Category Archives: Short Stories

My stories for evaluation, comment, and your entertainment.

Audi Stepman saves the Worle- part 1


Audi Stepman

Saves

The World

            The voice in the phone said “Audi, I am dying. You are going to go on without me and live your life to the fullest. You will reach heights that you have never imagined and solve problems without solutions. You will end world hunger and bring about world peace baby.” Audi rolled over and looked at the alarm clock. The clock displayed ten A.M. and Audi groaned. It was a full hour before she set her alarm to go off and she had planned on snoozing thirty minutes after it went off. She sat up and looked out over the city. She held the phone out and looked at it, then said “Mom do you have to do so early in the morning?” Audi’s mom sobbed into the receiver “How could you say that to your only mother? You tear my heart from my chest and break it into a million pieces.” Audi replied “I know mom, but it’s the third time this week you’ve been dying.” The sobbing stopped and a sophisticated lady said from the phone “Well then, shall we do lunch?” Audi consented and with a French goodbye her mom disconnected. Audi sighed, why did her life have to be so very hard?

Audi didn’t know, but everyone expected so much of her. Her boss expected that she would be at work every day by nine A.M. Her assistant expected for Audi to actually ask him to take her clothes to the dry cleaners before he would do it. The worst was eating a whole chocolate cake after a full dinner and drinks had caused her to gain a pound. A whole pound, the world had become impossible, and she had to skip eating the entire box of peanut butter captain crunch in order to lose the pound. It wasn’t right and Audi was not going to stand for it.

A nice hot shower and a massage was the answer. She stretched and got out of bed. She walked in the kitchen and Tyler was reading the paper. Tyler was her best friend. They were together all the way thru prep school and she could tell him anything. She really could tell him anything and he would understand completely. It was the best and he had even made her mandatory breakfast beverage a chocachino latte dub caf. He really could be the perfect gay friend, but he stubbornly remained straight. Audi took a deep drink and said “mmmm perfect”. Tyler smiled and folded down the wall street journal. He asked “Would you like your morning massage?” and Audi smiled. Tyler had the hands of a god. He had the face with a chiseled chin and athletic body of one to match. She couldn’t wait for him to get started rubbing out all the stress. She lay down on the table and he began crooning a low sweet tune, while he massaged her from head to toe. Audi could smell the sweet oil as he rubbed it into her muscles.  Audi laid there and thought about the perils she faced. She was the bravest person that she had ever known.

After Tyler’s massage, Audi showered and dressed for the day. The elevator doors opened and Audi strode across the lobby to the front door. The doorman stuttered “Good day Ms. Stepman” pulling off his cap as she passed. Audi smiled at him and said “Thank you George.” George flushed and said “Mrs. Wood is waiting in the black stretched.” George opened the door for her. He was grinning. He was always grinning when Audi was around the lobby. The limousine pulled away from the curb out into traffic. George grinned as he watched it go down the street.

Audi’s mother had always been more friend then mother. Holly was beautiful and was immune to aging. She would always be twenty three. Holly was the bell of the movie industry. She would start roll playing a character and perfect it, then without fail a movie producer would come calling with the perfect script. Audi concluded Holly’s next roll must be a daisy, but the script had yet to appear for proof.

Holly was catching Audi up on all of the latest news and Audi was looking out the window. A nondescript brown car was passing outside. The driver’s lips were moving fast. Audi concentrated and was able to make out a few of the words. It was the warrior’s prayer and only said before going into battle. Audi kept her eyes on him, the traffic began backing up and the car stopped and was blocked in by the limo. Audi slid out and walked to the car. The driver was praying more fervently than ever. He was rocking back and forth in seat. Audi tapped on the glass. The man jerked up and froze looking at Audi. She made the universal roll down your window symbol. Audi stretched out her right hand and moved it in small circles. He was caught off guard by the gesture and complied. When the window was down Audi leaned in the car window. She brought her face close to his within kissing range. The car reeked of C4. Audi guessed the car must be packed full. His breath caught as she drew near to him. She slid the button from his left hand. Audi was looking at the man’s face. His features were perfect and he had a strong beauty to him. She was caught by an impulse and kissed him squarely on the mouth. She pulled back out the window taking the button with her. She gave a hard tug that pulled the wires loose. The man dazed and slightly smiling let his foot slip off the brake and hit the car in front of him. As the light bar on top of the car flashed on, the man let his head fall on the steering wheel. Audi smiled and returned to the limo feeling slightly sad. The man had kissed very innocently and it had been sweet. She touched her lips as she re-entered the limo.

***********************************************************************

The page wrippled in the breeze making it hard to write neatly.  The afternoon was warm and bright with shadows drifting across the ground in contrast. A shadow touched John and his concentration was broken. He looked up from his writing. John read what he had just written. It sounded false to him and his back was aching from leaning on the tree. He saw Amy walking back from class. He got up and brushed the dirt off his pants. “Hi Amy” He said waving her over. He walked around the tree to where Rebecca was reading. She pulled down her horn rim reading glasses. She looked like a scientist inspecting an alien. John smiled at her and said “I was hoping you and Amy would let me ask you some questions about women.” Rebecca sat up obviously interested and waved Amy to come and sit on the blanket with her. Amy sat and Rebecca smiled at her. She said “John has some questions about women for us.” Now Amy got the knowing smile and John thought this had been a very bad idea. The girls turned and looked at him with interested eyes and condescending smiles. He knew exactly how a worm feels when two birds are deciding who will eat it or at least which one gets the bigger half.

