Haiku – 8/1/2021

In the black of night

Room plunged into thick darkness

Footsteps walking slow

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Alone in the house

Stirring from a deep slumber

Listening for more

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Hush of silence falls

Starting to relax a bit

Cold invades the room

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Something striding fast

Moving towards the soft couch

Contact imminent

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Been listening to a couple of Podcasts that have my brain exploring the supernatural and the unknown – helped to inspire this post. Plus, I just finished a great book by Ryan Sprague called Somewhere in the Skies. I highly recommend it. The stories about aliens and abductions and conspiracies will keep you up at night. You can get the book here: Somewhere in the Skies and you can find the Somewhere in the Skies Podcast wherever you get your Podcasts from. And if you want some great ghost stories check out the Podcast called Jim Harold’s Campfire. Great spooky stories. I think Jim also has books but I haven’t read any of them. That’s it. Thanks for reading and enjoying the blog. Have a good one.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 30

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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He looked up in time to see a hole blasted through the caramel colored front door. The cop who had been standing in front of this door, ready to kick it in, took a shot gun blast directly to the chest. His bullet riddled, torn open body flew backwards through the air and landed somewhere in the nest of trees, who wanted to devour the sweet human flesh, wanted to taste the warm blood still in his veins, but they couldn’t, they couldn’t do nothing but be trees, so that’s what they were, even though every needle on them was screaming to feed.

The other cops retreated back as Gavin stepped up to the jagged hole in the door that looked like the shape of a misshapen mouth. “I told you I can’t leave the trees! You don’t know what they’re capable of if they’re not fed!”

The cops took aim on the door, itchy trigger fingers more than ready to pull now that one of their own lay silent and dead in the snow, blood pouring out of his body like a river.

“I only killed those that weren’t local! I didn’t kill any of us! I was only trying to help!” Gavin screamed.

“One more time Gavin! Put down your weapon or we will open fire!” Ernie yelled from behind his car, red and blue lights splashing all over his face.

“I had to do it! I had no choice! You have to –”

Ernie heard someone yell. “Cop Killer!” And then a gun blast tore open the night.

This was the catalyst for the onslaught of gunfire that spread Gavin all over the interior of the small space, blasting away a majority of the gingerbread house in the process.

“Stop! Stop! Stop!” Ernie screamed, as he rushed up the brick path that ran between the trees, stopping when he reached what was left of the house. He peered inside and saw Gavin lying on the floor with his body shredded from the bullets that had entered him. What walls were left were splattered red with blood, it was running down them like something out of a horror movie. Ernie looked back at the cops, and most of them looked away. They were ashamed of what they had done, but it was a gut reaction in a gut reaction kind of time. One of their own had fallen and his death had to be vindicated.

“All right, let’s clean this up,” Ernie replied, as he looked up at the sky and let the snow fall onto his bearded face for a moment, enjoying the cool moisture. He then looked out at the trees and something caught his eye. He thought he saw a root pushed up from the Earth sucking up the blood pooled around the dead cop’s body. He glanced around and he saw other roots from some of the other trees sticking out of their Earthly home nibbling on the human carcass like parasites, not enough to be noticed, but enough to have a small taste. He blinked and everything was back to where it belonged. It was almost like the trees had seen him watching and didn’t want to be caught as they fed. He pushed the thoughts away, thinking it had to be a fatigued mind playing tricks on him, and went to help with the clean-up.

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Ernie sat in his patrol car and eye balled the Christmas tree lot basking in its thick cover of white. It was just past eight in the evening, as he sat there thinking of what had transpired out here, still trying to find the right answer for why Gavin had done what he had done. This was his second visit to The Lot since the shooting happened and still there were no answers. He reached for the car door handle and stopped. Something was floating down from the clear sky above. It was a bright light, ball like in its consistency. He opened the car door (never taking his eyes from the descending object) and stepped out into the night. Suddenly, something burst forth from the ball of light. A beam of some sorts, milky white. It rushed down and covered the trees in a yellowish glow. Then there was a sound of air rushing upwards and trees being ripped free from their Earthly roots. Ernie shielded his eyes, held his ground from the rush of wind, as the beam sucked The Lot back into the cylindrical ball and then the ball flashed upward at a blinding speed, disappearing into the stars.

Ernie stood there a moment looking at the area where The Lot used to sit. It was now nothing but a brown jagged square of Earth surrounded by a white snowy ground. He walked over and investigated the scene for a moment, thought about Gavin, and the lives lost. He was tired and ready to go. He got into his car, took one more last look, and then headed home. He wasn’t sure what he had seen in the sky, but he was sure he would never forget what happened at The Lot.

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A year passed.

Another Christmas season arrived.

Another town and another person was chosen like so many times before.

The End

If you made it this far, thanks. I hope you enjoyed reading this story post by post. Now back to Haiku and Poetry.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 29

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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The Lot stood cold and silent, covered in snow, lights burning bright cutting away the night, generator humming loud. Gavin was hunkered down inside the gingerbread house. He was once a healthy man, but now he looked like he had spent the last two months inside a sweat box. He was emaciated and weak, ribs showing through his skin. His face hung droopy and long, teeth rotting away, some had fallen out. His once thick hair now thin, patchy, and lifeless across his skull. His clothes were dirty and disheveled, unclean like the rest of his body.

“Come out Gavin! Nobody has to get hurt if you just come out!” Ernie yelled through the thin walls of the tiny home, police lights splashing and flashing all over the place.

There was silence from inside as Gavin held the shotgun tight in his hands and let the sweat drip from his head. His eyes were darting back and forth like a cocaine addict who had been up for way too long. He was frantic at the thought of what the trees would do if he wasn’t there to feed them. He had protected this town, and he wasn’t about to stop now, not even if it meant dying on one of his favorite holidays.

“We have a few minutes of patience left! Then we are coming in Gavin, whether you like it or not! Tonight is Christmas Eve! No one has to die!” Ernie yelled, hoping his voice alone would calm the situation.

Gavin sucked in air and found his breath. “I can’t leave the trees. You don’t know what they’re capable of.”

The cops looked at Ernie, who drew in a breath, exhaled it in a plum of white, and nodded. The army of cops moved forward, pushing open the red and green gate, inching slowly up the snow covered brick path painted like a candy cane, which ran between the green and well fed pine trees. The trees remained silent, unmoving, and unable to help Gavin in this situation for fear of detection. They just stood there letting it all unfold, knowing their feeding for this year was over.

