Happy is he who...writes from the love of imparting certain thoughts and not from the necessity of sale-who writes always to the unknown friend.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)





Wednesday, October 31, 2012

And the winner is.....



31 days ... 100 stories ... 66 writers ... 11,032 views to the blog and 1 anthology later... 

The winner of the Halloween Flash Fiction Contest is Rob Holliday with his story Eidolon Hunter


Congratulations to Rob, he will receive over 25 books, a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate and a coupon for 15% off of an editing package!

My novel Lykaia began as a flash fiction story, one year ago this month. I wanted to celebrate that and have some fun at the same time. So, I devisied a Facebook Flash Fiction Contest. I had no idea if it would work, if anyone would want to come play, or if anyone would even take notice. I never would have guessed that it would have exploded how it did. 


Thank you to all the wonderful writers that entered the contest. It has been so much fun reading your stories. 


Thank your to those that donated gifts,  I am amazed by your generosity. I never expected the grand prize to be so grand. 


And most of all, thank you to those that visited the event and the blog over the month to read and vote.


I've often said that it is my hope that when a reader chooses to suspend their reality for mine, that it will be time well spent. I hope that you've all enjoyed your time here as much as I have

If you would like to download a free copy of the Anthology which features stories from this contest and then some... follow the link.  All Hallows Eve

And if you are interested in downloading the book, that inspired the event...  Lykaia: book 1 of the Sophia Katsaros series   


Happy Halloween!




Sunday, October 28, 2012

Finalist #4


At the Movies
by Pamela K Kinney

The mummy dragged its foot as it came closer and closer.

“Oh God, Chessie, you spilt your drink in my lap!”

Shushes filled the theater. Chessie cringed as her sister leaped to her feet, her seat banging loudly as it hit the back. More shushes.

“I’m sorry, Jan. I’ll grab some paper towels from the restroom.”

Chessie jumped out of her seat and bolted out of the theater into the lobby. She raced into the women’s restroom and tore a handful of paper towels from a dispenser on the wall, soaking one with water. Back in the theater, she shoved them at her soda-soaked sister. Jan’s boyfriend, Bill, snorted with amusement.

Chessie sank into her seat. “I’m sorry, Jan. That scene in ‘The Mummy’s Hand’ scared me.”

Bill shook his head as Jan pat-dried her pants.

“You’re such an idiot, Chessie. I don’t know why Jan had to bring you.”

Jan said, “Because my mother said I had to. If the freak here would get some friends then I wouldn’t have to take her with us.” She glared at her sister. “She’s such a loser that no one likes her.”

Chessie stared at the big screen and willed herself not to cry. She watched the mummy stalk a pretty girl in a long dress that apparently was some reincarnation of a dead Egyptian princess. She hadn’t wanted to spend part of her Halloween watching some dumb classic horror movie at the Majestic Theater anyway. Even if the costume she wore was a mummy. Strips of white cloth made the cheapest costume, or so her mother told her. She’d wanted to be a vampire or something way cooler, but no, she got to be a stupid mummy instead.

Because Jan had taken her to her middle school’s Halloween party, she let her sister bullied her to see the film afterwards. Bill and Jan rather have gone to see some gory horror flick at the Regal Cinema near them, but Mom told her no, because of Chessie. Mom had seen the Majestic, a second-run movie theater, was holding a Halloween Classic Horror Film Festival. Her mother had picked ‘The Mummy’s Hand’ being early enough to get Chessie home before eleven o’clock.

Worse, she couldn’t eat any of the treats from the bag of candy she’d gotten at the party. Because she was scared one of the workers might see her munching on it, she hid it beneath her costume. It made her look like she had a pot belly.

“Aw crap, this ain’t workin’,” whined Bill. “Who cares about some old, cheesy black and white film about a mummy covered in dirty rags? There’s no gore. Let’s go over to my house and we can either play video games on my PlayStation or listen to some music CDs. Or better yet, watch some Halloween stuff on TV. I think they got ‘Hellraiser’ on one of the channels.” He stood. Jan joined him, throwing the bunch of paper towels wadded up into a big ball at Chessie. Bill leaned over and dug under Chessie’s costume, snatching a chocolate bar from the hidden bag. “And Chessie, you not invited, either.”

Chessie huddled deeper into the seat as Jan and Bill headed to the back of the theater. She’d be damned if she let even one tear fall.

“I’m going to finish watching the movie, Jan. I’ll head home after it ends. Don’t worry about me.”

“Like you even would,” she mumbled under her breath.

The girl watched the film, pretending interest and after a while, found the movie not half bad. No one dare push the mummy around. Actually, no one ever push any of the monsters around. If some human tried, the monster either ate or killed the dummy! Chessie thought how she’d like to be like the mummy, big, scary, and taking nothing from no one.

I wish I could be an undead mummy. Then let my sister and everyone else try anything. I would . . . rip their heads off!

That’s when she noticed something odd about the film. The creature suddenly changed direction and picking up speed, looked like it headed for the audience. Which was absurd.

Chessie sat up. In another second the scene would change and the mummy would be back on track, attacking the movie victim it had been stalking.

But in slow motion, as if time had slowed down, the monster tore through the screen and landed on her. A musty odor shoved up her nostrils as she stared up at the bandaged face, noticing twin red lights. Not lights—had to be the mummy’s eyes. The mustiness changed to a cloying perfume that drifted into her nose and mouth. The mummy placed a bandage hand around her throat and began to squeeze. Her heart pounding inside her chest, she began to thrash as she tried to throw up the creature. She couldn’t understand why no one came to her aid.

Chessie screamed, wetting herself.

As suddenly as she’d been attacked, she found herself standing on her feet, her scream fading in the theater and others telling her to be quiet. She touched her throat and rubbed it, but it didn’t feel bruised. The perfume smell had disappeared. A glance at the movie screen and she saw the mummy back in the movie.

Embarrassed, Chessie raced out of the theater, keeping her eyes glued to the floor so she wouldn’t see the pity and anger in everyone’s eyes. Once again, she had been nothing more than a moron and a wuss. And she pied in her pants like a baby! She’d let her imagination get the better of her.

She took her bag of candy out and carrying it, walked away from the theater. After a while, the lights of downtown became darkened streets of homes. The only light—other than street lamps—came from the full moon riding the night sky like a bright diamond against black velvet. Its creamy whiteness grew even more brilliant, almost blinding her. She took her eyes away and focused, determined to get home where she could hide in her room and pig out on candy.

