A Recent Murder

I didn’t know the man who talked to me that night, only that he wanted me dead. Perhaps I should start at the beginning.

I was investigating a murder scene on Main Street, which of course the local police couldn’t handle on their own. Sergeant Milton greeted me with a cloudy puff of his cigar. “Eh, detective, how’s the private business going?” His sneer cut daggers into my soul. Just then, the rain started to fall.

I walked inside the house after CSI had left. Crime scenes are always empty at night, just like my soul. It didn’t surprise me that the chalk outline lay in the kitchen. This killer was on a streak. He had struck a trend of killings, blood, gore in the kitchens of the suburbs for the past two years. No one knew what he looked like or when he would strike next. Only MacGregor the Butcher had left worse crime scenes. The only thing I knew was that he needed to be stopped.

Outside, Natalie waited for me. The taxi drove off and I knew the murder wasn’t the only problem I’d be dealing with that night. “Oh,” she uttered, smoking her cigarette like Aphrodite in a campfire. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Of course not,” I said, staring her down with my hands in my pocket. Carelessness is important when dealing with girls like her. Girls that creep up behind you and leave you gasping for air after a two hour choke session. “Murder scenes are the perfect place to find a man, eh? You’ll only find coldness here, doll.”

“I’m warm enough on my own, detective. Come home with me tonight, and you might warm up too.”

How could I refuse? A girl like her, with hips as wide as the Cumberland Gap and as rough too, ready to be ridden ’til exhaustion. “You got it, dame. But don’t expect me overnight.”

She stepped closer, the rain streaming the makeup down her face like some clown that had seen far too many men go down in that clown fire gag where they start a fire and then they jump out onto a tiny trampoline, only one of them misses and cracks his spine and there’s nothing you can do to console his grieving wife save giving her the biggest, wettest kiss you can muster. Well, that’s just what I did with her.

I said I didn’t expect to spend the night and I meant what I said. Still, I somehow found myself waking in her apartment. Maybe it was the wine, or perhaps the lilac in the air, but something trapped me there. It might have been her majestic eyes, eyes that shine in the darkest night.

“I’m going to kill you,” said the man who wanted me dead.

“Oh, yeah?” I replied, sleep lisping my voice like some death-dream. The barrel pointed at my face grew larger with each passing moment. I lit a cigarette. “Why’s that?”

“You killed my father, MacGregor.”

MacGregor, the man who killed nearly forty of Boston’s best citizens. Authors, poets, musicians, and even politicians had perished at his hand.

“And now I will kill you.”

Just before he pulled the trigger, his eyes crossed and he collapsed on the bed. Natalie stood in the doorway, gun in her hand. I took a drag of my cigarette and tried to make sense of the scene.

“Don’t bother, baby,” Natalie said, pushing the pistol back into her lingerie waistline. “He killed my father, and I wanted him dead. He’d only meet me if I brought you home. Thought I had a grudge against you, too.”

“Well, ain’t that something,” I said, smoking a long drag of my cigarette. “I suppose you don’t hold any, then?”

“That’s for me to know,” she said before laying on top of me. I put my cigarette in the ash tray and closed my eyes.

I’m here with you, Sue.

Here’s a story based on, uh oh, real life! Actually, it’s 100% true. This really happened. Glad I don’t work on a help desk anymore….

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Not too long ago, I worked on a help desk for a large corporation. I worked the early morning shift and had a lot of calls where workstations wouldn’t start up, people couldn’t log in, etc. One day I got a call from “Sue.”

“Hello,” Sue says. “My screen is just black.”

“Is the light on the monitor on?” I ask, thinking it is probably turned off.

“The what?”

“The light on the monitor?”

“The what on the what?”

“The monitor. There should be a light on the bottom right if the monitor is powered on.”

“The monitor?”

“It’s…the screen, there should be a light.”

“No,” Sue says before I can finish. “I told you, the screen is black. Oh, wait, you mean that little light that’s on the computer on my desk?”

Workstations are placed under the desk. I try as best as I can to take a deep breath without it being heard over the phone. “Yes…”

“Yes, it’s a little orange light.”

