Thursday, August 16, 2012

Transylvania Transverse

This was for a local Halloween related story contest I didn't win so, enjoy.

I was there on Halloween night when the vampires made their presence known in Dothan. Ludwig Von Yellig, a local developer rumored to be a vampire, organized a press conference for a major announcement. Although he tried to put us at ease with his vampire charms, I was scared, we were all scared.

“Friends, I am a vampire,” Yellig said to the room of reporters and dignitaries. “And I am opening Transylvania Transverse, which will be a vampire based entertainment facility, right cheer in Dothan.” A few gasps were heard following the statement, not from his admission, vampires are quite common in Dothan, but the legality of blood sucking had yet to be decided by the State Legislature.

“Cool!” exclaimed Jim Cookery, a vertically challenged, local newspaper reporter. “Will you have hot vampire babes gallivanting around serving drinks?”

“But of course,” Yellig stated, adding, “as you can see in the brochure our wait staff will be wearing the latest styles, which includes short shorts and cowboy boots. Don’t judge us solely by the brochure though, as we will be a full family entertainment venue in the near future. But we will first build the Blood Sucking Complex to generate revenue for the first few years to secure bonds for future projects.”

“How did you get permits for that?” Cookery asked.

“Our attorney has worked tirelessly with the local commissioners to ensure that all of our paperwork is in order. Once our vampires have been checked out by the health department, we can commence the feasting.”

“Did you have to put the commissioners under a spell?” Cookery asked with a chuckle and laughter from the audience.

“It’s called glamouring Jim and no, I did not.” Yellig said as his pupils grew larger, his skinny jeans appeared skinnier and he began to overall sparkle, which could have been glitter in his spray tan. “As a matter of fact they all thought it was a great idea, as all of you do now. You are all mighty impressed with me right about now and will do as I command.”

Everyone in attendance nodded their heads at each other in agreement. Yellig was a convincing vampire.

Suddenly one of Dothan’s prominent citizens, Don Watson, rushed into the room waving the good book over his head while shouting, “Stop right there Yellig! Blood sucking is illegal in this here state and the good people of Dothan will not participate in your scam.”

Yellig bared his fangs and hissed. “This ain’t no scam. The people of Dothan want this.”

“Yeah, what business is it of yours if I want to be sucked dry,” one of the local citizens said, and several others agreed with him.

Watson opened the good book, which was a fake and hollowed out to store a wood stake; he pulled out the stake and held it high while he approached Yellig. “Get back, get back you lecherous being. I want the podium for a minute, if you please.”

“Go ahead,” Yellig said as he backed away.

“Good people of Dothan,” Watson began.

“Cough, land hoarder, cough,” Yellig mumbled as he acted out a cough.

Watson gave him the stink eye and continued, “Good people of Dothan, this man is a vampire, he admits that and now he wants to openly take your blood right here in Dothan but I will not allow it. I don’t care what the commissioners say, this is illegal.”

A gentleman in the audience raised his hand, “Excuse me but I thought passing the local ordinance made it legal and besides, the Red Cross has been taking blood for years.”

“Friends,” Yellig interrupted, “did I mention we plan to give twenty percent of the blood to the Red Cross.”

“You will suck these people dry and drain the life out of this town,” Watson said.

Yellig put his hands up in protest. “No, no, no! Look at your brochures. The Haunted Hotel we have planned in phase two of development will attract out of town visitors.”

“It’s a whore house!” Watson screamed.

"I’ll have you know my momma is gonna be the first guest to stay at the hotel.” Yellig said as if his feelings were truly hurt. “Now friends, you know my momma and my daddy. They were raised right here in this fine town by their mommas and daddies. And I got my raisins from my folks, the same as you got, and you got and you got," he said as he pointed to people around the room. He snatched the good book from Watson's hand, shook it in the air and studied it for a moment before continuing. "Well friends I doubt there's anything in this book about punishing people for the food they eat to survive." A few members of the audience shifted their eyes around to the room but no one wanted to interrupt, he was on a roll. “I tell you friends. I know. I know a man has to work hard to put a meal on the table. A vampire’s got to eat too. We just want to share our blessings with you, show you a good time, play a little Polka music, who doesn’t like Polka music, Harley I know you do.” He said with a smile, pointing to a friend in the crowd, they were eating it up, laughing amongst themselves, Harley started a little soft shoe, all were smiling…”Heck we might even play a little bingo.”

“I’ll kill you!” Watson screamed as he raised the wood stake to Yellig, but the vampire was too quick. Yellig knocked the stake away and sank his teeth into Watson’s neck. He fed for a moment then opened his eyes and noticed the room of people staring at him. Yellig released Watson and eased him into a chair. He wiped the excess blood from his lips and smacked his fingertips. No one else in the room moved.

“I’m sorry y’all. I got a little carried away.”

“You kilt him,” came a cry from the room.

“No I didn’t,” Yellig stated tersely, “He’ll be fine in a day or two. As a matter of fact, every patron bitten has gets a chance on a new Corvette to be given away each month. Now who likes that? And when I say who likes that I mean all of you would like a chance at that now wouldn’t you?

Then his eyes started doing that thing and he looked glittery again. I don’t remember what happened next.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Visitor Chapter 13

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted.  Mom's been in the hospital and been very busy.  Can I get a little feedback?  I want to see some comments.

Chapter 13

After a few minutes in the car Steve broke the silence.  “Are you the strong, silent type?”

“I’m sorry, so much on my mind.  I can’t believe everything that has happened over the last two days.”

“Stress will do crazy things to you.  You don’t have anyone to talk to, to unload all of life’s little problems?”

“Not really, but then I never have had this much on my mind.”

Steve pulled into the pharmacy drive in.  “Hold that thought.  Kate Pierson, just called in.”  He said to the pharmacist.

The pharmacist returned with the package and asked, “Address and date of birth?”

