Tag Archives: Fiction

The Madness of Being Melancholy

Authors note: Sometimes fairy tales don’t have happy endings, the hero dies, the villain wins, the Princess stays in her casket. I think as adults living in the real world, we are used to reality. I wrote this fiction piece about a hopeless romantic suffering from a deep depression. It contains suggestive language and strong adult themes. If this bothers you, too bad. It’s my blog and my imagination. I believe there are people in the world who really suffer behind closed doors. They’re strength is pushing forward and yet sometimes it gets to be too much. 

My apartment is rather small compared to today’s standards. It’s a one bedroom with a kitchen decorated in seventies garb. The previous owner had a fetish for yellow and green wallpaper and had plastered it everywhere. I attempted to cover it up with cheap paint because I was too lazy to rip it down, but I failed miserably and now the retro colors are bleeding through, giving my kitchen a terrible Fun House aura. I hung up some of those tacky Italian pictures portraying fat little chefs with unnaturally long mustaches and tiny hands to deter people from noticing my lousy paint job. But it’s not really a big deal. I don’t have many visitors and even if I did, they would be preoccupied with the sixty inch flat screen sitting in my living room. It’s one of the cooler toys I possess. Yet television is nothing more than an annoyance to me. I’ve lost interest in a lot of things in the past few years.

There’s nothing in my refrigerator but leftover meatloaf and several jars of assorted jellies. Six eggs nest comfortably on the door and I believe there’s a science project wrapped up in tinfoil on the bottom shelf. I am a clean person by nature. I vacuum, take out the trash and even scrub my bathroom twice a week. Not bad for a bachelor. I rarely food shop because all I eat lately are tacos, pizza and dollar cheeseburgers from Wendy’s. Despite my diet, I am in good health, and although I wouldn’t fit in well with the bodybuilding steroid users, I could hold my own on a treadmill. I continue to scan the shelves for something edible and open up the butter compartment. The 9 mm I picked up from a gun show last year remains cold and unused and its steel barrel has a thin layer of frost on top of it. I take it out when I drink too much and hold it close to my skull. It’s an odd feeling knowing the small hollow point bullet nestled inside could end the madness of being melancholy.

I am not suicidal I can assure you. My therapist calls it depression. He believes it stems from a lack of accomplishments, or drinking too much. Either way he thinks I am mental. In my defense, who isn’t a tad wacko these days? Like many people in America my misery stems from poverty. I never managed to grasp the concept of saving money. At the age of thirty this is a bad trait. Especially when trying to find a woman to spend your life with, they prefer stable men to latch onto and who could blame them?

I am a good man, a kind and compassionate man. I believe in forgiveness because I know I need to be forgiven. I fancy myself a talented young man with a knack for words and a fine grasp of the English language. I even went to college for a year but dropped out because I am a perpetual quitter. Another horrible trait to possess and not a good conversation starter while sitting across from your date in a fancy restaurant.

I worked for my town for several years pushing papers and pouring coffee to the higher-ups in order to move up the ladder and was laid off for my efforts. I received my pink slip over the Christmas holiday and have been on unemployment for the past six months. I actually loved my job and made several wonderful friendships. I met Lucille there for the first time over coffee and rice crispy treats in the break room. She was storybook beautiful with lovely green eyes and curly brown hair. But she had sad, tired eyes that told of a hard past. She was strong and witty and never took shit from anyone. A tough cookie was Lucille, but with a heart of gold, she drew me in immediately and although it’s been months since I’ve made love to her, I miss her dearly.

I am sorry. I tend to get ahead of myself and it’s not fair to you, my audience. Hello, my name is Jimmy, and I’ve been lonely for a long time. I come from a rather large family with six other siblings who are currently roaming around the country. I was number four on the birthing list and caused hell for my mother. She raised us solely on a wing and prayer because my father spent most of his years working as a  steam fitter and sitting on bar stools at night. As I grew up I fell through the cracks, most of my achievements went unnoticed and I understood this because there was so much going on with everyone else that it was hard for my mother to keep up with everything. I don’t blame her for dying. She was overwhelmed and under a lot of stress when the vein in her head exploded. She was young. Fifty-four to be exact and a real Godsend. We buried her on top of a hill overlooking a lake she used to take us to when we were children. I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss her and her jovial laugh. She had been a good mother cursed with a tough life, but sometimes these things are hard to avoid.

I have a cheap CD player that I keep on top of my empty fridge. I picked it up at Wal-mart for ten dollars and usually keep a steady flow of soft music playing in the background. I am the type of person who feels things very deeply. I guess you could say I am emotional. I don’t really mind because there’s a lack of emotion pervading the world today. Everybody is supposed to be hard and tough as nails. I am tough when I have to be. I spent a year in a juvenile detention center for starting a fire in a warehouse when I was fifteen, when I was eighteen, I was placed in a rehab clinic because I was addicted to cocaine, I’ve even been homeless and hungry. Suffice to say I understand hardship. When a person has a hard life they can either become bitter and enraged or they can absorb it all and choose to be understanding and compassionate. I chose the latter. People have a tendency to misconstrue kindness for a childlike weakness. But I never believed that to be true, like I said, life can make you hard or it can make you see deeper into a persons suffering. Plus I am a wannabe writer slash artist so I see the world differently. Like when you look into a kaleidoscope and watch all the pretty patterns ebb and flow and colors change and morph and mingle until it seems an orgasm has taken place. I see things in a way most people don’t.

