dealer

He had the perfect cover, working as a security guard for a large corporation.  It gave him ample opportunity to be walking the outskirts of the parking lot, and up and down corridors, and interacting with all sorts of people.  His schedule was changed week over week, giving him the chance to work odd hours.  He had access to the video room so he could review and edit any footage that happened to catch him doing something he wasn’t supposed to, but that rarely happened because he knew where the cameras were and how to avoid them.  Plus, as a guard, having passed through their screening process and gone through their training, who would suspect him?

So, he passed his days living his double life, giving the employees some semblance of security by being present to screen people coming into the building and walking through the large parking lots to deter illegal activities there, while selling drugs.  Sometimes he sold to the employees but he didn’t like to do that.  People using on site could lead to trouble and that could lead back to him.  So, those instances were rare.  Usually, he just had his clientele walk through the lot and he’d meet them between cars and swap baggies for cash, both then carrying on in opposite directions.  Or, should the transaction occur close to a camera he would stop and make it look like he was asking if they were an employee, if he could see their badge, and then ushering them off the campus.

While the current setup was good, he knew it wasn’t foolproof so he had plans to cut and run if it seemed like he’d been figured out or if a sting was getting put in place.  He also didn’t plan on working at one location for very long.  He would request a move to a different building, a different business.  He might bounce around for a bit, under the guise of the contracted security guard and then he would figure out what to do next.  He didn’t need the real income.  His drug sales kept him in more cash than he needed.  But, having a legitimate job smoothed out some other parts of his life, like relationships and bank accounts and taxes.

Then all his plans went out the window.  She, he would eventually find out, had a way of doing that to everyone she met.

Advertisements

Nano Poblano Blog Hop Story 2015

Thank you Jackie for including me in the blog hop shenanigans for this year.  I’m not sure if I’ve participated before…  I know I’ve done stories like this, blog hopping goodness, but I’m not sure if it was in November or as part of the Nano Poblano festivities.  Anyway, thanks for passing the story to me.  And, Fishy, what a wonderful way to start it.  I can’t wait to see where it ends up.

The rules are:

Nano Poblano Blog Hop Basics:

  1. Wait until you are tagged, then add a new post on your blog with these rules, the story so far, and who’s been tagged.
  2. Title and tag the post as Nano Poblano Blog Hop Story 2015.
  3. Add at least one sentence to the story.
  4. Pick another Pepper from the blogroll to tag (preferably one who hasn’t already been tagged).
  5. Add a link to your chosen Pepper’s about page (so they get a notification that they’ve been tagged) to the tagged list below.
  6. Pass the story along within two days of getting tagged.

Here is the story so far, with my addition in blue at the end.

nanopoblanohop

Eli stumbled into the compartment, flush and out of breath, and took the only available seat next to an old woman and a child. After months of planning, he suddenly had a bad feeling about this and stood right back up again, but at the same time, the train started moving.

There was no going back. As if to accentuate the point, the jerk of the train starting thrust Eli into his seat. Was he doing the right thing? Was he doing the wrong thing for the right reasons? Eli didn’t really know. What he did know was that the old lady had fake teeth that hadn’t been cleaned in a while, and the child reminded him of all the scary movies he’d seen about children. But that was besides the point. Eli was on a mission. Kind of.

He cringed, wishing he had planned this trip differently. The train ride lasted a full hour, plenty of time for things to go wrong when split-second timing was needed.

A droplet of sweat beaded at the end of Eli’s reddened face as he tried to catch his breath. Luckily, the old woman seemed to be busy telling the child a long and rambling fairy story. She hadn’t even noticed her fellow passenger.

Eli meant to keep it that way.

The child Eli had noticed was Rory, who was on a “real-life Thomas the Train trip” with his Gramma. Eli was right to note that Rory looked a little scary. The poor child did look a lot like Chucky from the classic horror movie Child’s Play…but then maybe that could be said of any three-year-old with red hair and freckles.

Rory, normally the sweetest of all kids despite his devilish appearance, loved his Gramma. Today though, her lack of a smart phone and insistence that “banana you glad” was the punchline to that knock-knock joke about fruit didn’t play well with his preschool-aged attention span. Especially on this long trip. Instead, he turned his attention elsewhere…

“GRAMMA, WHO’S DAT MAN?” Rory exclaimed, using his “outside voice”, pointing directly at Eli.

wpid-20151103_130425
THAT MAN RIGHT THERE GRAMMA! SEE? SEE THAT MAN?!
DAT MAN DARE, GRAMMA! SEE? SEE DAT MAN?!

That man was the conductor of the train and he had an announcement to make.  The passengers gave him the solemnity and respect fairly due to any person wearing such an official uniform.