Out of nowhere, pain slammed into her. The bag of candy fell from stiffened fingers to the sidewalk. Raging heat washed over her. She screamed, clawing at the bandages covering her face. The agony grew so unbearable that she dropped to her knees and crawled over to the edge of the sidewalk next to the street and rolled over onto her back. The moon shone at her eyes, diamond-sharp in its brilliance. The light burned and she wanted to cover her eyes, but couldn’t move her hands or any other part of her body. Suddenly, her vision went black. The pain gone, instead her eyes felt soothing cold. She rolled over onto her stomach and stood. Still blind though. Her arms stuck out in front, taking one step, then another, suddenly she stumbled into a wall.

A wall? There been no wall that she remembered. One side had held fences and lawns of homes, the other was the street. She pressed her hand against the ‘wall’ and felt the surface give. Not made of brick or anything a wall might be made of. Where was she?
She called out. “Hello?” Her hello came out like a growl.

What the—?

She whipped around and yelled.

“Arrrgghhh.”

“Shoot it! Shoot that thing!”

Her vision returned. Two men, one with a gun, stood before her. A woman with long black hair and in a long dress hovered behind them. Fear masked the men’s faces, but not the woman’s. Chessie took noticed that the people’s clothing were with black, white or gray. That’s when she saw everything around her, the woods—woods?—had no color, looking like a black and white movie.

The woman held out her arms. “Klaris!” She took a couple of steps, but the man without a gun grabbed her. She struggled in his arms.

“Shoot the mummy!” he yelled at the other man. “She thinks she’s some long dead Egyptian princess.”

What’s going on here? And why couldn’t she speak, only uttering growls?

Something zipped past her. Oh God. The man with the gun. . . he was shooting at her for real!

She wanted to turn tail and run. Only she lurched forward, dragging her one foot behind her.

Like the mummy in the old movie. She couldn’t make herself stop either. Just keep making for the men and the woman. Worse, the man with the gun kept shooting at her.

This has to be a nightmare.

Her foot struck a rock in her path. It hurt.

No, not a nightmare, but real. She remembered the wish she had made, that she could be like the mummy. But wishes are the stuff of fairytales and can’t come true.

This one appears to, otherwise explain being a mummy in a forties film.

Please, please, please. I wish to be a normal girl again.

The light appeared, blinding her, and then her eyesight returned. She stared down at her hands and saw normal hands of a girl. Checking herself over, she found that her fake mummy bandages vanished and she wore a long dress instead.

On hearing gunshots, she looked up and saw the mummy lurching toward her and the men. Sweat beaded her forehead and her heart began to beat against her chest.

She’d gotten her wish. Human again, but this time the wish made her Anaka. She moaned. She was going to die unless she wished again. This time, word it right.

Just as Chessie opened her mouth to wish, the air grew hot. She glanced up at the sky and saw fire the colors of a burning pumpkin blazing across it. The tang of smoldering celluloid filled the air. She coughed. The cough switched to a scream as fire danced across her arms and crackled in her hair. Pain clawed along her nerves.

She screamed.

****

The next morning, the theater manager at the Majestic found the back door ajar. Worried that someone had broken in to steal, he rushed inside, only to find nothing disturbed. Not until he entered the projection room. He bent over to pick up the strip of a film, ‘The Mummy’s Hand,’ lying on the floor, blackened and withered.

Halloween pranksters?

But why just that film and nothing else burned or stolen?

With a sigh, he tossed the entire ruined film into the trash and walked away. He paused for a moment, listening, and then shook his head. His own imagination had been playing tricks with him lately, making him think that he heard ghostly voices in the old theater.

There was no one else in the building but him. And the only ghosts came from the old films he showed here.

