Tag Archives: fiction

Fragments of Fear is Free!

That’s right. My collection of short Suspense/Thriller/Horror stories is free until 1-25-18 on kindle. Don’t miss this chance to pick up a copy. This book contains the stories I have posted on WordPress over the last year and so much more. If you have any doubts, just click on one of these stories for a glimpse of what’s in the book.

Puzzled

The Journey

Crash

The Test

Haunted

The Exam

Eyes

Avian

and many more. If you’re still not convinced, check out this author interview.

I hope that you avail yourself of this offer before it runs out. If you do, please consider posting a review on amazon. It doesn’t have to be much, just a few sentences telling how you liked the book, but every review counts.

Thank you very much.

Enjoy.

Captain Obvious takes a break

nikon d3300 1-5-18 297copy

Greetings to all, Major Irony here in place for Captain Obvious who is taking a rest at the moment. He had a hard time with his last report and ran around screaming something about his water not having enough water in it. He accepted the kind offer by the nice gentlemen for an all expense paid vacation. They tell me he likes his padded room but feels that the straight jacket chafes a little. Sergeant Sarcasm and I expect to see him back at his post sometime before the end of the year (hopefully).

But now, on with today’s report. After the last week of frigid temperatures across most of the eastern U.S. we seem to have hit a slight warming trend. With temperatures climbing I thought people might be in the mood to see a bit of weather irony. Although it was very tempting to take this particular right turn, especially last week, to see if somehow the border of this town could magically repel cold weather and live up to its name, alas, I did not. It was a pleasant fiction though, one that warmed my thoughts if nothing else to believe that there may be this amazing warm place of summer that existed even in the midst of the coldest winter.

Until next time, wishing you warm weather and lots of irony.

M. I.

The Storm

Author’s note: I wrote this short story a few years ago and it has been collecting virtual dust on my computer ever since. With this current storm brewing on the east coast, I thought it would be an appropriate time to share it. Enjoy.

6-21-12 153copy

Kevin whistled as he walked to work. He loved his job, he was good at it, and there was always a sense of anticipation.
Perhaps today will be the day, he grinned.
He sighed with contentment, as he walked over to a small desk in the middle of the circular room, and touched a button. Instantly, the walls were covered with the most detailed weather map ever seen. He could zoom in as close as he wanted on any location…
Google would be envious, he smiled.
Kevin picked up his clipboard and went straight to work. He checked down the list of priorities, then leafed through the pages. Next, he zoomed in on the central United States, pulled a pen out of his pocket, drew a few clouds, darkened them in, then stepped back to admire his work. Within a few minutes, Peoria Illinois got an extra half inch of rain, just like the clipboard had requested.
He moved to the next item, erased three clouds over Egypt. Again, within minutes, what would have been a refreshing shower, never happened. He continued down the list…
Hail in Russia.
Rain in China.
Sunny in Venezuela.
Hours later, when his list was complete, he sat back to take a break. He watched the swirls and eddies of the world, admiring the simple beauty of it. He knew exactly where every El Nino and La Nina started. He knew the cause and eventual effects of each hurricane, including their names, before they were a gust of breeze. Very little surprised Kevin when it came to the weather, but every once in a while…
It wasn’t even a breeze, yet somehow Kevin sensed it. Somewhere over the Pacific, a bird dipped to avoid a predator, leaving an eddy of wind current in its wake. He could see it in his mind’s eye…
This eddy of wind is just about to die when it meets with a small updraft, which sustains it. The two move along until another breeze adds to their strength. A low flying airplane adds speed to it. It forms a cloud or two and continues to build, now a strong rainstorm. Another storm comes up from the south and joins with this one. Together they build into the most massively destructive force the world has ever seen.
It marches around the world, causing destruction and death on a biblical scale. Buildings are destroyed, entire forests wiped out, islands and beaches disappear. Tidal waves measure hundreds of feet tall cover miles of dry land. The death toll rises like the counter on a video game, as governments try to battle this force of nature. The storm changes seismic stresses, causing dormant volcanoes to erupt. Earthquakes shake the foundation of the world. The Richter scale is rendered moot, as each quake sets a new record. Continents shear away from each other.
Astronauts in the space station record the event, watching in horror as the world tears itself apart, knowing that they will die in the remorseless cold of space. Beneath them, the storm rages on.
Cloud cover, debris, and volcanic ash combine to block out the sun. As the temperature of the planet drops, the polar ice caps grow. Humanity has been reduced to a mere million quivering souls, trying to stay warm enough to survive.
It is a much different planet now, more akin to colonizing another world than surviving on the tattered remains of their former home. A two hundred mile wide temperate zone around the equator is all that keeps the earth from being totally encased in ice. Within ten years, humanity will be extinct. Because of the violence of the storm, and its aftermath, the Earth is thrown off its axis. Within a few hundred years, it will crash into Mars, destroying both planets.
Kevin blinked hard, bringing himself back to reality. He picked up his clipboard, and double checked it.
“Not on today’s schedule,” he sighed.
He erased the small eddy of wind, and the massive storm disappeared. He set down the clipboard, returned the screen to normal, and headed for the door.
“Maybe tomorrow,” he said.
He started home, whistling as he went.

