Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Second Chance 2 (three word Wednesday x 5 - effect,immense,shimmer,absolve,hiss,ridicule,hint,lust,sheen,engulf,imminent,tamper,gait,nudge,ripen)

It has been five installments since he last entered the ring. Miss me? (Mime hug.) I pun. I'm fueled for crumping! an anagram for the 15 words I have missed over my 3ww hiatus. But I know you're not here for the anagrams, so on to the story, this is a "part two" of an earlier 3ww that resulted in many requests for a sequel. You can find part one here... Second Chance ... hope you enjoy.

“This is the school bus stop right?” The young Russell approached a blond girl he had known for years as ‘the neighbor’s daughter.’

“No I’m standing here ‘cuz I feel like it,” the girl hissed, texting in fluid motion.

“Sorry for the trouble little lady, was just a question.” Russell had long ago forgotten the art of conversing with pre-teens effectively. The glare of imminent doom told him she not only was unappreciative of the ‘little lady’ comment, but also doubly irritated for interrupting her texting concentration.

“I’m Russell.”

“That’s nice.”

He frowned, “I’m sorry I didn’t catch your name?”

“I didn’t give it.”

“OK I guess I’ll call you Miss Sheen.”

“How’d you know my last name?”

Russell nudged her, pointing down the road, “You live there, don’t you? You’re Dave and Kelly’s kid.”

“Kerrie. My mom’s name is Kerrie,” confusion engulfed the girl.

“That’s right, I could never get that right…”

“Are you some kind of stalker?” The girl squirmed with the discomforting feeling her privacy had been tampered.

“Seriously Miss Sheen if I were stalking you, I’d probably know your name.”

“Don’t call me Miss Sheen. My name is Ellison.”

“Nice to meet you, Allison.”

“Ellison. With an E.”

What kind of name was Ellison? Russell forgot what an immense feat it was to get information out of girls like Ellison. She was the type of girl twelve year old minded boys lusted after, texted love notes to, had difficulty speaking in front of. Russell was long beyond such angst, and his forward approach was something little Ellison Sheen was not used to. As soon as the bus turned the corner, any shimmer of friendship vanished and she resumed her proud, snobbish gait onto the bus. That’s right, can’t be seen talking to the new guy. At the least Russell felt absolved of the stalker label. Distancing himself from the ripened sweaty odor of the overweight driver, he sat on an unoccupied bench seat in the middle of the bus.

He confirmed the switchblade was still under his right sock, playing the motion off as an itch. If he was to diffuse a threat in the school, he needed something. It wasn’t much, but he wasn’t going to be the one to bring a gun into a Middle School. The jeans were baggy enough to show no sign of a concealed weapon.

“What do you plan to do with that?” A monotone voice said beside him. Russell glanced across the aisle to find the pale boy he had met two nights ago. The boy named Death.

“Fancy meeting you here,” Russell rolled his eyes.

“You are bringing a weapon to school.”

“Self defense. You and I both know self defense will be needed today.”

A boy with glasses in the seat behind Russell leaned over the backing, “Who are you talking to?”

“Oh, uh, no one. Just thinking aloud. Sorry.” Russell stared at Death across the aisle. Death spoke indifferently, “He cannot see me, only those whose time draws near can see me.”

“You shouldn’t talk to yourself. People will think you’re crazy,” the boy with glasses ridiculed before retracting into his seat.

“They’re bringing a gun, you’re bringing a knife. I hope you have a plan,” Death stated with an eerie calmness.

“It’s better than nothing. Can you tell me anything at all about…”

“No. That would be cheating.”

Russell sighed. The bus pulled into the unloading area at the school entrance. He and Death were quick to get off the bus. Russell stopped on the curb, overwhelmed at the scene of hundreds of kids greeting one another from their returns from summer break. The boy with glasses disembarked the bus, passing right through Death as if he were air, sending a shiver up his spine.

“There’s so many kids. Can’t even give me a hint?”

Ellison stepped out of the bus glaring a disgusted look towards Russell and his pale ‘friend,’ and stepped around Death towards the school.

Death squinted at Russell. Russell swallowed hard, “Ellison, come back!”

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keeping Up With the Necros (three word Wednesday X 2, demure, offend, volatile, charm, feast, robust)

A cold got the best of me last week, so I thought I'd compensate for my absence with six words thrown into the mix this week. This one is for my friends Ernest, Mike, Scott, and Phil; friends of the real world as well as an online realm of days gone by, called Everquest.

A blond maiden waited patiently at the base of a granite stairwell. Her olive robe intricately decorated with runic symbols grazed the grass as she paced; her soft beauty and demure disposition an illusory shroud of an experienced adventurer. She gazed from a clock in the town square, to an unusual bickering couple. A bald man no taller than the blonde’s knees carried on an animated conversation with a sleek elven woman with flowing white hair and grape colored skin. The human blonde was clearly the mutual friend that brought these two well dressed casters together.

The gnome man flashed a shiny charm at the dark elf.

“That isn’t! Where’d you get that?” The dark elf squinted her solid white eyeballs.

“Got it from the High Inquisitor of the Violet Guard,” he boasted.

“The Violet Guard of Nethershadow? But it takes a full raid to get into that stronghold!”

The gnome nodded, feasting on her jealousy. The dark elf retrieved her knapsack and pulled it open.

“Is that the Satchel of the Red Dragonguard?”

“Oh this old thing? Yeah, it actually regenerates mana just by carrying it around. A must have. You mean you don’t have one?” Her thin face twisted into an evil smile.

“I, uhh, well not yet. I’m working on that,” the gnome rubbed the back of his head. “Don’t you need an exalted reputation for the Red Dragonguard to sell you one?”

“You mean you’re not one of their most exalted necromancers? Sorry, didn’t mean to offend, most necromancers I know are in their highest graces. Maybe you can tell them you know me. Then again, don’t. I don’t want my reputation tarnished.”

“I said I’m working on it Akisha,” the gnome snipped, looking through his own smaller plain satchel. He revealed a black metal wand topped with a glowing blue orb in an inset of claw shaped bones.

“The Wand of Seven Manticores?” Akisha yawned.


“I have one of those too,” she revealed an identical rod. “Is yours enchanted with the Aura of the Southern Crusader?”

“No,” He frowned, looking at the bored human blonde that was trying to evade the conversation. “Lacie?”

“You never asked, Masren. I can enchant it for you later,” the blonde shrugged, watching the town square clock tick.

Masren and Akisha displayed shoes, belts, rings, and other objects of grandeur, attempting to one-up each other by throwing jabs like, “I’ve had this for ages,” “I sold an extra one at an auction last week,” and “I wouldn’t be seen dead with that.” Akisha summoned her mount from the stall and a rare zebrasi from the Plane of Nature appeared. Masren countered by beckoning a robust dragon whelp (with a gnome sized saddle) from the underworld of the frozen continent, Velious. A half elven young man in chainmail walked up alongside Lacie while the show-and-tell was beginning to turn volatile.

“Have they been at this all day?” The half-elf nudged the blonde lady.

“Hours,” she rolled her eyes, “Thank the Gods you are finally here, Keudar. Now we can go.”

“Not yet. Fahna will be joining us shortly too. I told him to meet us here after he visits the druid trainers...”

“What?” Lacie slouched in despair, “You mean I have to wait here longer and listen to these two?”

The bickering necromancers conjured skeletal minions and drew weapons. Keudar pointed, “Looks like it’s about to get interesting at least.”

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Second Chance (three word Wednesday - abstain, halo, prayer)

A sudden whirl of air startled Russell awake. The discomfort told him he dozed off in his recliner again. The flickering muted TV was the only source of light in his living room. What time was it? He peered, but the clock was obstructed by a thin boy in his pre-teens. The boy wore exclusively black, and appeared surprisingly pale in the darkness of the room. Russell was taken aback by this visitor. He was at the empty nest phase of life, yet his grandchildren were not yet as old as this stranger.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?”

The boy stepped forward, “I am Death.”

“You’re... excuse me? Death?” Russell tried not to laugh. The boy nodded affirmative, showing no hint of humor.


“You disbelieve me? Try to move.”

Russell found himself unable to simply move his arm from his chest to his face. “I… I’m dead?”

Unable to smile, the boy squinted in confirmation, “Heart attack.”

Russell absorbed the realness of his grim news. “Why aren’t you a big scary skull faced Reaper if you are Death?”

“Death can come in many forms,” the boy summoned a spiral-bound notebook from thin air. Russell decided to abstain from further patronizing, “So, what happens now? Do you have a halo for me or something?”

“Halo… hardly,” Death observed information from the notebook, “three counts of charity donations, but two counts of stealing... not many random acts of kindness… a regular prayer though… look at all those lies…”

“So it’s to hell with me then?”

“Not so fast, you’re what we call an Almost.”

“What happens to Almosts?”

“Nothing really,” Death lowered the notebook, “You’re looking at it. You don’t go anywhere.”

Russell was able to see his own body lying cold and motionless, clutching his heart in his favorite recliner, “But... my wife... my kids…”

Death stared indifferently.

“Death, you take many forms, why come to me as a little boy?”

“I have prepared for an upcoming event.”

“An event?”

“A mass homicide. First day of school at the local middle school. Lone gunner, goes crazy.”

“What?? That’s horrific! We have to do something!”

“Yes quite a tragedy,” Death stated, devoid of emotion, “Kids aren’t receptive to the Grim Reaper look, so here I am.” He looked down at his ‘costume.’

“When is the first day of school?” Russell reached right through a calendar that still displayed the month of July.

“In two days.”

“We have to stop it from happening!”

“How are you to stop anything? You’re dead if you haven’t noticed.”

“Is there anything I can do?” Russell pleaded to the boy.

Death folded his arms, staring through him to his corpse on the recliner. “Well I have liberty to give Almosts another chance if I see fit. Your heart is in the right place. We cannot use that anymore however,” he gestured to the cold sixty four year old body. “I tell you what. I will grant you your halo if you stop the school shooting.”

“Really? Thank you! I’ll do whatever it takes...”

Death waved his arm. Russell propelled back into the recliner and solidified. His feet hardly reached the footstool of the chair, and his clothes draped over him like a king sized bed sheet.

Death spoke, “You have one chance to save many lives. Don’t mess it up.”

The hand across his face revealed no scruff, and a full head of hair.

“Being forewarned and failing to act will get you a ticket in the other direction.”

Russell picked up his reading glasses with a small hand, and angled them to view his reflection. A prepubescent version of himself stared back. “I… I’m a little boy!!”

