Momma

The phone rings as Jeff takes a long sip of his Tennessee whisky. He hesitates, not wanting to ruin his lazy Saturday afternoon. The downpour meant he couldn’t go fishing, getting drunk was the next best thing.

The phone rings again. He picks up the handle, “What?” He mumbles.

“Jeffery Daniels?” The other man questions.

“Yeah, what you callin’ me fo?”

“Sir this is Captain Solders from Colby State Penitentiary. We’re calling on behalf of your mother.”

Jeff hung up. He didn’t want to deal with this today, he took another sip and stared out at the storm clouds.

The phone rang again. And again. And again.

“Man, I don’t know what kind of trick you tryin’ to pull here but my mom died twenty years ago. I ain’t got time for your pranks.”

“Uh, Mr. Daniels, we have your mother here. She’s well alive, we have her set to be released today and we’ve had a heck of a time trying to find you. She said you’re her only relative.” Captain Solders said in a concerning voice.

“It’s raining.” It was Jeff’s only concern. Mostly because he never really believed his mother died, they never even had a funeral for her. He was curious to actually see who this officer was actually releasing.

“Uh, yes sir it is.”

“Alright. But if I was fishin like I was supposed to be y’all would have been shit out of luck. Where do I need to go?” He sipped his whisky again.

The officer on the phone sighed in relief. “Thank you. What you’ll need to do is head to the main gate, tell the gatekeeper that you’re here to pickup an inmate. They’ll direct you where to go from there. You’ll need an ID.”

Jeff hung up the phone, downed the rest of his glass and grabbed his keys.

After signing the necessary paperwork and leaving the penitentiary, Jeff and his mother started the long drive back to his house on the lake.

“You don’t need to give me the silent treatment, Jeffery.” The frail woman sat in the passenger seat and looked at the trees passing by.

“They said you were dead, ma. Then out of the cloudy gray sky some police dude called from some upstate prison said you were alive and well just sitting there waiting to be picked up by your only relative.” He stopped the truck on the side of the road. “You care to explain any of this before I take you back there?”

“Just wanted to protect you baby. It’s a lot easier growing up thinkin your momma’s dead instead of the truth.”

“And what was the truth ‘momma’?” Jeff gripped the steering wheel. While most children would be happy seeing a long lost parent, he was angry. And for good reason too.

But she didn’t answer. Just stared out the window, tears in her eyes.

“Come on, I’ll take you home.” He started driving again.

“Could we do something first?” She waited for an answer but could tell he was in a bad mood. “Could we get a real meal? Something hot, and not mushy?”

“You remember that steak place we went to when I was 10?”

“For your birthday?”

“It was the last time I saw you.”

“I’m sorry, Jeffery.” Her tears welled up in her eyes and slowly rolled down her cheeks.

“It’s alright, ma. Let’s go there.” They drove in silence.

At the restaurant they caught up on all the things she had missed during his adolescent years. Jeff indulged his mother, telling her about graduating school and the job at the factory and the girl who almost-was. About how he struck up a good amount of money and bought his house and the lake and his new business. All the while the question still grew in his mind until he couldn’t take it anymore.

“What did you do momma?”

“I…”

“You can tell me momma.” He gave her a stern look.

“I told the cops that I was the one that killed the man in the park, honey.” Her tears began to fall again but she didn’t sob.

“The park?” Jeff was confused.

“Yeah baby, the one over on pine street.”

He fell silent and stirred food around his plate. “But they said he had a heart attack?”

“No, baby.”

“You killed him?” The memories rushed to his head. He wished he had been able to fish. Or maybe he hadn’t answered the phone. Above all, Jeff wished he had still been sipping on his wisky. He looked up and noticed his mother’s face and all of the memory hit him at once. “….I killed him.”

Mrs. Daniels, with tears in her eyes, nodded her head.

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Sir Bowlsworth

Sir Bowlsworth is a small restaurateur in the south side of France. He serves mostly soups, and is widely popular in the area.

The people in France look past his American heritage and appreciate him for his knowledge of basic knowledge of bisque, chowder, and soups. (Of course, no one really knew the difference)

Sir Bowlsworth was even knighted for is servitude to the French by the Queen of England, which no one had ever received such an honor by a foreign dignity for such a small act.

The only soup not popular in Sir Bowlsworth’s line up was what he called “Tomato.” To the French people he served this was a disgusting soup which they likened to liquefied ketchup. An American condiment they never used, made to go with the American popular-French Fry.

His customers never asked for the soup but it remained on the menu, and he still made it hot and fresh everyday in hopes someone would give it a try.

