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Showing posts from January, 2015

Writing Prompt #19: Unexpected Reunion

The GTO started sputtering when Jack was ten miles out from Bakersfield. At five miles, it died. After he pushed it to the side of the road he lit a cigarette and looked around. Up ahead he saw an old Vanagon. Curious, he grabbed his empty gas can and a short rubber hose, and started hiking.
No cars. Figures. Not that he’d want to deal with anyone right now. Probably for the best.
He checked the Vanagon doors. Locked. He pulled out his trusty sparkplug and shattered the driver’s side window- and quickly tried to force the stench of beer and sweat out of his nose. Great, some homeless guy’s shelter, he thought. He looked around, no keys, so he stripped the steering column and hotwired it. The Vanagon refused to turn over. Jack coughed a laugh—the idiot seized the engine. But, the battery worked and it looked like he had a decent amount of gas. He decided he’ll top off the gallon and bring the car back and finish tapping this thing.
Jack hates sucking out gas. He’s good at it, but the…

Writing Prompt #18: Haystack Landing

Carver’s head throbbed as if an entire stampede had run over it. No more drinking. Ever. He then reached for his flask and finished off his Jim Beam.
As he sat up with a juicy belch, he rubbed his jaw and wiped the sleep from his eyes. The sheep called in the distance, and a few hens clucked around his feet. At least he landed in a haystack… but he had no clue where the haystack was. He looked around and spotted his motored bi-glider. P.B.'s not going to be happy, but everything seemed to be in order.
“’Bout time you woke up, Mister.” A young woman’s voice called behind him. Carver turned around to see blonde curls framing the most watery blue eyes he had ever seen. The rest of her weren’t bad, neither—except for the shotgun she pointed at him.
“Look, I’m sorry, Miss…?” No response. “I’m sorry, ma’am. If there’s any damage, I’ll pay for it.” “Oh, you’ll pay! You’ll pay alright!” The woman screeched as she took aim and cocked the shotgun.

Writing Prompt #17: Desert Dead

Lt. Montano wasn’t in the mood for games. Thirty-three hours of coffee and a gas station hot dog has barely been his fill. He would have give up his pension for a cot and two years of sleep. That wasn’t going to happen, not today at least. Good thing Oliver was driving out to the scene… maybe he could just rest his eyes for a minute.
“Lieutenant!” Oliver was standing outside the passenger door. Montano’s eyes snapped open and looked over at the rookie. “We’re here, sir.”
“Good.” He gets out and stretches, and puts on his sunglasses. The desert sun was especially bright today, only 7:30am and it would soon be soaring into triple digits. As he walked over, stepping over the scrub and a rattler that surprised him, he approached the crime scene. He ducked under the police tape and walked up to the victim’s half eaten corpse. He’d seen worse out here, but the fact that she was so young made his blood run cold.
The medical examiner pulled out the needle from the cavity by her liver. He jot…

Writing Prompt #16: Double Double Cross

Ice-cold water woke me, allowing me the pleasure of feeling the axe that pierced my brain. Oh, it’s not an axe? Just where that bastard managed to have me hit the corner of the Goose’s radio when he rolled the plane, you say? That’s right… ouch. A musky blindfold blocked out most of what I could see, but I could feel my chest was strapped to a chair with a thick belt and wrists were bound behind my back. I was surprised that my legs weren’t secured, All in all, it felt like a hasty job.
Another bucket of the Himalaya’s finest ice cold spring hit me full on in the face. This time I shivered and was wide awake. “Where am I?!” I coughed. I started working at my bonds immediately.
A fist grabbed my hair and yanked my head back. It was Meang. “You've become a thorn in my side, Yankee! I should have slit your throat when I had the chance!” I coughed and spat. “If there’s mouthwash is in those crates, help yourself to it.” I could see Meang’s silhouette raise a hand to backhand me whe…