Death gave another affirmative squint, “I’ll see you in two days, one way or the other.” He disappeared abruptly, a clapping sound of air reoccupying the place he stood.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shootout (three word Wednesday - grimace, phase, stumble)

“All right they’re coming in. Mitch, Nick, Carla go right, try to flank them. Randy, hold the middle with me. Rich, take the others left into the brush.” Eight people in full camouflage nodded their masks in accordance, readied their guns, and carried out Jacob’s plan. The dense forest around them sloped uphill on the right. Mitch would get a good vantage point and wait for an opportunity. He was the ace sniper of the team.

Jacob heard rustling of branches from ahead of them. He took cover behind a large rock, while Randy stood against a wide tree to his left.

“See anything?”


Tat tat tat tat tat tat tat tat…

Gunshots. From the left… Rich’s side. Someone had seen or been seen by the enemy. Jacob raised his head, nothing but forest through his visor. A bullet grazed the large rock.

“Get down,” Randy swiveled his firearm around the tree and fired towards the source of the bullet targeting Jacob.

“Can you see them?”

“I saw something move…”

“Don’t waste ammo if you cannot see them…”

Tat tat tat tat tat tat… this time gunfire spawned from the hill. Shots were flying actively from several sources on the left. “Ungh,” the grunt warned that Rich’s side was down a gunner. Rich yelled to fall back.

From the right, Nick’s voice declared a small victory, “Got him...” before tat tat tat tat… “Ou… Got me.”

Jacob peered up the hill, then to Randy, “They got Nick… Randy?”

Randy had advanced twenty feet and shot determinedly forward. He had his eye on something Jacob could not see from his vantage point. Randy ceased his fire, apparently successful. He looked up the hill. Carla had pointed out two more enemy gunners. Jacob stumbled from the rock to Randy’s first tree, scanning the far left. Rich was now alone, running backwards, shooting into the foliage. Rich ducked behind the stump of a fallen tree, signaling two fingers to Jacob before pointing forwards. Shit. They were coming in hard on the left. Rich poked his head over the stump over to receive a splattering on the side of his head.

“Randy! Randy watch out left! They’re coming!” Knowing half the team was down, Jacob resorted to regrouping for stronger defense. He had hoped it would not get to this phase, but their backs were to the wall. Randy had advanced too far ahead into the center to hear Jacob. Jacob heard sticks breaking deep in the foliage on the left. He retreated up the hill.

“Carla, they’re coming around.”

Carla covered Randy in the center until Randy stopped running, a contrast of color from the camouflage across his back.

“Shit they got him.”

And just like that, they got Carla, too.

Jacob hit the ground. Where the hell was Mitch? Jacob pivoted his line of vision. Behind him, two were closing in. Ahead, at least one gunner was over the mound of earth. He had no choice but to disallow the pincer attack to happen. He ran forward, gun extended.

Tat… tat… tat tat tat tat…

He scaled the mound, strafed right to the cover of a tree, and fired openly. His back would be open to the foes behind, he had to land a hit and land it quickly. His foe jumped backwards in surprise, receiving the full impact of Jacob’s gunfire across his collarbone. Jacob circumnavigated the tree taking cover from the two in the rear.

“Hey,” a voice came from ten feet behind him. The voice was not Mitch’s. Jacob swung his gun around, but it was too late…

Tat tat…

Pink paint splattered across the visor of his face mask. Jacob lowered his gun, wiping the visor clean with the backside of his glove.

“Got you!” It was his brother’s friend Kyle. The eyes were all Jacob could see of Kyle’s taunting grimace behind his own face mask.

Kyle extended a hand to Jacob while his two teammates came into the clearing, “Good game, we win!”

“Did you now?”

Tat tat tat tat tat tat tat tat tat...

Mitch always was our ace sniper.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

As Advertised (three word Wednesday - joke, leverage, remedy; and flash Friday)

“Can you get the door, honey?” Shelley shouted from the kitchen.

Shawn placed the newspaper down on an end table and moved briskly to the front door. Who could be ringing the doorbell during the dinner hour? He gazed through the peephole. A distorted image of a bulky delivery man awaited his response. Shawn swung the door open.


“Mr. Gelinas? I have a package you’ll need to sign for,” he extended a clipboard with a delivery form and a pen clamped under the hinge. Everything appeared legitimate enough. The large brown van parked on the street matched the color of his uniform. Shawn passed the form back, looking around for an absent package.

“Thank you sir, you’re all set!” The large man tucked the clipboard under his arm and left the front steps. In his place, a young woman stepped forward. Bright green eyes gazed playfully under dark, long eyelashes. Her lips were full and glossed, catching the light as if they were wet. Straight blonde hair draped aside her defined high cheekbones and rested on smooth shoulders. Her curves at the bust, the waist and the hips were nothing short of majestic. She wore nothing more than a leopard print bra and briefs. Shawn’s jaw conceded to gravity. A blonde strip of well-groomed eyebrow raised and her welcoming lips formed cute cheek dimples as she smiled. “Hello, Mizzer Gelneez, I am Katya,” her soft voice hinted at a strong Russian accent.

“Uh… hi Katya,” Shawn blinked intentionally to cease ogling. My God, there was a half naked Russian model on his front steps! There are families in his neighborhood with small children! He glanced down the street; a basketball game between the neighborhood boys had come to a grinding halt. “Please please come inside,” Shawn stepped aside, holding the door open. He escorted her into the living room, “Katya, might I ask what you’re doing coming to my house in lingerie?”

“You order zis, no?” She rolled her arm as if presenting herself.

“I ordered… what are you saying?”

“Online order. Lingerie site from Belarus. Remember? You order zis online.”

Shawn jogged his memory. He did place an order a few weeks back for some lingerie for Shelley’s birthday. Of course he opted for an online purchase, buying lingerie in person was one of the most uncomfortable things a man could do. He looked Katya up and down. She was wearing the exact lingerie he had ordered! He recalled the blond in the photo, wearing the lingerie with such a sultry pose. He remembered thinking the message in the margin, ‘As advertised’ was somewhat out of place.

“You like Katya picture online. Your order here now Shawn Gelneez.” Katya winked and sat herself on the couch.

“Katya I ordered the lingerie only, not the model too! You can’t stay!”

“But Katya come from Belarus for you.”

Shelley appeared in the doorway. “Shawn, why do we have a mail order bride in on our couch?” She spoke through gritted teeth and flaring nostrils.

“I, well, uhh… you see, I ordered you some lingerie dear…” Shawn shrugged hopelessly.

“Shawn order from lingerie model site. I am Katya,” she waved innocently at Shawn’s wife.

“Shawn there had better be a good…”

“I told you I only ordered lingerie,” he scurried for some leverage in the argument, but understood how bad this looked to her.

“No need for mad Misses Shawn Gelneez. Shawn got good deal. Pay low moneys. Katya, uh, how you say, on sale.”

Blood rushed to Shelley’s head, “…and how much exactly did you pay for Katya?”

“Well it was in foreign currency but it didn’t look too expensive.”

“Twelve thousand,” Katya again displayed her wonderful dimples.

Shelley roared, “US DOLLARS??”

Katya nodded affirmative.

“Shawn you did not bother to figure out the exchange rate to US dollars?!?!?”

Shawn slouched. He knew he had forgotten to do something. He recalled concluding the order quickly when a call came in over Skype. He could not believe what was happening. He stood there speechless, glancing between Katya and Shelley, searching for something he could say to remedy the situation.

The doorbell rang. “I’ll get that,” Shawn approached the door wanting to crawl under a rock. Whatever news awaited him on his front steps had to be better than his current conundrum. The delivery man stood there once again. “Mr. Gelinas?”

“You didn’t tell me you had a model with you…” Shawn pointed accusingly.

“I have another package for you.”

“Oh no, don’t even go there…”

The delivery man stepped aside, revealing TV personality Ashton Kutcher. “Shawn Gelinas,” Ashton extended his hand. ”You’ve been Punk’d!”

Katya and Shelley laughed and clapped behind him. Ashton pointed out hidden cameras. Shawn reddened in embarrassment. His wife orchestrated the best practical joke he’d ever witnessed. And worse, televised it.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

This week of 3ww

The Cortez Case series has moved! Please visit this page for the ongoing story, as well as the collected past installments.

The Cortez Case

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wayne Status (3 word Wednesday - abuse, cramp, hatred)

“Day 100. Can you believe it’s been 100 days Dustin?”

Ugh, Wayne. Not Wayne. It’s too early in the morning for Wayne’s psychobabble. Dustin gazed at his computer monitor, attempting to check his Email, and hoping that Wayne would stop talking to the back of his head. Wayne looked over Dustin at a distant wall mounted monitor displaying close captioned CNN headlines. Dustin wished he were deaf, at least he could watch CNN in peace.

Every office had a Wayne. A Wayne was someone that loved to hear himself talk endlessly about nothing; someone people avoided eye contact with. A Wayne had such a reputation that would encourage subtle assistance from co-workers to save one another from the misfortunes of being cornered. Here was the office celebrity, the “Wayne of all Waynes” in all his glory, an unwelcome visitor in Dustin’s cubicle, reciting CNN as if Dustin were illiterate and not thoroughly exhausted of hearing about the Gulf oil spill.

“Did you know Tony Hayward is getting replaced? I think it’s about time, don’t you?” His nasal voice spiked hatred in Dustin, but he withheld enough to reply with rigid politeness, “I can read Wayne.”

The muted news anchor had moved on to an Iowa dam break, and Wayne followed suit. “Did they explain what caused the dam to...”

“’Scuse me Dustin can you look at this ticket for me please?” It was Crystal, right on cue, sparing Dustin from further abuse. She maneuvered her stout torso around Wayne and pointed at a blank piece of paper until Wayne departed.

“Thanks,” Dustin smirked and returned to his monitor. Crystal spoke in a gossipy mumble, “Geez he’s wound up today ain’t he? There’s a full moon out can’t you tell?”

“Yeah I saw it last night.”

“I think it’s really making people extra wacky because Venus is in retrograde which is odd for the early phase of Leo…”

Oh God. Don’t go into the zodiac stuff again Crystal. Don’t do it.

