#ThursThreads Week 310 : It Can’t Be Too Late

Case Street Fords had been a good car dealership. Small, but with a good set of cars on the lot, mostly SUVs and trucks. The service center was behind the sales building. One automated garage door, and room inside for six vehicles at a time.

The service center was on fire. The fire department hadn’t responded. A F-350 was pulling a dead body back and forth on the street next to the dealership. Men with guns cheered, “We got him! We finally got rid of him!”

The body had been Simon. The best mechanic in town. Everyone knew that. Simon had been shot in the leg, so he couldn’t escape. Then, beaten. Then, tied to the truck that was dragging him around.

Simon’s mate, Doug, was running down the street, heading toward the chaos, when I stopped him. “They’ll kill you.”

He screamed, he struggled, “Let me go! I’ve got to save Simon. It can’t be too late.” Doug collapsed to his knees on the asphalt. “It can’t be too late.”

“Stay here, Doug. Stay safe.”

The truck driver was the first person I shot. I kept shooting until none of the men with guns were left standing. Doug ran to Simon’s remains.

“I’m sorry, Doug. I was too late.”

There was an apartment complex I needed to visit. I hoped I wasn’t too late. If I was, well. “I am the violence. And the violence will respond. Will it ever.”

241 Words
@mysoulstears


The next part of the ongoing Armor 17 story. It’s Week 310 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.

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#ThursThreads Week 277 : Nothing Is What It Says It Is

Having caused sufficient chaos where Michelle once worked, it was time to spread the chaos to the rest of her social world. Starting with the church she’d once been a member of. A church that had disowned her.

Churches always have leaders. These are usually called pastors. This one was no different. The pastor’s name was Greg Bishop. It was most entertaining to listen to his prayers to God for several nights. “Thank you, God, for removing that vile, evil demon from our presence, and protecting the good people of this world.” Of course, the other half of his prayers were just as entertaining, “Please, God. Find the foul, vile spawn of Satan that is blowing up cars, and ruining people’s lives, and bring that demon to your justice.”

Ah. Christians. So predictable. Most of them, anyway.

Of course, Pastor Greg wasn’t happy at all when his prayers started showing up on social media. Word for word, thanking God for murder, and asking God to stop vengeance. Pastor Greg had a bit of explaining to do on that Sunday morning, when people at his church started asking why he thanked God for someone’s murder. Although they did kind of understand, since Michelle had been, obviously, a vile, evil person.

Of course, I’m certain Pastor Greg had much more difficulty explaining why the church burned to the ground that Sunday night. “Nothing is what it says it is, Pastor. Like how you’re not a man of God.”

246 Words
@mysoulstears


I finally got around to writing part 13 of the Armor 17 story I started in Week 239 of #ThursThreads. I really should write more. It’s Week 277 of #ThursThreads, hosted by Siobhan Muir. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are always fun to read.

#FlashMobWrites 1 x 49 : Now And Again

Bob started staying home instead of going to work. He drank until he threw up, then he drank more. He couldn’t turn on his TV, because Darla was on all the channels. He couldn’t use his computer, because Darla always opened a video chat with him. He couldn’t use his phone because every number he called, everyone he texted, Darla answered. He couldn’t even play because when he opened a game, it turned into the video of Darla’s ghost standing beside that place they’d buried her body.

Charlie did his best to ignore everything. He called the blonde when he couldn’t take it anymore, and she always chewed him out, “There’s no such thing as ghosts, you asshole!”

After 17 days, Charlie was driving home from work, passed out, and drove his car across the median, into the oncoming traffic. His car side-swiped three other cars before an SUV t-boned him.

I was glad no one he hit died, although a couple of people did have to spend the night in the hospital.

Charlie didn’t survive. The collision with the SUV snapped his neck. I wished that hadn’t happened. I’d wanted him to spend the rest of his life in prison.

The next day, when Bob heard about Charlie’s wreck, he’d had enough. He called 911, and told them to come get him. “Save me! She’s after me! She killed Charlie, now she’s after me!”

The police, of course, found it entertaining how a dead woman had killed Charlie, and was haunting Bob.

Bob told the police everything. I suppose it helped when Darla showed up while he was waiting for the police, and told him, “Tell them everything, and I’ll stop.” He told them names, places, times, dates. Hell, he even told them what the blonde did to Darla while she was tied up, before they killed her, and what she’d done to Darla’s body after they killed her.

The blonde, it seems, was one demented soul.

Of course, I made sure the blonde knew Bob had turned himself in. It was easy to put it on her car radio while she drove home from work. “Murder turns self in, names accomplices. More at Eleven.”

