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Frankie sat on the bed in the dark. Her left hand softly stroking the top of Maeve’s head as Maeve pretended not to notice until her fingers stopped, then she pushed her head back against Frankie’s fingers to get them to keep stroking again. To Maeve, this proved her genius as a canine, for she believed that not even Frankie realized what was happening and had no control over her left hand when she manipulated the auto pet function so perfectly.

As if reading her mind Frankie’s fingers froze against her scalp. Fearing she had just been caught by a psychic human Maeve tilted her head back and looked right at Frankie, tongue hanging out of one side of her mouth as cute as she could manage.

Frankie wasn’t looking at Maeve, nor was she looking at the cell phone in her right hand that she had been messing with for the last hour. Instead, her gaze was trained on something outside the window in the distance.

From the second floor bedroom, Frankie had a good view of the houses on the other side of the street. She thought she had seen something move from one house to the next. Still staring into the night she killed the light from the cell phone and placed it face down on the bed. Across the street, she saw two figures dart out from the shadows of a house and across the street in her direction.
“Shit.” Frankie softly cursed herself for spending so much time messing with the phone in the dark. The light from the screen was faint, but in this powerless world, any light was a beacon to those up to no good.

Maeve silently got off the bed as Frankie slid to the edge and grabbed her jeans. As Frankie slipped her feet into the pants and pulled them on, Maeve moved towards the doorway of the bedroom silently but stopped before she got to the doorway. She tilted her head to listen to the darkness downstairs.

Earlier when Frankie and Maeve had found the house, they had cleared it and left all doors inside the home open so no one could hide within or sneak in unheard. Frankie joined Maeve and placed her left hand on Maeve’s back. The hair on her back was down and for a second Frankie let a little hope take shape that they were going to move on to the next house. That hope died the moment she heard them rattle the doorknob.

The hair on Maeve’s back rose under Frankie’s fingers but she didn’t bark. Frankie ran a hand over her reassuringly and they both waited. The only other exit was the back door, but the stairs ran right next to the front door and it wasn’t worth taking the chance of being caught from behind if they tried to run for it.

Frankie stepped back slightly and Maeve shadowed her movement. They both jumped a little when the glass shattered downstairs. Maeve started to move forward but Frankie snapped her fingers and Maeve stopped, stepping back beside her once again.

They listened as someone unlocked the door and opened it. Whispering filtered up to them from the stairs, “It was a girl, a blonde, I swear to God.”
“I get her first. You had that old bitch last week.”

Frankie exhaled a breath she didn’t realize she was holding with a little annoyance, a little anger. In the dark Maeve looked up at her, waiting for a command.

“No,” Frankie told her. From downstairs the whispers immediately stopped but she could hear them moving towards the stairway. She stepped out to the head of the stairs and waited for them. From below, they looked like two silhouettes in the dark. The moment they saw her, Frankie let out a little yelp and jumped back into the bedroom.

She snapped once and Maeve moved to her side as Frankie slammed the bedroom door and snatched the shotgun up that was leaning against the wall beside the door. She could hear them scrambling up the stairs now, close to the top. They were coming in a hurry. Perfect, she thought.

She raised the shotgun to her shoulder, flicked off the safety and held the barrel about navel level, ready to swing it up when her target presented itself. As the two reached the door she took one step left to plant her feet in a firing stance, left leg slightly ahead of the right, shoulder length apart.

When the first guy burst through the door she leaned into the weapon and raised the barrel in one smooth motion as her finger squeezed the trigger. He never knew what hit him and the buckshot lifted him off his feet and tossed him sideways against the door he was still in the process of throwing open. Frankie didn’t wait to see him land, she racked another round into the shotgun as she pivoted on her left leg and brought the barrel around to the second guy who was trying to stop his forward momentum. He didn’t have enough time. The roar of the shotgun lit up the room a second time and his face melted along with part of his skull as it painted the hallway behind him.