“...if you saw the moon last night, you could also see Mars if you had a clear sky, it was just off to the…"

“Shucks, missed it,” Dustin spoke with deflating enthusiasm. It was too late. Crystal had claimed Dustin’s only pencil and was sketching the planetary locations on the blank paper. He put his hand to his temples, perhaps she’d understand he really wasn’t following her, nor cared to. His distant expression only provoked Crystal further. Blah, blah, blah…

“Pardon me sir but did you see Jeopardy last night,” a deep male voice broadcasted over Crystal. Dustin knew what Guy was doing. Crystal had reached Wayne status, and Dustin was offered another life preserver. The bubbly Sage of the Zodiac retreated, leaving Guy in her place. The short man folded his arms; Dustin nodded in gratitude, faced his screen, and began to type. Finally, some peace and quiet.

“No I’m serious, did you see it?”

Oh come on, still here? “No Guy I did not see it, but I’m sure you’re going to tell me all about it…”

Guy explained with the energy of a sports commentator, “This one contestant was unbelievable! Shakespearian Characters, nailed it. Canadian Provinces, nailed it. African capitals, a personal favorite… nailed! Then he gets Periodic Table and meets his match! Who knows the capital of Burkina Faso but cannot get the obvious hint of Argon? I mean, come on…”

Dustin hoped Guy’s diaphragm would cramp from not stopping for oxygen. He patiently rubbed his temples, wondering whatever part of him that was emanating ‘Come babble to me’ could be located and maimed.

Guy ceased his animated rant when a woman with bloodshot eyes stepped alongside him.

“I need to talk… I’m sorry…” the woman welled up, fighting tears. Not one for drama, Guy placed his hand to his ear, “Is that my phone? Sorry I’ll let you two…” He didn’t finish. He didn’t need to.

Dustin grimaced at Tabitha, his latest train wreck of a visitor. “Ohmigod what happened,” he made his strongest effort to not sound monotone.

“He (sniffle) hasn’t returned my text yet,” Tabitha whined as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“When did you text him?”

“Two hours ago. He doesn’t normally take that long,” she wiped her eyes, embarrassed. “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to come over and start (sob)…” She crumpled her face and pointed at her eyes. Dustin would have gouged out his eyes and eardrums right then and there if Crystal hadn't made away with the pencil.

Dustin frowned. Yes you do. You know you meant to come over here and cry. You always do. And you cry to me because I am the only one that will look like I’m listening. Dustin offered a tissue, as was the normal routine with Tabitha. “Look Tab I don’t mean to be insensitive, but you’ll have to excuse me. I need to use the restroom.”

Tabitha leaned on his desk, clearing her eyes. Dustin really did not need to go, but sought an excuse to leave. All he wanted was a little peace and quiet; simply check his Email and do some work, uninterrupted. He walked across the office, ignoring two other counts of people trying to bleed their woes to him, before arriving at the mens room. He splashed his face with cold water and fidgeted with his hair. The furthest stall produced a flush, and the door unhinged.

The nasal voice pierced his soul, “Can you really believe it’s been 100 days?”

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unemployment Rate (three word Wednesday - bait, jump, victim; and Flash Friday)

Hank had no reason to expect company at nine-thirty in the morning. Date and time had not meant much to him in over three months. He threw a plaid robe over his boxers, made a feeble attempt to push his hair back, and answered the knocking at the front door. A clean cut man in a grey business suit nodded and extended his hand.

“Mister Hank Rowan, I presume?”

Hank scanned the younger man quizzically through sagging eyes. Hank knew he looked like shit; his face was scruffy, his hair awry, his teeth not brushed, he had not been graced with a shower in two days. Still the suited man did not look phased by Hank’s unkempt presentation. He leaned on his door and croaked, “What do you want?”

“My name is Walter, I am from Domestic Services.”

“What can I do for you Walter?”

“I understand you’ve been unemployed for awhile now,” Walter claimed the briefcase resting against his ankle and maneuvered his way around Hank. The living room was as maintained as its occupant. Taken aback by Walter’s aggressive jump indoors, Hank spoke slowly, “I was victim of a layoff in March.”

“Sorry to hear that. How has your search for re-employment gone?”

“It’s a tough market out there. I’ve sent resumes, I’ve looked online. Temp agencies. Nothing. Been collecting for about seven weeks.”

“Maybe I should discuss my reason for the visit. I believe I can help you, Hank. The Presidency has been very concerned about the nation’s unemployment rate being so high. A small group of individuals like myself were hired by the government to see what we can do to remedy the situation. Think of my visit as a job interview brought to you.”

Hank rubbed his chin. He had never heard of such a thing. Still he was willing to hear Walter state his case. Almost anything Walter proposed could be better than eating Ramen noodles two meals a day, and still facing a foreclosure. Walter interpreted his doubt, “Our organization has succeeded over the second quarter in bringing the rate from 9.9 to 9.7. It may not seem like much, but it’s thousands of individuals we are talking about…”

Your group is taking the credit for the improvement?”

“You said it yourself Hank, it’s a tough market out there.”

“Alright then,” Hank took the bait, “What does your group do exactly?”

“Hank,” Walter pointed quickly and smirked, “I’m glad you asked. We look for unemployed and financially desperate individuals, such as yourself, no offense... and place them where they are no longer dependent on government funded support. This is creating a turnaround in national profit because we have reduced those relying on welfare.”

“Sounds like you’ve definitely done your part against the recession.”

Walter placed his briefcase on the filthy coffee table and unhinged the braces, “In fact, I guarantee I can get you to work by the end of the day!”

“That would be great! What kind of work? Do you need my resume?” Hank scanned the room, failing to locate his resume folder.

“No resume necessary Hank,” Walter revealed a .38 Magnum from the briefcase.

Hank froze in his footsteps, “You’re not really from the government, are you?”

Walter grinned, “I promised you some work. How are you with a shovel?"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To whom it may concern (three word Wednesday - gentle, praise, vulgar)

Dear writers,

I am writing this in good conscience that I need to make my voice heard on a subject that has been of great concern for awhile now. I am deeply worried that the subject of vampires has been overused in today’s movies and literature. Look, I know there’s a dark, mysterious danger that the vampire character offers to your fiction. Hollywood has cast us as a cold and savage species. It’s not like that at all. We are not so vulgar as to hunt down you humans for blood. Quite frankly, it’s far too messy. Everyone seems to have some sort of GPS these days. Next thing you know, the cops are all over you. Then it’s all this explaining, all this paperwork, possible arrest or even getting shot at. And what vampire likes to get shot at? Not yours truly, my friends.

Hollywood has recently made us an anti-hero. This has worsened our lifestyle truthfully. I feel it has impinged on our anonymity. Everywhere I go, humans want autographs. It has also become an unbearable nuisance with the paparazzi. Don’t they realize I will not show up in photos? I am no role model and certainly no anti-hero. I feel the praise and attention we receive is simply not justified.

I would furthermore like to set the record straight for bats. Bats have really got a bad reputation through the whole vampire infatuation you humans have going on. Bats are not after your blood, they hone in by sonar. If you don’t want them to bother you, then stop making noises! They are a pretty gentle animal overall and should be considered for domestication. If you were the first in your neighborhood with a pet bat, I am certain you’d be the talk of the neighborhood. Untapped potential here, people. It’s no more difficult than owning a ferret. Less odorous, too. Think of them as small, blind ferrets with wings. What’s not to love?

I go to the blood bank and pay for my meals like every honest hard working vampire. I sleep the sunlight hours away, so please stop knocking on my door during the daytime hours. I am not interested in your life insurance or your girl scout cookies. Just let me sleep people. A little privacy is all I ask. If you are awake in the wee hours of the morning, you can text or Email me, even follow me on Twitter. I’d rather you not visit in person though, I’m a bear if you interrupt my DVR’d Oprah.



Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Twisted Experiment (three word Wednesday - acrid, bane, tepid)

I went with a continuation of The Cortez Case, characters in this installment were last seen in 3ww stories "Hostage" and "El Moco."

Blinding light protruded around the silhouette of the large man in the doorway. “Get up kid.”

Ryan planted a hand on the floor. His arm wobbled and strained. How long had it been? He had lost weight at an unhealthy rate, feverishly devouring whatever poor excuses for meals that were brought to him. Slices of bread, half eaten sandwiches, tepid leftovers, and an occasional bowl of oatmeal had been the cause of noticeable reduction in his arms and waist. He had not complained, for his adjustment to the high seas had not been a smooth one, and he feared a normal portion of food would not stay down. He knew they would not let him starve to death, as much as he thought that may be favorable. They would not let him, and he would not let himself. He was determined to get out. Alive.

The hair that fell around his face as he lifted his head reminded him that starvation was minor on his priorities. They had been drugging him. Not the good drugs. Not heroin. Ryan would take every one of them to hell for a fix of heroin. He had gone without for far too long. He dreamed of it. He hungered for it… more than a full meal... more than the need to shake the seasickness... more than life itself. He needed a fix. And he needed it now. The drugs he had been receiving failed at giving him a high. The only trippy effect was dizziness and a loss of balance. It was not even a loss, more of a shift. And body changes were a bane to his pride and his manhood. His facial hair had stopped growing. His skin was softer. His chest had become itchy with small pectoral growths. And, most horrific of all, his crotch had painfully shriveled to a fragile feeling of a rotten tomato. He dared not touch for fear of breaking anything. His voice had become less gruff and monotone, more pitchy and melodic. He found himself crying frequently, and mad at himself for not keeping it together. He had not seen himself since these changes began and was sure he didn’t want to.

A size 12 black shoe appeared alongside Ryan.

“I said get up,” a painful tug at Ryan’s hair weave hoisted him to his feet. Ryan stood level to Brick’s chest, which due to his girth was still larger than Ryan’s hormonally altered chest. Ryan thought about kicking his heel straight into Brick’s nuts, but feared a reciprocated strike would destroy him.

“It’s time to go,” Brick patted down Ryan’s faux hair as if patting a dog. Brick revealed a washcloth and commenced toweling the sweat from Ryan’s face. Ryan wished Carlos had come to get him. Carlos would have let him get up on his own, and thrown the washcloth at him. Not Brick. Brick was a creepy man. Ryan’s hormonal alterations were Brick’s fault, Brick’s twisted experiment. Ryan was not sure where they were going, but Brick’s efforts to make him presentable made him want to crawl out of his skin. They departed the cargo room, climbed stairs while the ocean fought his skewed balance, and finally arrived in the sunlight. The acrid odor of low tide rushed in, the sea breeze pushing his long hair across his nose repetitively. The boat was smaller than he anticipated. He envisioned a large cargo rig, but the deck was merely a rundown mid-sized tug boat. The coastline before them was lush and rural. Carlos roped the boat to a dock and faced the coast, little Chloe at his side. The blond kindergartener was preoccupied with a Barbie doll. At least their captors had a heart enough to keep Chloe happy.

