Story Sunday: The Pocket Watch (Flash Fiction)

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 in the downtown area…”

The radio went silent when Rob opened the door. He didn’t bother to close it as he staggered into the expansive cemetery. Shadows lurked everywhere yet his own moved with each faltered step. His shoulders slumped forward as he buried both hands deep in the pockets of the ragged trench coat.

He passed rows and rows of old and broken stones until he approached a mangled oak tree. He stooped over a particular headstone, half-buried in yellowed grass. He pulled his right hand out and pressed it on top of the cold stone.

Julie Lerne
Born March 3, 1972-Died November 12, 2010

Craig Lerne
Born April 15, 2008-Died November 10, 2010

He bowed his head, eyes closed. “Jules…three years, Jules.”

He stood still for several moments. A dark lock of hair fell over his left eye as his lips quivered. Rob then deliberately reached into the right pocket, and pulled out a pistol.

“I’m so tired of just surviving.” He mumbled as he shifted the weapon to his left and then back to the right hand. “Everyone’s gone.” He pressed the trigger back. “I don’t want to be alone anymore.” And raised the gun towards his temple.

He suddenly paused midway when the branches of the nearby tree swayed and creaked. A breeze swept over his thin body as his hazel eyes searched each and every stone.

“Jules?” His voice shook.

Everything grew still. Including the shadows.

Rob sucked in a trembling breath as he extended the free hand into the left pocket, and extracted a tarnished, gold-colored pocket watch. He used the thumb to flip the lid open.

“7:15.” He whispered.

He blinked several times. There was something engraved in the lid as he continued to stare at it.

Safe haven
79 S 30 W

A smile slowly spread across his lips. “Dad, you son of a b–” He chuckled as he snapped the lid shut, and dropped the watch back into the pocket.

Rob leaned against the headstone as he pushed the trigger back down.

“There’s something I need to do, Jules.” He muttered with excitement. “I’ll be back to…” His voice trailed off when he turned around.

Crack!

A piece of wood slammed against the side of his head, and he instantly slumped to the ground. As he lied in a heap, his eyes remained open.

They saw nothing.

A murky shadow moved across the earth and enveloped the body, and lifted the watch out of the pocket.

“Whatcha got, Jim?” A scrawny girl in a tattered dress appeared next to the corpse.

The male teen’s crooked smile revealed two missing front teeth as he grasped the ticking object in his grimy hand. “Lunch!”

 

(First published with Asylum Ink on April, 11th 2014)

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Published-The Door (an essay about death)

 

An essay that I wrote, The Door,was recently published in Piker Press.  The ezine has been running a theme for the month of November called-“Mes de los Muertos.”

Death.

I’ve dealt with death and losses since I was a girl, and when I saw its call for submissions, I knew I had to partake.

 
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague.  Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” Edgar Allan Poe

Themes and Writing

monsters

I believe every writer has a certain theme (s) that consistently shows up in his/her writing.  One of mine involves being hunted/terrorized by creatures.  When I was younger, I used to be a runner as well as a biker (no, not the Harley Davidson, but as an athletic racer), and for some reason, I became a popular target for dogs.  I’ve been chased down (and even bitten) more times than I can count.  So, in my dreams, I’d have these nightmares that would plague me where I would be hunted by these horrific monsters that resembled dogs, and just when they attack I’d wake up, many times covered in sweat.

But, my earliest memory of ever having a creature come for me occurred when I was around six years old.  I’ve captured this experience in a poem (which was also published with Piker Press) called Shadows:

As a young girl, I once had an experience
       that I believed was not a dream
As dawn broke, I looked down the hallway
       from my bedroom;
And saw a pair of shadows moving along
       the wall
It was of a man sitting in a wheel chair
       who was being pushed by a tall man with an afro
They were only shadowy figures,
       nothing more
Or, were they?
As these shadows slowly crept down the wall,
       no human forms would emerge
Being quite frightened, I flung the bedcovers over my head,
       and waited
Much to my horror, there were pairs of hands, pawing at me,
       as if they were trying to get past the covers
I was too terrified to call out to my parents,
       as I laid as still as I could
Next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes and found myself
       still beneath the sheets
Slowly, I peered out from underneath, and was met
       by the full, morning sunlight
The prying hands and dark shadows were gone,
       thank goodness!
To this very day, some thirty years later, I can still remember those frightening
       moments, as if they had just occurred
Was it a dream? Or, was I visited by some
       supernatural beings?
This, I may never truly know.

