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The Storm by Dee Rea

Sheila: I hope you enjoy this little tale of revenge and retribution.

 A deep dark blue sky.

She always thought of his eyes when the sky was painted in the dark hues of blue that came before the storm. She stood on the cliff staring out over the sea watching the waves crash on the rocky shore below. Pulling the light shawl closer around her, she shivered. She lifted her gaze to the incoming clouds and lifted her hands toward the sky. Her tears trailed down her cheeks. She heard the increasing tempo of the drums behind her and knew that her family was looking out for her the best way they knew how. They didn’t understand that her heart was what was chilling her now, not the chill in the air or the light mist of the coming storm. She closed her eyes and let her rage fuel her thoughts.

“Love,” the male voice whispered softly.

“Not now Da, please not now.” She pulled her arms in protectively to wrap around herself.

“Love, it’s time…”

“So soon? I thought I would have more time.” She sighed heavily when the comforting arms of her father pulled her close to his side.

“Wagon justice is swift. Time for him to pay for his crimes against this family.”

She nodded slowly. She couldn’t help but feel that this was somehow her fault. She hated feeling guilty knowing what was coming his way for his crimes against her. Sniffling, she reached up to wipe the tears from her cheeks. She knew her father would want her to show a strong resolve when she faced him. Lifting her chin, she closed her eyes for a moment letting her father guide her back to the camp and the trial that awaited them both. She started to hear the sounds of the camp more clearly. The drums no longer muted the sounds of the gathered voices.

“Tradition dictates that you stand tall before the wagon, Jamie. You have wronged a member of this family. You now face justice.”

“Justice? This isn’t justice! This is between Glory and myself. Nothing to do with any of you crazy people!” Jamie said indignantly. He saw his wife and her father coming closer. “Glory! Tell them! Tell them that this is between us! We can work through this! I said I was sorry! Baby, please, let’s just go home and talk about it! I know we can work it out!”
“Da, can we just get this over with please? I’m ready to be done with this whole nightmare.” Glory looked up at her father. She would make him proud. She wouldn’t let her husband see her cry.

“Jamie, you will get a chance to speak when Glory has had her say. Until she does, you are to say nothing. If you do, you will lose your ability to speak. Your tongue will be taken from you. Is this in any way unclear to you?” Kristopher asked, pulling his daughter closer. He watched the man shake his head with a smile. He nudged his daughter closer to the fire.

Glory inhaled slowly as she walked to take the traditional place of honor across the fire from her husband. She leveled her gaze on him knowing that her crystalline blue eyes were devoid of emotion as she glared at him. Her voice started slow and low as she spoke the words of their ancestors. After the words were spoken, she lifted a finger to point at Jamie. Her voice raised with the anger of his betrayal.

“Jamie, you stand before the wagon accused of committing adultery. You brought a woman to our home. Our home, Jamie! The place where we had dreamed of raising our children, of building a life! You brought a harlot to my bed! You sullied the sanctity of our marriage with her cries of passion! You committed the ultimate crime against me and my familia! You got that whore pregnant! Why Jamie?” She lowered her voice dangerously. “Was I not enough to sate your lust that you had to bring a whore to your heart?”

The gasps of the older women made Jamie cringe. He looked around wildly for an ally in this insanity. He shook his head as if to deny her words. He snapped his attention to the tall man standing behind Glory when he spoke.

“Jamie, you have a chance to answer to your accuser. Chose your words very carefully.” The meaning wasn’t lost on the younger man.

“I… Glory, I’m so…I’m sorry! I didn’t think you’d find out! She didn’t mean a thing to me, I swear! That’s why I told her I’d pay for her to get rid of the kid! I never meant for you to know!” He sobbed woefully.

“You have answered to the charges and have not denied your crimes. You now face wagon justice!” The word justice echoed through the night as the gathered crowd began to chant. Kristopher motioned to the two burly men standing beside Jamie.

Glory inhaled sharply as she watched her treacherous husband brought to the giant wooden device meant to hold him stretched out with his arms and legs extended. She lifted a brow listening to his cries and begging. She no longer felt a bit of guilt. She walked around the fire to pick up the tongs from the many tools resting in the heated depths. She looked from the red hot metal to the face of the man she once loved.