Writing Prompt #15: Ceres Gambit

Sweat, spice, and cold damp rock assaulted Tula’a nose when she and her boss, Brock, stepped out of the Ravenclaw’s airlock. A low hum of voices came from below, Tula’a peered down over the walk way onto the merchants who swarmed like ants around ramshackle stands, desperately trying to hawk their wares.  Brock pointed at them, “It’s mid-wake down in the Bazaar. Everybody’s scramblin’ to sell. More are scramblin’ to lift—so keep a feel on your belt items.”
The buzz and flashing colors of the Bazaar was dizzying. “You sure know how to pick them, Brock.” Tula’a gagged as she put her nose into the crook of her elbow. “The juicy warrants are in maggot-holes like this one. I’m certain they passed this way.” Brock’s confidence waned, “But first thing’s first—let’s get to the dock master and see if Zeb’s ship is still here.”
After a quick discussion with Ceres’ dock master, primed by a handful of rupees, they headed down to the quiet lower docks. They managed to find Zeb’s ship in the da…

Writing Prompt #14: Soul Toll

Warning: Strong Language Tens of thousands of fans hopped in unison like the waves of a boiling ocean. The roar of their screams was deafening, the worship these four received would have made many kings and prophets writhe with jealousy.
The lights went low, and a lone spotlight shown down onto a lone figure. His voice was mesmerizing- an outstretched hand landed on the chorus, he knew he had them- his fans, his adoring fans. He could have any one of them, all he had to do was pick them out of the crowd.
His eyes brushed the crowd as he crooned with Izzy’s riff. The tempo fired up and he was whipping them up into a frenzy. Sweat and pheromones frothed at his orgiastic thumping and moaning- again, he looked out at the crowd, squealing girls, screaming guys. They were all in love with him. Except one. She stood there, staring with a dead look in her eyes.
He couldn’t blame her. Maybe he was too much. But her stare was a little unnerving.
He went across the stage but all he could do was…

Writing Prompt #13: Wrong Road

Jack’s lower back had been bothering him for the last hundred miles, and the car was getting low on gas. Luckily, Rowley’s Junction was just up ahead. He recalled there was an old mom-n-pop gas and market out here; of course it’s been twenty years since he’s taken this road.
And it was still there. Jack eased the old Pontiac GTO up to the pump. He looked around and saw three other cars. Busy day for the Junction Watering Hole.
Jack walked inside and saw a middle aged man at the checkout, a strung out young couple, and Old Man Terry himself at the register. Jack grabbed some jerky, beans, spam, rice, and a fountain drink. He scoped out the joint and spotted saw an old camera in the corner of the store. It looked like the old cctv type, you can’t see any details on those things. The only other “surveillance” device he had was one of those big dome shaped mirrors in the other corner. Jack instinctively brushed his elbow against his left side, checking if his Colt .45 was still under hi…

Writing Prompt #12: Summer Glory

Of all his friends, Denny was the fastest on his bike. Not only could he out-pedal anyone at Oak Hills Elementary, he could take on any jump in the field behind the abandoned gravel pit. That place was a world of its own- there were miles and miles of bike trails and hills, and groves of trees and a creek. So many days were spent where the boys re-enacted scenes from their favorite adventure movies, camped out and pondered the Milky Way, planned raids on the Fulton sisters’ house down the street, made a jump ramp over by the old gravel pit, and fished for carp in the old creek.
Good times.
Summer time was the best. Travis’ dad had just finished a contractor project and brought home some reclaimed wood. The gang feverishly dragged as much as they could to the grove on their wagons and bikes. Using rope, half pounded and bent nails, and a prayer, they managed to erect some semblance of a house in a large and twisted old Oak tree. Despite it’s ramshackle construct, it was fairly sturdy.…

Writing Prompt #11: Retired Permanently

Abe had just spent twenty minutes making the marble floor sparkling. He was proud of his work, even though no one else noticed. He placed the caution sign out and moseyed on over to the vending machine—a relic from a time before Abe can even recount—the damn thing had been there before he even started.

He always mused about it. It was like an old friend, keeping him company, offering him his favorite chocolate bar when he took a break. That, along with the old plant which stood for over twenty years… yeah, he’d miss them all after his shift tonight.
His boss, Gordon, was working late tonight. He liked Gordon, too. Not as much as the old vending machine, because Gordon liked to yell when Abe forgot to put away his bucket or fill the towels in the men’s bathroom on the third floor. He couldn’t help it. If he left his access badge in his car, he wouldn’t be able to have time to take his break. It’s okay. The new kid had been managing to pick up his slack. After all, he was retiring… only f…

