Wednesday, May 16, 2018


The silence woke Cara out of her light sleep. Even though the sun was high in the sky she had learned to sleep in twenty-minute snatches throughout the day. It was not the sun streaming through cracks in the boards that had woken her. It was as quiet as a church.

Lack of sound had always been a sign of trouble. Back then, when she was a mom, there had been a lot of lessons. The boy had been her first, and only. When he was a toddler one of the things he taught her was that a quiet toddler was bad news. He was doing something he shouldn’t.

Now was not a safe time for Cara to stroll down memory lane. Moving stealthily, she slipped out of bed, careful not to let her shoes make noise on the old wooden floor. The rattled woman wrapped her hand around the baseball she kept next to the bed and made her way towards the only window. It had long been boarded up, but the person who did it left a space to look out of.

As she stared out the window, her ears strained to hear. There were no gunshots, no screams of the dying. That din had slowly replaced human companionship and conversation for Cara. Staring out through the space between the boards, she scanned around the house.

Not a single sound, nor soul was detected; even the wind seemed to be holding its breath. Going through a rigorously strict routine, she made her way downstairs and out of the house. The first step over the door frame was met with the same crushing silence. Slowly she looked around. A steady inhalation, as she gripped the baseball bat tightly. Guns were loud; they drew attention. The infected seemed to hear with the ears of wild animals, with instincts sharper than any knife.  

She didn’t know what they were. They didn’t behave like Hollywood zombies, and the infection wasn’t spreading as quickly. It had been months since the United States fell into chaos. And with communications being down, nobody seemed to know how it was spread. Maybe another survivor did, but Cara never spoke to them. It was safer to stay alone and hide.

Dropping down low, she looked around for any signs of life or danger. Just a few yards off, she spotted a squirrel. It seemed that animals could be infected too. This one appeared to be okay. the only way to tell was to wait and see if it came at her. They made wary eye contact; before the creature scampered off.

Standing up, she started to carefully make her way down the road. The impact caught her by surprise. The weight behind it knocked her on the ground while pushing the air out of her lungs. Scaly hands with reptile claws started to pull at her skin. Cara screamed as she swung wildly with her bat. Another scream escaped her lips, but there was no sound.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Adventures in La La Land - Elisabeth Meets a Chupacabra Part One

Part One

Elisabeth’s alarm went off, and her eyes flew open. Her hand instantly found the stake under the pillow. In a moment of lucidity, her brain registered that it was daylight. She quickly let go of the stake and started to go for the gun that she kept in a holster attached to the nightstand instead. Something deep in her wanted to initiate the escape plan that all Blue Moon team members had in place. It was a rule that applied to their homes, the office, and Home Base.

She sleepily dismissed that urge. She struggled to place exactly where she was. Her heightened senses did not give her the feeling that she was in danger. Cautious eyes scanned the room, while her brain worked to shake off the last gentle grip that sleep had on her. Sometimes the Sandman took a while to say goodbye.

It took a few moments, but she figured out where she was; and why she woke up in fight or flight mode. She was at home. That explained why it felt so alien, and she didn’t immediately realize where she was. Her home was usually the last place one would have to look to find her, most days. She woke up wanting to run because of the dream. By now she had no idea what it had been about, and that was probably a blessing.

A quick look at her bedside calendar elicited the first annoyed groan of the day. The reason why guaranteed that there would be plenty more to follow. She was assigned to work with Jack Frost, at Blue Moon for the next three days. The werewolf bounty hunter was not her favorite person on the team to partner with on cases. In fact, he was the only person that she disliked at all.

It wasn’t because of his past failed relationship with Akiko, either. Elisabeth was adult enough to separate her friends struggles to work with her ex-boyfriend, from her ability to work with an important part of the team. It had solely to do with who he was as a person. To say That Frost was unpleasant to work, and live with, was a gross understatement.

Extreme hostility was the neutral setting for Jack. He enjoyed playing the devil’s advocate at highly inappropriate times. The talented werewolf wrangled seemed to have this deep desire to debate, and bicker. It often left him blind to how horrible his timing was. On top of that, once Jack decided to get under your skin for whatever reason, he gave it all he had. It was a wonder that none of them had killed him by now.

Akiko endured it all because Jack Frost was the best werewolf bounty hunter in the area. His kind was not as prevalent on the west coast; as they were through the Midwest and Northeast. The agency was lucky to have him. They were just unlucky in the fact that his impressive talent came with the rankest attitude.

If someone better happened to come along, then maybe Akiko would consider replacing him. Until that day they would all have to just deal with Jack and all his infuriating personality traits. That was the price they all had to pay to make sure they could stay on top of cases involving werewolves. Not only was that a large part of the business, but it was also a large problem in the Golden State.

Begrudgingly, Elisabeth dragged herself into the shower. She sat up, a scowl imprinted on her face, and she feared it might be permanent. Several cigarettes and half a pot of coffee did nothing to improve her mood. The annoyed woman hoped that a visit to her favorite food truck would do the trick. As things currently stood Frost would not survive the day if she started out the day with him, like this.

As she hoped, her favorite food truck visit lifted her spirits. The fact that there was no traffic all the way to work certainly helped. She strolled into the office. She was immediately greeted by the new secretary, Mrs. Rachel Skylark.

The last one had recently quit. The whole thing had been a prime example of why Akiko was so hesitant to hire an administrative assistant or receptionist. She stood up and started screaming that stating that the clients were crazy, but the team was far more demented. Seeing Rachel also made Elisabeth happy.  She was efficient and made fantastic coffee. On top of that, she had no problem working overtime if something happened, and they were not able to close the office on time.

Rachel Skylark had come heavily recommended by her previous employers, who included several of the other reputable agencies that dealt with the supernatural. That alone was enough to make Akiko want to hire her. That meant she was steady in nature, and not easily rattled by anything that came her way. Akiko knew that Rachel would need minimal training in self-defense. She knew which end of the stake went in bloodsuckers, and what to do in case of a werewolf attack.

Mrs. Skylark was more than easy on the eyes, which made her an immediate target for the lecherous attention of Jack. There was a lot about her that drew the attention of anyone nearby. Her svelte figure stretched to an incredible five feet and nine inches. She stood eye to eye with Stetch, on days when she wore heels.

Rachel possessed this crooked smile, that was mischievous and infectious. A cute upturned nose graced her perfectly tanned face. Often, she used that very nose to push her cat-eyed glasses up her face when she did not have a hand available.

Her brown wide set eyes lit up the room and transformed her face into a luminous source of infinite beauty. She usually wore her chestnut [hued] hair up in a loose chignon. She was a proper married lady.  Her apparel was always demure, but flattering. That probably fueled his desires.

Jack took one look at her, and went for it so quickly; he missed the wedding ring. Rachel must have brutally shut him down. No one was witness to it, but they all knew something had happened. One day he was typical Jack Frost. Then suddenly de did not act himself in her presence. He was a schoolboy, and she was the principal.

“Good morning, Ms. Darling,” the happy woman chirped sweetly at the psychic.

Elisabeth smiled. The former bounty hunter turned secretary, also happened to be a former beauty queen. She was always pleasant and polite.

“Good morning to you too, Mrs. Skylark. Do I have any messages today?”

The secretary smiled while standing up. “Yes, you do as a matter of fact. Settle in, and I will bring them over with your coffee.”