“Jamie, I hope she was worth it.” She spoke as softly as a lover’s kiss as she reached for the knife held by her father.


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Flamingo Trainer by Dee Rea

Austin: Just because…

“You meet the most interesting people in the ER, but it got awkward when the nurses were able to cut away the pumpkin and we recognized the flamingo trainer from the distillery.”

“You’re kidding, right?” Adele asked through her laughter.

“I wish I was! I don’t know who was more mortified: Pixie and me or the poor trainer.” He snickered as he reached down to check his pager. Michael was on his lunch break but that could change in the blink of an archaic piece of technology.

“Oh, man! How in the world did that happen?” Adele shook her head as she motioned for their waiter.

“Did I mention it was at the distillery? Apparently, that wasn’t even the weirdest part.”

“Um, weird? Did you hear yourself? Flamingo trainer, distillery, and a pumpkin were all in the same sentence. I think that’s enough to be weird all by itself!” She sighed as the waiter walked passed their table and didn’t seem to even notice that she’d gestured for his attention.

“Well, apparently he was training the flamingos for a new show and somehow it involved pumpkins. We never did ask why pumpkins because we were too busy trying not to laugh.”

“How could you not ask? I’d have been like ‘So, trying to be part of the show or what?’” She remarked picking up her empty glass of ice. She was going to throw the ice at the waiter if he didn’t stop on his next trip passed their table.

“We were a little busy, ya know, cutting the pumpkin off his head.” He cleared his throat and smirked.

“It was on his head? Why couldn’t he have just pulled it off? I mean, was it still full of the gooey seeds and create a vapor lock? Or do you mean the other…..” She gasped and went to cover her mouth with her hands forgetting that she was still holding the glass of ice. She squealed when the contents of the vessel slid down her front. Some of the cubes found their way into her shirt and she frantically tugged at the material.

Michael couldn’t help but laugh more at the sight of her flailing around. The waiter came over and asked if she was okay. Michael laughed so hard that he felt like he couldn’t breathe at her screech. Her glare made him cough to cover his laughter. The whole day had been just a little too much, too surreal.

“Laugh away mister, see if I don’t get you for it!” She couldn’t help but laugh at the sheer silliness that she found herself in shaking the ice from her blouse. She waved her hand at him ,“So tell me about the pig trainer.”

“Flamingo trainer…”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever! The trainer.” She reached out and extended her arm in front of their server. “So yes, I would like more tea. How kind of you to ask.” She shoved the glass at him. Adele ignored the huff of the server and leaned back in her chair waiting.

“I um,” he cleared his throat. “Well without breaking any sort of laws, best I can tell there were real and styrofoam pumpkins. The flamingos like to… well, defecate frequently… and something with a loud noise. There was a small dog that was one of the makeup people brought in against the rules spooked the birds and the trainer was well… indisposed with his boyfriend.”

“He was….making out or in the middle of something a bit more,” she gestured crudely.

“I don’t know!” He laughed and shook his head nervously. “All I know is the birds went nuts, started a huge ruckus, and ended up knocking the trainer into one of the styrofoam pumpkins. He tumbled into the opening of the thing and got stuck. There’s not much else I know other than the ride to the hospital was comical because he could barely fit in the back.”

“Well, that’s kind of anti-climactic, don’t you think?” She said as the waiter placed her refilled glass on the table. She picked it up and took a sip. She made a face and turned to spew the mouthful of tea into the walkway. “Ugh! Oh my flaming candles, what the hell?!?””

He looked over to the bar and saw their waiter give the bartender a high-five. He shook his head and groaned when he felt the vibration at his side. He glanced down and saw that his break was indeed being cut short. “Addy, haven’t you ever seen the movie about the waiters taking revenge on bitchy patrons? You should know better.” He rose and pulled a crumpled bill from his pocket. “Gotta go. babes. This should cover my half.”

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Death of an Ink Slinger by Dee Rea

For Chris Hamilton, who gave a starter at the Tampa Bay Book Fair hosted by Wordier Than Thou:

I only got into the Ink Slingers Guild after killing someone.

She said as she gazed into the night sky. They were laying on a blanket in the middle of the cemetery close to her favorite tree. It was a majestic oak.

“Oh, you’re so full of shit!” He laughed at her.

“Nope, it’s the truth. You asked, I answered.” She huffed, crossing her arms in front of her. His laughter angered her and made her want to kick him in the shin.

