Archive for June, 2017

I Was On Fire

June 30th, 2017 No comments

I Was On Fire

Image courtesy: Matt MacGillivray-flikr creative commons
#picturefiction #flashfiction

I was on fire. I know, I say it like it’s not a big thing although it usually is.
So, like I was saying, I was on fire. Flames were all around me, they coated my clothing, caressed my skin, entwined in my hair. There was not a single inch of my person that didn’t have flame erupting from it.
I have no clue why it didn’t hurt. Do I look like the Amazing Kreskin? Ok, maybe I am looking pretty amazing from the outside what with flames covering my body and me calmly relating the situation. I can’t even tell you where the fire came from. One minute I’m hunkered down in the back of a car careening through the streets of Philadelphia and the next I’m just standing here covered in flame but not feeling a thing.
I don’t know where Jimmy and Frank are. Frank was in the passenger seat clutching the bag from the bank and trying to keep his lunch in his stomach while Jimmy threw the car around curves with wild abandon. Every time we’d scream for Jimmy to slow down a bit he’d just point out the back window to the line of cop cars that still were behind us and closing fast.
We had a close call on Front street. One of those tiny cars that look more like matchbox cars than a vehicle suitable for a grown man came shooting out of a side street. Jimmy jinked to the right but still clipped the idiot’s bumper. Who knew those things were mostly plastic? The front of the tiny car exploded in a shower of bright red plastic leaving behind a spinning car flashing its denuded frame and wheel wells like a cheap stripper.
That slowed down the coppers for a minute and Jimmy pushed the speedometer even closer to the pin on the right as we dodged cars beneath the elevated train tracks.
Frank couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted to scream like a little girl that we were going to crash or laugh maniacally about our successful heist. Frank was the one who told us how to pull off the robbery. He used to work at the bank and knew the routine. Thursday was the day to hit. There was always a large amount of cash brought in before the weekend rush of paycheck cashing. He knew that the back hallway where the guard with the cash came in was easily accessed from the alley door. Employees had long ago jimmied the lock so they could sneak in and out for smokes or in late without coming in through the keypad secured employee entrance. Their illicit actions allowed us a way to sneak in without cameras and lay in wait for the armored car.
Frank and I stealthed our way through the broken door before the bank even opened and hid in a janitor’s closet. The two guards dropped like sacks when we cracked them with our crowbars. Frank grabbed the cash bag and we escaped the way we entered. The driver must have spotted us or something because no sooner had we gotten into the car than we heard sirens and the guy was shooting at us from beside the armored car and the chase was on.
Somewhere around Susquehanna Avenue things went horribly wrong. Jimmy took the corner too fast and we went up on two wheels. Frank started screaming like a stuck pig. The car slammed back down and Jimmy cuffed Frank in the side of the head, screaming at him to shut his mouth.
The car swerved back and forth as Jimmy regained control. Frank said something like, “What’s that beeping”. I opened my mouth to say something and Frank opened the cash bag. Bright pink liquid exploded forcefully from the bag and filled the front of the car.
I heard Jimmy screaming about his eyes and then there was a squeal of tires and the next thing I know I was on fire.
“So how do you like your new home?”
A deep voice reached me through the flames. It was the first thing I had heard since the squeal of the tires.
“Home? I’m on fire.”
“Of course you are.”
I could see a huge dark shape moving toward me through the flames. It continued to grow in size as it approached until it revealed itself to be a man standing eight feet tall. He had huge wings covered with black feathers. Somehow he wasn’t burning.
“You’re in Hell young man, of course you’re on fire.”
“What do you mean Hell?” My voice was a mere squeak.
“Ronald Wiltshire, you are dead and this is Hell.”
The man smiled and I noticed that his teeth were pointed and small horns sprouted from his brow.
“Oh my God,” I said.
“Close but no cigar,” he said. “I’m the other guy.”
“Wait, if this is Hell that means I’m being punished right? So why am I on fire and I don’t feel any pain?”
Lucifer laughed, a sound like thunder grumbling in the distance.
“A soul must understand where it is and why it is here otherwise its punishment is pointless. You, my dear boy, are guilty of many crimes both petty and large but the one that brought you to my domain was the murder of a security guard.”
“I never murdered anyone,” I said. I know what happened and I was prepared to argue with the Devil if  that was the only reason I was here.
The flames before me wavered and a circle appeared. In it was an image of the corridor in the bank. Several paramedics were wheeling one guard out while another was zipping the guard I had struck into a body bag. I could see a gaping hole in the side of his head where I had struck him. Tough luck guy, sorry about that. The image dissolved into flame once more.
“This was your crime,” Lucifer said. “Now you understand why you are punished.”
He turned and walked away. I was still on fire. This wasn’t such a bad punishment. Odd but not so bad.
Suddenly I could feel the flames. I screamed in agony as I would for the rest of eternity.


