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Little Book

September 25, 2013 9 comments

There are some days that are very creative. Some where all I want to do is work.

This is not one of those days. This is very likely not one of those weeks.

I hope you enjoy the story.

*** EDIT ***

Something I have been thinking about and I would like your opinions. The serial story I put up here, Test Results, ended up being eleven parts and over 11,000 words. It is free to read on this blog and will remain that way. Would anyone be interested in having it as a collected story? I can publish it electronically and offer it for free without having any cost to me other than a little time. I might even edit it a bit.

Would anyone be interested? Please let me know what you think.

***

L. E. White

Little Book

Joey stretched out his short, stubby fingers and rested his rough skin against the smooth, cold ivory of the piano’s keys. He didn’t put enough pressure on them to strike a note, having long ago given up on the idea of playing, but he still loved the way the keys felt.

“You know how to play?”

“No,” he said. “I never learned. I just wanted to touch it.”

Joey turned around, putting his back to the baby grand and crossed his arms, to look at the woman across from him. She was sitting in a high backed chair that was covered in thick, velvet cushions. Her dress, a deep, dark red, matched the chair and the two blended in so that her head and hands looked like floating ghosts.

He avoided looking at her face. He didn’t want her to see his disgust, not that he cared but because it was bad manners. She was an ugly woman with the worse mix of features possible for someone of such mixed background. Her family tree had branched in so many directions, and each line had given her the least attractive trait that it had, creating a face with broad features that ended in sharp points. The only way it could have been worse was if her last name had been ‘Frankenstein’.

“So young man, how about telling me what brings you here this evening?”

Joey looked around the room, eyes darting from side to side as he considered what he would say. After a minute, the woman coughed, to draw his attention back to her and her question, but Joey still didn’t answer.

“Well?”

He sighed, having found no answer, and looked directly into her unsettling, asymmetrical eyes. “I was sent here to retrieve Mr. Morrin’s book.”

“Oh were you?” Her tone held no surprise, and as she stared at him with eyes that were three colors, each being split. “And what makes you think I have it?”

“Mr. Morrin said that you did.”

“You believe him?”

“I don’t question him, I do my job.”

She looked at him and grinned out of one side of her mouth. “So how do you think you are going to get this book from me? You plan to threaten me with that gun or just rough me up with those hands?”

Joey looked at her, his brow furrowed as he thought about his answer this time. “Actually, that was the plan,” he said. “But I don’t think it will work anymore.”

“Why not?”

“You seem way too relaxed.” Joey reached up and rubbed his eyebrow with one finger. He looked at the old broad and frowned as she continued to grin at him with one side of her mouth.

“So, do you plan to just stand there and stare it out of me? If you like to watch, I can put on a bit of a show handsome.”  She stretched out the last word, breaking it into two long syllables that sent goose bumps down his back.

Joey reached behind his back and drew out the small pistol. He sat it down on top of the piano and crossed his arms back over his chest.

“So it will be violence then will it?”

“No.”

The grin fell away and she turned her head to look at him with one eye like a bird would. “No?”

“What do you want for the book?”

She froze. To Joey, it was like watching one of those animal shows when the deer raises its head and the lion stops moving forward. The woman stopped so completely that after a few seconds Joey wondered if she was holding her breath. The first hint of life came when her eye blinked a slow, exaggerated wink. “You want to trade for the book?”

“What do you want for it?”

She turned to face him straight on and he looked into her disturbing multi-colored eyes. “I want Mr. Morrin dead.”

Joey didn’t flinch. He looked at her and waited for the laughter.

She didn’t laugh.

“Try again.”

“No young man,” she said, rubbing her hands together and leaning forward. “If you want Mr. Morrin’s book I will give it to you if you kill him for me. But, before you tell me no and reach for that gun, I have to ask, do you know why he wants the book?”

Joey shook his head.

“The book is the reason he is the boss,” she said, nodding and leaning back into her chair again. “In that book is everything you need to be the boss in his place.”