“Oh ho ho! I call horse pucky! You did not kill anyone, Drea. You’re too sweet to have killed anyone. “

“I did!” She replied turning onto her side to slap his torso.

“Ok Pookie, tell me how you killed someone to get into your little writers’ group.” He chuckled holding his belly and captured her hand in his.

Curling against him, she tucked her free hand under her chin. “Don’t Pookie me, I’m a vicious killer.”

“Alrighty Snookums, since you’re such a vicious killer, tell me how you did it. I know you were trying to get into that group for the longest time.”

“Oh I’ve got your Snookums right here! But if you must know, it took me months of planning and preparation to get it done right and without any way of pointing back to me.”

“You gonna keep me in suspense or are you going to spill it?” He asked tucking her closer to his form.

“It was easy really. I just made it so that her heart gave out. Fear is a strong companion.” She went on to tell him of befriending the woman, spending time with her, and getting to know her. She went into great detail about the house the woman rented, down to the pictures on her nightstands. She felt him stiffen in her arms. She continued to tell her tale of building a web of horror. The woman’s greatest fear was drowning in snake filled water.

“That’s pretty specific isn’t it? I mean most would be scared of one or the other.” He said as he tucked one of his arms under his head to look up at the stars.

“She was an interesting person. I found that the more I got to know her, the less I liked her and the more I looked forward to watching her die.” She tucked her foot down between her legs. She continued her tale of deceit and betrayal. Her temper was rising under the cool exterior that she let him see. She told him of the days leading up to the death and the things that she’d done the day of. “The easiest part was getting the concrete into her shower drain. Did you know that she only bathed maybe two or three times a week? Well, that led to plenty of time for the concrete to harden. Once that was done, it was just a matter of waiting for her to shower.”

She told him of the glass doors that the woman had made into some sort of tacky mirrors. She then told him the details surrounding the woman’s demise and the clean up afterwards. She held him tight in her embrace as she lowered her voice to a whisper.

“Just like your greatest fear is the undead… strange that you’d meet your lover’s killer in a cemetery isn’t it”

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And They Ran by Dee Rea

Shelby Bercume, my Moon Goddess, I hope that you enjoy this story! May I present “And they ran: Zombies telling stories about chasing the dumb runners”

It was a dark and stormy night….

when they finally gathered around the fire. The pitter-patter of the rain drops beat their rhythmic music on the tarp above their heads. The smell of roasting meat permeated the air. There was a sense of deep camaraderie that was evident to any that would have stumbled onto the scene. The low rumble of conversations floated on the wind broken only by the occasional bursts of laughter.

“Did you see the look on their faces? It could not have gone any better!”

“Your stealth is legendary, Bob. I don’t know how you manage to get so close without anyone knowing!”

“Hell man, his mom even said she snuck up on her when he was born! She was just walking along and POP there he was crying on her leg screaming let me back in!”

“Dude… gross!” Bob said as he playfully punched Mike in his squishy arm.

“Arrrr ewwwww aaaaa ethhh!”

“Drew, shut up and keep turning the spit. You’re going to burn the meat! Who wants half-raw half-burnt meat?” Abe whined.

“Seriously Drew, watch what you’re doing,” Bob said, slapping his thigh. “Now where was I? Oh yeah, so there they were huddled around a tiny, tiny fire whispering about having to stay outside. The older ones were debating sleeping in the car or someone staying up. We stood there listening for probably ten minutes before Marcus stepped on a twig and they saw us!”

“Did they scatter or just sit there with that dumb blank look on their face? “ Mike asked, twirling his stick so that the meat on the end wouldn’t char. “Did ya’ll remember to grab buns or am I eating this without the bun again?” he asked, waving his stick in the air.

“The buns are with the rest of the food. We brought it all back. Now will you shut it about your damn buns?” Marcus snipped.

“Ewww arrrr unneeee?” Drew tried to ask.

“Drew, if you let that thigh sit and burn on one side I will rip your jaw off…. Oh wait, someone already did!” Bob laughed.

“That’s harsh dude! Harsh!” Marcus laughed.

“No worse than chasing those dumb runners. When are they going to learn? They always trip and fall, or worse, shoot someone in the knee to give us an easy target. I mean seriously! Why do you think we had such a good haul this time out? With the humans thinning out as the years go on, it’s going to get harder to keep a sustainable food source,” Bob said.