John went over and sat on the grass by the girls. Rebecca said “It is about time you learned about the birds and the bees.” John looked at her. He thought I know that story, but the truth is the birds eat the bees. John said “Clever not funny, No, You see I am writing a story and the main character is a woman, but I am not sure I am doing it right.” Amy was nodding agreement. She said “I don’t think it’s possible for a man to know how a woman is going to react.” Rebecca being the kinder of the two said “Read what you wrote to us and we will tell you what you did wrong.” That sounded fair, but smelled like a trap to John. He decided it was best to start reading, while he still had a chance. He began “The voice in the phone said….” He finished and looked at the girls and said “Tell me what you think.” It occurred to him right then that if the birds were going to eat him now was the time.

Amy was twisting a piece of her hair around her fingers and feeling the tips of it. She liked the soft feel on her fingertips. She paused looking at Rebecca, then back to John.  She said “Well, I liked the kiss at the end. The story is confusing me though. Why would this girl understand the situation and be able to control it. You should build up to her saving the world or something. I don’t think the part about her being late for work and resentful about it is very realistic either. The part where Tyler is her personal assistant and masseuse is not right that would be two separate jobs, but I didn’t lose interest so I guess it’s okay.”  Amy suddenly looked a little uncomfortable. She thought I said too much and nodded affirmative and put what she thought was an encouraging look on her face even adding a slight smile.

John had picked up a leaf and was pulling the veins out of it. He said “I was just getting started Audi is going to save the world over and over throughout the day. She appears to lead the pampered life of a self-absorbed aristocrat, but she having a time keeping the bad guys in check. I guess you couldn’t really get that from the short you got though.” He shrugged and smiled even feeling a little encouraged.

Rebecca got a little more comfortable and smoothed out her shorts. Rebecca smiled an open mouth knowing smile. She said “You didn’t name her mom Hollywood did you? John, John, John, what am I going to do with you? What were you doing with the late thing? Aren’t men late too? And you took it too far I think. What were you doing with the weight thing and eating too much to gain only a pound, then lose it very easily are you trying to promote anorexic narcissistic beauty queens. What is that about? I like the line though. I think I will have a stencil made up saying that.” She got up on her knees gaining steam and continued “What was the part about her being the bravest person she had ever known? No woman would ever feel that way John. Women are all cowards at heart. We do what we have to do for the people we love because we have too, not because of some inner braveness. Don’t you think a single woman would run where a mother would fight to defend her children? Shouldn’t you think about that more, before writing something like that?”

John put down the veins of the leaf. He didn’t remember picking it up. The girls were both watching him now. He thought they would both agree with each other if asked about any point, but he had a feeling their views differed on several points. The only thing he was sure they agreed with was that he was wrong about women. He nodded at this thought agreeing with himself. Amy and Rebecca smiled at seeing him nod. He looked at them. They still had the intensity of birds, but something was different. He realized it then. The worm had been eaten and now they were pondering the taste. He said “Is there any hope for me understanding how women think?” They both nodded no in unison. He smiled and said “I didn’t think so, but I am gonna keep trying. Okay?” The girls smiled and John got up. He helped the girls get up and picked up Amy’s book bag for her. He said “What do you got in this thing rocks?” This was funny because Amy was a Geology major. In a moment of inspiration, John asked the girls if they would like to go over to The Hot Cup with him. He added a good chocachino latte dub caf sure would hit the spot about right now. The three of them walked off together.

The three of them had to stop for a long black limousine driving thru the intersection. The girls shared a knowing look with John. They watched it pass and continued instructing John while they walked on toward the café. It was the end of August and the first meeting of the girls club. John thinking faster than normal, but slower than his tongue said “ How does a girl feel when she wants to have sex?”

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Dead Horse Chapter 2


Chapter 2

Sam’s first
Car

      The year is 1999, it is a wide belief that it is the end of time, but
Bill Gates has made his hundredth billion and Prince’s album 1999 is selling
big again. It was originally released in 1982 the same year Sam was born. Mack
is still around too, he returned from the war or mostly, in 1974. His left foot
had hooked a trip wire on patrol and the RGD-5 connected to it detonated. Mack
ran for his life.

     The morning was bright and warm with a promise of real heat for the day. The wind blew out of the east cool and refreshing. The smell of chlorine and chlorophyll wafted on the breeze.  Sam stood appraising his mother with the grand wisdom of a teenager. He was thinking “If dad was only.., He would leave this to me. I know mom I know”. Lou was thinking “If only your father were here, he could handle this”. She pursed her lips looking at the man-boy. Lou looked up the street then down as was her habit. She said “You don’t need a sports car. A truck would serve and we could use a truck around here.” Mack looked at her with an unchanging look. He was humoring her, she knew his mind and he knew what he wanted.

      Sam tall and straight was the image of his father. Lou’s heart would skip a beat as she rounded a corner and glimpsed Sam. She would look again and see the boy. He filled and broke her heart every day. Sam tore her heart open and filled it at the same time. He was a good boy. He did well in school never causing any trouble. He made friends easily and was always kind even when he didn’t have too. She was very proud of him and when he asked for a sports car, she had grudgingly agreed.

      Sam loved the pony cars. He had alternating periods of Camaro and Mustang fervor. The first of the ponies had graduated in price to levels well out of Sam’s reach. He had worked for two years doing odd jobs and had sacked groceries for the last year. Sam had saved all of his earnings and Lou had admired him for avoiding immature desires to spend and spend. She pictured him as the toddler kicking around the patio in his little car. He raced here and there stopping to say “beep-beep, then talking off with a “r-r-r-r-r-room”.  He was responsible enough to have a sports car and had wanted one enough to save
for it. Sam had amassed a teenage fortune and possessed his father’s love of muscle cars.

