Archive for November, 2012

Endorsing the Salacious Citrus

Posted: November 29, 2012 in Mutterings

Hmmm! How arousing!

Cath Murphy and Eve Harvey.

Individually, they are chaste and modest  ladies; Loving to their husbands, doting on their offspring, kindly to the elderly and small animals. However, put them together and they become a force of nature more devastating than a hurricane, hotter than a volcano. It can only be divine intervention that has caused Cath to be located in the frozen North of Scandinavia, physically separated from her cohort, Eve, by the North sea. If these two should  ever physically meet it could result in the end of this world as we know it.

A taster of the potential devastation they might cause, should their mass become critical (NOT a fat joke, Cath!), can be sampled from their combined blog and podcast,  ‘Slutty Lemon‘ (also available on iTunes).

Never was a blog/podcast more aptly named. These minxes are rude, crude, filthy and tasteless. Yet, at the same time, their commentary is cut with the acidic bitterness of true cynics. Awesome!

With each podcast I am certain that they have have reached the  lowest low. It can only be raw talent that allows them to outdo themselves and go even lower with the next. Always surprising and never disappointing.

I am Impotent Verse and I endorse these smutty fruit loops.

 

Black Water Revenge

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Stories

This is the following story to ‘Never Let Go‘. WARNING: Profanity.

Reagun puts his Jack and Coke down a little too hard on the bar, feels the drink slop over the back of his hand, and leans in close to the curvaceous blonde sitting next to him.

“You know, I’ve got a fully stocked mini-bar up in my room?” He slurs into the blonde’s ear. “We could continue getting to know each other with a little more… privacy.”

She leans back, treats him to carnivorous smile and barely nods her head to acquiesce. She stumbles as she tries to climb down from the high leather bar stool, and squeals. Reagun manages to grab her before can hit the ground but she drags him off his own seat as a result. They stand, slumped together in a clumsy embrace, and giggle.

She’s still giggling when they get to the elevator. Reagun silences her as the doors close, his lips to her hot, hungry mouth. She tastes like cherries and vodka. She runs her hand across his cheek through his beard, into his unkempt hair, and pulls him in close.

They are pawing and groping each other from the elevator to his door, mouths gnawing at each other, drunken zombies to lust. Reagun’s got one strap of her dress down and his face in her cleavage as the lock clicks and the door slams open with their combined weight against it. They stumble over the threshold together.

“What the-” The blonde exclaims, breaking the clinch.

She’s looking down at the floor. Reagun realises it too; his feet are wet, he can feel cold water running over his shoes. The floor, the entire room is flooded. Reagun can see the water pouring through the dark gap under the bathroom door.

-oOo-

The night manager treats Reagan’s anger with cool skepticism. Behind the manager, a porter is putting Reagun’s bags by the dresser in the new room they’ve moved him to. The blonde is long gone, with a sorry shrug and a ‘call me!’. Reagun doesn’t have her number.

“And you’re sure you didn’t leave the water running?” says the manager again.

“If I turned on bath and sink taps, and the shower, before going down to the bar, I’m pretty fucking sure I’d remember.”

The manager makes a face at the profanity and gives a shrug as if not quite convinced. Reagun’s drunken high is sliding into a hangover already. He’d be chewing the manager a new one, except he’s highly freaked out.

“How the fuck did someone get into my room?” Demands Reagun.

“I appreciate that you are upset, Mr Reagun, but I can assure you the hotel’s security is of the highest standard. In fact, according to the system logs, only your keycard has opened that room’s door in the last six hours.”

“Then it’s wrong.” Reagun growled.

The porter is leaving, hesitates out of habit for a tip, and realises he’s got no chance. He glances at the briefcase next to Reagun on the bed but sees the look on Reagun’s face and gets out fast. Reagun’s already checked the contents. All those clean, fresh hundred dollar bills are all there, just as he left them. He can’t get his head around the fact that someone would break into his room, flood it out, and not take the money.

“We will, of course, compensate you for any inconvenience,” the manager says as he leaves.

“You better fucking believe it,” Reagun tells him.

-oOo-

The hot shower is doing nothing to ease the thumping pain in his head. His stomach can’t make up it’s mind if it wants food or to bring up the bile churning inside it. Reagun leans his forehead against the cool tiles below the shower head and lets the hot needles of water massage his back.

The shock as the water turns cold makes his muscles lock up. With closed eyes and uncontrolled shudders he fumbles for the control.

