What Else Was He To Do But Wait?

Simon woke up. He remembered the ground had stopped shaking. He opened his eyes. It was still dark. He was still there. Wherever there was. It was the darkest he could remember it ever being. He stared straight ahead, and tried to see anything. Nothing. Just black. He figured there was dust. His mouth tasted like he’d eaten dry cardboard.

He tried to move once more. Found nothing had changed. He could wiggle his left foot, but couldn’t move his left leg at all. He couldn’t even feel his right leg. Couldn’t tell if it moved or not. He could make a fist with his left hand. Wave it up and down at the wrist. But when he tried to bend his left arm at the elbow, all he saw was this brilliant white light. And he got really hot. And sweaty. And, Momma, did it hurt to try to move his arm. His right arm worked. Sort of. He could feel it move around. He could bend it at the elbow. Swing it up over his head. Hold it out in front of himself. He supposed that was actually holding it up, pointing at the ceiling.

He could breathe. Thankfully. But it felt like he was stuck under a sheet of plywood that some football team was sitting on. He couldn’t budge that plywood sheet at all. It was tough to breathe, but at least he could.

OK. Nothing had changed since the last time he’d tried to move. Simon tried to smile about that. “That’s a good thing,” he thought to himself.

“Testing. Testing. 1. 2. 3.” Simple to say. Really simple. He tried to say it several times. To him, it felt like he was saying it. He swore he could hear it. Hear his voice. But he couldn’t be sure. Maybe it was just his mind wanting to believe he could be heard. He could call for help.

Simon took a few minutes, and screamed at the top of his lungs. As loudly, and long as he could. No need to scream something that made sense. “Aaaaaaa!” was perfectly acceptable. He figured “Aaaaaa!” would be something people would be listening for. That they’d be listening for any sound at all.

Hell, for all Simon knew, his screams were silent, and couldn’t be heard by anyone. But, you now. Optimism. His family. His friends. They’d always said that. “Keep your chin up!” and “You need to be more optimistic.” And all that. So, OK. He’d be optimistic, for once. And assume that he was screaming at the top of his lungs, and could be heard for miles.

When he was out of breath, and his lungs ached, and he felt horse, and his throat hurt so bad he couldn’t even whisper, he stopped screaming. It was time to use his right arm. He bent that at the elbow, raising his right fist up, and then he straightened his arm out, slamming his fist into the ground. Or, if it wasn’t the ground, whatever the hell it was.

Simon kept that up as long as he could. Until he couldn’t even close his right hand anymore. Until he couldn’t wiggle the fingers because it hurt so much he screamed. Until all he could do was cry from the pain.

He had no idea what day it was. No idea how long he’d been stuck there. Unable to get up. Unable to move, pretty much. All he remembered was the ground shaking. It was an earthquake. Everyone scattered. Panicked. All the training, all the practice, all the drills. “Climb under your desk.” All that crap went away when the building started moving, and the ground started acting like a trampoline with a football team jumping up and down on it.

He should be hungry, he supposed. At least he should be thirsty. But somehow, he wasn’t. For all he knew, he could have been there for hours. Or days. He had no way to measure time. No way at all.

Simon decided to stick with his routine. A simple one. Make a lot of noise. And when you can’t make noise anymore, take another nap. So, he closed his eyes, and slowly drifted back to sleep. He’d sleep for a little while. And then, when he woke up, he’d make more noise. Someone would find him. He had to believe that. Someone would find him.

In the meantime, what else was he to do but wait?

 

I composed this tale for fun, based on the prompt for the 38th ThursThreads flash fiction challenge. The challenge is hosted weekly by Siobhan Muir. There are always spellbinding entries in the challenge, and some amazing works of fiction. Please explore them all, read them all, and enjoy them.

Time Heals

I’ve been wounded.
Emotionally.
By a world
I never made.
A world that’s cold.
Harsh.
Heartless.
Ruthless
And violent.

And I’m still here.
I haven’t gone away.
I haven’t given up.
I’m still here.
Trying yet again.

