Posted in Stories, Witness Unseen

Weekly Serial Book 1 Chapter 1: Witness Unseen

(Author’s Note: Early on in my blogging, to honor the old pulp magazine serials, I began a weekly serial series of my stories. I have decided to repost those stories in serial form. Each Friday will feature a new chapter until a story ends. Then I will begin a new story. Enjoy!)

Witness Unseen

Chapter 1

“Hey, Dad! The lake’s got bubbles in it again!”

Cry of a curious child. Boy. Sigh of an overworked man bent over a cluttered desk inside. Click of the pen dropping from his hand. Reluctant groan of an overstuffed chair as he rises and moves tiredly to the door. Slam! The voices outside sifting through these walls.

“John, how many times have I told you to stay away from the lake? It’s too dangerous and …”

“But, Dad, I tell you I saw …”

“No buts! Now you heard me: Stay away!”

Voice rising. Child lost.

“Son?! Are you …?”

“Yeah, I know, Stay away!”

Stay away.

Reverberating down to me in my muddy womb, the conversation and stern warning from father to son, I hear. It has rained much lately and the sides of the lake are slippery, dangerous for a man, deadly to a child.

And so the warning.

I hear, and see and smell and touch this, for all of my senses are one, molded together in complex simplicity through time. And soon, with them in full readiness, I will arise from these dark depths that have been my prison for so long and I will take my revenge.

Ah, your questions. Revenge?

Wait.

Hush.

I will tell the tale.

Posted in Stories

New! Dystopian Short Story “They” Published on Wattpad

As noted earlier this week, “They” is now published on Wattpad. The link is below:

in a not so distant dystopian future, a citizen discovers true freedom

https://my.w.tt/S7JVw7UroT

Click view as reader for best reading experience.

Or you can download the ebook in .pdf format below:

https://1drv.ms/b/s!Ahdvw20Lq-XNg9U7_tQZtny0xkto9w.

Posted in Cold War Kid

Miracle Unmanacled

A dark tree; crooked branches; gnarled trunk.

From a low branch, a figure hangs. Wrists, stretched high overhead by metal bands, are bound so tight blood drips from where they cut into flesh to splatter across a broken body and onto the ground.

Around the tree, a mob is gathered. They shout obscenities and mock the hanging man. Occasionally, a stone strikes his torn and battered frame.

A road runs nearby. In the distance, a cloud of dust rises from its surface. More are coming. The end is near.

Byzmon turned from the screen of the viewing console and spoke to the agent beside him. “It looks like this thing is about to get pretty rough in a couple of minutes.”

“Yeah,” Callergron growled. “I hope they rip him to shreds.”

“Uh-huh,” Byzmon muttered through gritted teeth. “I hate these Radicals. This kind of death is too good for them.”

His companion grunted his assent. “I’ll go get us some ja. It’s going to be a long night,” he said and walked out of the room. Byzmon turned back to the glowing vid.

The other Protectors had arrived, their knives and scythes gleaming in the moonlight. The crowd’s shouts rose to a deafening crescendo. As if of one mind, they began to move toward the man hanging broken from the tree.

His voice stopped them like a cold slap across a face. They stood, stunned, and listened.

“People,” he cried, “Why do you do this? Don’t you know that you are mere pawns in an even larger game, that you are just doing the work of Them?” Then, with a strength that belied his suffering, the broken man told them a story.

Sometime later, exhausted from his speech, the man paused and hung his head. The crowd waited, captured by the words of the prisoner. They strained to hear what he would say next. In a voice barely above a whisper, he rasped. “Why do you walk with death when you can live?” he gasped. “You are loved. God loves you!”

The man watched the people below him as they tried to digest what he had said. “God,” he prayed. “Please give them a sign.”

“I will,” a Voice answered, sweet and refreshing. “I love you. Come to me, all who are weak and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” The air seemed to fill with an unseen Presence.

“I love you,” the Voice said again.

The people heard. Startled, they looked around in fear. Then, as one, they fell trembling to their knees as if struck down by a mighty wind. Hearts so recently filled with murderous intent began to change, prodded by the words of the hanging man and that other even more disturbing Voice. Tears began to stream from once dry and bitter eyes.

Somewhere, in the dark depths of their minds, the people remembered the God of their forebears and humbly asked for forgiveness. They knelt, transfixed, as their sins were washed away and their souls cleansed as white as snow. Then they remembered the Christian hanging from the tree.

“He should live!” they cried, rising up as one to cut him down. Many gentle hands held the broken man as he gasped for breath, but they knew they were too late.

The Christian raised his head from where he lay midst the crowd and whispered, “God bless you, my children.” And then, with a shudder, he was gone.

Byzmon sat at the console, his eyes glued to the images on the screen. He watched as the crowd took the man away from the tree and marched with him down the road. In a little while, the sound of their weeping died away. No witnesses to the strange incident remained, except for an old tree and an old soldier.

A figure loomed in the doorway of the room. Two steaming cups of ja rested in Callergron’s hands.

“Byz,” he said. “I’ve got your…” He stopped in mid-sentence, for the agent was nowhere to be seen. The chair beside the console was empty and the view-screen had been shut off. Puzzled, Callergron glanced around the room and noticed a door leading to a small alcove standing slightly ajar. He walked toward the door cautiously and as he drew near it, he was surprised to hear the soft sound of someone crying.

“Sir?” he said, wonderingly, and stepped through the door.

“…for the PM Communique. Two members of the VidPol were reported AWOL today. There is no clue as to their whereabouts, except a note that was left on their security console. It read, ‘Free at last.’ These traitors are to be considered extremely dangerous. A worldwide search has been called to…”

Written April 30, 1984

Originally posted here August 2010, reposted with edits today.

Part of the Cold War Kid collection.

