Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just wanted to take a moment to say Hello to ALL my new visitors...

and a big thank you to Kevin Smith for his shout out.

I hope some of you folks enjoy what you find here and stop by often...

Tales From The Oddside: Neighborhood Trash

TALES FROM THE ODDSIDE
Neighborhood Trash
by
Al Bruno III



Week One


He woke to the sound of engines and the flashing of lights. Was it the police again? It seemed they got called to this godforsaken neighborhood every night. Rolling out of bed Gabe walked to the front window and shifted the curtain aside just enough for him to peer outside.

The first thing he saw was the moving van, pulled right up onto the sidewalk, its motor coughed and belched, its hazard lights blinked mindlessly.

New neighbors, he realized. Of course, he didn't remember the previous residents moving out but that was a pretty common occurrence in this neighborhood too; along with drunken arguments, drug deals and missing children. The trash that had lived above Gabe had skipped out on their lease the day before Christmas. The speed and skill they'd employed to empty their belongings into the back of a pickup truck was almost dizzying.

The digital readout on the VCR told him it was a little after five in the morning.
Who moves in at this hour on a Sunday? Gabe wondered as he tried to see what the new arrivals looked like. The vans back doors were almost flush with the house across the street so all he saw were shadows stepping from the back of the truck onto the darkened front porch.


Week Two



Tomorrow was garbage day so Gabe dutifully dragged his two well-worn aluminum cans out to the curb. He hated those two dented husks of rusted metal but he knew better then to purchase new ones. They tended to disappear on him. It was just that kind of neighborhood. Gabe looked up and down the block, at the dirty children screaming and running from yard to yard, at the washed- out looking adults that sat out on their front steps smoking and drinking with their music turned up too loud. At the lawns that were either un-mowed or had half -junked cars parked on them.

It hadn't always been this way, he'd had a house in the suburbs, a wife and kids but they were long gone now and he was trapped here. Trapped here by child support and payments on a house he was no longer allowed to live in. All he could afford for himself now was this, the bottom floor of a run down two-story tenement.

Gabe shook his head trying to clear away the unpleasant thoughts, he knew where this would lead, where it always led- to him half-drunk at his kitchen table glaring at the sheaf of divorce papers and restraining orders. He looked up at the house across the street, his new neighbors were bringing out their trash as well; trash that included a ratty looking old couch, a bureau and a few armfuls of clothes.

They were a good-looking couple, with white-blond hair and striking features. They looked like movie stars, Gabe wondered what had landed them here on this dead end street. Had the Husbands drinking gotten him fired? Was the Wife spending her husband's cash as fast as he made it?

Maybe, he thought as he watched them maneuver a stained mattress out onto the curb. Maybe they just want to renovate the place. Maybe they think they can turn this neighborhood around. Good luck.

The Husband spied him watching them and offered a genial wave, "Afternoon."

"Afternoon." Gabe called from across the street.

The Wife came out carrying a pair of dripping garbage bags, her smile was dazzling. "We're remodeling." she said.

"Good for you." Gabe said with a wave. He headed back into the house, they seemed like nice people but a little too chipper for his tastes.


Week Three



It was raining and miserable and Gabe had left his umbrella back at the office. Shivering and cold he walked the four blocks from the bus stop to his apartment. The sidewalks here were as run down as everything else, the cracked pavement fostered wide puddles. With every step his shoes and socks were more and more soaked, with every clammy he tried to calculate how long it would be before he could afford another car.

Two years for a junker, longer if I want something nice.

The bags and cans at the end of every walkway reminded him that it was garbage day. He groaned at the thought of dragging the two cans out from the back.

As if I'm not soaked enough.

The pounding noise told him that the morons that were into rap music had cranked up their stereo. Of course that meant that the half-wit that lived next door to those morons would soon be blasting the screeching speed metal they loved so dearly.

His pace slowed as he approached his house, the couple across the street had their garbage out already. It looked like they were cleaning out their basement, an old washing machine, a love seat, a waist high pile of books, a few broken chairs, a chest of drawers and a birdcage were out on the curb.

