Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Short/flash Fiction in the comments

Another EnWorld process beginning.

In the comments are the first three short stories that I'll be illustrating for my own YA book.
I decided since I enjoyed the whole concept of illustrated short fiction, I would do my own.  Much easier than writing a novelette.
Instantly got a clicked on experience once I began. 
If nothing else this will be a great writing exercise for me.

Critiques welcome.


MrGoodson2 said...

The doorbell startled Anthony. An instant dread probed his belly at the prospect of opening the door and seeing a stranger. Having to interact with other human beings was Anthony's greatest dislike. He trudged from his office, his bedroom really, to the front door and opened it halfway.

“I really should install one of those peep holes,” he thought.

He leaned to look out the partial opening. There was no one to be seen. Anthony saw movement at the curb and recognized the short pant uniform of the delivery service.

Anthony's jaw dropped as he realized what it meant. It had arrived. He opened the door and beheld the box laying on the porch.

“Where anyone could steal it!” Anthony said with sudden anger. The loss that would mean. Anthony picked the box up and held it closely, looking around self-consciously before going inside with the package.

Mahoney novelty company read the conservative logo on the box. Nothing magic there. But in the box, after very careful cuts, snips and pulls, there was magic. It was the Randy Candy ventriloquist dummy.

Anthony had done a lot of research. The Randy Candy got high marks in all of the trade magazines for ventriloquists. The dummy was fully assembled and looked up at Anthony with its amused, slotted mouth and enamel painted eyes.

The rectangular eyebrows had traveled their vertical limit to rest in an expression of maximum hilarity.

Anthony used his thumb and forefinger to feel the fabric of the gigantic bowtie around Randy's neck.

“Nice “ Anthony beamed.

Anthony cleared his throat. How long had he wanted this? He realized tears had formed in his eyes. He cleared his throat again, readying his puppet voice. The one he used while playing with his shoddy, homemade puppets.

Yes, his awful amateur puppets were fun to talk to. Actually, to talk through. Anthony's mind was so clear as he practiced ventriloquism. Thoughts and quips and wisdom poured from his temporarily fertile mind.

Anthony slowly picked up the perfect little wooden man, savoring these first moments. He placed his hand through the slit in the back of Randy Candy's striped sportcoat.

Disbelief played across Anthony's face as he probed inside the puppet. “Nothing! No controls!” Anthony squeezed Randy's arms tight to its wooden body and howled “ Defective.!”

The puppet spun its glossy black eyes, locking onto Anthony's eyes. The slotted wooden mouth clacked open emitting an inhuman voice


MrGoodson2 said...

Martin moved boxes about in his garage. He knew the missing lawn decorations for Halloween weren't thrown away. Who would throw away all that great foam sculpture, depicting tombstones, skulls and other skeleton parts.

Martin saw a white, cottony surface protruding from the box in the corner. “The last one of course,” he sighed. He bent to shift the box away from the wall and found it surprisingly hard to move. In fact, it wouldn't budge.

What could have leaked out and stuck it to the floor, he wondered. Maybe the white, cobweb material poking from the cracked box corner oozed some chemical if it sat for long periods of time.

Martin reached for the white sphere. A sphere as large as an apple to judge by the size of its protruding contour. He touched the surface. His fingers came away with strings of fine glistening silk. The silk drew taut as Martin pulled his hand back.

He jerked the string to snap it and the white globe popped out of the decayed cardboard box. This white ball of cotton swung into Martin's naked knee making a puffing sound. Martin jumped from his crouch, beating and swatting at the sticky ball on his knee trying to dislodge it.

“Get off me!” he screamed, his hands trailing silk from smacking the ball. Panicking, he brought his hand straight down on the ball and it ruptured the cloudy white skin of the giant egg sack.

Martin froze as baby spiders poured like black syrup from the white cotton rip. A terrible tingle rushing up his leg under his short pants. Now, no longer frozen, Martin windmilled his arms, hopping and turning violently, faster than he had ever moved before.