Finalist # 3


Monster Bash
by
Jason Mueller
&
Christy Lynn Foster

Drac was frantically running about very worried. His annual Halloween Monster Bash was turning out horribly! Many guests had not yet arrived in attempts at being fashionably late and the other guests were just sitting in awkward silence, lost in their own little worlds. Why wasn’t anyone talking or dancing? Was it bad music? Doesn’t everyone like Culture Club? Surely they can find common ground and mingle like they have each year Drac had thrown this little soiree, but now they were acting like they were at some social gathering for outcasts.
The place was a mess already! Cups and plates were everywhere and the remains of Frank’s wife, Elizabeth’s confetti and glitter concoction were littered all over everything. Evil woman! Being Franky's "Bride" for so long made her do stupid things. How dare she get Drac all covered in the tiny shards of sparkly things? Did she not know that vampires are virile and strong and should never be glittery? Really. I am not a sissy, for crying out loud!, he wanted to scream at her. Women!
And his carpet, his beautiful carpet! Blast that minion for dropping his favorite chafing dish full of Lil Smokies and BBQ sauce. Drac had asked that Renfield hire some help, but the least he could do would be to find some people with adequate knowledge of party service and proper balance. Was that asking too much? Seriously. He so loved the whole BBQ sauce thing since it reminded everyone of blood and who doesn’t like tiny finger-foods? It looked like a bowl full of appendages and, truly, theme is important at those types of things, but now his flooring looked like a blood and sparkle contest or some grotesque art sloshed across his antique rug. The carpet matched Drac's feelings about the evening so far.
Drac took pride in his castle and especially wanted to make a statement for this particular year. Special occasions aren’t typically celebrated among this sort of crowd, but Drac appreciated the longevity of his annual shindig and 50-years was a nice number. Half of a century of enjoying the same company could either be completely boring or thrilling, depending on the host and setting, so Drac always put his best foot forward.
“Do you really want to hurt me?” Drac grinned to himself realizing the lyrics were so apropos for this particular bunch of guests.
Every year he put out the finest cobwebs and spiders - if he could get Renfield to stop eating them. He also had the cemetery out back spruced up and imported exotic ravens so that at the end they could all enjoy a raven releasing party. Nothing but the best for his prestigious guests! Although, if those damned birds pluck out any eyes this year it would be the last year he ordered those Chinese crows!
The kicker this year so far was that Wolfy was already drunk on Mad Dog 20/20 and he was hiking his leg and piddling on everything in sight. To make matters even worse, he tried humping the Phantom’s leg. Oh how he had a French snit! No wonder they didn't like him there at that opera house in Paris and Christine had broken up with him! Really that guy is kind of high maintenance, so I dont blame her really, Drac chuckled half-hearted as he headed into the castle kitchen to check on those wretched new minions that Renfield had hired. It’s not that he had a problem with wretched, in fact he rather liked wretched, but when they started dropping his best chafing dishes and ruining his favorite day of the year, it just rubbed his fangs the wrong way.  
The kitchen was bustling and everything looked in order. Finally, something was going right! With a toothy smile, he started to make his way back to the living room, to continue his hosting duties.
Ding, ding, ding, DOOOOONNNNGGGG.  “Ahh, another guest!” he announced to everyone as he clapped his hands happily and glided to the massive door to greet his newest guests.
“Velcome vriends” his best Southern drawl fluttered toward the door as he opened it with a bow.
Drac snarled as he overheard Wolfy ask Swampy, “Why’s he talking like that?”
A frightened look was smeared across the face of a boy wearing a Transylvanian Pizza Palace uniform shirt. “Umm, that will be fifteen dollars sir.”
Drac glared at the slouchy form of the pint-sized irritation at his door. “I’m sorry, but I believe you have the wrong house, my dear boy," Drac seethed.
“I ordered it Drac, let the boy in.” Griffin, the Invisible Man, slurred in his ear.
Drac hated it when Griff snuck up on him, once when they were kids Griff had snuck up and stuck a clove of garlic down his shorts and had laughed himself silly as Drac frantically tried to pull the clove out of his underwear before he repulsed himself right into oblivion. Drac had given him a little bite in return but Griff ran home and told his mother and she called Drac’s mother who was so mad that she fed him an Irish man for supper.
“Fine,” Drac said as stalked away in a huff, trying not to sulk when he overheard Griff tell the young man, “Come on in and meet my friend, Wolfy!”
At this Drac’s fangs came out and it was everything he could do to not bite that delivery boy or tell Griff where to stick it, but being the gracious host as always, he kept it to himself. The more, the merrier, he supposed. Realizing that no one had bothered to shut the door he went back indignantly, but it was lost on the others. As he shut the door, he turned around and slipped on something wet on the floor. Really Swampy!? This is not the Black Lagoon! Must you drip all over the place? What if someone falls? What if they sue? My homeowner’s insurance is already astronomical! That would ruin his party in a big way.
Well, at least things are picking up a little bit now, Drac mused as he took a seat and surveyed the room silently. Griff and the pizza boy looked like they had some kind of herbs in a baggie. Drac absently hoped it wasn't wolfsbane or something illegal like that. Wolfy was slow dancing with Elizabeth now. No more Sade on the playlist, he decided. The Stein’s were an unlikely couple, most folks thought that Frank wasn’t all that into girls and she well, she was a bit on the loose side and it had nothing to do with her stitching, but even with their differences they still managed to keep up appearances.
Phantom and Swampy were now over by the fireplace playing quarters and it was hard to tell who was winning. Mummy was shambling toward them with a piece of toilet paper dragging along. Drac chuckled to himself as he perched on his new sectional that he was hoping at least someone would notice or mention. He suddenly regretted his choice of seats while trying to ignore the dampness soaking through his pants. He kept the look of alarm from his face and he quickly stood and discreetly examined the damage while hoping that Swampy had sat here before and it wasn't more of Wolfy’s marking. His maid service bill was going to be ridiculous this week.
He looked over at Wolfy and Elizabeth contemplating the issue their closeness was going to cause. He watched, stunned as she dirty danced with him and then broke out  doing the Wobble. This is not going to be good. Seriously can Wolfy be anymore of a dog? he cringed. If Frank saw this, there would be Hell to pay.
I wish the rest of the guest would get here. With a gleeful smirk, he thought about the swag bags he had to give out when the party was over. What an epic finale to the night!
The evening went on and everyone seemed to be having a good time and more guests had arrived and the party was in full swing. Wolfy and Elizabeth disappeared. Since Wolfy shed everywhere and Drac was a little allergic to animal dander, he had just anticipated and taken a Claritin before the party to ease his symptoms. Where have they disappeared to now?I hope they aren’t in my bed, he groused.
Dr. Death was chatting up one of the wretched minion chicks. The good doctor was always doing something droll and rather commonly so it didn’t really surprise Drac. The Wild Woman was flirty with Phantom. She was really laying it on thick and trying to get him to go home with her so she could find out what really awaited behind the mask. The dreadful delivery boy was in a twenty-minute lip lock with Paula Clayton Reed. Drac shuddered, Man, that is one Weird Woman!
Three hours later everything was winding down. Guests were beginning to head for the door where Drac stood proudly with a stack of swag bags ready to be passed out in thanks to everyone for coming and making it a lovely evening. Even though things weren't perfect, the party was still a huge success.
A few of the monsters had been a bit of an embarrassment. Wolfy was still not back with Elizabeth. Thank the heavens Griff is invisible, Drac thought, glancing over to where the man lay face down on his beautiful BBQ-stained carpet covered in glitter and sauce with his pants down around his ankles. Apparently Mummy had snuck up behind Griff and depantsed him. Griff then tripped over his own pants and fell to the floor where he promptly passed out, good ol Mummy!
Dr. Death walked out with a smile and nod. A swag bag in one hand and the minion in the other. Drac learned her name was Susan, That sounds familiar for some reason, Drac pondered momentarily.
Suddenly,  a commotion broke out as the rest of the guest snatched their swag bags out of Drac's hand and ran out the door.
“Noooooooo, you can’t do this to me, you can’t leave me for him! What will people think? I will be the laughing-stock of the country club,” Frank wailed with tears running down his cheeks, sending sparks as the drops hit his neck bolts.
“Frank, you know I’ve been miserable and falling to pieces for a long time, you don’t excite me anymore. Wolfy makes me want to howl at the moon, you don't do that for me anymore! I hate to drop this on you like this, but I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to have Wolfy’s litter. It’s over Frank. Goodbye.” With that the new couple grabbed their swag bags and was out the door without another word. Drac watched the two head for Wolfy’s VW MiniBus, he rolled his eyes as Wolfy marked every tree and bush on the way, it got really ugly when Elizabeth tried to mark a bush also. She‘s doing it wrong. Bless her heart.
Frank was a blubbering mess. Everyone was gone now leaving Drac to deal with the heartbroken sap. It was more likely that Frank was embarrassed that an upper-class guy like himself would be dumped by a has-been like Elizabeth.
Drac made Frank a cup of peppermint tea, knowing that the big man would end up with a headache, like he always did after a good cry. Peppermint tea always seemed to help calm Frank down. For such a big guy, Frank really was a fragile and genteel soul.
Drac sat down on another spot on the sectional and again found a wet spot. He touched the spot and sniffed his finger. Ugh, it wasn't Swampy, it was Wolfy!, he mused disgustedly. He sat, stirring his own cup of peppermint tea and stared off into space wondering to himself what next year might bring.