“Okay, so the monitor is powered on.” Before she can argue about what a monitor is, I rush forward, starting at level: four years old, “Have you tried tapping the keys on the keyboard or clicking the mouse?”

“Of course I have, and the screen won’t come on. That’s why I know my computer is broke. I need someone to come here and fix it.”

Ignoring the fact that the screen is indeed powered on, I say, “Ma’am, will you please check the workstation under the desk? If there isn’t a light next to the power button, try pressing the power button.”

“I don’t have time for this. Just send someone out there. I need someone to come fix my computer.”

“It could take a couple hours for someone to get there, but I’m with you right now. Please just press the power button on the workstation. It may work.”

I hear Sue mutter curses under her breath and about how she wants a hardware tech to come out and how she shouldn’t have to do this. A minute later, I hear Windows starting in the background.

“Ma’am?” I say. “Is it coming on now?”

“Yes, unintelligible.”

“Have a good–”

click

And that was how I helped Sue find the power button. Bonus points: boss was randomly auditing my call and bought me a cup of coffee.

Page One – Cemetery Demons

This is page one of the first novella I am writing with the express intent of self-publishing it. I’m gearing for around sixty pages, and kind of winging it.

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I wait outside the cemetery, watching the fog curl above the ground. The glow of the moon turns everything silver. The branches of the winter-dead trees hang over me like scepters in the night.

“Come on come on, already,” Frisky says, the little red demon that hides in my coat pocket, his horned head poking out like a turtle. “So hungry!”

“Relax,” I say, pushing him back down into my pocket. I feel his wings flutter and his tail whip back and forth against the side of my stomach. Frisky sometimes reminds me of the lizard I had for a pet, when I was a child. “The dead will rise.”

“You gonna have extra, right? Need food!” For such a little demon, Frisky eats a lot. Dead human flesh is his favorite, but he more often settles for small mammals. Blood stains the inside of my pocket.

“I’ll give you an arm. That’s all.” I don’t like giving Frisky too much. After all, I don’t want him to become addicted, to get that feeling or idea that human flesh is the only thing he must consume.

I start to get nervous and I do my best to ignore the cold sweat that trickles down my spine. The candles are all laid out in the appropriate pattern. The night shadows, the near invisible beasts that lurk on the edge of reality, slowly circle the inside of the pattern, searching for some way to escape. They are vaguely human-shaped, and that similarity reminds me of some nightmare. They lack eyes, but I know they are staring at me, aware that I am their captor.

My watch says it’s been only sixty seconds since I have read the incantation, offering libations of my own blood to the dead. It must soon be time. I quiet Frisky.

The Son Also Rises

I’m half convinced that Hemmingway just had a lot of random crap in his stories and hoped some kind of symbolism would come out of it…

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Bobby said that Sue wouldn’t love him after that. He was always saying things like that, and only half the time believed it. I knew that Sue would be fine.

We left the store and had some drinks behind the counter at the Select. The drinks were nice. I enjoyed a whiskey. Bobby got the same dark beer he always drank in moods like this.

“It’s just that, I don’t know that she’ll forgive me.”

“Don’t be a fool,” I said.

“Jack, it’s true. Settle down.”

“Settle down? I’ll settle when I fucking feel like it.”

“Oh, come on now Jack. Relax a little. I only wanted to talk about my Sue and see where it will take us.”

I sipped my whiskey and spied the dancing floor.

“That’s it, how about a dance? That lass right there is rather frisky. Or the blonde in the green dress, how’s that for you?”

The barkeep poured me another whiskey.

“Let’s talk about my Sue.”

“What obligation do you have? You’re not married and haven’t promised it.”

“Well, there are certain expectations involved.”

“Your last left before those could be fulfilled.”

“Sue isn’t like Kate, not in the least. Why, if Sue and Kate stood next to each other in my home, I’d have to take Sue.”

“In the same way you’d have to take your current car because you’ve already placed the deposit.”

“Oh, come now, Jake.”

“She’s pregnant, isn’t she?”