Ernie closed his eyes, fingers pinching them shut, trying to close out what was happening. He just couldn’t believe it had come to this.

Gun fire pulled him out of his thoughts.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 28

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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“Something wrong?” The cop asked, dressed in his uniform, young and virginal when it came to police work, new to the police force in this town.

“Ugh,” Ernie grumbled.

“You just seemed like you were ready to go and then you weren’t.”

“I still can’t believe it’s Gavin. He’s never been the sharpest tool in the shed, but he was always a good kid. He was a star athlete in high school, volunteered often, and he made one of the meanest and angriest batches of meatloaf you will ever eat.”

“He sounds like a decent guy.”

“He was and I refuse to believe he’s behind this and if he’s convicted I still won’t believe it.”

“Sometimes good people turn bad. Who really knows why? Happens all the time.”

Ernie looked at the pictures on the wall. A few of them had Gavin in them, smiling right along with some of the local cops. He then looked at the young cop waiting on his next set of words. “Okay, let’s get out there. The Feds want us to arrest him since it’s our jurisdiction. We’ll hand him over after the holidays.”

The cop made his exit, and Ernie stood there a moment longer staring at the pictures. He drew in a breath and followed after the young cop, hoping things wouldn’t go bad, hoping Gavin would turn himself in, hoping that maybe this Christmas Eve there would be a small miracle even though he was sure it was all going to end in bloodshed. If Gavin was who they claimed he was then he wasn’t going to go quietly, he was going to go kicking and screaming.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 27

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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While Mason recovered from his injuries and Liam, for the first time in years, spent Christmas Eve with his family, Ernie sat in his office looking at the arrest warrant, refusing to believe that Gavin was being charged for not only murder, but multiple murders. They had found the missing cars of the people who had disappeared in the area over the last couple of months in the pond behind The Lot. From there they had simply connected the dots until Gavin was the prime and only suspect. Was it great proof that Gavin was behind it? Who knew? But it was proof, and being Gavin was the only one out there it meant he probably was going to go to jail for a very long time or take the lethal ride to the other side.

“We got him trapped,” One of the cops replied, pausing at the edge of the door. “He’s refusing to go quietly.”

Ernie looked up at the cop with haggard eyes, eyes that had thought they had seen it all until Gavin’s case came along. He pulled himself out of the chair, adjusted his slacks and sport coat, and moved around his soft brown hair. He pulled his gun out of his desk, strapped it on, and then stood there a moment staring at the wall.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 26

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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The driver’s side window exploded inward, sending shards of glass into Mason’s delicate facial skin, missing his left eye by mere inches. He fell onto his side and landed with a soft thud.

Liam dropped the wet suit and dove onto the floor board. He pulled his gun from its holster as another shotgun blast rattled the frame on the back of the car. Whoever was shooting at them was far enough away that their aim wasn’t great, but they were close enough to inflict damage to the car and the occupants inside.

“Mason. Are you okay?” Liam asked, afraid to sit up and check on his friend.

Mason moaned out something garbled and inaudible, but it was enough of a sound to tell Liam that Mason was still alive.

“Hang in there buddy,” Liam replied, as he cautiously popped his head up and looked out the window. It was dark in the field and if there was anyone out there he couldn’t see them from where he was crouching. Another shotgun blast and the back window exploded. This time the shot was louder and closer. Liam knew he and Mason were sitting ducks if he didn’t get the car moving. He waited for the next blast and after it happened, destroying one of the taillights, he scrambled into the front seat and cautiously moved Mason out of the way. Mason moaned, but gladly gave up the driver’s seat. Liam slammed the car into drive (thankful it was still running), spinning the tires for a moment, before turning the car in the direction of the nearest hospital. The seat was covered in glass, but Liam never felt a thing as he hurried the car and the occupants inside out of shotgun range.

Gavin watched the car drive away from the middle of the field, bare feet freezing and cold, not worrying at all about frostbite. “You’re done now. That’s it. Those guys are going to end you,” he replied and made his way back to his home. He knew this nightmare was about to come to an end and no matter what happened to him, he was thankful it was all about to be over. He fell asleep and for once his dreams weren’t tortured. They were filled with peace and calm.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 25

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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Liam and Mason ate a quick dinner, burgers, fries, cold sodas, and a cookie – a maximum meal at a minimal price. While they ate in their car, they ran the plates on the car they’d found. Gavin’s records came back clean and spotless. He was, as far as they could tell, a model citizen, and once again they had found a dead end. It was another dead end in a long line of dead ends.

“You should at least take a dive and check to see if that is a car,” Mason replied, still hopeful that his instincts hadn’t been wrong, but fearing, as each moment passed, that they had finally let him down.

“Someone probably pushed it in there in order to collect the insurance money or they were just sick of it,” Liam replied, looking out the window, night was approaching, and the snow had stopped, leaving in its wake a blanket of sparkling white. “But I guess we won’t know for sure until I do, and as much as I hate to admit it, we should at least check it out.”

Mason didn’t respond as he backed the car out of its spot and made his way towards the exit of the parking lot. He merged into traffic and angled the car in the direction of Route 6.

“Do you think anything is going on at that lot?” Mason asked.

Liam thought about his answer for a moment, and as Mason turned onto the two lane black top known as Route 6, car slipping a bit on the snow covered road, Liam came to a conclusion, one he was absolutely sure of. “I think if anything happened out there then it has already happened and whatever we find isn’t going to be good news.”

“I think you’re right,” Mason replied and fell silent once again.

They watched the road, the landscape, listening to Christmas music, trying to get focused on the task ahead, both lost in their own thoughts. And when the lights of the car splashed across Gavin’s homemade sign, Mason brought the car to a stop at the edge of the road, concealing it behind a set of bushes covered in frosty white. Liam begrudgingly opened the car door. The cold air rushed in as he stepped out and closed the door as quick as he could. He walked to the trunk and opened it. He then looked down at the assortment of things he had collected in his years as an F.B.I. agent, things he might need in any given situation, and one of those was a wet suit fully equipped to handle the coldest of temperatures. Mason had laughed at him when he bought it, but Liam liked to be prepared for whatever the job required. He took out the wet suit (along with a pink and blue beach towel) and closed the trunk. He then slipped into the back seat, enjoying the warmth of the heat inside the car.

