Gather Round the Yule Leg

scary-christmas-tree“Now get a firm grip on my branches kids,” Jeffrey Pine said. “Virginia, don’t you slouch either.”

“I don’t see why we have to do this,” Douglas complained.

“It’s a great way to connect as a family,” his mother said.

“OK, now everyone get ready to swing my trunk into the door,” Jeff said. “One…Two… Three.”

All the Pines slammed their patriarch into the front door so they could gain entrance.  

“Now let’s see what’s left,” he said righting himself and straightening his needles.

“Oh, I told you we should have gotten here sooner. They’ve already taken the tall ones.”

“Now kids let’s take a look at all the humans here. Do you like this little blond one? Or how about this older gray one.”

“He’ll never last till New Year. His hair is already falling out.”

“I like the one with the short hair in the green sweater,” Loblolly said.

“I like that one too.”

“How about you Douglas?”


“OK! We’ll get him. I’ll even let you saw his legs off.” Jeff moved close to the terrified child. “Ha! I would usually need one of you to hold him still but he’s too scared to run. Isn’t that convenient? Now Loblolly hold the bone saw right here…. Yes that’s it… Right through the shin. You want to get a straight cut so we can set him in the holder and decorate him. We’ll have a great fire around the Yule Leg tonight!”

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Future Love

Seeing-the-Future(858 Words)

Clairvoyance has its obvious benefits. Especially if you’re a stockbroker. All it takes is a little bit of clearheadedness and caution to avoid suspicion. Laws are made against insider trading and it’s very difficult to prove you can see the future in court. But if you have the ability to put your hands on the newspaper in the morning and instantly know what to buy and what to sell you can become very wealthy, very fast. You can also make others very wealthy and have a successful career. It’s not much of a challenge, but it pays the bills.

And of course there are other perks. Knowing when to not get on a plane or into a car or on a bus does have a way of lengthening life. It’s always heartrending to see people file onto a vehicle you know will take them to certain death, but what can you do? The only other option is to run around crazed like Nicolas Cage does in most of his movies.

Yeah, there are gains out the wazoo to being psychic. You always know the best route to work. You always know what the weather will be like. You always know if you have enough time to stop for an egg McMuffin in the morning.

But that predictable kind of life can leave a gaping hole in one very important area.

“I don’t know,” she says. “It’s just that whenever I meet a guy, I can instantly see him getting old and fat and sitting on the couch. Or I can see him losing his job and refusing to get another one so I have to support him. Or he’s abusive. Or he has mommy issues. Or…”

og3123201505152106318“OK! OK, Eva I get it,” her friend says. “You have a bit of a trouble just taking things as they are. You shouldn’t be focusing on the future, just try having fun with a guy.”

It’s hard for a medium to just focus on the here and now. Especially one who works with the stock market. But she has learned to control her gift to a certain extent. She no longer stumbles through the living room for thinking she’s already in the kitchen. She’s found a way to block out the endings of movies so she can enjoy them. And she’s even managed to buy clothes in the style of the moment and not what will be fashionable in 6 months. Unfortunately though, there always comes a moment – usually after the fourth date – when they’re holding hands and she sees her future husband and her together in a nightmarish American Gothic, suburban existence. And that’s the better scenarios that don’t end up with her tied up in a basement covered in grape jelly.

“I know, I know,” she says. “I need to just take things as they go. I’m getting too caught up in the future.”

“I know just the guy for you,” her friend says. “He’s sweet, he’s sexy and he’s single. What more could you want? Go out with him. Once. And if you like him, go out with him again. But don’t start planning the wedding until you’ve known him at least a year.”

“OK,” she says. And she meets the guy. He’s everything her friend says he is and more. Sweet, sexy, single and satisfying in bed.

And then it happens. She makes it to the fifth date this time. And then she lets her guard down. She reaches across the table at the restaurant and touched his hand and sees…

Nothing. She doesn’t see a future with him.

This puzzles her. She doesn’t know what to make of it. She’s always seen the future with every boyfriend she’s had. She saw how Nick was going to beat her. How Corey was going to start fooling around after she had two kids and how Larry was going to force her to have an abortion. But with this guy; nothing.