A Friday Campfire Tale

Posted in Cold War Kid, Stories

CAMPFIRE TALES – Firestorm

Shadowy forms moved slowly through the red mist. Conversation was at a minimum; there was nothing to say. All present realized the impor­tance of their task, and its possible failure rested heavily upon them. The five humans continued steadily on their way; few hours remained for the accomplishment of the Mission.

Presently, the group stepped through the last of the scarlet mist, lone wisps of the fog clinging to their clothes, reluctant to relin­quish its hold on the five who had dared to brave its power. A look of horror would have spread across the face of the onlooker, if one had been alive, had he seen the features revealed in the sickening orange glow of the moon. Bulging eyes stared out from bloated faces where unhealed sores bled a yellowish ooze. Human though they were, or had been, few features, save four limbs, a functioning brain, and an upright walk, remained to give notice to this fact. By their own hands they had destroyed themselves and warped the genius of the Creator. Now, even the roaches were better off than they.

The leader motioned to the others to follow her and moved off a­cross the meadow before them, her eyes on a small building in the center of this barren expanse of ground. Soon, the burdens she and her com­patriots carried would be relinquished forever, maybe to be seen and listened to by a future, less-ignorant generation.

Upon arriving at the building, the leader wrenched the heavy door open and began relieving her friends of their burdens, placing them in the dark, protective interior of the vault. A portable communications system, complete with a video screen and laser disc set, went in first, followed by a case containing various laser discs and video cassettes with the complete history of the human race, from Eden to the Tron Wars to the most recent Holocaust. Tears trickled down the scarred cheeks of those present as they realized they would probably be the last intelligent creatures to view their precious memories in many an eon. Various other articles, including phonograph records, picture albums, and art objects, were placed into the vault as well. Then the leader sealed its occupants forever, at least to them. The group of humans turned away from their labor and started back to the Base, beginning again the struggle for survival on this barren planet.

Elsewhere, in the Sahara Desert, another of the nuclear-magnetic earthquakes and firestorms that rocked Earth constantly occurred. At last, the wall of fire and radiation broke through the barrier of the Pacific Ocean and engulfed the remainder of the world. In their tiny base, the last of humankind felt the pains of death and then felt no more. Fate had decreed that they be given a respite from their pitiful attempts at survival on this Hell, this Hell spawned by humans.

And throughout Earth, Creation was cleansed of humankind’s gross sin and ultimate act of disobedience by fire; pure, white-hot fire.

The End

Written Feb. 17, 1985, age 17

Originally published here August 2010

Part of the Cold War Kid Collection

Posted in A Wrong Uncovered, Cold War Kid, Stories

Short Story – A Wrong Uncovered

I live in the city of Terra, the capital of the planet, Vulcan. Vulcan is the home planet for the Galaga Federation thereby making it heavily populated and Terra very large. This being the case, I make it a habit in my free time to explore it. It is when I am walking along Terra’s shady, tree lined avenues that I am most contented.

It was while I was strolling the streets of the city on one such exploration that I came across an old, deserted house. The sign hanging beside its broken door in huge red letters pronounced CONDEMNED! No one could have agreed more totally than I.

Most of the houses win­dows were boarded up to keep the glass panes intact, though judging by the amount of shards that littered the street, they had done little good. The remains of what probably had been a beautiful veranda lay rotting on the ground. The house had such a ramshackle appearance that any “sane” person would never have ventured beneath its sagging frame. That is precisely the reason why I stepped through its door.

Inside, the house was totally barren. Except for the dust of many ages that had settled on its surface. Nothing remained on the rough wooden floor, except . . . My eye caught something white stuck in a crack in the floor. It was paper! Paper had been outlawed many years before by the International Council of Censors! I eagerly picked up the scrap and noticed that it had writing on it. The writing was of a strange, ancient text, but I could still read it:

Earth was beautiful once upon a time, but now it is barren and the sun frowns upon it, for it is no longer its child. Long ago Man destroyed Earth and now is get­ting rid of all the history concerning it so no one will know of the great destruction that was wreaked upon it. Earth, I weep for thee . . .

Here the writing ended because the rest of the paper had been torn off. I suspected that after the Federation Police raided this joint, its owner had received a sentence similar to the one tacked outside the door behind me. His carcass was probably rotting in one of Terra’s mus­ty prisons. I, suspecting which planet was this mysterious Earth, made provisions to . . .

Written: 1983 (age 16)

Originally posted: 2012

Posted in Blackberry Lake, Stories

Blackberry Lake – Contemplative Fantasy Audio Drama – Chapter 4

While picking blackberries, a young man stumbles on a path that takes him to another place. Is his new hope misplaced or will he discover a liberating force? A contemplative fantasy audio drama for children of all ages. A 2012 PeaceGrooves Production

Stay tuned for more chapters!

Special thanks to freesound.org and the following for their wonderful sounds:
jlseagull
sagetyrtle
klankbeeld
skiersailor
vibe_crc
Nathan_Lomeli
j1987
Charel Sytze
jppi_Stu
Hupguy
jessestephens

Posted in Blackberry Lake, Stories

Blackberry Lake – Contemplative Fantasy Audio Drama Chapter 3

Stay tuned for more chapters!

Special thanks to freesound.org and the following for their wonderful sounds:
sagetyrtle
klankbeeld
skiersailor
vibe_crc
Nathan_Lomeli
j1987
Charel Sytze
jppi_Stu
Hupguy
jessestephens

Posted in Blackberry Lake, Stories

Blackberry Lake – Contemplative Fantasy Audio Drama – Chapter 2

Stay tuned for more chapters.

Special thanks to freesound.org and the following:
HerbertBoland
Spleencast
sagetyrtle
Robinhood76
martian
prosounder