Followers of Awesome Writing

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Your Help Appreciated


Do you just need, I mean need more flash fiction? Follow this link and like my story. I mean, how often do I ask you for something? Other than to buy my book, which many of you haven't done. So do that first, then go vote for me. You get to read a bunch of other awesome shorts at the same time. I suppose you could vote for one of them, but I'll be watching you.

#shamelessselfpromotion #contest #shortstory #aboutme #amwriting #author #writer

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In the Beginning - Folsom

Part 18 - Rougher than the rest this will need some clean up and likely get expanded into a full conversation when I compile them.

“They told me seeing a turtle on your wedding day would bring good luck.” They were the first words Peter spoke after entering prison.

His cellmate, a man of little import, stared blankly. Peter was thankful that in the end times men didn’t need smarts. Telling his story to this neanderthal was next to pointless, so he started telling the man about the prophecy. Peter’s mind wandered though.

His parents told him about the turtle. Superstitious and half-mad at the best of times at least they brought him up in the church. He met Templeton there, and his lovely daughter years later.

He met his wife in the church. After a whirlwind courtship, Templeton married them. The then five-year-old Nicole stood in as flower girl. Even then Peter knew she was destined for greatness. There was no turtle at the wedding, he looked. His wife killed herself a year later. There was always something suspicious about the circumstances.

The police wouldn’t look into it. It ate at him. Until he ended up on the streets. Years later he found himself sleeping under a newspaper announcing the preacher’s death. He was sad and angry for a moment. If the preacher had not been born in the year of the rabbit Peter’s marriage might have had a happier ending.

He thought little more about it, until fate intervened again. Peter was outside the bookstore when the rough man sold the preacher’s books. He remembered that golden child, and bits of the prophecy. He had to help. He snuck in and stole them, barely hiding them before being arrested. After tormenting the Father for a while, Peter dug up the books and took them to the sacred couple.

After cleaning up he was introduced to the ladies. He met the daughter, she had a lot of big words for such a young girl. He even got to look in on the infant son as the baby slept. He dined with them. They even included him in the taking of the body and blood of Christ, which tasted much different than back when he bothered with mass. After dinner they explained it all. Peter barely kept the Eucharist down upon realizing he was a double cannibal. Chester put a task to him he would not refuse. A man brought as low as Peter, given an opportunity to be part of something great will rarely pass it up.

“So, we have the girls, or the beginnings of them, our daughter will lead. This is a war women can wage with grace and charm. Our men must be rough, hardened, willing to kill for the cause. Like you, they must have nothing to lose. We need you to turn yourself in and recruit inside."

So he did. Funny thing, the original theft got him less time than fleeing justice did. Peter shocked himself out of his revelry by saying something he didn’t mean to out loud. He never realized how much he blamed on the preacher. Thankfully, unlike God, he didn’t believe sin was carried in the blood. His cellmate offered him a strange look but became his first convert. In jail and marriage it is better to agree with crazy.

“Now I’m doing ten to twenty and looking for believers in federal prison. Stupid rabbit.”

#shortstory #novel #author #writer #writing

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In the Beginning - The Eucharist

This should be part seventeen. All others are below, as per the usual.

Chester knew questions were dangerous. Especially ones revolving around religion or ceremony or, worse, both. The treacherous nature of the footing around such grew more intense when the ladies, the term changed from girls to avoid confusion with their daughter, were near enough to turn the answer into a lesson. Yet, he let the question slip without thinking. The ladies perked up. They did not share Chester’s distaste for Nicole’s monologues.

“It started before I was born. At first it was just secular holidays. My father felt people needed to be shown the foolishness of misusing the word and mocked for building monoliths to the greatness of man when the glory of God was right there. He said it could be celebrated every day. That it was insane to live mediocre, plebian lives that caused apathy to the miracles all around us. It was a travesty to trot out the Word only on special occasions and pretend they were celebrations when they were, in truth, wakes for our faith and souls.

