the experiment

the experiment
content warning

I got you a blanket, so you won’t freeze.“ Steve smiles and hands Tom a grey woolen cover.

Already half undressed, Tom furrows his brows. He stops mid motion, shoe laces around his fingers. „It looks scratchy. I’m hungry, and it’s freezing.“ He looks at Steve’s face and stops again, irked. „Don’t stare like that!

Like what?

Like I was a piece of cherry pie. Stop that. It’s awkward.

The blanket flies to the autopsy table. „I just can’t please you, huh?“ Steve smirks. „When did you eat the last time? Continue reading “the experiment”

The BookFeet

a chuck wendig prompt (204 words) - here

I had my notebook and a pencil safely tucked away in my parka. A glance at my wrist showed it was 9:30 pm. Right on time, this time at least… I relied on the weather report, which said no snow, no rain.

Between Houston Street, Canal Street and South Ferry Station was something I dubbed the Triangle of Uncanny. I’ve been down here for nearly a weird week, every night.  I’ve been exploring the streets, the parks towards the Hudson, taking notes. Today was Teardrop Park on schedule.

The triangle… That thing kept spitting out huge dark figures, gestalten, weird shops, I never was able to located during the day. The empty streets were as inviting as ever. That never failed to get the writing juice flowing. I heard the Hudson ahead, licking at the piers and walls of River Terrace.

A young girl, not older than twelve stood at the entrance of the park, waiting for me. Her straight dark  was hair tied back, her bright sand colored eyes beamed at me. “Welcome to the moonlight market, pilgrim. Password. Please.” She smiled a broad, nearly friendly smile.

“Uh…” I said, and remembered what that hobo screamed at me. “Uhm…BookFeet?”

Out of the Carnival and the Soul

a Chuck Wendig prompt (202 words) - here

“Pablo? Wake up, you’re gonna be late again.”

Only one person says my name like that. That soft, honey like sound, the smile at the end of the sentence. She always used her smile as punctuation.

So thirsty…

My love is gone, and I’m alone with a big ass hangover, sprawled on the couch. “Gimme five more,” I mumble out of habit, only five more minutes…Damn Carnival, I drank enough to pass out.  How did I make it back then?

I try to remember her scent and pretend I can reach out, and touch her hand, to hear her breathe. Maria…

But she’s gone.

Forever.

Killed.

I had the strangest dream. I have made a bargain with an old gipsy last night. My smile and my soul for another body and soul. I still hear the old man laughing his head off…

“Come on, hon.” The couch moves, a weight shifts to hoover over mine. Fingertips  and a brush of coconut scented hair brush my cheek? What? “Did I scare you?” I… I can’t believe it!

“Maria… How?” She’s here? Her warmths under my palm, her face… It’s real!

“Oh, sleepyhead. It was just a bad dream.”

 

cold ‘n’ empty

cold ‘n’ empty
  • content warning (language, violence)

 

You are in serious trouble, when you are on foot and heading to the meanest part of town.

Blue Hill, the dangerous. Not one day without headlines of murder and mugging in Blue Hill, the bellybutton of mayhem. The tabloids are full with that kind of crap.

Well, it’s not that they aren’t right… They certainly are, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface.

And you are the one who knows that, far too well. Continue reading “cold ‘n’ empty”

green humid hell

green humid hell
chewing this piece over, changing POV. You like it?
also content warning, language slipping

Howard took a big gulp and pulled a grimace, eying the bootle in disbelief. The beer tasted like lukewarm navel lint, already…

The mosquitoes kept singing the most annoying siren song of the jungle. Feet on the handrail of the porch, the man gazed down the only road in proximity. Well, it wasn’t an actual a road, more a beaten track ending behind their guest house.

The seven houses huddling together, barely merited  the name village.

It was the smallest he ever saw. The town hall was also the local dive. People were pragmatic, no doubt about that. To south the border  was the river, to north the jungle. In fact, the jungle was everywhere. The white plastic chair trembled and creaked as he shifted his weight.

Every now and then some children, or dogs, or men, or pigs passed the porch, not taking notice of him being bored. And the only thing Howard hated more than being bored, was being ignored.

He saw a black and white spotted pig not noticing him, so he threw his nearly empty bottle at it. And missed, with more than three feet. The noise of bursting glass made the pig stop and look both ways. Nothing threatening, it grunted irritated and strutted down the track.