 

The end?

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my story. If you liked it, please read some of my other stories. You may enjoy them as well.

 

The Journey: Outtakes

Excerpt from my book, ‘Fragments of Fear: Collection‘.

If you haven’t read the rest of The Journey, please go back here and start from the beginning. Many of these scenes will make no sense to you unless you’ve read the enitre story.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the stories, but don’t rush off just yet. I have a special treat for you.

As I was writing this story I had some other ideas pop into my head. These ideas didn’t quite fit with the overall tone. So after I finished it I decided to take them and make an outtake reel like you would see on a DVD. With this in mind, I wrote it in script form. I apologize to those who are unfamiliar with reading scripts, but I think you’ll get the gist. This was written just for fun and my hope is that it will be received that way. Enjoy.

Fade In:

EXT. TRAIN STATION

The Conductor is slowly examining the train engine. He walks
around the front, admiring the beauty and power of it when
suddenly he trips over the track and falls flat on his face.
Getting up slowly and dusting himself off.

CONDUCTOR
Nobody saw that, right?

CAMERAMAN ONE
(tries to keep from laughing, but
just can’t hold it together. He
bursts out into hysterical fits of
laughter)

CONDUCTOR
(Glares at cameraman)

CAMERAMAN ONE
(Dies)

Fade out:

Fade in:

INT. TRAIN, CONDUCTOR’S ROOM

The conductor sits in his chair, head resting against the
back, snoring loudly.

CAMERAMAN TWO
(Whispers to the sound man) Is
someone going to wake him up?

SOUND MAN
Not me.

DIRECTOR
I enjoy life too much.

MAKEUP GIRL
Not a chance.

DIRECTOR
(Stares quietly at Conductor) Okay,
that’s lunch.

SOUND MAN
It’s only nine thirty in the
morning.

DIRECTOR
Do you want to tell him that?

SOUND MAN
(Looking thoughtful) You know, now
that I think about it, I am hungry.

Crew quietly file out of the room leaving the conductor
sleeping peacefully.

Fade out:

Fade in:

EXT. STREET, TWILIGHT

An empty mist covered street, along with deserted cars, half
destroyed buildings, and rubble.

SHE
(groaning as she approaches the man
with outstretched arms) Brains!

MAN
(Quickly pulls out a Desert Eagle
fifty caliber pistol, points it at
her head and squeezes the trigger.
Her skull disappears in a shower of
blood) (A beat) Yuck!

Man wipes off his pistol, spins it on his finger and holsters
it while walking away, whistling ‘Bad to the Bone’.

Fade out:

Fade in:

INT. TRAIN, PASSENGER CAR

The Conductor is punching tickets, he has just listened to a
man telling a story.

CONDUCTOR
I hope you don’t think it’s too
forward of me, but I collect
stories and I was intrigued by
yours.

STORYTELLER
Umm … thanks

CONDUCTOR
Would you mind if I wrote it down
in one of my journals?

STORYTELLER
Well, the thing is, it’s not
actually my story. I just told it.

CONDUCTOR
And did you contact the Author to
get permission?

STORYTELLER
Umm … no.