Chloe nudged Carlos, “Are we going to see my Daddy now?”

“Not yet. But your friend Ryan is here,” Carlos motioned to Brick and Ryan approaching. Ryan walked up to her, “Hi Chloe, how are you?”

“You’re not Ryan! Ryan’s a boy!”

Her innocent observation rattled Ryan worse than any pain he’d ever endured. Brick smiled to Carlos, “See. Told you. Believable enough.”

“We’ll see. If Moco doesn’t buy it, I swear Brick, I’ll kill you…” Carlos blurted.

The knocking of several footsteps along the wooden dock grew louder. A greasy overweight Brazilian man lumbered amongst three bodyguards. Three onboard nervously watched the approach of Moco and his entourage; the fourth watched her Barbie doll.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Interview (three word Wednesday x 3- hassle, inject, wealth, erase, meadow, trace, feign, virtue, imply)

Hi everyone, its been a few weeks. I compiled 9 words into this one to make up for lost time. This is not a continuation of the Cortez Case; instead I went for a change and decided to check in on a different personality from earlier 3 word Wednesdays. You can find this character in my January contribution entitled, "The Protection Amulet" and its sequel in February. Thanks for stopping by, and hope you enjoy.

“Wh… where am I?”

A lone candle centered on a circular wooden table provided the only light. Vague blues and greens of a Hawaiian-style shirt floated out of the darkness.

“Yoo ar Zon York, ar yoo not?” Teeth and eyeballs above the colorful shirt spoke. The dark face was still unclear as he took a seat across the table.

“What is meaning of this? Who are you?”

“Yoo can call me Dean. Now, yoo’ar Zon York?”

“John York, yes. Where are we?”

Dean wasn’t about to feign an apologetic tone. He had little tolerance for the humility expected by people of wealth. “Mista Zon York, I need ta ask yoo some questions. An’ I need yoo ta cooperate.”

“But I demand to know…” John pounded an unexpectedly small fist onto the table.

“Zon, time is short. Lissen to me. I need yoo ta retrace wat happened at the golf course.”

John swallowed and sighed before beginning. “Me and my business partner were on the fourteenth hole, I was three over par but still beating Greg. We were shooting onto the green, about 80 yards from the hole, when these guys came walking over to us. Jamaican guys, four of them. They started to hassle us. Started demanding money on the spot.” John grabbed at his throat, “Does my voice sound funny to you?”

“Pleez jus continue Zon. Wat happened next? Did yoo give dem money?”

“Well I looked back at Greg, the caddie had hit him over the head with the sand wedge. He put Greg in the cart and rode off. I tried to stop them but one of them had my arm and was taking my gold watch. Another one grabbed my left hand and they walked me off the course.”

“Do yoo recall anyzing about dem?”

“One had an afro. The others had short hair. Wait, one was bald. Got fuzzy at that point, one of them injected me with something. I think one responded to Trevor from another one of them… Trevor had the afro.”

“Was der any reezon foh Trevor an his men ta come affer yoo? Did yoo owe anyone money?”

“What are you implying?” John was alarmed and his pitch raised to that of a whining woman. “I am an honest man with good virtues! I am not a swindler or hustler! I made my living honestly! “

“Point taken Zon, jus’ tryin ta piece tagether a motive iz all. Pleez continue wit Trevor.”

John gazed to the candle flame, scrounging random memories from erased interims. “A car ride… then I was being pushed around… everything was spinning. An ATM machine… I remember… then another car ride… I was in the trunk. I was in a meadow, don’t know how I got there, they were making me dig…”

“Wat was neer zis meadow Zon?”

“I don’t recall… grass, trees, wait… there was a playground nearby. Looked like a schoolyard… far… in the distance.”

“Then wat?”

“That is all I remember.”

An awkward silence fell between John and his exotic interviewer. John squinted trying to make sense of Dean’s labyrinth tattoo across his right cheek. Dean got to his feet and leaned toward the candle, “Dat is all I haf foh questions Zon. I will blow out dis candle an when I do, yoo will return to where ya came. Thanks foh your cooperation Zon.”

John nodded. Dean’s next gesture left the room pitch black. When the light returned, Dean was across the room at a light switch. He strolled across the room to the frazzled woman sitting at the table. She looked around confusedly, “What happened? Did it work?”

“Can yoo tell me yoh name ma’am?”

“Allison York.”

“Yes Mrs. York,” Dean revealed a recorder from the pocket of his Hawaiian shirt, “We made contact wit yoh husband.”

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

El Moco (three word Wednesday - hidden, noble, roam)

More from The Cortez Case. This one is a continuation from the past entry "Maid In Columbia." Hope you enjoy and thanks for reading!


A high pitched yapping from a toy sized dog approached the backside of the grand oak door.

Knock. Knock. Knock. The slow and steady rhythm mimicked the percussion of Fog Hat’s Slow Ride. A distant whine summoned the maid unsuccessfully. The stomping tantrum of a teenager grew closer. An impatient diva restraining her black poodle appeared through the opening. She glared disgustedly at the slob on her front stairs. A Brazilian man with a beer gut and a cologne resembling tuna smiled back at her. She recognized that slimy receding hairline and scruffy face instantly. She cinched her nose with her free hand.

“Pe Pe,” she broadcasted behind her in a nasal tone, “El Booger is here.”

He stepped into the foyer of the Cortez mansion. This place never ceased to amaze him. Marble columns and dark wood side tables complimented the Incan relics displayed on them, giving the home a museum feel. The well groomed foliage in the backyard rolled downward to meet the Atlantic. This place was fit for a noble; and his boss certainly was a noble of the crime world. Sierra roamed away silently, leaving him waiting for the scurried tardy arrival of the maid.

“Allo Monsieur Moco,” she greeted with clearly feigned manners.

He grumbled in dissatisfaction, “Bah, no French. It is ‘Oy Senhor Moco’ where I am from. Please show me you are not a stupid bitch and use the right language next time.”

“You are right Senhor Moco, je regrette.” She beamed a smile that could not be more fabricated. She wanted to kill Moco ever since she had met him. He was as chauvinistic as he was odious, but that was not the worst of it. She had no idea just how terrible his personal hygiene habits were until she discovered a hidden remnant crusted to the underside of a patio table after one of his recent visits. It was no surprise he earned the sobriquet ‘Moco,’ Portugese for mucus. He had squeezed her ass several times that same visit. Who knows where else those fingers had been. She had to shroud true feelings, for it was no secret this scumbag was Cortez’ right hand man.

“Somezeen to drink?” She thought, Arsenic perhaps?

“Caipirinha, extra lime,” he patted her behind as she departed for the kitchen. Saw that coming. “Right away Senhor. Monsieur Cortez ees on zee patio.”

Moco strolled through the home with hands behind him. A tropical autumn breeze met his face as he opened the French door to the patio. The man on the patio stared through reading glasses at a laptop. He stroked his goatee, fixated on the screen.

“Oy Moco. Come, sit. Just finishing up here.”

“Oy sir,” Moco sat opposite his boss.

“What is the report?”

“We got three more from Spain over the weekend. Just spoke to Carlos, we have two more on the way from the States. One of them is Thomas’ daughter.”

“Raul Thomas is out of the way,” Santino spoke with disinterest. “Totals, Moco. I need totals.”

“Dúzia, sir. One dozen.” Moco sought a response in Santino’s stoic face, still glued to the activity of the laptop monitor. “Doing some bookkeeping?” Moco finally burst with curiosity.

“Haven’t I taught you anything? What do I always say…”

Moco swallowed hard, “Asking questions will get you killed.” He knew that Santino trusted him, but Santino’s trust had been shattered in the past. Moco would not leave the mansion alive if Santino commanded it. Still refusing to look at Moco, Santino squinted in contemplation, “Mahjong.”


“I said Mahjong. Love Mahjong.”

The maid arrived with a clear drink in a short glass, crushed lime beneath a surface of ice cubes. He sipped the beverage before continuing, the maid retreating through the French doors. “Policia searched my car yesterday. No drugs found. Shoulda seen ‘em, they were pissed.”

“They think we are amateurs. Drug lords,” Santino chuckled, “Every wannabe crime lord on the Columbian coast has their hands in that market. Too predictable, too much supply, too easy to track these days.”

“You are a wise businessman”, Moco commented, “We should make some good money this weekend.”

“When is Carlos arriving?”

“This evening.”

“Good. See to it our new assets get safely to the winery,” Santino continued to click his wireless mouse.

“I will sir.”

“Very well. Keep security tight, we don’t need complications this close to the auction.”

“Si Senor.”

The maid, just inside the French doors, quietly departed. She climbed the stairs in the foyer and travelled to the far side of the house, the master’s chamber. She retrieved her unnoticeable phone in her garter belt and pressed a fast dial. The phone rang several times.

“What are you doing?” The teenage diva in the doorway folded her arms.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Probation (three word Wednesday - budge, nimble, theory)

More from the ongoing series involving several recent 3ww installments. I have decided to label the series "The Cortez Case" until something a little flashier comes to mind ha ha. Enjoy!

The echo of casual, loitering footsteps against a concrete floor augmented with their approach. He lifted his head away from the fist supporting it. Stop here, stop here, he thought. The pudgy guard with the closely shaven Mohawk ceased shuffling before his cell. The guard paused silently, letting suspense grow in the prisoner.

Fuck you Lars. Are you here for me or not? Quit screwing around. The prisoner knew better not to prod the bulky guard. Lars would refuse to budge for several minutes if he thought it would unnerve his audience.

Lars the guard retrieved his keychain, “Raul Thomas. Come with me.”

“About time.”

Lars smirked, revealing the gap where a front tooth had been, “Your boyfriend is on the way. We got somethin’ for ya, a goin’ away present.”

Lars led Raul around the corner from the cell block and down a series of halls. He gripped Raul by the nape to halt him and rapped on a door.

“Enter,” a stern female voice responded from inside.

Lars turned the knob and used Raul’s face to push the door open, throwing him to the floor inside. The guards on either side of the woman in the lab coat rushed to restrain Raul. She circumnavigated Raul, pinned to the cold floor. Lars closed the door behind him, folded his arms, and displayed his stupid incomplete smile.

“Good day Monsieur Thomas. I understand you have an arrangement with some people in high places.” The brunette woman squatted and rolled up his right pant leg.

“Who are you?”

“My name is not important. Just call me Doctor if you need to call me anything.” She rolled down his sock. The “Doctor” revealed an electrical device attached to a brace, and commenced fastening it to his ankle.