Elisabeth thanked her and headed over to her desk. Typical of Jack, he was late and had not called her.
He was most likely trying to dislodge last night’s bar score from his bed. Elisabeth hoped that not only was there a girl in his bed that refused to leave, but that she was also a level ten clinger. That would serve him right. He deserved at least that much for being so inconsiderate as not to call.
Rachel soon showed up with her coffee and messages.

Elisabeth didn’t see any messages from him in her pile, which means he didn’t call the office to let Rachel know. He had not called Akiko, either. Elisabeth bit back another groan. Instead, she smiled at Rachel and asked her to call Jack. There was no resistance. Just a sweet smile.

Something about that woman was pure magic. Everything Rachel touched turned to gold. The way she managed the office wasn’t just a matter of being highly organized, task oriented, and skilled at coffee making. Every case that she brought in turned into a massive pile of cash for the agency.

Leafing through her messages, she put them in order of urgency, and priority. She was halfway through the stack of pink slips when her head snapped up. Elisabeth struggled to keep her face neutral, and her stomach acids where they belonged. Doing so was no easy task, as that feeling was telling her that Frost had just pulled into the parking lot. An [intense] feeling of dread settled in her innards.

She could feel his frenetic energy. It rolled away from him, in massive, and angry waves. Today was going to be a real rodeo. Elisabeth was now thankful that she had decided to be responsible last night.

Even though Layla had insisted she come down to the bar and hang out, Elisabeth had been stern in her decision to stay home. That was no easy feat. A night of drinking with the belted werewolf was always more fun than should be legal. On occasion, she was sure it was. The problem is that they could not usually remember large chunks of their time together.

Elisabeth was mid thought when Jack came storming through the front door. He swung it open with such force that she thought it would slam into the window behind it, and shatter both. His face twisted into a nasty sneer that frightened both women. When the door flew, open Rachel let go with a surprised gasp; it caught her off guard.

Rachel was unable to get out her usual greeting, as Jack stormed right past her desk, ripping the stack of notes off that sat on the edge. She started to let him know he took Akiko’s messages when he noticed and turned around. Stalking angrily back to Rachel’s desk, he slammed the papers down. Without a word, he shoved his hand out and waited until she managed to fumble his messages into his waiting palm.

As he passed Elisabeth on his way to her desk, she became aware of a smell she that was very familiar. Every single drinker had a story about that one liquor that they would never drink again, because of that one time they almost died. For Elisabeth that was gin. Just her luck, Jack smelled like a distillery full of it. Today was going to be fantastic.

Rachel decided to bury herself in her work and pretend as if none of that had just happened. Elisabeth decided to do the same. She had never seen him like this before. The next hour was pretty calm, with Jack falling asleep as his desk; leaving the two startled women to breathe a little easier. Letting him sleep just seemed like a wise decision based on how he had entered.

The phone ringing pierced the quiet of the office. Elisabeth tried to listen, but she was unable to hear anything. After she had hung up the phone, she threw a few nervous glances at them, as she placed a phone call. Afterward, Rachel waved them both over to her desk. All of Elisabeth’s fears about how the day was going to go were confirmed when the secretary announced what type of case it was.

“Well you two are not going to believe this, but I just got a chupacabra call.”

Jack rolled his eyes and huffed gin-tinged breath onto both women. “Are you serious,” he asked in a tone that was more than slightly annoyed.

The team had all been out on at least one chupacabra call each. A few of the team, like Jack, had gone out on several. They always ended up being dogs, or coyotes, with mange.

The person who called always pays, of course. And the team member who catches that call is compensated for gas and other travel expenses. The annoying part was that these calls always came out from ranches out on the other side of creation. Elisabeth was equally annoyed. She just hid it better.
Elisabeth took a deep breath. “How far out is this call?”

From the look on Rachel’s face, she knew it was bad. The secretary nearly whispered the answer to them. “It's out in San Bernardino County, in Newberry Springs.”

Jack let loose with a string of curse words that would have made a sailor blush. “Well we need to get on the road,” he spat out.

He stormed off leaving Elisabeth full of dread, and Rachel relieved. She would be clear of whatever nasty mood Jack had worked up. Everyone was used to the temper flares of Akiko. Supernatural bounty hunting was a high-stress industry, and she was responsible for a lot of lives.

She didn’t just count the people on her staff, and team. She also considered every single person in the greater area of Los Angeles to be her responsibility, when it came to the supernatural. Everything else was up to Seth, and the rest of the LAPD. There was also the fact that she did not deal out her anger to the undeserving. Very rarely did she unload on an unsuspecting victim. If she did, it was Jack; and they all understood.

The flustered psychic turned to the rattled secretary, “can I get the rest of the details? I will fill him in, once we get in the car.”

“The rancher who called it in says that there have been three separate incidents. Each time he finds several of his stock completely drained of blood, and partially eaten.”

She was about to ask if she had spoken with Akiko about it when Rachel cut the thought short. “Akiko said that she wants you two to go since it didn’t sound like the other cases. I did try to save you the drive.”

Elisabeth thanked her and then went to check to see if she had an overnight bag in her car. When she got back, Jack was sitting at his desk, with his shades on and his car keys jingling in his hands. Well, she mused to herself; at least the drive out there wouldn’t be boring.

As predicted, the trip to San Bernardino was full of excitement. Jack kept the pedal pushed down to 90 miles per hour, which was made worse by the fact that they had taken an SUV from the motor pool. Sudden turns, or lane changes, left Elisabeth feeling like the vehicle might tip. She tried to talk to Jack more than once. Her efforts hit a wall built of icy blank stares and half growls.

Newberry Springs turned out to be an agricultural area, which boasted its historical water supply. The temperate water was suitable for growing several crops. Elisabeth started to notice both ranches and farms.
Jack had slowed down to the point where the scenery was more than a blur that flew by. While she was not able to identify most of the trees, she was delighted with the wild variety of animals. There were ostriches, buffalos, and even turkeys.

Once she saw they were only twenty miles from the ranch she started to fill Jack in on the details of the case. The client was a man named Rob Barrett, although he was not the one who had called it in. One of his employees who ran the day to day operation in his absence had called, with Mr. Barrett’s permission. His name was Javier Martinez.

Javier had told Rachel that he suspected it was a chupacabra based on several things. The first was that the animals were all completely drained of blood. There had been things done to the corpses that did not match with a chupacabra, but there was no such thing as an expert on the subject. Not that he had been able to find.

On top of being dry, the carcasses also had the entrails pulled out. There were also gnaw marks, and chunks of flesh and skin were missing. Something had eaten parts of the dead animals. It was not like anything that he had heard of, and he knew all of the urban legends. That is all is all he had taken them for until the deaths started on the ranch.

He tried to find other explanations when he found the first set of victims. It had been an ostrich and a border collie. There were coyotes, but they had never had issues before. Llamas guarded the birds, along with several large breed guardian dogs.

While they were still zipping along, she had used the time to call Randall, to see what he could tell her about the people that they were going to see. Elisabeth, as usual, was impressed with what he had dug up on the client. He had gone as far as to dig through the man’s bank records and current business dealings. Everything was kosher, and he was up to date on all his taxes. Rob Barrett had never been arrested or sued. In fact, Randall had only been able to find one speeding ticket, from when the client was just seventeen.

Records showed he paid his staff more than fairly. If Randall were partial to manual labor and the sun, he would consider applying for the amount the handful of men and women were making. He had told Elisabeth that he had also researched Javier’s claims. A local newspaper had run a few stories on it.