For a moment he stood there contemplating the washer, wondering if it still worked. If it did it would sure as hell save him his weekly trip to the laundromat.

Why would they throw it away if it wasn't broken? He chided himself and headed inside, the trash could wait till morning.

Week Four


Another couch. Gabe stood there marveling at it, Another goddamn couch.

But it wasn't just a couch; there was also a cabinet, a lone snow tire and a box of melted-looking action figures. He glanced over to their mailbox, it was still blank save for the dull metal numbers. He wondered what their family name was, it must have been Rockefeller considering the amount of furniture they went through.

It wasn't that he cared what they did, but still it was a little odd. So much stuff.
Well at least they picked a good neighborhood for it. He thought. Back in the suburbs there had only been one or two days a year set aside for heavy trash pickup but here the garbage men seemed willing to take away anything at all. Maybe, Gabe thought. Maybe they do it because they know that if they don't this crummy little town will start looking like the full-fledged junkyard it really is.

The front door swung open, Gabe quickly pretended to be adjusting his cans. It was the Wife, she was wearing a clingy top and a pair of white shorts. She bounded down the front steps, got into her minivan and drove away.

Damn but her husband's a lucky guy. Gabe thought.

"Whatchoo lookinat?" his boozy next door neighbor called at him.

"N-nothing." Gabe said. Blushing furiously he retreated back inside. When the door was safely barred and bolted behind him he allowed himself to whisper, "Nothing you scumbag."


Week Five



From the first moment the blind date had been an unmitigated disaster. From his first look at the woman he'd known it was going to go badly. What had Homer been thinking?

Gabe sat in the back of the taxicab fuming. He was almost mad enough to call Homer right now. When he'd described her as having a wonderful personality that should have been warning enough but hed decided to try his luck anyway. He'd been away from the dating scene for too long.

The cab slowed before his house, Gabe paid the fare and strolled up the walk. He wanted to kick something. He couldn't believe the bitch turned him down. How could she afford to be discriminating? Of course she waited until after he'd picked up the tab from dinner before she dropped that little bombshell.

Speaking of bombshells. He thought as he paused on his front porch. His eyes strayed across the street, sometimes they stayed up late. He wasn't sure what they did, wither every light on in the house till all hours of the night, but whenever he peeked out the curtains he saw silhouettes flitting across the venetian blinds. It was almost like they were dancing. Sometimes watching them he imagined he was up there with the Wife and the Husband was living down here in this crappy tenement.

Embarrassed at the thoughts filling his head he turned to enter his front. His keys fumbling in the lock he took one last longing glance at the house next door and did a double take.

Was that another couch he saw sitting on the curb?

Gabe couldn't help himself, he crossed the street and gazed at the cigarette burned davenport sitting there, one of its cushions were missing, in its place sat an record player that looked to Gabe like an antique. A bureau with wobbly legs rounded out this weeks pile.

He paused a moment, thinking to himself
This is nuts what if someone else sees? But the impulse was too crazy and too strong for him to deny it. He walked up to the bureau and pulled out one of the drawers.

It still had clothes in it, all neatly folded. Panties and socks, where they hers? How could that be? How could he not know she was tossing out all her undergarments? This was too weird. Gabe glanced up at their house, wondering if they had seen him out here. Wondering if they'd care the man from across the street was going through their garbage.

It was just their garbage after all, if they had really cared they wouldn't have put it out on the curb would they?

He pulled the second drawer out, more clothes, sweaters and ties, expensive looking by the feel of them. The kind he used to be able to afford.

Not certain what he was looking for he pulled the third drawer out. A gagging scream caught in his throat. He shoved the drawer closed again and he stumbled back across the street, tripping on the curb. Sobbing with fear he scrambled to his feet and ran into his house where he slumped to the floor and tried not to be sick.

"It was just a doll, just a doll…" He whispered to himself, "Dolls can't move…"

There was a knock at the door, a neighborly voice was calling Gabe's name.

Friday, November 27, 2009

(Recommended Reads) "Hub 12" by Maria Protopapadaki-Smith

I have only been dead for a week and already I've been summoned to see the Beast. Woodhouse shakes his head in that despairing way of his.