„Gguuh!“ Howard roared, punching the air around him. „How the hell do people cool themselves here!“ Nick poked his head from the house.

„Said something?“ Howard turned, shifted his weight to balance on two hind legs of the chair. He looked up with most elaborate puppy-eyes-technique he could manage. His fingers clenched desperately into the fabric of Nick’s T-shirt.

„Please! I just feel it…“ He rasped theatrically. „I’m dying.“ Nick rolled his eyes and sucked his teeth. „It’s killing me!”

„Just take a bath, Howy, like everybody else. ’N quit your yapping.“ Howard uncurled his fingers with a sly grin. His chair flopped back to stand on all of its legs.

„My favorite cryptozoologist! I’m melting, and your only advice is to take a bath, which is potentially dangerous to deadly. Is that all you have to say to save my life?“

“Don’t get on my nerves! I’m busy cleaning up your mess.” Nick shook his head in disbelief. He turned on a heel stomped back inside.

“Which one?” Howard called after him. 

green goes great with bruises

green goes great with bruises
  • content warning / HWWF 2015 assignment

“Nice” Mary licked her lips with concentration. She bowed down over her right hand. “Careful now.” She whispered to herself.

The nail polish brush stroked evenly over the arch of her right middle finger. The creamy butter yellow of the coffee table clashed with the sparkling aquamarine of her nails.

The dull metronome on the kitchen wall ticked away a bit too loud. Shabby thing, she thought. The new photo wallpaper of King’s Cross Station, she put up herself, didn’t go well with the white and green porcelain clock. Mike brought it back from some garage sale. Yesterday she saw a golden rimmed station clock on the shopping channel. That would go just fine.

On the big TV screen, Emily Garner’s Jewelry Show flickered on mute. Pearl earrings and pendants waltzed into full shot. Mary leaned back and chuckled. Those earrings were pricier when she bought them last week. „Ha!” She felt lucky, hunting down the best bargains. That was her world. She could start as a pro-shopper. That’d be a great job, her dream job, in fact. Being the wife of a private eye was boring her out of her mind. Mike was nice, but never glamorous, or mysterious. Mediocre at best. The last time he wore a smoking was at their wedding.

The keys chimed as her husband rammed them into the lock of the entrance door.

„Home, hon!” Mike’s voice disturbed Mary in her admiration for the peridot pendant on the screen. She turned up the volume.

„Kaaay!” She said, eyes glued to the TV.

„Dinner?” Mike asked head poking into the living room, but Mary didn’t answer. After waiting several seconds he went investigating the kitchen instead. Nothing. The stove was cold, and there was nothing prepared in the fridge. The freezer was stuffed with frozen lasagna, and something that looked like mac’n cheese. “Dammit, Mary.” He closed the freezer and sighed. He had enough of these kind of welcomes. He felt like someone had put his head into a bucket full with ice, and his heart on the grill. „Hey, Mary? What’s for dinner?”

„What you order, Mike!” She hollered from the couch. He just stood there, head hung, arms perched on the kitchen counter. He tried to breathe in deeply. This wasn’t what he wanted to come home to. After all those hours in the car, on stakeouts, he longed for something home cooked. For something that could warm him, from the inside, like the thanksgiving dinners his grandma had made.

Mary was different. She ate like a bird, when she wasn’t on some weird diet. Everything to fit into her fancy clothes. She had absolutely no passion for cooking, music, or movies. Everything he loved. The only thing on her mind was money, jewels and fancy clothing. She worked hard for her ideal beauty, that he had to admit. But beauty was only skin deep.

Mike picked up the phone and dialed. „H’lo, yeah. I’d like to order a big pizza. Yeah, uh-huh. Top it with extra cheese, anchovies, olives, onions, salami and bacon.” Mike walked over to his wife, poked her on the shoulder, and pointed a finger to the phone. She shook her head. „Yeah. To 2352, Remington Avenue. Yeah, okay. You too.” Mike put the phone back. He thought of a shower, but decided to have a smoke instead.

Mary didn’t allow him to light a cig inside. It made the curtains yellow, she used to say. Somehow, it was convenient. He wanted out, so he could breathe again. He grabbed the lighter and threw a look at his wife, marveling at some stupid jewelry. Shopping channel. Again. He decided to take a closer look at their bank account. He’d be damned if he missed her addiction, or something. His shoulder leaned against the door, he slowly pushed down the handle.

