Tag Archive: thriller

The flash of the red lights and the feedback from an ancient PA system filled the small windowless room Jane waited in with 20 or so strangers.

“At our signal please prepare yourselves.”

The disembodied voice, harsh and metallic, cut away as suddenly as it had began.  There was no useful information to be gleaned, but still Jane found herself asking the nearest stranger.  “Prepare ourselves for what?”

“Hell if I know,” he replied with a shrug.

“But what’s the prompt?”

Jane never heard his answer, and as she moved towards a bright light she guessed it wouldn’t have mattered even if she had.


All rights to owner

This is a one hundred word challenge for grown ups prompt.  You get 100 words plus the prompt…but what’s the prompt…you have until the 29th.

Thanks to Julia at 100WCGU



In the Flesh

I am alone.  Well almost.  Let me clarify.  It happened in the blink of an eye.  One day the cities, streets, country was filled with my kind.  My figurative brothers and sisters.  Next thing you know their everywhere.  Destroying our society, tearing apart my friends and family, a plague upon my way of life.  We ran and hid, but groups are slow moving and we were easy targets.  So we separated hoping the day would come when we would see each other again. 

I can barely remember their voices.  Only the wind through the trees moans my name calling out to me.  Their faces are flashes behind my eyelids in the dark that visit me without granting comfort.  As I sink my teeth into my last few meager bites of food I remember our last feast before the world went sideways.

The night was awash of terrible sounds; hungry flames, angry chainsaws, and the thunk of dull objects cracking skulls.  However, all I remember is the taste of the warm bloody leg I was eating.  Fucking humans.  I liked them better when they were just fast food.


As seen on Walking Dead

A Better Question


Davey's view

Heavy was the right way to describe it Davey thought to himself as he allowed a shallow breath past his parted lips.  Almost like it was water he thought as he lifted his right hand.  The resistance Davey felt in the empty night filled space above the arm of the rocking chair was foreign to him.  Turning his hand palm up he slowly rubbed his fingers together.  Collecting in minute beads a viscous liquid started to puddle in his cupped hand.  Davey’s eyes went skyward using the moon for illumination he could see…something.  Just a wisp of fog his brain reasoned, but the hair at the nape of his neck rejected that thought immediately standing on end.

The many childhood hours Davey had spent soaking up Hollywood’s post apocalyptic possibilities surfaced shouting for him to not leave the semi-safety of the covered porch, but tonight was about answers.  Since there was no burring sensation where the dew like droplets of oily liquid condensed he ruled out acid rain, still deciding on some iota of caution he pulled his shirt over his nose before walking out into the night.

Only a few steps and he could already feel the heat leaving the valley.  Growing up in the mostly dry climate of the desert Davey knew how fast the heat would drain back out of the sun baked rocks departing as if it had never been there leaving a chill that was hard to shake.  As the mercury plummeted the wisps in the air turned to more of a foggy haze, but rather than rising from the recently hot ground like steam it seemed to be sinking. 

Frozen in place, torn between the porch and the high ground he was walking towards, Davey noticed the watery light of the full moon catch in the mist throwing eery rainbows into the inky shadows.  Before he could react the dense cloud settled over him.  The greenish tinge of the fog gave everything the appearance of being viewed through night vision goggles,  but it was the weight of the fog which increased as its haziness gave way to opaqueness that Davey found the most disconcerting.

Within seconds he found himself face first in the dusty sand choking on the stifling cloud, his eyes streaming, every inch of him listless.  The lethargy made Davey almost not care that he had asked the wrong question, what instead of how, but then he heard the groan of the fog pressing down on his rocking chair and he smiled a drowsy smile.  He had his answer, if only he had thought to ask a better question.

Reader Note:

This is a continuation of my story A Heightened Sense of Things I hope you enjoy it!


A Heightened Sense of Things


Michael Dressel~12 Night Poarch

As the night crept in, seeping into all the nooks and crannies where the light hid, Davey knew he should be leaving.  Knowing, though, had never been the same as doing not for David Sawyer.  So though it was foolish and risky he waited out the night.  He sat back in his mother’s favorite rocking chair savoring the croak and groan of the old and weather warped rails.  The sounds rose and fell in time with the rocking motion of his sneaker clad feet.  With the touch of his toe, croak, as he rocked back onto his heel, groan.  Davey couldn’t stop the smile from spreading over his somewhat gaunt and angular face.  He was serenading the moon he thought to himself, beckoning the danger to come ever closer. 