Click here to continue

(Recommended Reads) "Bruised Silence" by Pia Veleno

How many times have I asked myself if I should do more? Push more? Tell someone? Demand something be done? How many times?

But you always tell me that you are okay, not to interfere, to let you forget it. You tell me you can handle it. You remind me you’ve lived with him for eighteen years, so yes, you can handle a few more months. I tell you that I understand, but I don’t. Not really. You don’t deserve this. You are a shining light and he, he is black death, plaguing you, plaguing me.


Click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) "Copyright Protected" by J Dane Tyler

Music oozed through speakers mounted high in the room’s corners and spilled over the murky half-light spilling through cracks around the heavy drapes and shut blinds. The sliding closet door stood ajar, revealing a jumble of clothes thrown haphazardly onto hangers and shoved onto the packed rod. Some stood free, wrinkling atop the mashed wads of others behind. The floor piled high with more fabric cadavers. A dresser, night stand and table teetered beneath piles of detritus and miscellany from their horizontal surfaces. Unmated shoes spread across the battlefield floor. Sugary, preservative-laden drinks festered in forgotten aluminum cans.

Click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) "Rainy Days And Buses" by Deborah Szajngarten

Diane stood on the corner of Ocean Avenue waiting for the bus in the pouring rain. A blanket of storm clouds turned the sky greenish-black and the deluge of water left a slick shimmer over the city streets.

Click here to read the rest

(Recommended Reads) "RAM, get it?" by Dana Larose

The robot walked slowly across the stage, servos whirring away. It tried to be nonchalant, but a good mechanic would have noticed nervousness in the sound. It settled down on the stool that was dead centre of the stage and lifted the glass of water to where its mouth would have been, had it been an anatomically correct model of robot.

Click here to continue

(Recommended Reads) "How to Make A Golem" by Laura S. Packer

How to make a golem, God forbid you ever need to

I tell you this in the hope that you never use this knowledge. I tell you this in the hope that the world has changed enough that you never need to use this knowledge, that there will be no more pogroms or genocides. I tell you this so it will not be lost, because God has given us the gift of knowledge and learning and to let such things die is a sin.


Click here to read the rest

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Ninety Three

With a time machine you can truly enjoy a month of Sundays but one Tuesday a week is still more than enough.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Ninety Two

"The only thing worse than being blogged about is not being blogged about."

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Ninety One

Captain Hero returned home to find crime rampant, property values down and the toilet in his secret base hopelessly plugged.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Ninety

The Local Heroes tracked down the Invisible Zeppelin by listening for the sound of birds whacking into the side of it.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Nine

Most of Zeth's anecdotes ended with the words- "Then I shot him." but no had the nerve to complain about it.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Eight

Scientists are working on an equation to correlate the relationship between childrens' bedtimes and when they actually go to sleep.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Seven

"The difference between a go-go dancer and a stripper is measured by the depth of her thong and the emptiness of your wallet."

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Six

They were Clown Scare Investigators but had to change their stationary because the name CSI was already taken.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Nick Of Time (and other abrasions): The Trailer Park Of Dracula part one

The Nick Of Time

(and other Abrasions)

The Trailer Park Of Dracula

part one

Escape From The Trailer Park Of Dracula
by
Al Bruno III



It was only a few months after her nineteenth birthday and just a few weeks after she had let the sad, ageless man called Jason Magwier take her on his adventures and into his bed. He had promised to show her things she would never learn in the Academy...

*

The only sound in the forest was the rhythmic chanting a steady counterpoint to the gentle gurgling of the stream. The Seven stood on the shore their arms crossed over their chests and gazed up at the crescent moon.

So this is the face of undeath... Lorelei mused as she crouched behind an dead tree; She was wearing jeans, clunky boots and a t-shirt with a filthy saying on it. She kept her hair from her eyes with a bandana and the cold from her skin with her lover's coat.

