falls limply next to her ear. Her eyes meet his and a whisper escapes her lips: “Why?”

His answer, ”Because I can” His glares at her as her eyes quiver shut and she breathe her last.

“ Doesn’t matter. He adds with a chuckle, “You didn’t know I was there until I was a breath away”.

Remember to Stay in School

I know a lot of kids don’t think it’s cool to like high school, but I disagree. Good old Present High was great, and there’s no other place on earth I would have wanted to go. I had lots of great friends there, and I’m really grateful to my teachers for everything they taught me.
Let’s take Coach Keller, for starters. He’s the best football coach in the state, and everyone knows it. Yeah, he ran us ragged at practice and didn’t take excuses, bu...t we made it to the state championships three years in a row, and winning two of them. You can’t argue with success. Go Copperhead!
But I don’t want anyone to think I’m just some bumbling jock, so I also have to thanks Ms. Livingstone. She taught biology, and she’s one of the best most interesting teachers I ever had. She answer any question you have in class, no matter how dumb it is, and she’s always patient.
Mr. Oak, my drama teacher, is also terrific. He said I’m a natural actor, and he always encourages me. You know, it’s interesting to learn about the history of all the plays, but I love the improv exercises most of all, they were lots of fun, and they teach me how to think on my feet.
Last and certainly not least is Ms. Tilly. She taught me to cook. I have to say I can cook anything, and make it taste so good. How to treat meat, working with spices, knowing what herb goes best with what, how to bring the flavor out in food. She will alway have a special place in my heart.
But as everyone knows, school isn’t supposed to just be fun. It’s supposed to teach you skills that will help you succeed in real life, and that’s the biggest reason that I’m so grateful to all my teachers. Like, when I’m talking to girls, I need to seem real sincere and convincing, and I have Mr. Oak to thank for that. They really believe that my leg or arm is broken, and I need help carrying stuff! Of course, once they’re inside my van, I usually need to overpower them, and the credit has to go to good old Coach Keller for helping me develop the strength and stamina I need. And then, when I’m all done and I’m ready to cut them up and take my souvenirs, well, let’s just say that things would be a whole lot messier if it weren’t for all the anatomy I’ve learned from Ms. Livingstone. She’s the greatest. After a successful outing, there is nothing like cooking up a nice home cooked meal, with fresh ingredients. Thanks Ms. Tilly.
I love my high school. It’s where I learned everything I need to know.

Sunday, December 4, 2016



Heavenly Intervention

Steven flicked the remnants of a cigarette off the third-story balcony. He could hear the single mom in the apartment below yelling “My kids play down here; put your trash where it belongs.”
“Then you shouldn’t have spawned those worthless, noisy, wastes of space" he mumbled under his breath as he closed the sliding door walking back inside.
Pulling a half-empty pack of smokes from his breast pocket and tapped out a fresh one. Lighting up as he walked through the living room, he decided it was finally time. Time for resolution, time for redemption, time for satisfaction, time for liberation. Steven tromped along the path through dirty laundry, beer cans, papers, unread mail, and old food cartons to the closet by the front door. He had gone over “The Mission” a thousand times in his head, he knew it backwards, sideways and forwards. He grabbed the old Army rucksack, packed well over a year ago, and the black case.

Exhilaration, anticipation, accumulation of preparation. Steven stopped at the door, looked back, and flicked the half-gone Cigarette onto a pile of trash. Laughing, he easily descended the steps and quickly crossed the lot, heading toward his beat-up work truck. He didn’t even break stride as he fired up a cigarette, smiled around it as he flipped off Ed the 83 year old war veteran that lived on the bottom floor.

Steven flung the ruck into the seat and carefully set the black case in the floorboard. Climbing in he turned the key; the 304 revved and left a one-tire peel-out mark as the truck lurched into the street. Heading to the core of town, to the clock tower overlooking the schoolyard, and the mall across the road. He laughed, cliche that the clock tower would be the final chapter of his luckless, and struggling life. Steven envisioned the coming events. All those who joked, teased, and held him down in life would finally see he was something. Something that controlled life itself. To give or to take at his whim. He was both giddy and antsy to start, when out of nowhere a big blue and white blur entered the left side of his vision. Then thunder rocked the car, immediately followed by strange silence. Steven felt nothing as he lay on the seat, watching the blood pool grow larger.

The paper said he must have been heading to the gun club across town, where he had been a member for ten years. He must have not seen the light was red when he zoomed through the intersection, where the church bus smashed into his truck.  The driver of the bus suffered no injuries, while Steven died at the scene.

A Crack

A sickening pop. A searing bolt of agony jerked her body. Amy fell to the kitchen floor, sending her magazine flying with a reflexive sweep of her arm. She had never felt such pain. It shot like fire up and down her spine and sent needles of torment down each of her limbs. She wanted to scream, but she couldn’t find a breath. A deep sounding crack, and another spasm. Her eyes bulged as she twitched and writhed on the floor. Blood began to seep from her mouth, as her... teeth clinched tighter and tighter with every agonizing pain. Another crunch, and all sensation began to fade from her body. Her arms and legs grew numb and heavy. Her vision tunneled, turning to blackness. Death was close. As the last breath left her lips, she silently formed the name of her young son. Don!?
Outside the house, Donald partially sung and hummed a timeless melody as he skipped across the fractured, and fragmented sidewalk towards home.
“Stepping on a crack,”
“will break your.....”

