Isolation

Standard

Every hotel in Arizona, it seems, has that one room in their availability that they’re famous for… the one room that guests swear they can hear the sobs of an unseen woman coming from.  The one room where things that go bump in the night materialize, manifest and become real.  What someone thinks they see in the corner of their eye, and then disappears when they face it head on, thrives in the shadows, existing in the realm of the subliminal.

isolation

Continue reading

Continuance

Standard

Ma’s Bar & Grill is packed to the gills tonight, strange for a Thursday night.  Greg Adamson sees the crowd, hears the noise and thinks to himself, Of course it would be like this tonight.  Every other night it’s dead, but tonight has to be the night where I can barely hear myself think.

Across the other side of the bar, he eyes Candice Laughlin, whom he intends to propose to this evening.  The way he’d imagined it, the way he saw it in his head, it would be just the two of them to one corner of the building, with a few locals and regulars scattered throughout.  He’d lean in and talk in a low voice and remind her that this is where they met three years ago, when they were both only 19.  Then he’d get down on one knee, the way he’d seen in a million movies, and show her the ring he bought her.  Ideally, he wouldn’t have to say a word, and with tear-filled eyes, Candice would simply say yes and they’d kiss.  Maybe the others at the bar would look over casually and see this and whoop and cheer, but that was only optional.

continuance-photo

Continue reading

The Trump Complex

Standard

November, 2016:

President-Elect Donald Trump stands before a large, amassed crowd for his acceptance speech. Most of the crowd is cheering, the protestors having been forcibly removed by his own team of secret service agents and privatized police. He looks pleased as he stares below at, what from a distance looks like an amorphous blob, but up close is a sea of individual people.

His lips curl over his teeth and he silently mutters to himself, “This is it. I’ve done it.”

Continue reading

Her Name Was Carmen

Standard

IMG_0107
I did two tours in Iraq and when I was there, I saw all manner of awful you’ve probably heard about on the news.  When the other officers told me that when they saw Derek Turner on that day in June, they said it was the worst thing they’d ever seen.  I didn’t doubt that it was the worst they’d ever seen, but I had a pretty strong stomach at that time, so when I saw him all covered in his daughter’s blood like that, I could take a second to think, gather my senses, book him, get him all cleaned up and get him prepped for questioning without losing my temper.

When we first saw him there, he looked white as a ghost.  He wasn’t wearing a shirt.  But he had these blotches of blood on his chest where the blood had seeped through while he was still wearing the garment.  Most of it was on his hands and on his face.  There was a small smattering, like a spray, along the side of his face and we concluded that was from the blunt-force trauma that killed the girl.  The rest of it came from him cradling her after she had died.  You see that pretty often:  Someone kills someone close to them and then they immediately regret it.  They hold the corpse, somehow thinking that if they give it enough love, they can undo the hurt they caused.

Continue reading

Colony: Part 3

Standard

The nine survivors huddled cold and scared beneath the shade of the fallen tree and shivered.  In the distance, they heard the cries of their captors boom through the valley.  They knew it would not be long until they were found.  The only question was, once they were found, would they be killed on the spot or would they be taken back to the compound?

IMG_2892 Continue reading

Colony: Part 2

Standard

Sgt. Rachel Friedman remembered the Fourth of July.  She remembered when her family would drive out to Lake Havasu before it was finally closed indefinitely because of the toxic levels of pollution found in its water.  She remembered how she and her brother would have their dad light sparklers for them and they would run in the night and twirl the sparkling sticks and hold them high and watch the lights flicker and fall and extinguish before finally reaching the ground.  She remembered the smell and the sounds they made.

IMG_2091 copy
Continue reading

Colony: Part 1

Standard

He peered through the wooden slats on the windows: It was dawn. It was dry outside but there were tall pine trees stretching high toward the sky, mingled with desert plants. If he had to guess, he’d say he was in southern California, somewhere north of where Los Angeles used to be. Or northern Arizona, up by Sedona or Flagstaff.

If he’d had a chance to study the animal life, he could be more certain—hell, they could be up near Portland for all he knew—but these quiet moments in the morning only lasted so long. It was enough to feel the breeze, understand the beauty of sunlight… and then their captors would march in, like clockwork, the same time every morning.

IMG_2032
Continue reading