Posted in Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 1 Chapter 5: 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

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5 – The Final Chapter

I reach down with my mind and find him, lying there in the weeds. Thick mud settling, closing over his head. I wrench him free. Caress his tiny blue face and the life-beat throbs again. Rise to the surface with the child and set him free.

The child breaks through the surface of the lake with a rush of water and the father stares in disbelief as his son floats to him and falls into his arms.

Alive.

A life.

Trembling.

Puzzled.

Joy.

Father carries his child up from the lake to the house.

Wonder. And I?

I watch them go and slip back down into the depths.

To sleep.

My birth premature.

Sleep.

I am broken.

Sleep.

I will not awake.

Death.

Sleep.

Joy.

Posted in Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 1 Chapter 4: 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

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Closer.

I am waiting for my revenge.

Face turning blue and eyes wide closing.

I am waiting for my revenge.

Struggle, thrashing in the water about me, then stillness. A twitch.

I am waiting for my revenge.

Heartbeat throbbing and slowing. One beat. Two. Three ragged chords of life. Silence.

I am waiting for my revenge.
And then, a scream, not unlike one I have heard before. Of such pain and agony. Loss of one’s own. Pain. Helpless, hopeless loss and pain.

Scream of a man for his child.

She had cried thus. Scream. Piercing my soul like a thousand needles and ripping from me that unknown emotion. Scream.

And I know.

Posted in Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 1 Chapter 3: 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

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Yet I have sensed a special bond between this man and his child, something which I cannot comprehend. It lies not in me. I know. I have searched many times, but though I have much, I have not this. I long for it, but I will forget all desires save one, vengeance, and push my being to its completion.
Wait. There is a movement nearby.

The child has come to the pond under cover of the dusk, away from his father’s piercing eyes. He moves stealthily down the shore with rope in hand, gazing out with grim determination. Creeping closer. Closer.

“John, where are you!?”

Call of the father cutting through the child knowing his mission must wait.
“I’m down here by the lake.”

“I thought I told you …!!”

“Yes, but I want to show you … aaaah!”

Slip and the child tumbles into the depths,
falling,
falling,
falling
down
to
me.

I am waiting for my revenge.

Posted in Stories and Fiction

Weekly Serial Book 1 Chapter 2: 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

Chapter 2

I awoke from my sleep years ago to screams of a mother in pain.

My mother.

Who had sheltered me through these centuries of fire and ice and in whose warm bosom I had safely slept, awaiting my birth. She, my faithful Keeper, screamed in pain. Wave¬ upon wave of her torment washed over me and I wept with her.

My wail joined hers.

The earth shook with our agony and the treads of the great yellow monster which chewed at her flesh for days and then spat her back out again.

Chewed at my mother.

Until those two-legged ones took the monster away and a black gaping wound remained.

Still we screamed on.

Then the rains came and washed our pain away.
I trembled with rage at my helplessness; that I, one so great, could do nothing while my mother writhed in agony. I, trapped by forces set in motion before my existence.

So I trembled and waited. I wait still.

But soon.

And you see now why I must awake and destroy them who hurt her so.

Posted in Stories and Fiction

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 and Fiction

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 Stories and Fiction

On my dystopian short story “They”

In 1986, I decided to enroll for a semester at Livingston University where my mom was teaching at the time.

After graduating high school, my plan had been to work for a year and then head off to Eastern Mennonite College where I had already been accepted. Unfortunately, the vinyl siding business tanked and I was left in limbo. My mom suggested I enroll at Livingston to get a taste of college life and as it was only 45 minutes from our house, I did so.

My favorite class was a work-intensive honors history course called Utopias and Anti-Utopias (or Dystopias as they’re called now).

Each week, we were required to read a book such as Orwell’s 1984, Bellamy’s Looking Backward, or Zamatyn’s We. Then we wrote a research paper, and participated in class discussions. Yes, a book and paper each week. Lots of work. I loved it.

For our final test, we were given several essay questions. Or the professor said we could write a story that would encompass the themes of the course. I set to work with a faint idea, and lo, at the end of my allotted time, I had written a dystopian short story entitled “They.”

In May 2018, as I was revisiting my older works, I decided to revise the story; editing and expanding the plot, yet staying true to the essence of the original. The story has always contained a sort of magic for me, perhaps because it came together in one sitting as I maddeningly filled page after page with words that gradually began to make sense. There also is a sense of despair and hope intermingled in the struggles of the main character, Funereal.

It is my hope that you will find the story intriguing as well. I plan on releasing my most recent version on Wattpad this Friday. And hope to do the same with more of my stories in 2019.

I don’t really know whether “They” will join the pantheon of great manuscripts or not. But I enjoyed the creative endeavour, now and way back then. And the Prof loved it.

He gave me an A.

Posted in Stories and Fiction

A Short Short Story

Once upon a time, a small-framed man climbed the highest tree and bragged that he was taller than everything. The sun above beat down upon him until he began to sweat and his perch grew slick. He slipped and fell.

Now he is even shorter.

The moral?
A higher perch does not always provide greater insight.

Posted in Stories and Fiction

A Flower’s Cry

A flower bloomed today.

I saw it out through the dusty, cracked basement window and watched as it struggled up toward the sunlight.

It had chosen, this brave flower, a tiny knoll set in an expanse of muddy ground to begin its fight for existence. Rows upon rows of beaten, battered ruins of what used to be old and majestic houses surrounded the mud, slowly crumbling down into its dirty embrace. Like the scummy wasteland, they had been trampled by the same machine.

I was glad that the basement window only had a tiny crack in it because even a tiny breeze brought the putrid reek of death to my nostrils. I knew where it came from – the Morgue, the cemetery for thousands who had stood up for the Truth.

I glanced back out of the window at the flower and saw, as if for the first time, the beauty of its bloom. In the black scum around it, it shone like a beacon. Tiny droplets of wa­ter, clean, glistened on its bright petals and ran down its sides, leaving gleaming streaks on its stem. I couldn’t take my eyes away from the flower’s beauty and marveled at it until the sun set and night covered the land with its soft, silent cloak. I turned from the window and quickly went to my pallet on the floor, eager for the new day.

*******

A flower died today.

I saw it disappear under many muddy, tramping boots as the soldiers dragged me away. But I knew that, sometime, somewhere, another would lift its brave head to the morning sun and cry out in defiance,

“I will live!”

Written May 18, 1984 (age 16). Originally posted here February 2012.

A Friday Campfire Tale from the Cold War Kid collection.