Because I know.
I understand.

Wounds take time to heal.

But as I sit here,
I can’t help but feel
Sadness and remorse.
I can’t help but feel
The aching of my heart.
I can’t help but feel
The tears my soul cries.

Every time
I open my eyes.
And look around.

I’ve spoken before.
This I know.
But there’s so much to say.
So very much.

If you blister your hand
On the stove top
When you’re cooking
One day.
Do you stop?
Do you stop cooking?
Do you never cook again?
Do you cower in fear,
Unable to go near
Your own kitchen
Once again?

If you have a flat tire
On your car.
And you scrape the hide
Off of your knuckles
As you change that flat,
Do you stop?
Do you stop driving?
So you won’t ever have to face
Another flat tire
In your life?
Do you refuse to drive
Alone?

And yet,
If she screams at you.
If she calls you names.
If she says she wishes
You were dead.
Do you stop?
Do you never speak to her
Again?
Do you lock your memories away?
Dig a hole for them
In your back yard.
Bury them.
So they never bother you
Again?

If you break your leg
While skiing down a mountain
In the ice and snow,
Do you stop?
Do you put your skis away,
Never touching them again?
Do you pretend
You never skied at all,
In all your days?

If you catch the flu
From caring for a friend
While they are sick,
And need someone’s help.
Someone to care for them.
Do you stop?
Do you never care
For any of your friends
Ever again?
Just because they’re ill.
And you might catch
What they’ve got?

If everyone you know
Abandons you.
Never speaks to you again.
Walks away
When they see you.
What do you do?
Do you stop?
Do you stop caring at all
For the people around you?
Do you stop making friends
With the people you see
Every day that your alive?

What do you do?

If you are depressed.
Feeling very blue.
Knowing there is nothing
You can do
To fix that
On your own.
Feeling like your life
Is all but over.
Feeling trapped
In the life you lead.
Wishing that the pain
Of your life
Would end.

What do you do?

If he turns one day.
And walks away.
“I’ll never speak to you again.”
And your feel as if your heart
Will never beat again.
As if the colors of the world
Have all been replaced
By shades of gray.
As if someone
Just impaled your soul
On a 10 foot metal stake.

What do you do?

Do you learn
To never love again?
Do you learn
To never feel again?
Do you learn to say,
“There’s nothing I can do?”
Or
“I can’t get involved.”
Or
“I’ll keep a safe distance
Away from you.
So I won’t get hurt too?”

If you bruise your ribs
Playing paint ball
With your friends.
And it hurts like hell.
For several days.
Makes it hard to breathe
Without feeling pain.

What do you do?
Do you tell everyone
You’re sorry.
But you’ll never join them
For another trip
To the paintball place?

Or do you know
That the bruises,
And the breaks.
The nicks,
And the dings.
The cuts
And the scrapes
Are all just part of life.
And you’re going
To have to deal with them.
Because bruises,
Breaks and nicks,
Dings and cuts
And scrapes
Are just going to happen.
And you can’t avoid them
No matter what you do?

So you deal with them.
And then go on with life.
Doing what you did
To get hurt in the first place.

If you understand that,
Then I have a question for you.

If life breaks your heart.
Tears your world apart.
Reduces you to tears
Of pain.

Do you stop?

Or do you take
The time it takes
For wounds to heal?

Because you know
Time heals
Everything.

And sometimes
You just have to deal
With pain.

It Wasn’t A Dream

Karen sat down on the foot of the bed. She hated being there. In a locked room. Nothing but a white hospital style bed. She’d been trapped in that room for several weeks. Every since she’d been hurt. She’d tried to explain to them what had happened. She patiently wrote it all down on paper. She drew pictures using stick figures. She became frustrated, and screamed at them. Told them how stupid they were. They weren’t listening to her.

They always brought her back to the room. Strapped her to the bed. Gave her a shot of something that put her to sleep.

If she behaved like they wanted her to, they’d let her out now and then. With someone always there with her. To bring her back to the room if she didn’t behave just right.

