Thursday, April 30, 2015

Charon's Ferry (Blogophilia 10.8)



Bam.

Breathe in, gotta breathe out.

Pressed the detonator again, nothing. 

Breathe in….Breathe out…

Bam

Splinters as the door exploded inward…

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

The bartender came up said the ride was here; did you want to finish the drink? Yea, one more sip. Need one more sip. Slipping and sliding into oblivion. 

The paring knife appeared, slashing wildly. Fire began just under his right hand and moved upward. Something wet and sticky landed across his face. 

He sees Charon sitting at the helm at the Styx, waiting for his passengers. Scaled harpies kept pulling him toward the depths. Sirens with voices like perfume sang sweetly, beckoning him further toward the boat. Jeremy could see the Angels stitched into the sails, their mouths moving with the breeze. 

“I’m your ride, leave your burdens down.”

Sarah! 

The Scarlet aperture closing along the edge of his vision. If he hurried, he might make it. Swimming in molasses, struggling to breathe. A little further to go.  With a leap… An unknown force grabbing at his sleeve. With a clank, the red door shut with him on the wrong side.

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

With a lonely click, the gurney was fastened in place. With a final pleasantries with the red coated manager, the paramedics loaded into the wagon and drove away. The bleeding controlled, the patient probably will survive. They could take their time and let the  hospital deal with it.

 “Love on the rocks, ain’t no surprise. Pour me a drink, and I’ll tell you some lies.”

The bar logo The 3 Sheets, shimmering in the lonely, wet nigh as the sound system played on the speakers. Only a couple of cars left in the parking lot. The police had already come and gone. The damage was done, nothing left to control. All they could do was to write the report and file it.

“Got nothin’ to lose, so I just sing the blues all the time.”

As the ambulance left, Barney slowly went through the room and back to the office. In all of his years tending, he’d never one that slit their wrists. Plenty of meltdowns and a couple that threatened with guns. But never anything like this. He was doing him a favor just letting him sleep it off in the office. What a mess. Good thing Paolo and Jose were still here to get him out of the bar before he went completely off.  

As he mopped the splatter off the walls, he could only wonder who Sarah was. Must have been some relationship for him to go there. With a little dab, a small scab broke loose off the edge of the sofa and landed in the dustpan. What was it from the old Star Wars movie? The fear of loss was the path to the dark side? This guy was a far ways down that path. 

With a shrug, he picked up the mop and pail and headed back into the bar.

He was getting too old for this shit.





Topic-Dave Raider

Pic-Sallon Newlove.

Pic guesses: Charon's Ferry (partially in blog), Odyssey, Sirens (in blog), Angel ship, Sea monsters, Nessie, Dragons, River Styx (in blog), Shadow Captain

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

End Game (Blogophilia 9.8)



This is it. I found it. I’m in Hell,  Herrington thought. The press briefing made him a man condemned. The armchair firing squad was waiting to begin the analysis in earnest. How did Allen get this far? Was this the only road to take or was there one less traveled?  Was it because of the full moon?  Questions with no answers, but they still will be asked. 

Allen was white, and this was good thing. The professional gadflies wouldn’t have anything to use and the furor over the outcome would be able to die quicker. In fact, most of the useful idiots would just say good riddance. That was a cold thought, though. This was certainly a troubled young man, probably irretrievably broken, but still a living, breathing person. 

With a whistle, he motioned everyone back behind the Bomb Squad truck. Alfred the Robot was still at the car, animatronic arm suspended mid grab. It was determined the device was a real pipe bomb, but for some reason unarmed. As such, it could stay inside the car while they took care of the suspect. 

Hudgins lit another cigarette and began to cough. 

“I’m getting too old for this.”
“I feel you.” Murray retorted, wishing for a drink and Carol’s soft body. “I wish I had never got out of bed.”

“Yeah, I bet.” Hudgins snorted. 

A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Murray laughed. 

“Missus got you watching that movie again?” Hudgins smiled.

“For a chick flick, it’s got some great lines. Carol always says she loves me more than her luggage.” 

Laughter broke the tension until the sound of the Chief’s throat clearing silenced the group. 

“So, where are we at?” 

Murray pointed toward the building and handed Herrington the binoculars. “He’s in the apartment on the third floor to your left. Jackson and the K9’s just confirmed his scent.”

“No contact, yet? 

“Not yet.” Hudgins replied. “We’re assuming he is armed and waiting for us.”

“Like he might have another bomb?

“Possible. One of the witnesses to the hit and run said there was something in his hands when he ran from the car but he couldn’t identify it. Interesting thing, in Allen’s sheet there never has been evidence of guns, just gasoline, matches and baseball bats. This is out of character for him.”

“Next step?”

