Say What?

May 17, 2017 2 comments

“Hey, can you check something for me?”

Sarah looked up from her monitor and smiled at Tom. “Sure.”

Tom leaned his elbows on the counter and looked Sarah in the eyes. The first thought was to ask for her number or address, but he knew the flirting would have to wait. For one thing, she would expect it. For the other, he really didn’t have time today. “Can you tell me what time Dr. Malone left last night?”

Sarah’s eyes got wide and she went a little pale.

“What?”

“You haven’t heard.” She said it in a whisper, and she wasn’t smiling anymore.

“Heard?”

“Dr. Malone died last night,” Sarah said. She reached over and grabbed a tissue. “He called for a pizza since he was working late, but when he didn’t meet the delivery guy at the door, the kid called the cops. They found him slumped over his desk.”

Tom stood with his mouth hanging open as he tried to process the words. “What time did they find him?”

Sarah sniffled before answering. “About seven.”

Tom lowered his head. He had come to see the doctor at nine last night. He remembered the pizza, because Malone had given him a slice before they started discussing the case. “What the fuck,” he said.

“I know,” Sarah said. “He was such a nice doctor. Nobody knows why someone would have wanted to hurt him.”

“Hurt him?”

She bit her lip before nodding. “Yeah. He was shot.”

Tom opened and closed his mouth a few times before just turning around and leaving. He hoped they were just wrong about the times, but considering what Sarah had said about the pizza, Tom was sure that this wasn’t going to be a simple mistake. He didn’t know what it was, but he had to find out.

Visitors

May 10, 2017 Leave a comment

Each tiny foot made a soft sound as it touched down on the rough industrial carpet that filled the office. She could hear them since her ear was pressed against the door, but only if Rayanne held her breath. She had to be careful not to hold her breath too long though, because then she would gasp. If they heard her gasp, they would come to investigate. They would find her. That would be the end of it all.

Rayanne heard them find Mark. He was hiding under a desk when she darted into the supply closet. His voice was so deep that when he walked up behind her and asked if she needed anything for lunch, she could feel the bass rumble against the back of her neck. His yelling had been just as deep. The scream though, she would always remember how much higher his screaming sounded.

A group of guys started yelling. It was followed by the sounds of breaking glass and thumping, like someone were beating on a door. Rayanne backed away from the door and bit her hand to keep from crying. The glass must have been the windows on the conference room. Since it was Wednesday, that meant the software guys would have been in their weekly meeting. If Mark couldn’t protect himself, then they had no chance.

She fought to keep control as she listened to their yells change into screams. It lasted for a while, but not very long.

She sat in the closet, listening to the tiny foot falls, praying that they wouldn’t hear her. Rayanne watched the shadows cross the threshold of the door. They twisted the knob and one even knocked, but she didn’t make a noise.

Signs

There had been all sorts of signs and warnings that shit was about to go sideways. People disappearing and then a bunch of bodies being found in a fire. Dead animals and lights in the skies. Ghosts and strange noises. Buildings falling down and holes opening up in the ground.

We should have paid more attention.

Now, its too late. It ain’t safe to be anywhere no more. You walk around a corner, and all of a sudden something is there, waiting on you. You look at it, think maybe it didn’t see you yet, and try to ease back around the corner.

Then you run into its bigger, meaner, older brother.

Why didn’t we pay attention? Why didn’t we try to do something when we saw the signs?

Why didn’t we believe?

New Publication

May 2, 2017 2 comments

Just wanted to take a line or two and let you all know that I have a new piece appearing in the issue number 32 of The Sirens Call. You can get a copy at http://www.sirenscallpublications.com/

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Jar

April 27, 2017 Leave a comment

After the invention of the memory jar, a lot of people believed that it would give everyone the equivalent of a photographic memory. In a way it did, but not how they thought.

The jar is simple, and a lot like a home movie. It did allow you to extract a memory for storage. It did allow you to re-integrate the memory so that you could have it back. But what it didn’t do was keep the copy. The memory was either in the jar or not. You couldn’t remember it if it was in the jar. If you kept it in your head, then it had the same ability of fading and distorting as your other memories. the technology is amazing, but it isn’t perfect.

It makes my line of work a lot easier in some ways. Memories are now admissible as evidence. What is taken is like a hard copy photo, so as long as it is fresh, it is guaranteed to be accurate. I can watch someone do something, then pull the memory and give it to the client to use how they want. You want me to follow someone and keep tabs on them, then you will get to experience the end of the stake out from my point of view. If I need to go to court, I just deliver a jar and go on my way. Case closed and pun intended.