Finalist # 2


Eidolon Hunter
by Rob Holliday

William hungered as he watched from the wood line. His pulsed quickened as The Ache Inside confirmed he’d quench his desire tonight.

You’ve been good, you’ve been patient, William. You deserve your reward. Reap it. A smile smoothed across his face.

He locked his eyes on the house through the Bushnell binoculars, the directional microphone telling him the story unfolding within the house.

“Jilly, you’re in charge tonight, you’re a big girl now.”

“I know, Mooom, I turn 13 next week,” the daughter quipped.

“Oh, don’t we know it, honey. There’s some dinner in the fridge for you and Theo, it’s ready to go, just cold cuts and stuff. Theo?”

A small voice returned, “Yes, momma?”

“Come on down, buddy, Daddy and I are getting ready to go.”

“Aww, mom, I’ve got Bink out of his cage, he hasn’t had anytime out today.”

“Bring him with you and come down, please.”

Quick and light feet bumped down the stairs. “See, Mom, he’s happy now.”

“Theo, that’s fine, honey. Now, you two listen to me. You can answer the door for the trick-or-treaters. Keep the lights on when you answer the door and no one comes inside.”

Except me. The smile broadened even more as his tongue snaked over his lips.

“Yes, Mom, we get it. Don’t let the Boogey Man get us, “ the snark rolling off Jilly’s tongue.

Oh, you’re going to learn respect tonight, Jilly. Before I’m done, you’ll be wanting to please me. And you'll beg me to taste your sweet spot but it won’t do you any good, but you’ll learn to be respectful.

“You’re such a smarty pants.” Laughter cut across the microphone.

“After the trick-or-treaters, can we watch a movie in the movie room?”

A different voice, a man. “You what? You want to watch a movie in MY movie room?” The kids all laughed, as their father ribbed them. “Yes, you can watch a movie. What are the rules?”

“We know, Dad, only watch, don’t touch your goofy stuff.”

“Goofy, huh? I’ll show you goofy.” More giggles and snorts. “Yes, you can watch a movie, just don’t call us because you’ve scared yourselves. We’re going across town and it’ll take us a bit to get home, so no crying wolf, got it?”

“Yes, sir,” the children in tandem.

“Alright, well, we’re going. You two have fun. Oh, and don’t forget to feed the pets. That was the agreement, right?”

“Yes, sir.”

William spied the garage door lifting from his perch and watched the parents’ departure.

 About time.

He inventoried his kill bag- flex cuffs, braided wire, mallet and flooring nails. Night vision goggles with soft mount. Gerber pry bar, duct tape, gauze and rubber tubing. He unsheathed the polymer-gripped deer skinner at his belt. He admired the scalpel-honed blade, ending in a bevel-edged hook at the top. The voices from the house brought him back from his crimson envisioned evening.

“You hungry yet?”

I am, Jilly.

“No. Want to hold, Bink? Be careful, he’s a little molty.”

“Uh, no, he’s gross and I don’t want to hold you’re lizard. Whatcha wanna watch tonight?”

“He’s not just a lizard, he’s a bearded dragon. Sheesh, don’t you know anything about our pets. Do we have to watch one of those freaky ones you like?”

“Whyyyy? You gonna be scared?” the sister teased, her brother laughing.

“No, they’re just boring. Can I watch two since mine are short? I wanna watch “Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman”, Frankenstein and Wolf Man are epic.”

“Sure squirt. Oooh, wanna watch ‘House of Horrors” too? The Creeper is freaky!

“Ha! Yeah, that’s a good one. I was hoping you wouldn’t pick one with that overdone herky-jerky black-haired girl, those are stupid.

Go ahead, carry on. You two won’t be able to speak to each other after tonight, though you’re going to be together in ways you never imagined.

As the evening set in, William’s Ache grew, seeing the coltish blonde girl and her ginger brother greeting each trick-or-treater with no idea of what was to come. They dressed up too- the older girl, a candy corn witch I know you wore that for me, you know you did and the boy, a wizard. You’re gonna squeal, little piggie, as I cut off those toes. His palms glistened, his senses heightened, his Ache hardened.

The parade of goblins and superheroes dwindled and his time had come. He adjusted in his perch and put the earphones back on his head and scanned the house for them.

“You getting hungry, Teddy?” the sister asked.

“Yeah, but I don’t want to eat too much- can we have popcorn with the movies?”

“Sure. I’ll go get dinner and come back up and we can eat. Keep watching, okay?”

“Thanks, Sissy. Hey, remember we gotta feed the pets tonight or Mom and Dad are doing to make us get rid of them”

“Yeah, I know, we’ll do it in a little bit.”

William grabbed his bag and shimmied down from his perch. He inspected the area around him to ensure he left no trace.

He left the woods and crossed the street. He’d cased the house ever since seeing their picture in the paper in the city section, “Wallace Family to Host Halloween Charity Ball”. They looked idyllic.

Oh, I’ll smash that picture tonight. There’s no safe place, not with me in the dark, in the shadows.

William moved to the back of the house and let his ears adjust. He heard muffled starlet screams from the movies in the upstairs room. He peeked through a window. The refrigerator light shone dimly, casting the girl’s silhouette, highlighting her body against her cotton gown.

You dirty little whore, you got ready for me, I see.

Jilly turned abruptly and he snapped back and held his breath. He heard her talking, hoping it wasn’t a call to the parents or police.

“I know babies, here’s a little snack. When I come back, I promise, Teddy and I will feed you.”

Dogs inside. He felt for his small chloroform bottle and shook it, the capsules winking against the glass. Pop a couple of these and they’ll go down.

He peeked back in and the kitchen was dark. He caught the swish of her gown as she turned up the stairs. Go time.

He moved to a sliding door and slipped the pry bar under the jam, lifted, flicked the catch with his knife. The door slid open. He turned on his goggles, bathing his view in green glow. He scanned the room, no animals. Satisfied, he slid the door closed and angled for the stairs.

When he mounted the stair landing, the TV glow from down the hall told him his prey was near at hand. You're gonna love it, Jilly, when I stuff it in while Theo watches. He calmed himself and pushed the door open.

Jilly and Theo sat eating, watching the movie, not noticing William in the doorway.

“Hello, meat pies.”

The children jumped up and reeled back away from the voice in the doorway.

“Please, don’t get up. Love the gown, Jilly, go ahead pull it up and show Willie what you've been dying to show me.

