My muses are children. Is that a problem?

Where to begin with this? I supposed I should explain that my muse was originally an eight year old girl. Or maybe she was nine at the time. It’s been so long since I first started Werewolves of the Dead that I don’t even remember when I began the manuscript. I do remember it started with Sarah saying, “You should do a book on zombie werewolves. It shall be called (pause for dramatic effect) Werewolves of the Dead. Now here’s what should happen…” She’s talked like that for years now. I blame the spate of infomercials she used to watch one after another. She would end every other sentence with, “But wait, there’s more.” God bless you, Sarah Kathleen.

Sarah was the one who came up with that and the twist in “The Ripper’s Doll”. She’s bloody brilliant for a tweenager, or just out of her gourd like her father. And mother. We’re both a little off mentally as far as parents go.

I sing the praises of my children left and right. I’m a parent that works a 40 hour a week job, comes home to cook dinner for the family, and I deal with the obstacles life has a tendency to throw at us all. And I sing the kids’ praises long and hard. To the point that I “offend” some parents over my choice of child rearing tendencies. I took my son to The Tilted Kilt because he heard the food was good and he was a twelve year-old boy with burgeoning hormones. I let Sarah watch Magic Mike because she was curious about “those hunky boys” as one female family member put. “This movie sucks,” she declared before abruptly leaving the living room. She refused to come down until “that abomination to filmmaking was destroyed and removed from this house”. She’s a very dramatic young lady when she wants to be. And Emily? Well, Emily is a HUGE fane of The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and just about everything zombie.

My kids are diverse in their desires, hobbies, and interests. Chris is a member of the National Honor Society, and has a 3.74 unweighted GPA, and a 4.27 weighted GPA at the magnet school he attends. He volunteers at the Nashville Cat Rescue, and at The Pet Community Center. He “works” six days a week between school and his volunteer activities. He has more moral character than most adults, and his ability to hold himself at a higher standard than we, his parents, do makes him one of my heroes.


Emily wants to be a “hair stylist for dogs” and has overcome much in her fight against her phonological dyslexia. Two years ago she wasn’t even reading at a 1st grade level and she was a third grader. Now she’s almost at her fourth grade level. She’s the hardest working kid I know. She has her moments of getting frustrated with her words, but she pushes through it one her own or sometimes with us prodding her. But she doesn’t quit even when she wants to. We all struggle to be understood in life, and for Emily, it’s a constant minute to minute activity in the most literal of things we take for granted; speech. She is an inspiration to me, and to most that meet her.


And then there’s Sarah. Sarah is taking Algebra 1 in the 7th grade and is making straight A’s across the board. She wants to be a crypto zoologist.  Why? There’s no money it, granted, but she wants to prove that werewolves exist. As much as I love the idea of werewolves, I’m not totally ready to buy into my own fiction. But as she said, “just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. And science is constantly discovering dinosaurs, and other life forms that they never knew existed until now.” She’s painfully smart, and when she’s not watching Markiplier on YouTube, she’s read the news sites. Not bad for a 12 year old.


My kids are constantly giving me ideas, and inspiration, to write down. I always used to say that I do this for them. Now, I think I do this because of them. And it’s because of them that I persevere as a husband, father, and writer.

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Why’d I get out of bed again?


I need to be reminded of why I got out of bed at all this week. It’s been a week that has tried our patience and our budget. On the way into work Tuesday, my battery light, and all open door indicator lights along with the emergency brake light comes on. It stayed on for 10 seconds and then went out. Oh great, I thought. Alternator’s crapping out.

I took it to my mechanic , and the alternator and battery tested fine. Wednesday it comes on again, on the way to work naturally, and stayed on until I got three blocks from the mechanic’s where it promptly went out. I dropped it off, stuck and around and found out the belt tensioner was bad. I shelled out $260 to get it fixed. It was actually $259.80, but who’s quibbling over twenty cents?

Thursday it came on again, while on the way to work naturally, and so I got a battery. The battery I traded in was 3 1/2 years old so yeah, I probably needed a new one. The light stay off all day up until the time I was going through downtown Nashville, during rush hour. We have to go home, I told Chris. I was taking him to his bi-weekly seminar at Belmont University. We made it home, I parked the minivan, and took him in his car. Why didn’t he just drive himself? I’ll get to that in a moment.

The minivan sat in the driveway all day Friday, and I picked up a new alternator. Cost: $246.74. Work cost: 4 hours of personal leave and a lot of scrambling to make up 5 hours so as to not effect my vacation time I’m taking in October. Mental cost: Incalculable. Physical cost: 9 hours because I had to remove the power steering reservoir to get the old alternator out. I still have some air in the system. Needless to say I feel very much like Mr. Joe Curr. Very unpredictable mentally. That’s been my week.

As to why Chris didn’t drive himself to his seminar; he’s 16 and only has a learners permit. He takes his test for the full license on Tuesday, the first of September. Yay! More worry and stress I suppose. I know he’ll do fine, but right now, I’m just very, very tired. And my back hurts.

So, with no further venting, I give you Werewolves of the Dead Chapter Eight.

Chapter Eight

Shannon found the room though she wished she hadn’t. By all indications all the children were dead. What bodies she found, or more aptly what parts were found, were still limp; rigor hadn’t set in. She didn’t waste time concerning herself with the what if’s of having arrived earlier. By indications if she had, she’d be dead too.

The bodies had been ripped apart as thoroughly as the three cops she’d found. Adult parts, some in SWAT black, officer blue and plain clothes, were mixed in with the children’s. Shannon didn’t want to sift through the mess. If anything she wanted to cry.

She’d never seen anything like it. Lycans could be, and were most of the time, vicious but this was worse.

A scrapping noise across the room’s dilapidated doorframe refocused her attention. She turned to see two children shuffle in. To her, they were obviously undead. They stank and were coated in gelled, bloody matter.

It was something out of movie. They shuffled to her; one was minus a jaw and the other a throat and stomach. Both looked no more than ten and their glazed eyes looked at her with an otherworldly greed. “Please,” she pleaded. “Please get back. I don’t want to kill you again.” It sounded stupid but what else could she say. At that moment she longed for the boring routine of taking orders and enduring Greg’s loose hands. “Please,” she said again. “Please don’t.” She’d never killed children, lycan or otherwise and in her heart she knew these weren’t children. But they were. They were children from some eighth, unknown layer of Hell that wanted nothing more than to get to her.

She knew that they had to have been dead. They didn’t recoil or look afraid at her appearance. It was like the fur didn’t matter. What mattered was the meat underneath and she knew it. “Stop. Just leave, okay?” She felt foolish talking to them but her closely guarded humanity forced her to ask over and over.

Still they advanced on her. She raised her pistol and took aim. Closing her eyes, a thing she knew better than to do, she fired at the first, a little girl. The back of the girl’s head disappeared. It would forever match the missing jaw thanks to Shannon.

The boy looked at the fallen girl, confused. He turned uncertain, questioning eyes to Shannon. It felt to her that he was asking her why. It was like that before he snarled at her and shuffled faster to her. Shannon felt compassion for him. It was an emotion that almost got her killed. The boy got three feet away before she fired a shot into his head. She held her eyes open that time. Mentally she cursed herself for thinking how easy it was the second time.

More shuffling came from the hallway. She listened to it, working the number of scratching footfalls and echoes in her head. It sounded like it was more than a couple.

Mentally she checked the ammo in the pistol before rushing to the door. She exited so fast that she knocked an armless SWAT officer to the ground. She paused, stupidly she knew, to gaze at him trying to right himself.

Her position was already compromised so she fired into his head. He grew still instantly. The other six advancing on her showed no hesitation in their approach. She had four rounds left and she made good use of them. The remaining two took the gunshots as a dinner bell and advanced at a quicker shuffle.

She ran to the stairs, making it half way down before three others, all police, turned the corner. “Mother fucker, mother fucker, mother fucker!” she screamed. Panic was setting in as she made a retreat back to the third floor.

Four new zombies greeted her at the top. “Mother fucking mother fucker! What the fuck is this? International House of Zombies or something!” She yelled, kicking the closest in the chest and rushing past the last three. “Our special today is werewolf on the run!” She had no idea why she said it but it felt right.

She turned left instead of going back to the right. She knew what was there so she decided on using blind luck for once. Blind luck didn’t serve her well.

She turned a corner to an exit but ran into four children feeding on a still moving lycan. The downed werewolf held out its hand to her. There was nothing she could do except end the poor beasts misery. It was a kind gesture except for the fact she was out of ammo and hadn’t reloaded.

It wasn’t like the movies; there was no click to signal an empty magazine. It was just the stiff resistance of a trigger refusing to be moved and a slide that taunted her with its empty chamber.

“Mother fucking fuck me!” She dropped the magazine and reloaded. One clattered to the floor after the other. “Fucky fuck fuckity fuck!” The f-bomb was a word she didn’t normally use but the situation merited it. She scrambled to get the magazine, cursing herself as she kicked the unloaded one across the floor. She grabbed the loaded one and took aim at the lycan. He wasn’t moving and the children were no longer paying attention to her.

She fired into its head, and then looked over her shoulder. What she saw pissed her off and made her heart leap to her throat. In the stairway and hall the zombies were closing in on her. Looking back she saw the children were paying attention to her. It was obvious that they preferred their meals to still have a pulse. “Fuck this!” she yelled, running into a room.

