Grandma got run over by a Zombie: A Zombie Christmas Part 6

Thanks for listening. Have a great Christmas. And if you want to support me you can find this short story everywhere from Amazon, to Nook, to Apple, wherever you get your ebooks it should be there.

Here comes zombies right down Santa Claus lane: A Zombie Christmas Part 5

Thanks for listening. Have a great Christmas. And if you want to support me you can find this short story everywhere from Amazon, to Nook, to Apple, wherever you get your ebooks it should be there.

You’re a Mean One, Mr. Zombie: A Zombie Christmas Part 4

Thanks for listening. Have a great Christmas. And if you want to support me you can find this short story everywhere from Amazon, to Nook, to Apple, wherever you get your ebooks it should be there.

Walking in a Zombie Wonderland: A Zombie Christmas Part 3

Thanks for listening. Have a great Christmas. And if you want to support me you can find this short story everywhere from Amazon, to Nook, to Apple, wherever you get your ebooks it should be there.

Jingle Bells, Zombies Smell: A Zombie Christmas Part 2

Thanks for listening. Have a great Christmas. And if you want to support me you can find this short story everywhere from Amazon, to Nook, to Apple, wherever you get your ebooks it should be there.

It’s beginning to look like zombies: A Zombie Christmas Part 1

Are we really back to this short story today? Yep. I am once again dusting this one off for the blog and each day this week will bring a new installment of this story. But this year it won’t be something you read. It will be something you listen to. I recently recorded this short story for the Nightlight Tales Podcast. It was six episodes worth of material – so for the next six days you can get a chance to hear my voice reading you this tale. Episode 1 drops today. Thanks for listening. Have a great Christmas. And if you want to support me you can find this short story everywhere from Amazon, to Nook, to Apple, wherever you get your ebooks it should be there.

Haiku – 10/31/2020

Round pumpkin grinning

Sitting on the front porch steps

Glowing in the night

***

Acorns shift and move

Growing legs, arms, and faces

Time to devour

***

Night alive with fright

Ghosts and goblins haunt the dark

Filling it with fear

***

And if you need a little Halloween read this year. Here is my short story A Haunted House Tale.

Available to purchase at his link: apoetryjourney.wordpress.com.

If you prefer to hear me read some stories you can check out the Nightlight Tales Podcast: anchor.fm/nightlighttalespodcast

Happy Halloween!

A HAUNTED HOUSE TALE

It was one of those old houses, the ones you see in all the scary films or the ones that are among the scary stories told to you when you were just a kid, a ramshackle Victorian home a century old, vacant, empty, haunted.

A car pulled up in front of this house and stopped. Its lights spread across the weedy overgrown lawn, and the dead landscaping. This light also highlighted a large front porch. This empty porch was now sagging in all the wrong spots.

Inside the car were five people, aged 18–25. Kevin, Scott, Robert, Suzy and her girlfriend Nancy. They all attended the local college together, and they studied very similar subjects. It made them instant friends.

They were out on this night, and at this house for one reason, Halloween. They wanted a good scare, and a cheap thrill to make this holiday perfect. Little did they know, they were about to get everything they desired, and so much more.

“So, who brought the beer?” Kevin asked, as a breeze filtered in through the car window and blew back his sandy brown hair. The hoop earring in his left ear twinkled as the moon moved into and out of a dark cloud. He wore what everyone else was wearing, jeans, shirts, jackets, and tennis shoes – casual clothes for casual kids.

“I got, I got it,” Robert replied, as he opened a cooler and handed one to Kevin. DragonForce’s “Disciples of Babylon” started to play through the car speakers. He leaned over, cranked it up, and banged his long black hair as the music blasted.

“Can you turn that down a bit?” Suzy asked, covering her ears.

“Why? This really shreds,” Robert replied, as he air guitared along to the song.

“It’s annoying is what it is,” Nancy replied, taking her partner’s side. They had been together for four years now, and were still as thick as thieves.

“Fine,” Robert replied, not only turning down the music, but turning it off.

“I honestly don’t see what you see in them. They aren’t classic Thrash Metal like Testament or Overkill even though they wanna be,” Scott replied, sitting there with his red spiky hair, and skin so white it almost glowed in the full moonlight.

“Those guys are aging dinosaurs. They had their time. It’s time for something new,” Robert replied.

“Understand, just don’t want it to be that,” Scott replied.

Robert flipped him the bird, and their musical discussion fell silent.