“406 Holly Lane, Two fifteen sixty-eight.”  Kate answered across the car as she fumbled with her purse.

“That will be fifteen seventy-six.”  The pharmacist said.

“I’ve got it.”

“You don’t have to…”

“I can handle sixteen bucks.”

“Thank you.”

“He likes you.”

Kate took a deep breath and closed her eyes.  She wanted the voice to stop.

Steve handed her the pharmacy bag.  “Fourteen sleeping pills and ten Valium to help you relax, on the house.”

Kate grabbed the bag and took one of each of the pills.  “I’m sorry.  I don’t want you to think I am a pill head but I want to go to sleep as soon as I get home and we are pretty close.”

“And you like him.”

“It’s okay.  I don’t blame you.  I might take something myself when I get home.”

“Thank you.”

“Hey, you are welcome.”

“No, thank you for believing me.”

He gave her a warm, comforting smile.

“You have heard all about me today.  What’s your story?”

“Just your average Psychiatrist slash cabbie.  Helping damsels in distress.”

“I bet your girlfriend likes that,” she said, fishing for an answer.

“I’m single was married once, but that was a long time ago.”



“Why not?”  Kate was fading.

“I found out she liked the golf pro more than me before we had kids.  I hate golf.  Stupid game.  How about you?”

She didn’t answer.  Kate was already asleep.  He smiled.  She finally looked at peace.  He turned onto Holly Lane, grabbed the prescription bag to confirm the house number.  He tried whispering her name, but he really didn’t want to wake her.  He parked in the spot in front of her house and called a cab as he took keys and opened the door.

He went back to the car eased her out of the passenger seat, she mumbled something, her legs were jelly.  She had one arm around his shoulder; he scooped her up and carried her in.  He found her bedroom and eased her down on the bed.  She showed no signs of waking.  He quietly removed her shoes and pulled the blanket over her.  He stood and looked at her, hoping she was comfortable.  He thought for a moment, and then reached down and popped open her bra strap through her shirt.  “You’ve still got it,” he said to himself.

He heard a car horn outside.  He turned off the lights, locked the door and let himself out.

Thirty-five minutes later he was telling Ramona about tucking her in bed.

“Why are you telling me this?”  Ramona asked.

“Well, you know, in case she was wondering how she got in bed.  Just letting you know there was no hanky panky.”

Ramona gave him a coy smile and began walking.

“What?”  He asked as she walked away.  “What?”

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Visitor Ch. 11-12

Here we go.  No one has replied in the comments.  All you have to do is click on the word comment and you can leave a quick not.  Let me hear from you.  If you get this automatically by email let me know.  I have tried to find the automated email list, but can't locate it.  Once again, scroll down and to older posts or previous pages for the other chapters.

 Chapter 11

Kate woke to a doctor shaking her.  Coming out of the deep hypnotic state, she was drowsy and confused.  A man was talking to her.  Several people were in the room; security guards, people in scrubs and others in suits.  She tried to collect her thoughts to figure out why she was surrounded by all these people.  The security guards were watching her.  The two men in suits appeared to be arguing. 

“What’s happening?”  She asked.  No one answered.  Everyone was staring at her.  She was trying to hear what the two men in suits were saying.  “What’s happening?”

The doctor who was shaking her announced to the others in the room: “She’s out of it.  She’s awake now.”

One of the suits sat in the chair beside her.  He glanced at her chart.  “Ms. Pierson, can you tell me what happened?  What do you remember?  I understand if you are a confused, you were hypnotized, right?”

The other suit interrupted.  “Answer the question,” An angered look on his face.

Kate looked around the room and finally caught Ramona’s eye.   “What happened Ramona?”

The angry suit shot a glance at Ramona, “She’s one of yours?  She needs to answer the question.”

The nice suit was growing tired of the angry suit’s accusing tone.  “If you will stop for a minute and let her wake up,” He turned to Kate.  “Ms. Pierson, do you remember what happened?”

“No. I don’t know why all of you are here.” 

“You were hypnotized.”  Nice suit said.

“Yes, he wanted to know about a dream I had.”  She scanned the room.  “Where is he, Doctor Riley?”

The nice suit studied her confusion.  It seemed genuine.  She had not noticed the window.  He could tell her discomfort was from waking suddenly being surrounded.

“What is the last thing you remember about Doctor Riley?”  Nice suit asked in a soothing tone.

“He told me to relax; we were in a safe place.”  Kate answered.  “Where is he?  Will somebody tell me what happened?”

“Dr. Riley killed himself about fifteen minutes ago, apparently while you were under hypnosis.”

“What?”  She went pale with fright.

“He jumped out that window.”  The nice suit pointed to an empty window casing on the other side of the room.  “I heard the glass breaking from my office next door.  I came in and found you asleep on the couch.  I went to the window and saw Doctor Riley, well, I’m afraid he didn’t survive the fall.”

The number five flashed in her mind, a large number five like the one she saw when she exited the elevator on Doctor Riley’s floor.  She knew a jump from this height would surely kill someone.  Everyone in the room was looking at her, waiting for a reaction from her. Her complexion grew pale as she came to realize what happened.  Slight memories tickled at her consciousness trying to come out of the darkness.  She had conversations.

“They think you did this.”

She noticed that no one in the room spoke.  Her eyes darted wildly as the memories from the last two days came back to her, and the pieces of conversation she had with Doctor Riley.  She started to worry.

The voice from nowhere came again.  “Stay calm, I will get you through this.”

Chapter 12

“I don’t remember.”  She answered to almost every question.  The memories from the last two days were screaming at her but she had no recollection of the hypnosis. 

The nice suit, whom she found out was a colleague of Doctor Riley’s, Doctor Steve Watson, helped her cope with the events of the day.  He, along with Ramona, stayed by her side during the police questioning.  Soon, they were the only ones left in the room.

