Thursday, December 19, 2013

Let's eat Grandma

I thought up this story after seeing a meme on Facebook about grammar. It was the one with:

"Let's eat grandma" vs "Let's eat, Grandma"

I'm sure you can guess which my story is about.


“Let’s eat grandma.”

The others looked at Nate as if he’d just grown two heads.

“Are you crazy?”

“Have you lost your mind?”

“What is your problem?”

“My problem is that I’m starving,” Nate answered. “We haven’t had anything but stringy rat stew in two weeks. My stomach is fixin’ to eat my backbone if we don’t get some food soon.”

“We’re all hungry,” Blake said. “That doesn’t mean we need to turn into cannibals.”

“What’s the big deal?” Nate asked. “She’s gotta be, what, close to ninety by now? How much longer can she have anyway?”

 “I can’t believe you’re even thinkin’ about eating grandma. It’s, it’s disgusting!” Billy snapped. “She’s not dead yet!”

“Well,” Nate asked, “what do y’all suggest we do?”

None of the others had an answer for him. They all looked around at the alley they called home. The cardboard boxes they slept in. The threadbare sheets they covered themselves with, and grandma, huddled in the corner, shivering.

“Look at her,” Nate ordered. When the others had complied, he went on. “She is cold and sick. We’d be doing her a favor. Putting her out of her misery.”

“You talk about her like she was a dog!” Shelly cried. “She’s our grandma!”

“Is she?” Nate asked. “Do any of us really know if the woman is our grandma?”

One by one, they all shook their heads. None of them remembered their families, or a time before the alley. All they remembered, to a child, was hunger, cold, pain, begging, stealing, and grandma. She had always been there it seemed.

“It doesn’t matter if she’s our real grandma,” Billy said. “She takes care of us. That’s what counts.”

The others shook their heads in agreement, but Nate saw them sneak a glance at the crumpled woman. He knew they were listening.

“How does she take care of us exactly?” he asked. “We go out and pick pockets or beg from store owners for what little we get. We get hauled in by the cops when we’re caught, and they can never seem to find grandma when they come looking. We skin and cook the rats, we round up water from the lake; we huddle together under our pitiful sheets to stay warm while grandma sleeps comfortably under three blankets with an overcoat on. Who’s taking care of who?”

Billy didn’t even have an answer for that. He knew Nate was right. All the children did, but what he was talking about was crazy. They couldn’t kill and eat the woman. Could they?

“It doesn’t matter,” Billy decided. “We still can’t eat her.”

The others stood beside him, in front of grandma, a solid barrier between Nate and the old woman. Nate knew he had lost them.

“Okay, okay, I give up. We’ll just eat rats until we die.”

With that, Nate disappeared from the alley. The others took refuge around the pitiful fire Billy started and tried to get warm. Grandma watched them from the corner.

About ten minutes later, when she was sure Nate wasn’t coming right back, Grandma scooted over to the group. “You know he has a point.” She said to the kids.

They all looked at her but kept silent. Nobody knew what she meant. Surely she didn’t mean for them to eat her.

“We are starving. We do need food.”

The children still didn’t speak. They waited to see what Grandma said next.

“The problem is, I’m too old and stringy to feed you kids,” Grandma said.

“We would never eat you!”

“Nate was just being crazy!”

“We won’t let anything happen to you, Grandma,” Billy stated.

“Hush, children,” Grandma said. “I know none of you would hurt me. None of you here right now anyway.”

The children knew she was talking about Nate. The one person missing from their group. They all turned to look toward the end of the alley, afraid he was back. When the old woman in front of them shivered and huddled into herself in fear, the children stood tall.

“We will take care of Nate,” Billy told her.

“Yeah,” Blake added, “we’ll kick him out of the group.”

“I’m afraid that won’t do it,” Grandma replied. “Just because he’s not in the group doesn’t mean he can’t still sneak around.”

She watched as the children absorbed what she was telling them. She forced a tear just in case they weren’t fully on her side yet. They had always done what she told them, but this was different. Still, Grandma was sure she had them when they all joined hands and vowed to protect her. What else could they do, really, she surmised. They were still children after all, and, whether they would admit it or not, they wanted an adult around to guide them.

“If you really want to protect me, we have to take care of Nate,” she told the children.

“What do you mean, take care of him?” Billy asked.

Grandma looked him hard in the eye and said, “I think you know.”

All of the children gasped and stepped back.

“I know, I know,” Grandma said. “It’s not something we want to do, but if we don’t then he will kill me.” When the children still didn’t immediately agree, she added. “Believe me, he will. Probably tonight after you’ve all gone to bed. You know he always stays up late.”

The children did know. Nate roamed around all night sometimes, so much so that the others had grown accustomed to it and no longer heard him, which could mean the end for Grandma.

“It’s him or me, children,” Grandma stated, tears rolling down her face. “I will leave the decision up to you. Just know that whatever you decide is okay with me. I love you all,” she stopped to clear her throat, “and would gladly give my life for you.”

The children all rushed forward and hugged her. Over their heads, Grandma smiled.

