A Hard Bargain

The doctor was afraid. Father B. L. Zebub stood in the room, demanding the child.

“Please, you must give her to me. Her father already gave me her soul. She is mine now.”

The doctor resisted, even as he trembled.

“I will not. I‘ve never met this child’s father. Why would I turn her over to you just because you demand it? I need to see some ID , please, and her mother will have to agree before you can take her.”

The priest stared into the doctor’s face. He took in his perfectly white jacket, with his perfectly white name tag attached to the pocket positioned perfectly over his heart. “Fred Johnson, MD.” the placard read. The priest laughed. Fred Johnson came from a long line of sinners. This would be a piece of cake.

“No, that’s not how it works. You will give me this child, because you want to save your own soul. I know all about you and Nurse Scribe and that little vacant office at the end of the hall. It shouldn’t be too hard for your wife to find out. And you know if that happens, she will take you for everything you own. Won’t she?”

The sinister smile on the priest’s face disgusted the doctor as much as his words shocked him.

“Who..Who are you?” The doctor trembled.

“You know who I am.”

The doctor’s eyes widened in horror as he began to understand. He saw the long table crowded with empty chairs. He saw his lawyer on one end, a great beast of man, and he saw his wife, dark circles around her eyes, and her lawyer on the opposite end. A tow truck appeared on the street outside the window and began hitching up to his Mercedes. His lovely home in the suburbs wore a For Sale sign in the front yard.

“Ok, fine, but hurry before her mother returns.”

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I’m taking a short break from my NaNo project to answer the Master Class prompt hosted by Sinistral Scribblings. I got to choose the first line this week, and it comes from Anne Rice’s The Witching Hour: “The doctor was afraid.”

I always welcome your feedback. I don’t know if this piece will ever make it into the story, but all three of these characters (the doctor, the child, the priest) are in my NaNo novel at some point. Please share your thoughts in a comment.

Did you know that voting is open again over at America’s Next Author where my story “Gloria” is in the running to win? I could really, really use some reviews too, so won’t you please pop on over and take a moment to vote, read, and review my story?

Thanks for stopping in!

A Future Told

I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one. I know you don’t believe me, but he’s going to get you down where the loss cuts worst. Right down to your very soul.

Unless you get out now.

You’ve seen through your crystal ball what your future holds. You know there is one out there who will know you better than anyone else. You know he will be the one to destroy everything. Yet, you resist. You don’t want to believe it’s him, with his baby blue eyes, long eyelashes, and dimples-for-miles that you got lost in. You don’t want to believe that behind his charming smile lays a soulless creature with a block of coal for a heart.

He’s sucked you in.

That’s what he’s good for—charming his way into your heart, fitting himself into your daily routine so easy that you take him in, fall in love, and marry him. And that’s when the cycle starts. He sucks you dry little by little, taking as much from you as he can, while giving nothing of himself in return. He’ll fill your home with the children you desire; beautiful blue eyed, dimpled babies that will charm and delight you as their father did. He’ll echo those words of love your soul aches to hear, yet not one action will back it up. Too soon, those words turn against you, yet by then he’s trapped you. He’ll cast you away shattered and aching, feeling useless to anyone but him.

He’s still not done with you.

He strips you of your home, your money, your livelihood. He’ll begin to poison your children against you. He’ll name you a crazed whore in front of peers at the local courthouse. He’ll then commit his final act, stealing your children from you with no hope of seeing them again.

He’s hit you down where the loss cuts worst and deprives you of your soul.

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For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Jester Queen gave me this prompt: Down where the loss cuts worst.

I gave kgwaite this prompt: You can still hear the echo of the guitar in the alleyway today.

This also fits the Master Class prompt, using the opening line from Ender’s Game: I’ve watched through his eyes, I’ve listened through his ears, and I tell you he’s the one.

And lastly, Trifecta’s Week 49 word prompt fit in nicely with this story too. The word this week, with it’s third definition is whore– a venal or unscrupulous person. It is exactly 331 words long, satisfying word count requirements for both Trifecta (33-333) and Master Class (300-500).

As always, I’m looking for feedback to improve my writing. Won’t you share your thoughts in a comment?

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! Help me be America’s Next Author!

Thanks for stopping in!

A Cry in the Night

This is the room of the wolfmother wallpaper. It’s peeling in corners, as old as the house around it. And like the house, the room and its secrets have been abandoned, its overgrown yard a trap for stray baseballs smacked from the vacant lot across the street. No one remembers who lived there anymore.

The house remembers though.

On moonless nights, the sound of a baby’s crying comes from within. The cry would carry through the night, leaving neighbors shivering in their beds. The cry is shrill, urgent, and unchanging in its pitch, unnerving even the strongest of hearts. No one understands it. No one can escape it.

No one is brave enough to find it.

The wolfmother slides from the wall, a silent figure crawling through time and space. She creeps on all fours up the decrepit staircase, her watchful eye on the dangling chandelier as she passes underneath it. Louder comes the cry that urges her up the steps, regard for her own safety forgotten. She stops at on the top stair, judging the distance of the hole between stair and floor, balancing her weight as she leaps. She lands harder than she means to, her hind feet breaking more of the flooring away. She dismisses the thought that she might not return, as the cry fills the air again. She steps forward, following the scent only she can detect.

Down the long dust-coated hall she runs, paying no mind to the gray walls on either side of her. To the left she turns, the increasing volume of the cries guiding  her. At the end she climbs, her forepaws scratching against the wall. Another cry, more urgent now, vibrates under her touch. She turns, running back the way she came. She circles in the open hallway, gathering all her strength and runs, her speed never decreasing, until crash! The wall crumbles down around her stunned body laid out on the floor.

The wolfmother rises to a sit, shakes her mane, and startles as another cry cuts through the air. She knows she is close now and stands, her legs wobbling, still woozy from the crash, her nose in the air. She waits with nostrils flaring, and then takes off when she catches the scent. There, in the corner, hidden in shadow, she finds the crib, and within it, the babe. Its mouth is open, its scream silent, its eyes frozen. She nudges her nose through the bars, opens her mouth, and gives it a gentle lick. The babe reaches out, touches her nose. It raises on its legs, and climbs from the crib onto her back. It pulls her fur savagely and she howls, adding a chill to the night the neighbors will never forget.

A crack of light appears in the window, telling her the night is almost over. She must hurry back to the wall now, taking her new child with her, until the next phase of the moon arrives.

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This is my entry for this week’s Master Class, hosted by Sinistral Scribblings. 300 -500 words, using the opening line from Skinny Legs and All by Tim Robbins, to craft your story by. “This is the room of the wolfmother wallpaper.”

I welcome your feedback. Please share your thoughts in a comment.

Don’t forget to read, rate, review, VOTE, and click the social media icons to help me be America’s Next Author. I’m currently at 19. With your help I can do this. Take a moment and vote for my friends, too? Lance, Cameron, Jester Queen.

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