Here’s a snippet from an upcoming short story. Thanks for reading.
The day that my potato exploded in the microwave was an eye opener. It was a sign…an omen. A message from the powers that be. Maybe I’d nuked that fucker for too long, or maybe I just didn’t give a shit. Either way, that little vegetable bastard decided to commit culinary suicide and blew itself spud first all over the confines of the microwave with a mere five seconds left. I mean, c’mon…it couldn’t have kept its composure for a measly five more seconds? Suck it up, god damn it! I had no money left, I had no lunch, and I was hungry enough to eat the scum out of the bottom of a homeless man’s shoes. It was definitely a sign…an omen…a message from the powers that be.
Below is a snippet from an unfinished short story…enjoy, and thank you for reading.
As she stood, I hurried behind her to help slip the jacket on that she’d carried over from behind the bar; it was long and red, and had a faint smell of sweet flowers and summertime. The back of my hand grazed her bare arm, and it felt warm and smooth, and my heart damn near jumped three feet out of my chest. “You ready?”, she said out of smiling lips.
A blast of thunder exploded outside with a crazy boom, and it sounded like a fucking nuke got detonated. She jumped at the sound, and I glanced outside into that swirling mess of a storm. The wind had picked up rapidly, and I thought to myself that it was going to be a slow, careful drive. I couldn’t have been more wrong. “Yeah”, I said, to answer her question, and I jerked my chair in and walked her to the door; we both flashed a wave and a smile to Jack behind the bar, and readied ourselves for the race out to the rig.
Take a peek at this week’s excerpt. The story is still unfinished, but it’s a small part of a redemptive, soul searching, and ultimately uplifting tale. Thanks for reading!
I’m not afraid of the dark. It’s there that I can’t be seen. These days, hell…maybe I don’t want to be seen. I’ve spent so much time lingering in that place that it’s comfortable….like an old friend. It knows me and I know it; it understands me more than the light ever did. The light left me, and when it did, the darkness was there to shield me from the cold. And boy, was it cold.
It’s in the darkness that I can see the clearest. Sounds weird, right? But it’s true…in the darkness, I can see. Clearer than on the brightest, sunniest day…and yet I can’t be seen, at least by the normal, every day people. Night recognizes night. That much is true. Darkness can see darkness. Bleak understands bleak. I ain’t afraid of any dark.
I think that I am afraid of sunlight though…it’s never truly touched me. I’ve always seen its rays, sure…but I’ve never truly felt it’s warmth. Like a plant that bends and twists and reaches and contorts for enough sunlight to survive…only to wither and brown and retract. It’s not easy to stretch oneself for nothing. There’s less disappoint in the dark. The sunlight is unforgiving to blemishes.
This is intended to be a tale of growth, understanding, and redemption…below is just a snippet. Check it out if you’d like. Best of days to all.
I wasn’t worth a damn on paper. In the paper world, the document world, the world of resumes and economic status, I was fucking worthless. Bullshit administrative work here, run of the mill labor there, hum drum office experience way over there…hell, my resume was less than toilet paper. Looking at that bad boy made me question everything. Is this what it had come to? Is this what all the years of busting my ass have amounted to? Jack shit? I may as well have been anonymous. Just another warm body to feed the greedy corporate carnivores. A chalkboard whose teachings had long since been scrubbed clean.
But clean slates can still educate, right? They can still learn. Clean slates still hold value, however anonymous they are…they can still speak of success. I had to remind myself of that. But I was never successful at anything. Well, failing…I was very good at that. I was successful at failing. Hell, at fucking shit up, I was a professional. The best. I could turn a nugget of gold into a fistful of shit at the drop of a dime. All in a day’s work.
Check out this excerpt from an upcoming short story about…zombies. Read on, if that’s your thing. Best of days to all, and thanks for dropping by.
No, this was real. And it was scary. And it was happening right before our eyes whether we were ready for it or not. All our lives, we live and breathe and feel invulnerable, like no disaster will ever reach our shores…like nothing bad will ever happen to tear our own little personal worlds apart. And when it does happen, everything we’ve ever known, understood, prepared for…gets thrown out the fucking window. “Yeah, zombies”, I said again into the silence, and it broke that silence like a rock through a pane of old glass. “What the fuck was that?“, Sam whispered into the dim light, and I heard him say “Oh shit, that back door”, and he took off and made his way to the back. I told Sally to wait here while me and another guy followed Sam to the back of the place. I heard it then too…a bumping or knocking sound coming from outside the door. Maybe they were trying to get in. We all looked at each other, and slowly and silently moved our way to toward the door.
