Saturday, 29 July 2017

With All In The Fixin's

Slasher fiction is seen in different ways. Chuck has asked us to write one. I had to think about this for a day; and came up with this.


“Celie, I’m not sure about this.” Monty whispered as he slapped the large pieces of meat onto the massive barbeque out the back of Juke Joint; drizzling his famous sauce over it with the ladle.
Squeezing his arm, I looked down at the tenderised meat as it began to cook, “It’s gonna be fine. Just don’t sell any of it to the locals – tell ‘em it’s for the dogs.”
He nodded, “Right.”
I turned, limping heavily – favouring my left leg, because of what that bastard did to me; because of what he did to my friends while we ... I looked to the ground as tears came easily. He didn’t think I was gonna be the lone survivor to get him – and that Monty was going to have to keep this horrible secret until his dyin’ day.
I kept walkin’ up to the Juke Joint, went inside where Jenson and Da Boys were playin’ up the afternoon on their guitars and the piano out on the deck. At the bar I picked up a rag and started cleanin’ the glasses sittin’ on the rack from the kitchen and puttin’ them on the bar, ready to be used by Kenny-ray; the Preacher’s son who worked here part-time but didn’t drink nuttin’. I made sure of that.
“Celie, you okay?” Kenny-ray had seen me limpin’ and his eyes widened as I caught my breath, “Here sit down while you rest a bit.”
“Oh, I’ll be fine in a while, Kenny-ray, thank you all the same.” I took the seat he offered and he poured me a nice cool glass of sarsaparilla.
“My favourite.” I took it off him and sipped it as he took up a tray and cleared my tables for me – as well as his. He was gonna make some lady happy someday; but it ain’t gonna be me, not after what I had done.
The doors to the Juke Joint opened and the police walked in. They took one look at me and they has that smug look on their faces like they knows somethin’ is goin’ on here in my head, like they know my guilt gonna shine through somehow.
Officer Blakely walked over to me, touching me on my shoulder gently, “Celie, how are you?”
My shoulder hurt like you wouldn’t believe from his touch, and I tried not to cringe from it, “I’m doin’ fine, thank you. “Would you like somethin’ to drink? Some sarsaparilla? We have coffee.”
“No, I think I’ll have some nice lemonade if you have any.” He smiled as he walked off toward the deck, and sat just inside the doors of the place. I stood slowly, picked up a new jug of lemonade, two glasses and slowly walked out there with them all on a tray.
Kenny-ray watched me carefully, from the next table, knowing I wasn’t all that stable on my feet. He was gonna be ready to jump in an’ help me if I stumbled.

But I didn’t stumble.

The glasses were nice and clean and I poured out the lemonade into them, set the jug onto the tray on the table and turned to walk away, when Officer Blakely touched my arm, “I smell some mouth-waterin’ steaks cookin’ out back. Is Monty doin’ up some of his famous barbeque and that sauce of his?”
“That he is.” I smiled, “Would you like some with all the fixin’s?”
“Oh... wouldn’t say no, Celie.” He smiled, “And why don’t you join me? We can talk about that limp of yours and why your shoulder is so sore.”
I nodded, “Sure.”
Walkin’ back towards Monty’s barbeque, I wondered how I was gonna get out of this; when I spotted the man hisself watchin’ from inside the back door, knowing what the police officer wanted and makin’ sure I was gonna be able to eat with him.
I followed Monty outside as he flipped over the large steaks, slicing them up into pieces and slapped one onto a large plate and gave one to me. Then, he gave me one which was obviously a piece of chicken so fresh I could tell it had only been killed an hour before.

Our eyes met.

Monty smiled, “A steak with all the fixin’s for Officer Blakely, and chicken for the lady, right?”
I took the two plates up to the Juke Joint with me and Kenny-ray helped me deliver them to the table with a fresh jug of lemonade. I sat down across from Officer Blakely
He sliced into the steak, taking his first large bite of the meat, “Oh, this is the most tender meat I’ve ever tasted, Celie! Wherever did you get it?”
“Oh, we found some wild cattle in the woods without any brands on them. We’ve got some more if you’d like it.” I cut into my chicken, paying close attention to my plate. I couldn’t look at Blakely as he devoured the meat I had served him; and found that Kenny-ray had disappeared to the bar the moment the officer had begun eatin’.

Poor kid will be in confession for months.

Before I knew it, Officer Blakely had finished his piece of steak and had asked for another two pieces, and he was greedily eatin’ them too. I had lost my appetite – something he didn’t notice – and so I drank my lemonade instead.