It’s quiet in my little apartment. I had a small parakeet, but he died not too long ago. I only had him for two or three months. I don’t how he died and I didn’t have the money to get an autopsy done, so I chalked it up to life and buried him in the backyard. He was a good pet and a gentle friend that kept me company when the blues ran roughshod over my soul. I took his death hard because I don’t have many friends and I am not sure why. I treat everyone with a certain amount of kindness and dignity. When you’re poor, I think most people look at you as a liability, extra baggage. Growing up my siblings and I hung out often, but had grown apart over the years and after my mother died, we went our separate ways. This is normal I think. I have extended family, but they never really attempted to get to know me. When I was a young boy I attempted suicide twice. They think I am weak, but I am not. Many people think I am weird or strange or a loner. That part is true. I usually keep to myself and let thoughts roll around my brain until I get tired of them and force myself to fall asleep. A scatter brained mind is a cursed mind and I’ve been dubbed by some as an over analyzer.

I had my share of girlfriends and one night stands. Yet I remained unfulfilled and was left wanting. I found Jesus for a time, but after years of backsliding, I became dishearted and left the church. I still talk to the Lord on occasion because I know He’s up there looking down on humanity like a child gazing over a community of ants. For a time, Lucille was my best friend. We shared laughter and coffee and dinner a few times. We spent years together sorting paperwork and getting to know one another. She was unavailable for the first few years. From what I gathered, her boyfriend was a decent sort. Strong, college grad, on the fast track to a good life with the most precious woman I had ever known on his shoulder. They dated for a while but eventually broke it off. She had confided in me and said it was because she wanted babies and he did not. If that was the truth I took it at face value.

It’s funny how the seed of love is planted. It wasn’t until the third year of our friendship that I began to see her in a different light. We would talk and I would listen attentively, she would give me some insight into her life and I would try to lend an ear and a word of advice. I am not great at giving advice mind you. I made a lot of stupid, life altering decisions as a young man. Most of the time I was soaked with booze and high on pills just to make it through each day. She had similar issues, but she was more responsible with her life than I had been. In my delusional mind I believed we would be perfect for each other.  I kissed her for the first time at a baseball game one night. I don’t think she saw it coming but I did, I had dreamed of the day when I could put my lips against hers and taste her skin and feel her tongue. Since she was single I thought I would make my move. A group of people from our job had purchased tickets to see the Mets play the Yankees. It was the bottom of the ninth and the Mets had last licks. Someone smacked it into left field and won the ball game with a walk-off home run.  I took her delicate fingers in mine and kissed her deeply. Her eyes lit up and when I backed away, she mentioned that her lips were dry. We made love soon after.

She’s wonderful, that Lucy of mine. But things had gone south a few months later when I caught her kissing my friend Andrew at a party. She apologized profusely and blamed it on drinking too much. After a time I was able to forgive her, but the damage had been done to my already dysfunctional and fragile mind. My life seemed to implode on itself and I went into a severe depression. I was drinking heavily to ease the sorrow of betrayal. We continued to speak and I ended up calling her several times in the weeks that followed and made an ass out of myself while trying to mask the pain of what had transpired. Now she doesn’t see me the way she used to and I am heartbroken because of it. She’s pulled away and the connection we once shared has been slowly dying.

The CD stopped playing so I popped in another. Yiruma is one of my favorite pianists and “Autumn Scene” piped out of the speakers gently. It’s a sad melody, but I am in a lowly state of mind so I don’t care. When I look out the window there’s not much to see except an aging maple tree standing proudly in the Springtime atmosphere. The dead-end I live on is seldom used so the street remains as quiet as a cemetery and that’s OK too, like I said earlier, I enjoy the company of stillness. At least I used to. When you reach a certain age, there comes a horrible realization that you may end up alone forever and that peaceful quiet you once enjoyed may torment you into old age. It’s a scary feeling, a depressing feeling.

I hate admitting that I am losing interest in things I used to enjoy. Sports, for example. Movies, jokes, even food tastes different. I love to read and my collection of books are most dear to my heart. When I packed up and moved to Tennessee after being laid off, most of my luggage consisted of boxes full of hard and soft covered literary masterpieces. I moved down south for work, I had a connection in Knoxville and was lined up to work for an electrical company. I was there four weeks before I realized I missed Lucille so much at times it was hard to breath. I allowed her to become my life, she had filled the void in my heart with gladness, put a new song on my tongue, and when we made love I would put my mouth on her pussy as she came and I would swallow her sweet nectar. Our sex was passionate, full of life and multiple orgasms. When I held her naked against my chest our lives became one, I felt her tender heart beat rapidly against mine and I would listen to  her coo and moan as I stroked her chestnut hair as our sweat fell in large droplets.

Well, I don’t want to get too descriptive. But I never felt so whole in my life. When I slept with her every trouble, every fear and every doubt was washed away. Unfortunately, nothing had transpired between us in a relationship sense. She was on a positive path in life, I on the other hand, was not. Last I heard she had gotten back together with her old boyfriend and was getting married come October. I am happy for her, truly.