A breath away from Death

Breath. Concentrate on my breathing. Breath deep. Everything is going to be alright. I am surrounded by the best doctors and nurses. I am in the best facility in a hundred miles. They have tests and equipment to identify and treat anything. So I just need to be calm and let the professionals do their jobs. Slow deep breaths. I am in the best place possible. They can treat me. They can save me.
Breath. Take my mind off the hurt. It feel...s like a rock is on my chest, making it hard to breath. Try to clear my mind. Breath. It would be easier if it didn’t feel like someone is trying to drive a tent stake into my sternum. Close my eyes and let my mind clear. Concentrate on the pillow under my head. It is soft but hard. It feels like cloth covering plastic. Kinda itchy. Breath. O NO. Now it’s hurting in my back. Feels like someone is punching me between my shoulder blades. Breath. Everything is OK. Count to occupy my mind. 15, 13, 11, 9, 7, 5, 3, 1. Breath. Relax. You are surrounded by pro’s. They know what to do. The pain is subsiding. Keep concentrating on my breathing. O God, my face is tingling. Is it a stroke now, or heart attack? Embolism, or aneurysm? Breath. Come on, I can fight this. They are skilled in life saving. They can fix me. O please, O please. Now I’m starting to chill. The pain in my chest is getting worse. Nausea, dizziness, i’m slipping away.
“Mr. Hypo” announced the Dr as he entered the examination room. Hearing my name, I bolted up into the sitting position on the little exam table, brushing imaginary dust from my shirt and pants.
“Good morning” he added with a smile as he closed the door behind him and sat down in the chair beside me opening my chart. “I see this is an appointment about your anxiety and panic attacks”.

Resting in Peace

Something cool and damp fell down on my face, spurring me awake. I tried to open my eyes but my eyelids are too heavy. It feels like they are made of lead. They wont budge.
I hear a man say, “Come on, come on!”
Then another man reply “I'm going as fast as I can.”
I didn't recognize either of the voices. It sounds like they are above me. More of the stuff is falling down, hitting my chest and neck. It smelled fresh and earthy. Dirt. I have to think clearly. Where was I before now. I was driving down the road. I stopped at a red light. I remember a blue car with a guy beside me. I have him a tip of my head, and changed the radio. And then waking up here.
Another voice, “Hurry up, guys. We have to get out of here!” I don‘t recognize that voice either.
The first voice answered, “Relax. There's no one around. We've got time.”
I tried to move, trying to put my arms up. I tried to sit up but my muscles wouldn't budge. I tried to open my mouth to ask what was going on but my body remained motionless. All my muscles wouldn’t respond. More dirt hit my neck, half of it piled up over my mouth.
I heard the 2nd guy say, “Are you sure he's you know.”
“Yes, he's dead. Just shut up and keep a lookout.” growled the first guy.
No, Im not dead. There is something wrong with my body. I just cant move. Maybe a coma or something. The night air was cold. Dirt poured down on me in a steady rhythm, slowly swallowing up my paralyzed body. All I could do was lie there and be buried.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Zombies do not care about plumbing

The undead have no respect for the plumbing. They don’t teach you that when you fill out the paperwork for your apprentice license. I became a plummer 7 years before the big crash, 4 of those years running my own business. After civilization crashed from the zombie outbreak, and things stabilized enough to where people started to live again. Plumbers were still in demand. After food, clothing, and shelter, indoor plumbing is a close 4th. It's been 5 years since we beat back the zombies. I'm glad I'm just a regular plummer in the burbs. Those sewer workers, the pay isn’t enough. They are still pulling them from the sewers in the cities. 1 a week is just too much for me. Don't get me wrong, I run into the occasional restlessly departed, that the PC name for them now. But that is a rare occurrence. 3 in 5 years is considered safe. I never go under a house without looking and listening a few minutes before entering. And if I shoot your cat while under there for jumping out of the darkness, you should have locked them up. Their is a reason why the tool belt has a holster on it.
Where my problem really starts is not with the zombies really, but the living. Since the plague slowed down, people didn’t see the need to finish off their family members. You just pay a wrangler to tie them up, slap a rubber ball in their mouth, and send them home. They may want to tussle with you every once in a while, but for the most part they just sit or lay there. People hold on to some hope for a cure, but I know better. Christ could raise Lazarus, but Lord knows he wouldn’t try to bring a side of beef back to life. Others just can't let go. Better to have your loved one smelling up the place shuffling here and there, than not have them at all.
Anyway, I used to just pull hair out of drains. Use a snake to drag matted balls of bath grime and shaving residue out of bathtubs. This brings me to my current griping. This morning, Standing in the shower of some blue haired granny who just couldn’t say goodbye to her oaf of a husband. I saw him when i came in, that festering pile of meat. Sitting on his large butt, looking out the window like a bad Halloween decoration. The red ball in his mouth would have made him look like a pig on a spit, that is, if he still had any natural color. His was a sickly gray or ash color.
She called to tell me her drain was backing up; that a horrible smell and rusty colored substance was coming up through the drain. I figured it was a sewage back up. Not my favorite call, but it happens. Payment is extra. Unfortunately for me, it wasn’t sewage.
The snake went down relatively easy, but that was the end of the easy part. When I started pulling the snake back, the white chunks started dropping off the cable, little flaps of raw and old skin. The smell hits me and I wanted to gag. At least if the worst happens I am in a bathroom and can easily find the can. I called for the old lady. She came in wiping her hands on a dish towel.
“Ma’am, do you know anything about this?” I ask, pointing at the muck. "I’m pretty sure there is a couple teeth in the mess too."
“Oh dear. Why don’t you plumbers make these drains good enough?”, she said with a look of both anger and regret.
“Well, we don’t expect you to waffle stomp the cherished remains of your restlessly departed down the drain.” I replied.
“But he needs his shower, his hygiene was never great, even before his condition. What washed off, I just pushed it down with my toes." she said defensively.
Now, I normally don’t take kindly to this sort of waste, or the type of person who puts up with it, but something struck me in that moment. As they say, the light bulb lit up over my head. Its brilliance was so simple, but I had the idea that would revolutionize the in home zombie phenomenon and plumbing as we know it. I looked at her with a bright face and asked, “Miss, would you like me to install a garbage disposal in here?”
“Can you do that?” she said surprisingly.
With a smile I said, “Yes. Yes I can.”

