Tagged: story

Sheep May Safely Graze – Part Two 0

From his knapsack, Xabier retrieved a crust of sourdough bread and a jar of jelly made from some red berries that reminded him of pomegranate seeds. The jelly reminded him of the taste of Earth apples. He thought about his mother making jelly. Long dead, he presumed. He didn’t understand the reason why, but when he signed up for this job he was told time took on a different meaning here. Although he aged barely a year, decades past on Earth and his mother now likely rested in a plot under the olives.

He covered the bread in jelly and brought the crust up to his lips for a bite.

“Ze arraio?”

He saw the flock rush away from the center of the meadow and make a stand against the far rocks. Xabier saw the black and two white sheep fell on the ground bleating like they were dying. He rose off the ground grabbing his staff and using it like an oar to bounce across the field to the fallen sheep. He dropped to the ground in a dead run to the center of the herd. He touched the neck of the nearest animal and brought up a hand covered in blood.

Another animal fell to the ground and the herd ran away from the danger. Xabier thought he saw a ripple of light and a blue flash right before the ewe fell. Her lamb spun away as another blue flash zipped from a ripple of light.

Something was out there hunting the sheep!

“Atzera,” he shouted, but the threat seemed to move closer to the herd. He saw another ripple and, for an instant, he thought he saw a face. Another animal fell and he concluded he needed to move the herd.

He whistled long and hard. The sheep scrambled away from the rock fall and ran toward the barn.

“Laster exekutatu. Run, my lovelies.”

He flew up the length of his staff and bounced up to the herd. He paddled forward over and over until he reached the barn door, opening it quickly to let the sheep spill in. Safe inside, the animals stood in their breathing masks against the far wall of the barn. A collective bleating sound could be heard as ewes searched for their lambs. Xabier looked through a portal to the meadow below. He saw a distinct ripple pattern moving the dead sheep off the field until five animals bordered the far side of the meadow.

He then saw the dead sheep vanish from the meadow as if they were erased. He had been warned about the hunters, but never thought he would encounter them.

###



Also on:

Sheep May Safely Graze – Part One 0

Tin, ting, tin, tang rang the bells of Cantata Nº 208. The boy rubbed sleep from his eyes and covered them to block the dancing sunlight streaming through a slit. He slipped on boots, a filter, and gloves.  The red sun inched across the sky and it would be half a Earth-month before nightfall. Without the chimes, he might have missed feeding time.

Small frame, calloused hands, a full head of sandy-brown hair, he looked very much like a boy, although he celebrated his 20th birthday three Earth-months ago. He lost track of the time on this planet where the sun hung in sky for roughly 37 Earth days. Xabier escaped indentured servitude in the Kleroaren army by signing on as a sheepherder on this planet. Neither the nobles nor the clergy appealed to his solitary habits and rural ambitions, so he ran as fast as he could to the spaceport outside Barcelona. Nineteen months of hibernation, passage along Femmes Soliton, and then he arrived. Xabier was left alone with a coat, a knapsack, a blanket, a staff, and some sheep to herd on the outskirts of the galaxy.

The atmosphere felt dense as he floated to the barn sitting in the center of the Slydal Plain. The sheep numbered 99 and 1 huddled in a stable fashioned from a rusting freighter. The herd had trampled bracken across the metal floor, which the sheepherder had cut earlier when the sun sat only inches from its current position. He wished for nightfall if only to see the stars of the Pyrenees Constellation.

While close to a perfect mixture, the shepherd and sheep still needed a filter to achieve a good mix of breathable air. He retrieved a bag of filters from the tack and proceeded to fit them around black noses. “Egun ona Maite.” Xabier pulled the filter straps tight against the animal’s neck then placed a weight belt on her haunches. “Egun ona Ander.” He wished each animal a good day until the wooly faces stood in a corner anticipating the rush to the pasture.

Xabier slipped a weight belt around him, picked up a staff, and opened the gate. Bright, white light rushed into the barn and the sheep bounced back into the shadows. “Nire maitaleak. Run, my lovelies.” The sheep leaped from the barn spilling out on the bright green pastureland, their front feet floating off the ground, anchored to the soil with only their hindquarter weight belts. Soon they settled down, their heads bobbing off the ground with each taste of the grass, as if they were bottom heavy drinking birds bouncing into a glass.