When you spend most of your time alone your mind can play tricks on you. Horrible jokes and wicked riddles bombard the inside of your spirit, wreaking havoc on every fiber of your genetic makeup. Causing you to believe in things that, in all likelihood, are not real. John Steinbeck once wrote that a man can become sick if he has no one. I think it’s sad that all we have are our shadows to keep us company when the darkness of midnight creeps into the sky.

I no longer speak to Andrew. I will always be his friend, but the friendship has gone sour. I believe Lucille still sees him behind my back and although I have confronted her on numerous occasions about the subject, she denies it. I wish so much to believe her. I want to trust her again. I’ve been stepped on my entire life and grown to trust only myself and that my friends, is a hard thing to do. Yet I trusted her entirely. I opened up and at times bared everything to her. I don’t think she realized the faith I put into our friendship. But my inner gut twists when I think about it. I’ve never bothered to broach the subject with him because I know the type of person he is. Besides, it wasn’t his fault. She had made the first move.

My kitchen table is one of those flimsy, plastic jobs you see advertised for sale in every circular during the warm weather. I went to a garage sale to buy matching chairs and paid seven dollars for two well used aluminum seats with red fabric stapled haphazardly to their bottoms. I take a seat in one of them and watch small raindrops smack against the window.

My life is too quiet. Full of mind numbing monotony that I can’t seem to break. I take one step forward and get shoved back three. Years ago I knew a crazy old Indian and he used to tell me some people were born under bad astrological signs, cursed from the day they came forth from their mothers wombs. He looked at me once and chanted in his native tongue. When I asked him what it meant, he said it was a blessing because I had been born under a bad cloud. I believe he’s a crazy old fool and I told him his superstition meant nothing.

And yet years later here I sit, all alone on a crappy table with horribly painted walls and a pistol to keep me company. Beer bottles sit empty on the counter top and at some point, I must have put on the radio because oldies are now playing loudly. I don’t remember changing the CD to radio, but I must have. Lightning flashes into my home and thunder rolls after it. All I want is for her to be next to me, to talk to me like she used to, I want to make her laugh again, I want her to believe I am still charismatic and beautiful. I wish to have her here now, with those sexy legs in the air as I penetrate deep and call her pussy home. I want to get lost in her ecstasy as she wraps her body around mine. Then I wish to lay still with her as she strokes my cock and kisses my cheeks with hers…I want to cuddle close to a fireplace underneath a blanket and tell each other stories and giggle like newlyweds.

But those days are gone forever and I am very sad about that. All I have left is fading memories of a woman who changed my life, a woman who took the dark cavity in my chest and breathed life into it for the first time. A precious creature, who for a moment in eternity, reciprocated the love I had for her. All I am left with is the knowing she has slipped away. All that remains is paranoia, and doubt and the terrible knowledge that she was never mine to begin with, that I was just a way for her to cope with her own grief until she reunited with her soon-to-be husband.

I am left here. Some days are OK, some are appointed by the devil himself and he makes it a point to torment me with memories. I can no longer live my life stuck in the past. I wasn’t always this way. I like to think a happier time existed in my life. The funny thing about falling in love with a woman is this: you spend years or even decades living as a bachelor, you go on a date here, get laid there, and then there’s one woman who comes along and makes you whole, makes you feel alive, you become reluctant to release her. When the winds of life take her away from you, it all becomes a memory and it’s as if it never happened. It is a horrible feeling knowing you are going back to emptiness and returning to the silent dungeon of your mind.

Some would remind you there are other fish in the sea, more sand on the beach, more stars in the sky. It’s not that easy, especially when you loved someone long before they knew your true feelings, managed to get them to love you back, and then lose them to  fate. She will have a good life, filled with sweet things, and this makes me happy in that old-fashioned melancholy way. I feel tears drip down my cheek bones

My room is getting darker and I don’t believe it has anything to do with sunlight. The rain is steady and thumps loudly on the roof. More lightning. Thunder splits heaven in half. The last memory to cross the threshold in my mind is of her. We had taken a trip to the beach once and had walked barefoot along the shoreline, it began to drizzle and she ran for shelter underneath some trees. I remember her standing there, arms crossed, hair wet and slick from ocean water. She looked at me with a smile as the sun set into her emerald eyes, I went to her and put my arms around her shoulders and kissed her nose gently…that was my best day.

I whispered her name one last time, put the gun in my mouth and pulled the trigger.

 


Delilahs vampires~Road to Antebellum

Authors note: Hello friends and fellow fiction geeks. This is part 2 of my vampire story. I hope you enjoy it, please read part 1 to catch up. I felt a cold, dreary night was a perfect night for a little horror story. 

The gloomy fog saturating the rolling valley was a living entity. With an indifferent hostility, it crept across the atmosphere, overpowering everything within its realm. The man riding shotgun was convinced they would be doomed if Brutus lost his way. But the stallion trudged forward without a thought, its massive head spliced the mist in half as it clumped down the muddy road towards its destination.