He coughed sternly and spoke rapidly:  “There has been a minor delay and we’re going to disembark a little early while necessary repairs are made.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  Accommodations have been made for all passengers in the nearest town.  We think you’ll find the quaint, quiet rhythm of Bubbleville to be your liking.  The town is rich with, well– let’s call it history.”

Eli jumped when the conductor started to speak right behind him. At first he thought the kid had been pointing at him, which made him sweat, but the kid instead had pointed at the conductor.

The passengers started to leave the train, Eli followed reluctantly. He had no choice. He had heard of Bubbleville and its ‘rich history’. It was supposedly haunted with the ghosts of its founder Mr. Bubbles, a mean and miserly man and some of the people Mr. Bubbles had done wrong. Eli wondered if the legend was true. He hoped not. What he needed was a new plan, as his was not panning out.

Eli followed the rest of the passengers into the only hotel in Bubbleville. A dark, brooding place that looked more suited for nightmares than restful slumber.

A giant chandelier crashed into a thousand tiny pieces, sparkling with fire and mischief, and Eli, along with his fellow travelers, jumped and cried out in fear.  It hadn’t landed on any one but had come close to squishing the little boy he had shared train compartments with.  The child, for his part, had weathered the proximity of the disaster better than the rest.

Laughing, a rotund man dressed in a too-tight suit came forward from an alcove behind the reception desk.  “Forgive our little pranks.  Our guests, you see, often come with such trepidation that Mr. Bubbles is haunting around that we decided to play into their fears a bit.  Just a bit of fun.  See, look, feel, your tension is already easing, and now you’ll be able to relax more thoroughly than you would have otherwise.”

Eli was not more relaxed.  He was, however, considering all of his potential exits from Bubbleville that might afford him the opportunity to play a trick on the manager before making his full departure.  A rueful smile played across his face as he was shown to his room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The contributors so far:

Fish of Gold
A Disquieted Mind
SVM & TB Stories
Excerpts From Nonexistent Books
NotAPunkRocker
Rarasaur
Jackie
And now me!

Jessie, if you would do us the honor by adding to the story and then passing it along…

the storm approaches

Lightning splashed in the distance, too far away for the thunder to roll against them, but close enough for the dazzling strike to sparkle in her eyes.  She leaned in close, allowing the returned darkness around her to press in and envelop her captive, her eyes offering the only illumination in the room, and whispered, “You will know the true meaning of pain before I’m done with you.”

The sorceress snapped her fingers and the candles in the room flared to magical life.  The flames rose unnaturally high and sent twisted shadows crashing around the room.  They melded with the darkness in the corners and advanced in threatening chaotic battalions, rushing, spiking, withdrawing, devouring.  She had finally caught her betrayer and she wasn’t holding back anything from her arsenal of fear and power in exacting her revenge.

“Stop me if this sounds familiar…  First you are going to lose your hands at the wrists and your feet at the ankles.  Then you’ll lose your eyes and nose.  Then I’ll snap the major tendons in your legs.  I’ll carve my justice from your flesh with searing spells.  When your body gives out and you lose consciousness I will haunt your dreams.  You will beg for death in your sleep and it will not be granted.”

A stiff wind ran through the open window, heralding the arrival of a storm.  The next time lightning danced in the heavens the thunder would shake the foundations of her fortress.  Rain began to drip against the sill.  The droplets splashed inward, pooled in tiny puddles on the dark stones, and ran along the edge to fall to the floor.  The sorceress, normally mindful of maintaining a clean and orderly study, hardly noticed the disruption at all.  Her former apprentice, caught in an enchanted cell that neutralized his ability to use magic, received the full force of her attention.

“How arrogant of you…  How foolish…  To think you could betray me, after I took you in and helped you reach higher levels of sorcery than you ever could have without me, and to not know that I would catch you?  I’m the greatest magician to walk this world, and many others, in over a century.  The ancient trees whisper their secrets to me.  Breezes bring me news from across the lands.  The stars show me the future.”  She spoke a single guttural word, a curse from times long forgotten, and her right hand shifted from flesh to a single gleaming blade, honed to a fine point.  “How could you possibly believe that you could get the better of me?”

She pressed her blade-hand through the exterior spell fabric keeping the betrayer immobilized, and smiled at the feeling of magic caressing her arm.  She smiled wider as a small trickle of blood began to ooze down his cheek below the point she had pierced his flesh.  Her eyes followed the trail down, hoping to watch a droplet fall from his chin.

Her expression of mirth faltered, slightly, however, as she saw the man returning the smile.  Her eyes darted upward and finally noticed the lack of fear in his.  Something was terribly wrong, and she quickly took a step back, retrieving her hand and cancelling the spell that had turned it into a weapon.

“Why aren’t you afraid?”  The sorceress shouted the question, outraged that her moment of revenge was being stolen from her.