Beds Breakfast

People love to go to the country. The lazy days, the rich cozy landscape. It can be rolling farmlands, quiet hamlets, or towering forests. Urban people love to vacation in these spots any chance they get. City life is so hurried, so crowded. Some wait all year to spend a week at their favorite spots, while others sneak away for a weekend. One of the most popular ones is the Bed and Breakfasts. They are usually tucked away in a small town, people are lured by the cozy accommodations and hospitality. And so it was that one of these couples was Ralph and Alice, young, budget-conscious newlyweds from the nearby city.
They arrived at the bed and breakfast shortly after sunset. The building looked like a small mansion which were popular in the late 1900's. One Half of the bottom floor was the B and B office, while the rest was that of a antique and thrift shop. The couple checked in, and carried their bags up to the 2nd floor, they were looking forward to spending the first night of their honeymoon engaged in some traditional activity, but when they entered their room their gazes fell upon the king-sized bed. It was an large antique four-poster, with a light wooden frame at least a century old. The room was furnished in colonial. Beautiful antiques adorn the room. It looked like a room plucked out of a old movie. Beautiful, clean, and inviting. All thoughts of amorous activity fled as Ralph and Alice realized just how exhausted they were, from the drive as well as the pent-up stresses of months of wedding planning. With barely a word, they undressed and collapsed into the giant bed, sinking into the soft down mattress, and into a deep, comforting slumber.
Alice woke up with the light of the moon shining into the window. She looked over at her husband sleeping, his body nestled in the soft bed. She smiled at the sight of him, lying there so peacefully, but then something caught her eye. Something wasn’t quite right. Slowly, impossibly, she realized what it was. Ralph wasn’t merely sinking into the mattress. He was sinking through it. Most of his left leg had already vanished below the surface, and the rest of his body was following.
Alice screamed, and lunged towards her husband to shake him awake. He didn’t stir. She grabbed his shoulder and shouted his name, but still he remained sound asleep, sinking into the massive bed. Terrified, Alice tried to leap off the bed. Her legs, like her husband’s, were already being absorbed into the mattress, trapping her. She screamed again, and struggled, but she couldn’t tear herself out of the bed’s grasp. Slowly, inexorably, both Alice and Ralph sank deeper. Ralph was the lucky one, for he never woke up as he disappeared beneath the surface of the bedclothes. Alice, however, was fully conscious when her face, wide eyed and gasping for breath, finally vanished from view. Her outstretched hand was the last part of her to disappear.
When the sun rose, not a trace of Ralph or Alice remained, except for their clothes and luggage on the floor. Birds sang melodically outside, greeting the new day. The morning was peaceful. The bed had had its breakfast, and the owners had more merchandise for the shop.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


How to make a planet Uninhabitable

The bulky ship descended into the upper atmosphere of the planet. It now floated along with the rotation of the planet. The clouds slowly flowed as the ship kept a constant position above the center of the planet. Aboard the ship, on the bridge, the captain sat in his chair with a bank of monitors and readouts flickering along the far wall. Five other members of the crew sat in seats around the room monitoring their own stations. “Captain,... we are in position” replied Ensign Toolo.
“Acknowledged Mr Toolo, keep our position” answered Captain Vallor while he scanned the screens and readouts along the wall. “Lieutenant Benad Diagnostics please.”
Standing to attention the lieutenant says”Planet TFN-3 is the only hospitable planet in this system Captain. There is a large flora and fauna population. Various species detected. The oxygen levels are off the charts. We will need dramatic climate altering. Carbon levels are low. High concentrations of usable resources ”
“I see” replied the captain. “Suggestions lieutenant?”
“I just finished the briefings sent from the Ministry of Science and Technology. Their orders is to forgo the conventional approach, and use biological.”stated the lieutenant. “They want us to use HM72 to seed the planet, and then leave a key11 probe at strategic spots through the atmosphere for further study of how the HM72 spreads and adapts to the planet.”
“Very well, Mr Benad.” replied the captain. “Relay the instructions to the cargo, and shuttle bays for deployment.”
“Aye, Aye Captain” replied Lieutenant Benad as he sat down at his station and relayed the orders to the different parts of the ship.
Everyone was abuzz with activity when Lieutenant Benad announced, “Captain the Cryogen capsule is ready for deployment.”
Scanning his screen the Captain replied, “At your leasure lieutenant.”
“Deployment complete. ETA in 7,6,5, all systems normal, 3, 2, 1. Insertion complete. All systems are online and functioning normal.” replied Benad.
“Great job everyone” the Captain announce. “Lieutenant launch those probes. Ensign Plot our course to our next objective. Engage the engines when the probes are clear.”
“Aye, Aye Captain” replied Ensign Toolo.
The life on the small planet kept on going even though the very ecological system has been infected with a very dangerous biological weapon. The capsule began the process of releasing it’s destructive force on the helpless unknowing planet. Three hours later, the first Homo sapiens sapiens set foot on earth.

