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Sick Day

September 25, 2019 Leave a comment

“What do you mean you aren’t coming in today?”

Rod sighed. “I am running a fever and I feel like shit Bill. I need to stay home.”

“Are you kidding me? We have a major milestone coming up and can’t afford for any of the team to be out. You have to come in.”

“No, I don’t. Bill, I have days I can take and I am sick. If I come in then I am going to get others sick as well.”

There was silence on the other end of the line. Rod could imagine Bill grinding his teeth and squinting his eyes as he tried to think of a way to force the issue. “You could just stay in one of the satellite offices so you are available on the phone.”

Rod sighed again. It was a new habit that seemed to piss Bill off every time he did it. Normally, he would have smiled but today Rod just didn’t have the energy. “I am not coming in today Bill. I will try for tomorrow but only if the fever has broken. Goodbye.”

He heard his manager say “But,” as he pulled the phone away from his ear so he could see the little red button to end the call.


Rod’s eyes snapped open as he felt his body vibrate. His stomach was in his throat and he rolled over incase he vomited. There was an electric feeling that ran over his skin, making all of Rod’s hair stand on end.

“No,” he moaned as he pulled his knees up under him. He pressed his lips tight together and squeezed his eyes shut. Little flashes of light began flickering in the darkness of his eyelids and a high pitched squeal had him slapping his hands over his ears.

Rod tried to say the word “No,” again, but it was only an indistinct whine that blended in with a tearing noise that sounded like two people fighting over a shirt on Black Friday.

For Rod, everything ended with a soft pop.


“Holy Shit,” Bill said as he looked at the crumpled form on the conference room floor. “It worked.”

“Of course it did.”

He turned to look at Shannon, eyes wide and mouth hanging open a little. “How the hell did you do that?”

Shannon smiled and brushed her bangs off of her forehead. “The new employee contracts that everyone signed last year included a bit of the old magic that my gran taught me. I save it for special occasions.”

Bill turned back to the piece of carpet that had been spread out on the floor. When he had went to Shannon demanding a way to force Rod to come in, she had smiled at him in a way that had made his skin crawl.

The roll of carpet that she had made him carry was plain white, but a complicated series of symbols and circles were painted on it in various colors. “I can make him come in, but this is really going to cost you,” she had said.

“We have to have him or we will miss the milestone and then heads are going to roll,” Bill had said. “But what the hell is the rug going to do?”

“You’ll see,” she had said, that creepy smile never leaving her face. “Just watch.”

Shannon extended her hands to the symbol and whispered, “Ego Vocco Vostrod”

As the lights flickered, Bill had said, “Vostrod?”

“The summoning name I gave him when I set this up,” Shannon answered. “Would you like to hear your name?”

Bill hadn’t asked and now that he was staring down at Rod, lying in the middle of the carpet in his pajamas, he realized that he didn’t want to know.

“Get him up and then roll up my carpet,” Shannon told Bill. “Put it back in the closet before someone sees it and then we can talk about what you owe me for this.”

Bill swallowed hard as he realized what owing Shannon might mean for him. After all, he had signed a new contract last year too.

Categories: Uncategorized


August 23, 2018 Leave a comment

He put the straw against his lips and took a small drink before letting out a soft, pained groan.

“Are you okay sugar?” the waitress asked.

Long brown bangs rustled across the man’s forehead when he shook it. “I have a sore in my mouth. Everything hurts.”

“Oh honey, that’s horrible.” She leaned over to rest her elbows on the counter beside his glass. Her hair was pulled into a pony tail that kept it from dunking into the water, but it hung there like a pendulum, swaying back and forth. “I was wondering why you were making those horrible faces while you were eating.”

He grinned and nodded.

“You know what my grandmother always told me to do? She told me to rub salt in them. Burns like Hell’s fire, but the sores go away within a day.”

He looked at her as his grin melted off his face. “I think I’ve had enough Hell’s fire to last me a lifetime. Thanks though.”

She looked at him with a weird, twisted, little smirk on her face as she stood straight. “Only trying to help sugar.”