      A green Buick was coming up the street. Lou turned to Sam “Sam I’m not going with you to look at cars. “  Sam’s face lite up and then abashed dimmed down. Lou continued “I asked Mr.B for a favor and he took the day to go look at cars with you.” The Buick slid up to the curb across the street. Ben hopped out and bounced across the street “This is gonna be so awesome Sam! What are you going to get? Can I drive it?” and turned to Lou “morning Sam’s mom”. Sam, standing blank faced, looked at them. He pictured Mr.B saying things like “How much of the warranty is left? Do you have all the service
records? Why we should just get one off the lot Sam that way you know what you’re getting.” Sam said “We could do this mom” and Lou replied “Mr.B is taking a day off from the lot to help us Sam” in her stern mom voice. Mr.B walked up and smiled at Lou “Good morning Lou, you look pretty this morning”. Lou’s cheeks flushed and Sam felt his stomach clinch. Mr.B gave the boys a big smile “We better get going before all the good deals are gone. Sam you want to get something off the lot? That way you know what you’re getting. Sam kissed his mom good-bye and walked across the street listening to Mr.B and nodding.

     A green car with a man and two teenage boys pulled into Ed Deals dealership in the late afternoon. The man got out, wiped his forehead, and looked up at the sky. A few
white puffy clouds could be seen in the distance. The day had become hot and sticky. Sam and Ben piled out and walked off toward a Camaro on the front row. Mr.B stayed back waiting to talk to slim. Slim walked out of the office and sauntered over to Mr.B. Slim looked at the boys “I thought you weren’t coming in today Ben.” Mr.B replied “I’m doing a favor for boy’s friend Sam. It’s just he and his mom with no man to help them out.” Slim appraised Mr.B then leered “She’s the hot blonde with the nice rack. Right?” Mr.B’s cheeks flushed “I’m a married man Slim” and did his best to seem virtuous. Slim nodded buying none of what Mr.B was selling and admiring him at the same time. Slim stared after the boys “What you got in mind for the boy Ben?” Mr.B paused a moment then said “The boy has some cash, quite a bit in fact, and he needs a truck or maybe a car. It would be a pretty sweet deal to earn a favor from Lou and a commission today Slim.” Slim nodded approvingly.

     Sam and Ben walked down the black asphalt row looking at the different cars as they went. They stopped at the end to look at a black Camaro. It had T-tops, leather, alloy
wheel and Sam started to get excited. The windshield had 8,995 and smoking deal written on it with cartoonish pizzazz.  Sam pondered the price and calculated the sales tax and insurance. He thought that he would need to negotiate the price down, at least a thousand, before he could afford it. Sam pulled the hood release and the hood popped with a thunk. Ben pressed the safety catch and lifted the hood. Ben whistled looking at the clean engine with a sticker on the air cleaner indicating some special filter. Sam was impressed by the cleanness and noticed the air cleaner. The engine compartment seemed not full to Sam and it took a moment before he noticed what it was not there “It’s a sixer Ben” Ben looked at the engine. He counted the coil packs “one-two-three-four-five-six, yep, a sixer”. Sam started to close the hood as Mr.B walked around the car. Mr.B caught the hood “You know this sixer is two hundred horses Sam. It runs like a scalded dog and is low mileage
to boot. We could test drive it or did you want to go on over to the trucks?” Sam grimaced at the trucks “I guess a test drive would be cool Mr.B.” Mr.B waved his arms back and forth, then with a flourish, a key appeared dangling from his hand. Sam took it and the three of them got in the car.

     Sam wanted to feel the car’s potential. Slim waved as Sam turned east heading towards the outskirts of town. The Camaro was peppy and had a tight feel as he drove. Sam was weighing the pros and cons as Mr.B blathered on about features. The car had
34,000 miles that was average for a three-year-old car. Sam felt himself relaxing and he was enjoying driving the car. Ben asked “can we stop and take out the tops dad?” and Mr.B grinned “sure Ben if Sam wants too. It’s his car.” They pulled into a subdivision to remove the T-tops. The tops unlocked with a solid chachunk and were stored in the hatch. The three loaded back up and Ben sat in the back letting his dad ride shot-gun. Sam drove up Alta Vista looking for a place to turn around. He turned to use the other exit and parked on the corner lawn was a red 5.0 mustang. Sam pulled to curb in front of the car. Mr.B
looked confused and a little flustered. Ben hopped across the back seat and got out Sam’s door. Mr.B groaned and followed the boys over to the car.

     The windshield had a for sale sign in the right side. The “for sale” was written in flourescent orange and at the bottom a note in marker. The note lacked the usual phone
number and had an address. Ben read the address aloud 5100 Alta Mesa Dr. Sam looked around and said “It’s the fifth house down”.  “I’ll go” Ben said and took off. He loped off
toward the owner’s house. Mr.B walked around the car “Something’s funny about this car Sam. I think we should pass on it. It’s got this funny body kit and chrome wheels to boot in this year model all the cars had aluminum wheels”. Ben was dragging up a middle-aged man” I found him Sam. Jack meet Sam. Sam meet Jack”. Jack pulled away from Ben and walked over to Mr.B. He said “those aluminum wheels are sixteen inch and I bought these and new tires for less than a set of tires for sixteen inch tires cost.” Sam and Ben were circling the car having their own discussion. Sam said “Your dads right; this body kit is odd with the rear bumper and grille. Check out that spoiler, I haven’t seen one
like that before. I wonder why he didn’t get a Saleen one.” Ben stood out behind the looking at the stainless exhaust tips. He said “It looks like a Cobra with different wheels on it.” He raised his voice to reach the men talking, “What year is this?” Jack replied in kind “It’s a 91 or 92. I forget”. Ben turned to Sam “that rules out a Cobra, they only made those in 93, but it sure is a nice fake. You see the cobra name plate on the hatch and snakes on
the fender. The body kit is correct as well. I wonder if it has the intake.” Ben yelled over to Jack “can we pop the hood?” Mr.B was looking annoyed and checked his watch. Jack nodded and threw Ben the keys. Ben unlocked the driver’s door and hit the unlock button.

