Story Saturday: Santa-Zombie Story

Nearly a year passed since the start of the undead plague

she’s been on her own since

in an empty house, in a not-so-empty neighborhood.

 

 

Christmas Eve

she decorated the dead tree with handmade ornaments

made from cereal boxes;

took the last can of Spam as her treat for the white bearded man

and placed the plate on a table beside the sofa.

 

 

With a bat in hand, and the sounds of death rattling at the front door,

she fell asleep on the dusty furniture

in front of the cold, stoned hearth.

 

 

Rustling sounds awoke her

with a great start,

as she swung the bat through air,

a voice sounded,

a voice so beautiful and warm

it caused her eyes to sprang open;

bewildered, stunned

she stared at the not-so-frightful sight.

 

 

A chubby man dressed in a red suit

stood before her;

she blinked and swinted

thinking she’d died already or just dreaming

but saw that this was no dream

Santa,

he was really real!

 

 

He held out his hand,

“Come, let me take you to a wonderful place.”

 

 

In a blink of an eye, she found herself

on the roof-top

where a sleigh and eight reindeer stood waiting.

 

 

Santa, beside her now, smiled;

a smile she’d thought never would form on her lips again,

she returned with glee.

 


 

Note: This story has been renamed to “The Last Child” and a video portion of this story can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

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A Halloween Haunt Story

 

*Note:  This story’s inspired by the very first short story I ever wrote decades ago.

 

 

 

Penny, the new kid on the block, stood in front of an old, rickety house along with two new-found friends.

She swallowed hard as she stepped up to the front door.

“Don’t be a scaredy cat and go in!” Darla called out.

Inside the dank-smelling entryway, cobwebs littered every nook and cranny.  Dark and not a living soul present as the young girl walked down a hallway.

A movement on her right caused Penny to pause.

On the long, narrow table sat a huge glass platter with a steel cover.

The cover rattled ever so slightly.

She slowly reached for the metallic lid, and lifted it.

The first thing she saw was the wrinkled balding head, and in a great start, she released her grasp on the heavy top which landed on the hard floor with a thunderous clang that echoed throughout the building.

Her brown eyes widened as she stared at what sat on the glass dish.

A head of an elderly man who appeared to be asleep.  His skin pallor and sunken except for one eye where folds of flesh drooped.

The sight had her rooted to the spot as she held her breath fearing that any noise would awaken him.

Suddenly, his eyes sprung opened.  Black as coals they completely mesmerized Penny…

Until the mouth opened and an evil cackle bellowed from it.

She turned and ran screaming out of the house, and didn’t stop screaming until she reached her friends down on the curbs.

 

What dismayed her further was that they were laughing.

At her.

“It’s not funny!” She said.

Darla, the brunette, giggled through her hands but it was the blondie who spoke.

“If only you could have seen your face!” Roxie said as she wiped the tears from her eyes.

Penny glared at them.  “You knew about this?”

“Oh yeah.” Darla finally replied. “Old man Marco’s been doing this every year for years.”

The red-head folded her arms at her two so-called friends. “And where does he usually pull this prank?”

“In the kitchen. On the table with the red cloth.” Roxie answered.

“Well, his head was on a platter in the hallway between the kitchen and living room.” Penny stated. “And it did NOT have ANY table cloth.”

Roxie and Darla looked at her.

“Go on.” Penny pointed to the house. “Go check on the old man!”

Clasping each other’s hand, the two girls walked across the front yard, and through the door way disappearing into the murkiness.

Penny continued to stand with her arms folded, and waited.

 

Moments passed before screeching screams sounded through the house, and the pale-faced girls galloped outside, nearly colliding with Penny.

Unmoved, Penny asked, “Well?”

“Th-that wasn’t Marco!” Darla said. “And-and there was no body under the table!”

“But the head is real, right?” Penny asked.

Both girls nodded in earnest.

All pairs of eyes turned to the house just as the front door creaked shut.