“Kate, I am going to put you down for two weeks leave of absence.  You have plenty of vacation time left but I might be able to get this time off with pay.”  Ramona stated.

“I think, I, I don’t know what has happened.”  Kate added.

“You are stressed and probably have a mild case of shock.  I agree.  You need to take a couple of weeks.  If you want, I can make myself available for you.”  Doctor Watson suggested.

“No, no more psych exams.”  Kate sounded scared.

“Honey, is there someone you can call to take you home?”  Ramona asked.

“No.”  Kate appeared on the verge of tears.

“Where do you live?”  Doctor Watson asked.

“Sweetwater, behind the north side post office.”

“Good, it’s close.  Ramona, do I have your permission to take her home?  I will drive her car, drop her off and catch a cab back here.”

“Sounds good to me, thanks for doing that.” 

“Not a problem.  Can you walk to the car or should we get a wheelchair?”

“I can make it.  Thank you Doctor Watson.”

“Call me Steve.”  He said as he scribbled on a prescription pad.  “Ramona can you call these in to the pharmacy over on Springer Street?  I will stop by and get them on the way to her house.”

Ramona looked at the prescription.  “Good idea, help her rest.  Take care Kate.  If you feel like coming back early you call me and we will talk about it okay?”

“Okay, thanks Ramona.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Visitor Ch 9-10

The continuing story of The Visitor.  Scroll down and to previous pages for earlier chapters.  I need some feedback people.  That was the deal.  I put it up, but you share and give me feedback.

Chapter 9

“Now you are totally relaxed Kate.  You are in a safe place.  Do you feel safe Kate?”


“Tell me about this woman Kate.  Can you describe her to me?”

“I just remember a dark face, dark hair.  When her mouth opened so far I closed my eyes.  As soon as I did I could tell she was gone.”

“Does she remind you of anyone, perhaps someone involved in a trauma in your life?”

“No, I have never seen her before.”

“He is very irritating, isn’t he?”


“The good doctor.”

“Who is this?”

“I am the one you should believe in.”



“No.  Leave me alone.  She’s here, Doctor Riley, she’s here.”

“Tell me about the dream.”

“No!  No!  Wake me up, she’s here!”

“The men in my dream thought I attacked them.”

“We are alone in here.”

“Did either of the men look familiar?”

“No, I have never seen them.”

“I want to wake up.”

“He can’t hear you.  We are in another place.”

“Where am I?  What are you doing here?”

“What do you think is the significance of the old west setting?”

“Seemed fitting.  You are in yet another place in your little brain.  With me.”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you want from me?”

“I want you to believe in me.”

“You said the woman, you, had blood on her dress.  Was she violated in some way?”

“A little spotting is expected from the first time.  Tell him you did it with the devil.”

“I had sex with the devil.”

“Kate, were you raped by someone?  It is completely natural to block a memory of that.”

“If I showed myself to him he would lose his simple little mind.  I am easing into you.”

“I don’t want this.”

“Too late, you have been asking for it for a long time.”

“Can you describe him to me Kate?  You are safe.  I will protect you.”

“He wants you too.”

“No, he is trying to help me!”

“Open up to me Kate.”

“See, I told you he wants you.”



Chapter 10

“Let me talk to him.”

“What?  Why?”

“Kate, listen to me.  You are safe.  No one will hurt you anymore.  Try to remember his face.  Can you describe him?”

“He was a fat, balding old man.  He tried to take advantage of me.”

“What was his name Kate?  Do you know him?”

“Richard Riley.”

“That’s my name Kate.  Try to remember who attacked you.”

“No one attacked me.”

“He might.”

“No!  He said I am safe and I trust him not to do anything.”

“I will not let him corrupt your mind.”

“Oh Doctor Riley.”

“Yes Kate.”

“You remember don’t you?  It was about twenty years ago.  You were a bad man.”

“Kate, try to focus.”

“You remember.  You think about it everyday don’t you?”

“Am I still talking to Kate?” Riley asked.

“Pay attention old man.  You know what you did.  You could have helped them but you didn’t.  You were so confident about your decision, but as you get older you doubt yourself more everyday.”

“Kate, I want you to start waking up, slowly.”

“She can hear you but she is not going to wake up.  I want you to close your eyes and picture them.  How old would they be today?

“Stop it,” Riley demanded.

“Think about what you did, good doctor.”

“I tried to help them.”

“Leave him alone.”

“I wish you could see his face.”

“You did not try very hard.”

“I wanted to help but…”

“Keep your eyes closed Kate.  No need for you to see what is about to happen to him.”

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Visitor Ch 7-8

Chapter 7

Kate woke and looked around her room.  She was alone, safe in her town house.  She looked at the clock on the nightstand, just after nine in the morning. 

She lay in bed for a moment, thinking about the visitor’s dirty face.  “Believe,” she said, and the stress from the previous night returned. 

She made a quick cup of coffee and decided to check her email.  Mister Hedley jumped in her lap.

Spam, spam, and one from Ramona.  She clicked it.

Kate, don’t worry about last night.  Everything was fine after you left.  I was a little worried about you though.  I know you aren’t very religious so a pastor is probably out of the question, but I did set up an appointment for you to see Dr. Riley, the psychiatrist, this afternoon at 2 pm.  You don’t have to go but death affects people differently and I just want you to talk to someone.  I look forward to seeing you this afternoon.  Let me know about Dr. Riley, either way.

Ramona Bolling

Kate sipped her warm coffee.  “I am not crazy” she thought, “but I did see that woman and now she is in my dreams.”

She made herself some breakfast, occasionally glancing at Ramona’s still open email.  “Just talk to someone, not crazy.  Just a little stressed.  He might be able to explain the dream.”

She sat down at the computer desk and replied to Ramona that she would keep the appointment.

