#ThursThreads Week 326 : Just Let It Flow

“Well, Pastor Greg. You have a rather nasty brother, don’t you.” It was true. His brother was part of Crew 38, and new Harry very well. “Little Jimmy has a gun fetish, doesn’t he?” I left a note to Pastor Greg trapped to his TV screen, “Little Jimmy did a bad thing.”

Crew 38 got word from Harry of a transgender thing people wanted gone. They gave Jimmy the job. “Kill it.”

Jimmy had. He’d gathered a few of his friends, and told them what they were going to do. “We’re going to take back our world. One step at a time. We’ll be safer when it’s gone.”

The idiots had taken pictures with their phones, and had them in a photo album at the Crew 38 single wide trailer in one of the trailer parks outside of town. The entire gang was disturbed to find all those pictures spread out on the kitchen counter one night, and a computer printed note that said, “I know who you are.”

Jimmy called Pastor Greg every time another note turned up. “I wonder when I’ll kill you.” “Was it fun to use a knife?” “I’ll cut off your fingers. One at a time. While you watch.” “Was it fun to watch the blood? To just let it flow?” “Tell the others, I’m coming for them.”

Pastor Greg called the sheriff. They moved Jimmy to a safe house. Jimmy still got notes. Tapped to the TV screen. “It’s almost time. It’s almost time.”

247 Words

Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. Maybe 6 parts left. It’s Week 326 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.


#ThursThreads Week 324 : And When Will That Be?

On the fourth day, the messages on the internet changed. The pictures of Michelle’s mutilated body showed up again. But the message tied to them was different. “Dear, Michelle. I know who did this to you. I know who took your life from you.” There were several pictures of Michelle, walking in the sunshine, at a botanical garden, with roses everywhere. She was smiling, and happy. “I know who took this from you.” Pictures of her in line with a friend, buying movie tickets, and laughing. “I know who stole your life from you.”

Then, the sheriff’s voice spoke, “I said, lay low for now. Stay out of sight. I’ll take care of it.”

A muffled voice answered, “I’ll talk with the boys. See what they can stir up. Stop the guy.”


“Would be a shame if Janie knew about you and Shelly.”

There was silence for a moment, then the sheriff’s voice, “Try not to kill anybody. OK.”

“No promises. We’ll take care of this.”

Then the text changed to say, “Oh, sheriff… I think Janie knows about Shelly now…”

Lastly, there was a picture of a house, in a good neighborhood, with a big tree in the front yard, and roses along the porch. Beneath that was a timer counting down from eight hours. Beneath that the text asked, “Almost time for more trouble. And when will that be? When time runs out.”

It was almost time to give Michelle the justice she deserved.

247 Words

Getting closer to the end of this Armor 17 story. Wonder what I should do with it when the draft is finished. I think of something, I suppose. Anyway. It’s Week 324 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/08/02

“I came down here to visit you, you know.” Well. What else was I supposed to say? What is anyone supposed to say inside a crypt, surrounded by the homes of the dead? I didn’t know, but felt I had to say something.

“Your Mom. She doesn’t know what to feel anymore. You know that?” It was true. Her Mom spent hours smiling, and talking, and laughing, and singing, and then… She spent hours crying, and prone on the floor, and staring at her Bible, and her painting of Jesus on the cross, always asking, “Why?”

“You’re Dad’s started drinking.” Everyone had seen that coming. We knew that was how he coped with loss.

“They both ask me why. Why you left. Why you thought you had to leave.” I stared at the drawer she was in. Put my hand on the marble plate on the door. “Ella.”

I don’t know how many times I’d cried, how many nights I’d stared at the stars and wondered if she was happy, finally. At peace, finally. And finally, didn’t spend her existence in agony, constant pain, misery.

“I know. I know.” It didn’t make sense to say why. Ella knew I understood. Those nights I’d sat on the floor, next to the sofa, with her having finally cried herself to sleep, her hand resting on my shoulder. Hell, I didn’t care if I couldn’t stand up the next morning, I wouldn’t move. I’d stay right there, and be right there when she woke.

And she always woke too soon. And always in agony. I could see that in her eyes.

“I used to ask God, you know. I did. Let me carry all the hurt for a while. Let her be happy. Just for a little while. But God never answered me.”

I told her about the darkness in me. I did. That darkness that stains everything. Touches everything. How I can look at a perfect rose, soft, velvet petals, tiny drops of dew on it, and want to hold onto it because I saw the darkness around it, and knew it was going to be gone too soon.