“Do you think we should go up there? I mean, it looks unsafe and super spooky. What if the stories about this place are true?” Suzy asked, taking comfort in Nancy’s arms, her sparkly brown eyes staring at the house.

Nancy followed Suzy’s gaze, as she stroked her partner’s short black hair. She too thought it looked super spooky.

“All it is, is tales, passed down by the same adults who turn their noses up at you two guys, and what you two are doing,” Robert replied, as he pulled a beer out of the cooler and popped it open. He chugged it hard, burped, and then laughed just to show how manly he was supposed to be.

“Real mature,” Nancy replied, looking at Robert, pushing her raven black hair out of her eyes.

“Thank you,” Robert replied, burping again.

Nancy ignored him and turned to Suzy. “If you don’t want to go, we don’t have to.”

“Hell no we don’t! We didn’t come all this way to chicken out now!” Scott chimed in, smoking on a joint. He was planning to get good and buzzed before going into the towns most haunted of houses.

“Don’t bogart that thing man. Hand it over,” Kevin replied, looking at Scott.

“I hear . . .” Scott replied, as he inhaled and exhaled then passed it on. “. . . there’s a creature that lives in there. People have claimed to have seen it. They say it is an imp of some sort.”

“An imp. Really? Give me a break Scott,” Robert replied.

“Where did you hear this?” Nancy asked.

“Previous owners, kids who’ve come out here for a party . . .”

“. . . and bums, right Scott? Bums who have no idea what day of the week or month it is. They’re probably so hopped up and high that they see about anything when the shadows grow thick in that place,” Robert replied.

“I’ve heard a lot of things about this place ever since I was a child. I’ve always wanted to come, just didn’t have a sucker to go with me. Now I have four,” Scott replied smiling, as someone tossed something at him.

“How about we just go back? We’ve seen it, we can party here in the car, tell people we went in. No one will ever know,” Suzy replied, cutting into their conversation, hoping against hope that being here was enough for all of them; but, of course, it wasn’t.

The passenger door opened.

Robert stumbled out of the car and into the busted, broken asphalt driveway. Weeds swished against his pants as he walked over to a nearby fountain and looked at it. In the center of this fountain was a moss-covered concrete statue of a kid on his knees about to roll a ball.

“Well, he’s out, better go after him,” Scott replied, pushing back the passenger seat so he could join his friend.

Kevin pulled the keys out of the ignition, and climbed out as well. Once outside the car, he leaned back in and looked at the girls. “We’ve come this far. Might as well see what all the fuss is about.”

The girls looked at each other as Kevin went around to the trunk and opened it up.

“What do you say, Suzy?”

“As long as you stay with me.”

“I’ll be right by your side, promise.”

“Let’s go then.”

The two girls climbed out of the car, and walked over to where Scott and Robert were standing in front of the fountain.

“Would you look at this place?” Kevin replied when he joined his friends.

“It is crazy scary,” Scott replied.

“Just the pot man. Come on. Let’s get the gear and get inside,” Kevin replied, walking back to the car.

His friends joined him a second later, and the gear was quickly swept up by all five of them. With gear in hand and five flashlights beaming, they walked over to the gate and stopped. This gate was attached to a silver rusty fence, which was broken in many spots as it made its way around the forgotten yard. Kevin pulled the gate open, and it let out a screech that sounded like a scream, as the rusty hinges were forced back into service. He stepped onto the broken sidewalk, which was mostly tall grass and weeds now, and led the way to the busted porch.

The others, of course, followed him.

When they reached the porch, they stopped. The six wooden steps that led onto it were mostly broken, and the rotten rails were detached and laying in the overgrown shrubbery, so they all took their time getting onto this porch with the gear in hand.

Once on the porch, which was creaking and moaning and generally pissed off that someone was standing on it, they could see that the front door with the busted lock had a “No Trespassing!” sign slanted sideways across it.

Kevin grabbed the door handle, turned it, and pushed the door open. It screamed like the gate, as the rusty hinges were forced back into service. He shined the light forward. “Wow,” he replied, stepping into the small foyer area.

On either side of him, were benches where people could sit and take off their shoes. These benches were filled with holes, rotting away from termite damage. He could also see a couple of coat trees still in pretty good shape, and two double doors that led into the main house that use to be filled with stained glass. What was left of this glass was on either side of the double doors, and in jagged pieces at the top and bottom of their frames.

Kevin pushed the two double doors open (as his friends remained quiet behind him), and the house presented itself to them with a mingling odor of must, decay, pee, and feces. It was one big unpleasant smell.