Martin no longer screamed, he laughed. It certainly wasn't funny, but he laughed.

MrGoodson2 said...

Bart stepped back from his latest design and said, “Let the party begin.” He inserted the plug into the extension cord and a white light shone down onto the mirrored surface of his new bug zapper.

Bart was an exterminator that loved his work. He didn't think of it as work. Killing bugs was fun. Had been ever since he kicked that first ant nest back into hard packed dirt.

Out here on the open air porch, he could smell a caustic mix of acrid poisons and machine oil back in his workshop. But here on the rural road location of “Bugs Begone”, Bart’s company, the overwhelming smell was of sweet country night air. Plants putting out the last aroma lures to the bugs that helped pollinate the flora.

Bart also smelled the soil as it gave up heat to the moist night air.

He also heard things. Bugs beginning to whir and buzz as they were drawn to Bart's latest zapper.

Bart prided himself on the zappers. They were almost pure profit, easy to make with his clever reuse of cheap electrical housings. Resulting in something sophisticated in appearance, the way something mass-produced would look.

The crickets had begun their noisy legwork. Several moths circled the zapper. The crisscross of polished wire suddenly produced a small flash of blue light and the distinct zap sound Bart truly loved. The first victim of the Hell Zapper. Maybe he would change the name. Tonight Bart thought of it as the Hell Zapper.

He could smell the electrical current and it's ozone byproduct. Perfumed with the odor of cremated bug.

This prototype Hell Zapper had a feature that the consumer model would be missing. A dangerous capacity to switch to high voltage.

Bart picked the cord from the floor and palmed the dimmer switch that was spliced in-line on the cord. Several more zaps occurred as Bart watched. Both hands on the dimmer switch, his lips pursed, grinning.

“Welcome to bug Armageddon!” Bart said as he turned the dimmer switch all the way to the top. There was a pause before any bug blundered into the Hell Zapper. The pause ended with a bright flashbulb burst of light and a bang that sounded like a firecracker.

Bart's eyes squeezed shut and he howled with laughter. Laughter that stopped when a large green mantis flew into his mouth. Bart spit violently and the mantis and a slimy, quite unbroken, string of spit and phlegm flew into the Hell Zapper. Bart's eyes blazed from their sockets, their last sight the Hell Zapper’s lightning.

MrGoodson2 said...

My process on the writing is to fill a large index card front and back. And then use the program textedit's dictation function. So as I speak it, I hear what it sounds like. Then after I edit the often mangled text, I use textedit's speech function to read it to me.

The titles are, in order, Defective, He Laughed and Zap.

Tom Moon said...

Ellis! I love your short stories! What a great personal project for you. I can hardly wait to see the accompanying illustrations. Very like the Alvin Schwartz/Stephen Gammell stories my grandson loves, as I'm guessing, was your intention. Keep writing!

MrGoodson2 said...

I'm reading Scary Stories by Schwartz and Gammell right now. About time. Before. when I did the illustrations for the Halloween stories, I did searches for the Gammell art. It's good to read the stories as well. This kid likes them.

BDMontag said...

"The rectangular eyebrows had traveled their vertical limit to rest in an expression of maximum hilarity."

Love that sentence.

Someone, and it quite possibly could have been you, told me about needing to be saturated in the subject you want to do (sequential/comic/YA art in this case). Once filled, you start spilling out your own stuff. I think you have reached that point. God knows you are saturated with this stuff...

MrGoodson2 said...

Thanks Ben. That really makes me like that sentence. This one is an experiment.