She checked the news when she got home, and Bob’s picture was on the news report, with his full name, “And the police are collecting the accomplices. More at 11.” It was the first time she’d been nervous about anything. She’d never batted an eye about killing Darla. But it was different when her life was at risk. She’d be going to jail for murder, and she knew it. She’d watched the windows, and knew when the police cars pulled up, and the officers got out.

They heard the gunshot while they walked toward her front door.

Seems the blonde had no intention of going to jail.

She got what she deserved.

Just another day in the life of an Armor.

I am Armor 17. I am the violence.

491 Words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 7, the final part, of a story I’ve written using the prompts for the #FlashMobWrites challenge. #FlashMobWrites is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites Week 1×49. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#FlashMobWrites 1 x 48 : I’m So Happy I Could Die

They got in Charlie’s car and Charlie turned it on. The satellite radio started playing the song from the bar, and Darla’s voice kept singing along with it. Charlie changed the station, then changed it again, and again. Every station had the same song. Darla was everywhere.

Charlie turned the radio off. Bob stared at him, “She’s come back to get us, hasn’t she?”

“There’s no such thing as ghosts!” Charlie put the car in gear, looked over his shoulder, and backed out of the parking space. When he put the car in drive and looked out the front windshield, Darla was standing there, pointing at him and Bob.

The look on their faces was priceless. “Remember, Charlie. There’s no such thing as ghosts,” I chuckled. “God, I love holograms.”

Charlie ran over Darla. Bob turned whiter than snow. Neither of them realized I was in the back seat, trying not to laugh, waiting until the first stoplight for my next move. It came soon enough.

I did have to wonder what they thought, sitting at that stop light, watching Darla drive by in car after car. Watching her sit in the driver’s seat of the car behind them as she pointed an accusing finger at them, and mouthed the silent words, “You murdered me.”

Bob wet himself.

Charlie bit his tongue hard enough to draw blood.

Darla was everywhere they looked on the drive. Bob gave up, closed his eyes, and put his hands over them. Charlie drove, and was stuck seeing her everywhere. I wasn’t the least bit sorry for torturing them the way I did. I planned to torture them endlessly until the ghost of Darla forced them to confess to their actions.

The drive ended when they reached Charlie’s place. “Finally,” Charlie mumbled. Bob excused himself, and headed to the bathroom to clean up. Charlie went to his kitchen, pulled out a bottle of whiskey. He called out to Bob, “You drink your whiskey neat, right?” Bob answered yes, so Charlie poured two shots, neat and carried them to the main room. He grabbed the remote, and switched on the power for his entertainment system.

Charlie picked a channel from the online guide that was showing a favorite movie of his. He sat on his sofa, and pushed the play button.

And was greeted by Darla’s hidden burial site in the woods, displayed in full color, in high resolution, on his 70 inch screen, accompanied by the sounds of leaves rustling in the wind, the birds singing now and then.

Charlie sat there. He couldn’t move. He stared at the screen. The remote fell to the carpet.

Bob finished what he was doing, and returned to the room to see the same scene.

That’s when Darla showed up on the TV. She stood next to her shallow grave. “You did this to me,” she whispered. “I’ll never leave you alone.” She looked out from the screen, “You stole my life. Now I’m stealing yours.”

497 Words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 6 of a story I’m writing using the prompts for the #FlashMobWrites challenge. #FlashMobWrites is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites Week 1×48. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#FlashMobWrites 1 x 45 : The Hurt

As expected, the police reached a dead end in their investigation. They determined the cause of death (blunt force trauma, basically she’d been beaten to death). But they found no signs of sexual assault, and no trace of any DNA other than Darla’s.

They’d determined where she’d last been seen (at a grocery store, buying a bottle of wine with a blonde man). They couldn’t identify the man, and until they could, their investigation stalled. They found where she worked, interviewed people there. “Was there a significant other? Did she have a male friend? What was his name?” They got several answers, several males to investigate.

It was their job to investigate.

It was my job to make a big fire, burn down the things they could not. “I’ll be your match, officers. The one who starts the fire.”

The police had their search warrants, their interrogations, their stakeouts. All legal. All by the book. I was Armor 17. For an Armor, there were no laws, no rules, no limits.

I visited her male friends, one at a time. They never saw me, of course, never knew I was there. I watched them, how they slept, their daily routines. Reactions varied to the news of Darla’s murder, some had sleepless nights, some slept like nothing had happened. I left a picture of Darla here, a piece of her jewelry there, an exact copy of the bottle of wine she’d bought that last night, a copy of her car key, an earring. Little pieces of Darla, here and there. Where they’d be notice. I watched. I studied. I learned.

