The Blood of Remorse

 

short-fiction-shame

copyright-Kent Bonham

A disturbing murder case was weighing heavily on Jim Delaney’s mind as he walked up his sidewalk.  A sound came from the storage shed. Jim unholstered his pistol, not willing to take any chances after a day like today. He saw movement and instincts took over.

Jim unmasked the bloody body and nearly threw up. Stumbling into the house, he opened a bottle of whiskey. As he drank, he spotted a note:

APRIL FOOLS,
I finally got you! Meet me at Finnegan’s and we’ll get drunk.

Jim’s pistol fired one last shot, leaving the wall stained with the blood of remorse.

 

* * * * * * * * *

The above story is my submission to Friday Fictioneers. For those of you that don’t know, Friday Fictioneers is a group of bloggers from around the world who respond to a photo prompt of Rochelle Wisoff-Fields choosing with a story of approximately 100 words. Find more fictioneers here.

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Where have you been

“Where have you been?” she asked when he walked through the door.

“Thinking…”

“For three days?” she screamed, her concern melting away and anger taking its place. “My god I have been worried sick. I told your work there was a family emergency. I even called the cops.”

“I was just thinking. I can’t keep doing this; I have to get off the treadmill. I can’t go back to that cubical.”

“Are you kidding? You will go back to work. We have bills to pay, kids to put through college. Stop this crazy talk. What has gotten into you?”

“I guess you’re right.”

***

Short Fiction

The clock said three AM, she could here him typing from their room upstairs. “Why does he have that old typewriter out? Uh, it must be part of this depression he’s going through, he’ll be better in the morning,” she thought, then covered her ears and went back to sleep.

She made her way downstairs as the sun came up, but he was nowhere to be found. The typewriter was sitting on the desk with a sheet of paper hanging out. She picked up the paper and read:

Have you ever had a day when something inside you was calling? Saying, don’t go to work, just let go and enjoy the day. I had that day. I squashed the voice and went to work. I was paranoid at first, wondering if tragedy would strike, curious to know if I missed my opportunity to opt out. But something much worse happened. The building didn’t collapse, I didn’t get fired, no, I didn’t even get scolded. Nothing, nothing happened. I sat in my cubical and droned through the day.

Lunch came and went, underwhelming and tasteless, leaving me tired and yearning for another caffeine wake-up. I sucked down a cup of coffee, looked at my watch, and prayed the next four hours would go by quickly. And they did. In fact the next thirty years went by quickly. Like I said, something worse happened. I squashed that inner voice and left it to die. That was the day I bought into the hype, just do what you have to do, do what your told. That was the day I quit living and started existing.

Three days ago I woke up and remembered that day. I decided to take its advice, the voice that is, thirty years late but I had to do something before life got away completely.

I took a trip to the cost, found a rock and just sat there. I had no agenda, no plans and no timeline. But I did find a sense of peace I have never felt before. Now I know it’s a peace I will never feel again.  Goodbye

This short fiction story is my entry into the Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge.

Loosing Track of Reality: When Dimensions Blend

This is a response to Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge: Down the TV Tropes Rabbit Hole.

My random TVtrope is: Go Back To The Source

 I hope you enjoy!

Bryant stood up from a crouched position. His nostrils stung from a smell akin to rotting flesh, and there was a heavy feeling around his skin that was instantly recognizable, another dark world. He looked at his hands, opening and closing them, watching his forearms flex, making sure he had full use of his body in this realm. He knew a fight was coming. Creatures in a world like this could take on any form, man or beast. He had seen many as he transferred through countless realms.

He started walking, taking in the landscape, looking for something he could use to defend himself. There was a building in the distance, odd, it looked normal, like a house. He continued, watching to see if closing the distance revealed anything about the structure. Crows flew off as he approached. He found the door, a spider scurried through the crack where the door met the door jam, reluctantly he turned the knob.

A young couple stood before him, he let out a sigh of relief and walked in. “Where am I” Bryant asked looking for something, anything to help him understand. A blank stare is all they returned. He moved within reach to see if they were real. When he touched the women’s shoulder the pair began to amalgamate. He backed away, hoping to escape.