“Some GPS I take it?” Raul expected this would be happening. They were not going to release a known criminal from their custody without some means of tracking.

“GPS, yes, we’ll go with your theory...” She wore a condescending smile as she clicked the ankle piece into a secure lock and removed a small luggage-sized key. She fixed her glasses and stood upright.


The guards restraining Raul pulled him to his feet, then retreated to the Doctor.


“What? Are you kidding?” Raul looked to the Doctor against the left wall. Lars’ flying fist connected with his exposed cheek. He tumbled backwards but bounced to his feet just as fast.

“Come on punk, I know you got fight in ya!” Lars taunted, stepping forward.

“Too bad for you, that’s the only hit you’re gonna land,” Raul assumed a defensive martial position.

“We’ll see ‘bout that,” Lars propelled a right hook… dodged. Raul sidestepped a left jab and elbowed the guard’s ear. Lars staggered to the side and growled. He spun and lunged, Raul chopped the guard in the throat. THWAM… how bad Raul wanted to… THWAM… hit this jackass of a guard… TWHAM… for so long. Underestimating his nimble opponent, the guard collapsed to the floor wheezing.

Raul turned his vision to the Doctor and her companions. The guards readied for his approach. The Doctor calmly removed a tiny remote from the pocket of her lab coat and pushed the middle of three buttons.

“GGGGGYYYYYYYAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!” An intense surge from Raul’s ankle paralyzed his leg and dropped him to the floor, “What the fuck? I cannot feel my leg!”

“No worries Monsieur Thomas. It is only temporary. You will be fine. Feeling should return within a few hours,” she gave the familiar condescending smile. Raul rolled on the floor, hitting his right leg to test it for reaction and getting none. He was too absorbed to notice the knock on the door.


A brown haired man in a suit walked in, followed by a red haired teenager in Capri pants.

“Why are we in a prison? I thought we were going to get your partner,” the girl complained.

“Could you just be quiet for a minute?” The man in the suit attempted to silence her for the hundredth time.

“Agent Hunt,” the Doctor approached and surrendered the small remote device to the man, “Your partner is ready. We are releasing him to your full control. He may be somewhat sore and grumpy for awhile, but it shall pass…”

“Thank you Doctor,” Agent Brian Hunt helped Raul to his feet. Sweating and gasping, Raul observed the impatient teenager. In unison, Raul and Savannah pointed at each other, “Who’s this?”

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Applesauce (three word Wednesday - abandon, gradual, precise)

More from the cast of "In the Line Of Duty", "The New Assignment" and "Meeting Savannah". Thanks in advance for visitng!

“Are you serious? That is your car?”

Brian remotely unlocked a white Volkswagen Jetta in the parking lot of the FBI building, “What’s wrong with the car?”

“Nothing. If you’re a chick,” Savannah jeered, climbing into the passenger seat.

“The Jetta had very high reviews. Good gas mileage, excellent warranty, reasonable price...” Brian secured his safety belt, turned the ignition and adjusted his MP3.

“What are you trying to do, sell it to me? Thanks but no thanks, commercial man.”

“I thought you said this was a chick ride?”

“It is. Doesn’t mean I’d want one. Too froofy for me,” Savannah revealed a pistol from the glove box, “whoa, nice!”

“Can you please put that back!?” Brian’s voice turned stern.

“Suppose I should learn to shoot one of these eh? Is this thing loaded?”

“You’re holding it up where everyone can see! Put it DOWN Savannah!”

“All right… easy there Applesauce, wasn’t gonna shoot nobody,” Savannah returned the firearm to the glove box. “So can we go to a firing range?”

“Maybe sometime. Not now.”

Savannah frowned and retrieved a wallet from the pocket of her Capri pants. Fidgeting idly with it, she abruptly flipped it open and shouted, “FREEZE! FBI, Muddafuckers!”

Brian jumped out of his skin. “Can we NOT do that while I’m driving?”

“You really need to chill…”

“Wait, they gave you a badge?”

“Course. I’m pro,” she boasted.

“What ever happened to ‘all you stuffpants cannot think for yourselves’

“Stuffpants?” Savannah giggled, “Try stuffshirts. If you stuff your pants, that’s your business.”

Brian glanced at her badge, it was the real deal. How could Ed have given her a badge? She continued, “I told you, I’m pro. I’ll be stopping muddafuckers in their tracks!”

“A little discretion Savannah, that badge is for agents that carry themselves professionally. They wouldn’t be shouting muddafuckers…”

“Precisely. I told you though, I’m no stuffshirt. I’m not gonna keep my mouth clean and drive around in girly cars.” She resumed her mock arrest, “Freeze fuckers, FBI! Is that better?”

Brian sighed. Savannah felt her humor had been lost, and decided to change topic. “So what’s your story Applesauce? Am I gonna meet a new mom? New brothers and sisters?”

“I’m divorced. No kids. Well, until you, I guess. What’s with Applesauce?”

“I figured since I like you better, I upgraded you from Asshole to Applesauce.”

Brian tapped his fingers on the steering wheel, “Can you not call me that?”

“Too late, you responded to it already. That means you accepted it, so you’re stuck with it… Applesauce.”


“You like it, you know you do,” Savannah taunted.

“What about you? What’s your story?”

Savannah panned her eyes downward, “Dad abandoned me and mom when I was four. Who knows where that asshole is...”

“And your mom?”

She spoke in sincerity, “Mom OD’d when I was eight. She had a gift too, stronger than mine. Her mind gradually drove her crazy. She could not turn it off. She had all these headaches. Needed drugs to cope. Became too dependent and that was that.”

Brian was touched as she raised her eyes to him. It was the first time he had seen genuine emotion from the sassy girl.

“I don’t wanna end up like that. I’m gonna keep my powers under control. And I’m staying off drugs. No matter how bad it gets.”

Brian smiled, “That’s a good girl.” He failed to see what Ed saw in this teenager that would make her valuable until this moment. Beneath the sarcasm and the teasing was a responsible young adult. He placed his hand on her shoulder, mimicking a proud father, “You won’t end up that way.”

Savannah snapped into her normal tone, “OK creepy. Touch my shoulder again I’ll bend your fingers backwards 'til they break.”

“Sorry I was just trying to console…”

“Asshole. That’s right, you’re downgraded.”

“Can you stop with the swearing? It’s not very ladylike,” Brian slowed to a stop at a traffic light.

“You’re the one with the Jetta.”

“This is not a chick ride!”

“Oh yeah?” Savannah nodded her head in a motion to advise Brian to look left. A large man in a pick-up truck craned his head curiously to examine the Jetta’s operator, then cowered in embarrassment upon noticing Brian.

“You must get all the guys in this thing. Maybe I should drive it.”

“You’re a brat, you know that?”

“Thanks for noticing, Asshole.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hostage (three word Wednesday - dread, grasp, pacify)

This is a continuation of past 3ww short story "Bad to Worse," hope you enjoy.

Ryan awakened to a coarse sound of a heavy iron door being pushed open. Sharp pain spiked from his scalp as he lifted his head. He returned his cheek to the drool on wooden floor, forcing his eyes open. The blur of wooden barrels and crates surrounded him. Straddling the floor did his dizziness little justice, the entire room swayed to and fro. His eyeballs rolled backwards in a desire for unconsciousness.

“Sit up kid, it’s time you eat something.” A male voice spoke from behind him. Ryan squirmed to change angle, rolling onto his back. His face filled with dread when he recognized the unclear image of the weasel-like Carlos.

“Uuunnnhhh fooood?” Ryan said in a weak groan.

Carlos presented a hot dog on a paper plate. Ryan struggled to sit upright; hair brushed his cheeks and fell upon his shoulders. “Whaaa?” he gasped, bringing his hands to the surprisingly long hair. Examining his head as much as handcuffs would allow, he discovered the new mane of dirty blond hair also fell down his back.

“What have you done to me?”

“I think they call it a hair weave,” Carlos was amused, watching Ryan grasp his new extensions and pull wildly, only causing himself further scalp pains. Ryan’s fright deepened when he noticed the black skirt he was wearing only covered twenty percent of his shaven legs. His balance teetered as the room shifted to the ocean waves.

“MY CLOTHES!!” Ryan squealed, pulling at his powder blue halter top.

“Brick thought you had better get used to wearing that sorta stuff. Break you in, I guess.”

“YOU FREAKS! I want my clothes back NOW!”

“I don’t really think you’re in any position to make demands. Now why don’t you be a good girl and eat this hot dog.” Carlos grinned evilly.

“I am NOT a girl!”

“Like I said, the breaking-in stage… now here.”

Ryan eyed the food, feigning disinterest. He tried to hide the fact his stomach was growling. He felt like they were starving him. Perhaps they were. Perhaps he should turn his nose up to the hot dog and starve to death. Ryan sat motionless and scowling. Carlos finally spoke, “Look kid, don’t blame me. I woulda left you dead in a ditch. You ain’t hurting nobody but yourself if you don’t eat. Then again, you lose a few more pounds and you’re gonna be quite a hottie to the auctioneers.”

Ryan swallowed hard. He did not fully know what Carlos meant, but it did not sound good at all. The raging hunger took over. Ryan lunged at the hot dog and devoured it with haste. He did not care about the scattered powder on the meat; he ate viciously and was not satisfied when it was gone.

“Are we on a boat?” Ryan finally spoke after licking the last of the powder from his fingers. Carlos merely smiled.

Ryan’s voice started to slur. “You’re not gonna tell meeee wherrrr weeeeeeerr...” His head fell backward to a thud against the wood floor. A giant man called to Carlos from the doorway, “Did he eat?”

“Yea Brick, he did.”

“You give him both pills?”

“The sedative will keep him pacified. You can see that’s already taken effect.” Carlos motioned to the unconscious cross-dressed boy.

“And the other one?”

Carlos sighed in reluctance, “Yes, I added the estrogen too.”

The two men left the storage room of the ship, closing the heavy iron door in their wake.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In the Line Of Duty (three word Wednesday - fear, ignore, weightless)

This is a little more storyline involving characters from past 3ww installments "Meeting Savannah," and "The New Assignment". Hope you enjoy.

“No Ed, absolutely not.”

“I knew you’d object. Don’t worry, everything’s taken care of. You just need to sign the form.”

“I really don’t think this will work.”

The tall, slender supervisor placed a hand on his shoulder, ignoring Brian’s objection. ”Brian, I would only give this arrangement to our most trusted agents.”