Shannon ran to a window then turned to the door. She would’ve given her left ovary to have a door. “Why the fuck did they remove the doors on this abandoned piece of shit?” she thought aloud. The doorway was crammed with zombies shuffling in. In a movie it would’ve been comical to see them wrestling against each other for entry. Now it was frightening. She considered fighting her way through but settled instead on a risky, if not stupid, move.

Taking a deep breath she jumped through the window. Shards of glass bit into her muzzle and hands as she jumped. She’d never attempted a jump from so high up but she was confident she could make it…mostly confident.

She rolled on the tall grass, astonished that she was uninjured aside from the glass in her face and hands. She looked around; no zombies approached. Her pursuers gazed blankly at her and two followed her out. They landed with dull, mushy thuds. One appeared to have tried landing on its feet but broke its legs instead. The second tried a roll but sounded like it had broken its hips or something equally important.

Against her fight or get the hell out better judgment she ran to them, shooting both in the head. If she were English she would have considered the night a giant cock up, but facts were it was just a plain old cluster fuck in her mind.

Shannon ran into the night, scared out of her mind at what she’d just been through. Once she’d made it back to her car she considered a career change. Maybe hunting lycans wasn’t for her any more than hunting zombies. At that moment she was finished with both.

That idea disappeared once she drove up to the police roadblock with the abandoned SWAT armored car. The inescapable conclusion that this wasn’t isolated occurred to her. She needed weapons and where better to get them than a military base. Since a military base was unavailable she settled on the police vehicles.

The sun was showing faint light, a warning that her time was coming to an end. She gave thought to what she was about to do and went ahead anyway. All she could think of was how stupid she was as she rifled through the squad cars trunks for anything useful. She got lucky and discovered two 12-gauge riot guns and plenty of ammo.

The armored car bore more fruit. Inside she found two M4’s and a HK MP5. She grabbed the weapons and hurriedly stored them in her trunk. Plenty of ammo for the M4’s was available but no 9mm for the MP5. The ammo was cheap so she kept it anyway.

She snatched radios from the armored car for some unknown reason but she knew better than to question her intuition.

She paused as she finished up her looting. Humans would’ve never heard it but she did, sirens and a lot of them. “Shit fucky fuck!” she yelled to no one, slamming the trunk closed.

Shannon was three blocks away and driving seventy in a thirty-five zone by the time the police cruisers arrived. She was thankful that she hadn’t changed back to human. Lycans didn’t leave fingerprints and she was okay with that. Even with new weapons the night was a bust and an eye opener. She wanted to cry in frustration. It was an emotion that stemmed from the dead children and that she’d never be able to tell anyone what had happened or warn anyone. What a pain in the ass the night had been.

This shit is copyrighted 2015, so ask first before printing it off to fuck with someone’s life.

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Werewolves of the Dead Chapter Seven

What’s up world! It’s been too long since I posted anything and I’m a sad sorry excuse for a person for doing that. We’ve been gearing up for the kids going back to school (Chris is a Junior this year!), our upcoming vacation to the Smokey Mountains, Sarah’s ice skating lessons, Emily’s tennis lessons, Chris’ paperwork to apply for an appointment to the US Military Academy, work, etc., etc., etc. This parenting and real life thing is a pain in the ass. But we do it out of love for the kids and we all have this damnable eating and housing habit to support.

One of these days I’m going to blog about a day in the life of us, but be ready for either sheer boredom, hilarity, horror, or all of the above. I’m kind of smiling now. Kind of.

But anyway. Here’s chapter seven of Werewolves of the Dead, which I am still working on in my free time. Out of 115 originally typed pages, I’ve re-read it to page 137 out of 154. Yep, I added an extra almost 40 pages to the manuscript thus far. Well, I hope you enjoy it!

Chapter Seven

Shannon gagged on the odor that overtook the first floor. She resisted the urge to cover her mouth and nose with her guide hand instead keeping both hands firmly gripped on the pistol.

Edging up the stairs the smell turned harsher. She’d never smelled anything like it. Logically, tactically she knew she should take the basement first but the smell was stronger from the second floor.

Arriving at the landing between the second and third floors she found scattered pistol and assault rifle cases along with various empty pistol magazines. She thought the police had to have come with all the fire that must have happened, but with the walls so thick and the building so secluded there was no chance that any would hear the fire fight that took place.

Coming into town she had noticed that the streets weren’t as deserted as they should have been. Vagrants were out in what appeared to be force, roaming the streets in groups of three or four. Occasionally she saw one or two straggling alone but paid them no mind.

She cruised past two deserted police checkpoints three and four blocks away. Each had two sets of two cars blocking an intersection, their lights flashing the darkness aside. The sight an equally abandoned SWAT vehicle at the second checkpoint had sent chills along her back and arms. The scene was surreal and bloated with portents she didn’t care for.

She thought of those intersections now as she bent down to examine the spent brass. The first she picked up was a 5.56mm casing from the M16 family. She knew it well having been shot by one several years before in a previous hunt. Having an opponent that knew her way around a weapon then was as harrowing as now. It was never fun to have someone shot back at you; especially one bent on maintaining their status quo.

Touching the 9mm casings gave her greater dread. There were more of them than the thinner, longer assault rifle shells. That could mean more targets for her.

The littered landing, with its bullet riddled graffiti proclaiming that Sheila gave good head or Bobby loved Joannie and her tits, gave way to a shell strewn second floor landing.

The dark hall did little to hide its secrets or even the dead bodies from Shannon’s night vision.

The first three bodies she came to were police officers. Only one had held unto its pistol in death. Even after the arm had been ripped from the shoulder, it held unto the emptied pistol.

The first officer had been torn apart in ways she’d never seen before. Her blood froze in her veins. Werewolves were greedy animals when hungry but the officer had been torn apart by more than three determined assailants. Bloody foot prints, most bare, were streaked around the upper body. The lower lay in two pieces three feet way. His legs had been torn apart at the groin. It looked more like a Lovecraftian version of a wishbone than a dead man’s lower parts.

The leather pistol belt sat still buckled to a portion of the waist. She was about to move away to the other bodies when something about the remaining flesh caught her attention. She couldn’t tell what it was immediately but she forced herself to look closer anyway. The condition of the body made her fearful in ways she hadn’t been in ten years.

She pulled an ink pen from the floor. There was no way she was about to touch this mess. Poking and prodding the destroyed flesh she realized why the flesh had looked odd. There was no way that human teeth could’ve done damage like she examined unless it was morbidly famished. Her mind pushed the thought aside but still she saw the unmistakable human teeth marks. A human, and at least three at that, had torn the dead cop apart and devoured him. Two of the teeth marks were small, like children’s. One set was smaller than the other.

Run, girl! Get the hell out of here! The kids are dead so call it day, her mind yelled. She forced the thought aside as she dropped the pen on the torn leg. It bounced off and made a loud, melodic tink on the floor. The sound was like a sonic boom in her ears.

Holding the 1911 out, at the ready, she scanned the dark. Nothing moved. Feeling confident that she hadn’t given her presence away she rose up and moved forward.

Stepping over the third and final body parts almost caused her to scream. She swore that the mouth moved and the eyes flittered for a moment. She looked down at the head, stared at it. The eyes didn’t move and the mouth stayed gaped. She knew it had to have been her nerves but still… it looked like they had moved.

One after another she moved swiftly to the doorways of two patient rooms, one left and one right, hands trembling slightly. Nothing jumped out at her and no bodies could be seen. Her nerves were fraught and she was sure that she wasn’t alone. She knew she wasn’t alone. She was moving to the second door on the right when something rushed her from her left, knocking her to the ground.

Her pistol skittered from her hands, sliding across the floor to the opposite wall. Shannon fought back, wrestling her way onto her back to face a drooling, snarling lycan. It wasn’t as strong as it should have been but it was enough to overpower her in her human form.

It was a male, and dressed in a blood smeared hospital gown that lunged its foaming muzzle at her throat. Its breath was hot and smelled of diseased, old death. The things that never turned off for lycans in human form were smell and hearing. The smell was unbearable as it continued making snapping attacks at her throat and face.

Shannon was quick enough to avoid the bites. She started her change. The BDUs and tank stop strained against the growing skin. The clothes popped at the seams, giving up its fight to contain her rising bulk. Her vision blurred with her transformative pain but still held the beast at bay.

Shannon gripped its wrists as it reached for her throat. Her growing strength allowed her to fight its tightening grip. She kneed it in the groin but it did nothing. No grunt, no scream of pain or anger. The attacking lycan seemed intent on doing nothing but trying to eat her. It didn’t speak and the foaming dripping from its mouth made her think rabies even though the disease was comparable to a lycan getting the sniffles.

Finally her change was completed. She expected that alone to surprise the lycan but it didn’t even register it as a curious event. Shannon now had the strength to kick it off her, sending it crashing into the wall by her pistol. The impact cracked the plaster and made the wood underneath groan but it didn’t faze her opponent.

It rushed at her in clumsy gates, snarling and grunting with each step.

Shannon stood to her fullest height and noticed the lycan’s right leg below the knee and been ripped open and turned impossibly to the rear. She lost her concentration on what to do next as she finally looked into its eyes.