Knowing what was next he turned to find the door. There was a loud noise as the house began to transform and distort no exits in sight. He looked back at the newly formed beast, recognizing it from a past world. A four armed mutant breathing heavily, skin partially decomposed, was standing ready for combat. The creature possessed the strength of a bear, undoubtedly a dark confused soul. Relieved at the sight of this creator he began to focus, this was a fight he could win.

* * *

Bryant was being dismantled from a deeper level of existence, a place that he could feel but couldn’t explain. This pain came every time he won or lost a fight, projecting him into a new dimension. When the battle ended and Bryant stood victorious the next dimension was lighter and more fluid, when he faced defeat darkness and unyielding surroundings followed. The pain of transference hurt far beyond anything on the physical level, it felt as if he was being permanently separated from his soul. As the pain got worse he began to lose control. He looked at his hands, his fingers were no longer visible and he could see through his palms. The pain finally rendered him unconscious.

* * *

Crouched as before he looked up, excitement filled his body. The smell of North Carolina pines filled the air and brought back memories of a life nearly forgotten. He felt human again. He started to run falling several times, still getting used to the unrestricted felling of this reality. As he rounded the corner to his house, adrenaline coursing through his veins, he hit an invisible wall. Hit by a force he did not recognize from any of the dimensions he has visited, especially not this one.

“What are you doing here,” asked a man in a black suit.

“What,” he replied. It seemed like an eternity since he last heard a human voice. “I am going home.”

“There is nothing there for you.”

The energy continued to push Bryant back. “What are you,” he demanded.

“My boss wants to talk to you.”

Bryant sharpened his focus, pushing back against the shield. His hand advanced and passed through the man’s shoulder, he felt nothing, causing him lose focus and get thrown back. Suddenly he realized he didn’t exist in the physical realm, this was not a physical battle. He closed his eyes refusing to get this close and be sent back, his eyes opened, now red and determined. He felt a power he had never felt before. He closed his eyes and imagined the man tore in half, lying on the ground in two pieces. When he opened his eyes and narrowed his focus the man began to scream, his flesh began to separate at his waist. Slowly Bryant’s mental force ripped the man in two. Two others began to advance toward him; he was not going to let anything stop him from seeing his family. He closed his eyes again, this time picturing a dark red mist. He opened his eyes and narrowed his focus; they didn’t even have time to scream.

“Ha,” Bryant said out loud, wandering if the stain would exist in the physical realm.

* * *

Bryant could see himself sleeping beside his wife in the room where his journey began. He reached out to shake himself awake but he could not touch anything, not even his own sleeping body. He began to focus his mind, getting nervous, unsure of his own strength. He focused his mind on a punch to the stomach, surely he could forgive himself. He closed his eyes…

“Bryant,” a voice called.

He awoke screaming, crying, terrified.

“What was it like this time?” his wife asked.

“…The pain was the worst I have ever felt, the worst in any dimension. It felt like years this time, I didn’t realize I had to get back to this room, not at first, not the way I have in the past. At times I couldn’t even remember this reality.” He got up and went to the bathroom, wiped the tears from his face and looked in the mirror, afraid. “These dream worlds are beginning to feel more real than this reality,” he told his wife.

There was a knock on the door.

“Who could that be, it’s the middle of the night,” Bryant said.

He opened the door. A man in a black suite was standing on the other side. “You’re under arrest for the murder of three agents.” He said pulling out his handcuffs.

Kids these days

Kids these days, I can see where that phrase comes from now that I have kids of my own. The difference in generations, my kids won’t even know what a laptop computer is if tablets and smart phones keep improving. Who knows, they might attend class from home with some sort of holographic projector or form a recliner with their feet kicked up watching the teacher on a pair of “Internet Glasses”. Well Grandpa I know what you mean now!

* * *

When I was a kid, Grandpa and I spent a lot of time working on cars and running our mouths about how engineers did not have mechanics in mind when they designed them.  A lot of cars went through Grandpa’s shop. When a car was leaving he would smile and let his hand slide down the rear finder as if he were going to miss it. He was not a full time mechanic, it was more of an added retirement income but that did not stop the neighbors from bringing their junk cars by.