Brian caressed the left temple of his forehead, trying to digest what was being asked of him. He knew that employment with the FBI meant they owned you. They could send you anywhere… at any time… as anyone. They made the decisions for you. They thought for you. They were your brain. “She’s a terror Ed. How did you get her to agree to it?”

“Full scholarship for a college of her choice.”

“That was all it took?”

Ed laughed, “No. We also threw in a car, backstage passes to Lady Gaga, and a shopping spree.”

Brian placed his palm on his forehead. Ed continued, ”We presented her with a few candidates. She chose you, as hard as that is for you to believe.”

“Lucky me,” Brian sighed.

“She’s a great asset, Brian.”

Brian frowned and accepted the papers from Ed’s hands. He reviewed the documents in a prolonged silence. Ed waited until Brian’s head emerged from the documents to speak, “I realize this is asking a lot…”

“Adoption?” Brian said with a tone of fear.

“She’s a minor Brian. It would make travelling easier if you were her legal guardian.”

“She’s almost an adult herself…”

“Which is exactly why this arrangement is ideal! Once she is eighteen, she’s not your responsibility anymore.”

“I don’t know the first thing about parenting…”

“She’s an independent person Brian. And it’s not like we’re asking you to change diapers.”

Brian lowered his eyes to the document, “I still think this is above and beyond what is expected of me.”

“She’s an orphan Brian. What orphan hasn’t always wanted a father? Like I said, you are the most trusted agent in the business. I certainly would not place the life of a dependent in an agent’s hands if I did not trust them with my own…”

Brian was touched. Ed had the reputation of a hard ass, and sincere compliments were not in his character. He looked into the wizened, begging eyes of his superior. A long silence subsided with Brian’s sigh.

“Give me the pen. I cannot believe I am doing this.”

The scribbling sound ceased and the document was surrendered to Ed. The slender man shook Brian’s hand, “Thank you. Come with me.”

The two men walked down a long hallway and pushed open a door identified as the office of “Chief Edward Emerson.” An invite into the supervisor’s office was privilege in itself. Brian had only been in this spotless office once before, when they first met six years ago. The place had not changed much. Everything had its place. The books were arranged alphabetically in his bookcase, the blinds were pulled to the same length on all three windows, the abacus on his desk… was not on his desk but instead weightlessly sustained over the surface. Ed exchanged a nod with the red head girl sitting in his plush office chair. He spun on his heel to Brian, “Agent Hunt, a young woman that needs no introduction.” The abacus slowly descended onto the desk and the teenager stood up.

Savannah twisted her lip and winked mischievously, “Hi Daddy!”

Brian gave a bleak smile. ‘Daddy’ would take some getting used to. Ed dropped an envelope in his empty hand.

“What are these? Tickets?”


“Where are we headed?” Brian opened the envelope, expecting plane tickets to some exotic or dangerous destination.

“I thought it would be a good bonding experience with your daughter,” Ed smirked playfully. ‘Daughter’ would also need to grow on him. Brian’s shoulders slouched in disappointment, while Ed and Savannah smiled at each other.

“Two Lady Gaga tickets!!”

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bad To Worse (three word Wednesday - escape, hum, vibrant)

Ryan shivered to the bone. Trudging through dense rain, he appeared as if he had just climbed out of a lake. ‘So hungry,’ he thought. That didn’t matter. Not the lack of food, not the lack of shelter. These were secondary. What he needed was a fix. Just a little more heroin and all his woes would be gone. He searched his right jeans pocket and revealed four pennies. He needed a better lot in life, but few would give a teenage runaway a chance.

His sneezed onto the backside of his hand and folded his arms tight against his soaked torso. He looked up. The activities and lights of a gas station met his eyes. He was not sure how long he had been walking on the sparsely settled road, or which direction he had been going. He knew he could not tolerate the rain much longer. Perhaps they will let him inside the convenience store. If not, he could still dry out under the awning protecting the gas pumps. He worked his way to the fringe of the dry pavement and placed his hands in his pockets. His presence intimidated nearby customers despite his efforts to be invisible. He shook his coat overdramatically as if to display to his skeptics, “look I am just drying out.” He watched a dark blue Audi with tinted windows roll into the nearest pump. A large muscular passenger lumbered into the store, while a smaller weasel-like man worked the pump. The weasel man looked around cautiously while pumping, and sized Ryan up with disgust. He said something quietly into the car once the gassing was complete, and turned for the store.

Ryan paced. The need for heroin again tapped him on the shoulder, whispered in his ear, sent a thirst through his veins. He had never stolen anything that would not fit in the pocket of his baggy hoodie. He knew the plan was poor, but that Audi sure was sweet. It would certainly pay for his addiction, and then some. The door was ajar; the weasel man abandoned the keys on the driver seat. Ryan swallowed hard, and vibrantly ran for the Audi.

He plunged into the seat, shoved the key into its place, and vamoosed with a screeching of tires. The weasel and the bulkier man sprinted out of the store in time to witness his escape. The men revealed pistols, forcefully pulled an elderly man from his nearby Cadillac, and took to chase.

Ryan was immediately impressed with the hum of the engine, smoother than anything he had driven with his driver’s permit. The rear view mirror angled his sight to spot a lumpy green blanket spread across the leather back seat. Before he adjusted the mirror away, the blanket squirmed.

“What the…” Ryan reached backward and forced the blanket to the floor. Lying across the back seat, a small blonde girl bound and gagged stared fearfully back at him. She huffed and flailed with her arms helplessly tied behind her back.

“SHIT! OhmyGod… no f…”

BOOM. A gunshot took out the back window. Ryan swerved and resumed control of the car. He reached back to remove the gag from her mouth while staring ahead.

“Help me!”

“Who the hell are you?”

“Are you a bad guy too?” Ryan was unsure how to respond. He did not think grand theft auto qualified him as “the good guy.”


“Look girl I’ll take you home! I need to know your name so I can help you!”


“My name is Chloe! I want to go home!”

“Stay down! I’m gonna try to…”

BOOM POP HISSSSSSSS. Ryan gripped the steering wheel tighter upon the hissing sound of a deflating tire. He depressed the gas pedal with augmenting force, but the Audi soon felt as if it were riding over rocks. Ryan’s white knuckles turned away from the car’s leftward pull while Chloe screamed behind him. The Audi went into a whirl and the encroaching Cadillac pushed Ryan and Chloe into a ditch. Ryan looked up from the airbag, “Chloe, you ok?”

No response. Chloe was unconscious, but breathing. Ryan realized the danger of the situation and kicked the door open. Perhaps he could carry her; perhaps he could flee and report to the police. He jumped to his feet and was met with a firm grasp of his collar.

“You FUCKING LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT! I’LL KILL YOU!” The shorter weasel man threw Ryan into the hood of the Audi. He shoved the pistol against Ryan’s neck. CLICK.

“No Carlos,” the giant man placed a hand on the weasel’s shoulder. He looked Ryan up and down and showed a smile that told Ryan death would be favorable, “He may be worth something. Tie him up. I’ll put Chloe in the Caddy.”

Carlos the weasel man gave a look of disgust Ryan had first seen him wearing, “You’re a sick man, Brick.” With the Audi set ablaze, the party of four departed in the borrowed Cadillac.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The New Assignment (three word Wednesday - depart, ignite, rotten)

This is an effort to weave a few of my past three word Wednesday stories into one. Characters featured in this piece are derived from earlier stories "The Bargaining Chip," "Meeting Savannah" and "Maid In Columbia."

“You wanted to see me?”

Ed rose from his office chair and adjusted his suit coat. His dark slicked hair and thin features ironically gave him the appearance of a Hollywood mobster. He extended a handshake to his subordinate, “Thanks Brian for coming.” Ed departed his office and gestured for Brian to walk with him. Walking alongside his stern boss was intimidating. Brian was by no means short, but still had to crane his neck upwards to acknowledge Ed. He was not surprised in the least about the various trophies and merits Ed displayed in his office from his basketball days at LSU. Ed rarely requested a one-on-one meeting, and it usually occurred in the privacy of his office. Walking the hallways only implied to Brian that Ed’s great new idea would be something rotten.

“I’m placing you on the Cortez case.”

Here we go, Brian thought. He held his reply and did his best to appear indifferent. He could feel Ed’s gaze anticipating a response. Ed continued, “Our involvement has intensified with some recent leads. We need more man power for this case. We are closing in on our target.”

“Santino Cortez?”

Ed shushed Brian immediately, “Let’s save the specifics for behind closed doors.”

“Isn’t the CIA more equipped to deal with an international case?”

“Cortez has moles in the CIA. This case has been placed in our hands by the higher ups of the CIA themselves. We have reasonable evidence supporting the counts of kidnapping and human trafficking.”

Brian rubbed his chin, “What about Agent Arlen?”

“She is still on deployment.”

“She’s a big girl. She cannot handle this herself?”

“We cannot compromise her position Brian. We have her doing everything she can.”

“I take it I will be partnered with her then?” Brian questioned with fleeting enthusiasm.

“Actually, no.”

“Which agent will I be working with then?”

“Not an agent…”

Ed halted before a closed door. Brian stared at him quizzically. “What are you trying to pull Ed?”

“We have acquired a skilled resource offering us full cooperation in the case.”

“He’s not an agent?”

Ed chuckled at the notion, “Heavens no. I believe his interests are in line with our mission.” Ed pushed the door open and entered. Brian followed. The room was a simple interrogation scene; bland walls and cold tile flooring, furnished with a small table, a pair of chairs on each side, a trash barrel and a one-way mirror. One chair was occupied with a balding middle aged man of sharp physique. His elbows rest upon the table, displaying the handcuffs on his wrists. His lazy posture became astute and his tired face ignited with a desperate urgency as Ed and Brian entered. He spoke in a begging tone, “Please, I told you I will do anything! No prison, anything but prison! I just want my daughter back! We are wasting time sitting here! I will help you, but we need to move on it!”

Ed swung himself around dramatically and placed a hand on the frantic man’s shoulder. “Brian, I would like you to meet your new partner, Raul Thomas.”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Player (three word Wednesday - ebb, negotiate, random)

“Eric I admit at first that I didn’t have faith in your product… but you’ve really proven me wrong.” Mr. Parker changed his volume to address the rest of the board meeting. “It’s no secret our active accounts have declined, the ebb of our income has been partly slowed due to Eric’s contribution. It is a good step, but it is not enough. If we look at the graph over the last six months…”

An Asian woman across the table from Eric rubbed her nose after catching eye contact with him. Eric responded to her tease with a playful glare. He imagined lunging across the table, throwing her glasses to the floor, and cleaning the back side of her teeth with his tongue while Mr. Parker played the background with facts and figures. Her reciprocating gaze told him she could read these thoughts, and were not repulsed by them.

