Circling The Drain

May 26, 2018

The guy had to be dealing some kind of drug, not sure what, but he stood there under the awning of the small liquor store, just barely out of the steady rain that had started in the morning and continued all afternoon.

All day long numerous people had stopped by his little nesting place, and even a moderately trained eye could see that there was some kind of exchange being made. What fascinated Roger most was that people from all races, cultures, and walks of life came by to buy his wares, and he seemed almost like a chameleon, blending in to fit each new person who approached him, joking and laughing or being tough and ‘all business,’ it was almost like watching a master painter at work, each new person was a sale, a way to earn a living and possibly more, he was well trained in the game he had chose to play.

Most would not see the small trickles of fear with every instance where he had to act tough or hard as nails, most would not see the impatience and annoyance with each joke or round of small talk he made. That, of course, was due to the pain behind the whole show being played out on this sad little corner of an impoverished area of the city.

Roger could free him from this pain, but what then, could he face what always came next?

Standing up from where he was crouching behind a dumpster across the street from the dealer’s spot, Roger could feel tears welling up from inside him. It was always like this, this gift, this intelligence, it hurt.

Once on the other side of the street, Roger began to walk faster, he was starting to have doubts. Each time he did this he was right there with his most horrible demons as well as the other persons, most of the time the knowledge he imparted to them he felt impotent or incompetent to use. It was the mysterious irony of the whole thing, once he gave them the key to the door, he was liable to make his own prison more secure later on.

Roger was there now next to him, past the point where he could appear like he was just walking past, maybe even pass off that approach as a way to use the awning the dealer was under to dodge the relentless drops of rain. The dealer was sizing him up, getting ready to use his own ‘gift.’

“What’s good?” The dealer said in a dead tone, all the better to adjust his camouflage once he could hear my reply and know which mode to go into.

“I don’t know, you tell me,” Roger said, or thought he said, at any rate, once the process got to this point, it became surreal, like a psychedelic drug. You could be sure what you were seeing and hearing was based on true external stimuli, but you could never be sure of what you were actually seeing at all, a confounding experience.

Roger reached out and touched the dealer’s chest. His mind was filled with flowing images and sounds, mixing at merging at times, but then there were very clear pictures, ones that showed Roger what he was after. The dealer’s name was Michael but he went by ‘Rock,’ and his history passed in a slightly jumbled puzzle.
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‘Spider Bites’ Fan Art

November 19, 2017

A reader and someone I chat with produced some artwork a while back for the short story Spider Bites and wanted me to share it with all of you, so here it is:

If you have not read the short story Spider Bites yet, please click here and don’t forget to tell me what you think.

 


Beyond Superficial

October 8, 2017

Really quick and rough fiction from today’s daily word prompt ‘Superficial.’

 

Jonathan Barnes was only twenty-three years old but he knew better, no matter what everyone told him when he brought up the subject of Catherine Belle. Catherine was a beautiful woman, the kind of person everyone knew had the upper hand due to what others might term as ‘genetic luck’ but Jonathan knew better than that.

His friends would poke fun at him when his feelings and thoughts about Catherine leaked out into the open, because of affection, the one emotion no one really should repress if it is of the healthy and objective variety, has a way of escaping it’s confinement to be blurted out across nervous speeches and bold gestures. They would make fun of him for loving what to the more lustful than loving was nothing more than a trophy, a conquest; a place they could plant a flag and claim superiority of their peers based on instincts belonging to a less gentle and knowledgeable age.

Jonathan, however, could notice the little things other seemed to just let pass them by. A beauty that is appreciated by many is either the result of a gorgeous lie or a plainly visible truth and in the case of Catherine Belle, the case could definitely be made for truth over lie being the cause of her popularity. No one hated Catherine the way they might others with her appearance and poise, but it was because there was no trickery going on.

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Charlie Irrelevant

September 24, 2017

Bit of hastily imagined short fiction for today’s WordPress Daily Prompt: Irrelevant.

Charlie stalked through the crowd, and it slightly parted as he made his way through the busy marketplace.  Maybe not as much of a part as the old prophet Moses made on Earth when he spread the Red Sea (was it actually red? Like the natural waste ponds on Aldranuich Seven? Who knew much about Earth now?), but the crowd parted enough that Charlie could feel that same feeling he always felt, like he was repelling people away from him, like an instinct.

