In the Seams Of Being – Part Two #Suspense

My body feels like it is being cupped by something cool but heavy with a sour musky scent. Did I fall asleep in the tub again? My head tips to one side but only for mere millimeters before it met resistance.

I can not see anything. Are my eyes still closed?

I order my right hand to rise up to touch my face, but it will not budge. It is stuck under something…it almost feels like either a thick pilty blanket, or dirt.

It is at this moment I realize how difficult it is to breathe. Something is sitting on top of my chest.

“Do not try to move,” the man’s back to my left ear, “it would be useless.”

A grunt emanates from my lips as I try to move my arms anyway. He’s right, it is useless. I try to force the eyelids to open, but it is like they are barred by something strong like steel.

My heart is pounding causing my chest to ache.

What is he doing to me? Why doesn’t he just kill me and get it over with?

Something metallic clunk heavily to the ground quite close to my head as I feel the breeze from it.

“Well, if you really must know,” more clinking and motion of some kind, “I just buried you in oh about three feet of clay, but left your head uncovered so you can still breathe.”

I hear him grunting with more clinking noises.

“I’m going to set up somewhere nearby, bring out some popcorn and watch the fun,” he let out a croaky laugh, “not so much for you I’m afraid.”

The crunching of rubber soles fill my ears as they tread over the ground quickly fading away until the only thing I hear is the sound of my shaky breathing.

I attempt to wiggle my body one more time to see if I could budge the dirt-filled cover on top of me, but a sharp, fiery pain shoots through my bowels causing me to cry out.

Gasping, I can feel the tears trickling down my face.

Damn! Damn! Why is he doing this?

The fire is burning so hot it feels like thousands of pins are ripping through my innards. My lungs are spasming as I try to gulp in air but just can’t get any. My head, spinning…spinning out of control.

Oh god, I’m not ready to die.

“Lexi.”

It came so faintly, I nearly did not hear my name being whispered.

“Lexi.”

That voice…why does it seems so familiar?

“I’m right here, Lex.”

For the first time, I finally am able to open my eyes. The scenery around me is different somehow. The tall pine trees now obscured by layers of mist. My eyes glance all around and zeroed in on a human form encased within the fog.

My mouth opens as I attempt to ask for its identity, but nothing would come. Just the shuddering wheezes.

“I am here. You are not alone, sis.”

My brows crinkle together as I ponder on the boy’s words. I’m the only child unless–no, that is not possible. Can’t be.

Jax?

The name forms a vivid image in my head of a boy with a shaggy blonde mop on his head and a face loaded with brown and red freckles. The green eyes mirrored my own.

You can’t be here. You’re dead.

To be continued…

Didn’t catch the beginning?  Here’s Part One.

In the Seams of Being #Suspense

The breeze. Its touch on my skin is warm, the scent sweet and rich with pine and lavender.

The songs of robins, sparrows and blue jays fill my ears as they flutter from tree limb to tree limb.

I feel strange though. As if the world has shifted, unnaturally. There is nothing solid under my feet, but the smell of dirt is so close to my face.

If I really concentrate, I’d swear the earth’s under my back.

My nostrils detect another smell. One that’s metallic–like rusted iron. I’m trying to move my head but it will not budge. My body has become one solid leadening object that refuses my mental orders.

What is wrong with me? Why can’t I move?

The lids of my eyes are heavy as they slowly slide down. Soon, all I see is the blackness which is being accompanied by an iciness that goes straight to the bones.

The chirpings of the birds are fading. I feel a pull in that I want to fly away with them.

Oh please, don’t leave me!

Instead, my head feels like it’s sinking while spinning around and around like some child’s toy top. Like a slithering blanket, a deep chill spreads through my legs, and soon it’s creeping for my hips.

Flashes of images filter through my mind. Of faces and places, I can no longer name.

Just as the icy tendrils slid towards the sternum area, a loud snap rang through my head as my eyes sprang open.

A moaning wheeze escapes my mouth and it is at this moment I finally realize what is truly going on…

I’m dying.

Confusion fills my mind.

What happened to me? How did I get here?

Only to be answered with images of shining metal objects as I heard my skin ripping like a zipper followed by fire.

Through the billowing fog, I quickly become aware of the burning pain in my gut as my mouth fills with the thick salty liquid.