“No peeking,” Liam replied with a smile. “I don’t need you fogging up the windows.”

“Please. I couldn’t see it if it was in a spotlight,” Mason replied and laughed and as the laugh started to fade, a shotgun blast tore open the night.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 24

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

+

“None of them have been sold,” Mason replied, staring at the nest of trees. He was tingling all over, feeling like he had just seen a ghost. The place was full of unnatural energy, the kind of energy that gives you goose bumps and makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck.

“I’ll give you that. Now, that is something odd,” Liam replied, looking at the place all decked out in Christmas cheer. “But that still doesn’t mean something’s wrong.”

“You can’t admit I’m right. Can you?”

“Let’s at least check it out,” Liam replied, ignoring him, opening the car door, taking out his gun and making sure it was ready to protect.

Mason did the same thing and once they both were outside, they took a moment to survey the scene.

“Feels even stranger now that we aren’t in the car,” Liam replied, feeling a bit spooked.

“Let’s try the house?”

“Okay,” Liam replied, making his way towards it. He held his gun tight, as he approached the tiny home decked out in a gingerbread motif. He walked up to the door and as he did this Mason took a protective stance behind him. Liam turned around to make sure Mason was where he was supposed to be. Mason nodded and Liam turned back to the door. He knocked. Knocked again and then knocked for a third time. No answer. He reached down and tried the handle. It was locked.

“Nobody home?” Mason replied. “If you aren’t here then why in the hell would you leave the lights on? This just keeps getting stranger.”

“Come on. Let’s check out the grounds.” Liam left the small porch and made his way towards the back of the house. Mason following close behind.

A few moments later, Mason was the first to see it. “Liam, what’s that?”

Liam stopped and looked in the direction Mason was pointing. Both of them could now see what looked like the back of a car, the light from The Lot reflecting off the silver bumper. They walked over to the machine, and inspected it.

“Looks like it’s been sitting for a while,” Mason replied, wiping off snow, cupping his hands and looking into the driver’s side window. He couldn’t see much, but he could tell the car was neat and well kept. There wasn’t a sign of trash or debris inside the vehicle. He tried the handle and found it locked. He walked to the back of the car and took out a small notebook. He jotted down the numbers on the plate.

“Stranger and stranger,” Liam replied, looking away from the car towards something he had seen when they first arrived. “I think I saw some water, a pond or small lake, when we drove in. Let’s check it out and head back. My nuts are frozen.”

“Sure,” Mason replied, looking at the car one more time before following after his partner.

They reached the water’s edge a few moments later. They separated and moved forward in opposite directions, looking for clues, anything out of the ordinary.

“Liam, over here. I think I found something.”

Liam hurried over to where Mason was standing. “What did you find?” He asked.

“The water. Is there something in there?”

Liam did as requested, squinting his eyes, trying to look into the black water now covered with a thin layer of ice. “Is that a car?”

“Looks like it, I think. Hard to tell, but it has the shape of one,” Mason replied, turning around, fearing they were being watched. “Do you still have that wet suit in the trunk?”

“I think so.”

“Up for a dive?” Mason asked. “Because if that is a car and I think it is, I bet the tags on that car will lead back to one of those missing persons.”

Liam drew in a cold breath, exhaled it in a cloud of white. He shook his head. “Sometimes I hate I took those dive lessons.”

“Better thee than me brother. Let’s head back and let it get a little bit darker. And while we wait, I can run the plates on the car we found in the woods, we can have some food, and see what turns up.”

“Sounds like a plan. Let’s go,” Liam replied and led them back to the car.

They climbed inside the vehicle, turned the heat on high, and slowly made their way back to the main road. The snow was falling heavier now and the man made road wasn’t as easily visible as it was when they drove in, but they made it safely back to the main road.

Gavin watched them leave from inside the house, thinking once again he had avoided trouble, once again he had gotten away with everything he had done, but what he didn’t know (as he sat shivering in his urine smelling home) was that his days of killing were almost finished.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 23

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

+

Liam and Mason started their morning with coffee at the local coffee shop (always buy local was Liam’s mantra) before climbing into their car and starting their investigation. The first stop was the college, then the Bingo Hall, and finally the conference center, but they had no luck. Feeling a bit defeated, still hoping for answers, they decided to drive up Route 6 and see if there were any leads on that black two lane stretch of highway. The day had started out cold and grey, filled with a thick blanket of dark clouds, a hint of snow in the air, and as their investigation moved into the afternoon, the first flakes of snow started to fall.

“There has to be something out here,” Mason replied, scanning the road, the surrounding landscape, feeling that his hunch was right, needing something to validate that hunch. But he saw nothing out of the ordinary. All he saw were patches of bare trees, stripped naked by winter, and a cold dead Earth filled with brown lifeless grass. It was a place full of emptiness, a place that someone who wanted not to be found would not be found.

“I think we’re not going to find anything,” Liam replied, turning on the wipers, pushing flakes of snow off the windshield. His thoughts were of home, warmth, and an evening with kids around the Christmas tree. He wanted to be there, instead of driving on a stretch of empty road. The snow also didn’t help. It created more thoughts, more memories of his kids, and how much they loved it.

“There,” Mason replied, pointing to the sign advertising live trees.

Liam slowed the car to a stop in front of the sign, tires sliding a bit on the icy road. Both men sat and stared at it, the car’s headlights spotlighting Gavin’s now fading words. Snow danced in the light, clinging to the sign as the white flakes silently fell from the sky above.

“Why would anyone have a Christmas tree lot way out here?” Liam asked, looking around, looking for The Lot, and not seeing it.

“Odd, right?”

“I wouldn’t say odd. Maybe a bit of a strange location, but I wouldn’t say odd would be the right word to use.”

Mason looked from the sign to the empty field covered in darkness. “You know, it’s like it’s meant to be hidden.”

“Aren’t you grasping at straws? Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean something is wrong. Maybe there’s a better place to grow them than out here in the open,” Liam replied. “I know jack shit about growing Christmas trees and neither do you.”

“What’s that?” Mason asked.

“What’s what?”

“That light beyond that clump of trees. You can barely see it. We should check it out.”