Later that night, when Nate came back to the alley, the children were waiting. He lay down in his cardboard box and rolled over. The children pounced. Each using whatever club, stick or pot was handy. It took a while, but, eventually, Nate stopped moving.

Grandma oversaw the dismemberment. The children looked away as she filleted Nate and dug holes to bury and preserve the meat. None of them turned down the stew she served afterward, though. It smelled so much better than rat.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Blind Allegiance

 I wrote this story today off a writing prompt from a friend. I'm not sure I got it exactly right, but I hope y'all like it. Here is the prompt:

Third person, short story about someone who recently became blind; but you can't say how they became blind.

Blind Allegiance

Chance awoke with a throbbing headache. The slightest movement caused excruciating pain. Even lifting his eyelids required more effort than he was able to muster. 

He lay still and tried to remember what had happened, but no matter how hard he thought, he couldn’t figure it out. It didn’t help that he couldn’t hear very well, either. Without eyesight and hearing, it was hard to figure out where he was or what caused all the pain. One thing he did know was that he had to move. No matter how much it hurt, he couldn’t just lay there.

He forced his eyes open. Total darkness greeted him. He couldn’t see even a glimmer of light anywhere. Did somebody push me down a well, he wondered. 

He quickly dismissed that idea. His enemies would have found a more creative way to rid the world of him. He thought maybe someone had buried him alive. He hadn’t been able to move enough to figure out how big the space he was occupying actually was.

He decided to worry about where he was after her regained the use of his body. 

Tentatively, he moved the fingers of his right hand. All seemed well so he tried the left hand. The pain that shot through his hand and up his arm brought tears to his eyes. 

It was a while before he worked up the courage to try and move any other limbs. The toes of his right foot worked, but the ankle was another matter. He didn’t think it was broken, but definitely sprained.

When he tried to move the left foot, scalding hot spikes of pain shot through his body. His screams filled the air. 

Chance had no idea how long he screamed. He hadn’t felt pain like that in years. The last time, he had almost lost his hand. If his ankle was in as bad a shape as his wrist had been back then, Chance knew he didn’t have long to get it worked on. It had taken the doctor thirteen hours to reconnect all the tendons and repair the damage. Chance hadn’t believed he could do it. His hand was literally hanging by threads of muscle and tissue. He only hoped modern medicine could come to the rescue again. If he ever got out of whatever hole he was in.

If the extent of his injuries were as bad as Chance thought, he knew he would need help escaping from wherever he had been stashed. From the vibration of his screams earlier, he knew the space wasn’t small enough to be a coffin-like structure, but wasn’t a huge room either. If he could trust his hearing. With his ears still clogged up, and the total darkness, he couldn’t be sure of anything.

He kept trying to remember what he was doing before, but the hit to his head seemed to have scrambled his brain. He would get snatches of memories but that was all, and they didn’t make much sense. 

He kept seeing himself with another man, one he couldn’t quite place. They were standing in front of a village. Just before the vision evaporated, Chance saw the man hand him a briefcase. 

No matter how hard he concentrated, Chance couldn’t remember anything else. He could surmise, however. He had received briefcases in the past. Briefcases full of cash, diamonds, guns, and bombs.

He just had to figure out what was in the one he kept seeing in the vision, and where the briefcase was. The contents of any case he had received could never be allowed to be traced back to the owner.

First things first, he thought. I have to get out of here before I can find anything.

He tried to sit up. The world spun crazily, but Chance toughed it out. He used his good hand to brace himself and sat still until the room settled. 

His stomach threatened to rebel. The taste of bile in the back of his throat urged Chance on. He reached into the darkness, trying to figure out where he was. He pushed what felt like a piece of concrete, which he was sure caused the damage to his ankle, off his left leg.

He tried to push himself with his right hand and leg, but the pain from his sprained ankle wouldn’t allow it. All he managed to do was wear himself out. 

He collapsed back onto the floor and considered his options. Chance had been in some hairy situations before, but nothing compared to being broken and battered beyond movement in a dark hole. He had always had a plan before, but as far as he could see, there was no plan for his current predicament except getting help.

To that end, Chance screamed. 

He screamed until his throat was raw. He screamed until his chest hurt. He screamed until he couldn’t scream any longer because the saliva in his mouth had dried up.

Once his own screams died down, Chance thought he heard others. He pushed back up and tried to find something to throw. Anything that would make enough noise for someone to find him. He threw rocks and a can of some sort, all the while trying to scream some more, but his voice wouldn’t cooperate. 

He blindly searched the area he could reach, frantically trying to find something that would help. He was getting desperate. Chance knew he didn’t have long. His strength was draining as surly as the blood from his ankle. 

His hand found a small, cylindrical object. He inspected it the best he could in the dark. The object was slender with a button on one end and wires coming out of the other. Chance was sure he knew what it was. It was on the tip of his tongue. He just couldn’t quite place it. He tried to trace the wires, but could only reach so far. 

He was still holding the object when he heard someone approach. He called out, hoping they would find him wherever he was buried. 

Chance was confused when he heard footsteps behind him. He tried to turn, but his broken body wouldn’t move. He listened to the steps as they walked toward him and heard someone say, “Poor bastard.” 