I Want My Mummy

June 28th, 2017 No comments

A mummy is a deceased human or an animal whose skin5de7f59a0f7a34ad16be69ef5a270e48--monster-movie-monster-mash and organs have been preserved by either intentional or accidental exposure to chemicals, extreme cold, very low humidity, or lack of air, so that the recovered body does not decay further if kept in cool and dry conditions. Wow, that’s not very scary. If that was the only description someone had given me as a child, I would have picked up my GI-Joes and headed outside.

Now if you tell someone – who like me has macabre tastes – that a mummy is a dead person who has been cursed to rise from the grave and wander around the countryside trailing grave dirt and bandages in search of human prey – sign me up!

I thrilled as a kid to the thought of the shambling mummy wandering the night in search of its missing canopic jars or its long lost love who just happens to have been reincarnated into the body of the heroine.

If you think about it mummies are the original zombie but without the infectious bite. It’s dead, moving around,  usually on a mission of death and destruction.  Unlike a zombie though, you’ll never mistake a mummy for a person – unless they have a very strange idea of wardrobe (cloth wrappings are soooo last year).

The trappings of mummy lore are also great for cinema. There’s the pyramid or buried tomb, ornate sarcophagus, statues, jewelry; all the things needed to draw in the greedy treasure hunter who will then be stalked for revenge.

There haven’t been a lot of great mummy movies in recent years. Face it the hey day of mummy cinema was before the 50s. The mysteries of ancient Egypt couldn’t hold their own in the movies when stacked against atomic monsters. The recent movie The Mummy with Brendan Fraser was a pretty good homage to the genre although I felt the sequels could have been avoided. I have not seen the latest Tom Cruise vehicle so don’t know if it’s any good or just another to miss.

I always wanted to be a mummy for Halloween but couldn’t really figure out how to get the wrappings right and done in a way that wouldn’t take 2 days getting in and out of costume.

Man, now I want to go watch Boris Karloff.
Until next time, watch this and see if you can find one you might be interested in.