“Bullshit.”

She shook her head with such violence that her earrings slapped her cheeks. “That is why he has been sending people after the book. Without it, he is nothing but, with it he is the boss.” She smiled a leering smile at Joey and nodded again. “With it, anyone could be the boss. Any common thug could be in charge.”

Joey stared down his nose at the seated woman, and began to chew his lip.

She reached down into her dress, between the lopsided breasts that were shoved together by some overworked bra, and pulled out a tiny, brown notepad. It looked like the cover was made of brown cloth and there was a black circle on top which made Joey think someone had used it for a coaster.

“This is why he is the boss Joey. Wouldn’t you like to be the boss?”

***

“Joey!” A short, dark man in a very expensive suit stood up from behind his desk and bumped it hard enough to spill the drink sitting beside his phone. “Did you get it?”

Joey pulled the little book out of his back pocket with his left hand.

Morrin clapped his hands together once and beamed at him. “You did it!”

The other men in the room relaxed when they saw the book. The whole room seemed to calm and everyone smiled.

Except Joey.

“Give it to me and we can discuss what you will be getting for this.”

“I know exactly what I want,” Joey said as he stepped up to the desk and extended the book.

“I like the sound of that. Gotta like a man who knows what he wants.” Morrin said as he reached out and took hold of the other side of it.

The shot wasn’t muffled by the pocket the gun was tucked into. Morrin’s eyes widened and he held on for a second before falling forward. He face hit the desk, staring at the spilled coffee in front of his nose, before the blood started spreading out from under his chest.

The men in the room all stared as Joey held the little book up. “What I want is to be in charge.”

Each of the big men in the room stood up. It was slow, but one after the other, they rose from their seats and then fell to one knee. Their shapes melted, shifting and moving to reveal the truth of their forms.

Joey turned around, tucking the little book into his shirt pocket. He was surrounded by creatures that he didn’t believe in until a few minutes ago. He looked around and smiled. “Now then, I believe we owe the payment in one month. Why don’t we make sure we keep our end of the bargin?”

Categories: Flash Fiction

The Boy Scout’s Motto

September 18, 2013 Leave a comment

I got sick this weekend and am feeling down as I write this. It would have been a real pain to try to write something new for this through the fog that fills my head right now.

Good thing the story was written last week.

One of my favorite web comics is Schlock Mercenary. The artist, Howard Taylor, has said on many occasions that part of what he considered to be a requirement for his being a professional web cartoonist was to have a comic that updated regularly and on schedule. To do this, he worked ahead and has a log of strips already drawn to publish. That way, if he gets sick, his publication schedule will not be affected.

This is the first time I have ever worked ahead on this blog. I like this. I am going to have to start doing it this way all the time.

On that note, I also want to warn any of you that follow this blog that I am going to change the update schedule a little. Starting next week, I will post new content at eleven A.M. EDT.  I have been posting at 7 in the morning for two years, but I want to see if my views go up by posting later in the day.  I am targeting people that read this on Facebook through my timeline. Nothing like experimentation.

Now, on to the fiction and sharing my hatred of biting, stinging, annoying as hell insects.

L. E. White

Storm Flies

As they pulled up to the gas station, Margret turned and gave Tom a half lidded look that told him she was not impressed.

“What did you expect? We are going camping in the mountains.”

“I hope you brought lube because that guy would be happy to make you squeal like a pig.”

Tom shook his head as he got out and started pumping gas. The man Margret had been talking about heaved himself out of a rocking chair that must have been made of titanium, considering the amount of weight it had been holding,  and made his way over to them.

“This here is a full service station,” the big guy said as Tom put the nozzle up.

“I was just trying to save you a trip out here.”

“You’re takin my job boy.”

Tom looked at the sweaty, red face of the guy who had walked out to the Jeep and decided that Margret might have been right with the deliverance joke. “Do I pay you and is there a cashier inside?”