She loved it. She relished it. It was the happiest relationship she’d ever had. They spent vacations together at faraway beaches. They stayed in bed on rainy Sunday afternoons and made love. And after about a year she started thinking about the wedding.

Then one day she wakes up as he’s tying her wrists to the headboard of their bed. She gives him a sheepish grin.

“What’s the special occasion?” she asks. “Or are you just feeling kinky this morning?”

“No,” he says. “Today is the day our beloved Lord Asmodeus returns from the underworld to claim his rightful place on Earth. We must be ready my love.”

Baphomet_by_neserit“You’re joking right, Scott?” His face is serious as he takes a knife from the end table. There is no sign of sarcasm in his voice. “Scott?”

“I love you Eva,” he says. “I’m so glad we found each other. I want to spend the rest of my damnation with you.”

He sliced both of his wrists open as she screamed. He grinned while he slit her throat and laughed as their blood soaked into the bed sheets.

‘Of all the futures to not see,’ she thought.

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Back to the Shadows

TMNT_by_Cranio_Dsgn(788 Words)

“Raph, do you think you could be a little less of a jerk?”

“Not really Leo, that’s kinda my thing.”

“Yeah, you know. ‘Raphael is cool but crude’”

“Shut up, Mike.”

They all stared at the little girl cowering behind the dumpster.

“Look,” said Leo. “We’re not going to hurt you.”

“Yeah,” said Don. “We just want to make sure you’re all right.”

As the giant turtles approached her, she screamed. When they tried to shush and calm her, she shrieked. As they scaled the fire escapes to the roofs, she caterwauled.

“Well,” said Raph. “At least we don’t have to worry about calling the police.”

“It’s just a good thing we got there before those goons could get away with her purse.”

“Or worse.”

“But why?” said Raph. “What does it matter? We saved that girl from the worst night of her life. There’s no telling what those guys would have done to her. And what thanks do we get?”

“That’s not why we do it Raph,” said Leo. Mikey and Don had moved to the opposite corner of the roof and were goofing off as usual. Only Raph and Leo stood watch over the screaming girl fourteen flights below. From the rooftop they watched to make sure the men answering her cries were safer than the men who had caused them.

Or the things that saved her.

TMNT_vs_Zombies_Leonardo_by_pinkhavok“I just don’t understand, Leo. We saved that girl from robbery, rape and perhaps murder. And what does she do when we ask if she’s alright? Starts screaming bloody murder. I just don’t understand.”

“You have to admit. We’re not exactly your run of the mill heros, Raph. People aren’t ever going to treat us as they do the police or firemen, but we do what we do.”

“But why do we do what we do? What’s the point of it? At the end of the day do we really make a difference?”

“Sure,” Leo said. “We made a difference to that girl down there tonight. And we made a difference for those bozos who were going to harm her. That’s all the difference we can hope to make.”

“But why? Why? But why do we have to do it? I don’t want to be a hero. I just wish I could be normal. I wish I could walk down the street and not have to worry that someone will see my green skin or my beak. I wish I could wear the uniform those cops are wearing and get my name in the paper. Or better yet just be one of those average joes who came when they heard the scream. Just to fit in. To be accepted.”

Leo was surprised to see tears welling in Raphs eyes.

“We do it because we aren’t normal, Raph. We do it because of our green skin and because we can’t wear uniforms or get our names in the paper.”

Tears were also rising in Leo’s eyes as he  thought of their thankless jobs. He thought of everyone they saved who had run away in terror as soon as they were free of their captors. Of every person who vomited or peed themselves when they caught a glimpse of their shells. It made Leo sick too. It made him just as sad as it made Raph. It made him just as angry.

“We do it because it’s the right thing to do Raph,” he said. The police were swarming the alley below them. The girl was being shuttled into the front of a police car and given coffee. Her three assailants were being cuffed and dragged.

Raph and Leo wiped their eyes. The night was still young. Three bad guys down; countless more to go.

tMnt_by_BMacSmith“Hey guys,” Mikey called. “Are you coming? I think she’s going to be OK.”