Writing Prompt #10: On The Run

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A bright spring day, and the sweet fragrant blossoms were welcome after leaving the thick air of Chicago. Relaxation, it seems, would have to wait as the St. Louis line slowed and lurched to a stop. Tenny Alverson looked out to see Federal Marshals mounted on horseback, rifles at the ready. Damned telegraph.
There wasn’t a moment to lose. She got up, excused herself from the wretchedly droll conversation with the aged Professor Meyers, and quickly made for the baggage car. A conductor stepped in front of her as she reached out to open the passage door.
“May I help you, Miss?”
“Oh, quite.I have medicine for my ailing father in the baggage car.”
“Describe the luggage to me ma’am, I would be happy to—“
The sensation was like electric shock. He looked down to see an ivory handled dagger hilt protruding from his chest. Surprise in his eyes turned to watery confusion when he looked at her angelic face. She answered his stare with a quiet shush as she gently helped him slump to the ground.…

Writing Prompt #9: Autumn Melody

The leaves were beginning to turn on campus, we were well into the semester but it was far from over. I sat on the bench by the old oak, trying to figure out this stupid course. Why did I decide to fill my language credit with Mandarin? It’s taking over my damn life. Oh, yeah, because Red wanted to go to Hong Kong next summer to teach English and he conned me into going… bastard.
I caught a scent of mango when she walked past. Sweet, tropical, definitely not what you expect on a crisp Washington day. She had stopped in front of me, looking out over the campus with one of those outdated maps the student union tried to unload. Her hair was straight, her glasses hid jeweled grey eyes, a levi jacket and long flower dress fluttered in the breeze.
“Half the buildings didn’t exist when that map was printed,” I piped up. She turned around and sighed a self-depricating laugh. “Yeah, I was coming to that realization.” She smiled. “What are you looking for?” “The arts building.” “It’s over behi…

Writing Prompt #8: Mushroom Moonshine

Quite simply, Zeb didn’t have enough to pay the docking fees to get his crate off this backward asteroid. Prospecting this far out hasn’t gotten him squat, and he just finished off the last of his inheritance on that doltish whore.

At least he still had the old crate. It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done. But if he didn’t find a way to get out off of Vesta and away from Dmitri, he was sure to lose that too. Either that or his other hand, and he couldn’t afford a girlfriend.
So here sat Zeb, sipping cheap mushroom moonshine in what barely passes for a bar, 10 million miles from home.
“ZEB! Just the spacejockey I was looking for! How’s the best pilot this side of Mars doing these days?” Jonnie Murdock was like solar radiation. Constant exposure to him meant eventual death. Zeb quietly took another swig.
Jonnie plopped down into the chair opposite of Zeb, fighting a hangnail with his file. “You know, word is you're overdue on your docking fees. You do realize they won’t just l…

Writing Prompt #7: Love Lost Requiem

WARNING: Strong language and adult themes.

When the two men in uniform came to April’s door with that letter, she knew.
“Ma’am, we are so sorry for your…”
No. No this can’t be happening. He was JUST deployed.
Alarm clock. She wakes up and sighs. April gets out of bed slowly, takes a swig of the fifth she had from the night before, and lights a cigarette. She looks at the clock again- 6:53pm. She gets up and stumbles to the bathroom, tripping over her pants and falling against the bookshelf knocking Paul’s picture onto the floor, shattering the glass. She stumbles back and nicks her foot.
“Goddammit!” She bends over and looks at the scratch- it stings but it’s not deep. She then pulls Paul’s Marine photo out of the shards. She looks at it, strokes his cheek, and places it back onto the bookshelf.
Twenty minutes later she slightly limps out the door… she looks at her cell- and then breaks out into a sprint towards the bus stop- only to see the bus driving away in the distance. “Wait! …

Writing Prompt #6: Hitting Bottom

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Barry knew that the Vanagon was on its last leg. It’s been burning oil for a while and now the greasy steam whistling out of the engine was likely a blown head gasket. Still, he kept going. His dashboard lit up like a Christmas tree, and suddenly, with a spine-jarring jolt, the van stopped. His engine seized. His wheels, much like his life, was going no where. And five miles from Bakersfield of all Godforsaken places.
He looked through what was left of his life inside that damn rolling coffin. Other than a sleeping bag and The Photo, there was nothing worth keeping. Well, maybe that little gift can of assorted spices, it helps makes the canned beans taste better. He grabbed his flask and his backpack. He took one last look at himself in the rearview mirror… his beard was still scruffy and his hair was almost shoulder length. He winced—there was a clean-cut time where he had a car to match his BMW key ring, but those days are gone. Especially after she—
Put it out of your mind.
He shu…

