FLASH FICTION:-- HORROR, SCI-FI, HUMOUR, CRIME, SLICE OF LIFE, ETC.

Friday, 28 December 2012

The Liebster Award



The very kind and talented lady Cindy Vaskova has nominated me for The Liebster Award.

Cindy, congratulations on your own award, I enjoy your writing very much, and it is very well deserved, and thank you so much for thinking of me when you were composing your own list of favourite writers. It is always heartening to know that I am amongst someone's favourites, thank you.


Now, there are a few rules to accepting the award:
1. You post 11 random facts about yourself.
2. Answer the 11 questions your presenter gave you.
3. You pass the award on to 11 other bloggers.
4. Compose 11 new questions for your recipients.

* * * * * * * * *

Okay, here goes, I'll try to think of 11 random facts that I haven't posted on a previous award page.

Next year I am going to become a great-grandfather for the second time, our first great-grandchild, Freya, was born on January 13th this year, and my granddaughter's second child, which will be a boy, is due in May, I can hardly wait. :-)

When I was about 13 I was in the Air Cadets for a while, and spent a week at RAF Waddington the Vulcan bomber base in Lincolnshire, the first plane ride I ever had was aboard a two-seater Chipmunk training plane, quite an experience, and one I remember vividly to this day.

Although I am almost sixty years old, I am not going grey or bald, my father never went grey, nor have my brothers, but I have been accused many times of using hair dye.

I am just on the wrong side of Five foot six, I would have liked to have been taller, but never mind, as I have been told “Precious things come in little boxes.”

I love the name Django, and quite often use it as an avatar name when playing Xbox games.

When I was in my late twenties/early thirties I took karate training, in the first 18 months I graded three times to get to Green belt level, then I attended my first competition, my first fight was against a brown belt who was twice my size, and I beat him, although I carried on training for several more years, I never bothered grading again after that, the colour of the belt had become unimportant to me.

We went to Kefalonia many times on holiday, and I tried to teach myself to speak Greek, although I achieved a vocabulary of thousands of words, and could string the sentences together after a fashion, ask for things in restaurants etc, as soon as I was spoken back to in Greek my brain just refused to process it. I did have some amusing conversations while we were there though. :-)

I don't know what is “out there” in space, but I find it hard to believe that we are the only planet with sentient life on it, if we are then as someone once said “It would be an awful waste of space.”

My wife and I have been to Bruges twice, that place is so unbelievably pretty, like something out of a fairytale.

Two years ago I rode a camel in Egypt, and a quad bike across the desert, two brilliantly exhilarating things to do.

My most favourite Christmas tune ever is “Fairytale of New York” By The Pogues and Kirsty McColl, I always liked both theirs, and hers music, and was truly saddened to hear of her tragic death.

* * * * * * * * * *

Here are the 11 questions that Cindy composed for her nominees:-

Can you recall the funniest tweet you’ve read?
I'm afraid I don't have an answer to this question, I don't subscribe to Twitter, so I don't actually read any tweets, sorry.

What’s your favorite character in a book or movie?
I am a massive fan of the “Aliens” movies, and although I have many favourite book and film characters, I think Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver has to be either at, or very close to the top of my list.

What characteristics in his/her personality made you like him/her?
I think it might be the strength she portrays, also there is something very attractive about a machine-gun toting female, I like Mila Jovovich in the Resident evil series too, and if the apocalypse ever gets here, I think I would like these two on either side of me.

Do you have any morning rituals?
I work the afternoon shift, so I don't tend to get up too early, I'm definitely not a morning person any way. On weekdays I throw my packed lunch together whilst the kettle is boiling for my first coffee, then I check my computer for emails, blog comments, the weather, local news etc.

Which is the one dish you’ve always wanted to learn how to prepare?
I'm absolutely hopeless at cooking, and if left to my own devices will just throw a sandwich together, or call to the fish shop. Luckily, I married a girl who is a brilliant cook.

Cyberpunk or steampunk?
I think it has to be Cyber, although I can watch films of either genre, I tend to favour futuristic stuff.

Do you remember the first album you bought?
I can't remember the name of the album, but it was a Four Tops album, I bought it as a Christmas present for a girl I went out with for a while back when I was about 15 years old.

You’re in a bar with friends. Its karaoke night and you’ve had a couple. Which song do you pick to sing?
I have a pretty terrible singing voice, but several years ago the local we used to frequent did Karaoke on a weekend, and the song that I used to sing occasionally (And somehow sing it almost in tune) was “Gentle on my mind”.

You’re traveling with public transportation, it’s crowded, noisy and the travel will be long. You have only one book with you. Which book is that?
One of my most favourite books in recent years is World War Z by Max Brooks, my daughter bought it for me, and I have read it three times so far, for me it is an absolutely riveting read.

Have you, at some point, felt like giving up on writing?
Funnily enough, I don't really class myself as a serious writer, I know I write, ergo I am a writer I suppose, but the only thing I write are stories that I post on #fridayflash, I don't have a WIP book in the making, or send anything off with a view to publication.
For me writing is all about the enjoyment it brings me, both the writing, and the commenting, also the banter between the writers, if I find that the enjoyment is no longer there, then I will either take a break from it, or give it up altogether, as there wouldn't be much point to it any more.

Is there a particular moment that has made you proud of yourself this year?
Absolutely! On January 13th, after a very difficult labour, my eldest grandchild Allana gave birth to our first great-grandchild Freya, I couldn't find the words to express just how proud that makes me feel.

I posted a #fridayflash about Freya's birth which you can find here if you would like to read it.

* * * * * * * * * *

Here are 11 writers whose works I enjoy reading, these are not in any particular order. This is the part I don't like, because there is always someone else who I would like to add to the list, several more in fact. Some of these writers are the same as on Cindy's list too, but I don't think they'll mind.

Not everyone likes to participate in these memes, so I won't be offended if any of you guys feel that you don't wish to take part.

Lily Mortis.

Stephen Hewitt.

John Xero.

Marc Nash.

Tim VanSant.

Helen Howell.

Icy Sedgwick.

Katherine Hajer.

Danielle LaPaglia.

Deanna Schrayer.

Richard Bon.

* * * * * * * * * *

And my list of questions:-

If you could come back in another life as an animal, which one would you choose to be?

Have you ever owned one of those cars that whatever “Could” go wrong with it, “Did” go wrong?

Do you believe in other world life forms?

If you had to spend a year on a desert island with just one celebrity for company, who would you choose?

Which band or entertainer would you most like to see in a live performance?

If you could alter just one physical aspect of yourself, what would it be?

I have been told I am a Jack Russell, which breed of dog would you say you share characteristics with?

If you could choose any make or model of car to own for free, which model would you have?

Which do you prefer, the quiet of the countryside, or the hustle-bustle of the city?

Do you have a favourite colour and number? And do you know why?

What is your favourite film and book?

* * * * * * * * * *

Cindy, thank you once again for including me amongst your favourites, it's always good to know that I'm on someone's list. :-)



Sunday, 23 December 2012

Happy Christmas everyone


•。★  ☾ °☆  . * ● ¸ .   ★ ° ☆¸.✶*¨`* •.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*• ¸.¸.☆¨¯`♥´¸¸.☆¨¯`♥´ ¸¸.☆¨¯` •*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•. ☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。 •。★  ☾ °☆  . * ● ¸ .   ★ ° ☆¸.✶*¨`* •.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*• ¸.¸.☆¨¯`♥´¸¸.☆¨¯`♥´ ¸¸.☆¨¯` •*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•. ☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。 •。★  ☾ °☆  . * ● ¸ .   ★ ° ☆¸.✶*¨`* •.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*• ¸.¸.☆¨¯`♥´¸¸.☆¨¯`♥´ ¸¸.☆¨¯` •*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•. ☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。

Hi everyone, and thanks for stopping by.

Due to various reasons I haven't posted for a couple of weeks, but I hope to start writing, and posting again in January.

I hope all of you have a really happy Christmas this year, and that 2013 is a very good year for you.

My very best wishes.

Steve.

•。★  ☾ °☆  . * ● ¸ .   ★ ° ☆¸.✶*¨`* •.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*• ¸.¸.☆¨¯`♥´¸¸.☆¨¯`♥´ ¸¸.☆¨¯` •*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•. ☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。 •。★  ☾ °☆  . * ● ¸ .   ★ ° ☆¸.✶*¨`* •.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*• ¸.¸.☆¨¯`♥´¸¸.☆¨¯`♥´ ¸¸.☆¨¯` •*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•. ☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。 •。★  ☾ °☆  . * ● ¸ .   ★ ° ☆¸.✶*¨`* •.¸¸❤¸¸.•*¨*• ¸.¸.☆¨¯`♥´¸¸.☆¨¯`♥´ ¸¸.☆¨¯` •*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•. ☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆‿↗⁀↘‿↗⁀☆ 。

Friday, 7 December 2012

Some things never change


“Mom... Mom?.. I'm goin' out.”

“Where to?”

“With my friends, y'know?“

“Well, be careful, watch for the traffic an' stuff.”

“Mom, I'm almost seven billion years old, I can look after myself.”