Her former apprentice widened his smile and began an low chuckle, that was immediately lost in the crash and roll of driving thunder.

guidance

I got back in the truck, my cheeks burning from embarrassment, and turned to my roommate, “I don’t see any damage.”

He angled his head so he could look into the rear-view mirror and see the car parked directly behind us.  He frowned and then a moment later his features set into the resolved expression I had grown to know so well over the previous five years.

“You should leave a note, anyway.”

I sighed.  I rolled my eyes.  I pretended to protest, but I knew he was right and I would leave my contact information under their windshield wipers.  I motioned for him to open the glove box and then reached over and pulled out a pad of paper and pen that I stored there.  I scrawled my details out, as legibly as I could, considering the rush of adrenaline that was still coursing through me from having backed into the vehicle.

I still couldn’t believe I had done something so stupid.

With another sigh, I got back out of the truck and walked across to car.  I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t help but steal another glance at the bumper to confirm that I still saw no evidence of damage from the slight impact.

My vision narrowed so all I saw was what was necessary for my current task.  I reached the front of the car, propped up the drive side wiper enough to slip my note under and then let the blade fall back into place.  I was so focused on my anger, at myself for having hit the car in the first place, at the unknowns of what would come of giving them my information, at the universe for fating me into that moment, that I almost missed the slight movement of a head ducking down in the back of the car.

There was someone in there!  A child, perhaps, left in the back seat while one of their parents was shopping inside?

Shaking my head, bewildered by the whole situation, I retraced my steps to the truck, stepped in, and turned the ignition.

“Happy now?” I sarcastically quipped.

“Not really.”

“Me either.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

This tale is a twist on a true story, and was written for this week’s Tale Weaver’s Prompt:

Remember an event that really happened to you, then take a fictional character and insert him in the story. Rewrite the event to include both you and the character, change the outcome of the situation, for better, for worse, however you desire.

Some ideas and guidelines:

– The fictional character can be anything, like: a superhero, a protagonist of a book, a part of your personality imagined and shocked alive as a character and a person that in reality does not exist, archetypes, a character from a dream you once had,  and so on.

– You can rewrite the event and create a real story branching off into a fictional one, or you can write a speculative story, as in “What do I think would happen that day, if instead of person N, Snoopy was with me?”

Word limit: 500

…..

In the true version of this story, I was in the truck by myself, and didn’t have the guiding voice of a friend to help me do the right thing: I didn’t walk back over to leave a note.  Therefore, I missed that there was someone in the car.  They wrote down my license plate and when their mom finished shopping they called the cops: hit and run.

Whoops.

Live and learn.

a bad drink

He stumbled in, reeking of the 3 he’d already visited that night, “I’m doing a Halloween pub crawl!”  His words were amazingly clear despite his obvious drunkenness.  The other patrons glanced over their drinks to glare at the man who shattered their silent revelry of dark thoughts.

He slammed his wallet, soggy from the night’s travels, on the bar.  Sighing, the bartender stepped down the length of the counter, “What’ll you have?”

“A Zombie!” He laughed in reply, grinning too widely.

“A Zombie?

“That’s right, it’s a rum drink with…”

“I know what it is,” the bartender turned his back on the man to grab the necessary bottles and put his mixing degree to work.  Who goes out on Halloween to get drunk on novelty drinks?  He could understand the rest of his customers, loners who wanted to avoid the door to door tyrants reminding them of the families they didn’t have.  But they just quietly sipped on their beers and waited until it was safe to return home.

The drink complete, he turned back to the drunk and pushed it across the bar, “Here you go.  That’ll be $7.50.”

He pulled out a damp ten dollar bill, “Keep the change.”  Then he refolded the wallet, stuffed it back into his pants pocket, and lifted the drink, “Cheers!  And may the spooks and ghouls of the evening leave you be.”  With that, he tilted back the drink and poured the concoction down his throat in one go.

He stood from his stool, even more wobbly than he had been when he walked in, and stumbled to the exit.  “Don’t let the night get you down.  The spirits can’t get you if you are happy.”  Then with a little wave he pushed the door open and disappeared.

The parting message gave the bartender goose-bumps but he had forgotten the whole thing ten minutes later.  The voice came from behind him as he was locking up, “I’m one of the ghouls.  Now, where’s my smile?”

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Word Count: 333

Written in response to this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge:

1
usually zombi
:  the supernatural power that according to voodoo belief may enter into and reanimate a dead body
:  a will-less and speechless human in the West Indies capable only of automatic movement who is held to have died and been supernaturally reanimated
:  a person markedly strange in appearance or behavior
2
:  a person held to resemble the so-called walking dead;especially :  automaton
Remember:
  • Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
  • You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
  • The word itself needs to be included in your response.
  • You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
  • Only one entry per writer.
  • If your post doesn’t meet our requirements, please leave your link in the comments section, not in the linkz.
  • Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.