Names are weird

Names are really weird if you think about it. I mean, really think about it. When someone is born, we assigned an capricious string of syllables, and are expected to respond to those sounds as though they actually mean something. When I was young I named myself Argo. I like the stories, so I changed my name. Sure no one took it serious, but to a child, that name I picked was as good as my given name.
Sure I will admit, your name may represent something t...o you. It might be a word in your or somebody language or history. It may even be a title passed down through your family. But really, when it comes down to it, a name is just a bunch of sounds we arrange in a way we think is pleasing to the ear.
And then, we hold so them so high. We use them for identification, to communicate, to label, or even to mack. Yeah, I guess it’s fits the need. If there were no names, it would be pretty irritating trying to address people.
But, with all the good things, there are just as many problems with names. Take for instances last night. How was I supposed to know that there were going to be not one, but two, Albert’s at the restaurant? Pretty confusing, to say the least. And how was I to know both of these Albert’s were blond headed about 6 feet, plus; had short girlfriends with dark short strait brown hair? And, when I came up to the table of one of the Albert’s and quietly asked if his name was Albert Smith, how was I supposed to know that the other Albert was also Albert Smith?
So you see, names are downright confusing. Two Albert Smiths in the same restaurant on the same exact night, each seated across the table from a similar-looking woman. Honestly, what are the chances of that? Let me tell you, that’s never happened to me before, not once in my entire career.
And when the Albert Smith that I addressed looked up with recognition as the syllables of his name hissed through my teeth, how was I to know there were two of them? And when I mixed a little powder in his drink, and watched from the back as he sipped it throughout the night, should I have been thinking that there could be more than one?
If the other Albert Smith had left quietly, I would never have known. The first Albert Smith turned a sickly hue and began trembling, then jerking. His date rushed to his side, but he passed quickly. It was all going so smoothly, until the surviving Albert Smith was consoled by his own escort, who made the mistake of calling him by his full name.
Now do you see what I’m talking about? Names are utterly strange. They complicate things greatly. Again, I ask you: how was I supposed to know that there were two Albert Smiths there last night? And, more importantly, how was I supposed to know that I poisoned the wrong one? Names are stupid.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

How to pick up women

In my opinion the easiest place to find them are at a bar. Not the high end or the low hole in the wall, but the average normal bar. However; I've found them at truck stops, all night diners, and during late night walks through the park. Tonight I just wanted easy. I sat down beside a middle aged blonde woman in a halter top and ordered a beer.
"Hey, can I ask you something?" The mature blonde turned her head, met my gaze with unfocused eyes. "Just an opinion really. My friend is really into this online psychic. Do you believe in psychics?" It’s as simple as that. I had my fish hooked, now all I needed to do was reel and land her.
Of course she did believe in psychics. She believed in them very much. You learn to read people.We talked for a while, getting into her safe, friendly zone, then I suggested we go to another bar a few blocks away. I like to get them out of their comfort zone.
At the second bar, I got her a lot of her life story. That's important. I have to know who they are. She was a divorced mother of two grown kids A girl 23, and a boy 21. She had an dead end job as shift manager at a gas station. She was "dog mother" to two Maltese and showed me pictures of the tiny dogs dressed in sweaters.
I asked why she divorced. Her response was what I figured. They fell out of love. I faked concern and asked what the final straw was. With a tear in her eye. She gave me gold. She came home from work on her birthday. Her wonderful hubby didn’t even make it home that night. He was a drunk sack of humanity. He came home the next day, didn't even say he was sorry. Or happy birthday. Nothing. She laughed, but you could see the pain. I knew I had her. She leaned in close to me, exhaling boozy breath in my face, and asked if I wanted to see her apartment. I was in the home stretch.
So, we went. We left the bar and stumbled together down the dark empty streets, laughing and leaning on one another. She was taking me to her place, her shabby little apartment where she lived with her tiny dogs. She unlocked the door and dropped her keys on a little table beside the door. I clamped my hand over her mouth and pulled her head back. My other hand brought up the knife, drawing it across her throat as the tiny dogs leaped and barked around our ankles. I laid her gently on the floor and looked into her terrified eyes as the last bit of life ebbed from them. The blood ballooned out from where she laid. I used her coat to unlock the door so I wouldn’t leave any prints, then I went home.
It's not easy to be a writer. My agent wants stories. My fans demand them. And I need inspiration.
I sat down in my favorite chair when I get home. I wrote a sentence in my little note pad while it is still fresh. "Her eyes locked on mine, searching for human connection we all crave. Me, her friend, her peer, her witness, her betrayer."
I closed the note pad and got ready for bed. Yep another bestseller.