     A blast of heat hit Sam as he opened the passenger door. The interior was black and the seats were leather. Ben remarked” that’s cool it’s even got the 93 seats in it.  A 91 or 92
would have a leg bolster, these are smooth”. Ben pulled the hood release and the boys walked around front. Sam lifted the hood and put it on the prop. Ben whistled and said “See the cobra on the intake”. Sam nodded and smiled at Ben. Jack walked over looking irritated. Mr.B walked around the other side to stand by Sam and checked his watch. He said “I guess we should get going boys” and started to walk back to the Camaro. Sam looked at Jack “How much are you asking?” Jack shrugged “It used to be my wife’s car. She got tired of it and I decided to buy her something else and hot rod this one for me. It’s only got 48,000 on it but I had to set the idle real high to get it to run. I’m not sure what’s wrong someone who knew what they were doing could probably fix it real easy. It’s a shame I dropped three grand into getting the heads and intake ported. I put in bigger injectors and a cold air induction. She’ll run like a scalded dog, but it smells like gas when it’s running. I don’t know could you do five?”

     Mr.B had stopped and walked back over “let’s go boys; I have other things to do!” Sam looked apologetically at Mr.B “could you give me five more minutes?”  Mr.B groaned and crossed his arm, but nodded his assent. Sam turned to Jack “Can I borrow your phone?” Jack smiled and pulled out his cell. Sam called His mom. The phone rang twice before she answered. Her voice was calm and expectant “Did you get a truck?” Sam grimaced “No mom, I found a mustang that I like but it needs some work. The guy says it would be real easy to fix.” Lou asked in a cautious tone “what does Mr.B think? Sam felt it all starting to slip away. There was no way his mom
would go against Mr.B on this decision; then something happened. Mr.B stormed over and plucked the phone from Sam’s hand. Mr.B turned and glowered at Sam. He turned and was pacing back and forth as he started to speak “Hey sugar lips, this boy of yours is out of control. I bust my hump running all over town looking at cars. I try to get him to buy a truck like you wanted and he’s got me looking at a seven-year-old car for five thousand and get this it, doesn’t even run right. I’m sorry Lou, but you know a boy needs a father around.” Mr.B suddenly stopped talking, his face had a surprised look, and his left eye started twitching. He held the phone a little way from his ear and after a minute he
said “can do, no ma’am, and sure glad to help”. Mr.B handed the phone to Sam. Sam held it to his ear. He was half afraid, given all the trouble he had caused, and making Mr.B so angry. Lou said “Sam, I trust you if you truly want this car then buy it.” Sam smiled “thanks mom, I love you.” He nodded a few more times and then said “goodbye”.  Mr.B
looked at Sam “you shouldn’t buy this car boy. It’s a mistake.” Sam nodded assent “I know Mr.B, and I appreciate you taking a day to help me with this, but I guess I am going to make this mistake”. He offered his hand and Mr.B shook it with a weak grip. Mr.B looked at Ben “You coming?” Ben asked” Can I hang with Sam?” Mr.B looked at the both of them “I guess, I’m gonna stop off at the bar. I will see you later. Its beer-thirty boy” He winked and sauntered off to the Camaro.  He gunned it as he left and clipped a wheel on the curb.

     The boys turned to face Jack. Jack was smiling “I guess I sold a car gentleman”. Sam smiled back “Yes sir”. The three of them walked over to Jacks house. Jack and Sam filled out the title and Sam paid him. Jack took the boys out to the garage. He gave Sam a large box full of car parts and manuals. Jack motioned to the rear of the garage and a set of wheels covered by a tarp. Jack pulled the tarp off “You can have these wheels if you want them. I think they are off a Thunderbird” Ben walked over to Sam. He leaned over and in a
quiet voice he said “those are original Cobra wheels”. Sam and Ben loaded the wheels into the hatch and back seat. Ben held the box of parts. Sam got behind the wheel. He still had the title in his hand. He threw it into the box Ben was holding. Sam pushed in the clutch and turned the key. The engine turned and groggily awoke. Sam revved it a couple of time and it settled into a high idle. Ben, rummaging through the box of parts, was thinking aloud “Sam, all of these Cobra parts would cost a bunch. Wouldn’t it have been something if it were a real Cobra? I saw a picture of one in a book one time. They are really rare” Ben stopped rummaging and held up the title “Hey Sam, it’s not a
92, it’s a 93”. The boys looked at each other and laughed out loud. The Cobra slowly backed up on the grass then pulled out in the street.

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Short story: The Ripper Family Reunion


The black carriage rolled slowly up the street. The black lacquer reflected the moonlight It stopped on Dorset street away from a large gathering of women. The  carriage lacking any distinction drew little notice from the women. It sat for a long time, then pulled up to a woman standing away from the group at the entrance to a small alley.

She had long curly black hair and on top was a small hat slightly cocked. Her clothes had once been exquisite, but were now soiled and worn. Her right foot was bare and dirty. The carriage stopped and she glided out to it.

It’s door opened and a long arm waived for the girl to enter. She paused, then nodded, and climbed in the carriage. The carriage moved away slowly passing close to a pair of soiled doves chatting quietly. One could be heard saying ” Jacks  out tonight I can feel it in my bones. ” The other only watched the carriage roll away into the night.