CONDUCTOR
Have you ever heard of copyright
infringement?

STORYTELLER
It’s just a story.

CONDUCTOR
(Looking irritated) Just a story?
Have you ever stopped to think
about all the hard work the author
put into it? The long hours writing
and revising, just so you can come
along and steal his work?

STORYTELLER
(Looking terrified) Not really.

DIRECTOR
Cut!

CONDUCTOR
I’ll be in my trailer. (Disappears)

STORYTELLER
(Dies)

Fade out:

Fade in:

INT. OFFICE

Harold is on the phone with the automated ACME prize comittee.

AUTOMATED VOICE
To confirm your prize, simply press
‘one’ and an operator will assist
you.

HAROLD
(Stares at the phone in disbelief.
He starts hammering on the ‘one’
button.)

AUTOMATED VOICE
Congratulations, we will connect
you with an operator, one moment
please.

HAROLD
(Looking at camera) Umm, I don’t
think that was supposed to happen.
(Glances at script)

Fade out:

Fade in:

INT. CONVENIENCE STORE ON 23RD STREET

Alan has been handed a gun by his so-called friends and sent
to rob the store. He walks up to the counter, then stands
there, looking around as if confused.

ROBBER
(Running into scene, zipping up
pants) Sorry, sorry everyone,
bathroom break.

DIRECTOR
Cut!

ALAN
(Rolls eyes, turns and walks back
to his mark.)

ROBBER
(Looking embarrassed, walks back out
to take his position.)

DIRECTOR
Take two!

Fade out:

Fade in:

EXT. TRAIN STATION

Emily is waiting at the station. She is surrounded by
oppressive silence.

EMILY
(Farts very loudly.)

CAMERAMAN TWO
(Starts laughing.)

SOUND MAN
(Chuckling) It seems we’ve had some
sort of explosion. Effects, did you
set anything off?

EFFECTS MAN
(Rolling on ground, laughing.)

DIRECTOR
Cut!

EMILY
(Looking very red in the face.) I
need a short break. (Walks away)

ENTIRE CREW
(Laughing hysterically)

Fade out:

Fade in:

INT. TRAIN, PASSENGER CAR

Emily has just boarded the train and the conductor is punching
her ticket.

EMILY
Excuse me, you seem familiar, do I
know you?

CONDUCTOR
That’s quite possible young lady.
You seem somewhat familiar to me
as well.

EMILY
Could I trouble you for your name?

CONDUCTOR
No trouble at all, my name is
Death.

EMILY AND CONDUCTOR
(Both looking confused)

A loud train whistle sounds.

CONDUCTOR
Really?

DIRECTOR
Cut! Reset the scene.

CONDUCTOR
Why don’t you just edit the sound
in during post production?

DIRECTOR
(Looking irritated) Who’s directing
this?

CONDUCTOR
(Glares at Director)

DIRECTOR
(Dies)

Fade out:

Fade in:

PRODUCER’S OFFICE

The Conductor is sitting in front of a desk, across from the
producer.

PRODUCER
Listen, I know you’re not used to
working well with others, but
you’ve got to quit killing off my
staff.

CONDUCTOR
(Glares at Producer)

PRODUCER
Now that right there. That’s what
I’m talking about. You don’t want
to hear what I have to say, so
you’re just going to kill me. You
can’t keep doing that.

CONDUCTOR
(Lifting eyebrow) Can’t I?

PRODUCER
Not if you ever want to work in
Hollywood again. You came to me,
remember? You wanted to change your
image, well how are you going to do
that if no one is around to see.
You need to calm down, relax a
little, have fun with it.

CONDUCTOR
I … I’ll try.

PRODUCER
Good, now no more killing, right?

CONDUCTOR
(Hesitates)

PRODUCER
Right?

CONDUCTOR
Okay, no killing.

PRODUCER
Great, now let’s get this train
back on track.

CONDUCTOR
(Stands to leave, turns back and
glares at Producer)

PRODUCER
(Starts to cough) Knock that off!

Fade out:

Fade In:

INT. PRISON

Larry is beginning his rampage of destruction. He has killed
everyone, officers included in this cell block.