“Okay son, but if you have to cross the universe make sure you look both ways before you set off.”

“I will mom.”

“And son...?”

“Yeah mom?”

“Are you wearin' clean underwear?”


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 30 November 2012

A life


AUTHORS NOTE:-
I do not usually write or read poetry, I understand almost nothing of its rules or structures, I'm not even sure if this piece would be classed as poetry, but the idea came to me, and so more as an experiment than anything else I decided to post it. You may like it, or you may think it a pile of rubbish, if you do, just say so, I won't be offended.
Steve Green.

* * * * * * * *

A LIFE


Hairless, toothless, sightless, speechless.

Reliant, dependant, resplendent,

Learning, struggling, investigating, growing.

Transition, decision, submission.

Girthed, birthed, earthed, dearthed.

Repeated, cheated, depleted.

Ailing, paling, failing, quailing.

Irradiated, depilated, sedated.

Hairless, toothless, sightless, speechless.

Dead.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award





The very kind and talented lady Cindy Vaskova has nominated me for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award.

Cindy, congratulations on your own award, I enjoy your writing very much, and it is very well deserved, and thank you so much for thinking of me when you were composing your own list of favourite writers.

Now, the rules are, I must write seven random facts about myself, and nominate fifteen other bloggers to receive the award.

I'm struggling to think of seven random facts about myself that will interest people, and that I haven't already published before, so I decided to show some that people may have read on here previously.


1) I love peace and quiet, and regularly watch the TV with the sound turned off.

2) I love slaughtering things on my Xbox 360, currently I'm playing Borderlands, and enjoying every gunshot and bloodsplat.

3) I eat lots of fruit, but never eat cherries.

4) I am absolutely NOT a morning person, and am really lucky because my working hours are 12.30 PM – 9.00 PM, and I absolutely luuurve those hours.

5) High on my list of pet hates are drivers who tailgate, and drivers who don't use their indicators.

6) My Ipod has 5,800 tunes on it, ranging from Bob Dylan, to modern pop, and one of my favourite all-time bands is Blondie.

7) Although the films I am really into are such as the Alien quadrilogy, Resident evils, Predators, and the like, I absolutely love the film Shirley Valentine, and have watched it dozens of times.



Nominating fifteen other bloggers is much more difficult than one would think, because I enjoy reading many people's writing, and it is hard to choose one over another, also my own list would probably almost duplicate Cindy's, so although it means bending the rules a tad, I have decided to nominate just three writers, each of them are relative newcomers to the #fridayflash community whose works I have recently discovered, and enjoyed reading.


1 Dawn Huddlestone.

2 A.B. Singer.

3 E.J. Hobbs.

Well done guys, and I look forward to seeing more of your works in the future.

Steve Green.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Monster


It preferred to attack from above. It had used other methods of attack, learning more with each kill, but its natural instinct was to drop from above and bite, and it was without doubt a creature of instinct.

The whole city was in a state of panic. Since the first horrifically mutilated corpses had been discovered pairs of guards had been posted at every street corner, armed patrols drove around the streets during the dark hours, people stayed in their homes whenever possible.

One victim each day, for ninety seven consecutive days.

Forensics and pathology tests had given very little in the way of help. They had proven the creature was not human. The wounds suggested teeth and bite size comparable with that of a six-foot shark. A six digit paw with four central fingers and an opposing thumb at either end, razor sharp claws of two to three inches long, and superhuman strength.

The wounds also suggested the victims died as a result of massive blood loss due to extensive lacerations to the neck and throat.

There was little left of the victims' main body, upper arms and thighs to glean any clues from, for the creature had a voracious appetite.

The whole city walked in fear of this monster.

* * * * *

The creature had no concept of right or wrong, and would probably have been deeply offended to learn it was thought of as a monster.

For it knew of love, adoration, loyalty, obedience.

It was a pet, accidentally abandoned when its master's ship had landed briefly to undertake repairs. By the time its absence had been discovered the distance and time involved, coupled with the shortage of fuel made it impossible to return for it. There would be many years of grief and guilt before its master would come to terms with the loss of his beloved faithful companion.

Of course the creature knew nothing of this, it only knew its master was no longer there, his soothing voice and gentle hand no longer a comfort, the food no longer given.

Many generations have gone by since the Monster's own kind needed to hunt to survive, since domestication the knowledge and skills had been lost through lack of use and time itself... almost.

And now, for the first time in its life, and through no fault of its own, it had been forced to fend for itself. Luckily for the creature the food source was easy prey. Each night it hunted, ate, then slept.

As the creature also had no concept of time it lived in constant expectation of its master appearing, calling, throwing its toy.

It finished its meal, then bounded off into the nearby woodland, climbed high into a tree, a full belly and an innocent heart brought sleep quickly and naturally.

For whatever the creature was or was not, it only killed to eat, to survive, never for sport or amusement.

Unlike some creatures.... Who branded it a monster.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 16 November 2012

A small sound


It was a small sound, such a very small sound, barely audible, on the fringe of my hearing.

But still... it was a sound.

Silence prevailed here, the sound of nothing, the sound of a butterfly resting on a leaf, the sound of a cloud floating by, the sound of a flower growing, the sound of a tree sighing.

A sound can mean only one thing.

We are discovered.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green

Friday, 9 November 2012

Please... Don't


Please... don't tell me again how much you love me.

Please... don't tell me again how you can't live without me.

Please... don't unpack my suitcase.

Please... don't start crying again.

Please... don't look at me that way.

Please... don't come any closer.

Please... Don't.

Please...


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 2 November 2012

My beautiful baby


I just couldn't stop crying, overwhelmed by exhaustion, relief, and joy. I had given birth alone of course, the father long gone.

I held her to me tightly, my beautiful baby.

I cleaned her, kissed her, wrapped her, and began life as a parent.

I kissed her and hugged her often, told her how much I loved her, every single day.

I watched her grow, felt the joy, the thrill, and the happiness of every small stage. The first time she rolled over, sat up on her own, learned to crawl, to totter, to walk, to run.

I paced through the nights cradling her through the painful teething times, rocking her, whispering to her, giving what comfort I could.

The weaning was a joy to watch, the transition from milk to solid something to behold.

Her first kill was amazing, less than two years old and already she could take down a full grown man.

She is magnificent, and when she's all grown up she will be unstoppable. My beautiful baby.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Nailed


Halloween is upon us again, here is my offering for the occasion.
Happy Halloween everyone. Bwuhahahahahahahahaha!!


NAILED.

Having the palms of your hands nailed to a table is probably not the worst, or most painful thing that can happen to a person, definitely not the most pleasant, but still probably not the worst.

Unfortunately for Jimmy Diggs his problems were a shade more numerous than that.

Someone had also hammered eight inch nails through his thighs and into the chair he was sitting in, the heads of more nails protruded from the tops of his shoes.

Several two inch ovals secured his lower jaw and chin to the table top, leaving his neck bent and strained at an unnatural angle, adding further to his discomfort.

His eyelids were stapled to his eyebrows, giving him the 'surprise-eyes' look, and leaving him staring across the table at the TV screen opposite.

Jimmy moaned occasionally, the pain was not so severe any more, three days of sitting here like this had taken a numbing effect.

Even the panel pins through his fingertips, which had given him the most excruciating pain had lost most of their effect.

His brain was also numb from watching “The joys of wallpapering” DVD which was on repeat play.

Jimmy had been a naughty boy. He had borrowed money, lots of money, from some very unsavoury characters, in order to prop up his failing chain of 'Home decorating' shops

And of course, when the present economic climate had seen the further decline of his business, the money had not been paid back.

The bad guys had visited Jimmy, the money had become unimportant now, Jimmy was worth more as a warning to others.

When he was discovered, the medical team which arrived shortly after were about to administer a powerful morphine dose to knock him out before the he was freed from his predicament.

“Can you just hang fire for a few minutes with that syringe?” Croaked Jimmy.

“Why?” Said the medic, incredulously.

“I'd just like your opinion on whether that wallpaper pattern really does go with that shade of green.”


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.


Anyone wishing to read previous Halloween stories can find them here:-

2011 – She loves me, she loves me not.

2010 – Pumpkinhead.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Board games


I was just a tad pissed off at getting dragged through the ether again, this was the third time in less than a month.

Stupid drunken teenagers playing around with things they didn't understand. Well, the time for understanding was over, they would be taught a lesson, I had my own game to play.

I burst into the room through a splat of ectoplasm, all gooey and snotty, in spirit of course, my body was long since gone, but it still felt gooey and snotty.

And there they were... The four of them, crouched around the ouija board on the coffee table, all hands touching the pointer, all mouths giggling.

“Is there anybodeee theeere?” Said the redhead, theatrically. Rolling her eyes, and bursting into further fits of laughter, pulling the other three along with her mirth.

Oh yes, there is somebodeee heeere alright, you can't see me, but by hell you're soon gonna know I exist.

I picked up the almost empty vodka bottle and hurled it against the wall, that was when the giggling stopped.

They all eyed each other, their faces delightful pictures of serious concern.

Next the coffee table, ouija board, and drinks glasses sailed through the air, that was when the scramble for the door started. I slammed it shut, they were going nowhere.

