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Strangels

March 29, 2018 Leave a comment

I was sitting at a table, enjoying the slight chill in the air as I held my cup beneath my nose. The steam warmed the tip and the aroma of vanilla and honey made my mouth water. For the first morning of my retirement, I thought things were going well.

The first of them walked across the street and stopped a few cars down. She was beautiful in a way that I couldn’t have described the day before. All long, lean limbs and cute, captivating curves. I might not enjoy being alone, but it did make it easier to stare. Although as I looked at her clothing, an almost see through green sack of a dress with a pair of heavy, brown work boots and one spotted sock, I realized that everyone was staring at the woman.

When he friend appeared beside her, the woman at the next table gasped. I never asked if the gasp was due to him just appearing, and I was surprised that I hadn’t noticed him walking up, or if it was because the loose running shorts he was wearing left a portion of his anatomy hanging out down the leg. Honestly, I didn’t need to know. The man was so well built and gifted that I would have considered switching teams if he had asked.

I was lost in thought as a pair of children ran down the sidewalk. The little girl who was running from her brother came to a sudden stop when she saw the adonis standing in front of her. Her brother was distracted by the woman and did not stop. He plowed into his sister, knocking them both to the pavement in a tangle of skinned knees and bloody elbows.

As children often do, they began to scream and cry in response to their injuries. The whole of the little cafe’s patronage pulled their eyes from the visions of beauty to look upon the injured. The pair stepped toward the children, who ignored the beauties to focus upon their pains.

It might come as some surprise, but this is when things got weird.

The woman, her gown falling off of her to reveal far more than has ever been accepted as modest, knelt beside the girl and grabbed her face. She kissed the child full on the mouth before wetting her fingers in her mouth and then shoving one in each of the child’s ears. While giving the girl a double wet willy, the woman bent further forward and licked the blood from each of the child’s knees with a tongue that would have made an anteater proud.

The man, lowered his pants a bit around his bottom before squatting over the pursuing brother and lifting a single finger into the air. As he did, the sound of the gas he passed seemed to echo off the building behind me. I was aware of a car alarm going off, though at that moment I could not remember if it had been honking it’s warning before the fellow farted or not.

Both children were silent. The diners were silent. The passing pedestrians were silent. Even the cars were stopped at a red light. The only sound was that stupid car alarm.

The pair stood straight, and the sun reflecting off the windows illuminated them. For a moment, they were haloed in soft gold, then they each started walking in opposite directions. The children’s mother ran up to check on them and I looked back at the woman at the next table.

We made eye contact and I began to worry about her. She was pale, her lips a light blue, and I wondered if she would be able to keep her seat. Her eyes were wide and wild as she gulped like an old cartoon character. “The kids,” she whispered. “They were hurt from falling.”

I looked at them, and saw what the woman meant. No scrapes and no cuts. The boy looked nauseous and the little girl was wiggling her finger in her ear as if trying to dry it after swimming, but neither was bleeding anymore.

“It’s a miracle,” the woman said. Her words drew my attention back and I saw that she was clutching the cross hanging from her neck. “That was a miracle. They must have been angels.”

“Strange angels,’ I said, slurring the words together into a single unrecognizable one as I tried to make my brain and mouth work together after the spectacle. I licked my lips and cleared my throat before trying again. “Strange angels indeed.”

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Just a few drops

December 6, 2017 Leave a comment

The man who walked in had to duck to fit under the door. He also had to turn to the side so that he could slip his shoulders through the frame.

“You ready?”

The big man looked to the left, at the short, balding guy in road worn leather and a pair of scratched glasses. He nodded to the little man and after putting a few bills on the table in front of the guy, the big man was waved back through the curtain.

Inside the room, a pale, skinny blonde was sitting in a chair. Her head was hanging down so that her hair hid her eyes from view and her hands were pulled behind her. There was a little table beside of her with a glass, and spoon and a knife on top of it.

The man knelt beside the chair and grabbed a handful of hair to haul the tiny woman’s head up. He peeled her eyelid up so that he could see her pupils and after a moment, they contracted. He chuckled and reached for the knife.

The woman whimpered as the cold steel slid into one of the spots on her arm that didn’t have a scab on it. The man put a little spoon against the wound, waiting for a few minutes as a few drops of blood settled into the tarnished dish.

“That’s the stuff,” he said before putting the spoon into his mouth with a satisfied smile and a groan of pleasure.  A moment or two later, he sat on the floor beside the door and let his eyes close.

Lights began to flash and dance in front of the man and he relaxed so that he slid down the wall. “Oh man,” he whispered. “Damn.”

“Please.”

The big guy opened one eye. The girl in the chair had her head turned so that she could look at the man with one eye. From where he was sitting, he couldn’t see her mouth move but it had to have been from her. “What?”

“Please.” The word was almost too soft to hear. As he stared at her, the little bouncing lights danced around the girl like fairies around a mushroom. “Please.”

He wanted to ask her what she needed, but for some reason he couldn’t figure out how to move his tongue. He tried to open his mouth, but it seemed like his lips were glued together.

She looked down again and they sat together in silence.

There was a soft thump from the first room followed by a scraping sound. The big man thought it would be a good idea to go see what was going on, but with his legs being made out of ribbons there was no way he could float in. Instead, he turned his wide face to look at the curtain.

The edge of the fabric moved a bit on one side and there was a soft hiss from the other room.

The other edge of the fabric moved, then everything settled back into place.

“Wwwhhhaaaaa,” the guy said.