Theo came from behind his sister’s shielding body, “Mister, you better leave or you’ll be sorry.”

William unsheathed the skinner, “Nah, I don’t think so. I’m gonna have a good time tonight. Starting with you, Theo.”

The two children looked at each other, their look of surprise turned to something else. They looked back at William, a familiar look in their eyes. He knew the look. It was the look of predators.

Jilly looked past William, “Get him, babies.”

William turned and saw three diminutive sets of eyes below knee height, eyeshine glowing in the hallway. “What is this, attack of the Chihuahuas? How ‘bout if I slice and dice them to go with the cold cuts?” he guffawed, turning back and moving toward them. His face went dead. “No more games.”

Jilly menaced, “No, no more games.”

A shadow fell across the children, William in its penumbra. He turned back to see a shadow with crimson eyes five sets of eyes? looming above him. It crashed down upon him, sending him into the darkness.

-----

“Wake up, mister.”

William woke, laying on concrete, his arms and legs secured in cruciform by his own braided wire.

William glanced around, his mind searching but still foggy in the candlelight. Shadows on the wall with scarlet eyes stared back at him, their mouths jagged maws. He twisted his head, counting at least eight sets of eyes. His breath grew ragged and panicked.

“What, what the hell…what the hell are those?” He jerked at the wire with little effect. “You let me go right now and I'll let you…”

Theo shushed him, crouching down beside him, “Mister, I warned you to get out of here.”

Jilly came over and squatted down on the other side of William. “You see, William, you think you’re the scary thing in the dark. But you see, you’re not. Remember when you were a kid, and everybody said there’s no such thing as monsters in the dark, they’re just shadows. Well, that’s not true. What most kids don’t know is those shadows, those monsters that are in the dark, once you embrace them, they’re the best protection we have against real monsters, like you”

She sniffed at his face a bit, “You stink, William. My babies smelled you in the woods for the past week and they’ve been chomping at the bit to get a hold of you." She stood back up. "Theo, let them off their leashes.”

“Can I, Sissy? Thanks!” Theo gathered the candles and headed toward a door, Jilly joining him. She looked back at William, “You should never have come after children, William. Go ahead, Theo.”

The boy grinned and began blowing out the candles, one by one, the beasts circling closer with each extinguished flame. William whipped his head back and forth, “Please, I…I understand now. I’ll…I’ll go confess--”.

 “No, no, mister, now none of that,” Theo tsked, as he picked up the second to last candle. “And for what you said out there in the woods, I’m gonna have Beatrice start with your little piggies.”

Theo blew it out and a shadow emerged from the wall near William’s feet and set upon his legs. William gasped as the darkness inched upward, arterial spray misting the room in black.

“Goodnight, mister. Don’t let the monsters get you. Oops, too late,” Theo snickered. “Eat up, babies, make him all gones.” With a wink, Theo blew out the last candle, plunging the room into pitch.

The last things of William’s life were crimson eyes, the mirthful growls of a pack ripping into fresh prey and agony.


----


“Should we wake them?”

“Nah, they’re comfortable. And look at them, they’re so sweet cuddled like that on the couch.”

“Okay, well, let’s at least turn off the TV. Oh wait, before you do, let me get this candle over here.”

Their mother lit a candle and as their father turned off the TV. He noticed the movies lying about. He laughed softly, “They do love these old movies.”

She chuckled, “They love monsters.” The candle cast soft light about the room.  Anywhere the light cast a shadow laid a slumbering beast. One craned its head and thumped a tail.

“Did my babies have a good night?” More shadowed heads popped up, sleepy fuschia eyes slitting open, the whisper of ethereal tail wags. Theo and Jilly stirred on the couch. The boy’s whisper fell into her ear, “Hi, mama”.

“Hi, sweet boy. Did the babies get fed?”

As Theo nodded, Jilly turned toward her mother, “Yep, they sure did. They’re nice and full.”

“Good. Good night, sweeties.” Their parents turned to leave.

In tandem, “Good night.” Falling back asleep, Theo requested, “Momma, you can blow out the candle, we don’t mind the dark.”

Finalist # 1



Monsters In White
by Devin Berglund


Where am I? I can’t move! She looked down at leather straps holding her hands to the table. The memories flashed across her mind of men and women holding her down. They poked and prodded her with sharp silver instruments. Some also injected her with insulin which had thrown her into a coma. Rows of empty surgical beds filled the room. She breathed deeply, How am I going to get out of this?

The doors flung open as two nurses rushed into the room with a squeaky wheeled silver table. They hastily pushed it to the foot of her bed. The large machine to the right of Claudia squeaked and beeped. One nurse was writing on a clipboard. The scratching noise of the pen meeting the paper sent Claudia squirming. I doubt she knows how much louder things like that are for me compared to her. Claudia wrinkled her eyebrows wishing the screeching pain from the noise would leave.

“It took three months for this one to come around…” The one with the clipboard spoke to the red head.

“We should start the third stage test on her.” Said the red head while she bulged Claudia’s vein by tying an elastic band around her arm.

“The arm straps are still tight, right?”

“Oh don’t worry! She should be weak, still.” The redhead smiled.

I won't let them do it again, Claudia thought.

The nurse turned to the table filled with a silver operating scalpels, tongs, and syringes. She picked up a long thick needle and stabbed it into a vile of bubbly chemical and drew it into the syringe.

“This chemical will have a severe affect on her.” The nurse with the clipboard giggled.

Claudia’s heart raced while pumping faster as adrenaline filled her muscles with strength.  The red head came at her with the syringe, Claudia’s eyes stretched open wide with fear. She started shaking as her instinctive defensive nature took control over her - she ripped her hands free of the restraints. The other nurse screamed into the walkie-talkie for help and then assisted the redhead to try force Claudia back onto the table. Claudia pushed one nurse away and grabbed the redhead by the throat. The other nurse ran out the doors. Claudia’s heart raced as she squeezed the woman’s throat and watched the life drain from the nurse's face and then dropped her to the ground. Mixed emotions filled Claudia’s heart as compassion flashed through her eyes. I didn’t want to kill her, but she was going to hurt me. Cuts, bruises, and burn marks were scattered all over her body. She got up and knocked down a locked door on the opposite side of the hall. She ran to the end of the narrow hallway and turned right into another passage. She entered the first door on the left.  It must be the storage room.  The slightest sound made her jump as low rumbles and high pitched barks echoed through the passageways. She hid behind some boxes stacked in the corner.