Dry Gulch Night Patrol

“Hells fire! Who threw that rock?”
“Ha ha.”
“Is that you Bill Hunnicutt? Where do you get off throwing rocks?”
“It's me alright Sheriff Bond. What's left of me.”
“What do you mean? Get on your feet you pig slop.”
“I can't use my legs no more Sheriff.”
“Maybe a toe in your backside will say different.”
“Wish I could help you Sheriff.”
“Your legs sound like you got a bundle of twigs tied up in your pant legs.”
“Might be. I don't want to look.”
“What happened? Where is your dumb, onery, dirt loving brother?”
“Ha ha Ha.”
“Quit that crazy man laughing Bill Hunnicutt. You ain’t crazy. Don't act crazy.”
“Ha ha ha. Ben turned into a tumbleweed Sheriff. Ha ha ha.”
“That's crazy.”
“I seen it. That old Indian yonder, that you ain't even noticed lawman, he done it.”
“There, sitting crosslegged by that cactus.”
“Looks like he's asleep.”
“Then he’s talking in his sleep. Listen. Listen!”
“He saying a prayer of some kind I reckon.”
“Ben and I seen him there. We thought rousting him might be a tickle.”
“You two probably meant to bully him out of some trifle. A necklace or his hat.”
“Ben pulled that big, round, black hat off his head. That old man turned up that wrinkled red face, he looked like a stewed prune he did.”
“Them eyes though. Weren’t Indian eyes. Ha ha.”
“Quit that hee-hawwin’ Hunnicutt. What are you saying here?”
“Ben just looked into them gold goat eyes of that Indian. And started to…”
“What? What started?”
“He started to patch.”
“Patch? I never seen anyone patch before.”
“I mean a patch of his hair would blow away and a patch of his face would get brown and crack.”
“How long did you stand there and let this patching go on?”
“It was real quick. All of a sudden his clothes blowed away like a dandelion head, bunch of dry leaf crackling sounds, and my old dirty brother Ben was a tumbleweed.”
“Horse manure!”
“Ha ha ha.”
“Now you shut that!”
“No. No!”
“What are you gaping at.”
“He’s stood up Sheriff.”
“Hold it right there Chief.”
“Shoot him Sheriff!”
“I ain’t shooting an old four foot Indian in five foot of poncho.”
“I’m patching Sheriff. Lord! Get me away from here!”
“Let go of my pants! Your fingers is stabbing my leg.”
“Your fingers. Turning to brambles.”
“Sheriff don't look at his eyes. His eyes!”
“You changed… Into a tumbleweed.”
“Hells fire.”

MrGoodson2 said...

I just realized what I'm doing. I'm writing scripts for Shock Suspense no-code comics. Not EC, often Bradbury level quality.
The schlocky stuff.

Tom Moon said...

Wha?! You're not saying that Ray Bradbury's writings are "schlocky", are you?

Anyway, love the Tumbleweed story Ellis! You seem to be hitting your creative stride. If you can create an entire book out of your original illustrated stuff, you will really have something there!

MrGoodson2 said...

"Not EC where often there was Bradbury level quality." That's one thing. Writing is re writing. Thanks Tom. Going to try to average one a day for the month. It will take at least 2 months to do the paintings probably. Maybe not. Maybe Halloween I'll be ready with the pub.

MrGoodson2 said...

Free Cat

“You have a cat for adoption. A black Bombay?” Jean asked, not sure if her party was still on the phone.

“Yes, I have the cat. However, it must be adopted…” the high male voice paused before adding “…as is.”

“Goodness, is there something wrong with it?” Jean clicked through a mental list of maimed and deficient variations of cat. Blind, one eyed, three legs.

“Nothing is physically wrong with it.” the high voice attempted no reassurance, just a flat statement of fact.

“What then, behavior issues?”

“No, nothing like that.”

Jean wondered during the pause if the, moving-need-to-find-new-home-for-black-Bombay-cat, advertiser with the high voice was actually going to wait for her to ask “Then what?”

The high voice said “It's cursed.”

Jean now paused before her chuckled response “Are you serious?”

“Oh yes. And anyone that takes the cat has to understand this and take the cat of their own free will. I have to make that clear, otherwise, I can't be rid of it.”

“Well…” Jean said slowly as a preface to saying thank you and good luck.

