Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Devoted Plumber

Harv walked up the sidewalk. It was a fine, sunny Sunday, and he felt damn good. He had a great life with a great job. He was one of God's chosen; he was a plumber. It was a responsibility that he took very seriously. The modern world depended upon him, and his brothers and sisters, to keep the fresh water running in and the shit moving out.  He anticipated the familiar squeak of wood as he stepped on old Mrs. Howell's front porch. He gave a happy three raps to the front door.

"Mrs. Howell? I am back like I promised. I have that piece for you."

The door was unlocked and he walked into the the front parlor. He stood in the entrance as the sun warmed his face and breathed in the old lady smell of the house, which was laced with a trace of cigarillo smoke. He smiled with the wonder of it all.

Mrs. Howell's teacup poodle, Prissy, ran up to him, wagging her tail. She was  a friendly little critter and seemed to join him in celebrating the day.

"A plumber's work is never done, Prissy." He bent down and pet the curly, white head.

He walked upstairs to the bathroom that was next to the master bedroom.  He placed his big toolbox on the floor and took out the necessary tool to finish his work.  Mr. Howell hung limply from the shower rod where he had tied him yesterday, unconscious, but still alive.  Mrs. Howell peeked in the door.

"Hi Harv! I just got back from church. Don't let me interrupt you, but would you like some tea? I made it this morning, and some cookies."

"Maybe when I'm done, m'am."

"Oh! I do apologize dear. I'll run along."

Harv picked up the ceremonial dagger and recited the prayer. Mr. Howell moaned lightly. Yep, a plumber's job was to get rid of the crap, and Harv was a very devoted plumber.


I participated in NaNoWriMo this year, which you probably already knew, if you  read the The Protector of Hartley  post. While writing, I decided to join my local group, which was the awesomeist (Roll Tide Druid City Wrimos!) Now that NaNo is over, I have joined a weekly writing group and it has been great. (I have been twice.) There was a posted prompt for the month called An Unexpected Gift, which I wrote a response to and will post and you can get to it by clicking the title above. I haven't shared it with the group yet, and I'm not sure if I will (I'll explain why in a minute). Tonight, I was given a title and I had to write a story for it. This post is what I wrote. The group had a positive reaction to it, if a little shocked. People who meet me in real life before they read my writing tend to be a little surprised by what I write.

I am worried, however, that I may be a little stuck when it comes to my horror writing, though. I really love a twist, and I am worried that it's all getting to be a little one note. An Unexpected Gift reminds me a lot of  Charity. This story seems to be a little derivative of Stephen King's The Lawnmower Man and the Milkman One and Two stories; Morning Deliveries and Big Wheels:A Tale of the Laundry Game. (Although, I am probably flattering myself with the comparison.)And I would actually be okay with rewriting King stuff, if that was my intent when I started writing. I did not start this story, though, thinking that I would like to write a reworking or even a fanfic of those stories. So, the similarities are a bit frustrating. I am interested in seeing how participating in the writing group will affect my writing. Maybe you will see more short stories here. Maybe I'll even get a third No Sleep story written. But for now, I may just flow with the group, see what happens, and work on the NaNo story I started. Plus, I want to get back into poetry prompts and NaPoWriMo is coming up fast!  Maybe (don't hold me to this) I can even be a little more regular about posting. I have so many drafts that are just waiting for me to hit the "publish" button. I guess we'll see.

An Unexpected Gift

In front of her apartment door, there was a small, exquisitely wrapped box.  Michelle looked down at the package and then up and down the hallway of her apartment building.  She was all alone. She held her bags closer to her body, so that she could unlock her front door and carefully shooed the box in with her foot. She left it by the door as she went to the kitchen to leave her groceries and then went into the living room to drop off the extra couple of hours' work she had brought home.  Michelle always brought home work. She had a very demanding boss.

The box stayed on the floor while Michelle prepared supper. She had had another hard day and was grateful for the chili that had been slowly cooking in her Crockpot since this morning. She stared at the box while she sat in her comfy chair and ate. She thought that she knew what may be in the box, but it would be too wonderful to hope for. After all of the years of hard work, all of his careless, hurtful words, had he finally relented? Had her boss finally given her what she had longed for all of these hard years?

Michelle thought back to lunch  two days ago with Berenice. Michelle had taken a couple of hours personal leave in order to spend time with her life-long friend.

"If only he knew what he did to me, I'm sure things would change." Michelle had spent the last hour chronicling her relationship with her boss, Jerry.

"Does he know how you feel?" Berenice took advantage of the hitch in Michelle's voice as  Michelle turned her head to wipe a tear.

Michelle, overcome with the depth of her emotion, nodded, ever so slightly, while holding her hands to her mouth.

With a faint inhale, Michelle said, "He just laughed at me. He..." Her soft voice broke and she shook her head, repressing a slight sob.

"How about I have a little chat with him? After all, what are best friends for?"

Michelle smiled and nodded, happily, tears rolling down her dewy cheeks. Berenice was a wonderful friend.

Michelle was jolted out of her reverie when her phone rang. She smiled sweetly when she saw her friend's picture on her phone.  "Hello, Berenice," she answered.

"Hello, Sunshine! Have you received any interesting packages today? I think that Jerry gave you something very precious."

"I have been looking at it all evening. I was going to do some work now before I opened it."

"Open it first. Call me back when you can. Ta!" Michelle heard the smile in Berenice's voice. She pressed the phone to her lips in an almost kiss and then walked across the room. She sat on the floor and opened the beautiful box. What was inside took her breath away.

There was a card underneath her gift. She picked it up, opened it and read Berenice's script.

With love, from Jerry. He wanted you to have this before his little trip.

 Michelle picked up Jerry's ring finger with his ring still on it.  He had finally made her dreams come true. The lying, grabby, sexist, bully of a boss was finally fucking dead.

Michelle was so happy.


Response to writing group prompt.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

NaNoWriMo Excerpt From "The Protector of Hartley": Annie is Having a Bad Day

And now she was stuck at the fucking red light. Annie was in an awful mood. This week's nasty creature had just been a diarrhetic cow. It was quite possibly the nastiest thing she had ever encountered, bloodied wendigo and all. She had had her back to the cow when the next attack occurred, and she was standing at the business end. She was covered in cow diarrhea. And JT had seen that it was going to happen. He could have warned her, but, NO. It was more funny having her covered in crap after dragging her to the ass end of the county for a monster that wasn't. If they had been in his vehicle, he wouldn't have been so calm.

Now, sitting at this light with no other traffic anywhere, she fumed. Her teeth were hurting from how tightly she had her jaw shut. In her peripheral vision, she could see JT sitting very still and quiet with his eyes facing forward. Smug, asshole, son of a bitch, she thought.

"I SHIT ON EVERYTHING THAT MOVES!" And, immediately, Annie felt better. The light changed and she drove forward, already thinking that a hot shower would be nice. She could feel JT staring at her.

With a side glance to him she said, "What? You've never read The Bloggess? You should, she's hilarious, and just full of helpful tips."

The Volkswagen Beetle drove westward as the sun continued it descent.


I didn't hit my 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, but I did manage 36,001. This is the excerpt I placed on my NaNo novel page. It just occurred to me to share it with you. I think NaNo fried me in a way the NaPo doesn't. It was a whole bunch of fun. Plus, you can go read The Blogess through the link. You are very welcome.