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Say What? Part 4

June 22, 2017 Leave a comment

“This sucks so much worse than I imagined it would,” Tom said. He looked down at his watch and sighed. “We’ve been here for three hours and nothing.”

Harry didn’t respond. He was looking out the window, fog forming on the glass from his breath.

“I blame you.”

The dog took the blaming with stoic aplomb.

Over the years that Tom had known Malone, he had gotten familiar with the doctor’s house. They were both lonely and Tom’s interests made it easy for them to have a reason to talk. Neither would have felt comfortable just calling up a friend to hang out but as long as Tom was writing, they had an excuse.

Years of beer and pizza while discussing injuries and accidents. All sorts of talk about anything just so that they could have a friend.

The big dog belched and Tom looked at him with a disgusted snarl. “Excuse you,” he said before wrinkling his nose and jumping out of the car. “Oh good god. I am getting your teeth brushed tomorrow you disgusting beast.”

Harry began to pant while wagging.

When Tom shut his door again, he turned to lecture the dog, but stopped without a word.

Harry turned and faced the backseat. His lips pulled away from his teeth and he snarled so that Tom could feel the vibration in the seat.

But the back was empty.

Say What? Part 3

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

The idea of the doppleganger ate away at Tom’s days. Minutes slipped by while he stared at his computer without any idea of what he was looking at. He would sit in the restroom looking up legends and definitions until his legs went numb and he almost ran stop signs on his way home.

Two days later, and he had covered every inch of his novel planning wall with notes and drawings about the creature.

His dog, Harry, was sitting behind him licking the last evidence of having eaten the pizza, while Tom stood staring at his wall with his arms crossed over his chest.

“The problem is that the magical creature I think of when I use the word doppleganger can’t exist,” he said without looking back over his shoulder. “No matter how much I want there to be magic in the world, it’s easier if I accept that it isn’t.”

Tom turned around and grabbed an empty beer bottle. He tried to take a drink, frowned at the bottle, then headed into the kitchen to get another. “Harry,” he said. “What do you think?”

The dog stared up without comment.

“Right,” Tom said. “If it isn’t magical, then it has to be a twin or a disguise.” He turned to look at his dog and smiled. “So if that is true, then that means we can try to track whichever it is. That means it is time for a stakeout.”

Categories: Flash Fiction, serial

Say What? part 2

May 31, 2017 Leave a comment

Tom sat in his car for a moment considering the possibilities. He reached into his pocket and extracted the little note book that he kept his life in. The tiny journal was his personal rebellion against the current trends of keeping everything in their phones.

“6:30 pm. Called Malone and sat up appointment to discuss poison as a plot device. Told to come by at 7:30 and bring root beer.” Two bottles still sat in the cardboard carrying case where they hadn’t finished them all. Tom could remember smiling at Malone as he lied and said that he loved Hawaiian pizza.

His notes of the conversation started at eight and ended at nine. They had discussed Tom’s female lead using poison to kill her abusive stepfather. Since she was a teen, they had focused on household chemicals and easy to collect ingredients. They settled on mushrooms and for the story, he intended on her putting them on a homemade pizza.

As he flipped back through the notes, Tom noticed that they were faded. The note to meet up was clear. The ink was crisp and black on the off yellow pages of his journal. The next entry, his notes from the conversation, looked like he had left the journal out in the sun for a few years.

He picked up a second note pad and copied everything over. Then, he started making notes of the other parts of the previous night’s conversations. The other projects Malone was working on. His progress on this third novel. The procedures used by the city coroner’s office from back when Malone had worked for them.

Nothing stood out to Malone as unusual or interesting. The doctor had worked for the city years ago, but at least the last ten were spent doing his own research on agricultural chemicals.

Tom tapped his pencil against his chin. “Maybe this has something to do with that last group of hormones he was working on,” he said as he put the pad back into his backpack. “Maybe he found something that was worth shutting him up over?”

Tom started the car and started toward work. “That still doesn’t explain how I could have talked to him after he had been found? I must be going crazy.”

Tom’s day was a disaster. Even knowing his proposal was due in two days, he couldn’t make himself work on it. He kept making notes and jotting ideas down on post it notes. By the end of the day, his desk was covered in scraps and debris while the documents and spreadsheets remained unchanged.

One note off of his blue pad kept drawing his attention. It only had one word, but the more he considered them, the more he was sure it was the only solution.

“Doppleganger.”

Categories: serial, Uncategorized

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