It’s eyes are what caused her to hesitate. The eyes were dull and milky white. No color flashed from them and no light was absorbed by them. The lycan virus made human paraplegics walk and the blind see; it could make the dumb talk and the mentally handicapped smart. The virus could do all this but only during transformation and nothing more. She knew the male lycan was dead. It looked dead, smelled dead and could be nothing short of just dead.

It was dead and still hungry. “I don’t want to hurt you any more than I have to so just back up.” Even with the natural growl she still sounded scared.

It charged her and she used its momentum to send it into the wall behind her. The impact broke bones in its muzzle and sent teeth to the floor but still it whirled on her. Bloody foam flew from its mouth as it roared at the ceiling.

“Fuck this,” she moaned, diving for her pistol. She lunged for it, snatching it up then turned and slammed her back into the wall. The magazine was loaded with silver rounds, for which she was happy to have loaded first. It got half way to her before she squeezed the trigger four times, sending it to the floor in a sliding heap.

Shannon pushed herself away from it, never allowing the muzzle of her weapon to leave the body.

She watched in horror and fascination as it returned to human form. Once she was sure it was dead she stood. The naked human form didn’t move. It lay on the floor like a perverse store window mannequin. He’d appeared to have been in his early twenties and Shannon got the sneaking feeling that it hadn’t been a lycan for long at all.

The fur had been matted and looked like the hairs had been diseased. Everything about it told her that it had never been a normal lycan. She couldn’t understand why she felt that; she just knew.

She mustered the courage to approach the naked male when it moaned. It flopped around uselessly, groaning its disapproval at being unable to stand right off. With effort and determination it rolled its way to sitting up. Looking at Shannon it moaned with great desire and reached its arms toward her.

Her mind raced for the answer. She kept coming back to zombie but she knew that was impossible. Even after what she had said to Rose and Deidre earlier it seemed improbable that this was one of the walking dead.

It made to stand up but the twist leg felled it. It settled on clawing its way to her.

Shannon stepped back against the wall, pistol aimed at the monstrosity. “What am I supposed to do now,” She pleaded to someone not there for an answer she already knew.

Instinctively she decided to see if the movies were correct. She took careful aim at its head and fired. The gooey, drying brain scattered across the back of the hospital gown; it slumped face first into the floor dead.

No more moans, no more movement came from it. Finally it was dead.

“Fuck this, fuck this, fuck this,” Shannon groaned pitifully. “I’m a lycan killer, not a zombie killer.” She was about to run for the door when she remembered the kids. She couldn’t leave them to this, not if there was a chance they were alive.

She didn’t know what to do. For the first time in her crusade she was without an idea on how to proceed. Her sense of smell was useless because of the death stink. The only thing left was her hearing and she heard nothing.

Instead of doing a room-by-room check she walked down the middle of the hallways listening for any noise. There was no way she was going to change back to human. She was smart enough to know that the added strength and speed were needed more than ever.

Moving up the third floor stairway she was attacked yet again. A wounded, scared lycan dropped from the landing’s railing onto her. She kept her pistol in her hand this time around but made a mental note of actually attaching a lanyard to the pistols lanyard ring. Then lanyard ring went from aesthetic nicety to tactical need in the space of five minutes. The further prospect of loosing her weapon again held no appeal for her.

She was able to shrug her new attacker off, sending him rolling down the stairs to the landing below. It stopped immediately when it saw her eyes and the pistol she held. Shannon held her fire likewise once she saw his eyes.

“Don’t shoot,” he whimpered. “Please for the love of all that’s holy, don’t,” it whimpered. “You have to help me. Please, you have to help me. They’re everywhere.”

“Who’s everywhere,” Shannon said, padding down the stairs. “What happened here?”

“Zombies,” he said, holding his left side while holding the other hand out. “I’m serious, zombies. They tore through us like we weren’t even there. When the cops came we thought they were after us. It wasn’t until they started shooting behind themselves that we knew they weren’t. Normally we wouldn’t even consider banding with humans. We were just going to let them kill each other but when we saw…” it paused, gulped and looked around trying to find the words before sending paranoid glances down the stairs. “They grabbed a cop who was reloading and started eating him. I’ve eaten humans before but none of them screamed like that poor bastard. I’d never had pity on a hum before now.” He stared at the floor while lowering hand. “You’ve gotta get me out of here. I can make it worth your while.”

“Where are the kids,” demanded Shannon.

“They’re gone. I swear to you they’re gone. I tried to protect them. I swear I did but they got them. Those fucking things got them and…” he paused before continuing on in a small voice. “Before I could do the same to them.” The lycan started to cry. Not crocodile tears but a tear of revelation at what he was. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry about all I’ve done but you’ve gotta save me. Please.”

“The bodies,” Shannon said, swallowing her revulsion at the late epiphany. “Where are the kids’ bodies? I want to see them myself.”

“Up there,” he said, pointing to the third floor. Turn right, last door on the left. They’re all dead but I didn’t do it. I swear to God.”

Shannon sniffed him. She could smell no children’s blood on him. All she could smell was the stagnant stink of the zombies. “And these…zombies? Where are they? Are they still here?

“I don’t think so. They wandered off after they were finished. I hid after that. I thought you were one of them at first.”

“A zombie? Looking like this?” She waved at herself with her free hand.

“They change after they’ve eaten us and those of us that were bitten change like that too.”

“Are you hurt,” she asked, pointing at his side.

“I was shot by a cop in the fight. That’s all. Just a gunshot wound. I’ll be okay.”

Shannon had her doubts. Lycans shot while in transformation healed quickly. This lycan’s wound still oozed blood. “What’s your name?”

“Ronald.” He eased up like he was out of the woods and bonding with Shannon.

“Ronald. Okay, Ronald, have you been bitten?”

“What? No. No, no, no. I’m just shot. I promise.” The hope in his eyes faded. He knew what was coming.

“Let me see.”

“What,” Ronald said, standing. Shannon knew he was getting ready to attack. “Look, I haven’t been bitten.” Panic was giving way to defiance. Shannon knew she had to put a stop to this exchange. It was all the same for her; she was going to kill him anyway,

“Let me be the judge of that.” She kept the pistol on him while giving him one last chance to prove her wrong.

“I said I’m…”

BAM! Shannon shot Ronald in the head. The mess was fresher than the last as Ronald fell down. His body began its change back, starting with the head and working its way below.

Shannon stepped off the last step and placed two more rounds into Ronald’s heart. She’d heard the move was called failure to stop or something like that. It was a military term and she rather liked the thought of it. And after what she’d seen, she didn’t think it unwise to feel that ammo was cheap.

The slide was locked back. Shannon dropped the empty into a magazine pouch and reloaded a new one.

Sending the slide forward made her feel better, but only slightly. She still had to check on the room Ronald had told her about.

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Werewolves of the Dead Chapter Six

Hey everyone. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve meant to post something last Thursday, but…well, life keeps happening, and time waits for no one. My time has been eaten up by home renovations, work, working with my son to get his required time in to take his driving test, and work. As an aside, anyone that has gone through teaching a teenager to drive I’m certain would consider that activity cardio exercise. I do because you fight for breath as your heart races along with the car as it seems to accelerate toward a red light. This has happened a time or two, and I’ve earned every extra silver hair on my head.

Nevertheless, it’s the 239th birthday of the US and I certainly hope every American is having a good holiday.

With the backdrop of grill-outs and fireworks in my neighborhood, I’m posting chapter six of Werewolves of the Dead. Enjoy!

Chapter Six

After making it back to her car Shannon figured out that she had four hours of night left and she knew that she needed to make the most of it. Daylight very seldom brought relief in her world. Moving in the day light would leave her lycan abilities exposed and add hours of pain and despair to the children. She couldn’t leave them alone any longer just so she could plan. When she told Deakins that she’d like to wing it in the execution of her operations wasn’t her being a total smartass. She could actually do it pretty well, but this time had been a case of hurry up, time’s a-wasting.

She hurried back to the hotel, staying within the gray area that constituted being in a hurry and flat out speeding.

Shannon rushed into her room, going straight to where her secret inventory. Her belongs were well hidden and she knew exactly what her inventory consisted of. She had ten magazines filled with silver jacketed rounds in reserve and another ten in copper jacketed hollow points.

The M1911A1 was a sleek, yet heavy weapon. It had good stopping power but more importantly it had cheap, plentiful parts. When she’d decided on using a firearm she spent hours looking into 9mm, .40 caliber and even the small quieter .22 calibers. She found at the end of her search that most people enjoyed the .45 caliber power of the military style 1911.

Parts were easy to find and more important so were the magazines. She stocked up on good eight round jobs that were more costly but well worth it for their dependability. Never before that moment had she been thankful that she had twenty-five magazines at her disposal.

Hidden in a false bottom of a dresser were her precious magazines, ammo and an old World War 2 issue deep tanned leather military holster on a newer model nylon war belt. She liked the leather look, which among women and some men made her weird as far as weapon accessories went. She could live with that. She was weirder in so many more important ways.

The nylon belt was adorned with magazine pouches from the same era as the holster. Hurriedly she tossed her war gear onto the bed. She’d bought a set of black BDU trousers with a black BDU jacket years before on a whim. She’d never used it and didn’t think she ever would. Life was funny in how you did things that never made sense until months or years later. She was grateful to have them now.

She pulled on her combat boots, blousing the pants and donning the jacket over a black tank top then put on the war belt. She felt odd satisfaction in tying the holsters’ retaining lanyard around her leg.