He took flying leaps over to a rock slab where he rested watching the sheep graze nestled between towering cliffs and rock outfalls in the high-mountain valley. Nymphs and prairie gnats bounced in his hair, he smelled lavender rose, and heard the sound of locust hum interrupted now and then by the bleating of sheep. The shepherd believed this valley felt most like the home he imagined on Earth.



Also on:

The Face Behind the Frame 0

In the periphery, he saw children wearing uniforms crowded around an adult giving them instructions for the day. He neglected to smooth his tunic. No need. It never changed. He clinched his knee keeping his slender fingers straight. The letter balanced on the edge of the table. One errant breeze and it would fall. He hoped it didn’t land out of the frame. He stared into the exhibit hall waiting for the children. One curiously looked up. He realized she had missed him to examine a pastoral scene over his head. He glared more intently to catch her eye.


Also on:

Author Reading : May 16, 2018 – A Moment of Pure Truth 0

I wrote this story after reading about a rare albino redwood on California’s coast north of San Francisco. I saw it as magical and spiritual. If I had my druthers, I’d live in Sonoma County or near Santa Rosa and make my way to the coast as often as I could to see the redwoods, ferns, and rough coast of the Pacific.

This is a short story about a group of people at a settlement conference: a sort of preliminary attempt to close out a lawsuit before a trial. Most of the settlement’s are managed by previous judges, so they know what will fly in front of a jury, and what won’t fly.

I tend to gravitate towards out of body experiences, paranormal, and strange phenomena. I suppose it is part of my belief we all are part of a collective experience and we certainly don’t have an answer for all of the mysteries of the world. I also think our imaginations fuel our passions and experience. So, in this story, I have no problem with a guy believing his daydream is reality.

Original Story: A Moment of Pure Truth



Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 8 0

las vegas story

Cranberry Juice

The emergency room at the county hospital seemed a bit too busy for a Tuesday morning. Tucked in every corner sat screaming babies with frantic mothers, homeless suffering from the heat, foreigners nursing hangovers, and Cindy with a gunshot in her arm.

She sat in the middle of a bed pushed into the hallway with her legs dangling over the edge. A gauze pad with a red circle of blood covered her arm. This part of the adventure she could have done without.

“All I found was cranberry juice,” Wallace said. He snuck up on Cindy as if she might hit him.

“Thanks.” Cindy refused to look at him. She put the bottle on her head and let the cold penetrate her headache. Wallace placed a towel on her neck.

Wallace felt sick. The shootout left a man dead, a hurt friend, and most of all, the end of a good place to stop for breakfast. Moreover, this girl almost died. So close to the age of his youngest daughter. What a mess.

“It will be just a moment more,” a nurse said. “Can I get you anything?”

Cindy opened the bottle and took a sip.

“Just let me go.”

“In due time, dear,” said the nurse.

(more…)



Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 7 0

las vegas story
Paramedics wheeled Charlie out of the club through the mess of wires, broken glass, and water. A medic taped gauze on Cindy’s arm where a bullet broke the skin leaving a bleeding gash. Cuts and scratches covered her legs.

“He’s going to make it,” Wallace said. “How he didn’t die is anybody’s guess.”

How they all survived, nobody could tell. A flash of gunpowder played again in Cindy’s mind as the bullet sent a cascade of water over Bill’s head. Then the bullet came toward her and she froze in fear. It threw up bits of cushion and wood behind her. It must have missed. However, a shock wave climbed her arm and she knew the bullet had hit her.

“You’ll need stitches,” a medic said. “I still can’t believe it happened,” Cindy said. “I could have died.” Cindy smoothed out her dress and tried to cover up her scratches.

“I’ll wrap those too.”

The medic squirted out some cream and moved his fingers over the cuts. His cold hands sent another shock through Cindy. She shivered. He paused. She waved him on and closed her eyes.

On this trip, she planned to find the man responsible for her dad’s death, kill him, and escape the desert. Instead, she landed in a shootout and a robbery.
(more…)



Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 6 0

las vegas story
Todd Loudin heard the shots below his office. They sounded close. He cocked his head to listen. Two more shots and screaming. He rushed to the window.

A man dressed in all black ran away from the Glitter Gulch. Behind him, a half-dressed girl flailed on the ground with a hole in her leg. Another girl wearing only a bikini tried to help her. Green bills blew out of a broken grocery bag. A couple bills stuck to the girl’s bloody leg.