No one understood. If she slept, that’s when it all happened. That’s when she moved to the other world. The so-called doctors explained it was some kind of a sleep disorder. Where she dreamed in her sleep, and acted out the dreams in real life. That she’d had a bad dream. In the dream, she’d been injured by a knife. Stabbed in her left side. They said she’d done it herself. They said it explained how her husband found her on the floor of the kitchen, blood everywhere, when he got home from work one night.

As she sat on the foot of her bed, leaned back. Then fell asleep, her feet still resting on the floor. Her arms spread, her hands hanging off the edges of the bed. That’s when she realized she was in a swamp. Trees everywhere. The ground was boggy, with lots of water standing on it. Here toes were in the muddy water. So were the two feet of the bed.

That’s when she sat up. That’s when she smiled. That’s when she laughed. Her bed! It was with her! Now, everyone would see. Now everyone would know. She leaned back on the bed. Closed her eyes. Everyone would finally see, she wasn’t lying. She wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t dreaming. She was moving into an adjacent reality. A dangerous reality that was anything but a dream.

She kept her eyes closed. And listened. Until she fell asleep.

She woke with two big orderlies shaking her. Two of the doctors were at the foot of the bed. Everyone in the room looked confused. They wanted to know how she’d hidden the bed. How she’d hidden herself. She’d been missing for hours. And suddenly, she’d just magically reappeared in her room. Asleep on her bed. With her feet soaked. Mud caked on the bed’s legs.

She told them.

They strapped her to the bed. “Don’t lie to us. Tell us the truth.”

She cried herself to sleep that night. Praying for he nightmare to finally end.

 

This was written in response to the prompts for the 30th SatSunTails flash fiction challenge, hosted by Rebecca Clare Smith. The challenge limits the story to 150 words. I found I couldn’t strip this one down that way. Too much would be left out. But, if you would, please visit the SatSunTails page, and read the stories for the challenge this week. they are all very well crafted.

The Park Benches

The the park benches were still where I’d put them, years before. The wooden slats were rotting away. One bench only had a few pieces of wood remaining. The iron ends of the benches were rusty. Another few years, and they’d begin to break down.

We’d sat on benches like them. She and I. She’d always been so sad. I’d tried to cheer her up. I had. But nothing I said. Nothing I did. Worked. Before she was free, I’d never thought of setting up benches here, so I could sit with her. Under the tree she used to love. But one day, she’d asked me to put benches here. So I had.

It took a while. I had to find the perfect benches. Then I had to wait for the perfect couple to sit on each bench. When a couple sat down, all it took was two little puffs from my dart gun. Just like that, I had everything I needed for each bench. Everything she’d asked for.

I brought each bench here. Set each couple up on their bench. Posing them carefully. Made it look like they were in love. She was so proud of me. She smiled. Kissed me on the cheek. Thanked me.

Everyone thinks she’s dead. I don’t know why, thought. I tried to explain to them, she’s not dead. They all say I killed her. But I didn’t. I didn’t kill her. No. I just did what she asked me to do.

I set her free.

Once I’d set her free, she stopped crying. She stopped being sad. And she brought me here. Showed me this tree. And she asked me to put two park benches here. For her. So she could come sit with me on nights I came to visit her. And she still visits me. Still talks with me. Every time I come here.

 

This is the uncut version of the tale I crafted for the 40th Friday Picture Show flash fiction challenge. The challenge limits the entries to 100 words. No more, no less. I couldn’t let the story stand as just 100 words. I had to fill it in. Bring it to life. Find its voice. So, here it is. In all its words.

Jen De Santis hosts the Friday Picture Show. Each week people share 100 words of magic inspired by the picture for the week. Please. Go read all the entries this week. It’s amazing what some people can create with just 100 words.

Living In That Box

I remember words from August of 2010.
Words spoken by a friend.
As he tried so very hard
To explain to me
How things were,
And why people behaved
The way they did.

“They’re private people, Mark.
They don’t show what they’re feeling.
They don’t talk about such things.
They just do their work.”