But, Officer Blakely didn’t stop at those three pieces of steak.

He said he hadn’t eaten breakfast and went through another four pieces of steak. By this time, Monty was bringin’ them to the table from out back with the sauce, and standin’ by, watchin’ on as the last piece was eaten.
“Oh, there’s no more?” he asked, “Such a pity, that was so lovely and tender.” He belched, “Besides, I was gonna ask if I could take some home to the missus.”
Monty shot me a glance, “Well, we have a couple of pieces, but we were holding onto them.”
“I’ll buy them off you for a grand price!”
“They’re all tough and not good for people.” I said
“Well, then, I’ll feed ‘em to my dogs.” He grinned wiping the sauce from his mouth as he stood, “So, then, how much do I owe you, Celie?”
I looked up at Monty, “How much is left?”
“I’ll go and get it.” He picked up his ladle and serving fork, went out the back and brought back the pieces of tough meat on newspaper, “It’s not worth much.”
“Oh, my dogs will love it.” He smiled, “Wrap it up and I’ll take it straight away.” Before we knew it, Officer Blakely was out the door with the rest of the meat and he had paid us handsomely for it.
We never did get to talk about how I was injured.

Two weeks passed by slowly.

Business was good.

Officer Blakely walked into the Juke Joint and sat down with me at the bar. He noticed I was still limping a little, “Are you still sore?”
“Not as much as I was when you were last here.” I smiled, “Would you like some lemonade?”
“No, Celie. I want to talk to you about how you were hurt.”
“Don’t you mean, how I survived?”
“Well, we have a man who hasn’t been home in over a month. His name is Benjamin Pearson. He passed through here-abouts, an’ he stayed in one of the cabins in the woods not far from this here juke joint; but his wife says she was expectin’ him home last week.”
“We haven’t seen him.” I shrugged, turned to Monty who was cleaning glasses to my right.
“How do you know what he looks like? I haven’t shown you a photo of him yet?” he whispered.
I blinked as I heard Monty’s cleaning stop, “Well, when we get strangers through the Juke Joint, they look different to my usual customers.”
“Some of them are very quiet. They are not here to make friends or enemies. They are here to have a quiet drink and so come on in here for a drink and a feed and then leave.” I smiled, “A bit like you did the other week... say how did your dogs like that leftover meat?”
“They loved it! Do you have anymore?”
I shook my head, “Like I said, that was the last of it.”
He stood sighing, “Pity. I’ll see you again. I’ll be back soon.”

A week later, I was counting the money in the tin and Officer Blakely was back with a piece of paper in his hands and more police officers with him.
“We have a warrant to search this place for Benjamin Pearson. This was the last place he was seen.” He let me read it and then sat down with me, “And don’t move.”
“I’m countin’ money... I’m not goin’ anywhere. Go. Look. Search...” I went back to countin’ me money and Monty came and sat next to me with a jug of lemonade and three glasses, “Here Celie.”
“Thank you Monty.” A wallet was slapped down on the table next to me with papers readin’ it was Benjamin Pearson’s wallet. The money was still inside it and a picture of his family too, “Well, looka there. A wallet.”
“That was found at your back door.” One cop said.
I looked up, “We have people passin’ by our back door all the time – as a shorter way to get into town –  and you think I know exactly who goes by there day and night?”
Blakely picked up the wallet, “I’m gonna find him, Celie.”
“No you’re not. He’s not here. He’s not anywhere. And the only thing you’re gonna find is shit.” I turned back to countin’ my money.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Plain Jane

Chuck gave us a link to INSPIROBOT. I scored a great little saying which was funny at the same time; and I thought to mixed it into a nice little story. I've highlighted the saying in another colour.


“Plain Jane Super Brain!”
The kids in high school can be really crappy can’t they? The things they come up with are downright shitty; and yet, when you don’t retaliate they get worse.

The taunting rants.

The accidentally-on-purpose shoves in the halls.

Being ostracised from one lunch table to the next over time, until you end up sitting over in the corner on your own picking at your food.

And my name isn’t even Jane – it’s... oh does it even matter? Of course it does... it’s Romany.  Where they got Jane from is beyond me.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes... Plain Jane.

Shit, where’d that come from?

The popular kids saw me wearing a nice cashmere sweater one day with pearl earrings I received for Christmas, and the next thing I knew I was being called Plain Jane Super Brain... and the image that comes to mind is a mousy quiet little blond girl who carries books in her arms scurrying from one class to another, wearing Coke Bottle thick glasses and wearing shoes which look like they come from the 1960’s with a dress style which screams that her mother tells her what to wear every day of her life.
I see what my mother lays out on my bed for me as style suggestions; it doesn’t mean I have to wear those exact clothes; and fortunately, I don’t. Mum does go for the nice pair of Levis but that’s about it... the rest of the outfit is all me, right down to the hair style and the smidge of make-up I wear on the eye lashes (that if I don’t put on I look like I’m sick).