I told her of the times I walked beside the main street. Cars zooming by. Big ass trucks too. “You know. All I had to do to be free, to escape that dark. All I had to do was wait. And when it was time. Take two steps to the side. And all the darkness would have been gone. I’d have been free from it.”

She knew. My Ella knew. And she knew I wouldn’t. Not that I couldn’t. That I wouldn’t. Because. If I did that, I’d have lost her. My Ella. She knew. I’d have walked through the flames of hell, the ones that set fire to the rocks, to be able to see her, and hold her hand, and talk with her.

She knew I’d take being stabbed by a pitchfork, every breath I took, every step I took, every heartbeat, to see the roses once again. To stand on the sand by the ocean, and close my eyes, and feel the breeze, smell the salt on the air, and feel the heat of the sun on my face.

My Ella. She knew. She knew me. Knew I’d learned. The darkness was a small price to pay, and small thing to endure, for me to see those few moments, those few people, that mattered to me. That were gifts to me. From God. I was cursed in this life, I knew that. Ella knew that.

“You had the best smile. And pure magic in your eyes, you know.” I stood in silence for a time, and tried to feel her there, with me. Reaching across time, space, the fabric of life. To hold my hand once more.

“I know.” I wished I could hold her one more time. “I know. My Ella. Be at peace now. Be happy now. Be free. At long last. Be free.”

Finally, I turned, and walked from the crypt. Back into the darkness of the night. The darkness I’d always lived with. As much as I wanted to be free, to join Ella wherever she’d gone. I knew I wouldn’t. I’d stay.

Because I had to see the roses bloom another day. Soft velvet petals. And tiny drops of dew. That somehow, for some reason, washed all the darkness away. If only for a little while. And perhaps. Someday. I would find another soul, like Ella. Who could touch my heart. Like the roses did.

That thought alone was worth staying for.

767 words

This is written for Week 66 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/07/25

It was time for me to change. To grow. To do something else. I knew that. I’d known that for years. And fought it for years. Told myself 90 billion lies, too. “If you stop, if you go somewhere else, do something else, what happens to the people around you?” That was the obvious one. There were others. “What happens if you don’t make as much money?” With bills to pay, that one would hurt. “What happens if you fail?” That was always the fear.

But, I’d played my piano for 30 years. More, actually, if you count the time I spent learning to play. Started in 5th grade. Took lessons clean through high school. Took more lessons, and more classes at the university. I didn’t count those years in that 30.

And it was always the same thing. The same story. I wrote something, played it, everyone listened, spoke of how talented I was, told me how great I could have been, asked me why I stayed where I was. On, and on it went.

All the images were there. One big image. Of me, being a gifted, talented pianist, and composer. Able to compose tunes off the top of my head that were better than anyone expected. Able to play for hours on end.

It was exactly how it was supposed to be. I was who I was supposed to be, and how I was supposed to be. Everyone else knew who I was, and what I was, and what mattered to me. Life was running according to the perfect little plan.

Another soul would have stayed put. Too afraid to move. Too afraid to change. “I’m too old. What if I fail? What if I go broke, and have to sell everything? What if I get sick, and can’t afford the medicine I need?” Another soul would have sucked it up. And toughed it out. And been a grown up, responsible, and mature, and tried harder.

What do you do when you realize everything you are is a lie? When everything you do, everything you say, the way you behave, isn’t you, but is some character played by an actor on the stage, before an audience.

She’d asked me to write a song for her, just for her, no one else. “Make it something about the color yellow.” I’d sat down at my piano intent on doing so. Except. My fingers wouldn’t work. I don’t know why. Every time I raised my hands to the keyboard, to play the notes, my hands shook, and my fingers failed to move where they were supposed to. It felt like touching my fingertips to hot burners on a stove. Fire. Burning.

I stared at my keyboard for hours. I’d closed my eyes, and tried to picture the score in my head. I’d done that countless times. But all I saw were blank staffs. No notes. And the paper was always burning. Always.

I failed to write a note. Not a single note. The score was empty. Blank. The next day, I tried again. And failed again. And again on the third day. And the fourth.