When they arrived at the ranch, Elisabeth immediately fell in love with the wide-open space, fresh air, and animals. She could see herself spending the rest of her days in a place like this, far away from the things that went bump in the night. She allowed herself to fantasize about leaving the agency, to just be an average person again.

The fantasy evaporated when she realized that she had never been an ordinary person. Her life had been a play, where she put on her best mask; and pretended to be just like everyone else. Her nerves vibrated and twanged. There was something out here. Maybe not a chupacabra, but something out here was like her; not human. That part of her that would never be normal was wide awake and seeking the source of what she was feeling.

Where are you, she thought to herself. What are you? Not human, she answered in her head; getting out of the truck to stretch.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Walk Home

Deidre had been deeply embedded in a book about Greek mythology when she felt a soft tap on her shoulder. She looked up to find the kind face of the old security guard standing above her; a kind smile plastered on his face. She pulled her headphones out and looked up, wondering what she had done wrong.

“I’m sorry to disturb you young lady, but it's time for the library to close. If you want to check that out, you had better hurry. Ms. Winifred is ready to go home.”

His smile took her back to happier times, with a man she barely remembered. Her father had been sixty-five when he died of a sudden heart attack. Dee was five, but if she closed her eyes and thought hard, she could still remember his smile. The nine years that had passed since he died had not been able to rob her of that. Of course, there were pictures, but she could still remember the real thing.

The quiet girl was gathering her things when suddenly a thought broke through the happy memories and caused her heart to ricochet around in her chest. The library closed at six o’clock at night. The sun was set to go down at five o’clock that evening. An intense shiver rocked her tiny body.

Usually, getting home after dark was not something that bothered her all that much. Especially since her mother, who worked as a flight attendant would not be home for a few more days. The trip home could go one of two ways. She could cut through the park that ran alongside her neighborhood, or she could walk around. Dee decided neither option sounded very safe, given the current circumstances.

The cops had come to her school to talk to all the kids. There was a serial killer on the loose, and the victims had all been girls between the ages of fourteen and sixteen. They talked to the kids about always traveling in groups, and making sure that someone always knew where you were. The officers also said to not be out at night alone. All the young ladies who had disappeared had all been out at night alone.

Her shoulders slumped as she walked up to the front counter to check out her book. Her cell phone had died two hours ago, and she had forgotten her charger. Dee was going to have to get over her anxiety long enough to ask to use the phone. It wasn’t the asking that was causing her throat to slam shut. It was who she had to call.

Her stepfather had not always been so bad. She wouldn’t go so far as to say she loved him, but when her mom had first married him it seemed like it would be okay. It had been acceptable for a while. Then he lost his job. At that point, he started to drink a lot, but only when her mom was on long flights. He was sober as the day he was born by the time his wife landed, so she was none the wiser about how bad things had been. Deidre had suffered for six long months in silence, just unsure of how to approach it.

She wanted to believe that her mother would take her word for it, but there was always that chance. There was no proof, and Dee had not warmed up to him. She was not rude and tried to treat him with the utmost respect in every single situation. What her mother would most likely focus on is how Dee treated her stepfather as if he did not exist. Something about him just did not sit right with Deidre, and she could not force herself past it. The only thing she could do was act as children of older times were expected to; she only spoke to him when he talked to her first.

Since her mother had left yesterday morning, Dee knew what to expect if he came to get her. He would be drunk as a sailor and three times as mean. Once, he grabbed her off her bed, and her foot caught on the part of the frame. Her three smallest toes swelled up like Vienna sausage, and she walked with a limp for a full week. It had hurt so badly. She told everyone, including her mother, that she had fallen off her bike.

Setting her books on the counter, Dee forced herself to make eye contact with Ms. Winifred.

“Ma’am, may I please use the phone? I need to see if my stepfather can pick me up.” The youngish librarian smiled and put the phone on the counter.

“I will trade you the phone for your library card.” Deidre felt a genuine smile creep across her face as she set her card on the counter, and grabbed the phone.

“Thank you very much,” she said politely. Ms. Winifred smiled. “You are very welcome Dee.”

Dee had to dig to be able to muster up her courage to pick up the receiver and started to dial her home phone. It rang a handful of times before the answering machine kicked in. “Hey Jim, this is Dee. I was wondering if you could pick me up at the library. I will try your cell.”

Her second attempt was just as fruitless. She graciously thanked the librarian again as she gathered up her books. There was no other choice but to walk. She stepped outside the doors and was immediately hit in the face with a cold wind. Dee pulled her hood up, before turning to wave goodbye to the concerned looking guard.

“I’ll be okay. It is a short walk.” He just nodded in response, and slowly shut the door.

Deidre hoped that had not been a lie. She started walking towards her home, still not entirely sure if she would go through the middle of the park, or skirt around the edges. Going around the outside statistically would be the safest. It was well lit, with traffic going by steadily. The only downside was that it would add another ten minutes to her trip. From the library to the park was already a ten-minute walk. If she cut through the park, it would shave five minutes off her journey time. However, the park was not well lit and often had rough types hanging about at night.

By the time she reached the park, Deidre knew what she was going to do. She needed to pee so bad her back teeth were floating. Her mother hated it when Deidre said that, but the memory was distinct. It was a saying that was picked up from her father, and the stubborn girl would not ever let it go. She also had this nagging feeling in the very back of her brain that said she needed to get home as quickly as possible. It was not a feeling she planned on ignoring; Dee would be extremely vigilant and move quickly.

The teenager both loved, and loathed this park. During the day, it was a place of magical weeping willows, and ethereal smelling eucalyptus. At night, it was something ripped from a nightmare, or any scary movie she had ever seen. Street kids had broken every other street lamp. The rest were out of order. Older kids who ran with street gangs like to hang out there to drink and get high. Sometimes some dull people wandered over from the nearby hospital after they were kicked out of the psychiatric ward once they convinced staff that they were not a danger to themselves or anyone.

Once again, she wished her stepfather had answered the phone. Dee did not have to wonder why he did not pick up, even though she had called ten times in a row. He was either passed out or too drunk to care that there was this incessant shrill screaming coming from the phone which sat next to his armchair.

She looked up at the cloud clogged sky and wished that the full moon would break through. It would provide light through the areas where the overhead lights were out of order. Pulling her books closer to her, Deidre took a deep breath and started down the path that entered the city park. Every step with no incidence brought with it a small reward of a confidence boost.

The sound of crunching leaves behind her brought all that crashing down onto the cold winter ground. Deidre’s heart stopped beating for a few seconds, and she forgot to breathe. A sense of dizziness washed over her, which forced her to stop walking. Before she knew what was happening her knees buckled and she felt herself moving towards the ground. There was nothing she could do to stop it.

Moments before she thought she would strike the ground, Dee found herself being swept up into strong arms. It took her a few deep breathes to figure out what had happened. Completely mortified, Dee allowed him to help her onto her feet. Once she was steady, she slowly extracted herself from his arms.

She managed to swallow the hard lump in her throat to open her mouth, and make words.

“Thanks,” was all she managed That was okay with her. It was better than her saying something mortifying. That was her strong suit.

Dee forced herself to look up and look him in the eyes. She immediately wished she hadn’t. He was gorgeous. She found herself being pulled deep into the profound depths of his brown eyes. The characteristics of his face reminded her of a statue she had once seen of a Spartan soldier. The angles were very masculine and pleasing to look upon. His brown hair was cut stylishly short. The shaken teen forced herself to hold the eye contact while she introduced herself. Anxiety was not going to get the best of her tonight.