“So bums spend time in here?” Suzy asked, looking around the place, not sure why anyone would ever come into this dilapidated home.

“I don’t know how,” Nancy chimed in beside her, holding her hand tight.

“Try a cold Raleigh January night sometime. Any place would be better than being outside,” Scott replied.

The dining room seemed like the best place for them to set up, so Kevin led his friends into that room. “This is near the door, close to an exit.”

“What? Are you scared now too?” Scott asked, trying to man up even though he was ready to bolt at the first sign of boo.

“What about that picture? I swear it is looking at me,” Suzy replied, light upon a painted portrait of a man in an army suit standing in front of a large Oak tree.

They all looked up at it, and even though the eyes were staring at them, they were blank, dark, and motionless.

“Just your imagination,” Nancy replied, trying to comfort her. “Besides, those eyes are painted on. Wouldn’t there be holes there instead for someone to look through?”

Suzy nodded, her nerves started to calm.

When no one was looking at the painting, the painted eyes flashed out, and two real eyes appeared in their place. These green evil eyes watched the kids as they set up for the night.

“Help me move this,” Scott replied, as he motioned to the dining room table and chairs.

The other two guys jumped in and helped him get it all out of the way. When they were finished, they now had a big open spot in the middle of the room to set up their gear.

“I’ll get a fire started. You guys set up,” Kevin replied, as he walked over to the fireplace with the gigantic brown wooden mantel piece and red brick hearth.

“Yes, sir!” Scott and Robert replied, saluting Kevin with their middle fingers.

“Jerks,” he replied, as he reached up and grabbed the lever to the damper, which would allow the smoke from the fire to leave the room. A dead bird, down to mostly a skeleton now, fell into the fireplace causing him to jump. He heard his friends laugh behind him. He flipped them a bird, and they laughed again.

They all got back to serious, and set up camp for the night.

Twenty minutes later they were done.

They now had a large fire in the fireplace (burning items of wood found in the lower regions of the house), Metallica blasting on the stereo, beer and pot flowing freely, lawn chairs, open cooler, and munchies – a perfect party.

While they partied, all the doors that would allow escape, gently closed. Their busted locks turned into brand new locks that locked from the inside and not the out. A key appeared in the key slot of each and every one of them. A second later all these keys started to turn until their door was sealed. The keys evaporated, and now the five people inside were trapped, sitting ducks, victims waiting for the slaughter.

Also, while they partied, all the windows, most of them busted, re-formed and their once broken locks were replaced with new ones. These locks clicked into a locking position, a magical locking position that no human could undo. Did I also mention that the windows were shatter proof?

A couple of hours passed, the party started to dwindle.

“I think it is time for me and Suzy to get to bed,” Nancy replied, trying to stand up on two very wobbly legs.

Suzy reached up to her, and Nancy pulled her to her feet. The two girls embraced for a moment as Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” played in the background.

“Just keep it down girls,” Scott replied, smiling, really wanting to see what would happen inside their tent when no one was watching.

“I’m too stoned,” Nancy replied to Scott, and then went over and climb into the tent.

“Nothing but sleep for us, perv,” Suzy replied, looking at Scott. She then looked at her friends. “See you guys in the morning,” she replied, and walked over to join Nancy in the tent, a tent that was closest to the hallway, a tent closest to danger.

In the shadows of the hallway, two evil green eyes watched the two girls go to bed. It moved its’ eyes from the tent to the men, and watched them for a while, watched them fall into a stoned, drunk state of unawareness. When the imp was sure it wouldn’t be detected, it made its way over to the girl’s tent and peered inside. Sure enough, both girls were asleep in the same sleeping bag. The imp looked back over its shoulder. The guys were none the wiser, as it slipped inside.

Once inside, it pulled out a foot long knife, ruby red blade, emerald green handle, and slipped over to the girls. It dispatched them quickly with two quick slashes. They bled out into eternal slumber without ever waking up.

3 more to go.

The men continued to jam, as the furry little imp, wearing only green tattered shorts, slithered out from inside the tent and scurried off into the darkness, his hoofed feet clacking softly on the floor as he ran.

“Did you hear that?” Scott asked, as the pot quickly turned from happy friend to paranoid enemy.

The MP3 player moved onto Metallica’s “Jump in the Fire.”

“It’s just the pot man. Relax. You know how you get,” Robert replied, annoyed his buzz had been disturbed. He closed his eyes, and tried to get back into the groove of things.

“Robert’s right. Just enjoy the buzz,” Kevin replied, eyes blank and staring ahead.