The SWAT Commander spoke up. “Perimeter is set up. Because of the location, we aren’t going to be able to shoot gas or use the robot for a visual. We are stuck with the front door entry, probably with a Flash-Bang to stun him if he’s in the living room. A sniper is positioned in the third floor breezeway behind us, but the line of fire isn’t all that good.  Worst case scenario would be a bomb and he is waiting at the door for us. We’ll start with calling up from the parking lot first and see if he responds. Maybe we can get a shot.”

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


Quiet, he thought. The Pigs have gotten too quiet.  Should he risk the window or not?  With a shrug, he carefully put the bomb on the pail. Crawling low, he came up to the right hand corner sill and looked out. Ooh, the Artillery came. With the limited view, he could see three of the armored SWAT drones along the side of the building. Yes, they are preparing. Dipping along the wall, he repeated the view out the other corner. Murray and several other suits were laughing next to a large black truck. The tall fat one on was on TV a couple of times, so this could be better than he planned. There were another smattering of SWAT going around the next building and some regular uniforms behind them. He crawled back to his post.

They know I’m here, of course.Would they use the bullhorn like on TV or just storm the place? It really didn’t matter now. The only thing left was to ride it out.

It wasn't very long.

“Jeremy Allen!  This is Captain Martin Hudgins of the Gwinnett County Police. We have the building surrounded. Come to the door and give yourself up!”

“Bishop to C4, check” A soft and feminine voice filled his mind. It was not unlike Sarah’s, but not hers. Was it God or Satan?  No matter, the only piece on the board was him. No Knight or Bishop to run interference. But he knew what the next move was.

“King to H7” He replied to the voice. It was the only one move he could make.

“Jeremy! Repeat, the building is surrounded. We promise not to hurt you if you surrender. This is your chance to redeem yourself and make it right for the lady that you hit.”

“Rook to F6”. The noose was tightening.

He looked around. 

“King to H8.” The corner would be his final home. He took a wedge shaped piece of wood and jammed it in the threshold of the door. Probably good for one hit with the ram.

“Jeremy! This is Lieutenant Murray. I’m the one you have been gunning for. It’s over. You have lost. Come out now.”

A frown came across the pale face. Big Pig was a chicken. But that was no surprise and this game is now over.

“Bishop to E5, Checkmate.”

Boots on the stairs followed by the howling of the dogs. Yes, it was time. 

The thumb pressed tighter on the button.

The ram clanged against the stair rail as the blitz squad made the second floor. Come on a little closer, I've got a surprise for you.

“Oh, Holy Father. Grant me peace as I go in to my hour of triumph. Amen.”

A little bit closer, now. 

The war yell was shouted as the top step was made. The lock on the door exploded with the first impact of the ram.

NOW!








Topic-Dave Coon-Nissmech

Pic-Nina Nixon

Pic Guesses, Dip me in the water, Angel falls, Silver pool, Swimming hole, 



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tank Time (Blogophilia 8.8)









“Oh, Holy Father.  Grant me peace as I go to my hour of triumph. Amen.”


He repeated the prayer as the huge gray truck trundled down the hill, moaning and gasping like a bull in full throws with a heifer. My, how the fiesta has grown.  Aircraft droned overhead like Nicodemus in his tree. Even Pilate was on the pavement waiting for him. Only thing missing was the cross itself. Only there won’t be any impalement except by flying shrapnel. Isn’t that lovely? The media machine won’t be denied. He could sense the clamoring for the public death. But the death won’t be televised, because this cave will be where it will go down. 


“Oh, Holy Father.  Grant me peace as I go to my hour of triumph. Amen.”


A poker game, this has turned into a winner take all poker game. He sat on one side of the table and the pigs on the other, waiting for the deal from the unseen dealer. The luck of the draw was the true meaning of life. It was all a game. The Pigs dealt from a stacked deck. From Jacks to Kings, all the cards were theirs. But don’t they realize Joker trumps all?  And he was the Joker incarnate. 


“Oh, Holy Father. Grant me peace as I go in to my hour of triumph. Amen.”


How many would be coming? Since it looks like they brought the heavy artillery, the intended targets would be brave enough to be first. That would be jack booted troopers bent on conquering. Oh, well, as many of those as we can dispatch will just have to do.  Shuffling around the kitchen, he found another pack of nails and a half drunk bottle of whiskey. That made four bags so far.Only issue he had was the door itself. He paused and took a drink. Did he wait for it to break, or detonate as they pounded? Time would only tell.







A thundercloud cast in metal, Doraville PD's Terminator pulled in. A gift from a prior congressman, it stood like a giant among the tinker toys. The lightning army, with their many spears and magic helmets flowed from the orifices dotting the sides and rear of the massive tank. Crowbars, rams, and military rifles silently scattered to the sides of the building. Soon, the perimeter was complete, everyone standing by for the orders to kill the rabbit.