Chapter 8

Kate found the psychiatrist, Dr. Riley, to be very kind and professional.  He was in his mid fifties she guessed.  He was balding slightly on top, with a genuine demeanor and a warm smile.  She immediately liked and trusted him.

“Let’s get some history first.  Tell me a little bit about yourself.”  Dr. Riley asked.  “Are you single or dating?”

“No.  I am single.  I go out on dates occasionally, but nothing serious.”

“Why not?”

“I just haven’t fallen in love.  I don’t want to settle for the wrong guy.”  She answered.

“Were you ever in love?”  He asked.

“In college.  I thought I had Mister Right.  He turned out to be a jerk.”

“Cheat on you?”

“Yeah.  One time mistake he said, but I never made any mistakes.”

“And you are thirty two now.  Nothing serious since then?”

“I have been on a few dates.  I can usually tell after a few minutes that so many of these guys are losers or not worth my time.”


“No. I would call it being picky.  I don’t want to support someone who is still playing video games.  I certainly don’t want to raise someone else’s children.  Seems like everyone is divorced with kids these days.”

“You don’t want children?” He asked.

“My own children would be great.  I have heard too many of my coworkers complain about their ex and problems with the kids.”

“And your parents, are they healthy?”


“Yes, just checking family history.”

“They are fine.”  She assured him.

“Any visions, hallucinations or voices?  No matter how insignificant.”

“Nothing like this, just normal stuff.”

“Define normal for me.”

“I don’t know, déjà vu, catching something out of the corner of my eye.  That’s normal right?”

“Give me some examples?”  He asked.

“Déjà vu, feeling like I have been somewhere before, which is normal.  Everyone experiences it.  Sometimes I feel like I see a shadow move or lights getting brighter.”

“Sensitivity to light could be a medical problem.  Any symptoms associated with that?”

“I am not sensitive to light.  I swear sometimes I can see a light in the room getting brighter.  There is nothing associated with it, just bright light.  Your desk lamp seems brighter than when I first came in.”

“But it isn’t.”

“How can you be certain?” She asked.

“How can any of us be certain?  Do you hear voices or talk to yourself?

“I am single.  I talk to myself all the time or I talk to the cat.”

“Ever get in any serious arguments?” He asked with a chuckle.

“No. I guess you can say I get along with myself just fine.”

“Cute, we are about out of time.  I would like for you come back tomorrow and get a little deeper?  I think you will be fine but it helps to get these emotions out.  You can’t let them fester.”

“I would like to get this nightmare out of my head.”

“What happened?” He asked.  “Ramona said you experienced two sudden deaths and thought you saw someone in the room.  You also had a dizzy spell.”

“You might think I am crazy.” She answered.

“Good, that is why I am here.”  He said with a smile.  “Most people are not technically crazy.  Sometimes people just need someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on.”

She was nodding her head but staring out the window.  He could tell by the look in her eyes that she stopped being so matter of fact.  She wanted to let go.

He added, “Ramona said you aren’t a religious person.  Are you stressed about…”

She cut him off.  “There was a woman in the room.  She opened her mouth back over her head right in front of my face.  I closed my eyes for just a second, and then she was gone.  Ramona was just outside and never saw anyone leave the room.”

He stared at her for a few moments.  His pen at his lips.  “Interesting.” He said.  “Spend the rest of the afternoon with me?  Just a few more hours?  I will clear it with Ramona.”

“Sure” She said.  “I would be happy to get this out of my head.”

“I would like to get into your head, ever been hypnotized.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Visitor Chapter 6

This is Chapter 6, scroll down for the previous chapters.  Leave some feedback please and let me know if you find any mistakes.  I wrote this years ago and am going to finish it up as I go.  After going to sleep, Kate dreams.

Kate stood in the street of the old frontier town.  She felt as if she could hardly breathe.  She looked down to see herself in an old fashioned, long dress and dirty lace up boots.  She felt her waist.  A corset squeezed at her torso.

She looked across the dusty dirt road to the bare wood buildings as the rider came in.  In this western setting she expected to see a horse, but it was not.  It had the body of a haggard camel.  Its huge feet slowly drug through the dirt as it walked down the dusty street toward her.  The beast was covered in wart like welts.  Its snout was hard and pointed, resembling that of a crow. 

Its rider was wearing a black duster and hat.  From the side she could only see dirty dark hair flowing from underneath the hat.  The beast stopped and the rider dismounted away from her.  Her heart was pounding in her chest.  She felt as if it might burst through the corset.  A sense of worry came over her as he was standing on the other side of the beast.  Heart pounding, she could hear it, she began breathing through her mouth, the corset squeezed her so tightly.  What is she going to do?

The visitor stepped in front of the beast and faced Kate.  Even with the full sun shining, from the distance Kate only saw darkness from her clothes to her hair to the dark glasses on her fat face.  The looked directly at Kate and spoke, “Believe me now?” then turned, looking back from where she rode in. 

Kate turned and faced that direction.  Although she could not see anything in the desert beyond, she knew something was out there.  She felt something bad had happened.
She turned and grabbed a horse that was behind her, jumped on and rode as fast as she could toward the edge of the small town.  Following a dirt path, she rode harder, out into the deserted prarie and after a few moments she saw several people lying on the ground ahead.

She stopped the horse at the first person she came to. She dismounted and stood over the man lying on the ground.  His face and hands were covered in blood from several cuts.  His face was ashen from the blood as it gathered dust from the desert winds.  A horrified look was frozen on his lifeless face.

Out of the corner of her eye she caught movement from another man. She ran over to see about him.  He was sitting up, his back against a large rock.  As she approached him she noticed he was severely beaten and bleeding, but still alive.  His eyes followed her as she came closer.  She locked her gaze upon his face.  As he drew his last breaths from his open, drooling mouth, his eyes were focused completely on her.

When she got closer she could see his right hand clutching a pistol.  She showed no fear; he appeared too weak to do anything threatening to her. 