The bathroom mirror was dirty and streaked. He didn’t expect anything more from the old diner, but despite everything he had seen, he still always had hope.

He pulled his lip away from his teeth and a soft orange light lit his face like an old scout master on a camping trip. The smoldering glow of burning coals got brighter as the man examined his mouth. The sound of meat frying got louder and the smell of barbecue drowned out the old urine from the un-flushed toilet.

“Hell’s fire,” he mumbled. “She has no idea.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Burning Man

March 14, 2018 Leave a comment

Thomas knelt down so that his face was closer to the floor. The dim light wasn’t helping him, but from this distance the stain changed from an indistinct dark spot to an indistinct dark spot that smelled like blood. “Yup,” he said back over his shoulder. “This is fresh.”

A tall, heavy man walked past Thomas and put his hand against the door. He stood there for a moment and then looked down at his partner. “I don’t feel any heat. I think we are clear to move.”

Thomas heard a soft click as the big guy turned the knob. He also heard a whisper of something moving through the air above them.

The big guy went down with a grunt as another man appeared on top of him. Thomas threw himself backward as the falling man began to glow and Thomas’s friend began to scream.

A wave of heat rolled off the body of the demon that had been hanging above the door waiting on the men who had been following it. The creature’s body ignited cloth and hair as it’s temperature rose, dragging a high pitched scream out of the big man it had landed on.

Thomas looked up to see his friend’s body begin to blister and boil even as the wave of hot air that rolled towards him dried his own eyes out. He twisted to get his feet underneath him and ran for his life. Hating himself for leaving his friend, but knowing that he couldn’t have done anything to save him. He wondered why he had ever let anyone talk him into something like this as he rounded a corner and charged out of the loading dock door that they had cut open when the pair had entered the building.

“Alcohol,” he thought as he ran for the little footbridge between the factory and the park.

Thomas hit the bridge and thought he heard the sound of something moving behind him. He fought the urge to look over his shoulder. Instead, he simple leapt from the bridge and into the river. The cold water embraced him, smothering the wave of heat that had began to warm his back during his last few steps. Thomas flailed and struggled for a minute before getting back to the surface to float while allowing the current to carry him away from the bridge. That was when he looked.

He saw the two burning forms who were standing there, watching him float away. “Never again,” he said as the cold water carried him past the burning building that was his friends funeral pyre. He watched a third burning figure walk out, heading toward the bridge and he began to swim with the current, trying to put more distance between him and the things he had found. “Never again.”

Categories: Uncategorized

Croning 101

March 7, 2018 Leave a comment

It should come as no surprise to you, a seeker of knowledge and power, that there are prerequisites to almost all things. You were required to learn skills in a progressive order to be able to attain anything of real power. In fact the term, “climbing the ladder,” can be applied to all of the worthwhile pursuits in life.

However, it is also a well known fact that not all things can be mastered at once. Due to the inability of an arts practitioner to study all forms within any style, if for no other reason than the limits of time, there is an inevitable instance where you may find yourself lacking in some minor way from being able to continue your progression.

So, no matter what levels you attain in your chosen craft or what path you find yourself upon, the need to continue to study and refine some things that might seem to be basic or elementary will inevitably arise. For those times, we, the members of the “For Morons” press, are here for you.

While it may not seem to have been a valuable skill to obtain, the art of cackling is much more than merely a time honored tradition of old world witchcraft. It is in many ways, the mantra of a well rounded hag.

As you have no doubt discovered, obtaining a crone’s license requires an applicant to display aptitude in a minimum of five disciplines of magic. It also requires that the applicant demonstrate their skills in the arts of cursing, brewing and cackling. If you are reading this book, then it is likely you are among the many would be crones who have not developed this skill due to disdain of its humble origins.

Do not allow this simple skill to be dismissed so readily. The true power of a cackle is two fold. It not only influences your surroundings by adding the preconceived notions of those who hear it to your repertoire of skills and powers, it is also a point of focus and collection for the mystical energies you will use in all your endeavors.

