Monthly Archives: July 2011

Avenging Angel…

Avenging Angel

Linda reached for her vibrating cell phone on the nightstand. She didn’t need the ringer; she wasn’t sleeping well these days.

“What?” she mumbled.

“Linda, we’ve got another one.”

Linda sat bolt upright. “Like the others? You’re sure?”

“Propped up on all fours. Tail, mane – the works. This one’s extra special, though.”

Linda waited, her eyes wide. She looked at the photo of a young girl on the nightstand.

“For Chrissakes, Marty, spit it out. This isn’t a game show.”

“This one has…more accessories. Just get down here and see it.”

“It? These were people once, Marty. Have some fucking respect.”

“Says you.”

Lieutenant Linda Einhorn took down the address.

The details of the report she’d been writing earlier that evening played like a movie across her mind: three murders so far, all known perps. Pedophiles. Overpowered, restrained, throats slit, dressed up to resemble what appeared to be horses and left propped on hands and knees. They’d been found in abandoned warehouses around the outskirts of Boston.

No prints.

No witnesses.

No leads.

But something, a faint echo of insight, tugged at the edge of Linda’s mind, depriving her of sleep.

Linda arrived at a warehouse in Revere. The parking lot was loaded with official vehicles, the blue strobes flicking off the stained brick façade of the building. The Revere cops stood around looking resentful while the Staties conducted their investigation. As a State Police detective, Linda was allowed to enter immediately.

Marty – State Police Lieutenant Martin Sutherland – approached her from the shadows.

“Upstairs in the back office. Just follow your nose.” Marty accompanied her to the base of the stairs and yelled up, “Alright, clear the fuck out of there and let Einhorn have at it.”

Linda ascended the stairs, steeling herself. The sweet odor of rotted flesh and blood forced a hand to her face.

As the last of the crime scene techs walked past her, Linda entered the office. It was small, cramped, but with a large window through which, she assumed, a manager could supervise the floor. Linda looked up. Brown stains spread like old maps on the suspended ceiling tiles.

A spotlight stood in the corner to her right, illuminating the star of the show.

White male, approximately forty-five years old. He was naked and draped over a low-slung bench. At first glance, one would think he was up on all fours.

As expected, a broken mop handle protruded from the victim’s anus, the mop giving the appearance of a bushy tail. He’d been spray-painted white and stood out in stark contrast to the bloodied, dirty office décor.

There was a transverse slit across his throat. On his head was a silver-pink wig, like a horse’s mane. Under his chin, a section of rusted pipe held his head up. His milky, lifeless eyes were frozen in a rictus of surprise and horror.

Then Linda noticed it: an ice pick with a spiral white handle planted firmly in the victims’ forehead.

“A unicorn,” she whispered to herself.

Her mind raced through the prior crime scenes.

A pink painted victim with blue mane and tail.

A black ‘horse’ with his forearms broken to make it appear he was prancing.

“Oh my God,” Linda said to no one. And it all fell into place.

She rushed back down the stairs.

Marty was waiting at the bottom with a cup of coffee.

“That was quick. How’d you like the ice pick? Nice touch, eh? We’ll be here all nigh-“

“A  carousel. He’s making a carousel, Marty. Look where the bodies were found. Revere, the North End, Braintree. He’s making a carousel around Boston.”

Marty grabbed her arm and pulled her into a corner.

“It’s not him, Linda. Stop torturing yourself.”

Linda stared through the ceiling up into the office and thought of the Unicorn up there.

Her daughter, Sammie, had loved unicorns. Each time she and her ex-husband Peter had brought their little girl to the Salem Willows, Sammie had only one desire: to ride the unicorn on the ancient carousel.

The day Sammie was taken, Peter was playing Skee-Ball in the arcade next door. Later that night, the Salem cops had found Sammie – or what was left of her – in a dumpster at Pickering Wharf.

Linda had of course focused all her grief and anger on Peter. The marriage was over. How could they make life whole again with Sammie’s violent absence living in the house with them?

“Where were you?” How many times had Linda thrown that in his face?

Peter had left before the divorce was final. Almost two years now.

Then, about four months ago, the bodies started showing up.

No one could know about the carousel. But Linda’s suspicions were now confirmed. She knew it in her bones that Peter was the one.

“Hey, kid. Why don’t you go home? I’ll clean this fucking mess up and we’ll regroup tomorrow at the barracks.” Marty could be tender on those occasions when he remembered he still had a heart.