The fifth day my eyes saw the truth. It was a moment I can’t forget. I try. I’ve tried since that day. But always, I remember everything, every detail. The keys on my keyboard, worn from decades of use, some chipped, some with the white top missing. The F sharp that never worked, no matter how hard my fingers pressed it. All it ever said was a soft, felt muffled “tock”. The stains on the top, by the music rack, left by thousands of cans of soda, spilled, or so cold they formed puddles of water from condensation. So many details. So many years. So much time.

I looked around that day. Studied the entire room. I knew it was a room, that’s where the piano was. Where it still is today. When I looked that day, there were no walls, no floor, no carpet, no bookcases along the wall, no lamp next to the piano to provide light for me to see with. Only a barren, parched field of sparse clumps of weeds, and bare dirt.

But off to one side, I could see mountains, near the horizon. They were miles away, I knew that. I knew too, they were green. Full of life. Full of flowers, birds, trees, squirrels, maybe even streams, and creeks, with fish in them.

It was a place I wanted to be. A place I knew I was meant to be.

I’d known for years I was supposed to move on. Known it was long past time for me to change. That I’d been locked in time, stagnant, unchanging, not growing. If anything, decaying. Leaving nothing but that image of who I was, and what I was.

That was the day I turned off the light next to my piano, stood up, stared at my keyboard one last time, and left the room. That was ten years ago. I have never been in that room since that day. That day when I realized how empty, how barren, my life, my world, had become. That day when I started this journey I’m on now. To reach those mountains I see, over there, miles away, near the horizon.

I’m looking for something. I know that. If I ever find that something, I’ll let you know. But, for now, and for all the days since I closed the door to that room. I have never felt happier.

922 words

This is written for Week 65 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Miranda says I should write it out, what I feel. We’ll see. In the meantime, you can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.


#ThursThreads Week 322 : It Was Up To Them

The police checked every hotel. Ever bed and breakfast. Every campground, park, parking lot, vacant house, empty building. They held the greatest manhunt anyone in town had ever seen. They found nothing. I had to chuckle about that. After all, I was a dead man. A man who didn’t exist. Encased in an armor that diffracted the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and rendered me invisible. I couldn’t be seen, or heard. Even their camera systems were of no help.

They went door to door through the entire town. Nothing. No one had ever seen the man in the picture from the video. They found no car. No motorcycle. No taxi use. Nothing.

As they searched, the internet went insane for a third day. This time, it showed those who wished Michelle didn’t exist, so they never had to deal with that thing, Michelle, again. How so many of them smiled, and laughed, and cheered when they found her mangled body that day.

“I’m glad she’s gone.”

“I don’t have to be nice to it anymore!”

“Now, I can use the women’s room again!”

Those words were why I’d come to their town. Why I’d acted. Why I would finish what I’d started. It was up to them, to their actions, to their deeds. They’d acted with violence, hatred, and intolerance.

I’d responded in kind.

And revealed their hatred to the world. Like the saying goes. Nothing on the internet ever really goes away.

243 Words

The next part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 322 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read. And there are some great writers who turn out weekly.

Miranda Kate’s Mid-Week Challenge : 2018/07/08

I stared at the stack of strange objects on the raised board. “What the hell is that, Muddy?”

Muddy held his hands before himself, and made a cross with his fingers. “I don’t know. But it can’t hurt to be safe, right?” He started mumbling the safety prayer. “Dear Father, protect us from the things which can cause us harm, and keep us safe, so we can continue to do your work in this life.”

I held up my hands and made a cross too, just to be safe.

“They don’t look dangerous, do they?”

Muddy kept his fingers crossed, and pointed at the stack. “Isn’t everything dangerous if we don’t know what it is?”

I pointed at the board. “And that board, balanced on four talk, skinny boards. What is that? And how does it work?”

Muddy slowly approached the stack, and crouched down. “The skinny boards seem to be attached to the big one somehow, making a flat surface up in the air.” I crouched down to see for myself, as Muddy moved around the stack and studied it. “There are some strange silver colored things that seem to hold the skinny boards in place, and the big board to the skinny ones.”

I stuck my hand into the opening under the raised board. “Empty space. Nothing there. Why would anyone make a board float in the air, and then pile stuff on it?”

Muddy had the perfect answer, of course, “Why would anyone live in a cave under the ground?”

It was a cave. What else could it be. It was under the ground. “We’d have never found it if the board over the opening hadn’t blown away. Or whatever it did.”

Muddy nodded. “Yeah. It would have been invisible.”