Delilah, once open for brief bits of conversation, had retreated into a disquieting  aloofness. Besides an occasional word of comfort to her beloved animal, she hid under her cloak and ignored the stranger sitting next to her.

An hour had passed since the murderer climbed into the front seat of her outdated wagon. He was still damp and angry for renting the car he abandoned. Hunger swirled in his stomach, but he pushed it aside as he began to imagine the consequences of not taking care of the business he was sent to resolve. Food was the least of his concerns.

“How far is the next town? I need to get to a phone and we’ve been on this fucking road for an hour and there’s no sign of life anywhere. How do you people survive out here in the boondocks? It’s the twenty-first century, why don’t you have a car? I might have to shoot myself if I lived here.”

The woman turned her head slightly and chuckled under her breath. They were passing a grove of barren apple trees that stood like an army of skeletons waiting for orders. A rotted wooden fence ran for miles on either side of the road as if attempting to keep the ghastly shoulders from escaping their barracks.

“You don’t say much do you? Your personality fits right in with the rest of this horror show. Look at your clothes, what is that? A fucking cloak?” He laughed and slapped the side of the wagon. Brutus snorted in retaliation.

“Things are different here. Our towns and villages are small, our people stay in when the weather is not welcoming. You can learn a lot from these woods. Nature is life’s greatest teacher.” Replied the mysterious woman.

The man looked at her scrawny frame with a mocking smile and observed his surroundings.

“Can you at least throw the horse into a higher gear? Can’t imagine we’re going as fast as possible.”

She turned her head at his remark.

“Why are you in such a rush? I told you before that I would give you sanctuary. This particular road is seldom used. You are lucky I stopped to help.”

“But you’re blind! How do I know you’re heading in the right direction? Talk about the blind leading the blind, can the horse see where he’s going or is he winging it too?”

“Oh, don’t worry about Brutus. He is smarter than you and I. He sees everything, I trust him with my life.”

The passenger ignored her and rubbed his hands together to warm himself. The fog was still thick and moist and denied the sun access to life on planet earth. He remembered the chill that had soaked his bones the night before and shivered.

“Wouldn’t happen to have an extra jacket back there would ya?” He asked while turning around to rummage through her belongings.

With a quickness he had never encountered, the woman grabbed his arm and looked directly into his eyes.

“No.”

If he was on the streets of Chicago he wouldn’t have hesitated to lay her out.

But those eyes. Those horrible, albino eyes penetrated his chest and struck fear into his heart.

“You must not touch any of my things. They are sacred, and private, and once we reach our destination I must ask you to keep your curiosity to yourself.” She demanded and released his arm.

He pushed his rage aside quickly and began to laugh.

“Well…I was taught never to bite the hand that feeds you. I’d hate to make you upset. What did you say your name was again?”

“Delilah.”

“Delilah, huh? And how long have you lived in these woods Delilah? I’m assuming you don’t get out much do you?”

“Yes that is my name. And I have always been here.”

He began to retort but howling erupted from deep within the foreboding apple grove. The hair on his neck froze instantly.

“Did you hear that? You need to move this fucking horse and buggy. I don’t want to get eaten alive by wolves in the middle of nowhere.”

“I told you this was no place for a hitchhiker. But fear not child, you are safe with me.”

“How so? Got a gun handy? Let me guess, you people use pitchforks and spades to drive away the monsters?”

She laughed an innocent, childlike laugh.

“There are much worse things to fear in this life. Dying shouldn’t be one of them. Like I said, as long as you’re with me, you’re safe…do you have a name?”

He hated not having a weapon on him. But if the old bat was confident and unconcerned, he would relax. If wild animals decided to attack their wagon, he would push her off and take control of the reigns.

“Well, if you’re Delilah, I guess that makes me Samson…Yeah, just call me Samson.”

She looked at him and nodded with understanding. In order to appease Samson, she gently snapped the reigns and snickered at Brutus. He obliged and began to trot faster, leaving the howls and orchard behind them.

Time passed slowly as they made their way up and down the same deserted road as before. Samson and Delilah said nothing to each other. The only sounds emanating in their world originated from hoof beats and the occasional squawk from a crow. The melody caused the stranger to fall into a restless slumber and he dreamed of terrible things.

Dark shadows filled a dimly lit stone hallway. Candles burned on the walls, the ancient purple rug underneath his feet was stained with blood. He couldn’t remember if he had entered the chamber willingly, nor did he recall opening the heavy oak door that led him to this place. His legs were rubbery and each step he took reverberated into the blackness in front of him. Picture frames hung every five feet but the portraits were faded from time and mildew distorted them beyond recognition. He attempted to shout for help but could not because his tongue had been removed. There was no memory of the diabolical procedure. No pain. Nothing. To make sure it was gone, he stood near a candle and put a finger in his mouth. Nothing but saliva and an empty space where it once resided. 

Something began to knock on the inside of the walls and was followed by soft crying. It sounded like a child’s voice. He put both hands on the ice-cold stone and put his head against it to hear better. But the crying stopped at once. 

He backed away and began to jog down the endless hall until more crying could be heard. He stopped and pressed his head onto the slabs once more. The mournful pleas died out and were replaced with whispers. Evil whispers. Whatever lived in the tomb of stone was not alone. He heard them whisper to one another. Quietly, as if they knew he was listening. 