In the later chapters of this book, we will discuss the history of cackling. Reviewing its origins and evolution over time. We will also go through guided meditations, exercises and rituals to help you focus on your cackle’s power.

But, as the author of this book, I believe you need to enjoy your work. You need to feel the rush and exhilaration of the powers that we, the crones of our art, have at our command. We are more than just old, dried up witches who meddle in the mundane. We are the deepest divers in the wells of power that forged the world. We are the last remaining guardians of the oldest of ways and after the toil and struggle of hours of practice we deserve the simple, unfettered joy of a good long cackle.

Let’s try one together, just for fun. Take a deep breath and pull in the anguish of broken hearts and lost connections. Bring into yourself the misery you have caused. Visualize the miasma of your previous work as choking smoke floating through the world and pull it into your lungs until it burns with bitter fire.

Throw your head back. Look up into the sky and imagine the old ones looking down upon you. Imagine their pleasure as the look up the destruction you will visit upon your enemies and hear their laughter as it shakes the foundations of reality.

Now, let it out. Laugh from deep in your gut. Laugh at the heros who will fail to stop you and at the true love you will ruin. Let your mirth roll out from you in a wave of fear and horror that children will whisper about with their heads tucked beneath blankets.

And now that you feel that tingling power which binds you with the crones of ages past, you are ready to proceed to chapter two, where we will discuss the practical application of a cackle in the completion of your hexcraft.

Categories: Uncategorized


November 13, 2017 6 comments

There is something magical about getting to share good news. The chance to stand tall and shout to all your friends and family so that they can celebrate with you. Today is fantastic because I get to do that.

My first book has been published.



After years of work with the wonderful members of Sirens Call Publications, Forever is available. Here is the press release.

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | MexicoBrazil | India | The Netherlands

I will be updating the links once the print copies are available.

That’s right. Print copies. One of my stories, on paper and all by itself.

Thank you all. I hope you enjoy the story.

Categories: Uncategorized


October 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Each slip of paper, no matter how small, has the potential to change the world. It doesn’t matter what you write, it is an act of creation. Every act of creation is a force in the greater scheme of things.

I knew this from an early age. I wrote my first note in grade school. I gave it to a my friend to pass to the boy beside her. It was simple, asking if he liked me and giving him the chance to check yes or no.

He checked no, though that didn’t matter. The real lesson came later, when I wrote a story about him having a terrible accident. Tears mixed with ink as I talked about how he was riding on the bus with Margaret, the girl I seen him holding hands with after checking no on my not, and the bus went off the road.

The next day, when learned about that accident, I realized the truth. The power of creation belonged to everyone, they just didn’t realize it.

Now then, I am going to ask you again, which box do you want to check?

Categories: Uncategorized


September 20, 2017 Leave a comment

My grandmother had told me stories about the Leshy. She told me that it had taken my father away because he did not respect the land.

My mother told me that she was a crazy old lady. She told me that he had been killed when a tree fell on him in the woods. My mother told me that he had died because he was not careful.

Today, I am sitting in the woods. Firewood stacked in the wagon, but I never cut live trees. I only take dead ones. I even do my best not to take limbs off of other trees when I drop one.

I am resting, my elbows on my knees and my butt on a stump, when I see it. To be honest, it scares the crap out of me. I have spent my life in the woods. I can sneak up on most animals and I have never been seen if I didn’t want to be. I have caught trespassers and poachers. I have stopped dumpers and even saved a lost cat. I am not usually caught by surprise. This thing, the size of a tractor, was a few feet away and I had no idea. I jumped, I admit it.

I looked at it, thinking I was done for. Remembering my grandmother’s stories and wishing I had my gun. It might not have done any good, but it would have made me feel better than the empty chain saw on the ground.

It stared for a bit, but neither of us made a sound. After a couple of minutes it turned and walked behind a tree that it didn’t come out from behind of. I didn’t move. I would guess I sat there, stuck in place like a bug in sap, for almost an hour. I just couldn’t do it.

I still cut wood every winter. I still make sure that the tree is dead and I still avoid hunting unless I need the meat. I am careful and I should be safe, but I keep looking over my shoulder.