 

 

The Tree

 

She'd been locked in the house for months 

as the undead raged outside

 

Famished and dehydrated 

she stared out the bedroom window 

and spied the pair again

 

For days, these cats roamed out 

on the limbs of the enormous hardwood tree 

as she wondered how they're surviving the apocalypse

 

Today, she decided to find out and proceeded

to climb out the second floor slim windowpane 

 

As she dangled on the limb, she glanced below

 

There her momma stood, gaping up to her daughter 

mouth opened and gnawing as if ravenous with 

flesh-thirsting hunger

 

She scrambled up on the branch 

and glanced towards the tree's core

 

A small hollowed hole revealed the bloody mass of flesh and bone 

and it was then she realized what a grave mistake she'd made

 

Story Sunday: Shadow of Death

 

I once lived in an old house

haunted by a formless shadow

 

Mom died as she gave birth to Tye

my two-year old babbling brother

 

I don’t blame anyone for her death

but I do of that depth-less darkness

that devoured Daddy

Story Sunday: The Bench

 

He stood

before the bench where he last saw her

Shadows from nearby trees nearly engulfing it

as the sun lowered in the smoke-glazed sky

She had on her gray pantsuit with a silky blouse

its’ color matched her sea-blue eyes

He set the ash-covered helmet on the wood

and as if pressed down with a heavy weight, he dropped

to one knee and bowed his head, tears trickling down his grime-stained face

Fires he could fight, but not the monstrosity he witnessed on that fateful day

One by one, his brothers fell as with the towers

Did she too?

Perhaps she’ll suddenly appear like an angel he knew her to be-

or, was she lost somewhere in the rubbles of mangled steel and crushed cement?

Time’s no man’s friend

For he was a fool to think he had plenty

and now she’s gone

 

*I created a video for this story.  It can be accessed here: The Bench

 

You Tube Tuesday: The Bench

 

(*YouTube Tuesday idea originally came from the Martians Attack blog)

 

A secret dream of mine is wanting to see one of my works produced into a feature film.   I just love the thought of seeing my story come to life with visuals and music.  Well, I decided not to wait any longer and began creating my own “films” by using the movie-making software, Kizoa.  Yeah, it’s not quite the same as having actors acting out parts of the stories I’ve written, but it’s close enough and not to mention, fun!

Here’s the most recent one I created for a microfiction I wrote, The Bench.

If you’d like to participate in YouTube Tuesday, post something from YouTube that you enjoyed and tell us a bit about it.  Don’t forget to include the link to this post in yours so I can check it out.  Also, if you’re on Twitter, Tweet about it using the hashtag #YouTubeTuesday.

Story Sunday: Fire and Ash

 

 

As she stood in the entryway

staring at the black mass in the fiery sky

she wondered

what good did technology do for them

now on the brink of extinction?

Gusts of heated air whipped around her body

as the only thoughts of comfort

were of all the written journals

she’d buried in the deep caverns nearby

in the hope that those pieces of her would survive

while the rest be reduced to nothing

but hot ashes

The Pocket Watch

A flash fiction I wrote that was published with Asylum Ink. Enjoy!

Only The Lonely Press & Media

the pocket watch

Rob gripped the steering wheel as he watched a brown leaf roll across the gray hood. His haggard face covered with salt and pepper beard helped conceal the white scar across his right cheek. He stared ahead as he half-listened to the car radio.

“The President is expected to address the nation tonight for the final time.” The radio garbled. “Before leaving with his family to an undisclosed location.”

He leaned over and changed the stations.

“CDC still have no answers as to what is causing the flu-like pandemic, nor are they any closer to an effective vaccine or treatment…”

Another station.

“With the death toll skyrocketing across the country and hospitals completely overwhelmed with the sick, medical personnel are urging everyone to stay indoors in hope of slowing down the spread…”

Yet another.

“Ten more police officers gunned down by looters as they struggle to protect the civilians still…

View original post 460 more words

The Dying Civilization

bare land

Gray clouds hung low in the sky as a group of teenagers clambered down the street littered with rusted and mangled vehicular bodies.   Houses on both sides of the disintegrating asphalt stood in various wretched shapes.   Woods warped.  Windows smashed or missing. Vinyl sidings bent like painful hang-nails.