But, it didn’t matter.

The popular kids took one look at me and were judge, jury and executioners...

They shoved.

They ostracised.

They bullied... and I did nothing.

I moved around the cafeteria until there were no more tables to move to; and eventually I went outside and walked along the long halls filled with kids I had zero interest in.
And you know, it’s because I haven’t said a single word to anyone yet.

I have been at this school for two months and haven’t talked to a single teacher about anything.

I barely answer any questions in class.

I haven’t made a single friend.

This is because nothing in this school interests me beyond learning what I need to and getting the fuck out of here.
So, when I pushed the doors open into the near-empty basketball court that wet Autumn day, and found a group of other kids standing there, I wondered if they were just like me.
I wondered if they had been judged and pushed out of the ‘inner circle’ by those stuck-up popular kids who aren’t going to get very far in the outside world.
I wondered...
“Hi, Romany.” One of them walked to me, a smile pulled up half her face as dark hair hid the other, “We’ve been waiting for you.”
She looked around the large building behind me before she answered, “Because you haven’t said anything here and yet you were judged by everyone in there.” She gripped my shoulder until it almost hurt, “And we like that about you.”
She turned and regarded the group, “Okay... she said okay... wow.”
“I’m Regina... and we’re going to make your world today.”

The rest of my day passed by at the usual rate, but I didn’t get shoved so hard in the halls. Teachers didn’t call on me in class either – which I was quietly relieved about, because I didn’t like speaking in front of other people.
But Regina wanted me to meet her at the park that night, if I could make it.

I said I’d see if I could.

My folks were stunned to find I was invited somewhere and I actually said yes! And of course they let me go to meet up with ‘your little friends!’ and gave me a phone to keep in touch.
“Be back by 11pm, okay, you have school tomorrow.” Mum gave me my favourite leather jacket that she somehow knew I had bought last year (jeez, she’s going through my room now?) and I was out the door, down the street and out to the park.

My main worry was if this was a huge joke on me.
Were these people part of the popular group who were picking on me at school?
Would I get there and Regina and her ‘pals’ be a no-show and I’d be laughed at tomorrow for showing up in a creepy park at 9pm?



Is there...?

So many questions raced through my mind that I didn’t know whether I should have been going in the first...
“Hey you made it!” Regina called from the darkened swing set with her group. She ran over smiling. This time her hair was fully off her face, and she was pretty. She looked me up and down, “You had your doubts?”
“Well, don’t. You’re gonna be fine. And we’re not what you think.” She walked me over to the rest of them, who appeared to be quiet and yet looking as though they were expecting something – or somebody – to show up, “So, what do you think, Michael? Would she be a good candidate?”
A taller Hispanic man approached me, “Don’t be scared. I’m not going to hurt you.”
In some way I felt... some weird peace about what he said as he looked into my eyes and moments past as he stared, then looked away, “She’s perfect.”
“For what?”
Michael looked over at me, “You’re about to turn into a weirdo. Oh yes. A weirdo. But don’t worry, you’ll be okay. You’ll be protected.”
“What?” I started backing away, wondering what I’d gotten myself into.
Regina smiled, “The moment I saw you, I knew you were perfect for him.”
“Him... who’s him?”
Michael smiled, “I’m an Archangel; and I need a new vessel. Unfortunately, this one isn’t faring too well and you are much stronger. But I need your permission.”

I didn’t see my life improving.

School sucked.

I had no friends.

My folks love me, but...

I looked at him, “Can you make sure my family is safe?”
He nodded, “I promise.”
“The answer is yes.”  Michael caressed the side of my right cheek and an immense light filled my vision – filled the park – and I was sharing my mind and body with Him.

Oh yes... I’m going to be a weirdo alright. Exactly how I’m going to explain this to people is going to difficult.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Just A Quick Word...

For the time being, you guys will find that this blog will not have a consent form on your way into it.

Today, I found that it wouldn't let me in when I used it. 

After much trial and error, I contacted Google/Blogger and have yet to receive a reply from them about the glitch in this blog's system. 

So.... anyone can read this blog. 

I'm really not comfortable about this due to the content on this blog - it's not for kids, it's for adults. 

Thank you for your understanding guys.