LARRY
(Steps over bodies only to find the
main door locked) Hmm… (He turns
back into the room, searching for
something, leans down and takes the
keys from the guard’s lifeless
corpse) Thanks, Leonard.

LEONARD
No problem.

LARRY
(Nearly falls over, not expecting
an answer, then starts to laugh)

CREW
(All laughing as Leonard sits up
and grins at Larry)

DIRECTOR TWO
Cut!

Fade out:

Fade in:

EXT. PRISON ROOF

Lucifer has just revealed his true identity to Larry and told
him of his eternal punishment. The portal to Hell opens and
out of it is heard the song ‘Boogie Nights’ playing loudly.

LUCIFER
(Starts to dance as several
‘spirits’ appear dressed in full
eighties disco outfits)

LARRY
(Starts to dance along with Lucifer
and the spirits)

CREW
(All start to dance)

DIRECTOR TWO
Cut! Cut! Cut!

CAST AND CREW
(Ignore director)

DIRECTOR TWO
(Shruggs his shoulders and starts
to breakdance)

Fade out:

Fade in:

EXT. TRAIN PORCH OF LAST CAR

The conductor stands waiting, anticipating the arrival of his
friend the raven.

RAVEN
(Flies in and overshoots the
railing, slamming hard into the
door)

CONDUCTOR
(Cringes) That’s gotta hurt.

CAMERAMAN TWO
(Chuckles)

DIRECTOR TWO
Cut! Take two!

RAVEN
(Flies in, but is caught in a
sudden updraft and sails right over
the train)

CONDUCTOR
(Looks up, trying to find the
raven)

DIRECTOR TWO
Cut! Take three!

RAVEN
(Flies in, trying to get his
landing just right, tucks his wings
too soon and drops like a stone)

CONDUCTOR
(Watches as raven tumbles along the
railroad track, leaving a trail of
feathers behind him)

DIRECTOR TWO
Cut! Take four!

An hour later, the raven still has not landed on his mark.
Cast and crew are becoming irritated.

CONDUCTOR
(Whispers to raven) Get this right
or I’ll kill you.

RAVEN
(Flies in and lands his mark
perfectly)

CONDUCTOR
(Looks over at Director two and
nods his head just slightly)

DIRECTOR TWO
(Nods back)

Fade out:

Fade in:

INT. TRAIN. PASSENGER CAR

Emily screams, the conductor runs inside to see what is wrong.

CONDUCTOR
What happened?

EMILY
I had this incredibly vivid
nightmare.

CONDUCTOR
Can you tell me about it?

EMILY
I don’t know. It was so horrifying.

CONDUCTOR
Go on …

EMILY
I dreamt that Barak Obama was
elected President.

CAST AND CREW
(All groan)

EMILY
What? I’m the only one who’s not
allowed to crack a joke?

DIRECTOR TWO
Cut! That’s lunch.

Fade out:

Fade in:

EXT. PARK.

Emily is jogging through the park. The stranger is stalking
her.

EMILY
(Glances back to see if the
stranger is following. Her feet get
tangled up and she falls hard to
the asphalt path)

STRANGER
(Runs up to check on her, sees she
is dazed and bleeding) We need a
medic over here!

EMILY
(Still trying to focus, sits up at
the stranger’s urging)

STRANGER
How many fingers am I holding up?

EMILY
Thursday.

CREW
(Gently places Emily in Ambulance)

Fade out:

Fade in:

INT. TRAIN DINING CAR.

The passengers are sitting down having drinks. Passenger one
looks over at the conductor.

PASSENGER ONE
So what’s your story?

CONDUCTOR
Me? You wouldn’t find my life very
interesting.

PASSENGER ONE
Why not? Everyone else has told you
stories, why don’t you tell us
yours?

CONDUCTOR
Very well, but don’t blame me if
you’re soon bored to death.

PASSENGER ONE
I think anything is better than
sleeping on a train.

CONDUCTOR
Well, long ago I started out as a
Gigolo. I soon came to realize
that my true talents were in
pimping.

PASSENGER ONE
(Trying to keep a straight face)
Really?

CONDUCTOR
(Without missing a beat, reaches
under the table, pulls out a
shockingly pink hat with a two foot
long feather attached to it, puts
it on his head, and flashes the
‘peace’ sign.)