The big man extended his hand and Tom gave him a couple of twenties. “You just wait here and I’ll get your change.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Tom said, “Consider it a tip. I need to hurry if I am going to get to our site before dark.”

The big guy squinted at Tom and while wiping sweat off his face with an old rag. “You going camping are ya?”

Tom cursed himself for saying something but nodded.

“Y’all be real careful tonight. There’s a storm on its way.”

“Thanks, all our gear is waterproof.” Tom stepped to his door but the man stepped forward and put a hand up to stop him.

“It ain’t the water you gotta worry bout, it’s the storm flies.”

“The what?”

“Storm Flies. They always come out just before a big one and they bite.”

Tom nodded and smiled in what he hoped was a polite way. “We’ll keep that in mind.”

The big guy frowned and shook his head as he stepped away. He kept doing that for as long as Tom could see him in the rearview mirror.

***

“Isn’t this beautiful?”

“Hmm.” Margret sat in the folding chair beside the tent. Tom was standing on top of a large rock on the other side of their camp site, facing the sunset.

“Oh come on honey.”

“I can’t get any reception out here. I wanted to tweet a pic of this.”

Tom turned to look at her and sighed. “Why don’t you put your phone away and come sit over here with me?”

Margret pulled her upper lip back in a snarl as she finally gave up on plugging into the rest of the world. She shoved her phone into her bag and then pulled out a hand held game that didn’t need a signal to play.

Tom sat down on his perch and pulled his knees up to his chest. “I wish you could enjoy this with me,” he whispered. Margret was a city girl that had fallen for what she called his, “backwoods charm.” The sex was great, but he didn’t know if this was going to last if she couldn’t just relax and see the world.

Large, dark clouds were building up on the horizon and moving towards them. Tom watched lightning play across the line of the storm front and smiled. “I guess that fat guy at the gas station was right.”

“Oh god, do you mean we are going to get wet?”

“No, the tent is waterproof. We’ll be fine. Come here.”

Margret huffed as she got up and walked to the rock beside him. She brought her game with her and leaned against the stone just to the right of where he was sitting. Tom reached over and plucked the device out of her hands.

“Hey.”

“I brought you out here to see how beautiful it is, now stopping playing games and look.”

Margret crossed her arms and turned to stare at the horizon. Tom watched her, watched her face soften and the tension in her shoulders fade. “Oh wow,” she said when a bolt forked and danced across the whole of the southern horizon.

“Yeah, that is what I wanted you to see.”

She looked at him out of the corner of her bright green eye and pursed her lip, but didn’t say anything.

They stood together, watching the clouds as they came closer. Margret leaned over, resting her shoulder against Tom’s legs and he reached over to stroke her hair once before he started scratching her scalp with his fingertips.

“That feels good,” she said.

“That’s the idea.”

After a few minutes, Margret moved around in front of Tom and slipped her arms around his legs. She hugged him to her with her chin resting on his knees and a mischievous look in her eyes.

Tom had seen that look before, he knew what she was thinking and despite his desire to share the beauty of the approaching storm with her, he wasn’t going to stop her.

Margret pulled his legs apart and began to undo Tom’s shorts. She pulled them down enough that she could trace her nails along the waist band of his underwear.

Margret slipped her fingers between the elastic and his skin, grinning up at him as she tugged the material down, when Tom jumped and cried out.

“I’m sorry, did I pinch you?”

“It wasn’t you,” Tom said as he shifted and turned so that they could see the back of his leg. A red spot the size of a nickel was on his calf, leaking blood down his leg. “Something freaking bit me.”

Margret scrunched up her eyebrows as she leaned forward to look at Tom’s leg. “There is a chunk mis…OWW!” She jerked away, brushing her hand down her shoulder, and when she pulled her hand away, it was covered in blood.