“I see you’re still hanging on,” a man’s voice whispers near my left ear.

Choking on my own blood, I’m trying to find this man. He has to be standing right beside me, but my eyes no longer see anything. It is as if I’m in a tiny room and someone has turned off the lights.

Something hits the ground disturbing the dirt just enough that I felt the movement under my left leg. Then I catch a whiff of him.

Rotten fish.

“No one will be looking for you,” I hear him say, “they all think you’ve gone on your retreat in the mountains!”

He guffawed as sounds of metal and wooden objects clinking together echoing over me, and another rumbling thud to the ground.

“Your boyfriend won’t miss you either!” I can hear the creaking of rubber soles, “he’s fishing with his Army buddies the next state over.” He lets out a sigh that tells me just how sick this man really is, “Yeah, it’s just you and I — soon to be just me. Ha!”

Suddenly, an awful stench washes over my face as I feel him pressing against my shoulder.

“You know the longer you hold on, the more painful it’ll be,” he pauses for a second, “but, I hope you do ‘cause I have special plans just for you!”

 

 

*End of Part One*

Sunday Story: Surrender

Deepwater Horizon – Neatorama

*Warning: has mild language.

 

Ben was resting in bed, perusing a Road & Track magazine, when the first blast shook his quarter.

Damn crane must have dropped another casing, he thought casually and went back to the article.

But, when the second blast reverberated through the rig, he knew something was wrong.

Deadly wrong.

As he pulled on his sneakers and life-jacket, an enormous explosion blew the heavy-duty door off its hinges like it was just a piece of cardboard; only it didn’t feel like cardboard when it smashed against his stocky body instantly knocking him unconscious.

Somewhere in the murkiness, a familiar voice floated to his ears.

“Do you love me?” It was Mia’s, his high school sweetheart. She leaned her petite body against the blue sports car.

He was bent over the 8-cylinder engine, his hands fingering the spark plugs, “Course I do,” he said.

Mia let out a chuckle, “Liar. You love your car way more than me. ‘Sides, my Daddy won’t let me marry you anyway.”

She let out a squeal which strangely morphed into a high pitch ringing.

“Warning,” echoed a female computerize voice, “proceed immediately to the lifeboats. This is not a drill.”

When Ben opened his eyes, at first he thought he’d gone blind but realized the lights were knocked out. Back up on his feet, he steadied his shaking body and assessed the situation.

The white strobe lights faintly flickered through the thick, black mass pouring into his sleeping area. His head throbbed as something warm trickled through his lips.

Blood.

He could feel the entire rig rattling and groaning as one word penetrated the deep fog within his mind.

Blowout.

“Oh, god,” he said.

When he stepped out in the dark corridor, the scent of burning oil nearly overwhelmed him as he bent over to gag and cough.

Got to get to the lifeboat.

The trek to topside was met with twisted steel and thick smoke. Twice he had to seek out a new direction. On his last attempt, the heat was so intense he could hear the soles of his sneakers sizzle with each step.

Sweat streamed down his smoke-grimed face as he quickened his pace up the warped metal stairway. Another voice wormed its way into his head. His father’s. They’d gone fishing at Pilot Pond that last time–just before the fatal heart attack.

“Son, every man needs to decide the kind of road he’ll travel. Whichever one you surrender to will rule you for the rest of your life.”

It was an odd conversation as Dad was never one for offering advice of any kind, it was as if he knew his time was nearly up. Ben hadn’t grasped what the elder meant…until now.

The closer he moved to the surface, the louder the roar and screams grew until he broke through, and entered hell.

Surrounded by towering flames and billowing black smokes. he sought out familiar shapes or bodies. Nothing appeared like it normally should only melting steel structures and burning debris falling from above creating blockades everywhere he turned.

Where’s the damn lifeboat?

His tearing cobalt eyes searched through the hellish scene for the section where a lifeboat should have been. He saw nothing.

As he stood near the edge of the platform, the realization that he’d been left behind coursed through his body as his eyes surveyed what lied below.

“Oh, sweet Mary!” He croaked.

The water was on fire.

Mia’s face filled his mind. Her mesmerizing chocolate eyes, the ones he always lost himself in.

“Why wouldn’t your daddy let you marry me?” He’d asked.

Those eyes narrowed and seemed sad, “He said you’re too much into the things of the world, and that you’d value them over me.”