I didn’t understand his words.
They left me confused
And lost.
Without a shred of understanding
Of how people are.
Of how they behave.

I remember words from September of 2010.
Spoken by another friend.
He knew what would happen to me.
He saw it coming.
Tried to warn me.

“I know working here sucks.
But you have to behave.
Be like they want you to be.
‘Cause they’ll get rid of you.
Doesn’t matter how good you are.
If you don’t fit in.
They’ll get rid of you.”

I didn’t understand his words.
They made no sense to me.
Fit in.
Behave.
How could people be
Someone they are not?

I remember words I spoke
To her.
The Lenten Rose.
On the last day I worked
In the job
I used to have.

October 6th.
2010.

“They’re all broken,
Aren’t they?
Every one of them.”

I remember how she smiled.
I remember how she nodded.
“Yes.”
Was all she said.

I never returned
To that land of work.

I remember words
My boss spoke to me.
When he expressed his frustration
In dealing with me.
It was his way of saying
That I had to learn
To live inside the box.

“But you can’t be that way,
Mark.”

I could have tried to say something.
To explain to him.
That I can’t be any other way.
That I can’t fit
Back in that box.

But I knew
He wouldn’t understand.
So I didn’t try.
I let him believe
What he wanted to.
‘Cause I knew
All he saw
Was inside the bounds
Of that box.
And in his eyes
There is not other way
To be.

I remember several months.
In 2011.
Starting with May 1st,
And Ending in October.

I tried to go to church.
I did.
I tried to find a place
Where I could fit in.
Where I could feel
Like I belonged.

At that church I found
An old friend.
One I hadn’t seen in decades.
It was great to see her
Once again.

But as time went by
I ran into the same thing
I’d run into
In the land of work.

I did things differently.
Reacted differently.
Felt differently.
About almost everything.
About the word of God.
About the way things are.
About how people
Should behave.

And I saw once again,
How very broken deep inside
Almost everyone there was.

This time I didn’t wait
To be pushed away.
This time
I walked away
All on my own.

I’ve written many times
Since then.
About how I pray for them.
The people I once knew.
I’ve spoken with my doctor
Week after week.
For months on end.
About what I see
When I think of them.

They live inside a box.
A single box.
That defines how life
Should be.
And never step outside that box.
For any reason.

It’s very much as if
Outside the box is where
All the monsters live.
And if you leave the box
You’ll get eaten.
You’ll be some monsters
Lunch.

And I’m outside their box.
Outside their way of life.
I see things differently.
Which bothers them
A lot.

So here I am
Outside their box.
Wishing they could understand
How I care for them.
How I wish them well.
How I wish they would wake up and see
The scares upon their hearts.
The chains upon their souls.

But I know.
I’ve learned.
Through time.
And pain.
They don’t see things
As I do.

To them.
I’m wrong.
I’m dangerous.
Hell,
I’m a spawn of Satan,
Don’t you know.

Their world is all there is.
And that works for them.
And in their world,
Inside that box.
Everything’s OK.
There’s nothing wrong
With them.

They don’t even understand,
And they don’t see at all.
How broken and afraid
They really are.

All they know is
That they have to stay
Inside the box.
Where it’s safe.

God,
How I pray for them.

I will never fit
Inside the box
That they live in.
I will never be
Like them.
Never do things
In their way.

But I won’t judge
A single soul
That lives inside the box.
How could I?
When just two years ago
I lived inside the box
With them?
And just like them
I didn’t know,
And couldn’t see
How hurt and broken
I’d become.

Living in that box.

But I woke up.
Came back to life.
And stepped outside the box.

Now that I can see
The way things are
Inside that box.
I know this simple truth.
There is nothing I want.
Nothing left for me.
No reason at all
For me to stay

Living in that box.

I’m free.

And I like being that way.

The Bedtime Story

[Author’s note : I wrote this story on Thursday, 08 April 1999. I share it tonight for someone I know living with monsters that haunt her heart and soul. I wish I could fight them for her.]