Bush Cove Monster

Bush Cove
Deputy Andy Tyler and Benny Fife explored the area as Sheriff Belfry T. Justice took statements from John and Billy. The two guys attempted to tell the facts to the Sheriff as calmly as they could but shaking and speedy speech told Justice that both were still in shock.
Justice cleared his throat as he asked his first question. “So this monster came out of the water?”
John shuddered a reply. “I didn’t say it was a monster. It was a thing.”
“A thing?” replied Justice as he made notes in his small log book. “A thing that growled? Like a dog?”
“Yes. I mean no. I mean it growled but not like a dog. I am not sure how to describe it.” replied John.
“So this growly thing attacked you?” asked Justice.
“No. Not exactly. We ran from the bank as soon as we saw it.” John said.
“And it was scary?” replied Justice.
“Yes. Very big and dark.” Replied Billy.
“And it was so frightening that it scared you so much you left your cooler and beer on the bank?” asked Justice.
“What??” John didn’t understand the comment.
Sergeant Andy Tyler held up Billy’s cooler, apparently retrieved from the waters edge. John sighed and looked back at Justice. “We were drinking. Or rather, preparing to to drink when all this occurred.”
“Uh huh,” replied Justice as he made more notes. “And then the monster came out of the water.”
“I didn’t say it was a monster. It was a thing.” Billy shot back.
“A thing. That growled like a dog.” asked Justice.
“It growled but not exactly like a dog. I don’t know what kind of growl it was.” Replied John
“Uh huh.” grunted Justice.
“Sheriff, I am not making this up. You have got to believe us.” The frustration in John’s voice was clearly apparent.
Justice looked up from his notes and glared at John Hard. “Young man, you want to know what I think? I think all these cans beside your car show that both of you were drinking. A lot. And in your drunken state, you heard a dog growl and mistook that for this monster. That is what I think.”
“But there was a splash and big ripples in the water. I saw them.” cried Billy.
“Uh huh, Really.” Sheriff Justice took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. “Look buddy. Here is what I am going to offer both of you. Clean up all your cans and leave. I will overlook the public drinking, loitering, and wasting police time and resources. this time. Don’t come back to this spot and keep your drinking at home. If I catch you out drinking again, I’ll charge you with everything I can, even if I have to make up a few.”
“These aren’t all our cans. We just brought a couple of six pack.” replied John.
“And all these cans are from other people” Justice said spreading his hands out over the area.
“Yes. This spot is popular with high schoolers. It’s secluded and good for drinking” John said.
“Young man, I suggest you accept my offer and clean up this spot and just leave,” Justice said.
Billy Cap pulled at John Hard. “John, let’s just go.”
Hard sighed and started picking up the empty cans, placing them in his truck bed since he didn’t have a garbage bag. 3 minutes later, he started the truck and headed back toward town, anxious to leave Bush Cove behind. Their town has always had a reputation for unusual phenomenon. “Present” is just that. A surprise. As far as John or Billy was concerned, they would be happy never to return to the area.
Sheriff Belfry Justice and Sergeant Andy Tyler watched as the car left the area. Tyler then spoke. “What do we do now chief?”
“Nothing” replied Justice. “We wrap up here and write a report on the incident. No follow-up.”
“OK, want me to put up some loitering signs? replied Tyler.
“Yea, that is a good idea. You can pick up some back at the office and do it tomorrow" ordered Justice.
The next evening, Deputy Tyler returned to the Bush Cove with the signs. Tyler was convinced that the story told by John Hard may be truthful and that something might live in this area of the canal. This wasn’t the first weird thing he has experienced while working for the sheriff office. Tyler walked quietly along the bank of the canal for about 30 minutes without anything out of the ordinary. He then sat down to rest for a minute when a large splash in the canal startled him. A dark mud colored monster nearly 9 feet tall and with sharp fang-like teeth came out of the water and approached Tyler. It looked as if a catfish and man was fused together. It wasn’t humanoid, or fish, but something in between. Startled, Tyler fumbled for his gun but it was too late. The monster grabbed his upper torso and tossed the 160 pound man around like a sack of potatoes. Tyler cried out briefly and then went silent.
Sheriff Belfry Justice found the half eaten corpse of Andy Tyler the next day. Justice consoled Fife as he looked around the canal. All was quiet and nothing was out of place.
“What do we do now?” asked Fife as he looked away from the corpse.
“We write this up as a boating accident, the victim being cut up by propeller blades after falling into the water.” replied Justice.
“Sheriff, we have no evidence of that.” protested Fife.
“That is our best theory.” Justice said.
Fife half nodded and called for an ambulance to take the body to the Present morgue.
“Benny? One more thing.” Justice ordered.
Fife looked up at the Sheriff wondering what the older man would say.
“Ask the Department of Public Works to put new ‘No Swimming’ signs along this part of the canal. The last ones were taken down by by the drunks or kids.” Justice said softly.
Fife nodded.
“And Benny. Have them place on the signs ‘Unsafe Water Conditions. Pollution’. We need to do that.” Justice said.
“Chief, we have no evidence of water pollution.” replied Fife
Justice signed and nodded. “I know. But do it anyway. I don’t want any more boating, swimming or drinking accidents.”