Maybe it was a bad idea to leave the public hive building to go to the cinema.

Thing was, his neighbor and he had been talking the last weekend prior, a real treat for Charlie (alcohol was of course involved. It took ten Talbatian ales to make Charlie open up and half a dozen blue worm wine bottles to make Mr. Granfeild from frame 6-A to be able to stand to be within five feet of Charlie for an extended period) but he told him there was this great film from Earth that was playing at the Plateau Sixteen, called Catcher in the Rye, made in the late 21st century from an infamous novel from the twentieth century that Mr. Granfeild felt he might enjoy, maybe even identify with.

Problem was Charlie really liked the film, despite how true it stayed to the dialogue of the book, which he found quite dull and tacky, but he had to admit, as he passed all the people going to and fro in the twilight of this great city, the word ‘phony,’ however tacky, did seem to ring true.

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Spider Bites

August 29, 2017

Basic story idea from this Writing Prompt, opinions, advice, and comments gratefully taken and desired. 

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Henry balled up both his fists again, the tight olive green t-shirt straining at the mass of his upper arm as he started his swinging motion, the same kind of T-shirt he told Cynthia he used to wear during basic training.

Thwack, thwack, boom!

Cynthia felt the pain explode in her head as she fell onto the kitchen floor, her hands shielding her head as she went into a fetal position. Cynthia’s right hand felt around her temple and her fingers slid into something wet and slightly warm, like some soup left in a pot that had to be reheated before it could be served.

Her eyes were closed but Cynthia could hear Henry take a step closer in his steel toe work boots. There was a minute moment of perfect silence, a muttering of what might have been the word: ‘Bitch,’ and then the pain and the blood from her now throbbing head was quickly forgotten as a worse pain exploded in her stomach and all the air was forced out of her lungs.

It was as if one pain outranked the other and told it who was in charge when it came to the pain game.

All this over a spider.

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Just Beneath The Skin

January 5, 2017

From out of the storm walked the souls, clinging to the masks sewn on at birth and learning their roles.406522_322086917812430_414015272_n

Drenched in tears from the Earth Mother, in their arms treasures wrapped in rags like no other.

Grouping not together but alone or in mismatched pairs, waiting for the roadside snake oil men to sell their wares.

Feet shuffled along on the road of mud that was once dust, heads down low from the rain lest their hearts rust.

The salesman waited with black smiles of glee, ‘We will trap them here, they will never be free.’

When the many souls asked the price of the poisoned vision in the salesmen’s bags, they lifted dirty crooked fingers and pointed at the treasures wrapped in the rags.

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Fiction: Of Light And Shadow | The Doctor Who Companion

December 31, 2016

A little bit of holiday Doctor Who fiction to start off the new year from TomSpy and the Doctor Who Companion.

All shares, comments, and likes welcome.

http://thedoctorwhocompanion.com/2016/12/30/fiction-of-light-and-shadow/

Grand Sernoon Delvenoosh spotted the man in the crowd; it was easier than he thought because the man stuck out like a black cloud in a blue sky. He was tall, perhaps just a slight illusion caused by his hair which was pushing out of his head towards the sky like unruly weeds in a flower bed. He also was, of course, dressed unlike anyone else on Yernin Six, which was to be expected for an off world traveller. The long brown coat, what he suspected was an off-world version of ceremonial robes in a dark blue and garish red shoes that did not seem to match either of the former articles of clothing.

In fact, it was hard to believe this was the man who had just saved his entire planet from a race of cyborgs, but it was a fact.

What bothered Grand Sernoon Delvenoosh was the orders he kept getting from the world’s ministry about the celebration they had planned for the alien. As he was the saviour of the planet, every little thing he asked for was almost law, from the memo that tonight at midnight everyone should get a present from their friends and family, to the other proclamation that said tonight would also be the start of a new cycle on Yemin Six, this one to be called a ‘new year’, to be marked by parties and celebration, rather than the days of meditation and reflection that occurred when one of the Yemin elders declared a new cycle.

It was an affront to everything his culture stood for, and he intended to give this strange looking ‘Doctor’ a piece of his mind. Delvenoosh pushed through the crowds towards the throng of people encircling the alien, who, despite his wide grin and ample play in his words, seemed almost wary of this celebration, like he would like to be anywhere else but here.