Sunday, 9 July 2017

Hotel California

Chuck has had a dream (I know this sounds familiar, but stick with me), and he kept hearing/seeing 'There's No Exit' in the dream. He's asked us to use the phrase in our story.


"Just sign away your soul right there.” He joked and handed me the pen.
We laughed as I signed on the dotted line on the bottom of the lease, looked up grinning, capping the pen and handing it back, “Well, then, when do I move in?”
“Within the next two weeks.” He and I stood almost at the same time, shook hands and...

... my life started to end from there.

My friends helped me move into the most perfect condo we’ve ever seen. The whole place was picture perfect. The gardens were so neat and tidy, it looked as though it was straight from the brochure – and it probably was for all I knew.
The neighbours were too nice to be truly happy; I mean, they just couldn’t be that happy – could they? Always smiling, waving and cheerful, they always had such wonderful things to say. They were always doing something great in their lives.
There was never a down side to their existence.
I dismissed it from my mind and unpacked, settled in and had a small housewarming party with my mates. It didn’t go late, and some of my friends stayed over on the fold-out because they had a little too much to drink.
It was nice to have people in the house on the first week of my new home. It helped me feel less alone in this; as I had just been dumped by my girlfriend and she made sure a good lot of my friends took her side of the whole thing.
By that night, my friends had gone home and I was still unpacking the rest of my gear with the television going for noise and a bit of company. I put on a dvd of my favourite television series and pressed ‘play all’ on the remote and left it alone when I got a knock at the front door. On opening it, I saw a man there, “Hi, can I help you?”
“Yeah... I’d like to introduce myself.” He smiled in the light of my porch light, “I’m Luke.” He grinned, “I’m the site manager here at this place and would like to welcome you here.” He pulled out a clipboard and a pen - which looked very familiar - from his pocket, “You are, Devon MacIntyre, right?”
“Yes.” I nodded, “I’ve just moved in.” I turned, stopping the player, “Was my party a little noisy? I kept the music down until around 9pm and then we came inside.”
“Oh, no, you were great.” He grinned, “Everyone thought you were good about that. We just didn’t know you were going to have guests.”
“Well, Billy fell asleep on the spare bed upstairs, I didn’t want him driving home tired; and Andrew and Cissy took the fold-out in the lounge because they both had too much to drink.” I frowned, “But who stays in my house hasn’t got anything to do with you.”
“Sure it does.” He said, “Don’t tell me you haven’t read your lease yet.”
“My lease? Aren’t they all pretty much the same?”
He burst out laughing, put away the pen and stowed the clipboard under his arm, “Oh, never mind! You’ll get around to it eventually! You have a good night, Devon.” He turned and walked back down the path from my house, into the darkness. I heard the click of my garden gate and his footsteps echo away into the eerie silence of the complex before I closed the door and turned out the outdoor light – which I hadn’t turned on in the first place.
The first thing I did was open the drawer in the hall stand, pull out my lease, sit down and read it.
There was so much in it which I hadn’t seen in any other lease before; like for example the amount of people who are permitted to stay overnight in this place – no more than two souls.
“Souls?” I whispered wondering exactly what I had gotten myself into. I picked up my mobile and called my Dad asking him to come over and look into this for me – after all, he was a retired lawyer.

He sat back from it, looking up at me, “And this is the first time you’ve read this?”
“I thought all leases are pretty much the same.” I said, “And you told me they were.”
Dad ran a hand over his tired face, “I thought they were, right up until I read the thing about souls and damnation.” He flipped through the pages again, “And it keeps having ‘there is no exit’ at the bottom of every page. I want to know if you signed with anything in particular.”
I snorted, “You mean in blood, or with a particular type of pen.”
“Yeah.” He nodded.
“The pen... I saw the same pen in the hands of the real estate agent and the site manager.” I said.
“What’s the site manager’s name?”
“Luke.” I turned from making coffee, “Oh shit... Luke... Lucifer.”
Dad groaned, “You’re imagining it. You didn’t sign a deal with the devil.”
“Dad, this place is too perfect. The gardens are exactly like the brochure. The neighbours a so cheerful and wonderful, it’s sickening. I have yet to see any children running around here – and I’ve been here a week.”
“Why children?”
“There’s a pool and a playground in the centre of this place, but nobody makes a sound. I work from home and have been walking around the place and it’s as though I’m the only one here.” I leaned against the counter.
He looked at the bottom of the lease where the real estate agent also signs the lease, “What did you say the name of your real estate was?”
“I didn’t.”
He looked up at me, “Well, his name is Luke as well... but there’s a last name too.”
I sat at the table, looked down at the name at the bottom of the last page:

‘Luc Ifer.
Purgatory Villa Estates
666 Hell’s Highway
You’re Screwed
There’s No Exit’ 

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The House Nobody Built

Last week, Chuck got us to put up 5-word titles... just one each. This week, he picked out 10 and we got to pick out which one we liked.