Time for the games to begin.

I lifted the redhead up by her hair and slammed her against the ceiling, that was when the screaming started...

It went on for a long, long time.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Falling apart


John just went to pieces after his wife left him.

The very day after she had walked out, he awoke to find unnervingly large clumps of his hair on the pillow. During the course of the day he became gradually balder and balder, and although he was rather perturbed by this, he put it down as being a nervous reaction to his wife's actions. No doubt the hair would grow back once he had got over the initial shock of being abandoned.

The following day, as John was rubbing shower gel onto his smooth, and for some reason that he couldn't quite fathom, sexy-feeling bald head, something floated past his line of vision and into the water below.

Looking down he was shocked to see one of his fingernails floating along towards the shower drain hole. He lowered his hands to eye level and watched in horror as one by one the remaining nine flaked off and joined it, creating an armada of tiny fingernail boats.

John began to feel sick, something was not right here. Maybe he was hallucinating? Another nervous reaction to being left alone?

He towelled himself dry and went for a lie down, convinced that all would be well with his world when he woke up again.

Not so...

John blinked himself awake, and climbed out of bed, only to fall heavily to the floor. Shocked, he tried to stand, and immediately fell flat on his face again. The impact sending one of his eyeballs flying from its socket, it rolled rapidly across the carpet and disappeared under the wardrobe.

He rolled onto his back and squinted along the length of his legs...

There was no feet on either of them.

He almost gagged in panic!

He dragged himself back onto the bed and into a sitting position, tentatively he pulled the sheet aside, there were his feet, either side of a small pile of toenails.

“Oh God! … Oh God! … Oh God!”

John raised his right, nail-less hand to his mouth to stifle the scream that was building inside him, just before he could cover his mouth, the hand fell from his wrist, bounced off his thigh, and landed heavily on the carpet.

The scream came... Accompanied by the tinkling sound of most of his teeth cascading from his mouth into his lap, followed shortly by the wet splat of his tongue joining the pile.

“Oh Gog! ... Oh Gog! ... Oh Gog!”

John was screaming in mind as well as mouth, insanity was kicking in.

A sudden thought struck John, silencing his screams.

Until now he had always believed that his wife would be the one to go to pieces if she ever found out about his affair.

The comical twist of the situation was not lost on him.

He started giggling maniacally, his lunatic mirth grew in volume and intensity, reverberating around the house, bouncing off the walls, until eventually he just laughed his head off.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 5 October 2012

A problem solved


I stared long and hard at the wretch before me.

The watery, bloodshot eyes stared back.

I took in the scarlet cheeks, the purple-veined nose and the drawn expression. The look of depression, depravation, addiction and despair.

A face that said it had given up, accepted its lot, and in its alcohol-addled logic had stupidly decided that its state of health and state of affairs weren't too bad.

“You really need to give up drinking.” I said.

We both nodded together at the wisdom of these words.

“You're a wreck, and I'm sick of telling you that you need to do something about it.”

Again we nodded in unison, there was such an undeniable truth here.

“Make this the last time we have this conversation, and tomorrow DO something about it!”

Again the nod.

I turned away from my reflection and staggered to the chair, sat down heavily.

I picked up the glass of JD, raised it in the air. “ Here's to tomorrow, the day I'm gonna DO something about this state of affairs.”

I brought the glass to my lips and took a heavy slug. Felt the liquid burn its way down.

Yeah, tomorrow I would do something about it alright, the first thing in the afternoon when I wake up I'm gonna throw that goddam mirror in the bin.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Pocker lips

I was very small when Pocker lips came.
I don't remember people falling.

I remember the beautiful black snow.
I remember the colourful stripey skies.
I remember playing sliding games on the shiny glass beaches.
I remember crunchy cockroach dinners.
I remember being found by big people.

I have been taken to live underground now.
I wish I could go outside and play.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 21 September 2012

The short cut (Part 3)

Anyone wishing to read the first two episodes of this mini-series can find them here:-

The short cut (Part 1)
The short cut (Part 2)



THE SHORT CUT (PART 3)


I shoved open the grille at the top of the ladder and clambered out onto tarmac.

The grille slammed shut with a clanging finality that told me it wouldn't open again even before I tried it.

The road looked familiar... but unfamiliar at the same time. It was definitely the road that led home, but there was something wrong about it, something that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

I started jogging up the white line, I just wanted to get home, go to bed, and hope that all this lunacy would be gone when I woke up again.

When I topped the last rise before my house I stopped for a breather, a few yards down the slope there was a sign in the centre of the road...

LEVEL 2 – CHECKPOINT

Just beyond the sign a strange-looking military vehicle was angled across the road and beside it an armed soldier, his back to me. There must be some emergency in progress, a bio-hazard or something, that would possibly explain some of this oddness. I didn't care, it was help, someone to take control and sort this mess out.

I ran towards the trooper, skirting around the sign as I went...

“Hey! .. Hey! .. I need help... Hey!”

At the sound of my voice the soldier spun on his heel to face me, instead of the fresh-faced grunt barely out of his teens that I expected to see, what poked from the uniform collar was a chittering clickering insectoid head...

Fire spewed from the barrel of its assault rifle and as the rounds impacted my world went black.

* * * * *

I woke up next to the CHECKPOINT sign in the road. I rose to my feet and looked down the slope.
The vehicle was still there, the insect soldier too, stood with its back to me just like before.

Walking as quietly as I could, and sliding the tyre iron from my belt, I crept toward it, I was almost there when my foot scuffed gravel.

The creature turned and fired in one smooth motion...

* * * * *

Awakening once more next to the signpost, I began to see a pattern emerging.

It sounded real crazy, but this was like being a character in a video game.

It took me six attempts before I managed to reach the mandible-mouthed asshole without it hearing me, I put every ounce of strength I had into laying that tyre iron into the back of its head, when it crumpled to the floor I laid into it several more times for good measure.

Green slime oozed from its skull and pooled on the tarmac.

The creature was the weirdest thing I have ever seen, a chitinous, but humanoid body with seven-digit clawed hands, and a face like a praying mantis. One ugly bug if ever I saw one.

I searched through the uniform and found two more magazines for the assault rifle, I threw these into my shoulder bag, which strangely didn't seem any fuller or heavier for the extra bulk.

A glance inside the vehicle squashed any ideas I might have of commandeering it, the controls looked so alien I wouldn't even think of trying to drive it.

Shouldering the assault rifle I set off in the direction of my home.

* * * * *

That was what seems now like a lifetime ago.

Many miles, many buildings, and many skirmishes ago.

Since then I've killed countless thousands of these “Buglies” as I've come to think of them.

Occasionally larger ones appear, great eight-legged brutes with massive firepower, sometimes it takes dozens of reincarnations before I get the measure of these things and find the weakness that brings them down.

I've battled and slaughtered my way to LEVEL 7 now, I have no idea how many levels there are, or if I will ever see my old life again.

Yeah, my old life...

My crappy job that I absolutely detest, with the jumped up little Hitler of a supervisor on my case all day.

My shitty home life of lonely TV dinners, and repeat shows, and getting drunk alone just to deaden the pain of it all.

Yeah, my old life.

Y'know what? Screw it, I don't even want to go back.

I click-clacked the slide, chambering a round into the breech of the combat shotgun, my favourite weapon so far. Oh yeah, the RPG and the sniper rifle have their uses, but when it came to close-quarters work this beauty could really spread that green slime across the walls.

I took a pace forward and kicked open the farmhouse door...

From inside, the loudening sounds of clicky-mouthed screeching came from multiple directions.

I ran inside, looking for targets...

“ROCK AND ROLL BABY”

The end:



©2012 Stephen. J. Green.


Friday, 14 September 2012

The short cut (Part 2)

Anyone wishing to read Part 1 of this mini-series can find it here:-

The short cut (Part 1)


THE SHORT CUT (Part 2)

I started the engine, and drove along the lane in a blind panic, although the twists and turns belied the fact, it soon became obvious that I was still travelling in circles. Passing the oaks, crossing the bridge, time and time again, just hoping that this nightmare would end and I would suddenly reach the main road, or wake up in my bed to discover it was just that, a nightmare.

Eventually the car, which had been low on fuel to start with, ran dry. I left it in the middle of the road, and I began to walk.

The slower pace gave me more time to take in my strange surroundings. I discovered that walking into the woods led nowhere. A few yards in, and on both sides of the lane, an impenetrable barrier of sharply-thorned briar ran the full length of the short cut. There was no escape.

The second time I passed my abandoned car I gave it a thorough search, looking for anything that may be useful.

My small shoulder bag containing a packed lunch was still on the passenger seat, I ate the sandwich and drank half of the orange juice, then slung the bag onto my shoulder, the apple and chocolate bar I would save for later.

In the glove compartment I found a small torch, kept there for night-time emergencies, not very powerful but the batteries were in good shape. I threw this into the bag alongside my half empty lunch box.

In the boot the only thing apart from the spare wheel and jack was a hefty tyre iron, which I slid into my belt, god only knows what I intended to use it for but it gave me a measure of comfort just knowing it was there.