CAST AND CREW
(Erupt with laughter)

Fade out:

 

Fade In:

 

INT. TRAIN. DINING CAR.

 

The conductor is telling the passengers the story of his

early career.

 

PASSENGER

So, a hit man just walked up and

rang the doorbell?

 

CONDUCTOR

Essentially, yes.

 

PASSENGER

What did you do?

 

CONDUCTOR

The only thing I could.

 

PASSENGER

Run?

 

CONDUCTOR

No. I grabbed the biggest freakin’

handgun I could find and blew that

bastard away.

 

DIRECTOR

Cut! (To conductor) Take five,

Dirty Harry.

 

Fade out:

 

Fade in:

 

EXT. TRAIL

 

The conductor leads the passengers down a dark path made of

intricate stone. Gas lamps light the way, but the light

doesn’t extend outside the path. Suddenly, out of nowhere

they come across a large set of beautiful brass doors. The

sign on them says, ‘Out of order’.

 

CONDUCTOR

(Pulling on the doors, finds them

locked)

 

The camera starts to shake as cameraman two chuckles.

 

CONDUCTOR

(To cameraman two) Very nice, very

mature.

 

CREW

(All laugh)

 

DIRECTOR TWO

(Chuckling) No, go with it. How

does this make you feel? Show me

your innermost angst.

 

CONDUCTOR

I’ll be in my trailer. (Walks away

with a slight grin on his face)

 

Fade out:

 

Fade in:

 

INT. LARGE BUILDING.

 

The conductor heaves open the massive door and beckons the

passengers inside. Two large women stand just inside the

entrance.

 

WOMAN ONE

Welcome, welcome, please step

forward and make yourself at home.

 

WOMAN TWO

Don’t forget to take a number.

(She indicates a ticket machine

that automatically shoots out a

ticket.)

 

PASSENGER ONE

(Reads ticket aloud) number

267,408?

 

WOMAN TWO

That’s right.

 

PASSENGER ONE

(Looks up at the electronic sign

that says ‘Now serving # 17’)

What is this, Beetlejuice?

 

Fade out:

 

Fade in:

 

INT. LARGE BUILDING.

 

Emily looks down at her ticket, it says, ‘If you can read

this, you’re too close.’

 

Emily looks down at her ticket, it says, ‘Good for one free

slushie at participating gas-n-gulps.’

 

Emily looks down at her ticket, it says, ‘Don’t forget to

tip your waitress.’

 

Fade in:

 

INT. LARGE BUILDING.

 

The passengers have settled into a routine of slow forward

progress through the line.

 

PASSENGER ONE

Finally, we’re close enough to

watch what really goes on.

 

SAINT PETER

(To person in line) It says here

that you were a liberal member of

the news media.

 

PERSON IN LINE

Yes, that’s right.

 

SAINT PETER

(Pulls a lever and a trap door

opens beneath the person)

Next!

 

Fade out:

 

Fade in:

 

EXT. STUDIO LOT. CONDUCTOR’S TRAILER

 

The conductor steps out of his trailer, now dressed in his

familiar black robe, carrying his scythe.

 

CONDUCTOR

Ahh, it feels better to be back in

normal clothes.

 

DIRECTOR TWO

(Waves to the conductor as he

walks to his car.)

 

CONDUCTOR

I’ll see you soon.

 

DIRECTOR TWO

(Backs away from his car) I think

I’ll take the bus.

 

CONDUCTOR

(Smiles) Suit yourself.

 

DIRECTOR TWO

(Looks at bus stop) Maybe I’ll

walk.

 

CONDUCTOR

Probably a good idea. (Chuckles)

 

DIRECTOR TWO

Stop that!

 

CONDUCTOR

(Walks over and puts his arm

around Director two)   Come on,

I’ll give you a ride.

 

DIRECTOR TWO

Thanks.

 

CONDUCTOR

(Looks back at camera and smiles.)

 

RAVEN

(Flys up and lands on the

Conductor’s shoulder, taping a

sign to his back that says, ‘Kick

me … if you dare’.)