Liam sighed and then turned to face Mason. “Fine, but let’s make it quick. I want to get home and I’m tired of chasing dead ends.” Liam put the car in gear, pulled out onto the main road, and then turned onto Gavin’s man made road a second later, traveling slowly across the snow covered ground.

Liam slid the car to a stop when they reached the parking lot, and both men sat in silence for a moment, in awe of the trees now dusted with a thin layer of snow.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 22

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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Twenty minutes later, Ernie pulled his car into the driveway in front of his house. A lovely house, filled with nothing but love. It was a one story Ranch built in the 1970’s, four bedrooms, two full baths, living room, dining room, kitchen, and a man cave. A perfect place for him to come home and kick back after a long hard day of work. His wife Suzy had been a stay-at-home mom since the kids were born, but she wasn’t a traditional version of that role. She was as handy around the house as he was, but she was also the nurturer of the two. It only made sense for her to be home, because it would have driven Ernie crazy to do it. He loved his kids, but he also liked his routine. He needed his days to have a start and a finish. He was that kind of guy.

Ernie turned off the car, climbed out, and then made his way inside. He placed his keys, wallet and gun on the table beside the door (the gun used to go on top of the closest when the kids were younger), and made his way into the kitchen. The interior of the house was decorated with a woman’s touch, filled with peaceful and soothing colors, family pictures on the walls, and minimal clutter.

“How’s supper?” Ernie asked, smiling, as he walked up and hugged his wife from behind – something he did every time he came home. Suzy was somewhat fit, a few years younger than Ernie, but her looks had never faded.

She smiled and turned around, hugging him tightly. “About done,” she replied and it didn’t take long for her to notice the worry and stress etched across his face. She had seen this face a lot of times over the years and she hated it, she hated when the job did this to him. It was too much stress for too little pay. “What’s wrong?” She asked.

“Tough day. Young kid about Henry’s age went missing and I fear the worst,” he replied, thinking of his son for a moment, off at College for the first time. Henry was doing great on his own and had adapted better at College than his sister who had gone two years before him. His sister was still struggling, but she was doing much better now.

“So close to the holidays. That’s tough, I mean it’s tough not matter what time of year, but the holidays are special.”

“Yeah. I know what you mean,” he replied and took a seat at the table after washing his hands. He poured out a glass of water and munched on fresh bread. “That’s not the only thing though.”

“Something else?” Suzy asked, taking out the dishes, preparing the meal.

“Gavin. He’s missing. No sign of him at all.”

“Really,” Suzy replied and walked over to the table. She put the plates in place and walked back to the silverware drawer. “Did you check his house?” She asked, walking back and sitting down in front of him. She handed out the silverware and waited for Ernie to pray.

“I did,” he replied and bowed his head. Suzy followed his lead and when he was finished praying they started to eat.

“It’s not like him to up and disappear. He’s almost as much of a fixture in this town as that old statue in the city center. ”

“I know, and he’s also put up this Christmas tree lot out on his family’s land. I went out there as well. No sign of him.”

“Christmas tree lot. When did he start that?”

“Apparently recently, but the trees are strange. Kind of like they’re more alive than they should be. It’s spooky to be around them.”

Suzy looked at him. “I’m sure they’re only Christmas trees. You’re probably tired. Maybe Gavin knows how to grow them. Some people are naturals at certain things.”

“Maybe so. But it was weird out there. Something felt off and I can’t figure out what it was.”

“Eat and forget about it. It probably won’t seem so strange after a good night’s sleep,” she replied and turned her attention to her food.

Ernie followed her lead and they both ate in silence, thinking of different things. When the meal was finished, they cleaned up, and watched a bit of Netflix together (easier now to do in an empty home). They made love a little later, and filled with content fell fast asleep. And as they slept, Suzy had peaceful dreams, but Ernie was wrapped up in a nightmare filled with pine trees that seemed more alive than they should have been.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 21

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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“What is that all about?” Ernie asked himself when he saw the sign on the post advertising Christmas trees. Gavin’s family had never been Christmas tree farmers so this was another odd thing in a series of odd things he had seen that day. The car passed the sign slowly and then it turned onto the man made road Gavin had made some time ago. It was now well traveled, rutted with two clear lanes, easy to drive on.

Ernie brought his vehicle to a stop a few moments later when he reached the gravel parking lot. He couldn’t believe his eyes, as he sat there and looked at The Lot. The trees were perfect, pristine, and green – so green that they didn’t seem real. He opened his door and pulled himself out of the car. He then closed the door and stood there a moment surveying the scene. It would have been a beautiful place to be, full of Christmas cheer, if it all didn’t seem so foul. His instincts were rarely off and he was sure there was something wrong with everything he was seeing. He made his feet start moving and made his way over to the nest of trees.

Gavin heard the car door slam and immediately stopped what he was doing, stripping an animal of its fur, preparing it for a meal, his meal. He had decided (after several meals and lots of bad stomach issues) that raw wasn’t to his liking. He preferred what he ate to be clean and cooked. He hung the stripped possum over a nearby hook, its lifeless eyes staring at him as he wiped his hands on a dirty towel. He then made his way up to the door and peered through the peep hole.

“Fucking no,” he replied to himself when he saw who had come by for a visit. He turned around and looked at the room, bathed in a small amount of light from a handful of half burned candles. He looked at the axe and then the shotgun. The gun would be quicker and if he had to take out Ernie, which he didn’t want to do, he would rather it be a quick death instead of a slow one. He owed Ernie at least that much. He turned back to the door and looked out the peep hole, hoping he wouldn’t have to make the toughest decision he had ever made in his life.

Ernie caressed several of the trees as he walked past them. Their needles were soft and silky smooth. They seemed to enjoy his touch. He breathed in the air and their pine scent was so strong that it was almost overwhelming. He looked from the trees to the house Gavin had been living in and decided to see if anyone was home. He walked over to the door and knocked.

“Hello?” He asked, looking at the door and the peephole. “Gavin, are you home?”

Gavin stepped away from the door, stood in the center of the room, sweating. He was trying not to make a sound, hoping if Ernie heard nothing he would just leave.

Ernie knocked again and waited.

Gavin stood on the other side, biting his lip, filled with tension.

“If you’re in there I just want to make sure you’re okay. Haven’t seen you around. Kind of worried about you. I went by your house and no one was home.” Ernie waited a moment longer and decided no one was inside the building. He turned to leave and then thought of the door handle. He reached down and turned it.