Suddenly he held his breath and heaved his pistol, aiming it shakily at her.  He winced as he pulled back on the hammer.  Her eyes slowly watched the movement of his hand.  She noticed another cut across the back of hand as he struggled with the pistol.  What little blood he had left slowly ran from the cut and dripped from the grip of the gun.  His hand shook slightly, weak from holding up the gun, as it clicked on an empty round.  His arm dropped.

“I shot you.”  He moaned.  “I shot you, I killed you.  Why aren’t you dead?”  His voice faded to a whisper and he grew weaker with each word.  Finally his head slumped down and he moved no more.

Several steps ahead lay the last person.  She could tell from the long hair and dress it was a woman.  She was laying flat on her back and did not appear to move.  Slowly, Kate made her way over to the woman.  The first thing she noticed was the lower portion of her dress was ripped to shreds.  Bloodstains covered what was left of her dress, between her legs and coagulated in the dirt she lay in.  She saw the woman’s torso moving, she was breathing.  Kate moved closer to see the wounded woman’s face.

She wasn’t prepared to be looking down on her own self.  Her eyes were open and fixed in a stare up into the sky above.  Kate moved her face into her line of vision.  After a few seconds her eyes shifted and focused on her own face standing above her.  She looked at herself looking at herself.  She didn’t speak, she figured she was in shock.  Suddenly she recognized herself standing there…and screamed

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Visitor Chapter 5

Scroll down for earlier chapters.

Kate hurried home as fast as she could.  She was surprised she arrived safely in her current stressful state.  All she wanted to do was sleep in order to wake up from the nightmare day she had so far.  “Believe, Believe, Believe” raced through her mind while she was driving.  She sang a variety of songs she could think of containing the word believe.  Anything she could do to change the context of the word. 

Her cat, Mister Hedley, greeted her as soon as she walked in the door.  He rubbed his body against her leg and she picked him up immediately, hugging his soft body to her cheek.  “It’s so good to see you.  I’ve had a bad day,” she said as the cat began purring. 

The first stop was the kitchen, where she fed Hedley.  Her stomach was also complaining about being empty on the way home.  A banana sandwich sounded good.  She ran some water in a glass and took one of her sleeping pills.  She could not wait to be unconscious.  Bread, mayo, banana and plain potato chips squeezed together made a simple but satisfying meal.  She took a bite, savoring the creamy mayo and bananas, the chips were salty and crunchy, a perfect balance.  The image of the visitor raced through her mind.  She cursed the woman and made her way to the bedroom. 

She took the last bite of her sandwich as she was undressing.  She turned on the water in the shower, letting it run hot.  Then Kate stood in the relaxing hot water.  She breathed deep the steamy vapors.  It was soothing and the sleeping pill began to make her drowsy. 

After the shower Kate went back to the kitchen for a nightcap.  Couple of ice cubes, half Coke, half Bacardi.  She took a sip and felt the tingling sensation rush over her body.  Believe still played in her head.  She went back to the bedroom and grabbed another sleeping pill.  “I don’t care” she thought “I am off tomorrow and I do not want to remember this day.”  She popped the other pill in her mouth and chased it down with her mixed drink.

Kate pulled an old pack of cigarettes from the back of the cabinet drawer.  She fished around for a lighter, finally finding a pack of matches, then stepped out on the back porch.  The night air was cool and damp.  “Won’t be long now.”  She thought as she savored the rum. 

After about ten minutes, she took one last sip of the drink and the last drag from the cigarette.  She was very relaxed.  “Time for bed.”

She giggled, feeling tipsy as she stood.  She locked up the house and made her way to the bedroom.  She pulled back the covers, turned off the lamp and lay down.  Mister Hedley nestled in beside her. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Visitor Chapter 4

This is Chapter 4, scroll down for chapters 1-3

Kate felt her skin grow cold.  The room was silent except for the hum of the oxygen supply to Tim.  She opened her eyes.  The woman was gone.  She was cold, but put a hand to her forehead and wiped sweat away.  She felt lightheaded and leaned against the bed.  She felt as if the room was spinning.  She noticed that her patient, Tim Johnson, had stopped breathing.  She put her hand to his neck and felt for a pulse.  There was none.  He had passed.

She turned to make her way out of the room, which was more than her senses could handle.  She dashed into the bathroom, fell to her knees and vomited into the toilet.  Her body heaved until there was nothing left.  She felt exhausted.  She rested her head on her forearm.  Her body was cold and covered with sweat. 

After a few moments Kate flushed the toilet and stood in front of the mirror then looked at the pale face in the mirror.  She washed her hands and rinsed her mouth, then just looked at herself in the mirror while wondering what just happened.  Pull it together.  You have a job to do, then get out of here.  Believe… believe what.

Kate took a deep breath and relaxed.  She wet a hand towel and wiped her face.  One last look in the mirror.  Her head was feeling steadier now. 

Kate walked out of the room into the hall.  She looked up and saw Ramona working at one of the computer terminals in the hallway. 

As she got closer Ramona looked up at her stunned at Kate’s appearance.  “Kate, are you okay?  Why are you so pale?”  Ramona asked.

“I’m not feeling very good.  I just got dizzy and threw up.”  Kate said.

“Honey, sit down, is there anything I can get for you?  What happened?”  Ramona asked as she helped Kate into a chair.

“Mr. Johnson passed.”

“What happened?”

“I don’t know Ramona.  I was taking his vitals, it was dark, then…then I just got dizzy.  Ramona, I hate to ask but I really need to get out of here.  I really don’t feel…”

“Kate, aside from vacation, you haven’t asked for a day off since you started working here.  We can handle this.  You go home and get some rest.  I am going to get you some water.  Okay?  Sit down over there and I will be right back.”  Ramona said as she turned to walk away.

Kate bit at her lip, but she had to ask, “Ramona, did you see anyone come out of the room?”