I trudged once more along the narrow lane until again I came to the bridge, stopping in the centre of it I took a long look in all directions.

Of course! Why didn't I think of it before? The briar didn't grow across the stream, there was my escape route, my salvation.

Deciding it would be easier on the calf muscles to go with the flow, I waded into the knee-deep water and set off downstream.

The overhanging foliage dappled the sunlight on the water, a sight I would have appreciated the beauty of had it not been for the seriousness of the situation.

Trout swam lazily in the bright water, they would have been easy to catch too, it wasn't the thought of eating raw fish that prevented me from grabbing a couple, it was fear of the sign. “POACHERS WILL BE PERSECUTED” I wasn't entirely sure what that entailed, but it certainly didn't sound like something good.

On and on I went, my feet were cold and freezing, but I was driven with the expectation of discovering a break in the dense foliage on one of the banks, any moment now I would find the way out of this predicament.

There... A hundred yards or so downstream... A structure of some kind... Something!

I quickened my pace, pushing my tired legs harder through the water, eager to get to whatever it was that I could see.

As I neared the structure my heart sank, I felt like weeping, it was the bridge, the same one I had set off from.

I sat down wearily on a jutting mid-stream rock, exhaustion and despair were taking their toll.

That's when I saw it!

A tunnel! From my low vantage point I could see underneath the bridge, and there, built into the bank beneath the wooden support beams was a concrete pipe, about three feet in diameter, and heading off in the direction of the main road... and home.

The sense of relief was overpowering. I stared long and hard at the opening before plucking up the courage to approach it.

I shone the torch down the tunnel, the light penetrated a few yards, revealing a perfectly straight, and spotlessly clean tube. There was something strange about that too, I mean, I would have expected the tunnel to be slimy or muddy, or insect-infested, but no, it looked as though it had been built yesterday.

Holding the torch in my mouth I climbed into the tunnel and began to crawl.

I tried not to think about the pain in my knees or the ache in my back as I made my way along the pipe, I just concentrated on keeping moving.

After what seemed like hours, but was probably only several minutes, I thought I could see a speck of light a long, long way off. I switched off the torch, I might be needing what battery life was left later.

Yes, yes, there was light!

I moved faster, eager to be out of the claustrophobic confines of the tunnel. It had also struck me that I couldn't turn round in here even if I wanted to, which also meant it was an ideal place for someone... or thing, to attack me.

I crawled along toward the light, which grew larger and brighter by the minute.

Reaching the end of the pipe I emerged into a brightly lit but small concrete room.

I stood upright, stretching the knots out of my aching back and limbs.

The room was illuminated by a single neon light set into the far wall, to my left a vertical steel ladder rose to the ceiling and continued its way upwards through a square shaft.

I gripped the rungs of the ladder, and began to climb.


Continued in:-

The short cut (Part 3)


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 7 September 2012

The short cut (Part 1)

I had found the short cut completely by accident.
Feeling nauseous, I just had to get out of the crawling rush hour traffic, and had turned into a narrow lane not much wider than the car.

After switching off the engine I climbed out of the vehicle, the space to breathe in a little fresh air calmed my heaving stomach, and before long I felt well enough to continue.

I travelled on along the little lane looking for somewhere to turn around, passing beautiful glades and greenery along the way.

After a couple of miles I came to a quaint wooden bridge spanning a shallow but rapid stream. The sign at the side declared:- “TROUTBROOK CROSSING … POACHERS WILL BE PROSECUTED.”

I drove over the bridge, and after another quarter of a mile or so the road emerged onto a major A road which I recognised immediately, I was only about two miles from home, the short cut down the lane had taken fifteen miles and the best part of an hour off my commute, oh this was indeed a gem of a discovery.

I wasn't really surprised that I had seen no other traffic on the little lane, it wasn't on the map, and both entrances to it were so hard to spot from the road a person would just drive straight by totally oblivious to their existence, as I had been doing for years now.

I used the short cut every day from then on, the time it saved me enabled me to have a leisurely breakfast instead of dashing to the car with keys in one hand and a half-eaten slice of toast in the other.

After a few weeks I became aware of odd changes taking place along the lane, unnerving changes.

There was one particular spot where three oak trees stood side by side at the road's edge, their leafy branches overhanging, and diffusing the light for several yards. One morning when I passed there were only two trees, this in itself, although noticeable did not seem particularly strange, one of the trees must have been infected and had to be cut down, but in the back of my mind a little voice said, “Well, where is the stump then?”

The tree had reappeared when I passed the spot on my way home, convincing me that I had imagined it in the first place, until the next morning when I passed and there was not three, but four trees.

Alarm bells started ringing...

Another day the sign at the bridge said “TROUTBROOK CROSSING … POACHERS WILL BE PERSECUTED.”

Some days a bend in the road would be sharper or shallower than before, other days flowers by the roadside would have changed colour overnight.

Although these changes were strange, there was nothing threatening about them, and so I continued to use the short cut, only now I tended to actually look closely for anything that was different or out of the ordinary.

When I actually looked for it, there was always something to see, sometimes a large, sometimes a minute difference to spot, but still something, every day.

I began to see this as a kind of game, and each day eagerly awaited my journeys, playing “Spot the difference” and I was happily thrilled once I had discovered the change.

Until today, if there were something different I couldn't spot it, feeling cheated I turned the car around when I reached the major road, and set off down the lane again in the opposite direction, I must have missed it, it was there to find, I just needed to look a little closer.

I had crossed the bridge and almost reached the far end of the lane again, and was feeling frustrated that I hadn't noticed anything different when it dawned on me I would probably be late for work.

I glanced at my wristwatch, jeez, I was due to start in twenty five minutes, this wasn't good.

I pressed the accelerator harder, driving as fast as I dare on the narrow twisting road, I would reach the end soon and be able to turn around. With luck, and a bit of risky driving I would just about make it in time.

The car hit air as I took the bridge too fast, bouncing on the springs as it landed heavily on the other side...

A chilling thought crept into my brain...

“That's the second time I've crossed the bridge!”

I drove faster still, the trees a passing green blur, the four oaks flashed past, and before long I was speeding towards the bridge again.

“What the...?” I was driving round in circles, how the hell could that be happening?

I glanced at my wristwatch again, and my heart went suddenly cold.

My hand looked different, the fingers seemed shorter, more stubby than they should.

Panicking, I slewed the car to a stop and cut the engine.

I tilted the rear-view mirror and took a good look at my reflection.

The face that stared back at me was that of a complete stranger.


Continued in:-

The short cut (Part 2)


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Winter is forever

Hi everyone, and thank you for reading. Although I have several short stories in the queue for posting, I thought that this week I would have a change and do something completely different.

Instead of a flash fiction story, I decided to post the lyrics of a song that I wrote way back in 1985.

The song is sung in a similar, but very slightly faster and more upbeat lilt than Bob Dylan's “Tomorrow is a long time.”


WINTER IS FOREVER

When I could no longer see that rainbow,
And clouds hid the beauty of the skies,
Your song could make my shadow touch the ground,
And the words bring the colours to my eyes.

And when silence broke those walls I'd laid around me,
And all I'd left was feeling disinclined,
The echo of your voice was there to guide me,
And I couldn't help but read between the lines.

* * * * * * * * * *

Refrain:
But I don't mind if winter is forever,
And I don't mind the cold morning rain,
I don't think at all about tomorrow,
When I hold you to my breast once again.

* * * * * * * * * *

I've heard the sound of full-grown men crying,
And I've heard the sound of rivers running dry,
I've heard the sound of castle walls falling,
And I've heard so many different reasons why.

I've seen mountains turn to sand while I was climbing,
And I've seen the truth, of living in a lie,
And yet all those spectral memories still haunt me,
Like the broken wings I tries so hard to fly.

* * * * * * * * * *

I held you in the night while you were sleeping,
And stayed awake to catch you should you fall,
I carried you through darkness 'til the daybreak,
And you didn't seem to weigh anything at all.

We walked those golden fields and silver beaches,
Sailed our magic carpet across the sky,
Though I never really thought it was forever,
I don't think it was a waste of time to try.


©1985 Stephen. J. Green.
©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Colours

She spoke to me in blues and greys, in dull shades her voice droned on and on.

She could tell I was becoming bored, restless and beige.

Her voice lightened a shade, brightened a shade, the occasional flicker of yellow lifted the mood, piqued my interest.

Richer hues tinged her words, bright greens swirled to the surface mingling with vibrant oranges and dazzling pinks.

As she leant into me her face transformed into an iridescent kaleidoscopic beauty.

We kissed deeply, turquoisely, tongues an intertwining, shifting, glittering rainbow.

We made love in shattering purples and blinding reds.

Eventually, sated, we fell asleep, soothing pastel shades crowded our dreams, eased our hearts.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Coping

Hi everyone, and thanks for dropping by. I'm going on holiday next weekend, so I won't be posting a #fridayflash for the next couple of weeks.

Have fun...


PS.
Although I won't be posting a story for the next two Fridays, and I won't be taking my computer with me, I'll try to find time to read #fridayflashes next Friday before we set off, and on the following weekend when we get back.