There were three of them. Three who were disturbed when they spotted memories of Darla. Three who kept seeing memories of her. Two of them slept poorly at night, one slept without guilt, without nightmares. Two were male, one was female. The female was a blond.

Always I left them mementos of Darla, pictures, her favorite drink, her favorite book. Their phones took them to her favorite WEB Sites, at random. It took three weeks until the weakest of the three cracked. He called the blonde. “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going crazy! I keep seeing her stuff, her things, everywhere. I can’t sleep at night! I haven’t slept in days! I can’t take it!”

The blonde was ice, “Be calm. What you’re feeling is normal. Have a drink. Eat a good meal somewhere. Watch a movie. Do something fun.”

The blonde called the other male. “Take him out for a fun night.”

The fire had been lit, it was time to fan it, grow it, until it ran uncontrolled. “I’ll be your match, officers. Soon, there’ll be a fire.” I was looking forward to watching the blond. Ice, I’d learned, didn’t last in a fire.

464 Words
@LurchMunster


This is Part 4 of a story I’m writing using the prompts for the #FlashMobWrites challenge. #FlashMobWrites is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites Week 1×45. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#FlashMobWrites 1×42 : Graceland (First Try)

I stood beside her shallow grave, in the steady rainfall that February night, and made a promise to her, I’d find who put her there and when I was through with them, there wouldn’t be enough left to bury.

It was them, that much I knew. The armor had digitally enhanced the area around the grave, using edge sharpening, and color spreading. I knew there were five of them, from the footprints in the ground, the damage to the grasses, the way the rocks had been displaced. Five distinct footprints.

“They knew who you were,” I spoke the words, though the armor silenced them. “It’s how they got to you.” I knelt beside the grave, used the armor’s scanners to look through the dirt and rock, to see her remains in the ground. “They beat you pretty badly, didn’t they.” The armor recorded the fracture to her skull, the dislocated vertebrae in her neck, the torn skin and bruises on her wrists and ankles. “How long have you been missing?” I had no way of knowing how long she’d been missing, or who she was, without digging her up, and getting a DNA sample, or fingerprints.

“Marker.” A slot on the left forearm of my armor opened and a small, black box with an LED on it popped out. I pushed a button on the box. The LED came on, a blinding red, visible for hundreds of feet. “Test.” The armor tuned a radio receiver to the frequency the box was broadcasting. The signal was a very clear “PING!” I pulled the plastic sheet off the bottom of the box, and put it on the rocks she was buried under. That box adhered to the rock.

“911.”

I spoke into the phone, my voice altered electronically, “They killed this woman, and they buried her in the woods! Oh, God, they killed her!” I had to explain where, “I have an emergency beacon in my backpack. I’ll put that out.” I gave them the frequency of the beacon. They asked me to stay where I was. “I can’t do that.” Of course, they wanted to know why. “It’s not safe here. They might find me.” I hung up.

I moved into the trees, and waited five minutes. I called 911 again. “They’re after me! They found me!” I fired two shots from my hand-held into the ground. “Jesus, they’re gonna kill me!”

I waited.

Shortly, there were sirens, followed by lights, and several law officers. They found the beacon.

So it began, the next hunt. “Armor 17.” I called headquarters. “Going silent.” That was the signal headquarters knew meant I was actively pursuing a case. They’d wait to hear from me.

I waited in the steady rainfall that night in February, for the authorities to come for her body. I’d let them identify her, and I’d go from there.

“I promise you, I will find them.”

482 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for #FlashMobWrites 1×42, hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels.  Please,go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites 1×42. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?

#ThursThreads Week 169 : I Just Killed A Man

“But, you don’t understand!” I looked around the room. Two police officers, with guns pointed at me, looked back.

“Nothing to understand.” The one on the left spoke. The one on the right never said a word. “Now, put the knife down.”

Dad always taught me never argue with someone packing a gun. Said it was the fastest way to get dead. “And always do exactly what the police tell you.” I held the knife out, by the hilt, with my index finger and thumb, so they could see it. And I dropped it.

The one of the right pulled out handcuffs, and put them on me.

Sheila’s mom was a pathetic pile of rubble on the living room floor, crying like a baby, wailing away. Sheila was trying to comfort her.

“I just killed a man.” It’s what I’d done. “I had to kill him.”

The one of the left waved his hand, “You don’t have to say anything.”

“I don’t have anything to hide.”