“You see a witch gave the cat to me. She told me I could never be rid of it unless I told the next…” he paused, choosing an odd word “…recipient. About the curse and nature of the curse.”

Jean explained her simple need “I have a my own black Bombay and I wanted a playmate for my cat.”

The high voice was thoughtful in response “It's not terribly playful. Most of the time it just stares at you.” Then with his first real attempt at salesmanship he squeaked “It doesn't eat a lot.”

“Are you going to tell me the nature of the curse” Jean asked.

“Oh, I have to. Otherwise there's no point. It would reappear wherever I am. And I would continue to live with the curse.”

“Okay,” Jean said. Knowing she would regret not learning about the curse.

“You see, the witch explained the advantages of the cat first. It's why I sought her out.”

“How do you seek out a witch?” Jean was compelled to ask.

“Actually I ran an ad on this same website.” Then he piped ”Please let me finish. I wanted a charm, a talisman of luck that could attach itself to my work. I'm a stockbroker. You see, I had just lost a painful amount of money and the ad was just a nonsense lashing out against a cruel world. The wording was childish and self-pitying.” The thoughtful high voice trailed off again.

During this pause Jean said “I think I understand.”

A quavering high voice resumed. “What you have to actually understand is that, although the cat will bring you great luck and fortune, you also must…” the voice paused with a sigh before saying “Eat whatever vermin the black monstrosity brings to you. Oh, it’s a skilled little killer.”

“Goodness that's terrible.” Jean said and added “I mean, I suppose it must be awful.”

“Yes. Are you at all interested?”

“Well, sorry, no.” she could not imagine any face to face transaction with this strange person.

Sounding tired, the high voice said “Fine. I have to go now.”

He suddenly screamed in an ear splitting air raid siren voice “It's lunch time!”

MrGoodson2 said...

Ack. I just started a story that will be hard to tone down. Dumb to try and fit it to this young demo. I've got a guy that picks up hitchhikers and kills them, I'm doing kid's stories about the Green River killer. Not smart. I'll go ahead and write the other half and see if I think I can filter it acceptably.

MrGoodson2 said...

“Your chariot awaits.” Gordon said as he spotted the hitchhiker. Executing his trademark stunt of flying by the hitcher at normal speed and then screeching to a halt on the embankment.

Usually this move resulted in the happy hitcher running to the car. This one walked. Which caused Gordon to give him a careful look.

It was a dance after all, in this day and age. Who is more dangerous? A hitcher or someone that picks up hitchers. Gordon imagined his team definitely took the prize for most dangerous.

Gordon could have pulled away then but his practiced eye saw no threat in this slender youth. Dressed in old jeans and T-shirt. With a feathery haircut that Gordon remembered as common five years ago.

“Hop in!” How often had he said those words? The youngster got in without saying thank you. Many of them were surly like this. Rude, depressed and lost in personal thought.

Gordon wasn't deterred. He asked, “Where are you headed?” The young man stared straight ahead as the car began to move. The boy seemed hypnotized by the road and moonlit woods rushing by. Gordon also thought he had a strangely familiar profile with his rooster crop of feathery dark hair.

Gordon decided to ignore the rudeness. It didn't matter after all. “Well, if you don't want to tell me.”

The youth suddenly spoke “There. Up ahead. Stop where the road runs under the bridge.”

Gordon recognized this sort of remote location as perfect for a crime as serious as murder. It was exactly the sort of place he would choose for unobserved assaults. Did the anonymous teenager have an accomplice?

Gordon decided he was the alpha dog in this situation. If the young man had a partner they were both due a violent surprise.

The view of the creek through the thick brush caused Gordon to wonder if he had been here before?

Yes! Almost 10 years ago. He thought of it as his goodbye to humanity. His life of predation began here.

“I get out here.” The young man opened his door and stepped from the car. Walking steadily away from the trail roadway of oil packed dirt. In the deep woods direction Gordon would have urged a victim to go.

Gordon hopped from the car cheerily saying “You forgot something.”