“It always ate at him that the state had more days honoring the people’s mindless obedience to it than God did for giving us free will to ignore him. It incensed him that even when you included the days for false heathen gods, Caesar still had more. So he ‘threw tradition in the face of the Sodomites and Gomorrahans.’

“We had foie gras and vodka on Cinco de Mayo. On veteran’s day we ate frog legs and drank German beer. When that wasn’t enough for him we went out on memorial day and painted peace signs on the headstones of soldiers. The best one was his tradition of flying over an English family on the fourth of July. We took them on a tour of the white house, then threw coffee and firearms into the reflecting pool.

“Eventually, God told him to remember the religious days and keep them holy. So while state days were great fun and rebellion Christmas, Easter, Passover, any day celebrating the true God really, became somber occasions. We celebrated as Christ did, by honoring the Eucharist. Now that he is gone, now that we have the children to think of, now that we have these ladies to train I would like to continue the tradition.”

“Okay,” Chester sighed, “but can’t you go get the supplies yourself?”

“You know that’s a man’s job.” She chided in the way she had. Chester could never determine if it was humorous or deadly.

“But why a bum?” He couldn’t look her in the eyes when he asked. “If we’re fighting to change the world we shouldn’t attack the enemies of our enemies.”

“Make sure it’s not the bum working with us! Choose another. Chester, you know why. Nobody misses vagrants or whores. When the movement gains steam, after a few more signs we will attack those holding the power. Once we can’t be stopped we can take the war directly to those standing in our way. Until then, we have to fly below the radar but our traditions must be observed.”

He was about to argue. She stopped his protests with a kiss. The ladies oohed and ahed. He would do what she told him. As he always did. He just hoped his luck with murder was as good as the cop’s.

#shortstory #novel #author #dark #religion #socialcommentary #writer #writing

Thursday, July 16, 2015

In the Beginning - The Stalker

Part Sixteen, all other parts are below, as usual.

A week of peace, Father O’Reilly could have asked for more. Still, Job had it worse and he never hid a body murdered by a vengeful cop; at least not in the written records. Despite that O’Reilly was sure he was doing the right thing. Until the phone calls started.

Two weeks without relief the calls came in at exactly nine in the morning. When he answered the voice on the other end said, “I know what you did,” then hung up. Most days it was just inconvenient. On Sunday, like today, things were bit more complicated. Nine was the beginning of mass. If he could remember to silence his phone or leave it in the office he might have been fine.

He could do neither; the infernal machine was as much a part of his life as social media was for misguided teens. It was his penance. Something inside told him the accusations bricked the next steps on his path. So he answered, listened to the condemnation, avoided screaming at the caller and went back to sermonizing.

This Sunday was different. He started plotting. He needed to change up the routine. Thankfully the mass focused around the words of Paul. That bigoted, sanctimonious prick was so easy to remember that Father O’Reilly could devote well over half his brain to how to respond on Monday.

Monday morning. Father O’Reilly was waiting. He answered his phone in that weird, twilight pause between the end of the first vibration and the beginning of the first actual ring.

“I know what you did too, Peter.”

The immediate answer and the use of the vagrant’s name caused an uncomfortable quiet. That made Father O’Reilly nervous. Maybe it was just that the man was a Peter though. As a priest giving certain names power was an occupational hazard. The bum did not give him too long to ruminate on it though.

“S’not as bad as your sins, father.”

“I leave the judgment on the weight of each sin to God alone. You have some things my…” He paused to think of a better word than partner, which wasn’t right between himself and the detective. “…Cohort would like to purchase from you.”

“I know what you want.”

“So, can we deal?”

“You can’t have them. I want to be her friend. She needs my help.”

“These are dangerous people. Those texts are better in my hands.”

“Nothing’s safe in your hands. You’re the enemy.”

“Tread carefully, my son, this is a dark path you walk. If you choose them you risk the world.”

“I’m righteous. Like you should be as a man of the cloth.”

“If you really choose them you should stop calling. My friend deals with enemies harshly. You know that since you know what I did.”