Still he sat and rocked.  As the daredevil within was celebrating its victory and his common sense took a breather alone and forgotten in some shadowy corner. 

With something almost as physical as a pop it was night.  The twilight had smothered the last embers of yet another dimming day.  Then Davey stopped, mid rock, and waited.  His merriment gone, his life on pause, even his breath held.  Waiting. 

For more than a decade David Sawyer had run and hid as soon as the sun set to one of the many safe zones, where nothing could penetrate.  Where they were safe from chemical, physical, or even psychological attack so They said, but what They never said was why the safe zones were even necessary.  Years of eating up Their indoctrinated propaganda like it was life sustaining, and not once asking a question.  Because the threat was real… because the night was emanate… because logic said why would They lie?

So tonight David was channeling Davey the younger devil-may-care version of himself which had existed before the safe zones and the mindless fear.  Tonight he would know one way or the other if his lemur like behavior was warranted.  As the night air pressed in on him heavy with humidity and possibility Davey felt no fear only a heightened sense of things.



Her nerve endings burned with the need to be two places at once as she both found it impossible to look away and desperately wanted to run screaming for help…


The afternoon was as comfortable and easy as her favorite song on repeat.  Yet again Nora sat on her favorite bench watching the last hour or so of the day slip away.  She loved to sit here more than anywhere else in the park because it meant she would have to walk by the rose garden twice, because it rested beneath the shade of an ancient oak tree, and because it was the only bench at a look out point, meaning she could pretty much watch anything happen anywhere in the park.  Nora took a deep breath and just sorta…soaked it all in rolling the tension out of her shoulders as she scanned the horizon.  A soft breeze wafted up from the roses tangling her honey colored hair across her face, momentarily blinding Nora.  As she shifted to keep the wind at her back something caught her attention. There was a man standing at the crest of the hill which lay due west from the park, making it the best setting for watching the sun set.  Nora could remember many evenings where she had watched the cosmic battles between the blue day sky and the waring orange and purple night sky from this vantage point, but somehow this felt different.

This man was not looking west at the gorgeous painted sky he was looking east, toward Nora. Even at such a great distance she would have bet good money that it wasn’t the tree which had caught his attention. With the sun behind him it was impossible to see the direction of his gaze, but the crawling sensation on her skin left little doubt, in Nora’s mind, that she was his focus. Immediately an internal struggle erupted within her; should she wave, walk away, or ignore the man completely. Her uncertainty froze Nora in place so completely that she nearly choked on her breath, which she seemed unable to either pull in or release. Leaning forward she scrutinized the silhouette wondering; what the man might want, why he wanted her attention, what was he doing?

The last thought sent alarms ringing through Nora’s already befuddled mind, what was he doing? The man had broken his pose, his hands searching for something, but his head never moved an inch. There was an uncomfortable feeling to the expectant silence, as if Nora had, somehow, agreed to participate in this inexplicable event but still he refused to look away, lest she break her unspoken word and bolt. So she watched, mesmerized by his need for her to watch, which was a tangible thing filling the distance between the two strangers. There was no way for her to have seen any emotion on his shadow of a face, but Nora knew when he had found what he was looking for.

There was no telltale sign or signal, no perceivable nod or motion of any kind. In a distortion of time and space it became as if the man was close enough to reach out and touch. Still shrouded by the fiery orb of the setting sun he was distinctionless, but she could feel his pain and sadness, his person nameless, but she felt a kinship as she rose to meet his need, alone in this moment Nora would be there for him. Her perspective shifted back to normal just as his arm jerked suddenly bent in an upturned angle. She watched helpless as he fell to his knees. Her left hand shot to her mouth stifling a scream the other reached for him across the acrers. Her nerve endings burned with the need to be two places at once as she both found it impossible to look away and desperately wanted to run screaming for help.

His eyes never left her’s.