Scott didn’t feel right, and something in him knew it wasn’t just the pot. The shadows dancing on the wall, cast by the burning fire, took on ghostly images with sinister looks and devious intentions. He closed his eyes and tried to zone back into the music, tried to zone back into the good buzz he had going, but it was hard to do with his instincts on high alert.

“Holy shit!” Kevin screamed, suddenly and without warning, eyes wide, and scared.

Robert and Scott looked at him and then to the spot where he was staring.

In the darkness of the hall, a ghost hovered there wearing a long white robe, conjured up from the very depths of hell. This ghost had a blank white face, dark black eyes bleeding red tears. A black portal for a mouth, no nose and no ears. It had scaly white hands, dangling white feet, and a bald shiny white head.

Robert, Scott, and Kevin, of course stood up, chairs flipping end over end behind them as they did.

The fire popped and cracked as the ghost evaporated.

The MP3 player suddenly took on a life of its own, as it flipped through the songs with lightning speed until it reached Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” The song blared to life, and it seemed to not only pour out of the stereo the MP3 player was attached to, but the music was coming from everywhere in the house from the basement to the attic it pounded from invisible speakers.

“Time to go!” Kevin screamed, as he made his way towards the girl’s tent. He opened it up, ready to say something to Nancy and Suzy, but the words fell out of his mouth in cold silence. He backed up from the bloody scene, to the wall, trying to keep it all together even though he felt like he might throw up at any moment.

Scott and Robert watched as the wall behind Kevin turned into a giant mouth with sharp crooked wooden gnashing teeth covered in dried stained blood. Two plaster arms blew out of the wall with hands on the ends of these arms. These wooden hands with rusty nails for fingernails grabbed Kevin as he tried to run away. The rusty nails implanted themselves into his body squirting blood out of him like someone squeezing a tomato too tight. He was stuck, couldn’t move, as he struggled to get free. Scott and Robert watched as the plaster arms picked Kevin up and tossed him into the mouth. He was chewed up, and quickly consumed, lost somewhere inside the fabric of the wall.

The wall returned to normal, and the imp appeared before the men. It smiled its evil little smile, which lit up its jack-o-lantern like face. Its eyes were irregular shaped triangles, mouth almost stretched from ear to ear, nose a misshapen oval. It stood three feet tall with two large pointy horns on top of its bald head.

Scott and Robert took off for the hallway, as the imp danced his happy death dance. He was having so much fun that he almost couldn’t contain his glee. He loved Halloween. This night always gave him so much energy.

Scott went left and ran towards the front door. He grabbed the handle and a bolt of electricity shot out of it. He could see it traveling, as the blue static raced across his left hand and up his arm. When it reached his shoulder it moved over it, across his shoulder blade, up his neck, up the side of his face, ending at the top of his skull. When the bolt stopped moving it blew off a large chunk of his hair, and put him hard onto his back. He lay there a moment, dazed and confused, head slightly smoking.

Robert, of course, saw none of this. He was heading for the back door, which was in the kitchen. When he reached this door, he stopped. There was a brand new lock in place that could only be unlocked from the outside. Without a key, he was stuck. He made his way over to the nearest window and tried to bust it out. Each chair he tried shattered on impact, but the window never broke. He gave up and headed for the stairs, stopping in the hall when he saw Scott still lying on the floor.

The imp appeared on top of Scott, knife out, ruby red blade and emerald handle splashed with light from the fire in the fireplace. “Two more to go, actually one more to go,” the imp replied, laughing an ugly evil laugh. Without hesitation, the imp drove the blade into Scott’s chest over and over again, spraying blood all over everything. The imp laughed again, as he showered himself in the rich iron liquid flowing free from Scott’s body. He licked his lips, and just enjoyed the moment.

“No!” Robert screamed, but there was nothing he could do.

The imp hopped off of Scott, dripping drops of blood onto the floor as he stood there waving the blade towards Robert in a threatening way. The imp evaporated a second later.

Robert ran for the stairs, falling through about four steps before finally making it to the second floor. He raced frantically through each room. Past the old beds and furniture, ignoring the pee and bum smells covering the air, and in each room he found the exact same thing, brand new locked windows, all of them shatter proof.

The imp taunted him each step of the way. Appearing here and there, waving his blade, smiling and laughing at the fear eating Robert alive. “Don’t Fear the Reaper” ended several times and then came blaring back to life again. It was like a sound track of fear specifically designed for this chase.

When Robert reached the end of the hall, he stopped. He could go no further.