In the living room, Mary snuggled into the couch cushions. That necklace with jade and gold was breathtaking. Only four hundred ninety nine! They were kidding. So cheap! The dark haired model wore it with a dark green satin robe, with a deep décolleté. She looked astounding. Mary scrambled to get the phone. She dialed.

The entrance door blew open. The sound made her jump, and the phone fell to the ground. „MARY!” Mike roared from the entrance. She stood. He was hunched over, carrying something big and heavy in his arms.

„What the… Stop that! Don’t carry the trash back in!” No! That was a human! It dawned on her the instant she closed her mouth. Dirty sneakers, black jeans, black hoodie, a hand flopped down and dangled lifeless from Mike’s grip. She couldn’t look away.

“Come on! Don’t just stand there!” Mary didn’t move, eyes bulging. “I found him outside, behind the trash cans.” He groaned, the man was heavy.

She scrambled to make room. “Is he… Is he?” She stuttered.

Mike laid him on the couch. “No.” Now she saw, it was a young man, limp and dirty and senseless. Blonde hair, bleeding from several cuts on brows, cheek, nose and mouth. His face was blueish purple on the left side.

„Oh god,” she gasped, hands covering her mouth. Mike turned around looking at her. She’d pass out, if she had time to get worked up.

“Water, towel, peroxide. Now.” She rushed into the bathroom. Mike’s hands seeked for a pulse. His face relaxed, „strong and steady.” He stroked over the man’s brows with his thumbs, then on the jawline. No crepitation, that was good. His hands checked shoulders, elbows, hands. Seemingly okay. Nothing broken, as far as he could see. He pulled the lower eyelids down. White. Eyes rolled back into his skull.

Mary came back with everything he asked for. “Most likely, it’s a nasty concussion. Don’t worry,” the pained expression on her face didn’t ease. He smiled at her. She was pale, her eyes glowed with the fire he used to love. There was a glint of the magic Mary meant, so perfect, so kind and caring. She was still alive in there, just hiding all these years, in the skin of this person he married. He was relieved that it still existed. For a moment, he imagined Mary’s beautiful face and her burning eyes above him, glowing in the darkness, rocking above him… Rocking him. His mouth went dry.

„Hon, I’ll go check outside,” she looked at him anxiously, „please clean him up a bit.” She was just nodding holding tight the bowl with the water. He needed to breathe.

Mary knelt down beside the man. „Why us?” she asked. The man on the couch looked peaceful, like a sleeping child. In fact he seemed to be in his early twenties, a lot younger than she thought. Her fingers wetted the cloth. The smell was overwhelming. Carefully she touched the face. She could tell, it was beautiful, even with dirt caked on his temples and the back of his head. His brows were long, lips arched like a Mongolian reflex bow. Under her hands, the skin became brighter and brighter. She set the bowl down and cupped his bruised cheek with her hand.

His eyes flew open. Green!

That moment broke into her, like a green bottle’d burst into million shards glistening in the sunlight. She gasped. The green focused on her, it begged her barely audible. “Please…” How gorgeous he was… She’d cut herself on that green. How sweet that pain would be! The green hid again behind his eyelids. A tear ran down the bruised cheek. She felt the young man sink back into the softness of unconsciousness. Mary stared in awe. She smiled a little embarrassed smile. She blushed and wondered how anyone could hurt such a lovely being.

She took his hand and squeezed it. “I’ll take good care of you now. Everything is going to be alright.” She whispered into his ear.

Sleipnir

Sleipnir

this is an assignment I’m working on and thought of sharing with you guys-

also content warning: strong language

 

„Where’s – the horse?“ The words. So hard. To speak. Heavy. My eyelids are heavy as stonework. I swat at the light in my eyes and the fingers forcing them open.

„What horse?” The light hurts. Who’s voice is that?

„That kicked me. Somewhere…Chest” Sighing. „Proto?“ The light and fingers retract. The floor is spinning, so I have to hold tight.

Above me, a silhouette fogs up. „Don’t you scare me like that, EVER again!” I know that uniform, that shape. A captain-shaped uniform! Huh… What’s he doing here?

I’m soaked and flat on my back. „Still on the ship, aren’t I?”

„Aye. Still on board of my Sleipnir.“ His words fall on my stomach, their weight make me nauseous. My head is empty. Think! What am I doing down here? Something went wrong. Dosage? Anaphylactic reaction? Why am I wet?

„Oriented to location. Now tell me your name.” I obey.