Please let me know what you thought of this short story. I wanted it to be brief, but I need to know if it made sense 🙂 I am contemplating continuing the story so please please please comment. Feedback, even negative, is helpful. Thank you in advance for stopping by.



The Midnight Listener


Shower scene from Psycho

Sofia had no idea what had woken her up, but based on the fact that the TV screen was showing nothing but blue she must have been out for quite awhile. A muffled snore to her right suggested that Drew hadn’t made it through the movie either. Sure enough Drew was reclined in his favorite armchair, head back, mouth open, remote hanging by a pinkie. Sofia smiled and shook her head shifting to grab the thing before it crashed to the ground scaring him awake. As she snatched her prize the coroner of the afghan that remained covering her legs slid into the puddle of brightly colored yarn already on the floor. The shiver that ran up her back was so sudden she nearly dropped the remote herself. With a quickness at odds with her supine position Sofia managed to juggle the stupid hunk of plastic onto the coffee table without a sound, but the damage was done. The warmth of her spot had immediately vanished in the fractions of an inch she had moved. Another shiver racked her body this time causing her shoulders to lock and her head to tilt to the side. The sheer yellow curtains, which looked a sickly green in the TV light, billowed away from the wall on an icy breeze.

“Damn it Drew,” Sofia swore under her breath, “it’s almost October you know.” His unconscious body gave no indication that he had heard or cared. She practically ran to the window, then shut and locked it in one fell swoop. Chafing her arms Sofia tip-toe danced over to the armchair and softly said, “Hey Drew, baby, I got too cold with your fresh air window open; so I’m going to take a hot shower before I go to bed.” Her only response was a gurgling snore. “Drew!” This time she punctuated the word with a rough shake. His sleepy eyes lacked focus as they fluttered open, “Whadiya think of the, the, the movie?” She had to smile at that, he hadn’t even stopped while yawning. Already he was turning over just seconds from his next REM cycle. “No, baby, wait a sec,” Sofia grabbed his face and waited till his eyes opened again, “I’m going to take a shower why don’t you just go to bed.” Drew blinked twice and nodded, “Probably a good idea, Sof,” he said, “or I could join you.” She threw him a wink as she handed him his scruffy green housecoat, “Sounds good to me,” and walked into the bathroom.

The white tile floor stole the last of her heat reserves as she turned the shower on, but in just minutes Sofia could feel the steam start to stick to her body. She quickly undressed and slipped under the boiling hot shower water. Her head fell forward and she just stood there letting the deluge of warmth wash over her. Till the sound of the door shutting startled her. With water in her eyes Sofia groped for the opening in the shower curtain. Eyes streaming she saw a blurry version of Drew’s robed back heading for her vanity chair, “Jesus Christ Drew! You scared the life out of me,” Sofia shrieked as she closed the curtain angrily and placed her hand above her quickly beating heart.

He scoffed with a quiet laugh at her exclamation.

She took a deep breath and rolled her shoulders relaxing again in the muggy waters. “You know this is kinda nice, we haven’t had a shower chat in years.”

“Uh huh.”

“It must have been all the way back when we first moved in together,” Sofia mused aloud. “I remember thinking that if we passed on any chance to spend time together that I was somehow sabotaging the relationship. Can you believe how dramatic I was?”


“Oh you have to think about it huh?” Sofia flicked water over the top of the curtain and giggled. “Well I just think it’s sweet that you came in here to check on me, it’s almost as if you still love me or something,” she joked.

His sigh of, “Mmm huh,” was his only response.

“Mmm huh to you too baby,” she said imagining him head in hands doing his best to not fall asleep. “You must still be half asleep Drew I don’t think you’ve managed a complete sentence since you walked in.”


“Then go to sleep baby, I’ll be there in a minute. I think I’ve finally warmed up.” He didn’t say anything but Sofia could have sworn she felt his hand brush across her shoulders through the curtain. When she looked he was gone.

As she opened the bathroom door not even the steam behind her could stop Sofia from gasping in the cold air. Afraid that she hadn’t shut the window as well as she had originally thought Sofia went back to the living room before heading to bed. The first thing that registered in her mind was that Drew was exactly how she had left him, asleep in the armchair, but not the robe. Rather, Drew’s robe hung from the handle of the sliding glass door which was not just slightly ajar but wide open to the dark and chilly night.