Everything went silent. After a moment he backed away and stood all alone in the middle of the hallway. Urine ran down his legs and his heartbeat echoed in his ears. His eyes were trained on the floor and his arms hung loosely at his side.

In his peripheral vision, he caught a glimpse of a cloaked figure running towards him with arms outstretched. He saw no face, he heard no devilish screech, he turned to face it head on and when it was a few yards away he went to scream with every horror filled fiber in his being.

But his tongueless mouth would not allow it to ever escape his lungs. The creature laughed with an ungodly voice and pounced on him.

Samson jerked awake and felt sunshine on his face. Delilah stood over him with a smile.

“Are you alright child?”

His bearings were still lost and the nightmare too fresh. He reached for his tongue and smiled when the soft, spongy piece of flesh reacted to its owners fingers.

“Yes…I’m fine. I just had a bad dream. Why have we stopped?”

“Because we are here.”

“Here where?”

“The sanctuary I promised I would take you to. Welcome to my home Samson. Welcome to Antebellum.”

—-to be continued—–


Delilahs vampires.

Authors Note: I watched “Interview with a vampire” a few weeks ago and decided to write my own vampire thriller, due to its length, I’ve decided to break it up into two or three parts. This is part one and was written entirely on my phone because my computer is no longer working. The second part will be published sometime this week. I hope you enjoy, feel free to leave some commentary! Music to read by: “Voodoo” Godsmack.  

Rain fell in a hostile sweeping motion, causing the frightened stranger to seek shelter underneath a rickety lean-to left over by some previous nomad. Thunder rumbled and followed streams of lightning across the midnight sky. Ominous clouds engulfed the heavens, leaving the moon stranded somewhere in the atmosphere without a chance to comfort his weary soul. It was a cold rain and it soaked into his thick, unforgiving skin. His body ached in remembrance of his king sized mattress and his spine was erect from both fear and dismay.

Howling erupted from somewhere he could not see, his eyes opened wider and his ears moved to the haunting sound of wild animals lurking in the background. The thought of being eaten alive by carnivores with ferocious, razor-sharp teeth made him yelp aloud. He smacked his hand over his mouth and tried hard not to scream for fear of summoning the wicked creatures closer to his shelter.

It was a cold rain and it was an eerie, horrible night to be stranded in the woods. The wind played the tall pine trees like a harpist stroking the strings of his beloved instrument. But this was not a peaceful, relaxing tune. The world around him echoed and cried and he remembered the old Irish folklore about banshee’s ascending from hell in order to warn of impending doom. The storm was ruthless, leaving nothing exempt from its unstoppable power.

He cursed underneath his breath and swore to kill someone at the car rental agency. They promised “great cars at affordable prices”. But they had given him a lemon on four wheels and it had broken down a few hours after leaving the lot. The family had untold millions and access to whatever they wanted, but since he was yet to be “made”, he was on his own as far as comfort was concerned.

When the howling commenced for a second time, he pictured flesh being torn from his bones and wolves dragging him into their cave as they feasted on his scrawny frame without a second thought.

He was a wolf. A predator that stalked the streets in search of easy targets. The organ pumping blood into his veins was rock solid and filled with a murderous agenda and an appetite for everything unholy. Like the animals that stalked the dark forest surrounding him, the eyes in his sockets were empty, void of life and only satisfied when the scent of prey drew near. The family had sent him on a mission, if successfully accomplished, he would finally earn his stripes and receive the respect he deserved.

The target was a former Capo turned FBI informant who fled Chicago several months earlier and had been located deep in the Adirondack mountains in New York. It was an easy job and he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty because the rewards were worth it. But things had turned south quickly. He wasn’t in New York for more than a few hours before his car died in the middle of nowhere. The dirt road leading to his destination was a swamp, the rain and fog was too thick, and once the engine began to stutter and stammer and give in, he decided to abandon the small hatchback to its fate. With the hope of finding a nearby town, he began to hoof it.

Mother Nature had other plans as it bore down its wrath upon him. When he came across the lean-to, his boots were saturated and his mind played terrible tricks. Doubt crept up his legs and overtook his senses. Exhaustion, fear and respite from the rain took its toll and he began to drift off into sleeps soothing release.

By the time he came to, the monsoon had dwindled into a friendly drizzle and the morning sun was rising somewhere he could not identify. The world was hidden under mist, he stepped back onto the road and attempted to gain his bearings but it was to no avail. The howling had ceased and he hoped the animals had moved deeper into the vast territory and found another target to spy on.

The silence was deadly and it began to haunt him. No cars, no humans, no fast food. Just a jungle of nothingness and a date to keep with a former mobster. He was very punctual when it came business and he hated to disappoint the family. This was his opportunity, nothing would come between it.

An hour into his nature hike brought little in the way of civilization. The mud roads turned into sloppy pavement, he thanked the gods for this as walking became less of a burden. He was drenched. His new boots ruined, his cell phone was waterlogged and the anger, that terrible, piercing anger was slowly pushing his patience further into oblivion.