Gavin saw the handle start to move and quickly stepped up to it and turned the lock. He stepped back and watched it jiggle, hoping this would be the final deterrent. A second later the door handle stopped moving and fell back into a resting position. Gavin stepped up to the door when he heard the car engine come to life. He let out a breath as Ernie backed the car up, turned it around, and made his exit.

“Thank god,” Gavin replied, even though thanking god meant nothing to him now. He was in hell and he was sure he was going there once all this was over. He looked out at the trees for a moment and wondered why they hadn’t attacked. Maybe they sensed something about Ernie, that he was in a position of authority, or maybe they knew that he was a friend of Gavin’s. Whatever the reason he was thankful for it. He returned to the possum and began the final prep on his dinner.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 20

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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Ernie spent most of the morning walking around town and most of the early afternoon canvassing the neighborhoods. No one had seen or heard of a man named Fred Greenberg. It confirmed his suspicions as he climbed into his car, sun dipping low in the sky, that Fred Greenberg was where he had thought Fred was all along – dead. As he sat in his car, he thought about driving up Route 6 and checking out the college Fred attended. He could stroll around campus, maybe talk to some people who knew Fred personally. It might help. It might not. But he was at a dead end, so he thought it might be worth the extra effort. He turned on the engine, and as the automobile came to life, a name popped into his head for no reason at all – Gavin. And he wondered why he hadn’t checked in on Gavin since the last time he saw him putting up that sign? He didn’t know why, but as he sat there thinking, he realized he hadn’t seen Gavin around town recently. He didn’t register it as odd, but it was unusual for him not to see Gavin at least once a week, maybe more. Ernie left the thoughts of Fred behind for a moment. He decided to go check in on Gavin and see how he was doing. He backed the car out of its parking slot and eased out onto the road. Traffic was light (as it usually was in this town) and the drive didn’t take that long.

A few minutes later, Ernie pulled his car into Gavin’s driveway and brought the vehicle to a stop. In the light of the headlights he could see Gavin’s home and the place looked abandoned and deserted. He got out of his car, adjusted his coat in order to stop the chill, and made his way across the unkempt lawn. He walked up onto the front porch and tried the front door, which was usually unlocked, but this time it wasn’t. He walked around and checked the back door (locked just like the front) and then looked into the windows. The house was dark and silent. There was nobody home and no signs anyone had been home recently.

Ernie walked back to his car and stopped in front of it, headlights casting his shadow across the ground. He studied the house for a moment. Something didn’t feel right, something was obviously wrong. He climbed back into his car and turned on the heat, killing the chill of the evening. While he warmed his body he listened to sports talk radio and tried to focus on it. A minute later, he backed his car out of Gavin’s driveway and made his way out onto the main road. He thought it might be time to head out to Route 6 and check on Gavin, if he was still there. He hoped he was because it might provide some answers to the questions now whirling around in his head.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Some Podcasting Stuff – New Episodes

My Podcast – Songs You Don’t Know by Heart has a new episode available.

Check it out at this link: anchor.fm/thedeepcuts

And, if you want to hear me read some of my stories and some of my poems. I started another podcast to do just that. The Songs You Don’t Know by Heart Podcast is the one I am putting my effort into right now. The Nightlight Tales Podcast will have episodes in them sporadically. Basically when I feel like recording a poem or short story for it. This Podcast is meant to be a companion piece for my writing.

Check it out at this link: anchor.fm/nightlighttalespodcast

I wrote this section below for a Podcast script. Felt kind of wrong to delete it so I thought I would post it here. Just in case you want to start a Podcast someday – believe me it is a lot harder than you think.

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And as a sidebar, see here I go, getting off subject. This is something not at all related to this episode, but something I just want to talk about for a moment. Who’s going to stop me? Nobody else here. Hail to the king, baby. This is my thing and no one is standing behind me saying, You idiot shut up and get to the damn point. I’m getting there, promise, I just wanted to talk about this for a moment or two because it is currently burrowing throughout my brain like an out of control train that’s on fire and about to explode. 

If you are thinking about doing a podcast. If you are listening to me and saying if this guy can do it I can do it, believe me it isn’t as easy as it looks. And if you do it on your own, like me, it is even harder. And the reason being, what you can do behind the scenes, the amount of tools at your fingertips for podcasting is astonishing. And those tools, like Audacity, give you great ways to make your podcast great, but you can spend hours on the simplest thing and never get it right. Believe me, I know. Sometimes you got to say it is good enough and let it go.

Not sure why I went into that, but if you want to start a podcast, two things I’ve learned so far – get a mic first and foremost. And two, make sure you are ready to commit to it. Podcasting is fun, but it isn’t as easy as it looks. 

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 17

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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So much for hope she thought. So much for trying to start fresh. She knew her fate was never meant to be that good. She hoped that what was waiting for her on the other side would be paradise. She hoped it was better than where she was now. But after a few moments nothing happened. She eased her eyes open and saw that the axe was still in the air, still poised for its strike.

“What are you waiting on?” Rusty asked, somehow calm and angry at the same time. “Do it or don’t do it! But make up your damn mind!” She was tired of standing on the edge of death, staring into the chasm of eternity.

Perhaps the trees sensed or felt Gavin’s hesitation and they decided enough was enough. The one tree that had been holding Rusty in place, waiting with patience, yanked her into The Lot and into the nest of vipers it called siblings.

“NOOOOOO!” Gavin screamed and jumped over the fence, landing softly on the ground inside the trees. It was the first time he had ever been among them and he noticed that the air around him was different, suffocating, stifling, evil and ominous. He saw Rusty was currently fighting the trees as they tried to consume her, poking and stabbing with their limbs, drawing blood that was quickly lapped up. Gavin wasted no time and started swinging his axe, chopping limbs, hearing the trees scream as their sap like blood splattered violently. The trees now had to fend off Gavin as well as Rusty, so this was her one and only chance to escape. She fought her way out of the trees, jumped over the fence, and hurried to her truck as tree limbs shot out at her, barely missing her back. She hopped into the cab and sat down hard on the broken glass, not caring at all if she got injured from the shards. She turned on the vehicle, slammed the gear shift into reverse, spinning the tires as the truck moved backwards. She wheeled the vehicle around, sliding sideways a couple of times, and when the truck caught traction, she punched the gas and headed out to the main road. She glanced back one time and then was gone, leaving The Lot as memory, a memory she would not soon forget. Did she ever tell anyone? Nope. Who would believe her? She lived with the secret for the rest of her life, which turned out to be a very good one.