My back is hurting me as I sit in this old kitchen chair.

Both my arms and ankles are tied down hard.

I’m gagged.

Heavy footsteps sound around hallway behind me; but I don’t turn.

I learned last time not to.

My wound has clotted but it still hurts if I look at it – so I try not to.

At least I still have nine fingers left. I don’t know what they did with my other one.

But let me tell you how this started out:

Halloween... my friends and I were out and about roaming the streets having fun and enjoying ourselves. We came upon this house. It’s been on my street for as long as I can remember; and yet it always looked as though it’s never been lived in.

The gardens are always well-kept.

The lights come on at night.

But I’ve never seen the gates open for any cars to enter or leave.

So, this year, my friends thought it would be a good time to dare me to have a closer look. Being a local to the area, I said no. They called me a coward, and I stuck by my guns and still said no.

So, Tricia volunteered to go in.

That was at sunset.

By the time the street lights came on, she hadn’t come back. We tried her phone and it went to voice mail.

Melony went in next. 

She squeezed through the bars of the gates and ran up to the nearest tree, where we watched as a dog came out of nowhere the tore her to shreds.
I threw up my dinner in the gutter as we both heard her final screams cut the air and Felicity sat huddled by my side crying.
“Well, what about you?” she hiccupped.
Wiping my mouth, I turned to her, “Are you nuts? Tricia hasn’t been seen anywhere, Melony’s dog meat. And now, you want me to go in?” my guts squeezed involuntarily again, but this time I stopped from being sick again, coughing slightly, “No way am I going into that creepy fucked-up house. And have you noticed that name of that place?”
She turned and looked at it: “Oh... Nemo. Like the movie about the fish.”
“Don’t be stupid.” I said, “In Latin it means nobody... that’s nobody’s house. So...”
“Oh man, that’s creepy.” Felicity shuddered as she began to rock, “But I don’t want to go inside there.”
At that moment, we heard Tricia at the gate, “Guys. Where’s Melony?”
I stood shakily, took Felicity by the hand and we walked over to the gate, “Um... didn’t you hear the screaming?”
“Yeah... oh... oooh!” Her eyes widened, “Shit!”
“Come on, it’s time to leave.” I wiped my mouth again. The slimy feel of vomit wouldn’t leave my lips, and I felt light-headed; and I was sure Felicity wasn’t going to last much longer standing up, “Let’s go.”
Tricia smiled, “I’m gonna stick around. This place is interesting. I’ve only been here a few minutes.”
“Tricia, you’ve been here for five hours.” I tapped my watch.
My friend smiled at me through the huge iron gates and I knew something just wasn’t right. This wasn’t the same person who left us at sundown. She had what I called The Cheshire Cat Smile. It was that kinda smile which carried no feeling, no soul, no message of friendliness – it just told you that what was about to happen was going be so fuck-up ugly that you’re were going to have huge problems explaining it to the cops.
This was the smile Tricia had on her face: The Cheshire Cat Smile.
Felicity knew I called it that, but... “Oh shit, The Cheshire Cat Smile.”
“Where’s a cat?” Felicity asked.
I looked over at her and she really didn’t look that well at all. What happened next occurred so fast, I almost couldn’t believe it. Tricia reached through the bars, grabbing my friend by my side by the neck. She slammed her against the gate a number of times until she was nothing but a bag of bones on the footpath.
“Oh fuck! Felicity!” I didn’t know what to do. I almost reached out to touch her, but stopped. Her eyes were wide open. Her neck was snapped back – doubled over her shoulders – and I fought to not be sick again. Every bone in her body had been snapped into a dozen pieces... and the sickening part of it was that I had heard them all go like twigs. When I remembered to breathe again, I looked up at the gate to find Tricia standing over me.
I remember thinking: ‘How did she get through the bars without me hearing her?’ before darkness quickly descended upon me.

This brings me to now.

My back hurting me as I sit in this old kitchen chair with both my arms and ankles are tied down hard.

I’m gagged.

Heavy footsteps sound around hallway behind me; but I don’t turn.

I know the person walking around isn’t Tricia, because she was killed in front of me as they tied me to the chair.

I’ve spotted all our phones on the kitchen table – along with a plastic container filled with other mobile phones and devices in it.

I’m just another intruder to this place...

To the house no one built.