Categories: Monsters, Video Tags: , , , ,


June 24th, 2017 No comments


#picturefiction #flashfiction

Abigail strolled through the gardens of her parent’s estate. She loved spring, the trees were filling out with leaves and the flowers were pushing their way through the short grass. Life was returning to the world. At eight, she was old enough to understand the irony of her thoughts on returning life as she approached the reflecting pool that dominated the family plot.
Mother scolded her every time she visited the graves of her ancestors but to Abigail the tiny cemetery behind the gardens was a place of beauty that drew her in a way nowhere else on the property could.
“Hello Grandma Mary,” she said as she passed a headstone. “Happy spring, Great Uncle Ezekiel.”
She felt that it was only proper to greet her family as she passed. Mother said that they looked down on the living from Heaven and Abigail didn’t want them to think she was rude by not saying hello.
Abigail made the rounds of seven generations of her forebears. Each relation, no matter how distant, received a personal greeting. The only grave without a name was a small, unadorned stone that lay flat on the ground. It stood apart from the rest of her relations. The marker was clearly another grave and Abigail wondered if perhaps it was someone unrelated to the others, why else would it be kept apart.
The stone was smooth, not from age, it had been worked to a smooth surface like the other stones but was unmarked by name or date. There was nothing to help her learn who rested beneath the stone. Abigail fought the urge to ask Mother or Father, it was more fun to secretly pour through the genealogies contained in the family bibles and other books in the grand library; she pretended to be a detective trying to solve a mystery.
She had hunted in vain for the last three weeks since she had discovered the nearly invisible stone. It never occurred to her to give up, she was as stubborn as Father.
Abigail’s wanderings brought her to the edge of the circular reflecting pool at the center of the cemetery. Father had said it represented the cycle of life or eternity; Abigail just thought it was pretty. Motion in the water drew her eye. Abigail glanced down thinking that perhaps a bird had landed in the water or perhaps a twig from a tree had disturbed the surface. Nothing moved on the pond. No ripples were evident, only her own reflection with her white dress moving gently in the cool breeze.
Abigail started to turn away and then looked back at the water. Her reflection was there twice. A girlish giggle escaped her lips, she had never seen anything like it. She looked around to make sure that it wasn’t just another person who had snuck up on her but she was alone in the cemetery. Both images were her. Both wore a white dress with knee socks. Both images had the same ribbon adorning a blonde bob. Both images shared dimples and wide blue eyes.

Abigail waved at herself; only the left image waved. She cocked her head in confusion and tried again. Only the left image tilted her head and waved. A small shiver crept up Abigail’s spine and she began to step back. The right image suddenly smiled and waved  enthusiastically stopping Abigail’s flight. A faint sound came from the water. It was high pitched. Abigail saw that the right image’s mouth was moving. Was her other reflection trying to talk to her? The girl with her face motioned her to come closer and after a moments hesitation Abigail knelt beside the pool and brought her face close to the water.
“Hi Abigail,” the girl’s faint voice said. It sounded like she was speaking from far away and her voice wavered as if she were speaking from beneath the water. “I’m Gabrielle”.
“Who are you?”
“I’m your sister.”
Abigail sat back in confusion. She was an only child. She had spent her entire life alone on the estate with only her parents and tutors for company. The only time she had visitors her own age was on her birthday for the formal party.
“I don’t have a sister,” Abigail said.
Gabrielle giggled, it wounded like popping bubbles to Abigail.
“Of course you do silly,” Gabrielle said. “I’m your identical twin.”
“You’re a fibber,” Abigail said in her best stern tone. “I’m an only child. Mother would have told me if I had a sister.”
“Mother wanted to protect you. I went away just after we were born. She didn’t want you to miss me I guess.”
“Where did you go? Why haven’t I ever seen you?”
“Oh Abby,” Gabrielle sighed. “You visit me every day. I’m right over there.”
Gabrielle’s arm pointed across the pond toward the spot where the tiny gravestone lay.
“Are you dead?”
“Yeah. But don’t be afraid, we’re sisters and I was just lonely. Mother hid my grave so you wouldn’t know and then feel bad.”
“I’m not afraid,” Abigail said. “I’m eight and am not afraid of ghosts.”
Abigail squared her shoulders and lifted her chin as she spoke evoking a perfect image of her mother in miniature.
“Good. So sister, will you be my friend?”
Abigail nodded vigorously, her blonde hair flying in her reflection.
“I’d love that. I don’t have any friends but now I have a sister.”
“Great,” Gabrielle said and extended her hand toward Abigail. “Shake on it.”
Without thought, Abigail reached to the surface of the water to shake her sister’s hand. Her hand touched the surface and against all logic she felt her sister’s hand clasp her own.
Abigail’s smile stretched almost ear to ear as Gabrielle shook her hand. Her smile faltered when Gabrielle pulled. Abigail tumbled into the water.
She struggled for a moment and then stopped. The two girls embraced, giggling into each others hair. Gabrielle took Abigail’s hand and the twins skipped away. Their images faded from the pool. Silence covered the graveyard once more, only the silent gravestones looked down on Abigail’s body as it floated across the reflecting pool.