Frankie looked back at Maeve who was simply watching the first guy. She chambered another round in the shotgun and then moved to the first guy who was wheezing badly and gurgling. Frankie removed the knife from her belt and punched it into the side of his neck before twisting it and removing it in three swift moves. Within seconds he was dead.

Frankie cleaned the blade off on his clothes and sheathed it before engaging the safety of the shotgun and sighing.

“I’m not blonde,” she told Maeve. “Guess we have to find a new place to sleep tonight.”

Maeve whined knowingly as Frankie gathered her backpack and jacket. She also retrieved the cell phone and tossed it in one of the pockets. After she shrugged into the bag she pulled the bedding off of the bed and sort of spread it across the doorway and hallway that was glistening with blood and pieces of skull.

There were a lot of things her 17-year-old self had to learn in the short time she has been alive, but listening to her dog lick someone else’s blood off of her paws was something she only had to hear once. It wouldn’t happen again if she could help it.

Frankie and Maeve stood in the living room, listening to the night outside the open front door. When they both felt it was safe they left the house and made their way out into the dark night, sticking to shadows as much as they could.

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The world shattered
During the night
Cold came crawling
With it’s frozen fingers
The stones bled warmth
Until there was nothing left to bleed
Yet still the cold
Pressed deep its tendrils of frost
Until the world froze
The night turned black
And in an instant
The crack
The crash
The rushing sound
Of the Thunderous snap
That traveled the world
Tearing it apart
She sat alone
In the aftermath and dark
Terrified
Lost
Confused
How could the world
Simply not be
Just tiny shards sent spinning
In the shadow of the Sun
She gathered them
Piece by piece
Through blood
With tears
And time
She would find a way
To mend a new world
To paint a creation
Of her own making
She would become
The Phoenix Mosaic

Smoke

Posted: December 28, 2017 in Poetry, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,
There’s smoke in your eyes
The way they shadow away the shame
There’s smoke in your eyes
Can I fan the coal to flame?

He couldn’t take his eyes off of her face as he slowly lifted the front of her shirt.
Her eyes were closed, a mix of anticipation and excitement clouded with a bit of shyness seemed to wash over her.
He felt for the edge of her bra and gently peeled it away, the soft fabric not giving him much of a fight.
As he leaned closer she arched her back towards him. His eyes still on her face he felt her nipple brush against his lips as a moan broke the seal of hers.
He started to open his mouth when a something long and slimy pushed out from her nipple, brushed past his lips, and darted into his mouth. He reflexively gagged and tried to pull away but it slid deeper down his throat, pulling him to her like a tether. He tried to look down but could see nothing as his face mashed into her bosom. When he tried to nash his teeth together it simply slipped between them like a string, only to grow inside his throat. His breath was stolen as he tried to claw at her with his hands. Each time he raked his fingernails down her skin she shivered and moaned as she cradled the back of his head with her hands and whispered, “Thank you.”
He bucked and tried to pull free, but the only thing that moved was the pile of bones beneath her bed.
The shadows outside pushed against the glass of the window as they watched.
One of them scrawled in the condensation, “Beautiful.”

Is this fiction? Maybe. Or maybe once upon a time, I was a shadow. Maybe now you know why you sometimes catch me glancing at your chest. It isn’t perversion that drives me to do such things. It’s preservation.