Magwier was right beside her his hand on her shoulder; his hair was dark and close cropped. He gave her a little smile but even when he was grinning his eyes had the aspect of frowning. Then she glanced over to her right, to where Zeth was standing half-concealed in the shadows. Lorelei didn’t think he’d moved a muscle since the ceremony had begun; he had this odd, almost cat-like expression on his face. Of all of Magwier's unnerving friends she found him to the the most unnevering.

But what a sight we make! she thought. The apprentice sorceress, the old soldier and the man of mystery.

The chanting stopped. Jason Magwier’s grip tightened on her shoulder. Seven shadows flew at them from the darkness.

*

She woke to find herself trussed up on the floor of a filthy double wide trailer. She glanced around from the stained velvet curtains to the blackened electric stove and finally to the pale skinned couple sitting at the breakfast nook and playing checkers. Lorelei muttered a prayer to the Goddess to not let her die in a place as cruddy as this.

“She's awake already Elizabeth,” the taller, more masculine of the pair glanced her way.

The other nodded and batted her false eyelashes, “Resilient. I can hardly wait Olwin.”

At moments like this Lorelei always went for the big cliché, “Hey! What's the big idea?”

Olwin moved his pieces listlessly around the board, “We might ask the same of you.”

“Spying.” Elizabeth shook a finger her way, “Wandering where you shouldn't be.”

Lengths of silk bound Lorelei's wrists together, she struggled to free them but they had been expertly, and expensively, tied. She moved the conversation from cliches to outright lies, “Is this some kind of private property? We didn't know.”

“Lie,” Olwin hissed over the board, “you came here with pockets full of wolfsbane and mandrake...”

“...for medicinal purposes only.” Lorelei said; actually there were spell components, nothing too fancy, nothing that could make a man fly or turn blood into fire.

“And one of you- the black man- he was carrying four handguns.”

“... well we did tell him to travel light.”

Elizabeth smiled, her teeth sharp and the color of moonlight, “And the other? He smells of eternity, of dust and rosepetals...”

“I'm not looking for trouble here, or sloppy metaphors.” Lorelei said.

But she had to wonder what Magwier had been up to; he never went anywhere without some kind of an agenda but he rarely ever told anyone what his plans were until it was too late to try and talk him out of it. Lorelei had just been excited at the prospect of seeing some real life vampires but she had to admit that if Magwier had intended to finish the evening hogtied in the trailer park of Dracula she would have preferred a little warning.

“I'm bored of this game,” Olwin gestured towards Lorelei. “Why don't you partake?”

“Oh...” Elizabeth fluttered her eyebrows, “ I couldn’t do that to you, I know how you much you like to play with them, to undress them and hear.”

“Only if they're virgins my dear and let me tell you this is no virgin.”

Thank you summer camp!

“Wait!” Lorelei said, “You don’t understand...”

“Don’t we now?” Olwin grinned, “It doesn’t matter if you’re assassins or hapless wanderers your blood will taste the same.”

Lorelei tried to keep her voice even, “I’m an Apprentice of the Greater Eastern Council, if you harm me...”

“Our leader was once a Dean of your council.” Olwin said, “And they have a saying there. One less Apprentice...”

“...is one less Apprentice.” Lorelei said with groan.

“Enough talking,” Elizabeth was a blur, knocking Lorelei back and straddling her in the space of a heartbeat.

“Bite her!” Olwin's eyebrows quivered with excitement, “Do it now!”

“If you say so.” Lorelei leaned forward and sank her teeth into the face leering over her; cold, rancid blood flooded into her mouth. The urge to retch was almost too much for her but Lorelei held it in check.

Olwin leapt to attack as Elizabeth reeled back in shock. Olwin's hands found Lorelei's throat but the magic was ready as she spit the contents of her mouth into his face- and blood became fire.

*

After that the hardest part of her escape was making her way through the cloud of greasy smoke to the trailer door. It was still dark outside and the moon was low in the horizon. This trailer was one of six that were arranged around a sickly looking central courtyard. Zeth was going from door to door calling for Magwier.

Lorelei's mouth tasted like blood and shit, she felt dizzy and she was bruised in a dozen places. And now it looked like she was going to have to rescue Magwer- again.

All things considered it still beat a spending another night in the dorm.


Screamstress Tells us to keep an eye out for WESTERN X!