* * * * * * * * * *


COPING

I picked up the phone on the second ring, glad of the distraction, something to take my eye and mind away from all the black clothing, the chatter, and the buffet appreciation.

It was an old friend, Simon, his voice was a welcome oasis amidst this desert of emotional pretence.

Simon apologised for his absence, family commitments plus the sheer distance involved made it impossible for him to get here. He offered his condolences and asked how I was coping with the day. Just knowing that he cared helped, it helped a lot.

We chatted for a few minutes, then left each other with a promise to get together some time in the near future.

I hung up the phone and glanced around the room at all the people, the little huddles playing catch-up. The sound of occasional laughter further deepened the pain in my heart.

Janine had never been one of the popular relatives, she was thought of as loud and brash, they hadn't known her as I had, she used volume to conceal lack of self confidence, to paper over the emotional scars of childhood abuse and the stripped away self esteem it brought with it.

No amount of talking or counselling could ever make her see her own beauty, and she was beautiful, inside and outside, and yet she took her own life.

A hole had been ripped into my life that none of these present would ever believe she was capable of leaving.

Soon all of these people would be gone, away to resume their own lives, and I would be left alone with my memories.

Maybe, given time, the hole would become smaller... Maybe.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Ink



Hi, and thanks for dropping by.

Once again I have the honour of writing a guest post for John Xero's blog, this week I am at his second blog which is called 101-FICTION

This is where John posts a story each week consisting of a 1 word title, and a 100 word story, hence the title of the blog.

Lately John has opened up 101 for other writers to try their hand at this very short, and word-limited fiction, and I am delighted to submit my own story for publication there.

You will find John's 101 blog here:- 101-FICTION.
My own 101 word submission is here:- INK

I hope you enjoy it.

Anyone who is not familiar with John's work are missing something very special, he is an excellent writer, mostly of genre fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, and is always well worth the visit.
John's main blog where he posts his longer fiction can be found here:- XEROVERSE.

Thank you for reading.

Steve Green.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

INK

The idea for the story came to me in a dream.

Today I would give it life.

Several hours later and the words are still gushing forth, the story is like an irresistible force, compelling.

The computer had frazzled out after only a few hundred words, so I continued with a ballpoint pen and notebook.

When the ballpoint dried out I reached for my trusty old fountain pen.

When the ink ran dry I had to find another writing source. This story simply had to be written.

I only hope I can complete it before I run out of blood.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Going grey

When I was younger the lines were so sharply drawn, everything was either right or wrong, good or bad, legal or illegal, moral or immoral, black or white.

The blackest of blacks, the whitest of whites, separated by a razor-thin divide.

As I grew older the grey began to creep in, and the lines became blurred, indistinct.

As I approach the winter of my days, the grey area has spread further, become all-encompassing, black and white no longer seem to exist any more.

Now I find it almost impossible to venture even the smallest opinion, or make the most trivial decision.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Pigmentation

I wasn't too concerned when the first blotches appeared on my skin, a small cluster just below my right armpit. As the weeks passed the cluster grew until it covered the whole side of my body, and upwards towards my shoulder.

Several visits to the Doctor, and a variety of creams and balms had absolutely no effect on the skin problem, week upon week the invasion continued.

“Who the hell wants to go out with a freakin' leopard man?” My now ex-girlfriend had laughed at me as she walked away.

The following months saw me visiting a succession of consultants, skin specialists, scientists, until eventually I was admitted to the Military Sciences Unit for tests and observation.

That was where I learned the rest of it.

No-one told me anything directly, I just put the pieces together from overheard snatches of conversation and surreptitious peeks at momentarily abandoned medical clipboards.

The coloration was occurring on a genetic level, my skin pigmentation was somehow altering of its own volition. And the doctors had no answers as to why.

I was not the only one to be stricken with this curse, across the world the average was approximately one in fifty thousand people, and although I never saw any of them, there were another seventeen patients somewhere in this facility, all with identical symptoms to mine.

All of the reported cases were evenly divided between male and female, and all within the age group of fifteen to twenty two years old.

I had been in the Unit for several months now, and the whole of my body had been affected. The blotches, which ranged in size and shape, were varied in colour, just now they ranged from light caramel to dark chocolate, the skin between them a rich shade of ochre. Some days they seemed to alter, to reflect my surroundings. One day after strolling round the gardens for a while I noticed the blotches had taken on shades of greens and browns, and lately theses changes seemed to take effect more quickly than before.

There wasn't a day went by that I didn't rant at the doctors, at the world, at God, for my predicament. Why the hell had I had this damned curse forced upon me?

The answer was on its way.

* * * * * *

When civilisation fell, it fell hard, it fell fast, it fell all the way, and to all intents and purposes it fell permanently.

I hunt naked now. The useless encumbrance of clothes long since discarded.

The Pinkies are easy to spot, easy to catch, easy to kill... and easy to eat.

After the collapse it had soon dawned on me just what my curse was for.

A blessing in disguise, so to speak.

Camouflage.



©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

No laughing matter


Hi, and thanks for dropping by.

This week, along with seven other writers, I have the honour of being invited by John Xero to write a guest post to help celebrate the 2nd anniversary of his blog XEROVERSE.

Anyone who is not familiar with John's work are missing something very special, he is an excellent writer, mostly of genre fiction, Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror, and is always well worth the visit.

The party can be found here:- XEROVERSE.
My own contribution is:- NO LAUGHING MATTER.

John also has a second blog, where he posts shorter stories consisting of a 1 word title, plus 100 words of story, these excellent flashes can be found here:- 101 FICTION

Thank you for reading.

Steve Green.

* * * * * *

NO LAUGHING MATTER

Well, I tell you, I've dished out a few punishment beatings before but never in my life have I ever come across anyone as tough as Big Bernie.

Bernie was one of those guys just born to be a goon. He was massive, strong, totally loyal to his boss. He wasn't the sharpest tool in the box, in fact his thought processes and emotions were nearer to those of a child than an adult.

Jimmy had winched him up on the block and tackle while I held the gun on him. Bernie, naked, hanging by his wrists, started looking a little nervous as I put down the gun and picked up the baseball bat.

Jimmy walked past me and leant against the wall behind me, just a spectator now.

If I had wanted information from Bernie I would have been wasting my time, he would die before ratting on his boss. No, this was a pleasure trip for me, last week Bernie had kicked the living crap out of one of my guys, he would be out of commission for weeks, and now it was payback time.

I swung the bat straight into his shin bone, the resultant thud, and the shockwave along my arms gave me a warm glow of satisfaction.

Bernie burst into fits of hysterical giggling.

“Okay, let's see how funny you find this.”

I swung the bat again, harder. This time I heard the bone crack. The bat sank a good two inches into his leg, making sickening squelching sounds as I yanked it back out again.

Instead of screams, and pleas for mercy I was rewarded by further giggling, which increased in volume and intensity until it turned into outright laughter.

Now usually I keep my calm throughout these kind of situations, stay detached, it adds a little more menace to the punishment, but Bernie's laughter was getting to me, it was as though HE were the one punishing ME!

I put real anger behind the next swing, I think at least three of his ribs must have collapsed under the blow.

One of the bones must have gone through a lung. Blood sprayed from his mouth as he threw his head back and guffawed at the top of his voice.

“Right, that's it, you big stupid dummy.”

I set about him with a vengeance, raining blows hard and fast all over his body, all control gone now. I beat him harder and faster, a blur of mindless violence.

The sound of pulping muscle, cracking and splintering bone, dull thuds and liquid suction echoed off the walls, and rising above it all, sometimes drowning it out completely, Bernie's loud, uncontrollable, and almost continuous laughter.

I let the bat fall to the floor, I was drenched in sweat, exhausted, I just didn't have the strength to hit him any more. He had beaten me.

I picked up the gun and pointed it at his face. His grinning, laughing face.

His head and arms were the only parts of him left that you could call human. The rest of him was just a battered, smashed mess hanging above a large pool of blood, guts and bits of skin.

“I'm sorry Bernie, it should never have gone as far as this, I have to finish you off, there is no way that you can be fixed up again.”

Bernie just carried on laughing, and for the first time I noticed that he was looking over my shoulder, and when I think back, that is where he had been looking most of the time I had been hitting him.

I spun round to look at Jimmy, whose face seemed to be struggling to maintain a serious expression.

I turned back to face what was left of Bernie, who immediately started laughing again.

“Okay Bernie, you know I have to do this, but before I pull the trigger, just what the hell do you find so amusing?”

Bernie looked down at me with a twisted face as he fought to control the mirth running amok inside him.

“You know I don't like to rat on people, but it's all Jimmy's fault. He keeps pulling funny faces at you behind your back.”


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 29 June 2012

Dangerous words

The story was an absolute killer.

As he read the opening line the hook sank deep into his nose, puncturing gristle and cartilage and slicing completely through to the other side.

He was drawn kicking and screaming into the plot as the storyline developed.