“He’s wrong,” he replied.

“Liar,” she laughed softly, ” and you know it.”

Another explosion ripped through the rig as the heated blast slammed into his body, and sent him flying in the air. As he landed on the steel landing, he felt all the oxygen whooshed out of his lungs.

Was this how he was going to die? Here, on this fiery rig? In all of his twenty-four years, he’d never truly done anything worthwhile except work on that worthless piece of metal on wheels. His father was right, and so was Mia’s.

Ben wanted to change that.

Grunting loudly, he pulled himself up off the hot steel surface and looked out over the blazing sea.

And jumped.

 

 

*Inspired by the true events that took place on the Deepwater Horizon

 

Monday #FlashFiction: The Suitcase

 

 

*Note: This was taken from a prompt suggested on the DIY MFA website. To retrieve a prompt to ignite a story or poem in your mind click here

Here are what I had to work with:

Character: Night-shift nurse

Situation: Must face his or her worst fear

Prop: Suitcase

 

It was a quiet night as she walked the halls. Most of the patients slept as she carefully checked their monitors and IVs. In one room she paused to study the milky rays as they filtered through the thin curtains covering the wide archaic window. From the 16th floor of the aging building overlooking the city-that-never-sleeps, she could barely hear the sounds of the street life below.

She used to find comfort in these quiet moments but that was before the Suitcase Killer which she barely survived some ten years ago. Her body shuttered as the image of a hand reaching out of the suitcase she’d packed earlier in the day for her red-eye flight home. Other than that, she remembered nothing of the three-day ordeal with the sadistic monster (which her psychologist have labeled “Dissociative Amnesia ” ) but it left her infertile and with a mountain of medical bills.

Over the two-year span, there would be twelve victims before he was caught, tried in court and sentenced to death by lethal injection. The state invited her to witness his demise, but she didn’t attend. She couldn’t bring herself to look at his face again in fear of triggering the traumatic memories. Memories she just as soon forget, forever.

The execution took place two years earlier. With him gone from the earth, she’d thought she’d moved on with her life until she turned to check on the comatose patient.

Setting on top of a chair nearby was a suitcase.

Her breathing hitched and held.

It looked strangely familiar. No, it couldn’t be.

Can’t be.

She had it destroyed in an incinerator immediately after she was discharged from the hospital.

Her head began to spin as the darkness encased her.

Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe as she forced the air to move in and out of her burning lungs.

Her eyes fixated at its brown leather body until they zeroed on a flaw. The same flaw her suitcase possessed. A circular shaped white patch on the upper right corner. They said hers was damaged during the manufacturing process, and because of this, she got a steal of a deal on it.

What were the chances of finding another with the same damage?

Next to nothing?

She wanted to tear her eyes from the bag, but couldn’t. Her feet was rooted to the spot. Her skin felt frozen and yet she was sweating under the white uniform.

Pain radiated through her chest as she tried to slow her hysterical panting, but failing miserably.

The deafening roar in her head blurred  everything around her until the suitcase was all she saw.

Oh god, oh god.

Horrific images pricked somewhere from the deep recess of her mind as they threatened to explode into her conscious.

No, no!

“Nancy?”

The voice sounded so far away at first she’d thought she was imagining it. Then it repeated her name.

Blinking several times to clear the fog that seemed to have enveloped everything, a woman’s form came in view.

“Are you okay?” She was asking, in her hands a tray of carefully measured meds.

Nancy slowly shook her head and returned her attention to the object on the chair, and had to close her eyes for a moment before looking again.

The chair was empty. Void of luggage of any kind.

“Nancy, you’re scaring me,” the younger woman’s voice rose to a higher pitch.

Nancy forced herself to meet the woman’s wide-eyed expression with an unquivering smile, “No worries, Beatrice, he’s not here anymore,” and walked away.

 

Story Saturday: Something in the Fog

Photo Credit: Pixabay Free Images

This story is taken from the prompt created by Liam J Cross Writing & Editing:

There is a lot to learn from inquisitiveness. And as you look through the binoculars, you find out just how much.

***

It was just a stupid dare.

I was visiting a friend who lived near the coast.  Crissy.  We hadn’t seen each other since high school.  I was on break from college, and she had a day off from work.

We were on our way to town when she took a detour out in the middle of nowhere.

