Tag Archives: monsters

Down State Road 66


Passersby likely suspect the eerie little house. The overgrown yard in a shaded wood within that isolated area lends to its rot being practically sensible by smell. She’d just been unfortunate enough to hit an animal when driving past and not simply write an apologetic note to the pet’s potential owner.

A final suspiration left her lungs as the man pulled her inside the sagging door frame after answering her knock. The woman scarcely deserved punishment for such a deed of Good Samaritanship. Not only would the dog she had fatally struck expire that morning but she would as well.


100-Word Challenge – WRITE


Filed under country noir, writing

Stranger Danger


The white van parked sideways across two spaces in a side lot of Pine Creek Wildlife Area had a homemade trailer hitched to the back that took up extra room. An unlatched wooden box sat atop it that emanated such a stench passersby stopped to sniff the air in search of the source for the miasma. Had the driver realized how the box’s timber would fail to contain the foul odor within, he would’ve parked elsewhere to keep any suspicion at bay.

He’d driven half the night to escape the scene of his latest crime and now risked being found elsewhere because he couldn’t keep his eyes open for another minute behind the wheel. This park seemed out of the way in the dark. In daylight, not so much.

A noticeable funk leaked out from between the pine slabs of the box, which drew the attention of a young boy who chased his ball across the blacktop. Brendan looked at the van and trailer when the ball bounced off its back bumper. His imagination put eyes within the wood’s natural grain and told him monsters peeked back at him from inside.

No wonder it smells so bad, he thought. Maybe a tiny ogre lives in there with his fish dinner he left out to rot in the sun. The boy grabbed his ball and backed away at a snail’s pace, fear having shifted him into slow motion. His stomach rolled at the thought of eating that stinky lunch instead of the PB&J that actually awaited him.

His grandmother hollered, “Brendan, get back over here.” She could see someone with long, greasy hair slumped against the driver’s window of the vehicle. Those dirty tresses smeared a streak down the film of its cigarette-yellowed surface. The body didn’t move. Brendan’s grandma presumed any manner of drug-addled state in which that person might be, maybe even a dead one, asleep behind the wheel at this time of day.

Their family couldn’t have known this picnic spot would bring them so close to a real-life monster who drove it there.

Brendan stood transfixed to stare at the timber he perceived was ogling at him. His mouth hung agape until his grandma yelled his name again, and he startled so abruptly he shoved the ball away from his body. It hit the driver door with a thud like a hammer pounding a tin can.

When the man shook awake, he whipped his filthy head from side to side as if to gather his bearings before he fixed his gaze on Brendan. A sneer curled from his lips to reveal brown teeth that could’ve recently gnawed away at rancid smelt, and the boy shook at realizing he was the target of that nasty smirk.

Brendan ran back to his grandparents, the front of his shorts dark from an accident not experienced since pre-school. The van’s ignition caught and tires spun to narrowly miss the boy in its path as it sped away to exit the park. It took a lot of soothing by Brendan’s grandmother to get him settled down enough to eat his sandwich and return to play afterward.

The family never heard the news story of the van driver later arrested for speeding and what, or rather who, the authorities uncovered inside the box on its trailer. Had Brendan’s curiosity gotten the better of him to lift the latch and look inside, his discovery would’ve certainly ruined everyone’s lunch. Although the kidnapping occurred several days prior, a garrote still surrounded the neck.

Our Write Side writing promptmiasma/stench

(photo: Wikipedia Commons)


Filed under country noir, fiction, writing

In God’s Name


robbplusjessie – flickr creative commons

Such a lovely summer afternoon generates a wonderful mood, with the breeze blowing and clouds diffusing the heat as they drift in front of the sun. Folks gathered there instead glanced around at each other in stunned bereavement, their eyes glazed over with grief. The cemetery. No one should have to spend an amazing day like that at a funeral.

Friends of the deceased young man milled about behind the line of family members at graveside. Fellow service members weren’t able to attend the hometown memorial as most of them were still at their duty station. Others from his unit were still hospitalized from injuries they’d sustained in the IED explosion. His were too serious to survive and snuffed out his life at a mere 27 years.

A procession of motorcycles ran along the entire block of lanes surrounding the section of cemetery where he’d be buried. Bikers presented a formidable show of force, a seemingly impenetrable shield surrounding the gravesite, and Sergeant Miller’s family was glad to have the friendly strangers there. Especially burly ones who embodied such strength.

Having their protection made the Millers feel safe in a situation where no such assurance should’ve been necessary. Their son had given his life for his country — the ultimate sacrifice — yet his loved ones and friends had to restrict attendance to only those individuals truly paying their respects. Unfortunately, others arrived who were anything but courteous.

A short motorcade of them tried to pull up to the plot unnoticed in their dented-up vehicles with Kansas license plates. The first car, a faded yellow, late-model Chevy Caprice, came to a stop, and a small man emerged from the front passenger door. His hubris preceded him through an arrogant smile that slithered across his face. He was short and thin, with cheekbones threatening to slice through his transparent skin and dingy blond hair that had grayed into the dull color of metal. Removing a straw cowboy hat, its plastered ring still encircling his head, he waved the Stetson in a broad swoop before him. The gesture seemed a rallying cry to his troops.

The legion of followers emerged from their vehicles — station wagons with small children and teenagers, as well as trucks and SUVs with adult passengers — lifting their block-lettered signs from within. Every last one of them had a message to deliver from the Westboro Baptist Church. They wanted the world to know their congregation’s purpose.  The group, like their leader, believed this funeral needed to be protested. It was their purpose to interrupt a calm, quiet goodbye to a young United States service member in order to purport their mission of hatred.

Signs read, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “Thank God for IEDs.” Others read, “God Hates Fags” and “Fags Die God Laughs.” Funeral goers saw the yellow and black signs emerge in the hands of school-aged kids, and their wails of sorrow grew louder than before. The church members seemed unfazed and urged their children forward to form a parade line. Adult faces, like that of their conductor, glowed with vitriol and indignation, whereas the little ones’ seemed perplexed and anxious. Prods from their elders kept the tiny minions moving regardless of their stilted steps.

A cacophony of motorcycle engines broke through the increasing volume of discord on both sides of the cemetery lane, those on the lush green lawn and others holding harsh placards on the hard, cold pavement. The bikers gunned their motors and moved in between the two factions, revving their bikes to declare their purpose – keeping the unwelcome visitors away from the funeral. An over-sized American flag billowing from the lead motorcycle blocked the church leader’s face from the sight line of dead soldier’s family.

As the driver of the first bike lowered his kickstand, he removed his helmet and approached the man standing defiantly with his cowboy hat in hand and trying to whip his followers into a frenzy. A twisted expression and too-large dentures accentuated his ghoulish features and emphasized the monster he truly embodied, but he seemed to shrink as the leather-vested gentleman neared him. No one else could hear the few words expressed at such close range to the bilious little man, but the congregation recognized his signal for immediate retreat. They all turned, hustled the children back into the cars, and withdrew from the scene in haste.

The clamor faded into the distance, and appreciative cheers of funeral goers eventually settled down, too. The motorcyclists escorted the stymied Westboro bunch out and blocked any chance at re-entry so the burial ceremony could proceed as originally planned. An overhead row of cumulus clouds fully dispersed, and only the harmonious summer songbirds accompanying the eulogy remained to be heard.

One more disgraceful disaster averted … unfortunately, so many more to come.  frifriwri250

*This post is being submitted for The Friday Fright Write at Cheney’s blog Giving Up The Ghost. She prompted participants to “write about the scariest creature you can imagine.”


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