Bobby looked at the dance floor, then the bar, and sipped his beer.

I drained my third glass.

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“I have to send off some e-mails, get back home,” I said, leaving Bobby in the bar. He’d follow me home and knock on my door. I’d probably open it and let him in for a drink or smoke.

Little changes.

 

I finally completed my character outline after 82 years. Please read.

Wacky Doodle – Always whipping it out and masturbating, the one thing he wants is to finally find his lost towel.

Penelope Vagina – Wacky’s love interest, the only thing she is interested in is swooning over people who aren’t Wacky.

Marco Daniels – Totally is a dick who Wacky hates. He wants to have intimate relations with Penelope, even though he doesn’t deserve to.

Prick McKenzie – Person who bullied Wacky as a kid and is now a Dragon that Wacky must defeat so that he can finally claim Penelope as his property.

Yogurt Kunt – Girl who rejected Wacky and is now just a giant biznatch who Wacky doesn’t like. She wants to pretend she doesn’t love Wacky, even though she obviously does, and only left him because she was intimidated by how great he was.

Towel Master – Wacky’s best friend, who’s always there for him no matter what. Wacky loves TM and always wants to be with him over the company of any other person ever, living or dead. Towel wants to love Wacky, but he can’t feel emotion because he is a towel.

So basically the plot is that they all have to fight and shit in an arena that’s actually in Outer Space. I’ve developed this idea over 82 years, so I know it’s really good. Wacky basically finds out that Prick is cheating in the fight, because he’s a dragon and that’s not allowed. He then beats Prick, and then Penelope tears her clothes off at the very sight of him as the ultimate victor. Then Marco is like oh no and starts to try to get intimate with Penelope Vagina, but Wacky fights him to the death and wins and the Prick, who is a dragon, is now on Wacky’s side. Yogurt tries to defeat Wacky, but Wacky seduces her and then she and Penelope have a threesome while Prick the Dragon watches. Then Towel Master comes and cleans everything up and then they go home and live happily ever after.

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So what do you think? Pretty amazing, right?

A Dull Day

He waited for the passing clouds to reveal the sun. The solar panel that fed the cell that charged his rifle was missing all that energy. His target was only a few miles away, an easy enough shot for Gaul Galen.

A click and the rustle of dry grass behind him. The lack of wind was glaring.

“Ah, Gaul, if it isn’t you,” Pretorius Flux said. Gaul didn’t have to turn around; he recognized the gravely voice of the gizormak.

“Damnit, Flux, come on, we’re going after the same target here,” Gaul said. Each word brought a deeper sensation of pressure against the back of his skull. His life was in the hands of someone who didn’t know the difference between an asteroid and a comet. “Don’t be stupid.”

“But if you kill him, then I only get half the reward.”

“We only split it if we both do the work, dumbass.” Gaul pushed the weapon away, stood, and had his own rifle trained on Flux in a single moment, a point in time. The gizormak’s shape was that of a blob that held its weapon in slushy extensions of its body. Three big bulbs rested on the top of three stalks, his only recognizable feature. “You be the bait. I’ll take the shot.”

“Your weapon is not yet charged,” Flux said, the words seemingly coming from somewhere deep within the bulbous body. “You think I am that stupid?”

“Stupid enough to let me stand. Again, you be the bait.”

Flux squinted, his three eyes shrinking in size rather than using eyelids to do so. Apparently, he was in deep thought, a rare thing for a gizormak. “Fine, fine.”

Gaul shook his head and settled back into firing position. As Pretorious Flux sauntered off, he wondered how long it would be until he could just go home.

The sun was out after the gizormak had traveled only five hundred yards. In another five hundred, he was dead.

Gaul blew the smoke from the muzzle of his gun and settled back. A few more hours, his target would be dead, and he’d have the full reward.

The Fallacy of Self – Coupon!

Get my short story collection, The Fallacy of Self, for 75% off from now until 11/7/15 using coupon code: KX74F .

Do it! Do it now! Before it’s too late! It’s about life! And what life would be like if life did not exist! A paradox? An android? Corporate warfare? Read it now!

Fallacy of Self