“Hey, where are we going?” I asked.

“There’s someplace I want to show you first.” She said.

And pulled off the graveled road.  All I saw was this open grassy meadow only I couldn’t see very far as it was covered in this heavy fog.  In the distance I could hear a low roar.

“Is that the ocean I hear?” I asked.

“Yep.” Crissy replied.

“So, why are we here?”

“There’s this local urban legend about this place.” She said.

Oh, great.  She hadn’t changed much at all since high school.

“Crissy, I don’t want to do this.” I remembered all too well the last time she did this to me.

“No worries, Bec.  I promise you won’t end up in the ER this time.” She smiled.

I rolled my eyes at her, and then let out a loud sigh.  “I give up. What’s this local urban legend?”

“Some years ago, twenty I think, police picked up a man roaming this field.” She began. “He was shoeless, and mumbling about a girl haunting him.  After further prodding, the police learned that a year prior this man had kidnapped a girl, raped and then killed her, and dumped her body into the ocean nearby.  He claimed that every night since she would climb up out of the ocean, and go after him in his dreams.  He returned to look for her body, but couldn’t find it.  He begged the police to help.”

Crissy paused, and looked over at me.

“Did the police help him?”

“Yes, they called in a crime unit to search up and down the coast, but they never found a body.”

“And what happened to the man?”

“The police had him committed to a psyche ward.” Crissy said. “He died a few months later. He was found in bed, strangled to death.”

“Creepy.” I said.

“Yeah.  They say that if you come to this place on a foggy day, and look towards the ocean, you may see a girl climb up from the ledge, and then disappear in to the fog.”

“Oh?”

“Here.” She handed me a pair of binoculars. “I dare you to look.”

“This is crazy, Cris.”

“I double dare you.” She said with a grin.

I yanked the item from her hands. “For the record, I didn’t want to do this.”

“Be a good sport.” She said.

“Whatever.” I muttered and looked through the binoculars.  All I saw was this thick white mist, and nothing beyond. “I can’t see a thing.  Now, can we go?”

“You didn’t even really try.” She said. “Scared you’ll actually see something?”

“No, just bored.”

“Try harder.”

This damn girl…if she wasn’t a friend…

“I hate you.” I said, and stormed away and out in to the meadow.

I walked until I was completely enveloped in the mist.  The roaring now much louder.  I dared not to venture any further for fear of falling off the ledge.

Crissy loved doing these sort of things to friends.  She get off on them mostly by our reactions.   Being the only child, I’m sure she did these kinds of stuff for attention since her parents rarely paid any to her.

I took a deep breath, and looked through the binoculars once more.

This time the fog diminished just before the drop off to the expansive ocean where the rolling gray water spread as far as the eyes could see until it met the sky.

I saw nothing else.

Yet, I couldn’t remove the binoculars from my eyes as I continued to stare out towards the horizon.  Morbid curiosity pulsed through me as I remained rooted to the spot.

I closed my eyes for a moment.

One more look and then I’ll head back to the car.

Opening my eyes, I scanned the view ahead.

Oh, crap.

A pair of dirtied hands appeared on the ledge, grasping at grass and dirt.

Something in the Fog photo-1503925802536-c9451dcd87b5

Photo Credit: unsplash.com

 

My god…oh my god…

My hands shook as the binoculars shuttered on my face and the view blurred.

No, I don’t want to see her face.

I spun around and jogged back to the car.  Crissy sat on top of the hood. I could see a smirk forming on her mouth.

“See something?”

I shove the binoculars at her. “Yeah. Now it’s time to go.”

 

 

 

The Unknown (Micro-Story)

Creepy eye and road-3298889_1280 Pixabay Free Images

Photo Credit: Pixabay Free Images

 

Somewhere down that road, is the unknown.

The heavy mist conceals its true nature.

All I know is that anyone who enters, never comes back.

What lies in there?

My mind races with possibilities.

None of them, good.

Morbid curiosity now getting the best of me.

Without consulting, my feet begin to move…towards it.

The threshold nearing, my heart’s racing.

A part of me doesn’t want to go in there…the words raging in my mind like a siren:

No, no, no!

Yet, there’s this quiet voice, beckoning me on.

Why do you think people don’t return? Perhaps they did NOT want to.

Yes, that must be it.  I want to see what they’re seeing.

