I am running out of time. Sorry to any Scientologists, I’m sure I got something wrong it just don’t have time to check the facts right now. Happy Wednesday all, enjoy. *UPDATE* Sorry I couldn't get this on to the website sooner, I had to work this morning, if you sign up for my newsletter however you are sure to get the stories on time every week. Thanks. *UPDATE*

The Fence

Word Count: 1022
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 12 minutes

 
The smell of rotting flesh was something that accompanied breakfast in his family like a steaming cup of coffee and a piece of fruit. Not that the Abece’s were murderers or kept rotting flesh around the breakfast table itself, the meat was a ways off, tied to the fence that surrounded the perimeter of their farm.

Some of the old books Davey read showed worn pictures and told magnificent stories about ancient people traveling the Earth, attempting to explore every nook and cranny. Most people nowadays—his father included—say that the books claiming to be “history” are nothing more than fairy tales. A past made up by fools for fools, that’s what they called it. The only thing that mattered was the book of Scientology now, all hail L. Ron Hubbard. There is no debate when it comes to its teachings. After all it was the religion born of the apocalypse.

Davey however, could never really get on board with the idea of Scientology. Of course that would never be heard coming from his mouth, to say such things meant death. He preferred the history books he’d collected over the years. Though his father didn’t agree with their teachings, he was an open minded man and told Davey so long as he never strayed from the Scientologist path, he was welcome to read whatever he pleased. So he went to church, confessed regularly to trivial matters, and secretly thought about what the world had really been like before the apocalypse, if that’s even what it truly had been.

His oldest book held the copyright symbol with the numbers 2025 next to it. He’d marveled when he first found it on the internet, after all it was almost one-hundred fifty years old, and bought it immediately. The day it arrived he asked his father to be off farming duty for the afternoon, promising to work later the next day to catch up. His father agreed and the second he saw the courier beyond their fence he dropped his tools and ran to the gate.

The book had a hard cover that looked like it once had a picture on it, but that had faded into time years ago. However, the inside seemed almost perfectly maintained aside from the deeply yellowed edges as if the book had never been opened. It told stories of the world falling into war before the outbreak. Of how ancient human societies reached an age of information, where anything seemed possible. New inventions were flying onto and off of the shelves every day, people cared less and less about their fellow man and more and more about possessions.

The book talked about a disease that had been developed five years prior, it was a mind control agent that heightened all human senses and increased strength. A Super Soldier Serum that would allow men to turn their enemies into mindless drones with incredible strength and use them to their advantage. The serum got out and infected the human population before it was perfected. Scientists were still working out the mind control sequence, and as a result it turned the men and women of the world into vicious killers. Anyone not already infected became at risk of death or sickness, the serum was meant to pass on through blood or saliva to the infected soldier’s comrades. It worked like a charm on every civilian it came in contact with.

Then came the fences, though of course that had been generations ago, his father, and his father before him had always known the fence around the farm. After all the decades of fighting off infected that roamed the open world like packs of murderous animals, it was hard to see the wire mesh through the sun-baked human bones.

His father had taught him as soon as he could speak about the fence. It was the only thing that stood between them and death, and had to be maintained every day. If infected approached they were to be shot to death in the head, collected and brought to the fence to be strung up. There was no way of telling if hanging the bodies was what had protected the Abece family for so many years, but they were still alive, so they kept in with tradition. They also didn’t have the money to spend on high-tech protection like the walls of the city’s or some of the more well-off farmers across the state.

It took Davey some years to get used to the smell of the dead infected. Some days, when it was hot enough, you might be farming and hear the flesh sizzling just over your head. They smelled like baskets of rotting vegetables after a summer storm at first. Rancid, but also with a sweet, almost blueberry note. Then, it was the worst thing you’ve every fathomed, the rotting vegetables times a hundred. And without the sweetness. That’s why Davey figured the infected stayed away, the smell.

“You wanna load up the truck and take some of these vegetables to the church with me in an hour or so?” Davey’s father asked, snapping him away from his thoughts.

“Yea pa, that sounds good,” he said taking his last bites of the eggs before standing up and walking to the sink. Davey rinsed the dishes quickly and took a long gulp of the hot black coffee.