The trees, angered at Gavin’s rebellion, tossed him about like a ball, beating him badly, but not killing him. When they were finished with their lesson, they tossed him out and onto the hard cold ground. He bounced twice and came to rest on his back, feeling the abuse he had sustained radiating throughout his body. He lay there a moment before pulling himself up to a sitting position. When the stars in front of his eyes passed, he stumbled to his feet, wiping away blood. He turned towards the trees.

“Feed Us!” They screamed. “Feeds us or suffer!”

Gavin decided to fall in line, no bitching, and no arguing. He was beaten and broken and he saw no use to fight them anymore. He made the rounds, checking the traps he had set and he was happy to find he had caught a fat possum, three squirrels, and two rabbits. He freed the animals (ignoring their bites and scratches) one by one and tossed them alive into the trees without saying anything at all. He then re-set the traps, retrieved his axe, and went back into his tiny home. He slammed the door, dropped into a corner, and fell asleep.

And the nightmares came.

And the nightmares left.

And the morning arrived.

And a new day started.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 16

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

This story is now available at these locations: books2read.com.

Some of the new locations are Apple, Nook, and Kobo.

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He answered her question a second later when he emerged from the darkness of the tiny house. He had tossed the gun away and was now coming at her with an axe. He held it above his head, eyes bulging like a madman, marching towards her on shaky fatigued legs.

“Please. Please. Don’t do this.” She begged, still fighting the tree. But Gavin didn’t stop. He walked right up to her and paused, axe held high in the killing positon. Something in her eyes stopped his hand. It was a glimmer of hope, of life, of a future, all of the things he once had and would never have again.

The collective thoughts of the trees crawled into his brain – “kill her now, we are hungry” – they said.

“I have to. I’m sorry,” Gavin replied. When he opened his mouth a foul stench filled the air and Rusty could see that some of his teeth were missing, others were as black as night, about ready to fall out.

“Why? Why must you do this?” She asked, hoping to stall long enough to figure out an escape plan.

“I have to feed the trees,” he replied and looked out on The Lot.

She turned towards the trees and noticed that all of them seemed to be waiting for something. She turned back to Gavin. “You don’t have to do this.”

He readied the axe, gripped the handle tight. “I do and believe me I am very sorry. I truly am.”

Rusty closed her eyes, she was out of options and out of ideas. She had a mad man holding an axe in front of her and a tree branch holding her in place, all she could do was wait and hope that death would come quick.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 14

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

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*About to get gruesome and there is going to be some language.

I don’t write love stories. Just a warning.*

Rusty, a bar whore, one prone to spend time searching for love in all the wrong places, nursed her drink (whiskey straight) slowly and looked around the crowded country bar for a man to spend the night with. It didn’t really matter what kind of guy it was. She just needed someone to fill the need for the night. She was once an attractive woman, shimmering brown hair, sparkling green eyes, with a body that would make most men rethink religion and their wives. But at her current age of forty five she had started to sag and lag in all the wrong ways. She wasn’t aging into ugliness, nothing like that, but the drinking, the casual sex, drugs, and cigarettes, were taking a hard toll on her body and her looks.

“Another one, Rusty,” the bartender asked. He knew her and knew her drinking limits, they were legendary, so he knew it would take a lot for her to reach her limit.

“Slam it,” she replied and knocked back her drink. It went down easy and smooth.

“Not much to work with?” The bartender asked, a college kid, right around twenty, fit and in shape, kind of a stand out in a world filled with bar flies. He had noticed her eyes scanning the room while he poured her another round.

“No. Maybe it’s a sign.”

“A sign?”

“To clean things up, get back on a new path, quit trying to fuck everything that walks,” she replied, knocking back the drink in one gulp. She pulled out a large wad of bills and paid her tab, leaving a hefty tip.

“That tips too much,” the bartender replied, but he wasn’t going to turn it down. Steak instead of something in the microwave would be a nice change of pace.

“Keep it. You’ve earned it. Consider it an early Christmas present.”

“Thanks,” he replied. “Are you okay to drive?”

“Do you need to ask?”

“Part of the procedure. I have to ask even though I know the answer.”

“Yep, right as rain,” she replied and smiled, a smile that made her look years younger.

“Be safe. It’s starting to snow out there.”

“Will do. Thanks,” she replied and made her exit.

Outside, Rusty cinched her coat tight, and looked up into the late afternoon sky. It was a cold and dreary day, bitter winds were tearing through the air, and soft flakes of snow were falling, dusting the ground and the idle cars in the parking lot. She left her stance and hurried over to her truck. She climbed inside, fired up the engine, and turned on classic country music, but classic country wasn’t doing it for her today. She needed something more upbeat, louder, more in tune with the Christmas season. She found a local station playing nothing but Christmas songs. She turned it up loud, hummed along to Jingle Bell Rock, feeling good for the first time in a very long time, thinking that maybe the next year would be a season of change. Maybe pack it all up and head to the coast. Start fresh and start new. Plenty of places needed a waitress and she was sure one of them would hire her. She pulled out of the parking lot and angled her truck towards home. The drive was easy and smooth and about half way home was when she saw the sign for The Lot.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 12

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

+

*About to get gruesome and there is going to be some language.

I don’t write love stories. Just a warning.*

Delilah brought the car to a stop, tires crunching gravel as she did. Inside the small house, Gavin woke up with a stiff neck, covered in a cold sweat. He had been consumed by another nightmare, one of many that had prevented a healthy night’s sleep. When was the last time he had slept peacefully? He didn’t know.

He pushed himself to his feet and made his way to the door. He was thinner now, losing hair, and slowly dying from starvation and dehydration, but he didn’t care. He would finish the task at hand and hopefully die soon after it was done. He peered through the peep hole, eye-balling the two older ladies who were now looking at the trees. They were out of towners. He was sure of it. That was good. The trees hadn’t been fed in a while. He needed to feed them soon before they decided his town was their personal smorgasbord. He picked up the axe and waited for the right moment.