I’m standing in front of the murky barrier.  It’s cool breaths radiating over my body.

Just one step, and I’ll be there.

But…

Like a plant, I’m rooted to the spot.

My chest hurts.  My head, throbs.

A hand reaches out as I watch my fingers disappear into the whiteness.

Icy cold as a shiver pulses through me, rattling my teeth.

I close my eyes and a gentle tug on the hand slowly propels me forward.

This is it.  I will soon see what’s on the other side.

I notice the voices are now silent. I should feel relieved.  At peace.

Why don’t I?

My body now completely immerses in the mist, its wetness trickles over the exposed skin.

I hear sounds.  Loud muffled sounds.  They drum through my chest like a separate heart beat.

Music? A thunderous water fall?

My ears popped as if the plugs are pulled and the sounds grow clearer.

Screams.

Not music nor a water fall.

Something’s creeping up my body.  They feel like hot tendrils with claws.

Every outward sound melts in to a deafening silence.

Until…

All I can hear are my own screams.

 


 

Want to see this in a video format?  Click HERE.

 

 

 

 

#WIP: Novel In Progress Update

As mentioned in previous posts, I am in the planning stage of a (my very first!) romance-suspense novel, Storms of the Heart.  Using Canva, I created a book cover.  What do you think?

Here’s a draft of the story’s synopsis:

Kathleen Burman moved to the small town of Walden, nestled in the prairie valley near the Rockies, in search of a new life.  There she meets the locals each with their own troubled past as herself.

Joe Tucker is one of the locals who deliberately keeps busy to keep his painful past at bay.  Along comes Kat who reawakens something within he thought he’d never feel again.  Dr. Weaver Teems, a city dweller who temporarily moved to Walden to help out a colleague, deliberately steps in between Kat and Joe, to convince her there’s a better life outside Walden.

Soon the past and present collide as storms of the heart erupt.  Who will survive?

Sunday Story: The Vanishing

Click on image for original story

*Author’s Note: I wrote this short story over five years ago.  It’s dark.  It’s creepy.  It’s one of my secular, mainstream stories that I decided NOT to submit for publication now on Wattpad. 

 

Story Blurb:

Leesa, a mother and wife, contemplates on the undesirable state of her life…but one should be careful, you might just get what you wished for in the most unexpected of ways.

 

Shadows wavered in the expansive backyard as the woman peered through the round window in front of her.  The reflection within the twilight didn’t reveal a happy face.  The skin under her brown eyes, fixed on the deck that spread beneath the small set of panes, sagged with a purplish hue.  Premature wrinkles lined her eyes and mouth.  No, she definitely wasn’t a happy person.  Her hands mindlessly moved each dish from the stainless steel sink, rinsed under cool water, and then carefully placed in the racks of the dishwasher.  She then reached for the knife and grabbed the wrong end.

“Damn it!”  She recoiled and placed the bleeding finger into her mouth.

Nope, it’s been the week from hell, and this was just another reminder that it hasn’t end yet.

Voices drifted into the room from a nearby television.

“Here are our top news of the hour.” A male news anchor said. “State and Federal law officials are investigating multiple cases involving children who have gone missing in the past three days. In every cases, each child reported to have disappeared sometime between bedtime and morning…”

“Frank.” She turned her head towards the living room. “Please turn it to something else.”

“Yes, dear.” A man’s voice said.

A click sounded and a commercial about a brand of soda came on.  She went back to rinsing a coffee mug with the uninjured hand when the floor board creaked.  She turned and smiled at her four-year old daughter who stood, wearing a pink nightgown, at the entrance of the kitchen.

Renee.  The small child was the only source of joy in her otherwise joyless life.

“What’s the matter, Renee? Did you have a bad dream?”

The girl shook her head, locks of blonde curls waved over her petite shoulders. “No, mummy.”

Mother picked up a towel to dry her hands. “What’s wrong then?

“There’s a boogeyman in my room.”

Click here to read rest of the story on Wattpad…

 


 

 

I have two other short stories also on Wattpad.  These two have been previously published.

His world was ending. How will he choose to go out? (Click on image to read the story)

Four college-aged people are dead on an island. The killer? Unknown, but definitely not human. Anna Mae Hart and her partner are called to help with the investigation and things get bloody from there. (Click on image for story)