Once upon a time, there was a little girl. I do not recall her name. I only know she was young, about four years old. She was a pretty little girl, with curly strawberry-blond hair, and ice blue eyes. But she didn’t really look like Shirley Temple…

This little girl didn’t like to go to bed at night. She would scream at her Father, “But, Daddy! The monsters in the dark! They’ll get me! They’ll eat me up!”

And she wouldn’t go to bed. Her father would sit in his big rocking chair, and she would climb into her Father’s lap, and he would rock her to sleep. When she was asleep, he would carry her to her bed, and carefully tuck her in. “Good night, precious. Sleep tight,” he would say. Then, he would kiss her cheek, and go do the things that Father’s do after everyone else is asleep.

Eventually, the Father became tired of having to rock his daughter to sleep every night. After hundreds of nights in a row, wouldn’t you? So, the Father decided it was time for his daughter to learn to go to sleep in her own bed.

But the little girl refused. “Daddy, the monsters! The monsters in the dark! They scare me! I can’t sleep knowing they are there!” So, the Father had to tell his daughter about the monsters in the dark. What they were, and where they came from. And how to not be afraid of them.

So, he got his little girl into her bed, and tucked under her covers. And he sat down on the side of her bed, and held her hand, and told her this story…

 

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was afraid of the monsters in the dark. And she would not sleep at night, because they scared her so. So, her Father, who was not a wise man, but who knew all about monsters, told her, “You don’t have to be afraid of the monsters, and tonight, I’ll stay up with you, and I’ll show you why.”

So, that night, when it was time for the little girl to go to bed, her Father tucked her in, and then sat down on the edge of her bed. “Let’s just wait here, and we’ll wait for the monsters to show up.”

And the little girl lay in her bed, and waited. And she watched the shadows on her bedroom walls. And on her bedroom ceiling. And she listened to all the noises in the dark.

And she sat up in her bed, and pointed, “There, Daddy! There’s a monster!” And her Daddy looked at the monster in the dark, resting on her bedroom wall. “Oh, precious,” he said. “That’s just a shadow. And it’s certainly not a shadow to be afraid of. Why, look.” And he stood up, and walked across the room. And he picked up her little, pink Teddy bear. And when he did, the monster on the wall moved, and went away.

“See, precious. It’s not a monster at all. It’s just a shadow from your Teddy bear. It’s just Teddy, standing on your dresser, keeping watch over your room. Making sure the monsters of the dark don’t come in. Making sure you’re safe while you sleep.”

And the little girl looked at the wall, where the monster had been. And she looked at her Teddy bear. “Oh, Daddy! I didn’t know it was Teddy. Please put him back, so he can watch me while I sleep!”

And from that night on, the little girl knew that the monsters in the dark were just shadows on the walls. And that they weren’t anything to be afraid of.

[Good night, young one. Sleep tight. And know the monsters are not real. Though sometimes they can be very frightening, I know.

Mark.]

He Just Stared Out The Window

It was lunch time. Stephen sat down at the table. Same table he always sat at. Same place he always ate lunch. The local Subway. Right down the road from the office where he worked. He picked up his sub. Took a big bite. Chewed it. Swallowed it. Grabbed his soda. Took a big gulp of that.

Then he stopped. He just started out the window, watching the cars on the road outside as they drove by. As he did, he closed his eyes. The image was still there. The image of Diane. Sitting at her desk. In tears. Hurt. Alone. And he’d walked away. Left her sitting there. In tears. Alone.

He stared out the window, and watched the cars. No one in those cars even knew his name. No one knew Diane. No one knew that he’s walked away. No one cared. He tore his eyes from the window. Resumed eating his sub. Silently assaulting it with his teeth. Draining his soda too quickly. Stephen had to get up, and get a refill.

When he sat back down, to finish his sub, his eyes drifted to the window again. And once more, he just stared out the window, watching the cars as they rolled by. Only this time, he didn’t see the cars. He saw Diane face. Painted on the window. She was crying. Hurt. And he heard her voice as she said to him, “You abandoned me.”