Monday, November 28, 2016

War of Conquest

July 2, 1863
It had been a day of blood and pain. When the two great armies had clashed in what would become a historical and costly battle, the ground I now stand on had been a small forest of trees and thick brush. Now that the day was over, the ground was something different - a blanket of spilt blood and shattered bodies. Many of the trees had been split in half by the cannon fire and the constant volley of muskets, making the field of battle, a cursed land of death.
At times like this, I wondered why nature had seen fit to allow the vampire to exist in the image of mortal humans. Despite their physical appearances, the vampire shared little similarities with the common man. I’ve always thought that I was more like one of the large tropical snake who took its meals in one large feeding, slowly digesting it over time until it was ready for the next meal. I sustained myself in the same way, feeding in one massive meal that left me free from hunger for many weeks. It had been a little over a month since my last feeding. I still felt full, and the sight of this battlefield did nothing but sicken me. All the wives and fairy tales about vampires are just that, tales. I don’t grow fangs, and feed on people. I don’t change to a bat, wolf, or mist, or could control the weather or animals. I just healed fast, and don’t grow old unless I want to. A friend who was a scientist and doctor who knew my secret once told me I should write my story for prosperity. To catalog me as a new species of man. I’ve never had the time. Maybe someday.
It was approaching midnight. The fighting had stopped after dusk and a steady mist of rain had begun to fall. For a time, I found shelter under a tree while the rain fell upon me. I was a few hundred yards from the cannon dugout where the Union guns were busy shelling the Confederate line. The volley of shells from the guns came in five minute waves and would no doubt continue all night.
What a few days it had been. The Rebels had surprised us. No one had expected an attack yesterday. I wonder how did it happen? Earlier Union divisions had moved up from Washington and Manassas and had encamped at a town called Gettysburg. It was expected that the enemy were massed. What followed was a day of bloody carnage as each side struggled to get possession of the field. By the end of the day, it was just the beginning of hell on earth. Today was was a bleeding tug of war between one hundred and fifty thousand men. But it wasn’t over yet. There was always tomorrow.
Sitting under this tree, in the constant rain, soaked, cold and uncomfortable, I thought about home and the fire that would warm me if I were there. Though I am a vampire, I was still susceptible to the inconveniences of nature and still dreamed of the comforts of home.
Standing up, I decided to make my way to the log cabin that sat a short distance away and warm himself for a while if possible. My ankle was swollen and painful. Earlier today, I had my horse shot out from under me, injuring my leg. It seemed ironic to me as I hobbled through the rain that I should suffer such an irritation. I am immortal. I’ve seen countless moments of history made through the eyes of a man who could not die. Yet I can still be bothered with trivial injuries such as this. Though the ankle would surely heal faster then it would if I were a mortal man, the nuisance still irritated me.
Trying to ignore the discomfort, I made my way to the cabin, and entered quickly, grateful to get a break from the rains. No one paid much attention to me as I entered; the cabin had been turned into a field hospital to attend to the wounded and dying. All around me, men were lying on every available surface as busy surgeons worked desperately to save whoever they could. On a nearby table, two surgeons were going to work on a hysterical man whose left arm was clearly blown to shreds and needed to be removed. They’d tied a tourniquet around the bicep and placed a stick in his mouth. The two men then held the injured one down as the surgeon began to saw through the bloody stump. The man’s howls of pain and agony were pure despair.
Watching, I could see the fear and pain in the man’s eyes as his arm was being cut away. I had lost a limb in battle once. It was at a place called Copenhagen. A Dane had sliced through my left forearm with a broadsword. It had grown back a few days later. But for this man, lying on a table of his own blood, there would be no other arm to replace the one he’d lost.
As I watched on, I felt a hand tugging at my wet jacket, I looked down to see another man lying at my feet. The man’s eyes were wide with fright.“Please,” he begged. “Don’t let them take my leg.”
Looking down, I saw the shattered remains of the man’s left leg. The musket ball had taken the bone. There would be no saving it. Saying nothing, I walked away as the man continued to beg, “Please, please…”
All around me, the men lay in misery, some moaning, some screaming, some pleading, and all silently praying for mercy. Having seen enough, I stepped out of the cabin and back into the rain. My ankle wasn’t bothering me so much now.
With nowhere else to go, I returned to the tree and once again sat down to endure the rain. The shells from the guns keep blasting away at the Confederate line, adding a man made thunder to the drizzling rain. We had been hit hard today, but reinforcements had arrived that evening and tomorrow they’d push on the Rebel line and beat them back.
Sitting there, I thought about the hospital I just visited. I had seen that type of thing before on countless battlefields and would surely see it again for ages to come. Still, I wonder about the nature of my own being. As a vampire, I did not fear death or dismemberment. It gave me a sense of calmness during battle. Yet still, I felt bad for those who did not possess my gift. Sure, they were only humans, almost like grass that live and die in no more then a blink of an eye it seemed. But they were his men, and it was their horror that I would carry with me long after this war ended.
I almost regretted that, but war was the only thing I have ever known, the only thing I have ever been successful at. I have been with kings, dukes and generals when they set out to conquer the world. That was my right as a vampire, to forge new lives, to see the endless sweep of history through the eyes of a soldier. Each life was lived as if I were a human, living, and pass into another identity, coming up through the centuries with all the knowledge of the past lives lived, feeding when needed, and finding a war. There was always a war.
In this life, I lived in a place called Ohio. I pursued the life of a soldier. I’d chosen my side, though one would have been just the same as another. In the end, the same result would be. Men would die, time would pass, and a new war would be fought. And when I passed into a new life and identity, I would be there for that war too.
As for now, I was here and I had to concentrate on this fight. It was a strange war, I have decided. I hadn’t seen one like it before. Each side was very similar to the other. They shared the same history, the same lands; they were the same people, but they had different ideas of what this land should be.
In the beginning, I had believed that this would be a short war, that each side would soon give up and loose stomach for the fight. But after a few battles, I knew this wouldn’t be true. In fact, this war would probably be one of the worst ever. I have seen the determination of the enemy and the fierceness of those on my own side. They will not give up, not until one side was totally and ruthlessly beaten. That is the only way this war will end.
Looking up, I was brought out of my thoughts by the sound of a man’s footsteps approaching. At once, I recognized the person coming toward me. Though I was a vampire, I still made friends of those mortals who showed superior qualities as to warrant my friendship. The person approaching me was such a man.
When Meade finally reached me, I could see the pain in my friend’s eyes. This day’s fighting had been tough, and it shown. Though it was a military situation, we were on personal terms and often addressed each other by casual names.
“Well, Jahn.” General Meade said. “We’ve had some hard day”
“Yep,” I replied. “We’ll whip them tomorrow though.”

