Random fiction

I do a bit of free writing/journaling to keep things going. Once in a while when I’m doing that, I get some sort of vision that triggers a scene that has nothing to do with any of my many unfinished novels. Don’t know where this came from, where it might be going, but I enjoyed writing it. I felt like sharing it.


“Stop,” Cyd shouted again as she rounded the corner into the alley. Her shoulder brushed brick as she took the corner too tight. The sound of rain hitting brick, concrete, and puddles muffled her command. The stolen purse was swinging in the thief’s hand. Cyd was losing ground, he was getting away.

The alley was dark, the only light was an old incandescent flickering under the small overhang of a service door the thief was nearing. Cyd’s wet clothes weighed her down and every step she took sprayed more water on her jeans. The only places she was still dry was inside her waterproof boots and under her short-cut leather jacket. She’d tossed aside her umbrella when she started pursuit of the thief. Wet, cold, and one, or maybe three too many shots of tequila, she just wanted to climb into her warm bed. She was between cases so there was no reason for being out at 3:00 AM. The thief was nearing the door with the light. If he made it through the door, she might not ever catch him.

She unzipped her jacket as she ran. She took the revolver from her shoulder harness and clicked off the safety.

“Stop.” This time wasn’t as loud as before. Cyd slowed, stopped, took aim. There was a flash like lightning and a loud crack filled the alley, bouncing off the rain-soaked walls. The thief tumbled to the ground under the light in the doorway. Cyd looked around. The alley was empty, buildings rising three or four stories on each side. They were old sweatshops, abandoned, or at least unoccupied at this time of night.

She walked toward her attacker, gun held ready. She couldn’t believe she had hit this guy. She was accurate at the shooting range, but it was dark, raining, he was running, and she’d been drinking. She would have never lived it down with the local cops if she had reported her stolen purse. It was tough enough being a PI and getting on the good side of the cops, but they were notorious for breaking balls.

The rain slowed from fierce to steady. She neared the door. The body looked like a couple of half-full black plastic trash bags dumped in a puddle. The light from the doorway reflected like a sky full of stars off the shiny material. Cyd saw no movement. Her heart pounded beneath the leather jacket. Water dripped from her nickel-plated revolver leading the way. She hunched down and poked the tip in the back of a shoulder. No movement. She squatted, closer. Keeping the gun trained on the mass of shiny blackness, she grabbed a shoulder and pulled the body over.

Her heart stopped. For a second, she thought it wouldn’t start again. When it did, it was with the hardest, fastest pounding she’d ever felt in her chest. The face she saw was that of a young girl, 14, maybe 15, tops. Blonde hair stuck to her face, matted in the rain, surrounded by a black hood. The girl’s left eye was missing. Instead a red, pulpy mass hung from the socket. If that side of her face was covered, she’d look like one of those teen magazine models.

Cyd turned her head and threw up next to the body. The sight and smell of the vomit made her queasier. She looked at the face of the girl again. Her shock fought against her alcohol haze. She turned the girl’s head and pulled the hood back. It was some kind of rubberized plastic, it felt tacky, even in the rain. The shiny surface belied the feel of it. Cyd ran her fingers over the back of the girl’s head. There was no wound. She sat down, not caring about the puddle beneath her.

Cyd looked around the alley. It was dark and quiet, except for the patter of the now light rain. The gravity of the situation started to creep through her mind. She’d shot a purse snatcher. Worse yet, she’d shot a teenage purse snatcher. She had drawn her weapon, issued no warning that she was going to shoot, and fired. All while she was most likely legally drunk. Fuck! Over my stupid, fucking, purse!

Cyd flinched when she heard a click behind the door. She looked up. Another click and tiny beam of light shown through a hole in the door to the right of the handle. She tensed and lifted the gun from her lap, pointing it at the door. The little hole was the sole focus of her attention. She moved closer, around the body. The wood of the door was splintered around the hole. Small pieces of wood dangled around it. She looked closer. The hole was about the size of a .38, the same as her gun. And it looked fresh.

The door opened.

Say it with me, “I am a writer”

I was buying wine Friday night. I got carded. I told the cashier that I was flattered, considering I’m old enough to have children that are of legal drinking age. I got over my initial burst of pride when he put on glasses to check my ID.