“Yeah, but it’s a big city,” Don said. “There’s bound to be trouble brewing somewhere.”

Raph’s head was still pulled halfway into his shell. A surefire way to tell that he was depressed. And who could blame him? He lived in a sewer with only his three brothers and a giant rat for company. He took licks and dished them out in the most thankless job in New York City.

“Why can’t someone else do the right thing, Leo?”

“Because then what would we do? This is all we have. If we didn’t do the right thing we’d be doing nothing.”

Mikey and Don were already four rooftops away, heading for the nights next adventure.

“Come on,” Leo said. “You never know. Maybe our next rescue will be a pizza parlor.”

Even Raph couldn’t help but smile at that as they followed their brothers into the night.

All artwork came from


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I’ve finally published!

Robbed of Sleep Vol 3I was really surprised when I logged on to this blog page after 2 years and found that I’m still getting some hits.

So for everyone that’s stopped by to check out my writing: Thank You!

Unfortunately, this is a shameless plug post. I’ve recently had a short story actually Published in a Magazine! (as opposed to just published on WordPress.) So I want to make sure anyone who may be interested in it know about it.

Here’s a Kindle Link

and Here’s one for a Print Edition.

Now that I know people are reading this, maybe I’ll stop back and give you a little bit more flash fiction.

Or if you want to rock, you can always check out my Music Blog. 

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Talking to God

TALKING TO GOD (541 words)cross


I was walking down the street yesterday, minding my own business when a man walked up to me and asked me a question.


“Excuse me,” he said. “Have you ever seen a million dollar bill?”


“Yes” I told him.


“You have?” He was obviously surprised by the answer.


“Yeah. Some guy in a bar gave me one once. Said it was a great way to impress strippers.”


“Oh, haha,” he blushed a little. “This may be a different bill. It has a million dollar question on the back.”


He handed me the fake currency, but before I had a chance to read the question he continued.


“Let me ask you something. Have you ever thought about what happens to us when we die?”


“No, not really.”


“Really? You haven’t?”


“What are you getting at man?” I was starting to get uncomfortable. People with counterfeit bills always make me uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure if he was one of those second amendment nuts, libertarian nuts or just a plain old Jesus freak.


“You haven’t ever though about heaven or hell?”


“Not much.” So he was a Jesus freak.


“Well let me ask you: Are you a good person?”


This was more than I could take. This kind of thing happens to me all the time. I must have one of those faces. I’ll just be walking somewhere: out for some milk or a coffee or maybe just having a stroll, and people come at me asking if I’m a christian or if I’ve heard the good news.


It wouldn’t be that big of a deal but an affirmative answer doesn’t make them go away. They aren’t satisfied with me saying I’m a Lutheran and have to spend as much time as I’ll give them telling me why I’m a little shit and I need to do… well, I’ve never let them get that far. To tell the truth I’m not quite sure what they’re after. I just know that they’re really annoying.


Quite frankly I was getting sick of it so I decided to take it up with management.


“What is it you want from me?” I asked looking straight up to the clouds.


“Well, I just want to…”


“No you, minion. Him.” I pointed at the sky. “If you’re trying to tell me something why don’t you send the message through a stripper? Or at least a girl with big jugs?”


I continued walking down the street.


“Oh, lust huh? Well, if you didn’t want lust why did you make boobs? I mean, I’d think that someone as great and powerful as you could think of a better way to drink milk. Like, maybe a cup?”


Now the would-be evangelist was just staring at me as I walked away. I’m not sure what he was thinking.


“Well you’re always sending these people after me…What? You’re not the one sending them?” I gave the forger a worried look. “If you’re not sending them who is? Oh, I hadn’t thought about him


“Why should I worry about heaven? What’s wrong with doing good just for the sake of doing good? Is that so bad?


“Piss off. I know I’m a sinner. That’s what you sent Jesus here for…”


At least that one wont bother me again.


Sorry about all these assholes preaching to you. They annoy me too.