As he reached the end of the final paragraph, his face split, bones fractured, snot and blood geysered, iron-hard knuckles repeatedly slammed into him as he was beaten to death by the punch line.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 22 June 2012

The file on Alicia Fieldstone

I had only been working at the Ministry of Information for a few days, and was still finding my feet, so to speak. As the newbie I was given the trivial jobs to do, the drudgery, the crap that the more important guys couldn't be bothered with.

My task for today was debugging the Fs, trawling through the F files searching out typos and such, I skim read as fast as I could, not absorbing any of the data that was scrolling past my eyes, assessing the threat level of any individual was someone else's job, I wasn't qualified to process any of it anyway.

Then there she was, right there on my screen... FIELDSTONE. ALICIA.

I sat there a little shocked, Alicia lived only three doors away from me, a very pretty woman, twenty four years old according to the file, and single. I had seen her several times, we exchanged occasional smiles on the street, truth be known I was more than a little interested in asking her to go on a date with me.

And here she was, on file in the M of I.

I began reading the file, hungry to know what kind of super-terrorist or criminal had been living in the same street as me for the last two years.

The file proceeded to lay her life bare across the screen.

Every school she had attended, and links to the files of every pupil and teacher there. Her work history, friends, family, acquaintances. And again links to every one of these, and their acquaintances, and so on, like an ever widening spider web.

The file delved deeper and deeper into her life.

Her taste in clothes, make up, art, books, food, television.

Even the minutest details were not overlooked.

How thickly she spread the butter on her toast, which direction she stirred her coffee.

And into the very intimate side of her life.

Her preferred sexual positions. When she experienced her first orgasm, and who with. The links were there to every man she had dated, or slept with, and their acquaintances etc.

It even listed the brand of sanitary towels she used.

There was not one single shred of her life that the file didn't cover, even down to how many times she visited the toilet each day.

When the M of I targeted the bad guys, they certainly did a thorough job of it.

Jeez, I'm just glad that I never got up the courage to ask her out.

I kept reading, looking for the bombshell, for the list of criminal activities either past, present, or suspected for the future, but found nothing, not even a late library return.

To all intents and purposes Alicia was as clean and pure as the driven snow.

I must be missing something.

I leaned backwards in my chair and called over my shoulder.

“Hey Bill, this file I'm looking at, there's nothing incriminating in here that I can see, but she's some kind of terrorist or criminal, right?”

Bill leant across and glanced at my screen.

“Oh hell no, that's just a basic info file, we have those files on absolutely everyone.”

The cold tendrils of fear began creeping along my spine as my mind wandered to the skeletons in my own closet.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Positively negative

“I am such a negative person.”

“Are you sure?”

“Huh?”

“I asked you if you were sure, about being negative that is.”

“Oh yeah, absolutely positive.”

“You just said you were negative.”

“Yeah, I am.”

“But you said you were absolutely positive.”

“Huh?”

“So, are you positive, or not?”

“Oh yeah, yeah I am.”

“About being negative?”

“Uh. Yeah.. I think so. Look, you're confusing me now.”

“Okay, let's try a different tack. Do you generally see the dark side of things?”

“Oh sure, yeah, sure I do.”

“And from most scenarios you see the worst case happening?”

“Yeah, yeah, I guess I do.”

“And does it?”

“Does what?”

“Does the worst case usually happen?”

“Yeah, mostly it does happen, yeah it does.”

“And how does that make you feel?”

“Well, it make me feel right of course. I expect the worst to happen, and it usually does.”

“So that makes you feel right?”

“Yeah! What are you, stupid or something?”

“And being right is a positive experience, is it not?”

“Huh?”

“If your negative assumption proves to be correct, then it has positive consequences, yes?”

“What? Uh, yeah, I guess so.”

“Then you are more of a positive person than you thought you were, right?”

“No, no not really.”

“Why?”

“Cos I'm such a negative person, that's why.”


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

The Kreativ Blogger Award



The lovely, and very talented lady Helen Howell who resides at HelenScribbles, has very kindly awarded me the KREATIV BLOGGER AWARD, thank you so much Helen, I am absolutely delighted to receive it.

Now, the conditions of accepting the award are that I must tell you 10 things about myself, and also I must pass the award on to other bloggers who's works I read and like.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Okay here goes..

1. I met my wife when I was 17, and we were married 5 years later, we recently celebrated our 37th wedding anniversary. My mum says our relationship is like a Mills and Boon novel.

2. In 1975 I began learning to play the guitar. Around 1977-ish, I played several times alongside a student named Justin Sullivan (with a couple of other guys, in the cellar of their rented house.)
Shortly after, Justin went on to become the front man for the band “New Model Army” which became very successful, and I believe they are still together now.

3. Although I passed my driving test at the age of 17, I didn't buy my first car until I was 34 years old.

4. When I was a teenager, a friend and I decided to hitch-hike to Blackpool for the weekend...
We ended up walking approximately 50 miles of the 75 miles back home. (Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.)

5. For the last 4 years at school, I achieved first place in my class at French, and metalwork.
In my first year of taking French I played the lead, main speaking role in a French spoken play that we performed in front of the whole school. (My French has long since gone into disuse, although I can still count very rapidly in the language.)

6. Although the films I am really into are such as the Alien quadrilogy, Resident evils, Predators, and the like, I absolutely love the film Shirley Valentine, and have watched it dozens of times.

7. Although I am pretty useless at cooking, I am quite capable of feeding myself should the need arise. But one time when my wife went on holiday for a week, to my shame (coupled with a love of fish and chips) I called to the fish and chip shop every single evening on my way home from work.

8. I was a very heavy smoker, and after what was probably thousands of failed attempts spread over about thirty years, I finally quit smoking on September 1st 2005, after reading the book by Allen Carr, “The easy way to stop smoking” which was a present that my wife bought for me.

9. I like ice cream... Very much.

10. Once I was the one to open our packet of Jaffa cakes, now there are usually 12 in a pack, 6 each. So I took my 6 out, and ate them while watching telly, later on my wife went for her Jaffa cakes only to discover that there was only 5 left, I do solemnly swear that I only took six out, we must have picked up the only packet in the universe that only contained 11 Jaffa cakes to begin with.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Choosing writers to pass the award on to is very difficult, there are so many talented writers on #fridayflash, and it is not easy to choose one over another, so I decided to pass the award on to the two ladies who were instrumental in my joining #fridayflash in the first place.

Rebecca Emin of Ramblings of a Rusty Writer.

And

Maria Protopapadaki-Smith of Mazzz in Leeds.

Way back in September 2010, both of these ladies encouraged me to post my stories on #fridayflash, their positive comments on my work gave me the confidence to submit my first one “A Zombie's Tale” which I posted on September 17th 2010, and I have enjoyed taking part each week ever since.

So I would like to say a big THANK YOU to Rebecca and Maria for introducing me to the wonderful community of the #fridayflash writers.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Sensory deprivation

There is nothing to touch in here, and it blisters my fingertips.

There is nothing to hear, and its shriek is deafening.

There is nothing to see, and it's image is burned deep into my retinae.

There is nothing to smell, and the stench of it clogs my nostrils.

There is nothing to taste, and it sits vile upon my tongue.

There is nothing in here.

Wherever here is.

Won't somebody help me …..?

Please …..?


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 1 June 2012

On the rocks

I lay across the rocks at the bottom of the cliff, broken and smashed, and although there was no pain, I was acutely aware that physically all was not good with me.

“Did you fall, or were you pushed?”

The Genie's face swam above me, looking perplexed, and not a little amused.

“Actually, neither, I jumped.”

I had so many broken bones I would be willing to bet that I couldn't count them on my fingers and toes, and most of those were in more than one piece now, so that in itself would up the numbers a bit.

“Why did you jump?

“Why? What a stupid question, to kill myself of course.”

“But you are immortal, you can't die, so don't you think it was a bit of a daft thing to do? You were the one that asked for immortality in the first place, so I don't really understand where you are coming from.”

“Yeah, well... if I'd known how boring immortality was gonna be I would have asked for riches or fame instead. So, if it's all the same to you, I'd like you to cancel the wish, and give me my life... err, or death back.”

“Sorry buddy, one wish per lamp-rubber, that's the rules.”

“I thought you guys were supposed to grant three wishes, where's my other two?”

“Well, yeah, we used to, but haven't you heard? There's a recession on just now, cutbacks have to be made.”

“Well, okay then, in that case how long will it take for my body to heal?”

“Oh, never. Well, the bones WILL repair themselves, but only in the shape they're in now, unless you get medical treatment anyway, splints and such, and since you chose such an isolated spot I think that's pretty unlikely. You just didn't think this through, did you?”

I took a good look at the shape I was in, all unfamiliar angles and new, multiple joints, all of it draped over the rock formation, following the contours as though it had been poured there.

“Yeah I guess it was pretty dumb, so, what happens now?”

“I suppose you've heard the phrase 'Decide in haste, repent at leisure'?”

“Yeah, sure, who hasn't?”

“Well my stupid friend, you're gonna have lots of leisure time to repent in, forever in fact. Now if you'll excuse me I have other lamp-rubbers to attend to. Ciao baby.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 25 May 2012

A diamond for Beverley

She would have her diamond ring, to propose without one was unthinkable.