There’s a cold hand on his shoulder and a woman’s voice whispers in his ear, “Want me to wash your back, baby?”

Reagun spins round, slips and falls back against the tiles. Sliding down into the bath he grabs the shower curtain, feels it ripping from the rings that hold it to the rail. The water is spraying directly in his eyes but he can see the pale shape of woman standing over him in the shower.

“Wendy?” Reagun says in horrified recognition.

He moves his head out of the stream, frantically wiping the water from his eyes. As quickly as it turned cold, the shower is hot again, steam is filling the small hotel bathroom but it’s empty. There’s no one else there.

-oOo-

“What the fuck is wrong with the plumbing in this place?” Reagun is glaring, face red with anger, at the hotel’s day-shift manager. A workman walks out of the bathroom behind the manager, briefly shakes his head before he leaves.

“Apparently, nothing,” the manager replies with a smug smile.

“Yeah? Well, I ain’t taking any more of this shit. I’m checking out.”

“As you wish, sir.”

-oOo-

The new place has more glitz, more class, more style. Costs twice as much too. Reagan doesn’t care, he’s got the cash for it. Somehow his game’s off. He flames out at the Blackjack table and loses a chunk at Roulette too, but a familiar face finds him in the crowd as he heads for the elevators.

“Hey, Baby!” says the blonde. She’s stumbling, much the worse for drink, and her makeup is smeared. “Still got that fully stocked mini-bar?”

“You bet,” says Reagun, smiling now that his luck is looking up.

She drapes an arm around him and leans hard, he’s pretty much holding her on her feet when the elevator doors open and her breath could strip paint. He almost carries her into the elevator.

“Oh, Jeez!”, the blonde moans at her reflection in the mirrors surrounding them. She pulls away from Reagun to root through her bag and pulls out make-up. Reagun watches the floor indicator above the doors counting up as she fixes her face. The control panel gives a quiet ping to indicate they’ve reached the right level.

“How do I look?” asks the blonde.

Reagun looks around at her but it’s not the same woman. This woman is pale, her lips are blue. Her eyes are bruised, and swollen and her nose is badly broken. This woman’s dark blonde hair is plastered to her head and neck, she’s soaking wet, water is running off her onto the floor. Reagan shouts in fear and jumps back, his shoulder catches against the opening doors behind him and spins him to the floor.

He scrambles across the hallway floor, away from the open elevator doors.

“What the hell?” says the blonde’s voice behind him.

Reagun puts his back against the wall and forces himself to look into the bright elevator interior again.

“Asshole!” The blonde says as she stabs at the buttons. The drowned, beaten woman is nowhere in sight. The doors close, cutting off the blonde’s furious glare. The hallway lighting is muted and dim in comparison.

Reagun starts to tremble, starts to sob. He shakes his head, slaps his own face, takes a deep breath and somehow finds his self-control. He gets shakily to his feet. He turns in the direction of his room. Half a dozen yards down the corridor are a man and a young girl, the man is holding the young girl’s hand. They are standing still and watching him.

“Uh- Hi!” Says Reagan, embarrassed that they’d seen him freaking out.

“I- you know, I tripped,” he says, indicating the elevator doors.

They say nothing. Reagan can’t see them well, the lights are too dim, their faces are in shadow but he can see the man’s hand holding fast to the little girl’s, he can see water dripping off their clasped fingers and onto the carpeted floor.

Reagan feels the panic rising again and starts to back away. The other elevator doors ping and slide open, shining bright light in fan across the carpet. Two women come out, laughing together. They see Reagun standing across from them, his eyes wide and wild, breathing fast and face flushed, and immediately they go quiet, smiles draining from their faces. They turn and walk away from him fast down the corridor, glancing over their shoulders at him anxiously. Reagun can only watch them. The women walk past the spot where the man and girl stood only seconds before but they are nowhere to be seen now.

He gives the women a good head start and then follows, heading for his own room. When he crosses the place where the silent man and child stood, his feet squelch. The carpet is soaking wet in that spot.

-oOo-

Reagun stands under the bright forecourt lights, hugging his briefcase in his arms. The porter standing nearby with a trolley full of Reagun’s bags has seen plenty of crazy in this town but never Reagun’s kind of crazy. Reagun is muttering to himself, staring into the shadows. He spins around randomly, as if to catch someone sneaking up on him. The porter steps back, gives Reagun and his crazy more space.