Walking quickly, he caught up to the young man whose black hair stirred in the cold breeze.

Gordon touched his gun to the middle of the boy’s T-shirt and said “Turn around punk.”

Then the awful smell began, growing to an overpowering stench. The boy turned, his unseeing eyes wide open.

“No!” Gordon shouted as he recognized his first victim, the boy he had killed 10 years ago.

He screamed as the boy turned into a crumbling zombie before his eyes.

Gordon’s gun dropped from his hand as the rotted horror grabbed his throat and cackled in a raspy voice, “End of the road!”

MrGoodson2 said...

So that's that. A caution to kids not to hitch hike.
But it's time to start thinking about another one.
When I get to 10 I'll start a new thread.

MrGoodson2 said...

Cold Down There

Marvin gave Cecil the thumbs up and said “okay” but the word was lost in bubbles around Marvin's scuba mouthpiece.

Cecil managed the specialty photo gear for this dive. A type of camera the police and military used for thermal imaging.

Wet suits work at keeping a diver warm very simply. The suit allows in cold water that warms in proximity to the diver’s body. Marvin enjoyed scuba diving but he always wanted a better solution for staying warm in the cold California ocean water.

Marvin and Cecil were at a depth of 40 feet, certainly deep enough for chilly water and really as deep as a diver ought to go.

Both divers activated the chemical mixing device on their belts. Pulling the belt away from their bellies gave the chemicals the space to flow in unseen clouds up into the water next to their skin. Both divers reached to the small of their backs and duplicated the action with the mixer there.

Marvin felt the effect immediately. He nodded his head and pointed at the camera. Cecil began to record his diving partner. Cecil nodded his head in excitement as he handed the camera off to Marvin to photograph Cecil’s new heat profile. Marvin smiled as he looked at the camera monitor.

It felt as comfortable as a warm bath. The camera documented the existence of his new discovery’s heat creating ability. There on the monitor, pouring from Cecil in patterns that looked like bright green cigar smoke. Rising, cooling, then disappearing as the heat energy mixed away in the cold ocean.

Then a change occurred. The green smoke patterns stopped in an instant. Marvin felt his wonderful, comfortable heat being swiftly replaced by deep cold. Cecil obviously felt it too. He signaled his alarm by pointing up, toward the surface.

Marvin again bubbled “okay” without thinking and begin to flipper his ascent. His swim strokes caused a cracking of breaking ice. Marvin felt ice cold for good reason. His suit was turning into ice. His legs became harder to bend and kick.

He glanced at Cecil as ice crystals formed inside his diving partner’s mask, quickly obscuring his terrified eyes. Ice formed inside his own face mask, blinding Marvin. His lung's labored to expand in a tight ice casing. Within a minute, both men floated unconscious toward the surface. The experimental heating chemical’s effect grew two icy coffins for the doomed men.

A sea kayaker later saw Marvin. And the sportsman wasn’t sure what he saw. It sank back into the sea before he paddled very close. It looked like a large column of milky ice staring at him with a cyclops eye.

MrGoodson2 said...

What are the odds?

The sulfur stench still hung in the air. Robert doubted it could be eliminated with deodorizers. Summoning demonic forces in the basement produced bad odors and maybe… a more desirable result.

Robert remembered the demon seemed to be a tornado of smoke obscuring a faceted eye on a stalk. The unearthly eye came to chest height. Changing levels slightly like a buoy in a gentle surf.

That had been two days ago. Memories of that alien weirdness sent an uncontrollable shiver through Robert. The illegal things he did to perform the ritual didn't rest easy on his mind either.

But, if it worked, if this spell, this demonic power, behaved as he expected, then he would become the luckiest man in the world. The spell found in the stolen ancient text dealt with enhanced likelihoods.

After all, his translation worked well enough to summon a demon! But the total translation of the text was difficult, almost beyond Robert’s considerable knowledge. Did he accurately understand the explanation of his new power?