The Price of Peace

Trusali while important was not well known to many outsiders.  At first glance it was nothing more than a small, quaint, town.  Located far enough from any city, so as to be considered out of the way, it boasted a mine, fertile farm land, and not much else.  Perhaps the most important good Trusali could offer the world were its people, who were both hard working and capable of collectively keeping the secret.  That was the real surprise to all branches of the government; that unanimously the people of Trusali had chosen to take on the secret.  For the good of all mankind they told themselves indoctrinating the young rather than allowing their noble purpose to become diluted.  So the work continued, though the risk was high, and so far the people found the price of peace worth the cost.

Life went on as usual, mostly.  Children ran to school late with the ringing of the great brass bell, hardworking men and women worked the mine and associated plant, and life, loosely defined, continued on. 

In Trusali each day started with the sounding of the air raid sirens.  This signified the beginning of production in the plant.  Unless you were currently working in the mine or plant what was actually being produced was largely misconstrued.  In the school kids were told that their parents were heros striving to bring a lasting peace to the world, rather than the truths about what exactly was being mined from beneath their fine town. 

For the people of Trusali, though life ran like clockwork, it was the siren not the tolling of the clock tower bells which dictated life.  While the plant was in production mode none entered or left the grounds, but in the pre-dawn darkness curious children would meet at the town center and watch as the adults filed wordlessly past.  From this vantage point the brave ones would bet and dare each other to sneak inside the mines or look into the windows, which leaked  flickering grayish light before the sun rose high enough to mask the weird glow.  Until this night no one had been so foolish as to go more than a few steps onto the plant’s grounds, but Trish, feeling bold in the face of her 18th birthday, had more than just peaked in a window she had slipped inside the plant.

As the door clanged shut behind her an awful sense of foreboding stole over the girl. Trish who only moments ago had looked and felt so alive, as dark strands streamed from her ponytail and light reflected from her bright blue eyes during the mad dash from the gazebo at town center to the well hidden back door, but now the gray light washed her out and dulled her young features. Contemplating either the stairs to her left of the long hallway before her she stood frozen, folded nearly in half, with caution and fear. The sound of someone in the stairwell decided her. Trish, once again determined, started down the hallway, unaware that the person from the stairs was diligently making his rounds to secure and lock all exits.

The hallway had been uneventful, though she had paused and listened at every doorknob there had been neither movement nor sound, which only caused her curiosity to pique. After what seemed and eternity of intermittent tiptoeing and pauses Trish finally neared the end of the hallway. Rather than bursting out into the open space of the lobby she hugged the wall and waited. In the eerie quiet she heard the clock tower bells chime the five o’clock hour and visibly relaxed, knowing that by now all workers were inside and that production was still 30 minutes off. The loud click and whirl of an old fashioned movie projector drew her into a main corridor where she quickly dropped to the floor in an attempt to avoid being seen. Rather than moving through the corridor of windows to the plant, which must lay beyond it, she stopped realizing that she had found the source of the flickering light.

It was an old black and white news reel, the kind which was interwoven with public announcements. Trish was in no risk of being spotted as every set of eyes were glued to the screens at the opposite end of the room. Without the sound she could make out very little of what was going on but to her it looked like something the very first plant workers would have watched to convince them of the good they were doing. Shaking her head Trish moved on, but was disappointed to find that the movie was the only thing happening no matter which corridor she ventured down or which windowed room she peaked in. Standing at the end of one hall she considered making her way back to the stairway, then a series of events occurred so quickly she barely had time to react.

The monotone dong of an electric bell sounded, a horrible hissing sound filled the building in time to the windowed rooms filling with greenish-yellow gas, and the factory, a windowless pit of a place dead just moments ago, whirled to life in a mess of random moving part sounds. Just as quickly the bell toned again, the gas cleared, and the doors opened.

The sound of the air raid siren cut through her confusion and sent the girl into action.