One day, Sir Bowlsworth decided to put a new item on the menu. A grilled cheese sandwich, to complement his unpopular tomato soup. His customers were outraged. “Why would a soup restaurant sell a sandwich!?” They cried. The idea was totally preposterous! They wouldn’t even give the sandwich a try.

It was months before a very curious customer came into the shop. She was holding a French translation handbook and had a cassette tape with headphones draped over her shoulders. “Puis-je avoir la soupe au fromage grillé et à la tomate?” She said very slowly in a near perfect accent, glancing at her book ever so often to get the sentence right.

Sir Bowlsworth looked confused. He had waited for this day for a very long time. He said “Oui.” and guestured for the lady to take a seat anywhere she pleased while he prepared her meal. The French customers were equally confused, who would order such an American abomination?

He brought the lady a bowl of his unpopular tomato soup with a plate of goey grilled cheese sandwich.

She said thank you in her best French accent and began to tear her sandwich into pieces and dip them into the soup.

The other customers were in complete outrage! Who would do such a thing! They all stared at her, including Sir Bowlsworth. No one had ever treated his soup with such carelessness.

“Ma ‘dam, you must be American.” He said.

She looked at him, “Yes, you sound American too!” She smiled brightly as if this was the first American she had seen on her trip.

“Oui, Ma ‘dam.” Sir Bowlsworth smiled.

“I’ve been looking for something like this! It reminds me of my mother and home!” She asked him to sit down.

He was so happy to have someone to talk to that appreciated his tomato soup. It was indeed his mother’s recipe, and much like this young lady, it reminded him of home. In fact, it was all he had eaten for the past few months. He didn’t want it going to waste either since none of his regular customers would not touch it.

Sir Bowlsworth and the lady sat and talked all day long, with him occasionally serving his customers.

From that day on the French customers enjoyed the soup as the lady had, with tore up grilled cheese pieces in their tomato soup. The lady even went on to be Mrs. Bowlsworth, and everyone was happy and lived happily ever after.


Late Night Drive

And I had hoped he would turn off the road. I didn’t want to go home yet.

I wanted to sit in our blissful silence. Nothing but the sounds of the road, the soft guitar in the speakers. Lyrics of a stranger speaking words we weren’t.

Heading into tomorrow, street lamps and headlights the only thing illuminating an otherwise dark landscape.

This is our happiness.

He must have known that too, as he turned off our beaten road.

He knows as we sit in our silence, filled with soft guitars and street lamps, he knows I didn’t want to go home yet.

The occasional whisper of something, he’ll mention, a thought he picked from my brain. A thought that had not yet kissed my lips.

He takes the smooth roads and easy curves at speeds he dares not mention for he knows my reaction. I stare out the window and enjoy our moment. The moon now our only guide, peaking through vapory clouds.

We don’t know where we’re going. If he does have an idea, he hasn’t told me yet. But he doesn’t have to. I’ll sit here in blissful silence, the smooth roads and easy curves and hazy moons and soft guitars, with him, any time.


Replacement Parts

My life is pretty simple. I go to work, I come home, go to bed, then start the whole thing over again.

I have done this for years and years and years.

There’s a few issues with that though. I’m lonely. It’s impossible to find anyone like me, believe me I have tried. It’s also hard finding proper replacement parts. 

I can usually tell when a part will start to rot. It’s not as functional and gets an unusual green tint. Luckily I can get away with just telling people I have the flu, humans in general are clueless. There was one particular case though that I hadn’t noticed a part was beginning to rot. It was my elbow. The green tint had turned into a nasty purple bruise like color. The functionality of an elbow is limited unless you move your arm around frequently. My profession at the time didn’t require much movement. 

The man next to me in my cubicle had asked how I got such a gnarly bruise. We had developed a decent friendship at the time so it was difficult to find a reason. Maybe I fell off my ladder at home trying to fix the gutters? He didn’t believe me, we made enough money at that job to hire out the work. I had to wear long sleeve shirts for the next two weeks until I found an elbow that matched my current body style. 

I tend to stick with the more tall, slightly muscular, lighter skin, dark hair, type of male body. That’s what I was originally born with. They didn’t have any ways of picture taking at the time so I roughly go off of memory. I do have a special box at home where I keep wallet sized portraits of the different styles I have chosen.

It is particularly hard finding a face. That always means an entire lifestyle change. And I need to do it quickly. I have to anticipate my skin beginning to rot, which could happen at anytime. 

My victims always have a proper death date. That is always preset at their birth, but I have no way of knowing. This means that I could replace my hand or my left butt cheek or my knee and it could begin to rot the next day or the next year or like my trusty left hand. My left hand has been with me now for 15 years and has survived two whole lifestyle changes.