“I mean it. Thanks. I don’t know what just happened. As silly as it sounds I thought you might be the serial killer, or whatever,” she said with a nervous laugh.

“I might be,” he said with a wink and a hearty laugh.

Deidre started to relax, but not so much that she forgot that she needed to get home. “Well, either way, I appreciate you not letting me face plant onto the filthy ground.”

He made a formal bow and then held out his hand for her hand. Dee eyeballed the extended hand for a few seconds before offering her own. The handsome boy gently cradled it in his own, kissing the top.

“My name is Nick. It's very pleased to meet you. Given that there is a danger in you being alone, can I please walk you home?”

Dee was sure she did not want to be alone in this dark and mostly empty park alone, while there was a serial killer on the loose. She looked at the young man who had so graciously made the offer. She knew that serial killers their age existed, but the cops were looking for a much older man. They doubted a teenager would have the stomach or strength to carry out the mutilations they were seeing. Deidre felt it would be safer to walk with him.

“Ok. I just live on the other side of this park. I appreciate the offer. It's scary in this part of town at night. Especially in this park.” He nodded as if he understood.

“Well, I am happy to escort you.”

They started to make small talk as they walked down the path that meandered through the park. Though there was nothing abnormal about the topic of his choice, something about him was setting her teeth on edge. His words seemed hollow, and there appeared to be an effort to seem sincere. The more they talked, the more Deidre felt he was overly charming like he was attempting to disarm her. Very suddenly she wanted to be far away from him, locked in the safety of her home.

When she saw the bathrooms up ahead, she let out a relieved breath. That was the two-minute marker to her house. She searched for the words to thank and dismiss Nick.

“Thanks for walking with me. I’m just going to go to the restroom; then I can make it the rest of the way. If my stepdad sees me with a boy, he will freak.”

The boy smiled. “Are you sure? I was hoping to see you again, and I can’t do that if you get kidnapped.”

Deidre felt herself blush deeply. “I’m sure. I’m seriously only two minutes from my house.”

He tilted his head to the side and studied her face in the limited light. Finally, he shrugged and nodded his head.

“If you are sure you are ok.”

She felt her apprehension lessen. It was nice to have company, but she did not want the strange boy to see where she lived. Giving a little wave, Dee walked into the women’s restroom. By now her bladder was painfully protesting against the waistband of her jeans. She had managed to not pee on herself in front of the cute, but weird boy, and she prayed she could just hold it for a few more moments.

Once she entered, she immediately remembered why she had always hated this bathroom. The city had painted it several times over the last year, and probably used more cleaning solvents than was approved by the EPA. The smell of urine was still as strong as it had ever been. Additionally, there was one row of lights above, with two fluorescent tubes in there. Only one was still able to produce light down the middle of the aisle. Above the sink hung one bare bulb on a wire. It swayed back and forth, like a pendulum. Dee didn’t feel any wind.

One of the faucets dripped, and the sound urged her further into the bathroom. Her bladder would not withstand another scare. As she approached the first stall, the hairs on the back of her neck stood straight up. Her stomach filled with a deep dread that she had never felt before; not even when she knew a beating was coming her way. Gathering up what remained of her courage Dee entered the first stall and quickly locked the door behind her. Once she could empty her bladder, she started to feel some semblance of relief; until she heard the creaking of a stall door.

Her blood curdled in its veins, and Dee resisted the urge to scream. Once again, she cursed her stupidity. It had been a mistake to send Nick away. Finishing up, she tried to convince herself it was just the wind. The same wind that was causing the slow creak of the bare bulb swinging back and forth on its wire. Flushing the toilet, she took a deep breath and grabbed her purse. At the last second, she pulled her house keys out, and fitted one key in between each finger, with the sharp ends facing out. If she had to, she would go straight for the eyes.

Taking a deep breath, she sped out of the stall, ready to fight. Chest heaving with anxiety, Deidre took a few seconds to realize she was alone. Feeling drained, she slid her keys into the pocket of her pants so that she could wash her hands. The cold water shocked her system into an odd sense of calm. Drying herself off on the old air hand dryer, Deidre pondered what might have given her such an unsettled feeling about Nick. He had been stunning, and she was slightly sad that she would probably never see him again.

As Dee walked out, she was surprised to see Nick still waiting.

He was casually leaned against the side of the building, nonchalantly whistling some unknown tune. When he heard the girl approaching he stopped to plead his case. “Don’t be mad. I’m sorry. I couldn’t leave. You know what the kids at my school say about the murders?”

She shook her head. Deidre didn’t hang out with anyone from her school. She had no idea what teens her age thought. The closest thing Dee had to friends were the adults that were often met as the teen wandered through life. There was no way she would ever tell Nick that. He looked like the type to make friends every single place that he went.

“They say there is a werewolf running around these parts. The beast seems to have a taste for cute girls, out late at night. And you are both.”

She was flattered but put off. The combination of not knowing why she didn’t trust Nick, along with offhand jokes of being a serial killer earlier in the night was too much for her. She was starting to feel very uncomfortable.

“You don’t believe in werewolves do you,” Dee stammered as she stepped back.

He threw his head back, and let loose a full-bodied belly laugh. As if on cue, the dark and heavy clouds above started to part. The full moon broke through like a spotlight, illuminating the entire park. With growing horror, Deidre watched his face and body began to morph as he answered, “I don’t know. I just might.”

The young girl froze in place. Every fiber of her being wanted her legs to move her towards her home, but it was useless. Deidre couldn’t turn her eyes away from the horror that was unfolding in front of her. It was all happening in slow motion. It began with the elongation of his face, to form a snout and wolfish ears.

A warm stream of liquid ran down her leg, as his skin started to split; allowing a thick pelt to break through. The beast began to look less like the handsome boy who had been escorting her home, and more like what she had read about the last time her mother had to leave on a long flight. Long arms now covered in fur supported a solid body, which was cut with striated muscles.

The transformation was complete, and the werewolf sprang at her. She could see the gleam of saliva on the canine teeth as the monster flew through the air. She opened her mouth to scream, but it was cut short as her windpipe was crushed.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Black Out Part Two

Not to mention that the person who had killed her had virtually painted the walls with the blood. Some of it looked to be spatter patterns. Some of it was smudged hand prints from a very violent struggle. The more she thought about it the more she thought that she should just skip a trial and ask them to put her down as soon as possible.

To her the death penalty coming as quickly as it could come would be better than rotting in jail for years to come. She knew that she should call her family and tell them. Or at least her parents. When ever she tried to think about how she would tell them it just sounded so ridiculous. Mom, Dad, I have something to tell you. Apparently I've blacked out twice in the last two days and killed at least one person, that they can prove any way.

The first time I just woke up in a bed covered in blood that wasn't mine. They can't prove anything with that one. This second one, well it’s a dozy. See I blacked out again and when I woke up there was a dead lady cop in my bath tub. Did I mention that she was one of the cops that had talked to me the first time? So how are you guys doing? Other than the dead cop in my bath tub I'm doing fine.

That just wouldn't go over well with her well to do parents. They were pillars in the community and had actually completely disowned her older brother for being a gay musician. The fact that he was a tree hugging vegetarian was a big enough embarrassment to her parents. His views on politics appalled them and his long hair was more than they could handle. Add the fact that he played guitar in a band with a bunch of dread locked hippies that always smelled of tea tree oil and patchouli had been the breaking point.

