Katie and Morris (EM from A – III)

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From cheezburger.com

10:13pm CST, USA, Illinois, Springfield, Laketown Subdivision, 252 Circle Drive.

 

Katie was jolted awake  by the frantic scrabbling of claws embedding themselves in the screen section of the dining room’s sliding glass door.

“Wuzzit?” she slurred from the recliner.  She glowered myopically at the TV, the final scene from ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ flashing Meryl Streep’s ending, secretive smile behind the dusty glass of the set.  The music swelled in the glorious upswing that Hollywood movies were famous for ending with – the triumphant, jaunty music that says ‘Annnnd – now:  HAPPY ENDING!’ as the picture fades to black and credits roll.

Katie’s sleep-mussed mind didn’t recall any cats in the picture, and certainly no cats with claws determined to turn the rather expensive screen into a pile of metal shavings on the hard wood floor.  Unlike….

“MORRIS!” she shouted in the direction of the dining room, and the big orange tabby who was industriously working at widening the tiny holes.

“Mrrrrrow!” came the cheerful reply – along with renewed pinging as hooked claws snagged delicate metal mesh.

Katie growled as the recliner’s footrest dropped to the floor, along with bare feet.  “That screen cost a fortune to replace,” she grumbled as she levered her sizable bulk off the well-serviced furniture.  A snarled “Not again, furball,” accompanied the quick grab of the spray bottle sitting within arm’s reach on the coffee table.

Stomp, stomp, stomp.   The cat, sensing an imminent dousing, made a mad dash for safety between her chunky ankles.

Horrified, Katie shifted her weight awkwardly, to avoid stomping on her pet.

Duckwalked in a broken parody of a graceful pirouette as she attempted to regain her balance.

And danced as gracefully as a crushed bird across the darkened dining room.

**crash**

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Well…so much for the screen door…

 

“Mrrrrrrow!”

“Mmmph…”

Katie reached out and pushed Morris’ whiskered muzzle from her lips, completely disoriented to why she was laying outside on the deck in the middle of the night.

In the shorts and next-to-see-through UIS tee-shirt she slept in.

And why everything on her body throbbed in time with her heart.

Clarity reasserted itself, as she took stock of the twisted bed of mangled aluminum and torn wire mesh which was currently between her and the wooden slats of the back deck.  The screen door was, of course, ruined beyond repair.

“Oh, Morris!” she wailed, scooping up her personal orange menace and cuddling him close.  It wouldn’t do to have him vanish in the night!  “Why did you do this?”

A growl was her answer, as the lights and subtle background noise from the freeway cut off suddenly.  Followed by 10 extremely sharp claws digging into her forearms.

“Yeouch!”

Morris bounded off into the now very-dark night.

“Damnit, cat!”

Katie disentangled herself from the ruined screen door, and trundled down the three steps to the cool, dewey grass of her back yard.

And into the leading edge of a maelstrom of orangy-red, black and sparkly particulate-matter storm.

She could feel the particles bouncing off her skin.  Her hair, whipping wildly in the swirling gale, grew heavier as more particles tangled within the auburn curls.  Her ears plugged up as the pressurized storm forced particulate matter up the canals to embed themselves in ear wax.

The worst part was the smell.  Particles wormed their way up her nose, imparting a dry, cloying, sickeningly-sweet, coppery tang – the smell of rotting sawdust, over-ripe fruit, laced with a hint of freshly-spilled blood.

All around her, the storm raged in fury, the howl of the wind blending with…crunching noises, the groaning of bending wood, the tinkle of glass, and … in the very background, almost too low to hear … what sounded like maniacal female laughter.

Katie stood in the grass, too terrified to move…too horrified to scream … too overwhelmed by the raw forces battering her about to stop the warm rush of fluid washing down her inner thighs as her bladder voided itself moments before she inadvertently lost control of her consciousness for the second time of the evening.

Morris, emerging from the blackness, curled up at her feet.

“Mrrrrrr-Wow!   Wow?  That’s new.”

 

 

10:16 pm CST, Illinois, Springfield, Laketown Subdivision, 252 Circle drive.  2.1 miles from UIS.

3 minutes later.  Precisely.

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Email from the Apocalypse II

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UIS Mascot – Orion the Hunter

10:03pm CST. USA, Illinois, Springfield, UIS Campus, Lincoln Residence Hall, 3rd floor.

 

“Hey guys, you GOTTA see this!”

“Holy Shit!  What’s that guy on???”

“Damn, man, that’s some twisted shit right there!”

“Dude, you GOTTA share that to my page!”

The email, Titled:  Greetings from the Apocalypse (wish you weren’t here), hit an approximate 4.6 billion email inboxes pretty much simultaneously.   Within seconds, it had been opened, read, discussed, and become the latest trend on Facebook.

Gene’s shout to his roommates, and the subsequent micro-conversation above, pretty much summed up how the email was received around the globe.

Gene shared the post, offering his own two cents in the field Facebook offered for the pithy responses its usership lived for:

“LOL, guys!  This guy seriously trippin bawls.  He seein things inna sky!  share, man, FUCKIN share!”

Gene turned up his stereo.  His bedroom walls started to vibrate.

Beez in the trap, beez, beez in the trap…

The single window in Gene’s room shook – the loose storm window rattling against the more solidly-affixed piece of glass.