Leaning over in pain, she sat down while whispering a song her mother had sung to her.

"Hush little baby... don't you cry... Momma's going to buy you a mockingbird." The floodgates of her eyes opened.  Footsteps echoed on the ground in her hallway. The men yelled as the dogs barked. They opened the door, while the light from their torches leaked into the room reflecting off the damp floor and walls.

"I don't see her in here!" a male nurse spoke to the other two while the dogs were barking and jumping up and down on the wardrobe’s door.

"Is she in there?" The other pointed his plastic glove covered hand in that direction.

"Stupid dogs…No, that is where Test subject 48's remains are kept, besides this room is filled with wolfsbane,” the first man replied.

Test 48? Who is that? She thought as the nurses and dogs made their way back into the hallway. Claudia’s heart beat faster as she pushed herself upwards. Everything went foggy as she grabbed onto the wardrobe, that the dogs had been barking at, for support. She fell forward on all fours after realizing she had accidently pushed opened the wardrobe’s door.

Why am I feeling so sick?. She thought while her memories started answering her own questions. It is wolfsbane! She thought back to how at one time the vases of pretty purple-blue flowers held her to the bed stronger than the wrist restraints. To an outsider’s eye it may have seemed like a few visitors had dropped off some flowers for her, but it wasn’t from a visitor, as she had never had one. She couldn’t stop sneezing as her eyes watered, her airways started closing, and her strength became nonexistent.

“It seems to be working.” One doctor spoke. Another doctor quietly spoke with a nurse and pointed at her notes on the clipboard.

Several doctors stood above her and stared. One doctor with giant black-rimmed glasses pressed a silver bullet into her waist. She could feel it burning. Her skin made sizzling noises upon contact with the silver. She screamed and howled as her back arched off the table. Beads of sweat poured down her forehead.

“Please! You’re hurting me! I am not a bad person!”.

Another doctor answered, “You? You are no person!” The doctors laughed as tears dripped from the corners of her eyes.

“Dr. Frankenstein, can I have a second opinion?” the doctor with glasses asked.

“Yes, you may!” the man looked up from the clipboard and sat down next to him.

Even now the scars on her waist hurt just thinking about it. Inside the wardrobe doors, test jars and tubes filled the shelves. Body parts floated inside them.

A heart floated in some clear liquid inside the largest jar. Claudia leaned in closer to inspect the heart.  Something looked strange - a silver bullet was lodged inside the heart. Her stomach jolted as she slammed the doors of the wardrobe shut in disgust.

I need to get out of here, the wolfsbane is making me weak, she thought while crawling to the door. She paused when she felt wetness on her knee. Looking down she couldn’t see what it was in the dark, but it burned. She pulled the door open while crawling into the hallway. She stood up and leaned against the brick wall. She breathed in deeply and saw the blood dripping from her knee. But why does it burn my skin just like the silver had? After rubbing the blood off with her nightgown. Silver specks shown in the low light. Oh no! it looks like this might be test subject 48’s blood. They must have filled her bloodstream with silver and it must have caused a lot of pain, so they shot her. Such a high dose of silver would kill any werewolf in the matter of seconds. She closed her eyes while holding her breath, which cleared her senses. The throbbing pain in her head disappeared.

I have to get it together. Let me see, which way did they go? Claudia raised her nose in the direction she heard them and breathed in deeply. She couldn’t smell them, but she could definitely hear them ahead of her. They must be using the anti-werewolf scent serum, which prevents me from smelling them. She tip toed past different cell doors, but one caught her attention. Inside a giant man with bolts in his neck and stitches in his skin moaned at her and dragged his leg toward her. He pointed in the direction they went.

“I am sorry they have done this to you, too.” Claudia spoke, “They’ve been torturing us.” The big man nodded his head in agreement.

“Thank you for your help! I hope that you get out of here soon, I would help you if I could, but I must go!” she was met with a smile. I never knew something so huge and ugly could have such a kind smile.

“Bye!” she waved. She walked toward a door leading to a spiral staircase. Moonlight shown through the narrow windows lighting up the stairwell. Not much longer now, She thought.  After reaching the top she pushed the door open. Before stepping out she looked both ways and then stepped into the hallway. This is near the front door. I remember walking down this hallway when I was admitted.

The cool air bit at her bare ankles, as she tip toed down the white washed corridor stretching out in front of her toward the exit door. She moved at a quick pace past the thick iron doors leading to some padded rooms, the laundry room, and the cafeteria. Her nose twitched at the overwhelming smell of antiseptic and chemicals. She jumped and stood in a fearful stance while suspiciously averting her red eyes from one end of the hallway to the other - just to make sure no one was watching her. She raised her finger to her mouth and bit on her knuckle anxiously while breathing deeply. She continued forward to an office area and on the front of the desk a sign read “Nurses Station”. No one was there at the moment.

Claudia sighed deeply. Is this for real? Am I escaping? She thought as she made silent leaps toward the door and pushed on it. The thick steel door didn’t budge.

“Oh crap!” She yelled.

She ran to the nurses station and then shuffled through drawers full of papers and personal items. Pulling another one open to find a huge ring of keys. Yes! A breeze blew the blinds away from the barbed windows, filling the room with moonlight momentarily. Her fingers thicken and her fingernails lengthen. She dropped the keys.

“No, not just yet!” She said while clumsily picking up the keys. “The dogs have her scent, she is this way!” she heard yelling echoing through the hallways close by.

She ran to the door and tried the first key. It didn’t work, so she stuck the next one in. After a few that didn’t work she fumbled to try the last one. Panic set in as the growling pack of dogs rushed around the corner leading the mob of doctors and nurses.

“She is trying to escape!” the doctor with the wide rimmed glasses screamed while pointing at her.

“Get the silver bullets.” Another one yelled.

She pushed the last key into the hole without complication. It fit perfectly. She twisted the key, time slowed down as a doctor stopped running and lifted a rifle toward her. The door clicked. She pushed the heavy door open and ran into the yard enclosed by a huge black iron gate.

“She won’t be able to get out.” Doctor Frankenstein yelled.

Claudia felt like the sun was warming her soul, except it was night.  She ran toward the gate - the moon’s gentle beams settled her anxious nerves as she leapt over the gate. She landed on all fours, but they were no longer her useless clumsy human limbs. Instead they were her furry paws that she’d choose over feet and hands any day. Turning she growled and then bolted into the forest. Freedom!

“No! Open the gates…” the Doctor with the glasses yelled, “Send the dogs after her!” They opened the gate, but the dogs cowered in fear. 