We’d found the opening, after a big storm, with lots of wind. I got up with the sun, and headed to the fields. And there, on the side of the small hill I’d rested on many times, was a gaping hole. I’d called Muddy. “What the hell is that?”

We’d prayed about what to do, and asked God. Then, we stared into the dark hold. “Muddy. You stay here. I’m going to get a candle.” I’d come back a few minutes later. Muddy was still there, praying. I’d lit the candle, and we’d started into the hole. It was some kind of path. Strange for a cave, really. Almost like a big rectangle had been cut out of the ground. And it went down, into the ground.

We’d taken that path. And that lead us to the cave.

“Yeah. This is one strange cave.” I touched one of the cave walls. “The walls are smooth, and they don’t feel like dirt, or brick, or wood, or even rock.”

“Yeah. And it’s like the path. Like something cut a big box into the ground, with smooth walls. Almost like a room in the barn.”

I nodded. “It’s like it’s not natural.” That’s when we panicked. Not natural meant one thing. The Devil and his minions had made the cave.

“We need to get the hell out of here. Now.” Muddy was already running toward the path, to escape the cave. I followed him, as fast as my legs would run. We didn’t stop running when we escaped the cave.

“We need to get to Poppa. He’ll be able to call in the Church. They’ll know what to do. They’ll be able to save us from the Devil’s work in the hill.”

583 words

This is written for Week 62 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. Not certain if I’m able to write much these days. We’ll have to see. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. And many of them are amazing.

It has been a while since I dared to make a wish.

It has been a while since I dared to make a wish.
For I know the bitter truth.
Of this world I never made.

It targets dreams and wishes.
Strangles them.
Beats them.
Carves them into parts.
Before your very eyes.
Because you dare to dream
Of a better world.
Of a kinder life.

Sometimes, I know, it’s better,
And so much easier.
To be silent.
To not make any wishes.
To not have any dreams.
To keep them buried.
To keep them safe.
From this world I never made.

But today…

Today I heard that small, quiet voice.
The one that lives inside my soul.
The one that whispers quietly.
The one that never lies to me.
The one that knows the truth.

That voice…

The voice of my heart…

And I know.
I know.

There is a wish I have to make.
Before I can ever sleep at night.
In this world I never made.

Come at me once again, you demons.
You shadows in the dark.
Strike from the corners,
Where the light doesn’t shine.
Where you hide.
And wait.
Until I speak the truth.

I know then you always strike.
But you can never win.
Never silence.
That small voice.
That quiet voice.
That never lies.
That speaks the truth.

Today I make a wish.
For friends.
For friends I do not know.
Friends I will never meet.
Whose hands I will never get to hold.
Whose hugs I will never know.

Today I make this wish.
For them.
And for me.
May it shine a bit of light
Where it needs to go.
Into the dark corners,
And the darker hallways.
Of this world I never made.

I saw the words of a wounded soul today.
Impersonal words.
Black, digital patterns.
On a field of white.
It was a cry for help.
So very obvious to me.
Like I could hear the words.
Cried out by a heart.
Left too alone, for too long,
In this world of dark, and cold.

And I found I wished an old wish once again.
But in a different way.

I have always wondered if perhaps,
I should get a chair.
A wheelchair.
Not a fancy one.
A simple one.
That I’d have to push around myself.

I have always wondered if perhaps,
I should find such souls.
In the dark.
And in the cold.
And grant them simple wishes.
Wishes I know they don’t receive.
Make dreams come true for them.
In a world that’s stolen everything.

Perhaps someday I should.
Get that chair.
And take my car.
And drive.
Drive to where those wounded are.
And ask them,
If they would care
To take a walk with me.
Through the flowers of a garden somewhere.
Along the boardwalk of a beach.
In a bookstore filled with books.

Or if they have somewhere,
Someplace they dream of going.
That the never go.
That the never see.

And give the gift to me.
Of giving that to them.

It would mean
They wouldn’t be invisible.
They wouldn’t have to live alone.

So, there’s my wish,
World that I never made.
I may never see the day
When I strive to make that wish come true.
There are too many parts of me,
Too many parts of my soul.
That are long gone.

But I know.
Even writing down the words.
Making my wish known.
In this world I never made.

Is a dangerous thing to do.

And perhaps.
My heart is only trying to tell me
What I know I should really do.

I do not know.
I only know.
What I wish for on this day.
In this world.
I never made.

Come at me world.
I know you will.
I know you have to kill.
This simple wish I’ve made.