So you can imagine how they reacted when he came home with some golden beach boy and told them that he was gay. She wondered in the back of her head if they might not take this a little better. She was still their perfect daughter with the alcohol addiction and a deviated septum from snorting her allowance up her nose for five years straight. The only difference is now she apparently had killed a person or two.

Her thoughts were cut short when she saw her lawyer coming down the hall towards her. Even in the face of this great tragedy and emergency he was still perfectly composed and his hair was still coiffed with not a hair out of place. And why shouldn't it be? It was her neck on the chopping block, not his. He would still get paid either way. Then again, losing her to the electric chair would soil his perfect record.

He really was her only shot at figuring this out. They talked for a long time outside his car. He didn't have to say it but he was afraid that she would smear the blood on her hands all over his perfect interior of his Bentley. That just wouldn't be acceptable. Together they stood in the rain discussing what happened from every angle. Of course Samantha kept her bloody hands stuffed in her pockets. After twenty minutes of scouring her brain they accomplished nothing. Finally they decided to do the only thing that they could do. Samantha had to turn herself in. There was nothing more that could be done for the situation.

He made some calls and a deal was made. Samantha would turn herself in the following morning. He told them that she needed to tie up some loose ends before she made a plea bargain. He told them that she’d cut a deal as long as the whole deal was kept out of the papers to spare her parents the embarrassment.

They knew who her parents were and quickly agreed. That would be the best thing for all involved, except Samantha. She was going to go down for a murder that she didn’t remember committing. The writing was on the wall. Technically it was blood on the wall but this was no time to argue semantics. He checked her out of the hotel and moved her to another one. She was instructed not to drink and not to leave the hotel room.

Samantha was intent on drinking but she had a plan. She would not be leaving that room any time after she started drinking and she promised him that she would make sure of it. So they went to the store. Against her better judgment and perhaps his, they purchased a bottle of vodka. The next stop before they went back to her hotel was a sleazy sex store a few doors down from the hotel where she'd be spending her last night of freedom.

There Samantha bought a pair of handcuffs. When they arrived at her hotel she had him handcuff one of her hands to the head board, leaving the other one free so she could get the bottle to and from her mouth. He also left an empty trash can in case she had to pee in the middle of the night. Once she was all set he took the keys with him and he left. Samantha felt confident that nothing could go wrong tonight. No more beds full of blood and no more dead lady cops in her hotel bathroom.

With a heavy heart Samantha started to drown out all that had been for the last few days in a sea of cheap vodka. It didn't matter that she felt ill every time she took a gulp. It didn't matter that it smelled like rubbing alcohol and that it didn't taste much better. She tried instead to think about any good times that she'd had in her life. Of anything good at all really that she could cling too before she was put to death. There was no way to escape the fate that lie before her.

In the morning Samantha awoke once again feeling sick in every way possible. She leaned over the bed and threw up into the trash can. Then she lay in bed wondering what time it was. Her lawyer was supposed to come over at ten am. to deliver her to the cops. Figuring that there was no reason to rush to her death Samantha rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. It wasn't going to happen. There was something poking her in the side that wasn't painful, just uncomfortable enough that she couldn't seem to wrap her arms around blissful sleep. Maneuvering one hand down Samantha was surprised to feel something that felt like a pair of keys. What the hell?

Cautiously Samantha brought the object before her eyes. There in her hand were the keys for the handcuffs. Her mind slammed around her brain as she uncuffed herself from the bed. Fear branched out into her system and she was dreading getting off the bed. Closing her eyes she got off the bed and felt her way to the bathroom. When she arrived she was relieved to see that there was no dead body in the tub. There was no blood on the bed and everything seemed in place. Confused she started to walk back to the bed. On her way there she encountered a wet spot in the dark carpet.

Samantha froze. It was coming from the closet. The carpet was too dark for her to tell what it was, but she already knew. Lowering her head and taking a deep breath she slowly opened the door. The bloody and disemboweled body of her lawyer slumped to the floor toppling on top of Samantha's feet. After all she'd been through Samantha couldn't even feel horror any more. She couldn't feel shock. She didn't really feel anything at all. Dead bodies seemed to just have become a normal part of her life.

Walking to the bed she sat down to think. Every so often she'd look at the body and back at her hands. They didn't seem like they should be capable of this sort of thing. Samantha had always had a bit of a nasty temper. She'd been in a bar fight or two and a dozen more screaming matches that came close to blows. She'd never been violent and never had killed anyone that she was aware of.

Then again there was a lot going on in her life lately that she wasn’t aware of. At this point she had two choices. She could sit there and say that she hadn’t killed her lawyer and Detective Anti-freeze, or she could embrace the fact and move on with the business of living. Without warning an onslaught of news reports and articles came flooding into her brain.

For the last five years there had been rashes of random murders. Each one was bloodier than the last. The cops were baffled and had only recently started linking them to the same person. It was driving law enforcement crazy. For awhile people were terrified. There was never any real connection between the victims. Robbery, greed, or revenge never really seemed to be part of the equation. When Samantha took pause really thought about it all the murders seemed to coincide with times when she went out drinking to the point of black out. Every time there was a lull in the murders it was around a time when either Samantha was drying out, or simply not drinking.

With this knowledge Samantha formed a plan. If the cops weren't onto her yet then there was no reason that she shouldn't just run. There was the matter of the dead lady cop. Samantha really felt bad about that one. The detective was already dead and she couldn't do anything about it. Samantha walked back to the closet and gently rolled the body over. Digging through his pockets she dug out his keys. The clock on the wall read 6 am. It would be a few hours before they started to wonder where Samantha was. By then she'd be in the wind. With her parents money Samantha could run for years. If she could just stop drinking maybe it wouldn't happen again.

A year later Samantha was doing well. She'd relocated to a small town in Indiana. Bluffton, what a peaceful place to live. It was small, calm and beautiful beyond words with its never ending stretches of corn fields which swayed gently in the summer winds. She hadn't had a drink since the night before she'd found the great and undefeated Thomas F. Geraldi in her hotel room. Life was good. She loved her job and had made a few friends.

One fateful night Samantha was hanging out with a new friend that she'd made at work. They had a nice dinner and Tina suggested that they move to the couch and have a few drinks. Samantha's heart hitched. It sounded so good but she knew it was so bad.

"I'm sorry Tina, I don't drink anymore."

Tina nodded her head understandably. She didn't want to pry or ask why. So she got up and started to put her bottle and the glasses away. Guilt settled into Samantha's heart. Her problems shouldn't become Tina's.

"Hey just because I can't doesn't mean you can't. I want to but you wouldn't believe the things that I've done. When I wake up in the morning its always a bloody mess."

Tina smiled and poured herself another drink. An hour went by and Samantha couldn't resist it. It looked good, smelled good and probably would taste a million times better. The bottle was calling to her. Premium vodka that was ice cold and reaching out to her.

Grabbing for Tina's glass she smiled and said in a smooth voice, "Well I guess one drink wouldn't kill me".

The Press Democrat
Petaluma, California
Mysterious Killer Strikes Small Indiana Town
By: Theresa Hall

Today police discovered the badly mutilated body of Tina Mitchells in her house when a concerned co-worker called the police after Mitchells failed to show up at work this morning. Robbery didn’t appear to be a motive and the people who knew her best were stunned. Neighbors and friends couldn’t see anyone wanting to hurt the gentle woman who always had a smile and a helping hand for anyone in need.