“Stupid dogs!” he kicked the dog closest to him.

“Dr. Frankenstein, what are we going to do now? She was our only hope to figuring out the werewolf infestation.”

Dr. Frankenstein looked up and frowned, “We have to call into action Plan B, call the werewolf hunters. She wont be safe for long. They will find her and then…” He grinned evilly, “We will finally find a way to exterminate their race.” he stared at the full moon as a long deep howl echoed through the surrounding mountains.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Final Round!



The Halloween Flash Fiction Contest has entered the final round! 

As promised there will be a prompt for this round... and the prompt is... 1940's movie monsters. 

During the 1940s,  there were some really great monster movies that would go on to be classics. On of the most successful was The Wolf Man, which established Lon Chaney, Jr., who followed in his father's foot steps.

Claude Rains starred in a remake of Phantom of the Opera. The Frankenstein and Wolf Man series continued with The Ghost of Frankenstein and Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.  There was also Son of Dracula which featured Lon Chaney, Jr. as the Count. The Mummy, too, rose from the grave in The Mummy's Hand  and The Mummy's Tomb.    House of Frankenstein and House of Dracula, in which Dracula was played by John Carradine brought together a lot of the monsters. As did the comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein with Bela Lugosi starring alongside Lon Chaney, Jr. as Larry Talbot (the Wolf Man), and Glenn Strange as Frankenstein's monster.

Black Friday (1940)
The Invisible Man Returns (1940)
The Invisible Woman (1940)
The Mummy's Hand (1940)
Man Made Monster (1941)
The Wolf Man (1941)
The Black Cat (1941)
The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
Invisible Agent (1942)
The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Phantom of the Opera (1943)
Son of Dracula (1943)
Captive Wild Woman (1943)
The Mad Ghoul (1943)
Calling Dr. Death (1943)
Weird Woman (1944)
Dead Man's Eyes (1944)
The Climax (1944)
House of Frankenstein (1944)
The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944)
The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
The Mummy's Curse (1944)
House of Dracula (1945)
The Frozen Ghost (1945)
Strange Confession (1945)
Pillow of Death (1945)
House of Horrors (1946)
The Brute Man (1946)
She-Wolf of London (1946)
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)


The writer's of the four winning stories will be required to incorporate any or all of the characters featured in these movies. They will have a 2,000 word limit and their stories must be messaged to me by 9 a.m. (CDT) Monday morning. I will not accept stories after that time. 

Unlike the previous rounds there will not be a public vote. Only writer's who have entered stories will be eligible to vote. However, we do hope that you all will have the chance to read and share these stories with your friends. This promises to be a fun round and I look forward to reading some great stories. 

We hope you will drop by the Facebook event. There are some really great writers there as well as some very informative discussions about writing taking place. 

Bonus round... there will be one... details will be forthcoming...

Good luck to our finalists!

~Sharon 


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween Flash Fiction Contest


Halloween Flash Fiction Contest!

Contest update:  The contest is now closed to submissions.
Voting is open and will close on Wednesday at 9AM

As most of you may know, Lykaia began as a flash fiction piece last October. In honor of its release I wanted to do something fun to celebrate. So, on a whim I decided to host a Halloween themed Flash Fiction Contest. I wasn't sure if anyone would join and if they did, what I would do with them?

To my great surprise the response was so overwhelming that I had to put a 25 story limit each week. Asking people to read 25,000 words each week and then vote on their favorite seemed like a stretch as it was. And yet week after week we managed to fill those 25 spots in less than 24 hours. 

I am thrilled at the response and a little sad to see it come to an end. We have now entered our last week. The winner for this week will be our last finalist and will go on to compete for a rather impressive grand prize. 

Our finalist so far are:


We have 29 quality stories for this last week all written by some very talented authors. I look forward to seeing who emerges as the winner. 

On Thursday, October 25th I will announce a prompt. The finalists will then have to write a new story that incorporates that prompt. They will have until Monday, October 29th at 9am (CDT) to turn in that story. Unlike weeks past this final round will not be an open vote. Only writers who have submitted a story will qualify to vote. This is, afterall, a writer's contest. And so writers will determine the winner. The writer with the most votes will win the following grand prize. 

Grand Prize: 
E-books 
  • Lykaia by Sharon Van Orman
  • The Wedding Gift by Kathleen McKenna
  • The Division of the Damned by Reggie Jones
  • I've Been Deader by Adam Sifre
  • The Lilean Chronicles: Book One ~ Redemption by Merita King
  • The Lilean Chronicles: Book Two ~ The Sleeping by Merita King
  • The Lilean Chronicles: Book Three ~ Changing Faces by Merita King
  • The Sword Bearers by Monique Rocklife
  • The Sword Bearer's Journey by Monique Rockliffe
  • The Sea Witch by Brian Bigelow
  • When You Come Back To Me Again. by Jaimie Hope
  • The Nexus Point by Jaleta Clegg
  • Tribesman by Paul Freeman
  • Bonded by Crimson by Zrnka Jelic
  • The Substitute by James Hatch
  • Fall Leaves and the Black Dragon by Erik Gustafson
  • The Gorge by Jason McPherson
  • Relative Sanity by Martin Reaves
  • Relative Karma by Martin Reaves
  • Dark Thoughts by Martin Reaves
  • Legend of Dragamere by Gretchen Steen


Paperbacks: 
  • Top Cases of The FBI by RJ Paker
  • The Serial Killer Compendium by RJ Parker
  • Terrible Zombie of Oz by L Scullard & L Frank Baum
  • The Path of the Fallen by Dan O’Brien 


Hardcover: 
  • Buck the Good Dog, by Renee Pierce Williams  
Miscellaneous 
  • $50.00 Amazon gift card donated by RJ Parker 
  • 15% of editing package donated by Mary Nancy Cody Smith from Eagle Eye Editing
  •  A signed copy of Robert Liparulo's latest release, "The 13th Tribe”
Gretchen Steen has graciously donated her time and compiled an anthology from the stories that have been featured in the contest. That book will be available for free download on Halloween.  The link will be posted on the Facebook event page as well as here, on my blog. 





Thank you all very much, both to the writers and those that dropped by to read. I know the writers deeply appreciate the feedback.

I have a surprise in mind... so stay tuned... (insert evil laugh here)

For more information, head on over to the Facebook Halloween Flash Fiction Contest event.

