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Little Book 4

Hello,

I have some great news to share before you get to the next installment. I have received an acceptance for one of my stories, Stick Figures, from Under the Bed Magazine.

I will be posting more about it when the issue is printed but I want to share now for a couple of reasons. First, this is my second sale of the year. It has been a very lean writing year where acceptances are concerned compared to the last one and this story is one of the reasons. I have submitted it everywhere in an attempt to find a home.

Second, I have just finished the first draft of my second novel length work. By just finished I mean the morning that this post will go up. I read a call for submissions to the Devils and Deviants anthology, a collection of erotic horror stories and decided to write for it. The collection was supposed to have a word count from two to seven thousand words. I started writing, and before I knew it I was at ten and I wasn’t near the end. Today, I broke 47,000 words. I had no idea this story was going to be this large, but hey, it is what it is. I will go back and add a couple of scenes that I need and I will do my best to crank up the creepy and scary. When that is done, I think “Mandy” will finished up at close to 60,000.

I am happy with my writing and I am so glad that I can share an acceptance. Now that this story is finished, it will be back to the drawing board on my first novel to do the third draft and try to improve it after having received a bunch of critiques and feed back.

I may actually qualify as ‘giddy’ about this but I’m not sure.

Oh well, make sure and check out the most recent issue of Under the Bed and I will be sure to post links to the issue with Stick Figures in it. In the mean time you should follow them on Twitter or Facebook.

L. E. White

Little Book 4

Joey sat in the warehouse at a folding table with a notepad and a pen, Claire stood behind him, her nails clicking against the surface of the tablet as her fingers flew across it.

“Boss?” Carl stopped dead in his tracks as he stood just outside of the circle of light that surrounded Joey’s table. “What are you doing out here?”

“I am here for the collection,” Joey said with an easy smile. “You see, I feel like I need to keep in touch with all of you. Really be sure you guys are doing your best and that you feel like we care.”

“What?”

***

Joey had done this act a dozen times in the last three days. He would walk around and talk to the guys who worked for him. Make sure that they knew how much he valued them and how important it was to him that they were treated like family. After that, he would walk back, drag the notepad over and handwrite what they were owed.

Claire would record their private tally from the spirit that accompanied Joey’s human employee. One nod and Joey would know if things balanced or not. So far, he had caught three guys who were skimming off the top. In each case, it had been small, like cash or change that they found in the house. He would smile; ask them if they had taken anything else, anything at all, if the nodded, he would explain that for the sake of keeping records, he wanted to know about all of it. If they told him, he would give them two bills for being honest. “We take from others, but if you want me to have your back, you have to be honest with me. We are family from this point on.”

Mark had emptied about ten bucks from a change jar and Sam took a doll for his little girl. Both got two bills and left feeling great. Joey wasn’t worried at all.

Jim had tried to hide the cash box that he had found. Two grand in his pocket got him a broken foot. Joey stomped down, grinding his heel after he did it and then he punched him in the nose. Jim was on his knees on the floor, spitting blood and snot out as he looked at Joey with wide, panicked eyes. “Boss please.”

Joey knelt in front of him and smiled. “If you lie to me again I will eat you alive.”

One of the demons took Jim to the hospital where he used the money from the cash box to get a cast and Joey had laughed when he looked at Claire. “I bet he doesn’t do that again.”

“Sir, that isn’t enough of a shortage to account for the difference.”

Joey nodded. “These have all been small time. Someone else still needs to realize he isn’t going to get employee of the month.”

***

As Joey moved around the table, he saw that Carl was shaking. The old thief tucked his hands in his pockets to hide them but almost ripped his coat trying to pull his hand back out to shake Joey’s.

Joey’s smile was predatory than before.

“So, how did you do this week Carl?”

Carl took a slow breath to steady himself and then he nodded. “Really well boss.”

“Call me Joey. We worked together before Carl, no reason to be anything but family am I right?”

“Sure, sure.” Carl reached into his back pocket and pulled out a small scrap of paper.

Joey felt it tremble between his fingers as he took it. This time, he glances at Claire before he went to write it down.

She was smiling a menacing, vile smile that made the hair on Joey’s neck stand on end. At that moment, despite looking like a beautiful woman with magnificent cleavage, Claire revealed one of the truths of herself and of the others.

She was a predator.

Joey sat the paper on the table and turned to Carl. “This feels a little light Carl. Why don’t you tell me how well you really did?”

Carl’s eyes widened and Joey made a mental not to remember to invite Carl to play poker if her survived this. The man had no poker face at all.

“That’s all of it boss. I swear.”

“Boss?”

“Joey,” Carl almost yelled. “Sorry Joey, I won’t forget again.”

“Carl, you are lying to me and you are a terrible liar. Now, you can tell me or I can make you tell me. You pick.”

Carl looked around and jumped. Three of the demons had been standing around, invisible to everyone one that came and went, but now they were there, looking like ex-military and boxing the nervous man in.

“Joey, I didn’t take nothing from your jobs that I wasn’t supposed to.”

Joey looked at Carl and pursed his lips. “That is an interesting way to say that,” he said as he crossed his arms. “Carl, have you been pulling jobs on your own?”

Carl began to twitch.

“So that is what’s been happening,” Joey said. “You haven’t been skimming, you’ve been moonlighting.”

Carl began to shake so much that Joey could hear his jaw chattering like a little kid who has been out playing in the snow.

“Why are you moonlighting Carl? Don’t I pay you enough?”

Carl lifted one hand up and covered his face. Joey listened to hear the sound of his palm slapping his forehead from how much the thief was shaking but he couldn’t hear it. What he did hear was Claire, growling. He put one hand down and waved it to try and keep her back.

“Carl, tell me what’s going on so we can fix this.”

All the demons looked up from Carl to Joey. They were tense, ready to rush the man. Most likely, they were hoping Joey would give the word for them to take care of this. He remembered Claire’s threat to eat Carl and shook his head a little.

“I got bills.”

“What kind of bills?”

Carl looked at Joey and settled down. His hand stopped trembling as he tucked them into his pockets and Joey could see him deflate like one of those kids bounce houses when you turned off the fan. “My kid is sick.”

Joey nodded but he didn’t say anything. Instead, he just stood and waited for Carl to look back up at him. “You got sick family, then we got sick family. You come see me tomorrow and we will find you more money.”

Carl’s jaw dropped. When Joey looked over at Claire with a smug smile, he was stunned to see her jaw hanging open as well. She was struck for a moment before snapping her mouth shut and turning a smoldering glare at her tablet.

Joey turned back around, “You come see me at lunch tomorrow.”

Carl was bobbing up and down, promising to be there and thanking Joey while he stumbled away. When Joey looked at the floor where he had been, he saw a wet spot.

“I can’t believe you let him leave?”

Joey turned back to Claire. “I told you before, if he is smart enough to do the job and skim some extra, then we need to use that, not kill him.”

Claire shook her head and began to tap the tablet again. The other demons faded out of sight and the whole group prepared for the next scheduled delivery. Joey couldn’t see it, but all of the monsters were glaring at him with open hatred on their natural faces.

None of them understood why dinner had not been served.

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Categories: Book, Flash Fiction, serial, Writing
  1. October 19, 2013 at 1:03 PM

    Dinner time, better kept them monsters happy.

  1. October 19, 2013 at 10:37 AM
  2. October 22, 2013 at 8:01 AM

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