Then he heard the sound of hoof beats echoing through the air. Turning around, his ears tried to pinpoint the exact location and a spring of hope began to materialize in his mind. He stood very still while the noise grew closer and closer.

“That’s a fucking horse, it’s gotta be.”

Through the ghostly fog a giant beast began to come into view. It was pulling a small cart  and its driver was shrouded in a heavy cloak. The horse was jet black with ripped muscles and long snout that undoubtedly exhaled fire and brimstone as it tore into the ground that it trampled.

He stood on the shoulder and waited for the caravan to come to a halt. As it drew nearer,  all he could distinguish was the old person holding the reins. Its head was bent low and hidden by a hood. Grey, stringy hair flowed from underneath, its hands were ancient but in control of the monster that pulled it. The person underneath the cloak appeared thin, and a large wooden box sat unmolested in the rear cargo bay. A familiar chill ran up the young mans spine as the sinister apparition came to a stop ten yards away from him.

The horse and driver remained quiet. Not a breath could be heard, nothing moved. The fog seemed to grow thicker as the seconds ticked.

“Hello there. My car broke down about ten miles south of here, do you know if there’s a town close by with a payphone?” The murderer attempted to communicate with the odd human in front of him.

“This is private land, why have you trespassed? This is not a place for hitchhiker’s.” Came a raspy, emotionless reply.

“Like I said, my car broke down. I don’t see any trespassing signs, and this is a public road is it not?”

He deduced it was the voice of an old woman. Knowing what was at stake, he was prepared to take the necessary steps to keep things from getting out of hand.

“Who are you and why have you come? These woods are not to be trifled with. I can assure you there are things here that go bump in the night. Take heed of my warnings child, turn away now, go back to where you came from.”

With that warning she made a strange clicking sound and the horse began to move once more. His blood pressure started rising as he stepped closer to the buggy.

“Take it easy, I’m stranded in the middle of nowhere, can you at least give me a lift? I have money.”

A gut wrenching screech emerged from the driver seat as she laughed at his proclamation. This caused his belly to flip with unease, his anger, that devilish anger, was giving him bad thoughts about the old coot staying warm under her wool overcoat.

“I don’t know what’s so funny but-”

“Money! Alright young man, I shall give you sanctuary if you are in dire straights. I hate to see you end up like so many other hitchhiker’s who dare venture out here alone. You are brave aren’t you? Yes very brave indeed. Come, come up here and join me.” With a wave of her bony hand, she beckoned him.

He had yet to see her face, it was still hidden underneath her hood. He stood a moment and contemplated the offer.

“What is your name woman? And before I climb aboard your ship, I want to see your face. I don’t normally ride with strangers, but these fucking woods are creepy as hell and my legs are tired.”

“You wish to see my face? Very well, my name is Delilah and these are my woods. I don’t get many visitors, it could be nice to have supper with such a strapping young man.”

Delilah slowly put the reigns down and grabbed the rim of her hood gently and pulled it back. To his surprise, her skin was soft as porcelain, her grey hair now shone with a beauty he didn’t recognize earlier. Even her hands seemed less wrinkled.

But her eyes were solid white. No pupils.

The man standing in the muddy road gasped and looked away.

“I know what you’re thinking boy. I was born blind and my eyes are sensitive to light.”

Usually one to make quick decisions, he found himself at a loss and wasn’t sure if he should get on board with a woman who at one moment appeared to be ninety years old and the next, thirty. But he had people waiting for him to complete a task. He needed to get to a town fast, he chalked it up to exhaustion and a terrible night in the woods.

“Are you coming or not? I have no qualms about leaving you here to fend for yourself. This road is seldom traveled, you’re lucky I stopped. But alas, these woods are alive and to leave you alone would be akin to manslaughter.”

“How did you know I was standing here? If you’re blind, how did you see me?”

“I see many things. One needs only intuition, and a loyal horse.” She answered softly as she cooed at the animal.

He found himself attracted to her. A sudden rush of punch-drunk emotions left his guard weakened. He stepped carefully across the broken down road and stopped to admire the beautiful stallion and its flowing ebony mane.

“Are you a gypsy?”

When she laughed she sounded like a young maiden, not like the gaggle of an old dying crow he had thought he heard a minute ago.

“There hasn’t been a gypsy in these lands for a hundred years. I am just a widow, a wanderer who found a piece of earth to settle on. You inquire about much, fear not child. You are in good company, Brutus is a marvelous horse and will not fail to deliver us safely to our destination…I cannot say the same for your automobile.”

He snickered and was obliged to agree with her. He thought about going back to the car and setting it ablaze but lost his train of thought when a flock of ravens flew over his head. They appeared out of nowhere and settled atop a large evergreen, squawking and pecking each other for a better position on the branches.

The woman tilted her head into the air. Her thin, pinkish lips opened slightly. Her face grew tense as if the birds were a bad omen.

“We must leave now, the journey is far and the weather is not on our side. If you wish to come, I suggest getting in. If not, leave now. Go back to where you came from, this is no place for strangers.”

“Why are you frightened? You’re afraid of these woods aren’t you? What did the birds have to say?” He questioned with a laugh.

She ignored his mocking tone and clicked her tongue. Brutus began galloping forward, leaving him on the wayside.