The imp appeared in front of him. “Well, well, it seems we’ve reached the end of our little journey. Have you had fun? I know I have. My heart is almost bursting with glee.”

“Just do with me what you will,” Robert replied, defiant. “I’ve had enough of your little games.”

“Have you now? And here I thought we were having so much fun. I’m disappointed to hear that. I really am.”

Robert had no reply, as the imp paced back and forth, smiling his evil jester smile, enjoying every moment of this terror, twirling the blade around to help him think.

Then it happened.

The grandfather clock (somehow not stolen, somehow still working) down the hall struck midnight, “Don’t Fear the Reaper” stopped instantly, and the house fell back to its former state of disrepair.

Robert felt a breeze cool his hot sweaty skin, as it filtered in through the broken stained glass window in front of him.

“Well, well, will you look at that? It seems that in having fun I completely lost track of the time. Its 3 A.M. already, and you have survived. Riches now lay at your feet,” the imp replied, bowing.

“What are you talking about?” Robert asked, as the floor below him started to change.

Another world sprang up around him.

The house fell away, and sunlight greeted his eyes. He squinted, as he looked down at his feet. A silver path of bricks formed and ran off into the distance. On either side of this path flowers rose up out of the ground, popped open, and bloomed. These weren’t ordinary flowers. The stems and leaves were emeralds, green and shiny, and the flowers were made up of all kinds of jewels. There were sunflowers made of gold, roses made of rubies, the tulips were made up of white pearls, and on and on it went even to the trees, which were covered in amber bark and green emerald leaves. The world glittered and shined everywhere Robert looked, and as he stood there small clouds began to rain down diamonds. Then he felt something soft and furry grab his hand. He looked down and the imp was holding up a brown rubbery sack.

“I don’t offer this very often. Have at it, time is a wasting,” the imp replied, as Robert took the sack from his furry brown hand. “When the magic wears off you will be back in your car, so you better hurry.”

“Can I pick the flowers?”

“You can, yes, just grab until your sack is full or time runs out. Anything you see in this field is yours.”

“How much time do I have?”

“Not long, so go. Thanks for playing,” the imp replied, vanishing.

Robert was now standing in the field alone, and it looked like he was right in the center of it. He found his feet and started stuffing the bag, anything and everything he could grab went into it. He worked until time ran out, and he found himself sitting in the driver’s seat of the car.

The keys were in the ignition.

He turned on the motor and sat there a moment, the bag beside him pregnant and full. He looked from the bag to the house, and did he see something in the attic looking back at him? He wasn’t sure, but he was sure that he was ready to leave. He put the car into gear, cranked up the tunes, and drove off into the night, sad for the loss of his friends, but happy because now he was one of the richest people on this Earth.

THE END

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.

+

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.

+

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.

+

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.

+

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.

+

“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.

+

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.

+

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.

+

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.

+

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.

+

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.

+

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.

Humpday Promotions: The Lot on Route 6: Page 19

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 Smith, young, fit, thirty five and aging quick in his line of work, was sitting in his cubicle, surrounded by pictures of his family and trinkets his kids had made for him, when Mason Wilson walked in unannounced. Mason was thirty eight, heavy and overweight, but not so much that he couldn’t get around or chase the bad guys when the need arose. He put a map down on top of what Liam was working on.

“Can I help you?” Liam asked.

“Do you see the red circles?” Mason asked.

“Yes,” Liam replied, looking down at the map, covering his keyboard, stopping his fingers in mid type. Mason had a bad habit of doing this. Interrupting Liam when he thought something was so important that it couldn’t wait and most of the time it could.

“There’s one at the college, one over here at a Bingo hall where they recently had a big tournament, and another at this conference center.”

“I have eyes.”

“Anyway,” Mason replied, a bit annoyed. He pushed the annoyance away and continued.  “Three cases just came across the wire and do you know what each of them have in common?” Liam shook his head. “The people in these cases started at these red circled areas and the only way to get home from those areas was to take this road.” He pointed at Route 6.

“What’s your point?”

“Point is, Route 6 is the link to these three disappearances.”

“Kind of a thin lead,” Liam replied, hoping to get back to his work, trying not to seem like he was trying to get Mason out of his cubicle, which he was.

“Sometimes you can’t see the frog for the pond. Don’t you see? It has to be a connection.”