Shannon checked her magazine pouches to make sure that all were filled. Four on her right were silver loaded while the others were regular. She did her final equipment check on the run.

Pausing at the doorframe she sniffed the air. The night was hers to do with as she further pleased. Forty minutes later she was parking out of sight of the main road to the abandoned insane asylum.

The night was stiller than she cared for. Nothing moved. No insects, animals or even air currents dared to brush her face or fill her ears. It was the stillness of that much-overused adjective…tomb.

The closer she moved to the building the more gothic it looked. She liked it. The building pleased her aesthetically. The smell that met her nose however, did not. It was the smell of fear, battle and long dead things.

Her heart pounded as she approached. Had she been too late? Deakins had acted like the children were still alive yet the smell said otherwise. It didn’t take a werewolf to smell the rot of flesh and tang of fear or the bitterness of new death. A human could have smelled it if they ventured close enough. But none would dare.

The hospital was almost one and a half miles off a main road and sat on eight hundred acres. No one wanted to buy it and none wanted to renovate it. What it was and how it looked was enough to keep all but the stupid or evil away.

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Werewolves of the Dead Chapter Five… and I’m tired, Mommy.


I am so tired that I can’t even come up with a witty descriptive phrase. It’s been a busy past month or maybe six weeks. Time seems to have very little meaning these days. The girls have been doing extracurricular activities like pottery classes, tennis classes, ice skating classes on top of school work and being taken back and forth to TCAP tests, awards ceremonies and just the everyday things that girls between the ages of 8 and 12 do. It’s my fault; I wanted a daughter and I ended up with two.

And don’t get me started on Christopher. In the last three weeks of May alone he’s been a participant in numerous concerts for his high school concert band (he plays trumpet), numerous award ceremonies to acknowledge his academic achievements, and up until Memorial Day weekend, numerous Young Marines ceremonies and functions. It’s a mixed blessing that he’s no longer a Young Marine. He resigned in the last week of May due to moral differences between him/us and his new commanding officer. His morals were good to go; the CO and young adult leaders’ morals were found to be severely lacking. He resigned and we supported him in it. It was a good three years and he got what he needed.

So yeah, we’ve had a very busy month, and I’m terrible in the regards of keeping you faithful reader in the loop. I’m sorry about that.

To make up for that lack of communication on my part I’m posting a draft of the next chapter of Werewolves of the Dead. I’m still working on that book, and I think it’s coming along pretty well. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it so far.

Chapter Five

Two nights later Shannon was readying for her next and last hunt in that state. The television was on and a local news station was droning on about a drive-by shooting. The shooting made for a nice change from flu reporting. It wasn’t until a report about another violent kidnapping that Shannon sat down on the bed to watch.

The Kizenski family had been paid a visit the night before, and the youngest, six year old Rebekah Kizenski, had been snatched from her bedroom. The family dog, a Siberian husky named Puddles, had been torn to shreds and dumped on the front lawn as a form of taunt. Shannon knew in her heart that the dog was killed out of malice more than to keep the family from being warned of the killer’s presence. More than half of the lycan community hated canines. Shannon wasn’t one of those. She loved dogs, and they loved her. Well, most of the time they did.

Shannon gripped her blue jeaned knees hard enough for her nails to cut through the fabric. The killer was abducting children with an audacity that made even the most protective of parents edgy. The fact that the kidnappings happened during the day as well as at night, along with the frequency meant something to Shannon. Faulder, a small community outside Tucson, had fourteen children abducted. Twelve of the fourteen had been snatched from bedrooms, yards and playgrounds in as many days. The age range was grisly; all the children were between the ages of six and ten.

Tucson PD, the local police department and even the FBI were working as best as they could to catch the child killer. Of the fourteen, three had been found dead, violated and heavily mutilated. Each of the three was missing their jawbones. Shannon had visited the first crime scene and the lycan scent was overwhelming. The next four scenes confirmed what she already knew.

She located her prey nine days ago. His scent had led to a brokerage firm in downtown Tucson. His name was Randall Deakins, aged thirty-four but probably much older. He was a nice looking, well kept white male who probably fancied himself a lady’s man but loved children the most. He drove a BMW 300i that still held California plates with renewal tags from two months earlier. The license plate told her that he was a new arrival to the state, hence the forceful string of surprise kidnappings and killings.

He lived on the opposite side of Tucson and was smart enough to do his hunting away from home, but arrogant enough to not worry about leaving his scent trail. This one urinated on some part of the abduction site. Somewhere the police wouldn’t look. She was sure there were lycan law enforcement; lycans like her. The trick was getting human bosses to listen and presenting the evidence the right way. Those were the lycans she avoided. They were true goodie-two-shoes that would jail her for murder…or worse.

Her prey did his urination for no other reason than to say I did this. I did this; you can’t touch me, so piss off. Shannon hated puns.

Unfortunately for her prey he was predictable. He kept to a schedule. Every Thursday and Friday it was a trip to a strip club where he’d pick up a prostitute either coming or going. Those women always disappeared.  Which is another way of saying dead and devoured. Saturdays he feasted on the remains and on Sunday he had the occasional hunt. The other days he did his work.

Shannon watched him leave this Thursday night. She’d always put a lot of thought into each hunt and this one was no different. The down side to this current one was the makeup, streetwalker dress and human female pheromones she’d had to douse herself with. Her hunting attire was always bought a thrift stores and she made it a point to never wash them or reuse them. She needed the scent of the previous owners to mask her own and more often than not it worked.

She drove to the area he perused hookers. Parked her non-descript Chevy Nova and waited for him. She knew his type and unfortunately, blond wasn’t it. She dyed her hair a temporary red in the hopes that he’d pick her. If he didn’t, then she’d have to follow and put the target female under wraps first. Involving a third party was always risky… and sometimes messy.

Deakins arrived on time and slowly drove around the seedy part of Tucson looking the girls over. Showing skin had always been beneath Shannon, but for this she swallowed her pride and showed more than her usual amount of cleavage to Deakins. Her strap bag banged heavily against her right hip. The 1911 and two spare magazines gave it more weight than she would have liked.

Deakins made three revolutions before stopping a hundred feet from Shannon to talk to another prostitute. Her heart beat fast in anticipation and anger but she calmed as he pulled away from the other one to stop in front of her.

“Hey. How’s hanging,” he asked, leaning into the passenger seat. The smell of rage and death ebbed and flowed from his mouth. Shannon was sure she would gag but she kept it together. Deakins was a man who was filled with hate that boiled out of every millimeter of his skin.

“You tell me, baby. How is it hanging?” She knew how hookers talked, and she truly hated having the phrases spill from her mouth.

“It’s lonely for sure. How’d you like to make a little extra coin?”

“Doin’ what? Surely you’re not looking for day labor? Or maybe a cop, looking to pick up an illegal or two.” She hoped she was pulling this off well enough. She normally met guys like this in clubs and bars, never on the street.

Deakins laughed. It might’ve been a laugh touched with wry kindness but she knew better. “Nah, looking for night labor actually, and what we’re doing ain’t illegal in any sense. It’s all free market. Supply and demand.” He gave her a wink that curdled her intestines and stoked her anger. “How much for all three?”

“Don’t do backdoor, baby. But a hundred for the other two.” She considered letting him pull it out only to break it off. She’d probably scrub her hand red afterwards though.

“Not even for an extra five hundred? I can be very generous.” He said leering at her. She wanted to pull out her 1911 and pop him on the spot. She couldn’t though. The regular girls had eyed her with caution and swung wide of her position. For them it was a certainty she was a cop.

She stood still for a moment giving Deakins the impression she was considering it. Finally she agreed and got into his BMW.

They drove around aimlessly while Deakins talked about how rough he’d like to be with her. Shannon blanched mentally at his words and hoped to God that normal males didn’t think like he did.

Finally they pulled into a series of six dilapidated shacks ten miles outside of town. Two had been burned down years before and the smell of charred wood, blood and carnal feasting hung around the air. She knew the area. She knew almost every inch of her territory. What Deakins didn’t know was that Shannon had two primary escape routes planned out and two secondary routes in case those failed.

“All right, let’s get to work.” Deakins said pulling off his suit jacket. Shannon was thankful that he wasn’t being clichéd by going for his pants. “You may want to run now. Oh, and be sure to scream as loud as you can. No one’ll hear you and if they do… well, you’re just another whore in distress.”

Internally Shannon laughed. Externally she played along. “Look. You don’t want to do anything stupid. I’m known there. My pimp’ll fuck you up.”

“Sure you are, sweetie.” Deakins said wrestling himself out of his polo shirt next. He was confident that Shannon was stalling for time. He never bothered to notice that her fear scent was almost nonexistent. “You’re new there and not a cop. Economy’s tough. I get that.” He folded his shirt, placing it on top of the jacket that lay in the back seat. “You probably thought all you’d have to do it choke down some dick and act like you enjoy dirty old men fucking you. I can appreciate that too. Trouble is,” he said pulling off his shoes, “I’m not interested in sex. Yeah, I’m going to eat you but not in that way.”

Deakins angled his upper half toward Shannon. She leaned back, watching him grip the wheel with his left hand. He had begun his change and wanted her to know it. He bent forward, grunting with the pain of the newly growing flesh and muscle. “Better… run…honey. This is going… to hurt you more…than me.”             Should’ve gone into acting instead of this shit, she thought as she feigned panic in looking for the door handle. She threw the door open, taking a moment to fall onto the ground. She needed him to be overconfident in feeling that he’d made her afraid.