The valet pulls up in Reagun’s brand new Aston Martin DB9 but Reagun doesn’t even realise, He’s squinting into the lobby behind the the dark, mirrored doors, trying to make out the figures moving around in there.

“Your car, sir,” the valet says, startling Reagun.

Reagun turns and sees the car. He sees a station-wagon, an older model. It’s bodywork is streaked with mud and dirt. The windows are smeared with it. Water is pouring from the open driver’s door onto the road. Reagun shouts incoherently, staggers back, closes his eyes. The valet can hear him muttering the Lord’s prayer.

“Sir?”

Reagun opens his eyes again. It’s his DB9 standing there on the forecourt, his DB9 the porter is putting his bags into. Reagun grabs the keys from the valet’s hand, throws his briefcase across into the passenger seat and jumps in. The car peels away with the squeal of smoking tires.

-oOo-

The rain comes as Reagun guns the DB9 down the highway into the desert. He can see the city lights, still bright in the rear-view mirror but there’s nothing in front of him except the long black line of the highway, sand and brush. Gentle rain drops smear beneath the wipers but soon turn to big, fat drops that explode in wet craters. Pretty soon the rain is sleeting down. Reagun’s got the wipers going full speed but they hardly help. In the brief moments that they clear the view, the falling water is like solid sheet of grey, obscuring everything but the painted line down the center of the road. Reagun doesn’t slow down. He pushes the gas pedal down, hears the engine scream louder and tries to punch through the storm

Headlights come out of nowhere, blurred and distorted through the windshield and driving rain. They blind him. The DB9 swerves, the steering wheel spinning under his hands, the sound of a truck horn dopplers past and Reagun knows he’s lost it. The car bounces wildly as it leaves the road, hits something, is briefly airborne and then crashes down with a massive splash into water.

By the time Reagun’s beaten the airbag out of his face, the car’s already submerged. Water is leaking in around the doors, filling up the car. His briefcase has burst open and bundles of cash are floating all around him.

Reagun grabs for the money, tries to stuff as much as he can into his pockets. The car jolts slightly as it hits the bottom and settles. The interior lights flicker and dim as the electrics start to short out.

Reagun starts to take deep breaths, gets ready to open the door, puts his shoulder against it.

A pale, white palm slaps against the outside of the window next to his face. Reagun reels away from it. Wendy’s pale face looms out of the black water, her dead, blue eyes stare hard at him through the glass.

More faces come out of the gloom in front. Dean Hennessy and his daughter, Kayleigh, glare at him accusingly through the windshield, still hand in hand as he saw them before. The child’s hair floats around her white face, waving gently in some unknown current. Reagun scrambles for the passenger side but another is waiting for him there. Susan, Dean’s wife, has her broken face pressed up against the glass. Dean moves back into the middle, the rising water is up to his neck already. He turns his head from one pair of cold, dead eyes to the next and sobs under the harrowing glares of the partner he betrayed and the family he murdered. They wait for him in the cold, black water outside the car.

The lights flicker again before they go out for good, just as the water reaches Reagun’s chin. In the pitch black, Reagun starts to scream uncontrollably.

THE END

 

Never Let Go

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Flash, Published, Stories

The October Flash Challenge on the Aphelion-Webzine was very unpleasant.

The challenge was to write a about a capable, likeable character coming up against their worst fear and losing. No Happy ending, no riding off into the sunset. 

My story ‘Never Let Go’ won the challenge but left a bad taste in my mouth. So, I wrote a follow-up story to right the wrongs, or at least to allow revenge. Is this was American’s call Closure.

Never Let Go

Dean swims up to consciousness like a drowning man through murky water. Opening his eyes takes all he’s got, brings him nausea and pain. His head feels sticky against the headrest. He sees the street lights flash by through a rain streaked window, blurred and doubled. Kayleigh is crying in the back-seat.

“Shut that little bitch up!” A man’s voice, unfamiliar, angry.

Dean tries to turn his head but the movement pushes him back under.

###

The doorbell rang just as Dean took his coffee mug to the sink. Susan was beside Kayleigh at the table, breakfast half eaten in front of them as Susan tested Kayleigh on her spelling words.

“I’ll get it,” said Dean.

The hallway was bright with the morning sun. Dean could see a female figure, blurred through the frosted glass of the front door.

“Wendy?” Said Dean, surprised to see his new co-worker at his home.