Just a random excerpt from an as yet untitled story. Kick back and enjoy, and thank you for reading.
The phone's ringing jarred him unpleasantly from his daydreams, and he carelessly decided against answering it. His thoughts were much more interesting than any words on the other end of the line. He looked over his shoulder at her, and watched as her hair fell gently over her eyes, and he longingly watched as she guided the strands softly behind her ear. He drank the image of her in like water, and silently admired her beauty. She was the stuff of his daydreams, and he watched her fingers delicately glide across the keys on her keyboard, beautiful hands that were very much a major player in his thoughts. Her eyes were so welcoming…the kind that you want to lose yourself in. The kind that make you want to say “to hell with the world”, and remain in forever. They were a world in themselves, a secret refuge. She caught him staring at her at that moment, and flashed him the loveliest of smiles, so inviting, so genuine, a smile that opened the door to her own secret world.
You couldn’t have cut the tension with a fucking chainsaw if you tried, it was so damned thick. My mouth was as dry as a pile of dead leaves, and yet my palms were as soggy as an old dish rag as we padded our way slowly and quietly to the back of the place. The thunder raged like a thousand explosions outside, and the whole thing reminded me of the Fourth of July. If only it were. Maybe all the thunder would mask our footsteps and chatter and movement from the things outside…or worse, maybe it would hide their movement from us. Those fuckers had to know we were in here. Or did they? How safe were we, locked away in here? Was it a sanctuary or a mouse trap? We shuffled our way through Sam’s tiny kitchen, a place where I’d dined on many a random night, and I could feel my feet slide a bit on the grease drenched floor. “Hey guys, grab something outta here”, Sam uttered quietly, and motioned to a counter full of old kitchen implements. Knives, spoons, big forks, and other assorted cutlery glinted slightly in the darkness of the kitchen, and I grabbed a steel tenderizer so massive that looked like it could have pounded a t-bone into a veal cutlet. It looked like Thor’s hammer. I smiled at the thought of that, the first quick smile I’d had since we left Harvey’s.
The thing just seemed huge, but shit, if all I was gonna have to work with was some damned kitchenware, then by God that’s the thing I’d want to use to smash a few skulls. It was more than enough. I watched the other guy grab a butcher knife, and Sam had been holding the same baseball bat that he’d had in his hands since we busted all frantic like into his bar. “Listen”, I whispered into the wet, drippy darkness, and all I could hear for a brief moment was the quickened breathing of my two companions. Then we heard it again, the only reason that we were back here in the first place. It hit the door like a mack truck, it seemed, a banging so loud that it split the quiet of the kitchen of the room in half, making our ears ring. Whatever it was, we were adamant that the fucker was NOT going to get inside. “Whatever it was”, I repeated in my head, as if I didn’t already know what God cursed horror was lurking beyond the door handle. “Whatever it was”…I wish to God that I didn’t know. BOOM, it went again, and all three of us froze. BOOM. “Sam, you got any chain? Rope?”, I blurted out as quietly as I could, and I could see, even in the dimness of the room, that Sam’s nerves were getting shaken loose with each slam of dead flesh on that damned door. Those fuckers knew we were in here, but how many were out there? We were fucking blind in this building. Sitting ducks. “SAM!”, I made a point to shake him hard, back into the sting of reality. “We gotta seal this fucking door, Sam, and right now”; my words slipped out in little silent slivers. “T-t-there’s a cabinet over there”, Sam managed to mutter, “T-the cabinet right there…you guys help me move it.” We all three rushed over to the corner where it was. A big assed old steel monstrosity…maybe it would do the trick…for a while. It was all happening in a blur, and I couldn’t tell the banging on the door from the booming thunder outside anymore.
“That’s a nice little combination you have there”, she impishly suggested as she scanned the contents laid out neatly on the register. Well, seeing that there were only two contents sitting there, they weren’t that damn hard to miss. There they were, my now glaringly odd looking purchases, standing out like two sore thumbs that had been crushed disastrously by an errant hammer; like two criminals that just got busted red handed, and now had the cop’s bright ass flashlight beamed directly in their faces. Just like boom, flooded with blinding spotlight, right there. Bullets and sleeping pills. At least she smiled when she said it. “Yeah”, I managed to stammer out as I was jarred back into reality by the warm, sticky sweetness of her voice. I was subtly elated at the fact that she spoke to me, and the gentleness in her tone just lulled me right in like an invited guest. Well, elated and surprised and highly caught off guard was the truth of it. But I couldn’t just stop at a mere “Yeah”. So when I recovered from the initial shock, I attempted to elaborate on the source of my curious shopping. “Looks a bit weird, doesn’t it?”, I joked, with a nice little laugh to try to smooth out the proceedings. “I wouldn’t say weird”, she went on, “now questionable? That’s the word that I’d use”, she stated with a pleasant smile….one that I seriously could not stop looking at.