The group turned down a graveled pathway which led to a large, crumbling brick-laid building that stood three-stories tall.  A sign stretched across the middle of the structure with words etched in the marble slab: Esmond High

As soon as they crossed the threshold, they turned right and entered into a large room.  Inside, several long tables spread across the dusty tile flooring, each partnered with two deformed metallic chairs.   Large windows lined the far wall of the room, and like the others, many were either missing or broken.  They also provided the only source of lighting.

The younger version of adults sat at the three front tables, and waited in silence.

Moments later, a man shuffled into the room.  Long, wispy white hair hung from his head.  White-black beard partially covered his face, its bottom touched the ragged red and black plaid shirt.

“Good morning, class.”  His voice crackled as he slowly hobbled to the front where a small wooden desk stood.

“Good morning, Mr. Pike.” The teens replied in unison.

He gingerly set down a plastic bag on the desk which wobbled with the weight being pressed on it.  Mr. Pike groaned as he turned his cataract-riddled, hazel eyes to the classroom before him.

“It seems our number is ever growing smaller.” He sniffed.

“Marge’s parents have married her off to the Mableton’s clan so she won’t be coming back.” The sole female in the room spoke in a quiet voice.

“Ethan, Sam, and Levi have been recruited to the front line.” The dark-haired male at the center table said.

“Sal was killed with his parents  by thieves last night.” The smallish boy next to the brunette female muttered.

“Madness.” The old man whispered as he rapped his arthritic knuckles on the wood.  “This is what we’ve been reduced to.  Constant warring with one another.  Servitude and slavery.  Mockery and misery all around us.  All due to stupidity.  Stupidity.”

“Mr. Pike?”  The girl’s voice drifted to his ears.  “Are you alright?”

He shook his head hard and blinked several times as he struggled to regain his focus on the remaining kids.

“Yes, yes of course I’m alright!” He snapped as his hands gripped the plastic bag.  “It’s a bit disconcerting when I see our future being ripped from us, that’s all.”

“What’s in the bag, Mr. Pike?” A petite oriental boy from the table directly in front of him asked.

The elder released his grip on the bag and began to pat it. “Ah, yes.  The bag.  I discovered the content last evening when I was rummaging through a building that was once a library.”

“What’s a library?” The girl asked.

“My dear Oona.” He smiled. “A library was used to house what we called books.  Books were once the foundation of which we built a great civilization. Books were what brought us out of the last Dark Ages.  They enabled us to become highly advanced and educated and enlightened.   They were the glue that held us together.”

“What happened?” The small boy next to Oona asked.

“Man grew stupid, Darrin. “He answered. “We grew so enamored with technology and all our wonderful advances, and decided to get rid of books, which contained everything, to rely solely on digital machines.”

He glanced across the room and saw that all eyes and ears were completely attuned to him, and continued. “Then the storm happened and wiped out all the technology, and with it our heart and soul as a specie.” He raised a hand into the air. “Hence, you see the result all around us.”

“So…” Mr. Pike reached a hand inside the bag. “For the next few weeks, we’ll be reading two of the greatest books ever written, in my humble opinion, by man.”  And pulled out two heavily worn hard-covered books. “Moby Dick and War and Peace.”

“Could we take turns reading them?” Oona breathlessly asked.

“I don’t read too well.”  The oriental boy moaned.

“Don’t worry, Mai, I’ll help you.” She smiled.

Books: Man’s Greatest Achievement (Short Story)

dean land

Gray clouds hung low in the sky as a group of teenagers clambered down the street littered with rusted and mangled vehicular bodies.   Houses on both sides of the disintegrating asphalt stood in various wretched shapes.   Woods warped.  Windows smashed or missing. Vinyl sidings bent like painful hang-nails.

The group turned down a particular graveled pathway which led to a large, crumbling brick-laid building that stood three-stories tall.  A sign stretched across the middle of the structure with words etched in the marble slab: Esmond High

As soon as they crossed the threshold, they turned right and entered into a large room.  Inside the open room several long tables spread across the dusty tile flooring, each partnered with two deformed metallic chairs.   Large windows lined the far wall of the room, and like the others, many were either missing or broken.  They also provided the only source of lighting.

The younger version of adults sat at the three front tables, and waited in silence.