Tina Mitchells was popular in the small town community and didn't have any enemies, according to her family. More shocking was the fact that the murder took place in the sleepy agricultural town of Bluffton, Indiana. It was only after entering the details of the murder into a national database that it was connected to a string of murders that had been plaguing California off and on for a five year stretch.

Police believe that the suspect had been in hiding. They aren't sure what triggered the assailant to start up again after a one year break. But according to Police chief Denise Rogers that was part of the pattern. There would be as much as a year and as little time as a day between the brutal murders.

They are not sure if the killer will continue to terrorize the folks here in Bluffton or move onto another town. Since the murders have moved from California to Indiana the case will be passed onto the FBI. Roseanne Burton from the FBI field office in Fort Wayne assured the public in a press conference held earlier today that the FBI would be putting all available agents on the case. She also promised that the FBI would be working with authorities here in Indiana and back in California where the rash of bizarre murders began.

"Rest assured that we will find this person and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Burton said during her statement.

Today marks the beginning of what is shaping up as the biggest manhunt since Ted Bundy or the Zodiac Killer.

Officials had hinted at the possibility that they were looking at a suspect from two murders in California last year. They wouldn’t say outright that she was a suspect but it was heavily hinted at it more than once during the press conference.

Unofficially they are looking at Samantha Williams from Petaluma, California as their number one suspect. As stated earlier she had already been suspected in the deaths of one Detective Cynthia Nichols and of her own lawyer. They also danced around the possibility that she was responsible for as many as fifty other murders.

She was supposed to be turning herself in the following morning after she discovered the body of detective Cynthia Nichols in the hotel bathroom of Ms Williams last year. Even stranger is the fact that she’d checked herself into the hotel after waking up in her bed which was soaked in blood. Police still haven’t solved the mystery of just who the blood belonged to. She was never charged with anything on that case.

When she didn’t turn herself in at the appointed time authorities went to her hotel room to find the body of her lawyer Thomas F. Geraldi, laying halfway out of the closet. They immediately launched a massive manhunt for her but these details of the case where only made public today.

Police suspect that her parents, Paul and Nina Williams might be aiding her financially, but they’ve been unable to prove it. At a time like this one must wonder why her name was kept out of the news in connections to the murders until today. Even now they are being careful not to come right out and point a finger at Williams. Some sources have speculated that her parents wealth and prominent positions in the community might have played a part in keeping it quiet.

Anyone who might know the whereabouts of Samantha Williams are encouraged to immediately contact the FBI.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Black Out Part One

Samantha woke up feeling as if she'd gone ten rounds with a heavy weight champion in the boxing ring. Her muscles were all taunt and she could barely move her neck to the side to check the time. She wasn't sure what she'd done the night before but she hoped it was fun.

She didn't see how there was much fun that it could have been, her face felt like it had met with the business end of a baseball bat and her head was throbbing. She had abrasions on her hands and a few minor cuts. Shit, she thought, maybe she’d gotten into another one of her famous bar brawls.

She had the strangest feeling that she was laying in a bed of syrup. Focusing her eyes on the clock she used her hand to push her hair back away from her face. Feeling something sticky Samantha pulled her hand into front of her hazy eyes. What she saw froze time for a moment. Her hands were covered in blood.

In a panic she flipped the covers back to see where she was bleeding from. A scream pushed forth so violently that the sound of her own voice made her jump and recoil back away from the mess. Her bed was covered in blood. Panicking Samantha picked up the phone and called 911.

As calmly as she could she explained to the operating that she wasn't sure what was going on but she was laying in a bed that was soaked in blood. No, she wasn't bleeding. No she wasn't aware of anyone else in the house. No lady, I don't have any fucking idea where the hell it came from. Just get here now.

The operator wanted her to stay on the phone so she threw on her robe and ran outside, caution be damned. Standing outside Samantha tried her hardest to remember the events of the night before. It was no use. Her brain had shut down.

She'd drank too much and had blacked out again. Every muscle in her body hurt and she really wanted to get the blood soaked shirt and boxers off of her body. She wanted to take a shower. There was blood matted in her hair and she didn’t like the feeling of it on her skin.
Relief started to course through her when she heard the sirens rushing towards her house.

The cars pulled up and came to a sliding stop in front of her house. A young male officer and his older partner jumped out of the car and came towards her with their guns drawn. They yelled again and again, ma'am are you alright. She couldn't answer. The words were glue in her throat. She didn’t think she was bleeding and that scared her to death. Samantha had no clue as to where the blood came from. Whoever it came from had to be dead. The thought of a dead corpse somewhere in her house caused her stomach to lurk belligerently.

This whole thing was more than she could handle. All she knew is that she'd been out partying the night before and she woke up covered in a bed that was immersed in blood. Another patrol pulled up soon followed by an ambulance. The officers rushed in the house and Samantha sat on the bumper of the ambulance trying to explain to the paramedics the night before, and what hurt. The officers came out and asked questions. Samantha was taken to the hospital. And after she was cleaned up it was determined that the blood was not be hers.

She was bruised and some wounds on her arms and hands but there was no injury that could have produced that much blood. She was allowed to go home and put on clothes with a female officer watching the entire time. After she was dressed she was taken back to the station where a team of detectives asked her the same questions repeatedly over the span of several hours. It was beyond frustrating.

It was the same set of questions asked fifty different ways. Samantha could tell that they were trying to catch her in a lie. She was going to get the last laugh all the way to the court house for her first hearing. See there was no catching to do. Samantha honestly could not remember anything. The police weren't buying that line. Why should they? It was one she had heard time and time again.

Whose blood is it Samantha? Is it your boyfriends? Did ya catch him cheating Samantha? Did he try and hurt you? We can't help you until you tell us what happened Samantha. Where is the body Samantha? Who were you drinking with? How come they say they weren't with you last night?

What club were you at Samantha? How come the bouncer doesn't remember you? Oh no, he knows you Samantha. He says he knows you well. He also says he hasn't seen you and that nasty temper for a week and a half. So what happened Samantha? No, you aren't under arrest Samantha. Sure you can go home as soon as they are done collecting evidence.

The questioning was a blur. The detective that seemed to be in charge was an old man with black, slicked back and oily looking hair. His face was really red and all Samantha could focus on when he spoke to her was the bright veins that covered his nose like red spider webs. He was a portly man with stubby legs and hairy arms that looked like giant slabs of beef hanging from his body.

He had putrid breath and kept slamming his hand on the table to try and scare her. Samantha didn't remember ever having a hangover as bad as the one she was suffering through right now. Every time his decomposed breath hit her nostrils her stomach rocked. She'd thrown up several times. He would shove a garbage can at her and sneer at her while she attempted to remove the smell of his breath from her nose and from her memory. After the third time she was basically dry heaving. There was nothing left in her stomach to come out.

His partner was this baby faced woman who didn't say much. She didn't look like she was even old enough to be out of high school, much less be a detective. She must have been a cheerleader with those big blue eyes and that pretty blonde hair that she had pulled back into a sleek and sensible ponytail. She was of average height and her body was slender.

Her voice was very soft and she spoke to Samantha in a tone that indicated that they were friends. That they were going to figure this out and Samantha shouldn't mind her neanderthal of a partner. Her soothing tone and soft hand upon Samantha's shoulder tried to tell Samantha that boys will be boys but this was just between the girls in the room. It was a secret moment where Samantha could just let all the details go.

Her questions were almost motherly in tone and concern. Are you okay Samantha? Are you in any pain? Do you need something to eat? How much did you drink last night? Just tell me what you remember, okay? Are you sure that’s the bar you were at? Give me the names and numbers of your other friends.