“Jen?” Mr. Parker infiltrated their eye intercourse and awaited a response.

“Sorry Mr. Parker,” she tuned in seamlessly to the boss’s prompt, “Our programmers and designers are working many hours to make sure our product will be complete for mid-June.”

Mr. Parker scratched the top of his hairless dome, “I know that June was the discussed deadline, any way to push it up to the end of May?”

Eric swallowed hard. The end of May? Releasing a game expansion even by the June deadline would involve a miracle! He was well aware the industry of MMORPGs (Massive Multi-player Online Role Play Games) moved quickly, but Mr. Parker’s request was outright absurd. Eric admired Jen’s ability to remain cool throughout his request, “I will negotiate with the engineers and push for an earlier release.”

The boss smiled with confidence. “Excellent. It is imperative we are ready as soon as possible. That is all I have for now. You are dismissed.”

Eric stepped into his office and retrieved a loose sheet from the second draw of his desk. He brought the sheet to the fax machine, when he found Jen at his doorway.

“Your little invention is quite successful,” Jen spoke with a subtle detection of a Japanese accent. Eric’s claim to fame was the introduction of an account identification “authenticator” that plugged into a USB port and served as a physical password for an MMORPG account. Sure each account had its own account name and password securities, which initially was cause for the skepticism behind his invention, but this second checkpoint provided an impossible firewall that key loggers and hackers could not do anything about. Joshua from the security department informed in the meeting that account hacking had been on the rise, and Eric’s product found itself quite popular rather quickly.

“People put a lot of time into our game, and everyone likes to feel safe…”, Eric beamed.

“How did you come up with it?”

“Why don’t I tell you over dinner,” Eric winked. Jen’s sparkling teeth smiled in flattery. He thought again of cleaning the backside of those glistening teeth. “That sounds great,” she spoke warmly.

“Fantastic! I will meet you in the lobby in a couple minutes, I just have to finish up something here.” Jen bowed upon dismissal as she would have back in her home in Kyoto. Eric completed operation of the fax machine, peered up and down the hall outside his office, and shut the door. He flipped open his cell phone and selected a fast dial option.


“Hi Greg. I just sent you another twenty five.”

“No authenticator on these?”

“Nope. I made sure. None of them have purchased one.”

“They don’t all know each other like last time right? I gotta say that was funny watching ‘em all blame each other…“

“No Greg, these are all random accounts. Take them to the bank. You know what to do.”

“Fax is coming through now. Don’t worry, I’m on it. Consider ‘em hacked.”

“Good. I will check in later, do not call me, I have a dinner date.”

“You got it amigo. Peace out.”


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Everyone Deserves A Vacation (three word Wednesday - brash, lubricate, saint)

At any given hour, O’Hare traffics travelers from across the globe with amazing efficiency for an airport of its grand size. Planes arrive, dock, are serviced by pit crews that could rival NASCAR teams, and depart into the skies from which they came with a new cast of passengers. People of all sizes scurry beyond one another; each could tell tales of exotic places from which they came or are going, if one had the time to listen. Staring out the window of the waiting area in terminal C25 a plump old man in a tropical shirt observes a pair of young men filling the plane’s tank, lubricating the axles of the landing gear, and marking a clipboard with their progress. He slowly lowers his girth into a plastic seat designed for people much thinner than himself, lowers the brim of his hat and releases a depressurizing sigh. He retrieves a newspaper from a carry-on bag resting against his ankle.

“You have a long beard,” a small voice from the seat to his right catches his attention. He lowers sunglasses to the tip of his puffy nose. A girl no more than six gawks curiously at him, her long pigtails the color of hay. Beyond her, an embarrassed mother tugs the girl’s arm, hoping the child’s simple observation did not come across too brash.

“Kyleigh, leave the nice man alone…”

“It’s quite alright ma’am,” the earnest smile slightly elevates the long white beard. “I love children. Their innocent words can’t help but make you smile.”

“Are you having a baby?” Kyleigh pokes his soft stomach, causing him to chuckle loudly. The mother turns the color of sunburn.

“Ho ho ho… no Kyleigh there’s just a lot of me.”

“I’m sorry sir,” the mother lowers her head, “she’s been rambunctious since she left her favorite doll at the last layover. She’s just bored…”

Kyleigh’s face displays a terrible sadness with her mother’s reminding words. “I miss Kiki Belle. Mom says I can see Kiki Belle again when we are home.”

He frowns sympathetically, “I know it’s no fun travelling without your friends. Maybe Kiki Belle doesn’t like airplanes, and is hiding. Maybe you just didn’t look hard enough for her.” Though the man speaks in a promising tone, Kyleigh’s mother is disturbed that he is filling her daughter with false hopes. She is certain the doll had been left behind, and Kyleigh will only be more distraught after failing to find it again.

“Kiki Belle likes planes,” Kyleigh states in protest.

“Do you?”

“Yes. Do you?”

The man chuckles again, “Planes are amazing, but not the way I prefer to travel if I can help it.”

Kyleigh looks the man up and down, “You look a lot like…”

“That’s enough dear,” her mother prevents further embarrassment. Kyleigh retracts in her chair and begins to hum ‘Deck the Halls’.

He smiles and looks up at the intercom announcement. “…Mr. and Mrs. Kringle please report to the gate for check in.”

“Oh dear that’s me,” the old man makes eye contact with an elderly woman at the check-in booth that could only be his wife. He rubs his nose and raises his sunglasses as he squirms to a stand. He grabs his carry-on bag, “Orlando, here we come!”

Kyleigh’s mother wears a puzzled look. Did they just announce Kringle? That man could certainly pass for Saint Nick… but Kringle cannot possibly be his real name…

“Mommy!” Kyleigh bounces beside her, “Look Mommy look!!” Her daughter pulls a rag doll from her pink backpack, the unmistakable Kiki Belle’s button eyes stare back at the girl.

Her mother watches the elder couple depart down the umbilical to the plane, his jolly voice booming, “Woohoo! Spring break!!”

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Washed Hopes (three word Wednesday - deviate, identify, saturate)

“Those are our numbers,” Rhonda shouted in disbelief, “We’ve WON!”

Bruce sprung gleefully from the computer chair and hugged his wife. “We’re rich honey! The jackpot’s one hundred and ninety three million! I can get a Porsche like the one we saw on the highway last month!”

“Let’s buy a mansion on the coast!” Rhonda burst, hardly able to control herself.

Bruce surged with excitement. He stared again at the numbers. Bruce had three rituals every week for the past twenty years. Never miss the Sunday paper. Always visit the butcher on the way home every Friday to pick up whatever the deals were. And, always play the same lottery numbers. Only a vacation out of town or an act of God would cause Bruce to deviate from this routine.

Rhonda danced blissfully, “You DID buy a ticket this week right hun?”

“Of course I did! What kind of question is that? Marty at the convenient store said to say hi when I bought it. He’ll be excited to hear we won. Don’t the stores get money for selling the winning ticket?”

Rhonda was lost in thought, “California or Florida? I kinda like the Gulf side…”

“Why not both? We have one hundred and ninety three million dollars coming!” Bruce chuckled while Rhonda stomped and flailed in bliss once again.

“Oh honey let’s see the ticket! I want to hold the golden ticket!”

Bruce reached for his wallet. Not there. “Oh yeah, I put it in my back jeans pocket.” He searched the dirty clothes pile of the bedroom for the jeans. Not found. Bruce rubbed his chin and for the first time since the wonderful news, he was not smiling. He abruptly left the bedroom, ran down the stairs to the kitchen, slid across linoleum in his socks, down the stairs again to the laundry room in the far corner of the basement. He examined a pair of laundry baskets, nothing identified as his jeans of yesterday. He kicked and pushed articles of clothing with increasing fervor, to no avail. He sighed and ran his hand through his balding hair. A shiver of terror ran up his spine as his eyes fell upon the washing machine.


He flipped open the lid and delved into a mesh of saturated clothing sticking against the walls of the inside drum.

“No… no… no…”

Bruce pried the damp blue jeans from the reluctant jumble.


His hand returned from the back pocket with chaffed shreds of paper. The numbers that weren’t washed off entirely were blurred beyond recognition.

“NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” Bruce collapsed against the washing machine with his hands on his forehead.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The March (3 word Wednesday - caustic, hunch, sacrifice, plus all other words for the month of March)

“Are you ready Lata?”

The Indian widow hunched over and nuzzled her husband’s body. How she longed for his warmth, to feel a pulse behind that thick dark beard. It had been a difficult night of mourning and Lata was weary. Poor Nanda was lost at such a young age. He had amazed her with his resilience, but the downslide was inevitable. Nanda’s strength depleted and he became ever frail with malaria’s growing hunger. Out of respect, the bald attendant avoided eye contact until Lata modified her veil. He commenced soaking Nanda’s corpse with caustic fluids. Lata bravely stared into the pyre. The flames filled her eyes with a bright brazen aura. Sati was a sacred ritual in India for an obedient widow to sacrifice herself into the flames alongside the body of her late husband. Many widows fought or fled; to Lata this was an honorable display of love’s tightest bonds.

“I am ready,” she spoke with deep conviction.

The last shards of her essence were forever united with Nanda, given to her love.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Upload Successful (three word Wednesday - brazen, hunger, nuzzle)

“Hello there, young lady.”

A brunette woman with a birthmark under the left edge of her lip blinked in disbelief. “You… you’re…”

“Yes,” the older blond man smirked as humble as he could manage, “I’m Rod Stewart.” He extended a hand to the star-struck woman. She wore an expression of breathless wonder Rod was quite accustomed to. He broke her bedazzled silence, “…and your name is…?”

“Me… oh I’m sorry… my manners… I am Lenka.” Her senses slowly returned. They were standing in a featureless room, larger than she had ever seen. Thousands of people were scattered about, and yet it was far from crowded. Swing music filled the room from an unknown source. Rod recollected her attention, “Lenka. Pleasure to meet you. I’m not familiar with you Lenka. Is that your name, or the name of your band?”

“Both actually. Mister Stewart, may I ask where we are?”

Rod smiled, “Aussie?”

“We’re in Australia?”

“No, are you an Aussie?” Rod was intrigued by her accent.