Moments later, a man shuffled into the room.  Long, wispy white hair hung long from his head.  White-black beard partially covered his face, its bottom touched his ragged red and black plaid shirt.

“Good morning, class.”  His hoarse voice crackled as he slowly hobbled to the front where a small wooden desk stood.

“Good morning, Mr. Pike.” The teens replied in unison.

He gingerly set down a plastic bag on top of the desk which wobbled with the weight being pressed on it.  Mr. Pike groaned as he forced himself to stand straight, and turned his cataract-riddled, hazel eyes to the classroom before him.

“It seems our number is ever growing smaller.” He sniffed.

“Marge’s parents have married her off to the Mableton’s clan so she won’t be coming back.” The only female in the room spoke in a quiet voice.

“Ethan, Sam, and Levi have been recruited to the front line.” The dark haired male in the center table said.

“Sal was killed with his parents last night by thieves.” The smallish boy next to the brunette female muttered.

“Madness.” The old man whispered as he rapped his arthritic knuckles on the wood.  “This is what we’ve been reduced to.  Constant warring with one another.  Servitude and slavery.  Mockery and misery all around us.  All due to stupidity.  Stupidity.”

“Mr. Pike?”  The girl’s voice drifted to his ears.  “Are you alright?”

He shook his head hard and blinked several times as he struggled to regain his focus on the remaining kids.

“Yes, yes of course I’m alright!” He snapped as his hands gripped the plastic bag.  “It’s a bit disconcerting when I see our future being ripped from us, that’s all.”

“What’s in the bag, Mr. Pike?” A petite oriental boy from the table directly in front of him asked.

The elder released his grip on the bag and began to pat it. “Ah, yes.  The bag.  I discovered the content last evening when I was rummaging through a building that was once a library.”

“What’s a library?” The girl asked.

“My dear Oona.” He smiled. “A library was used to house what we called books.  Books were once the foundation of which we built a great civilization. Books were what brought us out of the last Dark Ages.  They enabled us to become highly advanced and educated and enlightened.   They were the glue that held us together.”

“What happened?” The small boy next to Oona asked.

“Man grew stupid, Darrin. “He answered. “We grew so enamored with technology and all our wonderful advances, and decided to get rid of books, which contained everything, to rely solely on digital machines.”

He glanced across the room and saw that all eyes and ears were completely attuned to him, and continued. “Then the storm happened and wiped out all the technology, and with it our heart and soul as a specie.” He raised a hand into the air. “Hence, you see the result all around us.”

“So…” Mr. Pike reached a hand inside the bag. “For the next few weeks, we’ll be reading two of the greatest books ever written, in my humble opinion, by man.”  And pulled out two heavily worn hard-covered books. “Moby Dick and War and Peace.”

“Could we take turns reading them?” Oona breathlessly asked.

“I don’t read too well.”  The oriental boy moaned.

“Don’t worry, Mai, I’ll help you.” She smiled.

 

reading

 

Okay, questions for the reader:

1.  What message do you think this story is trying get across?

2. Would you want to read more of this particular story?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Back and Ahead (Happy New Year!)

2015 new

 

As another year draws to a close, this is usually when I look back and see what I’ve accomplished as a writer, and then look ahead to a new year with goals and opportunities.   This year I did get a short fiction (The Pocket Watch) published at a new ‘zine, and I had an opportunity to interview a prominent poet for Motionpoems, but because the film didn’t meet certain criteria (due to the film-maker’s not following them), it was not ran/presented.  Yes, I was a bit disappointed; but I was grateful for the new experience and a chance to meet new people.  Who knows, I may try my hand at another citizen journalist’s assignment at some point.  To end the year, a short story (Jewel) and an essay (The Door) was published with Piker Press, and I submitted a (horror) short story to a (my first) contest.  I should know the result for this by the end of January 2015.

changes

 

 

 

2015 is looking more and more like a year full of life-changing events which I can’t elaborate on now.  And for that reason alone, I’m not going to set too many goals for myself.  What I will do is focus more on writing short fiction and essays, and hopefully read more books than I did in 2014.

 

What about you?  Were you able to accomplish as much as you’d hoped for this year?  What are your plans for the new year?

Cheers!

Reading Preference (Poll)