I scrubbed hard at the old brass curtain ring, spat on my threadbare shirt cuff and scrubbed some more. The metal began to un-dull, the gleam deepened, the shine began to shimmy.

Poor man's gold, but gold still the same, to me anyway.

A piece of glass, bright enough to catch the eye, to snatch the light, to capture a heart.

A smidgen of gum from the wad.

I had my offering.

* * * * * * * * * *

Beverley was beautiful, and I loved her. The princess of cardboard city, the dirt-encrusted duchess of the homeless.

This was our palace. I no longer saw the peeling wallpaper or the skeletal wall laths, the piles of rubbish and rubble meant nothing to me.

A squat is a squat is a squat.

But I saw Beverley, and loved her.

I sank to one knee and stretched my hand out towards her, hope sparkling between my thumb and forefinger.

I daren't speak for fear my voice would crack.

She looked at the ring, then into my eyes.

Gossamer wings fluttered my heart as I awaited her answer.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

42 The meaning of life

I wrote this very short piece for the competition that Alison Wells hosted to celebrate the launch of her novel:- Housewife with a Half-Life.

The challenge was to write a story of exactly 42 words, prompted by - “The meaning of Life, The Universe, and Everything.” - from Douglas Adams' - The Hitch-hiker's guide to the galaxy.

The competition received a very good response of fifty submissions, and you can check out all of the entries, and the competition results here:-

Competition entries:-
Competition results:-

* * * * * * * * * *

42 The meaning of life.

In my prison, life has no meaning.

Forty two goddamn centuries they gave me.

You've heard the story of the man who sold the world?

An amateur.

I stole the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Trouble is, I got caught.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Slice of life

It's been long time since I opened this tiny shop, over forty years now, and I wouldn't have swapped a single day of it, even if I could.

I provide a service you see, to the local community, keep them provided with things, so to speak. Things that no-one else can provide.

It took a while for the locals to accept me, and my wares, but once word got around I became the most successful shop in the village, and a jealously guarded secret from any outsiders, which was fine by me. I wasn't in it for the money you see, I was sent here as a kind of experiment, from them up there.

Today has been much of a typical one. Mrs Furlong popped in just after I flipped the sign to OPEN, her twin daughters in tow. “Half a pound of Interest please, Mister Godfrey. I'm feeling a bit lack-lustre today.”

Mister Godfrey, that's me, not my real name, but then again, what's in a name?

We chatted amiably as I weighed out the Interest, wrapped it, and took her money.

“You use that as soon as you can, dear.” I told her as she was leaving, she did look as though she needed it.

And so the day went on, and the sales were regular and frequent. A jar of happiness, a tin of self esteem, two sticks of determination, an ounce of kindness, a bottle of love, a sprig of sympathy, a packet of inspiration. The usual stuff.

Sometimes a small queue grew whilst I served some unfortunate with a long list, and occasionally I had time for a breather when the shop was empty for a few minutes.

The doorbell jangled, and in walked Martha Blessingham. Now Martha had been one of my very first customers, she had been a pensioner when I first came here and was well over a hundred years old now.

“Hiya Martha, lovely to see you my dear, your smile always brings the sunshine to my day. Will it be the usual?”

“Yes please Mister Godfrey, a slice of life please.” Her eyes twinkled and her mouth smiled its natural smile, she was a truly lovely, and lovable person.

“I've got a nice new piece, fresh in today.” I told her, as I reached under the counter and hefted the heavy slab of life up onto the cutting board. I placed the carving knife an inch or so along the slab, then glanced at Martha flirtatiously, twitching my eyebrows rapidly, smiling broadly.

“Oh, you are such a tease, Mister Godfrey.” She chuckled, as she waggled her finger, indicating that I should move the knife up a bit.

“A thicker slice than usual today then Martha? You must be ravenous.”

“Oh I am, Mister Godfrey, I am indeed, I just can't seem to get enough of it”

“There you go Martha.” I said, handing her the wrapped slice of life. “You'll enjoy that, it's prime quality, nothing but the best for you my dear.”

“Why thank you kindly Mister Godfrey, must dash now, I have all sorts of things to do today. See you again tomorrow.”

“Bye dear.” I called after her. Lovely lady.

I love the life that they have given me, and like I said, I wouldn't swap a single day of it, even if I could.

I'm hoping that this experiment is a success, and that them up there decide to expand it to a global level, I think it could be a real winner.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Killing fields


Last week I came across the #SatSun Tails on Rebecca Clare Smith's Journal, a weekly competition of 150 words, including a photo prompt and a written prompt. On impulse, and just for the fun of the involvement I wrote this short piece and posted it.

Accompanied by this photo was the written prompt :-
“Forget what they plant in the killing fields.”

I didn't manage to earn a place, but did qualify for a constructive critique, which is always appreciated, and I did enjoy taking part in the competition too.

The overall winner this week was Jeffrey Hollar at “The Latinum Vault”. His entry was a beautifully written piece entitled “Her absent lover.”

You can find Jeffrey's story and all the other entries here:-

10th #SatSun Tails. Competition entries.
10th #SatSun Tails. Competition results.


* * * * * * * * * *

KILLING FIELDS.

“Forget what they plant in the killing fields.” An order, not a request.

Forget indeed!

I hefted the heavy axe high above my head, then brought it down as hard as I could, burying it deep into his skull.

“How the hell can I forget when they come to visit me every full moon?” I shrieked at the falling form.

I dragged him outside and buried him alongside the others, fashioning a wreath of fern over his grave, adding the willow branch fetish.

“I'll be seeing you again, at the next rising, let's see what advice you can give me then, huh?

Looking over my shoulder at the house, I noticed a flicker of shadow pass the upstairs window.

I walked back inside, grabbing the axe before setting off up the stairs.

“Now we will see who gets to do the planting in future.” I whispered to myself.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Author's note:- After reading the critique I decided to edit the ending slightly from the original story, hopefully it reads a little better now. :-)
Steve.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Broken road



I don't usually do writing or photo prompts, but I saw this one on Icy Sedgwick's site, “Icy's Blunt Pencil” and thought “Why not?”

The photo of the broken road, and the name of the prompt are Icy's work. The picture of Albert is courtesy of Fotosearch.com.

* * * * * *

Broken road.

After pushing the letter into the post box I set off up the hill in the direction of the village chip shop, I was really looking forward to a nice bit of haddock for tea . My pension doesn't run to too many treats, but I just wouldn't get through the week without my Tuesday fish'n'chips. It was a tradition of mine really, Tuesday is fish'n'chip day, everyone in the village knew that 'Old Albert' had fish'n'chips for tea on Tuesdays.

I'd only gone a few paces when the ground beneath my feet heaved, sending me sprawling.

Earthquake? I thought. Here? This is England not bloody Turkey.

I rose shakily to my feet, pushing myself up with the walking stick, my ceramic hip complaining at the unaccustomed stress. The ground continued heaving and shaking.

I watched with horror as a huge chunk of the road suddenly leapt upwards several inches.

The ground continued to rise inch by inch as it was slammed repeatedly from below. The screeching and rending noises almost drowned out the angry growls coming from below... Almost.

"Sod this!" I thought. I wasn't going to hang around to see what was going to come out of there...

I threw my walking stick to one side and set off running as fast as my arthritic legs would carry me, all thoughts of fish'n'chips forgotten now.

I was still going strong when I passed Mrs Lowbottom just before I got to the village green.

“Albert?” She shouted to me. “Albert, slow down for God's sake, the chippy doesn't close for another half hour yet.”


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Stolen kisses

The strange phenomenon was slowly permeating the village, as the days passed more and more people fell victim. Doctors and scientists were baffled, there was not one positive response to any type of treatment, either medicinal or psychological, even hypnosis was tried, and failed.

No one had any answers.

Mothers no longer comforted their babies. Husbands no longer kissed their wives goodbye before they left for work. Lovers no longer strolled hand in hand through the park, or canoodled in shop doorways.

The village was becoming an emotional wasteland.

* * * * * *

The entity knew nothing of divorce rates, or broken homes, or shattered families. It was a being driven by instinct, by hunger. It was a predator, a hunter.

It came in the night, silent, invisible, intangible.

It seeped under doors or through air vents, and fed on the sleeping forms.

It stole their kisses and devoured them. It absorbed their cuddles and embraces. It drank their touches and caresses. It glutted itself on their love, their tenderness, and their joy, then moved on to the next house leaving behind the sleeping husks.

And it gained strength, and grew.

By the time it had reached the nearby town it had grown strong enough to divide, and a few days later again, then again...

When it left the town behind, the entity had grown over a thousandfold, and it was ravenous.

Gathering speed, and ferocity, it hurtled across the open countryside towards the nearest city.

And the feast.

The first of many.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Versatile Blogger


The lovely, and very talented lady Susan May James who blogs over at Scribble & Scatter has very kindly included me in her Awesome 15, and awarded me The Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much Susan, it is very much appreciated.

Now, according to the rules I must choose my own Awesome 15, not an easy task as there are so many good writers and bloggers out there.

After much thought and deliberation, here are the fifteen awesome writers I have chosen. Most of them are fiction writers, a couple of them have not been active for a while, but they are only resting, not retired. Meanwhile check out their blogs and their archives, there is some brilliant stuff in there.