I tend not to get too close to anyone, I have never let myself love any woman in a romantic sense. There would be too much heartbreak on both my end and on hers. I came close once in my teen years however. Before I realized what kind of thing I was, that is before my first encounter with my own body parts failing me. She was beautiful, and very smart for just having a one room school house education. I will say that over the years I am proud of the freedoms society has given itself.

The girl was infatuated with me as well, there was talk from her parents about matrimony. I courted her as any other young man would do for the time period, I even stole a kiss when our chaperone was not looking. It all came to a halt the day my father told me about his lifestyle.

My mother died during childbirth, she was human and could not handle the force inside her. My father let me grow up as normal as possible and I never noticed his changes throughout the years. It was the eve of the big town festival when he came to me in my bedroom to tell me that we had to leave. That’s when I noticed his pale green face. I begged and begged to get to go to the festival dance with my girl, not understanding what he was trying to tell me.

“My face is going to fall off, Orville, we need to leave tonight.” I remember him telling me, clear as day. Father explained what kind of creature he was and who my mother was and their love story. He explained the agonizing pain he felt at her death and how he promised to never let me have the same fate. His change of face meant it was time for him to leave our town, and after much protest I realized that he was right. It was time to leave my hometown in search for father’s new face.

He taught me how to hunt and about human’s death dates and how he always tried to keep himself as young looking as possible. And for whatever reason, if we needed to take a human’s life before it’s natural death date it didn’t change the expectancy of the part we took. It wasn’t often that we needed to take a part that killed a person, just for the vital organs and things like face and heart. Father assured me that in his 257 years of existence he has not once had to take a heart. So far in my lifetime, I have not had to as well.

Father did not tell me however, if there was anyone like us. He was a little care free in his older years and not long after we were to successfully replace his face and establish ourselves in a new town on the other side of the country, he replaced a pinky toe from a man who was later diagnosed with tuberculosis. My father died from the disease as it spread quicker than we could replace his parts. I keep a vial of his ashes on a chain that I keep with me, as a reminder.

I have learned from then on to make sure my victim is healthy. In these more modern times, that is an easier task. The most difficult is finding a new identity. There was once instance that I took a mans face, which of course takes his life, and I assumed his identity, told his family I was moving away and never wanted to be bothered. It worked.

Some day it will be my time to leave this world like my father. I have come to find several places I would like to settle down in. But this world is so beautiful, and I am not ready to leave it yet. Maybe that’s why my father lived so long. I’ll never really get to know all the secrets that come with my curse. But at least I have lived a few really good lives.


Payton’s Dreams

My good friend Victoria was having a dinner party to celebrate her nuptials to some lawyer on the Northside. He wasn’t able to attend but she put her heart into the dinner. I had arrived early and the roast was not quite ready yet. 

Victoria was good friends with the next door neighbor who had a 11 year old child. I could never tell if it was a girl or boy, it kept it’s hair at a messy ear length. Victoria introduced it as Payton, which was an ambiguous name that still left me confused. Payton smiled shyly and curtsied. Ah, a girl. I hoped. 

Victoria and her neighbor left for the kitchen and left me there with smiling Payton. She looked up at me and wispered something. 

“What’s that dear?” I leaned in closer to her.

“Do you want to see a secret?” She smiled again.

Unsure of what she would show me, I nodded. She smiled even bigger as she took my hand and led me through the kitchen. Her mother gave her a stern look and said, “Don’t be long dear, dinner will be ready shortly.”

Payton nodded and tugged on my arm again as we went through the door to a basement. 

I noticed there was another set of stairs on the opposite as if this were a connected basement between the two townhouses. We hit a landing and continued down more stairs, I felt a chill as I started noticing drawings on the wall. I wondered if this is what Payton had wanted to show me. They started off with smiles and flowers and happy stick figure people but as we reached the bottom of the stairs I realized there were more, not happy stick figures. I looked around the boxes of storage, not sure which house they belonged to. “What is it you wanted to show me Payton, some of mommy’s old toys or something?”

“No.” She said as she kept walking. I followed although I was becoming a bit uneasy. This was definitely an unused basement meant only for storage. The lighting was poor and there was a terrible draft coming from the door we were headed to. As Payton reached out her arm for the door she whispered, “this is what I wanted to show you.”

Behind the door was what should have been a wine cellar but had more boxes of storage. As I stood there in the doorway I began to notice more things drawn on the wall. These were more detailed and very grotesque. Images of crimes one could only imagine for TV shows. “Payton, what are these?”

“My dreams.” She stood smiling at me.

“What do you mean?” I looked at the drawing closest to me, it was a woman and a little boy. Looked vaguely like a headline out of a newspaper I had seen a few years back.

I looked next to that one and there was another drawing of another crime I had seen in the papers years ago.