“You don’t mean……” Marcus gasped.

“Yes, we will have to go back to eating animals and worse, plants! Can you imagine? Zombies eating plants and animals like the runners?!?”


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Love and a Monster Man by Dee Rea

Shane Scare, my bro and fellow lover of all things macabre and gory, I hope that you enjoy the short little web we’ve weaved! I know it’s mushy but hey I’m a girl!

She flowed through the dance floor seeking the monster she loves.

The loud thump of electro-industrial music moved her blood in her veins. She loved music almost as much as she loved him. The décor suited her taste impeccably. The Halloween decorations were hung with loving care. Bloody disemboweled corpses and fake spider webs jittered with the bass. The chandelier was carefully and meticulously draped with bloody gauze that looked as if it had been ripped from a fresh mummy’s corpse. This was the perfect night, she thought. The only thing that would make it better would be to find her tall, dark and tattooed man among the patrons.

Moving to the flow of the music, she closed her eyes. She imagined the two of them frolicking in their favorite cemetery. Perhaps falling into each other’s arms under a tree to stare up at the stars or look across the sea of tombstones. She opened her eyes to search the crowd for her love only to see the miscreants that she wished would go away so she could find him. She longed for his tattooed arms around her. A pink tinge hinted at her embarrassment when she realized she’d stopped dancing and now stood in the middle of the dance floor being bumped into by the swaying bodies.

When she felt one of the coils of her silky dreads being tugged, she spun around expecting to find her love. Instead, she saw a different man. He fit the proverbial tall, dark and handsome profile perfectly. His dazzling white smile shone brightly when he bestowed it upon her. She watched as he leaned closer to whisper in her ear.

“Care for a drink?”

She furrowed her brows and tilted her head to the side. She looked at him blankly for a moment because men like him didn’t usually talk to women like her. She was a bit on the curvier side of life and had her own share of tattoos. “Uh, sure why not?”

He stepped in beside her and placed a hand at her lower back to guide her through the swarm of people toward the bar. He raised a hand to flag the bartender over and then gazed down at her to beam that dazzling even white smile at her. “What would you prefer? A nice red wine or perhaps Guinness would be more to your taste?”

“I…No, I’d rather just have a SoCo and coke if you don’t mind.” She furrowed her brow in confusion. Why would he assume she’d want either of those drinks? She turned her attention back to searching the crowd. In doing so, she missed him toss a sneering smirk over his shoulder.

“As you wish my lady, now tell me, what are your favorite haunts? I’ll bet you love those old cemeteries and other dark and spooky places.”

“I don’t like your assumptions, but yes, I do enjoy cemeteries and things of that nature though I fail to see what that matters.” She said with a huff. She thought about just walking away but the bar did give a good vantage point to find her love.

“I see, well since we’re being honest here, why don’t we skip the pleasantries and just go back to my place? Everyone knows chicks like you are easy.” Before she could comment, there was a tap on his shoulder. He never saw the right hook coming or the smile on her face.

“My Monster-man!” She squealed as she threw herself into his heavily tattooed arms. She looked up to see his face with its glorious piercings and sighed contently to be in the arms of the one man that understood what it meant to appreciate the darker side of life.

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Bump in the Night by Dee Rea

Sara Kreller, I hope that you enjoy this twisted little tale!

Crouched down behind an old Ford 150, clutching a kitchen knife in my shaking hand, all I could think about was the last thing my sister had said to me.

Every muscle taut and my breath caught in my throat when the empty soda can rattled across the pavement beside the truck. I was afraid to look, so instead I did a sort of backwards shimmy under the truck to try to hide myself a little better. I wasn’t sure what had kicked that can, and I wasn’t about to be surprised by it either. I quickly realized I was still pretty much out in the open, but at least it was better than nothing. Once fully underneath the old truck, I decided to see if I could see what had sent the lovely little tin can alarm off. In the fray, I’d lost sight of my mom and dad as well as my brothers and sister. I was hoping that I would see a familiar set of shoes. Instead, I saw nothing.

Exhaling a long slow breath to calm myself, I crossed my arms and rested my chin on them. With every sense heightened from the adrenaline, I felt that I could take a moment to digest the past month and a half. It had all seemed surreal and like something I’d seen in a movie or three.