The Screamstress has an interview with the creator of the upcoming web series WESTERN X. Check it out!

On the plains of a desert wasteland, a man known only as X is on the verge of death. Among a pile of dead bodies he awakens, with no memories of his past and hunted by an unknown enemy, he struggles to uncover the truth behind his identity; this is the beginning of his journey. Each episode uncovers some truth about who he is and sheds light on the strange world he finds himself in.

Western X Trailer from CAZADOR PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

There's still time to get some Al for the Holidays!

IN THIS TWILIGHT tales of lost gods and fragile transformations

This collection of 13 stories transports you to a world where both dreams and monsters lurk in the shadows, where love and forgotten rituals fight for control of the human heart, and where the madness of eternity can be glimpsed in a single segmented eye. This anthology collects some of the best stories from Al Bruno III's website and includes the novellas 'Chad's Oracles', 'Fully Vested' and 'The Mask Collector', available for the first time anywhere. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

IN THE MIDNIGHT OF HIS HEART a novel of horror and obsession

To all outward appearances John Sig is just an old man living a quietly in an empty old house. His one pleasure is when he heads down to the local diner and visits with his favorite waitress Angie. When Angie disappears, John sets out to find her. For an ordinary old man that might seem like a foolish idea but John Sig isn't human, he's a monster living in the shadow of a nightmare thirty -five years old.

In The Pit
This is the comic book I wrote, that sadly it never made it past the first issue. Too bad I had envisioned a fantastic tale of serial killers, Canadian pro wrestlers and exploding toilets. Still though I think you might enjoying reading the first issue, it is still available as a PDF file. There are also some preview pages at the sight below.
Order away and weep for what might have been. Some of my best work is available from the fine folks at Eden Studios. My contribution to their game lines has been mainly in the area of fiction. The rules and setting information was written by other very capable folks like Richard Dakan, CJ Carella, Jack Emmert, George Vasilakos and M. Alexander Jurkat. Believe me, they did all the hard work. If you are a fan of role-playing games or a fan of zombie movies then the books below are going to be right up your alley.
ALL FLESH MUST BE EATEN main rulebook
Enter the dark world of survival horror. The Dead walk among us. This role-playing game allows you to play in a world infested by the walking dead. The main rulebook includes rules for character creation, combat and everything else you need to play in a world of survival horror. Also detailed are the multiple campaign settings so you can customize the type of "deadworld" you wish to explore.232 pages.Hardcover.Cover Art by Christopher Shy. Click here for ordering information
ZOMBIE MASTER SCREEN
A must-have reference for All Flesh Must Be Eaten, the Zombie Master's Screen is filled with charts and tables. From fear to weapons to outcomes, every reference that a prepared Zombie Master needs is packed onto a four-panel screen. The flip side of the screen scares and delights the players with full-color zombie images. The Screen is packed with a 48-page booklet, including a ready-to-run adventure introducing the Cast Member to the horrors of a zombie plague, and pregenerated characters with complete bios, statistics and resource information. Cover Art by Christopher Shy and George Vasilakos. Click here for ordering information
ENTER THE ZOMBIE
Written by Richard DakanThe first supplement to All Flesh Must Be Eaten opens whole new vistas for a walking dead campaign. This tome brings together the thrills of Hong Kong action films and the excitement of flesh-craving horror. The match of these two genres may not have seemed obvious at first, but the pleasures that arise from it are undeniable. After all, zombies and Hong Kong style action make a perfect fit. What better match is there for a relentless series of lightning kicks and a hurricane of bullets than a target that can’t die? The pulse-pounding danger just never stops. Besides, what martial arts master worth his salt doesn't ache for the ability to use his own intestines as a deadly whip? For the undead, no problem!Softcover.Cover Art by Christopher Shy. Click here for ordering information
TERRA PRIMATE
Written by Al Bruno III, CJ Carella, David F. Chapman, Patrick SweenyBased on the original concept by George Vasilakos and Ross IsaacsEdited by M. Alexander Jurkat, David F. ChapmanCover art by Jeff ReitzInterior Art by Storn Cook, Thomas Denmark, Talon Dunning, DW Gross, Jon Hodgson, Chris Keefe, Jason Millet, Matt Morrow, James Powers, Gregory Price, George Vasilakos From the creators of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, similar in style but this time . . . with apes! Terra Primate has no specific setting. The only constant is the concept of intelligent apes. Planet of the Apes is a movie about intelligent apes, but then again so is Congo. As long as the characters are interacting with intelligent apes -- or are intelligent apes themselves! -- the game could be set in the pulp era of adventure, on a post-apocalyptic Earth, on a faraway alien planet, or downtown on Main Street. The main rulebook includes rules for character creation, combat and everything else you need to play in a world where man is the missing link! Also detailed are the multiple campaign settings so you can customize the type of "Apeworld" you wish to explore. Click here for ordering information