He nodded.

“He slept with his daughter. Every night.”

Sheila screamed, “I told you not to tell!”

“He slept with her. Raped her. Fucked her. Every night.” I looked straight into that cops eyes. “So, I stopped him.”

Sheila started wailing, like her Mom. The officer on the left spoke into his radio. He requested a team come out to help Sheila and her mom.

“Time for me to go to jail, ain’t it?”

They nodded.

“He fucking deserved it.”

246 Words
@LurchMunster


I wrote this for Siobhan Muir‘s #ThursThreads, Week 169. Please go read all the entries in this week’s #ThursThreads. They are good reading.

#SatSunTales 55 : Scraping Back Skin

I saw her picture in a magazine. Her face was perfect, and I knew no male could unable to resist her eyes and lips. They were just his style. I tore the picture from the magazine, put it on my computer, scaled it up to my size. I printed it out.

She’ll plead innocent when she’s arrested.

I glanced at the male to my right, his hand resting on my thigh. He believed he was getting laid tonight. Too bad he didn’t know he was getting laid to rest. As I leaned against his shoulder, I pulled my Derringer from my handbag, pressed the barrel against his chest, pulled the trigger five times, then walked off.

Everyone saw her murder him.

When I got home, I’d be scraping back skin, putting her face back on her picture, then shredding it. Tomorrow I’d start another game, with another random human’s life.

150 Words
@LurchMunster


This is my entry into Rebecca Clare Smith‘s 55th #SatSunTales. Please, go read the other entries. It’s a tough challenge, and brings out some wonderful tales.

A Clip from JuNoWriMo 2012, Day 8…

No sound was made. The wolves were silent. They simply let her past. The two females moving away from the child, as Mystica approached. A white light formed around the child. Gently holding her still. Providing warmth. Closing her wounds. Mending her broken bones. Ending her pain.

The child smiled. She looked at Mystica, and she smiled. Mystica smiled back at her. Then turned. And looked at Scream. There was sadness in her eyes. Scream knew. Mystica was too late. That even with all her white magic power, there are wounds Mystica can’t heal. That a life, already gone, can’t be restored.

The wolves, Scream, Merlin and Mystica stayed with the little fairy girl. Talking with her. Mystica holding her hand. Gently kissing her on the cheek, and the top of her head. Always smiling. They learned her name was Sally. That she loved bright red and yellow flowers. Some of the wolves had raced into the forest, and came back in just a few minutes with lots of red and yellow flowers they had snatched up in their mouths. Bringing them to Sally.

Sally had asked Mystica, “Will you be my mommy? My mommy doesn’t love me any more. My daddy doesn’t either. I need a new mommy. Will you be my mommy?”

Mystica had smiled. She’d kissed the top of Sally’s head once more. “Of course, my dear child. I’ll be your mommy. I’d love to be your mommy.”

Little Sally smiled. “I love you, Mommy.” Then she closed her eyes. “I’m so very tired.” And she went to sleep. And never woke. Her body going limp, as she stopped breathing. And her heart beat for the last time. With that last heartbeat, the wolves all stood as one, looked to the sky, and howled in pain. As if they’d lost one of their own.

Tears fell from Mystica’s eyes.

Merlin only watched. Standing to one side.

Scream, screamed. Stretched his wings. And was gone.

Fairies : Fauna’s Wild Magic – Full Version

[Author’s Note : This is the Flash Fiction piece re-done. With no word limit. Just so I can see what I have to learn yet about writing Flash Fiction. It’s a much different story when there are no limits on the word count.]

The sun rose. And as it did, the darkness faded from the room Fauna slept in. Her family knew she would rise with the sun, and then go outside. Alone. Even though she was only four years old. They knew too that she would be OK. That no one from the village would bother her.

Fauna was a fairy. No one would come near her. She was not one of them. She was someone to avoid. And if things went badly, and Fauna developed that fairy magic, she would be taken into the foothills. And left on her own. That was the only way to protect the people of the village once a fairy’s magic came to life.

Fauna rose with the sun. As the colors of the room came to life again, Fauna got out of her bed. She didn’t even bother to change into her clothes, keeping her little night-shirt on. She flexed the tiny, little wings on her back, taking the time to look at them in the mirror. Those wings had started growing about six months before. They had changed everything. All of her clothes. The way people treated her. The way her parents treated her.

Fauna knew she didn’t fit in. Everything just felt wrong. And she felt so lonely. Her friends, the other children in the village, had stopped playing with her. Stopped talking with her. That’s why she got up ever day at dawn. And took a walk to the river. So she could watch the animals as they came out of the forest to drink water from the river. Fauna loved to watch the animals. Especially the deer.