The carriage moved through empty  streets towards the wharf. It stopped briefly in front of a warehouse.  A door was slid open  and the carriage moved inside. Jack got out of the carriage and shut the door closing help off forever.

Jack walked over to a long bench with a bull’s eye lantern dimly burning on it. He rolled the wick up in the lamp. The darkness receded leaving a neat bed, small dresser, and a stall at the far end  of the building. The inside of the carriage was still dark, but a pair of large glassy eyes could be seen inspecting the room from within it.

Jack laid a large leather bundle on the bench. He methodically unrolled it with the care of a surgeon. It made a clinking sound as he unrolled it. It contained short wicked scalpels, long threatening saws, picks, and a knife that bent like a hook. Jack sat on a stool and laid a few choice instruments out on the bench. He appraised  his preparations, nodded in satisfaction, and turned to face the carriage.

The eyes watched him cat-like from inside the carriage. They looked at the  door,  then back to Jack. Jack smiled and said ‘The door, sure the door, I locked it after we came in. I see you have some understanding of you situation. It’s fine, we are all fine. I was not always like this,you know, I was a doctor with a practice, a wife , and a son. I lost the wife shortly after  the son was born. During the delivery, something went wrong and she never recovered. She saw our son though, sure, she hugged him so tight. She pulled me close to her and said ” Love him Jack, take care of him Jack” then she pushed him in my hands. She pushed him into my hands. ‘ Jack stood up at this and closed the lantern.

The  warehouse went pitch black, but after a moment Jack eyes adjusted where he could make out dim outlines in the moonlight. He walked over to the carriage. The door still hung open. In a calming tone, Jack cooed ” It’s not you fault you’re what you are girl. Give me your hand, I will take care of you.” Jack  waited for a moment, but nothing happened, He listened for the girls breathing. Everything was absolutely still, then a dirty pale hand reached out of the carriage and gripped his arm. Startled by the closeness of the girl, Jack jerked back. He apologized ” Sorry my dear, here take my hand again.” Her hand was icy cold but firm as she stepped out of the carriage.

She glided across the warehouse and sat down on the bed. Jack had stopped a few steps behind her. ” You remind me of her. The one who  started all of this  madness. She seduced my James.  She gave him her sickness. She took him from me.  Not all at once, No a little at a time she took him. At first , a few sores, but eventually the sickness spread to his mind. One morning, I found him dead at his writing desk. He had started a letter to her. Dear Eve, please forgive me it said. I found an empty vial on the desk. The poison must have moved fast. He was already cold and was starting to stiffen. I knew at that  moment what I had to do. I would avenge my son. I would remove the sore on womankind. I would ” She stood up and moved close to him. He backed up  then she moved forward again backing him across the room. His back hit the bench stopping him. ” I killed her you know and I am going to kill you too. I am going to kill all the whores! all of them!” Jack seethed venom. He grabbed at his tools and yelled as something sharp cut his hand. He grabbed again and his fingers closed around the knife with the hooked blade.

He slashed at her but she stood still. The knife cut her dress down the front and the dress fell like a white sheet to the floor. She smiled at him and said ” not quite there yet love. Would you help me with my corset?” He slapped her hard across the face growling ” Whore”. He sliced down her front splitting the corset in two and digging deep into her belly. The corset slid off her back as her guts spilled out. Jack’s gut clenched in and out, then up and down.The rotten smell of  her guts pushed him back. Jack knew the smell of guts, blood and crap, but this was different. As the guts slithered out of her, they gushed river mud and the smell. The smell was in his mouth. Death had come and he could taste it. He slid down the bench away from her dropping the knife. He ran to the door and yanked it. The door slid then stopped as the chain held fast. Jack looked in desperation at the door then turned and looked at the work bench in despair. The key hung on its hook behind the girl.

She looked like a marble statue in sliver of moonlight.  ” Thanks Jack much better, You know Jack little James hated you. He told me so every night. He used to sneak into my room. That’s right Jackie boy, did you know James had it first? I never knew, he never told me Jack, until I started getting sick, then forgive me baby. I love you baby. My parents found out about James.  They threw me out Jackie! But James got us an apartment ,What a sweet day that was Jackie. Dorset street! How sweet Jackie! Swimming in the gutter, like the diseased rats we were, we were soooo happy, best we could do, but it was something. Then to top it Jackie, he died on me Jack. He died, but you were there for me weren’t you Jackie. You made me a bed. You made me a bed at the bottom of the river Jackie. How sweet.How sweet… I lay in my bed my river bed Jackie.” Jack was pacing back forth. He thought ” she’s dead I killed her, she’s dead I killed her” frantically his mind looked for avenues of escape and found none.

Jack turned and looked at Eve. He thought about what she had cost him and the old fury returned to him. A wicked fire flickered in his eyes. Jack stood up straight and rolled his shoulders forward. He started moving toward her, the work bench and his tools. As he walked, he started murmuring at first then screaming ” I’m going to kill all the whores, I’m going to kill all the whores, I’M GOING TO KILL ALL THE WHORES EVEN THE DEAD ONES”.  He moved faster, running now, then kicked with a strong right foot. She flew back, slid, and bumped up against the bed. Jack hit the work bench as his momentum carried him forward. He his tools and lantern flew into the wall. The lantern smashed and the oil splattered and ran. The fire still burning on the wick moved out in the newly found oil. Jack watched the fire start and grow become a blaze.

The warehouse was lite with an orange glow and decorated with dancing shadows. Jack leaned over and picked up the hook shaped knife. The blade covered in oil burned as he turned to face the girl. She had pulled herself up into a sitting position and held her guts cradled in her arms. Jack closed on her intent on cutting her into tiny pieces. He loomed over her deciding on how to begin. He inspected her and noticed that she held not her guts, but a creature. It writhed in her arms and Jack wondered what kind of foul demon it was then it mewed and cried. Jack’s heart stopped. It was a baby with tiny fingers covered in black slime. Jack stood frozen watching Eve cradle the tiny infant.