A hill stood one hundred yards away from the passenger side of the car. She ran away, letting her high heels fall away from her feet. She wanted them to be found easily afterwards. She liked those shoes enough to wear in her real off hours.

Topping the small hill she heard Deakins painful howl. He was close to beginning his chase. She took cover before removing her own dress. She peered through the weeds and watched him steep from the vehicle. He was at his full seven-foot tall height. He gripped the car’s roof and thrust forward as the change’s pain subsided.

Calmly she pulled out the 1911, pulling the slide back with ease. Aside from her bikini underwear and lacy bra she was naked. She tucked the two spare magazines into her bra cups and began flanking Deakins as he sniffed the night air, looking for her. He got her inside of his scent cone and followed her trail.

“There’s something different about you, baby,” he called in his guttural voice. “Whatever it is, it won’t be enough. I’ve killed dozens like you and more than that not like you. I’m getting the feeling that you’re not gonna beg. That’s fine, I hate it when you all beg.”

He made his way up the hill, sweeping brush aside with his massive hands. He paused, looking around before pulling Shannon’s dress from the brush. “What the fuck is this?” He looked at it curiously before casting it down. “Do you really think this delaying tactic will save you?” He tossed it aside before moving along, following in Shannon’s wake.

Shannon allowed her own transformation to come. Slowly to protect her feet and knees from the rocky, glass strewn landscape. She held the pistol to her side as she watched him stop to scan for any movement.

Something ran off through the brush; Deakins leaped off, giving chase. Shannon was thankful for the distraction and gave a brief thanks to the animal that gave her time to get into position.

She ran to one of the buildings, her legs burning with the change, her chest crying out to finish what she had willed to start.

With ease Shannon leapt through a glassless window. She positioned herself near a window with some glass still intact because it gave her a reflection to track by. Nothing moved outside. That caused her concern. She raised her head to look out when the ceiling exploded above her.

Deakins landed on the harsh wooden floor, dust and debris drifted around him. “There you are. You’re proving to be more fun…”

BAM, BAM! Shannon whirled around, firing before Deakins could finish his taunt. Being a lycan gave her an edge on even the most accomplished professional shooters. Both silver jacketed .45 caliber rounds slammed into Deakins kneecaps. He cried out in pain and surprise as he slumped to the ground.

“You got a gun!” he bellowed. “You got a mother fucking gun?” When did fucking whores start carrying hand cannons?”

She didn’t know how to take his words. It was a serious question from him and a plea to God to explain how things could go so bad for him.

Deakins tried to stand but fell back down. He looked at his legs. Through the blood and ruined bone, human skin started to appear around the wounds. In places around the bullet holes, the transformation back to human was more than apparent. Rage pushed him to drag himself across the floor toward her. “Tear your fucking heart out, bitch!”

Shannon watched, almost in a detached way as she raised her gun hand and fired into Deakins’ left shoulder. He slumped back to floor, howling louder than before at the pain from the newly destroyed limb.

“Hurts, right?” she said, up righting a table and placing her pistol on it. “Now, you and I are going to talk about some things.” She doubled over and threw herself back as she rushed the change. Deakins was down but could still be a threat.

He tried to pull himself over with his lone good arm but couldn’t manage anything more than a dreadfully slow, bloody crawl. When he looked up he saw Shannon in all her lycanthropic glory. “Now tell me what I want and I won’t tear your fucking heart out, bitch.”

“Clever… aren’t you? Turning my…words…against me.” He was in pain and Shannon loved it. He spat a bloody silver tinged wad on her foot. She growled deep at his fiery defiance. The silver in the blood meant that she’d hit a vein. The silver was coursing through his system faster than she wanted. Shannon knew she’d have to work faster than she thought.

“Well,” she said, kicking him onto his back. Shannon bent down. “I am clever. I got you here didn’t I? Have to admit that I do wing it a lot though. Now, where are the children? I smell them on you. I know you’re wanting to make sure those little lambs get back to their parents.” She picked up her pistol, ejecting an unfired round then poked it into his wounded in his left leg halfway down the silver casing. The blood around the wound boiled at the newly introduced silver. His body was trying to reform itself but was loosing the battle against the precious metal.

Deakins made to howl in pain but Shannon gripped his muzzle closed. The force she held on it was more powerful than her grip on the pistol. He growled, tears flowing from his eyes. “Well,” she said, sounding more patient than she was. “Where are they? Now don’t act defiant or brave or that you don’t deserve this. You do. At the risk of sounding obvious, you are a murdering asshole after all.”

“Fuck you!” he cried through her furry fingers.

“Wrong,” she said, driving the mainspring housing’s lanyard onto the round. The force set the round off. It exploded under her fingers, singing her fur while exploding Deakins’ leg wound further. The smell of her singed fur and skin aroused her blood lust. Sadism was her dirty little secret when dealing with lycans like Deakins.

More tears poured from Deakin’s eyes. The silver poisoning was creeping to his face. Little strains of human skin appeared and flashed away in little more than the blink of an eye. She knew it was only a matter of time before the poisoning met his brain, making interrogation useless. “I know about your brother. Don’t think that by not telling me that I won’t do the same to him.” It was a bluff and she knew it. Deakins did have a brother and by all accounts he loved him.

The younger Deakins was lycan but harmless. He preferred a life of literature and solitude to eating humans and their offspring. At the end of the day, Shannon would leave the junior Deakins alone. She hoped the elder wouldn’t feel that way.

“You bitch! You…” he grunted, trying to get past his pain… “wouldn’t!”

“Tell me where the kids are and I won’t. You lie and I’ll kill him. I don’t care how gentle he is. He’ll be just as dead because of you.”

Deakins considered her proposal for a few seconds before telling her that he kept them at an abandoned mental hospital outside of the city. “You’ll… have a fucking bitch…” he moaned, his body spasmed as the silver worked faster to his brain. His chest shown great patches of tanned skin. The silver was at his heart. It was a matter of time before the real pain began. “You’ll have… a bitch of a time… getting to them though. I’m not alone.”

In all her surveillance she’d never seen him meet with anyone. If it was bluff she wasn’t going to take it lightly. “How many?” She ejected another round, placed it into his shoulder and held the pistol over her head as a hammer again.

“TWO! ONLY TWO! WE’RE SAVING THEM! THEY”RE NOT DEAD YET! I SWEAR!” His eyes told her that he was telling the truth. Their human appearance was returning and fear of more torture filled them. “”Please no more, I beg you, please don’t hurt me any more.”

“Wonder how many times you heard that.” Shannon stood up, dropping the magazine and replacing the unspent round. She looked around until she found what she was looking for, a broken, rusted bit of metal pole. “Can’t say that this will hurt me more than you but it’ll make me feel a damn site better.”

Shannon raised the pole over her head. She drove into his chest, missing his heart. Wrenching it back and forth, forcing Deakins’ chest cavity open. The blood roiled out of his chest, the silver more than easy to see. He gripped the pole in a weak attempt to stop her but it was for naught.

Once the chest was exposed she saw the still beating heart. It beat erratically but still it beat. She forced the pole into the floor, nailing Deakins in place so she could retrieve gas from the car’s gas tank. “Now don’t go away. You’ll love this.”

Silver tinged blood flew from Deakins’ mouth as he tried to speak. He coughed before getting the words out. “Please, don’t. Please…I won’t hurt…humans again. Please. Why are… you… even doing this?” His poisoned life fluids sprayed from his mouth with effort. Shannon had done this for so long that she couldn’t even feel pleasure at the kill any longer.

“You know why,” she said, leaving for the car.

Shannon looked into the glove box and was surprised to see a small roll of hundred dollar bills. Sometimes hunting could be profitable. She could make use of the cash he had in his wallet also. The credit cards meant nothing to her but the Zippo lighter he carried did. Checking his jacket pockets she found the cigarettes that went with the lighter. She always marveled at why lycans smoked and drank. Neither addictive substance took with werewolves yet somehow a few insisted on making the habits theirs. She tucked the cigarettes into her bra strap. She didn’t want to leave Deakins without a final comfort.

She moved on to the trunk. There was nothing there for her to salvage. The hard work was finding pans to catch the gasoline from the tank. Once she did find three old cooking pots, she tore through the plastic wall of the gas tank.  Making sure not to loose the precious combustible fluid was hard.

Deakins had been nice enough to have three quarters of a tank for her to use. She poured half all over the cars interior. The other half was meant for Deakins himself.

She set Deakins’ suit jacket aflame, touching off the gas. She paid no attention to the flames as she calmly walked into the shack.

Deakins was barely breathing. He’d pulled the pole inches from his chest before collapsing from the exertion.  He’d past out from the work. It displeased her only slightly that he was unconscious.

“Hey. Wake up”, she said kicking his human right foot. The left was still lycan but showed evidence of turning. “Come one, wake up. You’re going to miss all the fun.” She poured gas on his face, waking him up but only just.

He screamed an all too human scream as she dumped more into his open chest. “Hey. Hey, you. Got a match?” she said bending down to him. Deakins said nothing as he stared blankly at her. “No? Well what good are you then. Fucking smoke and don’t have a match. Luckily you do have a lighter. A nice one too. What is this? Silver? Now that’s pretty messed up. You keep a silver lighter and you’re a werewolf.”