Writing Prompt #5: Radiant Legacy

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There was a bitter chill in the air, unusual for a May morning in the French Quarter. Madam Lorraine’s Voodoo Hut and Place of Miraculous Items hadn’t opened yet, and Darius was getting antsy. He watched the three homeless vets out of the corner of his eye, hanging out on the corner throwing back a bottle of pink party whiskey in the alley. He was playing it cool, and so far they hadn’t paid him notice.
Finally, the familiar welcome sound of the bells on the door rang as Madam Lorraine opened the door. She glanced up at Darius’s nearly six-foot frame.
“Boy, you mama needs to feed you more.” She honked as she turned and walked back into the shop. “You ribs are pokin’ out of that ugly t-shirt you wearin’.”
Darius mustered a smile. Last thing he needed to be reminded of the last time he ate. He walked past the chamber of horrors, twisted macabre of painted skulls and shrunken heads, voodoo dolls, and jars of who-knows-what. Lorraine had already taken her stool behind the glass counter a…

Writing Prompt #4: The Radiant Queen

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It was a forbidden passion; one that the cold countenance of the executioner’s block gates to forgiveness. Every time she passed him in the corridor, or sent for him to do the kingdom’s bidding, his severed soul ached. She would look at him with her eternal eyes—perhaps another lifetime they were united, but not this one.
“Lucien,” she sang, “Gather the Guard.”
Without question, he leaped and her bidding be done.
“Guard! Present!” Like tongues of flames spreading from the mouth of a dragon, the King’s regiment billowed into the Court and took their positions with deadly precision.
“Lucien, come closer.”
Lucien strode three steps across the chamber and fell to one knee in front of her. She glided slowly around him, and placed her hand between his shoulder blades. The room took a collective gasp as he quietly shivered.
“Rise, my most trusted Captain.” He did. She stepped in front of him, looking up.
“Come closer.” She breathed.
“My lady-“ Lucien began to protest.
“Shhh.” Her eyes met …

Writing Prompt #3: Betrayal Over the South Seas

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Turbulance hit us hard enough that my stomach felt like it shot straight above me.
“Watch it, Meang! The crates are flying all over back here!” Reggie screeched as he wiped blood away from his forehead.
Stonefaced, Meang banked the Grumman Goose through the boiling clouds. Perspiration bulleted from his forehead as his breath continued to fog the canopy.
I unbuckled and headed to the main hold. Though we were in a tough two prop amphibian, I was rambling some Hail Mary’s to keep the cyclone from shredding us like an aluminum duck.
“C’mon,” I grunted, “let’s refasten this- the strap broke loose.”
Reggie heaved a heavy crate onto the top of the pile. Another jolt of the angry storm threw him against the bulkhead forcing him to lose his grip.The wooden crate fell right onto his shin, shattering his leg with a gut-wrenching, pulpy crunch before it shattered against the floor.
“Good God!” He screamed. I hopped over to look and saw the abnormal angle his shin took. It started spotting red…

Writing Prompt #2: It followed us home.

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From my Royal Epoch...

Writing Prompt #1: G-men Calling

“Damn it!” Simone skinned her knuckle again on the intake manifold.She caught it good this time—oil and grease are both sticky enough, but blood is a pain in the ass.
She walks over to the parts sink and washes up. She inspects the cut. Not so bad, but it stings like a mother. She wraps gauze around it and puts a latex glove over it as she looks up at the t.v. Sports segment, it’s already half past eleven and the mosquitoes haven’t seemed to let up since the sun went down. But despite all those blasted little vampires, it’s too damn muggy to close the main bay door. She takes a swig of beer and heads back over to the ’70 Chevelle.
Headlights blind her, a newer SUV pulls up. She shields her eyes and takes another swig, then puts down the beer and picks up a very large monkey wrench.
Two very large shadows get out of the still running SUV.
“We’re closed.” Simone raises her voice over the hum of the Dodge.
One of the men approaches, wearing full dress uniform. Six-two, two-twenty-fi…