As he watched, the fury went out of him and left a deep hollow ache. There was a clanking noise behind him and Jack turned. A man had taken the chain from the door and was sliding it open. Jack knew the figure. The man walked up and Jack smiled at him. ” My boy” he said and let the knife fall to the ground. James wearing fine grave-clothes was ready for church. He had a beauty that is only achievable in death. It is a beauty painted in pale colors and stark realities. James looked at Eve with love and sadness. He took in the tiny child she held. She smiled at him ” it’s a boy” she said. James gathered her and the baby up then turned to Jack ” It’s time for us to go dad”. Jack had a momentary fear of losing James again, then he understood.

In the morning, the sun shone brightly and an old woman careworn and stooped walked past the burnt out warehouse. She noted a burned carriage that must have been fine. She could still see a spot of shiny black lacquer. It looked like there had been a work bench on the wall, but it was hard to tell the fire had burnt that side of the warehouse worst of all. She stood there for a moment then continued down to the wharf. She walked out on the pier and down to the end. She saw a bundle at the very edge as she approached. The bundle was a coat neatly folded with a pair of shoes sitting on top of it. She picked up the coat and shoes and looked out the river. She imagined for a minute a man taking off the coat folding it then carefully removing his shoes and setting them on the coat. He set down on the end of the pier and slid under the water. She looked at the coat and shoes and smiled. These would pull a good price at the clothes shop.

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Blue Alpha


If I were going to say it, I would say it’s day dreaming on paper. I have spent my life looking out the windows, at the ceilings, and into the dark closets. It’s just how I get there it’s the way into my imagination. I don’t know if it’s right, wrong, or clever and I would go anyway. I have flown, fallen, lived, died, sank and swan away. It relaxes me to take a walk on the beach and watch the gulls. Theres a chair I sit in and watch the brothers play. Blue helps Black and Black hates him for it. I want to tell Blue to watch out for the sword, but he is supposed to have it.

They are only boys now digging up sand crabs and swimming. They will have to grow up soon, but not now, for now they can play. I watch them and I see a mighty frigate raised from the dead, a cursed sword, and brothers on the wrong side. They are having a time now ranging over the country side. They go over to whistlers spout when the tides running out for the song. Blue got on a fishing crew for the summer after Black got hurt by the horse. They are only a few summers left for them to be boys.

Blue got a spot on the Roll tide at haf pay due to his age. He struggled doing the work. He just wasn’t big enough, but after two weeks he had figured out how to get by. The boat worked in six-week runs. After the first run, Blue was given full pay and esteem from the crew. He never acted any different, big-headed or anything, and Black resented him more for it.

The winter was coming on after the second run and Mary, Blue’s Mom, decided school was in order for the boys. The boys had as much school as many of the fishermen and were of an age to start working, but Mary was relentless, so they started school and the Roll tide left Blue on shore.

The boys were home on Christmas break when Blue heard about the Roll tide. The boat had taken a long run to tide the crew for the winter. It would run North for two weeks, Then East for four weeks, and then head home. Twelve weeks had past and the ship wasn’t back. She had exchanged letters with a packet as she turned to go East. The crew and ship all had been in good spirits. The letters were full of well wishes and stories from the crew, but neither crew nor ship was seen since.

The air was sharp and clear and the ground covered with snow crunched under my boots. I was taking a walk to ward off the cabin fever when I saw Blue sitting in my chair down by the water. I knew it was Blue as I walked up but I still had to ask ” Blue Alpha what are ya doing in my chair”. He didn’t look at me right away. He had a far off look in his eye like he was watching death dance or his ship sail. He turned slowly with no particular self awareness. He looked towards me but I wouldn’t say at me. Those eyes were looking through me I would swear to it. He said ” sorry mister I didn’t know it were yourn” and got up to leave. I had no intention of letting the boy freeze to death asked him to walk me home. It might have been kinder to let him freeze for his peril would cut through his very soul.

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Dead Horse chapter 1 Mack


Dead horse is a story about a car sitting in the weeds waiting for someone to come and save it. It seems to have some appeal to me to restore a classic car and all that it entails.

The year was 1969, we were at war and we were at peace and love. The Beatles were rock gods and AC DC would wait 6 more years to storm out of radios. Mack causally liked the Beatles and wasn’t at war or peace. He was consumed with racing and AC DC would have to wait for Bon for almost five more years.

Mack smiled as he drove home. He tried to stop smiling. It was making his cheeks hurt. The light turned red and he eased the car to a stop. He slid his hand around the large wood wheel and admired the small horse astride the tribar. A crack of thunder caused him to jump. He looked around startled and saw a brand new hugger orange Camaro. It cracked it throttle again goading the poor Mustang. Mack didn’t smile. He looked the Camaro. It’s a Super Sport with that much attitude. The Camaro had a black hockey stripe down the side. There was a pair of chrome vents in the hood and a 396 emblem at the back of the fender. Mack nodded to himself and thought, yep, there was the badge and the stripe with the chrome vents in hood. Mack bet the Camaro was  figuring on three hundred and ninety-six cubic inches vs. a potent but much smaller two hundred and eighty-nine cube competitor.

The light burned red and teased the Camaro into frenzy. Mac put the car in first and covered the brake and clutch with one foot and the other was on the gas. He started slowly spinning the rear tires to create a little friction heat. He stopped a little is good and a lot is a big greasy burn out. Mack brought the engine revolutions per minutes up to 3,300. If Mack raised the R.P.M’s any more, the car would break traction and spin with any less and the car could stall on the line. The cross traffic light changed from green to yellow and then to red. Mack counted one, two, and popped the clutch as he dropped the hammer. The light turned green as the Mustang rocked back on the rear axle planting the rear tires.