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Thanksgiving Flashback...




...The holidays came quickly, it seemed that as soon as I put the Halloween candy out on the shelves it was stale leftovers sitting in a cart with a ‘Half Off’ sign on it. November was a particularly busy month with people coming in to make preparations for their Thanksgiving holiday. On November first a red sign went up on the front doors explaining that we closed at 4 PM on the fourth Thursday of the month so Nice Shopper’s employees could enjoy the holiday too.

Apparently the sign wasn’t nearly big enough;

*

At 4 o’clock on the dot Mr. Streicher locked the doors to the main entrance and began overseeing the shutting down of a store that was ordinarily open 24 hours a day. Each cash register was running and there were four other bagboys aside from me. The store was like a well oiled machine and we were all confident we would be out of there by 4:30, 4:45 at the latest.

I was the first to notice customers streaming in through the exit. They got their carts and started shopping at a leisurely pace.

“Bruno!” Mr. Streicher called, “Go stand in the doorway and tell people we’re closed.”

The question whether our customers would take the word of a doughy teenager when they were ignoring a fancy laminated sign from the corporate office never occurred to me. It should have, it really should have.

I took my place at the exit ready to turn any new shoppers away. Unfortunately I was standing too close to the door and the first eager customer knocked me reeling. By the time by vision had cleared three other customers had gotten in behind her. I think Mr. Streicher was howling my name in outrage but it might have been the voices of my long dead relatives cursing that the noble Bruno bloodline, once the spawning ground of uncountable three-nippled strippers, politicians and circus midgets, could have come to this.

Groggily I resumed my place a safe distance from the exit and got back to my duties.

“Hey,” one of the customers said. “Your front door is broken or something.”

I was more than glad to explain, “Allow me to explain, Nice Shopper closes at 4 PM on Thanksgiving.”

“What?” the customer’s expression began to darken, “The sign says you’re open 24 hours a day!”

“Yes but the sign below that says we close so we can enjoy the holiday too.”
She pointed her finger at me, “You suck! You fucking suck.”

I was too stunned that my first grade teacher hadn’t recognized me to really take offense. The next customer was already trying to get in.

“I’m sorry sir,” I tried again, “but Nice Shopper closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday at 4 o’clock.”

He tried to push past me, “It isn’t 4 o’clock.”

I pointed to the clock, “Yes it is sir, it’s actually 4:12 now.”

“Not by my watch.”

“I don’t know what I can say about that, it is 4:12. Actually now it’s 4:13.”

The customer responded by waving his wrist in front of my face, “I don’t care what that damn clock says. This is a two hundred dollar watch!”

“It says Casio.”

He took a moment to tell me, “You suck! You friggin’ suck!” before he stormed off.

The next customer moved in to take his place, “I need cranberry sauce!”

“I…” I paused to blink back tears. “I’m sorry but Nice Shopper is closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.”

“You’re gonna let me in that store you little pissant or I’ll spit on you...”

“…but this is a time of love and togetherness…”

“PTOOIE!”

*

After that no amount of tryptophan could rescue me from the nightmares that followed especially since my family preferred to serve prime rib for Thanksgiving...

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis chapter thirty nine

In The Shadow Of His Nemesis

Chapter Thirty Nine

BY AL BRUNO III


Saturday November 16th 1996


“Do you think he meant us?” Roxanne slipped out of her dress revealing a figure as plump as it was pale.