So would you.

Categories: Uncategorized


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 ~



September 6, 2017 1 comment

The man looked around the room and sighed. His stomach rumbled and he snarled at it. “Patience,” he muttered.

“You want a bite to eat Sugar?” Margaret asked. She placed his beer on the bar in front of him and sat a menu beside it. “Kitchen has really good wings.”

He gave her a tight lipped grin and shook his head. “I am here to pick up a date for dinner, but thank you.”

Margaret nodded and eyed him for a moment, “If your date hasn’t shown up by closing time you can take me out Sugar.”

He winked at her over the top of the glass before turning his back on her to look at the bar again.

Margaret sighed and walked away. She knew she wasn’t the most beautiful girl in the county, but with a total population of less than three thousand, she also knew she was near the top. Most of the time, if she started flirting with a guy, he flirted back.

The man sat there for hours, nursing a couple of glasses but his date never arrived. At last call, he didn’t bother with another glass.

“I’m sorry your date didn’t show up,” Margaret said as she wiped the bar beside him. She thought about Marty and Shane. She wasn’t hard up and she could have called either of them up for a booty call. She didn’t need to be pathetic and ask him again.

She didn’t need to, but she was going to. Margaret knew she had issues with acceptance and rejection, but at least this guy was cute. “You going to take me up on dinner after all?”

He turned, and smiled. It was a big, toothy smile and lifted hit cheekbones so high that the guy looked like the joker. “Alright,” he said, his voice hissing out and giving Margaret goosebumps. “I would be honored if you would join me for dinner.”

Margaret gulped. She took a small, involuntary step backward, and then shook her head. “I would be delighted.” She pushed aside the sudden queasy feeling. She stomped down the cold that creeped into her as she looked into his dark, hooded eyes. She painted a smile on her face and fought to keep in place. It didn’t matter what made her worry, he was still better than any man she would normally be taking home.

She had intended to tell him that only the pizza place was open. She intended to offer him something from her house and then offer him more once she had him through the door. Margaret had not expected him to pull her against him and then pin her to the telephone pole beside her car. She hadn’t dreamed that he would be licking her neck. She hadn’t thought he would be able to kiss her and leave her skin tingling.

“Wait,” she said while pushing back to try to disengage his mouth. “Wait.”

He stepped in closer and jammed his leg between her thighs. She might have worried, but since she was wearing pants it wasn’t like he was going to force things right here.

“Wait, I …”

The word died on her tongue when he pulled back and she saw his face. The glowing eyes, mismatched green and yellow glared at her. The dessicated flesh around his mouth that made him look like he was wearing a tire forced her breath to catch in her throat. He snarled and opened his mouth wide. A single fang pushed its way down out of his mouth and the creature that her date had become hissed.

A single fang, on the left side, jutted down over his lip. The lone gnarly tooth twisted out a little and forced him to keep his mouth open.

Margaret snorted. She couldn’t help it. He hissed, but he looked so pathetic. Like an ugly puppy in the pound.

She saw her reaction hit him. How is shoulders fell and how the corners of his eyes drooped into a pout.

Then his eyebrows spiked in rage. His skin blotched red as anger filled him. He tore into her, ripping and gnashing in anger and humiliation. The kill was messy. Margaret suffered, and whimpered, and cried.

Afterward, kneeling over the top of her corpse, so did he.

Categories: Uncategorized


September 1, 2017 2 comments

Normally, I am pretty happy to write without a plan. In fact, a lot of the point behind this blog was a practice to keep me writing. Plan not needed.

Until I tried to write this serial and got lost in a story that I just hate. And by hate, I honestly mean despise. There is no direction for this serial that I am happy with. So, being a slacker at heart, I just stopped writing. I thought finding a way to finish this was the point. It isn’t. That defeats the point.

This overly short serial is dead. I never really had any more ideas for it and when I said, “Sure, let’s keep it going.” I was wrong.

Next week things get re-started. Sorry about the delay. It was unprofessional of me.


Categories: Uncategorized