“These are beautiful trees,” Delilah replied, looking at the green pine trees bathed in the soft overhead lights.

“They are, but maybe we should go. Find a place closer to home.”

“Why? These are beautiful trees”

“Something doesn’t feel right here,” Ginny replied.

“You’re a spooky old broad, you know that?”

“And you could never see your ass for the train. I’m telling you something is foul here. I don’t know what it is, but something is wrong.”

Delilah breathed in the air, the sweet smell of pine, the perfect smell of pine, the trees were covered in that delicious scent, and it brought back memories of her childhood at Christmastime. There was no way this place had anything wrong about it. In fact, to prove her point, she crept up to the fence and leaned over it, caressing the soft needles of one of the trees. This tree seemed to respond to her touch, to almost move with her hand as she stroked it.

“See, it’s okay,” Delilah replied.

Ginny refused to step closer, and it was a good thing she didn’t, because the branch Delilah was touching quickly wrapped around her wrist like a snake. And once it had its grip it yanked her over the fence and into the nest of its siblings. The trees converged and greedily devoured her while her sister looked on in shock, shaking her head, mouth hanging open, sucking in the cool night air. She thought of the gun they kept in the car (a just in case for a just in case – both sisters trained to handle the lethal object) and started to make her way towards the vehicle. That’s when Gavin made his move. He hurried out of the house, axe held high, screaming like a mad man, looking like a skeleton with skin hanging off his frame.

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I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review The Lot on Route 6. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 7

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

+

*About to get gruesome. I don’t write love stories. Just a warning.*

Paul and Paulina Featherstone were heading home from her business conference when they happened upon the sign Gavin had made by hand. It read: “FRESH, LIVE CHRISTMAS TREES!”

They were both weary and tired as they pulled off of the two lane road and onto what appeared to be a man-made road large enough to fit their SUV. They were a young couple, early thirties, filled with life and expectations, fit and in shape. They didn’t know what awaited them.

“You sure we should be doing this?” Paulina asked, staring out at the open field and the trees, listening to the weeds and grass brushing the sides of the vehicle, eyes seeing nothing but emptiness wherever she looked. It was spooky silent and quiet.

“You worry too much. Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to have a live tree this year instead of that fake one we’ve been using all these years. The needles are about gone and we spend more time sweeping and vacuuming than we do enjoying it.”

“I like the fake one. Good memories you know,” she replied, glancing at the clock. It was just past 4 in the afternoon and the sun was starting to cast a thin light across the world.

“Sure, but I love the smell of a fresh pine tree. It takes me back to childhood days.”

“I get that, but it’s not even Thanksgiving. We still have a week to go. Isn’t this a bit early?”

“Maybe, but this is the first lot we’ve seen open. Might be able to get a real good tree at a real good price.”

Paulina fell silent. She knew she couldn’t argue with him when he got like this.

The car crept forward and when it rounded a set of trees they saw The Lot sitting alone in the field, basking in emptiness. Gavin had spruced the place up, given the small house and fence around the trees a Christmas makeover. Each white fence post had a Christmas scene painted on it – Santa with a child on his lap, Rudolph with his nose so bright, elves in Santa’s shop, Christmas trees and presents underneath, happy kids with toys, and so forth and so on. Nothing but good holiday cheer. Happiness and smiles all around. The house, which was nothing more than a shed with a roof and four walls, a door, and a tiny window, was painted to look like a Gingerbread House ready to be broken apart and devoured. Three spotlights had been erected in strategic areas around The Lot and were hooked up to a generator sitting behind the house. It was a beautiful unassuming Christmas scene, a perfect trap.

“I don’t know about this place,” Paulina replied, as Paul brought the car to a stop.

“It’ll be fine. Promise. Look I see a good one over there,” Paul replied, pointing into The Lot and turning off the car at the same time. He opened the door before she could protest again and climbed out. He took in a deep breath and savored the strong pine smell. It was the strongest he had ever smelled.

Paulina exited the car and joined her husband, who was peering into the trees, eyes on the one he wanted to take home.

“Have you ever seen them so green?” He asked.

“We’d kill it in a week.”

“What’s wrong with you? Where’s your childhood glee?”

“I just don’t like this place. It feels off.”

“How can it feel off? It’s a damn Christmas tree lot.”

“It just does. I think we should -”

A shotgun blast ended that statement, as she took a direct shot to the chest, tearing it open, covering her husband of ten years in a shower of bright red blood. Paul wiped away the pieces of his wife from his face, pieces that had temporarily blinded him, and dropped down to her side. He started to scream her name, as she bled out onto the ground. The roots of the trees moved quickly underneath the dirt and lapped up the blood as it sank into the Earth. Paul turned around, eyeballing the area, wondering where the shot had come from, and just as he caught a glimpse of metal, a second shotgun blast took off his head. Splattering him all over the front of the SUV, spinning him around in a circle. His lifeless body came to rest on top of his wife.

Gavin dropped the gun in the doorway and screamed. He then fell down to his knees and threw up. He couldn’t believe he had pulled a trigger that ended two lives, two healthy young lives from the look of it.

He smacked himself hard across the face, trying to regain his senses, and then forced his body to stand. He listened for sirens, but heard nothing, only silence, as he walked over to the dead couple and stared down at them. He had never seen death this close and personal and it caused a strange fascination. He jumped when Paulina, barely alive, reached up towards him. He looked down at her as death came and took her final breath.

Gavin turned away and puked again. When he was finished, he smacked himself again, wiped his mouth, and when he was composed, turned back to the task at hand. He grabbed Paul by his ankles and drug him over to the fence. He hoisted Paul up and onto the fence, hanging him there for a moment, stripping his pockets clean of all his personal items. He then grabbed Paul’s feet and was about to push him in when multiple tree limbs shot forward and grabbed him. They pulled Paul in, ripped him apart and then feasted on the scattered blood and body parts. When it was all said and done, all that was left of Paul were his shoes and tattered remains of clothes. Gavin picked them up the best he could and then tossed them into the back of the SUV along with Paul’s few personal items.

Finished with that task, he walked over to Paulina and was about to drag her to the trees when a thought popped into his head. He quickly stripped her naked, tossing all of her stuff into the back of the SUV, and then drug her body over to the trees. She was lighter than Paul, so he easily tossed her into the trees. He quickly turned away, but the sound of them eating was more than enough to make him nauseous again.