“No honey, I have been standing at that terminal the whole time you were in there.”

“I thought I saw someone, a woman, in the room,” she said, unsure of what just happened.

“That’s it.  You’re going home.  Come on,” Ramona said as she helped Kate to her feet.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

New Lights

We were eating at Ma Fia's Pizza in Opelika Alabama, did I mention they have excellent food?  Anyway, you can check out their restaurant here Gallery and look at the lights on the third and fourth pics.  I thought that might be something I could do.

While I don't have beautiful jugs like those, I did find some large pickle jars.  I sheared thin pieces of sheet metal at work and pop riveted the frames together.  One jar contains Xmas lights and curvy vines, the other has a vintage filament bulb. 

 I do have a large 5 gallon glass jug I plan to make a hanging frame for but I haven't figured out the lighting.  My wife is listing these babies on Etsy as I type and I will put them at Old South Antique Mall tonight or in the morning.

Here is a link to our place on Etsy, where you can find other items and more pics of each light.  KGilbertDesigns on Etsy

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Visitor 1-3

Edited to change the name to The Visitor.

I started this a couple of years ago and just recently got back to it.  I think I know how I want to proceed with the story now so I am back on it.  I will be posting one chapter every week.  I started you with three, to get you interested.  Please leave comments AND sign up for the email list to be advised when a new chapter(or anything I might post) is added AND share it on Facebook, with your friends, etc.  

The idea came from an elderly lady who told my wife and I about being a candy striper when she was young who saw a dark spirit in the hospital room of a young man who died.  She quit that day.  I found her story interesting and began writing, but have changed many things since I started.  

It's currently titled The Visitor, but that may change too.  Start reading and enjoy.  I need some feedback, leave comments.

Chapter 1

It could be the arthritis or the impending weather causing Jacob Barnes’ hands to ache from just holding the phone.  His granddaughter Ann called as he was getting ready for a trip to the hospital.  He was a retired minister from the local Methodist Church, but since his wife died, he found it uplifting to visit those in the hospital who had no family or needed spiritual guidance.

“Annie, I need to go if I am going to beat this storm.”  He had to interrupt her.

“Papa, I know you get lonely in that house all by yourself, but do you have to go to the hospital on a night like this?” Ann asked.

“Well it is not storming yet.  I can make it, if I hurry.  The Lord is really telling me I need to be there tonight.  Give me a hug.”  He said, as he reached into a bag of hard candy, pulling out a handful for each of his pants pockets.

“Okay, I will let you go.  Be careful and I will talk to you soon.  Love Love Papa.”

“Love Love Annie.”  He smiled as he placed the phone down.  When she was little he would hug her, humming mmm, mmm.  “Love Love” was for when he could not be there to hug her.

The rain was starting to fall as he rushed to the car.  Once inside, his fingers fumbled with the keys in the ignition.  He made a fist around the keys, as well as his arthritis would allow and started the car.  Maybe he should stay home and keep warm tonight, nurse the aching joints.  No, he thought to himself, he would go to the hospital.  Some soul might need him.  The hospital was not far from Pastor Barnes’ home.  He knew he could make the drive before the really bad weather moved in. 

As he drove, the windshield began to fog over.  He reached into his pocket, pulled out a handkerchief and wiped the moisture from the windshield.  It was then he noticed the darkness seemed to overtake the light from lampposts and nearby businesses.  All light faded to very dim. 

His eyes strained in the darkness.  He leaned forward.  The lack of light seemed to be concentrated directly in front of him on the road ahead.  Darkness was in the shape of a person, a figure standing in the street.  He leaned forward to better see what the figure was but his headlights found nothing.  Their light wrapped around the dark figure into the unknown beyond.  Someone’s in the road, he thought.  He panicked; his face froze in fear, his knuckles cracked, breaking under the pressure as he gripped the steering wheel to turn away.  His hands went numb.  His leg kicked at the brake pedal, but his wet shoe slipped onto the accelerator.  The car turned, its engine screaming, sliding the car sideways.  Every muscle in his body tightened.  He never took his eyes away from the darkness.  “Oh God” escaped from his lips as he passed through the dark figure smashing into the light beyond. 

Chapter 2

Rain was forecast for the rest of the night with periods of severe thunderstorms.  Kate Pierson tried to leave early for a good parking spot.  Traffic was slow but she arrived early, as did many of the other hospital staff.  She found the best place she could and parked the Honda.  With the umbrella she shielded her body from the cold rain as she made her way to the employee entrance for her shift. 

Under the entrance awning she shook off the umbrella and neatly tucked it away before making her way to the fourth floor nurses station.  She stopped by the restroom for a peek in the mirror.  She had looked better.  Her sandy blonde hair was pulled back in a ponytail to help control the humidity’s affects.  Her light blue scrubs were fairly dry, she was glad to have made it in without getting wet. 

Kate was a solitary person around the hospital.  She kept to herself, never finding time for extra curricular activities with co-workers.  She was not rude, but always politely declined any invitations.  After several months at the hospital her co-workers stopped trying.  She was always there, doing her job, management and staff members could count on her every day.

As she approached the nurse’s station she noticed the charge nurse Ramona Bolling was just finishing a meeting with members of the staff.  Several of the other nurses appeared to be upset, some of them were crying.  She approached Ramona as the others were talking amongst themselves. 

“What is it Ramona, did something happen?” Kate asked.

“Pastor Jacob Barnes passed away about thirty minutes ago in the emergency room.”  Ramona informed Kate. 

“The preacher?  What happened?”

“He was in an accident, probably on his way here.  He lost control of his car in the rain and hit an eighteen wheeler.  One of the girls in the ER told me the truck driver said Jacob never looked at him or turned away.  He just froze.”

“Oh my God, that’s awful,” Kate said sympathetically.    

“Did you know him?” Ramona asked.

