Saturday, 31 May 2014

Shotgun Promise

I was twelve when I made the promise – the vow – to carry on the family name; the business of tracking down and killing evil.

I didn’t know what it meant to do that.

Not really.

Dad just gave me a BB Gun and told me to promise to do it… to fill his shoes when the time came.  My brother had made this promise to him – as had my Mum and now, it was my turn.

To me, the Shotgun Promise wasn’t really anything to take seriously; as I didn’t like firearms.  I hated killing anything.  I hated taking aim, carefully moving with that animal and pulling the trigger; but Dad had been teaching me to shoot a gun since I was around five years old.

And in this day and age, you had to learn young.

After all the apocalypse had arrived by the time I was fifteen, and it was kill or be killed… and I had to make sure my friends were safe.  It was my duty to go out and check on them one by one at their houses every day and know they were still here with us… collect them together and work them as a group to keep us living; to combat the growing number of demons that were now walking the planet.

I know it’s a big responsibility to have a teenager to go out and take care of people who refuse to leave their homes… but I understand why they want to stay in them. 

They feel safe.

They want to have a sense of normality around them.

Their stuff is in that house; and they feel close to that stuff.

So… who am I to tell them to get out of there and live in a shitty old library where there’s no heating, no air-conditioning, not showers or toilets, no place to sleep and hardly anyone to talk to? 

Yeah, I’m in no position to order them around… but Dad told me to always pack light and be ready to move.  And so my brother and I have always been the new kids in school, the new kids around the neighbourhood, the kids who carried knives and holy water, who excelled in Latin, Gaelic and could read any dead language you stuck in front of us. 

We were the kids who had no permanent friends simply because we never stayed in a place long enough to make the certain connection with people… no matter where we moved, I couldn’t have a best friend for long before Mum and Dad moved us on.  My brother couldn’t have a girlfriend, go to a school dance, give a girl a Promise Ring or enjoy a long-term relationship simply because of Dad’s job… and that’s not the worst of it all.

We weren’t allowed to tell anyone exactly what Dad did as a job.  As far as anyone knew, he was a salesman.  Of what?  Well, name it and he can sell it.  However, a good salesman doesn’t move fifteen times a year and yanks his kids out of school to follow the next job around… instead he tries to keep that job he has.  So, when my brother and I attended five schools in one year, Mum sat Dad down and suggested we started learning from home instead; as it was beginning to look suspicious to the government.

By the time I was seventeen, Mum was dead.  A demon had possessed her on the way home from a job and Dad tried to exorcise it but failed.  It shattered him to shoot her, but he didn’t want his wife being ridden by this bastard until she was dead inside. 

We packed the truck quickly that night and left the rented house and got as far away from the area as possible… but Dad took us back to our home town.  He said if the shit was going to hit the fan big, it was going to back at home…

I didn’t believe him, but I went along with him anyway.

And it wasn’t until we arrived back at our house that my brother and I both knew the game was up.  The shit was going to hit the fan – and hit it fast. 

“Alright boys, time to get out.” Its gravelly voice muttered from Dad’s mouth.

“Crap!” My brother shuffled out of the car as I climbed out as well, grabbing the gun from under the seat.  The gun I had hidden there with special rounds I had been working on for an occasion such as this.  These rounds didn’t have salt inside them.  They weren’t made of silver.  They had a Devil’s Trap carved into the side of them… put there when I made them with the die I had designed just for this particular type of occasion. 

I picked up the gun, closed the door to the truck as Dad rounded the front, pointed at his head and...

I didn’t hear the shot…

I didn’t feel the recoil…

I didn’t feel anything… as the shell of my father hit the ground and demon shattered and sputtered out within him, going back to hell.

“Hey!” my brother shouted, “You bitch!  He was going to save us!”

I turned to him as I watched his eyes turn from blue to black to red, and I knew I had nothing to lose – well, except maybe my life and soul.  But I had a promise to keep.

Whether I lived to see through that promise?  Well, that was going to be something else altogether.  I turned the gun on my brother… then… looked around as a sea of black eyes turned toward me.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Unrequited Love

He was cheating on her.

She could tell… the late nights home… the mysteriously high credit card bills…

It was time to get her own back.

Erin had planned this night to the tiniest detail.  The meal was cooked, she added in her own spices… and she waited until he arrived home.  She had eaten early and wanted to ‘entertain’ him. 

A knock at the front door made her wonder… did he forget his key?  On opening the door, the police stood there to deliver the news about his accident.  They handed her a small ring box...

...a diamond ring within.

