Green Olives

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“Oh, this is great, just great!” James stared at the dead man in his trunk and wondered how the hell he was going to explain this. “A lovely way to start the day. A dead man in my trunk and a woman I don’t remember in my bed. Anything else you wanna throw my way?” he yelled as he looked up at the sky. Then he heard the police sirens coming his way.

 

Running from the sound James came to the bridge that crosses the bay. Determined to avoid being caught up in some weird murder-mystery event, James decided to cross over the bay. With the sound of the sirens receding behind him, James slowed to a walk.

At least it’s a nice day for a walk. He thought to himself. I don’t even remember going out last night, I was just watching the game and.

 

James noticed a familiar woman standing against the railing on the bridge, the wrong side of the railing.

 

“Excuse me, is everything alright?” James asked.

 

The woman turned her head, she had eyes of a dark brown, darker than James remembered, and they were filled with such pain. Recognition came to the woman quickly.

 

“Don’t try to stop me James, you know how I try to stay out of your affairs. Now you stay out of mine,” the woman stated with a tone that James remembered all too well.

 

“Mom?”

 

“Back away James, this doesn’t concern you. Your father is waiting for me, now let me finish this.”

 

“Dad? Where is he? What the heck are you doing on that side of the guardrail? What the heck is happening to me today?”

 

“See, it’s always about you, isn’t it James? You told your father and myself not to meddle, so we didn’t. Look, see what it got us. Now, you will be on your own. I hope you’re happy.”

 

With that James’ mother jumped from the bridge. He rushed to her, too late, and watched as she turned her head and slammed into the water below. The splash was large enough that James could see a rainbow

in the residual mist.

“What the…”

 

The sirens seemed to come from nowhere, and James didn’t have any time to dwell on the death of his mother, and apparently his father, over the side of the bridge.

 

James turned and ran away from the scene and headed to the forest preserve, across the bay from the city. Figuring that he would be able to hide out in the woods for a while to think things out.

 

“This has to be the worst day of my life.”

 

“Why is that mister?” asked a young boy.

 

Where did he come from?

James was startled by the sudden appearance of the kid. “What are you doing out here in the woods?”

 

“Same thing as you mister, — hiding?”

The kid reminded James of someone, but he couldn’t put his finger on it.

“Oh yeah, what are you hiding from, kid?”

 

“Well, you know, it’s hard to explain, but, like my parents are real mad at me and don’t like, understand what it’s like to be a kid.”

 

“Oh, I’m sure it can’t be that bad,” James consoled, ignoring the improper use of the word like.

 

“Oh you don’t know my parents mister. I broke the front window, and like it’s going to cost a million bucks to replace, so they’re going to be pretty upset with me.”

 

“A million dollars, eh? That must be some window.”

 

“It is, my mom always told me that the best thing in her life was that window. It had a picture of some lady on it, and now it’s broke.”

 

That was weird. James did the exact same thing when he was a kid. In fact, he ran away to the woods then as well.

 

“You know what kid, I did something like that when I was young. My parents were pretty steamed about it, sure. But they still loved me.”

 

Did they?

 

Of course they did don’t be stupid.

 

And they showed their love for you by leaping off a bridge to their deaths.

 

That is NOT the point!

Really, what IS the point then?

 

Fighting back his own thoughts, James was going to tell the kid it would all work itself out and not to worry, but the kid was gone.

 

“What the…”

 

The sound of police sirens stopped James’ thought and reminded him that he was on the run himself, and to not worry about some kid with issues.

 

“Now where was I headed?”

 

“To your old tree house. That’s where you always run away to.”

 

The voice brought back memories of a time gone by, but how did she get here?

 

“Darla?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“What are you doing here?”

 

“Helping you of course.”

 

“Uh, aren’t you married and living in New York?”

 

“Of course not silly, you are the only one for me. Just like I am the only one for you.”

 

“But…”

 

“You told me that before our first time, don’t you recall? I needed that reassurance and you said it so sweetly and with what I thought was such sincerity.”

 

“Yeah, but…”

 

“Oh that’s right. I was just another notch on your bedpost. Isn’t that what you told Gary and the rest of your friends?”

 

“But, that was like fifteen years ago, and like, I was in love, really.”

 

“Tsk. Tsk. Still don’t know how to properly use the word like I see. I thought you would have fixed that by now.”