Liam glanced at the Christmas tree on his desk. This was the tough part about being a Federal Agent (F.B.I.). A case could come across his desk at any minute and that case could take him away from his wife and kids for an undisclosed amount of time. And this year he wanted to be home, wanted to see their faces on Christmas morning, a morning he missed the previous year investigating the farmer who dropped his wife in a well. He hoped this current case wouldn’t take too long, but he knew it probably would. “Okay, we’ll get started tomorrow morning, but can we wrap it up by Christmas? I really want to be home this year. I’ve missed too much because of this job,” Liam replied, feeling a bit selfish putting it that way, but the truth was the truth.

“You afraid your wife might shack up with Santa.”

“Or one of his elves.”

“Promise. We’ll try to wrap it up as quickly as we can,” Mason replied and made his exit.

Liam watched him go and then turned back to the map, which was still sprawled across his desk. He figured he might as well form a game plan so they could get started as soon as possible. The quicker they started maybe the quicker they would finish. He hoped.

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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 18

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.

+

Ernie Holsten, wiped his mouth on a napkin and put down his barbeque sandwich when the older couple approached his desk. He registered their age as early fifties. Both had grey hair, eyes dark and droopy from lack of sleep, and stress lines covering their faces. The woman had at least tried to pull herself together by fixing her hair and putting on makeup. But the man wasn’t hiding his sorrow. He had a thick scraggly beard peppered with white and the red eyes of a drunk, those eyes said more than words could ever say. The couple took turns shaking Ernie’s hand and then he offered them the two seats in front of his desk, cheap seats with fake leather cushions and tarnished silver legs and arm rests. The couple sat down with a thump almost in unison.

“How can I help you?” Ernie asked, adjusting his slacks and collared shirt. It was a thing he did when he was nervous or when he sensed that trouble was about to find him and from the looks of these two, trouble was all they were bringing.

The woman welled up with tears, trying to form the words she wanted to say, but they weren’t there. Her husband took a photograph from her shaky hands, a photograph that was wrinkled and filled with fingerprints from too many people touching it. The man handed the photograph to Ernie, who took it and looked at it, and then he looked at them.

“Our son, Fred Greenberg never made it home for Thanksgiving. He’s always been a good kid and he’s never late. This isn’t like him. Can you help us?”

“I assume you’ve filed a missing person’s report.”

“We have. A few days after he disappeared. And we’ve looked from the college where he attended all the way back to our house. He’s vanished. We can’t find a single trace of him.”

Ernie leaned back in his chair, it squeaked its disapproval, as he started thinking, the cogs in his brain turning slow. How could someone vanish in a world filled with technology? And the answer that came to him was an obvious one, but he was trying to push that answer away.

“Do you think you can help us? The man at the desk said you were the best at what you do and if anyone could find anyone you could.”

Ernie thought for a moment. There was nothing urgent to work on, nothing that had to be done before the holidays, and if he had to postpone the few things he had to do in order to canvas the area he thought he could do it without getting behind. He also thought it might be nice to get out of the office. The air inside the building was starting to get stale. “I can start looking for him. But I need you to – Ernie paused and rummaged through his desk until he found what he was looking for – send all you can about him, school, phone number, and things like that to this email address.” He handed the man a plain white card with black lettering that had his information on it. The man took it and looked down at it for a moment. Ernie bit his lip and then continued. “I’ll also need the picture.”

The man looked up and nodded slowly and with a bit of hesitation let it go. Ernie took the picture and placed it on his desk. He then locked eyes with the man. “I’m sorry. I wish I could do more for you. Maybe give you guys a bit more comfort, but I will do what I can to get you some kind of information, good or bad.”

“Thanks,” the man replied, and helped his wife stand up. She was still unable to talk.

“I promise I’ll do my best,” Ernie replied, shaking the man’s hand.

“That’s all we want.” He turned to his wife. “Come on Martha. Let’s get home. Nothing else we can do here.”

“Daniel, is he going to find Fred?”

“I hope so,” Daniel replied, and he and his wife exited the room without looking back at Ernie.

When they were gone, Ernie walked over to the front desk. “Hey Jack, can I see the report that couple filed?”

Jack, fat and unfit, looking fifty instead of forty, on the verge of a heart attack if he didn’t lose weight, dug out the report and handed it to Ernie. “What do you think?”

“It isn’t going to be a happy Christmas for them. But I hope I’m wrong.”

“Your instincts have rarely been wrong,” Jack replied.

“That’s what I’m afraid of.” Ernie looked down at the report and then back to Jack. “My day is open. I think I’ll get started on this.”

“Cold one today, better bundle up.”

“Will do. Thanks,” Ernie replied. He grabbed his coat and made his exit.

+

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 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.

+

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.

+

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.