“Thanks.” Linda was stunned. Not sure what to do next.

At home in bed, Linda wept as she hadn’t allowed herself to weep for the past two years.

In the fetal position, she finally dropped off to a tortured sleep.

In her dream she heard the carousel’s crazy carnival music. The lights blinked and the sun glinted off the many mirrors on the ride.

Sammie, as usual, rode the tall, white unicorn with its flaring nostrils and gleaming brilliance. Peter stood next to her, making sure she didn’t slide off the oscillating beast.

With each revolution, Sammie’s faced grew paler and started to putrefy. Finally, Linda saw Sammie come around, dead, mutilated, gripping the pole that rose up out of the unicorn’s back.

Linda was sobbing in her sleep. In her dream, she was screaming.

On the final revolution, Peter came into view laughing, holding an ice pick aloft.

And he descended from the carousel toward Linda, like an avenging angel.

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Image by Dominic’s Pics

This is the latest Flash Challenge for Chuck Wendig at terribleminds.


All the Way Around the World….

All the Way Around the World was originally published on this blog a few months back; however, Chuck Wendig over at terribleminds.com has issued this week’s Flash Fiction Challenge: An Uncharted Apocalypse. Follow the link to read the variety of submitted tales of the Apocalypse. Happy reading!

cornfield sunrise

Delsante Corporation told me I could take it or leave it. Can you believe that?

My family owned this farm for ninety-two years before I had to go and sell a majority stake to a local distributor. Well, Delsante is way up his ass so you know they’re now up mine.

But I tell you what: if I make it out of this alive, I am sure going to enjoy watching those corporate bastards take a red-hot one in the ass. Same for the USDA.

We had no choice. They told us to plant the G646-DSGMO-666 or we could forget about distribution of any of our corn. Well, if we can’t sell anything, we may as well just give the farm to Delsante and be done with it. They’ll hire some Mexicans to come up here and plant that shit for them and they’ll never even remember my name.

So we planted it, watered it, and did fuck-all that their scientists told us to do. Have to admit, I’ve never in my life seen corn get so big so fast. After a month, I could disappear into those fields. And I’m six-three.

The USDA inspector came out one day along with a fella from Delsante. They were so impressed with how things were coming along. They took some cuttings away in a small plastic bag. Never said a word to me what they were for.

Well, along about eighty days into the growing cycle we started seeing a rust-colored pus oozing out of that corn. I told everyone to stay the fuck out of the fields and not touch anything. We walked the perimeter. That stuff just dripped down the ears. I got on the horn to the local distributor rep and I guess he called Delsante, because they came out to the farm with a huge RV that had a lab right inside of it.

They set up spotlights on the cornfield and kept them going all night long. They said it was just a precaution. Precaution for what? I remember thinking at the time.

There were lots of guys in lab coats and SWAT uniforms. Nobody told us any details about the pus, but I could tell they hadn’t expected it, and they were running around like their heads were on fire and their asses were catchin’.

Each morning, they put on space suits and walked out into that cornfield. Each afternoon they’d emerge with that rusty pus smeared across their suits, carrying laptops and samples.

One day, I was over in the barn replacing a fuel filter on one of the combines when I hear somebody start screaming. I thought one of the lab guys had stepped in horseshit again. I walked out and saw a huge red dust cloud swirling around above the field. All the lab guys and the SWATs were gasping and choking, falling to the ground. They twitched for a second, and then were still.

I know what dead looks like. I was a corpsman in Vietnam. And these people were dead. I know it. But then that red dust started making its way toward me.

Not thinking, I just ran back inside the barn and made for the combine. Closed myself inside the cab. The wind blew that red dust right into the barn and it covered everything. I can’t see anything through the cab windows.

 I don’t have any food or water in here. And I have no way of knowing what happened to my family and my staff.

So, I’m hoping Delsante Corporation sends someone out soon to find out what happened to their scientists and soldiers. I saw them die; at least I think I did. But now I hear things shuffling around the barn and grunting. And one time, something tried to open the cab door, while I held it shut with all my strength, too terrified to breathe. I don’t even want to think about what that thing was.

Far as I can tell, anyone coming near this farm will meet the same fate as those things stumbling around my barn. The chemistry folks at Delsante sure did a bang up job. The only thing I know about chemistry is H-2-0 is water and K-9-P comes out the ass end of a dog. But, I’m a farmer and I know pollen when I see it. That red pus dries and blows off. I think Delsante Corporation has a little problem with their fucked up corn.