 

“What the…”

 

The sirens sounded like they were right on top of James, so he ran again.

 

“That’s right, keep running!”

 

Running blindly through the trees, James looked back to see if there was any pursuit and how close it might be. Turning back around, James had just enough time to discern that he was going to feel a lot of pain, when he hit the tree.

 

James woke up in a motel room. Lying on his back he noted the water stains from the room above. They looked like a picture fit for the Renaissance. Okay, maybe not that good.

 

“Amazing artwork, those water leaks.”

 

“Ah, you’re finally awake. I thought you might be dead.”

“What? Who are you?” James stammered.

 

“Oh, no one special, remember?”

 

James suddenly realized that his arms and legs were tied to the bedpost, leaving him spread-eagle across the bed, naked.

This is definitely not what I need right now.

 

“Why am I tied to the bed like this? What is going on? Where are my clothes?” James asked, looking at the eyes of this stranger. Despite the heat of the room, James felt a chill running down his spine.

 

“Now, now, Jimmy. Don’t you remember asking me to do this for you?” looking at James the woman saw a discernable shake of James’ head. “No, of course not. Had one too many I guess. Lucky for me, I get paid whether you can get it up or not, right?”

 

“You’re a hooker?”

 

“I like to call myself an escort, thank you very much. Sounds a little more professional, don’t you think?”

 

James started to sputter, “What? How? Where? –“

 

“When and why?” she finished. “My goodness you need to get yourself some of that ginkgo memory-booster stuff. Okay, let me try to refresh your memory. You said that you were having issues at home and needed my services, to take away your pain and anger. We ended up here, you asked me to tie you up, and then you passed out. Like I said, I get paid no matter what, so in this case it was a win-win I guess. I get paid and you didn’t cheat on your wife. I was just making sure that you would wake up, and maybe, you know.”

 

“Yeah, but–” James tried to think clearly, ignoring the obvious proposition, “I was just in the woods, running from the cops…”

 

“Cops! You brought the cops here?”

 

“I don’t know. I just said I was…”

 

The sirens sounded like they were coming from just outside the door.

 

“That’s just great! Now they’re here.”

 

“But, I didn’t, uh, –” James started, as he felt a sharp pain in his side.

 

“You okay?”

 

“Now that is about, the, uh, –.”

 

James felt the sharp pain against his ribs, this time, and noticed that his arm was going numb.

 

Oh great now I’m having a stroke.

 

James noticed that his vision was starting to cloud up, and he felt like he was floating.

 

What a way to go, my wife is going to kill me.

 

Another sharp pain on his side brought stars to his eyes.

“James!” his wife was yelling at him. “James, I swear if you hit that snooze button one more time, I’m going to start kicking you!”

 

“What?”

 

“I said wake up! You are going to be late for work, if you don’t get up soon. You kept hitting the snooze button, so you brought it on yourself.”

 

“What?”

 

“Wake up dummy! You have to get ready for work.”

 

“Oh, right.” As the realization of what just happened hit him. James turned off his alarm clock, thinking that he needed to get a different alarm.

 

“Hey honey.”

 

“Yes, dear.”

 

“I love you.”

 

“I love you too. Now get up and get ready, you still have time to catch your train.”

 

“Okay. Honey.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Don’t let me eat green olives right before bedtime anymore.”

 

Horrorgasm

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Victor Volitz died on a Tuesday, in Violet Virginia – population 425. By Saturday, his seven children and the rest of Violet were dead as well. This is their story.

Jenni found her father Victor dead on the sofa with his favorite television channel still playing the latest Bridezilla meets Toddlers of Honey Boo Boo on vacation, at a volume that would wake the dead. In fact, Jenni didn’t notice that her father was dead until after, at least, five more episodes (it was a marathon, you would have done the same, admit it) and her father’s smell had gotten to the point where she had to get up and open a window, and tripped over his outstretched arm.

“Daddy, move your arm you lazy sack of bloviating pus!”

Jenni loved her daddy.

“Seriously daddy, you could have hurt me.”

Three more shows and the window wasn’t helping.

“For the love of all things holy, go take a shower!”

Jenni was deeply saddened to learn later that she had been talking to a corpse, but also that the social security would be stopping now, and she might have to get a job. Jenni isn’t sure what bothered her more, but figured she better get the rest of the clan together so they could mourn right and proper.