He rang up my purchase and told me the total due was $19.70. While I swiped my card and cycled through the screens on the keypad, he reminisced about how good of a year 1970 was for him. He mentioned music and some songs in particular. A pleased look took over his face, along with a smile. Not the overdone, comical, huge ear-to-ear type of smile, but one of those smiles you get when you don’t even realize you’re smiling.

We were just about done with the transaction when I blurted out “I’m writing a novel that is set in 1970.” It was out of my mouth before I knew what I was saying. I’m not one to bring up my writing with people I don’t know. I stick to discussing it at school, with family and close friends, on my blog, at writing festivals, or at my writers group. I don’t wear it on my sleeve.

He started asking me questions about my story. My transaction was complete and there was a line behind me. I had put myself in an uncomfortable position. I felt like I was being interrogated by the police, shackled to a table with the bright light shining in my face. “Confess! Or else.” I gave him some vague details. As I did I noticed that the woman in line behind me was leaning in with her head turned and tilted to hear what we were talking about. I took my bag and left the store.

As I walked through the parking lot, I realized that I had just admitted in public that I am a writer. The amazing part was that nobody heckled, snickered, or pointed at me and laughed. They showed interest instead of laughing at me and my silly dream.

I am a writer.

How Did I Get Here?

The pressure appeared out of nowhere. It was as if someone had clapped a cupped hand square over his ear. Throbbing and a faraway high-pitched whine followed. His left ear was okay, but his right felt like he was under water, listening to a jet engine above the surface. Pain started, first his inner ear, then it crawled around to the base of his skull. It took hold, sinking its burning talons into bone and muscle. His vision filled with thousands of flashbulbs firing in the dark. The pain slid from the base of his skull forward. It carved a path along the inside of his skull, like the tip of a rusty screwdriver dragging through his brain.

He looked at his hands through the blast of lights. His palms faced up with his fingers spread wide. They were covered in thick red liquid, dripping in ribbons to the black marble floor. His trembling hands were the only clear thing in his fogged vision. The blood ran. It wasn’t somebody else’s blood. It was his, and it was pumping from his wrists.

How the hell did I get here?

Untitled (because everything else seems like a cliche)

I hide, sliding from one shadow to another, a step behind you, out of sight. Watching. Observing. Taking notes. I search for clues to your state of mind, your wants, your needs, your dreams and regrets. I need what you have to fuel my creation. I’m blank. I’m empty. I’m void of feeling. I’m desperate to keep up with you, lest I lose the source of my one true need. You move faster, sensing my presence? Don’t fear me, I do not take, I only borrow. I use it and return more. I’m only a conduit. I write in the shadows.

Not Quite Dead Yet

First off, this blog is not meant to be about me. I have no need to bore people with the mundane everyday activities of my life. My intention is to just share and showcase my writing, or my attempt at writing, depending on which way you want to look at it. But I disappeared from the blog for a while, and I felt I should offer up an explanation.

Life happens. Holidays happen. Family events happen. Two week-long illnesses happen. And best of all, school happened. I have been diligently focusing on school. (I’m going for a Creative Writing Certificate.) I lucked out and got into a class with a really great professor. He’s a published author, and he has at least thirty years of experience in writing and editing. He’s a goldmine for information and inspiration. He told me that I am “an excellent writer”. My head did not swell, but it was good for my confidence. Writing well and being able to weave a story that keeps people interested are two very different things.

As far as my writing and how that is going, the main novel I had been working on has kind of fallen to the side. I’m not abandoning it, but I am just working on it when I am inspired. I recently had a vision for a new story and I have been working on that quite a bit. It really came out of nowhere and took over. I’m not sure if it will be a short, or if it will be novel length. I have to see where it takes me.

My intention is to post my short story “Vows” on this blog in two or three parts. I’ve gone back and I am editing and expanding it to what I had originally intended it to be. (Long boring story shortened: There was some major editing to try to meet a size restriction for a class.) Hopefully the first part of that will be ready soon.

Thanks for checking in. Please feel free to leave a comment.