Angrily, he got up. Threw out the remains of his sub. Took his soda with him to his car. Drained it on the way back to the office. Once there, he buried himself in his work. Whatever had happened with Diane, it wasn’t his problem. It wasn’t his job. He wasn’t supposed to take care of her. He had to take care of his family. Do his job. Keep the money coming in. Be dependable. Reliable. Let Diane deal with her own problems. They weren’t his. There was nothing he could do for her.

And with each hour that ticked by on that day, Stephen’s heart grew a little colder. A little harder. A touch less alive. A touch less human. Until he’d convinced himself he’d done nothing wrong at all when he’d walked away and left Diane, hurt and all alone, crying at her desk. And that was all it took for Stephen to take one more step down the path of turning the heart within his chest to ice. Frozen hard as any stone. Unable to feel anything for anyone any more.

This piece was written in response to the prompt for the 37th Thursday Threads flash fiction challenge hosted by Siobhan Muir. This piece clearly ignores the limit of 250 words, and no more, for the challenge. But for now, I need to ignore those word limit rules. I’m searching for something. And I’m slowly finding it.

Feel free to go read the entries in the Thursday Threads challenge. They are all well written, creative, artistically rendered and crafted pieces of flash fiction. I certainly have enjoyed reading them. I think you would too.

You should also know that this piece is a continuation of a piece I first wrote 22 months ago, titled, Cold As Ice And Hard As Stone. That piece was revised in December of 2011. You may find the revised version here.

Dreams : Cold As Ice And Hard As Stone (Revised)

The EVER Flash Fiction Blog Hop and Giveaway by Jessa Russo

‘Cause every now and then, I step outside of my comfort zone to learn something new. Never tried writing a “ghostly paranormal romance” before. But life’s an adventure, right (or in this case, write)? So, on September 15th, I’ll post my first Flash Fiction Ghostly Paranormal Romance.

Click on the big button below to go find out about the “EVER” blog hop. And if you like to write. Don’t be afraid to try something new.

Jessa Russo {My Writing Blog}

Steam-punk, Robot Dogs

They said it was a blue moon. A rare event. The second full moon in the same month. Wasn’t supposed to happen again for years. I looked at it, hanging in the sky. Anything but blue. Sucker looked just as white to me as it always had. No blue at all. “Another one of those social customs I just don’t understand.” I sighed.

I was walking again. In the dark. It was one of the ways I dealt with psychological pain. Walking. Until I just went numb, and couldn’t feel a damn thing. That always gave me the space I needed to think. To rest. To forget. So I could let my aching heart, and wounded soul heal.

Then, I got to the house with the steam-punk style, robot looking dogs in the front yard. House had a sign on it, said, “Beware of dogs.” Yeah. Right. Like those piles of junk could actually move. That’s when it hit me. The idea. “What if I wrote a story about them coming to life every time there’s a full moon?”

‘Course, it would totally ignore the laws of physics. I mean, piles of scrap metal that came to life every 28 or so days? Yeah, right. Lots of reality in that one. But, maybe it was time to write something fantasy. Something not real. Something fun. I thought about that for a while. Robot dogs, chasing cats. Terrorizing muggers and petty thieves. Trying to have sex with real dogs. Whatever. Hell, I was throwing out the laws of physics. I might as well throw out all the laws. Make it where anything could happen.

Yeah, OK. So, the idea was a lot like the idea of werewolves. You know. Where some guy turns into a wolf every full moon, and hunts down people, and eats them. Or maybe some girl turns into a wolf, and goes after the human men that have hurt her during her life. That kinda thing. But, these weren’t werewolves. They were robot, steam-punk dogs. I thought that just might be weird enough to write about.

Since that night, under the blue moon, I make sure I take a walk when there’s a full moon. Hell, I even get in the car, and drive someplace I’ve never walked, just to explore the place. And get ideas. I tell people, “That blue moon started it. Put a spell on me somehow. So that I have to walk around, looking for ideas to write about, in the middle of the night when there’s a full moon. I don’t think I’ll be released from that spell until the next blue moon.”