She stuck a cigarette between his weakened lips then tossed the unused pack unto the opened chest. She took great care to cover his entire body with the remaining gas. “Let me light that for you.” She bent down one last time, lighting his cigarette. It dropped onto his throat and rolled off, failing to set off the gas. The gas hadn’t been sitting long enough to leave combustible fumes. “Oh look. You dropped your smoke. Here let me help you.”

She dropped the still burning lighter into the chest wound. Shannon never tired of hearing the whoosh that came from touching gasoline off. She enjoyed it and realized that she enjoyed the taunting she gave in the murderous lycan’s last moments also. The joy hadn’t totally left her heart as much as she’d thought.

With his last remaining strength, Deakins thrashed against the pole and the flames. His breath grew in renewed strength as he yelled at the flames.

Shannon let him burn for two minutes before putting a final silver jacketed round into his head. Deakins’ screams and movements ceased abruptly.

Watching the flames, she allowed herself to return to human form. Her mind whirled as the rest of the shack began to burn. Even as she dressed herself she planned feverishly quickly at how to infiltrate and save the missing children.

She knew the hospital but she’d never visited it. It had been built in the mid nineteenth century for the clinically insane and like all of its time it dealt in almost medieval solutions to the problems of human insanity. Like most from that time it had a dark past even though when it was operating ‘dark’ was normal SOP.

She needed to return to her room and dress appropriately. She didn’t want the kids, if they were alive, to ID their savior as a warrior prostitute. Dress for the occasion meant something to her.

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Happy Easter, my living delicious peeps!

Well, it’s Easter and 9:09 AM CST as I write this. It’ s been too damned long since I posted anything so I thought I would do this update while everyone is still asleep and peace reigns in my home.

Recently I received a Facebook message from a fan asking what I was up to these days. My answer was simple: I’m working and writing. I’m writing whenever I can, which is usually on my lunch break, or when my son is at drill. What am I working on? Dog World Gone to Hell Part 2? Nope. Memoirs of the Walking Dead: Tail of an Undead Pussy…Cat? Nope, but I do want to return to this one with a vengeance. Then what the fucking hell am I working on? Werewolves of the Dead.

I’ve been proofreading what I’ve written so far, and I’ve gone from 102 completed pages to 136. I’ve started at the beginning of this once abandoned story, and I must say I love what I’m seeing. Why did I give up on this if it’s so good? Hell if I know, but it’s back.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. I haven’t given up writing. I’m just busy being dad, husband, bread-winner, and author.

Now, to commemorate this Easter holiday, I bring some undead laughter starring the original miracle man, Jesus Christ. Happy Easter!

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You gotta love this time of year

I do love this time of year. For me it’s the one time of the year where things make sense. Or maybe it’s just the cold freezing my synapsis, making me slower.

Whatever it is about Christmas time, or the time from Thanksgiving to the New Year, I love it. It’s hustle bustle everywhere and I’m one of the people in that throng moving about from point A to point Z. There’s a lot of places I need to be so A and B doesn’t cut it.

I love Christmas. This Christmas is a little lean, but we’ve done all right. The majority of what we have left in savings has gone to the kids, and with me selling a few items on eBay I’ve been able to get a little extra for me and Tab to spend on each other. Instead of focusing on the negative that we all experience, I’m finding it easier to focus on what we have, and not what we don’t have. I digress.

Between looking for a job, writing about a serial killer in A Ways to Go, proofing/writing Werewolves of the Dead, and Christmas shopping, I’m finding the time to do flash fiction. I have to admit, I enjoy flash fiction. It really does keep you sharp.

This post is mostly rambling so if you made it this far, congratulations and thank you! Here’s my latest flash fiction. I hope you enjoy it.

It was impossible to resist her. She was beautiful like that classic film star, Veronica Lake. In reality she looked more like Velma Dinkley except with straight, flowing platinum blonde hair.

We’d met on the bus going to work, and a “friendship” flourished. I wanted to sleep with her more than be her friend. I still can’t explain why I wanted her so badly, but I know why she wanted me.

On our fifth date she cooked dinner for us at her place. The meal was excruciatingly unappetizing. The meatloaf was bland, the baked potato dry, and the carrots limp. I can’t say the same about me. I was ready for “love”.

“I want to show you something,” she said once the dishes were cleared.

I assumed it was the bedroom and I willingly followed.

I had entered the den of a lioness that enjoyed keeping trophies. Men’s heads hung from the walls with brass nameplates identifying who they were.

All I could get from my mouth was a squeak before collapsing.

She closed the door before kneeling beside me.

“Every five weeks I need to feed,” she said, flipping me unto my back.

She stripped naked and straddled me. She rubbed her naked crotch rub against my clothed erection as she sucked my life force away. I felt my essence flowing from my eyes and into hers. It was sensual rather than painful. I was scared out of my mind, but it was impossible to resist her.

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She just sat and watched…

Sometimes, the good man you see is not the whole picture.

Sometimes, the good man is not the whole picture

Usually she laughs at me, but mostly she just sits and watches. That sums up my relationship with my wife, Tabitha. Don’t misunderstand; she’s a superb wife and excellent mother. It’s me. I’m hilarious as hell. Or so she says. This opening has significant bearing on this post. Tabitha was a bit of a muse for this one.

Lately I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Werewolves of the Dead and a novel tentatively titled A Ways to Go. It’s a serial killer type of book with a lot of my past mixed in. “Write what you know,” is what I’ve been told and I know about emotional and physical childhood abuse. It’s about time I made that pay. And that brings me to this weeks #ThursThreads hosted by the delightfully naughty, Siobhan Muir. Every Thursday she hosts a flash fiction contest that limits authors to 250 words maximum. More often than not I never get the chance to participate, but when I do I love it. This week’s prompt has allowed me to delve into that deviant homicidal side I’ve suspect that I might have.

Here’s is my entry for this week. I’ve titled it She Just Sat and Watched

For years she’d been my conscience, guiding me between right from wrong. Normally I followed her suggestions. That is until that jackass cut us off while leaving McDonalds.

I honked angrily as he pulled away, and thought that was that. But then I noticed him behind us a mile later.

He followed us for several blocks, flashing his high beams, and riding our tail.

“I’ve had enough of his shit,” I muttered.

“Baby, don’t,” she said plaintively, remembering the last time I’d lost my temper. It hadn’t ended well for anybody, especially me.

“I’m not about to break my sixteen year no fighting record.”

She knew I was lying.

We stopped behind an abandoned movie theater.

I rolled down my window, and pepper sprayed him the moment he arrived.

Calmly I got out of the car with my hatchet as he stumbled around, screaming obscenities.

“Baby, please,” she said again.

“I’m okay. Don’t worry,” I said, bringing the hammer end down behind his left ear.

The rude jackass awoke in our basement, strapped to a gurney board, screaming through the gag. His expression spoke of all manners of bad that awaited me if I released him.

I hit the juice for the electrodes attached to his ears, informing him of his perilous position.

“Time to get under way,” I said, brandishing my KaBar knife. I knew I’d feel really guilty later because of her, my conscience. But for the time being she just sat there and watched.

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It’s close enough to that time of the week

I spend so much of my time writing about werewolves and zombies that I don’t focus on other things that I’ve written. I’ve done some pretty good stuff that isn’t lycan or undead oriented that really doesn’t see the light of day. This blog post will showcase one such piece.

A couple of years ago I submitted a short story for inclusion in an anthology that I knew wasn’t quite perfect for the theme. Let’s call this editor Stacy. Stacy is a good name because it calls to mind Stacy Keach, and one of my favorite movies of his was Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the USS Indianapolis. This movie mention factors into the featured short story.

Now, I submitted this particular story mostly to get that inspiration and to receive feedback from an editor I respected and who was always honest with me. The editor liked it, of course said it didn’t fit, but it did however give them an idea for the next anthology. “Hold onto this one. I liked it and it has a nice Twilight Zone feel to it,” I was told. I’m glad it gave him that feeling because Rod Serling was a motivating factor behind it.

Well, I did keep it, as I keep everything I write, and it got lost in the shuffle of life. The short story is called The Dive, and it involves the ill-fated mission of the USS Indianapolis, and a Navy deep sea diver’s unintentional arrival to this ship. I won’t go into the history of the Indianapolis because it’s in the story, but it’s always resonated with me thanks to the Stacey Keach film. And it doesn’t hurt that I’ve been a Twilight Zone fan since Eye of the Beholder sent me running and screaming from the living room as a seven year old. It took me forever to look people in the face again.

Now that you’ve gotten the backstory on the inspiration, submitted for your approval is my short story, The Dive.

USS Indianapolis (CA-35) at Mare Island Navy Shipyard.

USS Indianapolis (CA-35) at Mare Island Navy Shipyard.

Tony Barlow hummed as he finished examining a sunken ocean tug for holes in its hull. The tug had once been the USS Arapaho and had sunk six months earlier in rough seas. Tony was thankful that all hands had made it off as he’d previously encountered dead trapped within a sunken vessel and each time he’d lost control of bodily fluids.


This time it was only him and the occasional fish swimming in for a peek. He had just finished his inspection when his radio buzzed.


“Green diver, topside. Do you-” Static filled the Mark V diving suit’s helmet.


“Say again, topside. Did not copy last message.” Tony collected began making his way to the tug’s foredeck.