Article © Carrie A. Golden. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-04-13

 

What about you?  What sort of theme (s) consistently shows up in your writing?

 

As a young girl, I once had an experience
that I believed was not a dream
As dawn broke, I looked down the hallway
from my bedroom;
And saw a pair of shadows moving along
the wall
It was of a man sitting in a wheel chair
who was being pushed by a tall man with an afro
They were only shadowy figures,
nothing more
Or, were they?
As these shadows slowly crept down the wall,
no human forms would emerge
Being quite frightened, I flung the bedcovers over my head,
and waited
Much to my horror, there were pairs of hands, pawing at me,
as if they were trying to get past the covers
I was too terrified to call out to my parents,
as I laid as still as I could
Next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes and found myself
still beneath the sheets
Slowly, I peered out from underneath, and was met
by the full, morning sunlight
The prying hands and dark shadows were gone,
thank goodness!
To this very day, some thirty years later, I can still remember those frightening
moments, as if they had just occurred
Was it a dream? Or, was I visited by some
supernatural beings?
This, I may never truly know.

Article © Carrie A. Golden. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-04-13

– See more at: http://www.pikerpress.com/article.php?aID=3494#sthash.ylqRLjoJ.dpuf

 

As a young girl, I once had an experience
that I believed was not a dream
As dawn broke, I looked down the hallway
from my bedroom;
And saw a pair of shadows moving along
the wall
It was of a man sitting in a wheel chair
who was being pushed by a tall man with an afro
They were only shadowy figures,
nothing more
Or, were they?
As these shadows slowly crept down the wall,
no human forms would emerge
Being quite frightened, I flung the bedcovers over my head,
and waited
Much to my horror, there were pairs of hands, pawing at me,
as if they were trying to get past the covers
I was too terrified to call out to my parents,
as I laid as still as I could
Next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes and found myself
still beneath the sheets
Slowly, I peered out from underneath, and was met
by the full, morning sunlight
The prying hands and dark shadows were gone,
thank goodness!
To this very day, some thirty years later, I can still remember those frightening
moments, as if they had just occurred
Was it a dream? Or, was I visited by some
supernatural beings?
This, I may never truly know.

Article © Carrie A. Golden. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-04-13

– See more at: http://www.pikerpress.com/article.php?aID=3494#sthash.ylqRLjoJ.dpuf

As a young girl, I once had an experience
that I believed was not a dream
As dawn broke, I looked down the hallway
from my bedroom;
And saw a pair of shadows moving along
the wall
It was of a man sitting in a wheel chair
who was being pushed by a tall man with an afro
They were only shadowy figures,
nothing more
Or, were they?
As these shadows slowly crept down the wall,
no human forms would emerge
Being quite frightened, I flung the bedcovers over my head,
and waited
Much to my horror, there were pairs of hands, pawing at me,
as if they were trying to get past the covers
I was too terrified to call out to my parents,
as I laid as still as I could
Next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes and found myself
still beneath the sheets
Slowly, I peered out from underneath, and was met
by the full, morning sunlight
The prying hands and dark shadows were gone,
thank goodness!
To this very day, some thirty years later, I can still remember those frightening
moments, as if they had just occurred
Was it a dream? Or, was I visited by some
supernatural beings?
This, I may never truly know.

Article © Carrie A. Golden. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-04-13

– See more at: http://www.pikerpress.com/article.php?aID=3494#sthash.ylqRLjoJ.dpuf

As a young girl, I once had an experience
that I believed was not a dream
As dawn broke, I looked down the hallway
from my bedroom;
And saw a pair of shadows moving along
the wall
It was of a man sitting in a wheel chair
who was being pushed by a tall man with an afro
They were only shadowy figures,
nothing more
Or, were they?
As these shadows slowly crept down the wall,
no human forms would emerge
Being quite frightened, I flung the bedcovers over my head,
and waited
Much to my horror, there were pairs of hands, pawing at me,
as if they were trying to get past the covers
I was too terrified to call out to my parents,
as I laid as still as I could
Next thing I knew, I was opening my eyes and found myself
still beneath the sheets
Slowly, I peered out from underneath, and was met
by the full, morning sunlight
The prying hands and dark shadows were gone,
thank goodness!
To this very day, some thirty years later, I can still remember those frightening
moments, as if they had just occurred
Was it a dream? Or, was I visited by some
supernatural beings?
This, I may never truly know.

Article © Carrie A. Golden. All rights reserved.
Published on 2009-04-13

– See more at: http://www.pikerpress.com/article.php?aID=3494#sthash.ylqRLjoJ.dpuf