Can you believe people actually believe that crap?

I wrote this in response to the Menage Monday challenge, hosted by Cara Michaels. As before, I’m ignoring word limits for now. Letting myself explore ideas, and writing. Letting myself be creative. There are always plenty of entries in the challenge. And they are always fun to read. Go have fun. Read all the entries this week.

There Was Something About That Woman That Made Me Uneasy

There was something about the woman that made me uneasy. Took me a few minutes, but I realized it was her eyes. They weren’t any special color. Just hazel. But there was something in the way she looked at me that rattled my nerves. They were empty. I mean, the kind of eyes that you look in and nothing looks back. No emotion. No life. Just nothing. Everybody’s got a look in their eyes. Anger. Frustration. Love. Pain. You name it. It’s in their eyes. But not hers. Her eyes were like blank sheets of paper. Not even any lines to write on.

I watched her as she walked around the bar. Moving from place to place. Looking like some kind of soulless bird of prey searching for food. I was thinking, “Damn. I ain’t going anywhere near her.” Now I gotta admit, I didn’t mind watching her. She was a work of art. Some of the best curves I ever seen. And if it hadn’t been for her eyes, I’d have gone after her. She was the best looking thing in the whole bar. By far.

But those eyes. Damn. One look at them, and I could hear air raid sirens going off. “Everybody, to the bomb shelters! Now!” Jesus, but those eyes were scary. You know that feeling you get when some guy’s pointing a sword right at you, and all you got’s a jewelry screwdriver to fight back with. Yeah. That kind of scary.

She hit a few guys up for drinks. Always walked away from ‘em. Until that last guy. He was all smiles. You know the type. “No woman can resist me! And I want one to play with tonight!” Gods, I hate them bastards. Give the rest of us bad names. “Oh, he’s a male. You know what they’re like.” Well. Mr. I’ve got what you want in my pants just kinda drifted over to her. Bought her a drink. Then another drink. They laughed. They talked. He put his hand on her thigh, and let it drift up. She didn’t stop him.

I figured, “They’re made for each other.” Sure enough. After an hour or so, they left. Together. Her clinging to his arm. With that playful look that says, “I’ve know what I want for desert.” And him, grinnin’, with that look that says, “Don’t you poor bastards wish you were me.”

Yep. They  left. And everybody knew where they were going. And what was gonna happen.

A few days later, the cops stopped by the bar. “Have you seen this guy?” They were asking everyone. Showing his picture. It was the same guy that had left with the woman with the blank eyes. “He’s been missing for two days now.” His friends were concerned. His employer was concerned. They’d called the cops. Filed a missing person report.

That was the last we heard. Until a few weeks later. It made all kinds of news. Was on CNN, right there over the bar. They’d found a mini-storage shed that had 24 male bodies in it. Stacked like cord-wood. No telling how long they’d been there. They’d been treated so they didn’t decay. Like they’d been embalmed or something. The story said this has been going on for years and years. Each body was someone that was missing, and never found. The missing reports went back 24 years. One each year. But never on the same day, or time of year. So there wasn’t a real pattern. And the missing were scattered over a 100 mile radius from the warehouse. Again, no real pattern.

But, checking the corpses, a pattern did appear. Each had severe damage to their central nervous system. As if they’d been severely shocked.

They never found the woman. But we all knew it was her that had done killed those men. We all described her to the cops. But they never found anyone matching the descriptions. All anyone could do was wait, and see if there was a 25th body someday.

All I could think was, “I knew that bitch was dangerous.”

This work was written in response to the prompt for Motivation Monday, hosted by Wakefield Mahon each week. I’m still writing. But I’m writing outside the word count limit rules of most challenges right now, so I’m not entering Flash Fiction challenges at this time. Seems I’m looking for something. Anyway. Please feel free to wander to the Motivation Monday site, and read the entries for this week. They are always good.