“Who?” Jack was getting undressed for bed as well, stripping down to his boxer shorts and leaving the clothes on the floor. His body was taut and muscular, especially his legs, “You mean Magwier? Who knows what the Hell he’s talking about most of the time.”

“No. Not him.” She unsnapped her bra letting her heavy breasts fall free, “I mean Galen.”

“Galen?” Jack stared at her nudity with a boyish grin, “He’s harmless.”

When he came towards her she pushed him back and sat down on the bed to take off her pantyhose, “Oh no. His girlfriend and her brother, they’re harmless, and a little hopeless, but not Galen. That man is selfish to a fault. I know the type.”

“Do you now?” his boxers fell to the floor.

They were in Jack’s room- the Castellan’s room; the largest room Laurel House had to offer; a tall, windowless room, so large that it had its own library and its own fireplace. It had a big bed too, Roxanne liked that most of all. She had spent ever night of the last few years sharing it with him but she still insisted on keeping a place of her own in the guest wing. She felt it was a sign of her independence and it was a good place to store shoes.

There were times when Roxanne wondered about her own selfishness, if her relationship with Jack Waterford would have gone on like this if he was still living just off the Sepulcher. Her pantyhose were down to her ankles. She paused to watch him puttering around, trying to light a fire even though the room was warm enough.

“Come and help me.” She said. The box of matches clattered to the floor. Jack knelt before her slipping the soft fabric down over her feet and kissing each toe as it was revealed. She rolled her eyes, “I am trying to have a conversation with you.”

“About what?”

“About Galen.” She yanked her ankle from his grip and shifted around so she was lying on her belly, “Concentrate.”

“If you had wanted me to concentrate you would have kept your clothes on.”

“He’s trouble Jack, you know what he did.” She said.

Finally serious he sat down beside her, “I don’t think we have the right to judge besides if he wasn’t meant to find this place he wouldn’t have.”

Ever the fidgeter she raised herself to her knees and leaned on him, “How do we know it was him? All three of them showed up here at once and you don’t have to be an oracle to see that Warren is on the verge of a transformation.”

“Transformations aren’t a bad thing.”

“Not always good though.” Roxanne started to kiss his shoulder, “Don’t you ever worry? There are no promises here, not for any of us.”

“People live on fault lines and at the bases of volcanoes all over the world. They just live their days one day to the next.” He moved suddenly grabbing her wrists and pushing her back, “Now to pay you back for earlier.”

Roxanne’s girlish squeal was just loud enough to drown out the sound of windchimes as it drifted through the room.



Tuesday, November 24, 2009

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Five

Audra DiMico collected conspiracy theories the way other girls collected plastic unicorns.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Four

Hospitalizations are like wars; a sudden outbreak of chaos and fear followed by a period of slow economic recovery.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Three

The superhero team decided that buying a private jet was better than trying to get a viking and a cyborg through airport security.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty Two

The peace talks broke down when no one could settle on what style of barbecue sauce would be used at the cookout.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty One

Corporate decided to reduce staff without severance packages by 'accidentally' releasing wild bears into selected office buildings.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Eighty

Like most supervillains he was color blind and obsessive compulsive.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Seventy Nine

As a young man your orgasms are explosive and your bowel movements are relatively dry, as you grow older this slowly reverses.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Seventy Eight

How many hours of decadence are left until the Mayan Apocolypse?

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Seventy Seven

In the future technology will be indistinguishable from magic, but no one ever needs to reboot a magic wand.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Seventy Six

The only thing more dangerous than a vampire with a foot fetish is a zombie on a moped.”

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Seventy Five

Reading movie and comic book blogs gave him a nightmare about Mario Bava directing a film about Aquaman called 'KRILL BABY KRILL'

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Seventy Four

100 years in the future a flu virus began traveling and mutating via the medium of bad movies; the MANOS strain killed thousands.

5 Second Fiction Six Hundred and Seventy Three

The advertisement read 'Erotic Fireplace' and it was obviously a typo- despite that a new fetish was born.