One summer Grandpa decided he was done working on other people’s junk. He had a 1952 Chevy pickup that had been setting behind his shop my whole life. I must have been 12 at the time, 12 or 13, I don’t remember. I was lucky, I was old enough to work on the truck, with guidance of course, but young enough I didn’t have to get a job like my older brother. I was over at Grandpa’s house nearly every day that summer.

Grandma was a fantastic woman. She always had lunch waiting for us when we came in from the shop. She was nice but she didn’t let me get away with things like grandpa did. “Sit up straight,” she told me, and get your elbows off the table. Thinking back, she didn’t let Grandpa get away with anything either. I’m not sure what Grandma did while we were in the shop, but on occasion we could hear her sing. We never turned the radio on. She was just loud enough and always seemed to pick a song that made Grandpa say, “Oh that’s a good one”.

The summer was winding down, we finally finished the truck and it looked brand new. I thought grandpa was going to jump out of his skin when we got in the front seat and buckled up. I will never forget that ride, Grandpa didn’t stopped smiling, he was so proud of that truck.

As the years went by and I tried to deal with the adolescent problems of high school, I was not surprised to hear that he started talking to that ol truck. In fact, I remember hearing him talk to it, I didn’t think much of it at the time. I am pretty sure he named it but I could never get him to admit to it.

I did ask him about it once, about talking to the truck. “Of course,” he said, “I respect her silence, every time I try and talk to your Grandma I get ridiculed for days.”

I guess she did lay into him now and then but it was hard for me to except, I just wanted to pretend that things were perfect, that things were lovely and amazing when you retire. – Continued on Page 2

The worst day of my life, nothing will be normal again

“Oh my god, what happened to you?” Lara said to her husband. He was standing at the door covered from head to toe with blood and scratches. He stared at her with empty eyes, breathing hard. “Wes, what happened,” she asked again.

He dropped to his knees, still silent. She ran to get the first aid kit, he had not moved when she returned. “Take your shirt off so I can see how bad this is,” she told him. He pulled at his shirt; she reached over to help him, she could see he was in a lot of pain.

“Squirrels” he finally replied. “I was attached by squirrels.”

She looked at him in disbelief although she had not come up with any other explanation for the thousands of tiny scratches.

“I was out walking Zeus and…” he trailed off. “Where is Zeus?” he asked

“I don’t know, did he come back with you?” she replied

“No, I guess, I guess I left him.” he said, his voice cracking.

“Let’s worry about you for now, this spot on your chest is pretty bad.” she said trying to stay calm.

* * *

“Hello, I am Dr. Rosenkrantz, your wife sounded concerned on the phone, I got you in as soon as I could.” the doctor said, watching Wes closely as if he was trying to see his thoughts. “What is she so concerned about?”

“Well doc, is it ok if I call you doc? I have never been to a shrink before.”

“Doc is fine, but I prefer you not call me a shrink, psychiatrist is much better.”

“Ok,” Wes said then paused to gather his thoughts. “Basically I had the worst, and strangest day of my life, I can’t imagine she believes my story since I have a hard time believing it myself.”

“Please tell me the whole story, don’t leave anything out.” the doctor said still watching closely.

“Ok, I will do my best.”

“I was walking my dog Zeus.  We were on a trail that goes back in the woods; it’s a trail I have been on a thousand times. I was not having a good day, let’s be honest; I was having a horrible day. I was just walking, minding my own business, and cursing under my breath when a squirrel ran across the path. Zeus got all spun up, pulling on my hand and making a fuss, the squirrel looked back, kinda over his should, out of nowhere I flipped him the bird and said, ‘what are you looking at puffball?’ I kept walking tugging Zeus’s leash, he was busy staring down the squirrel. As we walked along the path I noticed that the squirrel was staying alongside us, jumping from tree to tree. I watched for a second, taking a break from the angry track that was playing in my mind, truly amazed by the distance a squirrel can cover in a single jump.”

“Huh-huh,” the doctor mutters, “keep going.” — Continued on Page 2