“Hello,” Chance said. “Who’s there? Can someone turn the lights on?”

“I’m sorry, Sir,” the man replied. 

Chance was still trying to figure out the pity in the man’s voice when another man interrupted.

“His hand!” the man yelled. “Get back!”

Chance figured out, right before the first bullet struck, what the object he held was.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Scared Spitless Release

Silly Tree Anthologies is pleased to announce that their first anthology, “Scared Spitless,” is now available in eBook format through Amazon Kindle and Smashwords. Angel Sharum and Cathy MacKenzie are very happy with the stories published in this anthology, and they believe you will enjoy them as well.

If you like creepy, scary, horror-filled stories then you are sure to enjoy “Scared Spitless.”

 The authors of Scared Spitless take readers on a wild ride of imagination, with twists and turns they’ll never see coming.

The ghosts are hospitable, willing to open their house to everyone. Hitchhiking is more dangerous than ever. Families are just as dysfunctional as in the real world, but time out is quite a bit different. Murder and mayhem have the cops stumped, and the local homeless shelter might not be a good place to pick up a date.

A mix of true-life and traditional horror fills the pages of Scared Spitless. The authors show us that no matter how bad things are, something worse could be right around the corner.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cover Reveal

Today, we are revealing the cover for the next DIVA anthology, which will be released later this month. I have a micro fiction introduction and a poem in the book.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Two New Flash Pieces

These are two new flash stories I've written recently. I posted them on Bubblews so I can't repost them here, but I can put the links for y'all to read if you like. One of the stories is a sweet story. Yes, I managed to write a story and not kill anybody!

Love in the Afternoon:

Salad Days:

I hope y'all enjoy the stories.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Boxed In

“What the hell?”

Ryan sat up and wiped the blood from his eyes. He tried to stand, but the dizziness forced him back down. By the time his head quit swimming, red covered his eyes again. He tore a piece of his shirttail off and wrapped it around the gash in his skull. From the amount of blood, Ryan thought he was going to need stitches. First things first, Bub, he thought. You have to figure out what’s going on and where you are.

Ryan looked around the room but it offered no clues. It was a small, box-like structure. No door, no windows, no openings in the floor or hatches in the ceiling. The only other thing in the room besides him was an ornate metal box. He crawled toward the box, but when he got there he found there was no way to open it. The box was solid with no lid or catch.

He picked the box up and shook it. He even threw it against the wall, but it did no good. If it held the key to his getting out, Ryan had no idea how to get to it.

His strength zapped from fighting with the box, Ryan rested against the wall. He knew there had to be a way out of the room. Someone had put him in there and they didn’t just walk through walls. If his head would quit hurting, Ryan was sure he could figure it out. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem like the pain was going away any time soon. 

After a few minutes, Ryan pushed to his feet. He had to lean on to the wall to stand, but he managed. Concentrating through the pain, he worked his way around the room, testing the walls for hidden passages or openings. There was nothing. Just walls.

“Let me out of here!” he screamed. “Dammit, whoever you are, let me out!” He yelled and pounded his fists against the walls to no avail. The only thing he accomplished was wearing himself out.

Ryan slid down the wall and sat. He had just closed his eyes when a prickle of dread passed through him. Before he could react, the box came hurdling toward him.
Ryan sat up and wiped blood from his eyes. He looked around the small room. His eyes rested on the ornate metal box. “What the hell?”

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes

This story was written off this photo prompt from Pinterest:

“I don’t want to go in there.”

Karen sighed and unfastened Jacob’s seatbelt. “It’s just a building, baby, it’s not going to hurt you.”

Jacob didn’t know why his mom couldn’t see it. The building itself was scared, and if the building was scared, then Jacob wasn’t going near it.

 He held on tight when his mom tried to get him out of the seat. His mom pulled and pulled, but Jacob wouldn’t let go. 

“Honey, please,” his mom begged. “You have to go inside and talk with Dr. Kurt.”

“Why can’t we go to his other office?” Jacob asked.

“He moved, honey. This is his first day here. He doesn’t have the other office anymore.”

“He shouldn’t have done that,” Jacob said and peeked at the building again. 

Karen wasn’t sure what to do. She knew Jacob shouldn’t miss his appointment because that always set him back, but she didn’t want to manhandle him out of the car either. Finally, she decided that she would go inside the building and get the doctor to come out and help with Jacob. It wasn’t the greatest solution, but the parking lot seemed secluded, and it was in a good part of town. She hoped Jacob would be fine until she came back out.

When Karen told Jacob she was going in to get the doctor he went crazy. He clawed at her arms trying to keep her from leaving; screaming that he building was scary. “It’s okay, Jacob,” Karen soothed. “I’ll be fine. You’ll see.”

Karen finally managed to free herself from her frantic son. She made sure he locked the door behind her and squared her shoulders. Sometimes, dealing with Jacob’s issues was harder than others. Karen hoped the doctor would be able to help calm him today. 

She looked back one last time and then opened the door. Jacob watched in terror as she was sucked inside. The last thing he saw of his mother was her fingers as she tried to hold on to the side of the building. Her screams reached him inside the car when the door to the building swung shut.