Trish, finding no other options, crouched beneath a wooden bench doing her best to calm her heartbeat and steady her breath. Her eyes, shut tight in an automatic response to fright, were forced open as she heard them and their uneven gait scraping ever closer. Trying not to move an inch Trish scanned the room for an exit, even an improbable one, but in every direction she was met with horror movie images. Her family members and friend’s parents were no longer recognizable with their gray skin, yellowed eyes, and blackish drool as they made their way with single minded intent towards the plant.

A scream caught in her throat nearly broke free and the strangled sound was enough to have diverted a few of the “workers” from task, they moved towards her bench blindly searching for sound or smell to identify the anomaly. Television sets she hadn’t even noticed click into life, a repeat of the film from earlier, catching the attention of those “workers” not yet in the plant. So terrified by recent events Trish stared at the floor hopping a very young hope, that if she could not see those around her that perhaps they would not see her either. Finally the slow sickening shuffle of the “workers” couldn’t be heard anymore, but the propaganda film continued on even without its captive audience.

Unable to walk away from such horror without answers Trish stood and listened to the clean cut man in the nice suit talk.

“The world was brought to the brink of annihilation with nuclear war threats. Parents and children alike in a state of constant fear, but fear not people of Trusali for your government has found the answer.


Peace is an element that in its raw form, which has been found within your mine, can be processed in such a way as to put you, your town, and our lands well outside the reach of nuclear fear forever. Sound too good to be true? Well it isn’t.

All we ask of you and your fellow workers is devotion to our cause, career long devotion, and daily aerosolized vaccinations, for your own protection of course. By taking these vaccines you will be able to work with the element as it is converted into its final stage without any fear of harm to yourselves or your families. The reason we are asking this grave favor from the people of Trusali is because without your help…”

Trish never heard what Peace could do for the world nor saw what the finished product looked like. Because while watching the t.v. she had failed to notice the high sharp sound that kept her motionless or the gurgling “worker” moving towards her with slow awkward intent. It was not till the thing had its hand on her shoulder did she awake from the trance, and by then her ability to care was lost in a spray of red as the thing feed.

That day the other children whispered possible scenarios to one another about what Trish might have seen and how much trouble she would be in when her parents found out what she had done, but none were brave enough to look for here even as the sun started its decent and the end of day siren sounded.


Kell stood near the entrance to the room waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dimness. Not for the first time he wondered to himself how he had gotten mixed up in all of this. Scanning the room he had to suppress the shiver running down his spine. These were not your typical let’s hang out Friday night kind of people these were the “walk into my parlor said the spider to the fly” types. He chose to believe that these were all willing flies, but if he was honest more than not the people had those dead eyes that would suggest otherwise.

The guy in a black slim fit tee with bulging rope-like neck muscles nodded him over to the bar. Kell walked with a feigned nonchalance trying not to notice what was happening in the booths he passed.

“Hey Nico, am I on…or?”

“Kidding me? You were on an hour ago. Not that I see how your dance card keeps filling up so fast, but it sure does,” Nico said with his version of a coy smile. “Don’t stray far kid, it’s going to be a long night.”

Kell moved slowly past the man mountain, doing his best not to run, so it took a long time for the beat neck’s laughter to die away under the thump of techno music. He ran a hand through his dirty blonde hair as he walked back to his booth taking soothing deep breaths the whole way.

Even in the smokey semi-dark he could make out the gleam of the lacquered black 43 that marked his booth. Kell closed his eyes in the millisecond of silence during the song change before disappearing into 43. There sat a man who had visited 43 before thick and clumsy he played with the candle in the center of the table, Kell leaned against the door frame waiting to be noticed.

“Forty-three, you startled me,” the man said trying to right the over turned pillar candle. “Sorry for being early, do I need to step out?”

“No, I’m no fuss remember, besides it’s your dime I’m the one should have been early.” Kell smiled and the man stopped fiddling with his hands. “So did you wanna chat a little, or…?” The question hung in the air while he sat down on the opposite side of the booth. The man immediately went back to wringing his hands.