“Hey! Wait for me!” He yelled and ran quickly towards the passenger side of the wagon. In one athletic motion he grabbed hold of the wooden frame and hoisted himself into the seat. The grey haired woman said nothing about his performance and kept her eyes on the rocky trail. The hitman turned around to look down the road and noticed the birds.

They were quiet as they watched the two humans make haste. Their beady eyes were lasers. Their sharp beaks, closed. There were hundreds and they all watched him carefully in deafening silence.

—–To be continued—–


Trifecta Challenge: Beautiful disaster

Trifecta: Week sixty-three: Write a 33-333 word response using the word path as your prompt word. Music to read by: “Below my feet” performed by Mumford and Sons. This story is 333 words. 

The man with something to prove cursed under his breath as the six o’clock train pulled away from Grand Central without him.  A boy with bright red hair watched with impartiality from inside one of the cars and gave the unlucky ticket holder a sarcastic wave goodbye. With a weary smile, he returned the wave and flipped the goofy looking teenager the dirty bird. Upon seeing this treacherous act of war the child turned to the person sitting next to him and began to tattle, but the mechanical beast made of metal and all things nightmarish, roared down the track and the tiny spat between the two strangers ended forever.

The next train heading south into Savannah wasn’t scheduled to leave for another eight hours. Mickey closed his eyes and rubbed the bridge of his nose and waited for the small, yet debilitating pain, to form in the back of his skull. He took a seat near a family of pay phones and wished he had chosen another path. His way of life, conduct and thought process were affected by whatever drink was placed before him.

“Breathe buddy. Just breathe. You’re going to be OK. ” He chanted to himself in a sing-song way. Jenna had taught him mantras and breathing exercises to help relieve some of his tension. On instinct, he reached into his breast pocket for the flask of vodka. It was not there.

“You’re a beautiful disaster Mickey. I love you, but I can’t tolerate this behavior anymore. The children are growing up without their father, you need to get help.”

Tears formed around the corners of his swollen eyes as he remembered the way she looked when she told him to leave. Dark hair covered her soft cheeks, eyes full of empathy, her heart full of undying love.

The world knew him as a successful author, his children knew him as a successful drunk, and his wife knew him as a beautiful disaster. A spark ignited his desperate heart.

                 


Trifecta Challenge: On a quiet farm in Paraguay

The Village Boy.

Trifecta Week: Fifty-one: Write a 33 word response to one of the three pictures provided. If you click on the linked picture, it will bring you to the Trifecta Writing Challenge homepage so you can see the other two!  I chose this one.

Pablo watched his father argue with the stranger from his position on the dilapidated tractor. He pretended to drive the mammoth entity with childlike amazement, despite the obvious bad news his family received.


Trifecta Challenge: Chasing Benedict

             

 Trifecta: Week Fifty-Nine write a 33-333 word essay/poem/story etc. using the word Intention as your prompt word. This short action/suspense story is my submission for the week, it is exactly 333 words. I hope you enjoy!

“Well sweet one, this is what we Americans call the last hurrah and I believe a toast’s in order! To those with perfect lives, or those under the illusion of perfection, I drink to you. But we must not forget the other creatures that grace the landscape of this planet, those bottom feeders, and those aptly titled plebeians. Their battle is for survival, they’re the lucky ones because they’ve unknowingly escaped the bewitching spell of vanity! I drink to fat stomachs and greedy souls who marginalize the poor and shove them into corners. I drink to you sweetheart. Your beauty is refreshing among all the ugliness in the world. Cheers!”

The belligerent man shot the warm tequila and wiped the remnants on his cheap windbreaker. He wrapped a fatty arm around the Spanish cupcake to his right, the one with the olive skin and nice legs, but she rebuffed his advance with a piercing gaze. Her rum and coke began to sweat through the glass, causing small drops of water to cascade down her fingers. She wiped her hand on a cocktail napkin and pretended to ignore his nonsensical diatribe.

“I’m sorry mi amor. I have no ulterior motives, no hidden agenda. My intention with you was nothing short of noble. I’m leaving this tropical nightmare tonight and you’ll never see me again. I was a good man once. You wouldn’t know it now, but there was a time… I understand you have no idea what I’m saying and that’s for the best. No one knows I’m here. They think I’m buried six feet underground talking to worms.”

She shrugged her shoulders without blinking and gave him a confused smile. He looked down at her large chest and was caught in the act. But she didn’t care; if he wasn’t the target she would let him have his way with her. He had stolen millions from her employers, and they had sent her to do the dirty work everyone else wanted to avoid.


One doomsday in December.

Authors note: According to some, the world will end next week. I don’t think so, but I can’t stop my imagination from running wild and writing a what-if short story of something crazy taking place. This account of the End of the world need not happen, I hope it doesn’t. But if it does, at least I gave you fair warning. Music to read by: “Seasons in the abyss” by Slayer.

I was eating wonton soup the day the earth moved for the first time. My kitchen resembled a normal size closet, there was a tiny fridge shoved in one corner and I ate my meals on a small plastic table situated along a wall near a cracked window. It overlooked a crowded street with an overgrown park on the opposite side. I had some money but interior decorating was lost on me, I was single and barely home. I couldn’t have cared less. There was always noise outside, but not now. A quiet had come over the city and was followed by screams of terror when the globe shook again. The world was being called to account for its selfishness and I had a nightmarish view.