„Oz. I mean Oscar Wellington. Doctor.”

„Good. Who am I? Don’t roll your eyes, you know the drill. Location, person, time, situation.” Yes. I know the drill.

„2198.“ I don’t have to think. „You’re the captain. Edward Wong.”

A disappointed shade crawls over his face. Or is it anger? I can’t tell. „Do I have to run a drug test on you? Were you high, or what?! How do you explain THIS?” He waves at me, the destroyed electronics and scattered data sheets on the floor. „Why were you locked in, and floating facedown in that tank? Spill it!”

Everything’s smashed… I sit up. Just look at that mess! My work! „I-I dunno.” Six months research! What happened here? “Wires?” What am I hooked up to? A defibrillator unit… „How many shocks did I get?”

“One to 250 and three to 310 Joules. Jumpstarting you wasn’t easy. I might have cracked or broken some of your ribs.”  He looks at his hands, as if they were bloody. “It looked like you wouldn’t make it.”

„Explains why I feel like a schnitzel…”

Eddy’s eyes search for mine. I can’t stand the look. „Who did this?”

Why was I fully dressed, if I was doing a hibernation experiment? “I’m sorry—„ I start pulling off the electrodes of my chest and back. “I can’t remember. All I know is… I was testing new chemical compounds.” My first accident ever. Cardiac arrest is not an option… Strix Genome won’t be pleased with my near-death-experience… Of course, this is not the first accident with hibernation research anyway. CPR is taking long, which means that my electrolyte metabolism is off balance… Where is my safe guard? Where is Proto?

“You mean, you did this on purpose?!” Eddy bellows. “You little prick! You asshat! You were DEAD! No breathing! No pulse! What do you call that?! Fuckin’ power-napping?” Oh-uh. That shade of red can’t be healthy. A human volcano is going to spit a ball of anger right into my face.

“Eddy, I’m sorry.” He grabs my torn shirt and pulls me up to his face, lips tightening.”- Really sorry. Okay?”

“–NO! What if I hadn’t pulled you out in time? Or the liquid destroyed your lungs? There are no prosthetics on board! And you are THE doctor. IDIOT! Even downloading and printing would take nearly half a day!” He lets go and turns to leave, but has some powder left. He’s not done. „Where’s your lapdog? Where is Proto? Isn’t it supposed to watch your back? PROTO? Where are you hiding, you little shit?”

“HE is doing research. I sent him.” At least, I think I did.

The captain turns to the surveillance panel in the medical unit. „Don’t make me laugh! Babe? Who’s on board?”

„Captain, Edward Wong. Doctor, Oscar Wellington. My robot pilots, ninety-six maintenance robots, and my neural hub.” The Sleipnir answers in a flat tone.

„See?” Eddy gives me the I-told-you-so-look. „Where is Proto?” he asks.

„Proto is – not on board.” WHAT?! „His suit is – not on board. Scanning… Scanners are jammed.” Another I-told-you-so-look.

No! Where is Proto? He is priceless! He is a being between an AI and a human clone. A miracle, if you ask me.  For the captain, he’s just an AI, in a meat suit…

With a soft purring of the Sleipnir interrupts. “Warning. Warning. Collision imminent.”

“What the hell is going on?!” The captain shouts sprinting out of my lab.

 


pic by Nasa, the black knight satellite

bad faith

bad faith

*

I couldn’t wait for the wonderful taste of coffee in my mouth, even if it came from the vending machine. The first sip burnt my tongue and palate. I killed my tastebuds. Again.

I needed that hot, bitter, liquid bliss to keep me awake, so I won’t miss my bullet train. Destination? Kazakhstan, a strip of godforsaken blood and kerosine soaked land, the New I.C. Baikonur.

I got hired by Strix United for a top secret job. My paycheck was going to kick my last year’s paycheck’s ass.

Continue reading “bad faith”

ink on ash

ink on ash

The schoolyard was going to be a graveyard.

Preparations took two whole days.

Men had been hired to empty the library. I watched them slowly pile up manuals, maps, and books. Considering the size of that heap, it was going to be an impressing fire.

The library must be empty by now… The librarian, a small withered woman with huge glasses and grey hair tied to a knot, ran nervously from one corner of the building to the other. That quiet, dark room has been her home, for who knows how long. Now the books were gone, and the emptiness took over the shelves, cupboards, desks.  Continue reading “ink on ash”