John 13:34-35

New International Version (NIV)

34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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F3 – Cycle 128 – Avatque Vale

Through many countries and over many seas
I have come, Brother, to these melancholy rites,
to show this final honour to the dead,
and speak (to what purpose?) to your silent ashes,
since now fate takes you, even you, from me.
Oh, Brother, ripped away from me so cruelly,
now at least take these last offerings, blessed
by the tradition of our parents, gifts to the dead.
Accept, by custom, what a brother’s tears drown,
and, for eternity, Brother, ‘Hail and Farewell’.

– Gaius Valerius Catullus

 I’m not one for lengthy prompts or lengthy goodbyes, for that matter. So I offer one of my favorite poems above as inspiration to you. Give us a story with a goodbye. And let’s do crime fiction too, because that is really where we started and where many of you thrive. 1,300 words or less, please. Post the name of your story and a link to it in the comments of this post.


Goodbye (708 Words)wave_goodbye____by_imawarhol

At least I got to say goodbye. That’s more than a lot of people get.

I never would have expected anything like it from my brother. He was one of the kindest, gentlest people I knew. I thought the world of him. Even now it’s hard for me to believe he did what he was accused of.


I’ll always remember how it happened. We were driving back from the store. It was a scorcher that day so we’d driven down to grab some beer and ice cream when the sirens went off behind us.

“Oh shit bro,” I said. “Did you run a red light.”

He just sighed.

“What? You don’t have a joint on you or something do you?”

“You need to get out Mark.”

I wasn’t sure what he was saying. I understood the words but not their meaning. When the cops pulled you over you pulled the keys from the ignition, gathered your licence and registration and waited patiently until they came and asked if you knew why they pulled you over.

You never got out of the car.

But Sam hadn’t pulled the keys from the ignition. The car was still running.

“I’m sorry bro,” he said to me. “But I’m not exactly who you think I am. I knew this day was coming and I’m glad it’s you I’m with. I can just say ‘I fucked up.'” He smiled at me. “I have to go. You’re gonna hear some stuff. I’m sorry.”

“This is a joke isn’t it?”

“No, bud. You really need to get out of the car.”

I put my hand on the door latch. I was terrified that when I stepped out the cop behind us would open fire on me. He didn’t. He just shouted over his bullhorn for me to get back into the car.

“I love you little brother,” he said as he peeled out and bolted down the street.

A second cop car appeared out of nowhere and tore after him. The police officer that pulled us over came out of his car with his gun drawn and told me to lie on the ground with my hands over my head.

What did you do big brother? I wondered.


He’d kidnapped several women, chained them in his basement, raped them and buried them in the backyard when they died. It wasn’t the type of thing I’d have expected from the guy who’d tossed a baseball with me in the backyard and picked me up from little league.

When I thought of how he’d duct tape me to chairs when he’d babysit me and I’d get out of hand it seemed a little more likely.

Of course, there’s a line between sibling jokes and first degree murder.

There never was a trial. He led the cops on a three mile chase before he drove his Pontiac off a bridge and killed himself by wrecking into a tree. That was proof enough that he’d done it. Well, that and the two filthy girls starving in his basement with his cum inside them and the four bodies that the cops had dug out of the backyard.

All of a sudden it made perfect sense as to why my brother had never married. Why he always came over to my house to watch football games and why he bought so many groceries.

He wasn’t my just the guy that I loved and looked up to. He was also Ed Gein and John Wayne Gacy.

We didn’t get to go through his personal belongings after he passed away. We didn’t get to have a funeral. We didn’t get a headstone.

Even if we would have been allowed to have a funeral I’m sure the Westboro baptist church wouldn’t have been the only ones wanting to protest.

I hope get to see him again someday. Whether it’s in heaven or hell or some other afterlife that we people don’t know about yet. I just want to ask him what the fuck he was thinking. How he could do this to mom and why he didn’t say anything. Why didn’t he ask me for help? How could he hide something like this from me.

But I know my brother. He’d just grin and shrug.



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Deja Vu

F3 – Cycle 123 – Sprung

Prompt: Write a story about a convict and his new found freedom, whether from an escape or parole.
Genre: Crime, though you are welcome to mash genres. Who knows when or where the story’s set.
Word Limit: 1,700

WARNING: This post contains mature content. Please do not read if you have delicate sensibilities. 