G646-DSGMO-666 was engineered to survive. I think of all that pollen on the wind.

You can’t stop the wind. It goes all the way round the world.


What Happened to Sitting in Darkness?

Nothing.

I”m still here.

Travel, work, family, summer – excuses, excuses.

Off again today. To Scranton, PA, this week.

The stories are just waiting for a little breather to make their way from my fevered brain and thence out into the blogosphere.

Soon!…..


From the road…

Sitting in Darkness at the Charlotte Douglas Airport in NC.  On my way to West Palm Beach for work. Story coming tonight…. something straight out of the today’s news….check back later or tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by!


Quick Update

This week’s story “Margo Heats It Up” has been entered in the Friday Flash Fiction Challenge at Chuck Wendig’s awesome blog, terribleminds.  Now the only reason I point this out is the fact that each Friday Chuck issues a challenge, and writers from all over this godforsaken planet sit down and create something that is uniquely – THEM.  This is something I support in writing, music, glass-blowing, pipe-fitting and all the myriad arts. Check out Chuck’s blog for great posts on writing and general-but practical – artistic mayhem.  But be warned: Chuck should never be confused with Mr. Rogers…


Margo Heats It Up…

Author’s note: if you’re new to this blog, you may want to read the previous installments of Margo’s story:

Hermosa Beach Heartache

Margo in Rome

An Unexpected Guest

UPDATE: Chuck Wendig over at the great blog, terribleminds has issued a flash fiction challenge regarding “The Lady and The Swordsman”.  Now, although this story was written before Chuck announced the challenge, AND, although this story is above the 1,000 word limit, I felt it should be entered into the challenge for two compelling reasons:

1. “The Lady and Swordsman” seems to apply, thematically

and

2. Margo is a child of the terribleminds flash fiction challenge – you could say it’s her birthplace, her home (see above for earlier Margo stories).

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Margo Heats It Up

He looked like Omar Sharif. Abrams was right.

His name was Ephraim Zanzibar, and he was a very bad man.

Margo’s knowledge was founded on personal experience, not just talk on the wire.

She’d met Zanzibar in a hotel in Hermosa Beach several months before. Abrams had blackmailed her into seducing the guy for information. Of course, he’d failed to tell her about Zanzibar’s kink: raping women after knocking them out with roofie-laced drinks.

Margo had started out the assignment refusing to kill Zanzibar, wanting something different for herself. And, of course, for the baby and Dan.  But after two hours with the man, she’d known the world would turn more safely with Ephraim Zanzibar unceremoniously turned to crab shit off the Hermosa Beach pier.

Margo had entered his room at the Del Ray hotel and asked him for a vodka rocks. She taken her drink to the bathroom and poured it into the sink, replacing it with water. Her baby was going to have enough trauma that evening without bringing alcohol into the picture, she’d figured.

What had ensued still sickened Margo. But now, she had Mr. Ephraim Zanzibar in her sights. And things were going to get hot.

Margo edged around the riot of bougainvillea and jasmine that surrounded the compound. The sound of Egyptian pop music poured out of the open French doors. The cloying scent of jasmine turned her stomach slightly, but the sheer mass of it hid her from Zanzibar’s view.

Thank God, the morning sickness was all in the past, Margo thought.

Zanzibar was dressed in a white silk bathrobe. He had drinks in either hand and, with closed eyes, swayed to the music. He was completely unaware of Margo’s presence, in the dark, not four feet in front of him.

A young woman entered the room wearing a nothing but a black bra and thong. Zanzibar passed her a drink and pretended to engage her in a dance. The young woman finished the drink in three gulps. Margo of course knew what was coming.

Once the woman was staggering slightly, Zanzibar reached back and punched her squarely in the face. She went down and didn’t move. He moved in like a hyena at the kill.

That’s enough, Margo said to herself.

She drew her Luger and stepped out of the darkness into the soft, yellow light of the open French doors. Zanzibar’s eyes widened when he saw her: black jumpsuit and ski mask.

He turned and started to shout but she reached him in two long strides and pushed the gun’s muzzle firmly against his temple. Margo whispered, “Hello Omar.” She traced the gun along the ridge of his deformed left ear.

“What the fuck are you supposed to be? Some kind of half-assed Ninja?” His cologne was as bad as the jasmine and Margo pushed him away, keeping the gun leveled directly at his face.