The one's you gave us say they weren't with you. Samantha honey, you blacked out last night. Just give me the names of all the bars and clubs you frequent. Maybe it was self defense Samantha. If you took someone home and you said no then that’s how you want to put it to the D.A. No means no, Samantha if he got rough you had every right to defend yourself. Think Samantha. Think hard. Okay, well you can go home. Here's my card if you remember anything at all.
Samantha went home and took out her cell phone. Sitting on the couch with a piece of paper and a pen she called everyone she knew. No one had seen her the night before and they didn't know where she'd been. Samantha pulled out her little black book and called all the guys that she kept cataloged in there. No sorry Samantha, they said, you must have flown solo last night. No one seemed to know where she had been last night. And no one had seen her at all.

Frustrated and crying so hard she couldn't sleep she took her cell phone and checked into a hotel room. There was no way that she could sleep in that bed tonight. The day had been so crazy Samantha had not eaten anything. Pulling the ancient phone book out she called out for delivery and took the card of the female detective out of her pocket.

Something deep in her told her that she shouldn't trust this woman. All her soft words and comforting pats seemed to be dripping with a sweet poison that would kill Samantha no matter how sweet it tasted. Samantha decided that this woman was anti-freeze. Looking at the card she flipped it over and over until she couldn't stand to stare at any longer.

Her stomach was still upset and her head had not forgiven her for what ever she'd done to it the night before. She stretched out on the hideous plastic feeling bedspread that covered the bed. Sleep was not an option right now. Lying down did help relieve some of the pain and nausea she was feeling.

Once the food arrived she pushed it from one side of the paper carton to the other, knowing that no matter how hungry she was there was no way she was going to be able eat tonight. Instead she turned on the t.v. and lay there gently probing her mucked up mind for details from the prior night. She wasn't sure when she fell asleep. It was a transition that was so gentle that she didn't even feel it coming. That night was thankfully devoid of dreams. It was simply a black curtain that fell in front of her eyes and kept her wrapped in its forgiving arms until the sun dripped into the room from the edges of the curtains.
When she awoke Samantha stretched feeling a hundred times better than she had the day before. For a brief moment in time she wondered where she was and why she wasn't at home. The memories from the previous day rudely slapped her in the face. Throwing her legs over the edge of the bed she sat up and rubbed her eyes. Pulling them back she frantically searched them and the bed for blood. The sheets were rumpled, but clean. Her hands were just as she'd left them the night before.

Once again she scoured the beat up old phone book. This time for a lawyer. She hadn't been charged with a crime yet. The police had no real proof that any had been committed except the blood. If they couldn't match the blood to a victim or to a body then there was nothing to charge her with. For all they knew at this point the blood could be from an animal. Maybe Samantha had been partying with a satanic cult. Not that Samantha had hung out with those types. She'd been so blasted that night that she couldn't even remember where she'd been drinking.

After an hour with no good results she finally found a lawyer. When she went to meet him she immediately didn't like the guy. Everything about him screamed slimy. Samantha knew she'd give him the job. His voice was smooth and lubricated. His hair was perfectly fashioned, with not one hair out of place. His smile was amazing and his suit was flawless in the way it hung off his nicely toned body. This guy was a shark, a predator in the court room and she could tell all this just from the way he smiled at her and said hello.

Thomas F. Geraldi. He was the man for the job. Of course Samantha still wasn't sure if the police would actually bring a case against her or not. She was sure that they would try. She wanted to be ready if that nasty hammer dropped on her. They talked for an hour. About what could have happened. They spoke of defense possibilities if she had killed someone and how the case would go. When she left she felt confident that Mr. Geraldi would be able to catch what ever the police threw their way. In fact she was sure that not only would he catch it, but he'd throw it right back at them.

When she got to her car and started to put her key into the door the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end, before she ever heard the clicking of heels behind her. Before she even turned around she knew that it was Detective Anti-freeze. Whipping around with her keys in her hand she wasn't surprised to find the innocent looking woman standing near her, demurely clasping her over sized purse against her side.

"Hey Samantha, can we talk for a minute? I feel really bad about how my partner treated you."
She flashed an shy smile meant to disarm. Once Samantha's eye's met hers she looked down, as if the guilt were stopping her from holding eye contact with the woman that her partner had treated so roughly.

Yeah right. Samantha wasn't going to fall for that act. Not today, or any other day for that matter. She was smarter than that. Besides her lawyer had told her never to talk to the police or anyone else without him there. "Um, sorry detective. I'm not supposed to talk to you without my lawyer present."
The woman acted shocked. As if she hadn't seen Samantha enter and leave the office of the famous court room great white. Samantha watched her closely and caught the movement on the detectives face. It was so slight that she had almost missed it. But she didn't miss it. The woman had narrowed her eye's at Samantha. Well she could be pissed all she wanted. They wanted to pin a murder on her and since she wasn't aware that she'd done anything wrong she certainly wasn't going to help them.

Assuming that the conversation was over Samantha got into her car and drove away, not saying anything and not every attempting to even look Detective Anti-freeze in the eyes. She drove back to her hotel and tried not to think about anything. On her way there she swung her car into a grocery store parking lot. She needed to get a few things if she was planning to stay at the hotel for awhile.

With the way things were going she was going to need too. The list was short. She needed liquid body wash, some shampoo and conditioner, some razors and lotion. Last but not least she grabbed a bottle of vodka and a bag of ice. She knew that she shouldn't be drinking. But with all that was happening Samantha really needed a drink. Besides, she thought to herself, she wasn't going anywhere so she'd be fine.

Once she was back in her room she took a long hot shower to try and wash the last few days away. When she got out she made herself a vodka on the rocks and turned the t.v. on. When she started to feel the effects of the booze kicking in she got up and hid her keys from herself. Samantha knew from experience that once she was plastered she couldn't find her own nose on her face, much less something that she'd hid from herself. God help her when she needed them in the morning. That was an inconvenience that she was willing to deal with. It would be worth it to not to be so painfully sober tonight.

A few drinks turned into the whole bottle and Samantha slipped off into the Sandman's arms while still holding an unlit cigarette and the almost empty bottle. She'd probably have to fall from the bed and break her head before she let go of that bottle. Samantha was serious about her drinking. In her life she found that people come and go, but her magical crutch also known as a bottle of vodka would always be there. Time and time again she leaned on it when nothing else was there to pad the fall.

In the morning the sun didn't shine through the dingy window of her hotel room. She could hear the rain falling outside and Samantha was glad. It seemed fitting that on a day like this the weather would reflect how she was feeling inside. Rolling over carefully so as not to rattle her throbbing head Samantha lit a cigarette.

Two puffs later and she decided that she didn't need the nicotine that badly. She slowly made her way to the bathroom leaving the light off. She was sure that the bright overhead lighting would be the trigger that would detonate the bomb sitting in her stomach. But on second thought she turned it on. Maybe throwing up would make her feel better. At the very least she could just get it over with. When she turned on the light she immediately turned it off while puking in what she hoped was the sink.

"No, no, no, no, no!!" She screamed as she stumbled out of the bathroom.

Her chest felt like it was caving in. Pins and needles attacked her limbs and she felt the room twirling out of control. The ground seemed to tilt and come from under her at the same time. Crawling across the floor she grabbed her purse and dumped it on the floor to call 911.