I had several ideas for this prompt but the best one came to me after listening to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” soundtrack.

DEJA VU (963 Words)images

Is it Deja Vu if you’ve actually been somewhere before?

That’s what Melena was wondering on her second bus ride to town from prison. She’d done two stretches for the same crime. Not that she’d killed the same person twice, just that she’d been convicted of manslaughter twice.

And now she was on her way home. Or to the place she called home prior to the last seven years. Oh, if they’d just let her stay there. Prison was so sweet. That was her true home. That was the place she belonged.

Prison was where her family was. Where her husband Tyrone was. Sure, things had been rough the first time in. Back when she’d only had the prison blues to wear and didn’t have any friends on her cell block. All those tough men full of testosterone just itching to put a beating on her to prove how manly they were.

And put a beating on her they did. It didn’t matter where she was. In the shower. In her bunk at night. On the shitter. She got beat so many times those first few months she lost count.

Then they found out what a woman she was. They found out how she loved to fuck and suck all the boys on the cell block. They found out that they didn’t have to release their sexual frustrations through violence. She’d be happy just to blow them or give them her tight little asshole.

That’s how she made it through the first stretch. Doing pretty much what she did on the outside on the inside. Selling her body for protection. For money. For what little esteem it brought her.

Then she was paroled and she went back to the boulevard where she peddled her wares. She didn’t do it because she had no other talents. She didn’t do it because she was stupid. She didn’t do it because she didn’t want to work in fast food or a factory. She did it because she liked it. She liked the attention. She liked the thrill of getting into a strangers car. Of going to a motel somewhere and not having anyone know where she was. The thrill of having a nameless john blow his load in her. Infecting her. Impregnating her. She loved the danger.

She even loved it when she had to kill.

This was her second bus ride home after her second conviction, but there were a few more bodies buried in the desert around this town. She loved the danger but she knew how to handle herself. She knew how to snap a mans neck when he got too rough (which was violence above and beyond what even her patrons could be expected to engage in).

And she knew where to hide them.

She knew that it would just be a matter of time before she’d go back. She’d be back on the boulevard and some boy would come along and want to get rough with her. And she’d kill him.

The public defender would tell her to cut her hair and not wear any make up and dress like a man. He would say that they’d go lighter on a regular guy than they would on a cross dressing streetwalker. She’d probably go along with it. But it wouldn’t be a jury of her peers. There’d be a couple of homophobic jocks and a few of the wives of men she’d fucked and they’d send her back up the river.

She’d be convicted and that would be her third strike. She would get to spend the rest of her life with Tyrone. Pulling a trigger would be like a proposal.

She loved Tyrone and he loved her. What they had was better than any type of prison love. He wasn’t like the other brothers that treated her like a toy they could just throw aside when they were done and pretend she didn’t exist when they didn’t want her. He wasn’t like the Aryan Brotherhood punks who just wanted to pull her hair during blow jobs and then sob about how they’d never do anything like this if they weren’t locked up for one year, two years, twenty years.

Every man had a breaking point. Some men could do long stretches without sex. Some would just read romance novels and jack off in the shower even if they were in there the rest of their lives. Some would rape a smaller guy the first day in.

Melena just loved to fuck. It was what got her in. And what got her out.

He hadn’t wanted the guard to put in a good word for her with the parole board. She just thought he was cute. She’d thought of attacking a guard. She had a shiv that Tyrone had given her for protection. Not that she’d need it. Everybody knew she was Tyrone’s bitch so everyone stayed away unless he offered her.

But now she was leaving that safe haven of a world and going out. She didn’t want to. She would have stabbed a guard but they were all so nice to her. None of them ever gave her any shit. None of them would ever beat her. The one would even pull his cock out of her mouth and blow his cum all over her chest just like she liked. It was hard to stab someone who treated you good.

But soon enough she would run into another john who didn’t want to pay or who wanted to shove a lamp inside of her an turn it on. Then she would kill him. And hopefully she would get caught.

She would do anything to escape the prison of a town she lived in so she could go back home.

images (2)

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