If his yearlong work at translation was accurate it meant he should be able to shoot craps and throw winners forever. Or until they kicked him out of the casino. Long odds should no longer apply to him.

In his hands Robert held the lotto ticket purchased immediately after he cast the spell. Now he used his smart phone to display the just completed lotto drawing.

His heart gave a big thump then stopped a moment. Then it raced like demons pursued him.

He had the numbers! The winner! The big winner!

Robert was a millionaire. Time to act like one. He put the ticket back in his wallet, patted it and went outside. Breathing deep of the chill night air, ready to begin his new enchanted life of luxury.

He walked toward his car in the driveway as the tire closest to him detonated with a boom and the concrete drive under the tire exploded in sparks.

Robert felt faint as he looked down and saw the smoking hole in his shirt. His last sight was the car window reflecting the porch light, shining through the hole in his body.

Robert understood the flaw in his translation. The elimination of long odds didn't just apply for things positive, like lotto wins.

They also applied to things negative, like the odds of being struck by a meteorite.

MrGoodson2 said...

Top to Bottom

The life preserver popped him to the surface again allowing Ron to gasp air amid the tumult of towering waves.

Lightning outlined a monstrous black column sticking straight up out of the sea. He was borne high onto a wave on a collision course with that tower. Ron tumbled underwater, powerless, riding inside a salt water roller coaster of collisions with rock and sand.

Ron lost consciousness with no fear of death. His strength to resist was gone.

Except Ron didn't die. He woke on a sand beach. The first thing he noticed was an orange life preserver 10 feet high in a palm tree. It was obviously his, torn from his body during his unconscious pummeling. Who knew the number of times he had yo-yoed from tree level to ground level.

But now he stood on firm ground, transfixed by the vision towering over the palms. A monolith of rock that looked more like a skyscraper than a natural formation. Straight up and down, looming, Ron estimated, a good 20 stories.

It took only an hour to explore his location. This beach was the only habitable side of the rock.

The strong ocean current came directly at his baseball diamond of a beach. Luckily for Ron, a sturdy reef deflected the rushing sea around his tranquil beach. The wave action undercut the volcanic rock on each side of the tower. After centuries this current had scoured massive awnings of solid rock. Falling into the water to either side of the monolith meant being swept out to sea.

Inevitably, Ron was forced to eat raw food. Coconuts, clams and fish. He knew he could live for years in this manner. He also knew he would go insane in the isolation. The soft modern man began to think about the rugged climb to the top of the tower. It terrified Ron. It was easy to imagine it as a dangerous waste of energy.

But what if something was gained? Maybe knowledge of a larger island only visible from the vantage at top.

His fifth day on the island he began. It was a straight up climb. Gripping vines and handholds made from sturdy bushes. He came close to falling a dozen times. He started in the morning and by the time he was at the top it was a moonless night. Ron moaned, collapsed and slept like a dead man.

He woke in misery. His hands raw, his entire body stiff and sore. Ron’s forehead felt like he had used it to hammer nails. He pushed himself to his knees and was shocked to realize he was back on his beach at the bottom of the Tower.

He stood shakily, every muscle screaming confirmation of the terrifying climb. He staggered to his life-saving freshwater pool to drink and dunk his aching head.

He knew he hadn’t fallen. A fall from skyscraper height would crush him like a bug. What then?

Ron stuck his head under water, holding his breath, his forehead a stinging misery. He brought his head up, streaming water, looking up at the tower he knew he had conquered. Studying the path of that futile climb for a long moment.

He looked back at the water. His face reflected back at him. The forehead injury was plain to see. A fresh, blue tattoo of English language text. Two lines in childish, capital letters.


MrGoodson2 said...

Jogging with Linda

She was in a crouch she couldn’t recall dropping into. Had someone struck her a blow? No sensitivity on the back of her ponytailed head.

Deciding to transplant your daily jog to a different culture might have been a mistake. Japan seemed slightly abashed by her 5’10” height, blonde hair, sheer shorts and top displaying well toned, executive muscle.