“You can’t scare the hopeless.”

Peter hung up. Father O’Reilly hoped that would be the end of it, until they sought the writings anyway. Unfortunately for him, Peter served the nemesis well. The calls kept coming.

#shortstory #novel #author #writer #writing

Friday, July 10, 2015

It Takes a Plagairist

Okay, from the prompt this week someone suggested I should write something about Mr. Edward. For those who have not read Old Odd Ends, he is the villain in a story with no heroes. The events in this story take place about fifty years before that.

Small town, USA – Summer – 1965

Edward Edwards, Edward to nobody and Mr. Edward to everyone he met, looked up from his desk. At his age he slept about three hours a night. So he sat in the back of The Edge of the Page when he suddenly knew something was wrong. He smelled… mud and cannabis where only the scents of well loved parchment and long faded ink should be. Rising to investigate his weathered hand reached for the nearest weapon, a crudely bound grouping of pages.

He slid like a specter into the tomb silent front of his shop. Eyes still sharp as a hawk's scanned for the invader. There she was, in a small section reserved for local authors, well… author. As he suspected she was a hippie but pretty in her own way. If you did not mind dry, brittle hair and breasts hanging free because of a burned bra. Mr. Edward did not. He did not mind the long flowing peasant skirt that ran to her ankles either. He did mind her bare feet tracking mud through his business. He found her unlaundered clothes and free love scent offensive. He also minded that she was stealing from him. Mr. Edward cleared his throat.

The hippie jerked, spinning to face him. She managed to keep hold of the five books in her arms though. That impressed Mr. Edward, she understood the value of literature. She offered a coquettish smile meant to disarm him. It might have worked if he had use for sex as anything but a tool of control. He stepped forward, speaking in a voice like old paper sliding against itself.

“I see you are a fan of my protégé, Alex Tomlin. You know if you got a job you could pay for those.”

She blinked, tears forming in her eyes but not falling. “I can’t, but I just want to be friends with him.”

Mr. Edward nodded, bringing the manuscript in front of him. “I see you have his latest there, The Word Thief. Have you read it?”

“N… no.” She cast her drug-dulled eyes about for an escape. He could tell she was stupid but like many of her ilk she had an animal cunning about her. She sensed danger.

“Too many people have for it to be valuable. The value in a rare book is how few have read it. Now this first draft? Much changed between it and the end product. Enough that the story is almost completely different. Let me read you the salient points.” He flipped to the section where the monster first appeared, because there was always a monster.

As Mr. Edward read about the bone like hands gripping at upper arms the girl felt them on her own. At the description of the human sized mosquito beak sliding through the spine and piercing the heart her heart was also pierced. He continued to read and the unseen creature sucked words, the very essence of life, from her body.

First she lost love and learned to hate the man she most wanted to adore her. Then feeling went, which was good because pain stopped locking a scream in her chest. Away went each word until last the thief stole life and the girl dropped to the ground.

Setting the valuable manuscript aside, Mr. Edward dismissed the Word Thief, back to the nether. He needed to step up Alex’s program. With so many hippies in love with him the boy was dangerous to have around. But first, he dragged the body back towards his office. Nothing went to waste in his shop.

#novel #shortstory #shamelessselfpromotion #author #horror #monster #writer #writing

Thursday, July 9, 2015

In the Beginning - Written Instructions

Part fifteen in this ongoing tale.

Nicole sat at the breakfast table with her tablet in front of her. In her left hand she held a bone china cup containing her breakfast tea as she controlled the screen with her right. On the screen was newspaper from her hometown. She maintained a subscription despite the miles.

It was the first morning in a long time that she could breathe. She smelled the strong black tea as if it was a new life but her reprieve was not to last long. Many would and did say terrible things about her but Nicole still had a heart and with everything else she might be, she was still a loving daughter.

For the last week the front page had been full of her father’s death and the grisly way they found him. Today it seemed something finally surpassed news of the preacher. Until she read further. The lead story was all about some smash and grab artist named Peter. Local man steals unusual rare collection, the headline screamed. Nicole kept reading.