Or fight.

Fighting was way more fun than mourning anyway.

***

The phone would ring for five minutes before going to voice mail. Holly had set it up that way because her son Henry loved to hide the dang thing and it would take at least that long to find it.

It took four phone calls before she finally found it, by where she was originally sitting, and found out that her father had died and that she would leave her family behind to attend a funeral because she didn’t want them to be unduly influenced by her family back in Violet, and to be honest, she really wanted some time alone so she could sleep through the night. It would also give her husband the opportunity to ‘feel her pain’ while taking care of the babies and fixing the dang cell phone and iPad which seemed to be slipping through her fingers and shattering.

Holly left a note and coupon for a great pizza parlor, and headed back home to mourn her daddy. Also, it would give her a chance to beat the crap out of her brother Roger. That piece of work really needed a good beating after what he did last Christmas, sending rum balls that were obviously re-gifted from their sister Kathë who was the only one that actually knew how to bake.

***

Janet had to leave her choir contest in Hawaii to get back for the wake and funeral, and was none too happy about it. Although it came at a good time, as good a time as hearing about your father’s death can be, as she was on the run from the hotel security, and possibly the Honolulu police department and kick that loser lesbian Lana’s ass for getting all uppity about a freaking poem that she had spent seventeen weeks agonizing over.

It was really only three days of agony, but this bitch had seventeen week’s worth of beat down coming, and Janet was only on week thirteen when Jenni called to let her know that dear old daddy dearest had finally met his maker.

The bastard always got in the way of a good beat down.

***

Karen was ‘milking’ Jack to help him out with Margo, when Jenni called with the news of their father.

“Karen, I have bad news.”

“Yeah Jenni, me too, Jack just won’t get off enough to impregnate Margo and now the vet, says his sperm count is low and abnormal, but I refuse to believe that especially since I paid a small fortune for the dog to begin with…”.

“Dad is dead.”

“Okay and what’s the bad news? Are Roger and Katherine going to be there for the wake? You know those two and their weapons of comic destruction.”

“Well, I haven’t called them yet. Do you think I should?”

“Nah. Besides, I’d be willing to bet that Holly already told them – if she can find her phone that is.”

“Good point. I think she’ll be here in an hour. I’ll ask her then.”

***

The wake was being held at Victor’s house, technically it was in the garage, because Jenni didn’t know how to organize one until it was too late. Luckily Bryan and Siobhan, cousins from mom’s side of the family, got wind of the death of Victor and offered to get him “all pertied up” for the wake, as long as Jenni had somewhere that they could dump the blood.

The wake was a splendid affair that was attended by no one in town because, well, no one liked Victor.

Not one single person in the entire town.

***

Roger found out that his father had died when his sister Holly called. She promised not to call Katherine, yet had called her first, so she really didn’t break the promise to Roger. She did not promise Katherine anything, in fact after making both calls Holly decided that popcorn would be in order for the upcoming ‘show’ when the wake got started. Holly was also no dummy, and told Katherine the wake started at three, while she told Roger it started at four.

***

At three o’clock a limousine pulled into the driveway and Katherine had arrived. Everyone looked at Jenni, who simply said, “I didn’t call her.”

“What’s up bitches? Where’s ole fat and flabby? I got a little something I want to show him.”

“Katherine it is so nice of you to come and see father off to his everlasting peace.”

“Everlasting peace? Shit he’s in Hell watching the action to get started, I’m sure. Either that or he’s sleeping through it all.”

“Katherine, he’s dead, so there is no need for sl…”

“No shit Janet! Glad to see those brains of yours are still in working order. Sing any good hymns lately?”

“I, uh… kiss off KATE!”

The knife that struck Janet in the right arm came from Katherine, for sure. Only no one actually saw her throw it. No one called Katherine, Kate, and lived to see the next day. Everyone knew that, yet Janet decided to throw that gauntlet down right away.

Janet was also prepared, getting a gown made of Kevlar was expensive, but well worth it when it came to meetings with her family. Momma didn’t raise no dummies, unfortunately momma didn’t really raise any of them after Roger and his fat head arrived and ripped momma open so much that she died in three minutes after his arrival.

***

Roger arrived thirty minutes early, as was his custom, and thirty minutes after Katherine. He knew that Holly had called her before she called him, because Holly liked the show.