Gavin returned to the SUV and climbed behind the wheel. He sat there a moment looking the vehicle over, feeling the comfortable leather against his back side, imagining how great a ride this vehicle must be. The couple who had owned it had spared no expense. He closed his eyes, forced the tears to stay away, and when he thought he was composed, he opened them. That’s when he saw the two car seats, reflecting in the rear view mirror. They were covered in cheerio crumbs and goldfish, empty seats thankfully, but seats that said so much about the two people he had ruthlessly killed. He started to shake and bob back and forth. He screamed and screamed again. Clutching his hands. Fingernails digging into flesh. The nausea came. He puked again, but this time he had nothing left in his stomach, so he puked up blood, puked it all over the seat Paulina had just been sitting in. He wiped his mouth, punched the dash, and then turned on the vehicle. The SUV purred softly as he drove it down to the pond and stopped at the water’s edge. He opened the door, put the car in neutral, and climbed out when it started rolling. The vehicle was consumed by the dark water, dragging it deep into the murky depths.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review it. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 6

Kill for me. A terrifying request, but Gavin will take this request and do his best to complete it. He will suffer. He will reach the edge of his sanity. He will live in pain. But he will do all he can do to protect the people and the town he loves.

US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086814J42

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B086814J42

AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B086814J42

CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B086814J42

+

Gavin stood on the road, watching for cars, nailing a wooden post into the ground. The sun was warming the day, making it a lot hotter than it should have been. A police car pulled up and stopped near the spot where he was working. Gavin stopped his work and turned towards the man climbing out from behind the wheel. Ernie Holsten, tall and lanky, adjusted his clothes as he walked over to where Gavin was standing. Gavin stood about 6 foot 5, and he had a good three inches of height over Ernie.

“Afternoon,” Gavin replied, adjusting himself, popping his neck – a neck that seemed stiffer now that he was thirty. And he assumed that if he felt this way, Ernie, who was fifty five, must be into a whole other category of body pains.

“Afternoon,” Ernie replied, adjusting his gun belt so it felt a bit more comfortable. “How are you?”

“Fine. You?”

“Good as can be I guess.”

“Something on your mind?”

“Hadn’t seen you around town in a bit. Just wondering if you were doing okay. Tried your home, figured you might be here since I didn’t find you there.”

“Trying to fix up the land, maybe thinking about selling it sometime soon. Money is always appreciated and I don’t need the land. Sitting here doing nothing but growing grass and weeds.”

“Selling it. Really? Hasn’t your family owned it for generations?” Ernie asked, confused.

“Long time. Sure,” Gavin replied, thinking about the trees, the hungry trees who needed to be fed. He wasn’t sure how he knew that, but he somehow he knew it was time to start feeding them.

“Why now?” Ernie asked, feeling that Gavin, who was always a great and loyal guy, always lived on the side of honest, wasn’t telling him the whole truth. Something seemed off, but he wasn’t sure what it was.

“Nest egg. Retirement. You know, thinking of the future.”

“I understand that,” Ernie replied, looking Gavin over from top to bottom, noticing he was looking a bit thinner and he looked like he hadn’t been sleeping well. Huge black rings circled his eyes.

“Have I done something wrong?”

“Nope. Only Worried. Hoping you’re okay.”

“I’m fine,” Gavin replied kind of sharply, but with a smile. He never liked being rude, but he didn’t have time for the chit chat. He could sense the trees. He could sense their hunger. He could feel them wanting Ernie. There was a tingle in the air that only he could feel. He turned towards the trees and whispered the word – “No.”

“No?” The sheriff asked, eyebrows raised.

“No. No problems. I’m A-Okay,” Gavin replied, popping up his thumb.

“You know you can talk to me anytime about anything.”

“I know and I appreciate it, but I’m fine. I’d like to get back to my work if you don’t mind.”

Ernie looked at the post, standing rigid in the ground, waiting on something to be hung on it. “Are you putting a sign on the post?”

“I can’t sell the land if I don’t advertise.”

“Guess not,” Ernie replied, glancing at the field, noticing a well-worn path that led back into it, disappearing behind a set of tall trees. He couldn’t see what was behind the trees, but the path looked like it had been used frequently.

“Is that it?”

“Yeah.”

“Thanks for checking in.”

“Stay out of the heat. Going to be an unusually hot one. Heat like this, so strange this close to Thanksgiving.”

“It is,” Gavin replied. “Have a good one.”

“You too,” Ernie replied and then walked over and opened the car door. He paused before climbing behind the wheel. He looked at Gavin. “Remember. Anything you need, I’m here.”

“Got it,” Gavin replied, smiling again.

“Okay,” Ernie replied, and climbed into the car. He turned on the engine and waved as he passed. Gavin waved back and then went back to his hammering. When he was done (and sure he was alone), he hung up the handmade sign that was going to rest on the post throughout the season. He stepped back and looked at his work. He thought the sign would do what it needed to do. He turned from the sign to the road and wondered if anyone would show up or if he would have to go looking for victims. Route 6 wasn’t frequently traveled. He hoped he wouldn’t have to go looking for anyone or anything. He wasn’t the killing kind and he certainly wasn’t the stalking and planning kind either. He hoped his victims would come to him. He knew that would be the best scenario, but he knew it probably wouldn’t work out to be that simple. It also wouldn’t lessen his burden or make it easier on him to hand out the killing stroke, but he knew he would be less likely to get caught or screw things up if it happened right here in the field.

“Well, better get back to it,” he replied to himself and then went back to work. It was time to make a road that led into The Lot.

+

I recently published this novella or short story, depending on how you look at it, and I wanted to promote it. So, my brain got to thinking, and my brain came up with three ways you can enjoy this story (if you want to read it).

  1. Tune in every Wednesday and read it page by page until it is completed.
  2. Send me an email: atothewr@gmail.com. In the header put: I would love to review it. Then let me know what you use to read ebooks: Kindle or Something Else. I will send it to you and all I ask is for you to give me a fair and honest review.
  3. If you are able to buy it and do want to support me the links to purchase the story are posted above.

Thanks again for all the support. I promise Poetry and Haiku as much as I can, but I hope you stick with me each Wednesday as I branch off into something a bit different. And if you missed a page look for the story underneath the Hump Day Promotions category. You are now free to move around the blog.