A local homeless man, Peter last name unknown, broke into the local bookstore, Rare Finds, late last night. Responding to the silent alarm police found the store empty and barely disturbed. The only objects removed a collection of handwritten, leather bound tomes from a local preacher who was murdered two weeks ago. An unknown party illegally sold the books, religious texts of questionable worth and obscure origin, to the shop shortly after the death. When found the suspect did not have the books in his possession and gave no indication to their location. When asked why he stole those volumes Peter replied, “I did it for the daughter. I just want to be her best friend.”

Nicole jerked back. Those books were meant for her. Her father’s original work on the prophecy was now in the hands of a degenerate. Well, not in his hands exactly. She pushed the tablet aside and took up her phone. She dialed Chester.

“We have a problem.”

He informed her he already knew about it and made a call.

“Were you able to speak with him?”

He sighed as he explained that two other men bailed the man out earlier in the day. The bum had already skipped town, presumably with the texts.

“So we have another player joining those two idiots.”

Chester agreed that it seemed that way.

“What about this thing he said? Do you think he might be or want to be on our side? Why else would he want to be my best friend?”

He was sure he didn’t know but he had a couple of ideas.

“Me being hot is only a reason for you. Get home, we need to start finding our enemies. How dangerous is this Peter, do you think?”

That was a question nobody had an answer for. Not yet anyway.

#shortstory #novel #writing #writer #author

Friday, July 3, 2015

In the Beginning - The Third Sign

Part fifteen, as usual the others are down below

Father O’Reilly sat with a corpse in a stall in a bathroom that echoed of silence and smelled of industrial cleaner rethinking his relationship with Jack. Not the association itself but taking such a servile role. Why couldn’t the cop dispose of his own bodies?

The priest waited impatiently. Midnight was late for him, for most museums as well. This was a special case, an extreme situation. The poetic justice of the refuse disposal soothed him. The fact that unlike most museums this one employed no guards set him at ease as well.

When the museum closed he waited an extra half-hour for the employees to clear out. He gripped the corpse under the armpits and dragged it from the bathroom. A beatific smile crossed his face as he looked around. The wing of the wax museum dedicated to religious figures surrounded him. It made his soul sing, one of the reasons he chose that particular rest room. Another being that it was the least visited section.

The museum radiated out from the dark chambers. In the center that house of horrors held the greatest attraction. Other exhibits radiated out like the spokes of wheel. Each section connected to an appropriate portion of murder’s row. The third reason his hiding place was appropriate. Father O’Reilly dragged the body into the inky shadows.

Like many Catholics before him, those from a different time, O’Reilly dragged a heretic’s limp body into Torquemada’s chamber. He let the body slump on the floor and shuddered. This point in the history of his faith sat like original sin on the priest’s conscience and soul. Still, it served his purposes well enough. Oh, he thought, how many men, well intentioned or not, damned themselves with such thoughts?

He shuddered violently and hardened his heart. His eyes cast about for the piece he needed. The dead, glassy eyes of the exhibit leered back at him. He imagined himself the main course at a cannibal super hosted by the Manson family with those terrible eyes bearing down on him, demanding a confession. Amongst these monsters he found what he needed.

Retrieving the body once more the priest dragged it to the iron maiden. He positions the corpse so one of the spikes rested its tip against the bullet wound in the body. Then Father O’Reilly slammed the device closed. He uttered a prayer of thanks for attention to detail, that only the figures were made of wax, and escaped this secular shrine to the past.

Jack should be happy and they could move forward with stopping this prophecy. He stopped at the first door, almost perishing of a heart attack. He saw the heads of the inquisitors, had they turned? Were they watching him? He could swear he saw wings on Torquemada himself. Then words came to him on the wind, whispering. He heard the other tortures welcoming the corpse home, as one of their own. Father O’Reilly screamed and fled hastily; unaware of the signs he did not know he had just witnessed the third.

#shortstory #novel #author #writer #writing