“I guess I’ll run out there and check the fence quick before we get goin’. You need me to do anything else while I’m out there?” The young man asked his father as he added the empty coffee mug to the drying pile of dishes.

“No, just hurry back,” his father said without looking up.

“Yes sir. You mind if bring a book with me for the ride?” Davey broached the subject lightly, sometimes it was okay, other times it wasn’t, all depended on his father’s mood.

“That’s fine.” Davey smiled and without another word headed out of the kitchen and toward the fence. He thought about which of his books he would bring as the familiar smell of something like blueberries filled his nostrils. 

 
 
This story was surprisingly easy for me to write. It was just one of those days when it flowed. It’s not a groundbreaking story by any means but it entertained me while I wrote it, hopefully it will do the same for you. Happy Wednesday. Enjoy.

Body Shop

Word Count: 1009
Writing: 52 minutes
Editing: 13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

The two men stood outside the rusted building and read the bright, flesh colored words.

Body Shop.

“You sure about this? You’re wife’s gonna go ape-shit when she sees it,” said the taller, broader of the two.

“She’s gonna love it, trust me.” The smaller man’s words were relaxed from the bottle of clear alcohol in the car. He wasn’t slurring though, not too drunk to make a wrong decision.

“What’re you gonna get?”

“Not sure,” he paused and breathed in deeply, nervous. “Let’s go take a look,” he said smiling.

The door opened and an electronic bell jingled somewhere toward the back.

“Why don’t you have any yet? You always talked about getting one.” The walls were lined with mechanical body parts made to look like human limbs, and strange metallic designs that shined intense blues, greens, and reds. Neither man had ever stepped foot inside one of the body shops, but they’d heard stories.

The shops had gotten popular about twenty years earlier—when the men were just teenage boys—and as the years went by people who’d gotten body work done not only became accepted, but the norm. It was the final frontier of improvement after all. Since the beginning of our quest for intelligence, the main goal has been to improve humanity. Improve us.

Originally the body shops had a bad reputation for doing nothing but butchering humans. It was in the early days when things weren’t as easy as getting some ink and the occasional bit of minor surgery. Or so they’d heard. Accidents are unavoidable when innovating, unfortunately, these ones cost people limbs, or worse, life.

“To be honest,” he paused, deciding whether to be honest or not, “Those things creep out. I decided I’d like to keep my body just the way it is. If I need to be stronger, I’ll lift a weight. If I need to be smarter, I’ll read a book. If I want my fucking cock to grow ten inches, well then,” the taller man smiled. It was the same smile little boys get when they talk about farts and say bad words. “I’ll just have to pray to the cock god’s every night and hope they reward me.” The men both laughed.

A small skinny man walked around the corner.

“What’s up fellas?” His body was covered in gleaming tattoos from his bald head, down his bare skinny chest, disappearing beneath his pants, and re-appearing on his toes. Both men tried not to stare but found their eyes silently studying the bright mapping of lines across the skinny man’s chest.

“Do you guys talk?” The guy asked genuinely, “I don’t want to be an ass if you’re mutes. We can just get you some voice ink and then go from there if you want more improvement.”

“No,” the smaller man’s voice was dry and he paused to clear his throat. “No, sorry. It’s just that, your ink, it’s…” the alcohol was taking its toll on the small man’s mind and he was happy when the skinny inker interrupted him.

“Yeah, it’s pretty fuckin’ goldishock. Listen, guys, I don’t mean to be a dick but are you here for anything or just taking a look around. Cause if you’re just looking I’ve got other shit I can be doing.”

“Yeah, goldishock, that’s the word I was looking for,” he didn’t know what the word meant but he’d heard his teenage nephew say it regularly and assumed it was a good thing. The taller man rolled his eyes. He’d thought about stopping his friend, but he knew by now, the small man would do whatever he pleased. When his mind was set, it was set, and today it was set on improvement. Set on body work. “Anyway, I want to get some ink. I’m just not sure what, do you have any favorites?” The taller man could see the annoyance in the skinny inker’s eyes. The colorful man thought they were just a couple of goons wasting his time for possibly nothing at all.