A man in a Hawaiian shirt, a straw fedora, and blue slippers held up his hands. A woman screamed and covered her hair. Todd chuckled. Imagine the sensation back home if she lost both her money and her head in Las Vegas.

Behind the man in black, a revolver spun around in one hand as a small duffel bag followed behind in the other. Todd leaned out the window and watched the stranger run.

The man crossed into the alley with the duffel flying behind him. Thin orange neon roped down the outside of the Golden Gate Hotel pointing to the alley. Todd watched the commotion and fear.

He looked away from the spectacle across the varnished room. He locked eyes on his bodyguard standing watch near a large wooden door. The bodyguard nodded. He secured his gun, turned, and left the room.

“Well boys,” Todd laughed. “All in a day’s work.”

He plopped down behind a desk of polished marble and leather. Todd pulled out a cigar from his jacket, cut off the end, drew it up to his mouth, and licked the end. He reached into a drawer behind him for a match. Lighting the cigar, he settled in for a smoke.

(more…)



Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 5 0

las vegas story
A man dressed in black shifted his weight in the far booth with the girls. Feather hung on him like a white dishcloth and her breasts touched his shirt. She patted his arm when he laughed. The man chewed on a twizzle stick and a baseball hat hung low over his forehead. Cindy saw the corner of his eye when he smiled at Feather.

“They seem full of energy,” Cindy said.

Bill looked behind him. “The night always brings out the happy.” He turned around and eyed Cindy.

“Who’s the guy?” she asked. Cindy thought the stranger seemed out of place.

“Money can make you happy. Dreams can make you happy,” Bill said. “And we have enough of both to make you almost giddy.” He patted Cindy’s hand.

“You could use some happy, right?” Bill aimed to sign up the girl before the party started again.

He smiled a wide grin. Cindy looked behind him to the far corner of the bar. Wallace followed her gaze.

“Likely a guy who figures he might go home with Feather,” Wallace said. Bill twisted his head. “Why don’t you all go home now,” he shouted.

The laughter stopped and Feather fidgeted. The stranger leaned forward and Feather let go his arm.

“Go on. Go home,” Bill said.

(more…)



Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 4 0

las vegas story
Cindy counted the number of bubbles rising up from the bottom of the aquarium behind Bill’s head. A black and white fish floated through the bubbles followed by a yellow and blue. The black and white was missing an eye. Otherwise, each fish looked happy to be swimming in a strip club.

“You should add a clown fish.” Bill looked over at her. “Like Finding Nemo.”

“You are an odd,” Bill paused. “No, make that a pretty, odd girl.”

He decided to file away the question about Todd L. for the moment. It could wait. What he needed right now was a fresh dancer.

Bill leaned around the aquarium and looked down the length of the runway. He shouted at the girls finishing breakfast.

“Feather. Get up here and dance.” Bill pointed to the stage. “Charlie, drop the lights and turn on some music.”

Feather looked down the stage. A second girl slowly pointed with both hands toward where Bill was sitting with Cindy. Feather huffed and slowly slid across the padded seat.

“Move it!” shouted Bill. “Charlie. Lights and Music.” Bill pointed at the controls.

(more…)



Also on:

Greyhound Arriving : Chapter 3 0

las vegas story
Bill DuPree watched Fremont Street for fresh beauty to keep the Glitter Gulch filled with long legs and shapely thighs. If they had a nice set of breasts, well, that was cream on the stick.

As the manager, he had seen them come and go. A girl was going to need a firm foundation to attract the John’s, Dick’s, and George Washington’s stuck in the G-strings of the eye candy. Too bad the candy tended to get sucked dry and spit back out. The girls came and the girls left. Beauty never lasted too long in the Gulch.

Bill watched as Cindy hesitantly walked across the street toward him.

“You have a nice sashay, girl.”

Cindy smiled and slowly walked toward him.

“You must be parched,” Bill said. He gazed at her open dress. Taking stock he slowly moved up to her green eyes. “Let ol’ Bill buy you a drink.”

Cindy smiled and shook her head no. She looked at his shoes; a nice pair of burgundy alligators.

Bill touched her arm and gave it a squeeze.

“Tell me your name.”

He reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an address book. He opened the worn book and retrieved a pen from behind the pages.

“You look like a Tammy.”

(more…)



Also on: