Archive for the ‘thriller’ Category

This series of mine is based on another popular work of fiction. Whoever is the first to guess what it’s based on can have two of their blog posts reposted by me. Why not have a potential couple of hundred people check out your posts? Put your answers in the comments, and enjoy!

The saucer whirred past his head like a bullet. It was a symbol for his life, a transitory blur that cut through all the oxygen and carbon dioxide and crashed into a wall of exposed sheet rock. The plate was one, singular…but now, plural, multiple, pieces in the hundreds.

“You stupid bitch!” screamed a terrifying voice, the shrill and commanding voice of the man’s wife. The guy wished that some of the more radical advocates against misogyny could see this woman and learn that men can be victims too. He pondered on this for a moment, as he did with all the subjects in his head every day, using the energy of thought to block out the abuse and the insults. He could even transfix himself onto the mundane, the pointless – descriptions of the broken plate, for instance.

“You aren’t a real man! You can’t even keep the lights on! Or, more importantly, the fucking wi-fi!”

Frisbee from hell, demon dinnerplate…

“Why don’t you fight back? Call me a name, Keith. Shove me a little. Stand up for yourself! You just take it day in and day out, and it makes you weaker and weaker!”

Keith sighed, looked down at the broken plate.

“What?”

That one word was about all he could ever manage.

His wife scowled. “You don’t even hear the world around you. You can’t even see it. That’s why you’re always gonna be in a rut for the rest of your life. You don’t try!”

Keith knew she was correct. He never took any risks in life. His job, a janitorial position at the local supermarket, had been the same for seven years. When he first applied, he and Vanessa had just gotten married. They were fresh out of high school and eager as hell. The world was supposed to be their oyster. But a few months after the honeymoon, Keith reverted back to the person he had been his whole life.

A small, frail, average man with an average face and an average intellect. As an adolescent, he did have some visions of grandeur – but they were impossible things. Things like touring the world as a country musician, things like working as a pediatrician, things related to art and science – but he was too “average”. Too “basic”.

Too “Keith”.

But right now, as he watched Vanessa storm out of the house to go buy some cigarettes, he reflected on the fact that there was now one circumstance in his life that transcended all the dull monotony. It was a secret he had kept from his wife, his boss, and even his parents.

It was a secret called cancer.

Keith went to bed, dreaming of ways he could go out in a blaze of glory. Maybe he could disguise himself and rob the supermarket. Maybe he could go climb a mountain. Maybe he could go write and record an album with his iphone.

“Tomorrow,” he said to himself as he closed his dull eyes. “I’ll do things…tomorrow.”

But tomorrow came and went, as did the next three days. Not that Keith was conscious for any of it. He woke up intermittently to sights of sterile gloves hovering above his face with beautiful, sad looking nurses standing off to the sides. Then, on day three, he awakened to total loneliness. He lay there for a few hours, too weak to press the button to alert those pretty nurses.

As he began to close his eyes once again, perhaps for the final time ever, he saw a dreary man with bifocals and a labcoat come through the door of his hospital room.

“Are you still with us?” Asked the man.

“Not for long,” mouthed Keith inaudibly. “F-f-fading…”

“Nurse!” Exclaimed the doctor, though with a bored, indifferent tone of voice. “Get the crash cart in here! Stat!”

Keith didn’t think that he would fight his demise…he had pretty much given up on living years ago. However, as he heard the rolling wheels of the doctor’s portable machinery, he began to experience two emotions that eclipsed anything he had ever felt before – fear and regret. He was terrified of what would happen when his heart stopped beating. He wondered if he would get what he deserved – absolutely nothing, an endless void the same as the void that was his “life” before birth. Or perhaps hellfire…or even rotting in a grave, alone and conscious. The fear took him over as the regret pulled him into a dizzying naseau. He was a failure…he was nothing…and now, it was too late.

The doctor, the nurses, and the machinery became blurry, faded. But there was something he could see quite clearly indeed, something new, something that hadn’t been there before. It was a pair of jet black crows, reeking of the smell of dead flesh and flying in circles above his head at the ceiling. Or at the…sky? The surface above his head seemed to have dissipated, being replaced by a grey color that seemed to expand without end.

Keith had a heart attack at that moment. The next thing he knew, he was standing up on his own two feet, sans the hospital bed. His hospital gown and his IV bag were still with him, and though both of these were light objects, they now seemed to weigh him down like military gear and an anchor. Only one other thing remained from that hospital bed – the steady, incessant beeping of the8 heartbeat monitor.

Before him was the iron skeleton of a large building – the very hospital where only seconds ago he had been dying in agony. Behind the metal rods and cracked walls were many other buildings, most of them equally decayed, although some large pyre-like towers seemed to be perfectly intact.

Beyond this, in all directions, was a grey sky, a grey earth, and a grey feeling of somber emotion. Ash rained down from the sky, and as Keith peered upwards, he could see that there were faint flickerings of flame high above him in certain places. He got the feeling that they were fires in space…perhaps multiple suns.

His fear and regret had been replaced by sheer awe…but only momentarily. The fear, at least, returned ten fold. This was due to the fact that the earth beneath his feet was littered with polished white bones, some even forming full skeletons. The skulls, somehow, all bore wicked smiles.

Where the Hell was he?

Then…another sound. Thunder? Earthquake? Keith strained his eyes forward as they began to register movement. It was hard to see at first, for the shapes moving fifty yards ahead of him were the same colors as the rest of the environment – black, white, and grey. But as the shapes drew closer, Keith realized with astonishment that they were the source of the sound.

There were at least a hundred “people” walking in an orderly, militant formation. Some were short in stature, while others were enormous. And not all of them were human. Some looked like sapient pigs with hoods over their heads, some looked like wolves, and a few even looked reptilian. What was truly frightening were the skeletons…haunting, looming figures that lifted their shiny black boots meters into the air as they matched forward.

All of these creatures shared one thing…an exotic look of dark beauty that was equal parts joy and tragedy. Above this strange crowd was a gigantic grey blimp with white letters etched upon it, but Keith was unable to read the words due to all the movement.

The sounds accompanying this procession were defeaning. Marching boots synced up to the sound of vicious snare drumming executed with perfect precision. There were also accordions, bells, whistles, and keyboards.

Boom. Boom.

A ridiculously huge bass drum was kicked twice by one of the skeleton men, and all the other instruments ceased simultaneously. The crowd was now less than ten yards away from Keith, and his fear had escalated to the point where he felt he may have another heart attack.

Then, it dawned on him. There would be no more heart attacks…no more heart. No more suffering, no more failure, no more chances of treatment through chemotherapy or other options.

Keith was now very dead, and he felt both terrified and full of peace.

As it turned out, death wasn’t just an event. It was an entity. And Keith would have quite a long time – perhaps even an eternity – to get to know it personally.

Advertisements

junglepic

As I dip my quill to begin the dictation of these first lines, six hours have passed since I began reading through the records of the library. Oh! How Happiness and I miss each other already! However, she is likewise very busy currently tending to our newborn daughter and to the Rhinocydont hatchlings – which reminds me that I must write quickly, for Dienok and I are due for a hunt at dawn. Still, no matter how quickly I write, I know that I will have to stay awake throughout the whole night to finish it (perhaps even after the hunt).

I am not alone, however. Our cat, who the whole kingdom knows by the title, “Princess”, is with me, curled up next to my papers at this very moment (she has learned not to spill my ink or eat my parchment, for she will have to sleep outside if she does it again). She is always with me when I am alone. Her presence has proved to be an immense comfort to me most of the time, though I do wish that she would leave me to myself on occasion.

Now, back to hurrying. About two minutes have passed since I finished reading the works of Alpha, Amoris, and Steer (the records do not show who dictated Steer’s poetry for him). The content of each scribe’s work is written beautifully, but it lacks the substance of narrative integral to storytelling. The whole Jungle has long wished that I would write a second book, but my life is so perfect now that I have constantly had to tell them that I have nothing to write about (I once attempted to compose a book of poetry for Happiness, but have since hidden it, for it cannot do her beauty and excellence justice). So I have now decided to give the Jungle Dwellers what they want with another book. But, as a wise man once said to me, “It’s not about what you want. It’s only about what you need.” And this whole world needs, in fact, desperately requires that the chronicles of my late friends (the REAL heroes of this Jungle, no matter what anyone, including Happiness, says) be made known.

Most of this story came from Alpha’s diary, and the only reason I even read it is because Happiness and the bovine tribe have convinced me that Alpha would have wanted it. It has been the strangest thing I have ever experienced – entering the mind of a mind reader.

The writings of Amoris were cryptic and prophetic, for she composed in detail the periods of isolation that the heroes experienced, hundreds of years before the events even occurred.

I believe I have captured the essence of my beloved Steer’s mind and soul due to heartfelt and cathartic poetry he left behind. This gives me the greatest joy of all, though it does make me wonder what he might have truly thought of me at least on occasion when he was alive. But the same goes for Emanuel, the Rhinocydonts, and, most of all, Snapper. Not necessarily about what he thought of me, but about the fact that all the inhabitants of the Jungle, myself included, may not have truly known him or any of these heroes at all.

When I am finished (whether before or after the hunt), I shall go over the whole work with Dienok for his approval. I wouldn’t want the public’s intimate knowledge of how his race once was to be a reason for him to return to his home world with his dragon kingdom (which Happiness could do for him at any time; but, thank the Creator, they have decided on remaining in the Jungle indefinitely).

I do believe that this is enough of a preface, so I shall now begin the tale. Please, enjoy it, for the sake of my fallen friends.

– Contentment (written signature)

garden

“Gardening shears? You’re sure about that?”

“Without a doubt. It’s the murder weapon. Hector Williams’ fingerprints are all over it. The blood is his wife’s.”

Ruben stood up in his bedroom, excited by the news. One of the church members had apparently developed a guilty conscience. In exchange for immunity, he gave the department a pair of bloody gardening shears he was hiding for his pastor. There was now ample evidence to try and convict Hector Williams for the murder of his wife.

Vasquez hung up the phone and dressed. His wife was away for the weekend, staying at her mother’s in another county. Ruben was glad for this. It was two in the morning, and he hated waking her up inadvertently when working on a case.

He approached the front door when, like a peal of thunder, a crash rang out from the back of his house. It sounded like a window breaking. Ruben pulled his weapon from his belt and stalked towards the back door, slowly and silently. On the floor lay a brick surrounded by sparkling shards of broken glass. Peering out the window and exposing himself to the humid night air, he saw nothing.

He was about to unlock the door when he heard another crash, this time from the front room. Running as fast as his tired legs would permit, Ruben reached the front door in a matter of seconds. Upon reaching his destination however, he immediately realized that this had been a hasty, careless mistake, and it was going to cost him dearly.

The sound of gunfire reverberated through the home as Ruben staggered forward. There was now a bullet in the outer left side of his back, but he felt no pain. The adrenaline coursing through his veins permitted no feeling but that of self preservation. But he had to act fast—otherwise, that feeling would be worthless. He spun around and fired his pistol before even glimpsing a target. Nonetheless, the weapon’s discharge had been quite effective, as the man who had presumably thrown the brick through the back window fell to the floor with an agonized cry. The intruder, shot in the chest and far worse off than Vasquez, managed to lift his gun for a moment, but the detective bit through his pain and rushed forward, kicking the weapon from the man’s hand.

The intruder himself died within seconds, but Ruben didn’t see it happen. All he could see were stars and then blackness. Something had forced its way down to the back of his head, and it very nearly cracked open his cranium. He fell to his face, fighting hard against the blackness, using every ounce of willpower he had to stay conscious. Rolling onto his back, he fired the weapon again, this time with his eyes closed. He strained to open them quickly, and was met with the sight of a large man in a suit holding a baseball bat and covered in blood. As this second intruder fell backwards, a third man was revealed to be standing behind him, already turning on his heel in an attempt to flee the scene. Ruben shot once and missed, but his second round reached its quarry in the calf muscles of the right leg. The man’s high pitched shriek was the only thing that kept Ruben from finally drifting into benightedness.

It took about five minutes, but Detective Ruben Vasquez used prayer and willpower to stand up on his feet and walk towards the third intruder, the only one still living. When he reached him and turned his crawling body onto its back with his foot, he wasn’t surprised at all to be staring down into the face of Hector Williams.

“You,” snarled the bleeding preacher, “you will answer for this. I am a warrior for the faith.”

Ruben’s face remained stoic, mostly because of the pain, but he almost came close to chuckling before he replied.

“You’re not a man of faith,” he said. “You’re a man of fear and hatred.”

Williams closed his eyes and bit his lip, the wrath and malice pulling taut all the muscles in his face.

“Sinner—”

“Shut up,” wheezed Vasquez. “Why did you come here? Why were you and your cronies after me? I wasn’t the only cop trying to put you away.”

“You judged me,” Williams replied, the pain in his voice becoming more and more evident. He was losing a lot of blood. “You insulted me.”

“Doesn’t God condemn personal vengeance? Doesn’t he condemn murder?”

“You…you don’t…have the right to judge me.” His breath was growing ragged. Ruben knew he had to call an ambulance for Williams as well as himself, but he was tempted to let the man bleed out and suffer. His wrestling match with his hatred was short-lived, however, and his integrity came out on top as he reached into his coat for the cell phone. As his ten second conversation with the dispatcher played out, Williams ceased all movement and closed his eyes. Ruben dropped the phone and stumbled towards him.

“Hang on,” he said. “They’re on their way.”

As Ruben grabbed Williams by the shoulder and shook him, the murderer opened his eyes. Somehow, they looked different. Hate was still there, pain was still there, and fear…but there was something else. Vasquez could only approximate the look to one of surprise.

“You ain’t gonna let me die?” whispered Hector.

“No,” said Vasquez, his voice tinged with disgust. “I’m not like you. You and your congregation give church a bad name, you know that? But no. You live. If only so Beth can rest in peace.”

“We follow God,” mumbled the pastor. “We follow God.”

Ruben wanted to say a lot of things. He wanted to tear Hector a new one with insults. He wanted to call him a small, pathetic little man who only pretended to follow the Lord. He wanted to say that his cult followed not God, but an evil man who himself followed nothing but anger. He wanted to tell him how heartbreaking it was that there were people like him in the world, leading people towards evil under the guise of truth. Thankfully, these people were in the minority of those who professed to believe. Ruben only wished that the world saw it that way. He wanted to say all these things, but he didn’t. He simply held on to Hector and waited for the ambulance.

“I’m a godly man,” sobbed the dying hypocrite. “I’m a godly man. I’m a—”

The sirens could now be heard. Detective Vasquez spoke once more before the responders bolted through the door. He said them not only to Williams, but to himself as well.

“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein though judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

THE END