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.
Take a gander, if you’d like, and let me know what you think. Happy weekend; stay creative.
He rode slowly and haughtily toward the beast; his approach was strewn with pride at felling such a mighty animal. The others rode the clearing, picking off the last of the exhausted herd, and he reached the animal as it writhed its last frenetic movements. The beast lay dying, an arrow through its chest, drawing its last breaths. He watched the king dismount and walk toward him with knife drawn. His last view consisted of the king, knife in hand, approaching him and drawing the glistening blade across his neck, thus finishing the job. The hunt was over, and the men cheered with pride at their success.
The camp was ripe with the talk of the day; bold stories intermixed with tall fables resounded over the group, and each man enjoyed his share of the well cooked venison. The fires simmered and the king made his rounds with the men, hearing each man’s tale with a warm smile and a ready ear.
Read on if you'd like; if so, thank you for taking the time to do so. Best of days to all.
The bus veered around a series of winding corners, and they slowly and methodically snaked their way deep into the trees. He surprisingly managed to drift in and out of sleep periodically with each bump and sway of the ancient machine as it rocked him to sleep. The old driver tamed the turns like a seasoned pro, and managed to swerve deftly around each craggy bend; any driver with normal nerves would surely not have attempted that type of road with the type of speed that this guy was able to conjure up. It was actually quite a shock that the old scrap heap was able to generate any speed at all, he mused. One look at that thing and you’d think it must’ve been George Washington’s motor coach. That fucker had to have been at Valley Forge. A good jolt jarred him from his sleep, and he sat up wide-eyed in the seat. He gave a quick, slumber induced glance around the bus in order to get his bearings, and noticed that her eyes had closed and her head was tilted back against the seat. Her head shifted gently from side to side with each curve of the road, and she looked so peaceful like that, he thought, her head dancing along with the movement of the bus. The breeze forced its way in and caught fragile tufts of her hair in its grasp, and sent it flying rapidly in front of her face. She was beautiful.
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.
I met her at a checkout line while buying a box of 9mm ammo and a bottle of Tylenol P.M. Yeah, that’s right; bullets and sleeping pills. Looking back, it had to have appeared as somewhat of an oddly curious combination. She strolled into my aisle, all freshly beautiful and radiant and mysterious, initially oblivious to my existence. I’d spotted her earlier, looking intently at the beauty products as I passed by and did a double take and subsequent slow down. I paused to pretend as though I was reading a box of cereal while I briefly gawked surreptitiously, but decided to keep on going once my eyeballs had their fill. They were hungry, and she fed them well. Besides, I really did have some shopping to do. A friend and I were going shooting that weekend, and I’d gone to the store to pick up a few boxes of ammo, and as a result of having slept like pure shit for what seemed like weeks, I’d also discovered the magnificently dreary prowess of Tylenol P.M. That stuff had proved to be a godsend; without it, I was up all night. The zombies that I’d normally been dreaming about? They must have been missing the hell out of my flesh. But there she was, just two feet away from me; she reminded me, in just the first glance, of all the things that I’d always wanted. All the little perfect, daydreamy shit I’d envisioned over the years, all the imagined moments, carefully cultivated images, and dream induced qualities were right there in front of me in full glory. Five feet something of just pure rainbows and sunsets. I couldn’t help but to stare…fuck it, right? Why put a painting on the wall if it wasn’t supposed to be looked at? At that moment, I thought “Why else is a beauty like that created?” So I looked, and of course she noticed me looking, and I felt a slight tinge of embarrassment as she scoped my suicidal looking purchases sprawled out on the register, bright as day.