The madding crowd was pushed another 400 feet down Graves Road and told not to move under the threat of arrest. Road blocks were erected to keep out the curious. They even attempted to limit the News Helicopters from coming over, but the restriction couldn’t be granted on such a short notice. They said it would mess up air traffic for 200 miles. 


Chief Herrington arrived from Headquarters to orchestrate all the pieces and take over as point of contact. The Detectives were kind of relieved.  He might be an attention whore, but he did have a lot more patience with the News Weasels. After being briefed by Hudgins and Murray, he quickly went to satisfy the twenty four hour news machine. Some local politicians came to grandstand, but they were treated like the rest and kept behind the safety line. Hudgins and Murray knew they would take all the credit when it was over, but it didn’t matter. All they wanted at this point is nobody hurt, even though that was unlikely to happen.


Murray looked again through the binoculars at the target apartment, then passed them to the SWAT leader. Even with the filter, the windows were empty. They knew Jeremy was there, though. Waiting. Grabbing the radio, he called out:


“O143. You still standing by?”


The reply was immediate.


“O141 Yes, Sir.”


“SWAT is in position. Send one of the K9 teams up and see if he alerts. And do it quietly. SWAT team: hold positions until we confirm.”


“O 141, Roger that.” Jackson turned to the handlers. 


“Which dog stays quiet on alert?”


The shorter man spoke


“Mine.”


“Good. Let’s confirm our boy is up there. Be careful. He’s probably armed.”


“Yes, sir.” With a soft command, the dog and handler ascended the stairwell. 


Jackson watched as they went from door to door, checking for scents. Since the structure was mostly abandoned, the process went quickly. Door after door was passed as they climbed to the third floor. When they reached the top of the second flight, the dog sat and looked up at the handler with a short whine. He nodded, quietly said another command and they came back to the ground floor and the handler praised the pooch for the job well done. 


“Someone is in there, for sure, Sergeant.” 


“O.K., thanks.” Turning to the radio. “O 141, apartment is occupied.”


“O 143, Roger that. Stand by.” 






He smelled the dog as it made the top of the stairs. It didn’t matter. It wasn’t time. His focus had never been better. Breathing shallow because of fear, Jeremy wondered if this just reconnaissance or the real thing. Guessing the former, he pulled his thumb away from the button. What did they call it in the movies? Foreplay?  The blood began to drain from his face and the black flip phone was indistinct in his hands. He grabbed the pail to steady himself as the room broke into fractals, colors flashing in his peripheral vision. 


Blonde curls damp from the sea spray framing a porcelain face. Sarah was in the rainbow spirals waiting to show him something. Buttons seem to open themselves, the training bra Mother had bought was a broad white line peeking from the creamy gap. Her hands grasped his, guiding them toward the fabric. Sarah would do this with him at bath time, but now it was accompanied by a steely fear. Fear of a line he was required to cross. 


Gardenia perfume sampled on the sly was in the air. Mother wouldn’t have approved of that. Hearts quickened as he savored the cool feel of her skin. Her back was to the house; even if Mother had looked out she wouldn’t have seen what was coming. One of his fingers found its way to the base of the strap…


The dog’s whine and clicking paws brought him back. They were playing with him, wanting him to give his position away.


No. Not this time.


Try again, Pigs. You aren’t cleared for landing.



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


For those of you new to this series, this story has been written using the prompts from the Blogophilia writing group. We are a loose group located across the globe who do this for fun. 

Topic-Diana Jay

Pic-Rutger Siskens

Pic guesses" Fractal (in blog), Rainbow spiral (in blog), shattered, trippy, It made me small.  

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Kai-Chung (Blogophilia 7.8)



The sign on the Holiday Rd said Kai-Chung Enterprises in blue and yellow script. It was a import-export company catering to the Asian restaurant trade. At least it used to be. Holes and cracks littered the faded plastic. The rust of neglect was everywhere. The red eviction notice swung tattered and lonely on the glass front door, owners lost in the breeze of time. Remains of box trucks covered in Chinese and English script were scattered like abandoned toys. It was a casualty of the recession and greed, another empty shell waiting for another occupant. 

Jackson and the Canine Units drove into the parking lot and went to  the back of the building to unload. It took a few minutes, but Jackson remembered where he was. The building housed the office supply company he worked for in high school and college. The owner, Mr. Shapiro, an older Jewish guy, was the third generation of the family to run it. He was fine as far as white folks went, always speaking respectfully and letting him off when he had tests and stuff. Of course, being black, they did give him the really crappy tasks, like cleaning the ink tanks. For a kid like him it wasn’t bad, with time to study between trucks and it kept gas in the car.  