“What the hell,” Tom asked as he jumped off the rock and fastened his pants before looking at Margret’s shoulder. As he watched, a large, dark grey fly buzzed up and landed beside the bite on her shoulder. It touched down, she screamed and it darted away before Tom could try to smack it. Where the fly had landed, another bloody chunk was gone. “It is some kind of bug. It flew up, bit you and was gone so fast I didn’t know what it was doing.”

Margret was crying and rubbing her shoulder when she flipped her hand out and slapped Tom on the shoulder. He felt the buzz of the wings for a split second before there was a clap of thunder and flash beside his head. He felt the sudden jolt of a shock, followed by a burning sensation.

Margret screamed again, this time, cradling her hand to her chest. Tom saw her stepping away as he looked at the bright red of her skin. He looked at this shoulder, seeing the large red whelp where she had smacked the insect.

He heard more buzzing and spun around, swinging his arms. Somehow, Tom managed to smack another of the bugs. There was another flash and he felt his hair rise from the shock of electricity that made its way through his body.

The words of the fat gas station attendant echoed in Tom’s mind. “Storm Flies.” He repeated.

Margret screamed again as she spun in a circle. Tom saw the darting forms as more storm flies began circling around her. He stepped forward, intending to carry her to the Jeep, when two more bites on the back of his leg dropped him to his knees. He saw one land on his thigh and smacked at it. The jolt of the electrical discharge left his arm twitching and numb. Three more flies landed on that arm before he looked up and saw Margret fall to the ground, her arms and legs stripped with tiny rivers of blood.

Categories: Horror, web comic, Writing

I don’t know what to name this one

September 11, 2013 Leave a comment

I hate naming my stories. I am never sure what to call them. I know I have a tendency to think I am clever with a horrible pun so I have to be careful.

I have spent weeks trying to come up with a name. Worst part of the process unless it just jumps out at me. Now, think about that with a weekly post.

Anyway, my youngest loves werewolves. He like to run around in a werewolf costume and try to scare all of us. He jumps out and roars then runs away laughing. Because of that, my wife made him this cake for his birthday. I think she did a wonderful job.

photo (1)

 

Besides the decoration, it tasted wonderful. A good time was had and I had an idea for yet another werewolf story. I hope you enjoy it.

Happy Birthday Little Buddy.

L. E. White

Heist

Luke stood with his back to the wall, the shotgun in his hands shook just a little, but the door was blocked and the cops weren’t getting through. He had this.

Some stupid bitch was screaming about her wedding ring not coming off. At least that was Josh’s problem.

“If you don’t get that rock off your finger I will fucking cut it off,” Josh screamed.

Luke turned away, he needed the money, but he didn’t want to watch Josh cut some poor woman’s finger off. Luke was sure the crazy son of a bitch would do it. He had done it before.

Rick and Frankie were at the day vault. It wasn’t much, but it would be enough money for them to get out of the country and head south, away from the cold and snow to someplace with sun and bikinis.

The shot rang out through the room and Luke snapped back around. Josh had his gun up and the woman was on the floor, sobbing and screaming in a hysterical frenzy.

“Shut your fucking mouth or I’ll shoot you too.”

“What happened?” Rick came out of the vault, a half empty bag in his hand and his pistol up.

“Lady’s husband came at me when I was going to help her get her ring off,” Josh yelled over the noise of the wailing woman.

“Just leave her alone man,” Rick said. “No matter how big the rock is it isn’t worth it.”

Josh spun around, stomping away and waving his gun around at the people on the floor. Luke looked out the front again and Rick turned back to the vault.

A minute later, Luke realized that he couldn’t hear her screaming anymore. “What the hell did you do that woman now?”

Josh was over by a side window. “I didn’t do nothin’. The bitch just shut her hole.”

Luke turned around to look at where Josh had left them, The woman was standing up, smiling  and wide eyed like she had just opened her first Christmas present.

“Get down on the floor lady,” Luke said.

She started laughing. A quick, sharp laugh that sound like puppies barking at each other. She laughed louder and faster as she backed away from her husband’s body. Luke took a step closer, trying to see the corpse over the top of the couch that was between them.