“No, not really.  I was usually too busy to talk to him.  Sometimes he would toss me a piece of candy and wink, but that is about it.” Kate said adding, “I can’t believe he’s dead.”

“I know, everyone is really upset about it.  I am glad it is a slow night.  If you need to talk about it, just let me know, okay honey?”

“I’ll be alright, thanks Ramona.”

Kate checked in at the nurse’s station for the patients she would be seeing that evening.  She was assigned to the new patient in room 423.  Twenty five year old Tim Johnson had been admitted earlier in the day.  His leukemia had progressed and he wasn’t expected to leave the hospital. He was on deathwatch.  She had to monitor him and keep him as comfortable as possible in his near death state.

Chapter 3

Kate approached room 423.  As she did a chill ran over her body.  She stopped, paused for a moment thinking the rain had given her a chill, and shook it off.  She gave the customary knock at the door before entering.  She put her hand to the door.  It felt cold.  She thought it was strange but made her way into the room. 

The room was dark except for a small light at the head of the patient’s bed.  The room was very cold; she thought she might be able to see her breath.  She looked over at Mister Johnson, who was sleeping, and another woman standing beside the bed. The female visitor was difficult to see in the darkened room.  Her clothes were all black and her long dark hair hid her face, which was looking down upon Tim Johnson. Kate introduced herself and wrote the names of the night shift nurses on the information board. 

She spoke as she wrote, “My name is Kate, and Ramona is the Charge Nurse tonight.”  She turned and went to the bedside.  “I’m just going to check vitals.”  After a few silent moments with her eyes on her watch she uttered “Cold in here.”  The visitor standing on the other side of the bed never said a word or took her eyes off Tim.  The light was very dim. She could only see that the quiet person was a woman.  Everything about her was dark and foreboding, her clothes, her hair, her presence.

She finished taking his vital signs and scribbled a few notes.  The silence from the visitor was uncomfortable, but she had to ask as she always did.  She looked up at the visitor and asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?”

With her head still down, the visitor whispered an answer “Oh, yes”.

“What’s that?” Kate answered with a smile.

The visitor slowly looked up at Kate.  In the dark room the whites of her eyes glowed against the darkness of her face.  Kate looked into her eyes.  The visitor’s head moved closer to her across the hospital bed.  She cracked her lips open and hissed one word, “Believe”. 

As she moved closer Kate could see the details of her face.  Kate watched the woman’s mouth as she spoke.  Her teeth were dirty and stained, her lips were dark, almost black against her pale face.  When she finished the word her lips spread wide and the corners of her mouth split open.  Kate backed against the wall.  The opening of her mouth grew larger as the visitor moved closer to Kate’s face.  Kate smelled the stench of death and closed her eyes just as the visitor reached her.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012


Here is another video where we talk about redecorating.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Very Neat Artist

I love these miniature sculptures made from various metal parts. These pieces have so much character. The artist can be found at Front Porch of the South, on Veterans Blvd in Columbus, GA. FPOTS is a large place, so if you are going to look just for him, go over to the far right isle. He is right there at the start of the isle. I didn't see the artist while I was there and excuse my photos from my camera phone. If you can see in the background he does all the work right there in his booth. Amazing pieces and I saw a price of $85 which seems very, very reasonable. Click the pics to view larger.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Baxley's Stayin' Alive

Monday, March 5th, was fried catfish day in the City of Dothan cafeteria. City Clerk Pam McCoy loaded her lunch tray and scanned the room for a place to sit and eat. She didn’t get far.

“Pammy,” City Manager Mike West called her out, “Come sit with us.”

Pam let out a sigh, then sat down with Mike West and City Attorney Freddie Len White.

“Afternoon,” she said.

“Mmm,” Len mumbled as he chewed at his piece of fried catfish.

“You gonna eat that hush puppy?” Mike West asked as he poked his finger in her plate.

“Um, no. You can have it.”

“Look here Pammy, commission meeting is tomorrow. Can you print out copies of something, anything, to look like official paperwork? Utilities collections for the past three months would be good, I can BS about that for a while to change the subject if need be,” Mike West asked.

“Sure, I can do tha…” Pam’s voice faded as Hamp Baxley entered the cafeteria at exactly the same time as Stayin’ Alive by the Bee Gee’s started playing on the loud speakers. She could tell by the way he used his walk, his suit slacks gently hugging his firm buttocks, he was a woman’s man, no time to talk.

As he walked by their table, West stuck his foot out and tripped Baxley. His lunch tray floated up in the air as he tumbled to the floor, then the tray landed on his head. Pam was shocked. Freddie Len White, who was at the time nibbling on a fried catfish tail, thought that was the funniest thing he had ever seen.

“Boy that’s the funniest thing I ever seen,” Len said as he slapped his knee several times; his teeth black with specks of catfish tail.

Mike West was spitting chunks of hush puppy as he laughed. “I heard that Len.”

Pam reached down to help Baxley to his feet. She wiped coleslaw from his head.

“My hair!” Baxley screamed. “I spend a lot of time working on my hair. Now yous got coleslaw in it. Don’t mess with the hair.”

“Awe hell, don’t get your panties in a wad,” West said with a mouthful of hush puppies, “It’s all good.”

“Yeah, you tell him Mikey,” Len said.

“I oughta kick your,” Baxley said approaching West.

“Stop it,” Pam pleaded, placing a hand up to block them. Baxley moved forward, which put Pam’s hand on his rock hard abs. She had no doubt he could handle himself but knew the decorum of the lunchroom was no place for such shenanigans. “Don’t stoop to their level.”

“I’ll see yous guys at the commission meeting tomorrow,” Baxley said as he stormed off.

Pam turned to see Freddie Len with her catfish. “Hey, that’s mine.”

“I’m just eatin the tail. It’s the best part.” Len said.