Arson In Her Eyes

Posted: November 12, 2017 in Stories, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,
“Why do you always look away when I look into your eyes? Are you embarrassed by me or maybe you just don’t want me to see the pain in them?” I asked with a sigh of weariness.
She didn’t look up as she answered truthfully, “I’m afraid you’ll see the arsonist burning behind them and run away.”
I lifted her chin until our eyes met, a small smile on my lips, “Sometimes your eyes are all that keep me warm, I’m not going anywhere.”
I kissed her then for the first time with my eyes open, letting her see the beautiful reflection of her eyes in mine.
I felt her smile when she saw the flames.
I stepped out onto the Golden Gate Bridge in the early morning darkness. The yellow sodium lights casting cones of light that the fog swirled through along the walkway as cars and trucks sped by on the roadway. The walkway is a little deceiving because it looks the same but you start out on land and only realize you have walked out far enough to be truly suspended when the walkway starts to move.
As the vehicle traffic shook the bridge I reached my hand out towards the railing. If you’ve never done so, I highly suggest you do it slowly the first time, with eyes closed. Feel the vibrating railing jump up to meet your fingers like a cat seeking comfort. Let the morning dew steal the heat from your touch before you’re able to grab hold and find strength in the sturdiness of the railing itself. Let it flood through you with the power of something so massive yet fragile your mind pulls in two different directions of trust and distrust. Now open your eyes.
If you timed it right, it should be the witching hour, or as some may call it 3:00am. You have about two hours before the bicyclists start zipping past, and even longer before the tourists flood the walkway with hands full of cameras and soft drinks, letting trash fall from them like cancer while their kids take turns spitting off the side like teenage cocks pushing at undergarments on prom night.
My apologies, I just, I just don’t like people who are alive very much. That’s why we are here now. So I can introduce you to some of the more interesting people that I share the night with.
Where was I? Ah yes, the railing that hums energy. It is so relaxing yet terrifying, isn’t it? It is perfection, but not the only one. If you look closely at the cones of sodium light among the walkway you’ll notice how sometimes the fog seems to swirl in a strange direction. How the light breeze seems to have no control over it. That’s Marilyn. She likes to dance in the light. I guess five-year-olds like to dance a lot. I’ve stood out here and watched her for hours and just smiled. She’s only ever talked to me one time and when I asked her why she was here a look of fear came over her innocent little face and she whispered, “Daddy is in the dark” as she pointed down towards the black water 245 feet below. Then she smiled and resumed dancing.
Did you feel that bounce as the semi truck rolled by? Makes you grip the railing a little harder, doesn’t it? You’ll get used to it after a while. Come, let me introduce you to more people.
Damn, she’s here. You see up ahead by the South Tower where the walkway lights are out? They’re normally not out, but when they are it usually means that Kellie is here. She doesn’t talk, which is kind of strange for a three-year-old I know, but most three-year-olds aren’t thrown from the bridge by their father after he kills her mother and then jumps after her either. Marilyn is a little different. I learned later that her father told her to jump and then followed her over the rail as well, but he wasn’t quite as evil as Kellie’s father. Yes, there’s different shades of evil, even in death.
We’ll take a moment and see if she leaves. Look out to the East. I think those lights out there are Alcatraz but it’s hard to be sure with the fog and darkness. They play tricks on distance. I didn’t get a chance to see if there is a full moon (or near to it) but judging by the way the foam on the water is glowing like writhing serpents it could be. That means a pretty good size tidal change in the bay.
I used to stand out here in the dark just sort of meditating until the bridge drained me of heat and I was forced to retreat back to the parking lot and climb into my car, crank up the heater, and defrost a bit.
It doesn’t look like Kellie is going to leave so let’s continue on and make our way towards the North Tower.
Don’t try to talk to her. She just clings to the lower railing, hair matted and dirty. When we get close enough she will probably snap her head around and stare at us as she shakes in fear. It’s best to just make our way past her and give her space.
I think we’re far enough away now. Middle of the span, baby! Woohoo! Just over three-quarters of a mile but it’s all uphill from here. Haha, it isn’t that bad. Here comes Charles walking towards us. He’s the only one I know of that never shuts up.
“I can’t find him. I have to find dad. I have to keep him company.” Well, I didn’t say he talks to anyone, he just keeps repeating that over and over as he walks from mid-span to the North Tower. I guess his father jumped from the bridge and four days later Charles drove the same car here and jumped as well, leaving a note behind that said, well basically what you just heard. He’ll be back in a bit I’m sure. We’ll follow him back a bit, I want to show you one last thing.
Here we are, light post number 79. I figured it had some kind of meaning since I was born in 1979, you know? But yes, this is where I jumped from. I wanted to bring you here not so you could mourn me, but so you could witness something else. I know you’ve been struggling at times and sometimes even think that this might be the only option left. You really need to stop thinking that way, because this is not an option. I know you can’t help the thoughts but I am writing this in the hopes that somehow I can get it to you, for you to see, maybe they will let me leave it in an old book somewhere for you to find as a fictional piece of writing. No one has to know it’s real. Please!
Because while Charles, Kellie, and Marilyn are all lost up here, there is more to this story.
 