Friday, 16 May 2014

Lunch at 2pm

This week, Chuck has us picking out a photo from weird photos nobody ever uses as a prompt to write a story to.  There's 50 of them, and I found #37 perfect.... :D

I had been preparing for this day for almost a week. 

All the signs spoke to me and him in the same way… and he could get time off work – just like I could – and so I had prepared us a late lunch at my place…


Our place.

There were two of us here and we were in love… not that our owners would know.
Owners?  You know, humans… like you.
I had prepared a nice meal for him and made sure there was enough time left over to clean up.  But first I had to get prettied up in a lovely frock – as my owner had been an inventor of sorts and mounted me on a mannequin; leaving her body nude.

What a bloody pervert!

So, I looked around his girlfriend’s wardrobe and found a lovely summer dress right at the back she didn’t wear anymore.  It was a lovely Indian Silk with gorgeous little poppies all over it.  I liked her in it, but then, she let herself go and now she doesn’t fit into it – but she likes it enough to keep it.  So, I put it on and buttoned it up the front, leaving just one or two buttons undone to show a little fun stuff for my man.  He likes that kinda thing, you know.
Now, it was time to collect him from the bedroom… yeah, he doesn’t have a body like I do.
He’s the same model as me… big and bulky… square and curved screened.  But I love him and he loves me.
I placed him on the Formica table and plugged him into the outlet, adjusted the Rabbit Ears on top and tuned him into the same static station I was going to be on.
Sitting down, I grabbed the tray on the counter.
It’s filled with all the gear I’d need to clean his parts.   
This is something our owners just don’t do.

And yet, the wonder how it all gets done.

I reach up to my own on/off switch and turn it gently to the left… hearing a loud click from within my electronics.  Then, there’s static, both my mannequin hands reach up and fumble with my Rabbit Ears, twisting, turning and manipulating and then… I see him.

My man sitting across from me.

We’re on the same static station… well, to you… but to us, we can see each other’s faces.

He’s hot.  I love the perfection of his retro-ness… he’s sexy to me; as I am to him.

Reaching down to the tray, I pick up a microfiber cloth and wipe it over his screen, over his knobs and tiny, rectangular front speaker box… and I know he appreciates it. 

After an hour, our lunch is complete. 
We both clean; as I’ve cleaned and maintained him; as I have myself… and I have put him back where I found him, right in the middle of the square of dust in the bedroom… so the owners don’t know he’s been moved.  I remove the dress and place it back where it was before – exactly where it was and sit where I used to.

Night falls and the owners come home late. 
The house is in darkness and they open the front door, holding it open as they push and pull and grunt their way in with a large, thin, rectangular box…
“Let’s set it up in the bedroom… it’s piece of crap that one anyway.” He said.
“Well, it still works, so what are you going to do with it?” she asks.
“Dump it.”
She stands in the doorway to the bedroom, “I’d give it away if I was you, or put the new one out in the lounge and get rid of the creepy one you insist on keeping.”
He looks at me, “Hey, I made this one, it’s a work of art.” He smiles at me, proud that I’m his.  Behind him, I see his girlfriend make the throw up face – fingers being poked in her mouth, her eyes rolled back.  She quickly composes herself before he turns back around to face her… this is hilarious, “Okay… we’ll get rid of the one in the bedroom.”
“Why don’t we give it away to an old folk’s home?”

My man is gone!  I’m so heartbroken, I could just short circuit and blow up at the same time…

I feel like starting a house fire just to piss my owner off, but then, I’d die too.

Instead, I started stuffing up… I would work some days, and not others… I waited until it started to get cold and stopped working.  And then, waited until it got too hot and switched on for ten minutes, then off… then back on again.

Boy!  Did that frustrate him!  She nearly threw me out the door!  Then, they got rid of me. 

He put me in the back of his truck and took me to a retro store where they sold old homewares to people who wanted old things in their houses. 
“How very unique…” the lady smiled.
“It screws up all the time.” He grumbled, “I got a new television.”
“Okay… we’ll fix her up, good as new and put her with the other one over there on the shelf you sold to me.” Two guys picked me up carefully and moved me into the back room where another guy opened the back and looked at everything as she came out, “Well?”
“Annie, there’s nothing wrong with this one.  If anything, it’s the cleanest unit I’ve seen next to last one you bought from that dude.” He plugged me in and turned the on/off knob and I worked beautifully.  This guy was nice, “Well, I’d sell this one with the other one on the shelf over there seeing that one won’t work… they might work as a pair… you know like Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee… twins?”
Annie smiled, “Yeah, two for the price of one.”
I didn’t want to know of this other tv… it could get stuffed!  He carried me out to him with another guy and placed me next to him – stood me next to him – and I dared to look over to see who they were lining me up with on this blind bloody date… when… no, it couldn’t be! 