The jar came out expensive for something like six months, then the price dropped. Now, everyone has them and it is nothing to get them. Before long, people will have shared so many memories that you’ll have trouble remembering what you did and what you didn’t actually do. Whole industries have popped up around selling people memories of things they didn’t do. Doesn’t matter if you went on the vacation or not, you remember it. Good, bad, legal or illegal, memories are the latest thing.

Which is why I am in the trouble I am. How in the hell do you process this? I woke up in a nice, soft bed. Woke up on clean, fresh sheets in a comfortable room and looked over to see a jar beside me with the word murder written on it.

Categories: Uncategorized

Something Clever

April 19, 2017 Leave a comment

I always thought I was clever. I figured out how to get things free and how to get in when I wasn’t supposed to. I did things I shouldn’t, but wasn’t the one who got caught. I was smarter than they were. I was clever.

When the spiders started crawling down the shelves, Tony and Sam freaked out. Marcus stayed with me and we finished loading our bags. A little hairspray and a lighter sent the skittering away. A few of them were even burning as they ran.

Tony was lying on the stairs two floors down. He was swollen and kinda purple.

He was also covered with em.

I told Marcus to check his pulse and one of the hairy little beasts dropped down on the back of his neck. He was spinning and smacking at it when he tripped on Tony’s leg.

I heard the snap when Marcus his the stairs. He was crying, his leg bent in three places, when I jumped over him. He grabbed for me, but missed. I glanced back and saw him throw me the bird but I didn’t go to help him.

The spiders were coming down the wall.

Two more floors and I started to hear screaming.

The big freight entryway was covered in creeping black dots. Some moved slow and steady, while others darted and zig-zagged around. The only thing they had in common was that they were all headed towards Sam. He was standing in the middle of the room, spinning in circles, smacking his bag down on the floor.

I headed the other way. Security system or not, I was headed out the front glass even if I had to smash through it.

I grabbed a chair from the receptionists waiting area and slammed it against the window, but it wouldn’t break. I tried another window and a door before the chair broke. I turned to grab another and stopped because it was covered in bugs. The freaking things were all over the room. They were crawling through the door, using the floor, walls and ceiling so that more of them could get in faster. There were so many of them that I could hear a hum from the noise of them walking towards me.

We weren’t supposed to have guns, it changed what we could be charged with if the cops showed up. Of course, I still had one in case one of the others thought he might be the clever one. I drew and aimed at the window. five shots into the glass and if it was bulletproof, I was going to put the other in me. I took a deep breath and fired.

Bulletproof, and the ricochet hit me in the hand. The gun went sliding over o the wave of legs and eyes that started slowing down. I looked around, thinking that they must have known I was trapped. I lunged after the gun, but fumbled it and had to back away when a monstrous brown one crawled on top of it.

I thought I was clever, but they were going to prove me wrong.

Categories: Horror, Uncategorized

Together

April 12, 2017 Leave a comment

In all the things we tried during those early days of our work, I had always held doubt as to the possibility of success. My rational mind could not fathom why muttering words and making strange shapes with your hands might allow you to channel some esoteric energy to change the world around you.

But she believed, and that was enough to keep me there.

We worked together. Spending our evenings on strange and alien research. We had no family, though not for lack of trying, and that was why we worked as we did. She wanted a family and I wanted her happiness.

The first time we achieved some repeatable result, the pair of us had celebrated for days. Our bodies fused as our shadows held hands and danced. We bound ourselves together in ways that most people didn’t believe were possible and because of it, we stood apart.

I believed, but we were still just the two of us.

She was pregnant when we tried to open the gate. She miscarried, lying on the basement floor. I wanted to hold her hand, but I was struggling to keep something black from walking out of a shadowed corner. By the time it was gone and I was sure she was safe, she had fainted. Her shadow was hiding underneath her.

I carried her to bed. Washed her body; changed her clothes, and mopped up the blood that was staining the concrete.

It wasn’t long before she disappeared.

The state called me, telling me that she was in the hospital. Telling me that she had attacked a free clinic and that she was now restrained. I sat in silence as she raved about what they were throwing away. I watched as my shadow tried to hold hers, but her own darkness punched and kicked at mine. I was holding her hand, but watching as her heart disappeared through a door I hadn’t closed. Part of her walked away and I wept.

I watched the long, dark shape reach out of the corner. I thought about leaving, about having my shadow hide from whatever it was, but I couldn’t. It grabbed my shadow and dragged it away as she took her final breath.

The color drained out of everything as I felt the cold begin to cover me. My final words were a prayer, to a god I didn’t worship, begging him to let us be together again.