1 & 2
Nearly two months now, that I was trapped in this old shabby hospital in Bucharest. What did one of the doctors say? As God created Romania, he only had dirt, rust, desperation, and poverty left to work with. Someone muttered a genius response. It was the biggest and most elaborate shell game con that made this country survive another legislation period. Two sides of the same coin.
There. Romania in a nutshell.
As amusing as this forced holiday was, it started to bore me to tears. I needed to go back to my cave. The gravitation of the discovery cradled my mind day and night. I dreamt of Ostra. I saw Ostra in my mind. I thought of Ostra. It called for me.
So I planned.
I plotted. Continue reading “Black Door”
Dirt rained from the ceiling of the dome. A deep rumble went through the cave. The Carpathians woke up. “Did you feel that?” Farnsworth couldn’t keep the scare out of his voice. Pathetic. A tiny earthquake was enough to get the man terrified. My flashlight illuminated the ancient pictograms on the basalt slab. This must be Ostra. “Let’s take some pictures, and go back!” His breath made little vapor clouds. Continue reading “Black Door”
Got no bats in my belfry, so I’m not superstitious. Nobody should be. I tell Ira every day I walk him to the theatre.
Fluffy feather-like snowflakes sail down from the grey December sky. The lighter in my hand spits and hisses sparks. The paper of my cigarette catches fire, one drag and my lungs fill with hot, dry smoke.
I thumb Ira’s number in my phone. It goes straight to voicemail. „Fuuu-it’s Ben. Again. Come on. I’m freezing.” The drama group will give me a chew out for this. Continue reading “Jinx”
“THE HORSE DID IT!” I roared at Detective Inspector Redfern, pointing at the nervous beast in the box behind me. He rolled his eyes. The Detective Inspector, not the horse. This was my only chance to solve the murder of Beggy, the jockey, and save myself.
“You, braindead ululating crumpet! You snuck into my crime scene to – what?- brighten my sad little day up?” I kept out of his and the horse’s reach. My jaw still had vivid memories of the time he caught me good with his famous left hook, and no way I came close to that thing. Continue reading “Improbable”
The emptiness in Jack’s chest is drilling ache. The skin feels numb and knotted under his sweaty shirt. His fingertips trace the long pink scar on his breastbone.
There is no reason to rush things.
The surgeons have saved his life. He wonders if it has been worth it. They take away that weak heart. Jack imagines how they pry him open, strip him bare of that sick metronome of his past. They steal all of who he was and hoped to be. Jack’s a new man, with new life force in his groins, a new heart to match and no memories to regret. There are no memories at all. The doctors call it amnesia. Jack calls it a blank slate.
Continue reading “Heartless Jack”
I had Allan’s notebook tucked away in my overcoat. The chain on my lapel glowed in the miserable street light. The gas flame hissed like a feral cat. It barely chased away the darkness, or the autumn fog carried in with the wind from the Hudson.
I popped the chased golden lid of my pocket watch under the glow. The dial showed 10:30 pm. Time to wind up, my gloved fingers twirled the key clumsier than usual. It smelled like it would snow.
Continue reading “Triangle of Uncanny”
“This is not a test.” The blank screen flashed with turquoise, and the logo of the Ministry of Safety and Public Opinion Management revolved. I swallowed. “Uh-oh,” I turned to Maria, but she wasn’t in the living room anymore. My eyes went back to the teli. Something shattered into million china pieces in the kitchen. Continue reading “the announcement”