 

Fade out:

 

Review of Jonathan Maberry’s: The King of Plagues

The King of Plagues

Joe Ledger is back and he brought his smartass sense of humor with him this time. The last book had a little bit of a departure from his sense of humor. This book brings it back with a vengeance. I especially loved when he first gets introduced to Aunt Sally. That scene is classic. I listened to it over and over again, laughing each time.

This book also features the less than triumphant return of Gault and Toys. Their relationship makes these characters more interesting than just the stock bad guys. The reader is never sure how their relationship is going.

Also with Joe we find him returning to the DMS, given glimpses of a side story of what he was doing while he was away. Once again he is thrown into the fire and is already behind as they find out that there is a plot to destroy the world.

I like the way Jonathan Maberry has been handling these characters, especially Joe and Church. He metes out a small amount of insight at a time as to who they are, what they want, and why they do what they do. Joe especially is a very human character with faults and frailties instead of just being an emotionless badass. I find that this adds amazing depth to the character. The internal conflict that the reader sees him go through on a regular basis makes him very accessible through his doubts and fears.

The other addition that I really liked in this book was Joe’s German Shepherd, Ghost. At first, Ghost seems like a prop, but as the story goes along, Ghost begins to show his own personality. It is definitely a sidekick role but as the story progresses we see the relationship between Joe and Ghost which is deeper than a trained dog and his handler.

The storyline was interesting. It wasn’t immediately a doomsday plot and Mr. Maberry did a great job of milking the mythology of secret groups and adding his own slant to it while making it seem plausible instead of cliched, which it easily could’ve become.

Once again there was a great amount of tension as we watch the villains systematically execute their plot and watch the DMS struggle to catch up. As the story continues and Joe discovers what is happening piece by piece, the seeming infallibility of the group is chipped away.

One of the other new characters is Santoro,  a devoted madman whose character definitely evokes strong emotions. I felt myself wanting to harm this person at several points for the things that he had done. The villains were done quite well not only in Santoro but also the Seven Kings who were the group behind the scenes, driving the whole nefarious plot.

The plot itself was less supernatural this time and more about a group who wanted to profit from mass destruction, however, their web of deception was so well done and so well written that I found myself more interested in this story than the first two.

The only real supernatural component was the character Nicodemus, who was creepy and very interesting, and I could easily see being a continuing thorn in Joe’s side throughout other books.

If anything, this book had more of an emotional impact than the other two, with the exception of a certain scene in The Dragon Factory, because it really showed the depths an individual can be coerced to do to save those they love. It was emotional because Santoro took good people, caring people, who were absolutely devoted to the people they love and turn that against them and use them for unconscionable acts of evil.

I listened to this book on Audible, and once again Ray Porter’s narration was excellent. Again his narration involved me in the story in a way that the book would not be able to.

Another new character that I liked was Sercie. When she started out she was a very dry character until she introduced herself to Joe. That scene in itself was completely hysterical,  and I really liked that they brought her in as a former friend of Grace’s.

Another thing I liked about this book was the plot. In Patient Zero and The Dragon Factory, I guessed a majority of the ending about halfway through the book. With this book, I had no idea what was coming until the very end. I was happy with a plot that kept me guessing and at the same time was brilliant in its own simplicity. I enjoyed not guessing the ending halfway through the book.

Overall, another very interesting and involving book that continues to grow the main characters. I look forward to the next.

Happy Friday the 13th

Wow, a Friday the 13th and Halloween in the same month. Black cats beware. To celebrate, I have made these amazon kindle short stories free until Saturday the 14th.

Just Desserts is a Halloween short story about the downside of Halloween hijinks.

Playback is a suspenseful short story about a video game.

Mr. Smiley is a series of short stories about a TwlightZoneesque bed and breakfast.

Fragments of Fear: Collection contains all of my kindle short stories except for Mr. Smiley.

The Mall is a novellette about strange goings-on inside a shopping center at night.

The Trail is a suspenseful short story about a group of friends on a hike through the woods with deadly consequences.

 

Please feel free to enjoy any and all of my stories. I only ask that you consider posting a review on amazon. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few lines telling what you liked about the story. If you don’t feel comfortable posting a review, I understand and still hope that you will avail yourself of this opportunity. Have a great day.

BOO!