And if you are interested in the story that start it all, head on over to Amazon and pick-up Lykaia: Book 1 of the Sophia Katsaros Series

~Sharon

Entry #C29


The Choices We Make
By Michael L. Turner

That’s what it all comes down to. It’s the choices we make, the ones we don’t, and the ones we allow to be made for us. Then at the end it’s all balanced on some cosmic scale of good and evil. Hopefully on that day, one leaned more toward the good, rather than the other.

Jared Evers shook his head in frustration, and then lowered it in disgust. Looking at the solitary walls of his jail cell, his thoughts were his only companion. There were good men in this world. Jared had long accepted that he was not one of them. He also believed that his scale did not lean the other way. What he was, he didn’t exactly know, and ten years of thought did not make it clearer.

In that time, Jared had watched closely where his choices had landed on the scale. At the close of this day it was his choice that put him in this jail. Three nights of his life would be spent here, alone. It wasn’t a judge that him here, and no sheriff held him. Slaton West Virginia had neither. The coalminers had long abandoned this town. Most of this isolated town had fallen into ruin, crumbling under its own rotted weight. The old jail, with its walls of bricks and bars, would outlast it all. This had been the perfect find for Jared.

He looked at the keys to the cell in his right hand, and then to the scar on his forearm. It was the last one, his body would ever have. That scar was why he was here. It was the balancing mark on his scale. After ten years he could still feel the flesh of his arm being torn. It all happened on a wooded roadside, just outside of Liberty Virginia of all places.

Jared had only stopped to change a flat that night. He was tired, it was raining, and he never saw it coming. The creature was just right there. As Jared knelt, working on the tire, the fangs sank into his arm. He was helpless as the beast dragged him about like a ragdoll. With the tire iron still in his other hand, Jared tried to fight back. Somehow, they must have ended up in the road. That was when the pickup clipped him, but hit the beast full on. He heard shattering glass and felt a sharp pain in his shoulder, which must’ve been the trucks side mirror hitting him. Jared awoke the next day in the hospital. The police report said whatever attacked him had run off, even after the mess it made of the farmer’s truck.

Over the next week one doctor had remarked that Jared’s recovery was nothing short, of miraculous. Within a few days all the marks left by the animal except the bite mark had healed without scarring. By the end of the week, even the broken collarbone had completely mended. The doctors wanted to run more test, but Jared had tired of their company and left. Looking back, maybe he should have stayed. Then again, he really just wanted to stay, so he would have the chance to see again, the doctor who called his recovery a miracle. Then he planned to rip the man’s throat out.

It was dark thoughts like that, which started to cross Jared’s mind more often after that night. He found himself looking at people around him, and wondering about all the things he could do to them, with such ease. Friends had started to notice the evil grin, now often on his lips. When they spoke their concern, Jared was horrified by the thoughts they had interrupted, as the realization of what he was pondering dawned on him.

Each night, Jared stared up at the moon, always knowing its position and phase, even with a dark cloud cover. It was almost full. He didn’t know what it meant, or was that just a lie he told himself. At night a small fire burned beneath his skin, growing in strength with each moonrise and moonset. The dark thoughts continued to float with ease through his mind, beckoning his submission.

“It’s wrong!” He yelled out. Then a small voice would answer, saying, “Don’t worry. It’s okay… It’ll just be this one time.”

“Shut up!” Jared angrily snapped back. Right from wrong seemed like a fading memory, but he still knew the difference.

To this the voice asked. “Do you?”

By sunset on that final day, Jared was nothing more than a quivering mass of spent nerves. Darkness filled his mind, and his body was burning. Jared shuttered in pain, and by the end he simply blacked out.

He awoke the next morning face down on the couch, absent of any clothes. He didn’t really care. The fact that his mind had cleared, and the pain was gone, was all that mattered. He felt refreshed, and full of energy.

At that point, Jared simply dismissed the previous evening to illness, a fever maybe. He jogged five miles that morning without breaking a sweat. Heading for work, he skipped breakfast, feeling oddly full. On his way he flipped through the radio presets, until he settled on a news station, hoping to catch the morning stock report. What he caught instead, was the local news report. There had apparently been several animal attacks in Veteran’s Park last night. The deaths of a woman jogger and a homeless man were listed.

The news hit Jared like a brick, as he veered off into the emergency lane, and skidded to a halt. Images flashed into memory, and coldness ate into Jared’s soul. He clenched his eyes shut, as images seared the back of their sockets.

He was in the park, lit brightly by street lamps and a full moon. He stood over a park bench; a dirty looking man lay there clutching a recently emptied bottle, of what smelled like not-so-fine whiskey. Jared reached for the man with a hand covered in fur and sporting inch long claws. The bench had been beside one of those jogging paths, unfortunate for the runner who came across him and his prey. She had screamed and he looked up at her, with warm blood dripping from his long snout. The rest was blurred, and yet so clear.

Jared’s eyes shot open, as someone tapped on the car window. He looked up into the face of a highway patrolman.

“Are you all right sir? Do you need any help?” The officer had asked him.

Jared was drenched in sweat, and couldn’t keep himself from shaking. He indeed needed help, but who could offer it. He looked down at his hands gripped tightly in fists at his lap. He studied the backs of them and then forced them open to see the palms. They were his, but those in the park he could not deny, were also his. What was he and what was going to become of him?

Those two questions he would continue to ask himself over the next ten years and neither had truly been answered. The myths and legends proved useless, but he had learned one thing. He really wanted to hurt whoever had come up with the idea that a silver bullet would kill a werewolf. It didn’t, but surely did burn like hell. His life could never be normal again, and he was resigned to three nights a month, locked in this old jail.

Jared looked down to his scarred right arm again. Darkness plagued his mind still today, but it had not come from the beast. The bite had merely unleashed an animal already within him. The thoughts that made him cringe, were his own. The beast had only given them the opportunity to surface. He was that monster shaped by his darkest thoughts. This surely placed him on the latter part of the scale.

A feeling of total disgust filled Jared. “I will never balance the scales!” He growled in realization of the facts. “This is who I am!” He shouted to the air. Jared’s mind fell to darkness. He was tired of living this confined life. He craved the free air, to live his life his way, and to enjoy the hunt that called to him.

He looked at the keys in his hand and tossed them aside. He laughed, walking from the cell and building. He was free.

A few minutes past and Jared silently walked back in. After retrieving the keys he locked the cell and sat quietly until sunset and moonrise.

Good and evil are in the choices we make, the ones we don’t, and the ones we allow to happen. Tonight, Jared Evers chose to be a good person. Tomorrow the decision will be made again.