“What do you like man? Help me out. Do you want something for like, your mood, maybe more energy, or do you want to go full mod? Extra strength? Wanna run a little faster?” The inker’s eyes cut to the smaller man’s crotch, “Need a little extra for the ladies?” The small man chuckled,

“No man, I’m good in that department.” He paused and looked up at his friend, “What do you think?” This time it was the tall man’s turn to chuckle.

“I don’t know buddy. Why don’t you just get a cute little emotional uplifter on your lower back?” He smiled down at his friend and saw a shimmer in the man’s eyes. It was determination, rebellion, it was his friend and he was going to go all the way with this one.

“Full mod,” said the small man with a stern face as he turned to look at the inker.

“Alright, alright! Fuckin’ goldishock! I had you all wrong brother. Let’s get you in the back and I’ll show you what we got. We’re gonna take this right here,” he paused and grabbed the small man’s arm, “and make it way better.” The small man smiled and the nerves came back into his face as he realized what was happening.

“I’m sure it’ll be fine, I’ll be out in the car, call me if you need something.”

“You’re not even gonna know what hit you when I get done,” said the smaller man before disappearing behind the corner with the skinny inker.

The taller man looked around the shop and thought it did look like a human butchery. Maybe one run on an alien planet where human was a delicacy. Each of the shining symbols could be menu descriptions and pricing for the according limbs. The taller man grew cold at the thought and after a shiver made its way down his spine, he turned and headed for the car; wishing his friend the best of luck with the skinny alien butcher.

 
 
Merry Wednesday to all! Hope your week has been great and if not here’s a story to take your mind of it. I like this one, I think the character is cool, the plot is interesting and I think I may expand this into a bigger story or include Snow Cat in the next book maybe. Anyway, the ending isn’t as strong as I wanted it to be but that’s cause I figured out a little too late what I wanted to do and didn’t think I would have time to re-work it in the editing.  


On another note, it's been brought to my attention that the font/background color on this blog is not complimentary to everyone's eyes. From now on the PDF will be included in the post so if you would prefer to read that way just click the title below. I hope you enjoy and as always thoughts are welcome. Until next week. Cheers!

Snow Cat

Word Count: 1031
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 13 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 13 minutes

Since the tools for brain hacking became readily available in 2025 it’s become increasingly harder to tell whether you’re in control, or someone else’s fleshy puppet. I’ve had to watch some of the best men and women—most of them friends—who ever set foot on this rotten planet turned to remote controlled zombies. Not me though, I’ve been fighting the hackers since I was old enough to talk.

I, J. Holsten, survive in the real world, eyes open and unhacked, to fight for the free people, until death so endeth my service. I, am a PeaceFighter. It’s my first memory, my Pa was a PeaceFighter too, I’ll never forget the way he smiled that day when I finished my oath.

Nobody ever calls me J. Holsten anymore—come to think of it nobody ever did—I’m honestly not really sure what the J. even stood for after all this time. Jeremy. Jon. Joseph. Yea, I think that was the one, Joseph. Whatever it was, the only name I’ve known for years is Snow Cat.

I was a pale kid. There wasn’t much sunlight in the underground technology labs, and I may as well have lived in them for the first half of my life. They called me Snow Cat ‘cause I was white as the snow and about as quiet and friendly as a pissy cat. I always thought it was a stupid name, but they say you don’t get to choose your nickname.

 I never learned as much as I should’ve in the labs though, I quit too soon. After they killed Pa. But it was enough to get by. An angry teenager with a little bit of knowledge and a thirst for revenge; I learned everything else I needed to know when the work started. Even now, I wonder how it happened, how being a PeaceFighter went from the illustrious grand dream it was when I was a boy, to being a hired gun. At least I was killing for the right reasons, the real reasons.

Watching is one of the things that we do the best, you have to look for the details, the subtle differences in hacked humans. Being a good spotter is the only way to save what’s left of the people. Because of the recent developments in nano-technology you can’t even see the device anymore. Not like in the good old days when it was a very obvious black box jammed into the back of someone’s neck and skull. Even the tattoos were easier to spot, normally being on the neck or face. At first the world just wondered where this new microchip face tattoo fad was coming from, the internet’s social outlets blew up for almost a year. The only problem for us was when a bunch of unhacked idiots started getting the tattoos, but we still managed to find the right targets. At least the best of us did.