A foot stepped through the doorway. As he focused on the scuffed, black army surplus boot the big biker slipped over until his head rested on the floor. The boot and its twin moved into the room and the guy watched as the boots stopped in front of the woman tied to the chair. The black toe tapped the dirty bare foot of the captive, then turned to face the man.

“Wwwhhhaaaa?”

As the person who walked into the room knelt beside him, the big biker still couldn’t move. He saw tiny spheres of light swirl around the the dark hole of the person mouth. Then, slim white spikes appeared to grow down into the darkness before the man shivered at the warm air moving across his neck.

There was a quick, sharp pain before the guy closed his eyes. He took a huge breath, released it in a massive sigh, and then everything went dark.

Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror, Vampire

Guardian

November 22, 2017 Leave a comment

Each of the candles still had frosting on the ends. Little black spots of mold were there too, which is why I wouldn’t put them in my mouth to clean them off. Some of those little spots might have been cake, it had been chocolate after all, but I couldn’t tell the difference.

I picked up the lighter my dad gave me when he passed away and flicked open the metal top. One strike and I was able to melt the back ends to have enough wax to stick them to the mirror in my lap.

I only needed five of the twelve candles I had. Five for the points of the start I had drawn with a Sharpie. Twelve for the last time we had celebrated her birthday. I looked at them, trying to understand how it had been almost a full year ago.

She was growing up so fast. Almost a teen. Almost a woman.

I had to make sure she was safe.

I lit the candles, surrounded the mirror in salt and cut my hand so that my blood could be smeared around the edges. I was ready to summon the demon.

A perfect guardian. That is what I thought. What better protector for my angle than a demon.

The eyes looking back out of the mirror turned violet and I smiled. “What do you want?”, my reflection asked.

“I want to make a deal.”

October 27, 2017 Leave a comment

I am sitting on the porch, a beer in my hand, as I watch the dark cloud that is making its way towards me. The sky is overcast. It has been for over a week but now a line is rolling towards me that is black against the gray.

I take a long pull, wishing it was cold but happy to have it regardless.

The wind shifts and because of that I can smell smoke. The storm line is still at least an hour away but I can already smell the smoke.

I finish the bottle and crack open another.

I know some people are hiding. I know some are acting stupid. Each is dealing with the coming storm in their own way.

Me? I plan to be drunk.

There ain’t no way to hide from them. There ain’t no way to stop them. In a situation like this, all you can do is numb yourself. The pain and horror is coming and there won’t be anything you can do.

Storm flies were coming and that would be the last of it.

Categories: Flash Fiction, Horror

The Red Book of Appin

October 11, 2017 Leave a comment

The thrift store was as tiny and cramped as I had hoped when I saw it. The older and more cluttered a shop like this was, the more likely that I would find a great deal. It’s hard to feed your passions when you are broke. Book collecting could be very expensive.

The store had been open for no more than twenty minutes. I had every intention of finishing before noon, but there was a sandwich and water bottle in my backpack just in case. It wasn’t like I had never lost an entire day before.

“All bags need to be checked in here,” the cashier said as I walked past.

I nodded and handed mine to her. We heard the crinkle of foil and shared a smile. She understood.

Time sped up as I made my way through the shelves. I skipped the handmade, so called, art and the various knickknacks who had found their way here from any number of yard sales. I blew dust off of some stacks of magazines and did my best to keep from knocking down old fast food toys that should have been thrown into the garbage. I only stopped to look at the books.

When I found it, I was more than a little confused. The red cover and the binding of the spine looked to be professional, but the variety of papers used in the pages meant it was handmade. I opened it, and found a collection of different languages. Each entry was written by hand. Different inks, different levels of skill. Yet each one was the same.

“I,” and a name or word, “do hereby take employment on,” some very old dates, “from the gentleman in possession of this book.”

It couldn’t be. I knew the story but it was just a folk tale. It couldn’t be real. I couldn’t read most of the entries, but that didn’t matter. This had to be some form of prop.

When I checked the back, I saw the two dollar price tag. I was done. I had no idea what time it was, but I was done. Even if it was a prop to a play or a movie, it was still supposed to be The Red Book of Appin. I had to have it.

I mean, come on, who could blame me?

 

*** Inspired by the Scottish folk tale The Red Book of Appin. Read that story Here ***

Categories: Flash Fiction

Punch

September 13, 2017 Leave a comment

The sound of skin smacking against leather was methodical, almost mechanical.

~ Whack ~

It had been that way for longer than anyone expected.

~ Whack ~

The single motion of the swing.

~ Whack ~

The focus on the task.

~ Whack ~

It was a form of meditation, of single mindedness to exclude other thought.

~ Whack ~

He was doing it to keep away the memories.

~ Whack ~

So that he wouldn’t be thinking about the things he had lost.

~ Whack ~

So that he wouldn’t cry until his eyes were so swollen that they couldn’t open.

~ Whack ~

They way they did when he in his empty house.

~ Whack ~

The one that used to be a home.

~ Whack ~

Nobody had understood why he had purchased the heavy bag.

~ Whack ~

And after six months of using it, his body had changed.

~ Whack ~

He was toned in ways he had never been before.

~ Whack ~

Not that it mattered.

~ Whack ~

He never went anywhere except for work.

~ Whack ~

Eight hours of staring at a screen and typing what he was told to.

~ Whack ~

A few more than eight hours throwing punches at something that couldn’t have its lawyer protect it.

~ Whack ~

One day, he would see the other driver again.

~ Whack ~

He would be ready.

~ Whack ~

 

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.