“So, you look different, what have you been up to,” Kell asked. Nico didn’t get it but this was why 43 never sat empty for long, it was the soft smiles and friendly chitchat that made this all seem less like the freak show it was. He didn’t even really have to listen if he didn’t want to just laugh at the right moments and slap his shoulder encouragingly and the man would feel like he had a friend. Though Kell was never completely sure what the person across the table would want this one was easy because he never asked for what he came for.

It hadn’t even been 15 minutes since thick and clumsy left before the next one sat down this one was new. All thin sharp lines Kell disliked the woman instantly. Even more so when he realized her type, controlling.

Her demands didn’t stop till Nico hit the knocker, at which point Miss Obey Me Now packed up her little bag of tricks as prim and tight laced as she arrived, other than the slight flush in the apples of her pale cheeks. Nico must have hit the buzzer too as an iced bottle of still water arrived just seconds after the woman left.

“Ever think about changing it,” he asked while pretending to care more about the dance floor than what Kell’s eyes said in that moment. Such a vague question anywhere else could only mean one thing here, your wills and won’ts.

“No, not ever.” Kell watched as Nico left as baffled as always. He understood why, as most booths had specialties and regulars, but not 43. Here nearly anything was possible with only one item in the won’t column. If he had any question as to what had spurred the brief Q and A the next person cleared it up completely.

“Good evening, Kellan. I hope you don’t mind I just find the numbers to be so impersonal and it wasn’t in your wont’s.” The smile slid off his face like ice.

There was no doubt that Kell was well over his head with this one, but he had left no room for wiggling out. So he settled into his friendly, though blank, mask of a face and waited guard completely up.

With a slight inclination of his head one of the less than willing flies entered, her hair falling past her down turned face to the number 5 which hung on a cord around her neck. None of the others had ever entered his booth and Kell found himself both curious and repulsed.

“Elodie here regularly sees to my needs, and well I must add, but recently I have been hungering for something more.” He paused for effect Kell was sure, but it had the desired effect, his interest was piqued. “None of the other specialists wish to branch out leaving me to ask the anythings to participate. Which brings me to you.”

Kell opted for bravo, “How exactly can I be of help?” It had all sounded to easy and even as jaded as he was he had been too naive to catch on to this guys nuances. So, he played his part touching, caressing, and generally getting number five all worked up. The whole time the man watched and waited, and with only a slight lift of his index finger the game changed.

The girl had moved from Kell’s side to the man’s. He was holding her hand close to his face breathing her in deeply. He moved closer in along her neck line, then suddenly a line of crimson welled up along her clavicle. Even as Kell’s hand moved toward the panic button the thought crystallized that this must be hematolagnia. Just then the man locked eyes with him as he slowly ran his tongue across five’s neck. The process was repeated numerous times and each time Kellan felt more of his soul tear way countered only by the rising gleam of passion in the man’s eyes. At the end of their time the girl wobbled from the both but the man remained.

Silent they stared at one another, till satiated on whatever else he had come for the man rose. “Till next time,” he said with such hunger in his eyes that Kell looked away.

Terrible images flashed through his mind making him question his only won’t, and again making him think about how he had gotten caught in this web of his own devising.


Soul Searing

Her blood red eyes dripped disdain as they looked past me, through me, to the nothingness that resides within.  It could have been seconds or an eternity that we sat locked in a battle of wills waiting to see who would pay the ultimate price, my soul or hers.  She won the second I lowered my eyes and now for the love of God there was no erasing that image.  Her pitiful stare, even red rimed and tear stained, was still cutting ever deeper to the core of me.  Searching for what, answers?  A pointless endeavor.  There was no answer for her.  I blink and shake my head, but I’m not asleep.  This is no dream.  It’s not reality either, the structure is too ephemeral, so I sit with my half remembered memory.  Pleading.  Look away…leave me with what little is still mine buried so deep beneath me.  Blink damn it and let me have the piece of your soul I was looking for, but her eyes don’t blink.  They follow me out of the room and down into my hell.  Where all the teeth gnashing and hair pulling can’t ease my pain or the burning sensation from her piercing stare. 

I am that empty thing sitting near the window intently watching my own reflection in the rain streaked glass rapidly blinking.  Wishing I was alive enough to care about the blood stains on my hands and what’s left of my soul, and that when next I close my eyes I won’t see hers.

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