Friday, December 16, 2016
Sunday, November 20, 2016
Sleight of Hand
“Ma’am I need you to show me the place-“
“No, I can’t. Truly,” she pleaded.
Tears were welling in the woman’s eyes but Detective Brigham had press on. He pointed his pencil at the lone item on the stage of the empty theater: a large cabinet on casters. The trails in the pool of blood on the stage floor were evidence enough that the cabinet had been moved recently. “I know you’re shook up, but I need you to focus for me. Show me where the swords go.”
“If I tell you, if voids my contract with the union and I’ll never get work again.” She wiped her nose on a sequined sleeve that matched her skin tight leotard.
“And if you don’t tell me, I’ll have to assume you’re an accessory to this man’s death.”
“I’ve got a daughter at home.”
Brigham tucked his pencil behind his ear and approached the dresser where, until half an hour ago, a man’s dead body had been lying out of. A dull sword still impaled in his stomach.
“So you were having an affair with your employer?” The Detective checked his notepad again. “The Amazing Gerald?”
She nodded. He continued, “You know you weren’t the only one right?” She blinked indifferently. He’d seen that look on her face enough to know his instincts were still strong.
“You found out today didn’t you?”
A cold stare. Her tears were gone.
“That he was sleeping with all of his assistants? Not one. . . but all.”
“So you did it. You switched out one of the dummy swords with a real one.”
She nodded again. Brigham had seen many a death of lady’s man before. But never one that played out in front of a sold out theater.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Repeatedly Jesus extended all of his fingers then gripped back into a claw trying to get the tremor out of his hand. He’d been tattooing for three hours at this point and his hand ached, but he knew that his canvas was in even more pain. She’s asked for a large chestpiece. Something big enough to cover the large zipper of a scar running the length of her sternum. The chest was thin skin but she was tougher than he expected an 80 year old woman to be.
“You done with your break, Jesus?” She asked. Ernestine had been fidgeting the whole time. Not from the pain of the tattoo gun, but because she’d been on the phone the whole time arguing with an electrician she was convinced was overcharging her.
“You know we can break this into multiple sessions.”
“No time for that. C’mon get back at it.”
Jesus clicked the gun back on and dipped the needle back into the watery ink. He picked up the shading of the thorny band across the sacred heart.
“Watch your outlining,” she warned.
He sighed and kept at her tattoo. At first he thought this would be a good trade-off for Ernestine turning a blind eye to the tattoo parlor he ran out of his apartment kitchen.
“Wait, this looks off.” She tapped her fingernail on the reference photo she’d brought with her. After close inspection he did see the difference on the thorn he was greying in with that in the photo of the same tattoo on her heart donor’s chest.
“How can I commemorate this man if it’s not identical?”
“Anything you say, Ernestine.” He deepened the shading until it was as dark as the photo of the man she was hoping to honor for making the ultimate donation.
Friday, October 7, 2016
Friday, September 9, 2016
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Saturday, August 20, 2016
Post Bellum Praxis
“Does it actually drive?
“How do you think we got it here?”
Rollie hadn’t seen a wheeled vehicle much less a double decker bus outside of a museum in his short lifetime.
“Now sit still.” The nurse pressed Rollie’s arm against the padded bar. The bus was full of ten year-olds with June birthdays going through the same procedure. Even though the Faceless arrived on Earth with the gift of anti-gravity technology, they didn’t bring a better way to inject tracking chips into their subjects. The syringe bores were as large as the straws used to puncture their allotted calorie bags.
“Hold your breath.” The bus was supposed to keep the children’s mind off of the anxiety of this process, but only made it worse. Rollie would rather go through this alone than in front a dozen other crying children.
Pain shot up his arm before he noticed the nurse make her move. The small chip was in his arm now. Tracking his movements. Making the Faceless more comfortable at home in their latest planetary conquest.
“You’ll get used to it. The rest of your birthdays are much easier.”
The small metal probe under his skin felt like a grain of rice. She was right, his other birthdays would be better. Eleven: aptitude screenings. Twelve: career assignments. Thirteen thru sixteen: mind sync regimen . Seventeen: mate designation. And so on.
“You’re blessed to not know of life before the Faceless. The war, the strife, the overwhelming weight of it all.” She placed the bandage on the wound. “I saw your little brother outside. I tell him you were brave and didn’t even cry.”
Rollie and the nurse placed two fingers over their hearts reciting the Earth’s new credo, completing the new tradition. “By giving up all we gain all.”
Thursday, August 18, 2016
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
After six months on tour, DJing by night and eating at the best international spots, Kwon-Ace wasn’t looking forward to a meal at his Mom’s restaurant. The Brooklyn locals all liked the cheap little Chinese take-out at Hunan IV, but he’d build his image on authenticity and Mom’s General Tso’s mystery meat were anything but.
He still went though. He had to give his mom some love. But he made sure to dress down in case anyone saw him set food in the grungy dive.
“What the-?” Kwon-Ace stopped dead. The line for Hunan IV was around the block. His heart dropped when he looked up at the new neon sign above the same tired entrance of the storefront. KWON-ACE ‘S CRATE SPACE.
Elbowing his way in the door, he gasped. His treasure trove of vinyl records, laboriously curated, and scraped and scrimped to purchase lined every free square inch of the tiny dining space.
“You like?” Mom’s voice was as small as she was.
“Ma, my records. Those’re mint.”