“Yes sir. I am…”

An interruption left Rod’s words inaudible. A young guttural voice spoke in a slight slur, “Hey hot stuff where you from?” A hair band rocker with a long blond mane whistled and raised a bottle. Lenka blushed. Rod put his hand on her shoulder and motioned her to walk with him. “Don’t pay him any attention,” he advised.

“Who is that?”

“Hey baby, don’t be like that! Come back!” The rocker protested.

“That’s David Lee Roth. He greeted me the same way when I got here. The rest of his band is around here somewhere… they can’t stand him either.”

Rod walked towards the center of the seemingly endless room. He waved to a man with an acoustic guitar and a fringe jacket. The acoustic man with the shaggy straight hair nodded back with an earnest smile.

“Is that John Denver?” Lenka asked quizzically.

Rod nodded affirmative.

“But isn’t he dead?”

“See that area?” Rod ignored her inquiry and pointed out a clearing, sanctioned off by a chalk circle, “Don’t ever stand in there.”

“What happens there?”

The background music changed to an Aretha Franklin song. Before her eyes, a bunch of men with brazen instruments and pinstripe suits appeared within the circle. “Alright boys that’s a rap,” the bald one without any brass instructed the rest.

“That’s where we return when we’re done.” Rod greeted the swing band as they packed up their equipment and left the circle, “Hey Andy… sounding good Scottie.”

“Mister Stewart”, Lenka did her best to avoid a tone of impatience.

“Please call me Rod. Mister Stewart is my father. Do you know those guys? They call themselves ‘Big Bad Voo…’”

“Where on earth are we?” Lenka interjected politely.

“Earth…” Rod let out a chuckle, “if only we were so lucky. This is hardly earth. You’ve…” Rod gazed upwards, searching for words, “you’ve been added.”

“Is that Sting?” Lenka glanced over Rod’s shoulder.

“Yes it is. He has not been talkative much to the new blood. Not since Eminem confused him for the guy on the Dyson vacuum cleaner commercials.” The background melody ended abruptly in mid-song. Rod looked around, “Uh oh... we have a skip.”

“What do you mean?” Lenka recognized the new song as a Green Day tune. Aretha Franklin stormed between herself and Rod from the direction of the circle, “…Never lets me finish the song, I don’t know why I’m even here!”

“She was cut off… you don’t disrespect Aretha Franklin,” Rod amused himself with his pun. Lenka stared at him with a hunger for answers.

“She looked good back then, didn’t she?”

“Back then?”

“Yeah we seem to stay the age we were when we produced the uploaded songs. The real me is much older than what you see, I think I aged pretty well…”

“Rod, please explain.”

Rod gestured to lower her tone while they passed by an unconscious Amy Winehouse, nuzzling with a near-empty bottle of whiskey.

“Don’t ask,” Rod whispered, “We tried but... she won’t go.”



Rod distanced himself from Amy before continuing, “Look around Lenka, have you noticed everyone is a musician? That’s what this is, the world of Dop-i, a world of musicians. No fans, no agents, no bodyguards, just musicians. We aren’t sure how to get out of here. But we have Al working on that.” Rod pointed to a man sitting on the floor fidgeting with computer parts, clearly identifiable as Weird Al Yankovic.

“But, there’s people here that are deceased,” her eyes locked with Kurt Cobain in the distance.

“Yes, well they surely weren’t dead when they recorded music now were they?” Rod countered. He put his hand to his ear as if answering an invisible cell phone, “Oh, it looks like I am up. You’ll have to excuse me Lenka.”

Rod Stewart disappeared before her eyes. She looked over her shoulder at the circle. The members of Green Day had returned. ‘Forever Young’ began to play.

Billie Jo looked at Lenka, “Welcome to Paradise.”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Caesar's early years. (three word Wednesday x 2 - pulse, shard, weary, modify, obedient, veil)

“Julius, on what grounds dare you state such a boastful claim?” Cicero’s index finger bent slightly backwards against a flat marble surface. Behind him sat Senator Gaius Rabirius. Though weary in his years, Rabirius still had a good fight in him, and had a generous amount of pull before the council. He was not only allowing but getting entertainment from observing his obedient defender Cicero, who was outraged at Caesar, to argue on his behalf.

Julius paced calmly on the lowered stage of the council halfshell, also amused by Cicero’s aggressive stance, “Your senator has committed perduellio and shall be tried before a panel of judges...”

“Nonsense!” a vein in Cicero’s forehead began to pulse, “Rabirius has been a loyal and revered Senator for several years, your accusations shall warrant severe consequences dare you not retract your claim!”

The bearded man nearest Julius jumped to his feet and placed his right hand upon the pommel of his sword, “Hold your tongue knave, or perhaps I shall hold it for you!”

“Titus, that is enough”, Julius placed his hand upon the bearded man’s shoulder. Titus modified his posture to a more leisure stance. Julius stepped around Titus, “Many years past, your ‘loyal’ Senator had taken the life from honored tribune Lucius Appuleius Saturninus to better his own position. I’d like to point out that attacks against active tribunal can be declared an act of treason.”

The silent audience in the marble half shell of seats rolled into several mumblings and mutterings. Julius exchanged eyes with the elder Senator; his wrinkled diabolical sneer was clearly interpreted as ‘you’re next’. Cicero’s rambling mouth was drowned out by the crowd. A clamoring gable from praetor Quintus cast a veil of silence over the crowd. Quintus peered around until all attention in the room belonged to him. With a hand gesture, he granted Cicero the stage for a response.

“What proof have you of such condemning words!?” Cicero’s nostrils flared.

Julius looked back and nodded. With that, Titus took his leave. Julius continued, speaking to the senators and councilmen of the crowd rather than Cicero, “I believe you shall find my source both reliable and credible. Good people of Rome, I ask that you appoint me as judge to this ‘loyal’ Senator. Together we shall reveal his true loyalties and create a stronger council for Rome.”

“Who are you to judge Senator Rabirius!” Cicero hissed, “You shant be the sole judge, we appeal for a second!”

Julius smirked, “That suits me fine. Now without further ado, may I present our honored guest.”

Titus returned to Julius’ side, accompanied by a graceful older noblewoman with hair pulled upward into a ponytail. The crowd fell into instant discord. Julius spoke over the commotion, “Gentlemen, a woman that needs no introduction… but our manners would be disgraced without proper welcome, Cornelia Rabirius.” Across the crowd, the Senator glared in rage at his estranged mistress.

Cicero broke a nearby vase into shards with his sword, attempting to restore some order. “You vile wench! You dare destroy Senator Rabirius reputation! I shall end you, here and now!”

Titus pushed Cornelia behind him and drew his own blade, “Try it Cicero. The council would love to watch you bleed before them.”

Julius looked to the praetor, whom had already lowered the flag.

“Order! Order!” Quintus vigorously slammed his gable. “This meeting is hereby adjourned!”

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Matryoshka (three word Wednesday - amaze, frail, sacred)

“There it is! The Sacred Tome of Ivos!” Annos points his bony index finger towards an ancient altar, out of place in the dead end of a large cavern system. A dusty brown book rests atop a granite pedestal.

“Do you think we were followed?” Hurst spins his agile body around and cocks a bow. “I’ll watch our backs, you go get the tome. Careful there may be traps!”

Annos smirks with confidence at his elven comrade. “Don’t worry, I practiced my lock picking and detect traps skills. I will be right back.” He perches his black hair behind his pointed ears to watch for any poison arrows or loose rocks in his periphery, and advances with a steady tiptoe. Hurst pivots back and forth, keeping an eye on his friend, as well as their escape route. A clicking sound comes from under Annos’ left foot. A whirring sound of an approaching airborne hatchet is getting louder, but suddenly ceases with an interfering clink of an iron arrowhead. Annos looks back to Hurst, “Nice shot, thanks!”

Hurst smiles, but his celebration is short lived. “Hurry we gotta go!”

Annos nods and steps up to the granite stand. The book before him is quite sturdy despite its frail appearance. Annos places the tome in a backpack and returns to Hurst, carefully sidestepping any other potentially clicking floor tiles. Hurst motions to examine the book, but Annos reminds him of the urgency to leave. They walk a score of steps before Hurst stops in his tracks.

“What is it?” Annos stares quizzically.

“Aw crap. I have to go.” Hurst walks over to the wall of the cavern and sits down. “Are you okay to get out of here?”

Annos frowns. “Bummer. Yeah I will be ok. I can sneak out no problem. Good grouping with you, see you tomorrow?”

Hurst agrees and within ten seconds he fades from existence.


“Chris your friend is here… aren’t you going to…”

“Yeah mom, I’m just logging out!” Chris takes a headset off and places it to the left of his keyboard. He jumps to his feet, and grabs his skateboard in one quick maneuver to leave the room. Brad waits in the living room, his red hair tucked under a colorful helmet. Mother looks on from the kitchen, “Chris, don’t forget your kneepads and helmet!”

“I know mom”, Chris has already retrieved her suggestions from a coat closet.

“Dinner is at 5. Be back for dinner.”

“I know mom”, Chris gears himself up.

“Be careful!”

“I KNOW MOM”, Chris blurts with a tone of a fourteen-year-old boy annoyed with his patronizing mother. Chris and Brad depart for the park with skateboards in hand.

“How did the game go?” Brad says in a cracking teenage voice.

“I grouped with my friend Annos from Ohio. We got this really cool Sacred Tome! It was great, I shot a hatchet out of the air!”

“Wow! That sounds like fun!” Brad is amazed, and a little jealous. “I can’t wait for my birthday, my parents are gonna buy me that game.”

The boys pick up the pace as soon as they are within sight of the skateboarding park. Chris is thankful to live just blocks from the best park in town; half-pipes, quarter pipes, ramps, pyramids, funboxes and handrails are all placed randomly in a fenced off area about the size of a baseball diamond. Brad hops on his board and skates to his favorite ramp. Chris kicks off the ground for some speed and soars into the half-pipe. Brad springs onto a handrails and rides it with ease, then lands to observe Chris. Chris turns abruptly into the incline of the half-pipe, propels into a one-handed handstand, and brings the board down into the half-pipe with uninterrupted speed.

“Whoa nice move!” Brad cheers in a pitch that is half-boy, half-man. Chris steps off his board and walks to a stop.

“Aw crap”

“What’s up?” Brad asks.

“I have to go. Are you ok to get home?”

“Yeah Chris, no problem. We can hang out later.”

Chris waves at Brad, then sits against the chain link fence on the boundary of the park. Within ten seconds, he fades from existence.