“Josh, is that guy dead?”

The lady covered her mouth with her hands and looked up at Luke. Josh turned away from the window and started to head over to the couch.

“You are in so much trouble,” the woman said in a sing-song voice before she started laughing again.

“Bitch, knock that sh….” Luke saw Josh’s eyes widen. He stood there, his gun pointed at the floor in front of him, shaking as if he were having a seizure. Luke took another step away from the door before he noticed the dark, spreading spot on Josh’s jeans.

A woman on the floor screamed and jumped up. Luke raised his gun but she wasn’t looking at him. She was staring at the spot where the body was, and she was backing away.

“You are in so much trouble.”

A deep rumbling growl shook the room.  Luke turned to look at the plants, watching the leaves shake, and turned back as the tellers and the other customers got up and backed away.

A large, dark, shaggy form came up from the floor.  From the back it looked like one of those buffalo that you see in old western movies, but when it turned to look around, Luke saw that it was just hunched over.  He was looking at the back of a tall, hairy thing with long, tooth filled jaws that were dripping ropes of thick drool onto the floor.

The creature looked at the laughing woman who lowered her hands to reveal a crazed smile. “That one hurt you.”

Josh made a little, high pitched noise that sounded like a Luke has just stepped on his sister’s kitten. He didn’t move; he didn’t raise his gun. Josh just stood there staring with his mouth hanging open as the monster stood up right.

The hairy beast took a single step towards Josh before the room echoed with gun shots. Rick and Frankie stood behind the counter, guns up. Four red spots on the monster’s ribs turned red, but it didn’t fall down.

“Oh fuck me,” Frankie said. Both of them started firing as the thing lunged towards them. The big body flew through the air, jerking at each bullet that struck it, but not stopping. Frankie disappeared like someone had just thrown a fur coat on top of him and there was a short scream followed by a loud crunch. Rick emptied his gun, continuing to click the old revolver as his fingers worked despite his brain not realizing he was out of bullets.

The monster’s paw flashed out and Rick screamed. He went down under that mountain of fur even as his hand and gun flew through the air to land on the floor beside Luke. There were two more clicks as the muscles continued to squeeze the trigger before the last strength left the severed limb.

“That one shot you. Get him,” the woman yelled, pointing at Josh when the monster turned to look around the room again. Josh staggered back a couple of steps and turned to run, dropping his gun in the process, before the thing caught him. It pinned him to the ground before darting his head down to rip a piece off of Josh.

Josh screamed, but whatever it was doing didn’t kill him. The gunman continued to scream as the beast took bites out of his back side and swallowed them by tilting its head up and choking the meat down.

Luke put his gun down, flipped the lock on the door and moved away. He took off his mask and dropped it into a potted plant before stepping up beside one of the tellers who was pressing her back to the wall.

The woman turned to look at the door. “Where’s the other one?”

The teller had her eyes closed and her face turned to press one cheek against the same wall her back was against. Luke looked at the monster’s wife and then at the monster. It rose up off of Josh’s corpse, blood covered its head and upper body while long ropes of pink drool dripped down from its teeth.

Luke looked at her again and then nodded his head towards the door.

“He’s getting away,” the woman yelled and the monster smashed through the door in a shower of glass and metal.

The room was quiet for a moment. Luke stared at the door way before turning to watch the woman as she made her way towards the door.

She walked out and as soon as she was out of sight, Luke heard a loud howl from the parking lot. Then, he slumped down the wall, his legs refusing to hold him up any longer.

After a few minutes, everyone was sitting. Nobody said anything as the each person tried to make sense of what they had just seen. Luke heard the crunch of someone coming through the glass of the door and he looked up, hoping to see a police officer.

The creature was stalking in, the lady walking behind it. “That almost worked,” she said to Luke as the monster growled.

Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror, Were

Command

September 4, 2013 4 comments

I don’t know where it came from, but I got a wild hair and wrote something with a science fiction theme this week. I hope you enjoy it.