We both blurted it out at the same time before we realized that we’d spoken over one another, “What the hell is going on, Sam?”, Sally and I both asked in unison. My hands were still shaking from the shock of what I’d done out there. What the hell would the consequences be? I was a fucking murderer now…I mean, I killed a man…men. But wasn’t it self defense? I had to do it, right? Before I could finish the horror of that thought, Sam was offering us a drink, and walked us over to the bar. We gratefully followed. Five or six people spread out from the shadows and quietly greeted us from a distance, all patrons that had been drinking at the bar when it was attacked by the kids outside; now prisoners in this mess that we were all entangled in. They all looked fucking shell shocked. We greeted each one with a hello and a nod and took Sam up on that drink, and he twisted off the cap and took a long slug of whiskey. He explained how the night began as a normal night…what night doesn’t begin as a normal night, right….and how a guy came in bleeding and screaming and frantic out of his mind. Behind him were two or three friends that had carried him in, pleading for somebody to call the cops. The guy was apparently pretty busted up, so Sam got on the line and dialed the sheriff, and two deputies showed up not long after. “It was a mess, Frank”, he kept saying, then trailed off into silence. “They um, they bit Bobby, Frank”, he said, before he trailed off once more. “The sheriff, you mean?”, I had to ask, just to make sure we were on the same page. “Yeah”, he replied…”Those kids out there…they…they uh….they ate him”.
The words hit me hard, like a fat-fisted sucker punch to the gut. I didn’t know what to say to that…I mean really, what the hell was I supposed to say to that? I couldn’t bring myself to actually say what I was thinking…what I kinda knew to be true. You see, in the movies, they always seem to know exactly what to do, how to handle shit, how to react, how to think…and they’ve got all the right shit to say. So I stood there for a second, well, it seemed like hours, just trying to take all of that in. I tried to digest that mess of a comment as best as I could, and it kept replaying in my head like that shitty song on the radio that plays over and over. “They ate him”. It spun in my head again and again, round and round, and I couldn’t help but swig the hell out of my drink at the thought of it all…and just as soon as I’d finished, I pounded another. Maybe just hoping that it would slam some sense into my mush of a brain and calm the shaking of my hands. I noticed then that I was breathing heavy like some fucking exhausted animal. One more drink…just something, anything to clear the fog outta my head…thick, heavy fog…that kind of dense, ominous mist that you’d see in a scary movie; the kind you couldn’t see two feet ahead of…the kind that let you know that something bad was coming. In the movies, they always say stuff like “those things”, “those creatures”, and they question a situation like this as if they’ve never seen a fuckin’ zombie movie before. Zombies though? There was no doubt in my mind that that’s what was going on. But was the shit real? I mean, c’mon…how? This is real fucking life. How do you wrap your head around fuckin’ zombies? I glanced over at Sally, who was throwing questions at Sam and the others. I noticed that she hadn’t touched her drink. She’ll have a clear head at least. Shit, we’re all gonna need clear heads if we wanna survive this thing. It’s funny, it was almost as if I was asking a question rather than making a comment when I mumbled to the others, “zombies.”
Birds darted and soared outside in slow, steady spirals and graceful zig zags. My cubicle faced the window, which was heaven and hell all rolled into one. Staring out into the blue skies was a revelation that reminded me of the unfathomable depth of the world, and that the world still breathed…and, through it all, that I was still alive despite the paralytic effects of my surroundings. It reminded me that beauty was a real thing, a very honest concept, not just a figment of imagination and magazine ads, or movies, commercials and television shows. It was a reminder that I was most certainly not meant for the off-white box that I was in. On the flip side though, having a window seat was pure, uncut hell, because it was also a sickeningly painful reminder that I was very well shackled to a cube wall like some dungeon prisoner in the old cartoons or comic books, all hairy and ragged and barefoot and threadbare. I felt as if I were that comic book detainee, tethered to some imaginary world where numbers ruled, office politics reigned supreme, and management was as crooked as a bad case of scoliosis. Either way, it was awesome to see the clouds float by and the birds soar outside every day.