Now though, seeing the device is a thing of the past. It’s basically dust. The world’s smallest computers designed to attach themselves to the nerve receptors in the human brain and spinal cord. Drugs are the number one source of transmission to unhacked hosts. Once the devices attach themselves, somewhere a bunch of evil, pimply-faced, mad fucking scientists take control of the host and it’s bye-bye real world.

We only have one way of restoring brain function to a hacked mind and it’s still rudimentary, at best. Essentially, the only way we currently know how is to re-hack the mind and try to program it back to its pre-hack state. I know, sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo to me too. That’s why I don’t bring anyone back.

Research has been done on the few victims who survive and attempted reversal to the initial hacking, many can’t speak, some just scream. I watch one man scratch his eyes clean out of his head. That was the last time I ever watched a debriefing, it’s not my department. I’m just the clean-up man, the PeaceFighter.

There was one person—a girl, don’t remember her name anymore—that survived with almost complete brain function. When asked the obvious, What did it feel like being hacked, she took a long while to fully answer.

“Magical.” It was the only word she said before she quit speaking for the rest of her short life. They found her hanging in her room not one whole month after she was un-hacked.

I’ve seen it all at this point I think. Each day that comes and goes I watch, looking for the tell-tale twitch, unusual stumble to an otherwise normal gait, or trickle of blood from eyes or nose. People were said to be in a fantasy dream state when hacked, having no knowledge of their actions in the real world. True puppets with their consciousnesses preserved in a suspended state which allows their mind to still carry out the actions of walking to the programmed destinations and carrying out the programmed actions. Whatever the hacker wants really.

I heard the saying that knowledge can be a gift and a curse, I think I agree. Sometimes I wish I didn’t know about the hackers. Didn’t live in and understand so much about the real world that it led me to be a PeaceFighter on a quest for a vengeance I know will probably never come. Oh well. There’s not much left for me in this world except to fight at this point. An angel of God sent to show mercy to the infected devils whose brains will never be again.

Every time I pull the trigger I hope that makes the world one bullet closer to a cure that doesn’t involve death. I secretly still hold onto J. Holsten’s dream of being a PeaceFighter, the wholesome warrior of the free people, just like his Pa.

But right now I guess it’s time to for the real man, the Snow Cat, to get going. The bottom of this pair is worn to shit and these past few days my sneakers have been sticking to the ground every few steps. I think I’ll go grab a new pair before the killing starts.  

 
 
Here’s another thousand, we’re into the second half now. This one I feel like the plot is a little weak but I was running out of time and couldn’t rethink it. Hope you enjoy and as always, thoughts are welcome.

Twins

Word Count: 1057
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

“I can’t fight anymore,” said Sadie. The room was hot and smelt of sweat and blood.

“I don’t think we have much of a choice, hopefully we can…” the room shook violently and cut Joanna off. The four of them went sprawling in all directions as far as the tight quarters would let them. Sadie jumped to her feet and rushed across the room to help the two little girls.

“Are you okay?” She asked brushing their clothes off as they stood.

“I’m okay,” said Mikaela.

“Me too,” said Molly.

“Good,” said Sadie exhaling heavily as if a weight were lifted off her chest when the little voices met her ears. She stared at them for a few more minutes silently as she listened to the sounds of war outside the walls and above the bunker.

“Girls go sit over there in that corner quietly okay?” her eyes were tearing up and she could feel her emotions trying to override logic and good common sense. “I need to talk to Ms. Joanna and then we’re going to go somewhere else where we can have hot chocolate and ice-cream alright.” The identical children nodded their dirty blonde heads. There was a distinguishable glimmer in their eyes that couldn’t be missed at the mention of sweets.

Sadie stood up and turned around to face her partner while the girls walked across the room to the corner.

“What are we gonna do?” Asked Sadie quietly. Joanna was silent for a moment before answering, but Sadie didn’t ask again or get impatient, it was just the way Joanna was. She took the time to fully think over and formulate a thought before she spoke. Sadie had always admired that about the woman.

“We’re gonna have to walk right out the front door,” Joanna said certainly.