Science Fiction is a difficult genre for me. I don’t know why, but everything that I do is fantastic in nature. Almost all of my work, horrific or not, falls into a magic realism or urban fantasy theme. I enjoy that, so writing it makes sense. However, I also watch a lot of science fiction. I am happy with robots, aliens, derelict space ships and being beamed up. So, why is it so hard for me to include anything like that in my work? I have made an effort to write SciFi before and the story is usually worse for the inclusion.

Oh well, this one seemed to be a fit. I hope you like it.

L. E. White

Command

The terminal reflected off his glasses, small white letters ghosting across a field of dark grey as one command after another failed to be accepted. Long, bony fingers hovered over keys which had long ago stopped showing what they were; the ink that had displayed the letters of his language had worn off from years of use.

The backup power supply started beeping.

A small green box flashed in invitation, blinking a steady welcome to each attempt to make the ancient beast do something. Blinking, as if laughing, at each failure to communicate with a machine that was not alive, yet still the only surviving part of his routine.

“ls –l /data/files/bin | grep override”

“ls –l /data/files/bin | grep override”

“ls –l /data/files/bin |grep override”

The operator continued to type, ragged, emaciated flesh around the eye sockets flinched as each key stroke replayed the memory of the launch.

Sparkling blue eyes with bright red rims had been swimming in clear, overflowing pools while full, red lips had begged for help on the left hand monitor. The volume had been off, but the words had been clear.

She could see what was going on.

The right hand display showed the flapping panel, a sheet of carbon fiber that had come loose while sitting on the launch pad, waiting for the weather to clear. That panel was above one of the intake valves. When it came loose and got sucked in, the shards of composite would shred anything it came into contact with.

They had to stop the launch.

He had to stop the launch.

Someone slapped the big red button. It clicked into place but the panel popped and sparked. Nobody had ever hit that button before.

The timer continued to count down.

Technicians tried to shut down the engines from the pad. They screamed and yelled into their radios until the flame shot out from under the engines, then everything went silent.

The terminal operator had started sending commands before the big red button was pressed. She had said yes to coffee at break a few months ago. He couldn’t believe it. He had been so nervous, shaking like a leaf as he stuttered over the words. She had smiled, shining light on him like the sun coming over the horizon and against every logical scenario he could imagine, she said yes.

He tried to kill the launch.

She wanted to have dinner.

He tried to reset the process.

She straddled his lap and wrapped her arms around him. Kissing him and stealing his breath along with his heart.

He tried to initiate a general system shutdown.

She screamed as her nails dug into his back, leaving long red lines on his skin. He stared over his shoulder into the mirror for an hour the next morning, smiling and remembering that first night.

He tried to power down.

He had seen love in her eyes last night but now the only thing he could see in them was fear. She closed them when she started sobbing.

He started searching the system for commands. He had just found her, he couldn’t lose her.

The panel came loose and was sucked into the engine. There was a second where everyone rose from their seats and stared at the monitor, hoping and praying that the engine would just stop working. The flash of light from the fireball of fuel and flame bathed the room in blinding white light. When the sound wave from the thunderous explosion rolled over the building the windows shattered in and many of the monitors cracked. Chunks of stone were knocked out of the walls and most of the lights went out.

The operator never stopped typing. The heat for the explosion and the toxic gases of ruptured chemical drums rolled in, causing the ground crew to cough blood and choke as their lungs liquefied.

He continued to type. As a goopy sludge leaked out of his body he thought of her eyes and of how much he loved her.

He couldn’t stop trying to save her.

“ls –l /data/files/bin | grep override”

The last backup buzzed a long, loud tone. As it shut down, the monitor died. The whirr of the processor fan wound down and the planets wind whistled through the open windows. Bodies lay scattered around the room, mummified skin around the brittle bones of explorers who had failed to return home.

The whole place was silent, except for the clicking of a single keyboard.

“ls –l /data/files/bin | grep override”