 
 
P.s.
I couldn’t finish, they wouldn’t let me finish until now. I’m so sorry!
The horror of it lies not up there on the walkway, but down below. Down in the black water, in the abyss of souls. Some 1,900 souls are down here screaming, pleading, begging to be plucked from the purgatory in which they are stuck in. Cracked, broken, hideously disfigured souls of sadness, madness, and evil. If there is a hell, it’s in the water, and I’m stuck down here with them, with you. In this never-ending despair. Because you wouldn’t fucking listen to what I was saying! Because they wouldn’t fucking let me finish it until you were dead and down here with us. I’m so sorry. I’m so fucking sorry. Why wouldn’t you listen?
I never imagined the city could be this full of sunshine. I imagined large shadows cast by skyscrapers and an almost solemn feel to the city streets. Instead, I was met with reflected light bouncing off of ever glass siding, people hurrying, and traffic bustling.
The only things I could see that reflected the burden of my own soul was the trapped wrappers and litter in the storm drain guards, unable to fly free. Everything else was a whirlwind of anxiety-inducing movement.
I made my way down the street, constantly being brushed aside as people pushed past my slower pace or knocked me back as they went the opposite way. I stopped once for a traffic light to change and looked up into the sky. The sun fired back a blinding stare that seemed to shine down upon me in judgment. I dropped my gaze as well as my shoulders as the light changed and a tide of us stepped off the curb and across the street where we met the oncoming tide halfway. Everyone seemed to slip by each other, yet I found myself colliding with someone and apologized as I admired their shoes and absorbed their muttered cursing.
Once I made it to the other side an argument could be heard arising from somewhere to my left. I glanced up to see a police cruiser with its lights flashing and two cops arguing with a homeless man. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, it was all just a garbled mess of city noise and muted voices. I hesitated as others just went about their day and parted like water around the confrontation.
A yell brought my attention back to them in time to see the homeless man had a gun in his hand now. A woman screamed as the officers unholstered their own weapons. The closest officer was motioning with his free hand palm down towards the cement. The look in his eyes was a plea as he whispered, “Please don’t do this.”
I was there then, standing so close I heard the whisper. It was in that moment that I knew why I was here. I had wandered these streets for weeks now with no purpose, until this moment.
In kindness, I reached out towards the homeless man. The closest officers eyes flicked from me to him as he said, “Just stay back.” But I wasn’t here to harm, I was here to help.
I placed my hand gently on the man’s shoulder and told him, “It’s okay.”
His head jerked around towards me and his body shifted as well. I started to smile for him when I saw the muzzle of the pistol and a flash. I never heard the shot that struck my chest. I just remember being pushed back by the velocity of the .45 ACP round as it rocked me back on my heels and caused me to take an involuntary step backward. I did hear the shots from the officer’s pistols though as a thunderstorm rolled through the city streets. It lasted all of five seconds.
There wasn’t as much smoke in the air as I thought there would be, even though you could smell the cordite from the gunpowder. As my hearing slowly came back to me I remember hearing the crackling of the police radio. A crowd had gathered only to take shelter and was now begging to gather again but no one spoke. Not that I could hear.
An officer was telling me to sit down and relax, that they had help coming for me. I looked down and found my hand pressed against my chest where the bullet had hit me. I pulled my hand away to find the collapsed bullet in the palm of my hand and no hole in my chest.
A woman looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, “God bless, you’re bulletproof!”
My legs gave out then and my ass collided with the cement as I sat down heavily.
Tears begin to spill from the corners of my eyes as I looked up at her and replied, “I don’t want to be.”