“I heard that,” West said.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yes We Can Dothan

Former Dothan High School dropout Curtis “Downtown” Brown made an $800 cash donation to Yes We Can Dothan, last Thursday night. Downtown lauded the program for educating children early in stages of development, before they decide to drop out.

“Man, Yes We Can got it goin on,” Downtown said enthusiastically, adding “I ain’t got to teach nobody how to read no scales no more. Brothers used to be saying Downtown, how many grams in an ounce. Whatever y’all be teaching them over there, word up, it’s workin?”

Director of Communications, Twyla Williams appeared dumbfounded by the donation and Downtown’s comments. She did little communicating aside from a shocked look on her face and her mouth hanging open during the presentation.

“Gimme some love girl,” Downtown said as he rejected the customary handing over of the check with a handshake pose. Downtown instead held the cash in his most earnest gangster pose, eight one hundred dollar bills fanned out spectacularly, including pulling up his shirt to show a pistol tucked into his pants. He went on to describe another youngster who benefited from Yes We Can’s educational programs, Dontae Jones.

“The other day two of my boys were bout to throw down over who gun was best and my boy Dontae, he just got kicked out for dealin, Dontae said “Technically the forty five has a larger diameter, whereas the nine millimeter, due to its smaller size can carry almost twice as many bullets. I have found the forty caliber to be an honest compromise. Ole Dontae sounded like a professor at Wallace. Too bad T-bone shot him for being uppity. It’s all good in the hood.”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Culver vs. Gamble

Aside from the occasional purse snatching, Westgate Park was known for the sounds of children playing and sporting events. On this day silence fell over the softball fields as Mike Gamble stepped up to the plate, gripped his bat tightly and squinted at the pitcher, Mark Culver.

It was the annual Attorneys versus Republicans charity softball game, formerly known as the Attorneys versus Elected Officials game, but since no one has a chance on the Democratic ticket, they changed the name.

The stands were full of people expecting fireworks from Culver and Gamble. Their most recent riff upset the delicate balance of decorum at the normally serene County Commission meetings. The spectators watched in silence as Gamble stood at the plate, his bat raised over his head.

Culver, who took extra chondroitin with his Centrum Silver that morning to loosen his aging joints, was prepared to bring the heat. He shook off the first three signals from the catcher. The catcher knew the only other pitch in Culver’s repertoire was The Wildcat. He let out a sigh and dug his cleats into the red dirt, preparing for the pitch, which could go anywhere.

Culver wound up and lobbed the ball underhanded. Several seconds later, Gamble ducked to prevent the pitch from hitting his head. A gasp came from the crowd, a group of bingo supporters chuckled and high-fived each other.

With ice cold composure, Gamble stepped back in the batter’s box and prepared for the next pitch. Culver knew he could do this three more times and would enjoy each of them. The next pitch he lobbed with a little extra juice. After some time the ball reached the vicinity of Gamble’s head and he dove for the ground.

The crowd became more raucous, bingo supporters laughed and cheered. Several prominent citizens booed the pitcher.

Culver knew this would upset Gamble to no end. He expected Gamble would jump up, open his mouth to spout all kinds of whereas nonsense and be ejected from the game, but he didn’t.

Gamble calmly stood up and brushed himself off. He resumed his position in the batter’s box, but this time he held the bat out in the strike zone with his right hand and tapped the meat of the bat with his left hand, then pointed to the heavens, just beyond left field.

This made Culver’s bald spot redder than his beard; luckily he was wearing a baseball cap. Culver accepted the challenge to strike Gamble out. He wound up and released the pitch with all his might.

Gamble struck the ball with full force and watched it rocket straight into Culver’s face. He smiled a little as he began to trot to first base. Half way there he noticed Culver lying on the ground and was not moving. Several commission members gathered around their fallen pitcher, some of them began vomiting. Gamble turned and ran to the pitcher’s mound. When he arrived and saw Culver his heart sank. He had knocked Culver’s beard clean off his face. The site disgusted him a little but he was filled with dread as Culver was not moving. “Mister Culver!” he screamed, but Culver did not respond. The beard, lying a few feet away, tried to crawl back to its face. It struggled, shook violently, then collapsed.

Gamble dove for Culver and began chest compressions. He thought about mouth to mouth but was truly repulsed at the site of Culver without his beard. “Mister Culver!” he screamed over and over. Then Culver gasped and coughed. He opened his eyes and looked over to see his beard lying there lifeless and let out a blood curdling scream.

Culver’s beard was placed in an iced cooler was airlifted to Southeast Alabama Medical Center, along with Culver himself. Doctors doubted they could save the beard, the damage was too great.

A press conference was held with Mike Gamble and Dothan’s preeminent Oral-Maxillofacial and Facial Cosmetic surgeon Doctor Clint Evans, which everyone watched on TV because it was too slow to load on Rickey Stokes News.

“Whereas my temper got the best of me today, we must say goodbye to Mister Culver’s beard, nothing can be done and for that I am sorry. Whereas Mister Culver has only a limited amount of hair left and whereas I have an overabundance of back hair Doctor Evans will attempt the first ever back to face hair transplant. It’s a risky procedure as I could lose the ability to, to speak.” Gamble said as he broke into tears.

Everyone at the press conference agreed it was well worth the risk.

“Let’s do this,” Doctor Evans said.

“Wait. I didn’t mean for it to happen like this. I hope the people will accept my apology. That beard has served the county for decades. That’s a long time. How long has he been a commissioner? Does he even have another job?” Gamble pondered.

“Quit stalling. Let’s go,” Doctor Evans said as he escorted Gamble away.

The procedure was a success. Both men survived the operation and the transplanted hair took to Culver’s face.

As he sat in his hospital bed recovering that night, Culver’s new beard of velvety soft blonde hair began itching fiercely and suddenly he was overwhelmed with the idea of forming an independent committee to review Center Stage.