Wendy’s blue eyes had dark circles, she seemed nervous. She opened her mouth to speak, eyes darting to the left. A figure, unkempt hair, a beard, swung around from his hiding place beside the door and hit Dean between the eyes with the butt of a gun.

###

“You got it?”

Dean couldn’t look at the guy’s face. All he could see was the gun, the cavernous, gaping hole where the bullet would come.

“Create the loans, transfer them to the business accounts. Transfer the money from those accounts to the offshore accounts. Delete the transaction history,” said Dean, repeating back the instructions. Kayleigh sobbed loudly as Susan tried to comfort her, wrapping their daughter in her arms and hugging her close. Susan’s own face was red and puffy, her eyes wet

“Remember, if Wendy so much as thinks you’re trying something, they’re dead,” said the Goon, waving the gun at Dean’s wife and child

Dean nodded and picked up his briefcase.

###

Dean completed the last transfer, hands shaking. Wendy watched beside him as the completion message came up on the screen.

“If he so much as touches-”

“Shut-up!” Said Wendy, her voice a terse hiss. It was the most she had said to him all morning. “Now the transaction histories.”

Dean opened a new form and rubbed his forehead.

“That’s a humdinger!” Said Ericsson from Savings as he passed their desk, pointing at the growing bruise Dean was massaging.

“Walked into a door,” Dean said, his eyes pleading the man to stop, to make conversation, ask questions, anything.

“We’re kind of busy here,” said Wendy, her hand on Dean’s shoulder, fingers squeezing painfully hard.

“Sure, sure,” said Ericsson with a conciliatory shrug. “Be more careful next time, man.”

Dean nodded as Ericsson turned and walked away. Wendy’s painful grip relaxed.

“The transaction histories,” she prompted.

###

The shakes got bad again as they turned into the drive. Dean tried to stifle a sob, stifle the fear. “If he’s hurt them-”

Wendy gave him a hard look. “It’s nearly over. Keep it together.”

Dean could hear Kayleigh’s whimpers as soon as he opened the front door, audible over the TV noise of cartoons. He followed them to the family room. The Goon had his arm around Kayleigh as she sat beside him on the couch. Susan was slumped across the other side. Her nose a bloody mess, her bruised eyes swollen shut and her clothes torn.

Dean was barely aware of the growl building from inside as he lunged forward. The Goon was faster, more practised at violence. The gun hit Dean in the guts, took away his breath. He fell to his knees and tried desperately to suck air back into his lungs. Kayleigh screamed just as the gun crashed down on the back of his skull.

###

Noise reaches him through the static. Tires on a rain slicked road and wind-shield wipers. He’s so tired, almost slips back under again but he hears voices and knows they’re important even though he doesn’t remember why.

“You said, we’d let them go,” says Wendy

“You dumb-. They’ve seen my face. They know you’re with me.”

“You said no one would get hurt.”

“Hey, newsflash, I lied. Now shut-up!”

Road noise turns to the crunch of gravel, the ride gets bumpy, rocks Dean’s head. Black static takes him again.

###

There’s cold air against his face through the open window, the smell of water. Dean tries to open his eyes as the car rocks, someone getting out.

Incoherent words, arguing, a piercing scream and a meaty thump. Then the car rocks again. Dean turns his head, blinks away the red smear in his eyes. The Goon is pushing Wendy’s limp body into the driver’s seat beside him. Blood is running down the side of her face.

“Murder, suicide,” the Goon says, his voice quiet. He’s singing it, over and over. “Murder, suicide. Murder, Suicide,” and the man is grinning like a lunatic.

The door slams, the car moves, tires on gravel, accelerating. A jolt throws Dean against the seat belt, water splashes his face through the window. The shock of cold as the car fills up revives him. Dean raises his head, vision is clearing, thoughts are coherent. If he can get the seatbelt undone he can get out, escape, make it to shore.

There’s a sob from the back-seat.

Kayleigh sits there, her mother slumped by her side unmoving, the water is already around her little waist and it’s freezing. She can’t swim, she’ll never make it. It’s over.

Dean stops trying to undo the seat belt and reaches back instead, takes his daughter’s hand.

“Close your eyes, baby,” he says. “ I’m here.”

The black water is rushing in now, sucking the car down, he sees the panic in her face just before it rises over her.

Down in the dark, Dean can feel them sinking deeper and deeper. The cold makes him numb but he can still feel Kayleigh’s hand in his own. He will never let go.

THE END