She pulled the mask off. “How’s your ear?”

“You!”

“Looks like you were planning on having some fun here tonight, Zanzibar. Sorry to break up your lovely party. I’ll be taking her when I leave.”

He shrugged and smiled. “More, many more, where she came from. Maybe you’d like to take her place? We never got to finish back in Hermosa Beach.”

Margo remembered the first wave of unreality that had alerted her to the fact she’d been drugged back at the Del Ray. She’d taken a long, deep gulp of her water, but he’d somehow slipped a roofie in there. He was good, no doubt. It seemed only seconds before she was reeling.

She had staggered toward the door but he’d grabbed her wrist and yanked her back into a bear hug. Margo had bit down and ripped off a large chunk of his left ear, which she’d spat into Zanzibar’s face. His punch brought stars and then a deep, velvet blackness.

When she’d come around, she was naked, lying on the bed on her stomach. He was on her back, trying to push his cock into her ass. Her first thought had been, at least this will be easier on the baby.

At one point, he’d pushed off of her and gone to the bathroom.

This is it, move Margo! she’d told herself through her stupor.

Lying there, she’d had a vision of the baby, of Dan, and of the new life she wanted. She’d bit down, hard, hard, hard, on her tongue. Blood had spattered the sheet as she’d swung her head back and forth, trying desperately to wake up. She’d been able to scramble to the door, get on her knees, open it, and fall forward into the hallway. Then she’d crawled like a crab to the fire alarm, reached up, and pulled for all she was worth, flooding the hotel with its wail. Zanzibar appeared in his doorway just as the other Del Ray guests were emerging to gawk and scream at the bloody, naked woman with the dazed but crazy eyes.

“Oh, I’ll be finishing all right. I need to go image your hard drive. You, in the meantime, can sit down right here while I tie your ass up.”

Zanzibar started a low, guttural laugh. A troll’s laugh. “You’ve put on some weight since we last met. You can’t blame me…I used the other hole.”

Margo shot off his left kneecap.

“Aarrgghhhh! You miserable bitch!”

“Shut up or the other one goes, too.”

Margo tied his hands behind his back. He was going nowhere, with no hands and one leg.

After making a copy of Zanzibar’s hard drive, she came lightly down the stairs. This should get Abrams off her back, finally.

She went into the bathroom. She had to piss like no one’s business. She looked at herself in the mirror. Baby bump clearly showing now.

Back in the living room, Zanzibar was looking pale and pissed off.

She took a small envelope out of her back pocket. It was filled with something lumpy.

“Omar, there was a time when I would have made you cut off your own dick and eat it.”

Waving the envelope in front of Zanzibar, she continued, “But, I’m trying to have a new life. Something that makes me happy instead of satisfied. There’s a difference, you know. I’m sure you wouldn’t understand.”

She opened the envelope. It was filled with fiery, red peppers.

“These are my  roofies, Omar,” Margo said. “I wouldn’t want to leave you with the impression that my desire to turn over a new leaf has somehow dulled my sense of justice.”

She pushed Zanzibar’s bathrobe up and crammed the first red pepper up into his ass.

He moaned loudly.

“This may get nasty. Hold on a minute,” she said.

Margo returned with a dishrag that she pushed deep into Zanzibar’s mouth.

“That’s better.” And she shoved another pepper deep into him.

And then another.

And another.

“Hmmmpphhh. HMMMPPPHHH!” It was all the sound he could make. Tears filled his eyes.

“Did you know you have digestive juices in your rectum? It’s true. Wait until they get a load of these, Omar. This should help you remember what you did to me and all the others.”

Zanzibar’s face was purple with pain and rage. Veins bulged in his neck and forehead.

“I’m going to leave the rest of these for you. As a memento,” Margo said, and threw the envelope onto the table, spilling some of the peppers.

Then she went into the other room and picked up the comatose girl. “C’mon, baby doll. This is no place for nice girls like us.”

On the way out, Margo leaned down and kissed the envelope, on a whim.

Then she kicked Ephraim Zanzibar in the balls, as hard as she could.

“Don’t come looking for me, Zanzibar, you fucking loser. You’re the last bit of shit I need to wipe off my shoes so I can start a real life.”

After dropping the girl off at an emergency room door, Margo went in search of Abrams.

To give him the disk.

And to claim her future.

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Once again, Margo image by Nathan Eckinrode

Hot pepper image by Nina Matthews


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