Friday, November 25, 2016

Worlds Greatest Zombie Slayer

My name is Donald Spencer Piccadilly, and if anyone is reading this, I'm already dead. I’m worm food, I’ve traveled over the rainbow.  I’m six feet under.

You get the idea.  Technically, I'll be laying in the bed I plan to be in when I swallow a bottles worth of pain pills I got for an impacted wisdom tooth last year, but it all amounts to the same thing. I know this may seem strange in such a time of renewed hope and opportunity as we now live in, but you see, that's kind of the problem.  I guess I'm not making a whole lot of sense. That's probably because I started at the end of the story. So let me try this again from the beginning.

My name is Donald Spencer Piccadilly, and when the zombie apocalypse struck, I was ready. Don't for a second think I was some kind of hard core, bad to the bone bad ass or anything like that, at least not yet. How many macho guys you know named Piccadilly.  No, I was just a overweight nerd that still lived with his parents at twenty-five, but I had seen every zombie movie ever made. I'd seen every TV show, played every video game and read every book or comic ever created on the subject.  I knew it was possible.  So ever since I graduated college, I started stockpiling things that would be useful when it finally happened.  If it didn’t, then when a natural disaster of another sort occurred.  My family would be ready.  I took 30 bucks a paycheck and purchased supplies.  I had food, building supplies, ammo, guns, any supply a home prepper would have.  So for almost 4 years, I had built a nice stockpile.

The outbreak I saw started as I was ordering a hot dog outside the ball field at a high school football game.  A guy came shuffling up with ripped clothes and grunting and started biting people, I was the only one that didn't panic. It was something I had always known was going to happen eventually. I ran away while everyone else moved in to help. As I pulled out of the parking lot in my  old dented pickup, I saw the people that had been bitten turn on the ones that came to help them. It was a bloodbath.
Didn't these idiots know how this sort of thing worked?  I made a quick stop by the neighborhood grocery store and bought a couple carts full of canned goods. Sirens screamed in the distance when I was throwing the groceries into my truck. I hurried home and locked all the doors and windows. My dad and I both liked guns, so I grabbed all the weapons we had. I then placed them at key locations around the house. Next, I used the stack of old lumber in the basement to board the windows.  I then filled ever available container with water.

I was rather proud of myself. I already had a safe place to hide while everyone else was just starting to realize what was going on.  When I had done all of this, I realized it was a couple of hours past the time my parents normally got home. I felt sick. No, it was worse than that. Somehow I knew the zombies had got to them. It was devastating. I just sat in the living room and waited for hours.  The longer I waited the more the news reported the worst.  I turned the lights off and the tv down to just a whisper. 

It got dark outside, and I heard people screaming nearby. I kept peeking out a crack in one of the boarded windows and saw dozens of zombies shuffling down my street. The way they moved and their moaning and grunting was exactly what I'd always expected, but it still scared the crap out of me anyway.  I didn’t think anything could prepare someone to sit, watch and worry, while the world crumbled around them. 

Right at that moment, something thumped against the front door to my house. The doorknob rattled, and then I heard a soft scratching sound. I crept slowly up to the door and peeked out the peephole. My mom and dad had finally come home.

But both of them were zombies.  I couldn't stand the thought of either of them leading lives as mindless undead, so I did the only thing I could think of. I grabbed my dad's shotgun, threw the door open, and blew both their heads off. Then I closed the door and hid in the dark as other zombies tried to get inside, drawn by the sound of the shotgun blast. They broke the glass out of most of the windows and pried at the boards, and I'm pretty sure I peed myself.  I sat in the dark clutching the gun thinking I was alone now. The sound, the sound was the worst,  but eventually the mob gave up and shuffled away. 

I stayed in the house for the next 4 days without even looking outside.  I worked on making a list of everything I had and what i may need.  Water went off sometime on the 2nd day.  Mid day of the 3rd day, the tv went black.  The next morning, the power went out.  I guess utilities were gone now.  I didnt mind.  I had a generator and 50 gallons of gas on hand, and I doubted it would be hard to find more gas.  I had alot of bottled water.  So no worries there.  I figured most of society was gone now.  I haven’t heard a scream for a since the 3 day of the apocalypse.  I prepared to make my first trip out into this new and dangerous world. 