The nightmare of an adventure had begun when my parents had the wonderful idea to go on a vacation. The concept of a vacation in my parents’ minds was stuffing the entire family into a RV and driving to see our grandmother who lived across the country. We’d been on the road for about two weeks when my parents had disclosed a little secret that they’d neglected to share previously. We were driving out to our grandmother’s house to settle some random uncle’s will. Apparently, my parents had failed to mention that our uncle was one of those dotcom ridiculously rich types. This uncle, whom I’d never met, was apparently the black sheep of the family because he was gay or something old-fashioned like that. The rest of the family followed my Grandfather’s wishes of disassociating themselves from him. Everyone, that is, except my mom. She now told us that was why she had been the sole heir to his estate.
A week after their little revelation and much sight-seeing later, we’d broken down in a little shithole of a town somewhere in New Mexico. I suppose there’s a ‘wrong turn in Albuquerque’ joke in there somewhere but right now, it’s lost on me. The local sheriff had strongly advised against us staying in the motel that was across the street from the mechanic’s shop. He instead basically told us it was the law that we had to stay at this strangely outfitted hotel. It looked like the building was ready for a major hurricane, tornado, and every other natural disaster all at the same time.

The noise on my right made me hold my breath and focus my attention back on the here and now. When I searched the darkness, I was relieved to find nothing more than the wind blowing in the distance. Okay, this is just crazy. Where was I? Oh yeah, calming myself down by reliving the past month and a half. The hotel? Yes, I was thinking about the hotel. It looked like some sort of hybrid A-Bomb shelter and a hurricane safe-house. When we pulled into the hotel, it was getting close to sundown. The lady at the front desk was nice but very firm. We had thirty minutes to get anything we wanted into the hotel before the doors locked for the night. When we began to question her, she looked at the clock and instead of answers gave us a running countdown of our time left. We took her seriously.

We quickly gathered our suitcases from the loaner car the mechanic had given us. At the exact time the clerk had said the doors would be locked, they clanked shut. We took our stuff to the room and had the debate of stay in the room or go out and explore what areas we could. Curiosity won out in the end and we set out to explore. Dad went back to see the clerk while Mom and I watched my siblings investigate the lobby’s comforts. When Dad came back with the new info on where we could and couldn’t go, there was no restraining my brothers and sister. It was off to the pool. The younger ones jumped in and frolicked in the water while the parents and I found a table to sit at. This was where we met Arjun. Arjun was this really cute guy from Australia or somewhere like that. He explained that there was some sort of serial killer or pack of wild animals that only struck at night. When my mom asked about the strange acoustics of the pool area, Arjun explained that it was the hotel. He said that not only was it sealed from letting out any light sources, it was soundproofed as well. On the way back to our prospective rooms, we saw a lady in a heated argument with the clerk. I was looking forward to a nice soft pillow so I didn’t even pay the scene much attention. Little did I know it would become a nightly argument. And so it went, our days turned into weeks with little notice being given. We were content and complacent in our little haven. The news reports finally started to pick up the story as the strange occurrences started happening all over. No one seemed to know what it was that was out in the dark, only that the bodies found in the morning were mangled and ripped apart.

Oh shit! What was that? Shit shit shit! This time it wasn’t nothing like it had been before. In the distance, I heard an unearthly howl. Focus! Keep calm or you’re going to be bloody ribbon puddles! Shit, the news. No time. Take a breath and get it together! OK, focus, the lady. The crazy lady that ended our utopia, how had she managed? She was the same crazy lady that argued with the front desk clerk for about three weeks before disappearing. Dad had in the meantime become the unofficial leader alongside the sheriff. Dad and the guys had searched and searched for crazy but no one ever found her.

Shit, it’s getting closer. Should I move? No, stay here and calm. Can it smell fear? Shit I wish I would have paid attention to the news reports! Something, there was something that I need to remember about these things? Oh hell, it’s close. Are those shoes? Remember! Remember what?

“Saaarrraaaa….” The distorted voice called out and scared the shit out of me. How did it know my name? Oh no, This can’t be good, shit! Remember, the only thing I can remember is the last thing my sister had said to me. She had said, “Sara, did you forget to change your tampon?”

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