The Camaro must have watched the side light, because the cars left as one.  The Camaro used its torque to pull a fender and start pulling away. If Mack lost much more, it would become impossible to take back. Mack flipped the clutch with left foot as he grabbed second. The Mustang stretched out its legs and walked off and left the Camaro. Mack was massaging his cheeks damn they were cramping.

It was way against the odds for a two eighty-nine to do that to a big block Chevy, Mack thought, as he pulled in the barn.  The long rectangular tail lamps flared then went out as the horse went silent in the barn. He stroked the flowing roof line down to the spoiler and shut the barn door. He said “sleep tight” and barred the door. He walked to the house rubbing his cheeks.

The next morning he was blocking up the car. He drained the gas and water with much care. He stowed the hood, spoiler, and tires up to protect the fiberglass and rubber from time. He shrouded the car in a heavy tarp closing it off to the world for much longer then he expected. As he left the barn, he flipped a white letter on the tarp. It fell open as it landed on the tarp.

It was a form letter with blanks penciled in accordingly. Written in pencil were the words: Mack Hill, 300 Mill st., Carol, Ca 93301. There was a crest with an eagle on the left upper corner and an address stamped on the right side. At the top, it read in large bold letters: order to report for physical examination and at the bottom it had Feb 18th, 1969 or today, however you call it.

New 1969 Camaro SS 396  approx 3,775.00 Today approx 24,692

Used 1967 Mustang Fastback approx 2350.00 Today approx 32,275

to be continued

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A short story:Red, Raven and the Blonde.


            The sun rose slowly using her rays to pull over the horizon. She lit the soccer fields on the eastside of Valley campus. The fields had a portable stage with additions to mimic the Globe. The campus was flaunting posters everywhere advertising the play. They sported all the cleverest slogans. One taped to center tree read “To be or not to be”. The words of the original word smith augmented with “depends on the weather”.  The sun reached the poster and on over to Mary Pole and Bill Cave dormitories.  A pair feet sporting lime green polish accented with happy faces on the big toes were the first to greet the day. Feet are rude creatures for the most part. These two were no exception immediately ducking and diving for covers.

            Red rolled over mostly regaining the dark. Hair spilled over her face and on the bed. The light shone through gaining a crimson hue and molding a new dream as it went.

           The dream opened on a path thru a burning forest. The path stretched on and up, up and on, on and on, reaching up and up. The fire raged in the woods. It danced wickedly, roared hatefully, but it did not burn her. She moved up the path somehow even though her feet were still. A thought of Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego came and went in the fire. Red reeled as the house towered up in front of her. Mommy was screaming “YOU SON OF BITCH GET OUT GET OUT”. Red wondered what a hitch was and why was grandma one. The front door slammed open and daddy rolled out. Momma was right behind him. The strangeness of dreams gave her proportions twice or ten times normal size. Her hair flickered and struck consisting of snakes made of flame. She was still screaming but her voice was deeper like thunder “You cheating bastard this is last time”. A light came behind her growing brighter and brighter. Red covered her eyes and rolled over.

                 Red’s hair fell and the sunshine painted her face with a soft white glow. Her body relaxed as a sweet morning breeze blew in the window. Her left arm explored the other half the bed but found nothing. Her eyes opened first a slit then almost half lazily exploring the room.

            A cherry of fire floated in the only corner still dark. Red groaned “Put that out, you’re going to get in trouble.” A voice like light sweet bells replied “Oh, I’m not too worried you’re over reacting again Red. I guess I’ll have to teach you not to, besides, it’s not my room.” Red propped herself up on her arm, half sitting up. The sheet started to slide down but got caught by an arm moving a little too quickly. Raven stood up and moved over by the bed. “You know you’re going to be late to see Justin in his stage début. Come on sleepy, time to go.” As Raven said this, she was grasping the covers at her conclusion she jerked. Red’s left hand popped loose. The sheet started to go, but the right hand, with better purchase, held firm. Red, with eyebrows ascending to the hair-line and cheeks coloring, jerked the covers back “Raven! Uuuughh umm would you go get me a cup of coffee?” Raven’s brow contorted to a question mark then, with a half-smile, she said “Sure honey one suga or two”. Red replied “no suga go go go” adding a shooing gesture. Raven flourished her cloak with a bow, then flipped up her hood, and strode out.

                Red blew out her breath. When she was sure Raven was gone, she flew out of bed and got dressed in something between flight of the bumble bee and an attack from the Tasmanian devil. She was assessing her mane when Raven came back in the room. Red, still looking at the mirror, said while shrugging, hands out palms up, “Did you ever learn to knock?” Raven looked thoughtful then took a drink of her coffee. Red, giving up on her hair via pony tail and ball cap, got up to leave. Red seeing Raven drinking the coffee said “Did you get one for me?”. Raven replied “No, did you want one? You better collect your earnings.” Red followed Raven’s eyes to a ten-dollar bill on the nightstand. Red needed the money to get into the play so scratching her nose, with neither ring nor trigger finger, but making a point to Raven as she ran over and got the money. She noticed, as she pulled the door shut, all of yesterday’s clothes piled at the foot of the bed.

               Red grabbed a cup of coffee as the girls exited the dorm. Raven, fully engulfed by her cloak, and Red, looking ready for a game of ball, were not the typical sight on a campus with the possible exception Hogwarts. The girls used to getting attention paid none back. Red was thinking about meeting Justin’s brother and sister today. She was pondering whether she should be assertive and approach and introduce herself or lay back and let Justin make the introductions. Being deep in thought, she kept right on walking when Jason said “Hey Red, what’s the going price?”