It’s funny how time slows when a catastrophe is taking place. When monotony is broken and everyday life is in jeopardy, people become animals and no one can stop the carnage that’s left in their path. I witnessed the anarchy, I watched the elderly get crushed in stampedes and the young abandoned by their parents. Material possessions meant nothing now, important schedules weren’t kept, and trivial arguments were forgotten. My own success as a writer was flushed down the toilet. When fire began to rain down from the heavens I was just another terrified man looking for shelter.

I didn’t sleep the night before. I had stayed up intentionally and after midnight, I figured we were safe. There weren’t any bells or whistles, no gongs ushered in the end of the world. I hadn’t seen any angels or demons, no intergalactic battle between aliens and humans, no warning. The end came like a lion stalking its prey, it waited in the brush for a time and then pounced on humanity, tearing it to shreds until it bled out.

I watched a documentary that week on the Mayan civilization and their take on the apocalypse. A reporter interviewed several “professionals” about the subject. All but one laughed at the absurdity. They mocked the signs and disregarded the ancient people. The doctor who voiced his agreement had beady eyes and a pointed nose. He rubbed his hands together nervously and with mock seriousness, told the camera to prepare for destruction beyond the scope of the human imagination.

I had always walked past the lunatics with signs proclaiming the end of the world and wrote them of off as fanatical drunks. But they had been right. The world as we knew it had collapsed and the government could do nothing to save the people. Oh, I am sure they had reserved a nice spot for the president and his staff deep underground somewhere. The rich and famous were sleeping in disaster shelters. But guys like me, well, I never thought much about it. For all intent and purposes, I had made a “disaster” backpack and kept it in my Jeep. It was mostly protein bars, flares, beer and rope.  I figured if the world ended on December 21, I would relax in the park across the street with a beer in one hand, a protein bar in the other, and I would watch asteroids streak across the sky and hurtle into earth.

I am not a violent man but when gunfire could be heard throughout the city, I reached into my closet and pulled out my own shotgun and began loading it with ammunition. The thought of going to a park and getting wasted never crossed my mind and I forgot about my useless survival kit. I was able to run down the emergency stairwell to safety. I wanted to be on ground level and away from tall buildings. I was going to call Audrey but hesitated. We hadn’t spoken since she rejected my offer for marriage three days earlier. I think she was sleeping with her boss and besides, she hadn’t phoned me to see if I was alive.  I let him worry about her.

A group had congregated near the emergency exit behind my building. I knew these people, we had been friends. But like I said earlier, darkness takes over a person’s heart when their own lives are at stake. They talked quickly and interrupted each other, they threatened and cursed. I walked away when I had the first opportunity.

“Could this be it? You said nothing was going to happen!”

“I never thought this shit was true. Hey, Hey! Get away from my car!”

“Has anyone seen Ralph? Poor little thing must be frightened all by himself…”

“I told you to grab more water! What are we going to do with two bottles! Tommy! Yo Tommy! You have to go back for more! ”

“I have some ammo too. I’m not taking any chances. We should take stock of our supplies and lock up tight. Who knows if the earthquakes are over? We need to worry about our own. ”

“Worry about yourselves, that’s what everyone else is doing!”

The crowd hushed when sirens began filling the air with mechanical, bloodcurdling screams. To make matters worse, a foot of snow covered the sidewalks; massive drifts dominated alleyways and intersections. The temperature had dropped below freezing during the night and remained bitter through the better part of the following morning. People prayed and begged for help but nothing could be done.

My friends were sliding on frozen pavement and plunging into the belly of the earth, cries for help could be heard all over, but many were snuffed out quickly. It was a ghastly sight. The news stand attendant met an untimely demise too. He was taking a bite out of a sesame seed bagel when the earth decided to open up and let off steam. The poor bastard tilted backwards with wide eyes and outstretched hands and went to his grave with cream cheese on his face.

The city I loved was completely flattened. Bloody heaps of human remains littered the streets. Billowing clouds of smoke and fire poured from the crust of the earth. Looters wielded bats and took what they could. I watched a man put a bullet in his own head. A young child screamed. The National Guard stood by helplessly while the evil emerged from their holes and took the city hostage.

And then something happened I could not explain.  The hairs on my neck stood up and every sense in my body was heightened. I told myself there was no such thing as ghosts.  But hell taught me a different lesson that day. Before I died, I remembered hearing very loud chanting. I heard ancient whispers echo into my ears. I could hear drums and wooden flutes and when I closed my eyes, I could see Indians dancing around fires.

It was then that I saw spirits exiting the massive cracks in the ground.

At first they were very beautiful, greens and yellows and reds mixed into one trailing wisp of air. The people in the streets could not fathom this phenomenon. They stood and watched and some defecated themselves. Others approached the ghosts in childlike wonder and laughed. The blood in my veins froze as dead warriors started marching forward, their faces melted into horrible masks. They opened their mouths and revealed rotted tongues. I saw the weapons they brandished, I heard them chant one more time, and then everything went black.