“Clunk, clunk, clunk…”

“Damn wind…” Gene growled, popping the top of his third beer of the evening. “Cheap-ass dorm rooms.  Mother-fuckers don’t never fix nuttin!”   He turned up the stereo even more to compensate for the banging.

Beez in the trap…Beez, beez in the trap…

“LOL, man!” came the first response on Facebook.

Followed closely by ‘GTFO!’

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Quickly Gene posted one of his favorite memes.

 

As the ‘likes’ piled up around his post, the first crack appeared in Gene’s wall, creeping along the drywall in time with the now violently-banging storm window.

“Shits legit.” The Dragon posted in his thread.

Gene scowled at his computer screen.  “Yer not one of my friends, shithead,” he mumbled, moving the mouse toward the delete button.

He never reached it.

Gene’s entire room lurched to the north.  His school textbooks scattered across the floor.   His “prized collectible” glass pipe (a genuine replica of the pipe Gandalf was smoking in The Lord of the Rings, only 1000 ever produced!) flew from its genuine black ash display base on his desk, rocketing into his beverage.

The can tipped, spilling a near-full beer all over Gene’s Razer DeathStalker Ultimate! keyboard, inundating Gene’s lap with a mixture of soaked keyboard, cold MGD and glass slivers.

His wireless mouse flew in the opposite direction, leaving a fair-sized dent in the drywall and plastic pieces of the housing to bounce around Gene’s desk.

“Mother-fucker!”

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As final words go…these are mediocre at best…

The outer wall, Gene’s rattling bedroom window, and the Orion the Hunter poster valiantly holding on by a single strip of yellowed tape, dissolved in a shower of glass shards, twisted metal, shredded drywall, and powdered brick as the maelstrom touched the dorm building, eagerly consuming masonry, carpeting, wooden support beams, furniture, and residents.

**Screaming**

**silence**

At 10:13pm, CST, the campus of University of Illinois, Springfield, was completely destroyed by a strange and unnatural storm of intense electrical and turbulent wind energy.  Experts are calling it the ‘worst tornado disaster of all time in the midwest region,’ and are urging residents to stay off the streets and indoors for their own safety.  Stay tuned to WKRX Channel 9 as we stay on top of the latest developments of this bizarre storm.

10 minutes – Precisely.

 

 

 

 

Flash Fiction – Harbinger

Rose lineup Flash Fiction

Flash Friday’s mid-week warmup happened again, and another challenge accepted.  The shot was of a soldier standing on the bow of a small water-craft (he was REALLY low to the water line) and before him were the bridges and the city scape.  Not sure what city scape it was, and I didn’t bother to find out, as the where wasn’t as important as the story created by the image.

I had a harbinger-styled idea banging around in my head for quite some time, after reading a book series off my Kindle called “Moth.”  In it, this young girl leaves her small fishing village, in search of help for that village from the evil of the light worlders.

What struck me in this book – where this young girl goes, the light worlders follow (although they’re not exclusively following HER), and rain fire and destruction on the people gathered.  The girl is a nod to the old harbinger of doom story.

I put a note in my drafts to come up with something to use this element, and yesterday, I used it to bring out this little piece of flash.

I did miss (initially) the extra challenge for the piece – to end the story with the word peace.  I did change out the final sentence to read:  “I alone decimate your peace.” – but here is the original wording.  I like this one better.

Enjoy my latest little slice of flash.

Alone

100 words

I stand alone.

They follow me, dogging my heels. They watch me with luminous eyes. Hot breath steams between long ivory incisors. I feel them always, fear them as well.

I walk alone.

They herd me toward the unsuspecting, the decadent, those fat with soft lives. They confuse my tongue to blur my voiced warnings of them in the midst.

I weep alone.

They cause the bridges to burn, the water to boil, and the people to turn on each other as they gnaw on the very rage they generate.

I am the harbinger – I alone survive your doom.

 

Scorched Earth

Image

 

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

One thing I can say about cameras – I’m rarely without one.  Another thing I can say about cameras…I’m always pointing them at the strangest things.  This little shot tonight started its digital life as the remains of a cheese soup boil-over burned to a crisp onto the stove-top.

Yup…you heard that right – I took a picture of a common household complaint – the burned on mess of a pot of food that escaped the cooking vessel only to sizzle to its doom on the hot surface below.

Stove cleaned after the photo shoot was done…priorities, dontchaknow…

Photoshop is a wonderful tool – it turned me into a right-handed artist…which is saying something, seeing though I’m rather unapologetically left handed in most everything else.  Put a plain, ordinary pencil in my right hand, and I’m about as gifted as bozo, the wonder bra…but a mouse?  Hello, imagery!

I learned to use a mouse (the computer kind, not the squeaky kind) with my right hand.

Why?

Because that’s where the right-handers in my family put the darn thing.  It never occurred to me to move it to the dominant hand.  By the time I got all growed up and started working with computers for a living, instead of out on a shop floor moving product from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’, using the mouse with my right hand was well-ingrained, and a bit of a bonus – I could take notes with my left hand while manipulating the mouse with my right.  So…when I started working in ‘shop – the right hand FINALLY got to be the artistic one.

I think it’s happy that way, and the left hasn’t gotten jealous, so I’m good with it.