The next day I made a run to the local hardware store for some supplies to better fortify my house. I pulled the remains of my parents to the sidewalk.  As I'd always suspected, the zombies were less active during the day. I still had to put a few down, but it was easier in the light of day. The zombies aren’t smart, and they were so absurdly slow.  Remember this is coming from a fat guy.   I think that was when I started to enjoy killing them.  I was still upset about my parents, but it had already started to fade. There just wasn't time to mourn loss in a zombie apocalypse. It sort of just came with the territory.

I grabbed the supplies and turned my house into an impenetrable fortress. I built a small deck on the roof so I could sleep outdoors when it was hot.  I even built a little stand up there where I could snipe wandering zombies if I was in a sporting mood. Time moves relatively smooth when you have things to occupy your time.  Things continued this way for weeks. I added to my house's defenses, looted guns and ammo, stocked up an insane amount of food and water, plus I killed a whole lot of zombies. It was great. I was the happiest I'd ever been. 

I know what you're thinking. What kind of sick wacko freak would be happy after so many people died? After the whole world ended? Well, the truth is I didn't think about it much. You see, I never had a place in the old world. I was an ugly, overweight nerd with no real friends. Even my parents thought I was a disappointment. Twenty-five and still living at home, with a dead end job with no plans to better myself.  Hardly a day went by that one of them didn't make a comment about me getting a different job or moving out on my own. And the extended family was even worse. None of them realized constantly putting me down ensured I never had the self confidence to make something of myself.

Then the zombies came, and nobody was there anymore but me and them, and I finally discovered what I was good at: killing the shuffling rotting freaks.  I alone made my house a castle that could withstand assault.  I hunted and salvaged food, clothing and shelter.  I did it all while killing the undead.  I soon began to think of myself as the world's greatest zombie slayer. Nobody could dispute it, so why not?

I killed hundreds just from my rooftop perch, but soon that wasn't enough. I had to find more creative ways to take them out. I once found a dump truck with plenty of gas in the tank and the keys still inside. I went on a little highway rampage, mowing the devils down like weeds, and by my count, at one point I killed thirty zombies in about seventeen seconds.  I am a one man army.

My best zombie kill ever was the old warehouse. I doused an abandoned warehouse with gasoline, then ran around with an air horn attracting the attention of as many zombies as possible. I led hundreds of them into the warehouse, hid in a cubby hole by the door, and when an opportunity presented itself, I ran back outside and locked them in. It was then a simple matter to set the whole building ablaze and watch it burn down around them.  I was the master of my domain. 

I was in heaven. So how did I get from that point to where I am now, about to kill myself? I suppose anyone reading this knows the truth of the zombie apocalypse, so I guess the answer is fairly obvious.

It all went to hell when I was making a run to loot a downtown gun store. The street was more congested than I would have liked, so I crept across as silently as possible, taking a few of them out with a machete to the brain to avoid drawing undo attention. I found all kinds of good stuff inside, including a few grenades I couldn't wait to try out, so I filled my duffle bag quickly.

When I went back outside, a few dozen zombies had surrounded the entrance to the store. It seemed like a great time to use one of the grenades, so I fished one out of the bag and grabbed the pin. 

At that moment, I realized.  I enjoyed the killing.   I killed for killing sake.  I enjoyed it way too much that any sane person should.  I had stepped over the red line, and instead of killing for defense or even survival.  I was killing for fun. 

I fell to my knees, my weapons forgotten. A sense of the most complete helplessness washed over me. . I realized they had never been zombies at all. Not really. Just targets.  Just me lashing out at to feel superior.  Others were looking for other survivors.  Others were trying to bring back civilization.  I was playing the most intense game of zombie killer.  I didn’t scan the short wave or ban radio for any signs of life.  I didn’t scan the area of survivors.  I didn’t go looking for others who might need help.   How many could I have rescued who were fortified in place or stranded on roofs, while played zombie safari. 

It was that moment when the guilt hit me. I thought of shooting the zombies from my rooftop. I thought of the dump truck rampage; thirty zombies in seventeen seconds? Dear God, what had I done? I thought of the warehouse burning with hundreds inside.  I burned a secure strong build warehouse down just to see how many kills I could get. I thought of my parents.  Sure one less zombie in the world gave humanity a better chance of coming back, but if I used that same time looking for a survivor or helping others, the zombie could have waited.  I didn’t have to go the long way home from trips, but I did just so I could get in a few more kills.  I forgot or ignored that the first few weeks after a outbreak was critical to find survivors.  My realization came too late.  Months too late.  It has been if my counting wasn’t off, one hundred and 5 days since the bite at the football game. 
Tears poured from my burning eyes. My world was shattered.  I went out the back, and sneaked and dodged my way home. I didn’t kill a single zombie on my return trip.  So that's my story, and why I felt compelled to end it. I hope you don't think too little of me. I didn't know what I was doing, though even as I write the words, I know it's a poor excuse. So here's one last kill for the world's greatest zombie slayer. 

I'm not a zombie, of course. But does it really matter, I mean really.  I just finished a nice big meal.  I’m going to lay here, let it digest, and think about what I’ve done.  Then when I get tired, pop a bottle of pills and go to sleep.  I hope society can overcome this setback, despite no help from the worlds greatest zombie slayer.