Getting a double-edged sword through airport security isn’t the easiest thing to do when all you have is a carryon bag, so Roger had to collect the swords he kept near the house, which were hidden just for such an occasion as this, the wake of his daddy.

He would, of course, save Katherine for last – she always was a good adversary.

***

Sheriff’s report from the weekend:

Victor Volitz’s Vast Violent, Vindictive, Vehement, Versatile family Victimizes Violet.

Death count: 440, including the decedent Victor Volitz and his family.

Root cause: A wake gone bad

Summary: A member of Victor Volitz’s family, we suspect either Roger Volitz or Katherine Volitz, somehow rigged the entire town to explode violently at approximately 1537 local time. No citizen survived the explosions; basically they wiped the entire town off the map.

—- I really wish that I could put that statement better, but it really was that simple, town go BOOM!

Meanwhile at the Volitz residence the family was having a wake for the deceased. Those present included all seven of Mr. Volitz’s children, along with a niece and nephew who were there after preparing the body for burial. (Illegally, I might add, but it really is quite a moot point now when you come to think of it)

The best that forensics could determine is that shortly after Victor’s only son Roger arrived, the town blew up, at which point Kathë had her head removed from her body by a double-edged sword (see exhibit A & B), from what we could gather in talking with those familiar with Mr Volitz (Roger), he didn’t like the fact that everyone seemed to know that he didn’t know how to make rum balls and had been re-gifting the things to his siblings under the pretense that he did in fact make them himself. For that, his sister was decapitated.

Forensics then believes that Janet, who had just missed losing her arm moments earlier, died from blunt trauma to the head, forensics suspects a frying pan (Exhibit C), and they also suspect that it was from a backhanded motion, which if true, really makes me impressed. With the forensic team. No really. How did they figure that one?

Karen, who was wearing gloves because she was apparently trying to get some doggy sperm from her dog Jack by utilizing her hands in a milking motion (okay you get the point, and there is no need to mention that the dog’s name was Jack(forget I wrote that, in triplicate(CRAP))). There was no dog found at the scene of the crime. Who knows, maybe there will be a bunch of little Jacks running around in the fields somewhere. I suspect he never quite expected the stimulation that he received from both Karen and the sword and frying pan wielding nut jobs. So yeah, Karen was the third to go.

Bryan and Siobhan didn’t seem to put up much of a fight and were found embraced together with their heads bashed in. Not only was Katherine good with a backhand, she also was pretty quick as well, since we only found the one frying pan (Exhibit C).

— if you are still reading this and keeping score, that means Katherine was leading by a count of three to one, unless of course we determine that Roger was responsible for the town, in which case he will leave as the ultimate victor. If I may interject some more personal narration into this report than I already have, I suspect that Roger and Katherine may have been in cahoots for the town death toll, so I would give them both 210 additional bodies. I have been ordered to complete this report in a timely fashion for the judge’s review, as in NOW, so I must.

Jenni, who was trying to hide behind her deceased father was found with an axe to her head which was found rolling around in the garage after a furtive search – we suspect that Jack thought the head was a chew toy, at least until he got wooed away from the scene, as there were many bite marks on the ears, and the head appeared to be dragged a short distance as well. Forensics is still trying to determine if the axe hit the head before or after decapitation. I’m inclined to call this one a tie.

Holly suffered a single gunshot wound to the head; her popcorn was spilled and resting on an iPhone with a cracked case. We believe that she saw what was coming and wanted to do it her way. Friends said that she will finally get some sleep, and hope it wasn’t truly a suicide, since her soul will never make it to Heaven now. She was very devout in her faith, from all accounts.

That leaves us with Katherine and Roger. One with an axe in the head, the other without one, if you have read this far I am sure that you will know which is which. Regardless, it was a real horrorgasm.

Signed,

Sheriff Jeni Micha Tirk

For Judge

Jennifer Spencer

On this ninth day of November, in the year of our lord two thousand thirteen.

Red Light

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The house has been abandoned for nearly three years. The windows are covered in dust from years of not being cleaned, yet the structure remains sturdy and there are no broken windows or doors. Even the cellar door is locked and latched shut. Whoever left this house wanted to make sure no one got in there apparently. If you were to look inside the house you would see sparse floors that have a Berber carpet that hides any dust that may be collected, and looks like it has been undisturbed for as long as the house has been empty. The yard gets attention from a landscaping company, who makes sure that the grass is cut every couple of weeks in the summer and that any fallen tree branches or overgrown shrubbery is taken care of.

No one has ever seen the landscapers, but they had to have been there at some point.

There are three rooms in the house that you cannot see in due to them being covered with heavy construction paper that has been painted black, either to keep the light in or out. Since the house is abandoned, one would suspect that this was just something the former owners overlooked when they decided to abandon the house.

Is the house really abandoned if the heat is still on and the yard is maintained and the electricity is still humming through the wires to power anything that requires power? Obviously someone is paying some bills to keep these things online. Someone cares enough to ensure that the yard still looks nice and that the outside appearance of the house makes it looked lived in, as best that it can be.

The house is situated on an old farm road that is now used to access newer homes of the people who want to live in the country, yet still have modern city amenities like running water, cable, garbage pickup all the comforts of the city right there in their old country home. The house sits alone and has a barn in what can be considered the backyard, that looks like it is ready to collapse on itself. The neighbors tell the kids to stay away from the barn.

The kids rarely listen.

Thankfully no one has been hurt from a collapsing barn, yet no one has ever called the county regarding the safety risk it involves while barely standing there on its own power, if barns had power. If anyone did call the county, the county determined that there was minimal risk, and since they have engineers trained to ensure the public’s safety, the public goes on believing the barn to be safe. Since no children, or adults for that matter, have been harmed by the dilapidated barn, the county has considered that case closed and will review the case again on an annual basis, promising the people that if the need does arise in the future where the barn must come down for safety’s sake, the county will step in and take care of it.

I walk my dog most nights, when I feel up to it, or maybe just want to get out and enjoy the fresh air for a while, along the road and most nights I don’t even notice the house. That is not the case this evening. This evening the house has caught my attention fully, to the point where my dog starts to tug nervously on his leash trying to get my attention. A little yelp come from his mouth almost as if he is trying to harshly whisper at me to “get a move on it big guy, let’s get home” and I stare a moment longer in amazement and finally snap out of my dazed state and turn to look at my dog in a manner that says I’m not happy.

I turn back to the house and it is back to normal. Almost like nothing has changed, yet I know what I saw.

There was a red light on in the picture window of the house and a shadow behind the light.

Hallways

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The room is at the end of the hallway.

Great.

I just hate hallways.

I really hate hallways in hotels.

The man behind the desk just told me that my room was at the end of the hallway.

Bastard.

Oh well, what better way to deal with ones fears than to face them head on right? I’m not sure who said that first but from my current vantage point, I think they can kiss my ass. Face your fears they say, well who the hell made them the authority? As cliche as it sounds, I will still have to ask, who the hell are they, anyway?

I have always hated hallways for as long as I can remember, it’s something to do with growing up on the road with a traveling band or something perhaps. Always spending time on the road in various hotels with many hallways lining the past, always moving on from one group of rooms to another.

Always with hallways.

Always with many doors.

Sometimes those doors had hidden messages that came in the form of drunks, pedophiles, hookers, or just plain dumb ass individuals that like to pick on kids that really shouldn’t be walking in hallways alone.

That still doesn’t deal with the current situation that I found myself in. I just checked in and the room number is 224, which is at the end of this hallway. This poorly lit, smelly hallway in which many people pass through on a daily basis, from the maids that purport to clean the rooms, to the drunks that sleep of the six-pack of beer they drank at the nearby bar because they are away from home and can only fight the loneliness with booze.

Yeah these hallways make me shake and quiver in fear for some reason.

The first step is always the hardest.

The next fifty or so aren’t too bad.

Room 216, the door opens.

I pause.

I see the foot of some footed pajamas worn by a three-year-old girl start to come out before the voice of her mother stops her from going any further. The door closes abruptly.

I breathe again.

I take another step.

I inhale and notice a new scent, one a mix of stale cigarettes and fresh mint gum.

Room 222, three more steps and sanctuary awaits for another night.

The rope was made of nylon so that when it slipped over my head there was nothing to snag and slow down the progress to my neck, not that it matters much anyway since it takes less than a second. I will be dead in approximately three minutes, unless something is done and done now.

Click

The door opens and I open my eyes.

Closing the door allows me to return to reality and finally get my tie off.

I think I hate neckties more than hallways now.