The intense scrutiny of the male, business district pedestrians challenged her usual composure. Live and learn, she thought.

She would finish this run on her well plotted route and stick to the treadmill in the future. Her Japan trip would last a few more days. The plan was to sightsee while jogging and, by golly, she would sightsee.

The urban landscape of Tokyo excited her. It was so exciting and distracting she failed to notice the man now jogging alongside her.

“Hello Linda” he said.

“Who are you?” Linda managed. The fellow was skin and bones in an odd black onesie of loose, rough fabric. Obviously a hard-core marathoner.

“My name is Izanagi. You can call me Izzy. Do you mind if we run together?”

Linda noticed the men on the sidewalks took no interest in her now that she had a male counterpart. Izzy had made her invisible.

“Certainly. I think I'm coming up on the hotel in a few blocks. You might want more of a run.”

“Fine, we’ll run together for just a while.” Linda detected no overture or overt flirtation from Izzy. She liked that he was not talking, just smoothly striding along with her pace.

The hotel came into view. Policemen were directing traffic flow to allow an ambulance room to work. Izzy and Linda stood across the wide street in front of the Hotel.

“Someone at the hotel must be hurt.”

“I believe so.”

“There's one of my team.” Linda noted. She yelled across the street “Jim!” waving to him, “Who's hurt?” Jim ignored her. There wasn't a lot of road noise so Linda knew her voice had carried. Jim might be in shock.

“I better get over there.”

“Let's wait. The ambulance is ready to leave.” Izzy suggested.

There on the wheeled stretcher, Linda saw herself loaded into the back of the ambulance. She did not look well.

MrGoodson2 said...

The Last Pimple

Dreams are important to everyone. The mind’s way of sorting, solving, entertaining, and at times, warning.

Thomas woke from a dream based on a real event. A bee stung him on the nose not long ago. The fuzzy insect, in dream recall, had legs golden with pollen, landing on the tip of his nose in slow motion.

His slow motion swat triggered a sting. The actual sight of the detached bee stinger had been terrifying. That bee gland at the end of his nose, spasming, delivering a scorching, injection.

But in the dream the glistening gland became a blob as big as a turkey and the venom splashed through his nose like acid.

Thomas, an older white haired bachelor labored out of bed touching his nose. The sting was over a week ago. There had been swelling and discoloration but it disappeared in a couple of days.

Now there was a pointed bit of nerve tenderness where Thomas touched the tip of his nose. He shuffled into the bathroom and turned on the light. There on the tip of his nose was a pimple, white and proud as a tic-tac breath mint.

Thomas pulled some toilet paper loose and gently pressed the blemish. The membrane popped and the matter in the pimple hit the mirror with a spat sound.

“Goodness!” Thomas exclaimed at the short lived stab of pain. Thomas yanked tissue from the roll again tearing away several sheets to wipe away the mess on the mirror.

As he straightened he tasted the salt of his blood. The sight in the mirror seemed like another nightmare. Blood ran from the wounded point on his nose down over his mouth and dripped from his chin.

He used the tissues in his hand to mop his face and hold onto his nose. Within a second the tissue was saturated with blood.

“Impossible!” Thomas said. Before he could get more tissue the blood had run onto his pajama top.

A new handful of tissue was quickly sodden as a mop.

He grabbed an extra roll of toilet paper and hurried back to his bed. Fumbling with his phone, he struggled to keep pace with the bleeding. He unspooled tissue, pressed it to his nose, tossed away the sopping mess with movements so quick it challenged his elder dexterity.

Thomas managed to dial 9-1-1. The voice asked “Do you have an emergency?”

“Yes…” Thomas said and fainted.

The paramedics found Thomas lying peacefully on the bed. He was white as a sheet. Except these sheets were now quite red.

MrGoodson2 said...

I decided to go to eleven. Now I will do threads of 10. 2 more threads and I'll have 31.