John Xero: - Xeroverse: Missing Pieces.

Aidan Fritz: - Aidan Writes.

Nickie O'Hara: - Typecast.

Stephen Hewitt: - Cafe Shorts.

Colin James: - The I-10 Blog.

Helen A Howell: - Helen Scribbles.

John Wiswell: - The Bathroom Monologues.

Harry B Sanderford: - Harry B Sanderford.

Icy Sedgwick: - Icy's Blunt Pencil.

Tim VanSant: - otoh.

Stephen Book: - Powder Burns & Bullets.

Larry Kollar: - Tale From FAR Manor.

Marc Nash: - Sulci Collective.

Richard Bon: - Liminal Fiction.

Justin Davies: - The Flyingscribbler.

Peter Newman:- Run Pete, Write.


It wasn't easy choosing writers for the list, it would be nice to just link to all of the writers that I read, but sadly I'm only allowed fifteen.

PS. I've just noticed that somehow I've missed out Peter Newman, how on earth did that happen? Oh well, it will have to be my awesome sixteen then.

Best wishes with all your future works guys.


Steve Green.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Inner beauty

Men were superficial creatures, Stella knew this, and she had known plenty of men in her time.

As each new one came into her life she took the time to discover the person beneath the facade, to look for the inner beauty.

Sometimes it could be hard work getting to know the deeper person, working ones way through the outer layers.

She wiped the back of her hand across her damp brow, smearing clear salt liquid with red, she was exhausted, and he hadn't really been worth the effort after all.

She glanced at the remains on the table, Marcus had a certain inner beauty, but she'd seen much better.

What she needed right now was a shower and some sleep. She tossed the dripping knife into the sink and set off towards the bathroom. She would clear the mess up in the morning.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Open house

“Your house really is an invitation to burglars.” My neighbours told me.

“This really is a high crime area.” They said.

“You really should get an alarm system fitted.” They said.

“You really shouldn't leave your window ajar at night.” They said.

“You really ought to get a stronger back door, and heavier bolts.” They said.

But we like things just the way they are.

The master roams the house at night, silent as a shadow.

The master likes burglars, he likes burglars very much.

He only spits out the nails and teeth.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Branded

As I stood in the queue I pondered on how such a small act can have an immense impact on a person's life. How something trivial can rapidly escalate into massive consequences in such a short space of time. My only crime was trying to get a free meal.

I've got away with it so many times before, walking into a restaurant, ordering and eating a meal, then apologising to the manager, explaining my predicament, that I had been starving hungry but had no money. Usually I just end up getting the bum's rush out of the back door into the garbage cans, the management can't usually be bothered wasting their time pursuing a few quid through the courts, it's easier to just throw the problem out, and get back to serving the paying customers.

But this time I went a bit too up-market, I ate at Bibby's, the snotty gits called the police.

I was duly charged, tried and sentenced, all in less than twenty four hours. The benefits of our new judicial system. No more prisons, no more fines, just branded then thrown out into society.

Some of the branded never survived more than a few minutes on the street before the mob got to them. The rapists, the murderers and such. Others just faced a life of humiliation, or a life of seclusion, hiding away from the stares of the public.

The blue door at the end of the corridor opened and two guards dragged a man out, the word THEFT freshly burnt into his forehead. They opened the red door in the side wall, the one that led back to the street, and threw him unceremoniously through the opening, slamming the door shut behind him.

The two goons then grabbed the man at the head of the queue and pulled him through the doorway into the room they had emerged from, slamming that door shut too.

The rest of us shuffled forward, each of us that bit nearer to our punishment.

After a few minutes the blue door opened again, the man was dragged back out through the doorway with the word FRAUD lividly telling the world of his crime. Out he went, into the street.

We all shuffled forward again.

And so it went on... MURDER... Shuffle... BIGAMY... Shuffle... RAPE... Shuffle... ARSON... Shuffle... TREASON... Shuffle...

Suddenly a thought struck me, and I couldn't help but smile, in fact more than smile, a huge grin spread its way across my face.

One of the guards patrolling the corridor leaned towards me threateningly, his ugly mug just inches from mine.

“Amused, are we? You won't be so cheerful when your turn comes. What heinous crime did you commit then?”

“I was convicted of 'Obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception'.” I replied, still smiling at my inner thoughts.

“Well, my cheerful friend, they're gonna burn that into your head.”

“Yeah? Well I'm just wondering how the hell they're gonna get it all on there, and if you lot are as intelligent as you look, I'll expect all of the long words to contain spelling mistakes too.”

The next time the blue door opened and I shuffled forward again, I was sporting a nice fat lip to remind me to keep my inner thoughts to myself in the future.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Sexy Thing

Authors note:
I feel I must warn you in advance that this flash may evoke unpleasant mental images.
If you are squeamish, easily disgusted, or easily offended then please stop reading NOW!
Steve Green.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Still reading?... Okay, but remember, you were warned.


SEXY THING:

“You have to stop forcing me to have sex.”

“Why? Don't you enjoy it?”

“Oh yeah, I enjoy it, but post-ejaculation escape is getting harder these days. I'm not getting any younger you know, and I'm losing too many legs to these monstrous females.”

“How many legs did you start out with?”

“Eighteen, and now I'm down to eleven, which wouldn't be too bad if they were a bit even-sided, but nine on one side and two on the other doesn't give a guy a sporting chance when trying to escape a hungry, post coital female fifteen times his size. If things continue in the same trend I only have two more romps, then all I'll be able to do is run round in circles, well, until my current playmate driven by her orgasm-induced appetite manages to grab hold of me that is.”

“You volunteered for the re-population programme. You signed the form. You should have read the small print, took more notice of the disclaimer. The future of the Polypod race depends on the success of this programme. Now stop wasting time, get in there and give it your all.”

“Okay, but just hang on a minute while I defecate and smear it all over myself.”

“Why would you want to do a disgusting thing like that?”

“I believe it may increase my chances of survival.”

“How?”

“Well, if I'm not quick enough to make it out of there this time, she just might decide to spit me out because I don't taste too good.”


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 9 March 2012

A beer for Joe (Part 2)

Author's note:-
The original story “A beer for Joe” was written as a stand-alone piece, this week I decided to write this follow-on, anyone wishing to refresh their memory, or to read Part 1 for the first time can find it here:- A beer for Joe.
Thank you for reading.
Steve Green.

* * * * * *

A beer for Joe (Part 2)

That was eight days ago, I've spent each one of those evenin's since then sittin' on Joe's porch, enjoyin' the late sunshine, enjoyin' the catchin' up. We took it in turns to supply the beer.

He told me about how his family was doin' really good, an' I felt the pride swell in me when I told him about my own, how I became a great-grandaddy four years ago, about my grandson's promotions in the Police Department, and anythin' else I could bring to mind.

Not all of the catchin' up was good. I fought back the tears when Joe told me about his heart attack, and the time he spent in hospital. I should have been there for him, but because of that stupid argument I didn't even know it had happened.

“Don't make no never mind.” He said. “What's gone an' done, is gone an' done. You're here now, an' that matters to me, yup, it sure does.”

I drained my bottle and placed it on the porch planking at the side of my rocker. I wasn't feelin' too strong today, in fact I was feelin' kinda strange, like I was hollow inside, and my head was kinda woozy, dreamy sort of. I shook my head a few times to clear my thoughts and vision, it helped a little.

We'd been chewin' the fat a-while, and were now both sittin' quiet, thinkin' own own thoughts, soakin' up the last of the day's warmth as we watched the sun settin'.

Joe's voice broke the easy silence.

“Sure is another beautifu.......... Oh my... Oh.”

Joe's leg straightened suddenly, and his boot heel made a kinda scrapin' noise on the boards. I heard the clunk as his beer bottle hit the wooden floor on the other side of his chair.

I turned to face him, his body was arched backwards, left hand clutching at his chest.
As he slumped back in his rocker, his face, twisted into an agonised grimace suddenly relaxed, slackened, and paled, his hands fell loosely to his sides.

“Joe?... Joe?"

I grabbed a-hold of his hand, already knowin' the truth of it. I kneaded his fingers between my own, as though I could squeeze some life back into him from myself.

“Joe?.. Joe....?”

The woozy feelin' flooded through me again, stronger this time. I sat back down in my own chair, still gripping Joe's hand tightly.

I needed to get up, get to the phone, call for help, but my body just didn't want to move.

My tablets were in my pocket, and I didn't have the strength to reach for them.

As Joe's fingers began to cool in my grip, I could feel my own body begin to cool too. The hollow feelin' returned, I could feel the life slidin' away from me like water drainin' from a bath tub. I laid my head back as the strange, dreamy feelin' washed through me again.

“Goodbye my old friend.” I managed to whisper.

I took a last, long look at the setting sun as it went down behind the hill.

A feeling of calm and peacefulness filled my whole being as I began to fade away, I wasn't alone, and I wasn't afraid.

I swear I could hear beautiful singing as the darkness took us both to our final sleep.

The End.


©2012 Stephen. J. Green.