And the animals would talk with her. They didn’t run from her. They didn’t avoid her. She could stand in the open, and watch them. And they would watch her. She could drink water from the river, and they would watch, just like she’d watched them.

Then, there were the birds. The birds would fly right up to her. And land on the ground. And they would bathe in the river. Fauna would watch. She would sing to them, and they would sing to her. It was so much fun! She loved to visit the river ever day at dawn.

That morning, Fauna left her home in the village, returning to the river in the forest. She walked to the edge of the water. Where she always stood, or sat. And she waited. A deer came out, antlers on its head. Fauna loved how noble it looked. So regal, with those antlers on its head. The way it would stand, holding its head up high. Such a proud sight. Such a beautiful being. Such a beautiful life.

The deer walked to the river, bowed its head and started drinking. Fauna watched. The deer drank its fill, and then looked up. Looking right across the river, straight at Fauna. Fauna waved at the deer, and she smiled. “Good morning, noble one,” she said. “May I have a drink too?” The deer nodded its head. So Fauna knelt, and dipped her hands in the water, and scooped up some to drink.

That’s when the world changed again. She heard it. The sound of bows unleashing arrows. THWIP! THWIP! THWIP! THWIP! She heard the sound four times. Fauna dropped her water on the ground. It splashed. Getting her feet wet. She stood there, in shock. For across the lake, her friend the deer stood for a moment. Four arrows sticking out of its right shoulder. The deer looked at its shoulder. As it did, the light in its eyes turned gray. Then was gone. Fading to nothing. Fauna watched as the deer collapsed. It was dead before it had fallen to the ground.

Her friend the deer was murdered. Right before her eyes. Fauna began to cry.

Across the river, four men from the village came out of the woods. They were about 100 feet from the deer. Fauna had not seen them. They’d been hiding. Waiting. For the deer. They’d planned to kill it.

She watched, as the men walked along the edge of the river. They were laughing and patting each other on the back. One of them explaining, “He came to get a drink. But it would be his last.” He held up his bow, pulled the string, and let it go. His three friends laughed. Each of them making that same bow and arrow motion. “We got him!”

They did not regret at all what they had done. They celebrated it! Fauna watched, and could not help but see how proud, and happy, the four men were. Celebrating the murder they had just performed. How could they be so cold! So ruthless!

Fauna understood that people killed animals. For food. It’s how they stayed alive. She couldn’t blame them for that. And her parents always prayed, at every meal. Thanking life for the gift of the meat. Her parents at least behaved as if they understood that something had to die for them to eat. That a life was taken so that they could continue on.

But the men across the river. Fauna stood motionless, shocked to see the way they behaved. As if murdering her friend the deer had been fun. As if it was a sport. Something they didn’t have to do. But that they liked to do. And as she watched, she heard them talking. Of the other animals they’d murdered overnight. And how they were going to go back into the woods, and hunt down even more. And murder them.

They were killing for sport. For fun. Not for food. Not to stay alive. Or to keep their families alive. Or the other villagers. They were just killing, because they could.

With that understanding, Fauna’s shock at the murder of her friend, the proud and noble deer, turned to rage. It set fire to the blood in her veins. She began to cry. Tears flowing freely from her eyes. Hot tears. Of anger. And of rage. It was as if they were leaving trails of fire down her cheeks.

She knew what she wished. She wished each of those men would know what it was like to die, felled by an arrow. Needlessly. Senselessly. Like they had murdered her friend. Like they had taken away a life for sport. Not for survival! For sport!

Fauna held up her arms, as if she were holding a bow. She drew the bow back, and let it go. She did this four times. It only took a couple of seconds. Each time she drew her imaginary bow, and let an imaginary arrow fly, one of the men across the river learned what it was like to die. Murdered. Senselessly. For no reason. To have their life taken away by someone else. Unexpectedly. Randomly.

Each time Fauna drew that bow, and loosed an arrow, one of the four men fell to the ground. His heart pierced. By an arrow made of wild magic. Each time Fauna drew her bow, and fired, one of those four men died. Each one died standing. And then fell to the ground.

Fauna stood there for a bit. Looking across the river. “I’m sorry, my dear friend,” she said to the deer. “I’m so very sorry that they murdered you.” Still crying at the senseless murder of her friend, Fauna turned from the river, and walked back to her home. In the village.

So it was that on that morning, with the coming of the dawn, Fauna’s wild magic first came to life. And her wild magic would change everything for her.