“They’re doing no good sitting in your room. “ She squeezed him and he remembered to hug her back.
“Wait. Order up,” Mom interrupted.
She approached the order window and lifted up piled high with some sort of rice, fried pork and nondescript glaze coating the entire dish. He recognized she wasn’t serving the food on the classic Styrofoam plates of his youth. “My vinyl!”
“Don’t worry I wash them.”
“It’s not that, I need those.”
She pushed the food away from the records label to see its title. “You aren’t even going to listen to Ali and His Gang Fight Mr. Tooth Decay.”
“Geez. I may pull a sample from there.”
“Just stream it.”
He stood. Torn. He’d have to choose between the two loves of his life.
Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Monday, June 27, 2016
Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Port of Call
She wanted to enjoy her last chance for the fresh air in ten months, but Gena’s lungs refused to fill. She’d been short of breath for the last half hour as she hurriedly tried to find Derricks in the crowd of white Navy uniforms. She had to find him and come up with some kind of plan before they both embarked for the Arctic Circle on the USS John Warner. “Shit.” Her watch told her she only had eight more minute to board the nuclear submarine.
Derricks wouldn’t want to be seen with her, but this was an emergency. Even if Gena did find him, he wouldn’t care even though this was as much his fault as hers.
A smoldering stench caught her nose and she turned to see a clutch of men enjoying one final cigar before shipping out. She stepped toward them and they all stopped and saluted. She remembered to do the same then dismissed them, “At ease. Have you seen Petty Officer Derricks?”
“Lieutenant, he’s probably on board stashing that hoard of Danish snuff he picked up here,” P.O. Greer snorted from behind the wed stub of a cigar clenched in his teeth.
“Or giving whatever port lizard one last go round,” P.O. Yancy added. The men all laughed.
“Better hope Medical restocked the clap cream,” she added turning back toward the sub., maybe she could still find Derricks on the platform.
“Lieutenant, you know we got toothbrushes on board. Right?,” Yancy said, pointing to plastic device in her hand.
Gena snapped the plastic in half and threw it into the sea. She’d been clenching the pregnancy test since she’d taken it, wanting to show it to Derricks. Wanting to figure out what action to take since it’s been three months since their moment of indiscretion at the bottom of the ocean.
The two minute klaxon rang and all the remaining crew approached the boarding ramp. She’d have to figure this out later, with or without Derricks. Gena’s lungs found the will to fully take in one last measure of air before she boarded the submarine.
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Pine ash smelled the best. In the quiet hours after his parents were asleep, Elliot would reach up under his bed and remove his glass vials, examining each one.
He imagined himself in a movie of his life: twisting the lids off of each and sniffing the trophies within. His eyes would roll back in his head with the smell of the sooty remains of each conquest. That’s how villains were depicted and he didn’t disagree with the portrayal.
He took his pen out and re-labeled one of the vials that had smeared after months of handling. The masking tape on each was clearly noted with the date he’d set each fire. Some fizzled out after he’d fled the scene, but most got the job done. The land was cleared and progress could be made. It was much easier, and cheaper to clear burnt trees from the land with a bulldozer than pay a whole team of loggers to do the same. The feds were less inclined to fight to keep the burnt remains of their preserves.
His parents used to fight. Now they didn’t. Elliott solved that. They were an odd couple that the local press loved to profile. The Park Ranger who fell for the land developer. The better they got at their jobs and the more promotions they received, the more obligated they were defend their employers positions at work and ultimately at home too. Dad used to take his work home with him, complaining that mother’s company was pushing too hard to cede too much from the preserves. Mother fought back that he had more than enough land to share. Every night ended in a yelling match even after Elliott retreated to his room.
Take your children to work day changed everything for Elliott. In seeing each of his parent’s work first hand, he’d come up with the solution: Fire. If he noticed their tensions flare up he’d sneak out and make a solution.
The pit in his stomach ached, so Elliott sniffed the vials again easing the pain. He’d practiced his story again and again with his parents for tomorrow’s deposition with the fire marshal.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Selling books on eReaders is fun and all, but nothing beats seeing your work at the bookstore. I'm pleased to announce that Guns, Gods & Robots is now available in paperback at select indie bookstores in NYC as well as online at Amazon.
The perfect gift for all the little creepies in your life!
Wait till you all see how justified the text is!
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Monday, April 25, 2016
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Nautilus: Above and Below
In her last video log for her daughter, Captain Darla remarked how cumulus clouds looked just like mashed potatoes from her vantage point on the space station. Underneath, bobbing on the ocean waves strapped into her emergency capsule, the clouds looked heavy; threatening to fall and crush her.
She struggled against her harness, certain her femur had shattered with the impact. The captain felt what she most feared hit her cheek: a raindrop. The sprinkle accelerated into a downpour. Her safety belt was jammed. Panicked, Darla redoubled her efforts to escape from the safety device before the pod filled with water and dragged her to the bottom of the Pacific.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Amos was still blocks away from the table where the kindly old woman at the front of the bread line would hand him a stale loaf. It was barely fit for ducks.
The Depression hardened his little heart almost as much as his parents abandoning him at the church. It was time to test the treasure he’d found in the burnt crater behind St. Germain’s this morning. Amos held up the glass disc and pressed the protruding button. A green arc of light struck the hunched man in front of him. The man evaporated, leaving a pile of dingy clothes. Amos stepped forward and waited for the device to recharge.