           Jason was leaning on the shady side of center tree with a couple of his cronies. Raven had stopped cold and was appraising the campus curmudgeons. The unwitting group of poor phallus withered under her black eyes. Red, a little shell-shocked by Raven’s and Jason’s combined comments, was wide-eyed and open-mouthed. Her face reddened and her brow crimped as she appraised Jason. She walked up beside Raven, who quiet and still, had the interested look of one waiting for the show to start. Jason leered at Red as she rejoined with an ear to ear grin. Red set her feet and crossed her arms in front of Jason. Red in an even tone said “My rates are fair for quality of merchandise; the problem is I only go straight, which rules you three out.” Jason’s faced flushed bright red. He thrust his hips trying to emphasize his manhood said “I got your…” but that was as far as he got. Red’s arms uncrossed fists sliding back to each side adding power to the straight kick flying out. The kick hit, true to its aim, with such force Jason permanently moved up two octaves and would never contribute to the gene pool. The cronies, in a crotch guarded retreat, hurried off dragging their fearless leader.

              Raven turned to Red who was stuffing the ball cap in her back pocket. Red tightened her pony tail. Her face was still flushed but with round eyes and pursed mouth she said “I know that was wrong, but no one calls me out as a hooker” then turning her head to Raven, added “except you, but that’s not okay either”. Raven smiled crookedly as she replied “No worries Red, you just did the world a huge favor. You over reacted, sure, but I am going to help you break that habit. Now let’s get going before we are late for the show.” Red was thinking that she did not want anymore of Raven’s “help”, but fell in step none the less.

               As they walked, Red was trying to remember last night’s dream. She stretched out her minds fingertips and could touch it, but when she tried to grasp it, poof, it was gone. She felt uneasy moving along the path. The world seemed distant like she was watching herself on television. Raven helped nothing in her oddity and she had only ever been mean or cruel. It either her beauty or mystery that had initially appealed to Red, but that appeal was gone now replaced with a stale tolerance. The world had the feeling of a surreal nightmare and what Red wanted most was to get back in bed.

               There was a large crowd gathered for the play. Red and Raven were late and the play had already started when they arrived. It’s quite far along, Red thought, as the fairies were on the stage. She could see Bottom ass-head and all. He was hugging the full size version of a Barbie doll. Red never could wrap her mind around the reasoning that led some woman to mold themselves into the standard issue sociologically perfect woman, but they do it all the time. A thought occurred to her that it would be an improvement over red-headed hooker. She laughed a little as she scanned the crowd for Justin.

           Red watched as Raven veered off to one side. She dropped her cowl as she went her long black hair rolling out from under her cloak. The crowd spotted her and lost all interest in the play. Even Puck paused to watch Raven. Raven glided down seeming to have no contact with the floor. It was then Red saw where she was going. She was walking straight toward Justin. Red smiled, forgiving sweet Raven for the morning and hurried to join her. Red had closed about half the distance when Raven reached Justin. Justin, along with everyone else, was watching her approach. He took a step forward as he put his arms around her. Raven swung her head, locked one arm behind Justin’s head, and kissed him.

          It was an epic kiss rocking the foundations of the world. Puck was the first but the crowd followed him in a great big “Awe”. Justin, startled, disengaged from the kiss. Raven looked around with a dazed happy leer. Red was glowing like the “you are here” dot on a map. Her hair busted free of the pony tail. It exploded out lit by fury. Red’s eyes were charged emeralds that swan in red as blood filled the whites. Raven smiled coyly at her but fidgeted nervously. Red, face flushed, started walking with grace and precision.

           Red, taunted all morning, blew up. The trinity bomb of shame, humiliation, and outrage was armed. Raven’s coy smile went ahead and detonated the anger bomb. It blew through her mind, white-hot, washing away all those things considered humane.  Murder was the only thing left as the world shaded scarlet.

       She approached Raven, who laughing said “Hey Red, meet Dustin, told you I’d teach you not to over react” but it fell dead on Red’s ears. Raven turned to look at Dustin so she never saw Red spin the round house. Red’s foot hit Ravens head spinning her then followed with another laying the stygian witch out.

       Red, slightly sated, had regained some reason. She looked at Dustin, who frozen with fear watched Red with wide eyes, “Justin” she fired at him, but he shook his head back and forth then pointed to Bottom the character in the play. Red turned and found him with his ass’s head still on. The Blonde was still hanging on him, but she defied everything known about Blondes and did something smart. She showed Red nothing but heels. She ran away in true Olympic fashion. Red looked at Puck who was still watching her intently. Music started playing far away but came closer and got louder. It was Birdie and the birds singing “fly fly birdie”, then like the lifting of movie curtains Red opened her eyes.

         Red’s chest heaved as if from heavy exertion. Her face was flushed, but it was getting better now. She jumped a little as she saw a cherry burning in the shadowed corner of her room. The Blonde was sitting there and she laughed out loud at Red’s fright. She said “Wake up girl; you got a date with Jason!” Red did nothing for a moment fixing her eyes on a blank piece of her bedroom wall. She nodded, then smiled and said “Hey, would you go get me a cup of coffee”. The Blonde said “You know its five bucks a cup. You will never get ahead if you just blow your money!” Red smiled “I know but you are going to buy it for me. How smart is that?” The Blonde smiled and said “Now you’re getting it!” She bounced up to get the coffee. Red hopped out of bed as she left shutting the door behind her. She nodded again as she locked the door. She turned and got back into bed and as she drifted off to sleep again she muttered “Not that smart”

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