She couldn't believe what she'd seen. It couldn't be real. There is no way that what she saw was real. She stumbled back to the bathroom and flipped the light back on. When she'd flipped the light on the first time she had seen the body of that lady cop in her tub. It was still there. Samantha couldn't seem to grasp that it was real. She had thought that maybe when she turned on the light the blood and the body would somehow be gone. How Detective Anti-freeze had gotten there was beyond her.

There was blood every where. Not just in the sense that it was in the tub and on the floors. It was everywhere, literally. Samantha couldn't even breath or function enough to dial the proper numbers. Gripping the side of the bed Samantha hoisted herself up and went back to the bathroom to turn on the light. She looked carefully at the woman and after staring for a long time she could tell. The woman was dead. She wanted to go feel for a pulse. She couldn't do that though.

She didn't want to touch the blood in any places other than where she already had. Not like it would make much of a difference. They had her this time. She didn't even know what happened. All she knew is that there was a dead cop in her bath tub in the hotel room that she had rented in her name.She banged her head against the floor ignoring the pain that splintered through her head.

What had happened? Think Samantha, think. She had gone to get a lawyer. Then she'd exchanged a few words with the lady. Not angry words. Not really words that mattered. There were no emotions. They had simply been words. She'd left and gone to the store to get toiletries and that damned bottle of vodka which lay on the floor next to her bed along with an unsmoked cigarette. Samantha remembered falling asleep with it in her mouth. That was it. End of story. That’s all. So why was there a dead woman in her tub? Why was there a dead cop in her tub?

There was no way that she could say nothing happened. Even though as far as she could remember nothing had happened. Samantha had gotten drunk and passed out. Or that’s what she thought had happened. Obviously something else happened. It had too. Because dead cops just don't magically appear in bath tubs over night. That same thought kept running around in her head.

The more she thought of it, the more her head hurt. She was screwed either way. It was a cop. A fucking cop. Shit, Samantha thought. Wiping the blood off of her hands and onto her shirt she leaned against the wall and slid to the floor. Resting her head on the top of her knee's Samantha took a few moments to think.

An hour later and Samantha did the only thing she could think of. She called the big gun in her corner. She picked up her cell and called the great and undefeated Thomas F. Geraldi. He told her to wait outside her hotel and not to touch anything else. She hadn't planned on it, but at the moment she was sure that it was the best advice that he could think to give her. Its not every day when one of your clients calls you to tell you that she awoke to find a corpse of a dead cop in their bath tub.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Insomnia or Something Like it

Sleep was eluding her again. It must have been painful the way her body twisted and turned. Her legs would contract and then stretch out again. First on her left side, then on her right. She'd toss, turn and then bolt up in bed only to flop back down again. She couldn't seem to stay still as her body jerked around the bed, twisting up the sheets and kicking the blankets off of her and off the bed.

But even these unconscious acrobatics were nothing compared to the soul shattering whimpers and moans that escaped through brittle lips. A whimper, a moan, a strangled cry. All coinciding with a kick of her quivering leg or a flail of her sinewy arm. She was at war with herself and she was at war with sleep. Sleep was winning yet again.

As she cried out and rolled about she was aware that it was happening. It wasn't really sleep, but she wasn't quiet awake. She was caught in a suspended state of non wakefulness blended with a torturous dash of near sleep. Throughout the night this carried on, and on. When the sun came out and drably painted birds perched on her window to herald the new day she covered her face with her hands and cried.
It was inhumane. These long nights that lacked the deep sleep that brought rapid eye movement and dreams were becoming more than she could bear. It was more than anyone should have to bear in her mind. All she wanted, all she craved, desired and yearned for was a night where she simply slept.

Dreams would be nice. Nightmare might even be welcome as long as they preceded sleep that left her feeling as if she had actually slept. She longed to meet the Sandman. She wanted to have him blow his magical dust into her weary eyes. She needed to close her blurry eyes and have rest for them, and for herself. Her soul needed it. Her mind needed it. Every inch of her being desperately needed it. A peaceful period meant to restore, was the too much to ask? For her, apparently it was.

Her body ached and seemed to revolt against her as she chased sleep from one end of her bed to the other. Sometimes her brain was so beaten and tired that she would often forget her own name and address. Or what she'd been doing mid task.

Laying in bed any longer was pointless. There was no chance of her going back to sleep. If you could call what she did during the long nights sleeping. She did not have a name for it. It wasn't insomnia. But it was not sleep, either. It was slow death, it was maddening. It was an obsession. It was all that. But it was not sleep.

Getting out of bed she went through the motions of being normal. She showered, got dressed, ate and drank her tea with sugar and cream. At eight a.m. she drove to work on auto pilot. Once she was there she tried her best to hide her hate for her co-workers. She wondered if they even knew what they had.

After another long day she headed home. And though sleep tugged at her eye lids she fought it off and forced them to stay open. Gravity and cruel irony seemed to work against her as she waged war against this evil temptation to cat nap. Getting off the couch she started to clean, then to crochet. She would not lose this battle, oh no tonight she would sleep!

If she didn't fight off this forbidden fruit than she'd suffer ten time more than usual. As good as that solid thirty minutes of unadulterated sleep would feel the suffering that would follow would hardly be worth the momentary relief. When the clock struck ten o'clock and she crawled into bed she'd be wide awake.

Her eyes would burn and her muscles would protest. No matter how much she struggled she'd be unable to even close one lid. Not for one second. Instead they'd water, and the tears of exhausted eyes would turn into tears of frustrated exhaustion. The hours would stretch taunt like an over extended rubber band. The birds would come like clockwork to usher in the new day, and usher her out of bed.

Some days she wanted to snap. She'd tried everything to cure this ailment to no avail. Sleeping pill, sleep serums, smelly salves and magic spells. Pleading with God and deals offered earnestly to the Devil. There wasn't anything that she hadn't tried. And if something else came up there wasn't anything that she wouldn't gladly try, no matter how ridiculous it seemed.

She felt that she was running out options and out of time. If something didn't give she'd give in, and give herself over to an uncertain forever. She'd already had a foot over the edge. It would be so nice to just let go and go over. If she were to simply overdose then that would be eternal rest, the deepest sleep. With her luck it would turn out to be eternal damnation for her soul, which would never sleep.
The days turned into months, the months gave into years. Nothing changed, it stayed painfully the same. With each passing year she felt all hope leave her body. She gave up and just wished for death. Sweet death with its unawareness. With the blessing of not feeling, or thinking, or being alive spending all her time pleading for sleep.

Then one day all that changed for her. It was the weirdest thing, because when it happened the lights came on in her head she finally understood. This would not get any better and it would not end. This was eternity and she was caught in its painful grasp. She was at work one day and she finally reached that point. That breaking point where someone decides that they have suffered enough. Getting up from her chair she left the office and climbed up the stairs to the roof.

Looking down she let go. Finally just let go and jumped over. Feeling the wind wrap around her was unreal. She was not afraid and there was no sorrow in her heart. As the cement approached quickly she closed her eyes and waited for the pain and fatigue to leave her body. Instead she found herself laying in her bed. Confused she looked up, and looked around. She was in her bed, unscathed and untouched by her ten story tumble.

Swinging her legs off her bed she looked around the room, her brain pondering the strange dream she'd had. She didn't remember falling asleep and she didn't feel rested. A piece of paper next to her bed caught her attention. Intrigued she picked it up and quickly read the words.

You can not kill yourself and you can not die. You died many years ago.
Putting the note down she had vaugue memories of holding this same note in her hands many years ago. Not completely sure what to do she got dressed and made her way to work.