“We won’t make it a hundred yards before we’re sniped or worse,” gasped Sadie. “What if we hole up here for a few days and see if we can wait out the worst of it?” There were her emotions again, choking out logic. Sadie knew before the question even passed her lips that it wouldn’t be an option. They’d be found and killed in hours, maybe a whole day if their luck was in. She looked over her shoulder at the pair of twins.

It was supposed to have been a quick grab and drop operation. Go there, pick-up precious cargo, then go over there, drop off precious cargo, take money, buy pretty new dress, get blackout wasted and dance face off. Bada-bing-bada-boom. Easy Peasy.

Then she met the cargo, the last set of twins on planet Earth. It’d been like looking at a wooly mammoth, or a dinosaur, the first time she’d laid eyes on them. But after the initial shock all she could see was their beauty, sweet little girls who had no idea how important they were. It didn’t help that they were bright children and had enjoyed talking and telling vivid stories on their three-day journey from the pickup to the drop off. It only took a few hours for Sadie to fall in love.

“You know that’s not an option,” said Joanna, bringing Sadie’s attention back to the task at hand. “What is your ammo situation looking like?” Sadie felt her belt and the side holsters on her thighs.

“Not great, twelve clips for my sidearm and whatever’s left in that rifle. I’m sure there will be plenty around to grab, but I doubt highly we’ll have time enough to stop even for a half-a-second.” Joanna nodded and stared deeply at the solid metal floor.

“They could stay here and…”

No!” Sadie cut her off. “They come or all this was for nothing.” She looked back at the girls remembering when the declaration had been made that any and all twin births were to be terminated, and any currently living twins were wanted dead or alive. It was after a parapsych gene was discovered in twins and an insane brother and sister tried to take over the world. They killed thousands with a power that was unmatched by anything normal humans were capable of, and science could find no way to exterminate the gene aside from destroying any and all hosts.

“The job is done, this is the drop-off and they’re here, it’s not our fault the world just happens to be going to shit outside,” Joanna said matter-of-factly.

“What if they could change it? What if they could bring peace and stop the wars. You remember the power.” Sadie said, that emotional desperate hope sneaking back into her voice.

“No,” Joanna said, “I don’t, and you don’t either. We were children, and this isn’t our fight.” Sadie stared hard into her partner’s eyes with raw determination. Joanna sighed meeting her gaze,

“Fine,” she said accepting defeat and understanding that unless she planned on leaving her friend to die the twins were coming. “Tell them to stay low, behind us, and hide behind anything they can find if we get caught in a firefight.” Joanna paused, pulled her sidearm from its holster and cocked it. “I’m gonna go scout ahead, wait for my signal.” She turned and headed for the door.

“Thank you,” said Sadie. Joanna kept walking as though she didn’t hear, but Sadie knew she did.

“Okay girls,” she said in as cheery a voice as she could muster. “We’re gonna go on a little adventure. There are a lot of dangerous things happening outside so I want you to stay behind me and duck while you run.” The twins were standing in front of her now and Sadie was squatting to speak with them on their level. “Can you show me how you duck when you run?” Immediately the girls hunkered down into a crouch that still allowed them to move. Sadie smiled and an unexpected giggle escaped her.

“Good job girls, that’s perfect.” They were beautiful and she loved them, whatever was to come she didn’t know, maybe they all die, maybe they live happily ever after.

“Let’s move,” Joanna’s voice called from the dark at the top of the stair. Sadie stood and knew no matter what came next, she would give her life for these girls as many times as it took to protect them.

“Come on girls, we have ice cream to get to.” 

 

    40,000: A Rough Draft

    Welcome to my collection of forty Scifi, Horror, and Fantasy short stories. Every Wednesday during the year 2015, I wrote a new one thousand-word short story in one hour, gave myself thirty minutes to edit, then published it here. 

    Please feel welcome to leave any thoughts you have in the comment boxes. 

    For a free e-copy of the completed book leave your email in the box above. 

    Enjoy.

    Categories

    All
    Fantasy
    Horror
    Scifi
    The First Story
    The Last Story

    Archives

    November 2015
    October 2015
    September 2015
    August 2015
    July 2015
    June 2015
    May 2015
    April 2015
    March 2015
    February 2015

    Picture
    "The Bird Room is filled with stories of eldritch terror and the macabre that will delight and surprise the most jaded horror fan." -5 out of 5 stars, Reader's Favorite