“Tony-” was followed by more static. “- much longer? Contact with – spotty –. Better return – the comms show –. ” The voice belonged to his best friend and business partner Andrew Tillmore aboard their salvage vessel, Atlantic Queen. The slender Midwesterner and former Marine was the calmest person Tony had ever known, but his voice expressed uncharacteristic worry.


“Say again all after Tony.” The received response was more static. Tony wanted to smack the side of the helmet to clear the interference, but he knew it wouldn’t work. The tether checked out before they commenced operations and there was no reason why there should have been static. Still, Andrew had never sounded worried like that before.


The 200 pound suit was unwieldy on land and only marginally better underwater. At 742 feet below the surface, Tony was in no position to run a race. The urgency in Andrew’s voice forced him to push faster. It was after arriving at the diving platform that his diver’s intuition buzzed incessantly. His hackles urged him to surface and he wasted no time signaling that he was ready to ascend.


“Topside, green diver. Bring me up, over.”


Nothing happened.


“Topside, green diver. I say again, bring me up, over.”




“Damn radio’s on the fritz,” muttered Tony. The water had a chill to it, but only because of the fear creeping into his heart. “Topside? Topside, do you read me? Andy? Are you going to retrieve me or –”


The platform jerked and ascension began. He looked at the Arapaho and instinctively went to rub his eyes. His right fist banged against the brass cage of his forward view port and he blinked not understanding what he witnessed.


“Topside! Andy, do you read, over? The Arapaho… It’s moving.” Moving was the closest word he could find to describe the shimmering, wobbling vessel. “Andy, I think there’s a tsunami happening.”


Tony held onto the rails of the platform, bracing for the wave. His experience told him that it wasn’t a tsunami at all, but his mind pushed for that outcome.


“C’mon, come on.” He fought to control his breathing as he sang the US Navy Anthem. “Anchors aweigh, my boys. Anchors aweigh.” He sang loud and clear, hoping that Andy would hear him.


He kept his eyes on the Arapaho as he rose, disbelieving the expansion of water around the ship and then the seeming implosion into nothingness.


“Andy! It’s gone. The Arapaho is gone.” Tony couldn’t help screaming. He’d seen some disturbing things on the sea floor, but never had he seen a vessel disappear.


He watched the shock wave horrified that the bubble was expanding and coming towards him. “I’m bracing for impact!” He didn’t think anyone was listening. Andy appeared to be offline and he was pretty sure God had forgotten about him and his predicament.


The wave grew and overtook him. It rocked the platform enough to shake him off and he found his helmet had somehow filled with water.


He swung his arms out, kicked his feet, and discovered he was near the surface. He never once questioned how he’d been able to swim even after his face broke through the waves. Breathing was his only goal then.


Tony dragged in a deep breath. He blinked sea water out of his eyes and discovered that he wasn’t alone. Men surrounded him and most splashed each other while a nearby few stared at him with dismay.


“Shit, Polaski. What the hell were you trying to do?” laughed a swimmer close by.


“What…?” sputtered Tony. “Who are…? Polaski?”


“Dumb Polack. You forget your name jumping in or something?” The man swam closer to Tony and looked into his eyes. “You don’t seem like you hit your head. I don’t see how you could’ve. That was a near perfect dive.”


“Who are you? My name’s Tony Barlow.” He looked at the man with incomprehension. He backstroked away, realizing that his diving suit was gone. “Where’s my suit? Who the hell are you people?”


“You must’ve hurt yourself, Dillon. Let’s get back to the ship and get the Doc to look at you.”


The man swam toward him. Tony flipped over, intent on swimming anywhere away from the man and the others. He lost his breath again once he saw the US Navy cruiser at anchor.


He looked around and found the Atlantic Queen was gone. The man that had spoken to Tony was joined by two other men. Each gave quizzical stares to Tony’s confused expression.


“Where’s the Queen? Where’s my boat?” Tony spun in the water, looking around. The three exchanged dismayed looks before looking back to him.


“What are you talking about, Dillon? There ain’t no other boat out here besides us,” said one of the new arrivals. “Buddy, you know it takes more than nutty sunshine talk to get out of the Navy.”


“I’ve been out of the Navy for years. What in hell’s going on here?”


“Get him back to the Indianapolis, Bobby. He’s acting squirrelly,” added the third.


“Come on, Polaski. You’ve gotta get to sickbay.” The first, the one named Bobby, rested his hand on Tony’s shoulder.


Tony shrugged it off, looking bitterly at Bobby.


“Get your hands off me. I don’t know how I came to be here or who any of you are, but I’m not getting on that ship.”

An arm grabbed Tony around the neck. He successfully struggled at first, but was soon dragged near the ship’s side.


“Lower a rescue line,” yelled the second sailor. “We’ve got an injured man!”


A line was lowered and wrapped across Tony’s arms. Slowly he was raised to the cruiser’s deck. He looked around, unbelieving of the history, as horrible as it was, that he stood on. The ship’s name dawned on him. “Indianapolis,” he muttered.


“How many fingers am I holding up, sailor,” asked one of the men on deck.


“Four.” Tony slapped the hand away.


An officer shined a light in his eyes. “What’s your name?”


“Tony Barlow.”

The doctor looked to Bobby. “His name’s Dillon Polaski, sir. Gunner’s Mate Third Class Dillon Polaski.”


“Get him to sickbay,” ordered the doctor.


“Where are we,” bellowed Tony. “What day is it?” The question struck him as ludicrous. He didn’t understand why he asked. He only felt that it was needed.


Two Marines standing near a railing laughed. “This joker’s looking for a psychological discharge,” quipped one.


Tony glared at them. “You’re the ones that are crazy. The Indianapolis sank in July of 1945 after carrying A-bomb parts to Tinian Island. This ship doesn’t exist any more!”


The Marines stopped laughing. One of them took a drag off his cigarette while studying Tony closely. Sailors milling around on deck looked at him with a mix of wary and frightened stares.


“Get him to sickbay…now,” ordered the doctor in a sterner tone. Bobby made to help Tony up, but Tony resisted. The Marines, accompanied by the sailors that had been in the water with Tony, rushed forward to help.


Tony fought back harder, kicking a sailor in the groin. The smoking Marine hadn’t been in the mood for trouble. Two quick punches from him rendered Tony unconscious.


He awoke in a small room, strapped to a bed. He gazed at the closed door. “Hey, is there anyone there?”


A Marine, the smoker from earlier, peered inside. He held an M1 Garand rifle at port arms, and his expression was stern.


The Marine glanced around the doorframe. “He’s awake. Have the doc call the Skipper.”


The Marine then stepped into the room. “Look, mac. Time’s short, so talk fast. What’s an A-bomb?”


“What?” Tony was incredulous. “Are you stupid or something? Everyone knows what an A-bomb is.”


“Treat me like I’m a child. What is it?” The Marine glanced into the passageway.


Tony sighed indignantly. “It’s a bomb with enough power to level a major city. You’ve been given the parts to one and you’re going to be delivering them to Tinian Island. From there it’ll be dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. It’ll be the first of two and they’ll end the war, but start a new arms race that could evolve into something that’ll make World War Two look like a border skirmish.” Tony looked at the Marine’s rank. “Sergeant, it’s some serious shit.”


“Right,” answered the dubious Sergeant. “Serious. Look. We haven’t picked up anything from anywhere… yet. In fact, we just finished the test run on our new equipment and we’re headed back to Mare Island now. Something is going on, but no one knows anything. This is stuff you should already be privy to. Right now though, the best thing for you to do is keep your gob shut.”


“The cat’s out of the bag, Sergeant,” said a handsome officer, entering the room. “Do you know who I am, son?”


Tony looked closely at the officer. “You’re Captain Charles McVay the Third, skipper of the USS Indianapolis.”


McVay took off his hat and sat next to Tony. “That’s right. Do you know where you are?”


“Aboard CA35, the USS Indianapolis.”


“Two for two. What’s today?”


“Tuesday, the fourteenth.”

“Really? What month and year?”


“July, 1967.”


“You were doing so well. It is July Fourteenth, but its 1945. You’re off by 22 years, sailor.” McVay studied him for a moment before speaking again. “You say we’ve already accepted components to something you call an A-bomb? We haven’t picked up anything so far but I have to ask…where will this pick up occur?”


Tony’s mouth felt dry. He had no idea what to say even though he knew the history of the Indianapolis. Every self-respecting Navy man did. “This is a dream. I’ve been knocked out by that wave, and I’m having a fever dream or something.”


“Where will the pick up occur, sailor?” McVay’s voice held a tone that patience was fading fast.


“Hunter’s Point Navy Shipyard, San Francisco.”


McVay’s face remained placid. “Everyone knows that. Tell me something I don’t know.”


“That’s the kicker, sir.” Tony chuckled maniacally. “You don’t know what you’re picking up. There’ll be a load of scientists, generals, and Marines, hell, everyone but the President will be on deck to oversee the loading of the equipment. You’ll get it, along with a bunch of Marines you won’t know anything about. You’ll deliver some Uranium 235 to Tinian Island on 26July1945 and four days later, at 0015, you’ll be sunk by a Japanese sub, the I-58.”


McVay considered Tony’s words. He wanted to brush the young man off as merely a raving delusional, but he couldn’t. “What will the loss of life be?”