Kicking a bent wok out of the way, he looked around. He wondered what had happened over the years. The white brick building had seen better days. The Graves abutted the property on the left hand side of the back fence, with undeveloped woods on the right. There was a small creek between the apartment complex and the fence and the building they were interested in was uphill from where they were. Jackson almost immediately knew which way he and gone. 

One of the handlers said it should be easy to spot if the suspect jumped fence, just look for muddy tracks.  Jackson nodded and thought it about a moment. 

“Naw. He didn’t come this way. He’s up in one the buildings, laughing at us.”

The shaved head man agreed with a smirk and gathered the teams at the base of the loading dock. More uniform officers came to join the search. Jackson could hardly hear his own thoughts over the din of energy. They were split them into three teams. The first was to work the warehouse itself, in case in the morning’s madness the suspect did come here to wait out the storm. The other teams were divided to the left and right of the target building to establish a perimeter around the complex. 

The only thing missing from the fox hunt was the bugler. It didn’t take long for one of the dogs to hit on a scent, practically climbing the fence just opposite of the apartment building. Lifting the dog over the rusted, jagged top, the handler whistled and the dog held ground until his humans were able to join him. Jackson followed the German shepherd and his handler as they worked around the right hand side of the building. It was always good to be right. Which abandoned apartment?  Grabbing the radio, he called in the progress.

“O 141. Handlers have a track. Coming around the buildings to your east. Repeat. The buildings to your east.”

Hudgins, Merrimack and Murray were at the monitor watching Hornback perform magic with the robot. The Commander gave the order to bust the back window of the Camry. The young man took the right hand stick and pressed the button at the top. The glass fell like a curtain of diamonds. It was at that point the radio message came through and everybody’s eyebrows rose immediately. Murray quickly looked across the parking lot.

“Cap. He’s over here to our left. Merrimack, let me see those glasses of yours.”

The Bomb Squad Commander pulled the tactical binoculars from the case and went back to watching the robot arm slide into the car. Tentatively, Murray began the reconnaissance of the three buildings, beginning from the car and working left. Since it was already 2:30, the sun was reflecting off of the windows.

“Do these have a glare filter on them?”

Without looking up, the Commander said: “Yeah, slide on the right hand side. You should be able to see in any of the windows.”

The arm of the robot had collected the duct taped mess and had begun traveling back toward the detectives.

Murray fumbled and found the slide, and it made all the difference. He could see shadows of people moving and the outlines of furniture. With any luck at all, he might be able to catch the sight of a curly head peeking around the curtains.

On the other side of the building, the dogs worked along the edge of the woods. The first two doors flew by with almost no notice. When they got to the third building, the dog stopped, confused a moment by the concentration of scent. Circling around, he went out into the woods about ten feet, and then came back. The handler gave a quick command and the dog circled again, then bolted towards the entrance of the third building.  The information was quickly relayed.

“O 141. Track stopped. Building directly to your east.”

Murray began the examination. Methodically, he looked for signs of movement. When he got to the top floor, he noticed the unit on the left was empty. Yeah, if it is anyplace, that’s it. He grabbed the radio.

“O 143. I think I know which unit he’s in. It’s going to be top floor on your right. Do not enter the building yet. Repeat. Do not enter yet. SWAT is on standby.”

Jackson replied.

“Roger, that. O 141. Will stand by.”  Jackson put down the radio and called back to the handlers. “Y’all pull back a bit. SWAT is going to take the entry. We’ll still need you to confirm which unit.

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

Soon. 

Yes, soon. 

The Hounds of the Baskervilles were baying and scratching, ready to feast upon my flesh. No warning off these mournful messengers. Oh, no. There is none.

The end is coming. 

Psychic Sandy, the genius, the bitch, was right.

He was in the fields of gold, joining Sarah in the eternal embrace. 

Preparations! What needed to be done? There was a bathroom down the hall. The leaden echo of Mother stared back. Jeremy jumped back horrified. Ruck and wrinkle…is this what the old poem meant? The degradation of flesh for others had always been a given, but not for him. He was immortal and there will be no despair. He turned on the water of life. 

After washing his hands and face, he found a bottle stale perfume left in the medicine cabinet. With a prayer not even he understood, he slowly rubbed it in to his wet skin. He was the anointed before all others. The rot of time is reversed and Gethsemane has returned. Who was Iscariot? It didn’t matter.  

Ablutions complete, the paint can altar was moved from the window to the front door. Offertory and Communion will be performed in the Mass of his own mind. Bomb is placed on the can with a mumbled prayer. The cell phone detonator came to life with a press of the button. 

All that was left was the Congregation to arrive.  





__________________________________________________________________

Topic-Heather Blomquist (Blair)

Pic- Jessica Brooke Miller

Pic Guesses-Fields of Gold (in blog),Golden meadow,Prairie Dreams, Spring, Wildflowers. Coneflowers, Love is in the air.