“These are what I see. I draw them, and then they happen.” She kept looking at me with the same smile on her face.

I began to walk around the room, awestruck, until I came upon a beautifully detailed sculpture out of red clay. “Can you tell me what this one is Payton, I hadn’t heard of this one.”

“Oh! That’s a dream I have that hasn’t come true yet. You see, this man here, is frantic. He thinks he’s figured out a way to cure his son. Cerebal Palsy they called it, its really bad. Well the dad here has decided to take bits of his own brain and put it into his son’s so that his son can have a normal life. But he has gone so mad that he doesn’t realize he has killed his son and is now about to kill himself.”

I stood there quietly trying to process the information. Her sculpture was very detailed, you could see the son was lifeless with his head sawed open with an electric hand saw used for construction. The man’s face was in panic mode, not realizing what he had done yet. “Payton, when did you have this dream? How fast do these dreams of yours come true?”

“It was about a year ago, sometimes they happen right after but sometimes not.” She looked at the sculpture.

“I wonder when this will happen.”

“I don’t know, I was hoping you could help me. Mommy says you’re a retired police man.”

I just stared at her and nodded.


Blog November Thirteen

Good evening fellow blogger. Or reader, or follower, or random person who used a google search and somehow ended up here.

We’re in the middle of NaNoWriMo and I know I mostly prepared you all for me writing everyday with doing Inktober prompts as writing prompts. That was fun, and honestly I’ve had more motivation filling those all in since I lagged behind a bit. My Novel this year is centered around a girl who is among infected people. It’s zombie-esque. But that’s about all I know. I’m on November 13th and I haven’t gotten much of anywhere with it. Some things have held me back, just like they do every year. Writers block being one of them. I can’t seem to think of the main disease killing everyone around my protagonist. And I mean, HELLO! That’s a huge plot point! I haven’t watched too many Zombie movies to really pick out the good and the bad. I’ve had this novel in mind since May and have come up with nothing good. I’ve also been busy. My work just took me off overtime so I’ll finally have a few extra hours in my day to hopefully write more. Another thing keeping me from even sitting down was that I didn’t have a name for my protagonist yet. How can you write a story without a thing as important as a name!! Anyway, tonight I actually had time to search the babyname sites and I think I’ve settled on a decent name.

Anyway, I know I’m really far behind, but I’m not quitting this year like I have in the past. I have 18 whole days to catch up. And hey, maybe I’ll only get to 20000, or maybe even 40000. But that’s way more than I have now, and I’ll be okay with that. Shoot for the Moon and you’ll land amongst the stars!
(which is dumb. the stars are farther away, and if you don’t make it to the moon, you’ll be sucked back into Earth’s gravitational pull)

NaNoWriMo Count: 1529


Inktober: United

Day 29.

Dorish was new to the Monster University, and though all her classmates looked as if they were friendly she still felt out of place even after a month of being there.

She had tried several times to make friends but every time she would introduce herself she would run into a brick wall. It seemed like she was the only monster with her unique characteristics. Of course she was, she began to think, that’s what made her unique.

She had long flowing brunette hair, coming from only her head of all places! And she had two beautiful and seemingly small eyes compared to other students. Her pale cream skin was mostly exposed and she wore dresses and skirts and jeans to cover herself from cold conditions, especially in gym class where the temperature was near freezing.

She attempted talking to the large blue hairy monster in her gym class but he was almost twice her height and couldn’t understand a word she said.

She attempted talking to the small green lizard girl in her Math class, but the lizard was skittish and ran away.

When the first semester was over, Dorish still didn’t have anyone to talk to outside of group projects that we’re mostly handled over the monsterline.

Things started to turn a new leaf once Dorish headed into the new semester. She spotted a monster similar to her type across the quad, but everyday she saw this other monster it was gone with a quick blink of an eye.

That was until finally, she crossed paths with the other monster. It had darker skin than her but lighter hair, with brown eyes.

She attempted to make an introduction, the other monster smiled.

“Finally another human!” It said.

But Dorish was confused. She knew she was a monster, what was this other one talking about? Humans were slimy her parents told her. Humans were hairy her parents told her. Humans had funny tongues that made it sound like they had balloons in their throat her parents told her.

If this new monster was really human than her whole life had been a lie. She knew she was adopted, but from the human world!?

The new monster introduced herself as Cora and explained everything that gave Dorish human characteristics. It took some research and convincing but Dorish started piecing all the info together and finally came to the realization why other monsters at the University never paid much attention to her. At first she was upset. But she slowly came around to the idea.

Dorish was happy to find a new friend in Cora and together they were the best of friends beyond graduation. Dorish was finally united with a monster of her own kind.