“Out of 1,196 men, 900 or so will make it off. They, and you, will spend over four days in the water, but only 317 will be rescued. The biggest loss will be to exposure, injuries, madness, and sharks. You’ll be court-martialed, Captain, and vilified for not zigzagging, even though survivors will state that it wouldn’t have mattered.”


“Is that a fact?” McVay rose from his seat and walked to the door. He paused. “I’d like to say you’re crazy, but you’re too damned convincing. I’ll check into your story.”


The door silently closed. For long moments Tony lay still, contemplating what he’d said and his situation. He tried once more to convince himself that it all wasn’t real. The pain in his jaw and the restraints kept dragging him back to the conclusion that it was indeed all too real.


Tony drifted to sleep, and was awakened hours later by the Sergeant. “Wake up,” he hissed to him. “We’ve gotta get you outta here.”


“What’s going on?” murmured Tony. “What are you doing?”


“A court-martialing offense is what I’m doing.” The sergeant unbuckled the straps, flinging them to the side. “Come on. We’re leaving.”


Tony’s bare feet hit the floor. The shock of the cold linoleum fully woke him up. “Why are you doing this?”


“In a minute,” he said, looking out of the door. “Are we clear, Quint?”


“As clear as we’ll ever be, Mike.” The Marine from earlier appeared in the doorway. “Come on, we’re short on time.”


The Marines led Tony down the passageway.


“What’s going on? What’s happening?”


“You’ve been deemed a security risk. Skipper radioed ahead to Hunter’s Point and got the brass riled up. He asked them what Uranium 235 was and they ordered us back to Mare Island. Apparently what you told him got our orders changed.” The Marine put a hand on Tony’s chest, stopping him. “Everyone says you’re this Dillon Polaski, but from what I hear you don’t talk like him. You know something important. I don’t know what it is, but you know things you shouldn’t, and you act like it’s all in the past. That’s enough to make me do something really stupid.”


They exited topside and Tony couldn’t help but to stare up at ship’s superstructure. It was history to him and for the first time since he’d boarded, he was in awe.


“We’re moving into position to pull into port. The pilot will board and when he does, you’ll jump for it and swim out of here.”


“That’s insane. I don’t think I can swim fast enough to get out of the way of the ship’s props.”


“You’ve got ten minutes to get clear. Do you want to chance the swim, or be a guest of Naval Intelligence? Your call.”


Tony saw the logic and readied himself to make the jump. The ship glided to a halt and they could hear the pilot’s boat moving in to position. He looked to the Marine. “What’s your name?”


“Tillmore. Lincoln Tillmore.”


Tony’s eyes widened and he whispered the man’s name.


“Now or never,” said the other Marine.


“Go. Now!” Tillmore gave Tony a push. Tony dove into the colder than anticipated water.


He turned to surface and choked on the air wanting to burst from his lungs. He opened his mouth to scream and clawed at his throat. Blackness over took him.


He opened his eyes, discovering that he was back in his diving suit and breaking the surface. The day was as it should’ve been and he blinked rapidly as Andrew removed the diving helmet.


“Tony? Tony, look at me. Are you okay? You blacked out there for a moment.” Andrew pulled down Tony’s eyelids. “You were muttering something about sharks and the Indianapolis.”


“I don’t know what happened. I guess I blacked out. I had some weird dream about the Indianapolis.”


“You had me scared there, buddy.”


Andrew didn’t say anything further as he and a tender worked to get Tony out of the suit.


The diving tenders squared away Tony’s rig as he and Andrew visited the galley.


Andrew brought Tony a cup of coffee and set it down before him. Tony sipped it and grimaced.


“You forgot the sugar and cream, Andy.”


Andrew furrowed his brow. “You’ve never taken ‘em in your coffee before. Why start now?”


“What are you talking about? We’ve known each other for seven years, worked together for six, and you know how I like my Joe.”


“Doc needs to take a look at you. We’ve known each other since we were Navy divers at Little Creek. That was twelve years ago. You sure you’re okay?”


Tony’s mouth dropped open. “Navy diver? You were Marine Corps. Shipboard security aboard the Forrestal.”


“Yeah, we’re getting you to Doc ASAP. I’d never join the Corps. Especially after what happened to my dad.” Andrew moved closer to Tony. He didn’t like the way his friend was acting. “Come on. Let’s at least get you to your rack.”


Tony stood on shaky legs. “Lincoln Tillman was your father.”


“Really? That’s not news. Dad and another Marine were court-martialed and sentenced to 10 years in Leavenworth for helping a spy escape the Indianapolis. He swore the guy was from another time or something. Whatever the guy told them was enough to get the Indianapolis off the hook from delivering parts to the first atomic bomb. That duty went to the New Orleans. Damn thing never made it to Tinian and was presumed sunk with all hands lost. That was in the fall of ’45. Its ancient history, pal.”


“But the Indianapolis sank in 1945 after dropping off Uranium for Little Boy.”


“Little Boy? What the hell is that? They dropped Fat Man in ‘46, but it failed to end the war. C’mon. You know the war ‘ended’ in ‘47, and that the Japs are still fighting their guerilla war against us. Hell, the Indianapolis is still afloat and stationed at Norfolk last I heard.”


“No,” whispered Tony, pushing Andrew away. “The war ended September 2, 1945 with the Japanese unconditional surrender. Little Boy and Fat Man did that.”


“No, it didn’t. They only dropped one bomb, called Fat Man, and May 25, 1947 was when the Japanese ‘surrendered’. The war never really ended for them though.”


Andrew held a firm grip onto Tony’s forearm. He refused to let go and Tony refused to be held.


Tony lashed out, striking Andrew, and then ran for the hatch leading topside.


Andrew followed him, screaming for someone to stop Tony. The deck hands looked at Tony, surprised at his rapid appearance on deck. A tender asked him what was going on, but decided not to say anything further upon seeing his wild-eyed face.


Without any thought, Tony dove off the side of the Atlantic Queen. He swam toward the wreck of the Arapaho, kicking feverishly. It didn’t take long before the feeling of bursting air from his lungs and sluggish feeling limbs over took him. He blacked out and came to on a small boat’s deck.


“You okay?” asked someone, helping him to his feet.


The little vessel pitched slightly, but Tony could stand. He looked down and discovered himself wearing a khaki uniform. He turned to find four other men dressed in khaki Marine Corps uniforms.


“Where am I?” Tony looked around. He was in a small launch, moving through a naval harbor. Older, obsolete battleships sat anchored in neat rows and he knew that none should have been afloat.


“It’s easy to see you’re a rook. A small swell got us, and you lost your footing. You must’ve hit your head pretty hard, Marine,” said a sailor steering the launch. “You’re at Pearl Harbor. No better place to spend Christmas. Now, sit down like I told you. The Arizona’s ahead. Welcome to the pride of the Pacific Fleet.”


Tony sat down not because of the order, but because he knew where he was. For him, home was very far away.

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#ThursThreads Week 133 winner is…me.

ThursThreads MainV2

Since I’ve returned to writing full time I’ve wanted to get back into the mix by reconnecting with friends I’ve met on Facebook and Twitter. One of those is the paranormal romance author Siobahn Muir. Every Thursday Siobahn hosts the #ThursThreads challenge, and this week I was able to submit an entry. I thought my 250 word entry was strong, but I didn’t think it would win over the 17 other talented entries. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve done flash fiction so imagine my surprise to find that I had won.

I’d like to thank George Varhalmi for judging, and for Siobahn for hosting the weekly challenge. Below is the story that was submitted. Please forgive me but I feel Rod Serling trying to break through for an intro.

Submitted for your approval, a company of Russian soldiers, men and women dedicated to keeping the peace in the midst of a rebel uprising. But one can’t summarily dismiss the enemy combatants as mere rebels. Especially when the remote outpost borders the Twilight Zone.

“What the hell is he up to?” said Mikhail, watching Sergei walk his post along the perimeter fence. Sergei paused to tug on a section of wire fence. “Stupid’s been doing that for two hours. He walks his post, pauses, and pulls at that section before continuing on.”

“Maybe that’s his escape route.” Lipa peered at Sergei with her scoped AK74. “Perhaps I should do something about it.” She trusted the new transfer as much as Mikhail. “Maybe he’s a rebel sapper.”

Mikhail’s reply was cut off by explosions and gunfire from the base’s west end. “Contact, western sector,” cried their radios. “Rebels armed with RPGs and… Shi-”

Mikhail and Lipa watched their sector. Sergei stood watching them, smiling. A Russian military truck plowed through the fence. Figures leapt from the truck, opening fire as they landed.

“He’s a rebel,” cried Lipa. She fired and Sergei fell. “And that was that,” she spat. She looked to Mikhail, but he was dead.

Lipa sprinted and was almost to her position when something landed on her, knocking her unconscious.

It was nighttime when she awoke. She’d been tied naked, and spread eagle to the ground, illuminated by a spotlight.

“Don’t struggle,” said a voice beyond the light.

Lipa struggled.

“You won’t be raped,” said Sergei, stepping into the light.

“I killed you.”

“Bullets are now ineffective.” His mouth, hands, and uniform were bloody.

“What are you, monster?”

“Dear, clichéd Lipa. You don’t know a damn thing about me.”

And that was that.


All content on this page is copyrighted and sole property of author Jason McKinney and cannot be used without permission of Jason McKinney. Images have been used with permission from owner, and cannot be reused without permission of author Siobhan Muir.


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