The crowd rightfully made way for Delvenoosh’s sash of the fifth order and as he reached the Doctor he tapped him on the shoulder.

“Doctor?” The man turned his grin on him and Delvenoosh could see how the leaders in the capital city could have been charmed by such a face. It seemed to almost burn with energy and charm. “My name is Grand Sernoon Delvenoosh, the top council in this port city of Parthos. I would like to have a word with you… on official business.”

“Certainly.” The Doctor turned to the people surrounding him, the burning grin unable to hide a look of relief. “Sorry, have to go now, thank you very much, official business you see, and you can’t get anymore official than official business, can you?”

Delvenoosh led the Doctor out of the press of bodies and into the doorway of a small shop, closed for the sudden ‘holiday’ as the alien called it.

“So what can I do for you, Grand Sernoon Delvenoosh?”

“I am concerned about the celebration you have planned for our victory, Doctor. As grateful as I am, like any loyal subject of Yemin Six, you must understand that the suddenness of this event as well as the nature of how it is celebrated is not the usual way we mark great events in our history.”

“Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? To live a little, shake a leg, show a little emotion. A celebration, if you will, of what was almost taken from you by force.”

It was Delvenoosh’s turn to grin. “Doctor, I am a Yeminian seer of the eighth order – I can see when a man is lying to save face or save another grief; it is my livelihood.”

“I see I can’t get one past you, Grand Sernoon Delvenoosh.” The Doctor started rummaging in his pockets. “I have a card here for the intergalactic debate team; you could be the goalie.”

“And now deflection. Come now, Doctor, will you tell me why you have shaken our culture’s roots like a child does a sapphire tree in the time of warming or will I have to put a halt to this celebration several minutes before it begins?”

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Finally, the grin dropped away from his face and you could see another man inside, a colder and more rigid figure. This man Delvenoosh could see repelling an invading army. “Because if you don’t millions of your people will all die in the exact same moment.”

“I trust you can explain such an extraordinary claim?”

“Have you ever heard of the Vashta Nerada? They are a race that lives in shadow and most likely one of the most prevalent races in the universe. They were able to accomplish this by evolution, adapting to the environments they lived in like any other creature. They are here, like on any other world. Thing is, as I said, they are such survivors because they follow the main rule of survival, which is adaption.”

“So?” Delvenoosh was getting aggravated with this alien. “What does this have to do with the celebrations?”

“Imagine you are a race that feeds on flesh, like the Vashta Nerada and you ended up on a planet where flesh itself was in short supply, replaced by metal and plastic?”

“I suppose they adapted.”

“Exactly, Grand Sernoon Delvenoosh, and they adapted to feed on emotion, but like anyone, they prefer a certain kind of meal. They feed off misery, sadness, and tragedy. The only way they can be defeated is through the kind of food that is almost like poison to them, something that is hard to find on the planets this breed of Vashta Nerada adapted to. Happiness, joy, and the spirit of love.”

“This does not explain, however, any of the memos I have been getting. I don’t see how a choice between ‘Candy cane’ and ‘mistletoe’ as decorations have any bearing on this new invading force.”

“Candy cane.” The Doctor said, the burning grin alight once again.

“I’m sorry?”

“Candy cane. Much better choice. Two colours in one and fresh breath, brilliant.”

“But are these choices significant?”

“Well, not really – you can find happiness in anything but I kind of adapted some ideas from random holidays on a planet called Earth. Your culture has no precedent for this kind of thing, Delvenoosh. I had to use outside sources to make it work.”

“As this week-long celebration is about to start, I can’t help but wonder what will happen to these emotion-eating aliens.”

“Some will leave, follow the original Cyber invasion force, some will starve. Others will be starving so badly as we eliminated the first call from the dinner bell and will try and literally eat happiness before they realised they have just poisoned themselves.”

Behind the pair, just off the docks, the sky began to come alight with what was termed as fireworks.

Delvenoosh pointed to the skies that were now almost alive. “And these things will keep evil at bay?”

The Doctor placed his hands in his trouser’s pockets and turned to Delvenoosh. “We can always hope, Grand Sernoon Delvenoosh, that even the coldest Winter will lead to the warmth of Spring. Hope is a choice after all.”
-Thomas Spychalski


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