I couldn’t believe my screen!

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Political Caresses

We were all invited to the concert by them.  I didn’t want to go, but my friends and family insisted.

So, I went to see what the hubbub was going to be about.

It was about the inventor.

You know the one… he had started out as a small-time, man who didn’t do much but work in his basement and create something tiny and insignificant.  He lived only a few streets from us; and yet, had been snapped up by them...

The government.

The officials…

…the Yes Men of our society…

But there was another reason why I didn’t want to go.  I had heard about these concerts and what they did to the human mind.  These weren’t ordinary concerts.  They used them to hypnotise the public to make us vote for them.

I knew this was one of those concerts… and I didn’t want to be trapped in that auditorium with the orchestra and those politicians who had written the score and that inventor who had figured out this poetic pattern retains inertia… well, until something else changed its tone, its rhythm, its feel.  This was what I didn’t want to happen.  I wanted inertia, I wanted my world to stay the same… I wanted to be able to make up my own mind without being pushed by crooks.

However, when we arrived, I didn’t have a choice! 

The doors were slammed closed.

They were locked from the outside with a loud thud…

I began to panic! 

But as I looked around, I found that nobody else did.  They were sheep being led to slaughter as that sound emanated from the walls, coercing them into the auditorium; and I was being pushed and shoved in the same direction!

I found my way across the crowd to an unguarded stair well that led up to only the Gods knew where and I raced up them!  But all I could hear was that noise… that … I don’t know what to call it, but I hated it with such vigor I didn’t want to be anywhere inside the building!

I ran past door after door and they were all locked… I hated being here… and I hated the fact the orchestra was beginning to tune up as I found myself at the balcony of the dome right at the top of the building, right where I could see the whole auditorium. 

The view was amazing, as I witnessed everybody from my community calmly find a seat and face the stage.  None of them said anything to each other. 

There was no chatter.

There was no noise at all… just the orchestra tuning up.

It was creepy.

Then, I saw something happen… I watched in the wings of the stage, the inventor peer out at the audience.   He smiled as his invention was about to work out… his smugness made me sick to my guts.  Then, from the shadows, a man in shabby clothes turned him around and dug a knife into his gut hard.  Malice was strong on the features of this shabby man as the inventor collapsed and the criminal let him drop, pulling out his blade as he watched him die.  Then, the criminal disappears after the inventor did too… blood and all.  A moment later, a politician walks right where the man died as though nothing had happened, ready to work his ‘magic’ with the audience.

Once the conductor notices the politician, stops the orchestra from tuning and taps the dais, making them at the ready for them to play.  His arms are raised. 

He looks around at his people.

He raises his head, licks his lips…

At the first note the borderlands expire thanks to the hundred violins.  I turned from the immense sound and look through the dome’s curved glass facing outside and watch as the surrounding landscapes of where I used to live collapse in on itself.

Buildings are destroyed in massive explosions.

Fires are started by powerlines being brought down.

Roads buckle and move as parts of multiple buildings crush them.

I watch in horror as the place I’ve known for my whole life is destroyed by the invention by a man who has just been killed.

“Is she with us?” A Paramedic asked.

“I’m not sure.” The inventor muttered looking up, “She began screaming when my invention started up… she was sure that I was dead… that the world was coming to an end.”

The politician tapped him on the shoulder, “Can I see you for a moment?”

He rose to his feet, leaving her for a moment, “Sure.”

The two walked away from the scene and the powerful man whispered, “How could she know of my plans?”

“I’m not sure.” The inventor shook his head, “Unless she’s immune to the Political Caresses you’ve gotten me to invent… we’ll have to do something different.”

“Of course.” He grabbed his shoulder, stabbed him with a long dagger, and let him sit carefully into a nearby chair as he died, “But we can’t let you look at her, now, can we?” he looked over at her; the one who can’t live because of his campaign’s lies and workings that will eventually take over everything and make him out to be a hero when he’s not.  He turned and disappeared into the crowd, soon after, the inventor vanished from his seat too. 

My eyes fluttered.

My neck is sore from being in the same place for a long time.

Slowly, I look up and find I’m tied to a chair in a room.

There’s a man standing in front of me…

…the politician.

“You know what I’m up to… right?” he said quietly.


“Well, we’ll have to put an end to that.” His smile spreads to a grin as he  presses a button on a cd player and the borderlands within my mind explode and disintegrate as a thousand violins play and echo around the room.